From The History of Montgomery County, Ohio by W. H. Beers & Company 1882

Brookville Historical Society, Inc. 2003


By E. F. Warner

This subdivision was formed from Elizabeth Township, by the County Commissioners, November 6, 1804, and elections were ordered to be held at the house of David Hoover. On the 7th of March, 1809, a portion of Randolph was taken in the formation of Madison Township, and, October 7, 1817, all of Randolph, lying east of Stillwater River, was used in the erection of Butler Township. Thus the township remained until June 8, 1825, at which time all of its territory, in the original surveyed Township 6, Range 4 east, was erected into a new township, called Clay, since which time no changes have been made in the boundaries. Randolph Township is situated in the northern part of the county with the township of Butler on the east, and Clay on the west; Madison Township forms its southern boundary, while Miami County forms its northern one. It is six miles long, from north to south, and, on an average, about four and a half miles wide, from east to west, containing about twenty-six square miles. The surface is undulating and the drainage ample, Stillwater River draining it on the east and Baker's Creek on the north, the latter emptying into Stillwater near the county line. The central part of the township is drained by Bowman's Creek, which-empties into Wolf Creek, in Madison Township, while the western and southwestern portions are drained by Little Wolf Creek and its tributaries. These creeks and small streams are all fed by never-failing fresh-water springs. Near Union are a large number of springs, which are noted far and near for the beautiful, clear, fresh, pure water, that has proven a blessing to all who reside in that locality.

These springs nearly all unite in a branch near Union and form one branch which affords excellent water-power, but at present is not utilized. Yet, the day is not far distant when capitalists will have control of said water power and the hum of machinery will again be heard in the vicinity of Union, as it used to be in the past.

There are other springs dotted all over the township; the largest is owned by H. W. Morehead, near the center of the township. The most noted spring is near Salem, in the western part of the township, known as the Rattlesnake Spring, and took its name from the great number of those reptiles lurking in its vicinity in the early history of the township.

Mr. John Rench killed at one time, on the same day, thirty-three monster rattlesnakes, and was compelled to leave his task unfinished on account of the strong odor emitted by the dead and living reptiles near him.

There are nearly one hundred living springs of fresh water in the township, no doubt being the banner township of the county in this particular. There are steep bluffs on Baker's Creek, Wolf Creek and Stillwater River. The soil is very fertile, producing wheat, corn, oats, flax, rye, potatoes and all kinds of fruit, from the apple to the finest variety of small fruit. The township was heavily timbered before the primeval forest was disturbed by the husbandman's ax.

The writer of this article has before him a letter written by Capt. Mast to a relative of his in North Carolina, from which the following quotations are taken: "We let down here in the wildest and the heaviest timbered woods in the whole world, from the one inch to the six-foot oak, ash, poplar, walnut, hickory, sugar-tree, maple, beech, buckeye, elm, dogwood, ironwood, spice and nettles."

The giant oak and the other timber mentioned above have nearly all succumbed to the axman's stroke. There is not timber enough left now to refence and rebuild, should such a thing ever become necessary. The same letter gives the following description of the animals and reptiles, when he, with his father, landed on Stillwater: "Snakes, wolves, panthers, wild-cats, muskrats, deer, some bear, wild turkeys, pheasants, squirrels, raccoon, opossums and Indians by the score."

The animals have long since disappeared, at the crack of the hunter's rifle, and the Indians have gone toward the setting sun.

The township now has an enterprising community of intelligent farmers who own splendid farms, have them under a high state of cultivation and farm with all the modern improvements applied to the science of agriculture. It is among the foremost townships in the Miami Valley, in raising wheat, in its yield to the acre.

The stone quarries are a notable feature of its products. The quarry owned by Mr. David Shaw, near Union, belongs to the Niagara formation, and yields an excellent material for building purposes of all descriptions.

Mr. John Stolts, in the north part of the township, has an exceedingly good quarry, also of the Niagara formation, and sells large quantities of stone for every variety of purposes to which stone can be applied.

There are other quarries, but not yet developed to the same extent as those above mentioned. Mr. H. M. Turner has opened a quarry near Salem, of the same formation as the others, and, from appearances or indications, stone could be obtained equal to the best of the " Dayton stone," which is noted as being of a superior quality all over Southwestern Ohio.


The writer will again quote Capt. Mast's language: "On the 10th of September, as I well remember (I was three years old the 20th of the next November), my father, with four of his sisters and their husbands, bid adieu to old North Carolina, in company with one or two more families. They resided in Randolph County, on the Hewary River. They were all in low circumstances; had money enough to make their entries, and to buy some provisions during the winter. They halted for winter quarters at what is now called Ridgeville, eight miles north of Lebanon; rented a log cabin of Luther and Calvin Ball, old bachelors, near neighbors to George Harlan, who was soon appointed Judge; was so called for years, or until he died. Our Carolina tramps, or families, left Ridgeville vicinity on the 4th day of March, 1802. They proceeded to the Stillwater woods, where they had previously made their selections, and on my father's purchase the first house or cabin was raised or notched."

Such was the language of Capt. Mast, who was well known to the writer, and who was a little boy of five or six years of age when the first settlement was made. Capt. Mast died, in West Milton, Miami County, in 1878, aged eighty-one years.

To those who know nothing about pioneer life, the following extract from Capt. Mast's diary is taken to show the patriotism of the early or first settlers of the township, when they celebrated our natal day: "This being the birthday of our freedom, God be thanked, on the 4th day of July, 1806, I, with my mother, father, four of his sisters and his brothers-in-law, had a 4th or July celebration. For dinner, we had plenty of hominy, pork, beef, johnny-cake, turkey, deer, pheasants, fish and squirrels."

The writer visited Mrs. Mary Sheets, whose maiden name was Hoover. She corroborates the statement of Capt. Mast's diary, concerning the year of the first settlement, and makes this statement: David Mast, Daniel Hoover, her father, David Hoover, and Daniel Hoover, her cousin, with their families, on the 20th day of March, 1802, landed on their respective purchases, and commenced erecting cabins immediately. David Mast settled on the northwest quarter of Section 3, Daniel Hoover. Sr., on the southeast quarter of Section 10, David Hoover on the northeast quarter of Section 10, and Daniel Hoover, Jr., on the northwest quarter of Section 10. They had to cut a road from Dayton north, through the wilderness, as they moved on their entries of land, which were purchased in 1798. In that year, several gentlemen came from North Carolina and explored the Stillwater bottoms as far as to where Covington now stands. They encountered no Indians on their trip, but the old lady recollects that a short time after they had pitched their tents, an Indian made her appearance at her father's camp. Her father and mother were both absent. She was not frightened, but her younger sister was very much frightened and sought her parents immediately, and told them that there was a man in the camp. The Indians were numerous then but never molested the settlers of this township, although as settlers arrived and rumors of Indian depredations were being committed, there were block-houses built and the neighbors were collected in them at night for mutual protection against the Indians, but every morning the settlers would disperse to their respective clearings.

Robert and James Ewing, John and Abraham McClintock came from Kentucky in 1805. David, William and -Martin Sheets came from North Carolina in 1806. About this time settlements sprang up in every part of the township. Jacob Smith settled on the northeast quarter of Section 19; David Kinsey on the northwest quarter of Section 32; Daniel Fetters settled on the north half of Section 29; Peter Fetters on Section 21, both in 1806. The Ellers and Fouts came about the same year. In the year 1811, there was a heavy emigration from Pennsylvania. The Rasors, Warners and Brumbaughs, with others, came and all of them opened clearings for themselves. Jacob Brumbaugh and Samuel Brumbaugh are yet living. The first child born was Daniel Hoover, in 1803, and is now living on the farm where he was born.


The educational facilities for the youth of the land were meager. In 1805, the first schoolhouse was built, north of Union, and James Wright was employed to teach the children. Schools were kept up by subscription. Amos Edwards was the second teacher, near Salem, in 1807. William Smith, yet living, was one of his pupils. The ordinance of 1787 made provision for free schools in the Northwest Territory, and the people of this township, as soon as practicable, made use of the fund from Section 16.

When the present beneficent school law was passed, to have six months' school in each subdistrict, the people took advantage of it immediately, and have complied with its provisions ever since. The schools are admirably and advantageously kept for the benefit of our youth. The teachers employed are able and competent, keep up with the times and stand at the head of the profession. The township is divided into nine subdistricts, having four graded schools under the supervision of the Board of Education, and five schools not graded. Thirteen teachers are employed to carry on our schools.


The manufacturing interests of the township have been somewhat diversified. Mr. Martin Sheets, Mr. William Sheets and others carried on gun-smithing for many years in the early history of Union. They made rifles for the settlers for great distances around, and did a great deal of work for the Indians. Mr. Henry Sheets, who is still living and making rifles, remembers well when the Indians used to come to his father's shop for rifles.

The milling interest was attended to at an early date. The first mill was constructed in 1803 by Daniel Hoover. In 1806, there was a mill built in Salem by John Wertz, and rebuilt, in 1820, by John Rench, and lately owned by James Heck. It burned down on the 20th of December, 1880. Daniel Rasor built a mill in an early day near Union. Two more mills were built near the same place, and later still, William and Andrew Sheets built a large and commodious mill on Stillwater. At present, it is owned by Andrew Hoover. Benjamin Engle owns a mill on Stillwater, near the southeast corner of the township. Flour used to be an important staple for export. It was, in early days, with corn, bacon, etc., sent down Stillwater in flat -bottom boats, to Dayton, and sometimes to New Orleans.

There are only two mills in operation at this time, both on Stillwater, and neither one is doing anything at shipping flour out of the county, having only a local trade.

Saw-mills were erected at an early date--one on Baker's Creek, owned by Henry Baker at this time, has been in successful operation for about sixty-five years. It was built by John Baker, father of the present owner. Martin Sheets built one near Union about the same time, but it has not been used for about thirty years. There were several saw-mills on Wolf Creek, but have long since been discontinued. There is one portable saw-mill at Salem, owned by Turner & Hubley, and one at Union, owned by David Shaw. Moses Spiller owns one and moves anywhere to suit customers. Jacob Iams, at Harrisburg, also owns a stationary saw-mill.

The distilling industry received attention at an early day. Benjamin Lehman built the first distillery, but when, it is not definitely known. H. M. Turner, Jacob Heck and Joseph Turner operated a distillery at Salem for several years. Mr. Heck sold his interest to Turner & Bros. about 1846, and, in 1847, Turner & Bros. built a large distillery at Salem, which burnt down in 1854, but was rebuilt the same year, by H. M. Turner and Joseph M. Turner. Joseph M. Turner sold his interest to H. M. Turner shortly afterward, and the business was continued by H. M. Turner until 1877. Many thousand barrels of high-wines were shipped from the Salem distillery during its operation by H. M. Turner. The last run was made in February. 1877. There is no likelihood that there will ever be another gallon manufactured in the township. William Sheets had a distillery for many years near Union. So, also, had J. T. Smith & Son. John W. Turner built a distillery near where Engle's mill now stands about 1850, but discontinued operating it when the duty on distilled spirits was put above 20 cents per gallon. The building is in ruins. So are all the other distilleries, except the Salem distillery, which stands yet intact.

There used to be a carding machine near Salem, owned by Michael Landis; also a woolen manufactory, near Union, owned by Jesse Yount. But they are things of the past.

G. W. Purcell and Dr. Hawkins, at Union, have a crockery ware and tile factory. They carry on the business extensively, and manufacture everything in their line.


The medical profession was not represented in the early history of the township. People would doctor the sick with horns and roots indigeous to the soil. In the winter of 1825 and 1826, an epidemic, supposed to have been typhoid fever, made its appearance in the township, and many persons died for want of proper medical treatment. Dr. Powell, a farmer, appears among the first, as a physician; but has long since passed away. Dr. Martin, of Salem, is the next who attended to the necessities of the sick and was an able physician. He moved to Illinois in 1838, and is yet living. Drs. Hibbard and Gish were very successful practitioners for many years. Dr. Hibbard went to Richmond many years ago; is practicing medicine yet. Dr. Gish went to Brookville, where he resides, practices some, but is engaged mostly in farming.

Dr. Samuel Hawkins, of Union, was the next physician, coming about 1846. He is a man of ability, has a successful practice, a man of large experience and unsullied reputation, and stands at the head of the profession. Dr. Thompson, his partner, is a young man, but has already gained a reputation as a successful practitioner and a gentleman. Dr. Gillis practiced in Salem from 1858 to 1870 with marked success. Dr. Kimmel, now of Liberty, Jefferson Township, a gentleman of experience, was a practitioner in Salem for several years, and met with great success. Drs. Levi and Samuel Spitler were located in Salem from 1869 to about 1879. They were very successful in their practice; they had an extensive field to operate in while here; are gentlemen of ability and experience, self-made men; have extensive information on nearly all subjects that interest mankind; they now are partners in their profession at Dayton.

There were other physicians here from time to time, whose names the writer has forgotten. Dr. G. W. Hous, of Salem, came in 1878; has an extensive practice; a self-made man; has remarkably good success--a gentleman of experience and education. He is young yet, and is destined to make his mark in his profession. Dr. W. C. Smith, who came to Salem in 1880, is a young gentleman just starting in the profession; has competent requirements--a man of education, and has before him a bright career, and is successful in his professional callings and services. Dr. Boone, of Harrisburg, is a gentleman of education and experience, and meets with good success in his practice, which is extensive. This township is well supplied now with the M. D. profession. Dr. Hawkins, Dr. Thompson, Dr. Hous, Dr. W. C. Smith and Dr. Boone are all competent in their profession to attend to the wants of the sickroom. Dr. John W. Pence is a graduate of the regular profession, but has retired from it, makes chronic cases a specialty and practices by animal magnetism.


Who organized a civil government is not known to us, as the township records are lost. David Hoover was the first Justice of the Peace; Daniel Hoover was elected a member of the Legislature, in 1810, John W. Turner in 1830, and Dr. Hibbard in 1846. The voting-place for many years was at Jacob Smith's house in Section 19. Union then became the voting-place and remained so for many years. About ten years ago, the Trustees saw fit to change the place to vote, and Harrisburg being more centrally located, is now the capital of the township. The present incumbents (1881) are E. D. Hubley, David Shaw and John Tucker, Trustees; Thomas P. Eby, Treasurer; E. E. Smith, Clerk: J. R. Weddle and Isaac Fetters, Constables. Andrew Hoover and E. F. Warner officiate as Justices of the Peace. The population is 2,330.

In the war of 1812, this township furnished its quota of soldiers, but there were no commissioned officers that lived within its borders. In the war with Mexico, it sent several soldiers to participate in the glories and honors of that war, who were present when the army of occupation, under Gen. Scott entered the "Halls of the Montezumas."

In the war of the rebellion, the sons of this township; cheerfully gave their services for the restoration of the Union.


"There are but few things that add more to the general comfort and convenience of a community- than good roads, or an easy method of social and commercial intercommunication."

There is no record when the first road was established, but at an early date a road was established running from Union to Dayton; also from Dayton to Greenville, running through Salem; also from Salem to Union.

In 1836, the national road was cut out from east to west through the center of the township, but was never macadamized by the General Government. It will be a completed turnpike this year.

"In 1838, the capitalists and business men of Dayton, seeing the importance of holding the rapidly increasing trade of the Stillwater Valley, which they had heretofore enjoyed, and, foreseeing the danger of its being diverted to points along the Miami Canal, then just completed to Piqua, organized the Dayton & Covington Turnpike Company, secured the necessary stock and began the work of construction in 1839."

The road runs through the eastern part of the township for about seven miles, on the bluffs of Stillwater, and is of incalculable advantage to the people along the road, who used to go many miles, especially farmers, with loads of grain to reach the "Covington pike" going to Dayton. About 1847, the Salem Turnpike was organized and a road built from Salem to intersect the Dayton Covington Turnpike at a distance of five miles from Salem. These two roads are toll-pikes. In 1869, steps were taken to build a pike from Salem to Air Hill, and the next year it was built. The Dogleg pike, from Salem to Trotwood, was built the same year. The Heckman pike was built shortly after. Last year the Skyles pike was completed. The National road pike was sold last year and partly completed, and a branch road, running to Salem, built. This township has twelve miles of toll-pike and seventeen miles of free pike. The mud roads, as they are called, are well improved by the local authorities, having gravel hauled on them every year.

Every road running east and west but one is a turnpike--all feeders of the Dayton & Covington Turnpike, Some of the roads running north and south are having a great deal of gravel hauled on them.

There are five bridges across Stillwater within the limits of the township. One near Hoover's mill, one east of Union, one at Harrisburg, one at Little York and one at Engle's mill. All the creeks have good bridges across them, whether on pike or mud roads. Most of the bridges were built by the County Commissioners--all, in fact, but a very few small ones. There is a pike being built from Salem to Brookville.

There was no railroad in this township until the Dayton, Covington & Toledo Narrow-Gauge Railroad Company built its road. The people took great interest in the road. The farmers donated the right of way to the company. The road passes from north to south across the township. Kinsey's Station, Harrisburg, Union and Becker's Station are shipping-points on the road. Large quantities of produce are shipped from these points.

In 1879, the first railroad track reached the township, and was rapidly laid down until it reached Covington. There is an outlet now south to Dayton and north to Covington, Versailles, Delphos and Toledo.


Among the first settlers on Stillwater was a considerable of neighborhood of the Friends. A church organization and meeting was granted them by West Branch Quarterly Meeting of Union Township, Miami Co., Ohio, and services were first held in the summer of 1807. They erected a meeting-house called "Rocky Spring," about three-fourths of a mile west of the Dayton & Covington Turnpike on Section 36, where services were hold for about twenty-five years, but nothing, now remains to mark its site except a small neglected cemetery, which has not been used for many years. Some of the early members of this organization were Moses Kelley, Frederick Waymire, Benjamin Owen, William Farmer, with his sons William and John, Jonathan Justice, Benjamin and Isaac Cooper, Jacob Wisener, David, William and Jonathan Cox, Nehemiah Thomas and Ephraim Owen, most of whom were heads of families, who also belonged to the faith of this worthy, peace-loving people.

German Baptists--The Dunkers, or Dunkards, as they are commonly called, were the next to organize a church inside of the present limits of Randolph Township. In the year 1800, Jacob Miller came from Flat Rock Valley, Va., and settled on the west side of the Miami River, near Dayton, Ohio. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1735; was a man of ability and labored earnestly for his church. He was much revered by the red sons of the forest, who said that he was "the good man the Great Spirit sent from the East." He raised a family of nine sons and three daughters, three of the former becoming able ministers in the Dunker Church. The earliest pioneer Dunker preacher in Randolph Township was Emanuel Flory, who, in 1810, organized a congregation of his co-religionists. For many years, they had no house to worship in, and held service every alternate Sabbath at the dwelling-house of some one of its members. Every member that was able to have meeting would take his or her turn, "so to speak," in having the meeting at his or her residence. It took about two years time, until it came back to the starting-point The congregation were served refreshments by the individual at whose house the meeting was held. All who wished to stay, after the meeting was adjourned, were made welcome to partake of the hospitalities of the brother, who always set a bountiful table.

They have two churches, one in Randolph Township, the other in Clay, and are known as Stillwater, near Dayton, and Salem Congregations; have each a membership of 275. The former is presided over by the Rev. Abraham Flory, Rev. Samuel Kinsey, Rev. John Smith and Rev. George Garver; the latter by Rev. Abraham Deitrich, of Miami County, Rev. Samuel Shellebarger, Rev. John Sollenbarger and Rev. Jesse Kinsey, "all gentlemen of ability and refinement, and are doing good work in the advancement of Christianity and enlightenment." The Dunkers are an agricultural people, quiet, inoffensive and unostentatious, making no display in wearing apparel, and living strict, temperate, industrious lives, taking little or no interest in Governmental affairs and few of them, especially among the older members, casting a vote. A great many strictly oppose a collegiate education, or even a higher education of the masses, on religions grounds, and are, therefore, looked upon as out of harmony with the spirit of this age; yet they are model farmers, good neighbors and honest and conscientious to a fault. They have three colleges in the United States, under the control of the church--one in Illinois, one in Pennsylvania and one in Ohio, where a higher education may be obtained and where students are welcomed regardless of creed, so long as they conform to the moral standard required and enforced in these institutions.

Methodist Church--The Methodists had no organized society in this township until 1819. In that year an announcement was made, and the following named members of that faith assembled at the house of the Rev. George Hoffman and formed a class: Rev. George Hoffman, Jesse, William and John Farmer, Stephen Bender, Mr. Kennedy, John Waymire and Mr. Hollingsworth. They held their meetings at the house of the Rev. George Hoffman until 1823, when the Concord Meeting-House was built, which yet retains that name.

Concord Circuit was widely known and wielded great influence for good in its palmiest days. But its territorial limits are circumscribed now by other denominations, so that its influence is narrowed down in territorial jurisdiction. The congregation is as zealous in the cause of religion as it ever was and does great good. The first ministers were Rev. Jesse Stubbs and John Durbin. Its pulpit has been filled by the Rev. M. P. Gaddis, Thomas Gursuch, Daniel Davidson, Raper, Tipton, Fiddler and many others. The Rev. Mr. Deck now occupies the pulpit. It has a membership of about fifty at this writing. The present meeting-house was built in 1849. There is a cemetery connected with the church. John Barnett donated one acre of land for the purpose. Jacob Wagoner was the first person buried there, in 1825. They had for many years a class at Salem, under the supervision of the same ministers that were at Concord, but have no organization there now. They also have a society at Union and a membership of about seventy-five. The organization was effected in 1855, and a large and commodious meeting-house built. The Rev. Mr. Tipton and Rev. Mr. Hartley were the first ministers. There is a parsonage at Union, where the ministers live who preach here and at Concord.

United Brethren--The United Brethren Church organized a class at Salem in 1869. The Rev. T. W. Bushong helped to bring about a permanent organization, and was its first minister. The Revs. John Miller, George Gilbert, Holtsinger and Samuel Holden have filled the pulpit. They worship in the Union Church, built for the accommodation of all denominations, who wish to use it for public worship. The United Brethren Church has the ascendency here, having a membership of 115 at Salem.

Presbyterians--The Presbyterians had a large following at one time but have no church or membership here now.

Baptists--The Baptists are wall represented; they have an organization at Salem, and worship in the Union Church, and the Rev. Samuel Pence is its pastor.

Brethren in Christ--The Brethren in Christ have three distinct branches in the township; on what they differ, the writer could not ascertain, but each branch has its own ministers, church officers and hold worship at different times. The branch known as River Brethren is claimed originated in Upper Switzerland, Europe, and were members of the Mennonite persuasion. In 1835, six families emigrated from Pennsylvania to Montgomery County, Ohio, and organized as a church. John and Daniel Coffman, Samuel Herr, Sr., and John Hooker, Sr., were ministers; Isaac Cassel wad Deacon until his death, in 1880. The above-named ministers have all been gathered to their Fathers years ago. They have a neat and commodious church edifice, near the center of the township. They are a plain an unassuming people. Their membership is about thirty-five in the county. They are among the best citizens we have. Samuel Herr, Jr., John Hooker, Jr., and Abraham Engle are the ministers; Adam Hooker and Jacob Cassel are Deacons. Their meeting-house is called "Fairview."

Another branch of the Brethren in Christ has a church organization and an interest in a meeting-house at Harrisburg. The church is locally known as the " Swankites." They have a large congregation at Harrisburg, presided over by the Rev. Jabez Swank. Another resident minister is Samuel Longnecker, who preached at Swanktown, Clay Township. There are congregations of the church in Darke and Miami Counties and other portions of the State; also in Pennsylvania, Indiana and other States. The history "of this body" as it now exists was formed by the uniting of several branches, which took rise near about the same time, of which dates there is no account. A general conference was called and convened in May, 1861, at Crooked Creek Church, Armstrong County, Penn. The ministerial delegations were: From Ohio, Jacob Swank, John Swank and David Rasor; from Pennsylvania, George Shoemaker, R. Deford, H. G. Marsh and J. Shoemaker, with a number of lay delegates. They adopted a constitution and appointed another general conference to meet in Harrisburg. Montgomery Co., Ohio, in October, 1865. This body met pursuant to appointment at Harrisburg, Montgomery Co., Ohio, in October, 1865, and completed its organization. Of the ministers present who were at the former conference were Jacob Swank, John Swank, George Shoemaker and J. Shoemaker and a legal number of lay delegates, Brothers D. Rasor and A. G. Marsh having died in the meantime.

The other branch of the Brethren in Christ is locally known as "Wengerites," whose founder's name was the Rev. John Wenger. They have, also, a large congregation at Harrisburg, and worship in the same meeting-house that the Swankites do, but not at the same hour. They have three churches in Clay Township, and have congregations at other places. The names of the ministers could not be ascertained. Why these three branches of the same name at least do not unite, the writer could not ascertain.

There are other denominations represented, such as the Menists, Albrights, Universalists, Spiritualists, Free-Thinkers, etc., but have no organizations here. So we will close this article by saying nearly every creed can have members in sympathy with it. All are welcome and everything moves along smoothly with religious people.


Randolph Lodge, No. 98, I. O. O. F., was instituted January 31, 1848, at Salem. Its charter members are John W. Turner, Thomas F. Wieser, Joseph M. Turner, Michael Cline, Albert G. Hadden and James F. Hibbard. The lodge has furnished the majority of the members for several other lodges in neighboring villages. The officers at present are: William Landis, N. G.; John W. Roof, V. G.; O. P. Swartzel, Secretary; E. F. Warner, P. Secretary; John F Rowe, Treasurer; J. R. Weddle, W.; W. H. Carl, C.; Willam Lucas, R. S. N. G.; John O'Rourke, L. S. N. G.; L. C. Herr, O. G.; William E. Geist, I. G., and numbers sixty-four members.

Grace Lodge, No. 504, I. O. O. F., was instituted November 23, 1871, at Union. Its charter members are William A. West, George Sinks, Samuel Hawkins, George Lockert, John A. Hawkins, O. P. Waymire, Eli Waymire, Austin Waymire, David Baker, E. W. McMurray, Alex Waymire. The officers who first filled the chairs were: George Lockert, N. G.; George Sinks, V. G.; Samuel Hawkins, Recording Secretary; Edward Eby, P. Secretary; Jacob Stockslager, Treasurer. The present officers are: D. M. Flick, N. G.; John A. Hawkins, V. G.; Thomas Becker, Recording Secretary; W. A. West, P. Secretary; John S. Becker, Treasurer. Its membership is 100. It is in a flourishing condition.

Randolph Encampment, No. 220, I. O. O. F., was instituted July 9, 1880, at Union. The charter members are George Sinks, William A. West, D. Shaw, E. D. Hubley, J. E. Wanner, L. R. Pfoutz, David Skyles, W. E. Geist and William Flick. The officers are: E. D. Hubley, C. P.; William Sherer, H. P.; D. Shaw, S. W.; J. E. Wanner, J. W.; W. A. West, Scribe, and Thomas Newman, Treasurer. The membership numbers thirty-three.


Salem--was laid out in seventy-five lots, January 15, 1816, by John Leatherman. Who built the first house cannot be ascertained. Its population, in 1880, was about 350. It has two stores, one blacksmith-shop, one wagon-maker, one tin-shop, one cabinet-maker and undertaker, one grocery store, three doctors, three boot and shoe shops, one saddler, one harness-maker, one cooper, three carpenters, four school-teachers, three butchers, one saw-mill, two stone and brick masons, two milliner stores, one flour exchange, one union church, one schoolhouse, one hotel, two painters, three millers and one ditcher. The village at one time had a large trade; from about 1830 to 1865, there were a great many goods sold yearly. H. R. Smith was the first merchant, but when he commenced business is not known. Michael Reouk sold goods in an early day. The merchants then succeeded each other about as follows: Kinsey & Hipple, Redebaugh & Heck, Warren Estabrook came about fifty-five years ago. He cut up pork for several years extensively, and built a large storeroom in 1834; sold to H. M. Turner in 1846, and he also did a very large business until 1860. He sold to Beachler & Heverling. Their successors were S. L. Herr, Rogers & Herr, Schaeffer & Baker, Baker & Young; then S. L. Herr again; then Herr & Smith, the present proprietors. David Swank started a store about 1846, and was succeeded by Joseph Studybaker, William Hurley, S. G. Masslich, Tobias Q. Landis, S. G. Masslick and J. H. Landis, the present proprietor. Warren Estabrook built the first hotel, and sold to William Summerset about 1847. Then David Borden kept it, George Geist, Samuel Lasure, H. Teissel, John Vatter and Mrs. E. A. Stoker, the proprietress at present. The blacksmiths were Messrs. Emerick, Edwards, James Cartwright, John Nolan, Robert Turner, John Compton, Jacob Saylor, Fred Hubley, Hezekiah Hull and Jacob Saylor. The wagon-makers were Leonard Billmyer, Samuel Smith, Jacob Ranch, William Bandon and Joseph Smith. John Lizet is carrying on the business now. The cabinet business and undertaking was carried on first by Augustus Haskins, William McBride, George Shell, Emanuel F. Warner, W. Schaeffer and W. H. Carl, who is now engaged in the business. The saddle and harness making was carried on by James Klepser and Steele Smith, who is yet in the business. Mr. Harris first manufactured boots and shoes on an extensive scale in early times. He employed many hands and supplied the whole country. Among his employees was Emanuel Schultz, the member elect to represent this Congressional district in the Forty-eighth Congress, who lives at Miamisburg. The other shoemakers were Morgan Stillwell, Gottlieb Wahl, G. M. Williams, John A. Steele. Those who are now engaged in the business are Timothy Buckley, J. L. A. Smith, John Vicroy and Samuel Goodyear. The tinners were Samuel Frantz, succeeded by Henry Beachler; Jonathan H. Kline is largely engaged in the business at this time. Coopering was an extensive business at one time. D. H. Wilson is the only cooper here. The tailors were T. F. Wieser and David Woodrow.

Union--Was laid out February 12, 1816, by Daniel Rasor and David Hoover. The first house built is yet standing. The village at this time has three stores, two blacksmith-shops, one wagon-maker and carriage shop, one carriage trimmer, one cooper shop, two shoemaker shops, two grocery stores, one dentist, two doctors, one gunsmith, one tile factory, two butchers, one hotel, one church, one schoolhouse, two school-teachers, one preacher, one painter and one saw-mill. The Narrow Gauge Railroad runs through it, and its former activity will very likely revive again. There are two large warehouses here, and is a grain market again, and new buildings are being erected every year. There is no other village in the county that has better water-power than Union has, but it is not now utilized for any purpose. The railroad will undoubtedly bring capital and energy to the place and set machinery humming again, for it had extensive manufacturing interests at one time.

Mr. Skinner was among the first merchants. D. K. Boyer, William and Andrew Sheets, Alfred Hoover and other merchants have done business in the place. J. Slockstager, John Sheets and John Young have stores now. The tailors were M. Bear, Jacob Dewey, Charles Cartwright and Jerry Sheller. George Sinks and Mr. Hawthorne are carrying on blacksmithing. Theo P. Eby is a dentist and commands an extensive trade. A Mr. Protzman was the first hotel-keeper, the hotel business was good in early days; William Stoltz is the hotel proprietor now, and has been engaged in it for many years. George Lockert is a wagon and carriage maker. W. A. West, carriage trimmer and painter. David Shaw and John Sheets are grain merchants. Pat O'Brien is a cooper. Tennessee Flack is a brick-maker. Henry Sheets is a gunsmith. Henry Beck and Lewis Reedy are shoemakers and have been here for many years. It has one huckster in the person of Jacob McCarter. Solomon Herschelrode was a cabinet-maker; also John Wolf. Leicester Smith, in 1835, carried on chair-making extensively. Samuel Young is a plasterer; Edward McMurray, mason; George Stokes, carpenter.

Harrisburg--Was laid out by Mathias Gish and others May 6, 1841; he, also, was the first merchant. David Bowers, Tucker & Report, Silas Coble, J. Beard. Harvey Iams, D. L Tate, C. Donson and Lamen Iams were its merchants in the past. James Vorhis, H. C. Weaver and Josiah Miller are proprietors of stores respectively. Mathias Gish built the first hotel. John Walker, Henry Frantz, F. O'Niel, Frank Lesh and Jeremiah Kopp were landlords in the past. Jacob Becker is proprietor of the hotel now. Mr. Landy was the first blacksmith, succeeded by Reese, Blackburn and Wallace. John Kopp, Christian Stuckhart and his son Lewis are having a shop at this time. Pierce Bryant has a shop too. Murray was its first wagon-maker. Celestian Lieber is carrying on the same business. Rasor & Liebert had a hub and spoke factory at one time, but burnt out some years since and have not rebuilt. Jacob Iams runs a saw-mill and -planing-machine. Jacob Witwer was the first saddle and harness manufacturer: Obediah Jackson bought his stock. Joseph Rasor followed the same occupation until recently. Jacob Weybright built a large warehouse on the railroad and handles a large amount of grain. The Narrow Gauge Railroad has a station and telegraph office here, which make it very convenient for the surrounding country. It has a church and a school house. At Harrisburg lives the veteran carpenter and builder, Michael Longnecker, who has put up more buildings of a substantial character than any man in the township. It has a huckster in the person of A. G. Roof, who has an extensive trade.

Taylorsburg--This is a small hamlet in the southern part of the township: was laid out many years ago by Adam Rodebaugh. The first merchant was John Wagner, followed by Philip Grove, Samuel Fetters, H. Weissenbaugh, M. Kinsel, W. H. Conover and Henry Wagner, who has a store now. The first blacksmith was Fred Wolf. Reuben Saylor is now a disciple of Vulcan. John Zichnor was the first wagon-maker. Mr. Wagner has a good trade now in that line. The first shoemaker was John Wagner. Joseph Sanders yet follows St. Crispin's occupation. Moses Spittler has a saw-mill. William Lutz is a huckster.

Brookville Historical Society, Inc. 2003

1999 - 2009 Brookville Historical Society, Inc.