From The History of Montgomery County, Ohio by W. H. Beers & Company 1882
BY HENRY CUPPY
This is the northeastern corner of Montgomery County, and joins Miami and Clark Counties on the north, Greene County on the east, Greene County and Mad River Township on the south, with the Miami River as its western boundary. On petition of a number of inhabitants residing in the northern part of Dayton Township, the Commissioners, January 1, 1810, ordered that the four northern tiers of sections in eighth range east of the Great Miami River, within this county, and the third tier of fifth range west of the Miami, excepting two fractional tiers of sections of the same township, compose a new township, to be called Wayne; and the election for township officers within the same be held at the house of Benjamin Van Cleve, on the Staunton road, on the 20th day of January, 1810. Upon the formation of Butler Township, October 7, 1817, all that part of Wayne west of the Miami River was used in the erection of Butler Township. At the election held January 20, 1810, twenty-one votes were cast, and James Miller and William Snodgrass were elected Justices of the Peace. On the second Tuesday in October, 1812, a meeting of the Trustees was held to consider a petition for "a road to be laid out from the Staunton road, between James Black and Samuel McFadden, in the middle of Section 30, Township 2, Range 8, running past the center of Section 18, and thence passing James and Robert Miller's the nearest and best way to Greene County line at the east end of John Ainsworth's lane." The Viewers appointed were James Miller, John Ainsworth and Shaphat McCrea; Samuel Archer appointed as Surveyor.
At a subsequent meeting on the 17th of the same month the record shows that "by the consent of James Miller one of the Justices of the Peace of said township," the Overseers of the Poor of Wayne Township--John Ainsworth and Peter Sunderland--"doth bind John Slider; a Poor child, aged fourteen years against the 1st day of April next ensuing this date (17th October, 1812), to James Forgas, of Miami County, Tanner, to Learn the art and mistery of the Tanning business, for the term of seven years," at the expiration of which, all the covenants of each party being fulfilled, he was to receive "his freedom and one suit of Superfine clothing and one suit of Coarse Clothing, and one horse, saddle and bridle, to be worth $75." A horse, saddle and bridle worth $75 seems also to have been stipulated for in every indenture of apprenticeship of "poor" males, who were to be instructed "in the Trade of Husbandry," and who were to be taught "Reading, writing & arithmetick as far as the five common rules," and to receive, when their time expired, "one good suit of hollowday cloths of the value of $30, two other good suits for every day wear, and one new Bible." (Indenture of Hiram Huffman before Justice of the Peace John D. Campbell, June 17, 1815.)
Upon what terms females were bound to serve is shown from the record of an indenture dated October 5, 1817, in which it is recited that the Overseers "Do put & place Sarah Keiser, a poor child of the county and Township afore-said, with them to Dwell & serve from the Day of the Date of these presents, until she shall arrive to the full age of Eighteen years. During all which Time the said apprentice her said Master shall faithfully serve on Lawful Business according to her Power, wit and ability," for which the other parties covenanted "to learn her to Spin, sew & to Do common house work, and one year's schooling and one Spinning wheel and one second rate Cow and two suits of Clothing of a good Decent quality and a freedom suit valued at $18, and one good Bed and Bedding & one new Bible."
It would seem that the township officers were not uniformly elected by its voting inhabitants, but that the Trustees then in office sometimes named them. Thus:
"At a meeting of Trustees of Wayne Township at the house of James Black, April 14, 1814, the following appointments were made:
"Trustees--John Holderman, George Hayney, Levi Jennings.
"Overseers of the Poor--John Fryback, Moses Miller.
"Fence Viewers--Richard Sunderland, Jacob Brenner.
"Supervisors of Highways--James Black, Benjamin Keiser, Jacob Arnold, Sr., John D. Campbell.
"Constable and Lister--John Ainsworth.
From that date up to the present time, the following-named have served in the various township offices:
Trustees--John Holderman, Levi Jennings, Moses Miller, Richard Sunderland, James Miller, Sr., John Hacker, John Duncan Campbell, Jacob Matthews, Jerome Holt, James Malcom, Elias Matthews, Samuel Archer, John F. Aughe, Thomas Crook, Samuel McPadden, Henry Jennings, Samuel Morgan, John Miller, James Petticrew, Edward McDermott, Samuel Favorite, Walter Davis, Peter Kellenberger, Moses Shearer, Samuel Longstreth, Robert McCandless, Joseph Bond, John Ainsworth, John Matthews, John A. Deam, John Wheeler, John Allen, Dennis Dougherty, Beniah Tharp, William Cram, Charles Slagle, William H. Sturr, James Bartlow, Robert Sloan, Levi Booher, John Shafer, Charles Crook, Franklin P. Grimes, Henry H. Bond, David Barkman, Benjamin Fovier, Daniel Kneisly, John Finlay, David P. Oram.
Township Clerks--Samuel Petticrew, James Miller, Jr., James Tamplin, Moses Shearer, John F. Aughe, Henry Deam, Elias Matthews, William H. Sturr, D. S. Zediker, Henry Cuppy, Samuel Sullivan, Joseph Bond, George W. Smith, George W. Shearer, Christian Hower, John B. Patton, Thomas Minnich.
Assessors--John Ainsworth, Jacob Stoker, James Miller, Jr., Jacob Evertz, John Hayney, Samuel Longstreth, Shaphat McCrea, George Kephart, John Johnson, Henry Brandenburg, John Hacker, William Van Cleve, James Black, Samuel B. Dover, Joseph Light, Wesley Noland, Hugh McFadden, Moses Shearer, John Prill, William Sawyer, William H. Sturr, Levi Booker, John McElhenny, Henry Foster, David Sclencker, James Jordan, John B. Patton. Jacob M. Tippy.
Treasurers--Jonathan Knight, Lewis Brenner, Jacob Arnold, Valentine Shearer, Henry Brandenburg, Festus E. Munger, Beniah Tharp, Daniel Sclencker, Bartholomew Wilson, Thomas J. Johnson, Dr. J. R. Moist, Stephen J. Allen, Isaiah Wilson.
Justices of the Peace--James Miller, William Snodgrass, Samuel Archer, Elias Matthews, John D. Campbell, Jerome Holt, Samuel Favorite, John F. Aughe, Henry Brandenburg, Joseph Bond, Thomas Crook, Daniel S. Zediker, William H. Sturr, Jacob Beyl, Samuel Sullivan, Joseph C. McElhenny, Peter Sullivan, John Dille, John Powell, Joshua Oram, George W. Smith, Charles Crook, John B. Patton, Thomas Minnich, Whaley James.
Among those who occupied other places of trust in the township might be named Henry Enoch, Israel Enoch, John Slagle, Andrew Russell, John Zediker, John Shafer, Jacob Evans, William Courtney, Isaac Read, Peter Slusser, David Martin, John Booker, David Archibald, Samuel Koogler, Adam Deam, John Miller, John Cuppy, Abraham Powers, Philip Shafer, Simon Brenner, Abraham Cossler, George Favorite, Samuel Fulton, Amos Gray, Henry Bates, James Barnitz, Peter Filbrun, Samuel A. Andrews, Cyrus Kellenberger, Absalom Enoch, William McNair, Peter Light, Henry Shoeperd, Daniel Kneisly, William Lewis, Alexander Sloan, James Kay, Enoch McCord, Jacob Light, Andrew Puterbaugh, John Shroyer.
Among the early settlers of the township, the following-named located prior to the year 1810: Rev. Joseph Tatman, John Ainsworth, Robert Miller, James Miller, John Booher, John Duncan Campbell, John Hacker, Henry Jennings, Peter Sunderland, John Slagle, Jacob Arnold, Valentine Shearer, Mrs. John Cuppy, nee Lydia Oilar, Henry Oilar, Levi Jennings, Simon Brenner, Jacob Brenner, Lewis Brenner, Samuel Petticrew, John Petticrew, John Shafer, Joseph H. Johnson, Nathan Maddux, Ignatius Maddux, Henry Deam, James Black, John Booker and John McFadden.
During the next decade, there were, with other accessions to the immigrant population, James Black, Jonathan Knight, George Favorite, Elias Matthews, John Matthews, Robert Archibald, David Archibald, James Kay, Abraham Buckley, John Slagle, William Hoover, John Zediker.
Of these early pioneers, Rev. Joseph Tatman immigrated from Kentucky and located in 1800. He was an earnest and devout minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and had charge of the congregation of the first organization in the township, of which further notice will be taken in this historic sketch. He was afterward a Representative in the General Assembly of Ohio, and is remembered as a man of strict probity and large common sense, combined with Christian benevolence. It is related of him that, when driving his team to Cincinnati, in company with his neighbor, John Hacker, in passing the cabin of a poor widow, he was importuned by her to sell her a little flour-that she had not the means to purchase a barrel, In the condition of the roads in those days, a trip to the city and return took some eight or ten days, and it was Sunday when the widow's request was made. He, however, rolled out a barrel and received what mite she could spare in full pay for it. On their return, Hacker, who was a member of his church, reported him for violating the Sabbath in selling flour on the Lord's Day!
Jacob Arnold emigrated to Ohio from near Boonesboro, Ky., in the spring of 1806. Mr. Arnold was a tailor by occupation, but abandoned the "lap-board, goose and scissors," after purchasing a half-section of land on what is now known as the Brandt Turnpike road, where he commenced the work of clearing and putting up such buildings as were deemed sufficient for the comfort of hardy pioneers. By industry and perseverance, he succeeded in opening and cultivating one of the best and most productive farms in the township. As an evidence of the esteem of his neighbors and the confidence they placed in him, he held various township offices from its organization until his advanced age compelled him to retire from active business pursuits. Of its family of nine children, Mrs. Elizabeth Shafer only survives, and who is the oldest person in the township, having completed her eighty-fifth anniversary of her birth, and with seemingly a prospect of "many returns of the same."
John Shafer, also from Kentucky, arrived in 1806, and located on the farm now owned and occupied by Col. John Allen. Mr. Shafer's lands were bounded on the east by those of Jacob Arnold, and their nearest neighbor was the late Leonard Hain, of Clark County, who resided five miles distant. A log schoolhouse was erected on his premises, on the banks of Dry Run, in the autumn of 1809, and the first teacher who occupied it was James Miller, father of the venerable James Miller, of Mad River Township, who has been for nearly or quite half a century engaged in teaching. In a beautiful grove on the banks of Dry Run, near Mr. Shafer's log cabin residence, the venerable pioneer minister, Rev. David Winters, preached his first sermon on a Sabbath afternoon in June, 1822. There were about two hundred persons in attendance, which included very nearly all the inhabitants, old and young, for many miles around. Mr. Winters on that occasion filled an appointment which his reverend father was unable to meet, and, that fact having been bruited, there was a curiosity, natural to a rural community, to know how the young Winters would do. Of the assemblage then present, but two are known to be living--Mrs. Elizabeth Shafer and Thomas Chinn--the latter a septuagenarian of African descent, who rejoices in the Fifteenth Constitutional Amendment, and supports the political party through whose advocacy it was adopted.
Joseph H. Johnson, a native of Hampshire County, Va., figured conspicuously among the early settlers. He left the Old Dominion in March, 1806, accompanied by his wife, on horseback. While he took care of his rifle and a small package of clothing, she, in her side-saddle, carried in her lap their only child. After a toilsome ride through an almost unbroken wilderness, they arrived safely on the banks of the Great Miami, and erected a cabin on the present site of Taylorsville. Mr. Johnson was an active, industrious and enterprising man, endowed by nature with a powerful physique, brave, generous and hospitable. He was widely known and universally esteemed. Game of all kinds in those days was very plenty, and Mr. Johnson had the reputation of being "a crack shot" among the woodsmen of the Miami Valley. A sketch of his life and experience as a hunter, his numerous hair-breadth escapes from wild animals of the forest, would be of great interest to those who knew him in his prime; but few now remain who have a personal recollection of the noble-hearted Virginian who cleared and cultivated one of the finest farms on the banks of the Miami.
Elias Matthews, from Maryland, who located in 1814, was one of the useful men of the township, repeatedly serving as one of its officers, magistrate, Trustee, Clerk, etc. He served one term in the General Assembly, and, later in life, was one of the three County Associate Judges as provided under the former constitution of the State. His untimely decease, in 1844, caused by a fall from an apple tree, was sincerely regretted throughout the county. His eldest son, George W., married the mother of Schuyler Colfax, who afterward was Vice President of the United States.
Thomas Crook, who arrived about the same time, and brother-in-law of Mr. Matthews, was the father of Gen. George W. Crook, U. S. A. George Favorite, father of the venerable Capt. Elias Favorite, of Dayton; Henry Deam, John McFadden, James Black, John Booher and John Cuppy, a soldier in the American Revolution, an Indian scout in Capt. Brady's company in Gen. Wayne's army from 1791 to 1794, were among the most highly esteemed citizens. The latter, who was the last survivor of Brady's scouts, died in 1861, at the age of one hundred years and four months.
James Kay, an Englishman by birth, purchased a large portion of the school section (16), on the Bellefontaine road. Industrious and economical, he "made haste slowly" in accumulating wealth. Farming, fattening and butchering cattle, hogs and sheep was his occupation, and for a circumference of miles he furnished fresh meat to the inhabitants. Among his eccentricities was an affectation of skepticism (for his honest, kindly heart forbade the idea that he was unchristian), and he did not attain the social standing he otherwise might have done in consequence.
Had he followed the teachings of Beecher and Talmage, instead of Paine and Voltaire, his social, standing and usefulness would have been equal to that of any other citizen of the township. His reputation of being "ungodly" was not a barrier to his honesty and fair dealing among his neighbors. He and his companion through life lived long enough to celebrate their golden wedding.
Mr. Kay was a man of fine physique, great nerve and iron will. His countenance and general contour of features had a remarkable resemblance to the portrait of Shakespeare.
John Duncan Campbell, one of the early magistrates and useful servants of the township in other offices, was the father of the first male white child born within its limits, namely, John Campbell, Jr., born August 28, 1807.
Mr. Campbell was the son of Capt. John Campbell, who was taken prisoner by the Indians, near Sandusky in 1784, and bound at the stake, when the subject of this sketch was but ten months old. He came to Ohio with his widowed mother in 1804, and purchased the north half of Section 4, on Mad River, in the eastern part of the township, and sixty of a fractional section in Greene County, bounded on the east by Mad River and on the west, by his lands in the township. The locality is considered the garden spot of the Mad River Valley, and is owned and occupied at this time by his son, James Campbell, Jacob Kissinger and Capt. Jacob Beyl. Mr. Campbell kept a house of entertainment for the accommodation of the traveling public for many years. His kind and hospitable nature and fine social qualities combined to make him universally esteemed among the early pioneer settlers of the Mad River Valley. Benevolent and charitable to a fault, his death cast a gloom over the entire township and the surrounding country.
SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES
Besides the log schoolhouse erected on Mr. John Shafer's land, of which mention has been made, a schoolhouse was built, and the first one in the eastern part of the township, in the same year (1809), on the farm at present owned and occupied by Abraham Kendig, and the first teacher in charge of it was Daniel Harman, uncle to Hon. Samuel Sullivan, of Miami County. The school was open in the winter of 1809-10, and its average attendance about thirteen. Its only pupil now living is Miss Rebecca Tatman, daughter of Rev. Joseph Tatman, hereinbefore noticed. That pioneer structure was destroyed by fire in the summer of 1813, but a new and more commodious building was erected the ensuing autumn on the premises now owned and occupied by Henry Cuppy. This primitive edifice was used for religious service, and the first church organization in the township (Methodist Episcopal) held their meetings alternately in it and at the residence of John Slagle, near where Palmer's Chapel now stands. The congregation was under the pastoral care of Revs. Samuel Malay and Joseph Tatman. In this schoolhouse, under the superintendence of the latter named, the pioneers' children attended their first Sabbath school.
The edifice first erected for public worship exclusively was on the McFadden farm, now owned by Thomas Smith. The precise time cannot be definitely ascertained, but, from the best information, that rough log structure was put up in 1816, and was used as a place of worship by the Methodist Episcopal and other orthodox denominations until the schoolhouse was built on the old Troy road in District No. 3. In 1846, the Methodists built Wayne Chapel, on a lot adjoining that upon which the school building stood. The lot was donated by a pioneer, James Black. It may be observed that, prior to the building of church edifices, a large number of the inhabitants of Wayne Township attended public worship in churches contiguous to the township line, but in adjoining counties. These, with the schoolhouses, afforded for the time being ample facilities for "stated preaching."
Montgomery Chapel was erected in 1852, at a cost of $1,250, cash subscription, exclusive of donations of labor and materials to the amount, probably, of $150. The aggregate cash subscriptions of the persons named in the following list, as nearly as can be ascertained, was $850. The lot upon which the church was built was donated by the late venerable Thomas Crook, who subscribed $100 in addition to the building fund. Except for the subscriptions of these liberal-minded citizens, the church could not have been built; but then the unpleasant task of writing a few pages of discreditable history might have been avoided. The list of names before referred to is: Thomas Smith, Edward Smith, Wheatly Smith, William Johnson, Abraham Stoker, Thomas Crook, Daniel Carles and David Carles.
Neither of these public-spirited and enterprising citizens were ever connected with any religious sect. Except David Carlos, all have seen "the last of earth."
The deed donating a site for the edifice--ten rods by eleven-after reciting the metes and bounds, conveys "one hundred and ten rods for the purposes and uses of a house of public worship and burial-ground, said lot of land to belong to said Trustees and their successors in office, under the name and title of 'The United Brethren in Christ,' for devotional exercises, or other business pertaining to church matters, to be open and free to all other Christian denominations."
The district schoolhouse near the church was destroyed by fire in March, 1871, and the School Trustees, by the permission of those in authority, leased the church until a new building could be erected.
The conditions stipulated in the conveyance of the site that the building should be free to all Christian denominations, and the large congregations assembled when the Methodists and other sects held service, excited, perhaps, a jealousy among the United Brethren officers. Whatever it was that prompted them in their sacrilegious proceedings, in the month of April following, a well-organized mob of self-styled guardians of the Lord's property assembled at the church and ordered the teacher (Miss Alice Brentlinger) to dismiss the school. They then began the work of unroofing and demolishing the building. The material was laden on wagons and divided among the spoilsmen, who drove to their homes and reported the great victory they had achieved over the "ungodly people" (the unsectarian subscribers to the building fund), who had built a church in such a benighted region! The brick were sold to Mr. Troup, who had the contract for rebuilding the schoolhouse, and the residue of the promiscuously scattered material was disposed of at a mock auction, held under the drippings of "Golden" Chapel, near the Brandt Turnpike. It is something of a conundrum as to what use was made of the proceeds of the sale.
The materials of which the altar and pulpit were composed were used in the construction of hog-pens by some members of the secretly organized mob who razed the religious (?) temple, and a portion of the brick, not used in re building the schoolhouse, were taken to Tippecanoe, Miami County, and used in the building of a saloon. That the participators in this disreputable business had secretly arranged their plan of operation is not a matter of doubt, and to ward off suspicion of their contemplated action, one of their party adopted the finesse of sending his children to the school on the very morning he afterward appeared with his team to carry away his portion of the spoil. Yet these church-destroyers claimed to be "United Brethren in Christ," though their conduct on this occasion demonstrates that they were actuated and stimulated by a spirit totally different from and at variance with the spirit of Him who taught men to love one another, to render good for evil, and, if need be, to suffer even "persecution for righteousness' sake." Possibly these misguided (if not viciously inclined) men imagined they were fulfilling a mission, and were really illustrating in a tangible form the expression of the religious poet—
moves in a mysterious way:
Wayne Township is a fractional portion of what was included in Dayton Township by the original survey of the Government lands, and derived its name from that celebrated hero who was so highly esteemed by the early settlers of the Miami and Mad River Valleys.
The surface of the soil is gently rolling, being higher and more rolling in the central portion of the township, extending from the extreme northern to the southern boundary, than the eastern and western portions.
The early settlers in the Miami and Mad River Valleys experienced great inconvenience, and frequently suffered serious loss, from the destruction of their crops by the overflow of these rivers. The channels of these streams were often so completely obstructed and gorged by large accumulations of drift as to inundate what is now the finest agricultural portion of the county. The early emigration waif, with but few exceptions, would only purchase such lands as, in his opinion, would not be liable to overflow from the Miami or Mad River, and for this reason the central portion of the township was much more attractive to the early pioneer and land speculator.
During the summer months following the great spring freshets, causing the rivers to inundate large tracts of land in the bottoms, the pioneer families suffered severely from malarious fevers and chills, and it was no uncommon thing to find the dispenser of calomel and quinine in the humble cabins of the unfortunate sufferers every week during the period that was known and designated as the "sickly season." The only remedies used and known among the learned disciples of Esculapius at that time, and recommended as a certain panacea for all ills that flesh was heir to, was the lancet, blister, calomel, quinine and antimonial wine.
The topography of the township when undeveloped, and its natural state as described by the early pioneers, was unusually attractive to the backwoodsman and those seeking homes on the borders of civilization; game of all kinds was abundant, and the enterprising hunter and trapper realized some profits from the sale of skins of the wild animals that fell an easy prey to the crack shots of the hardy and daring pioneers.
Among the many privations and hardships that the early settlers of the township had to endure, there was none that they felt more keenly than the lack of mills. The great distance they were compelled to travel in order to have the little grain they raised manufactured into meal or flour, and the roads during the greater portion of the season impassable, and the streams without bridges or any other means of crossing, made it necessary for every family at times to make use of the limited means at their command to manufacture their breadstuffs at home.
A hominy block was made from the trunk of a tree by squaring the end of the log and burning a basin of sufficient size to hold about three gallons. An iron wedge or an ax was then inserted into a pole about two feet in length, and with this simple arrangement the best of hominy could be made. The hominy block could be found at the cabin of every pioneer in the township, and was a household necessity that could not be dispensed with.
The first mill erected in the township was built by Mr. Robert Miller, on Six Mile Run, near the old Troy road (now known as the Kellenberger Mill), and was known for many miles around as "Miller's Corn-Cracker." Here the, farmers came for many miles around and had their corn ground on the old raccoon buhr. This mill was built in 1809. Shortly after this (the exact date of which we are unable to ascertain), a structure similar to that of Mr. Miller's was erected and operated by Mr. Lewis Brenner on Spring Run.
These mills ground no other cereal than corn, and the meal had to be used in the family without sifting. John Campbell, Esq., on Mad River, rejoiced in the ownership of the first corn-meal sieve in the eastern part of the township, which was used for some time afterward by the entire populace of the neighborhood.
The introduction of the sieve made the johnny-cake board a necessary kitchen utensil, and the kitchen furniture of no cabin was considered complete that was not provided with this useful baking apparatus.
An amusing pioneer anecdote is related of a neighbor of Squire Campbell's who called at his house a few days after his arrival in the neighborhood to procure assistance in raising his cabin. The female members of the family were preparing the dinner, and the long johnny-cake board occupied nearly the entire space in front of the cabin fire. The new neighbor, after taking a sorrowful view of the board, inquired if the other members of the family who were not present were all sick, and was answered in the negative, and informed that they were all in the enjoyment of their usual good health. "Well," said he, "dear madam, what are you going to do with all these poultices you are warming by the fire?"
The early pioneer was compelled to use corn bred for many years, and not until about 1811 was flour manufactured from wheat and buckwheat on Mad River. A man by the name of Robinson erected and put into operation a small mill on the premises now owned and occupied by Mr. G. W. Harshman, in Mad River Township, about the same time Mr. John McCormick commenced the manufacture of flour in Greene County, six miles northeast, on the site where the late John Kneisley, in 1855, erected the large merchant mill and distillery now owned by Mr. John Harries.
The ax, grubbing-hoe, maul and wedge, with the wooden mold-board plow, and the old "snake-killing" corn hoe, were about the only implements of husbandry used in preparing the ground for the seed.
The good housewife had her spinning-wheels and roughly constructed loom, upon which she manufactured the wearing apparel of the family. Walnut and oak bark were used for coloring material of the homespun linsey-woolsy, which constituted the wardrobe of both sexes, old and young. The young lady who was the fortunate possessor of a calico dress was the cynosure of all eyes at corn-husking frolics or places of public worship.
The first blacksmith shop in the township was built by Mr. Stoffel Coon, in the fall of 1807, on the premises now owned and occupied by Mr. Daniel Detrick. Mr. Coon did the iron work on the plows that were used in his neighborhood, and Squire Campbell, who was styled the jack-of-all-trades, manufactured the wooden mold-boards and put the finishing touches on the "machine."
About the year 1812, Mr. John Zediker emigrated from Maryland and settled on the farm now owned and occupied by his son, Mr. Jacob Zediker, Esq. Mr. Zediker was a blacksmith by profession, and brought his kit of tools with him, with the exception of anvil and bellows. A huge stone with a smooth surface was used for an anvil, and his neighbors furnished him with a few deer-skins with which he managed to construct a bellows. A pit of charcoal was burned, and Mr. Zediker then commenced the work of making and repairing the few rough agricultural implements used by his neighbors.
The manufacture of lime and the working of the stone quarries are the leading and most profitable branches of industry in the central part of the township. The quantity and quality of the lime produced excels by far that of any other township in the county, and affords employment to a large number of laborers at remunerative wages. No finer article of building stone can be found in this part of the State than are taken from the Booher quarries on the old Troy pike. The stone used in building the cathedral in Cincinnati was taken from this quarry.
There are about sixty-two miles of authorized public roads in the townships including five miles of toll road, eight miles of free turnpike, and four miles on the south boundary line, one-half of which is kept in repair by Mad River Township and Greene County; they are generally kept in good repair. Substantial bridges and stone culverts have been built where they were considered necessary by those in authority. An annual road tax of $1,000 has been levied since 1865, for the purpose of keeping the roads in repair. As no portion of this fund is used in building and keeping in repair the bridges and culverts, it would seem that the roads of general utility should, by the expenditure of this enormous sum, in connection with the two days' labor required by law of all able-bodied men between the ages of twenty-one and fifty-six, should all be in as good repair as any toll road in the county.
The township is what might be designated, in the very fullest sense of the term, a rural township, as it is the only township in the county without a village within its limits, unless you choose to apply that appellation to Sulphur Grove, née Kildeer, or Taylorsville. The customs and habits of the people are marked with great simplicity, as the good habits of the early settlers, uncontaminated by modern degenerate practices that are now too prevalent to conduce to a healthy state of morals were not indulged in. The children of the pioneers found amusement and sociability at home; there were no grog-shops or gambling dens to lure them from their forest homes to spend their evenings in debauchery and cultivate habits of vice and dissipation and the census tables show that the township is made up more from the descendants of the pioneer settlers than any other in the county and contains a much less foreign population than any rural township in the Miami Valley. The few foreigners living here are a sober, industrious, frugal class of people, chiefly engaged in agricultural pursuits. Their manners, customs and religion harmonize with the native-born citizen.
One of the greatest and most annoying inconveniences experienced by the pioneer inhabitants of the township was the lack of mail facilities and the remote distance from any post office. The only office accessible to the early pioneer was at Dayton, where a semi-weekly mail was received. When the office was first established, in 1803, the mail was carried from Cincinnati on horseback, and was very irregular during the winter and spring season, owing to the condition of the roads and the difficulty experienced in crossing the streams.
The first post office established in the township was at Taylorsville, in 1846, and the Hon. Samuel Sullivan, who was then engaged in mercantile pursuits, received the appointment of Postmaster. In 1857, an office was established at Toll Gate No. 2, on the old Troy pike, in the southwestern part of the township, known as Fishburg. In 1879, the department established a post route between Dayton and New Carlisle, in Clark County, over the Dayton & Brandt Turnpike and National road, and a new office was established on this route, near the geographical center of the township, known as Sulphur Grove.
In less than two years after the office at Fishburg had been established, Mr. John Prill, the Postmaster, resigned the position and moved to Miami County, and the office was abolished, for the reason that no person could be found in the immediate vicinity who would accept the appointment. As a rule, the inhabitants are liberal patrons of the post offices. In almost every family will be found the leading newspapers and periodicals of the country, and many have large and well-selected libraries of the standard historical and miscellaneous publications of the times.
The people of the township have good reason to feel proud of their school organization, of their comfortable and well-furnished schoolhouses, and their efficient school officers. It is not going beyond the bounds of truth to say that the schools will compare favorably with those of any rural township in the Miami Valley. We give below the report of the Clerk of the Board of Education for the past year, which will be interesting and instructive to the friends of education in the county:
Number of schoolhouses, 5; number of scholars in attendance, 303; whole number between the ages of six and twenty-one years,--males, 200; females, 168; total, 368; total amount expended for school purposes, including pay of teachers and incidental expenses, $2,027.51. Township school fund for the year 1880, $1,602.19; in addition to the township school tax, the State tax and interest on Section 16 is $646.10, making a total fund of $2,248.49. A two-story schoolhouse has recently been built in Subdistrict No. 2, and a juvenile school is kept in the basement story during about one-half of the school season. Estimated value of school buildings, $10,000; average wages paid teachers per month for the year 1880, $42.10. In Subdistricts No. 1 and 2, instruction has been given in natural philosophy and the higher branches of mathematics the past winter.
As evidence of the economical manner in which the finances of the township were managed, we quote from the record a settlement that was made by those in authority on the 5th of March, 1820:
It was further agreed on representation of David Archibald and John Zediker overseers of the poor that a tax be levyed for the support of John Steward a pauper of said township, and that the clerk be ordered to make out a list of poor tax and deliver the same to Samuel Longstreth for collection, taking his bond with two freeholders as securetys in double the amount of tax to be collected. Said tax to be 40 cents for each Horse beast, and 15 cents for each head of neat cattel. The following bill was presented by John Ainsworth for necessarys furnished John Steward a pauper, and order granted:
MOSES SHEARER, Clerk
ELIAS MATTHEW, JEROME HOLT, JOHN D CAMPBELL Trustees
There being but $4.69 remaining in the treasurer Mr. Ainsworth was compeled to wait the return of the collector before his order could be cashed.
©1999 - 2009 Brookville Historical Society, Inc.