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Jefferson township was originally known as township number one, in range sixteen, of the United States military lands. It is just five miles square, and is bounded upon the north by Plain township, east by Licking county, south by Truro, and west by Mifflin. Its surface is, for the most part, level, being broken only by the streams Black lick and Rocky fork, which flow through it. The soil is, in some places, clay, and in others sandy, and very rich on the bottoms. The only physical features that are particularly noticeable [sic.] are the outcroppings of sandstone, and the occurrence of a fine sulphur spring, which is an object of much interest to the people of the vicinity and to strangers. It is upon the lands of A. Souder, upon Rocky fork. The water is said, by competent judges, to be as valuable, medicinally, as that of the famous Delaware springs.
PIONEERS AND PROMINENT SETTLERS.
Jefferson was largely settled by pioneers from New Jersey, a portion of the lands being bought in a body by a citizen of that State. The first settlers came into the township as early as 1802, or the following year, and located along Black lick. Among the first were: Daniel Dagoe [Dague], Moses Ogden, Peter Francisco, William Headily, Michael and Abraham Stagg, Jacob Tharp, Jacob and John H. Smith, Jonathan Whitehead, and Isaac Baldwin. Later than these pioneers, but still at an early date, arrived Joseph Edgar, Michael Neiswender, Shuah Maun, John Kelso, Richard Rhodes, Isaac Painter, John Inks, Joseph Compton, John Davenport, William Havens, William Armstrong, and others.
The township contained, by the time of the war of 1812, about twenty settlers, some of whom, however remained but a short time. Comparatively few of the early pioneers are represented by descendants at present in the township, and those who do remain, as the descendants of the first settlers, are able to give but little definite information in regard to them. Of those who came prior to 1812, Jacob Tharp was one of the most active, useful, and prominent. He and his wife, Nancy Havens, settled where D. Headley now lives, in section one. He built the first mill on Black lick, and operated it for several years, in addition to performing the various labors of a pioneer life. Mr. Tharp was from New Jersey, and ultimately returned to that State, having become a preacher, of the Baptist denomination.
Peter Francisco settled, also, in the first section, on the Black Lick road, and remained in the township until his death.
Abraham Stagg, and his nephew, Michael, came in from New Jersey, and settled where George and David, the sons of the former, now reside, in section two near the Black lick road.
Henry Huffman and his wife Susan Dague, settled near the north line of the township in 1807 or 1808. They came from Washington county, Pennsylvania.
John and Esther Edgar, originally from Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, came into the township prior to 1812, and settled on ninety acres of land, where J. C. Lennox now lives, near the southern line of the township, and near the west line of section four. They removed to the township, directly, from Fairfield county, where they were pioneers as early as 1798. Their descendants were: Joseph, James, William, John, Silas, Jeannette, Margaret, and Esther. Of this large family, all are dead, except the eldest, Joseph, and he is still a resident of the township. He married Abigail, daughter of Moses Ogden, by whom he has a large family of children, viz.: Louis and Calvin, deceased; Margaret Lunn, George, William, Joseph (deceased), Albert (deceased), Harvey, Frank (deceased), and Martha. Margaret, George, William, and Harvey, are residents of Jefferson. Joseph Edgar has been bed-ridden for several years, but retains his faculties in a remarkable degree. He has been a resident of the township all his life, and has been it developed from an almost uninhabited wilderness to its present state. An evidence of the high estimation in which he has been held, is afforded by the fact that he has been, for more than thirty-five years, elected township trustee.
Isaac Baldwin, of New Jersey, came in prior to (or in) the year 1812, and settled just east of Haven's corners. Richard Rhoads came about the same time. Richard and Philip, his sons, now live in Reynoldsburg, and Lambert in Truro township.
William Armstrong, who was one of the first settlers in Franklinton, and originally of New York State, came into Jefferson with his wife, Elvira Dean, in 1812, and remained there until his death. His wife is still living. The had a family of six children: S. R., who married Alice Kidd, and resides upon the old homestead; J. S., in Prairie-du-Chien, Wisconsin; S. L., who lives in Kansas; Sarah, who resides in Perry township; Isabella, who now lives in Licking county, Ohio; and Mary, deceased.
William Headley came to Jefferson, soon after 1812, and settled at the locality now known as Headley's corners. He married Mary Havens, and lived in the township until his death, in a late year. William and David, his sones, are residents in the township.
John Davenport, as was also Mr. Headley, was a New Jersey emigrant. In 1813, he settled upon the place adjoining William Havens. A son, Louis, now lives in
the township, and is the only representative of the family remaining.
Christian Strait came from New Jersey about the same time as Davenport.
John H., and his son, Jacob Smith, came from New Jersey, in 1813, and settled on the Black Lick road, in section one. Jacob Smith still lives in the township, but his father, who married Susan Havens, died many years ago.
John Kelso came in 1814, and from that time until his death, was a resident of Jefferson. He rented various pieces of property, but never purchased.
In the same year came Isaac Painter, John Inks, and Joseph Compton, all of them from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. Isaac Painter located at the crossing of the Black Lick road and Broadway pike, where J. Milburn now lives. A son Lewis Painter, is in the township, and is one of its large farmers, and representative men.
Also, in 1814, came Jonathan Whitehead, who located on what is now the . Sanger farm, in section two. He was a tanner by trade, and the first who practiced that industry in the township.
Daniel Dague came in about this time, and settled near the north line of the township, in section two. He was born in Berkshire or Lancaster county, Pennsylvania.
William and Elizabeth Havens, of New Jersey, arrived in the fall of 1815, and located on section one, where their son, William, now resides, and where they owned one hundred and fifty acres of land. Mr. Havens had but little experience of pioneer life, dying in 1820, five years after his settlement. His wife survived him many years. They were the parents of eight children, viz.: Mary Headley, and Susan Smith, both now deceased; Thomas, who located in Illinois, John, Martha Fancher, and William, who married for his first wife, Rhoda Ann Alberry, and resides upon the old place. His present wife is Sarah J.; was originally a Doren.
Moses Ogden, of New Jersey, settled where William Havens, jr., resides and was one of the best men the township numbered among it early residents. He built the first frame house in the township, and it is still standing.
Among the settlers who followed closely those already mentioned, were Michael Neiswender, Andrew Allison, George Beals, A. Favel, and others.
Michael and Barbara Neiswender came in 1818, from Berks county, Pennsylvania. Their sons, Samuel, and Godfrey, still live in the township.
Still later, came Jesse and Margaret Lunn, who settled in Truro township, in 1832, but soon after removed to Jefferson, where they both died, in 1856. They were from Berks county, Pennsylvania. The place of their habitation, in the township, was the farm just south of Black Lick station, where their son, Josiah C., now lives. The other children of this couple are located as follows: John, William, and Elizabeth, in Truro township; Joseph, Sarah Wolf, and Rachel Coonze, in Iowa; and Mary Krumm, in Mifflin.
Stephen and Sarah Stoel (or Stowel) came from Essex county, New York, in 1834, having purchased a piece of land from Peter Mills, the owner of a large tract, and settled on what is now the Noah Geiger farm. Stephen Stoel died in 1870, and his wife is still living in the township, as are also their children--Burnham, Sally Sandford, and Mary Compton.
Shuah Mann came in 1835, from New Jersey, and remained all his life in the township. His son, by the same name, is now a resident. His son, by the same name, is now a resident. About the same time, came John and Lucinda Rochelle, also from New Jersey. Mr. Rochelle died in 1876, and Mrs. Rochelle is still living. There are six children living of this family, viz.: Scott, in Jefferson township; William, in Cincinnati; Martin, in Kansas; Susan Chrysler and Phebe Alberry, in Gahanna; and Mary Ann Hickman, of Reynoldsburgh.
Brace Woodruff came to Ohio in 1822, from Vermont, located in Fairfield county, and in 1838, removed to Jefferson township, and took up the farm upon which he at present resides in section four, and which has been almost entirely cleared by himself. He is the father of nine children, four of whom are living in the township, viz.: Hiram, Norman, Lina Whitehead and Emily Donovan.
Edward Ricketts, the son of Jeremiah and Elizabeth Ricketts, pioneers of the year 1800, from Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, to Fairfield county, Ohio, came into Jefferson in 1852, and purchased the property, where he now lives. He married his first wife, Catharine Phillips, in Fairfield county, and his present, Salina Bell, in this township.
John Morrison and family may, perhaps, be called the representative Irish family of the township. They came to this country in 1849, from the north of Ireland, and settled in Knox county, where they remained until the sought their present location, in 1853. The children are: Andrew, Samuel, Isabella (Bean), William, Ann, and Jane. The two oldest sons, as well as the father, have each good farms in the township, the results of their own industry, and are among the substantial men of the township.
Abram Sager, a resident of section one, came into the township in 1850, and is a representative man among the German citizens. His is the son of John and Christina Sagar, who settled in Plain township in 1830, and later moved into Blendon.
Jefferson, which had originally been a portion of the township of Liberty, and afterwards attached, for civil purposes, to Plain, in common with Blendon and Mifflin, was established and organized under its present boundaries, on the sixth of September, 1816. Unfortunately, the early records have not been preserved, and hence we are unable to give the list of first officers. Jacob Smith and William Dean were elected justices of the peace in 1817, and Henderson Crabb, the same year, John Inks in 1818, Jacob Smith in 1820, Isaac Painter in 1821, Smith re-elected in 1823, and Andrew Allison in 1824. The present township officers are: S. H. Kidd, E. Ricketts, George Shanks, trustees; F. B. Stowell,
clerk, Louis Painter, treasurer; F. B. Stowell, John Sager, justices of the peace; D. F. Linck, George Stagg, constables; S. H. Kidd, Z. McGuire, R. D. Jones, Peter Geiger, O. A. Mann, F. B. Stowell, John Ryan, J. B. Roberts, G. W. Stagg, E. Compton, J. H. Souder, board of education.
Joseph Edgar taught school in Truro township, before moving into Jefferson, and immediately after taught a few pupils in this township, probably as early as 1816. He taught at home, and his pupils were from the families of the Staggs, Ducks, and Rhoads. Peter Wills taught school a little later, in a small log school-house, which stood on what is now the H. G. Black farm, just south of Black Lick station. Worthy Mitchem was the most noted, and the most valuable teacher in the township. She did much good in the township, and served the people in the capacity of instructor for their children for over a quarter of a century, beginning as early as 1824. The school wa upon the land of Frederick Neiswender. A term of three months was taught, for two dollars per pupil, and the instruction being thorough, parents sent their children from a considerable distance to attend. Many came from Mifflin and Plain townships, as well as from the small settlements in Jefferson. There are still a few old men residing in these townships we have named who recall, with pleasure and satisfaction, the days they spent in the small, quaintly furnished, log school-house, where Worthy Mitchem held the spelling book and birch. The benches were huge slabs, supported on pins driven into them at each end, and the desks were inclined shelves, which rested on stout arms fastened in the chinks of the log walls.
Dr. Ezekiel Whitehead, of New Jersey, was the first physician in the township, and practiced there for many years, being as successful as could be expected in so small a population, and with the competition of other physicians in adjoining townships. He removed to Jersey village, over the line, in Licking county, where he now resides, and was followed in Jefferson by Doctors J.Schaffer and David Kemble, who each remained several years. There is now no physician resident in the township.
As early as 1809 or 1810, Jacob Tharp erected a grist-mill on Black lick, near William Headley's residence. There was a saw-mill in connection with the grist-mill, and both were used for a number of years. It was sold by Tharp to the Headley family. The next mill was built by James Alexander and Andrew Allison, on Rocky fork. Mr. Somerville succeeded them as the owner, and he sold the mill to Peter Early. This mill is now run by Kitzmiller & Benedict. Not long after the saw-mill just spoken of, and generally known as the Early mill, was built, Isaac Baldwin put one in operation on Black lick, near the center of the township; and still later, John Havens built one on black [sic.] lick, just east of the locality now known as Havens' corners. This was burned. The only permanent will in the township, at present, besides Kitzmiller & Benedict's is on the road west of Havens' corners, owned by Isaac Souder, and built by him in 1874.
There is a fine stone quarry on the property of Mr. S. R. Armstrong, just east of Black Lick station. After the building of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, Mr. Armstrong, who had previously taken some stone from this quarry, began to do an extensive business. His sales ran as high as three thousand dollars per year. The material is a good article of sandstone, and has been largely sued in Columbus and other places. The Blind Asylum shows, perhaps, as much of it as any one building, but it has also been used for the foundations of the Union depot; the Pan Handle round house, and several other large buildings were built of this stone. It is also extensively used for window cappings and sills, and there is scarcely a street in Columbus where it is not to be seen in some form.
THE TAYLOR STATON METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
Preaching by the Methodists was commenced at Taylor's station, soon after the village was laid out. IN 1853 a class was organized, consisting of the following members: Michael A. Ebright and wife, Elijah Fishpan and wife, Mordacai Fishpan and wife, John Leckrone and wife, William Hughes and wife, J. P. Gordon and wife, and Alexander Cook and wife. The class was organized by the Rev. Richard Pitser and Jacob Young. Michael A. Ebright was the first class leader. In 1858 a lot was bought by John Leckrone, of David Taylor, and by the latter deeded to the following trustees for the church: William Hughes, Charles Buckingham, Alonzo Sherman, John Leckrone, Michael A. Ebright, Elijah Fishpan.Upon this lot a frame building wad erected, at a cost of six hundred dollars. The present pastor of the Taylor's Station Methodist Episcopal church is the Rev. J. R. Kemper; class leaders, James More, ____ Fultz; stewards, S. J. Mason, A. Morrison.
THE CHRISTIAN UNION CHURCH
was built at Haven's corners, in 1871, at a cost of about nine hundred dollars, though the society was organized prior to that time. It consisted, in 1868, of the following members: Shuah, Lucy Austin A., George M., Kelton S., Manning F., Nancy, Amba, Permelia, Kesiah, and Cordon Mann; Abram, Catharine, Ephraim, Henry, John, and Sophroma Sager; John, Christina, Rebecca, David P., and Frank M. Lytle; David C., and Amanda Runnell; E. W. , Elizabeth, and Mary Ayres; Joseph, Mary, and Mary, jr., Sherman; Rebecca Smith, Margaret E., and Mary Havens; Nancy, Allen, C. H., Peter, and George W. Cline; Henry Busey, Rufus Putnam, Theodore Heischmann, Elizabeth Cisco, Sarah A. Decker, Jasper Cheney, and Daniel DeWitt. The first pastor and organizer of the church was the Rev. R. M. Demham. The present pastor is the Rev. George Stevenson, and the elders of the church are Abram Sager, Shuah Mann, and Martin Welch. The church has between
forty-five and fifty members, and is in a prosperous condition.
The village of Smithville, now called Black Lick station, is a small cluster of houses upon the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, near the southern boundary line of the township. It was laid out in the year 1852, by William A. Smith.
Grahamsville, or, as it is now universally called, Taylorstown, or Taylor's station, is upon the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, about two miles west of Black Lick, and south of the center of section three. The section was held by the heirs of L. Brien until 1850, when it was conveyed by them to David Taylor, esq., at ten dollars per acre. He laid out the village which now bears his name in 1853; built there a warehouse and saw-mill, and caused to be erected several homes. The place had a small growth during the first few years after its establishment, but has not increased in the same proportion during later years, and is only a very small hamlet.
The first post office established in the township was Ovid, at Headley's corners, in 1832. Dr. Ezekiel Whitehead was the first postmaster. William Headley succeeded him after a few years, and held the position for a long period. The office was discontinued in 1875.
Black Lick post office was established at the station in 1852, and Thomas McCollum was the first postmaster commissioned. He was succeeded by C. S. Morris, and he by Ezekiel Compton, who is the present incumbent. An office was established in June, 1879, at Haven's corners, with R. J. Rhodes as postmaster.
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