THIS township was set off and organized by its present name in 1819, though its bounds then extended farther north, including a considerable part of what is now Brown. It had originally been part of Franklin. Amongst the early settlers in this township, were Samuel Higgins and family, Shatrick Postle and family, and William Mannon and family.
In 1813, the Clover family, originally from Virginia, but then from Ross County, Ohio, removed into Prairie Township, and formed a settlement that is still known as the "Clover Settlement." The family, beside the two old people, consisted of ten brothers—Peter, Joshua, Jacob, Solomon, Henry, Samuel, Philip, John, William and Aaron—and two sisters. Solomon and Samuel were the brag hunters of the neighborhood. Solomon was fond of hunting; and, it was said, killed more wolves, bear and deer, than any of his competitors in that line.
Wolf scalps then bore a premium. He still lives in the neighborhood, and is fond of his gun and the chase. He occasionally takes a hunting excursion, in the fall of the year, up in Wood County.
There are three Methodist Churches in this township; one at Alton, one in Clovers' Settlement, and one in the south part of the township, known as the Henderson Church—all frame buildings, and each one has a burying ground contiguous to it. And there is a German Lutheran Church about two miles north of Rome—a hewed log building, erected some fifteen or eighteen years since, and answering for both church and school house, and in which a respectable German school is taught. They also have a burying ground contiguous to the church.
After the construction of the National Road, in the spring of 1836, the town of Alton was laid out by Thomas Graham, and a post office was established there. the successive postmasters have been: John Graham, first; Mervin Stearwalt, second; David Cole, third; Solomon Putman, fourth; Goodhue McGill, fifth; and A. W. Shearer, sixth and present.
About the same time that Alton was laid out, James Bryden and Adam Brotherlin laid out lots for a town on the pike, two or three miles east of Alton, which they named "Rome." The two villages, so near together,
could not both thrive. Alton took the lead, and Rome never contained more than about a dozen families.
Previous to this, in 1832, Job Postle laid out some lots for a town, and had his plat recorded, etc., which he named "Lafayetteville." It however never was any thing more than a town upon paper.
In 1840 the population of this township was 606. In 1850, it was 1,043. In 1853, the township constituted seven school districts, and contained an aggregate of 411 youth between the ages of five and twenty-one years. In 1857, the aggregate of such youth was 451.
SUCCESSIVE JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.
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