A History & Biographical Cyclopaedia
Butler County, Ohio
With Illustrations and Sketches
of its Representative Men and Pioneers
Publ. by Western Biographical Publishing Co.
UNION TOWNSHIP was organized in 1823, and taken
from Liberty. It is in the extreme south-east of the county.
The south and east portions of the township, in particular, were heavily
timbered formerly, the oak predominating. The south-west was low,
swampy, and not regarded as the most valuable. About eight hundred
acres of this land was taken up by Judge Burnet, of Cincinnati.
Benjamin Mead lived on Section 9, now the land on which Port
Union stands. He did some surveying for Judge Symmes.
His property was left to his two sons, Benjamin and Walter,
and his three daughters. Walter Mead was justice of the
peace in former times. The south-east quarter of Section 11 was
deeded to William and John Wright, by James Madison,
in 1816. It is now owned by James Patchell, Sen. His
father, James Patchell settled upon this tract in 1830. He
died in 1844, at seventy-two years of age.
Union Township was settled principally by Marylanders,
Pennsylvanians, and Virginians. The uplands were taken up and
settled by resident owners, while the low and swampy lands were
purchased and held in large tracts by wealthy parties, such as Judge
Burnet, Isaac Hunt, the Stocktons, and others, and were in a
manner vacant for a long time. About the year 1838 Abraham
and Lot Smith built a fine merchant and grist-mill on the Miami
Canal, in the township, and in 1840 the swamp lands were ditched.
About the same time the Great Miami turnpike road was made through the
township. These improvements, together with chopping the cord-wood
and shipping to Cincinnati at a high price, created a new ambition among
the people. Property of all kinds, especially lands, went up to
two and afterward to three prices; but the bank panic in the Fall of
1841, which set prices back to what they were seven yeas previously,
broke up almost every person that had brought land two or three yeas
before that event.
July 4, 1791,
Joseph McMaken made application for a volunteer sixth section in
the north-east corner of the fourth section in the second township, east
of the Big Miami, in the second entire range, which was the property of
John N. Cummins. He moved on the land eight days before
Christmas, 1794, meeting on his way General Wayne returning from
the treaty at Greenville. Mrs. Elizabeth McMaken came out
to live with her son some time before 1800, her children having all been
married off. After being out here six or seven years she died, in
1801, at the age of one hundred and one years. Joseph McMaken
died on the 10th of February, 1818, from injuries received by the
breaking off of a limb from a tree. It struck him on the skull and
fractured it. Mrs. McMaken died in September, 1836.
The earliest settlers in the township were Captain
Cox, on Section 22; Joseph McMaken, Section 4; George Van
Ness, Section 5; Thomas Huron, Mr. Travis, Section 35; and
Brice Virgin, who afterwards went up to Princeton. Ayres
settled just south of Westchester; Irwin settled in the south
part of the township, and was an old acquaintance of McMaken's,
coming from the same neighborhood in Pennsylvania. Seward
came out in 1797, and lived in McMaken's house while waiting for
his own cabin to be put up.
Samuel Seward, an old Revolutionary soldier,
died on the 22d of April, 1828, at his residence, in the seventy-fourth
year of his age. He left upward of one hundred descendants.
The previous day Mr. Abraham Montgomery, also a soldier of the
Revolution, had died. Mr. Seward and Mr. Montgomery
had been in their boyhood schoolmates. Together they joined their
country's standard, and in the army they were messmates. Upon the
close of the war, they retired from the army, and resided in the
neighborhood of each other, in Union Township, Butler County. They
departed this life only separated by death about four hours.
The justices of the peace of this township have been:
||Joseph H. McMaken
||Walter P. Mead
||Walter P. Mead
||Mark C. McMaken, Michael Dalton,
||Mark C. McMaken
||Robert W. McClelland
|and since that date:
||Z. P. Gard
||Z. P. Gard
||W. W. Van Hise
||James V. Spellman
||Z. W. Selby
||A. S. Hutchison
The following are the post-offices in this
township, and the names of the Postmasters:
- This place was originally known to the post-office
department as Chester. Under that title it had two
||was appointed April 1, 1824, and
||August 2, 1826
|On Oct. 2, 1826, it was changed to
||was appointed November, 5, 1828;
|John S. Davis
||Sept. 21, 1830;
|James Van Hise
||May 24, 1845;
||July 5, 1849;
||March 4, 1852;
||April 4, 1855;
|William W. Van Hise
||April 15, 1858;
|David W. Williamson
||June 2, 1863;
|Charles W. Snyder
||March 27, 1866;
|David W. Williamson
||February 25, 1867;
||January 6, 1871
|James S. Jeffers
||October 2, 1871;
|Dana L. Taylor
||March 14, 874; and
|Edwin P. Jackson
||November 24, 1875
|William Van Hose
||December 21, 1843;
||Dec. 12, 1850;
|William W. Van Hise
||August 8, 1853;
||May 31, 1854;
||January 9, 1862;
|Samuel L. Sprinkle
||July 10, 1876
|Port Union -
||May 11, 1850;
||May 8, 1866;
|Cornelius W. Murphy
||April 13, 1864;
|James V. Spellman
||January 9, 1871
was first known as Shoemaker. Its
postmaster was Richard Maud, who received his appointment
August 22, 1872. On the 19th of May, 1874, it was called
|Calvin T. Williams
||was made postmaster June 11, 1877;
|Fred C. Wagner
||March 25, 1880;
|Daston M. Flummer
||May 4, 1881
|George L. Pierce
||December 19, 1872'
||October 6, 1873;
|Charles L. Gano
||December 9, 1874;
|John J. Williamson
||February 7, 1881;
|Lewis W. Scott
||May 23, 1881;
|Thomas H. Burgess
||April 4, 1882
|This office was discontinued one week
in December, 1874.
Port Union was laid off by
William ELLIOTT, and was first named McMaken's Bridge.
McMAKEN, an old pioneer of the place, started the first grocery and
built the first frame house (still standing) in the town. Just
opposite this building of McMaken's was a log house, probably the first
built. McMAKEN put up his house, probably the first built.
McMAKEN put up his house during the construction of the canal, in
The town now contains a population of about eighty
souls, has two grocery stores, two or three shops, and a church
James V. SPELLMAN has had a dry goods and a grocery store here for
several years. One is also owned by Frank RATZ,
Mr. SPELLMAN is of the firm of SPELLMAN & VINNEDGE, grain
dealers of this place.
The hall of the I. O. O. F., was built in 1878, and is
a brick building. The lodge has a membership of thirty. The
building cost $2,000. Its lower part is a hall, sometimes used as
a lecture room by the public. The Knights of Honor, a society of
thirty members, lately chartered, meet in this building twice a month.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Port Union has a
membership now of about eighty-eight. The present building is a
frame erected in 1856. The membership at that time consisted of
but forty-one full members and eleven probationers. The Rev. W.
H. SMITH is a brick building. The lodge has a membership of
thirty. The building cost $2,000. Its lower part is a hall,
sometimes used as a lecture room by the public. The Knights of
Honor, a society of thirty members, lately chartered meet in this
building twice a month.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Port Union has a
membership now of about eighty-eight. The present building is a
frame erected in 1856. The membership at that time consisted of
but forty-one full members and eleven probationers. The Rev. W.
H. SMITH is the present pastor, and J. V. SPELLMAN is the
present Sabbath-school superintendent. This Church was organized
Dec. 17, 1853. It was then in the Cumminsville District. At
that meeting M. F. WEST was secretary, and there were present
A. EDDY, presiding elder, and the Rev. Messrs. GLASSCOCK and
Daniel GRIFFIS. J. M. WALDEN, of the Methodist Book
Concern, of Cincinnati, was first licensed to preach at Port Union, June
3, 1854. The local elders were Samuel GOSLIN, Nathan WHITTLESEY,
Brumfield BOON, William MARSH, Thomas JEFFRAS, William MOORE, Samuel D.
SPELLMAN (founder of the society), Manning F. WEST, Samuel
SPELLMAN, Samuel WINNINGS, and Samuel HARD. Mr. Samuel D.
SPELLMAN came here in 1843, but now lives in Indiana.
James PATCHELL, one of the oldest settlers of
the township, occupies a farm on Section 5, in the second township,
second range. He is a son of James PATCHELL and Elizabeth
CANNON, who were natives of Ireland. He was born in Oil Creek,
Venango Co., Pennsylvania, July 9, 1814. His paternal ancestors
were French Huguenots, and who emigrated to the northern part of Ireland
in 1568, four years before the massacre of St. Bartholomew. As
early as 1515 the principles of Luther and Zwinglius had gained
an entrance into France (especially that part bordering on Switzerland),
as well as the doctrines of Calvin, which were embraced by the
PATCHELLS, a very numerous and influential family living near Vassey.
In the struggle between the Bourbons and the five princes of Guise, they
espoused the cause of the former; but it was not until 1560 that there
was anything like an armed opposition to the tyranny of the latter.
A plan was agreed upon by the Huguenots to seize the Guises on a certain
day, when a number of them were to present a petition to the king in
person (who then lived at Blois), asking him to grant them the right of
free exercise of their worship. The plan was betrayed and twelve
hundred Huguenots were executed. Of that number seven were
PATCHELLs, where the name first occurred in French history.
Bloody scenes were the result, and the massacre of Vassey in 1562 was
the immediate cause of a continued civil war between the Catholics and
Protestants in that part of France for over a century.
In leaving France and settling in Ireland, the
PATCHELLs did not better their condition, for the same bloody scenes
were there enacted, through of a local and not a national character.
His great-great-great-great grandfather was one of the gallant few who
served under that famous Protestant clergyman, George WALKER, in
the heroic defense of Derry against King James. For bravery in the
battle of Boyne, he was presented with a gold medal, now in the
possession of Samuel Patchell. His grandfather, Edward
PATCHELL, was keeper of the forest under Lord FITZGERALD.
This nobleman was killed by the Catholic tenantry, in the insurrection
of 1788,, in Derry County. He also owned a large farm five miles
from Londonderry, and would have shared the fate of his lordship had he
not been secretly released by a man named DUNBAR, whom he had
befriended in several ways.
In 1792 he emigrated to America, settling in
Pennsylvania. In 1800 he bought one thousand acres of land of the
Holland Land Company, through which Oil Creek runs, on which are some of
the largest oil-wells in the State. His father, James
PATCHELL, was next to the youngest of a family of two sons and three
daughters, and was born in the county of Derry, Ireland, in 1772, and
married Elizabeth CANNON in 1800. She was also a native of
Ireland, and was born in the county of Tyrone, in 1783. By this
union there were eight children: Edward, William, Mary A., Jane,
Eliza, Jemima, James, and Joseph, all of whom are now dead
but James, who resides at Port Union.
In the War of 1812 he was a major in the Pennsylvania
militia, and during the Winter of 1814 was stationed at Erie,
Pennsylvania. His brother Edward was a brigadier general in
the Pennsylvania line during the War of 1812. He was also
appointed by President JACKSON, during his second term, the
issuing commissary-general of the Army of the Southwest, with
head-quarters at New Orleans, which position he held for three years,
when he resigned on account of ill health. At the time of
his death he was one of the wealthiest and most prominent citizens of
In the Spring of 1815 James PATCHELL, in company
with several other families, descended the Alleghany and Ohio Rivers to
Neville, Clermont County, Ohio, in a kee-boat. He was driven to
this course on account of going on the official bond of his friend
Samuel Plumer, as sheriff of Venango County. He defaulted in
office, for a large sum, and his security could not pay this without
selling his farm, which he had inherited from his father. He left
it in the hands of his brother Edward, to sell and pay the debt.
A short time after coming to Clermont County he purchased a farm in Tate
Township, where he resided until 1830, when he removed to Butler County,
where he died in 1844, and his wife in 1846. He was a man of great
energy and strong will-power. Although a Democrat in a Democratic
county and township, and possessed of a good education, he would never
consent to be a candidate for any office. These combined
with honesty and good judgment, made him a man of more than ordinary
James PATCHELL, the son, was born on the 9th of
July, 1814, at Oil Creek, Venango County, Pennsylvania, and removed with
his parents to Clermont County, in Ohio, in 1816. He came to Union
Township in 1830. On the 28th of August, 1842, he was married, at
Port Union, to Mrs. Belinda McCLELLEN SMITH, widow of Dr. G.
M. Smith. Her maiden name was McCLELLAN, being the
daughter of James McCLELLAN, and Anna GIFFIN, and she was
born in Hamilton County, Ohio, Oct. 8, 1815. Her father was a
great uncle of General George B. McCLELLAN. They have six
children. Joseph C. was born Dec. 14, 1843; E. Jennie,
Aug. 4, 1847; James E., Aug. 29, 1850; Stephen C., Jan.
29, 1853; Edward W., Aug.. 14, 1855; and Rosalinda,
Dec. 6, 1858. Joseph C., who is married to Lizzie GERWIG,
now lives in Cincinnati, and is a dentist in good practice; E. Jennie
is married to Samuel B. DEAN, and lives at Collinsville; James
is married to Ollie CUTLER, and lives at Port Union;
Stephen is married to Jennie EASTON, Edward W. is
married to Mollie HOWARD; Rosalinda was married Sept. 28,
1881, to George Milton Roudebush, of Newtonville, Clermont
Mr. PATCHELL began with about eighty acres of
land, but has since added steadily to it, until he now has two hundred
and forty-six acres in a state of high cultivation. He was trustee
of Union Township from 1843 to 1849; justice of the peace from Nov. 3,
1849, to Dec. 13, 1846, in all fifteen years; postmaster of Port Union
from May 11, 1850,to Oct., 1865, and notary public since Jan. 25, 1866.
He was assessor of real estate in the township in 1859, and also in
1880, and revalued them in both years. From 1855 to 1877 he
settled nearly all the estates of deceased persons as administrator, and
acted as guardian of minors within the township, their estates amounting
in gross to nearly two hundred thousand dollars. His family has
hand a long and honorable connection with the history of this valley.
Hugh CANNON, the eldest brother of his mother,
was killed in St. Clair's expedition, Nov. 4, 1791. Another
brother of his mother, Thomas CANNON, married Elizabeth SCOTT,
a sister of General Winfield SCOTT. They had one son and
two daughters. The son, William Scott CANNON, died in New
Orleans in 1834. The oldest daughter, Jane Gray CANNON,
married James SWISSHELM, a farmer's son living near McKeesport,
and afterward became famous as an editor and political and social
writer. The other daughter married Zachary MITCHELL of the
same place. The CANNONs and SWISSHELMs were early
settlers of Pittsburg and that part of the State. Mrs.
SWISSHELM was born and reared in the city of Pittsburg.
James V. SPELLMAN was born in Hamilton County,
Ohio, Nov. 16, 1823, and is the younger son of Henry SPELLMAN and
Charlotte GALLER, natives of New York, of German descent.
SPELLMAN was one of the pioneers of Hamilton County, settling in
1807, near Red bank. He died in 1850. Mr. James V.
SPELLMAN was brought up as a farmer, being occupied at home until
his twenty-first year. He was married Dec. 1 1842, to Angelina
WARREN, a native of Hamilton County. They are the parents of
six children, three of whom are living. Althea J. was born
in 1843, and is now the wife of Dr. L. M. GRIFFIS, of Hamilton;
J. Warren, Jan. 18, 1847, now assisting his father in Port Union,
and Clara V., July 25, 1855.
Mr. SPELLMAN was in trade in Cincinnati for
eight years, and being employed in farming in 1854. He came to
Port Union in 1860, and engaged in farming and trading, entering the
mercantile business in connection with James Beatty. Since
1870, when Mr. BEATTY retired, the firm has been SPELLMAN,
VINNEDGE & Co. They have a general store, and are extensive
buyers of grain. Mr. SPELLMAN is a member of the Board of
Trade of Cincinnati. He was township trustee for several years,
justice of the peace for one term, and is now a member of the board of
education. He was postmaster of Port Union for ten yeas He
had no early pecuniary advantages, but now owns in addition to his store
seventy-five acres of land adjoining the village.
Tylersville was laid off in
1843 by Mr. Daniel POCOCK, and named by John SULLIVAN
after President John TYLER. It is locally known as Pug
MUNCY. The first building was erected by Michael DALTON
many years previous to the above-mentioned time. The country
surrounding this place was dense forest, and cooperage the principal
trade. Mr. DALTON also erected the first cooper-shop.
His dwelling-house was known for a long time as a swayback house.
It was a story and a half, and as the roof had to support it sank.
The house has now been torn down for forty years. In an early day,
when timber was plenty, there were a number of cooper-shops, at times as
many as three, and each did a good business.
The third house built in this place was a little pole
cabin, erected not later than 1835. It was put up on the ground
now owned by "Squire WRIGHT" and in his garden, and stood until
about the year 1852. Andrew HOUGH occupied this house after
ward, and built a little pole cabin on the north-west of the two roads
where he had a store, the first one in Tylersville. It was kept by
him for a few years, when John SULLIVAN took possession, tore the
store away, and built a little frame. Part of this structure is
Mr. Abram SHARPE, a German, was the next
merchant of the town, and was very successful in the business, which he
followed for twenty years. His store was begun on a small scale at
first, but increased to that of a good country store afterwards
During his reign as chief merchant, an opposition store was
started up by Mr. George SHEPPARD. The sons of Mr.
Sharpe are at this time leading merchants in New York and
Louisville. Mr. John WHITTIKIND, a German, has a country
store in the village; the business of the place, however, has decreased.
Besides the SHARPE boys, who did so well,
National JEFFRAS, now of JEFFRAS & SEELY, Cincinnati, was
here formerly as a poor boy, working for "Squire WRIGHT at eight
dollars per month. His father, Thomas JEFFRAS, was an
active man in the building of the Methodist Episcopal Church of the
place, and was one of its class-leaders for thirty-five years. The
building was erected in 1850. Mr. JEFFRAS, the Rev.
Nathan WHITTLESEY, and Mr. JEFFRAS's mother, a true Christian
in every sense of the word, were the organizers of the Sabbath-school
also. The membership of both the Church and Sabbath-school was
greater formerly than now, owing to removals and deaths.
The log school-house was a second building in the town
proper. It contained an old-fashioned fire-place that would take
in a stick of wood eight feet long. The seats were made of slabs,
pins supporting them on the floor. The windows were on either side
of the house, and from ten to twelve feet long, occupying the length and
width of one log. These windows were protected by shutters, and
were fastened by strong hook-and-eye hinges, in such a way that when
opened the shutters were raised from below and stood propped up
This house was built about 1830, and probably Elisha DALTON was
the "first master" who held sway with the rod. CALDWELL, Ames
SEDAM, and James S. WILES were also early teachers. The
house was used the singing-schools, church purposes, etc.; but in 1840
the little brick school-house was used for singing-schools, church
purposes, etc.; but in 1840 the little brick schoolhouse was erected,
and stood until 1866, when the present brick structure was built.
The present attendance at school is not so great as formerly. It
does not now exceed forty pupils in average attendance, while in pioneer
times it was not uncommon to have seventy-five pupils.
William WRIGHT and his son John came to
this place from Pennsylvania in 1816, and settled on Section 11.
William WRIGHT was an officer in the Revolutionary War, and drew
twenty dollars annually as a pension, but was entitled to more. He
was an Indian fighter in Pennsylvania in 1763. He was married
twice, his second wife being Miss Rhoda WHARTON, by whom he had
six children. This marriage was in 1820. 'Squire Perry
WRIGHT, of this place, was named after Commodore PERRY.
Thomas JEFFRAS, came to this portion of the township from Maryland
in 1805, and settled first near Middletown, but soon afterwards removed
to Tylersville. Michael DALTON came as early as 1805.
He was for many years a teacher of the public day-school, was a justice
of the peace, and withal a sturdy pioneer of the wilderness. Isaiah
WHARTON settled first where Gano Station is now. His daughter,
'Squire WRIGHT, her son, now living in Tylersville, was born in
1827; has been justice of the peace nine years, and is also a good
farmer. His farm adjoins the town.
The country about the village is high, the soil good,
and a high state of cultivation prevails. The land is rolling and
a little uneven between this point and Westchester. Almost every
family in early times had a loom, and did their own weaving. They
always hired the tailor and shoemaker. The teacher of the school
was generally an Irishman. There was a grave-yard on Section 35,
near Tylersville, at a very early date, but many were buried at
Westchester is the
oldest village in the township, and was originally called Mechanicsburg,
but changed to Westchester by statute, and was laid out by Hezekiah
SMITH in March, 1817. Twenty-seven lots were laid out at
first. Afterwards, in April, 1817, James CUMMINS made an
addition of lots, numbering from one to twenty inclusive. Other
additions have since been made.
Joseph COX came from Maryland. He was
employed by Judge SYMMES on the early surveys, settling a little
south-east of Westchester on a quarter-section of land, and afterwards
accumulated considerable property, and was considered as wealthy for a
man of that day. He raised a family of three sons and three
daughters. Julia COX married Robert McMAKEN, a
brother of Joseph. Elizabeth married Dr. WILLIAMSON.
The names of his sons were Benjamin, John, and Joseph.
John became a wealthy farmer of the township. Joseph
went South. Benjamin moved to Monroe County, Ohio
John COX were born about 1800. Elizabeth COX was born
April 10, 1798, and died April 27, 1880. David WILLIAMSON
died Dec. 2, 1873, aged 78 years and 2 months.
Charles LEGG, a very early pioneer, was born
Jan. 1, 1763, and died Sept. 4, 1864. His wife Rachel was
born May 25, 1762, and died Nov. 21, 1847. Nancy McMAKEN
died in the twenty-seventh year of her age, in 1820. Charles
LEGG lived about a mile north of Westchester, and raised a family of
ten children, all dead, but two sons and one daughter, The latter
is now ninety-three years old.. He came in 1805.
WHITTLESEY, CONNOVER, and JEFFRAS all came during that year.
William Van HISE was an early member of the
Methodist Church, and has left a number of descendants, who are
prominent citizens of the township. He raised a family of nine
children, seven boys and two girls. He was born September 29,
1780, and died July 19, 1850. Rachel, his wife, was born
Mar. 4, 1779, and died Apr. 11, 1850. He came from New Jersey in
1815, and some six or seven families bore him company, and among this
number were CONNOVER, SLAYBACK, and others. After reaching
Pittsburg they took a flat-boat for Cincinnati. Putting the horses
and the wagons on the boat save one, SLAYBACK rode from Pittsburg
to Cincinnati. Van HISE settled on sixty acres, NAPLES
settling also on part of this place, but left after a year or so for
Rising Sun, Indiana. CONNOVER was the son-in-law in
Westchester was settled apparently by mechanics.
At the lower end of town was a flax-seed oil-mill. These mills,
the saw-mill, grist-mill, and oil-mill were all under one roof.
They were built by Samuel BURNES, and were primitive in
construction, being a tread-mill run by oxen. A Mr. Samuel
FOSTER carried on the mill some few years, but they all went down
before the year 1820. The ruins of these foundations are still to
be seen. Mr. James CUMMINS started the first tan-yard of
the place, which was as early as 1810. It was on the west side of
the road, on a lot owned by Jared PARRISH. This one was run
until within the past eight yeas. Mr. McLEAN had it last.
Mr. PARRISH owned it some forty years. He was an early and
prominent settler of the town, who died Sep. 7, 1870, at sixty-five
years of age. The Rev. William PARRISH was born in 1800,
and died Oct. 17, 1847.
The first tavern of Westchester was kept by Ezekiel
GARD. He was one of the oldest settlers of the place, and kept
the hotel for forty years, and died May 3, 1868, aged sixty years.
His wife, Elizabeth GARD, lived until 1868. She was
seventy-six years old at the time. She died of the cholera in
Indiana. This tavern was kept prior to the time of the stage
routs. James ELLIOTT, was the first man who kept hotel
where Mrs. SIMPSON now is. Daniel AVEY sold out his
hotel to SIMPSON a year or so before the war.
John CALDWELL had a farm at Westchester and a
tanyard. GARD had a part of the ground. Hezekiah
SMITH had an ox saw-mill. When Colonel Dick JOHNSON's
regiment came through in 1812, they were handsomely entertained by the
inhabitants. SMITH acted as quarter-master till the end of
the war. JOHNSON's regiment was of fine handsome men.
They were taken to the woods near by where they camped, and the
inhabitants vied with each other in taking them good things to eat.
The first store in Westchester was kept by ANDERSON
a few years. This was a small affair, and was afterwards purchased
and run by James FREEMAN, prior to 1820. It was near Mr.
JACKSON's shoe shop, but FREEMAN kept where the hotel is now.
Jeremiah DAY was probably the first blacksmith in the place
His shop was just below the town.
Formerly the village was in a most thriving condition.
There were manufactures of every ordinary kind almost, and the travel
through was large - shoemakers, hatmakers, potteries, coopering, etc.,
in addition to what has been already named - induced considerable
patronage to the place that would otherwise have gone elsewhere.
It now has a hotel, kept by Mrs. Margaret SIMPSON, a harness
shop, post-office, and one or two good stores, and one or two saloons.
It is not the town it was before the railroad was built, and is not
likely to increase in population in the near future.
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church here is a branch of
that in Sharon, Hamilton County. A meeting was held, closing
Feb. 6, 1869, at which the following persons united with the Church in
Sharon: Ann COX, Anna HUNT, Ben BATES, Harriet BATES, Lawrence PEEL,
Louisa PEEL, Thomas LONG, Catherine LONG, Eva J. HAMILTON, Beatty
PATTISON, Luther HUGHES, Elizabeth HUGHES, Joel HALL, Martha HAVEN,
Marian LONG, Margaret LONG, James JACKSON, William A. JACKSON, Sarah A.
DALRYMPLE, Delilah FULLER. They were organized into a branch
of the Sharon Presbyterian Church, with the privilege of electing
elders. The present membership is one hundred and four. They
used the building which belonged to the New School Presbyterian Church.
Colonel C. L. GANO is superintendent of the Sunday-school.
Their house cost thirty-three hundred dollars. The pastor is the
Rev. C. K. HOLTSINGER. The old church was thirty-eight by
forty feet, and the new is thirty-eight by fifty-nine feet. The
church is very handsome inside. They worshiped in the old church
until very lately.
Mr. Daniel AVEY, an old gentleman who died
recently, gave the following account of what he remembered: He
came to this section of the country with his father in 1806. They
settled north-east of Westchester, on what is now the WICKEY farm.
Near the house Mr. AVEY built a grist-mill, the stones being
eighteen inches in diameter. In the Spring of the year corn would
be ground at a rate not to exceed half a bushel an hour. The first
school-house stood south of the present house of Daniel MICHAEL,
on the present farm of J. C. WAKEFIELD, and was built between
1806 and 1812. It was of logs, with greased-paper windows.
The second school-house was built near by, near the residence of
James MILLER, and was a frame building. The third was also
frame, and is yet standing, belonging to Mrs. FOWLER.
It is now used as a residence. The next school-house is the
present Granger Hall. The present school-house is a new building
on the COX farm, and is now about four years old.
The present Presbyterian Church was built in 1842, the
builders and prime movers being Jerry DAY and Enoch CONOVER.
The Methodist Sunday-school was begun in a house now occupied by Van
HISE, as a store, in 1827 or 1828. This was a union
Sunday-school, and was organized by the Rev. Hezekiah SMITH.
There is a branch of the Catholic Church in Glendale in this town.
It was organized about the beginning of the civil war, and worships in
Grangers' Hall. Their priests have been the Rev. MESSRS.
CORCORAN, CAREY, and O'DONNELL, the last being the present
The Methodist Church building in Westchester was
erected in 1818. The Methodist people of this vicinity previous to
this time worshiped in private houses, frequently meeting at Mr.
LEGG's The money for this edifice was raised by subscription,
and the two pioneers of the Church,, Charles LEGG and Duran
WHITTLESEY, were active in securing the amount necessary, and
frequently made long and laborious trips over the country in their calls
for donations The first structure was of brick, and as the
builders did not know how to construct a self-supporting roof, they put
columns under it for the support of that part. The lot was donated
by Hezekiah SMITH, who was a Baptist preacher and the founder of
the town. The school house stood on the same lot also
The church building stood until 1848, when it was torn down and the old
brick used in part to build the new one.
Among the early preachers may be mentioned Arthur W.
ELLIOTT, who was a prominent minister in his day, and probably
traveled this circuit as early as 1810. He possessed a good
education, and became widely known in his work. The Rev. James
B. FINLEY and a Rev. Mr. GODDARD were also pioneers in this
field. Among the lay members may be mentioned Charles LEGG,
Duran WHITTLESEY, Thomas JEFFRAS, Ezra DALTON, and the ELLIOTTS,
who were actively interested in the cause. Major W. W. ELLIOTT
came to the township in 1824, since which time he has been identified
with the Church, not only as a member of the society, but also as a
leader, having served as steward full forty years, and as class-leader
fifteen years. His means have been liberally donated. The
Rev. T. C. CRUM is the present pastor, and William Van HISE
the Sabbath-school superintendent. A Presbyterian Church existed
here between 1830 and 1840, but was very weak, and soon ceased to exist.
Prominent among the early settlers of Union Township
was the old Revolutionary soldier, John C. BECKETT, who settled
near Westchester in 1810. He was an American officer during that
war, and after its close was engaged in transporting goods between
Cincinnati and Fort Hamilton. His son James C. BECKETT, who
was born Dec. 24, 1799, on Mill Creek, Hamilton County, came with his
father in 1810 to this section of the county, and lived to an old and
Major William W. ELLIOTT was born in Maryland,
July 24, 1800, being the son of William ELLIOTT and Rachel
BOSLEY of English descent. He received an ordinary education,
and with his parents came to Ohio in 1810, locating in the vicinity of
Princeton. He was brought up as a farmer, and continued that
occupation until his parents died. During the War of 1812 he saw
the troops from Kentucky march up to 1812 he saw the troops from
Kentucky march up to the north on the road from Cincinnati to Dayton,
which had then been newly laid out. At the age of fifteen he went
to live with a brother-in-law, and drove team for him for seven years.
The county was still very new, and huge forests encumbered almost the
whose of the land.
The major bought his present place in 1824, having been
married in 1823 to Sarah Mutchner, a native of Maryland. To
that marriage were born two children, one of whom is now living the wife
of George Jackson, a resident of Lebanon. Major ELLIOTT
settled upon his present place in 1824. It was then entirely wild.
He put up a log cabin, cleared up the place, and rapidly improved it.
He bought the land from General William Henry HARRISON, afterward
President. He put up a hewed-log house, and remained there until
building a brick one about 1840. The major was long active in
military affairs, having command of the regiment in Butler County in
1837. On the making of the turnpike from Cincinnati to Dayton, he
was elected director, and has been annually elected ever since. He
has been township trustee for many yeas. He is a member of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, and has been for many years, and is one of
the leading laymen of the denomination. He is frequently
called upon to make addresses before Sunday-schools and temperance
societies. He has been president of the Pioneer Association of
Warren and Butler Counties, and is an active and esteemed member of that
body. Although eighty-two years of age, his bodily strength is
still considerable, and his mental faculties unweakened. For many
of the recollections embodied in these pages we are indebted to him.
UNION TOWNSHIP CEMETERY.
This cemetery was laid
out in the Fall of 1870. George VINNEDGE, Perry WRIGHT, and
Abner JACKSON were the trustees at that time. They
purchased an addition to the old yard, which had been in existence for
fifty years, making in all one of twelve and a quarter acres.
Frederick WICKE, Jacob Francis, and James PATCHELL, Jr.
are the present board of officers. J. W. GERARD, the
sexton, has been in charge of these grounds since 1871. The yard
was formerly in a bad condition, owing to so much brush and undergrowth,
but considerable attention has been paid to the grounds and the walks of
late, and it now presents as fine an appearance as any in the country
outside of the large cities. Three hundred persons have been
buried in this yard, and an average of thirty deaths happens every year.
The ground is divided off into sections, four in number, and these again
subdivided into lots of which there are in all six hundred. A good
fence incloses the cemetery, and on the inside evergreen trees adorn the
grounds and shade the drivers, giving the whole a handsome appearance.
Maudeville is yet in its
infancy as a village, the first house being erected by Henry Stickles
after the railroad was built. He keeps a boarding-house, a saloon,
and a grocery. He also owns a lumber-yard. GILBERT &
WILLIAMSON keep a country store. It is a good grain center,
and from this point cereals are shipped in quantities.
The old saw-mill that stood where the railroad crosses
the pike is among the most interesting things of the past. Like
all saw-mills of pioneer days, it was to be run with water, but instead
of a sluggish stream to furnish power for the wheel, a mere tub-full of
that element was thought to be sufficient to run it forever, with an
occasional drop now and then added to make good what might be lost by
evaporation. The contrivance consisted of an upright saw, with all
its ordinary attachments; a large tub was placed aloft and filled with
water. This tub held about one hundred barrels, and was filled by
the proprietor and his devoted wife, it was said, who was to share
honors, undoubtedly world-renowned, if this thing worked. The
expectant day arrived; logs filled the yard below; the mill had been
erected, but not weather-boarded or roofed; the tub filled, and pump
fixed in its place. It was supposed that the same force of water
used to run the wheel would also run the pump, and throw the water back
as first run the pump, and throw the water back as fast it escaped.
On trial, of course, it proved a failure; the logs in the yard rotted,
the mill tumbled down of old age, and no trace of its former existence
is now visible.
Gano is a small place on the
southern portion of the township, on the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati
and Indianapolis Railroad, and is a station built since that road was
put through, by Charles GANO, of Cincinnati. This was in
1874. In 1879 Mr. Charles GANO, Jr., built a large flouring
mill and did a fine business, but unfortunately the mill took fire soon
after it was erected and burned down. The ambition of the village
tempered down after the loss of the grain trade incident to this event,
and Maudville was left thenceforth as cock of the walk. A well one
hundred and twelve feet deep was dug near this mill for water, but gas
was discovered and from that time to this it oozes up in great quantity.
This gas was conducted by a pipe into the mill and was used for drying
the wheat; it probably comes from the decomposed matter of the drift
below, and is odorless. Mr. C. L. GANO owns a beautiful
residence in this place.
Rialto is owned by the
FRIEND & FOX Paper Company, and consists of three mills, about
seven miles from Hamilton, on the edge of the canal. It
manufactures book and news paper. Capacity, five thousand and five
hundred pounds per day. The new Crescent mill, built in 1881, is a
mile below the others, and is illuminated by electric lights, and filled
with the finest machinery made in the East. It manufactures
roofing and wrapping papers. The original manufactory was a
grist-mill, begun by Taylor WEBSTER, who did a good business for
many years. He sold to BEATTY & COOPER, who sold to
FRIEND & FOX.
Pisgah is the highest point in
Union Township, although to the casual observer it seems to be on a
general level with the surrounding country. It is higher than
Lebanon and all points around. It was probably named by William
BELCH, a pioneer of the place, and so called from the old church
that stood on this land. This village has but eleven residences, a
grocery store, post-office, and a blacksmith's shop.
William BELCH came here as early as 1812 or
1815. He was a Pennsylvania German, and very energetic. He
kept the first hotel of the place many years before he died, after which
his son William kept if fifteen or twenty years longer.
William and James Van HISE started a hotel about 1838, and
also a store and post-office. This was the first post-office in
Pisgah. It was subsequently kept by David CONOVER and
James MIDDLETON, and now by S. M. SPRINKLE. The two
Van HISES also kept the first store. They carried on the
business a number of yeas, and were the last to keep hotel.
A still-house was erected in an early day by James
IRWIN on the farm now owned by James IRWIN, his grandson.
Mr. IRWIN came to Ohio before 1800, and settled first in Warren
County, and after a few yeas came to Pisgah and settled on 360 acres of
choice lands. He started the first tan-yard. He was the
grandfather of Governor IRWIN, of California. This
distinguished man, William IRWIN, received a good education in
the public schools, and subsequently in colleges, after which he went to
California, about 1850, and for several years edited the leading paper
of that State. He was afterwards sent to the State Legislature,
and later elected governor of that State. He has since that time
been conspicuous in the management of State affairs, and is known as a
representative citizen of the country.
The people of Pisgah, in an early time, attended Church
at Muddy Creek. This was a Baptist society just outside the
county. Subsequently the Presbyterians erected a church building
on the BELCH property. This house stood on the old
Quakertown Road, near the village, and on the same lot upon which the
school-house stood. The two buildings were within the same
fencing. The school0house was made of round logs and the church of
hewed logs after a few years the Church people built a brick
house, and the school was moved into the old church building. This
was on James IRWIN's place, and in 1835 or 1836 the district
built the new brick school-house, on the identical spot on which stood
the old log-house, and its remains, in a repaired condition, still
stand, but the house is owned as private property. The district
purchased land in 1862, when and where the present structure was
erected. The church served its purpose for a long period of time,
but for many years it has gone into disuse, save for an occasional
service. The property was finally sold, and the organization has
lost its identity.
Robert CALDWELL, an Irishman, was probably the
first teacher of Pisgah, who applied the beech and black-walnut methods
of imparting instruction in an early day. He believed in "the
laying on of hands," and there are some of his pupils still living who
distinctly remember how they were thrashed through to the Rule of Three.
He was "master" for some years, and was then followed by Michael
DALTON, who became a prominent citizen of the place, and is very
kindly remembered by many people yet. Mrs. James HUNT
(formerly Miss Anna ELLSWORTH) was the first lady teacher of
these schools. She taught for a long while. She was a woman
of rare abilities; was finely educated, and was unexcelled as a teacher.
The SLAYBACK brothers, John C. and James N., taught here a
number of years, and a good report of their work follows them. The
Pisgah schools have always been in a flourishing condition, and have
been successful in furnishing many good teachers to the county.
Among the early preachers of Pisgah may be mentioned
the Rev. Mr. GRAVES, of the Presbyterian Church, fifty years ago,
and Mr. Bryan and Mr. Lemon, of the Muddy Creek Baptist
Church. Mr. GRAVES remained with this congregation many
years, and during that period of time the Church was prosperous.
In former times bleeding was common in the art of
curing. People sent to Westchester for a doctor, and it was not
until as late as 1845, when James L. ROUND, M. D., formerly of
Westchester, moved to the place and settled as the first resident
physician. He stayed many years, but some six years before he
died, fell from a ladder, and so injured himself that he was compelled
to go on crutches the remainder of his life. This was but a few
years ago, and he was about the only physician of note who took up his
residence in the place.
Mrs. David HULSE has probably rendered as much
service to the sick as many a physician with college diploma. Her
parents were educated people. Louis KROUSKOPF, her father,
was an educated German, and was a cavalry officer under Napoleon in the
French expedition against Russia. His regiment lost all but
fifty-five men in that campaign He came to America in 1822,
settling first at Sharon, Ohio, and subsequently at Pisgah, where he
kept a hotel on the Lebanon and Cincinnati Turnpike, a mile and a half
west of the village, and afterwards became gate-keeper on that road.
He came in 1829, and in 1838 kept toll-gate, and was the originator of
the pole sweep in this neighborhood. The gates previous to this
time were similar to those used in fences, and swung around. The
innovation of the ordinary pole had its enemies at that time, there
being those who vigorously contended they were under no obligation to
pay toll when they had no gate to go through. Mr. KROUSKOPF
was also a physician, and was educated in the Prussian schools of
medicine, but did not practice surgery, his specialty, after coming to
America. He died December 31, 1860. William HULSE had
the first blacksmith's shop in the village, which he kept until 1831,
when he died. TULLIS & MIDDLETON have a shop at this time.
During the late war, Pisgah furnished a score of men
for the army, out of which a full dozen either were killed outright,
died in hospital, or from the effects of the hardships and exposures of
camp life soon after returning home. Lewis A. HULSE, son of
David HULSE, was a mere lad when he shouldered his musket for the
army. He was wounded at the battle of Stone River, and died in
camp. In this connection should also be mentioned the names of
Benjamin BELCH, MARSH and Joel TULLIS, James ROUND, Isaac MYERS,
Vermillion VOORHEES, William BURCH, Joseph MOORE, Joseph and Jesse GRAY,
Jesse PRICE, Richmond MIDDLETON, Benjamin STEWARD, and Charles
CATRO. The names of these heroes will never be forgotten.
The Burch Spring, once so noted, now abandoned, was dug
on the Deerfield road, on land now owned by Harvey WEBB, about
1860. The well was sunk to the depth of seventy-five feet, when
water flowed in a torrent, filling the well about half full immediately,
and scarcely giving a chance for the men to get out. It was
believed that an underground river had been struck. The sides fell
in, until there was apparently a subterranean lake of water, which to
save next drew attention, and during the next Spring, rocks and logs
were hauled in large quantities and dumped in, but when the cavity was
filled the well was lost, and there was nothing there now save a great
depression to mark the once great well.
David HULSE, one of the leading and progressive
men of Pisgah, was born in Union Township, Apr 2, 1819, and was the
youngest son of William HULSE and Catherine LUTES, both
natives of New Jersey and of Dutch descent. Mr. HULSE was
one of the pioneers of Butler County, settling upon the farm adjoining
the one now owned by his son in 1815 It was then in the woods, and
hardly any roads existed there. Indians still occasionally passed
through on their hunting expeditions, and there was an abundance of game
and only one moderately good road. He was a blacksmith by trade,
carrying on that business for many years jointly with farming. He
was an active member of the Baptist Church at Muddy Creek, in Warren
County, there being none near his residence. He raised a family of
eight sons and two daughters, of whom the only survivor is David
HULSE. William HULSE died in 1833. David
attended the common schools at Pisgah until he had obtained a fair
education, and after leaving school became thoroughly versed in
agricultural pursuits. In his fourteenth year he spent with an
older brother to Indiana, where he remained for three years, the only
period of his life in which he was not a resident of Ohio He
returned to Ohio in 1837, and was employed in farm-work.
Mr. HULSE was married Nov 21, 1839, to
Ernestine KROUSKOPF, who was born in Germany, Sept. 22, 1820.
She was the daughter of Louis KROUSKOPF and Catherine MERSER, who
emigrated to America in August, 1821, and settled in Hamilton County.
They removed to this county in 1829.
Mr. and Mrs. HULSE were the parents of seven
children, of whom three survive. Lewis A. was born Feb. 12,
1845. Energetic and patriotic, he enlisted September, 1862, in the
Sixty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. At the battle of Stone River,
the first battle he had an opportunity to be in, he was acting as a
scout. On the morning of December 31st he was shot down, although
living until Feb. 16, 1863. Mr. HULSE's first child,
Olelia Jane, was born Oct. 30, 1840, and is now the wife of Irwin
MILLER. She resides in Union Township; Loretta Emeline
was born Sept. 7, 1842, and married James AYRES, a well-known
resident. The third child was Lewis A.; the fourth was
William FRANCIS, who was born Aug. 4, 1849. He lives on the
home farm and helps in its management. Hulda Amanda, born
Feb. 17, 1851, was the wife of Servetus DAWSON, but died May 6,
1881. David Charles was born Dec. 3, 1854, and is now
telegraph operator at New Morefield, Ohio. Ernest Eugene
was born June 22, 1861, and is still at home.
Mr. HULSE, immediately after his marriage,
located upon a farm where he now lives. This was in the Spring of
1840. There was a log cabin, and some little improvements in the
way of deadened timber had been made. He occupied the log cabin
until he built his present handsome residence in 1851. The place
consists of one hundred and fifteen acres, finely cultivated, situated
just upon the eastern edge of Pisgah. Mr. HULSE derived a
little means from his parents, but his success is due principally to his
own industry. He is well read, and frequently contributes to the
newspapers. Both he and his wife are very methodical.
Mrs. HULSE has for a long time been a practitioner in obstetrics and
in female diseases, in which she has had great success. She has
taken pains to inform herself, both from books and observation, and in
the cases she has attended has been unusually fortunate. She has
also done much in children's diseases, and enjoys the confidence of the
community. Of late, however, she has partially retired from
< BIOGRAPHIES >
JOSEPH ALLEN - 582
ELIPHALET BECKLEY - 583
- MRS. MARY L. BELCH - 583
- JOHN BLOCK - 583
- HENRY DIMMICK - 583
- MICHAEL DEEMER - 584
- DAVID GORSUCH - 584
- WILLIAM GRAY - 584
WILLIAM W. GRAHAM - 584
NICHOLAS GORSUCH - 585
- MRS. LORETTA L. HOWARD - 585
- DAVID L.
IRWIN - 585
- JOSIAH JEFFERS - 585
- FRANCIS KROUSKOPF - 586
- CHARLES J. KROUSKOPF - 586
- LORENZ LINTNER - 586
- FREDERICK MIDDLECAMP - 587
S. C. MILLER - 587
- WILLIAM MAUD - 587
SYLVESTER McLEAN - 587
- JOSEPH COX - 588
- ISAAC MYERS - 588
GEORGE McKINNEY - 588
- ROBERT MOORE - 588
- WILLIAM M. MILLER - 588
- RICHARD W. NIXON - 589
C. PETRI - 589
- JOHN POCOCK - 589
- JOHN G. POLSTER - 589
- HENRY STICKELS -590
ANTHONY SALSMAN- 590
- JACOB STEINMAN - 590
GEORGE WASHINGTON SWEARINGEN - 590
ISAAC S. SWEARINGEN - 590
JOHN VAN SWEARINGEN - 591
WILLIAM E. SHEPHERD - 591
CHARLES H. SHEPHERD - 591
NEHEMIAH VAN HISE - 591
WILLIAM TOWNSEND - 592
GEORGE VINNEDGE - 592
- W. L. VAN HISE - 592
- HENRY T. VOORHEES - 593
FREDERICK WICKE - 593
JOHN GEORGE WEHR - 593