was organized 4 March 1811 and included all the southeastern
corner of the county until the formation of Jefferson
Township in 1858. It now contains but one town,
Jamestown. MECHANICSVILLE, two miles south of
Jamestown, is merely a crossing of the roads where formerly
were a store and blacksmith shop.
JAMESTOWN was laid out and
recorded in 1816 and so named for James Browder, an
early pioneer farmer of the locality. The site was
originally owned by Thomas Browder and Martin
Mendenhall. The earliest enterprises that are
recalled are the woolcarding mill of James Hodges,
and Merrick & McBride's still and grist mill.
The proprietors of the enterprises together with most of the
farmers in the locality were immigrants from Carolina and
Virginia. The selection of the site of the town was a
happy one; it is 16 miles from Wilmington, 18 from
Washington, and 12 from Xenia. This isolation, even
with the traveling facilities of today, serves to mitigate
the competition of the larger towns. It is to the
large farming area whose trade it thus possesses that the
town owes its steady prosperity and growth.
The region about Jamestown is a broad, level plain,
extending for miles in every direction. The soil is a
deep rich, black loam that brings phenomenal prices.
There have been o spasmodic booms with their inevitable
subsequent depression at Jamestown. The several
attempts towards the commercialization of the oil and gas of
which the region gives indications have been too tentative
to involve much loss.
In the spring of 1884 a cyclone destroyed nearly a
third of the town, but the fact that there are no evidences
of the disaster today exemplifies the industry and
prosperity of the citizens. While there are no
evidences of Jamestown's calamity, the abundance and quality
of the farm produce that comes to its markets is still
bearing record of Jamestown's greatest triumph, namely, the
Jamestown Fair, which was started in 1860 and soon attained
proportions second only to those of the Ohio State Fair.
It was discontinued several years ago.
Today Jamestown's population is about 1500 (official,
in 1900, 1205). Its industrial life is represented by
two grain elevators, one flouring mill, one lumber yard, one
cement block factory, one tile mill, one carriage factory,
two banks, two news papers, two hotels, three restaurants,
three livery barns, two greenhouses, forty stores and sops
of various kinds, and a commercial club. The town is
situated on the Wellston division of the C. H. & D.
Jamestown's social organizations are: Masons, I. O. O.
F., O. E. S., G. U. O. of O. F., Junior Order, K. of P., M.
W. of A., and the Ladies' Advance Club. There are nine
churches and an opera house in Jamestown. The
denominations represented are: Baptist (2), M. E. and A. M.
E., U. P., Church of Christ, Friends, Roman Catholic, and
The first characteristics that impress a visitor in the
town are its beautiful deep-verandaed homes and the
city-like appearance of its business section. It is
Jamestown's unique good fortune to possess the tranquility
of the village without its lethargy, and the industry of a
city without its frenzy.
F. McD. T.