The general description of this
township, together with the date of organization, etc., are
given in the county history: a repetition is deemed
unnecessary. The township was uninhabited, except by
hunters and an occasional tribe of wandering Indians, until
the year 1812, at which time a constant stream of humanity
was bidding adieu to Virginia soil, that they might seek
homes in the great northwest, particularly in the state of
Ohio, then in its infancy. The natives of Kentucky,
particularly those of proslavery proclivities left the state
in large numbers, determined to reap a portion of the
harvest which awaited those who had the hardihood to meet
the requirements of the new state. Not a few of these
found hoes in this portion of the county of Greene.
WILLIAM G. SUTTON, a Kentuckian, came to this
township, in 1812, and was the first white man who settled
within its borders. He was accompanied by his family,
and located on the tract now owned by the heirs of Jacob
Sutton, deceased. But a short time after the
arrival of Sutton, Elijah Bales, and his sons,
John, Jacob, Elijah and Jonathan with their
families, left Tennessee and came here, settling on lands
just east of the Suttons.
In 1813, JOHN SHOOK, his family and two
brothers, David and Harmonia, Virginians by
birth, became residents of this locality. Most of
their descendants have removed to western states.
Catherine intermarried with William Dean, being
the oldest citizen now residing in the township.
DANIEL DEAN came, at or about, the same time as
the Shooks, and settled on the farm now occupied by
his grandson, William Dean.
PHILLIP SPAHR and his family, were the next
prominent settlers. They arrived December, 1814, and
located in the immediate vicinity of the farm now owned by
William Spahr. The descendants are well and
favorably known throughout the county.
The years intervening between 1814 and 1820, witnessed
the arrival of Leonard Hagle, of Virginia, Jacob
Smith, William Long, the Clines, Coffers,
and a number of others. Comparatively, but few have
arrived since that period, the township being inhabited by
the posterity of the early pioneers.
The land was embraced in the military survey, and sold
by James Galloway and William Spieler. A
Kentuckian, named Coleman sold the tax-rights of land
to the unsuspecting settlers, many of which were fraudulent,
and the pioneers were compelled to purchase their property
the second time.
One Pendry, obtained possession of the farm now
owned by William Long, by purchasing so-called
tax-right. After he had occupied the premises several
years, they were re-sold by Galloway. Pendry
being in reduced circumstances, was unable to buy, and the
property fell into the hands of Long. Galloway
rewarded Pendry for the services he had rendered in
placing a portion of the farm in a state of cultivation, by
presenting him with a one hundred acre tract, located in
another portion of the county.
The settlers upon arriving at their destination, saw
before them a dense forest, which covered a vast domain.
Many of the trees were dog and iron wood, and very tough,
and the process of clearing, was therefore attended with
difficulty. The Virginians crossed the Ohio River, and
came here by teams by the way of Chillicothe. Owing to
the scarcity of roads, and a prevalence of almost
impenetrable forests, travel was slow and tedious, and
frequently the trip from Chillicothe here, was of five weeks
duration. Land purchased then, at prices ranging from
two dollars and fifty cents to ten dollars per acre; is now
worth from fifty dollars to one hundred dollars.
There were in early times no facilities within the
boundaries of the the township for the grinding of grain, in
consequence of which the people were compelled to go quite a
distance in order to convert their wheat into flour.
There was at one time a corn-crusher and saw-mill, a small
and unpretentious affair, propelled by water-power.
This power has gradually decreased, and at present there is
but one saw mill, which is in operation a short time each
facilities were equally insufficient. A rude log cabin
served as the "college of learning," and the teacher was
scarcely able to read and write. They were of a
private character, supported by subscription. The
first school met in a cabin located on the land now in the
possession of Samuel Cooper. It was taught by _____
Shields, in 1816. The next school was held in a
cabin on the Long farm, and conducted by David
Bell. At the adoption of the common school law, a
new impetus was given the educational interests, which
advanced steadily. The township now boasts of four
substantial buildings, where the youth are well and
religious cause entered with the first settlers, and has
long since obtained a strong foothold. About 1820 the
Methodists organized a society at the house of one Bone,
where meetings were held for some time. they were next
held at the residence of Philip Spahr, where was
erected the first meeting-hosue, which was constructed of
logs. This answered the purpose for which it was
designed for a number of years, and was then supplanted by a
small brick structure. In 1852, a brick building,
30x40, was erected at the village of New Jasper, which is
still used as a place of worship. Services are held on
each alternate Sabbath. Following is a partial list of
ministers who have conducted the regular services of the
church: ____ Sayles, John Strange, _____
Taylor, Moses Trader, _____ Clark, _____
Collett, Wilson McDaniel, Jeremiah Ellsberry, John Black,
_____ Tibbetts, and _____ Griffith present
incumbent. The church consists of about fifteen
members. A number of persons who reside within the
townships, but are members of other religious denominations,
attend worship in various surrounding townships.
following is a list of justices of the peace who have held
that position from the township's organization to the
present: John Bales, who held office sixteen
years. John Fudge was his successor; served
fifteen years, and was succeeded by John Lucas, who
resigned at the expiration of one year. About twenty
years ago, Christopher Fudge, the present incumbent,
was elected. The following are the township officials:
Trustees, John Fudge, William Bullock, Steele Deane;
clerk, J. Creighton Harness; treasurer, Cyrus
Brown; assessor, James Brown.
New Jasper, the
only village, is located in the center of the township, and
contains about fifty houses. It was at one time a
thriving business center, but has retrograded greatly on
account of being off the railroad.
The town was laid off some fifty years ago, by one
Slagle, and was the trading point for the surrounding
country. Politically the township is Republican.
At the spring election of 1880, about two hundred and fifty
votes were polled, only one-third of which were Democratic.
Twenty-five of the whole number of votes cast were colored.