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HANCOCK COUNTY, OHIO
History & Genealogy

HISTORY OF HANCOCK COUNTY, OHIO
By D. B. Beardsley - Findley, O.
Publ. Springfield, O. Republic Printing Co. - 1881.

CHAPTER XXV.
AMANDA TOWNSHIP

pg 194 - 204

T. 1, S. R. 11 E.
AREA 17,380 ACRES.

T. 1, S. R. 12 E.
POPULATION 1,476

     Amanda township borders on the east line of the county, and is bounded north by Marion and Big Lick townships, on the east by Wyandotte county, on the south by Wyandotte county and Delaware township, and on the west by Jackson.
     This township was organized in 1828, and beside Findley and Delaware was the only one organized in the first year of our county existence.  In the year 1830, at the time of the organization of Marion and Liberty townships, we have mention of Amanda township, for the territory included in this and Findley township was so divided up as to form the four townships of Amanda, Marion, Liberty and Findley.  In December, 1831, it was ordered by the Commissioners that "the township of Amanda shall hereafter consist of the original township one south, in Range 12, and sections 34 and 35 in the original surveyed township one north, in the twelfth Range.
     This township at the present time, and ever since the formation of Wyandotte county, sections 34 and 35 having been restored to township one north (Big Lick) by act of the County Commissioners, comprises Sections 1, 12, 13, 24, 25 and 36.in township one south, Range eleven east, and Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 28, 29,30, 31, 32 and 33 in township one south, Range twelve east.
     Thomas Thompson made the first entry of land in this township, on the 25th day of February, 1822, being the east half of the north-west quarter of Section three, and on the 278th day of the same month, the west half of the north east quarter of the same section was entered by Henry McWhorter.  In October, 1823, John Brundige entered the north-west quarter of Section thirty-six, and John Smith entered the west half of the south-east quarter of the same section in December of the same year.  In the month of March, 1825, Isaac Gifford, of the State of New York, made entry of the east half of the north-west quarter of Section twelve.  In 1826, Ira Baker and John Shoemaker made entries.  These were followed in 1827 by John Beard, Peter George, Henry George, Abraham Cole and others, and in 1828 by Jesse Gilbert, John J. Hendricks, Andrew Beck and others.
     The first settlement in this township was made by Thomas Thompson, in 18254, near the Big Springs, about one mile from the present town of Vanlue, and in 1825 John Huff and William Hackney came.  They were followed soon after by James Beard, John Shoemaker, Henry George and Thomas Cole.  Very soon after these Peter George, James Gibson, John Hewitt and Aquilla Gilbert  settled here.  Judge Abraham Huff  was also one of the pioneers of this township.
     Thomas Thompson was a resident of this township for more than a half century, and was highly esteemed by his neighbors.  He was a farmer, an occupation which he followed to within a few years of his death, when old age and infirmities compelled him to dentist.  He then moved to the village of Vanlue, where he spent his last days in quiet and died regretted.
     Peter George, who was known as the "Pioneer land hunter," he having entertained, and guided through the forest of Hancock County, more land hunters and emigrants than any other men in the county perhaps, is still living; And though bent by age and hard labor, is yet cheerful and happy, and loves to recount the experiences of a backwoodsman.  Mr. George was County Commissioner for six years.
     William Hackney was one of the first officers of the county, and is spoken of elsewhere.
     Aquilla Gilbert, one of the first settlers of Jackson, as well as of this township, and who taught the first school in this township, still lives here.  Mr. Gilbert has been prominently connected with the affairs of the county almost from its first organization, and has held office in both county and township.  He was six years one of the Commissioners of the county, having been elected in 18347.  He served as Justice of the Peace for five consecutive terms in Jackson township, and for three terms in Amanda township.
     Abraham Huff, as one of the Associate Judges of the county, has been mentioned heretofore.
     The first election was held in the township in 1828.  The first school house, as stated by Aquilla Gilbert, was built in the Messmore neighborhood, and the first school was taught by Mr. Gilbert.  Another opinion, that of J. M. Von Horn, is that the first school house was built near the center of the township, and that the first school in the township was kept in a house on the farm of Uriah Egbert, in about the year 1831, and that one George Smith was teacher.  It is not very material which of these gentlemen is correct, for

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MORE TO COME ON PAGE 221

 

     The following named persons have held the office of Justice of the Peace.  The date of their election is given.

     Thomas Thompson - 1829
     John J. Hendricks - 1829
     Samuel Gorden - 1831, 1834, 1837, 1840, 1843, 1846
     Abraham Karn - 1836
     John Thompson- 1840, 1843
     William Vanlue - 1845, 1848, 1851, 1854
     Aquilla Gilbert - 1849, 1852, 1855
     B. A. Etherton- 1857, 1860, 1863, 1866

CAPERNAUM.

     The town of Capernaum, which was in the township, was laid out by Abraham Huff in March, 1831, on the west half of the north-east quarter of section three, and comprised in all sixteen lots.  The land on which the town was located, now belongs to John L. Sheridan, and aside from the fact that it was platted and recorded, the town has no record.  The site was probably abandoned before any lots were sold.  At least its history is less brief than is that of the city of the plain, for which it was named.  It is exceedingly doubtful if any one in the vicinity is able to even point out the site.

VANLUE

     This town was laid out by William Vanlue, Esq., in whose honor it was named, and is on the north-west part of the north-east quarter, and the north-east part of the north-west quarter of section nine.  It is located on the line of the Findley branch of the Cleveland, Sandusky and Cincinnati Railroad, ten miles a little south of east of Findley.  The town was laid out in May, 1847, and at that time consisted of forty-four lots.  In November of the same year the proprietor laid out an addition of fifty lots more.
     In October, 1853, S. N. Beach made an addition of fifty-seven lots, and in 1858, he, with others, laid out Beach's second addition of forty-nine lots.  Charles Cross laid out an addition of ten lots in 1870.
     From the sale of the first lots the town steadily improved, and was a very considerable grain market for a number of years after the completion of the railroad, but of no great importance otherwise.
     There are many tasteful and comfortable dwellings, neat fences, shady streets, all giving the place of home-like appearance.  The streets have never received that attention from the town authorities which they deserve, and consequently they are frequently in a bad condition.  After a few years of great prosperity, the town, as new towns do, slacked up, and stopped progress, came to a stand still, went through a sweat as it were.  Business seemed for a time to have forsaken the place.  Enterprise too, seemed to have taken its leave.  Progress had got stuck somewhere, and everything seemed going to the dogs.  But this state of affairs could not last long.  The town could not stand still.  It must go forward, or must retreat.
     In 1866, upon the petition of fifty of the inhabitants, the village was incorporated under the laws of the State.  Pursuant to the Act of Incorporation, the first election for village officers was held on the 13th day of April, 1867; Peter Shuck, C. H. Hatch and Jason Lee as Judges, and Ira Plotts, B. A. Etherton, Charles Hatch and A. S. Roberts; Marshal, W. L. Plotts.  The following persons have held the offices of Mayor:  Elisha Brown, Aquilla Gilbert, Fred Shuler, J. H. Brown, B. F. Burnap, T. B. Gilbert, H. L. Lee.
    
The population of the village is three hundred and sixty-four, and at present is in the flourishing condition, and promises much improvement.
     There is quite a considerable business done in the village, as a list of its business houses will show.
     There is one dry goods store4, of considerable capital, and in which is kept a supply of the staple articles of merchandise, which are sold at very fair prices.  This branch of trade has always been reasonably well represented, sometimes by three or four rival establishments, at the same time.
     A grocery and provision store has been lately opened, and is meeting with fair encouragement, and promises not only to be one of the fixtures of the town, but to fill a want long felt in its line.
     Daniel Gilbert has for a number of years been engaged in the drug business here, and has an establishment, which for completeness, in everything except extent of stock, is not surpassed by any similar establishment in the county.  Here you may find anything necessary to be kept in a country drug store.  The building is of frame, and was built expressly for this business.
     There are also three saloons, and one hotel, one harness shop, one hardware store, with a general stock of goods in that line.  This establishment was owned and managed by the late Hon. John Wescott & Son, and had by a course of fair dealing, reasonable prices, and by keeping an assortment of goods, built up a flourishing trade.  There is one furniture store, one tin shop, three boot and shoe shops, two barber shops, three dress makers and milliner shops, two blacksmith shops.
     The steam grist and merchant mill of Fred Shuler, has no superior in the county as a good flour-maker.  This mill was first built about fifteen years ago, and was from the first noted for the fine grand of flour it turned out.  Mr. Shuler conducted the business for a number of years, when he sold to a Mr. Vansant, who alter running the mill for a short time, had the misfortune to have it burned down, destroying everything of building and machinery.  Not being able to rebuild, Mr. Vansant left the place, when Mr. Shuler again came to the front, and built the present building, completing it with the latest, best and most improved machinery, and now can boast of as good a flouring mill as there is in the county, at least.
     There are two steam saw mills, two handle factories, and two planing Mills, none of them very large, but all doing a good business.
     The English Lutherans have quite a comfortable frame church building, and a good congregation.  Some three years ago the United Brethren, who had long had a society here, and a church building, erected a neat frame church, well furnished and comfortable, and have quite a large congregation.
     The Methodist Episcopal, the oldest church organization in the town, not to be outdone by her sister churches, recently completed one of the handsomest frame church buildings  in the county, furnished with bell, organ, beautiful pulpit, and comfortable seats.  They, to, have a large and interested congregation.  All of these societies have flourishing Sabbath Schools attached.
     The village has a frame school building of three rooms, and boasts of one of the best schools in the county.  The enumeration of youth in the district is one hundred and seventy.
     A Post Office was established here in 1849, with Dr. W. P. Wilson as Post Master.  The successive Post Masters have been as follows:  John Wescott, W. P. Wilson, Ira Plotts, W. A. Sponsler and Daniel Gilbert.
    
The Findley branch of the C. S. & C. Railroad passes through this place, and the town being surrounded as it is by a rich agricultural district, there is quite an amount of freighting business done.
     Table exhibiting the number and value of live stock, and acreage and product of grain, as shown by the return of the Township Assessor in 1881.

Horses 693 number $26,400 value
Cattle, 1,221 " 13,110 "
Sheep, 2,572 " 4,670 "
Swine, 2,507 " 5,740 "
Wheat, 3,703 acres 71,162 bushels
Oats, 376 " 13,422 "
Corn, 2,926 " 133,320 "
Hay, 619 " 705 tons
Flax, 78 " 496 bushels

 

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