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
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
First Entries of
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
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
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
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
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
Timber and Land
all agree that these two schools were
almost, if not quite, cotemperaneous.
There are now eight sub-districts in the township, each
one of which has a comfortable school-room.
The enumeration of youth is 180 males, and
176 females; total 356 in township, and in
the village of Vanlue, special school
district, the enumeration is 170.
The first church was built in 1831, in the south part
of township, and known as the "Swamp
Church," The Lutheran denomination
owned it, and amongst the first membership
we find the names of Fred BRENNER and
wife, Adam ALSPOCH and wife, John
FENSTENMAKER and wife, and several
members of the BECK family. The
first sermon preached in the township was by
a Rev. Thompson, an Indian
Missionary. There are now in this
township eight church buildings, owned as
follows: One Methodist Episcopal, one
Methodist Protestant, two United Brethren,
one Baptist, one German Reformed, one
Lutheran and one Disciples.
The timber is principally walnut, ash, oak, elm,
,hickory, beech, sugar. There were a
few places in the township that were but
sparsely wooded; notably so a tract in the
north-east part known as the fallen timber
region, and a portion of the south part
known as the swamp.
In the eastern part of the township the soil is clay,
mixed with sand and gravel, and when once
properly cultivated is very productive.
As before remarked, in the south part is
what the people here call the "Swamp" a
strip of land not many rods wide, but
extending almost across the township, from
east to west, the soil of which is a deep
rich vegetable loam, mixed with sand.
This tract at the early settlement of this
section, was thought to be almost, if not
quite wholly worthless. But as
agricultural science developed
the means by which it might be brought into
use, it was found not only possible to
reclaim it, but that when so reclaimed, it
was unusually productive. The river
bottoms of a sandy, gravelly nature,
plentifully mixed with the rich deposits of
vegetable matter, made by the overflows of
the water of course are easily tilled, and
yield most abundantly. In the northern
part, as we have before observed, is a tract
of about eight hundred acres, known as the
"fallen timber," the soil of which is
a muck, mixed with portions of clay and
sand. This tract was originally very
wet, and it is owing to this fact, perhaps,
that so much of the timber, especially the
larger, had fallen.
The Blanchard River enters this township near the south
west corner of Section twenty-five, runs
east to about the center of the section, and
then almost directly north through sections
twenty-four, thirteen, twelve, and into
section one, when it takes a north-westerly
direction, leaving the township near the
north-west corner. This river
furnishes an abundance of water, as well as
drainage, for the most part of the township,
and is of immense value.
Buck Run, a small and unimportant stream, is the only
tributary of the Blanchard, and is important
only as a source of drainage. The Big
Spring on the land of David SMITH, in
the north-east part of the township, is most
valuable on account of the great volume of
water discharged, as well as the excellent
quality of the same. This is
undoubtedly the largest spring in the
county. Such is the amount of water
discharged that an abundance is furnished
for the watering of stock in all this part
of the township.
This is one of the most populous townships in the
county, and it is fast becoming one of the
wealthiest. Each year sees the better
improvement of the older farms, and the re-
Post Offices and
Justices of the Peace
claiming of new lands; the erection of a
better class of farm buildings, and the
introduction of the latest improved farming
implements. The early settlers came
principally from the eastern counties, and
There are two flouring mills, and very good ones too,
in this township; one a stream, and the
other a water mill.
There have been three Post Offices in this township,
but two of them were long since
discontinued. The first established
was the "Blanchard Bridge," at the house of
Aquilla Gilbert, on the Blanchard
River. Mr. Gilbert was the
first and only Post Master. The office
was in existence for many years, and was a
great accommodation to the citizens.
But village sprung up in the vicinity, and
travel took another route, and the office
was discontinued. Shortly after the
establishment of "Blanchard Bridge," another
office was established near the Richard
Hall farm and called "Ashery."
Joseph Twining was the first and only
Post Master here. This office was long
since discontinued for the reason that the
necessity for its existence had passed away.
The third office was established at Vanlue,
of which we will speak in the proper place.
The following named persons have held the office of
Justice of the Peace. The date of
their election is givne.
THOMPSON - 1829
John J. HENDRICKS - 1829
Samuel GORDEN - 1831, 1834, 1837, 1840, 1843,
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
John CRAWFORD - 1857, 1860, 1863, 1865, 1868,
1871, 1874, 1877, 1880
T. B. Gilbert - 1866
Ira Plotts - 1869, 1872, 1875
B. F. Burnap - 1878, 1881
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.
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 CR0SS 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
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
There is quite a considerable business done in the
village, as a list of its business houses
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
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
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
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
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
END OF AMANDA TOWNSHIP -