THIS, original number three in range five, is the youngest
in the sisterhood of townships, and is situated in the
southeast corner of the county where Henry, Wood, Hancock
and Putnam join. It was not organized until 1844, at
which time there were not enough electors living on the
territory to fill the township offices, and it became
necessary at the first election, which was held on a pile of
railroad ties, for one person to assume the duties of
several official positions. There was not much
electioneering, politicians were not in demand, and no
charges of bribery or corruption were made.
The township was named in honor of Cornelius
BARTLOW, who located on section thirty-six, where he
still lives, in 1851, and was the first settler in the
township, it at that time being a part of Richfield.
From the duplicate of 1855, the first upon which
Bartlow appears as a independent organization, we learn that
there were at that time but four resident taxpayers, namely:
Cornelius BARTLOW, Jesse BENSLEY, James F. RUSSELL,
Jonathan W. VANSCOYOC, who, with the Dayton &
Michigan Railroad paid taxes on personal property valued at
$1,331. There were 22,429½
acres of land valued at $28,874 listed for taxation, and the
total tax paid was $488.12.
A contrast may as well be drawn here. The
duplicate of 1887 shows 21-633 acres of land valued at
$152,930, the number of acres having been reduced by
railroad right-of-ways and town plats. The chattel
property is assessed at $123,450, and the tax paid
aggregates $8,207.98. The population in 1860 was only
thirty-two (32); in 1870 it had reached one hundred and
twenty-six (126); in 1880 it amounted to eighteen hundred
and sixteen (1816), and must at present be at least
twenty-five hundred (2500). There are seven
school-houses, in addition to the graded one at Deshler.
Many causes contributed to retard the improvement and
development of this township: (1) It was the only part of
the county that formed a part of the actual "Black Swamp,"
and it was indeed a swamp - low, flat, wet, no outlet of any
kind for the water which covered the whole surface, and
timber and underbrush, and all kinds of wild vegetable
growth, made it a place where indeed "beasts with man
divided empire claimed," and to the first settler may well
be applied and words of Moore:
"His path was rugged and sore,
Through tangled juniper, beds of reeds,
Through many a fen, where the serpents feeds,
And man never trod before."
(2) Nine-tenths of the land was owned by non-residents
of the county. The late John G. Deshler, of Columbus,
himself owned about one-fourth of the township; these lands
were held for speculation, and were not for sale. (3) There
were no roads nor access to market. (4) There were
plenty of more desirable and eligibly located lands to be
had at a cheap price.
The construction of the Dayton and Michigan Railroad,
which enters the township on the east near the half section
line of section twelve, running south, was the first break
made in the wilderness. The construction of this road
neccessitated drainage, but it was very superficial. A
large reservoir was constructed at the place where Deshler
now stands, and the surface water drained into it through
Brush Creek, and became a main watering place for the
railroad. The real improvement of Bartlow began with
the construction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railway in 1869.
A frame building was erected and a supply store for the
contractors and employees opened at the reservoir, and the
D. and M. then made that place a regular station, giving it
the name of Alma. The B. and O. enters the township
near the middle of section twenty-four and runs in a
northwestern direction, leaving at the northwest corner of
section eighteen. The Deshler and McComb Railroad runs
through sections thirty-six and twenty-five, terminating at
Deshler in section twenty-three.
The West Branch of Beaver Creek, Hammer Creek, Beaver
Creek, Brush Creek, all cleaned out, widened and deepened
and surface and underground, together with the railroad
ditches, affords good and sufficient drainage; and fair
roads are now constructed to almost every part of the
VILLAGE OF DESHLER
This is the only
town in the township. It was so named in recognition
of John G. DESHLER, the
large land owner already referred to, but was laid out and
platted by Frederick H. SHORT, for himself and as
trustees for a syndicate composed of Daniel McLANE,
Stephen S. L'HOMMEDIEU, William BECKETT, William E. BOVEN,
Theodore STANWOOD, John W. HARTWELL, and John G. DESHLER.
The plat was recorded August 23, 1873. It is
located in the southeast corner of section twenty-three, and
the southwest corner of section twenty-four. It
consists of two hundred lots, twenty out lots, and two
public squares. North, Plum, Elm, Maple, Main,
Mulberry and Walnut Streets, and five alleys, run east and
west; Wood, Vine, Park, East, Lind streets, Keyser avenue
and four alleys run east and west.
On the 8th of February, 1875, Silas D. STEARNES,
Justus STEARNS, and Josiah H. STEARNES, platted an
addition in the north side of the southwest quarter of
section twenty-four, east of the D. & M. Railroad, and on
both sides of the B. & O. Railway. North, Plum, Elm,
Maple, Main and Mulberry streets were continued and Short
street added, running east; East and Lind streets were
continued, and Ash and Oak added, running north; Water,
Holmes, and Bartlow streets and four alleys run southeast,
and Stearnes avenue, Pine, Beach, Sycamore, and Butternut
streets, with five alleys, run northwest. One square
is dedicated to the public.
On the 18th of September, 1875, Short, for himself and
as trustee, as already mentioned, added addition to the
village embracing eighteen of the outlots in the original
plat, the part of the northeast quarter of section
twenty-three not before plated eighty acres in the northwest
quarter of section twenty-three, fifteen and a half acres in
the southwest quarter of section twenty-three, fifteen and a
half acres in the southwest quarter of section twenty-three,
thirty-five acres in teh southeast quarter of the same
section, forty-nine acres in the south-east quarter, and
seven acres in the southwest quarter of section fourteen.
The addition was on both sides of the B. & O. Railway.
It continued North, Plum, Elm Maple, Main, and Mulberry
streets, with the alleys on the north side of the railway,
and continued Walnut, and added South, Buckeye, Marion, and
Harrison, running east and west, on the south of the
railway. It also continued Keyser avenue, Park, Vine,
and Wood streets, and alleys, and added Washington,
Chestnut, and Deshler streets, running north and south.
The incorporation of the village was perfected on the
30th day of April, 1876. It has now a population of
about fourteen hundred; maintains a fire department, is
grading and improving its streets, sidewalks, etc. It
has a fine $5,000 brick school building, and an excellent
graded school is taught nine months in the year. A
Methodist Episcopal brick church, a Roman Catholic frame
church, and a Free Methodist frame church furnish sufficient
places for worship. The Deshler Flag, a five-column
quarto weekly journal, is published here.
There is also a machine shop and foundry. One of
the most extensive stave factories in northwestern Ohio is
owned and operated by Mr. A. W. LEE. A large
saw-mill, owned by Messrs. BALL and SMITH, has
a capacity of 35,000 feet per day, and turns out annually
2,000,000 feet of sycamore lumber, used almost entirely for
tobacco boxes, besides a large amount of ash, oak, and
hickory for domestic and shipping purposes.
HEIDELBACH Brothers are manufacturing tobacco boxes, and
deal in lumber, sash, doors, etc., on an extensive scale.
MITCHELL & WIDDNER are the proprietors of the
Deshler brick and tile works, an industry which is assuming
large proportions. Through the enterprise of Mr. Mace BAER,
a large brick block has been erected within the last two
years. The citizens are energetic and enterprising.
When we glance back and see the wonderful changes and
transformations which have taken place within so few years,
eastern fable assumes a shade of plausibility, and
Alladdin's lamp seems a possibility. William
HUBBARD, when editor of the Northwest, in appreciation
of the wonderful improvement, and partly joking Tontogany, a
village in Wood county, wrote the following fable, which is
BY A FROG AND AN OWL.
There was a great big Frog, and he
Sat on a great big log, and he
Croaked thus: "I'm old Mahogany,
"First settler at Tontgany!
"Boola-ba-lum! - Lum! - Lum!
"Boola-ba-lum! - Lum! - m! - m!
"I've seen a 'settler' shiver and
Until I thought his liver would break!
Then bitters and barks 'endivver' to take,
And gag, and 'hid-je-ous' faces make!
"I've known the fog so thick at night
You'd get from your candlewick no light;
But stir the air with a stick, you might,
And the smell it would make you sic outright.
"The doctor he kept a mercury can,
And found the practice hard work for a man;
But feeling your pulse with a jerk, he ran
To measure your calomel out in a pan!
"The sic were as ten to one well, you
And the well one a doctor would tell to Go!
'For daddy and mamma is awful low,
'And you'll find our house by the cow-bell,O!"
"The doctor behind him fastened a
A life-preserver tied round his throat,
And with rubber pants and vest and coat,
He was ready to ride, or row, or float!
"If an old she-bear didn't cross his
Or a catamount 'chaw him up' for prey,
He would reach the house by break of day,
And on the road home would whistle for pay!"
Thus spoke the old bull-frog, and he
Dodged under his slippery log, then he
Croaked out: "Good-bye, Tontogany!
"You'll see no more of Mohogany!
"Boola-ba-lum! - Lum! - Lum!
There was an owl perched on a tree;
She oped her eyes that she might see -
She wondered what in the world could be
The cause of the croak at Tontogany.
"Too-hoot! - To-hoot! - To-hoo!
"Too-hoot! - To hoot! - To-hoo-oo-oo!
"No 'fevernagur' now is near,
Nor barks not bitters are wanted here -
The fog is gone and the sky is clear,
And health has reigned for many a year.