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Montgomery Co., Ohio
History & Genealogy

History of City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio
by Rev. A. W. Drury
- Vol. 1 -

Chapter VIII


pg. 869
     What is known of German township would make a book.  Indeed, an interesting book has been written concerning it by J. P. Hentz—“Twin Valley”—published in 1883.  While yet in manuscript a large part of its contents was used in the preparation of the chapter on German township in the History of Montgomery County, published in 1882.
     The township is the southwest township in Montgomery county.  When first formed in 1803 it extended from the Miami river to the Indiana line and one or two miles north of the present northern boundary.  It includes about thirty

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six square miles.  It took its present dimensions in 1831.  It was the first part of the present county of Montgomery, west of the Miami river, to be entered by the surveyor, the year being 1798.  The first land sold or entered in the township was in 1801, that being the year when the land office was opened in Cincinnati.  The following list, taken from the United States records, copies of which are preserved in the state auditor’s office at Columbus, give us much information as to the early settlers.
     Entries, with names of purchasers and dates, for German township west of the section line passing through Germantown, the numbers referring to sections of township 3, range 4 east:

Section 1 -      
  W. 1/2 Aaron Richardson Nov. 27, 1801
  E. 1/2 Wm. Pouts Dec. 11, 1801
Section 2 -      
  E. 1/2 Isaac Myers Sep. 11, 1803
  W. 1/2 Andrew Sharp Dec. 2, 1803
Section 3 -      
  E. 1/2 James Sulgrove Dec. 12, 1801
  W. 1/2 Henry Boomershine Dec. 12, 1809
  N. E. 1/2 Henry Oldfather Oct. 16, 1810
  S. E. 1/4 Abraham Stover (Stoner is penciled in) Jan. 3, 1812
Section 5 -      
  N. E. 1/2 Philip Stover (Stoner is penciled in) Nov. 9, 1804
  N. W. 1/4 Wm. Smith Aug. 9, 1804
  E. 1/2 George Hetzler July 1, 1805
Section 6 -      
  N. E. 1/4 Isaac Blue Apr. 29, 1811
  N. W. 1/4 Daniel Fouts July 4, 1805
  S. E. 1/4 Henry Yount Dec. 11, 1804
  S. W. 1/4 John Etter Apr. 29, 1811
Section 7 -      
  N. E. 1/4 Jacob Fouts Aug. 11, 1804
  N. W. 1/4 Frederick Fouts Aug. 11, 1804
  S. E. 1/4 Jacob Fouts Aug. 11, 1804
  S. W. 1/4 Isaac Blue (?) Oct. 5, 1808
Section 8 -      
  N. E. 1/4 Henry Oler Nov. 19, 1805
  S. E. 1/4 Henry Hoover Oct. 17, 1804
  W. 1/2 James Porter Aug. 15, 1804
Section 9 -      
  N. E. 1/4 John Shatley Oct. 11, 1814
  N. W. 1/4 Fred Schaffer Nov. 8, 1811
  S. E. 1/4 Wm. Emrick Oct. 10, 1814
  S. W. 1/4 John Andrews July 30, 1817
Section 10 -      
  N. E. 1/4 Michael Fife Nov. 13, 1809
  N. W. 1/4 John Hartman Nov. 6, 1805
  S. E. 1/4 Michael Emrick Dec. 6, 1813
  S. W. 1/4 Jacob Frantz Dec. 11, 1811
Section 11 -      
  N. E. 1/4 Jacob Swenk Aug. 14, 1810
  S. E. 1/4 Val. Good Nov. 12, 1804
  W. 1/2 David Fouts Feb. 24, 1803
Section 12 -      
  E. 1/2 Sam. Hawkins Jan. 19, 1802
  N. W. 1/4 Sam. Hawkins Sept. 25, 1804
  S. W. 1/4 Abraham Hartsel Mar. 25, 1805
Section 13 -      
  E. 1/2 James Hatfield Aug. 28, 1801
  W. 1/2 James Porter Sept. 4, 1801
Section 14 -      
  E. 1/2 Wm. Clark Sept. 19, 1801
  N. W. 1/4 Pallas P. Stuart Sept. 8, 1804
  S. W. 1/4 Christiana Houtz Aug. 14, 1810
Section 15 -      
  School land    
Section 17 -      
  E. 1/2 Amos Higgins Dec. 8, 1803
  W. 1/2 John Foutz Jan. 17, 1804
Section 18 -      
  E. 1/2 James Porter Aug. 8, 1804
  N. W. 1/4 John Keller Jan. 20, 1813
  S. W. 1/4 Richard Brown Jan. 7, 1805
Section 19 -      
  E. 1/2 Jonas Hatfield Aug. 8, 1804
  N. W. 1/4 Richard Brown June 7, 1805
  S. W. 1/4 Jeremiah Phelan Oct. 23, 1812
Section 20 -      
  E. 1/2 Peter Parham Aug. 8, 1804
  W. 1/2 Jonas Hatfield Aug. 8 1804
Section 21 -      
  N. E. 1/4 John Good Sept. 19, 1816
  N. W. 1/4 Geo. Hetzler June 18, 1814
  S. E. 1/4 Henry Lee Sept. 19, 1816
  S. W. 1/4 Philips Landis Sept. 19, 1816
Section 22 -      
  N. E. 1/4 Philip Gunkel Sep. 22, 1814
  N. W. 1/4 Morris Harris Aug. 15, 1815
  S. E. 1/4 Thomas Winters Dec. 9, 1813
  S. W. 1/4 Geo. Hetzler June 18, 1814
Section 23 -      
    Wm. Bruce Aug. 27, 1804
Section 24 -      
  E. 1/2 Christopher Emrick July 31, 1804
  W. 1/2 Wm. Emrick Aug. 10, 1804
Section 25 -      
  N. E. 1/4 Geo. Kearn Feb. 25, 1805
  S. E. 1/2 Wm. C. Schenk Oct. 15, 1804
  W. 1/2 Chas. and Peter Cartrow Nov. 28, 1803
Section 26 -      
  N. E. 1/4 Brook Burton Jan. 2, 1810
  N. W. 1/4 Richard Brown Dec. 12, 1809
Section 27 -      
  N. E. 1/4 John Rim Feb. 4, 1805
  N. W. 1/4 John Kempt June 17, 1805
Section 28 -      
  N. E. 1/4 Philip Long Aug. 18, 1810
  N. W. 1/4 Amos Davis Aug. 14, 1815
Section 29 -      
  N. 1/2 Peter Parham Nov. 6, 1804
Section 30 -      
  N. E. 1/4 Geo. Hatzler Aug. 13, 1814
  N. W. 1/4 Peter Dill Jan. 2, 1807

     Corresponding list for the purchasers of lands in German townshi,p east of the section line passing through Germantown, the same being in township 2, range 5 east:

  Section 5 John Emrick, Aug. 15, 1804
  Section 6 James J. Nesbit, Jan. 1, 1802
  Section 7 Philip Gunckel, July 31, 1804
  Section 8 Daniel Bumtrager Jan. 26, 1803
  Section 17 Joseph Chamberlain July 8, 1803
  Section 18 Philip Naggley Nov. 9, 1801
  Section 19 George Gillespie, Oct. 1, 1802
  Section 20 Matthias Swartsel Nov. 17, 1802
  Section 29 Staring Marsh, Oct. 27, 1801
  Section 30 William Schenck, Aug. 28, 1801

     Before the opening of the land to regular entry there were from about 1798 squatters scattered here and there.  The names of some of these people were:
John Pauly, Benjamin Smith, James Griffith, William Cutler, James Hatfield, Robert Hardin, Lickum Hardin, James Porter, Abraham Hartzel and Samuel Hawkins, who had been a colonel in the Revolutionary army and was a man of superior intelligence.  Some of the squatters were of the transient class and others were simply waiting for the sale of lands to open.  As late as 1804, there remained a village of the Shawnee Indians on Shawnee creek.
     The immigration that stamped the character of German township dates from 1804.  The year before, the pioneers in this immigration, Philip Gunckel, Christopher Emerick and John George Kern, all natives of Berks county, Pennsylvania,

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came to Ohio on a prospecting tour, but failed to secure the locations on which they had decided.  However, in 1804, Mr. Philip Gunckel headed a colony of
twenty-four families, coming first to Cincinnati and then to Hole’s Station, from which point the land was explored for miles around.  Mr. Gunckel, who was a
miller and was in search for a mill site, at length fixed on a location where the Little Twin enters the Big Twin, about six miles from the mouth of this stream, now within the corporate limits of Germantown.  The most of the members of the colony accompanied him to this location.
     Some of the prominent families coming in 1804 were represented by Philip Gunckel, Christopher Emerick, George Moyer, George Kiester, Jacob Bauer,
Peter Caterow
and Henry Crist.
     Martin Shuey, Mathias Swartzel, Leonard Slump, George Boyer, Andrew Zeller came in 1805.  John Casper Stoever and Jonathan Lindemuth came in 1806.
     The children of Peter and Catharine Schaefifer, eight in number, came at different times from 1804 to about 1814.  The mother of this family had a remarkable history, having been captured by the Indians when about seven years old and held a captive for seven years.  Her descendants at Germantown and elsewhere are said to number at least one thousand.
     The later settlers of German township as well as the early settlers were mostly Pennsylvania Germans.  No better citizens are found than the descendants of this sturdy stock.
     The township includes some of the richest land in Montgomery county, about one-third of the area of the township consisting of bottom land. Springs abound.    Some of the streams having their course in the township are the two Twins, Shawnee creek, Dry Run and Mud Lick.  While all of the usual crops are grown,
the tobacco crop is the source of the largest profit.  One of the state experiment stations is located at Germantown.  The agricultural interests of the county are
greatly benefited thereby.
     The first schoolhouse in German township stood on the south side of Stump’s hill. It was a log structure and had originally been erected by William Eastwood, a squatter from Kentucky who had occupied it as a dwelling.  The first teacher who taught in it and who was probably the pioneer teacher of the township was Rev. A. S. Man.  The second schoolhouse stood on the Franklin road a short distance below the present site of Sunsbury. It was built of logs and received its light through greased paper windows.  The first teacher was John McNamar, who, in 1813, became a United Brethren preacher.  He was succeeded by Jacob Lesley, a Kentuckian.
     There are in German township, a number of cemeteries—one at Schaeffer’s church, one on the farm of Jacob Judy, one at the head of Brown’s Run, one on Sunsbury hill, besides those in Germantown.  The one on Sunsbury hill is the oldest and was donated for the purpose by Christopher Emerick.
     The township trustees elected in 1909 are: Adam Gilbert, Charles Rettich and Prank HoleOra D. Mayne is the clerk, and Ralph O. Eyler the treasurer.
     The outgoing board of education for the township is Joseph Siegel, William H. Lindemuth, Louis Flinspach, Samuel Kern and Silas BorgerClarence Schaeffer has been clerk of the board since 1900.  There are eight regular and three special school districts in the township.

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     Germantown, situated west of Little Twin creek and north of Big-Twin creek, was platted by Philip Gunckel, October 4, 1814.  The original plat was in the northeast quarter of section 13, township 3, range 4.  This was a part of the land entered by James Hatfield August 28, 1801, and purchased along with other land by Philip Gunckel at ten dollars per acre in 1804.  Other original purchasers of land within the corporate limits of Germantown were James Porter, Samuel Hawkins, Robert Harding, James Sharp, Jacob Swinehert, Edward Harding, Abraham Hartzell and Henry Snider.  Germantown received its name because such a large proportion of the original settlers were Germans.  The valley in which the town is situated is surrounded in almost every direction by hills.  The original plat was so drawn as to leave in the rear of lots an open court for horses and wagons, with alleys approaching the same from different directions.  Later additions do not include this feature.  In 1818 a postoffiice was established at Germantown, Peter Schaeffer being the first postmaster.
     Germantown was incorporated March 16, 1833.  The articles of incorporation were amended February 20, 1834.  The territory included within the corporate limits was two miles from east to west, extending to section lines on both sides, and a mile and a quarter in extreme width from north to south, beginning on Big Twin creek and extending to the half section line on the north.  The first mayor was George Rowe, elected in 1833.  At the same time J. W. Stamm was elected recorder.  The succeeding mayors have been: J. Eminger, 1837; George Rowe, 1839; Jacob Koehne, 1842; M. B. Walker, 1845; William Gunckel, 1847; John Beaver, 1850; William Gunckel, 1853; P. Gebhart, 1855; William Gunckel, 1856; George T. Walker, 1837; William Gunckel, 1860; Adam Frank, 1865; Adam Frank, 1887; L. S. Crickmore, 1889; Adam Frank, 1891 ; L. S. Crickmore, 1894; Adam Frank, 1896; L. S. Crickmore, 1898; Lorin Wilkie, 1900; Adam Frank, 1902; L. S. Crickmore, 1903 (resigned August, 1905; S. A. Bausman, president of council filled out term); Harry M. Wolf, 1906; L. S. Crickmore, 1908.  The list between 1865 and 1887 is missing and some other years are not strictly accounted for.
     The present council consists of the following members: Georg ColemanPerry Swartzel, Tony Throner, George E. Clark, Henry Crauder and Henry Gable.
     There is in Germantown what is called a town hall, erected in 1873, owned by the town and German township.  The township officers have their offices in this building.  The first story of the building is owned by David Rohrer.  The town officers occupy rented offices.
     The town has a park, consisting of five acres, laid out about 1880.
     The first burying ground in Germantown consisted of one acre of land purchased from Philip Gunckel in 1809.  July 1, 1849, a cemetery association was formed and a regular constitution adopted.  The officers chosen were: John F. Kern, William McKeon, John Stump, Samuel Rohrer, Jacob Eminger, Jacob Koehne, Frederick Kimmerling, John D. Gunckel, and Henry S. Gunckel as directors.  At a meeting held July 3, 1849, a committee was appointed to select
suitable grounds and at a subsequent meeting the purchase of a ten-acre tract,

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position to a republican paper.  The Germantown Herald is now in its thirtieth year.  Dr. Lome Wilkie is the present publisher and editor.  It bore originally the name Record and had a succession of editors and publishers, beginning with V. B. Stevens, the founder.
     Until comparatively recently Germantown occupied an isolated position. The Dayton and Germantown pike was built in 1837 and by other pikes there came to be connections with surrounding towns but these could not meet all of the present day requirements. The Cincinnati and Northern railroad was built through Germantown in 1886 and traction connection with Miamisburg, Dayton and Cincinnati was secured in 1901.


     Jacob Beard and Daniel Gunckel, Sr., as proprietors laid out the town of Sunsbury, March 18, 1825.  It was at the “cross roads” leading to Dayton, Cincinnati and Lebanon, and there were three gristmills, six sawmills, and a carding machine within a mile and a half of the town.  Sunsbury is separated from Germantown by a space of about a half a mile, being situated on the Carlisle and Germantown pike.  It contains only about forty dwellings and has little prospect of growth.  Though not platted as early as Germantown, it was a neighborhood center from the earliest days of German township.





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