Preble County,
Genealogy & History

Early Settlement of
Washington Township
(Source: History of Preble County, Ohio - H. Z. Williams & Bro, Publishers - 1881)

     The first settlement in what is now Washington township was made in the year 1805.  Several entries of land were made the year previous, but no permanent settlements were made until that year.  In 1804 there were no buildings standing within the limits of the township.  Entries had been made but he owner of these had not yet arrived.  In 1805 several settlers arrived and proceeded to erect cabins.  William Bruce, the proprietor of Eaton, a sketch of whose life and settlement will be found in the history of that city, is believed to have built the first house.  In the same year, 1805, John Goldsmith emigrated into the township and settled on the northwestern quarter of section four, township seven.
          John Meroney, a North Carolinaan, came into the county and settled on section thirty-four, in the same year that Bruce built.  Both Goldsmith and Meroney, however, were later settlers than Bruce.
In the following year, 1806, as many as twenty cabins were built in different parts of the township.  Several entries had been made in the year previous, and their owners came in 1806.  A few of those whose names can be ascertained are given below.

          George and Andrew Dooley emigrated from Kentucky in 1806, and came to Ohio.  George entered land in section eight, of township seven.

          Joseph, William & Nathan Sellers, Kentuckyans, settled either in section nine or ten, of township seven.

          John Ward and his son Samuel came to Ohio from New Jersey in 1806, and settled in Washington township.  Samuel entered land on the east side of Rocky creek.  His wife was Phoebe Sutton, originally from New Jersey, who had moved to Pennsylvania, and from there to Ohio.  Nine children were born to him, of whom four survive, viz:  Elizabeth (Selles), in Indiana; Jane (Pottenger), in Camden; Sarah (Bennett) and Garvin, in Indiana.

          Samuel Ward was third sheriff of this county, and was at one time county treasurer.  He moved to Indiana in 1829, and died in Logansport, of that State, in the year 1856.

          John Shipin settled in Eaton on what is now Main street.  His cabin was built near the banks of Devenmill, on the north side of the road.

          In the following year, 1807, Christian Shuey settled in this township.  The land he entered was in section twenty-seven, where the county infirmary now stands.

          Robert and John Day emigrated from Maryland early in 1808 and settled on section twenty-four.

          Henry Whitesell, a North Carolinian, came to Preble in 1805, and settled in Twin township.  After two years stay he moved to Eaton, where he lived for one year, and finally in 1808, he removed to section seventeen.

          John Aukerman settled on the farm where Jacob Gideon now lives, east of Eaton, in 1806.  He was born in Frederick county, Maryland, and about the year 1789 removed with his parents from Virginia to the vicinity of Columbia, Hamilton county, Ohio.  About ten years afterwards the family settled in Montgomery county, near Williamsburgh.  There, in 1801, John was married to Mary Hole, and in 1804 came to what is now Lanier township, Preble county, and settle on the stream since called Aukerman creek.  He resided there two years, and in 1806 sold out to Samuel Teal, and moved to the place before mentioned, near Eaton.  Here he resided more than sixty years and until his death in 1867.  He had the first "corn cracker mill," a hand concern, in this vicinity, and farmers came for several miles around to get their corn ground.  Of his family of thirteen children, only three are now living, viz.:  Frederic, in Darke county; Solomon, in Indiana, and John on a part of the old homestead, near Eaton.  John was born on this farm in 1818.  He has been twice married; first to Mary Overholzer, and after her death to Hannah Wysong, who is still living.

          John J. Sherer was born in Pennsylvania in 1760.  He afterwards moved to North Caorlina, where he married Catharine Smith, born in 1762.  She died in the year 1826.  Ten children were born to them, of whom Jesse is the only survivor.  John J. Sherer died in 1845.  Jesse Sherer, sr., son of the above, was born in North Carolina in the year 1799.  He came to Ohio with his parents in 1806, and settled on section seven.  In the year 1824 he married Mary Jane, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Strader, born in 1804.  The Straders came to Ohio in 1809, and settled on section eighteen.  In 1830 Mr. Jesse Sherer moved to the farm he now owns, where he entered one hundred and sixty acres.  Mrs. Sherer died in 1873, leaving six children - Jacob, who lives in Washington township; Elizabeth (Irick), in Illinois; Mary Jane (Pense), in Monroe township; David, in Jefferson township; Amanda (Harshman), in Washington township, and Jesse in Jackson township, Jesse Sherer owns thirty acres in section six of Washington township.  Jacob Sherer, eldest son of Jesse, was born in 1825.  In 1847 he married Rosa Ann Gephart, who was born in Jackson township in 1827.  They have had ten children, four of whom still survive.  Mr. Sherer owns a fine farm of some seven hundred acres.

          David Bloomfield came from Kentucky to Ohio in 1806, and settled in Butler county in the spring of that year.  After raising one crop he left, and in the fall of the same year settled in Preble county, on the farm now owned by his son, Reuben.  His wife was Rachel Barclay.  He had seven children when he came to this State.  On his entrance into this county he entered one hundred and fifty-four acres, in conjunction with James Westerfield, whom he afterwards bought out, and, at the time of his (Mr. Bloomfield's) death, he was the sole owner of the farm.  Nine children were born to him, two of whom survive, viz.:  David, who is living in Illinois, and Reuben.  The latter was born in Preble county in the year 1809, and in 1832 married Ann M., daughter of Elihu Hopkins, born in 1808.  He had four children by this marriage - Sylvester B., Edmund M., John W., and Ann (Plummer).  His first wife died in 1845, and in the following year he married Amanda, daughter of Andrew Harbison; she was born in 1822.  He had five children by his second marriage, all of whom are now living.  Mr. Bloomfield owns a farm of one hundred and thirty-nine acres.  His three sons were in the war of the Rebellion, Sylvester and Edmund in the hundred days' service, and John W. during the entire war.

          Henry Duggins was born in 1787, and in 1806 he moved to Ohio.  In 1811 he married Jane Sellers, born in 1781.  He first settled in Gasper township, and afterwards came to Washington township, where he settled in 1811, the same year as his marriage.  His brother, William A., came to Ohio in the same year that he did.  Mr. Henry Duggins had six children - Cornelius V., John F., Nathan, William, W. P., and Caroline (Miller), who lives in Eaton.  The first four of these are deceased.  Cornelius V. was born in Preble county in 1812.  In 1834 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry M. Monfort, of Eaton, born in 1814.  Five children were born to them, four of whom are still living.  Mr. Duggins died in 1849 on the old homestead where his wife now resides.  He left a farm of one hundred and sixteen acres.  During his lifetime he had a printing office in Eaton, where the Register office is now located.  His son, John F., was in the war, in the Seventy-fifth Ohio volunteer infantry, and while in Florida was taken prisoner and sent to Andersonville, where he stayed for six months.  W. P. Duggins was born in 1820, and in 1844 married Mary, daughter of Alexander Lugar, born about 1826.  He has nine children.  His farm contains about sixty-five acres.

          Benjamin Neal and wife, Mary (Sellers), came from Bourbon county, Kentucky, to this township in the year 1806, and settled in section two of township seven.  After residing her for a few years, he moved to New Lexington where he died in the year 1818.  His wife survived him for more than forty years, dying in 1858 at the age of eighty-seven.  They had four children born to them in Kentucky, viz: Sarah, Nathan, James and Jane.  Of these only Nathan and James survive.  After their arrival in this county, their family further was increased by the births of Benjamin, John and Mary AnnBenjamin married Ann Kerlin, now living.  He has been associate judge, and has held the office of postmaster at Eaton since the year 1871.

          Some time before the War of 1812 Colonel Thomas Woolverton came to Ohio from Pennsylvania, and settled near the Shidler farm.  He was an officer in the Revolutionary war, and became a noted character in his neighborhood.  He is said to have been a large, blond man, whose weight was close on the four hundred.  He lived and died in this township; Colonel William Woolverton and others in Jackson township are his descendants.

          Adam Frase was born in Preble county, Ohio, in the year 1810, and died in 1838.  He married Sarah Williams, born in Kentucky in 1801, and who died in 1872.  Five children were born them, three of whom are still living - Mary, Margaret and Jesse.  The latter was born in Preble county in 1830, and in 1857, married Melissa C. Shaw, born in Knox county, Ohio, in 1839.  Five children have been born to them, of whom four are living.

          Christian Siler came to Preble county before 1812, from Virginia.  His wife was Margaret Groover.  Ten children were born them, one only of whom is now living.  Christian Siler, sr., the only surviving child of the above, was born in 1794, and in 1822 he married Hannah, daughter of John Niecum, an early settler of Dixon township.  She was born in the year 1801.  Eight children were born them, six of whom are now living.  Mr. Siler owns a farm of eighty-one acres, about three miles east of Eaton, where he is living at the age of eighty-six years.

          John Kincaid came to Ohio from Kentucky about 1812.  He was married in 1810 to Mary, daughter of Edmund Moody.  Ten children were born them, seven of whom are still living, viz:  Sarah (Gauger) lives in Somers township, Samuel in Israel, Cynthia (Runyon) in California.  John M., in Eaton, Mary Kesling in Winchester, Finley, in Kansas, and Barthenia (Fudge) in Gratis.  Mr. Kincaid served in the War of 1812.  His son John M. was born in Gasper township in the year 1821, and in 1860 married Sarah D., daughter of William and Sarah Duggins.  He has two children.  Mr. J. M. Kincaid owns a farm of two hundred and forty acres, about a mile south of Eaton, which he purchased in 1863.  He resides in Eaton.

          John Kayler was born in Rockingham county, Virginia, in 1776.  In 1799 he married Catharine Haynes, born in 1782.  He emigrated to Ohio in 1814.  He almost poverty stricken at the time of his arrival, but by dint of hard labor he acquired six hundred and forty acres.  He died in 1859.  His wife survived him three years, dying in 1862.  Three sons were born to them - John Frederick, Benjamin and William.  John Frederick was born in 1801, and married Barbara Christman, a Carolinaan.  Two children were born them, Lydia Ann  (Clapsaddle) and John A.  The latter married a Miss BlinFohn F. died in 1849.  William, youngest son of John and Catharine Kayler, was born in 1808.  He was but six years of age when his parents came to Ohio.  In 1837 he married Rebecca Delawter, who had come to Ohio from Maryland in 1822.  He died in 1876, on the farm where his widow and three children still live.  He has eight children born to him.  John J. Kayler, his youngest son, has purchased the principal part of his father's estate.  He is the owner of four hundred acres.  He was born in 1849, and in 1875 married Sarah V. Dalrymple.  They have one son, who is the only great grandson of the pioneer, John Kayler.

      John Stephens came to Preble county from Kentucky in 1817.  He was born in 1790.  In 1810 he married Margaret Fisher, who was born in 1792.  John Stephens died in 1827.  His wife is still living.  He was the owner of eighty acres in this township, one hundred and sixty of Gasper, and eighty in Camden.  He had nine children, five of whom are living, namely:  Thomas, living in Gasper; John W., in Eaton; B. M. (Acton) and N. B. also in Eaton; M. F., in Greenville.  N. B. Stephens was born in 1825.  In 1858 he married Miss R. F. Conger, born in 1838.  He is in the grocery business in Eaton, and also owns one hundred and sixty-nine acres.  John Stephens, the pioneer, served during the War of 1812, for two terms of six months.

          John Risinger moved from Pennsylvania to Kentucky in 1798, and afterwards to Montgomery county.  In 1819 he settled in Preble county.  His wife was Sarah Ann Pauley, a Pennsylvanian.  His death occurred in Lewisburgh, in the year 1857, having survived his wife one year.  Seven children were born to them, only two of whom are living, namely:  Catherine (Horr), living in Lewisburgh, and Elizabeth (Sayler), in Indiana.  His son Abel was born in 1803, and in 1825 married Elizabeth Sayler.  He had six children, five of whom are now living - Sarah Ann (Taylor), in Washington township, Melinda (Deem), in Eaton, Caroline (Shurkey), in Washington township, Levi, in Eaton, and William in Washington township.  Mr. Risinger was born in 1826.  In 1844 he married Lucinda Pense, born in 1821.  She was a daughter of Henry Pense.  Three children have been born to them.  Mr. William Risinger ownes a farm of four hundred acres.  He was county commissioner for three terms, from 1861 to 1870.  He has lived on his present farm since the year 1848.

          William McGriff was born in 1793.  He came to Ohio in the year 1820 and settled near Eaton.  His wife, Elizabeth Hole, was born in 1792, and died in 1875.  Fourteen children were born to them, of whom ten are still living, namely: James, Ellen, Lucretia, Mary, Effie Ann, Matilda, Sarah, Margaret, Charles and John R.  William Elizabeth, Catharine and Hannah are deceased.

          Levin T. McCabe came to Eaton in 1826, from Maryland, where he was born in 1807.

     George Peters was born in Franklin county, Virginia in the year 1817, and in 1828 he moved to Ohio and settled in Gasper township on the farm now owned by Aaron Brower.  His wife, Sophia, daughter of William Smithb, was born in the year 1815; seven children were born to him, all of whom are now living.  Mr. Peters is proprietor of a large tile factory, which burns about fifty thousand tile a year.

          Lewis Marker came to Preble county in the year 1839.  He was born in Maryland in the year 1807.  His settlement was made in the southwestern part of Twin township, where he purchased two hundred and forty-seven acres of land.  His wife, Nancy Curtain, was born in the year 1809.  He has had eight children born to him.  He is now living on his farm, about two miles east of Eaton, on the Eaton and Dayton pike.  Ephraim Marker, his son, was born in 1841 in Twin township.  He married, in 1864, Rebecca J., daughter of John and Mary Craig, born in 1843.  Her parents came from Virginia to Preble county in 1837, and settled in Washington township.  John Craig died in 1873; his wife is still living and resides with Ephraim Marker.  Mr. Marker came to Washington township in 1878.  He has had four children born to him; all of whom are living.  He has a farm of two hundred and three acres in Washington township, and twenty acres in Twin.

           Ezra Creager was born in Montgomery county, Ohio, November 13, 1813, his father having emigrated from Maryland to that county the year previous.  In 1834 he married Delilah Ford, who was born in Kentucky, July, 1814, and in March, 1837, moved to Preble and settled on one hundred and twenty-five acres where he now lives.  He started in life poor, and his subsequent prosperity has been due to his industry and prudence.  He has raised a family of nine children, six boys and three girls, and it is a somewhat singular circumstance that death has not yet broken the family circle.  The children are Elizabeth Ann (Risinger), residing in Eaton; Lydia Ann (House), Mary Ann (Disher) and Levi A, in Monroe township; John R., Catharine (Fudge), Angeline (Risinger), and Joseph F., in this township, and Sarah Jane (Christman) in Iowa.

          Joseph F. Creager was born in Washington township, in 1847.  He is the third son of Ezra and Delila C. Creager, who were early settlers of Preble county.  In 1870 he married Elizabeth Ann, daughter of Buckner and Mary Ann Deem; by whom he had one child.  He has a farm of one hundred and three acres of land in section ten, township eight, of Washington township, about five miles north of Eaton. 

          Samuel Weist was born in Camden, in 1849, where his parents now reside.  In 1875 he was married to Elizabeth Lewellen, born in 1858.  They have had no children.  Mr. Weist lives on the farm in Washington township now owned by his father.  His wife's parents reside in Dixon township.

          John Tyler Sloan was born in Preble county, in 1840, and in 1871 married Hannah Woodring, who died soon after her marriage, leaving no children.  Mr. Sloan has since remained a widower.  He is a huckster by trade, and is extensively engaged in buying butter, eggs, etc., which he ships to Cincinnati.

          Jonathan Switzer was born in Virginia, in the year 1808.  He afterwards came to Ohio, and in 1839 married Nancy H. Dooley.  Four children were born to him by his first marriage, three of whom are still living.  His wife dying in 1849, he married in 1852, Susan, daughter of John Fisher, born in 1820.  By this marriage he had four children, all of whom are living.  Mr. Switzer has a farm of one hundred and thirty acres in this township, which he purchased in 1861.  He has held several offices in the township.  His son, George H., was in the war of the Rebellion, during the hundred days service.

          Marks Deem, son of W. T. and Susan Deem, was born in 1846.  He married Alvina Flora, who was born in 1851, and whose parents were old settlers of Jackson township.  To Mr. and Mrs. Deem have been born two children, both living.  Mr. Deem owns fifty acres of land and resides about three and a half miles west of Eaton, in Washington township.

          M. B. Keely came to Preble county about 1830, from Butler county.  His wife, Nancy S., was from Campbell county, Kentucky.  Nine children were born to them, seven of whom are still living:  Sarah H. (Winters), in Eaton, J. C., in Washington township; Jeremiah D., in Gasper; Francis M., in Dixon; Nancy S. (Campbell), in Gasper; Francis M., in Dixon; Nancy S. (Campbell), in Gasper; George H., in Eaton, and Mary A. (White), in Gasper.

          J. C. Keely was born in the year 1833.  His wife was Barbara Jane, daughter of Jonas Crumbaker, born in 1836, and whom he married in 1856.  They have no children.  Mr. Keely owns a farm of one hundred and fifty-nine acres.

          Robert Myler was born in Virginia in 1799, and came to Ohio in 1835, where he settled on section nine, township seven, of Washington township.  When he came to Preble county his only possessions were a pair of horses.  He entered the service of John Gardner as a teamster, and by saving what he could out of his wages of three dollars a day, he finally was able to purchase a farm.  In 1825 he married Deby Athens, who was born in Maryland in 1800.  Five children were born them, for of whom are now living in Preble county.  His farm contains over sixty-three acres, and is situated two miles southwest of Eaton.

          John I., son of William and Mary Bailey, was born in Pennsylvania, in the year 1807, and from that State emigrated with his parents to Ohio.  In 1840 they moved from Perry county to Preble county.  In 1843 he married Marry Ann Lehmer, daughter of Henry and Catharine Lehmer, natives of Pennsylvania, both of whom are deceased.  To Mr. and Mrs. Bailey were born ten children, nine of whom are still living.  Mrs. Bailey is the owner of over one hundred and sixty acres in section nine, of Washington township.  She is now a widow, her husband's death occurring in 18__.

          Arthur Riggs, son of E. and Jane (Homan) Riggs, was born in Warren county in 1833, and in 1844 moved to Preble county, where he settled on section twenty-one, of Washington township.  His wife was Eliza, daughter of Jacob and Julia Chrisman, early settlers of Preble county.  Two children have been born them, both of whom are now living.  He owns a farm of one hundred and thirty one acres on section six, township seven, of Washington township, about two and a half miles west of Eaton.


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