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History of Tuscarawas County, Ohio
Source: Combination atlas map of Tuscarawas County, Ohio
Strasburg, Ohio: Gordon Print., 1875, 359 pgs. L H Everts

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP

     The township of Jefferson was laid off in 1837, and originally formed a part of Salem Township.  John Hawk and Daniel Ridenour came to this region in 1827, bringing their families with them.  To the northward and eastward the country contained many settlers, but this portion remained a wild, known to the older settlers as the "Indian territory," up to the arrival of these two families.  They saw the lofty hills and narrow valleys, and, ignorant of the hidden wealth of the "points," concluded to make the immediate neighborhood of the present village of Phillipsburg their home.  The men soon got up a cabin, without floor or chimney, into which both families moved, and "were crowded in the cabin" till the hasty erection of a second cabin.
     Two years of lonely life went by, then Krancis Putt and John Bealer moved in.  Samuel Dickey and Michael Wiley passed on farther up the creek in 1831, and William Saddler added one more in 1832.
     Henry Wiley and family came upon their entry made in 1832; and so from time to time others straggled in till the whole land had been entered.  High points, reaching an altitude of seven to eight hundred feet, shut them in; and each, to get his merchandise, to sell his produce, and to get his grist, must traverse the valley-paths in semicircles around their bases.
     A log grist-mill was put up on the bank of Stone Creek by Philip Dotts; its humble mission ended, it perished.  The first saw-mill within the bounds of the township was erected by John HawkMauma and Beebe put up a mill some time later.
     Philip Murphy, who came in 1836, was the first Postmaster in Phillipsburg.  Adam Ragala was the pioneer storekeeper in the place; next where Wagner & Hoffman. No public place of entertainment for a man and beast was kept in the township.  At the station, near the village of Phillipsburg, one Ridenour is building a fair kind of house to be used as a tavern.  Those who needed the services of a blacksmith went to Ragersville till Daniel RIdenour, in 1836, got some tools and began to do his own work, which soon embraced that of his neighbors,  and he made that his business; and his son followed the trade after him.
     When physicians were needed, Dr. Burr, of Port Washington, was called.  Dr. Miller, who lived in Old Town, was the first resident; succeeded by Dr. John Black.  Their first preaching was done by Rev. Greenwald, then by Rev. Bear.  The Lutherans built the only church in the limits of the township.  It stands on the hill north of town.  All families, irrespective of creed, aided in its erection.  It was built by Murphy in 1835; the rest found material  At Old Town were two saw-mills, since gone to ruin.  It is observable that those simple mills of the early day were run by the high waters of creeks now dwindled to mere brooks.  Mill and stream have perished alike before the later civilization.
     The marriage of Andy Burrier and Sarah Ridenour, in 1840, is said to be one of the first matrimonial alliances consummated in the township.  William Farrel moved into the valley, bringing a family of grown daughters, and furnishing wives to bachelor settlers.
     The early dead of the township were buried at Evan's creek, in Bucks Township; the later, at the grave-yard of Zion's Church.  The first school-house was constructed on the corner of the roads leading to New Comerstown and Coshocton, west of Phillipsburg.  Samuel Shuck and Paul Miller were the earliest teachers of the school.  The next school was in Old Town; the site of the building was on land now owned by John Markley.  The names of teachers are unknown.
     The Cleveland, Marietta and Pittsburg Railroad, through this region, is doing much to bring its minerals into notice and enhance land values.  Fourteen hundred dollars have lately been paid by the furnace men for the mineral contained in four acres of a sugar-loaf hill.  A deep cut has been made below Phillipsburg depot, and a tunnel is being made through the ridge; meanwhile, the trains seesaw over the hill.  The residents of the township are mainly German.  Samuel Shawver was their first Justice of the Peace.
     Philip Murphy and Daneil Ridenour were two of the first Trustees elected, and long held the office.  The people are comparatively poor.  Their riches in minerals come with railroads.  Two mighty agencies awake the dormant energies of the people, - the clattering car and its load of black-band ore.  Hewed log houses still stand, - memorials of the early day.  The assessed valuation of the township is seventy-five thousand dollars.  Many farms are valued on the rolls at two to three hundred dollars.

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