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