A Part of Genealogy Express

Welcome to
Wyandot Co., Ohio
History & Genealogy

History of Wyandot County, Ohio
Chicago: Leggett, Conaway & Co.,




     AT the organization of this county in 1845, the portion now known as Ridge Township was existing under the title of Amanda, in Hancock County.  It is a fractional township containing but fifteen sections, and was annexed to this county at the above date, deriving its name from the high limestone ridge which extends across its northern part.  It is bounded on the east by Crawford Township, on the south by Richland, and on the west and north by Hancock County.  The southern portion of the township is comparatively low, and was once covered with a heavy growth of timber – beech, sugar, ash and walnut – much of which still remains, though the work of improvement is going on rapidly.  With the present drainage, large crops of wheat are being harvested from these lands, that at one time were supposed to be adapted to corn-raising only.  The northern part is of an entirely different make-up, both as to soil and surface feature.  It is considerably elevated above the south half of the township, the soil consisting of a sandy loam, with clay base (white and yellow), and is especially adapted to the raising of wheat, an interest closely looked after by its inhabitants.  Here the general improvements are much in advance of those of the southern part, most of the earlier settlers having located in this vicinity, George Creek, Casper Updegraff and William Hunter being a few of the exceptions.
     The following were the owners of real and personal estate in Ridge Township in 1845:


     John Allman, Henry Amarine, Jacob Bowers, John Bowers, Jacob Baker, George Cross, Amos Brown, Elijah Brown, Daniel Beck, Sarah Beck, Samuel Brown, Henry Beck, Henry Bacon, William Bennett, Frederick Baugher, William Brown, Silas Brown, George Bucher, Jacob Barnd, Jacob Bucher, Elijah Barnd, Joshua Cole, Aaron Corbin, Charles Cross, Amos W. Crain, Henry Christy, William Carothers, R. and S. Dunbar, David Entley, John Fisher, John Fenstemaker, Benjamin Fickle, Sarah Greek, George Greek, Samuel Greek, Samuel Grindle, Jacob Grindle, Green & Reid, Shadrack Highland, William Hancock, Philip Hall, Philip Huber, John Hershberger, Philip Hall, James A. Hunter, Thomas Iliff, Jacob Jackson, Abraham Kern, Adam Kellar, Adams Killinger, Abraham Karn, William Keller, Francis Keenan, James Kelly, George Long, Christian Leitner, John Long, Aaron Moore, William McDonald, James McGill, David Myers, Frisby Nye, John Patterson, Jesse Price, Jacob Putnam, Lemuel Roberts, Michael Richardson, Philip Richardson, Joseph Richardson, Robert Reynolds, John Smith, Rebecca Saeyards, Jonathan Swihart, David Spade, Thomas N. Shepard, John Starr, George Smith, Ohio, William Swick, Joseph Shull, Andrew W. Scott, Duncan Scott, John Scott, Nicholas Shull, George Spangler, Joseph Sherman, Charles Thomas, John Thompson, George W. Tong, Hill Tolleston, Ira Taft, James Underwood, Casper Updegraff, Abraham Worley, James Wingate, George Worlely, Isaac Wohlgamuth, Michael Yeater.


     John Allman, Henry Amarine, Jacob Blinger, Solomon Baugherd, George Baugherd, Jackson Bengherd, Jacob Boucher, Henry Beck, Jacob Bowers, Henry Blosser, Willialm Cheesebro, Abraham Carothers, William Carothers, George Cross, Thomas Cole, Nicodemus Corbin, Boyd Dunbar, Robert Dunbar, Daniel Findlay, John Free, John Fisher, Benjamin Fickel, Samuel Grindle, Jacob Grindle, Samuel Greek, George Greek, David Graham, John Hershberger, Arthur Hazen, Philip Hall, William Hancock, Jacob Jackson, Adam Killinger, Adam Keller, Samuel Keller, Isaac William Kern, John Long, Joseph Leitner, Thomas McHorter, John Miller (German), John Miller (English), Amos R. Moore, Gideon Mye, Frisby Nye, John Patterson, Peter Putnam, Jacob Putnam, Jacob Putnam, Jr., Michael Richardson, Elizabeth Richardson, Hyatt Roberts, Lemuel Roberts, Joseph Stahl, Daniel Spade, John Starr, Daniel Stahl, John Smith, Thomas Shepard, George Spangler, William Swick, Jacob Thomas, George W. Tong, John Thompson, Casper Updegraff, James underwood, Isaac Wohlgamuth, Dr. Noah Wilson, a practicing physician.


     Of the twenty-four lots in this plat, Lemuel Roberts owned eighteen; Amos Moore, three; Daniel Miller, one; Jacob Plummer, one, and John Ragon, one.


     Of the twenty-four lots in this plate, twelve – Nos. 1 to 12 inclusive – were situated in Ridge Township, and twelve lots – Nos. 13 to 24 inclusive – were located in Richland Township, all of which were owned by the State in 1845.


    As nearly as can be ascertained, the first white man who “blazed” his way in and out of the sylvan wilds of this township was William  Homan, who located here with a wife and five children in 1832-33.  He was followed soon after by Andrew Bates, with a wife and three children.  In 1834, Jacob Jackson appeared upon the scene.  He was born in Berks County, Penn., July 26, 1812, and was a son of Henry and Hannah (Hough) Jackson, with whom he came to Ohio in 1822.  He came to this county as above stated, and has ever since resided on the farm which he then entered.  He is still living.  George Greek, one of the few struggling pioneers in 1836, is a native of Lancaster County, Penn., son of Jacob and Martha (Miller) Greek, and was born Dec. 27, 1806.  He moved with his parents to Lancaster, Ohio, in 1816, where he grew to manhood.  He subsequently spent two years in Baltimore, one year in Cincinnati, then came to this county, and settled on his present farm.  He is still an active old man, notwithstanding his many years of toil and pioneer hardships.  James Hunter came to this county with his parents, William and Elizabeth Hunter, in 1836.  He is a native of Fairfield County, Ohio, his parents being natives of Pennsylvania and Delaware respectively.  He has resided on his present farm since 1845, and is still hale, hearty and happy, an exemplary and jovial pioneer.  Casper Updegraff was one of the early settlers, and located in the township about 1840.  He was a native of Northumberland County, Penn., and was regarded as one of the sturdiest settlers.  He was a man of great physical power and endurance, and in his lifetime did much hard labor.  He was born in 1801, and died in 1870.  One of the oldest of the venerable pioneers yet living is Benjamin Fickle, who located in this township in 1841.  He is a native of Monongahela, Penn., and was born Feb. 29, 1808.  He was employed thirteen years on the Ohio canal, and then moved to his present farm, entered in 1834.  He is now quite feeble with age, and broken down by hard labor.  Solomon Bocher, son of Frederick Bocher, was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, Nov. 2, 1821, and settled in this township in 1844, having since resided on his present farm, which was entered by his father at a previous date.  One of the prominent pioneers of the township is Isaac Wohlgamuth, who was born in York County, Penn., Jan. 3, 1806. He came to Ohio with his parents in 1815, and afterward to this township in 1843.  In 1846, he was elected County Commissioners, serving two terms.  He has been Justice of the Peace over thirty-three years.  Jonas Wohlgamuth settled in the township in 1846.  He is brother to Isaac W., and was born in the same locality in 1810.  He is regarded as one of the most successful of the pioneer farmers.  Joel Chesebrough, one of the wealthiest of the early settlers, located here in 1844.  He was born in Albany County, N. Y., Jan. 1, 1810, and resided in that State several years, but has remained in this township since his first settlement here.  He now owns 360 acres of valuable land, all earned by hard labor.  Henry Brown settled in this township in 1845.  He was born in Otsego County, N. Y., Sept. 7, 1809.
     In the first settlement of the township there were, of course, no established roads, and this was the cause of much inconvenience to the settlers.  The first regular road constructed was what is called the Mount Blanchard road as designated by the Commissioners’ report.  Supplies were obtained from Upper Sandusky, Findlay and Sandusky City, and the thoroughfares heading to these points constituted the chief lines of regular travel till the sectional roads were legally established.  The only grist mill, or at least the first one, was located on Section 14, and was operated by Isaac Wohlgamuth.  The motive power was supplied by a horse, and, although it was in fact a grist mill, it was usually denominated a “horse ill,” the animal doing the grinding instead of being ground.  This mill was established in 1848, but is now “closed for repairs”.  The first saw mill was erected by John Long about 1836.  It was run by water, and was constructed on the old “upright” plan.  It was in fact an “old-timer” for various reasons, chief of which was that it usually required about two hours to saw through an ordinary log.  This, however, afforded leisure for literary improvement, and it was no uncommon occurrence for the sawyer in charge to digest the contents of a whole time novel while the “old haggler” was working its way through the log at the rapid rate of about five strokes to the minute.  Progress and competition have rendered both the mill and its founder useless, and they have ceased operations.  At present, there are two saw mills in operation in the township, one owned by Michale Youngpeter, and the other by F. Williams.  The mercantile interests of Ridge Township have not been prominently brought to the front.  The first store was established by Eli Ragon, at the would-have-been village of Ridgeville, many years ago, but was never exceedingly profitable, and was at length abandoned.  Its proprietor was born on the eastern shore of Maryland July 30, 1777, and died in Warren County, Ill., Apr. 9, 1856.  At present, there are no mercantile establishments in the township.
     The first schools of the township were held in the dwellings of the early settlers, one of these being that of George Greek, the kraut barrel being a valued attendant, as some of the pupils who are let living aver.  Deby Martin has the honor of being the first instructor of the then future citizens of the township, though John Long, the hero of the “upright” saw mill, is said by some to be the original agent in teaching “the young idea how to shoot.”  When the log schoolhouse near the present site of Mr. Greek’s residence was erected, among the first to honor it was J. N. Free, then a brilliant young collegiate, now known as the “Immortal J. N.”  Other early teachers were Benjamin Burnapp, Samuel Updegraff and Isabel Thompson.  There are now five school districts in the township, with substantial and comfortable buildings.


     The Methodist Episcopal Church seems to have been the first to call its members together to consider the spiritual interest of the township.  The first meetings were held in dwelling houses and later in a log schoolhouse west of the cemetery, near which the present church building is located.  The first organization was effected prior to 1834, probably by Rev. John Conaway, with the following list of members:  John Long, John Smith, William Reynolds, T. N. Shepherd, Thomas Thompson, Thomas Huff, and many of their wives whose given names are not remembered.  In 1835-36, a log church building was erected west of the present structure, at a cost of about $150, and this was in use about twenty-five years.  In 1859-60, the present frame Bethel was built at a cost of $1,200, since which time all the pleasures of a neat and comfortable place of worship have been enjoyed.  So far as determined, the list of pastors who served in the parish is as follows:  Revs. John Conaway, James Wilson, Samuel Allen, Biggs, Hustis, Kimber, Wilson, Wilcox, Pounds, Lee, Thatcher, Graham, Wikes, Lance, Bowers, Good, Frisby, Lindsey, Jagger, Tibbles, Ferris, Miller and Camp.  There are now forty members in the society.  The first Trustees were John Long, John Smith, David Smith, William Chessebrough, William Carothers, Jacob Jackson and Henry Curtz.  The present Trustees are Samuel and Saxton Chesebrough, La Fayette Weaver, Saxton Shoup and Michael Spangler; Steward – Samuel Smith and William Jackson; Class Leaders – Saxton Chesebrough and Michael Spangler.  Among the first revivals were those conducted by John Conaway, and these were followed by Revs. Tibbles, Miller, Graham, Lindsey and Joseph Good, all attended by greater or less success, those of Conaway and Tibbles being quite successful; these were succeeded by many others of less importance.
     The Methodist Protestant Church in this township was first organized in 1866-67, by Rev. Evans, who had, for a time previous, conducted religious services in the “Greek” Schoolhouse.  Here it was, in fact, that the organization was effected, there being at that time about thirty members enrolled, bearing names as follows:  George, Rebecca, Simon, John, Henry and Elizabeth Greek, Henry and Hannah Hagerman, Martha Montague, N. L. Updegraff, Isabel Updegraff, Isaac and Elizabeth Wohlgamuth, Winfield and Mary Tong, Jacob Bocher, Emily Hysington, John and Catharine Ribley, Jerry Snook, William Snook and wife, Louisa Updegraff, William Davis and wife, John Starr, William Baker and wife, Robert and Louisa Warner, Elizabeth Hines and perhaps a few others.  In 1868 and 1869, the present church building was erected at a cost of $1,100, and was designated “Grace Chapel.”  It is a frame building 36x45 feet in dimensions and was erected by the Methodist Protestant society, with some assistance from the United Brethren organization, on the southwest quarter of Section 25.  Rev. Evans labored as pastor in this appointment five years; Rev. Baker, two years; Rev. Frailkill and Rev. Ravenscraugh perhaps two years, and Rev. Overhultz about four years.  The present officers are Henry Hagerman, George Greek and Isaac Wohlgamuth, Trustees, but owing to dissensions and indifference on the part of members the organization has recently been abandoned.  Rev. Evans conducted the first revival, which resulted in about thirty conversions and as many additions to the membership of the church, and several others followed, but were only revivals, no further additions to the membership being secured.  The building is now unused and, considering the causes which have led to abandonment, almost any other title than “Grace Chapel” would be more appropriate.
     The English Lutheran Church was organized in this township in 1838 and 1839, and a log building was erected and afterward weather-boarded.  The members of the Reformed Church assisted in the enterprise and the house was consequently divided against itself, from which state of affairs trouble soon arose, which it is unnecessary to detail here.  Rev. Huffman was the first pastor in charge, and the names of the original members so far as known were as follows:  John Hill, Peter Kiser, Peter Stahl, Adam Keller, Frederick Shuman, Henry Shuman, Charles Kaley, Daniel Stahl, John Buchanan and perhaps some of their wives.  The ministers other than Rev. Huffman, Ref. Froukenmiller and Rev. Dustman.  The present building was erected by the Reform society in 1862-63 at a cost of $1,600.  It is a frame structure, 32x46 feet in size, and well furnished.  The present number of members is about twenty-five.




CLICK HERE to Return to

CLICK HERE to Return to

This Webpage has been created by Sharon Wick exclusively for Genealogy Express  ©2008
Submitters retain all copyrights