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.
were the owners of real and personal estate in
Township in 1845:
OWNERS OF REAL ESTATE.
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.
OWNERS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY
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.
TOWN OF RIDGEVILLE
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.
TOWN OF JAMESTOWN.
twenty-four lots in this plate, twelve – Nos. 1 to 12 inclusive – were situated
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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