A Part of Genealogy Express
Delaware County, Ohio

History & Genealogy

20th century history of Delaware County, Ohio
and representative citizens
Chicago, Ill. :: Biographical Pub. Co., 1908 by James R. Lytle
Transcribed by Sharon Wick


Settlement and Organization of the Townships - Settlement and Founding of the Towns
Sketches of Ashley, Galena, Sunbury, Ostrander, Lewis Center, Powell, Radnor, and other towns.
Pg. 435




     Delaware was originally set off as one of the divisions of the newly formed county of Delaware, on June 16, 1808, and included thewhole of Township 5 and the northern half of Township 4 of the United States Military Survey; Station 3 of Brown, and Section 2 of Berlin.  In 1816 Troy was formed, taking off the northern half of Township 5, and on Jan. 8, 1820, the Berlin Section was taken off.  Brown was organized in 1826, leaving Delaware in regular shape and five miles square, though composed of parts of two Congressional Townships.  In 1852 a piece of territory a mile square was taken from the southwest corner of the township and annexed to Concord in compensation for the surrender of certain territory to Scioto, leaving Delaware in its present shape.  It is bounded on the north by Troy, on the east by Brown and Berlin, on the south by Liberty and Concord, and on the west by Concord, Scioto and Radnor.
     The township is watered by the Olentangy River and its tributaries, which stream enters near the center of its northern boundry and runs in a general southerly direction, with a slight eastern trend.  The principal tributaries are Delaware, Rocky, and Slate Runs, which, together with the main stream, affords ample drainage for the greater part of the township.
     In former days, according to fairly reliable tradition, the Delaware Indians had a village on the west side of the Olentangy, on the north side of the run, about where Monnett Hall of the Ohio Wesleyan University now stands.  The land along this western bank is high rolling ground, extending toward the northwest.  Along the east bank are the rich lands known as "second bottoms," which consist of a fine gravelly loam, admirably suited to agricultural purposes.  This changes to clay as the high lands farther back are reached.
     Most of this district was formerly well timbered, especially along the banks of the Olentangy, which was fringed with a heavy growth of oak and maple, save for occasional clearings made by the Indians.  South of Delaware Run there were also a number of elm swamps, while the black-ash and the burr-oak abounded and, indeed, may still be found.  "The site of Delaware City was covered with a tall growth of prairie grass, with a fringe of plum trees along the run, with here and there a scrub oak or thorn apple."
     Some years after Wayne's great victory over the Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timber, or about 1802, the Delawares reluctantly tore themselves away from the land of their forefathers, never to tread its soil again as lords and owners.  The vanguard of white settlers followed close upon the heels of the retreating redskins; the sound of the axe was soon heard in the forests, and the log cabin of the hardy pioneer, surrounded by the usual clearing, here and there gave evidence of the new era of civilization and progress that arrived, and that the long centuries of primitive savagery - of barbarism in war and idleness in peace - had passed away forever.

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     The site of the present city of Delaware was early recognized as an admirable location for settlement.   The main title of emigration in the comity, as has been pointed out by a previous historian, had made its way up the valley of Alum Creek, following the main Indian trail, "along the fertile hanks of the Scioto, and by the old Granville Road, forming settlements in Radnor, on the forks of the Whetstone, in Berkshire, and in Berlin.  The first colony did, indeed, follow the Olentangy, but it stopped at Liberty, leaving Delaware an 'undiscovered country.'  Thus, while the forests all about were ringing with the blows of the pioneer's axe. the township of the greatest future political importance stood desolate amid the ruins of her early habitations."
     In their excursions through the woods the first settlers here found growing in a tangled mass of tall grass and thickets an abundance of wild cherries, plums and grapes, and the neighborhood soon became the scene of many a frolic and pleasure excursion.  In more recent years stock-raising has proved a profitable industry, and some of the finest specimens (if blooded horses, cattle and sheep to be found in the State may be seen here.  While the progenitors of much of this stock were imported from England and other countries, many specimens, the result of local breeding, have been exported and have brought fancy prices abroad.  More detailed information concerning this important industry may be found in other parts of this work.
      The story of the rise and growth of Delaware City will be found given in a special chapter devoted to that subject, while an account of its leading industries, its churches, banks, public institutions, etc., pertaining to the city proper may be found in separate chapters devoted to those special subjects, and therefore need not be enlarged upon here.
     From an early period the settlement of Delaware evinced so sturdy a growth as precluded the probability of anything like rival villages within the limits of the township.
     Still, notwithstanding, two places were platted and achieved a healthy though moderate growth. Prospect Hill, situated on the high land east of the river and just north of Sugar Creek, was laid out as a town, in 1852, by Dr. Ralph Hills, and has since become a part of the city.  Stratford on the Olentangy was laid out in 1850 by Hon. Hosea Williams and H. G. Andrews, and consisted of seventeen lots
on the west bank of the river fronting on Sandusky Street.  The chief object of this settlement was to furnish homes for the hands employed in the mills at this point, a number of which have at different times been established here.  The first mill was built as early as 1808 and afterwards became the property of Colonel Meeker, who rebuilt and enlarged it, in 1829 adding facilities for carding and fulling.
     In 1838 the old flouring mill, with the privileges and property, were bought by Judge Hosea Williams and Caleb Howard for the purpose of establishing a paper-mill.  A new dam was erected and the mill commenced operations, Oct. 1. 1839.  It was John Hoyt, the first superintendent, who gave the classical name of Stratford to the place. In October, 1840, the building was damaged by fire, but the damage was shortly repaired and the building improved, and in the fall of 1844, Mr. Howard sold his interest to H. G. Andrews.  In 1849 the old flouring-mill was fitted up for the manufacture of wrapping paper and turned out about half a ton per day.  In February, 1857, the mills were totally destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of $25,000, with an insurance of about $10,000.  In the following November a two-story stone building, 50x80 feet, with several additions was built at a cost of about $30,000.  Among those who have been associated in this business are J. H. Mendenhall, who became a partner in 1871, and V. T. and C. Hills.  An artesian well was sunk 210 feet through solid limestone rock to furnish the water for purifying purposes.
     The first purchase of land in Delaware Township was made by Abraham Baldwin and consisted of 8,000 acres, including the third section of Brown and the northeast section of Delaware.  The patents were dated Dec. 24, 1800, and were signed by John Adams,

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President of the United States of America.  Mr. Baldwin came from a well known Connecticut family numbering many distinguished men among its members.  He was born in New Haven and was graduated at Yale College in 1772.  He served in the Revolutionary army, and alter the war, having studied law, settled in Savannah, Georgia, being soon after chosen a member of the Legislature of that State.  He was the originator, and for some time president, of the University of Georgia.  He was a member of the Connecticut Congress from 1785 to 1788, and a member of the convention that framed the constitution of the United States.  From 1789 to 1799 he was a representative in Congress, and from 1799 to 1807 he was a member of the United States Senate, of which for a part of the time he was president pro tem.  He was a man of large wealth and owned considerable land in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Iowa.  In Ohio he bad 16,000 acres in Licking County.  Mar. 1, 1801, he sold 500 acres of the original purchase to William Wells, one-half to be located on the northeast corner of Delaware Township, and the other on the northeast corner of Section 3, in Brown.
     Mr. Baldwin never married and at his death, which occurred Mar. 4, 1807, it was found that he had devised the remainder of this property to his three half-brothers and two half-sisters.  The heirs being widely separated in point of residence, the property soon passed by power of attorney or purchase into the control of one of them - Henry Baldwin, a lawyer of Pittsburg.  Henry Baldwin was subsequently approached by Colonel Byxbe and between them some arrangement was made which resulted in the founding of the city of Delaware.  The further history of the platting of the town will be found elsewhere in this work.
     Though the first purchase of land in Delaware Township was made by Abraham Baldwin as above stated, the first actual settler within the township's limits was John Beard, who took up land in the southern part of the township.  Dec. 2, 1807, be purchased of Benjamin Ives Gilman, of Marietta, Ohio, 624 acres in a square piece situated on the west bank of the Olentangy River, its southern line forming a part of the boundary line of the township.  After erecting a cabin on the bank of the river he brought his family there, and in the following spring commenced the erection of a log grist-mill, being assisted by Ira Carpenter of Liberty.  He seems not to have been very successful as a pioneer settler, however, and in February, 1811, he sold his property to Colonel Forest Meeker, a native of Rutland, Vermont, who had emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1797, and who had subsequently resided for a time in Chillicothe, Ohio, and in Bourbon County, Kentucky.   Colonel Meeker soon had plenty of neighbors, as later, in 1811, quite a colony came from Virginia and another from Pennsylvania, settling in his vicinity.  Among the Virginians were Robert Jamison, John Shaw and Matthew Anderson, while the leading Pennsylvanians were Frederick Weiser, Robert McCoy, Joseph Cunningbam, John Wilson and Andrew Harter.  In the following year came Samuel Hughs from Virginia, in 1813 Elias Scribner, and in 1814 Reuben Ruby came from Kentucky.
     This settlement being within easy reach of saw and grist-mills, furnished with practicable roads, and with a regular mail service, grew and prospered.  The best farming lands being found along the river were soon taken up by the settlers.  About 1812 John and Henry Worline bought land on the east side of the river, but sold out in three or four years and moved to a more northerly part of the county.  Albreight Worline came in 1814 with his family of four boys and two girls, the boys being each old enough to render assistance in clearing a farm.  William Sweetzer settled north of the Worlines on the same side of the river, coming from Dummerston,Vermont, in 1815, after a journey of forty daysthrough the wilderness.  He bought the propertyof John and Henry Worline.  His family consisted of his wife, five boys and three girls, the youngest child being only six months old at the time of their settlement here.  With them came Hosea Miller and family and two young men - Solomon and Wilder JoyRutherford
Hayes came in 1817 from Vermont,

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and bought land in the neighborhood but tookup his residence in town.
     After the War of 1812 settlements began to increase west of the river and along Delaware Run, the good fanning lands being speedily taken up.  The following names are taken from the Delaware poll-book of the first election held Oct. 11, 1808, and are given in the order of their voting: Thomas Vanhorn, Asahel Hart, John Aye, Pennsylvania, Jacob Filgey, George Soop, Moses Byxbe, Massachusetts, Peter Ealy, Silas Dunham, Rhode Island, Appleton Byxbe, Massachusetts, Timothy Squire, Solomon Smith, Massachusetts, Ira Carpenter, Pennsylvania, Solomon Finch, Roderick Crosbey, Moses Byxbe, Jr., Massachusetts, William Little, Connecticut,Noah Sturdevant, Jacob Drake, Pennsylvania, Nathaniel Little, Connecticut, Thomas Butler, Massachusetts, Salmon Agard, Pennsylvania, Jeremiah Osborn, Azariah Root, Massachusetts, Nathaniel Disbury, Alford Carpenter, Clark Beebe, Charles Robbins, Alexander Enos, Noah Spaulding, Vermont, Daniel Munsey, Josiah Grant, and Reuben Lamb.
     The rest of the history of Delaware Township is closely bound up with that of the city and will be found as already intimated in the various chapters devoted to special subjects to be found in this work, and to some extent in the lives of prominent citizens herein given.  The following are the township officers for the year 1908. as reported to the county auditor:
     J. T. Hutchisson and William G. Gannon, justices of the peace; P. E. Davis and H. S. Breyfogle and F. E. McKinnie, trustees; George J. Young, clerk; Edwin F. Young, treasurer: H. H. Sharadin, assessor; E. D. Rugg and W. D. Vest, constables; and W. H. Johnson, ditch supervisor.



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