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




     (In preparing this sketch we have made free use of an article written many years ago by the late Hon. J. R. Hubbell.)

     This township was named for that portion of New York City known as Harlem, which was given that name by the early Dutch settlers of that region in honor of a prosperous city of that name in their native land.  This township contains even 16,000 acres of land, and is known and designated on the map of the United States Military Lands as Township No. 3 and Range 16.
     The origin of these Military Lands is explained in the chapter devoted to the settlement and organization of the county.  It is bounded on the north by Trenton Township; on the east by Monroe Township, Licking County; on the south by Plain Township, Franklin County, and on the west by Genoa Township.  Of the larger streams running southward through Delaware County not one touches Harlem Township, but notwithstanding this fact, this township is well watered.  Large runs and brooks, supplied by springs and spring runs.  How from the east line of the township, in a south-westerly direction, to Big Walnut Creek.  Among these we may mention Spruce Run and Duncan Run.  A few rods distant from the north line and about a mile and a half from the northwest corner of the township, is located a sulphur spring, on a farm that was long known as the "Dustin Farm."  The character and water of this spring have been declared by competent chemists to be strongly impregnated with sulphur and magnesia, and other minerals, and is very similar in quality to the water of the White Sulphur Springs of the Scioto, and the Sulphur Springs at Delaware.  The land in this township is almost uniformly level.  Near the mouth of Duncan Run and the mouth of the Spruce, there is some rolling land; but of the eighteen townships of Delaware County, this in the character of the soil is most uniform.  The soil is a deep black loam, and very productive; the general yield of all cereal and vegetable products in this township is much above the average, compared with other townships of the county.  There is no waste land in the township.  The timber in its native forest was luxuriant.  Upon the high and rolling land was white oak. ash, sugar maple, hickory and beech, but the level lands were covered with burr-oak, white elm and black ash.  Stock-raising has received considerable atten-

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tion here.  Almost the entire population is engaged in fanning.  There is little if any manufacturing.  There are no mines, no canals, navigable streams or railroads nor any important town.  Along and near the lower part of Duncan Run there are extensive stone quarries, which produce Waverly stone of the very best quality, but on account of the lack of transportation facilities, they have been worked but little. 
     There seems to be more certainty regarding the early settlers in this township than of the settlers in most of the other townships in the county.  In 1803 a man named Duncan purchased Section 3 from the patentee, but failed to pay the purchase money, and in 1807, the sheriff of Franklin County sold the entire 4,000 acres at public auction to Benjamin Cook, Esq., for forty-two cents per acre.  An amusing incident, illustrating the shrewdness and caution of this early pioneer, is quite appropriate in this connection.  Among the New England families who emigrated to Ohio in 1805-06, was Mr. Cook, who came to Granville from Connecticut.  While living there, he learned that this tract of land was to be sold to the highest bidder by the sheriff.  He immediately prepared himself with the necessary funds, as lie supposed, to make the purchase.  The terms of sale were cash in hand.  He was compelled to keep his money upon in person, to be ready to make the purchase, in case he became the lucky bidder; and then again, he was going among strangers and was liable to be robbed. He dressed himself, for his own protection, in old clothes covered with patches and rags, permitted his beard to grow long, and put on a dirtier shirt than usual; in short, he presented an appearance of wretchedness and poverty.  Beneath his rags and patches he concealed his treasure.  No one suspected that he had any money or was other than a beggar, and when he commenced to bid, the rival bidders ceased their competition.  They supposed his bidding was a farce, and that he could not pay for the land if it was struck off to him.  In this shrewd transaction, he illustrated the true Yankee character, to the amusement of those he outwitted.  He paid the sheriff the purchase money, obtained his deed, and immediately moved by way of Berkshire onto his new purchase.  He kept five hundred acres of this tract, selling the balance to Colonel Moses Byxbe.  He was the first settler in the township, and when he moved upon his claim, there was not even a cabin upon it, and until one was built, his family occupied an Indian shanty.  Mr. Cook died in 1839.  He was the first justice of the peace of the township, and held other official positions with honor and credit.  Calvin Tracy Cook was the first white child born in Harlem Township.  His birth occurred in 1808, and he died in 1831.  The oldest child of Benjamin Cook was Benajah S. Cook, who was born in Connecticut in 1794, and was brought by his father to Harlem, where he married and settled on a large farm near his father's homestead.  He was a great hunter in his day.
     Stephen Thompson, who was a squatter, was the next settler in the township.  He came here in 1808.  He came with his parents when quite young, and before the American Revolution, from Ireland.  The family settled in Pennsylvania.  He was a drum-major in the Revolution.  At about the same time, a number of families came to this county from the same part of Pennsylvania - the Wyoming Valley.  In 1809, Rev. Daniel Bennett and family settled in Harlem on a farm near the center of the township.  He was a local preacher and led an exemplary lite.  His wife was a Miss Adams, the sister of Elijah Adams,  for many years was a squire.  Rev. Adams's oldest daughter married B. Roberts, who settled in Centerville, probably nearly eighty years ago.  Their oldest daughter became the wife of the late C. B. Paul, of Delaware.  Mr. Paul filled several of the Harlem Township and county offices.  He was the largest landholder in the township at one time.  Before the Civil war, he served as county commissioner, and the first year of the war he was elected county treasurer, and held this office four years.
     Two brothers, Elijah and John Adams, came to Harlem in 1809.  He bought a cabin of Stephen Thompson, west of the Bennett

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farm.  He married Desire Cook, the daughter of Benajah Cook, and raised a large family.  His oldest son, Abraham Adams, was admitted to the Bar, but died soon after at his residence in Columbus.  Another son, Elijah B. Adams, was graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, just previous to the war.  He enlisted as a private but soon rose to the rank of captain.  Early in the war he had all the fingers on his right hand cut off by a sabre in the hands of a rebel officer.  Unable longer to perform active service, he entered the invalid corps, where he remained until the close of the war.  In 1872 he was elected county recorder and re-elected in 1875.  He gave the people of the county a satisfactory administration of the office, and upon his retirement in 1879, he removed to Columbus.  Another brother, John Adams, was a justice of the peace in Harlem, but removed to Colorado. 
     William Fancher, with his wife and a large famly, emigrated from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, in 1810.  They bought about 1,000 acres of land in the southern part of the township.  He was a veteran of the Revolution, and a number of his sons served in the second war with England.  The family was prominent and highly esteemed among the early settlers.  About the same time, and from the same part of Pennsylvania, N. B. Waters and family came to Harlem Township.  After residing here for several years, they removed to Fairfield County, where they resided for about eighteen years.  They then returned to this county, settling in the northern part of Radnor Township.  Here Mr. Waters died in 1858.  His wife was a Miss Cary, a sister of the wife of Squire Adams.  His son, Benjamin C. Waters, married a daughter of Colonel William Budd, about 1846.  He was a blacksmith for several years in the village of Harlem.  He served as justice of the peace, and in 1860 he was elected sheriff, and was re-elected in 1862.  In the latter part of the Civil war he was provost marshal for the county, and for several years United States mail agent on the route from Cincinnati to Cleveland.  He was elected probate judge in 1872.  Though not a trained lawyer, he had acquired considerable knowledge of the law, and his native good sense and judgment enabled him to perform the duties of the office in a manner satisfactory to all.
     Among the early and most numerous of the pioneer families, is that of John Budd, who emigrated from the Wyoming Valley in 1810, and settled upon a large tract of several hundred acres, situated in the west part of the township, on Duncan Run.  This family by marriage was connected with all the early families of this township.  When Mr. Budd came to Ohio, he was well advanced in years, and all his sons were young men grown.  Their names were Benjamin, Eli, John and William.  We may not give their names in chronological order of birth.   Benjamin Budd settled east of his father, cleared up a farm, but in a few years afterward he sold his farm and moved to Indiana with his famly.  His brother, Eli, settled on a farm farther east, cleared it up, and about the same time sold out and moved to Indiana.  The elder Mr. Budd died on the old homestead he helped to improve in the early days, and his son, William, by purchase and inheritance, became the owner of the old homestead property.  His son, John, or Dr. John Budd, the cognomen by which he was known, purchased from his father for $250, 100 acres of land situated north of the village of Buddtown, as it is called, where he settled and lived until his death in 1872.  Soon after his father settled in Harlem, he married, Mary Adams, sister of Elijah and John Adams.  They had several children.  He was a botanical physician.  While he never went to college, he had practical common sense, and never undertook to do in his profession anything beyond his skill.  He was amiable, kind-hearted and a good citizen.  William, who was better known as Colonel Budd, was something of a character, he had dash and enterprise, owned and ran a mill, kept store, carried on farming on a large scale, dealt in stock, and had a taste for military and political life.  He was colonel of a regiment in the peace establishment, and had a great taste for litigation, he sometimes engaged in legal practice in the justice courts.

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His wife was a sister of Elijah Adams.  They reared a large family.  Colonel Budd left a large estate.  Upon his death, his eldest son.  James Budd, became the owner of the old homestead, consisting of several hundred acres, to which he made additions until he became the largest land owner in the township, and one of the largest in the county.  James Budd was very much like his father, generous and kind-hearted.  For many years he was extensively engaged in the stock business, and at the close of the Civil war, met with heavy pecuniary losses, sold his farm and moved West.  The oldest daughter married Major Jesse C. Tull.  He was a native of New York, and when a young man, came to Ohio and was employed as a school teacher in Harlem.  Alter his marriage, he was an active business man, dividing his time between agricultural and mercantile pursuits.  He later moved to Columbus and engaged in the hotel business.  Another daughter became the wife of Judge
B. C. Waters.
Another early settler in this township was Benamin M. Fairchild, who emigrated from Bennington, Vermont, in 1808 or 1809.  For many years he was employed by Benajah Cook to work on the farm.  He was a millwright and mechanic, but being a natural genius, he was successful at any work he undertook.  About the beginning of the War of 1812, he was married, and at this time sent for his brother Shuman and family to come from Vermont.  He was able by industry and economy to purchase a 150-acre farm.  He built several grist and saw-mills, and opened up several stone quarries on Duncan Run, which he had purchased from Coloned Byxbe.  He gave the stone for the Central College.  In 1878 he died at an advanced age.  Shuman settled on a farm adjoining his brother's farm on the south.  He died without heirs, and left his estate to his wife and relatives, except $1,500, which he donated to the church.
     George Fix was an early settler coming into the township a number of years later than those we have mentioned.  About 1812 Conrad Wickizer came from Berks County, Pennsylvania, and settled in the southeastern part of the township.  The Mann family - Thomas, Eleazer, Abijah and Gordon Mann - were among the early settlers.  Daniel Hunt was another.  He came from Washington County, Pennsylvania, and settled on a farm about a mile east of Centerville, about 1835.  He was an industrious and successful man, but his kindness in such matters as bail debts led him into financial straits.  He was justice of the peace for several years and a member of the Disciples' Church.
     About eighty years ago John Hanover and family came into the township from Ohio County, West Virginia.  And about the same time Elam Blain, a Pennsylvanian, settled on a new farm on Spruce Run.  He was an intelligent but unassuming man.  He was justice of the peace for fifteen years, and held other township offices.  He raised a large family.  Another settler of this period and in this neighborhood was John Miller.  He was one of the pioneers who helped to clear up the township.  He died in 1880 past eighty years of age, leaving numerous descendants.  Jonathan Bateson, a brother-in-law of Daniel Hunt, came here about the same time as Hunt.  He also for several years was a justice of the peace.  He and Hunt married sisters by the name of McClelland.  In 1839 Nathan Paul settled on a farm of about 400 acres about half a mile east of Centerville.  He was intelligent, enterprising and thrifty.  He married a Miss Bell and had two sons and a daughter.  He died in 1850 at the age of forty-one, leaving a large estate.  Among other prominent settlers who have many descendants in the township at the present time were Thomas, Joseph, David and John Gorsuch, and a glance at the list of township officers will show that this is a prominent name.  We Have given all the data regarding the early settlement of the township that we have been able to secure at this late date, and of course, it is beyond the scope of a work of this kind to attempt to go into details of the present population, which alone would make a large volume.
     The township contains two villages, Centerville, situated at the center of the township, was laid out by Edward Hartrain and Ben-

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Roberts in 1848.  The following year Harlem Village was laid out by Amos Washburn and James Budd.
     The Township officials for 1908, as reported to the county auditor, are: Samuel Gorsuch and J. W. Pace, justice of the peace; W. F. Hill, Seth Gorsuch and Ross Gorsuch, trustees; H. M. Cockrell, clerk; Dr. N. Gorsuch, treasurer; I. D. Williams, assessor; A. A. Grove and G. E. Gorsuch, constables.



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