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.
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     Without village, postoffice, store or mill within its limits, has, nevertheless, taken a front rank among the townships of Delaware County, excelling in the standard of its citizenship and the richness of its soil.  It was created by an act of the Commissioners' Court, on petition, Dec. 24, 1816, the northern half being set off from Marlborough and the southern half from Delaware Township.  Its geographical lines have remained unchanged since that date.
     The Olentangy River, sometimes refered to as the Blue Whetstone, takes a winding course through the length of the township, in which it has as tributaries, from the west, Wild Cat Creek, Norris Creek and Clear Run, and from the east, Horseshoe Branch, thus affording ample natural drainage.  The land, where broken by streams, is rolling, but the west part of the township is level.  In the early days it was heavily timbered with oak, elm, ash, walnut, hickory and sugar maple, and the banks of the river were so dense with trees and underbrush as to be almost impenetrable.  wheat and other small grains have been the principal production, whilst stockraising has always been carried on to a great extent.
     Joseph Cole one of the earliest settlers of the township, arrived near Norton, in December, 1808, and shortly after purchased 640 acres of land in the northeast part of what is now Troy Township.  He erected thereon a cabin and during the early days of his residence encountered trials almost insurmountable.  Leaving his wife and children in the little cabin in the woods, without protection or safeguards of any kind, he frequently made trips to Zanesville for provisions, or to Franklinton to have his corn ground.  He was a man of that vigorous type so essential to the development of any community, and left an imprint on the affairs of the township in his day, which time has not effaced.  He was the first justice of the peace, elected in 1815, and for a period of twenty-one years discharged the duties of that office in a manner to bring peace to litigants, although frequently at hi own expense.  He erected the first brick house of brick burned on his farm.  At his cabin the first meetings of the old Marlborough Baptist Church were held in 1810,  He erected a sawmill about the year 1820, and three years later added a grist-mill, both of which were in operation many years.  Many of his descendants are today living in the township.  His son, Hugh Cole, at the age of sixteen years, began carrying the mail on horseback between Delaware and Mansfield, and continued for four years, It was a task to shake the nerves of an older man, but he acquitted himself with bravery in many stirring adventures, particularly in an encounter with two highway-men in the thick of the forest.  David Dix, Sr., came to Troy in 1807, selected a location, and the same fall returned to Pennsylvania to be married.  The following spring he returned with his wife to Delaware Township.  In the fall of that year he hired two men to accompany him to the place he had located and there erected a cabin, into which he moved with his family in the spring of 1809.  At that time his only neighbor was Joseph Cole.  Among the net arrivals were Levi Hinton and his step-brother, William, the latter being a full brother of Col. Seburn Hinton, the pioneer mill owner of the Mill Creek Settlement in Concord Township.  They located near the center of Troy Township, as did also their relatives, the DanielsJohn Duncan came in 1810 from North Carolina, and Comforts Olds came some time prior to that year but continued his way north to the forks of the Whetstone.  Nathan Roath arrived in 1810 and settled on land near that of David Dix, Sr., and at about the same time came Pierce Main, who located in the northeast part of the township.  Joseph Curren came from Virginia in 1812, and two years later sold his cabin and farm to James Norris, sr.  The latter had come fro Portsmouth, Ohio, to Worthington, in 1811, and when Harrison's army marched north to the relief of Fort Meigs, his patriotism led him to join it.  Upon leaving the army he rejoined his family at Worthington and in 1814 made his way to Troy Township.  Among his children was a son William then eleven years old, who afterward became associate judge of Common Pleas Court and a man of considerable prominence in the county.  Another son, James Norris, Jr., a small child at the time of arrival, in later years improvised a small grist-mill, the grinding stones being made of "nigger heads," and the power being furnished by a team of horses hitched to a leer which was attached to the upper stone.  It was a unique affair, but in the absence of mills near at hand, served its purpose very well.  Eleazar Main, early in 1813, came to Delaware, where he joined Harrison's Army in the relief of Fort Meigs, after which he returned and lived at the home of Joseph Cole for a time.  He then purchased a farm of his own and built a cabin, which he replaced in 1824 with a brick house, made from brick manufactured on the farm of his father-in-law.  Mr. Cole.  He was the first of seven brothers to take up his residence in the township, being followed Aug. 10, 1815,  by Sabeers and Timotny, Lyman and Thomas Main came next, less than a year later, being accompanied by mother and sisters, and some time afterward, Jonas and John Main moved in.  This has been a family long prominent in the township, and its representatives are more numerous now than in the early days.  Benjamin Martin, the second minister of the old Marlborough Baptist Church and the first resident minister, came to Troy Township in 1815, settling on the farm now occupied by a grandson, Nehemiah Martin.  He was a soldier of the War of 1812, having been drafted into the service immediately after his arrival at Deer Creek, Ross County Ohio, from Virginia.  He had no opportunity to prepare a home for his family, and his household goods were still in the wagon in which they had made the journey.  Fortunately, he had an uncle at Deer Creek who looked after Mrs. Martin and upon his return from the front he found them comfortably ensconced in a log cabin, which had previously done service as a barn.  He was the father of fifteen children, and at the present time a number of his descendants reside in Troy and adjoining townships.  Samuel Wells also a soldier of the War of 1812, came to 1811, Henry Cline in 1815, Thomas Gill in 1816, and Henry Worline, Jeremiah Williams and George Hunt were among others who arrived prior to the organization of Troy Township.  Samuel Gilpin settled on the Horseshoe at this time, David Carter, a stonemason by trade came in 1817, and thereafter rapid strides were made in the settlement of the township, among the notable arrivals being the families of Crawfords, Eagons, Moses, Bushes, Darsts, Jacksons, Cozarts, Willeys and Bishops.
     Miss Electa Wilcox taught the first school in Troy Township in 1814, in a log cabin on the farm of Joseph Cole, and several years later the first school house, of the log pattern, was erected.  The first mill, as before mentioned, was that of Joseph Cole.  In 1832 Lyman Main built a saw mill on Horseshoe Creek, and several years later his brother, Timothy, erected one on the same creek, on the boundary line of Oxford Township.  A small still was operated in the early days by David Bush, but its life was a short duration.  Robert Cole, born Feb. 8, 1810, was the first white child born in the township, and the first death recorded was that of Rebecca Roath, wife of Nathan, who died in 1810.  The only postoffice was in the home of Joseph Cole, and that but a short time.
     The officials of Troy township for 1908, as reported to the county auditor, are as follows:  Levi Bishop and James E. Carter, justices of the peace; F. A. Willis, William Ziegler and James M. Worline, trustees; A. D. Main, clerk; John H. Schaffner, treasurer; H. J. Strait, assessor; H. B. Main and L. E. Freshwater, constables; Ben Roberts, ditch supervisor.



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