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History of Henry & Fulton Counties
edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich - Syracuse NY - Publ. D. Mason & Co.


Chapter XXIV.
pg. 243

     THIS is another township which has recently been cut out of the "Big Woods," and thus destroyed a large part of the happy hunting ground of the sportsman.  It was organized as a geographical township in 1850, being detached from Harrison to which it had previously belonged.  In the government survey it is known as township four, north of range seven, east.  The duplicate of 1851 shows only seven chattel taxpayers resident in the township.  We give the names with the amount of tax paid by each: Samuel E. Edwards (author of the "Ohio Hunter," who then resided on the farm now owned and occupied by Philip Heckler), $2.40; William Hill, $1.89; Michael Hill, $2.02; Waite Hill, Jr., $1.09; Christopher Kemm, $3.38; Matthias Knopsley $.97; Amonah Parkison, $1.05; Paulus Quitman, $1.01.  The number of acres of land entered and subject to taxation was 14,463; valued at $22,268.21; while the value of the chattel property was only $476, and the total tax paid, including specials, was $1,698.35.  In this connection the duplicate of 1887 may as well be given.  It shows 22,960 acres of land, valued at $233,210, subject to taxation; the chattel property is valued at $80,376, and the total tax paid $7,244.62.  The population of the township was, in 1860, three hundred and fifty-two souls; in 1870 six hundred and fifty-eight; in 1880 it had grown to one thousand one hundred and forty-eight, and is at present not less than fifteen hundred.  The township is divided into nine school districts and has as many good and commodious school buildings; and five churches, all Protestant, - one a United Brethren, near Levi Dresbeck's; two Lutheran churches, one on section 18, and one on section 33.  The others will be spoken of when we write of the villages.
     Among the early settlers of the township, in addition to those already named, we may add: David Latta, Matthew Hill, Daniel and W. H. Bigford, Rev. Williamson Barnhill, Charles Huber, John Bensing, John Frankforther, Peter Reimond, John B. Meyers, Rev. Frederick Witzgall, and Jacob Snyder, who made the early improvements on the valuable farm now owned and occupied by John Rentz.  All of these persons or their immediate descendants or families are still living in the township.
     For many years this township was a stunted child, and its healthy growth commenced with the construction of the Toledo, Delphos and Burlington Railroad, a narrow guage, but which has in the present year been extended to a standard guage, and is now known as the "Clover Leaf" route.  The road enters the township at the northeast corner of section one, on the east line, runs in a southwest direction, leaving the township in the northwest quarter of section thirty-one, on the west line.
   The lands in this township, as in the whole county with the exception of the ridge, are low, flat, level, and were wet, requiring considerable drainage.  This has been accomplished and three-fourths of the township is now under a good state of cultivation.  The drainage is accomplished by the cleaning out, widening and deepening of the natural water courses, the main one of which is Turkey Foot.  This creek enters the township in the south at the line between section thirty-five and thirty-six, running north in a winding direction through sections thirty-five, twenty-six, twenty-three, twenty-two, fourteen, fifteen, ten, three, four and five, entering Harrison township near the center of the latter section on the south township line.  School Creek enters the township in the west near the southwest quarter of section nineteen, and runs northerly, winding through sections eighteen and eight, emptying into Turkey Foot in section four.  Lost Creek and Ash Creek also runs from the south to the north, both adding their waters to Turkey Foot.  Into these several streams artificial drainage, both surface and sub-soil, have been constructed, pretty thoroughly draining the township and fitting it for cultivation.  Good roads have been constructed on almost every section line, both north and south and east and west, many of which have by the county commissioners been improved under the laws of the Legislature enacted for that purpose, and the township to-day ranks among the best and wealthiest in the county. 
     The hamlets and villages in the township are Ellery (or, as known on the plat book, Herrtown) Grelleton and Malinta.  Of these in order:


     On the plat book this hamlet is known as Herrtown, but the postoffice located there having been named Ellery, the latter has become the accepted name.  It is situated in the south part of the east half of the southwest quarter of section sixteen on the "Clover Leaf" route.  It consists of seventeen lots; is a railway station, has a postoffice and small store.  It was platted by Peter Ritter, Jan. 29, 1881.  It may be said to be extensively laid out but thinly settled.


     This village, or more properly hamlet, is located where the township of Harrison, Damascus, Richfield and Monroe center.  It is also on the corner of section one in the latter township.  On the 10th of May, 1884, Mr. Clay platted another addition in this township, in the southeast corner of the northwest quarter of the same section.  It consists of thirteen lots, and was recorded Dec. 27, 1884.  The hamlet has a good school-house, two dry goods stores, a meat market, restaurant, a saw-mill, hoop factory, stave factory, a railroad depot, express, telegraph and post-offices, and contains a population of from three hundred to three hundred and fifty.  Among the first settlers and present residents of the place may be enumerated Thomas B. Emery, Joseph B. Ward, Eli C. Clay, William Mead, C. H. Thompson, Jonathan Scheidler, Leroy Thompson, Randall & Hughes, hoop factory, and the Dewey Stave Company.


     This is the principal village in the township.  It is also on the line of the "Clover Leaf," and is located in sections ten and eleven.  It contains a population of from four hundred to four hundred and fifty.  It has four dry goods and general stores, two hardware stores, two saloons and restaurants, one sawmill, stave factory, tile and brick factory, picture gallery, blacksmith shops, shoemaker, etc.  It is a railroad station and has an express, telegraph and post office.  Two churches, one Lutheran and one United Brethren, are erected here.
     The village was first platted and laid out by John Bensing, Sept. 21, 1880, in the west part of the northwest quarter of section eleven, on the north side of the railroad.  Turkey Foot avenue bounded it on the west, Main street on the north, an alley on the east, and an alley between the plat and the railroad on the south.  It was constituted of twenty lots, with Center street running east and west, and Henry street and an alley north and south.  Depot grounds were also laid out on the south of the railroad.
     Mr. Bensing platted and recorded his first addition to the village, April, 1881.  It is in the west part of the northwest quarter of section eleven, south of the railroad, west of the depot grounds and east of Turkey Foot avenue.  It consists of twenty-six lots.  Washington and Adams streets and one alley run east and west;  Henry street continued and two alleys run north and south.
     May 28, 1881, L. and L. Horn added an addition to the village, located in part of the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter of section ten.  It embraced four and a half acres west of Turkey Foot avenue.  It consists of twelve lots, two alleys running east and west and one north and south, on the south side of the railroad; and seventeen lots, Monroe street and three alleys, east and west and one alley north and south, on the north of the railroad.
     The town is thrifty, the population enterprising, and it will doubtless, before many years, rank among the foremost villages in the county.
     Before closing this chapter a word should be said in memory of the men who first undertook the task of making delightful homes of the "tangled forests."


     "Peace has her victories as well as war;" with equal truth may civil life be said to have its heroes as well as the tented field, and if ever man deserved the title of hero, that man is the pioneer.  Language cannot be woven into a fitting uniform for this hero; he was not an adventurer; he possessed all the elements of the true soldier: courage, fortitude, determination, endurance, self-reliance, perseverance were his characteristics.  He went forth, venturing where no other white foot had ever trod, a colonist, founding new homes and building new States.  The race of pioneers was a constructive one, and its conquests were pushed, not only beyond the mountains, but from ocean to ocean, and where its seeds of thought, religion and civilization were once planted, there they grew and flourished.
     Time too readily blots from the memory of the rising generation the glorious achievements of their ancestors, and the hardships, trials and deprivations suffered by them that they might crown "a youth of labor with an age of ease" and leave behind them homes of comfort as inheritances to their posterity; and the bravest, the best and the noblest are laid away, in a few years to be forgotten.
     There is something grand in the gradual development of human history and human progress.  The actors at any period may wholly fail to appreciate the effect of their action on the future, and be ignorant of the links and succession of events which connect past, present and future.  The actor knows only to face and to do his duty as day by day it is presented to him, and he too often remains unconscious of his relation to predecessor and successor and of the gradual unfolding of the great plan of human development and progress.  In all human movements we have the temporary and the permanent the transient form and non-essential incident with the permanent substance and the essential truth.  There must be personal actors as well as potential causes and irresistible current.  Every age has its heroes, martyrs and victims, and every cause its defenders, advocates and enemies, and to the heroic men who preceded us to the pathless wilderness we owe the heritage we now enjoy, and it is proper that to them honor to be paid and their memories cherished.  No nation ever did anything worth remembering that failed to honor its heroic dead and count among its national treasures the fame of its illustrious ancestors.
     As we gaze over the expensive and fertile fields and see the comfortable and pleasant homes of Henry county, reflect that but a few years ago it was but a "matted woods, where birds forget to sing" and recall the labors, toils, sacrifices and dangers which made up the life of the pioneer heroes whose graves indent our soil, and as we appreciate the triumphs won by them which have given to us the noble heritage we now enjoy, and cast ourselves into the beckoning future which these men and their labors made possible, our hearts cannot fail to fill with pride, and love and gratitude, and in the sight of country and of the world we lift up their honored names, and ask posterity to emulate the pioneer.
     There seems to be a neglect of duty on the part of the children of the pioneer.  There should be monuments erected to commemorate the achievements of these brave and great men.  Monuments are the links which connect names and events to fame.  Let monuments be built in each township and stand as a silent, but eloquent witness, not only to the devotion and daring, but as a constant witness that we, the sons and daughters of these pioneers, hold in grateful recollection those to whom we are so largely indebted for the blessings we to-day enjoy.




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