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Wyandot Co., Ohio
History & Genealogy

History of Wyandot County, Ohio
Chicago: Leggett, Conaway & Co.,




     THIS township, as may be readily conjectured, derives its name. "Richland," from the general fecundity of its soil, a soil rich, not in the sense of abounding in material possessions, but in being bountifully provided with those nutritive qualities that yield to the diligent and prudent tiller of the land a rich and generous return for his labors, and the name suggested was in this wise:  On April 4, 1835, two pioneers, Conrad Wickiser and Charles Smith, were out "logging" in the northwest quarter of Section 21, when the chain used in the work happened to break, and becoming entangled in a spice bush, tore it up by the roots, disclosing to their views a soil rich and promising.  Thereupon the two men resolved that the newly created township should receive the name by which it has since been known.  This occurred, as already stated, in 1835, nearly half a century ago, in which year the township was organized.
     Richland is bounded on the north, for three miles from east to west, by Ridge Township, and for the remaining two miles by Hancock County; on the east by Salem Township; on the south for four miles from east to west by Jackson Township, for the remaining mile by Hardin County; on the west by Hancock County.  Having already spoken of the alimental properties of the soil, it can be safely further said of Richland that it ranks among the foremost townships of Wyandot County as an agricultural section, and as a field for stock raising purposes it is not a whit behind.  The township is studded with prosperous farms, well drained (for the drains or ditches here are most extensive, some of them spreading completely across the township), incumbered with but little timber, and inhabited by a wide awake, thriving and contented people.


     The streams in this township are not many, nor of any degree of magnitude, and their rarity is not to be complained of as the soil is sufficiently saturated with moisture to be independent of any sucyh outside sustentation.  There are only two roads in Richland that run in a direction other than on the section or Congressional lines, or parallel with them.  Of these two roads, one leaves the southern line of Section 15, about a quarter mile west of Whartonsburg, cuts off a corner of that section, and leads northwest through Sections 16 and 17, into Hancock County; the other, the Burlington & Mount Blanchard road, laid out in March, 1835, dashes through Section 32 from Hardin County into Hancock Township line as far as Section 11, where it unites with the road first mentioned; one intersecting Sections 4, 9 and 16 as far as first mentioned road; another intersects Sections 3, 10 and 15, terminating at Whartonsburg; a fourth enters the township between Sections 1 and 2, leading to a mile north of Jackson Township; and a fifth runs along the entire dividing line of Richland and Salem Townships. Of those leading from east to west, there is one along the entire north line, the first regularly laid out road in the township (1835); a second, a mile further south, runs the entire width of the township; a third, another mile southward, to within a mile and a half of Hancock County; a fourth, another mile further south, reaches into Hancock County; another mile, and a road is found traversing to a point half a mile east of Hancock County; the sixth and seventh roads, exactly a mile apart (and the sixth a mile from the fifth) lead through the entire township.  In addition to these are several short, what might be termed "accommodation" roads.
     The Cincinnati, Sandusky & Cleveland runs completely through the township in a direction almost due northeast to southwest.  Entering from Ridge Township, it passes through Sections 1, 11, 14, 15, 22, 28 and 32, when it enters Hardin County.  There is a station at Whartonsburg, about the center of the township, and the next nearest on that railway at Forest, Hardin County, and Carey, in Crawford Township, this county.


"I hear the tread of pioneers,
Of nations yet to be,
The first low wash of waves, where soon
Shall roll a human sea."   ~ Whittier.

     The following brief mention is made of a few of the early settlers who located in the township immediately prior to or within nine or ten years after its organization.
     Dr. Samuel Pickett was born in Athens County, Ohio, September 10, 1820.  In 1830, his parents Samuel and Charity Pickett, natives of Maryland and Virginia respectively, came to and settled in what is now Richland Township, then part of Hancock County.  The Doctor was a leading citizen and a celebrated hunter and trapper.  Nathan Benjamin came in 1832, and settled on Section 20.
     In 1833, Philip Cole settled on Section 17, Joshua Cole on Section 2, and Charles Smith on Section 17.
     William M. Benjamin was born in Washington County, Ohio, June 1, 1804, son of Nathan and Mary Benjamin.  In 1834, he came to Wyandot County and settled in Richland Township, where he purchased 160 acres of land in Section 28.  He married, in 1823, and had eight children.  For thirty years he was a local minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was prominently connected with it.
     Conrad Wickiser, a native of Germany, came to Ohio with his family in 1810, settling in Perry County; from there removed to Delaware County, and in 1834 to Richland Township, this county, where he entered 10 acres of land.  He was married to Lydia Wicks, and had eleven children.  His son, Albert Wickiser, who was born February 24, 1808, lives in this township, near the spot on which the father first settled.
     About the same period came Charles Smith from Delaware, who built a cabin on Section 17.  Beers Roberts came from same county and located on Section 17; then Ira Bristoll, on Section 17; John James, on Section 1; Silas Burson, on Section 1; James Cole, on Section 2; Abraham Cole on Section 8; Harvey Chilson, on Section 13; Simeon Buell, on Section 32.
     In 1835 came Joshua Cole on Section 2; Henry Southward, on Section 13; James Duddleson, on Section 4; Robert Reynolds, on Section 12.  He married Elizabeth Capenheffer and had nine children.  James Crites, born in Stark County, Ohio, November 9, 1816, came and settled in Richland Township in 1836, entering 400 acres of land.  Some of those who came about  that period or a little later are David Anway, Joseph McClurg, John and Alexander Crider, John Derringer, Henry Williams, David Armstrong, George Stansel, Benjamin Carey, Dr. Adams, Jacob Striker, Robert Gibson and Isaac Burk.
In 1841, Solomon Spoon came from near McCutchenville, this county, and settled in this township.  He was born in Perry County, Penn., April 28, 1802.  Removing to New York State be remained there until he emigrated westward, coming to Ohio, a distance of 500 miles with an ox team.  After remaining one year near Cleveland, he moved to this county.
     Isaiah Liles, a native of Chillicothe, born in 1818, bought in 1839 eighty acres of land where he now resides, but did not move on it till 1842.  Among other settlers may be named George James, W. W. Duffield, David Morrison, Andrew and George W. Reynolds.


     Among the first settlers the first wedding which took place in this township was in December, 1834, celebrated at the residence of Conrad Wickiser (Section 21), the contracting parties being John Roberts and Abigail Wickiser; the first birth was that of Maria James, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Miller) James, on the 1st day of March, 1835, in the northeast quarter of Section 1; and the first death was that of Elijah Benjamin, a child aged four years, who was killed December 25, 1834, by a tree, in the northwest quarter of Section 28; he is buried in the Stradley Graveyard, Delaware Township, Hancock County.
     In the fall of 1838, James P. Ward created no little sensation by bringing into the township the first buggy. The first grist mill was built in 1855, by John and George Sterling at Whartonsburg; they also erected the first saw mill in 1858. There are now two saw mills in Martinsburg, one owned by John Sterling, and the other by William Bristoll. The first and only store was opened by James E. James in Whartonsburg. Previous to this store coming into existence, settlers had to go for their supplies, those in the southern part of the township to Burlington, now Marseilles, or Mt. Blanchard, and those in the more northern part to Big Spring and Old Tymochtee. The first election was held April 6, 1835, in the northeast quarter of Section 4, at the house of James Duddleson. There were then elected: Justices of the Peace, Silas Burson and Charles Smith (both Whigs); Constables, John Wickiser (Democrat) and James McCormack, (Whig); Trustees, Conrad Wickiser (Democrat), Ira Bristoll (Democrat) and James Duddleson (Whig); Treasurer, Abijah Smith (Whig); Clerk, John W. Cole, (Whig); Fence Viewers, Robert Reynolds (Whig), Silas Burson, (Whig), and William Benjamin (Democrat); Overseers of Poor, Conrad Wickiser (Democrat), Robert Reynolds (Whig) and John James (Whig); Supervisors, Joshua Cole and Charles Smith (both Whigs). On this occasion there were thirteen votes polled, and several of the voters had not been in this State one year. The first blacksmith shop was erected in 1835, in the northeast quarter of Section 1, by Robert Reynolds, and the first house was built in January, 1832, by Hescot Pickett; it was of round logs, and 16x18 feet in dimensions.
Following were the owners of real and personal estate in Richland Township in the year 1845:


     David Adams, David Adams, Jr., David Anaway, Joseph Bumthacker, Jacob Barnard, Aaron F. Burson, Ira Bristol, Silas Burson, Thomas Burson, Nathan Brown, Joshua Brown, Peter O. Brown, Obed Brown, William Benjamin, George E. Brown, Elijah Brown, Jacob Bowman, Jacob Bowman, Lindell Brown, James Bowman, Oliver Batchelor, Lovina Beaver, William Bennett, Daniel Bennett, John Barnhart, Elijah Barna, Margaret Batterson, John Case, William D. Carlin, Philip Cole, Abijah Cole, Joshua Cole, Abraham Cole, David Cole, Aaron Cole, William Corbin, William Crites, Jonas Crites, George Crites, Lydia Crites, William Crites, Harvey Chilson, James Clark, Benjamin Covey, Juda Chase, Charles C. Crandall, Daniel Daringer, James Duddleson, Joshua M. Drake, Samuel Dunlap, Charles Ely, Harvey Eldridge, Minerva Eastman, Bailey Fritter, Hiram Fuller, James Fisher, Samuel Frahem, Abraham Fry, William Fort, Robert Gibson, David Gaskill, Israel Hulse, David Hagerman, David Harrington, Harriet Hendricks, Thomas Hershberger, Peter Hines, John Hines, George James, Simon Jennings, James Kelly, David Kimball, Adam Kaln, John Krider, David Kimmell, John Knisely, Joseph Kimmell, Alexander Krider, George Long, Joseph H. Luce, David Moe, Peter Mikesell, Joseph McClurg, Jacob Mucher, James McCormick, Mary Murray, John A. Morrison, Edward Miller, James Mitchell, William Mansfield, Aaron Moore, Christian Motz, Henry Neible, Patrick O'Neil, Albert Pangburn, James M. Phillips, Erastus Pratt, Lowman Pratt, Abraham Parsell, John Pogg, John Quinn, Moss Quinn, Robert Reynolds, Margaret Ratlidge, Joseph Richardson, State of Ohio, Charles Smith, Paul Suber, Henry Suthard, George Stansil, George Stansil, Jr., Michael Schwab, Jonathan Swihart, John Shall, John Sager, Charles Steward, Morgan Savage, Joseph Stewart, Eli B. Sprague, William Sutherland, Solomon Spoon, John Steward, Hezikiah Shaffer, George Stansil, Peggy Thompson, James Thompson, Tarr & Kaln, Isaac B. Turner, Martin Vocht, Jacob Wentz, Conrad Wickiser, James Ward, Benjamin Ward, Jacob Wickiser, Albert Wickiser, Joseph H. Warner, J. P. Ward, Edward Warner, John H Yambert, Adam Yambert, John Yambert, John Young, Conrad Yarian, Joseph Yam.
Inlots from 13 to 24 inclusive of Jamestown were then owned by the State.


Dr. David Adams (a practicing physician), David Anaway, David Armstrong, William Benjamin, David Baird, William Barker, Irwin Barnhart, Henry Broughf, Daniel Baughman, Ira Bristoll, Silas Burson, Daniel M. Brown, Benjamin Carey, David Cole, James Cole, Joshua Cole, Abraham Cole, Dam't Cole, William Corbin, Henry Crites, George Crites, Jonas Crites, William Crites, John Case, James Duddleson, Robert Gipson, David Hagerman, Isaac Hahn, George James, Alexander Krider, Benjamin Koch, Joseph Kimmel], Michael Kimmell, John Krider, Isaiah Liles, Jacob B. Mansfield, James McCune, Joseph McClurg, Samuel Mann, John A. Morrison, C. D. Murray, Erastus Pratt, Hezekiah G. Phelps, James Petty, Moses A. Quinn. Robert Reynolds, George Stansell, Henry Southard, Daniel Snowfer, Solomon Spoon, Jacob Stryker, Albert Wickiser, Henry Willard, Jacob Wentz, Benjamin Ward, Benjamin W. Ward, James P. Ward, Jesse A. Ward, John Ward, Jacob W. Wickiser, Coleman Woodward.


     The first schoolhouse in Richland Township was built in 1835, and the first school was held therein. The building stood in the southwest quarter of Section 17, a 16x20-feet structure of round logs, having a roof made of clapboards held on by poles, a puncheon floor, and a door made of split, boards, hung on wooden hinges. The windows were holes cut through the logs and covered with oiled paper. The chimney, which shivered in winter on the outside of the institution, was composed of sticks and mud.
     A second educational establishment was erected in 1839, on the northeast quarter of Section 2, similar in construction to its predecessor, excepting that it was 20x40 feet in size, and had the distinguished addition of an upper floor of round logs, having the cracks filled with leaves and mud.
     Charles Smith was the first dominie in the township, and taught in the schoolhouse first built, during the winters of 1835, 1836 and 1837, the attendance averaging about twenty scholars. Abraham Cole was the first teacher in the schoolhouse built in 1839, and his duties were limited to wrestling with some twenty tyros, in their deep researches into the mysteries of Lindley Murray, etc. There are now ten school buildings in this township, located one on each of Sections 1, 9, 11, 21, 23, 32, 34 and 36, and two in Whartonsburg, all brick structures, excepting one of the two in Wharton.


     The first sermon preached in Richland Township was June 28, 1835, in the house of Joshua Cole, in the northwest quarter of Section 2, on which occasion the expounder, James Peters (an Old School Baptist) took for his text the entire twenty-fifth chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel. Shakespeare has said: "Brevity is the soul of wit," and he might have added "of some sermons," but, perhaps, in Brother Peters' case, what may have appeared superfluous in the length of the sermon (as judging by the length of his text), was conscientiously deducted from the depth of the same.
     The Methodist Episcopal denomination has the credit of having erected the first church building in Richland Township. It. was built in 1852, in the northwest quarter of Section 28, constructed of hewn logs, and 24x30 feet in size.
     Star Bethel Church of God.—This society held its first meeting in the fall of 1854, in the Morrison Schoolhouse, by Moses Coats and J. W. West, and was organized about the same time, in the same schoolhouse and by the same parties: The membership then numbered eleven souls, as follows: Solomon Spoon, Hannah Spoon, Jacob Wentling, Sarah Wentling, John Yambert, Elizabeth Yambert, Mrs. Hersberger, N. B. Coates, Mary A. Coates and Mr. and Mrs. Dowed. Their first church building in this township was erected in 1876, on the northeast quarter of Section 13. It was of wood, 30x40 feet, and cost $1,200. The pastors have been: 1876, J. Y. Updyke; 1877, J. H. McKee; 1878, G. W. Wilson; 1879-80, T. Koogle; 1881-82, M. C. Mowen; 1883, J. P. Heppard; 1884, J. H. McNut. The present membership is about sixty; Elders are, G. W. Kear and John Wentz; Deacons, Theodore Wagers and B. Green. The church was much revived and built up by the labor of Revs. J. V. Updyke and T. Koogle. The present incumbent, Rev. J. H. McNut, is also doing good work. There is an excellent Sunday school in connection with this church, which now meets nine months in the year.
     Beech Grove United Brethren Church.—This society meets for worship in a frame built house, 30x40 feet, erected at a cost of $600. The present membership numbers twenty-four, and the existing officers are H. B. Pratt, George James, P. Hibens, E. S. Wells and P. Davis.
     St Mary's, Kirby Precinct—The organization of St. Mary's Church, Kirby, this county, dates from the year 1861. Among the first settlers were Nic Noel, John Brimeyer, Ensminger, Stephen Pfeifer, John Wagner, Nic Karicher, Stephen Brucher, Reinhart Donnersbach, Anthony Molter, Charles Neimerscury, George Klaus, Paul Molter, Math Muller, George Thiel, Nic Gadert, Andrew Deatrich, John Puri. Rev. Mr. Patrich was the first priest to visit the Catholics of Kirby. Mass was read in private dwellings, especially in the spacious store rooms of H. Ensminger. The first impulse, however, to the building of a church was a donation of one and a half acres of land for this purpose by Mr. Freas. In 1863, by the united efforts of all the heads of families, especially Nic Noel, John Brimeyer and H. Ensminger, who formed the first council, a frame church was .begun and inclosed. On account of financial difficulties it could not be finished until the ensuing year, when George Thiel, an active member, was elected Councilman, who pressed the matter, and made many a sacrifice in traversing the neighboring towns, collecting for this church. The church is situated on Main street, is 50x35, and cost $2,000.
     In the year 1877, a sacristy, 20x15, was annexed, likewise a tower, which adds considerable to the beauty of the church. In 1874-75, a pastoral residence was built at a cost of about $1,000. A school was necessary, and again Rev. Mr. Rosenberg made many an appeal, until his efforts were crowned with success. It was commenced in 1879, under his supervision, and finished by the present pastor, John G. Mizer. At present it is in charge of a lay teacher, and attended by about sixty children. A small piece of ground next to the church was used as a cemetery. However, this being within the corporation and not a suitable place, a piece of land containing two and three-fourth acres was purchased for a cemetery in the year 1881.
     Rev. Mr. Patrich was succeeded by Rev. Mr. Henry. It was then attended successively by Revs. G. Spearings, 1863-66; Joseph Reinhart, 1866-68; A. Girardin, George Peter, 1868-73; Charles Braschler, D.Zinsmeyer, 1873-75. Rev. Joseph Rosenberg was the first resident priest, who also attended Crawfordsville from Kirby, 1875-80. He was succeeded by the present pastor, Rev. John G. Mizer, July 18, 1880. The congregation numbers between fifty-five and sixty families, mostly all farmers, and Luxemburgers. The present church officers are George Thiel, Nic Muller, Joseph Rail and Mike Weber. The principal missions were held in 1871, by Redemptorists and, in 1877, by Franciscan Fathers.
     There are now seven church buildings in Richland Township, distributed as follows: Two Methodist Episcopal Churches, one in Section 28 and one in Whartonsburg; three "United Brethren Churches, one in each of Sections 1, 2 and 9; one Church of God, in Section 13, and one Dunkard, in Section 33.
Of the burial places in this township, one is located in Section 2, one in Section 12, one in Section 21 and one in Section 35, besides some private grounds. There is an old Indian burying ground on an island in Potato Creek Swamp, where quite a number are buried.


     "Lo! the poor Indian," has left behind, in Richland Township, some souvenirs of the days when he was '' great in the field and foremost in the chase." Flint arrow-heads have been found in all sections of the township, and in the northwest quarter of Section 14 there exists an ancient mound, and another in the northeast quarter of Section 23.
     The State election returns for 1879 and 1880 showed the following result: For Governor (1879), Charles Foster, 132; Thomas Ewing, 193; Gideon T. Stewart, 1; A. Sanders Piatt, none; total vote, 307; for Secretary of State (1880), Charles Townsend, 146; William Lang, 192; Charles A. Lloyd, none; William H. Doannone; total vote, 340; for President (1880), James A. Garfieid, 152; Winiield S. Hancock, 195; James B. Weaver, none; Neal Dow, 1; total vote, 349.
     The town of Whartonsburg was laid out in 1848 by Samuel Rathbun; the first house was built by N. De Pew, and the first store by James E. James, who was the first Postmaster. The Cincinnati, Sandusky & Cleveland Railway passes through the village.
     The population of the township, including the town of Whartonsburg, in 1880, was 1,676, an increase of 405 in the decade from 1870.


Trustees, 1865, G. W. Reynolds, John Rummel, Hiram Taft
1866—G. W. Reynolds, John Rummel, John S. Shaner.
1867—G. W. Reynolds, John S. Shaner, W. L. Rummel.
1868—Jacob Bott, Hiram Cole, Robert Gibson.
1869—W. W. Duffield, George Eatherton, Hiram Cole.
1870—W. W. Dumeld, George Eatherton, John S. Shaner.
1871—John Plott, William Swearingin, Lewis Baughman.
1872—John H. Plott, William Jenkins, A. J. Shellhouse.
1873—Jacob C. Wentz, J. P. Ward, A. J. Shannon.
1874—Jacob C. Wentz, W. W. Duffield, R. Bennett.
1875—Z. G. Murry, George Eatherton, William Swearingin.
1876—Z. G. Murry, Loran Bartlett, George Eatherton.
1877—Simon Kachelv, R. Bennett, J. D. Wickiser.
1878—Simon Kachely, W. B. Murry, J. D. Wickiser.
1879—J. A. Bell, W. B. Murry, W. H. Worley.
1880—J. C. Wentz, J. A. Petty, A. J. Shanon.
1881—J. C. Wentz, Isaac Cole, John Phelps.
1882—J. C. Wentz, Isaac Cole, J. H. Sterling.
1883—M. A. Ridenour, William Plott, W. W. Duffield.
1865, John Sterling;
1866-68, J. C. Waltermire;
1869, Francis Wood;
1870-72, Isaac Cole;
1873-74, R. B. Bell;
1875, J. A. Petty;
1876, S. R. Coates;
1877, R. B. Bell;
1878, R. V. Rummel;
1879-80, R. B. Bell;
1880-83, John McClelland.

1865-68, Z. G. Murry;
1869, William Bristoll;
1871-71, Hiram Cole;
1872-73, H. P. Marshall;
1874-76, William McClelland;
1877-80. J. S. Shaner;
1881-82, L. W. Ranchler (or Renshier);
1883, W. A. Bristoll.

Justices of the Peace—
1865, Z. G. Murry:
1868, James Southward;
1870, Wiliiam Bristoll;
1873, William Bristoll;
1874, James Southward;
1877, James Southward;
1879, William Bristoll;
1880, Jehu Baker;
1881, William Swearingin;
1882, Jehu Baker;
1883, David Kauble.




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