OHIO GENEALOGY EXPRESS

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Welcome to
Ashland County, Ohio

History & Genealogy

Source:
A History of the Pioneer and Modern Times

of
Ashland County, Ohio
by H. S. Knapp
Publ: Philadelphia
by J. B. Lippincott & Co.
1863.
(Transcribed by Sharon Wick)

CHAPTER VI.
Clearcreek Township
pg. 108
 
     SURVEYED in 1807, by Mansfield Ludlow.

     Population in 1820...................................................... 309
     Population in 1830, including Vermillion....................... 899
     Population in 1840, including Savannah.......................1653
     Population in 1850, including Savannah.......................1205
     Population in 1860, including Savannah.......................1327

     The date of the organization of the township cannot be ascertained by any existing records in Mansfield or in the township.

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CHURCHES IN SAVANNAH AND CLEARCREEK TOWNSHIP.

     There are seven in the town and township.  Such notes regarding the history and present condition of each as were attainable, are here given: -

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.

     In September, 1833, Rev. Robert Lee reported to Presbytery that he had fulfilled the appointment given him to organize the church of Clearcreek.  From this time, till 1840, this church was supplied occasionally by different ministers, and on the 9th of June 1840, the pastoral relation between it and the

[Pg. 104]
Rev. F. A. Shearer was formed, which continued till September 29th, 1842.  In April, 1848, at its own request its name was changed by act of Presbytery to that of Savannah.  In June, 1848, Rev. W. T. Adams was installed pastor of this church, and remained its pastor until April 10th, 1850.  On the 18th of October, 1854, a call from its was presented to Presbytery for the pastoral labors of the Rev. A. Scott, and put into his hands, of which he declared his acceptance April 9th, 1856.  And the October, 1854, till the present time, he has ministered to this church.
     The church is an offspring of the Hopewell Church, Ashland, as will be seen by reference to the history of that organization in another part of this work.  It was organized on the 1st of July, 1833, as will be discovered in the record copied below: -

          "Organization, July 1st, 1833.
     "At a meeting of the inhabitants of Vermillion and vicinity, according to previous notice, and in accordance with an appointment of Presbytery, to organize a Presbyterian Church in said place, which is to be hereafter known by the name of the Clearcreek Church, the following persons presented certificates of their church membership, and are recorded as members of the church: -
     "Alexander and Sarah Porter, William and Eliza Dunlap, John and Eliza Gault, Joseph and Lena Davis, Samuel and Sarah Gault, William and Elizabeth Lyon, William and Eleanor Ferguson, Agnus and Martha Cellar, Jane Gilchrist, Mary McKibbin, Cassandra Bird, Jane Jackson, William and Mary Lee, John and Sarah Chambers, Charles Porter, and John and Isabel Coe.

[Pg. 105]

Constitution.

     "The Rev. Mr. Lee being called to the Chair, the following resolutions were offered and adopted by the members present: -
     "1. Resolved, That all female, equally with male members, shall have the right of voting in the choice of ruling Elders.
     "2. Resolved, That for the present there shall be three ruling Elders chosen.
     "3. Resolved, That there shall be one Clerk for the church and congregation.
     "5. Resolved, That there shall be one Treasurer.
     "6. Resolved, That there shall be two Clerks to conduct the signing in public worship."

     The full record not having been preserved, the names of the original officers cannot be clearly ascertained.  A deed made by William Lang "to William Dunlap, John Gault, and Joseph Davis, Trustees of Clearcreek Congregation of the Presbyterian Church," dated 29th December, 1834, would indicate pretty clearly the names of the officers chosen under the third resolution above quoted.  It is supposed that William Lee and Dunlap Dunlap were the first ruling elders, and that the latter was also elected clerk under the fourth resolution.
     The entries in the manuscript volume now in the hands of A. F. Shaw, Esq., the present clerk, the first of which bears date "May, 1841," enable us to give the following facts: -
     In May, 1841, F. A. Shearer was pastor.

[Pg. 106]
     On the 10th of July, 1841, William Dunlap, Samuel Gault, and Joseph McKibbin were ruling elders.
     Dec. 25, 1851, the additional names of John Bebout and William Andrews appear as elders.
     Mr. Shearer's name as pastor, last appears under date of Sept. 4, 1842.
     Sept. 25, 1843, Sylvanus Cook, George Shipley, and George Mackie were elected elders.
     Oct. 21, 1843, the name of Rev. A. K. Barr appears as moderator and as stated supply.
     Nov. 3, 1844, the name of Rev. W. C. Kniffin, pastor, first occurs.
     On the 1st of April, 1846, the ruling elders all resigned; and on the second Monday of April of the same year, Joseph McKibbin, Abraham F. Shaw, George D. Shipley, Lyle Kerr, John Gault, George Mackie, and Sylvanus Cook were elected.  Lyle Kerr and John Gault declined to serve; the others named accepted, and Mr. Shaw was ordained, the others having been ordained before.  At this meeting William Dunlap terminated his official connection with the church as clerk, and himself, wife, and daughter ordained a letter of dismissal from the church on the 1st of June, 1846 - the family then being upon the eye of a removal to Illinois.
     On the 25th of February, 1848, A. F. Shaw was chosen clerk of the session.
     Feb. 27, 1848, the name of Rev. W. T. Adams first occurs as pastor.
     Aug. 23, 1850, the name of Rev. William Bonar appears as supply.
     Jan. 17, 1851, Mr. George Mackie and wife were, at their own request, dismissed from this church.

[Pg. 107]
     Dec. 19, 1851, the name of Rev. J. N. Shepard appears as moderator and as supply.
     Nov. 13, 1852, the name of Rev. James Anderson appears as supply.
     June 30, 1854, the name of Rev. Alexander Scott appears as supply.
     Feb. 23, 1856.  The session resolved that an election be held by this church on Monday, 25th instant, for an addition of three members to the present session.
     Feb. 25.  At the election held in pursuance of foregoing resolution, Mr. William Hanna and Dr. Thomas Hayes were chosen ruling elders, they being the only persons who received a majority of all the votes cast.
     June 28, 1856.  This day Rev. Alexander Scott was installed pastor of this church.  Rev. Mr. McDermot preached the sermon on the occasion, and Rev. John Robinson gave the charges to the pastor and people.
     On the same day, Dr. Thomas Hayes was ordained an installed as ruling elder.  Mr. Hanna declined serving.
     [Prior to this last date, Revs. Mr. Scott, Mr. Coon, Mr. Anderson, Mr. Shepard, Mr. Bonar, and Mr. Barr were stated supplies.  Rev. James Hanna was the immediate predecessor of Mr. Scott as stated supply.]
     Apr. 27, 1861.  Robinson S. Davis and William Hanna having been previously (on the sixth of April) duly elected ruling elders, were this day ordained to that office by prayer and the laying on of the hands of the session.

[Pg. 108]
     The membership of the church, in November, 1861, amounted to one hundred and eighteen.  It was organized, as will be seen in the proceedings above copied, with twenty-seven members.
     The church building, as originally constructed in 1835, would seat three hundred persons.  In the summer of 1861, the building was enlarged and otherwise improved internally and externally, and will now accommodate with seats three hundred and thirty-five persons.

FREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.

     The Free Presbyterian Church of Savannah was organized on the 24th day of February, 1851, by F. M. Finney, minister, and Alexander Thom and Geo. Mackie, elders; fourteen members constituted the whole church.
     Since their organization, they have occupied the building originally erected in 1834 by the Associate Reformed Church.  The building will seat about two hundred persons.

UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.

     The United Presbyterian Church was organized in June, 1858, combining chiefly the members of what were before known as the Associate and the Associate Reformed Presbyterian churches.  The churches thus united at Savannah numbered at the time of the new organization about eight members.
     Rev. J. Y. Ashenhurst, now of Hayesville, was installed as first pastor.  The Rev. William Bruce has been stated supply since April, 1861.
     The congregation worship in the building of the Free Presbyterian Church.

[Pg. 109]

ASSOCIATE REFORMED CONGREGATION.

     The Associate Reformed Congregation of Savannah was organized in September, 1831, the late Rev. James Johnston, D. D., presiding.  About the same time the Rev. James Arbuthrot was installed as pastor.  The Associate Reformed Congregation of Plymouth (now Auburn) was connected with the same pastoral charge; James Duff and Ephraim Welsh were chosen and ordained as ruling elders.  William McMeeken, Sen. was chiefly instrumental in founding the congregation.  Among the early members were the following, to-wit:  William McMeeken, Sen., Hance McMeeken, William McMeeken, Jun., H. T. McMeeken, C. Welsh, James Duff, Robt. Chambers, James Short, A. H. Paxton, John Hearst, P. Loughridge, Thomas Dunlap, Robert Foster, Geo. Crayton, Samuel Means, Joseph Marshall, and John Custard.
     The first house of worship was built in 1834.
     At this date (1861) Thos. Calhoun and Ephraim Welsh are elders; Andrew Graham, A. H. Paxton, and James Hearst are the Trustees; James Hearst Treasurer.
     The present church building was erected about 1845.  It is capable of seating three hundred and seventy-five persons.

DISCIPLE CHURCH.

     The church in Clearcreek Township was organized in the year 1830.  The present building, near the south line of the township, was erected in 1853.  Its dimensions are 30 by 40 feet, and its cost $500.
     David Bryte and Joseph Harvuot were the elders

[Pg. 110]
at the date of the organization, and the former continues his relations as such.  In 1844, Abner Mercer was chosen elder in place of Mr. Harvuot, deceased.  Peter Vanostrand and Philip Shriver are the present deacons.  The church was organized with seventeen members.  It has now fifty-two members.

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OFFICIAL RECORD.

Election, April 3, 1826.

     At an election held at Thomas Ford's, Clearcreek Township, Apr. 3, 1826, John Freeborn, Jacob Foulks, and John Bailey were elected Trustees; Jared N. Slonecker, Clerk; Elias Ford, Treasurer; John Owens, Thomas Munhollen, and Joseph Wright, Supervisors; Thomas Muhollen and Hance McMeeken, Overseers of the Poor; John Jackson and Joseph Marshall, Fence Viewers; and Ephraim Palmer, Constable.

      ABRAHAM HUFFMAN,
JOHN BAILEY,
DAVID BURNS,
} Judges.
JOHN BRYTE,
J. N. SLONECKER,
} Clerks.      

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POPULATION OF CLEARCREEK TOWNSHIP IN 1828.

     This may be very closely inferred from the following official lists of householders in the four districts into which the township was then divided.

[Pg. 111]

Names of Householders in District No. 1.

1. William Gilchrist.
2. Thomas Munhollen.
3. Hance McMeeken
4. Matthew Harper
5. James Poag.
6. William Shaw
7. James Haney
8. Patrick Elliott
9. John Haney
10. Thomas Haney
11. Joseph Fast.
12. Joseph Marshall
13. George Downer
14. Robert Morfert
15. Jacob McClain
16. Alexander Porter
17. John Downer
18. Robert McBeth
19. William McMeeken, Jr.
20. John Hendricks
21. Moses Dayhuff
22. Thomas C. Cook
 
23. John Jackson
24. John Freeborn
25. Thomas Brink
26. James Anders
27. Sylvanus Kellogg
28. John Smith
29. John Cornelison
30. Joseph Jackson
31. Joseph Davis
32. Richard Freeborn
33. Adam Smith
34. William McMeeken, Sr.
35. Ephraim Palmer
36. Robert Houston
37. Lewis Crow
38. John Cuppy
39. Joseph Wright
40. John Bailey
41. Abel Bailey
42. Widow Youngblood
43. Casper Wagner.

Names of Householders in District No. 2.

1. Henry McHarry
2. Joseph McKibbin
3. James Gribbin
4. William Freeman
5. John Bennett
6. Samuel Freeman
7. Robert Patterson
8. James Jackson
9. John Rigdon
10. Elijah Potter
11. William Price
12. David Stratton
13. Jeremiah Abbott
14. Nicholas Goldsmith
15. Vincent Goldsmith
16. Thomas G. Whitelock

Names of Householders in District No. 3.

1. John Owens
2. David Blann
3. Joseph Scott
4. John Prosser
5. Nathaniel Bailey
6. Jacob Foulks
7. James Laughton
8. Matthew Laughton
9. Alex. McCready
10. Casper Snook
11. Abraham Clayburg
12. Henry Fisher
13. John Scott
14. Alfred Skinner
15. Nicholas Peterson
16. Thomas Fisher

Names of Householders in District No. 4.

1. Abraham Huffman
2. Isaac Van Metre
3. John Brown
4. Thomas Sprott
5. Mary Vanostrand
6. Thomas Wright
7. Samuel Huffman
8. John Cooper
9. William Andrews
10. Isaac Havout
11. Joseph Harvuot, Jr.
12. joseph Harvuot, Sr.
13. John McWilliams
14. John Aton
15. Thomas Ross
16. David Burns
17. Jared N. Slonecker
18. Thomas Ford
19. George Beymer
20. Elias Ford
21. Job Cusey
22. John Cook
23. Joel Crampton
24. Jacob Akright
25. John Bryte
.
In District No. 1............................................ 43
In District No. 2............................................ 16
In District No. 3............................................ 16
In District No. 4............................................ 25
     Total number of householders in 1828..... 100

OFFICERS ELECTED IN APRIL, 1829.

     William Gilchrist, Thomas Ford, and Abraham Huffman, Trustees; Elijah Ford and James Anderson, Constables; Joseph Davis and Thomas G. Whitelock, Fence Viewers; Alexander Porter Treasurer; Thomas Haney, John Cuppy, John Freeborn, John McWilliams and James Loughland, Supervisors; John Bennett and Samuel Freeman, Overseers of the Poor; and Joshua Ross Clark.

---------------

TOWNSHIP OFFICERS IN 1862.

     Trustees - A. F. Shaw, John Bryte, and E. T. Garrett.  Clerk - M. C. Percival.  Assessor - John Gibson.  Treasurer - David Stem.  Constables - John Swineford and John Neff.

[Pg. 113]

SAVANNAH.

     Since the erection of Ashland County, Savannah is the only town in Clearcreek Township.  Prior to that event, the town of Olivesburg was included in the township.  When originally laid out by John Haney on the 25th of December, 1818, the town was known by the name of Vermillion, although quite as generally know by the public as Haneytown.  The town being pleasantly situated, and on a leading thoroughfare, was a place of considerable business, and at one time a prominent candidate for the seat of justice of a new county.  When the county was erected, in 1846, and the county seat established at Ashland, the business of Savannah began to decline, and its downward course continued until about five years since, when an educational enterprise undertaken by some of its leading citizens arrested its declining tendency, and the business and moral influence of Savannah is now more healthful than at any former period.

Savannah Male and Female Academy.

     "On the 29th November, 1858, the friends of education in Savannah and vicinity met for the purpose of considering the practicability of founding an academical institution in Savannah to afford facilities of an educational character equal to any of like grade in the land.
     "At this meeting a plan was submitted by Rev. A. Scott for consideration, which, after thorough discussion and amendment, was adopted as a basis of organization, and is as follows: -
     "We, the undersigned, citizens of Savannah and vicinity, desiring to promote the cause of godliness,

[Pg. 114]

 

[Pg. 115]

 

[Pg. 116]

 

[Pg. 117]

 

[Pg. 118]
     The town contains five churches; one academy; one public school; three physicians; two dry-goods stores; one tavern; three grocery and provision stores; three wagon and carriage shops; two tanneries; one steam saw and grist mill; three blacksmith shops; three boot and shoe shops; two harness and saddle shops; one clothing store and manufactory; and one tailor shop.

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REMINISCENCES OF THE PIONEERS OF CLEARCREEK TOWNSHIP.

CLICK HER FOR BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX

JOHN ATON

ABEL BAILEY

JOHN BRYTE

JAMES BURGAN

DAVID BURNS

JAMES CHAMBERLAIN

JOHN COOK

THOMAS C. COOK

JOHN CUPPY.

PATRICK ELLIOTT.

ELIAS FORD.

JOHN FREEBORN.

JAMES GREGG.

JAMES GRIBBEN

LETTER FROM REV. JOHN HANEY

ISAAC HARVUOT

ABRAHAM HUFFMAN

DANIEL HUFFMAN

NICHOLAS MASTERS

HUGH B. MCKIBBEN

JACOB McLAIN

JOHN McMURRAY

JACOB MYERS.

JARED N. SLONACKER.

THOMAS SPROTT, SR.

PETER VANOSTRAND, SEN.

THOMAS WRIGHT

END OF CHAPTER VI. - CLEARCREEK TWP.

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