A Part of Genealogy Express


Welcome to
Ashland County, Ohio

History & Genealogy

A History of the Pioneer and Modern Times

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

Perry Township
Pg. 428

     SURVEYED IN 1807, by Jonathan Cox. The township was organized on the 14th of September, 1814.  The organization embraced also the territory now known as Jackson.

Population in 1820 .........558
Population in 1830\ .......1242
Population in 1840 .......2100
Population in 1850 .......1788
Population in 1860 .......1911

Extracts from Official Records of Perry Township.


     Trustees, Daniel Williams and Daniel Smith - Clerk, William Spencer.


     Trustees, George Myers, David McConnell, and Henry Shissler - Clerk, William W. STrayer - Treasurer, John Van Nest - Assessor, John Shidler.

Names and Dates of Commissions of Justices of the Peace in Perry Township

John Jackson, July 3, 1816
Thomas Johnston, January 29, 1818
John Ihrig, April 27, 1819
Thomas Johnston, December 25, 1820
John Smith, April 25, 1822
John A. Kelley, March 31, 1824
John Smith, April 30, 1825
John Herr, March 12, 1827
John Ihrig, May 3, 1828
John Allison, March 1, 1830
John Ihrig, April 23, 1831

John Allison, March 1, 1833
John Ihrig, April 24, 1834
John Allison, March 25, 1836
John Ihrig, April 28, 1837
Jacob Miller, October 14, 1837
John Allison, Mar. 19, 1839
John Smith, September 15, 1840
Isaac Cahill, April 7, 1842.
John Smith, September 28, 1843
John Ecker, March 22, 1845
Jacob Miller, October 2, 1846
John Ecker, March 11, 1848
John Van Nest, September 22, 1849
John Cory, March 15, 1851.
John Van Nest, September 25, 1852
Columbus C. Coulter, March 23, 1854.
John Van Nest, September 145, 1855
Alexander Hamilton, March 24, 1856
Hugh Hamilton, August 26, 1857
John Van Nest, September 9, 1858
Hugh Hamilton, August 15, 1860
Henry Buck, September 9, 1861

Electors in Perry Township, in 1827.



     This town was laid out Apr. 15, 1835, by Michael D. Row.  The original proprietor of the village was then unmarried, and resided with his father, Michael Row in the house about forty rods east of the town, now owned by Haynes Jones.  At the time the plat was recorded, there was not an inhabitant within the limits of what now forms the town.  This first public

[Pg. 431]
sale of lots occurred in May, 1835.  Jacob Carr purchased the first lot for thirty-four dollars - being the same now owned by Garrett Dorland, and used by him as his residence.  The second lot was sold to David Dorland for twenty-one dollars - being the lot  recently occupied by C. C. Coulter as a grocery store.  Catharine Long purchased the lot now owned by Mrs. Winter, as a residence, for eighteen dollars.
     The population of Rowsburg, in 1860, was two hundred.  This is the only instance that it was taken distinct from the township.  There are in the town, 1 physician, 2 dry goods stores, 1 tavern, 1 millinery shop, 2 shoe shops, 2 blacksmith shops, 1 tannery, 1 store and tin shop, 1 cabinet shop, 1 weaver shop, 1 harness shop, and 2 groceries.



     Some Presbyterian families settled in this region (then Wayne County, Ohio) shortly after the close of the war of 1812.  For some time they were supplied with occasional preaching by traveling ministers.  About 1820 the church was organized, and was taken under the care of the Presbytery of Richland, which at that period embraced the territory now covered by the three Presbyteries of Richland, Wooster, Coshocton, and part of Marion.  It was known for several years as the Muddy Fork Church, so called from the branch of the Mohican of that name, near to which the house of worship stood.  About 1831, by request of the congregation, its name was changed to that of

[Pg. 432]
Mount Hope.  David Cunningham, Sr., his son-in- law James Fulton and William Hamilton were the first ruling elders.  These all lived within the bounds of the church, until their death, which occurred about ten or twelve years since.  In 1833, David Cunningham, Jr., and the late Hugh Bay were ordained as ruling elders.  In 1837, the late John Lilvingston and Thomas Hayes were added to the session.  A few years after,  William Buchanan, now deceased, and Isaac Cahilll, were called to the same office.  The present incumbents are, Thomas G. Hayes, Isaac Cahill, Thomas Cunningham, son of David Cunningham, Sr., and one of the first elders, and J. M. Livingston, son of the late John Livingston.
The first pastor was the Rev. William Matthews, who, for several years, was pastor of the old Hopewell Church, near Ashland, Ohio.  He was succeeded by the late Rev. Robert Lee, whose labors, for a short period, were divided between the Muddy Fork Church, as it was then called, and the old Hopewell Church.  He again was succeeded, in1829, by the Rev. Richard, now Rev. Dr. Brown, of Wellsville, Ohio.  This church together with those of Congress and Jeromeville, constituted his pastoral charge.  He was released from his charge in the fall of 1832.  The church remained without a pastor from that period until the 1st of January, 1834, when the Rev. Thomas Beer took charge of the congregation.  His connection with the church was dissolved in the summer of 1857.  The present pastor is the Rev. T. B. Van Emmon.
     From 1834 till 1844 the congregation continued to increase in numbers, but shortly after began to decline, by immigration to the West, its present membership being a little above forty.

[Pg. 433]
     The first house of worship was a small log building, erected in 1826.  In the fall of 1836 a new


MORE TO COME.................








     JOHN ALLISON, an emigrant from Pennsylvania.  He settled in Congress Township, Wayne County, in January, 1820.  That township had been but recently organized.  Under the laws then in force it required fifteen legal voters to accomplish an organization.  There were about that number in the township at that time, being one family to 2⅓ square miles.

Churches and School-houses.

     There was not a church or school house in the township.  There was preaching occasionally at private houses by Presbyterian and Methodist clergymen.
     Wooster was the nearest town.

Markets, Mills, etc.


Genseng, Wild Game, etc.


The last of the Indian Hunters.


School at Tylertown - Removal to Perry - Character of Timber, etc.


Wages, Costumes, etc.


Churches and Schools in 1824.


     JAMES ALLISON emigrated from Jefferson County, Ohio, to Perry Township during March, 1818.  His wife and six children, namely, John, Alexander, Mary,

[Pg. 440]
Ann, Jane, and Catherine, constituted his family at that date.  Of the sons and daughters mentioned, Alexander is the only survivor in Perry.  Mrs. Jane, wife of Daniel Ellenbarger, and Miss Catherine Allison, reside in Mohican Township.
     Mr. Allison died May 2d, 1839, at the age of sixty-four years.  His wife had died in April of the previous year at the age of sixty-two years.  Mr. Allison and wife died upon the place he originally purchased of David Smith, being fifty acres in section 2.

Death of Arthur Campbell, Sen.

     Alexander Allison was an eye-witness of this event, which is mentioned in another place.  It was on the premises of Mr. Allison's uncle, John Pittinger, whose land was in process of being cleared.  Messrs. Campbell and Pittinger were sitting upon the ground near a tree, engaged in conversation, when an oak tree, which had been several hours burning at its base, commenced falling in the direction of where the men were stationed.  Mr. Allison, who was near, but outside the range of the falling tree, happened to discover the danger, and instantly notified the men.  Mr. Pittinger escaped by seeking refuge behind a tree near which they were sitting; but Mr. Campbell, being less active, was struck, while in the act of rising, upon the back by a heavy limb, crushing the bones and producing instant death.

     HENRY BUFFAMYER imigrated to Perry Township in May 1826, and purchased of Joseph Carr the half section of land, parts of which are now owned by David and Matthew Buffamyer.  He died on the last

[Pg. 441]
day of March, 1849, aged eighty-six years.  His widow is at this time (January 23d, 1862) residing with her son, David, and although she has attained the age of eighty-one years, her health and faculties are but slightly impaired.

     JOHN CARR entered two quarters of land, a part of which is now owned by Samuel Naylor, in Mohican Township, December, 1810.
     During the following year he removed his family from Tuscarawas County, and in  March, 1811, commenced his improvement on the part of the land above described.
     In the spring of 1814 he sold his land to John Ewing, and purchased two quarters in Montgomery, and two quarters in Perry Township, a part of one of which latter purchase is now owned by John Allison  He removed to the land in Montgomery Township now occupied by Samuel Horn, Mrs. Horn, Mr. Harlan, and Mr. Weidler.  His house was erected upon the place now occupied by Mrs. Horn, where he remained till his death, which occurred April 1, 1836, in the sixth-fifth year of his age.
     Mr. Carr's whole life, from the age of seventeen, was passed among the pioneers, and in the wilderness of Pennsylvania and Ohio.  Boy though he was at the age above mentioned, he removed to Washington County, Pennsylvania.
     During Wayne's campaign against the hostile Indian tribes he acted as spy.  Shortly after the close of the war he married in Washington County, Pennsylvania, and removed with his wife to what was the then Northeastern Territory, living first in what be-

[Pg. 442]
came afterward Jefferson, and then in the country of which Tuscarawas County now forms a part.  From the latter county he removed, as above stated, to a quarter of the land he had previously entered in Mohican Township.
     When he removed to Mohican his family consisted of his wife, and eleven children, namely, Thomas, Nicholas, Nancy, Hugh, Joshua, Benjamin, John, Margaret, Susan, Samuel, and Aaron.

     HUGH CARR (son of John, whose name is included among the children above mentioned) removed to the land in Perry Township, which he improved and has since occupied.

Indian Conspiracy against the Whites.


A War Panic - Erection of the Fort at Jeromeville.


Removal of the Indians from Jerometown.


Jerome and Family.



The first effort at Organizing a Village in Perry Township.


When the place where Rowsburg now stands was a Wilderness.


First Death of a White Person in Perry Township.

     The first person who died in the township was James Campbell.  His body was removed to Wooster for interment.

First Grist and Saw-mill.




Fidelity of Indians towards Friends.


Baptiste Jerome.


Captivity and Death of Jerome's Wife and Daughter.


Johnnycake and his Wife.


Laying out of Jeromeville.


Wild Beasts, Snakes, etc.


Loss of Clement V. Dorland.


About Esquire Newell.



Dangers of the "Fat in the Fire."


Rattlesnake Den.


George Hamilton.


Phillip Ignatius


Probably the Oldest Bible in the County.

     Mr. Cory has in his possession a duodecimo copy of the Bible, printed in Oxford, England, 1727, which was originally the property of his father's grandfather, Joseph Freeman, as appears by his name, written on a blank leaf, bearing date November 30th, 1729.  The volume is remarkably well printed and bound, gilt-edged, and silver clasps, and in a remarkably good state of preservation.

The First Sermon and First Prayer.

JAMES DICKASON immigrated, with his wife, to Perry Township on the 17th of May, 1817.  He was an emigrant from Pennsylvania.  He leased and occupied for five years a part of section 16, and subsequently purchased of Edward Gallagher the southwest quarter of section 4, Perry Township, upon which he continues to reside.


Loss of Clement N. Dorland.


Killed of Fright.


The War of 1812 Predicted by an Indian.



     BENJAMIN EMMONS entered a quarter section of land in Perry Township, in 1810; and from thence removed, in 1819, to Montgomery Township, on the farm recently occupied by his sons, (now owned by Matthias Boffenmire,) about one and a half miles north of Ashland.

     CONRAD FRIDLINE emigrated from Pennsylvania to Perry Township, during the spring of 1821.  His family consisted of his wife and two children, David and Ludwig.  He purchased of David Smith the land upon which he has since resided.

     JOHN FRY emigrated from Franklin County, Pennsylvania, to Plain Township, Wayne County, in Mary, 1824.  He removed to the southeast quarter of section 16, Perry Township, in April, 1826; which tract, when it came into market, was purchased by his family, and is now occupied by his widow and son, Andrew J. Fry.  He resided upon this place until his death, which occurred on June 10th, 1827.  The widow and two sons, Rev. Jacob Fry and Rev. Andrew J. Fry, are the only survivors of his family.

     HENRY GRINDLE emigrated from Somerset County, Pennsylvania, to Perry Township, in April, 1825.  He died in December, 1832, aged forty-six years.

     WILLIAM HAMILTON emigrated from Washington County, Pennsylvania, to Perry Township, in the fall of 1820 - having previously purchased, of his brother Hugh, the northeast quarter of section 3, in said township.  His family were composed of his wife and seven children - the only survivor of whom, now residing in Perry Township, in Mrs. Mary J., wife of John A. Campbell.
     Mrs. Hamilton
died in October, 1850, at the age of seventy-three years.  Hugh Hamilton, Esq., of Lafayette, born September, 1821, in Perry, is the only son of William Hamilton now a resident of the township.

Ancient Fortifications and Mounds in Jackson and Perry Townships.

     Upon the land in Jackson Township, now owned by John M. Livingston and John Ramsey, about a mile northeast of Lafayette, are the remains of what is supposed to have been an ancient fortification.  This work is located on the western side of an elevated ridge, but its eastern line reaches the summit.  Its shape is quadrangular.  Before the timber was cleared by the race no occupying it, its outlines could be distinctly traced, but the plow has nearly obliterated them.  The oak timber which was found growing upon its sides was equal in dimensions to any in the surrounding forests.  When the ground was yet in its wild state, only twelve years since, the embankment was about eight feet at its base and eighteen inches in height, these dimensions being very regular.  The area was about one and a half acres.  Within the incluosure of the fort, about twenty-five years since, John H. Hamilton found a hard flint stone, highly polished surface, five inches in length, two inches at the base, and one and a half inches at the point.  The center was encircled by a groove, in which he could bury the point of his finger.
 Two ancient mounds also existed in Perry Township, on the farm originally entered by Hugh Hamilton.  They were about thirty feet distant from each other, and occupied the summit of a hill.  The largest was eighteen feet in diameter at its base, and rises four feet above the natural surface.  This one still remains undisturbed, with the exception of having been cleared of its timbers.  The smaller one was about twelve feet in diameter at its base, and was elevated about three feet above the natural surface.  There were no indications that the earth of which these mounds were composed had been taken from the immediate vicinity of their location.
     Some thirty years ago, when William Hamilton was excavating the earth for his cellar, the western side embraced the ground occupied by about one-half of the smaller mound.  After the earth had been removed down to the natural surface, the remains of some wood, supposed to be a root, were discovered; continuing, however, the excavation, it proved to be a shaft of timber that had been placed perpendicularly below the surface.  Following down the decayed wood, the men reached a quantity of coarse but pure sand, and a few inches below this a human skeleton; and yet below this two other skeletons, also imbedded in sand.  The wood, from the point where it entered then sand, was found to be in a good condition of preservation.  The bones of the skeleton were remarkably well preserved, including the teeth and the most delicate portions of those belonging to the fingers and toes.  A few hours' exposure to the atmosphere dissolved all except the larger bones.  One of the skeletons indicated that it had belonged to a person of immense size.  James McMeeken, the largest man in the neighborhood, weighing over two hundred pounds, and having a remarkably full face, would pass the lower jaw of this skeleton over his own countenance without any difficulty.  The end of the shaft referred to terminated at the depth of the lower part of the last skeleton.  It had been dressed so as to present three sides, and the marks of the edged instrument used in dressing it were clearly visible.  There were also imbedded in the sand, about a pint of a powdered substance, resembling Spanish brown paint; also a polished stone, about six inches in length, one inch in width, and half an inch in thickness - the sides and ends being rounded off.  This stone was afterward used to sharpen a Dutch scythe, by Mr. Oner, a revolutionary soldier, and a resident, up to the time of this death, on the farm now owned by William Patterson.

     JOHN HELLMAN emigrated for Centre County, Pennsylvania, and settled in Perry Township, June 17th, 1818.  He purchased of Elijah Charles  the southwest quarter of section 3, which land he improved, and has up to the present date made his home.  His family at the time of emigration, consisted of his wife and three children, viz.:  David, Mary, and Catherine.  The first mentioned is now a resident of Jackson township; Mary is the wife of Daniel Eshelman, of Lafayette, and Catherine is the wife of George Walkey, of Perry Township.

     THOMAS JOHNSON immigrated to Perry Township in 1814.  He had several years previously resided in Jefferson County.  His family at this date consisted of his wife, and sons Henry, Isaac, Jacob, and Benjamin, and six daughters.  He died in 1826.  Benjamin Johnson now a resident of Vermillion Township, is the only surviving male member of the family.

     RUDOLPH KAUFMAN immigrated to Perry Township from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in June, 1822, and purchased of Jacob Baker the two hundred and thirty-three acres in section 27, upon which he resided until the time of deceased, which occurred Mar. 11th, 1825, at the age of twenty-seven years six months and five days.
The surviving members of his family were his widow and one son.  Emanuel, son of Rudolph Kaufman, was born upon the place above described July 31st, 1824, and now resides at the old homestead.

     JACOB KLINGAMAN emigrated from Berks County, Pennsylvania, with his wife, to Perry Township, in May, 1817, and entered the northwest quarter, section 8, in said township.  The east half of this section he subsequently surrendered, and retained the west half.  Himself and wife yet occupy the last-named place.

     JOHN KRÆMER, immigrated to Perry Township from Pennsylvania, October, 1829, and purchased of John Gorsuch the farm which is now owned and occupied by Samuel Buchanan.  During the last three years Mr. Kræmer has been a resident of Rowsburg.

     JACOB LASH emigrated from Washington County, Pennsylvania, and arrived in Perry Township in the early part of the spring of 1824.  Jacob Onstott and himself jointly purchased the southeast quarter of section 8, which they subsequently divided.  Mr. Onstott resided upon his half quarter until his death, and Mr. Lash, still continues to occupy his half.  When he removed to this county his household consisted of his wife and two children, and a brother-in-law, Uriah Ackley.

     PETER LASH immigrated to Perry Township, and leased the farm now owned and occupied by Peter Mang, in the fall of 1823.  His family at this time consisted of his wife and five children, namely, Elizabeth, William, Susannah, Peter, and Charity A.
     Mr. Lash
died in July, 1838, at the age of seventy-eight years.  He had served in the war of the American Revolution, and during the last years of his life received a pension for his services.  Of his children above mentioned, William and Susannah (the latter the wife of Robert Nelson) are the only survivors who now (January, 1862,) reside in Perry Township.

     PHILIP MANG, in 1816, entered seven quarters of land in Perry Township.  Upon one of these quarters resides his son Samuel, upon another Peter.
He was an emigrant from Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and when he visited the county he made his home with Jerome.

     JOHN MAURER removed to Plain Township, Wayne County, in November, 1821.  He was an emigrant from Pennsylvania.  In April, 1825, he purchased and removed to the land in Perry Township, now occupied by William Adams.  His family, at this time, consisted of his wife and eight children, the only survivors of whom, now residing in Perry Township, are his widow, his son William, and widowed daughter, Mrs. Ann Jackson.  Mrs. Maurer if she lives until the 18th of August, 1862, will be eighty-seven years of age.  Mr. Maurer died Jan . 13th, 1860, aged eighty-three years and eight months.

     ADAM REICHARD emigrated from Centre County, Pennsylvania, and removed to the east half of the northwest quarter of Section 8, (which he had previously entered,) in April, 1829.  His family, at this time, consisted of his wife and an infant son, JacobMr. Reichard is among the very few in Perry Township who reside upon the place they originally entered.

     JAMES SCOTT removed, when a boy of seventeen years of age, with the family of his brother-in-law, Isaac Smally, from Columbiana County, Ohio, to Perry Township, in November, 1816.  With the exception of about two years, (which were spent in Wooster,) he has resided in Perry Township since the date named.  He has, since 1825, owned and occupied the farm upon which he at present resides and which land was first improved by him.




     JOHN SWARTS imigrated to the northwestern territory, from Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, during the Indian campaign of General Wayne.  He first selected his home in what is now Harrison County, Ohio.  In 1813 he removed to that part of Mohican which afterward became Chester Township, Wayne County.  His family at this time consisted of his wife and the following named children:  John, Henry, David, Elizabeth, Jacob, Daniel, Catherine, and Mary.  Of these, the only one now residing in Ashland County is David Swarts, who owns and occupies the farm on the north line of Perry Township, one and a quarter miles northeast of Jeromeville - a farm widely known for its elegant and commodious outhouses, having a barn upon it which alone cost $3000.

     JOHN TANYER, an emigrant from Pennsylvania, settled in Perry Twp. in 1824.  He is now a resident of Montgomery Twp., about one mile north of Ashland.

     FREDERICK WISE removed from Centre County, Penn., to Perry Twp., in May, 1822.  His family consisted of his wife and seven children.  He had entered his land, being the southeast quarter of section 18, in the year 1815.  While exploring the country for the purpose of making his selection, he made his home with Baptiste JeromeMr. Wise yet resides upon the land he originally entered.

     HENRY WORST, in the year 1814, entered the northeast quarter of section 14.  This quarter was regarded as a choice one, and several persons who had been exploring the country had selected it, and sat out for the Canton Land Office, within a few hours of each other, to make the entry.  In this instance, "the race was to the swift."  In company with William McMullen, who had selected the adjacent quarter, Mr. Worst had reached Wooster, traveling on foot, and had called at the tavern of that little place for refreshments.  While their food was being prepared, information reached them that they would be soon followed by two men on horseback, known to be after the same land.  Without waiting for their refreshments, they immediately pushed forward and reached Canton in advance of their pursuers, and made the entries they had shown.  On March, 20th, 1815, Mr. Worst and family removed to his land.  He had emigrated from Pennsylvania.  His household consisted of his wife and eight children, the only survivors of whom, how residents of Ashland County, are Samuel Worst, who occupies the old homestead,  and Mrs. Margaret, wife of John Keener, of Jackson township.  Mr. Worst is now (February, 1862) in the seventy-seventh year of his age.

     HENRY ZIMMERMAN emigrated from entre County, Pennsylvania, to Jackson Township, during June, 1823.  Within the same year he purchased, of Daniel Goodwin, eighty acres in section 3, Perry Township, which he improved, and upon which he now resides.  When he removed to this place his wife and five children constituted his family.


CLICK HERE to Return to

CLICK HERE to Return to

This Webpage has been created by Sharon Wick exclusively for Genealogy Express  ©2008
Submitters retain all copyrights