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Clark County, Ohio
History & Genealogy

The History of Clark County, Ohio:

containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, etc., general and local statistics, portraits of early settlers
and prominent men, history of the Northwest Territory, history of Ohio, map of Clark County, Constitution
of the United States, miscellaneous matters, etc., etc.

Publ. Chicago:  W. H. Beers & Co., 


By Dr. H. H. Young.

Pg. 673 - 679

was first settled in 1799, by a part of the colony which came from Kentucky with Simon Kenton, the same being, with the township of Springfield, the fourth in order in time of the settlements of the county.  The citizens of each township being interested in their own local history, and desirous of preserving it separate from that of the county proper, we are therefore fulfilling a duty in relating the names and events in the early settlement of Moorefield Township, even though part of the same is told by the historian of the county.
     With the other townships of the county, it was organized, as the township of Moorefield, in June, 1818, and was so named in remembrance of Moorefield in the "Old Dominion," whence some of the early settlers came.  It was originally bounded as follows:  Beginning on the north line of Clark County at the west line of Township 5; thence east along said county line to the east line of Township 5; thence south with said township line to the north boundary of the 9th Range; thence with said range line to the west boundary of Township 5; thence north to the place of beginning.  In March, 1819, the east boundary was extended one mile, and in 1835 the southern boundary was extended west to Mad River, making the boundaries as they now appear.  It is eight miles wide east and west in the widest part, and five miles wide north and south, and contains about thirty-six square miles.  In shape, it is an oblong square, with one irregular side.  The surface is diversified.  Upon the whole, it may be described as rolling, although it is in some parts hilly, particularly in the western and southwestern sections.  The western limits of the township begin especially in the northwestern quarter, to subside into the rich and level lands best adapted to farming.  The soil varies in character according as the land is hilly or flat, but
it is all productive—no barren land existing in the township.  The uplands are generally of a yellow fish clay, mixed with more or less debris of disintegrated limestone, and they are good lands for almost any crop, but are peculiarly adapted to the production of wheat and kindred grains.  Between the rising lands and along the water-course lie rich valleys of varying extent, of dark vegetable soil, lying upon or near large beds of limestone. The soil of these tracts of lowlands is remarkably well adapted to the production of Indian corn, hay, potatoes, and other succulent growths.  All the soil of the township is richly mixed with limestone gravel or limestone sand, giving to it strength, durability and premanency.   This township is in what is known as the Congress lands, lying southwest of the Ludlow line.  It is the northern one of the second tier, from the east, and is platted as Township 5, Range 10. It is entirely destitute of villages, and is exclusively an agricultural community.  Formerly, the whole of the township was covered with a dense growth of timber, except along the channels of the streams, which were bordered on either side with a narrow strip of grass, bedecked with flowers of brightest colors.  The timber was principally oak, hickory, ash, beech, walnut and maple, with some linden, and in the lower
lands some majestic elms.  Underneath these were thick growths of smaller trees, such as dogwood, ironwood, haw, plum and crabapple.  In the shade of those, a heavy undergrowth of vines and bushes luxuriated, as the blackberry, the gooseberry, the raspberry and hazel, while the graceful branches of the grapevine intertwined the whole, from the low hazel-bush to the loftiest branches of the mighty oak.  Among the moss underneath this almost impenetrable canopy of leaves, the wild strawberry grew, mingling its brilliant red with

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blue flowers of the fragrant violet, and lending its odor to that of the mint, spicewood and pennyroyal, which grew in great profusion. ’Twas there the pioneers’ swine were allowed to roam and fatten themselves on the mast of the forest trees and the berries of the bushes, after having first received a mark by which they could be known. In some instances, they strayed far from the settlements, and, in the density of the forest, became as wild as their ancestors, the wild boars of the old country.  These were shot whenever and by whoever seen, as they were very dangerous, even to men.  In addition to furnishing food for the settlers' stock, the woods furnished a great delicacy for the settler himself and his family—the wild honey with which it abounded.  After a bee-tree was discovered and the bees smoked out, it was cut down, and as much as two barrels of honey sometimes taken from a single tree.  This formed one of the main articles of diet for the early pioneer and his family, and in it they would preserve the sour crabapple, wild grapes and cherries for winter use.  It must not be thought that the pioneer had all these pleasant things of life, with none of the unpleasant ones.  Among the pests with which he had to contend were the wolves, panthers and wild-cats, which would attack his children if alone in the woods; the fox, weasel and polecat, which played sad havoc among his fowls; the mosquito, which grew very large and tormented him viciously; and lastly, the horse fly, which grew almost to the size of a mouse, and would set the horses and oxen frantic with its terrible sting.  The pelts of the muskrat, fox, coon, and later, scalps of the wolf, formed very important articles of trade between the settlers and men who would go among the settlements and Indian villages, bartering domestic goods for all kinds of skins.  The creeks of this township are principally branches of Mad River, which flows along the western border, and Buck Creek, which flows through the eastern part, from the northeast corner to near the center in the south.  Sinking Creek also flows through a part of the southeast corner.  Along the western edge run the parallel lines of the N. Y., P. & O. and C., S. & C. R. R.’s, and along Buck Creek the Springfield Branch of the C., C., C. & I.  The township is well furnished with regularly laid macadamized pikes, running in all directions.  Among them are the Springfield & Mechanicsburg Pike, from Springfield to Mechanicsburg, built in the years 1818 to 1850, being the first in the township; Union Pike, from Greene County, entering the township in Section 19 and running thence to the northeast corner; the Springfield & Urbana Pike, along the western border from Springfield to Urbana, in Champaign County; and the Moorefield Pike, from Moorefield, a hamlet of a dozen houses west of the center of the township, to Tremont, in German Township.  There are also many unnamed pikes, and countless summer roads.  Of the early settlement of the township, much might be said, but as this work is a county history, the space for each township is limited, and we can merely mention some of the earliest settlers’ names, without enlarging upon their history.  The township began to be settled in the latter part of the eighteenth century.  In 1799, a colony of five settlers, with their wives and children, left their friends in Kentucky and settled in this township, along the Urbana Pike, which was then a cleared path cut through the forest.  Their names were Phillip Jarbow, William Ward, Simon Kenton (the great renowned Indian fighter), John Richards and William MooreWard settled in Section 32, on the place now occupied by Mr. Sultsbach, which is four miles north of Springfield.  He brought his wife and fourteen, children with him, but, his wife dying, he married again, and had four more children born to him by the second marriage.  Kenton was also married, and settled on land on the road adjoining Ward on the north.  During the first year of their settlement here, Kenton dug a canal, intending it for a mill-race, but, on account of the water supply being insufficient, the project was abandoned, and no mill built.  Jarbow

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settled in a dense oak woods, next to Kenton, where the trees were so thick that, tradition says, a man could go over the whole clearing without touching the ground, by stepping from stump to stump.  This little band of emigrants seemed to be of an enterprising nature, for it is said that Jarbow, shortly after his settlement, constructed a “still” and manufactured whisky for himself and neighbors, working on shares.  This is probably the first spirituous liquor in the township.  He continued business through his whole life, and thus disposed of the surplus corn of the neighborhood.  These men all assisted each other in clearing their ground, rolling logs and building a cabin of the primitive style then made.  They were occupied but a few days in doing the latter, and with no other tools than an ax and an auger, with which the logs were cut, properly notched and pinned together.  It was built entirely of round logs, with clapboard roof, puncheon floor and furniture, a coarse, squeaking door, hung on leather or wooden hinges, with a latch-string to open it by, a wooden pin for a lock, and a huge chimney, built of stones and mud, in some instances occupying the whole end of the building.  This is a description of a model cabin of that day. Many of them were not as conveniently constructed; very often they were without door and chimney, the fire being built in the doorway.  This was universally done in summer, as the smoke would prevent the “ festive mosquito” from entering through the door, and they had no open windows, the holes in the wall serving as windows, being covered with the proverbial greased paper of “ye olden tyme.”  In 1802, some other families left their homes of ease and comfort in the “Old Dominion” to seek their homes in Western wilds.  These were Richard Robinson, James Bishop and Benjamin CornellRobinson had a family of fifteen children, and his wife Sarah.  He settled on the farm now known as the “ Yeazell place.”  Bishop also had a family of fifteen children, and his wife, whose name was Nancy.  He settled on the farm afterward owned by James FoleyCornell had a family consisting of his wife, Rose, and fourteen children.  In the same year came Jonathan and James Paige, from Kentucky, and settled in the township.  In 1803, James Foley, a native of Virginia, born 1779, came to the county, selected land in Moorefield Township, upon which he settled permanently in 1805.  In 1808, he married Mary Marsh, also a native of Virginia, born 1781, to whom were born Griffith, Catherine, Susan, John and JamesMr. Foley was one of the first County Commissioners, on the erection of the county in 1818, and served several years; was also in the "Legislature two terms, and became one of the largest land-owners in Clark County.  He died in 1801, aged eighty-four.  John Ward settled in the township about the same time as FoleyJudge John R. Lemon settled on Section 2, in the southeastern part of the township, in 1808; he was also a Virginian.   In the same year, David Crabill and his wife Barbery came from Virginia and settled on Buck Creek.  They had born to them twelve children; seven yet survive, and are among the leading families of the county.  David was a native of Virginia, and his wife of Pennsylvania; her maiden name was Bear, and he was in the war of 1812.  Thomas Voss, a native of Virginia, settled where Nathan Marsh now lives, in 1808.  Silvanus Tuttle and his wife, Mary (Brown) Tuttle, came to Ohio from Virginia in 1800, settling first in Champaign County, close to Catawba Station, and, in the spring of 1808, removing to the southeastern part of Moorefield Township, where both died, he in January, 1843, aged eighty-two, and his wife in May, 1848, aged eighty-five.  Of their numerous family, Eunice, Thaddeus, Hetty, Thomas, John, Dorcas, Caleb, Zebedee and David, all are dead but Caleb and Zebedee, who reside in Springfield Township, aged eighty-two and eighty-one respectively.  The Tuttles incline toward the Baptist Church, and many of them are actively identified with that denomination.  In 1808, Charles Bodkin and John Runyon settled in the township, and

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Jacob Richards a couple of years previous; all were from Virginia.  In 1811, Horatio Banes came with his parents, Evan and Lina Banes, and settled in Section 10, where his father died in 1827, and his mother in 1836. They had three sons, all now deceased.  Horatio was born in Virginia in 1791, and was married in this county in 1824, to Polly Miller, to whom was born nine children, live yet living Robert, Louisa, Reuben, Gabriel and Elizabeth.  He died in 1868, but his widow yet survives, in her eighty-first year.  He was prominent in township affairs.  Henry Bosart and his wife, Elizabeth, settled on Secton 21 in 1811; his wife died in 1817, and ho in 1841.  His son, T. L. Bosart, became a well-known and. leading farmer of his township, and his grandson, Lewis Bosart, yet owns the old homestead.  James Clark was born in Virginia, and there married to Martha Davis, of that State, to whom were born Rebecca, John, Charles M., William, Ellen, Eliza, Juliana and Wallace.  They came to Coshocton County, Ohio, in 1806, and about 1811 to this township, afterward moving to Champaign County, where they died.  Mr. Clark  excelled as a cooper; a bucket of his make, now owned by Caleb Tuttle, has been in use fifty- eight years, and is a pretty good bucket yet.  His sons, John, Charles M.
and William, are well known and prominent citizens of Clark County.  Seaton J. Hedges settled close to the Champaign County line at an early day.  He married Harriet Miller, and was afterward remarried twice; he died on his farm.  In 1810, Abraham Yeazell and his wife, Mary, natives of Virginia, who settled in Clinton County, Ohio, at an early day, came to his township, settling in the southeastern part.  They had fourteen children, seven of whom are now living - Sally, Daid, Jacob, Elizabeth, Abraham, Sidney and James.  Mr. Yeazell died Jan. 2, 1832, and his wife Sept. 22, 1828, and the family is one of the best-known and most extensive in Clark County.  Dennis Collins was born in Virginia in 1771, and there married to Mary Thomas, born in New Jersey in 1774.  They had fifteen children - Dr. Collins, of South Charleston, being one of the number.  In 1796, they moved to Kentucky, and in 1811 to Champaign County, Ohio, settling in Moorefield Township in 1813, where he died in 1826, and his wife in 1843.  John Marsh was born in Virginia in 1794; came to this township about 1818; he was married, in 1833, to Maria Dye, to whom were born three children - Nathan, Mary J. and John D.  He was a very successful farmer, and accumulated a large estate, dying in 1837 much repected.
     In 1812, Ward, Banes and Foley went with a large force of Kentuckians who passed through the settlement that year under Col. Wickliff, to re-enforce Hull's army, but they arrived just after Hulls cowardly and ignominious surrender.  Ward and Foley busied themselves during their lives in amassing titles to lands, in addition to that of their first purchase.  They would enter large tracts and make the first payments; then they held it until, by selling a part, they could with the proceeds pay the balance due.  When Ward was first married, Moses Henkle, the minister, came to take dinner with him the first Sabbath after he had entered the hymeneal state.  They only had one gallon pot in the house; in this they boiled the potatoes, and, after they were done, boiled the coffee in the same pot.  Then they baked teh bread on the lid of the pot, before the fire, and roasted the wild turkey, which they had saved for the occasion, on a spit in front of the fire, hanging it on a peg driven in the logs above the fireplace.  They ate from a table made by sawing off one end of a big log and driving three pegs in it for legs.  The chairs were made by Mr. Ward, being the same as the table, minus the logs.
     In 1807 Alexander McBeth, his wife Rachael, and eight children, came from Pennsylvania and settled on the old Col. Ward farm, more recently known as Frank Schultz's place.  In 1810, Mr. McBeth built a brick house, which was

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the first one in the county, and probably in any county adjoining.  We have very vague information concerning a man named McDaniels, who came into the township previous to 1806 but of his history or family nothing can now be learned, all traces of him having long ago disappeared.  Moses Henkle, another early settler, came previous to 1810, and built a little log house near the present residence of Mariah Jones.  He was of German descent, and came from Pennsylvania.  He had two daughters and several sons, all of whom are now scattered and their history lost.  The father was buried in Pleasant Hill Graveyard.  One of his family was the first County Clerk of Clark County.  The first to bear the glad tidings to the people and disseminate the truths of the Gospel in the township was the Rev. Robert Miller, an American by birth, but of Scotch descent.  His grandparents emigrated from Scotland in 1738.  His father served in the Revolutionary war, in which he lost his life.  Robert was born in Prince George County, Maryland, Aug. 19, 1767.  He moved to Virginia in 1793 and in 1797 removed to Kentucky.  He came to this State and township in 1812, and settled on land now occupied as a site for the new Moorefield Methodist Church.  He was  Methodist preacher by profession - one of those dauntless, energetic Methodist preachers that characterized that denomination in early pioneer days.  He was the prime mover in the organization of the Moorefield Church, in 1812, for which he preached a number of years.  He was twice married, having four daughters and five sons (two of the latter afterward became ministers) by his first wife, and three boys and one girl by the second wife.  In 1816 he built a large new log house, to which he added an extra room especially as a dwelling by A. W. Mumfer, Esq.  When the project of building the first church was in debate, Mr. Miller donated the ground for church and graveyard, gave $100 (which was one-sixth of the whole cost), solicited the balance, and afterward split the lath for the new building, and painted it when completed.  In 1834, he died, with this odd, though characteristic, speech on his lips: "I am going to heaven as straight a a shingle."  He was buried in the ground he had given to the church twenty-two years before for a burying-ground, where hi body molders while his spirit is at rest.  It was be well to mention some of his co-workers in the church work, as they were also early residents of the township.  Among them were Saul Henkle, who, in 1818, when the county was organized, was the first Clerk; Hector Sanford, John Clerigan and Dennis Collins.  A comparatively early settler, and one whose name is well known throughout the township, was Judge Daniel McKinnon, a Virginian, who came to this section in 1808, and settled on the ground where New Moorefield now stands, in Sections 3, 4, 9 and 10, corner.  He had a family consisting of his wife, three girls and five boys, all of which children are now scattered over the country outside of the township.  The father died on the land he entered, and was buried in the old graveyard.  Michael Arbogast came to Moorefield in 1811, from Pendleton County, Virginia, and entered a half-section of land on Buck Creek.  He had five sons and two daughters, who were left fatherless by Mr. Arbogast's death, which occurred in 1813, tow years after his entrance into the settlement.  His early demise prevented him from making the payments on his land, and his widow found herself very much in debt, but, by industry, economy and extreme frugality, she succeeded in meeting all demands made.  Her third son, Eli was born in 1799, before they left Virginia.  In 1823, he married Miss Nancy Henkle, also a Virginian, who was then twenty-two years old, and by this union they had born to them nine children.  For twelve years after marriage, they lived on rented land, but in 1835 Mr. Arbogast bought the property in Section 21, where he now resides.
     This brings us to a period when the country was pretty well settled, and, as

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it was a great many years before the land was all taken, it would be useless to follow the settlement any further.  We have given what we started out to give - the names of the first white men who commenced demolishing the work of nature and substituting in its stead their own.  There are in this township but three churches - a Methodist Episcopal, Protestant Methodist and Baptist.  The Methodist Episcopal was the first organized.  It was organized in 1812, through the personal efforts of Robert Miller whose life is spoken of above; the first meeting was held in the log house of Judge McKinnon, on the banks of Buck Creek, where Now Moorefield now stands.  It was called "Miller's Church" until 1833, when the first church building was erected; previous to which, services were held in the houses and barns of the pioneer members.  The first church was a frame structure, on ground given to the congregation by Robert Miller.  It was built at a cost of $600.  The glass for the windows was purchased in Cincinnati.  The name at this time was changed to the "Moorefield Methodist Episcopal Church."  In 1834, the year following its completion Granville Moody, that famous old fighting Methodist, was announced to speak to the members, and at the appointed time he took his place in the pulpit, choosing for a text the words, "Ye must be born again."  As soon as he had read his text, he grew very red in the face, and, muttering something about being sick, took his seat, amidst the suppressed laughter of his hearers.  He left being sick, took his seat, amidst the suppressed laughter of his hearers.  He left the church, and at the net station on the circuit told a brother minister that he had made a failure at Moorefield, and wasn't going to try to preach any more, but the brother persuaded him, and the world has seen and reaped the result.  In 1817, there were about seventy members in the church, and in 1859 the congregation had assumed such proportions that a new church was found necessary; and it was built in the same year, being the one now occupied by the church.  The roof was torn off by a tornado which passed over the country during the rebellion.
     The Protestant Methodist Church was organized in1846, and a few years later the church was built where it now stands, in Section 15, at a cost of $736.  Though the congregation is not large in numbers, it is mighty in interest and good-fellowship, and received its full merit of encouragement for the surrounding township.  The third and last church organized was the Baptist, which is still in its infancy, having been organized only since the 18th of November, 1879.  It was organized in the Union Schoolhouse, in District No. 2, Union Township, Champaign County, with seventeen members.  In the winter following, a neat little church, 32x48 feet, was built, at a cost of $1,315.  It was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies Mr. 7 1880, Rev. E. A. Stone, of Urbana, officiating.  It is situated on the Clark & union Turnpike, two miles northeast of New Moorefield; the membership at present numbers twenty-one, and promises to increase steadily until it reaches the full measure of a model church in the Master's vineyard.  As to the schools of this township and their history, very little can be said, and nothing more than can be said of almost every township in the State.  They had their subscription schools in little log schoolhouses, of which the first was in 1810, taught by a man named Redwood.  The next was a few years later, in the western part of the township, and was taught by Squire Lemon.  These subscription schools sprung up in each settlement, and were long the only dispensatories of knowledge, nor did they entirely disappear until all the Legislative enactments relating to district schools were passed, and district schools regularly and generally established, which was not until after 1838.  There are now nine districts in the township, with a $1,600 brick schoolhouse in each, and school taught for from six to nine months in each year, giving the children every advantage educationally that their fathers were deprived of.  When the law made it optional with the township to sell or not the Section 16

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set aside for school purposes, this township voted to sell, which was done, and the money put at interest, where it still remains.  Among the enterprises of the township "which were and are not" was a stillhouse, started a store in 1850.  These were both on Buck Creek, near the site of New Moorefield.  In 1842, a saw-mill was started near the same place; it was also burned.  There is now a grist and saw mill occupying the places of the burned buildings, which were started in 1862, the grit-mill having been hauled by wagon from Urbana, where it was formerly used.  The first regular doctor in the township was Dr. Banes, who commenced practicing in 1840.
     Moorefield politically is Republican, as was shown by the vote for President in 1880, wherein the Republicans received 223 votes, and the Democrats 141.
     It was formerly Whig by a then big majority.  We will close this sketch with a little political incident that occurred in 1844, and which strongly marks the feelings of the people at that time.  A man named Chauncey Face, who cast  the first Abolition vote in the township, was accused of being a member of the "Underground Railway," or, in other words, of harboring runaway slaves and assisting them to escape to Canada.  At last, obtaining what they considered conclusive proof of his guilt, the mob took him from his house, tarred and feathered him, and rode him on a rail.  They then gave him notice to leave the district.  The prevailing sentiment existing among them now is somewhat different from what it was at that time, and all admit that the change is for the best.

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