OHIO GENEALOGY EXPRESS

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Delaware County, Ohio

History & Genealogy

20th century history of Delaware County, Ohio
and representative citizens
Chicago, Ill. :: Biographical Pub. Co., 1908 by James R. Lytle
Transcribed by Sharon Wick

CHAPTER XVIII.
TOWNSHIPS AND TOWNS

Settlement and Organization of the Townships - Settlement and Founding of the Towns
Sketches of Ashley, Galena, Sunbury, Ostrander, Lewis Center, Powell, Radnor, and other towns.
Pg. 435

TOWNSHIPS:


 

CONCORD TOWNSHIP.

     Lying in the southwest corner of Delaware County, Concord is one of the county's most interesting townships in point of historical heppenings and incidents of pioneer life.  The derivation of its name is unknown, but the popular belief exists that it was named from the town of Concord, Massachusetts, of Revolutionary fame.  Delaware was set off from Franklin County in 1808, and three townships established in the new county, of which Liberty was made to include what is now Concord.  When Union Township was created June 16, 1809, it included that part of Concord lying west of the Scioto River.  Apr. 20, 1819, Concord Township came into being, its boundaries being fixed in the following manner: "Beginning at the county line between Franklin and Delaware Counties, on the east bank of the Scioto River, and running up the river to where the range line between 19 and 20 strikes the river ; thence north on said range line to the southeast corner of fourth quarter, fifth township, and twentieth range; thence west to the Scioto River, thence up said river to where the State Road from Delaware to Derby crosses the same; thence westward along the south line of said road until it strikes the westerly line of survey, and extra No. 2,994; thence southwardly on said line and on the west line of survey Nos. 2.993, 2.989, 2,998, 3,006, 3,005 and 2,991, to Franklin

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County line; thence east to the place of beginning."  Very irregular in outline, it was taken from and added to so frequently in early days, it became a matter of jest as to whether those who resided near the border, would awaken in the morning in the same township in which they had sough repose the night before.  About 1852. Scioto Township was allowed one school district from that portion of Concord lying east of Scioto River, extending north, between the river and Delaware Township, to the south line of Radnor.  A few years later, on petition of the voters affected a school district was added from the southwest part of Delaware Township, for political reasons, it is thought; and still later a small triangular part of the southwestern part of Liberty Township was added, but in a few years restored to that township.  A school district lying in the bend of Mill Creek, in the northwest part of Concord, was segregated and annexed to Scioto. This was the last of the many changes.  That part of the township lying west of the Scioto River, originally formed a part of the old Virginia Military Lands, and the farms were laid out by the claimants' surveyors to suit them, being extended one direction to include a desirable building spot, another direction to take in a valuable spring, and so on as their fancy led them, without regard to sections or section lines.  This land was heavily timbered with oak, walnut, hickory, sycamore and maple, and east of the river, between Bellepoint and Delaware Township, there was a vast swamp, considered valueless in the early days.  It was many years before there was a road to Delaware through this swamp, the settlers going to that city, either by the old pack-horse trail two miles south, or by Rigger's Ford, where the covered bridge on the Marysville Pike crossed the Scioto, and the State Road.   After the surrounding forest had been cleared away and an effective system of drainage instituted, the swamp land was reclaimed and became very valuable as it was exceedingly fertile.  Scioto River. Mill Creek, Big Run and Deer Lick Run are the streams of Concord Township, and the first named, affording excellent rafting in the days before the construction of many dams, drew many of the early residents who were thus placed within easy reach of Columbus and other river towns.  The business of rafting was carried on extensively, trips down the river being made, sometimes, as far as the Ohio River.  Mill Creek excelled in its water power, not showing the effect of the dry seasons as early as did the Scioto.
     The first white settler of Concord was George Hill, an old Revolutionary soldier,who, in 1811, made his way from Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, on pack horses, and settled two miles south of Bellpoint on the banks of the river.  He built a log cabin on the site of the old Hill home, which he built of stone in 1823. and there with his family lived among the Indians, who were his only neighbors for a short time.  His brother-in-law, Christopher Freshwater, followed him shortly to Delaware County, making the journey from Pennsylvania, afoot, being handicapped in his travel by a gun and broad-ax which he carried on his shoulder.  He bought fifty acres adjoining Mr. Hill's, and for many years followed his trade of carpentering.  Many of his descendants still reside in the county.  Joel Marsh, the third settler in point of time, located near Hill and Freshwater, and his marriage to a daughter of the former, was the first in the township.  George Freshwater, son of Christopher, was the first white child born there, and Mrs. Hill, mother of George Hill, was the first who died in the township, as well as the first buried in Hill Cemetery.  She was eighty years old when the journey was made from Pennsylvania, and died in 1821, aged ninety years.  John Day. Sr., a negro slave, the property of George Hill, was brought here in 1811 and immediately upon arrival was granted his freedom.  After living there some years he moved to Delaware.  Among othersof the name linked with Concord's early history, may be mentioned those of William Carson, who came in 1821; George Oiler, wholocated on the east bank of the Scioto; James Kooken, the original proprietor of Bellepoint, who had been a man of prominence prior to locating in Concord in 1835; J. E. Hughes,

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step-son of James Kooken; John Robinson; William Jackson, who was a child when his father brought him to the vicinity of White Sulphur Springs; D. W. C. Lugenbeel, who for more than half a century taught school without missing a term; John Cutler, first township treasurer and owner of 800 acres of land; Daniel Creamer; Francis Marley, the pioneer blacksmith; Joel Liggitt; Gilbert Smith; Jacob
Wolford; John Black; Daniel Gardner; William Stone; John Jones; Aaron Gillett; John Artz ; Thomas Bryson; and A. Depp, a colored resident whose coming dates back to 1834, when he purchased a tract of 400 acres.  The last named was the organizer of the old colored Baptist Church, long since abandoned and torn down, which stood on his property and was known as "Depp's Church."  Dr. Samuel White, another colored citizen, came in 1836 and for many years was a practicing physician near the Industrial Home.  Among the first to locate in the Mill Creek Settlement was Colonel Seburn Hinton, who bought and settled upon 1,000 acres of land.  There he built the first saw and grist mill of the township, which afterward was enlarged and for many years did a flourishing business.  In connection, he conducted a store at his mill.  Others of Mill Creek settlers were William Smart, who came from Pennsylvania; Presley  The first bridge in the township was built over Said; Daniel Robbins; and Randall Murphy.  Mill Creek by the people of the neighborhood and was located on the line of the old Sandusky Millitary Road.
     The White Sulphur Springs, or Fountain, as it is sometimes called, is the home of one of the State's most important institutions.  The Girl's Industrial Home, one in which the county and state take a just pride.  The history of the Springs date back to the time the firm of Davis & Richards made borings for salt, but instead of that article struck a great flow of sulphur water at a depth of 460 feet.  They left off operations in discouragement, and the well remained in an unfinished state until 1842, when Nathaniel Hart conceived the idea of establishing a watering place for pleasure and health seekers.  Purchasing the property of its owner, Christopher Freshwater, he erected a large building and several cottages for the accommodation of guests.  His success was not such as anticipated and in time Mr. Hart sold to Andrew Wilson, Jr., who continued the place as a resort until 1865.  At that date a transfer of the property was made to John Ferry, who remodeled, enlarged and refurnished the house at a considerable expense.  He carried on the business with but little success until 1869, then sold the property to the State of Ohio, which established thereon the State Reform School for Girls, which project was the result of a petition to the Legislature by some of the benevolently inclined citizens of Delaware county.  The name of the institution was changed in 1872 by special enactment of the Legislature to "The Girls Industrial Home."
     The village of Bellepoint, situated in the angle formed at the junction of Mill Creek and Scioto River, was laid out by James Kooken in 1835, and wild speculation followed for a time, the value of lots going steadily upward on the strength of a plan to slack the Scioto River and fit it for steamboat navigation.  It was soon demonstrated that slack water navigation was impracticable, owing to the fall of the river between Bellepoint and Columbus, and choice lots in the new town became, suddenly, almost worthless.  Its founder and a few others still strove to build up the town, but their efforts met with failure.  A post office was established there in 1836-37, with Walter Borgan as postmaster.  A tavern, conducted by Josiah Reece, the blacksmith shop of Francis Marley, a church and school house, together with a few dwellings, was the extent of Bellepoint's claim to classification as a village.
     Concord Township, peopled with an intelligent, refined and law-abiding class of citizens, was rudely awakened from its peaceful pursuits on Sept. 8, 1838. when the news spread that a cold-blooded murder had been committed on the camp-meeting grounds, near Rigger's Ford.  An Irishman, a stranger in the community, had been killed by Levi Bowersmith as the result of an argument over money matters.  The Irishman had engaged the Bowersmith brothers, Isaac and Levi, to haul some goods from Columbus to the campmeeting grounds, and the job completed, it is said the latter demanded a larger sum of money than that agreed upon.  Hot words were passed and the two brothers left the cabin in a rage, but Levi soon returned and with a club struck the Irishman on the back of the head, crushing his skull.  The victim of this assault died soon after in the cabin of Protus Lyman.  In the trial which followed, Isaac Bowersmith was acquitted, and Levi was found guilty, being sentenced to one year of imprisonment.
     The officers of Concord Township for the year 1908, as reported to the county auditor, are:
     A. Bean and N. Chambers, justices of the peace; J. N. Ropp, F. V. Staley and G. D. Freshwater, trustees; O. C. Hutchisson, clerk; H. O. Moore, treasurer; O. Robinson, assessor; S. W. Clover and J. J. Chambers, constables; L. Jones, A. Avers, and W. W. Sands, cemetery trustees.

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