preparing this sketch we have made free use of an article written
many years ago by the late Hon. J. R. Hubbell.)
township was named for that portion of New York City known as
Harlem, which was given that name by the early Dutch settlers of
that region in honor of a prosperous city of that name in their
native land. This township contains even 16,000 acres of land,
and is known and designated on the map of the United States Military
Lands as Township No. 3 and Range 16.
The origin of these Military Lands is explained in the
chapter devoted to the settlement and organization of the county.
It is bounded on the north by Trenton Township; on the east by
Monroe Township, Licking County; on the south by Plain Township,
Franklin County, and on the west by Genoa Township. Of the
larger streams running southward through Delaware County not one
touches Harlem Township, but notwithstanding this fact, this
township is well watered. Large runs and brooks, supplied by
springs and spring runs. How from the east line of the
township, in a south-westerly direction, to Big Walnut Creek.
Among these we may mention Spruce Run and Duncan Run. A few
rods distant from the north line and about a mile and a half from
the northwest corner of the township, is located a sulphur spring,
on a farm that was long known as the "Dustin Farm." The
character and water of this spring have been declared by competent
chemists to be strongly impregnated with sulphur and magnesia, and
other minerals, and is very similar in quality to the water of the
White Sulphur Springs of the Scioto, and the Sulphur Springs at
Delaware. The land in this township is almost uniformly level.
Near the mouth of Duncan Run and the mouth of the Spruce, there is
some rolling land; but of the eighteen townships of Delaware County,
this in the character of the soil is most uniform. The soil is
a deep black loam, and very productive; the general yield of all
cereal and vegetable products in this township is much above the
average, compared with other townships of the county. There is
no waste land in the township. The timber in its native forest
was luxuriant. Upon the high and rolling land was white oak.
ash, sugar maple, hickory and beech, but the level lands were
covered with burr-oak, white elm and black ash. Stock-raising
has received considerable atten-
Page 456 -
tion here. Almost the entire population is engaged in fanning.
There is little if any manufacturing. There are no mines, no
canals, navigable streams or railroads nor any important town.
Along and near the lower part of Duncan Run there are extensive
stone quarries, which produce Waverly stone of the very best
quality, but on account of the lack of transportation facilities,
they have been worked but little.
There seems to be more certainty regarding the early
settlers in this township than of the settlers in most of the other
townships in the county. In 1803 a man named Duncan purchased
Section 3 from the patentee, but failed to pay the purchase money,
and in 1807, the sheriff of Franklin County sold the entire 4,000
acres at public auction to Benjamin Cook, Esq., for
forty-two cents per acre. An amusing incident, illustrating
the shrewdness and caution of this early pioneer, is quite
appropriate in this connection. Among the New England families
who emigrated to Ohio in 1805-06, was Mr. Cook, who
came to Granville from Connecticut. While living there, he
learned that this tract of land was to be sold to the highest bidder
by the sheriff. He immediately prepared himself with the
necessary funds, as lie supposed, to make the purchase. The
terms of sale were cash in hand. He was compelled to keep his
money upon in person, to be ready to make the purchase, in case he
became the lucky bidder; and then again, he was going among
strangers and was liable to be robbed. He dressed himself, for his
own protection, in old clothes covered with patches and rags,
permitted his beard to grow long, and put on a dirtier shirt than
usual; in short, he presented an appearance of wretchedness and
poverty. Beneath his rags and patches he concealed his
treasure. No one suspected that he had any money or was other
than a beggar, and when he commenced to bid, the rival bidders
ceased their competition. They supposed his bidding was a
farce, and that he could not pay for the land if it was struck off
to him. In this shrewd transaction, he illustrated the true
Yankee character, to the amusement of those he outwitted. He
paid the sheriff the purchase money, obtained his deed, and
immediately moved by way of Berkshire onto his new purchase.
He kept five hundred acres of this tract, selling the balance to
Colonel Moses Byxbe. He was the first settler in the
township, and when he moved upon his claim, there was not even a
cabin upon it, and until one was built, his family occupied an
Indian shanty. Mr. Cook died in 1839. He
was the first justice of the peace of the township, and held other
official positions with honor and credit. Calvin
Tracy Cook was the first white child born in Harlem
Township. His birth occurred in 1808, and he died in 1831.
The oldest child of Benjamin Cook was Benajah S.
Cook, who was born in Connecticut in 1794, and was brought by
his father to Harlem, where he married and settled on a large farm
near his father's homestead. He was a great hunter in his day.
Stephen Thompson, who was a squatter, was
the next settler in the township. He came here in 1808.
He came with his parents when quite young, and before the American
Revolution, from Ireland. The family settled in Pennsylvania.
He was a drum-major in the Revolution. At about the same time,
a number of families came to this county from the same part of
Pennsylvania - the Wyoming Valley. In 1809, Rev. Daniel
Bennett and family settled in Harlem on a farm near the center
of the township. He was a local preacher and led an exemplary
lite. His wife was a Miss Adams, the sister of
Elijah Adams, for many years was a squire. Rev.
Adams's oldest daughter married B. Roberts, who
settled in Centerville, probably nearly eighty years ago.
Their oldest daughter became the wife of the late C. B. Paul,
of Delaware. Mr. Paul filled several of the Harlem
Township and county offices. He was the largest landholder in
the township at one time. Before the Civil war, he served as
county commissioner, and the first year of the war he was elected
county treasurer, and held this office four years.
Two brothers, Elijah and John Adams, came to
Harlem in 1809. He bought a cabin of Stephen Thompson,
west of the Bennett
Page 457 -
farm. He married Desire Cook, the
daughter of Benajah Cook, and raised a large family.
His oldest son, Abraham Adams, was admitted to the
Bar, but died soon after at his residence in Columbus. Another
son, Elijah B. Adams, was graduated from Ohio Wesleyan
University, just previous to the war. He enlisted as a private
but soon rose to the rank of captain. Early in the war he had
all the fingers on his right hand cut off by a sabre in the hands of
a rebel officer. Unable longer to perform active service, he
entered the invalid corps, where he remained until the close of the
war. In 1872 he was elected county recorder and re-elected in
1875. He gave the people of the county a satisfactory
administration of the office, and upon his retirement in 1879, he
removed to Columbus. Another brother, John Adams,
was a justice of the peace in Harlem, but removed to Colorado.
William Fancher, with his wife and a
large famly, emigrated from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, in
1810. They bought about 1,000 acres of land in the southern
part of the township. He was a veteran of the Revolution, and
a number of his sons served in the second war with England.
The family was prominent and highly esteemed among the early
settlers. About the same time, and from the same part of
Pennsylvania, N. B. Waters and family came to Harlem
Township. After residing here for several years, they removed
to Fairfield County, where they resided for about eighteen years.
They then returned to this county, settling in the northern part of
Radnor Township. Here Mr. Waters died in 1858.
His wife was a Miss Cary, a sister of the wife of
Squire Adams. His son, Benjamin C. Waters,
married a daughter of Colonel William Budd,
about 1846. He was a blacksmith for several years in the
village of Harlem. He served as justice of the peace, and in
1860 he was elected sheriff, and was re-elected in 1862. In
the latter part of the Civil war he was provost marshal for the
county, and for several years United States mail agent on the route
from Cincinnati to Cleveland. He was elected probate judge in
1872. Though not a trained lawyer, he had acquired
considerable knowledge of the law, and his native good sense and
judgment enabled him to perform the duties of the office in a manner
satisfactory to all.
Among the early and most numerous of the pioneer
families, is that of John Budd, who emigrated from the
Wyoming Valley in 1810, and settled upon a large tract of several
hundred acres, situated in the west part of the township, on Duncan
Run. This family by marriage was connected with all the early
families of this township. When Mr. Budd came to
Ohio, he was well advanced in years, and all his sons were young men
grown. Their names were Benjamin, Eli, John
and William. We may not give their names in
chronological order of birth. Benjamin Budd
settled east of his father, cleared up a farm, but in a few
years afterward he sold his farm and moved to Indiana with his famly.
His brother, Eli, settled on a farm farther east, cleared it
up, and about the same time sold out and moved to Indiana. The
elder Mr. Budd died on the old homestead he helped to
improve in the early days, and his son, William, by purchase
and inheritance, became the owner of the old homestead property.
His son, John, or Dr. John Budd, the cognomen by which
he was known, purchased from his father for $250, 100 acres of land
situated north of the village of Buddtown, as it is called, where he
settled and lived until his death in 1872. Soon after his
father settled in Harlem, he married, Mary Adams,
sister of Elijah and John Adams. They had
several children. He was a botanical physician. While he
never went to college, he had practical common sense, and never
undertook to do in his profession anything beyond his skill.
He was amiable, kind-hearted and a good citizen. William,
who was better known as Colonel Budd, was something of
a character, he had dash and enterprise, owned and ran a mill, kept
store, carried on farming on a large scale, dealt in stock, and had
a taste for military and political life. He was colonel of a
regiment in the peace establishment, and had a great taste for
litigation, he sometimes engaged in legal practice in the justice
Page 458 -
His wife was a sister of Elijah Adams. They
reared a large family. Colonel Budd left a large
estate. Upon his death, his eldest son. James
Budd, became the owner of the old homestead, consisting of
several hundred acres, to which he made additions until he became
the largest land owner in the township, and one of the largest in
the county. James Budd was very much like his
father, generous and kind-hearted. For many years he was
extensively engaged in the stock business, and at the close of the
Civil war, met with heavy pecuniary losses, sold his farm and moved
West. The oldest daughter married Major Jesse C. Tull.
He was a native of New York, and when a young man, came to Ohio and
was employed as a school teacher in Harlem. Alter his
marriage, he was an active business man, dividing his time between
agricultural and mercantile pursuits. He later moved to
Columbus and engaged in the hotel business. Another daughter
became the wife of Judge
B. C. Waters.
Another early settler in this township was Benamin
M. Fairchild, who emigrated from Bennington, Vermont, in 1808
or 1809. For many years he was employed by Benajah
Cook to work on the farm. He was a millwright and
mechanic, but being a natural genius, he was successful at any work
he undertook. About the beginning of the War of 1812, he was
married, and at this time sent for his brother Shuman and
family to come from Vermont. He was able by industry and
economy to purchase a 150-acre farm. He built several grist
and saw-mills, and opened up several stone quarries on Duncan Run,
which he had purchased from Coloned Byxbe. He
gave the stone for the Central College. In 1878 he died at an
advanced age. Shuman settled on a farm adjoining his
brother's farm on the south. He died without heirs, and left
his estate to his wife and relatives, except $1,500, which he
donated to the church.
George Fix was an early settler coming
into the township a number of years later than those we have
mentioned. About 1812 Conrad Wickizer came from Berks
County, Pennsylvania, and settled in the southeastern part of the
township. The Mann family - Thomas,
Eleazer, Abijah and Gordon Mann - were
among the early settlers. Daniel Hunt was
another. He came from Washington County, Pennsylvania, and
settled on a farm about a mile east of Centerville, about 1835.
He was an industrious and successful man, but his kindness in such
matters as bail debts led him into financial straits. He was
justice of the peace for several years and a member of the
About eighty years ago John Hanover and
family came into the township from Ohio County, West Virginia.
And about the same time Elam Blain, a Pennsylvanian,
settled on a new farm on Spruce Run. He was an intelligent but
unassuming man. He was justice of the peace for fifteen years,
and held other township offices. He raised a large family.
Another settler of this period and in this neighborhood was John
Miller. He was one of the pioneers who helped to clear
up the township. He died in 1880 past eighty years of age,
leaving numerous descendants. Jonathan Bateson,
a brother-in-law of Daniel Hunt, came here about the
same time as Hunt. He also for several years was a
justice of the peace. He and Hunt married sisters by
the name of McClelland. In 1839 Nathan Paul
settled on a farm of about 400 acres about half a mile east of
Centerville. He was intelligent, enterprising and thrifty.
He married a Miss Bell and had two sons and a
daughter. He died in 1850 at the age of forty-one, leaving a
large estate. Among other prominent settlers who have many
descendants in the township at the present time were Thomas,
Joseph, David and John Gorsuch, and a
glance at the list of township officers will show that this is a
prominent name. We Have given all the data regarding the early
settlement of the township that we have been able to secure at this
late date, and of course, it is beyond the scope of a work of this
kind to attempt to go into details of the present population, which
alone would make a large volume.
The township contains two villages, Centerville,
situated at the center of the township, was laid out by Edward
Hartrain and Ben-
Page 459 -
Roberts in 1848. The following year Harlem Village was
laid out by Amos Washburn and James Budd.
The Township officials for 1908, as reported to the
county auditor, are: Samuel Gorsuch and J. W. Pace,
justice of the peace; W. F. Hill, Seth Gorsuch
and Ross Gorsuch, trustees; H. M. Cockrell,
clerk; Dr. N. Gorsuch, treasurer; I. D. Williams,
assessor; A. A. Grove and G. E. Gorsuch, constables.
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