OHIO GENEALOGY EXPRESS

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Welcome to
Greene County, Ohio
History & Genealogy

Source:
Green County 1803  - 1908.
Edited by A Committee of the Home Coming Association -
Xenia, Ohio -
The Aldine Publishing House
1908
(Transcribed by Sharon Wick)

Pg. 32

A HISTORICAL SKETCH of GREEN COUNTY

     Of the thirty-six men who framed the Constitution of the State of Ohio, and took the necessary steps seeking the admission of the same to the Union, were two who, while credited to Hamilton County, were then residing within the boundary of what was afterwards Greene County.  They were John Wilson, residing near the present site of Bellbrook, and Col. John Paul, afterwards the founder of Xenia, who resided at what is now known as Trebein's Station.
     Through the efforts of this body of men, on Feb. 19, 1803, Ohio was admitted to the Union, being the seventeenth state and the first of the Northwest Territory.
     Previous to this, there had been several counties laid out in the territory, Washington being the first and occupying the entire eastern part of the territory of Ohio.  Hamilton, in 1790, the second, named for Alexander Hamilton, and embraced all the land lying between the Little Miami River and the boundary line between the lands of the United States and the Indians, made by the treaty of Greenville in 1795.  Ross County occupied the land west of Washington County in the central part of the State, its western boundary being not far from Cedarville, this county, which was fist called Newport.  This left a strip about ten miles wide, which was neither Ross nor Hamilton.

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     In the same year that Ohio was made a state, four counties, by act of the first State Legislature, were organized from portions of Hamilton and Ross, and the strip above referred to.  These four counties were all, on May 1, 1803, given names of Revolutionary heroes as follows:  WARREN was named for Gen. Joseph Warren, who fell at Bunker Hill; BUTLER for Gen. Richard Butler who fell in St. Clair's defeat; MONTGOMERY was named for Gen. Richard Montgomery whose life was given up at the assault of Quebec; and Greene for Gen. Nathaniel Greene, distinguished for his many brave acts during the Revolution.
     Green and Montgomery Counties extended originally from their present southern boundaries to the north line of the State, and from the east line of Greene County to the west line of the State.  But these broad dimensions were only a short duration as, two years later, Champaign County was organized, thus cutting off the northern expanse of Greene, and in 1817 the county was reduced to its present boundaries, lying entirely within the Virginia Military Reservation and what is known as the Symmes Purchase.
     The Virginia Military Reservation consisted of more than 4,000,000 acres reserved by Virginia for her troops in the Clark expedition and for her soldiers in the Continental army.  It embraces all the land lying between the Scioto and Little Miami Rivers.  That part of the county lying west of the Little Miami is a part of the original Symmes Purchase, a tract of 1,000,000 acres contracted for, with the government, by John Symmes, for himself and his associates.  The Virginia Reservation had already drawn to this locality a considerable number of Revolutionary veterans and others from that State.  Any one holding a Virginia land warrant could locate it wherever he desired within the district and in such shape as he pleased, only providing the land had not been previously located.  Such a haphazard way naturally led to much litigation in later years.
     The first tract of land within the present limits of Greene County was entered by John Jamison, August, 1787, sixteen years before Ohio became a state, and nineteen days after the ordinance of 1787.  It was a tract of 1200 acres on the Little

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Miami near Oldtown, entered on a military warrant, surveyed by Nathaniel Massie in 1794, and recorded in the land office at Cincinnati in May, 1795.
     Across the county, east and north of Xenia, was the line of Col. Logan's march to Chillicothe town, in 1786, in General Clark's campaign against the Indians.
     Many persons for whom surveys were made not only never occupied but never saw them, among whom were many men of Revolutionary fame.  A tract of 2500 acres was entered by Major-General Horatio Gates, who commanded the American forces at Saratoga.  It lies but a short distance southeast of Cedarville.

TOWNSHIPS.

     At the organizing of the counties, places were appointed as temporary seats of justice; that selected for Greene County being the home of Peter Borders on Beaver Creek.  On May 10, 1803, court convened for the dividing of Greene county into townships, of which originally there were but four; Sugar Creek, Caesar's Creek, Mad River and Beaver Creek.  SUGAR CREEK TOWNSHIP included all that is now Sugar Creek, nearly all of SPRING VALLEY TOWNSHIP and part of what is now XENIA TOWNSHIP.  In August, 1803, James Collier, the enumerator, reported living in the township at that time seventy-one free white inhabitants over twenty- one years of age.  The house of James Clancy, on the present site of the town of Bellbrook, was appointed as a place of holding elections.
    
CAESAR'S CREEK TOWNSHIP was about four times as large as Sugar Creek and included all the southeastern part of the county.  The number of free white males over twenty-one years of age, as reported by Joseph Price, the first assessor of this township, was fifty-eight.  The site of Xenia was in this township.  The voting place appointed was the residence of William I. Stewart.
    
MAD RIVER TOWNSHIP was the third to be organized and the largest in the county.  Not any of this township was within the present boundaries of Greene County.  Its southern boundary

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line was the south boundary of the tenth range of the township, in what is now Clark County, extending' east and west the entire width of the county and north to the limits of the State.  John Daugherty. of Springfield, was the first enumerator and reported one hundred and fifty-six males over the age of twenty-one.  Springfield had been appointed as the place of holding elections at the home of Griffith Foos.
    
BEAVER CREEK TOWNSHIP was the second in size and Peter Popenoe, the first assessor, reported as residing in the township.  one hundred and fifty-four white male inhabitants over the age of twenty-one.  At that time Beaver Creek Township included all the lands lying south of Mad River Township and north of Sugar Creek and Caesar's Creek.  The site of the town of Springfield then lay partly in Mad River Township and partly in Beaver Creek.  The elections were appointed to be held at the house of Peter Borders; the same place where was held the first county court.  The total number of voters in the entire county at the organization, as reported by the first enumeration, was 439.
     In 1805 it was found advisable to organize a new township from parts of Caesar's Creek and Beaver Creek to be known as Xenia Township; and two years later, 1807. 
BATH TOWNSHIP was organized, being taken wholly from the territory of Beaver Creek.  It included part of what is now Champaign County and part of three townships in Clark County.  The first election in Bath Township was held at the house of Andrew Read, of Read's Hill, and two justices of the peace were elected, Andrew Read for the western portion and Thomas Fream for the eastern portion of the township.  At first both had quarters at what is now the town of Yellow Springs, but later at their residences.  The old stone house on Read's Hill is still standing, hearing the date over the doorway, 1819.
     On the eighth day of June. 1808,
MIAMI TOWNSHIP was organized from portions of Bath and Xenia Townships, and the first election was held at the house of David S. Broderich at Yellow Springs.  The first enumeration of this township differs from that of other townships previously organized in that it includes a number of women and is designated as a "list of all tax-

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payers," while the former enumerations were designated as a "list of all free white male inhabitants over twenty-one."
     SILVER CREEK
TOWNSHIP was organized on Mar. 4th, 1811, being taken mostly from Caesar's Creek, with a small portion from Xenia Township.  It included, originally, all that now is Jefferson and the eastern part of Spring Valley Township.  The first election was held at the house of Noah Strong.
     The same date also marked the organization of
ROSS TOWNSHIP.  It was taken entirely from Xenia Township.  The first election was held at the residence of John Bozarth.
     In 1812 a township was form from part of Miami and was called
VANCE TOWNSHIP in honor of the Honorable Joseph Vance, but after the organizing of Clark County only a fractional part of this township remained in Greene County and that was attached to Ross Township.
     The very prosperous township of
CEDARVILLE was not organized until December, 1850, and, while of very irregular boundary lines, the form has been but little changed.  This was taken from the townships of Xenia, Caesar's Creek, Ross and Miami.  It seems to have been the first township formed against which a protest was entered, the following being a portion of the protest filed with the commissioners by the citizens of Ross Township: "Our reasons we will fully set forth in your presence, only adding here that we are not willing to have any of our township cut off, which is already too small, to gratify the caprice or spleen of any."  Which protest seems, however, to have failed, for the township was duly organized and place of election appointed at the house of John W. Walker, in the town of Cedarville.
     In 1852, New Jasper Township was organized, being taken from the townships of Caesar's Creek and Xenia; and 1856 witnessed the organizing of Spring Valley Township, which was formed from adjacent parts of Sugar Creek, Caesar's Creek and Xenia Townships.
     In June, 1858, was organized Jefferson Township, taken entirely from Silver Creek, and for fifty years there has been o change in the number of townships in the county.

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