A HISTORICAL SKETCH of GREEN
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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,
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-
payers," while the former enumerations were designated as a
"list of all free white male inhabitants over twenty-one."
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
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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