A Part of Genealogy Express

Welcome to
Greene County, Ohio
History & Genealogy

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

Pg. 81


     Greene County is a member of that very fertile group of counties in southwestern Ohio drained by the two Miami Rivers and their tributaries.  In its average value of farm lands per acre ($31.63 according to the census of 1900), Greene County stands twelfth among the 88 counties of the State, and the counties which outrank her include within their limits the cities of Cleveland, Cincinnati. Columbus, Dayton, Akron, Canton, Springfield, and Hamilton, which of course affect favorably the prices of land about them.  The county is traversed from north to south by the wide alluvial valley of the Little Miami; its northwest corner is crossed by the Mad River valley; and connecting these two is a broad valley, excavated ages ago by the Mad River when its course was different from the present, but now occupied by the little stream called Beaver Creek.
     Greene County lies within the area covered by the Glacial Drift.  This is a deposit of clay, sand, gravel, and bowlders which, geologists agree, was carried southward from the region of the lakes, and deposited in its present position, by glaciers.  The weathering of the drift produced the county's fertile soils.  These soils include: (1) The black upland soil, excellent for corn and blue grass, formed by the weathering of the drift where it lay in flat tracts, and found especially in Ross and the other

Page 82 -
eastern townships.  (2) The common upland clay soil (often called "oak land" because various oaks, especially white oak, naturally grow on it).  It is derived from the drift where the surface was sloping, and is a very durable soil and productive when properly cultivated.  (3) The rather dark-colored and very productive soil known as "sugar land," on which grow naturally not only sugar maples but also ash, hickory, walnut, etc.  In some places it is called "mulatto" soil.  It was formed from gravels on the highlands.  (4) The bottom lands of the valleys, deposited by the agency of the streams.

     Underneath the drift, in a typical section of the county, lies what geologists have called the Niagara group of rocks, consisting of limestones interspersed with shales, and belonging to the Upper Silurian period.  It is found over the entire eastern half of the comity and also in a small area in Beaver Creek Township.  Its

Page 83 -
beds of limestone, in descending order, are: the Guelph or Cedarville, the Springfield, the West Union, and the Dayton.  The two former are chiefly valuable for lime and road metal and the two latter for building purposes, although much common building stone has been taken from the Springfield bed.  The large output of lime from the Cedarville kilns comes from the Cedarville bed, while the Dayton stone is quarried at New Jasper and elsewhere and may be seen in the new Episcopal church in Xenia and in many other buildings in the county.  Each product excels in

The Pass

its own field and finds a wide market.  Separating the Dayton and West Union beds is a layer of shale, best seen on the Neff Grounds at Yellow Springs.  It is this peculiar arrangement of strata - soft shale capped by limestone - that produced equally the gorges of the Little Miami and Massie's Creek in Greene

Page 84 -
County and the gorge of the Niagara River.  The water, wearing away the shale more easily than the overlying limestone, undermines the latter till at length a portion breaks off, and this process is repeated many times as the falls recede up stream, leaving below them an ever-lengthening ravine.  Thus the Falls of Niagara and the little cascade at Yellow Springs are very closely related indeed, for they fall over the same bed of limestone and gnaw away at the same stratum of shale at their base.  The scenery at Clifton and Yellow Springs, described elsewhere, is well known; the "Cedarville cliffs," on Massie's Creek, are less accessible and less striking, perhaps, but no whit behind the others in beauty.

Tickling Rock.

Page 85 -

     Next below the Niagara group lies the Clinton, and near New Jasper both are quarried, the Niagara (Dayton ) for building and the Clinton for road metal.  The Clinton is also Upper Silurian, but beneath it is a series of limestones and shales which geologists call the Hudson or Cincinnati and which they assign in the Lower Silurian, or Ordovician, period.  These rocks are not exposed in the higher, eastern half of the county, as they are there covered by the Clinton and Niagara, hut in the western part, where the upper rocks have been ground away, the Hudson series is found immediately below the blanket of drift and may be seen plainly in ravines and cuts, as for instance about Goe's Station.  The Hudson limestone abounds in fossils; it has furnished some building stone. These are the oldest rocks which may be found on the surface of Greene County; beneath them, of course, lie still older ones, some of which have been penetrated to some depth by wells in the effort to find deposits of oil and gas, but so far without paying results.
     The county has an area of about 460 square miles, a population (in 1900) of 31,613, and a tax value (in 1907) of $19,302,291, corresponding to about $40,000,000 actual value.  Its principal crops in 1907 were as follows:  corn, 2,588,294 bushels (average, 46 bushels to the acre); wheat, 721,592 bushels, (17 per acre); oats, 109,236 bushels; potatoes, 70,561 bushels; tomatoes, 19,685 bushels; rye, 12,227 bushels; barley, 4,085 bushels; clover hay, 721 tons; other hay, 25,756 tons; alfalfa, 302 tons; tobacco, 627,908 pounds; eggs, 750,995 dozen; maple syrup, 5,745 gallons.  In April, 1908, there were in the county, in roun numbers, 10,000 horses, 15,000 attle, 18,000 sheep, and 32,000 hogs.  In teh raising of fancy stock the county holds a remarkable record, which is told of in the special article by Mr. O. E. Bradfute.
     The Greene County Agricultural Society was organized in 1839, and has held a county fair annually ever since.  The original grounds were between Columbus Avenue and Church Street, in Xenia, but for many years the fair has been held in leased grounds on the northwestern edge of the city.  It seems probable that the county will soon purchase these grounds.  Last year the Society's receipts were almost 10,000 and nearly as much was

Page 86 -

Children's Home
The Infirmary
The County Fair.

Page 87 -
paid out, including$8,700 in premiums and racing purses.  The fair lasts four days and the exhibits are always notable, as befits the champion stock county.  The records for the half mile track are: pace, 2:11; trot, 2:15.  The Society has between six and seven hundred members.
     There are in the county twelve townships and thirty voting precincts.  In politics the county has been Republican ever since the organization of the Republican party.  The normal plurality is in the neighborhood of 2000, but owing to factional trouble in the dominant party Matthew R. Denver, Democratic, came within six votes of carrying the county in 1906.


Page 88 -

Dayton Street     "The Ohio Exchange" (a relic of stage coach days)
Street Scene
Looking North from the M. E. Church Tower.
Photo by O. A. Wilson.



This Webpage has been created by Sharon Wick exclusively for Genealogy Express  2008
Submitters retain all copyrights