Jefferson township is the second from the northern
and the third from the eastern line of Guernsey county.
It is five miles square, contains twenty-five sections and
is in an excellent part of the county. Its history
dates from June 3, 1816, when it was cut off from territory
formerly included in Madison township. It is without
town or village.
Its early settlers included the following persons, who
is 1876 were reported as still residing within the confines
of the townshp, and had passed the seventy-sixth year mark
of life's journey:
Edward BRATTON, Thomas BROWN, James CLARK, Caleb
CANNAN, John LEEPER, Henry McCLEARY, John MARTIN, Stephen
STILES, Andrew STILES, Robert SPEERS, Samuel STEWART, Joshua
SMITH, Harris WILEY, Jane ADAMS, Mrs. BROWN, Margaret
CULBERSON, Hannah CANNAN, Mrs. FAIRCHILD, Delight GUNN, Mrs.
KIMBLE, Elizabeth LANNING, Mary McCLARY, Nancy McMILLEN,
Fanny STILES, Eve TAYLOR, and Mrs. TAYLOR.
GEORGE LINN was born in Augusta county, Virginia,
in 1768 and taught school there until 1813, when he settled
here on a farm. He married Parmelia MATTHEWS,
and they reared eight children. Their son, Cyrus,
was born here in 1837 and was educated at Athens College and
to him and his wife were born five children, well known in
JOHN S. FORDYCE was born in 1808 and left his
native town in Pennsylvania fifteen years later for Harrison
county, Ohio, where his parents decided to locate. He
married Margaret SHIPMAN, who was born in
Pennsylvania in 1812. They remained in Harrison county
eight years and then settled in this township, where he died
some years later. They had eight children, John,
one of the sons, being born in Harrison county, in 1837.
In 1867 he married Hannah ALLEN, a native of Guernsey
county. They first lived two years in Madison township
and then came to Jefferson township.
JESSE THOMAS was born in Pennsylvania and lived
at home until 1813, when he married and finally died on the
west branch of the Susquehanna river in 1822. His wife
then lived in Winchester, this county, until 1849.
Their children were Samuel, Lewis, Charles, and
Jesse. Samuel THOMAS was born in Pennsylvania, in
1815, and came to Ohio with his mother in 1823. He
married and resided at various places in this county, until
1843, when he settled in this township and operated a mill
many years. He resided on one place more than forty
years and was infirmary director and trustee of his
JAMES GILLISPIE was born in Ireland in 1787 and
emigrated to this country when eighteen years of age,
working on a farm in Pennsylvania. In 1809 he married.
He was a soldier in the war of 1812 and in 1831 removed to
Belmont county, Ohio, and ten years later to this township.
He died in 1847 and his wife in 1841. His family
consisted of wife and nine children.
The above represent a large majority of the early
settlers in this goodly township. Their descendants
are scattered throughout this and adjoining counties.
FIRST ACTUAL SETTLERS.
After having given a number of the earlier pioneers of this
township it now becomes the duty of the historian to give
something concerning the first actual settlers, who were
William LAUTZ and Martin STULL. These
emigrated from Greene county, Pennsylvania, in 1805 and
located, Stull on lots 14 and 15, and Lautz on
lots 1 and 2, in the military land district. Stull
soon died there. John TIDRICK, from the
same county and state, settled on lot 3. William
ALLEN located on lot 28 and owned at one time seven
hundred acres of land. He came to this township in
1806, and later married Mr. STULL's widow. He
reared a large family and was trustee in 1815, when Madison
and Jefferson composed one civil township. He died in
REV. JOHN GRAHAM, in 1824, organized a Methodist
Episcopal church, with eight members. They met for
worship at Mr. ALLEN's house for sixteen years, but
in 1839 built a church on Mr. ALLEN's land.
This was the first religious society formed within the
JOHN STILES, of English descent, came in 1806,
locating in the southeast quarter of Section 17, third
ADAM LINN built a house and kept tavern on the
old Steubenville road in 1809. Abraham MATHEWS
came in the same year, as did John BIRD and his eight
sons and daughters. William BRATTON effected
settlement in 1815, on section 25. It was in 1810 when
William MOORE and family settled, as did this aged
couple's son-in-law, John HENDERSON. William
MOORE, was justice of the peace in 1816 and John
HENDERSON served from 1819 to 1846 as his successor, two
terms being excepted. Both were devout Presbyterians.
In 1810 came James WADDLE; in 1812 came
Nathan KIMBALL and James STRAIN and Samuel
PAXTON. The first great improvement in mills in
the county was by John ARMSTRONG, and his son,
ANDREW CLARK built a grist and saw mill combined in
one, near Sugar Tree fork postoffice. In 1818 James
WILSON settled on lot 34 and he followed blacksmithing
many years. In 1819 Richard CORNELL settled on
section 25. In 1820 Thomas WHITEHILL and son,
Thomas, from Scotland, settled on section 6.
In 1820 also came James WILLIS, of Ireland; in
1821 came Isaac Lanning, who settled on section 3.
John SPEERS, from Ireland, settled in the same
neighborhood about the date last mentioned. Robert
Kirkwood located here in 1825 and in 1849 bought the
Armstrong farm. He was an elder in the pleasant Hill
United Presbyterian church.