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Pg. 627

     This township is situated near the center of Hardin County, and is bounded on the north by Washington Township, on the east by Pleasant, on the south by the Scioto River, and on the west by Marion Township.  It is six miles from east to west, and has an average breadth of about four miles from north to south, containing twenty-two and a half square miles, or 14,400 acres, appraised in 1880 at $303,890, an average of $21.10 per acre, about one third of its present cash value.  In 1880, nearly one-half, viz., 6,587 acres, were reported as wood lands, 6,000 acres as plowed lands, and the balance, 1,814 acres, as meadow lands.  The township is situated on the water-shed or backbone of the State, as the water from the southern part of the township finds its way to the Gulf of Mexico through the Scioto, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, while the waters falling on the north part of the township find their way to the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, through the Blanchard, Hog Creek, the Maumee and the Great Lakes.


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     There is probably no doubt that Charles Cessna was the first white settler in what is now Cessna Township.  He was a native Coshocton County, Ohio, but came to this county and settled in the then wilderness of this township, locating on Section 12, in 1830, where he resided until his death.  His was buried in the Salem Cemetery.  He had a large family of children, some of whom were as follows:  Rachel, James, Jonathan, Rebecca and Colonel.

     Isaac Gray was, perhaps, the second settler.  He came here from Franklin County, Ohio, and settled in the west part of the township, on the borders of the marsh, in 1832, where he remained through life.  He was an industrious, honest and worthy citizen, and a member of the Disciple Church.  He was twice married.  By his first wife, Catharine, he had the following children:  Thomas, Jesse, Johnson, James, Mary Ann, Gilbert, Adeline, Isaac, William and Catharine.  His second wife was a Miss Hamilton, by whom he had one child, Wesley.

     Daniel Trump came here from Licking County, Ohio, and settled near Mr. Gray and close to the Marion Township line, in 1832-33.  He married Sarah Walker.  Their children were Abigail, Jacob, and others.  After several years' residence here, he removed with his family to the West.  Thomas McGoldrick settled on Section 25, in 1832-33, but, after a few years, sold out and moved away.

     Jacob Ryan came here from Coshocton County, Ohio, and settled on the southwest quarter of Section 14, where he entered 120 acres in the fall of 1832.  He married Catharine Alkire, and resided on the place where he first settled till his death.  His wife survived him, and died in Coshocton County, while living with her daughter.  Mr. Ryan was an excellent man, a good farmer, and highly respected by all who knew him.  He was the father of the following children: Mary, George, Christena, Nancy, Rachel, Susan, and two or three who died young.

     Jacob Beem was born in Rockingham County, Va., Sept. 9, 1785; removed to Belmont County about 1803, where he married Elizabeth McMillan, a native of Scotland; subsequently they removed to several other counties, and in 1833-34 came to Hardin County, and settled on the northeast quarter of Section 14, in this township, where he entered eighty acres of land, opened out a farm, and made a good home, where he resided until his death, Aug. 12, 1872.  His wife died Aug. 21, 1866.  Mr. Beem was a soldier in the war of 1812.  He was a true type of the honest old pioneer farmer, and took great delight in hunting in those days of abundance of game.  They were parents of eight children, of whom three now survive - James, William and Sarah.  The deceased were Elizabeth, Eda, Jemima, Hester and Gilman.

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     Levi Mathews was born in Stark County, Ohio, Jan. 20, 1811.  He married Elizabeth Whetsel, who was born in Pickaway County, Feb. 20, 1811.  In May, 1834, they removed to this township and settled on the northeast quarter of Section 5, where he still lives and has resided a period of nearly half a century.  His wife died in 1867.  They had three children, viz.: Milton (deceased), Mortimer and ElmerJonathan Mathews a brother of the above, came herein August, 1834, and settled on the northeast quarter of Section 7.  He married Rebecca Donaldson in 1833, by whom he had the following children: Elizabeth J., William B., Phebe Ellen, Joseph, Melvin, Lovinia and Genevra.  Mr. Mathews died in 1875.  His wife still survives, and now resides in Ada.  Smiley Mathews was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, and, in February, 1835, came here and settled on the southwest quarter of Section 5.  He married Phebe Donaldson, and resided on this farm until his death, in 1868.  His widow still survives him, and resides on the home place.  They were not blessed with any children of their own, but their kindness and generosity were abundantly extended to others, several of whom they raised and to whom they extended a father‘s and mother’s care and attention.  Isaac Mathews, the father of the above mentioned Levi, Jonathan and Smiley Mathews, came here in November, 1834, and settled, with his family, on the northwest quarter of Section 5, where he died, aged sixty-six years.  He married Nancy Hamilton, a native of Columbiana County, Ohio.  She survived Mr. Mathews twenty-one years, and died at the advanced age of eighty-one years.  Their children were as follows:  Smiley, Jonathan, Levi, Rachel, Susanna, William, Lovina, James, Elihu, Rebecca and Harvey; the latter died in infancy.  This family have been among the most prominent and prosperous farmers of Cessna Township, and are well known for their high moral and Christian character.

     Joseph Wilson was a native of Pennsylvania, and married Martha Holmes, born in Eastern Ohio.  In the fall of 1834, Mr. Wilson, accompanied by his two eldest sons, Thomas H. and Isaac H., came from Carroll County, Ohio, and erected a house on land previously entered by him in Section 1, Cessna Township, Hardin County, Ohio, and then returned for the balance of his family, who, with his wife, were Amos, Elizabeth, Mary, George and Samuel C., arriving at their destination in February, 1835.  After a residence of some seven years, the parents returned on a visit to Carroll County, where the father died, and Mrs. Wilson, after burying her husband, came back to Hardin County and removed her family to Carroll, where they lived about fifteen years ere again settling in this county.  She still survives, and resides with her daughter Mary, now Mrs. William Deming, of Kenton.  Isaac H. and Samuel C. are also residents of Hardin County, while Amos lives in Kansas, and Elizabeth in Harrison County, Ohio; Thomas H. and George are deceased.  Joseph Wilson and his wife “Aunt Patty,” as she is most familiarly known, were the first Methodists who settled in Cessna Township, and may justly be called the founders of Salem Church.

     Rev. Thomas Harvey Wilson was born in Carroll County, Ohio, Mar. 29, 1817, and died in Fremont, Ohio, Mar. 26, 1883, aged sixty-five years eleven months and twenty-seven days.  He emigrated with his parents, Joseph and Patty (Holmes) Wilson, to Hardin County, in February, 1835.  The family settled in Cessna Township, and were among the early settlers of the county.  Here he became familiar with the hardships incident to pioneer life.  In his latter years, he took great satisfaction in meeting with the pioneers and living over again the early incidents of his life.  He experienced religion and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1839, at a camp-meeting held about two miles west of Kenton, on the Scioto River.  This marked a change in the course of his life.  Such were his gifts and graces that in a few weeks after his conversion he was licensed as a local preacher.  He was at once em-

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ployed by the Presiding Elder as a supply on Richwood Circuit, and, in 1842, was admitted into the North Ohio Conference.  He was first married to Miss Sarah Olney, in 1844.  They lived happily together for thirty-three years, and were blessed with four children, only one of whom survives.  Under circumstances most painful indeed, the wife and daughter were called away in August, 1877.  His next wife was Mrs. Sarah Harris, of Fremont, Ohio, whom he married Dec. 1, 1881, and she still survives.  He enjoyed an unbroken membership in the church of forty-six years, and in the Conference of forty-one.  He was Presiding elder eleven years, on the best stations of the Conference, Centenary Agent one, and sixteen years on circuits.  He was twice honored by an election by his brethren of the Conference to represent them in the General Conference.  When he commenced his itinerate ministry, the country was new, circuits large, the roads almost impassable, the people poor, and the salaries very meager.  No man in the Conference had a more vivid recollection of the hardships of the early preachers, and no man took more satisfaction in recounting them, or could more vividly describe them.  Though he had been in very imperfect health during the winter, the last severe sickness was of short duration.  For some days in the former part of his affliction, his mind wandered; but before the closing hours, consciousness returned, and he died, as he had lived, in the full possession of his faculties, and with a conscious sense of the favor and presence of his Savior.  Mr. Wilson was a genial companion.  Few men were blessed with better or more interesting conversational powers.  His fine imagination, combined with his ample fund of varied and interesting anecdotes, made him the center of attraction in any social circle.  He was specially endowed with great kindness of heart, and knew how to speak words of kindness and comfort to others.  He possessed the rare faculty of enteringinto their feelings, and leading them from their grief to happier thoughts.  His preaching was peculiar to himself.  Its marked characteristic was a peculiar pathos that at once arrested attention, and awakened sympathy for himself and theme.  When aroused, his powers of imagination and delineation were wonderful.  It was no uncommon occurrence for his audiences to be swayed as a forest and melted to tears.  He understood well the doctrines of his church, and was capable of stating them clearly and ably defending them. He was an evangelist in the true sense of the word.  He understood the art of winning souls.  Few men were more successful in leading men to Christ.  He had fine executive abilities and a clear weight into character.  He studied menclosely, and possessed a wonderful power over them. In his work, he was always master of the situation; full of resources, his good sense never failed him, and he was always capable of measuring up to the emergency.  He was brought to Kenton, the scene of his early manhood, to find his last restingplace.

     Allen Leper came from Richland County, Ohio, and settled on the southwest quarter of Section 9, in April, 1834, where he and his wife resided until their death.  They had the following children: John, James, Jane, Mary, Rachel, Kanhoppock, Catharine, Robert, Samuel, Asher and one daughter, the second child, whose name we could not obtain.

     John Houser settled on the northeast quarter of Section 10, in  1835, where his wife died, after which he married, for his second wife, a Miss McBride, and subsequently moved to Indiana.

     Stephen Cessna, from Coshocton County, Ohio, settled on Section 17, but resided here only a few years till he died.  He was a man of fine ability, and possessed of a character above reproach, and had his life been spared, would evidently have made a success in life, and have been a useful citizen in this community.

     Thomas Hitchcock, a native of Richland County, Ohio, then a resident

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of Crawford County, in February, 1836, came to this township and settled on the northwest quarter of Section 7.  He married Naomi Cory, by whom he had the following children, viz., Isaac, Cory, Sarah, Elmer and others whose names are not now remembered.  After many years’ residence here, theyremoved to Indiana, and subsequently to California, where his wife died.  About 1843-44, Isaac Hitchcock, father of the above Thomas, settled at Huntersville, where be erected a carding machine, and carried on quite an extensive business for several years, and died here.  He was twice married.  Children - Thomas, James, Nancy, Isabel and Mary, by first wife; Henry, Moses, Sarah, Bigelow, Samuel and Jane by his second wife.

     Peter Foglesong came here from Coshocton County, Ohio, and settled on Section 3, in 1836.  He married a Miss Cessna, and resided here till his death.

     Chester Hatch, a native of Medina County, settled on Section 1, in Cessna Township, in 1836, where he still resides, and is one among the most reliable and substantial men of the township.  In his early life, he taught school many years.  He has always been a strong advocate of temperance.  In an early day, when he erected his house, some of his neighbors told him he must get a jug of whisky, or they would not help him raise the house.  It was against his principles to do such a thing, but finally he went to Kenton and bought a jug filled with whisky, and started for home.  On his way, he was reflecting upon what he was doing, and the more he thought upon the subject the more dissatisfied he became over his course of action; finally, he grasped his jug of whisky and dashed it against a tree, effectually destroying both jug and whisky, declaring that if he could not get his house raised without whisky, it should never be raised.  But his neighbors helped him raise his house, although they had some fun and jokes over the broken jug, some of the pieces of which
some neighbor had found, and brought to the raising.  Mr. Hatch is the father of two sons - David and William.

     Mr. Whitesides, also from Medina County, settled on the same quarter-section at the same time with Mr. Hatch.  He taught school many years; was a manof firm character and principles, and who, with Mr. Hatch, did much toward molding the morals and good character of this community.  Mr. Whitesides died on the adjoining section on the north, in Washington Township.  He was the father of one child - James.

     Lloyd Leonard settled on Section 16, in 1836.  He was noted as a great hunter, but resided here only a few years, then moved away.

     Moses Kibby, with his wife Tamar, settled near the northwest corner of Cessna Township in 1837, where his wife died.  He subsequently moved to Lima, Ohio, where he died.  Their children were Lucy, Harman, Janette and others.

     Samuel Calhoun, about 1838-39, came here and purchased the place of John Houser, but, after a few years’ residence, moved away.  William Cessna, Thomas Leedom and Joseph Leper also settled here between 1832 and 1835.  Some of the McCoud family, who were early settlers at Fort McArthur, became quite early settlers on the Scioto River in Cessna Township; but their history will be found in Buck Township, where the family first located.






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decay.  Though these comprise nearly, if not all, the active religious bodies in the township, yet most of the leading churches have adherents living within its boundaries, and the community ranks as highly moral and religious.








     The first interment in Cessna Township was on Fractional Section 36, just across the river from Fort McArthur, where three or four soldiers were buried during the occupation of the fort in 1813, but their names are lost to history.  Since the settlement of the country, some others have been buried on the same knoll.  The Huntersville Graveyard is on Section 6, but the time of its location we have not been able to learn.  The Salem Graveyard is located on the south line of Section 1, and has not been in use very long.
     The Trustees have bought and fenced four acres on the west line of Section 23, but as yet none of the dead have found a resting place on this beautiful plat.  The settlers in the northwest part of the township used the Obenour Graveyard.  A cemetery on the south line of Section 33, Washington Township, is now used by many of the inhabitants of the northern part of Cessna, and the custom so prevalent in most newly settled communities of each farmer burying on his own farm, is fast being abandoned, and the dead are being congregated in public cemeteries, where their resting places will be taken care of and respected.


     The only society that exists in Cessna Township is the First Mutual Protection Association of Hardin County.  The object of the society is to protect the property of its members from theft or malicious destruction, and to arrest and convict criminals.
     The officers are: President, J. D. Cessna; Secretary, W. M. Reed; Treasurer, George Cessna; Captain, W. A. Martin; First Lieutenant, W. A. Guider; Second Lieutenant, Charles Craft; Third Lieutenant, William Dctwiler; Fourth Lieutenant, Josiah Obenour; Fifth Lieutenant, Benjamin Ault; place of meeting, Schoolhouse, District No. 1.


     When Levi Mathews first settled on the farm where he now resides, he lived in an old Indian bark house until he cut logs and put up a cabin, and got it ready to move into.  He says that game was so plentiful that he scarcely ever needed to go off his own land for a supply of meat.  Deer, turkey, rabbit or squir-

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rel, and occasional bears and wolves, were plenty about the marsh.  Allen Leper one of the first settlers of Cessna Township, a regular backwoodsman and hunter, who settled in the township in 1833, came from the backwoods of Pennsylvania, and was perhaps the best trained hunter and Indian scout that settled in Hardin County.  John Perry Euline, who was born in Columbus, Ohio, July 19, 1817, and came to Hardin County in 1835, is about the last representative of the old-time hunter left in the township.  He still can be seen with his trusty rifle on his shoulder, with nothing larger to shoot at than a rabbit or squirrel, and he sighs for the game of “Auld Lang Syne."





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