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A History of the County; Its Townships, Towns, Churches,
Schools, Etc.; General and Local Statistics; Military
Record; Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent
Men; History of the Northwest Territory;
History of Ohio; Miscellaneous
Matters, Etc., Etc.
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     Some of the early settlers of this township made their first location at Kenton, and were identified with its beginning, growth and progress during their entire lives, and of such the reader is referred to the history of that town.

     From the best information now obtainable, it appears that John Johnson was the first person to become a permanent settler in what is now known as Pleasant Township.  He came here from Marion County, Ohio, and entered eighty acres of land upon which he settled in 1828.  He drove through the forests from Marion County, Ohio, with an ox team, and had to cut out his road the entire distance from the old Sandusky road to Fort McArthur.  He is still living; is now eighty-nine years of age; has made

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a continued residence here of about fifty-five years, and has seen the growth and progress of the township from its most primitive condition to its present beautiful farms and fine improvements.  The wild beasts and forests have disappeared; the pioneer cabins and log schoolhouses have been replaced with fine, comfortable frame and brick houses, and, instead of the occasional sermons from the itinerant preachers at their private log dwellings, there are now dotted over the country beautiful church edifices, with their tall spires pointing proudly to the skies, within whose walls are weekly heard the glad tidings of salvation.  This venerable pioneer has been a living witness of all these great changes, and still he lingers upon the shores of mortality, and doubtless cherishes many fond recollections of the “by gone days” of the honest and unpretentious, yet happy pioneers.  Mr. Johnson is the father of the following children: David, Polly, Olive, Mariah, Elizabeth, Ann, James and William.

     Three brothers - John H., Jacob H. and George H. Houser - natives of Virginia, emigrated to Fairfield County, Ohio; thence, in 1830-31, came to Hardin County.  John entered land on the north bank of the Scioto River, in Fractional Section 2, where he soon after erected a saw and grist mill - one of the first ever erected in this county.  These mills he ran a few years, and sold out and removed to Washington Township, where he remained a resident several years, but finally removed to Indiana.  He was four times married, and was the father of two sons and three daughters, of whom one daughter - now Mrs. Robert Smith - is still a resident of this township.  The others are located in the West.  Jacob H. Houser settled about one mile east of Kenton; was twice married and was the father of four sons and three daughters; but subsequently he removed to Iowa with all his family, except two daughters - Ellen, now widow of Dr. U. P. Leighton, who resides in Kenton, and Mrs. Decatur, a resident of this township.  George H. Houser and family located on the site of Kenton.

     John Ryan came here from Fayette County, Ohio, and settled on the northwest quarter of Section 28, about 1832, where he resided a few years and removed to Illinois.  He served as Sheriff of the county from 1835 to 1839.

     James Hayes settled on the southwest quarter of Section 18, it is believed, about 1832-33, and was the purchaser of the Houser Mill, but, after a few years’ residence here, moved away.

     John C. Dille, from Richland County, Ohio, settled on Section 29 inthe fall of 1833, but remained only a few years when he sold out and returned to Richland County.

     Samuel Wagner was born in Berks County, Penn, Nov. 8, 1800; removed to Hazardstown, Md, in 1824, and in engaged in the milling business. In the spring of 1833, he removed to this county and settled on the southwest quarter of Section 35, where he still resides, having made a continued residence here of fifty years.  Dec. 25, 1834, he was united in marriage with Mary Hosman, by whom he had three sons and four daughters.  In 1834, he was elected a Justice of the Peace.  He is now one of the oldest resident pioneers of the township and has accumulated quite a property, being one of the largest land-owners of Pleasant Township.

     Abel H. Allen was born in Hardy County, Va., in 1803, and, when seven years of age, removed with his widowed mother to Ohio.  In 1831, he was married to Miss Rebecca Mackey, and, in 1833, settled on the banks of the Scioto, two miles east of Kenton.  In 1852, he removed to an adjoining farm, where he died Dec. 24, 1873.  His widow still survives, aged seventy-three years.

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     Levi Hosman, from Richland County, Ohio, settled on the southwest quarter of Section 23 in 1832-33.  He married Mary Wilson, by whom he had the following children: Mary Ann, Rachel, Elizabeth, Margaret, Thomas and Isaac.  Subsequently, he removed to Iowa, where he died.  He was a good neighbor and an excellent citizen.

     Benjamin Faught, a native of Virginia, became an early resident of Greene County, Ohio, and in the fall of 1833 removed to this county, and settled on land where the infirmary is now located.  He remained a resident of this township till his death.  He had two sons - Preston and James - and five daughters, all of whom settled in the West.

     Reading Hineline, from Muskingum County, Ohio, settled on leased land east of Kenton, in 1833-34, where he raised a large family, but subsequently all moved away but two daughters, who reside here - the one is now Mrs. Gary and the other Castor.

     John Gardner, a native of Maryland, became an early settler of Richland County, Ohio, and in the fall of 1833 came to this county and settled on the northwest quarter of Section 22, where he resided till his death.  He was twice married; first to a Miss Williamson; she died, and he married a Miss Peaver, who now survives him, and with some of the children are still residents of this county.  The balance of them have removed West.

    William Williamson, a native of Virginia, emigrated to Ohio in an early day and married Catharine Bright, and resided in Richland and Ashland Counties until Mar. 13, 1834, when, after an eight days’ journey through the wilderness, a distance of seventy-five miles, they arrived in this
township and settled on the northwest quarter of Section 26, where he entered 160 acres of land, erected his cabin right in the woods. and commenced to make a farm and a home.  But in less than two years’ time death released him from further pioneer work.  He died in February, 1836, leaving a wife and four small children.

     John Castor, a native of Virginia, became an early settler of Richland County, Ohio; thence, in the spring of 1834, came to this county, and settled on the northeast quarter of Section 23, where he lived until his death.

     Joseph Peaver, a native of Virginia, first emigrated to Fairfield County, Ohio, thence, about 1834, settled on the northwest quarter of Section 24, in this township, where he and his wife died.  Their children were John, Uriah, Susan, Elizabeth, Benjamin and Margaret.

     Bernard Mathews was born in Dublin, Ireland, Apr. 15, 1801; emigrated to America in 1834, with his wife and two children.  They arrived in Kenton Aug. 1, 1834, and soon after settled on land northwest of Kenton, where he resided two years; thence removed across the line into Cessna Township, where he resided until his removal to Kenton in the fall of 1882, where he now resides.  He raised a family of seven sons and three daughters.

     David Kellogg, a native of Massachusetts, settled on the southwest quarter of Section 22 on May 22, 1835, and remained a resident and died near Kenton.  Of his children, Daniel helped his father open out the road through the forests from their farm to Kenton, where the pike is now located.  Daniel says he often got lost in going to Kenton - a distance of only one mile.  On one occasion he came very near being out all night.  On Sabbath evening he went to town, to get some medicine for his father, who was ill, and on his way returning lost his course and wandered about
until 10 o’clock at night, when he chanced to hear the cow-bell, which guided him home.  Daniel finally entered 160 acres of land in Jackson Township, upon which he settled and where he has since resided.

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     Morgan Gardner, a native of Maryland, emigrated to Ohio with his parents, who settled in Richland County about 1810, and during the war of 1812 had to take refuge in the fort at Greentown until the troubles were over.  They continued to reside in Richland County until his parents died.  In 1822, Mr. Gardner was united in marriage with Catharine Harvey.  In March, 1835, he removed to this county and settled on land now owned by A. Traeger, where he remained about eight years; thence removed into Washington Township, and resided several years; thence into Blanchard Township, but again returned to Washington Township, where he died in 1875, and his remains were interred in the Maynard graveyard.  He was the father of the following children: John H., George, Dorinda, James, Margaret J., Elizabeth, Samuel, William, Catharine, Zachariah and Morgan.  He was a man of undoubted integrity and moral character, holding the confidence and respect of the people of his community and township, who kept him almost constantly in some office of his township.

     William, James, Hezekiah, Brice and John Harvey, five brothers, natives of Jefferson County, Ohio, with their parents, removed to Richland County soon after the war of 1812, where their father died.  In 1835, they, with their mother and sisters, removed to this county and settled on the same section as Morgan Gardner; thence they removed to Washington Township; thence to Blanchard, where their mother died.  Subsequently, they all moved away.  William and James died in Van Wert County, Ohio; Hezekiah died in Missouri; John in Williams County, Ohio; Brice married Caroline Dunlap, and died in Blanchard Township.  He was the father of two children -George and Dorinda - both of whom now reside in Iowa.

     Jonathan Cessna, a native of Coshocton County, Ohio, settled in Pleasant Township, three miles northwest of Kenton, near the Cessna Township line, in 1833, where he remained a resident until his death.  He was the father often children, viz., Jonathan, Helen, Benjamin F., Louisa, Oliver P., Carolina, Virginia (deceased), William T., Harriet E. and JohnJohn Kaiser settled in Kenton in 1837, and carried on the batting business about fourteen years; thence he removed to a farm just west of Kenton, where he has since devoted his life to farming.


     The contrast between the roads of to day in Pleasant Township and what they were fifty years ago is remarkable.  Then, there were but very few, and those mere paths through the woods, winding among the stumps and bushes; now they radiate in every direction from Kenton, and these, again, connected by cross roads upon nearly every section line; and many of the main roads and good gravel pikes.  Of these, we may mention the Kenton & Ada pike, Kenton & Dunkirk, Kenton & Forest, Kenton & Marseilles, Kenton & Marion; and on the south side of the Scioto River, in Buck Township, are good pikes, radiating in all directions from Kenton, which are mentioned in the history of that township, and hence need no further mention here.


     The schools of Pleasant Township, viewed as they now exist, consisting of fine brick and frame houses and seated and furnished with the improved furniture and apparatus of the present day, would appear as though it was impossible that they commenced in the little primitive log cabins, with puncheon floor,

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slab seats and writing bench, with a log out out on one side of the house and greased paper pasted over, through which the entire apartment was lighted.  But such was the origin; and it is believed that one of the first of these primitive schoolhouses in this township was on David Kellogg’s farm, in Section 22, about 1836, and Rachel Kellogg was one of the first teachers, and following her was a Mr. Holmes.  In 1838, on Fractional Section 1, was erected another of the early schoolhouses, and the first teacher here was William Williamson.  And thus, from settlement to settlement, were these primitive schools established; and as the wealth and comforts of the settlers increased, so better schoolhouses and better furnished were produced for the benefit of their children, until, on Sept. 1, 1882, the Township Board of Education report the following: Number of sub-school districts, 10; houses, 10; average number of weeks schools were in session, 23; average wages paid teachers, male, $32, female, $23; enrollment - boys, 268, girls, 337, total, 605; total receipts for school purposes, $5,345.24; total expenditures for the same, $4,219,23.


     Liberty Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church. - This society, it is believed, was organized in 1839 or 1840, in the old schoolhouse, which was located on Section 18, consisting of the following members, viz.:  Henry Kyle, Rebecca Kyle, Anna Cessna, Emeline Cessna, Camilla Cessna, Keziah Cessna, Martha Miller, Isaac Kinnear, Samuel Badley, Sophia Badley, Robert Dinwiddie, Susan Dinwiddie, John Johnson, Catharine Johnson, Olive Johnson, Maria Johnson, Sarah Dinwiddie, John Dinwiddie, Mary Dinwiddie, Rebecca Dinwiddie and probably a few others.  Some of the early ministers were Revs. Day, Mr. Bell, Mr. Armstrong, Mr. Parker, Mr. Phillips and Mr. Nickerson.  Class Leaders:  Henry Kyle, Isaac Kinnear and Fayette Schoonover; the latter is still in office, having served in this capacity a period of twenty-seven years.  They held their services in the school-houses till the summer of 1878, when they erected their present neat and substantial brick church, at a cost of about $1,400.  The house was dedicated Jan. 5, 1879, by services by Rev. William S. Paul.  The lot upon which the house was erected was donated by Mr. Fayette Schoonover.  The present membership is about twenty-eight.  Class Leaders, Fayette Schoonover and Joseph Laws; Steward, Robert Draper; Trustees, Robert Draper, Henry Charlton, Charles E. Wilcox, C. A. Zeigler, John Hall and F. Schoonover; pastor, Rev. Jason Young.  A Sabbath school was organized about 1858, and has been continued every summer; attendance, forty, with Leonard Heath as Superintendent.

     Pleasant Grove Methodist Episcopal Church - A class was organized in the house of Isaac Osborn, is believed about 1838-39, by Rev. Enos Holmes, with the following members:  Enos Holmes andwife.  Phoebe Wilson, Isaac Osborn, Margaret Osborn, Asher Letson and wife, B. Letson, Jane Letson, John Letson, Fidelia Letson, Paul Castor, Eleanor Castor, David Cloud and wife, Agnes Cloud, Samuel Holmes and wife, and John McCann and wife.  They held services in private houses and in the school-houses until about 1858, when they erected their present frame church, which was dedicated, the same year, by Rev. J. Wesley Wells.  Some of the early ministers were Revs. Enos Holmes, Mr. Fetchley, J. Wesley Wells and Rev. Henry Close.  Present membership is about seventy.  Class Leaders, Samuel Scott and S. H. Corathers pastor, Rev. Jason Young.  A Sabbath school was early organized and has continued in quite a prosper-

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ous condition, and is kept up the year through, in the winter as well as in the summer.  Samuel Scott is the present Superintendent.

     Walnut Grove United Brethren Church - This society was organized in the winter of 1863-64, at the Beech Grove Schoolhouse, by Rev. Andrew Johnson, consisting of the following members: Jefferson Ripley, Eliza Ripley, John Doll, Margaret Doll, Josephine Doll, Isabella Lewis, John Shaffner and Elizabeth Shaffner, with Jefferson Ripley as Class Leader.  They continued to hold their services in the above-mentioned schoolhouse until the summer of 1874, when they erected their present frame church, at a cost of $1,000.  The house was dedicated November 12 of that year, by the Rev. Bishop Weaver.  The following ministers have served as pastors of this society: Revs. Andrew Johnson, Daniel Miller, John Keracoffe, Mr. Fields, Mr. Zeigler, Mr. Ogle, John Stewart, Mr. Johnson and Rev. Mr. Lowry, who is their present pastor.  Class Leaders, Jefferson Ripley, John Walls,  George Gillen and Hiram Yauger, who is their present leader.  Present membership is fifty.  Trustees, John Walls, Thomas Gester and Charles Jones. Soon after the church was erected, a Sabbath school was organized, and has been continued through the summer seasons since; it has an average attendance of about thirty-five, with Hiram Yauger as Superintendent.

     Providence Baptist Church - This society was organized at the Bethel Schoolhouse Jan. 8, 1874, by Rev. Abraham Morthland, of Shelby, Richland Co., Ohio, consisting of the following members, viz.:  Frank P. Banks, Hiram Oates, Delilah Oates, Lavinia Oates, Mary E. Oates, Sylvester Oates, Charles W. Oates, Joseph Stout, Margaret Stout, John W. Sorgen, Flora E. Gardner, Lorinda Johnson, Sylvia Trout, Jennie Towns and
Rebecca Gardner, with Hiram Oates chosen as Deacon; Sylvester Oates, Treasurer; and F. B. Banks, Clerk. Services continued to be held in the Bethel Schoolhouse until, during the summer of 1876, they erected their present frame church building, at a cost of about $1,400.  The house was dedicated on the last Sabbath of October of the same year, by Rev. Elder Holmes.  The following have served as pastors of this church, viz.: Revs. A. Morthland, James Harvey, Mr. Wyant, T. H. Hollingsworth, J. D. Allerton and W. H. Gallant: the latter is now serving as their pastor.  Deacons, Hiram Oates and Frank P. Banks.  The present membership is forty.  A Sabbath school was organized Apr. 26, 1874, and has been held during the summer season every year since; present average attendance is about thirty, with Joseph Stout as Superintendent.





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