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History & Genealogy

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.
Publ. Chicago: Warner, Beers & Co.


Pg. 670




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     In this township we find no exception to the general rule in the locating of the first settlers; but observe that along the course of Blanchard River

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were found its first pioneers.  There is no question but that James E. Hueston was the first settler in what is now Jackson Township.  In May, 1824, Mr. Hueston, with his family, came to Hardin County; but as a full sketch of this worthy pioneer will be found in Chapter IV of the general history, we refer the reader to that chapter for a further mention of his life.

     Robert S. Wilson was born in Medina County, Ohio, and in 1833 came to Marion Township, Hardin County, a poor boy.  He succeeded in obtaining employment in clearing land and assisting the inexperienced early settlers in erecting their log cabins.  Game of all kinds was very plentiful, and one fall he sold coon skins enough, at 12˝ cents each, to purchase a barrel of flour at $6.50, which was quite a treat in those days.  In this manner he worked, and by strict economy until he had reached manhood, he had saved money enough to purchase forty acres of land in the dense forests of Jackson Township.  He then married, and commenced to clear a spot for his cabin, while his young wife sat close by on a log with her knitting.  He says that, while a hired young man, he cleared more than one hundred acres of land.  After settling upon his own land and getting a good start in life, he commenced adding to his first piece more land, from time to time, till his farm contains 160 acres with good improvements.  He is now living in Forest, where he has retired to spend the balance of his life in the enjoyment of the comforts of a competence which his own industry and energy has accumulated, an honored and respected citizen.

     John Huffine came here from Pickaway County, Ohio, about 1829-30, and settled on land now owned by Samuel Briggs, where he resided several ears, but subsequently removed to near Chillicothe.  Peter Johnson, about 1833-35, came to this county, and settled on the northwest quarter of Section 26, which was then embraced in Blanchard Township.  He resided here till his death.  He served as a Justice of the Peace several years, a worthy and honored citizen.

     John Howey came here from Richland County, but was a native of Pennsylvania.  He settled on land where Patterson now is in 1834, remaining there through life an honored and upright citizen.

     John Packer came from Richland County and settled in the northwest ern part of this township in 1834, where he resided many years, but subsequently removed to the West; finally returning to Ohio, he died in the southern part of the State.

     Thomas Ketch, from Columbiana County, settled on land two miles west of Forest in 1834.  After several years’ residence here he removed to Hancock County, and thence to Nebraska.  He married Miss Sarah Yerian, who died, and he subsequently married Rachel Mansfield.  All his children moved to the West but one - Mary Ann, who married John Nous and resides in this township.

     William Pisel came from Richland County about 1834, and settled where his widow still resides, and here he died Oct. 13, 1859, aged forty-eight years.  Their children were Sarah Jane, Jeremiah, Reuben, John, Thomas, Elizabeth, Washington and Mary Ann.

     John Ropp, a native of Virginia, emigrated to Ohio and settled in Logan County; thence, about 1833-34, removed to this county and settled on land on the Blanchard, now owned by his son, where he died Sept. 3, 1838.

     William Pimperton was born in Lincolnshire. England, in 1791, where he married Susannah Bassett.  In March, 1827, they emigrated to America, landing at Port Hope, Canada, the following May.  In June, 1835, he came

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to Hardin County, and entered 525 acres of land in Section 6, Jackson Township; returned to Canada, and, in 1838, brought his family to his new home.  His wife died in 1846 and he in 1861.

     Edward Warner was born in New Haven County, Conn., May 14, 1799, and when a lad, his parents, Richard and Polly Warner, removed to Cortland County, N. Y., but he remained with his grandfather in Connecticut for some time, after which he went to his parents in New York.  In the fall of 1828, he removed to Seneca County, Ohio.  Before leaving New York, he married Sophronia Sales.  In the fall of 1835, he removed to this county and settled on land now owned by Samuel Waltermire, in Section 5, Jackson Township.  Here he opened out right in the woods, and commenced to erect a cabin.  From the few settlers then in the vicinity, he could get but seven to help him raise his cabin, and as a substitute for men he used oxen to roll up the logs to their proper places.  He has now been a resident in the county nearly half a century; has witnessed the wonderful transformation of these mighty forests to fine, cultivated farms and beautiful homes.  He was present at the organization of the township, and cast his vote at the first election, and was elected one of the first Trustees.  He is now eighty-four years of age, and almost totally blind, having lost his sight about thirteen years ago.  He is the father of nine children - Mary Othelia, Edward C., Bellva, Maria, Adeline, Lemira, Artemissa, Calvin E., Joseph V. and Sophronia C., all of whom, who now survive, have moved away.

     Joseph Barnes, believed to have been a native of Pennsylvania, settled on the northwest quarter of Section 17 in 1835, where he resided several years; thence removed to Iowa.  He was twice married, and raised a large family of children, who all moved away.

     William Higgins was a native of Pennsylvania, where he married Mary A. Trissler.  In 1835, with his wife and four children, he came to Ohio and settled on Section 2, this township; where he entered forty acres, and also forty acres in Section 11.  He came through from his native State in a wagon, which he sold to raise money to enter his land.  He died in 1859, in his eighty-fourth year.  His wife still survives.

     Stephen Purdy was a native of New York, where, in Dutchess County, he was married, Feb. 1, 1817. In 1829, they removed to Ohio, and settled in Richland County.  In 1836, they removed to this county and bought eighty acres in Section 12, where he followed his trade, that of a blacksmith.  It is believed he was the first of that trade in Jackson Township.  He died Sept. 5, 1865, aged seventy-three years.  His wife was Ann Tibbs, a native of New York, and still survives at the advanced age of eighty-three years.

     Robert Briggs was born in Lincolnshire, England, where he married Mary Pickett, with whom he lived but a short time when, about 1834-or about one year after their arrival in this country and locating in Richland County, Ohio - she died, she, however, having borne him five children.  In 1836, he removed to this county and purchased eighty acres of land in Section 2, in Jackson Township.  He married, for his second wife, Mary Aldrich.  She died, having borne him four children.  Mr. Briggs died Feb. 17, 1879, aged eighty years.  He was a man of great moral worth, giving of his means freely for all educational and religious purposes and the general public good.  Henry Zimmerman was a native of Mahoning County, Ohio, and married Elizabeth Bilger, of Columbiana County, and in the fall of 1836 removed to this county and settled south of Forest, on land

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now owned by Aaron Chance, in Section 18, where he remained till his death.  He died Nov. 22, 1870, aged sixty-five years.  His children were John, George W., Rebecca A., Mary, Elizabeth, Franklin, Isabell, Samuel and Sarah (twins), Stanley and Jennie.

     John Zimmerman, also a native of Mahoning County, settled in this township about 1837, where he soon after died from that terrible disease, so troublesome among the early settlers, milk sickness.

     John McVitty was born in Franklin County, Penn., Apr. 25, 1808, of Scotch-Irish descent.  He settled here in 1837, entering a quarter section of land in Section 14.  He taught, it is believed, the first school in the township, which was on the farm of Thomas Hueston.  He died Dec. 11, 1881.  He was the father of twelve children, of whom five now survive.  Mr. McVitty was one among the best of farmers, and an honorable and worthy citizen.

     Jacob Zimmerman, native of Mahoning County, married Sarah _____, and settled here in 1837-38, locating one mile east of Henry Zimmerman, where he died Apr. 8, 1846, aged thirty-seven years.  His children were Peter, Uriah, Theodore, Susanna, Solomon and Sarah - all now deceased but Uriah, who now resides in Colorado.

     David Warner, a brother of the above-mentioned Edward Warner, was born in Connecticut Feb. 2, 1802, and came to New York State with his father’s family, where he married Almira Robbins, a native of that State.  In 1837, he emigrated to Ohio, and entered eighty acres of land in Jackson Township, and here he spent his entire life since - a period of nearly half a century.  But of the particulars of the life of this worthy pioneer, we would refer the reader to the biographical department of this work, where his active, earnest and valuable labors of a long and well-spent life are briefly, yet faithfully, portrayed.

     William C. Dewitt was born in Ulster County, N. Y., Apr. 11, 1807.  His father was a native of Holland, but emigrated to this country in an early day, and had one brother who served in the war of the Revolution.  In 1818, they came to Ohio and settled in Richland County, but the father died in Delaware County.  William C. grew to manhood in Richland County; thence, in 1828, he went to Seneca County, where he married Maria Norton, who was born in Tompkins County, N. Y., Jan. 25,1818, and a daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth NortonMr. Dewitt was married, Jan. 31, 1835, and, in 1837, they settled in this county, where he entered forty acres in Section 1, Jackson Township, and has since remained a resident of this township.  He has borne his full share of pioneer life, and is now quite aged and feeble.  Their children have been as follows: Joseph M. (deceased), Charles F., who married Parmelia Johnson, by whom he had one child, Maggie M. (deceased); his wife died and he married Angeline Harris, by whom he had six children - Anna C., Guernsey B., Willie H., Sarah Bell, John D. and Calvin Edson; William H. married Catharine J. Petty; he died in the late war; Clavin C. married Margaret J. Harman, and had three children - Gussie E., George I. and Charles C. (deceased); Libbie E. married Joseph Zimmerman, has had three children - Charles C., Fannie Bell (deceased) and Franklin R.; David A. married Mrs. Mary E. George, have three children - Orrie M., William C. and Harry; Emily A. married David S. Gano, have one child - Amy Iona; Robert S. married Mrs. Maggie J. Dewitt; Josephine M. married Hiram T. Pingree, had one child, Elbert Earl (deceased).

     Reuben Hamlin came here from Hancock County about 1838-39, and

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settled about one mile west of Forest, on the northwest quarter of Section 7, but, remaining a short time only, he removed into Wyandot County.

     Jacob Bibbler, settled north of Forest, on land now owned by John LaffertyWilliam Copeland, who died in 1868, was an honored, early settler here.  Many other early settlers, but who came some time later than the above-mentioned, who have been honored. useful and influential citizens of Jackson Township, will, we trust, be well represented in the biographical department of this work; therefore, we will not increase the list further here, but proceed to speak of other matters pertaining to the growth and progress of this township as it emerged from its primitive condition of a dense forest and a total wilderness.








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    Forest. - It would appear, from the records at Kenton, that some difficulty arose or some peculiar condition of things existed at the time of the survey and laying-out of Forest, as we find recorded that John A. Gormley was appointed a Commissioner by the Court of Common Pleas of Hardin County, at their June term in 1854, to act in the premises under especial authority, and that the survey was made and the town laid 06' in lots, streets and alleys by J. Harvey Davis, and the same platted and recorded, being duly acknowledged by said John A. Gormley March 13, 1855.  The town was incorporated, on petition of fifty-six resident voters, by the Commissioners, Sept. 6, 1865, since which there have been the following additions, viz.:
     Addition by John A. Gormley, Sept. 6, 1866.
     Addition by Josiah Smith, Sept. 10, 1867.
     Addition by Josiah Smith, Jan. 4, 1868.
     Addition by John Campbell (outlots), Mar. 26, 1868.
     Addition by John Campbell (outlots), May 31, 1869.
     Addition by J. F. Lillibridge, Aug. 25, 1869.
     Addition by Hiram Wise, Nov. 8, 1869.
     Addition by John Campbell (outlots), Nov. 30, 1869.
     Addition by S. F. Moore, Dec. 16, 1869.
     Addition by Pearce & Hueston (outlots), Sept. 10, 1867.
     Increase of corporation limits by extension, Sept. 7, 1870.
     Addition by Isaac Garrett, Oct. 27, 1871.
     Addition by Kellogg & Bohannon, Dec. 2, 1871.
     Addition by W. M. Pickett, Dec. 2, 1871.
     Addition by H. P. Gage, Jan. 25, 1872.
     Addition by John Campbell, Apr. 3, 1873.
     Addition by H. O. Hotchkiss, Dec. 14, 1881.
     Addition by Henry M. Miller, Jan. 7, 1882.
     Addition by Gormley Brothers, Apr. 27, 1882.
     The first store in Forest was opened and kept by Mr. P. Carson, on the site of the present Forest City House.  John Mansfield was the first blacksmith.  Dr. J. A. Stansill, the first physician.  The Mad River & Lake Erie Railroad was built and the first train ran through here to Kenton July 4, 1846.  The Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway was built in 1853-54, and in the latter year, the first train ran through Forest.  The crossing of  these two railroads here was the cause of the laying out of the town.  But the town never grew or enjoyed any great prosperity till about 1870, at which time it seemed to receive a new impetus, and during the last six years has made a rapid growth in population and in business.  It now has a population of about 1,200, embracing the following businesses: Three dry goods stores, A. D. Pifer, West & Shott and the New York Store, by M. Berkiwitz; three hardware stores, T. S. Williams, R. C. Wiley & Co., and Beanman & Co.; one general store, by E. Horton; seven groceries; two drug stores; several saloons; one boot and shoe store; two stove and tin stores, one of which - L. Struble - makes a specialty of iron roofing and does an extensive business in that line, be having letters patent for the article of which he is the patentee; one furniture store and undertaker; one furniture manufacturer; two harness and saddler shops; two millinery stores; two livery stables; one grist mill, erected about 1879 by Owens Bros., now owned by Henry Merchantell; one saw and planing mill, erected by Young,

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Almy & Co., in 1881, who are still the proprietors and are doing a large business; one warehouse and grain dealer and shipper; two tile manufacturers, Lambright & Fogelsong and Frederick Berlin; four physicians, J. A. Stansill, W. T. Gemmill, W. A. Swimley and Dr. Perce; two attorneys, R. Rice and B. W. Waltermire; there are two hotels - Scott House and Forest City House; three churches - Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian and Methodist Protestant, and one fine, brick union school building, erected in 1872 at a cost of about $7,000.
     There is one weekly newspaper called the News.  It was established in August, 1875, by J. J. Wilkins, and was conducted by him until Sept. 17, 1877, when it was purchased by Harvey S.. Horn, the present publisher and proprietor.  In August, 1873, the name of the paper was changed to the Review.  It now has a circulation of 850, and under the management of its present enterprising and gentlemanly editor, we feel assured that the community will be furnished with an excellent local paper, and that its circulation will increase.


     Senate Lodge of F. & A. M., No. 378, Forest, Ohio,  was

     Forest Lodge, I. O. O. F., No. 394, was instituted

     Hope Encampment, No. 160, Forest, Ohio, was

     Gormley Lodge, Knights of Honor, No. 1955, was instituted, Dec. 31, 1879, by J. B. King, Deputy, of Westerville, Ohio, with the following charter members:  C. A. Stockton, W. T. Gemmill, W. A. Van Horn, H.

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S. Horn, T. J. Cellar, E. H. Cook, E. A. Cook, J. A. Pittsford; Jonathan Bowser, J. J. Myer, B. W. Waltermire and D. T. Robey.  Ofiicers: B. W. Waltermire, D.; D. T. Robey, V. D.; H. S. Horn, R.; E. H. Cook, F. H., and C. A. Stockton, Treas.  They meet in Odd Fellows Hall the first and third Monday evenings of each month.  The present membership is twenty two.  Officers: F. B. Reese, D.; McD. Harmas, V. D.; H. S. Horn, R.; C. C. Harman, F. R., and D. W. Taft, Treasurer.






     Harmony Presbyterian Church, it is

     Patterson Presbyterian Church was organized May 28, 1857, by Rev. R. H. Holliday - just

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     Forest Methodist Protestant Church, it is believed, was organized in the fall of 1869, by Rev. Mr. Evans.  The organization took place in the Methodist  Episcopal Church, and consisted of the following members:


     Saint Peter's German Reformed Church was organized Aug. 16, 1868, at Forest, by Rev. Charles Shoaf, with fifteen members; but it continued for only a brief period, when the organization ceased and has never been re-organized. 

     Cathollic Church, Forest.* - About



     *By A. S. Siebenfoercher.

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     Patterson Methodist Episcopal Church. - We have


     Forest Methodist Episcopal Church. - The early history of this church is nearly gone to oblilvion, like that of the Patterson Church.  It was,
however, probably organized a few years later than that at Patterson.
Some of the first members are believed to have been as follows: Rev.
Bainbridge, Henry Bainbridgo, Andrew Bainbridge, Mr. Blue and Conrad
Zimmerman.  Their church building was the first erected in Forest, and
has gradually increased in membership until now (1883) the church has a
membership of 120, with Rev. J. H. Cater as its pastor, and J. S. Hale,
Samuel Briggs and E. H. Van Buren, Stewards.  Class Leaders are E. D.
Cole, W. K. Evans
and J. H. Forney.


     The first established burial-place in this township is on the Hueston land, on the bank of the Blanchard, in the southwest corner of Section 1, and was dedicated to the reception of the dead by James E. Hueston, on the death of his wife, Mrs. Margaret Hueston, who died Aug. 18, 1831, and whose body is deposited here, and from that time to the present has received many of the dead of the early settlers of this neighborhood.  The old Patterson Cemetery, situated half a mile northwest of Patterson, on the north line of Section 18, was generously donated for burial purposes by Josiah Price about 1849-50.  A few years since, it was deeded to the Trustees, and is now kept fenced and put in order by them.  Here rest the remains of many of the early and prominent men of Patterson and vicinity, such as A. W. Worley, Dr. A. F. Stanley, John McVitty, Henry Zimmerman and many others.  Patterson Cemetery, situated just a few rods further, and on the opposite side of the road from the old cemetery, was

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purchased by the Trustees for burial purposes, and it is believed received the body of the child of Capt. P. C. Boslow for the first burial in these grounds, since which there have been deposited here the remains of William Pisel, Josiah Price, Stephen Purdy, William Copeland and others.





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