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A History of the County; Its Townships, Towns, Churches,
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Pg. 697

     As there are no records, either of the county or township, of an official character to give us any data upon the organization of this township, we have been compelled to take the statements of old pioneers who were residents here at the time of its institution, relative to that matter.  From them we learn that the territory now embraced in McDonald Township was originally included in Round Head Township, and held their elections under her authority, which was under the jurisdiction of Logan County until the organization of Hardin County in 1833.  This township continued as a part of said Round Head Township till 1836, when the new township was erected by the official act of the Commissioners of said Hardin County, under the name of “McDonald Township."  This name was suggested and given to the Commissioners for said new township by Peter C. McArthur, one of the early settlers, and it is said by some to have been thus given in honor of McDonald, an Indian chief, while others claim that it was thus named after William McDonald, one of the pioneers, which is, doubtless,

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the correct version.  The records of the township during the first sixteen years of its existence have been lost or destroyed, and the first elections and officials which are found upon record on the Township Clerk's books are for the year 1852, so that we are unable to give an account of its early officials.








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     The first to locate in this township were the families of Donald McArthur and Daniel Campbell, who settled a short distance northeast of the village of Round Head in 1822.  Peter C. McArthur and Daniel Campbell had previously come from Ross County in 1818, and erected a cabin in the unbroken forest, but went back to Ross, and did not return until the year first mentioned.  These families being the very first permanent pioneers of Hardin County, we have thought it best to give their history in Chapter IV of the general work, where the principal events connected with their settlement will be found.

     Alexander Given was born in Ross County, Ohio, Mar. 14, 1811, a son of William and Jane Given, he a native of Maryland and she of Virginia, who emigrated while young to Ross County, where they were married, and, in 1829, he removed to Hardin County and settled near the Scioto River in Round Head Township, where they resided till their death; he died in 1848 and she in 1851.  Alexander Given came in 1830 and was united in marriage, May 6, 1832, with Mary J. Campbell, a daughter of one of the first settlers of McDonald Township.  She was born in Ross County in 1816.  Mr. Given settled on the place where he still lives and where he has now made a continued residence of over half a century.  Here he purchased 100 acres and commenced right in the woods; to this land he has since added by purchase 100 acres more, so that now he owns 200 acres, and has brought it all under fence and all in cultivation but about twenty-five acres, which he has reserved for wood and timber.  Mr. Given was not only one of the first settlers of this township, but he has been closely identified with its growth and progress, and its secular and political affairs, having served in all the prominent offices; was Treasurer for twenty years and a Justice of the Peace for eighteen years; also served as Land Appraiser in 1850 for the district embracing the five townships of Buck, Taylor Creek, Lynn, McDonald and Round Head.  His wife died in 1850, and, in 1855, he married

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Mrs. Isabella S. Gunn.  She was born in Logan County in 1811.  Mr. Given is the father of five children, all by his first wife, viz.: Eliza J., wife of Squire Cooney; Mary H., wife of Thomas J. McDonald; Alexander F. and two deceased - Daniel and Rebecca.

     Isaac Holt was probably the next settler in this township.  He came here from near “Little 'Sandusky ” about 1829-30, and settled on land now owned by John Hineman, where he remained about three or four years, then removed to Iowa.

     David Poe, a native of Kentucky, born in Breckinridge County, but early emigrated to Ohio, was married in Brown County to his wife Elizabeth, who was born in Ireland, but who, while young, emigrated to America with her parents and settled in Washington County, Penn., where her parents died, after which she came to Brown County, Ohio.  After their marriage, they removed to Kentucky, thence to Ross County, Ohio, and from there to Fayette County, and thence, about 1831, removed to Hardin County and settled on land now owned by John Miller, where he remained till quite aged, when he removed to the village of Round Head, where he died.  He was twice married and was the father of the following children: William, Andrew, Barbara, Robert Allen, John, Stephen, Genova and one daughter who married George G. Moore and died young.  Several of the children, now quite advanced in years, are still residents of this township, and are among the reliable and worthy citizens.  Of these, R. A. Poe, in 1845, married Jane Breece, who was born in Logan County in 1824, a daughter of Robert and Alida Breece.  She was a worthy member of the Methodist Church since 1854 up to the time of her death, Feb. 11, 1882.  To them were born seven children, of whom five now survive - Lydia E., wife of E. Hatfield; George H., Genova, wife of L. H Mahan; Anna, wife of John W. Thomas, and Griffith B.; Lizzie and Emma are deceased.  On Sept. 10, 1882, Mr. Poe married for, his second wife, Miss Margaret Shaffer, a native of this county.

     Another settler of this period was William McDonald, after whom it is said the township was named.

     Jacob Fuls was born in Pendleton County, Va., Feb. 3, 1794; emigrated to Ross County, Ohio, where he was united in marriage with Anna Hessar in 1820; thence he removed to Fayette County. and thence, in April, 1832, he removed to Hardin County and settled in the woods of McDonald Township on land now owned by John Faurot.  There were then only three settlers within a distance of five miles, the closest neighbors, and in other directions it was much further to any settler, and here he resided till his death, Aug. 31, 1868; his wife died Jan. 15, 1872, aged seventy-three years.  Mr. Fuls’ aged mother came to this wilderness with him and died Jan. 27, 1836.  Mr. Fuls was a plain pioneer farmer, honest and upright, a kind neighbor and a good citizen and a devoted Methodist.  His children were as follows: Elizabeth, Margaret, Philip, Mary Ann, Amelia, John, Anna C., Jacob, Samuel, Phebe and Simon P.

     James Hayes came here from Logan County about 1832-33, and settled on land now owned by Joseph Zahler, but resided here only a few years and removed to Illinois.

     Michael Fickel settled on land where the White Schoolhouse now stands, about 1833, but resided there only about three or four years and moved away.

     Ezekiel Storer settled where J. H. Fields now owns and resides, about 1832, where a few years after he died and was buried in the Fuls Burying Ground.  Of his children, some died and the others all moved away.

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     William Connell, who came here from Fayette County, Ohio, settled on land now owned by Joseph Zahler about 1834-35; remained here only a few years and moved away.

     Thomas Coil also came here from Fayette County about 1836, but remained only about two years and moved away.

     William Hemphill was born in Ross County, Ohio, in 1826.  His father, Andrew Hemphill, was born in Kentucky in 1799, emigrating with his parents to Ross County in 1800, where he married his wife, Anna, who was a native of that county, born in 1802 . They removed to Highland County, Ohio, and, about 1833, came with his family to Hardin County and settled in this township, where his wife died in 1840.  Subsequently he married Mary Riley. and finally removed to Logan County, where he remained till the death of his second wife, after which he returned to this township and resided till his death in 1879.  William was but a child when brought to this county by his parents, grew to manhood under the sturdy influences of pioneer life, and was united in marriage with Margaret Derr, who was born in Wayne County in 1827.  Mr. Hemphill has now been a resident here for about half a century, and has been one of the township’s tried, faithful and best citizens.  He is the father of the following children: Joseph S., John D., James, Martha A., Lizzie, Mary F. and William S.

     Samuel Bell settled on the place now owned by Mr. P. Wells about 1835, where he resided till his death.  He was a good substantial citizen, and served as one of the early Justices of the Peace.  John Bell, a brother to Samuel, came here at the same date and located on land adjoining his brother on the west, but after a few years’ residence moved away.

     Martin Bruen came here about 1835-36 and settled near Mr. Fuls; then he settled on land now owned by George Littleton.

     Jacob Zahler came here with his father (a native of Germany) about 1836. and settled on the place where he still resides.  Mr. Zahler is one of the true pioneers, an excellent neighbor and most worthy citizen; has filled many of the township offices, and is now serving as one of its Trustees.

     John Fuls, a brother of the above-mentioned Jacob Fuls, was born in Ross County, Ohio; removed to Fayette County, where he married Mary Miller, and about 1834-35, came to this county and settled on the place now owned by Mr. Cameron, where he resided till his death, Feb. 13, 1867, aged fifty-six years.  He was an honest man, a good citizen and a devoted member of the United Brethren Church.  He was the father of the following children: Elizabeth, Martin, Mary Ann, Sarah, John, Catharine, Armilda, Lydia, Ann, Sienda, George and Amanda.

     Benjamin Rightmire came here from Morgan County, Ohio, about 1834-35 and settled on land now owned by John Flynn.  He married Martha Holt, and they remained residents here until their death.  They were interred in the Fuls Cemetery.  He was a worthy citizen, a religious man and a member of the United Brethren Church.  Their children were William H., Mary, Martha, Sarah and Nancy.

     Moses Vansky came here from Licking County, Ohio, about 1834-35 and settled where Mr. McConnell now lives. Subsequently he moved on to land on the Scioto Marsh, where he died in 1865.  He married Rachel Fickel, by whom he had the following children: Perry, Silas, Jane, George, Elizabeth, Isaac, Michael, Zachariah and LucindaMr. Vansky was a man of integrity, possessing the confidence of his neighbors, and a worthy member of the United Brethren Church.

     John Hatfield was a native of Maryland, but with his family emigrated to

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Jefferson County, Ohio, thence to Carroll County and from there, about 1836, came to this township and settled on the William Lawrence land, where he died in 1855 and his wife in 1864.  Their children were William, John, Nelson, Samuel, Henry, Eliza, Elizabeth, Mary and Catharine.

     Elder Enoch Harvey, a native of Virginia, emigrated to Ohio and settled in Union County in quite an early day; thence, about 1834, he removed to this county and settled in this township on the Isaac Holt farm, where he resided till his death.  He married Delilah Helverson, also a native of Virginia.  Mr. Harvey was a pioneer preacher in the Christian Church for many years, a man zealous in good works and one who exerted a great influence in molding the moral and Christian character in this community in an early day, at a time when such influences were especially needed to polish and smooth down the rough and uncouth principles that are apt to follow in close accompaniment with the rugged pioneer.  He continued to work in the ministry to the very close of his long and useful life.  On the Saturday night prior to his death, he preached a sermon, and on the following day delivered two sermons; on Tuesday night following, he ate a hearty supper and died that evening Mar. 7, 1871 - aged seventy-nine years.  His wife died Aug. 27, 1866, aged seventy-two years.  They had the following children: Ephraim, James M., Joel, Eliza and Enoch, all deceased but Ephraim, who now resides in Michigan.

     John Hites, a native of Virginia, with his wife Elizabeth, moved to Jefferson County, Ohio; thence to Carroll County, and, about 1836, came to this township and settled on land where his son Benjamin still resides.  Here, in 1840, his wife died, and subsequently he married Margaret HubbardMr. Hites died in 1876.  He served in the war of 1812, for which his widow is drawing a pension.  He was an honest, good man. His children were George, Catharine, Elizabeth, David and John.

     William Sheldon was a native of England, but emigrated to America in an early day.  About 1840, he settled where his son now lives.  He died Sept. 18, 1850, aged eighty-two years.

     Joseph Williams, a native of Pennsylvania, emigrated to Ohio and settled in Licking County, and, about 1840, came to this township and settled on the place now owned by Ray Littleton.  He married Jerusha Decker, and resided here till about 1866, when he left his family here and went to Missouri.  His wife died Nov. 24, 1879, aged sixty-three years.  Their children were Cornelius, James W., Henrietta, Simeon, Ithermore, Melvina, Charlotte and Elizabeth Ellen.  Jonathan Williams, a brother of the above, married Jane Vansky, and settled near his brother and remained a resident of this township until the fall of 1882, when he removed to Missouri.  They had the following children: David, Darius, Minerva, Sallie Ann, Eliza, Margaret, Nancy, Rebecca, Jane and Mahala, all deceased but three, Minerva, Jane and David.  Mrs. Williams died here and was buried with several of her children in the Fuls Cemetery.

     James Faurot, a native of the State of New York, while a young single man came to Champaign County, Ohio, where he married Rebecca Tucker, and, about 1843, removed to this township and settled on land now owned by Sandusky Wallace, where he resided till his death, in June, 1872.  He was the father of the following children: George, Michael, Anna, Elizabeth, Henry, Samuel and Sarah.

     Armstead Carder came here from Fayette County, Ohio, about 1844, and settled on land now owned by James Lightner.  He married Elizabeth Braggs, by whom he had the following children: John, George W., Sarah,

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Nancy, Phebe, Duncan and James.  Mrs. Carder died and her remains were deposited in the Fuls Cemetery.  Subsequently Mr. Carder removed to Iowa, but after a few years returned to Ohio, and died while living with his daughter at or near Belle Centre, Logan Co., Ohio.

     James Wilson became one of the early settlers of Taylor Creek Township, this county, but about 1839-40, removed into McDonald Township and settled on the William Lawrence land.  Subsequently he removed to the State of Indiana, but soon returned and resided here till his death.  He died in February, 1865, aged seventy-five years.  He was the father of the following children: Matthew, Polly, Perry, John, William, Hazzard, James, Malinda. Elizabeth, Alonzo, Aaron, Sarah and Frank, all now deceased but Hazzard and John.

     Elijah Zimmerman was born in Ross County, Ohio, in 1815.  He was a son of Andrew and Ruth Zimmerman, who were natives of Pennsylvania, but who early became settlers of Ross County, and, about 1840-42, settled in this township, where he died in 1844.  His wife died in 1855.  Elijah married Calista Stamates, in 1838. a native of Licking County, Ohio, born in 1816.  Their children were seven, six new surviving, viz., Augusta, Margaret, Elizabeth, Martha, Hiram L., and Byron L., and Peter, deceased.

     This township possesses neither town, village nor hamlet, yet there has been carried on within its borders some mercantile trade.  About 1857-58, Mr. Henry Chapman opened a grocery store near where the White School house now stands, where he continued business until his death in 1859-60, after which the stock was closed out and the business ceased.  The next to open a store was William Layton, which was located further east on the Kenton pike, near the east line of the township.  Here he put in a stock of groceries and continued the business until his death, since which his father, Elias Layton, has continued the business.  In the spring of 1881, Walter Blansfield opened a store on his place just north of Mr. Layton’s, and, in the spring of 1883, a post office was established here under the name of “Jumbo,” with Walter Blansfield as Postmaster.  These have constituted the mercantile trade of this township.


     There is not now nor ever has been a grist mill in McDonald Township, and,


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     As soon as a sufficient settlement was made to enable the pioneers here to support a school on the then only plan of subscription, we find them providing for the intellectual wants of their children.  It is probable that the first school ever in this township was taught in a log schoolhouse erected on the lands of P. Wells about 1836-37.  This was then succeeded by a frame house erected at the crossing of the Belle Centre & Marsh and Kenton & Round Head pikes.  This house was subsequently painted white, being the first to be painted in the township, which fact gave it the euphonious name of the “White Schoolhouse,” by which name the school house in District No. 5 has ever since been known. This frame school house was subsequently succeeded by the present frame, which is now serving the people of this district for school purposes.  One of the next earliest
schools was taught by Mrs. Marman in a log house in what is now Subdistrict No. 6.  This was then succeeded by the present frame house.  Thus, from settlement to settlement, schools were established, and finally the township was divided into nine sub-school districts.  The old log school houses have been succeeded by good and comfortable frame houses, and some of these again by the still better brick house.  Now there are nine good frame or brick schoolhouses, with nine rooms, supplied with nine good teachers.  The schools are taught an average of thirty weeks each
year; male teachers are paid an average per month of $37, and female, $21.  The enrollment of 1882 was - boys, 223; girls, 207; total, 430; total cash receipts for school purposes, $3,378.58; total expenditures, $2,756.95; total valuation of school property, $5,000.


     The first administration of the Gospel in this township was made at the house of Donald McArthur, by Revs. James B. Finley and Thomas Simms, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and, without doubt, a class was then organized, at a very early day, as the old gentleman, Donald McArthur, was an earnest Christian of that denomination; but, as the village of Round Head was very early established as the center of secular and religious interests, the first churches were organized there, and this class never developed into a local church.  McDonald Christian Church was the first to effect a permanent organization, and to develop a church building. This society was
organized by Elder Samuel Tingle, in the Lynn Schoolhouse, in 1842, consisting of the following persons: Martin Bruen, Priscilla Bruen, Samuel Bell, Jemima Bell, John Bell, Rachel Bell, Elizabeth Hatfield, John Hatfield, Enoch Harvey, Ephraim Harvey, Elizabeth Harvey, and possibly a few others.  They held their services in the schoolhouse several years, but many of the members were taken away by death and others moved away, until they ceased to exist as an organization.  During the existence of this society, the following ministers served as pastors: Elders Samuel Tingle, Michael Martz, Benjamin Rea and Enoch Harvey.  A second organization was effected in the spring of 1857 under Elder Daniel Lepley, consisting of the following persons: S. P. Helfinstine, Nancy J. Helfinstine, E. J. Helfinstine, David Helfinstine, Elizabeth Harvey, Anna Fuls, Newel Philbrick, Mary Philbrick, Sarah Holt, Enoch Harvey, Rachel Decker and Catharine Fuls, with S. P. Helfinstine chosen Deacon.  Meetings were held in the schoolhouse until 1866, when they erected a frame church on the same locality as the present one.  Individual members did much of the work and furnished much of the material, so that the actual cash paid out in its erec-

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tion was only about $300.  The house was duly dedicated to service by a sermon from Elder Daniel Lepley.  This house served the people till the summer of 1881, when their present substantial frame church was built, 34x48 feet, at a cost of $1,600; and was dedicated in February, 1882, by Elder T. J. Robison.  The following ministers have served this society:
Elders Daniel Lepley, who was succeeded, in1859, by John Bushon; in 1862, by David E. Wilson; in 1864, by Rhoda Franks; in 1867, by Nelson Hurd; in 1879, by N. S. McCloud; and in 1882, by Henry S. Oakley, their present minister.  E. P. Helfinstine and P. Wells served as Deacons until the winter of 1882, since which John James, Benjamin Holt and I. G. Decker have filled that office.  The present membership is eighty-four.  A Sabbath school is connected with the church, and now has an average attendance of about thirty, with A. J. Fletcher as Superintendent.

     The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in March, 1879, by Rev. Thomas Christopher.  The class consisted of the following members:  John Emmons, Jennie Emmons, Noah F. Banister, Miram E. Banister, M. Cornelius, C. Cornelius, O. N. Hedges, S. Hedges, M. J. Wolf, D. M. Patterson, L. Patterson, A. G. Kidd, Elizabeth Wells, Thomas Wells, I. G. Burner, Annis Robinson, Luther Ellis and Ray Littleton. with John Emmons as Class Leader.  The following have served as ministers: Revs. Thomas Christopher, Taylor I. Jagger and John Parlett.  Board of Trustees are J. H. Fields, A. E. Fields, P. C. Hesser, S. B. Gilpin, T. M. Patterson, Ray Littleton, A. C. Fletcher, J. W. Williams and C. Williams. Present membership is thirty-three.  Their services are now held in the White School house. but they are preparing to build and have $1,200 subscribed for that purpose.


     One of the first burial places was on the McArthur farm, but now owned by A. Given, Esq.  This was established as a private family burial ground, and principally contains the remains of several of that family.  Here were deposited, in 1835, the remains of one of the first pioneer settlers of McDonald township, Donald McArthur.  The next place set apart to receive the dead was the Fuls Burial Ground.  It is located on the southeast corner of what is now J. H. Fields' farm.  The first buried here was a child, Amanda Miller, in 1834, since which it has received many of the early settlers of this neighborhood.  It is now but little used and is grown up with small trees and bushes, but is kept well inclosed with a good board fence.  The last and principal cemetery of McDonald Township is the “Harvey Cemetery,” located on the south side of the Kenton & Round Head pike, about one-half mile west of the Christian Church, and is near the geographical center of said township.  This piece of land was first donated for the purpose by Ephraim Harvey and dedicated to its use by receiving the body of John King; then it received the bodies of several of the children of its donor.  Now there rest here the remains of a large number of the settlers of McDonald Township.  It is located on a high, elevated portion of ground, very suitable for cemetery purposes.  In or about 1863, it was deeded to the Trustees of the township; it contains a little over one acre of ground, and well inclosed with a good board fence.  It contains several large and pretty monuments.





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