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Pickaway County, Ohio
History & Genealogy


History of Pickaway County
Source:  History of Franklin & Pickaway Counties, Ohio
Illustrations and Biographical Sketches
Published by Williams Bros. 1880



       * STREAMS
       * TIMBER
       * POST OFFICES.
       * CHURCHES.


     The village of South Bloomfield was laid out by David Denny, in 1804, who employed General James DENNY, later of Circleville, to make the survey.  This was done on a part of Walnut plains, in the southeast part of section ten.  The plat embraced forty acres of land, and was divided into eighty lots.  These were laid off in blocks of four lots, with a street, or alley, on two sides of each lot.  The lots were numbered, consecutively, to twenty-three and twenty-four, which were left vacant for township purposes, and the numbers carried to the next lots.  Two lots, sixty and seventy, were omitted, so that the last lot could be numbered eighty.  The two lots reserved fro township property were afterwards sold and numbered eighty-one and eighty-two.  The property has in some cases, changed hands several times, and the deeds have not been properly made out, so that there are now several persons living in the village who have imperfect titles to their homes.  This town was laid out for the county seat, six years before Circleville was platted, but it so happened that the hopes of its founder were not realized.  At one time Bloomfield was quite an important town.  The regular line of stage coaches, from Chillicothe to Franklinton and Columbus, made it assume some importance, as it was not far from the central point on this line; but the completion of the Ohio canal, a mile east, and the building of the railroad to Columbus, caused the withdrawal of the coaches, and the town has long since subsided into a quiet, steady-going pace, with few hopes of bettering its condition.  Its brightest days are not of the present, nor of the future, but of the past.


     The town of South Bloomfield was incorporated by special act of the legislature, in 1833.  Its first officers were: Thomas BURRELL, president; John COCHRAN, treasurer; Henry N. HEDGES, clerk; Samuel GORELEY, marshal.  The next mayor, or president, after BURRELL, was A. C. STILES; then George R. PIPER, in 1841; Nathaniel WILKINS,  in 1844; Abner BRIGGS, 1849; Dr. T. W. JONES, 1851.  The present officers are: John AREBAUGH, mayor; A. J. GOOSMAN, clerk; Dr. J. C. THOMPSON, treasurer; Daniel DUNN, John C. GRIGGS, Dr. H. B. SMITH, J. C. SMITH, Robert HUGHES, and G. W. RECTOR, councilmen; J. H. ROESE, marshal; Wesley O. DAY, street commissioner.


     The present business in South Bloomfield is conducted by the following persons:  J. C. SMITH, general dealer; A. G. JONES, grocery, and post-office.  A. J. GOOSMAN, T. J. GOOSMAN, Peter RUSH, blacksmiths; Charles LOUX, Benira BARNES, wagon shops; J. W. BURKE, hotel; GRIGGS & GALLOWAY sewing machines; Abner BRIGGS, harness maker; W. E. PETER, cabinet shop.
     The business houses in Ashville are: George MORRISON, general dealer, postmaster, and express agent; Edward SOPER, general dealer; E. MANGUS, boots and shoes; HENRY CRUMLEY, boarding house and livery; Mrs. E. M. JONES, millinery; Mrs. SWAYER, dress-maker; Robert HUGHES, elevator; Joseph HEDGES, lumber yard; John MESSICK, William WARD, Peter ARNOLD, blacksmiths; Ezra SHOEMAKER, tinner; Z. T. BAKER, harness maker.
     In Millport are Michael SELIG, grocery; Huffman & DELAPLANE, elevator.
     The physicians are Drs. J. C. THOMPSON, H. B. SMITH, and A. C. KINNEAR, in Bloomfield, and Dr. Charles STEWART, at Ashville.
     The American house, the present hotel at South Bloomfield, was built by John RUTH, in 1847.  He kept hotel here until 1856, when he sold to Noah RUNKLE, and moved across the river to Scioto, where he owned a farm.  There he engaged in the manufacture of drain tile, and runs the only works of that kind in that township.  Noah RUNKLE sold the hotel to VICKER & BURGER, and they to F. J. WADDELLWADDELL sold to J. W. BURKE, Jan. 1, 1879, who now continues the house.  A room in the lower part has several times been used as a general store by different persons.
     Rolland STEBBINS built a store on Walnut Street, about 1845.  This he conducted about fifteen years.  J. Darst succeeded him.  The store is now owned by J. C. SMITH, who purchased it in 1877.


     The little hamlet of Millport was laid out into lots by Richard STAGE, about 1837.  Previous to this time, and as early as 1810, Stephen SHORT started a distillery and a mill at this place.  After laying out town lots Mr. STAGE erected a number of dwellings, and built a pork packing house, in which he carried on an extensive business for a number of years.  He also furnished capital and started his son-in-law, Francis S. BURT, in merchandising.  This business was not continued many years.  In about 1850 a warehouse was built near the canal, for the purpose of receiving and storing grain.  A small grocery was established in the building to furnish stores for canal men and boats.  Mr. KILSO managed this warehouse from 1860 until 1870, when he failed.
     In 1868 or 1869 Obed HEDGES built an elevator at Ashville.  This he leased to Mr. WEAVER and to Robert HUGHES.  Blue & GULIAN then took it but finally gave it up, though doing a large business.  It is now owned by HEFFNER & DELAPLANE, and does an extensive business.
     William FORESMAN built a grist-mill at Millport in 1833, which he continued many years.  In 1879 it was sold to Samuel Campbell, who now runs it.


     The land upon which Ashville is located was, at an early day, the property of Richard Stage, who started a small distillery here, which he operated for many years.  About 1837 he sold to Mahlon ASHBROOK.  Mr. ASHBROOK increased the capacity of the distillery, and did a very large business.  In connection with it, he built a grist-mill on Walnut creek, about 1845, and owned a large store, for such a town.  At one time he was reputed quite wealthy, but finally he failed in business.  James SMART, of Circleville, went into business with him, but finally sold out.  The store was closed up about 1855, but the distillery was run by other parties for a few years, when it, too, was closed.  Mr. ASHBROOK went to the north part of the State, and from there to Missouri.  Mr. WORKS run the distillery for a time, as also did Mr. BRIGGS, before it was closed.  From the time of the closing of the distillery, in 1855, until about 1874, very little business was done in Ashville.  In 1874, the building of the Scioto Valley railroad through the length of Harrison township, gave a new impetus to business.  The depot of the railroad was located at Ashland in 1875, as was also the post-office.  During the same year William MORRIS and Mr. KEYES built an elevator near the railroad.  This is run by means of a steam engine.  They sold it to Ezra HEDGES, and he to Robert HUGHES, who now conducts the business.  Corn and wheat are bought by him in large quantities.


     The first post-office in Harrison township was opened previous to 1810, in the store of William and John BRADSHAW, at South Bloomfield.  It is believed that William BRADSHAW was the first postmaster.  This office has been continued under different officials, and is at present administered by A. G. JONES.
     On the completion of the railroad though Ashville, in 1875, a post office was established at that point.  George Morrison was the first postmaster, and continues to administer the office.



     Meetings of people of the Methodist denomination were held at the house of Daniel MILLAR, on the site of the present hotel at South Bloomfield, soon after 1833, by traveling preachers.  At the time of its organization, about 1835, there were some ten members living here.  There were the family of Daniel MILLAR, Mrs. Sage, Mr. DONALDSON, and Mrs. DENNY, and possibly others.  The organization was effected in the frame school-house, on the lot now owned by George RECTOR.  Revs. Messrs. HAMILTON and POE were early preachers.  They were the first circuit preachers.  The next were Revs. Messrs. WHITE and STEPHENSON.  Jacob YOUNG was presiding elder.  The circuit was at first called Pickaway circuit, and afterwards Franklinton circuit.  The first church building was erected in 1837, on lots given for the purpose of William RENICK.  A brick church was built at a cost of one thousand five hundred dollars, but in after years it proved to be too small and inconvenient, and was torn down in 1877, and a new edifice erected at a cost of about three thousand five hundred dollars.  The funds for building were raised by a subscription.  The present membership of this church is about seventy-five.  A Sunday-school of about sixty members is maintained, under the superintendence of Dr. H. B. SMITH.  The pastor of the church, for 1879, is Rev. J. M. RIFE.


     of the Methodist Episcopal church, was organized in a school-house, i the eastern part of Harrison, about 1835.  Preaching was had a private houses previous to this time.  Stephen Simmons, who lived in this neighborhood, was an active churchman, and was instrumental in the organization of this church, and was the first class leader.  The log school-house in which the first church services were held, was built about a mile north of the present location of the chapel, and was built about 1835.  Jacob YOUNG and John LEWIS were the first preachers.  The school-house was used for services until 1851, when a frame edifice was erected.  This was dedicated to Asbury chapel in 1852.  In 1875 a commodious and neat brick church was built on the same lot, in the south part of section twenty-five.  This building cost about three thousand dollars, and was dedicated in the spring of 1876.  When built, the church was under the ministration of Rev. H. B. WESTERVELT.  Both these churches were dedicated by Rev. Lovett TAFT.  The land on which they stand was given for the purpose of Enos CUTLER.  A large Sunday-school is maintained.  The church is under the ministration of Rev. James RIFE.


     A church of this denomination was organized in the east part of Harrison, about 1840.  Meetings were first held in the school-house, until sufficient interest and attendance were had to justify the formation of a church.  The first class leader was Luke McDEVITT. One of the first preachers was William DAVIS.  Bishop EDWARS was also one of the first to preach here.  The present pastor is Rev. Daniel BONEBRAKE.  On its organization, the church was named Rehoboth church, which name it now bears.  A church edifice was erected on section six soon after 1850.  This building is still standing, and is used for church purposes.  The society now numbers about fifty persons, and has a Sunday-school of some forty members, under the superintendence of Mr. CHRISTY.


     The Ohio canal, from Cleveland to the Ohio river, was built through Harrison township during 1825 and 1832.  This gave employment to a large number of men, and very many of the people at that date inhabiting the township, assisted in its construction.  Col. John Cochran had a contract for work on the canal during these years.  This canal afforded an outlet for the produce raised in the country and was of great benefit to the inhabitants for a long distance on either side of it.
     The Scioto Valley railroad was the next great improvement.  This was completed in 1875, since which time it has been in operation, and affords a better outlet for the large quantities of corn and wheat now raised in this country than did the canal.
     Since the network of railroads that now traverse the State of Ohio was completed, the canal has almost fallen into disuse.  Very little business is now done over it, though some grain is shipped from Millport, and coal received through it.






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