* HARRISON TOWNSHIP
* BUSINESS OF
* POST OFFICES.
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,
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. WADDELL. WADDELL 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.
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
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
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.
UNITED BRETHREN CHURCH.
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.