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Preble County, Ohio
History & Genealogy


DIXON Township
GASPER Township
GRATIS Township
-- GRATIS - A village
-- WEST ELKTON - A village
-- LEWISBURG - A village - Soon after the organization of Harrison township, in 1816, the town of Lewisburgh was laid out.  The first man to take a stop in this direction was Zachariah Hole, but his work was never recorded.  The first work recorded is that of Henry Horn, who recorded the following statement in the recorder's office in Eaton, on the seventh of September, 1818:
     "To all who shall see these presents, greeting:
     "Know ye, that I, Henry Horn, of Preble county, in the State of Ohio,  having laid out a town in the county and State aforesaid, on sections number twenty-seven and twenty-eight, in range three (east), on the southeast and southwest quarters of said sections which the town contains, twenty-eight in-lots, with one street running north, five degrees east, namely: Dayton street, Twin street and Water street.  Greenville street and Dayton street are each four rods wide; Water street and Twin street are each two rods wide.  There are two alleys crossing Greenville street at right angles, running parallel with Dayton street, and one alley crossing Dayton street at right angles and running parallel with Greenville street, with alleys extending around the town.  The alleys are eight eight (8) and one fourth teer wide.
     The town shall be called Lewisburg. * * * * * * * (Source: History of Preble County, publ 1881)
-- VERONA - A village
ISRAEL Township - Directory of 1875
  -- COLLEGE CORNER - a village in the southwestern part of the State of Ohio in Butler and Preble Counties.  It was settled in 1811 and takes its name from its position in the northwestern corner of the "College Township", the survey township designated the previous year by the Ohio General assembly as the site of the state college that became Miami University.  This survey township was later organized as a civil township, Oxford Township.
     The village lies on the state line with Indiana and there is a West College Corner, Indiana.  The public school is bisected by the state line and is operated jointly with the Indiana authorities.
  -- FAIRHAVEN - an unincorporated community in Eastern Israel Twp.
JACKSON Township
-- NEW PARIS - A village
LANIER Township
MONROE Township
-- ELDORADO - A village
-- WEST MANCHESTER - A village
SOMERS Townships
-- CAMDEN - A village in Preble County which is home of the Black Walnut Festival.
------ Famous people from Camden are Sherwood Anderson, American novelist who was born there; Myron Scott, the creator of the All-American Soap Box Derby and the man who named Chevrolet's sports car, the Corvette.
TWIN Townships
-- WEST ALEXANDRIA - A village
-- EATON - A city in and the County Seat of Preble County, Ohio.



A city in and the County Seat of Preble County, Ohio

(Population last General Census, 1874)
     The county seat is situated upon the east bank of Seven Mile Creek, and is arranged very nearly in the form of a square, excepting its meandering boundary on the west, it being limited in that direction by the stream.  It is twenty-four miles west of Dayton, forty-six miles west of north of Cincinnati, and about sixteen southeast of the city of Richmond, Indiana, it being connected with the latter city as well as with Dayton, by turnpikes.  The Cincinnati, Richmond & Chicago Railroad runs through the eastern part of the village, and near this railway are located two planing mills, and two grain and produce ware-houses.
     There are a number of fine edifices and attractive business houses, the following comprising a partial list:
     Town Hall, M. E. Church, Minor's Block, Stephen's Block, Commercial Row, and Odd Fellows' Building.
     All of this would be deemed creditable structures if located in any of the larger cities in the State.
     The original plat of the Town was acknowledged by William Bruce, Feb. 20, 1806.  From the notes explanatory of the Town of Eaton, on file in the Recorder's office, the following extracts are made:
     "Seventh. - The squares marked A, B, C. and D, are twelve poles square.  'A' is for the purpose of building a Court House on, and other public buildings for the use of the County; 'B,' for an academy and school-house for the Town; 'C' and 'D,' for churches or meeting houses - to be divided in lots, similar in all respects to those on the plat; and each and every congregation within the Town and County that will hereafter be organized, and will build a good house for public worship on the same, shall have one; the first congregation to have choice of lots, and so on.  They are not to be occupied for burying grounds."
     "Eighth. - The lot marked 'E,' is for a burying ground; to be divided into six equal parts, by lines drawn from east to west.  The northern lot shall be for the use of strangers, and persons belonging to no regular congregation; the other five for the use of the first congregations who may build meeting houses in Eaton.  The first congregation shall have choice, and so on."                                                                WM. BRUCE."
     The lot marked "A," has been used as Mr. Bruce intended it, county buildings having been erected thereon.  The lot "B," twelve poles square, immediately north of "A," now has a number of business houses upon it, among others Minor's Block. Thus it appears that an academy was never  built upon it.  The store and dwelling house of H. Vanausdal, Esq., is situated upon a part of lot "C," and the grocery building of Longnecker & Son on a corner of lot "D," the last two lots having been intended for church purposes.  How it happened that three of the four lots were used for other purposes than those designed by Mr. Bruce, is unknown to the writer.
     There were two cabins built about the same time.  It is difficult to determine which was built first, but from the best evidence that can be gathered, there is little doubt but that John Mills built the first house (cabin) in Eaton.  It was erected on the lot afterwards owned by General Marsh, north-west corner of Main and Beech streets.  According to a description of it, written some years since, it was eighteen by twenty feet, constructed of unhewn logs, notched at the ends and made to fit nicely.  It was covered with clapboards or slabs three or four feet in length.  The first course rested against a log called an "ease pole."  This log was placed so as to prevent the boards from slipping off.  Each course was held in place by a "weight pole."  The floor was made of puncheons or slabs split from logs, and long enough to reach across the cabin.  On either side was cut out a door, and the shutter or door proper was made of puncheons, and hung on wooden pins or hinges.  The writer stated that when the door was opened or closed it would make a noise "equal to a cider mill in distress."  A leather or raw-hide string was fastened to the wooden latch, and passed above through a hole in the door, thus enabling a person on the outside to raise the latch and open the door.  At night latch-strings of cabin doors were pulled in, and were thus locked.  This way of locking gave rise to that proverbial phrase: "You will always find the latch string out," which is considered as indicative of hospitality.  For windows, logs were chopped off which left square holes.  These were covered with tanned skins of "varmints" and admitted sufficient light for ordinary purposes.  A great part of one end of the cabin was left open for a fire place, and the chimney was built of wooden pieces and mud.  The following may be considered as nearly a correct representation of the building, although the wood cut was not originally designed to represent it.  
A number of log domicils were constructed in the same or in a similar manner to the one above described, and the new village established by Cornelius Vanausdal in 1806 or 7, the first hotel by David E. Hendricks in the Spring of 1806, and the first Court of Common Pleas was held on the 23rd of August, 1808, about two and a half years after the acknowledgement of the town plat by Wm. Bruce.  In the edition of "Lippincott's Pronouncing Gazetteer," published after the year 1850, a description of Eaton is given, of which the following is a part:
     "It is situated in a rich farming country and is well supplied with water power.  A college3 is about being established at this place.  It contains four churches, one bank, two newspaper offices, a Union school and a woolen factory.  Population in 1850, 1,346; in 1853, about 1,600.
     In "Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio," published in 1849, occurs the following:
     "The village contains one Presbyterian, one Methodist and one Public church; one book, two grocery and four dry goods stores; one or two newspaper printing offices, one woolen factory, one sawmill, and has about 1,000 inhabitants.
     We may conclude from the above descriptions that Eaton did not advance with a mushroom growth, but that it steadily increased in wealth and population, to correspond with the development of the resources of the adjacent and remote parts of the County.  It now contains six churches, nearly twenty grocery stores, two banks, two newspaper printing offices, a sufficient number of dry-goods stores, and a "small brigade" of ministers, lawyers, physicians, editors, teachers, printers, and "wise men" in general.  Probably inhabitants, surpasses it in elegant and comfortable residences, well graded and lighted streets, and the excellence of its school system.


     From estate of Henry Monfort - plat recorded Aug. 10, 1850
     Levin T. McCabe's - laid off June 12, 1852.
     Cornelius Vanausdal's - plat recorded Sept. 19th, 1853
     Ellis Minshall['s - plat recorded April 23d, 1855.
     "North Eaton," Dedication by W. J. Gilmore, received for record April 3de, 1866
     By Solomon Banta and John Aukerman, "Executors of John Aukerman Sr., deceased."  Plat acknowledged May 13, 1857.
     "Eastern Suburb of Eaton," by J. D. Miller, W. A. Cleveland, Jacob Chambers, Eli Thompson and Andrew Coffman.  Plat acknowledged Jan. 15, 1857.
     By C. F. Brooke, George Waggoner, Peter Smith and others,  Plat filed for record Oct. 23, 1871
     Addition by Executors of Cornelius Vanausdal's estate.  Laid out in 1873.
     Addition in same year by C. Street, Benjamin Homan, A. A. A. Seibert and others.  Deem's two additions in 1874, and A. Maharry's in 1875.


To be added upon request
Sharon Wick



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