OHIO GENEALOGY EXPRESS
A Part of
SHELBY COUNTY, OHIO
History & Genealogy
History of Shelby County, Ohio
Evansville, Ind. -
1913 - 947 pgs.
THE TOWNSHIPS (III)
McLean, Orange and
located in the southwest corner of the county, is more or
less distinguished from the other townships in its
citizenship and its customs. It is quite cosmopolitan in
its citizenship, but from an early period the western
portion has been settled largely by the French. It is
traversed by the Big Four Railroad, with three stations in
the township, namely: Dawson, North Houston and Russia.
The old canal cuts through the northeast corner of the
Loramie township is for the most part level and is
exceedingly rich in its soil. It is well drained as within
its limits are to be found Loramie creek and Nine Mile
creek, together with various small tributaries. It is well
suited for general agriculture, all products growing here
readily. The first settlers came shortly prior to the War
of 1812, and among the first of whom there is any
knowledge was Samuel McClure, who with his
family settled on what afterward became known as the J.
W. Akin farm in section 9. There were only occasional
arrivals during the war, but about 1814 settlers began
coming in numbers. In that year came Robert and
David Houston, and they were followed the
succeeding year by William and John
Houston. Among others of that early period who cast
their fortunes with that of the township were the
following: William Morrow, who came from
Cumberland, Pa., in 1815; William Johnston
of Pennsylvania in 1816 and John Patterson
the same year; William Skillen from
Westmoreland county, Pa., in 1817, and shortly before that
time Zebediah Richardson, William
Anderson and Thomas Wyatt; Henry
Zemer and Jacob Black, in 1818;
Jacob Everly, David Clark,
Henry Harp and Robert Johnson
were to be found here in 1820; William Johnston
of Ireland, James Harvey and Joseph
Blackwood came in 1823; William Ellis
in 1826; Henry Day in 1830; Joseph
Wyatt in 1831; William Legg in 1832;
John Worley and Jacob Rouston,
the latter from Maryland, in 1833; Christian
Mader of Germany in 1834; Jacob S. Apple from
Montgomery county, O., in 1837; Fred Bishop
of Germany in 1838, and about the same time, J. R.
Griffis of Butler county, O.; William Harrup
from England in 1839; Emanuel Sherer in
1840; Henry S. Apple from Montgomery county,
O., in 1843; and Peter Wright, who in 1839
came to Cynthian township from Pennsylvania, moved to this
township in 1848. Late in the thirties the western part of
the township began to be settled by people of the .French
race, among the most prominent of them being James
Unum, who came here in 1835; J. J. Debrosse
and Joseph Gaible who came in 1837; John
B. Malliott and Amos Peppiot in 1838;
Tebone Didier in 1840; Henry Delaet
in 1844; Simon Richards in 1845; Louis
Peltier in 1848; and Nicholas Didier
The following, taken from the. records of the township,
is given, primarily, to show the names of people who
played a part in the affairs of the time, and secondarily
the difference in volume of business transacted through
the township officers in that day and this:
Orders issued and granted in 1824—No. 23. To Jacob
R. Harp for one dollar for services as supervisor,
dated March 7, 1825; $1.00. No. 24. To William
Johnston for one dollar for services as supervisor,
dated March 7, 1825; $1.00. No. 25. To Jonas
Richardson for one dollar and seventy-five cents,
dated March 7, 1825; $1.75. No. 26. To Samuel
McClure for one dollar and fifty cents for services as
trustee, dated March 7, 1825; $1.50. No. 27. To
Robert McClure for one dollar and fifty cents
for services as trustee, dated March 7, 1825; $1.50. No.
28. To John Booker for one dollar and fifty
cents for services as trustee, dated March 7, 1825; $1.50.
No. 29. To Snow Richardson for two dollars
for services as township clerk, dated March 7, 1825;
$2.00. Total amount of orders granted and issued, $10.25.
Treasurer's Report, March 7, 1825.—No money received,
and none expended.
Road Districts in 1825.—The trustees convened according
to law, and laid out the township in the following road
districts, to wit: No. 1. Commencing at the northwest
corner of section 3; thence to the mouth of Nine Mile
creek; said creek being the line into William
Wright's improvement (and including said William
Wright in said District No. 1) ; thence to include
all north of District No. 1. Robert Johnston,
township clerk. In 1826 the township was divided into
three road districts
Orders Issued in 1826.—No. 30. To John Booker,
trustee, $3.00. No. 31. To Thomas Wyatt,
trustee, 75 cents. No. 32. To Jacob R. Harp,
con&table, $1.00. No. 33. To William N. Flinn,
trustee, $2.25. No. 34. To James McCane,
supervisor, 75 cents. Total amount of orders for 1826,
School Districts in 1826.—No. 1. Beginning at the
northeast corner of section 22, town. 9, range 5; thence
west in said line to the northeast corner of section 20;
thence south to the northeast corner of section 29; thence
west in said line to the Darke county line; thence south
to Miami county line; thence east on said line to the
southeast corner of section 27; thence north to place of
beginning. No. 2. Beginning at .the northwest corner of
section 6; thence south to the northeast corner of section
19; thence east to Grayson (Washington)
township line; thence north in said line to Cynthian
township line; thence west on said line to place of
beginning. No. 3. Including all the township not included
in Districts Nos. 1 and 2.
List of Householders in these Districts.—No. 1. Wm.
Morrow, Wm. Johnston, John
Patterson, James McClure, Wm.
Anderson. No. 2, Thomas Orders for 1827.—To
Wm. Houston, trustee, 75 cents. John
Hughs, constable, $1.11 ½.
Robert Johnston, trustee, 75 cents. Wm.
Wright, clerk $2.00. Total orders issued March 3,
1828, for year 1827, $5.11 ½.
In March, 1828, the township was divided into two
school districts, with twelve householders in the first,
and thirty-three in the second. In July three districts
were formed, and in November these were reformed, so that
the first embraced seventeen householders, the second
twenty-two, and the third fourteen.
On December 27, 1828, sections 27, 28, 21, and 22 of
Loramie township were attached to school district No. 2,
of Grayson (Washington) township, in answer to petition.
Receipts and Expenditures in 1828.—Receipts, $0.00;
Robert Houston, L. T. C.
Election.—I do hereby certify that Daniel C. Flinn
was elected captain' of the 2d Company, 2d Regiment, 2d
Battalion, 12th Division, Ohio Militia, on the 8th day of
August, 1829, by a majority of twenty-one votes.
James Hervey, L. T. Clk.
In 1831 a "list of hands in road districts," shows
thirty-six in the first, fourteen in the second, and
twenty in the third district.
Grand jurors selected in October, 1831: Eleazer
Hathaway, Thos. Wyatt, Richard
Jeffries, Wm. Houston, Robert
Houston, Jacob Everley, Jr.
Petit jurors selected same date: John Crozier,
Robert Houston, Jr., Robert
Johnston, Charles Mann, Snow
Richardson, Joseph Blackwood.
At an election held for state and county officers
October 11, 1831, fifty-five votes were cast. In March,
1833, the township was divided- into four road districts.
Exhibit for 1832.—Received from John Crozier
one dollar for Sabbath breaking, which sum is now in the
treasury, for school purposes.
Orders Issued.—To Harvey Houston,,
constable, 75 cents..
In 1834 the township was divided into four school
districts. In 1838 six road districts were formed. At an
election held in 1843 ninety-eight votes were cast; in
1847, sixty-five votes.
In 1855 twelve road districts were formed, and at
spring election one hundred and thirteen votes were
The following is a list of justices of the peace of
Loramie township and the year of their respective
|1824 - Hervey, James
1826 - Houston, Robert
1827 - Wyatt, Thomas
1828 - Hathaway, Eleazer
1829 - Wright, William
1830 - Houston, Robert
1831 - Crozier, John
1833 - Flinn, William N.
1834 - Crozier, John
1836 - Flinn, William N.
1837 - Ross, John M.
1838 Nov. 21 - Jeffries, Cyrus
1840 Jan. 7 - Richardson, Snow
1840 Dec. 7 - Houston, Robert
1842 Dec. 24 - Hunter, John G.
1844 Feb. 13 - Houston, Robert
1845 Dec. 11 - Day, John W.
1847 Feb. - Houston, Robert
1848 Apr. 17 - Hunter, J. G.
1848 - Clark, Samuel
1851 - Young, Asa D.
1854 - Young, A. D.
1854 - Clark, Samuel
1857 - Flinn, David
1860 May 1 - Bland, William
1860 Oct. 18 - Flinn, David
1861 - Gartley, John
1863 Oct. 23 - Flinn, David
1864 Sept. 1 - Gartley, John
1866 - Flinn, William
1867 - McKinney, C. B.
|1869 - Flinn, William
1870 - McKinney, C. B.
1872 - Flinn, William
1873 - Voisard, Joseph
1875 - Flinn, William
1876 - Voisard, Joseph
1878 - Flinn, William
1879 - Voisard, Joseph
1880 - Miller, Jeremiah
1881 - Flinn, William
1883 - Miller, Jeremiah
1884 - Souder, David
1887 - Monnin, Justin
1887 - Wyatt, J. M.
1890 - Flinn, William
1890 - Wyatt, J. M.
1892 - Eshman, Irene
1893 - Flinn, Hudson
1895 - Eshman, I. A.
1896 - Flinn, Hudson
1898 - Eshman, I. A.
1899 - Flinn, Hudson
1901 - Nash, George K.
1902 - Moorman, John B.
1902 - Flinn, J. F.
1905 - Moorman, John B.
1905 - Flinn, J. F.
1908 - Moorman, John B.
1908 - Grillot, B. L.
1910 - Flinn, J. F.
1912 - Grillot, B. L.
officers of Loramie township are George M. Francis
of Russia, clerk; and C. A. Wolaver, E. C. Mader
and James, Voisard, trustees.
In addition to general farming, there was in former
years considerable activity in the various industries,
especially milling. In 1876 Crone Brothers
established a large saw mill in the township, with a
capacity of 8,000 feet per day, and about the year 1879
John Wright bought the interest of one of the
brothers, A. J. Crone. It was then conducted under
the name of Crone & Wright with much
success, but is now out of existence. As early as 1862,
John Wright and E. W. Pampel built an
icehouse on the Wright farm near Houston, its
dimensions being 106x42 feet. In 1866 a second icehouse
was built, 103 x 52 feet in dimensions, and in 1871 a
third was built, 106 x 106 feet, giving a total storage
capacity of 9,500 tons of ice. It was first operated under
the name of Wright & Pampel, the members
being John Wright and E.W. Pampel,
and later Henry Crone bought the interest of
Mr. Pampel, and thereafter the business was
conducted for a number of years under the name of the
Summit Ice Company. It is now owned by Dr. S. G. Martl.
confines of the township there have been a number of
villages, more or less flourishing.at times, namely:
Houston, Mt. Jefferson, North
Houston, Russia, Dawson and
Houston was surveyed May 4, 1838, by Jonathan
Counts, for Harvey Houston, and was made
to include a part of the northwest quarter of section 9,
being situated on the state road between Piqua and St.
Marys: The plat was recorded May 25, 1838. The founder of
the village, Harvey Houston, resided on the
east side of the road, just north of the village, in a log
house, which he for some years used for hotel purposes:
Mrs. Houston was the first postmistress of the
township, receiving appointment in 1834. On November 1,
1855, the town of North Houston was laid out for Asa D.
Young and also lies in the northwest quarter of
section nine. It is situated on the Big Four Railroad and
is known as Houston station, the old name having been
dropped. In Houston, the first store was conducted by
Nicholas Gresham, who started the business
about 1832. Other merchants to follow him, were: Singer
and Brown, Joseph Taylor, B.
Mallot and C. Delaet. Mr. Taylor was
also a grain dealer and was identified with the pork
packing industry. The village received one very serious
setback in its history, when it was almost wholly
depopulated because of the cholera panic. Its population
according to the 1910 census was 227 people. The business
of North Houston in the early period was represented by
Akin & Flinn, who conducted a warehouse;
William Flinn & Co., who conducted a grocery and also
a tile factory; and J. F. Black, who was proprietor
of a general grocery and -mercantile store. W. Flinn &
Co. also conducted a sawmill at North Houston, which
is now owned by N. C. Barr of Houston.
Mt. Jefferson, lying on the main road from Piqua to St.
Marys, was laid out January 12, 1838, by Jonathan
Counts for Samuel Farnum. The village never
assumed any larger proportions than that of a small
country center, although they had within their midst three
churches, a Presbyterian, Christian and Episcopal. The
first store there was conducted by Charles
Rutherford; Massena was laid out for a town March 15,
1833, by David and Cynthian Houston,
and consisted of twelve town lots, but never made any
headway, and the lots were soon again more profitably
employed for farming purposes. Russia, a station on
the Big Four Railroad, according to the last census, has a
population of 251 inhabitants. Its name was derived from
the fact that as originally laid out it resembled a
locality in Russia in which some of the first citizens had
formerly lived. The first house erected within its limits
was that of Lewis Phillip in 1853. He it was
who purchased the original town site from a man named
Febaux, and conducted the sale of lots. The plat of
the village was made subsequently. The second house was
built by Clement Lachat in 1854, and the
third by Ferial DeBrosse in 1856 or 1857.
Among those who have conducted business enterprises within
the village' limits may be mentioned: Lewis
Phillip, who established a grocery in 1853; Jasper
Cordenner who conducted a dry goods store about
1861; Joseph Delaet, George Marshall; A. F. Ashman;
Francis Didier; Joseph Miller; Frank Subler; and C.
Besonnet. The business enterprises, in addition to the
stores, included blacksmith shops, grain elevators and saw
mills. The saw mill industry was at one time an extensive
one, and the mill established by John A. Marshall,
Michael Meham and John B. Marshall, in 1867,
was operated for years with unvarying success. Frank Simon
succeeded to Mr. Meham's interest in 1868, and the
business was conducted under the name and style of
Marshall & Simon, until about 1888, when it passed into
the hands of C. F. Francis, who is still the proprietor.
When a postoffice was established here, Lewis
Piney was made the first postmaster. The Roman
Catholic congregation erected a church edifice within the
Schools.—It was not long after the settlement
had become general that the settlers realized the
necessity for educating their children. It was a serious
problem they had to solve, one we can little understand in
this day and age. A beginning was made by holding school
in various homes, among them we. might mention the homes
of Robert Houston and William
Skillen. William Wright and C. Wyatt
were early teachers here. The teachers in that day and for
many years afterward, boarded around with the different
families who had children in school. When the growth of
population had been sufficient to warrant it, plans were
made for the erection of a school building. These plans
were carried out in 1827 or .1828, with the erection of a
building in section 18, a rude log structure. As time
passed, the progressive, element of the people saw that
new and adequate buildings were erected in different parts
of the township, which was divided into different school
districts. Further data in regard to the schools of
Loramie township may be found in the chapter on Education.
Churches.—In the main, it was a God fearing
class of citizens who took up their residence in Loramie
township, people used to the refining influences of church
work, and it was not long before little gatherings for
worship, were being held in various homes. Gradually they
became segregated into little. groups of this denomination
and the other, generally according .to the faith to which
they were reared, until church organizations were
perfected and still later churches built.
A Methodist Episcopal church was founded in 1825
and as a branch of the Piqua Methodist Episcopal church,
by Rev. Levi White and John
Woodney, in the home of Thomas Wyatt.
Abner Wyatt was the first class leader. Until
1832, meetings were held in the homes of Thomas
Wyatt, Henry Harp and Richard
Stone, and in that year a hewed log house was erected
in section 17, and was dedicated in December, 1836,
by Rev. James Findley. In 1854 a
frame church was built at Mt. Jefferson, in which services
were held for a number of years.
The Mt. Jefferson Presbyterian church was
organized December 31, 1848,. by Rev. J. A. Meeks,
of Piqua, Rev. W. B. Spencer of Sidney, and
Elder William Linn of Piqua. John G. Hunter was
ordained the first ruling elder on that date. The original
members of the society were: John G. and Charlotte
Hunter; James and Jane Harper,
Brazillai and Abigail Gray, Eliza
A. Young, Margaret Blackwood, Catherine Young, Ann Diltz,
Mary Diltz, Elizabeth Diltz, J. W. Hunter and Maria
Hunter. A brick church was built at Mt. Jefferson,
and was dedicated Januarys, 1850, by Rev. Thomas Elcock,
who served about two years as pastor. The church has
maintained its organization up to the present time and is
a potent factor in the religious life of the community.
The Mt. Jefferson Christian.church was organized
in 1849 by Elders Caleb Wooley and
James Fahnestock, and had originally eight
members, as follows: Frederick Everly,
Jesse Ellis, Jephtha M. Wyatt and
wife, Jesse D. Elliott and wife, and John
Hughes and wife. In 1852 a frame church
building was erected at Mt. Jefferson. This organization
is still flourishing.
The Beech Grove United Brethren church was
organized in the Apple schoolhouse about the year 1866, by
Rev. William Mittendorf, who was its
first minister. Reuben Schuler was the first
class leader. A church building. was erected on land
formerly owned by J. S. Apple, and was dedicated on
September 5, 1869. The first members of the congregation
were Reuben Schuler and wife,
Jacob Hengle and wife, and
Anthony August and wife. The church flourished
for a number of years but. is not now in existence.
The St. James German Reformed church was built
in section 7, and was dedicated September 14, 1881, by
Revs. Shaw and Weaver. The congregation
had been organized by Rev. Jacob Weaver as
early as 1867, but no building had been erected in which
to worship. The first members were: Christian
Harmony and wife; George
Singer, his wife and three children;
George Arent and wife; George
Sherer and wife; and J. Lindsey and wife.
This church also has gone out of existence.
St. Remy Congregation, Russia.—In the early part
of the present century a colony of immigrants from France,
Alsace, and Loraine settled in the western part of Shelby
and eastern part of Darke counties, forming what is now
known as Frenchtown, Versailles and Russia. These early
settlers, true to the ancient faith, resolved to build a
house of worship, to honor God after the custom of their
fathers. This first church, known as St. Walbert's church,
was situated one and a half miles northeast of the then
Jacksonville, now Versailles. The ancient site is now used
as the cemetery of St. Denis church, Versailles. It was
the parish church of the three settlements. Soon, however,
it became necessary to provide for better accommodations.
The Catholics of Russia resolved to form a parish and
build a church, under the direction of the Rev. L.
Navaron, who continued to administer to their
spiritual needs as their first pastor. The new church of
logs was dedicated to St. Remy, the apostle of France, and
in it for the first time on the 15th of June, 1854, was
celebrated with great ceremonies the first holy communion
of children and confirmation administered by the Most
Rev. Archbishop Durcell, on the 26th of the same
month. The congregation continued to increase and soon the
erection of a new and more spacious edifice became
necessary.. In 1869 a large and imposing brick church was
built under the direction of the Rev. C. Berard,
and again after some years it became necessary to erect a
new and still more spacious edifice because growing number
of Catholics. The present beautiful church was begun in
1891 under, the direction of the Rev. Nicholas Pairy,
and was completed in 1892, and is one of the most imposing
and beautiful structures of the archdiocese. It is built
in purely Roman styler and is the pride of the
congregation. The present pastor is Rev. F. Kruskamp.
St. Michael's Catholic Church, Ft. Loramie, O.—Berlin
was constituted a parish in 1838, at which time about 40
families were registered. Some German families had already
been here for several years, and when the canal was
constructed the population materially increased, many
families coming here from Cincinnati and other cities.
About that time a log church was erected and occasionally
a priest came from Minster, read mass, baptized children,
solemnized marriages and interred the dead. The priests of
the society of "The Precious Blood" labored at Minster, to
which place the Berlin catholics frequently went to attend
services. In 1840 the parish of Berlin embraced over 100
families. They continued to worship in the log church
until 1849, at which time a brick church, 60 by 30 feet,
ground dimensions, was constructed, and hung with a
700-pound bell. But the season of 1849-50 proved trying to
the new community, for an epidemic of cholera broke out,
which within two months, swept away 28 persons, some 200
dying from the same fell disease at Minster.
The plague, however, ran its course and the people
resumed neglected undertakings. The new church was
dedicated and the services of Rev. Augustus Berger,
of the Grand Duchy, were secured by the congregation.
Under his care the new priest's house was built. He was
succeeded in 1857 by Rev. Henry Muckerheide, of
Oldenberg, who labore'd here until 1863, with great zeal
and ability. He was succeeded by Rev. M. Anton Meyer,
of Canton Basel, of Switzerland, who had an addition of 20
feet made to the church, and a few years later carried the
construction of. a schoolhouse to completion. In 1873, on
account of failing health, he resigned from active labor
in this field.
In that year, 1873, the institution of the "Fathers of
the Holy Spirit" was abrogated in Germany, and
Archbishop Purcell, wrote to the Rev. General chief of
the society to procure some priests for this country.
Accordingly, in January, 1874, four priests and twelve lay
brothers of the society left Paris for the United States,
among whom was Rev. William Bigot, who became
pastor of Berlin parish, this county. He had seen arduous
service during the Franco-Prussian war in ministering to
the wounded soldiers, and in performing other important
offices, for which services the French government had
conferred upon him the Cross of Chivalry, the Legion of
Honor and the Cross of Merit. He reached Berlin, Shelby
county, O., January 20, 1874, and here he found plenty of
work awaiting him. Old debts amounting to $700 had to be
paid, the priest's house to be repaired; and the holy
vessels to be renewed. All this was readily done, but the
parish needed a new church, an enterprise which the
congregation did not yet feel ready to undertake.
Father Bigot himself gave a year's salary for the
purchase of a 3,800 pound bell; but a new tower was needed
for the bell, and a new church for the tower. By 1879
conditions had become more favorable and it was resolved
to build. It was decided that, over and above the manual
labor the members could perform, the building should not
cost over $30,000. There already existed a fund of $4,000
for the purpose and a nine days' collection throughout the
parish brought in $16,000 more. The collection for the
year 1881.brought $8,000, which, added to a pew rent
surplus fund of $2,000, raised the aggregate to $30,000
before the completion of the church. Aside from this
individual gifts were received, such as a stained glass
window or a figure. One family contributed $800 for St.
Mary's altar, while many others gave in a quiet manner,
something over the regular subscription. By the 12th of
October, 1879, the foundation was completed and on that
date the Most Reverend Archbishop laid the cornerstone
with imposing ceremonies.
The consecration ceremonies took place on Sunday,
October 2, 1881, the Most Rev. William H.
Elder presiding. The inhabitants had previously
decorated their houses, and on Saturday afternoon the
highly venerable consecrator was met at the boundary of
the parish by forty young men mounted on horses and was by
them received and escorted to Berlin, to the accompaniment
of pealing bells and a salute fired by cannon. The
procession passed under triumphal arches. Soon after the
arrival of the Rt. Rev. Bishop the relics destined for the
high altar in the new church were transferred and carried
over in solemn procession, in which all Berlin
participated, to the old church, and there set to view
during the night for reverence by the faithful. At 4.00 A.
M. on Sunday morning the holy masses began, and at 6.00 A.
M. the solemn and imposing ceremonies of the consecration
began and were continued until after ten o'clock, four
priests being present. After the consecration the Most
Rev. Archbishop celebrated a pontifical high mass,
assisted by the clergy, deacons and other officials
present. The Rev. N. Nickols then ascended
the pulpit and preached the festal sermon in the German
language, after which the Most Rev.
Archbishop made an address to the congregation. In the
afternoon solemn vespers were held, after which the
General vicar P. Otto Jair,
O. S. R, preached. During the pontifical high mass the
Maennerchor of Piqua, sang, and during vespers, the church
choir of the congregation. At the close of vespers the
festivities closed with the singing of the Te Deum;
St. Michael's church is a really magnificent
structure. It is built in the Italian-Gothic style. Four
slender pillars alternately divide the interior into three
naves. The decorations are rich and the glass painting of
the windows magnificent. The side windows contain
respectively paintings of St. Augustine and St. Boniface.
Of the fourteen other windows five are in fresco painting,
while upon the remaining are represented St. John the
Baptist, the most blessed Virgin Mary, St. Anna, St.
Elizabeth, St. Catharina, St. Henricus, St. Anthony, St.
Lawrence and the child Jesus. The three altars are
masterpieces, namely: the high altar, whose table is
supported by six small pillars. The fields between the
pillars are filled up with emblems, of which the middle
one contains the book with seven seals with the lamb. The
tabernacle has richly ornamented folding doors; above
these is a niche for the ostentation of the Most Holy
Sacrament, beside which two worshipping angels are
standing under canopies. The altar picture is the
crucifixion group in a niche under a canopy which
terminates in turrets with buttresses and finials richly
provided with carved ornaments. The side fields contain
the statues of both apostle chiefs, likewise under
canopies, with richly articulated tower and pyramid.
Beside the altar there are placed on both sides pedestals
for worshipping angels. Both of the side altars (St.
Mary's and St. Joseph's altars) are" wrought
correspondingly with the high altar, and contain in the
chief respectively St. Mary's and St. Joseph's statue. The
St. Mary's altar contains in the side niches the statues
of St. Rosa and St. Theresa. The altar table, decorated in
the Gothic style, contains the statue St. Mary. The St.
Joseph's altar contains in the side niches the statues
St. Francis Xavier and St. Alois; the altar table the
signature "St. Joseph" Pulpit and communion table are held
in like style and are splendid works. Likewise is the
organ, in its outward appearance corresponding with the
building style of the church held in rich Gothic. The
building is 150 by 65 feet and represents a cost of over
$40,000. It is numbered among the most beautiful churches
in all America. The present pastor of St. Michael's is
Rev. Anthony Moeller.
McLean township, which lies on
the west side of the county, where its boundary is
Auglaize county, has Cynthian township as its nearest
neighbor on the south, Van Buren and Turtle Creek
townships on the east and Van Buren township and Auglaize
county on the north. In answer to petition made to the
county commissioners, the order for its organization was
issued March 1, 1834, the legal description being as
follows: Beginning at the county line between Darke and
Shelby counties, where the old Indian boundary line made
at the Greenville Treaty Conference, in 1795 —intersects
said county line, and running thence with said Indian
boundary line in an easterly direction to the southeast
corner of section 8, in town 8 south, range 5 east; thence
north with the section line to the county line between
Shelby and Allen (Auglaize) counties; thence west with the
said line to northwest corner of Shelby county; thence
south and west with the west boundary line of Shelby
county to the place of beginning; and the board orders
that said township be known and designated by the name of
SURFACE AND DRAINAGE
The surface of McLean township
is generally level, the soil is easily worked and
agriculture flourishes here. The Loramie reservoir,
covering an area of about 6,000 acres, is located .mainly
in McLean township, about 1,000 acres being in Van Buren.
This reservoir is formed by the damming of Loramie creek
and constitutes a feeder for the Miami and Erie canal,
which traverses the township from north to south. Loramie
creek, flowing from Dinsmore township, waters a large
section and Mill creek and Second run have afforded ample
outlet for drainage.
McLean township was mainly
settled by Germans. They brought with them to what was a
primeval wilderness, their home-making qualities, their
thrifty habits and plodding industry, and found their
reward in the possession of. land that responded to their
cultivation, and an independence that they could never
have secured in Germany. Not all who have built up McLean
township, however, came from that country, for there are
many names that proclaim other native lands, but at the
present day they are all so thoroughly American that no
difference is noted. Perhaps politics have interested the
residents here to a larger extent than in some other
sections and a few early election statistics may be of
In the state election of 1850, ninety-three votes were
cast, seventy-nine of these being for the democratic
candidate for governor, Reuben Wood. At the
election in 1851 which was for the adoption or rejection
of the new constitution and for or against the sale of
intoxicating liquors, the vote for license stood 118, five
votes being cast against. In the presidential election of
1852, 122 votes were cast for the democratic electors and
twenty-eight for file whig electors. In 1864 the
democratic electors received 219 votes and the republican
electors 20 votes.
No section of the county has
been more interested in the spread of education than has
McLean and as early as 1850 the trustees of the township
divided it into six school districts, the board consisting
of Henry Whermann. Joseph Sherman
and Philip Hoffman, Henry Sherman
being township clerk in 1850 when this division was made.
The officers serving as members of the boards of education
in the different special school districts in McLean
township in 1811-12 are:
Berlin Special School District for 1911: John Borger,
president; Ferdinand C. Arkenberg, treasurer; J.
B. Ratermann, clerk and Adolph Ratermann
and John Seger. In 1912 the same president
and treasurer served,. Bernard Aselage
becoming clerk and Henry Wendler and John
Seger being the other members.
Sherman Special School District: John Seigel,
president; Clemens Wolke, treasurer;
Adolph Sherman, clerk, and Henry
Ernst, W. J. Meyer and Barney
Ernst, no change being made in 1912 except that
Bernard Barhorst became a member.
Walkup Special School District: Charles
Winner, president; Henry Sturwold,
treasurer; Henry Borchers, clerk; and
Anton Hilgefbrt and Joseph Poeppelman,
for 1911, the same president and treasurer serving in
1912, with John Holthaus, clerk and Anton
Hilgefort and Fred Broermann,
Deiter Special School District for 1911-12: Anton
Riethmann, president; Henry Schnitmeyer,
treasurer;. Stephen Schmitmeter, clerk; and
Herman Berning, Clem. Prenger,
Anthony Wolfe and Bernard Knob.
Dirksen Special School District for 1911 had Bernard
Seger for president; August Schmiesing
for treasurer; Henry Fortman for clerk, with
Bernard Brandewie, Frank Bornhorst
and J. Henry Albers as members. The same body with
the addition of Clem. Hoying served in 1912.
Further school statistics may be found in the chapter on
history can easily recall the annals of the French and
Indian war and of the military maneuvres which made this
section, in 1756, a battle ground and many yet living can
remember the tales of their grandfathers of the building
and occupancy of old Fort Loramie, which was situated less
than one mile from the site of the present village of the
name formerly known as Berlin, and later as Loramie, for
which the name Fort Loramie has been recently substituted.
This village was surveyed December 2, 1837. arid all its
lots are 4 by 8 rods except fractional ones. Its principal
streets are Main, Walnut, Water, Elm and High. It is
situated on the Miami and Erie canal. Not far away flows
Loramie creek, the mouth of which is below Lockington,
south of the county line. Many lines of business are
successfully carried on here and the people in general are
The following is a list of business enterprises at Fort
Loramie: August Wise, saw-mill; John
Bramlage, flour-mill; Lorainie Banking Company,
established in v-1904, B. J. Wuehker president,
J. D. Inderrieden vice-president, A. F. Ratermann
cashier, W. J. Sherman assistant cashier;
Willmann Bros., general merchandise; J. P.
Inderrieden, hardware, implements and lumber;
Barney Krampe, implements, stoves and ranges; John
Albers and Company, hardware and lumber; Henry
Tecklenburg, hotel and livery; W. J. Borchers,
general merchandise and livery; C. C. Wagler, brick
manufacturer; Gregor Fleckenstein, tile
manufacturer; Bernard Danzig furniture and
undertaking; Herman Pleiman, groceries; W. H.
Quirilin, drugs; Clem Daniel, groceries;
John H. Romie, saddlery; M. Gregor, meat
market; Herman Gaier, bakery and groceries;
Peter Rieger, shoe store; J. H. Behrns,
tailoring; Peter Krampe, blacksmithing; John
Seger, carpentering; Carl Freitag & Son,
masonry; Peter Kessler, cider mill; Albert
Anthony, barber; Peter Kiefer, plastering;
Mat Brucken, saloon; Ben Vogelsang, saloon;
John Tecklenburg, saloon; Paul Borger,
poultry; Joseph Henke, poultry; Wm. H.
Niederkorn, poultry; Kramer and Dickman,
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE
On November 18, 1837, W. C. Ayres became a,
justice of the peace in McLean township and the record
from then until 1911 is as follows:
|1841 June 8 - Edwards,
Isaac, resigned May 25, 1842
1842 June 18 - Hauss, Jacob, resigned Oct. 14, 1843
1845 Nov. 11 - Pilliod, Frances
1846 Oct. 24 - Hayes, Alexander H.
1850 Jan. 18 - Edwards, William A.
1853 Jan. 22 - Edwards, William A.
1856 Jan. - Mendenhall, Joseph
1857 Apr. 14 - Walkup, John, resigned June 2, 1857
1857 Oct. 21 - Ginn, Andrew
1859 Apr. 12 - Rottinghaus, J. B.
1860 Nov. 10 - Kemper, Milton
1862 Apr. 22 - Rottinghaus, J. B.
1863 Apr. 17 - Ginn, William
1865 Apr. 14 - Rottinghaus, J. B.
1866 Apr. 11 - Menke, Henry (refused to serve)
1866 Jun. 24 - Ginn, William
1868 Apr. 13 - Sherman, Henry
1869 Apr. 12 - Barber, J. W.
|1872 Oct. 12 -
1875 Oct. 20 - Rottinghaus, Henry
1877 Apr. 20 - Brown, David K.
1878 Oct. 14 - Raterman, Joseph
1880 May 26 - Rottinghaus, Henry
1881 Oct. 14 - Hasebrook, Albert
1884 - Hasebrook, Albert
1886 - Rottinghaus, J. H.
1887 - Hasebrook, Albert
1889 - Rottinghaus, J. H.
1890 - Quinlin, William H.
1893 - Quinlin, William H.
1895 - Rottinghaus, J. H.
1896 - Rottinghaus, J. H.
1898 - Rottinghaus, J. H.
1899 - Barhorst, John
1901 - Rottinghaus, J. H.
1902 - Barhorst, John
1904 - Rottinghaus, J. H.
1906 - Barhorst, John
1910 - Barhorst, John
1911 - Sherman, Adolph
The present township clerk is
William H. Niederkorn. Trustees—Fred Holthaus,
Joseph Boltheimer, and Clem Daniel.
There are two fraternal orders that have lodges in
McLean township, namely: the Knights of St. John, having
50 members and the Catholic Knights of America, with 12
McClean township has two churches, Emanuel Reformed
church, Rev. Albert Grether, pastor;
and St. Michael's Catholic church, Rev. Anthony
Located in the southern part
of the county, with its southern boundary touching Miami
county, lies Orange township, which is one of the best
improved sections of the county, the well tilled farms and
general air of prevailing thrift giving evidence of
successful agriculture. It has an area of about
twenty-three square miles and embraces parts of town 1 and
2, of. range 12 and 13. Perry and Green townships lie
along its eastern line and Clinton and Washington
townships, separated from it by the Great Miami river, on
the north and west.
Orange township was formed from Perry township. On
September 13, 1819, the county commissioners, at their
meeting held at Hardin, ordered that Perry township should
be thus divided: a line running through the middle of the
thirteenth range should have the southern division
organized as a new township which should be called Orange,
and that decision made Orange township include all the
territory embraced within the present limits of Orange and
Green townships. At a meeting held at Hardin by the
commissioners, March 7, 1820, it was ordered that all that
part of Orange township that is east of the west tier of
sections in the second township of both ranges 12 and 13,
be erected into a new township and that it should be given
the name of Green.
SOIL AND WATER
"The surface of Orange township is generally undulating
and along the water courses somewhat broken and hilly. The
soil is well adapted to the growing of grains and grasses,
consisting of gravel and clay loam, while the gravel beds
have supplied sufficient gravel for the construction of
many miles of fine roads. Along the banks of the Great
Miami river there is an abundance of limestone, which has
been worked more or less at different times. This township
is well watered, principally by the Great Miami river, on
the north and west side, and additionally by Brush and
Rush creeks. There are also numerous fine springs.
In 1806 the Cannon family
located on section 16, this being the first white
settlement made within the present limits of Orange
township. In the spring of 1809 came John
Phillips and William Berry and in the
fall of the same year came Daniel Valentine
and Edward Jackson. Still others, who
settled here prior to the War of 1812, were Thomas
Young, Abram Glossmire, John
Matthews, Luke Norris, John
Gilbert and Harman Dildine, and Judge
Francis located here very soon after the close of
the war. The first frame house was built by William
Berry, who also erected the first flouring mill,
and it is known that flour and meal came from this mill
for General Harrison's troopers on their
march to the Northwest. This was the only mill within a
radius of fifty miles. With the. outbreak of the War of
1812, the settlers found that the heretofore friendly
Indians had-become hostile to the settlers and hence it
was deemed advisable to build block houses in which the
families could take shelter in case of a sudden alarm. One
was accordingly built near the Berry mill and another on
the farm of Edward Jackson, who later built
the first brick house that was ever put up in Orange
township. On March 17, 1811, the first white child was
born in the settlement-—Isaac Young, who lived to an
Orange township people soon showed interest in
education and religion, the first schoolhouse being built
on the farm of Thomas Young. The earliest
teachers were Joseph Rollands and James
B. McKenney, while Edward Jackson
opened his house for church purposes in 1815, services
being held by an itinerant Methodist preacher, the Rev.
John Furrow. Without question, he had a
large and deeply interested congregation. Shortly
afterward preaching followed at the home of Daniel
Valentine, by Revs. John McNemer and
United Brethren Church—The Valentines and the
Youngs, prominent among the early settlers, had
left, reluctantly, their old church connection when they
came into this wilderness but very early began the
organization, of a United Brethren communion in the new
settlement. The members of this faith were scattered but
when the missionary preacher arrived he found a warm
welcome and left with an assurance that the faith was not
dead nor yet sleeping, only awaiting the time when the
believers could assemble together and form the nucleus
which, many years afterward, became the United Brethren
church at Kirkwood. The early meetings were held at the
houses of Daniel Valentine, Jacob
Boyer and others until 1844, when a schoolhouse that
had been erected on the present site of Kirkwood was
utilized. In 1847 a frame edifice was constructed on the
land of R. W. Valentine, and George
Warvel was the name of the first preacher. It was used
as a place of worship until 1876, when a more commodious
church building costing $2,500 was put up at Kirkwood..
The present pastor is Rev. Mayne, of Lockington.
Wesley Chapel—The Methodist Episcopal church
early sent missionaries to visit the settlers in Orange
township. In 1833 regular meetings were held in the
private houses of the members of this faith, by Rev.
Arza Brown, and in 1840 the society built a brick
structure, near the Miami county line, which became known
as Wesley Chapel. Among the early members of this society
were Henry Rhodehamel and wife, Father Kerns and wife,
and Jacob Tabler and Amos Gray, with
their families. This society did good Christian work in
the community until a few years ago, when it disbanded.
Spring Creek Baptist Church—The society
originally known as the Salem church was organized as
early as 1816. Like other struggling religious bodies its
first meetings were held in private houses but later a log
house was built on Spring creek and services were held
there, the membership including the pioneer families of
the neighborhood and also some from Piqua. As the
society grew it was found desirable to have separate
church bodies and in August, 1840, measures were taken for
the organization of the Spring Creek Baptist church, the
first pastor being Elder Eaton and the
second, Elder Fuson. During the latter's
pastorate a church edifice was erected. A number of pious
and zealous elders succeeded. In. 1867, during the
pastorate of Elder Daniel Bryant, a new church was
built, it being located north of the Shelby and Miami
company's line on a lot presented to the society by
John F. Hetzler, in which services were subsequently
held. This church has maintained its organization up to
the present time, its present pastor being Rev. John T.
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE
The following is a list of the justices of the peace
who have served in Orange township from 1819 until 1912:
|1819-22-31 - Francis,
1832 - Valentine, John W.
1834 - Cooper, Lewis
1835 Apr. 4 - Valentine, J. W.
1836 Dec. 8 - Mount, Sexton
1837 Nov. 18 - Higgins, John V.
1840 Apr. 16 - Wykoff, John H.
1840 Nov. 9 - Carey, W. A.
1843 Apr. 11 - Wykoff, J. H.
1843 Oct. 25 - Carey, W. A.
1846 Apr. 22 - Wykoff, J. H.
1846 Oct. 24 - Mendenhall, William M.
1847 Dec. 18 - Carey, W. A.
1854 Apr. 14 - Carey, W. A.
1855 Feb. 23 - Shinn, William, Jr.
1858 Apr. 15 - Cooper, Lewis
1860 Apr. 7 - Buchanan, D.
1861 Apr. 22 - Higgins, R. P.
1863 Apr. 17 - Carey, W. A.
1864 Apr. 23 - Higgins, R. P.
1866 Apr. 11 - Carey, W. A.
1867 Apr. 5 - Higgins, R. P.
1869 Apr. 12 - Brading, J. B.
1872 Apr. 5 - Carey, W. A
|.1873 Apr. 11 - Hetzler,
1875 Apr. 9 - Carey, W. A.
1876 Apr. 8 - Higgins, J. G.
1878 Apr. 8 - frazer, George
1879 Apr. 17 - Cofield Levi
1880 Apr. 14 - Redenbo, Isaac
1885 - Valentine, Milton
1886 - Redenbo, I. N.
1888 - Valentine, Milton
1889 - Housen, H. L.
1891 - Bown, F. W.
1892 - Walter, Leander
1894 - Brown, F. W.
1895 - Wiley, George W.
1897 - Higgins, F. R.
1898 - Vorlss, G. William
1900 - Fulton, W. B.
1901 - Stockstill, P. O.
1903 - Rhinehart, A. D.
1905 - Stockstill, P. O.
1908 - Eisner, Ed
1908 - Doak, James
1911 - Stockstill. P. O.
In 1912 the trustees of Orange
township are: S. T. Buirley, H.: W. Gaven and John Beaman,
and the township clerk is James W. Wiley, of Sidney.
Kirkwood, a small village of
about sixty-six inhabitants and formerly called Pontiac,
was laid out in May, 1868, and is located in section 28,
township 1, range 12 M. R. S. It lies six miles south of
Sidney on the C. H. & D. Railroad. The first building was
erected here in 1863, by G. W. Holley, and was a
grain warehouse. Before engaging in the business, however,
Mr. Holley sold to D. K. Gillespie, who
began buying grain in 1864. In 1866 a store building was
erected by H. S. Gillespie and Thomas McKee,
which firm was succeeded by J. G. & Andrew
Robinson, among later proprietors being Andrew
Robinson (alone) and J. L. McKee. The village,
which was originally known as Pontiac; in 1879 took the
name in honor of D. Kirkwood Gillespie, who was
proprietor of the grain elevator here-R. G. Knox
keeps the general store and post office in Kirkwood. There
is also a warehouse in Kirkwood owned by Adlard and
Persinger of Sidney.
Perry township is one of
the original townships of this county, it having been
organized as a part of Miami county, June 10, 1817, two
years prior to the organization of Shelby county. Its
early and subsequent boundaries may be described in
general as. follows: In 1819 Perry township embraced all
the territory now included within the townships of Perry,
Orange, Green, Salem, Jackson and a part of Clinton. In
September of the above year Orange township was separated
and in March, 1820, Green township was separated, from
Orange. In 1825 the county commissioners made entry as
follows concerning the boundaries of Perry township:
Perry township begins on the southeast corner of
section 4, town 2, range 13, east line of Shelby county;
thence north with said line to the northeast corner of the
county; thence west with the county line to the line
between section 29 and 30, town 1, range 7; thence south
with the line between the said sections; continued on to
the Miami river and across: said river; thence with the
river down to the line between sections 10 and 9, town 1,
range 13 thence with last said line east to continue on to
the place of beginning. In March, 1826, a portion of
the above described land became a part of Clinton
township, and in June, 1826, the north tier of sections of
Green township was attached to Perry, and all that part of
Perry lying north of the Miami river was created a new
township to which was given the name of Salem, and in
June, 1837, all of fractional township No. 1, range 14,
which belonged to Perry, was attached to Salem township,
which included that part of said fractional township lying
south of the river, and this, in 1854, once more became a
part of Perry township.
Surface, Soil and Drainages—With-soil of rich,
sandy clay and black loam, the early pioneers to this
section found great promise of agricultural success as the
surface of the land is generally level, its slight
undulations providing for satisfactory drainage, which is
toward the north, the boundary line in that direction
being the Great Miami river. Other streams of importance
are Big and Little Indian creek, Mosquito or Tawawa creek
and Turkey Foot creek, the last named watering the central
part of the township. Corn, wheat and grasses do
remarkably well in Perry township and the, prosperity of
the agricultural sections is further indicated by the
general intelligence and progressiveness of the citizens.
Here may be found some of the best constructed and best
kept roads in the county and it is no unfamiliar sight to
see on them the automobiles of the farmers. The C. C. C. &
I. (Big Four) Railroad crosses the township from east to
west. The township has good schools, with modern
equipments, further data in regard to which may be found
in the chapter on education.
Early Settlement—In February, 1814, David
Henry located in section 28 on the bank of
Mosquito? or Tawawa creek, and he was the first settler
within the present limits of Perry township. In the
following year he was joined by Samuel and
William Robinson with their families, and in
1816 came William Marrs, and prior to the
organization of the county in 1819, George
Chiles, Charles Johnston, Thomas
Wilkinson, Peter Musselman,
William Richardson, Charles Weeks
and Benjamin Manning had established homes
here. At that time primeval conditions still prevailed
over this part of the county, the settlers visiting each
other and making their neecssary trips to mill mainly by
way of Indian trails, and it may well be believed that
when the Sidney and Urbana road, the first in the
township, was completed, that the pioneers felt that a
great want was supplied. As to mills the first one built
was of logs, on Mosquito creek, a fine location which is
still utilized as a mill site, and was erected by
Charles Mason, a colored man. The second
flouring mill was erected by William Pepper.
David Henry, the first settler, not only put
up the first log house but also the first frame one. The
lumber that William Marrs made use of in the
building of the first frame barn, was cut in the township
and sawed in Peter Musselman's mill on
Mosquito creek. Henry C. Line became locally
envied, perhaps, as he was able to build a brick house in
1836. Into the Henry family came the first
births, David and Sally Henry, twins, who were born
February 17, 1815.
From the very beginning the township, as a concrete
body, recognized its responsibilities and in making
provision for adequate government, selected representative
citizens for officials. The list of those who have served
in the office of justice of the peace from 1817 until
1910, inclusive, as follows:
|1817 - Henry, David
1820 - Morrison, George
1821 - Henry, David
1824 - Henry, David, resigned 1826 Apr.1
1826 - Burditt, Booth
1829 - Henry, David
1832 - Burditt, D. Henry & Booth
1834 - Johnston, Charles
1837 Apr. 28 - Garver, Joseph
1838 Apr. 30 - Burditt, Booth
1840 Apr. 16 - Wagoner, Benjamin
1841 Apr. 16 - Burditt, Booth
1843 Apr. 15 - Hathaway, Eleazer
1843 Sept. 2 - DeWeese, John M.
1846 Apr. 22 - Johnston, Charles
1846 Oct. 24 - Hornbeck, Simon
1849 Apr. 10 - Johnston, Charles
1849 Nov. 3 - Henry, David
1852 Apr. 17 - Reid, Wm. R. (resigned May 24, 1852)
1852 June 26 - Johnston, Charles
1852 Oct. 24 - Slagle, Charles
1855 June 27 - Pepper, Marshall
1855 Nov. 1 - Forsythe, G. R.
1858 Apr. 16 - Pepper, Marshall
1858 Oct. 19 - Forsythe, G. R.
1861 Apr. 22 - Dunlap, Wm.
1861 Oct. 17 - Pepper, Marshall
|1864 Apr. 23 - Kizer,
Thomas (resigned Feb. 2, 1865)
1865 Feb. 22 - Matthias, John
1868 Feb. 12 - J. V. Wilson
1868 Apr. 13 - Isaac Speer
1871 Apr. 11 - Isaac Speer
1874 Apr. 10 - J, V. Wilson, Marshall Pepper
1877 Apr. 17 - G. W. Clark; Pepper, Marshall
1877 Apr. 20 - Clark, G. W.
1880 Apr. 19 - Davidson, A. J.
1880 Apr. 14 - Clark, G. W.
1886 - Ferree, J. D.
1886 - Clark, G. W.
1889 - Ferree, J. D.
1889 - Cannon, S. B.
1892 - Cost, Jacob
1892 - Cannon, S. B.
1895 - Clark, G. W.
1895 - Robinson, T. J.
1897 - Jackson, C. J.
1898 - Rugh, R. J.
1898 - Clark, G. W.
1901 - Cannon, S. B.
1903 - Struhle, A. J.
1904 - Hahn, George E.
1908 - Hahn, George E.
1910 - Cannon, S. B.
The following citizens make up
the board of trustees of Perry township in 1912:
Charles Peppers, Walker Zimpfer
and M. N. Lucas, N. C. Eriders of Pemberton
being township clerk. There are many family names familiar
in this section at the present day that appear in the
earliest township records and they may be recognized in
the following list of those who paid road tax in 1818;
James Bryan, John Bryan, Adam
Conuts, William Drake, James
Dingman, Jr., Daniel V. Dingman,
John Francis, Caleb Goble, John Hathaway, Jesse
Jackson, William Johnson, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Edward
Jackson, Alexander Jackson, Elisha Kirtland, George
Morrison, Elijah Montoney, William Minnear, Abraham
Minnear, William Morris, Luke Norris, Rodham Talbott,
Daniel Vandemark, in District No. 1, of which James
Dingman was supervisor. Those in District No. 2, of
which Asa Hubble was supervisor, were:
George Chiles, Asa Hubble, John Hunt, David Henry, Charles
Johnston, William Marrs, John Medaris, Peter Princehouse,
Henry Princehouse, William and Samuel
Robinson, Mathias Sturm, Henry Sturm and Henry
Sturm, Jr., G. Thompson, Charles Weeks, John Mathews
and Peter Musselman.
The present township clerk is N. C. Enders, of
Pemberton. Trustees— Charles Peppers, Walker
Zimpfer and M. N. Lucas.
Villages—The village of Pemberton, the leading
commercial center of the township, is situated seven miles
east of Sidney and derived its name through brotherly
devotion, Civil Engineer Pemberton,
officially connected with the construction of the C. C. C.
& I. Railroad through the county, securing this honor for
his brother, General Pemberton, a
distinguished Confederate officer during the Civil war.
The land was surveyed in 1852, sixty-four lots being
included, and was platted by Benjamin C.
Wilkerson, John H. and Leonard T. Elliott
and George R. Forsythe, as proprietors.
Calvin Morris opened the first grocery store,
Isaac Wilkinson and Irvin Nutt,
the first dry goods store, William Johnston,
the first blacksmith shop, David Lemon, the
first wagon shop and J. V. Wilson, the first hotel.
Dr. Edward Stockton undoubtedly was the first
physician and the first postmaster was Joseph
Smith. At one time the town was the home of numerous
business enterprises. including grocery and dry goods
stores, drug store, grain elevator, sawmill. shingle
factory, butcher shop and concrete stone works. Some of
these industries still continue. The population is about
325, and includes a number of wealthy retired farmers.
There are now two grain elevators in Pemberton and one
other not far from the village. There is also a general
store and three groceries and restaurants, and two
blacksmith shops. Hain & Gebhardt
have a well drilling machine with which they are doing a
good business. J. H. Hickenbotham, of
Pemberton, has a threshing machine and sawmill.
The village of Pasco in the western part of the
township has a population of about fifty-two, with one
general store. In the vicinity are also a flour mill and a
Baptist Church—The Baptist
church has been a strong religious body in Perry township
since 1830, when the first society was organized with
eleven members (December 3) under the name of the Miami
church, by Rev. Willis Hance, Moses Frazer and
Moses Frazer, Jr. The first deacon was
Peter Kiser and among the first members
were: Peter Kiser, Catherine Kiser,
Michael Cox, Mary Jackson, Nancy Wilkinson and
Sarah Manning. House to house meetings were
held through the first five years, but in 1835 the
Baptists living near the dividing line of Shelby and Logan
counties united in the erection of a church edifice at
Quincy, in Logan county, and there the united congregation
attended until 1873, when the building was destroyed in a
great storm of that year. In 1874 the Shelby Baptists
built a church of their own at Pemberton, expending
$4,000, the membership at that time being seventeen. It
reached its highest point in membership in 1893, when
there were 206 members. At present there are 131. The
pastors have been Elders R. Duncan, E. Bunker,
S. M. Brower, A. J. Wriant, A. Snider, D. Bryant, F. J.
Sheppard, J. Ross, H. H. Witter, F. M. Taylor, L.
J. Baker, C. R. Sargent, W. H. Gallant, J. W. Hartpence
and G. L. Winters. The church maintains a well
attended Sabbath school.
Methodist Episcopal Church—The Methodists
organized a church society in Perry township in 1833,
Rev. Sims meeting Booth Burditt
and wife, George Pool and
wife, William Moore and wife, Marcus Peck
and wife and Mr. McVeigh and wife at the home
of Booth Burditt. This band of Christian
workers was small but very earnest and they continued to
meet for worship in private houses and in the schoolhouse
until 1843, when they erected a small frame church half a
mile north of Pemberton and the name of Indian Creek
church was adopted. In 1857 the Pemberton Methodist
Episcopal church was organized; it was remodelled in 1885
and again in 1912. It now has a membership of 125, with
Rev. Houser as pastor. A well conducted Sunday
school is maintained. This feature of work was started by
William McVeigh, in his own house, and he never
ceased to take a keen and active interest in it.
United Brethren Church—Unfortunately the
earliest records of this church body in Perry township
have not been preserved, but it is known that prior to
1820, perhaps in 1819, Rev. Jacob Antrim, on a
religious mission^ came to the home of Judge
David Henry and formed a class, Mrs.
Henry being a member of the same. In 1863 the church
membership had become strong enough to consider the
erection of a place of worship and when Samuel
Young donated land on Mosquito creek, a frame building
was erected thereon, known as Tawawa United Brethren
church. Among its leading members a generation ago were
the Peckhams, the Marrs and the Peppers.
The Pasco United Brethren church was organized in 1892 and
has a present membership of 150, with Rev. E. C.
Dr. W. M. Gaines ably
represents the medical profession in Perry township. Some
interesting facts in regard to the schools of the township
may be found in the chapter on education.
TABLE OF CONTENTS >
- History of Shelby County - Publ. 1913 -