| THIS township,
as may be readily conjectured, derives its name. "Richland," from the
general fecundity of its soil, a soil rich, not in the sense of
abounding in material possessions, but in being bountifully provided
with those nutritive qualities that yield to the diligent and prudent
tiller of the land a rich and generous return for his labors, and the
name suggested was in this wise: On April 4, 1835, two pioneers,
Conrad Wickiser and Charles Smith, were out "logging" in
the northwest quarter of Section 21, when the chain used in the work
happened to break, and becoming entangled in a spice bush, tore it up
by the roots, disclosing to their views a soil rich and promising.
Thereupon the two men resolved that the newly created township should
receive the name by which it has since been known. This
occurred, as already stated, in 1835, nearly half a century ago, in
which year the township was organized.
Richland is bounded on the north, for three miles from
east to west, by Ridge Township, and for the remaining two miles by
Hancock County; on the east by Salem Township; on the south for four
miles from east to west by Jackson Township, for the remaining mile by
Hardin County; on the west by Hancock County. Having already
spoken of the alimental properties of the soil, it can be safely
further said of Richland that it ranks among the foremost townships of
Wyandot County as an agricultural section, and as a field for stock
raising purposes it is not a whit behind. The township is
studded with prosperous farms, well drained (for the drains or ditches
here are most extensive, some of them spreading completely across the
township), incumbered with but little timber, and inhabited by a wide
awake, thriving and contented people.
The streams in this township
are not many, nor of any degree of magnitude, and their rarity is not
to be complained of as the soil is sufficiently saturated with
moisture to be independent of any sucyh outside sustentation.
There are only two roads in Richland that run in a direction other
than on the section or Congressional lines, or parallel with them.
Of these two roads, one leaves the southern line of Section 15, about
a quarter mile west of Whartonsburg, cuts off a corner of that
section, and leads northwest through Sections 16 and 17, into Hancock
County; the other, the Burlington & Mount Blanchard road, laid out in
March, 1835, dashes through Section 32 from Hardin County into Hancock
Township line as far as Section 11, where it unites with the road
first mentioned; one intersecting Sections 4, 9 and 16 as far as first
mentioned road; another intersects Sections 3, 10 and 15, terminating
at Whartonsburg; a fourth enters the township between Sections 1 and
2, leading to a mile north of Jackson Township; and a fifth runs along
the entire dividing line of Richland and Salem Townships. Of those
leading from east to west, there is one along the entire north line,
the first regularly laid out road in the township (1835); a second, a
mile further south, runs the entire width of the township; a third,
another mile southward, to within a mile and a half of Hancock County;
a fourth, another mile further south, reaches into Hancock County;
another mile, and a road is found traversing to a point half a mile
east of Hancock County; the sixth and seventh roads, exactly a mile
apart (and the sixth a mile from the fifth) lead through the entire
township. In addition to these are several short, what might be
termed "accommodation" roads.
The Cincinnati, Sandusky & Cleveland runs completely
through the township in a direction almost due northeast to southwest.
Entering from Ridge Township, it passes through Sections 1, 11, 14,
15, 22, 28 and 32, when it enters Hardin County. There is a
station at Whartonsburg, about the center of the township, and the
next nearest on that railway at Forest, Hardin County, and Carey, in
Crawford Township, this county.
"I hear the tread of pioneers,
Of nations yet to be,
The first low wash of waves, where soon
Shall roll a human sea." ~ Whittier.
The following brief mention
is made of a few of the early settlers who located in the township
immediately prior to or within nine or ten years after its
Dr. Samuel Pickett was born in Athens County,
Ohio, September 10, 1820. In 1830, his parents Samuel and
Charity Pickett, natives of Maryland and Virginia respectively,
came to and settled in what is now Richland Township, then part of
Hancock County. The Doctor was a leading citizen and a
celebrated hunter and trapper. Nathan Benjamin came in
1832, and settled on Section 20.
In 1833, Philip Cole settled on Section 17,
Joshua Cole on Section 2, and Charles Smith on Section 17.
William M. Benjamin was born in Washington
County, Ohio, June 1, 1804, son of Nathan and Mary Benjamin.
In 1834, he came to Wyandot County and settled in Richland Township,
where he purchased 160 acres of land in Section 28. He married,
in 1823, and had eight children. For thirty years he was a local
minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was prominently
connected with it.
Conrad Wickiser, a native of Germany, came to
Ohio with his family in 1810, settling in Perry County; from there
removed to Delaware County, and in 1834 to Richland Township, this
county, where he entered 10 acres of land. He was married to
Lydia Wicks, and had eleven children. His son, Albert
Wickiser, who was born February 24, 1808, lives in this
township, near the spot on which the father first settled.
About the same period came Charles Smith from
Delaware, who built a cabin on Section 17. Beers Roberts
came from same county and located on Section 17; then Ira Bristoll,
on Section 17; John James, on Section 1; Silas Burson,
on Section 1; James Cole, on Section 2; Abraham Cole on
Section 8; Harvey Chilson, on Section 13; Simeon Buell,
on Section 32.
In 1835 came Joshua Cole on Section 2;
Henry Southward, on Section 13; James Duddleson, on Section
4; Robert Reynolds, on Section 12. He married
Elizabeth Capenheffer and had nine children. James
Crites, born in Stark County, Ohio, November 9, 1816, came and
settled in Richland Township in 1836, entering 400 acres of land.
Some of those who came about that period or a little later are
David Anway, Joseph McClurg, John and Alexander Crider, John
Derringer, Henry Williams, David Armstrong, George Stansel, Benjamin
Carey, Dr. Adams, Jacob Striker, Robert Gibson and Isaac Burk.
In 1841, Solomon Spoon came from near
McCutchenville, this county, and settled in this township. He
was born in Perry County, Penn., April 28, 1802. Removing to New
York State be remained there until he emigrated westward, coming to
Ohio, a distance of 500 miles with an ox team. After remaining
one year near Cleveland, he moved to this county.
Isaiah Liles, a native of Chillicothe, born in
1818, bought in 1839 eighty acres of land where he now resides, but
did not move on it till 1842. Among other settlers may be named
George James, W. W. Duffield, David Morrison, Andrew and
George W. Reynolds.
Among the first settlers the
first wedding which took place in this township was in December, 1834,
celebrated at the residence of Conrad Wickiser (Section
21), the contracting parties being John Roberts and
Abigail Wickiser; the first birth was that of Maria
James, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Miller) James, on
the 1st day of March, 1835, in the northeast quarter of Section 1; and
the first death was that of Elijah Benjamin, a child
aged four years, who was killed December 25, 1834, by a tree, in the
northwest quarter of Section 28; he is buried in the Stradley
Graveyard, Delaware Township, Hancock County.
In the fall of 1838, James P. Ward created no
little sensation by bringing into the township the first buggy. The
first grist mill was built in 1855, by John and George Sterling at
Whartonsburg; they also erected the first saw mill in 1858. There
are now two saw mills in Martinsburg, one owned by John
Sterling, and the other by William Bristoll. The
first and only store was opened by James E. James in
Whartonsburg. Previous to this store coming into existence, settlers
had to go for their supplies, those in the southern part of the
township to Burlington, now Marseilles, or Mt. Blanchard, and those in
the more northern part to Big Spring and Old Tymochtee. The first
election was held April 6, 1835, in the northeast quarter of Section
4, at the house of James Duddleson. There were then
elected: Justices of the Peace, Silas Burson and
Charles Smith (both Whigs); Constables, John Wickiser
(Democrat) and James McCormack, (Whig); Trustees,
Conrad Wickiser (Democrat), Ira Bristoll (Democrat) and
James Duddleson (Whig); Treasurer, Abijah Smith
(Whig); Clerk, John W. Cole, (Whig); Fence Viewers, Robert
Reynolds (Whig), Silas Burson, (Whig), and
William Benjamin (Democrat); Overseers of Poor, Conrad
Wickiser (Democrat), Robert Reynolds (Whig) and
John James (Whig); Supervisors, Joshua Cole
and Charles Smith (both Whigs). On this occasion there
were thirteen votes polled, and several of the voters had not been in
this State one year. The first blacksmith shop was erected in 1835, in
the northeast quarter of Section 1, by Robert Reynolds,
and the first house was built in January, 1832, by Hescot
Pickett; it was of round logs, and 16x18 feet in dimensions.
Following were the owners of real and personal estate in Richland
Township in the year 1845:
OWNERS OF REAL ESTATE.
David Adams, David
Adams, Jr., David Anaway, Joseph Bumthacker, Jacob Barnard, Aaron F.
Burson, Ira Bristol, Silas Burson, Thomas Burson, Nathan Brown, Joshua
Brown, Peter O. Brown, Obed Brown, William Benjamin, George E. Brown,
Elijah Brown, Jacob Bowman, Jacob Bowman, Lindell Brown, James Bowman,
Oliver Batchelor, Lovina Beaver, William Bennett, Daniel Bennett, John
Barnhart, Elijah Barna, Margaret Batterson, John Case, William D.
Carlin, Philip Cole, Abijah Cole, Joshua Cole, Abraham Cole, David
Cole, Aaron Cole, William Corbin, William Crites, Jonas Crites, George
Crites, Lydia Crites, William Crites, Harvey Chilson, James Clark,
Benjamin Covey, Juda Chase, Charles C. Crandall, Daniel Daringer,
James Duddleson, Joshua M. Drake, Samuel Dunlap, Charles Ely, Harvey
Eldridge, Minerva Eastman, Bailey Fritter, Hiram Fuller, James Fisher,
Samuel Frahem, Abraham Fry, William Fort, Robert Gibson, David Gaskill,
Israel Hulse, David Hagerman, David Harrington, Harriet Hendricks,
Thomas Hershberger, Peter Hines, John Hines, George James, Simon
Jennings, James Kelly, David Kimball, Adam Kaln, John Krider, David
Kimmell, John Knisely, Joseph Kimmell, Alexander Krider, George Long,
Joseph H. Luce, David Moe, Peter Mikesell, Joseph McClurg, Jacob
Mucher, James McCormick, Mary Murray, John A. Morrison, Edward Miller,
James Mitchell, William Mansfield, Aaron Moore, Christian Motz, Henry
Neible, Patrick O'Neil, Albert Pangburn, James M. Phillips, Erastus
Pratt, Lowman Pratt, Abraham Parsell, John Pogg, John Quinn, Moss
Quinn, Robert Reynolds, Margaret Ratlidge, Joseph Richardson, State of
Ohio, Charles Smith, Paul Suber, Henry Suthard, George Stansil, George
Stansil, Jr., Michael Schwab, Jonathan Swihart, John Shall, John
Sager, Charles Steward, Morgan Savage, Joseph Stewart, Eli B. Sprague,
William Sutherland, Solomon Spoon, John Steward, Hezikiah Shaffer,
George Stansil, Peggy Thompson, James Thompson, Tarr & Kaln, Isaac B.
Turner, Martin Vocht, Jacob Wentz, Conrad Wickiser, James Ward,
Benjamin Ward, Jacob Wickiser, Albert Wickiser, Joseph H. Warner, J.
P. Ward, Edward Warner, John H Yambert, Adam Yambert, John Yambert,
John Young, Conrad Yarian, Joseph Yam.
Inlots from 13 to 24 inclusive of Jamestown were then owned by the
OWNERS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY.
Dr. David Adams (a practicing physician), David
Anaway, David Armstrong, William Benjamin, David Baird, William
Barker, Irwin Barnhart, Henry Broughf, Daniel Baughman, Ira Bristoll,
Silas Burson, Daniel M. Brown, Benjamin Carey, David Cole, James Cole,
Joshua Cole, Abraham Cole, Dam't Cole, William Corbin, Henry Crites,
George Crites, Jonas Crites, William Crites, John Case, James
Duddleson, Robert Gipson, David Hagerman, Isaac Hahn, George James,
Alexander Krider, Benjamin Koch, Joseph Kimmel], Michael Kimmell, John
Krider, Isaiah Liles, Jacob B. Mansfield, James McCune, Joseph McClurg,
Samuel Mann, John A. Morrison, C. D. Murray, Erastus Pratt, Hezekiah
G. Phelps, James Petty, Moses A. Quinn. Robert Reynolds, George
Stansell, Henry Southard, Daniel Snowfer, Solomon Spoon, Jacob
Stryker, Albert Wickiser, Henry Willard, Jacob Wentz, Benjamin Ward,
Benjamin W. Ward, James P. Ward, Jesse A. Ward, John Ward, Jacob W.
Wickiser, Coleman Woodward.
The first schoolhouse in
Richland Township was built in 1835, and the first school was held
therein. The building stood in the southwest quarter of Section 17, a
16x20-feet structure of round logs, having a roof made of clapboards
held on by poles, a puncheon floor, and a door made of split, boards,
hung on wooden hinges. The windows were holes cut through the logs and
covered with oiled paper. The chimney, which shivered in winter on the
outside of the institution, was composed of sticks and mud.
A second educational establishment was erected in 1839,
on the northeast quarter of Section 2, similar in construction to its
predecessor, excepting that it was 20x40 feet in size, and had the
distinguished addition of an upper floor of round logs, having the
cracks filled with leaves and mud.
Charles Smith was the first dominie in the
township, and taught in the schoolhouse first built, during the
winters of 1835, 1836 and 1837, the attendance averaging about twenty
scholars. Abraham Cole was the first teacher in the
schoolhouse built in 1839, and his duties were limited to wrestling
with some twenty tyros, in their deep researches into the mysteries of
Lindley Murray, etc. There are now ten school buildings
in this township, located one on each of Sections 1, 9, 11, 21, 23,
32, 34 and 36, and two in Whartonsburg, all brick structures,
excepting one of the two in Wharton.
The first sermon preached in
Richland Township was June 28, 1835, in the house of Joshua
Cole, in the northwest quarter of Section 2, on which occasion the
expounder, James Peters (an Old School Baptist) took for
his text the entire twenty-fifth chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel.
Shakespeare has said: "Brevity is the soul of wit," and he might have
added "of some sermons," but, perhaps, in Brother Peters'
case, what may have appeared superfluous in the length of the sermon
(as judging by the length of his text), was conscientiously deducted
from the depth of the same.
The Methodist Episcopal
denomination has the credit of having erected the first church
building in Richland Township. It. was built in 1852, in the northwest
quarter of Section 28, constructed of hewn logs, and 24x30 feet in
Star Bethel Church of God.—This
society held its first meeting in the fall of 1854, in the Morrison
Schoolhouse, by Moses Coats and J. W. West, and
was organized about the same time, in the same schoolhouse and by the
same parties: The membership then numbered eleven souls, as follows:
Solomon Spoon, Hannah Spoon, Jacob
Wentling, Sarah Wentling, John Yambert,
Elizabeth Yambert, Mrs. Hersberger, N.
B. Coates, Mary A. Coates and Mr. and Mrs.
Dowed. Their first church building in this township was erected
in 1876, on the northeast quarter of Section 13. It was of wood, 30x40
feet, and cost $1,200. The pastors have been: 1876, J. Y. Updyke;
1877, J. H. McKee; 1878, G. W. Wilson; 1879-80, T.
Koogle; 1881-82, M. C. Mowen; 1883, J. P. Heppard;
1884, J. H. McNut. The present membership is about sixty;
Elders are, G. W. Kear and John Wentz; Deacons,
Theodore Wagers and B. Green. The church was much
revived and built up by the labor of Revs. J. V. Updyke
and T. Koogle. The present incumbent, Rev. J. H. McNut,
is also doing good work. There is an excellent Sunday school in
connection with this church, which now meets nine months in the year.
Beech Grove United Brethren Church.—This
society meets for worship in a frame built house, 30x40 feet, erected
at a cost of $600. The present membership numbers twenty-four, and the
existing officers are H. B. Pratt, George James, P. Hibens, E. S.
Wells and P. Davis.
St Mary's, Kirby Precinct—The
organization of St. Mary's Church, Kirby, this county, dates
from the year 1861. Among the first settlers were Nic Noel,
John Brimeyer, Ensminger, Stephen
Pfeifer, John Wagner, Nic Karicher,
Stephen Brucher, Reinhart Donnersbach,
Anthony Molter, Charles Neimerscury, George Klaus, Paul
Molter, Math Muller, George Thiel, Nic
Gadert, Andrew Deatrich, John Puri.
Rev. Mr. Patrich was the first priest to visit the
Catholics of Kirby. Mass was read in private dwellings, especially in
the spacious store rooms of H. Ensminger. The first impulse,
however, to the building of a church was a donation of one and a half
acres of land for this purpose by Mr. Freas. In 1863, by
the united efforts of all the heads of families, especially Nic
Noel, John Brimeyer and H. Ensminger, who formed the
first council, a frame church was .begun and inclosed. On account of
financial difficulties it could not be finished until the ensuing
year, when George Thiel, an active member, was elected
Councilman, who pressed the matter, and made many a sacrifice in
traversing the neighboring towns, collecting for this church. The
church is situated on Main street, is 50x35, and cost $2,000.
In the year 1877, a sacristy, 20x15, was annexed,
likewise a tower, which adds considerable to the beauty of the church.
In 1874-75, a pastoral residence was built at a cost of about $1,000.
A school was necessary, and again Rev. Mr. Rosenberg made many
an appeal, until his efforts were crowned with success. It was
commenced in 1879, under his supervision, and finished by the present
pastor, John G. Mizer. At present it is in charge
of a lay teacher, and attended by about sixty children. A small piece
of ground next to the church was used as a cemetery. However, this
being within the corporation and not a suitable place, a piece of land
containing two and three-fourth acres was purchased for a cemetery in
the year 1881.
Rev. Mr. Patrich was succeeded by
Rev. Mr. Henry. It was then attended successively by Revs. G.
Spearings, 1863-66; Joseph Reinhart, 1866-68; A.
Girardin, George Peter, 1868-73; Charles
Braschler, D.Zinsmeyer, 1873-75. Rev. Joseph Rosenberg
was the first resident priest, who also attended Crawfordsville from
Kirby, 1875-80. He was succeeded by the present pastor, Rev. John
G. Mizer, July 18, 1880. The congregation numbers between
fifty-five and sixty families, mostly all farmers, and Luxemburgers.
The present church officers are George Thiel, Nic Muller, Joseph
Rail and Mike Weber. The principal missions were
held in 1871, by Redemptorists and, in 1877, by Franciscan Fathers.
There are now seven church buildings in Richland
Township, distributed as follows: Two Methodist Episcopal Churches,
one in Section 28 and one in Whartonsburg; three "United Brethren
Churches, one in each of Sections 1, 2 and 9; one Church of God, in
Section 13, and one Dunkard, in Section 33.
Of the burial places in this township, one is located in Section 2,
one in Section 12, one in Section 21 and one in Section 35, besides
some private grounds. There is an old Indian burying ground on an
island in Potato Creek Swamp, where quite a number are buried.
"Lo! the poor Indian," has
left behind, in Richland Township, some souvenirs of the days when he
was '' great in the field and foremost in the chase." Flint
arrow-heads have been found in all sections of the township, and in
the northwest quarter of Section 14 there exists an ancient mound, and
another in the northeast quarter of Section 23.
The State election returns for 1879 and 1880 showed the
following result: For Governor (1879), Charles Foster,
132; Thomas Ewing, 193; Gideon T. Stewart, 1;
A. Sanders Piatt, none; total vote, 307; for
Secretary of State (1880), Charles Townsend, 146;
William Lang, 192; Charles A. Lloyd, none;
William H. Doannone; total vote, 340; for President (1880),
James A. Garfieid, 152; Winiield S. Hancock, 195;
James B. Weaver, none; Neal Dow, 1; total vote, 349.
The town of Whartonsburg was laid out in 1848 by
Samuel Rathbun; the first house was built by N.
De Pew, and the first store by James E. James, who
was the first Postmaster. The Cincinnati, Sandusky & Cleveland
Railway passes through the village.
The population of the township, including the town of
Whartonsburg, in 1880, was 1,676, an increase of 405 in the decade
TOWNSHIP OFFICIALS SINCE 1865.
Trustees, 1865, G. W. Reynolds, John Rummel, Hiram
1866—G. W. Reynolds, John Rummel, John S. Shaner.
1867—G. W. Reynolds, John S. Shaner, W. L. Rummel.
1868—Jacob Bott, Hiram Cole, Robert Gibson.
1869—W. W. Duffield, George Eatherton, Hiram Cole.
1870—W. W. Dumeld, George Eatherton, John S. Shaner.
1871—John Plott, William Swearingin, Lewis Baughman.
1872—John H. Plott, William Jenkins, A. J. Shellhouse.
1873—Jacob C. Wentz, J. P. Ward, A. J. Shannon.
1874—Jacob C. Wentz, W. W. Duffield, R. Bennett.
1875—Z. G. Murry, George Eatherton, William Swearingin.
1876—Z. G. Murry, Loran Bartlett, George Eatherton.
1877—Simon Kachelv, R. Bennett, J. D. Wickiser.
1878—Simon Kachely, W. B. Murry, J. D. Wickiser.
1879—J. A. Bell, W. B. Murry, W. H. Worley.
1880—J. C. Wentz, J. A. Petty, A. J. Shanon.
1881—J. C. Wentz, Isaac Cole, John Phelps.
1882—J. C. Wentz, Isaac Cole, J. H. Sterling.
1883—M. A. Ridenour, William Plott, W. W. Duffield.
1865, John Sterling;
1866-68, J. C. Waltermire;
1869, Francis Wood;
1870-72, Isaac Cole;
1873-74, R. B. Bell;
1875, J. A. Petty;
1876, S. R. Coates;
1877, R. B. Bell;
1878, R. V. Rummel;
1879-80, R. B. Bell;
1880-83, John McClelland.
1865-68, Z. G. Murry;
1869, William Bristoll;
1871-71, Hiram Cole;
1872-73, H. P. Marshall;
1874-76, William McClelland;
1877-80. J. S. Shaner;
1881-82, L. W. Ranchler (or Renshier);
1883, W. A. Bristoll.
Justices of the Peace—
1865, Z. G. Murry:
1868, James Southward;
1870, Wiliiam Bristoll;
1873, William Bristoll;
1874, James Southward;
1877, James Southward;
1879, William Bristoll;
1880, Jehu Baker;
1881, William Swearingin;
1882, Jehu Baker;
1883, David Kauble.
RICHLAND BIOGRAPHIES >