From The History of Montgomery County, Ohio by W. H. Beers & Company 1882

Brookville Historical Society, Inc. 2003

JACKSON TOWNSHIP

This political subdivision was originally included in what was then known as Jefferson and German Townships, which contained most of the land now in Jefferson, German, Miami, Jackson, Perry, Madison and Harrison Townships. On the 6th of June, 1814, a petition was presented to the County Commissioners praying for the formation of a new township, and, December 7, 1814, it was accordingly ordered by them that the prayer of their petitioners be granted, and that the new township should be known as Jackson Township. It was originally eight miles long and six miles wide, containing forty-eight square miles. The original boundaries were as follows, viz.: Beginning on the Preble County line at the corner of Townships 3 and 4, Range 4; thence east on the township line six miles to the line between the fourth and fifth ranges; thence north eight miles to the northeast corner of Section 25, Town 5, Range 4; thence west on section line six miles to the Preble County line at the northwest corner of Section 30, Town 5, Range 4; and thence south on said county line eight miles to the place of beginning. It contained eight square miles now included in Perry Township, which were detached in 1820, when Perry was formed and the present boundaries of Jackson established. The township now contains thirty-six square miles of rich arable land, well timbered, deep soiled and bountifully watered. It is bounded by Perry Township on the north, Jefferson Township on the East, German Township on the south and Preble County on the west, being known as Township 4, in Range 4. It received its name in honor of Andrew Jackson, or "Old Hickory," as he was familiarly called, the seventh President of the United States and the hero of New Orleans. It is watered by several large creeks and their tributaries, which flow through the country in all directions, forming a perfect network of streams, thoroughly irrigating the rich bottom lands that lie for a mile on either side of them and furnishing some admirable mill-sites, which, as yet, have not been utilized, but which promise ultimately to be occupied by all kinds of water-propelled machinery. Among these creeks, mention might be made of a few and of the derivation of their names, which are all historical facts and rest now in the minds of the old residents, who will soon pass from among us, and, unless rescued by the pages of history, are likely to be buried in oblivion. The largest of these is called Big Twin, from the Indian name it formerly bore, which meant "one of two." This flows through the southwestern corner of the township, near the southern line. "Little Twin" received its name as being the other "one" of the "two," indicated by the Indian name; it flows through the entire township from north to south, near the center. Wolf Creek was so named on account of the number of wolves that infested the thick timber on its banks in early days. "Tom's Run " was named after Tom Kilbuck, an Indian chief, who trapped and hunted along its borders before and during early pioneer days. The branches of these creeks bear only local, if any names, with no apparent significance. They are, in the summer months, nothing more than small "runs" or brooks, but, during the spring freshets, they are swollen into torrents of great power, overflowing their banks and carrying before them every thing of a floatable nature that is in or near their channels. There were also many beautiful springs bubbling from the hillsides and flowing in picturesque rills to the creeks. A piece of land containing one of those unfailing springs was sure to allure an early settler. It is a notable fact that these pioneer fathers always chose a hillside near a spring on which to raise their cabins and commence their farm operations. And their choice was not, without reason. The spring furnished them their water supply and the hillside afforded suitable land for the immediate sowing of crops, as soon as it was cleared of the timber, which was not the case with the level land, where water stood the year round to the depth of several inches, and, of course, had to be drained and allowed to dry before it could be cultivated. But it is these lands, with their black, mellow soil, formed from the decayed debris of the forest, that are now so eagerly sought after. The taste of any settler could be satisfied by the land of this township, as it furnishes a great variety of soil. There is the uplands, the low or bottom lands, the hilly lands and the undulating prairie. Could one ask for a larger variety from which to choose? It would seem not, and the facts warrant that inference. Few, indeed, were the settlers, who, having once settled here, left in search of more favorable country. In the southwestern part of the township there is some very hilly land, which is a continuation of the hills along Big Twin Creek in German Township, extending up into Jackson. Near this hilly ground, there is a round earthen mound, fifteen feet in height. It is supposed to be either a fortification or a burial mound of that almost mythical nation that inhabited this country before the Indians. It has never been explored, but it is believed by the people of the neighborhood that under and in it lie the bones of many of those people, who have left us so many manifestations of their warlike propensities. Within the memory of some of the early settlers, this mound and vicinity was a favorite hunting resort for the Indians. The mound itself was a great deer-lick, and these animals would come for miles to their pleasant lick only to meet their death at the hands of the red hunter. Before the entrance of the white man, the country now composing Jackson Township was covered with a forest of oak, beech, walnut, ash, sugar and some poplar trees, with a dense undergrowth of prickly ash and other shrubbery. This timber has now been largely removed and the poplar has become entirely extinct. The prevailing species is sugar, with a reasonable quantity of the other classes.

A noticeable feature in the geology of this township is the immense number of large bowlders of glacial deposit that underlie the soil in some places and lay piled in fantastic shapes in the forest and along the creeks. These bowlders resemble red granite, and some of them are of great size. They have been found on almost every farm in the township, and, in some instances the labor required in removing the timber has been exceeded by that required in clearing the land of these huge rocks that seem to belong to some other world than ours, and look like lonely sentinels awaiting the coming of their kind.

EARLY SETTLEMENTS

To write the history of the early settlement of a township is a matter of more difficult accomplishment than would at first be supposed. Although the settlers were few, yet they knew little, if anything, of their fellow-pioneers, who might be living within six or seven miles of them. And when asked who the first settler in the township was, they invariably tell you who was the first in their immediate neighborhood, possibly not knowing that long prior to that some dauntless frontiersman had, with his family, settled in the same township four or five miles through an almost impenetrable forest from him. Such was the case in this township. Settlements were made along the extreme northern and also along the extreme southern borders; which of these was first can only be known by the accounts of the pioneers or of their children. In either case, we are dependent upon the memory of man. So far as can now be learned, three families, named severally, Stoner, Oldfather and Pfoutz, were the first to break the solitude of the present township of Jackson and war with the savage beasts and not less savage men for a home in their midst. They all came from Pennsylvania, bringing large families with them, and were here a short time before 1801, but whether they came together, or if not, which one came first, cannot now be learned. The most diligent research and inquiry fail to discover anything further of them than that they all settled together in what was afterward known as the "Swartzell Settlement" near the site of the present town of Farmersville.

The next to follow these intrepid Pennsylvanians was Abraham Swartzell, also a son of the Keystone State. He left his home in the East in 1801, and, in company with his brother Henry and a man named Boomershine, came to this township and entered 360 acres of land, where Farmersville now stands. He had a family consisting of his wife and four children, viz., Anna, Matthias. Philip and Elizabeth. He built a small cabin of round logs, with three sides, the front being open. The fire was built in front and the only heat received in the cabin was from this fire, which was kept overnight, from day to day, in a large iron kettle. In these days of matches, we cannot realize what a terrible calamity it was to our forefathers to have their fire go out. But yet these hardy settlers were "happy as larks," and their children were born, raised, and many of them died, without knowing of any other than this primitive mode of life. Here, in this rude and to us seeming uncomfortable hut, Abraham Swartzell had born to him nine children, all of them healthy and robust as the trees around them. They were named severally John, Sarah, Abraham, Polly, Henry, Daniel, Joshua, Susan and Enos. The father, immediately after his cabin was built, commenced felling trees, girdling others and clearing away and burning the underbrush preparatory to sowing a crop from which his little family were to derive their sustenance. He thus cleared some four or five acres of land, and, after turning the soil by his personal labor, as was then the custom, he planted the first crop on his new and primitive farm. He was troubled some by wolves, which were then thick, but they did no damage other than an occasional scare to some member of his family. No sooner was his farm in shape than he commenced lending his aid to the improvement and settling of the country around him by assisting other settlers in raising their cabins, clearing their land, rolling logs and in other ways which were customary in that early day. His children all grew up to manhood and womanhood, married and scattered over the United States. He died in 1840, at the age of sixty-six years. His son John, the oldest of the children, born in the open cabin spoken of above, is still living; he was born in 1807. When large enough, he attended a subscription school in a little log schoolhouse near his father's farm, where the neighbors, all being of German extraction, were having a German school taught by a man named Johns. He afterward married, and has continued to reside in this township during the whole of his life, now being a man seventy-five years of age. He lives with one of his children in Farmersville. Henry Swartzell and Mr. Boomershine, the men who came with Abraham Swartzell, both brought very large families and settled near Abraham, on land adjoining his. They all entered land from the Government. Apropos to the above, mention might be made of the singular fact that very few of the early settlers had small families. And it reflects greater credit on them, that, with these large families to sustain, they succeeded so well. They seldom had less than ten children, and often as many as sixteen, and yet, such was their open-heartedness that if a family of children should he deprived of their parents, the settlers were always ready to divide the little ones among them and each adopt his quota.

In 1803, Mathias Swartzell, a native of Germany, and the father of the two mentioned heretofore, came to this county where he died about 1820, leaving a family of four sons and five daughters. He was an old Revolutionary soldier, and was one of those liberty-loving heroes who assisted in crushing English tyranny and driving the minions of despotism from this fair land. About the same year, John Kinsey settled in this vicinity, marrying Elizabeth Mullendore, daughter of Jacob Mullendore, finally locating in Section 32, where his son David now resides. He was the father of eight children, three of whom are yet living, viz., Mary, David and Jonas; he died in March, 1819, and his widow married Jacob Myers, by whom she had five children; she died in 1855.

Two families came in the spring of 1804, viz., the Colemans and Vances, coming from Somerset County, Penn. Coleman brought his wife Katie and nine children, four boys--Daniel, John, Henry and William--and five girls--Betsy, Rebecca, Sarah and two smaller ones; he settled just east of the present site of "Staver Church." Michael Vance had a wife and small family, and settled in the neighborhood of the others; his son Manuel married Elizabeth Sayler, daughter of John Sayler, a native of Virginia, who was also one of the pioneers of Jackson Township, and his grandson, John Vance, is now a resident of Dayton. In 1805, Adam Swihart and Michael Long, two sturdy sons of Pennsylvania, settled in this township with their families, and both have left many descendants Swihart's son Jonathan married Sophia Cloyd, a native of Virginia, and falling heir to a portion of his father-in-law's estate, selected that which lay in Jackson Township, and here he spent his entire life, dying in 1876, aged seventy-four; he was the father of eight children; six now survive; his widow is residing upon the old homestead, aged seventy-seven. Isaac Long, the son of Michael, was born in this county; married Esther Miller, daughter of Daniel Miller, also an early pioneer. They have had ten children; both are living and now enjoying the fruits of their early industry and the affection of their many descendants. All of those pioneer families were honest, frugal and industrious, and all came imbued with the same purpose, viz., to make for themselves a home in the Western wilds, and give to their children a start in life.

Several families arrived during the year 1805, among whom were the Schidelers, the Izors and the Albaughs. They were of the stanch, energetic sons of Pennsylvania--men inured to hardships of all kinds, making them well adapted to enter a new and wild country and endure the discomforts of pioneer life. Fearlessly they traversed unknown forest paths, cut new roads where there were none, forded strange rivers, and, with their wives and little ones, commenced changing the wilderness, filled with the deep, unbroken silence of solitude, into a scene of life, activity and enterprise. The Schideler mentioned above was Henry, the fifth son of a family of thirteen; he was born in Washington County, Penn., on the 24th day of June, 1793. As his name indicates, he was of German descent, his grandparents both having come from Germany; he removed to Ohio with his parents in 1805, in his twelfth year. They located on land in Section 30, chosen, no doubt, on account of its elevated position and close proximity to Tom's Run, both of which considerations, as we have before said, being great inducements. He was married, in 1826, and, as a result of the union with his estimable wife, had thirteen children, nine of them being boys and four girls. He lived on his old farm until his death, which occurred in July, 1879. In early life, he manifested an absorbing interest in politics, and, as he grew in years, his interest in that subject grew with him. He was, politically, a Jeffersonian Democrat, and never during his life voted any other than the Democratic ticket. In 1832, he was chosen by the people of his county to represent them in the General Assembly of the State, and was, re-elected in 1834. He also served in the capacity of County Commissioner and Justice of the Peace, which latter office he held for twelve years. Of the Izors and Albaughs who came this year, nothing can be learned.

These men were continually writing to the East, telling their friends what a perfect country they had found and the magnificent crops the lands produced, until finally, they persuaded Adam Staver to emigrate. He was born in Lancaster County, Penn., in 1767, and, at the time of his emigration, was possessed of two good mills and 300 acres of land in his native State. These he abandoned for an unimproved home in the West, to which he came in the spring of 1806, bringing with him his wife, Fannie Staver (nee Daups) and seven children -John, Barbara, Frederick, Henry, Jacob, Valentine and Adam. He landed in German Township, Montgomery County, and rented a farm on Twin Creek for the summer, on which he left his wife and children, who fattened the hogs, raised geese, butchered and otherwise prepared for winter, while the father continued his journey up into Jackson Township, where he entered a half section of land and bought a half-section of a man who had entered it, but could not pay the entrance fee and sold his bargain to Staver for $20. In the following spring (having built a cabin in the meantime), he moved his family. He filled a very useful place in society during his life and died, in 1854, at the ripe old age of eighty-seven years. His son Henry is the only one of the children now, living in the State. He is on the old farm, having added to it considerably during his lifetime. He has in all 700 acres of very fine farm land; he is a man well preserved, being eighty-seven years old, and still carries on the work of the "place." Though his hair is silvered by the frosts of eighty-eight winters, his eye is bright, his hand steady and his step as firm as men much younger; he has lived a life of moral integrity and is now enjoying the well-merited reward, in the affection of his family, a peaceful old age and a perfect use of all his faculties. In his treatment of friends and strangers, the writer hereof can fully verify that he retains all the hospitality for which his family is so much admired. His brother John was appointed a Captain in the war of 1812, but before his term of service commenced, the war closed. No others of his family were in the war. This family was the means of bringing into the township the first preacher who ever raised his voice in praise of the "White man's God," in the district now so thickly dotted with churches of all denominations; his name was Samuel Mow; he was brought by Mr. Staver from Hamilton, Ohio; he commenced farming on a quarter-section of land which had been entered for him by Mr. Staver; he preached for the Staver Church a great many years.

In 1806, George and Margaret Rumbarger, natives of Pennsylvania, came with a family of two children and located in Section 35, and there died. Their son John was but ten years old when his parents came to this county, having been born in Pennsylvania, July 2, 1796; he was married August 24, 1816, to Elizabeth Miller, who bore him eleven children, nine of whom are now living; she died March 23, 1874, and her husband is still residing on the farm which his father settled seventy-six years ago. In the same year as Rumbarger, came Christian Cook, also of the Keystone State, and settled in Section 23, where he died in 1814, being buried on the farm, his wife surviving him until 1863; they had eleven children--Margaret, Frederick, Christian, Sarah and Michael being the only survivors. At this time, the township began filling up rapidly, and it would be utterly impossible to give the records of all who came in the following ten years, but among those who can be called pioneers, and of whom we have been able to collect anything reliable, may be mentioned Evan Hoops, who, in 1811, settled with his family in Section 7; he was born in Pennsylvania, was married twice--first, to Catharine Kinsey, of Virginia, who bore him seven children; three now living--Jane, John and Christian; his wife dying December 25, 1814, he was married in 1816 to Susanna Sheets, also of the "Old Dominion," to whom were born seven children, five yet living, viz., Daniel, Sarah, Minerva, Henry and Solomon. Mr. Hoops was a tailor and worked at his trade day and night, being overrun with business from the pioneers of his vicinity; he hired the clearing of his land, which he paid for from his earnings on the bench; he died in June, 1862, aged eighty-two; his wife is still living at the age of ninety. In 1813, Samuel and Barbara (Ruby) Rodeheffer, of Virginia, settled on the farm now owned by David Bowman, in Jackson Township, where he resided until his death, leaving to his family a nice well-improved farm; he was the father of nine children, six of whom survive, viz., Catharine, John, Joseph, Samuel, Abraham and Mary. Another early settler of Jackson was Peter Drayer, of Pennsylvania, who located with his family in Section 7, in the year 1818, where he died. His son Daniel was born in Pennsylvania, August 27, 1809; came with his father to this township, and was married to Elizabeth Gantz, a native of Maryland, born September 19, 1808; they had thirteen children, nine of whom are now living. Mr. Drayer, Jr., died in 1876; his wife still survives him. The township was now thickly settled; land was bought and sold; deer and other game retreated to the deeper fastnesses of the forest, where the white man had not yet penetrated, and the township began to wear the appearance of a civilized territory. It was soon taken from Jefferson and became its own ruler in township affairs, the first elections in it being held at the house of Jacob Wench, Jr.

CHURCHES

Previous to 1810, the Lutherans residing in the Staver neighborhood would assemble in the little schoolhouse near them, where the "Staver Church" now stands, and would there hold their meetings or be addressed by any minister available. In 1809, Adam Staver was the prime mover in the organization of a church, which was the first in the township. There had been previously purchased three and a half acres of ground to be used as a burying ground, and upon this, in 1810, a church was built, tearing down a log schoolhouse that stood there, in which they had been worshiping in union with the German Reformed people. The church was at first a one-story log, but it was afterward covered with clapboards and raised one story. The seats were also arranged in tiers, one above the other, when the church was remodeled. It is still standing, but no services have been held in it since 1871. The first preacher was Andrew Mow; he was followed by Andrew Simon and Andrew Hinkle. The church was then without a preacher, but, hearing of one down the Ohio River 150 miles, a delegation was sent to secure him; he came, but did not stay long. The burying-ground near the church was started in 1806, when the settlers purchased three and one-fourth acres of land and fenced it off for a cemetery. The first burial in it was in the fall of 1807, and now it is well filled with the graves of the old settlers, whose bones rest in the hard-earned land, while their children enjoy the fruits of their labor. The members of the Lutheran and German Reformed faiths were given a quarter of an acre of ground by Philip Slifer, and, in 1825, built a union church out of logs.

It was torn down and a brick one built in 1861 for $500. Revs. Winters and Saul Hinkle were the first pastors. The Methodist Episcopal Church in Johnsville was organized and a house built in 1830. The society was small, but succeeded in maintaining the church until 1877, when the services were discontinued and the property, a frame building, valued at $200, put in the hands of the conference. The German Reformed Church was organized about 1850, and, in 1852, the first church was built on ground donated by George Clemmer. It was on Lot No. 14, and was a one-story brick building, with shingle roof and cupola. It was built by Jacob Coleman, contractor. This building was replaced in 1879 by a very imposing church edifice, built of brick, one story high, with a spire containing the bell taken from the former church. It was erected at a cost of $4,000, and has a seating capacity of about 500. It is quite elegantly finished and furnished within, and certainly reflects great credit upon those through whose efforts it was erected: present membership about 100; pastor, Rev. Joseph G. Shoemaker; his predecessor was Rev. H. M. Herman, who had served this people for twenty years, The dedicatory sermon was preached May 2, 1880, by Rev. J. H. Reiter.

The United Brethren Church is on. Lot No. 1, which is valued at $100. It was built in 1851 at a cost of $1,600. The ground was bought by a man named Hendricks, in Darke County, for $65. The church organization took place in 1838. There are other churches in the township which are not stations in the circuit, but merely houses of worship built for the convenience of certain neighborhoods, where services are only occasionally held. As they were not the first built and are not of the first importance, it will not be necessary to mention them here.

SCHOOLS

Previous to the passage of the first school act, in 1821, the schools were all what are now called subscription schools. In those days they knew no other. The first school taught was in a little log schoolhouse which stood where Slifer's Church now is, in Section 23. It was taught for twelve weeks, live and a half days each week, and eight hours each day. The farmers subscribed twenty-three scholars, at $2 each, payable in money and produce. In 1810, the Lutheran minister, Rev. Mow, taught a school for a year in a log schoolhouse where the Staver Church now stands. In 1813, another log schoolhouse was built near the Swartzell neighborhood. It was a German school and was taught by a traveling German teacher. In 1818, a house was built on Tom's Run, one and one-half miles from where Farmersville now stands, in which school was taught by an Englishman named Graham. Schools now commenced being kept every year and in almost all neighborhoods, and indeed, the transition from subscription to district schools was so gradual that it cannot be said when the one entirely ceased or the other generally commenced. For long after the law of 1825 was passed, which commanded the districting of each township, the subscription schools continued. In 1838, when provision was made for the building of district schoolhouses, and for some time thereafter, there were many subscription schools, but they soon began to be discontinued, as the district schools opened, until now there has not been one in the township for many years. There are now eleven districts with a comfortable brick building in each and school taught, for eight months in each year. The total amount appropriated annually for school purposes is from $3,000 to $3,500.

ROADS

The first roads in the township were the paths which the early settlers cut through the thick and matted underbrush of the forest to allow the passage of their teams and families as they laboriously worked their way to their future homes. These were, however, not entitled to the name "road." The first real road made in the township was the Germantown road through Farmersville to Tom's Run; it was established in 1805. The next was a road front Tom's Run, about a mile from its mouth, to Nesbitt's mill, on Twin Creek, Preble County, established 1805. The Dayton &Eaton to the State line, thirty three miles long, running through Harrison, and between Madison and Jefferson and Perry and Jackson, was established in 1806. The road from Salem south seventeen miles to Germantown, 1808. The road from the Dayton & Germantown pike southwest twelve miles, through Liberty and Farmersville to the county line, 1809. From the northwest to the southwest corner of the county, 1823. From this time on, roads were rapidly surveyed and established, until now the township is a complete network of fine hard, macadamized pikes and beautiful summer roads, almost every section line being marked by a road.

TOWNS AND VILLAGES

This township does not boast of having as many towns as some of its neighbors, but, in point of size and beauty, they compare favorably with those of any township in the county. There are but three of them, viz., Farmersville, one and a half miles south of the center of the township, in Section 28, and Johnsville and New Lebanon, both on the extreme northern border. Of these, the largest is Farmersville. It was laid out by Oliver Dalrymple, August 30, 1832, and so named on account of his selling the lots to farmers. He had been keeping a store there for some years, before having himself built the first house in 1822, which is still standing and occupied by his widow. The children went to school in a little schoolhouse, where Jacob Aulbach now lives, in 1830. Then to a brick schoolhouse just below the German Reformed Church. There is now a large two-story brick schoolhouse, employing three teachers and furnishing educational advantages for all the children of the town. The first physician was Dr. Livengood, in 1833, while the town was still a mere hamlet. The first liquor sold in the town was in 1822, by Mr. Dalrymple, who, in addition to his store, had a quasi tavern. In March, 1849, a bill was introduced in the Legislature and passed, incorporating the town under its original name. The following is the first board of officers: Mayor, Jonathan Burz; Recorder, J. Zehring; Council, Manassel Coolman, James Archer, O. Wysong, S. Harry and J. H. Butt, the first election being held on the 14th of April, 1849. There are several fine stores in town, including groceries, drug, hardware and dry goods stores, two hotels, two carriage manufactories, which make about 400 vehicles per annum, barber-shops, blacksmith-shops, etc. The first church built was the United Brethren. The society was organized in 1831, and held meetings in the houses of Jacob Crider and John Reel until 1841, when they bought a half acre of ground of Dalrymple, for $36, and built a church for $700. The first pastor was Frederick Baunbreak. The present pastor is Rev. Bowey. The church is a station in the circuit and numbers twenty-five members. The German Reformed, the next in order, was organized in March, 1844, with thirty members. The organization was the direct result of a difficulty in the Slifer Church. The new organization employed Rev. George Long, and held services in the United Brethren Church until 1841, when Lots 40 and 41 were purchased of Elizabeth Hollenbach for $70, and an $800 church, 30x45 feet, built in 1848, by W. Wysong, the contractor. It was dedicated May 7, 1848, by Rev. Henry Crow, in German, and Henry Williard, in English. A new church was projected in 1869, on account of the incapacity of the old building. The corner-stone was laid with impressing ceremony, May 12, 1870, and the church formally dedicated, Sunday, Jan. 1, 1871, by Rev. D. Van Horn, of Dayton. It is an imposing one-story brick structure, costing $4,500; it has a gallery across one end, a belfry and bell, and a capacity for seating 400 people. The church now has a membership of 175. The following is a list of the pastors in the order of service: George Long, W. K. Le Fever, J. H. Reiter, H. J. Comfort, Levi Rike and M. F. Frank, the present incumbent of the pastorate. The church also owns a pleasant two-story frame parsonage of seven rooms, adjoining the church, which was built at a cost of $1,300. The St. Andrew's Lutheran Church is a branch of the old Staver Church, formed in 1850, for .the purpose of giving the town members a convenient place of worship. They bought a lot of Mr. Hollenbach, and built a small, one-story brick, where they worshiped until 1872, when a new lot was procured and a large two-story brick was commenced, which was completed and dedicated June 7, 1874, by G. W. Mechling. It is the most imposing building in town; it cost $10,000; has a capacity to seat 500, with an organ, gallery, belfry and 940-pound bell; the membership now numbers 150. Some of the preachers were Andrew Bowman, Andrew Hinkle, Revs. Stairwalt, Hinkle and Amos Poorman, the present pastor. The Methodist Episcopal, generally the pioneer of all churches, was not here organized until 1840, and, until 1861, the little band of worshipers held meetings in their private houses and in other churches. But in that year, Dr. Leslie donated a lot, and the church built a one-story brick for $$800. When organized, it consisted of about thirty members, but, for some reason, has decreased to eighteen members. It is a station in the Germantown Circuit and is ministered to by the preachers on that circuit. The New or Masonic Lutheran Church was organized in 1879; with fourteen members, and took the old church which the St. Andrew's Church vacated, and which has since been deeded to them by the owner, Mr. Swartzell. In 1867, a "split" occurred in the higher courts of the Lutheran Church on questions of doctrine, and this church belongs to the new branch formed by that schism. They retain the original number of members.

Johnsville--This is a small town not incorporated and lies in the north part of -the township on the Eaton road. Though as many houses are on the north side of the road as on the south, the south side is the only part that is lawfully entitled to the name, as it is the only part platted. It was platted in 1850 by John W. Becker. There has been a tavern here for over fifty-five years. When the stages ran through this place, it was a station of some importance, but is now only a small wayside town. It has three stores, a hotel, a saloon, blacksmith-shop, a shoeshop, etc. In the neighborhood are two tile factories, which were started a short time ago and are now doing a good business. There are also some churches, which will be duly noticed in the history of the churches of the township.

The next and last town to mention is New Lebanon, which is composed of two additions in Jackson Township and one in Perry. The Jackson Township additions were made June 3, 1843, by John Brouse, and, in 1854, by Mr. J. J. Weaver--This town will be fully spoken of under the head of Perry Township. These towns contain all the business interests of the township, which are not necessarily great, as the city of Dayton is within easy driving distance of all parts of the township.

We will now close this sketch with a word concerning the early settlement and settlers, and their conveniences in life. Among the early civil officers, we find the name of Schideler, a Justice of the Peace for fourteen years; Kenneman and Stuxley, also Justices of the Peace in early days. The first mill was a saw-mill on Tom's Run, built by Adam Staver in 1813; previous to that time such work was done with an ax. This closes a sketch of one of the first settled townships in the county. The cabins of the pioneers have disappeared from among us, and their bones lie moldering in the little graveyards that dot the township. Their children, now grown to old age in many cases, enjoy the comforts of large brick houses and improved farm machinery. Indian villages have given way to white towns; wild beasts are replaced by domestic animals; swamps by meadows; thickets by orchards, and the silence of the wilderness by the hum of civilization.

Brookville Historical Society, Inc. 2003

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