BY HON. THOMAS S. JACKSON.
This is one of the southern townships of Clinton County, named in honor of the third President of the United States, was organized in the year 1839 from territory taken from Clark and Marion Townships. he survey was made in the winter season by Peyton West, one of the pioneers of the county, who was elected and served as County Surveyor for several terms, and resided in Clark Township, where he died in the year 186 -. James H. West and John W. Smith were chain carriers and David Wright, marker.
David Wright was one of the early pioneers of the county, and, at the time of the survey, resided in Washington Township. He was a member of the jury that tried the first State case that was before the Court of Common Pleas in the county. James H. West, who was eighteen years old at the time of the survey, is a farmer now residing near Martinsville, Clark Township. John W. Smith died at Marathon, Clermont Co., Ohio, on Thanksgiving Day, in the year 1880, in the seventy-fourth year of his age.
This township contains about twenty-three square miles, or 14,720 acres. It is bounded on the north principally by Washington Township, on the south by Brown County, on the east by Clark Township, and on the west by Marion Township. The surface is generally level, but is susceptible of drainage at reasonable cost. A small portion of the land along the West Fork and near the Brown County line is somewhat broken, but may be cultivated without difficulty. The principal stream in the township is the West Fork. It enters the township in the northeastern part and runs in a southwesterly direction to a point near the village of Westboro, where it bears south, crossing the Brown County line, and continues about one and one-half miles in the same direction and empties into the East Fork of the Little Miami River. The principal branches of the West Fork are Plum Run, Dry Run, Moon's Branch, Hale's Branch, Lick Branch, Sugartree Branch and Bee Branch.
Along the West Fork, Dry Run and Moon's Branch, there is considerable blue limestone, and large quantities have been hauled to other parts of the county for building purposes and walling wells, and no doubt the time is approaching when those lands along the creeks that contain large quantities of stone that can be quarried with reasonable expense will be utilized with profit to the owner. The most of the township maybe regarded as fairly productive, with some portions quite fertile; all the cereals are successfully produced and the soil is regarded as particularly well adapted to the cultivation of the potato. On the level portions, which include by far the greater part, the compact nature of the soil and the heavy growth of timber, which covered almost every acre of the township, have prevented its rapid settlement and improvement. The distinguishing varieties of timber were oak, hickory, white maple and elm, with specimens of almost all other varieties common to this part of Ohio. The white oak timber was extensive and valuable; much of it was large and tall, and was extensively manufactured into planks, boards, shingles and staves, and taken to other parts of the country for use; a large proportion of the white oak was of a tough quality, suitable for the manufacture of plows and wagons, for which purpose great quantities were shipped, as well as the hickory and some ash. The white maple has been extensively used for house building. Much of the timber within the recollection of the writer has been
724 - HISTORY OF CLINTON COUNTY.
destroyed for the purpose of clearing the land for cultivation. When no profitable use could be made of it, the only expedient was to- cut down and burn, or deaden and finally burn on the ground.
The great tornado of May 22, 1860, made havoc with the timber. Much of it was broken down and torn up by the roots, or bent and damaged. This storm did great damage to buildings and orchards; many houses and barns were unroofed. A portion of the brick schoolhouse at Westboro was blown down while school was in session, but thanks to "Him who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb," no one was seriously injured; also a portion of the M. E. Church at the same place was blown down. Some stock was killed in the neighborhood, but no human lives were lost. This storm was probably the most remarkable occurrence that has been witnessed since the settlement of the township.
The first cabin built in the township was on the farm now owned by John Holaday, by Samuel Jackson, about the year 1812. He had emigrated from Tennessee in the year 1800, and settled in the eastern part of what is now Highland County, on Rocky Fork. His principal occupation was hunting, and during one year (1801) he killed two panthers and a large number of deer and bears. His hunting-grounds were the Brush Creek and Sun Fish hills. About the year 1818, he removed to the southwestern part of the township, and there settled on lands now owned by Alfred Daugherty and known as the Lyons farm. He soon after moved to Tennessee and from Tennessee to Cass County, Texas, where he was living at the beginning of the late civil war, since which time the writer has been unable to learn anything from him.
The first settler in the Kale's Branch neighborhood was one Hale, who made the selection of a building site while in company with John Randall, John Branson and Ephraim Jones. About the year 1812, this party, who were engaged in shipping salt from the salt works near Pittsburgh to Cincinnati, on flat-bottom boats, was returning on foot across the country, as was their custom. They encamped for the night in what was then a beautiful oak forest, near a branch not far from where Wilson Bailey now lives. As related by one of the party, in the morning when about to break camp Hale remarked that the place was so attractive that he intended to return and settle there. He did return, built a cabin, cleared a field, but soon left for some other parts, but where is not known to the writer. Jesse Hockett soon after settled on the same branch and became a permanent settler.
Joseph Hockett, who emigrated from Tennessee, built a hewed-log house, which was the first within the township, and cleared a field on lands now owned by William Scott, near Hixon's` Schoolhouse, but soon after bought land in the Hale's Branch neighborhood, to which he removed and there remained until his death, about the year 1843. Thomas Comer, John Garner and Mr. Brunson were early settlers in the Bee Branch neighborhood. The first settlers in the vicinity of Westboro were John Starr, Richard Starr, William Starr and John Thornhill.
William Hammer settled in the southern part of the township in the year 1817, on the farm now owned and occupied by John Simcox. In the year 1816, William Hammer, while looking at the country, saw and killed a large black bear near the present residence of John Simcox. During the years 1817 and 1818, William Hammer and John Thompson built a saw-mill on the West Fork, the first mill that was built within the township. They operated the mill with some degree of success for a few years, but in the time of a great freshet, the dam, which was made of logs, washed away and was never rebuilt. The foundation logs remain there, to be seen even to this day, as memorials of
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those men who, in their day, were esteemed for their honesty and integrity, and as a further evidence of their industry and perseverance.
Thomas Sermon, an old Revolutionary soldier, settled in the southern part of the township, on the lands of James Taylor, of Kentucky, who would not sell to any one as long as the old veteran desired to occupy it, and was apparently provoked to wrath when a party desired to buy, assigning as a reason why Taylor should sell "that the old fellow was cutting timber where he pleased and doing no good generally," to which Taylor replied in substance with his usual warmth when aroused, that "such a man as the applicant was not worthy of being a land-owner, and that he would not sell land to a man that sought to dispossess or disturb an old soldier, who had gone, as it were, with his life in his hand, and suffered to secure the liberty we enjoy." James Clark now owns and occupies the land.
The first settlement made north of where the M. & C. R. R. now runs was made by Peter Shick, a Baptist minister, about the year 1830.
Among the early settlers in the township who became permanent and prominent citizens, there were William Garner, Joseph Hinshaw, Granville Haines, in the Westboro neighborhood, with many other younger men, an account of which will be given in the biographical sketches; Thomas Moon, Nathan Hoggatt, Jesse Hookett and others in the Hale's Branch neighborhood; Joseph D. Moon, Daniel H. Moon, John Holaday, Thomas B. Johnson and John W. Johnson, living on and near the old road leading from Martinsville to West Woodville.
About the year 1831, William Moon built a saw-mill on the West Fork on the lands now owned by C. C. Miller, which proved to be a success and was a great public benefit, as large quantities of lumber were manufactured, which was much needed for building purposes and the manufacture of wagons, plows, and other implements. This milt continued in operation until about the year 1855. The first steam saw-mill that was built in the township was built by two brothers, Lewis and Thomas Hockett, in the year 1850. It was successfully operated for a few years by them and then sold to Jacob Rhonemus, who continued to run it for a considerable length of time, but was afterward owned by various parties and continued in operation for quite a number of years. The first flouring-mill was built by John Vandervort, at Westboro, in the year 1858, which has been kept in operation up to the present time. It is now owned by Settles, Lacock & White.
John Hammer, in the year 1838, built and put in operation a carding machine, on the west side of the West Fork, near where the village of Westboro now stands, to which he had a grist-mill attached, and continued to run the same for quite a number of years; but to him it proved to be a financial disaster.
The Westboro Woolen Mills, of Westboro, were built in the year 1868 by S. J. Spees, Tunmous & Adams, at a cost of about $7,000. The building is ninety feet long by thirty feet wide. It covers a commodious cellar, 30x60 feet, under that portion of the building which was originally built for a railroad depot building. In April, 1874, the establishment was purchased of S. J. Specs by S. Wickersham & Son, who still operate it, employing, when running, eight hands; they do both merchant and custom work, and have aided in supplying the following-named towns and their respective neighborhoods with jeans, flannels and blankets; St. Martins, Fayetteville, Cynthiana, Newtonville, Edenton, Goshen, Blanchester, Wilmington, Cuba, Clarksville, Martinsville, New Vienna, Washington C. H. and Lynchburg.
NOTE.-We have been shown by T. S. Jackson the marriage certificates of his grandparents, Jacob Jackson and Ann (Beals) Jackson, who were united in
726 - HISTORY OF CLINTON COUNTY.
Burry County, N. C., by the ceremony proscribed by the Society of Friends, on the "tenth day of the eighth month" (August 10), 1774. Jacob Jackson was the son of Samuel and Catherine (Plankinhorn) Jackson, of the same county, and his wife was the daughter of Bowater and Sarah Beals, also of the same county. The ceremony occurred at New Garden, at the meeting-house at Tom's Creek. The form of certificate is the same as that given in Chapter V of this volume.-P. A. D.
CHURCH ORGANIZATION AND BUILDINGS.
The first church organization was that of the Friends, about the year 1825. They first held their meetings in a house built for a schoolhouse on the north side of the West Fork, near where John Holaday now lives, but after the division in the society, which took place in the year 1828, the Orthodox Friends built a log house on lands obtained of Daniel H. Moon, nearly opposite the mouth of Hale's Branch, at which place they located a burying-ground of about one acre. The society continued to occupy the house till the year 1853, when they built the commodious frame house now on the same lot. The society has increased in numbers fully equal to the comparative increase in the population of the county. The society's monthly meetings are held alternately here and at Newberry (Martinsville). This is known as West Fork Meeting.
About the year 1838, the United Brethren, sometimes known as the German Methodists, organized a society made up of the citizens of the Plum Run and Westboro neighborhood. Among the leading members were Henry Garrett (a minister), John Barr, James T. Smith and others, who were early---, settlers in the township.
The Episcopal Methodists, in the year 1854, built the brick church now situated in the village of Westboro, and have ever since maintained a large membership for a village of its size. Among the early active members of the society there were John Adams, John Garoutte, Daniel Bailey, John Girton and other prominent citizens of the neighborhood. The church is in the Clarksville Circuit.
About the year 1868, the Christian society (sometimes termed New Lights to distinguish them from the Christian Church, sometimes known as Disciples or Reformers) built a large house at Westboro, and the organization is still maintained.
The military history of Jefferson Township here given must necessarily be very inadequate, as it would require more space than can here be allowed to give even a synopsis of the many deeds of valor and heroism that were performed in the late civil war by her volunteers, in common with other men of the county and State, or to enumerate the sufferings that they endured. We can therefore do but little more than give the names of those we have been able to obtain from the sources at our command.
At the time of the commencement of the late civil war, there were living within the township some of the veterans of the war of 1812, among whom were John J. Fisher, John Garoutte, George Chopson and John Stewart, the former having served under Gen. Scott at the battle of Lundy's Lane.
In accounting for the volunteers from Jefferson Township, it is difficult to give an entire list, as quite a number joined companies and regiments that were principally made up by men from other parts of the State, and if any names shall be omitted it will be on account of their names not being on the muster-rolls to which the writer has had access.
The first company that was officered exclusively from this township was Company E, Forty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, viz., Allen S. Bundy, Captain, resigned; Andrew F. Deniston, First Lieutenant, promoted to Cap-
JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP. - 727
tain; Charles J. Cunningham, Second Lieutenant; Obed G. Sherwin, First Sergeant, promoted to First Lieutenant, and wounded by the ball that killed O. S. Knote; James Page, Jesse Joseph (killed in battle), Nathan Joseph, Henry Moon, Stephen Girton, Hezekiah Little (taken prisoner), James Clark, John Girton, Lewis A. Hammer, Charles Springer. Ambrose Nott, Thomas E. Graham (died), John D. Moon, D. C. Moon (wounded), W. H. Orr, Andrew M. Dungan (captured), Wyatt Murphy (died), -- Vanoy (died), Jesse Hockett, William J. Graham, William Garrett (wounded), Jesse Fletcher, Lewis Moon (died), Nelson V. W. Burns (wounded), David Johnson, William Hammer (died), Elisha Hammer, Clement Joseph, Oliver S. Knots (killed), Elbridge Sherwin (died), Samuel Gordon (died), G. R. Black, Moses Pierson, -- Vanoy (died), David Hockett, J. H. Holaday, Josiah D Moon (captured), Daniel Hall, Hezekiah Black, William M. Dungan, Wesley Mays, Hiram Vanoy, William Girton, David B. Simpson.
In the summer of 1864, Company C, One Hundred and Seventy-fifth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, was organized by Capt. A. F. Deniston, and this township furnished officers and men as follows:
A. F. Deniston. Captain; Charles C. Cunningham, First Lieutenant; Thomas J. Moon, First Sergeant; George R. Jackson, ,Second Sergeant; William Harwood, Third Sergeant; Jury T. Jackson, Fourth Sergeant; Hodson Carey, First Corporal; Alfred T. Wood, Second Corporal; Daniel Bailey, Third Corporal; George Hudson, Sixth Corporal; W Wilkerson T. Moon, Eighth Corporal; Henry Lee, Wagoner. Privates-George Biggs, James J. Clark, Benjamin Baker, William J. Durbin, Samuel Darby, William A. Darby, William B. Fisher, James Forker, William H. Hunt, William Hockett, Asa Hockett, Levi Hockett, M. M. Haines, Josiah L. Hunt, Garner Hinshaw, Peter Hammer, Charles Holaday, F. M. Johnson, William M. Jackson, Levi Kinney, Calvin Porter, Francis M. Phillips, George W. Shields, David Severs, William Trovillo, William H. Thornhill, John Vandervort, William T. Young, John W. Anderson, A. L. Beck, James Barnett, Robert M. Pobst, James Patton, James Shaw, Paul J. Trovillo, Job Moon.
Jacob Rhonemus, Joseph H. Moon, Alexander Hoggatt; organization not known to which these three men belonged.
C. E. Hixson served three years in the Twelfth Ohio Volunteer Infantry; was the first volunteer from the township; was captured and confined in the rebel prison at Andersonville.
Isaac Hixson served three years in the Twelfth Ohio Volunteer Infantry; wounded and still carries the ball.
Samuel H. Holaday served in the Sixty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry; wounded.
In Company C, Seventy-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, the officers and men were as follows:
B. Robinson, First Lieutenant; John Botts, Color-Bearer, killed at the battle of Peach Tree Creek, Ga., 20th of July, 1864. Privates-Samuel Goble, Joseph Hoggatt, John E. Andrew (wounded), Thomas Chopson, James Wolf, Isaac Schooley, A. C. Gorrell, John Stephens (wounded, lost leg), Robert Moon (wounded, lost arm), Jackson Littles, Henry Burns, William Black (died in the service). The company was engaged in thirteen battles.
The following served in Company -, of the One Hundred and Seventy-fifty Ohio Volunteer Infantry:
A. A. Hammer, William P. Hammer, L. A. Hammer (re-enlisted Amos G. Hammer, H. R. Hammer, W. E. Brown, Jesse H. Moon (re-enlisted), John R. Moon, David Thornhill, William P. Hockett, Daniel C. Bailey, Robert W. Anderson.
728 - HISTORY OF CLINTON COUNTY.
The Hillsboro & Cincinnati Railroad, the first that was built in the county, runs through this township. It was completed from Loveland to Hillsboro in the year 1852. The Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad also runs through this township. When these roads were first built, and for some years afterward, they made an extensive market for wood, which gave employment to numerous men.
THE VILLAGE OF WESTBORO.
The voting-place in the township, is situated on the Hillsboro Branch of the Marietta Railroad, four miles east of Blanchester; is a village of about 200 inhabitants; has two dry goods and grocery stores, one drug store, railroad, ticket and telegraph office, and is the most convenient station for St. Martin's and Fayetteville. It is an important shipping station for hogs, grain, wool and bay. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows own a nice building, with hall in second story, the lower story now being occupied by Villars & Thompson, dealers in hardware and agricultural implements. The village contains a very good two-story brick school building, a Grange hall, two blacksmith shops, one wagon-maker shop and one shoe shop.
Clinton Valley is situated on the Marietta Railroad, at the crossing of Wilmington & Westboro Free Turnpike, twelve miles from Wilmington, and is noted for being a great coaling and water station for said road, which gives employment to a number of men. It contains about 100 inhabitants; has two good stores, which are patronized with a lively trade; one steam saw-mill; also a good brick schoolhouse.
SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL BUILDINGS.
The first school taught in the township was taught by Thomas Abbott in the year 1823, in a cabin on the west side of the West Fork, not far from where the village of Westboro now stands. Jesse Hockett was probably the next teacher in the township.
The first schoolhouse built in the township was on the north bank of West Fork, opposite the lands of John W. Jackson, which was also used for a meeting house by the Society of Friends. After the organization of Jefferson Town ship, it was divided into four districts, viz.: The Bee Branch neighborhood, as a fractional district, to which was attached a fraction of Clark Township; the Halels Branch District; the James Thornhill District, and the West Fork District. In the latter, a dissension arose about where the house should be located. There appeared to be three parties, and, as the house had tc be built by voluntary contribution, each party built a house, and schools were taught from time to time in each house until the re-organization of the districts, about 1844, when another district was formed and a new frame house built at Westboro.
The township is now divided into six sub-districts and one special district, the latter including the village of Westboro and territory adjacent thereto. The house is a two-story brick building, with spacious grounds surrounding it, which are ornamented with numerous shade trees, transplanted from the native forest. With the care that the enterprising citizens will no doubt take of the building and its surroundings, it will be an ornament to the village and country. In connection with the schools, in December, 1881, the literary and social society of Westboro, through the instrumentality of N. B. Van Winkle, M. D., and John T. Bishop, Principal of the school, was organized, with John
JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP. - 729
T. Bishop, President; Miss Lettie F. Jackson, Secretary, and Miss Laura Jackson, Treasurer. The membership consisted of Misses Ada L. Sargent, Cora M. Aiken, Emma Hockett, Sallie Kumler, William Kumler and Benjamin E. Page. The object of the society is the cultivation and improvement of the social and literary tastes of the young people. The public schools of the township are generally in a prosperous condition. This township has been noted for the number of distinguished teachers and professional and business men it has furnished. The obvious reason of this is that it contained no wealthy families and that the young men had to rely upon their own exertions for success.
This is much earlier, but it may give you a direction to go in. My understanding is that Westboro was a very small place origially with four churches. Here is my Patton connection:
Henry Garrett Jefferson, Clinton, OH abt 1845 Ohio
Mary Garrett Jefferson, Clinton, OH abt 1840 Ohio
Melissa Garrett (may have married Terrell) Jefferson, Clinton, OH abt 1834 Ohio
Nancy Garrett (Nancy M. (Johns) Garrett) Jefferson, Clinton, OH abt 1810 Ohio
Nancy E Garrett Jefferson, Clinton, OH abt 1848 Ohio
(Permelia Garrett) Jefferson, Clinton, OH abt 1836 Ohio
Rachel Garrett (married to Patton?) Jefferson, Clinton, OH abt 1832 Ohio
William Garrett (married Mary Ellen Andrew) Jefferson, Clinton, OH abt 1843 Ohio
(Nancy M. (Johns) Garrett) Westboro, Clinton, OH 50 abt 1810 female Born Ohio
(Melissa Garrett) Westboro, Clinton, OH 26 abt 1834 female Born Ohio
(William Garrett) Westboro, Clinton, OH 17 abt 1843 male
(Henry Garrett) Westboro, Clinton, OH 15 abt 1845 male Born Ohio
(Nancy E. Garrett) Westboro, Clinton, OH 13 abt 1847 female Born Ohio
Other children: Rachel Garrett, Parmelia (Pamelia, Permelia) Garrett, Mary Garrett (probably married in this census).
Rachel Garrett married William J. Patton, children Joseph Henry Patton, two other children.