Hogan township was organized in the year 1852. Its territory originally was a part of Laughery township, which
was divided up after the loss of territory from setting off Ohio county, Laughery township in Ohio county being
what is left of the original township of Laughery. The major part of Hogan township lies between the two Hogan
creeks. A small portion of it lies north of North Hogan. When originally organized, in 1852, it comprised less
territory than it does at present. It got from Center township, in 1853, about three quarter sections, and in 1856
and 1857, it obtained from Sparta township three sections in the northwest part of the township.
Land was entered from the government in this township at nearly as early a period as that of any in the county.
In 1803 Jeremiah Hunt purchased a part of section 26, in township 5, range 2 west, and in 1805 Adam Flake bought
a part of section 35. In 1809 Amos and a G. Boardman bought a part of section 25, and in the same year Isaac Allen
bought part of section 33. In 1806 James and Amor Bruce bought part of section 23, where some of their descendants
yet reside. Most of the government land in the township was disposed of before 1825, but a few of the out of the
way lots were not purchased until late in the thirties.
The earliest record of land entered from the government is only two years later than the land office at Cincinnati
was opened, and the township was evidently abreast of the earliest part of the county. The two Hogans furnished
the bottom land and the creeks for outlets, which in those times was a strong. inducement for settlers. Like other
places in the county, however, there were a number of persons reported as settling much earlier than the entering
of land, and no doubt that there were some who lived in the township for a time and then moved to other localities
for final location; and perhaps others who, possessed of the wanderlust that was just as strong then as now, never
did locate permanently anywhere, but kept up the nomadic life until its close.
FIRST SETTLER IN HOGAN.
Like all other townships that had water privileges Hogan township records the earliest settlement in 1796. It
is claimed on good authority that Adam Flake and wife with their two sons and two daughters settled on South Hogan
in January, 1796. It will be recalled that in 1805 Adam Flake entered a portion of section 35, in township 5, range
2 west, situated on South Hogan about a mile from the corporation line of Aurora, as it now is laid off. Here also
his two sons above mentioned, William and Michael, entered, in 181i, portions of the same section, and here the
old pioneer lived and died at a good old age, and in the little graveyard in the same section his remains were
laid away. His son, William Flake, served one term in the Legislature, in 1831, and was also at one time a member
of the county board of supervisors. Michael Flake, another son, was one of the three parties that platted the town
It is also claimed that Amor, Henry and James Bruce came from Kentucky and settled on North Hogan in 1798. James
and Amor entered land on North Hogan in 1806 and the family has been prominent in the annals of the county from
that date until the present, filling many places of honor and trust. The Amor Bruce now residing in the township
lives on and owns some of the same land his forefathers entered from the government in the year 1806.
Conrad Huffman, who settled in the township in 1803, served in the War of 1812 under General Dill. His son, Hon.
Elijah Huffman, was a member of the state Senate from 1867 to 1869. Elijah Huffman was the father of Andrew J.
Huffman, a Civil War veteran, now living in the town of Wilmington. Peter Carbaugh, a soldier of the Revolution,
settled in the township in 1805, locating near Wilmington.
L. G. Elder. who died in 1876, in Hogan township, was a native of Maryland. His parents came to the county in 1808,
and settled on North Hogan. A story is told in the Dearborn county history of 1885 that the gamily brought with
them from Maryland a negro boy who went by the name of Harry Short. Probably on account of his color the Indians,
a few of whom were yet prowling around the country, looked on him as a curiosity. George Griffin, an old citizen
of Aurora, related the troubles of the negro. "The Indians were always on the lookout for the strange creature
and were evidently determined to capture him alive. They made no attempt to take his life, but many a lively foot
race they gave him over the hills and along the bottoms of North Hogan." Short lived in the county for many
years, and died in Indianapolis at a great age not many years ago.
William Kerr settled in the township in 1816. He was the father of Walter Kerr, who lived to the age of one hundred
and one. Walter Kerr's daughter, Mrs. Abram Hill, is yet living, although well on towards ninety years of age.
THE FIRST BOOM.
From 1812 to 1820 the township took on new life, settlers came in fast. The town of Wilmington was laid out
and considerable business was done here, Aurora had not yet been laid out, and on account of the bottom lands giving
the settlers living there so much sickness of a malarial nature it was thought that settlers would not live there
permanently. Wilmington offered a healthful location, as fine a view as anywhere in the county; it was on the public
highway leading from Lawrenceburg to Madison, it was situated between the two Hogans, and it was claimed that the
place had ideal advantages for a permanent place of residence as well as for business.
In 1807 Amos Bardman came from New York and settled in the township about a half mile north of Wilmington. He entered
a portion of section 25, in the year 1809. Among the other pioneer families who were early settlers are found the
names of Adams, Milburn, Golding, Harwood, Sellers, Moore, Churchill, Kimball, Reed, Cornelius, Chaffin and Hannegan.
Among those who were remarkable for living to an extreme old age was James Hubbartt, who died in Marion county,
Indiana, in 1886, at the age of one hundred and one. He was born in Sussex county, Maryland, March 27, 1785. His
father came to Dearborn county in 1811, settling near Wilmington where he died in 1848, only four weeks less than
one hundred years of age. His grandfather, it is said, lived to the age of one hundred and five.
George W. Lane is given credit for the following from his Centennial writings: "Noyes Canfield came to
the county in 1800, stopped for a. time with Doctor Percival in Lawrenceburg, and helped him erect the first house
in the place. He afterwards removed to a piece of land he entered on Hogan creek. at the foot of the hill north
of Wilmington, where he lived until his death. He was the father of Edwin Canfield, of Wilmington, and Cyrus Canfield,
at one time justice of the peace in Hogan township.
"William Record settled on North Hogan in 1807, where he remained for eight or nine years. During the War
of 1812, he, with his family, was often compelled to take shelter in the blockhouse close by that was under the
command of Capt. James Bruce. About 1816 he removed to Kings ridge, in Sparta township, where he opened a farm
and resided until his death.
"Elias Chaffin came to Lawrenceburg in 1810. When the trouble commenced with the Indians he was among the
first to volunteer for the protection of settlers, and served during the war when duty called. His services were
recognized by the government by the issue of a land warrant. For some ten or twelve years Mr. Chaffin published,
in an Aurora paper, reminiscences of the war and pioneer life. He was an enterprising man and a worthy and law
"Peter Hannegan moved to the county in 1818, and settled on Sparta ridge. He was a soldier during the War
of 1812, as was his father during the Revolutionary War. Mr. Hannegan was an active, industrious citizen, who lived
to more than four score years and was respected by all who knew him.
"Our attention is called to four aged ladies, residing in and near Wilmington, who have experienced pioneer
life, seen Indian warriors and lived for weeks in blockhouses. Mrs. Jane Purdy was born in the county in the year
1800. Her father, John Moore, settled on Laughery that year, afterwards removed to the farm now owned by James
Stafford in Washington township. During the War of 1812 the family took shelter in the blockhouse near A. Tufts,
where they would remain for weeks at a time. Mrs. Purdy is the oldest native citizen in this part of the county
known to the writer.
"Mrs. Elizabeth Carbaugh was born in 1798, and came to the county in 181o. She was a sister of Thomas Baker,
of Wilmington. Her husband did service during the War of 1812.
"Mrs. William Bainum is now over eighty years of age and has been in the county some sixty five years, and
new makes her home with her daughter. Mrs. Watkins, in Wilmington, on the land selected by her companion when it
was an unbroken forest.
"Mrs. Thomas Baker was born in 1797, and came to the county with her father, Nathan Powell, about the year
1804, and can count seventy years of sunshine and shade in the county of Dearborn.
"Mrs. Baker was a sister of Erasmus Powell, who was a member of the first Legislature of the state in 1816,
and was associated with Amos Lane. He was re-elected in 1818, with John Watts as a colleague, and again elected
in 1820, representing the county with Ezra Ferris."
STORY OF A COUNTRY TOWN.
The village of Wilmington is the only village in Hogan township and its history is of more than ordinary interest.
It was originally laid out on May 30, 1815. In the original plat there were thirty two lots. The proprietors were
William C. Chamberlain, Michael Flake and Robert Moore. April 3, 1816, lots numbering from 33 to 6o were added
by Robert Moore and William Bainum. Additions were made in 1835 by William Bainum and Arthur St. Clair Vance. Robert
Moore, it is claimed, was the first blacksmith in the new village. Thomas Cole and Isaac Hancock were the early
storekeepers and Stephen Wood the hotel keeper, being the landlord of the "White Tavern."
In the decade from 1830 to 1840, and as late as 1845, the village was full of life and bustle. The citizens of
the lower end of the county continually agitated the question of establishing the county seat in the center of
the county, as the county was then with what is now Ohio county as a part of Dearborn. They selected Wilmington
as being the nearest place to the center and the matter of changing the county seat encouraged the growth of the
village until it was finally consummated. The friends of moving the court house won out, and in 1836 the seat of
justice was moved from Lawrenceburg to Wilmington. A court house was erected, a jail, clerk's and recorder's office.
Wilmington became a thriving business place, one that was much more prosperous than Aurora. It began to be a prevalent
idea that the river bottoms were unhealthy and unfit for permanent residence. In 1833 the county commissioners
ordered the county seminary built there, and it was expected that the place would become a seat of learning as
well as the seat of justice. Both were doomed to disappointment. In 1840 the county seat was changed back to Lawrenceburg,
and the seminary plan, not only in Dearborn county but throughout the state, proved a disappointment.
In 1836 there were a number of stores and other industries in Wilmington. Among the names of those who were doing
business at that time are recorded those of Isaac Hancock, J. C. Corded, John R. Wood, James Powell. O. H. Reed,
Josiah Chambers, Thomas Jennings, Stephen Wood, Ranna Stephens and William Glenn. In the year 1858 the population
was 350, in 1866 it was 366. In 1910 the population was 150.