History of Green Township, OH
From: The History of Ashland County, Ohio
By A. J. Baughman
Published By The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1909



Green township was surveyed in 1807, by General Hedges, deputy surveyor of the United States. There is no date on record when the ftrst settlement was made. Knapp’s History of Ashland County contains the following statement:

The family of Abraham Baughman was the only one residing in Green township when the Messrs. Tannehill commenced their improvements in 1810.” Another writer says: “Just what date Abraham Baughman and John Davis came to the neighborhood of Greentown, Green township Ashland county, has not been ascertained, but it was at a very early date, it might have been before 1807. They were the first settlers in Green township. They were there before Judge Peter Kinney, who arrived in. 1810, but how long.they were there before that date is not now known. Baughman was a man of family and lived near Greentown.” In an historical paper written in 1858 by the late Hon. John Coulter is the following statement: “I came to Green township in 1810 in company with my father, Thomas Coulter, Jonathan Palmer, Joseph Gladden, Otho Simmons, Melzer Tannehill, Sr., and George Crawford. We reached the hospitable home of Abraham Baughman, August 25, 1810. Mr. Baughman was the only white man living on the Blackfork from one end to the other. Mr. Baughman and myself felled the first tree on my quarter section, for bees, a short time after I had entered the land. We were all from Pennsylvania." Inasmuch as Abraham Baughman had an improved place when the Coulter party came there in 1810, he had evidently been located there for some time, perhaps as Mr. Graham stated in his history of Richland county. "as early as 1807."

Therefore in all probability, Abraham Baughman and John Davis were the very first settlers in Green township, and their cabins were not only the first ones in the township, but the first in the valley of the Blackfork.

John Davis was a widower and kept widower's hail on what was later known as the William Irvin farm. Davis had been a soldier in the war of the Revolution, and died a few years after he came to Ohio, while on a trip to Chillicothe to draw his pension. Davis' death left Abraham Baughman and family the only white settlers of the Greentown country for several years. Abraham Baughman's family at that time consisted of himself, wife and two sons - Jacob and George - who were then boys in their teens. Mr. Baughman is described as a large, powerful, fearless man, who lived in peace even with the savages, who were at first his only neighbors. Jacob and George as young men indulged in athletic sports with the Indians; Jacob's favorite sport was to "run, hop, step and jump," in which he excelled; George's was wrestling, and never found an Indian who could put him on his back. As the Indians did not take defeat very good naturedly, Jacob would sometimes permit them to win; but George with less diplomacy declined to accede to Jacob's advice for him to sometimes let the Indians throw him. Abraham Baughman, his wife and three of their five sons are buried in the Perrysville cemetery.

By 1812, a number of families had been added to the Blackfork settlement, prominent among them being Rev. James Copus, Frederick Zeimer, Captain Ebenezer Rice, Judge Peter Kinney and Captain James Cunningham. Abraham Baughman and Captain Cunningham lived on adjoining farms, and Mr. Baughman's son, Jacob, married Captain Cunningham's daughter Elizabeth, and they were the parents of A. J. Baughman the author of this work.

The Blackfork of the Mohican river enters the township from its western border and flows in a southeasterly course until it reaches Loudonville, in Hanover township, a distance of about ten miles. The low bauks and sluggish current of this stream renders its water privileges, of but little value. There are however two dams in Green township. One of these runs the two pairs of buhrs and one saw and was formerly owned by Mr. Beachley, and the other, formerly known as the Stringer mill, but later owned by A. A. Taylor and ran three pairs of buhrs. The valley of this stream is generally broad, and its fertility is not excelled elsewhere in Ohio.

Upon the Clearfork of the Mohican, which runs only about a mile through the corner of Green township, there is a dam that furnishes power for running a gristmill with three pairs of buhrs and one saw. These mifis were formerly the property of Thomas W. Calhoun.

Honeycreek has its source in the Quaker springs in Vermillion township and pursues a southwesterly course through Green, a distance of about five miles, and empties into the Blackfork at the farm once owned by the late Abraham Dehaven. Upon this stream there have been several sawmills and one gristmill.

The first case of ague in Green township is given by a writer, as follows: William Hunter, who came from Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, to Green township, in 1818, with his wife and eight children and settled on the north half of section 36, was an Irishman and had been an officer in the Federal service in the whiskey insurrection in Pennsylvania. Mr. Hunter returning from a trip to the mills at Newville became ill, and laid himself down before the wide fireplace so close to the embers on the hearth that his feet were partly imbedded in the warm ashes. His trembling limbs created a great dust, which added to his chattering teeth, despite their warm sympathy for their father's affliction, provoked mirth from the younger children, which so annoyed the father that he raised himself up and demanded to know if they had no better manners than to laugh at the miseries of a dying man, and made an effort to give the children a "brush." His illness proved to be a hard ague chill - the first of which he or his family had had any experience, and which in about three months resulted in his death.

Much of the surface of Green township is broken, although hills and valleys yield rich reward to the cultivators of its soil.

The country in those early days was more beautiful than any pen can describe. The valley of the Blackfork was very densely covered with a low, matted growth of small timber, while, close to the creek, the ground was rankly covered with long grass, and the interlacing vines of the wild morning glory, plumy willows, and the dark, thick growth of Alder. The hills were crowned with giant oaks, and the fragrant winds were healthful as the breezes of the ocean. Wild game abounded, even great ferocious wild hogs, with their foamy, white tushes gleaming out and looking frightful.

On page 358 in Knapp's History of Ashland county, gotten out in 1863, is the following paragraph relative to the first family in Green township.

"The family of Abraham Baughman was the only one residing in the township when Messrs. Tannehill commenced their improvement. This place became afterward known as 'the Guthrie farm,' and is now occupied by John Castor. There was also an unmarried man named John Davis, keeping 'bachelor's hall' upon the farm now owned by William Irvin, being the southwest quarter of section 30. In the fall of 1811, Meizer Tannehill, Sr., (father of Charles and Bazel,) removed his family to Green township."

Upon Hull's surrender at Detroit the settlers considered that the peace and public welfare demanded immediate additions to the military force for the purpose of resisting anticipated Indian invasions in Ohio, and volunteers were enlisted for that service and placed under the command of Major Kratzer, of Mt. Vernon. Soon thereafter a body of troops on a scouting expedition discovered a vacated camp in the vicinity of New Haven, Huron county. The camp had the appearance of having been a few hours previously occupied by the Indians. It was afterwards ascertained that the night previous the militia and the Indian encampments were not over a mile apart. But this fact was not known until the following day, which gave the Indians a day's start of our troops. On the day Copus was killed, five militiamen were sent to the relief of the settlers on the Blackfork, as it was supposed the Indians contemplated an attack upon that settlement. They were led to this conclusion from the fact that Zeimer and Ruffner had been killed a few days previously.

Arriving near the Ruffner place, they met the remaining troops, (seven th number,) who had been engaged in the battle at Copus's having in charge the surviving members of the Copus family. These troops had also, since the battle, been joined by about one hundred others belonging to the same command, (that of Major Krebs, of Tuscarawas county.) The united force on that night encamped in the vicinity of the Copus cabin, and, on the next morning, Mr. Tannehill and party took leave of the Tuscarawas militia, and pursued their way to the deserted village of Greentown. Near that place, at the cabin of Abraham Baughman, (which was also found deserted,) Mr: Tannehill separated from his companions and continued his way homeward. Near Perrysville, he overtook John Coulter and Harvey Hill, who were urging forward some cattle at "double quick," and from whom he had learned that the settlement had heard the tidings of the last battle, and that they formed the rear guard of the settlers who were fleeing to Samuel Lewis's blockhouse, on the Clearfork.

On the day following, the men returned and erected a blockhouse on the place of Thomas Coulter, which afforded security for a greater portion of the Blackfork settlement of Green township during the remainder of the war.

During the excitement that pervaded the community at the blockhouse, on the evening after the attack upon the Copus family, the male inmates of the fortress, including boys and men, assembled, in the dusk of the evening, in the vicinity of the fort, and near the apprehended point of attack, for military drill. These were no regular soldiers, and it was a parade of the militia. Such as had bona fide rifles and muskets shouldered them, and those who had not, substituted wooden or Quaker guns. The roll was called and the men would respond for themselves, and the boys, and a multitudinous number of mythical persons, thus leaving the impression upon the minds of the concealed foe, if such were in sight and hearing, that an immense force was defending the blockhouse.

From the date of the first settlement of the township until about 1816, the wants of new immigrants created a good demand and good prices for all the surplus produce the farmer could raise; but in the year above mentioned, a surplus beyond the wants of the settlement was produced, and prices fell to a very low figure. This made it peculiarly hard upon the first settlers who had leased Virginia Military District School lands, as the interest on their purchases fell due about this time. Corn, which had in the previous years since the first settlement, found ready sale at seventy five cents per bushel, could not be sold at any price; and wheat, which had formerly sold for one dollar and twenty five cents per bushel and even higher, was now reduced to thirty seven and a half cents and even twenty five cents per bushel. Five bushels of wheat were exchanged by Mr. Tannehill for one bushel of salt. The first market was at Portland, or Sandusky City. The first trip which Mr. Tannehill made, in 1819, occupied ten days..

At an early day, John Coulter and Captain Rice took the job of cutting a road from Ashland to Mansfield. They contracted to cut ten miles for ninety dollars, and the place of beginning was specified then as the Trickle farm. The Trickle family had left their poor little home on account of the Indians, and gone to Wooster for safety. The father of the family died the day the men commenced their job of cutting.

After the roads were cut, or laid out through the woods ready to work on, Philip Seymour was made one of the first supervisors. His district extended from Perrysville up the Mansfield road, almost to Lucas. One time when they were laboring on the road and felling trees on the Mohawk Hill, one fell aslant and broke one of Richard Conine's legs. The men made a comfortable restingplace for him against a tree, and then started John Oliver off to borrow Peter Kinney's old gray mare to carry Dicky home. John had five miles to walk through the woods; it was growing late when he returned, and Dicky suffered extremely. His father rode and took him on behind, and there he was all that weary ride of rough miles, his leg dangling and the broken bones grating together and paining him intensely. Solomon Hill and Judge Comiter attended to the binding up and splintering and fixing his poor limb that night, as the family were in poor circumstances, and no doctor nearer than Mt. Vernon. It was many weeks before Richard could get around, and as soon as he could walk, he limped out on crutches to look at the young pigs in the pen, and before he got back to the house he slipped and fell and broke it over again; and then the two men were sent for, and the dreadful performance unskillfully gone through with another time. Then, before he wholly recovered, the settlers had to flee to the blockhouse for safety from the Indians; and there, within its dreary, lonesome walls, Dicky's young mother died, with no physician near to save or help; none but hardy and sympathizing men and weeping and pitying women.

THE FIRST SETTLER IN GREEN TOWNSHIP.

The first settlement in Green township was made on the Blackfork near the village of Greentown by Abraham Baughman at a very early date.

Dr. Hill, in his history of Ashland county, says it was possibly as early as 1807. In a paper written by the late Hon. John Coulter in 1858 and published some years since in the Loudonville Advocate, Mr. Coulter said: "I came to Green township in 1810, in company with my father. Thomas Coulter, and Jonathan Palmer, Joseph Gladden, Otho Simmons, Melzer Tannehill and George Crawford. We landed at Abraham Baughman's about the 25th of August. He was the only white man on the Black Fork, 'from one end to the other.' We were all from Pennsylvania. Mr. Baughman and myself felled the first tree on my quarter section, for bees in August, 1810." Therefore, according to this statement, Abraham Baughman was the only white man living on the Black Fork "from one end to the other" when the Coulter party arrived in 1810. The settlement was in Green township, Ashland county, then a part of Richland.

Graham, in his history of Richland county says, that inasmuch as Abraham Baughman had an improved farm when the Coulter party came in 1810, that he might have been there prior to 1807.

In Knapp's history of Ashland county is the following statement: "The family of Abraham Baughman was the only one residing in Green township when the Messrs. Tannehill commenced their improvements in 1810."

Abraham Banghman married Mary Katherine Deeds, and removed from Cumberland to Washington county, Pennsylvania, and then to Richland county, this state. His brother, George, also came to Ohio and located at what is now Gahanna, in Franklin county. Abraham Baughman and wife were the parents of eight children, five sons and three daughters. When they came to the Black Fork their two younger children, Jacob and George, were single and lived with their parents.

Jacob Baughman was born at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, February 19, 1792. While the family resided in western Pennsylvania; Jacob, then in his early 'teens, had worked with an apple mill maker. After the Baughman family had lived two or three years on the Blackfork and had their farm well cleared and improved, Jacob received an offer to return to Pennsylvania and ftnish his trade. Their postoffice was then at Wooster, fifteen miles east of which Jacob's brother John had settled and for whom a township was named.

Money was then very scarce, and while they could grow what they needed for their sustenance prices were so low that but little cash could be realized on the sale of farm products, and in fact there was but little, if any, market for them. A family council was held and it was decided that Jacob should C "buy his time, "-the two years he lacked of his majority, -accept the offer and remit quarterly installments to his father, which would furnish him money with which to pay his taxes, and so forth.

With his clothing tied up in a bandana handkercheif, Jacob set off alone on foot on his long journey. His pathetic parting with his mother he often feelingly described. The war coming on, he returned to Ohio before his two years were completed. Mrs. Baughman died in August, 1820, and her husband the January following. On their gravestones in the Perrysville cemetery is the inscription, "Pioneers of 1810." as the exact date or year is not known.

Mr. Coulter, in the paper referred to, also speaks of the cordial reception they received "at the hospitable home of Mr. Baughman." Hospitality was a prominent characteristic of the pioneers. The latchstring was always out in a literal as well as in a figurative sense. To fasten a door would have been considered an insult to society, a reflection on the honesty of the neighbors. John Davis, an unmarried man, kept "bachelor's hall" on a farm adjoining the Baughman place. Davis had been a soldier in the war of the Revolution, and died soon after he came to Ohio, while upon a trip to Chillicothe to draw his pension. His death left Abraham Baughman and family the only white residents of the Greentown country for several years, with the Indians as their only neighbors. Mr. Baughman has been described as a large, fearless, powerful man, who lived in peace with the savages.

By 1812, a number of families had been added to the Baughman settlement, prominent among which were James Copus, Frederick Zeimer, Captain Ebenezer Rice, Judge Peter Kinney and Captain James Cunningham. Abraham Baughman and Captain Cunningham lived on adjoining farms. Mr. Baughman's son, Jacob, married Captain Cunningham's daughter, Elizabeth, and they were the parents of A. J. Baughman and the author of this volume.

PIONEER INCIDENTS.

Abraham Baughman, grandfather of the writer of this work, the earliest settler in Green township, Ashland county, bought a calf of an Indian, paying him the price he asked. A year later the Indian demanded an additional sum of money because the calf had grown and was bigger than when he sold it. Baughman paid the amount demanded to avoid trouble, and the next year an additional sum of money was demanded, and paid under protest. To prevent the animal from getting bigger still with an additional supplemental price being paid every year, the animal was slaughtered for beef..

One evening when Baughman and wife were at a neighbor's two Indians called at the Baughman cabin and finding the two boys, Jacob and George, then in their teens, in bed ordered them to get up and give them something to eat. After luncheon the Indians ordered Jacob to go to the stillhouse, as distilleries were then called, and get them whiskey. They held George, the younger boy, as a hostage, threatening to scalp him if Jacob delayed or gave the alarm. For want of a more suitable vessel, Jacob took his mother's tea canister in which to carry the whiskey. He made the trip as expeditiously as possible, and upon his return the Indians smelled cautionsly at the whiskey, and detected a peculiar odor, which they mistook for poison, they became enraged and flourished their tomahawks furiously. They then made the boys drink of the whiskey and awaited to see the result upon them, but as no bad effects developed, the Indians. accepted the boys' explanation and proceeded to drink the contents of the tea canister and were howling drunk when the parents returned.

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