Lake township was surveyed in 1807, and was organized on the 5th day of September, 1814, as it now is, except
that a part or the whole of Washington township, Holmes county, was then included within its borders and so remained
until the erection of Holmes county in January. 1824.
There is no town in Lake township. By the operation of the act of 1846, erecting Ashland county, Lake, which had
already been shorn of its full proportions, by the erection of Holmes county, became further reduced, and has now
a smaller area than township organization in the county, except Muffin. It is sometimes called "Little Lake,"
yet, notwithstanding its decimation of territory, the census report shows that it has increased in population favorably
with the townships of the county.
Population in 1820 311
Population in 1830 552
Population in 1840 1145
As many references are made in the memoranda of the early settlers to this mill, it may be a matter of interest
to state that it was erected by Nathan G. Odell, in the spring of 1812. Mr. Odell entered the tract upon which
the mill is located in April, 1810, and at once commenced his improvement, and in March, 1811, removed his family
to the place. He was the first white settler within the limits of what is now Clinton township, Wayne county. He
died in Michigan, in 1833, at the age of sixty-seven. The building was originally constructed of hewn logs.
In December, 1807, Joshua Oram, and family, immigrated to Fairfield county, Ohio, from the state of Maryland. In
November, 1811, the family removed to Lake township, and entered and commenced improvement upon a quarter which,
by subsequent divisions, became a part of the township of Clinton In the fall of 1812, the family of Mr. Oram,
with several others, established a fort near the southern line of Lake township, where they remained about three
months. In 1815 his father sold the farm he originally purchased, and entered the northeast and southeast quarters
of section 15, Lake township, and immediately commenced improvement upon the former quarter. After residing upon
this land about three years, he sold to Asahel Webster, and removed to the southeast quarter, which he improved
and made his residence until his decease, which occurred on the 27th day of August, 1831.
When his father commenced his residence in Lake, there was not a white family residing within the limits of what
now forms the township. When he raised his second cabin, in 1815, he traveled a circuit of ten miles to gather
the necessary force of men for the purpose.
The supplies of breadstuffs were obtained from Knox county, which was then considered the "Egypt" of
the country, where the corn purchased was ground at Shrimplin's Mill, and was brought home on packhorses during
the winter season, and on canoes when the streams were navigable. After the neighborhood began to raise its own
supplies of corn, it was prepared for converting into bread by breaking up into wooden mortars, an article which
belonged to nearly every cabin, and which was regarded as an indispensable machine in the domestic economy. The
mills were so remote that many families subsisted for months, upon this domestic meal.
The Presbyterians and German Lutherans were the first church organizations in the religious field in Lake township
the Presbyterians having an organization there as early as 1826, other denominations coming later.