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



Mohican township was surveyed in 1807 by Jonathan Cox. On the 11th of April, 1812, the commissioners of Wayne county divided the county into four townships - the western part, including what are now Jackson, Perry, Mohican and Lake, and part of Washington in Holmes county, and the west half of what are now Clinton, Plain, Chester and Congress in Wayne county, and organized this territory as one township, under the name of Mohican. Thus Mohican township once embraced an area equal in extent to one half of that which now constitutes Ashland county. Mohican was among the first settled and the first organized of any of the townships which now compose Ashland county. The population of Mohican township in 1820 was six hundred and thirty two; in 1830, one thousand three hundred and sixteen; in 1860, one thousand seven hundred and twelve.

Thomas Eagle arrived in the township of Mohican on the 2d day of May, 1809, having succeeded the family of Alexander Finley a few weeks. His family then consisted of his wife and daughter Amelia. He first opened a small farm on the land now owned and occupied by Henry Treace. In the early part of the war, he, together with several of his neighbors, removed their families to the fort, at Wooster, as security against attacks by Indians.

Alexander Finley was the first white settler in Mohican township. Withn1 a few weeks, however, other persons, namely, William and Thomas Eagle, Benjamin Bunn, and John Shinnebarger, all having families, settled in the neighborhood. The year following, (1810) Amos Norris, Vachel Metcalf, William Bryan, Thomas Newman, and James Slater, with their several families, removed to the township.

The Indians in the neighborhood at this time were an intermixtnre of several tribes, the Mohegans, Delawares, Wyandottes, Shawnees, Chiekasaws, and one or two who claimed to be of the Cherokee tribe. They were friendly and harmless, until the war of 1812 commenced, when the main body of them disappeared, and most of them, it is supposed, became attached to the British service.

The first year or two after Mr. Finley came to the country, he obtained his supplies of flour and corn meal from Shrimplin's mill, below Mt. Vernon. This journey to the mill was performed in canoes or pirogues, down the Lake Fork and Mohican, and up Owl. creek, and occupied about three days for the trip. These vessels would carry from twenty to fifty bushels of corn meal.

The forests at this period were destitute of underbrush or small timber, but were covered with sedge grass, pea vines, and weeds, which afforded excellent pasture from early spring until about August. The sedge grass, when cut in July, or earlier, afforded very nutritous and palatable food for horses and cattle during the winter. Very little iron was used in those days. The wooden "mould board" plow and wooden and brush harrows were generally in use twelve or fifteen years after Mr. Finley came to the country; and many continued their use several years afterward.

The clothing of the men was buckskin and flax linen. The women were clothed in a fabric made of raw cotton and flax linen. Handkerchiefs, headdresses, and aprons were made, by the thrifty housewives, of raw cotton. The price of calico (being from fifty to seventy fiye cents per yard) placed it without the means of any but very few to purchase. An excellent and industrious girl. as late as 1822 or 1823, toiled faithfully six weeks for six yards of calico, which, in those primitive days, before the era of hoops, was deemed sufficient for a dress. The lady who appeared in the first calico dress, attracted, it may be supposed, considerable attention in "the settlement." Window glass was not in use until some years after the war of 1812, oiled paper being employed as a substitute.

When Mr. footman came to the township the major part of the village of Jeromeville was covered with fallen timber and hazel bush. The improvements on the farms then settled were small, being log cabins surrounded by a few acres of partly cleared land. The roads were new and unimproved, and many of them little more than bridle paths. The prices of produce in 1828-29 were, as I recollect distinctly: wheat, twenty five cents; pork, one dollar and fifty cents per hundred weight; corn, eighteen cents; salt, five dollars per barrel; coffee, fifty cents per pound; tea, fifty cents per quarter; butter, six cents; eggs, nothing; iron, twelve and one half cents per pound. The usual and best market place was Portland, (now Sandusky City). Twenty to thirty bushels wheat, a big load for two and four horses, ten days of travel if the roads were good, two weeks if not good. Massillon became a market town. The opening of the Ohio canal run the price of wheat up at once to forty cents, then fifty, and then our farmers at that time were satisfied, and expressed the wish that the price would continue at that as they then could make money. Our nearest gristmill was an old concern known as Goudy's Mill, southeast of Hayesville, with one run of stone, old niggerhead or boulder stone at that. Another was Smith's Mill, below Mohicanville. In the winter, when those small streams were frozen, we went to the Clearfork to Manner's Mill. Sometimes we had to go to Owl Creek, in Knox county.

There were the remains of no less than five ancient fortifications in Mohican township; the embankments very regular and very distinctly defined, until cultivation has nearly destroyed their original features. Three are near Jeromeville, and two near the junction of the Muddy and Jerome Forks. They embraced areas averaging about one and a half acres. A mound near the old Indian village, bearing unmistakable evidence, after excavation, of its being a work of art and upon which trees, the growth of centuries, were standing, was also in existence.

The following chronological memoranda of events of interest that have occurred in past years, furnished by Judge Ingmand, will be found of general and local interest:

November 13, 1833. Lights were seen falling on the early morning of this day, (three or four hours before daybreak,) having the appearance of showers of stars.

May 15, 1834. The first frost that, since the settlement of the country, occurred which had been known to materially injure the wheat crop.

June 21, 1834. A terrific storm passed over Jeromeville and a district of country west, which appeared to have its most violent force between the latter place and the vicinity of the farm upon which the County Infirmary is now situated, prostrating in its pathway forest trees and fences, unroofing buildings, removing them from their foundations, etc.

1835. The summer remarkably wet, bottom lands much overflown, and too wet for tillage. flay crop badly damaged, and cattle died the following winter in consequence of eating it. A comet appeared during the fall of the same year. November 11, a severe storm, which did much damage to Buffalo and other ports on the American side, and to the shipping on the lakes.

May 2, 1841. A snow storm of rare violence.

July 21, 1843. Frost.

September 27, 1844. Snow covered the ground, and lay upon it all the following day. October 18, a violent snow storm at Buffalo.

May 7 and 25, 1845. Frosts appeared, which again destroyed the wheat crop of this year.

To those familiar with the days of log cabins, the phrase so often used, cthe latch string is out," is clearly understood.. This latch or fastening was made of wood, and in order to enable those from without to enter the dwelling, a small string was attached to the latch, (which was always on the inside) and passed through the door to the outside, and hence, to prevent the entrance of any person, the inmates would pull in the latch string, so that when it was not seen on the outside of the door, it was evidence that no one could be admitted. One window was usually all that was considered necessary in a log cabin. This was made by cutting out one log, some two feet in length, and then closing up by putting in small sticks, in the form of sash, and pasting greased paper over them to cause it to admit the light more readily.

As stoves were almost unknown in those days, a fireplace was used instead thereof. These were made by cutting out a hole in one end of the building, in some cases large enough to pass a two horse wagon through the cavity. On the outside of the house, and connected with this, the chimney was built of wood and mortar, sometimes lined on the inside with stone and mortar, immediately adjoining the fireplace. In front of the fireplace was a large space left in the floor, called the hearth, which was usually covered with flat stone, and hence the old phrase "hearth stone."

As the wants of the people of that day were few, and easily satisfied, the log cabin usually contained but one room, which served as kitchen; dining room, bed room, sitting room and parlor.

Upon land in Mohican township was a prairie, which appeared originally to have been a crust of vegetable matter overlying a sheet of water. As it was evidently land of great fertility, if the water under it could be withdrawn, efforts were made thoroughly to drain it. Ditches were made, in some places, to the depth of six feet, and considerable quantities of cedar trees, some of them twelve and eighteen inches in diameter, were found imbedded in the earth. What length of time they had occupied the position in which they were found is, of course, unknown, but they appeared as free from any evidence of decay as they would have shown on the day they perished. What is remarkable is that no cedars were ever found by the early settlers, growing in that vicinity. The inference is that a cedar swamp once covered the ground, and a tornado may have violently uprooted them, thus breaking the crust and burying them beneath the surface. Swamp flag and wild grass, very little decayed, were also found at the depth of from five to six feet.. Skeletons of buffalo and elk were also discovered, some of them of immense size. The head and horns of one elk found partly imbedded were of such dimensions that, placing the points of the horns upon the ground, two men on each side supporting them in an upright position. William Eagle, a man whose height was nearly six feet, would pass under them erect.

In the early settlement of the country there was no. law providing for common schools - no tax levied or other funds provided for payment of teachers. Hence all buildings for the use of common schools consisted of some old evacuated dwelling; or, if built for that express purpose, had to be done by voluntary contribution of citizens immediately interested.

During the war of 1812, there were three blockhouses erected in Mohican township, one on the town plat of Jeromeville, a few rods north of the present gristmill; one near the Mohican creek, about four miles south of Jeromeville, on land later owned by Henry Treace; and one about a mile farther down the creek.

To these houses all the neighborhood would rim for safety whenever the alarm was given, and not unfrequently they would have to remain there for several days and nights, with but little to eat or drink. Sometimes some trivial circumstance would cause an alarm, and the whole neighborhood would gather into the blockhouse, and, after remaining there perhaps a day and night, the mistake would be found out, and all would return to their homes again.

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