History of Concord Township, Champaign County, OH

From: History of Champaign County, Ohio
Judge Evan P. Middleton, Supervising Editor
B. F. Bowen & Company Inc. (Publisher)
Indianapolis, Indiana 1917


Concord township was a part of the original Mad River township which had been organized in 1805 and was set off from that township in 1811. The exact date of its organization by the commissioners is lost, but the record of an election held on October 8, 1811, furnishes indisputable proof that the township was in existence at that time. It is more than probable that it was created in that same year and that the election on the date mentioned was the first held in the township. Another point of uncertainty concerns the original limits of the township. The earliest record in the commissioners' minutes gives the boundaries of the township as it existed in 1817, but whether this was its original limits, or its limits as changed between the date of its organization and 1817, are facts which can only be ascertained from the commissioners' records. Their absence, therefore, makes it impossible to state with certainty what the limits of the township were prior to 1817.

The limits as defined in 1817 were as follows: "Beginning at the southeast corner of the fourth township in the twelfth range; running north to the northeast of the same; thence west to the county line; thence with said line to the south boundary of said range; thence east to the place of beginning." This description shows that the township in that year included all of its present limits; all of Johnson except the southern tier of sections; the two southern tiers of sections of the present Adams township; and the southern tier of sections of the present Harrison township.

Johnson township was detached in 1821 and this restricted Concord to township 4, of range 12, but the commissioners' records do not state when the northern tier of sections was detached from Concord and attached to Harrison. The latter township was organized in 1815, but at that time it did not have the northern tier of sections of township 4 in range 11. It is probable that Concord received its present limits at the time Johnson was cut off in 1821. It now contains thirty sections of land, six sections from east to west and five, sections from north to south.

It would be interesting to know who suggested the name of "Concord" as the name of the new township in 1811. It is not beyond the range of probability that some of the pioneers who petitioned for the organization of the township had fought at Concord bridge in 1775 - "By the rude bridge that arched the flood." Be that as it may, the township was so named and it has honored the original Concord of Massachusetts, even though it may not have been named in its honor.

At the election of 1811 which has been previously mentioned, there were only thirty five votes cast, and all of these were not residents of the Concord township of today; some undoubtedly lived within the present limits of Johnson, Adams or Harrison, which townships were in part at that time attached to Concord. The complete poll book is given verbatim:


Poll Book of the election held in Concord township, in the county of Champaign, on the eighth day of October, A. D., one thousand eight hundred and eleven. Sampson Talbot, Thomas Stretch and Joseph Hill, Judges; William Stretch and Daniel Jackson, Clerks, of this election, were severally sworn as the law directs, previous to their entering on the duties of their respective offices.


Felix Rock, Silas Johnston, Adam Wise, George Faulkner, Philip C. Kenton, James Johnston, Philip Comer, Walker Johnston, Archibald McGrew, Sr., Christian Stevens, William Kenton, Jr., James McLaughlin, Jark Kenton, Elijah T. Davis, Ezekiel A. Smith, Sampson Talbot, Thomas Stretch, Joseph Hill, William Stretch, Daniel Jackson, Robert Blaney, Jacob Sarver, Samuel Mitchell, Sr., Joel Fuson, Abraham Custor, William Custor, Isaac Custor, Mathew McGrew, James Mitchell, Thomas Kenton, Thomas Daniel, Samuel Smith, Marcus Clark, Benjamin Line, Joseph Hurings.

This election was held at the home of Robert McFarland, who located near Concord chapel, but no record seems to have been preserved of the officials elected at this election. There is not only no record of the officials selected at this election of 1811, but the late T. S. McFarland, who was the best informed man on the early history of the township, stated that the first officers were elected in 1818. Writing in 1872, McFarland stated in the "History of Champaign and Logan Counties" (p. 299) that the first election of officers was in 1818 and at this time the following were elected: Trustees, Philip Kenton, George Robinson and John Bouseman; clerk, John Daniels. The same authority gives the following list of clerks during the early history of the township: Robert McFarland, the father of T. S. McFarland, was elected in 1819 and served for thirteen consecutive years, his house serving as the election place for several years; and following McFarland came in order Joseph Hough, Stilly McGill, James Russell, D. H. Neer, L. M. Steward, Philip Corner, Austin Heath, John Russell (later secretary of state of Ohio), R. G. Allen, Fleming Hall, Joseph Groves and N. D. McReynolds.


There seems to be no question that Joseph Hill was the first settler within the present limits of Concord township. Hill settled in section 8 in 1802 and for many years prior to the setting off of Concord township was a constable. He was the father of Joseph Hill, later superintendent of the Panhandle railway, with headquarters at Logansport, Indiana. When Hill arrived on the scene in February, 1802 found on the tract he had entered a "squatter" by the name of Isaac Anderson. Anderson had made some few improvements, but not having any title to the land, he was forced to move. This Anderson left a reputation in Concord and Mad River townships as the laziest man in the community and many are the stories of the effort he put forth to keep from doing anything.

It is not possible to trace the settlers in the order of their arrival in the township, but a number of the first arrivals will be briefly noticed. Following close after Hill in 1802 came Sampson Talbot who settled just west of the Arrowsmith mills in the southern part of the township. Talbot had served as a justice of peace for a number of years before Concord was, set off from Mad River township. He was famous for the large number of marriage ceremonies which he performed, his unique method of conducting the ceremony making him a favorite with the young couples of the community. Ile died in 1846 and is buried on the old Talbot farm. The land has been in the Talbot family since it was entered in 1803. It is now owned by Mary R. and Laura C. Talbot, granddaughters of Sampson Talbot.

Adam Wise came to the township prior to 1805 and settled on the late Oliver Taylor farm in section i in the southeastern corner of the township. His grandson, James Stevens, of Kingston, lived to be nearly one hundred years old. Another early settler in the southeastern part of the township was Alexander Dunlap, who located on the farm later owned by S. M. Pence. Dunlap prided himself on being a little different from ordinary men. On one occasion, in 1830, he decided to make the race for the Legislature, and he proceeded to announce his candidacy in a manner befitting his peculiarities. It ran as follows:

Take notice, that I offer as a candidate to represent Champaign county in the next legislative session of Ohio in the ensuing election October next. I am a Republican. I am against the black and colored people being on the same footing as the whites is. I am In favor of gineral Aandrew Jackson being president to take seat in March next. I adds no more at present, but remains a candidate.
Aug. 4th, 1830.


His originality availed him nothing - he was defeated. Dunlap had two sons and two daughters and all of them lived to ripe old ages, but only one of the daughters ever married. William, the youngest son, evidently was a chip off the old block; he became wealthy, but later in life developed a consuming desire to light cigars with five dollar bills. It is needless to add that he spent his declining days in the county infirmary.


The Mitchell family were early settlers in the vicinity of Northville. James Mitchell, Sr., was an old man when the family located in the township in 1806. He had three sons, John, Samuel and James, Jr., and all three of the sons married and settled in the vicinity of Westville. In 1809 the first member of the Longfellow family arrived in the township, Joseph Longfellow, a native of Delaware, later resident of Kentucky and still later of Concord township, Champaign county. He was a cousin of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the poet. The trip of Longfellow and his wife from Delaware to this county is fraught with a great deal of interest and is worthy of being perpetuated in the history of the township.

They emigrated in a one horse cart from Delaware to Kentucky and the same vehicle furnished their only means of transportation from the latter state to Champaign county. The harness for this one horse was homemade and there was not a bit of iron used in its construction. They stopped only a short time in Kentucky and then set out again on the long trip for Ohio. They packed their household goods in the cart, but when this was done there was not room for either of them to ride. Not only that, but there were two things necessary to take along which had to be carried - he wanted his gun, and she insisted that a bread tray could not be left behind. So, armed with the gun and bread tray, respectively, the couple - and both were over sixty years of age - started with their cart and faithful horse for the land of promise, for Concord township, Champaign county, Ohio. And they walked the entire distance, he leading the horse and she following with her bread tray to give notice if anything should fall off the cart. Thus came to the county the first members of a family which have become well known and substantial citizens and are represented by many descendants today.

Longfellow was not a large man physically, but he was a man of unusual energy and physical endurance. He fought during the War of 1812 and returning to his farm in this township, continued to reside on it until his death, December I, 1865, being one hundred years old at the time of his death. He voted for George Washington for President in 1788 and voted at each succeeding Presidential election down to and including the second election of Lincoln. He was the father of twenty two children and a number of these children attained positions of honor in their respective communities.


Henry Bacome entered land in 1810 west of Concord chapel. In this settlement there was prevalent a peculiar disease which was commonly known as "milk-sickness," but just what the disease was, or how to treat it, the pioneer physicians were never able to determine. Bacome moved his cabin three times in order to escape the disease, but it caught him before he moved the fourth time. He believed it came from the water; others thought it came from buckeye sprouts; still others thought that it came from the dew on fleabane; as a matter of fact, the disease completely baffled the best physicians of the time and there are those yet today who maintain that the disease was largely a matter of imagination.


Felix Rock was one of the early settlers and located on the farm in section 9 which he sold to Daniel Kizer when he removed to Iowa in 1844. The entire Rock family died shortly after they went West. The farm which was later in the hands of the Taylor family for many years was entered by John Tippin and was sold by him to John Daniels. John Duckworth, an Englishman, came to the township from Warren county, Ohio, in 1815 and entered the northwest quarter of section 9, and, interesting to note, he paid for it by cutting wood at twenty five cents a cord. The Harbours were Carolinians who came to the county in 1805. It is probable that Jesse Harbour accumulated more children and more acres of ground than any pioneer in the county. T. S. McFarland is responsible for the statement that Harbour had thirty two children and that "he gave each child eighty acres of land, or its equivalent, when they arrived at the age of maturity." William Harbour, a brother of Jesse, arrived from Carolina in the same year. Jesse Harbour entered his first land in the northwestern corner of the township, about a mile west of Heathtown. He died in 1865.


Longevity was one of the characteristics of the early settlers of Concord township. Feather beds are said to be an excellent safeguard against lightning, but Thomas Tipton, one of the early settlers of Concord township, put them to another practical use. He conceived the notion that he would live an untold number of years if he would but sleep between two feather beds, in summer as well as winter, and he succeeded in warding off the Grim Reaper until he was one hundred and eleven years old. It is not known whether he missed a night or two away from his feather beds, but his experience is worth recording. Tipton sold his farm to Peter Baker. It was the southwest quarter of section 29.

Many of the settlers who entered land before 1820 found themselves unable to meet their payments and had to relinquish their patent. In many cases this seemed unfair and local historians have expressed themselves in no uncertain terms regarding the injustice of the act of Congress which compelled some of the best of the settlers to give up their farms. Some tracts changed hands very frequently in the first few decades. The records show that one farm, originally entered by Joel Harbour passed through the hands of Joel Fuson, James Bacon, William Snodgrass and William Werden before 1819. Another farm which eventually became the property of Jesse Neer was entered by Samuel and John Hogg and passed through the hands of a man by the name of Taylor (not Judge John Taylor), George Gideon and John Shriver.


Along the western side of the township Thomas and William Stretch located early in its history. These two brothers served as constable in their township and the bond which they signed upon assuming the duties of their office is an interesting document of ancient Champaign history. This unique instrument is given verbatim:

Know all men by these presents, That we, Thos. Stretch and Wm. Stretch of the township of Mad River, county of Champaign and State of Ohio, are held and firmly bound to Ezekiel Arrowsmith, Treasurer, or Ills successor in office in the just sum of four hundred dollars, for which payment well and truly to be made. we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators firmly by these presents and sealed with our seals and dated this 10th day of October, 1809.

The condition of this obligation is such that if the above, Thos. Stretch and Wm. Stretch or his attorney do, and shall in all things well and truly observe and perform and faithfully and impartially act, which on the part of them the said Thos. Stretch, Constable for the above mentioned township and county, in the time, manner and way the law directs dnring the time be shall remain in office; then this obligation will to be void and of no effect, otherwise to remain in legal force.


One of the old township records presents some interesting facts concerning the school sections. Every sixteenth section of land was set aside for school purposes and it was the duty of the township trustees to take charge of this land. In the case of Mad River township the school land was rented to various parties for a number of years. The old record shows that George Stonebarger was the first renter to lease a part of section 16, township 4, range 11 - the only school section in the township. His lease extended the legal limit of fifteen years. He was to clear a certain amount of land, keep it tinder cultivation, plant so many apple trees, sow so much timothy and clover seed and in other ways perform certain acts as specified by law.


As has been stated the township began its legal existence in 1811 and before that time had been attached to Mad River. Local historians in writing of the township in former years seemed to have confused the original Concord township with the township as it is today. It must be remembered that the township included nearly all of Johnson and part of Adams between 1811 and 1817, and that from 1805 to 1811 it was a part of Mad River township. Many of the officials listed by local historians as belonging to Concord township, were, it is true, residents of the present Concord, but the territory now composing the township was a part of Mad River. For instance, the Stretch brothers, whose bond has been given, lived in what is now Concord township, but they were officials of Mad River township and not Concord township. The late T. S. McFarland in his historical monographs on Concord township names a group of officers of Concord who were in office prior to 1811, and this means that they were elected for Mad River, since Concord had no officials of its own until after 1811.

To quote from T. S. McFarland: "Caleb Carter and Isaac Anderson were the first trustees of the township. John Clark's name also appears as one of the early trustees of the township. George Mahin's and Joseph Hill's names appear as witnesses in connection with the leasing of school lands. Also Daniel and Charles Rector were among the prominent men of their day. James Montgomery, we believe, was a Methodist minister and an associate of the Rectors. John Kain entered the first record of the stock mark, July 13, 1805. Kain lived then on what is known as the Strother Smith farm in Jackson township, in the identical house in which the writer's grandfather died in 1811. This same house is now [written in 1881] occupied by William Kesslar and the chimney still bears the marks of an earthquake which took place in December, 1811. Elijah Weaver was among the early officers of the township, with William Weaver and Joseph Diltz as his securities."

It is evident that all of the officers mentioned by McFarland in the preceding paragraph were elected for Mad River township. The records of Concord after it began its independent career in 1811 have been searched with a scrutinizing eye by the township's historian, McFarland, and there are few facts worthy of perpetuation which have escaped his keen eye. It is safe to say that no township in the county has had more written about it than Concord, and certainly a greater fund of miscellaneous facts concerning its early settlers have been preserved than of any other township in the county.


Robert McFarland, the father of Thomas Sims McFarland, was a native of Rockbridge county, Virginia, and was taken by, his parents when still a child to Tennessee and shortly afterwards to Kentucky. In 1807. Robert McFarland came to Champaign county to make a permanent location, a prospecting trip with Martin Hitt and Joseph Diltz during the year previous having convinced the young man that the county was a suitable place in which to settle. The impelling reason for McFarland's leaving Kentucky was his intense hatred of slavery. In October, 1807, the McFarland family arrived in the county and stopped for a short time in the northern part of the present Union township. They unloaded their goods by an oak log on Tuesday and by Friday they were ready to move into their rude cabin, although the floor was but partly laid and the roof not yet in place. Their beds were the rudest sort, built out from the wall, the one corner being nothing more than a forked stake securely driven into the ground. In this cabin William McFarland and his family and Joseph Gray, his father-in-law, lived from October until the following spring. They then moved to Salem township on a tract about half way between Urbana and West Liberty. Still later the two families located about two and one half miles southeast of Westville in Mad River township.

Robert McFarland bought the farm of Henry Bacome and this became the McFarland homestead for more than a century. It had joined the old Concord chapel in Concord township. In the winter of 1811-12 Robert McFarland built a cabin on his newly acquired farm and in April, 1812, moved into his new home.


On the farm on which McFarland moved in the spring of 1812 there was probably the best preserved Indian village standing at that time in the county. About two hundred yards west and south of Concord chapel was a deserted Indian village of fourteen huts. They were still in a good state of preservation and had been deserted within the previous decade. Many stories are told of the Indians who roamed theĽ woods in the early days of Concord township. As far an known the only persons killed by the Indians within the township were Arthur Thomas and his son. They were killed in August, 1813, by the Indians and the blood thirsty savages after shooting them, scalped them, hung them by their heels, and capped their cruelty by disemboweling and tying their intestines around their necks. The bodies were found the next day and taken to Urbana where they were buried in the old graveyard.

Concord township was evidently a favorite spot of the Indians. In addition to the village near Concord chapel they had one between Muddy creek and the present village of Northville. They also had a village in the southeastern corner of the township near the confluence of Muddy creek and Mad river. Numerous Indian relics have been found on the old Johnson farm along Mad river in the northeastern corner of the township and this would indicate the location of an Indian village there at one time.


The families of most of the old settlers of Champaign county were fully in accordance with the views of a former President of the United States regarding race suicide. Concord township, according to McFarland, boasted "at one time of six families in which there was one hundred and forty seven children and no miscount." This would make an average of twenty four and one half children to the family, which, necessarily, indicates that at least one family had more than twenty four. Reference has been made to Jesse Harbour who became the father of thirty two children, but data is not available to show who the other five advocates of anti race suicide may have been. The father of T. S. McFarland had a family of nineteen children and thirteen of these were living in 1881, their average ages at that time being fifty six years.


In the history of a township which has been in existence for more than one hundred years, as has been Concord township, there may be found a vast number of incidents of infinite variety, some of which have a certain historical value, but most have only such interest as attaches to rambling reminiscences. Thus it is with Concord township. An example of one of these incidents which has been repeated over and over for a hundred years is the story of the Foley-Wilkinson fracas.

Near Concord chapel at the beginning of the township's history there lived a family by the name of Foley - parents and four sons, the latter ranging in age from eighteen to twenty six years. These four sons were big, muscular fellows and, if tradition carries a modicum of truth, they had little else to recommend them except their physical prowess. They were quarrelsome, lazy, shiftless and were usually described with an assortment of adjectives, none of which were complimentary. They mowed down every aspirant for athletic honors until they met one Thomas Wilkinson. Hence this story.

Toni Wilkinson was likewise endowed with a goodly set of muscles, but unlike the Foleys, was of a peaceful disposition. He had heard of the boast of the Foleys that they were able to manhandle any human being in the county, and that collectively they were willing to fight their weight in wildcats. Wilkinson decided that he was the match of any one of these said belligerent Foleys and expressed himself to his friends to this effect And another chapter opens.

The Foleys had heard of Wilkinson and that he felt that he could cope with them on the battlefield. They resolved to give him the opportunity. In July, 1819, the Foleys went to the farm of Felix Rock to assist in the harvest field - so they said - but they were really on the warpath. Wilkinson must be attended to, and at once. After dinner one of the Foleys announced to the assembled crowd of harvesters that they had heard that Tom Wilkinson had said that he could whip any one of the Foleys. If he wanted to make his word good, now was the opportunity. Wilkinson was on his feet in an instant and replied to the taunt by saying that he was ready to take on the best one of the four Foleys - and that he was ready to enter the arena at once.

Out stepped the brawniest of the quartet. The couple repaired to the shade of a large maple tree; the farmers surrounded the fighters. They parried, they feinted, they thrust and they countered; but it was the work of only a few minutes. Foley had met his match. The fight waxed warm and warmer; suddenly the good right arm of Wilkinson reached the jaw of Foley and Foley as suddenly assumed a recumbent position across the roots at the foot of the maple tree. He had been knocked down. Not only was Foley laid down, but he was actually laid out; he was carried out - and nine days later he was buried in the country churchyard. It does not seem that Wilkinson was ever indicted for the death of Foley.

In the fall of the same year William Foley, another of the brothers, enticed Wilkinson into a fight at a corn husking at Joseph Longfellow's. The second Foley did not lose his life, but he lost all the reputation he had as a fistic artist. Wilkinson proved master of the second brother no less decisively than he had of the first. In 1822 the Foley brothers were at a militia muster in Mad River township at the home of George Kite. On this occasion they engaged in a fistic encounter with Reuben Loudenback and Isaac Moody and were soundly thrashed. Their reputation as fighters was gone and soon after this last encounter they left the country never to return.


In the Citizen and Gazette of January 2, 1879, there is an interesting sketch of Concord township under the pen of "Specs., Jr." (T. S. McFarland). Among other items which appear in his article of nearly a column in length the following miscellaneous points are noted (the reader must remember that this article was written in 1879, nearly forty years ago):

"The last census (1870) showed a population of 1,035, but as a decade of years have almost passed since then we think our population now will reach 500 more. We have scarcely what we might call a town, but there are several localities that exist only in name that were intended originally for towns, but all were spoiled in the making. Northville has only three families, who are ordinarily peaceful and quiet citizens. It also has three public buildings, two of which have outlived their days of usefulness and are no longer fitted for the purpose for which they were designed originally. Heathtown has three families, but its day of usefulness as a town has passed away, there being no longer any public business houses in the place. The old shoe shop alone remains to tell of its used up glory. In the days of Know nothingism it was the headquarters of 'Muddy Run Council No. 317, with one hundred fifty members, embracing at that time almost all the voters of the township. Pekin is the most lively place of the township, having four families, a good country store and a blacksmith shop. Gourdville is virtually out in the cold, yet it contains as usual two houses with some of its inhabitants known far and wide for their public virtues. Then we have Stringtown and Fleatown but from neither of these come any items from Concord. We have one family in our midst in this township who adhere strictly to the old style of cooking in the absence of a cookstove. Politically, we are decidedly Democratic and not much prospect of any change in that direction. The older class of people with two exceptions have passed away."


The Concord school house, which was one of the first to be built in the county, has a history that is quite worthy of record. The building was erected by James Taylor. This ancient structure was a hewed log house, the first of the kind in the township, the material being taken from the south end of the farm adjacent to the school ground. The first teacher in the new house was William Mouser, who had commenced the term in the old house a quarter of a mile south and would have finished the term, but from the fact that two boys, aged respectively twelve and thirteen, threw down the old mud and stick chimney during school hours while the teacher's back was turned, thereby causing a panic. The pupils ran out of the house and the children were never compelled to return to this building. School was at once adjourned to meet in the new house two weeks later. Mouser completed his term in the new house. Then came William Vanansdel, followed by Charles Dagger, John E. Waller, R. W. McFarland, Moses B. Hebard, Lewis M. Steward, Austin Heath, D. H. Neer, James Putman, James Taylor, B. L. Haller, William Remsburg, John Russell, Sarah V. Russell, William F. Gardner and Jesse Neer. Of these teachers mentioned six of them became ministers of the Methodist church, two lawyers, one a state senator, and two of them became prominent as teachers. Jennie Russell, the only woman who taught in the house, was a native of Virginia, coming to Ohio in 1838 at the age of eight years. She was noted not only for her beauty but for her intelligence. She became the wife of Dr. T. W. Goddard, a well known physician of Urbana.


An account has been given of various kinds of citizens, some of whom did not bring any special honor to the township. But Concord has produced a number of men who have become known outside the limits of their township and county. A few of these are mentioned in the succeeding paragraphs.

Probably the most noted man the township has produced was John Russell, who was born in the township on September 22, 1827, and who died on December 16, 1869. He was graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1851; was elected county clerk in 1854 and served until 1863; served as chief clerk to W. H. Smith, secretary of state from 1863 to 1868; was appointed secretary of state in January, 1868, and served one year. He was elected to the state Senate in the fall of 1869, but died before the Legislature convened.


One of the most interesting characters in the county, or in the state, lived for several generations in Concord township. Few men in the United States have lived longer than Richard Stanhope. Stanhope, a colored servant of George Washington, was born at Fredericksburg, Virginia, March 1, 1748, and died in Concord township on September 20, 1862, aged one hundred and fourteen years, six months and twenty days. There is no question concerning his age; neither is there any doubt that he was one of Washington's servants. He had in his possession a certificate in Washington's handwriting to show that he was in the general's service. He was at the bedside of his master when he died in 1799. During the Revolutionary War Stanhope was with Washington in many of the battles and to his dying day showed the scars he had received on the battlefield. He was also in the War of 1812 as a teamster, being present at Detroit when General Hull surrendered. The British ordered him to drive his team to a certain place, but the loyal darkey, watching his opportunity, unhitched the best horse of his team and rode night and day until he was safely back at his old home in Concord township. He served his country well and faithfully in every respect. He reared a family of twenty eight children and nearly all of them were living at the time of his death.

Stanhope became a member of the Baptist church in 1773 and continued a faithful member until his death, ninety years later. He retained his physical and mental faculties to a remarkable degree until his death, and was able to recount in a vivid manner all the events of more than a hundred years in which he had been a participant. Stanhope lived most of his life on a farm of Levi Johnson near Heathtown, in the northwestern part of the township. He is buried in the old Johnson burying ground.


The most noted educator to come from the township was R. W. McFarland. He was born on the old McFarland homestead in 1825; showed unusual precocity from his earliest school days; was teaching in the subscription schools of the county at the age of fourteen and for the next eight years divided his attention between teaching and attending college. He was in school at Augusta, Kentucky, for one year; spent a few months at Westerville, Franklin county, Ohio; and was graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1847 at the age of twenty two. At the age of eight he was capable of solving any problem to be found in any of the arithmetics then in use, and it was in the field of mathematics that he made his reputation later in life. For seventeen years he was professor of mathematics in Miami University, at Oxford, Ohio, and after the suspension of that institution he became professor of mathematics at Ohio State University at Columbus.


Mention has been made of a successful politician and public official, of a worthy colored man, and of an educator. The township has produced at least one minister of the gospel who has attained more than a local reputation. Rev. Samuel Neer, a native of the township, was a Methodist minister who had some of the best charges in the Cincinnati conference. He continued in the pulpit until his death in 1857. A brother, Rev. Jesse Neer, was a member of the Central Ohio Conference and was a successful minister until his death in Logan county in 1854. These two eminent ministers of the township are buried side by side in the old Concord cemetery.


A citizen of Concord township who attained distinction in a totally different line than any of those previously mentioned was Joseph Hill, whose father is credited with being one of the first settlers in the county. Colonel Hill - whether this military title is earned or assumed or applied by friends the historian does not attempt to state - became interested in railroad affairs and eventually became a prominent factor in the old. Pan Handle railroad. Starting out as a civil engineer, he displayed such organizing talent, such pronounced ability in handling men as well as tracks and bridges, that he eventually became superintendent of the Chicago division of the Pennsylvania Lines, with headquarters at Logansport, Indiana.

These few men stand out more prominently than some others, but undoubtedly there are others of a past generation who are worthy of being classed in any group of public spirited citizens. Such men as Philip Corner, F. N. Barger, James D. Powell, Ebenezer Wilson, Oliver Taylor and scores of others lived worthy lives and contributed of their respective abilities to the end that the township of Concord might be classed with the best in the county.


The religious life of the township is treated in full in the chapter dealing with the churches of the county. From the earliest history of the township there have been active churches, but many that were once active have long since disappeared; others are holding only occasional services; while a few churches in the township may still be seen along the rural roads - unused except for an occasional funeral. The story is not altogether a pleasant one, but it is the same with all the other townships of the county, and the county but repeats the history in this respect of every other county in the state. The township seems to have an unusual number of cemeteries, the records showing no less than ten scattered over the township.


Concord township has never had an incorporated village within its limits. The nearest approach to a village the township has ever had is Northville. This embryonic hamlet was laid out by John Arrowsmith, the surveyor of the county, in the fall of 1832 for James D. Stevens and Jacob Davis and the plat was recorded on October 18, 1832. For some reason it never attracted many permanent residents. In 1872 it was credited with three dwelling houses, a store, a Methodist church, school house and a blacksmith shop. The store had disappeared by 1880 and a Grange hall, which' had been built in the seventies, was deserted by the end of that decade. The historian of 1880 pathetically remarked that "Mr. William Downs, a prominent citizen, and Mr. Howard Smith, the village blacksmith, are the sole occupants of the town at this writing." While it had so few residents within its precincts at the time, it had a number of excellent citizens in the immediate vicinity, among whom were Wallace Downs, Thomas Stevens, George Kennedy, S. J. McCollough, Daniel Bruner, N. D. McReynolds and a number of others. At the present time there is no sign of a village; even the faithful old church has closed its doors forever.


Heathtown was a flourishing little trading center before the Civil War and at one time was the seat of a postoffice bearing the name of Muddy Creek. The village stood on the line between sections 23 and 29 in the northern part of the township, less than half a mile from Muddy creek. Its name and its very existence are due to the efforts of one John Heath, a native of New Jersey, who came to the township about 1838 and established himself at this place. He opened a shoe shop at first and later branched out as a grocer and still later added a full assortment of such goods as were found in country stores at that time. Within a short time he convinced the postoffice department that the government ought to establish a postoffice in his store and for a number of years a postoffice was maintained at this place. John Detrick opened up a blacksmith shop and J. R. McFarland added a shoe shop to the growing industrial life of the village. Heath eventually left the child of his dreams to wither by the crossroads and it pined away after he left for Iowa in 1854. Its death was lingering, but painless.

An interesting bit of political history is concerned with Heathtown in the days of its glory. In 1854 there was a political party known as the Know Nothing party and a number of the farmers around Heathtown were members. They even organized themselves into what was known as Muddy Run Council No. 343 and held regular meetings in the village.


A third village of the township is credited with two names, but it seems that it prefers its chirographic title of Crayon to its Chinese designation of Pekin. It stands just one mile due west of ancient Heathtown, in the center of section 35, the northwestern section of the township. It never boasted of more than one store at a time, and this one changed hands with such frequency that it seems not to have been a good investment. A postoffice was established at this point in 1879 under the name of Crayon and was maintained for several years. James W. Heath was the first postmaster. A blacksmith shop was operated by Ira Poffenbarger for several years.

"Specs, Jr." (T. S. McFarland) walked into the village of Crayon (Pekin) in June, 1878, and wrote the following brief sketch of his visit to the editor of the Citizen and Gazette: "A first class blacksmith shop by Feaster & Valentine and a wagon shop by one Bazelle. We see a new dwelling on the northwest corner nearly completed, the property of John Clark. On entering the dry goods store of J. M. Bargar we find it full of customers. Mrs. B., his better half, assists him behind the counters. Jo may well be proud of his clerk. Here we met for the first time for years our old friend, J. F. Bargar, whose form a few years ago was lank and lean but now tips the beam at 200. Fred attributes all this to his letting bad whiskey alone."


Two other villages which never got beyond the paper stage made their appearance before the war. Orsamus Scott had a metropolitan dream and attempted to realize on it. He went so far as to plat a number of lots in section 20, but the only reason why his town is perpetuated is because the plat is safely recorded in the court house at Urbana. He never succeeded in getting it any farther than the pen and ink stage.

Another village of former days which actually had two families living in it at one time - and not in a double house either - was a product of the imagination of some pioneer whose name is lost. He must have been a Bible student and well acquainted with the story of Jonah and the gourd, since his town bore the suggestive name of Gourdville. He probably thought it would grow up over night, even as did the gourd of Biblical times. Evidently his gourd was planted in poor ground - it refused to grow. It was planted about three fourths of a mile south of Concord chapel, but it never contained more than a couple of dwelling houses and no industries of any kind. It is remembered by some old citizens that the families of James Blue and Tubal Woodward occupied the two houses at one time in the seventies.


Within the past few years another village has come into existence in the township, the largest the township has ever had, and it bids fair to continue a busy little trading center for many years to come. It is located a half mile west of Concord chapel on the line between sections 14 and 20 and is known as Eris. The village has never been platted, but is as flourishing a trading center as some that have this distinction. Noah Fisher has a general store at the present time, while C. R. Pence has a grocery store. The village is on a rural route out of Urbana.

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