History of Adams Township, Darke County Ohio
From: History of Darke County, Ohio
From its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time
By: Frazer E. Wilson
The Hibart Publishing Company
Milford, Ohio 1914


This township was organized in March, 1819. It originally contained all the land east of a line running from the northwest corner of section 4, township 10 north, of range 3 east, to the southwest corner of section 28, township 9, of range 3, and was taken from the east end of Greenville township and the south end of Wayne. In 1820, sections 3, 4, 9 and 10 of township 10, range 3, were taken into Richland township. In June, 1838, all of township 8, range 4, and township 9, range 3, that were in Adams, was taken into a new township named Van Buren, leaving it with about thirty-five square miles of territory. Greenville creek, with some minor branches, drains almost the entire southern part of the township. The main stream runs in a general east and west direction, meandering through the two tiers of sections. The Stillwater drains about four sections in the northeast corner and Harris creek the balance of the northern portion of the township. The surface is rolling, especially along Greenville creek in the southwest portion. Lime rock is exposed along this stream near Cromer's mill and Gettysburg and signs of considerable glacial action are seen in the knolls and boulders which abound in this region. The Pennsylvania railway, which divides into two divisions at Bradford, near the center of the east line, has two lines across this township. The Logansport division runs north of west in a straight line from Bradford, and leaves the township near the northwest corner of section 15, township 10 north, range 3 east. The Indianapolis division runs in a straight line from Bradford to Gettysburg and then turns almost southwest and leaves the township near the southwest corner.

The original forest contained much beech, together with ash, maple and hickory.

This township is the second largest in the county and was the second in order of settlement. It is in the center of the first tier of townships along the eastern line of the county. Abraham Studabaker, the second permanent rural settler in Darke county, located on the south bank of Greenville creek, opposite Gettysburg, in section 25, in 1808. Here he erected a block house and remained during the perilous times of the war of 1812, as elsewhere related. A few families settled about Greenville and the nearest of these was six miles from this lonely settler. David Studabaker was born here in 1814, being the first white child born in the township. In 1816, the family moved about two miles south of Greenville, in what was afterwards known as the Studabaker settlement. A directory published in 1819 mentions "Studabaker's block house," as a promnent point on the Dayton and Greenville pike, nine miles from the latter village. Major George Adams settled in the neighborhood of the present site of Cromer's (Baer's) mill just after the war of 1812. Here he erected a little corn cracker of a mill, which turned out a small amount of coarse meal under favorable conditions. A little grocery and whisky store was soon established and "Adam's Mill" became a popular resort. When the township' was organized in 1819, it took the name of the doughty major. As the population increased, the settlers here, and in the neighboring townships took their grain to the mills at Greenville Falls and Covington to be ground.

In 1816 Armstrong Campbell and Mr. Stewart settled in the Studabaker opening; the former in the southwest quarter of section 30, and the latter in the northeast quarter of section 36. A settlement was made at and near the present site of New Harrison, in 1816 and 1817, by William Cunningham, Samuel Robinson, Barton Fairchild, Thomas McCune, Josiah Carr, John Myers, Zadoc Reagan, Zachariah March and Ebenezer Byram. Isaac Hollingsworth and Thomas Warren were also early settlers. In 1830, John Reck, William Reck, Henry Weaver and Armstrong Campbell erected the first school house in the township on section 30, on the present site of the cemetery near Gettysburg. Samuel Homer was the first teacher. Previous to this time Jacob Herscher taught a subscription school. There are now twelve school houses in the township, besides those in Gettysburg and Bradford.

The Lutherans erected the first church about 1834, on the pike south of Greenville creek in section 36, a short distance east of the present site of school No. 8. This building was afterwards moved to Gettysburg and used until the congregation disbanded. There is now a strong German Baptist church in the southwest corner of section 12, known as Oakland church; a Drunkard church about half a mile north of this in section 14; besides a Methodist church at Horatio, a Presbyterian and M. E. church at Gettysburg and a Presbyterian church at Bradford. Several families of Yorkers or Old Order River Brethren live in the township, between Horatio and Bradford, who hold religious services in their homes. We have referred to the early settlement about New Harrison. A village was platted here in 1837, by Samuel Robinson. By 1845, there were a dozen families in the place, a M. E. church, two taverns, a physician, and probably a store and a smithy. At that time the forest approached on all sides and to the northwest there was an unbroken stretch of seven miles in which there was not a single house. Deer and wild turkeys were often seen in the village. This place of promise was soon eclipsed by the growth of

Gettysburg

A village, which was established about a mile and a half eastward by a colony of emigrants from Adanis county, Pennsylvania, who came mostly between the years 1827 and 1831. The new town was not platted, however, until 1842, when it was named for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in the above named county. John Hershey was the proprietor and built the first structure in the new village, which was used for a tavern. James Auld was the first store keeper, postmaster and justice of the peace. A blacksmith shop, a saddler shop and a cabinet shop were established at an early date. The Presbyterians built a church at the west end of Corwin street as early as 1847 or 1848 on land donated by Alexander Homer, who, with William Carr, John Meyer and Dr. Darwin were active factors in its erection. The organization has continued to this day and the congregation now numbers about 150 members, including many of the oldest families in the community. Rev. Thomas Elcock was the first pastor.

The Methodists have a church on the southeast corner of Corwin and Clay streets which was moved to its present location from the east line of section 31, on the Troy pike in the spring of 1875. It has been remodeled and improved and still serves this prosperous congregation. Rev. J. O. Moffitt of Versailles is the present pastor.

The citizens of Gettysburg have been noted for a zeal for education. The first school house was a brick structure, and was erected on Corwin street about 1850. A second brick school house was erected in 1866 at a cost of some $5,000. This structure served until about 1893, when it was replaced by a modern three roomed brick building at a cost of some $10,000. A fourth room and an auditorium with a seating capacity of some five hundred was added later at a probable cost of some $5,000. This building is located on a fine lot on the north side of East Main street. A high school was established here by Prof. B. O. Martin, in 1896, which has graduated many pupils to date. Prof. Keith Cannon is the principal of the school. Prof. J. H. Royer, one of Darke county's best educators, was at one time superintendent of this school, which has included among its students men now prominent in various callings, including Prof. Edward Rynearson, district superintendent, Pittsburg, Pa.; Aaron Mogul, expert accountant; Harvey Kendall, Glen Stoltz, Prof. Minor McCool, principal of Greenville high school; Prof. J. L. Selby, former principal of Greenville high school. Besides these important public institutions, Gettysburg now contains a bank, hotel, postoffice, grain elevator, lumber yard, station, two tobacco warehouses, three good general stores, a furniture store, a grocery, a drug store, etc. The main streets have recently been greatly improved by grading, curbing and laying cement walks and the village is lighted by electricity. As in most towns of this size, the fraternal spirit is strong as shown by the number of lodges. F. and A. M. Lodge No. 477 was chartered October 21, 1874, with ten members. It now has about sixty-five members. There is also an I. O. O. F., a K. of P. and a Jr. O. W. A. M., the latter of which was chartered March 4, 1903, with eleven members.

Wayne Fair is the mayor and John Kneisley, village clerk. Samuel Hershey is township clerk. The real estate in Gettysburg was appraised in 1913 at $260,730. The population in 1910 was 320.

Bradford.

This flourishing village was platted in 1865, along the east line of the southeast quarter of section 21, township 9 north, range 4 east. The original plat was along the east line, but entirely within Darke county. Being at the meeting point of two recently established railways, it grew from the beginning and in 1870, had 243 inhabitants. Additions were soon made on both sides of the line and in 1890, it had a total population of 1,338, of whom 477 were in Darke county. This growth was largely due to the development of the Pennsylvania railway system, and the fact that this was an important division point. Many railway employees and mail clerks made their home here for convenience and the railway company established a large round house and switch yard on the Miami county side. The village wads incorporated August 24, 1871.

A large, three story, brick school house was erected on the west side as early as 1876, at a cost of some $28,000. This building had two towers and an auditorium with a seating capacity of about 600, showing the growth and enterprise of the village at that time. This building was torn down and replaced in 1908 by a modern eight-room brick structure with an auditorium at a total cost with furnishings of probably $30,000. The town has continued to grow, and on account of its strategic location has a promising future. It now has a city hall, school, hotel, two banks, and a Presbyterian church on the Darke county side; a fine large Railway Young Men's Christian Association building, an M. E. church, a Brethren mission, a hotel, station, elevator, lumber yard, stockyard and round house on the Miami county side. It has the following lodges: Bradford Lodge No. 560, I. O. O. F., instituted in 1872; Bradford Lodge No. 593, F. and A. M., chartered October 19, 1905, with 26 members—present membership about 80; Christian Chapter No. 241, Eastern Stars, instituted July 14, 1906; Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, No. 826. The population in 1910 was 1,844, of whom 669 were in Darke county.

Horatio.

Horatio is a small village in the northeastern quarter of section 15, township 10, range 3 east, on the northern division of the Pennsylvania railway. It has not made much growth since its establishment—probably on account of its proximity to Stelvideo. It now has a postoffice, store and an M. E. church.

The property and improvements in Adams township are indicated by the tax assesment in 1913, which was $3,146,550 on real estate, and $2,032,420 on personal property. The total population of the township was placed in 1910 at 2,835.

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