History of Patterson 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 occupies the northeastern corner of the county, was erected in March, 1841, and was taken from the north end of Wayne township which then extended to the old Greenville treaty line. In 1848, the northern part was cut off, when Darke county was reduced to its present size, and in the same year sections 2, 11, 14 and 23 of township 12 north, range 3 east were detached and added to Wabash township. The watershed passes through the central part of this township in an east and west direction separating the upper basin of the Wabash from the head waters of Swamp Creek branch of the Stillwater. The southern section of the township is rolling and the soil is largely of a light clay formation. In early days it supported a fine forest of beech, sugar, maple and oak. Like Wabash township, the northern portion contains a larger proportion of dark alluvial soil and formerly supported a heavy growth of timber in which Linden, Sycamore, and Walnut were especially noticeable. Isaac Finkbone, who seems to have been identified with the early settlement of Wayne and Wabash townships, is also mentioned as the pioneer settler here, coming in 1827 or 1828, to the southeast quarter of section 32. He was soon followed by Philip Fitzenberger, who squatted in the southeast quarter of section 33. James Patterson, Sr., was the second landowner who settled in the township, and his son gave the township its name. Richard and Thomas Mendenhall, John Day, Samuel Day, Dr. Greer, John Puterbaugh, James Davidson, Anthony Cable, John DeWeese, William Russell and Arphaxed Julian are also mentioned as prominent early settlers. Although this township was late in settlement and backward in development it has made commendable progress, as shown by the fact that the census of 1910 gave it a population of 1,632, as against 319 in 1850, while the tax assessment of real estate in 1913 was $1,739,680 and for chattels $387,430.

Woodland (now Willowdell.)

The first village in the township was Woodland, which was laid out in 1859 in the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of section 20, on the south slope of the watershed. A Lutheran church was erected here in 1865. This neighborhood has become famous as the birthplace of "Annie Oakley" Mozee, whose biography appears in another chapter.

The Christians erected a church on the north side of the Berlin pike near the east line of section 8 in 1863, and another in the northeast quarter of section 25, range 3, about 1880. There is still a Lutheran church in Willowdell; another in the northwest corner of southeast quarter of section 30; the Walnut Grove Christian church in the southeast corner of the southwest quarter of section 24, besides the churches in Yorkshire and Osgood villages.

The first school house was put up in the southeastern quarter of section 32, in 1842, and was erected by subscription. A. L. Wilson was the first teacher. There are now seven special school districts in this township not including those in Yorkshire and Osgood.

The Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton railway (formerly Narrowgauge) was built through this township about 1881. It follows the section line between township 12, range 3 and township 11, range 4 from the Mercer county line to the northwest corner of section 30, and then turn southeastward, crossing into Wayne township in the southwest corner of section 32. Since its construction two thriving villages have developed.


This village was laid out at the quartering of sections 1, 6, 12 and 7 in the "eighties" and now contains a town hall, hotel, station, public school, Catholic and Christian churches, lodge, elevators and stores.

The St. Nicholas Catholic church was organized in 1906, by Rev. Bernard Beckmeyer. Services were held at first in the village school house. Rev. John Rahrle soon took charge of the new parish which then numbered probably thirty five families. A temporary church structure was completed in September, 1906, and services held therein. In this year a tract of land was purchased in the eastern section of the village and the erection of a new and suitable church building was soon entered into with zeal and devotion. A beautiful structure costing about $22,000 was dedicated September 6, 1908, and given the name St. Nicholas. It is a fitting memorial to the zeal and devotion of Rev. Rahrle and his small but zealous and devoted flock. In its brief existence this parish has thrived wonderfully and now includes about eighty five families. Rev. Rahrle resigned in 1912 and was succeeded by Rev. Bernard H. Frauzee. This congregation serves a large constituency of settlers of French and German descent who now comprise a large per cent. of the citizens of this township and those adjoining. There are several fountain wells in this village as well as in the region to the north and east, near the headwaters of the small streams flowing northward from the watershed. The population in 1910 was 214.


This village is located one mile south of Osgood and was incorporated in 1901. Its rapid growth is shown by the fact that the population in 1910 was 182. This village contains a postoffice, bank, station, public school, Disciple and U. B. churches, brick and tile yard, elevator and warehouse. The Berlin and North Star pike forms the main east and west street of this village

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