This township was erected in July, 1817, and contained all of the county south of a line running due east from
the northwest corner of section 31, township 11 north, range 2 east. A tier of sections was taken from the northern
part upon the creation of the townships of German, Neave and Van Buren. Harrison, Butler and Monroe were successively
detached as elsewhere mentioned, leaving Butler as now constituted, it being identical with the civil division
known as township 8 north, range 3 east, containing thirty sections.
This township was named from Twin creek which drains much of the southern portion of the township as originally
constituted. The northern part is drained by the upper waters of Painter creek and the, eastern section by the
head waters of Ludlow creek. The eastern part is quite level, and, in early days was covered with water for considerable
periods each year. This condition was quite discouraging to early settlers but after extensive and successful drainage,
the land became very productive, the soil being rich, deep vegetable loam, enriched by ages of rank vegetable growths
which had been sustained in the vast molasses of by gone ages. Along Miller's fork the land is more rolling and
elevated, yet very productive. As formerly stated a distinct glacial moraine, or moraine belt, is traceable through
the southwestern part of this township, skirting the valley of Miller's fork and following that stream into Preble
county below Ithaca. An old Indian trail, apparently followed this elevated belt and it is said by some authority
that Wayne's army took this elevated route in preference to that of St. Clair. The road from Ithaca to Fort Jefferson
and Greenville follows this old trail and is one of the early highways of the county. As before mentioned, Elliott
and Stoner were both slain along this trail, during the war of 1812. The body of Stoner is buried in the cemetery
Jacob North is said to have been the pioneer of Twin township. He came from Lewisburg and settled on Miller's fork,
probably about 1812, but was alarmed at the killing of Elliott and Stoner and the warning of a half breed friend
and returned to his old home.
William Robbins was probably the first permanent settler. He came in 1815 and settled just west of Ithaca. He was
followed in 1816 by David Lucas, William and Eli Curtner, Frederick Shank and son Philip, David Shearer, James
McDole, Philip Rutter, David Baumgardner, Isaac, Thomas and George Walker. Several of these were from the Stillwater
settlement, which had been formed largely of people from North Carolina about 1800. In the spring of 1817, Frazee
Doty, a local minister and prominent citizen settled just west of Ithaca, and in the fall of that year Andrew Burkett
came. Among other early settlers were Michael Bickett, Emery Rogers, William Lemon, Adam Briney and Philip Rader.
The first school house was built in 1822 or 1823 in the northeast corner of section 19. There are now nine schools
in this township, besides that at Arcanum.
The first church, which was of the Christian denomination was erected in the northwest quarter of section 6, near
the northwest corner of the township. This denomination also erected another church one mile south of Arcanum.
Both of these disbanded at an early date. Abraham Sneethen and Levi Purviance were the early representatives of
this sect, and the pioneer preachers in the township. John Williams was also an early preacher. The United Brethren
built a church in Ithaca about 1830, which was the second erected in the township. All the churches of this township
are now located in the villages as elsewhere mentioned.
On account of the fertility and value of the land the farms of this township have been divided into comparatively
small tracts. Much tobacco is raised in the eastern portion and small tracts of land in the neighborhood of Arcanum
have sold as high as $300 per acre.
There are three villages in this township: Ithaca, Arcanum and Gordon.
This village was platted by John Colville in 1832, and given the name of Twinsborough. Being in the center of
the early settled district and on an old highway, it early became an important trading center. It now has United
Brethren, Baptist and Lutheran churches, a school, town hall and hotel, besides Odd Fellows, Junior Order and Red
Men lodges, and is located on the Ohio Electric railway. The 1910 census showed a population of 100. Its growth
has been retarded in recent years by the building of the D. and U. railway to the east and the location of Gordon
and Arcanum on that line.
This place was platted in 1849, and named for one of the pioneers. It is located upon the D. & U. and Ohio
Electric railways in the midst of a rich farming country and has been especially known for its large lumber businelss
conducted successfully for years by Ezra Post and its elevator and tobacco warehouses owned and operated by Edward
Ammon. Besides its stores and the above mentioned enterprises this village has a Baptist and an M. E. church. The
population in 1910 was given at 181.
The largest and most important village in Twin township and the entire southern part of Darke county is Arcanum.
It is situated on the western border of a level plain, and, at the time of settlement, was surrounded by an almost
impenetrable swamp. This plain extends from Ithaca to Gettysburg and from Arcanum to Laura and is now a veritable
garden spot, about twelve by eighteen miles in extent. The only break in this exceedingly fertile plain is a slight
ridge - probably a minor moraine - extending from Arcanum to Pittsburg, and even this has been redeemed by cultivation.
This village, it seems, owes its existence to the building of the Greenville and Miami (now D. & U.) railroad.
We quote herewith an interesting article concerning the platting and naming of this village, from the pen of C.
C. Pomeroy, the civil engineer, who laid it out. It was written at the request of Mrs. Jennie Lee (nee Francis)
and published in the Arcanum Enterprise:
"At the suggestion of my esteemed friend, Col. William Armstrong, or rather his order; either form giving
me pleasure to respond, 1 pull from memories budget a few straws relating to Arcanum, Darke county, one of Ohio's
most thrifty inland towns. In the fall of 1846, a line of railroad was located from Dayton to Richmond. Fourteen
miles west from Dayton, an angle was made to Greenville, twenty two miles. The road was then known as the Greenville
and Miami railroad. Hiram Bell was president, afterwards a member of congress. When the line was located, it was
all woods where the town of Dodson now is, and there were no towns from Dodson to Greenville. The. railway line
to Greenville was chiefly in the woods, excepting now and then small clearings. In the fall of 1848, the writer
and David Comly, son of Richard Comly, one of the owners of the Dayton Journal, were students of practical civil
engineering under the tutorship of Phineas Pomeroy, then chief engineer of the road. We were assigned to take test
levels and cross sections from Dodson to. Greenville; in the discharge of this order we reached a tasty, comfortable
log house with three rooms and an 'upstairs' reached by a ladder; it was the home of Mr. John Gunder, carved out
of the wilderness, embracing forty acres of cleared land on which the house stood. The day was one of 'chill November
blasts' of which the poet sings; it rained and froze just enough to provoke saints, and more especially searchers
after the science of engineering. It was four o'clock that day and we were just beyond Mr. Gunder's home in the
woods, it was so foggy we could not take accurate observations with the level, so Dave said, 'Charley, let us quit,
I am cold and hungry, let us go to Mr. Gunder's and stay all night.' Two hungry engineers met a hearty welcome
there and were royally treated by Mrs. Gunder and her two daughters, and the sumptuous meal was done ample justice.
At nightfall, Mr. Gunder came in from the woods, and during the evening chat said, 'Boys, tomorrow will be drizzling,
and frozen and sloppy all the way to Greenville, and you might as well stay here and lay off a town plat for me.'
Morning came and being unpropitious, so we remained and surveyed and mapped his town plat, and made a neat and
pretty map and pinned it up on the log. When Mr. Gunder came he looked at it closely and was well pleased. The
following colloquy then occurred: `Now Gunder what name will you have for your town, Gunderville?' 'No, No! Ohio
has too many "villes" now; you boys select a name and have one that is not on the map of the globe; have
it ready for me when I come from work, as I am going to Greenville tomorrow and will have it recorded.' We worried
and stewed and fretted to get a name we thought would please him. At last, in view of the murky, damp, sullen,
hazy afternoon, that hung in clouds of chunky darkness, a remark was made that there must be a word somewhere that
fits the place and its surroundings to a 'gnat's heel;' it is dark, it is dismal, it is gloomy, how would 'Arcanum!
do? It was printed in India ink on the map. Mr. Gunder came in just as we were about to eat supper, he observed
the name and expressed great satisfaction with the selection. Sure enough, next day lie went to Greenville and
had his map recorded. The clerk in the recorder's office told him the engineers were making fun of him in naming
the town. `Howl?' Why do you know the name means "secret, hidden?" "I don't care what it means;
is there a town in the world of that named?' No,' says the recorder. 'Then the people who live there will have
no trouble in getting their mail,' said Gunder, 'and it is in harmony with surrounding conditions."
"And this is the way Arcanum, now one of the prettiest, busy towns in Ohio, got its name, and no town in the
state is in advance of it in enterprise, intelligence, energy and prosperity.
"C. C. POMEROY, Civil Engineer."
Another version of the story about the naming of the town is to the effect that Gunder had a bull which, for some
unknown reason, he called "Arcanum." This animal, it seems, had strayed away and while looking for it
he came upon a group of men working long the right of way of the new railway. Suddenly catching sight of the bull
he exclaimed, "There's Arcanum," whereupon the name was seized upon and applied to the neighborhood railway
Like many other traditions this is probably a corruption of the true story and we can do no better than accept
the plausible statement made and signed by the engineer who laid out the town as above noted.
The Greenville and Miami railway was not completed to Arcanum, however, until 1852, but its coming was the great
"red letter" day in the history of the village and township. From henceforth Arcanum was put in close
touch with Dayton and the outside world, and the long, tedious journeys to this market through the slashes of Painter
and Ludlow creeks and over the corduroy roads became a thing of the past. Messrs. Samuel and John Smith were the
pioneer merchants. Whey opened the first store here June 20, 1851, and through their energy, industry and business
qualifications helped to make the place develop rapidly.
The rapid growth of the new village is forcibly indicated by the following business directory, published in 1857:
Dry goods stores, grocers and grain dealers - S. D. Smith, J. Thomas & Son, Albright & Oliver, John Smith,
J. F. Roser, and Sprecher & Bro.
American Hotel-John A. Raylor.
Steam grist mill and distillery-Voorhes, Shepherd & Bro.
Physician and surgeon-Jesse J. Paramore.
Cabinet warerooms and undertaker-C. Bantling.
Coopers-Henry Kester, Henry Glasmeir.
Carpenter and joiner-George Lowe.
Boot and shoe maker-Samuel Garrett.
Wagon and carriage maker-D. B. Baker.
Carpenter and joiner-John Fleck.
Brick and stone mason-P. Snodderly.
Carpenter and joiner-S. B. Thomas.
Station man (G. & M. R. R.), James Battern.
Tailor-A. B. Steinmetz.
Mason and bricklayer-John C. Bocanon.
Arcanum has long been known for its business enterprise and its large mercantile establishments are the wonder
of the stranger accustomed to the trading facilities of the ordinary village.
This village has likewise shown much enterprise in religious, social and educational enterprises.
The Methodists built a church here as early as 1856, and now have a strong congregation.
The United Brethren built a brick church in 1860, on the corner of East and South streets; where the present
church now stands. Previously they had worshipped in a little log church on the farm now owned by Andrew Clark,
one fourth of a mile east of Arcanum, where they had organized a society in 1853. The present church was erected
in 1896, at an approximate cost of $10,000. This is one of the strong denominations of the county and has now an
enrollment of about 400 in the church, and 500 in the Sunday school.
The present church officers are:
P. W. Byers, Jacob Miller, Jr., G. T. Riegle, William Clark and E. B. Hawley.
Trustees of the church Sunday school superintendent, G. T. Riegle; class leader, H. O. Hoffman, president of W.
M. A., Mrs. E. B. Hawley; president of Golden Link Society, Mrs. Myrtle Shumaker; president of C. E., Miss Nettie
Robbins; president of Junior C. E., Mrs. Nana Cartmell; general steward, C. A. Smith; class stewards, Marion Trump,
J. H. Potts, H. O. Hoffman, Abraham Nyswonger.
The Reformed denomination built a church in 1879, but the society at the present time is practically dormant with
a membership of about thirty five.
Arcanum has produced some men of exceptional talent in the past and now takes great pride in referring to the Sigafoos
brothers, Charles P. and Edward, who are sons of George W. Sigafoos, deceased, at one time a prominent dry goods
merchant in the village. Charles P. Sigafoos was born May 4, 1865 and received his elementary education in the
public schools. He was graduated from the Ohio State University in 1889, spent one year at the University of Virginia
and four years at Johns Hopkins' University. He soon became a professor of biology in the University of Wisconsin
and during some twenty years in this chair has probably tutored more students in this science than any other professor
in the United States.
Edward Sigafoos was born December 14, 1868. After a course in the common schools he entered Ohio State University
and, was graduated from that institution in 1891. While in the latter school he manifested a taste and talent for
military science and was persuaded by some prominent citizens of the state to apply for entrance in the regular
army of the United States. After passing the required examination at Washington, D. C., he was appointed a second
lieutenant and spent two years in the excellent advanced military school at Leavenworth, Kansas. In 1898 he was
commissioned first lieutenant and served one year under General Wood at Santiago, Cuba. He has recently attained
the rank of major and is serving with the army in Vera Cruz, Mexico. In December, 1895, he married Opal, the daughter
of Dr. Donovan Robeson, of Greenville, Ohio. The progressive spirit of Arcanum is reflected in the schools which
maintain a high standard. The high school course comprises four years and leads up to colledge admission. The school
library contains 1,000 volumes. Prof. O. G. Hershey has been the enterprising and enthusiastic superintendent for
Arcanum is well provided with fraternal and secret organizations, having Masonic, Odd Fellows, K. of P., and Junior
Arcanum Lodge No. 341, I. O. O. F. was instituted August 9, 1858, with the following charter members: Adam Bartoch,
Jacob Thomas, Joseph Gootlieb, Adam B. Steinmetz, Samuel Garsett, Samuel D. Ross, Evan Henninger, Thomas Morton
and Philip Sprecher. It now owns property valued at $7,500 and has a membership of about 200.
Jewel Rebekah Lodge No. 255 was given charter May 18, 1888, with twenty three members. It now has about forty members.
The Masonic lodge is known as Ithaca Lodge No. 295, F. & A. M. and was organized at Ithaca, October 21, 1857,
with ten members, viz.: William A. Matchett, Daniel Ridenour, William Colville, S. C. Engle, Martin J. Colville,
Milton McNeal, J. H. Engle, Caswell Sharp, Clark Baker and Elijah Heath.
This lodge now owns its own property and has a membership of about one hundred.
There is also an Eastern Star lodge here.
Arcanum now has a fine, large brick city building, erected about 1890, at a cost of some $12,000. It contains the
offices of the various city officials, the fire department and an excellent auditorium with a seating capacity
of several hundred. The city also owns its own water works and electric light plant. There are two hotels, two
banks, two newspapers, a building association, a postoffice, elevator, tile yard, saw and planing mill, lumber
yard, two flour mills, a creamery, monumental works and other enterprises. A large proportion of the tobacco produced
in the county is raised in the level black land of Franklin, Monroe and Twin townships, and much of this is marketed
in Arcanum where several large warehouses are located. The Peoria division of the C. C. C. & St. L. railway
gives a good east and weet outlet to the village and the Ohio Electric railway makes connection with Dayton and
Greenville quite convenient.
Several blocks of the main streets have recently been paved with brick and other public improvements made.
The census of 1910 showed a population of 1,361, in the town and a total of 2,925 in the entire township.
The tax duplicate for 1913 showed real property to the extent of $904,560, and chattels to the extent of $548,560
in Arcanum and $2,094,570 in real estate and $882,290 in chattels in Twin township outside of Arcanum.