History of Washington 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 originally comprised the territory now included in Washington township and all of German township, except the southern tier of sections. German township, it seems, was detached in 1820. In 1833, the north tier of sections in the latter was thrown into Washington township, but returned in December, 1834, since which time Washington township has remained as it now is in dimensions. The upper waters of Greenville Creek drain the northern section and Crout creek the central and southern sections of this township. It contains nearly twenty one thousand acres of land which was originally covered with a dense growth of timber and was noted for the large number of excellent springs. As previously noted Indian settlements were numerous along the Crout creek prairie where they left many marks of their former habitation. The soil is very productive and probably produces as much grain and produce as any in the county. The first settlers to locate in this township were Martin and Jacob Cox of Pennsylvania, who settled on the south side of Greenville creek in sections 13 and 14 on October 16, 1816. They were followed by James Brady and Samuel Cole, from Sussex county, New Jersey, who came in March, 1817, and settled in sections 26 and 27. Samuel Cole, Sr., and Levi Elston came in 1818 and were followed by John Snell and Daniel Shively. The latter settled in section 27 on Crout creek and formed the nucleus of what was later known as the Dutch settlement, to which came the Hecks, Millers, Raricks and Clapps from Pennsylvania and Maryland. Besides these several families were added to the original settlers from New Jersey and formed the Jersey settlement in the eastern part of the township. The list of pioneers should include the names of Joel Cosad, Nathanil Skidmore, Jeremiah Rogers, Samuel and Peter Kimber, Henry Creviston, Ignatius Burns, Philip Manuel, Moses Crumrine, Jesse Gray, Jacob Chenoweth, Conrad Harter, Charles Sumption, Solomon Harter, Joseph Dixon, L. D. Wintermote, Hezekiah Fowler, David Wasson, John S. Hiller, Isaac Vail, Thomas F. Chenoweth, Aaron Hiller and Johnson Deniston. The first road from Greenville to reach the early settlements crossed at the old ford, ran along the north side of Greenville creek to beyond Dean's (Weimer's) mill, where it crossed just below the old Murphy graveyard. The next road crossed Greenville creek at the same point, recrossed to Tecumseh's Point, kept south of Greenville creek, crossed West Branch north of the old George Fox mill and continued on to the Jersey settlement and Crout creek. As before noted these were some of the dearly roads of the county, and have been replaced by portions of the present Union City and Winchester pikes. John Clapp built the first rude grist mill on Crout creek, largely with volunteer help, in 1823, and Jeremiah Rogers later built a saw mill on Hoovers branch of that creek. David Clapp built a flour mill on Clout creek in section 15, in 1832, which later became known as McClure's mill and served the community until recent years. It is to the credit of this township that the first church in the county was erected along the township line in section 36 about 1819, by the Methodists as before mentioned. A second church was built by this denomination in section 32 at an early date, and was known as the Chenoweth church. It is said that the first big Methodist camp meeting in the county was 'held in section 33 on what is now known as the Houpt farm. The third church was built by the Presbyterians in section 14 on the farm of Martin Cox. All of these early churches have been discontinued but others have taken their place and the township has not lost its early religious character. There is a German Baptist church in section 9, a Disciple church in section 29 and a Union church in section 18.

The only village of consequence in the township is Hill Grove, which is located in the northwest corner of section 4 and extends partly into Jackson township. This village was laid out in 1848, by W. Nickel, and is situated on the Dayton & Union and. Ohio Electric railways which traverse the northeastern portion of the township. It now has a Reformed and a United Brethren church, a school house and a few shops, but on account of its proximity to the thriving railway town of Union City, has been unable to make much progress. Nashville is the only other village in this township. It is located on the township line in section 34, at the intersection of the old State road and the Palestine pike. It contains one general store and a U. B. church, the latter being in German township. The small railway mileage and the absence of large towns make Washington distinctly a rural township with some of the best farms and farmers in the county. Like other townships of this class it makes slow increase in population as many of its young men are attracted to the nearby cities and commercial centers. Its population in 1890 was 1,485, and in 1910, 1,388. The real estate assessment in 1913, was $1,955,233.00 and the personal property was listed at $535,520.00.

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