History of York 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 June, 1837, being detached by the commissioners from. Richland township. At first it comprised all that part of the county lying north of a line commencing at the southeast corner of section 15, township 11 north, range 3 east, and running west to the southwest corner of section 13, township 13, range 2. In June, 1841, Wabash township was detached from the northern part of this territory as elsewhere mentioned leaving York practically five miles long, north and south, and four and a half miles wide, east and west. The northern part of this township is drained by Swamp creek, which runs in a direction generally east and west through nearly all of the northern sections. Indian creek drains the southern part of the township. It enters near the southwest corner of section 1, flows in a southeasterly direction and crosses the eastern boundary near the southeast corner of the township. The soil in the southern portion is of a clayey nature and the land is level. Along Indian creek the soil is a warm sandy loam which is very fertile. In the eastern central section the soil is a light clay and the surface is rolling. The original forest comprised much excellent hardwood including beech, maple, oak, hickory and some walnut.

The first settlements were made in the southern part, mostly along Indian creek. Among the pioneers were Newberry York, who settled in section 15 in the southeastern part of the township in 1834; William A. Sonday, Samuel Reigle, who came about 1838; David Lyons, in 1838; James Winget, David Williams, in 1840; Samuel Sherry, Samuel Lanick, William Miller, Mahlon Martin, Samuel Winbigler and Samuel Hughes. The township was probably named for Newberry York, above mentioned, who was a justice of the peace, in early days and later became an associate judge and an influential man in the county. He had seven sons and two daughters, and his descendants include several of the prominent families of the county today.

Early conditions were much the same as in other townships and it is difficult today when riding over the many miles of improved pikes to realize that they are the result of many experiments in road building starting first with the bridle path, and progressing through the blazed trail, the rambling house to house road, the cut out road, the surveyed mud road and finally the graded pike.

Among the early families were quite a number of Pennsylvania Germans and it is said that the first preaching in this township was by German Lutheran ministers, who conducted services at private houses. The first church was a log structure, capable of seating about one hundred people. It was built in 1848, near the center of section 4 along the main road on an acre plot deeded by Ezra Marker for a church and cemetery. It was distinctly a neighborhood institution and was erected by the cooperation of the settlement. A new frame church was completed on this site in 1856, in which services were held until 1878. With the passing away of the first generation and the scattering of their descendants the church declined and only the old cemetery now appears on the map.

The Methodists held services as soon as sufficient settlers could be interested. Local preachers and exhorters were among the first representatives of this denomination. Services were held in a log school house located about three fourths of a mile west of the present site of Brock. It is said that the Methodists built a church on the northeast corner of section 18 as early as 1838, or 1839. In 1857 they built a frame church in Brock, and held services there for probably forty years. In recent years, however, they were succeeded by the Christian denomination.

J. P. Hafer is credited with being the first school teacher in the township. He taught in an old cabin before the erection of a regular school building. Probably the first school house was built in 1830. Another was erected in 1837, on land belonging to Judge York. There are now six school districts in the township.

There are no railways in the township and the only village is Brock, located on the Greenville and St. Mary's pike on the line between sections 4 and 33. Ezra Marker, George Bertram, Jacob Winbigler and Egbert Winterworth were instrumental in laying off and developing this place. It now has a town hall, public school and a Christian church. There is also a christian church in the southwest corner of section 30. The population of the entire township in 1910 was 902. The assessment of real estate in 1913 was $1,306,860, and the chattels were entered at $184,970.

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