History of Fairfield, OH
From: The History of Madison County, Ohio
Published by: W. H. Beers & Co., Chicago, 1883


THIS township occupies a position in the eastern tier of townships of Madison County, bordering on Franklin County, and is the second township from the south line of the county, and is bounded as follows: On the north by Jefferson Township, on the east by Franklin County, on the south by Pleasant and Oak Run Townships, and on the west by Oak Run and Union Townships. It was erected much later than most of the others in the county. By the records we find the following recorded June 2, 1835: “At a meeting of the Commissioners of Madison County, present Burton Blizzard, Thomas Jones and Jacob Garrard, on petition being presented, ordered, that the following bounds compose a new township to be known and de&gnated by the name of Fairfield. Beginning at the northeast corner of R. Means’ Survey, No. 5,046; thence to the northeast corner of John Beck’s Survey, Nos. 11,096 and 12,141; thence to the line between Madison and Franklin Counties (passing ten poles south of Thomas Durffinger’s house), thence with said line south so far that a west line will just leave Hiram Tipton’s in Pleasant Township; thence west to Deer Creek; thence up the creek to the county road from Robinson’s Mill to Jefferson, thence with the west boundary of said road to the easterly line of D. Bradford’s Survey, No. 3.973, thence with said line to the place of beginning.”

On the records, bearing date December 7, 1841, we find the following change of line between Fairfield and Union Townships, viz.: “At a meeting of the Commissioners of Madison County, a petition was presented praying for an alteration in the line between Fairfield and Union Townships; wherefore, it is ordered that said line be established as follows: Beginning where the lower lihe of John Evans’ Survey, No: 4,124, crosses Deer Creek, thence with said Evans’ line to his southeast corner (so as to include Thomas Chenoweth), thence with the east line of David Bradley’s Survey, No. 3,973, to the Jefferson road.”

From the lack of any records of Fairfield Township, we are unable to give any information regarding her early elections, or any record of her first officials, as there is not even a “tally-sheet “ preserved prior to 1879.


Fairfield Township is much like Deer Creek Township and in fact much like the greater portion of Madison County in its surface and soil is very level, with slight undulations, especially along the creeks, as it has no large stream within its territory. In its original state. as the first settlers found it. there were quite large tracts of prairie scattered here and there over its surface, which was covered with a heavy sedge, which constituted quite a sustenance and helped to support the stock of the early settlers. The soil is principally deep, rich and composed mainly of loam and clay, with a limestone gravel as a subsoil, and being very flat and level and of a nature to hold water, was originally very wet and much of it, in wet seasons, covered with water; but which in later years is being ditched and drained, so that it constitutes excellent farms equally adapted for grass or grain. The timber portion of the township was never what could be called heavily timbered, consisting principally of white and burr oak and hickory. Like a great portion of Madison County, this township has never held great attractions in the line of heavy or valuable timber; hence, we would not expect to find any extensive business carried on here in the way of saw-mills or dealing in lumber, as is the case in some counties. One great attraction to the first settIers of this township and county was the prevalence of vast numbers of deer and other game, especially of the former, which were often seen in large herds, and it is said that probably no section of the State contained in an early day such vast numbers of deer, and held out such attractions to the hunter as did this county. Hence we find many of the first settlers here were “squatters,” sportsmen, who located temporarily for the purpose of hunting and killing deer and other game, and they located along the creeks and streams and localities most frequented by these herds of deer, and there erected their rough and temporary cabins, and for a time gave their great attention to hunting. Finally, as game became scarce, they removed to other and fresher hunting grounds in the West, their places being filled here by the permanent settler, who located to make a home and a farm.

Not a hundred years ago this section of country was occupied by savages in their paint and wigwams. Next came the hunters and trappers following in their trail, with just a degree more of civilization and comfort. Then the pioneer settler appeared in his rude pole and log cabin, and these supplanted by substantial and comfortable hewed-log houses; and these again by good, attractive frame and brick houses. And finally, here and there, scattered over the now thickly populated country, and in the wealthy cities and their suburbs, appear the palatial mansions. What wonderful changes and progress in so brief a period! And not only is this progress and comfort exhibited in the dwellings and habitations of our people, but even a greater advance and progress has been made in all the arts and sciences. The invention of machinery, by which to expedite and carry on the work of agriculture with ease; the wonderful application of machinery to spinning, weaving and the manufacture of clothing and wearing apparel, and the astonishing result of application of steam power for manufacturing purposes, and in the transportation of the people and products of one section of the country to another. And Madison County and Fairfield Township have experienced and exhibited in their history these vast changes and progress. The log cabin of the pioneer, with its clapboard roof, greased paper windows and latch-string door are things of the past. The old wooden mold-board plow has been supplanted by the improved cast-steel and sulky plows. The sickle and the cradle—those implements so slow and tedious, and back-ache and side-straining tools, are now supplanted with the easy and rapid-working reaper and self-binder—the acme of genius.

The pioneer sold his corn at 6¼ to 12 cents per bushel; wheat at 25 to 40 cents, and often hauled it many miles to market over almost impassable mud roads, to get even those prices. Now, a short distance from his door, and that mostly over a good piked road, is the railroad station, where he can sell his grain, and it is shipped t0 distant markets in any part of the country, and he obtains a good price for all he has to sell; and not only his grain, but for all his stock and products of his farm.

The first settlers spun, wove and made all their fabrics and clothing. The buckskin pants of the hunter, the tow shirt of the pioneer and the linsey-woolsey for the women, all had their day and were succeeded by the finer and more attractive cloth and dress goods of the present generation. All this is well and shows the inventive genius and progress of our people. And as we vew in retrospect this wonderful progress and development of our country and its people, it is to be regretted that society is rapidly being formed into castes, each of which, possessing different degrees of intellect or financial ability, is becoming socially isolated one from the other, tending to produce an aristocracy, a mediocrity and a commonalty, which in their extremes tend to weaken our usefulness and progress, and produce unhappiness by back-bitings and efforts to pull down the one and build up the other. In the days of the good old. pioneers, when neighbors were few and far between, how warm and friendly were their greetings! They would then go miles through the woods to assist one another to erect their log cabins.. They would exchange help in manual labor, or in the necessary provisions and commodities of life, and cheer and encourage each other in the arduous duties of opening out and subduing this then wilderness.

Then the tow shirt and linsey dress were ample habiliments in which to mingle in worship in the house of God. The heart was satisfied; they loved God, and they loved each other. The eye had not learned to long for the gaudiness of dress, and when they met together to worship, the heart worshiped and not the eye. Mi were sociable and friendly; all were traveling the same road, with the same object in view—a home, comfort, happiness, peace and heaven. In the present age of wonderful progress, in all that pertains to the prosecution of the various branches of business in life, to acquire wealth and the comfort it brings, let the people nor forget the social and moral obligations they owe each to the other. And while man seems to be approaching Deity in inventive genius, may he advance and progress in a like ratio in his social, moral and religious obligations to his fellow-man, and let more of that true love and friendship of the worthy old pioneer be cultivated to the great comfort, prosperity and happiness of the people.


As mentioned above, in speaking of the surface and soil, this township has no large streana within its territory; yet, from the flatness of the country and the nature of its soil, it is generally well watered for stock purposes. There is very little water-power for mill or manufacturing purposes, and very little demand for such, as this is strictly an agricultural and stockraising township, having but comparatively little timber of value, but possessed of a deep, rich soil, well adapted to the raising of stock and the cultivation of grain, and these have monopolized the capital and attention of her people.

The largest stream is Deer Creek, which passes through the southwest. em corner of the township, entering the township from Oak Run and running in a southern or southeastern course about half a mile, thence it turns south and continues about one mile and enters Pleasant Township. The next largest stream is Opossum Run, known in an early day as Plum Run. It takes its rise on the George Hume farm, and takes a general southeast course to near the line of Franklin County, thence takes a southern course and enters Pickaway County. Its present name was given it by John Phebis and Isaac McHenry, two of the early settlers who came up the creek from Yankeetown, in Fayette County, seeking a location. As they were traveling up the stream, they were suddenly startled by a large opossum,
with a large brood of young ones clinging to the old one; these they killed, and on their journey returning they came upon another which they also killed, from which circumstance they gave it the name Opossum Run, by which it has ever since been known.

A little southwest of the last-mentioned stream is Lubbergut Creek it takes its rise in the southern portion of the township, and runs in a southeastern course and enters Pleasant Township. Its name originated as follows: A large fleshy man by the name of Mantle, who weighed 480 pounds avoirdupois, and who lived near the creek, was accustomed to altnost daily cross the creek on a foor-log. Two neighbors thought they would have a little fun with the ponderous and weighty Mr. Mantle, so they sawed the foot-log from the under side nearly through, and the next time Mr. Mantle attempted to go across on the log, down went the log, Mr. Mantle and all, and gave him quite a wetting in the creek, since which incident the creek has ever been known by the euphonious name of Lubbergut Run or Creek. West of this is a small stream called Tortle Run, which rises on or near F. L. Young’s farm, runs southwest and enters Pleasant Township. There are no other streams of any size within the limits of the township.


Enoch Thomas came from “High Knob,” Va., and settled on Opossum Run on land now owned by John Heath, in 1807. He was a man of excellent Christian character, a great worker in the United Brethren Church, and was the leading active man in organizing the church, which has since been known as the “Thomas Chapel.” His house was ever open to their minisLers and his hospitality never exhausted. He lived on the place where he hrst settled till his death, September 31, 1851, aged seventy-nine years. Ele married Jemima Phebis, who died June 17, 1822, aged forty-five years. He married for his second wife Mrs. Foster, née Dorcas Clark. She died ‘October 23, 1842, aged sixty-one years. At a very early day, Mr. Thomas erected a brick house, which, it is said by some, was the first built in the county.

John Phebis, a native of Kentucky. who was an early settler at Yankeetown, Fayette County. Ohio, from whence he came to Madison County and settled on the land where Judge E. O. Fitzgerald now lives, in 1807. Mr. Phebis was a great hunter and devoted himself principally to that occupation; was a lively, jovial man, yet a very sociable neighbor and a good citizen. But as this county became settled up and the game scarce, he desired better and more extensive hunting-grounds, and he removed West to the Ozark Mountains in Missouri. He subsequently, became a settler in Indiana, where he died, and some of his children still reside in that State.

David Dennison, in 1807. settled on the land now owned by B. W. Noland, on Opossum Run. He died October 1, 1823. Jonathan Benjamin settled on land now owned by D. D. Downing; was a native of New Jersey. Isaac and Daniel Long settled where W. B. Fitzgerald now lives, about 1808; the latter was a preacher in the New Light Chureli. William Ware came from Kentucky and settled on the tract of land now occupied by the village of California, about 1810 or 1812. He served as Sheriff of the county and was quite a leading, prominent man of that day. James Blair, better known in former days as “Big Jim,” came from Kentucky and settied here about 1813. He died September 20, 1816, and his remains rest in the Fitzgerald Cemetery. Robert Thomas, a native of Virginia, settled on a tract of land just east of California, about 1815; the land is still in the possession of his descendants, and his history with a large family of the Thomas name is fully written in the biographical sketch of his grandson, Robert Thomas, in this work. Thomas Dennison settled where William D. Pringle now lives in 1815. Charles Henderson, a native of Virginia, came to this county with a surveying party as a chain-carrier, and became a settler of this township very early. Richard Newland settled here about 1818. Joseph Jackson came from New Jersey to Cincinnati in 1818. In 1819, settled near London, this county, and, in 1820, settled in Fairfield Township, on the land where his son Amos now lives, where he resided till his death, in January, 1861, aged eighty-three years. He was a suecessful hunter; knew just when and where to hunt; and yet he never let hunting interfere with his other business, and made hunting quite profitable. He fully experienced the hardships of pioneer life. He worked for 25 cents per day, sold corn from 10 to 12 cents per bushel, bacon for $1.25 per hundred pounds, and chopped and split rails for 25 cents per hundred.

William Cartmill was a pioneer from Kentucky, and, in the spring of 1813, came to Franklin County, Ohio, and, in 1824 or 1825, located in this ‘county. John F. Chenoweth was born in Mason County, Ky., September 15, 1793. in 1799, settled with his parents in Ross County, Ohio, and, in 1800, they settled on the Big Darby, Franklin County. He married Margaret Furguson March 21, 1811, and lived on his father’s place till 1820; he purchased land in Madison County, where he has since resided. Edward and Lewis Godfrey settled here about 1825. The former died June 8. 1833, aged forty-seven years. The latter died June 3, 1838. aged fiftytwo years. James Byers, a native of Pennsylvania, settled in Ross County in 1806. In 1826, settled in the north part of Fairfield Township, Madison County. He was an excellent man, whose life and history is preserved in this volume.

George Hume and his wife, Ann (Scott) Hume, settled here in 1826. Mr. Hume died March 20, 1856. Mrs. flume still lives and resides with her daughter, Mrs. Edwards, at Lilly Chapel, now eighty-eight years of age; for a full history of their pioneer life, see sketch of Samuel H. Edwards. A. Q. Bennett settled about the same year with Mr. Hume. Judge Edward O. Fitzgerald and William B. Fitzgerald settled where they still reside, the former in 1829 and the latter in 1828. Judge Fitzgerald is well and favorably known throughout Madison County and several adjoining counties. He has been identified with this county in its growth and progress for more than half a century, and is one of her most honored and respected citizens. Jeremiah Joimson settled on land now owned by J. C. Byers in 1831; he was a native of New Jersey; in 1855 or 1856, he removed to Warren County, Ill., where he now resides. Wesley Lilly settled north of Lilly Chapel in 1830, and has been closely identified with the growth and progress of the northern portion of Fairfield Township.

John Shepherd was born in. Virginia, and with his wife Judy came to Ohio soon after the war of 1812, and settled in Ross County. About 1831, came to this county and settled near California, on land now owned by Richard M. Johnson, and here resided till his death, August 18, 1850, aged sixty-five years. His wife died about 1869. aged sixty-eight years. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. He was a prosperous farmer, a worthy citizen and a devoted member of the M. E. Church. Daniel C. Freeman was born in Belmont County, Ohio, July 28, 1802, his ancestors being from Ireland. In 1833, he became a resident of Fairfield Township,. and has been thoroughly identified with her growth and interests. At the organization of the township, in 1835, he became the first Clerk He is now eighty years of age, and has been a resident of this township nearly half a century. George Noland, a native of Virginia, settled where William Giliham now lives about 1833, where his wife died October 2, 1862, aged sixty-two years; in 1868, he removed to Missouri, where he died, November 4, 1878, aged seventy-four years. J. C. Strain settled where Henry Luse now lives in 1834, and has remained a resident here forty-eight years; is a leading and honored citizen of the township. James D. Truitt, a native of Maryland, became a resident of Madison County in 1811, and of Fairfield Township in 1836, settling in the north part of the township.

John Creath became a settler of this county with his parents, near Mt. Sterling, in 1811. In 1838, he settled in Fairfield Township, where he resided till his death, January 15, 1881, an honored and worthy citizen. Valentine Recob settled here in 1846. William D. Pringle settled in this township in 1848, and he and his worthy family have been fully identified with her business interests, improvements and progress since, and their valued and important lives are reflected in biographies of William D. Pringle and J. Alfred Pringle. Daniel Thompson settled on Opossum Run quite early, and built one of the first saw-mills in the township.


For many years there was no church edifice within the territory of what now comprises Fairfield Township, but the venerable pioneers here, as in other localities, were not long without the dispensing of the word of God in their midst. Probably the first place in this township where the Gospel was preached was at the house of the worthy pioneer, Enoch Thomas, on Opossum Run. He was an earnest and devoted Christian of the United Brethren faith, and very soon after his settling here, in 1807, preaching was had at his house, and continued to be dispensed there and in the primitive log schoolhouses in the neighborhood, till, at a later day, as the country became more thickly settled, a class was organized and a house built for church purposes, near Mr. Thomas’, but just over the county line, in Franklin County, in accomplishing which Mr. Thomas was the chief actor and leading support, to honor whom the church was called the Thomas Chapel.

The Methodist Episcopal Church at California.— Here, as elsewhere, we find the Methodists with their itinerant system early in the field, and, as soon as the settlements demanded it, their preachers were soon on the ground and held meetings, first at private houses, and thence, as soon as schoolhouses were built, they were used as places of worship. We find a class early organized at Spring Hill, about three miles northeast of California, and another class at the Bales Schoolhouse. At the latter place, preaching was held regularly every two weeks. These meetings were generally conducted by a number of Methodist preachers, one after another, as they came on to the circuit, till after the town of California was laid out, when, in 1852, they decided to erect a church in that town. Robert Thomas gave and deeded them a lot, and, in the summer of the above mentioned year, the present frame house was erected, and they organized with the following members: John F. Chenoweth, Charles Henderson, Charles Warner, Moses Ellsworth, Hezekiah Ohenoweth, Andrew White, John Callander, Thomas Corder, Richard Johnson and their wives, Rachel Bales, Sabina flume, with, perhaps, a few others, whose names are not now remembered. Charles Warner and Hezekiah Chenoweth were class leaders for many years. Among the first ministers were Revs. Hurd, Wolf, Smith, William Sutton, Stewart and Young. The church has had many precious seasons of revivals, and in former days seemed to possess more vitality and earnestness than of late years. The church building is becoming old and dilapidated, and a new one is very much needed. The present membership is nearly one hundred, with Rev. J. W. Waite as their minister. The class leaders are Charles Warner; Lucy Minshall and Minnie Higgins. The church and community are abundantly able to erect a good house, and, whenever the Spirit and God's grace shall pervade the hearts of the people, as it did the forefathers, she will arise in her might and strength, a new and beautiful house will be built, Zion will prosper, God honored and the people blessed.

Dennison Chapel (United Brethren Church). About the year 1849, a class was formed at the old log schoolhouse which stood on the farm of Lemuel Lawrence, with thirteen members, some of whom were as follows: John Creath, James Dennison, W. Estep, Elizabeth Dennison, Michael Robey, Jesse Timmons, with Joseph Timmons as class leader. They had preaching every three weeks in the schoolhouse. The first minister was Rev. Jesse Bright. Subsequently, they held their meetings for awhile at the house of William Peel, who then lived on the Lawrence farm. About 1852 or 1853, they built a log house for church purposes, by each person furnishing a specified number of log6. It was built on the same lot where the present church stands. This house was quite large and commodious, and within its walls much good was done. This building was burned down in 1860. But they went right to work, and, in 1861, the present frame house was erected, and was dedicated, in the fall of 1861, by Rev. Joseph M. Spangler, Presiding Elder of the Winchester District, in the Scioto Conference. The church prospered and increased in membership quite rapidly under the faithful and earnest labors of Rev. William Ferguson, James Ross, and others, and at one time her membership was one hundred and forty to one hundred and fifty. Subsequently the church declined very much; and one among the various causes of her decrease in members was a large emigration West; forty-three persons among the most efficient members moved to the State of Missouri. Her present membership is about sixty, with F. Reibal as their minister, and Henry Bowers and Samuel Watrous as Class Leaders. During the existence of this church, they have generally had a good and prosperous Sabbath school. James Brown is its Superintendent at the present time.

Methodist Episcopal Church at Lilly Chapel- From the best information we can get, this church was organized about 1828. The class embraced the following persons: Philip Durfiinger, Isaac Morris, George Bell, Amos Morris, Stephen Morris, William Tway, David Sidner, David Crane, Daniel Durflinger, Samuel Tway, with their wives. For many years, their meetings were held at private houses and in schoolhouses. Among their first ministers were Rev. David Kemper and Willidm Westlake. The present church edifice was built about 1850, and received the name of Lilly Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church.

German Lutheran Church.- In 1867 a few persons of the Lutheran faith convened together and organized a church at Lilly Chapel, embracing the following persons: Louis Gierich, Charles Greassle, John Mantz, Michael Bellman, Lawrence Miller, Charles Stark, Jacob Schwartz, Jacob Cowling, with their wives and some of their children, nuñibering twenty or more persons. They held their meetings in the schoolhouse, with Rev. Henry Horst as their minister, who continued as such about three years, when, from having several other appointments at other places for preaching he was compelled to make his appointment for preaching at Lilly Chapel on a week day, and, from the pressure of work and business matters, the people were unable to attend services with regularity, and preaching was discontinued and the organization ceased. In 1878. 'they again re-organized, with the same members, except Jacob Cowling, who had moved away, with the following additional persons: Henry Wise, Martin Straus, Mrs. Young and John Gierich, with Rev. Heiiry Peters as minister. Services were held in the schoolhouse till in May, 1882, they obtained privilege to hold serv. ces in the M. E. Church. On December 25, 1880, a subscription was commenced to raise money to build a house for church purposes, and their efforts have been continued till they have an amount raised sufficient to justify them to commence the erection of the house, and, July 2, 1882, is appointed as the day to lay the corner stone, after which the work will be pushed forward to completion as rapidly as possible. The church now has a membership of twenty eight, and it is hoped the church will prosper and ncrease in numbers and usefulness. Mr. Peters, their former minister, received a call to preach at Yeagerstown, Penn., which he accepted, and resigned his charge here in the summer of 1881. He was succeeded here by Rev. W. H. Brown, who is still their minister.


As the pioneers penetrated the forests and the unsettled portions of our country, disease, sickness and death met them every-where, and it very soon became necessary to have a place to inter their dead. And as they always advanced ahead of the organizations of .townships and counties, there could be no provision made by their authority; hence with them every neighbor. hood and often each family had to provide for their Own dead. Hence we ftud in all localities, where the first settlers located, family and neighborhood burying grounds some of which have been fenced in and carefully protect.. ed, and a few have since become the property of the townships, and enlarged and improved until they have become beautiful and pleasant places, fitting depositories for the bodies of our dead, while others again have been neglected, and all headstones and marks or inscriptions obliterated, and the grounds again thrown into the open fields, and the Plowshares tear the soil, or the stock roam at will above their sleeping forms.

The first burial-place in Fairfield Township, and. in fact One of the first in Madison County, was the Fitzgerald or Opossum Run Cemetery. This was first used as a family and neighborhood buryIng ground when the tract of land was owned by John Phebis. It was dedicated by receiving the body of a man, name now unknown, who came here from Ohillicothe to settle, and, while cutting down timber to build his house, was killed by a falling tree. This it is believed occurred about 1808. The next to receive burial here, as shown by the tombstone, was Isaac Woods, who died October 16, 1812, aged twenty-five years. He was a soldier, and had been with the troops out toward Sandusky, and they were returning home, having had a successful and prosperous trip, were rejoicing over their successes, when he was accidenafly shot and killed. Another pioneer deposited here was James Blair, who died September 20, 1816, aged thirty six years. Some others, prior to. 1825, were Joannah, wife of John Clark, died May 31. 1819, aged thirty six years. David Dennison died October 1, 1823, and Richard Newland died May 11. 1825, aged thirty years. From this time forward, this was a general burying-place for the neighborhood, and accessions to this "city of the dead" were frequent and numerous. After Judge E. O. Fitzgerald became the owner of this tract of land, he set apart and fenced in one acre of ground devoted to burial purposes. which remained thus till in the spring of 1880 the. Trustees of the township received and took charge of it and purchased three-fourths of an. acre more and added to it, and the township now has a deed for one and three-fourths acres of ground, which is high and dry and well adapted to cemetery purposes.

Dennison Chapel Cemetery. - This burying-ground immediately joins on the west side the lot upon which the church is built, and was -appropriated to the burial of the dead at a much later date. It is well inclosed and preserved, and within its inclosure are evergreens and shrubbery, giving it an appearance of care. It has received many of the dead of this church and. neighborhood. The first person to be buried here was Cyrus Nichols.

The Thomas Cemetery.- This is located a little east of California and just east of the schoolhouse, and was appropriated for this purpose by Rob. ert Thomas, who owned that tract of land and was dedicated by the reception of his body, who died August 9, 1831, since which it has received the bodies of many of the early settlers and people of the neighborhood. These embrace all the burying-places that are preserved, and now have a visibleexistence within the territory of Fairfield Township.


The education of the children of the early settlers of Fairfield Township received their prompt attention, and., although like all new settlements. they labored under great disadvantages, yet they did what they could, and. we find them early establishing schools, and, though the first schoolhouses were rude structures, and the qualifications of their teachers, and the privileges generally very limited yet they served as a beginning; and the earnest efforts of the people, the sacrifices and self-denials they made in that early day to give their children the much needed instructions, deserve the admiration and gratitude of their descendants and all lovers of learning and progress.

The first schoolhouse built within the limits of this township was erected in the southeast corner, on Opossum Run. It was a rude structure- round-log cabin, puncheon floor, slab-seats and greased paper for windows. This was built about 1811. The first teacher was Thomas McCafferty, who was crippled by one useless arm. One of his pupils was John F. Chenoweth, who still survives and now resides in London. This cabin served for school purposes several years. About 1836, a good hewed-log house was erected twenty feet square, with shingle roof, large and commodious, on the ground now embraced in the Fitzgerald Cemetery. There was also another of those primitive log schoolhouses, chinked and mudded, built very early, where Mrs. S. Bowers now lives where some of the children of the early pioneers obtained some of the first rudiments of an education. One of the first teachers in this cabin was Judathan Waldo, a Yankee, who had a very limited ability. His qualifications would not at the present day be considered sufficient for a Road Supervisor. These early schools were supported by subscriptions, and generally the teacher was paid from $8 to $10 per month About 1867, the present frame schoolhouse was built, and has continued in use to the present time. This now constitutes District No. 7. known as the Cartmill District. The enumeration is now about forty-five scholars. Teachers' wages in summer, $25 to $30; in winter, $40 to $45; per month. The present Board of Directors, Alfred Cartmill, Edward Fitzgerald and J. W. Puckett.

District No. 1, Byers Schoolhouse. _ The first school building was a log of the most primitive kind, as described above, erected about 1830. This was succeeded by a comfortable frame house, erected about 1853. In 1878, the present neat and comfortable brick house was erected. Enumeration, sixty scholars. Teachers' wages, summer, $30 to $33; in winter, $45 to $50. Board of Directors, Joel M. Byers, Samuel Truitt and J. C. Byers. District No. 2, Bales Schoolhouse- The first house was a small frame, built about 1825, and the next built was the present house. District No. 3, No land School, organized in the fall of 1836. First house, a hewed log, built by D. C. Freeman in 1837. The first school opened January 1, 1838. The first teacher, D. Wald; the second was D. C. Freeman. This house was used about twenty years, and was also used by the Methodist and Christian denominations for preaching. The second house was a frame, erected on the same ground of the first, about 1857. Then, in 1879, the present large brick was built. District No. 4, Lilly Chapel-The first schoolhouse in this vicinity was a rude log of the most primitive style, and stood on land now owned by William Durflinger. This was in an early day, and was the first schoolhouse in the northern part of the township. This was succeeded by another log house, erected on the ground of the present frame house, just east of the village of Lilly Chapel. Then this was succeeded by a small frame house, and this again by the present frame that is now in use. But by the rapid growth of the village of Lilly Chapel, and the consequent increase of the number of school children, this house soon became inadequate to accomniodate all the scholars, and, in the fall of 1881, they began the erection of a good brick house just east of the frame, on the same lot, which is now (July, 1882) being completed. The frame house is to remain for the primary department, and the new brick used for the more advanced scholars. This district now enumerates about one hundred and thirty. Board of Directors, S. H. Edwards, George Durflinger and Albert Lilly. District No. 5, Pringle School, situated on the California & Lilly Chapel pike. The first schoolhouse here was a rude log house, and, being Jocated near the center of the township, the first township elections were held at this schoolhouse. About 1850, a good comfortable frame house was built. Then, in 1877, the present brick house was erected. Enumeration of scholars, thirty-two. Board of Directors A. J. Henkle, H. Gilliland and J. A Prin- gle. District No. 6, Dennison Chapel-First, a log house located on Lemuel Lawrence's land, which was probably built about 1847. Next, about 1858, a frame house was erected on the same lot where the church now stands. Then, in 1880, the present large and commodious brick house was erected. Enumeration of scholars, about seventy. Teachers' wages, $45. Board of Directors, Allen Dennjson, William Strain and Lemuel Lawrence. District No. 8, California- This district was formed from Districts No. 2 and 3, and was organized in 1854, and the same year a frame house was erected. First Board of Directors were J. H. Gardner, Dr. Simmerman and Henry Watrous. The present brick house was built in 1879. Enumeration of scholars in the district, si'ty-five. Teachers' wages, $30 to $45. Present Board of Directors, Dr. C. W. Higgins, W. H. Hill and George Corder. District No. 9-The last erected, was organized about 1868-70, and was formed from territory taken from Districts No. 3 and 5; a frame building erected, which is still occupied for school purposes. Thus it is seen that Fairfield Township now supports nine schools, but, as stated above, there being no books or records of this township to be found, we are very much limited in means by- which to give official statistics of either political or educational matters. The latest enumeration of scholars in possession of the Township Clerk is that of 1878, when the total of the township was 556. Educational funds, $4. 500. Tax levy in the spring of 1882: For township purposes, 2-10 mill, $93.20; for road purposes, 1 mill, $807.25; for poor fund, 1-4 mill, $116.86.


There is not now, and, we believe, never has been, a grist or flour mill -within the boundaries of Fairfield Township, and but few saw- mills. One of the first saw-mills we gain a record of was built by Daniel Thompson, on Opossum Run, located near the Thomas Chapel. This was first a stationary mill and run by water-power. Subsequently, it was run by steaai power, and finally was converted into a portable mill, and moved from place to place as occasion required. It is now located on Judge E. O. Fitzgerald's farm. There is also another portable mill on the same farm, owned by Dickinson & Bowers. The other mills are located at the villages of California and Lilly Chapel, and are fully mentioned in the history of those towns.


About 1870 to 1872, the pike from London to California and Mt. Sterling was built. This was the first pike built in this township. The next built was the London & Lilly Chapel pike, and the third was the Mt Sterling & Jefferson pike. These constitute the main business roads of the township, thosa upon which are the most travel and. heavy hauling. They embrace eighteen to twenty miles, and are a valued improvement. This summer (1882) they are building a pike on the Jackson road, which, when completed, will make this township well supplied with good roads and thoroughfares.


There are three villages within the limits of this township. The first was laid out in the spring of 1849, by Thomas Chappel, Robert Thomas and. William D. Pringle. This was about the time of the great excitement over the discovery of the rich gold mines in California, and this town was laid out in the midst of a very rich country, possessed of an excellent soil, and they gave it the suggestive name of California. Near this town were the large prairies known as the "Big Plains," and in establishing the post office of this town, as there was an office elsewhere called California, they gave this the name of Big Plains. Dr Holmes erected the first house in the place, and was the first Postmaster and also the first physician located in the town. Prior, however, to the laying-out of the town there was a Dr. Davis, a practicing physician, located about three miles northeast of California, who was, perhaps, the first physician resident in the township, although it is said that he never had a very extensive practice. Peter Trout is said to have built the second house. The first store was kept by James Parks. William Riley was the first blacksmith. This town for a time grew rapidly, and there was quite an extensive business carried on here, and, in fact, from that day to the present time, there has been an active mercantile trade here for a village of its size, as it is snrrounded by a beautiful country and a wealthy and thriving class of people. It now has three good general stores, three blacksmiths, three physicians, one steam tile factory and saw-mill combined, one church-Methodist a good brick schoolhouse and a good brick town house, erected in 1877.

Warnersville.- At the south line of Fairfield. bordering on Pleasant Township, is a small village known as Warnersville. receiving such name from the fact that the tract of land was owned by Mr. Warner, where a cluster of eight or ten houses now stand, embracing a population of forty to fifty persons. About 1867, David Lane, a huckster by occupation, opened a small store here, which, in 1872, he sold to R. Watrous, who continued trade here till 1881, when, in January, of that year, he sold out to J. S. Bowers. He carried on business one year. and sold to William Watrous & Bro., who are now conducting a general merchandise trade. In the fall of 1874, a post office was established here by the same name of the village, with R. Watrous as Postmaster. This office existed until 1879. when, as it was not self supporting, it was discontinued. But again, in the spring of 1881, it was re-established under the name of Kiousville, with J. S. Bowers as Postmaster. In January, 1882, William Watrous became Postmaster, and is now its present incumbent. Jesse S. Bowers built the, first house and was the first blacksmith in the village. He was succeeded by Henry Bowers, who is the present incumbent.

Gilroy or Lilly Chapel- In 1871 and 1872. the Short-Line Railroad, from Springfield to Columbus, appeared in prospect, and, in the latter year, Mr. Thomas Durflinger opened a store here in anticipation of the railroad and the establishing of a station at this point. In 1850, the Methodist Church was erected here on land owned by, Wesley Lilly, which was given the name of "Lil]y Chapel." In 1873, the railroad was completed and a station established and called Lilly Chapel. In 1874, Henry Gilroy and Henry Lilly laid out the town, which was named Gilroy. in honor of Mr. Gilroy. But as the station and locality had previously been designated as Lilly Chapel, in consequence of the church erected bere and given that name, and as, in 1873, Henry Lilly originated a petition for a post office under the name of Lilly Chapel, which was granted by the Department on the establishing of a postal route over the railroad, the town has ever been known and recognized by the name of Lilly Chapel. The first Postmaster was Thomas Horn. He was succeeded by C. L. Bales, and he by George Leiter, the present incumbent. Thomas Horn built the first house after the laying-out of the town, and engaged in mercantile trade, and was the first local agent of the railroad company. David Wright was the first blacksmith; he opened a shop in a house built by Henry Lilly. The first physician was Dr. Taggart, who located here in 1880, but remained only a few months. In the spring of 1881, Dr. Schofield located here. who has since remained the practicing physician of the place. The town now contains over two hundred inhabitants, and is rapidly growing and increasing in business. There are now three general stores, one grocery, two blacksmith shops, employing four workmen, with a wagon and buggy shop combined with them. There are two steam saw-mills, one of which runs two engines and is doing a large business, saws a large amount of material for the manufacture of buggies and wagons. But the largest and 'most attractive business of the place is carried on by two grain elevators, one built by Pringle Bros., in the fall of 1877, and the other by the "Farmers' Association," which is now conducted by J. C. Byers & Co., both of which are doing a large business. In 1876, prior to the erection of these elevators, four farmers, Henry Lilly, John Horn, Thomas Horn and Thomas Gorby, erected a corn-sheller and elevator for a neighborhood convenience,for shelling and shipping corn. This proved so successful and beneficial in it operations that it resulted in the building of the above-mentioned elevators. These now receive grain from a large scope of country, in some directions from fifteen to twenty miles distant, and are a great convenience and. source of profit to this section of country.

In 1878, a large tile factory run by steam power was erected, and is doing a large and prosperous business, and is probably one of the best in Madison County. This town is just in its infancy, having seen but eight summers since its natal day. It is the only railroad station and shipping point within the township, and is located in the midst of a rich and productive country, and must necessarily become an extensive shipping point.

During the year 1881, the following number of full car loads of products were shipped from this section, viz.: 232 cars of corn; 44 cars of hogs; 15 cars of logs; 18 cars of cattle; 2 cars of staves; 2 cars of spokes; 167 cars of wheat; 19 cars of sheep; 11 cars of wool; 5 cars of lumber; 2 cars of hoop poles and 1 car of tile; total number of cars, 508.


Lilly Chapel Grange, No. 583. -Was instituted February 14, 1874, under the supervision of Mr. Creamer, Deputy Master, with the following twenty-six charter members: J. Hardwick, A. Jackson, H. Lilly, T. 'Durfinger, T. Horn, Jr., William Sidner, James Lilly, J. Fogle, J. H. Gardner, William Culumber, Benjamin Thacker. H. Kennedy, Calvin Durflinger, John Byers, Thomas Gorby, Albert Lilly, Lewis Sidner, T. Horn, Sr., T. R. George, M. A. Lilly, Josie Byers, Rebecca Hardwick, William Kennedy, Mrs. A. Jackson, Catharine Sidner and Wall Moler, and were officered as follows: J. Hardwick, W. M.; H. Lilly, W. L.; T. Horn, Jr., W. A. S.; J. Lilly, W. T.; B. Thacker, W. G. K.; M. A. Lilly, W. P.; A. Jackson, W. O.; J. H. Gardner, W. S.; T. Gorby, W. C.; A. Lilly, W. Secretary; Rebecca Hardwick, W. C.; W. B.. Kennedy, W F., and Josie Byers,. W. L. A. S. This society continues in a good, flourishing condition, and now numbers --- members. Present officers (July 1, 1882) as follows: A. Durfinger. W. M.; D. C. Postle, W. L.; Henry O. Bryan, W. A. S.; Henry Lilly, W. T.; Robert Fullerton, W. G. K.; Mary Durflinger, W. P.; George Durflinger, W. O.; F. V. Durflinger, W. S.; Jennie Durflinger, W. C.; Jennie Fullerton, W. Secretary; Laura Sidner, W. C.; Ella Fullerton, W. F., and Ella Durflinger, W. L. A. S.

Gilroy Lodge, No. 695, I. O. O. F. -Was instituted July 8, 1880, by H. P. Gravatt. M. W. G. Master, with the following fifteen charter members: G. A. Ogden, George Gardner, A. Harst, C. L. Bales, T. J. Clifton, W. Gardner, J. Truitt, T. W. Preston, A. Jackson, D. W. Byram, W. H. Bailey, J. R. D. Bennett, H. Lilly, G. A. Bostwick and W. Peddicord, with the following officers: W. A. Ogden, N. U.; Thomas Preston, V. G.; G. A. Bostwick, Secretary, and J. R. D. Bennett, Treasurer. The lodge is in a flourishing condition, and now (July 1, 1882) has fifty-nine members. The present elective officers are: G. A. Bostwick, N. G.; C. L. Bales, V. G.; J. H. Gardner, Recording Secretary; John Shaffer, Permanent Secretary, and George Leiter, Treasurer.

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