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


THIS township Occupies the extreme northwesten corner of Madison County, and is one of the smallest of the fourteen townships comprising said county. it is also one of the most regular, in its contour and general form, being nearly a perfect parallelogram, while nearly all of the other townships of the county are remarkable for their irregularity in shape. Pike is bounded north by Union County, east by Darby Township, south by Monroe and Somerford Townships and west by Champaign County. It was one of the early constituted townships of the county, as upon the records at London we find the following account of its erection, bearing date September 5, 1814: "At a meeting of the Commissioners, present Joshua Ewing and William Gibson, ordered, that the following bounds compose a new township, to be known and designated by the name of Pike. Beginning where the State road intersects the north boundary of Madison County and running from thence with said road, so as to include the same till it intersects the Urbana road; thence southwardly on a line half a mile east of Littie Darby, till it intersects Jefferson Township line at Mark's survey; thence to Peter Paugh's, southeast corner; thence westwardly with Deer Creek Township line to Champaign County line, and with said county line to the northwest corner of Madison County, and thence with the line between Madison and Delaware to the beginning." In the erection of Union County in 1820, a portion of the above-described territory was embraced in that county, and consequently the north boundary line was changed and Pike made smaller in territory. Again, on March 4, 1839, another change was made in the township of Pike, as follows: "At a meeting of the Commissioners of Madison County, ordered that the following boundaries compose the township of Pike (as surveyed January 24, 1839, by William B. Irwin), to wit:

Beginning at the northwest corner of Madison County, thence running on the line between Madison and Union Counties, east by the variation six miles to an elm, corner to Darby Township, Madison County; thence with the line of Darby Township south three miles and 106 poles to four elms; thence south 80 degrees west (by the needle) six miles and thirty poles, to the original southeast corner of Pike Township, in the line of Champaign County.; thence with said line north four miles to the beginning."


The surface of this township is level, except along the streams and small creeks, much of it being prairie and oak openings. All that portion between Little Darby and Barron Run extending to the north line of the township, is very level and a beautiful country; also, all west of Barron Run and between that stream and Spring Fork is the same. On the Little Darby and along Barron Run and Spring Fork, the surface is quite uneven, arid in a few places to some degree hilly. The soil of the level and prairie portions of the township consist principally of a black loam, with here and there a locality of clay and loam. It is very deep and rich, naturally producing an exuberant growth of grass and vegetation. Along the creeks and streams the soil is principally clay, but very strong and productive, so that throughout the township we may say the soil is very rich and fertile. The subsoil is clay and gravel, with usually a third stratum of blue clay and disintegrated limestone. The township from its first settlement has been peculiarly adapted to stock-raising. and that business has always received a large share of attention from its most wealthy citizens, and they have given considerable attention to the improving and raising of fine blooded stock. But as the lands become divided up into smaller farms, as the tendency is from year to year, and the soil better ditched, tiled and drained, so it becomes better adapted to the cultivation of all the grains. Tile factories arenow becoming very numerous throughout this county and State, and, in fact all over the country wherever the soil needs underdraining; the abundant use of tile is producing remarkable results. Much of the low, flat prairie lands, which a few years ago was almost useless from the great surplus of water in them, and in which stock would almost mire, and which were never attempted to be plowed or cultivated in grain, are now by this process of tiling becoming some of the best wheat and corn-growing lands in the county. This township and this county, which, but a few years ago scarcely produced grain enough for the home consumption, is now exporting vast quantities of both wheat and corn,, and the time is not far distant when the county will rank among the first grain-producing counties of the State. The forests and timber of this township are similar to those of the other townships and the county generally. On the creeks and small streams it was generally heavily timbered. On the creek bottoms were a considerable quantity of walnut, and back from thecreeks and on the rolling lands were white, black, red and burr oak, hickory. elm. ash and some beech and cherry. On the level lands were the oak openings, of which the leading timber was burr oak, with some considerable hickory and a less amount of white oak, elm and a few other varieties. One noticeable and peculiar feature of the timber of this township, which appears to be a common condition of most of the country composed largely of prairie and. timber, where the general course of the streams is south, southeast, is, that for a short distance on the east side of the creeks, the timber was of a much heavier and denser growth than it was westward from the creeks. And on the east side of the Darby, in particular, was where the beech and a few other varieties were found and not much in other localities. It is quite probable the prin cipal reason of the timber being less heavy and dense on the west side of the creeks, was in consequence of the yearly fires which swept over the prairies, which destroyed the undergrowth and more or less checked the growth of the larger timber; and as these fires usually raged from west to east, these streams or creeks served as a barrier which the fire could not overleap; or, if it did, it was so checked in its power that it would burn with much less violence and destructive power until it would get some distance again from the creek, when, from being fanned by the breezes and increased combustible matter, it would again sweep forward with great velocity and violence until again checked by another stream, or the want of combustible matter to keep up the flame.

Although this township was not settled quite as early as some other portions of the county, yet we find them quite early taking possession of the lands along the streams where the more elevated and drier lands were tenable. But many of these were mere squatters; being possessed of no means, they never purchased any land in this locality, but remained here a short time and enjoyed the pleasures of hunting where there was an abundance of deer, turkeys and other game, made some improvements and quietly enjoyed their possessions without any great amount of invAstment. Finally, as other settlers came in and purchased the lands, or as they became dissatisfied, they moved away to enjoy other homes and hunting-grounds. Some of these, though not owners of their homes, or possessed of wealth, yet were good, moral and religious men and women and good citizens, and exerted quite an influence in forming and molding the general character of the community. Many of these having resided here but a short time, and the older of the pioneers who at that time knew them well, having passed to "that bourne whence no traveler returns," leaves but little source for us at this late day to gain any special or exact knowledge of them, especially as to positive date of their settling here; but believing some of this class of persons to have been among the first settlers of this ownship, we shall give their names with what little we could learn concerning them, without giving the date of settlement, and will call them


Oliver and Harris Jaynes settled on the Little Darby, near where Henry King afterward settled. It is believed they were among the first who came into this township. Farther up the Darby, near the northeast corner of the township, settled a family of Keyes. Two brothers, Edsel and Samuel Carr, settled on Barron Run, near where Newton Hunt now resides. Samuel was quite an active man, and, it appears, a very moral and upright man, and a leading, active worker in the Methodist Church in its first organization in this township. A family by the name of Whitman, the head of 'which it is believed was Solomon, settled on Barron Run, on land now owned by Charles Phellis. He never purchased land there, and, after a few years' residence, moved away. Samuel, Isaac and Daniel Allen, three brothers, settled on Barron Run, where they subsequently purchased small tracts of land. Samuel was a local preacher in the Methodist Church and quite a prominent man of that day. About 1830, it is supposed, they moved into Union County. A Mr. Burrell, a blacksmith by trade, was also a very early settler on Barron Run, but soon moved away. A Mr. Dockum, believed to be a native of Canada. settled on the Aaron Weaver place, near the mouth of Barron Run, at a very early date, and there he resided till his death, and his body was interred upon the place, and was probably the first person buried in what is now known as the Weaver Burying Ground. The following were his children: William, who married Nancy Jones, and settled adjoining the home place, but subsequently moved West, where he died; one daughter married Mason Jones, and finally settled near Califor. nia, this county. where she died; James married a Miss Clement, and settled in this township, thence removed to Darby Township, Union County, where he died; Boardman married Miss Tullis and settled in this township and resided till his death; and one other daughter, who married Allen Jones, and resided in this county several years, thence moved West. John Rathburn was an early settler on Barron Run, and was a Methodist preacher; also practiced as a steam doctor. It is believed he was the organizer of the Methodist Church that in an early day existed on Barron Run for several years, of which he was a main pillar and support. He had the following children: Charles, whn is now a resident of the West and is a practicing physician; Levi, who was for some time a merchant in Mechanicsburg, thence removed West, but one of his daughters is still a resident of Mechanicsburg; Nelson, who is now a minister and resides in Iowa; Abigail, died single; Sarah. married Luke Clemens, and settled in the south part of the county; and Harmon. who settled in Iowa. where he still resides.

John Erwin settled jn the northwest corner of Pike Township about 1812, and purchased laud there, for which a deed was recorded in September, 1814. He came here from Southern Ohio. and was probably the first settler in the west part of Pike Township, and he remained here till his death. He followed farming and stock-raising, was a man of excellent character, plain and unassuming in his habits, a devoted Presbyterian in faith, and a substantial and worthy citizen. He had a large family of children, who nearly all died early in life with consumption. One son, Amzi, or Amazi, settled on the home place and lived to quite an advanced age; he died May 14, 1879, aged eighty years. Several of his children reside in this vicinity. On the building of the railroad from Springfield to Delaware it passed through the corner of the township and his land, and a station was established called Erwin. Joseph Mitchell, a native of Vermont, emigrated with his family to Ohio, and settled in the southwest part of Pike Township, on laud now known as the Farrington farm, about 1812-13; he purchased 900 acres of land, became an extensive farmer and stock-raiser; he resided here till quite advanced in years, when he removed West, where he died. He was a leading. active man in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a minister in the same daring a greater part of his life, and devoted much of his time to itinerant work, traveling over many- different States, and was a companion of Loreuzo Dow for several years. He was the father of the following children: Joseph, Newman. William and Abner; the first two are deceased, and William and Abner are located in the West; the latter served in the late war of the rebellion.

Claudius Mitchell, a brother of Joseph, of whom we have just written. and a son of Ensign Mitchell, of Champaign County. settled in the township on land known as the Henry Weaver place. about 1815-16; this situation is on the Urbana & Liverpool pike, near the 'west line of the township. We have obtained quite a full account of the manner of his starting out in life, and the hardships and trials he endured; and as an illustration of pioneer life, we here give it a space in the history of Pike Township, that not only his descendants many years hence may read and know how their worthy ancestor lived and labored, but that all future generations may have the means of knowing, so far as the pen of the historian is able to portray it, the true picture of pioneer life.

Claudius Mitchell was born in Vermont in 1794, of poor but respectable parents, who, after a few years, removed to the State of New York, thence to Pennsylvania. from there to Kentucky and thence to Southern Ohio, and, in 1815, to Madison County. During these years of pioneer itineracy, he arrived at his majority, but these were years of rough, yet it seems pleasant. experiences, to young Claudius and he enjoyed, with his favorite dog and unerring rifle, the sports of frontier life; ever on the chase for. or in mortal combat with, the wounded bear or stolen cub, and often came to "hand and hand" contest with the wild buck deer of the forests, which then abounded. with all kinds of wild game and animals. Oonse. quently, Olaudius had no opportunities of obtaining even a commonschool education; did not even learn to read or write. The first pair of pants he ever wore were made by his faithful Vermont mother, who manufactured them out of hair combed from their own cow in the time of shedding in the spring, mixed and carded with common flax tow, all done by hand, and spun by hand and knit into a pair of pants, all being done by her own hands.. The first pair of shoes he ever wore was when he was ten years of age, for which he earned the money to pay for them by taking his ax and hand-sled and cut and hauled wood a distance of several miles. At the age of twelve years, he performed a man's work cutting cord-wood and working at the Kanawha Salt Works. As stated above, in 1815 he came to Madison County, and, in 1816, he married Nancy Lambert, of Brown County. On the 1st day of February, he took leave of his home and parents, whom he had served faithfully for many years, and commenced life for himself. The first day's work for himself he took his ax and maul, and cut and split 350 rails, for which he received 25 cents per hundred, but not in cash, but in corn at 25 cents per bushel, which gave him three and one-half bushels of corn. The second day he made 250 rails, and took his pay in tallow and fat meat. On February 7, he took a lease of land on Spring Fork, and at once commenced to build a cabin, with the snow then six inches deep. He soon had his cabin up and a roof on the same, and the next day he and his young wife moved' into it, cleared away the snow and built a fire on the ground; then to work they went in earnest to fit up the new home. At a late hour that night they laid down some loose clapboards on the snow, on which they spread their scanty bedding, and then before retiring to rest they knelt down upon the icy-cold ground by two blocks, their only chairs, and there offered their songs and prayers to the God of the Universe. The only utensil they had for cooking was an old iron pot, and their table-ware consisted of two broken knives and forks and two old pewter spoons. He had one two-year-old heifer, upon which the tax was 8 cents, and he had more difficulty to raise the money and pay that 8 cent tax than any tax he has ever paid. Since that time, he has paid his $300 tax with perfect ease. He resided in this township for many years; finally, he removed with his family into Champaign County, where he has since resided. He was twice married. By his first wife he had seven children-Sarah, Lavinia, Elizabeth. Nancy, Alvira. Chandler and Joshua. Mrs. Mitchell died, and he married for his second wife Mary Ann Reed; by her he had one child, deceased. Mr. Mitchell now resides in Mechanicsburg, retired from all active business: is in the ninetieth year of his age, and has all-his business matters fully settled up, with no temporal affairs to trouble him. He is as erect and straight as a young man of twenty, is in comfortable health, cheerful and happy, and is patiently awaiting the summons of his Master that he may see the King in His beauty.

George Van Ness, a native of New Jersey, married Eleanor Van Lear, a native of Holland; they emigrated to Ohio prior to its becoming a State. and settled in Butler County. In January, 1813-14, they Pemoved to Madison County and settled on the Little Darby. in the northwest corner of this township, on the place now owned by John Van Ness, and here he resided until his death, March 22. 1832. He was a true pioneer and experienced the rough side of life. Indians were his neighbors, and deer, wild hogs and game of all kinds were in abundance. About 1820, Mr. Van Ness erected a grist-mill, a three-story frame, run by water-power. The mill only ran about three years, when the dam washed away and was never repaired or used afterward. Mr. Van Ness served through the war of the Revolution. and was with Gen. Washington at the memorable Valley Forge. He was the father of the following children: John, who married Rachel Nichols. and settled near the same place, but subsequently moved West and died in Iowa; Susannah, married Stacy Storer, and settled in Highland County, Ohio, where she died, aged nearly one hundred years; Catharine, married John Payne, first settled in this township, thence in Highland County, and. finally in Illinois, where she died; George, married Sarah Britton, settled in Butler County, on the old Van Ness farm, thence removed to Seneca County, Ohio, thence moved West and is now a resident of Indiana; Judith, married William Storer, and settled in Highland County, where they now reside; Peter, married Polly Neff, and settled in Logan County. Ohio, and died there; Cornelius, married Rebecca Bower, and settled on the old home place of his father, where he still remains, and has now spent seventy years of his life on this farm; Daniel, married Elizabeth Yearns, and resides in Logan County, Ohio; and Mary, married Henry McCumber. and. soon moved West and settled in Illinois. where she died.

George Jones, a native of Virginia, settled on land now owned by Mr. Guy, about 1815-18. He was a leading, active man in the Methodist Church; was also quite a politician, and after the Morgan trouble in New York he became an active anti-Mason. He served in the war of the Revolution. His children Were Elizabeth. who married Michael Roseberry; William. who was a miller in Mechanicsburg for many years; Mason and Allen, who moved West; Nancy, married William Dockum, and settled in the West; and Charles, who also went West.

Henry King was a native of Pennsylvania and first settled near Chillicothe; thence, about 1818-20, removed to the west bank of the Little Darhy. on the farm since known as the Joseph King place; here he resided till his death. He was an intelligent and a well-educated man, a wheelwright by trade and a skillful mechanic, and' to this trade and to farming he devoted his life; was a kind neighbor and a worthy citizen. His children were Joseph, who married Amanda Tarpening, and settled and died on the old home place; William F., who married Miss Bigelow, daughter of Dr. Bigelow, of Plain City, he is now deceased; one daughter died young; Hannah, married Daniel Brooks, settled in Darby Township and resided till the spring of 1882, when they removed to Kentucky; Henry J., married a daughter of John Mitchell, and settled in Darby Township, Union County, Ohio. but now resides at Marysville; Benjamin, married Miss Keyes, and settled in Darby Township, where he died at an early age; anti Sarah K., who married Newton Hunt.

George Weaver, also a native of Pennsylvania, settled on the place now owned by Aaron Weaver about 1817-18, as we find his deed recorded in January, 1818. He was married to Elizabeth Hempleton. Their children were Jacob, who married Polly Nagley, and settled on the home farm where he resided till his death; Solomon, married Lydia Niles, and settled near the home place, but subsequently removed to Illinois and settled near Clinton. where he now resides; one daughter married David Morris, but is now deceased; John, married Elizabeth Morse, and settled and resides in this township: Elizabeth, married John H. Surfus, and settled here first, but subsequently removed West and now resides in Illinois; George, married a Miss Morse, and resides in Illinois; Joseph, tnarried a Miss Cobbler, and settled in the West; David, settled in the West; Mary, married John Sterritt, and settled in Monroe Township, but subsequently removed to the West. Mr. George Weaver, the father of this large family, was one of those industrious, thoroughgoing Pennsylvanian farmers, who knew how to make money and how to invest all his surplus capital. and the result was that he became owner of 3,000 acres of fine land.

Samuel Mann, a native of Vermont, settled in the southwest part of the township on land since owned by Joseph Ware, about 1814-15. He was a very successful farmer and a good citizen. He raised a large family of children and gave them a good education for that day. His children were Samuel, Reuben, Nancy, Benjamin, John, Alden, Lorenzo D., Leonard and Azro. Reuben and Leonard H. became physicians, both now de ceased, in fact, all the children are deceased. Benjamin was quite a prominent, active man of this community, and resided the greater part of his life in Monroe Township, and held many of the offices of his township.

Abraham Johnson, a native of Virginia, settled on the place now owned by William Guy about 1814-15, as the record shows the deed for his land to be recorded in June, 1815. He was a good neighbor and a reliable citizen. In those days, it was a custom to bleed people in the spring of the year, to take away the "bad blood," which had accumulated during the winter, and, although it was probable that he was neither a physician nor surgeon, yet he was skilled in the art of bleeding people, andmany were accustomed to apply to him to perform this work. He married Hannah Roseberry, and resided here for several years, but he subsequently removed to Union County and died there.

Andrew Alden was a native of New York or New England, settled on land near Mr. Mann, in the spring of 1817. He was a very active, industrious man, and a good citizen. He married Elizabeth Manville, by whom he had the following children: Chester, Elizabeth, Sarah, Lydia, Stanford, George, Eli and Prince, all deceased but Stanford and Prince; the former settled in the West; the latter resides at Mechanicsburg.

Levi Patrick, a native of Massachusetts, emigrated to Ohio and settled in Pike Township on land now owned by Lafayette Newman, on Christmas Day, 1817, where he resided till his death, February 22. 1855. He married Olarissa Patrick, also a native of Massachusetts; she died December 12, 1868. Their children were M. Young. Eliza, Mary, Levi M., 0. F., John P., Clarissa Ann and Olive. M. Young married Fidelia Cartmill a native of Kentucky, and settled near the home place, whore he resided till he located on his present place, in 1853, where he has since resided and has held nearly all the offices of his township; Eliza never married, and died in the spring of 1881; Mary married Nathaniel Griffin, and is now deceased; Levi moved to Missouri, where he married and settled, but died a few years ago; John P. married Emma Converse, and settled near the home place, but subsequently removed to Union Coanty, where he died; Clarissa Ann died quite young; Olive married. Henry Brown, and settled in Champaign County, where they still reside.

Michael Roseberry, a native of Virginia, settled on Spring Fork, on land jiow owned by William U Guy, about 1822-24; here he resided about ten years, when he purchased 350 acres, known as the Henry Guy farm, and there resided till his death, about 1859. He was a prominent, active farmer and stock-dealer, had the confidence of the people, and filled many of the offices of his township. He married Elizabeth Jones, a native of Virginia; they had the following children: Ellen, married Ira Stacy; Permeija, deceased; Sarah, deceased; Elizabeth, is now Widow Fox; Julia, married and moved West; Joseph, deceased; Ebenezer, married Miss Carter; Hannah, deceased; and Jane, deceased.

Darius Burnham was born in Hampton, Coun., May 10, 1791, married Lucretia Hunt September 12, 1819, emigrated to Ohio and settled in Pike Township, Madison County, in the fall of 1820, on land where Orlo Stod dard now resides, and here he remained through life. Here he began in a log cabin-true pioneer style. To his first purchase of land he subsequently added more from time to time, till at the time of his death he owned about 760 acres of good land. He became the owner of the land upon which Liverpool is now located, and laid out and platted the town, which was given the name of Liverpool and had the same recorded at London. Mr. Burnham was an active, stirring business man; he engaged quite largely in raising stock and dairy business and was a true, public spirited man, kind and benevolent, ever ready to aid all enterprises and improvements for the general public good. He served in nearly all of the offices of his township, and was a Justice of the Peace for many years. He died August 10, 1846. His wife was born February 18, 1798, and died May 22, 1878. They had eight children-John H. Henry, Anna L., Emiline S., Darius D., Achsa M.. Lucius A. and Flora E., all now surviving except Achsa M., who died at Plain City.

George Fullington, a native of Vermont, born August 18, 1769, married Rebecca Greeley, and, in 1813, they emigrated to Ohio, and settled in Union County, where they resided about eight years, and removed to Madison and settled on land now owned by Charles Phellis, Esq., where he resided till his death, July 24, 1835. His wife survived him several years. Their children were Sarah. who married Alfred Carpenter, and moved to Illinois, where she died; Moses. married Harriet Guy, and settled on the old Fullington place, in Union County, where he died; Clarriet, married William Guy, and died in 1827; Jefferson, settled in Illinois, where he married Eleanor English, and resided there till his death, and his body was brought back and interred in the Guy Cemetery; Adelaide became the second wife of William Guy; Mary, married Truman Kimball, and raised a family of ten children, and is now deceased; Abigail, married Charles Phellis, Esq., is deceased; and Selina, married John Burnham, and now resides in Mechanicsburg. Mr. Fullington was a carpenter and joiner by trade. and still followed his trade to some extent after settling here, but his main attention was given to farming and the stock business, which he carried on quite extensively. He was a man of substantial character and undoubted integrity, honorable in all his business transactions, kind-hearted and benevolent and a great friend to the poor, and to all who needed his aid in means or influence.

These families of whom we have given the above history embrace the majority of the early settlers of Pike Township. Many others have come in and settled at a more recent date, some of whom are among the leading business men of the township, and who have taken a leading and active part in the progress and improvements of the township, and who are fully identitled with its interests. Among these we mention Charles Phellis, Esq., who is the largest land-owner and stock-dealer in the township, a man of high and marked ability, whose honor and character stand untarnished, and is one of the township's best and most worthy citizens. In the biographical department of this work will be found the history of many of the present prominent and enterprising families of Pike Township, to which we would refer the reader for further information.


There is but one town, or, more properly, village, in the township. But before writing of it the business interests of the past will carry us back to about the year 183 1-32, when one Capt. Andrews, of Chillicothe. located on the Worthington road, just west of John Weaver's place, where he purchased about 1,300 acres of land. ITe was quite wealthy, and soon after locating he erected a building, purchased a stock of goods and opened out a store, which was the first ever in the township. His place he named the Rosedale farm, taking its name, we presume, from the post office, which he obtained the establishment of at his place about 1832, under the name of Rosedale Post Office, of which he became the first Postmaster. Subsequent.. by, Capt. Andrews died, and he was succeeded by A. Simpkins; finally, he was succeeded by Fox & Snodgrass, with Mr. Fox as Postmaster. About 1836, Darius Burnham surveyed and laid off some lots for a town; had the town duly platted, which was recorded at the Recorder's office in London May 19, 1836, under the name of Liverpool. There were two small log houses on the ground when the town was laid out, after which Mr. Burnham erected the first frame house, a part of which was used for a dwelling and the other part finished up for a storeroom, into which John and David Snyder put in the first stock of goods and commenced trade. They continned business a few years and moved away. The next store opened here was by Foster Griffin, who commenced trade by putting in a small stock of goods and running a moderate trade; his leading business, to which he gave most attention, was dealing in cheese. Finally, Mr. Henry Bnruham entered into partnership with Mr. Griffin, but remained only a short time, when he withdrew, and L. D. Mann entered into partnership with Mr. Griffin, but in a short time MR. Mann withdrew, and Mr. Griffin continued business for several years. About 1837-38, Mr. Griffin became Postmaster, the office being moved from the country, where it was first established, to Liverpool, but retaining its original name, Rosedale, and has since remained permanently located in the town. The first blacksmith to locate in the town. was a Mr. Creamer. The first physician was Dr. Curl, the next, Dr. Jeremiah Converse; then another Dr. Converse; then Dr. William Adams, Dr. J. C. Kaib and then Dr. Carter. The first shoe-maker was Edsel Carr. The first saddle and harness shop was a branch of MaGruder & Reed, of Mechanics burg, Ohio. The town now contains a population of about seventy..five persons, with the following business houses: One general store, by J. P. Carter; one blacksmith H. C. Yeazell; one shoe-maker, Andrew McBride; one harness and saddle shop, George Glass, and one physician, Dr. F. M. Carter.


It is believed that the tirst grist-mill ever erected in the township was in the northwest corner of the township, on the Little Darby, built by George Van Ness, about 1820. This was a three-story frame, quite an imposing structure at that early day, and was, of course, run by water-power. but it continued in use only about two years, when the dam was washed out and never rebuilt, and consequently the building was never used again for mill purposes. About 1825, Messrs. Lockwood & Nelson erectAd a gristmill on the Little Darby, in the northeast part of the township, on land now owned by Mrs. Hampshire. Subsequently, these men were succeeded in the ownership of the mill by James Snodgrass, and he again by Albert Lombard, who was succeeded by L. D. Mann, who was the last to run the mill, after which it stood idle and went to decay. About 1830-31, George Weaver and his son John built a saw-mill on the Little Darby, on lands now owned by Joseph Weaver. This saw-mill was run about ten years and then went into decay. These appear to have been, the principal early mills. In later years, there have been a few other mills, principally of the portable kind, which have been moved from place to place as timber and occasion required.


This township is small in territory, and containing several large stock f arms, which usually contain many "by-roads," which lead from one point to another and from one road to another, makes the number of pikes and gravel roads somewhat limited in number. The main pikes are the London road and the Mechanicsburg & Liverpool pike. The northwest corner of the township is crossed by the Springfield & Delaware Branch of the C., C., C. & I. R. R., which has a length of about one-half a mile within Pike Township. This is the amount of her railroads.


This township being small in territory does not, of course, require as many schoolhouses as some of the larger townships. It has four regularly established subdistricts and one joint subdistrict. Most of these have frame houses, the citizens generally taking a fair interest in the subject of schools and education. The total school funds of last year were $1,592.67. Total expenditures, $1,426.28. . Enumeration of the districts as follows: No. 1, males, 36; females, 40; total, 76. No. 2, males, 14; females, 15; total, 29. No. 3, males, 7; females, 12; total, 19. No. 4, males, 18; females, 9; total, 27. No. 5, males, 8, females, 6; total, 14. Total, males, 83; females, 82; total, 165. Township board of Education: District No. 1, James P. Carter, President; No. 2, William P. Patrick; No. 3, Pearl M. Keyes; No. 4, J. M. Bradley (sub-joint); No. 5, J. S. Van Ness.


At the present time we are not aware of a single church organization within Pike Township. This condition arises probably from various causes. It is not, we presume, because the people are morally so good and perfect that they have no need of the restraining and salutary effects of churches; neither is it because they are so far the reverse of this that they repel them from their midst. Butthere is no town of any magnitude that forms a center and a nucleus upon which to lay the foundation and draw from the surrounding country the necessary support. The township, as has been stated, contains several large farms, and hence is rather sparsely settled; and it is quite probable that among the scattered population there is quite a diversity of opinions on doctrinal points, and in consequence a limited number of any one faith and doctrine-too limited to secure and support a denominational church. But we find there have been church organizations in the township, and it comes within our province as historians to record upon these pages such facts as we can glean of their history in by-gone days.

Methodist Episcopal Church.- Early in the settlement on Barron Run the Methodists organized a class, and it is believed it was organized by John Rathburn, who with the Aliens, the Carrs and some others; were probably members of the first class. They held their meetings for many years in private houses and in the schoolhouse; but about 1832-33, they erected a frame building for church purposes, which still stands on the Worthington road, but in a very dilapidated condition, and, of course, unused. Meetings and services were held in this house till about 1865-66. At one time this society was quite large and prosperous, but from death, moving away and from other causes, the church waned and finally became extinct. Among the early ministers who preached here were Rev. Morrison, Elder William Raper, Elder George Walker, Rev. Chase and Rev. Webster.

Protestant Methodist Church. - About the year 1840, a few persons, of whom John H. Surfus was the leader, caused the erection of a brick church in the west part of the village of Liverpool, in which was organized a Protestant Methodist society. The class embraced the following persons: John H. Surfus and wife, I. Whitcomb and wife, some of the Williams family and a few others. This society continued as an organization but a few years, as, after the death of its leader and principal support, Mr. Surfus, it dwindled away and the property was sold to the Catholics, who held services here for several years. when their organization was removed to Mechaniesburg, since which the church building has stood unoccupied. We have been informed that at quite an early day there was an organization of a Christian Church on Little Darby, but it has long been extinct, and, as we failed to obtain any definite information of their organization, we simply give the above.


There were several family burying grounds in this township in an early day, as in other townships, and as in every early settled country. The principal ones of this kind were one near the Little Darby, on the Weaver farm, and known as the Weaver Burying Ground; one on Barron Run, where Mr. Dock-am and others of the early settlers of that neighborhood were buried; one on the land of Charles Phellis, Esq, Opposite John Weaver's residence; but this is now, like many others, all in open pasture, and no mark left of its former sacredness; and one on the Guy farm, on Spring Creek, known as the Guy Cemetery. This was first appropriated by Mr. Guy as a family burying place, and was dedicated to the purpose by the reception of his son, Lewis F., who died November 14, 1843, after which it received the bodies of one or two others, when Mr. Guy deeded it to the Trustees of the township and their successors as a permanent ceme tery for general interment of the dead. Subsequently, an addition of onethird of an acre was made, and the whole substantially fenced and the grounds ornamented with trees and shrubbery, constituting it a fit anJ pleasant depository of the dead.

As the records of Pike Township officials from its organization up to about 1860 have all been either lost or destroyed, we cannot, as we usually do, give the early officers of the township, except those who have served as Justices of the Peace, which we obtained from the records at London, and are as follows: 1815, Nicholas Moore; then from this date up to 1835 no record could be found, but from that on they were as follows: 1835, Jacob Weaver; 1837, William Guy; 1838, Charles Pheflis; 1841, William Guy and Charles Phellis; 1843, Matthew Y. Patrick; 1844, Charles Phellis; 1846, Lester Hunt and Matthew Y. Patrick; 1848, John B-. Stokes and Henry Burnham; 1850, Robert Guy; 1851, Henry Burnham and L. Keyes; 1854, L. D. Mann and Ebenezer T. Roseberry; 1855-58, Ebenezer T. Roseberry; 1858, L. D. Mann; 1859, John H. Burnham; 1860, Benjamin Taylor; 1861, Gilbert Farrington and L. D. Mann; 1864, L. D. Mann and J. M. Kennedy.

Return to [ Ohio History ] [ History at Rays Place ] [ Rays Place ] [ Ohio Biographies ]

Ohio Counties at this web site - Ashland - Auglaize - Champaign - Columbiana - Cuyahoga - Darke - Erie - Franklin - Fulton - Madison - Mercer - Ross - Seneca - Shelby

Also see the local histories for [ CA ] [ CT ] [ IA ] [ IL ] [ IN ] [ KS ] [ MA ] [ ME ] [ MO ] [ MI ] [ MN ] [ NE ] [ NJ ] [ NY ] [ PA ] [ OH ] [ PA ] [ WI ]

[ Much more Ohio History may be found at Linkpendium ]

All pages copyright 2003-2013. All items on this site are copyrighted by their author(s). These pages may be linked to but not used on another web site. Anyone may copy and use the information provided here freely for personal use only. Privacy Policy