History of Black Creek Township, Ohio
From: History of Mercer County, Ohio
and Representative Citizens
Edited & Compiled by: Hon. S. S. Scranton
Published by: Biographical Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois 1907


BLACK CREEK TOWNSHIP

This township, which is the northwestern township of the county, was organized April 12, 1834, and the first election was held on April 28th at the house of Chauncey Knowlton, It is six miles square and is divided into sections of one mile square, except in the northeastern corner of the township where there are two small reservations, known as the Charlie and Labadie reservations. It is bounded on the north by Van Wert County, on the east by Dublin township, on the south by Liberty township and on the west by Adams County, Indiana. It is quite level except in the extreme northern part, where it is slightly undulating, but as a whole it is sufficiently rolling for ample drainage. In the western part is a small flat called Duck Creek Prairie, which is quite low and level and has a rich alluvial soil. The township is crossed by two small streams - Big Black Creek and Little Black Creek - which flow northward and empty into the St. Mary's River at Willshire, Van Wert County. The soil varies but is principally a clay loam and above the average in productiveness. Black Creek township has long since been looked upon as one of the richest in Mercer County, the land bringing the highest price of any in the county. Crops of all kinds are grown in abundance and good markets at no great distance, at Willshire, Van Wert County, and Rockford, Mercer County, are reached over well improved roads. The township is well provided with good schoolhouses and well built and well kept churches. No villages are found within its borders.

The present officials of Black Creek township are the following: Trustees - O. O. Stover, W. Kuhn and A. J. Bargahiser; clerk, Join Andress; treasurer, D. T. Ruffner; justices of the peace - J. E. Piper and A. J. Dellinger. The population of the township in 1880 was 1,441; in 189o, 1,557; and in 1900, 1,438.

PIONEERS.

The township was not settled as early as was Dublin township, the heavy forest growth and wet condition of the land retarding its settlement. Land was first taken up along the Fort Wayne road. It is thought that William Harris and a man by the name of Shaw were the first, as they were here prior to 183o. The following list comprises such settlers as established themselves here prior to 1836: William Harris, Thomas Harris, _____Shaw, John Street, Charles Henderson, Jacob Harper, Joseph Harper, Jacob Stetler, Ebenezer Goddard, James Heath, Henry Hoaglin, John Rutan, Benjamin Manly, Sivey, Jesse King and Silas Jordan. In the three succeeding years came Joseph Mapes, Chauncey Knowlton and the Gauzes, Downs, Sprys, Countermans and Kennedys. Other early settlers were: David Wright, J. C. Whitney, A. P. Nott, A. Guthrie, E. J. Detmer, A. Shucks, Jacob Tickle, Jacob Bollenbaugh, Martin Winkler, Daniel D. Cross, B. Hobble, Henry Van Tilburg, Moses Stover, John Addy, John Andrew Leistner, Levi Shock, Thomas R. Miller, Frederick Becher and the Lorees, Rutledges and Robinsons.

The first log cabin in the township was built by William Harper, while the first frame house was erected by Jesse King. The first marriage was that of Jacob Harper and Kalinda Watkins, in 1831, and the first birth was that of Alexander Harper, son of Jacob Harper, born in 1833. The first schoolhouse was built about 1840.

CHURCHES.

Black Creek township has two Methodist Episcopal churches Duck Creek Church and Fountain Chapel. Both churches are served by the pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Willshire, Van Wert County. The Duck Creek Church was the first religious society formed in the township, being organized about 1856 by Rev. Joshua Smith at the Duck Creek schoolhouse. A frame church building was erected in 1868. Among the first members were: A. M. Counterman and wife, Alonzo Cross and wife, George Clark and wife and William Harper and wife.

There are two classes of the United Brethren Church in the township, Pleasant Grove and Bethel. Rev. Betz is the pastor of both churches.

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