History of Franklin 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
This township is bordered on the north by the Grand Reservoir, forming a very irregular boundary; it is bounded
on the east by Auglaize County, on the south by Marion township and on the west by Butler township. It is six miles
long from, east to west, has an average width from north to south of about three and a half miles and contains
about 22 square miles. The township was organized. December 7, 1841, and the first election was held December 24,
1841. At the settlement two small bands of Indians occupied a part of this territory. They were known as the Big
and Little Chickasaws and from them two streams of the township took their names. These Indians were peaceably
disposed and never gave any trouble or alarm to the settlers. The people of this township are a thrifty lot of
farmers, it being one of the best farming districts of the county. Corn, wheat, oats and all the grains are grown
in abundance. The township has always been represented on the Mercer County fair hoard. The present township officials
are as follows: Trustees - J. J. Ulrich, Hy. Filling and Henry Ronnehaum; clerk, A. C. Long; treasurer, John Harrigon;
justices of the peace - Walter N. Monroe and John W. Harrison. The population of the township was 1,015 in 1880,
1,240 in 1890 and 1,320 in 1900.
Among the first settlers of the township were Stephen Sprague, Abraham and John Miller and the Lacey, Beauchamp and Johnson families. The Botkin family settled on Chickasaw Creek in 1829; there were two brothers, Charles and William. Peter Circle came here about 1835. William B. Winter, William Ballinger, Henry B. Bennett, Isaac Brandon, William P. Long, Isaac W. Preston, Thomas McGee, Singleton Buxton, Jacob Selby, Barney Dabbelt, Henry Dammeyer and the Burdges and Trims were all pioneers of Franklin township. Isaac Ellis, who died several years ago, was an early settler of the township and was the fur buyer for all this section of the country. Samuel C. Hyler, 88 years of age, is the oldest resident of Franklin township; he has lived here since 1854.
All the churches of Franklin township are located at Montezuma and are three in number: United Brethren, Methodist Episcopal and Church of Christ. There is also a Catholic mission located here, of which Rev. Comas Seeberger, C. PP. S., is pastor pro team.
The Montezuma class of the United Brethren Church was organized in 1845 by Rev. R. Gillen. Among the first members
were: Elizabeth Buxton, Mary Taylor and William Beauchamp and wife. Until the first church building was erected,
about 1862, services were held at the homes of the various members. The present church building was erected at
Montezuma in 1879 at a cost of about $2,000, being dedicated by Bishop Weaver on the first Sunday in June of that
year. The following pastors have served this church since Rev. R. Gillen: Revs. John Slife, A. Shingledeclcer,
Michael Johnston, J. M. Lea, Lewis S. Farber, Elias Counsellor, Wentz and Heistand, D. W. Abbott, J. Ogle, Nicodemus,
William Miller, R. W. Wilgus, Thomas Coats, R. G. Montgomery, Reuben Moore, P. C. Bechdoit, E. G. Stover, D. A.
Boyd, S. M. Leidy, L. C. Reed, J. F. Miller, C. T. Betts, W. E. Amsbaugh, J. N. Holies, Joseph Kirk and J. P. Hight,
who, also serves the Mount Zion class in Center township!, the Old-town class in Jefferson township and the Burnt
Wood class in Butler township. The membership of the Montezuma class is 79 and the Sunday school has an average
attendance of 65.
Is situated in the northwest part of Franklin township on Beaver Creek and Lake Mercer. It was laid out in 1835,
the plat being recorded on March 12th. Morris Kelly came to the county in 1850; at a later date he engaged in business
as a storekeeper at Montezuma. A. J. Platt was for many years a merchant here. Jimmy Johnson at one time owned
and operated a gristmill at Montezuma and also distilled whiskey. Montezuma was incorporated as a village in 1894
and its first mayor was William A. Lacey and its second, George Preston. The present village officials are as follows:
Mayor, William Cochran; clerk, J. J. Ulrich; treasurer, W. L. Hotel; marshal, Jacob Hoel; Council - L. E. Springer,
Cornelius Franks, I. N. Stump, William Roush, G. H. Preston and A. C. Long. William. A. Lacey is postmaster. The
population of the village was 210 in 1890 and 317 in 1900.