History of Liberty 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


LIBERTY TOWNSHIP Lies south of Black Creek township, west of Hopewell and Jefferson townships, north of Washington township and east of the Indiana State line. It is six miles square and contains 36 square miles. Big Beaver Creek enters the township' in section 35, flows through section 34 and in section 33 empties into the Wabash River, which flows west through sections 32 and 31 into Indiana. The township is settled principally by German Lutherans, a majority of whom however, speak good English; the schools are. all conducted in the English language. When first settled, the township was heavily wooded. In course of time, when the land was cleared and put under cultivation, Liberty became one of the foremost townships:of the county, second to none in agricultural possibilities. The soil is very productive.

The township was organized March 1, 1841, and the first election was held at the house of Philip Bolton on.the first Friday in June following. The present township officers are as follows: Trustees - Jacob Gehm, William Florence and Jacob Betzer; clerk, Andrew Bauer; treasurer, John J. Bollenbacher; justice of the peace, George Felver. The population of the township in 1900 was 1,733. In 1880, it was 1,196 and in 1890, 1,652.

PIONEERS.

Daniel Freeman, John and Philip Bolton, Timothy Hankins and Isaac Trace were probably the first settlers in the township. When Jacob Deitsch and daughter, Philip Deitsch awl family and Adam Bollenbacher, wife and son, came to the township in 1840, they found four cabins here, which had been occupied by the pioneers named above. Among the early settlers of the township were the Bollenbachers, Deitsches, Frederick Becher, Henry Kuhn, Henry and John Leininger, Frederick and Ferdinand Kahle, Dr. S. R. Wilson, Samuel M. Loree, Christian Kessler, Granville Freeman and others. Quite a few of these pioneers are still living; some reside in the township and others live in neighboring towns, having Cleft their farms to the care of their children.

* * *

This township has furnished its quota of county officials. Dr. S. R. Wilson served four years as county coroner in the 70's. Samuel M. Loree, once treasurer of the county, was elected from Black Creek township, but was originally from Liberty. Frank P. Hinton recently retired from the Board of Infirmary Directors, after serving two terms. Charles Bollenbacher served as commissioner for two terms of three years each. The township is now represented on the Board of County Commissioners in the person of Peter Linn, who is now serving his second term of three years.

CHURCHES.

There are four Evangelical Lutheran churches in the township, two of which are regular, St. Paul's and Zion's congregations. St. Paul's congregation was organized in r841 by Rev. Frederick Knave, who conducted services here once every two months during a period of nearly four years. During the pastorate of his successor, Rev. Burger, the congregation split, many of the old members joining the Albright faction. Another split also occurred under Rev. Burger's successor, Rev. J. G. Strickfus. Rev. J. I. Muller, the next pastor, was followed in June, 185o, by Rev. J. D. Gackenheimer, during whose pastorate of 11 years a church building was erected, being dedicated November 3o, 1851. Another split took place when Zion's congregation was organized. A frame church building was erected about 1866. Mr. Gackenheimer was followed by Revs. George Heintz, Philip Schmidt and Hugo Willert in the order named. Rev. A. F. Gilman is the present pastor. The congregation has a membership of 120 and an average Sunday school attendance of 40. The church building cost $6,000 and the parsonage, $800. Zion's congregation at Chattanooga, an offshoot of St. Paul's congregation, was organized in 1860, in which year a church building was erected. The congregation at the present time own the following property: Church building, valued at $3,000; parsonage, valued at $1,500; and a parochial school building, valued at. $1,500. There are 200 members of the congregation and 125 Sunday school scholars. The following pastors have served the congregation: Revs. George Heintz, Philip Schmidt, Hugo Willert, F. Besel, C. Adam, C. Reinhardt, J. Soller, J. Voilmar, A. Affeld, P. Schmidt, P. Brockhaus and George Haas, the present pastor. - Rev. Samuel Egger is pastor of St. Paul's German Evangelical Church in this township.

The Friends' Church in Liberty township was built recently at a cost of $1,200. About so members constitute the meeting. Local preachers fill the pulpit, there being no regular pastor.

Mount Carmel Church of God is the only society of this denomination in Liberty township. Rev. J. W. Johnson, who is also in charge of the Tabor and Pleasant View churches in Hopewell township, is pastor.

SCHOOLS.

The township has 10 school buildings, two of which are brick and eight frame. Nearly all of them are comparatively new structures. Each of the 10 teachers employed receives $420 for nine months' teaching.

CHATTANOOGA

Is an unincorporated town of something over too inhabitants, situated on the north line of the township near the northwest corner. It has a hotel, a church, a school, general stores, blacksmith shop and barber shop. It also has a resident physician, Dr. Price T. Waters.

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