History of Washington 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


WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP
This township is bounded on the north by Liberty township, on the east by Jefferson and Butler townships, on the south by Recovery township and on the west by the State of Indiana. It is regular in form and eontains 36 square miles. It is crossed from south to north by the Wabash River, while Beaver Creek flows across its northeast corner. These form sufficient courses of natural drainage and the township has rapidly improved in all its agricultural features. The population is largely German in character and is enterprising and industrious.

Washington townships was organized March 5, 1838, and the first election was held at the house of George Arbaugh, on April 2, 1838, when the following officers were elected: Trustees - James Schoonover, David Trexler and James Q. Grimes; clerk, William Nichols; constable, Peter Stevens; overseers of the poor John Dixon and George Armstead; fence viewers - Edward Dixon and Samuel Freeman, Jr.; supervisor, Justin Stevens; and treasurer, George Arbaugh. On the 20th of May following, William Nichols was unanimously elected justice of the peace. The present township officers are as follows: Trustees Daniel Fennig, Orville S. Asheraft and Joseph Born; clerk, George L. Schroyer; treasurer, John McQueen; justices of the peace, Perry C. Knox and James Jeffries.

In 1886 the township contained 8,933 acres of arable land, 2,577 acres of meadow land and 11,347 acres of woodland, a total of 22,857 acres, valued, with the buildings, at $362,345. In 1900 the assessor made the following returns: Acres of cultivated land, 10,364; acres of pasture land, 6,592; acres of woodland, 2;793;,acres of waste land, 405. The population of the township in 1880 was 1,384; in 1890, 1,617; and in 1900, 1,487.

SPECULATORS' LAND.

The lands in this township were nearly all entered between the years 1836 and 1840 and the larger tracts were entered by parties who never lived in the county and were called speculators' land. In section 1 David Cathcart entered 641 acres in 1839. He never lived on the land. Jefferson Walters, who lived at Dayton, Ohio, entered 320 acres in 1837. He never lived in the county but kept his land until in the '80's. It was unfortunate for the township that so much land was held by non residents who did nothing to clear and improve their lands, but this land is now owned by resident landowners who have cleared and improved it.

PIONEERS.

Most of the early settlers entered land in 4o, 80 and 160 acre tracts. Among the first settlers in the township were John Boley, John Betz, Samuel Arbaugh, David Harrod, E. A. Hillary, William Spriggs, W. Fishpaw, Peter McMillen, Joseph Loughridge, David Houston, William B. Wilson, Daniel Freeman, John Dixon, William Loughridge, Amos Dixon, H. Davidson, William Davidson, Joseph Davidson, George L. Adair, Henry Fortman, William C Armstead, Samuel McDowell, Richard Scott, Thomas Clinton and Adam Miller.

CHURCHES.

Washington township has two Christian or New Light churches - Bethel and Wabash. Bethel Church was organized by Elder O. S. Green, June 17, 1871 with 31 communicants, with the Bible as their only rule of faith and practice, and Christian character as the only test of Christian fellowship. Elder Green was chosen pastor and filled the position many years. By 1880 the church had grown to a membership of between 80 and 90. - Wabash Church was organized at the town of Wabash, March 28, 1880, by Elder O. A. Green, with 11 communicants, with the same tenets as Bethel Church. The first Officers of the church where the following: Deacons - Joseph Doner and McCane; clerk, Allen Wishon.

St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized about February, 1861. The present church edifice was built in 1886 The church property is valued at $1,000, and the parsonage at $800. The church has 130 members and the Sunday school, 45 scholars. The following pastors have served the congregation: Revs. Seitz, Heintz, Phil. Schmidt, H. Willert, W. Schmidt, A: J. Feeger, W. G. Nicol, C. E. Herbst, A. F. Klopfer and H. N. Probst, the present pastor.

There are two Methodist Episcopal churches. in Washington township, namely: Erastus and Washington Chapel. Both churches are served by the pastor of the Fort Recovery Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev, J. H. Butler; both have flourishing Sunday schools. The list of pastors and other information relating to the churches will be found in the sketch of the Fort Recovery Methodist. Episcopal Church.

St. Anthony's Catholic Church at Padua is the only church of this denomination in the township. A history of this church will be found in the chapter devoted to Roman Catholic churches and institutions.

SCHOOLS.

The whole township constituted one school district until March 2, 1842, when it was divided into three districts, each six miles long and two miles wide. The records show that a Miss Montgomery was probably the first school teacher; in December, 1838, she was paid $6 for teaching. In February, 1839, Lewis J. Hunt was paid $30 for teaching. There are now 11 schoolhouses in the township, three brick and eight frame. There are II teachers employed at $50 per month for the eight months of school each year.

MACEDON, ERASTUS, PADUA AND WABASH.

This township contains no very large towns but there are four trading places. Macedon is a very old town. It was laid out by William Nichols and George Arbaugh on September 28, 1838, in 6o lots. It had at one time a hotel, two stores, grocery and blacksmith and wagon shop, but at present it has only a few esidents and no business is carried on.

Erastus is a small place with only a few people and no business.

Padua is a town of few inhabitants. The church and school is about all it can boast of.

Wabash is the best and largest town in the township. It has a store and blacksmith shop, a church and a school.

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