PREVIOUS to 1832, the territory of this township was a part of Jefferson. It was then organized as a separate
township, in conformity with the prayer of certain petitioners. The township comprises thirty eight sections, three
of which are fractional The western end of the township is embraced within a broad expanse of the Scioto valley,
and is very rich and valuable territory. The valleys of Salt creek and Walnut creek, extending from north to south
through the township, are also fertile lands and embrace a considerable area. Salt creek traverses the eastern
end of the township, while Walnut creek crosses the west central portion, and both are streams of considerable
volume. Other interior water courses are Cranberry run in the northeastern part, which empties into Poe's run,
and this, in turn, joins its water with Salt creek; Dry run is a waterway if not a water course, traversing the
western part of the township; Mulgy run flows in a southeastern course through the interior, passing near Londonderry
station and emptying into Salt creek in the southeast corner of the township. Numerous spring runs, flowing down
from the adjacent hills, increase the volume of water in. the streams named, and at the same time enhance the value
of the lands traversed, rendering them available for grazing purposes.
Liberty township is rich in antiquities. Earthworks were located on the farms of Thomas On and Milton Jones, on
the bank of the Scioto, both octagonal and circular in form, one of the first sort enclosing an area of about fifteen
acres. The circular work enclosed about twenty five acres. This fortification, for such it undoubtedly was, had
the form of a circle, and was connected with the river by a deep, narrow passageway, dug through from the fort
to the water's edge. On the Harness farm many interesting relics were found, among which were about a half a bushel
of leaden bullets of different sizes and shapes, some of which weighed half an ounce. The early settlers regarded
this as a battlefield where at least one party of contestants was familiar with the use of firearms. A large stone
pipe, weighing a pound, was also found on the Harness farm. It bore the outline of a human face neatly cut upon
it. A stone ball, round and smooth, with a hole through the center, and many curiously cut stones and darts, were
found in the same locality. On the Ed. Harness farm is a mound about one hundred feet long, sixty feet wide, and
twelve to fifteen feet high. On digging into this, the interior was found to be hollow, the cavity admitting a
person in a stooping posture. Around the base of this mound there were found many human skeletons, so small in
stature as to indicate a burial place for women and children. Relic seekers and scientific investigators have removed
many of these skeletons, finding, as a general thing, that the head of each body had been wrapped in, or placed
upon, a piece of cloth of curious texture, threads of which still remained. Near this mound is an earthwork enclosing
some ten acres, and like one previously described, it had an outlet, or dug way, leading for some distance away
from the main work. A much larger work than any of these just described is known to have existed in Liberty township,
the walls of which enclosed some forty acres. The Chillicothe and Richmond Dale pike passes through it, in the
third terrace, on the east side of the Scioto. But this, like the others, has been leveled by the successive plowings
of a hundred years, aided by Climatic erosion, and the casual observer would scarcely notice anything unusual in
the conformation of the land.
The northern and eastern portions of Liberty township contain much broken and hilly land; but the comparatively
wide valleys along the streams are a very fertile sandy loam, terminating in clay on the hillsides. From the center
of the township, westward to the Scioto, the quality of the soil is unsurpassed in the county, and some fine farms
and excellent improvements attest the truth of this statement. Rattlesnake Knob and Point Lookout are elevations
of considerable height above the surrounding hills, as well as points of some local interest. The surface of this
township was originally covered with a heavy growth of excellent timber, embracing the varieties usually found
in this section of the Scioto valley. These were white oak, black oak, hickory, walnut, wild cherry, beech, sugar
maple, elm, ash, poplar, hackberiy, buckeye, and sycamore While some valuable timber is still preserved, by fax
the greater part of it was destroyed in fitting the land for cultivation. That which survived the pioneer log heaps
has submitted to oft repeated cullings for market purposes, or the personal needs of the owners, until at this
time the territory where it grew thickest, more resembles the treeless prairies of the west than the original home
of a dense forest.
There are two prosperous villages in Liberty township, besides which there is a railway station called Schooley,
where considerable business is transacted, there being a good produce market at that place. Here John Schooley
was the first station agent and postmaster. Londonderry was laid out in 1831 by Adam Stewart and Nathan Cox. But
the latter sold out his interests to Stewart, and removed from the county. The sole proprietor, being an Irishman
from county Ulster, chose the name of his native town which is generally abbreviated to "Derry." When
the postoffice was established, about a year after the town came into existence, the previous existence of a Londonderry
in north Ohio necessitated a change, and the first postmaster, James Gillespie, was honored in the choice of Gillespieville
as the postoffice name. But the name of Londonderry has clung to the town. The village grew into prominence as
a country trading point. The first store was opened by Ebenezer Guy in 1832, and Simon Ratcliff became his rival
in business the same year. James Gillespie also established a mercantile business in 1832. About 1835, Samuel Griffin
opened a general store which he operated for forty years. Doctor James Moore was the first physician in the township,
and he opened an office in Londonderry with the inception of the town. Josiah Drummond was another of the earliest
physicians, coming about the same time as Dr. Moore. The village now has a population of over two hundred, and
has four stores, a hotel, graded school, two churches, Friends and Methodist Episcopal, and numerous mechanical
shops. In 1901 a lodge of the Red Men was organized there, which embraces in its membership some fifty of the leading
citizens of the town and surrounding country. Being some distance from the line of the B. & O. S. W. railroad,
there is a station for the transfer and shipment of goods called Londonderry Station, this being the Liberty township
portion of the village of Vigo, which is located on the township line between Jefferson and Liberty. Vigo is a
prosperous little town, and a formidable business rival of Londonderry, which is only a half a mile to the north.
The railroad station is now called Vigo, "Londonderry station" being merely a local term. Properly, the
history of the village of Vigo belongs with Jefferson township, to which the reader is referred for additional
matter. The town is scarcely as large as Londonderry, though there are three good stores, one hotel, a Baptist
church, a brick and tile factory, and planing mill within its borders. The two: last named industries give employment
to a considerable number of the wage earners of the town.
The territory now embraced within Liberty township was occupied as early a period as any in Ross county. Many of
the earliest occupants settled on Highbank prairie and other desirable locations, before the opening of the land
sales. These "squatters" had considerable difficulty in the matter of identifying their lands, during
the rush and excitement attendant upon the sales; and some of them lost their improvements, previously made, and
were obliged to accept to desirable locations. The charges of bribery and collusion with the land office officials
were freely made, possibly not without some cause of complaint. That hard feelings were engendered is fully demonstrated
by subsequent events, since some of the most successful contestant for desirable lands suffered the destruction
of their crops by fire, and were otherwise harassed and persecuted, presumably by those who desired the same lands
and failed to get them.
Among the first settlers on "High bank" was James Kilgore and family. Kilgore located in 1798, and was
one of the first to produce a crop from the fertile soil of that region. He afterward bought a section on the upper
trail of the same prairie, and this he divided with a Mr. Holton, and both ended their days on this property. Thomas
and Zebulon Orr located on High bank about 1798, and there raised a crop, after which they removed to Springfield
township, where they died. Robert Corken, Benjamin Kerns, and Amos Taylor, together with several others, located
on High bank, probably as early as 1799, and remained there, improving and cultivating the lands which they expected
to buy when placed upon the market. But all except Kerns were doomed to disappointment. Their lands were purchased
by others, through the machinations of those who were "in the ring," and they were obliged to seek other
locations, some going into the hills and others locating in Springfield township. The government sold no less than
a section to each purchaser, hence settlers with limited means often clubbed together and purchased a section,
then subdivided to suit the convenience of those concerned. On the occasion of this sale, the crier failed to recognize
the local designation of High bank, and offered lands located at the mouth of Indian creek, thus misleading, or
deceiving, the actual residents. All of High bank prairie, except one fractional section, was sold to Benjamin
Kerns, Felix Renick, and. Joseph Harness, Kilgore and Holton getting the fractional section. Following this, the
pioneers who failed in their efforts to secure the land upon which they had settled, fell back to the flats, or
Benjamin Kerns raised the first crop of wheat on High bank. This he harvested and secured in the stack, where it
was burned in the night. He had cleared a place for an orchard, and while the log heaps were yet burning he had
set out the trees, which he was obliged to procure from abroad, at considerable cost. A short time after the trees
were planted, they were pulled up, and the roots laid in the fire of the smouldering log heaps. This second depredation
within a short time confirmed the universal opinion that the mischief was done by some disappointed candidate for
the land which Mr. Kerns had secured. To add to the neighborhood discontent, Mr. Kerns sued the original occupants
of the lands which he purchased, claiming rent for the time they occupied it without authority. Some paid a nominal
sum to avoid litigation; but Thomas On stood a suit, and was pleased to learn that a private individual could not
collect rent for Congress lands.
Abraham Claypool was a prominent early settler, who came from Randolph county, Va., and settled on High bank prairie
in 1799. He made considerable improvement on his prospective farm; but, like many others, he was disappointed at
the lands sales in 1802, and selected another location on section seventeen, where he passed his remaining years.
Mr. Claypool served four years in the Virginia legislature during his young manhood days, and was also a soldier
under "Mad" Anthony Wayne during the Indian wars. In Ohio, he was a member of the first State legislature,
in which body he served some eight or ten years. Mr. Claypool was an industrious and energetic man, who rendered
valuable assistance in opening up the vast wilderness in which he was one of the first settlers. His family consisted
of nine children, most of whom settled in the west, and others died on the old parental homestead. Their names
were Solomon, Jacob, Newton, Wilson, Abel, Isaac, Ann, Sarah and Maria. The home property descended to these heirs,
descendants of whom are still prominent residents of Ross county.
Amos Taylor located on High bank between 1800 and 1804, but afterward re-located on the east side of Walnut creek,
where he died. His children inherited the farm, and some of their descendants still live in the township.
Thomas Jones and family, consisting of his wife and seven children, settled on Walnut creek in Liberty township
about 1804. Mr. Jones and his neighbors, Alexander McClintick and Samuel Hoshauer, entered section eight, and divided
it, by mutual agreement, into three equal parts, by east and west lines. Jones took the north part, Hoshauer the
center portion, and McClintick the south third Mr. Jones was a shoemaker, and worked at his trade in his country
home until well advanced in years. His children were named William Henry, Thomas, Mary, Rebecca, Benjamin, Jeremiah,
Caleb, Joshua, Samuel and Jacob. The four last named were born in Ross county, and all lived to years of maturity,
married and located in the vicinity of their parental home, where they became influential in the development of
the country. Rebecca and William died in Missouri. Samuel Jones, son of Thomas, raised a family of seven sons and
one daughter, and some of the former were soldiers in the civil war, and one of them died there. The other sons
of Thomas Jones left numerous descendants to perpetuate the familr name in the community.
Alexander McClintick, mentioned as the partner of Jones in purchasing the section of land, built a grist mill on
his farm very soon after his settlement on it. In connection with the mill, he also established a distillery. This
property was operated by Mr. McClintick until his death, and for some years afterward by members of his Family.
But it finally passed into other hands and has long since become a thing of the past. An incident is related in
connection with the McClintick distillery which shows the divided public sentiment on the whiskey question, even
in that early day: One evening while the attendants were at supper, seven loud reports were heard in the direction
of the distillery. On investigation it was found that some one had burst in every one of the seven large copper
kettles used in the plant, using the pole of an axe for that purpose. Public indignation ran high, and the owners
of axes were required to bring them to the still house, and by fitting them in the apertures, try to apprehend
the offender. But the "guilty axe" did not appear, hence the culprit escaped the summary vengeance of
an enraged community. Whiskey, in that day, was considered more of a necessity than a worker of evil, and many
of the best and most devout people used it unsparingly.
Caleb Odell, who settled on section seven, as a neighbor to the McClinticks, also operated a small still for some
eight or ten years. He became a resident of the township about 1804. Elisha Rawles settled on the south half of
section seven, among the early pioneers, and remained but a few years, when he sold out to Jacob Hoshauer, and
removed from the county. Webster Thomas came from New Jersey in 1800 and established his home on section five,
where he ended his days. Some of his descendants still live in the township. William Schooley became a resident
of Liberty in 1800 and located on section eighteen, which was his wife's inheritance from her father, Thomas Bowens,
who settled on adjoining land. Both Schooley and Bowen died on the property upon which they settled Andrew Kelley
located near the present site of the State dam in 1800. He selected a farm in fractional section eleven, removed
to section nine, where he ended his days. He was the father of sixteen children, some of whom spent their lives
in the township. Andrew Kelley was one of the early justices of the peace in Ross county. He was an active and
progressive farmer, and one of the first to plant an orchard in the county. Thomas and James Kelly settled in the
west part of the township about 1800, where they died in the early days of settlement. Some of their descendants
still live in the township.
The Harness family is one prominently identified with Ross county from the early pioneer days until the present.
Joseph and George Harness, brothers, were the founders of the family in Ross county, though the latter did not
become a permanent resident here. He entered some sixteen hundred acres of land in the Scioto valley, in the southern
part of Liberty township This land subsequently became the property of C. E. and Daniel R. Harness, brothers, upon
which was established the well known stock farm of the lath Daniel R Harness. He devoted it to the breeding, rearing
and training of thoroughbred horses, mostly of the road strains. Daniel Harness was the owner of the celebrated
running mare, "Imp," and many others of almost as great prominence on the turf. "Uncle Daniel"
died in the winter of 1901-2. Joseph Harness emigrated to this county in 1798 from Hardy county, Va. He bought
at the first land sales sections nine, ten and eleven, on the High bank prairie, and occupied this property until
his death. He had four children who succeeded to the homestead, and some of their descendants still occupy portions
of it The only son of Joseph Harness was Edwin J., who died in early manhood, leaving no family. The daughters
were Eliza, wife of James Vause; Mary, wife of George Moore, and Rebecca5 who married Charles F. Beal. Some of
the daughters removed from the county, or possibly never came here, Mrs. Moore locating in Mason county, Va.
John Hixon and family came from Virginia in 1802 and were among the earliest settlers in the eastern part of Liberty
township. Section twenty three was entered by Griffith Pierce, who gave one half of it to his son in law, Johan
Dixon, and the other half to his son, Samuel Pierce. Jesse, Samuel and Joseph Dixon came from Chatham county, N.
C., about 1803, and located in Liberty. They were extensive land owners in the township and Jesse. Dixon built
a mill on Salt creek, which was put in operation about 1807. It was arranged for both sawing and grinding, and
was operated by Dixon until his death, in 1825. The property passed into the hands of his sons, Abel and Joseph,
who continued the milling business for many years. Nathan Cox became a resident of the township about as early
as the Dixons; and Joseph Cox located on section fourteen, in 1802. He had a wife, but no children, and both died
on this property.
Daniel, George and Jonathan Dixon located on section ten in 1800. When the land came on the market, each of the
brothers bought a quarter of the section, and Nicholas Cox purchased the balance. Daniel Dixon died of cholera
in 1832, leaving a family of seven children. These married and settled in the vicinity. His son, George Dixon,
spent a long and useful life as a resident of the township, as did also his son Elias. A daughter, Nancy, married
Jacob Calver, who located on section sixteen. George and Jonathan Dixon died on the land which they enteied, and
the numerous descendants of these early families are still prominent residents of the county, some of whom have
been honored with important positions. John, Charles and James Davis, four brothers, located on lands which are
now known as the Harness farm, about 1800, and lived there as tenants for many years. They subsequently removed
to the southern part of the county, and northern Pike county, where they became wealthy land owners. Abraham Hiner
established a tannery on the banks of Walnut creek about 1808, his farm being located on section eight Mr. Hiner
operated the tannery for some twenty years, or until his death. His two daughters married and located in the vicinity.
John May came into the county in an early day, and entered section one, in the western part of Liberty township.
This he sold to John Steely in 1816, but the latter did not occupy it permanently and the property passed into
George Day came about 1805, or a little later, and settled on section eighteen, a part of which Mr. Day bought.
About 1831 he sold out and removed to Indiana, returning three years later, and died in Liberty township. He was
a tailor by trade, and opened a shop at his residence. His son, William Day, was a gunsmith in the village of Londonderry
for about thirty years. He served eighteen years as a justice of the peace in Liberty township. James and Adam
Stewart were settlers on section fifteen as early as 1810, and both ended their lives there. Some of their posterity
are still residents of the township. Daniel Peterman accompanied his parents to Ross county when a youth, and located
in the valley on High bank prairie, where he spent his life. He learned the blacksmith trade in his native state,
Virginia, and followed that business under parental rule, but when he engaged in life's duties on his own account,
he forsook the hammer and anvil, and allied himself with agricultural interests. He was a quiet., unassuming, industrious
and frugal man, who lived at peace with all mankind. Though in no sense an office seeker, he nevertheless held
various offices in Liberty township during his long life. His descendants are still residents of the township,
where they are well and favorably known.
Simon Ratcliff accompanied his parents, John and Ruth Ratcliff, from Chatham county, N. C., and found a home in
the wilds of Ross county. He was born on August 23, 1800, and the colony of some forty of North Carolinians arrived
in the new country in October, 1804. The family started with two teams and wagons, in which their household effects,
women and children, were conveyed from their North Carolina home to Charleston, Va., the men walking, and driving
two cows. At Charleston, the goods were transferred to a keel boat, the wagons being taken apart and loaded on
the boat with the women and children, while the animals were driven through overland. At that time there was no
wagon road through the forest. Arriving at Gallipolis, the goods were again transferred to the wagons and the journey
resumed as before. The family encamped for about six weeks near the present site of Richmond Dale, where friends
preceding them had already made a temporary settlement. The father entered a quarter section of land in Eagle township,
then in Ross county, but now in Vinton. The family consisted of ten children, of whom Simon was the youngest. Two
sisters, Ailise and Ann, were married when they came to the county, and the first named had three children. The
others were named Susan, Ruth, Rachel, John, Timothy, Jesse, Ezekiel, and Simon. The first cooking performed by
Mother Ratcliff after arrival was the roasting of a wild turkey, which was performed in true pioneer style. The
bird was suspended over a fire of coals, and turned and "basted" to the nice brown so desirable to the
careful housewife. That it was a palatable morsel to the fifteen ravenous appetites awaiting it, need not be said.
Simon Ratcliff was married August 10, 1820, to Rachel, daughter of Samuel Dixon. She was born July 17, 1804. After
their marriage they located on a piece of land in Eagle township, but three years later removed to a farm in Vinton
county, thence, three years later, to section fourteen in Liberty township, where they lived fourteen years. Mr.
Ratcliff then removed to Londonderry where he engaged in merchandising for some twenty years, superintending his
farm at the same time. He then retired to his farm, of nearly seven hundred acres, and there ended his days in
the elegant country home which he had erected. He had a family of eleven children Harriet, Ann, Ruth, Emma, Rachel
W., Jane, Pearly, Jesse and Simon, and two who died in infancy. Numerous descendants of this early established
family still reside in Ross county, and some have attained to positions of prominence in political life.
Other early settlers of Liberty who were identified with the pioneer history, though not of the first settlers,
were: Jacob Peterman, Lemuel Kilburn, Joshua Jones, John W. Williamson, Morris Humphrey, Thomas Corker, Joseph
Dixon, Joseph Wilkins, Jacob Mace, Samuel G. Griffin.
Branches of the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton and Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern railway systems cross Liberty
township, both entering near the northwest corner, and passing through the township in a southeasterly direction.
The Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton follows the valley of the Scioto, leaving Liberty township at the northwest
corner of Jefferson, while the Baltimore & Ohio diverges more to the eastward, and leaves the township at the
village of Vigo.
Liberty township was prolific in early industries, there being a number of saw mills, grist mills, distilleries,
tanneries, and carding mills, constructed and operated at different times from the first settlement, according
to the needs of the various communities which they served. These, for the most part, were of brief existence, and,
in fact, most of them were quickly and cheaply built with no idea of permanence, beyond the demands of the day.
Amos Kilburn established a fulling mill on Salt creek about 1810. His son and son in law, about the same time,
put in machinery for the manufacture of wooden ware, and the two industries" were operated for a few years,
when they were abandoned. Jacob Dixon had a distillery and carding machine on Salt creek in an early day; and Abraham
Wakeman established a plant of similar character about 1825. The latter was kept in operation about ten years.
Stephen Wakeman, an early settler, built a grist mill about 1830, and also had in connection a saw mill and distillery.
These were located on Walnut creek; but the Motive power was not strong enough to operate the crude machinery,
and after a precarious existence of some twenty years, the enterprises were abandoned. The first carding machinery
was brought to the township about 1820 by William Clayton. He also had a grist mill in connection with the wool
carding machine. This plant was located on a little run near Londonderry, and was operated some seven or eight
years. The carding machine established by Abel and Joseph Dixon in the '30's had an existence of more than half
a century, and was operated, in later years, at the saw mill owned by Elisha Humphrey. Isaac Hegley had a distillery
on William Kelley's farm as early as 1812.
Joseph Cox, Benjamin Kerns, Joseph and Samuel Dixon were among the first to plant orchards in the township.
In 1812 Felix Renick laid out the road from Chillicothe to Athens, through Liberty township. He was prominent in
every feature of early development, being a well known surveyor, and his profession brought him in contact with
many of the early settlers. He was one of the first associate judges of the county, in which capacity he proved
himself to be a competent and influential citizen.
James Kilgore was the first tavern keeper in the township, his house being devoted to the service of the traveling
public from a very early day until his death. He also had a grist mill on the Scioto, near the point where the
railroad crosses the river, and this he operated until his death from cholera in 1832. Mr. Kilgore built the first
brick house in the township about 1804, and this was the site of the pioneer tavern, being located in the northwest
corner of the township.
William Slaughter taught a school in the east part of the township during the winter of 1806-7. John A. Dailey
was another early teacher. The log house in which Mr. Dailey taught was burned after being used for only one week.
This building of the truly pioneer type was located on section fifteen. A building was then hastily constructed
on section fourteen, in which Mr. Dailey was permitted to finish the term. His successor was John Stretch, a carpenter,
who worked at his trade during the summer months, and taught school in winter. Stretch was the designer and builder
of most of the residences and barns in the locality which were pretentious enough to require the services of a
skilled mechanic. A school was taught on land belonging to Mr. Rawles in the west part of the township about 1818.
The teacher was an old man named Greenlee. A little later a school was established to the east of Walnut creek
on land subsequently owned by the Kelleys. These were the pioneer schools, from which have grown a most complete
educational system, with eleven modern school houses, located at convenient distances from all of the pupils. There
is a good graded school at Londonderry, where pupils desiring higher education than that afforded by the district
schools may attend at nominal cost.
The first religious meetings of which there is any record were held at the home of Alexander McClintick, who fitted
up a room in his house, where public meetings were held as early as 1804. A class of Presbyterians was organized
in this room between 1804 and 1806, Mr. McClintick, his wife and some of his children being the first members.
Other members were received as time passed, and the organization was kept up until the death of Mr. McClintick
and wife, after which the 'services were discontinued. Rev. Dr. Wilson, of Chillicothe, was the first preacher
and organizing pastor. The church was in existence about fifteen years.
A Christian church was built in Londonderry about 1832, known as the Liberty church, and was designed for the use
of all worshiping people. Previous to the erection of the church, public services were held in private residences,
bans, and in the groves. The organization of a church was effected in 1820 by Rev. Enoch Harvey. Joseph Barker
was a local preacher in the community, and other ministers from distant points visited the settlement in official
capacity, among whom were Rev. Barton Stone, from Kentucky, and others equally renowned. The church building was
burned in 1862.
The Londonderry Methodist Episcopal church was organized about 1820 as a culmination of the efforts of varions
traveling ministers covering a period of several years' labors. The home of William Jones was always open to the
itinerant preachers, and he catered to their temporal wants in true pioneer style. As a precautionary measure,
he placed a pitcher of whiskey at a point of easy access. The congregation met for services at the school house
for several years before the church was built. A frame building was erected about 1830, which served the people
for a quarter of a century, when it was sold and removed. In 1856 a comfortable brick building succeeded the old
frame, and was built on the same site. The organization had been maintained from its first inception, and is now
numerically strong and in a flourishing condition. Some of the first members of this church were William Jones
and wife; Josiah and Robert Drummond, with their wives; Amos T. Mendenhall and wife; John Rains, Benjamin Drummond
and wife, Mrs. Sarah Wesson, James and John Mendenhall, brothers, and Thomas Corken and wife.
Concord Methodist Episcopal church was organized in 1826, in which year the deed conveying the church lot was placed
on record by Leonard Weaver, the donor. Meetings were held in private houses for some years before the church was
built The first church building erected was a small frame structure which was occupied until 1878, when a handsome
new church was built near the site of the old one. This building has been used, as desired, by other religious
denominations, by temperance lecturers, and other meetings of a moral or religious nature. Among the early members
of this society were the families of Leonard Weaver, Samuel King, John Climer, Caleb. Odell, Thomas Orr, and others.
Benjamin Drummond transferred his membership from the Londonderry church to this at a later date. Concord church
has been a source of great power and influence for good in the community, and is today one of the best known and
most influential religious organizations in the township.
The Friends church in Londonderry was organized in 1865 by John Henry Douglas and Gresham Perdue. The first meetings
of this sect were held in the Methodist church, which the congregation occupied for three or four years. About
1869 they erected a church building in the west part of the village, which has been occupied continuously. Previous
to the completion of the building, the names of some thirty or forty members were added to the organizing force,
thus demonstrating that there was a liberal following of the teachings of Fox and Penn in the community.
A burial ground was established at Schooley's station about 1800, and this was probably the first within the bounds
of the township. A few years later a graveyard was opened a short distance north of Londonderry, in which William
Cox was buried in 1808. There is a cemetery connected with the Friends church in Londonderry, and another in connection
with Concord church, located to the west of Rattlesnake knob.
A regular mail route was opened between Chillicothe and Athens in 1832. The first carrier was Jacob Minton, who
traveled on horseback. A few years later, as the roads were improved, a regular stage line was put in operation,
and continued until the completion of the railroad, when the latter absorbed its business.