History of Union Township, Ross County, OH

From: The County of Ross
Henry Holcomb Bennett, Editor
Published by Selvyn A. Brant
Madison, Wis. 1902


UNION TOWNSHIP.

THIS is one of the largest, also one of the wealthiest and best improved, townships in the county. The soil is largely of the rich bottom lands of the Scioto, Paint creek and Deer creek valleys, and this is of unsurpassed fertility. The hill lands, though good grazing fields, and reasonably productive in the growth of grains and fruits, are less fertile than the famous valleys. The Scioto river forms the entire eastern boundary, while the north fork of Paint creek traverses nearly the entire southern line. Interior streams of some importance are Deer creek, which flows eastward into the Scioto, its channel marking the division between North Union and South Union; Yellow Bud flowing through a small portion of North Union, and emptying into the Scioto, Dry run and various small tributaries of the north fork of Paint creek are interior streams in South Union. The land was originally covered with a large growth of excellent timber, which, instead of adding to its value, involved a large amount of labor and expense in its removal and the preparation of the soil for cultivation. Much of this was rolled into log heaps and burned on the ground, a prodigal destruction of much wealth, had it existed in later years. The principal varieties of timber were the black walnut, hickory, sugar maple, burr oak, butternut, wild cherry and elm, on the bottom lands, with oak, some chestnut, and scrubby pine on the hillsides and uplands.

Union was one of the original townships, organized about the beginning of the last century. Its original territory was very extensive, but this has been reduced to its present limits by the formation of other townships and the establishment of Pickaway county. The precise date of the first settlement is not clearly known; but it is very certain that some of General Massie's party, who ocoupied Chillicothe in the spring of 1796, soon afterward selected lands and settled upon them in Union township. Among these were Joseph, Thomas and John McCoy. They emigrated from Pennsylvania to Kentucky, thence to the Scioto country. This is probably the oldest family still represented in the township. Joseph McCoy erected the first hewed log house in his neighborhood, which was considered almost a palace in its day. It was a two story structure, chinked with wood, and plastered with real mortar, unlike the usual daubing with clay which prevailed at the time. The wife of Joseph McCoy died just previous to the location of the family in Union, and is said to have been the first white person buried in Chillicothe. Mr. McCoy remarried, and his second wife survived him nearly forty years. He died in 1811 at the age of forty, and was buried in the cemetery of Union church. He was one of the organizing members of this congregation, and one of its first elders. Joseph McCoy had four children by his first marriage, and the same number by the second. Descendants of these still live in Union township.

Thomas and John McCoy established their first homes in Chillicothe, and John is said to have built the first cabin in the place. These brothers subsequently removed to Union township in the earliest days of settlement, and then died. In 1808 Thomas McCoy erected a substantial brick house on his farm of three hundred acres which was purchased from the Obadiah Smith survey. The bricks for this structure were burned on the place, and the nails used in construction were brought from Kentucky on packhorses. Thomas McCoy died in 1852, in his eighty second year.

John McCoy first located at the mouth of Paint creek, where he remained a few years. But the location proved unhealthful, and he decided to relocate on higher ground, removing to Union township, where he ended his days. He died in 1844, in his seventy third year. His children succeeded to the ownership of his old homestead, and they, in turn, have transmitted it to their posterity.

Among the earliest permanent settlers in Union was John Rodgers, a native of Loudoun county, Va., born in 1777. At the age of ten years he accompanied his parents to Kentucky, and nine years later came with Ms uncle, Benjamin Rodgers, to the Scioto valley. He settled on land near the present site of the Slate Mills, on the north fork of Paint creek, where he put up a cabin, and lived alone for about two years. He then returned to Kentucky and brought his father's family, who occupied the home prepared by the son, and his father, William Rodgers, kept tavern on the place for many years. John Rodgers was married the last day of the year 1799 to Mary, daughter of Joshua Clark, and the following spring he moved his bride to a house previously built in Union township. Mr. Rodgers assisted in raising the first cabin in Chillicothe, and brought the first cattle into Ross county, driving them through from Kentucky. His wife died in 1860, and, being stricken with blindness, he spent the succeeding six years of Ms life with Ms daughter, Mrs. Beard. He died in his eighty ninth year. Of his family of eleven children, two spent their lives in Union township, where their descendants still live.

Gen. James Manary, a Pennsylvanian by birth, came from Kentucky in 1796, bringing his family on horse back, his wife carrying a three weeks old babe. This was Betsy Manary, who survived all of her family. General Manary was one of the Massie surveying party of a few years previous, and received a hundred acres of land from General Massie in recognition of his services. He was the hunter of that party and provided it with game. His location was on the north fork of Paint creek, where he resided with his family until his death. He was a general officer in the war of 1812, and subsequently represented Ross county in the legislature.

Another of the prominent pioneers of Union township was Col. James Dunlap, born in Virginia in 1768. In 1796 his father, Alexander Dunlap, purchased land in Union township, and this the colonel occupied soon afterward, remaining there until his death, in 1821. He had a family of three children, one of whom, Peggy, became the wife of Alexander McCoy. Nancy married John Mace, and the only son, Alexander by name removed to Tennessee. Colonel Dunlap was prominently identified with the early political history of the county, serving as a member of the legislature, and was once a candidate for governor of the State.

Thomas Dickerson and his wife came on horseback from Virginia in 1796, or possibly a year later. He died in 1806 and his wife in 1852 at the age of eighty seven. In the fall of 1798 Alexander Robertson came to Chillicothe from Augusta county, Va., and in the following spring located in Union township, removing to another farm in 1803, where he died in 1840. His descendants still live in the township. Christian Ritehart and family, consisting of wife and seven children, emigrated from Rockingham county, Va., in 1797. The gamily lived for two years at the mouth of Deer creek, but the then prevalent sickness on the bottom lands drove them to higher ground, and he purchased thirteen hundred acres further up Deer creek, where his four sons settled and made homes for themselves. The balance of the family settled on Springbank, where the father ended his days. Members of the family still reside in the tounship. The Thompson family, consisting of father and five sons, were among the earliest settlers on the north of Deer creek.

Michael Beaver came from Virginia to Ross county in 1796 and remained two years, when he went to Kentucky to avoid the malarial troubles which were prevalent at the time on the bottom lands of Ross county. But he returned to Union township in 1800 and purchased eleven hundred acres from the Chilton survey, on Deer creek. Mr. Beaver was a soldier in the war of the Revolution, and his son Michael responded to his country's call in 1812. Mr. Beaver, sr., died in 1821, and his son Michael lived in the township until he passed the eighty fifth milestone on life's journey.

The Smith brothers - William, Anthony, Samuel, Jeremiah and Robert - came with General Massie in 1796. Samuel and William located for a time in Union townships, but subsequently removed to Pickaway county. Samuel Smith enjoyed the distinction of being the first magistrate in Ross county, since he is mentioned as such in an incident narrated in "Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio." Reference is made to the trial of one Brannon, who, in the spring of 1797, stole. a great coat, handkerchief and shirt. The penalty prescribed by this tribunal, after trial and conviction by a jury, and copious arguments by attorneys, was the following: Ten lashes on the bare back, or in lieu of that, to seat himself on a bare packsaddle on his pony and have his wife lead the horse through the town, crying at every door, "This is Brannon who stole the great coat, handkerchief and shirt." Brannon chose the latter, as being devoid of physical pain, the other element in his nature probably being seared by frequent contact with similar occurrences. James B. Finley, later chaplain of the Ohio penitentiary, was appointed bailiff to see that the sentence was faithfully executed which it was. The humiliation imposed upon Brannon's wife was due to the suspicion of the "court" that she was accessory to the theft.

Jacob Mace emigrated from Hardy county, Va., in 1798, and settled in Evans' prairie, near Yellow Bud. He subsequently moved near Chillicothe, also in Union township, where he resided until his death. His son, Isaac Mace, was born at that place in 1802. Jacob Mace, late of Liberty township, was also born in Union township, and lived there until 1833.

John Robinqon was the last one of the early pioneers in Union. He was a son of Joshua. Robinson, who was a member of the Massie surveying and exploring party of 1795, and who was killed in the Indian battle at Reeves' crossing. His brother William was also a participant in this battle, and in 1800 located on a farm of six hundred and forty acres in South Union. He bad previously purchased this land of General Massie. William promptly volunteered his services in the war of 1812, though exempt from military duty by reason of age. He died at the age of seventy. John Robinson, on the death of his father, was adopted into the family of his uncle William, and lived with him until he attained his majority. He served as corporal in Captain Manary's company in the war of 1812. He lived to a ripe old age, and left a family of ten children.

Henry and Thomas Bowdle and Thomas Withgott came from Dorchester county, Md., in 1800. James Sisk and family came about the same time, and all located, temporarily, in Chillicothe while they were selecting their new homes in the wilderness. They cleared a small piece of land on the farm which afterward belonged to Withgott, and while doing this, and cultivating their crop, daily walked eight miles to their work, returning in the evening, being guided only by blazed trees through the dense forest. Henry Bowdle purchased one thousand acres of the Jones survey, being joined in this by his sons. They erected a cabin in the woods, with port holes in the walls, and plenty of arms and ammunition inside, ready to repel an Indian attack, should such occur. But the savages, though troublesome in other localities, did not molest them with their dreaded presence, in warlike array. Henry Bowdle died March 1, 1829, in the eightieth year of his age. His sons, William, Thomas and Joseph, married daughters of White Brown, mentioned in Deerfield township history. The fourth son, whose name was Jesse, married his cousin, Lilly Bowdle, and the daughters, Elizabeth and Rachel, became the wives, respectively, of Rev. Elijah Fruitt and Curtis Buckworth. Thomas Bowdle, Thomas Withgott, and James Sisk settled on Dry run, the first and last named subsequently removing to Pickaway county, where they ended their. days. Withgott remained in Union until his death in 1836. His descendants, as do those of Henry Bowdle, still live in the township.

Isaac Cook was one of the most prominent of the early day settlers. He was born in Connecticut in 1768, and came from Pittsburg, Pa., to Chillicothe, in 1798. He came west as the agent of General evil in the sale of his lands, and after living two years near Chillicothe, he located on a tract of the evil's survey in Union township, and there established his permanent home. In recognition of his superior ability, political honors were thrust upon him, and he was a servant of the public for many years. He was appointed associate judge of the common pleas court in 1803, to fill a vacancy created by the death of Felix Renick. He served twenty seven years in this office. Judge Cook also served several terms as a member of the State legislature. He had a family of nine children, six of whom lived out more than the allotted days of man. These were prominent and well known families, his eldest daughter being the mother of Lucy Webb Hayes. Others were conspicuous in the social and business affairs of the community. Judge Cook died in 1842.

Benjamin and Samuel Kirkpatrick were early neighbors of the Cook family, settling in the vicinity about the same time. Thomas Hicks emigrated to the county from Maryland, in 1802, and located in Union township. He was associate judge of the court of common pleas for a number of years, and died in that office. Representatives of his family still live in the township. Thomas White came from Delaware about the same time as the Hicks family and settled on a farm just north of the site of the old Dry run chapel. John Winders and family made a home on Dry run in 1800, and his brother James located in the neighborhood about the same time They were from Pennsylvania, and John first tarried for about four years on "high bank" prairie, before establishing a permanent home in Union. Levi Warner came with the Winders family, and subsequently married a daughter of John, and settled on a portion of his father in law's farm. The Winders were Quakers in religious belief, and the families became the nucleus to quite an extensive settlement, embracing the Crispins, Websters, and Fergusons, together with others of later coming. They established a society of Friends, and a log meeting house was soon erected on the farm of John Winders, and a school house, of the primitive kind, was established on the same lot. Nothing is now left to show the former existence of these evidences of early civilization except a few neglected graves in the little cemetery attached to the church. All have fallen into decay, and the philanthropic founders have passed into the oblivion of forgetfulness.

David Augustus was an early pioneer of Union township, coming from Delaware prior to the year 1800. His son John, born here in the year last written, spent a long and prosperous life in the township. Thomas Earle was another settler of 1800, and James Armstrong, a native of Kentucky, located in Union about the same time that Earle did. Armstrong was one of the associate judges of Ross county for several years. He died in 1843, at the age of seventy one.

The name Hurst has been familiar to every resident of Ross county for more than a hundred years. Today it represents, probably, a greater number of descendants from the original stock than any other name in the county. Levi Hurst, a native of Maryland, has the honor of establishing the family name in the Scioto country. He was a neighbor and religious associate of the Bowdles, Withgotts and Sisks in their Maryland home, and was induced to come west through the representations of these Methodist brethren who came in 1800, Hurst following in 1801. The family made the trip from Maryland to Wheeling, in one horse carts, though two horses were hitched "tandem." At Wheeling, Mr. Hurst purchased a fiat boat upon which the goods and family were floated down to Portsmouth, the horses being ridden across the country, joining the party again at the place last named. There the goods were transferred to the carts, and the journey resumed through the trackless wilderness. Nine days were required to make the trip from Portsmouth to Chillicothe, arriving at their destination in the month of June, 1801. By September following a location had been selected, and the preliminary work of establishing a home performed, and in that month the family moved into the woods. Levi Hurst and his wife lived together for seventy years. Theirs was one of the first hewed log houses in the township, as it was, also, an early rendezvous for the itinerant ministers of the Methodist Episcopal church, and any other wayfarer who sought hospitable old time entertainment. Their house was also a port of safety for the neighborhood when an Indian attack was anticipated, following the murder of Captain Herrod and the retributive killing of Chief Waw-wil-a-way. Mr. Hurst was born in 1770 and died in 1860. He had a family of ten children, the sons being named James, William, Hooper, Samuel, Thomas and John N The latter succeeded to the beautiful parental home on Dry run, and served his township in nearly all official stations during a long and useful life. Descendants of these sons live in the township, and the family is a numerous and prominent one at other points in Ross county. The original stock were all devout and active Methodists and were, zealous in the organization and sustenance of the pioneer churches. Gem S. H. Hurst, a valiant soldier of the civil war, and later a prominent official under the government, is a descendant of this early pioneer stock.

Joseph Clark and James McCreary came to the township from Lancaster county, Pa., in 1801. They erected a cabin on land purchased by Clark, and kept "bachelors' hall." Clark married Elizabeth, daughter of William Rodgers, and resided where he first settled until 1857, when he died at the age of eighty seven years. McCreary married Jane, a daughter of General Manary, and settled on a farm adjoining Clark's, where he also ended his days. Enos Pursel, a native of Virginia, came from Pennsylvania in a very early day, married Martha Smith, whose parents settled in Union township in 1799, and located on a farm subsequently owned by his son, Smith Pursel, where he died. This son was born in Union townships in 1804, and was a resident of the same for more than seventy years. He ended his days in Chillicothe. Col. John Evans was one of the earliest settlers of North Union and owned a large tract of land near the present village of Yellow Bud. He was a native of Baltimore, Md., born in 1766, and came to Ross county about 1800. Colonel Evans was a surveyor by profession, a man of intelligence and enterprise whose energy was rewarded by the accumulation of wealth. Anthony Simms Davenport came with Colonel Evans and located a large tract of land near him.

Levi Noble brought his wife and eleven children from Sussex county, Del., in 1804. He purchased a large amount of land in Union and other townships, establishing the family home in the southwest part of Union. He returned to Delaware in the spring of 1805 and died on the return trip, when within a few miles of home. Descendants of his family of twelve children still reside in the township.

The following names represent early established families in Union: Nicholas Cunningham, Philip Linear, John Acton, Joseph Chew, Levi Anderson, Thomas Jostle, Asa Hankins, Thomas Littleton, Henry Cook, Abraham Kearns, General Henderson, Ewell Williams, Osmond Crabb, John Anderson, William Beard. The name last written comes with a bit of interesting history, as written by the subject, and preserved by his friend, R. W. Bowdle. It reads as follows: "William Beard, Sr., born December 27, 1759, in Frederick county (since Washington), Maryland; was at General Gates' defeat, August 16, 1780; was at the battle of King's Mountain, October 7, 1780; moved to Virginia, Greenbrier county, in 1798; emigrated to Ross county, Ohio, in 1809; was the father of fourteen children. N. B. He has ever been a true Whig, and a true friend of American liberty." Mr. Beard died in Union township in 1851, being then in his ninety third year.

The following named persons were residents of the township in an early day, but dates cannot be given, except that they located as settlers prior tot he war of 1812: Mahlon Anderson came to the county about 1809; Hezckiah and Isaiah Ingham came from Bucks county, Pennsylvania, about 1810; Jacob Maughmer came from the same state in 1812.

The Union township soldier list in the war of 1812 is quite extensive, and it is doubtful if it can be presented in full; but the generous readers whose ancestors' names may be unintentionally omitted, may attribute the omission to inability to procure the information at thins late day.

Among the first volunteers was William Robinson, as previously stated. Gen. James Manary, Richard Atherton. L. H. Atherton, Henry Atherton, John Anderson, William Acton, Daniel Beard, Casper Smith, McCafferty, Colonel William Johnson, Captain Abram Moore, Major Abraham Lewis, Drum Major John Ortman, Lieutenant George Stanhope, Edward Satts, David Augustus, Abner and Thomas Ezra, and Joseph Vangundy. These were assigned to miscellaneous organizations, though doubtless many of them were enrolled in Colonel Clark's regiment, as were all of the following: William Wilcox, William Cochran, Richard Bradley, Alexander McClintock, B. Johnson, M. Yates, M. Dolly, M. Robertson, Alexander Robertson, A. Watts, J. Clark and Captain Philip Mencil.

The early political history of Union township, or at least the earliest. was not preserved with the records of the township. William Robinson qualified as justice of the peace, on October 23, 1809; John Evans was inducted into the same office on April 9, 1810, and Thomas White on April 11, 1811, each for three years. The complete record of township officers does not appear until the year 1816. In the spring of that year the election was held at the house of Edward Wilson, and resulted in the choice of the following named. persons for the various township officers: John Crozier, clerk; Alexander Robertson, Nicholas Cunningham and Robert. Shirley, trustees; Aaron Cowley, treasurer; Charles McCrea, lister; Thomas Dowdle and Thomas Withgott, overseers of the poor; Joseph Clark and John Stauchton, fence viewers; Benjamin Jones, Henry Nicholson, and Jacob Ritclihart, constables; Joseph Gardner, justice of the peace: James McCreary, Isaac Bradley, Thomas Shields, Robert Harvey, Isaac Cook, James Dunlap, and David Anderson, road supervisors for the seven districts of the township, in the order named.

The Quaker school, organized in the Winders settlement, shares about equal honors with that established in South Union, as regards antiquity. The precise date of the opening of either is not known, except that both began their career during the very early days of the last century. The development of the educational interests in Union township kept pace with the onward march of civilization in other directions. The log structure of pioneer days soon gave place to the more pretentious buildings of the middle period, and these, in turn, to the modern and finely equipped buildings of the present day. Among the first teachers in the township were Charles McCrea and Ebenezer Evarts. Mr. Young and Mr. Lowry were also early teachers.

The Methodists were the pioneers in religious effort in Union. The families of Henry and Thomas Bowdle, Thomas Withgott and James Sisk, already mentioned, were the nucleus to a church organization which was effected on Dry run in 1800, under the ministrations of Rev. Henry Smith, the first Methodist preacher in the township. In 1801, Levi Hurst joined the little band, and rendered valiant service to the church during the balance of his life. Dry run became one of the principal appointments on the Deer creek circuit. The congregation occupied a log church until about 1845, when a substantial brick house was erected on the site of the old. The parsonage of the circuit was also built on Dry run, and was located in a maple forest, out of sight of any other human habitation. The first Methodist Sunday school in the township, and probably the first one in the county, outside of Chillicothe, was organized in 1828, with William Bowdle, president; Levi Hurst, vice president; Harper Hurst, secretary; Willis Hicks, treasurer. The affairs of the society were at first controlled by a board of five managers, these consisting of Joseph Bowdle, Reuben Withgott, John N. Hurst, Wesley Bowdle and Stewart Tootle. After the election of a superintendent, a position to which Harper Hurst was chosen, the offices of president, vice president and managers, were discontinued. John N. Hurst was superintendent of this school for more than thirty years, and survived all of the original members and officers.

The Moberry class was organized about 1814, and held public services for a number of years, at the house of Mr. Moberly, from whom it derived its name. Rev. Pleasant Thurman, father of the senator, and Rev. Joseph Dunlap, were among the early ministers who officiated for this society. The class was finally disorganized, and its membership was largely absorbed in the Subsequent organization of Shiloh church, known as the Jenkins society, the meetings being at first held at the house of John Jenkins, a local preacher. In later years the services were held at the log school house in the same neighborhood. On the erection of the church building, in 1845, the name of the society was changed to Shiloh church.

A society of Methodists was established at Andersonville, and held regular meetings as early as 1815. They occupied the schoolhouse until 1829, when they erected a small brick meeting house just west of the village of Andersonville. This was torn down and rebuilt in 1879. The cemetery at this church was opened in May, 1830, the body of Mrs. Howard Rouse being the first interment there.

The Methodists of North Union erected a log meeting house on the Swaney road, about the year 1828. Soon after completion, the house was burned, and a brick house, known as the Spring Bank church, succeeded it in 1832. Rev. Evan Stevenson, father of Hon. Job Stevenson, late of Cincinnati, was the first pastor, and was an efficient and able minister. A few members of the Baptist faith assisted in, building this church, in recognition of which they were permitted to occupy it on each Sabbath occurring as the fifth in the month. The Rev. William Baker, of Deerfield township, was their pastor. The church was finally abandoned as unsafe, and meetings were held in the school house.

Mount Zion's church was organized in 1841, by Rev. Samuel Meadow, who, on that occasion, filled an appointment for Rev. Pleasant Thurman. The organization was effected at the Armstrong school house, which had been a regular preaching appointment for some time previously. Some thirty seven members joined at the organization, or soon thereafter, and a career of usefulness was apparent from the first. Judge Armstrong, who owned adjacent land, though not a member of any church, was pleased with the prospect of a successful religious effort in the community, and generously donated a handsome site for a new church. This was gratefully accepted, and the building was erected in 1843. The Rev. Philip Nation preached the first sermon in the new church, before it was finished or. dedicated. His text on that occasion suggested the name of the church - "They that trust the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever." The dedicatory services were conducted by Rev. James B. Finley.

The Union Presbyterian church has been one of the successful religious organizations of the township for more than a hundred years. It was organized on the 13th of April, 1802. Rev. William Spear was the first pastor, and was also the pastor of New Hope (now First) Presbyterian church in Chillicothe. Mr. Speer gave one third of his time to this church, and two thirds to the Chillicothe charge. In October, 1802, the pastor resigned both pastorates, and Union church depended upon occasional supplies until 1806, when Rev. Robert G. Wilson was regularly installed as pastor of the two societies, he having preached to them for a year previously. Dr. Wilson continued his services until 1811, when the growing demands of the Chillicothe church required his entire time, and Union church was again without a pastor. During the pastorate of Dr. Wilson, a brick church, small but sufficient, was erected. This was partially destroyed by a windstorm, in 1831, but soon rebuilt. It is believed, though not definitely known, that Dr. Campbell - a practicing physician, as well as minister, - was Dr. Wilson's successor, and that death severed his pastoral relations. His successor was Rev. William Jones, who was first employed in 1815. The records show that his second year's salary subscribe°, was two hundred and twenty three dollars and twenty five cents, one half of which was to be accepted in wheat, corn, beef or pork, at the market price; assuredly not a princely salary for the services required, yet in keeping with the compensations awarded for all professional services in the early days. Many distinguished men have filled the pulpit of this unpretentious country church, which was an early beacon light to the settlers in the vast wilderness.

Mona Presbyterian church was organized April 22, 1872, though an effort was made to effect an organization the fall before, and some two thousand dollars subscribed, and a site for a church secured. A mission school had been formed at the school house in sub district number one, and the success of this stimulated the efforts for a. church organization. The society, however, was not unanimous in declaring for a second church of the same denomination within a comparatively small area of territory in the country; and a committee, appointed by the presbytery, finally decided the matter favorably to the new organization. Nine members were received under the various forms of the church ritual, and these constituted the nucleus around which the organization grew into prominence and usefulness. The church edifice was commenced in 1872, and was primarily intended for both a church and school of higher order of learning than the common schools afforded. But the latter feature never fully materialized. The building cost, in the end, about eight thousand dollars, and was several years in reaching final completion. The church was dedicated on May 23, 1875, Revs. Robert Galbraith and H. W. Briggs, officiating. The trustees at that time were David Cunningham, Samuel F. McCoy, George T. Sowerby, L. B. James, and Isaac S. Cook. Mr. Sowerby was also elected one of the two elders, his associate being William C. Plyley. The church has steadily grown in popular favor and strength, and numbers among its communicants many of the long established and prominent families in the township.

The Christian Union denomination organized a church on November 14, 1868, under the efforts of Rev. Addison Nichols, who had preached in the community for a year previous to this. The society. conducted their religious services for about ten years, at the brick school house near the Methodist Episcopal church; but in 1878 they erected a brick church a short distance west of Andersonville.

The Evangelical Society organized a church of that faith at Yellow Bud, and conducted their services at the school house, which was originally a church used by the Protestant Methodists. The date of this organization is not definitely known.

The first burial places in the township were usually private grounds, established on the farms, as necessity required. The Bowdle cemetery is the oldest public burying ground in the township. It was laid out, probably, in 1800, since the burial there of Mrs. Mary Sisk, wife of James, occurred on February 2, 1801. This sacred spot contains the remains of many of the early pioneers of Union township. But in this respect it is not more conspicuous than the "Union Church" burying ground, in which the earliest interment was the body of Joseph McCoy, who died in 1811. It is interesting to note that many of the pioneers attained the ripe old age of nearly a hundred years, and two, at least, in this cemetery, exceeded a century of existence, an impressive commentary upon the simplicity of their lives and habits.

The Spring Bank cemetery evidently was established before the church of that name, since the first burial there occurred in 1812, that of Mrs. Mary Evans, mother of Colonel John Evans. The cemetery in connection with Union Chapel, at Andersonville, is of more recent establishment, the first recorded burial there being that of the wife of Howard Rouse, in May, 1830, as previously stated.

The first grist mill in Union township was erected where Yellow Bud is now located, the projectors being Francis and Bayless Nichols, who set it in operation about 1800. Governor Tiffin established the second mill, on Deer Creek, about 1805. It was afterwards owned. and operated by John Tootle, and after him, passed through several hands until it came into possession of the Ritchharts, who turned it to other purposes. The Albright mills were erected about 1810, and consisted of both a saw mill and grist mill Judge Joseph Gardner was the projector of this enterprise, though he subsequently relaxed his energy in its operation, to accept the honors of public office, he being the successor of Judge Hicks, on the common pleas bench. But he remained in control until his death. The property finally passed into the hands of Joseph Albright, hence the name, in later years. Hezekiah and Isaiah Ingham, in company with John Webster, erected a large flouring mill on the river east of Andersonville, in 1818. The Inghams subsequently became the sole proprietors, operating the mill and a distillery until about 1831, when they converted the flouring mill into a paper mill, continuing in that line some seven or eight years, when the business was abandoned.

Temporary saw mills were erected on the various streams, as necessity demanded, in the early days, and these were discontinued when the wants of their patrons were supplied. Major Willits, while digging a race for one of these primitive mills on Anderson's run, uncovered five human skeleton, at a depth of fourteen feet. They were embedded in a stiff blue clay.

There are three small towns in Union township, the largest of which, according to the census of 1900, is Yellow Bud. In the days of extensive traffic on the Ohio canal, this town did quite a flourishing business, and it is still a popular trading point, being sustained by an excellent farming country. A "dry dock" was once located there for the building and repair of canal boats. But the aggressions of nearby railroad towns have shorn Yellow Bud of much of its former prominence in the business world. The population is now one hundred and eighty eight. Andersonville, also a station on the canal, has a present population of one hundred. In writing of churches, schools and other public enterprises, these villages have been frequently mentioned. Anderson station is located on the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton railroad, and is the only railway station in Union. Its present population is quoted at sixty. The various industries incident to towns of this size, together with the social, religious, educational and political functions, are all represented, while the mercantile and other business interests are quite extensive.

Rural post offices for the accommodation of the people were early established, some of which were kept in the farm houses. These have been discontinued on the adoption of the admirable system of "rural free delivery," which brings almost every farmer in daily contact with the outside world, and his mail is left at his door. Add to this the conveniences of the modern telephone, and the isolation of country life is reduced to the minimum.


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