History of Pleasant Township, OH
From: The History of Seneca County, Ohio
From the close of the war to July 1880
By: W. Lang
Published By: Transcript Printing Co., Springfield, Ohio, 1880




T. 3, N. R. 15 E.


SO much has already been said of the scenes and incidents that clustered around Fort Seneca in the beginning of this book, and many of the men and women who then attracted our attention there, that now, when I am about to close and leave the kind reader to his own meditations, there is nothing further to say about this grand old township, than to describe some more of the men who helped to make it what it now is. And there is history in their lives also that is well enough to preserve.

URIAH EGBERT.

The Reverend and Venerable Father Thomas Thompson, who more than fifty years ago preached to the people scattered through these wilds, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and who is still living at his old homestead on the South Greenfield road, sent to the Tiffin Tribune the following communication, which was published on the second day of November, 1876. It gives short sketch of Mr. Uriah Egbert. It reads:

A PIONEER GONE.

Uriah Egbert was born August 8, 1791, in Hunderton county, New Jersey. His parents moved to Pennsylvania when their boy was but three years old, and subsequently, in 1814, moved to Fairfield county, Ohio. Here he was married to Susannah Williams July 6, 1815, and united with the M. E. church under the ministry of the Rev. Michael Ellis, in. 1816, and of which church he was an active member and officer for more than fifty years. In 1823 he founded a home in the woods of Seneca county, and his home was the preachers' home and a sanctuary for the Lord's people. He was devout in worship, old school in his views and held his views with tenacity. To us he was always kind, and some of our happiest moments were spent in cornmunication with him and his family. He was a liberal supporter of the cause of God. Our last intercourse with him was to receive $100 for the American Bible Society and $100 for the Missionary Society of the M. E. church as the bequest of his late companion.

He departed this life October 1, 1876, aged eighty five years, two months and three days.

His funeral was attended by a large concourse of neighbors and Mends on the following Sabbath.

T. THOMPSON.



(The name of the county I have changed to the proper one. There is no Huntington county in New Jersey).

Mr. Egbert's first settlement in this county was on the North Greenfield road, where Samuel Rickenbaugh now lives. He sold to Mr. David Rickenbaugh and moved to the ridge in this township, where he and his wife spent the rest of their days. The most beautiful feature in the life of father Egbert was his quiet, pious, peaceful disposition. He was, indeed, highly esteemed by everybody that knew him. He was a good manager, and with all his liberality, he accumulated property. Egbert's was one of the best conditioned homes on the road between Tiffin and Sandusky. He donated the land where the Ridge Road cemetery now is, and where he and his wife lie buried

Mrs. Carl, the youngest daughter of Mr. Egbert, says that one revolutionary soldier, ten soldiers of the war of 1812 and fourteen soldiers of the war of the rebellion are buried there. Col. Williams was a brother in law of Mr. Egbert, his wife's brother. He served in the war of the revolution five years and lies buried in Adams township where he died in 1841.

Mrs. Egbert died May 13, 1875.

PHILIP STAUB

Was born in Adams county, Pennsylvania, July 15, 1786. He was married to Margaret Kuhn on the 2d day of February, 1817. He moved to Senec4a county and settled in Pleasant township in 1834. He died January 14, 1876. His wife died January 24, 1874. Both lie buried in St. Joseph cemetery in Tiffin. Mrs. Staub was born March 6,

Mr. Staub was a volunteer in the Hanover company and stationed at North Point, in Baltimore, under Colonel Miller. He. was eightynine years and six months old when he died, and Mrs. Staub was seventy nine years, ten months and eighteen days old when she died. Both lived to a fine old age and were very excellent people and good neighbors.

MRS. CALEB RICE.

The subject of this sketch, who is still living near Castalia, in Sandusky county, with her son, M. B. Rice, Esq., was so kind as to send me, by her son, an interesting statement of early characters she knew in this township, and I copy without comment:

Caleb Rice and Daniel Rice were born respectively in 1788 and 1791 in the town of Clarendon, Vermont.

Benjamin Barney and West Barney were natives of Savoy, Berkshire county, Massachusetts. West was born in 1791 and Benjamin in 1795. They were all living some five miles below Fort Ball when I (Annar Barney) came here in 1819. We came here from Saratoga, N. Y. When we arrived at Lower Sandusky my brothers, West and Benjamin, were in attendance at a trial of some parties for robbing old man Spicer. Some four persons had been arrested but oniy one was convicted. Spicer was a white man but was raised an Indian. The people liked him much.

The Chapmans, Shippys, Spragues, Cheneys, Harris's, Dumonds, Culver, Anson Gray and John Eaton were here.

We were six weeks on the way from Saratoga here; I came with my father, Benjamin, Barney and brother in law Friend Orr and Sedate Paddieford.

My father returned east with the intention of moving his family out here, but he died before he reached his home. Paddleford also went back and never returned.

On the 24th of October, 1820, West Barney and Sophronia Wilson were married by Daniel Rice, who was a justice of the peace. This is the first recorded marriage in Sandusky county.

Daniel Rice and I were married December 14, 1820, at Harrington's tavern in Lower Sandusky. We had seven children. The two oldest were born in Seneca county: Susannah in 1821 and Deborah in 1823.

In 1825 we moved to Townsend township, in Sandusky county, where I still reside, at the age of 86 years. My husband died in 1872, aged 81 years.

Caleb went to Illinios in 1840, where he died in 1849. Barney West died a few years ago in Missouri, I think. Benjamin Barney resides in Pike county, Illinois, with his grand children. His own children are all dead. He is a great talker and very much respeèted. He tells very many laughable old stories and incidents of olden times. He was a captain in the Black Hawk war and was with Abraham. Lincoln in the service.

My husband cleared land where Columbus now stands before he came to Seneca about the time the war closed. He was in a New Jersey regiment in the war of 1812.

CORNELIUS FLUMMERFELT

Was born in New Jersey July 10, 1774, in Sussex county and was raised on a farm. In 1804 he was married to Catharine Christman. On the the 2d of May, 1826, they started for Ohio. It took them four weeks to reach Seneca county.

He bought the west half of the southwest quarter of section sixteen. Daniel Rice had a lease on this land from the commissioners of Sandusky county, which he also bought. Rice had built a cabin and Mr. Flummerfelt moved into that.

Of the first wedlock there is but one child living. There were six children of the second marriage and of whom Mr. D. V. Flummerfelt, of Pleasant township is one.

Mrs. Flummerfrit died in 1847.

Caleb Rice was a neighbor of Mr. Flummerfelt and was the first white settler in the township. He lived on the school section also. His daughter, Uretta Rice, was the first white child born in the county. Mr. Rice was a very decided Universalist.

Mr. Cornelius Flummerfelt was six feet high, of fair complexion; had blue eyes and was very straight and well proportioned. He was of purely German type, very firm in his convictions, slow of speech and fixed in his habits. He stuck to his old clothes with great tenacity and refused to put on new ones until he was compelled to. He voted for every Democratic candidate for president since Washington, always taking a very active part in politics. He died on the 20th day of August, 1871, at the high age of 97 years, 1 month and 10 days. He was one of the positive men of the country. His word was his bond and to be relied upon. He was highly respected and esteemed wherever he had become known.

BRIDGES IN PLEASANT TOWNSHIP - DEATH OF STACKHOUSE AND FIGGINS.

To give a full history of the bridges in this township would make a little chapter by itself. A few facts connected with the subject can only be attempted here.

In the building of each bridge much feeling among people on both sides of the river was enlisted, and each time more as to the locality than tbe propriety.

The first bridge built in the township was called the Clark bridge," because Calvin Clark was one of the county commissioners at that time, and instrumental in the project, living here at that time. The bridge was located at the "Ludwig Ford" (so called). Mr. Ludwig owned the adjoining land, in section nine. The location of the bridge created such. opposition against Mr. Clark that he was defeated in the convention following, when he was a candidate for re-nomination. The people south of the location of the bridge, where the travel was much greater, felt wronged by it. The bridge is still there, and of general use. It was built in 1854, at a cost of two thousand dollars.

The opposition to this bridge wanted it located at Pool's mill.

In 1870, while Mr. Thomas W. Watson was county commissioner, another bridge was built across the river, called the "Watson bridge." This bridge was located in section twenty one. The people living near Fort Seneca and Pool's mill wanted the bridge near the mill, and the same old fight was renewed. Pool's mill is in section twenty. A vigorous attack was made upon the commissioners to change the location, but Mr. Watson held the fort. The result was that Mr. Watson was blamed very severely by those who were in favor of a bridge at Pool's mill. Much bad blood was stirred up at these bridge fights in Pleasant, and there was scarcely a citizen in the township that took no part in the fight.

Mr. Watson's bridge was more of an experiment than a good job. The timbers were left exposed, and the bridge was not anchored well. When the great hurricane swept over the northern part of Seneca county in June, 1875, unroofed some of the houses and other buildings in its track, blew down the M. E. church of Fort Seneca, throwing it flat on the ground, it also blew the Watson bridge into the river in a body. leaving the abutments only.

The people living near Fort Seneca (town), on both sides of the river, now began a fresh agitation for a bridge. (The reader who is a stranger in Seneca county, must distinguish between this town of Fort Seneca and the old fort; they are of the same name, but distinct places, more than two miles apart. There is no town at the old fort at all.) The first petitioners wanted a bridge at the Pool mill - often called Fort Seneca mill. Now new efforts were made to have a superstructure put upon the abutments of the Watson bridge, and the conflict grew warm again. Both parties urged as a strong reason for a bridge the great public demand, and cited a very sad occurrence that took place on the 3d day of April, 1848, when two citizens lost their lives in the river for want of a bridge. On that day James M. Figgins, Joshua Stackhouse, George Shannon and John Watson, who lived on the east side of the river, were in a "dug out" canoe, endeavoring to cross the river to attend the election that came off on that day at the township house, on the west side of the river. The place was near the present "Flummerfelt bridge" now so called. When they were about the middle of the river, the hat of one of the men blew off, and in the effort to catch it the boat upset, and all the men fell into the river. Shannon and Watson reached the shore in safety, but Figgins and Stackhouse were drowned.

This circumstance, with many other reasons, were urged upon the attention of the commissioners for a new bridge by both parties, and especially by those who wanted a bridge built upon the old abutments. in the height of excitement the commissioners determined to build a new bridge near the Pool mill.

The work is done, and the bridge is an honor to the county commissioners and credit to the county. The friends of the lower bridge were discouraged and abandoned all hopes of having the old Watson bridge re built.

Those that know Mr. D. V. Flummerfelt well and intimately need no explanation about him. To strangers, however, it is sufficient to say that he has inherited from his father a great deal of his looks and personal appearance, but more so his German tenacity and perseverance. While others fell back in despair, Mr. Flummerfelt, in his own familiar, friendly way, attended the sessions of the county commissioners occasionally, and once in a while expressed his regret at the failure of the project in re building the Watson bridge, and while it seemed to have been given up as a lost cause, Mr. Flummerfelt, in his own quiet way, made inquiry amongst the contractors and ascertained the amount for which a bridge could be built below, and then visited the commissioners, who finally offered to pay Mr Flummerfelt S2,500, if he would put a good superstructure upon the old abutments.

This offer was so low that the commissioners themselves had no idea at first that it would be accepted. Lumber, labor and iron were low in price at that time. Mr. Flummerfelt had made his figures; he accepted the proposition, and the present beautiful Howe-truss, on the old abutments of the Watson bridge, is ample proof of the sagacity and perseverance of Mr. Flummerfelt. He pledged his own responsibility for the payment, furnished some 14,000 feet of oak lumber, iron and paint, that cost him some $500 over and above the appropriation.

Mr. Flummerfelt is that much out of pocket, but Pleasant township is. the best bridged township in this county:

The bridge is now called the "Flummerfelt bridge," and very appropriately so. It is a fair monument of perseverance and sagacity.

Mr. D V. Flummerfelt is one of the old settlers here now. He was. born in Sussex (now Warren) county, New Jersey, October 13th, 1807. He came to Seneca with his father's family. He married Melinda Littler, of Hardy county, Virginia, on the 12th of October, 1837. This union was blessed with five sons and four daughters, all living but one,. who died in infancy. George is married, and lives in Sandusky county, Ohio; Matilda is the wife of M. T. Lutz. and resides in Kansas; Ann M. is the wife of Dennis Deran, and lives in Pleasant. The balance are at home with their parents. It takes both brain and muscle to manage nearly a thousand acres of land successfully.

RASSELAS R. TITUS

Was born in New Milford county, Connecticut, on the 22d of July, 1819. His father's family had previously resided in the state of New York, and removed to Ohio in 1833, when they settled in this township, and where the subject of this sketch has lived ever since.

On the 21St of April, 1844, he married Miss Elvira S. Clark, L. Abbott, Esq., solemnizing the marriage. Their children are four living daughters: Augusta P. is the wife of Francis J. Fry; Colena M. married Lorenzo A. Abbott; Flora married Oliver S. Watson, and Littie married Robert Watson.

Mr. Titus' father died in 1835; his mother lived to a fine old age, and died in 1872, when she was eighty three years old. R. R Titus started the world on his own hook, when about twenty years of age, by working among the farmers of Pleasant township, at $ii per month at first; next year he got $12, and the next year $14 per month.

In 1859 he was elected a member of the state board of equalization. In 1861 he was elected a member of the house of representatives of the general assembly of Ohio, and re elected in 1863, serving during the whole war. He counts his wealth by the thousands, and his drafts are honored in all the banks in the country. He is in California on a visit at this writing.

Vincent Bell, Benjamin Seckman, John Brush, Nathan Littler, John Siberal, John Houseman, the Watsons and others came into Pleasant later.

The Sandusky river courses through the western part of the township in great meanderings of nearly twelve miles along its shores. East of Fort Seneca it takes a due east course more than one mile; then taking a horse shoe bend to the southeast, turns north, running more than one mile along, the section line between sections fifteen and sixteen. In section nine it turns due west three quarters of a mile, and northwest, leaving the large, rich bottom lands of Samuel Ludwig on the right bank. These bottom lands in Pleasant have made, and forever will make this township justly celebrated. The uplands are rich insoil, but the bottoms are inexhaustible in fertility. Mr. G. W. Lutz was among the most successful farmers in this township for some time, and until within the last few years. In 1859 he raised from 126 acres of land, 8,655 bushels of corn and 1,645 bushels of wheat. Estimating the corn at thirty cents and the wheat at one dollar per busnel, makes $4,241.50 on these two articles alone for the year, and averaging over eighty bushels to the acre.

Other farmers have done as well, no doubt, and a trip through the township will convince any one of the wealth and beauty of the Sandusky bottoms in summer time as lovely as "when first the Day God looked upon a field of waving corn."

It is said that James Gordon, one of the pioneer commissioners, suggested the name of Pleasant for this township. He could not very well have called it Richiand township, for that would have meant them all. If the county had been called Egypt, it would have been very appropriate, but such names as "Pleasant," "Eden" and "Bloom," are very suggestive and do very well.

On the 14th of January, 1836, Erastus Bowe and Vincent Bell caused to be surved on the corners of sections nineteen and twenty, in this township, a town to which they gave the name of Fort Seneca. Any other name would have been more appropriate. It is calculated to mislead the general inquirer and lead him to suppose that the fort had been at or near this place, when, in fact, it was nearly three miles away. McNutt's of Swope's Corners, either of these designated the same town.

Fort Seneca is situate six and a half miles north of Tiffin and eleven miles south of Fremont on the Columbus state road, and numbers about 200 inhabitants. A pike running from Tiffin to Fremont through Fort Seneca would afford one of the most beautiful drives in northern Ohio. Why not have one?

Pleasant township was organized on the 6th day of June, 1831, and while the Senecas were still roaming over it. The early settlers have already been named and described. The population of the township in 1870 was, 1,352, which increased only 65 in the ten years following, making it 1,417 in 1880.

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