History of Scipio 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. 2, N. R. 16 E.

Nobody will now dispute the fact that the Anways were the first who identified their names with the early settlement of Scipio township. About the time of the land sales at Delaware, William Anway, from Scipio, Cayuga county, New York, settled in the woods upon land that is now embraced within the geographical limits of this township. It is said that when Mr. Anway arrived and located here in 1821, there were two families living upon the school section, who soon moved away.

The late Mr. Laughery, the. father of my old friend, James Laughery, was the first man who purchased land in this township, but the first patent recorded for land purchased in the county was that mentioned in the history of Clinton, by a Mr. Anway. C. T. Westbrook, John Wright, Adam Hance, Abraham Spencer, Isaac. Nichols, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Osborn, Timothy P. Roberts, Morrison McMillon, E. H. Brown, Seth F. Foster, Nathan Foster and William B. Mathewson may be mentioned as early settlers.

Mention has already been made of the time and manner of organizing the township, and that it then took in Reed and contained sixteen inhabitants, erc. It was also stated that Mr. Anway named it after his old home in New York. The time and manner of its survey was also mentioned in chapter x.

The petition for the organization was presented to the county commissioners on the 6th of December, 1824. The petition was granted, of course, and an election ordered to be held on the following 25th day of December, 1824, Christmas day. At this election seventeen votes were cast. Of those voting, thirteen received office, leaving but four to make up what is called the "sovereign people," and the other thirteen were their servants. Let us hope that this distinctive feature in our peculiar American institutions may ever so remain; that our public officers shall be regarded as public servants only and never be permitted to become our masters. So mote it be.

At this first election in Scipio William B. Mathewson was elected clerk; John Wright, Seth F. Foster and Jonathan Nichols; trustees; Adam Hance and Joseph Osborn, overseers of the poor; William Stevens and Ezechial Sampson, fence viewers; William Anway, Jr., lister; William Anway, treasurer; Cornelius T. Westbrook and Morrison McMillen, constables; John Anway and E. H. Brown, supervisors.

Both Rocky creek and Willow creek run through Scipio township, yet Mr. Butterfield says in his history, on page 127: "There is not a stream of water in the township."

In 1840 the population of Scipio was 1,556. The township has rapidly increased in wealth since that time, but less so in population. In 1870 it was 1,642; in 1880 it is 1,836.

In 1834 Sidney Smith caused to be surveyed in this township, upon the corners of sections fifteen, sixteen, twenty one and twenty two, a town, which he called Republic. The place was known for a long time as Scipio Center. R. M. Shoemaker (now in Cincinnati) was the surveyor.

Adam Hance and John Wright had entered the larger portion of the land upon which the town was laid out, in the year 1822, Hance owning the east and Wright the west part. John Wright built the first dwelling house upon the plat. The town did not improve very rapidly until the prospect of a railroad from Sandusky began to agitate the people, and when in 1841 the railroad did come, Republic became quite a trading place. Stores and wearhouses, shops and factories sprung up as by magic and the town looked like a bee hive on a large scale. Such was the importance of the place at our time that Melmore became so much excited as to form a joint stock company for the purpose of building a railroad to Republic. (See chapter XXXIII., Eden township).

It has already been incidentally mentioned that when, on the night of the 21st of May, 1841, the court house in Tiffin burnt, efforts were made to remove the county seat to Republic. General Stickney can tell something about that move. He is one of the most enterprising of all the public men in the county of Seneca, and has, in a great measure, stamped his individuality upon Scipio tOwnship and the history of Seneca county generally. And while on this sub] ect, let me say of him, that he was born August 31, 1811, in Franklin county, New York. He came to Seneca county on the 4th of July, 1836. On the 11th of October, 1836, he married Emma, daughter of Timothy P. Roberts, Esq., of Scipio township. Their only child is a daughter.

General Stickney has a large farm of about seven hundred acres, one mile east of Republic, where he lives in comfort with plenty around him.

He has been one of the leading men of the Democratic party of the county ever since he came here. He was justice of the peace in Republic, and held the, office of postmaster there foi sixteen years. He was a member of the convention that formed the present constitution of Ohio. In 1867 he was elected a member of the house of representatives of the Ohio legislature, and was reelected in 1869; was a member of the Ohio senate in 1875, and last winter was appointed by Governor Foster, a member of the board of directors of the Ohio penitentiary. The General is still vigorous and active. Mrs. Stickney is a lady of refined mind, and both are highly esteemed.

After the new line of the Cincinnati, Sandusky & Cleveland railroad was made straight through from Sandusky to Tiffin, Bellevue, Lodi and Republic were left out in the cold, and the change played mischief with Republic. Business went all to pieces, houses were deserted and the town soon assumed an air of general dilapidation. It remained in that condition, until the making of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, which has infused new life into Republic, and much business is done there now.

A little east of Republic is a large three story brick building that was once the Seneca county academy. It was incorporated by an act passed March 4, 1836, and organized February 8, 1844. The capital stock amounted to $3,000, and was divided into 300 shares of $10 each. There were nine trustees. Timothy P. Roberts was the first president. E. T. Stickney was the treasurer; S. W. Shepard, principal. The institution flourished for many years and the name of Schuyler has given it an almost undying fame. It is to be regretted that the academy was ever permitted to fail. It could and should have been saved. It was a credit to Republic and to Seneca county.

TIMOTHY P. ROBERTS.

Mrs. E. T. Stickney was so kind as to furnish me with the following sketch of her honored father, and I take pleasure in copying it here:

Timothy P. Roberts was born at Middletown. Connecticut, June 11. 1784. Two years later his parents thoved with their family to Massachusetts and located in Lee, Berkshire county. Timothy lived with his parents at Lee until he arrived at the age of eighteen years, when he was apprenticed to Deacon Stone to learn the trade of a wheelwright. He moved with Deacon Stone and his family to the town of Locke, Cayuga county, New York.

On the 18th of January, 1808, he was inter married with Rhoda Chadwick, formerly of Lee, Massachusetts, and settled in Scipio, New York. This union was blessed with seven children, three of whom died in infancy. Emma, now the wife of General E. T. Stickney, and Jane, the wife of S. S. Dentler. are all that remain of the family, except grand children.

Mr. Roberts emigrated from Scipio, New York, to Scipio, in Seneca county, Ohio, with his family, in 1825, and entered 160 acres of land, upon onehalf of which he resided the balance of his days. The other eighty acres he gave to his oldest son, Ansel C. Roberts.

Mr. Roberts died at the age of 83 years. 7 months and 17 days, on the 28th of January, 1868. Mrs. Rhoda Roberts died at the residence of her daughter. Emma, March 31, 1872, aged 80 years, 1 month and nineteen days.

Mr. Roberts was about five feet, seven inches high, stout and compactly built; he had a large, well balanced head, and a well proportioned, manly countenance. He was of fair complexion, slow of speech, of clear judgment and strong in his decision. He was mentally, physically and morally strong.

When Mr. William Anway came to this township, in 1821, he had eleven children; the oldest was twenty one years old, and the youngest but two years. He built the first cabin here, with the help of his family and one man - Benjamin Huntley, from Huron county. Mr. Anway and his son cut the first road through the woods to Tiffin, winding along on the highest ground they could find. Anway's cabin stood near the corner of the Marion state road and the South Tiffin road. The spot is now covered by a circle of pines planted there in memory of the first home of the Anway family. The children of William Anway were John, Susan, William, George, Fanny, Austin, Erastus, Hannah, Harrison and Phoebe.

Moses Smith put up a small frame building across the road from. Anways, in which he kept a store.

Robert Dutton was the first man that died in this township, and was buried on his farm, which is now owned by Mr. Frank Fox. William Pierce, a colored man, put up and carried on the first blacksmith shop in the township. Mary, the daughter of John Anway, was the first white child born in the township. She is now the wife of Mr. John Wilcox, living in Republic. Her father's was the first marriage in Scipio township. John is still living at this writing.

ARCHIBALD STEWART

Came here from Lycoming county, Pennsylvania, and settled on section twenty nine, in 1824. He had two children when he came, and on the 29th of August, the same year, his son James W. was born at their new home here, where he still lives, having lived no other place all this time. The old cabin stood about eighty rods from their present dwelling. The Indians used to camp near their cabin, on the east bank of Rocky creek There was a very old Indian among them, who had large silver rings in his nose. He was in the habit of boasting that he bad the tongues of ninety nine white men, and needed just one more to make one hundred. The Indians often stayed over night at Mr. Stewart's.

Archibald Stewart was born on the 9th of June, in Lycoming county, Pennsylvania. He was raised on a farm, and married Martha Johnson, who died here. He is about five feet nine inches high, has a peculiar deep, sonorous voice, is well proportioned and well preserved; has large blue eyes, a fine forehead; his heavy head of hair, which was once a dark brown, has become white by the heavy frosts of Scipio township, but he still walks erect, and is as good and interesting in conversation as ever, bidding fair to become a centennarian.

Mr. Isaac B. Witter tells me that in 1827 Jonathan Witter, Sr., moved from Ontario county, New York, into Reed township, near Captain Hanford's and Dr. Gilbert's. The writer knew Mr. Witter very well. Isaac B. has now lived in Scipio over forty years.

Philip and Adam Steinbaugh,. Humphrey Bromley, Michael Hendel, John A. Gale, Chancey Rundell, J. H. Drake, Dr. Maynard, William Parker, Sylvester Watson, the Neikirks, A. H. and R. G. Perry and Michael Chamberlain may also be said to belong to the pioneers here.

N. P. COLWELL,

When about twenty years old, emigrated from Madison county, New York, to Thompson township, in this county, where he arrived at his step father's, Joseph Philo, on the 9th of October, 1831. In 1832 the election was held at Esquire Knight's cabin, a few rods east of John Royers, where Colwell voted for Jackson for president of the United States. He lived in Thompson two years, and then went to Amsden's Corners (Bellevue), where he built a wagon and carriage shop,, and carried on the business for five years, when he returned to New York, where he married his wife, and returned here, located in Republic in August, 1838, where he has lived on the same street ever since. Here he built a shop, and carried on the wagon and carriage business until failing health compelled him to quit. The people elected him township clerk, and he opened the first office in the then new town hall, in the spring of 1850. He continued in office for twenty years, until stricken down by paralysis in 1870. He held the office of township clerk eleven years, and was justice of the peace sixteen years; he was mayor of Republic and member of the council all the time; a member of the board of education seventeen years in succession. During these long years of official life he transacted a great deal of legal business, settling estates of deceased persons and attending to guardianships. During and since the war he attended to soldiers claims free of charge, and until a license of $10 was required. This he paid for eight years, and his work in that line increased until on the 27th day of December, 1870, he was stricken with paralysis, when for several months he could not write. He recovered sufficiently, however, to attend to notarial and other office business in his room, where he is confined most of the time Nervous rheugiatism in his feet and legs interfere with his walking very much, and he goes out only on clear, warm days.

Friend Colwell said to me in a letter, describing the beauties of Thompson in its wild state:

All the land about Flat Bock (i. e. where it has been built since) was a wild prairie. In the spring time large crops of herbage sprang up, and in May and June it was the most beautiful flower garden I ever saw, wild flowers of all forms, shapes and colors, equal to any cultivated flowers, gave a delightful fragrance to all that country. Snow's cabin, north of where Flat Rock now stands, was the only human habitation in all that region. There were large herds of deer roaming over these prairies. They could be seen almost any time of day swinging their antlers as they cropped the herbage. The scenery was wild and grand beyond description, a perfect Garden of Eden, except the apples. When frost killed the vegetation and the grass had become dry, fires swept all over the country and left it bare. The Indians set it on fire for hunting purposes.

LANCE TODD

Was born on the 7th day of January, 1806, in Frederick county, Maryland, the son of Thomas and Mary Todd. They arrived in Fort Ball on the 8th of August, 1828, and the whole family soon thereafter settled in the northwestern part of Scipio township. There were, besides the parents, three brothers and two sisters, and each had a piece of land in that neighborhood.

Nathaniel Norris was married to one of the girls in Maryland, and the other married Lott Norris, after the Todd family came out here.

Lance Todd built a cabin in the woods on his own land and afterwards put up a good, two story log house, in which he still resides. He was married here to Mary Miller in 1834, and has two children. The whole family is still living, but the parents, brothers and sisters of Mr. Todd are dead.

When the family settled here on section eight, William Scoville lived on the south end of the same section. Evan Dorsey had a house raised on his land also, but nobody lived in it. They had to make a road out from their place every direction they wanted to go. Abraham Smith came into this neighborhood soon after the Todds settled here; also John Hall.

After the reservation came into market, the country settled up very rapidly, and soon the land was all taken up. Then roads were opened, land cleared, and houses put up, so that it began to look like an old country.

Mr. Todd has about seventy five acres cleared and about thirty five acres in woods. He helped to open and start six farms in this neighborhood, and still lives on the place where he located, fifty two years ago.

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