History of Franklin Township, Shelby County, Ohio
From: History of Shelby County, Ohio
and Representative Citizens
By: A. B C. Hitchcook, Sidney, Ohio
Published by Richmond-Arnold Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill. 1913


Surface and Soil. The location of Franklin township being in The second tier from the north is crossed by the Greenville Treaty Line and its boundaries are as follows: Dinsmore is the sister township on the north; Jackson and Salem townships form its east line; Salem, Clinton and Turtle Creek are along the southern border, and Turtle Creek and Van Buren townships bound it on the west. A generally level surface and a rich soil mainly of black loam have made fine agricultural possibilities here, while sand pits and gravel beds in some portions have proved well worth developing. Transportation facilities are excellent, there being fine roads and from north to south runs the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton (the old Dayton & Michigan Railroad), with shipping points at Swanders, Anna and Botkins. This road is paralleled by the Western Ohio Electric Railroad, which does a. good passenger business: This section of Shelby county was largely settled by natives of other parts of Ohio and its people have ever been of the quiet, law abiding class.

Villages. - Swanders is a small village of about eighty six population, centrally located, and has outlived Massena, Woodstock and other once promising settlements. Woodstock, a town of sixty four lots, was laid out in June, i836, but the village organization is no longer maintained. In 1857 the Dayton & Michigan Railroad (now the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton) was constructed and in 1867 the company established a flag station about fiver miles north of Sidney, which was named in honor of James Swander, who was appointed agent of the railroad company, was the first postmaster (1867), and established and conducted the first dry goods and general store.

Industries. - Tile making was formerly an important industry at Swanders, the tile yards being conducted for a number of years by Killian & Ludlum, but the business has been abandoned. In i868, Henry Smith erected a steam saw mill, which he sold a year later to James Swander, who in turn sold out to Bulled & Minniear. The latter firm operated it with success for a number of years, but the business becoming unprofitable, was finally given up. The most important industry now at Swanders, or indeed in Franklin township, is the grain elevator of W. M. Alton & Son, which is doing a good business. Edward H. Billing is postmaster and conducts a general store.

Justices of the Peace. The list of those who have served in the office of justice of the peace in Franklin township is as follows: Daminett Cole, May 26, 1836; John Lenox, January 20, 1837; William M. Ross, April 8. 1839; George Clancey, December 28, 1839; George Clancey, October 17, 1842; David Deweese, April 25, 1845; George Clancey, November 15 1845; Thomas Shaw, April 17, 1848; David Deweese, October 21, 1848; George Clancey, December 30, 1848; Henry Born, November 8, 1851; George Clancey, November 8, 1851; George Wenner, April 14, 1854; Eliakirn Ludlum, May 19, 1856; George Clancey, 1857; Eliakim Ludlum. April 12, 1839; David Deweese, October 20, 1859; Eliakim Ludlam, April 22, 1862; Eliakim Ludlum, April 14, 1865; E. T. Ailes, April 11, 1866; Lewis Fridley, April 5, 1867; Eliakim Ludlum, April 13, 1868; J. McDeweese, April 12, 1869 (resigned May 26, 1870); J. D. Elliott, April 15, 1871 (resigned); Eliakim Ludlum, April 11, 1871; Daniel Staley, April 8, 1872; Eliakim Ludlum; April 10, 1874; Lorenzo Sitzman, April 9, 1875; Lewis Applegate, April 8, 1876; Eliakim Ludlum; April 17, 1877; Lewis Applegate, April 17, 1879; Eliakim Ludlum, April 14, 1880; P. W. Young, April 13, 1881; P. W. Young, 1884-1887; E. Ludlum, 1886-1889; P. W. Young, 1887; Peter Fogt, 1889; John Hagelberger, 1890; Peter Fogt, 1892; John Hagelberger, 1893-1896; Peter Fogt, 1895; August Maurer, 1896; Peter Fogt, 1898; August Maurer, 1899-1902; Peter Fogt, 1901; David Bushman, 1901; Andrew Bertsch, 1902; Andrew Bertsch, 1904; George C. Schiff, 1905; George C. Schiff, 1901; George A. Fogt, 1908; P. W. Young, 1911; Peter Fogt, 1912.

The present clerk of Franklin township is T. S. Price.' Trustees: L. W. Border, Lewis Knasel and Anthony Summer.


The Reformed Church Society. - The early settlers of Franklin township were not slow in taking measures to secure church privileges and the first society formally organized was that known as The Reformed Church Society, in September, 1832, at the house of Jacob Schlosser, by Rev. John Pence. The members of the first class were Jacob Schlosser and wife, James Swander and wife, David Swander and wife, Philip Swander and Wife, Henry Swander and wife, Peter Hartman and wife, Jacob Woodring and wife, and Joseph Carmany and wife. They were all earnest Christian people and while they struggled for two years to secure a proper church structure, they became only the more closely united as they met for religious meetings at each other's homes. In 1834, with the help of the Lutheran society, a union building was put up on the Wapakoneta turnpike road, two and half miles south of Anna. It was constructed of hewed logs and its dimensions were 25 by 30 feet. The two chuteh bodies met alternately in this building until 1845, when the Reformed society sold its interest and in the following year erected a frame edifice. The church has a live membership, presided over at present by the Rev. R. R. Yocum, of Maplewood.

Wesley Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church. - In i883 the Methodists of Franklin township decided to bring about the organization of a society of their faith and, although there were but seven initial members, their zeal was such that Rev. Thomas Simmes acceded to their request and afterward, for a number of years, regular meetings were held at the house of Philip Young. The church edifice known as Wesley Chapel was erected about 1847, and is situated on the Murphy turnpike road near the center of the west line of section 36, north of boundary line, in Franklin township. It has been remodeled in recent years. The church membership at present approaches one hundred and ministers have all been supported and church affairs decorously carried on. The first revival meeting in this neighborhood was held at the home of Philip Young. The last survivor of the original membership was Mrs. Samuel Barley. Rev. J. W. Miller, of Anna, Ohio, is now the pastor of this congregation.

Plum Creek Methodist Episeopal Church Society. - The frame structure known as the Plum Creek Methodist Churth, situated three miles north of Sidney, near Plum creek, on the Wapakoneta turnpike road, was dedicated in November. 1860, by Rev. Jacob M. Holmes, but has since been remodeled. The society was organized in February, 1839, by Rev. David Warnock and the first members were Nathan Burress and wife, Thomas Shaw and wife, Henry Yinger and wife, Louisa Leapley. Jane McVay, Mary Critton, Caspar Yinger, Valihda Binger. Elizabeth McVay, David Greenlee, Elizabeth Burress and Sarah Burress. Many of these old township families are yet represented in its membership. Rev. John Parker is present pastor.

An account of the schools of Franklin township may be found in the chapter on education.

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