History of Green 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


This township, forming the southeast corner of Shelby county, is five miles square and contains 25 sections of land. It was a part of Orange township prior to March 7, 1820, when it was erected as an independent township. It possesses a fertile soil, is mainly level, and is well drained by various streams, principally by Tawawa or Mosquito creek and Leatherwood creek, with their respective numerous tributaries. There are also numerous drain ditches, which have been established through the flat sections of the township. Settlement here antedates the organization of the township some years, the first known family to penetrate the forest here and establish a home being that of Henry Sturm, who came from Clark county, Ohio, in 1814. This pioneer, with his wife and twelve children, settled in the southwest quarter of section 1. His children were Matthias, Margaret, Nicholas. Henry, Peter, William, Jacob, Frederick, Ephraim, Elizabeth, George and John, most of whom grew to become well known regidents of this or other townships in the County.

The spring following their arrival marked the coming of Henry Sturm's son in law, Samuel Robinson, who also: had several small children. Among those who came a little later we may mentionEzekiel Sargeant, who came from Clark county, Ohio, in 1816; William Bothel, Who. came from Pennsylvania, in 1816; John R. and Adam Meclaris, who came in 1817, and were progressive men and active citizens here for many years; John Ellsworth, who came in 1817; Peter Princehouse, who also came in 1817 or the year following: Thaddeus Tuttle, Edward Conroy and family; David Larue, who came from Champaign county, Ohio: all came in 1818. About this time - some of them even earlier - Joseph Park, William Richardson, Jacob Kiser, George W. Frazier, Daniel Apples, John Botkin and John Dorsey. cast their lot with the newly developing community.

Among those of a latter period we might mention Robert C. Cunningham and Samuel Redenbo, who arrived in 1819; Silas Dorsey, in 1824; Peter V. and David S. Sherwood, in 1831; Samuel Bird and William Niswanger, in 1832; John Platt and William B. Williams, in 1833; Elias Barbee, in 1834; Timothy Conover and John Dickensheets, in 1835; Herman R. Hunt, in 1836; Matthias Gray, in 1837; Paul F. Verdier and Samuel Woodward, in 1839; Mahlon Moon, in 1840; and Dr. John C. Leedom, in 1842. Dr. Leedom was by no means the first practicing physician here, as he was preceded by Doctor Pratt, who came as early as 1820 and by a Doctor Little, who came subsequently to Doctor Pratt. The first election Was held in the house of John R. Medaris in April, 1820. The first justices of the peace were Henry Sturm and Charles Johnston, who were chosen at the election above mentioned. The first clerk was Charles Dorsey.

The justices in order after the first election of Mr. Sturm and Mr. Johnston were: Philip Jackson. 1835; Thomas Vaughn. 1836; Elias Barbee, 1836: Elias Barbee, 1839; Thomas Vaughn, 1839; N. Sherieff, 1842; Thomas Vaughn, 1842; N. Sheriff, 1845; Thomas Vaughn, 1845; N. Sherieff, 1848; Samuel Lewis, 1849; Ira F. Hunt. 1851; John Hume, 1852; Alexander E. Carey, 1854; William Beezley, 1855: Samuel Lewis, 1860; A. L. Smith, 1863; David Bowersock, 1865; L. G. Simes. 1866; David Bowersock, 1868; L. G. Slimes, 1869; David Bowersock, 1871; L. G. Slimes, 1872; David Bowersock, 1874; G. L. Simes, 1875; Samuel Lewis, 1877; G. L. Simes, 1878; David Bowersock, 1880; L G. Simes, 1881; L. G. Simes, 1884; John Sargent; 1885; L. G. Slimes, 1887; Madison Bennett, 1888; Simes, 1890; E. M. Baker, 1890; L. G. Simes. 1893; Elisha Yost, 1833; David N. Prince, 1896; L. G. Simes, 1896; Elisha Yost, 1899; E. O. Marrs, 1901; W. a Baker, 1902; E. Needles, 1903; N. H. Baker, 1905; C. A. Jackson, 1908; E. E. Wiley, 1908; and T. J. Kiser, in 1911. E. F. Rolfe is the present township clerk, and the trustees are W. F. Valentine, J. L. Atkinson and Harvey Wiley.

Schools. - Although this subject is dealt with in another chapter of this volume, we may here make sonic mention of the pioneer school. It was at first held in the homes of the settlers. About the year 1818 or 1819 a school was conducted in a primitive round log building on the farm of David Lame, in section 10. The first term consisted of but seven days and it is related that the teacher, Mr. Dorsey, received but fifty cents a day, or three and a half dollars for the term. The first house built especially for school purposes was erected in 1820 near the old graveyard in what is now Plattsville Miss Lucy Wilson was the first instructor here. In 1821 another log schoolhouse was built near the Sturm graveyard, and the first teacher was Doctor Pratt. Until 1853, there were none but subscription schools, but on June 18th of that year the township was divided into six school districts and a tax levied on the township for school purposes. The first brick schoolhouse had its inception in that year, and since that time the community has been blessed with good buildings and superior instruction, school affairs being under the guidance of capable directors chosen from among the citizens whose hearts were in the work.

Churches. - Hand in hand with development educationally and commercially, was the development spiritually. From almost the first the settlers were wont to gather in the home of some settler for divine worship, and from this humble beginning societies were gradually formed and in time churches erected. Denominational lines were not so closely drawn in those days, as there were too few of any one denomination. We herewith present facts regarding some of the religious bodies that struggled and conquered under the most adverse circumstances:

The Salem Methodist Episcopal church was organized in 1825 by Rev. Simes or Rev. Westlake, and among the most prominent of its members were David Larue and Wife, Silas Dorsey and wife, and. Mrs. Jemima Conroy. A hewed log church was erected in section 4, and served as long as the organization continued, which was until about the year 1840.

The Charity Chapel Methodist Protestant church was organized about 1840, with Silas Dorsey as the leader of the society, it drawing considerably from the membership of the Salem Methodist Episcopal church. Meetings were held in Mr. Dorsey's house for a number of years, when a frame building was erected in section 4 of Green township. It ceased to exist as a church body in 1864 or 1865.

The Spring Creek Christian church was organized March 15, 1851, by James T. Hunt and James Skillen in a log schoolhouse on the Cephas T. Sanders farm, with sixty one members. Meetings were held in the school building until 1852, when a frame building was constructed in the southeast corner of section, 28, near the Miami county line. It was dedicated in 1853 by Rev. Griffin. In 1868, a fine new church building was erected and was dedicated in. November of that year by Rev. James Linn. Among the original members may be mentioned: Cephas and Nancy Sanders, Cephas T. Sanders, Rachel Sanders, David and Chloe Sherwood, John Luseney, Martha Luseney, Martha Sanders, David and Catherine Wiles, William and Rachel Williams, Jackson and Mary Cramer, John and Elmira Denman, David and Matilda Hall, and Catherine Sanders. It started out with a goodly membership, and the church affairs have always continued in a good healthy condition. The present, pastor is Rev. L. W. Ryan.

Charity Chapel Christian church was organized in the Methodist. Protestant church building in 1864 or 1865 by Elder Asbury Watkins. William Benham and Thomas Stith were appointed the first deacons of the church. Worship was held in the Methodist Protestant building until 1878, when they erected a building of their own, which was dedicated on December 27, 1878, by Elder E. M. Rapp. The church is served by Rev. L. W. Ryan, pastor of the Spring Creek Christian church.

The Methodist Episcopal society at New Palestine (now Tawawa) had its inception about the year 182o, and was organized by Rev. Finley. Among the members were Philip Locker and wife, William Bathel and wife, Jacob Kiser and wife, and Ezekiel Sargeant and wife. They met around at the various homes for worship and continued in that way while the organization lasted, which was until the late thirties.

The Christian church at New Palestine had its beginning in an organization formed at the residence of Daniel Neal in Champaign county, by Elders Jeremiah Fusion and John T. Robertson. The latter was the first pastor and meetings were held in the Neal home for about one year, and in May, 1838, they equipped a vacant house on the Ira Dunt farm in Green township with seats, using that as their house of worship for many years. They next built a frame church in New Palestine, which was dedicated in June, 1851, by Elder Samuel Fusion, assisted by Elder Justus T. Hunt. When this building proved inadequate for further use for church purposes. the society erected a larger structure near the old one, it being dedicated January 1, 1882, by Elder A. L. McKinney, of Troy, Ohio. The original members of the congregation were Ira and Anna Hunt, Justus T. Hunt and wife, David Bever and wife. Daniel Neal and wife, Joseph Basey and wife, David Greeley and wife, Ira F. Hunt and wife, Eleanor Woolley, Mary A. Flexion and Daniel Currier. This church is at present served by Rev. A. J. Adriance, of Defiance, Ohio.

The Plattsville Methodist Episcopal church, at one time known as the Antioch Methodist Episcopal church, was organized about 18x9 or 1820, and until 1828 or thereabouts, meetings were held in the homes of various members. In that year or the following a hewed log building was erected on the ground later occupied by the cemetery at Plattsville, the land being donated for that purpose by Thaddeus Tuttle. They continued in this building until 1849, when a new one was built on property purchased at Plattsville, from John R. Medlars. The church was dedicated in 1850, the name being changed from the Antioch Methodist Episcopal church to the Plattsville Methodist Episcopal church society. Among the original members were Thaddeus. Tuttle and wife. John R. Medaris and wife, and William Ellsworth and wife.

The Plattsville Universalist church was erected in 1877, and was dedicated on July 29th of that year by T. S. Guthrie, assisted by the local pastor, Rev. J. D. Lamer. The society was organized on September Both following, J. D. Lawer and thirty six others constituting the membership. It has been a very prosperous organization. Rev: Colgrove is the present pastor.

Villages. - New Palestine, Plattsville and Ballou are the villages which have existed in Green township.

New Palestine was laid out on September 27, 1832, by Ephraim Davidson, who owned the land on which it was located, and the first settlers in the village were George Swiger ands family. The first store was conducted by John Stephen, and the first hotel by Joseph Knot. The former postoffice for this village was named Tawawa, but has been abandoned, and the village is now known by its original name only. New Palestine has two lodges, a K. G. K, with a membership of ninety eight, and on I. O. R. M. lodge, membership about sixty.

Plattsville, with a copulation of 134, is located near. the center of Green. township, on what was the old John R. Medaris farm. The latter had it surveyed in 1844 by Jonathan Counts, and it was recorded September 26, 1844. In 1849, an addition to the village was surveyed for J. R Medaris, and this was recorded on July 4th of that year. The first business at this point was an ashery and general store, of which Thomas Farshee was proprietor. The Methodist Episcopal and the Universalist churches are located here, drawing membership largely from surrounding territory. Plattsville. Lodge No. 643, I. O. O. F. was instituted in the village on July 12, 1876, by Nathan Jones, grand master of Ohio. The original members were: Samuel Griffis, L. P. Redenho, P. R. Hunt, B. F. Johnson, G. W. Frazier, W. H. Bulle, J. T. Princehouse, W. L. Woolley, D. Bowersock and James Williams.

Industries of Green Township. The first mill was established by John Medaris, and was a corn cracker, located near the village of Plattsville. A water power saw mill was erected on Leatherwood creek, in 1826 or 1827, by William Ellsworth, and a few years later Abraham Medâris also built a saw mill in the same locality near Plattsville. The next saw mill was the one conducted by Samuel Robinson on Leatherwood creek. In 1854 Hageman Brothers built a steam saw mill one mile south of Plattsville, and a steam saw mill was built by John Sargeant and John Neal near New Palestine. In 1879, a portable steam saw mill was started by Gabriel Harbaugh and was operated many years with great success. At the present time William F. Valentine operates the only tile mill in the township, his output being from 18 to 22 kilns annually. Mr. Valentine also engages in ditch contracting and in a season uses over 200 carloads of tile additional to the product of his own plant.

The present township clerk of Green is E. F. Rolfe. Trustees: W. F. Valentine, J. L. Atkinson and Harvey Wiley.

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