History of Perry 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


Perry township is one of the original townships of this county, it having been organized as a part of Miami county, June 10, 1817, two years prior to the organization of Shelby county. Its early and subsequent boundaries may be described in general as. follows: In 1819 Perry towpship embraced all the territory now included within the townships of Perry, Orange, Green, Salem, Jackson and a part of Clinton. In September of the above year Oranges township was separated and in March, 1820, Green township was separated, from Orange. In 1825 the county commissioners made entry as follows con, cerning the boundaries of Perry township:

"Perry township begins on the southeast corner of section 4, town 2, range 13, east line of Shelby county; thence north with said line to the northeast corner of the county; thence west with the county line to the line between section 29 and 30, town 1, range 7; thence south with the line between the said sections; continued on, to the Miami river and across said river; thence with the river down to the line between sections to and 9, town 1, range 13 thence with last said line east to continue on to the place of beginning." In March, 1826, a portion of the above described land became a part of Clinton township, and in June, 1826, the north tier of sections of Green township was attached to Perry, and all that part of Perry lying north of the Miami river was created a new township to which was given the name of Salem, and in June, 1837, all of fractional township No. 1, range 14, which belonged to Perry, was attached to Salem township, which included that part of said fractional township lying south of the river, and this, in 1854, once more became a part of Perry township.

Surface, Soil and Drainage - With soil of rich, sandy clay and black loam, the early pioneers to this section found great promise of agricultural success as the surface of the land is generally level, its slight undulations providing for satisfactory drainage, which is toward the north, the boundary line in that direction being the Great Miami river. Other streams of importance are Big and Little Indian creek, Mosquito or Tawawa creek and Turkey Foot creek, the last named watering the central part of the township. Corn, wheat and grasses do remarkably well in Perry township and the, prosperity of the agricultural sections is further indicated by the general intelligence and progressiveness of the citizens. Here may be found some of the best constructed and best kept roads in the county and it is no unfamiliar sight to see on them the automobiles of the farmers. The C. C. C. & I. (Big Four) Railroad crosses the township from east to west. The township has good schools, with modern equipments, further data in regard to which may be found in the chapter on education.

Early Settlement - In February, 1814, David Henry located in section 28. on the bank of Mosquity or Tawawa creek, and he was the first settler within the ptesent limits of Perry township. In the following year he was joined by Samuel and William Robinson with their families, and in 1816 came William Marrs, and prior to the organization of the county in 1819, George Chiles, Charles Johnston, Thomas Wilkinson, Peter Musselman, William Richardson, Charles Weeks and Benjamin Manning had established homes here. At that time primeval conditions still prevailed over this part of the county, the settlers visiting each other and making their neecgsary trips to mill mainly by way of Indian trails, and it may well be believed that when the Sidney and Urbana road, the first in the township, was completed, that the pigneers felt that a great want was supplied. As to mills the first one built was of logs, on Mosquito creek, a fine location which is still utilized as a mill site, and was ejected by Charles Mason, a colored man. The second flouring mill was erected by William Pepper. David Henry, the first settler, not only put up the first log house but also the first frame one. The lumber that William Mans made use of in the building of the first frame barn, was cut in the township and sawed in Peter Musselman's mill on Mosquito creek. Henry C. Line became locally envied, perhaps, as he was able to build a brick house in 1836. Into the Henry family came the first births, David and Sally Henry, twins, who were born February 17, 1815.

From the very beginning the township, as a concrete body, recognized its responsibilities and in making provision for adequate government, selected representative citizens for officials. The list of those who have served in the office of justice of the peace from 1817 until 1910, inclusive, as follows:

David Henry, 1814; George Morrison, 1820; David Henry, 1820; David Henry, 1824; David Henry, resigned, April 1, 1826; Booth Burditt, 1826; David Henry, 1829; D. Henry and Booth Burditt, 1832; Charles Johnston, 1834; Joseph Garver, April 28, 1837; Booth Burditt, April 30, 1838; Benjamin Wagoner, April 16, 1840; Booth Burditt, April 16, 1841; Eleazer Hathaway, April 15, 1843; John M. DeWeese, September 2, 1843; Charles Johnstone, April 22, 1846; Simon Hornbeck, October 24, 1846; Charles Johnston, April 10, 1849; David Henry, November 3, 1849; Wm. R. Reid (resigned May 24, 1852), April 17, 1852; Charles Johnston, June 26, 1852; Charles Slagle, October 24, 1852; Marshall Pepper, June 27, 1855; G. R. Forsythe, November 1, 1855; Marshall Pepper, April 16, 1858; G. R. Forsyth; October 19, 1858; Wm. Dunlap, April 22, 1861; Marshall Pepper, October 17, 1861: Thomas Kizer (resigned Feb. 2, 1865), April 23, 1864; John Matthias, Feb. 22, 1865; J. V. Wilson, Feb. 12, 1868; Isaac Speer, April 13, 1868; Isaac Speer, April 11, 1871; J. V. Wilson, Marshall Pepper, April To, 1874; G. W. Clark; Marshall Pepper, April 17, 1877; G. W. Clark, April 20; 1877; A. J. Davidson, April 19, 1880; G. W. Clark, April 14, 1880; J. D. Ferree, 1886; G. W. Clark, 1886; J. D. Ferree, 1889; S. B. Cannon, 1889; Jacob Cost, 1892; S. B. Cannon, 1892; G. W. Clark, 1895; T. J. Robinson, 1895; C. J. Jackson, 1897; R. J. Rugh, 1898; G. W. Clark, 1898; S. B. Cannon, 1901; A. J. Struhie, 1903; George E. Hahn, 1904; George E. Hahn, 1908; S. B. Cannon, 1910. The following citizens make up the board of trustees of Perry township in 1912: Charles Peppers, Walker Zimpfer and M. N. Lucas, N. C. Enders of Pemberton being township clerk. There are many family names familiar in this section, at the present day that appear in the earliest township records and they may be recognized in the following list of those who paid road tax in 1818; James Bryan, John Bryan, Adam Conuts, William Drake, James Dingman, Jr., Daniel V. Dingman, John Francis, Caleb Goble, John Hathaway, Jesse Jackson, William Johnson, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Edward Jackson, Alexander Jackson, Elisha Kirtland, George Morrison, Elijah Montoney, William Minnear, Abraham Kinnear, William Morris, Luke Norris, Rodham Talbott, Daniel Vandemark, in District No. 1, of which James Dingman was supervisor. Those in District No. 2, of which Asa Hubble was supervisor, were: George Chiles, Asa Hubble, John Hunt, David Henry, Charles Johnston William Marrs, John Medaris, Peter Princehouse, Henry Princehouse, William and Samuel Robinson, Mathias Sturm, Henry Sturm and Henry Sturm, Jr., G. Thompson, Charles Weeks, John Mathews and Peter Mussehnan.

The present township clerk is N. C. Enders, of Pemberton. Trustees Charles Peppers, Walker Zimpfer and M. N. Lucas.

Villages - The village of Pemberton, the leading commercial center of the township, is situated seven miles east of Sidney and derived itg name through brotherly devotion, Civil Engineer Pemberton, officially connected with the construction of the C. C. C. & I. Railroad through the county, securing this honor for his brother, General Pemberton, a distinguished Confederate officer during the Civil war. The land was surveyed in 1852, sixty four lots being included, and was platted by Benjamin C. Wilkerson, John H. and Leonard T. Elliott and George A. Forsythe, as proprietors. Calvin Morris opened the first grocery store, Isaac. Wilkinson and Irvin Nutt, the first dry goods store, William Johnston, the first blacksmith shop, David Lemon, the first wagon shop and J. V. Wilson, the first hotel. Dr. Edward Stockton undoubtedly was the first physician and the first postmaster was Joseph Smith. At one time the town was the home of numerous business enterprises. including grocery and dry goods stores, drug store, grain elevator, sawmill. shingle factory, butcher shop and concrete stone works. Some of these industries still continue. The population is about 325, and includes a number of wealthy retired farmers. There are now two grain elevators in Pemberton and one other not far from the village. There is also a general store and three groceries and restaurants, and two blacksmith shops. Hain & Gebhardt have a well drilling machine with which they are doing a good business. J. H. Hickenbotharn, of Pemberton, has a threshing machine and sawmill.

The village of Pasco in the western part of the township has a population of about fifty two, with one general store. In the vicinity are also a flour mill and a blacksmith shop.

Baptist Church - The Baptist church has been a strong religious body in Perry township since 1830, when the first society was organized with eleven members (December 3) under the name of the Miami church, by Rev. Willis Hance, Moses Frazer and Moses Frazer, Jr. The first deacon was Peter Kiser and among the first members were: Peter Kiser, Catherine Kiser, Michael Cox, Mary Jackson, Nancy Wilkinson and Sarah Manning. House to house meetings were held through the first five years, but in 1835 the Baptists living near the dividing line of Shelby and Logan counties united in the erection of a church edifice at Quincy, in Logan county, and there the united congregation attended until 1873, when the building was destroyed in a great storm of that year. In 1874 the Shelby Baptists built a church of their own at Pemberton, expending $4,000, the membership at that time being seventeen. It reached its highest point in membership in 1893, when there were 206 members. At present there are 131. The pastors have been Elders R. Duncan, E. Bunker, S. M. Brower, A. J. Giant, A. Snider, D. Bryant, F. J. Sheppard, J. Ross, H. H. Witter, F. M. Taylor, L. J. Baker, C. R. Sargent. W. H. Gallant, J. W. Hartpence and G. L. Winters. The church maintains a well attended Sabbath school.

Methodist Episcopal Church - The Methodists organized a church society in Perry township in 1833, Rev. Sims meeting Booth Burditt and wife, George Pool and wife, William Moore and wife, Marcus Peck and wife and Mr. McVeigh and wife at the home of Booth Burditt. This band of Christian workers was small but very earnest and they continued to meet for worship in private houses and in the schoolhouse until 1843, when they erected a small frame church half a mile north of Pemberton and the name of Indian Creek church was adopted. In 1857 the Pemberton Methodist Episcopal church. was organized; it was remodelled in 1885 and again in 1912. It now has a membership of 125, with Rev. Houser as pastor. A well conducted Sunday school is maintained. This feature of work was started by William McVeigh, in his own house, and he never ceased to take a keen and active interest in it.

United Brethren Church - Unfortunately the earliest records of this church body in Perry township have not been preserved, but it is known that prior to 1820, perhaps in 1819, Rev. Jacob Antrim, on a religious mission, came to the home of Judge David Henry and formed a class, Mrs. Henry being a member of the same. In 1863 the church membership had become strong enough to consider the erection of a place of worship and when Samuel Young donated land on Mosquito creek, a frame building was erected thereon, known as Tawàwa United Brethren church. Among its leading members a generation ago were the Peckhams, the Marrs and the Peppers. The Pasco United Brethren church was organized in 1892 and has a present membership of 150, with Rev. E. C Hollinger, pastor.

Dr. W. M. Gaines ably represents the medical profession in Perry township. Some interesting facts in regard to the schools of the township may be found in the chapter on education.

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