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.