History of Van Buren Township, Shelby
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
VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP
Situated in the northwest corner of Shelby county, Van Buren township has for its northern boundary, Auglaize
county; on the west lies Auglaize county and a part of McLean township; on the east Dinsmore and Franklin townships,
and on the south, Turtle Creek and McLean. Although, in 1912, it contains thirty six full sections, it was originally
still larger. "At a meeting of the county board of commissioners held at Sidney, December 1, 1834, a petition
was presented, signed by sundry persons to the number of seventeen, praying for the setting off of a new township
of the following bounds, viz.: Commencing at the old Indian boundary line at the southeast corner of McLean township,
thence east with said line to a point so as to take one tier of sections off of the west side of range 6, thence
north to the Allen county line, thence west to the northeast corner of McLean township, thence south to the place
of beginning. The board being satisfied that legal notice of the presentation of said petition had been given,
and that said petition was signed by a majority of the householders residing within the boundary of said proposed
new township, and believing it necessary to erect said new township, they therefore ordered that said new township
be set off and known by the name of Van Buren." Notice was given to the electors of the new township to meet
at the home of Moses E. Baker, January 1, 1835, for the purpose of electing township officers. From that date until
the present, Van Buren township has been well governed, its officials being men of sterling character in their
neighborhoods. A list of those who administered as justices of the peace from 1835 until 1912 is as follows:
SOIL AND DRAINAGE
Van Buren township; situated as it is, on the watershed, has superior advantages as to drainage, while it is well watered by Loramie creek and numerous other streams. Loramie creek is the most important body of water, passing through, the township from the east and flowing in a southwesterly direction and emptying into the Loramie reservoir, a part of which is situated in this township. On this account the Lorarnie is not a rapid stream, the reservoir to some extent damming the water at the outlet With level surface and fertile soil, agriculture can be successfully carried on here and in many sections modern methods have produced phenomenal crops. Farming engages the attention of the majority of the residents and in 1875 Van Buren Grange No. 269 was organized. It continued in active operation until 1879 when, for various causes, the work was dropped until 1883 when interest was revived and it enjoyed a new growth.
The first settlements within the present limits of Van Buren township do not date as far back as in some other localities, 1832 probably witnessing the first permanent locations. Elias Spray was a resident here in the above year and a Mr. Cory lived for about a year on land owned by Judge Marshall, and also, among the transient settlers of this year were the families of Moses Redman, George Goings, Humphrey Clinton and some others. By 1833 many others had come to this part of the county, its natural advantages attracting those who proposed to become permanent home builders, and the names that have been preserved are: Moses E. Baker, Richard Elliott, Mrs. Philip J. Maurer, Adam Paul, Adam Braun, John McCullough, Jackson Traverse, Morris Jackson, Andrew Sanders, Robert Reed and Henry Van Brarigan. Others who had become landowners here prior to the organization of the township were Victor Schnelle, Christian Brockhoff, Frederick Abler, Victor Lanfersieck and another family by the name of Bather than that already mentioned. In the fall of 1833 occurred the birth of the first white child, Charles Maurer, and the first wedding ceremony was performed by Moses E. Baker, justice of the peace, uniting Allen Lupton and Sarah Rush. As in other settlements the first buildings were of logs and frame followed and in 1841 Joel Goins put up the first brick house, for which he made the brick.
Van Buren township has two villages - Kettlersville and McCartyville. Several others have been platted at different
times, as Pulaski (1837), Molike, and Rumley (1837), but these never attained importance.