History of Van Buren 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


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:

Joseph H. Park, June 24, 1835; Moses E. Baker, June 24, 1835; Moses E. Baker, April 30, 1838; Elias Harner, April 30, 1838; George Speaker, April 16, 1841, April 11, I844; Moses E. Baker, April 20, 1847; Michael Quinn, April 17, 1848; Robert Riled, June 24, 1848; Samuel Reese, May 1851; Joseph H. Park, April 17, 1852; George Speaker, April 14, 1853; William Grothaus, April 12, 1859; George Speaker, July 2, 1859; William Grothaus (resigned March 17, 1863) April 22, 1862; George Speaker, April 22, 1862; S. M. McCullough, April 17, 1863; George Speaker, April 14, '865; S. M. McCullough, April 11, 1866; P. W. Speaker, April 5, 1867; S. M. McCullough, April 12, 1869; P. W. Speaker, April 8, 1870; S. M. McCullough, April 5, 1872; P. W. Speaker, April 11, 1878; S. M. McCullough, April 9, 1875; Harmon Quillhorst, April 20, 1876; William M. Baker, October 19, 1877; Charles Maurer, April 17, 1879 and 1882; William M. Baker, November 10, 1880; William M. Baker, 1883; Charles Maurer, 1885; C. F. Quellhorst, 1886; William M. Baker, 1886; C. F. Quellhorst, 1889; William McKinley, Jr.; August Maurer, 1892; William M. Baker, 1892; E. H. Meckstroth, 1895; Willaini M. Baker, 1895; E. H. Meckstroth, 1898; John Wood, 1898; E. H. Meckstroth, 1901; John Wood, 1901; E. H. Meekstroth, 1904; John Wood, 1905; E. H. Meckstroth, 1908; Michael Drees, 1908; E. H. Meckstroth, 1910. In 1912 Julius Kettler was elected township clerk to succeed Henry Roettger, deceased. In the above year the board of trustees of Van Buren township consisted of William Henkener, Christian Therman and Henry Blanke.


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.

Kettlersville. - In 1873 Christopher Kettle laid out and platted the village to which he gave his family name. The tract consisted of seven lots, to which, subsequently, Christopher and William Kettler added forty five lots. Here in the spring of 1882 was organized the German Evangelical Lutheran church, with thirty five members under the pastoral guidance of Revd. A. Merkley. In 1883 the society erected a frame church edifice at a cost of $3,500 Kettlersville has good schools, the first schoolhouse in the township having been erected on the land of George Speaker. The present population is 149.

The village of Rumley was surveyed May 19, 1837, for Amos Evans, proprietor, and the first hewed log house was built by Colonel Evans and was utilized for both store and dwelling.

McCartyville is a small village with a population of forty seven. There is considerable wealth in Van Buren township and many of its citizens have served creditably in public office. The township is well provided with churches of several different denominations.

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