History of Darke County, Ohio

VOLUME I

A comprehensive county history must, of necessity, be a compilation of materials gleaned from various sources and assembled in the form of a literary mosaic, the design of which is symmetrical but not always apparent.

The first and only exhaustive history of the county heretofore written was published by W.H. Beers & Co., in 1880, from material compiled and arranged largely by Judge John Wharry of Greenville and by one Prof. W.H. McIntosh. This volume contained about 250 octavo pages of closely printed matter relating to the history of the county, besides about 200 pages of general introductory material and about 300 pages of biographical sketches. On account of its priority and the mass of historical data which it contains, this book must form the basis of any authentic history hereafter written. Perhaps the most apparent fault in this excellent first history is the lack of an adequate index and the irregular arrangement of topics a condition which the writer has endeavored to overcome in a measure in this work.

A second work entitled "A Pictorial Outline History of Darke County," was published by Geo. W. Wolfe in 1890. This work was largely biographical but contained some excellent introductory matter and a few good topical sketches.

An excellent Biographical History was published in 1900 by the Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, which contained many well-written biographical sketches, but not much purely historical data. To all of these works the compiler of the present volume freely acknowledges his indebtedness for original material, realizing that without them the task of writ- ing an authentic pioneer history would be practically impossible.

Further acknowledgment is made to Attorney Geo. A. Katzenberger, who compiled and wrote the excellent chapters on "Miltia Organizations." and "Bench and Bar;" and to Geo. W. Calderwood. the "Darke County Boy," whose writings made possible the chapter entitled "Random Sketches."

Others who have assisted materially in making this work possible are mentioned in the body of this book.

The military campaigns of St. Clair and Wayne are treated somewhat exhaustively inasmuch as they led up to the great treaty of Greene Ville, which is one of the landmarks of state and national history.

Aluch space has also been devoted to the interesting geo- logical and archeological features of the county, which have been given scant treatment in former works.

An attempt has been made to give a brief history of every religious denomination having a fair constituency in the county and thereby preserve a permanent record of the found- ing of each for convenient reference.

The writing of a county history covering the numerous phases of political, social, religious and material progress is a large but interesting task, and it is the hope of the author of this work that the careful perusal of its pages will stimulate greater interest in local history than has been manifested heretofore and be a source of delight to many.

Probably the greatest difficulty encountered in the present work has been the matter of the arrangement of the vast amount of miscellaneous material collected. This has been overcome, in a measure, by considering the relation of each subject to the history of the county as a whole rather than to a restricted locality.

An entire chapter is given to "Notable Events" as it is deemed desirable to portray these significant historical happenings for the instruction and entertainment of future generations.

The recent introduction of the study of local history in our public schools is a commendable step and will, no doubt, result in a widespread interest in and enthusiasm for pioneer lore, so that the records of the past will be more eagerly per- used and the memory of early events more sacredly cherished by coming generations. Instead of contempt for the past we may expect appreciation, and look for a more vivid realization of the fact that the things of the past play an important part in the life of the present.

Table of Contents

FOREWORD.
CHAPTER I PRIMEVAL DARKE COUNTY 17
CHAPTER II ACHEOLOGY AND TOPOGRAPHY 33
CHAPTER III THE OHIO COUNTRY 49
CHAPTER IV HARMAR AND ST. CLAIR 73
CHAPTER V MAD ANTHONY WAYNE 93
CHAPTER VI THE GREAT PEACE 107
CHAPTER VII TECUMSEH AND THE "PROPHET" 121
CHAPTER VIII PIONEERS AND PIONEER SETTLEMENTS 139
CHAPTER IX CREATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTY 165
CHAPTER X THE PLANTING OF THE CHURCH 197
CHAPTER XI RANDOM SKETCHES FROM THE "DARKE COUNTY BOY" 253
CHAPTER XII DARKE COUNTY DURING THE CIVIL WAR 293
CHAPTER XIII SOME NOTABLE EVENTS 303
CHAPTER XIV SOME NOTABLE CITIZENS 327
CHAPTER XV POLITICS AND POLITICAL OFFICES 355
CHAPTER XVI PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS 365
CHAPTER XVII RAILWAYS 383
CHAPTER XVIII THE PRESS 395
CHAPTER XIX FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS 405
CHAPTER XX DARKE COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY 415
CHAPTER XXI PATRIOTIC, TEMPERANCE AND OTHER SOCIETIES 425
CHAPTER XXII BENCH AND BAR 449
CHAPTER XXIII LOCAL MILITIA ORGANIZATIONS 503
CHAPTER XXIV THE COUNTY SEAT 513
BRIEF TOWNSHIP SKETCHES 546

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VOLUME II

The present age is happily awake to the duty of writing its own records, setting down what is best worth remembering in the lives of the busy toilers of today, noting, not in vain glory, but with an honest pride and sense of fitness, things worthy of emulation, that thus the good, men do, may live after them. The accounts here rendered are not of buried talents, but of used ability and opportunity. The conquests recited are of mind over matter, of cheerful labor directed by thought, of honest, earnest endeavor, which subdues the earth in the divinely appointed way. "The great lesson of biography," it is said, "is to show what man can be and do at his best." A noble life put fairly on record acts like an inspiration, and no more interesting and instructive matter could be presented to an intelligent public.

In this volume will be found a record of many whose lives are worthy the imitation of coming generations. It tells how some, commencing life in poverty, by industry and economy, have accumulated wealth. It tells how others, with limited advantages for securing an education, have become learned men and women, with an influence extending throughout the length and breadth of the land. It tells of men who have risen from the lower walks of life to eminence, as statesmen, and whose names have become famous. It tells of those in every walk of life who have striven to succeed and records how that success has usually crowned their efforts. It tells also of those who, not seeking the applause of the world, have pursued the "even tenor of their way," content to have it said of them, as Christ said of a woman performing a deed of mercy, they have done what they could. It tells how many, in the pride and strength of young manhood, left all, and at their country's call went forth valiantly "to do or die."

Index

Albright, W.D... 347
Albright, W.S... 355
Allread, James I... 32
Ammon, E.G... 336
Amspaugh, D.F... 473
Anderson, J.M... 211
Appenzeller, C... 295
Armacost, Eli... 387
Armbruster, J.A... 256
Arnett, Tobias... 562
Baker, D.H... 395
Baker, Ezra... 560
Baker, Guy C... 126
Baker, Noah... 358
Bascom, J. Linus... 119
Baughman, George W... 262
Bausman, A.H... 181
Bayman, N.R... 483
Beam, R.K... 471
Beanblossom, George... 302
Beanblossom, J.R... 297
Beane, Samuel... 469
Beck, Henry... 502
Bickel, I. E... 396
Bigler, Dr. L... 494
Billingsley, T.A... 168
Bishop, W.G... 276
Boli, Ed. L... 386
Bowman, B.W... 43
Brandenburg, E.T... 440
Brandon, A.C... 84
Brandon, C.W... 547
Brawley, T.G... 204
Brown, Homer... 444
Browne. Wm. A., Sr... 105
Brumbaugh, C.L... 539
Brumbaugh Family... 536
Brumbaugh, William D... 542
Bryson, D.V... 285
Burns, J.C... 40
Byers, P.W... 202
Calderwood, A.R... 496
Calderwood, E.E... 418
Chenoweth, W.A... 432
Cline, Fred... 206
Coblentz, J.C... 235
Collett, Henry... 258
Conkling, F.T... 64
Coppess, Charles... 244
Coppess, H.M... 144
Coppock, F.D... 131
Crawford, G.F... 28
Culbertson, Charles... 299
Cunningham, William... 349
Davenport, Charles M... 457
Davis, M. W... 367
Delk, Charles I... 428
Delaplane, Joshua... 339
Delaplane, U.G... 328
Detamore, J.E... 403
Dershem, Harvey F... 505
Dininger. Jonas... 269
Dininger, Lewis... 279
Dininger, Riley... 290
Dull. Samuel... 437
Dull, W.J... 176
Dunham, J.H... 174
Eidson, B.G... 399
Elliott, J.C... 24
Eyer, John... 449
Farra, Arthur... 487
Fellers, Frank... 447
Fellers, George F... 455
Fellers, Harry A... 445
Fellers, P.C... 463
Feltman, J.H... 160
Finnarn, Theodore... 524
Fogle, Orlando... 397
Folkerth, C.D... 340
Folkerth, L.D... 342
Foureman, David C... 363
Ganger, W.H... 477
Garber, H.C... 413
Gaskill, D.L... 178
Gilbert, A.H... 329
Gilfilan, J.B... 464
Groshans, George... 110
Grubbs, E.A... 497
Guntrum, W.E... 185
Hageman, James F... 233
Hageman, W. R... 231
Hall, C. C... 115
Halderman, R, H... 268
Hammel, Edward... 266
Harnish, Samuel... 208
Harper, William M... 59
Harrison, Orla E... 80
Hartman, David M... 362
Heck, J.F... 215
Helman, F.G... 412
Hoffman, C.O... 189
Hole, H.B... 222
Holland, John R... 305
Hollinger, I.K... 523
Horner, William H... 481
Hostetter, S.A... 61
Hostetter, T.J... 237
Humphreys, R.T... 134
Hunt, Bert and Ralph... 365
Hunt, Washington... 513
Hunter, J.E... 196
Irelan, N.T... 453
Irwin, W.J... 155
Ivestcr, W.H... 213
Jobes, George A... 38
Karr, F. S... 292
Katzenberger, Charles A... 22
Katzenberger, George A... 224
Kelley, William V... 554
Kerlin, L.E... 35
Kerst, H.B... 378
Kipp, Conrad... 78
Klinger, A.J... 182
Kfiupp, J.R...368
Kolp, James B... 71
Krickenberger, O.R... 51
Lampe, Fred... 191
Landis, J.Q... 282
Layer, Henry... 517
Layer, W.A... 451
Lecklider, John T... 17
Lecklider, T.A... 163
Lickel, A.J... 475
Longfellow, F.G... 351
Lutz, F.B... 303
Lutz, John H... 355
Mace, George W... 46
Maher, M. A... 172
Marker, Leonard... 192
Marley, J. R... 252
Martin, C. O... 466
Martin, Hugh L... 408
Martin, Ira H... 550
Martin, M. R... 315
Martz, Adelbert... 140
McCabe, Samuel B... 345
McCkllan, Ora O... 527
McCurdy, William J... 533
McEowen, J. A... 288
McGriff, EH... 467
McGriff, Ira... 425
McGriff, J. A... 420
McGriff, O. Price... 531
McKbann, Charles F... 48
McNutt, O.A... 352
Meeker, David L... 30
Metzcar, S.F... 376
Metzger, Aaron... 287
Meyers, E.E... 240
Meyers, S.A... 370
Miller, Harry C... 546
Miller, Jacob... 218
Miller, John... 344
Miller, John W... 515
Miller, M.H... 264
Miller, Roll M... 261
Millette, H.R... 242
Minnich, Levi... 565
Minnich, S.E... 220
Minton, W.A... 493
Moist, Oscar... 507
Monger, John E... 488
Moore, Rufus... 383
Morgan, John L... 57
Mote, S.E... 152
Murphy, John... 103
Musson, C.R... 187
Myers, Harry C... 479
Myers, O.H... 492
Nauss, L.A ... 520
Netzley, D.A ... 323
Neiswonger, James... 385
Niswonger, C.O... 273
Niswonger, Eli... 438
O'Brien, C... 142
O'Brien, J.J... 391
Passon, J.H... 416
Patty, W.O... 138
Perry, W.J... 500
Plessinger, Ezra... 313
Porter, George W... 91
Rarick, Charles W... 128
Rarick, H.G... 281
Rehmert, G.H... ZS3
Rhoades, Stephen... 91
Ries, J.A... 69
Rippetoe, Charles L... 311
Robeson, Alfred... 325
Roland, Charles R... 124
Ross, David... 381
Ross, I.M... 371
Ruh, Dan D... 312
Rush, W.D... 73
Rush, A.W... 87
Ryan, C.S... 93
Schlechty, Charles A... 333
Scholl, B.F... 331
Schoop, Mrs. H.K... 375
Searle, A.E... 247
Selby, J.I... 170
Sellman, Charles... 357
Sellman, William... 326
Shafer, Ed... 380
Shuffleton, Robert A... 155
Simon, John S... 552
Simpson, O.S... 229
Slade, Charles S... 117
Smith, O.O... 200
Starr, James O... 556
Steinmetz, W.V... 321
Stocker, H.P... 108
Stocker, John... 307
Stocker, R.H... 408
Stutsman, Jesse... 400
Stutz, Joseph... 448
Swartz, William I... 510
Swope, S. Howard... 165
Taylor, C.C... 405
Taylor, George F... 76
Teaford, Ephriam... 301
Teaford, Norman... 511
Teegarden, George W... 484
Trainor, M.L... 316
Turpen, J.C... 147
Vail, D.B... 309
Vance, E.E... 249
Vance, Harry... 136
Van Lue, J.W... 486
Vietor, S... 334
Wade, C.E... 411
Wagner, H.A... 374
Wagner, Madison... 360
Wandle, John F... 427
Warner, A.J... 284
Warner, Henry... 298
Weaver, J.C... 319
Wehrley, W.E... 461
Weisenberger, M.L... 112
Wert, C.G... 476
Williams, J. Ed... 55
Williams, W.H... 122
Wilson, A.N... 96
Wilson, Frazer E... 422
Wilson, T.B... 491
Winters, J. Oscar... 529
Wise, D. J Zn... 277
Witwer, D.F... 490
Woods, H... 159
Wright, E.C... 389
Young, William K... 442

 

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Darke county has produced some men of distinctive literary talent, among whom have been mentioned D.K. Swisher and Barney Collins, the former a writer on early historical and social topics, the latter a poet of recent years. In 1913 there appeared a book of over two hundred poems covering a wide range of topics, including religion, affection, travel, nature, home life, education and nearly everything else but war, all dedicated "to the good friends of my native state" which in this case was Ohio and mostly Darke county. These poems possess distinctive literary merit and are destined, doubtless, to have a wide circulation. John T. Lecklider, the author of these poems, first saw the light of this world on the 18th day of July, 1840, from a farm house some three miles south of Dayton, Ohio, on the Lebanon pike. When about six weeks of age his father, Daniel C. Lecklider, with his family, removed to Adams township, Darke county, to carve from the then virgin wilderness a home and farm. He was the youngest of five brothers. His mother taught him to read and write. He did not attend school until he was past eight years of age, and from then until he was eighteen, his average yearly attendance at the district school was not above thirty-five days. He recalls among his teachers (who were called "master" in those day) John Spayd, a master mathematician of Greenville, Ohio. Willard Heath, from the state of New York, a man of fine mind, general education, and a lover of books; Samuel Hagar (afterward doctor), a student and kindly gentleman; there were others, whose chief merit was the ambition which called them from the counter, the workshop and farm to be teachers. His first books in school were McGufey's second reader, Talbott's arithmetic, Webster's speller. In 1858 he was reputed as so familiar with Ray's higher arithmetic, Stoddard's mental arithmetic, Kirkham and Pinneo's grammars and Mitcheirs geography (in the language of those days with the "3 R*s") that he was called to teach his first school in what was known as the Miller, Overhalser, Wright district at $1.35 per day. At the close of his school term, he was re-employed for the following winter at $1.50 per day. The winter of 1860-61 he taught the Beanblossom school, just west of Pikeville. It would be misleading and unjust to assume this was the sum of his education before he entered college. He had an educated mother, who early impressed upon his mind the value of high ideals and the great benefit of reading good books. He informs us that to his home, as far back as he can remember, there came the New York Tribune, the New York Independent and the weekly Darke county paper. These were read, talked over and many times treasured for reference. Their weekly coming brought the news of the world, made the great cities and great men and events seem nearer, and filled the cleared spaces as the clearing grew with the thoughts of progress and deeds of men. Thus he became early in life interested in politics, the world's progress, invention, science and the government's duties and responsibilities. Thus, Mr. Lecklider was, so to speak, kept in touch with the great thinkers, reformers, scientists, preachers* and statesmen of the times. Such reading was needed then and is needed now to make passing events intelligible. The increment of knowledge thus acquired, who can compute? It requires little schooling to beget a habit of study. One's education is never completed, an education is more than a life work, it goes into the future.