History of Jerome Township, Union County, Ohio

In distinction from romance, history is defined as "A true story or record of important events," and the writing and publication of this little volume was undertaken with the desire that there may be a continuity of some of the facts already published in a county history some twenty years ago, as it was my fortune to furnish the greater part of the Jerome Township history for that publication.

By reason of the limited space in this volume, many interesting historical incidents must be omitted, yet we of the third generation from the pioneers who first settled in Jerome Township, have heard from the lips of our fathers and mothers many thrilling stories of Indian warfare, hunting, and other interesting incidents of pioneer life, which should be handed down to our descendants.

It has therefore been a pleasant duty to record for the future historian some of the facts that have not been heretofore published, to be utilized fifty years hence when he writes of the present progressive fourth generation. The story of the manner of living in the log cabins, the trials and hardships of the early settlers, will always be of intense interest to the young. The first generation has all passed to the other shore, and I hope they abide in a land where the birds sing as sweetly, the streams flow as gently as they did along the banks of Darby Creek and Sugar Run a century ago.

Perhaps the boys and girls of fifty years ago, whose hair is now sprinkled with the frosts of three score and ten winters, when they glance at these pages, may go back in memory as I have done, gaze into the wood fire at the old homestead, and live over again the days of childhood and youth.

Walking down the other side of the hill facing the sunset of life you can see in that flickering blaze the corner in the old fireplace where you conned over your lessons in the long winter evenings, read the weekly newspaper, cracked hickory nuts gathered from the old shellbark tree down in the meadow, ate Bellflower apples and drank cider.

As you muse, hear again the sweet strains of the old songs, "Where are the friends that to me were so dear, Long, long ago, long, long ago"; "Home, Sweet Home," listen to the thrilling stories of adventure, broken now and then by the bark of the faithful dog on the doorstep.

In the war history, writing in undue eulogy of any organization or arm of the service has been studiously avoided. It is not intended to extol the service of any soldier or officer, but to give credit where credit is due to any organization, and to give the service of each regiment as shown by official records.

Believing all soldiers, in whatever organization they may have served, to be equally patriotic, brave and faithful, wherever the fortunes of war cast them whether heroes of the Revolution, Soldiers of the War of 1813, Mexican War, Civil War, or Spanish-American War.


Table of Contents

Preface 4-5
Jerome Township Organized 7
Indians 8
First Settlement 9
The Log Cabin 11
Hunting and Trapping 13
The Log Schoolhouse 20
Barring the Teacher Out 23
Milling and Early Industries 24
Social Gatherings 30
Churches 35
Village of Plain City 40
Village of Jerome 42
Village of New California 48
Village of Arnold 57
Jerome Township Officials 58
Dedication of Soldiers' Monument 60
Historical Address 64
War History 72
Civil War 73
The Boys of '61 Poem 78
History of Regiments 80
Spanish American War 162
Colonel George Ruehlen Biographical Sketch 168
Mexican War 170
War of 1812 175
War of the Revolution 181
Our Boys of Other States 184
Our Heroines 186
Roster 191
Soldiers Buried in Jerome Township 201
Our Heroic Dead 203


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The township was organized March 12, 1821, and the first election was held May 10, 1821, for the selection of Justice of the Peace. Clark Provin received the entire fifteen votes cast. James Ewing, Frederick Sager and Simeon Hager were the judges of the election. John Taylor and John McCune were the clerks.

When the first settlers came into the territory in Jerome Township along Darby Creek, it was the favorite "hunting grounds" of the Indians. In many places the traces of their wigwams still remained and the country was full of all kinds of game, including bears, deer, wolves, panthers, and small game.