The History of Madison County, Ohio

The history of a county may be written in so many different ways that I it will not be inappropriate, in placing this volume before the public, to state in a few words the plan which we have adopted and the chief objects at which we have aimed. It has been our earnest endeavor to disengage from the great mass of facts those which relate to the permanent forces of the county, or which indicate some of the more enduring features of its growth and prosperity. The history of an institution can only be written by collecting into a single focus facts that are spread over many years, and such matters may be more clearly treated according to the order of subjects than the order of time, yet we have tried to preserve, as far as possible, a chronological system.

We present, first, an outline history of the Northwest Territory and the State of Ohio. Beginning the history of the county with a chapter up- on the Mound Builders, followed by a similar sketch of the Indian tribes and their relations to Madison County, we then give an account of the advent of tho third race that has dwelt in the land. The record of the worthy pioneers, together with their trials, hardships, manners and customs; the early surveys, civil organization, topographical and geological outline of the county, etc., are each treated under a distinct head. These in turn are followed by a description of the institutions and improvements of civilization, and the gallant part- borne by Madison's sons in the Nation's battles. Then comes the town, township and village history, in which a more detailed account is given of the pioneers and early settlers, of the material progress made, and of the churches, schools, societies, manufacturing interests and other concomitants of the civilization that has, in the past three- quarters of a century, worked such a marvel in tho wilderness, and flourished to such full fruition upon the very ground which, within the recollection of those now living, was the abode of wild beasts and savage men.
The view is a comprehensive one. It extends from the scene of plenty and peace of well ordered society, of education and good morals, back to the time when all these things were not; from the scene of mental, moral and material affluence; from the cultivated landscape, dean with farm house, villa and town, busy and bustling with a hundred industries, back to tho days of the lonely log cabin, and farther, to the savagery and wildness of I he periods which preceded the white man's occupancy.

Our material has been obtained from State, county, township, town and village records, printed publications and family manuscripts, while a great deal of the matter had to be gathered from the early pioneers or their descendants, who, for the most part, were dependent upon their memories for dates and events. Thus conflicting testimony was oftentimes furnished, puzzling tho historian, who could do nothing better than to adopt the state mont which seemed to him the most probable and trustworthy; but we have aimed at accuracy, and believe we have been successful as far as success is possible in such an undertaking.

The general history of the county was prepared by R.C. Brown. The history of the medical profession, included in Chapter XI, was written by William Morrow Beach, M.D., whose genial, kindly advice was always freely extended to us from the inception of our labors until the completion of the work. Chapters XVII and XYIII are from the pen of F.E. Weakley. The sketch of Darby Township was furnished by Dr. Jeremiah Converse, to whom we are indebted for material aid and assistance while compiling several articles for different chapters comprised in this volume. Jefferson Township was written by W.H. White, and all the others by N.B. Holder, while the whole work was under the supervision of the genera! historian.

The volume is one of generous magnitude, and we place it in the hands of our patrons with the belief that it will be found to be a valuable contribution to local historical literature. We return sincere thanks to the citizens of the county for the earnest co-operation we have at all times met with in our efforts to collect reliable material; but especially desire to mention the names of A A. Hume, G.G. McDonald and William Warner, who, from memory, furnished us with many facts and events of by-gone days. The county officials, too, were ever ready to lend a helping hand in culling reliable data from the musty records in their respective offices; while members of every profession and calling did their share toward making our task a pleasant one. If what is worthy of consideration in the history of the county has been rescued from oblivion and placed in readable form for the present generation, the object of this work has been fully accomplished.


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When the Northwestern Territory was ceded to the United States by Virginia in 1784, it embraced only the territory lying between the Ohio and the Mississippi Rivers, and north to the northern limits of the United States. It coincided with the area now embraced in the States of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and that portion of Minnesota lying on the east side of the Mississippi River. The United States itself at that period extended no farther west than the Mississippi River ; but by the purchase of Louisiana in 1803, the western boundary of the United States was extended to the Rocky Mountains and the Northern Pacific Ocean. The new territory thus added to the National domain, and subsequently opened to settlement, has been called the "New Northwest," in contradistinction from the old "Northwestern Territory."