815 - HISTORY OF GREENE COUNTY
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As introductory to the history of this township, we know of nothing more appropriate than the following letter to Nathaniel Massie, the veteran surveyor of this country:
"HANGING-FORK, April 26, 1786.
"DEAR SIR :-I am, at this time, unable to come over on the business that I promised you. For my attending the surveys, it will not make the least difference, as you can do it as well as if I was with you. I wish you to divide the land that is surveyed, belonging to the Dutchmen, and survey the entries that lay joining of those lands, and divide the entries also. Survey that land you purchased of Captain Owing, and survey the one thousand and five hundred acre entry, that is located at Logan's old camp, on Bird's trace, about one mile from another large camp. The old camp was made on the first campaign, in the year '80, and the other the next campaign. I wish you to survey the entries that are on the heads of Grassy Creek, in the name of Howard Lewis. If you find where Creuss was buried at a camp, you can easily find the entries. You must take the marked way from the camp up a ridge, westwardly course, about two miles, and the way is marked all the way of the two miles with a tomahawk; and then you will turn down a hollow to your left hand, until you cross a branch of Grassy Creek, and you will see some stumps, where there has been some fire-wood cut, on the east side of the branch, and continue the marked way the same course, perhaps two and a half miles, near the heads of said waters, and there you will find some trees marked, as the entry calls for, on the west side of the black oak, and some small trees marked near the said oak; and you will return down to the same branch to the creek, and down the creek to the fork, and cross the forks and go a southeast course about four miles until you come to a creek; then up said creek until you find a camp on said creek, in the bottom, where you will see trees peeled, and stumps, and an old
816 - HISTORY OF GREENE COUNTY.
camp, and there is Mr. Howard Lewis' entry of two thousand acres. You will find the beginning about fifty rods below the camp, in a buffalo trace, on an ash tree, marked M, black with powder; the mark is facing down the creek; I peeled the bark off with my knife; and survey Stephens' above Meamey's and Young's pre-emption; and that, I think, will be as much as you can do at this time.
"Now, my good friend, if you can not do it, pray write a letter to me, and direct it to Mr. Nagle, in Danville. But I would be glad if. you could do it, and I will give you five pounds, besides your fees. Promise your chain carriers goods for their wages, which I will pay on your return, and am, sir,
"Your friend, and humble servant, "JOHN MARTIN.
"MR. NATHANIEL MASSIE."
The first settler in this township was Christopher Hussey, a native of Tennessee, who came in 1806, and settled in the immediate vicinity of what is now known as the village of Bowersville, where his son Joseph now resides. He was born June 12, 1794; married Margaret Haughey, and with his wife had four children : Nathan, Stephen, Jacob, and Christopher, who immigrated to this township as stated. The family erected a rude log hut, circular in form, and resided therein for several years; in the meantime busying themselves in clearing the heavily timbered lands. His marriage with Miss Haughey was blessed with nine children. She preceded him to the grave many years. Mr. Hussey was married the second time, to Catharine Lockard, eleven children being the issue of this marriage. He departed this life in March, 1873. His descendants are living on portions of the old homestead, and in other parts of the township.
Soon after Hussey's departure from his native state, he was followed by his son-in-law, John Mickle, who located southeast of Bowersville, on the site at present occupied by John Johnson, and owned by Elias Vaneman. He was the pioneer schoolmaster of this locality.
Robert Stewart, accompanied by his wife and five children, came to this locality March 11, 1810, and settled about one mile southwest of Bowersville, on the site now the property of Albert Bar-
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berry. They came from Washington County, Virginia, by horse and wagon, crossing the Ohio at Limestone, Dow Maysville. Stewart was an active and enterprising citizen, and his indefatigable energy has been inherited by his children. One of his sons, Christopher, is yet living at Bowersville, and to him is the writer indebted for the data from which was compiled the early history of this township.
Shortly after the arrival of the Husseys, Stewarts, and Mickles, a number of settlements were made in rapid succession. One Kline, whose descendants still reside here, settled in the western part of the township, where formerly stood the old "Iron Jacket" meeting-house. The, Hammers, and three brothers named Ayes Charles, William, and John-became residents of Jefferson about one year after the arrival of Stewart. The Ayes descendants have removed to the vicinity of Paintersville, in Caesar's Creek Township. About midway between Port Williams, in Clinton County, and Bowersville, a settlement was made by a family named Rumbaugh. Asher Reeves, whose son George is yet a citizen of this township, located permanently near the site of what is now known as Blanetown.
John Haughey was born in Grayson County, Virginia, and married Patience Studivan (also a native of that state), he being twenty-one years of age, she eighteen. They left home and friends in 1810, and came to this locality, settling in. the unbroken forest, where their remaining days were spent. They left a large posterity to practice their many virtues.
Benjamin Vaneman, born in Pennsylvania, September 17, 1795, came to Jefferson Township at an early day, and in 1817 entered into the bonds of matrimony with Sophia, a daughter of Christopher Hussey. He witnessed and assisted in effecting the many changes which have taken place since the first arrival of the white man in this community, and died August 9, 1879; his wife having preceded him to "that bourne from whence no traveler returns."
John Bales was among the first settlers in this community, and did active service in the war of 1812. In 1813 he was married to Sarah Lucas. He died March 11, 1864; she June 8, 1874.
Herbert Hargrave, another pioneer, was born in 1805. In his younger days he traveled very extensively, and at one time had the distinguished honor of dining at the White House, with President Johnson, who took special pains to show him through the execu-
818 - HISTORY OF GREENE COUNTY.
tive mansion. A full sketch of his life will be found in the biographies of this township.
William Bragg, a celebrated hunter, lived on a survey where James Moon now resides.
The oldest living resident of this township is Aquilla Dorsey, who was born in Maryland, December 5, 1789. When in his ninth year, his parents moved to West Virginia, where they remained until his twenty-first year. Mr. Dorsey's father, Charles, served about three years in the revolutionary war. He remembers seeing President George Washington's troops during the " whisky insurrection" in western Pennsylvania. He participated in the war of 1812, and saw his captain, Arthur Thomas, killed by Indians, during a skirmish with a ' scouting party. From West Virginia the . family removed to Champaign County, Ohio, where they lived until 1820; thence removed to Shelby County. In 1824 the subject of this sketch came to this county, locating on the farm on which he now resides.. His father died in Champaign County, July 11, 1811; his mother in Shelby County, February 29, 1832. Though ninety-one, years old, Mr. Dorsey is yet quite active; while on a visit to his house, the writer discovered him chopping wood for exercise. Seven times has he crossed the Alleghany mountains on foot, and walked to Illinois from his present home. He loves to dwell on the recollections of the past, and says " it seems but yesterday since he attended school in Maryland."
Robert Stewart (above mentioned) built a house of hewed logs, in 1812, and occupied the same as a residence. At the outbreak of the war of 1812, he volunteered, and was detailed to do guard duty at Urbana, where he remained forty-two days.
Thus have we endeavored to trace the most prominent of the early settlements of Jefferson. The utter impossibility of noting each individual arrival from the township organization to the present time, is apparent to the reader: many of them have long since passed into everlasting sleep, others resided here temporarily and left for parts unknown. Had the pioneers kept a chronological record of all interesting events, our task would be an easy one; but in the absence of such record, we place our whole reliance on tradition, hence our inability to be complete in every particular.
We close our sketch of the early settlements, by submitting the names of the prominent settlers not already mentioned. These, with the descendants of the pioneers, and others which may have
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been accidentally omitted, constitute the original, active land owners of the township : To 1820, David L. Reaves, Andrew D. Hite; to 1830, Gilbert F. Bentley; to 1840, Cargel Chitty, Stephen Barber, William Shely ; to 1860, Daniel Early, William Johnston, John Brakefield, William H. Burr; since 1860, George Perrill, Simon L. Kline, Thomas Carpenter, Mathew F. Ross, Joseph Huffaker.
Much has been said in the preceding pages of this work concerning the trials of the pioneer, his various customs, and the many singular devices he invented to supply the machinery of to-day ; and it is necessary, only, to add that the pioneers of Jefferson were no exception. The settlers of this, as of other localities, were a poor but industrious people. The land consisted of one continual and almost impenetrable forest; in 1810 no tract of land contained more than ten acres under cultivation. They left their native soil and came to the wilds of Ohio, fully cognizant of the fact that upon their personal efforts depended all-not only their future prosperity, but the present maintenance of their families.
Numberless difficulties were encountered; wild beasts made continual warfare upon their domestic animals; trading points were reached at the cost of much time and exertion ; the pioneer was frequently lost when within but a short distance of his own door. It is stated that Herbert Hargrave was lost on his own farm, in broad daylight, on one occasion, while in search of stray hogs. He came to the sane fence three times during the day, but failed to recognize it.
For the convenience (if convenience it may be called) of the inhabitants, a "horse-mill" was put up on the present site of the cemetery. The advantages offered by this primitive flouring establishment were few, and ere long it was deserted, people preferring the mill of Jacoby and Snyder, at Oldtown, or the mills at Port Williams, Mad River, etc. There has never been any water or flouring mills, although several steam saw-mills are now in successful operation.
820 -HISTORY OF GREENE COUNTY.
In early days but little interest was taken in educational matters. During the pleasant summer months, all children of requisite age and strength engaged with their parents in preparing the lands for agricultural purposes. In the winter season, about three months were devoted to the education of the youth in the neighborhood. The first school was established at what is now known as Bowersville, in a little log cabin with a huge fire-place, puncheon floors, and greased-paper windows, just opposite the present residence of Nicholas Bowermaster, in the center of the present road, which was built in 1813, or 1814. John Mickle, a man of more than ordinary ability, was the first teacher. The text-books consisted of Webster's English Reader and Webster's Spelling Book. Mickle taught several winters, and was followed by Christopher Stewart. Some years after, the old cabin was abandoned, and a new building erected on the site of the Wilson saw-mill yard. David Reese was one of the first teachers of this ancient institution of learning.
A few years after the establishment of the Mickle school, another log was erected at Gunnerville, and Thomas Landers was appointed principal. He was a Methodist exhorter, and divided his time equally between his chosen professions. In 1821, Evan Harris took change of the school, and continued until 1824, when he received the appointment of instructor of` the school at Bowersville. Owing to the scarcity of money, the township did not act under the provisions of the "Common School Law" until several years after it went into effect. In the year 1860 there were six sub-districts, on perhaps three of which were good buildings. In 1864 the following levy was made for the maintenance of the schools
Building fund,. . $800
Contingent fund, . 225
Teachers' fund, 120
In the same year the necessary arrangements were made for the proper tuition of the colored youth. An additional district, consisting of portions of District No. 3 and District No. 1, of Caesar's Creek Township, was formed in 1866-7. Another district was erected in 1875, and $1,400 appropriated for the purchase of a site
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and erection of a school house in said district. A joint district, which included a portion of Jasper Township, was formed in 1876, and in 1879 the board contracted with John W. Johnson for the erection of a house in this district, at a cost of $950. Following is an abstract of the enumeration of youth between the ages of six and twenty-one, returned to the county auditor October 8, 1880:
CHART NOT SHOWN
Religion had been implanted deeply in the heart of the pioneer ere he left his old home. It formed a conspicuous part of the transactions, of each day, when be strove to earn a subsistence in the wilds of the great Northwest. A majority of the early settlers of Jefferson Township were of the Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, or Christian persuasions. The Methodists met at the various cabins and held. services, which were conducted by traveling preachers who chanced to come that way. The Baptists erected a log building, west of Steven Kline's present residence, which was familiarly known as the "Iron Jacket" meeting-house. A colored preacher, known by the pioneers as "Black Isaac," often came there to preach. The building was finally abandoned, and the so-
822 - HISTORY OF GREENE COUNTY.
ciety erected a new building on the line dividing this and Silver Creek Township, whose history is given in the sketch of the latter township.
In 1829, a Protestant Methodist camp-meeting was held at Port Williams, in Clinton County-the first in this section-which created a great interest among the people. Shortly after the close of these meetings, societies were formed in this and the surrounding counties. A church was built by the converts in this township, near the residence of John Ross, on the Jamestown road, which was afterward removed to Bowersville. The Christians (New Lights) met at the house of Thomas Hanghey, and afterward held services in a school house, near the "old mill-pond." The association was finally broken up, its members connecting themselves with the "Campbellites," or the Christian Church, at Jamestown: We have given an account of the introduction of the churches in this locality, and will now proceed to give a history of the present church organizations.
Bowersville Methodist Episcopal Church was organized at Hanghey's school house, about 1845, by Rev. Ebenezer Webster, with about twenty members. John S. Perkins, whose wife is yet a resident of Bowersville, was the first class leader. In 1851, the church was blessed with quite a revival; Revs. W. S: Smith and Joseph Blackburn officiating, and many embraced religion. It originally belonged to the New Burlington Circuit, but is now a part of the Sabina Circuit. The present building, a neat one-story frame, was erected about 1855. The society is now in a fair condition, and holds services every Sabbath.
The Bowersville (Christian) Campbellite Church.-This church was organized in the Protestant Methodist Church at Bowersville, November 23, 1851, by Revs. William Irvin, William Hayes, and R. B. Henry, the original membership being about forty. The society continued holding services in the Methodist Protestant building for a short time, when they erected the present building, a frame, 30x 40, the work being performed by R. A. Bowermaster, Esq. The membership increased steadily, reaching, at one time, one hundred, an unusually large number for the locality. The building was re- . modeled by Mr. Bowermaster, in 1874, and is now a neat and tidy looking edifice. Services are held each Sabbath, but no regular pastor is in charge. James M. King, Gilbert Bentley, and John Sparks, are the present elders. The number of members at present
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is ninety. A Sabbath-school was organized soon after the church society was formed; membership, forty; John Seers, superintendent, and Abbie Probasco, secretary.
The Protestant Methodist Church (Bowersville) was organized in June, 1851, by William Evans, at the Hanghey school house, the following being the names of the original members, so far as could be ascertained : James Hollingsworth, Evaline Hollingsworth, I. C. Stewart, Lucinda Stewart, Robert Stewart, Lucinda Stewart, Elias Vaneman, Eva Vaneman, Stephen Vaneman, Rebecca Jane Vaneman, Benjamin White, Elizabeth White, John White, Mary White, Christopher Stewart, Nancy Stewart, William Johnson, Margaret Johnson. In the fall of the same year, preparations were made for the erection of a house of worship, a frame, 28x36, which is still used by the organization, the society holding services in a dwelling house until the completion of this building. A number of ministers have been in charge. We mention the following : W. G. Fowler, Mark Ewing, James Littler, W. R. Read, Joshua Gidion, John J. Geer, John M. Young, P. F. Johnson, Thomas Ewing, William Sholtz, T. D. Howe, William Overholtz, Jason Hincle, and P. Barker, the present incumbent. There are at present about twenty-five members. Services are held every two Sabbaths of three. A Sabbath-school was organized in 1856, I. C. Stewart being the first superintendent, a position he occupies at the present time; present membership about fifty.
Odd-Fellows.-Otto Lodge No. 559, Bowersville, was organized September 23,1873, the following being the charter members: I. C. Stewart, D. D. Buckles, G. T. Bentley, Lewis Mayers, C. S. Perkins, Peter Burr, Thomas Donaldson, D. W. Carpenter, William M. Perkins, B. S. Stewart, N. Carpenter, G. M. Telphir, John W. Johnston, Robert Stewart, H. M. Hussey, Joseph Stewart, Henry Storey, John Jackson, M. W. Peelle, E. Hampton, William Brown, W. C. Burr, Jacob Johnston, C. H. Chitty, George Murrell. First officers: J. E. Stewart, noble grand; W. C. Burr, vice-grand; D. W. Carpenter, recording secretary ; W. M. Perkins, permanent secretary; H. M. Hussey, treasurer; G. T. Bentley, W.; D. D. Buckles, E. The lodge proceeded to erect a hall immediately after its organization, which is twenty feet in width and fifty in length, nicely carpeted
824 -HISTORY OF GREENE COUNTY.
and furnished, costing $1,000. The lodge is now out of debt, and is one of the most active in the vicinity, having a membership of fifty-nine. Present officers: Christopher Ellis, noble grand; Stephen Cline, vice-grand; Nathan Carpenter; secretary; H. C. Burr, permanent secretary ; Thomas Donaldson, John Jackson, and C. S. Perkins, finance committee.
Magnolia Lodge, No. 129, Daughters of Rebecca (Bowersville), was instituted August 17,1880, by Grand Secretary W. M. Chidsey. Officers for the first quarter : Ann M. Stewart, noble grand; Rachel Burr, vice-grand ; Mary E. Burr, secretary ; Arena Brown, treasurer; S. L. Cline, warden; B. H. Wolf, R.; Lucinda Stewart, I. S. G.
Patrons of Husbandry.-Pleasant Grange Lodge No. 28, was instituted March 21, 1873, by S. H. Ellis, state master, at the Bowersville school house. First officers: B. S. Stewart, master; L. E. Browder, secretary. There are at present seventeen members. Meetings are held at the residence of C. M. Haughey. B. S. Stewart, master; H. Storey, secretary.
Inasmuch as the original boundary of the township, and also the date of its organization, is given in the county history, we deem it unnecessary to dwell on the same in this sketch of Jefferson. We append a list of the officials for 1880:
Trustees, Thomas Smith, John Jackson, William Hite; clerk, J. S. Thomas; treasurer, G. L. Gerard; assessor, John Brown; justice of the peace, John Jackson, sr.; constables, A. J. Johnson, Elijah Ellis. A neat one-story brick building, in which the official business of the township is transacted, has been erected at Bowersville.
The township is crossed by one railroad, the Columbus, Washington and Cincinnati Narrow-Gauge, which is now finished, and in running order, from Allentown, in Fayette County, to New Burlington, in Clinton County, a distance of twenty miles. This part of the road is known as the "Grasshopper," and is doing quite a lively business, connecting, as it does, with the Dayton and Southeastern, another narrow-gauge. It will connect with the Cincinnati
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Northern at Waynesville, when completed. From Allentown to Mount Sterling, which is within twenty miles of Columbus, the grading is finished, and it is confidently expected that the line from Cincinnati to Columbus will soon be completed.
Jefferson furnished her quota of men, who went forth and offered their lives at their country's call. Her soldiers belonged to the various regiments, the history of which appears in another part of this work. We will not attempt to particularize ; it would simply be impossible to refer in detail to the services performed by each individual. That the coming generation may form some idea of the terrible sufferings to which some of the soldiers were subjected, we append the following prison experience of David Ervin, Esq., told the writer by Mr. Ervin. It was with much difficulty that he could be persuaded to relate these tales of prison life; "for," said he, "the story seems so exaggerated that no one will believe it." He says
"I was captured at the battle of Chickamauga, September 20,1863, by Bragg's command. I was then a sound, healthy man, of one hundred and fifty pounds in weight. During fourteen months of prison life, I never had food enough to satisfy the cravings of hunger no, not one-fourth enough ; at present I eat more in one day than was given me in a week then. While in ' Dixie's Prison,' we had a little soup made of black peas, which was frequently covered with bugs, parasites of the pea, swimming over the top of the bucket ; of this we received one pint per day to the man. It may have been seasoned with pork, but no one ever saw pork. Occasionally, we were regaled with two ounces of meat, so strong that a well fed dog would not have touched it. Of bread, we were given two ounces per day, and this constituted the daily bill of fare in prison, Virginia, in the capital of the boasted chivalry of the south.
"At Danville prison, we fared no better than at Richmond ; here we spent what is known as the Todd new-year's, without coats, some without shoes, one thin blanket to three men and without fire. This was only a foretaste of the bliss (?) yet in store. The culminating point of the good things the confederacy had reserved for us was reached at Andersonville, Georgia. If the rebels could not
826 - HISTORY OF GREENE COUNTY.
conquer the hated Yank, they could at least starve him to death which was a surer, if not as manly a method of depriving him of his life. Our daily bill of fare, consisted of two ounces of corn-bread bran without any seasoning; we either got soup or with our meat. I often wondered if the meat they served to us, was not some Noah prepared for his family on their journey on the world. They must have a race of hogs there, noted for longevity and the staying qualities of their meat. The dead house was made of brush, and there was hauled away daily, one or more wagon-loads of the dead martyrs of freedom, victims of starvation at the hands of their boasted chivalry-God save the name. From one hundred and eighty to one hundred and ninety deaths occurred each day, and the bodies of the deceased were hauled off an common board racks drawn by four mules, the dead being laid on cross-wise so long as a man would lay on. Whether the chivalry took the trouble to bury all of them or not I do not know.
"I saw men shot there for crossing the dead line, when they were bereft of reason by starvation. A report was current in the prison, that the guards were offered thirty clays furlough for shooting prisoners, a chivalrous (?) method of fighting ; this was their idea of civilized warfare. Once saw a prisoner shot fifty yards inside of the dead line, who was camly smoking his pipe, doing nothing contrary to the regulations of the prison. Our stockade was on the little stream of water running from the camp of our guards through our prison ; they used it as a cess pool, and the filth of their camp was conveyed to us; green flies and maggots were thick on the banks of that blissful stream which furnished us water until we dug wells. The tents in which they slept, in the prison yard, were made of canvass, stretched over perpendicular poles stuck in the ground or sand; the latter was so full of 'gray-backs' as to make it appear alive. The bodies of the prisoners were covered with wounds, caused by being bitten by the vermin."
Bowersville, the only village in the township, is situated in its central part, about fifteen miles from Xenia, five miles east of Jamestown, on the line of the Columbus, Washington and Cincinnati Railroad, and contains about three hundred inhabitants.
The land on which the village is located, was originally owned
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by Christopher Hussey, whose widow still resides on a portion of the tract from which the village site was taken. The town was laid out, in 1848, by Samuel Owens, who named it in honor of the first resident, Peter Bowermaster, a sketch of whose life may be of interest. He was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, in 1787, and was married to Hannah Croslyn of Maryland, who was born June 15, 1795. In 1839, the family (several children had been born,) left Pennsylvania and came to Ohio. They engaged passage at a point then called Corkstown, on a flat boat bound for New Orleans, and loaded with coal, bacon and flour; in the absence of a. cook, Mrs. Bowermaster filled the position until the boat arrived at Cincinnati, when the family landed. They first settled near Wilmington, in Clinton County, then removed near Jamestown in this county, and in the spring of 1843, removed to the present site of Bowersville, in a log then owned by Benjamin Vandeman, where now stands the residence of Calvin Vaneman. In the summer of this year, his son, Reason A., erected a small log cabin on the lot now owned by Peter Burr, took unto himself a wife, and at the completion of the cabin removed therein. The next house was built by Peter Bowermaster, on the site now occupied by Simon Gerard's two story frame, in the following year.
After the town was surveyed (on which occasion Reason A. Bowermaster acted as one of the chain carriers), the lots were sold by Christopher Hussey, at from forty to sixty dollars each. The Hussey's and Stewart's were the next settlers in the village, which gradually assumed more extensive proportions. The first store was probably opened by Albert Bryant, who kept a. small stock of goods in the log house now occupied by L. H. Starbuck as a residence, which stood at that time just opposite the present hotel building. Samuel Ockhart and John White were the next venturers in the mercantile business. I. C. Stewart erected and operated the first blacksmith shop, Strong, the second. Wagon-making was carried on by Lemuel Cottrell. R. A. Bowermaster erected a wheelwright and chair-shop on the lot now occupied by David Carpenter's store building, and engaged in manufacturing wheels, chairs, tables, etc.
Peter Bowermaster made application for the position of postmaster, December 23, 1847, and received his commission February
828 - HISTORY OF GREENE COUNTY.
12, 1848, at which time the Bowersville postoffice was established. Mail was carried from Sabina, via. Bowersville, to Jamestown once each week, by Christopher H. Stewart, who traveled on horseback. At the death of Bowermaster, his son, Reason A., applied for an appointment to the vacated office, and received his commission December 12, 1859. John Haughey, Christopher H. Stewart, and
Lockart, have held the office at various times At the completion of the railroad to this place, arrangements were made for the transportation of the mail once each day. It is also brought from Reeseville thrice each week by carrier. R. H. Wolf is the present postmaster.
North of Bowersville is a primitive cemetery, laid off in 1812. In it the remains of Christopher H. Hussey, the pioneer of the township, repose; his body was the second buried there. Many of the old settlers he in this burying ground. There is another cemetery which was laid out at a more recent date. Both may truly be called" beautiful cities of the dead."
CHURCHES AND SOCIETIES.
Religiously the village is represented by three churches, the Protestant Methodists, Methodist Episcopal, and Campbellite, all boasting of a strong membership. There are two secret societies, Otto Lodge, No. 559, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and Magnolia Lodge, No 129, Sisters of Rebecca. These various organizations are mentioned at length in the township history. A literary society, having for its object the mental improvement of its members, meets at the school house every Monday evening.
The village is embraced in sub-district number two, the present building being a successor of the first school house erected within the limits of the township. It was erected in 1866, and consisted of, one-story containing one room. In 1876, another story was added; the building is now thirty feet wide and fifty feet long, contains three rooms, two down stairs and one above. The secondary
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grade is in charge of Mr. J. S. Thomas, assisted by Mrs. Lizzie Thomas, the number of scholars enrolled being seventy-three; the principal department has an enrollment of forty; D. F. Donaldson is principal of this room. The school is in session nine months each year.
THE BOWERSVILLE SAW-MILL.
Aside from the "old corn-cracker" and an occasional portable saw-mill, no manufacturing institutions of any kind ever had an existence in Jefferson township until about the year 1845, when a steam saw-mill was erected on a part of the land now embraced in the village of Bowersville, by Christopher Hussey and Joseph Smith. This mill was the only one in this part of the country, and was fitted up with a so-called sash-upright saw. At the expiration of four years it was sold to Christopher, jr., and Elijah Hussey, who paid $2,200 for the mill and thirty-six acres of timbered land surrounding the same. Under their management an enormous amount of timber was sawed and used in the erection of houses and construction of fences ; considerable timber was also hauled to Xenia by wagon. After operating the establishment about five years, they sold it to J. C. Irvin and Andrew Jackson, who paid $2,100 for the building, machinery, and three-fourths of an acre of ground. After this time it passed through various hands, until 1876, when it was purchased by Charles Wilson, the present owner, who has disposed of the old machinery, and replaced it with a circular saw, and added other modern improvements. A corn-cracker was attached by the original owners, and to this day Saturday is usually devoted to the grinding of corn. There is at present a portable mill in another part of the village, which is owned by Stephen Hussey and Albert White. Within the last years much ash and walnut have been sawed and shipped via. Columbus, Washington and Cincinnati Railway.
THE BUSINESS INTERESTS
Of the village are represented as follows : Groceries and notions, R. H. Wolfe, L. H. Starbrook, G. L. Gerard & Son; dry goods, Thomas Donaldson, D. W. Carpenter; hardware, L. H. Starbrook, G. L. Gerard & Son; undertaking, D. W. Carpenter, R. A. Bower-
830 - HISTORY OF GREENE COUNTY.
master; blacksmithing, I. C. Stewart & Co.; carriage and wagon making, Johnson & Bentley ; drugs, A. F. Plummer; saw-mills, Hussey & White, C. M. Wilson; dressmaking and hairdressing, Mrs. M. E. Burr, Mrs. N. Stewart; physicians, F. W. Rose, J. M. Hussey; attorneys, C. S. Perkins, T. P. Browder.