881 - HISTORY OF GREENE COUNTY
NEW JASPER TOWNSHIP.
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The general description of this township, together with the date of organization, etc., are given in the county history : a repetition is deemed unnecessary. The township was uninhabited, except by hunters and an occasional tribe of wandering Indians, until the year 1812, at which time a constant stream of humanity was bidding adieu to Virginia soil, that they might seek homes in the great northwest, particularly in the state of Ohio, then in its infancy. The natives of Kentucky, particularly those of proslavery proclivities left the state in large numbers, determined to reap a portion of the harvest which awaited those who had the hardihood to meet the requirements of the new state. Not a few of these found homes in this portion of the county of Greene.
William G. Sutton, a Kentuckian, came to this township, in 1812, and was the first white man who settled within its borders. He was accompanied by his fancily, and located on the tract now owned by the heirs of Jacob Sutton, deceased. But a short time after the arrival of Sutton, Elijah Bales, and his sons, John, Jacob, Elijah and Jonathan with their families, left Tennessee and came here, settling on lands just east of the Suttons.
In 1813, John Shook, his family and two brothers, David and Harmonia, Virginians by birth, became residents of this locality. Most of their descendants have removed to western states. Catherine intermarried with William Dean, being the oldest citizen now residing in the township.
Daniel Dean cane, at or about, the same time as the Shooks, and settled on the farm now occupied by his grandson, William Dean.
Phillip Spahr and his family, were the next prominent settlers. They arrived December, 1814, and located in the immediate vicinity of the farm now owned by William Spahr. The descendants are well and favorably known throughout the county.
The years intervening between 1814 and 1820, witnessed the arrival of Leonard Hagle, of Virginia, Jacob Smith, William Long,
882 - HISTORY OF GREENE COUNTY.
the Clines, Coffers, and a number of others. Comparatively, but few have arrived since that period, the township being inhabited by the posterity of the early pioneers.
The land was embraced in the military survey, and sold by James Galloway and William Spieler. A Kentuckian, named Coleman sold the tax-rights of land to the unsuspecting settlers, many of which were fraudulent, and the pioneers were compelled to purchase their property the second time.
One Pendry, obtained possession of the farm now owned by William Long, by purchasing so-called tax-right. After he had occupied the premises several years, they were re-sold by Galloway. Pendry being in reduced circumstances, was unable to buy, and the property fell into the hands of Long. Galloway rewarded Pendry for the services he had rendered in placing a portion of the farm in a state of cultivation, by presenting him with a one hundred acre tract, located in another portion of the county.
The settlers upon arriving at their destination, saw before them a dense forest, which covered a vast domain. Many of the trees were clog and iron wood, and very tough, and the process of clearing, was therefore attended with difficulty. The Virginians crossed the Ohio River, and came here by teams by the way of Chillicothe. Owing to the scarcity of roads, and a prevalence of almost impenetrable forests, travel was slow and tedious, and frequently the trip from ChillicotHe here, was of five weeks duration. Land purchased then, at prices ranging from two dollars and fifty cents to ten dollars per acre; is now worth from fifty dollars to one hundred dollars.
There were in early times no facilities within the boundaries of the township for the grinding of grain, in consequence of which the people were compelled to go quite a distance in order to convert their wheat into flour. There was at one tine a corn-crusher and saw-mill, a small and unpretentious affair, propelled by waterpower. This power has gradually decreased, and at present there is but one saw-mill, which is in operation a short time each year.
The educational facilities were equally insufficient. A rude log cabin- served as the " college of learning," and the teacher was scarcely able to read and write. They were of a private character,
NEW JASPER TOWNSHIP. - 883
and supported by subscription. The first school met in a cabin located on the land now in the possession of Samuel. Cooper. It was taught by Shields, in 1816. The next school was held in a cabin. on the Long farm, and conducted by David Bell. At the adoption of the common school law, a new impetus was given the educational interests, which advanced steadily. The township now boasts of four substantial buildings, where the youth are well and carefully instructed.
The religious cause entered with the first settlers, and has long since obtained a strong foothold. About 1820 the Methodists organized a society at the house of one Bone, where meetings were held for some time. They were next held at the residence of Philip Spahr, where was erected the first meeting-house, which was constructed of logs. This answered the purpose for which it was designed for a number of years, and was then supplanted by a small , brick structure. In 1852, a brick building, 30x40, was erected at the village of New Jasper, which is still used as a place of worship. Services are held on each alternate Sabbath. Following is a partial list of ministers who have conducted the regular services of the church : Sayles, John Strange, Taylor, Moses Trader, Clark, Collett, Wilson McDaniel, Jeremiah Ellsberry, John Black, Tibbetts, and Griffith, present incumbent. The church consists of about fifteen members. A number of persons who reside within the township, but are members of other religious denominations, attend worship in various surrounding townships.
The following is a list of justices of the peace who have held that position from the township's organization to the present: John Bales, who held office sixteen years. John Fudge was his successor; served fifteen years, and was succeeded by John Lucas, who resigned at the expiration of one year. About twenty years ago, Christopher Fudge, the present incumbent, was elected.
The following are the township officials: Trustees, John Fudge, William Bullock, Steele Deane; clerk, J. Creighton Harness; treasurer, Cyrus Brown; assessor, James Brown.
884 - HISTORY OF GREENE COUNTY.
New Jasper, the only village, is located in the center of the township, and contains about fifty houses. It was at one time a thriving business center, but has retrograded greatly on account of being off the railroad.
The town was laid off some fifty years ago, by one Slagle, and was the trading point for the surrounding country. Politically the township is Republican. At the spring election of 1880, about two hundred and fifty votes were polled, only one-third of which were Democratic. Twenty-five of the whole number of votes cast were colored.