AT a session held in March, 1840, a petition signed by Jacob Rosenberg, then sheriff of Hancock County, and others, was presented to the board of commissioners asking for the erection of a new township from parts of Eagle, Jackson, Van Buren and Delaware Townships, to be named Madison; but a remonstrance signed by Benjamin Sparr, John W. Williams, Sylvester Bell and many other citizens of that section of the county was filed against the proposed measure, and the prayer of the petitioners was denied. On the 1st of June, 1840, another petition was presented to the board signed by John W. Williams, Robert Hurd and others, praying that a township named Madison be formed from territory then embraced in Delaware and Van Buren, which was accordingly done, twelve sections being taken from each township in the erection of the new subdivision. The west half of Madison is in Township 2 south, Range 10, and the east half in Township 2 south, Range 11, the Bellefontaine road being the dividing line between the two ranges.

Madison Township was named in honor of James Madison, fourth President of the United States. It lies in the southern range of subdivisions, with Hardin County on the south, Van Buren Township on the west, Eagle and Jackson on the north, and Delaware on the east. It embraces twenty-four sections, or an area of 15,360 acres. In 1850 it contained 66 7 inhabitants; 1860, 844; 1870, 967, and 1880, 1,232.

The surface is generally level in the north part of the township, but slightly elevated, and rolling in the southern part, with a gradual descent from south to north, the natural drainage being all in that direction. The East Branch of Eagle Creek, rising in Hog Creek Marsh, strikes the south line of the township on Section 31, and taking a northwest course unites with the West Branch, near the southwest corner of Section 14. The West Branch flows in from Van Buren Township across the northwest quarter of Section 23, and, after uniting with the East Branch, the combined stream meanders northward along the west line of the township, passes into Eagle Township, near the northeast corner of Section 2, and thence northward to the Blanchard at Findlay. The southeast corner of the township is drained by Flat Branch, a sluggish tributary of the East Branch of Eagle Creek, into which it empties on the northeast quarter of Section 23. Buck Run heads in the east center of the township, and winding northwestward through Arlington strikes Eagle Creek near the line between Sections 1


and 2. The head of Lye Creek is located in the northeast corner of the township, whence it passes into Jackson. 'Thus it will be seen that Madison Township is well watered, and favored with good natural drainage.

This portion of the county was originally very heavily timbered, every species indigenous to the soil being found here in great abundance. But most of the more valuable kinds have disappeared, though much good timber yet remains. A rich vegetable loam, with a yellow and black clay subsoil, predominates, but in the bottoms along the streams the lands are usually composed of alluvial deposits. The upper strata on the flat or wet lands have been formed fiom the accumulations of decayed vegetation, and is a rich, black, sandy loam. Judicious drainage and tiling have rendered these wet lands very valuable.

Milk-sickness, or "trembles," was very prevalent in this part of the county during the earlier years of its settlement, and was much dreaded by the pioneers. Good medical authorities say that the disease came from the cattle eating a poisonous plant, which grew in moist places, such as white snakeroot and three-leafed poisonous ivy; while many intelligent farmers con tend that the water contained the poisonous substance. Many deaths occurred from this disease before the physicians then practicing knew sufficient about it to overcome its deadly effects. Milk-sickness has not altogether disappeared from Hancock County, though it is now very rarely seen.

Pioneers. - The first settler of Madison Township was Simeon Ransbottom, a native of Virginia. He left home when but twelve years old, be cause of his father's severity, and in 1812 joined Hull's army. He served throughout the war of 1812, and at its close settled in Logan County, Ohio, where he married Rebecca Tullis, a native of Ireland, who bore him seven children, two of whom are living in Allen County, and one in Dunkirk, Hardin County, the latter, Amelia, being the widow of Henry Helms, of Madison Township. In the fall of 1825 Mr. Ransbottom and family left Logan County, and "squatted" on the bank of Eagle Creek, in Section 23, subsequently removing to the north half of the west half of the southwest quarter of Section 11. He afterward sold this to John Diller, and in 1836 bought the farm of Jacob Bolenbaugh on Section 14, where he resided till his death, October 5, 1851. Mr. Ransbottom was twice married, his second wife being Mrs. William J. Greer, nee Miss Rosannah Elder, who bore him six children, only two now living, one of whom, Jasper, resides in Dunkirk, and the other, Mrs. Catherine Elms, in Findlay. His widow survived him many years, and became the wife of Joseph Helms. Mr. Ransbottom was one of the seventy-four electors who voted at the first county election in April, 1828; and was also prominent in the organization of one of the first Methodist Protestant Churches in the southern part of the county.

Abel Tanner was the second settler of the township, locating in the northwest quarter of Section 23, on Eagle Creek, close to the cabin of Simeon Ransbottom, in February, 1826. Mr. William Tanner, of Dunkirk, a son of Abel, says: "My parents, Abel and Polly (Kinion) Tanner, were natives of Rhode Island, and with their family immigrated to Darby Plains, Madison Co:, Ohio, in 1820. In 1823 we left Darby Plains, and traveling northwestward finally halted on `Lynn Ridge,' about three miles southwest of Fort McArthur, in Hardin County. Here we built a cabin and began the work of opening a farm, but after remaining on Lynn Ridge till


February, 1826, we left our improvement and settled on Eagle Creek in the northwest quarter of Section 23, Madison Township, Hancock Co., Ohio. We were squatters,' and Simeon Ransbottom had `squatted' on the same quarter the previous fall, and the Ransbottoms were living there when we arrived. My father afterward entered this land, and Ransbottom settled farther down the creek on Suction 11. I was born in 1819, and therefore was in my seventh year when we left Lynn Ridge and took up our abode on Eagle Creek; but I remember the time and circumstances of that settlement as vividly as if it occurred only a year ago. William McCloud and family were then living in one of the block-houses at Fort McArthur, and his sons, William and Robert, often visited our cabin before and after our removal to Hancock County." Two or three years after the Tanners left Lynn Ridge, John Canaan took possession of their vacated improvement, which is now in Lynn Township, Hardin County. Mr. Tanner voted at the first county election in April. 1828, and in February, 1833, died upon his farm in this township, his widow dying the following year. Of his children, Mrs. Emeline Tullis, widow of John Tullis, resides in Forest, and William in Dunkirk, Hardin County, and Mrs. Adam Steinman in Van Buren Township, immediately west of the old homestead. The first Methodist Episcopal class in the township was organized at his horse• and the first schoolhouse in this local ity was built and opened on his farm. Mr. Tanner brought the first stock of dry goods to Findlay, which he took to the house of John P. Hamilton, who then lived up the Blanchard from the village, and got him to sell the goods to the settlers. There was but a very small assortment, yet heartily welcomed by the few families then residing in Hancock County.

Abner Hill and his wife and step-daughter were the next family who came to Madison Township. They located on Section 23, close to the west line of the township, in the winter of 1826-21, and there resided until the spring of 1835, when Hill broke into Carlin's store at Findlay, for which deed he was arrested, tried, and, on April 14, 1835, sentenced to the penitentiary for three years. It is claimed that he was the first person sent to the penitentiary from Hancock County. His family removed from the county and never returned.

John Tullis, a brother-in-law of Simeon Ransbottom, came from Bellefontaine, Logan Co. , Ohio, in 1827, and for some time lived with Mr. Ransbottom. Bellefontaine was laid out on a part of his father's land in 1820. In April, 1828, he took part in the first county election. He began a clearing on the south half of the west half of the southwest quarter of Section 11., and upon his marriage with Miss Emeline, daughter of Abel Tanner, settled permanently upon his land. In the spring of 1835 he sold this forty-acre property to John Smith and removed to Van Buren Township. Mr. Tullis and family finally went to Missouri, where he died in 1871. His family returned to Ohio and settled in Dunkirk, and his widow is now living in Forest. One of his daughters, Mrs. Harriet Holmes, is a resident of Arlington. His brother, Griffin Tullis, came to the township two or three years after him, but remained only a brief period.

Thomas Ransbottom and John Diller located on Eagle Creek in 1828. The former settled near his brother Simeon, and after some four or five years' residence he removed to Allen County, Ohio. Diller and his wife, Catherine, were natives of Pennsylvania, but came here from New York, and purchased the improvement of Simeon Ransbottom on the west bank of


Eagle Creek in Section 11. He opened the first tavern in this part of the county, the buildings being two small log-cabins bearing the title of "The Cross Keys." This point afterward became locally known as "Waterloo," on account of the moral slaughter caused by a low grog-shop which stood here for many years. In May, 1833, Mr. Diner entered the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 10, Van Buren Township, adjoining his previous purchase on the west. About this time his wife died, leaving three small boys, who, with their father, went to live with Simeon Ransbottom. On the 29th of May, 1833, he sold out to William Moreland, and removed from the county a few years afterward.

In 1829 Aaron Kinion, Nathaniel Hill and James West all settled on Section 23. Kinion was a brother of Mrs. Abel Tanner, and with his family came from Rhode Island to Eagle Creek, afterward removing to Champaign County, Ohio. Hill, who was a widower, preceded his father-in-law, James West, to this township. Both died on the east half of the northeast quarter of Section 23, entered by West in 1831.

The years 1830 and 1831 brought in John Longwith, Jacob Helms, Jacob Bolenbaugh, William Moreland, Jr., and Nathan Lewis. Mr. Longwith entered the east half of the northeast quarter of Section 5, May 5, 1830, and the following August settled upon it. He was born in Virginia, whence he removed to Pickaway County, Ohio, there married Sarah Cherry, and at the time mentioned took up his abode in the northeast corner of what is now Madison Township. Here his wife died several years ago, and in October, 1884, he, too, passed away. Their daughter, Harriet, now lives upon the home farm.

Jacob and Elizabeth Helms, natives of Pennsylvania, located on the northeast quarter of Section 2, in the fall of 1830. Their sons were John, Samuel, Jacob, Joseph, Henry and David, all of whom are well remembered in this locality. Mr. Helms accumulated sufficient property to give each son a nice farm. Both he and his wife died and were buried on the old homestead, where Levi, the son of Henry, now resides.

Jacob Bolenbaugh came in the spring of 1830, and in 1833 was elected justice of Van Buren Township, which then embraced the west half of Madison. He settled on Eagle Creek, on the east half of the northwest quarter of Section 14, but June 30, 1836, he sold his farm to Simeon Ransbottom. He had, however, removed to Union County the previous year. It is related that Bolenbaugh's reason for leaving was because of his dislike for the large number of Germans who were then entering land around him. If this story is correct, it was very fortunate for the township to get rid of such a man so easily.

William Moreland, Jr., removed from Findlay to this township in the spring of 1831, and in June of that year was elected the first justice of Van Buren township. In 1833 he purchased the improvement of John Diller, but in 1834 or 1835 moved back into Findlay Township, in the chapter on which township a more extended notice of the family will be found.

Nathan Lewis was one of those pioneers who lived by hunting. He squatted on Section 23, and is not believed to have ever owned any land in this locality.

Daniel and Elizabeth Rodabaugh, with their sons John, Abraham, Simon,, Daniel, Jacob and Jonas, and three daughters, came from Columbiana County, Ohio, in April, 1832, and settled on Section 25, where Simon




now lives. The parents and all of the children, except the two youngest, were born in Pennsylvania. Daniel and his wife died on the old homestead, and Abraham, Simon and Jonas, of this township, are the only survivors of the family.

Abraham Myers, wife and three step-sons, John, Jacob and Isaac Bushong, also John Musser, came with the Rodabaughs. Myers settled on the southwest quarter of Section 3U, and Jacob and Isaac Bushong lived with him. John Bushong and his wife, Anna, settled and died on Section 38, where their son, Simon, now lives. Isaac, who resides on Section 32, is the only one of the old stock living. The Bushongs were born in Virginia. Musser, a native of Pennsylvania, settled on the northwest quarter of Section 25, now owned by Simon Rodabaugh. His son, Jacob, resides southwest of the old farm.

Christian and Catherine Welty came from Perry County, Ohio, in 1833 or 1834, and for three weeks the family camped in the woods, while the rude log-cabin was being prepared for their occupancy. Mr. Welty's land was in Section 36, adjoining Williamstown on the west and south. In 1836 he was elected justice of the peace of Van Buren Township, to which subdivision he then belonged, and re-elected to the same office. Upon the establishment of a postoffice at Williamstown in 1835, Mr. Welty was appointed postmaster, and afterward opened a store in the village. He was a preacher in the Disciples Church, and both he and his wife died on the home place, where one of his sons yet resides.

In 1834 Robert Hurd entered several tracts of land in the north part of the township on Suctions 1, 6 and 7. He was a native of East Haddam, Conn., born March 16, 1785. In 1820 he came out to Portage County, Ohio, as agent for Aaron and Moses Wilcox, original proprietors of Twinsburg Township, taken from Portage in the erection of Summit County in 1840. The Wilcox brothers were twins, from which circumstance Twinsburg derived its name. Mr. Herd was married in Killingsworth, Middlesex Co. , Conn. , in 1807, to Miss Mary Brainerd, a native of that State, who bore him fourteen children, twelve of whom grew to maturity, and ten are now living. In the fall of 1834 two of the sons, William B. and Lorenzo, and a son-in-law, Joseph Fitch, located in this township, and built a cabin on the site of Arlington. Here they remained clearing up their land till April, 18 1839, when their brothers, Anson and Jared Hurd, joined the settlement built a cabin close to the first one erected, and the following September the father and balance of the family came out, and took possession of the second residence, where his wife died in September 1842. In 1844 Robert laid out the village of Arlington. In 1859 he was elected justice of the peace, and died in February 1861. Of their children, two sons reside in Findlay, and one daughter in Arlington. Dr. Anson Hurd, a leading physician of Findlay. is the best known of the family.

Adam Essinger, Martin Funk and Napoleon B. Martz all came to the township in 1834. Mr. Essinger and his wife, Catherine, emigrated from Germany to Pennsylvania in 1832, thence removed to Hancock County, with the families of his brother, Nicholas, Adam Gossman and Peter Pifer in the fall of 1834, locating on Section 14, Madison Township, where he soon afterward died. His widow and three children are residents of the township. Martin Funk and family were from Pennsylvania. He settled on Section 11, on the east bank of Eagle Creek, where he erected a grist-mill in 1838. He


ran this mill for a number of years, and it was subsequently operated by his son, John. Mr. Funk and wife and some of the children finally went to Michigan, but he came back on a visit and died at the house of Richard Sims. Mr. Martz was born in Virginia, and came here a single man, subsequently marrying Mrs. Hannah Nichols, nee Woodruff. He served one term as justice of the peace, and resided here until 1874, when he and his wife removed to Illinois, where both are still living. Their son, Dorillas, resides upon the old homestead in Section 14.

John W. Williams was born in Maryland, April 20, 1800, and came of Revolutionary stock. The family removed to Tuscarawas County, Ohio, at an early day, where Mr. Williams remained till the fall of 1833, when, taking his wife and family in a wagon, he started West, arriving at Kenton, the newly laid out county seat of Hardin County, in the early part of October. At the first public sale Mr. Williams purchased several choice lots facing the square, then covered with the original forest, upon one of which he erected a large, two-storied, hewed-log building, and immediately opened a tavern " for the convenience of man and beast." He also kept a small store in one corner of the bar-room, his trade being principally powder, lead and flints. The sessions of the court of common pleas were held in this tavern until the completion of the Court House. Mr. Williams had the contract for the erection of that building, which he finished in 1835. He dealt extensively in peltry, handling thousands of skins in 1834 and 1835. His son, J. W. F. Williams, of Washington, D. C., writes as follows about his father's removal to Hancock County: "It being reported and believed that the Mad River & Lake Erie Railroad would locate its line six miles east of Kenton, and the county seat be moved to a place known as `Wheeler's,' he sold all of his property, had the town site of Williamstown surveyed, and moved there in the winter of 1835-36." Though the move proved a bad one, Mr. Williams soon became a prominent factor in the southern part of Hancock. He opened a tavern and store, and was the second postmaster of the village, which position he filled many years. In 1846 he was elected justice of the peace, and re-elected nine times in succession, his death occurring September 23, 1873, while filling his last term. A modest headstone marks his grave in the little cemetery near the village which perpetuates his name.

During 1835 Abraham Williams, John Smith, Nicholas Price and Andrew Ricketts, with their families, settled in the township. Williams built his cabin in the northeast quarter of Section 11, in March, 1835. He and his wife, Mary Ann, were from Pennsylvania. She died here and he afterward went to Nebraska. John Smith, a German, came here from Jefferson County, Ohio, in the spring of 183. He purchased the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 11, of John Tullis, and took up his residence in the Tullis cabin. He died at the home of his son, Peter, in Van Buren Township. Nicholas and Elizabeth Price, natives of Germany, settled on Section 14, near the west line of the township, in the fall of 1835. They were the parents of nine children, and both died upon the old homestead. Four of their sons reside in this county: George in Van Buren Township, Nicholas E. and Philip in Madison, and Peter in Findlay. Andrew and Mary Ricketts came from Fairfield County, Ohio, is November, 1835, and settled west of Eagle Creek, on the east half of the southwest quarter of Section 2. In 1837 he was elected justice of the


peace of Van Buren Township, in which subdivision his home was then included, and served one term. In 1841 he was elected county commissioner, which position he also filled one term. Mr. Ricketts accumulated a comfortable property, and died in October, 1865. The family subsequently removed to Findlay, where his widow is now living.

The next few years brought in a large number of settlers, among the first of whom we find Alexander Grant, George Kibler, Richard Sims (now of Arlington), Solomon Watkins, William Hodge, John Spacht and others. But the brunt of the struggle was now past, and these later comers found friends ready to assist them in the work of opening homes in the forest then covering the land.

Justices.-As this township was not erected till 1840, some of its pioneers served as justices of Van Buren prior to that date, and their names will be found in the list of that township. The justices of Madison have been as follows: Solomon Watkins, Joseph Leslie, Thomas Reese, Napoleon B. Martz, John W. Williams, Joel Markle, L. P. Wing, Robert Hurd, David Wardwell, L. D. Wiseman, Philip P. Wilch, Peter Wilch, Ezra Longworth, J. C. Clingerman, James Huff, Thomas H. Bushong, Dorillas Martz and Ellis Clingerman. The last mentioned and James Huff are the present incumbents of the office.

Grist-mills.-The first grist-mill was built in 1838 by Martin Funk on the northeast bank of Eagle Creek in Section 11. It was operated by water power supplied by a race cut across the bend in the creek. This mill, like all those erected at an early day, was of great value to the pioneers. About ten years ago it ceased operations, and in the summer of 1885 was torn down and the frame removed by Peter Traucht to Arlington, where it was used in the construction of the steam grist-mill in that village, which is now in running order and the only flouring-mill in the township.

Schools. -A small log schoolhouse was built about 1833-34 on the farm of Abel Tanner in Section 23. It was taught by Charles Herron, and the few families then living in that locality sent their children to this school. It was the first attempt at education in this part of the county. The next schoolhouse was pelt up on the farm of John Diller, in Section 11, as early as 1838. The Ransbottoms, Funks, Watkinses, Prices, Gossmans, Pifers,. Heldmans, Smiths and others attended here. In 1840 a school was taught by Miss Harriet Fitch, in a log-cabin on the site of Arlington. Miss Jane Bigelow, was the second teacher of this school. About 1841 a small round-log schoolhouse was built in Williamstown-the first in the south part of the township. Other houses soon made their appearance, until in a few years. every portion of the township had a school for the education of its youth. Madison has now eight schoolhouses, that in Arlington containing two rooms, and no child, rich or poor, need grow up without such educational advantages as the public schools afford.

Religious Societies.-A class of the Methodist Episcopal denomination was organized by Rev. Thomas Thompson, about 1830, at the house of Abel Tanner, the Tanners and Kinions being its only members. Services. were held at intervals at private houses and schoolhouses, but in 1858 this denomination erected a frame building in Arlington, which is yet in use. The Methodist Protestant Church organized a society about 1833, in what is now Van Buren Township, though some of its members lived in Madison. About 1854-55 they erected Mount Moriah Church on Section 22, Van


Buren Township, and also one in Arlington soon after the Methodist Episcopal denomination built theirs. The Arlington Church is the only building owned by the Methodist Protestants in this township; while the Methodist Episcopals have another society and church at Williamstown. The Disciples have a church at the latter village, Arlington and Williamstown each containing two churches. Other denominations have held services in the township, yet none but those mentioned have ever had an organized society, except perhaps the German Baptists, who, as early as 1835-36, held meetings in the Rodabaugh settlement, and may have effected an organization, though they never had any house of worship in Madison.

Villages.-Williamstown was laid out by John W. Williams April 23, 1834, on the northeast corner of Section 36 and the northwest corner of Section 31, thirteen miles directly south of Findlay, and originally contained forty-eight lots. The Bellefontaine road had been surveyed and partly opened, but there was only a rude wagon track through this township when Williamstown was surveyed. In 1835 Mr. Williams erected a log building, and late that year removed from Kenton and opened a tavern in the forest then covering the site of his village. The same year a postoffice named "Eagle" was established here, and Christian Welty appointed postmaster, who also opened a store about 1837. Mr. Welty's successors in the postoffice have been as follows: John W. Williams, Dr. B. D. Evans, John B. De Haven and Dr. B. D. Evans. In 1866 the name of the office was changed to Williamstown. The first resident physician was Dr. Smith, but Dr. John F. Perky, who came afterward, is much better remembered, as he practiced here many years ere his removal to Findlay. The village has never had much prosperity and wears a general appearance of decay. Dunkirk on the south and Arlington on the north are fast sapping whatever business life it now contains. Its population in 1880 was 128. and its pres ent business interests embrace one general grocery store, one drug store, a steam saw, shingle and lath-mill, a wagon shop, two blacksmith shops, a shoe shop and three physicians. The Methodist Episcopal and Disciples denominations have each a church in the village, and a school is also located here.

West Union was laid out by Andrew Sheller in the southeast corner of Section 36, December 25, 1834, but no buildings were ever erected on the site.

Arlington lies nine miles south of Findlay, on the Bellefontaine State road, and was laid out by Robert Hurd, in November. 1844, in the southeast corner of Section 1 and the southwest corner of Section 6, lying on each side of the State road. Several additions have since been made to the original town. In 1846 Dr. Belizur Beach erected a brick hotel. and the following year the store-room now occupied by Richard Sims. He opened the hotel himself, but rented the other building to Truman Parker and Lorenzo P. Wing, who, under the firm name of Parker & Wing, opened a general store. After about a year Dr. Beach and Joel Markle bought out Parker & Wing, carried on the business till 1855, and were then succeeded by Thomas Stark, a son-in-law of Robert Hurd. Lovell Parker opened a blacksmith shop in 1846, and Edwin B. Vail was the first brick-mason of the village. Drs. Beach and W. K. Drake were the earliest resident physicians. In 1846 Martins Town postoffice was removed from the house of Hathaway R. Warner, north of the village in Jackson Township, to Arling-


ton, and Dr. Belizur Beach appointed postmaster of Arlington postoffice, the name being changed at the time of removal. His successors have been Lorenzo P. Wing, Edwin B. Vail, Dr. W . K. Drake, Thomas Stark, Philip Wilch, Dr. L. S. Lafferty, E. P. Lease, Dr. C. F. King and Holmes Wheeler.

The census of 1880 gave Arlington a population of 136, but its citizens now claim between 300 and 400 inhabitants. Its business interests are represented by one general dry goods and grocery store, two general grocery stores, one drug store, a good hardware store, a grist-mill and elevator, a steam saw and planing-mill, two steam saw-mills, a boot and shoe store and harness shop, two wagon shops, two blacksmith shops, a pump factory, a lath-mill, an undertaker's shop, two tileyards, one brickyard, a good hotel and livery stable and three saloons. Drs. L. S. Lafferty, C. F. King and J. L. Asire are the resident physicians of the town. The Methodist Episcopals and Methodist Protestants have each a church here; while a graded school of two rooms furnishes good educational facilities. On the 12th of October, 1882, Welker Post, No. 266, G. A. R., was organized with thirty charter members, and has now about the same membership. The Cleveland, Delphos & St. Louis Narrow Guage Railroad was completed to Arlington in the fall of 1882, and the first through train came over the road from Delphos to Mt. Blanchard January 1, 1883. Much more was expected of this enterprise than it has been able to accomplish, and it will never be of any great utility to this section until it is changed to a standard guage. This is now talked of, and the citizens of Arlington have strong hopes that it will yet be accomplished.