Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers --Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association

From the 1880 History of Miami County Ohio 
Pages 322- 331

The wheel of time has made some eighty annual revolutions since the first permanent white settler entered within the limits of what is now Spring Creek Township. To the youth eighty years seems a long time, but to him who has reached the age of four-score years the scenes of his boyhood's days seem but as those of yesterday, and it is difficult to realize that in so short a space of time such great and important changes have taken place.

Spring Creek Township is bounded on the north by Shelby County, on the east by Brown Township, on the south by Staunton Township, and on the west by Washington Township.

The superabundance of wood and water in this township were circumstances by no means inviting to the early settlers but they had heard the story of the first settlers in our county and had seen the forest disappear before the woodman's ax, and knew that in order to make homes as pleasant as any in the older States, required only a determined will and muscular activity. Those natures that had in their composition a liberal allowance of these essential elements, were the proper persons to lay the founda tions of new settlements and to begin developing the immeasurable resources of wealth to be found in the West. Accordingly, as the tide of immigration poured into Miami County, it is not to be wondered at that Spring Creek Township, situated, as it is, in the most productive part of the Miami Valley, should have been chosen as the abode of the first permanent white settler in the county. The township receives its name from the most important stream within its boundaries, which in its turn was so called because it has its source in, and all its additions to its waters are made by, the numerous springs along its route. It en ters the township at the northeast quarter of Section 3, and, deflecting southeast in its course, makes its'exit at the southwest quarter of Section 11. The most considerable branch of Spring Creek in the township is Bee Run, so named by the pioneer settlers on account of the numerous and well filled bee-trees formerly found upon its banks. It has its source in the northwest quarter of Section 12, and, taking a generally southerly course, adds its waters to those of Spring Creek just before it. enters Staunton Township, at the northwest quarter of Section 10.

Several other tributaries of minor importance flow southeast and increase Spring Creek by their waters ; two of the most important have their source in Sections 2 and 7 respectively.

The chorography of Spring Creek Township does not differ materially from that of the surrounding townships. An inconsiderable ridge rises in the northeastern part of the township and extends northeast and southwest through Sections 3, 8 and 13, causin g the streams east of it to flow southeasterly, while those .of the opposite side take a southwesterily direction and some of them a very tortuous course before emptying their waters into the Great Miami River. The surface of the remainder of the townsh ip is slightly undulating, sloping gradually to the southwest. The most important branch of the Miami River in Spring Creek, is Rush Creek, a stream of considerable usefulness in draining the northern part of the township. It rises in the northeast qua rter of Section 14, and flows directly north, then west to the northwest quarter of Section 21, where it takes a southwesterly course to the southern part of Section 32, where it again beads in its channel and flows southeasterly, emptying into the Miami at the southeastern quarter of fractional Section 31. Shawnee Creek, a stream of some importance, rises in the southwest quarter of Section 8 and flows in a generally southwesterly course, pouring its waters into Rush Creek just before it empties into the Miami River. Besides the streams of which mention has already been made, there are quite a number of minor importance, which are branches of these, and several others, which, having their source in Spring Creek, flow through Staunton Township before losing their identity by being merged into the Miami, which is the common reservoir for all the surplus waters, not only of this township, but for all the others in Miami County. Orange, one of the southern townships of Shelby County, bounds Spring C reek Township on the north. Brown, the northeastern township of Miami County, bounds it on the east, Staunton Township on the south, and the Great Miami River separates it from Washington Township on the west. It embraces twenty-one full and seven fr actional sections; the latter, situated in the western part of the township, are made so by the tortuous course of the river in this part of the county. The Cincinnati, Columbus & Indiana Central Railroad enters the township at the central line of Secti on 6, and passes directly east and west through the township till it reaches the central part of Section 30, when it assumes a direction slightly northwest before it passes into, Washington Township. The Dayton & Michigan Railroad enters Spring Creek To wnship at the northwest quarter of Section 21, and passes southwest to the central part of the township, where it takes a southeasterly course, leaving the township at the southeast quarter of Section 29. The township is crossed in almost every directio n by a venous interlacing of free pikes; of these the oldest is the Piqua and Urbana pike, which passes directly east and west through the township. These pikes were built at an average cost of about $1,200.

Taking into consideration the many advantages hitherto enumerated, Spring Creek Township will readily be seen to possess facilities for carrying on the various enterprises of life. excelled by none, and equaled but by few township in Miami County. An excellent system of draining has been introduced and extensively used by a majority of farmers in the township, so that the bottom lands, which, three-quar ters of a century ago, were considered utterly worthless and fit only as a home for the wild denizens of the forest, have not only been reclaimed from their original worthless condition, but have been brought to the highest degree of cultivation, and' to -day are the most productive farms in the township. Had it ever entered the heart of man to predict, in the days of the township's infancy, that by the time their farms had been cultivated seventy-five years, the owners would be able to command the then fabulous sum of $100 per acre, he would have been considered by the settlers as a person whose predominant passion was an inexcusable proneness to exaggeration, and yet there are now many farms in the township that could not be purchased for that amoun t of money per acre, and but very few of the land holders in Spring Creek would dispose of their highly productive farms for a less price than this. Almost every species of forest tree indigenous to American soil were found here in such abundance as to impress the early settler with the thought that ever old Nature either forgqt or saw no reason why she should economize in the materials provided for her use, and, apparently in a mood of apathetic indifference, grew extravagantly profuse both in regard to the kind and quality of these gifts which she scattered so indiscriminately over all parts of this township. The kinds of timber most abundant when the first settlers came here were the oak, beech, maple and ash, while walnut, elm, hickory and bassw ood were found in quantities by no means inconsiderable. The greater portion of these spontaneous products of the soil have long since passed away, and now but a comparatively small portion of the township is timbered, and these wooded parts that still remain have been so thinned out for building purposes, as well as for fuel, that, instead of the wild :appearance it originally presented they have been converted into beautiful groves, which, threaded by murmuring streams of pure water, afford an inexhaustible quantity of excellent pasturage. Great quantities of the most durable limestone are to be found in many parts of the township, and, from the quarries now being operated, not only is enough material for the stone-work of an buildings within th e township obtained, but there is also a considerable surplus over what is needed for home consumption, which is shipped, not only to different parts of our own State, but also the demand from other States proves so extensive as to be highly remunerative to those who engage in this traffic.

The first white settler in the township was John Hilliard, who emigrated from New Jersey in 1792 went first to West Virginia, where he remained till he came to Ohio, and located in Hamilton County, coming from there to Spring Creek Township, Miami County , the 4th of April 1797, and permanently located himself on fractional Sections 30 and 36, Range 12. Previous to this, a Frenchman had settled in a log-cabin near the same place, who kept a supply store and traded his wares to the Indians for their furs and venison, of which there was always a great supply at that period; but, as this trader had entered no land, Hilliard became the first land-holder and permanent settler in the township. Mr. H. was accompanied to his new home by his family of four boy s and two girls. Two men, whose names were Broderick and Hutchinson, also journeyed thither with their families, at the same time, in company with the Hilliaxds, but, after pitching their tents here for only a short season, they grew weary of the place and determined to seek another, where fewer difficulties would have to be contended with, and accordingly "pulled up stakes" and took their march farther into the wilderness. There was at this time, a small piece of ground, scarcely two acres in extent, which had been burned off by the Indians, and here this family raised the first crop of corn, beans, and vegetables, that had ever been cultivated by members of the Caucasian race in the limits of Spring Creek Township. The family at first took up thei r residence in a little bark hut which had been vacated by the Indians, and, although a very humble-looking and unpretentious structure, proved a home to the growing family.


After the first winter spent in this primitive dwelling, Mr. H. built one more substantial from round poles, which, aIthough by no means elegant, was quite, an improvement on the bark liut. The roof of this house was of rude clapboards, and the chimney a most inartistic pile of mud and sticks the floor was partially covered with puncheon plank, while, in lieu of a door, a large, old quilt hung, curtainlike, over the aperture, which answered the purposes of ingress and egress. Having thus secured fo r himself a house of his own making, Mr. H. turned his attention to the labor of enlarging the cleared space upon his farm,. and by dint of his indomitable will and unswerving perseverance, united with the great strength of his muscular powers, he soon succeeded in reclaiming a considerable portion of his farm from its originally worthless condition and bringing it under a tolerably fair state of cultivation. The nearest mill to the pioneer's cabin was at Dayton which town, at that time, contained but three or four houses, and to this place, along a blazed pathway through the forest, the sturdy farmer rode his horse to mill, where he obtained the corn- meal which constituted the principal article of diet for the old settler. There being no marketing done in I)ayton at this time, it became necessary at times to take a journey to Cincinnati, for the purpose of laying in family supplies. After a few years hard labor in the new settlement, John H. died, and the members of his household, accompanied by a little handful of sympathizing Indians, formed the first funeral procession in the community. That burial presented a scene worthy of being described by an artist's pen; the little group of mourning friends, assisted in the solemn burial rites by th e awe-stricken natives, the solemn, awful stillness of the surrounding forest, all these present a picture to the mind well worthy being reproduced upon the canvas of some modern Raphael. Charles Hilliard, a son of this family, was the first white man wh o. married from Spring Creek Township. In 1804, he became the husband of Sarah Manning, a daughter of one of the pioneer settlers of Washington Township, who lived just across the Miami River from the Hilliards. John William Hilliard, born to this coup le in 1805, is the first person of his race who saw the light of the sun for the first time in the township. This gentleman is at present a resident of Piqua, and, although his health is greatly impaired, yet his eyes kindle with enthusiasm and the bloo d runs more rapidly through his veins as he describes the scenes and recounts the incidents, so full of interest, of those good old times. The Hilliard family contended alone with the difficulties of frontier life for several years before the settlement was increased by the addition of any other families. Probably the second settler in the township was John Dillbone, who immigrated here from Pennsylvania in 1804 or 1805. He was accompanied by his wife and one son, the family being increased, after their residence here, by the birth of one son and two da ughters. Mr. Dillbone located on the northeast quarter of Section 1, at that time an unbroken wilderness. He immediately erected a rude cabin and began clearing his ground preparatory to planting his first crop. Upon his arrival here, he possessed not hing to assist him in his labors but his two willing hands, which found plenty of work to do. There had, by the time of his arrival, been a trading post established near the present site of Troy, and here they obtained what provisions they needed at fi rst, Mr. Dillbone worked by the month for a man near Troy for the money with which he bought his first cow. Mrs. Dillbone was noted for being an excellent spinner, and manufactured all the clothing material for her family, for which purpose they, as well as the other early settlers, always raised a field of flax, and it was while laboring with the flax, in the fall of 1812, that both these people met an untimely and horrible death. Fears, about this time, began to be entertained that a general outbreak among the Indians was imminent. Whisperings of the terrible atrocities of the savages in other places reac hed the ears of the white settlers here, and caused the hearts of many to beat more rapidly under the dreadful apprehensions of danger that posessed them. Mr. Dillbone, being a bold, fearless man, disdained to be intimidated by the flying rumors of the day, and expressed himself so freely on the subject as to in some manner incur the suspicions of the Indians, who resolved upon his destruction, together with Mr. Gerard, of another township; and so well did they lay their plans that they succeeded in murdering their victims the same hour of the same day. Mr. an d Mrs. Dillbone were in the field pulling flax while their children were all close by, under the shade of a large tree. The field was partially planted with corn, and in this the red men secreted themselves, ready to seize upon the most opportune moment for the completion of their hellish designs. The sinking sun, casting its lurid glare on the surrounding forest, and the evening shade fast settling down upon that sultry August day, warned the tired laborers that their day's work was about completed. Little did they dream how soon a period was to be put to their earthly labors; but so it was to be. They suddenly were aroused to the knowledge of some intruder's presence by the barking of a dog, and Mr. Dillbone raised himself from his stooping postu re to see what disturbed the peace of the dog, and the snme instant fell dead, pierced in the breast by a bullet from the gun in the hands of an Indian, who at that moment sprang from his place of concealment in the corn, in order to scalp his victim. Mrs. Dillbone, taking in the situation at a glance, started to the corn for protection, but was overtaken in her flight by the savage, and a single blow from his tomahawk felled her to the ground, where, after taking her scalp, the Indian left her weltering in her own blood.

During all the time this butchery was taking place, the infant children were, compelled to remain lookers-on of the dreadful scene which made them orphans,. with no power to render the least assistance to their.dying parents, and knew not how soon they w ould be called upon to share the same fate. At one time, the Indian walked toward them as if if intent upon killing the remainder of the family, but, before reaching them, stopped a moment, and, looking satisfactorily around upon the ruin he had already wrought, seemed to think his brutal thirst for blood and vengeance appeased, as, leaving the children unharmed, he took to his heels, and was soon lost to sight in the wooded depths. The oldest boy, who, all this time, had held the seven-montils-old baby in his lap, now rose and ran to the nearest neighbors, and, procuring the assistance of James McKinney, returned to the spot, where they found the victims of the terrible outrage, and removed them to Mr. McKinney's house. The horrible news soon sprea d, and the settlers, collecting together for miles around, went for the night to the blockhouse, expecting to hear of greater depredations, but, save the murdering of Gerard at the same time, no other scalps were taken, and the settlers finally returned to their homes.. The Indians who committed these horrible butcheries were never discovered.

Probably the third settler in this township was William Frost, who, with his wife, emigrated from North Carolina, in 1805, reaching Spring Creek the same year, where he entered the northeast quarter of Section 20. The first year of his, living here, was spent in building his cabin, and preparing a small piece of ground to plant in corn the following spring, and, being entirely without assistance, for on his arrival here he had no children, the work progressed but slowly; however,. by constant applicati on to the work before him, he managed to clear a piece of ground, consisting of several acres, from which, in the summer of 1806, he raised, the first crop of corn ever harvested in that part of the township. His son Ebenezer, born in 1807, is probably the second white boy born in the township. He resides at present on the old homestead of his father, which he has succeeded in perfectly transforming, and which now is one of the most productive farms in the neighborhood. Mr.Frost, in his youth, had agreat fondness for the chase, and in his day has, with his trusty rifle, laid many of the noble brutes of the forest at his feet, and, old as he now is, his youthful passion for this kind of sport still clings to him, and he often scours the woods for hour s, hunting squirrels, well remembering the day when this species of game was considered too small to waste powder and shot on, and the hunter would consider the day spent uselessly unless he had managed to kill a deer or two, and thus provide the family with the best of meat for several weeks. The only tile factory in the township is the property of Mr. Frost, who has operated it quite a number of years, and produces a good quality of tile,, which has been extensively used in his immediate neighborhood. John R. McKinney was probably the fourth permanent settler in the township. He immigrated here in 1805, having left his native State, Pennsylvania, the same year. He was an unmarried man, and consequently labored under many and great disadvantages; but, believing in the old adage which advises young men to procure a cage before trying to catch the bird, lie labored manfully alone, put up his log hut, into which he moved his furniture, co nsisting of an oaken bench and rude table of his own make and to this rather limited stock of household goods he added a bed, which, by the way is described as not being as soft as downy pillows are. These articles, together with the few utensils necessa ry for his culinary department, constituted the bulk of his earthly gear at that time. Better days were, however, in store for the lonely bachelor. Upon his arrival here he entered the whole of Section 32, and, being a man of extraordinary bodily stren gth, succeeded in accomplishing much with his single pair of hands as other farmers in the neighborhood would with the assistance of two or three boys. After working alone for five years, Mr, McKinney grew tired of spending the winter nights a lone by the side of his fire-place, and made things more agreeable all around by marriing Miss Jane Scott, a native of Kentucky, in 1810. From this time forward his immediate surroundings grew more pleasant and home-like, and in time the log-cabin gave way to a house of more pretentious dimensions. Mr. McKinney died in 1834, universally regretted. He had been a promimnt man in the little settlement, and played a conspicuous part in all questions of a public character that agitated the minds of the c ommunity at that early day. At about this date settlers began to pour into the township more rapidly than heretofore. John Millhouse emigrated from Maryland in 1808, and located in the southwest quarter of Section 21. His family at that time consisted of two sons and two daughters. Mr. M. erected his cabin and cleared his land, as had other settlers before him, and remained upon the farm now occupied by his grandson. till his death.

Gardner Bobo immigrated to this township in 1808. He entered the northwest quarter of Section 21, now owned by William Geigerman. He was accompanied to his Western home by his large family of sons and daughters. This being in, the northern part of t he township, near the Shelby County Irine, Mr. Bobo did his milling at Berry's Mill, in that county, to which place a pathway was blazed through the woods for the convenience of the settlers in this part of Spring Creek Township. Grain was always taken to mill on horse- back, and, as wagons had not yet come into vogue in this neighborhood, a simple path through the woods was all that was required to accommodate all the travelers of the day. The first wagon in the township was the property of old Mr. Dillbone.

Mathias Scudder located in Spring Creek Township prior to 1808. Uriah Blue, James L. McKinney, Dennis Lindley and Henry Millhouse all entered land in different parts of the township about 1808. At this period domesticated animals had become quite numer ous. Especially hogs were raised by all the farmers in considerable abundance. Railroads being at that time an invention yet to be discovered, to drive the stock to a market was the farmer's only alternative. They drove them through to Baltimore, Pitt sburg, Philadelphia and other places, and much of the way being through miry woods, many weeks were required to make the journey and return. Owing to the fact that fences were not kept up by the early settlers, their stock roamed the woods at large, and hogs, especially, not being so easily distinguished from others of their own kind, became, at times, mixed with those belonging to a different herd, and, in attempting to separate them, it was found impossible to do so satisfactorily to all parties, so that it was deemed necessary to devise some means by which this endless and unpleasant disputing could be avoided. A system of marking was entry agreed upon, so that every man had his own mark, by which he could distinguish his stock from that of his ne ighbor, which always bore a different mark from his. Each man chose his own mode of marking his own stock, and this mark was recorded in a book kept for that especial purpose, which was deposited with the Township Clerk, so that, after this, all such disputes were settled by referring to this book, which contained such declarations as the following,: "This is to certify that the mark used by Uriah Blue for the year 1815 will be two slits in the upper side of the right ear. " Another reads: The mark used by Gardner Bobo for the year 1815 will be a notch cut in the tip of the left ear." This settled the matter, and from that time on no trouble was experienced from this source.

At this period in the history of the township, the stream of immigration suddenly ceased for the time being. Wars and rumors of wars had spread throughout the country, and preparations were being made in all the States to repel the invading Indians. The few inhabitants of Spring Creek Township, anticipating an outbreak in their locality, convened in a meeting-held for the purpose of devising means for self-defense, and decided on the erection of a blockhouse, where they might assemble at night an unite their forces for the mutual good; this was built on John H illiard's farm, a few rods from the present house, It was a large double log- house, built from round logs, capable of containing, at that time, all the population and much of the household goods in the township, and here the settlers would gather, with their wives and children, and pass the nights. in comparative safety. Save the killing of the Dillbones, however, nothing occurred to disturb the peace of the little colony, and in time the old fort was abandoned, after which it was used by Mr. H. for a barn for a great many years, and then, yielding to the shattering influence of the elements, it crumbled away, and its very existence is a fact not remembered by more than one or two the township. After the excitement consequent upon the war was over and the fears of the people allayed, settlers again began to pour in from the older States. Among the first of these to reach Spring Creek Township was Samuel Wiley, who came here from Maryland in 1812 and settled on Section 25 and fractional Sect ion 31. He was accompanied by his three sons. The family, after reaching Pittsburg, procured a raft and the services of a man to carry them down the Ohio to Cincinnati, which place they reached after a perilous voyage of several days, in which they all narrowly escaped drowning -, one woman of the company being thrown from the boat, succeeded in reaching a large rock in the middle of the river, from which she was released with difficulty. Their destination was finally reached without the loss of any l ives. The family reached this township the same day Mr. and Mrs. Dillbone were killed, Samuel Wiley, Jr., was the father of sixteen children, and during, one presidential campaign, twelve of his boys voted for Buchanan. These were prominent men whereve r they lived. Their grandfather, Samuel, Sr., had served as an aid to George Washington during, the war of the Revolution, by whose side he had fought many a bloody battle during the struggle of our country for its independence. On Section 25, entered by Mr. W., there were several mounds, which indicate the existence, in this locality, of a prehistoric race. The largest of these earthworks embraces about two acres in extent, and is some three feet high. Various pieces of workmanship found upon the s pot, such as arrow- heads, pieces of pottery, and images carved upon stone, go to prove that this people were not wholly unacquainted with the fine arts, and that they possessed more than the ordinary intelligence of the Indian. Upon this mound a human skeleton was plowed up, which, although badly decayed, was judged, by those who examined it, to have been that of a man at least seven feet in height. An ash tree, more than a hundred years old, growing on one of the mounds, shows that they must have b een built at a period of time very remote from the present.

About the next arrival after the Wileys, was Joseph Kearns, who came from Pennsylvania, and located on Section 20, in this township, in 1815. This section was all woods at that time, and bee-trees were abundant, so that there was no lack of sweets for t able use. Mr. Kearns put up a cabin of one room, with puncheon floor and clapboard roof, the chimney of mud and sticks being built on the outside. The table used by the family was also made of puncheon slab, by Mr. Kearns. Besides building his house. he succeeded in clearing two and a half acres of ground the same spring, which, he planted the 10th of June, and from which be obtained a good crop, notwithstanding, it had to be watched every day, till it was two feet high, in order to save it from the depredations of the squirrels, which, at that date, are described as being "as plenty as mosquitoes." Mr. Kearns had s erved in the war of 1812, for $5 per month, and kept himself; he was also intimately acquainted with Daniel Boone, who m he had often heard relate his wonderful experiences with the Indians, while on his hunting expeditions. Among the families that came to the township, between the years 1812 and 1816, the names of John Furrow, John Hendershot, John Wilson, Jacob Gates, John Webb, Ezekiel Boggs, Alexander Jackson, David Clark, David Floyd and Lewis Deweese may be mentioned. These were all men of excel lent parts, and just such as were needed to bring order out of the original chaos. A meeting was held, to organize the township, the 4th of July, 1814, and the flrst Monday in April, 1815, the first township officers were elected as follows: Henry Orbis on, James L. McKinney and Uriah Blue, Trustees David Floyd, Treasurer Lewis Deweese, Clerk; John Wilson and Jacob Gates, Constables; John Webb, Lister; and William Coneannon, John Rogers, Ezekiel Boggs, Alexander Jackson, David Clark and Nathaniel Gerard , Supervisors. Officers for 1880 are David Manson, John Saunders and L. Devinney, Trustees Paul N. S. Pence, Treasurer J. R. Snodgrass, Assessor; Messrs. Houser and Sims, Constables; William Snodgrass, and Thomas R. Patterson, Justices of the Peace; J. E. Duncan, Clerk.

There are two towns in the township, the oldest being Shawaneetown, laid out on ground owned by Mr. Hunter, and surveyed. by J. Bellow previous to 1840. The first house in the place was a log cabin put up by David Gates; it has long since ceased to be n umbered among the occupied residences of the town. The village received its name from the Indian tribe that formerly had a permanent camp upon the spot.

Rossville was laid out on land owned by Mr. Ross, for whom it was named. The plat was prepared by William Knowles, between 1835-40. There are no business houses in the place, neither are there any in Shawaneetown save the furniture factory owned by Mr. Cron, which does an extensive business. Both of these villages being separated from Piqua only by the Great Miami River, which is crossed at each of the places by substantial bridges, the necessity for stores and groceries in their midst is done away with, the inhabitants preferring to do their trading in the larger place, which is so near at hand that the casual observer would suppose them to form a part of the town from which they are only separated by the river.

In the early settlement of the township the first thing needed in the line of madufactories was a mill where they could procure meal for family use. Settlers went to mill in Shelby County and other remote places till 1808, when this great want of the pe ople was supplied by James T. McKinney, who erected his mill on the banks of Spring Creek. This was one of the old corn-crackers then so common in Ohio, and as wheat had been raised in but few places in the county, and corn meal being the only article o f flour used for bread, this corn-cracker was considered a great convenience, and Mr. McKinney, being called upon to do the grinding for the people far and near, had but few moinents to pass in idleness but this necessity for constant action did not da mpen the spirits of the merry miller, who might always be found at his post; and early and late, when the atmosphere was clear, the cracking of the old hopper might be heard for miles around.

Several years previous to the building of the grist mill, Charles Manning had erected adistillery in the township, which takes precedence of all other manufacturing establishments in Spring Creek. Mr. Manning ran this some time, and made an excellent qu ality of whisky, when he disposed of it to Henry Orbison, who continued to operate it. Mr. Orbison, by the way, was quite an influential man in the community, and was frequently called upon to occupy responsible positions in his township and county.

Silas Manning, who had settled in the township in 1811, built the second gristmill in about 1818 he operated it successfully a number of years, when it was sold. It is now the property of Thomas Patterson, but has not been used for years.

A grist-mill was connected with a carding mill by Mr. Ross, in 1830, who did a good business in both branches for many years, when the property was burned, he afterwards rebuilt and operated for sometime, when another fire destroyed the whole thing, which was never rebuilt.

The first saw-mill in the township was built by Samuel Wiley, who, after putting a dam across the creek, erected his mill upon its banks in 1815. The demand for lumber for building purposes being great, Mr. Wiley did an extensive business while running this mill, furnishing boards and planks for all the buildings in the township for several years. This mill has long since gone down, and not a timber remains to mark the spot upon which it stood.

About this date, Lewis Boyer, who had located in the township in 1810, started a distillery, not on a very extensive scale, it is true, but did a little work in that line for his neighbors, and is said to have manufactured an excellent article. Mr. B. had been a life-guard in the service of George Washington, and consequently was looked upon by his admiring friends as a great hero. His exterior was very uncouth, but he was one of those few men who are described as being diamonds in the rough, and is said to have been an unexceptional neighbor and valeable man in the community. He died in 1840, and was buried with all the honors of war. He was the second man in this township who fought side by side with the father of his country.

Elias Manning built a saw-mill on Spring Creek in 1815; after running it for awhile, he connected with it a grist--mill, with which he ground wheat as well as corn.

Dr. Jackson, the first resident M. D. in the township, put up the next saw-mill in 1826, near Spring Creek. The power was produced by water which was pro cured by conducting it to the mill in a large trough made for that purpose. The Doctor is said to have been quite successful in his profession, but his work in the saw- mill proved almost fruitless. He was a very eccentric individual, and invited men to help him raise his mill on Sunday, for which occasion he provided a large quantitly of stimulating fluid. The crowd came, the. Mlll was raised, and the occasion passed off satisfactorily to all concerned. Five,or six logs were sawed after the completion of the mill, and then it was abandoned as an investment which, in a financial point of view, was a failure. The Doctor subsequently moved farther west, where he died. Mr. Ross also had a saw-mill on the present site of Rossville, about 1825. David and James Caven also operated a mill of the same kind in an early day. These old mills, however, h ave long since been leveled by the destroyer, Time, so that now nearly all manufactured articles needed in the iown ship are procured at Piqua. The only works in this line of any importance is the furniture factory in Shawaneetown which was first built by the present proprietors some ten or twelve years ago. The Cron brothers have, up to this year, employed in the business regularly about one hundred hands. The original buildings becoming too limited for their steadily increasing business, the enter prising firm made arrangements last year to effect a more commodious building, and last spring began the construction of the immense brick structure now in a fair way for completion. The increasing demand for their work speaks better than words of the quality of the articles they manufacture. After the completion of the building now being built. they intend increasing their already large force of workmen by fifty men, making in all one hundred and fifty men, the largest corps of men employed in this business in Miami County.

Although many changes have taken place, and great improvements been made, for which the citizens of Spring Creek Township cannot be too highly commended, for the efficiency and high standard of her public schools, they deserve to be spoken of more laudab ly than for anything else, for, while her mills, and even churches have nearly all perished, her schools, since their establishment, have been constantly improving, and to-day are in a better condition than ever before. The first schoolhouse in the tow nship was built on Section 25, in 1815. It was a subscription school, taught by James Laird, who received for his services about $5 per month in the winter and "boarded round." This first instructor of the youth in this township was a native of the Emerald Isle, and is remembered as a peculiar individual. During a severe sickness, he had been salivated bv the excessive dose of calomel, which caused a deformity in all his joints, making it impossible for him to perform manual labor, yet, in the school-room, he is described as having been a host in himself, his only failing being a great fondness for whisky, of which he would partake freely e very opportunity. Upon such occasions, woe be unto the tyro who failed to devote his attention to his books, or to recite his lesson in tones calculated to strike favorably the then critical ear of the teacher. On such occasions nothing seemed to appe ase the anger of the teacher, till, with his big stick, he had brought the blood from the back of the offending child. The second schoolhouse was built on ground now owned by Stephen Alexander, in 1816; another was built on Section 21, in 1820. The fi rst frame schoolhouse was built in the township in 1830. Among the teachers who taught between 1815-25, may be mentioned James Sims, George Lemons, James Cregan, "Aunt Sallie " Tucker, Thomas J. Larsh and ",Pat " Murphy. The report of the Township Cler k for the year ending September 1, 1879, is as follows: Balance on hand September 1, 1878, $2,096.80 ; State tax, $708 ; irreducible funds, $138.97 ; township tax for school purposes, $1,770.34; fines, licenses, etc., $3.50; total, receipts, $4,717.61. Expenditure Amount paid teachers, $2,374.50 ; amount paid for building sites, $85 ; amount paid for fuel, etc., $253.32 ; total, $2,712.82 ; balance on hand September 1, 1879, $2,004.79. There are eight schoolhouses in the township, requiring the services of eight teachers, the average wages of male teachers being $39 per month, and female $26. The average number of weeks the schools were in session was thirty-three. Three hundred and eighteen pupils were enrolled, and of these forty-six were between sixteen and twenty-one years of age.

At the present time, there is only one church in the township. The colored Baptists built their neat brick structure in Rossville, about sixteen years ago. At an earlier day, however, there were several denominations here. The Methodists held meetings in the township as early as 1815 ; Rev. Henry T. Bascom was their first minister. The Baptists built a log church in 1818, and the New Lights another, on Spring Creek, in 1819. The United Brethren also preached here in 1820; Jacob Antram was one of the first ministers here. Services were held in the different churches, until Piqua had attain6d a good size, and, church privileges there excelling those in the country, the inhabitants of this township mostly removed their membership to that place.

The first frame house in the township, was built by Henry Orbison, in 1817; it was torn down years ago. The first brick dwelling was erected by Charles Hilliard, in 1818, while the first stone residence was built by Joseph Hilliard, in 1816. This last is still standing, apparently in as good condition as ever. It has been remodeled since its erection, the second story, which was added, being of brick. The walls of this house are two feet thick, and, in as good condition as when first built. Charles and Joseph Hilliard also put out the two first orchards in the township, in 1809. The largest orchard in the township, is the property of Thomas J. Statler. It contains 1,500 apple trees, one-half of which were planted in 1860, and the remainder in 18 65, the whole covering fifty acres of ground.

The first blacksmith in the township was Caleb Jones, who set up his forge, and began work in the fall of 1814.

The first burial-ground in the township, was on Section 25, where John Hilliard was interred. This was used for such purposes, previous to 1810. Mr. and Mrs. Dillbone were buried in a field lying on the Piqua & Urbana road. No stone marks the spot where they lie. Another graveyard, on the same road, was opened about 1820. Many of the old headstones have crumbled away, and the grounds, which have a gloomy appearance, have not been used for years.

The graveyard where the old Baptist Church formerly stood, is nearly as ancient as any in the township, and when the church was abandoned this ceased to be used. Cedar Grove Cemetery, near Piqua, is the property of the Jews. It is inclosed by a neat board fence, and contains but few graves. Thus closes the history of Spring Creek Township, which contains such facts as could be gleaned from tradition and from the remembrance of the few pioneers yet living. Judging the future by the past, and noting the changes and improvements rapidly being made in the works of man, it is safe to infer, that, by the time the cycle of her hundredth anniversary is completed, there will be events to chronicle, the magnitude and importance of which have not yet entered into the minds of the most sanguine of her citizens; and the appliances now used in the production of her mechanical and agricultural products, will, by that time, be comparatively rude and unmanageable.

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