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Township Histories

Gallia County Ohio

     When attempting to trace our families back to the earlier days in Gallia County it is often helpful to know something about the part of the county where they lived. This can help to determine who their neighbors were, where they went to church and school and where these and other records can be found. The following brief descriptions are listed alphabetically by township. The information was taken from the History of Gallia County published by H. H. Hardesty & Co. in the year 1882. The grammar, spelling and punctuation was left largely as it was found in Hardesty's.

Addison Township

     This township north of Gallipolis, contains twenty-two full and eight fractional sections of land. It's eastern border rests upon the Ohio river, whose margin within the township is six and a-quarter miles.
     The township was organized March 3, 1811. The first election was held at A. Darot's mill on Campaign creek. The first grist mill was erected in 1808, located in Campaign creek and run by water. In 1820 the first saw mill was built and was located on the same section and also run by water from Campaign creek. In 1810 John Cherrington taught a school in a cabin which was built in 1800 of round logs, containing oiled paper windows.
     The soil is a black loam and clay, very productive, and well adapted to grain and grass. Excellent farms, with good buildings, extend through the township, evidencing the thrift and industry of the farming community. The principal timber is oak, sugar-maple, pine, beech and hickory.
     In 1880 it had a population of 1,440, an increase of 100 during the preceding ten years.
     Surnames of some early settlers included Frazer, Rees, Bing, Trackler, Cherrington and Maddy.

Village of Addison

     This village was laid out by Reuben Rothgeb, upon land owned by Robert Reynolds, John Lanks and William Watson. It is located eight miles north of Gallipolis on the Ohio River, and the Pomeroy branch of the Toledo, Columbus & Hocking Valley Railroad passes through it. It is not incorporated, and its population in 1880 was seventy-nine.

Cheshire Township

     The township was formed from Kyger township, March 3, 1811. It contains twenty-eight full and two fractional sections of land, sections one and two, in the southeast corner of the township, being cut off by the Ohio river. The surface is generally level, excepting in the southwestern part, which is hilly. The soil is mostly a rich, black loam, excedingly productive, and splendid crops of grain and vegetables are raised. It is especiallly noted for the large amount of potatoes raised every year, especially in the eastern portion, the other portion being more devoted to grain, grass and stock. The whole  township is covered with well cultivated farms, fine farm buildings, churches and school houses. The population in 1880 was 2,030.
     For over half a century the Ohio Blue Sulphur Springs has been regarded for it's medicinal value. The water of (spring) number one is well suited in the treatment of rheumatic affections, chronic affections of the bowels and of the stomach. It is a mild, pleasant sparkling water and may be used freely without any unpleasant consquences. The water of number two is very different from number one. The quantity of sulphate of lime and carbonate of lime is much larger and the oxide of iron more than double and may be classed as a chalybeate medicinal water.
     The first building erected for school purposes was in 1835, one half mile below the village of Cheshire. The township is now divided into ten school districts, with twelve fine school houses, costing from five hundred to seven hundred dollars each. They are all frame buildings except in Cheshire village, which is a two story brick. One of the townships schools is for colored pupils. The total number of scholars is as follows: Male, 270; female, 238, male (colored) 23, female (colored) 5, attached school district, 11, Total 536.
     The village of Cheshire is located on the banks of the Ohio river, eight miles below Pomeroy and twelve miles above Gallipolis. The village contains one hotel, several stores, flour mill and barrel factory, and not one saloon. In 1880 it has a population of 195.
     Kyger village was laid out in 1842. It is situated four and one half miles northwest of Cheshire, near the center of the township, on Kyger creek. It's population in 1880 is 199.
     Surnames of some early settlers were Darst, Wise, Coughenour, Putnam, Swisher, Matthews, Mauck & Holcomb.

Clay Township

     This township is situated near the southeastern part of the county. It contains sixteen full sections and nine fractional sections which latter are located along the Ohio river.  The surface is generally rough and hilly, but the soil is fertile and fine farms are found in every part of the township, especially along the Ohio river and Raccoon creek. The township is noted for the large quantity and excellence of the fruit grown.  It's timber is different varieties of oak, hickory and poplar with some pine.
     Raccoon creek enters from the west, takes a crooked course south of east, emptying into the Ohio river, just below Raccoon island.  Other small streams are Long Run, Fullers Run, Darrells Run and Teens Run. Swan Creek enters from the south and exits into Ohio township.
     This township was organized December 6, 1830 and the first election was held at the house of Edward Cottrell, on Raccoon creek. A grist mill was erected in 1820 by Doner and Booth and soon afterward one by Edward Cottrell. A post office was established, at a very early date upon Raccoon island situated in the Ohio river, at the mouth of Raccoon creek. In 1880 it had a population of 1,507.
     Surnames of some early settlers were Sage, Hazelett, Day, Cubbage, Hay and Angel.

Village of Chambersburg

     This is a thriving village, situated upon the Ohio River. It was laid out in 1852 by John Chambers and in 1880 had a population of 202. There are several saw mills and planing mills but the principal business is boat building.

Gallipolis Township

     Gallipolis Township is situated along the Ohio River and contains six full and seven fractional sections. It was originally settled by the French in October, 1790. Old records show township meetings held as early as March 1802 for "Gallipolis Township Territory of the United States Northwest of the river Ohio, Washington County."
     Gallia County became a separate county on April 30, 1803. The first act of the Legislature to incorporate Gallipolis was February 17, 1804, which vested the corporate powers in five trustees. Having a population exceeding five thousand inhabitants, it was on February 10, 1865, advanced to a city of the second class and elected a mayor and council.
     The city is located in latitude 38 deg. 48' 5" north; longitude 5 deg. 11'39" west from Washington. The length of the river margin from the center of the town to Meigs county is 11.93 miles; to Lawrence county 24.47 miles. The population of the city, by the census of 1880 was 4,400.
     Some early settlers were Robert Safford, John Peter Romaine Bureau, Claudius Cadot, Mons. Antoine Claude Vincent, Mons. Duduit, Mons. Francis Le Clarcq, Mons. Joseph Guillaume Devacht, Mons. Jean Gabriel Gervais, Mons. Peter Serot, Joseph Vanden, Mrs. Adelaide Maguet, Mons. Francis Valodin, Mons. Jean Baptiste Bertrand, Irene Carel and Colonel Luther Shepard.

Green Township

     This township contains thirty-six full sections and was set off from Gallipolis township and organized June 12, 1809. On September 4, 1809 a part of Raccoon township was added to Green.
     The soil is mostly very productive, and well improved farms are seen in all parts of the township. Considerable attention has been given to the raising of horses, cattle, sheep and hogs, more than in any part of the county. The timber is oak, pine, poplar, hickory, walnut, chestnut, sugar-maple and cherry.
     The history of this township is closely allied to that of Gallipolis, from the territory of which it was taken. In 1810 Robert Safford built the first grist mill and it was run by horsepower. Nicholas Thevenin in 1816 erected the first saw mill on the banks of Big Raccoon creek. In 1816 a school was taught in a log cabin located upon the banks of Little Chickamauga creek. Its schoolhouse was built in the most primitive style. The door was constucted of riven boards, the cleats were of half-round poles, an extension of which formed the hinges, and wooden pins were subtituted for nails. The windows were openings in the logs covered with oiled paper. There are now thirteen school houses, eleven fine frame buildings for white scholars, and one frame and one log building for colored.  Schools all well attended.
     Surnames for some early settlers include Kerns, Alexander, Waddell, Boggs, Hutsinpiller, Rader, Blessing, Thevenin, and Safford.
     There are two postoffices  in the township, Rodney and Northup.

The Village of Rodney

     The village of Rodney was laid out in 1830 by Henry Coverstone in section 30 in the northwest part of the township. It is not yet incorporated and contains one store, and postoffice.  It population is about 100.  

The Village of Northup

     The village of Northup is located in the south part of the township on Raccoon creek. It was laid out by John S. Northup and the village took the family name.

Greenfield Township

     This is the extreme western township of the county, bounded north by Jackson county, east by Perry township, south by Lawrence county, and west by Lawrence and Jackson counties.  It contains thirty full sections, five north and south by six east and west. The surface is somewhat hilly, and the soil is clay and sandy loam, all good grain land. There is an abundance of iron ore, bituminous coal and limestone in the hills, which is being quite extensively worked. The principal timber is oak, hickory, beech and maple. Symmes creek is the principal stream. Other streams are Dirty Face, Grassy fork and Black fork.
      The township was organized March 20, 1818 and the first election was held and the number of votes polled was eight. A grist mill, erected in 1822 by Daniel Faulkner, was the first in the township. It has one run of stone. In 1832 Samuel Hempenstall built a dam across Symmes creek, and erected a saw mill, which he run by water. Joseph Price taught a school composed of twenty scholars. The school house was made of round logs, and oiled paper pasted over an opening for windows.
      There was a postoffice in Raccoon township at which mail could be obtained. There is now a postoffice established at Gallia Furnace.
      Early settlers Faulkner, Rice, Lambert, Shelton Acord, Harper, McKenzie, McMertry, Lee & Johnson.

Gallia Furnace

     Gallia Furnace is situated upon Dirty Face creek. It was established in 1847 and owned by a stock company. Present officers are John Campbell, A. L. Norton, and Joseph Stafford. The company owns 6,000 acres in which are extensive coal fields and immense deposits of iron ore and limestone. Their furnace produces iron suitable for car wheels and machinery and the capacity is three thousand tons a year.    
     The Toledo, Cincinnati & St. Louis Narrow Gauge Railroad runs through the immense coal fields belonging to the company, which has a vein of superior iron smelting coal running through them of four feet in depth. Gallia Furnace was laid out in 1846, and in 1880 had a population of 136.

Guyan Township

     This is the extreme southern township of the county. It has twenty eight full and two frational sections of land, the Ohio river cutting off the southeast corner of the township. Its population in 1880 was 2,277, being an increase of 998 during the proceding ten years. It was organized December 4, 1826, and the first election was held on Monday in April, 1827. Eleven votes were cast.
     The surface is very broken, some of the hills being quite high. The soil is very productive, and mostly a black loam, adapted for grazing purposes and raising all kinds of grain. The cultivation of tobacco is recently receiving great attention. Fine farms and farm buildings are seen all over the township, presenting a neat, tidy and thrifty appearance. Big Indian Guyan creek takes its rise in Harrison township, and enter this township from the north. Williams creek, Georges creek, Rocky Fork  and Johns ceek are small streams within the township.
     The first school was taught at an early day, in a small log cabin which stood one-half mile west of Crown City. The first building erected for shool purposes was built of logs, in 1816, near the mouth of Georges creek. There are now twelve good frame school houses in the township, and the schools are well attended. Mercerville was the first post office. There are now five in the townhip--Mercerville, Crown City, Saundersville, Chapman's Mill and Yaho.
     Some early settlers were Elijah Fowler, John Swindler, Henry Saunders,Samuel Holley and Guy Fry.

Village of Crown City

     The village of Crown City is locaated in the southeastern part of the township, upon the Ohio river. In 1880 it had a population of 248.

Village of Mercerville

     Mercerville is a small village, located in section twelve, in the northeastern part of the township.

Harrison Township

     This township was first laid out December 10, 1812 and organized March 6, 1816. It contains thirty full sections of land, which have a broken and hilly surface. The soil is generally black loam, and grain of all kinds is raised in considerable quantities. Much of the land is also excellent for grazing purposes. The township is covered with well-improved farms, which have neat and commodious buildings. The citizens are industrious and enterprising and greatly interested in educational matters.
     The first settlement was made in 1806. Among the early settlers were Frederick Bickel, Benjamin Williams, William Littleton, John Roadarmour, Henry Iron, Isaac Dewitt, William Carter, Jacob Loucks, Vernon Northup, James McCall, Elijah Howell, William Trotter, Jefferson Porter, George Waugh, John Day, William Smith, George Little, Charles Ward, Gilbert Gibson, John Dewitt, Solomon Boster, John Boster, Daniel Boster, Jonathan Boster, Stephen Martin and Elkanah Cremeens.
     Surnames for some early settlers include Kerns, Alexander, Waddell, Boggs, Hutsinpiller, Rader, Blessing, Thevenin, and Safford.In 1835 James McCall taught a school composed of about twenty-five scholars, in an old log house owned by him, and from which he had recently removed his family to a better residence. It was located on Clay Lick and furnished with seats made of small logs split in halves and legs inserted in the ends.
     The first postoffice was located on Big Bull Skin creek. The present offices within the township are Leaper postoffice on Big Bull Skin creek, Moody on Little Bull Skin and Lincoln situated on the Ironton and Gallipolis mail route. On the farm of Charles Stuart, in section thirty three, is located a poplar tree twenty-three and one half feet in circumference. There is a sulphur spring upon the place whose water contains valuable medicinal qualities and which never runs dry.

Huntington Township

     This is the  extreme northwestern township of the county.  It was formed from Raccoon Township, June 5, 1810, organized June 2, 1812 and the first meeting for election purposes was held on the last Saturday July, 1810. The number of votes was about eighteen. The first settlement in the township was made on Raccoon creek, near the present village of Vinton.
     The township is composed of thirty six sections, surface quite hilly, with the exception of the broad bottom lands along the creek, and the soil a sandy loam. Timber, white oak, hickory, pine, beech, sycamore, elm and some walnut.
     In 1806, Ezra Barker taught a school composed of ten scholars, in a little log cabin with a board roof, located about one and one-half miles southwest of the present village of Vinton. They now have twelve comfortable school houses, at each one of which there is a fair attendance. William Glenn and Samuel R. Holcomb owned the first two yokes of oxen brought into the townhip. Mr. Holcomb also built the first frame barn and owned the first two-horse wagon.  Samuel Peden raised the first crop of wheat, which proved a failure on account of mildew.
     Surnames of some early settlers include Holcomb, Shintaffer, Robinsson, Tyler, Glenn, McKnight Ewing, McNeal, Burrett, Mills, Woods, Haux, Edmonson, Poor and Traylor.

Village of Vinton

     The village of Vinton was laid out in 1832 by Samuel R. Holcomb. It is located upon the Columbus, Hocking Valley & Toledo railroad, about sixteen miles northwest of Gallipolis, and has a population of two hundred. It contains a flour mill, a factory for carding and spinning wool, two stores, two hotels, and a neat church building has recently been completed by the Methodist Episcopal church society of the place.

Village of Ewington

     Ewington is a village located about two and one-half miles north of Vinton. It was laid out in 1852 by George Ewing, and had a population in 1880 of eighty-five.

Morgan Township

     This township was organized March 8, 1818. The township contains thirty full sections of land, surface hilly, with a limestone, sandy loam, red clay and some gravelly soil. Some good farms, principally along Campaign creek. The timber is white oak, pine, poplar, beech, sugar tree, syacmore, hickory, elm, white and black ash, and some walnut and chestnut.
     Its population in 1880 was 1,465. The first shool house was built in the fall of 1839, but there was teaching in the township as early as 1828. Anselm postoffice was the first established in the township, kept by Obediah Ralph, on section nine. There are now three, Eno postoffice, Malaby and Rowlesville. In 1850, a Sabbath-school was organized by Rev. John Elliot, which had an attendance of thirty scholars. There are now five in the township, White Oak, Morgan center, Pine Grove, Clark 's and Union schools.
     Surnames of some early Settlers: Denney, Wilcox, Irwin, Darst, Anderson, Clark, McGarland, Hill, Grimes, Miller, Robinson, Titus, Stone, Logue, Watkins, Graves, Colwell, Asa, Eblin, McLaskey, Vance, Rowley, Russell, Pierce, Clark and Rife.

Ohio Township

     This township has the longest river frontage of any in the county, the Ohio river margin extending nearly eleven miles, the entire extent of its eastern and southern boundary. The soil is fertile and well adapted to the growth of most all kinds of grain. There are sixteen full sections, and eleven fractional sections of land, the latter bordering upon th Ohio river.
     The township was organized November 6, 1804 and the first meeting was held February 18, 1805 for election purposes. By the census of 1880 it had a population of l,429. In the year 1800, George and John Waugh first came, settled at the mouth of Swan creek. The names of Timothy Hobbs, E. Belomy, David Blake and Daniel Campbell are also given as among the early settlers. A man named Yount built the first cabin, but the first house of any note was built by John Sloan. In 1803 Thomas Hannan erected a grist mill on Swan creek, built of logs and containing one run of stones.
     The first postoffices established in the township were Swan creek, Alexander Campbell, postmaster, and South Newcastle, kept by George House. The present offices are Bush's Mill and Swan Creek. Elder John Lee, of the Baptist church held services at Hobbs school house. The first church organization was the Methodist Episcopal which was established in 1831. Among the first members were Mrs. Henry Hannan, James Guthrie, Mrs. George Campbell, J. King and wife, E. King and wife, and Mrs. Henry Campbell.

Perry Township

     This township contains thirty-six full sections of land. The surface is somewhat hilly, soil clay, which is quite fertile. The farms throughout the township,which are thoroughly cultivated, and contain good farm buildings, give evidence of the thrift of the proprietors, a large portion of whom are Welsh.
     In 1803 Andrew Friend came to this township and built a cabin on Big Raccoon creek. He was a squatter and roving hunter, and in the winter of 1814 he killed three hundred and sixty deer and five bears. He drew the second county order for wolf scalps, nine dollars for three. His companion, James Burford, the same day drawng three dollars for the first. Friend occupied a cave on Dirty Face creek, at an early date, in Greenfield township, which is called "Friend's Rock house," and another in Walnut Township. This noted hunter made all his own powder by burning summack into charcoal then adding saltpetre and brimstone and grinding them in a mortar. In early days he supplied a large portion of the settlers with game.
     Perry Township was organized March 4, 1816 and in 1880 had a population of 1,329. In 1806 Nehemiah Wood erected a grist mill on Big Raccoon creek which was built of logs and contained one set of stones, run by water and used for grinding corn.
     At an early day, Robert Armstrong taught a school of about 15 scholars in a small log cabin. The building had openings covered with oil paper for windows. Wooden pins were used instead of nails. The first building erected for school purposes was in 1818. It was made of logs and when school was first taught there, no floor had been laid. The scholars sat upon the stringers, and a pole was placed in the chinks between the logs and in the corner was the seat of honor occupied by the teacher.

Village of Patriot

It was organized September 12, 1827. It was surveyed and laid out by Joseph Fletcher. The original name was Greenville, but there was another postoffice in the State named Greenville, so it was changed to Patriot.


     Wales, sometimes called Center Point, is a small village located on section six, in the northwestern corner of the township. It contains one store, one wagon shop, two blacksmith shops, a fine Baptist church and a well appointed school building. The highest hill in Southern Ohio is located a mile northeast of Patriot, and is called Poplar Knob.
     Surnames of some early settlers: Boggs, Beaver, Smith, Armstrong, Carter, Prose, Allison, Roadamour, Gates, Weis, Danner, Porter, Prose, Ripley, Smith and Campbell.

Raccoon Township

     This township was laid out March 24, 1805 and organized June 12, 1812. This township is settled by a thrifty farming community, largely Welsh. The first election was held on the third Monday of April, 1805. The first settlement was made on section one. In 1803 a cabin was built on the banks of Big Raccoon creek. Daniel Boone, James Burford and Col. Robert Safford came to this township together as early as 1792, and engaged in trapping for two years, during which time they caught one hundred bears in the neighborhood of Adamsville, on this creek. In parting with Safford, Boone presented him with his traps and other articles, which are now in the hands of the family of one of his decendants, the late Cameron Safford.
     School was first taught by a man named Monday in a little log building with an opening covered with oiled paper for windows. There are now fifteen neat school buildings, twelve for white and three for colored scholars, which are well supplied with modern school furniture and attended by about seven hundred scholars.
     Some early settlers were Adam, Henry & David Rickabaugh, Patrick Reed, Nehemiah Woods, W. M. Wood, Willliam Ridgeway, Elnathan Barlow, Harrison Wood, William Steel, senior and junior, Jane Ridgeway and Rufus Jacobs.


     Centerville village is located in section nineteen. It was laid out May 6, 1835. In 1880 it had a population of 272.


     Adamsville is located on the west bank of Big Raccoon creek, in section twenty six. It was laid out on Novemer 20, 1837 and has never been incorporated.


     Harrisburg located in section thirteen. It was laid out in 1837 and has never been incorporated.

Rio Grande Village

     Rio Grande Village is located on section twenty seven and its principal object of interest is Rio Grande College.

Springfield Township

     This township is composed of thirty-six full sections, each way. The surface is somewhat hilly, the soil is a sandy loam and red clay, well adapted to the growth of wheat, and grain of nearly all kinds is raised. Chickamauga creek rises in the township and runs southeast through the town of Gallipolis emptying into the Ohio river at the lower part of town. Campaign creek runs for a short distance southeast, through the northeast part of the township and empties in the Ohio river just below Addison. Other creeks are Barren creek and Trace creek.
     The  township was laid out and organized June 2, 1812. About nineteen votes were cast at the first election. Thomas Sawyer erected a cabin in 1803 and the same year a settlement was begun on section thirty-five. In 1810 a school was taught by Miss Barker in a log cabin sixteen feet square, which had an opening in the walls, covered over with oiled paper to admit light. There was only one school in the township at that time. Now there are thirteen comfortable school buildings, nine for white pupils, who have an enrollment of 459, and four for colored children, with 146 in attendance.
     Surnames of some early settlers were Buck, Reed, Mills, Womeldorff, Varian, Sisson Sawyer, Glassburn, Watkins, Sprague, Denney, Fee, Cherrington, Watts and Coverstone.

Village of Porter

     The village of Porter was laid out on March 1, 1830 and is not yet incorporated. It is located on section twenty four, one mile northeast of the Columbus, Hocking Valley & Toledo Railroad, and in 1880 had a population of 172.

Village of Evergreen

     The village of Evergreen was laid out in 1855 by Henry Graham, surveyor, and John Cherrington, original proprietor. It is located on section fifteen on the Columbus, Hocking Valley and Toledo Railroad, and is not incorporated.

Walnut Township

     This township is situated in the geological formation belonging to the carboniferous age. It contains thirty eight full sections, is the largest township in the county. The land is very rough, but for the most part fertile and it is cultivated by a thrifty and industrious class of Germans who are noted for their skill in farming. The township was organized April 13, 1819 and the first election was held on Sand Fork creek. In 1880 the township had a popultion of l,892. A new railroad is surveyed and soon to be built from Portsmouth to Gallipolis, through this rich coal country, which will probably be extended from Cincinnati to Pittsburg. The first postoffice was Flag Springs. There are now four located in the township, McDaniels, Boggs, Sand Fork and Sprinkles Mills.
     Cholera Epidemic of 1849: In the summer of 1849 ,William Martt of Walnut township, assisted in moving a family in Lawrence county and returning home was taken sick early in July. It was not until it had spread to the families of all those who had been exposed, that the disease was discovered to be cholera of the most malignant type. The local physicians were inxperienced and unable to cope with the fearful epidemic, which spread rapidly. Mr. Middleswarth from Clay township, although unskilled in medicine, he had previously obtained a recipe for the cure of the cholera from a physician at New Orleans, and being a skillful nurse, he volunteered and did good service among the sick. Inability to obtain coffins, many were buried without them. All who were exposed were expected  to die. During a period of two weeks there were about one hundred cases in Walnut and Harrison townships, which thirty seven were fatal.
     Surnames of some early settlers were McDaniel, Louis, Harrington, Carter, Clark, Neal, Peoples, Lounds, Null and Boggs..

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