"Not to know what happened before we were born is to remain
always a child. For what were the life of man did we not combine
present events with the recollection of past ages?"
From Its Earliest Settlement to the
IN TWO VOLUMES
BY FRAZER E. WILSON
Also Biographical Sketches of Alany Representative
Citizens of the County.
The Hobart Publishing Company
HOBAKT PUBLISHING CO.
A comprehensive count}- history must, of necessity, be a
compilation of materials gleaned from various sources and
assembled in the form of a literary mosaic, the design of which
is S3mmetrical — but not always apparent.
elseif (getClientWidth() > 430)
The first and only exhaustive history of the county hereto-
fore «vritten was published by ^^^ H. Beers & Co., in 1880,
from material compiled and arranged largely by Judge John
Wharry of Greenville and by one Prof. W. H. Mcintosh. This
volume contained about 250 octavo pages of closely printed
matter relating to the history of the county, besides about
200 pages of general introductory material and about 300
pages of biographical sketches. On account of its priority and
the mass of historical data which it contains, this book must
form the basis of any authentic history hereafter written. Per-
haps the most apparent fault in this excellent first history is
the lack of an adequate index and the irregular arrangement
of topics — a condition which the writer has endeavored to
overcome in a measure in this work.
A second work entitled "A Pictorial Outline History of
Darke County," was published by Geo. W. Wolfe in 1890.
This work was largely biographical but contained some excel-
lent introductory matter and a few good topical sketches.
An excellent Biographical History was published in 1900
by the Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, which con-
tained many well-written biographical sketches, but not much
purely historical data. To all of these works the compiler of
the present volume freely acknowledges his indebtedness for
original material, realizing that without them the task of writ-
ing an authentic pioneer history would be practically impos-
Further acknowledgment is made to x-\ttorney Geo. A.
Katzenberger, who compiled and wrote the excellent chapters
on "Miltia Organizations." and "Bench and Bar;" and to Geo.
W. Calderwood. the "Darke County Boy," whose writings
made possible the chapter entitled "Random Sketches."
Others who have assisted materially in making this work
possible are mentioned in the body of this book.
The military campaigns of .St. Clair and Wayne are treated
somewhat exhaustively inasmuch as they led up to the great
treaty of Greene Ville, which is one of the landmarks of state
and national history.
Aluch space has also been devoted to the interesting geo-
logical and archeological features of the county, which have
been given scant treatment in former works.
An attempt has been made to give a brief history of every
religious denomination having a fair constituency in the
county and thereby preserve a permanent record of the found-
ing of each for convenient reference.
The writing of a county history covering the numerous
phases of political, social, religious and material progress is a
large but interesting task, and it is the hope of the author of
this work that the careful perusal of its pages will stimulate
greater interest in local history than has been manifested
heretofore and be a source of delight to many.
Probably the greatest difficulty encountered in the present
work has been the matter of the arrangement of the vast
amount of miscellaneous material collected. This has been
overcome, in a measure, by considering the relation of each
subject to the history of the county as a whole rather than to
a restricted locality.
An entire chapter is given to "Xotable Events" as it is
deemed desirable to portray these significant historical hap-
penings for the instruction and entertainment of future gen-
The recent introduction of the study of local history in our
public schools is a commendable step and will, no doubt, re-
sult in a widespread interest in and enthusiasm for pioneer
lore, so that the records of the past will be more eagerly per-
used and the memory of early events more sacredly cherished
b}' coming generations. Instead of contempt for the past we
may expect appreciation, and look for a more vivid realization
of the fact that the things of the past play an important part
in the life of the present.
Some one has aptly said : "The average American is con-
tent to let history begin with himself," exhibiting thereby an
ignorance and indifference unworthy of citizenship in a repub-
lie bought with blood and sacrifice. Such persons should read
and ponder on these beautiful lines by Cora Greenleaf :
There is No Past.
'"They are not dead, those happy days gone by,
They brought that much of life to us. And I
Know no part of our life can ever die.
We lived them, so each joy or grief fraught day
Is curs, henceforth, forever and for aye,
There is no dead, unknowing yesterday.
Our memory the casket that shall hold
Experiences worth far more than gold
And jewels to the longing soul they mold.
I like to drift and dream of times called past,
Past days are present long as memories last,
Within the brain's firm mold they're poured and cast —
Shaped in an instant by our heedless will.
To last forevermore, for good or ill.
Until this very universe grows chill."
It will be noticed that this work appears in two volumes,
the first of which is historical and is compiled by the author,
while the second is biographical and is the work of the pub-
lishers to whom credit is due for its excellent and comprehen-
FRAZER E. WILSON.
Greenville, Ohio, Alay 20, 1914.
CHAPTER I— PRIMEVAL DARKE COUNTY 17
Early Records — Niagara Limestone — Later Formations — Glacial
Invasion — The Laurentide Glacier — Terminal Moraine— Local
Glacial Phenomena: (1) Surface Boulders. (2) Glacial Till,
(3) Kames— Local Moraines: (1) Miami Moraine, (2) Union
Moraine, (3) Mississinawa Moraine — Extinct Animals— Peat
CHAPTER II— ACHEOLOGY AND TOPOGRAPHY 33
The Mound Builders — Local Phenomena — Indian Camp Sites and
Vilages — Flint Caches — Work Shops — Stone Pipes and Imple-
ments. Topography: Forests — Game.
CHAPTER III— THE OHIO COUNTRY 49
Early Indian Tribes — Early French Explorations — Colonial Ex-
pansion — French and Indian War — Anglo-Saxon Ascendency —
Clark's Expedition — Retreat of the Tribes — Raids and Retalia-
tions — Ordinance of 1787 — Settlements North of the Ohio.
CHAPTER IV— HARMAR AND ST. CLAIR 73
St. Clair Appointed Governor — Government Instituted — Har-
mar's, Scott's and Wilkinson's Expeditions — Confederation of the
Tribes — St. Clair's Expedition and Defeat.
CHAPTER V— MAD ANTHONY WAYNE 93
Overtures of Peace — Council of the Tribes — Wayne Succeeds St.
Clair — Army Reorganized — Wayne Advances and Builds Fort
Greenville — Fort Recovery Attacked — Army Advances to the
Maumee — Battle of "Fallen Timbers."
CHAPTER VI— THE GREAT PEACE 107
British Encourage Indians — Peace Overtures — Tribes Assemble
at Greenville — Preliminary Negotiations — Smoking the Pipe of
Peace — The treaty of Greene Ville.
CHAPTER VII— TECUMSEH AND THE "PROPHET" 121
Settlement at Prophetstown — Teaching and Conniving — Visit of
the Shakers — Hanging of Blue Jacket — Departure for Tippecanoe.
CHAPTER VIII— PIONEERS AND PIONEER SETTLE-
The Herdman Family — The French Trader — Azor Scribner —
Samuel C. Boyd — Abraham Studabaker — John Devor and Others
—War of 1812— Murder of Andrew Rush, The Wilson Children,
Elliott and Stoner — Harrison's Treaty — Early Land Purchases —
Renewal of Emigration — Local Settlements.
CHAPTER IX— CREATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE
Early Trails and Roads — Early Neighborhood Settlements —
Early Business Enterprises — Early Taverns — Early Mills — Early
CHAPTER X— THE PLANTING OF THE CHURCH 197
Tesuit Missionaries— Army Chaplains— Rev. Morgan J. Rhys—
The Denominations: Christian. Methodist. Presbyterian. Epis-
copal. Baptist. Catholic, United Brethren. Lutheran, German
Baptists, Church of the Brethren. Evangelical, Universalist, Re-
formed, Church of Christ— Other Denominations— County Sun-
day School Association.
CHAPTER XI— RANDOM SKETCHES FROM THE
"DARKE COUNTY BOY" 253
Social Life: Winter Sports. Singing School. Dancing, Circus
Lore, Rowdyism, Children's Pastimes, Sunday Observance,
Games, Drinking, The Old Band, Early Fairs— Domestic Life:
Early Mothers, Clothing and Fashions, Household Equiptnents,
Early Notables, Early Superstitions, Obsolete Trades, Etc.
Events of 1856— Ancient Landmarks: "Kentucky Point," "Arm-
strong's Commons," "Spayde's Woods," "Goosepasture and Bun-
ker Hill," "Wayne Avenue and Wayne's Treaty," "Old Court
House," "Indian Trail," "Beech Grove" and "Matchett's Corner."
CHAPTER XII— DARKE COUNTY DURING THE CIVIL
Local Patriotism — Preparation for the Conflict — Early Enlist-
ments — Departure for the Front — Ohio Regiments Represented:
11th Regiment. 34th Regiment. 40th Regiment, 44th Regiment,
8th Ohio Cavalry, 69th Regiment, 94th Regiment. 110th Regiment,
152d Regiment, 187th Regiment, and Others.
CHAPTER XIII— SOME NOTABLE EVENTS 303
Harrison's Treaty 1814 — Washington's Centenary Celebration,
1832 — Departure of the Tribes, 1832 — Hard Cider Campaign of
1840 — Burial of Patsey and Anna Wilson, 1871 — Dedication of
Court House. 1874 — Wayne Treaty Centennial. 1895 — LTnveiling
of the Wayne Treaty Memorial. 1906 — Dedication of the Fort
Jefferson Memorial. 1907.
CHAPTER XIV— SOME NOTABLE CITIZENS 327
Major George Adams — Azor Scribner — Abraham Studabaker —
Edward B. Taylor — Dr. I. N. Gard — D. K. Swisher — Enoch B.
Seitz — Barney Collins — "Annie Oakley," and Others.
CHAPTER XV— POLITICS AND POLITICAL OFFICES 355
Early Political Conditions — "Ante Bellum" Days — After the
War — State Senators — Legislators — County Officials : Commis-
sioners. Treasurer, Recorder, Auditor, Surveyor.
CHAPTER XVI— PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS 365
Infirmary — Children's Home — Carnegie Library — Public Museum
— Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall.
CHAPTER XVII— RAILW' AYS 383
Early Means of Transportation — Railways in Darke County:
The Dayton and Union, The Pennsylvania, The C, C, C. & St. L..
The Peoria and Eastern, The Cincinnati Northern, The C. H.
& D.. The Ohio Electric.
CHAPTER XVIII— THE PRESS 395
Influence of the Press — Early Illiteracy — First Newspapers—
The Journal — The Democrat — The Courier — The Tribune; Daily,
V/eekly — The Advocate; Daily, Weekly — German Newspaper —
Temperance I'apers— The Versailles Policy— The Versailles
Leader — The Arcanum Enterprise — The Arcanum Times — The
Ansonia Herald— The Bradford Sentinel — The New Madison
Herald — The Hollansburg News — Others.
CHAPTER XIX— FIXAX'CIAL IXSTITUTIOXS 405
Banks — Development of the Banking System — Early Scarcity of
Money — Early Money Lenders — The Farmer's National Bank —
The Greenville National Bank — The Second National Bank — The
Citizens Bank — Banks at \'ersailles. New Madison, Ansonia.
Arcanum, Gettysburg, Pittsburg and Rossburg — Building and
Loan Associations: Greenville Building Company. Citizen's
Loan and Saving Association, Arcanum, Versailles and New
Madison Loan Associations.
CHAPTER XX— DARKE COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SO-
Agricultural Prominence of Darke County — Demand for a Fair —
The First Fair, 1853— Growth of the Fair— Notable Fairs— Pur-
chase and Englargement of Grounds — Present Equipment — Com-
prehensive Policy — Present Tendencies — Present Board.
CHAPTER XXI— PATRIOTIC, TEMPERANCE AND
OTHER SOCIETIES 425
Jobes Post, G. A. R.— Complete Roster of Jobes Post— W .R. C.
— S. of V. — W. C. T. U. — Pioneer Association — Historical So-
ciety — Medical Association.
CHAPTER XXII— BENCH AND BAR. by George A. Katzenber-
ger, Attornej'-at-Law 449
First Courts — Place and Manner of Convening — Early Jurispru-
dence — First Recorded Trial — First Justices of the Peace — First
Jails and Court Houses — First Associate Judges — Constitution
of 1851 — Development of the Circuit, Common Pleas and Pro-
bate Court System — Biographical Sketches of Common Pleas
Judges, Probate Judges and Prosecuting Attorneys — List of
Sheriffs and Clerks of the Court from the Organization of the
County — Biographical Sketches of Early Attorneys — The Pres-
CHAPTER XXIII— LOCAL MILITIA ORGANIZATIONS, by
Lieutenant George A. Katzenberger ^ 503
General Remarks — Military System of Ohio — Early Military
Officers and Organizations — Maj. George Adams — Brig.-Gen.
William Emerson — Maj. -Gen. Hiram Bell — Gen. J. H. Hostetter
— Capt. Jonathan Crainor — The Greenville Guards — The Green-
ville Jaegers — Captain Beers — Company C, 3d Regiment — De-
tailed History of Company M, 3d Regiment.
of Military System.
CHAPTER XXIV— THE COUNTY SEAT 513
Advantageous Location — Directory of 1857 — Development of the
Town in 1857 — Development by Decades — Notable Buildings —
Public Utilities : Water Works. Electric Light, Home Tele-
phone, Fire Department, Post Office, Cemetery. Public Schools,
Lodges, Societies and Clubs — City Officials.
BRIEF TOWNSHIP SKETCHES 546
Arrangement of the Townships — Treatment by Tiers in the
Following Order: Mississinawa. Jackson, Washington, German.
Harrison. Allen, Brown, Greenville, Neave, Butler. Wabash,
York, Richland, VanBuren, Twin. Patterson, Wayne, Adams,
LIEUT. COL. WILLL\M DARKE.
Darke county owes its name to Lieut. Col. William Darke, who was
born in Pennsylvania in 1736. At the age of five years he removed
to the neighborhood of Shepherdstown, Virginia. He served with
the Virginia provincial troops at Braddock's defeat. During the
Revolution he served with distinction, being taken prisoner at Ger-
mantown and commanding as colonel two Virginia regiments at the
siege of York, He was a member of the Virginia legislature for
several successive terms. At St. Clair's defeat in 1791, he led the
final charge that cleared the way for a successful retreat of the
remnant of the army. He died November 20, 1801, and his remains
are buried in the old Presbyterian burying ground near Shenandoah
Junction, Berkeley county. West Virginia. The remains of his only
son. Captain Joseph Darke, who died from wounds received at St.
Clair's defeat, lie buried near by. Colonel Darke was a farmer by
occupation, and is described as having a large, strong, well-knit
frame, rough manners, and being frank and fearless in disposition.
PRIMEVAL DARKE COUNTY.
The earliest records of Darke county, Ohio, are not writ-
ten upon parchment or perishable writing material, but in the
face of the underlying Niagara limestone. The encased fossil
crinoids and the sedimentary character of this rock plainly
indicate that it once formed the bed of an ancient ocean. The
extent of this formation and the slight westerly inclination of
the rock toward the basin of the Mississippi river suggest that
this ocean was an extension of the Gulf of Mexico, spreading
from the Appalachian to the Rocky Mountains, and from the
gulf to the rocky heights of Canada. This is the verdict of
scientists, who have made careful and exhaustive researches
in this field, and we humbly accept their verdict. It is useless
to speculate on the eons of time that have elapsed since this
rock finally emerged from tiie ancient sea to form the landed
area of the Ohio valley, and we can do no better than to ac-
cept the simple but pregnant statement of the inspired writer
— "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
The rock strata which generally appear nearest the surface
here, as well as in northern and western Ohio, and the states
immediately adjoining on the north and west, are a part of
one of the great limestone formations of our continent. This
rock underlies most of the upper Mississippi valley — the most
fertile continuous section of the United States. In this lo-
cality the rock is covered with glacial till, debris and loam to
18 DARKE COUNTY
an average depth of probably one hundred feet. Although
hing for the most part in an approximately horizontal posi-
tion some faults have been discovered where the rock appears
to be entirely missing. Such faults have been detected south-
east of the intersection of the Pennsylvania and Dayton and
Union railways within the corporate limits of Greenville, at
the county infirmary and at the Pennsylvania water tank some
two miles south of Greenville in the Mud Creek valley. They
may be simply pre-glacial gorges.
Limestone exposures occur to a limited extent in at least
five places within the county, as follows : On the Stillwater at
Webster, in the southwest quarter of section thirty-two (32),
Wayne township, where the rock is hard but unfit for quarry-
ing on account of its irregular and massive condition ; near
Baer's (Cromer's) mill on Greenville creek, about four and
one-half miles east of Greenville, in the southwest quarter of
section twenty-seven (27), Adams township, where the rock
forms the bed of the creek for some distance. Quarries were
once operated by Bierley, Rosser and Hershey in the bottom
of the valley where the rocks are covered with about two feet
of red clay or loam, intermingled with decomposed lime rock,
and strewn with heaps of granite drift boulders. The upper
section is of a buff color and is soft and fragile, while below
many fossil crinoids appear and the rock is darker and harder.
Two exposures of rock occur in the Mud creek valley: one
on the southwest side of the prairie, about a mile from Green-
ville, in the southeast quarter of section thirty-three (33),
Greenville township ; the other near Weaver's Station in the
southeast quarter of section twenty-nine (29), Neave town-
ship. At the former place, known as Card's quarries, the
rocks are found folded with an inclination to the south and
east. Here the rocks are similar to those at Baer's mill and
contain many fossils. Near Weaver's Station the creek f^ows
over a horizontal bed of limestone for about a hundred and
fifty yards. This stone is not hard enough for building pur-
poses and seems to contain no fossils. A section of rock is ex-
posed in the southwest quarter of section twenty-four (24),
Harrison township, about a mile south of New Madison, near
the headwaters of the east fork of the Whitewater river,
where a limekiln was formerly operated by one C. B. North-
DARKE COUNTY 19
rup. Careful calculations indicate that the rocks at Card's
kiln and near Baer's mill have an elevation from se\enty-five
to ninety feet abo\'e the corresponding strata underlying the
city of Greenville, which appears to be built on an immense
glacial drift, deposited in a preglacial valley. In the pioneer
days, limerock was quarried at Baer's, Card's and Weaver's
Station, burned in kilns and used extensively for plastering,
bricklaying, whitewashing, etc. The quality of lime produced
was of a very high grade, but on account of the limited areas
of outcrop and the obstacles encountered in getting the rock
out, these quarries have been abandoned for several years.
Building rock is now secured at the more extensive and easily
quarried outcrops in Miami, Montgomery and Preble
The geological formation of this section was -well shown
while prospecting for natural gas in this vicinity in 1886-1887.
The first well bored on the site of the old fair-ground (Oak-
view) made the following exhibit :
"Rock was reached at a depth of 89 feet, thus showing the
thickness of the drift formation. The Niagara limestone ex-
tended from this point to a depth of 260 feet when the Niagara
shale was reached. At a depth of 140 feet this limestone was
mixed with flint, and at a depth of 153 feet, dark shale, or
drab limestone, predominated; but at a depth of 175 feet this
limestone was quite white and pure and much resembled
marble. The Niagara shale is of light gray color and might
be mistaken for the Niagara clay, and as it came from the well
was quite pliable, being easily made into balls, the material
becoming hard when dry and containing a great deal of grit.
"From this point to 1134 feet, the drill passed through con-
tinuous shale of the Huron formation, but sometimes so dark
that it might be classified with the Utica shale. This forma-
tion was not uniform in texture, but sometimes was quite
compact and hard; at other times .soft and porous, enabling
the drill to make rapid progress.
"At 1134 feet the formation changed to a lighter color,
more compact, and contained much limestone. The first
Trenton rock was reached at a depth of 1136 feet. The rock
was darker than ordinary, quite compact, and with no flow
of gas, though a little was found while passing through the
shale. At 1148 feet the hardness seemed to increase, and at
1195 feet the limestone became whiter, but as hard and com-
pact as before. At 1210 feet it much resembled in appearance
20 DARKE COl'NTY
the formation at 140 feet, though finer in texture and entirely
destitute of the flinty formation. At 1570 feet it seemed, if
possible, to be harder than before, with a bluish cast of color;
while at a depth of 1610 feet coarse, dark shale in loose layers
again prevailed, accompanied by a very small portion of the
limestone. At 1700 feet the limestone changed to its original
white color and compact form, accompanied with sulphur ;
and at a depth of 1737 feet bitter water and brine were found,
the water being blue in color and unpleasant in taste and odor ;
but after being exposed to the air for some time it became
clear, the unpleasant smell disappeared and the saline or salty-
taste alone remained.
"We notice that the Trenton was reached at 1136 feet.
The surface at this point is about 1055 feet above sea level, so
that the Trenton rock was here reached at a depth of 81 feet
below salt water. This places it much higher than at other
points in this part of the state where wells have been sunk
and gas obtained ; and this fact, with the compactness of the
rock, will show that gas can not be obtained here. We know
of no other point outside the county where wells have been
sunk that the formations are the same as here."
After the formation of the Xiagara limestone, for some
reason, probably the cooling and contracting of the earth's
crust, the bed of the ocean in which it had been deposited was
partially elevated and added to the continental area. This
occurred in the upper Mississippi valley and the region of
northern and western Ohio as above noted. In the fluctuat-
ing shallows of the sedgy sargasso sea, which fringed this
newly elevated limestone plateau on the east and south, a
rank vegetation flourished on the carbon freighted vapors of
the succeeding era. During uncounted millenniums forest suc-
ceeded forest, adding its rich deposit of carboniferous ma-
terial to be covered and compacted by the waters and sedi-
mentary deposits of many recurring oceans into the strata of
coal now found in southeastern Ohio and vicinity. Finally
the moist air was purged of its superabundant carbon dioxide
and mephitic vapors and a new age dawned, during which
bulky and teeming monsters lunged through theluxuriant
brakes and teeming jungles of a constantly enlarging land.
The vast ocean gradually retreated, foothills were added to
UARKE COUNTY 21
the primeval mountain ranges, plateaus swelled into shape
and a new continent was formed. Thus is explained the pres-
ence of the beds of coal and the immense stratified deposits of
sandstone, limestone, slate and shale overlying the Niagara
limestone in eastern Ohio, and thus geologists arrive at the
conclusion that a period estimated at hundreds of centuries
intervened between the appearance of "dry land" in western