HISTORY OF FAIRFIELD COUNTY
CLEAR CREEK TOWNSHIP.
Clear Creek township constitutes the extreme southwest of Fairfield county. It is bounded on the north by Amanda township, on the east by Madison township, on the south and west by Pickaway county. This township presents to strangers few distinctive features. The surface is undulating, growing more hilly to the northward. The soil is varied and well adapted to agriculture. Corn and wheat are the staples. Live stock is extensively raised. The native varieties of timber do not differ materially from those of the neighboring townships, consisting chiefly of oak, ash, beech, maple, walnut, hickory, etc. The township is highly improved, the farms being small and in most cases ornamented by good dwellings and barns. Clear Creek township formerly embraced within its limits Madison township, which was in time struck off, leaving the township as at present constituted. The principal streams' of this township are as follows: Salt Creek, which enters the township at the northwest, flows a southeasterly course, leaving the township at the south center: Sippo Creek, which flows in a southerly direction through the western sections of the township; Dunkle Run, which rises in section 5, flows in an easterly direction, and empties into Clear Creek. Clear Creek is a stream of some importance, which flows through the northeastern sections of the township and from which the township derives its name. There are other smaller streams in the township of not sufficient importance to require description here. The first election in Clear Creek township was held at the house of Philip Shantles, April 5, 1813, at which the following officers were elected, viz.: township clerk, Joseph F. Reynolds; trustees, George M. Nigh, Nehemiah Coldren and Joseph Hedges; overseers of poor, Matthias Hedges and Nicholas Conrad; fence-viewers, Stephen Julien and Samuel Bachtle; lister, Michael Nigh; constables, William Reynolds, William Moore, and Martin Smith; supervisors, Harrison Moore and John Conrad; treasurer, John Augustus. The first Justices were Michael Nigh, George Dilsaver, and John Leist. Since the time of the first election there have served as township clerk the following: John Marks, George Valentine, William Hamilton, George S. Baker, and W. M. Wise. the present incumbent. The township officers at the present time are as follows: Justices, Amos Levan, Daniel Pickle, and Alexander Kiefaber; trustees, Allen Crites, Levi Bolender, and Henry W. Gehrett; clerk. W. M. Wise; treasurer, John Stout; assessor, Cornelius Conrad: constables, Lewis Crites and George Dillsaver. The writer of this, while engaged in this work, has labored under many disadvantages, owing, in a great measure, to the utter indifference of many of the inhabitants, yet, as far as possible, the correct
data is given. The history of Clear Creek township, as near as could be learned, begins perhaps with the settlement of Jacob Shumaker, in 1797. George Stout came to this township in 1804, and settled about one mile north of Stoutsville. Mr. Stout came from Bucks county, Pennsylvania. He was the father of seven children, all of whom are dead, except Jonathan, who was born in 1800, and is, at the present time, living in Stoutsville. George Dillsaver came to Clear Creek township about this time, and is credited with having the first horse- mill in the township. Adam Fosnaught settled in the township in 1804. John Leist, an early settler of Clear Creek township, was born in 1784; settled in Clear Creek in 1807. Mr. Liest was one of the foremost men of the township at this time. He was in the Legislature for a term of eight years, and a commissioner to adjust damages from constructing canals for twenty-two years. He was at Detroit and Fort Meigs, served under Harrison, and voted for ten Presidents as a member of the old Whig party. Benjamin Stout, another old settler of the township, was born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, came to Clear Creek township in 1808, and located one and one-half miles north of Stoutsville. He was the father of thirteen children, six of whom are yet living. John, David, and Simon are yet living in Clear Creek township. Charles Friend, a settler of 1802, is said to have built the first water-power grist-mill on Clear Creek. Peter Wolf settled in. the township in 1808. John Mooney, an old settler of the township, came from Germany and located in Clear Creek about 1803. John Stepleton settled in Clear Creek in 1797. He married Magdalena, daughter of Jacob Shumaker, another settler of 1797. There were born of this union sixteen children, but two of whom are now living---Sophia, married to Anthony Haupser, and living in Allen county, Ohio, and Joseph, living at this time in Stoutsville. He was born in 1815, and married in 1836 to Salome Moyer, of Perry, county. There were born of this union eight children, four of whom are still living and reside in this township. George Baker came to this township in 1812, in company with his brother, Abraham. When they came to this township they came in a covered wagon, and their only shelter consisted of some poles driven in the ground, and their only covering was the covering of the wagon, and some straw for bedding was obtained of George Stout, one of the neighbors at this time. The present inhabitants of Clear Creek township, surrounded by all the comforts of life, know but little of the disadvantages under which the old pioneers labored. The inhabitants of the township did the greater part of their trading in Zanesville, Muskingum county, and when they were in need of salt, nails, etc., they were compelled to drive to that place, a distance of about fifty miles; and in this way the greater part of a week was consumed in one trip. George S. Baker, a son of the preceding, was born July 30, 1819, and still resides on the farm settled by his father in the woods. He is one of the most prominent men of the township, having the good will and confidence of the people. He has held the office of township clerk for a term of thirty-five years. He also served in the Legislature for a term of five years. He was also a Justice of the Peace from 1851 to 1854, and from 1857 to 1878, making in all, as a Justice of the Peace,
twenty-four years. The three years that Mr. Baker was not a Justice of the Peace was the time that the "Know-nothing" party was in the ascendency, and succeeded in electing all their officers in this township, and during this interval Mr. Baker was commissioned as a notary public, a position which he holds at this time, having served as a notary public for a term of nine years. The writer of this feels indebted to Mr. Baker for many things connected with this work. Noah Valentine, who was born in Maryland, came to this county in 1811. He was married, January 1, 1829, to Miss Mary Conrad, and commenced life with a "single dollar." He is at this time living on his farm, two miles south-east of Stoutsville. Jonas Stepleton, who was born February 25, 1823, was the owner of the first wheat separator in Fairfield county, and in this he constructed an apparatus for hulling clover. This was the first machine of the kind known at that time. Among the old settlers of Clear Creek township might also be mentioned John Augustus, Thompson Reynolds, Henry Spangler, John Zehrung, Jonathan Dresbach, Peter Wolf, and Steward Reynolds. This township is just six miles square, and contains nine school districts, each composed of a square of four sections, with a school-house where they corner, and each is supplied with a neat and substantial brick building. The cause of education receives considerable attention in this township, the schools being well provided with efficient teachers. In the early history of the township no female teachers were employed. There are in this township seven churches and eight congregation's, viz.: United Brethren, two; Lutheran, two; English Lutheran, one; German Reformed, one; Evangelical Association, one; and Methodist Episcopal, one. The Lutherans built a log church near what is called Dutch Hollow, and it is regarded as the first. Jacob Leist was an early preacher (a Lutheran), and is remembered by aged men as their boyhood's early catechiser. The village of Stoutsville is located to the west of the center of the township, on the line of the Cincinnati and Muskingum Valley Railroad. It was laid out in 1854 by Benjamin Stout, one of the early settlers. It has two steam mills. The first, owned by S. K. Valentine and J. W. Baker, has a grain elevator in connection, said to be one of the finest on the line of the railroad. The second is a custom mill, owned by Benjamin Read. There are two dry-goods stores, owned by F. M. Pool and Simon Stout; one drug store, owned by Luzerne Roberts; one general grocery store, by Eli Neff; and two groceries, by James Hillard and William Lathouse; one harness shop, one undertaker's shop, and one sawmill. Stoutsville has a fine, large school building, consisting of four rooms, erected at a cost of about four thousand dollars, and the schools are under the efficient management of the following teachers: for the grammar department, John Grove; for the intermediate department, Miss Maggie Lowry; and for the primary department, Miss Anna Pontius. Stoutsville has two churches, viz.: the Evangelical Association, and the church owned jointly by the
Lutheran and German Reformed congregations. The corner-stone of the last named church was laid October 31, 1855. The first pastor of the German Reformed congregation was J. B.Thompson. He was succeeded by J. C. Klar, D. M. Albright, J.W. Alspach, J. B. Gough, J. Klinger, and J. W. Barber, the present pastor. The original trustees were George Myers, on the part of the German Reformed congregation, and Henry W. Gehrett, on the part of the Lutheran congregation. Mr. Gehrett resigned his place, which was filled by George Wolf. The first pastor of the Lutheran congregation was the Rev. J. W. Weimer. The present pastor is the Rev. Hallet Fishburne. The church of the Evangelical Association was built in 1872, at a cost of three thousand two hundred dollars. The original trustees were Edward Dresbach, Benjamin Read, Joseph Roof, Asbury Pool, and Dr. H. L. Ferguson. The pastors were as follows: S. E. Rife, who was succeeded by L. W. Hanky, G. W. Ellenberger, C. M. Reinhold. and W. A. Shisler, the present pastor. The present trustees are Benjamin Read, Levi Bolender, G. W. Upp, John Reichelderzer and Edward Dresbach. Oakland is a village of small size, and was founded by Charles Sage. It is situated four miles east of Stoutsville, on the Amanda and Tarlton pike. Oakland has two dry-goods stores, owned by Bernhardt Kiefaber and John Lawrence; one grocery, owned by William Smith; one saloon, by Noah Huffman; one blacksmith shop, and one shoe shop. This village has within its limits a fine, large school-house and two churches---the Methodist Episcopal and United Brethren. There are two post---offices in this township-Stoutsville, which receives four mails daily, F. M. Pool, post-master; and the office at Oakland, known as Clear Creek post-office. They receive here a semi-weekly mail. John Lawrence is the post-master. There are within this township two physicians, both located at Stoutsville, H. L. Ferguson and J. H. Axline.