HISTORY OF FAIRFIELD COUNTY
The surface of this township is comparatively level. The soil is good, and much fruit, corn, and wheat are raised. Being contiguous to New Lancaster, the first settlers of the county naturally located on the green fields comprising this territory. As early as in the spring of 1798 settlements were made, and in 1799 numerous families had settled at the forks of the Hockhocking, in the Claypool neighborhood, then Yankeetown, and at the Rock mills. Of those who became prominent in early settlement of this precinct, and before the year 1800, were, Isaac Meason, Captain Joseph Steward, William M'Farland, Ralph and Jeremiah Cherry, Samuel Randall, Alexander Sanderson, Daniel Bright, Jacob Dumont, Henry Abrams, John Bailar, Adam and John Westenberger, a Mr. Nail, John M'Arthur, John Morgan, Jas. Brooks, Colonel Crooks, Drake Taylor, Isaac Rice, James Wells, and some others. Settlements had been made at the three above-named places as early as in the spring and fall of 1799. Captain Joseph Steward settled, in 1799, immediately south of Judge John Graybill's, on the Columbus pike, two miles from Lancaster. His son, Levi Steward, was born in 1800, he being the first child born in the township. Ralph and Jeremiah Cherry. William McFarlin, and Samuel Randall, were also settlers of this vicinity. They entered their land on the "squatter claim," simply, but it was afterwards put in market and sold for two dollars per acre. The Yankeetown settlement was also made in the year 1799. James Wells settled upon the present Hooker land in 1799. Jacob Claypool, the father of Isaac, bought the land in 1805. In 1799, James Brooks, Mr. Cook, and Drake Taylor, also squatted .in this vicinity. The Rock-mill settlement was made about this time also. Among those here was Michael Rice, father of Miss Van Burton. He settled immediately below the Rock mill, near the present woolen factory. This was in 1799. The first mills were established here, called the Loveland Mills, now Rock Mills, built by James Loveland and Hezekiah Smith, in 1800. They erected a saw mill, a grist mill, and also were the first to sell goods in the township. They purchased their stock for trade in Detroit, and packed them from that point. This place was at that time a rendezvous for the Indians, who came from Chillicothe every year, and would always go away loaded with lead. Where they obtained it has ever been a mystery, but old residents state that they undoubtedly found it somewhere in that locality. The trade then was good, whiskey, tobacco, muslins, etc., etc. From the Indians fur was taken in exchange for goods. James Reed built a saw mill soon after this time, immediately below the Loveland Mills.
Alexander Sanderson came in 1798. In 1800, Henry Abrams came from Chillicothe and settled on this land, and the well known General married one of Abrams' daughters. This marriage occurred in 1803, and was the second in the township; Thomas Dawson to Sallie Abrams being the first. In the same year Henry Abrams built the first hewed log house in the township. The first school of the township was taught by a Mr. May. The cabin school house was erected in 1802, on the Shuff farm. Greenfield was laid out in 1805, being named from its green fields. Colonel Crook was the first tax collector, and afterwards sheriff of the county. The present officers of the township are: trustees, Jacob Claypool, Solomon Smith and E. M. Miller; clerk, Henry Holmes; treasurer, John W. Wilson; justices, Samuel Coffman and D. C. Keller; constables, B. M. Wiley and Elijah Freeman; assessors, A. H. Ginder and Marion Hanna. Isaac Meason, father of John Meason, was the first to settle, locating where the late Elijah Meason resided---in 1798, and Levi Stewart, now of Lancaster, is the oldest native born in the township. David Bright built the first still house, near where John Bright lived in an early day, and soon thereafter a great number sprang up. The wolf, bear, deer, panther and Indians were numerous until about the year 1810, by which time they had decreased. One of the pioneer mothers of the township was Mrs. Sarah Carlisle. She was sister to Mrs. Margaret Ewing, mother of Thomas E., William and James Ewing. She came to the county in 1799. In 1802 she married Nathaniel Wilson, of Hocking township, and then moved with her family where her son. B. W. Carlisle afterwards lived. In 1807 Mr. Wilson died, and in 1813 she was married to Thomas Carlisle. He came to the county in 1811, was a Justice of the Peace many years. He died in 1844. The first church of the township was built by the Lutherans, in 1813, although it is probable the Methodists held services prior to this time, in old father Meason's house, near Pleasant Summit, but the society did not build until the year 1840. This summit divides the waters of the Hocking and Walnut Creeks. Hand and Milligan were the first circuit riders. The house still stands, but the society is about to move the location. John Williams was the first preacher in the township, he settled in 1800. In 1816, Wallace, a Scotch Covenanter, tried to establish a society and build a church, but he failed. In 1847 the Methodist society, under Rev. David Swartz, founder and first local preacher, built a church in Havensport, but they have just lately joined themselves in part to the Carroll M. E. Church. The United Brethren in Christ built the Hopewell church, near the Rock Mill, in the beginning of the late war. William and Martin Coffman and William Stanberry were the founders. The society has always been small. The Methodists of Carroll have the largest society in the township. It was organized in 1838, under the leadership of Elijah Dove and Harry Messmore. The last named member was a noble man and soon after this died, leaving the principal work to devolve upon Mr. Dove, who has labored continuously since that time, when he was about
the only male member of the church, till now, having seen the society increase in numbers, to one hundred and twenty-five. Elijah Bing and Jacob Adams were the first circuit preachers, and came on the circuit in the years 1842 and 1843. Among those who followed these men were Rev. James Dillruth, the earliest M. E. preacher in the township, James Hooper, A. B. See, Samuel Harvey, Richard Pitzer, Samuel Bright and Henry Dortner. The new church was built and dedicated in July, 1854. Rev. Connell preached the sermon. Rev. B. D. Storer is the present and an able pastor. Joseph Dove is the superintendent of the Sunday school, now in a flourishing condition. There are three villages within the limit of Greenfield; Carroll, the principal town, at the junction of the Hocking Canal with the Ohio, and on the line of the Hocking Valley Railroad; Havensport, one and a half miles northeast of Carroll; and Dumontsville four miles north of Lancaster. Carroll was laid out by William Tong, after the completion of the canal. His dwelling house was the first structure of the kind, erected on this ground, and a part of it is still standing, now owned by Isaac Graybill. He also built the first mill. This building was a frame structure, and is now used by Saylor & Ebright, for a ware house, but it was moved to its present location from the run near the depot. This town has always been a good grain market, and the trade in cereals has been an advantage to the town. Mr. Saylor is the oldest living representation born in the town. He was with Mr. William Breck, who opened a ware house as early as 1832. many years, but has carried on since 1862 with Mr. N. S. Ebright. The firm handles about 60,000 bushels of wheat and corn annually. Mr. Tong was a contractor on the canal. He built the State dam, but before he fairly got the town laid off, he died. William Breck started the first store. He also opened the first hotel. This property is now the Ashbell House. After the completion of the canal, there was much travel by boat, and it was not uncommon for the landlord to make beds on the floor to accommodate his guests. There are at present three hotels, several stores, a good grist mill, a good two-story school house, a church, three physicians and a Masonic lodge in the town. This lodge, the Napthalia, was established in 1855. Dr. A. T. Aldred and Mr. Henry Savior, of Carroll, were among its charter members. Dr. Aldred is its present Worthy Master. Havensport was platted by Isaac Havens about the time of the completion of the canal, or in 1831, and was a boat station: it was at one time a flourishing little town. Mr. George Zimmerman built the first hotel, which he kept for a long time; there was also a warehouse and store kept by Judge Martin, an M. E. church, built in 1847, and generally a physician in the town. Dr. Aldred practiced his profession in the village some twelve years. The town has gone down and there is but a mere collection of a few houses. The little town of Dumontsville, owes its existence to Jacob Dumont, a Frenchman. The Greenfield Academy, at one time an important institution, was built by Jacob Claypool for school and church purposes, about the year
1830. Dr. Williams, a ripe scholar and a well known writer and author, taught the school about ten years, and many of the leading men of the county were chiefly educated there. The buildings are still standing, and are about five miles out from Lancaster, on the Claypool farm, but the noted educator and self-educated man is gone. He was not brilliant, but a thorough classical scholar. a fine grammarian and an unequaled lexicographer, in his day, but greater in nothing than his simplicity.