HISTORY OF FAIRFIELD COUNTY

CHAPTER XXXV.

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP.

     LIBERTY lies between Violet and Walnut, in the northern tier of
townships. It was so named at the request of the first settlers who
were from Switzerland. They had emigrated from a land where their
liberties had been much restricted, and they desired to perpetuate the
change to freedom, hence the name of Liberty. The surface of the
township is generally flat, being slightly undulating near the villages of
Basil and Baltimore. When first settled, it was densely timbered with
maple, beech, elm, hickory and other varieties of hard wood, but the
large amounts destroyed in clearing the land, and used for fuel, building 
and fencing, has denuded the forests to such an extent, that but little 
timber of value remains. Walnut Creek, the principal stream of
water, passes across the southern part of the township in a meandering
course. Poplar Creek, its principal tributary, rises in the northwestern
part of the township. Little Paw Paw Creek heads in the northeastern
part of Walnut, and flows in a southerly direction into the Walnut.
The Ohio Canal crosses the southwestern part of Liberty.
     A portion of the Refugee tract of land is located in the northern
part of the township.
     
     Various bands of Delaware, Wyandotte and other tribes of Indians,
wandered about this and other townships, for several years after the
first white settlements commenced. It was a common occurrence for
the men and boys of both races to engage in wrestling, jumping and
foot races. The site of the present village of Basil is said to have had
several of the meeting places, where the whites and Indians would 
frequently engage in these amusements.
     The Indians had cleared tracts of land and planted some corn, which
with their game enabled them to obtain quite a comfortable subsistence.
They also made considerable quantities of maple sugar during the
spring season. They frequently exchanged their skins and furs with
the whites, for flour, salt, lead, powder and other commodities.
     They were particularly desirous of exchanging their peltry for whisky, 
of which they were very fond. During the war of 1812 the settlers
were often alarmed by reports of hostile Indians coming into the 
township.
     There was a fort at the house of Judge Burtons, in Pleasant township, 
to which the women and children were taken, when an alarm was
given.   The fighting men of the settlements would rendezvous at
Lancaster, until after the scare had subsided.
     
     The first settlers of Liberty township were emigrants from Switzerland

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and Pennsylvania. It cannot now be ascertained who was the very
first settler of the township.
     Christisn Gundy and family came from Lancaster county, Pennsyl-
vania, in 1809, settling in the southern part of Liberty, on Walnut
Creek. He erected a small log cabin, having a blanket for a door.
His descendants still reside here. David Brumback came to Liberty
about 1803, locating in the southeastern part of the township. Among
the early Swiss settlers were Nicholas Bader, Joseph Alt and Jacob
Showley, who settled in Liberty, prior to 1806. They transferred their
household goods from Pittsburg in flat boats, down the Ohio River, to
the mouth of the Hocking, at which place they put them into canoes
and rowed them to the Falls of Hocking, near the present village of
Logan, and from there conveyed them through a dense wilderness, to
their future homes in Liberty.
     Francis Bibler came from Virginia in 1805. He located in the
southwestern part of the township. He erected a cabin, which stood
near the residence of John Chapman, of Basil.   For several weeks
after first settling here, the family subsisted entirely on wild game, not
having any bread in the house. The nearest flouring mill was at 
Chillicothe, to which place the settlers would go for their flour and meal.
Rev. Henry Leonard, who was born in 1812, and still resides in the
township, furnishes the following list of families, who resided in Liberty
township prior to the war of 1811, viz.: the Eversoles, Cooks,
Campbells, Zirkles, Hiesers, Alts, Heistands, Apt, Finkbone, Kemerer, 
Paff, Bolenbaughs, Rouch, Newell, Blauser, Browns, Shriners,
Knepper, Moreheads, Olingers, Wrights, Tusing, Growilers, 
McCalla, Switzer, Amspach, Heyle, Farmers, Leonards, Sann, Rouch,
Zirkles, Sagers, Robert Wilson, Nicholas Bader, Christian Gundy and
several other families. Many of the descendants of these first settlers
are still residing here. The first cabins of the pioneers have long since
disappeared, and have been superseded by substantial brick and frame
structures.
     Prior to the construction of the Ohio Canal, prices for all
kinds of produce were very low. At one time Mr. Bibler, of Liberty,
went to Lancaster to sell some wheat. One of the merchants said to
him, "I cannot use the wheat now for any purpose, but if you wish to
bring it and empty it in the street, I will give you twelve and one-half
cents a bushel for it." Another of the old settlers drove a lot of hogs
to Zanesville, with the expectation of receiving $1.50 per hundred for
them. Mr. Buckingham, one of the early merchants of the city, refused 
to give him that price for his porkers, which so displeased the old
settler, that he refused to sell them at all, and left them in the streets of
the town, to take care of themselves. In a few weeks they all returned
to the old place.
     Ginseng grew in large quantities in the woods, and the settlers 
depended upon the sale of this root to pay their taxes, as it brought a, fair
price.
     Jacob Showley built the first grist mill in Liberty. It was in 
operation by horse power.
     One of the first roads in the township was the Black Lick. The

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Refugee road, in the northern part of the township, was another of the
first roads laid out.

     The Baptists were probably the religious pioneers of Liberty. The
members held their meetings in private houses, until the erection of a
church at Baltimore, in 1832. Rev. Martin Kauffman was one of the
first ministers of this denomination to preach in the township. Rev.
John Hite and Lewis Madden were early Baptist ministers.
     The Mt. Zion Reformed church is situated about two miles north-
west of Basil. The society was organized in 1844. Among the early
influential, working members of the society were Samuel Wilkins,
Peter Weaver and Enoch Beighler.  From a membership of ten or
twelve in 1844, the church has increased to about one hundred and
forty-five, in 1882. The same pastors that have had ministerial charge
of the Basil Church, have officiated for this society.
     A Sunday school has existed in connection with this church, since
about the time of its organization. The present superintendent is David
W. Wilkins. Two of the early ministers of the Reformed Church,
were the Rev. George Weise of Lancaster and Rev. Henry K. Zerbe.
     Rev. Frederick Shower, a minister of the Evangelical or Albright
Church, frequently preached in this township. In 1830 a small church
was erected on Poplar Creek.

     There are two villages in this township---Baltimore and Basil.
Baltimore, the older and larger village, is situated in the southeast
part of the township. It was laid out in 1824, by Mr. Henry Hildebrand.  
He first named it New Market, in honor of his native village,
New Market, Virginia. Subsequently it was changed to Baltimore.
     It has at this date (July, 1882) a population of about six hundred,
and is gradually increasing. For several years after the completion of
the Ohio Canal, Baltimore was a place of considerable importance.
Large quantities of wheat, corn and other produce were purchased by
the business men of the village, and shipped via the canal to eastern
markets. Wing and Atwood built the first grain warehouse.
     Amos Sweazy built another warehouse a short time afterwards.
Wing, Ruffner & Coulson in 1835 built the first grist mill in the village.
     These warehouses and mills were located on the banks of the canal,
and for many years the owners transacted a very flourishing business,
but when the railroads became general, the business of the place sought
localities favored by the railroad and the town was at a stand still for
several years. The building of the Ohio Central Railroad and its location 
through the village has given an impetus to business, and it is
slowly but surely increasing. At this time the village contains one 
hotel, two dry goods stores, two groceries, one general merchandise
store, two warehouses, two flour mills, one planing mill, one 
undertaking establishment, one drug store, one harness shop, etc.
     At an early date in its history, the village sustained a flourishing
newspaper, called the Baltimore Times. It originated about 1832 and
existed for some three or four years. A. D. Rawlings was the publisher. 
Among the early physicians were Drs. S. S. Gohegan, William
Quinn and Helmick. Miss Julietta Lampson and Lockwood McMullen

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were of the first school teachers in the village. A serious accident
occurred in 1835, which resulted in the death of three individuals.
Services were being held in the Baptist church, a brick structure, when
the gable end of the church, next to which the pulpit was located, 
suddenly fell in, killing the three referred to and wounding several others.
The minister officiating made a narrow escape from death.
     In 1861 a fire occurred which destroyed the hotel and drug store,
and three barns.
     The Methodist Episcopal Church of Baltimore was organized about
1829. Among the first members of this class were Lyman Terrell,
Amos T. Swazy, William Taylor and wives, the Reeses and others.
Revs. Zachariah Connell, Levi White and Samuel Hamilton were of
the first Methodist ministers, who officiated for this society. A short
time after the organization, a small brick building was built by the
members, in which they held their meetings until about 1838, when the
present frame church was constructed. The church is in a flourishing
condition at this time and sustains a Sunday-school, which enjoys a
good degree of prosperity. There is a cemetery in connection with
this church which was laid out about the time the church was organized.
     The Baltimore Baptist Church was organized about 1832, at which
date a neat substantial brick church was built. John Abram, Jacob
Bibler, Joseph Bibler, Joseph Stouder and their wives were among the
early members. For several years prior to the organization of the
Baltimore church, the members held their meetings at various houses
in the township. These meetings were frequently addressed by Elders
John Hite, Martin Kauffman, Louis Madden and others. Rev. Louis
Madden was the first pastor of this church and remained such many
years. There has been no regular pastor for some years, and the
membership is small at this date, 1882. There was a society of 
Presbyterians in the village several years since. A brick edifice was 
erected, which was subsequently sold to the village for a school house. The
church never attained to much prosperity.
     There is a flourishing union school in the town. Professor J.J.
Wagner with three assistants constituted the corps of teachers, 
employed during the last term. The school building, which is 
constructed of brick was built about 1857.
     Baltimore Lodge. No. 202, I. 0. 0. F., was instituted June 11th
1852. The charter members were: Casper Fiddler, A.L. Simmons,
H. L. Nicely, William Potter, ]. Bartholomew, William J. Smart, J.
Schlosser, James Pugh, Job McNamee, Thomas M. Watson, Jacob
Ketner, John H. Weakly, Frederick Graff, William Paul and Elijah
Warner. Whole number of members in July 1882, ninety-two.
     Liberty Encampment. No. 169, I. 0. 0. F., of Baltimore, was
organized July 14th 1873. The charter members were: Jonas 
Meserly, J. J. Hausberger, A. L. Gearhart, Daniel Langle, V. H. 
Ginder, J. W. Whiteley, Samuel Rader, Daniel Olinger, W. P. Littlejohn,
Josephus Norris, F. G. Littlejohn, W. H. Oliver, John Javoi, T. I.
Arnold, Peter Roshon, J.W. Chapman, R. S. Broch, S. S. Weist,
Frederick Born, William Cook. The lodge does not hold any 
regular meetings at this date.
     Baltimore Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons was instituted

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October 22, 1873. Harrison Applegate, William O. Myers, W. W.
Luckey, J. H. Schaertzer, D. H. Sands, J. R. Brandt, William Cook,
John Sanns, Samuel Fenstermacher, E. K. Grube, G. W. Watson,
Thomas Smurr, James W. Buchanan, Daniel Albright, Lewis Shearer,
were the charter members. There are now about sixty-five members
at this date, July, 1882.   The lodge erected a brick building in 1873,
in which they hold their sessions.
     The I. 0. 0. F. Lodge also erected a neat and commodious brick
hall in 1879 at a cost of sixteen hundred dollars.
     The Ohio Central Railroad passes through the village. A neat
frame passenger depot was erected by the company for the accommo-
dation of the many persons, who take the trains at this point. Large
quantities of wheat and other cereals are purchased at this place and
shipped to eastern markets by way of this railroad.
     The Ohio Canal transacts but a small amount of business since the
advent of the railroad. Not more than one or two boats a week pass
through Baltimore during the season. At one time, during the palmiest 
days of the canal, several hundred boats, passing each way, would
go through the town during the summer and fall. Immense quantities
of produce were shipped by canal boats to northern and eastern points.

     Basil is situated three-fourths of a mile west of Baltimore. It is a
a neat and flourishing village of some three hundred inhabitants. It
was laid out in 1825, by Jacob Goss. Jonathan Flattery surveyed the
lots when the village was laid out. Henry D. Bolle was the first 
merchant in Basil. He kept his store in a log cabin. His first stock of
goods was stored on a shelf twelve feet long and one foot wide. Sub-
sequently he put up shelving and a rough counter. After selling goods
for two years, he sold his stock to a Mr. Leonard, who, commencing
with a capital of one hundred and fifty dollars, in a few years, built up
quite an extensive trade.
     Henry Yanna erected the first hotel. He carried on, also, a butcher
shop and sold large quantities of meat to the contractors on the canal.
He had for his sign, an ox painted on a board, which served the double
purpose of a sign for his tavern and butcher shop. Peter Daring kept
the second tavern in the village. At that date hotel business was 
profitable and these two hotels did a good business. The construction of
the canal caused an influx of strangers, such as has never been
equaled since.
     There are in the village two drug stores, two dry goods stores, one
general merchandise store, two carriage shops, two hotels, one butcher
shop, one tin shop, one hardware store, one foundry, one flouring mill,
four physicians, etc. A school-house was built in 1881. Professor
Frank Schisler, with two assistants, have charge of the schools.
     The village is on the line of both the Ohio Canal and the Ohio
Central Railroad. The citizens have erected a neat brick passenger
depot, the first depot, a frame structure erected by the railroad company,
having burned a short time after its completion. The company refusing 
to build another depot, the citizens succeeded in securing means
for the building of a more substantial structure than the first one.

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The village has the benefit of two mails a day via the Ohio Central
Railway. John W. Chapman is the postmaster.
     With one or two exceptions, the first inhabitants of Basil are dead.
Even all the original log and frame structures have disappeared. No
traces of the first citizens remain. Many of the early inhabitants of
Basil and Baltimore, and surrounding country, are laid away, awaiting
the final summons, in the beautiful cemetery that lies between the two
villages.
     Basil Lodge, No. 11, Knights of Pythias, was instituted October
23, 1877. The charter members were Samuel R. McCleary, T. J.
Arnold, G. H. Godden, R. R. Carter, Adam Roley, Emanuel Kinsch,
Lyman Norris, John Shoub, B. F. Harner, Noah Snider, Frank Cook,
Isaac Grube, Benjamin Emch, Julius Shetzley, William Greer, David
Kumler, W. H. Poff, William D. Caslow, and B. F. Roley. The
order erected a hall in 1879. Present membership, about sixty.
     There is but one church in Basil---the Trinity Reformed. It was
organized in 1844. The first male members of Trinity Church were
Henry Leonard, Joseph Alt, Jacob Giesy, Peter Roshon, John Urben,
John Doomy, Joseph Carminy, Peter Caley, Nicholas G. Messerley,
John Leonard, George W. Tussing, Henry Switzer, and John Goss.
The first pastor of Trinity Church was Rev. Henry K. Zerbe, who
served the congregation from the time of its organization until July or
August of the following year, when he died. The Rev. Jesse Schlosser
was the second pastor, who continued in that relation until about 1853.
He was succeeded by Rev. John Pence, who served the charge about
one year and six months, when he resigned his pastorate. After his
resignation the charge was without a regular pastor for eighteen months.
During this time the congregations of Trinity and Mt. Zion Reformed
churches were occasionally supplied with preaching by ministers of the
Reformed and other branches of the church of Christ. The Rev. John
Ruhl was the next pastor, and his pastorate continued about four years.
The Rev. John Vogt, D.D., commenced his services as pastor about
1860, and served as such until January, 1863, when he was succeeded
by Rev. Adam C. Kendig, who served the class about one year, when
death severed the relation as pastor and people. The present pastor,
Rev. G. H. Leonard, assumed the pastorate of Trinity Church January
15, 1865. He has continued to serve the congregation regularly since
that date. At the beginning of the present pastorate the number of
members in the Trinity congregation was about eighty-five, and the
present membership is nearly three hundred. Trinity Church was
completed in 1847. There is a prosperous Sunday-school in connection
with this church, having George W. Kumler as superintendent.

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