History of Madison County
Pleasant Township Towns and Villages
From History of Madison County, W. H. Beers & Co, Chicago, 1883
This township contains but one town or village within its boundaries. John J. Smith, written of as an early settler, came from near Mt. Sterling, Ky., and purchased quite a large tract of land in this township, embracing the ground upon which Mt. Sterling now stands. After over twenty years of pioneer work, there was no town or village in the township, and Mr. Smith, about 1828, surveyed and laid off some lots for a town, and platted the same, which was duly recorded at London June 26, 1839, under the name of Mt. Sterling, after his favorite town of Mt. Sterling in his native State. The first house erected was a small frame built by Jacob Alkire, and just opposite to it, on Columbus street, Mr. Alkire erected the second house. Both these houses are still standing, but in a very dilapidated condition, having now stood there over half a century. The first hotel was built and a tavern kept by Andrew J. Mure; he was succeeded by Mr. Benjamin Leach, and he by Robert Abernathy. Soon after, a second hotel was built and kept by John Peterson, located where Levi Southward's livery stable now stands.
Mr. Mure also opened the first store. Wilson & Graham were, however, the first to keep a good and general stock of merchandise. William D. Wood and Wesley Howard were two early merchants. The first carpenter was James Baker, who was quite an early settler and became somewhat prominent in the early progress of the place. Stephen S. Beale, the first shoe-maker of the town, was a native of Virginia, and settled here about 1834; he followed the shoe-making business for fifteen years; thence entered upon farming and became quite wealthy; owned 1,000 acres of land, besides moneys and personal property. He was a good financier and an energetic business man, a good neighbor and a useful citizen. William Atkins and Otho Williams were the first blacksmiths. The first physician was Dr. J. Gregory; the next, Dr. Leeds, and then Dr. D. E. McMillin, who is still a practicing physician of the place, where he located in 1837. Other early physicians were Dr. William McClintick, Dr. Elam Bodman and Dr. John Holton. The post office was established about 1840, with Rowland Wilson as Postmaster.
The town was incorporated March 12, 1845, and the first election held August 15, 1845, resulting as follows: Mayor, Lewis Timmons; Clerk, Smiley Hughs; Marshal, N. R. Stanford; Council, John H. Merrill, Dr. Samuel McClintick, C. W. Cozens, R. W. Evans and Dr. William McClintick. The Mayors of Mt. Sterling since its incorporation have been as follows: 1845, Lewis Timmons; 1850-51, C. W. Cozens; 1853, Samuel McClintick; 1854, Smiley Hughs; 1856, M. J. Kauffelt; 1858, G. J. Smith; 1859-62, Smiley Hughs; 1863, Benjamin Leach; 1864, Isaac Moore; 1865-67, N. J. Kauffelt; 1870. B. F. Thomas; 1872, Ira Buzidk; 1874-80, John M. Micodemus. Present officers of the incorporation (1882) are as follows: Mayor, Smiley Hughs; Council, W. F. Mercer, W. J. Hodges, L. Clausson, Taylor Snider and Adam Bailey; Marshal, Christopher De Long; Clerk, D. Bender; Treasurer, N. A. Riggin; Solicitor, B. F. Thomas; Civil Engineer, J. L. McCafferty.
The present business of the town is as follows: General stores, N. T. Tenney, Snider Bros., D. H. Douglass & Co., T. Neff, Mr. Crabb; hardware, N. J. D. Kauffelt, Riddle & Smider; groceries, C. Brown, James Clark; druggists, Dr. Samuel McClintick, Ewing Wood, Frank Mercer; Farmers' Bank, John Loofburrow, Cashier; bakery and restaurant, Frederick Wurm; boots and shoes, Andrew Kopensperger, J. Baughman; hotel (Rock House), Mr. Chevee, proprietor; livery, Nelson Riggin, Levi Southward; millinery, Miss Sarah Cannon, Mrs. Williams; book store and job printer, M. W. Schryver; physicians, Dr. D. E. McMillin, Dr. E. B. Pratt, Dr. Emery, Dr. Samuel McClintick; Civil Engineers, Samuel F. Rock, J. L. McCafferty; butcher, William Michael; tinner, L. Clausson; tailor, John Robery; barbers, Z. Burns, J. Bunch; gunsmith, Joseph Jones; wagon-makers, Smiley Hughs, Mr. Swisher, George Rentz; blacksmiths, P. A. Zahn, W. J. Hodges; buggy shop, James Denman; saddler and harness shop, W. Ingrim; tile manufacturer, George Michael; Postmaster, C. H. Hanawalt; undertaker, J. M. Nicodemus.
In April, 1871, M. W. Schryver commenced the publication of a newspaper, known as the Mt. Sterling Review. This paper he continued eighteen months, when he changed the name to the Husbandman, the publication of which he continued until May 1, 1874, when it ceased for want of sufficient support to justify the publisher to continue it.
Mt. Sterling, at the census of 1880, had a population of 482, and we feel justified in saying that there are few towns of its size situated fifteen miles from a railroad that presents a better appearance than this rural town. It is located in the midst of a rich and beautiful country; contains a class of active, energetic business men, men of wealth, intelligence and refinement, as is evidenced by their good buildings, fine schools and numerous churches. And had this thriving town the commercial advantages of a railroad, it would soon rank among the most active business towns of Madison County.
From Atlas of Madison County, J.A. Caldwell [Condit, Ohio, 1875]
It is located in the south-east part of the county, and also in the south-eastern part of Pleasant Township, on the west banks of Deer Creek, sixteen miles south east from London, with a population of 600, and was laid out in 1826, by John J. Smith, Esq., and incorporated 1845, and the incorporation line extended February 4th, 1873. for a few years its growth has been quite rapid. Many fine brick and frame buildings have been constructed along its principal streets, and a number of handsome residences have been built in different parts of the town. It contains, at the present time, three churches — a Methodist Episcopal, a Presbyterian, and a Christian; a banking house, called the Farmers' Bank, five dry goods stores, three groceries, two drug stores, and a No. 1 hotel, kept by Mr. W. Leach, called the Bostwick House; two harness shops, a hardware, tin and stove firm, two boot and shoe stores, two blacksmith shops, a carriage manufacturing establishment, a wagon shop, four physicians, and a good flouring-mill. Mt. Sterling possesses a spirited people. Its merchants and mechanics are prosperous. The neighborhood about it is made up of thrifty farmers, and its future is quite promising. There is a contemplated railroad by Mt. Sterling, whcih, when built, will start at Pomeroy, on the Ohio river, in Meigs County; thence to McArthur, Vinton County; then to Circleville, Pickaway County, and then by Mt. Sterling, and so on to London, the county-seat of Madison County; then pass on in a north-westerly direction, By Urbana, Champaign County; Sidney, Shelby County; Celina, Mercer County, and proceed in the same direction to Chicago; opening a communication for the transportation of the minerals of Southern Ohio, towards the northwest, and to transport the lumber of Wisconsin and Michigan to the mineral region. This road could be built from Pomeroy, on the Ohio river, to Charleston, in West Virginia, on the Great Kanawha, and there connecting with the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, which is already built, opening a direct communication from Chesapeake bay to Chicago, passing through the great mineral regions, both of Ohio and West Virginia.
From History of Madison County, Ohio, Chester E. Bryan, Supervising Editor, B.F. Bowen & Co., Indianapolis (1915)
Pleasant township-contains but one town and two villages within its limits. Mt. Sterling is situated in the southeastern part of the township and also of Madison county. John J. Smith came to this county from near Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, and purchased quite a large tract of land in Pleasant township, embracing the ground upon which Mt. Sterling now stands. After over twenty years of pioneer work, there was no town or village in the township, and Smith, about 1828, surveyed and laid off some lots for a town. The same was platted and duly recorded at London on June 26, 1829, under the name of Mt. Sterling, after Smith's favorite town, Mt. Sterling, in his native state. The first house erected was a small, frame house built by Jacob Alkire, and just opposite to it, on Columbus street, Alkire erected the second house. The first tavern was built and conducted by Andrew J. Mure, who was succeeded by Benjamin
Leach, and he by Robert Abernathy. Soon after, a second hotel was built and conducted by John Peterson, located where Levi-Southward's livery barn later stood. Mr. Mure also opened the first store. Wilson & Graham were the first to keep a general stock of merchandise. William D. Wood and Wesley Howard were two early merchants. The first carpenter was James Baker, who was quite an early settler and became somewhat prominent in the early progress of the place. Stephen S. Beale, the first shoe maker of the town, was a native of Virginia, and settled there about 1834; he followed the shoemaking trade for fifteen years, after which he entered upon farming and became wealthy, owning as much as one thousand acres of land. William Atkins and Otho Williams were the first blacksmiths. The first physician was Dr. J. Gregory; the next, Doctor Leeds, after whom came Dr. D. E. McMillan, who located there in 1837. The postoffice was established about 1840, with Rowland Wilson as the first postmaster.
The town was incorporated on March 12, 1845, and the first election held on August 15, 1845, the following being elected to the first offices in the town: Lewis Timmons, mayor; Smiley Hughes, clerk; N. R. Stanford, marshal; John Merrill, Dr. Samuel McClintick, C. W. Cozens, R. W. Evans and Dr. William McClintick, councilmen. The present officers are: J. N. Waldo, mayor; George W. Tanner, clerk; O. J. Ray, treasurer; Dr. E. W. Elder, Laban Fulton, Glenn Johnson, J. N. Waldo and Homer C. Wilson, councilmen.
THE TOWN'S BUSINESS INTERESTS
Mt. Sterling has a population of about one thousand two hundred. The country for many miles around is fertile and produces immense crops, and the farmers are prosperous and up to date. The Baltimore & Ohio railroad from Columbus to Cincinnati runs through the town and makes it a good shipping point. A great amount of live stock and grain is shipped from the place every year and the two great grain elevators do a big business. Mt. Sterling has a fine high school, and also a splendid grade school, with a large enrollment The churches are well attended. The town is lighted by electricity and has waterworks, an opera house, a fine public library, halls and other public buildings. One of the oldest corn festivals or corn shows held in the state is given there annually in January. Another event of great interest is the chautauqua, which is held annually. Mt. Sterling has a baseball team that it is proud of, the team being composed of a splendid set of ball players.
Mt. Sterling has a live set of merchants and business and professional men, who take a great interest in the progress and welfare of their town. The firm of Clock & Boyd handles a full line of dry goods, carpets, curtains, boots, shoes, clothing, hats, caps and household goods. T. B. Dilie has a large hardware store and carries a general line of everything in the hardware line. Gilbert S. Carpenter, gents furnishing goods, has a fine store and carries a full line of goods. A. J. Tannehill, druggist, has a modern store and does a flourishing business. H. Clay Johnson & Company, dealers in all kinds of footwear, carry a full line. W. O. Mendenhall, grocer, enjoys a big trade. George A. Boice sells dry goods, notions and groceries. G. D. O'Day handles cameras and supplies, fishing tackle, baseball goods, bicycles and sundries, and a general line of sporting goods. F. H. Hott is the proprietor of the bakery. W. E. Waldo deals in buggies, harness and harness supplies. Miss Olive E. Silverthorne conducts a millinery establishment. The Citizens National Bank, with a capital of about a quarter of a million, has considerably over a half million dollars in resources. H. J. Taylor is the cashier. Bowman & Reynolds, furniture dealers, also conduct an undertaking establishment. The Hotel Richard serves the needs of the traveling public. Ed. Neff, the proprietor of a garage, also has a machine shop. Jones & Jones, grain merchants, have a large elevator and also sell flour, lime, coal, cement, fencing, etc. Dr. G. M. McDonald, a well-known dentist, is the manager of the Rockley Airedale kennels, breeders and importers of these high-class terriers. J. C. Parkinson, meat market, does his own butchering. The Mt. Sterling Lumber Company does an extensive business. The Carter Fence Company ships goods all over the country. The First National Bank is among the "Roll of Honor" banks. Mrs. D. N. Erskine carries a full line of millinery. W. L. Hastings, watchmaker and jeweler, also handles men's shoes. W. E. Erskine conducts a general garage and is the agent for cars. Schryver & Neff conduct an insurance, bonding, real-estate and loan business. J. O'Brien, merchant tailor, also has a cleaning and pressing establishment. The Gerlach harness store handles all kinds of horse goods. Ed R. Johnson conducts a plumbing shop and does general work in that line. E. T. Snyder, who conducts a furniture store, is also an embalmer and undertaker. The Park restaurant is conducted by Mrs. Mattie Bunyan, who conducts a confectionery and ice cream parlor in connection. The Sterling Grain Company are dealers in grain, coal, cement, hay, straw, feed, salt, posts, wire fence, sewer pipe, drain tile,
implements, high-grade fertilizers, buggies, wagons, etc. Blessing's Smoke House is a barber shop, cigar store and poolroom combined. G. W. Thomas is the proprietor of the B. and O. livery barn. The Security Building and Loan Company is steadily increasing its business. Wilby Cowan, proprietor of a dry-cleaning and pressing establishment, has a shoe-shining parlor and laundry agency. S. E. McDilda does all kinds of upholstering. The Mt. Sterling Monument Company has a fine display room. W. C. Dyer, a dealer in agricultural implements of all kinds, is a specialist on such subjects as fertillzer requirements, balanced rations for stock, soil requirements and other farm questions.
Antioch and McKendree are two small villages in Pleasant township. These hamlets have no business or professional interests, and only a few houses to mark their location.
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