History of Madison County
Canaan Township History
From Atlas of Madison County, J.A. Caldwell [Condit, Ohio, 1875]
This township lies south of Darby, and on both sides of Darby Creek. Like Darby Township, on the west of Darby Creek, it is composed of oak openings and prairies; the surface is level, the soil good, producing large crops of corn, oats, wheat, hay and grass, and fine cattle, hogs, sheep and horses. The farms are large. East of Darby Creek the surface is level, the top soil loam, the sub-soil clay, and very deep, and the soil is rich and the surface covered with a great variety of timber, the same as the part of Darby Township that lies on the east of Darby Creek. Amity (West Canaan P.O.), the only village of the township, is located on the west bank of Big Darby Creek, near the northern boundary. Along this creek is where the first settlements of Madison County were commenced, as early as 1795, by Jonathan Alder. In the spring of 1796 Benjamin Springer, and his son-in-law, Osborn, settled a little north of where Amity now stands. In 1797, William Lapin and Mr. Jonathan Alder settled on Darby Creek, what is now Canaan Township, near its southern boundary, and his son, Henry Alder, lives on the farm. Lorenzo Beach, Luther Lane, Henderson Crabb, Sr., Dr. Charles McCloud, the Careys and the Taylors are among its early settlers.
From History of Madison County, W. H. Beers & Co, Chicago, 1883
In the settlement of this portion of Ohio, the tide of emigration seemed to follow up the streams and creeks, and those of the Darby and Deer Creek, it appears from their position, together with the richness of their lands and abundance of deer, turkeys and other wild game, held out superior attractions to those seeking a favorable location to settle and make a home for themselves and their posterity. And not only this, but it appears to have been a favorite location with the Indians prior to the white man entering this rich domain, for here the white settlers find them encamped enjoying the rich hunting-grounds of the two Darbys and Deer Creek. But to be brief, and to enter at once upon the work of giving the important matters connected with Canaan Township, we may say its history begins in 1796, when Jonathan Alder was discovered residing with his Indian wife on the west bank of the Darby, by Benjamin Springer. These were the first white settlers known to have settled on the Darby, or within the limits of Madison County. Of Alder and Benjamin Springer, we shall here say nothing, but refer the leader to the general history of the county.
Luther Cary, a native of New Jersey, married Rhoda Leonard, and at a very early day emigrated to the Redstone country, Pennsylvania, thence came down the Ohio River, and settled at or near Marietta, Ohio; thence, in 1800, with his family, he moved to Madison County, and located on the Big Darby, on land now owned by John Stallbird, just north of Amity, in Canaan Township, where he resided till his death, October 8, 1834, aged seventy-four years. His wife died May 15, 1846, aged ninety-one years. Their children were as follows: Benjamin, who married and settled near Wooster, Ohio, where he died; Luther, moved away and settled in Miami County. Calvin, married and settled at Cary, Ohio, from whom that town received its name; Stephen, married Catharine Johnson, and settled in this township, where he remained till his death; Ephraim, married Matilda Candy, and settled in this township, and resided several years, thence he removed into Union County, where he died; Jemima, married Jacob Johnson, and settled in Jefferson Township, when she died, and subsequently Phebe, who had married John Davis, and was left a widow by his death, married Mr. Johnson; Lydia, married John Johnson, and settled just below Amity, where they resided till aboul 1855, when they removed West; Rachel, married Alexander McCullough, and settled near Amity, but finally removed to Putnam County, Ohio, where she died; Abijah, married Catharine Johnson, and soon after settled where Jacob Millikin now lives, and here resided till his death, February 21, 1854, aged seventy-three years; his wife died February 1, 1851, in the sixty-fifth year of her age. They had the following children: Mary, Solomon, Absolom, Sarah, Rhoda, Abram, Rachel, Eliza and Lucinda; all grew to maturity, married and raised families, and all prosperous and good citizens of Madison County, most of whom became members of the Presbyterian Church, and honored and respected citizens of the community. Mr. Abijah Cary was horn March 6, 1781, and when nineteen years of age became a resident of this township, where he spent a long and useful life, having, at his death, been a resident here over half a century. He was a man of remarkable industry, and passed through all the arduous and dangerous trials of the pioneer days. The farm upon which he settled he purchased from the Government, by the original title of a patent. He was a man of firm character and principles, of undoubted integrity, and held the confidence of the people of his township, under whom he held most of its offices. He was fervent in the Presbyterian faith, although not a member of the church. His life was devoted to the genera] welfare of his family and community, and gave freely of his means and influence for every progress and improvement which tended to the general public good, and died esteemed and respected by a large circle of friends and acquaintances.
About 1805, two brothers, Jonathan and Joel Harris, natives of New Jersey, emigrated to Ohio, and settled in Canaan Township, the former on the place where Luther Lane now resides, and resided there till his death. He married Miss Casto, by whom he had the following children: George, Amos, William, Joel, Rebecca and Pattie. Joel, married and soon after settled in Franklin County. Nahum King, a native of Vermont, married Sarrepta Norton, and settled on the land where
John Kilgore, a native of Westmoreland County Penn., with his wife Jane and his family, emigrated to Ohio, and settled in Ross County in 1797; thence, about 1809, they removed to Madison County and settled on Three-Mile Run, about one and a half miles west of Big Darby, where he died soon after. His wife subsequently moved to Union County, where she remained till her death at an advanced age. Their children were as follows: Thomas, who was eighteen years of age when they settled in Madison County, and here in 1812 he married Jane Patterson, who was born in Botetourt County, Va., October 8, 1792, they settled on the place where his son Harvey now resides, and here remained till his death, February 11, 1872, aged eighty-one years. His wife died June 3, 1862. They had eleven children, six now survive. Those deceased were William, Eliza, Rebecca, Sarah and Lucinda; and those living are John, who married Maloney Beach, William, married Mary Boyd; Harvey, married Judith Sherwood; Simeon, married Elizabeth Cary, and resides in Union County, Ohio; Elizabeth, married Chauncey Leach, and resides in Franklin County; and Rebecca, married Jacob Taylor. Mr. Thomas Kilgore lived a long and useful life in Canaan Township, having at the time of his death, been a resident here over threescore years and on the same farm where he first settled. He was one of the true pioneers, and performed his full share in developing the country and bringing it from its primeval state to its present beautiful condition. He was a man of great moral worth and integrity of character, and had a great influence in molding the general character of the community, both politically and religiously, as during his life he held most of the offices of importance and trust in his township, and religiously had been a devoted member of the Methodist Church from his young manhood, or a period of sixty years. His example before his family and the community was one worthy of admiration and imitation. And of his consort we may add, she possessed all the many virtues of kindness and religious devotion which rendered her a true helpmeet; and their lives were a true blessing to their family and community, and have left behind them recollections of esteem and respect not soon to be forgotten. Of the other children of John Kilgore, James, married and moved to Missouri, where he died; Jane, married Thomas Patterson, and settled in Illinois, where they died; John, removed West, where he died unmarried; and Betsey, married Judge Dodge, who died and she is now a widow residing at Marysville, Union County, Ohio.
James Moore, it is believed, was a native of Pennsylvania, but became a settler on Mammouth Run, south of Jacob Millikin, as early probably as 1808-10; he married Betsey Patterson, by whom he had the following children: Stephen, who married Caroline Beebe, and settled near the home place of his father; subsequently he moved to Illinois, where he died; Moses married Serretta King and also settled near the home place, but subsequently moved to Illinois, where he died; one daughter married William Frakes, and settled in the West. Mr. Moore was quite a leading and influential man in this community, and held many of the offices of the township; but he died in the prime of life and in the midst of his usefulness, being cut off by death in the sickly season of 1822 and 1823; he was buried on the farm where he first settled. Ira Finch was a native of Vermont, but emigrated to Ohio and settled in Canaan township about one and a half miles west of Amity on Mammouth Run about 1808-10; he married Nancy Bull, and remained residents here till their death. Mr. Finch was one of this township's best citizens; quiet and reserved, yet possessing the entire confidence of the people, who continually placed him in the best offices of trust of the township, during the greater portion of his life. He died about 1856. Their children were Armenus, who died young; Pattie married Thomas Kilbury; Sarah married Thomas Harris; Madison married Nancy Clark and settled here, where he resided till his death (he was a local preacher in the Methodist Church); Minerva married Sanford Frazell, who died with the cholera in 1849. and she has since remained a widow, and resides in Amity; Commodore married Emily Robey, and subsequently removed to Missouri, where he died; John married Emily Kilbury, and settled and remained a resident of this township till his death; Joshua married Catharine Crego, and now resides in Amity; Thompson married Nancy Taylor, and was a resident here till the death of his wife, after which he moved to the West, and is now a resident of Iowa; and Ruhama married Silas Scribner, and moved to Missouri, where he died, and she is now a widow.
In 1803, William Taylor, a native of Virginia, on the Potomac River, emigrated to Ohio, and located in Darby Township, where he married. He finally settled in Canaan Township, on land uow owned by Harvey Kilgore. He married Elizabeth Casto, and the place where he settled, and an adjoining farm which he subsequently purchased, he resided through life. He was the father of fourteen children—Sarah married Philip Harris, and are residents of Washington Territory; Hannah married Henry Fuller and settled in Missouri, where they died; Samuel, deceased; Polly, deceased; Jacob married Rebecca Kilgore; Rhoda married Richard Edgar and settled in Illinois, both now deceased; Margaret married Isaac Arthur, and are residents of Missouri; William married Martha Arthur, is now deceased; Nancy married Thompson Pinch, is deceased; Mary married James Talpniny, both deceased; Moses, deceased, and three died in infancy. Mr. Taylor was a man of reserved habits, and a great lover of home and his family; a man of firm principles and noble character, a good farmer, kind neighbor, amd a much esteemed and respected citizen.
Henry H. Gandy settled one mile south of Amity, about 1812-14, and lived and died here. He raised a large family of children, all believed to be deceased. Luke Knapp, an Englishman by birth, emigrated to America and became a settler in Connecticut, where he resided several years; thence removed to New York, where he died. In 1812, his son, Elihu Knapp, came to Pennsylvania, and in 1815 to Madison County, and settled on land on the west side of Big Darby, where the cemetery is now located, and here he died in 1823, and his wife in 1836. His wife was Amy Anders, by whom he had three children—Electa, married Joshua Holtner, and settled at Worthington in 1808, where she died soon after; Cynthia, married Solomon Norton, and settled in this township; subsequently they moved to Illinois, where she died; and Elihu, married Kesiah Norton, and settled on the place now owned by Henry Kent, in Darby Township. Subsequently he purchased a farm in Union County, Ohio, where he lived eight years; then in 1833, he purchased and located on the place where he now lives. In 1831, his wife died. By her he had five children; four grew to maturity: three now living—Alburtus, Jacob and Amy. Subsequently Mr. Knapp married Polly Hayse, by whom he had two children, one now living—Melvin. His wife died and he married Hannah Patch; she died in about four years, and he married Mrs. Phebe Converse; she died, and he married Mrs. Jane Tarpning, by whom he has one child—Lolie. Mr. Knapp is now in his eighty-third year, one of the oldest residents of the township, having been a resident here sixty-seven years, and has been fully identified with the growth and improvement of the county; has held many of the offices of his township; and served as Justice of the Peace for many years. He has had his "ups and downs," has been very unfortunate in the loss of his wives, but has kept a steady course onward and upward, having sustained an unblemished character, and an undoubted integrity, and has the entire confidence of his community; has accumulated a good competency of this world's goods, and is a much respected citizen of Canaan Township.
Richard Stanhope, with his family, settled on the William Atkinson land, in 1812, the only colored family in that day in the neighborhood. He was a very honest man and quite a good farmer, yet very illiterate, with no advantages of an education. He was nevertheless affable and good natured, with the politeness peculiar to his race. James Guy was then one of his nearest neighbors, and practiced a good many little jokes on Richard, one of which we will mention. All the early settlers cultivated flax for the fiber, which was converted into clothing. This crop was always sown in a certain change of the moon. The following Friday after this change was the proper time, which happened to be Good Friday. Mr. Guy informed him that Good Friday of that year came on Sunday. Being a religious man, Stanhope was unwilling to desecrate the Sabbath, so he sowed his flax late on Saturday evening. Mr. Stanhope was a slave of Gen. George Washington, and was with him during the Revolutionary war. He subsequently sold his farm on the Plains and removed to Urbana, in 1836, where he died, it is claimed at the advanced age one hundred and twenty years. He married and became the father of at least three children, one son and two daughters. One of the latter, Sallie, is now residing in Mechanicsburg, the only survivor of the family.
Peter Strickland, a native of New England, settled on the east bank of Big Darby opposite Amity, and remained a resident of the township through life. He was married four times, and raised a large family of children, and all but one are residents of this township. Mr. Strickland was one of the early settlers, a very industrious man, a good neighbor and a well-to-do farmer. David Garton a native of New Jersey emigrated to this county and settled on Big Darby about two and a half miles south of Amity, about 1812-14, and remained a resident of the township till his death. He married Martha Harris, by whom he had two sons: Hosea, married Rebecca Harris and resided here until his death; and David, who settled in Missouri. Mrs. Garton died, and he married Hannah Packman, with whom he lived till his death, and was buried in the family burying-ground on his own place. By his last wife he had several children. Mr. Garton was a man honest and upright in his life and character, and desired such with whom to live and transact business and such as were otherwise he preferred, in the language of Scripture, to come out from among them, and be separate from such. He was firm in his character and principles, and always reliable and a trustworthy citizen.
Isaac Fuller, a native of New York, married Lucy Warner, and settled on the east bank of Big Darby, about two miles south of Amity, about 1812, and here he erected a grist mill about 1814 or 1815, which was one of the first mills erected in Madison County, and though roughly and poorly constructed, yet it proved a great convenience to the early settlers of this vicinity. Subsequently, he attached a saw mill to it. Mr. Fuller run his mill for thirty years, when he sold his mill property to Mr. Byers, and moved to Iowa, where he died. He was the father of the following children: Arnold, married Sallie Green, and moved to Iowa and thence to Oregon, and while performing the last journey his wife died—he died in Oregon; James married, but his wife lived but a short time, and he subsequently married Lucinda Francis and moved to Missouri (subsequently he made a trip to California, and on his journey back was taken sick and died before reaching his home and family); Shubel married Rhoda Ann Worthington, and moved to Iowa, where he died; Henry married Hannah Taylor and settled in Missouri, where she died (he subsequently died in Illinois); Olive, married William Harris, and settled in this township, and resided many years, an excellent citizen and a Deacon in the Baptist Church (finally removed to Franklin County where she died; subsequently he died in Champaign County, Ohio); Nancy, married George Harris, and settled near Fuller's mill, where he died (she subsequently removed to Iowa, where she now resides). These children are all by a former wife whose name is forgotten. By his last wife, Lucy Warner, he had one child, Isaac, who married Arminta Fuller, and settled in Iowa, where they still reside. Henry Robey settled just west of Jacob Millikin, about 1816. He married a Miss Johnson, by whom he had no children; she died and he married Mrs. Millie McDonald, by whom he had four children—Hezekiah, Henry, Nelson and Millie. About 1830, he removed to Hardin County, Ohio, where he resided till his death. He was a man of very reserved habits, never holding or desiring office, but an excellent man and neighbor, and one of the best blacksmiths and mechanics of that day; possessing great skill, he could make any kind of tool or manufactured article for household or farm use, and hence was a very useful man in this new county in that early day.
Elisha Bidwell settled in the southwest part of Canaan Township, on land since owned by William D. Wilson, about 1816. Of his children, Isaac, deceased; Nathan, now living in Jefferson Township; Uriah deceased; Ephraim, deceased; Addison, married and lives in Monroe Township; and Mahlon, who never married. Mr. Bidwell was a man of excellent character, and took a great interest in educational matters and the general good of the community; but as a business man, was not very successful, yet his children grew up and have become quite successful business men. Knowlton Bailey settled hereabout 1816-17, but resided here only a few years and moved into Jefferson Township where he died a short time previous to the late war. He raised a large family, but all are now deceased but two, Margaret aud Knowlton. Samuel Beebe, a native of New England, became a settler of this township about 1815. Of his children were Orley, Charles, Samuel, Judith and William. Mr. Beebe served in the Revolutionary war. Stephen Hallock, a native of Vermont, was another early settler here, probably about 1816-18. He married Rhoda Leach, by whom he had two children, Hyman and Washington. Mr. Hallock died in a few years after settling here, in one of the sickly years of 1822-23. Lemuel Greene settled one mile below Amity about 1818-20. He married for his ond wife Rachel Brown, by whom he had a large family of children, of whom were Asa, Ira, Sallie, Maria, Louisa, Nancy and Cynthia. Mr. Greene was a shoe-maker by trade, and resided here till his death. Levi Francis probably settled in this township about 1820; he raised a large family of children.
Mathias Slyh, a native of Virginia, settled on the place where he now lives about 1820. He buried his first wife, and married for his second Sallie Patterson, with whom he still lives. By his first wife he had three children—John, who resides in Franklin County; Lydia married Alburtus Knapp, and now resides in Kansas; and Rebecca Jane, who married and resides in Franklin County. By his present wife he has had Isabel, who married Daniel Walker and resides in Franklin County; Betsey married William Millikin; Ann married Robert Reece and resides in Franklin County; Mary married William Wilson. Jr.; Ruth married Isaac Beach and resides in Plain City; Robert married Sarah Smith, and Charles married Eliza Kilgore. Mr. Slyh is one of Canaan's good, substantial citizens; is now eighty-three years of age, and has been a resident here for more than threescore years. He is a member of the Baptist Church, and is one of the oldest and best esteemed citizens of this community. Warren Frazell. from the Eastern States, settled east of Amity about 1825, where he resided till his death. He was a preacher in the Methodist Church many years; he raised a large family of children, who became good, respectable citizens of community.
Richard Kilbury, a native of Vermont, married Obedience Baldwin, and in the fall of 1814 emigrated to Ohio and settled in this township on land now owned by William Atkinson, in Survey 7386. Alter residing here a short time, it proved so sickly thai he moved to near Cleveland, and subsequently to the Maumee Valley. But after a short residence there, he returned to Madison County, and resided here till his death. He was a blacksmith by trade, which business he followed through life. He was a member of the Methodist Church; a man of firm and substantial character and undoubted integrity, and held several offices of his township. Mrs. Kilbury died in a few years after their settling here. Subsequently, he married Mrs. Calhoun. By his first wife he had eight children—Sophia, who married a Mr. Sherwood, and resides in Wisconsin; Thomas married Martha Finch (she died and he married Polly Clark); Richard, deceased; Dexter, deceased; Asa married Ruth Clark and resides in Union County; Laura married Mr. Dennich she is now a widow and resides in Wisconsin; Nancy married Guy Harris, both now deceased; Emily married John Finch he is deceased, and she is now a widow and resides in Darby Township. By his second wife he had one son, Alexander, who now resides in California. Mr. Kilbury died in May, 1854.
Luther Lane, a native of Massachusetts, married Lodica Green, a native of Connecticut. They removed to Vermont about 1800. In 1817 they came to Ohio, and settled in Union County, near Milford; thence in 1829 he removed to Pike Township, Madison County, where he died the same year; his wife previously died while they were residing in Union County, in January, 1823. They had the following children: Fannie married David Harrington, and settled in this county, where they resided several years, where she died; Eliza married David Gitchel, and settled in Union County, thence removed to Illinois, but subsequently returned and died in Plain City; Lodica died unmarried; Elizabeth married Otis William, and settled in Madison County, where she died; Hannah became the second wife of Otis Witham, and settled and died in this county; David, the youngest, married Elizabeth Cox, and settled in Union County, where they still reside; and Luther, next older than David, married Elizabeth Morrisson, and in 1833 settled in Canaan Township. In 1834 he he entered upon the mercantile trade with Dr. Lorenzo Beach, in Amity, in which he continued about eight years. In September, 1841, he purchased and located upon the farm where he now resides. Mr. Lane has now spent nearly a half century in Canaan Township, and has been intimately identified with its general improvement and progress; has been one of its active business men and held many of the offices of the township, and is one of Canaan's prominent, reliable and respected citizens. He has been an earnest member of the Baptist Church forty-one years, and a Deacon in the same for twenty years. He and his companion have now traveled the journey of life together for half a century.
Elisha Perkins was one of the early settlers of the Plains. He came here when these prairies were nature's pasture grounds, the wild animals roaming unmolested, so far as the march of civilization was concerned. Mr. Perkins purchased and settled on the farm now owned by his son, Eli Perkins. But he was not permitted to remain but a few years, for in the sickly year of 1823, death claimed him as his own, and he was ruthlessly snatched away from his family and friends. His sons were Isaac, James, Eli, Horace and Dr. Hiram Perkins. The last mentioned was not a resident of this part of the county. Eli still resides upon the old home place. Lewis Ketch, the father of Esquire Ketch, of Union County, settled on the Plains in 1814. He was a shoe-maker by trade, and worked with Nahum King in a shoe shop at his tannery on the Plains, now included in the farm of Joseph Atkinson. The few years allotted to Mr. Ketch on earth were spent at his trade, but death had marked him for its victim. He passed into the invisible future, leaving a dependent and helpless family to the cold charities of the world. His widow married Parley Converse, with whom she lived till separated by death, after which she went to live with her daughter and son-in-law. Caleb Converse, of Unionville. Samuel Sherwood, the father of A. H. and J. C. Sherwood, in the year 1814 moved on to the Plains, purchased and lived on the farm known as the Calhoun farm. The house in which he lived was built on a high piece of ground, which subsequently proved to be a gravel bank, and was used to improve the Wilson pike. Mr. Sherwood was an economical and industrious farmer, but he fell a victim to death the second sickly year, 1823.
We have now mentioned most of the pioneers of Canaan Township; in fact, have above described several families who would perhaps more properly be termed early settlers rather than pioneers. There still remains several persons of whom we must speak; although not pioneers, yet they were early settlers, and came here at a time when energy, wealth and ability were necessary to develop the growth and interests of this naturally rich and beautiful township; and in its history we find them to have been the leading prime factors in all the main business interests, which set the wheels of industry moving, and have produced the great results of progress and prosperity which have attended this township in the past; and to leave them and their life's work from these pages, and call it a history of Canaan Township, would be as faulty as to take out the main spring and balance wheel of a watch, and still call what was left a watch. This is the reason of our bringing in names of many who settled at a more recent date among the early settlers. With the above remarks, we proceed to speak of the following:
A large family of brothers and sisters came to Madison County in the year 1817, following Uri Beach, who came in 1814. The brothers constituting the family were: Ori, Ambrose, Amos, Lorenzo, Roswell, Obil and Oren Beach; the last two named were twins. They were natives of Vermont. They first settled in Darby Township, but subsequently most if not all of them became settlers of Canaan. But of these, their marriages and families will be more fully written of in another part of this work, while here we desire to speak of them or of such of them as have been intimately connected with the development of the business interests and moral progress of this township and people.
Uri, when he first came from Vermont to Ohio in 1812, worked for a short time near Marietta; thence he came to Worthington, Ohio, where he married Then he settled in Madison County, on land now owned by Solomon Cary, in Darby Township, residing there until 1819, when he removed to Big Darby and settled where Amity is now located. Like all new countries, the great majority of the settlers followed agricultural pursuits. But time soon developed their wants and necessities. Consequently, some must turn their attention to other occupations in order to supply the demands and wants of the people. Among the first to make this sacrifice and labor for the good of the people in building up the country in which he lived was Uri Beach. The first enterprise that attracted his attention was the erection of a saw-mill. There was but one mill of this kind in this part of the county, which was the Saeger Mill farther above on the Darby, near the border of Union County. At that time, the people were compelled to live in houses with puncheon floors; some, however, had no floors except the mother earth. In view of this condition of things, he determined upon the erection of his mill, and though remonstrated against by his "better half," yet he proceeded, selected a site on what was called "Finch Run," which crosses the lower pike just above Jacob Taylor's, and here he built the mill which proved such a blessing to this community. For a further description of this mill and its usefulness, the reader is referred to the subject of "Mills," on
another page. Mr. Beach soon saw another great want, to facilitate the domestic operations in clothing the families and render them comfortable during the winter months. Among the early settlers, the manufacture of woolen goods for the family was a tedious operation, especially in preparing the wool of the sheep for spinning. Before this latter operation could he performed, the wool must be carded into roils, which then had to he all performed by hand, with what was called a pair of "hand cards."' This operation was exceedingly slow and laborious. Something to facilitate the labor of carding was the great want of the people. The operation of spinning and weaving was only a secondary consideration; for a woman that did not know how to spin and weave was not considered at all qualified for matrimony. To supply this want came forward Uri Beach.
Although the obstacles to overcome and the difficulties in the way were great for putting up machinery of any kind, the principal of which was the great distance and the difficulty of transportation of materials necessary for enterprises of this kind. Mr. Beach was in possession of the Yankee ingenuity so peculiar to the New Englanders, which gave him some advantage in an undertaking like this. The site was selected for his carding machine just below his saw-mill, not for the purpose of using the water of Finch Run for power, but because it was convenient to his other works The building was erected, the machinery obtained, and all brought into running order. For a few years the machinery in operation in this establishment was a picking, carding and fulling machine, to which he afterward attached two small spinning jacks This factory was in operation for fifteen years or more, yielding quite an income to the proprietor, and equally beneficial to the people of this community, and for the people far away, as its patrons were drawn from thirty to forty miles distant. It is believed that the first frame house. buill in the township was the one standing on the hill, at the foot of which stood the factory.
About 1825, Mr. Beach erected a large frame house for his own residence. This house was then considered a very imposing structure and a fine residence, and is still standing, though not now used as a residence, and is shown on page 69 of Caldwell's Atlas of Madison County. In the view it stands to the left, opposite the residence of Jacob Taylor. Uri Beach, in company with his brother Lorenzo, purchased of Dr. Comstock a tract of land from which they laid out the town of Amity, and here Mr. Beach passed from earth to heaven, from works to rewards.
Ambrose Beach, the next son in age to Uri, purchased a farm on the Plains, just east of his brother, in the same year they came to Ohio. This place, for several years, was his home. He having had some experience as a clothier, finally consented to connect himself with his brother in the factory, where for several years he was engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods. The weaving in this factory was all done by hand, with what was called a spring-shuttle loom. Subsequently he sold his farm on the Plains and purchased in Brown Township, Franklin Co., Ohio, and there he remained for many years, superintending the management of his farm. The industry and economy of his early life gave him a sufficiency in the evening of his days, and many years ago he passed away from earth, highly respected as a citizen and pioneer of the county.
Dr. Lorenzo Beach, the fourth son of this family was born in Vermont in 1797. and came to Ohio as early as 1813, and settled at Worthington, having no worldly effects other than a small bundle which he carried in his hand. His early education was only such as could be obtained by a farmer's boy of the Green Mountain State, where time was almost wholly taken up in a struggle with the sterile soil for subsistence. He studied medicine with Dr. Carter of Urbana, and commenced practice at Amity, about 1820, being, it is believed, the first practicing physician ever located in that place. During the sickly seasons of 1822-23, he and Dr. James Comstock, who was associated with him, attended nearly all the sick of the smitten district, which extended over many miles in extent, but the center of virulence was between the two Darbys, on land now owned by William D. Wilson's heirs. His field of practice must have been very extensive, as old people of Georgesville, fifteen miles distant from Amity, still speak of him as the physician of that neighborhood half a century ago; and from their testimony, he was an exceedingly popular and successful physician. But it is believed that he lacked confidence in himself and in his remedies, to a degree that prevented any enthusiasm in his profession, and that the responsibilities attached to the life of a physician became to him exceedingly irksome. Hence his inclinations led him to abandon the profession for the more lucrative and to him agreeable life of a merchant.
For several years subsequent to 1833, he was actively engaged in merchandising, and later in real estate operations. Seeing an opportunity for the better employment of capital and his abilities, he removed, in 1853, to Livingston County, Ill., where he continued to reside till his death. He entered largely into real estate operations in the West, and was successful. In person, he was of medium height, and up to middle life was slight and spare. He was quick and active in his movements, of a remarkably cheerful disposition. His energy in the prosecution of business was untiring, and he had a stock of physical and mental health that never failed him up to within two years of his death. He was a thoroughly honest man, who went through life doing thoroughly and earnestly whatever his hands found to do. He died in Fairbury, Livingston Co., Ill., in August, 1878, in the eighty-first year of his age. His death was caused by structural disease of the heart.
Roswell Beach, who purchased land in Darby Township, where Solomon Cary now lives, observing the prosperity of his brothers in the woolen mill, and the population round about Amity rapidly increasing; that there was a growing demand for greater and more extended facilities to meet the demands and wants of the people, in order to meet these requirements, he, with his two younger twin brothers, Obil and Oren, selected and purchased a site on Big Darby, below Amity, on what was known as the Stone farm now owned by Francis Nugent. Here they built a dam and erected a building for a factory, purchasing the machinery of the older one of their brothers, also a new set of cards and other machinery necessary for an extensive operation in a new country like this. In connection with this factory, Mr. Fulton, a son-in-law of Roswell Beach, put in operation a pair of buhrs for grinding corn. It was expected by the proprietors of this enterprise that large profits would be realized as a recompense for their outlay and labor. But here was a striking illustration of how soon the smooth sea of life may be milled with her rolling billows, ready to dash in against the reefs and rocks of adversity. For a few years only was this factory in operation.
Amity had greatly increased in population, and with each returning autumn the inhabitants of this little town suffered greatly from malarious diseases. It was suggested that the stagnant water produced by the erection of the factory dam across the Darby was the existing cause of the sufferings of the inhabitants of Amity; consequently a petition was circulated and signed by many citizens of this place, asking the court to declare this property a public nuisance. Every effort was made by these petitioners to substantiate the claims set forth in said petition. This was the first case of the kind ever brought before our courts of justice. It was evidently a question of science, and the burden of proof rested upon scientific researches. There were three leading questions to be settled in the controversy. First, "What is malaria?" second, "Will stagnant water produce malaria?" and the third, "What are its effects on the human system?" After hearing all the testimony in the case, the court declared this property to be a public nuisance; consequently this obstruction across the Darby was torn out in the early part of the summer. The facts are that during the autumn of that year there was more suffering from sickness than in any previous year. The effect upon the proprietors of this factory, can well be imagined. But there were a few citizens interested in the financial welfare of these men, who gave them something to relieve their embarrassments. They however became disheartened and discouraged, sold their effects and removed to the West, where, by industry and frugality, they recovered from this financial shock. Roswell settled in Iowa; Obil and Oren settled in Kansas. In 1863, the latter died.
Dr. Charles McCloud was horn in Vermont February 2, 1808, and moved with his father, Charles McCloud, to Delaware County, Ohio, and soon after to Madison County, where his father, in 1814, purchased a farm one mile east of Chuckery and here they settled, and here young McCloud, who was then only six years of age, was raised. Possessed of but an ordinary common school education, he studied medicine with Dr. Alpheus Bigelow, of Galena, Delaware County, Ohio, and on the completion of his studies located in Amity. Madison County, Ohio. The first year of his residence here his professional duties evidently were light, as he engaged to teach the village; school one or more terms; but in a few years his practice became very extensive, his patrons being scattered all through the Darby Plains, up Big Darby and on Sugar Run in Union County, and in the neighborhood of Dublin in Franklin County. In 1844, he was the Whig member of the Lower House of the Legislature of Ohio, and in 1850 a member of the convention to revise the Constitution of Ohio. In figure he was slight, never weighing probably over 150 pounds, and with a slight stoop in the shoulders. His complexion was dark. In manner he was grave almost to severity. This gravity was not assumed but natural to the man, and rarely left him even in the family circles. He was an inveterate reader, and in his younger days must have been a hard student in his profession, as he had a well worn library. Later in life, from ill health, he gave up his profession and entered upon merchandising, but still kept up his habit of study. At one time he took up the study of astronomy, and later, when past middle life, became an enthusiastic student of geology; so much so was he interested in the latter science, that he delivered several lectures upon it, illustrated by maps of his own drawing. A few years before his death, his reading took another direction, that of fiction and poetry. He read the works of Charles Dickens with great interest, and was not only a great reader of Shakespeare, but became a critical student of the great poet. He was a good debater and a writer of more than ordinary force. He was in no sense a politician, and what positions of honor he occupied were unsought; he was called to them and entered upon the discharge of his duties with clean hands. As a physician, he was cautious and conscientious; and in his diagnosis and prognosis of disease remarkably accurate, which secured to him the confidence of the people to a degree rarely equaled. Although doing a large practice, it appears he never accumulated but little means from his profession, as he was a poor collector and his charges astonishing low. Dr. McCloud, in all the relations of life, was honest, upright and pure; his character was absolutely above reproach. He married Mary Jane Carpenter, by whom he has four children living—Sophronia, Rodney, Newton and Mary. The Doctor died of obstruction of the bowels in Plain City, April 1,
1861, aged fifty-three years.
William D. Wilson was the son of Valentine and Eleanor Wilson, and was born February 27, 1807, and was principally raised in Somerford Township, being but nine years of age when his father settled there on Deer Creek. Soon after arriving at his majority, he married Miss Nancy Moore, and purchased 200 acres of land on the Darby Plains in Canaan Township, at 80 cents per acre. This purchase amounted to $160, to meet which he borrowed the money, his Uncle Daniel being his bondsman. Much of his purchase was under water nearly half of the year, but it produced an abundance of grass during the summer and fall. He was not an early settler of Canaan Township, having located here about 1829-30. He at once built a cabin, and very soon entered quite largely upon the stock business, as his land was better adapted to grazing at that day than to tillage, and from his future success it seems he was peculiarly adapted to dealing in stock. As a financier and a trader, he was a remarkable success. Shrewd and careful in all his transactions, economical and industrious, and carefully investing his gains in more land, he soon became the owner of a vast amount of the best of land upon the Darby Plains, counting his acres by thousands and his dollars by thousands upon thousands. He died at his homestead place March 25, 1873, aged sixty-six years. He was the father of eight children—Alexander, who married Martha Jane Millikin; Ellen, married Benjamin Morris, she died childless, December 3, 1857; James Monroe, married Achsa Burnham; La Fayette, married Sarah Temple; William M. married Mary M. Slyh; Sarah, married John Price; Washington, married Miss Wilson, of Kentucky; Taylor, married Eliza Daily, he died February 17, 1875.
A man by name of Martin, probably a native of Pennsylvania, settled on land now owned by Mrs. Huber, about 1812, He had the following children: George, Rachael, William, Benjamin, Susan and John. After several years residence here, they removed to Champaign County, Ohio. A Mr. Richey, of Irish descent, settled on land now owned by Losson Calhoun about 1810-12. He finally removed to Union County. Ohio, where he died. Ralph Knox settled on land now owned by the Wilsons about 1816-18. Joseph and Isaac Bidwell settled about the same date. Among other early settlers of whom we learned no important history were David Harris, Paul Alder, a brother of Jonathan, Christian Adams, Joseph Loyd, John Johnson, David Ellis, J. Phelps and Patrick Johnson.
James Millikin, the third child of James and Dorotha (McFarland) Millikin, he a native of Ireland, and she of Massachusetts, was born in Washington County, Penn., July 12. 1782. He married Elizabeth Cook, and in 1830 with his family removed to Ohio, and settled in Canaan Township, Madison County. Col. Millikin, as he was familiarly known, purchased 700 acres of land where William M. Wilson now resides, in the vear 1826, and in the fall of 1827, he brought his two oldest sons, Samuel and Daniel who were then single, to his land, furnishing them with team and farming utensils. But they refused to remain, and returned with their father to their old home; but Mr. Millikin was not discouraged; he sold his old homestead and came with his family, and built a comfortable log house out of two old squatter cabins that were on the place and fenced in a large pasture; he bought more land, till in all he owned 2,200 acres; finally, gave each of his nine children 200 acres, reserving 400 acres for himself. The first purchase cost 75 cents per acre, and the balance $1.25 and $1.75 per acre. Mr. Milliken was a practical surveyor, and surveyed and laid out the town of Jefferson and the addition to the town of Amity, he served in many of the offices of his township, and was one of the most prominent and reliable farmers of Canaan Township. Their children consisted of six sons and three daughters as follows: Samuel, married Sarah Sutzer; in 1856, they removed to Iowa; Samuel died in 1877, leaving four children. Martha, the second child, married James Boyd, who died in 1831; his widow still resides here; she had four children—Robert, living in London; James and Daniel, in Plain City, and Mary, married Mr. Kilgore. Daniel, the third child, married Isabel Mullen, and in 1843 removed to Iowa, where he, his wife and two children died the same year. John, the fourth child, married Rachael Bane, had four children—James B., Robert, John and Annie, who all reside in this county; Mr. Milliken died in January, 18S2, aged seventy-five years. Jacob, the fifth child, married Sarah Gary, is a retired farmer, resident of Canaan Township, a wealthy man, with all this world's goods that heart need desire, with but two children, William and Sarah. Elizabeth, the sixth child, married Henry Alder, a son of Jonathan Alder, she died in 1874. Annie, the seventh child, married Solomon Cary, who died in June, 1882, and she is now a widow and resides in Plain City. James, the eighth child, married Rachael Cary in 1840, removed to Jefferson in 1879, where he is engaged in the hardware trade; they have six children. Andrew Milliken, the youngest child, married Sarah A. Armstrong, and now resides in Norwich Township, Franklin County, Ohio. He is in very prosperous circumstances, with his children all settled around him.
We have given above, most of the pioneers and early settlers of that portion of Madison County known as Canaan Township. Some of them settled here several years before the erection of Madison County, and more than twenty years before this township was organized. On the records at London we find the following: "June 7, 1819. At a meeting of the Commissioners, present, Burton Blizzard, Ira Finch and Patrick McLene, on petition being presented, ordered that the following bounds compose a new township, to be known and designated by the name of Phelps; Beginning at the northeast corner of Madison County, running south on the line between Franklin and Madison Counties five miles for a corner of Darby Township; and thence continue south five miles further and corner for said new township; thence west to the east line of the townships west, and corner; thence north five miles and corner for Darby, and the new township; thence east between Darby and said new township to the place of beginning." In a very short time the name of Phelps was changed to Canaan. Since the above erection of the township, the formation of Pike Township and Union County took place and a change in the boundary of Darby and of the line between Madison and Franklin Counties have brought Canaan Township to its present boundaries.
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