Madison County History and Genealogy

History and Genealogy

History of Madison County

First Settlers

From History of Madison County, Ohio, Chester E. Bryan, Supervising Editor, B.F. Bowen & Co., Indianapolis (1915)

It seems certain that the first family to settle within the limits of Monroe township were the Bradleys, who came to this county from Virginia. There were five brothers and sisters in this family that settled here, Jonah, David, James, Susan and Nancy. They settled in this township about 1804-05.

Jonah Bradley Settled on Spring creek and married Susan Powers, who also was a native of Virginia. To this union the following children were born: Alfred, who married Jemima Morrow, and settled in this township; she died and he later married a Miss Lee; subsequently he moved to Mercer county, where he resided several years, and where his second wife died, after which he returned to this county, where he remained a resident until his death, which occurred by accidental drowning while on a trip to Mercer county; he was the father of six children, four of whom grew to maturity, David, John M., Elizabeth and Jemima. David and John (brothers of Alfred) married in this county and remained here until their deaths. Jonah was the fourth son. There were five daughters, Elizabeth, Mahala, Mary, Sarah and Susan. Mr. Bradley followed farming and milling through life. A few years after locating here, he erected a grist mill on Spring fork, run by water power, which was one of the first mills in this vicinity. Prior to his building this mill, the settlers had to take their grists to Chillicothe, which was also the closest place to buy goods. This mill was one of the great improvements of that day, and was a great convenience to the people of this new settlement. Mr. Bradley was a carpenter by trade, built his mill with his own hands, and to a great extent made his own wagons and implements for the use of the farm, thus bringing his skill and trade into good use in that early day, when such articles were then so difficult to obtain. Mr. Bradley died in April, 1865, aged eighty years.

David Bradley, brother of the above, first settled near Georgesville, in Franklin county, but soon afterward moved into Monroe township, Madison county, where he resided till his death. He was the father of four sons, James L., William, David M., who resided on the home place of his father, and Shelton, who resided in Tazewell county, Illinois. There were three daughters, Elsie, Jane, and Cassie, who became the wife of Newman Mitchell and resided in Somerford township.

James Bradley, also brother to Jonah, settled here at the same date and remained throughout his life. He had four sons, Hiram, Washington, James and Jonas.

James Marks was born in Kentucky on February 14, 1782, and married Nancy Van Kirk, who was born in Virginia on November 25, 1787; they were married on September 3, 1809. Mr. Marks came to Monroe township in 1807-08 and purchased a tract of land on the east side of Little Darby, upon which he settled. The log house in which he commenced life in this new settlement lacked a floor, doors and a chimney, and he had no furniture. But he had the will, energy and strength, and went to work in earnest. Success crowned their efforts and he became owner of nearly a thousand acres of land in this county, also a large amount of western lands. On his home place he made fine improvements, had a good brick house and other good buildings, with a fine fruit orchard, and everything comfortable and convenient around them—quite in contrast to their condition when they first settled here. Mr. Marks served as justice of the peace several years. They were devout members of the Baptist church. Their children were Washington, who married Hannah Hayden, and was killed by railroad cars, September 19, 1868; Eliza, who married John Taylor; Elizabeth, who married James L. Bradley; Sarah, who married William Foos and resided in Springfield; Matilda, who married Gustavus Foos; Lucinda, who married Rev. Jesse Ferguson; Mathias, who married Jennie Long, of London; Jefferson, Jackson and James, who died in infancy.

Robert Powers, a native of Virginia, settled on Spring fork soon after or about the same time as Jonah Bradley, and there resided until his death. He was married in Virginia and brought his young wife to this county with him. To this union there were born the following children: John, Joseph, Abner, Edward, Senath, Dorcas and Fanny. The children of Mr. Powers all left this county and made their homes in varied parts.

Nicholas Moore, a native of Virginia, is believed to be the first settler on Little Darby. He came to this county at an early date, but about the year 1820 he, with his family, moved to Illinois and, later, to Iowa. He married Sarah Downing, by whom he had the following children, born while the family resided in this county: William, Catharine, Hannah and Athea.

John Downing, who was a native of Virginia, became one of the early settlers of Jefferson township about 1808-10, and a short time afterward moved into Monroe township, settling on land just above Mr. Bradley's. In 1822 he moved to Logan county, Ohio. He was married to Hannah Frakes, to which union were born the following children: John, Josiah, Robert, James, Sarah, Hannah and Mary.

Henry Kampf, a native of Pennsylvania, settled on the Little Darby, near James Marks', about the year 1809-10, and resided here until 1850, when he removed to Illinois. He married Mary Travis, who died in this township. The children were John, Mathias, Robert, Henry, Hannah, Sarah and Mary.

Peter Paugh, a native of Virginia, settled in this township about the year 1804-05, and remained a resident of this township until his death. He married Mary Johnson, by whom he had the following children: John, Abraham, Henry, Peter, Solomon, Sarah, Mary and Rebecca. Mr. Paugh was a blacksmith by trade, which occupation he followed throughout life.

Peter Baker, a native of Virginia, was known to be an early settler, and probably purchased land here as early as 1812, but it has been impossible to get a sketch of his life. There is a deed record, dated in January, 1817. In 1815 three brothers, Jonas, James and Joseph Heath. became settlers in this township. Jonas settled on Spring fork, on the London and Marysville road; James settled on the forks of the Little Darby and Spring fork, and Joseph settled just north of his brother James. Ralston Williams was another early settler on Spring fork, locating there about the year 1825. He married a Miss Goodwin and was always classed as a good farmer, an honest and worthy citizen. Their children were Joseph, Marion, Jane, Elizabeth, Evaline, Rebecca and Eliza. The two sons served in the War of the Rebellion; Marlon was killed at the battle of Chickamauga. and Joseph, who was a lieutenant, was severely wounded in the same battle. Mr. Williams' wife died and he married Mrs. Canaan; he died at Irwin Station. Fletcher Pratt, although not in the true sense a pioneer, came in about 1830 and resided here through the remainder of his life. His children were: John, Callie, Samuel, Eliza, Eli, Peter and Anna. John Aylor, a native of Virginia, settled on the Little Darby, on the Wilson land, about 1825. He erected a saw-mill, which he ran for a short time, and then moved to Iowa. David Link, also a native of Virginia, settled here in 1825. He erected a grist-mill on the Little Darby, and subsequently he moved to Somerford township and purchased the Roberts mill; thence he moved to the West. These early mills that were built on the Little Darby did quite a flourishing business during the early settlements. but have long since gone to decay. William Winget, a native of Pennsylvania, married Mary Tomlinson, who was a native of Maryland. They settled on Spring fork about the year 1828. There were born to this union the following children: Mahala, who married R. T. Burnham and settled in Champaign county, subsequently moving to Iowa; Mary, who married Joseph McCampbell and settled in Union county, thence removed to Greene county; Luther, who married Mary Jane Reynolds and resided in Union township; John married Mary Proctor and settled at Kenton, Ohio; Catharine; William; Elizabeth, who married John McCloud, Esq., of London; and David C., who married Mary Winget and resided at Kenton, Ohio.

James Guy, who was born in Vermont, November 14, 1779, married Mary Watts and emigrated to Ohio and settled in Union county in 1812. In 1826 he removed to Monroe township and his death occurred in September of that year. His wife died on September 6, 1842. Their children were: Harriet, who married Moses Fullington; Jane, who married Benjamin Mann; Sylvia. who died at the age of seventeen; William and James, who married and settled in this township. Mr. Guy, while young, learned the blacksmith trade, but after settling in Ohio gave his undivided attention to farming, stock raising and the dairy business. He made stock raising a specialty and was always eager to better his strain of stock. It was necessary that he put up a large amount of hay. As there were no mowing machines in that day, the grass was cut with scythes. On a certain occasion, he and a Mr. Bidwell made a wager with their mowers, that they could cut eight acres of grass in one day. The wager was accepted, the ground measured, and the parties were to commence the next morning at sunrise. Before sunset, the entire eight acres of grass was lying in the swath, a feat which was perhaps never before or since performed by any two men. But, in addition to his great physical strength and power of endurance, he performed a conspicuous part of usefulness among the early settlers. He was also one of the great cattle buyers of that day. There were then no means of getting cattle to market, except on foot. He purchased large droves of three and four-year-olds, annually, which were driven to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and other Eastern markets, fording creeks, swimming rivers and climbing the Alleghany mountains with his drove of bullocks. It was not unfrequently the case that the animals became frightened, the foremost ones turning back upon the others until the whole drove was in a terrible stampede, breaking down everything before them, and no human power could stop them in their mad rush, the drovers making their escape the best way possible to save themselves from being trampled to death. Mr. Guy was a very active, energetic and prosperous business man, a kind neighbor and a worthy citizen.

As we look back and see the hardships which those pioneers had to endure; their habits, modes of life, houses, household goods and the rude tools and implements we are impressed with wonder and admiration at their tireless efforts and the splendid progress which they helped to bring about. The principal social gatherings in those early days were those in which there was an interchange of labor—log rollings, husking bees, house raisings and numerous other gatherings where work was intermingled with pleasure. In that time a man of good moral habits and industry, polished with a reasonable amount of education and intelligence, whether rich or poor, was fit for any society or social position.

The subject of education has received the general attention of the people of Monroe township. As in all communities in the time of the pioneers, the first education was meted out from the rude log school houses. One of the first schools of which there is any account was in a log house of the primitive kind, with puncheon floors, slab seats, etc., erected in 1815. Another log school house was built on Spring fork about 1820. From then up to the present time the growth has been steady and ever-increasing.

There is no railroad running through this township, but the present inhabitants are accommodated with very good roads, of which the Urbana pike and the Wilson and Winget pike are the principal ones. The advancement in the line of good roads has been as marked as any other line of improvement. The farmers are realizing that pike roads greatly increase the value of their farms and are willing to share their burden of the cost in order that this may be accomplished.

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