The township of Dalton
was formed from Perry in 1847, and lies in the north-west corner of the
county. It is four miles square, containing an area of sixteen square
miles. Of the lands comprised in this township, only a narrow gore,
about three-fourths of a mile wide on the south line, and coming to a
point about three miles north, on the Perry line, lies within the
Twelve Mile Purchase; consequently none but this was ready for sale to
settlers until 1822. Several families, however, settled west of that
Purchase several years prior to the sale by the Government.
Aquila West settled on
the farm now owned by Lyndsey Dennis, near the town, as early,
probably, as 1818 or 1819. He removed some years after from the county.
James Lindley settled, soon after West, south-east from town, on West
River, where Jesse Fouts now resides. He removed from the township, and
died. Seth Mills, from Tennessee, settled on the farm now owned by
Isaac W. Beeson. These, and some in other parts of the township,
settled before the lands were offered for sale.
Joseph Davis, from North
Carolina to Ohio, in 1808, removed, in 1823, to the farm on which he
now resides, near town. Charles Burroughs, from Virginia, purchased a
mile and a half north of town, in 1822, and settled permanently half a
mile north of town, in 1826, where he now resides. Isaac W. Beeson,
from North Carolina, settled early near Franklin, and in 1835 where he
now resides, near and west of Dalton. Isaac Reynolds, from North
Carolina, settled near Franklin, on land bought by his father of
Sampson Smith, now owned by Wilson Reynolds. Nathan Baldwin, from North
Carolina, near town, in 1830 or 1831, where he still resides. Thomas E.
Beeson, from North Carolina, son of Isaac Beeson, about 1831, one mile
east of town. Pleasant Harris, from North Carolina, near Franklin; land
now owned by Thomas and Wilson Dennis; had settled early in New Garden;
came to Dalton before the land sales; removed to Iowa, and died there.
Benj. F. Beeson, from North Carolina, near Franklin; land now owned by
John Dering, Thomas Nicholson, and others.
Thomas Antrim, from Tennessee, about 1820, three-quarters
of a mile north of town; land now owned by Charles Burroughs and Isaac
Covalt. Samuel Beeson, half mile east of Dalton,
about 1826; died there, aged about 94 years. Land first settled by Wm.
In the north-western part
of the township, Andrew Starbuck settled where widow Tinkle lives.
Thomas Burroughs, from Virginia, father of Charles, on land sold to
Joseph Routh, now owned by Col. Thompson. In the north-east quarter of
the township, Wm.. Maudlin and Wright Spradlin settled on the county
line, and still reside there. Dempsey Thornburg, where he now resides.
George M. Lee, where George M. Jordan lives. Isaac Routh, from
Tennessee, where a widow Routh now lives. Routh removed to Wells
county, and died there. Henry Mills, on the farm lately owned by James
Lumpkins, who died there in 1870. Henry Thornburg, from Tennessee,
about 1820, died on his farm, now owned by Richard C. Cheeseman. Sophia
Williams, before land sales; land descended to her sons, Henry and
Joseph; now occupied by Henry, and by Nathan Dennis. Enoch Gardner;
land now owned by Wesley S. Leadbetter. Joseph Brewer, a native of
North Carolina, from Tennessee, on land now owned by John W. Jordan.
In the south-east part of
the township, were the following: Wm. Wright, on Perry line; land now
owned by Jesse Weaver. Charles Howell, from North Carolina, before land
sales; land now owned by his sons, Larkin and Joseph, and John H.
Thornburg. He lives with Joseph. He and Henry Williams are the only men
living who settled in the township before the land sales. Isaac Macy,
from Tennessee; land now occupied by his widow and heirs. John Aaron
Locke, from Perry, settled where he now resides. Jacob
Bales, from Tennessee, on West River before land sales, on land now
owned by Richard C. Cheesetnan. George Petro, a blacksmith,
prob¬ably the first in the township, on land owned by Richard C.
Cheeseman. John Strode, on land now occupied by George Pierce. James
Strode, from Kentucky, adjoining his son John; died on the farm, now
occupied by his widow and Thomas Beeson. Wm. Thornburg, Sen., from
Tennessee, an early settler on West River; land now occupied by Thomas
E. Thornburg. Lewis, Henry, and Larkin Thornburg, sons of Henry, Sen.,
removed to Iowa, where Larkin died. The farm of Henry is now owned by
Richard C. Cheeseman; that of Lewis, by Nathan W. Strode; and that of
Larkin, by J. A. Locke. John Evans, a Baptist minister, settled on land
now owned by Samuel Brown. Abraham Tout, from Tennessee, who died of a
cancer, on land owned by Cornelius Thornburg and Jesse W. Locke. John
Barr, a native of Scotland, on land now occupied by his widow and son
John. Joseph Keever, from Ohio, on land owned by Jackson Keever and
David Fleming's heirs. Martin Keever, adjoining his brother Joseph; was
killed by lightning seven or eight years ago. His heirs still reside
there. Jesse Osborn, from Tennessee, on land lately owned by Seneca
Keever, now by Samuel Brown.
In the south-west quarter
of the township, Jonathan Evans,settled on land now owned by Joseph
Weaver. Joseph Johnson, from North Carolina, about 1820, a mile south
of Franklin; died there; present owner,Brauson Dennis. John Smith, from
Pennsylvania; present owners, B. Dennis, J. G. Allen, Wm. Baldwin.
Peter Smith, from Tennessee, about 1822; died on his farm about three
years ago; his wife a year before. His son-in-law, James Conaway,
resides on the farm. Aaron Lesh, from Ohio, about the same time as
Smith; present owner, Martha Newcomb. Thomas Richardson, on land now
owned by Abraham Smith. Thomas Marshall, from Tennessee, before land
sales; died on the farm, now or lately owned by John and Alexander
Ditch, and occupied by John. Stephen Lear, from Ohio, where Levi Harter
now lives. Daniel Ulrich, from Ohio, son of John Ulrich, of Jefferson
township, about 1824, in the south-west corner of the township,
adjoining the White Branch Woolen Mills. Benj. Beeson, from North
Carolina, bought of Lear one mile south of Franklin,
where Levi Harter resides. Sons of B. Beeson are Isaac W., Benjamin F.,
Silas H., Ithamar, Charles O., who resides at New Buffalo, Michigan,
and has a son Jehu, at Anderson, Madison county.
Besides those already
mentioned, who settled near Dalton and Franklin,the following maybe
added: Zachariah Beeson, one mile north of Dalton, in 1824; was a
gunsmith, and had a corn-cracker and a saw-mill; land now owned by John
Payne. Hezekiah Beeson, from North Carolina, an early settler near
Franklin; sold to Wm. Beeson ; land now owned by George Nicholson and
others. Isaac Beeson, from North Carolina, one mile east of Dalton,
about 1831; name of present owner not learned.
The first Tannery in the
township was built by Benj. F. Beeson, who settled near Franklin. It
was afterward carried on by Jesse Evans, who now resides in Iowa.
The first Grist-mill was
built in 1824 or 1825, by Charles Stout, from North Carolina, near
Lindley's farm. Seth Mills built the next at Dalton, about the year
1826. Pleasant Harris and Tense Massey, about the same time, built the
first saw¬mill near Franklin. Benj. F. Beeson, soon after, built a
gristmill on Mill Branch, half a mile south of Franklin ; and near the
same place an oil-mill was built by Beeson Brothers. Jesse Baldwin also
built an oil-mill near Dalton, about the year 1832 or 1833. In 1837,
the Dalton Steam Mill Company built on Nettle Creek a steam saw-mill
and a grist-mill. Both were burned about the year 1848. The saw-mill
only was rebuilt. In 1840, Beeson Brothers built a grist-mill in the
place of their old saw-mill. About 1850, James Maulsby built a
grist-mill a little below the site of the old grist-mill on Mill
Branch. The old grist-mill and oil-mill are both gone,
Henry Thornburg built on
West River, some thirty years ago, a saw-mill; also at the same place a
Carding Machine, which run about twenty years.
The first Merchant in the
township is said to have been Benji, F. Benson, at Franklin ; others
say Hezekiah Beeson. Aaron Mills is named as an early merchant at
Dalton. Charles Beeson is known to have traded at Franklin in 1839.
Also, Silas, Lewis, and Aaron Leah, Oliver and Joseph Williams, Silas
B. Maulsby, Benj. B. Beeson, Wm. Thornburg's, and Wm.. and Enos
Canaday, are said to have traded at Franklin. At Dalton, between 1838
and 1845, John W. Williamson, Jehu T. Elliott, and Henry D. Root; and
at different times, Joseph Ruth, J. and D. Canaday, David and William
Chamness, Robert Lumpkin, and Thomas McCracken. Present mer-chants at
Franklin: John Macy, dry goods; Millikin Hockett, groceries. At Dalton:
Wm. S. Chamness, Riley Chamness, both dry goods.
Dr. Silas Beeson, the
first resident Physician in the town-ship, settled at Franklin about
1830, and died there. Later, were Henry Carver, Erhart, and Patterson.
John W. Smith (botanic) was the first at Dalton, in 1836. Later, were
Wm. Dickey (1840), Drs. Simmons, J. R. Brown, Guinther, Windle,
Showalter, and the present physician, John Stonebraker.
The White Branch Woolen
Mills are on the White Branch stream, two miles south of Franklin. A
building was erected by Daniel Ulrich for a grist mill, but he put into
it machinery for a woolen factory. In the year 1854, it was bought by
Wm. and Josiah Test. The establishment has since been much enlarged by
the erection of buildings and the increase of machinery. The present
proprietors are Wm. and Rufus Test, and Josiah V. Jones, [Test Brothers
& Jones.] It has two sets of machines, and two roll-cards, and nine
looms. The goods manufactured are jeans, satinets, cashmeres, flannels,
blankets, and yarn. Custom work, as carding, spinning, and
cloth-dressing, is also done at this establishment.
The first School-house in
the township is said to have stood where Dalton now is, and Luke Wiles
to have been the first teacher. Although the common schools in this
township are probably not inferior to those of other townships of the
county, there is no high or graded school in it, owing, probably, to
the fact that it has no town of sufficient population to require or
The earliest Religious
Society in the township was that of the Friends, who organized a
meeting about the year 1827 or 1828, at West River, and held their
meetings at first in a log house. Another was formed a few years later
at Franklin, where they built a frame house. Both meetings
still exist. Here, as at some other places, the
antislavery agitation caused a temporary disunion. No other division
has existed here. Absalom Dennis, Miles Mendenhall, Mahlon Chamness,
and Mahlon Denuia are among the names of residents who have been
The Methodists, at a
later date, formed a class at Dalton, and had preaching for a short
time. None has existed here for many years. A church, a portion of
whose members reside in this township, was formed about forty years
ago, and built a meeting-house a mile and a half north of Dalton, on
the north side of Randolph county line. This society
The Baptists also had in
Dalton a society and a meetings house, and had preaching a part of the
time. James Austin was their first preacher. A church, formed by a
union of two or more smaller ones, many years ago built a meeting-house
a little north of the line of Randolph county. Into this church the
society at Dalton was merged.
The United Brethren have
had a society and a meeting-house, about two miles east of Dalton,
about twenty years. Ab. Tout gave the land for the grave-yard, Lewis
Weaver the ground for the church. Early members of this church were
Jeannette Barr, afterward wife of Wm. Marshall, and her sister Mary,
wife of Abraham Smith; Henry Bailes, John Bailes, Lewis Bailes, Wm.
Linley, [now a Dunker preacher.] They have had as preachers, Dr.
Richardson, Daniel Stober, John Brown, Alexander Carroll, and perhaps
others. Their present preacher  is James M. Cook.
The Town af Dalton was
laid out by Tense Massey and Joseph Davis, proprietors, and Joseph
Davis, surveyor. The plat bears date January 25, 1828. An addition was
afterward made by Joseph Davis, and, in 1836, another by Nathan Baldwin.
The Town of Franklin was
laid out by Benj. F. Beeson and Silas H. Beeson. The plat, signed by
them as proprietors, and Thomas Stanford as surveyor, was recorded
January 7, 1832.
Isaac Macy and Wm. Davis
were the first Justices of the Peace of the township after its
organization. The present justices are Wm. Chamness and John W. Macy. 15
CHARLES BURROUGHS was
born in Frederick county, Virginia, December 20,1794. He removed with
his father to Warren county, Ohio; and in 1814 to Washington township,
in this county. In 1822 he purchased land a mile north of where the
town of Dalton now is, and settled on it permanently in 1826. He
married in August, 1826, Jane Harris, daughter of Pleasant Harris, who
was born July 26, 1811. They had fourteen children, as follows: 1. John
C, formerly a practicing physician in Henry county, now a farmer in
Harrison. 2. Abigail, who married Thomas B. Williams, and died in
Economy in 1870. 3. Francis M., who married Emily Houth, and died in
Wells county, June, 1862. 4. Jonathan M., who married Eleanor
Thornburg, was 1st Lieut, in Company C, 9th Indiana Regiment, and died
from wounds received near Franklin, Tennessee. 5. Hannah, who married
Robert Lumpkin, and died in Randolph county. 6. James M. who married
Adaliza Gilmore. 7. Arminta, who died at 4. 8. Letty, who married Benj.
Hunt, and resides in Kansas.9.Cassias M., who was in the late war;
married Sarah Neff.10. Maria, who married Isaac Cavalt. 11.
Thomas; 12. Laura B.; 13. Emma 14. Mary.
from North Carolina, came to Dalton township [the date and the place of
settlement not ascertained.] He had six sons, who settled in and near
Wayne county: 1. Nathan, who lives one mile west from the town. 2.
Joseph, who resides one and a half miles north-west from town. 3.
Isaac, who settled in Randolph county. 4. William, who settled one and
a quarter miles north-east from town. 5. Joshua, who lives in Randolph
county. 6. Jesse, who settled a mile north-west from town.
Sons of Nathan Chamness
are, William S., a merchant of Dalton; David, who resides with his
father. Riley, son of William, is also a merchant in Dalton. Jehu, also
a son of William, is a wagon-maker. Larkin resides three-quarters of a
mile east, and is a farmer. Seth resides in Richmond.
JOSEPH DAVIS was
born in Chatham county, North Carolina, October 3, 1785. He
removed with his father to Surry county and married, May 31,
1807, Catharine Farsner, who was born Jan. 15, 1787. He removed to Ohio
in 1808, and thence, in 1823, to the place where he now resides, near
the town of Dalton. His wife died in September, 1870. Their children
were : 1. Nathan, who married Hannah Moore, re-moved to Henry county,
where he died, Jan. 1, 1870. 2. William, who married Abigail Wright,
removed to Howard county, and died there. 3. Mary, who married David
Baldwin, and resides in Hamilton county. 4. Anna, who married, first,
Newton Baldwin ; second, Daniel Thornburg. 5. George, who married
Charlotte Baldwin, and removed to Grant county. 6. John, who married
Caroline Chamness; resides on the homestead. 7. Edwin W., who married
Kezia Baler, and lives in Randolph county. 8. Lewis, who died at 10.