BERN was orignally included in Ames township, and was not separately organized till 1828. Incorporated with Ames for thirty years, much of its early history will be found in connection with that townhip.

The lands of Bern lie exceedingly well for agricultural purposes, and her farmers compare favorably with any for thrift and enterprise. The township is well watered by the head waters of Federal creek, Sharp's fork of which traverses it from north to south. Coal is known to exist here in great abundance, and salt water has been found of quality and in workable quantity.

Its population in 1830 was 223; in 1840 it was 381; in 1850 it was 819; in 1860 it was 1,022. There are but thirty section in Bern, the eastern tier of sections having been set off to Washington county in 1807.

March 3, 1828, the county commissioners resolved "that the original surveyed township No. 7 in range 12 in Athens county, at present a part of Ames township, be set off, and that a township by the name of Bern be established as above described." The electors were directed to meet at the house of John Henry on the first Monday of April at 9 o'clock A.M. to elect township officers.


Township Trustees
1828-30John Henry James Dickey John Wickham
1831-33John Henry Davis James Jeffrey Buchanan
1834Dyar Selby, Sen. John Wickham James Dickey
1835William J. Brown John Wichham James Dickey
1836William J. Brown David James James Dickey
1837Matthew Henry David James James Dickey
1838Matthew Henry David James Wm. J. Brown
1839Matthew Henry James Dickey Wm. J. Brown
1840J. E. Vore James Dickey John Work
1841David James Thornton Swart John Work
1842David James James Dickey Dyar Selby, Jun.
1843Joseph McCune James Dickey Dyar Selby, Jun.
1844Joseph McCune James Dickey Reuben Hague
1845David James James Dickey Reuben Hague
1846Jesse Carr Dyar Selby John Work
1847David Colvin Robert Henry Wm. Rardin
1848David Colvin Levi Ellis Wm. Rardin
1849David Colvin Edward Ginn Calvin Tracy
1850James Henry Edward Ginn J.E. Vore
1851Lewis Dille Reuben Hague Calvin Tracy
1852Lewis Dille Edward Ginn Calvin Tracy
1853Andrew Ogg Philip W. Lampson John E. Vore
1854Andrew Ogg J.S. King John E. Vore
1855H.C. Selby J.S. King John Whaley
1856H.C. Selby Philip W. Lampson David Gilchrist
1857David James Edward Ginn David Gilchrist
1858Levi Rardin J.M. Smith George Wyatt
1859Clark Dodds Washington Endicott George Wyatt
1860Dyar Selby Washignton Endicott H.T. McCune
1861J.C. Selby Washington Endicott Warren W Wickham
1862Dyar Selby Thomas Dickson Warren W Wickham
1863Elijah Hanson Thomas Dickson Warren W. Wickham
1864Owen Gifford Thomas Dickson Washington Endicott
1865Levi Rardin Thomas Dickson Washington Endicott
1866H.C. Selby Thomas Dickson Washington Endicott
1867H.C. Selby H.L. Driggs Elijah Hanson
1868S.J. Wells Elijah White Elijah Hanson

Justice of the Peace
1828Thaddeus Crippen and Wm. T. Brown
1831Matthew Henry and W.T. Brown
1834Levi Ellis and Robert Henry
1836David Dille
1837Robert Henry
1839Dyar Selby
1840Robert Work
1841Calvin Tracy
1843John Brawley and P.W. Sampson
1844Dyar Selby, Jun
1846John Brawley
1847Dyar Selby, Jun
1850Dyar Selby, Jun
1852Philip W. Lampson
1853Thomas Bruce
1854Elijah Hanson
1855Philip W. Lampson
1857Elijah Hanson
1858Philip W. Lampson
1859Robert Henry (refused to qualify), and Seaborn Carr
1860Aaron Smith
1862Seabprm Carr
1863Watson Harris
1864W.W. Wickham
1866Watson Harris
1867Edwin F. Glazier
1868Hiram C. Selby


Early Settlers [and links to their bios]


James Dickey —came to northwestern territory with his father's family in 1798 and settled first in Washington county and later in 1821 to this township. When a young man Mr. Dickey was employed as a post rider to carry the mail on horseback, between Marietta and Chillicothe.
[read more on his post rider adventures and his family in his full biography]

John Henry —settled in Bern township in 1817.

John Wickham —came to Athens county with his father's family in 1805, settling first in Rome township. Later he removed to Bern township.

Warren W. Wickham —has been a justice of the peace and township trustee.

William Rardin —came here in 1822 and settled on the state road between Marietta and Athens.

Dyar Selby —came to Ohio at an early day, and about 1833 settled in Bern township—has been township trustee and justice of the peace.

Edmund Perry, David Parkins, John E. Vore —all settled in Bern at an early day. Mr Vore is known as an extensive stock dealer and was county commissioner for several years.

Thornton Swart —settled this township in 1838 on Possum run, adjoining Owen Gifford's place.

David and Daniel James & Philip W Lampson —settled here in 1820.


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