It is difficult to separate the first settlement of Canaan township from that of
Athens, of which Canaan was originally a part. It will have been noticed that
the pioneer settlements clung pretty closely to the water courses. In the
absence of roads or any other means of communication, the navigable streams
always decided the movements of emigration. The Hockhocking was, from all
accounts, a considerably deeper stream and carried much more water seventy-five
years ago than now, and was easily navigable for heavily laden barges. It thus
became valuable as a means of communication and supplies, and the regions
accessible by it were the first to be settled in the county. Accordingly, many
of the first settlers of Athens township located within the present limits of
Canaan, whose rich bottom lands proved very attractive.
The township was organized in 1819.
The first election for the township officers was held at the house of Edward Pilcher, on the first Monday of April in that year. The name of Canaan was suggested by Judge Walker, of Ames township, one of the county commissioners at this time.
The population of the township in 1820 was 356; in 1830 it was 375; in 1840 it was 800; in 1850 it was 1,142, and in 1860 it was 1,272.
|1819||Parker Carpenter||Stephen Pilcher||George Bean|
|1820||Martin Mansfield||Stephen Pilcher||George Bean|
|1821||Martin Mansfield||Martin Boyles||George Bean|
|1822||Parker Carpenter||Martin Boyles||Elijah Pilcher|
|1823||Martin Mansfield||Andrew J. Hoskinson||Samuel Warren|
|1824||Martin Mansfield||Andrew J. Hoskinson||Philip M Starr|
|1825||Joshua Hoskinson||Stephen Pilcher||John Boyles|
|1826||John C Carico||George Boyles||William Hallert|
|1827||Stephen Pilcher||Parker Carpenter||John Boyles|
|1828||no election-old trustees acted|
|1829||Stephen Pilcher||Parker Carpenter||Joshua Hoskinson|
|1830||Martin Mansfield||Martin Boyles||Elijah Pilcher|
|1831||Martin Mansfield||Martin Boyles||Stephen Pilcher|
|1832 -33||William Burch||George Bean||Stephen Pilcher|
|1834||William Burch||Martin Mansfield||Robert Bean|
|1835||Elijah Pilcher||Joshua Hoskinson||Robert Bean|
|1836||Martin Mansfield||Joshua Hoskinson||Frederic Wood|
|1837||Aaron Miller||John G Bean||Parker Carpenter|
|1838||Martin Mansfield||Jacob Tedrow||Parker Carpenter|
|1839 -40||Elijah Pilcher||John Boyles||John G Bean|
|1841||E.C. Wright||Richard Poston||David Jordan|
|1842||D.M. Pruden||Richard Poston||David Jordan|
|1843||D.M. Pruden||Isaac Long||David Jordan|
|1844 -45||D.M. Pruden||G.N. Reade||David Jordan|
|1846||Clayton Starr||G.N. Reade||Harrison Halbert|
|1847||Clayton Starr||G.N. Reade||D.M. Pruden|
|1848||William Henry||N.O. Warren||John Druggan|
|1849||David Jordan||N.O. Warren||John Druggan|
|1850||Richard Poston||Peter Sams||Peter Stalder|
|1851||A. Buckley||George Mansfield||Peter Stalder|
|1852 -53||Peter Davis||David Jordan||Nathan S. Pilcher|
|1854||Peter Davis||Peter Stalder||Peter Finsterwald|
|1855||Peter Davis||Peter Stalder||Peter Finch|
|1856||David Jordan||Peter Stalder||Peter Finch|
|1857||David Jordan||Peter Stalder||Peter Finsterwald|
|1858||Nicholas Stalder||James Sams||Peter Davis|
|1859||Nicholas Stalder||Joseph Border||Thomas Grosvenor|
|1860 -61||Nicholas Stalder||Henry Finsterwald||E.D. Sheridan|
|1862||L.D. Bean||Henry Finsterwald||S.L. Mohler|
|1863||Curtis Bean||Henry Finsterwald||William Burch|
|1864||S. McLeade||Henry Finsterwald||William Burch|
|1865||C.B. Cunningham||J.W. Baird||Joshua Wyatt|
|1866||Curtis Bean||N. Warren||J.W. Baird|
|1867||Curtis Bean||N. Warren||Peter Finsterwald|
|1868||Curtis Bean||F.C. Wyatt||Peter Finsterwald|
|Successive Justices of the Peace|
|1841||George N. Reade|
|1844||George N. Reade|
|1850||Nathan S Pilcher and Aaron Hull|
|1853||Nathan S Pilcher and Aaron Hull|
|1854||Elijah Tucker and Thomas Grosvenor|
|1856||Joseph Border, Charles C Pruden, and Peter Davis|
|1859-1865||David Love and J.Warren Baird|
William Jackson —settled near the site of the present village of New England in what is now Canaan township in 1799 after his marriage. He was a surveyor and a representative to the state legislature.
The Barrows brothers, William, George, and Henry —came to what is now Canaan township in 1791.
Joseph Simmons —settled in Canaan township in 1797.
Martin Mansfield —brother of Peter, settled in Canaan township in 1797.
Peter Mansfield —brother of Martin, settled in Canaan on Willow Creek about the same time.
Peter Boyles —settled in what is now Canaan township in 1795. He was probably the first white settler within the present county of Athens. This was the year of the treaty of Greenville, and the close of the Indian war. Athens county was the very frontier at the time, and Mr. Boyles, in settling here, took his life in his hand, for this section was by no means safe in that year from Indian outrages.
George Boyles — son of Peter Boyles, was born in Canaan township June 5, 1795. He was, beyond doubt, the first white child born in Athens county.
John Boyles —son of Peter, came to Canaan township with his father's family in 1795.
Peter W. Boyles —son of John Boyles, was born in Canaan township.
Samuel Gillett —came to Athens county in 1818, first settling in Ames, where in 1819 he established a tannery. In 1823 he removed to Canaan township, and settled on Stroud's run.
Abel Miller —came to Athens county in 1802. In 1803 he purchased in what is now Canaan township, and built a log cabin the same year. Mr. Miller served as a county surveyor, an elected justice of the peace, an associate judge and he was appointed a trustee of the Ohio university.
Captain Parker Carpenter —came to this township in 1817, and settled on a new farm a little north of the present village of New England.
Joshua Hoskinson —settled with his father's family in Canaan township in 1810. Mr Hoskinson was county commissioner twelve years, justice of the peace six years, and has held other local offices. [read more about early life in the wilderness and military on his full bio]
William Henry —came to Athens county with his father's family when sixteen years of age, married and then settled in Canaan township.