Fayette County, Ohio
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Genealogy and History


History of Union Township

Source: "History of Fayette County, Ohio: Her People, Industries and Institutions",
edited by Frank M. Allen; Indianapolis, Ind. :: B.F. Bowen & Co., 1914

Sub. by K.T.

Chapter XIX

The township of Union occupies a central position in the county. It was one of the original townships, formed at the time of the organization of Fayette county in 1810. The boundary lines are as follows: Beginning about a mile east of Bloomingburg, on the Marion township line, it runs a little south of west about four and a half miles to the pike; then deflects a little to the south until it reaches Paint creek, about two and a half miles; thence nearly southwest about two miles to Sugar creek; thence with said creek about ten miles to Paint creek; thence north with the pike one mile; thence east one mile to Paint creek; thence north two miles with the creek; thence northeast two miles to the pike; thence north of east three miles to the railroad; thence northwest with the pike three miles; thence north to the beginning.

The drainage of the township is well taken care of by Paint creek, supplemented by artificial drainage where necessary. This creek divides near Washington into the east and west branch. Sugar creek flows along the western side of the township. The land generally is level in Union township. The western portion was at one time very heavily timbered, while the northeastern part was called the "barrens," very low and swampy, covered with high grass in the early days, which the Indians annually destroyed by burning.

Edward Smith. Sr., was one of the earlier settlers in the township, coming in 1810. He is mentioned in full in the chapter on early settlement and organization. His death occurred while he was trying to cross Paint creek during high water.

Jacob Casselman was a noted hunter and farmer of this section. John Thomas, a farmer, was a soldier in the War of 1812. Jacob Judy, also a soldier in this war, was another prominent early farmer. Col. Joseph Bell represented the fourth district in Congress for several terms. Col. Joseph Vance, Sr., served in the French and Revolutionary wars. John King, farmer, Robert Irion, first surveyor, William Cockerall, first school teacher, John Irion, trustee, William Boggs, shoemaker, J. and S. Coffin, tailors, were in the War of 1812, also James Pollock and Reuben Purcell. William Brannon, Sr., William Brannon, Jr., James Brannon, C. Coffman, Hiram Rush and N. Rush were farmers. The Allens, Ananias, Madison, James, Joseph, Jesse, Benjamin and Eben, all lived on Allen run, sometimes called Big run.

Robert Smith emigrated from Virginia at an early date and settled in Ross county, near Bainbridge. From Ross he came to Fayette and afterward served in the War of 1812. Edward Taylor was a Pennsylvanian and a veteran of all the early wars. He first came to Kentucky and in 1815 purchased two hundred acres of Nathaniel Massie on main Paint and Taylor runs. He lived to be over one hundred years of age. J. S. Bereman was another early settler of Union township. Daniel McLain, Joseph McLain, William R. Millikan, William Rush and Lieut. John Millikan were other early comers to the township.

Judge James Beatty emigrated to Fayette county in 1818, when the town of Washington had but a few log cabins and deer and game were in abundance. He served in the War of 1812. His father was Charles Beatty, who died in 1850. Judge Beatty was elected and commissioned an associate judge in 1847 and served until the new constitution was adopted.

Robert Robinson, attorney and an early representative of Fayette county; Wade Loofborrow, of whom the same could be said; Col. S. F. Carr, attorney, were pioneers. Brice Webster, Robert Harrison, Joseph Orr and James Harrison were farmers. Thomas, J. and C. Walker, James Timmons, Patrick Pendergrass, Thomas Pendergrass, James Allen, Samuel Webster, Moses Rowe, Daniel McLain, John Hues, B. Ball, John Weeks, John Dehaven, William Highland, Robert Geno, Abram Ware, David Thompson, Daniel Shiry, John Rankin, N. Evans, John Allen and David Morrison were farmers.

Seth Dunn, hunter and farmer; Elisha Taylor and Colonel Jewett, farmers, were all in the War of 1812. Nathan Loofborrow, Jerome Drais and James McCoy were all noted stock dealers. Isaac Templeton, a day laborer, was the father of eighteen children (three sets of twins). Abel Wright and John Myers, respectively tanner and farmer; Joseph Blackburn was ninety-nine, a tanner; Stephen Grubb, carpenter; Judge Gillespie, a man of influence; Noah Devault and George Hinkle, carpenters; Zebedee Heagler and John Grady were the first butchers.

John Thomas settled at the mouth of the east fork of Paint creek about 1810 and was known all over the county as "Chin" Thomas, on account of the remarkable extension of his chin.

Robert Harrison and William Downing came from Kentucky about 1808, and located on Sugar creek. Samuel and Frank Waddle came from Kentucky in 1810 and settled on Sugar creek. Henry and Jacob Snyder came from Virginia, first to Ross county, then to Fayette, locating on Sugar creek in 1809. David and John Wright settled on Sugar creek in 1808. Leonard Bush came from Virginia, with a large family, in 1808, and settled on Sugar creek. Fielding Figgins, with four or five sons, came from Kentucky and began farming on Sugar creek in 1809. The Millers came from Virginia in 1810 and settled between Washington and Sugar creek. The Coils located near Bloomingburg in 1809. Jacob Judy came from Virginia and located on the east fork of Paint creek in 1809. A Mr. Smith settled on Paint creek, in which he was subsequently drowned.

It appears that for a long time no settlements were made in the immediate vicinity of Washington. John Orr settled on Paint creek, about two miles southeast of Washington, in 1808.

Valentine (Felty) Coil was one of the earlier settlers of Fayette county and Washington C. H. During the early Indian wars, when about two years of age, he was captured at Ruddle's station by the Indians and Canadians under Colonel Byrd, and, with his sister, was carried across the Ohio, at Cincinnati, to Niagara Falls, thence to Canada, where he was adopted by a squaw who had lost a son, with whom he lived until his marriage. It is said that the notorious Simon Girty, who captured him, met him at a public house in Canada, and after inviting him to drink, and when under the influence of "fire water," bantered him for a fight, which being refused, he grew very talkative and revealed to him the whereabouts of his friends. On the strength of this, Coil went to Kentucky and found an uncle, who went with him to Virginia and found his mother, who had married a man named Hendricks. When he saw her, she did not recognize him. By means of a mark he was made known. He returned to Canada and, after the death of his wife, came to Fayette county and set up a distillery near Washington, which he finally abandoned and came into town. It is said he made whiskey in Canada for the English Fur Company. He was sold by the Indians to a British officer, whose wife imposed upon him and made him a slave.


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