Hamilton County Ohio
Genealogy and History
The Story of Hamilton County
[Source: "Memoirs of the Miami Valley", vol. 2, 1919]
[Presented here are pgs 521-533]
HAMILTON COUNTY is in the southwest corner of the Miami valley and was erected January 4, 1790, by a proclamation of Gov. Arthur St. Clair, governor of the Northwest Territory. The county received its name from John Cleves Symmes, the original purchaser of the district around Cincinnati, and to whom was given the privilege of choosing the name. Alexander Hamilton was at that time secretary of the treasury, and it was for him that Hamilton county was named. The first topographical description of the county appeared in 1815, as follows: "In the vicinity of the Ohio, Miamis and Mill creek, it is hilly; but the other portions are generally level. The soil of a considerable portion is second rate; the four extensive valleys; however, which either bound or intersect it, possess great fertility. Permanent springs are not numerous, but well water is easily obtained."
"In addition to Cincinnati, the subject of the following chapters, the county contains several villages, of which the principal are Columbia, Newton, Reading, Montgomery and Springfield. The first of these, in the year 1879 and '90, had the largest settlement in the Miami country, and was expected to flourish; but the bayou which is formed across it from the Little Miami almost every year and the occasional inundation of nearly the whole site, have destroyed that expectation, and is now inhabited chiefly by farmers."
Hamilton county is bounded on the South by the Ohio river, on the east by Clermont county, on the north by Warren and Butler counties, and on the west by the Indiana state line.
The existence of the county began under impressive circumstance; Gov. St. Clair arrived at Fort Washington, the most impregnable fort in the western country, on January 2nd and received a salute of fourteen guns when he stepped ashore, and again when he marched into the fort at the head of his suite. The official record of the erection of the county said:
"1790; January 2.-His Excellency arrived at Fort Washington in the purchase of Judge Symmes and on the 4th was pleased to order and direct that the whole of the lands lying and being within the following boundaries, viz.: Beginning on the bank of the Ohio river at the confluence of the Little Miami, and down the said Ohio river to the mouth of the Big Miami, and up said Miami to the Standing Stone Forks or branch of said river, and thence with a line to be drawn due east to the Little Miami, and down said Little Miami river to the place of beginning-should be a county by the name and style of the county of Hamilton, and the same was accordingly laid off agreeably to the form which has been transmitted to Congress.
The county so laid off was approximately the original purchase of Judge Symmes. The present city of Cincinnati was then known as Losantiville, but was at this time changed to Cincinnati in honor of the famous order of that name, of which Major General St. Clair was a prominent member. The governor, in 1792, issued a proclamation that the territory lying between the Scioto and the Little Miami was to be included in Hamilton county. At that time the county comprised a great part of the territory now covered by the State of Ohio, extending clear to the northern boundary of the Northwest territory, the eastern and western boundaries extending respectively to Lake Erie and Lake Huron, including Detroit and the eastern half of the southern part of what is now the state of Michigan. In 1796, Winthrop Sargent, secretary of the territory and acting governor, proclaimed Adams county, which cut off the northern part of Hamilton county. The boundary of the territory was moved west ward by the Wayne treaty, and thus Hamilton county was extended to include a large part of what is now Indiana, the western boundary being drawn due north from Fort Recovery on the Wabash. In 1798, a section along the eastern line of the county was added to Adams county, the northern part of the new Adams county being made into Ross county. By act of Congress, the western part of the Northwest Territory was separated from the eastern part, and called the Indian territory, and by act of Congress passed in 1802 the western line of what is now Ohio due north from the mouth of the Great Miami. In 1800, Gov. St. Clair made Clermont county iron, a part of Hamilton county, and in 1802 the county surveyors were instructed to make surveys of the county and determine the boundary lines. In 1803, the State of Ohio was admitted into the Union, and its attentions were immediately turned to the subject of counties. By an act of the legislature passed March 24, 1803, Warren and Butler counties were erected from Hamilton, and from the counties of Hamilton and Ross, Montgomery and Greene counties were formed. Numerous errors were made in the surveys, and to this cause may be placed the irregular northern boundary of Hamilton county as it now stands.
The settlement of Hamilton county was attended with the greatest of dangers and hardships, and the pioneers who first sought the wilderness of the Miami valley were necessarily of the hardy breed that is now remembered with pride and pleasure. The frontier settlements were subjected to the attacks of roving bands of hostile Indians, and many of the early inhabitants gave their lives for the protection and advancement of civilization. It was so hazardous an undertaking to work in the fields even at the very outskirts of a village, that for protection and strength, the men were in the habit of doing their fanning in parties, one part being posted to watch for Indians. The tales of personal heroism on the part of the whites are many, and the tenacity with which they clung to their posts along the frontier of progress reflects to their undying credit and honor.
After the battle of Fallen Timbers in August of 1794, in which Gen. Wayne decisively defeated the united forces of the Indian bands, the settlements in Hamilton county suffered but little from the red marauders. There were in that year sixteen settlements in Hamilton county, where six years before there had been but four, so rapid was the progress of the white race in the Northwest Territory.
At the time of the erection of Hamilton county Gov. St. Clair, in accordance with an act passed by the legislative council in 1788, appointed several officers for the First Regiment of militia in the county of Hamilton, in which regiment there were at first four companies. The four captains appointed by Gov. St. Clair were John Stilts Gano and James Flinn of Columbia, Israel Ludlow of Cincinnati and Gersham Gard of North Bend. The lieutenants were Francis Kennedy, John Ferris, Luke Foster and Brice Virgin.
The ensigns appointed were John Dunlap, Ephraim Kibby, Elijah Stites and Scott Traverse. Various regulations governing the militia were made by the legislature, one of which was to the effect that all firing of guns within one mile of any fort except for defense or alarm was forbidden. The alarm for the calling out of the militia was stated to be the firing of one gun or three muskets. A patrol was sent out every morning from the settlements for reconnaissance, and no one was permitted to leave the confines of the village until the patrol bad returned and reported the coast to be clear of savages. In April of 1790 all persons between the ages of fifteen and fifty were enrolled as militia, and in December the militia in Hamilton county was more fully organized and equipped under the command of Lieut-Col. Oliver Spencer.
After the treaty of Greenville, by which the Indians gave up all the lands which they had claimed, the militia of Hamilton county was called upon for various duties, such as police duty, ordinary sentry duty, and the removal of squatters from government lands west of the Great Miami. In 1794, the Hamilton county militia under the command of Lieut.-Col. John S. Gano, was reviewed and inspected by General Harrison, who, since his resignation from the army, had been acting as chief officer of the territorial militia. The Hamilton county militia went along for many years without being called upon for any active duty, being added to from time to time, a company of light infantry hen, and a troop of cavalry there, until the war of 1812 made it necessary for the government to call upon all available military organizations.
The records of the formation of the several townships of the county are incomplete at best, and there is much doubt as to just the manner in which they were erected. However, the general system followed in the early days before the adoption of the state constitution was for them to be described and erected by action of the courts of General Quarter Sessions, and later by the county commissioners working in conjunction with the associate judges of the Court of Common Pleas. The first act in the formation of the townships was the creating of three, which included the entire river front of the county and extended northward to the military ran a line about five miles north of the present northern boundary of the county. The names given to these first three townships were Columbia, Cincinnati and Miami. During the changes in the amount and extent of territory comprised in Hamilton county There were frequent changes in the townships of the county. One of them, South Bend township, which comprised Delhi and part of Green, no longer exists under its original name, and many other territorial changes occurred too numerous and intricate of explanation to be here further mentioned. In 1809, the making of Mill Creek township practically completed the organization of the townships in their present form. The officers in the township organization of the eighteenth century were not many, being the township clerk, con stable, overseer of the poor, overseer of roads, and, where the town ship had towns of sufficient size to warrant it, a commissioner of streets.
In 1801, the list of townships in the county were Columbia, Cincinnati, Southbend, Miami, Anderson, Colerain, Fairfield, Springfield, Dayton, Franklin, Ohio, Deerfield and St. Oak, seven of which do not appear in later lists.
In 1819, the first city directory of Cincinnati was published, and included a list of county officers, so many of whom were men prominent in the moulding of the affairs of the county that the List as given is here incorporated:
Court of Common Pleas-president judge, George P. Torrence; associates, Othniel Looker, James Silvers, John C. Short. Prosecuting attorney, David Wade. Clerk, Daniel Cairn. Sheriff, Richard Ayres. Coroner, William Butler, Jailer, Samuel Cunningham. Commissioners, Ezekiel Hall, Clay ton Webb, Adam Moore. Clerk, Micajah T. Williams. Treasurer, David Wade. Recorder, Thomas Henderson. Collector, Thomas Clark. Notary Public, Griffin Yeatman.
Justices of the Peace for Hamilton County: Cincinnati township-Ethan Stone, John Mahard. Miami township-John Palmer, Daniel Bailey. Crosby township-Luther Tillotson, Jacob Comstock, Isaac Morgan, Samuel Halsted, William McCanee. Delhi township-Peter Williams. Whitewater township-Patrick Smith. Springfield township-Abraham Lindlay, William Snodgrass. Mill Creek township-James Sisson, Robert Merrie, Abraham Wilson, James Lyon, Joseph McDowell. Colerain township- Isaac Sparks, John Runyan, James Carnahan, Joseph Cilley. Sycamore township--Peter Bell, Benajah Ayres, Hezekiah Price, Jonathan Pittman. Columbia township--John Jones, Abner Applegate. Green township-William Benson, William J. Carson. Anderson township-Jonathan Garrard.
There were, then, in 1819 twelve townships in the county, and by the directory of 1825 it appears that a thirteenth had been added, Symmes.
As has been heretofore stated the militia of the county, and indeed of the entire state, had had no active duty after the cessation of hostilities with the Indians until the war of 1812. When the news of the declaration of war reached Cincinnati and the rest of the county, the greatest excitement prevailed, as there had been a strong feeling throughout the western country in favor of war with Great Britain. In April of 1812, Gen. John Stites Gano was ordered by Governor Meigs to recruit eight companies of militia from his division, either volunteer or draft, and needless to say the required number quickly volunteered their services. The government had made a provision to stimulate volunteering to the effect that sixteen dollars was given to each recruit when he entered the service, and three mouths' additional pay and 160 acres of land when he received an honorable discharge. A recruiting office was opened in Cincinnati, and the utmost enthusiasm prevailed. Alter the defeat of Gem. Ha!!, which left the territory of Michigan undefended and exposed the state to invasion by the British, Governor Meigs called out the state militia, and together with eighteen hundred Kentucky troops Ohio was placed in a fair condition to defend itself. Many of the prominent men in Hull's army were men from Miami county, and their disappointment at the half-hearted way in which the general conducted the campaign in Michigan can readily be imagined.
The next call made upon the military forces of Hamilton county came in the Civil war. There was at first much anxiety displayed by the people along the river, who were engaged in manufacturing, over the attitude of Kentucky. That state was so evenly divided against itself that it neither declared for the Union nor tried to secede. The governor of the state refused to comply with the demands for military forces which were made by the national government, and the governor of Ohio patriotically volunteered to fill Kentucky's quota from his own state after the demands made upon it were met. Much indignation was expressed over Kentucky's lack of loyalty, and the citizens of Cincinnati and the rest of the county, refused absolutely to sell to any Kentuckian such goods as were declared to be contraband of war. The history of the glorious part which Hamilton county played in the great war is too well known to be here undertaken in detail. The brave youth of the cities, villages, and farms responded almost as one man to the call of the country. The industries of the community were turned toward the most useful work. Large army contracts were filled in record time. Men gave unthinkingly and without stint, and the girls and women raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charitable purposes by the successful conduct of the Cincinnati Sanitary Fair arid Christian Commission The Soldiers' Home which was conducted on Third street for the benefit of the men in service was operated horn May, 1862, until October, 1865, and during that period of time gave out lodgings, food, stationery, information and clothing with a liberal hand. The number of lodgings furnished in this time was 45,400 and meals 656,704, and the total expenditures of the institution for the time it was open were only $64,000.
Again in the Spanish-American war, Hamilton county was called upon to furnish its quota of men for the military service of the country, and it is a matter of common knowledge how quickly and how eagerly the young men of the county came at the president's call, and to what an extent they shared the hardships and vicissitudes of the campaigns incident to that conflict.
In the last great struggle in which the United States took so important a part, the county of Hamilton and Cincinnati fulfilled its duty to mankind in splendid manner. To what extent the men of the county thronged to the armed service of their country is well known, and the deeds of valor accredited to them have been too lately upon the lips of all to need repetition. They fought gloriously for the right and that it might triumph over might, and the everlasting thanks of a grateful people are theirs. An approximation of the numbers of men who served during the war can only be arrived at present in the city of Cincinnati 4,500 volunteered for service in the army, 1,900 for the navy, 1,700 for the marine corps and 14,000 entered the service under the draft law. On a proportionate basis there were about 5,000 men in service from the rest of the county, making a total number of men who went to the colors from Hamilton county of approximately 27,100.
After the foregoing brief and general survey of the organization and development of Hamilton county throughout its territorial changes and the varying phases of its civic and military life, it is desired to give a more detailed account of the progress of civilization as typified in the settlement, growth, and government of the county. In order to present such an account in an orderly and more comprehensive manner, a brief survey of each township will be recorded, in order that due representation may be given to every section of the county.
Taking up the townships in their alphabetical order, the first one to be considered is Anderson. This township lies in the south east corner of the county, and is bounded by the Ohio river on the south and west, the Little Miami river on the west and north, and by the county of Clermont on the east. The topography of the township is rough and hilly, as is characteristic of the land along the banks of the Ohio, and there are four creeks to be noted which drain the land, Little Dry run, Big Dry run, Five Mile creek, and Cough creek. The township was erected in 1793, and was at that time much larger than it is now, but was cut down to its present size in the year 1800 by the organization of Clermont county. A military post of some importance during the trouble with the Indians was located in this township, and was known as Covalt's Station, being named in honor of one Abraham Covalt, an early settler in the township When Virginia, in 1784, reluctantly ceded to the federal government the Northwest Territory, certain property reservations were made, the rights of which were to be used for the support of Virginians who had taken part in the military service during the Revolutionary war. Anderson township was entirely within this district which was known as the Virginia Military Reservation, and many of the original settlers were purchasers under the law governing it.
A part of the township was annexed by the city of Cincinnati in the year 1909. The village of Mount Washington, which had a population of 984 according to the last or thirteenth census of the United States, dates its beginning to the year 1846, when it was laid out by John L. Corbly on what was then known as the Ohio pike. The village was incorporated October24, 1867, and is connected with Cincinnati by direct railroad transportation. The village of Newtown one of the oldest in the county, was incorporated in 1908. It can be back as far as 1798. In 1890 it had a population of 552, and according to the last census decreased to 546 during the next twenty years. The thirteenth census, from which all the population data are hereafter taken, gives the population of the township, including Mount Washington and Newtown, as 4,050. The first officers of Anderson township were John Gerrard, clerk; Jesse Gerrard, constable; Richard Hall, overseer of roads; Joseph Frazee and Jacob Backoven, overseers of the poor; Joseph Martin and Jonathan Garrard, viewers and appraisers.
Colerain township is in the north central part of Hamilton county, being touched on the north by Butler county, on the east by Springfield township, on the south by Green and Miami townships, and on the west by the Big Miami river. The first man to settle in the township was one of the original members of the Symmes expedition, John Dunlap, a native of Coleraine, Ireland. His project was to form a settlement in the interior of the county, and he chose for his site a place on the left bank of the Big Miami in the extreme northwestern part of what is now Colerain township The name given to this settlement was Colerain, and the first settlers came in 1790, and as trouble from the Indians was anticipated, the log cabins were built facing in on a square enclosing about one acre. A stockade and a blockhouse were constructed to ward off any attacks from marauders, and it was well that these steps were taken, for the Indians quickly began to terrorize the little frontier settlement with their attacks. In order to protect the inhabitants of the village more effectively than could be done by their own efforts, General Harmar, then the commandant at Fort Washington, sent Lieutenant Kings bury and thirteen men to Colerain. The establishment of this post was immediately a signal to the savages to commence the most violent efforts to exterminate the village, and in 1791 a most ferocious attack was made by them which took the villagers completely off guard, before sunrise. The most powerful attempts were made by the India until the morning of the following day, but they were repulsed at every point, although the white men suffered some losses.
The township of Colerain was erected in 1794 by the order of the County Court of Quarter Sessions, with boundaries as above except that it extended far to the northward until 1803 when Butler county was erected by act of the state legislature. In topography it is quite broken hi places, the majority of the township being rolling. Creeks that carry off the surface water and are effective in the drainage of the area are Blue Rock; Taylor's, the west branch of Mill creek, Dunlap's, and Bank Lick creeks.
There are no incorporated villages in Colerain township, but some of the villages to be noted are Georgetown, Bevis, Groesbeck, and Taylor's creek. The population of the township is given as 3,034, and is essentially of an agricultural character.
Columbia township is located in the east central part of Hamilton county, and is bounded on the north by Sycamore and Symmes townships, on the east by the Little Miami river, on the south by the Little Miami river and the city of Cincinnati, and on the west by the city of Cincinnati. The topographical features of the township include bottom land along the Little Miami, a long and fertile valley in the interior of the township, and some rough and hilly- country as well. The creeks worthy of mention are Duck, Mill and Sycamore. In 1791, the County Court of Quarter Sessions erected three townships in the county, Columbia, Cincinnati and Miami and these townships were given the cattle brands of A, B and C respectively, and on account of the priority of Columbia in this respect, that town ship is usually considered to be the oldest one of the county. The township passed through some territorial changes before the year 1803, but in that year, when the attention of the state legislature was turned toward the county organization, the township was restricted to approximately its present limits. The county received its name from the village of the same name which was later within the boundaries of Spencer township when it was formed, and is now within the corporate limits of Cincinnati. This village was founded on November 18, 1788, by Major Benjamin Stites and a party of twenty-six men, women and children. But the village, according to Dr. Daniel Drake, "in the years 1789 and '90 had the largest settlement in the Miami country, and was expected to flourish; but the bayou which is formed across it from the Little Miami almost every year, and the occasional inundation of nearly the whole site, have destroyed that expectation, and it is now in habited chiefly by farmers."
In 1903, part of the township was annexed to Cincinnati, but nevertheless it has the largest population of any of the townships in the county. Including Madisonville city, Kennedy Heights, Oakley, Pleasant Ridge and Terrace Park villages, parts of Silverton and Milford villages, and wards 2 and 4 of Norwood city, the population according to the last census was 23,387. Wards 1 and 3 of Norwood City were at the time of the taking of the census in Mill Creek township, but that township no longer appears, as it had been absorbed by the city of Cincinnati. Kennedy Heights has a population of 598; Madisonville, 5,193; Milford (part of), 58; Oakley, 1,639; Pleasant Ridge, 1,769; Terrace Park, 448; Silverton (part of), 329.
Crosby township did not come into existence until 1804, the territory which it comprises being originally in Whitewater township. It is bounded on the south by Whitewater township, on the west by Harrison township, on the north by Butler county, and on the east by the Big Miami river. It is one of the smaller townships of the county. The country is hilly and rolling, and the principal streams are the Dry Fork of Whitewater, and two creeks tributary to it, Lee's and Howard's creeks. The first man to come to this particular section of the county for the purpose of settling there was Joab Comstock, who came from Connecticut to try his fortunes in the new western territory that had been booming so swiftly since the victory of Gen. Wayne over the Indians and the treaty of Greenville. He platted a village in the township, and called it Crosby in honor of his mother's maiden name, and it was to this settlement that the name of the township was due. When the town ship was opened to settlement the largest land purchase was made by six men who associated for the purpose of purchasing a 2,000-acre tract of land in the northeastern corner near the Butler county line. Joab Comstock was instrumental in founding another settlement, the village of New Haven, which he and Charles Cone had surveyed in 1815, offering the lots for sale. The site of this village was selected on account of its being at the meeting place of the Cincinnati, New Baltimore highway and the state road from Hammond to Lawrenceburg. New Baltimore, a village with a population of about 200, was founded by Samuel Pottinger in 1819, and the early establishment of a flour mill, sawmill, and a distillery, added greatly to the prosperity of The village. An interesting settlement in this town ship is what is commonly called the Shaker settlement. This village or community is known as Whitewater, and is under the control of the United Society of Believers. The original s comprised forty acres of land and eighteen men and women of this faith, but since that time their numbers have been from time to time augmented until now it is a thriving community, owning thirteen hundred acres of land. Villages are but few in the township, and there are none incorporated, the population being primarily engaged in the pursuits of farming. The population of the township given in the thirteenth census was 866.
Delhi township is a small triangular shaped township in the south central part of the county. It is bounded on the east by Cincinnati, on the south and west by the Ohio river, and on the north by Green and Miami townships. The topography of the town ship is rolling upland country common to the banks of the Ohio river. The streams which are to be noted in the drainage of the territory are: Rapid run, Trautman's run, Muddy creek, and Bold Face creek. Settlements were made here very early in the history of the Miami country, Symmes laying out the village of South Bend in 1789, on account of the large number of applications which were being made to him for houses and lots in North Bend, a village seven miles farther down stream. It was located near the spot where Trautman's run emptied itself into the Ohio river. High hopes were at first entertained for the future of this village, but when Cincinnati was made the military post, and the majority of settlers located themselves in that city, it quickly lost the impetus of its start, and exists now in name only. Of later years, parts of the township have been annexed to the city of Cincinnati. The incorporated villages are Delhi, with a population of 872; Fernbank (part of), with a population of 157; and Saylor Park, now Home City, with a population of 877. The total population of the township according to the thirteenth United States census is 3,704.
Green township is in the south central pan of the county, contains thirty-six sections, and is bounded on the east by Cincinnati, on the south by Delhi township, on the west by Miami township, and on the north by Colerain township. The surface or general topography is gently rolling, tending towards hilly country in some pans, and is drained by Taylor's creek which empties into the Great Miami, Muddy creek, Lick run, and some branches of Mill creek in the eastern sections. In the original Symmes Purchase this township had been intended to be used for the purpose of establishing a college, and had the purchase amounted to a million acres as was the original plan, the township would have been so used. However, when the size of the Miami purchase was cut down, no single township was reserved for this purpose, although by act of Congress in 1792, the president was authorized to grant Symmes one entire township for the establishment of a college. Symmes then desired to keep the township for his own personal land reservation, but in 1788 made a contact for its sale with Elias Boudinot of New Jersey. Transfer of the property was not made, and Boudinot sued Symmes in the United States court, and on account of this suit, the governor of the state was forced to refuse acceptance of the township at the hands of Symmes for use in establishing a school. Neither the territorial legislature, the state legislature nor the Congress of the United States would accept the township under the conditions by which it was being presented, and after much trouble in the law courts throughout the state in regard to the ownership of the township it came into the hands of Burnet, Findlay & Harrison, and these men granted titles to the settlers who applied to them for land.
The largest village in the township is Cheviot, with a population of 1,930. It was platted in 1818 by John Craig, a native of Scotland. The only other incorporated village in the township is Mount Airy, part of which only lies within Green, the remainder in what was Mill Creek township. The total population of Green township is given as 6,306.
Harrison township is in the northwestern corner of the county, comprises eighteen sections, and is bounded on the north by Butler county, on the east by Crosby and Whitewater townships, on the south by Whitewater township, and on the west by the state of Indiana. For the first half of the nineteenth century the land in this township lay in Whitewater township and in Crosby township, but in 1853 it became desirable to erect another township in that locality, and Harrison township was formed. The topography of the country is gently rolling as is most of the county, and the surface is drained by Lee's creek, the Whitewater river, and the Dry Fork of the Whitewater. The only incorporated village in the township is Harrison, which lies partly in Hamilton county and partly in Harrison township. Dearborn county, Indiana, the Indiana part of the town being called West Harrison. The town plat was first surveyed in 1810, and the founder was Jonas Crane. He was a farmer who lived a half mile south of the town site, and after the Indiana side of the town had been platted he laid off an addition to the town in Ohio. The Whitewater canal was constructed and completed by the year 1840, giving the town direct communication with Lawrenceburg, Indiana, two years later it was connected with Cincinnati, and its life has been assured since that time, its growth and development being that of a thriving village dependent on the rural districts for its support In 1864, the first railroad to pass through Harrison was opened, and was known as the Whitewater Valley Railroad. The population of Harrison here given is the joint population of the village in Indiana and in Ohio, and as such is included in the population for the township. In the thirteenth census of the United States Harrison village had a population of 1,368, and Harrison township, 1,963.
Miami township lies almost wholly between the Ohio river and the Big Miami river. It is bounded on the east by Green township, on the south by Delhi township and the Ohio river, on the west by the Big Miami river, and on the north by the Big Miami and Colerain township. As originally established in 1791, it was one of the three first townships to be erected in the county, and at that time comprised the territory now included by Delhi, Green and Colerain townships. Its organization was directed by the County Court of Quarter Sessions. Judge Symmes made his first settlement in the Miami Purchase here on February 2, 1789, a town plat of one mile square being laid off under the name of North Bend. It was at first hoped that this village would grow to be the metropolis of the territory, but when the military post was located at Cincinnati, the rapid growth of that town which was thereby caused eliminated the possibility of North Bend ever becoming a city of importance. The incorporated villages in the township are Addyston, with a population of 1,543; Cleves, 1,423; Fernbank (part of), 148; and North Bend, 560. The total population of Miami township is 4,498.
Mill Creek township no longer exists under that name. Since 1902 parts of it have been from time to time annexed to the city of Cincinnati until now the entire township has been absorbed by the growth of the metropolis of the valley, with the exception of the cities of Norwood and St. Bernard. These two cities have not been incorporated with Cincinnati, and have an area of 2,062 and 1,015 acres respectively.
Springfield township is in the north central part of the county, and comprises approximately thirty-five sections. To the north of it lies Butler county; to the east Sycamore township; to the south, Cincinnati; and to the west, Colerain township. The old Miami canal cuts through the southeastern corner of the township, but there are no important creeks or rivers within its limits, except Mill creek, which is also in the southeastern corner. This town ship was settled to some slight extent in the earliest days of the purchase, but so great were the depredations of the Indians at that time that settlers were considerably discouraged in their attempts to found settlements. However, after General Wayne had success fully and decisively overwhelmed the combined forces of the savages, and the treaty of Greenville assured comparative peace to the inhabitants of the frontier districts, settlers came to the country in large numbers. In 1795, Springfield township was established. Subsequently its two eastern and two southern ties of sections were taken away from it to be given to Sycamore and Mill Creek townships respectively. The total population, according to the thirteenth census, of Springfield township, including Glendale, Hartwell, Mount Healthy and Wyoming villages, and parts of Arlington Heights, College Hill and Lockland village, was 14,797. Parts of the township have been annexed to the city of Cincinnati since the compilation of the census, and the present township does not include so large an amount of land or such a large village population.
Sycamore township is one of the northern tier of townships in Hamilton county, lying directly to the east of Springfield township, to the south of Warren county, to the west of Symmes township, and to the north of Columbia township. As originally laid out, Sycamore township included what is now Symmes town ship, but did not include its present western two tiers of sections. In the first days of its settlement it was characterized by its forests which covered almost the entire township. Many settlements were made, the first dating back to about 1793. Little difficulty was experienced with the Indians, the forests which surrounded the settlements being a natural protection from the raids of the savages. The first occupations of the settlers were farming and the operation of saw mills, for much fine lumber was to be had for the taking, lumber that is now all too scarce, black walnut and other woods suitable for the manufacture of furniture. The population of Sycamore township, including Reading village, and parts of Arlington Heights, Lockland and Silverton villages, was 9,934, Reading village being the largest in the township with a population of 3,985.
Symmes township is located in the extreme northeastern corner of Hamilton county. It is bounded on the east by the Little Miami river, on the south by Columbia township, on the west by Sycamore township, and on the north by Warren county. The topography of the township is generally rolling, although it is rather broken toward the river. As has been stated in connection with Sycamore township, Symmes township was originally included within the boundaries of that township, and its individual establishment did not occur until about the year 1825. Loveland is the only incorporated village in the township, and it is in both this and Miami town ship, Clermont county, the river dividing the two sections of the village. That part which lies within the limits of Hamilton county has a population of between five and six hundred and the total population of Symmes township is 1789. Camp Denison is the most interesting point in the township from a historical viewpoint. It was surveyed as a military camp at the outbreak of the Civil war, although General Scott had previously chosen it as a good location for a military hospital. The work Of laying out the amp was con ducted wider the supervision of General Rosecrans, a system of drainage, and a force water supply was put in that met with all the requirements and demands made upon it. The location of the camp was well chosen, as it extended from the river to the hills, natural drainage being thus afforded, and a constant supply of water constantly at hand.
Whitewater township lies in the southwestern corner of the county, is bounded on the east by the Big Miami river, on the west by the state of Indiana, and on the north by Harrison and Crosby townships. The majority of the land comprised in the township is of fertile bottom land, but there is also some hilly country to be met with. As originally erected in 1803, Whitewater township included all the land lying west of the Big Miami, but in 1804 Crosby township was formed from part of it, and in 1853 Harrison township was laid off, reducing the township to its present size. There are no incorporated villages in the township, the rich land being so eminently adapted to the pursuits of agriculture that more of profit is to be gained by farming than in any other way. The population of the township is 1,337.
The subjoined table is of interest because it is an analysis of the territorial distribution in Hamilton county, showing the area of cities; incorporated villages and townships, inclusive and exclusive of the municipalities (table on page 533 omitted)
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