Cardington, as we find it to-day, is a township of rectangular shape, lying in the eastern boundary of Morrow County, just south of the middle line drawn east and west. The regularity of its eastern boundary is somewhat broken by the absence of a section from the northeast corner, and of a similar piece from the southeast corner of the township. With the exception of these corners, it is five miles square, containing about twenty three square miles of territory.
The original township of which Cardington formed a part was erected by the Commissioners of Delaware County, December 1, 1823, of which action the following is the record : "Ordered, that Township 6, Range 17, in the 'new purchase,' south of the base line, and so much of the twenty-first Range, commonly called the 'three-mile strip,' as lies east of said Township 6, and west of the Richland line, be and the same is hereby erected into a separate township by the name of Morven Township." In tracing out this description on the map, there may be some difficulty experienced in clearly determining the exact territory embraced.
The treaty of 1796 opened the country south of the Greenville treaty line, and, by an act of Congress passed in June of that year, the tract of land included between the original seven ranges and the Scioto River, for a space of fifty miles, was appropriated to satisfy certain claims of the officers and men of the Revolutionary army. These lands were surveyed into townships five miles square. When, by the treaty of October, 1818, the last Indian claim to the land north of the Greenville treaty line was extinguished, a line passing due east and west through the State, forming now the northern boundary of the counties of Richland, Crawford, and Wyandot, was established as a base line for the survey of the "new purchase."
Beginning on either side of the State, the surveying parties worked toward the middle and met on either side of the "three-mile strip," or Range 2 1, counting from the eastern side of the State. This land, with other tracts in different parts of the State, was known as Congress land, because sold to purchasers by the immediate officers of the General Government, and was regularly surveyed into townships of six miles square.
From this it will be seen that Morven, as originally erected, included all of Cardington above the treaty line, and all of the land lying immediately east up to the western boundary of Franklin Township, making it nine by four and a half miles, its longest line extending east and west. In 1825, Gilead was erected, taking, off the territory on the east; in 1848, that part of Cardington south of the treaty line, which borders upon Westfield, was set off from the latter township, -and later a piece of territory about a mile square was added to the southeast corner from Lincoln.
As formed at present, Cardington is bounded on the north by Canaan, on the east by Gilead and Lincoln, on the south by Lincoln --Westfield, and on the west by Westfield and the Marion County line.
The origin of the early name is not clearly known. According to a current tradition, it was suggested by old Mr. Webster of of Gilead for his son Marvin. It is possible that this Dame may have suggested the name of the town in Scotland, or some emigrant from that land may have sought to perpetuate some memory of his native country.
When Gilead was set off, the old name was retained by the western portion. of the old township, and, in 1850, through the efforts of Thomas Sharpe, who was elected County Surveyor in 1856, the name was changed to Cardington, to correspond with the name of the post office and village.
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WHAT THE FIRST SETTLERS FOUND
The first settlers found the township a low, wet tract of land, covered with a heavy growth of timber. Owing to the level lay of the land, the streams in the central part are sluggish.. affording but little drainage, and in fact it was necessary to convert them into ditches before they proved of any advantage in this direction.
Toward the eastern part the land undulates slightly, and the banks of the Whetstone sometimes reach a height of ten or more feet. The latter river enters the township on the eastern side, near the track of the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati & Indianapolis Railway, and, following in a general way the course of the railroad south to the village, it takes a sudden curve to the west through Slate Banks ; passing through the village, and turning south again about the middle of the township, it passes out of its territory.
Two streams, Big Run and Shaw Creek, rise in the northern part of the township, and, passing southwest, through the central part, in about identically the same course, about a mile apart, join the Whetstone, the former just west of the village, and the latter in Westfield Township. During the early settlement, these water-courses could hardly be called streams. They simply marked the low, marshy ground that existed at that time and which, when overcharged with moisture, sought this channel to feed the Whetstone.
In the process of cultivation. these streams were converted into ditches, their channels deepened and straightened for a large part of their length, and, in the drying-up of the country, they have taken on more of the character of creeks. There is but little. bottom land along the Whetstone, nor is there much variety in the soil of the township. It is principally a black, sticky clay requiring careful draining, and, when well tilled, capable of producing magnificent crops.
Draining is receiving a great deal of attention from the farmers, and, as a whole, the township ranks very high among her sister townships in the product of her farms. There are some lands that produce as high as thirty-five or forty bushels of wheat per acre.
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Stock-raising is a prominent feature of this township's industries, several farmers giving almost their whole attention to growing pedigree stock In the northwestern part of the township, Capt. J. G. Blue makes a specialty of thoroughbred Spanish-American merino sheep, possessing one of the largest flocks in the State. He has some $10,000 invested in this flock alone, and does business all over the country south and west.
In addition to this, lie pays considerable attention to raising fine-grade cattle of the Shorthorn Durham breed. He also pays some attention to horses, making a specialty in breeding roadsters of the Mohawk strain. He has six brood mares and some fourteen head of this stock on his farm at present.
John Sellars, in the central part of the township, is another prominent horse breeder. He has some four or five stallions, one of which, "Mohawk Jackson," is showing some fine points, and is expected to prove of considerable value as a trotter. The farmers are generally well-to-do, have farms of larger than the average size in the county, which are well improved with good buildings.
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HOW THE AREA STARTED
Two villages have been laid out within the limits of the township, Friendsborough and Cardington. The latter will form a prominent feature in another chapter; the former can scarcely be said to have had any history. It was laid out on the property now owned by Robert Mosher, in the eastern part of the township, by Col. Kilbourn, of Worthington, in 1822. The plat covered three lots of land, the project assuming a very ambitious character at the very start.
Asa Mosher, though owning the larger part of the land included in the plat, was not sanguine of the success of the village, and when John Roy sought to buy a lot on which to erect a store, he refused to sell it, for fear that, in the event of failure, it would cut up his property. This was certainly the proper method to invite failure.
Disappointed here, Roy went to Gilead and set up an establishment which became the nucleus about which the town of Mount Gilead gathered. A little later, however, Mosher overcame his scruples so far as to sell a lot to John Shaw, on which he built a cabinet-shop. The building was erected on the bank of the stream, with the expectation of running the machinery by water power, but the creek proved insufficient for the purpose, and the land reverted to the original owner.
This uncertainty on the part of Mosher undoubtedly prevented the growth of a village that would probably have united the power and population of both the rival villages of Cardington and Mount Gilead.
The first permanent step toward the introduction of civilization into this township was made in 1814, when the surveyor, John Milligan, assisted by John and Jacob Foust, the brothers of Jonas, Foust, who now resides in the township, surveyed and blazed out the Delaware and Mansfield road. The road passed along where Jonas Foust now lives, and the party, camping there one or two nights, left the surveyor's name and the date on a tree near the camp, where it remained for years afterward.
From this point the road approached the village, a little east of the site of the railroad, near the gravel pit; thence, passing between the residences of A. Mayer and W. C. Nichols, through where the front yard of the Union School now is, it ran along the south line of Nichols street, and thence along the gravel road and out by the old tollhouse.
On this road the mail was carried on horseback as early as 1815, and many stories are told of the dangers by highwaymen and wild beasts that infested the road.
Four years later a stage was run once a week, driven by a man named Brockway, but after four months' trial, the difficulties of the way proved too many, a and it was discontinued.
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FIRST ACTUAL SETTLEMENT
The first actual settlement within the present limits was probably made by Isaac Bunker in 1822, Mr. Bunker was an industrious, energetic man, was educated as a mechanic, and did an extensive business as wagon-maker in Vermont. It is said that during the last season of his stay in his native State he built and disposed of sixty " iron-bound " wagons.
His growing family of boys, however, demanded more scope for their proper development and prosperity, and he determined to move to the West.
The Benedicts, to whom he was related, had come to Peru during the interval of 1809-12, and he made up his mind to follow them. He built a large wagon after the Pennsylvania type, bought a stage team, and, hiring an experienced driver to manage this four-horse power, he embarked his family and goods and came to Peru.
He was not quite satisfied with the prospect here, and soon began to look about for a place more suitable for his projects. He went to the present site of Caledonia, and, selecting a suitable mill-site, he prepared to set up a mill. Here his plans were frustrated by the petty jealousy of those who had preceded him at this point.
They threatened to build a dam above where he proposed to build, and annoyed him until he sold out his property and left the place. While undecided as to his further movements, his attention was called to the advantages offered by the Whetstone, as it passed through the present site of Cardington.
Examining the place with Cyrus Benedict, Mr. Bunker decided to settle here, and purchased forty acres, afterward increasing his purchase to 160 acres, extending from where the northern line of the corporation now runs to about Walnut street on the south, and from the eastern boundary of Wolf's tannery on the east to the American House on the west.
On the 28th of March, 1822, Mr. Bunker came to his new purchase with a force of eight or ten men, chopping out a road from the Peru settlement as he came; and, selecting a site for his cabin where the Resley House now stands, he began to make a, clearing." With the force at his command, the building of a cabin was short work, and on April 1, 1822, he had a home for his family in the forests of what is now known as Cardington.
In the following month the family, consisting of a wife and eleven children, came from Peru to possess their new home. His family established in their new quarters, Bunker pushed his plans with characteristic vigor, and soon had a log blacksmith-shop on the lot adjoining his house lot, and a log barn located a little east and across the frontier road which ran along where Main street now furnishes an avenue for travel,
These finished, a brush dam was built across the Whetstone, on the site of the present structure, near the iron bridge, at the western end of which the framework for a saw-mill was erected, and a little below this a grist-mill was put up, being supplied with water through a short race.
The latter was in most demand, and was finished first, doing its first grinding in the fall of 1822. The saw-mill was completed immediately afterward, doing business in the winter, or early the following spring. The buhr-stones for the grist-mill were cut out of a large boulders on the Peru farm, and measured some three feet and ten inches in diameter. These stones were cut by Henry James and Slocum Bunker, and cost weeks of hard work.
In all these enterprises Mr. Bunker was forced to rely on his own unaided resources. He was not a man of large means, but, with a thorough and extensive mechanical education, he was a carpenter, blacksmith, millwright, and engineer at once, and, by shrewd management and barter, he secured the erection of his building without expending any cash.
A little later, he built a cabin on the east side of Water street, the lot on which it was located now being owned by Mrs. Corwin; Slocum Bunker, his son, built a cabin on the southwest corner of the old cemetery, which was afterward used as a schoolhouse and public hall.
At the time of Mr. Bunker's coming, there were two white families within the present limits of Cardington Township, save in the eastern part, near the Gilead line, where two squatters, William Langdon and Stephen Sherman, had raised cabins on the land now occupied by Robert Mosher. But little is known of the origin of these parties.
Langdon's wife died here very soon (which was probably the first event of the kind in the township), and he left this vicinity , going West. Sherman, being obliged to move by the purchasers of the land, squatted again on the Singer place, and later succeeded in securing a little farm of forty acres.
Bunker's operations were well known in the settlement of Peru, and created quite an excitement among those who were not satisfactorily situated at that place. The natural result was that in the fall of 1822 there was an extensive migration from that point to various parts of the new township.
Among the earliest of those that came in at this time were the Foust families. Jacob Foust, Jr., had come early to Peru with his brother John, and came through this locality as early as 1814 with the surveyor that ran out, the Delaware and Mansfield road.
Later their father, Jacob Foust, Sr., with the rest of the family, came and took up their residence in Peru. The family was originally from Berks County, Penn., and settled first in Muskingum County. In 1822, desiring to find more room, they came to Cardington, Jacob Foust, Sr., entering a farm on the banks of the Whetstone, where Jonas now lives. The house, situated - on the high bank of the creek, overlooks the long stretch of bottom lands lying to the north, presenting a view that is charming in its picturesqueness.
Just west of this farm, near the same stream, Jacob, Jr., erected his cabin, just north of the treaty line, in the southwest quarter of the township. Another family was that of the Elys. They came originally from Pennsylvania to Sunbury Township, in Delaware County, where they remained until the summer of 1822, when Michael, with his son Peter and his family, came to Cardington, and entered an eighty-acre farm on Lot 28, east- of the Fousts, where the elder Ely lived until his death.
The farm is now owned by Jonathan Kester. Closely following this family, came Isaac Bowyer. It is believed that this family came originally from Virginia to Perry County, and from there to where his son Isaac now resides. He built a saw mill on Shaw Creek in 1830, which he operated for some ten or fifteen years.
The stream is sluggish, with low banks, and the dam backed the water up for a considerable distance, and caused the water to overflow a number of farms, resulting, it is said, in considerable sickness, the condition of the country being productive of miasmatic troubles at the time.
Among the Peru families that came about this time was that of John Keese He had formerly been an extensive dealer in lumber in Clinton, N. Y., owning a considerable tract of land where Keeseville now stands. During the war of 1812 he was engaged in rafting lumber to Montreal, but lost a large amount, which broke him up and drove him West in hope of repairing his fortunes. He was an intelligent person and possessed something of a philosophical mind, but his reverses had broken him down so much that he never retrieved himself.
He came early to Peru, and there married his second wife, the first occasion of the kind in that township. On coming to Cardington, he located on a farm owned now by Henry W. Curl, in Section 18, in the western middle part of the township. He lived here until his death, some years after which event his son Richard sold to Curl and returned to Peru, where he died about 1875.
In the early part of the following winter 1822-23 Peleg Bunker whose wife was a Benedict, and bad been the means of his coming to the early settlement in Peru-came to Cardington, settling on the land now owned by Elizabeth McKeown. He was originally from New York, belonged to the Society of Friends, and at a later day became prominent in the early manufacturing enterprises of the village. He came originally from New York State.
Another important accession at this time was that of Cyrus Benedict, the founder of the Alum Creek settlement in Peru Township in 1809. Through his efforts the colony in Peru had gained a widespread reputation for industry and morality, and his coming augured well for the success of the new community. He entered the farm now owned by his grandsons, Cyrus E. and Sylvester Benedict, lying on Shaw Creek, in Sections 9 and 30, in the south corner, just above the treaty line. In the same Delano Sherman came from Junius, N. Y., entered the farm where his son, Judd W. Sherman now resides.
In the fall of this year a settlement was begun just northeast of the village, the Gilead line. The Quaker settlement in the southwestern part of Gilead Township was established at an early date, and it was with the intention of joining this community that Asa Mosher, with his eleven children, prepared to start for the West.
Early in the winter of 1818, he started on sleds from Washington County, N. Y., and made good progress to the western limits of the State, where he was obliged to lay over for serveral days, while he waited for the family of Peleg Rogers to complete their preparations for emigrating to the same place. They came as far as Cleveland on their sleds, but they were obliged here to exchange them for wagons, the far advance of spring making them impracticable for the balance of the journey.
From Cleveland, their route took them through Wooster, Fredericktown, to Gilead, arriving at the latter place in March, 1818. Daniel Beadle, with his son Marshall, and his sons-in-law Cornelius Mills and John Ensley, who had started about the same time that Marshall did and from the same place, had outstripped them, making the whole journey on sleds, and were snugly housed near the Cardington line, Ensley's property, perhaps, taking in a part of Cardington.
Robert Mosher lived at home with his father until the winter of 1822, when getting married, he went on to the place of Ensley, who failed to pay for the land he had entered.
In the following year, Robert traded his place to his father for the property where he now lives, and moved on to it. John Boyce had entered sixty seven acres here, and built a cabin, but, failing to pay for it, Mr. Asa Mosher, who was a man of considerable means, bought it and traded it to his son.
During the year following his first arrival in Gilead, Asa Mosher, noticing an eligible mill site on the land where his grandson now lives, built a grist-mill on the bank of the creek, the posts of which still remain to mark its site.
In 1824, Thomas Sharpe, from Pennsylvania, came to Cardington, and entered the farm now owned by Ross Greenfield. He was elected Surveyor of Morrow County, in 1856, and after his term of service emigrated for the West.
In the same year, Gideon Mann came to the place now owned by P. T. Powers. Mann was a native of Rhode Island, but came at an early date to Chenango County, N. Y. He was soon possessed with the Western fever, and felt greatly inclined to emigrate to Mississippi or Missouri; but a son-in-law, who had emigrated to Marlborough, in Delaware County, sent back such glowing accounts of the country there that he varied his proposed route, and came to Delaware County.
He was at this point when the tide set toward Cardington, and he was easily carried along, but not so easily satisfied. He had a chronic desire to move, and only his financial inability prevented the realization of his early desire to go to the Mississippi Valley.
William Barnes was another newcomer of this year. He came from Mechanicsburg, Ohio, and entered the farm where Craven Jenkins now lives, which he afterward sold to his son-in-law and went further west.
In 1828, Reuben Oliver came here from Virginia, and entered the farm now owned by his son, S. Johnson Oliver. In 1829, David Merrick came from Harrison County, Ohio, and entered the farm owned by William Spencer, and, two years later, his son-in-law, Lewis Barge, came to Cardington from Belmont County. The latter moved into Bunker's old log cabin, On Water street.
He lived here two years, and established a wagon shop, when he entered the farm on which he now lives. Robert Maxwell came to the township in the same year, and, after making an effort to buy out the interest of some of the earlier settlers in vain, he entered a large tract of land, including the farms owned by himself, M. L. Maxwell, Henry Centers and some others.
He was a man of marked energy, of considerable means, and has directed is attention principally to handling stock. He now lives on the old homestead, enjoying the ripe old age of ninety years.
The community that gathered thus about the milling point on the Whetstone was made up largely from the members of the settlements in adjacent territory. No sooner was the "new purchase " placed upon the market than those who had failed to secure eligible farms, or who had contracted the habit of "going to the new country," pressed forward to occupy the land, in some cases outstripping the Government surveyors.
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FOUND WOODS SWARMING WITH GAME
The earliest of these pioneers found the woods swarming with game of all kinds, to which were added large numbers of hogs that had wandered off from the frontier settlements, and had set up for themselves.
These latter animals afforded considerable sport to those who delighted in adventure, and some narrow escapes from injury at their tusks are related.
Wolves were numerous, and troublesome to the stock of the settlers, frequently destroying calves and young cattle. The severity of the winter of 1824 or 1825 destroyed the larger part of the game in this vicinity. Snow fell to the depth of twenty inches, and a heavy crust forming on this, which prevented the animals from reaching the ground, resulted in the starvation of vast numbers of turkeys, deer and hogs.
The latter animals were found in piles, dead through starvation and cold, while the crust giving the lighter-footed wolf a cruel advantage over the deer, resulted in the destruction in this way of vast numbers of the latter animals.
Among the early settlers, Jonas Foust was considered a great hunter and a crack shot. He devoted a considerable portion of his time to this pursuit, and added not a little to the limited resources of the frontier by his accomplishment.
Hunting at that time was something more than a pleasure. It was a necessity, and it is very doubtful whether this country could have been brought under cultivation, without the aid of game to support the family until the land proved productive.
It is related of Jonas Foust, that, after hunting all day with a "crack shot " by the name of Blizzard, the latter proposed to shoot at a mark. for the hides. To this Foust readily assented, and the contest began. A bullet was shot into a tree for a mark, and five bullets were put into the single hole made by the first ball, when Blizzard's weapon hung fire and varied his ball sufficient to break the circle and defeat him. This would be considered very good marksman ship, shooting "off-hand " at a hundred yards, in this day.
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Bee-hunting made valuable returns to those who were proficient in this branch of hunting lore, a single tree often yielding as much as ten gallons of strained honey. The woods were full of bee-trees, and it is said that a barrel of honey could be discovered in a week, though it was not so easily secured.
The plan adopted by regular hunters in this line was to provide a bait made up of a little honey, water, anise seed, cinnamon, brandy, and "life everlasting." The latter was an herb that grew in certain parts of the country and was so necessary to success, and so much in demand, that the frontier stores kept it as a regular article of sale, and hunters would send as far as Mansfield to procure it.
About a pint of this mixture was prepared at a time, and the intelligent hunter, taking a little of this liquid in his mouth, would spirt it upon the first bee he saw on a flower. The bee would at once make for its tree, and the others, smelling the odor, would follow the perfumed bee to where it would return for more of the attractive material.
Here they would find the bottle of bait uncorked, and, diving into it, would bear back a burden of the precious liquid to their hives. The most difficult part of the business would then be to track the bee to its stores of honey.
Old hunters claim that the few drops of brandy to a pint of the mixture had the effect on the bees to cause them to fly direct to their trees without circling into the air, as is usual with them before they take their flight homeward. To "air-line " a bee was the test of proficiency in this accomplishment, and it was not all who were successful in this essential particular. The results of these expeditions, as the honey found ready sale at a distance, provided other necessities, or the commoner luxuries, besides adding something of a variety to the homely fare of the frontier cabin.
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Trapping was another source of income that could be indulged in without detracting greatly from the necessary work of the clearing, but, as a matter of fact, it was found that it required the instinct of the true-born hunter to accomplish any respectable results from this sort of hunting.
There were few animals save "coons" that were worth the bait, but in some seasons these animals were so numerous as to prove a nuisance to the growing crops, and a blessing to the hunter.
Generally, however, five "coons " in a single night in favorable weather was a good catch. Their hides were worth about 25 cents apiece, and in this way many a frontier farmer procured the means to pay his taxes when all other resources had failed.
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When the Indians sold their claim to the lands north of the boundary line, they were ganted the privilege "to fish, fowl and hunt " in the territory, so long as it was Government land. The insecurity of this tenure could hardly be realized by the contracting savages, and the settlers, coming upon the scene almost as soon as the conditions were known, found them located upon the banks of the Whetstone, prepared to enjoy the privileges conceded, for some time to come.
On the rising ground where Firstenbarger's residence stands, the first comers found a large village of the natives. It was composed of huts about eight feet long, built up on three sides with poles, and covered with bark tied on with poles and thongs. Two of these huts faced each other, the open sides fronting the huge fire which was built between them.
The natives were members of the Wyandot, Seneca and Miami tribes, and their custom was to come down from their reservation early in April or May, and stay until time to plant corn, when they went to their reservation to put in their crops.
After the harvest they came again for the fall hunt, and many of them frequently stayed all winter hunting and trapping.
They treated the whites in the friendliest manner, and were never more delighted than when they could induce the whites to compete with them in feats of strength or endurance.
The hunters among the whites were never loath to engage in these contests, and were quite as often victors as the natives. These periodical visits of the Indians were kept up for twelve or fifteen years after the coming of the whites, but the growing scarcity of game, and the more attractive solitudes of the "Northwestern Territory" gradually diminished their numbers, and they finally ceased their visits altogether.
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EARLY COMMUNITY THAT SETTLED IN CARDINGTON
The early community that settled in Cardington was largely made up of those who had known pioneer life in the adjacent settlements, and were better prepared to encounter the difficulties of their new home. These were not so great as those encountered a few years earlier, but, although not so completely isolated as were the earlier settlements of Delaware and Knox Counties, they experienced enough of the hardships and inconveniences of frontier life to impress us of a later day that it was a very serious business to clear up a new country.
The nearest mills were in Marlborough and Peru Townships, the available tannery was Israel Hights, at Windsor Corners, and stores were only found at Delaware, Fredericktown, Mansfield and Marion.
John Roy soon established a store at Mount Gilead, which with the mills established by Bunker relieved the settlers of the long journeys for the commonest necessities of life, but for salt, glass and iron, Zanesville still continued to be the only source of supply.
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TRAVEL AND EARLY ROADS
To this point such of the settlers as were able to undertake the expense, made long pilgrimages through the woods for these indispensable articles. Jacob Foust, Sr., used to make the journey with an ox team and wagon, consuming about eight days on the journey, and bringing back four or five barrels as the limit of a load which could safely be put in a wagon for one yoke of cattle to draw.
The arrival of such a load in a neighborhood put the whole population in commotion, and the salt was readily sold out at 15 dollars per barrel, the purchase consideration being paid in barter or work.
These journeys, until the older settlements were reached, were made through improvised trails through the woods, frequently without blazed trees for guides. The Delaware and Mansfield road was soon chopped out, and a connecting link between the old and new land thus established.
The road from Marion to Delaware was early blazed out in a unique fashion. The road had been regularly run out as far as Haven's Mills, in Claridon, and from their Jonas Foust, who had been to mill, turned his horse loose, and following him home he blazed the trees with his tomahawk along the path his horse took. A glance at the map seems to indicate that much of this "horse sense " has become crystallized in the zigzag roads that serve the people as avenues of travel, but at that time the object was not so much the directness of the road as the certainty of the outcome.
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In 1823, the township was organized and Asa Mosher, Noah White and Isaac Bunker, were elected as first Trustees of the township: Slocum Bunker as the first Justice of the Peace, and Delano Sherman as Constable. The election was held in Mosher's mill in April, 1824.
At the second election in the same place, politics had taken root in the new community, and the upper and lower arts of the township were divided between Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams, and the result was the defeat of Mosher and Bunker for a second term. It is said that when the result was known, Mosher, with a quiet facetiousness, addressed Bunker with; "Thee and I may go to work for a living now."
Alexander Purvis was the second Constable, and served for years in this position. The second Justice of the Peace was John Shunk, a position to which lie was twice re-elected.
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EARLY GRIST MILL
In the mean while, improvements were rapidly taking place. In the Foust neighborhood, a horse-mill was put up by a German named "Gatchill," about 1824. But previous to this, and, in fact, the first in the township, a mill was erected by Asa Mosher on the Whetstone as it passes through the property owned by his grandson, G. Mosher.
This was put up in 1819, before the land was surveyed. The buhr stones were made out of a huge boulders found near where the iron bridge now is at Cardington.
The boulders were four-and-a-half feet cross, the runner being eighteen inches through at the eye. Robert Mosher and David James were twenty-eight days in accomplishing this work , but it is said turned out "buhrs" that did the business equal to that in use now, though they could hardly be called as durable.
A brush dam was constructed, and during the season of high water there was a constant demand for its services. Persons living as far away as Bucyrus brought grist to the mill and were often obliged to remain over night, the miller dispensing a free hospitality.
While this mill absorbed the patronage from the north and east, the Bunker mill received that of Shawtown and the west. Here the hospitality of the miller was frequently taxed to an extent that absorbed the profits of the business, but it was extended cheerfully as a part of the business in a new country.
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In 1823, the settlement on the Whetstone in Morven Township having attracted considerable attention by its activity, Horton Howard bought, as a speculation, the property which afterward became known as the Gregory farm.
Howard was a Quaker and had been a merchant in the village of Delaware, but was then Receiver in the land office located at that place. Attracted by the stirring activity of the new settlement, he entered into partnership with Peleg Bunker, the latter doing the work and Howard furnishing the money, and a log cabin was put up on the north side of the Whetstone, for the purpose of accommodating a carding machine.
The dam was built across the river at the point where Gregory street first strikes the river coming from the south. Bunker built a cabin for his residence a few yards south of the bend, on the west side of the street.
In the Following year Howard came on to, his property moving into a cabin that had been previously erected for him a little south and west of Bunker's. A frame building was erected on the other side of the river, at the end of the dam, and machinery 1 for fulling and dressing cloth added. At the same time he bought out Bunker's share in the business, giving him eighty acres of land, Bunker moved on to his new property and in a few weeks died.
Howard continued the business for a year, but the land office having been moved to Tiffin he was obliged to remove to that place and put his carding business in the hands of a Mr. Phillips.
Mr. Phillips conducted the business for years, until the growth of the country and the improvement in manufactures superseded the use of these mills.
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BUSINESSES FOLLOWING THE CARDING MILL
In 1825, Isaac Banker built a shop between his two mills, in which he manufactured wagons on the old Eastern plan. He had carried on this business to some extent in a part of his saw-mill before this, but, anxious to increase his trade, he built better facilities- for proscuting the undertaking.
Two years later, he built a frame foundry building on the east side of the river, to which he constructed a race and supplied machinery to run the bellows by water-power. It was what was known as a pocket furnace. Iron was bought at the Mary Ann furnace, located in Licking County, on the Rocky Fork of the Licking Creek. Charcoal was the fuel used, and was made by Bunker, on his place.
The principal business of the foundry was the manufacture of Jethro Wood's patent cast-iron plow. This was the first one of the kind ever patented, and, at the expiration of his patent, his heirs received $50,000 from Congress, in lieu of a renewal.
These plows Bunker made in considerable numbers, charging $9 for the largest size. Andirons formed a conspicuous part of his manufactures, to which might be added fanning-mill machinery and certain parts of saw-mill machinery. But few kettles were made at this foundry, as these were rather monopolized by the foundry in Licking County.
In 1829, Bunker went into partnership with certain parties intending to undertake the manufacture of plows on a large scale, at Granville, but the venture did not turn out well, and he lost all his property. He afterward went to Texas, where he died.
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FIRST POST OFFICE
and NAMING CARDINGTON
In 1826, a post office was established here. Heretofore the community had got their mail at Westfield, where there was a weekly mail, or at Peru, where the mail came once in two weeks. This was not so great an inconvenience as would seem on the first glance, as mail was a very scarce article in the new settlement.
A mail route had been established between Delaware and Mansfield, passing through this settlement as early as 1815, and the mail carrier brought the Delaware Gazette to the few who could afford to take it at that time.
An exception was made in favor of Howard, a public official, and the carrier was allowed to bring his mail from Delaware, In the year named, however, Howard, who it is supposed would have some especial influence from his connection with a governmental position, secured the establishment of an office under the name of CARDINGTON, a name suggested by the manufacturing interests of the place.
Isaac Bunker was the first Postmaster, who was succeeded by his son Slocum; and he, in turn, by Leumas Cook, who is still a resident of the town.
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The first tannery was started about this time by John Thompson, on the spot where the store of W. H. Marvin stood. He afterward sold out to Peter Brown, who, after associating Arthur Taylor with him in the business, sold out, some time later, to the Odd Fellows' Society, when the tannery was vacated. To finish the history of this business, it may be said that, in 1861, Shank and Wagner built the tannery now owned by H C. Wolfe, and carried it on until 1865, when it was sold to the present owner.
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In 1830, Slocum Bunker opened the pioneer store in the frame addition which had been built to the old Bunker cabin. Three years later, he sold out to Peleg Mosher, and went to Mechanicsburg, Ohio.
In 1835, Benjamin Camp opened up a store on the Nichols place, which was the only one at that time. Peter Doty built the house now owned by John Lentz for a store, and sold goods there for a time. Later, Doty took John Shank in as partner, and, dissolving partnership soon afterward, a new firm, Shunk & Wolfe, built the store in the Woodruff House.
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The lot on which the dwelling-house of Jesse W. Mills now stands was the site of the first tavern. John Smith was the author of this enterprise, but, like the rest of this class of business men, he sold out, and, in 1836, Thomas McKinstry presided as host, and, later, was succeeded by Martin Brockway.
The latter built the large house on Lot No. 8, which served the public under several changes of administrations, for eighteen years.
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In 1850, David Mosher, put up a building for hotel purposes on the north side of West Main street, on the lot now owned by Henry Smith. A man by the name of Davis entertained the public here.
Daniel Norris succeeded him, and for a few years continued the business here, when he built the two lower stories of the Nichols House, and opened it as a hotel in 1854. Three years later, J. H. Benson added a third story, and one room on the west side, which is now used as a millinery store.
The house is now owned by W. H. Marvin and 1. H. Pennock, and is kept by C. P. Nichols. The American House was built by Henry Steiner & Brothers, west of the railroad, near the cattle yards, for a warehouse, but, finding it not advantageously situated, they removed it to its present location and sold it.
It passed into the hands of Leumas Cook, who sold it to W. & W. A. Hance, who, in 1866, raised it up and refitted it for the purpose for which it was at first designed. It is now owned and conducted by A. M. Lowe.
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FIRST PUBLIC LIBRARY
Another enterprise of the early time should not be overlooked. In 1830, a public library was inaugurated somewhat on the plan of modern book clubs. Slocum Bunker, Lewis Barge, Doctor Andrews and William Barnes started the project, and were joined by others.
The books in the possession of each were brought together under the name of the Cardington Library. Slocum Bunker was its librarian for a time, and kept the books in the old Reslev house, on Main street. Lewis Barge then took them in charge, and kept them in the cabin on Water street, which stood on the lot now owned by Mrs. Corwin. Here they remained until the proprietors had read them all, and, there being no fund to buy more, the effects of the library were divided among the several proprietors, and the library discontinued.
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SOME SOCIAL REMINISCENCES
In this chapter on the beginning of things, it may not be inappropriate to mention some social reminiscences which we give as published by W. C. Nichols in the Cardington Independent:
"The first white child born in this town was Joseph Bunker, who died in Texas in 1841.
The first death in the village was that of David G, a son of Isaac Bunker, in September, 1824, who was the first one buried in the cemetery on the Marion road.
The first burial in the old cemetery was that of a child of Amos Casteel, and the first burial in the new cemetery was Mrs. Estaline, wife of David Armstrong, and daughter of Israel Hite.
The oldest person buried in the old cemetery was Mrs. Rachel Kille, aged ninety-one years; and the oldest person buried in the new cemetery was Mrs. Sarah Gregory, aged seventy-one years.
The first person married, who was a resident of the town, was Slocum Bunker, who was united with Miss Matilda Wood.
The first couple married, who were both residents of the town, were John Kesler and Rebecca Stout. The ceremony was performed by John Shunk, a Justice of the Peace, in a house on Water street.
The first lawyer was Thomas McCoy, who was also the tallest man that ever resided in town.
The first physician was Andrew McCluer, who came in 1836.
The first resident minister was Charles Caddy, a Protestant Methodist, who lived in the old house down by the millrace."
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BIRTH OF THE TOWN
Bunker's failure at Granville was complete, and involved the loss of his whole property at Cardington, and, on the 20th of June, 1834, the mills and lands were sold to Arthur Mott, of Onondaga County, in New York.
In the following January, Mott articled the property to Daniel Earl and Adam Sherman, who sold their interest in the following month to Lumas Cook.
Cook, who was a son-in-law of John Reese, came from Rutland, Vt., in 1828, and lived for a year or thereabouts with Mr. Reese. He then moved on to the Howard farm, staying there two or three years, when he purchased what is now known as the "gravel-pit" farm.
In February, 1835, he traded this property for Earl's interest in the Bunker property, and took up his residence in the old Resley house in March.
In May, Sherman sold his interest to John Shunk, who came to Cardington with his family, from Fredericktown, Knox Co., Ohio, and moved into the house standing near the race. He was originally from Maryland, but had spent a year at the former place.
Cook and Shunk then bought the property from Mott.
In the following year, the new proprietors laid out a village on their property and named it CARDINGTON, from the name of the post office, which had furnished a generally accepted name to the community for some years.
This gave a fresh impulse to the growing community, and the lots found a good sale.
The town as it now exists, has by the different additions covered over four of the early farms. Immediately west of the Bunker property was the Howard farm - in the southwest quarter was formerly the Grandy farm, and the southeast quarter was the Nichols place.
At Howard's death in 1847, the farm passed into the bands of his daughter, a Mrs. Little, who sold it to James Gregory. Mr. Gregory was a native of Cumberland County, Penn., and came with his family from that place the same year he bought the farm.
There were 241 acres in the property, which sold at $12.50 per acre. Mr. Gregory lived on this property for thirteen years, platting it and selling it as the demand warranted. He died in August of 1860, at the advanced age of sixty-four.
What is known as the Grandy farm was patented by one named Haymaker, of whom but little more is known.
It appears that the property was sold for taxes to Dorastus Chandler, who sold his title in 1844 to William Grandy. The latter came from St. Lawrence County, N.Y., in 1842.
Some two years after his purchase of this tax title, and after having carried on some considerable improvements, an elderly lady called on Mr. Grandy, representing herself as a daughter of Haymaker, the original owner of the property, and proposing to sell her interest in the estate.
It was further represented that the heirs were poor, and were willing to make favorable terms with the possessor of the place. Mr. Grandy was naturally reluctant to enter into such an arrangement, and the lady departed without having accomplished her purpose.
Mr. Grandy's people felt by no means secure, knowing the feeble tenure by which the held their farm; but nothing was done toward quieting any adverse claim.
Not long after, Michael Vincent, a lame man, who wielded the pedagogue's ruler, purchased the claim of the Haymaker heirs for a song, and putting the matter in the hands of a Columbus law firm, asked but a third of the property recovered for his share. A suit was at once begun, and was in. the courts for several years ; but in 1855, a decision, adverse to the Grandy claim, was reached, and he was dispossessed.
Vincent in the meanwhile died, and twenty-five acres were apportioned to his heir. This was bought, in 1856, by William and Jeremiah Shunk at $35 per acre. The balance of the farm was bought, in 1864, by Gen. John Beatty, and sold in small parcels.
That part east of the railroad is now owned by Jacob Kreis, First National Bank of Cardington, George Kreis and T. D. Bradley.
The Nichols farm, composed of Lots 9, 2, 7 and 17, were secured by patent about 1806, signed by Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States, to Thomas and Margaret Henderson, for services rendered by their father during the Revolutionary war.
It remained in their hands about nineteen years, when it was sold for taxes, and purchased by Daniel Earl. Five years later, Earl sold his title to Benjamin Camp, who improved it, built two log cabins, in what is now W. C. Nichol's orchard, established an ashery and a store.
During his possession, Thomas Henderson came on and claimed the property, whereupon Camp bought out the claimant's interest, and that of his, sister, for $120.
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BENJAMIN CAMP AN EARLY PREACHER
In 1836, Benjamin Camp sold to Samuel Foust and Edward Cutter. Camp, like Noah of antediluvian fame, was a preacher of righteousness, and, like Lorenzo Dow, obtained his license to preach "from the court of Heaven." He is remembered by the older citizens as an earnest, conscientious man, whose whole influence was for good.
It is related that one Sunday afternoon, when the mills were running in full blast, the proprietors observed Camp going over the river to an old house that had been built, on the corner of the cemetery lot, where he used to preach, with his Bible under his arm. With one consent, the mills, were shut down and the men went over to "attend church."
After the services, the worthy preacher thanked the men for coming to hear him, and so interested them that they gave up the habit of Sunday work and became regular attendants upon his services.
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MORE LAND OWNERSHIP OF EARLY TOWN
In 1837, the property having come into the hands of Cutter and Casteel, the west half was sold to Martin Brockway, who held it until 1853, when he sold it to W. C. Nichols. The east half was sold to Mrs. Ink, and, after passing from her possession through several hands, it is now owned by a gentleman in Columbus.
The lot on which the union schoolhouse stands was originally entered by Joseph Vance, who was afterward, in 1836, Governor of Ohio. The land was afterward transferred to his son, Joseph, Jr., and by him was sold to Martin Brockway.
In 1853, it passed by sale into the hands of W. C. Nichols, who now resides on this property.
The schoolhouse early found a place in the community that settled Cardington Township.
Coming largely from Peru and adjoining townships-the most of the leading men belonging to the Quaker society-they brought with them a great respect for education and the elevating influence of the schoolhouse, and the community early set about securing- its privileges for their children.
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EARLY SCHOOL BUILDINGS
The first school building within the township was built in the fall of 1823, a short distance northeast of where Robert Mosher now lives.
It was designed for church purposes as well as for school, and was built with great care. The logs were square and laid up in mud, rendering the walls air tight.
It was provided with glass windows, the usual school furniture of the time, and a stone stove. The latter was an ingenious device, constructed of stone and mud, with a huge flag for door, and designed to take the place of the usual fire-place.
When once well heated, it kept the room warm as an oven. The chimney began where the stove left off and went up through the roof. This served for several years, until cracked by heat and racked by the careless placing of fuel it became unfit for service, and one summer day it was , by the direction of the teacher, thrown out by the scholars.
The names of the early teachers have been generally forgotten, but the name of Doubledee is remembered as one of the earliest.
In the settlement on the Whetstone, the first log schoolhouse was put up in the woods, near where the woolen-factory now stands, in 1824. The site was chosen on account of a spring that issued out of the ground just, west of where the railroad track now runs. Slocum Bunker was the first teacher in this schoolhouse, and Horton Howard's daughter Sarah was the' first lady teacher.
Schools were continued here for several years, when it was transferred to the cabin on the old cemetery lot, where James Davis taught the opening school.
In 1837, Sylvia, a daughter of Isaac Bunker, taught school in a house owned by Anson St. John, on Main street.
The first frame schoolhouse was built in 1840, on the corner of Second and Center streets, directly east of Henry Prophet's residence. It was used for schools and served as a church for all denominations. It was the only schoolhouse in the village for fourteen years, when it was sold and removed. It is now used by George Dick as a baker shop.
The school house on Walnut street was built, in 1853, by the Lee brothers, William Burns assisted by two young ladies, teaching the first school. It was sold in 1868 to Matthias Loyer, and converted into a dwelling house.
The new school building, which is an ornament to the town, was built in the same year. It was not without considerable effort that the people were united on the project, and even then the building contemplated was much less complete than was afterward secured.
The building cost in round figures, including the surroundings, $40,000, and is the handsomest school building in the county. The grounds are laid out with fine graveled walks, fine ornamental shrubs and flowers render the front attractive and give it the air of a private enterprise rather than a public school.
The structure is 85x70 feet, three stories above the basement, has ten school rooms and a hall that will seat five hundred persons. It stands on a lot of two and a. half acres, on the south side of Nichols street, about equal distance between Marion and Center streets.
Mr. G. O. Brown is the present Superintendent, and with his assistants presides over seven departments. The special school district which owns and patronizes this school, was organized in February, 1858, under the Akron school law.
The first election for School Board, February 25, 1858, resulted in the election of the following persons: F. E. Phelps and A. H. Green, for one year; Daniel Weider, and John Shur, for two years; William Shunk and C. P. Shur, for three years. D. Rees was employed by the Board at $500 per year, and Miss Elizabeth Moore as the assistant for $28.50 per mouth. The present Board is made up as follows: A. H. Grant, President; C. F. Lentz, Treasurer: J. L. Williams, Secretary, and George Dawson, A. Mayer and G. W. Bell.
The statistics of the special district are as follows:
Balance on hand September 1, 1878 . . . .$1,707.09
Amount of State tax received . . . . . . . . . . . . 715.50
Local tax for schools and school houses .. . 4,842.73
Paid teachers in the past year.....................2,770 50
Number of schoolhouses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 1
Value of school property . . . . . . . . . . . . 50,000.00
Teachers employed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Average wages paid
gents, $100 and $35;
Enrollment of scholars
Average daily attendance
Balance on hand September 1, 1879 . . . .$2,058.74
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The society of Friends has long been noted for its Anti-slavery principles, and the fugitive slave found no warmer or more self-forgetful friends than among the Quakers.
Their presence in this township, therefore, was the signal for the coming of these fugitives, and the underground railroad was soon an established institution in the early commit.
The first runaways came to the Mosher place about 1819. Some four or five negroes, who had made their escape from Kentucky, arrived there during the night and stayed till quite late the next day.
They were closely pursued by their masters, and were found at their place of refuge by several heavily armed men, who claimed to arrest them for theft. The people were taken off their guard, and inexperienced as they then were, allowed them to be carried off,
These were the only ones ever recaptured, though many were passed through this point from one station to another. One night after the midnight hour a neighbor came to Robert Mosher with the information that there were eighteen negroes to be cared for and nine were assigned him for safety.
He needed no second bidding, and in an hour they were on their way to a land where colored men were free.
After the building of the railroad, advantage was taken of this means of transportation though great care had to be exercised in selecting a train on which the conductor was favorably disposed.
On one occasion, a party had been put on board, and the person in charge of the company was congratulating himself that a great step had been accomplished, when some fellow on the train, recognizing the character of the business, spoke up, "That's my girl." The alarm was taken at once, and, without considering the consequences, the whole party in a stampede jumped off the train, though it was at that time leaving the depot at considerable speed.
It turned out to be nothing but a practical joke on the part of the traveler, but it seriously interrupted the journey of the fugitives.
At another time, the Mosher family was thrown into considerable confusion by the approach of two Kentuckians, with cattle, desiring to find accommodations for their cattle and themselves.
It happened that Mosher had been to the depot that day, and I one of his friends had imprudently asked before a stranger, how business on the underground road was flourishing.
In one of the drovers, Mr. Mosher recognized the stranger who had overheard the conversation, and at, once formed the conclusion that he was there for spying purposes. He was happily disappointed, however, and though under the circumstances he felt obliged to entertain the strangers suffered no inconvenience from their stay, save a lecture on the sacredness of the institution of slavery.
The slaves were generally forwarded to Port Huron or Sandusky, where a schooner took them and transferred them to Canada.
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