Category Archives: Townships

Washington Township

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Texas

Texas, Ohio, was once the principal village of Washington Township, and is one of the oldest in Henry County. It was given the name of Texas, because it was in that year of 1845 that the great state of Texas was admitted to the Union. This is also the year that Durbin bought the land.

It is beautifully situated on the north side of the Miami and Erie Canal and on the north bank of the Maumee River. A ravine runs around the north and west sides, so that the town plots lie high and dry.

The outlet lock of the twenty-four mile level of the canal was at this place and the slack water in the Maumee River caused by the dam at Providence near Grand Rapids, Ohio. It gives the river a greater depth and width from Texas on the east. A public ferry was used to connect the banks and the expense was paid by the county. In 1909, this ferry was sold by the commissioners to Theodore Wagner for $75.00 and Mr. Wagner ran it as a toll ferry. The ferry at this period averaged thirty rigs a day and wore out three flat boats. It ferried anything that ever travelled the highways, including threshing machines and live-stock. On Sundays and holidays there were 50 to 75 rigs ferried across each day.

The village of Texas was first recorded on April 2, 1849, by James Durbin, the proprietor.

Through the eastern part of the town there once ran what was called a hydraulic canal. It led from the canal and was built for the purpose of supplying motive power for the mills in the lower part of the town. These mills were the first erected in the county. There was a time when Texas was thought to be a very prosperous town because of the canal.

At one time there was a barrel factory, a handle factory, and a brick factory in Texas; and in fact, the first brick to be made in the county came from this village. The first brick court house in Napoleon, which was destroyed by fire in 1879, was constructed of bricks manufactured here. The bricks were transported to Napoleon by boat on the canal.

The village in its early days was the most important trading point in Henry County. It was also a formidable rival of Napoleon for the county seat.

The Miami and Erie Canal through Henry County was started in May of 1837.

The first boats were mule powered, then steam power came later in the 1890’s. The summer of 1837-1838 was the worst for the men working on the canal. The area was notorious for malaria or “Maumee Fever” which took the lives of many canal workers.

The first completed trip from Cincinnati to Toledo was not made until June 27, 1845. By the year of 1847 the canal was doing great business in Texas and it opened up this area for trade. There was a wide place in the canal just east of Texas which was called “Wide Water” and there the canal boats turned around.

Colton

With the completion of the railroad in July, 1855, John Osborn platted a parcel of land consisting of 56 lots (in the original plat) which was recorded under the name of Colton.

Colton was a thriving hamlet of approximately two hundred people in those beginning years; the town boasted of a good hotel, an express office, a post office, a railroad station, and many houses. In a few years Colton was to have four grocery and general stores, a blacksmith’s shop, two hotels, a saloon, a tinware manufacturing plant, a butcher shop, a pickle processing plant, a potato processing plant, two churches, a school, a G.A.R. hall, and a town hall.

About 1918 a fire destroyed three of the store buildings and many residents feared that the town would be demolished by the raging fire. One of the two churches burned in the 1940’s, and the Wabash closed its station. Many of the businesses disappeared as the years went by.

The Colton Methodist Church is still in operation, and it has served the community’s spiritual needs for nearly a century. Today, this is the only church in Washington Township. The small white framed church is an outstanding architectural example of the style of religious structures built in the mid-1800’s and early 1900’s.

Albert M. Barlow, the postmaster of Colton from 1931 until he retired in 1973, states that a number of the nearly two hundred Colton residents has lived here since the 1930’s or before. He also mentions that no one seems to know why the village was named Colton, citing that before the railroad was completed the town was named Washington Station.

Colton celebrated its Centennial in July, 1955, with entertainment, antique and picture display, ox roast, etc.

Reprinted from Henry County, Ohio. A Collection of Historical Sketches and Family Histories Compiled by Members and Friends of The Henry County Historical Society, Volume I. Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, TX, 1976.

Ridgeville Township

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Ridgeville Township is located in Range Five Town Six, and was organized in 1841. In the 1890 census it had a land acreage of 6,673 acres with an average valuation of $14.57. The township is devoid of natural waterways except for a couple of small creeks.

Some settlement of the township occurred soon after 1830.

The township was surveyed by James Riley and the first election was held on April 5, 1841.
Ridgeville Township was declared one school district on June 9, 1841.

The main road through the township in 1841 was the Independence, Ridgeville and Adrian Free Turnpike that ran from Adrian, Michigan, along the old Indian trail that followed the Belmore Ridge to Independence on the Maumee River in Defiance County. The Ridge Road had been laid out about 1831. Points in Ridgeville Corners are surveyed from two stones in this road.

For a time there were two post offices in the township. Ridgeville Corners post office was established in 1841. Tubbsville was located in the northeastern part of the township.

The timber was cut and ditches drained the swamp land. The big news in the township in 1903 was that the township had gone wet and Ridgeville would have a saloon.

The twenties brought many changes in the township. The Bryan Pike was finished to Ridgeville and the old mud hole on the way to Napoleon was finally gone. Automobiles became fairly common and now families could go farther from home to reunions, church outings to Girty’s Island or the Texas Riverside Park. The bandstand was an important part of community life and band concerts on Thursday nights attracted people from all over.

Ridgeville Corners

Until the post office was established at the Barton Palmer home, in 1841, the scattered settlement simply said they lived in Ridgeville. The post office became known as Ridgeville Corners, but very early deeds still bore just the name Ridgeville.

In August, 1867, John Scofield filed his first plat of Ridgeville. In 1869, he filed his original plat of Ridgeville, his first addition in 1877, his second addition in 1879.

An 1867 description of Ridgeville Corners is interesting. “It is a nice little town that has one grocery store that is a seven by nine affair where tea, coffee, staples are available at such high prices that a greater part of the citizens buy in other villages where prices are more reasonable. There is also a sawmill and a cheese factory.”

By 1882, the town had grown to include two well stocked stores selling groceries, drygoods, hardware, medicines, drugs, paints, oil and each store ran a huckster wagon. There was a bicycle shop, a blacksmith shop, a steam sawmill, a repair shop, a shoe shop, a hotel, a brick and tile yard, a feed mill, a resident physician, two large churches, one music teacher, a new school, and no saloons.

Reprinted from Henry County, Ohio. A Collection of Historical Sketches and Family Histories Compiled by Members and Friends of The Henry County Historical Society, Volume I. Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, TX, 1976.

Richfield Township

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The township was organized as early as 1837, but few records are available today. On the 1837 Henry County tax list were eleven names: John Rowland, James Rowland, Robert Rowland, Jacob Sours, and John Sturgeon.

The first schoolhouse in the township was built in 1845. There were no churches in the township at that time.

By 1880 there was a population in the township of 857 persons. When the Clover Leaf Railroad came through the township, the township started to grow and develop. By 1885 there were eight school districts and one church, the United Brethren.

West Hope’s original name was Richfield Center, which sprung up in the late 1890’s. In those days merchandise was shipped to McClure or to another area town, and then hauled by dray wagons to West Hope.

Grelton

Grelton was founded in 1881. The timber in the area created an industry and the Clover Leaf Railroad was completed in 1881. Prior to this Eli Clay and Anthony Millford operated small saw mills. The Dewey Stave Company was located here, and it afforded employment to many persons; hence, the founding of Grelton. It was named for Alexander Grelle and at first was spelled “Grellton” but later one of the l’s was dropped. At one time, Grelton had a depot, hotel, church, school, restaurant, two stores and a K. of P. Lodge Hall. Grelton retains its post office, church, elevator and a garage. The school became past history when it was consolidated with Patrick Henry School.

Reprinted from Henry County, Ohio. A Collection of Historical Sketches and Family Histories Compiled by Members and Friends of The Henry County Historical Society, Volume I. Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, TX, 1976.

Pleasant Township

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Of the early organization of this township it appears that no written records are preserved, but in common with other of the county’s civil divisions, the early records, were neglected, destroyed or lost.

The township is located in the extreme southwestern part of Henry County and was formerly a part of Flat Rock.

It is supposed this township was detached from Flat Rock in the year 1843. It was then a wilderness of water frogs, wolves, bear, deer, turkeys, and coons of which have now mostly disappeared.

At a very early time there was a wagon road survey along this ridge for ingress and egress, which extended from Defiance and Independence. The settlement was first made along the ridge. From this ridge the land immediately descends into lowlands on either side, which is of very rich soil. The ridge crossed in many places by swales and rivulets which are now made into artificial creeks, thereby making an excellent drainage outlet, thus rendering available an immense quantity of as good farming land as is in this or any other state.

Holgate

This village is situated in the northeast portion of the township. The village having six directions for ingress and egress — four by rail and two wagon roads, make it a desirable place for business.

Mr. William Kaufman came to this territory in 1866 and built the first log cabin where Paul Rahmel’s garage now stands. He purchased 80 acres which went from Kaufman street West and from the township line south (now State Route 18 — Joe E. Brown Avenue). All the land plats were parallel to this line and were recorded in Napoleon in 1873. This was known as Kaufmanville.

In 1874, the portion of land east of Kaufman Street was purchased by a group of gentlemen from Defiance, headed by William C. Holgate. It was then called Holgate. Several years after the two plats were made, they consolidated and the town was named Holgate, but not without considerable controversy and hard talk. Holgate was not incorporated until 1881.

The trees and underbrush had to be cut and taken away, so this attracted many saw mills to town.

New Bavaria

The village of New Bavaria was known by that name from the name of a post office situated on the Ridge Road as early as 1844-1845.

New Bavaria was surveyed and platted in the year 1882, a short distance west of the old post office site, at the crossing of the Ridge Road and Toledo, St. Louis, and Kansas City Railroad, and estimated to contain about one hundred inhabitants.

About two miles south, on the same railroad, is located the village of Pleasant Bend.

Like other towns New Bavaria had elevators, but lost them by fire.

Pleasant Bend

The village of Pleasant Bend contained two saw mills owned by Philip Burrel and William Martz which did a thriving business, as long as the timber lasted.

There were no churches located in either Pleasant Bend or New Bavaria, but in the vicinity several were erected before the villages existed.

The village was surveyed and platted in 1882 and there were 100 inhabitants.

The elevator has always played an important part in the life of the village and surrounding area. Pleasant Bend had an elevator here in 1911. Elevator fires through the years have brought about many changes. In 1955 the first silo was built, also the scales and office building were all built.

The stave mill was located at the north edge of Pleasant Bend. They made barrels to keep crackers, brown sugar and flour dry.

The Methodist Church was built by Lutherans in 1888 and is located in the northwest corner of town. The Methodists bought the property in 1890.

Reprinted from Henry County, Ohio. A Collection of Historical Sketches and Family Histories Compiled by Members and Friends of The Henry County Historical Society, Volume I. Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, TX, 1976.

Napoleon Township

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In 1835, when Napoleon became the county seat, only a few residents had been attracted by the beauty of the location and the fertility of the soil. Napoleon was a crossroads settlement then, with only a few log cabins huddled together. The first dwelling was a log cabin, 12 x 14, owned by Mr. Huston or Mr. Andrews. Then, two years later, George Stout joined the community and built a two-story log cabin, which he opened for the traveling public. In the dining room of this tavern, the first two or three terms of the Common Pleas Court were held. The first grand jury bedded down for the night in the haymow in the nearby barn.

Shortly afterwards, Gearge Stout erected a rear addition to his tavern for the administration of the affairs of the county. As court was held semi-annually, and then for a few days at a time, the landlord enjoyed full possession of the room the remainder of the year. After the adjournment of court, the custom was to hold an old-fashioned “shindig”, where the officials, tenants, litigants, and witnesses freely partook of the liquid refreshments.

This old log addition served the county’s needs until 1844, when a plain frame two-story affair with courtrooms on the second floor was built for $2,000.00. This was destroyed by fire in April, 1847, and all the valuable records of the county were lost. The first jail, constructed of logs, stood just south of our present jail, but on the south side of the canal.

The second Courthouse was built a few years later on the two adjoining lots for $7,495.75. This new brick structure was small and quaint with an impressive entrance of white pillars, bell tower, and spire. The jail was on the side on the ground floor, where anyone could walk up to the grated windows, converse with the prisoners, and through the bars hand them anything from a short gun or a jug of whiskey to a set of burglar tools. In 1879 burning brands, from the “Dutch Row Fire” on North Perry, blew east across the street and landed on top of the Courthouse. The latter was leveled completely by fire before the blaze in the row of buildings was contained.

The present Courthouse was completed in 1882 for $95,000 plus $20,000 for the County Jail, both of which remain in use.

Although today, Napoleon has approximately 2,000 residences there were only three small frame houses in Napoleon in 1837. Agricultural potentialities in this area had not been realized then because of the lack of transportation to the more heavily populated and industrialized eastern cities.

The completion of the Miami-Erie Canal (1843), which passed through Napoleon, alleviated this situation, fostering the development of the town in population and industry. The canal was operated until the turn of the century, but was used profitably by the State of Ohio only until the appearance of the railroads. Most of the canal bed now has been drained and certain segments have become part of Route 24 and 424.

In 1863, the year of its incorporation, there were hardly a dozen stores in the entire town and very little manufacturing. Yet, two decades later there were more industries, more mercantile businesses than now, in proportion to the inhabitants.

Okolona

The first name chosen by the settlers for this village was Oakland. It was said that the name was chosen because the town was in the heart of the heavily timbered region of mainly oak trees. There was another Oakland in Fairfield County, Ohio, so another name had to be chosen.

Okolona was a depot for furnishing fuel for the railroad in early days when the locomotives burned wood. The oak trees furnished ties for the railroad and oak timbers that were used in building ships.

Bostelman’s Corners

No matter whether it was called Dogtown, Bostelman’s Corners, or Half-way House, the location has stayed the same for over one hundred years. Three miles west of Napoleon at U.S. 6 and County Road 17 stood two tavern-roadhouses. One was Peter Bostelman’s. They were notorious for the rowdiness of the customers, and the fights among customers, passerbys, and onlookers. An early name for a tavern was a “doggery” and some think that is how the corners got the name Dogtown. In December, 1896, the name changed to Bostelman’s Corners. Somewhere over the years the corners also became known as Halfway House because it was about halfway between Napoleon and Ridgeville.

Reprinted from Henry County, Ohio. A Collection of Historical Sketches and Family Histories Compiled by Members and Friends of The Henry County Historical Society, Volume I. Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, TX, 1976.

Monroe Township

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Monroe Township was organized as a geographical township in 1850, being detached from Harrison, to which it had previously belonged. The duplicate of 1851 shows only seven chattel taxpayers resident in the township.

Healthy growth of the township commenced with the construction of the Toledo, Delphos & Burlington Railroad, later known as the “Clover Leaf” route.

Monroe Township lands were flat, level, and wet; by 1888 considerable drainage was accomplished and three-fourths of the land was under cultivation. The main natural water course was the Turkey Foot Creek, with School Creek, Lost Creek, and Ash Creek adding their waters to it. The township had at that time well constructed roads on almost every section line, both north, south, east and west.

Three towns call Monroe Township their home. Herrtown, or Ellery, consisted of 17 lots, and there was a railway station, a post office, and a small store. It was plotted by Peter Ritter, Jan. 29, 1881. Grelton is located where the townships of Harrison, Damascus, Richfield and Monroe corner. It is also on the “Clover Leaf” route. It was laid out by Eli C. Clay, March 23, 1881. This hamlet had a schoolhouse, two dry goods stores, a meat market, restaurant, sawmill, hoop factory, stave factory, telegraph, and post office. It had a population of 300 to 350 persons. Malinta was the principal village in the township and was also on the “Clover Leaf” route. The population of Malinta at that time was between 400 and 450 persons. It had four dry goods stores, two saloons and restaurants, one saw mill, stave factory, tile and brick factory, picture gallery, blacksmith shops, shoemaker, railroad station, express telegraph, post office, and two churches, one Lutheran and one United Brethren. It was platted and laid out by John Bensing Sept. 21, 1880.

Much progress has been made in Monroe Township since that time. It is mainly an agricultural township.

Monroe Township maintains a fire department in Malinta, Ohio, consisting of approximately seventeen volunteer firemen.

The Henry County Landfill is located in the northern part of the township, being used by the entire county.

The population for Monroe Township in 1970 was 1,387.

Reprinted from Henry County, Ohio. A Collection of Historical Sketches and Family Histories Compiled by Members and Friends of The Henry County Historical Society, Volume I. Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, TX, 1976.

Marion Township

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Nathaniel Beastley laid out and surveyed Marion Township in a six-mile square grid layout in 1821. A map dated 1834 already shows the Belmore-Defiance Ridge as an available road through southern Henry County. The road was originally an indian trail.

Many of the first settlers located along the Ridge (now Co. Rd. Y) because it was high and dry and provided a good natural road to Defiance. Early travel was by foot with settlers going to high spots, the Ridge or railroad tracks, then walking to their destination.

Population of the township in 1861 was 195, 513 in 1870 and 1202 in 1880.

Four villages have existed in the history of Marion Township; Edwardsville, Gallup, Woodville, and Hamler.

Most settlers of the township were of German and Irish descent.

Marion Township was named after General Francis Marion, a well-known Revolutionary War hero.
Ridgeland is the oldest town in Marion Township. The first settlement was made in Dec., 1841, by Samuel Hashbarger, father of the famous Wisconsin hunter.

Edwardsville was laid out on the ridge near the township cemetery by George W. Edwards and John Rayle on September, 1863. A post office was established there in 1861, but the U.S. Postal Service insisted on calling it Ridgeland. The hamlet never grew much beyond two or three dwellings even though W. P. Young maintained a thriving sawmill, stavemill and tile manufactory within a stone’s throw. He also was the postmaster of Ridge-land later on.

It was only natural that some business endeavors be promoted at the juncture of the railroad and the Ridge. It was said Gallup was named after one of the men of the D&LN construction gang.

Gallup became a shipping and transportation center. It had a stockyard and livestock buyers. As business increased, two railroad sidings were needed to handle the amount of freight that moved in or out of Gallup.

With the coming of the automobile and the motor truck, the end of Gallup was imminent. The post office and express office closed, passenger trains on the railroad were suspended and sugar beets were trucked directly to the processing plants. Finally, in April of 1936, an overheated electrical motor set fire to the elevator and Gallup was no more to rise from its ashes.

Hamler

Around 1850 settlers appeared in Marion Township. They came to harvest the forests for building materials and clear the land for farming. They were hunters, woodsmen, builders, and farmers. Early settlers needed to be versatile to survive.

The first few families to settle in this immediate area gave their settlement the name Belton. Soon thereafter, the name was changed to Hamler. The town was named after John Hamler, whose home at one time was on the west side of Allen Street, between Belton and Randolph streets.

Hamler grew rapidly. Several saw mills were built to handle the harvest of logs. With this rapid population growth there developed a great need for roads, schools, churches, stores, and medical facilities.

The coming of the railroads accounted for much of the town’s growth. The B & O Railroad began operations around 1873. The DT&I Railroad came in 1896. With the coming of the railroads, the future of Hamler was assured.

In 1888, Hamler had a population of 500 people.

Today, Hamler continues to provide the essential community services. The people of Hamler take a justifiable pride in the town’s many business establishments and the friendly and efficient people who operate them.

Woodville

In 1882, Fred W. LeSueur of Defiance, came into the Hamler area, buying up a large amount of timber ground in Section 1 of Marion Township. It is thought that it may have been a company, therefore the oldtimers called it the LeSueur Co.

The area was full of virgin timber of the best quality. The main complex of buildings plus about 30 homes, rooming house, hotel, office and ashery covered a large portion.

The town was known in the community as Woodville. But, because Wood County had a town by that name, the post office was known as LeSueur.

About 40 rods south of the main crossing was a large brick head and stave dry kiln heated for rapid drying with tracks running the full length of the building. On the west side was the large stave, bolt and hoop mill. Foundations are still in the ground.

It is claimed that this was the only factory in Ohio where all the parts of a barrel were made. These component parts (hoops, staves and heads) were shipped by rail in package form to conserve shipping space.

On July 2, 1894, about 9 p.m. the brick dry shed started on fire. The shed, full of dry, one-inch material, was like a furnace. The entire barrel business was gone and it was the end for the company.

Many houses were moved for dwellings. Some were moved to Hamler. Others were dismantled for their usable lumber. The hotel was traded for a horse years later. There are still a few Woodville homes in the area. The last one to be moved was taken to the Deshler area in 1957.

Reprinted from Henry County, Ohio. A Collection of Historical Sketches and Family Histories Compiled by Members and Friends of The Henry County Historical Society, Volume I. Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, TX, 1976.

Liberty Township

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Liberty Center in 1888 was a flourishing village with a population between five and six hundred. It was the second village in the county to become incorporated, and took advantage of its corporate franchise to secure good sidewalks, streets and drainage. It was located in sections twenty-five and thirty-six of the original surveyed township, was a railroad and telegraph station on the Wabash, had the third best post office in the county and a printing office from which the Liberty Press was issued weekly.

The village had a good hotel, a livery stable, a hardware store, a drug store, three dry goods stores, several saloons and restaurants, several fine brick blocks, and the mechanical artists usual to all villages. A handsome roller process grist-mill was a considerable attraction to the trade of the village, and a saw mill furnished a market for the few trees which remained for timber. It had four churches, one Methodist Episcopal, one German Reformed, one United Brethren and one Seventh Day Adventist.

Reprinted from Henry County, Ohio. A Collection of Historical Sketches and Family Histories Compiled by Members and Friends of The Henry County Historical Society, Volume I. Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, TX, 1976.

Harrison Township

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Some time after the close of the War of 1812 and the conquest of the Indians in the area, the United States government had a strip of land across northern Ohio surveyed. Within that area was Harrison Township. The government then offered that land for sale at $1.25 an acre to finance the building of a canal which would serve it. The land was not very accessible, and the price a bit high compared to 65 cents charged in some states. Although records are skimpy, it seems that white people did not come to Harrison Township until the late 1830’s or early 1840’s with the intention of staying.

Harrison Township was named in honor of the hero, Tippecanoe. This township was tardy in settlement and slow to improve. There were good reasons for this. The construction of the canal and especially the Wasbash Railroad, on the north of the river, afforded convenient shipments to market. The construction of the dam at Providence had made the river unfordable between that point and the rapids at Florida, Ohio. On the south side there was no railroad, and no roads of any kind, and in order to reach a market of any sort, it became necessary to ferry the river, which in seasons was difficult. Lands being equally cheap on the north, the early settlers naturally secured homes there. It was not, however, until after the construction of the bridge across the Maumee at Napoleon, in 1860 that settlement can be said to have really begun in earnest in Harrison Township.

On the banks of Turkey Foot Creek, south of U.S. 6 on State Route 109, nestles a collection of homes called Shunk.

A park at the mouth of Turkey Foot Creek.

Little is known about the beginning of Shunk. Only legend remains, having been passed down by word of mouth for years. Old timers tell of a man by the name of John Shunk operated a trading post and a U.S. Post Office at this location. Where he came from or where he went is a mystery to this day. The place took its name from him.

In the early 1870’s a man by the name of Stuckey established a saw mill on the banks of the Creek. Many of the old homes in the area still contain lumber sawn in this mill.

Shunk Tile Yard (Fiser), on wagon, Frank Finks, left to right: Tony Preston, Ervin Finks, Elmer Sturdavant, Noah Eisaman, Ben Bechtol, Gus Haines and Thomas Finks.

Reprinted from Henry County, Ohio. A Collection of Historical Sketches and Family Histories Compiled by Members and Friends of The Henry County Historical Society, Volume I. Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, TX, 1976.

Freedom Township

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Damage from 1923 tornado

Freedom Township was one of the first of the five townships organized in territory now composing Henry County. When Fulton County was organized in 1850, part of Freedom Township was lost to Fulton County and the township is now composed of only 24 sections of land. In 1850 the population was 460 and the taxable valuation of property amounted to $27,602. The 1970 census showed a population of 810 and the present (1975) real estate valuation is $4,480,810.00. After 1860 there was quite an influx of Germans to Freedom Township and it is still basically German heritage which permeates the township. The township is to a very great extent agricultural. Except for the hamlet of Gerald and some good tracts of wooded areas, the land is all under cultivation. General farming, specialty farming such as raising of tomatoes, sugar beets, cucumbers, and livestock farming all find their place in the township.

Naomi is now only a memory, but it was at one time a hamlet on the Henry-Fulton County line about one mile north of Gerald, Ohio, and one-half mile west of State Route 108. The village of Naomi came into being about 1895 along with the incoming railroad. The name of Freedom was proposed, however, there already was a town in Ohio by that name. The part owner of the railroad had a daughter Naomi — that then became the name of the town. Since the late twenties, Naomi could be considered an abandoned town, and at this time only several nice houses with well kept lawns remain.

Located in Freedom Township and situated five miles north and 1/2 mile west of the county seat lies Gerald, Ohio. It was named by Mr. Mike Donnelly for his son Gerald, born January 4, 1892. Mr. Donnelly served as a judge in Napoleon and was one of its leading citizens. Mr. Donnelly was instrumental in getting the railroad built.

Just as the building of the railway helped to bring industry to Gerald, the ease of transportation brought on by replacing the mud roads with concrete highways started the decline of its grocery stores, saloons, stock yards, and blacksmith shop, and their eventual disappearance. The two remaining businesses with a link to the past are the Gerald Grain Association and Harry Von Deylen’s Implement Shop. Both serve the area farmers needs of today.

Reprinted from Henry County, Ohio. A Collection of Historical Sketches and Family Histories Compiled by Members and Friends of The Henry County Historical Society, Volume I. Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, TX, 1976.