Local History and Genealogy

Monday, April 12, 2010

Old Settlers: More about York Township

Prior to the year 1840, there came to York township John Larue and family.  Adam Dygert, Cowee Barnes, Jeremiah Dillingham, and his sons; Griswold and Alva Phelps, Charles Hodge, George Jenks, Royal B Hix, George W. Johnson, David K. Jones, John Croy and others.  Volney Powers, son of Stephen and Mary A Powers, was the first white child born in the township.  Mowrey Powers, son of Winn and Betsey Powers was the first death.  The first marriage occurred in 1841, the contracting parties being Augustus Woodworth and Mary Johnston, Stephen Powers, the first justice of the peace, officiating.  The first school was taught by Uncle Winn Powers in the winter of 1838.  The first grist mill was built by Audrey Ferrier, the first saw mill by Uncle Clark Powers on Fish creek, the first frame house by Bela Dillingham and is now part of Myron Powers' horse barn.  The first frame barn is still standing on the farm of David Musser, and was built by Griswold Phelps fifty years ago.

Wild honey was found in abundance, game was plenty and although flour was at first scarce, the pioneers bill of fare was usually a good one. the Indians kept us supplied with venison, wild turkeys, fish and cranberries.  How many can remember Baw Beese, chief of the tribe, who ruled his subjects with a sense of justice almost Roman in its sterness?  They were bold, brave, freehearted, and very good to the whites.

As early as the year 1840, the Methodists organized a class near the center of the township.  They met in private houses and later in school houses.  The first Methodist preachers I can remember were Rev. John Paul Jones and E. B. Blue.  Very early in the history of the township the Free Will Baptists had an organization and met for worship at the houses of of Adam Dygert, Cowee Barnes, Isaac Richmond, Jerry Dillingham and others.  Their preachers were Elders J.H. Barnes, Silas Headley and others.  In 1842 a few Disciples who had emigrated from Bedford, Ohio organized a church of which Burdette Goodale was made pastor, and today his widow, Mrs. Mary Ann Goodale, is the only surviving member who helped to organize the the original church.

Taken From Early Settlers History
Clark Powers  of York Township August 24, 1892