Auglaize County, Ohio

History and Genealogy

History of Auglaize County

Clay Township—St. Johns.

This township, but especially the neighborhood of St. Johns, was settled immediately after the cession of the Indian lands in 1832. Among the first settlers may be mentioned John Rogers, John Corder, Wm. Richardson, Chas. Lusk, Peter Princehouse, Richard Henry, Benj. Runyun, James H. Coleman, Ed. Williams, Andrew Perkins, and John Morris, who came in 1832 and 1833, and Daniel and Wm. Bitler, Samuel and Peter Bechdolt, were among the arrivals in the spring of 1834. John Corder occupied the old lodge of Blackhoof, but soon moved to the Spy Buck tract, now known as the Tam farm, in Duchouquet township. The Blackhoof lodge stood on the present site of Dan Miller's dwelling in St. Johns, and was a log structure about 18 x 20 feet, one and a half stories high, covered with clapboards, the chimney being of sticks, and the floor of puncheons. John Carey was one of the original land purchasers, having secured of the government part of the land since owned by John Rogers. Daniel Bitler secured land, previously occupied by Wayweleapy, a chief who figures in our Indian history. Part of this farm had been cultivated, and the lodge of the chief still stood, to be occupied by the whites. The settlement of 1834 had so increased, that the township was organized, and the first election held at the house of Samuel Bechdolt, Dec. 27, 1834, when eleven votes were cast. Jas. H. Coleman, Thos. Beer, and John Rogers served as judges, and Richard Henry and Joel Bayliff as clerks.

The following persons were elected to the respective offices: Trustees, John Rogers, David Vonblaricom, Thomas Beer. Clerk, Richard Henry. Treasurer, Joel Bayliff. Constable, Thomas Beer. Fence Viewers, Jas. H. Coleman, Thomas Reed, Thomas Beer. Overseers of the Poor, William Copeland and Samuel Bechdolt.

Richard Henry was sworn into office by John Morris, justice of the peace of Union township.

The voters of this election were: Richard Henry, Joel Bayliff, David Vonblaricom, John Rogers, Wm. Hinton, Thomas Beer, Thomas Reed, Byrd Richardson, James H. Coleman, Wm. Copeland, and Samuel Bechdolt.

John Corder and James H. Coleman were the pioneer teachers of the township. Still, among the early settlers, we may mention Peter Bennett, John Hodges, Chas. Martin, Amos Copeland, Henry and Samuel Bitler, Jacob Snyder, Geo. Emerick, and Wm. Bush. The first settlement was thus made at and about St. Johns, the old Indian Blackhoof Village.

From "History of Auglaize County, Ohio, with the Indian History of Wapakoneta, and the First Settlement of the County", Robert Sutton, Publishers, Wapakoneta, 1880