Auglaize County, Ohio

History and Genealogy

History of Auglaize County

Washington Township—New Knoxville

The first white settler in Washington township was Shadrack Montgomery, who settled here in 1830. He located in sec. 24, and was one of the trustees at the organization of the township. At a very early period he was elected justice of the peace, and was one of the Board of Commissioners at the organization of the county. He had previously served in this capacity in Allen County. His son Archibald was twelve years of age when they came to the county. He says that during the years 1830-31-32 he had no associates save the Indian boys. As his home bordered on the reserve he became acquainted with their language and skilful with the bow. The first school taught in the township was in a log cabin in sec. 24, by Elias Horner, during the winter of 1834-35. The equipments were very primitive, having basswood puncheons for seats, greased paper for windows, and planks attached to the wall for desks. Mr. M. had not the privileges of education, as he was the main support of his father's family. He married Julia A. Brannon, and they reared a family of ten children, five of whom are still living. The first sermon preached in the township was by Rev. Kemper. Among those who came to the township about this time were John L. Campbell, Samuel McCullough, Samuel Blakeley, Wm. Spray, and Thos. Chambers. Mr. Montgomery was noted as a hunter. He claimed to have killed the last deer ever seen in the county. On one occasion he killed two deer at one shot. He saw but one, but after the shot he found a second one had stood in range beyond the one at which he aimed. He also claims to have killed the last wolf ever seen in the county.

New Knoxville was laid out in village lots in the year 1836, by James K. Lytle. It consisted of 102 lots. The first store started in the town was by Cummins, Mathers & Brown (who had previously built a steam sawmill), which was afterwards sold to James K. Lytle. Henry Vennemann built the frame dwelling and storeroom he now occupies in 1856, but had been selling goods at his home, just outside the village limits, from the year 1840. Henry Lutterbine commenced to sell goods about the same time. Ever since there has been a gradual increase in the business of the town, till there are at the present time two stores of general merchandise, one boot and shoe store, three shoe shops, one harness shop, three blacksmith shops, two wagon shops, one bent wood manufactory, two furniture manufactories and stores, one sawmill, one sash and blind factory, one physician, one photograph gallery, two churches, and one public school. The inhabitants of the town are entirely of German descent.

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