History of Knox County, Ohio 1881:
Published by A.A. Graham & Co. Publishers
Compiled by N.N. Hill, Jr.
The first season that Levi Harrod lived here
he killed sixty deer and ten bears, and wolves were so numerous that he found it necessary to build fires at night to protect his flocks of sheep, which were in small enclosures near his residence. The southern parts of Knox county were the favorite hunting grounds of the Indians residing at Greentown and Upper Sandusky, and they annually encamped here for several weeks at a time during the hunting season, and were generally successful in securing large quantities of game.
Levi Harrod was probably the first settler in the township. He came from Green county, Pennsylvania, to Knox county in 1804. He first settled in Clinton township, near the present site of Mt. Vernon. Mr. Harrod and family was one of seven families that settled permanently in Knox county in 1803 or 1804. The families were those of William Leonard, John Mills, Henry Haines, William Knight, Levi Harrod, James Harrod, and Peter Baxter. They were all related to each other and lived very harmoniously together. These families all settled in Clinton township, in the same neighborhood. Levi Harrod removed to Clay township some years previous to the War of 1812. When he first came Clay township was an unbroken wilderness; the woods literally swarming with wild animals. Indians were quite numerous. He settled in the northeastern part of the township on Government land. He went to work clearing his land, and in a few years became quite prosperous. For several years after he first settled here he frequently found elk horns and Buffalo skulls on his farm and in other portions of the township, evidences that these animals at one time were numerous, but none were here at the date of the first settlement.
Of the earliest settlers, Ziba Leonard, Jacob Harrod, John McWilliams, C. Barkalow, James Cook, and James McKee are still living in the township.
The first school was taught by an Irishman named Samuel Hill. The school-house in which this school was taught was a small log cabin with greased windows, similar to the cabins of a century ago in the frontier settlements. Reading, writing, and arithmetic were all the branches taught. But a small number of scholars were in attendance, probably not more than six or eight. John Roy taught the second school in the township in a small log house near the present site of the Martinsburgh cemetery. Of the original scholars who attended these schools but two are now known to be living, Jacob Harrod, who attended the first, and C. Barkalow, who attended the second. Both are still residents of Clay. In place of these rude structures are now to be found neat and comfortable frame houses, and the schools at present are taught by competent teachers, who, many of them, are able to instruct their pupils not only in the common but also in the higher branches of science.
The Harrods were also noted pioneers, being among the first to settle in Knox county. Michael Harrod removed to Harrison early in this century, settling in the southeast part of the township. John, son of Michael Harrod, who was born in 1807, was many years a resident here. He was married in 1829, to Rachel Veach, and removed to Clay about the time of his marriage. They raised a family of eleven children. Michael Harrod built the second brick house in the township, which was blown down by the Burlington storm, and Mrs. Harrod and an infant in her arms, were covered up with the bricks. Mrs. Harrod had an arm broken, but the infant was not injured.
Arthur Fawcett came to Harrison about 1810. He was a native of Ireland and being poor it was with considerable difficulty that he secured sufficient means to pay his passage across the Atlantic. He settled in the dense wilderness of Harrison township, and cleared up a farm. Many years after his removal here, he experienced a considerable loss at the hands of some thieves. He had secreted one thousand dollars in his milk-house loft, for safekeeping. It remained undisturbed some time, when one night it was stolen, and no clue to the thieves could be obtained.
Daniel Ullery was a thrifty Pennsylvania Dutchman. He was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, in 1790, and came here in 1817, locating one hundred and sixty acres of land. At an early age he was married to Miss Mary Kinder. They raised a family of thirteen children, seven of whom are still living. One of his sons, Valentine, is a resident of Harrison.
The first school as far as can be ascertained was taught by John James in a small log building in the Dudgeon settlement. Moses, Jane, Charles and Thomas Dudgeon; John, Charlotte, Levi, David and Elizabeth Harrod; Levi, John and Mary Riggs and Mary Ross were some of the scholars who attended the school. Samuel Hill was another of the early school teachers of this township, as well as of Butler, Jackson and Clay. His services as a pedagogue were in great demand by the early settlers. For many years after the first settlement the schools were taught either in the dwelling houses of the settlers or in small log school houses, but these in course of time gave way for the more commodious and neat frame buildings which are now found in the township. The establishment of the Martinsburgh academy and Kenyon college, both contiguous to Harrison, was of great benefit to the youth of that township, and many of them received a thorough education at those places.
The Christian Church of Centreburgh.-Rev. M. Harrod organized this church December 20, 1872, in the town of Centreburgh, with the following
membership: J. A Willis, P. A. Willis, William Eaton, Matilda Eaton, Anna Arlin, William Wilson, Livonia Wilson, Aaron Gearhart, Sarah Gearhart, John Armstrong, Rebecca Armstrong, and C. D. Pelter. The Free-will Baptist meetinghouse was occupied by this congregation the greater part of the time from its organization until 1879, when a neat frame building, thirty-two by thirty-eight feet square, was erected on lot one hundred and nineteen on the plat of Centerburgh, at a cost of seventeen hundred dollars, and dedicated on the second day of September, 1879, by Rev. A. L. McKinney. The names of the pastors who had charge of this church, together with the dates of their accession to the pastorate, are as follows: Rev. M. Harrod, 1873; A. C. Hanger, 1874; William A. Dobyns, 1876; S. A Hutchinson, 1879; G. D. Black, 1880. The present number of members is eighty. The deacons are Theodore Crowel and John Armstrong; clerk, William Eaton; trustees, William Eaton, Aaron Gearhart, Theodore Crowel, John Armstrong, and Oscar Jennings. The attendance at the Sabbath-school is eighty. Hart Ross is superintendent and Charles Bishop assistant.