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Bureau County Illinois  
Ohio Township History


 Ohio Township

Ohio is a fine example of a prairie township, as it originally contained but little timber land, neither had it many low places; on the contrary, it is high and rolling and possesses a deep rich soil that yields bountiful harvests. One of the oldest landmarks in the county is Dad Joe Grove. Here was the home of Joseph Smith, familiarly known as Dad Joe. His cabin was on the old Galena and Peoria road, and was one of the relay stations where refreshments were served to the travelers and fresh horses were supplied to the old stage coach line that daily passed that way on the trips from the south to the lead miens in the north. This house stood isolated and alone for many years before another home was located within the township, the nearest house being some twelve miles away. If the history of that early resting place could be correctly and truthfully told no doubt it would reveal many a heart-throb and many a weird scene, for in those days the traveler took no little chance in his long and tedious journeys across these uninhabited prairies. In 1846 Dad Joe sold this place to T. S. Elston.

The second house erected was that of William Cleveland, which was built in 1846, on section 20. Soon after this F. G. Buchan built on section 3. In 1847 some of the Ross family came to Ohio. John and Andrew settled on sections 22 and 27. From this time on the Rosses have been among the prosperous and honored citizens of that community. Ohio was not settled as early as the townships farther south, as the people at that time were afraid of the open prairie and gathered around the groves where they could get fuel and timber for fencing and building purposes, and Ohio being mostly prairie, it was considered too bleak and unprotected for actual settlement; but after a time some of the more venturesome began to locate upon the treeless acres and they soon found that they were in the garden spot of the state, if not of the globe; for truly we believe there is no richer heritage upon this great round world than that which has fallen to the present generation who live upon the subdued prairies of Illinois. In 1846 William Garton settled up section 36; Leonard Strong on 35, and Aaron Brokaw on 34. In 1848 John Kasbeer settled on the farm he still owns, section 28. D. P. Smith, Isaac Brokaw and Mitchell Shiffles came in 1849. This township has an enterprising and thorough going citizenship, the people have taken advantage of their opportunities and have become independent in their financial affairs.
Taken from the Past and Present of Bureau County, Illinois. Chicago: Pioneer Publishing, 1906, Page 113 - Ohio Township

Ohio Township

This ranks among the best sections of the county. It is constantly growing in population and wealth and the character of the improved family now carried on bespeaks a bright future for its people. The town in the early times was noted for its large prairies, and as having less timber in it than any other township in the county.

Dad Joe Grove was a noted spot, even before the early settlers began to come to the county. For years Dad Joe Smith kept a stage stand here when he only had one neighbor within twelve miles. In 1836 he sold to T. S. Ellston. For sixteen years this was the only house in the township. In 1846 William Cleveland built the second house on Section 20, and soon F. G. Buchan built on Section 3. Charles Falvey, the noted early country pettifogger of the county, and a rare character generally, was an early settler.

In 1847 John and Andrew Ross settled on Sections 22 and 27, and from these two families are the worthy and many descendants who now live in the township. No family in the county has commanded a greater respect than this one and their descendants are "noble sons of noble sires" (see biographies). In 1847 William Garton settled on Section 36, Leonard Strong on 35 and Aaron Brokaw on 34.

In 1848 John Kasbeer settled where he now lives. He was a most valuable man to the community. Intelligent and enterprising, he lead the way in many new enterprises and great permanent improvements. His experiments in tree culture were the first to convince the people of the township that the wide prairies could thus be improved and beautified to an extraordinary degree, (see biography).

Mitchell Shifflet and Isaac Brokaw settled on 33 in 1849 (see the biography of D. P. Smith). Among the early settlers were William Cowan and Stephen Wilson. The history of the early settlers and the civil history of this settlement is given fully in the general history.

-- History of Bureau County Illinois, H. C. Bradsby, Editor, Chicago Publishing Company 1885, Page 421-422

The Village of Ohio


Ohio Village was laid out by Jacob Albrecht, in 1871 on his farm. He named at after himself, but prior to this there had been a post office near here called Ohio and everybody continued this name to the new village and finally this became the legal name. J. T. Walter and William Wilson erected a building and opened the first store. The building of the branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad gave a tremendous impulse to the growth of the village, and in less than five years there were three hundred people, four dry goods stores, two grocery and two drug stores, one furniture store, two shoe shops, three blacksmiths, two wagon shops, a hotel, two hardware stores, one agricultural store, barber shop, harness shop, two milliners, two physicians and three churches.

-- History of Bureau County Illinois, H. C. Bradsby, Editor, Chicago Publishing Company 1885, Page 422

The village of Ohio is located on the Fulton branch of the Burlington railroad. It is an attractive prairie town; the houses and yards are well kept, giving it a thriving and pleasing appearance. It was laid out by Jacob Albrecht in 1871, it being a portion of his farm. He had a desire to have the place bear his own name, but the people preferred the name of Ohio. It was incorporated in 1876 and contained a population in 1900 of four hundred and sixty-one. The township, including the village, numbered one thousand three hundred and twenty-two. The following named men have served as supervisors:

John Rosse, 1851-54; G. W. Close, 1855; Cyrus Wilson, 1856; Sterling Pomeroy, 1857-59; John Ross, 1860; G. A. Dodge, 1861-62; J. H. Bolus, 1863; J. Ross, 1864; D. P. Smith, 1865; J. H. Bowles, 1866; George Hammer, 1867-72; Albert Shifflett, 1873; S. B. Lower, 1874; D. P. Smith, 1875-79; Sterling Pomeroy, 1880-86; J. Inks, 1887-88; M. R. Dewey, 1889; A. S. Walter, 1890; W. S. Wilson, 1891-1906.

Taken from the Past and Present of Bureau County, Illinois. Chicago: Pioneer Publishing, 1906, Page 113 - Ohio Township


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