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The Jersey Settlement, Warren County, Ohio

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The early history of Franklin Township, Warren County, Ohio, is peppered with the names Barkalow, Maxwell, McCashen, Campbell, Vanderveer, Dubois, Lane, Schenck, Denise, Conover and Small. Nearly all these people came from New Jersey and were members of the New Jersey Presbyterian Church.They settled in Franklin Township and southern Montgomery County. In the latter part of the nineteenth century the area was known as the Jersey Settlement. Biographies frequently mention Monmouth and Middlesex Counties, New Jersey.

The list of the founding families below is heavily from the Dutch Freehold community, but also has a number of families from Hanover / East Hanover, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, including Andrew Small, who may have been the first to arrive and may have been the reason others from Hanover moved to Warren County (originally called Hamilton County).

Franklin's history goes back to 1796 when Gen. William C. Schenck and Daniel C. Cooper, along with Robert Ross, first settled the small town on the banks of the Great Miami River. Cooper was persuaded to survey and plat the village, but his work was not realized until eight years later.

The original documents are on file in Hamilton County, as Franklin was then in it. The plat above mentioned is filed with the other papers, and shows the division between the lands of Gen. Schenck and Robert Ross. Robert Ross died soon after; his will was probated December 21, 1803. He had at least three children—Benjamin, John and Austin.

The following are some of the persons to whom Gen. Schenck conveyed property up to the time of his death, January 12, 1821: John McCashen, Aaron Reeder, John Morris, Daniel Hawn, Benjamin Dubois, Tunis Vanderveer, Samuel Cockayne, Isaac Harrison, John Gordon, Samuel Campbell, James Mc-Ewen, Daniel Storms, Joseph Troxell, Sawyer McFadden, Edward Death, Nicholas Dows, William Mott, Aaron Goforth, Nancy Banker, Finley Russell, Andrew Gebhart, Michael Long, Daniel Writs, Garvin Johnson, William Drake, John Robinson, Lewis Davis, Firman Smith, Samuel Caldwell, Benjamin Morris, Philip Wier, Martin Baum, J. J. and N. Ross, Samuel Walker.

By the heirs of Robert Ross to James Keho, William Harrison, Joseph Catrow, D. Hawn, S. Reeder, Joseph Troxell, Matthias Young, John Winters, John Leopold, Harry Gassaway, William Harrison, Daniel Fisher, Lewis Davis, Benjamin Dubois. Charles Long, James Ainsworth, Thomas Thompson, Robert T. James. George Gillespie, William Noble, Samuel Roads, John C. Death, Samuel Caldwell.

These are deeded between the years 1800 and 1808.

And then, in 1804, William Barkalow and his brother, poling a rude flatboat with supplies from the Ohio up the Great Miami, began bartering with the occasional settlers along the way. It was on this clearing that Cooper and Schenck had made that they landed and slowly became established.

They opened up and operated the first line of flatboats between Franklin and the Ohio River. They were quite successful, and within a short time Arthur Vanderveer had built a gristmill just north of the settlement, which served to further populate the community.
From Pennsylvania and New Jersey came the settlers by way of Marietta and Cincinnati up the Great Miami to the newborn community. Franklin at this time rivaled in size and importance its neighbor to the north, the struggling new hamlet of Dayton.

Wading, swimming or boating was the only means of crossing the river at this time, that is, until the Barkalow brothers established the first ferry across the river in 1804. The crossing was just south of Franklin, possibly in the vicinity of Farm Avenue and the southern property line of the Atlas Roofing Corporation.

The "History of Franklin in the Miami Valley," says that in December 1815 the "Ohio General Assembly authorized William P. Barkalow and his associates, known as the Franklin Bridge Company, to build a toll bridge over the Great Miami River at the town of Franklin in the county of Warren." A bond of $5,000 was to be posted with the Warren County Commissioners within one year.

From "Franklin Township Early Settlements" part of The History of Warren County part of The Warren County GenWeb Project:

The date of the first settlement of this township, outside of the town of Franklin, is obscure. We find that William Barkalow and his brother, Derrick, came about the year 1804, and bought all the land from the mouth of Twin Creek to the present Hydraulic Dam, and reaching from the Miami River west to where Carlisle Station now is. It is said that there was a log cabin standing just north of the present residence of Mr. L. G. Anderson, built probably as a shelter for stock. When Mr. Barkalow bought the land, he placed some rails across the door to keep the cattle out, and when he returned with his family, he jestingly pretended to hand the key to one of the family, and sent him ahead to unlock the door ready for the family. The Barkalow family descended from the above two brothers are still represented in the neighborhood.
About the same time, the Maxwell family, the Russells, the McCashens and the Campbells settled in the township.
In a part of the township now included in Clear Creek Township was born Mr. Joseph Barnett, who claimed, in after years, that he was the first white child born in the township. Mrs. Susan McCashen, who is still, at the age of eighty-seven, living about two miles east of town with her son-in-law, Mr. John Sholts, Sr., claims that she was the first child born in the township.
Settlements were made about the neighborhood of Carlisle in the spring of 1804 and 1805, by Arthur Vanderveer, of Freehold, N. J., who, in company with the Barkalows, had entered the tract of land on the Great Miami River, before spoken of. At the same time came Daniel Dubois and Dr. Benjamin Dubois, and, within the next ten years, several families from New Jersey came to this township and the southern part of Montgomery County, forming what is known to-day as the Jersey Settlement. The Lanes, Schencks, Denises, the Conovers, Poasts, Wykoffs and the Barkalows have all been well known in this part of the county since.
Dr. Dubois was one of the first physicians in this region, and all the grown folks, as well as the rising generation for miles around knew the taste of his medicines.
The markets of this region were, of course, not the best; hence grain and produce were cheap, wheat being 12 cents per bushel; butter, 3 to 5 cents per pound, and eggs, 2 to 3 cents per dozen. The stately deer, the wild turkey and the black bear furnished the farmer with active recreation, while the Great Miami from its clear waters furnished those who preferred quieter sport and abundant supply of the finny tribe. The thrifty New Jersey people, however, did no let the waters glide by without making use of them in another way.
Accordingly, they built flat-boats, and loading upon them their surplus farm products, when the spring floods swelled the river, floated down to New Orleans, where they sold first the cargo and then the boat, coming home in some instances on foot. Great amusement was caused by an honest old farmer taking a boat load of turkeys to New Orleans, when the wild turkey was found in great abundance. After a few years, mills were built, and then the grain in the more compact form of flour, was shipped on the flat-boats. The mills in early days were of composite character, both grinding and sawing being done at the same mill. The Van Tuyls built one at an early day near Twin Creek; but not only the mill has all disappeared, but also the race that led to it. The Vanderveer Mill, just south of the present Hydraulic Dam, was the main mill for many years. It was erected by Arthur Vanderveer at a very early day.

From the "Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society" VOL. II. 1870-1872:

About the year 1800, Arthur Vanderveer, of Freehold, N. J., came to the Miami Valley with two others, Wm. F. Barkalow and Wm. Francis, on a tour of observation, with a view to speculate in public lands. Having entered a large tract of land in this valley, west of Franklin, he returned to New Jersey after his family, and whilst there, it is supposed, induced his cousin Tunis D. Vanderveer (who was a member of the Old Dutch Presbyterian Church, near Freehold) to come out and look at the country, with a view to settlement. And accordingly, in the spring of 1805 he, with two others, Daniel DuBois and Dr. Benjamin DuBois (sons of the Rev. Benjamin DuBois for 63 years pastor of the Reformed Dutch Church of Freehold) came out to Ohio.
Through the represention and influence of these persons, many of their relatives and friends in New Jersey were within a few years induced to settle near them. Quite a company of Jerseymen arriving in June 1813, after a journey of four weeks, most of them settling in the "Jersey Settlement," but many of them on the other side of the river, in and near Franklin, among the former were the families of Hendrick Lane, George Lane, Wm. Schenck, Sidney Denise, John Denise, John McKean, Aukcy Wikofif, Joseph Vannote, Peter Post, and others, most of whom came from Presbyterian Churches in New Jersey, among these the Old Dutch Church of Freehold, the Bound Brook Church, the Raritan Church, the Sourland and Old Tennent Churches.
On the 14th August, 1813, most of these settlers were assembled at the house of Wm. P. Barkalow, on the west side of the river, and nearly opposite Franklin, for the purpose of organizing a church ; and transacted the following business :

  • 1st. They resolved to form themselves into a congregation at the suggestion of Mr. Arthur Vanderveer.
  • 2d. At the suggestion of Dr. B. DuBois it was resolved that this congregation be known as the New Jersey Church, in honor of the State from which they all came, and should be under the care and direction of the Presbyterian Church within the bounds of Miami Presbytery.

At communion 28th Sept., 1817, were received Wm. D, Craig and Catherine Shepherd. January 31st, 1818, the church sustained the first loss of eldership, when George Lane suddenly died at the age of 62. In May two additions were made, and it was found desirable to increase the Session. Accordingly, John McKean, Peter Conover (a brother-in-law of Daniel and B. DuBois) and Aukey Wikoflf were elected, and ordained 13th Sept. Mr. Monfort's pastorate continued until 4th April, 1821. Sept. 15th, 1820, Peter Conover died aged 51 years.

Founders and Early Families

  • Andrew Small, Hanover Township, Dauphin County, PA
  • William P. Barkalow, Monmouth County, NJ
  • Derrick Barkalow, Monmouth County, NJ, brother of William Barkalow
  • Tobias Barkalow, Monmouth County, NJ, brother of William P. and Derrick Barkalow
  • John Barkalow, Monmouth County, NJ, brother of William P. and Derrick Barkalow
  • Sally Cox, Monmouth County, NJ, sister of William P. and Derrick Barkalow
  • William Francis
  • [Arthur Vanderveer], Monmouth County, NJ
  • Tunis D. Vanderveer, Monmouth County, NJ, cousin of Arthur Venderveer
  • Rev. John Collins
  • General William C. Schenck, Monmouth County, NJ
  • John N.C. Schenck, Monmouth County, NJ, brother of William C. Schenck
  • Rear Admiral James F. Schenck, Monmouth County, NJ, son of William C. Schenck
  • General Robert C. Schenck, Monmouth County, NJ, son of William C. Schenck
  • Garret A. Schenck (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • Daniel Du Bois, Monmouth County, NJ
  • Dr. Benjamin Du Bois, Monmouth County, NJ, brother of Daniel Du Bois
  • Peter Covenhoven (Conover), Monmouth County, NJ
  • Sophia Du Bois, Monmouth County, NJ, wife of Peter Covenhoven and sister of Dr. Benjamin and Daniel Du Bois
  • Peter Conover, Monmouth County, NJ, son of Peter Covenhoven and Sophia Du Bois
  • Sarah Bennett Conover, Monmouth County, NJ, wife of Peter Conover
  • Martha Ann Mints Petticrew, half-sister of Sarah Conover
  • Henrick Lane, Monmouth County, NJ
  • James Tapscott, Monmouth County, NJ, (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • John McCashen
  • Aaron Reeder
  • John Morris
  • Daniel Hawn
  • Samuel Cockayne
  • Isaac Harrison
  • John Gordon
  • Samuel Campbell
  • James Mc-Ewen (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • Daniel Storms (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • Joseph Troxell (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • Sawyer McFadden
  • Edward Death, Fayette County, PA
  • Nicholas Dows
  • William Mott
  • Aaron Goforth
  • Nancy Banker
  • Finley Russell
  • Andrew Gebhart
  • Michael Long
  • Daniel Writs
  • Garvin Johnson
  • William Drake
  • John Robinson
  • Lewis Davis (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • Firman Smith
  • Samuel Caldwell
  • Benjamin Morris
  • Philip Wier
  • Martin Baum
  • J. J. Ross
  • N. Ross
  • Samuel Walker
  • James Keho
  • William Harrison
  • Joseph Catrow
  • D. Hawn
  • Stephen Reeder (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • Joseph Troxell (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • Matthias Young
  • John Winters
  • John Leopold
  • Harry Gassaway
  • William Harrison
  • Daniel Fisher
  • Lewis Davis
  • Charles Long
  • James Ainsworth, family from Hanover Township, Dauphin County, PA
  • Thomas Thompson
  • Robert T. James
  • George Gillespie
  • William Noble
  • Samuel Roads
  • John C. Death, Fayette County, PA
  • Samuel Caldwell
  • Jacob Hawn (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • Henry Emde (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • Martin Earhart (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • Philip Rossman (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • Winthrop Emerson (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • John Winters (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • Joseph Ralston (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • Joseph Crain (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • William Harrison (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • Luther Russell (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • Christian Petifish (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • James Blackburn (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • Alexander Cumming (listed as an elector in 1814)
  • James W. Lanier (listed as an elector in 1814)