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built and the pioneer's work began. The father lived but a few years after his arrival, and the boys remained oa the homestead; Christian died prior to 1831, John living until some ten or twelve years ago. David Huffman, who proved a valuable man to the settlement, and to whom the inhabitants of St. Paris are indebted for their beautiful town, emigrated from Culpeper County, Va., in the year 1813, and entered a half-section of land, a portion of which was the present site of St. Paris. A brother, Jeremiah, accompanied him. The children of David Huffman were John, Julia, Samuel, Mary, Jacob and Reuben; all remained in the township. David Campbell, now residing on Section 7, born in 1802, is one of the early pioneers. His parents, John and Magdalene, came West from Rockingharn County, Va., when he was but a small boy, and made a temporary stop on Clear Creek, near Sprinaboro, Warren County, this State, where he followed his trade, that of a miller, for several years, when he removed to Nettle Creek and settled in the Norman neighborhood, and for some years was the miller at the John Norman mill. David married Catharine Kesler, who is yet living. They are the parents of eleven children, four boys and seven girls. One Christian Morah with his family settled near Millerstown at a very early day, as early as 1805, was among the first white settlers, but of his life we have been unable to learn anything. In 1808, Samuel Brubaker and family left Shenandoah County, Va., facing the West in search of a home, they reached Lawrence County, Ohio, and there squatted until the year 1815, at which date they settled near Millerstown. Later they occupied the Silas Johnson farm, where stood two cabins built by Johnson. There were about fifteen acres of ground cleared when they moved upon it. Samuel had married Barbara Comer, from which union were five children—Isaac, Jacob, Mary, Daniel and Rebecca. Isaac has occupied the homestead up to the last fifteen years. David and Henry Long were other early settlers, entering and clearing land in the neighborhood of Mosquito Lake. Both came from Virginia. At about the same time, and from the same locality, came Frederick Pence, who settled and entered land in Section 15.
We have endeavored with great care to avoid mistakes in our sketch of the early settlers of the township, and the locality of the settlements effected, and if errors have occurred they have been unavoidable.
It is noticeable that the first families settled along Nettle Creek. This undoubtedly was on account of water, for all along that section are fine and almost never-failing springs. Another noticeable fact is that it was a Virginia settlement; most of the settlers coming from the Shenandoah Valley, and were generally the stoutest and hardiest men that settled from any country. The post office, if we are permitted to designate it as such, of the pioneers, was the Indian village, Nettletown, as all their mail matter went to and from that town. The chief products then were corn, wheat, flax and sugar; meat consisting of game and pork. The salt came from Cincinnati, whither the pioneer went, generally taking maple sugar to exchange for that article. The grist-mill of the times was out of the present limits of Johnson Township, but as the settlement was dependent upon it, we will be allowed to speak of it. This was the John Norman mill, on Nettle Creek. Norman had placed a slight obstruction in the channel of the creek, where he had a wheel for the water to flow against, and a little primitive gearing set in motion a small stone that he formed out of a bowlder that had been picked up on his land. When he got his mill to running, he would fill the hopper in the morning, start it to work, and then he would leave to engage in other labors till noon, when the mill would get his services again by replenishing the hopper with grain, and filling the sacks with meal or cracked corn to the same height that they were with corn, he having made a hole in the sack with a bodkin before emptying it.
The earliest merchant of the settlement, of whom we have any knowledge, was one Shrofe, who kept a store at the residence of Silas Johnson when he resided on the Brubaker farm. Doubtless this Shrine is one of several of that name who a little later entered land in the neighborhood of the Mount Pleasant Church and graveyard, and attempted the laying-out of a town to be called "Eliott." They went so far as to have the ground surveyed and laid out into lots, some of which were sold, but the spokesman having failed, was unable to pay for the ground, hence the town was abandoned. The clothing principally worn was made from linen fiber. The leather used was procured from the tannery of William Runkle, three miles south of where Westville now stands.
Johnson, though not a physician, strictly speaking, generally administered to the ailing of the neighborhood, his "curing dose" being calomel. Philip Comer had a little forge and some few tools, and gave attention where blacksmithing was needed.
The war of 1812 affected this as it did other settlements, in checking emigration and spreading consternation among those-who had settled. The land was sold by the Government in tracts of one hundred and sixty acres and upward, at $80 on entry, and in annual payments until paid for. It was not, generally speaking, the moneyed men who came, but men of little or no means, and of wonderful nerve, who here, far from civilization and among Indians, had their homes to hew out of the dense forest.
The emigrants, rather than to lose their all, collected together for their own protection. For had they failed in paying the annual installments, the land was forfeited and sold, or placed subject to re-entry. It was this fact that prompted the noble wife of Hanback to grasp the ax during the husband's absence in the war. The Nettle Creek settlement sent her quota. We cannot give the roll, but will recall the names of several that are now fresh in our minds: Johnson, Kizer, Comer, Hanback, several of the sons of Johnson, and David, son son of Philip Comer. The earliest religious service of the immediate settlement was held in the barn of Philip Comer, Rev. Saul Henkle expounding the word of God. This was about the year 1815. After this date, services were occasionally held at private houses and in the old schoolhouse, of which we will speak later. The reader may not yet have thought of the element of which the colony was composed, and for fear not, we will state that "Dutch" they were, hence the doctrine of Martin Luther, in a religious sense, prevailed, which accounts for the numerous churches of his creed that now dot the township. John Norman, the miller, frequently preached for them. He was of the Baptist persuasion, so there were some lovers of water too. Later came a Methodist, the Rev. Mr. Stuart, and preached for them. Of the early school teachers we can say but little; prior to the building of the first house, short sessions of school were held at the different houses of the settlers and in cabins vacated by emigrants who had changed their quarters or left the neighborhood. One Jackson was about the first. Before wandering too far from the war of 1812, permit us to relate an incident occurring about that time, on the Comer farm. Simon Kenton, of historic note, whose name was a household word among the pioneers, with others, was watching the movements of the Indians, and, wishing to keep out of sight of some passing by, was climbing