Transcribed from The History of Steubenville and Jefferson County Ohio. Joseph B. Doyle. Richmond-Arnold Publishing Company, Chicago, Ill. 1910
Reproduced in 1992 by Closson Press, Apollo, PA under sponsorship of the Jefferson County Historical Society Museum and Genealogical Library, Steubenville, OH
Chapter XXII: The River Townships, cont.
Island Creek Township
Island Creek Township, which was separated from Steubenville on June 4, 1806, and joins the latter on the north, contains thirty-six sections of Township 7, Range 2, and four full and seven fractional sections of Township 3, Range1, of the original seven ranges. Its name is taken from Island Creek, which cuts through the middle of the township from west to east, emptying into the Ohio at Costonia, opposite Brown' Island. Wills Creek drains the township on the south, and river front is rugged and hilly, developing westward into an excellent farming country. Wheat, corn, oats and fruit of all kinds, and sheep and cattle are the principal products. White oak, sugar maple, walnut, locust, beech and other woods were once plentiful, but the portable sawmill has made sad havoc among the groves in the last twenty years. Among the early settlers were Isaac and James Shane, Andrew Ault, Daniel Viers, Nathan Palmer, Michael Castner, William Jackman, Jacob Cable, Richard Lee, James Ball, William Jackson, John House, Daniel Arnold, John Simpson, Richard Brisbane, James Patterson, Charles Armstrong, Adam Hout, John Moore, Charles Porter, Thomas Fleming, Andrew Huston, Joseph Howells, James Crawford, Abel Crawford (the latter owning the Red Mill near Mt. Tabor, early in the century), John Rhinehart, Moses Arnold, John Frederick, George Watson, Samuel Hanna, James Ekey, Rutherford McClelland. The fathers of Judge William Day and Judge Phillips of Iowa, the father of the late Judge William Lawrence of Ohio, and father of Hon. Joseph Fowler, ex-United States senator of Tennessee, were early settlers of this township. Joseph Howells was the grandfather of William Dean Howells. Philip Cable, who was a judge of the Territorial Court as early as 1798, and afterwards a justice of the peace, was somewhat eccentric, but nevertheless a very popular man, so popular in fact that he officiated at most of the marriages. He had such an extensive practice along this line of his profession that he adopted a short service so that waiting couples would not be delayed by much ceremony. The service usually ended with the words: "Give me a dollar, kiss your, and go about your business." Having no one present on one occasion he called in his wife and colored servant, saying, "In the presence of my wife, Dolly, and Black Harry, I pronounce you man and wifegive me my dollar." Mr. Cable settled below the mouth of Island Creek in 1785, where Ephraim Cable was born the same year, and at one time was claimed to be the first white child born in this county, but we have seen that Absalom Ross, of Mingo, has the prior claim, in addition to another noted later. Cable, Sr., built a blockhouse, where he lived, and reared the elder children of a family of twelve. His name has been perpetuated by a bend and eddy in the Ohio River, at the foot of Browns Island. Ephraim Cable was a soldier in the War of 1812. His wife was Sarah Clemmens, who bore him fourteen children. Michael Castner, grandfather of Thomas P. Spencer, Esq., who built a mill at the head of Wills Creek at the beginning of the century, was on the site of Steubenville while it was a wildernessbefore the place was considered as a town-site. He owned a store on the Monongahela River and one in Kentucky, riding on horseback from one to the other, and going through this region, he frequently stopped on the site of Steubenville. He bought a thousand acres of land in what is now Island Creek Township, and he was one of the pioneer merchants of Steubenville. He built the large brick dwelling near Two Ridge Church, now occupied by Dr. John Kilgore, and his remains are interred in the graveyard nearby.
The first election for township officers was held at the residence of Daniel Viers, but there is no record of the same. Flour and saw mills were numerous in early days, of which an account is already given.
Ephraim Cooper and William Campbell built the first cabin on the line now the state road between Wills Creek and Yellow Creek, in 1795. Andrew Ault came to this township in 1797 from Pennsylvania. He was the son of a privateer during the Revolution, who was captured while bringing prizes into the port of Philadelphia, he not knowing the British were in control, and was sent to England as a prisoner. He escaped and returned to America, building near Redstone the first linseed-oil mill in the West. Descendants still own the land in this township upon which Andrew settled. Andrew Huston, of the blood of Gen. Sam Houston, of Texas fame, came from the Cumberland Valley in 1809, locating at the mouth of Wills Creek, the house being on the site of the present Steubenville water works. He afterward removed to the central part of the township, where was born John Andrew Huston, father of Sam Huston, the late county engineer, the homestead still standing. Sam Huston had in [This was the end of a page and I believe the extra sentences in the paragraph under "Schools and Churches" belongs here. "his possession an iron tomahawk found in Wills Creek and an iron Indian axe found"] near Richmond, in Salem Township.
Outside of Toronto extension, Alikanna and Pekin are the only hamlets in Island Creek Township, it being especially a farming community. At the former place is located the pumping station of the Steubenville water works, and adjoining is Stanton Park, a popular amusement resort. About a mile above is the Country Club, overlooking Browns Island and the famous King farm. There is quite a settlement at Alikana [sic] extending up Wills Creek. A small hamlet named Millvale was platted by Joseph Beatty in 1873, but this has become a part of Stanton park.
Schools and Churches.
The first intimation we have of schools in the township is the statement that the first religious services were held in schoolhouses as well as in the woods and private houses. Mt. Tabor school was held in a log house, first built for a dwelling in 1812, the first teacher being William Jackman. Marks of the foundation are still visible. In 1814 a log structure was erected in the Mt. Tabor district. Destroyed by incendiary fire four years later, a brick house [his possession an iron tomahawk found in Wills Creek and an iron Indian axe found] [belongs above] was erected, in which school was taught during the earlier days by Lancelot Hearn, John Hawhey, John Beebout, George Amrstrong, James Mitcheltree. The late Judge William Lawrence, who was born in Smithfield Township, attended this school. There are now twelve schools in the township outside of Toronto, located on or adjacent to the following farms: Moreland, in Section 33; Johnson (Island Creek), Section 35; Grafton, Range 2, Section 1; Ford, 9; Morrina, 16; Smith, 18; Porter, 19; Taylor, 20; Kilgore, 27; Mt. Tabor, 30; Welday, 32 and 33.
The first religious organization in the township seems to have been what is known as the Island Creek Presbyterian Church, organized by Rev. James Snodgrass, of Steubenville, who was installed pastor on November 24, 1800. Preaching was held at Pittengers, near Bowling Green, Carrs Ridge and on the present site of the church, a large tent being used in summer. The first church edifice was built of round logs in 1802 on land donated by Ephraim Cooper. This was displaced by a hewn log house in 1810, which lasted until 1825, when it burned down. That year Mr. Snodgrass resigned and was succeeded by John C. Sidball, who served until 1835. During his administration a brick church was built, which was occupied until 1856, when it was partially destroyed by a storm. A larger and better building took its place in 1858, which still stands. Rev Thomas F. Magill was pastor from 1835 to 1840; John K. Cunningham, 1841-53; Samuel Forbes, 1876-79; Rev. M. A. Parkinson, 1880.
The next organization formed by Mr. Snodgrass was the Two Ridge Presbyterian Church, on the Steubenville and Richmond Pike, about nine miles west of the former place. The congregation was formed about 1802 or 1803, the people meeting in various places until 1810, when the first place of worship was erected. Mr. Snodgrass was succeeded by Rev. William McMillan, who continued pastor of this and Yellow Creek Church, afterwards Bacon Ridge, for six years. Cellars and James Bailey, to whom Samuel Thompson, Andrew Anderson, George Day and Thomas Elliott were added. A new house of worship was erected in 1816, and afterwards on May 21, 1819, Rev. Thomas Hunt became pastor of this and Yellow Creek Churches, which arrangement continued until 1828, when he devoted his entire time to Two Ridges and remained until October 4, 1836. During this time James Torrance, Benjamin Coe, Henry Shane, William Winters, James Milligan and David Gladden became elders. Rev. Joseph Kerr succeeded Mr. Hunt, and he by Rev. William Eaton on October 21, 1844. John Leech, John McGregor and David Johnston were elected elders during this time. Mr. Eaton retired in April, 1853, and the following summer a new house of worship was erected, which about twenty years after was considerably enlarged and improved. After an interval of two years Rev. David R. Campbell became pastor, and Philip W. Coe and John Huston elected elders. On March 19, 1856 William Plummer and James G. Allen were elected. Mr. Campbell retired in October, 1861, and after a vacancy of a year and a half Rev. George Fraser was installed, in the summer of 1836. Thomas Hunt, John Rex, George D. Rex and T. P. Ross were installed as elders on April 24, 1864, and on November 19, 1865, Robert Stark, Richard Wright became elders. During this period twelve feet were added to the buildings. Mr. Dickey, after three years service, was succeeded by Rev. J. M. Lawbaugh, who remained but eight months. On September 3, 1871, John Leech and Thomas Robertson became deacons, and in April, 1873, Rev. Israel Price became pastor for two-thirds of his time. On February 7, 1874, William Stark and John Leech became elders and Samuel Huston, Simon B. Warren and William Gilkinson deacons, later Darwin Rex. A womens foreign missionary society was organized in 1874. Mr. Price retired in the fall of 1877, and the church was without a pastor until January 9, 1879, when he was succeeded by J. C. McCracken. His successors were W. A. Williams and Rev. Mr. Clark. The place is now vacant.
Pleasant Hill congregation, in Section 9, was organized on March 27, 1866, with twenty-four members. John Morrison, John M. Robertson and Beatty McFarland were elected trustees; John C. Robertson, treasurer, and Thomas Sanders, secretary. A good brick church was erected in 1876, Hiram Cope, the contractor, and Thomas Frith, of Steubenville, doing the stone work. The pastors have been the following: R. H. Van Pelt, beginning in 1868; J. F. Boyd, in 1870; Robert Herron, in 1876; J. C. McCracken, in 1878; S. C. Faris, in 1885; J. P. Leyenberger, in 1893; T. W. Hine, 1904. Mr. Sanders is still clerk. The present ruling elders are C. R. Shane, D. S. Carr; deacons, Thomas Sanders, John M. Robertson; members, forty-three.
Rev. James B. Finley began preaching in the neighborhood of what is now Mount Tabor in 1814, and organized an M. E. class at the home of Adam Jackman, composed of Richard Coulter and wife, Adam Jackman, Mary Jackman, Margaret Jackman, Jane Patterson, Isabel Whittaker, George Alban, Garrett Albertson,-----Struckland, William Nugent, Richard Jackman, Jane Jackman, Jane Armstrong, John Crawford, James Crawford, Martin Swickard, Margaret Swickard, Jacob Vail and others. Swickard was with the Crawford expedition and died at the age of ninety-six. Richard Coulter was leader and preaching was continued at Jackmans house for twelve years. A brick building was then erected and occupied for thirty years. In 1856 a neat frame structure was erected, which is still occupied. Except during a brief interval, this charge has been supplied from Richmond, the present pastor being W. A. Kinney.
The next M. E. congregation, known as the Island Creek, was organized by Rev. James M. Bray in 1837. The class included John Bray and wife, William Taylor and wife, -----Fleming and wife, John Fleming and wife, William Fleming and wife, John Dobbs and wife, Mrs. John Nixon and daughter, and two others, making sixteen in all, which number was increased to thirty-eight before the year was out. A church 30x40 feet was erected during the summer of 1838, and dedicated by Rev. P. K. McKue. It was made a part of Richmond circuit and John Bray was the first class leader.
Center M. E. Chapel and cemetery adjoin the Winters farm in Section 16. Rev. J. Williams and Dr. Hare were the first preachers here, and formed a class in 1847. It included Alexander Glenn and wife, Thomas Glenn, Charlotte Morrow, Richard Morrow, Washington Nicholls and wife, Mary and Sarah Nicholls. Alexander Glenn was leader. It was a part of Richmond circuit until 1849, when it was made a part of Wintersville circuit. A frame church, 32x42, was built in 1849 and dedicated in 1850 by Rev. Nicholson. The other early ministers were John E. McGaw, William Tipton, R. Cunningham, William Devinney, S. F. Miner, George Crook, R. L. Miller, Chester Morrison, Robert Boyd, W. H. Tidball, -----Chrissman, James Bray, S. H. Nesbitt, -----Blackburn, John Huston, J. Conn, Alexander Scott, D. K. Stevenson, J. R. Keyes and J. Weaver.
An M. E. organization was effected at Alikanna in 1873, with the following members: Samuel Speaker and wife, Eli Albright and wife, David Blackmore and wife, John Nixon and Mrs. William McElroy. Private houses were used for meetings until 1880, when a small frame building was erected. This lasted until 1895, when the increased membership necessitated larger quarters, and the present church seating about 250, was built. Rev. A. J. Culp was the first pastor, and after that the congregation was served regularly in connection with Thomson and Finley Chapels, the present one being J. E. Miller.
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