Originally published in the Deshler Flag on June 15, 1900; re-published in the same newspaper on January 4, 1934
No time to give a brief history of the organizing of Bartlow Township could be found than at the present, when the last to hear the Bartlow name has passed to the great beyond. The deceased, Mrs. Althea Bartlow was the daughter-in-law of the founder of the township and this brief history should be of interest to our many readers.
We are indebted to Mr. P. D. “Pete” Rangler of Deshler for the copy from which this history is printed. The clipping handed us by Mr. Rangler was clipped by him from the issue of the Deshler Flag printed on June 15, 1900, fifty years after the organizing of the township and follows:
The first settler in this locality was Cornelius Bartlow, father of Thomas Bartlow, who lived in the southeast part of the township. Mr. Bartlow came to this township in April 1850. At that time this whole territory was a solid piece of heavy timber. Mr. Bartlow built himself a log house, and was the only family here until 1853 when two more families moved in, and two years later two more families came. What is now known as Bartlow Township belonged then to Richfield township. Being uninformed as to the manner of procedure Mr. Bartlow wrote to Mr. John Hamler, who was one of the Commissioners at that time, asking for information as to the organization of the township, which information was furnished.
Accordingly the organization took place here, somewhere near the place where the C. H. & D. water tank now stands, on a pile of ties that were stacked up near the track. The law requiring ten electors was a disappointment to them, for there were only eight voters being in the territory that was to be made a township, but they finally succeeded in borrowing two men from Hancock county to make up the board. The following is the notice given for the first election ever held in the new township which resulted as follows: C. Bartlow, treasurer; J. W. VanScoyoc, clerk; C. Bartlow, E. S. Russell and Daniel Truby, trustees; James Russell, constable; and James Russell, supervisor district No. 1.
TOWNSHIP ELECTION NOTICE
Notice is hereby given to the qualified electors residing within the limits of Town 3, North of Range 8 East, that said territory has been created a civil township under the name of “Bartlow,” and said electors are notified to meet at railroad shanty on the East 1/2 Northeast quarter of section 23 in said township on the 1st Monday of April next and proceed according to law and elect 3 trustees, 1 township clerk, 1 treasurer, 1 assessor and such number of constables and supervisors as may be necessary.
Office of County Commissioners of Henry County, Ohio, March 6, 1855.
John Hammler, Matthew Reid, Ward Woodward, Commissioners of Henry County, Ohio.
The voters at that time were C. Bartlow, Joseph Fackler, Jesse Bensley, J. H. VanScoyoc, R. H. Bishop, E. S. Russel, Hudson Curtis and John E. Mays.
The first school enumeration that was taken showed eleven school children, seven males and four girls, and the school was district No. 6, Pleasant township, Hancock County. Miss Maria Dunn, sister of J. B. Dunn, was the first teacher and the records show that she received $8, the first money taken out of the treasury. She taught in a log school house 16×18, with two small windows and a large fireplace, and was not plastered. [Good thing she was sober!]
In the year 1856 there was a school house built in Dist. No. 1 (now No. 6, Bartlow township.) This building was more gaudy. It was 18×20, with a good clapboard roof, with high windows and a good board floor. The house was daubed inside and out with “pure clay.’’ The contractor was to finish it complete with two writing desks, chairs, stove, etc., for which he received $30.
On the 17th day of January 1857, school commenced in the building with R. H. Bishop as teacher, and nine scholars. The term lasted until March 27, for which Mr. Bishop received $36. It might he well to add that the teacher and scholars had to cut and haul their own wood. This house was built on I. B. VanScoyoc’s land near where Chester Vanaman now lives. We have no record of the second term, but the third term was taught by John McBride, and commenced Dec. 6, 1858, and ended March 17, 1859, with six scholars, four boys and two girls.
For the next three years the school was transferred back to Pleasant township. In 1863 school was again opened in the old log house above described. There were no summer schools until 1805.
The poll books show that at the several spring elections there were nine votes in 1857, six in 1858, five votes in 1859, nine votes in 1860 and but five in 1861. Here we find for the first time the name of our respected fellow citizen ot today, Mr. Isaac VanScoyoc.
The first ditch in the township was located in the year 1857. It was one mile and 15 rods long. It started from the south line of the Droneberger farm and ran northeast until it struck the Wood county line, about the center of L. M. Bergman’s farm, and was known at the Serpentine ditch.
The first road was located about the same time and is the same that now runs by the Bartlow school house.
The nearest trading post and post office was Findlay and it took two davs to make the trip. Finally a postoffice was established at Pleasantville (now McComb), and the pioneers were tickled thinking that they had it handy.
In 1859 a post office was established at Pickens’ corner where mail could be had every Saturday.
We notice that in 1862 the treasurer of Bartlow township who was James H. VanScovoc, made his draw on the county treasurer for $68.78.
On Oct. 19, 1858, Mr. C. Bartlow received his commission as justice of peace signed by Salmon P. Chase, Governor.
The first wheat raised in the township was about 1856 or ’57. It was threshed on a barn floor, not with a machine, but was trampled out with horses and cleaned with a windmill.
By the roll book for 1857, we notice the names of the following scholars in attendance: Elijah Bartlow, Mary Ann Bartlow, John J. Bartlow, Isaac Van Scoyoc, Wilbert Bishop, Lucy Bishop, James Mays and Leandcr Benseley. R. H. Bishop, teacher.
On a piece of “foolscap” paper we find the poll book of the October election, 1865, which contains eight names and reads as follows:
JUSTICE’S POLL BOOK
Poll book of the election held in the Township of Bartlow in the county of Henry, on the Tenth day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five. J. W. Van Scoyoc, Joseph Fackler and Jos. Dronburger, Judges; C. Bartlow and John H. Goldbraith, clerks of said election were severally sworn as the law directs of their respective offices.
Joseph Fackler, Jacob Myers, C. Bartlow, J. W. VanScovoc, John H. Goldbraith, Thos. Dronburger, I. B. VanScoyoc, J. W. VanScoyoc
At this election C. Bartlow and Daniel Truby were the candidates and Mr. Bartlow received five of the eight votes cast.
All through the relics we find quite a number of queer and interesting papers, such as settlement sheets, orders on the treasurer, different kinds of petitions, contracts for public work, school reports etc. We also notice that at the fall election of 1874 a large circular was issued, warning the voters to beware of fraud, which was issued by the democratic executive committee of this county.
Wonderful changes have been brought about since then, and were it possible for Mr. Bartlow and his little colony to return to their old stamping ground today they would be in a worse plight than Rip Van Winkle found himself after his sleep of twenty years in the mountains. Instead of one little log school house, we now have eight school districts with a large and up to date house in each district. Fifty years ago the only sound that greeted the ears of the early settler was the moaning of the huge trees under the pressure of the hard winds, or the yelping of some wild animal, or the crack of the hunter’s gun. Today you can look for miles and see large rich fields and meadows, elegant farm residences, and see the smoke and hear the whistles of the busy railroads and bustling factories, while the school bells peal out in joyful notes calling the little ones to their studies. The seven or eight pioneers — the fathers of our township — have passed away, and their children, those whose names appeared on the roll books of the schools given above, are our old settlers of today, and their children and grandchildren fill the school rooms at the present time and are fast growing up to man and womanhood.
Fifty years ago the nearest church was at Findlay; today Deshler has six churches, besides four or five at the cross-roads throughout the township. In those days people worshipped. They did not go to church to show fine dresses and elegant broadcloth, there were no contentions then as to which church had the best choir, and the largest membership. Yes, times have changed, but we are thankful to say that the name of God remains the same.