Jefferson Township Early Days
To Noble Co  Settlers

My homes is in Jefferson Township, 2 1/4 miles from Albion in Section 17, and the second house north of the Baptist Church.  It is a 1 1/2 story house with wing and nine rooms.  The surroundings are just shade enough, green grass and flowers.  It is not a modern house but could be made over with a few more extra dollars, but I never wanted the change for I always thought what was good enough for mother was good enough for me.  I am using some of the same furniture that mother started in with 76 years ago and prize it very highly.  My home is not for sale or rent, but a place where we eat three meals a day.  So come and visit me any day.  It was erected in 1857 and I can truthfully say that it is the only home in Jefferson Township that has never changed hands since purchase from the land agent.

         ~Mr. Prentice

Jefferson Township was organized in 1838 by the election of James Skinner, Lewis Potts and John Foster as trustees, Martin John Call as justice and -- Alford as constable.  At this election there were nine votes cast as these men had no competition.

The first church that was built was the Hartman Chapel, erected in 1856 near the Hockenberger Corners.  It was later moved east one-half mile and is used as a storage house, and is yet in good condition.  The ground was leased by D. E. Hartman and hence the name.  It was built by the M.E. Society

The second church was Rehoboth built in 1857 on the order of a large frame dwelling house and at that time was in a flourishing condition.  The third church was the Zion Chapel which was frame and regularly used.  The fourth was the Old School Baptist one and a half miles east of Albion and was built in 1869.  It is a frame and was in constant use.  The fifth and last church was the Union.  It is a brick and was built in 1875, and all denominations have the privilege of worshipping there.  The total cost of this building was $3,000.

In the year 1838 the death angel made its first visit in this little colony and snatched the fairest little bud from the home of Alfred Skinner, and no spot in the township was set aside for a burying ground.  James Skinner kindly tendered a little spot in which to deposit the remains.  Soon after, another child was laid to rest by his side and hence the name of the Skinner Cemetery.  We now have three cemeteries in the township and all are neatly arranged.

The first schoolhouse that was built in Jefferson Township was erected on the James Skinner farm about one-half west of where the Union Church now stands.  It was built of logs and was covered qwith clapboards and there were no nails in existence then.  they were held down by weight poles and the floor was made of split logs with the split side up and there were no-skid seats.  The fireplace was made of small stones, the chimney was made of small sticks and stones.

The windows were made by cutting a portion of one log on each side of the house and pasting in greased paper in the place of glass.  This afforded light enough, providing the house was not too full of smoke.  No record to know as to when this house was built.  The first teacher was Orrin Watkins and was paid $1.50 per scholar.  In 1850, District No. 5,  a frame schoolhouse was built across the road where the Union Church now stands, which is now a part of the cemetery grounds and in later years was burned to the ground.  A few years later a brick was built 1/4 mile east.

No record when No. 1 was built but was a frame house and it also was burned and in time was replaced by a brick.  No. 2 was built in 1878 and was called the Harvey schoolhouse which is a brick and used now for a store house.  No. 3, a frame was built in 1871 and was called the Kline school.  In later years was moved from its location and was replaced by a brick.

No. 4, a frame, was built in the '50's, 3/4 mile east of Albion, directly north of the Charles Stanley farm, and after it had served its usefulness was moved on the John Shirk farm for a dwelling house, which is now the Leland Miller farm.  In 1868 another house was built 1/4 mile north of the Baptist Church and a few years later was moved on the Harry Black farm, where it is used as a tool house.  It was called Mount Salem.  No. 6, a frame, was built in 1880.  Was moved off its foundations in a few years to take the place of a brick.  This was called the Town House as the only voting place in the township.  District No. 7, a brick, was built in 1872 and was always called the Foster School.

District No. 9 was built of logs in 1860 one-half mile southeast of Rehoboth Church on the edge of a tamarack swamp and later was torn down and a brick was erected near the site of the Rehoboth Church.  This was formerly called the Prouty School, but now Walnut Crossing.  No. 10, a frame, was built in 1874 and was called the Anspaugh School, but later a brick has taken its place.  District 11 was built on the Frederick farm in 1875 and was called Hazel College on account of the clearing of hazel bushes for its erections.

In speaking of log cabins, we locate them on nearly every farm of which I will mention a few.

 ~ One on the John Call farm, now owned by Ted Hile.
 ~ One on the Johnny Barhan farm, now owned by J. McClure.
 ~ One on the Stephen Barhan farm, now owned by Mr. Reinsch.
 ~ One on the Wash Potts farm, now owned by Allen Hoffman.
 ~ Two on the Ezra Skinner farm, one for himself and one for his sister, Mrs. Salida, now owned by George Hoffman
 ~ Two on the Beebart farm, one for himself and one for his sister, Mrs. Aims, now owned by Howard Foster.
 ~ One on the Dave Schaff farm, now owned by Mr. Swaverly.
 ~ One on the Tom Storey farm, now owned by Ervin Gappinger.
 ~ One double house on the Woodruff farm.
 ~ Two double houses on the Frederick farm for two brothers.
 ~ One on the William Hayes farm, which is now the Savoie farm.
 ~ One on the Billy Inscho farm, now owned by Joe Homsher.
 ~ One on the Stanfield Corbin farm, now owned by Charles Sieber.
 ~ One on the George Inscho farm, now owned by Edd Zollman.
 ~ One on the McCormick farm, now owned by Mr. Dilts.
 ~ One on the Seeley farm, now owned by Charles Seeley.
 ~ One on the W. L. Parker farm, now owned by himself.
 ~ One on the Jonas Bortner farm, now owned by Chet Keister.

This will end my subject but many more are in sight, but will leave the subject now for criticism and discussion.

     ~Julia Foote

Published in The Albion New Era April 5, 1933

Noble Notes:  Things are never so bad that they can't get worse.