LIBERTY TOWNSHIP

Was formed in December 1820 and was bounded on the east, south and west by the Congressional township lines, and on the north by a line 40 rods north of the Whitewater road, and following the turns thereof. In June 1827, German Township, now Liberty Township, was made to include all of Township 11 North, as it does today. In December 1833, the northern tier of sections was thrown into Washington Township, but was taken back in December 1834.

Jonathan Pearson and Martin Ketring, who came in 1815, were the first settlers in the township. Some claim, however, that Samuel Loring, who settled where Palestine now stands, came earlier than they, but 1817 is the probable date. John McNeill, James Cloyd, James Woods, Wear Cassady and John Wagoner were early settlers. Daniel Wagoner, still living, remained alone, during the winter of 1817 and1818, taking care of his father’s cattle. He had two dogs and his gun for company, and for neighbors, three families of Indians, who were camped a few hundred yards from his cabin. He helped to build the first church and schoolhouse that was erected in the township.

The first schoolhouse was built in 1820, near Palestine, on land now owned by heirs of Isaac Klinger. A second schoolhouse was built in 1822, on land now owned by Emanuel Miller. The first teacher was William R. Jones. There are now 11 schoolhouses in the township, besides one at Palestine. By the enumeration of September 1874, the total number of schoolchildren in the township was 681, divided as follows: in Palestine 66 white males and 72 white females–total 138. In the remainder of the township 193 white and 90 colored males, 184 white and 76 colored females–total 543.

Religious meetings were held in houses much earlier, but no church building was erected till 1826. This was built by the Lutherans, on John Ketring’s farm, in Section 22. There are now 8 churches in the township, divided among the various denominations as follows: 2 Methodist (1 African), 1 Dunkard, 1 German Reformed, 1 United Brethren, 1 Lutheran, 1 Christian, and a Universalist in Palestine.

Township Trustees:

Larry Helmer
Curtis Hiatt
Michael Foreman
Deborah Kuhnle , Clerk
937-548-7071
937-997-5455
937-997-2103
937-548-5567