CENTENNIAL HISTORY of BELMONT COUNTY and Representative Citizens
Edited and Complied by Hon. A.T. McKelvey
“History is Philosophy Teaching by Examples

March 7, 1796. The second deed given was recorded October 29, 1800, by Benjamin New­ell and Jane, his wife, to James Caldwell, of Ohio County, Va., and consisted of two lots in the town of St. Clairsville, one numbered 28, fronting on Main street, the other, lot 53, cor­nering on the first mentioned lot, each contain­ing a quarter of an acre, consideration $32. These lots are supposed to be a short distance west of the Court House. Another is dated November 4, 1801, from David Newell and wife, of the county of Belmont, Northwest Territory, to Emsby Rush, of Brooke County, Virginia, in consideration of $12 for lot num­ber I 57, in St. Clairsville, and containing about one-fourth of an acre.


About this time began the evolution of the townships whereby the four original and par­allel townships were increased to 16 and we cull freely from an article in the Belmont Chronicle describing this evolution.

By an act of the General Assembly in 1810, creating Guernsey County, a portion of Kirk­wood, Pultney and York townships were ceded to Guernsey County, and in January, 1813, by a similar act of the Legislature, the whole of the township of Salem was ceded to Monroe County, thus materially reducing the bounda­ries of Belmont County. By subsequent divi­sions and subdivisions the following the changes occurred : The erection of Richland township, so named because of its productive limestone soil, was the first following the original divi­sion as enacted by the court sitting at Pult­ney Bottom, February 24, 1802. The original Kirkwood township was cut in twain, and all that portion of it lying east of the present west boundary line of Richland township, north to the county line and east to the river, was em­braced in Richland township as originally formed. On May 26, 1802, the boundaries of Richland were again extended two miles south, so as to include a part of the original Pultney township. Again on March 7, 1809, the boundaries were again extended to include two-thirds of what is now Smith township, and the remaining 12 sections of what is now Smith were added to York township. Rich­land has thus embraced in its boundaries Pease, Colerain, and the greater part of Wheel­ing and Smith townships as now existing, though not all this area at one time.

The next townships to be set off were Pease and Union on August 15, 1804. Pease was named after Judge Pease, one of the pre­siding judges, and at the time of its formation embraced the territory within its present boun­daries and also 12 sections that now belong to Colerain. Union township, formed at the same time, embraced all in its present territory and those parts of Flushing and Wheeing townships included within the east and west boundaries of the township and extending north to the county line. On March I I, 1805, two rows oi sections of what is now Goshen were added to it.

Warren was erected June 10, 1807, from Kirkwood as extended in 1802. In the latter year a part of what had been Pultney was added to Kirkwood. Warren at first embraced all within its present boundary and all of what is now Goshen, except two rows of sections on the north side.

On January 14, 1808, Colerain and Wheeling were erected. The description given of Colerain does not agree with its present boundaries. It is probable that its present boundaries were formed from Richland and Pease, though one row of sections on the east side may have been added later, though no record to that effect is in evidence after diligent search.

Wheeling was cut off from Richland and embraced its present territory except the six sections on the west, which were taken from Union in 1817 and added to Wheeling.

Goshen was erected September 6, 1809, from Warren and Union townships, all but the north two rows of sections being taken from War­ren.

Wayne was formed March 5, 1811, from York and embraced all of what is now Wayne and Somerset and a part of  Washington town­ship. It also included some territory now in Monroe County.

Mead township was formed January 3, 1815, from parts of Pultney and York town­ships, and seems to have assumed at that time its present boundaries, in which no change was ever made.

Flushing was erected on March 14, 1817, being formed from parts of Kirkwood and Union, 16 sections being taken from Kirkwood and 12 from Union. On that date Kirkwood, one of the original townships, hav­ing been divided and subdivided and extended, assumed its present boundaries.

Smith township was erected January 2, I 819, from parts of Richland and York, and then assumed its present boundaries.

Somerset followed Smith in close order, it being erected March 161 1819. Somerset was cut off from the west end of Wayne.

Washington was the last township to be erected, this being ordered in 1831, 12 sec­tions being taken off Wayne, and 30 from York. Then the township lines assumed their present location.

First Settler

Col. David Lockwood, of Revolutionary War fame, was one of the first settlers of  Mead Township, locating at Dille’s Bottom in 1800. Because of his patriotism in the cause of America, Col. Lockwood was honored as one of the first associate judges of the county. When the township was formed in 1815, it was named Mead in honor of Col. Lockwood’s mother.

The milling industry was of foremost importance in the early history of the region. Col. Lockwood erected a mill at Dille’s in 1821, and thirteen years later Benjamin Lockwood built a three story mill with three runs of burrs and a capacity of 50 barrels daily. Steam was introduced in-1845 but in 1868 the boiler exploded and killed two men. Thereafter the mill was operated by water power.

There were five extensive mining companies operating about 1865, having an annual output of 700,000 bushels. These were the Pipe Creek Coal & Iron Company, the Enterprise Coal Company, Col. Thompson’s Mines and the Wegee Mines.

The first school in Mead Township was built in section 32 in 1818. Another was erected on Beallsville Ridge five years later. The school term in those days was very short, about three months. The books were few and the teachers were not well qualified.

Rev. Dr. Gillespie, one of the most distinguished ministers of the Presbyterian Church, was born on Pipe Creek. For years he was secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Church in this country, and made a tour of investigation around the world.

Cummings, in his tour Down The Ohio, wrote: “Passing the Indian mound, we found a floating store at the landing. It was a large flatboat, roofed and fitted with shelves and counter and containing a various assortment of merchandise, among which were several copper stills of which much use is now made throughout the whole western county for distilling peach and apple brandy and rye whiskey.”


From the February 1, 2023 article in the Times-Leader

EVERY OHIO resident today lives within a township — an area of land determined by 18th and early 19th century surveys. These surveys were conducted as the United States expanded to the west, beginning with the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the formation of the Northwest Territory.

According to the Ohio History Connection, surveyors such as a young George Washington fanned out across the area north and west of the Ohio River to plat these entities.The territory eventually was organized into five states — Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan.

Townships, which surveyors aimed to survey as squares with sides 6 miles in length, helped the federal government to sell land and assisted with the establishment of local governments.

Each completed 36-mile square of land was divided into numbered, 1-square mile sections of 640 acres each.In what would become Ohio, Section 16 of each township was set aside for the use of the public schools. Certain sections also were reserved for veterans of the American Revolution as payment for their service during the war.

The remaining sections were auctioned off at a price of at least $1 per acre.

In counties across Eastern Ohio, many of the existing townships are actually older than the state itself. Belmont County, for example, originally consisted of four townships formed in 1801 — two years before Ohio became a state. By 1804, the elected officials of a township consisted of three trustees, a clerk, two overseers of the poor, highway supervisors, justices of the peace and constables.

According to the Belmont County Recorder’s Office website, the four original townships of Belmont County — Kirkwood, Pultney, York, and Salem — were essentially strips of land running east to west from the Ohio River to the western boundary of the county. The western portions of them were ceded to form Guernsey County in 1810; all of the southernmost Salem Township went to help form Monroe County.

Belmont County’s townships now include:

Kirkwood, named in honor of Revolutionary War veteran Capt. Robert Kirkwood (1756-1791), who built one of the first cabins in the county.

Pultney, named by Judge Daniel McElherren for the town of Pultney and the site of the first court of justice and courthouse.

York, believed to be named for York, Pennsylvania or York, England.

Richland, formed Feb. 24, 1802 from Kirkwood and extended into Pultney in May 1802 and again in March 1809; named for its rich, limestone soil.

Pease, formed Aug. 15, 1804 from Richland and named for Judge Calvin Pease (1776-1839), president-judge of the Court of Common Pleas of the Third Circuit (Eastern Ohio). Pease later served as an Ohio Supreme Court Justice from 1816-30.

Union, formed Aug. 15, 1804 from Kirkwood with 12 sections to the south added March 11, 1805 that were later ceded to Goshen Township.

Warren, formed June 10, 1807 from Kirkwood and initially including the lower 24 sections of Goshen Township; named in honor of Gen. Joseph Warren (1741-1775) who was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Colerain, formed Jan. 14, 1808 from Richland and Pease; named for Coleraine in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, where many settlers originated.

Wheeling, formed Jan. 14, 1808 from Richland with six sections added from Union on March 14, 1817; named for Wheeling Creek. George Washington referenced the creek in his journal while traveling down the Ohio River in October 1770.

Goshen, formed Sept. 6, 1809 from Warren and Union; named by Jesse White for Goshen Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. Biblical reference.

Wayne, formed March 5, 1811 from York; named for Maj. Gen. “Mad”Anthony Wayne (1745-1796).

Mead, formed Jan. 3, 1815 from Pultney and York; named by Col. David Lockwood, associate judge, after his mother’s maiden name.

Flushing, formed March 14, 1817 from Kirkwood and Union; named after the village of Flushing, platted in 1813.

Smith, formed Jan. 2, 1819 from Richland and York; named for William Smith, who settled in 1805 and built the first log gristmill in the township near present-day Warnock.

Somerset, formed March 16, 1819 from Wayne Twp; likely derives its name from Somersetshire, England, also home to Somerton.

Washington, formed 1831 from Wayne and York and named in honor of President George Washington.

Harrison County has 15 townships: Archer, Athens, Cadiz, Franklin, Freeport, German, Green, Monroe, Moorefield, North, Nottingham, Rumley, Short Creek, Stock and Washington.

Monroe County’s 18 townships include: Adams, Benton, Bethel, Center, Franklin, Green, Jackson, Lee, Malaga, Ohio, Perry, Salem, Seneca, Summit, Sunsbury, Switzerland, Washington and Wayne.

In Jefferson County, there are 14: Brush Creek, Cross Creek, Island Creek, Knox, Mount, Pleasant, Ross, Salem, Saline, Smithfield, Springfield, Steubenville, Warren, Wayne and Wells.