Creation of Athens County, Ohio
An act of the legislature, passed February 13th, 1804, entitled “an act establishing boards of commissioners,” provided that the election for commissioners should be held on the first Monday of the next April. The first election in Athens county resulted in the choice of Silas Dean, William Howlett and John Corey, commissioners. We quote from the record of the first board of commissioners:
“County of Athens, State of Ohio, April 16th, 1805. Agreeably to an act entitled ‘an act establishing boards of commissioners,’ passed February the 13th, 1804,
We, Silas Dean, Wm. Howlett and John Corey, being elected commissioners for the county of Athens on the 13th day of April, 1805, Silas Dean and John Corey, agreeably to appointment, met this day in order to proceed to business, and have made choice of John Corey for clerk, and then proceeded to divide the county into the following townships
The township of Ames begins at the N. E. corner of the county, thence running W. to the N. W. corner of said county; thence S. to the S. W. corner of township No. 12 in the 16th range; thence E. to the S. E. corner of township No. 7 in the 12th range; thence N. to the place of beginning.
The township of Athens begins at the N. W. corner of township No. 12 in the 17th range, thence S. to the S. W. corner of township No. 12; thence E. to the S. E. corner of township No. 5 in the 13th range; thence N. to the N. E. corner of the aforesaid township No. 5; thence West to the place of beginning.
The township of Alexander begins at the N. W. corner of township No. i t in the 17th range, thence South to the S. W. corner of township No. 10 in the aforesaid 17th range; thence E. to the S. E. corner of township No. 3 in the 13th range; thence N. to the N. E. corner of township No. 4 in the 13th range; thence W. to the place of beginning.
The township of Troy begins at the S. W. corner of township No. 4 in the 12th range, thence East on the south line of the county until it intersects with Shade river; thence down Shade river to its junction with the Ohio; thence up the Ohio to the mouth of the Great Hockhocking; thence up the hockhocking to where the eastern line of the 12th range crosses said river; thence N. to the N. E. corner of township No. 6 in the 12th range; thence W. to the N. W. corner of the aforesaid 6th township; thence S. to the place of beginning.
By a majority of the board of commissioners Alvan Bingham was appointed treasurer for the county of Athens. April 17th, said Bingham’s bonds executed and accepted.”
[Here follow proposals and specifications for the building of a log jail and jailor’s house, the jail to be 24 feet long in the clear and 13 feet wide, with minute descriptions of every part; but our space does not allow their insertion.]
“The board of commissioners have appointed John Armstrong’s house as the first place of meeting for the electors of Alexander township; John Havner’s house as the first place of meeting for the electors of Athens township; Ebenezer Buckingham’s house as the first place of meeting for the electors of Troy township, and Sylvanus Ames’ house as the first place of meeting for the electors of Ames.”
[This session of the board lasted from the 16th to the 19th of April. William Howlett joined the other commissioners on the 17th. Their compensation was $1.50 per day, and the expense of this, the first meeting of the board, was 19.25. They adjourned till the second Monday of June, 1805.]
“The board met agreeably to adjournment on the second Monday of June and proceeded to levy the county tax, and made out one duplicate for the township of Ames, one for Athens and Alexander, and one for Troy.
In conformity to the 11th section of an act for granting tavern licenses, ferriages, &c., passed at Chillicothe the 1st day of February, 1805,
Resolved by the Board of Commissioners, That the price of licenses for ferries crossing the Ohio within this county shall be two dollars. The rates for crossing said river shall be as the law prescribes in the aforesaid 11th section.
Resolved, That the license for ferries crossing the Great Hockhocking river shall be two dollars. The rate of ferriage of the same shall be as follows, viz: For each foot passenger, three cents; for man and horse, ten cents; for loaded wagon and team, fifty cents; for every other four-wheeled carriage, or empty wagon and team, thirty-seven and one-half cents; for every loaded cart and team, thirty-seven and a half cents; for every loaded sled, or sleigh, or empty cart and team, twenty-five cents; for every empty sled, or sleigh and team, twelve and a half cents; for every horse, mare, mule, or ass, and every head of neat cattle, six cents; for sheep and hogs, three cents.
Resolved, That all other ferries within the county shall be one dollar for license, and the rates of ferriage shall be as above prescribed on the Hockhocking.
Resolved, That the license for taverns in the town of Athens shall be eight dollars; for the township of Ames, four dollars; for the township of Troy, five dollars; and for the township of Alexander, four dollars and a half. For the township of Athens, the price of a tavern license shall be six dollars.
The tax assessed on the township of Ames is thirty-nine dollars, as appears by the duplicate; the tax assessed on the townships of Athens and Alexander is ninety-six dollars and forty cents, as appears by the duplicate; the tax assessed on the township of Troy is twenty-two dollars and twenty cents, as appears by the duplicate. The total amount of all the taxes assessed in the county of Athens is one hundred and fifty-seven dollars and sixty cents.
The petition of David Watkins and others for a road, after being read, was rejected, it not being according to law. The petition of William Young and others for a road, after being read, was rejected, it not being according to law. The petition of H. Castle and others praying for a road, after being read, was rejected, not being according to law. The petition of Daniel Weethee and others for the division of the township of Ames was not acceded to. The petition of Elijah Hatch and others praying for the erection of a new township in this county was not acceded to.
Resolved, by the Board of Commissioners, that John Corey shall receive twelve dollars for his services as clerk for this board during the time the said board elected him for.
WHEREAS, It appears by a more mature deliberation to the board, that the resolution passed by them the 19th of April last, fixing the place for the first meeting of the electors of the township of Ames, is a grievance, and that the same should be changed, and for that purpose it is Resolved, by the board, that the place for the first meeting of the electors of the aforesaid township of Ames, is the dwelling house of Nathan Woodbury.
The County of Athens. Dr.
To William Howlett, Silas Dean, and John Corey for four days’ services, each, as commissioner, seven dollars each, – $28 00
Adjourned till the second Tuesday of July.
July 9th, 1805.-William Howlett and John Corey met, pursuant to adjournment, and proceeded, after a more mature deliberation, to strike out the price of license for the town plat of Athens.
WHEREAS, It appears on more mature deliberation by the Board of Commissioners that the petition of David Watkins and others praying for a road to be laid out from Asahel Cooley’s to Henry Cassel’s mill was done according to law, the said board have appointed George Shidler, Henry Shidler, and Charles Weeks to view said road.
The petition of William Young and others praying for a road to be laid out from Athens toward Lancaster, that was rejected, is now considered according to law, and the Board of Commissioners have appointed Arthur Coates, George Shidler, and Robert Ross to view said road.
It appearing to the board on more mature deliberation that the petition of Henry Cassell and others praying for a road to be laid out from Athens toward Salt Lick, which was rejected, was done agreeably to law, they now appoint Robert Linzee, Samuel Moore, and Joel Abbott to view out said road.
Resolved, by the Board of Commissioners, that Daniel Stewart be appointed collector for the township of Troy, in the room of Stephen Buckingham, delinquent.
This day, George Shidler came forward, and gave his bond as collector for the townships of Athens and Alexander. Adjourned.
November 4th, 1805.-[An election having occurred in October.] Agreeably to an act entitled ‘an act establishing Boards of Commissioners,’ passed February 13th, 1804, We, William Howlett, William Barrows, and Samuel Moore, being elected commissioners for the county of Athens, have met this day in order to do business.
A petition, bearing date May 30th, 1805, having been presented to the board by David Watkins and others, of the township of Alexander, praying for a road beginning at the range line between the 12th and 13th ranges, thence onward to the Salt Lick, and George Shidler, Charles Weeks, and Henry Shidler having been appointed to view said road, now report the same useless.
Want of space forbids further extracts; we append, however, a statement of the tax assessed in 1808. Tax assessed in the County in 1808.
June 16, 1808. The Board of Commissioners’ appointed the following persons collectors for the present year, viz:
For Athens township, Michael Barker; for Ames township, John Brown, 2d; for Troy township, Asahel Cooley; for Alexander township, Amos Thompson.
Amount of duplicates of taxes assessed for the year 1808
Athens Land, $37 85Taxable property, 90 47Ames Land, 68 80Taxable property, 49 67Troy Land, 62 38Taxable property, 51 20Alexander Land, 6 46Taxable property, 59 60$426 43