Trimble, Athens County, Ohio History

Trimble township was originally a part of Ames, from which it was stricken off and separately organized in April, 1827, It lies at the extreme northern limit of the county, on the waters of Sunday creek, the main branch of which runs, somewhat centrally, from north to south, through the township. It was named after Governor Allen Trimble, one of the early governors of Ohio.

The first settlement made in this township was by Solomon Tuttle, Sen., in 1802. He, with his son, Cyrus Tuttle, and his brother, Nial Tuttle, all from Vermont, settled on the main creek. Soon after them came Joseph McDaniel and William Morrow. Mr. Bagley, with several sons, came from Vermont and settled in 1820, on the west fork of the creek, below what is now called Hartleyville. One of his sons, William Bagley, being a clothier by trade, established a pioneer factory for dressing cloth and, in connection with it, a flour mill, the flour being bolted by hand. This was the first mill in the township, and has been kept up, with various improvements, ever since. It is now owned by Mr. Perry Zimmerman. Samuel Bagley, a tanner by trade, established the first tan yard in the township, about the year 1820.

In 1822 a school was taught by Nancy Bagley, a native of Vermont, near the forks of the creek. About 1824 a few families established a school of eight or ten scholars, which was taught by John Morrow, in a log school house without any floor. His compensation was one dollar and fifty cents a week. The school house was located on the creek between Solomon Tuttle’s and James Dew’s. Among the few scholars in this pioneer school was Mr. E. H. Moore, now president of the First National bank in Athens, who also taught a district school in the same place in 1832.

The Baptists, Methodists, and Christians, were the first religious societies formed in the township, and continue to be the leading organizations.

William Bagley’s mill on the west fork of Sunday creek was, as before stated, the first in the township. In 1825 Jonathan Watkins built a mill at the village first known as Oxford, but since called Trimble. It was at first only a saw mill, but, after two or three years, a grist mill was connected with it. This mill continued to be the principal one in the township till 1865, when it was destroyed by fire.

The people of this township are chiefly engaged in agriculture, and the lands are being rapidly improved. Considerable attention is given to stock growing and to the culture of tobacco. Coal of excellent quality, both bituminous and cannel, exists here in large deposits, which, as soon as it becomes accessible by branch railroads, now projected, will command the attention of capitalists. Iron ore of good quality is also found in various parts of the township, and near to large deposits of good limestone. Salt water of great strength, and thought by competent judges to be equal to any in the Hockhocking valley, has recently been found in abundance in a well bored for oil by Mr. R. J. Arnold. This well is on the Zanesville road near the northern line of the county. It is a little over one thousand feet in depth. About twenty-five years ago the Eggleston salt works on Green’s run, near the south line of the township, were operated successfully. At that time this was esteemed a valuable well, but for many years past it has not been used.

The center of population in the township is the village of Trimble, situated on section 8. It has a post office, two stores, three physicians, the requisite number of mechanics, and a population of about two hundred.

The population of the township in 1830 was 190; in 1840 it was 762; in 1850 it was 924; in 1860 it was 1,112.

At the first election for township officers in 1827, which was held at the house of William Bagley, James Price, James Bosworth, and Jeremiah Cass were judges of the election, and Samuel B. Johnson and Cyrus Tuttle, clerks.

Back to: Athens County, Ohio

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