A History and Biographical Cyclopaedia of Butler County, Ohio
Morgan Township: Pages 431 - 433
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Alert is a post-office connected with an old-fashioned country-store, on Howard's Creek, in Section 28, near the west line, equally distant from the north & south side. Sometime between 1817 & 1820 a school-house stood opposite John ISEMINGER's store, in which David LLOYD, an old bachelor, acted as one of the teachers. The post-office was established in 1850, but not at this point. The only postmaster has been John ISEMINGER, who came here in March, 1842, residing here ever since, during which time he has been selling goods, with the exception of two years, in 1853 & 1854, when King DeARMOND filled the position. Mr. ISEMINGER began as an auctioneer in 1836, & has followed the business every since. From 1856 to 1880 he has cried 451 sales. Previous to this date no records were kept. Mr. ISEMINGER was born at ISEMINGER's mill, February 26, 1808. He attended Governor BEBB's school when he taught at Hickory Chapel; he lived all his life on Howard's Creek, and is one of the well-known men in this country. When the mails first began to arrive at Alert they were weekly; then, semi-weekly; then, tri-weekly; and now, daily.

Section No. 27 is a tract of land entered by Edward BEBB, father of the Governor, split into halves by Dry Fork. The red brick house in which Charles SATER now lives was built in 1830 or 1831 by William BEBB. The old homestead, rather south-west of Mr. SATER's, is occupied by Augustus DeARMOND.

The BEBB school, which is referred to frequently, stood south of the brick 100 yards, in the field now under a state of cultivation. Among the scholars who attended here, many of whom boarded with their teacher, was Judge CARTER, now of Cincinnati, who says the "red brick house was a palace in its day," and that the "foundation-stone were brought from Dayton on the canal to Hamilton, & from here hauled to their destination;" also, that "the governor was noted for keeping poor fires, which sometimes made it difficult to keep warm." A part of the old school-building is now occupied by William EASTERBROOKS. Other scholars were William DENNISON, who became governor of Ohio in 1861; Hon. G. M. SHAW, of Indiana; Hon. Daniel SHAW, a member of the first Legislature of Louisiana after the late war; & Hon. Peter MELINDY, of Iowa. This school was patronized by many of the wealthy citizens of Cincinnati and the Southern States.

In 1813 a company of volunteers was raised in Morgan Twp., under the command of Captain W. D. JONES. The house of John VAUGHN was the place of rendezvous. They marched with other troops to the relief of General HULL, then threatened by the British. On their way through the forest they suffered for food. Near Ft. Wayne, IN, they captured three bushels of parched corn, in bark boxes, secreted by the Indians, and on this they subsisted until they reached the fort. HULL having surrendered, they returned. One of their number, Samuel HARDING, died of disease contracted in the service. In 1861 thirty-eight volunteers enlisted in the 5th OH Volunteer Cavalry, & during the war a large number entered the army.

In 1834 the Asiatic cholera visited the township, especially the eastern side, in a malignant type. About 60 died within three weeks. There was scarcely a family which was not visited. In 1852 flux prevailed as a disease, & 20 died within 2 weeks. On the 16th of November, 1854, six lives were lost by the falling of the church-steeple--Nathaniel & Robert JONES instantly killed; on the 17th, John C. JONES died from injuries; in a month, Joseph PHELLIS, the contractor died; and after lingering several weeks. Thomas JONES and Elias WILLIAMSON died. In 1856 Robert GRIFFITHS and his family were drowned in the Ohio River, near Madison, while on their way to Missouri. Their bodies were recovered and buried in the old grave-yard. In all there were seven who lost their lives.

The men who laid the foundations of society in this valley were intelligent, and the firm friends of knowledge. In 1821 a bill was passed in the OH Legislature incorporating the Union Library Association of Morgan & Crosby Townships. Sixty-five shares were taken, costing $3.00 each. The books purchased were Plutarch's Lives, Rollin's Ancient History, Josephus, Mungo Park's Travels, Lewis & Clark's Expedition, Campbell on Miracles, Paley's Evidences of Christianity, Butler's Analogy, & others. The library was kept at SMITH's mill on Dry Fork, & the shareholders assiduously improved their opportunities to read.

The year 1811 was memorable for the appearance of the wonderful comet. During the Summer a fearful pestilence visited the township, and all who were smitten by the disease died. People called it the "cold plague." After the pestilence came a terrible hail storm, the ground in some places being covered with pieces of ice of irregular shape, six inches in circumference. In 1812 an earthquake convulsed the country and filled the people with terror. Dishes were shaken form their places, and the limbs of the trees swayed back & forth in a very remarkable manner.

The first death in the township is said to have been a daughter of Benjamin JAMES, a squatter on Dry Fork. A coffin was made by splitting a black walnut log and dressing it with a broad-ax and drawing knife. The slabs were fastened with wooden pins, & the body laid in the first grave dug in the township in the neighborhood at what is now known as Race Lane. Mrs. BLACKBURN, mother of William BLACKBURN, was the first who died on Paddy's Run. Her remains were buried on the hill west of where Mrs. Margaret SEFTON now resides. John MERRING, a distinguished Sunday-school worker, was kicked to death by a horse at the Fairview Church, many years ago. The Indian chief KIATTA is buried on the stream which bears his name, a few rods above where it empties into Dry Fork. Nothing marks the grave.

In June, 1880, a terrible hurricane passed over the township, entering it two miles east of Scipio, and going in a south-easterly direction. Entire forests were destroyed, barns, & houses were unroofed, fences swept away, and an immense amount of damage done in various other ways.

The first three hewed log-houses erected in Morgan Twp. are yet standing in a good state of preservation. One is located on the California Pike near BIDDINGER's saw-mill, & is owned by Samuel DeARMOND. It was built by Reuben GEORGE. The other is in Okeana on North McLain Street, occupied by Nancy DeARMOND. Another is on the old ATHERTON farm, north-west of New London, owned by J. P. JONES. It was built by Patterson BLACKBURN of blue ash logs that would face from 15 to 20 inches. It has been weatherboarded, & is now used for a barn.

The postmasters of this township from the beginning have been:
Okeana.---Samuel D. LLOYD, May 27, 1858; Henry BRANDENBURG, May 3, 1866; Perry CLAWSON, January 13, 1876. Before being known as Okeana it was called Tariff, and under this cognomen had the following postmasters: William JENKINS, January 14, 1828; Joseph P. JONES, May 17, 1833; Evan JENKINS, March 17, 1834; John ISEMINGER, June 3, 1835; John CREGMILE, April 14, 1836; John D. EVANS, December 15, 1837; William JENKINS, March 24, 1838; Charles SHIELDS, September 28, 1842; Alexander H. DeARMOND, May 14, 1847; Alexander R. LLOYD, November 19, 1849; William WRIGHT, February 16, 1855; Samuel D. LLOYD, May 21, 1857.
Alert.---John ISEMINGER, July 16, 1850.
Paddy's Run.---William VAUGHN, June 10, 1831; Henry H. ROBINSON, January 20, 1848; John L. EVANS, March 15, 1852; Henry H. ROBINSON, August 8, 1853; John L. EVANS, July 25, 1861; Alexander H. GUTHRIE, December 4, 1871; W. C. VAUGHN, October 16, 1879; Ann T. PRICE, November 3, 1870.

The following were the justices of the peace: William JENKINS, King DeARMOND, Brant IGNENE, William BEBB, James JENKINS, Stephen TALKINGTON, John C. JONES, Edmund SIMMONS, Daniel W. SHAW, Griffin HALSTEAD, James D. DAVIS, Andrew McCAIN, G. W. SHAW, James L. DAVIS, John THOMPSON, Archie H. FOSTER, R. J. BELL, James W. SHIELDS, Samuel PATTERSON, King DeARMOND, Joseph A. SMITH, Samuel DeARMOND, William MERCER, Joseph DAVIS, Absalom McKEAN, Samuel SHIELDS, James BRUNDAGE, Benjamin LYLE, Orrin S. WALLING, Amos JONES, Stephen M. EVERSON.