County History
BRIEF HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY FOR GENEALOGISTS, with names of early settlers from Beers 1881 history of champaign county ohio

Much was known of Ohio before the Revolution of 1776; but settlement was made in seriousness soon after the War was over. These first pioneers were composed largely of soldiers and their families.

A large portion of the county was formerly the congress lands; Between the Miamis, and part was in the Virginia Military District.

Early settlers lived in "three-faced camps", or three walls, leaving one side open. Flax or hemp would be grown to make clothes, as wolves made it difficult to raise sheep. In summer nearly all went barefoot; or buckskin moccasins were commonly worn. Boys of 12 and 15 never wore anything on their feet, except during the three or four months of the coldest winter. Boots were unknown. For farms, low flat places were avoided for higher ground, on account of wetness and for sanitary reasons. Also a proximity of a spring had much to do where a cabin was located. The first fences were "Virginia rail"; and the main crop would be corn. In the 1830s Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) was a frequent resident.

Newspapers were printed in the County since 1812 (see Newspaper Section) and the first railroad in 1848. Most early church records are missing, but with dedicated searching some old Township, and school records can be found, mostly thanks to a fine and dedicated Champaign County Genealogical Society.

Early settlers, who lived in Champaign County prior to 1811, include:
James Dunlap
Nathan Fitch
George Fithian
William H. Fyffe
William and John Glenn
John Guthridge
Daniel Helmick
John Hurd
Justis Jones
Jacob Johnson
Simon Kenton
William Kenton
John Lafferty
John Logan
Jonathan Long
Zephaniah Luse
Samuel McCord
William McDonald
William McLain
John Miller
Jacob Minturn
Adam Mosgrove
Robert Norse
John Owen
Anthony Patrick
Edward W. Pearce
Jacob Pence
John Pence
Thomas Pearce (who owned the first house in Urbana)
John Reynolds
Felix Rock
John Runyon
Bethuel Sample
William Smith
Matthew Stewart
Parker Sullivan
Bennet Taber
John Taylor
John Thomas
Joseph C. Vance
Henry & Jacob VanMeter
Henry Weaver
... and more
are listed in Beers 1881 History of Champaign County.

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