Greenfield Township, Huron County, Ohio

Cemeteries are listed below this map along with an early history of Greenfield Township.

The numbers of the cemeteries below, correspond with the circled numbers on the map above.

1.Steuben Cemetery (Section 1)
2. Conger Farm or Maxwell Cemetery (E 1/2 Section 1)
3. Spencer Cemetery (Section 2)


Township 2 in range 23

Early Beginnings.

The first election for township officers was held at the house of Erastus Smith in the spring of 1816. Joseph Cook was elected township clerk; Eli Halladay, Bildad Adams and Nathan Warner, trustees; William McKelvey, constable; and Erastus Smith, justice of the peace. At that time Greenfield was attached to the townships of New Haven, Peru, Norwich and Fairfield, This situation continued until each of the named townships acquired a sufficient number of voters to organize an independent township, at which time the township would be detached from the others. In 1819, the name of the township was changed to Berlin, and that name continued until 1822, when the name of Greenfield was restored , The change to Berlin was made because there was another Greenfield Township in Highland County, Ohio, with a postoffice of the same name. After the name of Greenfield was restored, the postoffice was called Lafayette until 1835, when it was changed to Steuben.

Early Settlers.

The first to arrive in Greenfield for the purpose of settlement was William McKelvey, Jr. who arrived from Tumbull County, Ohio in 1810. He purchased 106 acres of land from Caleb Palmer of New Haven, and in 1811 he cleared 11 1/2 acres and sowed it to wheat. After hearing the news of Hull's surrender in August, 1812, he returned to Trumbull County, where his family still lived, and joined the army as a volunteer for six months. In the spring of 1814 he returned to Greenfield with his brother -in-law Truman Gilbert and his family. The first family to permanently settle in Greenfield was that of Hanson Read who came in 1811 with his wife, and in company with Abram Powers (his wife's father), Jacob Rush (his hired hand), James Wilson (who later became a settler in Greenfield ), Caleb Palmer (who settled in New Haven), and John Laylin (who settled in Eldridge, later Berlin).

Some other early settlers, and the dates of their arrival in Greenfield, were:

Cyrus W. Marsh 1811. Buel Ensign 1811.
Bildad Adams 1815. Seba Mather 1815.
Horace Mather 1815. David Lovell 1815.
Nathan Warner ca 1815. Eli Halliday 1816.
Daniel Halliday 1816. Samuel C. Spencer 1816.
Robert Ford ca 1816. Thomas Irvin ca 1816.
Amos Harkness 1816. Robert Inscho 1816.
William Carkhuff ca 1816. Silas Bauers 1816.
Alden Pierce 1816. Nathaniel Haynes 1816.
Long family 1816. John Pierce 1817.
Levi Savage 1817. Philip Lewis 1817.
John Cook 1817. Joseph Cook 1817.
Lemuel Brooks 1817. Eliphalet B. Simmons 1817.
Luther Ashley ca 1817. Worden Ashley ca 1817.
Epenetus Starr 1817. Edward H. Lowther 1817.
Joseph Crawford 1817. Levi Platt 1818.
Elder John Wheeler 1818. Ozias Joiner 1818.
Harlow E. Simmons 1819. Dan Lindsey 1819.
Lebo Blackman 1822. Jacob Bliss 1822.
John Arthur 1822.

Some First Events.

Hanson Read built the first house in the spring of 1811.

Franklin Read, son of Hanson and Elizabeth Read, was the first white child born in the township on 25 Apr 1812.

The first marriage was that of William Smith to Miss Leona Pierce, daughter of Alden Pierce,in 1817. Erastus Smith, justice of the peace, officiated.

The first death in Greenfield was that of an infant son of Samuel C. and Nancy Spencer, in the spring of 1816. The child was buried on the farm. Ruth, daughter of David Lovell, was the first person buried in the cemetery at Greenfield Center on 17 Feb 1818, at age of nearly 14.

Dr. Moses C. Saunders, of Peru, was one of the earliest physicians to practice in Greenfield. The first resident physician was Dr. Henry Niles who began his practice in the spring of 1831.

The first postoffice was established in 1818 or 1819 and was called Lafayette. The first postmaster was Joseph Cook who kept the office in his home.

The first religious meeting was held in the cabin of Erastus Smith on the first Sunday in the spring of 1815. Rev. Green Parker from nearby Milan officiated.

The first church organization, that of the First Congregational Church of Greenfield, came into being 3 July 1815.

The first school was taught by Miss Annie Mather in a small log school house, south of Hiram Smiths' home, in the summer of 1816. The following winter the school was kept by a Mr. Davis.

In 1818, a library organization, called "The Social Library of Greenfield," was formed at the Center of Greenfield through the efforts of Eli Halladay, Bildad Adams, Samuel Spencer, Erastus Smith, Eliphalet B. Simmons, and others.

Seba Mather opened the first public house in 1816. He also erected the first frame building in 1820.

The first goods were sold in the township by Matthew McKelvey, who kept a small stock in his home.

Joseph White opened the first store at the Center, about 1821 or 1822.

In the winter of 1814-1815, Hanson Read and Abram Powers built the first grist mill on the Huron River, in the first section.

The first saw mill was built in 1819 by Josiah Root on the Huron River.

Three distilleries were in operation in the early years, the first of which was built by William McKelvey in 1819 in the southeast part of the township on the Huron River.

Early Population Indicators

In the 1827 eunumeration by the Huron County assessor of white male inhabitants over age 21 then living in Greenfield, 90 such residents were listed.

A similar enumeration taken by the county clerk in 1819 showed 130 white male residents over the age of 21.

In the poll book of the election held in Greenfield on 13 Oct 1818, 44 electors were listed.

1840 Census-- 1,460
1880 Census-- 900

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