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Copied from Harbaugh's 1909 History
of Miami County Ohio

CONCORD  TOWNSHIP

The organization of Concord Township is contemporaneous with the formation of the county. It is located centrally, being bounded on the north by Washington, on the east by the Miami, on the South by Monroe and on the west by Newton. Its name means "peace," though at various times since its promotion and during political years it has swung away from that appellation. It does not contain much Indian history, as no Indian villages seem to have been built within its borders. Among the first whites to settle in Concord Township were: Aaron Tullis, William Barbee, Reuben Shackelford and Alexander Telford. These came about 1804. In 1806 came John Peck from Kentucky with four sons, Jacob, John, Joseph and Isaac and four daughters. This family located on the Boone place south of Troy. Peck arrived in the winter season and paid $100 for 160 acres of excellent land, only one acre of which was cleared. His little cabin of simple construction contained but one room, 16x18, and this housed the entire family. Peck drove all his cattle through the wilderness from Kentucky, guarding them by day and by night from Indians and wild beasts. It was a long and perilous journey, but the pioneer was undaunted and was at last rewarded for his trouble by finding a home near the waters of the Miami. In the second year of his residence in Concord Township all his stock died save one mare, three cows and 4 few sheep, and with this remnant he was compelled to begin life anew. It was a gigantic task which confronted John Peck and his family, but all went to work with a will and before long found themselves well situated with all the losses recovered and good prospects ahead. In 1805 Abraham Thomas joined the little colony in Concord Township. Thomas had had some experience in war, as he had been a soldier in the Revolution, and an enlisted man in both of Clark's expeditions against the Indians in the Miami Country. Like Mr. Peck, he made the journey from Kentucky with his family, consisting of his wife and four children. The emigrants reached the Staunton settlement, where they remained for a few hours, then forded the Miami at the "broad ford" as it is yet called. From the river bank Thomas and his sons were obliged to cut a road through the forest to their farm not far south of Troy. On this piece of land these pioneers first cut the brush out and built what was called a camp. This was not the comfortable cabin a few of which may still be found standing at the present day. It was a structure still more modest in its pretensions. Instead of logs, the sides were hastily built up with poles, the cracks between them were stuffed with moss and the roof and floor were made of bark. The front side of the structure was left entirely open and a huge fire built in front of it. Here there were no troubles with rats in the cellar, cats in the garret, smoky chimneys, slamming doors or lack of ventilation. The good housewife cooked her bear meat, venison and wild turkey at her primitive range and spread a board which epicures might envy. The family lived in such a camp for a few weeks until a more substantial log cabin could be completed. The cracks of this were chinked with mud and daubed with mud and a door and chimney were not forgotten. One little aristocratic feature of the new structure will readily be forgotten nowadays. Four panes of real glass were used in the windows instead of greased paper. When the cabin, one of the first erected in Concord Township was finished, Pioneer Thomas and his sturdy sons went into the woods, which soon resounded with the sound of their axes. The first task was the planting of an orchard, trees for which they had thoughtfully brought from Kentucky. In time these trees bore luscious pipins, and but few years have elapsed since the last of these pioneer orchards disappeared.

Across the river from the Staunton settlement lay what was known as the Gahagan Prairie. Mr. Thomas rented ten acres of this rich bottom land, which he planted with the necessaries of life, while he and his sons cleared the homestead. On this farm Mr. Thomas passed the remaining years of his life, dying in 1843, and was buried by the famous LaFayette Blues, a Troy military organization commanded by Lieutenant Pettit. Abram Thomas is a fair sample of the early pioneers of the county. It is said of him that his character was unimpeachable, that he possessed a daring spirit, and being of a robust and hardy constitution, he was often detailed for the most important and hazardous service in time of war. He took part in the Revolutionary War and in many a hard fought Indian skirmish before and since that period.

Among the other early settlers of Concord Township were Foust, McGimpsey and Steward. These settled near the Peck place, and in 1807 the small colony was increased by the addition of David Jenkins, of South Carolina, and James Knight of Pennsylvania. The Concord colony was increasing. Gahagan's Prairie was giving forth crops that cheered the heart of the pioneer and made him satisfied with his change. In fact this tract, having once been "farmed" by the Indians, was easily induced to yield to the industry of the settler. Such was the fertility of this ground that the first year with its primitive utensils Mr. Peck got forty-one bushels of corn to the acre. Through the woods of Concord, over the winding trails, the settlers went to mill on horseback. No wagons were theirs. Up to about 1814 only two wagons were to be found in this whole region and they were not accessible for use. While the Pecks and Thomases were the first pioneers to break ground in Concord Township, there were others who were contemporaneous with them. There were James Orr, James Youart, A. McCullough, James Marshall, John Johnson, Henry Orbison and Joseph McCorkle. The majority of these men came from Kentucky, which section sent into Miami County some of its foremost citizens. When one looks back over the history of Concord Township, much of which belongs to the history of Troy which is to be related hereafter, he must give unbounded credit to the men who overcame the difficulties of the wilderness and brought order out of chaos. Let us consider for a moment a few items plucked at random from the early chapters of this township. Soon after the first settling of the township came the war of 1812 with its attendant Indian horrors. The panic which grew out of the threatened danger spread along the Miami and for a season paralyzed the pioneer settlements of Concord. They were believed to be in the shadow of the tomahawk, but fortunately the danger passed and peace once more hovered over the Miami frontier, guarding it as a mother guards her young; the tide of immigration, halted by the war, revived and returned to its former sweep.

The progressive agriculture of the present day as seen in Concord Township was in its infancy a century ago. There was scarcer any market, not even for the small amount of grain raised by the settlers. Teams were almost unknown, fences had not come into vogue, and mills were few and far between. It did not require much corn to fatten hogs, as the woods furnished them with sustenance. Owing to a scarcity of fences all cattle were belled and hogs marked. The only market was across the river at Staunton and the produce, which consisted mainly of butter and eggs, was taken thither. Groceries were confined to those of the most simple description and the pioneers of Concord Township were often put to their ingenuity to supply their wants. Sugar was made from sap of the maple tree, sage and sassafras took the place of "Oolong," and browned rye was a substitute for coffee. Doctors had not invaded the neighborhood and home-made medicines, tansy and penny royal, were the "cure alls " of that day.

The harvests were cut in the simplest manner with the sickle. Corn huskings which were great and jolly affairs, came vogue in Concord as they did in other parts of the country. They put the corn in piles, with a rail in the center. Then two members of the party were selected to "choose up" and the huskers were chosen. At a givin signal all hands went to work and amid much merriment the work was completed. This was but one of the recreations of the first settlers of Concord Township. Everything was cheap then but the clothing which the pioneers were forced to buy.

Fine shirts were not known, because muslin was too high -75 cents per yard. The housewife spun for the family and linsey-woolsey dresses were the first seen in Troy. The Concord pioneers cut cordwood and got it into Troy, where it brought thirty-seven and one half cents per cord which he could exchange for half a yard of muslin. Corn brought eight cents a bushel, wheat seldom more than twenty-five and oats six and one-fourth cents. The farmer of today would smile at these prices but they were considered "pertty fair" by the men who broke ground here one hundred years ago.

The history of Troy will form a chapter by itself, hence nothing more concerning Concord Township need be written here. It is today one of the foremost of the twelve divisions of the county. It is richly supplied with turnpikes which enter Troy from every part of the county and steam and electric roads add to its wealth. Troy is the only incorporated town within the limits of Concord Township. Eldean is a hamlet on the Trop-Piqua turnpike and the D. & T. electric car line, about two miles north of Troy.

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