COLUMNS FROM SOME RECENT "RANDOLPH TIMES" NEWSLETTERS
Excerpts from the
January 2004 "Randolph Times" newsletter, Volume 6, Issue 1
The President's Message from Paul Dewey
A Happy New Year to all our Members and Friends.
Year 2004 ushers in Randolph Township's 200th anniversary. I thought I would write how our township came to be. I didn't know it would be so difficult! Upon doing a little research, I found what I thought was some misinformation. Let me explain. I have information that says, Randolph Twp. was taken from Elizabeth Twp. in Montgomery County, Ohio. Now Elizabeth Twp. at that time included the area around Tippecanoe, now known as Tipp City. At one time, West Milton in Union Twp. and all of Clay Twp. were part of Randolph Twp. also. That caused me some perplexities. In 1785 Congress passed a land ordinance which became one of the most significant pieces of legislation ever enacted. It created rules for the orderly survey, sale, and settlement of Ohio land, ceded by the states of Virginia and Connecticut, or ceded or purchased from the Indians, which was to be divided into 6 x 6 mile squares called townships. Obviously, Randolph Twp. exceeded that. A trip to the library was in order. There I found that Congress had passed a new ordinance in 1796 that changed the method of numbering individual sections within a township, but this had no bearing on my quest to find out how the 6 x 6 rule was exceeded.
After 1785, all lands had to be surveyed and township boundaries established before lands could be sold. I found that our tract of land was referred to as The Land West of the Miami River. The original tract survey was completed in 1798. The problem lies in the definition of 'township.' There are two distinct definitions of townships but the single word 'township' is used for both without usually differentiating between them.
A Surveyed Township meant that all of the land was surveyed into 6 x 6 mile blocks called townships and their boundaries will be north-south lines intersecting east-west lines at right angles and within the boundaries of the county. The resulting rows of 6 x 6 mile townships are called RANGES. The surveyed townships (differentiated with Roman numerals) were then subdivided into 36 one-square-mile SECTIONS identified with Arabic numerals. Each range, surveyed township and section were to be in a regular and consistent sequence. (Anyone who owns a quit-claim deed for a piece of land will recall the exact location of the surveyed parcel is given in terms of RANGE #, TOWN #, SECTION # in such and such a township, county and state. All land area not incorporated into villages, municipalities or cities would lie within the jurisdiction of the township. Each township was to elect three trustees and one township clerk.
A Civil Township could be formed by petition of at least 80 landowners living within the boundaries of one or more surveyed townships in the same county. Thus, the boundaries of a Civil Township could be larger than 6 x 6 miles and might contain several surveyed townships. In Union County, Ohio, one existing Civil Township is made up of 15 former surveyed townships. In Sept. 1801, 64 people left Randolph County, N. Carolina and made their way to Cincinnati where they purchased land in Elizabeth Twp., Montgomery County (at this time Montgomery Co. extended to the Michigan border). In 1804 these and other settlers petitioned to establish a new Civil Township called Randolph. I am sure I will be further enlightened and corrected on this confusing subject.
THE FAMILY TREE
"The Moist Family" by Sue Cummings
On September 17th, I selected a photo of the John F. Moist homestead to use for the "History Photo of the Month" in our local paper, The Englewood Independent.
I thought that you, our members, might enjoy learning more about this family who resided on Union Rd. in Randolph Township for many generations. First, I want to thank Verna Moist Dohner for sharing her family photos with the society and letting us copy them for our genealogy archives. Part of their family history appears in the "Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County" published in 1897 by A. W. Bowen & Co., Edit. by Frank Conover.
The Moist ancestors immigrated from Switzerland and Henry Moist, John F.'s grandfather settled and died in Juniata County. PA. He had ten children including Jacob, father of John F., who was born in 1820. Jacob came to Montgomery County, Ohio in 1845 and married Annie Hocker in 1821. She was the daughter of John and Catherine (Sterling) Hocker also of Montgomery County.
John and his wife settled on a farm near Harrisburg and lived there one year, when, in 1848 he bought a 62-acre farm on the east side of Union Road, between Wenger and Old Salem Roads. Children born to Jacob and Annie were John F., Almira J., Frances C., and three that died in infancy. Mrs. Moist died in 1879.
John F. was born January 16, 1847 and received an education in the district school (probably Happy Corner). He attended the National Normal Institute at Lebanon, Ohio and trained to become a teacher. He taught five years in Randolph, Clay and Madison Townships. At age 30 he married Sarah E. Ralston on April 17, 1877. After their marriage they settled on the old Moist farm which he purchased in 1887. John F. and Sarah had six children: Ianthe M., Harvey C., Jacob F., Albert R., Arthur G. and Annie M. The house photo, taken in 1902, shows all members of this family except son Jacob. Daughter Ianthe graduated from Randolph Township H.S. in 1895 and also became a teacher. The family were members of the River Brethren Church.
Verna Moist's father was John F.'s youngest son, Arthur Moist, who married Edith Stoner in 1910. They lived in Dayton for a few years but had moved to the homeplace by the time Verna was born. By 1926, Verna and her parents were living in Englewood on the corner of Elm St. and Rt. 48 and the homeplace had been sold to Albert Hoke and then Howard Hoke. The two story brick house and outbuildings were destroyed in the early 1960s to make way for the construction of Interstate 70. The farm was located on Union Rd. where the I-70 overpass is now. The 1902 photo of the Moist homestead including house and barn and many other Moist family photos are on file in the society archives. We'll hear more about their neighbors, the Mann family and Berk family in other columns.