Elk Township, so named because of many
elk having been found there when the county was new,
is in the southern tier of the county, and is
township 91 north, range 4 west, of the fifth
principle meridian. It is bounded on the north by
Volga, on the east by Mallory, on the south by
Delaware County, and on the west by Lodomillo
Township. Elk Township contains a great deal of
timbered land, but much has been cleared off, and a
good portion of the soil is now under cultivation.
The first man to settle in
the township and enter a farm was Lemuel Johnson, who
located on the northeast quarter of section 2. He
afterward removed to Ohio. Among the first settlers
of the township were Dennis Quigley, A. G. Lewis,
John Garber, Joseph Grimes, Thomas and James Cole,
William Beyer, John Rowan, Chris. Sarver, Mark W.
Lovett, and Davis Bagby. My Lovett is still living on
the farm he entered in 1848.
The first blacksmith shop
was built by Isaac Otis and son, in 1852 on section
10. The first store was opened by Isaac Otis and Son
in 1852, on section 10, and the same pioneers built
the first gristmill, in 1855. A saw-mill had been
built on section 10, in 1848 by Joseph Grimes and
James Cole. Isaac Otis, Jr., built a woolen mill in
1860, which does a good business.
Elk Township is inhabited
exclusively by an agricultural community, and
contains no villages. There is but one post-office,
and that one, Wood Centre, is on section 29.
There are three Methodist
Episcopal churches in the township each of which is
doing good work, though with a small membership.
There is also an Adventist church. All of these
churches have regular services.
The first birth in the
township was that of John Lewis, now dead. The first
marriage was that of Jacob Rounds and Phoebe Quigley.
The first death was that of William Beyer.
The first school-house built
in Elk Township was constructed of logs, in 1850, and
was on the southeast quarter of the southeast half of
section 24. It is still standing. The first teacher
was David M. Zearly. This was before the township was
organized. J.B. Bloodsworth was the Treasurer, and he
and John Lockridge were two of the first three
Directors. Philip Fishel was the third Director.
There were then not more than ten scholars in the
whole district. There are now nine schools in the
township, and eight school-houses. One school is
taught in a church. There are 400 children of school
age in the township, and the value of the school
property is $5,925.00. The present Directors are:
District No. 1, John J. Hagaman; No. 2, Fred Craig;
No.3, Wm. Woodall; No. 4, John Taylor; No. 5, C.
Hinkle; No.6, James Flemming; No. 7, George White;
No. 8, A. B. Durphy. The Secretary is F. T.
Pilkington the Treasurer is Elias Hall.
The first Justice of the
Peace after the township was organized were Isaac
Otis, Sr., and William Wooster. Before the township
was organized the first Justice was Joseph Grimes.