Union County Chapter
of the Ohio Genealogical Society
The land area encompassed by present day Jerome Township was once a part of Delaware County. Jerome(Gerome) Township was the fourth township formed in Union County.
First Settled: 1798
First Settler: Jonathan Alder is credited with being the first settler in Jerome Township, though he was not a willing settler. He was a captive of the local Indians. He arrived in the area prior to 1795. In 1805 he was reunited with his mother in Virginia, and he settled in Madison County upon his return to Ohio. James and Joshua Ewing were the first permanent settlers in the area in 1798.
Recorded: March 12, 1821
Past and Present Towns and Places of Habitation:
Past and Present US Post Offices:
One-Room Schools: Jones, McDowell, Ketch, Lamb, Dodge, Mitchell, Mooney, Davis Chapel, Hill, Jerome, and Kile.
Arnold - Arnold was originally a station for the Toledo and Ohio Central Railroad. The station was called New California. A town was platted around the station in 1893 on land owned by Mrs. George Arnold. When a US post office was established here, the name of the village became Arnold, in honor of Mrs. George Arnold, because there was already a New California up the road. Mr. James Arnold built the first grocery store in the village, and he was also named the first post master of the village. The children in this village attended school at New California. The post office was discontinued on March 1, 1910, and the mail delivery was transferred to Plain City.
Beach Town - Beach Town is an early reference to the village of Jerome.
Beechtown - This was another name for Jerome.
Bigelow Corners - This is an early reference to the Plain City area.
Converse Settlement - This settlement dates to approximately 1802. It was located near present day Plain City on the banks of the Big Darby Creek.
Dublin - Dublin was originally a town that lay wholly in Washington Township, Franklin County. However in the latter half of the 20th century it grew to encompass land area in both Union and Delaware counties. More on its history can be found on the City of Dublin web site.
Frankfort - Frankfort is the name that the village of Jerome was originally recorded as in county records.
Hyattville - The precise location of this village is unknown. It was either located in present day Jerome or Millcreek Township.
Jerome - Jerome was platted in April 1, 1846 (or 1848 varying by account) by William B. Irwin, Union County, Surveyor. The town was surveyed for Henry Beach and was sometimes referred to as Beachtown. Jerome has also been known as Pleasant Hill and Frankfort in its over 150 year history. The Jerome Methodist Church was established in the village in 1835. The congregation built a log church in 1842, which served as the congregation's house of worship until the completion of a frame church in 1860. The Jerome Presbyterian Church was organized in 1853. The congregation became Congregationalist in 1862. In 1877 it became a Presbyterian congregation, and in 1898 the congregation united with the Jerome Methodist congregation. The US post office in the village was always referred to as Jerome. The town at one time had two hotels, two general stores, two blacksmith shops, a wagon repair shop, a harness shop, a shoe shop, two doctors, and a school. Today the Jerome United Methodist Church still exists and is thriving.
In 1852 a frame schoolhouse was built in the village. The Jerome Special Rural School District was once located in this village. The school building for this district, the Ryan Memorial School - Jerome High School, was erected in 1912. This school was initially an all inclusive 12 grade school. However, it can be noted in later years that high school students were transported to the Jerome Township High School at New California. The old Ryan Memorial School was demolished in 1980 to make way for a park in the village. Consequently, it is believed that the Hensel Cemetery was also destroyed. This cemetery was recorded by the WPA in the 1940s as containing the remains of Henry Hensel, a Civil War Veteran. The cemetery was believed to have been in the area of the left outfield area of the baseball field in the park.
Lamb Corners - This area is more commonly listed in present day Franklin County. However, it is occassionally listed as a Union County settlement.
Mingo Indian Village - This village was located near the site of the failed village of North Liberty on the banks of the Big Darby Creek.
New California - This village was platted on August 27, 1853 by William B. Irwin for Samuel B. Woodburn. Mr. Woodburn also operated the first store in the village. Not long after this, a tavern was operated here by Samuel Ressler. The first house was built by Reuben Cook. The New California United Presbyterian Church was originally organized as the Sugar Run Presbyterian Church in 1835. At one point in its history New California supported a blacksmith shop, a store, a shoe shop, one church, a small ashery, and school building. New California is also the site of the first rural traffic light in Ohio. The traffic light was placed at the intersection of US 33 and US 42 on Novermber 3, 1930. This is the present day intersection of US 42 and Industrial Parkway in Union County. The crown jewel of this tiny village is its Civil War Monument. This monument was dedicated on May 30, 1913. As recent as the 1990s there was a restaurant, a pizza shop, a small motel, a used car dealership, a convenience store/gas station, a church, and a cemetery in the village. However, today the pizza shop is gone and the restaurant stands vacant. The New California United Presbyterian Church is still a part of the community. The adjacent cemetery is now maintained by the township.. A housing boom is also underway in the area in the New California Hills and California Woods developments.
A frame school house was built in the village in 1852. This school was known as the New California Select School or the Little Brown Schoolhouse. In 1909 a larger school was built in the village that housed 12 grades. This school received its charter in 1913. By 1913 plans were made to build a high school. This is the high school that the Jerome Special students would later attend as well. The school district was eventually absorbed by the Jonathan Alder School District.
Plain City - According to information from the US Postal Service, prior to the platting of a town in the area, there was a post office established near the town site on January 11, 1811. It is assumed that this is the post office referred to as Darby Creek in local histories. The first postmaster was James Ewing. This post office is also credited with being the first post office in present day Union County, and it was located on the old Post Road (present day SR 161). Plain City was originally platted as the village of Westminster in 1818 by David Chapman for Dr. Isaac Bigelow on early day Post Road (now SR 161). Upon its founding, the town lay wholly in Madison County. The village was resurveyed in 1823, and the name was changed from Westminster to Pleasant Valley. Dr. Isaac Bigelow was the first mayor of Pleasant Valley upon its incorporation on February 15, 1842. In 1851 the railroad was built through the village. By 1859 the village had "grown" into Union County. Dr. Isaac Bigelow kept the first store in this village. In 1865 the town paid its final respects to President Abraham Lincoln as his funeral train passed through the town. The Plain City Press printed its first paper on March 11, 1873. The first church built in the village belonged to the Methodist Episcopal congregation. By 1876 the Plain City Methodist Episcopal Church had located into a part of the village in Union County on present day US 42. The name of the town was again changed in 1877 to Plain City. The town clock was donated to the village by "Uncle Sammy" Samuel Taylor. This center piece to the town was dedicated on November 15, 1902 with a celebration that included an ox roast, speeches by dignitaries (including most notably Dr. W. O. Thompson, President of the Ohio State University), and fireworks.
On June 16, 1912 a tornado tore through Plain City. This tornado blew the roof off the opera house. Another tornado ripped through the village in 1966 toppling many oak trees. In 1913 a devastating flood hit Plain City. A flood also struck the town in 1959. Another flood would hit the village in 1997, closing both of the US 42 bridges over the Big Darby Creek when the creek was cresting. On March 12, 1947 the first plane landed at the Plain City Airport. This airport remained in operation until 1985. Today the railroad no longer goes through the town. However, due to its prime location on the junction of US 42 and SR 161, the town is still growing at a fast rate.
Pleasant Hill - This is one of the names that the village of Jerome has been known as in its history.
Salem - This settlement existed at the intesection of present-day SR 736 and US 42.
Arnold - The post office was in operation for only a few years. It was established on June 21, 1894 Mr. James Arnold was the first post master of this village, maintaining the office in his store. The store was closed on October 15, 1895, and the post office ceased to operate until the fall of 1896. Mrs. Carrie Fleck served as the post master during this time. The office was disbanded on Febraury 28, 1910 with the advent of free rural postal delivery, and the postal service for this community was assumed by Plain City.
Darby Creek - This post office was established on January 11, 1811 with James Ewing serving as the first postmaster. This post office would later be known as the Plain City post office.
Jerome - The Jerome post office opened on April 17, 1848. It closed on December 15, 1905.
New California - The New California post office operated for two seperate stretches. The first time this post office was opened, it remained in operation from January 7, 1850 until July 19, 1858. This post office reopened on September 9, 1858 until May 14, 1904.
Plain City - This post office was the first established in Union County. It was originally known as the Darby Creek post office. It is currently located just over the county line in Madison county. The current zipcode for this post office is 43064.