Parent Township(s): Washington Township was formed from the land area of York Township that was north of the Greenville Treaty Line. This township was the twelfth township to be formed in Union County.
First Settled: approximately 1830
First Settler: Edward (Ned) Southworth
Surveyed: The earliest surveys date from 1820.
Past and Present Towns and Places of Habitation:
Past and Present US Post Offices:
One-Room Schools: Arbela, Wilderness, Bethany, Sherwood, Foots, Byhalia, Howard, Grace Temple or Grace Chapel, Haines, Miller, Centennial, Titsworth, and Bird
Arbela - Arbela was platted July 25, 1838 by Marquis L. Osborne. The town was to consist of over 40 lots. However, this town never really grew. There was once a grocery, a gunsmith, and a school in the area, but there was never much building done on the town site. A post office operated in this village from October 24, 1887 to May 31, 1907. The village site was north of Rush Creek. The present-day location of this village could be described as the intersection of McAdams Road and Cunningham-Arbela Road.
Arbelia - This is another reference to Arbela.
Byhalia - Byhalia was never surveyed in an official capacity. It was a village that grew as houses were built on small lots sectioned off from larger farms. At one time the town supported a school, 4 black smith shops, two hotels, and a drug store. Byhalia also once had its own telephone exchange. The hotels burnt to the ground in 1935.
The Byhalia school district was created when the township consolidated the Bird, Sherwood, Howard, Miller, Fout, Wilderness, Grace Chapel, Byhalia, Haines, Bethany and Centennial one room school districts. The original school for this newly formed Byhalia district was a two story frame building and was erected in 1879. In 1915 a brick school was erected in the village. An gymnasium addition was built in 1939. The Byhalia School District consolidated with the York Center School in 1952 forming the Byhalia-York School District. The school district was eventually consolidated into the North Union School District based in Richwood in Claibourne Township. The North Union School district sold the school building to Washington Township for $1 in the late 1970s.
Hainesville - This is a spelling variation of the town laid out by Jonathan Haynes(Haines) on September 4, 1838.
Haynesville - This village only existed on paper. It was platted by Jonathan Haynes approximately 1 mile from Arbela, south of Rush Creek. It was to be about 1/2 the size of Arbela, containing only 21 lots.
Penneyville - This was another spelling of Pinneyville.
Pinneyville - Pinneyville was never much more than a post office location at a grocery store on the Jehu Gray farm. This town was located about a mile north of present-day Byhalia.
Pinneyville - This post office site was in a grocery store located on the Jehu Gray farm.
Byhalia - The Byhalia post office was operated from February 16, 1852 until February 14, 1906. Reese Miller served as the first postmaster.
Arbela - This post office was established in October of 1887. It was closed on May 31, 1907.