Some Historical Notes About the County
On February 15, 1808, the Ohio government authorized the creation of Preble County. Residents named the county in honor of Edward Preble, a hero of the American Revolution
Transcribed from: Historical Collections of Ohio: An Encyclopedia of the State (Excerpts)
Population of Preble in 1880 was 24,533; of whom 19,293 were born in Ohio; 1,042, Indiana; 768, Virginia; 722, Pennsylvania; 322, Kentucky; 87, New York; 478, German Empire; 425, Ireland; 51, British America; 44, England and Wales; 10, France, and 6, Scotland.
Eaton in 1846.—Eaton, the county seat, is twenty-four miles west of Dayton, ninety-four west of Columbus, and nine east of the State line. It was laid out in 1806 by William Bruce, then proprietor of the soil. It was named from Gen. William Eaton, who was born in Woodstock, Ct, in 1764, served in the war of the revolution, was graduated at Dartmouth in 1790, was appointed a captain under Wayne, in 1792, also consul at Tunis in 1798; in April, 1804, he was appointed navy agent of the United States with the Barbary powers, to co-operate with Hamet, bashaw, in the war against Tripoli, in which he evinced great energy of character: he died in 1811. He was brave, patriotic and generous.
Among the earlier settlers of the town were: Samuel Hawkins, Cornelius Vanausdal, David E. Hendricks, Alexander Mitchell, Alexander C. Lanier and Paul Larsh. Cornelius Vanausdal kept the first store and David E. Hendricks the first tavern.
The first male person born in this county was Col. George D. Hendricks. This was on the site of Camden, October 3, 1805. He had a varied experience; was a soldier under Sam Houston, in the war between Texas and Mexico, and then returned and settled at Eaton, where he became a most useful citizen; served in the Legislature; was County Auditor, County Sheriff and Village Postmaster. This child of the wilderness remembered many interesting things.
Eaton, county-seat of Preble, is fifty-three miles north of Cincinnati, on the C. R. & C. R. R. It is the centre of a great tobacco and grain-growing section. Cigar manufacturing is a large industry.
Old Block House.—On what is known as the Wolf farm, Harrison township, stood one of a series of block houses built and manned by citizen-soldiers in the fall of 1813. Dr. J. W. Miller, of West Baltimore, has given us the following facts concerning it.
This block-house was built by a party of drafted men, belonging to a company of riflemen which formed a part of the Old Battalion under the command of Major Alexander C. Lanier. This company occupied the blockhouse during the winter of 1813-14 to protect the settlements on Miller's Fork.
It was one of a series of block-houses, built and manned by citizen-soldiers, in communication with the settlements and line of forts between Cincinnati and the Lakes. The following is a true copy of a discharge which is in my possession.
I do certify that —— ——, a sergeant of my company of Ohio Riflemen, in the Old Battalion, under the command of Alexander C. Lanier, has served a regular tour of duty, and is hereby honorably discharged.
Given under my hand this 5th day of April, 1814. Simon Phillips, Capt.
The members of this company have been left out of the roster of Ohio's soldiers in the war of 1812, as least so far as Ohio's record is concerned. The Locks, Hapners, McNults and others of Lewisburg, and the Tillmans, Loys, Rices, Abbots, Phillipses, Myerses and others on Miller's Fork, were prominent in the settlements referred to.
The Children's Home has about forty children. This place contains about twenty-five acres. The Home building was originally a hotel, a health resort called St Clair's Springs. Here are several flowing mineral springs, said to be good for many diseases. It is on the line of St Clair's Military Trace, and near the site of old Fort St Clair. There are six springs at the Home, and more can be made anywhere there by driving gas pipes down a few feet.
"At Eaton are mineral springs and flowing wells," writes Dr. F. M. Michael. "Artesian Wells are obtained in the north part of the town by boring thirty or thirty-five feet in the earth. The waters arc strongly impregnated with iron, bicarbonate of sodium, potassium, with traces of lithium; very little lime salts enter into the composition; in fact, the water is much softer than the surface wells.