Excerpts from early Preble County History
PIONEERS OF JACKSON TOWNSHIP
by M.N. SURFACE
The first settlements in this township were made in the year 1806, though I am informed that one man settle on Four-mile creek in 1805. His name was Rice Price, and he afterwards settled on Elkhorn creek. In the Spring and Summer of 1806 there were several settlements made within the limits of this township. Among those who first settle on Four-mile creek were Henry Paddock and William McCormick. Those on Elkhorn, were John Hardin, Wm. Neal, Sidwell, and Price. About the year 1810, settlers began to move into the eastern part of the township, and it was not long until the land was all entered. Among them were Henry Whitesell, Wm. Marsh and John Starr. Soon after came the Mellings, the Stambacks, Jacob Cline, Adam Bowsman, the Bonebrakes, Surfaces and others. In the northern part of the township, two brothers by the name of Byram came at an early day; also Samuel Davisson, John Wolf, John McCord, Abram Brower, the Weists, and others. The oldest person now living in the township is Mr. Murphy, of New Westville, who is in his 95th year. There is also a Mrs. Coulter in the same place, aged about 90; also Catherine Surface, living near New Hope, who is about ninety years of age.
Among those who have been in the township over fifty years, we might mention Jacob Gephardt, John and Eli Stamback, John Melling, Jacob L. Surface, Henry Lanier, J.L. Brower, Andrew Campbell, Alexander Campbell, William Campbell, and some others. Stephen Preble was also an old and respected citizen of this township.
The subject of this sketch was born in Butler county, Ohio, on the first day of August, 1801. Henry Paddock, his father, moved to Preble county, and settled on Four-mile creek, on the 5th day of April, 1806, he being one of the first settlers in Jackson township.
When Mr. Paddock settled on Four-mile creek, the country fir several miles around was almost an unbroken wilderness, and neighbors were very few. When Ebenezer became of age, he worked out by the month. He also went to Indiana and worked two or three years, but he afterward came back and bought his father's farm, where he has lived ever since.
Mr. Paddock was married in 1825 to Louanna Swain, who still lives. They have raised twelve children, nine of whom are still living. Mr. P. has been one of the most successful farmers of the county, having by industry and economy managed to secure quite a fortune. He owned at one time about twelve hundred acres of land, in one body. A considerable portion of this land he has divided among his children, but he still has enough left for several good farms. His father died in 1854, in the 80th year of his age.