Restored Cover 2

Featuring 2 towns with 4 pictures from Butler County, “Restored Ohio” was released on April 29, 2019. It’s the sequel of “Abandoned Ohio” (2018) & shows a different side of what physically remains of Ohio’s past. Many of the locations operate as businesses such as restaurants, hotels (former stagecoach stops), museums, & working mills.

Ordering Links

Arcadia Publishing – https://www.arcadiapublishing.com/Products/9781634991216
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Glenn-Morris/e/B07G8N3HP2/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/restored-ohio-glenn-morris/1129901378?ean=9781634991216
Walmart – https://www.walmart.com/ip/Restored-Ohio/185272799
Target –https://www.target.com/p/restored-ohio-history-brought-back-to-life-by-glenn-morris-paperback/-/A-76379703

Athlone – Fairfield Township
Location: 39.357834 -84.519389   
at the railroad crossing where N Gilmore Rd meets Bobmeyer Rd along the Miami & Erie Canal
Remnants: none known
Description: Athlone was a flag stop (trains would stop if signaled) on the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago, & St. Louis Railroad. It can be spotted on the county outline map page in the 1914 Butler County Atlas between Ixworth & Flockton.

Belt Junction – City Of Hamilton (formerly in St. Clair Township)
Location: 39.407012 -84.580768   
on Millvale Ave around the railroad crossing at the intersection of S Edgewood Ave
Remnants: old buildings in the area
Description: The Belt Line Railroad built by the Hamilton Belt Railway Company was completed in 1896 & served the Champion Paper Mill. It met the Cincinnati, Hamilton, & Dayton Railroad at the intersection.

Boggerville – Reily Township
Location: 39.456795 -84.712627 
on N Pierson Rd between Woods Station Rd & Garver Elliot Rd
Remnants: none known
Description: Boggerville was on the north side of the railroad tracks at Woods Station which it predated as a town & kept its own name through the late 1800s. State Geologist & first President Of Ohio State University, Edward Orton, noted Boggerville’s existence on a map in the 1878 Report of the Geological Survey of Ohio, Volume 3.

Brownstown (Ball’s Ferry) – Madison Township
Location: 39.477505 -84.440418 
on Radabaugh Rd next to the Great Miami River between SR 73 & Sycamore Rd
Remnants: Elk Creek Baptist Church Pioneer Cemetery at the intersection of SR 73 (W State St) & Hamilton Trenton Rd
Description: The original settlement at this location was called Brownstown in the very early 1800s but it didn’t last long & the founders either died or moved. Shortly after that it changed to Ball’s Ferry, named after Revolutionary War veteran Davis Ball (1758 – 1819) & Mary (Hatfield) Ball (1763 – 1835) who came to Ohio from New Jersey. They had a farm, a few children, & Davis operated a ferry. He tragically died with a group who insisted on a crossing in dangerously high waters & the ferry overturned. Davis & Mary’s son Aaron (1791 – 1863) operated the ferry until 1861. They were buried with relatives in Elk Creek Baptist Church Pioneer Cemetery.

Busenbark Station – St. Clair Township
Location: 39.465994 -84.485713 
on Busenbark Rd at the intersection of Hamilton Trenton Rd
Remnants: Ohio Historical Marker at the intersection
Description: It was founded by Robert Busenbark (1793 – 1872) & Margaret (Stout) Busenbark (1788 – 1879) who moved to Ohio from New Jersey. They had a large farm & a couple of children. They donated land for a school in 1833 & along with one of their sons David (1819 – 1908), donated more land for a train station on the Cincinnati, Hamilton, & Dayton Railroad in the 1850s. A local farm was the site of a bare-knuckle boxing Heavyweight Championship Of America match between Mike McCoole & Aaron  Jones in 1867. Thousands of fans rode in on trains to catch the outdoor match. Busenbark also had a grain elevator & warehouse & a water pump station which supplied electricity for the railroad when it was converted from steam trains. Robert  & Margaret were buried with relatives in Elk Creek Baptist Church Pioneer Cemetery at the intersection of SR 73 (W State St) & Hamilton Trenton Rd.

Christiana – Madison Township
Post Office: 1829 – 1837
Location: unknown, was approximately 14 miles northeast of Hamilton
Description: It was listed in the Ohio Gazetteer And Traveler’s Guide from 1837 – 1841 & 1854 A Gazetteer of the United States of America.

Clawson – Liberty Township
Post Office – 1881 – 1900
Location: 39.407793 -84.451705 
on SR 747 between Millikin Rd & Kyles Station Rd
Remnants: Spring Hill (Clawson) Cemetery on the west side of SR 747 about 1/10 of a mile south of Millikin Rd
Description: The town was founded by James Clawson (1796 – 1895) & Rebecca (Vail) Clawson (1798 – 1870). They were both born in Pennsylvania & moved to Butler County with their families at early ages where they met & married. The Clawsons had 8 children & steadily accumulated a successful farm of over 600 acres. The town also had a couple of churches & a school. James & Rebecca were buried with relatives in Spring Hill (Clawson) Cemetery.

Hanover (Hanover Station) – Hanover Township
Location: 39.428388 -84.646338   
on Mormon Rd at the railroad crossing between SR 130 (Old Oxford Rd) & Stahlheber Rd
Remnants: none known
Description: The train station was in the southwest corner of the crossing on the former Cincinnati, Hamilton, & Indianapolis Railroad.

Ixworth – City Of Hamilton (formerly in Fairfield Township)
Location: 39.366723 -84.544112 
on Bobmeyer Rd at the railroad crossing between SR 4 & Tuley Rd
Remnants: old houses & buildings in the area
Description: It had a train station of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago, & St. Louis Railroad. Unfortunately 9 members of one family were killed by a northbound train when crossing the tracks in an automobile on July 26, 1936.

Jones (Jones Station) (Stockton) – Fairfield Township
Post Office: 1856 – 1883
Location: 39.321944 -84.494288   
on Seward Rd at the railroad crossing near the intersection of Stockton Rd
Remnants: Stockton (Walker Family) Cemetery at the intersection of Seward Rd & Stockton Station Dr south of SR 4
Description: The town was founded by John D. Jones, a dry goods merchant from Cincinnati, who donated land for a train station on the Cincinnati, Hamilton, & Dayton Railroad. Thomas Kirk was the first station agent & built a general store. The town also had a school, saloon, & Methodist Episcopal church. The post office was last named Stockton & the area still goes by that name for census purposes.

McDonald (Donald) (Donald Switch) (Donald Station) – Oxford Township
Location: 39.530121 -84.777994 
on Ringwood Rd at the railroad crossing between US 27 (College Corner Pike) & Taylor Rd
Remnants: old houses in the area
Description: McDonald had a train station on the Cincinnati, Hamilton, & Dayton Railroad & a massive 60 car length passing siding for loading cargo.

Millikin – Liberty & Union Township
Location: 39.373668 -84.454943 
on SR 747 (Princeton Glendale Rd) at the intersection of Hamilton Mason Rd
Remnants: none known
Description: The town was founded by a branch of the Millikin family in the county.

Ogleton – Reily Township
Post Office: 1863 – 1864
Location: 39.471164 -84.738008   
on Stillwell Beckett Rd at the railroad crossing between Harley Rd & Stephenson Rd
Remnants: none known
Description: The proprietors were Alexander Ogle (1808 – 1887) & Lucinda (Able) Ogle (1810 – 1865). It had a train station on the Cincinnati, Hamilton, & Dayton Railroad.

Old River Junction – City Of Hamilton (formerly in Fairfield Township)
Location: 39.407912 -84.554230 
off N 3rd St on the railroad tracks between Vine St & the Great Miami River Remnants: none known
Description: Old River Junction was the name of the previous, & much shorter, span of shared track bed than there is now of the two main railroads running through Hamilton.

Sheleys (Sheleys Station) – Fairfield Township
Location: 39.428039 -84.513034   
on Canal Rd at the intersection of Headgates Rd along the Miami & Erie Canal
Remnants: none known
Description: The town was founded by Daniel Sheley (1835 – 1927) & Gertrude (Miller) Sheley (1840 – 1916). They owned a nice farm, had several children, & Daniel held every township office at one time or another. He was also a Freemason & county commissioner from 1892 – 1898. Sheleys main industry was ice production for Hamilton & Cincinnati. Daniel & Gertrude were buried in Greenlawn Cemetery on Greenwood Ave in Hamilton.

Stillwell (Stillwell’s Corners) – Hanover Township
Post Office: 1831 – 1859
Location: 39.453050 -84.688592   
on Stillwell Beckett Rd at the intersection of US 27 (Millville Oxford Rd)
Remnants: Ohio Historical Marker at Hancock Family (Stillwell) Cemetery on the grounds of Indian Ridge Golf Club north of the intersection
Description: Its business busy proprietors were Jacob D. & Elizabeth Stillwell. They owned a distillery built in 1830, a steam powered grist & saw mills built in 1835 – 1836, a tavern, general store, & Jacob was the postmaster. Their daughter Lida married congressman Samuel Fenton Cary. The cemetery was established in 1811 & many township pioneers were buried there in currently unmarked graves.

Woods (Woods Station) – Reily Township
Post Office: 1882 – 1908
Location: 39.457702 -84.717375 
on S Law Rd at the railroad crossing between Garver Elliot Rd & Stillwell Beckett Rd
Remnants: none known
Description: The town & train station on the Cincinnati, Hamilton, & Dayton Railroad was named after the railroad president John Woods (1794 – 1855). The station had a nice livestock pen for animals waiting for loading.

Busenbark, OH – (1850’s – mid 1900’s farming town annexed into Trenton, OH)

Classification: small town

Location: St. Clair Township, Butler County – On Busenbark Rd at the intersection of Hamilton Trenton Rd

Busenbark was founded by Robert Busenbark (1793 – 1872) & Margaret (Stout) Busenbark (1788 – 1879). In 1833 they donated land for a local school (Butler Co. District #6) & in the 1850s Robert & his son David donated more land for a train station on the Cincinnati, Hamilton, & Dayton Railroad. Busenbark Rd was established in 1858. The town also had a grain elevator, warehouse, & a water pump station that supplied electricity to the railroad & surrounding community when it was converted over from steam trains.

A boxing match between Mike McCoole & Aaron Jones in 1867 was the biggest event that Busenbark ever had. About 3,000 people arrived on trains to attend the outdoor fight. The town is highlighted by Ohio Historical Marker #8 – 9 on Hamilton Trenton Rd close to Busenbark Rd. It shares the marker with Dr. Charles F. Richter (1900 – 1985) who was born in the area & invented the earthquake Richter Scale. The Busenbark family was buried in Elk Creek Baptist Church Pioneer Cemetery about 2 1/2 miles east of Busenbark on S Main St in Trenton. The cemetery was established in 1802 & Ohio Historical Marker #18 – 9 tells more of its story.

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College Corner – Howe Tavern & Inn

College Corner, OH – (1837 – present farming & stagecoach stop town)

Classification: small town

Location: Oxford Township, Butler County & Israel Township, Preble County – On US Route 27 at the intersection of Jones Rd

Gideon Sears Howe (1799-1875) and Sarah (McClay) Howe (1808-1883) purchased a section of land on US Route 27 from Miami University in Oxford in 1832 and built a stagecoach stop with a tavern and inn. They platted College Corner in 1837 and sold the tavern in 1840. Successive owners continued similar operations into the 1970s. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. It’s currently listed on airbnb.com for overnight stays. College Corner was never a large town, but the strategic location on the border with Indiana has always kept it intact. The current population is around 400 residents.

Hueston Woods Covered bridge on Camden College Corner Road was constructed in 2012. It’s 108 feet long and spans Four Mile Creek. This late 1800s wooden replica replaced an aging iron bridge that was built in 1929. The wide road lanes and tall roof clearance accommodate most automobile traffic while pedestrian sidewalks on each side grant access to cross the creek or hang out for a moment to enjoy the view. There’s also a nice picnic area on the east side of the bridge and Hueston Woods State Park offers many activities such as camping, hiking, golfing, and mountain biking.

 

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Darrtown – The Hitching Post

Darrtown, Ohio (1814 – present farming & stagecoach stop town)

Classification: small town

Location: Milford Township, Butler County – On SR 177 at the intersection of Oxford St

The Hitching Post on SR 177 is another former stagecoach stop that still engages in its traditional business of distributing liquid refreshments. Abraham Darr (1784-1852) was the first settler in the area and built a general store. His brother Conrad Darr (1767-1832) and Catherine (Trig) Darr (1775-1840) from Pennsylvania arrived in Butler County in 1802. They had 12 children over 23 years and founded Darrtown in 1814. Abraham opened the tavern and inn in 1817, a post office at his store in 1825, and constructed a distillery in 1832. The town also had a school, 2 churches, a saw mill, grist mill, wagon shop, and several other small businesses.

St. Matthew Lutheran Church was dedicated in 1845. It has undergone some restoration and is a beautiful building north of The Hitching Post on State Route 177. Darrtown suffered from a lack of speedy transportation to attract large businesses after the stagecoach era ended and never had a canal or railroad. The advent of the automobile and local road improvements in the 1900s made stopping in town unnecessary for travelers. Its current population is approximately 500 residents. Abraham, Conrad, and Catherine Darr were buried with family members in Darrtown Pioneer Cemetery, established in 1806 west of town on Shollenbarger Road.

Rialto, OH – (1880s – present paper mill & canal town annexed into Westchester)

Classification: small town

Location: West Chester Township, Butler County – On Port Union Rialto Rd. near the intersection of Rt. 747

Rialto sits along the Miami & Erie Canal & was the site of three paper mills. A dozen or so houses were built for their workers & the town had a post office from 1890 – 1900. Rialto was mostly abandoned when the canal closed & the mills went out of business in the early 1900s, but the community modernized since then & has new development.

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Butler County Ohio Ghost Towns Research Resources

1855 – Butler County Map

1875 – Butler County Atlas

1885 – Butler County Atlas

1914 – Butler County Atlas

1882 – A History And Biographical Cylopaedia Of Butler County Ohio

1905 – Centennial History Of Butler County Ohio