Clark County, Ohio

History and Genealogy

County and Township Organization

From 20th Century History of Springfield and Clark County, Ohio by Hon. William A. Rockel
Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co., 1908

In the older states there were two kinds of local organization, one which prevailed in New England, which was known as the town system, and the other prevailing in Virginia, known as the county system, which have been very well described by Hinsdale.

"The mingling of elements from all parts of the Atlantic slope in the new population, and particularly the appointment of New England and Middle State men in about equal numbers to Territorial offices, decided the character of the local institutions now found in Ohio. Two radically different types of local government are found in the old States—the town system and the county system. As the names indicate, the first assigns the major part of political power to town or township officers, the second to county officers. These systems are traceable to England. The founders of New England came from towns and cities, and they naturally set up municipal institutions; the founders of Virginia came from the English counties, and as naturally set up county institutions. That the one would be more congenial to a civic democracy, the other to a landed gentry, goes without the saying. As is well known, Mr. Jefferson strove to introduce the New England system into Virginia, and made it the subject of frequent eulogy. 'These wards, called townships in New England,' he said, in 1816, 'are the vital principle of their governments, and have proved themselves the wisest invention ever devised by the wit of man for the perfect exercise of self-government and for its preservation.' Again, in 1810, he speaks of 'the large, lubberly divisions into counties,' of the Middle, Southern and Western States, 'which can never be assembled.' Local government in the Middle States is a compromise of the town and county systems; the county is more than in New England, and the town more than in the South. Governor St. Clair was from Pennsylvania, Judge Symmes from New Jersey, General Putnam from Massachusetts; and the three established in the Territory local institutions that are a sort of cross on the compromise and town systems.


Ohio Genealogy



Battle of Piqua



City Charter

County Politics and Roster of Officers

Early Clark County

George Rogers Clark

Clark-Shawnee Centennial

Education in Clark County

Ghost Towns

Indians in Clark County

Pioneers and Pioneer Days

Simon Kenton

Military History


The National Road


The Old Northwest




Springfield in 1852

Springfield in 1859

Springfield in 1863

Springfield in 1868

Springfield History

SHS 1951 Yearbook

State and County Government

Then & Now

Host your genealogy or history site on! Only $25 annually for 1gb of space!