Thompson Township, Geauga County, Ohio

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Thompson Township, Geauga County, Ohio
Municipalities and townships of Geauga County
Municipalities and townships of Geauga County
Coordinates: 41°40′28″N 81°3′27″W / 41.67444°N 81.05750°W / 41.67444; -81.05750Coordinates: 41°40′28″N 81°3′27″W / 41.67444°N 81.05750°W / 41.67444; -81.05750
Country United States
State Ohio
County Geauga
 • Total 25.7 sq mi (66.5 km2)
 • Land 25.7 sq mi (66.5 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation[1] 1,250 ft (381 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 2,383
 • Density 92.8/sq mi (35.8/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 44086
Area code(s) 440
FIPS code 39-76628[2]
GNIS feature ID 1086161[1]

Thompson Township is one of the sixteen townships of Geauga County, Ohio, United States. The 2000 census found 2,383 people in the township.[3]


Located in the northeastern corner of the county, it borders the following townships:

No municipalities are located in Thompson Township. The township contains the unincorporated community of Thompson.[4]

Thompson Township is the location of the Thompson Ledges landform.[5]


Statewide, other Thompson Townships are located in Delaware and Seneca counties.


The following are excerpts from the General History of Geauga County, with Sketches of some of the Pioneers and Prominent Men published in 1880 by The Historical Society of Geauga Country. The preface indicates that the book was written "by different men in each of the townships" and warns "there may be errors of names and dates."

"Situated in the northeast corner of Geauga county, an average of eight miles from its north line to the southern short of Lake Erie, and its highest point is said to be seven hundred and one feet above the waters of Lake Erie, and one thousand two hundred and seventy-five feet above meantide water of the Atlantic. It is divided into forty-two lots, of some three hundred and eight-five acres each—was surveyed by one Chester Elliot, of Hambden, in this county, in the year 1809.

From authority at hand, its name was by and for one Matthew Thompson, of Suffield, Connecticut, and as the Reserve was mapped out into ranges and tracts, this was designated as lying in range six, tract ten, of the Connecticut Western Reserve, for Ohio was not known as a State till after settlement was commenced in this township. It was incorporated in 1801.

In its geological formation the conglomerate or pebbly sandstone forms the underlying of the township. The well-known ledge at this place furnishes a fine exposure of rock, and gives a rugged and very romantic character to the place, and many visitors are attracted to the place, especially during the summer season. A hotel, with small accommodations, was started as early as 1868, by one William Gilbreath, and the failure to be remunerative arose from want of sufficient funds to prepare suitable accommodations for boarding on a large scale and was abandoned in 1876, and yet there is an opening for a paying business, with the right man in the right place.

Read in his report to Professor Newberry, State geologist says the dip of the ledge here is from four to five degrees to the southwest. Of course a great amount of sandstone is quarried here, and taken a great distance for bridge and building purposes. The Berea grit is shown some in the northwest part of the township, but crops out more abundantly at Footville, southeast from us, where it enters Ashtabula county.

The forests, of course, partake of and mark the geological features along the line, and probably more of the oak and chestnut abound in this than any other of the townships of the county, and the high lands seem, when cleared, to furnish good pasturage, and are good for all purposes of tillage. The clay grounds are not as stiff as those of the more clay townships.

The first public road of which we have any record, was laid and reported by a committee appointed by the Connecticut Land Company, January 30, 1798, running from Conneaut to Cleveland, through Sheffield, Plymouth, and Austinburg, here crossing a fordable place on the bend of Grand river, near where Mechanicsville now stands, and was marked by an Indian trail, thence through Harpersfield, striking Thompson near the northwest corner of lot forty-two, across thirty-one, southeast part of lot number thirty, the northwest part of lot twenty-nine, rising the ledge on lot twenty, on lands owned by Reuben B. Chaffee, where as late as 1870, he is able to show scarred trees, thence south, crossing east and west center road fifty rods (251 m) east of the village, on to lot number twenty-one, and crossing the road running south, near Roger R. Warner's and Richard Matthew's, across the old farm of Otis Howe, where the trace of the girdling is nearly lost, but scars are to be found on this lot (twenty-one) at the late date of 1876, and both Otis and Rufus Howe report it as a good place for gathering hoop-poles in an early day along this trace. Continuing, it touched the northwest corner of lot twenty-two, through lot fifteen, corner of fourteen, where the trace is still visible—as reported by Ovando Pomeroy—across the entire lots eleven and two into Leroy, thence along what is now termed the Plank Road, built from Fairport to Warren more than twenty years or more ago, leaving that and crossing Big Creek into Concord, and passing westward to Judd's corners, and still on by the old Perkins camp, so called, to Little Mountain.

First Settlement[edit]

The first settler of this township was Dr. Isaac Palmer, who was born in Plainfield, Windham county, Connecticut, in 1770, and studied for, and commenced the practice of medicine, before he was twenty-five years old. His practice was confined to the region where he was born, as he did not practice much after he came to Ohio. He married Lois Maltby, of Goshenk, Conn.—some two years younger than himself—the exact date of which event we are not possessed of, but a daughter they called Anna, was born to them in 1796, who died at Concord, Ohio, in 1875, a widow with several children. In 1799 they were at Buffalo, New York, and lost a child, nine days old.

In 1800 we find them in Thompson, on lot eleven, decoyed thither by the pledge of one King of Connecticut, a landholder, that he should have the agency of all lands in his name. He chopped and cleared some sixteen acres, but, being dissatisfied with his treatment at the hands of the King, "pulled up stakes," and moved to Concord, Ohio, to what was known as "Perkin's Camp," near the south line of the township, where he remained a year or so, and then moved within two miles of Painesville, on the north line of Concord township, where he lived till 1840, when he died, possessed of some four hundred acres of land, and two or more thousand dollars worth of personal property, the accumulation of his forty years of toil.

While in Thompson, in 1802, a son was born to them, which was, of course, the first child born in the township. He was named Isaac, and now (1876) is living in the northwest corner of Concord, with a family of two sons and four daughters living in the vicinity.

The doctor sailed his own boat from Buffalo to Fairport, and up Grand River opposite Thompson, having for company his wife, child, and a man named Sackett. In those days Grand River was at full banks, and, as they were going up the stream, having some fruit trees that he brought with him from the east, stopped and planted them on what is known as the General Paine farm, in Painesville, where they are still growing. In two years, say in 1802, Dr. Palmer returned to Connecticut, settled up Sackett's affairs, and brought on his family. Sackett afterwards went to Windor, Ashtabula county.

Dr. Palmer purchased several hundred dollars worth of provisions, and other necessaries, at Buffalo; so, it would seem, he had some money at this time, and started with his boat; but, part way up the lake, a storm coming up, they went ashore and unloaded the boat, taking everything back on the beach, except a sow and pigs, which were left on board, and made the boat fast to a tree. They camped back in the woods. On arising in the morning, to their astonishment, all their cargo was washed away, the boat tossing on the furious waves, and the sow and pigs were squealing, and subsequently lost. This took the doctor's funds, and additionally, after he had succeeded in reaching home, he was prostrated with fever, which well nigh took his life, and conspired to reduce his revenue, so that he had little left when, in 1803, he resolved to abandon Thompson. ... He was struck in the abdomen by a plow handle while cultivating corn, which caused his death within forty-eight hours. He died in June, 1840.

Colonel Davenport was here about the same time, with Palmer. Davenport came from near New Haven, Connecticut, and owned one thousand one hundred and fifty-eight acres in lots twenty-two, twenty-three, and forty. ... Subsequently Adenijah Tillotson bought nine hundred and fifty-eight acres of this land for one dollar per acre, and this land was afterward divided between his boys, Loyal, Marcus, Darius, Augustus, and Ashbel. Ashbel is the only one of the brothers now living (1876), though the lands all remain in the hands of descendants, except the two hundred acres to Augustus. Loyal came in 1819 ... and lived on the farm here till 1875, when he died. Darius came as late as 1823, and during the first five years cleared over twenty acres. He married a daughter of Noah Moseley.

These boys all improved and cleared the lands before settling on them. I think it was as late as 1841 before the last one, Ashbel, became permanently settled, and is still on his place (1876).

One thing that was a serious trouble to these pioneers, as of others of the Reserve, was the want of mills. The first years these had to go to Parkman, twenty miles, to get grinding.

Seth Hulburt Sr. and Seth Jr. came in 1808, performing the journey—the father on horseback and the son on foot ...

In 1809, one Daniel Pomeroy came with his family, consisting of four or five daughters and one or more sons, and settled east of the others, not more than one mile west of the present center, and father and mother were both buried on a little knoll on the farm, and the place, though desolate from neglect, is still marked by poor marble.

No means are at hand to tell how fast settlers came in after this, until some six or seven years later; but we find reported as soldiers of the war of 1812: Joseph Bartlett, Jr., Abner Stockwell, Seth Hulbert, Retire Trask, Wm. Gee, and Eleazer Pomeroy, who made knapsacks for themselves and went on the call as far as Fairport, but returned without getting a sniff of war.

In 1816 there were but nine families in the township: Wm. Gee, Joseph Bartlett, Joseph Bartlett Jr., Seth Hulbert, Martin Williams, Daniel Pomeroy, Eleazer Sumner, and Mark Barnes. These few settlers were anxious for school privileges and set about securing them by opening a school in the house of Trask, and Miss Lovina Hulbert was the first one to act the part of school ma'am in this wild place, Miss Sylvia Barnes was the second, and by this time a building was given for the use of this work.

1817—During this year there was a large accession of numbers in the township. In February 1817, Elias Strong, Sr., came on foot from Southampton, Massachusetts.

Noah Moseley came this year, with three boys and five girls; lived till 1860; died at the age of ninety-three years six months.

Emergy Lane came in the fall of 1818, from Montgomery county, New York, having purchased, before he ever saw it, the whole of lot twenty-nine.

During the 1830s, a branch of the early Latter Day Saint movement, headquartered in nearby Kirtland, was located in Thompson. Section 51 of the Doctrine and Covenants, which explains the duties and performance of the office of Bishop, was written in Thompson in 1831 by Joseph Smith.[6]


The township is governed by a three-member board of trustees, who are elected in November of odd-numbered years to a four-year term beginning on the following January 1. Two are elected in the year after the presidential election and one is elected in the year before it. There is also an elected township fiscal officer,[7] who serves a four-year term beginning on April 1 of the year after the election, which is held in November of the year before the presidential election. Vacancies in the fiscal officership or on the board of trustees are filled by the remaining trustees.


Thompson Township is the site of WKSV 89.1 FM, a repeater transmitter for the WKSU public radio station based in Kent.


Further reading[edit]

  • General History of Geauga County, with Sketches of some of the Pioneers and Prominent Men published in 1880 by The Historical Society of Geauga Country.

External links[edit]