Today Butler County Connect takes a deep dive into the township of Fairfield!

We all know our beloved local townships and cities, but do you know the history behind their names? Follow along with us as Butler County Connect dives into our history!
Today Butler County Connect takes a deep dive into the township of Fairfield!

Fairfield Twp was created in 1803 and was given the name by pioneers because of the beautiful landscape. In fact, Butler Counties Fairfield is one of seven Fairfield townships in all of Ohio!

Butler County Ohio Fairfield Twp
Today Butler County Connect takes a deep dive into the township of Fairfield!

What can we say? We have gorgeous land in Ohio. Might as well keep using a name that
works, right? Before European settlement, Fairfield was home to several Indian tribes—most notably the Shawnee and the Miami (those names sound familiar, don’t they?).
The land was acquired from the Continental Congress by Judge John Cleves Symmes, a colonel in the Revolutionary war and a congressman from New Jersey, in what has come to be called The Symmes Purchase, or The Miami Purchase. This happened after Symmes friend, Benjamin Stites had several horses stolen by native Americans.

Benjamin pursued the Native Americans through the wilderness of Southwestern Ohio and
possibly traveled as far North as Xenia. While traveling, Benjamin saw how lush and fertile the land was, and immediately reported this to Symmes when he returned home.
Benjamin reported, “the garden spot of any place he had seen.” Symmes immediately put together a group of buyers with ambitions to purchase all the land, over 1,000,000 acres!

Alas! It was not meant to be, and Symmes could only organize enough to purchase 311,000 acres at a price of around $0.67 an acre (that’s not a bad deal, is it?). It was none other than George Washington that signed the land patent in 1794.
The first settlers were Revolutionary War veterans, and as you can imagine, with such fertile soil, hamlets and towns began to pepper the land. But life was not without its woes… Hunger and exposure to the elements were ever-present dangers, while battles with Native Americans kept many from settling the land outright.

One account said this, “To go on their lands, was almost certain death, and to stay in the
villages, without employment, brought them to the verge of starvation. The inhabitants generally, were stinted in the means of sustenance, and depended chiefly on game and fish, with such agricultural products as they could raise in the immediate vicinity of the villages.

After they had endured these privations as long as they were tolerable, the more resolute determined to brave the consequences of moving on their land. The plan they adopted for safety was this: Those families whose lands were contiguous, united together to accomplish their purpose, and in this, a number of distinct associations were formed, for mutual protection. The men engaged in these enterprises went out well-armed. Each party erected a strong blockhouse, with cabins contiguous, enclosed by log pickets, and commenced clearing their land. During the day, one of them was placed as a sentinel, to watch the approach of an enemy, while his comrades were engaged at work. At sunset, they returned to the blockhouse, taking everything of value within the pickets.”

Fortunately, for all of us, Fairfield has become a much safer and easier place to live in than
those early years.