History of Green
Evangelical Seminary Girls Dormitory
Green Township was originally part of the Congress Lands, known as Town 12, Range IX. The Congress Lands were all lands once owned, and partially controlled, by Congress. They were sold by government agents and not private companies. The Connecticut Western Reserve, to the north of Green, were the only lands not belonging to Congress in Ohio. The Congress Lands were surveyed after the Greenville Treaty of 1795 between the Continental Congress and the Indian tribes defeated by General Anthony Wayne at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.
Originally Green Township was part of Stark County which was established in 1809, five years after the founding of the State of Ohio. Green Township was established in April 1811, from a section of the much larger Plain Township which was established when Stark County was organized in 1809. Green Township was at that time part of a rich agricultural county with rolling hills, known for being one of the greatest producers of wheat, and with important natural resources like coal, iron ore and impressive water supply and power. It also had an abundance of limestone and beds of lime.
Green was mainly settled by Pennsylvania “Dutch” Germans, and immigrants from Germany and France, contributing with their cultural resources to the region. The first settler who officially purchased land from the Federal Agent, possibly located in Steubenville at the Ohio River was John Kepler from Center County, Pennsylvania. But there were already settlers in the township who had settled earlier, when the State of Ohio was still establishing its counties after the surveying of the Congress Lands. These settlers, called squatters, were the Dixons, the Triplets, Basil Viers, John Cruzen, David Hartman, and others who later were able to purchase their occupied land in the township. They settled in Section 16, which is the center of the township. However, no town was platted on that site. To learn more about the first settlers of Green, click here.
These new settlers brought with them their building traditions skills from Pennsylvania and Europe. Their first homes, schools and institutions were log houses. The log school walls were 16' to 20' in length, depending on the expected student body. Then they covered them with shakes or clapboards. The floor was made of floorboards, split and hewn planks usually of oak and 2" thick. The cracks were filled with chinks and daubed over with mud. If there were windows they were covered with grease paper which protected the school from storms and brought light at the same time. The door was of clapboard and a primitive chimney heated the room. The log houses were built of square or round logs using different types of notches, like dovetail, steeple, saddle and their variations. Log houses were built until the mid 19th century. The abundant forests provided an easily available material for shelter.
The migration of settlers to Green was also fueled by the pursuit of a growing new religion. Green was part of the first Evangelical Circuit west of Pennsylvania and was a played a crucial role in the development of the Evangelical Association in the Midwest. Early settlers, Conrad & Catherine Dillman, offered their home as a meeting place for a newly formed congregation to meet. Circuit preachers would lead the congregation, first in the Dillmans’ log cabin and later in their newly constructed brick home. The first Evangelical Church in Ohio was constructed just outside of Greensburg in 1838. As the congregation grew, larger churches were constructed in 1851 and 1889. The Greensburg congregation hosted several conferences of Evangelical leadership, including the 1843 General Conference. This was the first General Conference held west of the Allegheny Mountains. In 1855 a seminary, or church supported college, was established in Greensburg with an enrollment of 19 students. By 1856 the enrollment was 56 men and 40 women. That same year a dormitory building was constructed to house the students. Unfortunately by 1859, financial support for the seminary from eastern congregations diminished, and by 1865 the school was closed. The Dillman Home, the Seminary Dormitory, and the 1889 Church still stand today. To learn more about the Evangelical Association in Green, click here.