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Montgomery County Ohio

Lewis Kemp House, ca. 1806, 4800 Burkhardt Avenue, Dayton, OH, National Register

Photo: Lewis Kemp House, ca. 1806, 4800 Burkhardt Avenue, Dayton, OH. The Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000 and 2006. Photographed by user:Wdzinc (own work), 2012, [cc-by-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed May, 2014.

Montgomery County Courthouse is located at 41 North Perry Street, Dayton, OH 45422; phone: 937-225-6000.

Beginnings [1]

When Montgomery county was constituted, March 24, 1903, at the first session of the legislature after Ohio was admitted as a state, the county consisted of all of the state of Ohio north and west of the present south line and the extended east line of the county. It was about as large as the states that Jefferson had proposed to form in the territory in the northwest and southwest. It was not expected, however, that the county should remain larger than it now is.

For one year the affairs of the county were for the most part administered by the three associate judges, who in addition to sitting with the presiding judge in the regular sessions of the court, had sessions of their own for this purpose. Almost the only gap in the records of Montgomery County comes in at this point. The associate judges made their report to the newly constituted board of county commissioners, but their report was not copied into the regular record and has not been handed down. The record of the county commissioners simply says: "The books and papers of the associate judges were presented to the commissioners by Benjamin Van Cleve, clerk of the county aforesaid." In the year in which the associate judges had charge, the most important transactions were the locating of the county seat by a special commission appointed by the legislature, who were to report to the court of common pleas, and the formation of the original townships. The accounts of both were probably in the reports made to the county commissioners. Enough has already been said of the locating of the county seat. Most of the facts in regard to the formation of the townships may be learned from contemporaneous and later accounts.

The large territory comprised in the county was divided by the associate judges of the county into the four original townships—Washington, German, Dayton and Elizabeth. Washington township included the territory in the southeast part of the county from the Greene County line to the Miami river and from the Warren county line seven miles to a line one mile north of the present township line German Township included the territory west of the Miami river to the state line and from the Butler County line about five and one-half miles to a line one mile north of the present township line. On June 10, 1805, the records read "German Township bounded at present by the Miami river on the east. Butler County on the south, the line east of third range on the west and the north side of the first tier of sections in the south side of third township fifth range, and fourth township fourth range as the north boundary line." Dayton township included all of the territory between the Indiana State line and the Greene County line and north of Washington and German Townships, to a line running west from the present northeast corner of Wayne Township to the Indiana State line. This line was decided on December 14, 1804. The line established in 1803 was somewhat different. Elizabeth Township was all of that part of the county north of Dayton township, extending to the northern boundary of the state. The laying out of the townships was governed by the idea that ultimately the line before described as the line between Dayton and Elizabeth Townships would be the north line of Montgomery County. In the act of the legislature constituting Montgomery County it was declared that the territory north of this line should not be taxed for the purpose of erecting county buildings. Elizabeth Township was not assessed in 1804 for building the temporary jail but was assessed at a rate one-third less than that of the other townships, the money to be used for the general expenses of the county.

  1. Reverend A. W. Drury, History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County Ohio, Volume I, S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago-Dayton, 1909.
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