By Ralph and James Boggs (1953)
NEWBERRY TOWNSHIP, organized about 1810, was prior to 1807 part of Randolph Township, which was that part of Miami County lying west of the Miami River. At that time only two townships existed, the other being Elizabeth which was east of the Miami River. Later, present Newberry and Newton were formed together under the name of Newberry but increase in population made it necessary to form two separate townships, Newberry retaining the name and the new township to the south taking the new name, Newton. The first Justice of the Peace in Newberry was Amos Perry and the first Constable was John Thompson. The approximate date of these is about 1816.
Newberry Township contains 42 square miles, is seven miles from north to south and six miles from east to west. It is located in the northwest corner of the country, bounded on the west by Darke County, on the north by Shelby, on the east by Washington Township and on the south by Newton Township. The northwestern part of the township is the most elevated in the county with the general surface sloping to the southeast. The township is drained by the Stillwater River and its tributaries; Greenville Creek, Trotters Creek, Harrisons Creek, Albaugh Creek and Rocky Branch.
The first settlers, many coming from Newberry in Newberry District in South Carolina, found here a virgin forest of many species of trees, deep rich grass and cool sparkling springs. Deep forests along the peaceful streams were abundant with all sorts of game with which the pioneers graced their tables.
During the early settlements the yellow rattlesnakes made their homes in the limestone ledges along the Stillwater River and Greenville Creek. Newberry had the reputation of having no rival in the number of venomus reptiles but the settlers soon made war on them by turning swine loose and soon the infested streams were cleared of the reptiles.
Newberry Township lies between 40 degrees 5 minutes and 40 degrees 11 minutes north latitude and between 84 degrees 19 minutes and 84 degrees 26 minutes west longitude. The present (1950) population is 5,678. The township officers at present are: trustees W. C. Davis, Russel Clark and Edward Driver, clerk, Howard Buchanan, Justice of the Peace J.D. Huffman and Constable Norman Miller.
Newberry Township, being part of that area designated as Congressional Lands, slowly commenced its settlements. The first ten men to receive patents from the government were: David Zeigler (1801), Michael Ingle (1804), Thomas Hill (1805), John Miller (1805), Sylvester Thompson (1805), Samuel Nicholson (1806), Phil Swartzell (1806), William Pearson (1806), David Burnstrager (1806), and Samuel Brown (1807).
David Zeigler, entering his land in April 1801, cannot be classified as a settler as he was a land agent in Cincinnati and probably entered land as an inducement to others. The first location and cabin built in Newberry was by a South Carolinian named McDonald, near what is now Harrisons Creek, two and one half miles north of Covington. Although he did not have a land patent he remained here one season, then returned to South Carolina with John Harrison, another dissatisfied settler from Union Township, both leaving their lands and cabins.