St. Clair Township
Butler County, Ohio

 

History

 
 
 

St. Clair Township was organized in 1803, and is named after General St. Clair, who led the expedition against the Indians in 1791.  At the time of its organization it encompassed the northwest corner of Butler County.  It was one of the wealthiest and largest townships in the Butler County.  St. Clair Township was heavily populated with industries, such as paper mill, grist mills, distilleries, and logging companies.  A rich land suitable for farming crops and raising cattle.

The Cincinnati-Hamilton-Dayton Railroad needed stops every 2 ½ to 3 miles for refueling with wood for the steam engines, passenger pick up, farm animal pick up to take to market, and mail pick up. 

Overpeck’s Station, (Overpeck) was one of the stops of the Cincinnati-Hamilton-Dayton Railroad.  Overpeck’s Station was named after Isaac Overpeck, one of the first settlers in this part of St. Clair Township in 1812. There was a post office, general store, waiting room and animal holding pens, pen for the supply of wood for the steam engine, and a place for various purposes for township business.  It had the only post office in the Township.  With several churches, a log schoolhouse and a gathering of busy people, it was an important area in St. Clair Township and in Butler County.

Busenbark’s Station was another busy place in St. Clair Township.  In late 1853, Robert and son, David Busenbark received a contract for a depot, passenger station, and wood and hog lots. What today is merely a crossing once was the center of much activity.  One of the highlights of Busenbark Station was the World Championship Prize Fight on August 31, 1867. Mike McCoole and Aaron Jones fought bare fisted in an illegal fight.  Gloves were not used until around 1885 when prize fighting became legal.

Late in the decade of the 1860’s the little settlement by the Great Miami River throbbed with life.  It had a new name – Woodsdale.  The name was in honor of the president of the Becket Paper Company, William Woods.  Prior to that, it was called Augspurger.   It grew out of the concentration of businesses such as grist and saw mills and paper mills built by the Beckett Paper Company.  There was a stone quarry, a grain elevator, schoolhouse and post office. It also became known as the playground of Southwest Ohio because of the Woodsdale Island Park, that was an island of 33 ½ acres. The Park was destroyed by the flood of 1898 and the flood of 1913 finished the destruction of the remains of the Park.

City View Heights had their own fire department, 3 locally owned grocery stores and had their own Fire Department.  They had community dinners at their firehouse and showed movies in the open field.  Every person from age 16 and up became a volunteer fire fighter for their department.  Jim Krause and Earl Koffer were instrumental in forming the fire department.

New Miami, or “Coke Otto” as it was known in 1855 was once a flourishing village because of the Coke Plant.  By the 1890’s they built tract houses and eventually called their community Coke Otto.  Slowly, a town unfolded around the plant. In 1982 Armco started closing the plant, the village lost $107,000 annually in taxes and became a casualty of America’s Rust Belt era. 

Sharon Park was developed in the early 1950’s by Chester Edwards who was a realtor and insurance agent.   

Williamsdale originated from the owner of a farm whose name was Williams, who sold lots and housing began.

A developer named Noble started the Cherokee park area of New Miami in the 1960s.

St. Clair Township is steadily growing again, and improving.


PYRAMID HILL SCULPTURE PARK & MUSEUM

Did you know that Pyramid Hill is one of just ten sculpture parks of its size in the U.S?  And the ONLY sculpture park of its type in Ohio?  That’s something our community can be proud of.  It is also, unfortunately, a well kept secret.

Overlooking the Great Miami River on St. Rt. 128, Pyramid Hill is a 265 acre sculpture pare and outdoor museum combining the lure of nature with the dynamic presence of monumental art.  It is a setting where landscape and 40 pieces of art come together in natural galleries among the vast meadows and rolling hills.  Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum is a non-profit, charitable foundation created to benefit the public through educational programs and events.

Pyramid Hill offers a unique opportunity to interact with art.  Some of the sculture is designed to walk through, touch, and even spin.  Unlike an indoor museum, because of the direction of the sun and shadows, you always get a different view or feel for the pieces and the park depending on the time of day and the season.

Pyramid Hill also offers a variety of programs for children and adults.  There is a summer series of activities for the kids, music on Sunday afternoon and evening concerts.  Also on the schedule is a fishing derby, Arbor Day ceremonies, the annual “Walk in the Woods” and of course the famous “Holiday Lights on the Hill”.

If you have never visited the park and wonder what you are missing, you can get a glimpse of what it is all about at the web-site, www.pyramidhill.org.  Call the office to get information about admission, membership, park hours, programs, and events.

You must visit Pyramid Hill to fully appreciate the most unique destination of our area.


DR. CHARLES F. RICHTER CREATED EARTHQUAKE SCALE

For 66 years, when news of earthquakes has been reported, the name of a St. Clair Township, Butler County native is invoked in relating the magnitude of the tremors.  Dr. Charles Francis Richter developed the Richter Scale that measures earthquakes.  

In a small triangular plot bounded by Trenton Road, Riverside Drive and Busenbark Road in St. Clair Township, an Ohio historical marker describes Richter’s local connections and professional accomplishments.

Although his birthplace usually is listed as Hamilton, Ohio, he was born April 26, 1900, near Overpeck and Busenbark Road, a few miles north of the county seat.  He said his birth site was known as Sunnyside Farm, whose acreage straddled the railroad (now CSX). The house had been built round a log cabin of an old date (possibly 1820)… the logs being apparent in the dining room and parlor,” he told the Hamilton Journal-News in 1982.


HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT YOUR TOWNSHIP?

What world championship event that made history in 1867, happened that train loads of people showed up for on Busenbark Road?

Who was born and lived in the Overpeck area until he was about 10 or 11 years old and who developed an instrument by which earthquakes are measured?

Who is Overpeck named after?

What is the number one attraction in Butler County that is also located in St. Clair Township and is the only sculpture park in Ohio?

Who was the developer of Sharon Park in the 1950’s?

Who is St. Clair Township named after?

What is the name of the family that donated the land for a church and cemetery?

In 1855, Coke Otto was a flourishing village, what is the name of that village now?

A once thriving industrial area that had numerous grist and saw mills, paper mills, and with a island park named after it, is known as what?

This section of St. Clair Township has been the site of brewery and distillery companies, in addition to many home made stills in the late 1800’s, what now occupies this section of land?

Where was one of Butler Counties first turnpikes located?

What year did St. Clair Township have a Life Squad Service?

How many areas in St. Clair Township had a fire department?

What are our neighboring Townships?

Who is the Township Board of Trustees?

Who is the Fire Chief?

Who is the Life Squad Chief?

What is the name of the Township Cemetery that has been existence since 1818?


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