As nearly as can be ascertained at this late day, the first industries of the township were as follows: Wilsonís sawmill, already mentioned; Kitzmillerís blacksmithshop, built on the present Peter Putman farm; a gristmill, erected by John Miller on the Bridigum farm, about 1783. The old mill was operated on the same site for a short time. The first distillery was built by John Shaff prior to 1800. The building is still standing in Rockwood, and is now a dwelling-house. The first carding-machine was set up in George Ankenyís gristmill, where Fiedlerís mill now stands, about 18008. The carding machine, at that day, was an object of curiosity, and people from far and near came to see it work. An oilmill at the same place was started in 1822. both it and the gristmill were destroyed by fire in 1882, but the gristmill has since been rebuilt. George Gebhart, the pioneer settler at Gebhartsburg, had the first brickkiln in the township. The first store in the township was opened by Michael Saunders, soon after the settlement began, on land now owned by David Wable. Saunders bought his goods from the East on packhorses, himself walking all the way. In those days two hundred and fifty pounds was considered a fair load for a horse.
Limestone of a good quality is found in great abundance throughout the township. It is said that the first bed was discovered on the farm of Adam Baker, now owned by Cyrus Walker and Archibald Livengood, one-half mile east of New Centerville. The first coal was also discovered, and the first mine opened, on the Baker farm. A good quality of coal is found in veins from two and one-half to four feet in thickness throughout the township. There are numerous banks where coal is mined for local consumption, but thus far none has been shipped from any of them.
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