Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What Happened to Youngstown Township?

The Mahoning Valley is part of a tract of land that once belonged to the state of Connecticut. Connecticut’s Western Reserve was bordered north and south by Lake Erie and the forty-first parallel, and extended 120 miles westward from Pennsylvania. In 1795, Connecticut sold a portion of the Reserve to a group of speculators known as the Connecticut Land Company.
The company surveyed the land, marking several townships of twenty-five square miles to sell to individuals who would in turn subdivide the townships into smaller parcels for sale.

In 1796, John Young of Whitestown, New York, set out to view the land for himself before making a purchase. In February of 1797, Young visited Connecticut and purchased from the Connecticut Land Company Township Two in the Second Range of the Western Reserve. The sale was finalized on April 9, 1800.The first Court of Common Pleas and General Quarter Sessions was held at Warren on August 25, 1800. During that session, the Court divided Trumbull County into civil townships. The governmental township of Youngstown (not the same as the 5 miles squared township) comprised most of what is now Mahoning County and included the townships of Poland, Coitsville, Hubbard, Liberty, Youngstown, Boardman, Canfield, Austintown, Jackson and Ellsworth.

Youngstown Township ceased to exist on November 17, 1913 when its remaining area was annexed by the City of Youngstown. Parts of Boardman, Liberty and Coitsville Townships were also affected in 1929-1930 when the City of Youngstown added to its incorporated area through additional annexations.

MVHS is fortunate to have an original record book for Youngstown Township covering 1802-1829. The ledger contains township minutes, road work, records of Overseers of the Poor, lists of township officers, apprenticeships, and other township business. There is a section in the back which records earmarks and brands registered for residents of the township, used as a means to identify livestock. The ledger was given to MVHS by Senator Benjamin Franklin Wirt in 1911. There is a transcript available for the first section of the ledger.