Bowling Green Township
Bowling Green Township is situated in the southeast corner of Licking County. It was formed in 1808 and is comprised entirely of land within the Refugee Tract, which was land that was designated to be granted to citizens of Canada and Nova Scotia who sympathized with the American cause during the Revolutionary War. Bowling Green Township was the fourth township to be organized within the current borders of Licking County, but only the second to be established after the formation of the county. The township is bordered by Muskingum County to the east, Perry County to the south, Licking Township to the west and Hopewell Township and Franklin Township to the north. The township is an agriculturally desirable location, as it consists of mostly fertile, tillable land. It originally was wooded mainly by oak, hickory, and walnut trees. The township’s main waterways are Bowling Green Creek, Wise Run, Valley Run, and Berry Run, which are tributaries of Jonathan Creek.
Within Bowling Green Township were a few traces of Native American inhabitants, including a stone mound two-and-a-half miles southeast of Linnville with an earthen mound near it, a small mound near Amsterdam, and a large oblong mound near Brownsville that measured eighty-five yards around and fifteen feet tall. There is also evidence of later use by the Delaware Tribe as a hunting ground, although there are no traces of a permanent settlement within the township’s borders.
The first white settlement in Bowling Green Township was called Little Bowling Green, and was settled around 1802. It was located about a mile south of Linnville, along Bowling Green Creek. The first settlers of Little Bowling Green were Michael Thorn, Frederick Myers, and Henry Neff, who were all from western Virginia. They were joined by John Harris and Andrew Myers in 1803, and in 1804 William Harris Moses Meeks, Adam and John Myers, and Charles Howard joined the community. Charles Howard was also the first teacher in the township. The community of Little Bowling Green, named for its resemblance to the region known as the Bowling Green slightly further north, lent its name to the stream running through the area and was also the inspiration for the name of the township. The National Road (Route 40) runs through the township near its northern border. It was surveyed and built between the years of 1825 and 1833. Shortly afterward, the towns of Brownsville and Linnville were laid out. Brownsville was founded by Adam Brown, who named it after himself. Linnville, which is situated on the border of Bowling Green Township and Franklin Township, was established by Samuel Parr. It was named after Adam Linn, who was a merchant there. Both Brownsville and Linnville were stops on the Pony Express in 1836 and 1837. The community of Amsterdam was formed while the National Road was being built. It was established by Abraham Boring and George Barnes. Only half of Amsterdam was located within Bowling Green Township.
The first religious meetings were held at the house of Samuel Parr and were Methodist in nature. This group attempted to build a log church in 1821, but it was never completed. In 1832 they built a small church building in Linnville, which they later sold to the Catholic Church. In 1839 they built a final church on a lot adjacent to Linnville.
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N.N. Hill, Jr., History of Licking County, O.: Its Past and Present (Newark, OH: A.A. Graham & Co., 1881), 401-404.