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Thank you to the residence of the New Jasper for voting yes on the renewal of the New Jasper Road Levy!
We welcome you as a visitor, friend, or just to say “I’m home”. New Jasper Township has a rich history of agriculture, small business, cultural activities, two excellent school systems, Xenia and Greeneview (Jamestown) and a vast diversity of residential opportunities.
We sincerely hope that your time spent in our community will be a great experience for you and your family and if you are not a resident you just might decide this is the right place for the quality of life you desire.
During the first 50 years of Greene County’s existence, New Jasper Township did not exist. In 1853, a petition was presented to the county commissioners with 128 names of voters requesting that a new township be established where they lived.
At the time of the request, the voters lived in five different surrounding townships. Cedarville, Ross, Silvercreek, Caeserscreek, Xenia townships were all part of what is now New Jasper Township. There was no major city within the boundaries of the new township, and most of those who petitioned owned land in the area.
Although Caesers Creek runs through the area, there are no major mills located there in the earlier part of the 19th century. There are many mills scattered throughout the county , but this area was the exception.
This part of the county is rather hilly in parts and includes excellent farm land. There are also large deposits of limestone.
Limestone proved to be the leading industry in the area for several years. This appeared to be so promising that the railroad provided a spur to a large stone quarry near the creek.
The company was so sure of it’s success that considerable funds were spent to make this operation profitable, including a tile factory which was to make tile from the layer of dirt immediately above the limestone. Unfortunately, the business was short-lived and ceased to exist in about 1908.
The limestone was used for building purposes, but largely for agriculture. In addition to the fertilizer which the farmers applied, they also applied considerable lime (ground from the stone) to improve the land.
The village of New Jasper, established before the township was named, is a small, quiet village located on Jasper road.
At one time, there were two villages in the area called New Jasper. It is aid that a man named Slagle was the first settler in the area, and although the village was not officially platted, he may get credit for being the founder.
The people in the village of New Jasper hoped that the train would come through their village, this bringing a major means of transportation to the area.
Unfortunately, the tracks were laid about a mile away. It was possible, of course, to get to the railroad line, but it was not the convenience anticipated by the residents.
The other village by the same name was built by the railroad tracks, and often called New Jasper Station. A few buildings were erected in that area, largely because of the proximity of the railroad.
For several years, the original village of New Jasper, was better known as Henpeck, and was located on the Jamestown Mud Road. According to Broadstone’s History of Greene County, in 1918 there was a blacksmith shop, a store, and Dr. Davis was practicing medicine in the village and the surrounding area. Today, as previously stated, both the name of the village and the road have been changed.
The first school was opened in 1816 with Mr. Shields as the teacher. It was a rude log structure, and did not survive long. Just over 100 years later there were eight rural schools with eight teachers presiding over them.
About 1820, some sources say as early as 1819, a church was established near the village. The Methodists began meeting in the home of Mr. Bone, then later in the home of Phillip Spahr.
After a time, a log meeting house was constructed on the Spahr farm. This edifice was used for some years, then a small brick building was constructed. In 1852, the congregation built a larger, 30 by 40 foot brick building in the village.
Eventually, even this larger brick structure was not adequate for the congregation’s needs, and so in 1881, a building committee was appointed. Work was almost immediately began on a new church.
In the summer of 1882, the foundation was being dug and bricks were being made on the site. The building was completed in 1883 with dedication services held in January of 1884.
Some changes have been made to the church over the intervening years. Beautiful stained glass windows reflect the rays of the sun to welcome the worshippers each Sunday morning. In 1960, a new organ was purchased, now the church has an organ and a piano. In 1966, classrooms and restrooms were added, and in 1995, a wheelchair ramp was installed, making it easier for those with physical difficulties to attend.
The parsonage next door to the church was constructed in 1893. The minister was an excellent carpenter as well as a “good preacher,” and it was he who supervised the building project.
The New Jasper Fire Department was established in 1951 as an all-volunteer department. The firefighters must undergo the same rigorous training expected of all fire departments, but sometimes their role is a little more unique.
Being largely in the farming community, grass fires may provide a threat, and if there are no hydrants, the water must come from a stream, or be hauled to the site. Sometimes, the fire is in an area which is not easily accessible by a large vehicle, but still they must and do get to the fire.
Not far from the village of New Jasper, is a community known as Shawnee Hills. The central portion of the community is a large lake which lends itself well to boating and fishing. Residents of the community usually say they “live at the lake.”
A charming, quiet community which has been in existence for more than 150 years, New Jasper retains it’s quaint individuality.
-Written by Joan Baxter of the Greene County Historical Society.