1911 Ditch Notice to Jacob Miller

The other day I ran across this interesting paper, a 1911 Ditch Notice for my great-grandfather Jacob Miller.

1911 Ditch Notice to Jacob Miller, Black Creek Twp, Mercer County, Ohio.

1911 Ditch Notice to Jacob Miller, Black Creek Twp, Mercer County, Ohio.

This Ditch Notice was sent to the property owners on the west part of Black Creek Township, Mercer County, Ohio, for the improvement of the ditch, which was obviously Duck Creek.  

The Ditch Notice involved 31 property owners and crossed 10 western Sections of the township. The ditch runs south-north through the township, all the way from Liberty Township to the Van Wert County Line.  

Duck Creek, 1900 Black Creek map.

The 1911 Ditch Notice reads:


To the Lot and Land Owners who will be Affected by the Improvement Herein Designated:
Office of Clerk of Black Creek Township, Mercer County, Ohio.
Rockford Ohio, June 17, 1911
In the matter of Ditch Improvement No.___ petitioned for by Jacob Baker and others.

To Jacob Miller
You and each of you are hereby notified that on the 16 day of June A.D. 1911 Jacob Baker and others, filed a petition with the Clerk of Black Creek Township, the prayer of which is for the establishment and immediate construction of a Ditch on the following starting point, route and terminus, to-wit: Commencing at a point about 70 rds West of the S.E. Corner of Sec 31. On the Twp Line between Black Creek & Liberty Twps & flows in a Northerly direction through the lands of J.G. Kuhn, Jno Leistner, Anton Koch, W.C. Baker, C.W. Baker, H.R. Baker, Henry Grauberger, Jacob Miller, J.E. Pifer, Jno Davis, G. Bailey, S. Wick, R.B. Morrison, CL. Vining, O. Stetler, Wm White, G.W. Fisher, Austin Evans, Lizzie Hartzog (Wm Harper Heirs), Otto Brandt, John Baumgartner, Boston Hoblit, John Pifer, Marie Brandt, C. Brandt, J. Dellinger, Wes. Tague, S. Brindle, D.H. Morrison, Fred Morrison. To the Van Wert & Mercer Co Line and there terminates. Also a branch known as Branch No. 1 commencing at a point about 20 rds North of the S.W. Corner of Sec 18 Black Creek Twp, thence East to where it intersects the above Ditch and begins at the Ohio & Ind State Line and running through the land of G.W. Fisher.

Township Clerk’s Office; Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio
To Jacob Miller….Survey Stations 88.38 and 102.71 in all rods; which work you will perform according to the specifications given below; and complete the same fully by the 5 day of Oct next.

They have also assessed to you $5.18 as your portion of the costs of locating and establishing said Ditch; which you will pay on or before the 5 day of Oct next.

John Andress, Township Clerk

Bank Slopes One Base to 1 Vertical.
All Trees and Stumps of which more than one half stand upon the line of the Ditch; to be removed; and all trees and stumps at less than that distance upon the line of the Ditch; to be cut down perpendicularly. When the ditch occupies the line of any road; to excavated earth is to be cast thereon so as to form a good road; and all excavated earth to removed at least 10 feet from the bank slopes. All flood wood and fallen timber to be removed at least 30 feet beyond the center line of the Ditch.

Each land owner to clean his portion of said Ditch once a year.

Jacob Miller was assessed $5.18

Below is a closer look of the landowners’ farms, from the 1910 Black Creek Township Decennial Appraisement Maps, starting at the south end of the township.

Section 31:
J.G. Kuhn
Jno Leistner
Anton Koch
W.C. Baker

Section 31 Blackcreek Twp 1910

Section 30:
C.W. Baker
H.R. Baker
Henry Grauberger
Jacob Miller
J.E. Pifer

Section 30, Blackcreek Township, 1910.

Section 29:
Jno Davis

Section 29 Blackcreek Twp 1910

Section 20:
G. Bailey

Section 20, Blackcreek Township, 1910.

Section 19:
S. Wick
R.B. Morrison
C.L. Vining

Section 19, Blackcreek Township, 1910.

Section 18:
O. Stetler
Wm White
G.W. Fisher
Austin Evans

Section 18, Blackcreek Township, 1910.

Section 7:
Lizzie Hartzog (Wm Harper Heirs)
Otto Brandt
John Pifer
Marie Brandt

Section 7, Blackcreek Township, 1910.

Section 8:
John Baumgartner
Boston Hoblit

Section 8, Blackcreek Township, 1910.

Section 6:
C. Brandt

Section 6, Blackcreek Township, 1910.

Section 5:
J. Dellinger
Wes. Tague
S. Brindle
D.H. Morrison
Fred Morrison

Section 5, Blackcreek Township, 1910.


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    • Frank on February 14, 2021 at 8:31 am
    • Reply

    What are the blue, brown and purple squares noted on the maps? Homes? Barns? Outbuildings of some type?

    1. The little squares are the homes.

    • John Vining on March 22, 2021 at 10:28 am
    • Reply

    Interesting! This creek ran through the farm where I grew up. Fred (and particularly D.H. [David]) Morrison were considered distant relatives. Dad eventually owned most of the property where Duck Creek ran through Section 5 except “J. Dellinger’s” property. Thanks for posting!

    1. You are welcome! Glad you found it interesting. By the way, my late aunt Ruth (Miller) said that Velma Vining was one of her best friends, along with Pauline Wendel. I assume Velma was your relative and that the Vinings lived fairly close to the Millers? Ruth said they called themselves a trio and that Velam and Pauline wee also in her wedding.

        • John Vining on March 23, 2021 at 1:44 pm
        • Reply

        Velma was my dad’s sister, the fourth of six siblings. She married Robert Hoffman, raised two daughters, and lived in Van Wert for many years. My mother and she were also friends, and mom “slumber partied” at Velma’s house several times during their school years (I’m sure there was some strategic planning behind that!). I’m not exactly sure where Ruth lived, but it seems like most of the kids in the old Willshire school district were close in those days. Many of them kept contact with each other for their entire lifetimes!

        1. How interesting! The Millers lived on Sipe Road, just east of where Stetler Road ends. Small world!

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