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[1800 - 1830]     [1832 - 1880]     [1880-1976]

The village of Middleburg was laid out, and the plat recorded May 24, 1832. It is located on Survey 3,155. Columbus street runs east and west through the center, and Urbana street north and south, also through the center. All the lots west of Urbana street were on the land of Levi Grubbs, and all the lots east of said street on the land of William Grubbs. James W. Marmon was the County Surveyor. At this time there was a small store kept by Elias D. Gabriel and one or two other buildings. Soon after, the frame store building, now a part of the store room of T.J. Hellings, was erected, and was followed by other residences and shops until quite a village grew up. Two of its early citizens figured prominently in its rise and progress. The first was Arthur Criffield, who came here soon after it was laid out. He was man of uncommon energy and more than ordinary talent. He was a minister of the Disciple Church and his progressive spirit is evinced in his starting in April, 1836, a newspaper, called "The People's Palladium", and the Union, Hardin, Allen and Logan County "Advertiser". The editing and typesetting for some time was wholly done by him. T. Chesher had in his possession a copy of an issue dated July, 1836 in which he hoists the name of Martin Van Buren as candidate for President. The terms of the paper were $2.00 a year in advance and $2.50 if not paid in six months and $3.00 if not paid for until the end of the year. Various kinds of country produce were taken in exchange if delivered at the office. His paper was subsequently changed to a religious monthly and called the "Heretic Detector" and was finally moved to Cincinnati.

The second man prominent in the history of this township and section was Edward Allen, who came to the township about 1832, and opened a store with an uncle, named Worrell, about one mile northwest of the village, where he soon after failed. He subsequently opened a store in Middleburg, where by his prudence and energy and strict attention to business, he built up an enormous trade, covering a radius of twenty-five miles. He dealt largely in hardware, as well as general merchandise, adding to his business that of beef and pork packing and shipping. He is spoken of as a very exact and honest mane. Starting with a few hundred dollars, in the short space of ten years he had accumulated forty or fifty thousand dollars. The tax on this strength was too great and his mind gave away under it. One morning in 1851 he was found hanging to a tree near a neighboring town, but as to whether he committed suicide or was fouly dealt with, is a mooted question. Many best acquainted with the circumstances are strong in the latter belief.

Old Middleburg Center Stores sepia photograph

The location of a land office at Lima sent a great amount of travel through the village and several taverns sprang up with their usual concomitants of loafers and whisky, and for a number of years Middleburg was noted for the lawless character of those who were accustomed to congregate here, and death, in one instance at least, is attributed to one of their drunken carousals. At one time the barkeepers were greatly surprised by the visit of the State Inspector, who, on examination, found all the casks of liquor adulterated except one, and ordered their contents poured into the street.

A division of the Order Sons of Temperance was organized here on June 17, 1848, and a lodge of Good Templars in 1855, which disbanded only when the local necessity of such an organization had ceased. For the past nineteen years the village has been noted for its sobriety and high moral character of its citizens, and was wholly without a saloon, except in a single instance, and in this case the saloon-keeper was prosecuted with so much vigor, that he was glad to leave.

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