Of the early organization of this township it appears that no written records are preserved, but in common with other of the county’s civil divisions, the early records, were neglected, destroyed or lost.
The township is located in the extreme southwestern part of Henry County and was formerly a part of Flat Rock.
It is supposed this township was detached from Flat Rock in the year 1843. It was then a wilderness of water frogs, wolves, bear, deer, turkeys, and coons of which have now mostly disappeared.
At a very early time there was a wagon road survey along this ridge for ingress and egress, which extended from Defiance and Independence. The settlement was first made along the ridge. From this ridge the land immediately descends into lowlands on either side, which is of very rich soil. The ridge crossed in many places by swales and rivulets which are now made into artificial creeks, thereby making an excellent drainage outlet, thus rendering available an immense quantity of as good farming land as is in this or any other state.
This village is situated in the northeast portion of the township. The village having six directions for ingress and egress — four by rail and two wagon roads, make it a desirable place for business.
Mr. William Kaufman came to this territory in 1866 and built the first log cabin where Paul Rahmel’s garage now stands. He purchased 80 acres which went from Kaufman street West and from the township line south (now State Route 18 — Joe E. Brown Avenue). All the land plats were parallel to this line and were recorded in Napoleon in 1873. This was known as Kaufmanville.
In 1874, the portion of land east of Kaufman Street was purchased by a group of gentlemen from Defiance, headed by William C. Holgate. It was then called Holgate. Several years after the two plats were made, they consolidated and the town was named Holgate, but not without considerable controversy and hard talk. Holgate was not incorporated until 1881.
The trees and underbrush had to be cut and taken away, so this attracted many saw mills to town.
The village of New Bavaria was known by that name from the name of a post office situated on the Ridge Road as early as 1844-1845.
New Bavaria was surveyed and platted in the year 1882, a short distance west of the old post office site, at the crossing of the Ridge Road and Toledo, St. Louis, and Kansas City Railroad, and estimated to contain about one hundred inhabitants.
About two miles south, on the same railroad, is located the village of Pleasant Bend.
Like other towns New Bavaria had elevators, but lost them by fire.
The village of Pleasant Bend contained two saw mills owned by Philip Burrel and William Martz which did a thriving business, as long as the timber lasted.
There were no churches located in either Pleasant Bend or New Bavaria, but in the vicinity several were erected before the villages existed.
The village was surveyed and platted in 1882 and there were 100 inhabitants.
The elevator has always played an important part in the life of the village and surrounding area. Pleasant Bend had an elevator here in 1911. Elevator fires through the years have brought about many changes. In 1955 the first silo was built, also the scales and office building were all built.
The stave mill was located at the north edge of Pleasant Bend. They made barrels to keep crackers, brown sugar and flour dry.
The Methodist Church was built by Lutherans in 1888 and is located in the northwest corner of town. The Methodists bought the property in 1890.
Reprinted from Henry County, Ohio. A Collection of Historical Sketches and Family Histories Compiled by Members and Friends of The Henry County Historical Society, Volume I. Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, TX, 1976.