Clinton County Sesquicentennial, 1830-1980
JOHNSON TOWNSHIP HISTORY
by Mrs. Richard Grove
It is believed that Johnson Township was a lake many thousands of years ago. More recently it was a part of the Miami Indian Reserve; this fact kept the township from being settled as early as some adjoining townships which were not included in this tract. In 1838 the United States government purchased from the Miami Tribe a strip seven miles wide lying along the western part of the reservation (sic). This was afterward ceded to the state of Indiana for the completion of the Wabash and Erie Canal. The plan was to build the canal from Celina, Ohio, to the mouth of the Mississippi River. Early surveys had established the route of the canal about one and one-fourth miles north of Hillisburg, and abstracts of some farms in this area show that at one time the Erie canal was scheduled to go through these farms. Depletion of funds stopped the progress of the canal in western Ohio and eastern Indiana. The subsequent building of railroads reduced or eliminated the need for the canal; therefore it was never completed.