""FIRST" FAMILIES OF COLERAINE
The first settlement in what is now Colerain Township was made sometime prior to April 30, 1790. In a letter to Jonathan Dayton on that date, John Cleves Symmes reported: "We have established three new stations some distance up in the country, one is twelve miles up the Big Miami (Coleraine or Dunlap's Station], the second is Five miles up Mill creek Ludlow's Station) and the third is nine miles back in the country From Columbia (Covalt's Station on the Little Miami River)."
Very little is known about these "First" Families. Stephen Decator Cone in Indian Attack on Fort Dunlap says: "There were on the north side of the Fort, Horn, McDonald, Barrott and Barkit (Bergit), with their Families, and on the south side, White, with his Family and Mcdonald, whose Family was not at the station; all of whom were busy at their clearings during the day, but sought the shelter of the Fort in the evenings."
Ford's History of Hamilton County (1881) does not list any of the settlers, but refers to John Dunlap as one of Symmes' confidential surveyors, who was inclined to land speculation. He set stakes down in the bend of the Great Miami, surveyed off a town site and offered lots for sale. He made some sales, cabins were erected, a fortified station built and other improvements made.
However, he had no valid title and his settlers lost both their land and the money they had paid to Mr. Dunlap. Ford lists the first township officers in 1794 as John Dunlap, clerk; Samuel Campbell, constable; John Shaw, overseer of the poor; Isaac Gibson, Samuel Cresswell and John Davis, viewers of enclosurers and appraisers of damages.
Nelson's History of Hamilton County (1894) gives this list of inhabitants of Coleraine or Dunlap's Station: Thomas Larison; Martin Burkhardt; Michael and Nicholas Lutz; John, David and William Crum; David and Isaac Gibson; John Young; Samuel Carswell; James Barratt and Michael Hahn.
West to Ohio, by Alta Heiser, has information on another member of the Dunlap Station pioneers - Mrs. Margaret Ewing was living with Gen. Wm. Henry Harrison's wife during the War of 1812. She had been Margaret McDonald, in the during the Indian attack - her task being to mold bullets. She told thrilling stories to the Harrison children.
Lt. Kingsbury's report to Gen. Harmar after the attack states that they had been surrounded by 200 Indians, who killed the cattle, burned all buildings outside the fort and destroyed the crops. One soldier, McVicar, was wounded during the attack. The siege lasted twenty-five hours, during which time Abner Hunt, captive of the Indians, was cruelly tortured to death.
Others known to have been in the Station were James Barrett, James Brady, Sylvester White, Harry Whitinger, Angus McDonald, Thomas Larrison, William Crum and John Thompson.
Hardships these brave pioneers endured to begin the settlement of Colerain Township. We owe thanks to all those who followed them to make the Township the place it is today..."