THE BEGINNINGS OF HARVEYSBURG
(Warren County, Ohio):
William Harvey, the founder of Harveysburg, Ohio was born on December 27th, 1797 in Orange County, North Carolina and died on December 15th, 1866 in Harveysburg, Ohio. He was the fifth child of Isaac and Lydia Dicks Harvey. William and Mary Crew Harvey and a number of their children are buried in Springfield Monthly Meeting graveyard (Clinton County, Ohio).
The area around the future Harveysburg was settled very early in the 19th century. The pioneer community circled Rhoden Ham’s cabin on his farm atop a tall ridge overlooking the east bank of Caesar’s Creek. The area was made up of rich virgin land, which only needed hard work to turn into productive farms. The valley of Ceasar’s Creek would also become a safe haven for the peaceable Shawnee during the War of 1812. The village was not platted by William Harvey until 1829 (see first plat map above). The story goes that he went to Cincinnati, a journey of five days at that time, two to travel to and two to travel back and one day to do business, to buy supplies for his dry goods store. The merchant asked him where to send his supplies. He responded that it was just a little spot, a "burg", in the woods above Caesar's Creek, a tributary of the Little Miami River. The merchant addressed the supplies to “Harveysburg”.
The Beer’s History of Warren County, 1882, pp. 652-654 has this to say about the hamlet of Harveysburg, Ohio and William Harvey:
This is the township seat and principal village of the township. It is situated on the east bank of Caesar's Creek, at an elevation of over 100 feet above the level of the stream. The land on which it now stands was entered by Colonel Abraham Buford, August 6, 1787. It was afterward owned by Rhoden Ham, who located on it in March 1815. William Harvey, after whom the town was named, became the proprietor in 1827. He platted and laid out the town in 1828, and recorded the plat on the 8th of January 1829. According to this plat, the town lay along the State road and contained forty-seven lots, numbered consecutively from number one to forty-seven. There were twenty-five lots six poles wide by twelve poles long, seventeen lots six poles by six poles, two lots five and four-tenths by six poles, one lot three by ten poles, two large, irregular-shaped lots, and a church lot. The State road formed the principal street, and the road to Middletown the principal cross-street. There were also South Street, one cross street not named, and three cross alleys.
The town is in a healthy location, and is surrounded by fertile and productive farmlands. It is noted for the philanthropy, enterprise and morality of it’s inhabitants. For many years pork packing was carried on extensively within its limits, as was also the traffic in wool and grain. . . . William Harvey, one of the founders of the village, was for many years its most prominent businessman, being largely engaged in the pork business. He afterward moved to Parke County, Indiana, where he remained for a few years, when he returned to Harveysburg, and there died in December 1866. His widow, Mary Harvey, lives with her daughter in Harveysburg.
Most of the Harveys had settled in Clinton County along Todds Fork. That area became known as the "Harvey Settlement" and Springfield Monthly Meeting would be established there. Harveysburg itself, located a few miles west just over the boarder in Warren County, would also host a large community of Quakers. As in Waynesville, Ohio, other denominations and faiths would dwell together side by side in Harveysburg with the tolerant Friends.