There are many ongoing activities at the Milton-Union Public Library. On select Fridays at 3 p.m. on Facebook are book reviews with Kim. Every Thursday at 2 p.m. on Facebook Miss Wendy conducts a tour around town of different businesses and opportunities followed by a story related to the location. At 1 p.m. on Oct. 1, Miss Wendy will cover what’s new in the Children’s Room. Teens from 13-18 can join Tina on Oct. 9 and 23 from 4-4:45 p.m. for biweekly Zoom meetings for fun time and a new theme each session. Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 1 p.m., gather on the front lawn for a discussion of “Butterfly Palace,” by Colleen Coble. Wear a mask and sit 6 feet apart. Oct. 6 through Nov. 3, kids can stop by and cast a vote for the next president: Elmo or Grover! Outrageous October: preschoolers receive a bag with five weeks of themed activities to do at home. Bags must be picked up by Oct. 10 and registration is required. The Pinterest craft for Oct. is a DIY Owl Phone Cover. Watch on YouTube, Facebook and Website. Oct. 22 at 6:30 p.m., sit around a cozy fire with hot apple cider for an outdoor discussion of “Things I Want My Daughters to Know,” by Elizabeth Noble. Join Miss Wendy every Wednesday at 1 p.m. for a Facebook Live puppet play and story. Pick up an activity sheet in the foyer and walk and read the storybook trail on the back fence at your leisure. Join Tina every Tuesday at 3 p.m. for a study session while social distancing in person or on Zoom. Teens can join Tina on Facebook Live on Oct. 3, 17 and 31 at 3:30 p.m. as she reads short stories. Tiny Tots can join Miss Wendy live on Facebook every Tuesday at 11 a.m. On Oct. 23 at 6 p.m., join Tina for a book synopsis reading in the “YA is Lit” Book Club group on Facebook. You can also cast your vote for what book to read in November. For questions or more information about any of these programs, call the library at (937) 698-5515 or visit www.mupubliclibrary.org.
Union Township history will focus on Patty Town and Kessler. Information is from the Miami County 1981 book and oral history DVDs from 2011 that are available for viewing at the M-U Library at (937) 698-5515).
The Patty Town panel consisted of Wayne Leonard, Rita Ressler and Thelma Schultz Miller. Patty Town was at the intersection of Fenner Road and State Route 721. The sign was stolen in 1988 and never replaced.
It had its own school that went to eighth grade, then students transferred to Pleasant Hill schools. The teachers were 16 and 17 year olds and were paid $80 a month. They were also paid $2 a month to sweep and dust and, in winter, keep the fire going. Marshall Town, in the area of Pemberton, Shiloh and Horseshoe Bend roads, was inhabited by more of the Randolph Slaves. Those children attended the Patty Town School.
Albert Martindale had a store there in the early 1900’s. He had a “huckster wagon” usually driven by his son Ralph. It was a version of an early van with his name on the side and a chicken crate on the back. If a customer couldn’t pay he would accept chickens that he could then dress and sell. In 1946 Ralph opened a grocery store/meat market assisted by his son Kenny and daughter-in-law Lenora. After Ralph’s death in 1971 Kenny and Lenora ran the store until they retired in 2000.
The Patty Town store remained open under other owners until the Depression. The store owner would go to Laura to pick up the mail at the train depot. There was a loafer’s bench outside the store where the men gathered to chew and spit while waiting on the mail. In the winter they gathered around the stove inside. ODOT had the store torn down in 1982. There was also a blacksmith shop.
Rita Ressler was the fourth generation to be born in the farm house on the family farm on Horseshoe Bend Road. Her great-great-grandfather killed the last bear in the Patty Town area in 1830.
The Kessler panel was made up of: Fred Schaeffer, Allen Werts and Jerry Long. Kessler, located about 3 miles northeast of Milton, was established by the Kessler Family in the early 1800’s. It was not recorded in Troy until Sept. 24, 1890. In the beginning it was a wilderness. People used wagons and buggies and needed roads. Four roads were established, all coming together at a four-way stop, in a turkey foot configuration. Hence the nickname Turkey Foot. The gravel for the roads was hauled from two gravel pits north of Kessler.
In 1881, the railroad went through the Schaeffer farm going from Springfield to Indianapolis. In 1882 tracks from Troy to Ludlow Falls were laid behind their buildings. There were cattle pens east of Snell Road and to the west was an elevator. Locals raised the money to build the depot. It was used by freight and passenger trains and was also their post office. The railroads were abandoned in 1976.
There was a one room school through eighth grade. The upper four grades went to Nashville School and the lower four grades went to the Kessler School. There also was a grocery store and an implement store. A doctor’s office where Allen Werts said the boys used to sneak up on the porch to peek through the window at the skeleton in the office. Allen had a paper route of three houses, raising enough money in three years to buy a bicycle. When his folks moved to Kessler in 1932 they were given the choice of renting a property for $7.50 a month or buying it for $50 down and $5 a month. They bought the property.
Jerry Miller grew up on the family farm, bought his own place on Kessler-Frederick, sold that and retired in a new home back on the home place on the corner of Kessler Cowlesvillle and Kessler Frederick in downtown Kessler.
Two of the original buildings still exist in Kessler.