UNION — In A. W. Bowen’s 1897 Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery County, Ohio it states that Benjamin Krug, a Mennonite who married Susannah Herr in Pennsylvania in 1859, has managed the Herr’s 94-acre farm “judiciously, erecting thereon, as one of many improvements made by him, a substantial brick house.”
A handwritten date block found in the pantry of the home located at 3473 Sweet Potato Ridge Road gives the names of the builders of the house, all Mennonites from Medway, Ohio. The Krugs and the builders are buried in the Reformed Mennonite Cemetery in Medway.
The towns of Union and Salem (Clayton) each are celebrating 200 years since their founding. Henry Warner and his six grown children and their families from Pennsylvania all purchased farms near Union in the early 1800s and the area was soon known as the “Warner Settlement.”
In 1851, Samuel M. Herr purchased a 94-acre Warner farm and another on the south side of Heckman Pike (now Sweet Potato Ridge Road). Upon Samuel’s death in 1876, his daughter Susannah Herr Krug, wife of Benjamin Krug, inherited the 94-acre farm on the north side and bachelor son Henry Herr got the 100-plus acre farm on the south. Both put up new houses – Benjamin and Susannah in 1879-1880 and Henry in 1882-83. Both are still standing which attests to the skills of the early craftsmen.
Unfortunately, Susannah Krug died in 1884 and was not able to enjoy her new home very long. Benjamin died in 1903, in testate, leaving his children under the care of a guardian. The farm sold out of the family and was a rental property for many years.
Sue Cummings and husband Glynn Marsh bought the house and two acres in 1984. They restored the out-of-date residence and got it added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. They lived there for 32 years (longer than any other owners). After buying additional acreage in 1994, Cummings and Marsh built a large barn and opened the “Fancy Farmer” mom-and-pop market where some local residents may recall buying home grown fruits, vegetables, and dried flowers from 1996-2002.
The 15-plus acre farm with five out buildings now is being offered to potential new owners at 10 a.m. at public auction on June 4 and a new era may begin.
Reach the Randolph Township Historical Society at (937) 832-1858. The History Center is located at 114 Valleyview Dr., Englewood or visit the website www.rths.org.