I get pretty excited when I run across old documents and papers. This past week I acquired a little booklet that is 105 years old and that certainly fits the bill!
My mom recently came across some old papers my dad had saved. This little 8 page booklet, “Quadrennial Assessor’s Report of Blackcreek Twp. Mercer County, Ohio, 1910,” once belonged to my dad’s grandfather, Jacob Miller, who owned 80 acres in Blackcreek Township. The booklet was printed by Bote Print, Celina, Ohio.
In 1910 J.L. Morrow, was the auditor and D.T. Ruffner, was the assessor. The Board of Equalization consisted of Fred Heiby, L.N. Kiser, Frank Dillhoff, L.L. Marsh, surveyor, and J.L. Morrow, clerk of the board. Today the Equalization Board “helps ensure uniformity and fairness in property taxation through its oversight of the appraisal work of local county auditors.”  It likely served the same purpose 100 years ago.
This was a quadrennial report—made every four years. Today reappraisals are conducted every six years and values are updated the third year following each sexennial reappraisal.  In 1910, taxes on this appraisement were not be collected before December 1911.
There are no towns in Blackcreek Township but Chatt is immediately to the southwest. Blackcreek Township is bordered by Van Wert County on the north, Indiana on the west, Liberty Township on the south, and Dublin Township on the east.
Approximately 350 different names are written in the quadrennial booklet. They are not listed in alphabetical order but instead are listed in order by section number. You can get idea of who lived near each other if you know how the sections are numbered. Section no. 1 is in the northeast corner of the township. Section numbering goes west for 6 sections, then down one row and back east, then down one row and back west. Back and forth. Six sections across and six sections down. The last section, no.36, is in the southeast corner. A section contains 640 acres.
You can see how the sections are numbered by looking at the map below. The section number is written in the center of each section.
The Charles [Charlie] and Labadie Reservations are listed at the end of the booklet, after Section 36, but they were in the northeast section of the township, in Sections 1 and 2.
The columns in the booklet:
- In whose name assessed
- No. of acres
- Total value of lands excluding buildings
- Deduct value of roads and ditches
- Total value of lands and buildings
My great-grandfather Jacob Miller is on page 6. He owned 80 acres of land in Section 30. His land value was $5040, $88 deducted for roads and ditches, and $6352 total value of lands and buildings.
Below are scans of the book’s pages.
This document can be helpful to locate individuals who owned land and most likely lived on that land in Blackcreek Township in 1910.
It is a very nice little booklet and I am so glad the Millers saved nearly everything.
 Ohio Department of Taxation, Real Property Tax, http://www.tax.ohio.gov/real_property.aspx : assessed 11 March 2015.