Barrs Mills, Ohio
"Barrs Mills, Ohio is located on the North Central edge of Sugarcreek Township. Sugarcreek Township was formed from parts of Lawrence and Dover Townships on March 7, 1811. This is about the time that John J. MILLER came from Somerset County, Pennsylvania and settled on the Southeast quarter of Section 9, the site of Barrs Mills. He later moved to Elkhart County, Indiana. While living here he built a grist mill near the Sugar Creek which flows through the center of the village. He used water power from the creek to operated his grist mill which was the first mill built in Sugarcreek Township...
In 1875 within the village there were five homes, one store and a grist mill. Frederick WALTER and David BARR owned the land on the west side of the creek and Josiah TETERS, David BARR, Josiah STOUGH, and Leah TETERS owned the land on the east side of the creek. Conrad REISWICK also had a small property on the east side. David BARR owned the grist mill and his son-in-law, Eugene HENDERSON operated the store..."
"There is no record of what year John J. MILLER built the first grist mill or how many years he operated it but in 1853 John BALTZLY bought the mill and rebuilt it to suit the needs of the day.
Thomas Walter, a later owner of the mill sold it to David BARR in 1867. While WALTER owned the mill, the hamlet was known as Walters Mill. After David BARR purchased it, the name was changed to Barrs Mills..."
THE STONE QUARRY
"In the early 1900's the Massillon Sand and Stone Company started a quarry to produce sand located on the nearby Josiah STOUGH farm. The large rock formation would be blasted with dynamite and the broken rock loaded onto the cars by hand. The cars would be pulled up an incline and the rock dumped into a crusher. The rock was crushed into sand and the sand was dried and loaded into railroad cars for shipment to steel mills all over the country..."
"For nearly a century the village was without a church building. Many families belonged either to the Amish or Lutheran Church. The Amish took turns having services in their homes as they still do today and those of the Lutheran faith attended the Shanesville Lutheran Church..."
(A church was built in 1908 and was dedicated on November 8, 1908. On July 4, 1909 the church was named St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Barrs Mills, Ohio, and it became part of the Shanesville Charge. Elected officers were Josiah STOUGH, S. P. MILLER, Josiah TETERS and Curtis A. WALTER.)
(The stained glass windows for the building were donated by various families belonging to the congregation: "BOWERS, FISHER, KRETZINGER, LAHM, S. P. MILLER, E. PETERMAN, STOUGH, WALTER, and WEIMER.")...
THE AMISH CHURCH
"The John J. MILLER family that came from Somerset County, Pennsylvania in the early 1800's and settled for a while on a site which later developed into the village of Barrs Mills, was of the Amish faith. There were always several Amish families in the area and as time went on and properties were sold, more and more Amish families settled in and around Barrs Mills..."
"The village was never blessed with a doctor but Dundee and Sugarcreek always had a doctor and even in the days of horse and buggy they would make house calls. In the 1870's Dr. William McCAIN practiced in Dundee followed by Dr. SPRINGER then Dr. DeHINDON and Dr. A. H. SYLER served the Sugarcreek area for many years..."
"Many of the early settlers of Barrs Mills are either buried in the Bunker Hill Cemetery near Winfield or Eastlawn in Shanesville. John and Mary (SHOWALTER) WALTER, probably the first WALTER family in the valley, also Christian and Elizabeth STROME, parents of Josiah TETERS second wife are buried in the Hardscrabble Cemetery located on Township Road 73 (The David TROYER farm.)
~ from A History of Barrs Mills, Ohio and Vicinity, by Doyle and Mary Shonk.