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The farmhouse here at Branch Creek Farm was built in 1879. We believe Henry and Mary Eshbaugh built the house. They put the year of 1879 on a brick at the very highest point of the house. The hay barn, which is hand-hone, appears to have been built about the same time. We also have a tobacco barn and a chicken shed that are quite old, however not as old as the hay barn. According to the estate documents, the tobacco barn was built by Henry and Mary's son, Levi Eshbaugh in 1903, we assume the chicken shed was built around the same time.

Henry was born in 1830 and died in 1903. He, Mary, and many of their family are buried in the cemetery just up the road, across from the church at the corner of Rt 4 and Infirmary.
When Henry died in 1903, his estate listed, "Mary E. Eshbaugh his widow, and the following persons only heirs at law:"


Degree of Kinship
P.O. Address
Levi Eshbaugh Son Miamisburg, Ohio
Jacob Eshbaugh Son Carrollton, Ohio
Perry Eshbaugh Son Dayton, Ohio, R.R. 6
Abraham Eshbaugh Son Dayton, Ohio
Andrew Rauch Grandson Liberty, Ohio
Henry Rauch Grandson Ellerton, Ohio
Davilla Rauch Grandson Ellerton, Ohio
Elmer Rauch Grandson Ellerton, Ohio
Christina Eshbaugh (aged 11) Granddaughter Dayton, Ohio
Catherine Eshbaugh (aged 9) Granddaughter Dayton, Ohio
Marie Eshbaugh (aged 8) Granddaughter Dayton, Ohio
Alice Eshbaugh (aged 6) Granddaugher Dayton, Ohio
Henry Eshbaugh (aged 4) Grandson Dayton, Ohio
Robert Eshbaugh (aged 1) Grandson Dayton, Ohio

"That none of the above named children of said decedent were under 15 years of age at the time of his decease."

Mary was born in 1835 and died in 1917. The Eshbaugh family lived in this three story brick farmhouse until about 1917. At that time (1917) Branch Creek Farm consisted of 43 acres.We should point out that the road bordering the northernmost part of the property at that time is Eshbaugh road.

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In October 1917 the records show that Abraham Eshbaugh, one of Henry and Mary's sons, bought the place through a Sheriff's auction for $8,600. It appears at this auction he "bought out" the rest of the family.


In 1920. Elmer Rauch purchased the farm from Abraham Eshbaugh. Elmer and his family (we think his wife's name was Zola) lived here for 56 years! Elmer and his wife put a lot of time and effort into the farm. Elmer was one of four sons of Sarah Rauch (Eshbaugh). Sarah was the daughter of Henry and Mary Eshbaugh and according to the records appears to have died sometime before 1903. She is not listed in Henry's 1903 estate, however according to the Sheriff's auction paperwork, she had at least four sons; Henry, Elmer, Davilla, and Andrew. Elmer was at least 15, according to his Grandfather Henry's estate document, so Elmer had to be at least 32 when he purchased the farm from his uncle Abraham.

Elmer and his family were dairy farmers, the barn has cow staunches where the cows were milked, there remains some old machinery in the barn that leads us to believe the cows were not always milked by hand. There is also a milk parlor practically on top of the well, complete with a channel with a drain in the cement floor, presumably to hold water to keep the milk containers cool. Sometime during Elmer's stay here, he sold off just over 3 acres of roadfront on Eshbaugh road, the far north part of the property.

Nearly the entire floor of the long tobacco barn is concrete - to do this they had to raise the supporting poles and place the poles on concrete piers. The two side floors, including the lean-to, of the hay barn are concrete as well as a 30x50 foot section extended out from the barn into the pasture. This section of the hay barn has the year 1945 marked in the concrete on the south side. The chicken shed also has a cement floor. And there is a cement water trough on the south side of the hay barn. The cement lip of the hay barn shows the year "1961". Elmer, or someone in his family, used license plates dating from 1937 to 1972 to fix, repair, and mend the many outbuildings here at the farm. We have been told that besides farming, Elmer also drove a school bus for many years.

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In 1976, Willis and Willie Tunstall purchased the farm from Elmer Rauch. We don't know much of their ten year tenure, except there was some sort of after-hours nightclub in the tobacco barn, complete with the "cover charge" window and entrance, and two toilet stalls. We've heard this was called the Broken Wagon Wheel nightclub. The only evidence left from the nightclub is the flourescent orange and green spray paint on the beams, we removed the aluminum foil wrapped around many beams.

In 1986, Lloyd Reid bought the property. During the early part of his 14 year ownership, Mr. Reid rented the place out. Later, Mr. Reid moved into the farmhouse and put a great deal of time and money into fixing up the interior of the house.

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In July of 2000, Jana Dalton bought Branch Creek farm. Thanks to Mr. Reid the house, especially the inside, was in great shape. The large, beautiful windows on the main floor are all the original wood, the windows themselves are brand new, the kitchen and bathroom are beautifully tiled and updated, and there is brand new carpet in three rooms. Thanks to his efforts, we could move right into the house and concentrate our efforts on repairing and restoring the out buildings and land itself.

We are trying to restore the house, as best we can, to what it originally was. Any helpful hints would be greatly appreciated.

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