History of Lexington Township:
The land comprising Lexington Township (township 19 North, Range 6) was originally surveyed in 1799 by Zaccheus Briggs and subdivided in 1805 by William Heald. It was formerly within the bounds of Columbiana County, but became part of Stark County when the latter county was established by legislative enactment in 1808. This explains why the earliest plat records and deeds for the area were originally recorded in Lisbon, or New Lisbon, the county seat of Columbiana County. Lexington Township was officially created in 1816. In 1821, Washington and Marlboro Townships, formerly included within the jurisdiction of Lexington Township, were separated from Lexington.
The earliest settlement in the township was the village of Lexington, laid out by Quaker settlers Amos Holloway and Nathan Gaskill in 1807. The village of Lexington was located at the intersection of the diagonal roads from Salem to Cleveland and from Deerfield to Canton. The township and the settlement took their name from the battle of Lexington in the Revolutionary War. The settlement was on the banks of the Mahoning River, which was a grand waterway at the time, as it was declared navigable by act of legislation. Many thought it would become an important highway of commerce from the Ohio River, but the promise was never fulfilled. The remnants of the village of Lexington may be seen near the present intersection of Rockhill and Greenbower – a stone marker, and an old cemetery.
Lexington Township is also the location of the first African American settlement in Stark County. The settlement, called New Guinea, was established along the banks of the Mahoning River about a mile east of Williamsport, the later settlement being located near the site of the old Alliance waterworks. New Guinea, which flourished around 1810, was made up of about 200 freed and runaway slaves who were befriended by the early Quaker settlers in the area. No traces remain of this settlement.
The village of Limaville is entirely within Lexington Township and was laid out in 1830 by David Halloway. Limaville is the oldest incorporated village in Stark County. The original name of the village was Lima, but was changed to Limaville due to a conflict with Lima, the county seat of Allen County in western Ohio.
The city of Alliance was also once a part of Lexington Township. Formed into an incorporated village in 1854, Alliance took its beginnings from the earlier township settlements of Williamsport (laid out by William Teeters in 1827), Freedom (laid out by Mathias Hester in 1838), and Liberty (flourished with the coming of the railroads in 1850-1851). Alliance officially became separated from Lexington Township in 1965, with the creation of Butler Township.
Water resources are an important part of Lexington Township. Berlin Lake was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and completed in 1943 at a cost of over six million dollars. It is a vital link in a system of flood control and has substantially reduced flooding on the Mahoning, Beaver, and Ohio Rivers. Recreation on the lake includes water skiing, sailing, swimming, and fishing. Boat ramps are available, and fishing is popular not only on Berlin Lake proper, but also on the more recently completed Deer Creek and Walborn Reservoir projects. The Stark County Park District is working on additional facilities at both Walborn Reservoir and Deer Creek Reservoir.
Lexington Township Government:
Township government consists of three Trustees and a Township Clerk, who are each elected to four-year terms. The terms are staggered so that two each are elected every two years, either one Trustee and the Clerk or two of the Trustees are elected.
The Board of Township Trustees is the overall governing body of the Township. They decide issues of Township Policy and are responsible for all expenditures of township funds. They also hire all employees of the township.
Their authority is limited to only those specific duties which are delegated by State Law. Unlike cities and villages, townships do not have the authority to pass laws.
Many of the specific services commonly associated with local governments are actually under the legal jurisdiction of the County and State government. These may include animal control, environmental protection, public health and maintenance of State and County roadways, (even if they are located within the Township).
The Township Clerk is the Fiscal Officer of the Township. The duties include receiving and depositing all money received by Zoning fees, Road permits, and all tax money paid to the township. Preparing and paying all bills of the township, including all payroll. All contracts and purchases must be appropriated and certified by the Clerk. Also, all Federal and State tax deposits, quarterly reports, and annual W2’s. The Clerk must also record the minutes of all meetings.
Township Officials are always available to assist citizens with problems dealing with the township, county, state and federal government.
You will find that township government offers more personal service, more attention to individual needs and a better understanding of local problems than any other unit of government. And it does this at less cost.
Regular Township meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00 P.M. at the township fire station, 14555 Gaskill Drive NE. Work sessions and special meetings are announced in advance. The public is invited and encouraged to attend these meetings.