It was early May of 1801 when the first settlers arrived in what would become Liberty Township.

It was early May of 1801 when the first settlers arrived in what would become Liberty Township.

These first settlers to our area included the first colonial settler in Delaware County, Nathan Carpenter.

The dedication and program for an Ohio Historical Marker will be held May 3 to honor him and Liberty Church. It will occur as Delaware County holds events to celebrate its 200th year.

In just two years, Liberty Church will celebrate its 200th anniversary. The Rev. John Hart, pastor of Liberty Presbyterian Church, said, "This marker is a tangible reminder of the rich history of this church, this county and its people."

The 1880 "History of Delaware County" describes in great detail the trip made from upstate New York through Pennsylvania and along the Ohio River. Using keel boats, they poled up the Scioto and the Olentangy rivers.

Later, men came for some of 2.6-million acres in Ohio which had been part of the United States Military District that Congress established in 1796 to provide bounty land for Revolutionary War officers and soldiers.

Kim Cellar, who served as a Liberty Township trustee for 12 years, will participate in the program. He is a descendent of one of the early settlers. His great-great-great-grandfather was Thomas Cellar, a founder and elder of the church.

Thomas Cellar bought 4,000 acres at $1.78 per acre and selected the spot for his cabin in 1778, though it was 1802 before he came and built it.

"Cellars have always been in the township," Kim Cellar said. He proudly drives in-laws and out-of-state relatives around the area when they visit, explaining his relationship to family farms, ancestors, and other early settlers. A great-great-great-uncle, John F., also was a township trustee.

Richard Converse, currently of Fort Mill, S.C., also is a descendant of early township residents. During the past five years, his curiosity and research have yielded three historical markers for Delaware County. The Ohio Historical Society says it is "unprecedented" for a non-Ohio resident to have achieved this distinction.

The cost of obtaining a marker is $2,150. Converse has gathered financial support from family, friends and the Powell Liberty Historical Society, which is a co-sponsor of this marker. This is one way their members and friends promote and educate the community about the history of Liberty Township and Powell.

The community is invited to the dedication of the marker. It will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the Liberty Chapel at Home Road and state Route 315.

The Rev. David Redding, former pastor, and author will speak as well as Judith Brozek, long-time resident, local historian, and preservationist.

She said Richard Converse is a "true inspiration" and lauded him for "shining the light on the remarkable history of this river valley and the importance it played in the settlement of Delaware County."

Carole Wilhelm is a member of the Powell Liberty Historical Society.