Click to view/print a current
map of Vandalia and
History of Vandalia
In 1838, Vandalia was founded by Benjamin Wilhelm. The
village was laid out in 33 lots along east National Road and Nelson
Street. Mr. Wilhelm was elected as its first mayor and the
village started to grow.
The first church in the village was built in 1838, by the United
Brethren congregation on the northwest corner of Troy and Nelson
Street (Dixie Drive and Kenbrook today).
During those early years, the village had hotels, blacksmiths
shops, a steam sawmill, meat markets, and a carriage shop.
The first school was established in 1869 at the northwest corner
of Perry and Nelson Streets. Vandalia became an independent
school district with ten additional districts in the township.
In 1900, Butler High School was built at the intersection of
Peters Pike and National Road for Butler Township students.
Vandalia flourished in the late 1870's. The demand for
hose-drawn vehicles and their repairs helped to create thriving
businesses in the village. By 1881 the population was 315.
in 1920, the Vandalia and Butler District School Boards voted to
create a centralized school system. What is now known as
Morton Middle School was opened January 22, 1922.
Vandalia was outgrowing its village status by 1959, and the
voters chose the Council-Manager as its form of government.
This made the village a municipal corporation, and on January 1,
1960, Vandalia became a Charter City of the State of Ohio.
Vandalia celebrated the 150th year of its founding in 1988.
Click to view/print "Vandalia-Butler,
Crossroads of America" from the Vandalia-Butler
Chamber of Commerce Resource Guide.
Click to view/print "History"
from the Vandalia-Butler Chamber of Commerce publication, The
Vandalia-Butler Community...A Timeless Treasure.
History of Butler Township
(Click to view/print an
1875 Map of
Butler Township - including historically significant locations)
Butler Township is located in the northeastern part of Montgomery
County, Ohio and lies between the Miami and Stillwater Rivers.
This area became a township in 1817 and was named after a
field officer who had served in the Indian War. Within the
township were three villages - Little York, Chambersburg, and
Vandalia (Chambersburg was renamed Murlin Height). Vandalia
became incorporated in 1849. There were two railroad stations
known as Tadmor and Johnson's Station. There were post offices
at Little York, Tadmor and Spankertown.
In the 1900's, Butler
Township had its quota of mills, distilleries and woolen mills.
It was a farming community, as the soil was rich and fertile.
There was also a large supply of raw materials but no transportation
to take them anywhere. This eventually changed as roads,
turnpikes, canals and railroads were built.
In 1880 the population
was around 1,250. in 1989 approximately 11,000 people.
Interstate Routes 70 and 75 provide access in every direction for
township residents. The Dayton International Airport is
located in Butler Township, but belongs to the City of Dayton.
The Amateur Trapshoot Association, established in 1924, was
located well west of the village.
In the past one hundred years,
there have been major changes in Butler Township; Butler Township is
a growing community with a proud and rich heritage of historical
Click to view/print the history of Butler Township as taken from
the 1919 edition of "The
Memoirs of the Miami Valley".
History of Vandalia-Butler Schools
In the lower level of the Brown School House you will find an
in-depth historical photo essay depicting the evolution of the
Vandalia-Butler Schools. This includes a large lighted map of
Butler Township, noting the locations of all schools of the past,
many old photos including one room schools. Also on display
are many pieces of paper memorabilia, including graduation
announcements, grade cards, school play programs, Aviator
newspapers, etc. Antique school furniture and books are also
See more pictures on the History of
Vandalia-Butler Schools exhibit page.
History of Vandalia Churches
congregation has built four structures in Vandalia. Growth of
the congregation made it necessary each time to acquire more room.
About 1839 or 1840 the United Brethren society erected a one-story,
brick church at the northeast corner of the present intersection of
Kenbrook and Dixie Drive. A second church was built in 1869 at
the same location, it had a spire and bell.
A third United
Brethren Church was built at the northeast corner of the
intersection of Perry Street and Old National Road. It was
dedicated in July 1918. A merger in 1946 caused a name change
to "Evangelical United Brethren Church." Growth of this church
required an Educational wing to be built onto the building and was
dedicated June 1952.
By 1954 the congregation had outgrown these
facilities and they purchased 2.4 acres on the east side of South
Dixie Drive between Tionda Drive and Scott Avenue. Ground was
broken for the (fourth) new church in April 1962 and the old church
was sold to another denomination. On Easter Sunday 1963 the
congregation held its first services in the new church.
Another merger with the Methodist church changed the name again to
the Vandalia United Methodist Church in 1968. This is a
The German Evangelical Church society was
organized in about 1844 or 1845 and met in member's homes until the
one story brick building was built in 1853 and dedicated 1854 by
Rev. A. Shaeffer. It is believed it survived until 1882 and
closed because it had only twelve members. (It was located on
the south side of National Road just east of the present Vandalia
Flower Shop.) No records or pictures were found for this
In 1858 a group of 30 members who lived in Vandalia
withdrew for convenience from the Old Stillwater Lutheran Church
(located in the township) and formed St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran
Church. This group met in member's homes and the United
Brethren Church until their church was completed in 1864. This
church was a one-story brick with cupola and bell and stood east of
the present building, which was built in 1968 at 122 W. National
Road, Vandalia, Ohio.