The Pennsylvania Railroad tracks pass by the grain storage in downtown Convoy, symbolic of the rural community served by the small town. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)
The Pennsylvania Railroad tracks pass by the grain storage in downtown Convoy, symbolic of the rural community served by the small town. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)

CONVOY – Many early settlers who came to Tully Township came to an area of thick swamp and forest that was still inhabited by Native Americans such as the Shawnees, Chippewas, Ottawas, Miamis, and Pottowattomies.

Tradition has it that there was a Native American camp northeast of Convoy on the Sugar Ridge Road.

In the “History of Van Wert,” published by the Van Wert County Historical Society, it was said that the Native Americans followed this road twice a year _ in the fall to hunt and in the spring to make maple sugar. That is the reason, says the history book, that the road eventually picked up the name, “Sugar Ridge Road.”

“The first settlers to locate in the township were John Morse and his wife who came from Onondaga County, New York,” states the history book.

The book notes that once the couple arrived in the area, it walked from Defiance to their new home at the Sugar Ridge Road in 1837.

“On December 2, 1839, the County Commissioners accepted a petition for the formation of Tully Township which was struck off from Harrison Township,” states the history. “This constituted a civil township under the name of Tully. Mrs. Morse named it Tully after her hometown in New York.”

In order to inhabit the township, there was the need for an extensive drainage program. This started with the establishment of tile factories.

This enabled the construction of some of the county’s first roads, including Stagecoach Road, renamed Ridge Road and finally, Lincoln Highway. Other earliest significant roads included Willshire Road, later State Route 49 and Tully-Lare Road. Other businesses in the area to quickly establish included sawmills and stave mills.

One of the earliest neighbors and significant clusters of houses in the area, later known as, “Convoy,” really drew early pioneers to the area. Robert Nesbit loved it here. In fact, he loved it so much that he and another man named, James Pettit, purchased 17 acres and platted a town said, Pettit. “Pettit laid the land out in lots. Nesbit named the new village, ‘Convoy,’ after his own town of Convoy (Cormhagh) in Ireland. It is the only Convoy in the United States.

The history states that in the year, 1874, the village of Convoy was incorporated with A.B. Penny serving as the first mayor. Initially, there were 400 residents living in the tiny community which had already established a dozen new stores.

Within a short time, churches started to spring up in the village and surrounding area. Within a few short years, with the coming of improved roads, nine more rooms were added to the school to make it possible for more area families to become more homesick for the event.

By 1914, those businesses became foundational for the springing forth of Convoy including the Village Granary, Joseph Kreischer Dry goods and groceries, City Meat Market, Britenberg Hardware Store and many other small area animals.

In addition to the uprising of captured young animals, all types of flowers have been coming forth to provide notes from upcoming summer festival activities.