Side A: Isaac Souder (1809-1889), in 1835 at the age of 26, purchased 225 acres in Jefferson Township for $674. Jefferson Township, in the eastern portion of Franklin County, was part of the U.S. military lands that offered fertile farmland and abundant water. Souder’s farm prospered and he built a house there 1837 using bricks made on-site and creating a pond excavating needed clay. He and his wife, Anna Maria Elizabeth Minehart (1825-1878), raised 4 children there. Over time Souder sold portions of his land to other family members, who also farmed successfully. In 1874 he built a sawmill that became one of two permanent mills in the township. The Souder house and farm remained in the family for 114 years as visible reminders of the rich agricultural and rural heritage of early Jefferson Township.
Side B: The Souder House, demolished in 2020, was an excellent example of the early 19th century I-House, a vernacular architectural style popular in Ohio from 1830-1890. The style, named by cultural geographer Fred Kniffen in 1936, featured a symmetrical façade, typically with four windows on the first floor and five on the second. I-Houses had two stories, a gabled roof, a center hall, two rooms per floor, end chimneys, and were one room deep. Some I-Houses were built with original rear wings; others added them later. While most were not built in popular architectural styles, there are examples of Federal, Greek Revival ,Gothic Revival, and Victorian-era I-House designs. The Souder House had the added feature of a recessed second floor porch, which added an elegant touch to its overall appearance.