This page supports the series, "Sheriff William Preston's identity crisis."
"Click here," below, to view the passage in its full context at InternetArchive.org.
Nevin O. Winter, History of Northwest Ohio (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1917).
(1) 1: 405 [Click here] “Among the first, if not the very first, real settlers who established themselves in the neighborhood of Fort Defiance were two brothers, by the name of John and William Preston, who had seen service in the War of 1812. William Preston became the first sheriff in this part of Ohio and finally removed to Williams County, where he died in about the year 1828. His brother had passed away several years earlier. His surname is perpetuated at Defiance in the name of an island and also of a small creek. At the same time came James Partee, John Plummer, John Perkins, and Montgomery Ebons […..] John Perkins came from near Chillicothe … surveyed land for the United States … James Partee located along the Tiffin River. William Travis, who became one of the prominent early settlers of Defiance, first visited the town in 1819 … James Driver, who was a silversmith, came here accompanied by his brother, Thomas…."
(2) 1: 406 [Click here] "When Williams County was organized for self Government, in 1824, Defiance was chosen as the seat of government by and act of the Legislature in January of the following year. Prior to that it had been a part of Wood County, and was included within Auglaize Township. The first two justices of the peace were John Perkins and William Preston ... As a consideration for its selection as the permanent county seat, the proprietor of Defiance agreed to deed to the county one-third of all the lots in the town and to build a jail. These conditions were complied with. The first Court of Common Pleas for this county was held in that village on April 5, 1824, in the second story of Benjamin Leavell's store. Ebenezer Lane was the presiding judge, and his associates on the bench were Robert Shirley, John Perkins, and Pierce Evans. .... At the second session of these judges, in the following May, John Evans was appointed recorded of the county .... William Preston was allowed to call himself sheriff and Samuel Vance was named as assessor."
(3) 1: 407 [Click here] "Cyrus Hunter, Charles Gunn, and Benjamin Leavell were the first county commissions of Williams County. Their first formal session was held December 6, 1824, in the same room as the court had met. ... They authorized a road along the north side of the Maumee to the east line of Henry County, and William Preston, John Evans, and Arthur Burrows were appointed the viewers of this road, which John Perkins authorized from the Indiana line, along this line was certified to the commissioners of Wood County in 1822. Defiance Township was carved out of Auglaize in the same year. In 1825, William Semans was appointed treasurer of the county ..."
(4) 1: 618 [Click here] "Not much is known about the early bar of the county. In 1837, the only names credited to Williams County were Curtis Bates, Horace Sessions, and William Semans ... In 1842, the names of the lawyers upon the tax list included the following: William Semans ..."