Charm- First Name Stevenson
Searching through the records of the Holmes County Court House for the background of the present village of Charm, there was very little information available as to the earliest settlers or of the original plat. I did find, though, that the Holmes County Atlas, 1875, used the name Stevenson as the first name for the village, but no further details were given. It was my good fortune to read an article given to me by Orie Oswald, Charm, taken from some of W.E. Farver’s writings, that gave me a clue to its first name. It seems that the name Stevenson was derived from an Amish farmer, who with his son, lived a short distance north of the village. The few residents of the village felt that they needed a name to distinguish it from other little villages that were springing up throughout German Township. This farmer was Stephan Yoder, who with his son, (hence the name Stevenson) lived on the farm for many years. This was during the Civil War era, and thus the beginning may have been around the 1860’s. The name Stevenson was used until 1886 when the new name of Charm was adopted. As to the exact year the name Stevenson came into being, it is not known.
How The Name Charm Originated
The story goes that in 1886, when the application for the Post Office was considered, that a list of names was submitted to the patrons of the post by the government from which to choose. The patrons chose Charm. No one at present can tell exactly why. However, this story has been handed down through the years. One of the patrons of the post office was Joni J. Yoder (Yone Yoder) who was a jeweler and watch repair man in the village at the time. It was a common practice then to wear quite large watch chains to which an ornament was attached, named a watch charm. Because Charm was one of the names suggested, and because of the connection with Yoder’s vocation, the name Charm was chosen. Whether this was really the way the village received its name will always remain a question, but this remains the only clue.
The Name Pootch Or Pootchtown
Even back in the day when the village was named Stevenson, the village came to be known as Pootchtown. Even after the name Charm came into being, the name Pootchtown was used, and to this day, one hears that name when talking about Charm. The name “pootch” or “pootcha” is a German word indicating a small clump. The story goes that many years ago when Charm was still in its infancy a visitor from some distance was shown the little village. After looking the place over, he is said to have remarked, “Ed is yust ein gleiner pootcha.” The English translation would be, “It is only a little bunch.” The remarks of this visitor were quickly picked up, passed from person to person, and in a very short time became as popular, or even more so, than Stevenson or Charm. One Amish lady told me that she heard that the name came from a man smoking a pipe, that when he blew out the smoke, it went pootsch. Take your choice, but regardless of what you choose, the fact remains that when you hear someone say he is going to Pootchtown, he means Charm.
Excerpt from “History of Villages-People-Places in Eastern Holmes County” 1975 by Clarence Troyer