James Knight

Prominent among the early citizens of York was Mr. James Knight. He was born in Pulborough,  England, and emigrated to the United States when thirty-two years old, came immediately to York township, and settled here in July, 1821. He became at once thoroughly identified with the interests of the township, and especially of Nelsonville, and during his residence here was one of the most active and influential citizens, participating earnestly in the local improvements and social movements of the day, such as the building of bridges, school and meeting houses, the establishment of Sunday and day schools, etc. He kept public house in Nelsonville for many years, and was very assiduous in imparting information about the Hockhocking valley to travelers. He aided largely in the construction of the first bridge over the Hockhocking, at Nelsonville, in 1827, and also in the erection of a second one in 1832, and of the bridge across Monday creek, three miles below Nelsonville, in 1832. These bridges were mainly built on individual subscriptions, paid, in many instances, in grain and labor, and the original subscription papers, with the plans of the work and the written contracts therefore, were found in complete order among Mr. Knight’s papers after his death.
In 1832 he prepared, by request, a circular calling attention to the importance of an immediate improvement of the Hockhocking valley by a canal from Lancaster to the Ohio river, which was sent to leading men throughout southern Ohio, and which contributed much toward the chartering of the “Hocking Valley canal” in the spring of 1839 and its construction soon after. Mr. Knight died August 26, 1836, aged forty seven years.

The following memoranda are in his handwriting:

Mr. Edward Redman, Mrs. Redman, Harriet Redman, arrived 26th May, 1832.
Charles Wheeler arrived July 19th
Captain Hale, with Samuel Older, wife and eight children;
Thomas Older, William Thaire, wife and children;
James Smart, wife and two children;
William Saunders, wife and four children;
Barberry, wife and children;
George Tribe and wife;
George Hook and Ned Smithers arrived at Nelsonville July 30th, 1832, at 11 o’clock in the forenoon.
Peter Smithers and wife and children at Pittsburg.
Charles Southerton, wife and children at Sunday creek. Howick, ditto.
Captain Hale stayed fifteen days at Nelsonville.
Graffham and family arrived August 21st, 1832.
Miss Courtauld arrived November 20, 1834.

[From: "History of Athens County, Ohio...." Charles M. Walker - 1869]

Samuel Knowles

a native of Connecticut, and, during early life, a sea-faring man, came to Athens county in 18o8 and settled at Hockingport. In 1812 he married Miss Clarissa Curtis, sister of Judge Walter Curtis of Washington county, and in 1820 removed to the town of Athens where he resided for many years. He was elected marshal of the town in 1825 and 1826. He removed to the west many years since and is now living in Knoxville, Iowa.

[From: "History of Athens County, Ohio...." Charles M. Walker - 1869]

Samuel S. Knowles

son of the last named, was born at Athens, August 25, 1825, received his early education at the village schools, learned the carpenter trade when seventeen years old and followed it for a few years, entered the academy at Athens at the age of twenty-one, and pursued his studies there and in the university about four years, read law with Lot L. Smith, was admitted to the bar in 1851, elected prosecuting attorney of Athens county the same year, and held the office two terms. He practiced law at Athens till 1862, when he removed to Marietta. In October, 1865, he was elected state senator from the 14th district, comprising Washington, Morgan, and Noble counties, serving two years. In April, 1864, he was elected mayor of Marietta, and re-elected in 1866, serving four years. He is now engaged in the practice of law at Marietta.

[From: "History of Athens County, Ohio...." Charles M. Walker - 1869]


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