Genealogy Trails History Group

Belmont County, Ohio
Genealogy and History


Township Histories

Source: "Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens"
edited by A. T. McKelvey, 1905.

Transcribed for Genealogy Trails by Carol LaRue



There are evidences of many settlements having been made in what is now Colerain township as early as 1788. There is a record of a house built near Farmington as early as 1785, two years in advance of the government survey.
Captain Williams, the celebrated Indian hunter and one of the defenders of Fort Henry at Wheeling, was killed by the Indians on what was afterward known as the Majors farm in 1780. Captain Williams was overtaken while out upon a survey or scout. The first farm was bought from the government by Wells and Satterthwaite in 1788. This farm was subsequently owned by Abner Barton and is the site upon which the present town of Barton is built.
Nine years before the township was admitted, a tannery was established by Hugh Parks in section 18, and continued for half a century. As early as 1803-1804, the first flour mill was built by John Harris in section 24 and was used as a mill for 40 years. The mill was a landmark for half a century.
Another old mill that is said to be upwards of a century old is still standing upon the farm of J. H. Hanes, southeast of Colerain village. Mr. Hanes says the mill was built entirely of logs by Burton Stanton and was operated by him for many years. When the present mill was built the old log mill was transformed into a stable and barn, and Mr. Hanes says the old walnut and oak logs are perfectly sound today.
The town afterwards known as Gambletown was laid out in section 8 several years before the organization of the county, but, unhappily, an epidemic of cholera in 1833 practically de-populated the town and it ceased to exist.

Colerain township was organized in 1808 and was named by Scotch-Irish citizens after a pretty little village in the north Ireland, which the writer has visited, called Colerain, from the neighborhood of which the majority of these first settlers emigrated.
The township contains 15,351 acres of fertile land, which is underlaid by a valuable vein of coal, that has proven a fertile source of income to the extensive mining companies now in operation at Barton, Maynard and Crescent, affording employment to hundreds of miners in these prosperous mining towns.
The population of Colerain township at the tenth census was 2,987, a gain of 736 in the last decade. There is likewise a gain of $60,000 worth of personal property on the tax duplicate while the tax levy is reduced from 1.86 to 1.78.

The township officers are: Justices of the peace, - William McGraw, R. M. Simpson and T. C. Mercer; trustees, - L. D. Mitchell, William Kinsey and George Frasier; township clerk, - John Middlemass; township treasurer, - William Bradford.

There are 10 sub-school districts in the township, with T. C. Mercer of Pleasant Grove as president, and the sub-directors are: R. M. Simpson, Charles Dungan, George Ashton, Oliver Watkins, Alexander Riddle, Charles Seabright, James Mowry, E. N. Boggs and Alfred Mead.
Among the men most prominent in educational matters in the past were Dr. C. H. Cope, Jesse Barton, Thomas Pyle, Thomas White and Israel French.
The first school was built on the farm of Arch. Major in 1799, and the scholars were obliged to travel long distances over dangerous paths, exposed to savages and wild beasts, in order to reach the school house.
The 10 sub-districts in operation today are surpassed by none in the county.

Farmington was established about the time the National Road was in contemplation and its founder hoped to direct the road through that village. Wherefore in 1818 the town was laid out by Daniel McPeak and many lots were sold at high prices for that period. But when the great thoroughfare was established and the route determined upon was three miles south of the village, the effort was abandoned. Some of the early occupants on the town were the Bundys, Mortons, Mitchells, Berrys and Dunlaps.
COLERAIN - Concord or Colerain village is accredited with being the second permanent settlement in Belmont County.

James Cope, himself a descendant of the old pioneer Friends, contributed an interesting article to the Belmont Chronicle concerning the little village of Colerain from which with his consent we cull. - Its founders were Friends who emigrated largely from North Carolina and Virginia to escape the baneful influences of slavery. A few persons had preceded them and located in the vicinity, but as the Friends took the bulk of the land at one sweep, they were esteemed as practically the first settlers.
Some of these persons who came to hew out a home in the wilderness had been slaveholders in the South but, becoming convinced of the sinfulness of dealing in human chattels, had manumitted their slaves, and removed to the Northwest Territory, where human slavery by the Ordinance of 1787 was prohibited.
With the thrift, industry and economy that characterized the people of the new settlement, they prospered.
While worshiping God in their unostentatious quiet way, they lived in peace with their neighbors, and steadily accumulated their earthly possessions.
The Colerain of a century ago would bear little comparison to the attractive little village that today has become a favorite summer resort for weary townspeople.
This organization of Friends wielded a mighty force in the development of Belmont County. Among the early settlers, many of whose descendents are still living in the thrifty homes and well tilled farms on the vicinity, were the Steers, Copes, Baileys, Hirsts and Berrys. These families came from Loudoun and Frederick counties, Virginia. The Pickerings came from Virginia; the Howards and Steeles from North Carolina; the Millhouses, Vickars, Malins and Whartons came from Pennsylvania after the settlement was effected.
The first meeting for worship was held not far from where Benjamin Cope now resides.
There is one of God's first temples, seated on trunks of fallen trees, these sincere, earnest people waited in silence for the baptism of the Spirit. Soon however a log meeting house was built. It stood about one-quarter of a mile south from where the present brick structure now stands. Jonathan Taylor was the first minister of the Society. He was the grandfather of the late Congressman, J. T. Updegraff.
Horton Howard, another well known minister and publisher, lived on what is now the Starbuck farm. He was said to be the orator of Ohio's Yearly Meeting.
George Smith was also a minister that preached in a log meeting house. He was six feet and eight inches in height, and would cause the boys to forget the solemnity of the occasion when he would strike his head against the joists of the low ceiling. A custom of Society then as now was to hold a meeting twice each week, and although there were but two timepieces in the entire community they seldom missed the hour of meeting.
Josiah Fox removed to the settlement in 1814 and owned what is now the Clark farm. He was an able constructor during Washington's administration and was the builder of "Old Ironsides." Mr. Fox lost his right of membership in the Society of Friends for building war ships. The families of Messrs. Given, French and Wright came still later.
These people were endowed with more than ordinary physical strength, endurance and courage. But withal there was the complete dependence on divine power, and the great desire of all was to help one another and there was probably never a community in which the true Christian life was more truly exemplified.
But not all the early settlers in Colerain were Friends. A large number of Scotch-Irish were among the first immigrants and the industry and thrift of these intelligent people contributed much to the development of the township. Of these families we might mention the Bartons, Majors, Wells and Wrights.
Among those who came at an early day was John S. Williams, who in late years was known as the editor of the American Pioneer, published at Cincinnati, Ohio. He wrote an account of the early days at Concord. With his mother, sister and brothers he came to Belmont County in 1800 and he notes that they stopped at John Leaf's when they reached the settlement.
At that time there was a steady tide of immigration and the new arrivals lodged with those that had erected cabins. Even the best cabins were none too good and to many of the people of the settlement the life was a great change from that to which they had been accustomed. To pass from affluence, to live in the wilderness surrounded by wild beasts and but slight comforts at the command of the wealthiest, was a great trial. But they settled down to make the best of the situation.
PLEASANT GROVE. - Ten years later the pretty little town of Pleasant Grove was established by John Anderson, who built upon the site of an old-fashioned tavern. Previous to this, however, an old hunter named Peter Babb effected a settlement about 1800 not far southwest of Pleasant Grove, where he distinguished himself as a slayer of wolves, bears and other wild animals.
There is a well-sustained lodge of Knights of Pythias, known as Grove Lodge No. 485, established at Pleasant Grove with a membership of 62. J. G. Miller is keeper of records. The value of the lodge property and moneys on hand amount to $770.69.
MAYNARD. - There are but two voting precincts in the township, viz: Maynard and Farmington, and the vote cast at the last election in 1900 for Secretary of State was 431 in Farmington and 227 in Maynard precinct.

Maynard, or New Pittsbur as it is familiarly now called, has become one of the foremost mining towns in Belmont County. The population in 1900 was upwards of 400, largely miners employed by the Lorain Coal & Dock Company.
In the immediate vicinity, the Troll and Purseglove mines are preparing to open, and it is thought the operation of these mines will add from 800 to 1,000 additional population to the town.
The coal shipped from the mines at present in operation amounts to between 30 and 40 car-loads per day. The M. P. Church is the only house of worship in the village. Its pastor is Rev. Mr. Murphy and the congregation is largely composed of farmers. As elsewhere stated, Catholic services are held by the pastor of Bridgeport.
The school was conducted by B. H. Murphy last year with one assistant teacher, but a new room is required to accommodate the increased number of scholars. Charles Ewing, Edwin Holtz and James B. Mowry constitute the board of school directors.
The town supports two secret organizations, viz: Knights of Pythias and Order of United American Mechanics, and a large hall has recently been constructed for their accommodation. The Knights of Pythias have a membership of 70. The officers for 1902 are: C. Clyde Higgins, V. C. Herbert Donnelly; prelate, Willis Ishmael; M. N., William Easton; M. of A., Bert Applegarth; I. G., Charles Ewing; O. G., Worth Bruce. The American Mechanics have a membership of 80. The presiding officers are: Counsellor, Lon Beck; vice counselor, William Morton; senior X, Jonathan Knight; Junior X, William Harie; recording secretary, J. O. Graham; financial secretary, D. Morton.
Barton is a village of a few hundred inhabitants on the Cleveland, Lorain & Wheeling Railway, near the junction of the St. Clairsville branch. It sustains a school, two churches and post office. One of the churches is a branch of the Methodist Protestant with Rev. B. L. Murphy as pastor. The other as elsewhere stated is a Catholic Church, conducted by Rev. Mr. Weigand of Bridgeport. The school, which is largely attended, is conducted by Wilson Dungan assisted by Olive Mitchell. The population is largely mining and the new mines now being opened at Barton by the Osborn people will employ 800 men when they are in full operation. The tipple will be located up the Run about half a mile from the station and special tracks will have to be run to it. This will increase the population of Barton very greatly. The Maple Hill mines have already given contracts for 35 new houses for the use of men and many more will be built in the near future.

There are three pikes maintained in Colerain township, viz: the Bridgeport & Colerain Pike, Martin's Ferry & Colerain Pike and the National Road. The two pikes first named extend from the river front to the center of the township and the latter to the southern part of the township. The township pikes are maintained by tolls.

The Methodist Episcopal Church. - Two years after the erection of Farmington, a Methodist Episcopal Church was established and among its zealous ministers we might number Rev. Scott, Jones and Lovman.
Seceders' and Covenanters' churches. - This church organization was preceded by a small congregation of Seceders whose meetings were held on the farm of Rev. Hugh Parks. But it disbanded in 1835. In 1842 a church of Covenanters was organized on Sloan's Run, which existed less than a quarter of a century.
The Methodist Protestant Church. - Ten years after the establishment of the Covenanters' church, the Methodist Protestants organized a church at Pleasant Grove, that was for years presided over by Rev. Slater Brown. It is now under the pastorate of Rev. B. L. Murphy, who also ministers to the churches at Barton and Maynard. The stewards at Pleasant Grove are B. S. Boyd and Katherine Simpson.
The Presbyterian Church of Farmington was organized in 1872 through the efforts of Rev. Robert Alexander of St. Clairsville. There was a membership of but 14 at the organization with Rev. James Day as pastor.
The elders were John Theaker and James Wiley. The membership was subsequently increased to upwards of 150. At present the congregation is without a pastor. The present bench of elders are David Cowen, G. A. P. Theaker and Washington Kennedy.
There are two Catholic churches in the township, one located at Barton, and the other at Maynard.
Church of "Our Lady Queen of Angels," Barton - This congregation was first organized in the year 1893 by Father Weigand of Bridgeport with about four families of a membership. From that time on until the fall of 1901 services were regularly held once a month in the private houses of one of these families. On account of constant growth of the little flock, it was then decided that larger and better quarters must be provided for divine service, and accordingly in September of 1901 a neat frame church was begun which was dedicated by Rt. Rev. Henry Moeller, Bishop of Columbus, Ohio, on the 15th of June, 1902. The congregation of Barton numbers now about 250 souls, about 150 of whom are men enjoying the right of franchise. In order that these people might have services every Sunday, an assistant priest has been placed at St. Anthony's Church in Bridgeport since August, 1901, Rev. Father R. A. McEachen, who in July, 1902, was succeeded by Rev. Joseph Wittmann.
St. Stanislaus' Church, Maynard. - This congregation was organized about the same time as that of Bridgeport by Father Touhy of Martin's Ferry, but its progress was not quite as rapid. Until September, 1901, it had services only once or twice a month in a hall rented for this purpose, though as early as September, 1898, a parochial school with an attendance of about 60 children had been organized there by the pastor of Bridgeport. Two Sisters of Charity go from Bridgeport daily to Maynard to teach the pupils of this school. The same hall that served for divine worship was also used during the week days for school purposes. But now a handsome frame building is under way of construction, with a large auditorium for church purposes and two spacious school rooms. The new building will be ready for occupancy by the spring of 1903. Services are held here every Sunday, and the parish is now in a very promising condition. It numbers about 350 members with about 200 voters. A new congregation is also about to be organized in Flushing with a membership of about 150 souls under the title of "St. Mary's Help of Christians."
[Source: pages 154-158, "Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens" edited by A. T. McKelvey, 1905. Transcribed by Carol LaRue]


Tradition says Wayne township was named after Mad Anthony Wayne - then at the pinnacle of his glory and fame. The township contains 36 sections, and like Smith township is in the form of a perfect square.
The first division was made in 1811, and in 1819 and 1831 divisions were again made for the completion of Washington and Somerset townships.
The first settlements were made along the banks of the Captina, whose branches traverse the township from east to west.

Among the first settlers were the Houstons, Moores, Umsteads, Halls, Milhorns, Barretts, Martins, Skinners, Coons, Stanleys and Woodses.
George Hall effected a settlement in 1798 in section 10 with no neighbors or associates but the hunters who traveled the Indian trails and sought his cabin for a shelter upon the approach of night.
Mr. Hall's wife was a beautiful and cultured Irish woman, from the city of Belfast in the north of Ireland, who excited the admiration of all who visited her humble home. Henry Milhorn, another old citizen, erected the first water-power grist mill on the banks of the Captina. Since writing the above we have learned of his recent death, in his 81st year. The mill has been reconstructed and is still in operation.

Some of the oldest citizens of Wayne township are Harvey Danford, aged 84, Lee Evans, 79, Ham. Murphy, 75, Henry Milhorn, 81, Samuel Stonebraker, 65, and Mrs. Plummer of New Castle who is 92 years of age, with mental faculties unimpaired. On the 29th of October, 1902, and since writing the above, Mrs. Plummer passed away.

Of Wayne township, particularly on the ridges leading to New Castle, is very sandy and on Sand Ridge in particular it is in places so deep on the surface as to bury the felloes of the riding conveyance. Nevertheless it is productive of good corn, wheat and tobacco.
The latter is still a staple crop, and in the last week in September we saw many men and women in the fields stripping tobacco leaves and carrying the sticks to the numerous tobacco houses that bordered the roadside where the crop was in course of drying.
Old citizens tell us that the township in early days was infested with wild beasts, - wolves, bears, panthers and deer and we are told that the banks of Captina always furnished a fine field for sportsmen.

There are two strata of coal in Wayne township, - one, the four and the other the six-foot coal underlying the surface. The principal part of the last named vein has been sold at prices ranging from $7 to $12 per acre. Of the four-foot vein many banks are operated for domestic use but none is shipped from the township. Iron ore is also found in limited quantities.

The present population of Wayne township is 1,415 as against 1,704 in 1890, and 1,500 in 1880, showing a loss of 289 in the last decade.
The returns of personal property as shown by the tax duplicate is $81,309 for 1902 as against $88,649 in 1901. The tax levy, however, is reduced from 1.95 to 1.77 in 1902.
The township officers for 1902 are as follows: Trustees, - John Phillips, W. J. Davis and John Shry; clerk, John Creighton; treasurer, V. A. Danford; justices of the peace, - A. B. Warfield and Charles Love.
The first township trustees of which we can find a record are Ambrose Danford, Isaac Barrett and Philip Skinner. The earliest justices of which mention is made are Thomas Williams, J. N. Evans, Isaac Moore, Joseph Moos and Elisha Harris. The service of these officers probably go back to the erection of the township.
The township officers 22 years ago were: Trustees, - George Powell, A. R. Wilcox and B. Starkey; justices of the peace, - D. Okey, P. King and S. F. Davis; clerk, - S. F. Davis; treasurer, - Lee Evans; constables, - J. H. Morrison and J. W. Craig.

The first school was a combined school and Methodist meeting house. It was a typical log house, built in 1805. Five years later a new school house was built in its stead. Today there are 14 neat well-conducted schools in the township. The Board of Education for 1902 consists of G. L. Miliman, Harvey Danford, E. P. Frost, John Hinton, W. J. Davis, M. D. Craig, N. H. Warfield, J. E. Duvall, John Shry, J. S. Wilcox, John Phillips, I. Phillips, A. H. Jenewine and Leander Davis.

New Castle and Hunter are the two principal villages of Wayne township.

Is situated near the center of the township with a population approximating 100. There are two stores, a small-sized cigar factory, G. A. R. Hall and Methodist Episcopal Church. The postmaster (Pilcher P. O.) is Isaac H. Pittman. The school at New Castle is conducted by Miss Emma Turner, and at this time has an enrollment of 35.
A tragedy occurred near here in 1901 that stirred the whole community. William Montgomery, crazed by drink, shot his wife with murderous intent, and then killed himself.

In 1885 the Civil War veterans of Wayne township determined to possess a hall of their own, and uniting their efforts erected a neat frame building in the center of the town and fitted it up with all the necessary paraphernalia. Of the original post but 25 members survive.
The officers for 1902 are: Post commander, Ambrose G. King; vice commander, L. Davis; senior vice commander, Seth Williams; chaplain, J. A. Budd; and quartermaster, S. M. Stonebraker.
Colonel Charlesworth of St. Clairsville says: Wayne township contributed more soldiers to the service of the Union in proportion to its population than any other township in the county.
Among the veterans yet living many comrades tell thrilling stories of their perilous escapes. Ambrose G. King, the past commander, was shot in the mouth and received a bullet wound on the front of his head deep enough to conceal a finger of the hand if placed in the indenture.
Mr. Shepherd, of the 3rd Ohio Regiment, was struck by a shell at the battle of Perryville and thrown heels over head, smashing his canteen, bursting his belt, breaking his gun and stretching him upon the battlefield senseless for a long time, but he providentially escaped death.
In the same battle of Perryville, Joseph Creighton was shot through the hips on the heat of the conflict, leaving him a helpless cripple for life.

This old church was erected 50 years ago, and is still vigorous and strong. Rev. John Clinzer was an old-fashioned Methodist circuit rider who preached between Wayne and Washington townships early in their history. The pastor of the present church is Rev. H. A. Cobbledick, and the official board consists of Mrs. M. Stonebraker, Emma Van Horn and Arabella Rhines, stewards; Samuel Stonebraker, R. Van Horn and A. King, trustees.
Some of the old pastors who have served the congregation are: Revs. Coen, McKilyer, Petty and McCormick.
There is also near here a church known as the Smithites, a branch of the Christian Church, but at present it is without organization.
HUNTER is named after ex-Congressman Hunter of Monroe County, and is situated near the township line. It is in size and population about the equal of New Castle and contains one school and a church. The town was laid out over half a century ago by N. Anderson, and has a population today of less than 100. There are several stores in the village and a post office. The school is in charge of J. C. Hicks, and has an average attendance of 35.

Was established before the village. The founder of the village, N. Anderson, donated an acre of ground upon which to erect a church, and contributed the greater portion of the building expense.
This plain little church was burned in 1850. It is believed to have been the work of an incendiary. After the lapse of three years, a new brick church was erected and furnished at a cost of $1,500.
Some of the early officers were John Milhorn and David White, and some of the early members were Eleazer Evans and wife, William Numan and wife, Nathaniel Anderson and wife.
Some of the first preachers were John Frick, Jacob Yocum, Alexander Hall and Joseph Dunn.
About 1850 a large number of members withdrew and established a church on what was known as Chestnut Level.
The present congregation numbers about 50, and the stated pastor is Rev. A. W. Todd.

Among the noted hunters of early days was John Adams, who was a veteran soldier, and fought under General Wayne in the battle of the Fallen Timbers. His attire was a blue hunting skirt, not unlike that of an army that of an army overcoat, and a showy cape fringed with yellow in front and at the bottom. Although a giant in stature, Adams was quick of foot and of herculean strength. After Wayne's treaty of peace, he was hunting upon the banks of Captina where the forest was thick, and came across an Indian who had refused to abandon his wigwam and hunting ground. When this Indian beheld Adams, he immediately concealed himself behind trees and brush with a view evidently of taking the latter's life. Adams also concealed himself and waited for an advantage. At last when a part of the Indian's body was exposed, Adams took deliberate aim, fired, and the Indian fell. As Adams expressed it, That was the last time that Indian watched for a white man.
An old settler says that it was customary with hunters to rub assafoetida on the soles of their shoes in order to attract wolves into unoccupied cabins. The wolves would follow the scent of the drug and would enter the cabins, when the hunters would crawl up from the outside of the cabin into the loft and shoot them at leisure.
It is related of two old settlers names Newell and Hall, who were detained on their business at the county seat longer than they had anticipated, that they were actually surrounded with wolves on their return home. When they reached Bend Fork, a den of wolves attacked them and it was only by the utmost cunning and care that they escaped with their lives. Bend Fork was a veritable haunt for wolves in pioneer days and it was perilous to travel that way alone at any time.
In this instance death would inevitably have ensured but for the skill and courage of the old settlers.
Source: [pages 319 - 322, Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens edited by A. T. McKelvey, 1905. Transcribed by Carol LaRue]


The first court of Belmont County, which was held at Pultney (the first county seat), appointed a commission, consisting of Michael Moore, John Dillie and Ephraim Bates to act as supervisors of York township, and this commission ordered the first election to be held in 1802.
The court had in the meantime defined the boundaries of York, which have been elsewhere described, and appointed Samuel Dillie as constable, and the first township election was held in the home of James Smith.
York township has been the scene of some of the bloodiest conflicts in Indian warfare. Before the occupation by the whites, a cruel massacre of the Indians at the mouth of the Captina was one of the causes of the disastrous war of Governor Dunmore in 1774.

Twenty years later occurred the disastrous and bloody battle of Captina, as related in Howe's Historical Collection:
One mile below the mouth of Captina, on the Virginia shore, was Baker's fort, so named after Martin Baker, from whose lips the author obtained this narrative.
One morning in May, 1794, four men were sent over, according to the custom, to the Ohio side to reconnoiter. They were Adam Miller, John Daniels, Isaac McGowan and John Shoptaw. Miller and Daniels took up stream and the other two down. The upper scouts were soon attacked by Indians and Miller was killed. Daniels ran up Captina about three miles, but, being weak from the loss of blood issuing from a wound in his arm, was taken prisoner and carried into captivity and subsequently released at the treaty of Greenville.
The lower scouts having discovered signs of the enemy, Shoptaw swam across the Ohio and escaped, but McGowan going up toward the canoe was shot by the Indians in ambush. Upon this he ran down to the bank, and sprang into the water, pursued by the enemy, who overtook and scalped him.
The firing being heard at the fort, they beat up for volunteers. There were about 50 men in the fort. There being much reluctance among them to volunteer, my sister exclaimed that she wouldn't be a coward. This aroused the pride of my brother, John Baker, who before had determined not to go. He joined the others, 14 in number, including Capt. Abraham Enochs.
They soon crossed the river, and went up Captina in single file, a distance of a mile and a half, following the Indian trail. The enemy had come back on their trail, and were in ambush on the hillside awaiting their approach.
When sufficiently near, they fired upon our people, but, being on an elevated position, their balls passed harmlessly over the latter. The whites then treed. Some of the Indians came behind, and shot Captain Enochs and Mr. Hoffman. Our people soon retreated, and the Indians pursued but a short distance. On their retreat my brother was shot in the hip. Determined to sell his life as dearly as possible, he drew off to one side and secreted himself in a hollow, with a rock at his back offering no chance for the enemy to approach but in front. Shortly after two guns were heard in quick succession. Doubtless one of them was fired by my brother and from the signs afterward it was supposed he had killed the Indian.
The next day the men turned out and visited the spot. Enochs, Hoffman and John Baker were found dead and scalped. Enoch's bowels were torn out and his eyes and those of Hoffman screwed out with a wiping stick.
The dead were wrapped in white hickory bark and brought over to the Virginia shore and buried in their bark coffins. There were about 30 Indians engaged in this action and seven skeletons of their slain were found long after, secreted in the crevices of rocks.
McDonald in his biographical sketch of Governor McArthur, who was in the action, says after the death of Captain Enochs, McArthur, although the youngest man in the company, was unanimously called upon to direct a retreat.
The wounded who were able to walk were placed in front, while McArthur with his Spartan band covered their retreat. The moment an Indian showed himself in pursuit he was fired upon and generally, it is believed, with effect. The Indians were so severely handled that they gave up the pursuit.
The Indians were commanded by the Shawnee chief, Charlie Wilkie. He told the author of this narrative that the battle of Captina was the most severe conflict he ever witnessed, and, although he had the advantage of the ground and the first fire, he lost the most of his men, half of them having been either killed or wounded.

Soon after the battle of Captina, squatters began to pour in and build rude cabins. These settlers were unstable and removed farther into the interior as the country opened up. It was only those who purchased tracts of land that they were stable and industrious. Many of the squatters were indolent and careless. Among the first permanent settlers we might mention the Brices, the Hoffmans and Lemleys, in 1801. The DeLongs and Okeys in 1802. McVey, Bakers, Doteys, Swaneys, Bristers, Collins and Aldredge in 1803. Brewer, Minse, Davis, Rouble and Gates, in 1804. Stackhouser, Neffsinger, Cree, Browns, Thomas, Hoffman, Gilkesons, in 1805. Waller, Baker, Way, Vanschoup, Mills, Stokey, in 1806; and Shepherd, Moore, Gray, Powell, Dillon, McKnight, Green, and Woods in 1815.

In early days, an Indian village was located in section 32, some miles back of the river. On the banks of the Captina and on the settlement of the Brysons an unusual number of grape vines were discovered, and the soil was beaten hard in places, as if formerly the homes and streets of an Indian village. Skeletons, Indian arrows in great numbers, Indian pipes and engravings on rocks were found in abundance. General Washington in his trip down the Ohio in 1770 makes mention of this village as a trading post.

McDonald in his biography of Governor McArthur has this to say of the killing of six men by the Indians in 1795:
Lieut. Duncan McArthur and a posse of men, numbering in all a dozen, were stationed at the block-house on the lands of Robert Kirkwood, near the mouth of Indian Wheeling Creek.
One morning they noticed a young Indian dodging along not far from the fort among the trees. He had been sent by a body of Indians who had ambushed about three miles below, on the banks of the Ohio River, to decoy the soldiers from the fort. As soon as he was discovered, Lieutenant McArthur and his men started out to catch him.
They followed him as he ran down the river about three miles to where the Indians had secreted themselves, when 15 of the redskins fired into their company, killing six of their number instantly. So unexpected was the attack that the remaining six, completely bewildered, turned and retreated, McArthur behind.
As he turned his head, to take in the situation, his foot caught in the grape vine, and he was sent sprawling on his face just as the Indians fired a volley of bullets after him, and the limbs and leaves dropped all around him. He regained his feet and started at full speed following the course of his men. He was closely pursued by the savages, but he being very swift of foot, they soon gave up the chase, and he reached the block-house in safety.
Later in the day the soldiers returned to the spot in stronger numbers, and buried their dead.

The first grist mill was erected as early as 1804 upon Cat's Run by George Gates. In 1822 Judge Dillon built an improved mill about five miles above the mouth of the Captina and in connection with the grist mills he operated a sawmill. These were probably the first mills operated in the township. This mill is today known as the Potts' Mills, with a capacity of 50 barrels per day, and is reported as the only water mill in the county. The mill-race, through which flows the water for the operation of the mill, passes through a hill tunnel, 300 feet in length.
In early days York township was noted for the number of its distilleries. As early as 1818 a distillery was erected on section 15 by a Mr. Shepler, and a number were erected at a later period, but in 1880 all the distilleries in the county were abandoned except one conducted by John Ramser in York township, which is still in operation.

The earliest record we have of township officials in York is in 1808, and is as follows: Clerk, Ed. Bryson; treasurer, Joseph Martin; trustees, - Uriah Martin, Abel Brown and Ed. Bryson; constable, William Atkinson; fence viewers, - John Brown and James Barrett; lister, Uriah Martin.
The township officers in 1902 are: Trustees, - David McIntire, William Johnson and George Gillespie; clerk, George Boner; treasurer, H. J. Zink; assessor, Everett Balieu; justices of the peace, - A. A. Caldwell and John Eggerman.
The population of the township in 1900 was 1,400, a loss of 58 in the last decade. However, the value of personal property on the tax duplicate for 1902 is $193,270 as against $155,584 in 1901, revealing a gain of $37,686, while the tax levy has been reduced from 2.11 in 1901 to 1.89 in 1902.

Some of the influential men of York township of modern times are the Disques, Swifts, Days, Ramseys, Craigs, Brices, Warrens, Trimbles, Carles and Givens.

Is the leading village in the township, and is located on the Ohio River at the mouth of Captina. The village was surveyed by Dr. DeHaas in 1849. Thirty years previous, however, the first building was erected by a grandson of Archibald Woods, one of the pioneer settlers. The building was used for a store.
The first hotel was a log house built in 1825, and known as the Point House. The first brick buildings were built by the Roger Brothers and were afterward known as the Powhatan Flour Mills and Woolen Factory.
Twenty years ago, the village was quite a shipping point for grain and produce, and contained a population of 300. In 1890 the village was incorporated and in 1902 it had a population of about 600.
The present postmaster is Jacob Boger, who was preceded by H. J. Zink.

The following are the officers of the town: mayor and attorney, George Arnold; town clerk, J. A. Fish; councilman, - G. W. Wright, Ed. Thomas, Frank Ricker, Thomas Stewart, J. W. Ramsey and Albert Sauer.

The Powhatan Mills as heretofore referred to as the first brick building constructed in the town by the Boger Brothers. It has since passed through various hands and been remodeled until it is today owned and operated by Ferdinand Dorsey, with a capacity of 100 barrels daily, and employs four men.

There is no record of the first schools established, but the first log structure especially constructed for school purposes was erected at a very early day on section 16.
In Powhatan the school building is of brick with four rooms and an attendance of about 150. The superintendent is Henry Briggs; assistant superintendent, Miss Mary Cox; assistant, Charity Myers; primary department, Eula Fish. The School Board consists of R. L. Bowman, president; S. S. Reamer, treasurer; Lou Ruble, clerk; and James Richison and John K. Goodhue.
There is mention made of another school building erected in 1836-1837 near Powhatan Point and it is said to have been a small frame structure.
There are in the township seven school districts and one special district all of which are frame buildings save the one in Powhatan.

The Methodist Episcopal Church. - The first church of this denomination at Powhatan was started early in the Civil War under the pastorate of Rev. David Trueman. The society was weak and for a time met in the Presbyterian Church. In 1862 Rev. Josiah Dillon was appointed pastor in charge and during his pastorate the church continued to worship in the Presbyterian Church. The next pastor was Rev. Mr. Gregg, during whose administration a neat brick church was erected and the society worshipped in their own building.
Rev. Mr. Gregg was blessed with a gracious revival during his ministry, and many were added to the church.
In the construction of the new church, Mrs. McMurry who still resides at Powhatan and Mrs. Baer solicited funds to the amount of $1,000, and Joseph Green supplemented that amount with a personal contribution of $800. Mr. Green was an active and influential supporter of the church, and Sunday-school superintendent for many years. The present pastor is Rev. Lee LePage, and the Sunday-school superintendent is John Eggerman. The Sunday-school has a membership of about 100.
The Powhatan Presbyterian Church was organized in 1850. The pastor in 1901 and 1902 was Rev. W. A. Williams, formerly of Franklin College. It is at present without a pastor and we were unable to obtain a list of the officials.

Moriah Lodge, No. 105, F. & A. M., was organized at Jacobsburg October 20, 1840, and is consequently one of the oldest Masonic lodges in the county. The date of the charter was 1842. The charter officers were: John A. Weyer, W. M.; John W. Calvert, S. W.; and Isaac S. Hoopes, J. W.
The membership today is 38 and the officers for 1902 are: J. E. Gibson, W. M., Dr. S. S. Reamer, S. W.; A. B. Ricker, J. W.; A. G. Bonar, treasurer; F. A. Gibson, secretary; J. E. Bennett, S. D.; C. E. Green, J. D.; and John Ricker, tyler. Among the past masters are: W. C. Bergundthall, Dr. S. S. Reamer and J. E. Gibson.

Of Powhatan are owned and operated by E. R. Potts, and are constantly in operation when navigation will admit of it. Mr. Potts is likewise the postmaster at Captina.
[Source: pages 307 - 313, "Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens" edited by A. T. McKelvey, 1905. Transcribed by Carol LaRue]


Washington township was organized in 1830-1831. It was the last township erected in the county, and it was formed from sections of York and Wayne townships. Its boundaries have been elsewhere described.

Were made along the banks of the Captina in 1797. This beautiful stream, and its tributaries, traverse the entire length of the township, emptying into the Ohio at Powhatan. In many places the creek is as wide and deep as a little river, and the limpid waters are well stocked with fish. Some of the old settlers boasted of having caught salmon weighing 16 pounds and upwards, and in the spring the stream was thronged with schools of bass, suckers, sturgeons, perch, salmon and sunfish. The death holes in the streams were numerous, and had to be carefully avoided by swimmers.

The bottom lands were first settled, but the clearing was very difficult; times were very hard, and while game was plentiful, they had no mills or stores or roads, but were obliged to travel over bridle paths to Wheeling to buy food, which consisted principally of corn and bacon. The corn was purchased at high prices. It was packed home on horses, and pounded in a home-made mortar, which was made of gum wood, with one end burnt in a funnel shape. It was the boast of the first settlers that they subsisted on but one meal a day. Sometimes they were obliged through necessity to abstain from food for several days. After these prolonged fasts, a large wild turkey roasted was eaten at a single meal. Because of these great privations, the pioneers were compelled to practice the utmost economy. Their clothes consisted of buckskins of their own tanning. Their plows were rudely made, with wooden mold-boards, which were split out of a block of wood. This was an excellent plow for rooty ground. In the matter of harness for their horses, ropes were used for trace chains, corn husks were formed into collars, and hickory withes served for log chains.

The pioneers that first effected settlements in Washington township were the Danfords, Perkinses, Reeds, Hendershots, Armstrongs, Welshes, Groveses, Caldwells, etc.
The descendants of these old settlers have been prominently identified with every movement looking to the growth and development of the county and the State, and their children and children's children have been and are today active in politics, earnest in education, and foremost in religion.

Of the township in 1879-1880 was placed at 1,500. The census of 1900 shows an increase of about 50. The valuation of personal property upon the tax duplicate for 1901 is $115,586, and in 1902 $120,621, showing an increase of $5,035, while the tax levy has been reduced from 1.93 in 1901 to 1.74 in 1902.

Washington being an inland township, its citizens are for the most part engaged in agricultural pursuits. The bottom lands bordering the banks of the Captina are extremely fertile and while the hills are abrupt and broken by streams they are highly productive when subjected to careful farming.
One of the leading merchants of Armstrong's Mills informed me that while sheep and wool and grain and grass were extensively grown in Washington township, the leading farm crops - the crops that brought in the largest returns - were poultry and eggs.

Of Washington township have never been fully developed, though the hills are underlaid with profitable veins of bituminous coal and numerous quarries of valuable building stone.
The Welsh mines at Armstrong's Mills have been in operation between 20 and 22 years, and not only supply the Bellaire, Zanesville & Cincinnati Railway with all the fuel they require, but all the towns touched by that railroad are supplied with coal from these mines.
The company at present employs 31 hands that mine from 2,000 to 2,500 bushels of coal daily. The coal mined is the No. 8 or Pittsburg vein.
Practically all the undeveloped coal in the township has been purchased and Messrs. Welsh and Armstrong, representing the International Coal Company, have bought and paid for 60,000 acres of coal at prices ranging from $8 to $20 per acre.
If the narrow-gauge road, which now traverses the township and which has been recently purchased by the Ohio & Western Railroad Company, is changed to a broad-gauge road in the near future, it is believed that this great coal field will be developed at an early day.

One of the first grist mills erected in the township was at Armstrong's Mills in 1828 by Thomas Armstrong, one of the pioneers, and the old water mill remodeled and repaired is still in operation after the lapse of 75 years. The present splendid steam mill has adopted the universal bolter system, with a capacity of 40 barrels per day. An extensive sawmill is also operated in connection with the flour mill. The first mills erected in the township were on Bend Fork and Crab Apple Creek, the former by William Frost, Walter Ring and Robert Lindsey, and the latter by the Patterson Brothers.

The township officers in 1902 are: Trustees, - J. M. Wright, W. R. Carle and John Danford; township clerk, - T. H. Stoffel; treasurer, - C. W. Welsh; justices of the peace, - E. B. Armstrong, David Brown and Winfield Moore.

The foremost village in the township is Armstrong's Mills, which was settled by Thomas Armstrong in 1811. It is one of the principal stations on the Bellaire, Zanesville & Cincinnati Railway, with a post office, telegraph office and telephone exchange attached. In 1846 a woolen factory was operated by Alexander Armstrong, who with his brothers owned and operated practically all the stores and mills in the village, Alexander Armstrong alone owning 1,000 acres of land in addition to his mill. The village has a population in 1902 of upwards of 100 and supports three stores, a flour mill, sawmill and coal mines.

There are two churches at Armstrong's Mills, namely: The Methodist Episcopal Church and Christian Church.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was established in 1843 in the old cemetery, and the first minister in the church, and it is believed the first in the Captina Valley, was Rev. Mr. Fordyce, who preached near the old graveyard at a very early day. In 1868 the church was removed from the cemetery to the village, where it now stands in charge of Rev. W. B. West.
The present board of stewards consists of: Lizzie C. Welsh, T. D. Boston, Mrs. Emma Shipman and J. W. Taylor; trustees, - Silas Durig, William Rankin, C. W. Armstrong, John McKim, John W. Taylor and Richard Shepherd; class leaders, - J. R. Taylor and L. W. Armstrong.
The Christian Church has a membership of about 30, with three elders, namely: A. W. Burkhart, D. P. Meyers and J. W. Hess. The church at present is without a pastor.
The Belmont Ridge Christian Church. - The first meeting of the primitive organization was held June 28, 1856, at the residence of Lewis Mechem. The house of worship was built in 1857, with a seating capacity for 350 or 400 people. The present membership is 199. The first officers were: Elders, - Lewis Mechem, Jennings Perkins and Elihu Duvall; deacons, - Jacob Stukey, George Dawson and Erastus Moore.
The present officers are: Elders, - Jennings Perkins, Harvey Danford and Erastus Moore; deacons, - J. J. Phillips, Clark Phillips and A. T. Moore. The present pastor is Rev. John A. Armstrong.
Mr. Reed says: "The first school teacher that I ever heard of in this country was old Josiah Rogers. He taught in a log house, not far from where the people of Washington township now do their voting. He took his pay in anything he could get to eat, and boarded in his own cabin.
"People used to make fun of him for being so lazy. He never chopped any wood, but made a hole in his chimney and poked in the end of a log.
"The water he used was taken from a hole where the clay had been gotten to daub his cabin. He was a very exact man. I recollect his whipping some boys for snow balling. For some reason he struck each one of them just four times."
There is a village school conducted by Luther Perkins, with an enrollment of 40. The present School Board is composed of Z. Armstrong, R. Shepherd and J. W. Hess.

Hon. Isaac Welsh of Washington township deserves to be classed with such statesmen as Shannon, Cowen and Danford.
He was closely identified with the political and literary affairs of the day. Mr. Welsh was a farmer by choice, but found time to pursue a study of the political issues of the day. In 1855-1859 he was elected for two terms as member of the Ohio General Assembly, and at the expiration of his term was chosen State Senator from the Belmont and Harrison district. Mr. Welsh was a Whig in politics, but strongly opposed to the extension of slavery.
In 1868 he was chosen as presidential elector of the 16th Congressional District to carry the vote of Ohio to Washington, D. C.
In the hard fought political contest of 1871, Mr. Welsh was elected Treasurer of Ohio, a position he filled with great acceptability for two terms, and died near the close of his term of office. He was an author of ability and contributed to the press many political and economic essays that gave him a wide reputation. He was also an able and convincing public speaker, because of the sincerity and fairness of his remarks.
His son, Leroy Welsh, was appointed Treasurer of Ohio by Governor Allen on the occasion of his father's death in November, 1875.
Leroy Welsh was a promising young man of board culture, who was cut off at the outset of a useful public career. He was an historian of no mean ability and had collected a valuable store of local historic matter that unhappily fell into the hands of one who selfishly refuses to make it public.
In speaking of the death of Leroy Welsh, The Belmont Chronicle says: "The tidings of the death of Mr. Welsh were received with feelings of sincere regret, not only by the friends of the family, but acquaintances throughout the State.
"The subject of this sketch, after receiving a common school education, entered college at Delaware, Ohio, where he completed the six years' course. The next year he spent in the study of the law, after which he entered the Cincinnati Law School, where he graduated in the summer of 1871.
"At the beginning of the following year, he entered the office of the Treasurer of the State of Ohio, as the chief assistant of his father, Hon. Isaac Welsh.
"At the close of his term, he opened an office for the practice of law in Columbus, Ohio.
"Mr. Welsh was a young man of fine intellect and broad culture; combined with these, his excellent social qualities made him on of our best and most esteemed citizens."
Source: pages 303 - 306, Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens edited by A. T. McKelvey, 1905. Transcribed by Carol LaRue]

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