CLERMONT COUNTY, OHIO
BY J. L. ROCKEY AND R. J. BANCROFT, published 1880
Transcribed for Genealogy Trails by Gary Wysocki
HISTORY OF THE TOWNSHIPS AND VILLAGES OF CLERMONT COUNTY
The Township of Batavia occupies an interior position a little north of the center of the county. It was created from Williamsburgh and Ohio townships, the territory north of the East Fork from the former, and that south of the stream from the latter, and comprises 26,260 acres of land, whose general surface resents a broken appearance. In the northeastern and southwestern parts of the land is level and in the form of plateaus, the predominating soil being clay. Along the streams are broke bottom-lands or alluvial flats of unusual richness. Outline these are rugged hills of picturesque and pleasing appearance, which distinguish this part of the county for its buying scenery. The East Fork of the Little Miami has an almost diagonal course through the Township are southeast to northwest, and formerly afforded good water power. Its chief tributaries on the north are Back Bone and Slab Camp Runs, and flowing from the south are Lucy's and Shaylor's Runs, whose volume has decreased until they are mere brooks. The greater part of the timber growth which formerly covered the Township has been removed, and its place is occupied by fine and well-tilled farms.
The best accounts of the pioneer settlement of Batavia give to Ezekiel Dimmitt the credit of rearing the first home within its bounds. He was a Virginian by birth, belonging to the family of John Dimmitt, whose history can be traced back to the year 1760. The other members of the family were Moses, John, and several daughters, one of whom-Lydia-married Joseph Duckwall. Most of the family moved to Kentucky in 1795, when Ezekiel was about 22 years of age. The following year he came to Ohio prospecting for land, and he and James Gest selected a very fine track on the East Fork, what are now known as the Duckwall bottoms. At this time he was unmarried, but on November 3, 1797, he was united in wedlock with Phoebe Gest, and soon made the necessary arrangements to move to his Ohio purchase, whether he was accompanied by James and John Gest. The cabin was erected the same season (the fall of 1797), near where is now the residence of Moses Duckwall, which had a stick chimney and puncheon floor; yet it had an error of comfort, and afforded friendly shelter to many a pioneer on the lookout for a new home. The following spring they made a little maple sugar near the cabin, and in due season planted a few acres of corn on a piece of land they had leased at Columbia, 15 miles distant, and where they went by following blazed paths through the dense woods. A little corn, flax, and potatoes were also planted around the cabin I'm partly-cleared ground. When the corn at Columbia had to be tended the men left to cultivate it, and Mrs. Dimmitt remained at home, which was 7 miles from another cabin. On the afternoon of the 1st day a party of 6 Indians passed by, looking very intently at the cabin, as if to ascertain how many inmates it contained. That night the wolves howled as a frenzied by rage, adding to the alarm state of mind in which Mrs. Dimmitt already was, so that by morning she was nearly beside herself with beer. Singularly, James Gest had an impression of mind about the same time that his sister was in distress, and persuaded Ezekiel Dimmitt to return home with him. When they reached the cabin she had barely enough strength to open the door, and all she was a brave woman, she was never afterward left alone.
Soon other settlers began to come in, and in 1813, Ezekiel Dimmitt erected a good stone house on his land, which is a prominent landmark many years. About the same time he built a tannery, which proved to be a great convenience to the early settlers. He was a very energetic man, and erected many public buildings, the old stone Methodist Church of Batavia in 1819, and the court house and jails, as is elsewhere narrated. They belonged to the first Methodist class in the State of Ohio, organized by Rev. Francis McCormick at Milford in 1797, and their home was a preaching place for the early Methodists itinerants, who were also freely entertained under its friendly roof. He was in many respects one of the most influential men of his day, and although he was not free from evil report, the charges were not founded on truth, and Ezekiel Dimmitt was generally esteemed a truly upright, Christian man. He departed this life in March, 1857, at the rare age of 84 years, and Mrs. Dimmitt died in 1841.
Their family consisted of children named John, Keziah, Rhoda, Moses, Deliah, Mary and, Lydia, Elizabeth, and Phoebe. These grew up to mature years, and were married: John, July 4, 1816, to Nancy Duckwall, who died November 12, 1821, leaving children named Ezekiel and Susanna. For his 2nd wife he married Nancy Hare in 1824, and had 6 children. He migrated to Illinois in 1838. Keziah, the oldest daughter, married Daniel Duckwall, August 6, 1816, and was the mother of a children. Rhoda Dimmitt became the wife of Lott Hulick, and they had children named Martha, Jane, Ezekiel, Mary, George W. (A well-known attorney and probate judge close-, Elizabeth, Amanda, and Keziah. Lott Hulick was also a pioneer, an inactive man in Batavia. Mrs. Hulick died but recently, at an advanced age. Deliah Dimmitt married Jonas Hare, and had 6 children. Moses Dimmitt had for his 1st wife Elizabeth White, and for his 2nd Ruth Jenkins, and had altogether 14 children. Jacob L. Teal married Lydia Dimmitt, and Brice R. Blair her sister Elizabeth. The youngest daughter married Rev. Charles Robinson, September 2, 1840 , and still resides on part of the parental estate. They had 3 children, named Sarah Jane, Keziah D., and Charles Arthur.
The Robinson family were natives of Maryland, but moved to Virginia before the Revolution, and from there to Kentucky. One of the family, Charles, having heard from Ezekiel Dimmitt of the wonderful fertility of the Ohio country, came to Clermont in 1806, arriving at Mr. Dimmitt's cabin on the 6th July. An extra cabin was built for him nearby, where they lived till the following spring, when he removed to a farm of his own, on Lucy's Run, about 4 miles south from Batavia.
While they lived at Dimmitt's and incident occurred which may appropriately be narrated here. In the fall of the year the woods were filled with a good mast beech nuts and acorns, on which fed large droves of wild hogs, or hogs which had become wild by allowing them to roam at large. They were good regarded as common property, and were a hunted like wild animals or other species of game. A hog hunt afforded a good deal of sport, and, if successful, furnished in abundant supply of meat for use in winter. On the occasion referred to the Dimmitt's, Robinsons, Aaron Bull, Richard Doughty, and the number of boys gathered together all the dogs in the neighborhood, and with several horses to pack home the dead hogs, started on the chase. When attacked the hogs huddled together to defend themselves, the smalls being in the center of the group, and are thus able to keep off wolves and other wild animals. After a short hunt the dogs had at bay a herd of fine hogs, and it was an easy matter to shoot such as it might be selected, although with the firing of a gun the herd would break and run until the dogs would again bring them to a standstill. On this occasion Bull and Robinson were to do the sticking after the hogs had been shot, and a hog falling over Bull ran up to stick it, deliberately sitting himself on the animal. But the hog it only been stunned, and turned on Bull with open mouth to rend him. He ran at the top of his speed, closely pursued by the infuriated hog, and was nearly frightened out of his wits, when the hog, weak from the loss of blood, tottered and fell dead. The animal was now placed on one of the pack horses, and sent home in charge of young Charles Robinson, at that time about 10 years of age, a small dog accompanying him. They had not gone far when the dog evinced any symptoms of fear and took his position under the horse. I'm looking around the boy saw that he was pursued by a large gray wolf which is about to spring upon him. He yelled so lustily that the wolf became frightened and turned to leave him, and Robinson reached his home safe.
In the summer of 1807, Charles Robinson moved to his new home, which is very plain, and as the family were poor, they were obliged to resort themselves to many devices to provide themselves with clothing. The boys were clothed with buckskin breeches, the skins having been furnished by Richard Doughty, a good hunter in a true pioneer neighbor, living in the southern part of Batavia, where he located about 1805. The girls were dressed in a coarse cloth made at home, the reels for weaving having been borrowed of Sarah Mitchel, living in Miami Township, above Newberry. It was while returning there in the fall of the year that a thrilling adventure befell Mary Robinson, the oldest daughter, at that time a robust young lady. Mounting a spirited horse, she started in the afternoon for Mrs. Mitchel's, distant about 12 miles. Quite a deep snow was on the ground, and she did not make the speech he expected to; and as it again commenced to snow, it soon became so dark that she could with difficulty see the blazed trees which indicated the bridle path she expected to follow. Losing the trace, she alighted and tied her horse securely to a tree so she could investigate. While thus engaged she heard the howling of a pack of wolves, which caused her to turn back to her horse. By the time she reached him he was so alarmed that he would not permit her to approach them, and no persuasion could quite him. The wolves now approached nearer, and she began to realize her situation, and at that same time she keenly felt the effects of the cold. To keep from freezing and being attacked by the wolves, she decided to keep moving in a path far enough from the horse to be out of danger of being kicked, and yet near enough to prevent the wolves from approaching. So she walked backwards and forwards the entire night, the wolves keeping up their fiendish howls and the horse is stamping and kicking. If she approached him it would have been at the risk of losing her life; to remain quiet would have frozen her; and had she wandered away she would have exposed herself to the mercy of the wild beasts thirsting for her blood. At the dawn of day the wolves disappeared, and after a good deal of effort she was able to mount her horse reached a home of John Mitchel. As soon as he saw her approach he exclaimed, "Why, Mary, have you been a wilderness all night!" She said "Yes," and had hardly been assisted from her horse before her strength gave way, and she fell into a swoon. She recovered enough to be able to tell the family what had happened, when she became sick again, and was very ill for a few days. As she did not return home, her absence alarmed her parents, who said Jacob Gest in search of her. He found the place where she had passed the terrible night, and proceeding to Mr. Mitchel's, some Mary, too weak to move; and it was several days more before she could be taken home. Mary became the wife of William Weaver, and was highly esteemed very many good qualities. The remainder of this family married as follows: Nancy, Benjamin Troy; Margaret, John Wageman; Elizabeth, Jeremiah Cleveland; Catherine, Samuel Weaver; Charles, Sarah Hulick; Thomas, Margaret Nash; and John M., Sarah Smith.
As Mrs. Robinson possessed some medical knowledge, he was often called upon to visit the sick; and so successful was she in her treatment that she soon had an extended reputation. She was also "mighty in the Scriptures," and was thus enabled to bring healing to the soul as well as to the body. People came for her assistance many miles around, and twice was she called into Kentucky, crossing the Ohio River at night, guided by a small beacon fire on the opposite shore. Often she went on her mission of mercy alone, following a trace whose dim course we shown by blazed trees, was not a Houston site for many miles. Both of the elder Robinsons belonged to the Methodist Church, and their house was one of the early preaching places. Mrs. Robinson died July 18, 1835, at the age of 67 years, and her husband survived her until August 13, 1846, when he closed his earthly career at the age of 83 years.
John Wageman came to Clermont County 1808 from North Carolina, and had his home with Robert Townsley until the war of 1812, when he volunteered a cavalry company. Returning home, he married Margaret Robinson and reared several sons and daughters, who married into the Dial and Whitaker families.
Daniel Duckwall was born in Virginia, March 9, 1789. In the winter of 1813 he came to Ohio on horseback, and 3 years later married Keziah Dimmitt, settling near her father, and lived here until his death, in 1849. His wife survived him until August 16, 1877. Of their 8 children, Phoebe married Thomas Marsh, of Batavia Township; Mary, Thomas Fletcher, and removed to Missouri; Moses, Margaret Earick, of Louisville Kentucky, who died August 1, 1878; Ezekiel, Mary Robinson; Caroline Jane, Dr. J. M. Witham, of Withamsville; George W., Caroline Lane; John W., Lomira Hall; Martha, the youngest, Jacob Mull, of Adams County, Indiana. The sons all live near Batavia, on the celebrated Duckwall bottoms.
Andrew Apple was among the 1st settlers of Batavia Township. He immigrated from Pennsylvania some time previous to 1798 (exact date being not now known), and located on a fine tract of land of 2100 acres at hand and near the present hamlet of Olive Branch. He was very enterprising, and brought with him many implements to lessen the drudgery of labor in a new country, and had one of the first wagons owned in the county. In those days he also had the credit of owning the finest team in the county.
Andrew Apple reared a family of 11 children, giving to each, as they grew to mature years, 150 acres of land in the Olive Branch neighborhood; and at one point the Apple family here was very numerous, but as the country settled up most of them removed to Indiana. Andrew Apple died about 1817, and was interred in the Olive Branch Cemetery. His youngest son, Daniel was born in 1794, and was therefore 5 years of age when the family settled in Clermont County. He inherited much of the energy and public spirit which characterized his father, and was for many years one of the leading men of the county. He inherited the old homestead, and lived there until his death, in 1871. Of his family of 7 children, to her sons and 5 daughters, and all are yet living in the county except Keziah, who died many years ago, and was one of the first inhumed in the cemetery at this place. Marianne became the wife of Stephen Judd; Elizabeth, of Daniel Holter; and Rebecca, of Nelson Applegate, all living in Batavia Township. The 2 sons were name Samuel T. and John Wesley, and inherited the best traits of their father and grandfather, both being public spirited and enterprising. The former married Asenath, daughter of William Weaver, and reared 3 children. The youngest son, William, resides with his father on the old homestead. John Wesley Apple married a daughter of Jeremiah Cleveland and reared 5 children, all of whom yet reside in Batavia Township.
The Townsley brothers- Robert, James, and William- and their sister Margaret came from New Jersey to Batavia about 1800, and settled at different points below the village not exceeding the distance of a mile and a half. Robert lived on the farm now occupied by Ezekiel Duckwall, and kept the licensed tavern there in 1862. Although having a large family, nearly all of them died of consumption, and are interred in a lot on the hill nearby the old home. Robert Townsley was one of the leading men of the county in his day, holding important offices. James Townsley married a widow named Millard, whose maiden name was Allison, of Allisonia, and lived in a log cabin in the small meadow near the residence of Thomas Marsh. He was in the war of 1812, and lived in the Township until his death, about 1830. The only surviving members of his family are Mrs. Nathan McGuire, of Batavia, and Mrs. Richard Ferree, of Illinois.
James Glancy, nephew of Jesse Glancy, a well-known pioneer of Stonelick, came with his uncle from York County, Pennsylvania, in 1805. He was at that time about 14 years of age, and after he attained his majority he settled on a tract of land in the northern part of Batavia Township, which is at present occupied by his son William. Here he died in 1839. In the same neighborhood resided another of his sons, Joseph, who died in 1849. Another son is a resident of Tate. One of the daughters, Rachel, Mary Daniel McAfee, and the other, Elizabeth, Samuel Maham, both of Batavia Township.
The Lane brothers- Shadrach, Samuel, and Robert- came from North Carolina about the beginning of the present century, and settled in the neighborhood of Olive Branch, where Robert died in 1843. 7 of his sons attained manhood, Samuel, Joseph, Shadrach, Nathaniel, Wesley, George, and Daniel. The latter is the only one now living in the county, and is a citizen of Withamsville. He had also 4 daughters, who marry well-known citizens of the county, as follows: Jemima, Joseph Gest; Mary, Dr. Samuel Doughty; Hester, Nathaniel Witham; and Elizabeth, T. J. Cazel.
Samuel Lane had no family, Shadrach, who was the pioneer merchant of Olive Branch, had 2 sons-Samuel and John, both deceased, and 3 daughters, Elizabeth, who became the wife of Caleb Dial, and Sarah and Rebecca, both married to members of the Teal family.
The older Lanes had 3 sisters who came to Ohio, Elizabeth became the wife of Malachi Medaris, and died in 1873, at the age of 93 years; Sarah married Daniel Apple, of all of Branch; and the 3rd one, Nathaniel Witham, a Withamsville, all well-known citizens of Clermont County.
James Hulick, a native of New Jersey, came to Clermont County about 1800, and purchased 200 acres of land on the Temple Survey, 1 ½ miles northeast from Batavia, preferring this to the bottom-lands because he deemed the locality more healthy. He was a single man, and his journey from his native state was made on horseback. After putting up a cabinet making a small clearing he went back to his old home to bring on his parents, whom he settled on his land in 1803. His father, John Hulick, was a pensioner of the war for independence, and died in Batavia Township. James married Rebecca Weaver, and made a home near his aged parents. He was an active, industrious man, and died in 1876, at the age of 89 years. His family consisted of five sons and one daughter. The latter married George R. Wageman, and yet lives 5 miles south of Batavia. The oldest son, John W., died at the age of 31. Abraham married Irene Stone, and lives in the neighborhood of the homestead. The third son, William W., married Mary Jane Dial, and lives in the neighborhood of Olive Branch. Erastus, the fourth male member of the family, married America Lytle, and lives a mile from the homestead. James, the youngest son, remained on the original farm, whose dimensions he has much increased. He married Elmira Fuller, and has a family of five children. He is noted for his enterprise, and probably did more to secure a railroad or Batavia than any other man. He is a director of the road, and was complimented by having a station named in his honor. All the Hulicks are Methodists, and are warmly interested in the affairs of their church.
Daniel Kidd came from Winchester, Virginia, to Williamsburg in 1798. On January 1, 1803, he married Mary Bunton, daughter of Ramoth Bunton, and old Revolutionary soldier, who was among the first, settlers of that place; and probably Bunton and Polly Kain with first white women in the village, going there with James Kain to cook for the men who built the first cabinet that place. In 1808, Daniel Kidd moved to the farm now occupied by Joseph Kidd, in Batavia Township, where he died, in March, 1839. His consort survived him, and lived until November 20, 1876, when she passed away with vigorous mental faculties at the age of almost 88 years. Daniel Kidd wasn't Capt. Stephen Smith's company in the war of 1812, and his widow was a pensioner. They had with two children, Jane and Joseph. The former married Samuel Fitzwater, of the northern part of the township, and both are deceased. Joseph was born the latter part of 1803, and is now one of the oldest native citizens of Clermont County, he has passed the greater part of his life on the homestead, has been four times married, has had 26 children, 16 of whom are now living.
Joshua Atchley, a native of New Jersey, settled in the eastern part of the Township, on the place now occupied by his son Samuel, sometime about 1807. He died August 1869, at the age of 70 years. Besides Samuel, he has sons named John, the proprietor of the Atchley House, at Williamsburg, and William D., living at Pisgah. His daughter Keziah married Washington posture, and moved to Missouri; and Mary Ann became the wife of Isaac Frazier, of Williamsburg. John Atchley, a brother of the above, also settled in this part of the Township. He died many years ago. His son David is a merchant on the Williamsburg Pike, and Thomas lives near the Elk Lick Mills. Rebecca became the wife of Joseph Marshall, of Pisgah.
Near the same time Nehemiah Mount came from New Jersey and located in the eastern part of Township. His sons were named Stephen, John, and Hezekiah, and his daughters names were Margaret, Amy, Betsey, and Mary. The last-named son is at present a resident near Batavia.
Peter Harden settled on the present Davidson place, and reared large family, sons, named John, Joshua, Andrew, William, and Daniel, and daughters, Jane, Sarah, and Lydia. James Chambers, a Revolutionary soldier, was a brother-in-law of Harden, and lived in this part of the county until his death. One of his daughters married Joseph Bown, of this part of the Township. Timothy Curlis and John Lukemires were also Harden's relatives and settled about this period (1807) in this locality, and many descendents yet remain. The Maham family, Lewis Davis, Phineas Thomas, the Parker family, and many others whose names appear in the general list were also pioneers in this section.
In 1807, John Weaver, Junior, emigrated from Virginia to Clermont County, and ran to the farm from Ezekiel Dimmitt, below Batavia. The following year he purchased a tract of land above the village, at what is now known as the Weaver bottoms. His glowing accounts induced his father, John Weaver, Senior, to follow his son in 1810, in that year he and the remaining seven unmarried members of the family found homes in Batavia Township. He purchased 585 acres on the East Fork, and having brought with him considerable means, stock, and farming implements, he was prepared to make some good improvements. At the time of the purchase a small cabin stood on this tract of land, which is occupied by Jacob Slye. He sold his interest to John Weaver for a horse, but failed to move, and the latter then put up a good hewed log house where Simon Weaver's house now stands, which was occupied by him until about 1830. He died in March, 1831. The death of his wife occurred two years previously. Of their eight children who came to Clermont, fiber sons and three daughters, viz.: Susannah, who married John Brazier; Sarah, the wife of Jacob Duckwall; and Rebecca, who married James Hulick, all of the Township of Batavia. The oldest son John, was married in Virginia to Christinia Miller and had a family of seven children, William, Lewis, Joseph, John, and J. C., all of whom became useful citizens. One of the daughters married John Duckwall, and the other, Susan, Elias Rector. William Weaver, the second son, married Mary Robinson.
The third of John Weaver, Sr.'s sons, Henry, died unmarried at the age of 22 years; the fourth son, Samuel, married Catherine Robinson; and Simeon, Mary Duckwall. The latter yet occupies the old homestead, and is 78 years old.
William Weaver had two sons, William and Henry G., twins; and daughters, Mary Ann, the wife of James Dial; Asenath, the wife of S. L. Apple; Catherine, the wife of George Duckwall; and Lucinda, the wife of Joseph Dial.
The children of Samuel Weaver were, sons, Charles, Samuel, and Franklin Henry; and daughters, Asenath, the wife of James Tate; Sarah, the wife of William Simmons; Amanda, wife of Shadrach Dial; Catherine, wife of Louis Nash; Rebecca, of the same; Margaret, wife of Dr. Ingalls; Elizabeth, wife of George Moyer, most of whom lived in the county.
Simeon Weaver reared six children, two sons and four daughters, viz.: Lavina, the wife of Rev. W. R. Ely, of Missouri; Sarah and; Mary S.; and Missouri C. The youngest son, James, resides in the Township; the oldest son, John L., died unmarried, at the age of 48, in 1878. He had been prominently identified with many interests of Batavia, and was a very useful man.
Simeon Weaver and Joseph Kidd are the only survivors of the pupils that attended a school in his neighborhood in 1816. A man named Russell was the teacher, and the school was kept in a poorly-constructed building of logs, about sixteen feet square.
John Slade, native Kentucky, served in the war of 1812, enlisting twice. Afterwards he engaged to run flat boats down the Ohio, but met with misfortune, which caused him to settle in Batavia. He died in 1871, at an advanced age. He had six sons, James, William C., Powell, John S., Wayland, and Ezekiel, the latter being yet a resident of the Township, and for 18 years a justice of the peace. In the late war he raised Company G, 153rd Regiment, and did good service.
In this part of the Township also lived John Wilson, a native of Pennsylvania, who was among the men surrendered by Gen. Hull at Detroit. He died near the Elk Lick Mills in 1874. Of his eight sons and six daughters, a number are yet residents of the county.
Farther down the stream John Mitchell was a pioneer. The family have all deceased, and the farm belongs to the Gregg heirs. If fine grove in this place were held some of the early Methodist camp meetings.
Capt. Charles Moore (who received his title from the fact that he commanded a company in the war of 1812) came from New Jersey to Batavia in 1816 purchased the mill site and 300 acres of land above the village which had been improved by George Ely. Capt. Moore soon made other noteworthy improvements, in fact one of the 1st orchards in this part of the township, some of the trees being still in bearing condition. The sons of Capt. Moore were, John, who died in Batavia; Charles A., Who lived on the Homestead until his death; and Lindley C., Yet living and well known as the proprietor of the "Batavia Mills," and as an amateur geologist. His collection of rich and fine specimens is one of the best in this part of the state. One of the daughters of Capt. Moore became the wife of Joseph Grant, an early merchant of Batavia, and the other married D. C. Bryan, and, as a widow, yet lives in the village.
Accompanying Capt. Moore from New Jersey was his brother-in-law, George Hunt, who was one of the early teachers of the Township. He reared a large family, some of the members being yet residents of Batavia, living near Olive Branch.
Henry rust is well remembered as one of the pioneer shoemakers of Batavia. After the war of 1812, in which he served, he shouldered his kit of tools and transfer all the way from Baltimore. In 1816 he married a daughter Mrs. James Townsley, and reared a family of 12 children, 11 of whom attained mature years. He died November 15, 1870, with several members of the family yet live in the Township.
In 1798, John Whitaker, of North Carolina, came to Clermont County, and selected a fine tract of land near Withamsville and return to his native state to bring on his family. Before he could accomplish this he died, and Mrs. Whitaker and her family did not come to Ohio until 1807, when they settled on large tract of land on Shaylor's Run. There were 7 sons, Joshua, Thomas, John, Henry, Mark, William, and Israel. The letter became the most widely known in the County. In 1817 he removed to Batavia, and lived there until 1839, when he removed to a farm on Lucy's Run, where he operated some mills many years. Judge Whitaker is yet a resident of Amelia, and is nearly 89 years old.
On Shayor's Run, William McMahan was the earliest settler, going there soon after 1800. A mile from the Whitaker's Daniel Kirgan lived as early as 1803, or earlier. He has sons named John, Thomas, and Daniel, who became identified with this part of the County.
Josiah Fairfield was born in Kennebunkport, Maine, March 20, 1785, and died in Batavia Township, July 20, 1874. In the 16th year of his age he went to see and from 1800 to 1812 lived a seafaring life, visiting many foreign countries and the principal ports of our own country. In 1806 his vessel sailed to New Orleans, and successfully passed the dangers which then existed in the lower Mississippi before the introduction of the levee system; and returning to New York, he rode a short distance on Fulton's steamer, the "Clermont." The war of 1812 coming on, he abandoned the sea and settled down near Bangor; but finding the soil to sterile, he concluded to go to the Ohio Valley, whither the tide of immigration was at that time tending, in August, 1815, he commenced work upon a farm in the southeast part of Batavia, which he occupied until 1854, when he changed his abode to a place near Amelia, where his wife died, in 1869. He was a man greatly respected, and for more than 69 years was a consistent member of the Christian Church. His home, though, afforded a cheerful place for the itinerant minister of the gospel, whom he delighted to entertain. Of Mr. Fairfield's family of 12 children, 8 lived at the time of his death, and 7 yet survive, namely, Mrs. Hannah B. Smith and Mrs. Asenath S. Bragdon, residing in Indiana; Cyrus F., in the same state; Lorenzo D., Samuel R., And Mrs. Emeline D Edwards, in the county; and Albert A., In Battle Creek, Michigan. Otho, the youngest son, enlisted as a private in the 89th Regiment, in 1862, and was soon after promoted 1st Lieut. of Co. B. At the battle of Chickamauga he was taken prisoner, and after spending more than a year at Libby Prison was taken to various parts in the South, and finally carried to Columbia, South Carolina, where death relieved his sufferings, November 8, 1864. He was a brave man, and his exemplary life at home and in the Army and gained him many friends, who sincerely mourned his death.
Rev. Lewis Duckwall came from Virginia to Batavia Township in 1816. He lived on the East Fork until 1832, when he died, greatly mourned as a most exemplary man and minister of the gospel. He has sons named George and William, yet living, and John and James, deceased. The daughters were Sarah, who married John Dimmitt; Mary, the wife of Simeon Weaver; and Catherine, the wife of Christian Zugg, of Tate Township.
In 1800, James Davison, a native of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, settled in Clermont, and in 1808 came to Batavia. He was the father 11 children, viz., Ellen, John, William, Elizabeth, Mary, Robert, James, Philip, George, Christopher, and Samuel. In 1802 his brother, John Davison, settled in Miami Township, in 1870 but the farm now owned by the heirs of James Roudebush. He died in 1843, and was the father 13 children, George, Christopher, Catherine, Margaret, Elizabeth, Eleanor, John, James, Robert, Jane, Florence, and Alexander. Another brother of the elder Davisons-George-came to Miami Township before 1800, but did not remain long; and William, still another brother, died shortly after is coming, soon after 1800. Of the older Davisons, John is now the only one living in the County. He was in the war of 1812, although at that time but a lad. James Davison, Senior, was at the defeat of St. Clair, and participated in Wayne's victory.
Malachi Medaris was born in Maryland 1777. At the age of 20 he was married, and moved to North Carolina the following year. Here several of his children were born. In the spring of 1803, in company with about 50 families, he started for the "Miami country," in Ohio, the woman being sent by flatboat from Pittsburgh, the men coming over land by way of Chillicothe with the cattle and wagons. In 1804 he settled in the Olive Branch neighborhood, purchasing a farm from James Gilman, on which he lived until 1818, when he bought the present George Duckwall place. In 1822 one of the sons-Charles-was married to Lydia Gest, a daughter of Enoch Gest, one of the early settlers of the southern part of Batavia Township. Shadrach, another son, was married to Sarah E. Ferree, in 1826, daughter of John Ferree, of Stonelick. The following year Malachi Medaris moved to the northern part of Batavia Township, on the farm which is now in part owned by his grandson, Dr. L. H. Medaris. Mrs. Malachi Medaris died in 1873, aged 93 years, and of her four children Shadrach is the only one now living. The Medaris family were of Irish descent, and have always been noted for their piety and uprightness.
John F. Talley was born in Delaware in 1784, but became a resident of Maryland, where he was married, in 1817, to a Miss Newcomer. The same year they emigrated to Clermont, settling on the East Fork, about 3 miles above Batavia, but soon returned to Maryland. In 1822 he came to live permanently, and completed the improvements he had begun. He died in the County in 1851, and his wife the same year. Of their six children, three were sons, the oldest, Henry N., being an attorney at Batavia, the others farmers. The oldest daughter married L. C. Moore, leaving an only child at her decease, a few years later, which became the wife of Judge R. A. Johnston, of Cincinnati. Another daughter of John F. Talley married Rev. Joseph F. Chalfant, and the third a citizen of Illinois.
George Smith and Charity, his wife, became residence of Batavia in 1817. He had come to the County in 1806, in company with Abraham Hulick and George Ely, and while hunting on the present site of the court house killed the deer. Joseph Smith and his family also came in 1819 from New Jersey. They had children named Asa, John, Rebecca, Lorenzo D., Mary, Gideon, and Emeline.
In the southwestern part of the Township John Brazier, of North Carolina, was among the pioneers, and died near what is now known as Centreville Station, in 1838. He has sons named William, Lewis, Oliver, and Henry, the latter yet living there as the sole member the family not deceased. On an adjoining farm lived Laban Brazier, a local Methodist preacher, who died in 1843. It is said of him that he preached nearly all of the early funeral sermons. His sons were James, John, and Elijah, the latter being a resident of Amelia at this time.
William Brunaugh came to this part of Batavia from Eastern Virginia in 1816, and died before 1839 from the amputation of one of his legs. His family consisted of two sons and three daughters. The former were named in William and John. William lived and died near Amelia, and was the father of James and John Brunaugh, who removed to Missouri, and of David Brunaugh, deceased. The second son of William Brunaugh, the Rev. John, is yet living at Amelia. He has sons-William and James S. (The ex-probate judge)-living in Clermont, and John in Cincinnati. History daughters married William W Hancock, John P. Robinson, and S. G. Norris, all of Batavia Township. Of another family of Brunaugh, Peter Brunaugh of Olive Branch, whose father was also a pioneer.
Henry Miley settled on Lucy's Run, and Batavia, in 1813. His family consisted of Abraham Miley; Margery, who married Robert Chapman; Comfort, who married Thomas Starks; and Ruth, who married Timothy Leeds.
Many prominent settlers were added to the population of Batavia after the war of 1812 and at later periods. In 1838, Mott Titus, a native of Dutchess County, New York, became a resident, and continued until his death, in January, 1861. He brought to Clermont the first merino sheep in the County, and was for many years extensively engaged in wool growing, and warmly identified himself with the best agricultural interests of the County.
In the following pages appear the names of other persons who were pioneer settlers of Batavia, but concerning whom a detailed account, possessing any accuracy, could not be procured. In many instances the simple name will recall many good qualities of facts connected with their history.
PROPERTY HOLDERS IN 1826
The following list contains the names of those who held real and personal property in Batavia Township in 1826, together with the number of the entry and the names of the original proprietors. Opposite the names of those who paid no tax on personal property appears an* to indicate that such persons were probably non-residents at that period:
Arthur, James, no. 1771; Joseph Winlock, original proprietor
Arthur, Joseph, no. 1671; Edward Stevens, original proprietor
Apple, Daniel, no. 2058; Nathaniel Darby, original proprietor
* Atkins, Cephas, no. 586; Joseph Scott, original proprietor
*Abbott, William H., no. 1771; Joseph Winlock, original proprietor
Boyd, Mathew, no. 4802; Benjamin temple, original proprietor
Baldwin, William, no. 1774; William Johnston, original proprietor
Blair, Alexander, no. 1774; William Johnston, original proprietor
Brian, David C., No. 1774; William Johnson, original proprietor
Brown, William, no. 526; Samuel Finley, original proprietor
Branton, Thomas, no. 586; Joseph Scott, original proprietor
Bolander, Peter, no. 1771; Joseph Winlock, original proprietor
Burton, James, no. 2057; Nathaniel Darby, original proprietor
Brazier, Laban, no. 4455; L. Thomas, original proprietor
Brazier, John, no. 1671; Edward Stevens, original proprietor
Brunson, Thomas W.
Bryan, George S.
Burrows, T. H.
Bolton,, Jabish R.
*Brunaugh, Carey, no. 12,469; Henry Lee original proprietor
*Burrows, Stephen, no. 1774; William Johnston, original proprietor
*Barr & Lytle, no. 2057; Nathaniel Darby original proprietor
Clark, Johnson, no. 1671; Edward Stevens, original proprietor
Crossley, Reuben, no. 1771; Joseph Winlock, original proprietor
Cashman, Joshua, no. 506; John Catlett, original proprietor
Conley, James, no. 2057; Nathaniel Darby, original proprietor
Crank, John G.
Cleveland, Jeremiah C.
Crane, William M.
Collins, Learner B.
*Chapman, Zachariah, no. 493; Robert Gibbons, original proprietor
*Cleveland, Stephen B., No. 1673; Edward Stevens, original proprietor
*Cox, Abel, no. 1774; William Johnston, original proprietor
*Chambry, John, no. 1242; James Gray, original proprietor
Dial, Shadrach, no. 4031; John Obannon, original proprietor
Dial, David, no. 4031; John Obannon, original proprietor
Dial, John C., no. 5958, J. Taylor, original proprietor
Daily, Evi, no. 586; Joseph Scott, original proprietor
Dunham, Seth, no. 586; Joseph Scott original proprietor
Dunham, Jonathan, no. 586; Joseph Scott, original proprietor
Donham, Henry, no. 1771; Joseph Winlock, original proprietor
Duckwall, Lewis, no. 2057; Nathaniel Darby, original proprietor
Duckwall, Jacob, no. 1116; James Gray, original proprietor
Dimmitt, Ezekiel, no. 7120; William Moseley, original proprietor
Duckwall, David, no. 526; Samuel Finley, original proprietor
Davison, John, no. 4459; Benjamin temple, original proprietor
Davison, James, no. 4459; Benjamin temple, original proprietor
Dimmitt, John, 4459; Benjamin temple, original proprietor
Dennis, Francis, no. 4459; Benjamin temple, original writer
Duckwall, Daniel, no. 1765; William Johnston, original proprietor
Doughty, Robert, no. 928; Thomas Pierson, original proprietor
English, Debora, no. 2057; Nathaniel Darby, original proprietor
English, Robert, no. 2057; Nathaniel Darby, original proprietor
Ellis, Jesse, no. 1774; William Johnston, original proprietor
Ely, William, no. 1774; William Johnson original proprietor
Fisher, James, no. 1671; Edward Stevens, original proprietor
Fairfield, Josiah, no. 586; Joseph Scott, original proprietor
Fishback, Owen T., No. 1774; William Johnston, original proprietor
Foote, Andrew S.
*Finley, Samuel, no. 526; Samuel Finley, original proprietor
*Folger, Richard, no. 928; Thomas Pierson, original proprietor
Graham, John, no. 2057; Nathaniel Darby, original proprietor
Griffith, Samuel C.
Gest, James, no. 1765; William Johnston, original proprietor
Gest, Enoch, no. 1765; William Johnson, original proprietor
Glancy, James, no. 4459; Benjamin temple, original proprietor
Grant and Keezer
*Gray, John, no. 998; James Mabone, original proprietor
*Galbraeth, Samuel, no. 526; Samuel Finley, original proprietor
Harris, James, no. 989; Thomas Overton, original proprietor
Husong, Christian, no. 928; Thomas Pierson, original proprietor
Hascall, Benjamin, no. 1242; James Gray, original proprietor
Halliday, Joseph, no. 1242; James Gray, original proprietor
Hulick, lot, no. 1774; William Johnson, original proprietor
Hulick, James, no. 4459; Benjamin Temple, original proprietor
Hulick, Abraham, no. 1716; James Gray, original proprietor
Jeffreys, William, no. 928; Thomas Pierson, original proprietor
*Jernegan, David, no. 493; Robert Gibbons, original proprietor
Kirgan, Daniel, no. 511; Robert Taylor, original proprietor
Kirgan, David, no. 1672; Edward Stevens, original proprietor
Kidd, Daniel, no. 1242; James Gray, original proprietor
Kinman, Edward, no. 1774; William Johnston, original proprietor
*Keezer, Timothy, no. 1774; William Johnston, original proprietor
Lane, Samuel, no. 1765; William Johnston, original proprietor
Lane, Robert D., No. 5958; J Taylor, original proprietor
Lane, Samuel, Junior
Lane, Shadrach, no. 493; Robert Gibbons, original proprietor
Lemaster, Richard, no. 1672; Edward Stevens, original proprietor
Loop, Peter H., No. 1116; James Gray original proprietor
Loop, Henry, no. 1116; James Gray, original proprietor
Lyman, Josiah, no. 1774; William Johnson, original proprietor
*Longworth, Nicholas, no. 1774; William Johnson, original proprietor
*Leeds, Aaron, no. 934; Joseph Jones, original proprietor
*Lytle, William, no. 5256; William Tibbs, original proprietor
Medaris, Washington, no. 989; Thomas Overton, original proprietor
McMahan, Rebecca, no. 1673; Edward Stevens, original proprietor
McCord, Lucy, no. 1673; Edward Stevens, original proprietor
Miley, Abraham, no. 1774; William Johnson, original proprietor
McCord, Sarah, no. 989; Thomas Overton, original proprietor
Miley, Henry, no. 4845; John Neville, original proprietor
McCall, A. F.
Mitchell, John, no. 1774; William Johnston, original proprietor
Monday, James, no. 2057; Nathaniel Darby, original proprietor
Moore, Samuel, no. 526; Samuel Finley, original proprietor
*Miley and Armstrong, no. 1774; William Johnston, original proprietor
*Mount, Nehemiah, ever 1774; William Johnston, original proprietor
*Moore, Charles, no. 1774; William Johnston, original proprietor
*Morris, James C., No. 1774; William Johnson, original proprietor
*Murphy, John, no. 1765; William Johnson, regional proprietor
*Mason, Joseph, no. 2057; Nathaniel Darby, original proprietor
*Mathews, George, no. 4453; John wants, original proprietor
*McMahan, James, no. 4455; L. Thomas, original proprietor
McCormick, George, no. 10,495, George McCormick, original proprietor
Ogilvie, Thomas L.
Pease, David, no. 1671; Edward Stevens, original proprietor
Pierce, Benjamin, no. 12,469; Henry lease, original proprietor
Parker, Daniel, no. 5256; William Tibbs, original proprietor
Parker, Daniel, Jr.
Patterson, William S.
Pierce, Daniel, no. 12,469; Henry Lee, original proprietor
Preble, John, no. 6948; Robert Townsley, original proprietor
Pierce, John, no. 4459; Benjamin Temple, original proprietor
Parker, Leah, no. 7106; James Gray, original proprietor
*Patterson, Peter, no. 526; Samuel Finley, original proprietor
*Paddock, John, no. 4459; Benjamin Temple, original proprietor
Roseberry, Michael, no. 4919; John Green, original proprietor
Robinson, Charles, no. 4845; John Neville, original proprietor
Robinson, Charles, Jr., no. 934; Joseph Jones, original proprietor
Ransom, Ambrose, no. 1116; James Gray, original proprietor
Robinson, John W., No. 1774; William Johnston, original proprietor
Robinson, William H.
Robinson, William, no. 1774; William Johnston, original proprietor
*Ross, Ignatius, no. 934; Joseph Jones, original proprietor
*Reeves, Nathan, no. 1116; James Gray, original proprietor
* Rice, Holman, no. 493; Robert Gibbons, original proprietor
Short, Michael, no. 1071; Edward Stevens, original proprietor
Short, Isaac, no. 493; Robert Gibbons, original proprietor
Smith, Joseph, no. 586; Joseph Scott, original proprietor
Smith, George, no. 586; Joseph Scott, original proprietor
Slade, John, no. 1116; James Gray, original proprietor
Smith, Christopher, no. 4457; Nicholas Smith, original proprietor
Sanders, John W.
*Stewart, John, no. 1771; Joseph Winlock, original proprietor
*Singleton, Anthony, no. 4402; A. Singleton, original proprietor
*Stockton, Job, no. 1242; James Gray, original proprietor
*Sterrett, William, no. 928; Thomas Pearson, regional proprietor
Troy, Benjamin, no. 998; James Mabone, original proprietor
Troy, John, no. 998; James Mabone, original proprietor
Thompson, Elisha B.
Thompson, Alexander B.
Tingley, Benjamin, no. 934; Joseph Jones, original proprietor
Tedron,, David, no. 934; Joseph Jones, original proprietor
Tate, Thomas, no. 1116; James Gray, original proprietor
Troy, Simon, no. 998; James Mabone, original proprietor
Tally, John, no. 4802; Benjamin Temple, original proprietor
Townsley, Robert, no. 12,469; Henry Lee, original proprietor
Townsley Robert, no. 7106; Robert Townsley, original proprietor
Townsley, James, no. 526; Samuel Finley, original proprietor
*Thompson, Ralph, no. 586; Joseph Scott, original writer
*Tunis, John, no. 5958; J. Taylor, original proprietor
*Taylor, James, no. 944; James Gray, original proprietor
*Taylor, James, no. 4919; John Green, original proprietor
Whittaker, Israel, no. 1774; William Johnston, original proprietor
Whittaker, Margaret, no. 1072; Edward Stevens, original proprietor
Weaver, Samuel, no. 6878; Martin & Stokely, original proprietors
Weaver, John, no. 6878,; Martin & Stokely, original proprietors
Weaver, John, Jr., no. 6878; Martin & Stokely, original proprietors
Weaver, William, no. 493; Robert Gibbons, original proprietor
Wageman, John, no. 586; Joseph Scott, original proprietor
Whetson, Jacob, no. 1771; William Johnston, original proprietor
Winner, John, no. 2057; Nathan Darby, original proprietor
Williamson, James, no. 6948; Robert Townsley, original proprietor
White, David, no. 7106; Robert Townsley, original proprietor
*West, Samuel, no. 1771; Joseph Winlock, original proprietor
*Walden, Reuben, no. 928; Thomas Pearson, original proprietor
*Walkins, Joseph, no. 493; Robert Gibbons, original proprietor
*Warren, John, no. 1774; William Johnston, original proprietor
*Warren, John, Jr., no. 934; Joseph Jones, original proprietor
*Whetson, John, no. 1774; William Johnston, original proprietor
In 1826 the following were the lot owners in the village of Batavia. Those marked with a star signify the lot contained a building:
*Abbott, William H.
Bryan, Phineas L.
Brown, John M.
*Bryan, David C.
Crane, William M.
*Cleveland, Jeremiah C.
Dimmitt, John, Jr.
Foote & Sinks
Fishback, Owen T.
Morris, James C.
*McCall, Andrew T.
*Patterson, William S.
*Robinson, John W.
Robinson, William H.
Smith, David R.
*Sanders, John W.
MICHAEL COWEN was born August 16, 1804, Morrison's Co., in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, and was reared on the farm until 18 years old, when he learned the art of weaving, in which he became proficient. He had the usual advantages of the country boys of his day, receiving a good common school education, and excelled in arithmetic and penmanship. His father, who owned 400 acres of bottomland, was a man of considerable note, and had come to America when a lad of nine years from the north of Ireland, and was of rigid Presbyterian stock from the line of the "old Covenanters"of Cromwell's time. His mother was of German extraction, whose thrift and domestic graces have made the Pennsylvania housewife proverbial for tidiness and comfort.
In 1827 - 28 he removed to Ohio, and located at Batavia, at Duckwall's Mills, where he opened the first weaver's factory or shop in Clermont County. He boarded at David Duckwall's, and carried on his trade until his marriage, on August 11, 1831, by William Highland, a justice of the peace, to Miss Mary and Roudebush, daughter of Jacob Roudebush, one of the first settlers in Northern Clermont, in 1799, and whose ancestors were Knickerbocker Dutch, originally from Amsterdam, in Holland. He now moved into Batavia village, and bought the property where D. G. Dustin now resides, and where his first child was born, Judge Allen T. Cowen. Afterwards he located at Perin's Mills, and in 1837 removed to Tate Township, where he purchased the farm now owned by John L. Fisher, and afterwards lived in Wigginsville. While in Tate Township he resumed his weaving business, and all through this County, in most of the households, will be found to this day specimens in coverlets and other weavings of his skillful handiwork before the invention of machinery transferred his honorable business to the large manufacturing centers of our land.
In 1841 he was elected sheriff of the county; and reelected in 1843, and search for years, being the first sheriff to occupy the present jail building, which was rebuilt after the fire during ex-Sheriff Edward Frazier's administration. The county never had a more efficient sheriff than he, and the senior members of the bar speaking warm praise of his promptness in the faithful discharge of his duties, and of the suavity and affability that characterized him as an officer, true to all trusts committed to his care, and of the strongest integrity. At the expiration of his term of office he settled in Jackson Township, and engage in merchandising and farming. He also serves several years as postmaster at Cynthianna (now Marathon). This Township was then strongly Whig in its politics, but such was Michael Cowen's standing in popularity as a man that, Democrat as he was, and closely identified as he had ever been with partisan politics, he was elected justice of the peace by the majority, after a bitter fight, over John Dickey, the leading in most prominent Whig in the Township.
In 1849 he removed to Milford, where he bought the well-known "Miami House," which hotel he kept in good style and to the satisfaction of the public until his death, which occurred on August 16, 1854, occasioned by congestive chills. He several times revisited the boyhood scenes of his old Pennsylvania home in birthplace, and upon these occasions often walked from Pittsburgh across the mountains. He was a Jeffersonian in Jackson Democrat, and no man better posted in the nomenclature of Clermont politics and he, or excelled him in the dexterous management of a political campaign. He was a remarkable shot with the rifle, to excel in the use of which at that time was a proud mark of distinction, and in his latter years he astonished of the young hunters by the dexterity, skill, and precision that distinguished him in the handling of this firearm. Of an iron will, resolute purpose, and inflexible honor, he left the impress of his character upon his three children, all living, to wit: Judge Allen T. Cowen, Dale O., In Willis M. Cowen, the last two editors, publishers, and proprietors of The Clermont Sun. His father, and old Covenanter, believed in the doctrine that it was highly important that children should be taught to acquire habits of industry, for whatever their habits were while young, such for the most part would they continue to be in the after-life. He knew children were apt to think it a great hardship to be obliged to devote so much time to occupations, at present, perhaps, disagreeable to them, but he further knew that they ought to be made to believe that their tasks were not only intended for the informing of their minds but for the bending of their wills, and he knew that good habits were as easily acquired as bad once, with the great advantage of being the only true way to prosperity and happiness. Hence, although a wealthy former processing brought acres, he gave his son Michael a trade which threescore years ago was one of the most honorable and lucrative then followed. He was singularly fortunate and blessed in his choice of life companion, Marianne Roudebush, who still survives him is his widow, and resides with her eldest son, Judge Cowen. A woman of remarkable intellectual powers, the descendent of the family noted for its ability, tact, and wonderful business qualities, her domestic graces and social powers proved of invaluable service to her beloved husband, and she was enabled to greatly assist him in his eventful life, and upon her in a large degree is the meed of commendation to be richly bestowed to the training given to her three excellent sons, all among our best citizens in professional and business life.
A.T. COWEN, named after Allen Trimble, one of Ohio's most distinguished Governors, and who occupied the gubernatorial chair in 1822, and from 1826 to 1830, is the son of ex-sheriff Michael Cowen, who intermarried with Marianne Roudebush, and was born in Batavia, Ohio, February 13, 1834, in the house now occupied by Daniel G. Dustin. Here he received the rudiments of a good common school education on the net famous old - time teacher, Charles M. Smith, and under Prof. D. W. Stevens, the noted classical educator, of Milford, completed his preparation for college. Entered to Delaware University, and graduated with high honors in the class of 1855, which embraced many students who have since become eminent in the various professions, and among whom may be mentioned Rev. T. M. Gatch, D. D., President of Williamette University, at Salem, Oregon, ex-Gov. Elbert, of Colorado, and Rev. George S. Savage, D. D., One of Kentucky's most prominent divines and educators.
In 1860 has Alma Mater conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts, and honor given only two graduates who have achieved distinction. He read law for two years, and attended the Cincinnati Law College, from which he graduated in April, 1858, and at the same time was admitted to the bar by the Hamilton County District Court. He opened his office in Milford, and in the summer of that year was appointed by Judge Shepherd F. Norris, of the Clermont Common Pleas Court, to the office of prosecuting attorney of Clermont, made vacant by the resignation of Charles H. Collins, and in October of the same year (1858) was elected to fill that office for two years, and reelected for another term in 1860. During his four years and a half of service many important criminal causes were tried, in which his ability and strong legal powers work pre-eminently displayed. In 1866 he was elected Probate judge of the County, and the next year removed to Batavia. In 1869 he was reelected, and his six years' administration in the Widows' and Orphans' court is an honorable a monument to his learning and fidelity as an upright judge. In 1876 he was elected a Common Pleas judge of the first subdivision of the Fifth Judicial, composed of the counties of Adams, Brown, and Clermont, to fill the unexpired term of Judge T. Q. Ashburn, resigned, and in 1877 was elected for a term of five years as additional judge of the same subdivision, which position he now fills
Judge Cowen possesses that sagacity which cannot be misled by sophistry, the integrity which nothing can shake, the stern impartiality which forgets the parties looks only at the cause, and the dignified courtesy which rebukes levity while it wins respect.
Few attorneys and public men give much attention to literature; but he has carried the feelings of his student days into his active life, has continued his studies, and is conversant with the works of the best authors. He has been greatly interested in the cause of education, and as a director of the Milford schools was mainly instrumental in building the fine school edifice of that town. From mayor of Milford (which position he held two years) to the bench is public record has been without a blot.
In 1872, jointly with his brother, Dale O. Cowen, he purchase of Hon. H.V. Kerr, The Clermont Sun, which he edited until 1875, when he sold out his half interest to his youngest brother, Willis M.
He married, in October, 1861, Ms. Kate A. Brown, daughter of Carson and Catherine Brown, of Hamilton County, who, with their four children, Mary, Allen, Mabel, and Bessie, comprise his happy household. For 15 years he has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and has passed all the chairs in Clermont Lodge, No. 49, at Milford, and for some time belong to the encampment at Batavia. In 1869 he took the Masonic degree in Batavia Lodge, No. 109, F. and A.M.: that of Entered Apprentice on July 17th, of Fellow Craft on August 21st, and of Master Mason in September. In Batavia Chapter of Royal Arched Masons, No. 112, he was advanced to the honorable degree of a Mark Master, elected and presided in the chair as Past Master, received and acknowledged as Most Excellent Master on November 16th, and exalted to the Royal Arch degree on November 18th. He was elected Worshipful Master of the Symbolic Lodge for the years 1872, 1873, 1874, in 1875, and again in 1879, and is still in the East. He was High Priest of the Chapter in 1877 and 1878. For nearly 10 years she has been a Royal and Select Master, belonging to Connell Council, No. 18, of Felicity, the only council in the county. Judge Cowen is largely indebted to his mother for his success in life; for to her good lessons in his youth, her motherly admonitions in subsequent years, and her kind counsels and advice he ever listened like a loving and irritable son, and his honorable life bears grapefruit spraying from the seeds planted by a wise mother's benign instructions.
Batavia was organized of the civil Township from Williamsburgh and Ohio townships, September 5, 1815. Unfortunately, the Township records from there. Until 1848 are lost, making the compilation of a complete civil list an impossibility, and preventing a reference to many matters of local legislation which would not be without interest. Since 1847 those elected to the principal offices have been the following:TRUSTEES1848-1850--Abraham Miley, Charles M. Smith, Lott Hulick1851--Elijah Brazier, Edmund Spence, Lott Hulick1852 - 54--John White, Wesley C. Dole, Lott Hulick1855 - 56--L. D. Weaver, Lewis Tice, James Tate 1857 - Joseph H. Gest, Lewis Tice, John White1858 - 59 - - Joseph H. Gest, Lewis Tice, Daniel Roudebush1860 - E. D. Duckwall, Lewis Tice, S. M. Atchley1861 - F. L. Weaver, Lewis Tice, E. D. Duckwall1862 - David McAfee, Lewis Tice, E. D. Duckwall1863 - J. M. Rust, William Glancy, S. L. Apple1864 - Lewis Tice, Peter Brunaugh, Joseph Marshall1865 - Charles A. Moore, Sr., John M. Neeley, Joseph Marshall1866 - Charles A. Moore, Sr, George W. Duckwall, David Atchley1867 - 68 - Charles A. Moore, Sr, George W. Duckwall, Edwin Titus1869- David Atchley, George W. Duckwall, Edwin Titus1870 - Charles A. Moore, Sr, George W. Duckwall, Edwin Titus1871 - 73 - David Atchley, George W. Duckwall, Edwin Titus1874 - William B. Lukemkires, George W. Duckwall, Edwin Titus1875 - William B. Lukemires, George W. Duckwall, Thomas Brown1876 - 79 - David Atchley, George W. Duckwall, Thomas Brown
1848 - 52, David C. Bryan; 1853, Henry G. Duckwall; 1854, George L. Swing; 1855 - 56, Lester G Moore; 1857, Thomas S. Bryan; 1858, J. M. Miley; 1859, Daniel Slack; 1860, Frank White; 1861, George H. Hill; 1862, George W. Hulick; 1863, H. V. Kerr; 1864 - 65, J. C. Morris; 1866, W. H. H. Robinson; 1867, H. Smethhurst; 1868 - 69, the. C. Bryan; 1870, W. H. H. Robinson; 1871 - 73, Thomas S. Bryan; 1874, J. R. McMillen; 1875, J. L. Moore; 1876, J. R. McMillen; 1877- 79, J. L. Moore
1848 - 52, John M. Brown; 1853 - 54, Jesse S. Dustin; 1855, Thomas Kain; 1856 - 57, Jesse S. Dustin; 1858 - 66, Stephen S. Robinson; 1867 - 68, Jesse S. Dustin; 1869 - 78, D. G. Dustin; 1879, Albert Henriel.
1848, Lester G. Moore; 1849, Henderson Tice; 1850, Daniel Slack; 1851, Lester G. Moore; 1852, George R. Wageman; 1853, John Finton; 1854, George P. Stark; 1855, J. Milton Gest; 18 bits six, A. B. White; 1857, Samuel Atchley; 1858 - 59, A. B. White; 1860, Andrew J. Sprague; 1861, T. S. Bryan; 1862, Isaac Potter; 1863, James T. Nash; 1864, D. S. Crosbaw; 1865, John Grant; 1866, Isaac Potter; 1867, Julius N. Knaur; 1868 - 75, Isaac Potter; 1876, C. L. Holleman; 1877 - 79, Isaac Potter
THE HIGHWAYS AND CEMETERIES
The oldest highway in the Township was located in 1797 by order of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Hamilton County. In a general way its course has been unchanged, and it is yet the principal thoroughfare from East to West. Before Batavia was laid out the East Fork was crossed below the house of Thomas Marsh, and the road ascended the hills back of the Odd-Fellows' Cemetery. In about 1815 he was made to assume the present course. Information pertaining to other roads is given in a general chapter. The bridge of Batavia, a splendid iron structure, resting on stone piers more than 40 feet high, is the second one occupies the site. Considerable labor has been bestowed on the highways of the Township, at the annual meeting in 1879, 25 supervisors of public roads were appointed. There are in the Township three turnpikes, on which tolls are charged, and two lines of narrow gauge railways, which are noted at length in another place.
The only record pertaining to cemeteries appears in the fall of 1879, when the Township United with the village in purchasing 25 acres of land adjoining the old Citizens' Cemetery, which, together with that place, should because to do a general burial place. The land is very favorably located for this purpose, and with the proper improvements these grounds can be rendered very attractive. In connection with two churches the Methodists maintain burying grounds, and at Batavia and Amelia the Odd Fellows have cemeteries, which have received appropriate care. The one and Amelia, control by Milton Lodge, number 99, is 435' x 366', and is laid out in 180 blocks. It was planted in the fall of 1865, and Edward Butler empowered to convey lots. Nearly all of these cemeteries contain fine monuments, attesting the taste of the people and showing the regard they have for the memory of those gone before. In the Township are also a few private places of interment, care for by the loving hands, and the few spots where are inhumed the dead of extinct families, which bear a neglected appearance.
It is stated on the authority of Gen. Taylor, of Newport, Kentucky, that the oldest mill site in Clermont County is in Batavia Township. In December, 1795, Peter Wilson, a native of Virginia, but at that time residing Kentucky (who had an excellent reputation as a millwright and who afterward built 50 mills in Ohio), selected the site of Moore's Mill for Generals Taylor and Lytle and supporting the best water power on the East Fork. It was several years, however, before the power was improved, which was first used by George Ely to operate a small sawmill. In 1816, Capt. Charles Moore purchased the property and soon after built a better sawmill, adding a small run of stones to grind corn. 1840 he united with his sons, Lindley and Charles, in building the present grist mill, which is the only one that has ever occupied the site. It is a three story frame, supplied with turbine wheels and modern machinery, and is accounted one of the best Mills in the country. The sawmill has been continued, and both have been carried on number of years by the present and proprietor, L. C. More. At this place was before 1835 a large distillery by Moore, Grant & McCall; and up the stream, where are now the "Elk Lick Mills," the manufacture of liquor was extensively carried on by White & Thomas. This interest has long been since allowed to decline but the sauna and grist mills have been operated there ever since 1840. J. DB. Newell is depressed proprietor.
The power at the mills below the village of Batavia was first improved in 1809 by John and Robert Townsley and James McClellan, who sold the mills the Capt. Jenkins. The latter lost his life while attempting to reach's mill in a freshet, in the property passed into the hands of David Duckwall, sometime about 1825. Subsequently White, & Duckwall were the owners, and also carried on a distillery. The first mill was destroyed by fire, and the present mill has had numerous owners. The present proprietors are Townsley & Grove. The water power failing the sawmill has been abandoned, and steam power is now employed to grind about six months a year.
On the East Fork, almost opposite the residence of John Cowen, George Ely, had at an early day a small mill for grinding corn, which was destroyed by fire soon after it was gotten in operation; and several miles above the village Samuel Hare had saw and grist Mills in 1837, which were allowed to go down because the location was not favorable for the business. At the same. John Dimmitt at a grist mill on survey number 4459; Jernegan & Butler one on number 493; and J. & G. Smith another on number 593. All of these, except otherwise noted, have gone down. Many sawmills abounded, so which do the extent excellent services for the pioneers, although having but a small cutting capacity, and as the country was cleared up the water power became some small but the mills could not be operated except after a spell. This class of Mills was then appropriately called "thundergust mills." Among the best of these may be mentioned the tally mill, which was built in 1822 by John F. Talley, and which was at first largely operated. On Lucy's Run were number of these mills, and on Back Bone Run no less than six, which were operated, going up the stream, by George Mcdary, James Townsley (who had his arm accidentally cut off in his mill, John Finney, John Pierce, James and Elijah Dennis, James Hulick, and other owners. All have passed away, and of many there is not even a trace left.
About 1830, John Pegg built a stream flouring mill in Batavia on wood Street, near John M. Nealy's residence. It was supplied with four runs of stones, and had a good capacity, but it never proves successful, and after a few years the machinery was removed, and later the building was converted into a barn on the Infirmary farm. Before I was taken down a man named Redden rigged up a press in the house to extract the oil from the sunflower, of which he had in cultivation about 12 acres. He intended to substitute the extract for linseed oil, but it proved to gummy, and the enterprise was soon abandoned.
Before this. John Dennis had in operation a carding machine on Market Street, which was operated by tread wheel power. In the winter he manufactured linseed oil, using very crude machinery. Thomas Kain also operated a carding machine in the village many years.
About 1820, William Mount began a tannery in the rear of where is now Glancy's store, and here he carried on the business until after 1840. He was a fine currier, and the work he turned out was highly esteemed. Another small tannery was carried on by William Voorheis, at the head of Spring Street, about the same time. Tanning on a more extensive scale was carried on in the upper part of the village, about 1850, by John Fishback, who sold his interest to Julius A. Penn, and he to Joseph Bicking, who last operated the tannery.
The manufacture of hats was begun on Water Street, about 1822, by William N. White, who sold his interests in 1830 to John White, and the latter continued the business half a dozen years, making wool and fur hats. From 1825 to 1832, J. B. Leeds carried on a hat shop on the corner of Main and Second Streets.
At a very early day in the history of the village in distillery was in successful operation on the upper part of Spring Street. Among the operators was a man's named Munn, who employed a peculiarly constructed tread power to which were hitched Selig Oaks of cattle; and in the neighborhood of the village was another small still by Charles Meeks. 3 miles east was the distillery of Samuel Maham, which was an object of general interest in that locality and was much patronized. Of a more practical nature is the The Sorghum Manufactory of James Hulick, one and a half miles east from the village. It has been in successful operation since the introduction of sorghum, employing from time to time the most approved apparatus. Mr. Hulick is now enabled to produce a quality of syrup remarkably free from the objectionable features which ordinarily attached to it. Some of the cane the past season was brought 10 miles to the factory, and about 3200 gallons of syrup were manufactured. Nelson Lytle is also a manufacturer of sorghum syrup, 3 miles south from the village.
Stirling & Moore's Carriage Works And Undertaking Establishment At Batavia were begun on a small scale by the present proprietors, W. B. C. Stirling and H. N. Moore, in January, 1860. The business has been extended until at present to large shops are occupied, in addition to a wareroom 24 x 45 feet, and two stories high. The firm makes a specialty of light work and gives employment to eight men. In connection with the undertaking business and elegant hearse is maintained.
John Pohlman's Union Carriage Works were established in October, since 1874, by John Pohlman, Edward Nash, and Franklin Van Wagner, in a shop on Market Street. Since December, 1879, the works have been located on Third Street, occupying a main shop 35 by 50 feet , two stories high, and a smithy 28 x 50, containing four fires. When work to its full capacity 15 men are required in all the departments. Since July, 1879, the proprietor has been the exclusive manufacturer for this part of the State of Salade's "Eclipse Wagon," patented may 30th 1878, whose introduction marks a new era in carriage work, noted for ease and comfort. In addition are manufactured all kinds of light running gear, and general repair work is done.
The Batavia Gold-Mining Company. In the year 1868 great excitement was produced throughout Clermont County by the unexpected discovery of gold along East Fork of the Little Miami, in Batavia Township. Some returned Californians, while hunting among the hills near the Elk Lick Mills, were the first to discover the precious metal, and soon the news, spreading with lightning rapidity, brought scores of anxious prospectors to that locality, and the usual quiet of that almost isolated region quickly presented the scene of an El Dorado panic, the diggings being literally overrun. Hundreds came from Cincinnati, whose papers published glowing accounts of the hidden wealth which might be so easily procured. In a short time gold quartz was found on the lands of Col. William Howard and R. W. Clarke, near the village of Batavia, which directed attention to that place as the new theater for mining operation; and, acting upon the report of Capt. J. W. Glass, an eminent chemist and assayist of experience on the Pacific Slope, the above mining company was formed and duly incorporated under the laws of the State for mining gold or other minerals and for manufacturing the same. It was specified that the mining operations should be limited to the County, and the manufactory should be located in Batavia, where, also, the principal office was to be located. The capital stock of the company was fixed at $50,000, to be divided into shares of $100 each, and the corporators were J. W. Glass, D. G. Dustin, L. C. Moore, John M. Nealey, and S. F. Dowdney. About $3000 were expended in digging for war and in the construction of the necessary flumes and buildings for carrying on the mining operations. Gold ore and other precious metals were found in various shapes and kinds, but not in paying quantities to warrant the continuance of the enterprise more than a few months. The principal operations were carried on in the rear of Mrs. G. W. Griggs' residence, and there the busy workmen were visited by thousands who are led thither by curiosity or interest in the development of the treasure field. The project lived just long enough to demonstrate that the hills and streams of Clermont County actually contained gold, but that the quantity is so small that it will not pay the expense of mining it.
HAMLETS AND VILLAGES
One of the most recently laid out hamlets is Maywood, in the northeastern part of the Township, on the Cincinnati and Eastern Railroad. The plant embraces 9 17/100 acres, forming 16 lots and three or four streets. It was laid out March 3, 1877, by James Davidson, but the place has not assumed any special importance, and contains but a few houses in a store kept by David Atchley. On the same road, between this point and Batavia, our stations called Summit and Hulick, at neither of which a village has yet sprung up.
In the southwestern part of the Township, on the Cincinnati and Portsmouth Railroad, is a station called Centreville, containing a few houses. Here for the past 20 years a small store has been carried on by Henry Brazier. On the opposite side of the street William Youngbooth had a store, which has been discontinued. A post office, named Brazier, as they been established at this point, and Henry Brazier appointed postmaster.
On the Ohio Turnpike is a cluster of houses, store, and post office, called Mount Holly. In 1867 the post office was established, with David Doughty Postmaster. He was succeeded 1975 by Collins Doughty. The Doughtys also kept the store.
This is a pleasant hamlet, 3 ½ miles from Batavia Village, on the Cincinnati turnpike. Half a mile distant from the lower part of the Hamlet is Olive Branch Station, on the Cincinnati and Portsmouth Railroad. Daniel Apple cleared up the ground on which is Olive Branch for a farm, and the places never been platted or laid off for village purposes. As lots were demanded, they were sold off from the farms on either side of the turnpike, and the Hamlet consequently presents a straggling appearance. It contains at present several dozen homes, a post office, three stores, a fine Odd Fellows' Hall, Methodist and Baptist churches, and the usual mechanic shops.
Shadrach Lane opened the first store in the Hamlet in the building which is at present occupied by Lafayette Fishback. Among other intermediate merchants at this place were Perin & Sutton, Bohn & Kiefer, and Joseph Hatfield. On the site now occupied by the Methodist Church was formerly a store kept by James Simmons, and afterward by a man named Short. Where G. Schwab is at present engage in merchandising T. J. Cazel began to trade in 1854, and the successive merchants there have been J. R. Mundell and John Walker. Years ago Joseph Austin was also a merchant in the place, and since 1870 T. J. Cazel has again sold goods.
At the letter stand is also the Olive Branch post office, whose affairs have been administered by Mr. Cazel since November 27, 1875. His predecessors have been William Duley, Peter Brunaugh, Walter Ingalls, J. R. Mundell, Joseph Hatfield, James Simmons, Charles Bohn, the last name being the first to hold the office in 1847. Since December, 1876, the mail supply has been by the Cincinnati and Portsmouth Railroad, daily. Previous to that time the service was by stages on the turnpike.
Public houses have been kept by Joseph Hatfield, William Hammett, and others, but the Hamlet is at present without any place of entertainment.
The physicians resident here have been Dr. Patton; Dr. Walter M. Ingalls, after 1850; Dr. Robert Ary, a short time; and Dr. Eben Behymer, who was followed in 1877 by the present Dr. Reuben Laycock.
The village of Amelia, which is partly in Batavia Township, is fully noted in the Township of Pierce, which contains its most important interests
This is the shiretown of Clermont County, as well as the largest village in the Township of Batavia. It has a most beautiful location on the east bank of the East Fork of the Little Miami, on a small plane, which is abundantly elevated to promote its healthfulness and secure good natural drainage. On the North and East it is closely environs by high hills, and the surrounding country presents a succession of varied scenery whose picturesque beauty is seldom surpassed in this part of the State. The village itself bears a need and inviting aspect, containing many homes whose unpretending but substantial architecture betokens comfort and enjoyment. Most of the streets are well paved and orderly kept, and on every hand appear the evidences of thrift and enterprise. In addition to the public buildings there are Methodist, respiratory, and United Brethren churches, a very handsome Union school, and the various other interests noted in the following pages. Since the completion of the Cincinnati and Eastern Railroad, which has a station at this point, distant from Cincinnati 24 miles, there has been a steady increase of population, and there are present about 1000 inhabitants.
The village is located on entry No. 1774 of 1000 acres, surveyed for William Johnson (assignee), May 17, 1788, and was patented by Pres. John Adams, March 18, 1790, to Thomas Paxton, as assignee of William Johnson, the assignee of Capt. Francis Minnis, who serves several years in the "Virginia Line." In 1805, Paxton sold the land to Gen. William Lytle, who soon after sold it to George Ely, a native of New Jersey, who became the founder of the village.
On the 24th of October, 1814, David C. Bryan and George Ely, through his attorney in fact, John Collins, had recorded the plat of the village of Batavia, with streets, lots, and alleys, embracing 62 ½ acres the principal street was to be designated Maine and was to be four poles wide and 100 poles long, running from the river to the foot of the hills. Other parallel streets were named Spring, will Wood, and Upper. The ground along the river was set aside for highway purposes, receiving the name of Water Street. The parallel streets were named Second, Market, Third, Fourth, and North. One hundred and forty-four poles of land on Market and Maine Streets were set aside for County buildings and public uses. The remainder of the plat was laid off into lots four poles wide and eight poles long, except numbers 120 to 122, in the rear of the public square, which are only eight poles long. Eight lots constitute a square, and the entire number of lots in the original plat was 169. To this addition was made on the northeast by George Ely, March 7, 1817, of a number of lots of uniform size and numbered from 170 to 246. The length of several of the other streets was extended and New Street added. The second edition, consisting of six lots, numbered from 247 to 252, was made April 8, 1824, by Alexander Blair, David C. Bryan, David White, John W. Robinson, John Mitchell, Enoch Gest, William Rust, and Ezekiel Dimmitt. Lot no. 247, containing 100 poles of land, was conveyed for the use of the Methodist Society of Batavia; the other lots were for sale, and each had an acre area of 40 poles.
George Ely came to this locality sometime after 1806, and lived first in a rude cabin on the site of the old Moore homestead. At this point he first improved the water power, putting up a single sawmill. Several years later he erected the stone house near the river, on the Gregg farm, in which he lived until after 1816. Subsequently he lived on the corner where Griffin's Hotel now is, where he kept the small store and tavern, removing from this place to Newtown. Of his six children, one of the sons, John, died in Batavia of the cholera, in 1832. William removed to Indiana.
George Ely was a great hunter, and had several thrilling adventures in the vicinity of Batavia, at one time having a narrow escape from wolves. Of this event the following account has been furnished by L. C. Moore, Esq., who now occupies the old Ely Place: "One afternoon Ely went out to hunt on the ridge above Moore's mills, which leads from the river to what were formerly known as the swamp lands, in which, at that time, was much frequented by deer; but finding no game he retraced his steps, and late in the afternoon came to the deer lick in the hollow a little northeast of the village, above the present home of John Dimmitt. Here he saw a large deer, which he succeeded in killing at the first shot. The sun had now set, and, being in a hurry to get the deer out of the way before dark, he took office powder horn and pouch and hung them on the limb of a tree and said his rifle against another. He had just bent down a small tree, in which the skinned deer might hang till morning, when he was startled by the cry of a ravenous pack of wolves, so close at hand that his only safety appeared in flight. In the hurry of the moment he picked up his rifle but forgot his accoutrements, and was, therefore, as well as unarmed. He ran swiftly down the hollow to where it comes out of the East Fork, near the stone church, closely followed by the angry wolves. Being unable to drive them off he took to the water, thinking that the wolves would not follow him. His conjectures proved correct, but whenever he attempted to reach the shore his persecutors the finally turned him back. The water became so cold that I said already formed on the edges of the stream, and Ely began to suffer terribly from the cold. Use about a mile below his house, and is only escape appeared in reaching it by wading in the water up the stream. After much difficulty he got so near his cabin that his cries for help, mingled with the howls of the wolves, alarmed his family and brought to his aid in old man, named Bull, who had his home at Mr. Ely's. The latter armed himself with several firebrands, which he struck together in such a way that the wolves (which have a wholesome dread of fire) were frightened away, and Ely was allowed to come ashore almost frozen. He always thereafter had the spite against wolves, and never lost an opportunity to kill them."
PERRY JACKSON NICHOLS The present efficient Probate judge of Clermont County, Perry Jackson Nichols, is of English dissent on his parental side, and was born some 3 miles from New Richmond, in this County, March 30, 1839. He was the second in a family of six children, whose parents were Thomas L. Nichols and Evaline (Donham) Nichols, who were married by N. E. Walton, a justice of the peace, on December 18, 1836. Judge Nichols' father, a native of Clermont, followed through life the vocation of engineer, and is still living at New Richmond. His mother, born in the County, was the daughter of one of the early settlers in Southern Ohio, Col. Jonathan S. Donham, originally of Spanish extraction, and who was married to Elizabeth Ayers by Timothy Rardin, a justice of the peace, on April 19, 1818. The grandfather of the subject of this sketch, Philip Nichols, was a pioneer of note in substance, and was married to Nancy Marsh, by Rev. Jesse Justice, on November 3, 1812. The boyhood days of Judge Nichols until he had reached his 13th year were passed alternately in working on a farm in attending school during the winter months. In 1852 he was employed in carrying the United States mail between New Richmond, Blanchester (Clinton County), and Deerfield (Warren County), and in which service he consumed four days per week for four years. During the remaining days of the week he was engaged in laboring on the farm, and through these years of toil his leisure hours were assiduously devoted to the improvement of his mind, and the works then read by him added much to his subsequent store of knowledge. In 1856 his attention was directed to engineering, and during the following two years he was engaged at this employment. He then attended various select schools for about three years, and also pursued a select course of higher studies at Parker's Academy and in the Farmers' College, near Cincinnati. In 1859 he assumed the role of an educator, and for two years taught school, in the meantime occupying a spare moments by reading law, under the supervision of Hon. Perry J. Donham, now a prominent attorney of Cincinnati. In 1861, having passed the requisite examination, he was by the September term of the Clermont District Court admitted to practice law, and formed a partnership with his former preceptor, Mr. Donham, which continued until the removal of the latter from New Richmond to Cincinnati. In 1867 he took as partner Frank Davis, under the firm name of Nichols and Davis, who were associated together until January, 1879, when he removed to Batavia to enter upon his judicial office, to which he had been elected in the October previous by a handsome vote. When chosen to the Probate judgeship of the County, he and his partner, Frank Davis, had a most extensive and lucrative legal practice. He was married, August 21, 1862, by Rev. W.J. Essick, to Jeannette Gilmore, daughter of the late Hugh Gilmore, of New Richmond, a prominent and successful businessman of that city, born in County Down, Ireland, and of Jane (Hays) Gilmore, born in County Antrim, Ireland, both early settlers in Clermont, by whom he has the following children: Annie Matilda, Llewellyn Hugh, Carrie Belle, Nellie May, Florence Eva, and Allen Brunaugh (the latter named after his two predecessors in office, Judges Cowen and Brunaugh). He is been a member of the Mistletoe Lodge, No. 97, Independent Order of Fellows, for 16 years, and belong to the New Richmond Large, No. 43, of Ancient Order of United Workmen. He was mayor of the city of New Richmond from 1865 to 1870, and for five years was a member of its school board, during three of which he held the office of president. He took great interest in the common high schools of that city, and their present efficiency and high standing is largely attributable to wise measures instituted and carried out under the able administration and watchful care of himself, colleagues, and predecessors. The Nichols family is one of the oldest and probably the largest in Clermont, and from the first settlers of that name in Ohio and Monroe townships have sprung many persons who have become eminent in business, professional, and military life; but among them are the chief elements of true manhood, varied learning, broad humanity, and high public spirit, largely embodied in Perry J. Nichols, the man who social and personal characteristics and unblemished private life, with his strong mental force, make him prominent in the County.
New Richmond owes to Judge Nichols as great a debt of gratitude as to any other of its citizens, for in the past 15 years no one has surpassed him in successful labors for its growth in masterful resources, and in the tone and character imparted to its educational advantages. Working for years to secure a railroad along the Ohio River, to him more than to any other man is the meed of commendation to be given for the building of the New Richmond or Ohio River branch of the Cincinnati and Eastern Narrow - Gauge Railroad, which was inaugurated and carried to completion by his strong will and unflagging industry, and while others despond it and grew weary in that and kindred enterprises, his hopes were ever buoyant in his energy untiring.
J.S. BRUNAUGH One of the early settlers in Clermont was William Brunaugh, who emigrated from Virginia, and was a very noted and successful Methodist revivalist of his day. He was the father of Rev. John Brunaugh, of Amelia, who married for his first wife Elizabeth Dolen (now deceased), and daughter of Timothy Dolen, by whom he had the following children: William M.; James S.; John C.; Harriet, married to William W. Hancock; Susan, married to John P. Robinson; and Mary, married to S. G. Norris. James Saurin Brunaugh, one of the above children, is of French extraction on his parental side, and was born at Amelia, June 17, 1839. He received a good common school education under Hon. J. Milton McGrew, Sixth Auditor of the Treasury Department, who was his only teacher in the time he learned the alphabet until he obtained, at the age of 12 years, a certificate from the County Board of school examiners to teach school. He was the youngest person who was ever granted a certificate in the County, and on getting it went ahead and receive the most thorough academic education, embracing Latin and the higher mathematics. At the tender age of 14 years he began teaching, and taught for 12 successive years at various points in Clermont and Hamilton counties, five of them in the latter, and achieve a marked prominence as one of the most systematic, popular, and successful educators in the County. While teaching he began, in 1860, reading law with Hon. John Johnston (then of Batavia), and at the September term of the Clermont District Court, in 1863, was admitted to the bar, and sworn into the profession by that profound lawyer and judge, William V. Peck, of the Supreme Court of Ohio.
In the spring of 1866 he opened a law office in Cincinnati in connection with William H. Matthews, Esq., but in the fall of the same year establishes office in Batavia, which had been his residence since the previous November. Since then he has been uninterruptedly in the practice of the law, say when on the bench, and since the spring of 1879 has been associated with Capt. Peter F. Swing, son of Judge Philip B. Swing, of the United States District Court of the Southern District of Ohio, under the firm name of Brunaugh & Swing, and which is one of the leading firms of Clermont. Judge Brunaugh was married November 15, 1865, by Rev. John W. Fowble, to Ms. Helen Cedora Dennison, daughter of the late George W. Dennison, Esq., for many years a prominent lawyer of the Clermont bar, and by which union he has one child, Harry Percy Brunaugh.
In the Batavia Lodge, No. 109, of Free and Accepted Masons, he was initiated as an Entered Apprentice January 4, 1868, passed to a Fellow Craft, February 8th; raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason March 7th; and was elected three times Worshipful Master of this lodge, and presided over it in the years 1877, 1878, and 1879. In 1870 he took the capitulator degrees of Mark, Passed and Most Excellent Master, and was exalted to the Royal Arch degree in Batavia Chapter, No. 112; and on August 5, 1871, received the cryptic degrees of Royal and Select Master in Connell Council, No. 18, at Felicity. He is also a member of Cincinnati Commandery, No. 3, of Nights Templar, and in Masonic jurisprudence has a deserved reputation for learning and ability coextensive with the state. In 1868 he joined Batavia Lodge, No. 136, of I.O.O.F., in past all its chairs, and in this order has for years been a representative to the Grand Lodge of Ohio, one term of two years for the county as a whole district, and the other term for one of its districts, No. 9. At the Grand Lodge he was one session chairman of the committee on legislation, which embraced some of the brightest legal minds and most distinguished of the order in Ohio. He was once appointed District Deputy Grand Master, but was compelled to decline serving owing to his large and increasing law business. He was also one of the charter members of Batavia Lodge, No. 55, of Ancient Order of United Workmen, instituted November 30, 1875, and from January to June, 1876, its presiding officer, Master Workman, in 1877 its representative to the Grand Lodge. In 1878 he was elected Grand Master Workman Ohio by the Grand Lodge, and on his retiring from office it presented him a magnificent gold medal as a testimonial of its friendly recognition of his able services to this wonderfully increasing order. On March 16, 1879, he took his seat at Nashville, Tennessee, as one of the three Grand Representatives of Ohio in this Supreme Grand Lodge of the United States of the AO.U.W., which held its annual session there of two weeks, and in whose deliberations and proceeding he was one of the most active and prominent personages. In 1866 he was elected prosecuting attorney of Clermont County over Capt. W.H. Standish, the Republican nominee, and in 1868 was reelected, defeating Major Benjamin J. Ricker, a very popular Republican. This office he held four years, and his administration, inability and efficiency, and never been surpassed in Clermont. In 1872 he was elected Probate Judge of the County, over Capt. L. W. Carver, a publicity, and in 1875 reelected, defeating Capt. L. D. Manning, of Batavia. His years on the Probate bench were popular with the people, and characterized by that urbanity, ability, and efficiency that has ever distinguished him and all the positions he has occupied and in all departments of life. Every time he has been a candidate for the suffrages of the people he has been triumphantly elected, and has said his ticket for hundreds of votes. When first elected judge, in his 33rd year, he had the largest law practice of any attorney of his age in Southern Ohio, having 77 cases in Clermont Common Pleas Court.
In the famous Townsend - Kugler will case, he, with General Durbin Ward, represented the Kugler heirs, and on finishing his argument before Judge Ashburn (the presiding court), he was highly complimented by those three eminent Ohio lawyers, Sen. George E. Pugh. John S. Griffith, Esq., and Gen. Durbin Ward, for his masterly handling of his side in his eloquent presentation of the cause for his clients.Judge Brunaugh's political conceptions and principles are embodied in the rule of action of the Democratic Party, to which, accordingly, he lends his influence and support. As a man, Judge Brunaugh is agreeable, affable, and courteous in manner, and unimpeachable honesty and integrity, and his nature is as impulsive as it is benevolent, while his on assumed, Frank, and cordial bearing ever banishes all doubts in the minds of those who are brought into contact with him of his entire sincerity of purpose. As an attorney has ever been a hard and far-discerning student of law, and he never undervalues an adversary, or suffers from inattention to his own client, while his briefs are rare specimens of logic, perspicacity, and force, up to the professional standard of any tribunal, however learned or exalted. In the court he probably appears to the best advantage, where, at all times, he presents himself to the eye and ear as the finished advocate, and in forensic debate he possesses a style fervid, collected, and persuasive, which warms the imagination not less than it satisfies the judgment.
Abraham Bull was also a pioneer of the village, but soon passed out of his history. Our family of eight children but to remain, a son, E. D., at Washington, and Mrs. John Slade.
John Chambers, one of the early carpenters of the place, lived in the sight of James Clancy's grocery, but removed to Newtown about 1828. Daniel Husong was another of the pioneers who helped to build the first houses in the village. Although not a carpenter, he was not excelled in carrying up the corners of the log cabin, and his skill in hewing out puncheon floors was looked upon as quite marvelous. He removed to the West at an early day. Thomas Holliday, a farmer knew the village, put up some of the first houses, but never himself occupied them.
Titus Everhart came about this time from Williamsburgh, and as early as 1816 opened a tavern on the lot now occupied by the millinery shop of Mrs. Rhodes, on Main Street. He was married to Nancy Bryan and reared a family of children, of which three yet remain in the village. George, the oldest, was the first male child born in the place, and his sister, Mrs. Zimmerman, a Williamsburgh, the first female. Another sister is the wife of George M. Davis, of Batavia, and Delos Everhart is another son. Titus Everhart died in 1842, and five years later his widow married James Green. She survived her second husband and died in 1879, at the age of 82 years, and was, at that time, the oldest person in the village.
In April, 1816, John W. Robinson settled in the village as a carpenter, but afterwards engaged actively in other business. His son, W. W. Robinson, is also one of the first prominent businessmen. The elder Robinson removed to Missouri after 1840 and died there. One of his daughters, Mrs. George W. Dennison, the second female child born in Batavia, yet resides in the village.
Later, the same year, William H. Robinson, a brother of the foregoing, came to Batavia engaged with him in carpentry. In 1821, he married Temperance Williams, of Stonelick, who died in 1847, but Mr. Robinson still lives at the village of Batavia, and is the oldest settler there. Of his four sons Stephen S. Is a well-known businessman, and James as the proprietor of the Advance. The other children also live in this locality.
David White came from New Jersey in 1804, making the journey by team to Williamsburgh, which he expected to find the place of considerable size. Notwithstanding his disappointment he lived they are a year, then moved to Tate Township, from which he came in the fall of 1816 to Batavia, where he lived until his death, in 1844, aged 86 years. Mrs. White died the following year. They had five sons and two daughters, namely: Firman, who died in Tate in 1869; William M., Who removed to Illinois in 1859; Charles, who died in the city of Washington in 1872; John, who was born in Tate in 1807, and since 1816 as lived in Batavia, the last 50 years in the house which he now occupies; David, who became a citizen of Bloomington, Illinois, in 1858; Antes, the oldest daughter, married John Blair, of Tate; and Elizabeth became the wife of Moses Dimmitt, of Illinois.
The following years many settlers were added to Batavia who were attracted by the belief that he would become the seat of justice of the new county, and when that matter was decided beyond peradventure, in 1824, the future of the place was assured, although its growth has never been rapid or in any wise remarkable. One of the first brick houses put up in 1817 by Charles Waits, and is part of the residence now occupied Judge Philip B. Swing. After the removal of Waits it became the property of O. T. Fishback. The first good business house was put up by Miley &Armstrong, the same year. It was a frame and stood on the bank of the river, as it was then believed that Water would become the principal business Street. In 1818, Abraham Miley occupied it for a store. In later years the building was removed, and part of it is at present used as the post office.
In 1837 the following persons own houses or lived in the village of Batavia, and the real estate was valued at $33,866:Abbott, CassanderBurrows, StephenBlair, Brice R.Benedict, NathanBrown, J. M.Beckwith, MosesBryan, D. C.Bryan, Thomas S.Bryan, HannahBaughman, J. A.Cox, JoshuaCover, DanielCowen, MichaelCleveland, J. C.Dennison, George W.Doaks, EleanorEverhart, TitusFishback, O.T.Floro, GeorgeHill, JohnHunter, WilliamHopkins, BenjaminHarry, OgdenJamieson, JohnKain, ThomasLytle, WilliamLeeds, J.B.Lukens, GeorgeMorris, J. D.Morris, DavidMMorris, BenjaminMedaris, J.Medary, A.C.Medary, JacobMedary, GeorgeMount, WilliamMcClure, CatherinePegg, John (heirs)Patterson, William S.Pickens, JamesRobinson, J.W.Robinson, W. W.Robson, W. H.Rust, JonathanThomas, WilliamVoorheis, William M.Williams, CalebWorstell, IsaacWhite, JohnWhite, DavidWalden, ReubenWayland, William Sr.Weaver, JohnWarren, C. A.
Among the mechanics and tradesmen of this period and later years are remembered John Hill, Jacob Cover, L. W. Slade, H. Lindsey, and William Paterson, tailors; Michael Cowen, Weaver; William Mount, tanner; Henry Rust, shoemaker; Henry and Levi Bonnell, saddlers; John Dennison, chair maker; Isaac Worstell and Aaron Leonard, blacksmiths; William Lythe and Brice R. Blair, cabinet makers; W. H. Robinson, carpenter; Hiram Cade, plasterer; Ebenezer Ayers, tinner; William Crane, butcher; Benjamin Hopkins, laborer; George Lear and Joshua Davis, stage drivers; and John Hill, surveyor.
The village of Batavia was incorporated by an act passed February 10, 1842, and the first election was held at the courthouse, March 14th of the same year, when the following officers were elected: Mayor, William Wayland, Sr.; Trustees, Thomas L. Shields, Lott Hulick, John White, William Thomas, Henry Bonell; Recorder, Thomas S. Bryan. At the first meeting of the trustees James Perrine was appointed marshal, and Samuel Y. Thornton, treasurer.
The records for 1843 show no election in that year but the appointment of James Perrine Marshall, and John Babcock treasurer, who, being removed, was succeeded by Edward Frazier.
December 5, 1843, the Council resolved that an employee a body of watchmen to patrol the streets of the village nightly from 10:00 PM to 5 AM, to consist of four persons, and that the citizens be requested to hold a public meeting at the courthouse the coming night to cooperate with the Council in adopting measures to prevent the commission of thefts, felonies, etc., and to apprehend the offenders.
1844-no election and no minutes
1845-Mayor, George W. Dennison; Recorder, Albert Dart; Trustees, Lott Hulick, Shadrach Ln., Junior, James Davis, R.W. Clarke, and Nathan Benedict; Marshall, Daniel McCann; Treasurer, Jesse S. Dustin
1846-Mayor, James Carter; Recorder, Thomas S. Bryan Trustees, John White, a. S. Mount, Daniel McCann, Shadrach Lane, and Isaac Worstell; Marshall, Jacob Hewitt; Treas., Jesse S. Dustin; Wood measurer, John Hull
1847-Mayor, James Carter; Recorder, T. S. Bryan,; Trustees, Isaac Worstell, Daniel McCann, John W. Lowe, T. Q. Ashburn, D. C. Bryan; Marshal,, W. H. Raper; Treasurer, Jesse S. Dustin
On 27 March, 1847, and ordinance was adopted that if any person or persons (other than those tavern keepers duly licensed by the Court of Common Please) should band or sell any spirituous liquors, wind, cordial, porter, ale, metheglin, or other vinous, fermented or malt liquors by less quantity than one court, or be drank on the premises, the person or persons shall be fined not less than $5 nor more than $50.
1848-Mayor, John Fishback; Recorder, Daniel Slack; Trustees, T. Q. Ashburn, Philip B. Swing, James Davis, John Carter, John White; Marshall, William Wheeler; Treasurer, Jesse S. Dustin; Wood Measuer, William Floro
1849-Mayor, William Wheeler; Recorder, Daniel Slack; Trustees, R. W. Clarke, B. R. Hopkins, A. M. Gest, Lott Hulick, Isaac Worstell; Treasurer, Jesse S. Dustin; Marshall, James G. Waits. (The latter resigning, Henderson Tice was chosen in his place.)
1850-Mayor, George L. Swing; Trustees, R. W. Clarke, A. M. Gest, L. B. Leeds, James Davis, L. G. Moore; Recorder, Daniel Slack; Marshall, John Carter; Treas., Jesse S. Dustin.
1851-Mayor, James Carter; Trustees, Jonathan Johnson, John W. Kain, J. S. Dustin, W. J. Rust, Aaron Leonard; Recorder, Daniel Slack; Marshall, John Finton; Treasurer, Jesse S. Dustin.
1852-Mayor, T.Q. Ashburn; Trustees, L.B. Leeds, C. M. Smith, J.A. Weaver, D. W. Roudebush, N. Maguire; Recorder, Daniel Slack; Marshal, John Carter; Treasurer, James S. Dustin
1853-Mayor, John W. Lowe; Trustees, L.B. Leeds, C. M. Smith, J.A. Weaver,John Cater, Henry G. Duckwall; Recorder, Recorder, Daniel Slack; Treasurer, James S. Dustin; Marshal, Henderson Tice. (This was the first year these last two officers were elected by the people.)
1854-Mayor, C.M. Smith; Records, Daniel Slack and D.M. Hay; Trustees, James Green, P.B. Swing, D. McCann, J.A. Weaver, Jonathan Johnson; Marshal, H. Tice; Treasurer, Jesse S. Dustin; Road Supervisors, George M. Davis and J.N. Carter
1855-Mayor, J.R.S. Bond; Recorder, John G. Rhodes; Trustees, William Carter, J.A. Penn, D. L. Guff, John Livengood, James Green; Marshal, M. D. Goff; Treasurer, H.N. Talley; Road Supervisors, L.N. Carter, Gepeneer Danbury
1856-Mayor, James Carter; Trustees, James Green, James McCune, Lott Hulick, C.A. Moore, Jr., William Rust; Treasurer, H.N. Talley; Recorder, John Grant
1857 - Mayor, L. G. Moore; Marshall, B. R. Hopkins; Recorder, G. W. Hulick; Trustees, J. G. Rhodes, W. P. Fishback, John Grant, William Baum, Thomas Glenn, and William Rust; Treas., H.N. Talley
1858 - Mayor, G. W. Hulick; Recorder, M. H. Fitch; Treas., H. N. Talley; Marshall, William Rust; Trustees, John Grant, Isaac Worstell, J. G. Rhodes, William Baum, C. H. Kain
1859 - Mayor, Abel S. Smith; Recorder, Frank White; Treas., G. W. Gregg; Trustees, Isaac Worstell, J. A. Rhodes, K. S. Dustin, Lewis Tice, Charles Griffis; Marshall, William S. Rust
1860 - Mayor, John Johnston; Recorder, John P. Robinson; Treas., J. A. Penn; Marshall, James Carter, Jr.; Trustees, J. S. Dustin, Isaac Worstell, J. M. Rust, Joseph Bicking, Oliver McGrew
1861 - Mayor, John Wayland; Recorder, John P. Robinson; Trustees, Charles B. Crane, C. S. Griffis, Smith Townsley, S. F. Dowdney, J. L. Kennedy; Marshall, C. M. Townsley; Treasurers, Aloidas Wayland, C. W. Pegg
1862's - Mayor, H. N. Talley; Recorder, John L. Moore; Trustees, T. K. Holleman, J. B. Davis, J. P. Leonard, B. F. Aera, David Morris, L. G. Moore, H. Tice; Treasurers, J. H. Griffis, Charles S. Griffis; Marshall, William Carter
1863 - Mayor, G. W. Gregg; Recorder, T. L. Smith; Marshall, William Carter; Trustees, G. W. Felter, A. S. Smith, H. V. Kerr, C. S. Griffis, John Johnston; Treasurer, J. S. Dustin
1864 - Mayor, B. Penn Brasher; Recorder, J. N. Knaur; Treasurer, S. L. Warden; Trustees, G. W. Gregg, J. A. Weaver, A. S. Smith, J. A. Rhodes, H. Day
1865 - Mayor, W. H. Standish; Recorder, J. P. Robinson; Trustees, N. B. Moore, Henry Sellers, Lewis Tice, R. J. Vanosdol, H.N. Talley; Marshall, J.P. Leonard; Treasurer, C. S. Griffis
1866 - Mayor, H. Smethurst; Recorder, O. W. Rhodes; Marshall, Rains Allen; Treasurer, C. S. Griffis; Trustees, J. A. Weaver, William Baum , William Carter, J. A. Rhodes, J. P. Leonard
1867 - Mayor, John P. Robinson; Marshall, William Raper; Councilmen, J. Bicking, John White, T. G. Boyd, G. W. Felter, Isaac Worstell; Treasurer, C. S. Griffis; Recorder, Eugene E. Lee
1868 - Mayor, Charles M. Smith; Recorder, T.S. Bryan; Treasurer, C. S. Griffis; Marshall, William Raper; Council, Frank Browning, J. P. Leonard, W. B. Townsley, G. W. Felter, John L. Moore
1869 - Mayor, William Pease; Recorder, R. J. Lewis; Marshall, Levi M. Perkins; Treasurer, C. S. Griffis; Council, Frank White, William Baum, John Hillin, T. G. Boyd, H. P. Sutton
1870 - Mayor, John Q. Brown; Clark, A. W. Ashburn; Marshals, A. Wassner, W. G. Weaver, Lee H. Gray; Treasurer, C. S. Griffis; Council, L. B. Felter, H. Sellers, William Tice, J. R. Kennedy, J. W. Lane, John Pohlman, N. B. Moore, William Cade, W. B. Applegate, J. E. Kain
1871 - Council, R. W. Clarke, H. U. Moore, John White, O.W. Rhodes; Marshall, C. B. Crane
1872 - Mayor, H.N. Talley; Clerk, A. W. Ashburn; Treasurer, C. S. Griffis; Marshall, R. F. Rush; Council, John Pohlman, J. W. Lane, N. B. Moore
1873 - Council, John White, N. B. Moore, H.U. Moore
On May 20, 1873, the village council established at Board of Health, in the following persons were appointed by the mayor to compose the board: D. O. Cowen, C. N. Browning, Dr. L. W. Bishop, Frank White, W. A. Townsley, William Howard
1874 - Mayor, John Pohlman; Clerks, John D. Kerr, Thomas F. Brown; Marshall, B. F. Rush; Treasurer, C. S. Griffis; Council, John Hillin, John Zurmuhle, J. H. Hamilton; Street Commissioner, John W. Kain; Board of Health, William Howard, W. A. Townsley
1875 -Council, J. C. Jenike, J. B. Robinson, E. B. Scott, J. L. Moore; Board of Health, Dr. L. W. Bishop, Frank White
JOHN S. GRIFFITH
No member of the Clermont bar is better and more favorably known then John Simpson Griffith, associated the practice of law with his son, Thomas A., Under the firm name of J. S. & T. A. Griffith. He was born July 2, 1813, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and was the first of 11 children of James and Mary (Simpson) Griffith. His father was a Welsh extraction, and his mother of Scotch-Irish descent. His father, James Griffith, a native of Bucks County, and descendent of the family actively engaged in the revolutionary war on the side of the struggling colonists, with the blacksmith by trade, and immigrated to Ohio in 1817, locating at Bethel, Clermont County, where he farmed during the latter years of his life, and died in 1864, respected and esteemed most highly by the community. His mother, also born in Bucks County, was the daughter of John Simpson, and a descendent of a family closely identified with the patriot cause during the American Revolution, and in the war of 1812. John Simpson moved to Clermont County in 1818, was a leading agriculturalist of Tate Township until his death, in 1837, and was the father of a family whose history belongs to the annals of the world, as portrayed in the events of the American Rebellion of 1861-65. Hannah, daughter of John Simpson, after whom the subject of this sketch was named, was married by Rev. Moses Edwards, June 29, 1821, to Jesse R. Grant, and from this happy union was formed Ulysses Simpson Grant, the future general and President. The preliminary education of John S. Griffith was limited, being obtained at the common schools, but he was fortunate in having two of the best teachers of that period, Thomas L. Hamer, afterwards Ohio's gifted orator and legal advocate, who lost his life in defense of his country on the plains of Mexico, and Samuel Medary, founder of the Ohio Sun, editor of the Ohio Statesman, governor of the Territories of For Minnesota and Kansas, and a prominent politician in the state. In Mr. Griffiths boyhood days Bethel was one of the most noted towns in the state, and the home of the eloquent Thomas Morris, United States Senator from Ohio. His mind was well disciplined, and he rapidly improved under the preceptorship of Samuel Medary, who had been in Pennsylvania a schoolmate of his mother, and Samuel and Hannah Simpson, and who, passing to Clermont with the intention of locating in the Swiss settlement in Indiana, stopped for a few days to visit with his old friends, the Griffiths and Simpsons, and was by them, about the year 1825, persuaded to remain at Bethel, where they made up a school for him, and for nearly 2 years he boarded with James Griffith. Mr. Griffith in early life worked on his father's farm and in the blacksmith. Shop, alternating with speculating in boating on the lower rivers, until he was about 25 years old. In 1841 he began reading law under Thomas J. Buchanan, Clermont's favorite orator, and an able lawyer, and on March 30, 1843, was admitted to the bar at the March term of the Supreme Court of Ohio for this County, then being held by Judges Reuben Wood and Matthew Birchard, the former of whom was afterwards the distinguished Governor of Ohio. He immediately entered upon the practice of his profession in Bethel, laboring there industriously until 1852, when he moved to Batavia, and entered upon the duties of clerk of the court of Common Pleas of Clermont County, to which he had been elected the fall previous, receiving every vote in his (Tate) township but forty-two, and he was the first man elected to that position in the County under the new constitution, the office having been previously filled by appointment. At the end of his term he was weak nominated, but defeated, together with the entire Democratic ticket, by the Know-Nothing party then in power. However, in 1857, he was again elected to the clerkship, which office he has filled for six years in an acceptable manner. With the exception of this one public office, Mr. Griffith has always refused to accept political preferment, notwithstanding frequent solicitation to be a candidate for legislative, congressional, and judicial honors. His first vote was cast for Andrew Jackson, and with the Democratic Party he has ever since been actively connected. In 1874 he was appointed by the Brown County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court as referee or special commissioner to investigate and determine the amount of the robbery and defalcation in the treasury of that County, which work he completed several weeks, making a thorough and satisfactory report, finding the deficit to be about $40,000. He was married by John Ellsberry, a justice of the peace, on June 4, 1843, to Ann Amelia Harris, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, by whom he is the father of seven children: Belle G., married to J. R. Kennedy; Thomas A. Griffith, admitted to the bar in 1869, elected prosecuting attorney in 1870, and reelected in 1872, and who is in partnership with his father, and like him a lawyer of state reputation; Mary, married to Frank White, merchant; James M.; Emma, married to James C. McMath, a prominent attorney of Batavia; Oliver P. Griffith, admitted to the bar in 1878; and William C.; all living and of age. Mr. Griffith has found time from his professional labors to read the best current literature, and cultivate the refining influences of life. He resides on Maine Street, in Batavia, with spacious two-story brick dwelling, where, whenever he comes to Clermont, he entertains his first cousin and old playmate, General Grant, with whom he talks of the days of "Auld Lang Syne," reviving reminiscences of Bethel, which the names of Medary, Morris, Grant, Griffith, and Simpson made famous, and who's after-careers have rendered it historic. Mr. Griffith is a man of firm integrity, and enjoys the respect and competences of all who know him, and in the course of a long professional career has established a reputation as a profound lawyer and public-spirited citizen. Though nearly threescore years and ten, he is occupying his place among the leading members of the Ohio bar, useful in appearance, elastic and spirits, and vigorous and strong in the exercise of these qualities which have distinguished him through life.
1876 - Mayor, H. N. Talley; Clerk, T. F. Brown; Marshals, C. L. Holleman, P. D. Relyea; Treasurer, C. S. Griffis; Street Commissioner, Ezra Krinks; Council, W. H. Baum, R. J. Bancroft, S. S. Robinson, John Pohlman; Board of Health, D.O. Cowen, M. Jamieson, Dr. J. C. Kennedy
1877 -Council, J. B. Robinson, George M. Davis, J. C. Jenike, L. D. Manning; Board of Health, William Howard and W. A. Townsley
1878 - Mayor, S. F. Dowdney; Marshal, Frank Munson; Treasurer, Charles S. Griffis; Street Commissioner, - - - - -; Clerk, W. H. H. Robinson; Council, N. B. Ross, George M. Davis, W. B. C. Stirling, G. W. Felter; Board of Health, Dr. George W. Moore
1879 -Council, M. Jamieson, William Howard, L. D. Manning
The mayor and council failed in 1878 to fill the places of Frank White and Dr. L. W. Bishop, whose terms as members of the health board then expired; and likewise in 1879 in cases of D. O. Cowen and Dr. G. W. Moore on the expiration of their terms. During the smallpox contagion here, in the winter of 1877, the health board had a warm time in stopping the spread of the terrible disease, but by uniting with the citizens, who held a public meeting to take the necessary precautionary measures, this alarming disorder was checked and finally completely eradicated.
On 21 August, 1873, territory was annexed to the Corporation of the village of Batavia, with bounds described as follows:
"Beginning at a double sycamore tree, on the East bank of the east fork of the Little Miami, on the corner of the land of John O. Maley and Adam Kline; thence South 48° 45" east 160 poles, to a stone on the land of Mrs. G. W. Gregg; thence North 48'East 192 ½ poles, to a stone on the East side of the Batavia and Williamsburgh Turnpike; passing the corner of the Corporation at 179 ½ poles; thence North 30° east 116 poles, to the northeast corner of the Citizens' Cemetery; thence with the line of the cemetery South 87° 30' West 20 Ύ poles, to the northwest corner of said cemetery; thence south 79° 30' West 137 poles, to a stake on the East bank of the East fork of the Little Miami; thence with its meanderings to the place of beginning.
N. B. Ross, Surveyor
John White C.C.
John Grant C. C.
The village has been provided with simple apparatus for use in case of buyers, but until his time at engine has not been deemed a necessary part of the outfit. No destructive conflagration has ever visited the place.
In 1879 a small but convenient halt was erected for the use of the Corporation, in which the meetings of the Council are now held.
The finances of Batavia are in a healthy condition. From the report of the year ending April 1, 1879, we learned that the receipts were as follows:
General fund . $198.20
Lighting Street fund 412.74
Police fund 196.52
Street cleaning .. 75.76
Street improvement .. 375.91
Bridge fund . 132.86
Widening streets .. 246.91
Sanitary fund 207.63
Fire fund ... 48.24
Prisoner fund 35.69
Salary fund ... 175.43
Total . $2005.89
STORES, HOTELS, AND THE BANK
The 1st store at or near Batavia was kept by Samuel Galbreath, at the old crossing of the East Fork, near the house of Thomas Marsh. He owned 45 acres of land there, on which he erected a double log cabin, and, in the summer of 1814, opened his door, a good stock of merchandise for those days. "Uncle Sammy," as he was called, held forth extra inducements, for about 2 years, for the trade of the surrounding country, then sold his stock to John Miles, who did not continue long.
In the village George Ely sold 1st goods in a small building which stood on Water Street just beyond the "Griffin House." His stock was not large, and consisted only of the barest necessaries demanded by the pioneers. In the frame building before alluded to as being the 1st good business house, Abraham Miley opened the next store, about 1818, and continue to do a good business several years. Nearby the firm of Miley & Armstrong also carried on a small pork packing establishment about the same time. Soon after other stores were kept by David Dimmitt, Joseph Grant, William Dennison, and Benjamin Harris, whose son afterward became mayor of Cincinnati.
In 1825, Andrew Foote removed to Batavia from Williamsburgh, and continued merchandising 5 or 6 years, doing a large business.
About the same period, John Pegg opened a store in a small brick house which stood at the foot of Made Street, on the west side of the bridge, and was assisted by his son Samuel A., and later by John W. Kain, as clerks. In a few years the store was moved into a building which stood opposite J. C. Jenike's shoe shop, and their continued until John Pegg died, July, 1834. The business was then carried on several years by Samuel A. Pegg, and finally passed into the hands and William W. Robinson and John W. Kain, who erected the Kline Block in 1837, and for several years there transacted an extensive business.
Before this period John M. Brown erected the first good brick business house, which he occupied for mercantile purposes. This building is at present the residence of Charles W. Pegg, half a dozen years later James Pickens, an Irishman, who had started a store in a small building on the corner, erected the present Dustin house, in 1838, and afterwards occupied it for a store. Subsequently Jesse S. Dustin was here in trade until his death, in the past 10 years White & Henreie have been successful merchants there, the former having been with Dustin.
About 1835, John W. Robinson put up the brick block of the corner opposite the courthouse, making it a two-story building. Here he was largely engaged in trade a number of years. John M. Brown added the third story, and was also here in trade. The stand is at present occupied by the grocer, Joseph Bicking.
At the stand occupied by Harvey P. Sutton, Stephen S. Robinson and W.W. Sutton were formerly established as merchants.
On the opposite side of the street Charles Kain and the Jamieson Brothers have been successfully engaged in trade; and many others, whose names cannot be here produced, followed the merchants's avocation in Batavia, selling a general line of goods.
The first distinct hardware store was opened by D. G. Dustin at the stander he is yet extensively engaged; and nearby William Carter is also in the hardware trade. Drugstores have been kept by J. H. Hamilton, Abel S. Smith, Charles Pegg, Kennedy & Dowdney, and James Moore; and at present the druggists are John Bunn, A. J. Sprague, and J. P. Robinson. As. G. Norris is a dealer in books, stationery, and notions; and J. Grant in harness.
The first public house in the vicinity of Batavia was opened by Robert Townsley, in 1802, where Ezekiel Duckwall now lives. In the village Titus Everhart The first tavern, about 1816, in the building which stood on the site of Mrs. Rhodes' millinery shop; George Ely entertain travelers soon after on the Griffin corner, and John chambers at where is Glancy's grocery. In later years Thomas Kain had a hotel on the site of the Methodist parsonage. The Griffin House was partly built by George Ely, and has been kept by the present proprietor many years.
The Hamilton House embraces part of a building put up in 1818 by Alexander Blair, a shoemaker, and was first used as a residence. About 1835, John Jamieson enlarged the house and adapted it for hotel purposes, and kept a popular place many years. His successor has been the present proprietor, J. H. Hamilton.
The Davis House was built in 1831 - 32 by John W. Robinson, and kept by him a few years other landlords have been William W. Robinson, David Duckwall, Thomas Kain, Joseph Johnson, and, the greater part of the past 25 years, the present George M. Davis.
East of the village, on the Turnpike, about one mile distant, George Griffin, Samuel Maham, and C. Krieger have kept public houses, and nearby Samuel Maham at present keeps the "One Mile House." Farther east, the first tavern was opened and kept as early as 1807 by Peter Harden. In the same neighborhood as store has been kept by various parties, and at present by David Atchley.
In intimate connection with the hotels of Batavia where the stage lights to Cincinnati, and whichever hotel was selected as the headquarters for the arrival and departure of the stages was, from this fact, a general point of interest for all the people of the village and the surrounding country. The arrival of the "buss" with a full load of passengers cause a general suspension of business, and everyone was on the alert to learn something about those who had so recently set foot in the village, and these opportunities for social gossip were eagerly employed, and form some of the features of those days. Prior to 1847 a triweekly line ran from Cincinnati to Georgetown via Batavia and Bethel, but in 1847 a daily line was placed on the road, under the management of Josh Davis. George Lukens was afterwards the proprietor, and had Charles W. Pegg, now a wealthy citizen of the village, as his driver. In the course of five years Fred Duckwall became the proprietor, and among the drivers were George Griffin, Will Davis, John Long, and others. The line was afterwards owned by Davis & Hamilton, Milton Jamieson, Aaron Cleveland, Hamilton Allen, and Brimmer & Teasdale, each of whom had drivers more or less characterized by some strong peculiarity. Among the well-known owners of stages from Williamsburgh to Batavia was Will Kain, who ran the "little buss." The Cincinnati line owned about 40 horses and for changes of six horses each were made each way, the trip consuming about three hours,. The last stage was withdrawn in the fall of 1876.
The First National Bank of Batavia was organized January 10, 1865, with the capital stock of $100,000, controlled by 11 stockholders. The first Board of Directors was composed of William Megrue, M. N. Megrue, John S. Griffith, R. W. Clarke, Jesse S. Dustin, T. M. Lewis, and S. F. Dowdney.
William Megrue was chosen as the first president; M.N. Megrue, vice president; and Milton Jamieson, cashier. The latter served as cashier until July 11, 1868, when he was elected president of the bank, and has since fill that position. At the same. J. F. Dial was appointed cashier, and yet serves in that capacity. William Megrue was a president the bank until July 29, 1865, when he was succeeded by C. G. Megrue, who held the place until January 14, 1868. At that time William Megrue was again elected and served until the accession of Mr. Jamieson, July 11, 1878. The bank had had but two vice presidents, the present officer, William Roudebush, having services July 11, 1868.
The capital of the bank remains is established, and the stock is held by 20 persons. It is always been in good demand as an investment, and has commanded a premium of from 10 to 20%. The affairs of the bank have been most judiciously managed, and its investment so wise made that but a small percentage of losses has been sustained, and dividends have been regularly declared to the stockholders.
The Board of Directors in 1879 was composed of the following persons: Milton Jamieson, William Roudebush, George W. Hulick, J. S. Griffith, F. J. Roudebush, E. D. Titus, and G. W. Gregg. The vacancy caused by the death of the latter remains unfilled.
The business of the bank was transacted in the old auditors office until January, 1875, when the institution was removed to his present well - adapted office in the Jamieson Block, which was built and fitted up for this purpose the year before by M. Jamieson. It is provided with a good false and saves, guaranteeing the depositors good protection, and adding to the competence which the management of the bank has inspired.
The First National is the first and only bank that has ever existed in Batavia
The Clermont Saving and Loan Association filed a certificate for incorporation under the laws of the State in May 1868, and the amendatory acts thereof, December 17, 1869. The article specified that the capital stock of the Association should be $200,000, in 1000 shares of $200 each. The corporators named were S. F. Dowdney, G. W. Gregg, George W Hulick, R. J. Bankrupt, W. H. Bickelheimer, Dale O. Cowen, W. B. Applegate, William Nichols, J. Bicking, A. M. Dimmitt, and C. H. Kain. The Association was to be located at Batavia, with a branch office at Felicity, if necessary.
On the 2nd of March, 1870, the Association had more than 200 members, and proceeded to elect its first Board of Directors and officers, as follows: President, S. F. Dowdney; Vice President, G. W. Hulick; Secretary, Frank White; Treasurer, C. H. Kain; W. R. Sinks, J. W. Sims, W. W. Ricker, P. S. Jones, A. Beagle, George L. Swing, G. W. Gregg, W.B.C. Stirling, G. W. Hulick, D. O. Cowen, James B. Brunaugh, and C. H. Kain. The number of members has been increased to 250, in the affairs of the Association generally have been prosperous. Besides Judge Dowdney, George L. Swing and F. D. White have been presidents of the Association, and the present officers and directors are: President, S.F. Dowdney; Vice President, F. J. Roudebush; Sec., Frank White; Treasurer, W. W. Perkins; and Directors, George L. Swing, E. Krinks, W. W. Perkins, S.F. Dowdney, John W. Sims, and Frank J. Roudebush.
THE POST OFFICE, PRESS, AND PROFESSIONS
The Batavia post office was established in 1818, and Alexander Blair was appointed postmaster, holding the office in issue shop, which stood on the site of the Hamilton House. He was succeeded by George Reeves, and his successor Jacob and George Medary. In 1842, Jesse S. Dustin was appointed, and held the office until 1861, when, under the Republican administration, Stephen S. Robinson became postmaster. In 1866, under Johnson's administration, Thomas S. Bryan, a deputy under Mr. Dustin, was appointed and served a few months, but was succeeded by Charles H. Kain, who continued to serve until his removal in 1871. His former deputy, S. F. Jamieson, then became postmaster, and discharge the duties of the office until the close of 1879, when he resigned, W. T. Kain, for more than five years is deputy, was appointed, his commission bearing date January 1, 1880.
Batavia was designated a postal money order office July 1, 1871, and became a German money order office July 1, 1872. Within the last eight years the business of the office has been more than doubled. For the first week in December, 1879, the mail matter deposited in the office amounted to 593 letters, 211 postal cards, and 3198 newspapers. The office is supplied with good mail facilities, receiving and sending eight mails per day. At first the service was by carrier, on horseback, but about 1842 a line of stages brought a triweekly mail, and for many years past it has been daily.
The first newspaper in the village, the Western Patriot, was founded in May, 1824, by C. Colby, and was published every Saturday on Water Street. David Morris, in 1826, began the publication of the second paper, the Spirit of the Times. The subsequent history of these papers and the press in general is given in a special chapter in this book. At present there are in the village three good papers, the Clermont Sun, By D.O. Cowen & Co., the Courier, by J.H. Fairman; and the Advance, by James Robinson.
From all accounts appears that the 1st permanent professional man in the village was a physician, Dr. A. F. McCall, who located there sometime before 1820. About the same time Dr. Daniel Lyman came, and both were noted practitioners, not only here, but all through the County. Near 1825, Dr. William Wayland, Sr., came to Batavia from Bethel, and had a very extensive practice. He was marked by strong characteristics and was somewhat of a politician. Then came the genial Dr. A. V. Hopkins, who rode far and near, and who, like his contemporary, was eminent in politics. About 1830, Dr. Albert Dart came, and shortly after William Wayland, Jr., who won distinction in his practice. About 1838, Dr. S. Y. Thornton was here, a good doctor with strong social powers, but preceding him had been Dr. Hiram Cox, father of the celebrated Judge Cox, of Cincinnati. In 1846, Dr. Henry Collins was here for some time, and for years later Dr. S. B. Crew and Dr. James Kellum, both esteemed good positions. Then located the veteran Dr. James C. Kennedy,*who is yet in active practice, and with a reputation reaching far beyond his field of practice. He came from Felicity, and from which town he went to the Legislature in 1847. Dr. Kennedy was summoned to Kentucky in 1879 as a witness in the celebrated criminal trial of Buford for shooting Judge Elliott, one of the judges of the Court of Appeals, and gave expert testimony on insanity, a subject on which he has written noted and valuable papers. Then followed Dr. Joseph McMillan, well read and of scathing witticism. 1859, Dr. A. C. McChesney practice here, and is now located in Cincinnati, where he has made a fortune. About 1862, Dr. Hugh McCaskey came from Felicity, and return their after 8 years of active and honorable practice in his loved profession here. In 1860, Dr. J Locke Kennedy, a brilliant position, who succumb to the vicissitudes of the war. In 1869 and after, Dr. H. P. Willis and Dr. J. L. Waffensmith were in Batavia for a brief period. Since then have been located here Dr. 8. W. Ashburn,*Dr. G. W. Moore,*Dr. L. W. Bishop,*Dr. R. D. McDonald,*Dr. Charles Belt,*all in active practice. Dr. John Bunn*came some 3 years ago, but gives his attention mostly to his drugstore. Dr. Charles King, of Georgetown, located here a year, but is now is Central Lunatic Asylum, at Columbus, as 1st assistant physician. About 1843, Joseph A. Weaver entered upon his dental profession, and from 1858, Jerry C. Weaver, his brother, now of Washington city, was with him for a long-term of subsequent years. Harry L. Moore*is now practicing dentistry, and his brother, E.L. Moore, was here several years ago.
Drs. Dameron, of Cincinnati, Miles, of Georgetown, Dennis, a publicity, and others have occasionally for short times remained here. Dr. N. J. Barber, now of New Richmond, has on several previous periods been located here in regular medical practice, and, like Machesney, was a surgeon in the war.
The reminiscences of pill bags in the good old days of McCall, Lyman, Hopkins,the Waylands, in their confreres in the healing art would be rich. They were able practitioners and well-read man of strong common sense; but in those times bleeding was resorted to in the commonest cases, and the diseases being somewhat different from those of modern times, perhaps those gentlemen skilled in the craft were right in the quick application of the lancet and large doses of calomel. Then the doctors supplied their patients with medicines, and their long rides for 20 miles or more on horseback carried in their saddles regular old-fashioned apothecary shops. Science, of course, has made rapid strides, but in the mellowed memories of many of our happy families preserved Ritz recollections of the old-time doctors and their journeyings up and down the newly settled country.
*Professional men marked with an asterisk still continue at Batavia.
Attorneys-- The first court was held in Batavia, May 14, 1824, up to its time no attorney had lived there. Then settled their Thomas Moorhead, an Irishman, well read in law, and the great wit and noted social qualities, and who served for a time as captain of the first military company (the Batavia Light Infantry). On August 21, the same year, the legal firma Richard & Learner B. Collins put out its sign, the latter stopping in town, and the former at his home, Hillsboro. In 1825, Owen T. Fishback, of Williamsburgh, then prosecuting attorney and member of the Legislature, moved down to the new County seat, and remain there to his death, in 1864, full of years and honors. David C. Bryan, nominally an attorney, the clerk of the courts, had followed the removal of the County seat to the town which he and George Ely had laid out 10 years before. In 1826, David Morris came, but paid more attention to his paper then to legal business. On July 16, 1825, eccentric Theodore D. Burrows set up his office, acquaint lawyer, not very deep and legal floor, and some of the well-known Stephen Burrows. About 1828 arrive Jonathan D. Morris, who went in as clerk three years later, and service splendidly for some 15 years. Near 1830 John Joliffe put in an appearance. He was a sharp and quick man in block, and afterwards famous in the anti-slavery cause and as the slave's counsel. The same year the Brushs-- Samuel and John T.-- were here, and were men of note. Alexander Herring came some two years before his election as auditor in 1828, and was sharp on paper and got up documents well. In 1832 we find Thomas L. Shields, who remained in Batavia till 1855, and has no superior as a land lawyer. The funny Calvin A. Warren and Jacob T. Cropsey, both well read, and sons-in-law of Senator Tom Thomas Morris. About 1836 came the famous orator Thomas J. Buchanan, keen before a jury; Reader W. Clarke, well-versed in law, quick with the editor's pen, and wary as a politician; and John W, Lowe, son-in-law of Judge Fishback, a good lawyer in a brave man, killed at the head of his regiment at Carnifax Ferry. Three years before George B. Tingley practice with his office in town for a while, quiet, methodical man. In 1837, George S. Lee was the prosecutor, and made the criminals quake. In 1838, George W. Dennison, a keen business lawyer, opened out, and remain here until death, making money out of a large practice. William Howard* (admitted here in 1842, where he had to be two years before his enrollment at the bar, as he had been admitted in 1840 at Augusta, Kentucky) was many years partner of Thomas L. Shields, with extensive land suit practice. Col. Howard is the senior member of the bar, embarrasses honors worthily. Philip B. Swing*, the able and upright judge of the United States District Court of Southern District of Ohio, was admitted at Dayton, Ohio, but immediately opened an office here, as did also Julius A. Penn,* admitted at Georgetown, the former being a grandson of Judge Philip Gatch, and the latter a son of Elijah T. Penn, one of the famous Penn brothers, who came from Maryland at an early day. In 1843, John S. Griffith*came to the bar, but did not move to Batavia till his election as clerk of the courts in 1851, but since then has remained here at the head of very large practice, and is well known in Southern Ohio. Same year Judge Thomas M. Lewis*settled here, where his honor and gallantry have made him a great favorite; and, also, then located H. N. Talley,* for a long time an active practitioner, now mostly and government claim business. Also Shepherd F. Norris, judge of the Common Pleas from 1851 to 1861, an eminent lawyer and well esteemed; Judge Thomas Q. Ashburn,*18 years of renown as a judge, now in large practice. George L. Swing* was admitted in 1846, and came shortly after in town; was a splendid probate judge, has fine practice, and is a well - educated attorney in all departments. About this time Milton Jamieson,*space the famous Clermont financier, came to the bar, but for years has not been in active practice. In 1850, George W. Fishback was admitted, practice here but a short time, and became famous as editor of the St. Louis Democrat. After him were S. M. Penn and Thomas Morris (son of Jonathan), who tarried briefly. John Johnston, now a leading lawyer in Cincinnati, came in 1853; the same year W. P. Fishback, now of Indianapolis, Indiana, and clerk of the United States District Court, was admitted; and same year Orrin Temple*, came to the bar. In 1854, William A. Townsley,*the celebrated criminal lawyer, was admitted, but did not remove to Batavia until some years afterwards. In 1855, Charles H. Collins had his office in town, and two years later was elected prosecuting attorney. In 1857, George W. Hulick,*afterwards judge of probate, hung out his shingle, and has a fine practice, with Judge Ashburn as his partner. 1858 the present able at popular judge of the court, Allen T. Cowen,*was admitted in Cincinnati, but did not settle here till 1867. J. M. McGrew, after his term as clerk expired in 1858, came into practice; and, in 1859, Sydney A. Fitch, now of Colorado. P. J. Nichols,* now probate judge, admitted in 1861, moved here in 1879. J. S. Brunaugh* settled here in 1866, having been admitted three years before;
W. H. Standish, in 1864; S. F. Dowdney,* in 1858, when he took his seat as probate judge; George W. Gregg, in 1858; A. M. Sinks and B. J. Ricker, in 1867; Thomas A. Griffith* and Peter F. Swing,* in 1868; William Pease,* in 1869; H. B. Mattox,* in 1873; J. C. McMath,* in 1874; ill. D. Manning*(an old Cincinnati attorney, in 1875; Royal J. Bancroft,* in 1875; John R Woodlief*and W. W. Dennison,* the same year; J. S. Parrott,* in 1876; James B. Swing,* in 1877; Charles T. Jamieson, in 1877; John J. Howard,*in 1877; Will R. Walker,; John W. Davis* and O.P. Griffith,* the same year.
Batavia is the birthplace of an artist of great promise. Frank M. Lindsley, September 19, 1853, and after being educated in the common schools study the art of engraving at Cincinnati. At the age of 19 he went to Kansas City as the artist for Millard, Hudson & Co., and two years later to California, where his work on an illustrated volume of the principal cities of that state as elicited unstinted praise.
to the Masonic fraternity belongs the honor instituting the first large of a secret order within the bounds of the Township. On the 3rd of October, 1837, was held the first meeting of
BATAVIA LODGE, NUMBER 100, F. AND A. M
The constituent members were convened, under a dispensation issued by Grand Master William J. Reese, and upper chamber of the court house, and the first officers were: Worshipful Master, Owen T. Fishback; Senior Warden, Reader W. Clarke; Junior Warden, Jonathan D. Morris; Secretary, Thomas L. Shields; Treas., Dr. William Wayland, Sr.; Senior Deacon, David Duckwall; Junior Deacon, John M. Brown; Tyler, John Jamieson.
Of these honored names, the venerable Father Jamieson, for more than 60 years a member of the order, alone survives. At this first communication the Entered Apprentices degree was conferred on the following candidates: Dr. William Wayland, Jr., Andrew M. Gest, Allison Emerson, Israel Whittaker, and John W. Kain, the latter to still living. Not long after the following became members: Joseph Post, Dr. S. Y. Thorton, David C. Bryan, John O. Butler, Martin F. H. Veitch, John W. Robinson, Abram Miley, Joshua B. Davis, William Thomas, John Hankins, John Davison, D. K. Harden, John H. Taylor, James Perrine, Joshua Ward, Charles M. Smith, James H. Davidson, Dr. L. G. Alexander, Dr. William Doane, Dr. A. V. Hopkins, Dr. Delos C. Sharp, J. S. Austin, Thomas S. Perrine, John Ward, and Daniel Fisher.
For a time the Lodge continued prosperous, but after 1841, not having a suitable place of meeting, its communications were suspended until 1843. Hardly a year passed around until a new trouble beset the Lodge, arising out of political differences entertained by the members, which were allowed to grow into fuse of such intensity that the charter had to be surrendered. Again, in 1846, the Lodge resumes communications, and on the 27th of December, 1849, St. John's Day, the officers elect for the ensuing year were publicly installed in the Presbyterian Church, where an address was made by the Rev. A. M. Elliott, after which a procession was formed in the craft proceeded to Brother Jamieson's inn, where a grand old-fashioned supper was eaten, as a token of the restored harmony. Again, on the return of the same day in 1872, the Lodge had a public installation and banquet. But the grandest Masonic demonstration the county has ever seen was held June 24, 1870, at Batavia. Three hundred and ninety-seven of the craft were in procession. Gen. Durbin Ward, a distinguished Mason, delivered a most eloquent address, and the sumptuous dinner was served in the court house and in the adjacent Grove. The last public occasion of the Lodge was an installation of the officers of both that body and Batavia Chapter, at the Union schoolhouse. The Rev. Thomas J. Melish, editor of the Masonic Review and a thirty-three degree craftsman, deliver the address. In banquet at Sprague's hall followed, in which 400 invited guests participated.
Since the institution of the Lodge the following have served as the Masters and Secretaries:
Masters: 1837, O.T. Fishback- 1838 - 39, R. W. Clarke; 1840, J. D. Morris; 1841, D. C. Bryan; 1843, A. M. Gest; 1846, R. W. Clark; 1847, Eliakim Zimmerman; 1848 - 50, A. S. Mount; 1851 - 52, L. B. Leads; 56, D. L. Goff; 1857, Joseph Marshal; 1858-59, L.B. Leeds; 1860, D. L. Goff; 1861-64, Joseph Marshal; 1864, Joseph Marshal; 1865-69, Hugh McCaskey; 1870-71, Daniel Kidd; 1872-76, A.T. Cowen; 1877-79, J.S. Brunaugh
Secretaries: 1837, T. L. Shields; 1838, A. M. Gest; 1839 - 40, D.C. Bryan; 1841 - 43, C. M. Smith; 1846, John W. Kain; 1847, J. A. Penn; 1848, A. M. Gest; 1849, C. M. Smith; 1850 - 53, D.C. Bryan; 1854, S. B. Crew; 1855, George L. Swing; 1856, Lewis Behymer; 1857 - 60, D.C. Bryan; 1861, Jacob Roudebush; 1864, George W. Gugg; 1865, D. P. Brasher; 1866 - 67, C. M. Smith; 1868, J. S. Stiles; 1869, C. M. Smith; 1870, S. F. Dowdney; 1871, W. R. Sinks; 1872, R. W. Clarke; 1873, A. W. Ashburn; 1874 - 78, T.S. Bryan; 1879, J.S. Parrott.
BATAVIA CHAPTER, No. 112, R.A.M.
Was organized under a dispensation, June 24, 1821, by Companion Harvey Perin, officiating for the Grand High Priest, Jacob Groff. The first officers installed work Reader W. Clarke, High Priest; William Wayland, King; L. B. Leeds, Scribe; M. Jamieson, Capt. of the Host; B. C. South, Royal March Captain; Daniel W. Roudebush, Principal Sojourner; Nathan Anderson, John Quinlan, and Owen T. Fishback, Masters of Vail.
A.M. Gest and G.C. Townsley were the first to be raised to the degree of Mark Mason. Other members within the first year were D.C. Bryan, James Perrine, Henry C. Kain, Joseph Kyle, John W. Kain, Jeremiah C. Weaver, L. C. Moore, Thomas M. Lewis, John Finton, Presley Tedrow, G. J. Dickinson. For a time the chapter was prosperous, but financial difficulties beset it, and on the 12th of September, 1859, it was forced to surrender its charter. An interregnum of nine years followed; but on the 13th of January, 1868, special dispensation was granted to reorganize the chapter, and a regular charter was obtained in due time. Since that time the chapter has enjoyed uninterrupted prosperity.
The High Priests of Batavia Chapter have been, 1851 - 53, Reader W. Clarke; 1854, L. B. Leeds; 1855 - 59, M. Jamieson; 1868 - 69, J. C. Weaver; 1870, L. B. Johnson; 1871 - 72, R. J. Bancroft; 1878 - 79, A. T. Cowen.
The Secretaries for the same period have been, 1851 - 59, D. C. Bryan; 1869, Frank Browning; 1870, G. W. Gregg; 1871, W. R. Sinks; 1872, J. W. Kain; 1873 - 74, R. J. Bancroft; 1875 - 79, H. B. Mattox.
BATAVIA LODGE, No. 136, I.O.O.F.
Was instituted October 10, 1849, by Grand Master Alexander E. Glenn, with numerous delegations of brethren from the sister lodges of Milford, Amelia, New Richmond, Neville, and other towns in the County, on the petition of six persons. The lodges organized by electing the following officers: Noble Grand, S.R.S. West; Vice-Grand, Jesse Hunt; Secretary, L.C. Moore; Personal Secretary, Charles D. Saxe; Treasurer, Peter Crumbaugh; and the Noble Grand appointed as subordinate officers, Right Supporter, Robert Boyce; Left Supporter, John Fowler; Inside Guardian, Lewis Tice; Outside Guardian, John Fitzwater. The following persons were initiated at the first meeting; Lewis Tice, Jacob Weak, Henderson Tice, Isaac Jenkins, and John Fitzwater, with Henderson Tice as Conductor.
Since this period, the following have been the Noble Grands for each term: 1850, L. C. Moore; 1851, L. C. Moore C.D. Saxe; 1852, Isaac Jenkins, H. G. Duckwall; 1853, H. N. Talley, E. D. Duckwall; 1854, J. L. Weaver, T. Q. Ashburn; 1855, Jesse Ellis, John Grant; 1856, John W. Talley, J. M. Rust; 1857, J. C. Bowne, L. B. Leeds; 1858, James Hulick, Lewis Tice; 1859, J. C. Monjar, G. W. Hulick; 1860, W. B. Townsley, C. H. Kain; 1861, Samuel Titus, W.J. Rust; 1862, J. L. Weaver, G. W. Felter; 1863, J. P. Leonard, W. W. Perkins; 1864, Smith Townsley, G. W. Duckwall; 1865, W. B. Townsley, S. Binckley; 1866, Albert Henriei, Joseph Bicking; 1867, James Glancy, W. W. Hulick; 1868, Daniel Brown, R. J. Lewis; 1869, J. W. Ranson, John Wageman; 1870, James S. Brunaugh, J. B. Hopkins; 1871, J. H. Hamilton, M. J. W. Holter; 1872, J. P. Curry, John C. Jenike; 1873 John Zurmuhle, W.T. Cade; 1874, John Pohlman, Samuel Titus; 1875, Charles Stark, Edward B. Scott; 1876, Allen Glancy, N. B. Ross; 1877, R. Allen, M. A. Wood; 1878, B. F. Cary, Morton Mulloy; 1879, John Hewitt, C. M. Bryan.
The following are officers for 1880: Noble Grand, J. C. Jenike; Vice -Grand, George P. Moore; Recording Secretary, John Erion; Permanent Secretary, John Zurmuhle; Treasurer, Allen Glancy.
OLEANDER ENCAMPMENT, No. 44, I.O.O.F.
was instituted March 1, 1851, with the following charter members: L. C. Moore, G. W. Hulick, John Zurmuhle, E. D. Duckwall, John Grant,, J.C. Jenike, Thomas Q. Ashburn, H.V. Kerr, William M. Kain, S. R. S. West, Jesse Hunt, Lewis Tice, John C. Curry, Daniel Kelley, and Robert Boyce. On the 29th of November 1862, the charter was surrendered, but on the 3rd of December, 1867, the encampment was reinstated, and has since that time enjoyed a fair degree of prosperity. The representatives to the Grand Encampment have been, 1858, T. Q. Ashburn; 1860, H. M. Talley; 1871, Joseph Bicking; 1879, John Pohlman. Below is a list of names of members who have served as Chief Patriarch and Scribe:
Chief Patriarchs: 1851: March, S. R. S. West; July, Jesse hunt. 1852: January, John Grant; July, J. G. Oliver. 1853: January, L. C. Moore; July, T. Q. Ashburn. 1854: January, J. W. Talley; July, H. N. Talley. 1855: January, J. C. Brown; July, B. F. Penn. 1856: January, H. V. Kerr. 1857: July, S. R. S. West. 1858: January, J. M. Rust; July, Jesse Ellis. 1859: July, William Kain. 1860: January, T. Q. Ashburn; July, John Zurmuhle. 1861: January, John Zurmuhle; July, W. M. Kain. 1862: January, John Zurmuhle. 1868: January, L. C. Moore; July, E. D. Duckwall. 1869: January, John L. Weaver; July, C. H. Kain. 1870: January, Joseph Bicking; July, Samuel Titus. 1871: January, Albert Henriei; July, J. C. Hatfield. 1872: January, W. H. Daly; July, M. J. W. Holter. 1873: January, Sylvester Binkley; July, J. C. Jenike. 1874: January, John Pohlman; July, Henry Householder. 1875: January, Joseph Ranson; July, William Cade. 1876: January, Edward B. Scott; July, Joseph Bicking. 1877: January, Samuel Titus; July, B. F.Cary. 1878: January, J. H. Hamilton; July, A. H. P. Holter. 1879: January, W. W. Hulick; July, John Grant.
Scribes: 1851: March, John C. Curry; July, Henderson Tice. 1852: January, H.G. Duckwall; July, S. R. S. West. 1853: January, H.N. Talley; July, Henderson Tice. 1854: J. M. Rust. 1855: January, J. M. Rust; July, Lewis Tice. 1856: January, Henderson Tice. 1857: July, Lewis Tice. 1858: January, Lewis Tice; July, T. Q. Ashburn. 1859: July, H. N. Talley. 1860: January, George W. Hulick; July, L. B. Leeds. 1861: L. B. Leeds. 1864: L. B. Leeds. 1868: January, H. V. Kerr; July, Albert Henriei. 1869: January, Allen T. Cowen; July, John Grant. 1870: January, John Grant; July, C. H. Kain. 1871: January, W. H. Daly; July, W. T. Cade. 1872: January, E. B. Scott; July, John Pohlman. 1873: January, J. C. Jenike ; July, Henry Householder. 1874: January, Joseph Ranson; July, John Pohlman. 1875 - 76: John Pohlman. 1877: January, John Pohlman; July, John Grants. 1878: January, John Grant; July, M. J. W. Holter. 1879: John Pohlman.
BATAVIA LODGE, No. 55, ANCIENT ORDER OF UNITED WORKMEN was instituted November 30, 1875, with the following charter members: Hiram U. Moore, Henry B. Mattox, W. B. C. Stirling, Royal J. Bancroft, Alfred N. Robinson, James S. Brunaugh, Joseph Titus, W.H. Smith, Stephen S. Robinson, Frederick Wendell, H. C. Moore, John C. Beck.
The officers in the first term of 1876 were: Master Workmen, James S. Brunaugh; Forman H.U. Moore; Overseer, A.N.. Robinson; Guide, A. C. Moore; Recorder, H. B. Mattox; Receiver, Joseph Titus; Financier, W. B. C. Stirling; Inside Watchmen, Frederick Wendell; Outside Watchmen, Charles Hoerner; Trustees, W. H. Smith and H.U. Moore; Medical Examiner, Dr. A. C. Moore.
Since that. The following have served as Master Workmen: W. B. C. Stirling, H.U. Moore, John S. Parrott, Fred Wendell, T. A. Griffith, P. D. Relyea, and John L. Moore.
The officers for the first term of 1880 were: Master Workmen, John L. Moore; Forman, Simeon Teasdale; Overseer, Aaron S. Corbly; Guide, J. S. Brunaugh; Recorder, R. J. Bancroft; Financier, Joseph Titus; Receiver, W. B. C. Stirling; Inside Watchman, Thomas Needham ; Outside Watchman, Robert Magee; Medical Examiner, Dr. A. C. Moore.
James S. Brunaugh, of this part, was one of the delegates to the Grand Lodge of Ohio to the sixth Supreme Grand Lodge of the United States at St. Louis, in 1878, and to the seventh annual meeting of the same body at Nashville, in 1879. He has also been Grand Master Workman of the State Lodge of Ohio, presiding at the Convocation at Cincinnati in January, 1878.
Bartholomew Gaskins emigrated from Virginia at a very early period, and settled in Gallia County, Ohio, where he died, leaving a large family, of whom one son, Tom is Gaskins, came to Clermont about the year 1816, locating at Pleasant Hill, now in Pierce, but then a part of Ohio Township. Thomas Gaskins was married to Phebe Ward, June 3, 1819, by James Wood, justice of the peace, by whom he had the following children: Dr. Cyrus Gaskins; Jane, Mary to Lewis Behymer; ,Hettie, married to Daniel Redmon; Dr. John Gaskins, now residing in Adams County; William Gaskins; Sylvester Gaskins; and Susan, married to John Arthur.
Thomas Gaskins died in 1858, and some three years later his wife Phebe. He was a practical farmer, an ardent Jacksonian Democrat, and a man of keen common sense, and lived to see the forest in which he really settled give way to beautiful farms and elegant dwellings. His son, Dr. Cyrus Gaskins, was born February 21, 1821, and received his education in the common schools of that day. He worked on the farm like all country boys, but completed his studies at us like school taught by Hon. John Ferguson, then the leading instructor and educator of the County. For the next five years he engaged in teaching and taught in various districts, during which time he began reading law, and although never admitted to the bar he has ever taken a deep interest in the profession, and his reading has proved to be a great advantage to him in his business. He commenced the study of medicine in 1856 with Dr. Hubbell, a prominent practitioner of Amelia, and attended lectures at the Eclectic Medical College of Ohio, from which he graduated at the head of his class in 1859, and in 1868 received another diploma from the Eclectic Medical Institute of Cincinnati. While reviewing his studies 1858 he practice a short time at Mount Holly, but upon the completion of his studies in 1859 located at Amelia, where he has since resided, and where he has acquired a large and lucrative practice. Dr. Gaskins is one of the most noted and best-known physicians in the County, and he is now reaping the benefits of 21 years of practice. He was married on Christmas, 1840, by Rev. Whittington B. Hancock, to Huldah, daughter of Thomas and Sarah John, the former a son of James John, the first settler at the mouth of Nine - Mile or Muddy Creek (originally called John's Creek in 1797), and the latter a daughter of Nathaniel Witham, among the first settlers of Union Township. To Dr. Gaskins and his wife have been born two children, Thomas Hamer, who died in his seventeenth year, and John Crittenden, who was married May 12, 1880, to Miss Hattie Hopper, of Fruit Hill. The doctor is a zealous member of J.B. Covert Lodge , No. 437, of Free and Accepted Masons, at Withamsville. He has ever taken the greatest interest in the cause of education, and for years was a leading member of the school board, where his talents, voice, and influence were continually for advancing educational matters. He is identified in politics with the Democratic Party, to whose success in the County he has for years contributed most liberally of his time and brain, and on the stump in several townships has been one of its most eloquent and effective speakers, rallying his party to organization and victory. For several years he has been president of the Clermont County Eclectic Medical Association, now in its 24th year of successful labors, and since 1870 very frequently and able and brilliant contributor to the columns of the Eclectic Medical Journal of Cincinnati, the standard authority in Oregon of the school of medicine. The doctors a genial gentleman whose abilities and social qualities have made him many friends, while in his honored profession he has reached a high niche of honor and usefulness. His unsurpassed business tact and energy have been rewarded by success in financial matters, and he is one of the solid men of the County, whose word is unquestioned and whose judgment is rarely at fault.
The Order of Ancient Workmen, organizing 1868 in Pennsylvania, has now a Supreme Grand Lodge, 15 State Grand Lodges, and an aggregate membership of more than 100,000. It reaping the fruits of 21 years of practice. Introduction into this county has paid for death losses, amounting to $8000. Its revenues are collected by stated dues and an assessment of one dollar on each member whenever a death occurs. The order has a beautiful ritual, symbolical of charity, hope, and protection, which are its anchor, safeguards, and incentives, and contribute to make it so beneficent and philanthropic its aims and deeds.
HUSTON LODGE, NUMBER 500, I. O. O. F.*
*By Gen. M.J.W. Holter
Was instituted Olive Branch, August 31, 1871, bike Grand Master Ira H. Byrd, assisted by John E. Bill, D. A. Huston, W. H. Wipper, of Cincinnati, and H. B. Kerr, of Batavia. The charter was delivered to the following members: M. J. W. Holter, W. H. Duly, G. Schwab, John Beckler, H. . Householder, P. J. Meyers, D. F. Thompson, R. D. Hewitt, J. F. John, George Fishback, I. W. John, Solomon Beckett, Amos Hill, and J. R. Mundell. The following officers were elected, viz.: in. G., M. J. W Holter; B. G., I. W. John; Recording Sec., W. H. Duly; Permanent Sec., Amos Hill; Treas., G. Schwab; Trustees, George Fishback, Solomon Beckett, and R. D. Hewitt. The following persons were initiated at same meeting: J. W. Hunt, John Hewitt, W. D. Avery, L. Fishback, Isaac N. Wheatley, Thomas Woostell, Thomas Mitchell, Solomon Heltman, John Doll, Samuel Malott.
The old Methodist Episcopal Church building was purchased and fitted up for a hall, the building and lot costing $650, fixtures about $250, going into for the whole, which indebtedness was paid within two years. In the summer of 1874 the building was enlarged remodeled at a cost of $1750, in the hall is now one of the finest in the County.
The following are the names of those who have served as Noble Grand from the institution to the present: M. J. W. Holter, I. W. John, W. H. Duly, J. W. Hunt, R. D. Hewitt, G. Schwab, P. Crumbaugh, H. Householder, Samuel Malott, W. F. Bagby, Frank Apple, J. R. Mundell, W. O. Malott, P. Brunaugh. The present officers RC. W. Thompson, N. G.; D. W. Hulick, V. G.; W.H. Mead, Recording Sec.; J. W. Hunt, Permanent Sec.; G. Schwab, Treas.; who has filled the same office continuously since the institution except two years. The present trustees are George Fishback, I. W. John, and W. W. Hulick.
Two members have died, viz., D. F. Thompson and W. H. Duly.
The Lodge now has a membership of 62, and property and fixtures were $3000.
Under the common - school law, dividing the townships of the state into subdistricts, the active 1853, the following were elected directors, the first names being clerks of the district, and therefore members of the Township board of education: District No. 2, William S. Fulley, William Curry, Thomas Thompson; No. 3, Cyrus McFarland, Elijah Brazier, John Davis; No. 4, Israel Whittaker, Presley Tedrow, Abraham Miller; No. 5, Daniel Roudebush, William Johnson, Thomas Hitch; No. 6, J. H. Mount, William Williamson, E. G. Sallee; No. 7, John Preble, Christopher Smith, David McAfee; No. 8, T. A. Taylor, Thomas Husong, Hiram Wheeler; No. 9, Nathan Williams, John Behymer, Israel Leeds; No. 10, J. R. Foster, John Robinson, Jacob M. Gest; No. 11, Joseph Glancy, Benjamin Maham, Isaac Stark; No. 12, H. B. Hoes, Thomas S. Atchley, William B Lukemires.
Israel Whittaker was chosen chairman of the board, and H. G. Duckwall, by virtue of being Township clerk, was the secretary and superintendent of schools.
Soon after the board was organized it adopted rules for the government of the schools, providing, among other things, that the houses should be cleanly kept and well ventilated; "that the government of every school be parental, and that the rod be the last means of resort;" "that no teacher shall Ferule or with scholars on the hands or heads as a means of punishment;" and "that there shall be no communication, such as whispering, writing and showing it to others, or significant looks from one scholar to another." Profanity, vulgarity of speech, lying, and quarreling were also strictly forbidden. Whether the statutory measures had their desired effect we are unable to say, but they show that there was at least a disposition to elevate the moral tone of the schools.
Among the teachers of this period were A. J. Lane, Mary Ann Wall, Hannah Moore, in. A. Worstell, Rebecca Page, Laura C. Wheat, Martha Sutton, E. F. Norton, F. M. Maxfield, C. B. Goodman, J. W. Avery, A. K. Benedict, P. C. Smith, John W. Frazee, James H. Baldwin, W. E. Nichols, and John C. Smith.
The common schools have proven highly satisfactory to the people of Batavia, who in 1979 voted attacks of $6041.80 for their support, in addition to the $5000 and more dollars received from other sources. Of this amount ever paid to the 15 teachers (not including those of the village schools) $5419.85. There are 14 subdistricts, each supplied with the building, and one of them having to rooms, whose value aggregates $16,000. Thirty-two weeks of school have been maintained, which were attended by 383 boys and 347 girls, the average attendance being 440. Of these 40 pursued the study of algebra and 645 paid attention to reading. The colored children of the Township, six and number, attended the colored school and Batavia, at the expense of the Board of Education. This board in 1879 was composed as follows: President, M. A. Leeds; Secretary, J. L. Moore; Subdistrict Clerks, No. 1, J. W. Deem;No. 2, M. J. W. Holter; No. 3, L.A. Kirgan; No. 4, B.F. Miley; No. 5, M. Mulloy; No. 6, C. H. Weaver; No. 7, William Glancy; No. 8, C. R. Smith; No. 9, William Weseli; No. 10, M.A. Leeds; No. 11, A. Hulick; No. 12, S. M. Atchley; No. 13, J. C. Comm; No.14, S. Titus.
BATAVIA VILLAGE SCHOOLS
Schoolteachers, Boards of Education, and Old and New Buildings. The oldest teacher remembered in the village was George Hunt, an old-time pedagogue, what withal an excellent teacher, with a discipline equal to military rule, who taught from near 1819 to 1822. Then came the mercurial Alexander Blair, who, besides being a teacher, was Sosa judge of the Common Pleas Court for many years, inefficient postmaster, and good surveyor. Stephen Gibson came in to teach afterwards, and was followed by Eben Hall and his wife, both painstaking, systematic teachers. A Mr. Dodge held forth for some time, and faithfully train the use. Prof. Morrell was a quiet teacher who loved his books. Philip Hopkins, about 1832, taught. Then came John Hill, the mathematical teacher, precise and trim, like his survey, of which he did much and of which his map of the County of 1857 in the model. In 1835, Enoch Dunn was the pedagogue, succeeded by Charles M. Smith, the best-known of all the old teachers, a fine penman, who believed in the variation system of iron discipline. Thomas M. Lewis, after Smith, or during some of the interregnums of Smith's reigns (for he taught a while and then was at other business), made a kind, lovable teacher.
The old brick schoolhouse at the head of Maine Street, the first and only one ever built for school purposes, save the present elegant structure, was erected in 1842 or 1843.
Pursuant to a public notice dated May 6, 1850, and signed by John M. Brown, William Wayland, Jr., O.T. Fishback, James Evans, William Wayland, John W. Lowe, Thomas Kain, L.B. Leeds, C. M. Smith, John W. Kain, and E. Spence, the qualified electors school district No. 1, of Batavia Township, were called on to vote for or against the adoption in said district of the "act for the better regulation of public schools and cities, towns, etc.," passed by General Assembly, there were 21st 1849. At the selection, held May 18, 1850, of which John W. Lowe was chairman, NT. Q. Ashburn clerk, the electors voted, by 29 to 3, to adopt the special district system. Thus, the Batavia special school district was organized, and its first election for a Board of Education was held on June 1, 1850, when the following were elected: John M. Brown, L. B. Leeds, for three years; John W. Lowe, T. S. Bryan, for two years; O.T. Fishback, Edward Schofield, for one year, of who Edward Schofield was President; John W. Lowe, Secretary; and L. B. Leeds, Treas. Teachers for the year 1850 were: First Male Teacher, C. W. Page; Second Male Teacher, George L. Swing; First Female Teacher, Sarah Thompson; Assistant Female Teacher, Amanda Bryan. Edward Schofield having removed, David C. Bryan was elected director in his place, and the vacancy of president filled by O.T. Fishback.
1851 - - Charles M. Smith and Lott Hulick were elected directors for three years. Teachers, George L. Swing, Sarah G. Thompson, Amanda Bryan, Orin Temple, D. W. Roudebush, Alice Dennison, Elizabeth Hulick.
1852 - - Jonathan D. Morris and John W. Lowe, elected directors for three years. Teachers, Rev. J. Delameter, Principal; Sarah G. Thompson, Elizabeth Hulick.
1853 - -L.B. Leeds and Joseph A. Weaver elected directors for three years. Teachers, Sarah G. Thompson, Amanda Bryan, Elizabeth Hulick, Mary Titus, William H. Mount; Principal, N.M. Preble, John Ferguson.
1854 - - Lott Hulick and C. M. Smith elected directors for three years. John W. Lowe having removed, P. B. Swing was appointed in his place, but residing after a few months. Dr. J. C. Kennedy was appointed. Teachers, J. A. Sloane, Principal; Elizabeth Hulick, Clarissa Collins, and Henry P. Collins, in place of Sloane, who refused to accept.
1855 - - Jonathan Johnson and D.L. Goff were chosen directors for three years, and G. W. Dennison and J. A. We are for two years. J. S. Dustin and C. A. Moore were pointed in February to fill the places of J. A. Weaver J. C. Kennedy, resigned. Teachers, J. A. Sloan, Principal; Josephine R. Davis, Assistant; Primary, Mary E. Taylor, and Sec., Millie F. Stone.
1856 - - directors elected for three years, J. C. Kennedy and J. M. McGrew; but the former declining, John Johnston was elected by the board in his stead, and G. W. Dennison having resigned, T. Q. Ashburn was appointed in his place. Teachers, D. W. Stevens, Principal; Mary E. Taylor, Martha A. Sutton, Miss Dearborn.
1857 - - directors for three years, P. B. Swing and H. V. Kerr; for two years, John Johnston. Teachers, J. A. Sloan, Principal; M. H. Fitch, Martha A. Sutton, and Miss M. E. Ogden.
1858 - - directors elected, C. M. Smith and Abel S. Smith, for three years and T. S. Bryan, for two years. Teachers, J. W. Mahan, Principal; M. H. Fitch, Secondary Department; Lizzie Fishback, Intermediate; and Miss M. E. Ogden, Primary. Mr. Mahan's election was afterwards annulled, and J. A. Sloan talked the year as principal.
1859 - - P. B. Swing, and J. M. McGrew elected directors for three years. Teachers, J. A. Sloan, Principal; M. H. Fitch, Secondary Department; Lydia A. Tedrow, Intermediate; and Rachel E. Rust, Primary.
1860 - - George L. Swing and J. P. Leonard elected directors for three years. Teachers, George H. Hill, Principal; William Pease, Intermediate Department; Miss M. E. Fitch, Secondary; and Mrs. McMurphy, Primary.
1861 - - Directors elected for three years, C. M. Smith and Abel S. Smith. Teachers, G. H. Hill, Principal; H. V. Kerr, Secondary Department; Mrs. McMurphy, Intermediate; Rachel E. Rust, Primary; and summer term teachers, Mrs. McMurphy and Rachel E. Rust.
1862 - - Directors elected for three years, A. J. Sprague and J. M. The group. Some I teachers, H. B. Kerr and Mrs. McMurphy. Winter teachers, J. C. Morris, Principal; G. W. Felter, Secondary; Millie Stone, Mrs. McMurphy.
1863 - - George L. Swing and J. P. Leonard elected directors for three and W. J. Rust for two years. Teachers, J. C. Morris, Principal; Mrs. Electa Grow, Intermediate; Mrs. McMurphy, Secondary; and Millie Stone, Primary.
1864 - - Directors elected for three years, C. M. Smith and Abel S. Smith. Teachers, G. W. Felter, Superintendent; Harris Smethurst, Secondary; Mary E. Taylor. The summer schools were taught by Caroline McMurphy, Millie F. Stone, and Cornelia Moore.
1865 - - Directors elected, J. A. Rhodes and Abel S. Smith for three years, H. Smethurst and Lewis Tice for two years. Teachers, G. W. Felter, Principal; Frank Browning, First Assistant; Cornelia Moore, Third; and Libbey Riley, Fourth Department; Hannah Moore, Primary.
1866 - - Directors, C. M. Smith and James D. Wallace elected for three years, and W. B. C. Stirling for two years. Teachers, G. W. Felter, Principal; H. Smethurst, First Assistant; Rhoda Bannister, Cornelia Moore.
1867 - - Director selected for three years, Abel S. Smith and J. A. Rhodes, and for two years, John W. Duckwall. Teachers, G. W. Felter, Principal; First Assistant------------ Collins; Third, Nelly Moore; Fourth, Mollie Hay.
1868 - - Directors elected for three years, W. B. C. Stirling and H. Smethurst. Teachers, G. W. Felter, Principal; First Assistant, Cornelia Moore; Second, Mollie Hay; Third, Mrs. Laura McMillen.
1869 - - Directors elected for three years, G. W. Hulick and J. W. Duckwall. Teachers, Principal, George W. Felter; Assistant, H. Smethurst, Mrs. Laura McMillen, Rhoda Bannister, and William Pease.
1870 - -, Directors selected for three years, C. H. Kain and S. F. Dowdney, and J. W. Neely, for one year. Teachers, Principal, G.W. Felter; First Assistant, Sallie Hillis; Second, Rhoda L. Bannister; Third, Kate Buvinger; and Fourth, Mrs. Laura McMillen; Samuel Fox, colored teacher.
1871 - - Directors elected for three years, W. B. C. Stirling and J. M. Neeley, and for two years, George W. Gregg. Teachers, Principal, G. W. Felter; First Assistant, Sallie Hillis; Second, Mary Brunaugh; and Third, Mrs. Laura McMillen; colored teacher, Orlando S. Fox.
The first vote taken in the district on the project to build in his school edifice was on June 5, 1871, which resulted - - for school - house and site, yeas, 80; nays, 23; and for annual levy of $3000 for five years, yeas, 80; nays, 22. The ranges were made for the splendid building that adorns the town, and by a subsequent vote more money was granted.
1872 - - The present school lot was purchased of our. W. Clarke, in April, four $759, and consists of 2 71/100 acres, as surveyed April 9th, by George W. Felter, in which. The board was composed of W. B. C. Stirling, Pres.; George W. Hulick, Clerk; S. F. Dowdney, George W. Gregg, John M. Neely, and John W. Duckwall. On April 29th, on motion of G. W. Gregg, it was resolved to build a new schoolhouse that would accommodate not less than 500 pupils, and that the board proceed at once to obtain all the necessary information as to plans and specifications and the cost thereof. John W. Duckwall and G. W. Hulick were elected directors for three years, and the board elected J. M. Neely, Present; G. W. Hulick, Clerk; and J. W. Duckwall, Treas. Teachers, in. B. Ross, Principal; First Assistant, Kate Buvinger; Mary Brunaugh, Nellie Moore, and Mrs. Laura E. McMillan. Mrs. Jenny Moore taught the colored school.
1873 - -In February the board adopted a design for the new building after the one at Columbus, Ohio, and employed P.A. Schlapp, an architect of that city, to draw up the plans and specifications. Bonds to the amount of $15,000 were issued to pay the cost of the schoolhouse, due in one, two, three, four, and five years, 10 for $100, and 10 for $50 each, bearing 8% interest, payable the first days of March and September each year. On May 10th the contract to erect a house was awarded to Joseph Hannold and Robert Jeremiah, both citizens of the County, $18,800, the board furnishing the brick. The edifice was built of brick, resting on a limestone foundation, procured in the neighborhood, and is trimmed with Ohio River freestone, and presents an almost square appearance. It is two stories high, with slated roof, surmounted by a center belfry containing a bill, weighing 700 pounds, and of most excellent tone. It has six large recitation rooms in a lecture hall 24 x 78feet, and is seated to accommodate 400 persons. At one end is a spacious stage 18 feet wide, supplied with appropriate scenery, the donation of the histrionic society of the town. S. F. Dowdney and G. W. Gregg were elected directors for three years. Teachers, Austin Wood Principal; Mrs. Abbie Porter, Miss Lou Patterson, and Jennie Moore.
1874 - - W. B. Cease. Stirling and John M. Neely were elected directors for three years, and the board chose G. W. Gregg, Pres.; Treasurer, J J. W. Duckwall; and Clerks, W. B. C. Stirling. The new schoolhouse was wholly completed in 1874, on February 9, $9000 additional having been voted by the taxpayers, and in September was formerly dedicated by a very large assemblage in its rooms of the citizens and schoolchildren, who marched in a procession from the old building; and interesting addresses, abounding in happy reminiscences, were delivered by Philip B. Swing, S. F. Dowdney, G. W. Hulick, and others. Teachers: Austin Woods, Principal; H. B. Mattox, First Assistant; Miss Lou Patterson, Second Assistant; Miss Abbie Porter, Third; and Ms. Jennie Moore, Fourth. These were the first teachers in the new edifice.
1875 - - G. W. Hulick and J. W. Duckwall elected directors for three years, and the board now organized T. W. Hulick, President; W. B. C. Stirling, Clerk; and J. W. Duckwall, Treasurer. Teachers: Austin Wood, Principal; First Intermediate, H. B. Mattox; Second, Miss Lou Patterson; Third, Miss L. E. Anno; Primary, Jennie Moore.
1876 - - Stephen S. Robinson and Frank White were elected directors for three years, and the new board reorganized, to wit: President, G. W. Hulick; Clerk, W. B. C. Stirling; and Treasurer, J. W. Duckwall. Teachers: G. W. Felter, Principal; First Assistant, H. B. Mattox; Ms. Jennie Moore, Room C; Miss L. H. Morin, Room D; Mrs. Mary Lane, Room E.
1877 - - William Baum and W. B. C. Stirling elected directors for three years. No change in the officers of the board. Teachers: G. W. Felter, Principal; Room C, H. B. Mattox; Room D, Mrs. Jennie M. Bryan; Room E, Miss L. H. Morin; and Room of Primary Department, Mrs. Mary Lane.
1878 - - J. C. McMath and J. W. Duckwall elected directors. Board reorganized, to wit: Frank White, President; J. W. Duckwall, Treasurer; and W. B. C. Stirling, Clerk. Teachers: J. N. Stewart, Principal; H.B. Mattox, First Assistant; Second, Miss Kate Wright; Third, Mrs. Mary Lane; and Primary Department, Miss Cassie Crane. W. E. Potts succeeded Mr. Mattox after New Year's, as the latter resigned to enter upon his duties as clerk of the Common Pleas Court, to which he had been elected in the
(more to come)