Columbiana County, Ohio
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History of Hanover Township

[SOURCE : "History of Hanover, Columbiana County, Ohio", 1804-1908 by Wessie Voglesong-Woods; pub. 1908]

Transcribed by Genealogy Trails Transcription Team member James Caldwell

History of Hanover
The township of Hanover, number 15, range 4, is one of the townships of Columbiana county still retaining the original fixed territory of six miles square. It is bounded on the north by Butler township, on the east by Center and Franklin, on the south by Franklin and county of Carroll, and on the west by West township. Within its limits were six villages or hamlets, Hanover, New Garden, Gillford, Dungannon, Adair and Kensington, the latter being the only one on a railroad, this being the Cleveland & Pittsburg; it crossing the southwest corner of the township. The town of Hanover lies a little south and west of the center of the township. The early settlers were from Hanover, Pa., and from the best information obtainable, gave their new habitations the name in honor to their old home town.
In 1804 David and John Sinclair were the only settlers in the neighborhood. In the following spring, however, several members were added. Enos Ellis settled on this very land in 1805, building his primitive home on the spot where Herod Pearce lived for a number of years, the place being selected because of the spring of water near, a spring in that day being considered an indispensable requisite to a site for a home, in fact, a quarter of land destitute of good water was considered almost worthless.
James Milner settled on the quarter now occupied by the town, the same year, building his cabin where W.H. Dressler afterward lived. John James, the same year, located about half a mile east. These three families, Ellis, Milner and James, added to the two who came the year previous, made quite a settlement in the then woods, so much so that Robert Raley, passing through on a hunting expedition, concluded to leave his home in Pennsylvania, near Georgetown, and join them. In the fall of 1805 he built himself a cabin, then resigning it to the care of raccoons, possums and wild turkeys, returned to his home, the following spring moving with his family and taking possession. But early as this the settlers were not lonesome, for the ring of the woodman's ax by day and the howling of wolves by night were cheerful sounds to those hardy grandsires of ours.
Robert Raley settled northeast of town, and during this same year, 1806, numerous other pioneers came to the neighborhood, so many, in fact, that the matter of a meeting house, or church, was considered, and a site selected, this being on the hill where the old Sandy Springs Quaker meeting house now stands.
Most of the early settlers were Quakers or Friends, and naturally the meeting established was of that denomination. The meeting house was built of logs in 1807, and served both as a church and school house, the first school being held there during the winter of 1807-8. Isaac Craig being the first teacher.
Two reasons have been assigned as to why this particular spot was called Sandy Springs. One because of the numerous springs there; the other, that some of the more influential in the work had come from the Sandy Spring neighborhood in Maryland.
Not until 1811 was the village of Hanover platted, the settlers prior to that time trading at what was then New Lisbon, this town having been laid out in 1802, and made a county seat in 1804. In that year, 1811, James Craig purchased from James Milner twenty-four acres of land, and layed out the village. The first house in that place was built on the ground now occupied by the residence of Mrs. James Sloan. It was a log structure, combining in style of its architecture the most handsome of the designs of that day. The principal street of the village was the one running north and south, and known as Plymouth.
James Craig and others organized a stock company and established a store, with Craig as manager, the firm being known as the Manufacturing & Mercantile Co., of Sandy. This store building stood near where Mrs. James Sloan now lives. Everything used, salt, iron, calico, etc., had to be brought from Philadelphia or Baltimore, all being carted 300 or 400 miles, over the mountains by mules. Naturally, nothing was wasted when brought, neither was it sold for a song. Two bushels of wheat would not more than pay for a yard of calico. Salt was higher than it was during Civil war days.
The hum of the wheel and rattle of loom were signs of plenty of good linsey or flannel and the girl who could not make nice linen or warm flannel was in poor condition to win the heart and hand of any of those sturdy young men who loved the music as made by the woodman's ax. Domestic manufacture was the pride of every woman. In place of tea brought from China and coffee from Arabia at enormous expense, milk or water was used with sassafras and spicewood by times for a change. Instead of sugar or molasses from the tropics, they used the sap of the tree at their door, and instead of the dress goods as today, they had the fabric, every thread of which was moistened by sweat of their honest hands.
Mr. Craig built a sawmill and grist mill, located near where the Disciple church now stands, the grist mill being abandoned about 1837. The company store failed and a man named Pope established another, but it, too, soon closed, the owner suiciding by cutting his throat. For some time following this George Sloan and David Arter supplied the people with their requirements in dry good and wares.

In the year 1812 occurred a memorable excitement in the settlement. It was just after Hull's surrender and the people were very fearful of Indians. One night about dark the cry of "Indians" was heard, and it quickly spread throughout the settlement. The frightened people hurriedly prepared to leave, and by the following day every man, woman and child, excepting two families, were on their way to the Ohio river. Some never stopped until safely across, some just reached it, while others did not get so far. Frederick Byard, an old Indian fighter, and Robert Raley were the only men left, and of course, considered very foolhardy in remaining to be "butchered by the Indians." Mr. Raley went to the sawmill and began work, while his wife went to the woods and milked the deserted cows. She secured enough milk to make two or three cheese and had them nicely put away on the shelf when the fugitives began to return. In a few days all were back, but they presented a sorry picture. It had been raining and men and women, young men, boys and blushing damsels, were badly drabbled with mud, some wading up and down the mill race to wash the mud from their clothes. The whole affair is said to have been a result of a man hunting his cows in the evening.
The first brick house in the town was the one now occupied by Walter Schooley. It was built by two brothers, Owen and William Williams. One of these brothers died in 1835, a short time after his failing in business, and the house, or rather the southeast corner, which was then the entire residence, was purchased at sheriff's sale by Dr. James Robertson, Sr., the price paid being $3,000. The northeast part of the house was built in 1839. During the same year James Keys erected the brick house occupied by the late William Lawson. The brick used in the building of the house now occupied by Grace Nichols were bought from David Miller, having been made and burned on the old Miller farm at Adair, one and a half miles west of New Garden, on the old State road. Mr. Rhodes, who built the house, made offer to pay 12 ½ cents per hundred for hauling the brick from the kiln to town, and as there was good sledding at that time the farmers and others having teams formed a jolly crowd in hauling the bricks across the country in sleds.

(picture of CANAL BOAT "MARY ANN")

The village of Hanover got along slowly and uneventfully until the projecting of the old Sandy and Beaver canal, the same passing in close proximity to the town. This was a vast enterprise and one for a time of great promise, and with its building came prospects of a rosy future for Hanover. This company was incorporated by act of state legislature Jan. 11, 1826, but work on its excavation was not begun until 1832. Samuel Reeder threw out the first shovel of earth in the digging of it at Hanover. There was much noise and commotion, caused by a spirit of rejoicing at the actual beginning of work.
This tumult was, it is said, obnoxious to those of the Friends or or
Quaker church, they regarding it as wholly unwarranted excitement. Mr. Reeder was a member of this faith and there was talk of "churching him" for the part taken in the matter.
From 1832 to 1837 work on the canal excavation was steadily carried forward. The panic of 1837 greatly depressed the progress of construction, but in 1845 it revived and in 1847 the work was practically completed and the canal became a realized hope.
When ready to begin work many people were alarmed. In that day laborers at work of this character were of Irish nativity, instead of Italian and Slavish, as now, and it was not unusual to hear, "The Irish are coming: they are great fighters and will kill people." It was soon learned, however, that the Irish did not molest any one who let them alone, and that they were friends and protectors of those friendly toward them.
The father of Gen. James W. Reilley, of Wellsville, had the contract of digging a section of the canal along West Fork creek on the road from Hanover to Lisbon. At that time the future General was in college. His father told his workmen that Jimmy intended being a priest, and sometimes would say, "Now b'ys, put on an extra shovelful to pay for the larnin' of Jimmy."
It was the custom that contractors would give the workmen a certain number of drinks of whiskey each day, these being termed "jiggers." When scarce of hands the number of these daily "jiggers" was increased, with generally satisfactory results, but ofttimes with depleting results to the working ranks of other contractors.
The first boat passing along the canal and through the tunnel was on January 6, 1848, coming from the east. A large number of Hanover people headed by their band, went out to meet it, doing so at the old Frost Mill on the West Fork creek, the boat having grounded at a point where the canal crossed the milldam, there being a raise of three feet to get from this into the canal channel again, and there was not sufficient water to go over it.


In this hour of perplexity Morris Miller happened along with seven yoke of oxen and with the aid of these and the company all lending a "heave oh," and helping hand the boat was towed up and over the barrier. All then got aboard, successfully passing the little tunnel north of Dungannon (the interior of this, by the way, being one of arched masonry) and on to the big tunnel east of Hanover. As this was being entered the band struck up another of its spirited and enthusiastic selections. The boat went along nicely until at a point where the east shaft was located (this being a hole from the surface by means of which rock was lifted in the tunneling) a big stone fell and obstructed the channel. On the boat was Edward Sinclair, whose marriage was to be solemnized at 3 p. m. Trouble was experienced in moving the stone and time was fleeting. Sinclair was restless and finally in a spirit of desperation exclaimed, "Boys, my time's up," and with a bound he leaped overboard, waded and swam to the nether shore, the nuptials taking place upon nominally schedule time. In the course of an hour or so the obstruction was got aside and amid great éclat the boat came into Hanover, stopping and anchoring at the lower warehouse.
Rev. E. W. J. Lindesmith, noted Catholic and clergyman and United States army chaplain, when a boy drove a cart in the deep canal cut leading to the entrance of the tunnel and ever expressed himself as enjoying the work. He was also a passenger on the first boat, making the trip from Gillford to the Frost Mill, where it floundered for the night, and the next day from Dungannon through the big tunnel to Hanover.
The canal was in operation steadily for three years, its entire abandonment occurring about 1854. This was a dry year and the divide in the tunnel was dry. Boats only plying then of any moment from the west as far as Hanover. The "J. P. Hanna," a large boat owned by an uncle to the late Senator M. A. Hanna, grounded in the mud near Lynchburg, so that it was impossible to move it, and here it rotted to pieces.
During the period of digging the canal and its active operation, Hanover reached the zenith of its business history. During its construction the population within the incorporate limits was 1,200, and taking into enumeration those residing adjacent, the number was swelled to 2,000. From the town east to the tunnel entrance was one expanse of tenements, homes of canal workmen.
In 1834 Michael Arter, George Brown and Howard Potter purchased land along the town, this location being the present business portion of the village. The land hitherto had been a swamp, but it was excellently drained and improvements grew apace, lots selling readily.
In 1834, four taverns, or hotels, as they are called today, were noted for the town. In 1836 seven general stores and two additional places where only groceries were sold were business enterprises of the town. Of those conducting same, the names of two cannot be recalled. The others were George Sloan, David Arter, Eli Davidson, James McQuilkin, John Eudly, Theodore Armstrong and Theodore Stratton.

(picture of TOWN PUMP)

The first and only public well in Hanover was dug in 1845, and in all these intervening sixty-three years has been in constant service, supplying drink and cooling the parched tongues of both man and beast. It stands at the roadside just west of the Mansion House, and seldom an hour of the day passes but that some one is not partaking of its crystal waters. It is only an ordinary well, the pump of the pattern crude and old, the style that of the pump makers of the days of our forefather, carved from a suitable log, drawn in for the purpose from the woodland, but it yet is a prided landmark in the history of the town. The old town pump-----

Hail to thee, old town pump,
Thy pattern quaint and worn,
We greet thee still with a welcome heart
In sunshine and in storm.

With creaking voice, thou answer'st all
Who yet converse with thee
And fillest the cup of each and all
With nectar pure and free.

Thy voice, how like to that of man,
When age has creased the brow,
And Time, with ever fleeting years,
Has withered hand and bough.

Old Town Pump! We greet thee,
Friends of the long ago;
And as we gather round thee now,
Sweet recollections flow.

Flow free as does thy water's yet
To days long passed away,
Old friend, we shake, and greet again
This glad Home Coming Day.

June 5, 1859, was a cheerless, cold day, the morning being the memorable frost in which wheat and all vegetation was killed. Mrs. Mary Sweeney had lifted her tomato plants from the garden and taken them in the house the night previous and thus became the envy of all Hanover, having the only plants in the township.

The old Independence mill, which stood half way between Hanover and Kensington, was owned by George Freace and Thomas Richards, and was rented by Burton Sinclair in 1845 at $100 per year. He operated all departments, falling, grist, carding and saw mill.
The Independence, with the exception of the old Brown mill north of town, was the only mill in this part of the county to be operated by water power. Water was carried to it by means of a ditch, beginning in the Vale north of the canal site at a point near the residence of Florents Sheraw.
In those days another grist mill, operated by water, was located near Kensington. It was built by Samuel Holland, water being conveyed to it through an open channel, or race, from the valley east of Kensington. Traces of this race can yet be seen. Its water supply, however, soon failed, and its owner installed a large tramp power. Five big steers were used in propelling it. Linseed was ground and linseed oil made for several years. This mill was built and in operation before Independence mill.
Another sawmill was also located and operated just inside the entrance to the now Joseph Marshall farm. Its owner being Garrion Ellis. This mill was erected by Burton Sinclair, water used for its operation being secured from springs on the Calvin Cooper farm, now owned by Charles Wernet.
Samuel Brown entered two quarters of land north of town, building a log grist mill structure, this being located south of the now Grim mill. The water in the operation of this was secured by means of a dam constructed in the vale, at north side of farm now owned by Edwin Dutton. Traces of breastworks and waterway to this mill can still be also seen.
This mill was later rebuilt by William Schooley, who placed a second story of frame on the log part. In 1851 Samuel Fox, father of Seth Fox, put in a boiler and engine.
That known as the Grim mill was built by Burton Sinclair and Henry McCann. The frame was raised June 4, 1859,*** some who assisted in raising it helping to place the rafters on the Disciple church the same day. This mill was always operated by steam power.
Lawson and Levinger purchased the lower mill property after Mr. Sloan's death in 1870, and controlled it for a number of years, when it passed into the hands of Mr. Ruble. The mill is four stories high and can manufacture about thirty barrels of flour per day.
In 1835 a man from Salem built and operated a foundry plant in Hanover. It was later bought by a man named Kingsley, who conducted it for a number of years.
A distillery for the making of whiskey operated by the firm of Lockard & Kennedy, was located on the lot to the rear of the Disciple church in 1829. This was later abandoned and in 1832 or 1833 another established by Joshua Stackhouse, son of Benjamin Stackhouse, one of the earlier settlers this being located southwest of the hotel.

About this time there were also two other distilleries near town, one owned by Samuel Sinclair, on what was later the John Merrick farm, three miles northwest, the other owned by Joseph Figley, located on the farm now occupied by Mrs. Chas. Winder. Harmon Brown was another man in early days conducting a distillery.

The first sawmill erected at Hanover stood at or near the corner of what is now Canal and Plymouth streets. It was operated by water power, the same water providing power for the old grist mill, built in 1829.

Almost all the sawed timbers used in building the Arter & Nichols warehouse were gotten out at this mill, the same being furnished by Burton Sinclair, who operated it at the time of its building.

Two tanneries added zest to the business enterprise, one owned by A. R. Arter, the other by John Levinger. Henry Walser was conducting a carriage and wagon manufactory with an extensive trade. Lewis Milbourn was engaged in sawmill work, owning then what was known as the old Independence mill, located on the Falcon farm on the Kensington road. J. B. McCrea was the cabinet maker and furniture dealer. Ickes, Cain & Cochran, Arter & Swearingen, Pearce & Brown, were the general merchandising firms, each having splendidly well stocked stores. Joseph Hesten and Levi Reeder were partners looking to the interests of the drug trade. The boot and shoe man was W. L. Parthe, while the harness and saddlery industry was well cared for by Jacob Lindesmith. J. B. Taylor and L. D. Cope were grocers and provision men. George Ickes and his mother were "mine hosts" at the Mansion House, one of the most popular hotels of that day in Eastern Ohio, while Thomas Richards and Lawrence Ling conducted other lodging places in accommodation of the traveling public.


(picture of church)

The Presbyterian church organization was organized about 1830, the first church edifice being a frame structure, located south of the present one.
The next edifice was of brick and was erected on the hill in the northeast part of town in 1841, the trustees in charge of the building being George Sloan, James Robertson, Hugh Jordan, Samuel McClellan, George Long and Hugh Lee. The decision as to the matter of building either brick or frame was decided in accordance with the amount of money subscribed.

At the conclusion to build a new church, location was first chosen in southeast part of town, where Howard street intersects Dungannon road and work was began. The ground was of a swamp character then, and when the walls were partially up they settled and cracked and the other site was at once chosen and the one where work was commenced was abandoned.

Contract for stone foundation was awarded Frederick Taggart at 75 cents per perch, he to lay range stones and sills for $3, the same to be completed by June 1. James McBride and George Hauselman received contract to furnish 7,000 bricks, delivered at $3.43 per thousand. W. F. Gardner laid the brick, furnishing his own labor, at $2 per thousand. Carpenter work was awarded Joseph Robertson, he to furnish material, except nails, and do the building, window frames $1.50 each, window sashes, seven cents per light; fancy window frame, $5; door frames, $10; floors, $3.75 per square, joists and roof, $3 per square. John Robertson and Elimelech Swearingen were named to see that work was done according to contract. The first subscription not being sufficient, a second was called for, all being completed in 1843.
The pastor in charge at this time was Rev. James Robertson, father of James, and John, as above mentioned. He was a native of Perthshire, Scotland, educated in that country and came as a missionary to Charlottetown, Cape Breton Island, at mouth of St. Lawrence river. Later he served as pastor in Scotch settlements of Genessee, N. Y., and in Columbiana county, near Wellsville, finally coming to Hanover. He established a number of churches in this part of the state, among them that of Bethesda, four miles south. He died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. George Sloan, December 13, 1856, his remains reposing in the cemetery west of town.


(picture of M.E. CHURCH)

There were seven charter or original members of the Methodist Episcopal church, Joseph and Elizabeth Hilleman, Mr. and Mrs. James Kynett, Hannah Ball, Charlotte Arter and Mrs. Vernon. The society was organized in 1834 with Joseph Hillerman as leader. He with Michael Arter and Joseph Myers were first trustees.

The first church structure was erected in 1837, which after being used as both church and school for a year, received an addition of a second story. Preaching services had previously been held in the Disciple church.
June 30, 1876, the building was demolished by a violent wind storm which swept over the town. Upon it ruins was the present church edifice built, it being completed in 1877.
Among the roll of ministers who have been stationed here are the Revs. Alcinus, Young, Eddy, Gardner, Montgomery, Crouse, Petty, Weekly, McClure, Jordan, Ellett, Rogers, McGregor, King, Slutz, Roller, Robbins, McCall, Wright, Vogleseng, Culp, Sparks, Stevens, Anderson, Nulton, Baker, Russell, Martin and Mummy.


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