[Source: A History of Marietta and Washington County and Representative Citizens, by Martin R. Andrews, MA, 1902, Transcribed by C. Anthony]
Dr. Jabez True
Jabez True, son of Rev. Henry True, was born in Hampstead, New Hampshire, in 1796. It was the practice of the time for clergymen to instruct the youth and prepare young men for college. Rev. Mr. True had a class of this kind under his instruction. His son, Jabez, acquired sufficient knowledge of the languages to enable him to pursue a course of medicine with advantage. He read medicine in his native town, and completed his course near the close of the Revolution. He volunteered his services as surgeon of a privateer and sailed for Europe. Soon after commencing the cruise, the vessel was wrecked on the coast of Holland, and the marines thrown on the mercy of the Hollanders. Dr. True remained in Europe until the cessation of hostilities, when he returned to America and began to practice his profession in New Hampshire.
Dr. True became a member of the Ohio Company in 1787, and came to Marietta in the spring of 1788. He built a small log office on Muskingum street. The new country did not afford a lucrative practice, but it was a fortunate circumstance that skilled physicians were present. He was employed at the opening of the Indian war as surgeon's mate for the troops and rangers, at a salary of $22 per month. During this time he also taught school a part of the time in one of the block-houses of the garrison at "the Point."
Smallpox and scarlet fever broke out in 1790 and made it necessary for the doctors to visit the settlements, which, during the Indian war, could only be done by water, as none but trained rangers trusted themselves to enter the roadless forest; visits at that time even by water were extremely hazardous, but the sick required attention and Dr. True frequently risked his life to respond to the calls of dutv.
Dr. True was celebrated for his kindness and sympathy. So far as it was possible he patronized the prejudices of his patient and never resorted to radical remedies, except in cases of absolute necessity. "The result of his calm, deliberative judgment was generally correct, and his treatment of diseases remarkably successful, which was doubtless owing to its simplicity, for it is a lamentable fact that too many die from too many and improper remedies as well as from disease itself."
After the close of the Indian war, he improved a farm on the Ohio about a mile from Marietta, and took an interest in agricultural pursuits. His practice extended over a large area of territory, sometimes requiring him to ride 20 miles through forests and over bridgeless streams.
The practice of medicine at that time was by no means lucrative. The general poverty of the people necessitated low charges and in many cases no charges at all, neither for medicines nor professional services.
Dr. True's devotion to the church cannot be omitted from any sketch of his life, however brief. He joined the Congregational Church at an early period of its organization and was for many years a deacon. His house was a home for itinerant preachers, and his purse always open to needy charities. Dr. True, for several of the last years of his life, served as county treasurer, a position which afforded him ease and a moderate income.
In 1806 Dr. True married Mrs. Mills, the widow of Capt. Charles Mills, an amiable and excellent women. He had no children, but the children of his wife were treated with all the love and affection of a real father. He died during the epidemic of 1823.
Dr. Solomon Drown
Dr. Solomon Drown is known rather as a scholar and a man of letters than as a physician. He came to Marietta in the summer of 1788, and attended on General Varnum, as counsel during his sickness. He was selected to pronounce the eulogy at his funeral, which was published at the time in New England. He also delivered the address at the first "Seventh of April" celebration. About 1791 he was elected professor of botany and natural history in Brown University, of which he was a graduate. He filled the position for many years.
Dr. Thomas Farley
Dr. Thomas Farley came to Marietta in the summer of 1788 as the attending physician of General Varnum, who died of consumption in January, 1789. He was a son of General Farley, of Ipswich, Massachusetts, and studied medicine at Salem, under Dr. Holyoke, in 1782. Colonel Barker says of him: "He was a modest, amiable young man, always ready to obey the calls of humanity, and had the good will and confidence of all who knew him." He soon became discouraged with the new country and returned in the fall of 1790 to Massachusetts.
Dr. William Pitt Putnam
Dr. William Pitt Putnam, fourth son of Col. William Pitt Putnam, and grandson of Gen. Israel Putnam, was horn in Brooklyn, Connecticut, in 1770. He attended the schools of the neighborhood in the winter and worked on a farm in the summer. He was placed under the tuition of Rev. Dr. Whitney at the age of 16, and pursued a course in Latin and other studies preliminary to reading medicine. At the age of 18 he entered the office of Dr. Waldo, of Pomfret, the distinguished surgeon of the Revolution. He attended a course of lectures at Cambridge in 1791, and in 1792 cante to Marietta. He spent a portion of his time at Belpre, where his brother lived, but the Indian war made general practice dangerous and unprofitable. In 1794 Dr. Putnam returned to Connecticut, when he married Berthia G. Glysson, and in company with his father's family, came to Marietta in 1795. In 1797 he purchased the lot on the corner of Fifth and Putnam streets, on wihieh his brother David afterward built the Mansion house, now occupied by W. W. Mills. Dr. Putnam in 1799, having become discouraged, although he was highly esteemed and had a fair share of patronage, determined to give up practice and turn his attention to farming. He purchased 200 acres on the Ohio River, eight miles above Marietta, and with characteristic energy, plied his hand in the clearing. The fatigue and exposure of forest life brought on bilious fever, of wlhich he died, October 8, 1800, leaving no children to inherit his name or his fortune. His widow subsequently married Gen. Edward Tupper.
Dr. Josiah Hart
A venerable physician during the early period of Marietta's ex istence was Josiah Hart, who was born in Berlin, Connecticut, in 1738. He attended Yale College for the purpose of preparing for the ministry, but after graduating in 1762 changed his intention and entered on a course of medicine. His first wife died in 1777, leaving seven children, two of whom settled in Ohio, he married, for his second wife, Mrs. Abigail Harris, a blood relative of the celebrated Miles Standish, whom Longfellow has immortalized. Dr. Hart came to Marietta in 1796, and was in active practice until 1811, when he removed to his farm, where he died from spotted fever in 1812. His wife died a few hours after and both were buried the same day. Dr. Hart was one of the first deacons of the Congregational Church and was a consistent, pious Christian. He had a strong love for science and was a regular attendant at the meetings of a chemical society, composed of physicians and others. This society met two or three evenings in a week, where experiments were exhibited and lectures given. The seal of this society has been preserved by Dr. George O. Hildreth.
Dr. William B. Leonard
Dr. William B. Leonard was born in England, in 1737, and was bred a surgeon. He was an associate of Apothecaries' Hal London, and in the prime of life served as surgeon in the British Arnty. In 1794 he determined to engage in woolen manufacture in America, and as machinery was at that time prohibited from being transported out of England, Dr. Leonard determined to clandestinely bring it on the vessel on which he had engaged passage, but was detected and imprisoned. Having been discharged, he came to America in 1797, and engaged in medical practice in Massachusetts until 1801, when he came to Marietta. Here he married Lydia Moulton daughter of William Moulton, a highly respectable pioneer.
Dr. John Baptiste Regnier
All the old citizens of the Duck Creek and Muskingum valleys and of Marietta remember John Baptiste Regnier, and most of them cherish his memory as a personal friend. Medicine exerts a greater personal influence over its patients than any other profession. The patient who recovers from a serious malady is likely to retain feelings of the profoundest gratitude toward the man who has rescued him from pain or death. Dr. Regnier was born in Paris in 17O9. His mother kept a small store for fancy goods and is said to have been a very handsome and stylish Woman. The family was loyal to the government and to the king, and as a consequence were sufferers from the convulsions which revolutionized France. John had acquired a good education and special attainments in architecture and drawing, which he intended to follow as a profession. Like all the better class of French students, he had also attended scientific lectures, and had paid particular attention to the department of medicine. In 1790, when the young men were all called upon to enter the ranks of the revolutionists, the Regnier brothers, who were loyalists, decided upon leaving the county. John B., who was 20 years old, and Modeste, who was 14, joined the company of emigrants who had purchased land from Joel Barlow, and came to the United States. They reached Marietta October 16, 1790. After a few days they embarked on boats, and proceeded to lands purchased from the Scioto Land Company, and were among the founders of Gallipolis. Having lost their fortune, and dreading the Indians, to whom they were unaccustomed, the two brothers left their forest home and went to New York. On their way up the Ohio their boat was upset and all their effects thrown out. Among them was a curiously wrought octagonal cylinder, which was afterward found in a sand-bar below, and exhibited in an Eastern museum as a legacy of pre-historic art.
For the next eight or 10 years Dr. Regnier suffered varying but cruel fortune. But those years of uncertainty and hardship threw him into the profession for which nature had intended him. In the year 1802 he entered the office of Dr. Lemoine, his French medical friend at Washington, Pennsylvania, and in 1803 came to Marietta for the purpose of entering the practice. Monsieur Thiery, a French baker, sold him a lot in Fearing township, onto which he moved and made improvements. It soon became known that he was a "French doctor," and from that time on his practice grew, and his purse was filled. There was an unusual amount of bilious fever, in the treatment of which he was remarkably successful. He also proved himself a skilled surgeon. One case particularly extended his reputation. A man had become caught in the branches of a falling tree and was bruised from head to foot. The pulsations of his heart had ceased and the body was already cold when the doctor arrived. He ordered the attendants to kill a sheep and bring him the warm pelt as quickly as possible. The steaming skin was wrapped around the bruised and naked body, and a cure, which seemed almost miraculous, was accomplished.
In 1808, Dr. Regnier removed to Marietta, where he had frequently been called as counsel and attending physician. His practice was extended over a wide range of territory, and drew heavily on his physical powers. In Marietta he became a great social as well as professional favorite. He was a cheerful and interesting talker, was full of sympathy and always ready to give assistance. He purchased a six-acre lot and laid out the finest garden in the city. "It was a model from which diverse individuals improved their own and ultimately implanted a permanent taste for this refining art to the citizens of Marietta."
He was one of the original members of the State Medical Society, organized in 1812. In 1818 he was elected County Commissioner. In 1819 he sold his property in Marietta, to Dr. John Cotton, and purchased 320 acres of land on Duck Creek. He built a flouring and saw-mill and a brick dwelling house. Up to that time the country was unimproved, but in a few years a prosperous settlement had grown up. He left Marietta with the intention of freeing himself of his laborious practice, but found it impossible. He was still called upon by his old patrons, in serious cases, and his strong humanity did not permit him to refuse. Broken down by overwork, he died of bilious remittent fever in August, 1821. Dr. Hildreth, his contemporary and friend, has said of him:
"Close discrimination and accurate obsevation of all phases and shades of disease gave him wonderful tact in prognosis, the base of all successful practice, while his knowledge of the proper remedies rendered him very successful in their application. His colloquial powers were unrivaled, and at the bedside his cheerful conversation, aided by the deep interest he actually felt in the sick, with his kind, delicate manner of imparting his instructions, always left his patients better than he found them, and formed a lasting attachment to his person in all who fell under his care. His death was lamented as a serious calamity, and no physician in this region of the country has since fully filled the place he occupied in the public estimation."
Dr. Nathan McIntosh
The subject of this sketch possessed the characteristic energy of his familv. He was the son of Col. William Mcintosh, of Needham, Massachusetts, and born in 1762. His father was a man of considerable local note, having commanded a comjpany in the Continental Army, and subsequently served as colonel of militia. He was one of the delegates in the convention in Boston, in 1788, on the adoption of the Constitution of the United States. Nathan Mcintosh, after receiving a suitable education, studied medicine in Boston, and was admitted to practice in 1786. In 1788 he decided on going west, and started for Marietta on horseback. When he reached Meadville, Pennsylvania, he was attacked with smallpox, and suffered severely from that, loathsome disease. He practiced for a short time at Hagerstowin, Pennsylvania, and Clarksburgh, (West) Virginia, and then came to Marietta in 1790. He received the appointment of surgeon's mate at the Waterford garrison at the salary ot $22 a month. He married, in 1792, Rhoda Shepard, daughter of Col. Enoch Shepard, of Marietta, and grand-daughter of General Shepard, of Massachusetts.
In 1793 Dr. Mcintosh decided to accept an invitation extended by leading citizens of Clarksburgh to locate at that place, and removed his family there in July, under escort of 15 soldiers. He was soon in possession of a large practice, but being full of adventure suffered a serious financial misfortune. He contracted to build a bridge across the Monongahela River at Clarksburgh, and warranted it to stand a certain length of time. But soon after its completion, the whole structure was swept away during a freshet. Dr. McIntosh returned to Marietta in 1795 and resumed practice. His courteous and obliging manner and skill as a surgeon won him a large practice. Jacob Young, the great itinerent Methodist, in his autobiography, commends the kindness of Dr. Mcintosh in the most feeling terms. In 1805 the pioneer Methodist was stricken down by an attack of fever at a house where the surroundings were by no means pleasant. Dr. Mcintosh took him to his house and not only doctored but nursed him during a long term of sickness.
In religion Dr. Mcintosh was a Halcyon, a sect embracing nearly the same doctrines propounded by the Second Adventists. He had previously been a Methodist. He wrote and lectured on religious and moral topics, being particularly severe on the secret societies. He published a volume on the subject of "Scripture Correspondences." Dr. McIntosh, about 1806, turned his attention to the manufacture of bricks and building brick houses, working diligently in the brickyard and on walls. He died of fever September 5, 1823, during the prevailing epidemic. His family consisted of four sons, and two daughters. The children were: Enoch S.; Rhoda, wife of J. M. Chamberlain; William Whiting; Nathan Henry; Samuel Dooey; and Lucy Hulda, wife of Samuel Maxon, of Gallia County.
Dr. Robert Wallace
Dr. Robert Wallace came from Pennsylvania to Marietta probably soon after the Indian war. He was here in 1801. Dr. Regnier speaks of him as "a very intelligent druggist." A society of physicians and young men of scientific tastes was formed in the early part of the century. Experiments were performed under Dr. Wallace's direction, and he also occasionally delivered scientific lectures. His oldest son, Matthew Wallace, was a Presbyterian clergyman. His second son, David, was a physician. The family removed to Cincinnati probably about 1809. Dr. David Wallace was one of the parties to the first and perhaps only duel in the history of the county. In the spring of 1801, a difficulty arose which resulted in Dr. Wallace challenging John Woodbridge to a duel. The island opposite Marietta was the place selected, and pistols were the weapons chosen. The parties accordingly met, but Wallace's courage failed and he was willing to ask pardon. Woodbridge was not thus easily satisfied. He cut a stick and gave Wallace a good dressing. They were both present at the "Seventh of April" celebration, which occurred soon after. The song composed for and sung upon that occasion closed with the stanza:
Here population lifts her hand And scatters round her jewels. And must honor take its island, Producing bloodless duels?
Dr. Samuel P. Hildreth
No preface is necessary in an outline of the life of Dr. Samuel P. Hildreth. The reader already knows him, but an index to the labors of his busy and youthful life will be of interest and value. He was born in Methuen, Essex County, Massachusetts, September 30, 1783. He was a son of Dr. Samuel Hildreth, and a descendant of Richard Hildreth, whose name is found amongst a company of 20 from the towns of Woburn and Concord, who, in 1652, petitioned the General Court of Massachusetts Bay for a tract of land on the west side of Concord, Musketaquid River, where they say "they do find a very comfortable place to accommodate a company of God's people upon." Samuel Prescott Hildreth was of the sixth generation from Richard. Until he was 15 years old he labored upon the farm, there acquiring industrious habits and the power of physical endurance. A social library in the town afforded access to books, and a taste for reading was acquired at an early age, and until his death he was a devourer of books. After finishing the course of the common schools, he spent four seasons in the Phillips Academy in Andover, and at Franklin Academy, which prepared him for entering college. In place, however, of completing a college course, he entered the office of Dr. Kittridge at Andover, and began the study of medicine. He received a diploma in 1805, from the Medical Society of Massachusetts, having attended lectures at Cambridge University.
Dr. Hildreth began practice at Hampstead, New Hampshire, the native home of Dr. Jabez True. He boarded in the family of John True, Esq., through whom he learned of the professional success of Dr. True and the prospects for a young man at Marietta. From his boyhood he had entertained a desire to see the far West, and in September, 1806, left his New England home in the hope of realizing his ambition. The journey to Marietta was performed on horseback and consumed about a month. He says in his autobiography, "It was a land of strangers, but he was young and his heart buoyant with hope and expectation of good fortune. He soon obtained a share of the practice, the only physicians then being Dr. True and Dr. Hart. Dr. Leonard had recently died and Dr. Mclntosh had abandoned medicine. His rides sometimes extended over 30 miles through the wilderness, the settlements being few and far between."
Belpre was at that time without a physician, and at the solicitation of leading citizens Dr. Hildreth decided to locate there. He arrived at Belpre on the evening of December 10th, just in time to see the deluded Blennerhassett leave his island paradise to embark on Aaron Burr's perilous expedition.
The summer of 1807 was a busy one for physicians. The epidemic which raged all along the Ohio was particularly severe in the neighborhood of Marietta. Few families at Belpre escaped. Dr. Hildreth was particularly fortunate in his treatment of these cases. Practice at Belpre was excessively laborious on account of the amount of riding necessary. Over exertion during the summer brought on an attack of infiammtition of the hip, which continued for several months. In the spring of 1808 he returned to Marietta, where the practice required less riding. The epidemic of 1807 furnished him the subject for a paper in the 10th volume of the New York Medical Repository. From this time he became known as an acute, discerning investigator and faithful writer on scientific and historical subjects. He, however, continued his large and laborious practice until a few months before his death, in 1863. He said his profession, during earlier years, kept him busily engaged and his scientific and historical labor could be pursued only by saving the "odds and ends of time."
Dr. Hildreth was a man of decided political opinions. In 1810 he was elected to represent Washington County in the Legislature, and again re-elected in 1811. when he defeated Judge Cutler, the Federalist candidate, by 20 votes. Hildreth was a supporter of Jefferson and Madison, whose political teachings at this time had displaced the doctrines of Washington and Hamilton. In the same campaign Hon. William Woodridge defeated Hon. William R. Putnam for the State Senate. Woodbridge being a Democrat and Putnam a Federalist. They were four able men, and after the administration of Monroe had broken party lines, all found a home in the political camp of the Whigs. Dr. Hildreth, however, was never again a candidate for office, but never neglected to vote. While in the Legislature, he drafted and succeeded in having passed the first law regulating the practice of medicine and establishing medical societies, which remained in force until the rivalry of different medical schools caused all laws on the subject to be repealed.
He held the office of collector of non-resident taxes for the Third Ohio District from 1811 until the office was abolished in 1819. He became clerk of the trustees of the ministerial lands in 1819, and discharged the duties of the office until his death in 1863. He was a Republican from the formation of the party in 1854. Dr. Hildreth carried his research into almost every department of science, but natural history was particularly fascinating. In 1812 he published a paper in the Medical Repository on the American Colombo, with a drawing of the plant. It is proper to state in this connection that he had a remarkable genius in drawling. Insects and plants were represented with scrupulous accuracy, and engravings made from them have a permanent value. The illustrations in his geological and botanical reports were prepared by his own hand. They show artistic ability, as well as accurate observation and close discrimination.
In 1822 he published in the New York Medical Repository two articles, one on hy drophobia, and one on a curious case of Siamese twins, found in his obstetric practice. A full history of the epidemic of 1822-23 was published in the Journal of Medical Science, Philadelphia, in 1824. The author was well qualified to write on this subject, as he had visited daily from 60 to 80 patients, and in August, 1823, was himself attacked. He arrested the disease in a few days by taking Jesuit's bark in quarter ounce doses. This was a trial of medicine to which few patients would submit. Sulphate of quinine had not yet come into use in Ohio, or by it many valuable lives might have been saved. An article was published in 1825 on the minor diseases, or sequela of the great epidemic in the Western Journal of Medicine, Cincinnati. In 1819 he wrote a series of papers on the natural and civil history of Washington County, wihich appeared in Silliman's Journal in 1820. One of these articles gave a drawing and description of the spoonbill sturgeon found in the waters of the Ohio. In 1827, his articles contained descriptions and drawings of several fresh-water shells found in the Mjuskingum, of which nothing had been known. His series of meteorological registers, published in that journal from 1828 until March, 1803, are useful for reference to writers on the climate of Ohio.
At the request of Professor Silliinan, Dr. Hildreth undertook to explore the coal regions of the Ohio, the result of which was published in the Journal for January, 1836, under the title of "Observations on the bituminous coal deposits in the valley of Ohio, and the accompanying rock strata, with notices of the fossil organic remains, and the relic of vegetable and animal bodies, illustrated with a geological map, by numerous drawings of plants and shells, and by views of interesting scenery." The Journal said editorialy that this was one of the most important of Dr. Hildreth's scientific labors, and by far the most valuable contribution which up to that time had appeared on the subject discussed. It filled an entire number (185 pages) of the Journal, and was profusely illustrated by figures of fossils, sections, and original drawings, embraced in 36 plates on wood. Articles on the history of the North American locust, saliferous rock formation, with a history of the manufacture of salt from the first settlement of Ohio. "Ten days in Ohio."—a geological description of the country from Marietta to Chillicothe by way of Zanesville,—and "the Diary of a Naturalist" appeared in the same journal from 1830 to In 1832 he wrote a history of the floods in the Ohio since the first settlement, which was published in the volume of the transactions of the Historical Society of Ohio. In 1837 he was employed, in company with other geologists, to make a geological survey of the State. He delivered an address in 1839 before the Medical Society of Ohio, of which he was president, on the climate and diseases of Southwestern Ohio, which was printed.
In 1830 Dr. Hildreth commenced the collection of a cabinet of natural history. While out on his daily professional rides, he would stop to gather insects, shells, fishes, fossils, and minerals. He often employed boys in the country to do this service for him. When he returned from a drive, he was in the habit of picking out the specimens he desired to keep, labeling them and placing them in cases. Duplicates were sent to Eastern friends in exchange for books or specimens of that section. In the course of eight years his cabinet contained more than 4,000 specimens, and his library, a choice variety of works on natural history. Shortly before his death he donated his cabinet and library to Marietta College, where it is known as the "Hildreth Cabinet." "This donation made Dr. Hildreth one of four or five of the largest benefactors of the College."
In 1840 Dr. Hildreth turned his attention to writing history of the first settlements of Ohio. He collected his material with great care from manuscripts and personal interviews, and wrote a book of 550 pages, which will always be of interest and value. He was the means of preserving a variety of important history and interesting anecdotes, which would otherwise have been lost to posterity. His second volume of "Lives of the Early Settlers of Ohio" was published in 1852. These two books have a permanent place in history. Dr. Hildreth, besides, contributed many interesting historical papers to the Pioneer, and a history of the first settlement of Belleville was published in the Hesperian. A journal of diseases each month, with a bill of mortality, was kept from 1824 till his death. A large amount of manuscript of permanent value, though never published, besides many smaller articles were among the products of his pen.
Rodney M. Stimson in summing up the character of Dr. Hildreth says forcibly: "He looked on the bright side of things—loved beauty, although of an eminently practical turn of mind—was very fond of flowers, which he cultivated diligently. Industry and system in all that he did may be accounted among his marked points. Besides his laborious medical practice, he accomplished, as he himself expressed it, by 'saving the odds and ends of time.' Without having a brilliant mind he exemplified the fact that 'industry is talent.' He was exact in all his dealings, an honest man, a Christian. His was a complete life - he finished his work.
"His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed that nature might stand up and say to all the world: This was a man."
Dr. Hildreth's able and productive pen gave him an extended acquaintance among the scientific men of his day. He was one of the first pioneers of science west of the Alleghany Mountains and was regarded as one of the most acute observers of facts of his time. Prof. Benjamin Silliman, his warm friend, has written a feeling tribute to his memory:
"In his private life he illustrated every virtue of a Christian gentleman. Bright and cheerful by nature, he loved nature with the simple enthusiasm of a child. Industrious and systematic in a high degree, no moment of life was wasted. In his family we have seen a beautiful example of domestic happiness and warm-hearted hospitality. He lived with nature and nature's God—and among the patrons and co-workers in this journal, who have left its founder almost alone, no one had shed a purer and more mellow light in the horizon of his setting sun—no one had departed more loved and regretted by the senior editor."
Dr. Hildreth died July 24, 1863, in his 80th year. He had been in his usual good health; a well-preserved and happy old gentleman until a few weeks before his death. He sank away gradually, his mental faculties being preserved to the last. His funeral was on Sunday, July 26, the services being in the Congregational Church, of which he was a memlber. These last sad rites were conducted by Rev. Mr. Wakefield, of Harmar, and President Andrews of Marietta College.
The following letters came into the hands of the editor in August, 1902, through the kindness of Dr. George O. Hildreth. We append them to the sketch already given of the life of Dr. S. P. Hildreth.
City of Washington, April 2, 1855.
I returned from Europe last September, having been abroad since April 19, 1849. I came to this city a few days ago, and in a bookstore saw for the first time a work by you. entitled "Pioneer History of the Ohio Valley and the early settlement of the Northwest Territory," chiefly from original papers, etc. I purchased the book and subsequently ascertained that it was the only copy for sale in this city. The published remarked that it formed the first volume of the transactions of the Historical Society of Cincinnati, and that the manuscript of a work containing "ample'' biographies of the first settlers of Marietta and its vicinity, would be published as the second volume of the transactions.
I enquired unsuccessfully at every bookstore in Washington but none had the book. I requested Messrs. Taylor & Maury to purchase it for me in Philadelphia or New York and In a few weeks they returned answer that it could not be procured in either place. Happening to think of the "Omnium Gatherum" Collection of Peter Force, the Bibliomaniac of this city. I there found the book and subsequently I saw a copy in the library of the National Institute. Now as I wish to obtain the 2d volume of the Historical transactions containing as it does an imperfect sketch of my venerated ancestor, Geo. Parsons, I will thank you to inform me whether it can be purchased in New York or New England.
I have read curiously the 1st volume of "Pioneer History of the Ohio Valley," and as you are disposed to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, I beg leave to ask your attention to page 199 where you say: "The Board of Directors (of the Ohio Company Associates) employed Dr. Cutler to make a contract with the Continental Congress for a tract of land in the great Northwest Territory of the Union. In July following (1787) the Doctor went to New York, and after tedious and lengthened negotiations succeeded in contracting for a million and a half acres for the Ohio Company "at two-thirds of a dollar per acre." Now my dear Sir, if the original documents in the handwriting of Samuel Holden Parsons, signed by him alone with his genuine signature, and preserved in the eighth volume of the Washington manuscripts, Page 226 and 230 numbered 41, can be relied upon, the "Memorial to the Continental Congress for a grant of land" and proposition for the purchasing of land in the Western Country was made by Gen. Sam. H. Parsons and presented by him as Agent of Associaters and in behalf of the Ohio Company, May 8. 1787.
The memorial was read May 9 and referred to Messrs. Carrington, King, Dane, Madison and Benson and acted on July 23, 1787—I have a copy of the original documents in the handwriting of Gen. Parsons.—Subsequently, July 21, 1787, "Proposals of Samuel H. Parsons and others for the purchase of a tract of land in the Western Territory" were introduced in which Mr. S. H. Parsons as associated Agents—but Mr. Parsons is first named and the memorial is filed and endorsed, "Proposals by S. H. Parsons. July 21." So much for historical events based upon original vouchers.
Please address me Middletown, Connecticut, where I now reside, and oblige.
Yours truly, Samuel H. Parsons.
I hope in a few weeks to see you in Marietta.
Marietta, 11th April, 1855.
To S. H. Parsons, Esq.
Dear Sir: Yours of the 2d inst. is at hand. The brief sketch I have given in the Pioneer History, of the purchase of lands by the Ohio. Company, is made on the authority of the original journal of their transactions now in the hands of W. R. Putnam, grandson of Gen. Rufus Putnam, one of the original Directors and superintendent of the settlement in Ohio. The journal says that on the 7th of March, 1787, at a meeting of the company in Boston, it was resolved that three directors be appointed for the company and that they make immediate application to the Hon. Congress for a private purchase of land. etc. When Gen. S. H. Parsons, Rufus Putnam and Rev. Manasseh Cutler were named and chosen, this Board of Directors authorized Mr. Cutler to make a contract with Congress for a tractof land, for which purpose he left home the latter part of June, 1787—called on Gen. Parsons at Middletown, Conn., the 2d of July and "settled all matters with reference to my business with Congress."
He arrived in New York on the 5th of July and in the 53 Vol. of the N. American Review, page 335 and onward, you will find the history of the "tedious and lengthened negotiations." contract with the Board of Treasury on which was based the purchase. "At a meeting of the Directors and agents of the Ohio Company held at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston, Aug. 29, 1787, the report of Mr. Cutler was read—That in consideration of the Res. of Congress of the27th and 29th July, 1787—he had agreed on the conditions of a contract with the Board of Treasury of the U. S. for a particular tract of land containing in the whole as much as the company's funds will pay for, should the subscriptions amount to one million dollars agreeably to the articles of association, at $1.00 per acre, from which price is to be deducted one-third of a dollar for bad lands and defraying expenses of the surveying," etc. Then follows the boundaries and other matters—"whereupon. Resolved, that the above report be received, the proceedings of Mr. Cutler be fully approved, ratified, and confirmed."
While Mr. Cutler was negotiating for the purchase in New York, he had requested the Directors to associate with him in this transaction—Winthrop Sargent, Secretary of the Board—which was done.
"Boston. Sept. 1. 1789.—At a meeting of the Directors of the Ohio Company at Brackett's Tavern—present—Gen. Putnam, Rev. Cutler and Gen. Varnum—Resolved, that Mr. Cutler and Winthrop Sargent and they each of them be authorized and empowered to complete the contract made by them with the treasury Board of the U. S." And then directs the treasurer of the company to pay the treasury of the U. S. $500,000 on the order of either Cutler or Sargent. The deed of sale was made and executed the 27th of Oct. 1780, &c. signed by Mr. Lee and Samuel Osgood for the U. States, and by Mr. Cutler and Winthrop Sargent for the company and is in an immense old parchment (see note), now in the possession of W. R. Putnam.
I have thus endeavored to explain to you the grounds and authority I had for saying that the contract with Congress for the Ohio Company lands was made by Messrs. Cutler and Sargent.
There is nothing more recorded in the journal of the doings of your grandfather, Gen. Parsons, in this transaction, that I have seen; had I been in possession of the facts you have stated in your letter. I should certainly have taken pleasure in noting them in my history of the matter.
Should a second edition of the work ever be required, it will be an act of justice to recall more fully the services of Gen. Parsons.
If you can point out any way by which I can send you a volume of "The series of the first settlers of Ohio." I will do so as I have several small ones.
Very truly yours, S. P. Hildreth.
Note. The "immense old parchment" was left by William R. Putnam to the care of Marietta College. It is now in a frame on the south wall of the main library room. It confirms the statement of Dr. Hildreth.
Dr. John Cotton
Dr. John Cotton was a physician well known and highly esteemed in his time, and is still remembered as a successful practitioner of physic and skillful surgeon. He was the son of Rev. Josiah Cotton, and was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1792. Rev. Josiah Cotton was a descendant of Rev. John Cotton, of Boston, and a graduate of Harvard College. The subject of this sketch entered Cambridge University at the age of 14 and graduated in 1810 with honorable standing in his class. He received his medical degree at Cambridge in 1814, and began practicing in Andover, Massachusetts. In 1815 he married Susan Buckminster and came to Marietta, being attracted by the climate. In the latter part of the year he opened an office on the west side of the Muskingum, and soon acquired a comfortable practice, which grew with age and experience. Dr. Cotton was an enthusiastic worker in the cause of religion. Immediately upon his arrival, he set to work at organizing Sunday-schools, and in 1816 one had been opened on the west side and two on the east side. He continued an enthusiastic Sunday-school worker and teacher. He accumulated a large collection of theological books, and at the age of 40 studied Hebrew that he might be able to understand more fully and explain more satisfactorily difficult passages in the Old Testament. Dr. Cotton was ardent in his opinions. He soon became a local political leader, and in 1824 was chosen Representative in the Legislature. In 1825 he was chosen associate judge and filled the position until the time of his death. For a number of years he was Chairman of the Whig Central Committee,and proved himself an adroit politician. He took delight in scientific studies, and often lectured in the Marietta Lvceum and the Young Ladies' Seminary. Astronomy was his favorite theme. He delivered an address in Latin on the occasion of the installation of the first president of Marietta College. He was one of the original trustees of the College and for many years president of the Board. He was also trustee of the Medical College of Ohio. He died unexpectedly after a brief illness of three days, April 2, 1847.
Dr. Jonas Moore
Dr. Jonas Moore was a native of New Hampshire, and was in the senior year at Dartmouth when his father died, necessitating his return home. He never went back to graduate. His whole family was soon after carried off by scarlet fever, and he came to Marietta where he taught school and studied medicine with Dr. S. P. Hildreth. He next went to Louisiana where he practiced for a number of years. He afterward became one of the leading physicians of Marietta, where he died in March, 1856. He was a trustee of Marietta College, and took deep interest in educational matters. He was of a scientific turn of mind and invented a number of mechanical devices for use in surgery. He was highly respected as a man.
Dr. G. M. P. Hempstead
Dr. G. M. P. Hempstead, who was a native of Connecticut, came to Ohio in 1802, and found good facilities for obtaining an education in Muskingum Academy, where he was prepared for college. He was for a short time under the tutelage of Hon. Gustavus Swan, late of the Supreme Court, and Dr. Jonas Moore, of Marietta. He graduated from Ohio University, in 1813, being the first literary graduate of that institution and consequently the first in Ohio. He received the degree of A. M . in 1822 and LL. D. in 1879. He began the study of medicine in 1813, and in 1816 went to Waterford, where the spotted fever had become epidemic. He was there three or four months, and thence removed to Portsmouth, Ohio, where he was a prominent physician for many years.
Dr. Morris German
Dr. Morris German was a native of Chenango County, New York. He attended lectures and received a diploma in New York City. He located in Harmar during the epidemic of 1823, and in a short time was in possession of a full practice, which he held until his death in 1835. Dr. German was a contemporary of Hildreth and Cotton, and held an honorable standing in the profession. He died at the age of 39.
Dr. Felix Regnier
Dr. Felix Regnier, the second son of Dr. J. H. Regnier, was born in Otsego County, New York, in 1801. When he was two years old, his parents moved to Marietta, Ohio, where he received a liberal education and began the study of medicine under Dr. S. P. Hildreth. He received a diploma from the Medical Society of Ohio in 1824, and in that year began the practice of his profession at Gallipolis, Ohio. In 1831 he removed to Jacksonville, Illinois, where he remained two years and then came to Marietta. He had an office in Harmar and was regularly engaged in practice here until April, 1800. During the succeeding 11 years he traveled, in the hope of improving his wife's health. After her death in 1877, he removed to Carthage, Illinois.
Dr. Hugh Trevor
Dr. Hugh Trevor, a descendant of Sir Hugh Trevor, was born in County Down, Ireland, in 1806. He graduated at Trinity College, Dublin, and at the College of Surgeons, Dublin. He afterward spent nine years in the hospitals of Paris. He came to Marietta in 1834, and began the practice of medicine. Mis medical knowledge was of a high order, and he had the confidence of a large class of people. While in Marietta he married Maria Holden, daughter of Judge Holden. In 1858 he removed to St. Joseph, Missouri, and in 1881 located at Ouincy, Illinois, where he died in April of that year.
Dr. Shubel Filler
Dr. Shubel Filler was born in Canada in 1806. In 1818 his parents came to Marietta. After passing through the schools of that period, he began the study of medicine in the office of Dr. John Cotton. He attended lectures at the Ohio Medical College, Cincinnati, and opened an office in Marietta in 1835. Dr. Fuller was a successful physician, and conducted a large practice until the sickness which terminated in his death. February 1, 1857. Dr. Fuller was a descendant of the Plymouth Rock family of that name.
Dr. G. J. Stevens
Dr. G. J. Stevens, an old practitioner, was located in Harmar for 13 years. He was a native of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, where he was born in 1805. He attended lectures at Fairfield Medical College, and received a diploma in 1827. He practiced in New York, and in Portage and Summit counties, Ohio. He died at his home in Harmar in April, 1881.
Dr. Wilson Stanley
Dr. Wilson Stanley was born and spent his early life in North Carolina, and graduated from the Homeopathic Hospital College of Cleveland, Ohio. He practiced medicine for about 10 years in Marietta, and moved to Memphis. Tennessee, in 1866, where he died within a year.
Dr. George O. Hildreth
Dr. George O. Hildreth, son of Dr. Samuel Prescott Hildreth, graduated at Ohio University in 1829, at the age of 17. He entered upon a course of medical study under the direction of his father, and attended lectures at Transylvania University, Kentucky, where he graduated in 1835. He was regularly associated with his father until the death of the latter in 1863. Since then he has been alone, occupying the same house and office on Putnam street. His practice has continued over a period of a little more than 60 years, with but a single intermission, during a period of four years—1849-53—which were spent in California. For the last five or six years failing health has compelled him to decline to visit patients. Until the summer of 1902 he continued to walk about the streets as actively as a man of 40, but since that time he rarely ventures beyond the door of his home.
Dr. Josiah Dexter Cotton
Dr. Josiah Dexter Cotton, son of Dr. John Cotton, was born in Marietta, Ohio, May 18, 1822. He graduated at Marietta College in 1842, being the youngest of a class of nine students. He began the study of medicine in his father's office, and after attending lectures at the medical college in New Orleans and the Ohio Medical College, received the degree of M. D. from the medical department of the university at Louisville, Kentucky, in 1847. He began practicing at Mount Vernon Furnace, Lawrence County, Ohio, and there married Ann M. Steece, on July 6, 1848. When his father died, Dr. Cotton returned to Marietta and has been engaged in active practice ever since, except three years during the war, when he was surgeon of the 92nd Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf. He was brigade surgeon of General Turchin's brigade at the battie of Chickamauga and medical director of the Provisional Division of the Army of the Cumberland and Tennessee at the battle of Nashville. He was a member of the Council of the city of Marietta for 10 years, from which he resigned to enter the army.
Dr. Z. D. Walter
Dr. Z. D. Walter succeeded to the practice of Dr. W. Stanley in 1866. He was born of Quaker parentage, and spent his early life in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He received his education and afterward taught for two years at Westtown boarding school, a Quaker institution, and attended medical lectures at the Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania, where he received his degree in 1866. From that time he continued to practice in Marietta until 1889, and in that year he removed to Pueblo, where he continues the practice of medicine and takes a deep interest in scientific research. At the present time he is enjoying his experiments in managing a new automobile.
Dr. H. N. Curtis
Dr. H. N. Curtis and his wife (the first lady physician in Marietta) occupy the home and office of Dr. Walter in Marietta.
Dr. Seth Hart
Dr. Seth Hart was born in Berlin, Connecticut, November 13, 1814, and came to Washington County in the spring of 1825, and on the 9th of April of that year opened an office in Watertown. He remained in practice until September 27th, when he returned to New York and attended a course of lectures at Fairfield. Dr. Hart practiced in Watertown from the spring of 1825 until 1836, excepting the time he was absent attending lectures in New York. Since 1836 his office (until his death in 1891) was located in Harmar, with but two breaks. In 1865 he was called to Tennessee to assist his son at the army hospital at Tullahoma. After the close of the war he remained two years. In 1869 he took charge of a mining enterprise in the Rocky Mountains and remained one year. Dr. Hart, ever after entering the practice in 1825, made a habit of keeping and preparing his own medicines. His first experience in compounding medicines was at a drug store at Palmyra, New York. Since then a long and busy life of practice gave him an intimate acquaintance with drugs and their use. During the period of his practice in this county - more than 60 years - Dr. Hart always maintained the highest reputation for efficiency as a doctor and integrity as a man. His life was useful not only to himself and family but also to the community which he served for more than half a century. His visits were an inspiration to thousands of families in the hour of pain and distress, and his life was indeed an example of industry and uprightness. He joined the Presbyterian Church at the age of 16. When he came to Harmar, he united with the Congregational Church, where he held his membership until his death.
Dr. Sam Hart
Dr. Sam Hart was born in Watertown township in 1830. He completed his studies at Marietta Academy in 1849, and received a degree from the Medical College of Ohio in 1852. He began practice in Marietta in 1853, and has continued till the present time, except during a period of four years of active surgical practice in the army in charge of a hospital, and two years spent in Bellevue Hospital, New York.
[Source: A History of Marietta and Washington County and Representative Citizens, by Martin R. Andrews, MA, 1902, Transcribed by C. Anthony]
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