History of Decatur Township
There are four villages in Decatur township: Fillmore, Decaturville, Hope and Prosperity. Decatur township was established November 30, 1820. The first settler, Joseph Lovdell, came in 1816, soon followed by the Johnsons, Dufer, Fairchild, Bachelor, Dunn, Giddings and Ballard families who formed the "Lower Settlement" now known as Fillmore P. O. on the State road. The "Upper Settlement" Decaturville P. O., was made soon after. The Methodist Episcopal Church first entered Decatur township, a log cabin being built in the eastern part of the township about 1840. The United Brethren began a society here before 1850, two classes holding services in the abandoned Methodist Episcopal buildings at Decaturville and west of Fillmore. The Presbyterian Church was organized in 1847, a building being erected in 1849 and rebuilt in 1856. A Baptist church (colored) was erected in 1856. The first flouring mill was erected by Hiram Fairchild about 1821, south of Fillmore. In this township lived Peter M. Garner, Creighton J. Loraine and Mordecai E. Thomas, whose abduction by Virginia officers in 1845 almost caused a war between the States of Ohio and Virginia. [Source: History of Marietta and Washington County, by Martin R. Andrews, MA, 1902, Transcribed by C. Anthony]
History of Dunham Township
Dunham township has four villages: Dunham, Veto, Briggs and Constitution.
Dunham township was formed June 5, 1855, and changed to its present form on the petition of William P. Cutler, Dean Briggs, and others, October19th, of the same year. It was first settled by Elihu Clark, Benjamin and Hezekiab Bickford and Lemuel Cooper in the first half decade of the century. The first tavern was kept by Nathan Cole near the head of Neil's Island in 1805. The first postoffice was established at Veto with William Chevalier as postmaster in 1850. The Dunham office was opened seven years later with Jasper Needham as postmaster. Briggs P. O. was established in March,1875. The first religious society to build a church in Dunham was the Methodist; a frame building was erected on the Little Hocking in 1830 but was removed before 1860. A Universalist Church was organized in 1845 but soon united with the Belpre organization. The United Brethren were given Cutler Chapel by William P. Cutler, operator of the principal quarries along the Littie Hocking, in 1871. The first school house was erected on the Goddard farm in 1814. A town house was built in 1871.
The fine stone quarries in Dunham were first opened by Messrs. Harris, Schwan and Newton about 1820. The quarries along the Little Hocking were operated extensively in 1870-71. The stone for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad bridge at Parkersburg came largely from Dunham.
Dunham township was named in honor of Jonathan Dunham who began work on his land in 1804. He was a descendant of Rev. Jonathan Dunham of Martha's Vineyard. Mr. Dunham's daughter was married to Asahel Hollister, an emigrant from Litchfield County, Connecticut, and many of their descendants still live in this county. One of their sons, W. B. Hollister, lived in Harmar about 50 years.
Thomas and Amos Delano came from Connecticut to Belpre about 1804, but in 1808 came to Dunham.
Benjamin Ellenwood, of Maine, with his three sons, - Benjamin, Daniel, and Samuel, - came from Pennsylvania to Dunham in 1811. The family is still well represented in the county.
Benoni Lewis, an officer in the American army and navy of the Revolution, went from Rhode Island to Virginia in 1802, and in 1807 came to Dunham.
Hapgood Goddard, of New Hampshire, was in Dunham as early as 1814. He afterward lived in Fairfield.
Dunham township was fortunate in receiving a number of good settlers from Scotland, among whom may be named James Harvey, Daniel Shaw, William Fleming, Samuel Drain of Argylshire, Edward Henderson (who was employed by the pioneers as a scout) and Hugh Mitchell.
[Source: History of Marietta and Washington County, by Martin R. Andrews, MA, 1902, Transcribed by C. Anthony]
History of Fairfield Township
Fairfield township has six postoffices, namely: Qualey, Cutler, Layman, Dunbar, Virgin and Napier.
Fairfield township was organized in December, 1851. The first trustees were Peter B. Lake, John Burfield and James Smith; township clerk. Charles H. Goddard; treasurer, Peter B. Lake; assessor, Torrens Gilmore; constable. Augustine Stephens. The first justices of the peace were Torrens Gilmore and Augustine Stephens.
The earliest settlers in Fairfield were David Ewell, Joshua Shuttleworth. William Dunbar; all these came in from Virginia about 1814. The path afterward followed by the "State Road" was the first passageway into this district. Other settlers were Walter Kidwell, Daniel Dunbar (a soldier of the Revolution), both from Fairfax County, Virginia; Carmi Smith of New York, Phineas Dunsmoor of Townsend, Massachusetts, William Moore from Pennsylvania, Moses Campbell from Ireland. Joseph H. Gage from New Hampshire, William Thompson from Guernsey County, Ohio, and Owen Clark from Ireland.
The first school house near the Lake farm, known as Lake's school house, was opened about 1819. The next school, near the Dunbar farm, was built in 1840. The first church was erected by the Methodist Episcopal society on the site of their present church at Fishtown, about 1824. About 1863 a new church was built by general subscription but was burned within a year. The present Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1864. The Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church was erected in 1867. In the same year the building now owned by the Universalists was erected; this denomination has a building at Fishtown erected a year later.
Cutler on the Marietta, Columbus & Cleveland Railway was laid out in 1857, being first named Harshaville in honor of Dr. John M. Harsha, whose cabin was the first built at this place. The name was later changed to Cutler in honor of William P. Cutler. The first store was kept by Harvey Smith. In 1857 the first hotel was erected by A. A. Campbell.
Dunbar is on the line of the M., C. & C. Ry., and has a postoffice.
Wesley P. O. is one of the old offices in the township.
James Lake kept the first store in Fishtown (Layman P. O.) in 1837, in the store of Carmi Smith.
Source: History of Marietta and Washington County, by Martin R. Andrews, MA, 1902, Transcribed by C. Anthony
History of Fearing Township
Fearing township, named in honor of Hon. Paul Fearing, was established March 8, 1808. In 1809 and 1861 its boundary lines were changed slightly.
On the fourth day of April, 1808, the electors met at the house of Henry Maxon and elected the following officers: Henry Maxon, clerk: Thomas Stanley, John Porter and Resolved Fuller, trustees; Simeon Wright and Joel Tuttle, overseers of the poor: Solomon Goss and John W. White, fence viewers; William Stacy, Jr., and John Miller, appraisers; Didier Gevrez, Isaac Hill. Daniel Dunchew, Henry Maxon. John Porter and Ebenezer Nye, supervisors: Daniel G. Stanley and George Nye; constables: Solomon Goss. treasurer.
Much of the early history of this township, as is true with all the rest, has been described in the history of the Ohio Company. A public school was in existence as early as 1804.
One extraordinary bit of history, which characterizes the early inhabitants of Fearing as exceptionally enterprising and educated, was the formation of a township library as early as 1812. The library was incorporated in 1816. The articles of incorporation limit the property besides books, maps, charts, and the like, to $3,000. As officers until an election could be held: Thomas Stanley, Robert Baird and Elisha Allen were made directors: John Miller, treasurer; and Daniel G. Stanley, librarian. In time the association dissolved, the books were distributed among the shareholders and many yet remain in private libraries of their descendants. Many books are of a religious nature, and all are of the weightier class of reading. The latest date noticed on the title page as date of publication is 1813.
In the back fly-leaves of many books are the notes of damages and fines written by the librarian on the return of the book. The principal disasters to the works are from grease spots—suggesting the light of other days.
A Presbyterian Church was erected in Stanleyville on land given by Thomas Stanley, in 1814. The Fearing Religious Society was incorporated in 1813 and reorganized (for business purposes) in 1853, a dispute over property having arisen. A Congregational Church was organized in 1851 and a building erected in 1856. A Methodist Church came into existence in 1820 and a building was completed in 1847 and a parsonage 16 years later. A branch of the Congregational Church at Stanleyville was organized near Cedar Narrows and a church was erected in 1873. A second Methodist Church was built east of Stanleyville in 1839, and was replaced by the present church 20 years later. The first Protestant Evangelist Church was erected near Whipple's Run in 1872 and St. Jacob's Church was erected a mile west of Stanleyville in 1858-59.
Among the early settlers were: Levi Chapman, from Saybrook, Connecticut; Thomas Stanley, from Marietta; Joel and Simeon Tuttle, from Connecticut; Simeon Blake, from Rhode Island; John Amlin, a native of Germany; Patrick and Daniel Campbell, Charles Daugherty, John Forthner, Andrew and Daniel Galer, Seth Jones, Henry and Richard Maxon. Allen Putnam, Conrad Rightner, Abraham Seevers, Charles H. Morton, Ephraim True. John Widger, William Caywood, Robert McKee, Nathaniel Kidd from Pennsylvania; Walter Athey from Virginia; William Price, Reuben McVay from Pennsylvania; James Dowling from New York; Thomas Ward, John P. Palmer, Dr. Hicks, John Young, and William Brown from Loudoun County, Virginia.
Of the German emigrants who after 1830 settled in Fearing and aided in its material development, we have the names of the Donakers, the Seylers, Conrad Biszantz, Jacob Zimmer, Theobald Zimmer, Dietrick and Henry Pape, Theobald Boeshar, Lewis Mottcr, John Bules, Rev. F. C. Trapp, and Conrad Leonhardt.
The following petition from the Hildreth manuscripts is interesting on account of the names and topography:
To the Honorable Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peaee of the County of Washington:
Your petitioners request that a road may be laid out from Marietta to the forks of Duck Creek and on to Mr. Tolman's in the most eligible situation to be taken past Pott's Mills, so called, or any other place that should be found more convenient hereafter, from thence on to a ridge, keeping the same ridge to the Cedar Narrows, so called, thence following'the creek by Mr. W'idger's then past Mr. Levi Chapman's, and crossing the creek and on to the forks of Duck Creek, front thence to the mouth of Pawpaw and on to Mr. Tolman's.
Which your petitioners, as in duty bound, request a committee may be appointed for that purpose. Signed.
Samuel Nash - John Campbell
Levi Chapman - Joseph Chapman
Dudley Davis - Amos Porter
Levi Dains -Seth Jones
Levi Chapman - Joel Tuttle
Levi Chapman, Jr. - Ezra Chapman
Linus Tuttle - Simeon Tuttle
John Widger - Isaac Chapman
Tomas Stanley, Surveyor, June, 1797
Source: History of Marietta and Washington County, by Martin R. Andrews, MA, 1902, Transcribed by C. Anthony
History of Grandview Township
Villages and population of the different places in the township.
New Matamoras Population 817
The picturesque Ohio and the hills which stand sentinels beside it make Grandview a fit name for a river township. The first election for township officials of Grandview was held the first Monday in April, 1804, the township having been struck off from Newport in 1803. The election resulted as folows: Samuel Williamson, Philip Witten and David Jackson, trustees; Arthur Scott, clerk; Nathan Parr, William Ramsey, and John McBride, supervisors; Alexander Mayers, constable. In the following year the list was increased; Philander B. Stewart and William Cline, constables; Arthur Scott, lister of property; James Ring's and John Collins, overseers of the poor; Nathan Parr and Henry Dickerson, appraisers of houses.
The first settlers in Grandview were families by the name of Dickerson, Shepherd, Mitchell, Whitton, Riggs, Sheets, Ellis, Burns, Jolly and Collins.
The proprietor of Matamoras was Henry Sheets, who made the survey of the first plat on his land lying along the Ohio River. Beginning with the big road, which extended along the banks of the river, the original plat extended west three blocks to Third street, and north three blocks from Merchants street, to the first alley above the flour mill now belonging to Samuel Shannon. The only houses within the boundary of the original plat were the store and dwelling house, also the flour mill of the proprietor. The streets were, beginning at the river, Water street, which has now almost disappeared beneath the encroachments of the river; the next was First, then Second and Third streets, all running north and south; then those extending east and west were Merchants and Ferry. The first addition was made by Stinson Burris, and extended from Merchants down to Vine, including two lots beyond; and from Water back to Third, thus extending Water, First, Second and Third streets, and adding two new streets, Main and Vine. The second addition was made on the north, extending Water, First and Second streets three blocks, and adding another street - Togler - and 18 new blocks, which in 1849 included the full dimensions of the town. Afterward many other large additions were made on the southwest.
The town began slowly to improve and houses, one by one, began to appear along First street of the old plat, then on Main and Second, until 1861the incorporation was made, and at the election James McWilliams was elected mayor.
Grandview village was surveyed at an early day but the original plat was annulled by Hannibal Williamson in 1848, who made a new plat of the same grounds. The Presbyterian Church was organized two years later and in 1852 the house of worship was dedicated. The society declined until a new society, which erected a church at Matamoras in 1877-78, was formed. Itinerant Methodists came early to the township but the first permanent organization was effected about the middle of the century, when the present church was erected. The Methodist Episcopal Church (Bell's Chapel) was first a log meeting house built in 1855; in 1879 the present church was erected. The German Methodist Episcopal Church was built about 1860. The United Brethren worshiped first in a log meeting house erected in 1869. The Fairvew Christian Church originated in revivals in 1819; the church in the western portion of the township was built in 1880. The Baptist Church at Matamoras was the earliest in the field at that point but was not organized until 1859. The first officials were: Andrew Snider, Zachariah Cochran, H. G. Hubbard, trustees; Thomas Reynolds, treasurer; Jasper Bonar, clerk.
The first school was built early in the century at the mouth of Mill Creek. The old school building in Matamoras was erected about 1852. The first mill was known as "Buck's Mill" on Mill Creek about one mile north of Matamoras. The new school house is of modern type, two stories high, built of brick.
NEW MATAMORAS IN 1902.
New Matamoras is a village of 1,200 inhabitants, situated in the extreme northeastern part of Washington County. It is beautifully located on the right bank of the Ohio River. The highest recorded watermark, that of the great flood of 1884, did not flood the town which adds greatly to its desirable location.
The memorable "Long Beach of the Beautiful River," together with the two islands which lay in front of the fine stretch of fertile valley, occupied by the town and its beautiful suburbs, not only enhance its desirableness as a place for beautiful homes, but makes the whole seem highly picturesque also.
This town has never had any spasmodic growth; its development has been a necessity to accommodate its environment. It is the youngest village in this section of Ohio, compared with others of about the same population; within the last 12 years, or since the rich discoveries of oil in this locality, it has taken on new life and growth; many new residences have made their appearance, older ones have been remodeled and modernized; a number of new business firms have sprung up, and the capacity of others greatly enlarged to accommodate the increased trade, and a flourishing national bank speaks unmistakably of prosperity.
For years the citizens could justly be proud of their excellent public schools, and they have never been in better condition than at the present time. Onward has been the record; the present fine brick school building certifies to the educational enterprise of an intelligent community. The school has a 12-years' course of study, with an excellent curriculum which qualifies its high school graduates to enter our best colleges.
Methodist Episcopal, Baptist, and Presbyterian are the religious denominations represented; these pulpits are invariably occupied by ministers who are abreast of the times and command the esteem and respect of their parishioners and community at large. These different organizations are markedly in harmony with each other in Christian unity.
The foregoing shows well for New Matamora but the whole truth could not say less. Few towns, if any, in the State of its size, have so many complete and excellent systems of water works and sewerage, and with an abundant supply of natural gas now in sight for 20 or more years, and hundreds of acres of gas territory to be developed, give the denizens the assurance of the continued comfort and luxury, at a minimum cost, of the best fuel and the best lighting material in existence, and must be a tempting invitation to the manufacturer and enterprising stranger to seek such a location.
- A. D. Hopper.
Source: History of Marietta and Washington County, by Martin R. Andrews, MA, 1902, Transcribed by C. Anthony
History of Independence Township
The act establishing Independence town ship is dated June 3, 1840, and reads as follows :
"On the petition of sundry inhabitants of the township of Newport, praying to be set off into a new township separately and apart from said Newport, on consideration of said petition, the commissioners do hereby agree to constitute a new township in the county of Washington, to be known and designated as the township of Independence, and to be constituted of the following territory, to-wit: Sections No. 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, and fractional sections No. 1, 7 and 13."
The sketch of the history of this district will be outlined where it belongs under Newport township. The leading events since the establishment of Independence are noted here.
About 1836 the "old settlement" of the township which was soon to be made had given way largely to a German element. The leaders of this new element were the Huffmans, Kinsels and Berletts. It was in 1843, as history goes, that a four-wheeled wagon was first seen in this township. The earliest physicians were Drs. Little, Wilson and Taylor. In 1835 a log-hewn meeting house was erected which saved a Sabbath day's journey to Newport. Three denominations, Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists. In 1858 the Methodists built a church on Rea's Run and in 1807 the Baptists found another place of worship in a newly-built school house. The district known as the Little Muskingum settlement was settled early in the century, the first families being the Flemings, Dickersons, Devols and Meads. Archer's Fork was settled early by a Mr. Archer; the Cadys, Burrises, Treadways and Parrs were early settlers. The wave of German immigration reached Archers Ford about 1835, the Gutberlets, Hoppels and Yosts being the forerunners of these worthy colonists.
The Methodists first erected a log meeting house, on the land of David Cline, in 1847; the United Brethren and Christian Union church organizations used the building. About 1848 the German Lutheran Church was erected on land given by Messrs. Yost and Holstein. Mount Hope Church was built by the Disciple Church in 1873 on the ridge at the head of Coal Run on land presented by Alfred Eddy. The Christian Union society built a church on the site of the log meeting house in 1874. The Little Valley Church was erected by this society in 1873 on land given by George Tice. In the Scotch settlement, a Baptist Church was organized in 1864 and a building erected in 1871 which has been known as Davis Run and as Deutcher's Chapel.
The township has five post offices: Wade, Archer's Fork, Deucher, Leith and Lawrence. Many years ago T. N. Barnsdall developed a good oil field on Archer's Fork and since that time producing wells have been opened in other parts of the township.
History of Lawrence Township
A petition was laid before the commissioners at their June session, 1815, signed by Nathaniel Mitchell, John Mitchell, Elisha Rose, John Sharp and others, "praying that a new township may be laid out and set off from the township of Newport." It was resolved by the board "That the whole of the original surveyed township number three, range seven, together with sections 17, 18, 22, 23, 24. 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, 35 and 36 in the second township, range seven, be and hereby is established into an incorporated town, to be called and denominated Lawrence, and the inhabitants within said district are entitled to all the immunities and privileges of incorporated towns within the State. The elections in said town will meet at the house of John Mitchell on the second Saturday of July, at 10 o'clock A. M., for the purpose of electing township officers." The Court of Ouarter Sessions directed that an election for two justices of the peace should be held at the same time and place. The election which was held agreeably to this order resulted in the choice of the following officers: Trustees, William Hoff. John Newton and Elisha Rose; clerk, John Sharp; constables, James Hoff and Elijah Wilson; fence viewers, Jonathan Dye and James Mitchell; treasurer, John Dye; supervisors, George Nixon and Nathaniel Mitchell; justices of the peace, Samuel Dye and John Mitchell. The township officers were sworn in by Samuel Dye, Justice of the Peace.
On the first of April, 1816, the electors met at the house of Nathaniel Mitchell to elect township officers. John Dye was chosen chairman, and Elisha Rose and John Newton, judges of the election. John Sharp was clerk. At this second election 18 votes were cast. The following is the list of voters: John Sharp, William Hoff, James Hoff, David McKibben, Isaac Wilson. Nathan Davis, Nathaniel Mitchell, Jonathan Dye, John Newton, Elisha Rose, John Dye, Samuel Dye, Henry Chamberlain, John Mitchell, Isaac Hill, Ezekiel Dye, James Mitchell, and Alderman Johnson.
Nearly half of this list of voters resided in that part of the township which has since been set back to Newport. James Hoff was elected first "lister of taxable property," and John Mitchell, appraiser of houses. The first grand jurors from the township were Nathaniel Amlin and Nathaniel Mitchell. John Dye was the first petit juror.
The election of 1820 and subsequent elections for many years were held in a school house on John Dye's farm near the mouth of Cow Run. In 1827 section 32 of township two was reannexed to Newport, and at the June session, 1840, Lawrence was reduced to its present limits.
The first school was opened in 1810 near the mouth of Cow Run. In 1838 when the public school system went into effect, Lawrence was divided into eight districts and a log school house built in each. The first church was a log school house covered with clapboards located on the Little Muskingum and used by all denominatons. The Presbyterian form of government was instituted in the "forties" and in 1846 the church was reorganized as a Congregational Church and a new building was built in 1846. The present church was dedicated in 1867. The Lawrence Baptist Church was in existence 1840-44. Other churches were organized as follows: German Methodist, 1845; two German Lutheran, one at the mouth of Cow Run in 1853 and the other on the ridge in 1863; United Brethren at Mount Zion, about 1860 and Union Chapel at the head of Eight Mile Run; Pine Ridge Methodist, head of Bear Run, in 1866; Disciples (or "Campbellites") Mount Pisgah Church, at head of Cow Run; a Scotch Presbyterian Church in 1847; Methodist Episcopal Cross Chapel, 1872. The first Children's Home in Ohio was established by Miss Catherine A. Fay in Lawrence township, at the mouth of Morse Run, in April, 1858. The first post office was named "Lawrence township" and was on the farm of John W. Dye, in the central portion of the township. The first post office at Crow Run was opened in 1869 with William P. Guitteau, postmaster. Several literary societies were established early in Lawrence township, known as "Little Muskingum Lyceum;" (1842), "Singed Cat Society" (1845), "Tarnal Critters" (1848). As the two latter names suggest, these organizations were very democratic and started for philanthropic purposes.
The famous Cow Run oil development began in the "sixties." The first drilling machine was brought into Lawrence township in 1864 by George McParland. Five years later 500 wells were being operated though the daily output was not as great a number of barrels.
Joshua L. Guyton, now living in the vicinity of Marietta, says that in the winter of 1845-46 he was a cabinetmaker with his father, Abraham Guyton, on Cow Run in Lawrence township. Within about 35 feet of their shop was a "burning spring," as it was called. Through a wooden pipe they conducted the natural gas to the shop and used it for illuminating purposes. For a burner they used the spout of a coffee-pot. Since that time an oil-well sunk near the spring has proved a good producer but the surface flow of gas has ceased. Joshua L. Guyton is the father of Bion L. Guyton, a well-known attorney in this county.
History of Liberty Township
Liberty township was established March 5, 1832, by the following act of the County Commissioners.
Resolved, That the tract of country contained in range number seven, in town number four, in the county of Washington be, and the same is hereby established into an incorporated town, 10 be called and designated Liberty; and the inhabitants residing within said surveyed township are declared to be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of incorporated towns within this State; and said inhabitants will meet at the house of Matthew Gray, in said township, on the first day of April next, at 10 o'clock, A.M., to elect township officers agreeably to law:
It will thus be seen that, at first, the surveyed township and the established township were identical, and thus, accordingly, Liberty began life with her full 36 square miles of territory. No records of township elections appear until 1838, although the book which contains this record was in the possesion of the township for four years previous.
The memories of the oldest residents of the township, however, retain the facts that Matthew Gray was in all probability the first justice of the peace, that at any rate, he was a "squire" in 1834. at which time William Gray was a constable. It is said that at one time there were not available men enough to fill the offices, and that Salem township was asked in a neighborly way to lend them a man for constable, but who was the man, thus obligingly furnished, tradition has provokingly forgotten. It appears also that these early elections were held in a log school house about where Germantown now stands.
The first township officers now on record in the township were chosen April 2, 1838, at an election held at the residence of Joseph Barnhart, William Koon, Matthew Gray and Gideon Keeder presided over the election, and James Schofield and Richard Albery were clerks. The election resulted in the choice of Newman Meridith, Marcellus Marsh, and Richard Albery, for trustees; David Hendershot, clerk: Elijah Gray, constable; Isaac Cline and John Miller, overseers of the poor; Eben Spear, Amlin True, and William Walters, fence viewers; James Martin, Daniel Michael and William Harsha, road supervisors.
The omission to elect a treasurer was corrected by the appointment in May, 1838, of Matthew Gray to fill that office. This appointment was made by the trustees of the township.
Liberty was slightly diminished in extent in 1851 when two sections were given to Monroe County and four to Noble.
The earliest settlers in Liberty township were the Palmers, Campbells, Alberys, Grays, Woods. Koons and Bernharts. The first water mill was erected about 1844 by John Miller on Saltpetre Creek. The first log school house was built a quarter of a mile north of Germantown about 1838. The Methodists were the first religious body to enter the township, building a log-hewn church about 1840. In 1848 Abraham Alban gave the ground for a new church which was built. In 1855 a church was erected in the southern part of the township. The Scott Ridge Church was built in 1873. A German Church on Fifteen Mile Creek was built about 1860 but was destroyed by fire. The Pleasant Ridge Christian Church of Dalzell was erected in1880, the society being formed in 1867. The Liberty Baptist Church at the forks of Fifteen Mile Creek was built in 1874. A Free Methodist society purchased a school house in 1880 and dedicated it for their services.
The oldest village, Germantown, was laid out in 1852 by David Hendershot. Charles Coleman being appointed first postmaster in l873.
In its vicinity a valuable oil field has been developing within the last two years and the production is still increasing rapidly. Dalzell named in honor of "Private Dalzell" was laid out in 1871, S. D. Spear becoming first postmaster in the year following.
History of Ludlow Township
Ludlow township derives its name indirectly from a surveyor of that name, who ran the north boundary of the "donation'' land, called the Ludlow line. On July 17, 1819, the county fathers established the township and named it after the line that now bounds it on the north. At that time, however, the township extended two miles north of this line. The establishing act, as found in the commissioners' journal, is as follows:
July 17, 1819 - On the petition of Joseph Dickerson, John Davis, and Kinzer D. Jolly and others, inhabitants of the third township in The sixth range. The Board of Commissioners of Washington County establish the third township in the sixth range, together with section No. 36 of township two, in said sixth range, into a new and independent township and election district, to be hereafter known and distinguished by the name and denomination of Ludlow. And order that the qualified electors of said district meet at the house of Daniel Hearn, in said town, on the fourth Monday of August next, at 10 o'clock, A. M., to elect their township officers agreeably to law.
In 1851 all above the Ludlow line became a part of Monroe County. In 1840 the establishment of Independence declared the "section No. 36 in township two" a part of that township. These are the only two changes that Ludlow has suffered territorially since its establishment. The valley of the Little Muskingum was first settled. Solomon Tice is reported as being the first settler. Other early pilgrims were the Devees, Hearns, Elders and Dicksons.
A Methodist Church was holding services as early as 1824. Before 1848 a Methodist Church was built at Boomfield. A Disciple Church was organized about 1850. In the southeastern part of the township a Catholic Church was built about 10 years later. Schools were in existence in 1816, and perhaps some previous to that date. About 1820 the first water mill was built by Richard Taylor on the Little Muskingum at Bloomfield. This village was laid out about 1840 by Porter Flint.
The developed oil territory extends across the township and into Monroe County.
History of Marietta Township
Marietta township was organized December 20, 1790, as appears from the following record:
Resolved, That townships No. I, 2, and 3, in the eighth range, and townships No. 2 and 3 in the ninth range, be, and they hereby are incorporated and included in ore township, by the name of Marietta.
The town officers were: Anselm Tupper, town and township of Marietta were the same, William Stacy, overseers of poor; B. I. Gilman, constable.
Mr. Gilman declined acting, and Christopher Burlingame was appointed in his place.
For the first 12 years of its history the town and township of Marietta were the same but at a town meeting held September 1, 1800, Gen. Rufus Putnam, Paul Fearing, Benjamin Ives Gilman, and William Rufus Putnam, were appointed a committee to apply for inocrporation. The act creating the town of Marietta was passed November 3d, approved by the governor December 2nd, to take effect January 1, 1801. The first officials were: Gen. Rufus Putnam, chairman; David Putnam, clerk; Ichabod Nye, treasurer; Rufus Putnam, Griffin Greene, and Joseph Gilman, councilmen. The above plan of town government continued until 1825, when another charter was obtained which changed to election of a mayor and reduced the area to about the present size.
Harniar was made the Second Ward, and Marietta east-side constituted the First and Third Wards, each being entitled to three councilmen. The nine councilmen were elected by the voters and they in turn elected the officers from their number. On account of local disaffection, the west side secured a separate corporate existence in 1837, but was re-united to Marietta in 1890. Marietta was chartered as a city of the 2nd class, October 29, 1853, and charter amendments with protective ordinances have been passed from time to time, which were all codified and published in 1893. The population of Marietta in 1880 was 5,444, and of Harmar 1,571, making a total of 7,015 which in 1890 had increased to 10,050 and the census of1900 gives the city 13,348.
The early history of the village has been outlined in the history of the Ohio Company. It is our purpose here to give a running sketch of the city's commercial and social development through the century.
The first store in Marietta - the first store in the Northwest Territory - was located on the corner of Muskingum and Ohio streets, and was owned by Dudley Woodbridge. Business seems to have followed the river bank both ways from this point. As we shall proceed with this sketch, the location of stores first around "the Point" and then up Muskingum street, will appear. At a later period Ohio street was the line of trade, and it was not until comparatively recent times that Front street was improved. Previous to 1830 Front street was almost a common, the grass and weeds scarcely ever being broken by a team or vehicle. It will be seen also that in the olden time Putnam street had a few stores. Business slowly advanced from the river westward, coming over the flats and creeks, forming an unbroken line of stores on one side to Putnam, which in the unseen future may become the center of trade. Greene street and the cross streets connectinig it with Ohio were avenues mainly to smaller shops and dwelling houses. In Harmar the stores were along the river as in Marietta. Furs and salt were the two most important articles of trade. The second store in Marietta was opened by Charles Greene about 1797. Later he went into the ship-building business. Other early merchants were Maj. Robert Lincoln, Col. John Mills. Col. Abner Lord, Benjamin Ives Gilman in Harmar, also Col. Levi Barber, James Whitney, Abijah Brooks, Joseph Holden, S. B. Wilson, Col. Ichabod Nye, Nathaniel Dodge, Seth Washburn, D. B. Anderson, Dr. Regnier, Dr. John Cotton, Weston Thomas, A. L. Gitto, W. and S. Slocum, Wayles and J. E. Hall, D. R Boswoith and A. P. Nye.
Ship-building was one of the first industries in Marietta of more than mere local importance, and the little city at the mouth of the Muskingum was made a port of clearance in the first years of the century from which barques and brigs sailed for ports beyond the seas laden with the produce of Southwestern Ohio.
The first ship built was a small one - a brig of 110 tons, named the "St. Clair." in honor of the Governor of the Northwest Territory. She was built for Charles Greene & Company by Stephen Devol. The 'St. Clair' took a cargo of flour and pork, and in May, 1800, cleared for Havana, Cuba, under the command of Commodore Whipply. The voyage was a remunerative one for the owners and encouraged the enterprising men of Marietta so that they continued building ships and sending them down the river to the sea. The "St. Clair," which was the first rigged vessel built upon the Ohio, was sold in Philadelphia, and her commander returned to Marietta by land.
The "St. Clair" was built near the foot of Monroe street, where Charles Gicene & Company established their shipyard. Several others were established about the same time. Benjamin Ives Gilman had one on the Harmar side of the river where the lock works are now located. Edward W. Tupper built ships at the foot of Putnam street on the Marietta side of the Muskingum. Col. Abner Lord had a shipyard near where the Phoenix Mills now stand. Col. Joseph Barker built several ships and boats about six miles up the Muskingum, among the latter the flotilla engaged by Aaron Burr.
The following is a list of the ships built at Marietta at an early period, together with the names of owners and commander-, furnished Colonel Ichabod Nye by James Whitney, Charles Greene & Company's master builder:
Brig "St. Clair,'' 110 tons. Charles Greene & Co., built by Stephen Devol, in 1800, commanded by Commodore Whippie.
Ship "Muskingum," 200 tons, built by J. Devol for R. I. Gilman. in 1801, Captain Crandon.
Brig "Eliza Greene," 130 tons, by J. Devol for Charles Greene in 1801, Captain Hodgkiss.
Brig "Marietta," 150 tons, by J. Whitney for Abner Lord in 1802, Captain O. Williams.
Brig "Dominic," 140 tons, by S. Crispin, for D. Woodbridge Jr., 1802. Captain Lattimore.
Schooner "Indiana," 80 tons, by J. Barker for E. W. Tupper in 1802. Captain Merrill.
Brig "Mary Avery," 150 tons, by D. Skilinger for G. Avery 1802, Captain Prentiss.
Ship "Temperance." 230 tons, by James Whitney for A. Lord, in 1804, Captain Williams.
Brig "Orlando," 160 tons, by J. Barker for W. Tupper, in 1803. Captain Miner.
Schooner "Whitney," by J. Whitney for A. Lord.
Schooner "McGrath," 70 tons, by J. Whitney, for A. Lord, in 1803. Captains Williams and Wilson.
Brig "Ohio," 170 tons, by J. Devol, for McFarland & Co., in 1804 Captain Rose.
Brig "Perseverance," 170 tons, by J. Whitney for B. I. Gilman, in 1805, Captain Wilson.
Ship "Rufus King," 300 tons, by J. Whitney for Clark and B. I. Gilman, in 1806, Captain Clark.
Two gun-beats, by T. Vail for E. W. Tupper, in 1806.
Ship "Tuscarawas," 320 tons, by W. McGrath, - Marshall S. Jones for A. Lord, 1806.
Ship "I. Atkinson," 320 tons, by W. McGrath, for A. Lord, 1806.
Brig; "Hope," 120 tons, by A. Miller for Charles Greene, 1806.
Ship "Francis," copper-fastened, 350 tons, by J. Whitney for B. I. Gilman, Captain Wilson. 1807.
Ship Robert Hale," 300 tons, by J. Whitney for B. I. Gilman. Captain Holden, 1807.
Brig "Golet" 120 tons, by W. McGrath for A. Lord, Captain Bennett, 1807.
Brig "Rufus Putnam," 150 tons, by W. McGrath, Colonel Lord, Captain.
Schooner "Belle," 103 tons, by J. Whitney for Gilman and Woodbridge, Captain Boyle, 1808.
Schooner "Maria" 70 tons, by J. Whitney for B. I. Gilman, 1814.
The Ship-building industry received a fatal blow in Jefferson's "Embargo Act" passed in 1808. It revived again at the beginning of the era of slack water navigation and many vessels have been built at Marietta and Harmar since 1822. The steamboats built at Marietta and Harmar up to the end of 1832 are named in the list in Chapter XI, under the heading of "Marietta Township in 1833." A list of those built since 1832 would include the following:
Steamer "Dispatch" built at Harmar by Hook & Knox, for Knox & McKee, 1833.
Steamer "Philadelphia" built at Harmar by Hook & Knox, for Captain Dobbin, 1833.
Steamer "Josephine" built at Harmar by Hook & Knox, for Captain Dobbin, 1833.
Steamer "Tuscumbia" built at Harmar by Hook & Knox, for Captpin Dobbin, 1834.
Steamer "Hudson" built at Harmar by Hook & Knox, for Captain Dobbin, 1835.
Steamer "Baltimore" built at Harmar by Capt. William Knox, for Captain Weightman. 1836.
Steamer "John Mills" built at Marietta by Capt. William Knox, for Captain Bosworth, 1836.
Steamer "Stephen Girard" built at Harmar by Capt. William Knox, for James Phillips, 1834.
Steamer "Baltic" built at Harmar, 1836-37.
Steamer "John Hancock" built at Harmar by Captain J. Whitney, for parties not now remembered, 1837.
Steamer '"Eclipse" built at Harmar by J. W. Whitney for Captain Knowles, 1837.
Steamer "Orion" same place, same builder, 1837.
Steamer "Isabella" same place, same builder, 1838.
Steamer "Ann Calhoun," built at Harmar by Hook & Knox, and owned by Columbus George, 1838.
Steamer "Victoria" built at Harmar by William Knox and owned by G. Hook, of Mobile, Alabama, 1838.
Steamer "Southerner" built at Harmar by William Knox for Charles Barney, of Mobile, Alabama, 1839.
Steamer "Zanesville" built at Harmar by Whitney & Sharp, for Mr. Hutchinson and others of Zanesville, 1839.
Steamer "Gainesville" same builders, owned by George Parker and others of Gainesville, 1839.
Steamer "Elizabeth" built at Harmar by William Knox for Captain Miller, 1842.
Steamer "Winfield Scott," built at Marietta by William Knox for Captain A. DeVinney, 1847.
Steamer "Yallabusha" same place and same builders above, owned by ______, 1847.
Steamer "Empress" built at Harmar by William Knox for Captain Cox, 1848.
Steamer "J. E. Thompson" built at Harmar by William Knox for the engineers on the Muskingum, 1849.
Steamer "Little Thunder" same builder, same place, and same owners, 1849.
Steamer "Tiber" built at Harmar by William Knox for Washington Kerr, 1850.
Steamer "Buckeye Belle" same place, same builder, owned by Captain H. Stull, 1850.
Steamer "William Knox" built by William Knox, at Harmar, for Mr. Chapin and others, 1850.
Ferry steamer for McConnelsville, built by William Knox, 1850.
Steamer "Red River" built by William Knox, at Harmar, for Capt. O. Franks, 1851.
Steamer "Carrier" same place and same builder, owned by H. N. Booth, 1851.
Steamer "Edward Manning," same place and same builder, owned by Capt. E. A. Davis, 1851.
Steamer "Ohio No. 2." same place and builder, owned by Captain Blagg, 1855.
Steamer "Creole" same place and builder, owned by Captain Hill.
Steamer "Skipper" rebuilt by Knox for Capt. J. Cram and others, 1857.
Tow boat "West Columbia" built by Knox at Harmar, 1857.
Steamer "Joseph Holden" built by Knox, at Harmar, for Capt. O. Franks, 1858.
Steamer "Ohio No. 3," same place and builder, owned by Captain Blagg and others 1859.
Steamer "Fanny McBurney" same place and builder, owned by Captain Drown and others, 1860.
Steamer "Ohio Valley" 1862.
Wharf-boat, same place and builder, owned by Hall & Best, 1865.
Steamer "J. H. Best" same place and builders, owned by J. H. Best. 1865.
Steamer "Rose Franks" and barge, same place and builder, owned by Captain Brinker, 1866.
[Source: History of Marietta and Washington County, by Martin R. Andrews, MA, 1902, Transcribed by C. Anthony]
History of Muskingum Township
The territory embraced in Muskinghum township was formerly embraced in Adams township as established by the Court of Quarter Sessions convened at Marietta in March, 1797. Ever since the formation of old Adams township, it has been crumbling away to establish the several northern townships and prior to the year 1801 Muskingum township was included within the limits of Marietta, Fearing and Union townships. The name "Muskingum" is appropriately derived from the river which runs through the extent of the township.
On April 18, 1861, the Ohio Legislature passed the following bill:
TO ERECT the TOWNSHIP OF MUSKINGUM IN WASHINGTON COUNTY.
Section I. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, that the territory now constituting parts of the townships of Marietta, Union, and Fearing, in the county of Washington and bounded as follows, to-wit: Beginning at a point on the Muskingum River, where the same is intersected by the west line of a seventy-eight acre lot, numbered sixteen, in Bear Creek allottment of donation lands, running thence south on said line to the southwest corner of said lot numbered sixteen, thence west to the northwest corner of an eighty-five acre lot, numbered twenty-two, in Rainbow Creek allottment of donation lands, thence south on the west line of said lot numbered twenty-two, to the north line of Wiseman's bottom allottment of the donation lands, thence east on said line to the Muskingum River, thence down said river on the west bank thereof until the same is intersected by the west line of one hundred and sixty acre lot, numbered four hundred, thence south on said line and its continuation to the south line of township numbered three, in range numbered eight, thence east on said line to the east bank of the Muskingum River, thence down said river to the south line of commons lot numbered twenty-eight, thence northeasterly along the corporation line of the city of Marietta to the southwest corner of commons lot numbered seventeen, thence easterly along the south line of commons lot numbered seventeen, to the southwest corner of commons lot numbered twelve, thence easterly along the south line of commons lot numbered twelve, to the southwest corner of commons lot numbered fourteen, thence north on the line of original survey to the south line of Fearing township, thence east on said line to the east line of three acre lot numbered three hundred and two, thence north on the east line of a range of three acre lots numbered three hundred and eighty-nine, thence west to the east line of section numbered twenty-five in township numbered three, of range eight, thence north on the section line to the sorth line of Salem township, thence west on said township line to Bear Creek, thence down said creek to the Muskingum River, thence up said river to a point due north of the place of beginning, thence south across the river to the place of beginning, be and the same is hereby erected and constituted into a new township to be designated as Muskingum township, and that the eastern boundary of Union township, the western boundary of Fearing township, and the northern boundary of Marietta township be so changed as to conform to the lines of said Muskingum township.
Section II. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date of its passage.
The boundaries of the newly-established Muskingum township, as thus defined, still exist and the township, then as now, is bounded on the north by Adams and Salem, on the east by Fearing and Marietta, on the south by Marietta city and township and Warren, and on the west by Watertown.
The elections are now held at Unionville, on the Muskingum River.
A petition was presented to the Board of County Commissioners at the June session in 1877, praying for the dissolution of Union township. At the commissioners' December session of the same year the following was ordered:
The petitioners having made application at the June session of 1877 for the partition of Union township among the townships of Adams, Muskingum, Warren and Watertown, and the board being of the opinion that it is necessary and expedient that the prayer of said petitioners be granted, hereby order that said Union township be divided, and annexed to the adjoining townships—Watertown, Adams and Muskingum.
To Muskingum the territory beginning at the northeast corner of one hundred and sixty acre lot No. 392, west to the northwest corner of said lot No. 392, thence north to Wiseman's Bottom, thence east to the Muskingum River, thence following the course of the Muskingum to the northeast corner of one hundred and sixty acre lot No. 413, thence south to the place of beginning, containing section eight, one hundred and sixty acre lot No. 413, part of Donation line (lot No. 418) and all of Wiseman's Bottom allottment that lies in Union township.
Naturally the fertile bottoms of the "donation" land were the centers of the first settlements, and so we find that the first settlements in Muskingum township were made in Rainbow and Wiseman's bottoms. These bottoms were named for the backwoodsman, Wiseman, who entered about 400 acres of bottom land lying along the Muskingum while Virginia still claimed the right to the Northwest Territory. Wiseman disappeared after remaining long enough to give his name to the neighborhood. The Rainbow settlement was begun April 29, 1795, by a company of several families from Marietta, who had drawn land located on the western shore of the Muskingum River. On the farm now owned by J. E. and A. R. Stacy, a block-house was erected. This was centrally located and served as a shelter and protecting roof until the cabins could be built.
The first settlers in Rainbow were Israel Stone and family. He located on the farm now owned by the S. S. Stowe heirs. Other early settlers were Stephen Smith, Ebenezer Nye and sons, Simon Wright, Archibald and Mary Lake, Captain and Mrs. Abel Mathews and family, William Stacy and Joseph Stacy, sons of Col. William Stacy, Preserved Seamon, Cogswell Olney, John Dyar, Sr.
The first settlers in Wiseman's Bottom were: Col. Joseph Barker, Israel Putnam, Capt. J. Devol and John Russell.
The territory forming the eastern boundary of the township and known as "the ridge," because it divides the waters of Duck Creek from the Muskingum, was not generally settled until a comparatively recent date.
The first school in Wiseman's Bottom was located on the Muskingum River, on the land then owned by Israel Putnam.
The earliest teacher whose name can be ascertained was Miss Esther Levings. Abigail Poole was in all probability the next. She was followed by Theophilus Cotton. Not long after the erection of the school house on the river it was found that the building was too near the water and liable to be surrounded during a heavy rise in the river. On this account it was deemed advisable to remove the school house farther back on higher ground. Accordingly this was done, the building being located on Israel Putnam's farm, where, in 1816, through Mr. Putnam's instrumentality, a commodious brick school house was erected, which served the double purpose of school house and church. In this building the people of the neighborhood continued to worship for a number of years. The people were of various denominations, but in those early davs they worshiped in common. Rev. Joseph Willard, an Episcopal clergyman of talent, is remembered to have been the first minister who preached in the school house. When the school house was first moved back from the river the teachers were Colonel Stone, Mr. Brown, of New England, a Mr. Allen, and perhaps others. Whipple Spooner was the first teacher in the brick house.
In early times Rainbow had two neighborhood school houses, which, in this modern day, have been consolidated into one. These were what were known as the "upper" and "lower" school houses, the former being located on the Muskingiun, not far from Stephen Smith's place, and the latter being on the site of the present school house of the neighborhood, immediately in the bow of the river.
Nathaniel Dodge is said to have been the first teacher in the "lower" school. The first teacher in the "upper" school was Mr. Walbridge.
An interesting document testifying to the Christian fidelity of the early pioneers in Muskingum township is an old subscription paper drawn up in 1810, which appears to be in the handwriting of Col. Joseph Barker. The object of the subscription was to establish divine worship in Rainbow and Wiseman's Bottom. None of those whose names apppear below are now living. It reads thus:
Please pay in money or produce to Mr. Thomas Lake, on or before the fifteenth day of December next, for the purpose of introducing the regular preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and for inculcating and introducing habits of good order, morality and piety, by holding up to public view examples worthy the imitation and practice of the rising generation.
The subscription paper provided for a cash subscription, but there was none made of that kind. Then comes a list of subscribers:
Adams, April 2, 1810.
Subscribers' Names, Produce.
Joseph Barker ................................ $5 00
Jasper Stone ................................... 3 00
Joseph Stacy ................................... 4 00
Sylvanus Newton ............................ 6 00
Sardine Stone ................................. 2 00
Joseph Stapy, Jr............................... 1 00
Stephen Smith ................................ 1 00
Thomas Lake ................................. 6 00
John Russell ................................... 3 00
Simeon Wright ............................... 2 00
Isaac Walbridge .............................. 1 00
Benjamin F. Stone .......................... 3 00
William Stacy, Jr............................. 1 00
John Deem ................................... 1 00
William Stacy................................. 3 00
Ephraim Mathews, thirty cents for each day's preaching.
Squire Prouty.................................. 2 00
Joseph Wood ................................. 4 00
Resolved Fuller ............................... 1 00
Preaching services were regularly held in the several school houses from time to time when a minister could be found.
The only churches in the township are the German Church on "the Ridge" and the Colored M. E. Church on Rainbow Creek. "The Putnam-Rainbow branch" of the First Congregational Church at Marietta holds services in the Putnam and Rainbow school houses on alternate Sundays.
In 1807 Captain Devol erected a very large frame flouring mill near where the present mill now stands. Its large under-shot wheel is said to have been more than 40 feet in diameter, it being the largest mill-wheel ever seen in the West. In 1866 Mjajor Putnam erected the mill at Devol's Dam, which was considered the best mill on the river.
The community in Wiseman's Bottom was fortunate in having among its members two men of such marked mechanical skill as Col. Joseph Barker and Capt. Jonathan Devol. Both of them were skilled architects, Captain Devol being a shipwright by trade, and Colonel Barker a house-builder. About the year 1800, ship-building having become an important industry at Marietta and on the Muskingum, these men readily took part in the work for which they were so well adapted by previous education and natural skill. The dense forests on either side of the river furnished excellent material for the work. Giant oaks were felled, and under the skillful hands of these men were joined together and moulded into symmetrical shape. Noting first the work of Colonel Barker, we find that his shipyard was on his farm on the east bank of the Muskingum. In 1802 he constructed two ocean vessels. One was a brig, built for Messrs. Blennerhassett and Woodbridge and named the "Dominic." after the name of Mr. Blennerhassett's oldest son. The other was a schoone called the "Indiana." This last-named vessel, together with the "Louisa," built in 1803, were for E. W. Tupper of Marietta. During the fall of 1806 he was employed by Harman Blennerhassett to construct 15 large bateaux for the use of the expedition of Aaron Burr to Mexico. The fate of these boats and this intended expedition is more fully described elsewhere in this work.
Captain Devol's ship-building was quite extensive. He also worked along the Muskingun upon his farm. In 1801 he built a sloop of 200 tons for B. I. Gilman, a merchant of Marietta. The vessel was wholly constructed of black walnut, and was named after the river by whose side it was built. In 1802 he built two brigs of 200 tons each, the "Eliza Greene" and the "Ohio." In 1804 the schooner "Nonpareil" was built. The passage of the "Embargo Act." in 1807, suspended all further operations on this line.
THE WASHINGTON COUNTY CHILDREN'S HOME.
Is beautifully situated near the Muskingum River in Muskingum township. The Home is situated on the east bank of the Muskingum River, about one mile north of the corporation line of the city of Marietta. It is the first Home in the State established under the act of the Legislature passed March 20, 1866, the act itself being a response to petitions from this county.
The farm contains about 100 acres favorably located, and from the buildings and grounds is presented a beautiful and picturesque view of the Muskingum Valley.
The object, as carried out, has been to afford an asylum to indigent children of the county under the age of 16 years, until suitable homes can be provided for them with kindly disposed persons, and all reasonable efforts are made for their improvement in industrious habits and morals while they remain in the Home. Children from other counties may also be admitted on terms approved by the trustees.
At the June session of 1866, following the passage of the act authorizing Children's Homes, the Board of County Commissioners - Messrs. J. J. Hollister, Dr. James Little and George Benedict - initiated proceedings for the selection of suitable premises for the permanent location of the Home which resulted in the selection of the present site and a contract was made for its purchase. At the same session Col. W. R. Putnam, W. S. Ward and F. A. Wheeler, Esqs., were appointed the first Board of Trustees. Prior to this time, Miss Catherine A. Fay had about 30 children at her "Home" in Lawrence township under an arrangement made with her by the directors of the County Infirmary, who were ready to be transferred to the new Home as soon as the buildings could be made ready for occupation, which occurred April 1, 1867.
The first matron, with many of the responsibilities of superintendent, was Mrs. A. G. Brown, who discharged her duties successfully one year. Mrs. Brown was succeeded by Rev. Ira M. Preston and wife, who resigned at the close of their year, and were followed by Dr. S. D. Hart and wife, who were continued superintendent and matron from April 1. 1869, until the lamented death of Mrs. Hart, August 27, 1884. Immediately afterward Dr. Hart was asked to continue as superintendent, and Miss E. A. Nixon, who had been teacher since 1870, was promoted to be matron, a place her long experience in the Home greatly aided her to fill to the entire satisfaction of the trustees. Dr. Hart was succeeded by S. L. Grosvenor, and he in turn by J. N. Bell. After the death of Mr. Bell, Principal J. L. Jordan of the Harmar public schools, was elected superintendent and is still in charge. Mrs. Jordan is matron. In the present Board of Trustees are S. J. Hathaway, president; L. W. Ellenwood, W. F. R.obertson, and W. A. Sniffen, Mr. Hathaway is the senior member in years of service. About 1889 the system of assigning children to homes was revolutionized. Since that time instead of waiting for people to come and select children, homes have been sought through the aid of the Cincinnati Children's Home, a private institution under strong Christian influence. The Cincinnati Institution employs an agent and visitors to seek homes for children. He follows up the children thus placed, visits them at least once a year until they are 21, and reports to the trustees of the Home in Washington County. The result has been, that while the number passing through the Home every year has increased, the number of inmates at any one time has been much smaller. The County Children's Home is made a stopping place until another home can be found in a good family.
The first building used as a Home was a large two story brick, originally constructed by Prof. Samuel Maxwell as an advanced school for boys, the cost of the farm and buildings being at the time $18,000. Subsequent additions and buildings have been made so that the value of the premises now is estimated at $30,000. One large building of three stories has been erected, the first floor being used as a school room, and the second and third as a dormitory for the boys.
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