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Wood County, Ohio
Genealogy and History

 
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Early History
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Bowling Green, Pre~1833
Submitted By: DeAnna Lawrence

What is now known as Bowling Green was once an area inhibited by the Wyandot, Miami, Ottawa, Erie, Seneca and Pottawatomie native Indians. Great thick towering forest with massive trees such as Oak, Sycamore and Hickory stood tall covering the damp grounds beneath them, there were also areas that were inundated with marshes and wet prairies full of over grown vegetation. Wildlife was abundant with animals such as boar, black bears, bobcats and timber wolfs, with the maumee river near by there was plenty of fishing and hunting. This area became known as "The Black Swamp" and was difficult to travel and almost impossible to settle, not even the Native Americans dared to venture in except for hunting.

Battle of Fallen Timbers
General Anthony Wayne marched his army of 2,000 men of the Legion of the United States and 1,500 mounted volunteers northward from Greenville, Ohio on July 28, 1794. On August 20, 1794 they encountered about 1,100 Indians along with some Canadian militia disguised as Indians. The two sides engaged in a battle at a part of the forest where a storm had recently knocked down trees giving this battle its name, "Fallen Timbers".
General Wayne's army defeated the Indians and chased them to the British Fort Miamis, but the British would not help the Indians. One year later the Indians came to Greenville to surrender formally and sign the Treaty of Greenville opening up ALL of Ohio to white settlers.

Western Reserve Road
After the Treaty of Greenville was signed opening up the northwestern part of Ohio for settlement the government looked for a way for people to access the territory. In the Treaty of Brownsville 1808 the government negotiated for a roadway running from the reservation at the Foot of the Rapids of the Maumee River to the western boarder of the Connecticut Reserve. This is the beginning of the Maumee and Western Reserve Road that stretched from Fort Meigs in Perrysburg to Fremont. (This road is now US Route 20). Though travel along this trail was still very difficult due to the water and mud that could reach up to a persons waist, along with the biting insects that spread diseases like malaria and ague to both humans and animals. The trail was not quite wide enough for traveling wagons and there were 22 streams along the route adding more to the hardship. Traveling in the winter was much easier with the ground and rivers frozen and the insects gone for the season.

Organization of Wood County
On February 12, 1820 Wood County was organized. Legislature carved 14 counties from the lands that was purchased, at a price a little less than four cents an acre, from the Wyandot, Seneca, Delaware, Shawnee, Pottawatomie, Ottawa, and Chippewa tribes as a result of the Lower Maumee Treaty. The United States government sent land surveyors in 1819 and in 1821 the final surveys were completed, the plats made, and the lands were ready for the market. In May 1822 commissioners designated Perrysburg as the county seat of Wood County. Black Swamp "country", after the war of 1812, had such a bad reputation from soldiers and others who had been through the area that settlers shunned from the area for more than a decade after its survey.

First Settlers
On October 29, 1832 Elisha Martindale claimed forty acres, in the northwest part of the town, near the site of the current Conneaut School on Haskins Road. When he first arrived he camped on the land and was able to cut and stack two ricks of prairie hay. On his return to his claim the next spring (1833) to build his cabin he found his hay had been burnt by the natives. He later bought 120 acres more and built his cabin, where the present "Fay House" stands.
Other settler families include (Lee) Moore, (Henry) Walker, (Jacob) Stauffer, (Alfred) Thurstin, (Joseph) Hollington, Shivelys, Richards, Tracys, Hartmans, Booths, Mackies, and St. Johns'.




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