HISTORY OF MIAMI COUNTY
pages 207 through 308
of the 1880 History
See dying vegetables, life sustain;
See life dissolving, vegetate again.
All forms that perish, other forms supply;
By turns we catch the vital, breath and die.
Like bubbles on the sea of water borne,
They rise, they break, and to that sea return.
Few persons have a proper conception of the labor, research and perplexities attendant upon the resurrection of moldy facts and ethereal traditions which have so long slept in the matrix of obscurity, and writing a history, based upon these facts and traditions, which has its genesis with the aboriginal tribes who roamed unmolested throughout the winding labyrinths of their own primeval forests, beneath whose sylvan shades the timid deer lay down in peace, in whose branches the wild-birds built their ne sts, and caroled their mating songs, with angelic, soft and trembling voices, gently warbling with the rustling leaves and low murmur of the waters falling beneath; whose native giants knew not the ravages of the white man's ax. These patriarchs of the forest had not waved their shaggy boughs above the white man's cabin. The wigwam alone of the painted savage was nestled within their somber fastnesses, beneath whose folds the dusky maiden, with nature's modesty, gave ear to the impassioned tones of he r savage lover, while he recounted his heroic deeds in war and in the chase, displayed the gory scalps that embellished his girdle that ever prerequisite and successful avenue to the heart of the forest belle and pressed his suit with equally as much ard or as he would have evinced in relieving an enemy of his back hair, or roasting a victim at the stake.
OWNERS OF THE SOIL
While it is not our purpose to trace beyond pre-historic ages the owners of the soil of what is now called Miami County, yet we deem it essential to a proper elucidation of its complete history that we make use of all the facts within our grasp, and trace them until the line fades out in myth. Therefore, so nearly as can be ascertained from the chaotic mass of tradition, we are to infer that the first inhabitants belonged to the great Algonquin family, the most numerous, perhaps, of any other in the Un ited States, and whose language was comparatively uniform throughout the tribes and subdivisions and it would seem peculiarly adapted to oratorical flights and beautiful figures. Though there appears to be a great amount of conflicting testimony in regard to the tribes comprehended in the Algonquin family, we are inclined to the opinion that the ancient Tewightewees or Twigtwees, more recently called Miamis, belonged to this family. The origin, as well as name and number of this tribe, or confederation seems to be surrounded with as great a degree of mysticism and conjecture as the founding of Rome, or the siege of Troy. Divesting them of their own tradition, the offspring of superstition, that they were created by Manitou, out of the dust of the Miami Valley,
and that they had been there from the beginning of time, we shall enter the dawn of their authentic history.
According to the account of Christopher Grist, the English agent for the Ohio Company, they were a powerful confederacy, superior in numbers and strength to the Iroquois, with whom, it appears from other authority, they were at deadly enmity. In 1750, they were living in amity with the French. Grist places their towns one hundred and flfty miles up the Great Miami, which we presume would locate them near the site of Loramie's store but since the storehouse, said to be on the same spot, built in 1749, was called Pickawillany, which by some is translated into Piqua, these towns might have been located near the present site of Piqua, and subsequent pages will confirm this opinion. One author confounds them with the Ottawas, and another "as many different tribes under the same form of government." The French seem to have given them the name of Miamis, by some they are called Piankeshaws, a tribe of the Twigtwees, and again the Miamis, or Twigtwees. In the minutes of the Provincial Council of Penn, they are called Tweechtwese, and described as those Indians called by the French, Miamis; also by some, Tawixtwi, and classed as one of the Western confederated nations.
From these various data we feel safe in asserting that the tribe or confederation above described, were the owners of the soil embraced within the present limits of Miami County. We find them in possession up to 1763, at which time they had their towns (see supra) here, which were designated on the old French maps, Tewightewee towns which they fortified, and with their allies, the Wyandots, Ottawas and French, fought a bloody battle with the English, aided by the Cherokees, Catawbas, Munseys, Senecas, Shawanoes, and Delawares, lasting over a week. After this battle, the Miamis or Twightwees, being continually harassed by the English and neighboring tribes, removed to the Maumee, and the country was left to the Shawanoes, who converted the names of t he towns into their own language; and we have authority for saying that the present city of Piqua was by them called Chillicothe in honor of a tribe of that name however, our authority traces the etymology to "chilled coffee." Upper Piqua, was called after the tribe of that name, which according to tradition means "a man formed cut of the ashes." It appears that during one of their annual feasts, the Shawanoese tribes were seated around the fire, smoking and indulging in all the usual convivialities incident to such occasions, when, to their dismay, a great pufflng sound was heard, the dying embers were thrown aside, and lo! a full-formed man emerged from the ashes, like Milton's lion in Creation, pawing the earth to free his nether parts; and this, they say, was the first man of the Piqua tribe. Upper and Lower Piqua seem to have possessed peculiar attractions for the Shawanese nation, from the fact that for a long time they made their headquarters here from which to radiate on their continual war excursions. The Shawanoese nation seems to have been very nomadic, evidently having formerly come from the South, as the word implies. They were, it is believed, natives of Florida. Blackhoof, one of their principal chiefs, has stated that his tribe believed, from various traces and signs, washed over by the sands, that Florida had been visited many ages previous to their existence by strangers from other countries; that he, himself, at the date of the statement one hundred and five years old, remembered bathing in the waters of the ocean on the Florida beach.
EXTINCTION OF THE INDIAN TITLE
Inasmuch as the ownership and occupancy of the soil resided first in the Miamis, and subsequently in the Shawanoese, it is difflcult to ascertain with accuracy the exact date at which the Indian title was extinguished. Through various treaties of Ft. Stanwix, McIntosh, Brown, Logstown and Greenville, ranging, from 1784 to 1794, the title of the Indians was gradually vested in the United States, and, to some extent, by purchase, in private corporations.
It appears that on the 29th of August, John Cleves Symes petitioned Congress for a purchase of one million acres of land to be bounded on the north, east, South and west by the extension of the Ohio Comnpany's line, Little Miami, Ohio and Great Miami, that, failing, to comply with the contract, the northern portion, evidently including a part of the present limits of Mitmi County and adjoining lands probably including the remainder, were ordered surveyed and subject to preemption. Thus we have endeavored, in so far as we were able, to extract from the heterogeneous mass of uncertainty, the original owners, the extinction of the aboriginal title, and the final vesting of the same in such a shape as to lay it open for individual purchase and settlement.
The spirit of adventure with which nature has endowed the human species, nowhere manifests itself so conspicuously in those men of iron muscle and resollite will who forever left the abode of peace and plenty and braved the dangers and endured the privations incident to the opening of new homes in the solitudes of the untrodden wilderness. A strange infatuation seems to urge on mankind to seek out new fields of adventure, and the greater the danger the stronger the impulse to meet and conquer it.
This, in conjunction with seductive hope, though so often realizing the words of Pope, "that man never is, but always to be blest," conduces very materially to the advancement of civilization; and, when we take into consideration the cosmopolitan nature of man, we need not wonder that no part of the world, how wild and uninviting so ever, remains inviolate.
It was this, coupled with cupidity, that led the cruel Pizarro to the subjugation of the Incas of Peru, Cortez to the bloody struggles with the Aztecs, the conquest of Mexico and the extinction of the Montezumas.
SETTLEMENT OF THE OHIO VALLEY
The evidences of the marks of edged tools on trees in the Ohio Valley, calculating from the subsequent growth of rings, extends as far back as 1660. Tradition is also handed down, leading to show that in 1742, one John Howard sailed down the Ohio in a canoe made of a buffalo skin. It appears however, that the French, as far back as 1749, controlled the trade of this country, and we are informed that Grallisonier, Governor of Canada, in the summer of 1742, caused plates of lead, on which were engraved the claims of the French Government, to be placed in the mounds, and at the mouths of the rivers running into the Ohio, as evidences of their ownership of the lands on both sides of that river. One of these plates was found near the mouth of the Muskingum, bearing date August 16, 1749, a particular account of which, by DeWitt Clinton, may be seen in American Autobiographical Society, 535. But this puerile attempt utterly failed of its object. During the same year the English built a trading-house on the Great Miami, on a spot since called Loramie's store. The French, jealous of the intrusions of the English upon what they considered their lands, and apprehensive of danger, began the erection of aline of fortifications along the Ohio, and toward the lakes; and early in 1752, demanded of the Tewightewees the surrender of the trading- house above mentioned; which being refused, they, in conjunction with the Ottawas and Chippewas, attacked, captured, and destroyed it, killed fourteen Indians, and carried the English to Canada and even stated by historians, that some were burned at the stake. These traders were supposed to have been from Pennsylvania, from the fact that in Franklin's history of the same, he mentioned that the above State sent the Twigtwees a gift of condolence for, those slain in the defense of Pickawillany, the English name of the trading-house. Although this battle was participated in by two nationalities, no more serious results flowed from it than a series of diplomatic maneuverings, with a view to securing the permanent possession of the debatable lands.
In October, 1753, a meeting was held at Carlisle, between the Twiotwees,
Shawanoes and other tribes, to which commissions from Pennsylvania, among
was Benjamin Franklin, were sent, at which the attack on the trading-houses at the month of Loramic's Creek, was discussed and a treaty was concluded, which evidently included our present county. As the population increased, the feeling intensified, until the French and Indian wars, when open hostilities began, which only ended with the fall of Quebec in 1763. With a fear of repetition, which is almost wholly unavoidable, we have endeavored to place before our readers a concise statement of the condition of the country, from its earliest known history, until it approaches the dawn of civilization. To do this we have been compelled to begin with a very wide scope of country, and, as the antiquity of its history were away, and thereby assumed a greater decree of certainty, the horizon of its territory also would grow less, until now we shall begin with bistory and landmarks within the memory of many now living.
INSTITUTION AND BOUNDARY OF MIAMI COUNTY
In January, 1790, Hamilton County was organized, beginning on the banks of the Ohio River, at the confluence of the Little Miami, and down the Ohio to the mouth of the Big Miami and up the same to the Standing Stone Fork, or branch of the Big Miami; and thence, with a line to be drawn due east to the Little Miami, and down the same to the place of beginning. June 22, 1793, the western boundary line of Hamilton was so altered as to begin at the spot on the Ohio where the Greenville treaty line intersects the bank of that river, and run with the line to Fort Recovery; thence due north to the south line of Wayne County.
In March, 1803, Montgomery County was laid off, composed of a part of Hamilton; beginning at the State line, at the northwest corner of Butler; thence east with the lines of Butler and Warren, to the east line of Section 16, Township 3, Range 5; thence north eighteen miles; thence east two miles; thence north to the State line; thence with the same, to the west line of the State; thence with the said line to the beginning.
January 16, " 1807, took effect March 1."
"All that part of Montgomery County be, and the same is hereby laid off and erected, into separate and distinct county, which shall be called and known by the name of Miami, to wit: Beginning at the southwest corner of Champaign County and southeast corner of Section 1, Township 2, and Range 9, thence westwith the line between Ranges 9 and 10 to thegreat Miami River, crossing the same in such direction as to take the line on the bank of the said river, between Townships 3 and 4, in Ranoe 6, west of the said river; thence west with the said line to the State line; thence north with the same to the Indian boundary line; thence east with the same to the Champaign County line, thence south with the said county line to the place of beginning.
From and after the 1st day of april, 1807, said county of Miami shall be vested with all the powers, privileges and immunities of a separate and distinct county, January 7, 1812, all that part of the county of Montgomery lying north of the county of Miami shall be, and the same is hereby, attached to the said county of Miami; and all that part lying north of the county of Darke shall be, and the same is hereby, attached to the said county of Darke."
January 3, 1809. So much of the county of Miami as lies west of the middle of the fourth range of townships, east of the meridian drawn from the mouth of the Great Miami, be and the same is hereby erected into the county of Darke. January 7, 1819, a pa rt of Miami was taken in the formation of Shelby, which left it as it now is.
EXPEDITION OF GEN. G. R. CLARKE
Inasmuch as there were Piqua or Pickawa villages situated on Mad River,
about five miles west of Springfield, near the present site of West Boston,
noted as the birthplace of the celebrated Shawanoe chieftain Tecumseh,
or, perhaps more properly, Tecumthe, which may possibly be confounded with
the city of
Piqua, in this county, it may be well to state, for the purpose of a more lucid discrimination, that, in the summer of 1780, Gen. G. R. Clarke, after a long and severe contest with the savages, utterly destroyed all the Piqua towns on Mad River, and laid waste about five-hundred acres of growing corn, together with every vegetable production convertible into food. The Shawanoes were so discouraged, with their ignominious defeat, and the total destruction of all means of subsistence, that they abandoned the blackened ruins of their once beautiful and flourishing villages, and removed to the Great Miami, on whose banks they built another town and named it Piqua, perhaps in commemoration of the ashes of the old. Two years after their removal, having recovered from the terrible chastisement inflicted upon them by Gen. Clarke, their fiendish propensity again evinced itself in many depredations in Kentucky and Ohio. Especially at the battle of Blue Licks, in Kentucky, were they successful and, maddened by brooding over their wrongs, and the taste of blood, the destruction of the infant colonies seemed inevitable. at this critical juncture, that second Wayne, Gen. G. R. Clarke, foreseeing the ultimate annihilation of all the settlements along the Ohio, determined to lead another expedition against the sanguinary Shawanoes, and wreak destruction upon them and their corn-fields. To this end, therefore, in 1782, two years after his first expedition to their towns on Mad River, and about eighteen years prior to the first permanent settlement in this county, he raised an army of about one thousand men in Kentucky, and after organizing his little army at the mouth of the Licking, crossed the Ohio at a little village, since called Cincinnati, then consisting of a few miserable log, huts, surrounded by posts and logs driven into the ground, called a stockade. Throwing out scouts in advance, to guard against surprises from his wily and treacherous foes, and directed by guides, he began his march th rough the dreary wilderness. Fording Mad River, near Dayton, he marched to the Great Miami, crossing about four miles below the Piqua towns. Flushed with recent victories, the Indians were ravaging the country. The unprotected settlers retired at night, expecting every moment to hear the blood- curdling, whoop of the savage, or awake to see their humble homes in flames; in whose lurid blaze the blood-thirsty demons of the woods stood ready to revel in scenes of butchery, carnage and torture.
Shortly prior to this, the Indians, in one of their incursions in Kentucky,
possibly at Boonsboro, had captured several prisoners, among whom was a
white woman named McFall, who had been dragged from her home, compelled
to follow her captors, and perform all the drudgeries incident to Indian
female life. It was approaching the time when a grand pow-wow was to be
held at the Piqua towns, in which all the Indians of the tribe were expected
to participate. They were therefore flocking in from all parts of the country,
and, among, others, were a party of warriors on horseback, coming from
their villages in the western part of the country. In company with them
were a number of squaws, and one white woman (the Mrs.McFall previously
mentioned). Just as they emerged from the forest, and came in full view
of the river, they perceived the army of Gen. Clarke, whose vanguard had
already landed. Struck with terror, they beat so hasty a retreat, that
they forgot their squaws, not deigning even to throw a parting tomahawk
at their white prisoner, or secure a lock of her hair. The squaws, as well
as the white woman, were taken with the army to the Piqua towns, but, it
seems that such was the terror produced by the name of Clarke, that the
Indians fled at his approach. When he reached the Piqua villages, he found
them deserted, the Indians not even taking time to pack up their household
furniture. Passing Lower Piqua, he continued up the river to Upper Piqua,
which he found also deserted. Halting his army here, he made preparations
to rest overnight; and at length, as the sun set in a flood of glory, and
his beams trembled into twilight, the noise of the camp grew less, the
lights were extinguished, the trees shot out their dark shadows into the
river, and silence settled down over the camp, and deep sleep fell upon
the weary soldiers. In the dead of the night, the Indians crept through
the hazel thickets, and fired upon the guards; this aroused the whole army,
skirmishing was kept up till morning; but, owing, to the darkness, very little injury was done; five Indians were found dead in the bushes next morning after their comrades had retreated.
The previous evening, Gen. Clarke had sent a detachment of men to destroy a French store (Loramie's) situated about ---- miles, from Piqua, from which the Indians were supplied with arms and ammunition. Having, caught a Frenchman, they tied him on a horse, covered him with their guns, and directed him to guide them to the store. Sometime during the night they arrived; but found neither Indians nor Frenchman. They however burned the store, helped themselves to its contents, and destroyed what they could not carrvy off; rejoining the army early in the morning, they assisted Gen. Clarke in burning and laying waste the villages and corn flields of the lndians in and around Piqua. The only fatal results from this expedition was the death of Capt. McCracken, and a man whose name is unknown.
During the skirmishing in the night, their horses strayed off into the woods, and, while hunting them, they were fired upon and mortally wounded. One died shortly after, and was buried at Coe's Ford, where the army crossed the Miami on its return march. Capt. McCracken lived till the army reached the present site, of Cincinnati, where he was buried. Through the aid of Gen. Clarke, the white woman, Mrs. McFall, was restored to her friends in Kentucky. Thus ended the second expedition of thle veteran Clarke, which resulted in destroying this pernicious nest of Indians, which had continually harassed, murdered and kept in mortal fear, the weak settlements of the Miami Valley. Killing a few of their warriors only increased their ferocity, and stung them to revenge, but when their Corn-fields were destroyed, and their villages burned, it sapped their vitals, crippled their power, and compelled them to hunt for a living. Among the worthies who aided in this enterprise, Miami County claims two esteemed citizens, Abraham Thomas and Capt. Barbee, the latter of whom the county afterward honored with the judicial ermine. In consideration of the great services rendered by Gen. G. R. Clarke in protecting the early inhabitants of the Ohio and Miami Valleys, and his many severe encounters with the Indians within the limits of this county, and of various other services rendered, of vital importance to the settlement of this county, we deem it not inappropriate to reproduce here an anecdotal reminiscence. At the treaty held on January 31, 1786, at the month of the Great Miami, between Gen. G. R. Clarke, Richard Butler and Samuel H. Parsons as Commissioners, and the Delawares, Wyandots and Shawanoes, the Indians, it appears, came with treacherous designs, and, had it not been for the perfect knowledge of Indian character possessed by Gen. Clarke, and the terror his name inspired among the savages, the council would have ended in murder. From a work of Judge Hall, we append the following, description of the scene. The Indians had entered in a blustering, and defiant manner. The Commissioners, without noticing the disorderly conduct of the other party, or appearing, to have discovered their meditated treachery, opened the council in due form. They lighted the peace pipe, and, after drawing a few whiffs, passed it to the chiefs, who received it. Gen. Clarke then rose to explain the purpose, for which thee treaty was ordered. With an unembarrassed air, with the tone of one accustomed to command, an easy assurance of perfect security and self-possession. He stated that the Commissioners had been sent to offer peace to the Shawanoes; that the President had no wish to continue the war he had no resentment to gratify; and if the red men desired peace, they could have it on reasonable terms. "If such be the will of the Shawanoes" he concluded, "let some of their wise men speak."
A chief arose, drew up his tall person to its full height, and, assuming, a haughty attitude, threw his eye contemptuously over the Commissioners and their small retinue, as if to measure their insignificance, in comparison with his own numerous train, and then, stalking to the table, threw upon it two belts of wampum of different colors-the war and the peace belt. "Wecome here," he exclaimed to offer you two pieces of wampum they are of different colors; you know that they mean; you can take which you like!" and, turning upon his heel, he resumed his seat.
The chiefs drew themselves up in the consciousness of having hurled defiance in the teeth of the white men. They offered an insult to the renowned leader of the "Long Knives," to which they knew it would be hard for him to submit, while they did not suppose he dare resent it. The council pipe was laid aside. Those fierce, wild men gazed intently at Clarke. The Americans saw that the crisis arrived. They could no longer doubt that the Indians understood the advantage they possessed, and were disposed to use it, and a common Sense of danger caused each eye to be turned on the leading Commissioner. He sat undisturbed, and apparently careless, until the chief who had thrown the belts upon the table had taken his seat; then with a small cane which he held in his hand, he reached it playfully, toward the war belt, entangled the end of the stick in it, drew it toward him, and then with a switch of the cane, threw the belt into the midst of the chiefs. The effect was electric. Every man in the council of each party, sprung to his feet, the savages with a loud exclamation of astonishment, "Ugh!" the Americans in expectation of a hopeless conflict against overwhelming, numbers. Every hand grasped a weapon. Clarke alone was unawed. The expression of his countenance changed to a ferocious sternness, and his eye flashed, but otherwise he was unmoved. A bitter smile was perceptible upon his compressed lips, as he gazed upon that savage band, whose hungry eyes were bent fiercely, and in horrid exultation upon him, as they stood like a pack of wolves at bay, thirsting for blood, and ready to rush upon him whenever one bolder than the rest should commence the attack. It was one of those moments of indecision, when the slightest weight thrown into either scale will make it preponderate a moment. in which a bold man, conversant with the secret springs of human action, may seize upon the miiids of all around him, and sway them at his will. Such a man was the intrepid Clarke. He spoke, and there was no man bold enough to gainsay him, none that could return the fierce glance of his eye. Raising his arm, and waving his hand toward the door, he exclaimed "Dogs! You may go." The Indians hesitated for a moment, and then rushed tumultuously out of the council-room. They lingered around in the bushes all night, debating file question of peace or war, and, finally, in the morning, they sued for peace. To this intrepid Indian fighter, perhaps, more than to any other individual, the Northwest Territory owed its immunity from Indian massacres during the infancy of its colonization.
The beautiful scenery, fertility of soil, and many other advantages
with which nature has unsparingly endowed this charming valley, early attracted
the eye of the speculator; and, in addition to these, the country had been
previously traversed by the soldiers in the early Indian campaigns, who,
observing the abundant crops of maize, related fabulous accounts of the
productiveness of the soil, and picturesque features of the Indian possessions.
All kinds of fish abounded in its streams, along whose banks many fur-bearing animals made their homes while the valley teemed with deer, and the gobble of the wild turkey, blending inharmoniously with the drum of the pheasant, and shrill whistle of the partridge, might be heard in the forest from morning till night. Here the hunter and trapper found a paradise here he built his cabin along the green banks of the Miami, set his traps, fished in her waters, and hunted in her forests; here he roasted his venison, broiled his fish, and baked his johnnycake, For all his fur and pelts he found a ready market at the English trading house on the Great Miami, and, after its destruction, in 1752, at Loramie's store, on the creek of the same name, which was the emporium of trade throughout the surrounding country, until its destruction also, in l782, by Gen. Clarke. From the records of history, it appears, that, in the settlement of almost all countries, the order seems to be: First, the soldier, second, the hunter and trapper, next the permanent settler. Inasmuch as this valley was the arena of many sanguinary encounters between the English and French, extending from 1749 to 1795, in all of which they were
joined by the various Indian tribes, the country was occupied by soldiers, numerous forts were built; among others we may mention Fort Piqua, which must have been built some time previous to 1794, from the fact that Capt. Vischer, who cannonaded it at that time, is mentioned as the last commandant. It had also been used as a depot for the army of Gen. Wayne, whose stores were taken up the Miami in boats; to Fort Piqua, unloaded, and their contents hauled in wagons, by way of Fort Loramie to St. Mary' s; and frequently the empty boats themselves were placed on wheels and conveyed along the same route, a distance of twenty-six miles, reloaded and launched for Fort Wayne, on Lake Erie. The collateral evidence afforded also by the passage of a boat up the Miami to within the vicinity of Fort Piqua, where it was fired upon by the Indians, proves that white men were passing to and fro through this country as early as 1794. In the sad affair above recorded, though the attack was made in full view of the fort, owing to the weakness of his garrison, and the overwhelming numbers of the Indians, Capt. Vischer, though a brave soldier, was compelled to remain within the protecting walls of his fortifications, knowing full well, that, if he ventured on a sortie, he could render his countrymen no aid, and would only expose his men to the merciless fire of the savages, as their principal object in making the attack seems to have been to draw him out. Though history is culpable, obscure on this point, from evidence afforded by fragments of muskets, bayonets, and other remains exposed during low water, it would seem that most if not all the party were destroyed. Knowing as we do, that from 1749 till 1794, the country was full of soldiers, and from the history of soldiers in new countries, it is quite reasonable to suppose that many stragglers deserted the army, took up their abode with the Indians in our county long prior to earliest known settlers, married Indian women, became identified with their red brethren and finally lost to history. To such an extent indeed did miscegenation prevail, that when the Shawanoese tribes emigrated to Kansas, it is said scarcely a full-blooded Indian could be found among them.
It is very important that we should arrive at the facts as nearly as possible in regard to the earliest settlement in this county. In order to do this, we shall be obliged to adduce all the evidence to be found, and base our conclusion upon the preponde rance. The issue seems to be made upon the location of the Tewightewee villages and the location of a trading house at those villages, called by the English, Pickawillany. In "Western Annals" we read that a trading-house was built by the English upon the Great Miami, page 51. On the next page we read, that in February, 1851, Grist visited the Twightwees who lived upon the Great Miami. The author adding "we have no doubt the place he visited was at the mouth of Loramie's Creek again on the following page we read, " A party of soldiers were sent to keep the Ohio clear; and this party early in 1752, having heard of the trading-house upon the Miami, and very likely of the visit to it by Grist, came to the Tewightewees and demanded the traders, as unauthorized intruders upon French lands." In Howe's Historical Collection," page 7, we read, " In 1749, it appears that the English built a trading-house upon the Great Miami, at a spot since called Loramie's store." On page 463, same, we read: "The mouth of Loramie's Creek in this county, sixteen miles northwest of Sidney* is a place of historic interest. It was the first point of English settlement in Ohio. As early as 1752, there was a trading-house at that place, called by the English Pickawillany." On page 363, same work, on the authority of Col. John Johnston, we also read, that in the year 1763, "a bloody battle was fought on the present farm of Col. Johnson, at Upper Piqua; at that time the Miamis had their towns here, which are marked on ancient maps, Tewightewee towns.** Dr. Asa Coleman, in his "Early Recollections," says: Howe places the trading establishment here described, in
*This is a mistake of Howe's. The mouth of Loramie's Creek is a mile within Miami County.
**The celebrated Little Turtle, chief of the Miamis, in his speech at the treaty of Greenville, says: Elder Brother, listen with attention. You told us you dircovered on the Great Miami traces of an old fort. Brother, it was a fort built by me, you perceived another at Loramie's. Tis true a Frenchman lived there for a year or two.-History Fort Wayne, page 27.
Shelby County, northwest of Sidney, evidently confounding it with Loramie's
store. and Fort Loramie, a point located sixteen miles distant from the
Miami River up Loramie's Creek, when the location of the Tewightewee towns
and the trading establishment here described was a mile or so south of
the Shelby Co. line, in Miami Co., below the mouth of Loramie's Creek in
Johnson's Praire." Grist says in his " Cincinnati Miscellanies,
"the name Pickawillany is probably some variation of Piqua or Pickaway.
In Washington's Journal, 1754, it is printed, Pikkawalinna."; West.
Ans., page 54. Summing up, we think that there is not only a preponderance
of testimony in favor of its being in Miami County, but that the trading-house
of 1749, is placed here beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore the first
settlement in Miami antedates the town of Marietta thirty-nine years. Notwithstanding
this was not permanent, yet history teaches that through all the vicissitudes
of more than a half-century of war and turmoil, it was never entirely obliterated.
It is worthy of observation, by way of evidence of the last proposition,
that Fort Piqua was located on or near the site of the Tewightewee towns
at which the famous battle of 1763 was fought. We are therefore warranted
in saying that this was a continual settlement and occupancy up to 1795
at least. Although the above may be taken cum grano salis, yet, by reference
to the authorities cited, we feel assured that our position is tenable,
But, history being a record of facts axiomatic in themselves, we leave
the field, even so slightly tinged with conjecture. Down to the year 1795,
there seems to have been a hiatus, during which we can record no permanent
The severe castigation given the Indiins, by Gen. Wayne, and the treaty of Greenville, secured to the valley of the Miami, immunity from Indian ferocity, from 1795 till 1812. Immediately after the above treaty, settlements were made on Judge Symmes' purchase, at the mouth of the Miami, and also a settlement was made by Gens. Dayton, St.Clair, Wilkinson and Col. Ludlow, between the Miamis, around the mouth of Mad River, and who, in November, laid out the town of Dayton.
Inducements were offered in the shape of donations of lots, with other privileges to actual settlers. "These lots ran as high as ten acres, some located in the town, and others, the Harmars and Gahagans, located three miles north of Dayton.
Gradually, pushing farther up the river, the first to reach the present limits of our county were Samuel Morrison, David H. Morris, and several others, who had purchased lands of J. C. Symmes, not far from the mouth of Honey Creek, and early in the spring of 1797, built their cabins, and made a permanent settlement, the first in the county. As a prairie near by, since called Freeman's, had been previously tilled by the lndians, they raised a crop of corn on it that year; in the mean time, selecting a spot opposite the month of Honey Creek, on the land of Morrison, they laid out a town which they called Livingston. In the autumn of the same year, Jonathan Rollins, Samuel Hilliard, Johm Gerard, Shadrick Hudson, Daniel Cox, Thomas Rich, and two others, were induced by Symmes, through promises of lands and lots, to go to the Piqua villages and lay out a town, of which he was to be the proprietor. Arriving at the locality described to them, they found it west of the river, and not belonging to Symmes, and, not being in the market, they abandoned it, and located elsewhere. Rollins and Hudson located nelr the mouth of Spring Creek, where, in the following spring, they became permanent settlers. *Early in the spriing, of 1798, according to Dr. Coleman, John Knoop, Benjamin Knoop, Henry Gerard, Benjamin Hamlet, John Tilden, and, according to Mr. Tullis, Daniel and Christopher Knoop, established a station, for the protection
*Benjamin Iddings, in the fall of 1796 came from Tennessee to the Weymer settlement in Montgomery County remained over winter, and in the spring of 1797 located, with his family of six children, on the east side of Stillwater in Newton Township.
of their families, near the site of the present village of Staunton, which went by the name of the "Dutch Station." These stations were formed by erecting a line of cabins, all joined together forming one side of a square, with the remaining three sides enclosed by palings eight feet high firmly driven in the ground. All the openings of the cabins inside the square, were secured by a strong, gateway. Here the settlers remained for two years, in the mean while raising their first crops of corn on Gerard's and Gahagan's Prairie, which had been previously tilled by the lndians. In the spring of 1799, the little station was joined by John Gerard, Uriah Blue, Joseph Coe, Abram Hathaway, Nathaniel Gerard, and Abner Gerard. Mr.Tullis says Blue, Coe and Hathaway came in 1800. Previous to and during this time, there had been serious apprehension of Indian troubles, and the settlements were formed in groups for mutual protection, but, as the Indians manifested no evil disposition, these fears gradually subsided, the settlers removed to their farrns, and after this the tide of emigration rolled in rapidly for some years as the beautiful and fertile valley had attracted the eyes of many, who, through fear of the Indians, were temporarily located on Mill Creek and the Little Miami, waiting for peaceable times, before venturing into the Upper Miami Valley, their destined homes.
B. Vancleve, in "American Pioneer," p 295, Vol. II says; "in the spring of 1796, a settlement was made at the mouth of Honey Creek, and one at the Old Piqua, on the Miami. Mr. Tullis says that previous to the settlement at Staunton, several Frenchmen were there, viz.: Peter Felix, Simon Laudry and one Deprey; but, according to Dr. Coleman, they came in 1800. From the collateral evidence of previous French settlements, not far from here, we decide in favor of the former. It is stated that Peter Felix was an Indian trader, and carried a large stock of goods, which he exchanged for furs, etc.
We pause here to introduce a feature peculiar to this valley. Though a digression, yet, as it was an important element in the early settlement of the county, we deem it worthy of notice. The entire county at that time was covered witli an almost unbroken forest, with tile exception of a few small tracts of prairie land, which, having been previously cultivated by the Indians, were of inestimable value to the first settlers, and, inasmuch as they were used in common, each one farming a little patch of corn, to keep himself and faiuily, until he could clear up his entered land, with this cursory reference, we postpone a fuller description to a future date.
HINDERANCES TO EARLY SETTLEMENT
Up to 1799, Congress lands could not be sold in quantities less than 4,000 acres but, through the efforts of Gen. Harrison, a law was passed, authorizing tile sale of half the public lands in sections, and the other half in sections or halfsections. In 1800, land offices were established for the sale of Congress lands, in sections and half-sections, on the folloiving terms, viz.: Two dollars per acre, applicant to deposit $6 for surveying a section, or $3 for half-section, and $5 for a patent for a section, or $4 for a half-section also, he was obliged to deposit one-twentieth of the price, all of which to be forfeited, if within forty days, onefourth of the purchase was not paid, another fourth within two years, another fourth within three years, and the residue within four years, with 6 per cent interest on the deferred payments from day of sale; the whole to be forfeited, if payment be not completed within five years. Subsequent acts, however, gave great relief to purchasers, by extending the time of payments; and in 1804, the fees for surveying and issuing patents, were abolished. and an act was also passed providing for the sale of lands in quarter-sections. In 1820, lands could be sold in forty-acre lots, and the price was reduced to $1.25 per acre-cash.
At the beginning of the year 1800, the population of this county did not far exceed fifty persons. In 1801, the number of voters between the two Miamis., from the south line of the township, to the sources of Mad River, and the Great Miami, was three hundred and eighty-two; west of the Great Miami, twenty-eight; east of the Little Miami, less than twenty.
Owing, to the remoteness of this territory from the Ohio, the absence, and almost total deprivation of all the conveniences of life, the difficulty of procuring land. the dense forests to be cleared away before a crop could be raised, the scarcity of money, fear of Indian depredations and various other causes, the immgration, up to 1800 was very slow. For the purpose of instittiting, a comparison between eighty years ago and now, we append a vivid description by Dr. Coleman. He says: "The county situated remote from navigable waters, and heavily timbered, was settled almost exclusively by agriculturists, and required years of hard toil to bring a necessary portion under cultivation but fertility of soil, the local advantages of millstream, timber, stones, and clay for brick, were inducements for farmers to locate in it, without any anticipation of the improvements in store for their grandchildren, such as camals, railroads and turnpikes and their attendant advantages.
The pioneer settlers were from all the old States in the Union. Those from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia were perhaps predominant, but the CaroIinas and Georgia were well represented in the southwest part of the county by the Friends and the antislavery emigrants from the South, and there was quite a sprinkling of New EngIanders and Yorkers, with several families from Delaware. They were generally a hard-working, self-reliant set of people, yet acknowledged the necessity of mutual aid and assistance in the erection of log cabins, and at log rollings which were no small burthen to many of the early settlers.
New-comers generally entered their land and built a cabin before removing, their families. They would cut the logs of the desired length and number, have puncheons or split plank for floors, and four-feet split clapboards for roof, and appoint a day. Invite the necessary hands (who were generally prompt to attend), and the cabin would be erected and inclosed, the floor laid, and perhaps a chimney of wood to be plastered with clay, and made habitable, all in one day. They then made a comfortable tenement without sawed lumber (except for doors), without nails or other iron, glass or brick ; the door and window shutter being, hung with wooden hinges, and latch. with string to pull in at night.
These cabins were generally from eighteen to twenty feet square. Sometimes, if the immigrant had the means to spare, he would have a cabin built by contract on his land, to be ready for his family when he returned with them in the autumn. He usually paid about $40 for building, the cabin, and felling the timber within reach of the same. He would then spend the winter in clearing, a few acres, and making, rails to fence it in the Spring.
The usual mode of clearing was to cut all timber a foot in diameter, and deaden the remainder, to stand till it fell, and then burn it, which made work of the final clearing of the ground run into eight or ten years, but, as the timber would be dry, it was readily burned after being, "niggered" as they termed it, that is burned in two, in lengths of ten or twelve feet. Sometimes, where the family was large, they would build double cabins, that is, two cabins, ten or twelve feet apart, a roof covering, the whole, the space between serving as a hall, and one cabin was used for cooking and eating in, the other as a sleeping apartment, and the hall for various uses, according, to the weather.
A few, possessing more means, would have the logs hewed on two sides, and the roof covered with lap shingles, and one or two small glass windows.
The matter of mills was of no small consideration to the early settlers of the county, and an individual who had the enterprise to secure a mill seat, and set about the erection of a mill for grinding, and sawing, was looked up to as a person of importance; but often, for the want of means, he would require the gratuitous assistance of his neighbors, which was freely rendered, in the erection of a mill-dam, and other works pertaining to the establishment. These early-erected mills were quite primitive in their structure and material. The millstones were generally manufactured in the county, often in the immediate vicinity of the site where they were to be used,
of single stones, worked out of the large bowlders which were to be found on the surface of various parts of the county. Very little iron, except the spindles, gudgeons and a few bands, was used, wood being exclusively used for all other purposes, iron being expensive and difficult to obtain. These mills, from these circumstances, were very simple structures, calculated for grinding, corn principally. The first grinding of wheat for flour was very imperfectly done. In some, at first the bolt was turned by hand, a somewhat laborious operation, but, wheat bread being a rarity, the labor was willingly performed. As for lumber, there was usually a saw-mill connected with the "corn-cracker." But, from the simplicity of the dwellings, there was little demand for lumber, and it was obtainable at comparatively low prices; log stables and barns were exclusively in use. At the time of the organization of the county (1807), there were six or seven of these milling establishments in operation. They were Mordecai Mendenhall's, on Honey Creek, Henry Gerard's, on Spring Creek, John Freeman's and John Mannings, on the Miami River, Moses Coate's, on Ludlow Creek, Mast's, Weddel's and Empire,'s on Stillwater.
The life of the early settlers was generally a laborious and hard one, being remote from any source of supply of some of the essentials of life in new settlements, articularly salt and iron, which were exorbitantly high, and, money being very scarce, most of the trade being by barter, salt at $2 per bushels and poor at that, iron 15 to 20 cents per pound, and no cash market for any produce, with the exception of supplying new-comers.
In the autumn months, the settlers were much afflicted with intermittent and bilious fevers and rheumatic affections, which often disabled them for months, and made the struggle for life a hard one. But in general they were healthy and hardy, mutually assisting each other in house-raising, log-rollings and cornhuskings. Most neighborhoods had their
LITTLE COPPER DISTILLERY
which furnished the stimulating fluid deemed essential on all these occasions, and without which no one could have obtained the required aid, and the general use of which was common, but the excessive use was not more common, and the fatal effects far less, than at the present day. There were occasional moves made at total abstinence. One of the leaders in this matter, who was, by the by, one of the judges of the court, it is reported, at a house-raising, at the refreshment, upon the tin cup of whisky being passed around, was urged to take a drink, but he refused saying he was pledged to abstain from drinking whisky. After a little reflection he took a slice of light bread, and soaked it in the tin cup of whisky and ate it, and not long after was as jolly as the jolliest of the party. This affair brought a great scandal upon the teetotalers.
The pioneer settlers were clothed almost entirely in domestic family manufactures of flax and wool, cotton being compatatively scarce. Immigrants from the South generally came clothed in home-made cotton apparel of various hues and stripes. The family made goods of this period were much more durable that those of the presant day; a lady's linsey dress often being worn the second winter, with lighter cotton or linen worn in summer. The better class wore calico for Sunday dresses. This family anufacure gave constant employment to the females of the family, and led to habits of industry and economy not sufficiently appreciated at the presant day. Linsey of light Indigo blue was common men's wear for winter, with linen under clothes and wollen flannel to a small extent. The loom was considered an essential appendage to every family of any size. Occasionally you would see a hunter dresed in a full buckskin suit with mpccasins. The uniform of the two independant rifle companies of the county consisted of light-blue linsey hunting shirt, with cape, the whole fringed and coming half-way down the thigh,
with leather belt, shot pouch and powder horn, with large knife and tomahawk or hatchet in the belt, and rifle on the shoulder. This uniform was much worn in the war of 1812. I have seen Gov. Meigs, Jeremiah Morrow, and other officials wear this hunting shirt while on the frontier during that war.
FOOD AND COOKING
Cooking stoves and their paraphernalia were unknown in the days of the pioneers. The cooking was done before the large cabin fire, in few plain cast-iron vessels. Often one skillet would be used to cook more than one article for the same meal. The Dutch-oven was the most important article used in cooking, for the baking of corn pone or light bread, as corn bread was mostly used by the early settlers. A favorite mode of making corn-cake, sometimes called "hoe-cake," was to spread the corn dough on a clapboard, three feet long, by six or eight inches wide; the four an inch thick, and bake it before the fire. This was sweeter and better than dodger-cake baked in an iron vessel. I have often seen this distributed to a family of urchins in sections of six inches, and with this in one hand and with a tin cup of milk in the other, they devoured it with great glee, and making a very satisfactory meal. The writer of the history of Miami County would remark, in parenthesis, that he would like to have a section also.
Green corn and wild fruits constituted important articles of food with many of the settlers. A cow for milk was very important, as milk was largely used by all classes, and coffee and tea but very little-and then frequently of domestic material. As to towns and merchants, there were few. The county being an interior one, with no external trade, except that of procuring salt and iron from Cincinnati, the farmer, to save the percentage, would raise what money he could, or perhaps two or three would joi n together, fit out a wagon (for many of the farmers were unable to keep a wagon), take their provisions and feed for the trip, go to Cincinnati, purchase the required supplies and return in eight or ten days without spending a quarter of a dollar. Settlers would exchange or sell commodities among themselves, consequently there was no central point of trade of any particular note in the ciunty.
Prior to 1815, there were only two stores each in Troy and Washington (now Piqua) and one in Milton, of small capital each, supplying a few foreign articles, salt and iron, and a barter trade in domestic manufactures; ginseng, beeswax and feathers being most in demand for shipment. There was no marketing of any kind to send out of the county. The towns having few inhabitants, afforded no markets worth mentioning. The barterprice of wheat was 50 cents, corn 25 cents and oats 20 cents; but for cash one-third or more less would be taken. The demand for money to meet the payments on Government land was the great desideratum, and often great sacrifices would have to be made to meet them, such as selling wagons and horses at a low rate, or sometimes selling their improvements for less than it cost them, and entering, a new tract. Such was the condition of things in the days of 1800. The flat- boat and keel-boat propelled by a pole, have given place to the three-decked floating, palace propelled by steam. Blazed paths, mail roads and ox teams have been replaced by pikes, canals and railroads. The old dandy wagon disappears before the elliptic- springed phaeton. Instead of the long, snouted rooter, we have the Berkshire, blooded cattle, and Sh anghai rooster. The lug pole, crane and trammel no longer hang in the capacious fireplace; and in their stead we have the "Early Breakfast" and base burner. The Dutch oven, skillet and pot hooks have retired also. Pennyroyal and sage tea, ginseng, and slippery-elm poultices, have all disappeared before sugar-coated pills, and the surgeon's knife. The old flint-lock has been exchanged for the central fire, breech- loading, sixteen-shooter, We cannot review these transformations without a feeling of ve neration for those brave spirits, through whose efforts they were effected, who changed a wilderness swarming with wild animals and savages, to wavng fields and flourishing, cities from the howl of the wolf and the war-whoop of the Indian, to the whistle of the locomotive and the chime of the church bell.
We have now endeavored to give the settlers of this county, from the earliest up to the year 1800. We have also undertaken to give a brief review of the customs, privations, etc, of those days, and touch upon the changes that have taken place from that time till the present. We shall now begin with the year 1800, and perhaps we may discover some stragglers that belonged to an earlier age, and if so, we shall place them where they belong. Yes, we are not out of sight of the old year's camp, until we see, John Hilliard and his wife, and Father Michael Williams, with a family of nine children, coming, the former three years, the latter one year behind us. John Hilliard was temporarily located at Mill Creek, and, as soon as he thought he could venture out without losing his scalp, came into Miami and entered Section 30, in Spring Creek Township, cleared a little spot, built a pole hut, and on the 4th day of April, 1797, moved in with his family. Being an aged man, the hardships of pioneer life proved too great for his shattered constitution, and he soon gave up the ghost, and was laid away in a lonely spot in the woods, the first death and burial in that part of the country. Michael Williams, with his sons, George, John, Henry, Micbael, Jr., and two daughters, Fanny and Elizabeth, came from Virginia about 1797. He and his family stopped at a collection of huts on Mad River, called Dayton. Having remained about a year here, they pushed further on to Honey Creek, and hearing from Gen. Harrison of a beautiful prairie on water, he and all his family removed within the prosent limits of Newton Township in 1800. We may place in this list, also, the names of Robert and John H. Crawford, who came from Pennsylvania and settled in Bethel Township. Philip and Jacob Sailor, Jr., bought farms on Indian Creek and spent their lives clearing and improving them.*
*It would seem also that Job Gard, who is said to have been one of Wayne's army, after the treaty of Greenville, returned and in 1798 built a rude cabin, and lived in it without floor or window for one year, when he sold out to John Manning, who, five years subsequently, erected a gristmill near the site of Piqua.
Although we have not noticed many young women around in the year 1800, yet there must have been some, for we see by the record that in this year Mary Sailor married Joseph Stafford, and Rachel Sailor married David Morris. In these days of natural simplicity and hard work, when the hands find plenty to do, and the mind is pure and innocent the ceremonies attendant upon marriages were very unostentatious. No broadcloth, scissor-tailed coat, no stovepipe beaver, no Alexandre seamless, no buttonhole bouquet, or patent-leather boots adorned the scene; the flash of the diamond nor the gauzy pointlace, neither silks nor satins adorned the bride but the honest pioneer made hunting shirt, buckskin breeches, moccasins on his feet, with dried leaves for socks, stood by the side of the innocent girl, in her linsey-woolsey frock, guiltless of magnolia balm, "Bloom of Youth," except that which nature gave her, for she is nature's child, pure and artless.
Having now given, as far as possible, all the names of those advance-guards and forerunners of civilization, who braved the perils and hardships incident to opening a home in the wilderness, up to the year 1800, we shall now take pleasure in giving a brief sketch of those of whom we have been able to glean any reminiscences. David H. Morris and Samuel Morrison contracted with Symmes for lands near the mouth of Honey Creek, raised corn on Freernan's Prairie, as has been stated previously, were supposed to have been the first settlers of this county. They were both honorable men, and well respected by the later settlers, who shared their hospitality. The former came from New Jersey and served during the war of 1812, under Gen. Wayne. Samuel Morrison was a native of Pennsylvania. Robert Crawford came from Pennsylvania, was appointed by the Commissioners to superintend the town of Troy, and also in the sale of town lots, but after serving a year, he resigned. John H. Crawford, also from Pennsylvania, was one of the firat Associate Judges of the county, and served two terms.
SCALPING OF MRS. MARTIN
Levi Martin and family were among the earliest settlers of Staunton. Mrs. Martin was an unfortunate victim of Indian cruelty, the details of which are worthy of a place in this connection.
"In 1788, or near that time," says Stephen Dye, who was an eyewitness to the bloody affair, "the family of John Corbly, a very pious man, lived at Gerrard Station, on the Monongahela, not far from Redstone Fort, a mile and a half from a meetinghouse. He was, with his fimily, a regular attendant on Divine worship. One pleasant morning in the spring, a party of youth had started from the settlement (among whom was the narrator) to attend meeting. They had just crossed a creek branch, when they heard the report of rifles in the direction of the fort. It was an unusual sound on that day, but they supposed some strangers had come into the neighborhood, and were out hunting. The party, however, had not proceeded half a mile, when they saw several bodies lying in tile path, on approaching them, they proved to be the mutilated remains of the Corbly family. The old gentleman had forgotten his hymn book, and left his family walking on, to go back after it. Duiring his absence, the Indians, concealed in the woods, shot at them, killed outright Mrs. Corbly and three children. Two younger daughters wore left for dead. They had been knocked down, and, with the rest of the party, scalped, but were resuscitated; one of these,.Delila Corbly, late Mrs. Martin, who died in 1836, lived, for many years, an esteemed and favorite member of this neighborhood." Mrs. Martin lived to rear a family of eight sons and two daughters, notwithstanding the severity of her wounds, which, her family physician says, extended over the crown of her head, as wide as the two hands. The hair grew thriftily around the edge of the scalped surface, which, by careful training, grew upward, and served as a protection to the exposed parts. At times, it caused her pain, and she frequently complained of headache, which she attributed to the loss of her scalp; but, so far as known, no serious results ever followed, for she lived to quite an old age, and performed a great amount of hard labor.
Peter Felix, a Canadian Frenchman, was supposed to have been in the neighborhood of Staunton previous to the first settlement there. He was rather a noted Indian trader, and in addition to this, kept a kind of tavern. He was shrewd, and drove many a hard bargain with the Indians. His stock of needles once getting scarce, it is reported that he demanded of the Indians a coonskin for a needle, using as an excuse, that the needle maker had died, and he could get no more. It is presumed he made money at his calling, for at the organization of the county, the first courts were held in his house.
Andrew Dye, Sr., was one of the oldest settlers of this county, and, with his sons, ranks among the most prominent of the same.
Had all been as Mr.Dye, the growth of this county would have increased in spite of Indian massacres, famine, pestilence and every other known calamity incident to humanity, for he had eight sons and two daughters. He died in 1837, at the age of eighty- seven at which time his posterity amounted to about five hundred, three hundred and sixty, of whom were living. What a sight for an old bachelor to contemplate, gazing upon three hundred and sixty children ranging down to the fifth Generation, with one hundred and forty buried. John Gerard was one of the settlers who came to Staunton in 1799. Was one of the first Associate Judges of the county. He was a man of strict integrity, energy and a valuable citizen; and a prime mover in every enterprise looking toward the development of the infant county.
Nathaniel Gerard, also a settler of 1799, in Staunton, bought land two miles from Troy, on which was located the celebrated tea spring, a description of which is given by D. H. Morris, in "Harmar's Expedition," now owned by the Coleman family. Mr. Gerard established the first tannery in the county, which was of inestimable
value to the early settlers, for they either had to pay an enormous price for leather, wear buckskin moccasins, or go barefooted.
Henry Gerard, son of Nathaniel, was also one of the ninety-niners and was one of the most useful men in the county. While his father was the first to prepare the hides of the animals for their feet he was the first to erect machinery for preparing the grain for their stomachs, and lumber for their houses and furniture. Previous to this, he had been employed by John Cleves Symmes as his agent in superimtending matters in connection with the northern part of his purchase, for which he was to be compensated in land; but as he was often heard to say that he never received anything, it is supposed Symmes failed with him, as well as with the Goiernment.
Our facilities for ascertaining the names and number of those who came into this county, from 1800 to 1805, seem to be very meager.
We learn of an Irishman, by the name of George Kerr, who settled on Section 8, in Monroe Township, about the year 1800. He cleared out a little farm, and became an industrious and permanent settler of this county. At this time, also, a few families came from South Carolina, and settled in the vicinity of Kerr, cleared lands, and raised large families; many of whom are now living on the farms of their fathers. Among, those worthies we may mention Joseph Layton, Jesse, Amos, and David Jenkins; the last of whom was elected Justice of the Peace in 1818, the duties of which office he honorably dischareged until his death in 1858. About this time, also, came a family of Pearsons. Samuel, was a man who could indulge his ingenuity in almost any direction, could with equal facility mend a plow, or pull a tooth, make a singletree, or cut off a finger, fix a clock, or administer worm medicines to a squalling baby; in fact make himself useful at almost anything, and therefore was indispensable to the immigrants. Enoch Pearson was one of the flrst preachers in the county, and held many meetings in the woods, where he preached the honest doctrine of the Friends, to which denomination he belonged.
As he was one of the earliest to proclaim the Word of God, so was he one of the first taken to the fold above. His remains lie buried in the family graveyard.
Thomas Furnace came to this county from South Carolina in the year 1800 and located on the farm now owned by Newel Kerr, in Monroe Township. Mr. Furnace was a prominent man in the county and wore some of her highest honors, having been elected Sheriff, and afterward represented Miami in the State Legislature. The now flourishing county owes an everlasting debt of gratitude to those brave men who supported her in her infancy, and gave her the strength of their own heroic manhood. Not only does she owe a debt of gratitude to these men, but equally as much to the true-hearted and noble-minded women; who aided their brothers, their husbands, their fathers, with their own hands; and, by their presence and purity, rendered the house in the wilderness a place of happiness, to which their husbands, brothers and fathers, wearied by the hard day's toil, could retrace their steps, feeling each grow lighter, as they approached the abode where woman's presence made all things cheerful, and woman's sweet smile of welcome chased away all the toils of the day.
Such men were the Coppocks, Pearsons, Furnaces, Mendenhalls, Coateses, Leagues, Yountzes, Jenkinses and hosts of others, who gave color to the county, and whose descendants do honor to their ancestors. It will be impossible for us to give the names of all the immigrants to this county after 1800, because from rapidity of immigration and the increase within themselves, we cannot keep pace with them; we will give, therefore, a few of the most prominent.
It appears that the District of Newberry, in South Carolina, furnished numerous emigrants for this county during the years 1801 to 1805. Georgia and Tennessee also furnished many, most of whom belonged to the denomination of Friends, and left their native country on account of their extreme aversion to the institution
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of slavery, and a remarkable prophecy delivered by one of their Venerated religious leaders. In the year 1801, Henry Fouts came to this county and settled while yet a young man, in Section 33, Union Township, and during the same year Leonard Eller settled in Section 35, both from the State of North Carolina. These, with their families, seemed tq be the first settlers of that locality. Coming at the same time, it appears a little remarkable that one should settle on the west and the other on the east side of the river. It attests, however, the fearless spirit that reigned in those men, who did not even seek mutual protection from the dangers that so closely environed them. It appears that Fouts manifested the better judgment in his selection, for, in addition to its richer soil and superior location, a fine, ever-living spring ran through his lands, of sufficient size and fall to propel all kinds of machinery, and with these accessories his lands were greatly superior to Eller's.
Henry Fouts was a very quiet, unassuming man, splendid physical development, industrious habits, energetic and persevering, and every way adapted to the hardships and labor attending the clearing out and building up a home in the forest. Generous and liberal in his nature, he supported the feeble efforts of his neighbors, to provide the means of educating their children. Of five daughters and one son, whom, during his lifetime, he sent to school at the old West Branch Schoolhouse, but two, viz., Mary Wheelock and Rebecca Vore, are now living, both residing on the land given them by their father. Though not strictly a member of any church, Mr. Fouts was a Quaker in faith, and attended their church.
It may be said, in truth, of Henry Fouts, that the sound of his ax was the first to break the silence of the forest west of the Stillwater. By him was built the first house, by him was cleared the first land, the first seeds sown west of the river. Though he came there young, he did not live to see a turnpike passing through his lands, much less a railroad. He died in the prime of manhood in 1822, leaving behind him an unencumbered patrimony, a portion of which, if not all, is still held by his descendants. His remains lie, in West Branch Burying-ground. Leonard Eller came at about the same time, and from the same State as Mr.Fouts. He was a much older man, and possessed more means, the greater portion of which he invested in lands. His five sons settled near him, and, being robust and industrious, they soon made a visible mark in the forest. In the year 1802, John Waggoner, from North Carolina, after having wintered in Waynesville, in what subsequently became Warren County, came to this county, and located in Section 33, in Union Township, about February or March. Owing to the inclemency of departing winter, his.sufferings were more than ordinary, yet it was necessary to begin his clearing early, so as to put in his spring crop. Waggoner was about twenty-seven years old when he came here, and had a wife and two step-sons, Martin and Noah Davenport, both too young to render him any aid. Of his own in after life he had five children, all of whom raised large families. Jacob, the only son of John Waggoner, was remarkable for his superior ingenuity and judgment, being one of the best mechanics of his day, and so much the superior of his father that the old gentleman yielded him precedence on every occasion.
In the summer of 1802, the little settlement received valuable accessions
in the persons of John Hoover, Caleb Mendenhall and Joseph Mendenhall,
also from North Carolina. These with their families, clustered around the
little nucleus already formed, adding to its strength and social comfort,
as well, as facilitating labor. Section 33 had been purchased by a speculator,
and thus was sold in small quantities to settlers who did not have the
means to buy in the large quantities offered by the Government. Of the
four last-named families who came in 1802, John Hoover's was the oldest,
and, being possessed with some means, he gave land to all of his sons,
of whom there were seven, and three daughters. Though his sons were all
practical farmers, they followed other occupations. Henry, the oldest,
was a surveyor, and also a magistrate for many years. Abraham ran a saw-mill,
and Joseph, the youngest, was a school teacher. They were all born members
of the society of Friends, and intelligent thinking men. Of his ten
children, not one is now living but whose posterity extends to the fourth
The old gentleman was very economical, and his wife, Sarah, being a woman of great piety, industrious, and an excellent manager, through the combined efforts of each, they succeeded in treasuring up a very handsome competency for their children. He having died nearly forty years ago, his lands are now mostly in the hands of strangers, who plow and reap, little caring for the privations and toil required to wrest the now beautiful flelds from the dense forests of 1802.
settled with his family just north of Waggoner a few months later in the same year. The first night of his arrival was passed in preparing for the comfort of his little family of six children. On the morrow, he awoke and found himself the happy father of a seventh. This little forest maid was named Tamar, the significance of which, palm-tree, was in harmony with the surroundings during her advent into the world. She is now living in Montgomery County, the mother of eight children. Caleb was industrious, economical and, withal, a man of taste and refinement, and to him the credit is due of building the second brick house in Union Township, and among the first in the county. Though possessed of but a limited education, he took a deep interest in, and encouraged, all literary and educational interests. By his wife, Susannah, he had eleven children, all of whom lived to be married, but now only two are living. A rather remarkable feature of this family was, that all the eleven children were born within a period of nineteen years, and the oldest was married shortly before the birth of the youngest, while the remaining ten lived with their parents tiII 1819. Living adjoining the old West Branch Friends' Church, his house was a favorite resort during their quarterly meetings. When the division in the Church, caused by Elias Hicks, took place in 1828, Caleb took up with the Hicksites, but his wife remained. This severed his connection with the church at West Branch. Subsequently he sold his farm and removed to lndiana, where, about 1850, he died. In the early settlement a project was set on foot to obtain a public library. Caleb was one of five who readily responded, the others being Frederick Yount, Elisha Jones, David Mote, and John Abbott. The price per share agreed upon was three dollars, which, aggregating only fifteen dollars, was considered too little, and solicitors were sent to the nearest neighbors to increase the stock. On man went to Joseph Mendenhall, but failed to get his support, informing Caleb that he believed he would have subscribed had he not been such a mummy. Upon this, Caleb asked him if he knew what a mummy was; this was a poser, and Caleb chuckled over his superior scientific attainments. He had, perhaps, the largest orchard in the whole county; the trees in course of time interlocking each other, and protecting each other from frosts he would have an abundant yield when others failed, often amounting to three or four thousand bushels.
Only two of his grand-children are living in this county, the oldest and youngest, the one sixty-five, the other five, a disparity in cousins most remarkable,
Joseph Mendenhall, who married Caleb's wife's sister, settled immediately
north of him, in Section 28, but also owned land in Section 32. That portion
on which he resided, had two excellent springs, but the greater part is
so boggy that it has been used for nothing but pasture for seventy-five
years. Though these brothers came from North Carolina here, they were born
in Georgia. About the close of the American Revolution, the Creek Indians
made an inroad into their country, killed their mother, and took Joseph
prisoner; being a robust boy, they saved his life, and made a young warrior
out of him. Adopted into a family, he became one of their nation, until
the treaty of peace, when he was restored to his father. In this county
he built one of the first tan-yards, which he managed successfully for
many years. Nine children called him father, whom he educated, and lived
to see fathers and mothers. After amassing quite a fortune, he died on
his old Ohio farm at a good old age, in 1850, leaving a widow, who survived
him many years.
Thus were two families of twenty children, whose fathers were brothers, whose mothers were sisters, reared in sight of each other, going, to the same school, attending the same church, growing up in the same atmosphere, governed by the same surroundings, but going out into life in widely diverging paths, and lying down in th eir final sleep in lands far remote from each other. Thus do circumstances and peculiarities of individual character mold and direct our pathway through life.
In the year 1803, the number of immigrants augmented the settlements already formed, the forests gave way more rapidly to cultivated fields, and comfort and prosperity smiled on the adventurous spirits who courted their favors. Among the settlers in this county during 1803, we may mention Stephen Dye, son of Andrew Dye, who settled on the farm now known as the Bates farm. Mr. Dye was a prominent citizen of this county; was her first Sheriff, serving, eight years. In 1793, he enlisted under Gen. Scott, of Kentucky, and served in the expedition to Zanestown, on Mad River, against the hostile Inaians in that vicinity.
Andrew Dye, father of Stephen, was also one of Miami's most prominent men. As has been before mentioned, his posterity was almost a fulfillment of the promise of God to Abraham. At or near this time Samuel Freeman purchased the prairie since known as Freeinan's Prairie. Reuben Shackelford, William Barbee, Robert Mackey, and a Dutch family on the Statler farm, with a few squatters around Piqua, came to the county about this time, or possibly a little later. Little settlements were springing up, dotting the county all over with life. Along the water courses the chief attraction resided, and consequently, these localities were more thickly settled than other places. Stillwater possessed peculiar attractions from the beautiful scenery, and great water facilities, arising in great part from the numerous magnificent springs, rising in the country beyond, uniting their waters, and pouring in a pure and pellcid channel over rocky precipices into the river, supplying at once the thirst of man and beast, and turning all kinds of machinery for the gratification of his appetite, and amelioration of his privations. During this year, John Mast and his son-in-law, Frederick Yount, came from North Carolina to this county for the purpose of erecting a mill. Yount was sent over the county to select, or purchase a suitable location, who, after traveling up and down Stillwater for some time, finally made a selection but, while examining more closely the cardinal points of his location, he was startled by observing the letters " R. F." deeply cut on a tree. This to him was the "Mene, mene tekel," divining that R. F. had also chosen this land, and his only alternative was now for Ahimaaz to outstrip Cushi. Immediately starting on horseback for Cincinnati, and by unceasing travel day and night, he reached the land office, made his purchase, and on coming out met his rival on the steps. While traveling through the woods at night near Franklin, his hat was brushed off by a limb, and, not finding it readily, he rushed on, and in the morning, while passing a wayside tavern, beheld two plain-looking men just coming to attend to their horses; believing in his fear that one of them was R. F., with incentives more than Tam O'Shanter's Cutty Sark, he put his horse to his mettle, and never stopped till he reached Cincinnati. The letters R. F. were the initials of Robert Furnas, a squatter from South Carolina, whose extreme precaution caused the loss of his selection.
After having secured the land, which was purchased in his name, John
Mast proceeded immediately to elect a mill, being one of the first in the
county. The four daughters of Jolin Mast married respectively, Frederick
Yount, Jesse Friend, Jacob Curtis and David M. Jones. Mr.Mast's wife dying
in 1813, he never married again, but resided near his mill with some orphaned
grandchildren, until his death in 1832, at the advanced age of seventy-nine.
He was low in stature, and somewhat taciturn.
William Barbee came from Kentucky and settled in Concord Township in 1804. He was one of the most noted men in this county; genial, whole-souled, and hospitable, he endeared himself to all whose fortune it was to be associated with him. He was the idol and sunshine of his own household. While he was
kind, he was at the same time firm in character, and inflexible in purpose. He was an inveterate talker, and relished a joke, and was never happier than when surrounded by congenial spirits. Sometimes he would so far forget himself as to cause serious concern of his friends for his safety - for when
"The Souter tould his queerest stories;
The landlord's laugh was ready chorus;
The storm without might rain and rustle,
BARBEE did nat mind the storm a whistle."
I shall give an anecdote in the words of Mr.Tullis, throwing in a little of Tam O'Shanter by way of illustration:"
If the Judge had any foible in his character, it was possibly, he was a little too much inclined to good company. He hardly knew how to tear himself away when surrounded by kindred spirits. As an illustration of that fact, he came into the house about the middle of the forenoon one day, and told Mrs. Barbee she need not hurry up dinner, as he had to ride over to Lexington, and would not be back for early dinner. Dinner was kept till a late hour, but Mr. Barbee did not come; he was not there at supper breakfast over, and the second dinner on the table, but the husband and father mysteriously absent. Late in the afternoon Mrs. Barbee could stand it no longer; she knew that he had been thrown by the young horse, and killed. She little knew that he had met "his ancient, trusty, drouthy crony -- whom Tam lo'ed like a vera brither." She started on the road toward Lexington, expecting to meet messengers hearing his corpse, when lo! she met her darling husband so full of laughter that he shook in his boots. Mrs. Barbee was in a different mood. There she stood.
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.
She turned a wrathful battery upon him with a will. "You thought I was killed, did you," said he. "Yes, I knew the colt had thrown you, and broke your neck," said she. "And you are very mad because he did not do it," retorted Mr. Barbee. The occasion of delay was, when Mr Barbee got to town he met Mr. Breckenbridge, and fell into a discussion on the slavery question. Mr. Breckenbridge was proslavery, and Mr. Barbee was an ultra Abolitionist. The discussion grew so warm that they did not note the flight of time."
Mr. Barbee was a philosopher; not a book philosopher, but a mental philosopher. If there were any works on natural philosophy published at that early day, they had not reached the farwest. He could prove without the use of books to the astonishment of us boys, that if a mosquito were to light on the mantle-piece, it would bend it. It was hard to make us understand when we would burn ourselves, that there is no heat in fire. His conversation was always edifying. It was no trouble for him to prove that persons always did what they supposed would most promote their happiness. When there was no preacher present, he often "talked in meeting." He often amplified at great length the proposition that one always acts according to one's faith. Another subject that he delighted to elaborate was, that every one had just as much religion as he desired to have. In discussing these subjects, the young, people sometimes thought his exhortations prolix.
On the 16th day of August, 1812, Gen. Hull surrendered the American army in Detroit, to Gen. Proctor and his Indian allies, thus exposing the whole northwestern frontier to the ravages of Indian warfare; for Great Britain, unmindful if the scorn she had incurred by employing these ruthless dogs of war, during the Revolution, did not hesitate again to let them loose upon our now defenseless frontiers.
Troops were immediately raised for the protection of the exposed territory, and the command given to Gen. Harrison, who arrived at Cincinnati on the 28th of August, and took up his line of march for Ft. Recovery, the prospective field of operations. We have the, record, that, "on the 3d of September, the army arrived at Piqua, a small village on the west bank of the Miami."
page 229 (no
The investment of Ft. Wayne, by the Indians, had caused serious apprehensions for the safety of the whole surrounding country. A company of old men was formed in this county, for the protection of the settlements, who rendezvoused at Piqua, for the purpose of organizing and determining upon a plan of operations. William Barbee was elected Captain, and it was determined to march to Ft. Recovery. On the afternoon of their departure, when, all were in readiness to move, the captain was nowhere to be found. Surprise and wonder, intermingled with murmurings at his absence at so important a moment, took possession of the little band. Search was made, and still he could not be found. After much delay, however, it was ascertained that he was closeted with Gen. Harrison. The company, somewhat chagrined at this disclosure, chose a Lieutenant as their commander, and marched to Recovery, where they remained under arms till the siege of Ft. Wayne was raised. Gen. Harrison remained at Piqua until the 6th of September. While there, Capt. Barbee obtained a position in the Commissary Department, with his headquarters at Piqua, which he retained until his last sickness, when he was removed to his home, where, after a brief illness, he died.
Mr. Barbee was one of the first Associate Judges of this county, having
been elected in 1807, at its organization. We place these brief reminiscences
at this date, though they carry us forward to the year 1812. We shall be
obliged too touch upon them again in treating of the war of 1812.
William Fischer, or Fincher, settled.on Section 27, east of Stillwater, between 1803 and 1804, cleared off and opened up a farm, then removed to another State. In 1804, Georgia contributed largely to the settlers of this county. David Mote accompanied bv his five sons, Jonathan, William, John, Jeremiah and Jesse - all except William bringing families - settled in Sections 20 and 32. During this year, additional settlements were made in Lost Creek by Willis Northcut, following in the footsteps of M. Battrel, who came in 1802. In Bethel also settlements were made. Many persons came to the county during this period, whose names it is impossible for us to obtain. With the advent of every family, the social, commercial, and monetary condition was very mat erially improved, and a step toward the ease and comfort of those to follow was gained, which of course, caused the rapid increase of immigrants. The condition of the country was changing, the savage wildness of the pristine forest was fast giving place to cultivated fields, and altogether the country was assuming day by day a more inviting aspect. With the advent of 1805 immigration seemed to roll in with incrseasing vigor. We shall initiate by a little sketch of John T. Tullis, an old and worthy pioneer of this county, who came in 1805, and through the kindness of whose daughter Mary, we are enabled to glean many interesting historical facts from his pen, as well as that of Dr. Asa Coleman. He says: "In the spring of 1805, when our family came to Miami, father, mother and sister stopped at Col. Patterson's, and the wagon, stock and boys came onto a hut in a bushy prairie, half a mile west of Dayton, where we spent the night." "In the morning, all the fainily having arrived, we pushed on. Three miles from Dayton we found a family by the name of Houzer. The next settlement was Samuel Morrison, near Honey Creek. We found the creek a little miry, but finally got through all right, The next break in the forest was Stephen Dye's improvement, Bates farm; from thence we moved on through a dense forest to Staunton passing on, we next arrived at Joseph Coe's, where we stopped for the night, and in the morning crossed the river and "put for the settlement," which we found to be a cabin ten feet square and six feet high, covered with real clapboards. A Mr. Shackelford was living in our house when we arrived, but moved into a camp which he had built about eighty rods distant. And now we found ourselves at home, but some of the fixtures were missing. We had no stable into which we could put our horses, and the calf pasture was not fenced; but we could prevent their following the dam, by the use of ropes which we brought for that purpose. We had no alternative but to trust to the honesty of horses and cattle; but alas, our confidence was shamefully abused, for in a few days horses and cows, like Saul's asses, " were nowhere."
Firewood was plenty, and what, in our circumstances was better, it was very cheap." On the west side of the river the population was very scarce. Ten miles from Dayton, and the same from Troy, stood the solitary cabin of Samuel Freeman. On the north was Reuben Shackelford's camp, and near this, William Barbee's cabin; still further north one mile was the clearing of Robert Mackey. On the Satler farm were the old folks, and a family of healthy Dutch boys; and a few squatters in Piqua. One cold day in 1805, Mr. Ttillis says he and his brother Joel had been sent to Henry Gerard's mill, on Spring, creek, and on returning had to cross the river angling down stream. The ice floating down against the horse from behind, caused it to plunge, and throw Joel off into the river. He wore a greatcoat which flew over his head, and, becoming saturated with water, was so heavy he could not rise to his feet. While he was in this condition, and his horse floundering by his side, Mrs. Hamlet happened to go to the door, and, seeing his precarious situation, called to her husband who was in the house. He ran to the river, and, observing the corner of Joel's coat, plunged in and rescued him from a watery grave, just as he had relinquished all hope, and made up his mind to die, and was going down the last time.
In this year, 1805, Mr. Youst, Mr. Peck, Mr. Thomas, and Mr. McJimpsey,
settled near each other just below town, and Mr. Gahagan located on what
was subsequently called Gahagan's Prairie. At the toll-gate below town
Mr. Orbison began a clearing. These immigrants were all men of small capital,
and had sold their farms in the East and come West to buy cheap lands for
their children. In the spring of 1805, the tide of immigration flowed unremittingly
into this county. The Miami Valley seemed to be the Mecca of their desires.
Preachers and exhorters led the van; among the former, Armstrong Brandon,
who is described as being a dashing young clergyman, endowed with force
and energy of character. Of the latter class, we may mention Thomas B.
Kyle, and a younger brother, Samuel, both licentiates. So that, in an ethical
direction, the little settlement had superior advantages. To these were
added at the season of germination many noble plants, such as Mathew Caldwell,
Alexander McCullough, James Marshall, Alexander Telford, Henry Orbison,
James Orr, Joseph McCorkle and John Johnston, all with the exception of
Orbison, locating on the west side of the river. Mrs. Mary Reeves Beedle,
with her family, emigrated from Kentucky to this county about this time.
Having lost her husband thirteen years previous, she depended for support
mainly upon her son Daniel, then only thirteen, who, by his energy and
industry, proved that she did not lean upon a broken staff. Amid the privations
of a life in the wilderness, he bravely encountered and overcame every
obstacle. Actuated by love for his mother, and indomitable will, sustained
by a robust physique, he willingly endured every hardship, undertook any
labor necessary to the comfort and support of those dependent upon him.
Without a murmur would he go barefooted through the midwinter snow to cut
wood to keep others warm. It is recorded of him that he had a great aversion
to riding, and would, though a horse and saddle were at his command, walk
even to Greenville and return, a distance of fifty miles. His moral qualities
seemed to be commensurate with his physical, and, in addition to mens santa
in corpore sano, we may well say mens sibi coniscia recti. Possessing a
high sense of honor, he never condescended to things of baser stuff. He
married Elizabeth Lindley, by whom he had four sons and two daughters.
His wife died in December, 1855, and he, August 11, 1877, at the age of
85. Alexander Telford emigrated from Kentucky in 1805, and located in Montgomery
County; remaining only one year, he came to Miami County, purchased land
and became a permanent settler, rearing a large family. His son, Dr. J.
G. Telford, who came with him, studied medicine with Dr. Asa Coleman, and
practiced in an early day in this county. He was very philanthropic in
his views, and was of incalculable assistance to many young men struggling
for an education. His sterling integrity created many warm friends, and
various offices of trust were heaped upon him unsolicited, as evidences
implicit confidence his fellow-citizens reposed in him. For twenty-one years he was Director and President of the Dayton & Michigan Railroad Company; Presidet of the Miami County Branch of the State Bank of Ohio, and various other offices of trust and responsibility were largely represented by him.
Gen. Fielding Loury was a pioneer to this county shortly previous to 1806, and with the aid of John Smith, his father-in- law, laid out the town of Staunton, and superintended the sale of lots. Smith owned a large amount of land in this county at that time, and employed Loury as his agent. Loury was a man of note, and was the first Representative of the county to the State Legislature.
Born in Spottsilvania Co., Va., March 13, 1781, came to Cincinnati in 1802, in June 1811, married Ann only daughter of John Smith, the first United States Senator from Ohio. Gen. Loury owned great quantities of land in Ohio, and in the capacity of surveyor he spent much time in this county in laying out towns, and surveying his own and his father-in-law's lands. In character he was courageous, courteous, energetic and industrious, ever alive to the interests of the community in which he lived. He is represented as a true type of the fine old fashioned gentleman. He was married twice, taking for his second wife the widow of Daniel C. Cooper, original proprietor of Dayton, Ohio. Mr. Loury was the projector of the first ferry in this county, an account of which will be given elsewhere, a member of the early Legislature of Ohio, when it convened at Chillicothe, and subsequently at Columbus also a general officer in the State Militia, and was stationed at Detroit, as Indian agent, during the war of 1812. His powers of physical endurance and activity remained almost unimpaired until his death, caused by falling down stairs. About the year 1807, John Peck came from Kentucky to Concord Township, in this county. Mr. Peck was born Oct. 21, 1800; his grandmother was captured during the French and Indian war by a band of savages, and was only saved from burning, through the interference of the squaws, into whose good graces she had, by her amiability, ingratiated herself.
At the age of twelve, Mr. Peck was orphaned, and from that time till his seventeenth year, he found a home with relatives after, which, he hired out at brickmaking and farming, performing the labor, and receiving the wages of a man. In later years, he became a farmer, which honorable avocation he followed till his death. He was a man of high moral character, and shed a beneficial influence throughout the community in which he lived.
Isaac Peck, brother to the above, came to Miami County with John, when the county was an almost primitive wilderness. From the well settled homes in Kentucky, he came to the rude pioneer hut in the woods. Left an orphan at the tender age of seven, he was bound out to learn the saddler's trade. Becoming dissatisfied with his employer, he left, and subsequently accompanied Judge Barbee, to assist in driving cattle to Green Bay, on Lake Michigan, for which he received $28.50, the first money he ever possessed.
Although of a very retiring and unobtrusive disposition, his well known integrity, and steady business habits in later years, secured for him, unsolicited, many important local positions.of trust.
OLD SETTLERS UP TO 1807
Having now brought the settlements up to the year of 1807, at which
time the county was organized, we will recapitulate, by giving a list of
a few of the old settlers here, previous to and at that period, with, perhaps,
mention of a few additional facts concerning the biography of some. Beginning
on the east side of the river, south, we have Samuel Morrison, David H.
Morris, William and Mordecai Mendenhall, Robert Crawford, John H. and Cunningham
Crawford, William Ellis, Benjamin Lee, Daniel Agenbroad, Christain and
Daniel Lefevre, John, Andrew, Stephen, Benjamin, William and Andrew Dye,
Jr., John Christian and Benjamin Knoop, Cornelius Westfall, Fielding Loury,
Thomas Sayers, Peter Felix, John Gerard, Simon Laudry, Uriah Blue, Barnabas
and James Blue, Jonathan Rollins,
Shadrach Hudson, John, Samuel and Lewis Winans, Abner, Henry and Nathaniel Gerard, Richard Winans, John Orbison, Joseph, Charles and Samuel Hilliard, Benjamin Hamlet, William Knight, John, Joseph and John Webb, David and John Knight, Richard Palmer, John Wallace, William Brown, Joseph Coe, Stephen Winans, Abram Hathaway, William Carter, Bennett Langley, Caleb Hathaway, William and James L. McKinney, John and Jacob Mann, Lewis and Obadiah Winters, Philip Sailor, George Williams, Jacob Sailor, Christ Prillman, John Batterall, Peter Harmon, John Flinn, James McCambell, Ralph French, Samuel, James and Lewis Deweese.
On the west side of the Miami, on the north, we have John Johnston, Indian agent, Frank and James Johnston, Benjamin Leavel, Hugh Scott, Mr. Hendershot, Armstrong Brandon, John and Enos Manning, Alexander Ewing, Joseph McCool, Matthew Caldwell, the Statler family, Beedle family, father and several sons, James Brown and William Mitchell, Alexander McCullough, Robert Mackey, William Barbee, Sr., father of Judge Barbee, James Orr, Reuben Shackelford, Aaron Tullis and his sons, John, Aaron, William, David, Joel, John T. and Stephen; Henry and Peter Kerns, Samuel Kyle, Thomas and Samuel Kyle Jr, William Adams, Abraham Thomas, Robert McGimsey, William, Adam and Samuel Thomas, sons of Abraham, William. Gahagan, John Peck, John Orbison, James Knight, Jesse Gerard, George Kerr, James Yourt, George F. Tennery, Joseph Layton, Frederick Yourt, Jesse Tenkins, Andrew Thomson, Amos and David Jenkins, and David Jenkins, Esq., Samuel Freeman and his sons, Samuel, Daniel, John, Noah and Shrylock, Samuel and Enoch Pearson, Peter Oliver and sons William and Thomas, Arthur Stewart, Andrew Wallace, James Yourt, William Brown, Thomas W. Williams and Joseph Furnas, Joseph Evans, John Mote, Jonathan Mote, Benjamin Pearson, Robert and Joseph McCool, William, Thomas and John Coppock, Samuel, Jesse, John and Moses Coates, Thomas Hill and his sons Nathan and John, Michael and George Williams, William Long, Robert Leavel, Samuel Jones, Jacob Ember, Jonathan Mills, David Patty, Abiather Davis, Caleb Neal, John Mart, James Na yton, Samuel Davis, Jonathan Jones, Samuel Teague, Samuel Peirce, Robert McConnell.
The following were living, in 1868: Christian Lefevre, aged 83; Elisha
Webb, 93, Tohn Webb, still living, 90; John T. Tullis, 74 ; Samuel Thomas,
73 Robert McCool, 87, Samuel Coat, 96; David Patty, 83, Samuel Davis, 84;
Jonathan Jones, 87, Robert
In this connection, we beg to note a few additional facts, in regard to Gen. Fielding Loury. He was elected to the State Legislature, October, 1809, and re-elected in 1810. The number of votes cast in the county, then more extensive than now, was 393; in 1810, 250. The wife of Loury, as has been said, was a daughter of John Smith, who resided near Cincinnati, on the Ohio. Smith was a merchant, preacher and politician, and a man of great wealth, having at an early period entered about 16,000 acres of land in the eastern part of this county, for the sale of which Gen. Loury was the agent. Smith was suspected of being an accomplice in the celebrated Aaron Burr conspiracy, for which he was tried. Though acquitted, it proved his financial and political ruin in Ohio, which State he soon left, and moved to Louisiana. At the close of the war with England, in 1815, there were large arrearages due the volunteers and drafted men, who had served on the frontiers. The Government being very slow in paying them, one Jesse Hunt, of Cincinnati, who was paymaster, conceived the idea, in conjunction with Mr. Loury, then a merchant, of buying up the claims, which they accordingly did, for fifty cents on the dollar, paying for the same in merchandise, at an enormous profit. This, though perhaps legal, caused a strong impression that the brave men who risked their lives on the frontier, had been unfairly dealt with, and created a strong and settled prejudice against the principal actors in the transaction. By reason of Smith's political downfall, he failed to meet the second payment on his lands, and they reverted to the Government. At this juncture, Loury and Hunt re-entered a great portion of it, the former representing Hunt's
interest in the sale of it. Loury. was elected Colonel of Militia, in April, 1815, Brigadier General in 1817; engaged in merchandising in Troy, and, in conseqtience of misfortune in down-river trade, failed in 1819.
Cornelius Westfall was the first Clerk of the Common Pleas Court, Clerk of the Supreme Court, County Recorder, Postmaster, and Director of the town of Troy after the flrst year. Offices in those days were not so remunerative as now, therefore not so much sought after, and as a consequence office-seekers were not so abundant as now. It is said that while Mr.W. was not a man of much energy, he thoroughly understood the art of wire-pulling. A cotemporary says of him: "It was very marvelous how Mr. Westfall happened to have all the offices in the county. He could not have had a certificate to teach an infant class, as may be seen by the early records. He could not spell the day of the week. In several instances Friday is spelled Fryday, and the names of the days of the week and month do not begin with a capital letter. If I were good at a picture I would contrast the systematic arrangement of Mr. Talbott's office with Mr. Westfall's. But he was not responsible for all the difference; he had no bookcase or fixtures for keeping his office in good order. A large store box was the receptacle of praecipe, subpmna, sqmmons, declaration, pleas, rejoinder, et cetera."
We will now endeavor to discuss briefly the habits, customs, improvements, etc., from 1800 till the organization of this county in 1807.
It seemed to be a matter of observation that the Miami River was a well-defined dividing line between the social intercourse of the inhabitants on the east and west banks. It can only be interpreted by the fact that nearly all the early settlers who located on the west side were old acquaintances, and had been neighbors in Kentucky previous to emigration and moreover they were nearly all members of the Christian Church. Whereas on the east side, there were none except Joseph Coe and family, and a Mr. Hathaway, who, though not a member, inclined in that direction. In this chapter we shall follow Mr. Tullis, who, being a participant, writes through inspiration. When it is remembered that most of the pioneers of this valley were men in very limited circumstances; that they had made close calculations as to how much land they could pay for, so as to have enough to form a family colony, and had left but a small margin for et ceteras, it will not be supposed tbat, they indulged to any great excess in luxuries. But few copies of Paris fashions were called for, millinery and mantua- making were rather unpromising vocations, and music teachers on the modern style of piano-forte could hardly hope to succeed. They had a piano-forte, however, upon which all the daughters took lessons under the instructions of mother. I wish my young lady readers could see one of those instruments, but they are "out of print." I cannot undertake a description. The last one I ever saw was under circumstances I cannot easily forget. I was living in the country; Mr.---- came out one day to see if it would be convenient for me to come to town that evening and perform the marriage ceremony, at his house for his benefit. He was a widower and had two or three half- grown boys. I told him I would try to oblige him. Accordingly, about twilight I drew up at his door and was kindly received. The gentleman and his sons were sitting very cosily by'a good fire, and a lady was giving them music on her piano. After we had discussed the weather and the news of the day, the lady rose, put back her instrument, took off her apron, and shook the shives out of it (the leaves lying before her, on which she was practicing, was tow). When all these preparations were made, she said to the gentleman, "I am ready;" whereupon the business for which we had met was consummated.
Hospitality was a. leading trait. The sick and needy were as well cared
for as they have been since Faith, Hope and Charity were organized. Indeed,
Christian graces did exist at that early day, though the process of combination came at a later period. There was nothing like aristocracy, or assumed superiority, on account of owning more acres, or being better born "Fustest families of Virginny," nothing of caste to mar the free intercourse of all on the common platform of equality. It cannot be disguised, however, that there were certain semioracles, who commanded more deference on account of superior intelligence and culture than others whose opportunities had not been so favorable.
The intercourse among the young folks was of the most agreeable nature. Though they met on the level and parted on the square, there were some of the young men more than others "ladies' men," and some of the young ladies belles of a high order, yet there was nothing of jealousy or envy engendered.
Balls and parties of modern style had not been introduced; indeed, there was too much work to be done, both in the house and in the field, to think of amusements. There was always meeting on Sunday, and the young folks would go and come together as often as convenient. Meeting was generally held at Mr. Hathaway's, or Josey Coe's, and Mr. Barbee's was a central point at which to rendezvous, being a pleasant walk from there to meeting. Carriages and buggies, be it remembered, had not been introduced, and could not have been easily used on account of bad roads. When the distance was too far to walk, they traveled on horseback, a boy in the saddle, and a girl behind him. All parties enjoyed that mode of traveling hugely, (the idea suggested itself to us to leave off the "e"). Young gentlemen then were called boys, and young ladies girls. It was but seldom that there would be preaching before Brandon and the Kyles came out, which must have been in 1806, as Thomas B. Kyle and Lucy Barbee were married in April, 1807.
Perhaps the first preaching in the county took place in Stephen Dye's barn in the summer of 1806, by Rev. Mr. Carmel, a Baptist minister. A company of twenty or more went from west of the river, among whom were James Orr and John Johnston, and Lucy Barbee, who was the acknowledged belle of the neighborhood. Jimmy and John were........
and neither dare ride with Lucy in presence of his rival. Coming, home, upon one occasion, just as they arrived at Coe's Ford, Johnston's nose began to bleed, and he was obliged to get off his horse and wait till it stopped. During his delay the company had all crossed the river. The river was very high to ford, but, having a large, powerful horse, he started in at a trot. In the center of the stream his horse broke down and landed him in the water. The current was strong, and the river deep, and, being encumbered with heavy velvet wrappers, while he could rise to his feet, he could not navigate. This seemed a favorable opportunity to Jimmy to get rid of his rival; but he was the first to ride in and assist him to the shore. Rather an amusing a necdote is related by Mr. Tullis, in which John and Lucy were the principal actors, especially the latter. It seems John had a very peculiar gait, stepped very short and quick, and worked his head and arms vigorously meanwhile. One day when the old folks and John (who boarded there) were from home, and some young folks there, she, guided by the spirit of fun, and, without the fear of man, slipped to John's room, put on his clothes, came down into the yard, and began a series of perambulations in imitation of John's peculiar gait; while in the midst of the entertainment she met John face to face, which caused the show to break up in consternation, and she to retire to female habiliments again.
Pretty soon after the Marshall and McCullough families came to the county,
singing schools were introduced. The neighbors east of the river did not
fraternize with the other side in this enterprise. The first school organized
some of the best singers, and was a success. Among its members were, Peggy Marshall, since Mrs. Barbee and her sisters, Lucy Barbee and sisters, the Misses Mackey, Miss Caldwell, since Mrs. John Stone, mother of Stephen, and several others.
Mr. Marshall was a scientific singer, and possessed a voice so peculiarly strong that, we are informed, he could be found "among the thousands at Cane Ridge camp meeting by his voice; " and yet it was soft and musical. The arrangement was a little different then: the upper part was called treble, and sung by the highest female voices; the next, or counter, was sung by the soft female voice; the soprano was tenor then, sung by the loudest male voices, and the bass as now. Perhaps the counter was better sung by a voice so low and sweet, than to give it the modern squall it now receives, and call it operatic.
WIVES FOR THE SETTLERS
In the settlement of a new country, as a general rule, there is a scarcity of females. We remember traveling in South America for nearly a year without seeing the face of a white woman, and the effect was not at all conducive to our moral elevation. We found our inclinations rapidly drifting towards the genesis of Darwinism. Fortunately this county did not suffer in this direction. Old Joe McCorckle, as he was familiarly called, came from North Carolina with four buxom daughters, who, on short notice, were appropriated by Rev. Armstron Brandon, Maj. Leavel, a merchant by the name of Hearse, and the other by a man whose name is unknown to history. Miss Polly Caldwell married Stephen Johnston, killed at Fort Wayne by the Indians. Josey Coe, Mr. Hathaway and Mackey all had marriageable daughters, who were in due time disposed of. Mr. Kyle, like the fox in the fable, took Lucy Barbee from her two contending rivals, and she never got to wear John's breeches metaphorically, as she had literally. As the stock on hand was getting low, Old Robert, alias Long Bob Culbertson came in with four admirable girls, who soon entered upon a dual life with W. H. Gahagan, W. H. H. Dye, H. S. Mayo, and S. Worrel, every one an ornament to society.
WHISKY, CONSCIENCE AND MUD
At log-rollings, corn-huskings, and other like gatherings, whisky was
always an indispensible article. It could only be obtained, at a very early
days at Dayton. When a settler would go in his wagon to mill he would take
his jug, and likely several other jugs also, and return with a supply.
In 1807, a man by the name of Henry Orbison, from Virginia, started a distillery
at the east side of the river at Piqua. It is said that Piqua absorbed
all his manufacture, and he was no relief to the valley. In 1812, he wound
up business and went into the army to support his family. Some who were
boys at that time say they liked to go to Manning's Mill, for while they
were waiting for the grist they would go to Orbison's and drink beer. About
the year 1807, Henry Gerard built a still-house on Spring Creek, in conjunction
with a corn-mill. Rye whisky was made here, the settlers having their crops
made up on the shares. Some of them kept it in the milkhouse loft, when
the boys would knock out the bung, and with a straw imbibe to their heart's
content. Another was erected by Mr. Gahagan, on the bank of the river,
back of Mr. Benjamin James. Copper stills were also used as a kind of family
arrangement.. Mr. Caldwell had a machine of this kind with which he manufactured
quite a good article of whisky for the benefit of his neighbors in Kentucky.
Family cares pressing upon him, he came over to Turtle Creek, Ohio, to
get a pious young man to superintend it. All things progressed finely for
a time, but soon his conscience became disturbed. He could not make whisky
without malt, neither could he make malt without stirring the grain on
Sunday. When he would go into his malt-house on Sunday to stir his malt,
conscience would whisper in his ear, "Remember the Sabbath day to
keep it holy." So disturbed did he become that he. tore down his furnace,
discharged the young man,
and advocated the cause of temperance. Mr. Orbison used to relate a little aiiecdote connected with his distillery. One evening after he had shut the fire off of the worm, and was comfortably seated at his fireside, a neighbor called with a pint flask to be filled with whisky, as he was suffering the agonies of total abstinence. Mr. Orbison expressed his sympathy, but he could not fill his flask. It was dark, raining, and very muddy; and the still-house some distance off. His customer replied: "It's a bad condition of things, I know, but my case is desperate come, get on my back, and I'll carry you to the still-house." The task accomplished, and the flask having been filled: "Now, your health," said his customer, "Not yet," replied Orbison. It was for your benefit that I came here, now you shall go back for mine. I'll carry your bottle, and you'll carry me." Without more ado, the customer picked him up and toted him back.
LADIES' INDUSTRIAL DEPARTMENT
In drawing'a contrast between the past and the present, we are led to inquire, What have all the refining influences of Christianity and civilization done to elevate the standard of the female sex to a higher position in society? Suppose a youth of eighty years ago should call to pass an hour or so with his lady love and find her in frizzles, spit-curls, etc., playing on the piano or reading the last novel, while her poor old mother was bending over the, washtub conversely, let us suppose a youth of today, with his fancy livery turnout, buttonhole bouquet, patent- leatber boots, gold-headed cane, blue silk rag dependent from his coat pocket, cigar, goldor plated-chronometer, etc., should call to take his inamorata dulcina out driving and should find her pulling flax, or in the barn swingling the same, dressed in linsey, her feet uncramped by side lace, her hair unconfined, "wooed by every wind." What would be the result in each case? Let the reader draw the conclusion. In pioneer times, the family had to be clothed, and the clothing manufactured from the raw material; no muslin in the first decade of the nineteenth century supplied the place of home-made linen. The men generally sowed the flax, gathered and broke it, then left to the women the succeeding steps in its transformation into wearing material, viz.: pulling, spreading to water, rolling, taking up, swingling, hackling, spinning, weaving and making into garments. With all this before them, and no hired girl, they kept themselves and their houses neat, and tidy.
An eye-witness says: Here in front of the cabin is an unbroken forest, ten acres of which must be cleared and fenced for corn next spring. No time to go fishing. The last of April finds it ready for rolling. There are a dozen neighbors in the same condition. The rolling time begins, and at least one hand must be furnished by each neighbor. They meet early in the morning and divide the clearing, one-half for the forenoon, and the other half for the afternoon; then they subdivide the morning half, divide the hands, hang up their hats and jackets, "kiss Black Betty," and go to work with a will. They do not wait to roll, but carry everything. The day's work being done, they return home, and any whose logs are rolled, fire and mend up log heaps until 11 o'clock, and then are up again at 3 in the morning, to right up before agoing to the next neighbor's rolling.
AN OLD-TIME SCHOOLHOUSE
During the early settlement of this county, a schoolhouse was built near the farm of Mr. Mackey, which, perhaps, was the first built in the county. From the description of an eye-witness, we apprehend the facilities for literary attainments were not what they are now. We will follow our cicerone along a blazed path through the woods to the old log schoolhouse; rapping, a voice from the far interior says, "Come in; " we pull the latch-string, enter, and are requested by the schoolmaster to take a seat, which we at once proceed to do, settling down on a
puncheon-bench, the wonder and cynosure of all eyes. The first thing we see is nearly the whole end of the house converted into a fireplace, within whose capacious depths a blazing fire sends forth light, heat and cheerfulness. Our gaze being attracted to the outside, we look, not through French plate-glass, but a hole, made by sawing off a log and replacing it with paper well greased with lard our attention is recalled by a shrill voice, " Master, may I get a drink." The urchin goes to the bucket, setting on a bench near the door, takes the tin from its accustomed peg, clips it full, drinks a few sups, holding, it over the bucket meanwhile, pours the balance back, and, after looking around wliile, goes back to his seat, and, with his dog's-eared book close to his face, is soon lost in study. We notice the benches are made out of flat rails, and puncheons with pins in them for legs backs they have none. The master has a table, made by driving pins in the wall and placing hewed puncheons on top of them. Under each window, a similar contrivance accommodates the scholars. While examining these unique writing-desks, we are apparently in agony, of, "Master, please mayn't I go out." Consent is given and the boy hurriedly moves toward the door, pausing to take down a crooked stick and carry it out with him. Our curiosity is excited, and while the masters is turned is turned, we ask a big white-headed boy near us, what is it for; who opening his mouth wide and staring at us in blank amazement says "No other boy darst go out while that stick is gone." As incentives to close application to study, we obscure a rule of about a pound in weight, and a formidable looking beeche rod, whose acquaintance every boy in school has long ago formed. Ditworth's Arithmetic, Webster's Spelling-book and the Testament were the text-books. We noticed the boys all writing, but none of the girls; turning to our friend Tullis for an explanation, he said it was not safe for girls to learn to write, as it would culminate in love-letter writing, clandestine engagements and elopements. He said women were allowed to study arithmetic, though, for Miss Polly Caldwell studied as far as long division, and Mrs. Kyle, while a widow, got as far as reduction. He says Polly Caldwell was a weaver, and required the aid of figures to make her calculation for warping. If she were putting in an 800 web, and had 15 spools, she must know how many " bouts " to run on the bars. With 15 spools, every "bout" would give 30 threads; therefore, dividing 800 by 30 would give 26 bouts and 20 remainder; so she would run on 27 bouts, and carry back what the reed would not hold.
There seems to have been a diversity of opinion among teachers in regard to the beneficial effects to the scholar arising, from more or less noise; some contending that the more noise there was the better, as it would accustom one to the habit of doing business in the midst of noise and confusion; and, moreover, that a boy could get up a spirit of inspiration by stentorian competition with his fellows. Some advocated quietness, but it was agreed by all that, when the recitations were over, and the whole school were on the spelling lesson, the boy that could spell the loudest should stand head. It was interesting to see the boys at the end of the bench standing on tip-toe, with every muscle in a quiver, waiting for the master to say "noon," in order to out out flrst and raise the biggest yell.
From here we will go to a Temperance Talk, but fear it will end in a
corn-husking. Mr. Tullis was the principal speaker. He says the uses and
abuses of whisky have undergone as great changes as the appliances for
literary purposes. What we, in this age of refinement, call auctions, were
sales in early times, and the auctioneer was crier. When the sale was about
to commence, the crier would mount a box, with a bottle of whisky in his
hand, and invite competition, always offering a "dram" to the
next bidder to inspire him. It would have been preposterous to have attempted
to cut a field of wheat, or husk a crop of corn, without whisky. The wheat
was cut with sickles, before cradles were introduced, and then it was cut
with cradles until the reaper superseded the cradle.
The modus operandi with corn was for all hands to go to the field and jerk off and throw in heaps until dinner; after dinner, to take out-the wagon and haul it home. It was either thrown in one long pile, or, what was better, in two piles; and, when the crop was gathered, all the neighbors came together for a night husking two captains would be appointed to divide the hands, and, if the corn was all on one pile, a rail was laid so as to divide it equally. One captain had first choice of hands, the other choice of heaps. Then all went to work with a will. The cry would frequently be heard, "It's a great while between drams." When one party would get done, they would put the bottle into the hand of the captain, and two stout men would take him, one by each leg, and "hoist the captain" and carry him over to the other side. The swinging of hats, and the shouts of victory, " made the welkin ring," and then all would drink. It was not always the best huskers that were the first choice, but one who could hide most corn in the husk, in the husk-house, was sought after.
John S. Williams, of the Pioneer, says that he and his brother went to a Friends' settlement to a husking in 1804 as usual, the heap was divided, and they were chosen on opposite sides. Peach brandy flowed freely. He thought to be a man he must drink when men drank, and the consequence was, he got most gloriously drunk. The last remembrance of the husking he had was throwing corn in the husk. Total abstinence from all remembrance overtook him till they let him fall in carrying him to the house. Again he relapsed into total forgetfulness till 3 o'clock, when he awoke with the chimney at the wrong end of the house, his brain turned, topsy-turvy, and his feelings otherwise much worse than when he took the quack medicine above described. His brother had gone home; he followed him at daylight, and joined him at work. He expected the Friends would disown him, and was afraid to go to meeting or see an overseer for.months.
GAME AND HUNTERS
The rich, juicy grass, cool, sparkling springs, deep forests, pellucid streams, afforded sustenance and delightful retreats for every species of game from fish to otter, from the squirrel to the cougar and bear. The scream of the painter and the squall of the wildcat, mingled with the sweet song of the thrush and the howl of the wolf, drowned the melodious notes of the mocking-bird, while stolid bruin roamed the woods, with no ear for music, except the squealing of the pioneer hog. The rifle was an inmate of every household, in the use of which our forefathers were very familiar, and who were very solicitous in keeping it in perfect workido, condition. Those who could afford it, kept two rifles, one for large game, carrying about forty to the pound, and a smaller, or squirrel rifle, running about 120 or 130 or 140 bullets to the pound. The powder-horn was made from the horn of the ox, boiled, and scraped so thin as to transmit the rays of light, a round block of wood neatly fitted the bottom, and a plug inserted in the smaller end, with usually a buzzard's quill for a charger. While all were more or less familiar with the rifle, a few became experts through constant use, as a profession. Among those who followed it as a kind of profession, we m ay mention Charles Wolverton, "Bill "Hunter, John Rogers, John Flinn, Henry Kerns, Jacob Mann and Peter Harmon.
All kinds of larger game seem to have been abundant during the early settlement of the county, such as deer, bear, wolves, wildcats, and an occasional cougar. Turkeys', pheasants, etc., were abundant, and, with the venison-saddle, graced the table of almost every pioneer home.
While it is impossible at this late date to ascertain the number of large animals killed by hunters, we can only judge of the abundance of game by comparison with an adjoining county. It is on record that David Loury and Jonathan Danalds, among the first settlers on Mad River, killed seventeen bears in one season,
and that, during the lifetime of the former, he had killed over a thousand deer. The bear were mostly killed off at an early period yet, they have been killed in this county in considerable numbers. One was killed by Henry Kerns in the fall of 1816, whose quarters are said to have weighed 400 pounds. It was seen by Dr. Coleman, who ate a piece of its flesh, and certifies to its immense size, as well as to its extraordinarily good condition, its ribs being covered with from three to four inches of fat. While bear were comparatively scarce, deer, on the contrary, were, in an early day, very plentiful. In a journey from Stillwater to the Miami, it was not unusual to see as many as eight and sometimes more, very tame, and easily approached on horseback. Wild turkeys were abundant, and many were caught in rail pens, or killed with the rifle. The former mode was made use of when quantities were sought. A common four-square rail pen was laid up, about ten rails high, and covered, and an opening left at the bottom, along which a train of corn was sown; the turkeys, in picking up the corn, would follow it into the pen, and, as a turkey, when alarmed, always looks up, they would always fly up, and never see the opening at the bottom. Thus whole droves were taken at once. In the fall of 1817, a hunting, party was organized in Licking County, which was attended by some members of Miami. An unsettled tract, five miles square, was laid off, and arrangements made for the company of about 150 men to come in from four directions, all converging toward a common center, of one mile square, before any shooting was allowed. Having driven the game within the prescribed limits, the shooting began, and, the crack of rifles could be heard in every direction. The circle gradually closed in to half a mile square, and the firing re- commenced. The deer could be seen flying from side to side, turkeys running in every direction, and bear stalking in the midst. Finally the circle closed, and brought together 25 deer, 2 bear, 350 turkeys and 1 woff The locality was far from any house, and darkness approaching, most of the party camped for the night on the spot. Wagons arrived with provisions, a good supply of the aqua ardent, and the night was passed in a regular Nimrod festival.
In early days wolves were quite plentiful, and often destroyed the few sheep the settlers had. By act of Legislature a bounty of three dollars was allowed for each wolf scalp, payable out of the county treasury. This was a powerful incentive to the professional hunters, and Lupus was in continual danger, of losing his caput on every excursion after fresh mutton. One of his most inveterate enemies was one Tom Rogers, who made wolf-hunting a specialty.
Tom was a very eccentric character, and appeared fitted by nature to his calling. Six feet high, with moccasins, buckskin breeches, linsey wtmus, wolf-skin cap, with the tail hanging down behind, long black hair and beard, leather belt, with large knife and tomahawk, heavy rifle, pouch and horn-all conspired to render him in appearance a fit associate of wolves, bears and other denizens of the forest; and, once seen by his fellows, he was not soon forgotten. Tom was somewhat of a hermit, often living for weeks and months in the woods near the pioneer settlements, watching his line of traps, deadfalls, and wolfpens, depending wholly upon game for sustenance. He constructed bark huts for his own accommodation, at different stations along his line of operations, which he used as store-houses for his venison, turkeys, coon-skins, and wolf-scalps, and for the secondary purpose of sleeping in bad weather. When convenient, he would call in at a frontier cabin, and exchange venison or turkeys for bread, but the wolf was his ambition, and other game was slain simply for food. Tom generally came to town twice a year to exchange his wolf-scalps for their price in cash, bringing with him other furs, such as coon-skins, mink, and an occasional otter. He took, advantage of the potency of that delightful perfume, asafoetida, in attracting the wolf, and purchased large quantities of it to use on his traps. Although records are lost in which the number of wolf-scalps were kept, with the amount paid out for the same, yet we are assured that Tom drew largely therefrom.
In the winter he would spend a few days in the settlement, at which time he was the delight of the circle of men and boys who eagerly listened to his many
tales of contests with wolves and bears while alone in the forest, none of which, unfortunately, have been preserved. Tom was exclusively a hunter, and never invested his earnings in public lands. He was known as Old Tom Rogers for forty years, during which time his domain was invaded by the settlers, his game driven off or killed, and Tom, at the age of nearly fourscore, retired from active duties and sought rest and shelter in the County Infirmary, in which he spent the few remaining years of his life, meditating upon and recounting the scenes of his many adventures, and finally, in about three years after his admission (1859), passed from earth.
Coons were very numerous, and generally hunted with dogs, at night, when the deep baying of the hound was sweet music to the pioneer boy, as well as full-grown man. The flesh of the coon was relished by the Indians, but to the white man the skin was of value as a general currency at from two to four bits, according to value.
It was stated by the earliest settlers, that in 1803 there was a pigeon-roost back of Staunton, extending about two miles in length to Spring Creek, and half a mile in width, where the pigeons congregated by the million during the breeding season, constructing as high as a hundred nests in a single tree-top. The noise of this place, made by the continual fluttering, and breaking of limbs, could be heard for quite a distance, and each morning, it is said, the ground was strewn with dead and wounded birds, so that the pioneer in the vicinity had pigeon without gun or club. As late as 1818 there was another pigeon-roost, twelve miles east of Troy. Dr. Coleman says he visited this roost with a party of men at night. They arrived at the locality about sunset, as the pigeons began to come in. The noise of the pigeons coming in was like the roar of a cataract, for an hour and a half, till some time after night. It being moonlight, they experienced no difficulty insecuring at full supply of the feathered game. Since the beech timber had, been cut away, and the pigeon harvest destroyed, they have become scarce.
SQUIRRELS AND SQUIRREL HUNTS
On account of their continual inroads upon the corn-fields, the gray squirrel was a great annoyance to the early settlers. The large amount of dead timber left standing afforded them an asylum from which they could invade the corn-fields, and lay up for winter use an ample store; for they are very provident and industrious little animals, and always have a full "larder." Sometimes in the early spring, when their little stock of nuts was growing scarce, they would dig up the newly planted corn but their principal ravages were committed on the growing crop, from the time it was in the milk till matured: and they were so numerous as sometimes to destroy half a crop. One or two hours' killing, seemingly served but to increase their numbers, and, as time was of great value to the settlers, they concluded to set apart a day for a general massacre of the little "varmints," and as an incentive to competitors, a subscription was set on foot among the farmers of so many bushels of corn to be given to the hunter who should present the greatest number of scalps. A few miles south of Troy, in a district the especail object of incursions, three hundred bushels of corn were subscribed, to be divided into three premiums of one hundred and fifty, one hundred, and fifty bushels, to the hunters that would bring in the most scalps during a hunt of six days in the district. None but experts competed for the prize, each killer was allowed two rifles, a loader, scalper and a driver: scalps to be put on a string, and taken as evidence of the number killed In the hunt above described, Elias Gerard bronght in about 1,700 calps, the greatest number killed by one man, which entitled him to the flrst premium. To Charles Wolverton the second was awarded for 1,300 scalps.
page 243 (241 and 242 are blank)
The migratory habits of the gray squirrel are well known by those at all familiar with its history. A general emigration took place about the year 1828-29 from west to east. They congregated in a large body and moved along eit ntasse, neither turning, to the right nor left-towns and villages did not swerve them from their course-but, passing through fields and towns, crossing streams and even rivers in their course. The latter seemed to disconcert them somewhat. Climbing up the trees that bordered the bank, they would survey the difficulties before them, and finally each one obtained a piece of bark, and the whole fleet would launch their frail little vessels and, with many accidents and serious loss of lives, land on the other side and pass on their course. During these migrations immense numbers were slain, the boys and men knocking them in the head with clubs.
The stampede of 1828 lasted about twenty days. The non- professional hunters each fall would form companies, and go to the northern frontiers to hunt deer, turkeys and honey. In the course of a week or two they would return with a wagon-load of game, and, perhaps a barrel of honey; the latter the production of the common bee, which, at that time, literally swarmed in the woods, and nearly every hollow tree abounded with ambrosial nectar. In 1825, or later, the moth made its appearance, and nearly elimanted this useful little insect. Wolf-pens were frequently built by the early settlers, for taking this ravenous scourge of the sheep-fold. They were from eight to ten feet square, and built up like the perpendicular walls of a cabin, to the height of three or four feet, then gradually drawn in to a common center like a modern quail trap, with a hole about two feet square, left open on top. Meat was then placed inside, and the wolf would climb with ease up the sloping sides and jump in through the hole but, when he had eaten the meat and his thoughts turned to the outside world, he found that he was a prisoner for life, and that life very brief, for soon the pioneer put an end to his existence; and, it is said, Tom Rogers used to leap right down amongst them and kill them like so many hogs; for the wolf, though savage when free, when confined is a whining coward. It is said that turkeys could be seen by the acre, in the fall, eating beech nuts.
The manner in which mail matter was conveyed to and from Miami, in the days of its early settlement, as compared with the present mode of transmitting tidings, presents a striking contrast. Letters were by no means insignificant affairs in those days, and to be made the happy recipient of one on mail day was to become envied by the disappointed crowd who had not been so fortunate. The stamped envelope had not been invented, and such a thing, as delicately tinted, finely scented note paper had not been conceived of by the most fastidious youth of the day. The letter was simply folded, and the superscription written on a blank page; the necessity of mucilage was not known, inasmuch as a wafer or red sealing-wax answered every purpose; and, in order to transmit this primitive document through the country, it was necessary to pay the United States a revenue of 25 cents. Once every two weeks, the blowing of a horn announced to the people in the neighborhood the arrival of the horseman with the semi-monthly news. The mail-bag, by no means overflowing, was extricated from the saddle, where it had served as a cushion, by the mail-carrier, who, giving the crowd of anxious lookers-on a look of haughty indifference, waited till its contents were exchanged, then, with the few additional letters, moved on his round. Such, then, were the first mails in the country. Now a three-cent stamp will send a letter, if need be, from ocean to ocean, or the telegraph a message, with lightning speed, far across the waters.
CAPTURE OF THE MOFFITT BOYS
Nearly one hundred years ago, one bright spring morning, late in March, that gave promise of a good "sugar day," a man by the name of Moffitt, in Greenbrier County, Va., started his two little boys to watch the stock from the sugar camp.
They started with bright anticipations of tine sport in killing squirrels. As the older was quite proficient in the use of the rifle, he was allowed to take his fathers gun, and the little nine- year old boy, with a good rest, could bag his squirrel at n early every shot. The little fellows, full of youthful buoyancy, started for the camp. The loving mother, following them to the cabin door, called to the older, "Johnny, take care how you handle that gun, and be sure and don't hurt your brother George with it." These loving words were the last ever addressed to her sons by that mother in Greenbrier County. As her longing gaze followed their receding little forms until they faded out in the distance, she little dreamed of the future before them. When they arrived at the sugar-camp they observed two or three men approaching them, whom they at first took to be neighbors, but, as they approached nearer, they soon discovered them to be Indians. John, the older, presented his gun and stood on the defensive, but the Indian said, in pretty good English, "No shoot me good friend; no want to hurt you!" Retreat was impossible, and he and his brother were made captives. We have no account of them until the Indians brought them to their village in Miami County.
John, being a robust, healthy boy of 11, was at once adopted by an Indian family; but George, being young and rather delicate, was about to be slain, when he awoke the sympathy of a squaw, who claimed him for her child. John was taken by his Indian parents to Gerty's Town (St.Mary's), where he was duly initiated into aboriginal life. George was brought to their village, on the present site of Piqua, known then as Chillicothe, where he was made to run the gauntlet; after which, his adopted mother procured a lot of dry ashes, and placing it on a piece of bark, and dipping her fingers in this, she proceeded to extract the hairs fron his head in a manner not at all pleasant to George's cranial comfort, until non were left but the scalplock, then he was taken into the Miami River by two oi three muscular squaws, and every drop of white blood-in their estimation washed out of him. After this he received the kindest treatment, during the period of two and one- half years, the time of his captivity in this village. A year or two after he had been with the Indians, the alarm spread through the village that an army of "long knives " (Kentuckians) was padvancing upon the town from the south. The old men, women and children fled westward, in the direction of Stillwater, and the captive boy, George, fled with them, leaving his white friends behind. The cause of alarm was the army of Gen. G. R. Clarke, who invaded the Miami country in 1782 and set fire to the Indian villages and carried general consternation and destruction wherever he went. Camping near the present site of Piqua, he kept up a continual skirmish with the Indians during the night, and in the morning he burnt the village, destroyed their corn and returned. The marks of a six-pound shot used against the Indians on this occasion, were plainly visible in a red-oak tree that stood near the spot in which the family of Col. John Johnston now lies buried, in Upper Piqua Cemetery, forty-five years after the battle. During the night of this battle the captive, George, was dodging through the brush in the direction of Stillwater, with no exalted opinion of soldiers who would expel defenseless women and children from their homes to wander, hungry and half naked, in the woods. Severe as this was to George, it was the indirect means of his restitution to his parents. Through other prisoners, who were either recaptured or escaped during Clarke's expedition, Mr. Moffitt obtained knowledge of the whereabouts of his lost boy, and soon after effected his release. Let us go back to the bereaved parents when they learned that their children were captured. The father sold his possessions in Virginia, and moved to Blackford Co., Ky., hoping thereby to be nearer, and more easily learn the fate of his lost ones. John Moffitt's captivity continued more than two years after his brother was restored, the details of which we are unable,to give. He was ransomed, it appears at Detroit by French traders, who had been employed by the father ever since their capture to search for and ransom his lost children.
When the boys grew to manhood, married and had families, they emigrated
to the land of their previous captivity, and located in Miami County, and
to them Washington and Spring Creek Townships owe some,of their most enterprising
and influential citizens.
George Moffitt, who was called by the Indians Kiterhoo, with his brothers John and Alexander, and brother-in-law Hugh Scott, came to Piqua as early as 1808. George purchased land at the south end of Piqua, known in after years as the Fry farm, and it is now covered by habitations and intersected by streets. He soon sold the first farm, and purchased two miles northwest of Piqua, on which he resided until his death in 1831. John located west of Piqua, where he remained until his death, some years later than his brother George. Of the descendants of these early pioneers of Miami, only two great-grandchildren of George are now living in the county. Numerous posterity are, however, scattered throughout the Western States. Mr. George Moffitt was a kind and obliging neighbor, but, pioneer-like, he cared but little for the luxuries of life, its necessities satisfying him. He enjoyed hunting, and trapping much more than the ax of civilized life. Fifty years ago his farm was surrounded by heavy forests, which afforded abundance of game, upon which he could practice the arts of trapping and hunting. He once came to the house of old Mr Purdy, father of James Purdy, of Covington, saying he had killed a fine buck not far off, and it was too heavy for him to carry. Mr. Purdy hitched up his sled, "and hauled it home, where Moffitt hung it up, skinned and dressed it, tied up the skin, cut off a saddle, gave the remainder to P., shouldered his venison, and rifle, and, bidding him good morning, started home. George used to tell how he once killed an Indian while a captive. Before the Indian hair had grown on his bare head, he and an Indian boy older than himself were playing along the banks of the Miami, at the north end of where Main street, Piqua, now terminates; and while so engaged, the young red-skin persisted in pecking him on his bare skull with pebbles until it became quite sore. Moffitt grew very angry, but, knowing he was a captive, and, what was a more powerful sedative, the young savage was much larger and stronger than he. Smothering his anger, and watching his opportunity, he waited till the Indian was stooping down near the water's edge for more instruments of torment, when he threw a large stone with all his might, hitting him fair, and sending him sprawling into the deep water fifteen feet below, never to rise again. No one saw the transaction, and George was silent on the subject. The body was found, and his death was supposed to have been the result of accident, and, fortunately, George was never questioned concerning it. George Moffitt and his wife reared two sons and seven daughters to the age of maturity, who, with one exception,are all dead, and resting in four different States. While we pay a tribute to the memory of these pioneer fathers, we think equal praise and honor is due to the noble women, who shared all the privations of pioneer life as wife and mother. We cannot, in justice, close this sketch without a brief notice, however imperfect, of a woman possessing, in an eminent degree, those innate qualities that, under all circumstances, marks the true lady, noble woman and devoted wife. Though her life was passed in the rude log-cabin of the pioneer, that humble abode, in its surroundings and adornments, evidenced the neat mistress that made its rude,walls radiant with cheer, and the seven fair daughters, modest, intelligent and industrious, blessed the pure mother whose second self they were.
During the year 1808, Thomas Coppock with his family came from the sunny
fields of South Carolina, and cleared out a forest home in the woods of
Newton Township. About this time two more families strengthened the feeble
colony, whose names were Nathan and John Hill, also from Carolina, settling
near the present site of Pleasant Hill. Joseph Culbertson located in Troy
in l808. Receiving a present of a lot in the woods from Mr. Gahagan, he
cut logs, Peter Sewell hauled them to his lot, and, with the assistance
of his neighbors, soon erected a cabin, in which he made hats for the settlers;
also paying for his house in this commodity., Silk superseding coon and
rabbit-skins, he lost his trade, and wound up business. About this time
Mr. Overfield came to Troy and started a tavern. His biographer says of
him, that he was an excellent hotelkeeper; he had none of that hauteur
that would repel a rustic traveler; no pomposity or ostentation.
When he was addressed, either by a near neighbor or Gen. Harrison, with "How do you do, Mr. O ?" his answer invariably was, "O do' now-jest midlin'-how is't yourself?" Like Andy Johnson, he rose from humble life to an honorable position.
When Staunton was in her glory, he held an honorable position among the, yeomanry. A man of leisure, though not inactive, he spent his nights in a bark canoe, hunting deer in the Miami. Placing, a bright light in the bow of the canoe, and secreting himself behind a screen, when he would see a deer in the water, he would noiselessly approach, and the deer, totally absorbed in looking at the light, would remain motionless until shot by the unerring rifle of the hunter. This afforded but meager support for his wife and two children, John and Suze. When Troy became the county seat, embryo politicians sprang up like mushrooms, and citizens increased rapidly. Mr. Overfleld caught the fever, and resolved to improve it by his hotel. He bought a lot of Loury & Westfall, for $95, and gave a mortgage on the premises, flfteen bushels of corn, one barrel of whisky, one mare and colt, one cow and calf, one yearling bull, seventy-eight hogs, three beds and bedclothes, four bedsteads, two tables, one chest, one spinning- wheel, one corner cupboard, ten splint bottom chairs, three kettles, two Dutch ovens, one tea-kettle, one pot, one frying-pan, and all the queensware and glassware, and, not "coming to time" on the payment, his mortgage was renewed , and a few more articles added, which he finally redeemed.
Mr. Overfield was a political economist, and, learning that tea was coming up, he came over to the store one day, and stepping up to the proprietor said, "Have you any good tea?" Being answered in the affirmative, and asked how much he wanted, he replied, "O do'n'oow, it's no use to be comen every day for a quarter, gimme three pounds," received his tea, and as he left remarked to a friend, "he don't know tea's gone up."
From 1808 till 1811, the immigration was so rapid, and improvements so many and the changes so various, that we are compelled to leave the field of specific minutiae and ascend to broad generalities. We shall therefore, to a great extent, leave henceforth the individual settlements to be discussed under the Township History, and deal with subjects of general application. Rumors of Indian troubles came trembling through the distant settlements during the year 1809 and succeeding years, and, as they increased, the pioneers began to take precautionary measures for the protection of their families and themselves. By this time towns had sprung up all over the county. Piqua, laid out June 29, 1807, was rapidly advancing in population and wealth. In September, 1807, the Commissioners appointed to select a spot for the location of the County Seat.
County Seat, fixed upon a part of Sec 21, and northeast quarter of Sec
28, Township 5, Range, 6, east of a meridian line drawn from the mouth
of the Great Miami. The report, dated June 25, 1807, was signed by Jesse
Newport, Daniel Wilson and Joseph Lamb, as Commissioners. The site contained
about 120 acres, which was purchased of Aaron Tullis, William Barbee and
Alexander McCullough. The former deeding 40 acres to C. Westfall, Town
Director, July 31, 1813, for which he received $120.30; the eastern portion
was, deeded by Barbee and McCllougb. same date, for $421.50.
The Seat of justice was located at Troy, June 25, 1807, and from that until the present, there has been a good deal of rivalry between the cities of Piqua and Troy but not quite equal to the Greek Trojan war, of which old Homer sang. Staunton, the oldest town in the county, was laid out early in the nineteenth century, and first known as the Dutch Station, and, in 1807, became the first Seat of Justice. The town of Milton, on Stillwater, was laid out May 6, 1807, by Joseph Evans.
In every direction the tide of immigration was creeping along, up the rivers and shooting out along their tributaries, yet checked to some extent by the increasing
apprehension of trouble from the Indians. under the fiery eloquence of Tecumseh, and the coming of the Prophet, who were traveling night and day, sowing the seeds of dissension, war and bloodshed amonog, their red brethren the effects of which were soon to burst upon the unprotected frontiers, first, in the shape of Indian murders, scalping and burning, followed by military complications with Great Britain.
MIAMI IN THE WAR OF 1812
General Harrison, in a letter to the War Department, speaks thus of Tecumseh, the instigator of the Indians during the war: If it were not for the vicinity of the United States, he would perhaps be the founder of an empire that would rival in glory either Mexico or Peru. No difficulties deter him. For four years he has been in constant motion. You see him to-day on the Wabash, and in a short time hear of him on the shores of Lake Erie, or Michigan, or on the banks of the Mississippi, and wherever he goes he makes an impression favorable to his purpose. He is now upon the last round, to put a finishing stroke to his work. I hope, however, before his return, that that part of the work which he considered complete will be demolished, and even its foundation rooted up. Tecumseh, in every sense of the word, was a remarkable man.
His biographer says of him, that he was nearly six feet in stature, with a compact muscular frame, of more than usual stoutness; possessing all the agility and perseverance of Indian character; capable of great physical endurance. His head was of moderate size, with a forehead full and high, his nose slightly aquiline, teeth large and regular, eyes black, penetrating and overhung with heavy, arched brows, which increased the uniformly grave and severe expression of his countenance. He is represented by those who knew him to have been a remarkably fine-looking man, always plain, but neat in his dress, and of a commanding personal presence. The lndians, in general, are very fond of gaudy and highcolored decorations of their persons, but Tecumseh was an exception. Although the spoils of war were often his, he always wore a deerskin coat and pantaloons: He even gave away the military sash tied around his person by Gen. Brock. His great aim was neither wealth nor vain show, but glory. He was married at 28, to a woman named Manate, older than himself, who, it appears, was, both physically and mentally greatly his inferior. His only child, a son, was named Pugeshashenwa, "A panther-seizing-its-prey."
One of his own nation says of him: He was kind and attentive to the aged and infirm, looking personally to their comfort, repairing their frail wigwams when winter approached, giving them skins for moccasins and clothing, and sharing with them the choicest game which the woods and the seasons afforded. Nor were these acts of kindness bestowed exclusively on those of rank or reputation, but, on the contrary, he made it his business to search out the humblest objects of charity, and, in a quiet, unostentatious manner, relieve their wants. Tecumseh never used intoxicating liquor, and was opposed to the torture of prisoners, as was his illustrious predecessor, Blackhoof.
Tecumseh was certainly one of nature's noble men, whether seated at the table of Generals and English officers of the highest rank, or around his own camp-fire, his manner always indicated true dignity, ease and grace, devoid of coarseness and vulgarity.
As illustrative of his humanity and dignity, we beg leave to subjoin
an incident of the siege of Fort Meigs. It is invested with double interest
also, as there is a strong probability that it was participated in by some
of the Miami County volunteers.
Soon after active operations began around the Fort, Gen. Harrison received word that Gen. Green Clay was near at hand with a re- enforcement of 1,200 men.
The plan was for Clay to descend the river in flats; Clay was to detach 800 men who should be landed on the left bank of the river, where they were to attack this, English batteries, spike the cannons and destroy the carriages, then retreat to the fort, while the remainder of the troops were to land on the side next to the fort, and cut their way to it through the Indians. When Clay approached the fort, he detached Col. Dudley to attack the batteries. To divert the attention of the English and Indians, Gen. Harrison ordered Col. Miller, with his famous Four Regulars, to make a sortie on the side of the river on which the fort stood. He attacked the batteries, spiked the cannon, and, though the English outnumbered him, he took about forty prisoners and completely routed them. Col. Dudley, raised the Indian yell, and captured the batteries on the opposite side of the river, but, neglecting to spike the cannon, and lingering on the spot, his scouts were fired upon by Indians in ambush. Indians began to swarm around him; Tecumseh swam the river and rushed with his savage hordes upon his rear; Col. Dudley fell by the tomahawk, and scarcely 200 out of the 800 men reached the fort. The American prisoners were taken to the old Fort Miami, in which they were confined. Here the infamous Proctor allowed the Indians to butcher the Americans with the tomahawk and scalping-knife, and torture them as their fancy sugested; he is said to have witnessed the massacre of over twenty prisoners in this place. Tecumseh now made his appearance, ignorant of what was going on inside of the fort. A British officer described his conduct, on this occasion, to an Americin. He said that suddenly a thundering voice was heard, speaking in the Indian tongue; he looked around and saw Tecumseh, riding as fast as his horse could carry him, to a spot where two Indians had an American killing him; Tecumseh sprang from his horse, and, catching one Indian by the throat and the other by the breast, threw them to the ground. The Chief then drew his tomahawk and scalping-knife, and, running between the prisoners and the Indians, brandished the weapons madly and dared any of the hundreds of Indians around him to touch another prisoner. His people seemed much confounded. Tecumseh exclaimed, passionately, "Oh, what will become of my Indians!"
He then inquired where Gen. Proctor was when, suddenly seeing him at a short distance, he demanded of the comimander why he had allowed this massacre.
Sir," said Proctor, "your Indians cannot be commanded." "Begone" Answered the Chief, sneeringly: "You are unfit to command, go and put on petticoats."
Through the eloquence, energy and skill of this wonderful Indian, combined
with the efforts of his crafty brother, the Prophet, the most of the tribes
were induced to join the English against the Americans in the war of 1812.
The Miamis, and part of the Sliawanoes, remained friendly to the Americans
through the influence of Little Turtle and Black Hoof, but, on the death
of the former, the Miamis yielded to the fiery eloquence of Tecumseh and
joined his band, and thus the frontiers were again plunged in an lndian
war. In October, 1811, Gen. Harrison led his army, consisting of the Fourth
United States Infantry, under Col. Miller, and three or four mounted regiments
of Kentucky Volunteers, through Troy, to meet the combined armies of the
Indians under Tecumseh and the Prophet, at Tippecanoe. On the 17th of November
following, the decisive battle of Tippecanoe was fought, which resulted
in the defeat of the Indians and the loss of the Prophet's control over
the superstitious minds of his red brethren, he having, previous to the
battle, solemnly assured them that the Great Spirit had promised them certain
victory. The Prophet's town was destroyed, and several forts were built
for the protection of the frontier, which quieted the Indians for a time;
but, in the meantime, our complications with Great Britain were assuming
alarming shape, and war was inevitable. She had fired on our vessels, impressed
our seamen, and treated us insolently in every manner, until a spirit of
military retaliation took possession of our people. An act declaring war
against Great Britain was passed by Congress and approved by the President
on the 18th of June, 1812 on the 19th, war was formally declared, and the
President was authorized to raise a force of 25,000
regulars, 50,000 volunteers, and to call out 100,000 militia for garrison duty. The Indians joined the British standard, and the frontier was exposed again to the merciless scalping-knife, sanctioned and supported by Great Britain.
The infamous conduct of Proctor in permitting the butchery of Gen. Winchester's command, and a repetition of the same at Fort Meigs, and his severe rebuke by Tecumseh, who was more humane than he, are too well known to all Americans, and served to excite in the breasts of our forefathers a bitter spirit of revenge, which was manifested on several subsequent occasions.
Having cursorily set out the causes of the Indian and British war, we shall enter into that part which more nearly concerns Miami County. In order to a better understanding, having thought it best to premise somewhat, we shall insert an article from Dr. Coleman, Sr., who, we have reason to believe, is good authority. He says: "Rumors were in circulation of combinations among the various tribes of the Northwest and South, under the leadership of Tecumseh and his brother, the Prophet, backed up by British influence. Our Government wanted more of their lands, but they refused to treat or sell. With a view to bring them to terms, an expedition was fitted out in the fall of 1811. It was organized at the Falls of the Ohio, and consisted of the Fourth United States infantry and some two or three regiments of mounted Kentucky volunteers, all under the command of Gov. Harrison, of Indiana Territory. " They proceeded into the Indian country in a northwesterly direction, striking the Wabash River near the present site of La Fayette, the Indians falling back and accumulating their forces, and still declining to treat.
"While in camp six miles north of La Fayette, the Indians made a night attack, attempting to storm the camp, but were finally repulsed, after a most desperate hand-to-hand fight with tomahawk and bayonet. This was late in the fall, and it was deemed expedient to withdraw the expedition without any further demonstrations against the Indians."
This will show the condition of our relations with the Indians at the
commencement of the war with the British the following summer, with whom
they were generally allied, corresponding and receiving supplies of arms
and ammunition through Canada. These circumstances were calculated to keep
frontier settlers in a somewhat uneasy condition. They, however, felt assured
of safety, as the Government had, in the spring before the declaration
of war, on June 15, 1812, organized a military force at Dayton, consisting
of three regiments of infantry, under Cols. Finley, McArthur and Cass,
in addition to the Fourth Regiment of Regulars, under Col. Miller. These
troops were under the command of Brigadier General Hall, then Governor
of Michigan Territory. They left Dayton and proceeded north as far as the
vicinity of Troy, with a view of taking the route north by St. Mary's and
Defiance. After two or three days' consultation, they turned east to Urbana,
and took the Black Swamp route to the Maumee. It was the intention of the
Government to have this force at Detroit at the time of the declaration
of war, but from the dilatory movements and difficulties encountered, they
did not arrive as expected. The consequence was, the British and
Indians became informed of the expedition and prepared to meet it. The
British, having command of the lake, captured a large portion of the army
supplies, which had been sent by water from the Maumee, and assembled a
considerable force of British and Indians, to resist any attack upon this
quarter from Canada, as intended. It is not my intention to write the events
of this campaign, further than to state that it proved most disastrous.
The whole force was surrendered to the British in August following, and
with it the whole of Michigan Territory, and Northwestern Ohio, as far
east as the Reserve, fell into the hands of the British and their Indian
allies. The British were not inactive after this success, but took immediate
possession of all the settlements, from Detroit to the Maumee Rapids, where
they fortified on the site of the old British fort. The news of Gen. Hull's
disaster produced great gloom and excitement in the Miami Valley.
Fort Wayne was the only military fort north of Miami County, and there
was but one company of Regulars
stationed there, under Capt. Ray, an old, worn-out Revolutionary officer, with little energy, and with difficulty restrained from surrendering. There was at this time a regularly organized regiment of militia, with two small independent companies of riflemen, in Miami County. The whole country north and west of the present limits of Miami County was open to every depredation the Indians might attempt. Immediately preparations for the defense of the frontier were made. The two companies of riflemen of Miami were stationed at Greenville to form a military fort. Soon word came that the British and Indians, under Tecumseh, were penetrating the country by the Maumee River, and next that Fort Wayne was besieged by the allies. This increased and extended the excitement, and several regiments of militia from counties below were assembled at Piqua, Gen. Meigs and other principal State offleers being present. After a day's consultation, a regiment of 700 or 800 volunteers from the various regiments was organized, equipped and started for the relief of Fort Wayne, military stations being establishedat Loraimie, old Fort St. Mary's and Shanesville. A slight correspondence was maintained by an adventurer running the blockade. Stephen Johnston, brother of Col. Johnston, father of Maj. Stephen Johnston, of Piqua, who had been acting as sub-agent at Fort Wayne, was killed by the Indians in attempting to run this blockade.
A line of military posts was established along the frontier, consisting
of blockhouses and stockade enclosures. The principal of these stations
were: Greenville, one at the mouth of Greenville Creek (now Covington),
one at Piqua, one at the mouth of Turtle Creek, and one on the Miami River.
The two companies of riflemen of the Miami regiment were stationed at Greenville,
under the command of Major Charles Wolverton, Greenville being considered
an important fort at this time, though there were but a few families within
what are the present limits of Darke County. Upon the approach of the forces
sent to the relief of Fort Wayne, the British and Indians retired from
the siege of the fort down the Maumee River. It is not my intention to
make further allusions to the war operations in the north which followed
the disaster of Hull's surrender, of the large force sent north, nor of
the alternate victories and defeats for the next two years, and which only
ended with Commodore Perry's victory on Lake Erie on September 10, 1814,
and soon after the re-capture of Detroit, and the defeat of the British
and Indians at the River Thames. I will merely state some matters of interest
relating to Miami County during the war. Much credit is due to Col. John
Johnston, Indian Agent, for his influence with a portion of the tribes
of his agency. By direction of the Government, as many of the tribes or
parts of tribes as could be induced to maintain peaceable relations were,
in the spring of 1813, called in and assembled near the agency, at Upper
Piqua, to the number of some five or six thousand men, women and children,
and fed by the Government, with a view, in part, to their protection, and
to keep them from the influence of the more hostile tribes. During the
first year of the war many councils were held with such Indian chiefs as
could be induced to come into the agency, in order to secure friendly relations
with as many of the tribes as could be induced to remain at peace , but,
notwithstanding the influence brought to bear upon the Indian tribes of
the Northwest, the greater part of them remained hostile during the war.
These councils were of exciting interest at the time. Gov., Meigs, and
United States Senator Jeremiah Morrow, and Thomas Worthington, were present
at some of them. in the autumn of 1812. These councils were generally held
at the village of Washington, now Piqua. The writer was present at some
of them and also several times visited the Indian encampment referred to.
There was usually some amusement going on of an afternoon, such as wrestling,
foot-races, etc., between the red-skins and white boys. The Indians were
generally the fleetest on foot, but in wrestling the pale-face was oftenest
uppermost. There were frequently Indian dances in the afternoon; a few
plugs of tobacco would procure an interesting entertainment in this line.
Some fifteen or twenty Indians, in a half-nude state, would assemble in
a circle on the dance ground, made smooth for the purpose, and perform
a dance of an hour or so, under the direction of a master of ceremonies,
as dances are managed by the more refined of the present day. Their music
consisted of the Indian drum, shaking of bells and singing.
But few whites visited the encampment, owing to the excitement of the times. The Government had, during the first year of the war, declined any offer of the services of the friendly Indian warriors; but a state of inactivity did not suit the Indian character, and there was great danger, if our Government did not employ them in the great contest going on, that the young men would go to the British party. Finally, after much counseling, and Government conference, authority was given to employ Indian warriors. Soon some two or three companies were raised and equipped as riflemen, officered in part by whites, and sent to the command in front, and were reported to have performed very important service during the remainder of the war.
There were two companies of United States Rangers stationed, in 1813, four miles north of Piqua, on the St. Mary's road. They were partly mounted; keeping up regular daily communication with the line of frontier posts. Most of the militia of Miami County were employed as volunteers or drafted men during the war, and generally had a six-months tour of duty at the frontier posts. The frontier line of posts prevented any very serious irruption of the Indians. The following small affairs produced so me excitement: The first was soon after Major Wolverton was stationed at Greenville, September, 1812. An Indian camp was discovered a few miles from the post, and, without attempting to ascertain their character, they were attacked by a party under the Major in command, and several killed, among them two or three females, and several were captured. They made no resistance. This, unfortunately, proved to be a hunting party of friendly Indians, the family of an Indian by the name of Killbuck. The remainder of the family were taken to the fort, kept for some time, and sent under guard to the Indian Agent, Col. Johnston, who promptly returned them personally to Greenville, and ordered the restoration of their property, made them some reparation, and then sent them to their tribe.
KILLING OF DILBONE AND WIFE
The second and principal alarm was from the killing by the Indians of three persons on Spring Creek, about the middle of August, 1813. The first was David Gerard, about four miles north from Troy. Gerard and a man by the name of Ross were hewing timber about one hundred yards from the former's house, when Gerard was shot. Ross fled and gave the alarm. This was 4 o'clock P.M. The Indians scalped Gerard, and fled without disturbing his family. Two miles further north, a man and his wife by the name of Dilbone, at work in a flax and corn patch, pulling flax, were attacked. Dilbone was shot through the breast, but ran through the corn, a short distance, to the fence. He saw the Indians attack and tomahawk and scalp his wife, but, being mortally wounded, could give no aid. He secreted himself partially, and the Indians did not find him. The Indian in this attack lost his rifle, which was picked up the next day. These Indians, upon obtaining this additional scalp, fled. It appears that in this foray there were two Indians, one a lad half grown, and they only had one rifle. These murders being just before night, Dilbone was not found till next morning. He lived till the afternoon, and the writer saw him previous to his death. It was ascertained that these parties passed privately through this Indian camp at the agency, and immediately went on north to the British to receive their reward for the scalps. The Indians who committed these murders, it was supposed, came down the river in a canoe from the Indian encampment, under the guise of a fishing party, as a party of three or four Indians were seen by the writer of this article, among others, on the river, near the mouth of Spring Creek, the evening previous, and they disappeared rather mysteriously.
Upon the killing of these persons, great alarm took place along the
frontier. Rumors of extensive forays by the Indians were circulated, and
a general attack
upon the frontier settlers, was apprehended. Quite anumber of block-houses were erected by settlers, as places of retreat in case of an attack, few families associating in the erection of each. There was much excitement, and apprehension of Indian troubles during the remainder of the year 1813, and men in considerable numbers were kept in the line of the frontier for its protection. Three or four persons were killed by the lndians in the vicinity ot Greenville, but no further outbreaks of consequence occurred during the war.
Difficulties being arranged with the tribes immediately on the north and a large force in the northwest the assemblage of Indians at the agency was removed to their own homes, thus relieving this portion of our great cause of apprehended danger. During these troubles the greater number of the friendly Indians, who had not been influenced by Tecumseh and the Prophet, were assembled in the vicinity of Piqua, under the control of Col.Johnston, lndian agent. The tribes which claimed and received protection from the United States, were the Shawanoes, Delawares, Wyandots in part, Ottawas in part, a portion of the Senecas, the Munseys and Mohicans. A few remained at Zanesfield, Toledo, and Upper Sandusky, under the control of Maj. B. F. Stickney. The number at Piqua perhaps amounted to not less than 6000. These, so long as they remained friendly, were a bulwark to the frontiers. But the sagacious Tecumseh, urged on by his noble British coadjutors, sent his emissaries into their camps and sought every means to win them over, but there was an insurmountable barrier in the presence of Col. John Johnston, whose influence more than counterbalanced all Tecumseh's specious arguments and the high price offered by the British for American scalps. Knowing that so long as Johnston was alive they could not effect their object, therefore various plots for his assassination were devised. Surrounded by Indians, a price upon his head, rising, in the morning with no assurance of living till retiring at night expecting to be murdered in his bed, he remained at his post, though often warned by, the friendly chiefs of certain death, and by them advised to seek safety elsewhere. The Government had placed him there, his duty required his presence; and honor and his country, and the safety of his companions on the frontier, forbade his leaving the post. His wife, with true womanly devotion, and heroism characteristic of the women in those days, remained with him, while his family papers and valuable effects were removed to a place of greater safety. On several occasions his life seemed to have been under the special care of Divine Providence.
Once, while he was passing near a cluster of plum trees, on his way to the Indian camp, he was accosted by a friendly Delaware woman, who told him that hostile Indians were there secreted to murder him. The alarm soon spread, and the would-be murderers fled.
Shortly prior to this, the Indians had made an unsuccessful attack on Fort Harrison, after having attempted to gain admission by sending their women and children to the fort under pretense of begging food. Failing in this, they set fire to it, and endeavored to storm it, but met bloody repulse from Capt. Zachary Taylor, of Mexican fame. Burning with revemge and stund by defeat, a large portion of them, partly under the lead of Pashetowa, a chief noted for his cold-blooded cruelty, made a descent upon a little settlement called Pigon Roost, killing twenty-three men women and children. The taste of blood had excited them into a frenzy and it is supposed that the Chief Pashetowa, with two or three followers, came down the Miami [see supra] as far as the Indian camps around Piqua, with the express purpose of killing Col. Johnston, but, failing in this, they determined to satiate their thirst for blood, and, accordingly, after fleeing from the Indian camp, they went up the river, crossed to the east bank, and hovered around his residence, then, passing on down, they killed Dilbone and his wife, the children only escaping by secreting themselves in the weeds and high grass. It is said that three miles further down the same party killed and scalped David Gerard.
Subsidary to this, we add a brief extract from McAffee, which may throw
additional light on this question and expose the diabolical expediencies
to which the cowardly Indians of the British Government stooped:
At Dayton, Col.
Johnston received word that the Indians had recently killed two men and a woman, some distance within the frontiers, near Piqua, and that the citizens, much alarmed and enraged, had assembled in considerable numbers, with a determination to take revenge on the friendly Shawanoes and Delawares residing, near that place, whom they accused of committing the murders. Col. Johnson (not John Johnston) immediately pushed forward in advance of the regiment, with Captain Coleman's company, and, on arriving at Piqua, was informed by Johnston, Esq., the Indian agent, that he had called on the chiefs for an explanation, and had been assured by them, with much candor and promptitude, that the British were attempting, to embroil them with their white brethren by sending hostile Indians to commit depredations in their vicinity, in the expectation that the whites would charge it to them. Two murders had also been committed near Manary's block-house, and the Shawanoes at Wopoghconata had informed the agent that a hostile party had previously passed that place, by whom it was evident the murders must have been committed. It was with difficulty, however, that the citizens could be pacified. The circumstances being made known to Gen. Harrison, he published an address to the frontier inhabitants assuring them that he had received satisfactory evidence that the murders were committed by the hostile Indians, and entreating the people not to take redress into their own hands but to rely on the Government, which would certainly inflict exemplary punishment for any agression committed by the friendly Indians. This address, with the arrival of the mounted regiment, quieted the minds of the people, and reconciled them to trust for safety and satisfaction to the army and the government. The lndians around the agency were a source of continual anxiety to the Government. From a spirit more humane than politic, President Monroe refused to enlist them in the army. With their families in our possession, we could have relied on their fidelity. Though they were supplied with white flags to pass them through the lines, Howe says that, on one occasion, the militia basely fired on them, though bearing a white flag, killed two Indians, wounded a third, took the survivors prisoners, and, after robbing them of all they possessed, conveyed them to the garrison at Greenville, to which post the party belonged. They brought them to Col. Johnston, at Upper Piqua, who decided to take them back to Greenville and restore them to their people and property. Application was made to the officer in command at Piqua for a guard on the journey, but he could not obtain a soldier to accompany him. He then told the commander if he would go with him, he would go, but, as the distance was twenty-five miles, through the forest infested with Indians, who had shortly prior to this killed two girls near Greenville, he likewise refused. Col. Johnston, viewing the evil impression it would create among the friendly Indians, decided to go alone. Mounting his horse, bidding his wife adieu, it appeared for the last time, with his charge he started on his lonely and perilous journey to Greenville, which, despite many dangers, he reached in safety, restored the Indians to their homes, procured their property, made them a speech, dismissed them, and, mounting, his horse, started alone for his home, reaching it in safety.
The Indians frequently gave evidences of their fidelity during the war. At the surrender of Detroit the frontier was laid bare to the incursions of hostile Indians. Fort Wayne was threatened, many women and children were there who would be in danger and also a hindrance to its defense, and Col. Johnston requested them to be brought to the agency. Logan, the famous Mingo chief, immediately offered his services, and with a party of volunteers, all mounted Indians, started to the fort, received their charge and returned with them in safety through a country swarming with painted foes, Logan and his party exercising, a gallantry that elicited the highest commendations from the ladies.
These acts of bravery on the part of the Indians showed that some of
them could be trusted. Difficulties began to thicken along the frontier;
the British, under the infamous Proctor, were offering large rewards for
American scalps, and holding out other inducements to the Indians under
our protection. Murders were committed, Col. Johnston was each moment in
danger of assassination, Dilbone and
his wife were killed and scalped, Gerard was slaughtered, the excitement was intense, all the men capable of bearing arms were scouting or in the army, the women and children were huddled together in the house of a Mr. Hart, defended by only twelve men, the entire male population at home at that time. It is said the heroic women ran tears and bullets into the same mold. Six of the twelve men did picket duty, while the other six acted as garrison. Something must be done with the Indians around the agency. About the 20th of June, Gen. Harrison held a council with the chiefs of the friendly Delaware, Shawanoes, Wyandot and:Seneca tribes; informing them that a crisis had arrived which required all the tribes who remained neutral, and who were willing to engage in the war, to take a decided stand either for the Americans or against them; that the President wanted no false friends; that the proposal of Gen. Proctor to exchange the Kentucky militia for the tribes in our friendship indicated that he had received some hint of their willingness to take up the tomahawk against the Americans and to give the United States a proof of their disposition; they must either remove with their families into the interior, or the warriors must accompany him in the ensuing campaign and fight for the United States. To the latter condition the chiefs and warriors unanimously agreed; and said they had long been anxious for an invitation to fight for the Americans. Gen. Harrison exacted a promise from them to fight as white men, and not slay women and children, old men or defenseless prisoners, for by their conduct he could tell whether the British could restrain Indians; for if he could restrain them, the British could restrain theirs. Gen. Harrison humorous ly told them that he had been informed that Gen. Proctor had promised to deliver him (Harrison) into, the hands of Tecumseh if he succeeded against Fort Meigs, to be treated as that warrior might think proper. "Now," continued he, "if I can succeed in taking Proctor, you shall have him for your prisoner, provided you will agree to treat him as a squaw, and only put petticoats upon him; for he must be a coward who would kill a defenseless prisoner." The subject being brought before the Government, authority was given to enlist them, and the sequel proved, that, "a strong corps of Indians fought under the American standard, and were uniformly distinguished for their orderly and humane conduct." Thus was the agency at Piqua relieved of a wearisome burden, and the indolent warriors utilized, who, by their orderly military discipline, proved the contemptible perfidy and cowardice of Proctor. Previous to the open attack upon Fort Wayne, but while it was closely watched by hostile Pottawatomies, Stephen John ston, father of Maj. Stephen Johnston, of Piqua, who was a clerk in the United States factory store erected near the fort for the purpose, of supplying the Indians with agricultural implements, feeling apprehensive as to the safety of his wife, whom he had sent to the frontier in delicate health, in company with Peter Oliver and a discharged militiaman, attempted to run the Indian blockade and visit her. Leaving at 10 o'clock at night, they had not proceeded far before Johnston was fired upon by six Indians and instantly killed. while the other two retreated to the fort before the Indians could reload their guns, An lndian was hired for $20 to bring in the body of Mr.Johnston. After this, the Indians disclosed their hostile designs by open acts of hostility. At a subsequent parley, Winnemac, a noted Pottawatomic Chief, denied the killing of Johnston by his tribe, but exhibited his base treachery by his efforts to massacre the garrison while denying any hostility. We subjoin an exhibition of personal bravery, which, inasmuch as being, partly enacted in this county, deserves a place in this connection: "About the lst of September [History of Fort Wayne], a most interesting occurrence took place. A white man and four lndians arrived at the fort on horseback in full yell. It was the Indian yell of triumph. The white man, who was foremost, proved to be William Oliver. He was accompanied by four friendly Shawanoe Indians, the brave Logan among the number. The garrison had been for more than a fortnight in a state of suspense, not knowing whether the express to Gen. Harrison had got through or not, and every day in expectation that the British force would arrive. All were on tiptoe to hear the news. William Oliver had arrived in deflance of five hundred Indians, had broken through their ranks
and reached the fort in safety." Harrison was at Cincinnati, waiting to know if Fort Wayne still held out, but no man was found brave enouoh to undertake the perilous journey. Oliver came to Cincinnati on business, learned of the condition of things, and offered his services. Harrison thought the danger too great, and endeavored to dissuade him from inaking the attempt; but he had determined to accomplish it, or lose his life in the effort. When Gov. Harrison sliook hands with him he observed that he should not see him again.
A man by the name of Worthinton, an Indian Commissioner, embarked with Oliver in this adventurous undertaking. Placing themselves at the head of eighty whites, forty, of whom, so perilous seemed the task before them, after a march of about three days, returned home-the balance continued to the Indian village of Waupaukonetta, where Oliver met friends and acquaintances among some friendly Shawanoes, where he selected four of the bravest Indians, Logan among the number, to accompany him to Fort Wayne. Having cautiously pursued their course to within twenty-four miles of the fort, a council was called, to debate the expediency of a further advance. Leaving, all behind, except Logan and the other Indians, the next morning they mounted their horses, and pursued their journey, with the common wariness of Indians, and without any remarkable occurrence, until they came within some four miles of the fort. Oliver had determined to enter the fort in broad dayIight. They now began a cautious examination of t he ground, with a view of determining if possible,. what changes had been made, and the exact locality of the Indians.
The keen eye of Logan soon discovered that the enemy was concealed along the road, for the purpose of cutting off any re- enforcements that might attempt to reach the beleaguered fort. Leaving, the main road, they cautiously moved across to the Maumee River, tied their horses in a thicket, and advanced on foot toward the fort, in order to get a view of it, and ascertain, if possible, whether it still held out against the Indians.
Fully satisfying themselves on this point, they retraced their steps, mounted their horses, and proceeded toward the fort again, on the main road. The critical moment had now arrived the fort was to be gained, it might be, through a leaden hail, but it was a case of life or death, and putting, whip and spurs to their horses, the faithful Shawanoes, led by the intrepid Oliver, started full speed for the fort. It is remarkable that this moment chosen by Oliver was the only safe one that had for days occulted, seemingly ordered by a kind Providence for the safe arrival of cheer and encouragement to the imperiled garrison. They first approached the gate of the esplanade, and, finding it inaccessible, they went down the river bank, and were admitted at the northern gate.
Said one of the Lieutenants of the fort, "The safe arrival of Oliver at that particular juncture may be considered miraculous. One hour sooner, or one hour later, would, no doubt, have been inevitable destruction both to himself and to his escort. It is generally believed by those acquainted with the circumstances, that not one hour for eight days and nights, preceding or following the hour at which Mr. Oliver arrived, would have afforded an opportunity for any safety."
So close, indeed, were they to the Indians, that, in passing, they saw
the beds on which they had lain while on guard. Oliver learned that the
"commanding officer had been drunk nearly all the time, and the two
Lieutenants, inefficient men, entirely unfit to hold commissions of any
grade." Oliver immediately prepared a letter, announcing to Gen. Harrison
his safe arrival at the fort, and the perilous situation of the garrison,
and started the Shawanoes with it to Worthington, while he remained at
the fort. At a favorable moment, Logan and his companions stole out from
the fort in safety, but the watchful eye of the Indians soon detected them,
and they were hotly, pursued. The garrison waited with bated breath, but
soon the exultant yell of triumph set up by Logan announced to the inmates,
that they had passed harmless through the lines. The Indians now began
a furious attack upon the fort, but were repulsed by the little garrison,
buoyed up by the knowledge of approaching aid. When Harrison
received word, at Cincinnati, of the condition of the fort, he took his line of march for its relief.
The faithful Shawanoes met the advancing army at Piqua, Ohio, and the message of Oliver was delivered to Harrison, who, upon reading it, assembled his men, and, addressing them, said, in part "if there is a man under my command who lacks the patriotism to rush to the rescue, he, by paying back the money received from the Government, shall receive a discharge, as I do not wish to command such." A man by the name of Miller, of the Kentucky militia, responded to the proposition. The narrator says that as he received his discharge, on the morning of the 6th," his comrades, not willing to let him return without some special manifestation of their appreciation of his course, put him on a rail, carried him around the lines to the music of the Rogue's March, and down to the Miami, where they took him off the rail, led him into the water, and baptized him in the name of King George, Aaron Burr, and the devil." As he came out of the water, the men stood on the bank and tlirew handfuls of mud on him; then, forming into two lines in an adjacent lane, made him run the gauntlet, each one throwing a handful of dirt. on him, and then let him go."
The army left the same day and camped in the woods about twelve miles from Piqua. When in the vicinity of Fort Wayne, the Indians endeavored to surprise them in the night, but finding them prepared, reported to the main body that the " Kentucks were coming as thick as the trees." The Indians soon raised the siege, and the army entered the fort amid the shouts of welcome from the beleaguered garrison to Gen. Harrison and the brave boys of Ohio and Kentucky. As a resume of the war of 1812, in which our county was concerned, we append an interesting letter, written by James Harvey Buchanan, and handed to us. Mr. Buchanan says that in the spring of 1812, Indian murders, burnings and thefts were common occurrences near Greenville, Piqua and Troy.
Gen. Munger, Col. Ewing, and Maj. McCorkle called for a company of volunteers. The citizens readily responded to the call. On the 3d of May, at Staunton, fifty names were put on the roll, volunteers to be armed and ready to march for Camp Wayne by sunrise the 6th of May, 1812. An election forthwith, by the officers in command, was held, and, on counting the ballots, George Buchanan was elected Captain of the volunteers, John Bobo, First Lieutenant, and John McLary, Second Lieutenant, or standard bearer. Men that could not go sent their arms or substitutes. Many of the early citizens were wild with affright, and were fleeing from their homes.
This company of volunteers was on the march twelve days before war was declared at Washington.
Wives and friends knew no Sabbath that week, but stitched and sewed in tears and silence.
Money was scarce, but patriots could rally forward to the charge without
it. All arrived at Camp Wayne, a little before midnight, May 6, and in
a few days rebuilt and fortifled old Camp Wayne, at Greenville, Ohio scouting
the thickets and the swamps, daily taking prisoners, mostly old men, squaws
and papooses, and sending them to Upper Piqua, to the Indian agent, John
Johnston, residing there.
Guard and military operations were vigorously pushed until the first of September. The sickly season approaching, and Capt. Nesbit, Capt. Brier, McCormic and Van Cleve arriving, Capt. Buchanan and his company asked Gen. Munger to be relieved from their old position, and sent to some new place, with the privilege of making new defenses. Whereupon Gen. Munger and the War Department ordered that Capt.George Buchanan and his command remove near Fort Rowdy (Covington), make defenses, place pickets and build a blockhouse. In June, 1793, Gen. Wayne moved his army from Fort Washington (now Cincinnati) to Dayton, there to be furnished with small boats, rafts, skiffs and canoes to carry his cannon and military stores up the West Branch of the Great
Miami River (now Stillwater), forty miles by water, both sides of the river to be well guarded by spies and pickets; axmen and soldiers cutting drifts and removing obstructions. It raining almost incessantly, the voyage was performed in thirteen days to Fort Rowdy, one mile west of the mouth of Greenville Creek, and south of the falls. About two miles east of this, at the Lehman Big Spring, on the ridge a few rods north, where the Pan Handle depot is built, and extending west to the high bank of Stillwater, by Government order, in September, 1812, the new fort was built, dedicated and christened Fort Buchanan, by pouring whisky and water on it from large canteens and buckets. All returns, pay-rolls, etc, were reported from here to the City of Washington. Fort Buchanan was eighteen miles east of Camp Wayne, at Greenville, Ohio, eight miles south of Fort Brier, Webster Ohio nine miles south of Fort Loraimie nine miles southwest of Camp Washington, upper Piqua, Ohio.
About the middle of October, 1812, a delegation, composed of. Drs. Coleman and Telford, of Troy, officers, soldiers and citizens---a squad-----in cavalcade, arrived at Fort Buchanan (the ragged, dirty soldiers were under arms, and in review), and passing the guards, asked an escort and pilots to point out the big Indians grave, killed by Trader Price in 1809, near the entrance of the big cave, south of Covington, Ohio.
The citizens fell into procession, and, with banners flying, fixed bayonets and martial music, assembled around the Indian's grave. The soldiers, standing firm in their shoes, looked on while the delegation proceeded to remove the many big logs and stones piled round the place, tearing up the stakes and grape-vines, strips of blankets, etc., that marked the sacred place.
A very large oak had blown out by the roots, the top very large, one limb splitting off from the tree, upper side, showed it was decayed and hollow here the Indians had hacked out a vault, into which they laid the big Indian; then cut the limb off near the trunk, placed it back on the tree again,.making it neat and secure. Drs. Coleman and Telford brought a neat box, put the Indian in it, and took it to Troy for students to practice upon.
Price's account of how he killed the Indian with his own gun, is thus related "While I was stooping and crouching through thickets, over logs and rough rocks, a horrible big Indian rose up suddenly before me and commanded me to walk in the path right on before him." Price's budget hung on his back, over his heavy, large cane. After a few moments, Price thought he heard a gun snap; looking back, he saw the Indian bring his gun down to his side. Price walked on carelessly; again, a gun snapped he looked back, and the Indian was taking his gun down from his face. Stopping almost still, Price drew his cane suddenly out from his pack; it quickly fell at the Indian's feet, claiming his sight and attention. Price turned in an instant, knocked the Indian down, seized his snapping gun, now ready to fire, and shot him; conflscated his shot-bag, powder-horn and tomahawk, leaving his peddler's sack to explain the act of the death angel.
The loud roar of the shot resounded through the forest, and in a moment Indian yells and startling screams rang through all the desert round. Price hastened his escape, not fearing the ghost of the dead Indian would pursue him, but knowing the blood thirsty warriors would. They prowled around through all the country, pursued him to Kentucky, and then to Missouri, but never succeeded in catching him. No one knows the name of the big Indian to this day. Finally, at the close of the war, treaties were made with the several tribes of lndians. At Upper Piqua, Ohio, the middle of November, 1812, thousands were there assembled under their agent, John Johnston.
Thus, a treaty of peace and an alliance was entered into by and between
these wild red-men of the forest and the pale-faces, their new neighbors,
the Indians moving, westward like shadows, and the whites disbanding their
defenses and returning to their homes, rejoicing in the sunshine of peace.
We shall close our brief and imperfect history of the war of 1812 by giving
the names of the officers and a few privates. We should take much pleasure
in giving a complete list of
all the honored names who went from this county, but space forbids. In giving names, we wish it understood that we have made no choice, manifested no partiality, but simply have given those names within our knowledge, honoring those left out as much as those inserted; their absence is owing to necessity, not choice.
It appears that James Blue was the first Captain from Miami County who went from the east of the Miami, and Charles Wolverton was the first from the west side. Capt. Blue was not promoted, but afterward became Judge. Capt. Wolverton was promoted to Major. In the early part of the war a Mr. Rush was killed by the Indians, near Greenville, which so alarmed the inhabitants that they all rushed for the block-houses. Maj. Wolverton took a squad, commanded by Capt. Westfall. and started for Greenville; within four miles of the place they came upon a large camp of Indians. The whites rushed upon them, killing about a dozen men and squaws. After scalping them, they learned that they were friendly Indians, and knew nothing of the murder of Rush. On August 13, 1813, a company went to Covington, and from there up Stillwater, about twelve miles, and camped for the night. The next day they marched toward Piqua, and there learned of the murder of Gerard and Dilbone arriving near Troy, they found much alarm. Old Mr. Tullis and wife started for Troy, by way of Peter Sewells', who lived on the McKaig farm; Mrs. Sewells was so low with consumption as not to be able to travel. She asked to be left alone, as she would soon die anyway, but they resolved to remain with her, and if need be perish together. Mr. McClung was in the army, and his wife and children were at home; they started for town, but lost their way in the neighborhood of what is now Shilling's Foundry. She was afraid to make her situation known until she heard the voice of Mr. James Brown, when she was taken to town and cared for.
Through the courtesy of Mr. Culbertson, of Troy, we gained access to the records during 1812-13. We found the rolls of all the companies raised for the defense of Fort Wayne and the frontiers. Three rolls of Capt. Reuben Westfall, called out by Maj. Wolverton for the defense of the frontier: from May 1 to 15, 1812 from October 24 to November 13, 1812; from December 1, 1812, to April 25, 1813. Capt. E. Kirtly, from May 28 to November 27, 1812; Capt. William Barbee, Sr., for the relief of Fort Wayne, August 12, 1812; Capt.Charles Wolverton, for the relief of Fort Wayne, from August 24, to September 23,1812; Capt. Jacob Mann, from November 15, 1812, to March 15, 1813;, Capt. Buchanan, from May 5 to August, 1812; Capt. William Luce, from August 20, 1812, to February 22, 18131 Lieut. Gardner Bobo, from September 26, 1812, to March 26, 1813; Capt. Charles Hillard, from February 22 to August 22, 1813. In addition to these, we have Lieut. J. Orr, Capts. John Williams, Conrad Flesher, Robert Reed, Moses Patterson, James Patterson, John and Francis Patterson, Timothy Titus, and John Johnson. We can only mention a few names of privates who volunteered for their country's defense, referring the reader to the rolls of Mr. Culbertson for the other honored names. We would gladly publish all, but space forbids, and we put in a few indiscriminately, viz.: Joseph Marshall, Joseph Culbertson, William and James Shackelford, Andrew and John G. Telford, William Barbee, Jr., David McClung James Yowart, Aaron Tullis, Andrew Thomson, James Brown, Samuel Mackey, and a host of others, who hazarded their lives to defend their dear ones from the tomahawk and scalping-knife of the savage, and uphold the freedom and dignity of their country, and to secure peace and immunity henceforth, in this beautiful valley of the Miami, for themselves and those who might follow after them, and enjoy the blessings for which they so valiantly fought.
While we are dwelling upon the military, we may as well introduce an oldtime practice required of all male youth, previous to and after the war of 1812 ---- :
THE OLD MUSTER
As it may be a matter of interest to many to know the military discipline to which the youths of early days were subjected, we devote a page to its explana-
page 261 (pages 259 and 260 blank)
tion. On the 25th of July, 1788, a law was published at Marietta, for "regulating and establishing the militia," which was confirmed by the Territorial Legislature and approved by the Governor (St Clair). This law provided that all male citizens between the ages of sixteen and fifty should perform military duty, be armed with a musket and bayonet, cartridge-box and pouch, or powder-horn and buret-pouch, with one pound of powder and four pounds of lead, priming-wire, brush, and six flints. For the promotion of health, civilization land morality, they were required to drill on the first day of the week, at 10 o'clock A. M., armed and equipped, adjacent to the place of public worship, and at all other times and places as the Commander-in-Chief should direct. For failing so to appear on the first of the week they were fined 25 cents, and for failure on the day designated by the Commander-in-Chief, 50 cents; or refusing to do guard duty, 100 cents, and for refusing to serve in case of invasion they were considered guilty of desertion and courtmartialed.
On the 23d of November, 1788, the Governor and Judges published a law, providing that all who were subject to military duty should furnish arms and accouterments according to law, and for neglecting the same for thirty days, for a musket and bayonet, 5 dimes; for every pound of powder and four pounds of lead not furnished in fifteen days, 2 dimes and 5 cents; for every powder-horn and bullet-pouch, 2 dimes; for every six flints not provided within ten days; 1 dime and 5 cents; and brush not provided in thirty days, 1 dime. They were also to be inspected by the Commandant of Companies on the first Sabbath of each mouth.
By a law passed July 2, 1791, all commandants of companies were to drill their men two hours on each last day of the week, and examine their arms, ammunition, etc. All who attended the drill on Saturday were excused from attending church or drill on Sunday; provided they attend church armed and equipped, they were not compelled to drill on Saturday. This remained unchanged until December 13, 1799, when the whole was revised by the Territorial Legislature, by which the age was fixed at eighteen and forty- five; men were to be armed and equipped in six months, officers to have sword or hanger and espoutoon (spoutoon or pike). Arms exempt from execution. It also provides for distracting and officering the militia; the commissioned and non-com missioned officers to be drilled by the Brigadier six days, five hours each, during the year. Company musters once in every two months, except December, January, February and March. Each battalion to muster in the month of April every year, and a muster of the regiment in October. For non-attendance at company muster, fine not more than $3, nor less than $1 regimental or battalion, not more than $6 nor less than $1.50.
By act of December 30, 1803, Quakers, Mennonites and Tunkers were exempt from military duty, on payment of $3 each year. By the same act, privates were allowed twelve months to arm and equip, and fine reduced to $1 and $1.50.
February 14, 1809, all laws, for organizing, etc., were repealed. Only two company musters a year, one in April and one in September. Battalion muster once in April, regimental in September of each year. Commissioned officers to meet by regiments, in August of each year, for two days' exercise, according to Steuben tactics.
February 2, 1813, a bounty of $12 per month was allowed to soldiers
whose term of service had expired, and who would continue until their place
could be supplied. We pass over all the intermediate laws, continually
changing the mode of organization, times of drilling, fines, etc., until
we come to the act of 1844, which declares military duty a failure, in
so far as the improvement of morals is concerned, and excuses the rank
and file from military duty during peace. From our understanding of the
exercise, we are inclined to think its tendencies were in the opposite
direction. It seemed to be a gala day. At the command of the Captain to
stand at ease, the Sergeants would pass along the line with a bucketful
of whisky, tin cups in hand, to whic h every private helped himself liberally.
But, says an eye witness and participant, this was not to be compared with
the privileges of the officers. Days of battalion and regimental muster
were high days, but
officer muster a two-days' real fruition. Sometimes, going to Germantown and Eaton, there would be four days. Battalion and regimental courts of inquiry were all days when they expected to have a good time a good dinner and supper were always provided, and the by-laws of discipline would be invaded at the expense of a fine, in order to have "something to take" when business was over. Days of regimental and battalion musters were longed for, also. The pomp and splendor on such occasions were truly exhilarating. To be sure, there was a class of subalterns, who gave no evidence of having associated with the " upper ten," and could not be regarded as an ornament to the profession, yet there was another larger class, who seemed adapted to the calling, and were a pride and honor to the military station. These men, on such occasions, swelled out with war-like pride, and, we may say, they "set the teeth and stretched the nostrils wide, and gave the eye a terrible aspect," and, as sable knights of old-only they wore blue coats and brass buttons they pranced upon their pampered steeds, with the glitter of the polished saber, the waving white plume, the brilliant sash and flashing epaulet, the proud recipients of many admiring smiles from fair ladies , whose sparkling eyes rivaled their own gay uniforms in brilliancy; while the stolid, antebellum Quaker, looking on, exclaimed, with the sentiment of the frogs, this may be fun to you, but it is death to us.
Among the officers who figured conspicuously in these muster exercises, we may mention a few: The first Major General resident of the county, seems to have been Robert Young; next, Hiram Bell and J. W. Frizzell; Brigadier Generals, James Fergus, Fielding Loury, Morris, John Webb (now living), Dr. Keifer, S. J. Hensley; Colonels Alexander Ewing, John Mann, George Mitchell, John L. Winans, William Mendenhall, Thomas Shidler, Daniel Grosenor, D. W. Wallace, Joseph Defrees, Thomas W. Mansfield, Thomas J. S. Smith, Moses H. Barton , Lieutenant Colonels. H. W. Culbertson, Dr. Asa Coleman, D. H. Morris, Jacob Counts, Denman, Lewis Humbert, J. D. Brant, James W. Murry, Josias Westlake; Majors, Jacob Mann, George Mitchel, John C. Winans, Samuel Winters, S. S. McKinney, David Jenkins, Chesley Simms.
CUT MONEY OR SHARP-SHINS
From the abundance of her agricultural products., Miami County was eminently
fitted to supply the army with all necessary provisions in that direction
in its operations in the Northwest during the war. The almost impassable
condition of the roads rende red transportation toward the north very expensive
and difficult, and required all the assistance that could be obtained for
that purpose. While the snow was on the ground, sleds were used in preference
to wagons for the transportation of supplies to St. Mary's, thence to be
forwarded north by water. A good deal of money was put into circulation
in this county by the sale of supplies to the Government for army purposes.
In these transactions, the Government paid partly in specie, but mainly
through the banks at Cincinnati, principally the Miami Exporting Company,
Bank of Cincinnati, and John H. Piatt's bank. Piatt was a heavy army contractor,
and his notes obtained an extensive circulation, and continued to be an
accepted medium of circulation during the war. A noted peculiarity of the
money put in circulation in the Miami Valley, previous to and during the
war, was what they denominated cut money. This is said to have originated
in Kentucky, the object being to keep silver in home circulation. While
it was current at par at home, in ordinary business transactions, it was
not receivable in exchange for public lands, nor for merchandise outside
of the county. The Spanish milled dollar or quarter was taken to the blacksmith,
who, placing it on his anvil, with a cold chisel cut it into two, four,
and. sometimes five pieces, keeping the fifth for toll, and yet having
four quarters left; sometimes it was cut still smaller, its vernacular
names being quarters, bits and fips. Occasionally you would hear the term
11-penny bit, and 5-penny bit; hence, " 11 pence, fip and a bit,"
undoubtedly taken from the English and brought into this
county by Pennsylvanians. The name, sharp-shins arose from the Sharp edges exposed after cutting, not unlike the tibial angle of that unfortunate class who cannot boast of adipose tissues, otherwise known as sheep-shanks. "Sharp-shins" could not be carried in the pocket, but a stout leather bag was provided, which confined it until spent for a hunting shirt or some other useful article. Though metallic in its nature, it did not seem to possess that tendency to burn through the pocket of the youth of 1802, as we now often observe in the modern greenback.
At or shortly after the beginning of the war of 1812, State banks were instituted, shinplasters became the medium of circulation, and sharp-shins took their departure.
EFFECTS OF THE WAR
Previous to the war of 1812, the country was in a very unsettled condition none but the more daring had advanced into the deep forests of the wild country. The inhospitable woods were inhabited by wolves, wild Indians and panthers, who roamed undisturbed throughout the vast solitudes. But the beauty of this valley was not long hidden. The watchful eye of the daring hunter observed her rich and fertile valleys, sparkling streams, delicious summers and fruitful autumns, and game and range for all.
We introduce the following apostrophe to the Indian hunter, by Hon. R. S. Hart. "The daring, Indian hunter, the pioneer of the pioneer settlers, had gone in advance of the immigration whilst yet the grand old woods shook their green boughs in the breeze, and lifted their emerald-crowned summits toward the blue heavens, unconscious that there was anu such thing as the woodman's ax. But the sublimest terrors, and the most imminent and menacing dangers of the dark woods, were to the Indian hunter only so many charms. Rifle in hand and knife in belt, the solitary hero dived into the dark and awe-inspiring forest, where captivity, torture, death at the stake or the gauntlet were to be the reward, perhaps, of his first unguarded moment. Under his protection the frontier was settled; under his protecting rifle the first immigrants reared their humble cabins and dwelt in watchful, though hopeful, security. But immigration came rapidly on; the highest hills of the Alleghanies were climbed, and streams of emigrants followed. They came also from Kentucky, the dark and bloody ground, and even from the further and sunnier south.
"The sound of the ax was heard on every hand, from the Ohio River to the prairies that border the far-off Mississippi. Look now abroad, and lo the mighty forest the Indian and the Indian hamlet, the light canoe, the brown otter and the moccasined India n hunter have disappeared. The ax of civilization and the ordinance of 1787 have done their work. There is not a parallel progress in the history of the world."
We may add, that, auxiliary to this, some of the most potential elements in the civilization of the world, are, first, the Christian religion, the handmaid of civilization and bulwark of civil liberty. The love of labor, noble and honest labor, is an off spring of sober thought, immunity from evil propensities, superinduced by the first. To the combined effects of these two potent agents, therefore, are we to ascribe the great progress and the many changes that have been effected in our noble county since the first lonely pioneer cleared away a spot for his solitary cabin.
Although the energy of the country was paralyzed for a time by the war
and the reduced circumstances of the people, especially those whom it more
immediately concerned, we see almost supernatural recuperation and progression
in all directions. It is said, that, at the commencement of the war, not
more than onehalf of the lands in the county were taken up by settlement,
and, being a frontier county, and exposed to all the hazardous fluctuations
of war, very few immigrants, came in at that time but the assemblage of
so many men on her soil published her beauties all abroad and made the
general character of the country favorably
known the consequence of which was that when the country was entirely free from Indians, and all danger removed by the treaty of Ghent, the hardy and enterprising Pennsylvanians, and the unique Yankee, whose inventive and mechanical genius has rendered his name almost a synonym for these terms, made their appearance in this county. A better combination for the development of a new country could not have been found. The sturdy, iron constitution, combined with naturally industrious habits and agricult ural proclivities, set in motion and impelled forward by the indomitable energy and perseverance of the one, levels the forests, converts the barren wilderness into blooming and fruitful fields, and sheds the light of civilization where darkness and gloom had hitherto reigned supreme, while the ever-active, almost ubiquitous-mind of the other soon gives birth to the spinning, carding, falling, grist and saw mills, and, we may say, comprehensively, that mechanical industries follow by natural sequence in the wake of the Yankee. To them we owe some of the first carding-machines, the first fulling-mills, the first cotton manufactory, and the first scythe manufactory of the county, while to the industrious South Carolinians and Marylanders we award the b uilding of one of the first grist and saw mills in this. county; all of which will be treated of at length in the townships in which they were located.
All apprehensions of Indian troubles being now removed, the influx of immigration was so rapid as to defy all attempts to particularize. From a population in 1800 of only 50, it increased, in 1810, then comprehending Darke and Shelby, to 4,200; in 1820 , 8,850; in 1830, 12,807; in 1840, 19,688; in 1850, 25,000, in 1860, 29,958; in 1870, 32,740.
The Black Hawk war of 1832 being local in its nature, caused no sanguinary perturbations in this county. The Mexican war was participated in by some of the citizens of this county, but its transitory nature left no visible imprint here. In the progress of the county from the war of 1812, no changes stand out with prominent significance until the war of 1861 to 1865. We shall, therefore, leave the details to the township histories, and notice some important features in the direction of important impro vements and other miscellaneous matter of interest. Her development was rapid, and, with the lapse of years, her commercial, agricultural and manufacturing importance began to take rank with her older, sisters.
IMPROVEMENTS, CUSTOMS, ETC
The Ferry.- When this county was covered by a vast forest, and the whole course of the river ran through a densely-timbered country, its volume was much greater than at present, and its channel deeper. As the town of Troy grew in size and the surrounding country became settled, the crossing and re-crossing of the river became a matter of grave importance. At an early day there was a ferry between Market street and the opposite shore, the wharf extending up to Felix's tavern, the rates for which were: Foot passengers, 6 cents man and horse, 12 cents; loaded wagon and team, 75 cents; carriage or empty wagon, 50 cents. In order to charge at all, every person engaging in the business was expected by law to pay $5 for license. In 1814, Fielding Loury, undertook to convey boats across by means of a rope and pulley. To facilitate matters, he built a pier some distance into the river, from which to launch his boats. In the first experiment the boat broke loose, and went down the river. It was tried a second time with partial success, but, ultimately proving a failure, the enterprise was abandoned.
River Enterprise.-In the spring of 1819, a project was set on
foot by Fielding Loury to open a commercial trade between Miami County
and the Southern cities. Three boats were loaded and made ready, as soon
as the spring rains filled the river, to start on the long and hazardous
voyage. The first boat, under the command of Capt. Gahagan, proceeded down
the channel, and, after a short voyage, whose beginning spoke unpropitiously
of the successful issue of the enterprise, she grounded among the 99 islands.
A few minutes later the second boat, under the
command of Capt. Hunter, appeared upon the scene, and, notwithstanding every effort to steer her clear, ran into Capt. G.'s boat, receiving such a shock thereby, as to cause her to sink, with all her cargo, in a very few minutes. The third boat, under the command of Capt Hamlet, safely lands. In the mean time, the first boat rapidly fills with water, and, amid the screams of women and the shouts of men soon goes down. Several days were spent in rescuing from the wrecks the cargo, which was taken to the neighboring barns, where it was spread out and dried.
Capt G.'s boat was raised, and, after undergoing repairs, was again loaded with part of the freight which had been saved, the remainder being put on Capt. Hamlet's boat, and, thus equipped, about the middle of July, they again launched and started down the river at a very low stage of water. Mrs. Loury, who was going to visit her parents at St. Francisville, was on one of the boats with her two little daughters, also Samuel Culbertson and John McKaig, the former of whom says that, after making the best headway they could, at the expiration of two days they were still within sight of the smoke from the fire where they had stopped two nights before. While on the Mississippi, Mrs. Loury fell sick, and, after suffering all the deprivations incident to such surroundings for two or three weeks, she died. No delicacies for her nourishment; no female companion to soothe her in her last hours; no sister to perform the last preparations for obsequies; alone so far as female society was concerned, on the inhospitable Mississippi, with no redemption from the necessity of two strange young men performing the solemn duty of preparing the body of that highly-cultivated, delicate lady for interment. In a rough box for a coffin, she was left to rest on the lonely bank of the Mississippi. The principal portion of the freight, being kiln-dried cornmeal, remained uninjured; as to the remainder of the cargo, the beans were moldy, the pork was sour, hickorynuts spoiled, potatoes rotten, and flour much injured no thing, indeed, escaped the ravages of time and water but the whisky. The whole shipment proved a disastrous failure, and by it Mr. Loury was completely ruined. Mr. Loury, not arriving at St. Francisville till the following December, learned for the first time that his little daughters were motherless. Upon his return North, he brought the remains of his wife, and his two little girls. After he had somewhat recovered from the loss of his wife, he married Mrs. Cooper, the relict of D. C. Cooper, who also died a few months after their marriage. He afterward turned his mind to religious matters, and united with the Presbyterian Church.
Canal.-What is now called the Miami and Erie Canal, formerly Miami Canal, was completed from Cincinnati to Dayton in 1831, which remained as the head of navigation until 1837, when it was completed to Piqua, Miami County. Meantime, other canals were constructing in the State, and, for the first time, a State debt was rapidly growing in consequence pf public works. The citizens of Dayton, desiring to retain the head of navigation sought every means to prevent the extension of the canal north, but their object was defeated by a bill in the United States Congress, passed May 24, 1828, granting certain lands to the State of Ohio, equal to one-half of five sections in width, on each side of the contemplated line of the canal between Dayton and the Miami River, at the mouth of the Auglaize, securing to itself each alternate section of the same. When this bill passed, securing its extension, the people of Troy and Piqua were highly elated, and had a grand jollification. On the 31st of December, 1831, the State Legislature authorized the Canal Commissioners to put the work under contract, beginning at Dayton, and, from time to time, apply the proceeds from the sale of those lands to its construction. March 7, 1835, the Canal Fund Commissioners were authorized to loan to the Miami Canal Fund, for the term of one year, not exceeding $60,000, to be reimbursed from the proceeds of the Miami Canal lands.
March 18, 1836, the Legislature provided for the extension of the canal
north of Dayton, appropriating $200,000 to be borrowed in 1836, $200,000
in 1837, the same in 1838, $300,000 in 1839, the same in 1840, and
1841, 6 per cent interest, redeemable
between 1850 and 1860.
In 1837, the canal was completed throuoh Miami County, thus affording facilities for cheap transportation to Cincinnati, the remembrance of which, to those now living who then enjoyed those advantages are, by association of ideas, remembered with pleasure. The "packet boat" then plying on the canal ran at the rate of four miles an hour, leaving Piqua in the morning at 8, and landing in Cincinnati for breakfast, and was regarded by the Miamis as a wonderful feat. That portion running through this county intersects the richest portion of her lands, and to this is attributable, in an eminent degree, the development of our county and the rapid advance in the price of lands.
By affording cheap transportation and permanent hydraulic power throughout the whole extent of the county, various manufacturing interests have been promoted, and, in addition to this, the shipment of ice has become an extensive business, which has assumed proportions that will be of great benefit to the county.
Railroads and Pikes.--Through the northern tier of townships passes the Pan Handle Railroad to Piqua (with which Maj. Stephen Johnston, of Piqua, was early identified, in 1849 having drafted, upon a saddler's bench, its first charter, and, for more than twenty years, acted as its attorney), which, deflecting South, passes through Covington then on to Bradford. Cutting this at nearly right angles, and following the general course of the Miami through the center of the county, runs the Dayton & Michigan Railroad. Again, connecting with the Pan Handle at Covington, the Narrow Gauge, running, from Dayton prospectively to Toledo, affords great shipping facilities for all the western tier of townships.
In addition to these, there have been filed with the Secretary of State, March 20, 1878, a certificate for the construction of a railroad from Springfield via Troy to Piqua, capital stock, $200,000; also, May 28, 1878, a certiflcate to construct a road from Springfield via New Carlisle to Troy, capital stock, $150,000; and still another road is agitating. The number of miles of railroad already built and running is nearly sixty, thus giving to Miami ample shipping facilities. She is intersected with a perfect network of nearly 100 pikes of nearly 400 miles, most of them free. Plenty of timber, rich soil, good pikes, numerous railroads, Miami Canal, good climate, all conduce to make this county one of the most desirable. localities in the State.
MIAMI COUNTY INFIRMARY
The Infirmary and farm are situated about one and one-half miles north of Troy. In 1853, the farm consisted of 130 acres, of which eighty were under cultivation. It was purchased in 1838, and cost $20 per acre. In 1853, its value had advanced to $60 per acre, exclusive of the buildings. The first buildings for public use were erected in 1839, and opened for the reception of inmates in 1840. Of these buildings we have a very meager description; they were built of brick, consisting of a one-story main building, to which were attached several small additions. This institution soon proved inadequate for the accommodation of the Superintendent, Matron, assistants and inmates. The main building, having been let by contract to inferior workmen, was very defective in every particular and was, literally speaking, a "poor house."
In March, 1852, the attention of the County Commissioners was called
to the unfit and unsafe condition of the buildings, and the Directors urged
upon them the immediate construction of new and suitable buildings. The
former, after a full investigation of the existing state of affairs, concurred
with the latter, and at once entered upon the necessary arrangements for
the erection of a new structure. To avoid the errors made by their predecessors,
and obtain the requisite information regarding their construction, the
Commissioners appointed one of the Directors to visit some of the most
prominent Infirmaries in the State. Mr. Butterfield was appointed architect
of the proposed buildings, and drew the plans and specifications for the
same. Commissioner Rose, being a mechanic, was assigned the position of
General Superintendent. The new building was 116 feet long, and forty-six
feet wide, with a hall extending the entire length, through the center
each floor. It consisted of an elevated basement, two principal stories, and an attic eight feet in height, which gave it the appearance of a four-story building. The first (principal) story was designed for males, the second for females; with sufficient room for the insane; was warmed by a furnace, and well ventilated; water was supplied by a tank in the attic, where it was forced from the well; on each floor were sufficient water-closets and bath rooms. The working department, ovens, furnaces, store-rooms, etc., were arranged in the basement; food was conveyed to the dining-rooms above in sliding cupboards. On the east side of the building was a large porch, fifty feet long, which was connected with a small yard, designed for a certain class of inmates.
Unfortunately, the apprehension of the Directors regarding the unsafe condition of the old house was verified. In August, 1853, a violent storm, accompanied by hail and rain, struck the main apartment with such force as to tumble it in ruins upon the heads of the inmates; a number being injured, some seriously, none fatally, and all thoroughly drenched by the rain. Shanties were erected for the temporary accommodation of the inmates, many of whom were sick from the exposure. In 1854, the new buildings were completed and occupied by the inmates. On the 8th day of June, 1859, the Directors met with the Commissioners to discuss the policy of building an addition in which to confine the insane. The Commissioners declared that it was impossible to erect the proposed wing, on account of a lack of funds in the county treasury. It was finally agreed to prepare four rooms in the attic for the use of the insane.
At a joint meeting of the two boards, held at the Infirmary on September 3, 1872, the Commissioners were advised of the necessity of a more ample building for the insane. At a subsequent meeting, at the Auditor's office, the plans and specifications for an additional structure were adopted, and contracts for the immediate erection of the building made. April 29, 1873, the foundation was laid, after which time the work progressed rapidly until the completion of the new structure. The wing is eighty feet in length, and forty feet in width, containing four floors. The first is used as an engine and ware room. In the second is the hospital for the males, through which we pass and enter the insane department for the men. The third floor is occupied by sick and insane females.
At a recent visit to the institution we met the present Directors (in session) and the Superintendent, who received us with courtesy, and, upon stating the object of our visit, were conducted through the building. The halls and wards were in a clean and inviting condition, which speaks volumes for the careful management of the Superintendent and his worthy wife and daughter. While passing through the male department, our attention was called to Samuel Myers, an inmate since 1853, who claims to be 106 years of age. As he was an old man when he first entered the institution, we have no reason for doubting him.
In the female wards, we saw Sallie Anthony, an inmate since 1842. At present, 154 acres of land are connected with the Infirmary, the most of which is under cultivation. Surrounding the building, are the necessary out-houses, the pumphouse, barn and wash-house, the latter having just been completed. A cistern, with a capacity of 500 barrels, furnishes the water for laundry purposes. We. have no records of the officers prior to 1853. The following gentlemen have held the several offices since that time:
1853 - James C. McKaig, Jacob Counts, Asa Coleman, Directors; George A. Murray, Superintendent. 1854 - Jacob Counts, Asa Coleman, George Throgmorton, Directors; George A. Murray, Superintendent. 1855 - Jacob Counts, David Huston, George Throgmorton, Directors George A. Murray, Superintendent. 1856 - Jacob Counts, David Huston, George Throgmorton, Directors; Jonathan Ratson, Superintendent. 1857/58 - Jacob Counts, David Huston, S. M. Dickson, Directors. Jonathan Ratson, Superintendent. page 268 1859 - David Huston, S. M. Dickson, William H. Gahagan, Directors; same Superintendent. 1860 - W. H. Gahagan, David Huston, James H. Pea, Directors; Samuel Robinson, Superintendent. 1861 - James H. Pea, John D. Deweese, W. R. Gahagan, Directors; Samuel Robinson, Superintendent. 1862-64 - John D. Deweese, George B. Fry, W. H. Gahagan, Directors; Samuel Robinson , Superintendent. 1865 - George B. Fry, Jacob Knoop, John D. Deweese, Directors; same Superintendent. 1866 - John D. Deweese, William Hamilton, Jacob Knoop, Directors; same Superintendent. 1867 - John D. Deweese, William Hamilton, S. A. Cairns, Directors same Superintendent. 1868 - Same Directors; same Superintendent.. 1869 - Same Directors;James Foster, Superintendent 1870 - Same Directors ; same Superintendent 1871 - Same Directors;same Superintendent 1872 - Same Directors;same Superintendent. 1873 - Same Directors;same Superintendent. 1874 - Same Directors;same Superintendent. 1875 - John D. Deweese, Stephen Genslinger, S. A. Cairns, Directors,; same Superintendent. 1876 - Same Directors; same Superintendent. 1877 - John D. Deweese, Joseph Bains, Stephen Genslinger, Directors; same Superintendent. 1878 - Same Directors; same Superintendent. 1879 - Stephen Genslinger, B. N.Langston, Joseph Bains, Directors; same Superintendent (present incumbents).
E X H I B I T: YEAR Number of Number Discharged Births Deaths Inmates Received 1854...........30............35..........25..........0..........5 1855...........36............58..........40..........0..........5 1856...........49............59..........44..........0.........15 1857...........49............83..........66..........0.........11 1858...........55............68..........43..........0..........6 1859...........74............70..........66..........0..........2 1860...........92...........113.........125..........1..........5 1861...........43............43..........32..........0..........9 1862...........40............33..........35..........3..........1 1868...........40............57..........55..........1..........5 1864...........44............40..........36..........4..........2 1865...........47............28..........28..........1..........6 1866...........52............44..........38..........3..........7 1867.......... 67............51..........29..........1..........7 1868...........50............37..........24..........2..........8 1869...........57............73..........66..........3..........6 1870...........61............89..........76..........3..........5 1871...........72............90..........88..........2..........5 1872...........71...........105.........100..........1..........4 1873...........81............63..........45..........2..........2 1874...........90............44..........39..........3..........7 1875...........91............52..........31..........0..........7 1876...........80............42..........25..........1..........0 1877..........102...........100..........55..........1.........12 1878..........105............63..........35..........1..........5 1879..........116............73..........29..........3..........6 page 269
M1AMI COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY
On the 12th day of September, 1846, pursuant to a call in the Troy Times, a meeting of the citizens of Miami County was held at the office of John G. Telford, Esq., for the purpose of taking into consideration the expediency of organizing a County Agricultural Society. At this time it was resolved to organize such a society, and a committee, consisting of the following names, viz., William Giffen, David H. Morris, William I., Thomas and William B. McLung, was appointed to draft a Constitution and By-laws, for said society. On the 26th of September, 1846, this committee reported a Constitution and By-laws, which were at that time adopted, and the society, thus organized, proceeded to elect officers for the ensuing year, with the following result, viz.; President, William Thomas; Vice-Presidents, William C. Knight, Cyrus Haywood, David Jenkins; Corresponding Secretary, D. H. Morris; Recording Secretary, G. D. Burgess; Treasurer, Jacob Knoop; Librarian H. D. Stout. Committee on Agriculture, John Hamilton, Chairman; Daniel Brown, James McCain, Zimri Heald, William Giffen.
The following is the Constitution of the Miami County Agricultural Society:
ARTICLE I. This Association shall be called, The Miami County Agricultural Society.
ART. II. The object of the society shall be the circulation of general intelligence and practical instruction in all t.he branches of agriculture. 1. By the establishment of a permanent library of the best -books and periodicals, illustrative of the p rinciples and practice of the sciences. 2. By the establishment of a correspondence with other bodies seeking the same object. 3. By procuring the most rare and valuable kinds of seeds, plants, shrubs, and trees. 4. By the establishment of exhibitions at which premiums shall be awarded for the improvements of soil, tillage, crops, manures, implements of husbandry, stocks. articles of domestic industry, and such other articles, productions and improvements as may be deemed worthy of encouragement; and the adoption of other-means for the general circulation of knowledge on the subjects embraced by the society.
ART. III. The officers of the society shall consist of a President, three VicePresidents, Corresponding Secretary,, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Librarian, Standing Committee of five persons on Agriculture, and a Board of Directors to be composed of the President, Vice-Presidents, and Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, which board shall have the charge and general management of the property and business of the society, subject, however, to the order and direction thereof.
ART. IV. All the, officers shall be chosen by ballot, at the annual meeting of the society, which shall be held on the first Saturday in September in each year, at such hour and place as the Directors shall order.
ART. V. All special meetings of the society shall be called by the Recording Secretary on the requisition of a majority of the Directors, or of any five members made in writing therefor; a notice thereof, as well as of all general meetings, shall be published in one or more of the newspapers of the county fifteen days at least before such meeting.
ART. VI. Any person may become a life member of the society by the payment of $10 into the treasury at any one time.
ART. VII. This Constitution may be altered or amended by the votes of two-thirds of the members present at any regular meeting, providing the same shall have been proposed in writing, at a previous, regular meeting.
The following are the subscribers to the Constitution of the Miami County Agricultural Society:
Z. Heald, Cyrus Haywood, Wesley Haywood, Daniel Bates, James M. Dye,
Daniel Brown, L. H. Booher, William J. Thomas, John Hamilton, William B.
McLung, George Cloyd, Joshua Peck, James McCain, G. A. Pierce, W. Sayres,
D, H. Morris, David A. McLung, James Fordyce, J. McKaig, John C. Winans,
H. S. Mayo, G. D. Burgess, John B. Fith, E. Parsons, B. P. Brown, John
Jacob Knoop, John H. Knoop, George Knoop, James Hoit, John C. Dye, Jacob Rhorer, John McLung, Minor L. Dye, Samuel R. Youtt, James McCorde, William Barton, Andrew D. Sayres, Moses H. Branson, Joseph Brown, Isaac T. Rollins, James Brown, J. M. McCampbell , James T. Orbison, H. Smead, S. K. Orr, George A. Murray, F. N. Marley, Philip Trabing, William Cottingham, C. B. Clarke, Isaac Peck, Joseph Pearson, William K. Cromer, Findley Telford, M. Dye, John D. Fowler, Jacob Knoop, Jr., William Giffen, L. Riley, D. Jenkins, D. R. Tullis, D. A. Tullis, James Telford, A. Morris, B. F. Tullis, James Murphy, A. W. McNabb, Isaac Pearson, John Syp, Mr. Correy, John McCullough, Thomas Pearson, Robert Pearson, Jr., David Gibbs, Daniel Rice, William Tullis, John Peck, S amuel Pearce, J. W. Hart Martin Kessler, A. Fenner, William C. Knight, John H. Wolcott, R. D. Stout, Thomas Jay, Henry Cecil, Israel Kessler, Daniel Collins, Phillip A. Smith, H. Chase, Thomas Wilmington, R. W. Smith, S. J. Green, J. G. Hart, Moses E. Lo ng, Clark Sutton, Daniel V. Sutton, H. P. Dye, Charles Felix, J. H. Deweese, Thomas Orbison, Asa Coleman, David Frazer, Henry Kessler, Joseph C. Stockton, J. D. Harter, James H. Telford, William Suailes, John Wilson, John Clark, Henry Teneick, James Fenn er, James Seffel, Richard McIntire, William Telford, B. N. Moore, Sol Jones, Robert Ramsey, O. S. Thomas, E. V. Corault, George Ramsey, L. J. Abbott, N. Sherman, E Vaugant, Nathaniel Fish, Jerry Fenner S. R. Drury, Henry Dibra, John Cecil. William Stewa rt, Murray Telford, S. Leapley, Henry Garard, James McCandless, William Cottingham, B. B. Reid, A. Gaskill, D. C. Hathaway, William Dunlap, M., M. Munson, John M. Harker, J. Leffel, A. F. Munger and D. D. Odaffer.
The By-laws of the Miami County Agricultural Society are as follows:
I. Each member shall pay annually into tile treasury, the sum of-$1 ; any member who shall fail to pay his annual assessment, or any fine or forfeiture on account of books taken from the library for the space of ninety days after the annua l meeting, shall then cease to be a member of the society, and forfeit all his rights and privileges as such, and to the library and other property belonging to the society.
II. All books, save such as the Board of Directors may except, may be taken from the library on Saturday of each week. No book shall be detained from the library longer than two weeks, under a penalty of 5 cents for each day it shall be detained beyond that period; and any member lending a book belonging to the society, shall pay as a penalty therefor the sum of $1.
III. Any member who shall lose a book belonging to the society shall pay for the volume or set as assessed by the Librarian.
IV. No money shall be paid by the Treasurer unless upon a written order of majority of the Directors.
V. A record of payment of assessment or subscription shall be the evidence of proprietorship for the year it is so paid.
VI. The Treasurer, at each annuul meeting, and so often as he may be required, shall render an account of all receipts and disbursements of the society for the year then passed.
VII. The recording Secretary shall keep the records of the meetings and their proceedings and at each annual meeting, report a list of the members of the society, and also of those who may have forfeited their right as members.
VIII. The Librarian shall keep a catalogue of all the books in the library, and shall assess all fines for loss, damage or detention of any book therein ; also, keep an account of all books taken out by members.
IX. The society shall, in addition to annual meetings, hold three other meetings, on the first Thursday of the months of December, March and June in each year, for the purpose of hearing addresses, discussing questions, and receiving reports on the seve ral subjects embraced by the society.
X. No alteration shall be made in any of these by-laws, except at one of the regular meetings, written notice thereof having been given at a previous regular meeting.
The first quarterly meeting of the Miami Count Agricultural Society was held December 5, 1846, at which, an appropriation was made for the purchase of a library, after which, Mr. Thomas, President of the society, addressed the meeting on the subject of "Scientific Husbandry," which was discussed in a masterly manner, and listened to with rapt attention, by an appreciative audience. That his remarks had a practical bearing, may be inferred from the fact, that the board immediately resolved that the circulation of the Ohio Cultivator among, the members, would be highly conducive to their interests, and the same was therefore recommended to the farmers for their patronage. The library was purchased in the winter of 1846, about $70 having been previously appropriated for that purpose. The second annual election of officers took place September 9, 1847, with the following results:
William J. Thomas, President, David Jenkins, William C. Knight, and Cyrus Haywood, Vice Presidents, D. H. Morris, Corresponding Secretary; G. D. Burgess, Recording Secretary and Librarian; Jacob Knoop, Treasurer. The Agricultural Committee, was John Hamilton, Chairman; Daniel Brown, Zimari Heald, William Giffen, William B. McLung. The first annual fair of the society was held on the 24th of September, 1847.
Officers for 1849-William B. McLung, President; Daniel Brown, Israel Kessler, and William Burton, Vice Presidents; M. M. Munson, Corresponding and Recording, Secretary; George D. Burgess, Treasurer and Librarian. Agricultural Committee: William J. Thoma s, Chairman; Z. Heald, John Hamilton, James Hart, Thomas J. Orbison. The highest premium awarded in 1849 was $3, the smallest, 50 cents.
Officers for 1850-William B. McLung, President Daniel Brown, William Burton, and Stephen Widney, Vice Presidents; M. M. Munson, Corresponding and Recording Secretary; George D. Burgess, Treasurer and Librarian. Agricultural Comm ittee: B. F. Brown, Z. Heald, John Hamilton, James Hart, and Thomas Orbison.
Officers 1850-51-Dr. Asa Coleman, President; William J. Thomas, Jacob Knoop, William H. Gahagan, Vice Presidents; George D. Burgess, Treasurer and Librarian; M. M. Munson, Corresponding Secretary; M. M. Munson, Recording Secretary. Agricultural Co mmittee, John Barbee (Chairman), J. D. Fowler, Josias Westlake, William B. McLung. The first delegate to the State Pomological Society Exhibition, from here, was Jacob Knoop, who attended that exhibition, which was held in Cincinnati, inconjunction with the State Fair. Dr. Asa Coleman was the first delegate from here, who met the State Board of Agriculture, which convened on the first Monday of December, 1850.
Officers 1851-2 Dr. Asa Coleman, President William J. Thomas, William H. Gahagan and Jacob Knoop, Vice Presidents; George D. Burgess, Treasurer and Librarian; M. M. Munson, Corresponding and Recording Secretary. Agricultural Committee: John Barbee (Chairman), J. D. Fowler, J. McKaig, Josias Westlake, W. B. McLung.
Officers 1852-53-William B. McLung, President; Phillip A. Smith, George D. Burgess, Treasurers; M. M. Munson, Secretary; Board of Managers: B. F. McLung, William H. Gahagan, J. McKaig, William Knoop, J. Fenner.
Officers 1854-55-W. H. Gahagan, President; J. Westlake, Vice President; R. W. Furnas, Secretary; -S. K. Harter, Treasurer; Board of Managers: W. B. McLung, J. J. Robinson, John Wiggan, J. M. Dye, T. H. Vandegriff. In the fall of 1856, the President of the society purchased ground for the use of said society, from William Senior, the board confirmed the contract made, and gave Mr. Senior notes to the amount of $1,520,80 made payable in three installments. Officers 1856-W. H. Gahagan, President; John Wiggan, Vice President George Morris, Secretary; B. S. Kyle, Treasurer. Board of Managers : William B. McLung, J. J. Robinson, Isaac Peck, Daniel French, Jairies Hart. At a meeting of the society held on th e 18th of June, 1857, it was resolved to build a house on
the Fair Grounds, for exhibition purposes; the size of which was to be 36x72 feet, and to defray the expenses of this building, a funded debt was created, and a permanent lien on the grounds of the society was given. A committee of two was then appointe d to negotiate a loan of $500 which amount was obtained from William Brown, and a note given for the same, payable in one year from July 9,1857.
Officers 1857-William H. Gahagan, President; James M. Dye, Vice President B. S. Kyle, Treasurer and Librarian; C. W. Morris, Secretary. Board of Managers; Isaac Peck, William B. McLung, James Hart, Daniel French, J. J. Robinson.
Officers 1858-William H. Gahagan, President; James M. Dye, Vice President; B. S. Kyle, Treasurer and Librarian; C. W. Morris, Secretary. Board of Managers: William B. McLung, James Hart, J. J. Robinson, W. H. R. Dye, Stephen Widney. At a meetin g of the society held March 19, 1859, it was resolved to open for competition to all the counties adjoining Miami all premiums on every grade of stock, and to " invite them to compete with us," giving them previous notice of the amount and kinds of stock to be provided. It was further resolved, that, in consequence of the great increase of visitors, it was necessary to purchase more ground for the better accommodation of persons attending subsequent fairs. Accordingly, the old grounds were increased by an addition of the ground purchased of the railroad company, for which the society agreed to pay the sum of $100 per acre, the whole to be paid in two equal installments.
Officers 1859-60-William H. Gahagan, President; James M. Dye, Vice President-B. S. Kyle, Treasurer; C. W. Morris, Secretary. Board of Managers: S.Widney, J.J.Robinson, William B. McLung, W. H. H .Dye and James Hart. The receipts of the fair this year were $1,652,13, which were $96.75 less than in 1858.
Officers 1861-W. H. H. Dye, President; Ralph Peterson, Vice President B. S. Kyle, Treasurer; C. W. Morris, Secretary. The number of managers was increased this year to twelve and election of officers held in January instead of September. Board o f Managers: Daniel French, A. Gaskill, Jarvis S. Rogers, John Pearce, J. C. Coat, I. S. Sheets, J. M. McKinney, Nathan Jackson, W. G. Bryant, William B. McLung, Josiah Westlake, S. Widney. The society met, upon the death of Daniel French, and passed a r esolution expressing the loss experienced by the society in the death of one of its most efficient members, whose example as a citizen and agriculturist was well worthy of general imitation. The society tendered their sympathy to the family and friends in their unexpected bereavement, and caused a copy of their resolution to be presented to them also to be inserted in the county papers and entered on the minutes of the society.. After which, Isaac Sheets was unanimously elected to fill the vacancy.
Officers 1862-Isaac S. Sheets, President; William H. Gahagan, Vice President ; Charles H. Culbertson, Treasurer; C. S. Baer, Secretary. Board of Directors, W. B. McLung,.&. Gaskill, John Pearce, James Hamilton, John Lefevre, J. Westlake, J. Wiogan, J. M. McKinney, N. Jackson, Charles Gross, Daniel Knoop.
Officers 1863-W. B. McLung, President; William H. Gahagan, Vice President; C. W. Morris, Secretary; Charles H. Culbertson, Treasurer. Board of Directors: I. S. Sheets, J. Hall, John Pearce, B. F. Brown, J. N. Kyle, George Knoop, Isaac Brown, Joseph Rol lins, Nathan Jackson, A. Gaskill, S. L. Chaffee, Lewis Haynor. - At a meeting held May 9, 1863, the-President was ordered to seal and execute, to Abram R. Groff, a deed for the tract of land purehased by the society of the railroad company, the amount to be paid for the same by Abram H. Groff in two equal payments, being- $200 cash in hand, and $200 payable on the first of November, 1863.
Officers 1864-W. B. McLung, President; W. H. GahAgan, Vice President; C. H. Culbertson,Treasurer; C. W. Morris, Secretary. Board of Directors: A. Gaskill, J. L. Meredith, Isaac S. Sheets, J. Hall, Louis Haynor, William-Swain, S. L. Chaffee, B. F. Brown, John Wiggan, Isaac Brown, N. Jackson, S. Dye.
Officers 1865-W. B. McLung, President; W. H. Gahagan, Vice President;,
David Kelly, Treasurer and Librarian - C. W. Morris, Secretary. Board of Managers:,Isaae S. Sheets, William Thomas, B. P. Bond, N. Smithers, John B. Woodward, John Pearce, John Hart, John A. Peck, James Foster, Nathan Jackson, H. Brooks, Joseph Barnes.
Officers 1866-W. B. McLung, President; George Smith, Vice President David Kelly, Treasurer; W. H. Gahagan, Secretary. Board of Managers: John W. Woodward, Daniel Bowser, Jefferson Sayers, Ribert Shannon, Jonathan Coate, Nathan Jackson, William Thomas, John S. Peck, N. Smithers, J. Julean, John Hart. At this meeting the Treasurer was ordered to procure the Ohio Farmer, the American Agricttlturist and the Horticulurist for the use of the Society, having decided that the most rapid mode of promoting a gricultural interests is in becoming versed in the experiments and opinions of our leading agriculturists, as set forth and discussed in the leading journals entirely devoted to that purpose. A stock- breeders' fair was held on the fair grounds the 26th day of May, 1866, which was open to all colters, and at which premiums were awarded as before agreed upon.
Officers 1867-B. F. Brown, President William Thomas, Vice President; C. H. Culbertson, Treasurer; William H. Gahagan, Secretary. Board of Managers: Loury Barbour, C. A. Fowler, David Deweese, William Knoop, Esq., Newton Smithers, J. Rollins, W. H. H. Dye, Joseph Pearson, William B. McLung, John R. Woodman, N. Kerr, George Buckles.
Officers 1868-W. H. H. Dye, President; W. J. Thomas, Vice President; C. H. Culbertson, Treasurer; W. If. Gahagan, Secretary. Board of Directors: First year, B. F. Brown, Mr. Carpenter; second year, Isaac Sheets, D. Adams, Joseph Rollins, W. B. McLung , Nathan Jackson, A. T. Jaques.
Officers 1869-W. B. McLung, President; Jacob Rohrer, Vice President, Board of Managers: First year, Alexander Heywood; second year, B. F. Brown, George Buckles, David Simpson, Loury Barbour, Zimri Heald. A committee, consisting of three members, viz., B. F. McLung, N. Smithers and Loury Barbour, was appointed the 16th of October, 1869, to take into consideration the selling of the old fair grounds and purchasing new.
Officers 1870-William B. McLung, President; N. Smithers, Vice President C. H. Culbertson, Treasurer; J. W.,Ross, Secretary. Board of Managers for two years: Isaac Sheets, A. W. Simpson, T. Elwood Coate, William Lefevre, James Hamilton. Director s for one year: Dr. W. W. Crane, L. Barbour, B. F. Brown, George Buckles, A. M. Heywood, Z. M. French. A spring fair was held this year for a single day, which was Saturday, the 28th of May, at which the highest premium, being $25, was awarded Mr. J. W . Johnson, and the second, of $20, to H. M. Reed. At the close of the fair, in the fall of 1870, after all debts were paid the society found themselves in possession of $1,323.44.
Officers 1871-W, B. McLung, President; N. Smithers, Vice President. Board of Managers: A. Jaques, D. W. Simpson, Alexander M. Heywood, Loury Barbour, B. F. Brown, Zimri H. French, Dr. W. W. Crane, J. Hamilton, Isaac S. Sheets and T. E. Coate. Frank Har ter, Treasurer; S. R. Drury, Secretary. At a meeting held in June of this year, it was resolved that horse-racing would not be allowed on the fair grounds. Quite an attractive feature of the entertainment this year was the ascension of a balloon (which was furnished by Davis & Co., of Cincinnati), with a man, who received $200 for his services. The new County Fair Grounds were purchased of Mrs. E. McKaig, in December, 1871. The grounds contained thirty-eight and one-half acres, for which they agre ed to pay her at the rate of $200 per acre. The old grounds were then divided into lots containing one acre, when it was found that there were seventeen lots in all, which were sold at auction the 17tb of April, 1872, the total receipts for the same bei ng $4,655, after which the dwelling-house and other buildings on the ground were sold for the sum of $223, making a grand total of $4,878 for the old ground and its appurtenances.
Officers 1872-Newton Smithers, President , Dr. W. W. Crane, Vice President. Board of Directors: For two years-Andrew Knoop, A. T. Jaques, E.
Shaeffer, D. W. Simpson, Thomas E. Coate, James Hamilton; for one year-W. B. McLung, Loury Barbour, A. Robbins, Z. H. French, A. M. Heywood, Conrad Licklider. S. A. Drury, Secretary , F. L. Harter, Treasurer. The new grounds were used first on Septem ber 25, by the colored people, for the purpose of celebrating their emancipation jubilee. The first fair held on the new premises was upon the 2d, 3d, 4th and 5th of October, 1872, and, at the close of that year, the society found themselves in debt to the amount of $8,596.95.
Officers 1873-N. Smithers, President; Dr. W. W. Crane, Vice President. Board of Directors: For two years, D. A. McLung, Loury Barbour, Z. H. French, A. M. Heywood, Conrad Licklider, A. Robbins; for one year, Andrew Knoop, A. T. Jaques, E. Shaefer , D. W. Simpson, Thomas E. Coate, James Hamilton, S. Drury, Secretary. Upon the death of President Smithers, the society adopted suitable resolutions, expressing regret at the great loss they had sustained, a copy of which was given to the bereaved family of the deceased.
Officers 1874-J. W. Ross, President; Dr. W. W. Crane, Vice President: S. D. Frank, Treasurer; George C. Clyde, Recording Secretary ; S. R. Drury, Corresponding Secretary. Board of Directors for two years, W. J. Clyde, Col. J. R. Woodward, Charles Gr oss, James Wilgus, James Hamilton, James Foster.
Officers 1875-L. Hayner, President; B. P. Bond, Vice President F. M. Sterrett, Secretary; Theodore Sullivan, Treasurer. Board of Managers for two years: A. Robbins, W. K. Dunlap, W. H. H. Gahagan, C. R. C. Dye, S. D. Green and John Wilson. At the clo se of this year.the society had diminished their debt to $6,310.36.
Officers 1876-Lewis Hayner, President; B. P. Bond, Vice President. Board of Directors: James Foster, Charles Gross, John Fergus, W. J. Clyde, David Deweese, W. J. Kisor. W. A. R. Tenney, Secretary; Thomas Sullivan, Treasurer.
Officers 1877-- Lewis Hayner, President; B. P. Bond, Vice President, W. A. R. Tenney Secretary Theodore Sullivan, Treasurer. Board of Managers : A. Robbins, W. H. H. Gahagan, C. R. C. Dye, S. D. Green, John Wilson, Zimri H. French. The board this year issued complimentary tickets to all school teachers in the county, also to all scholars fifteen years old and under, as well as to the Agricultural Boards of adjoining counties, members of the press, ministers of the Gospel, and to committees selected t o assist in decorating Fine-Art Hall.
Officers 1878-M. W. Hays, President; B. P. Bond, Vice President W. A. R. Tenney, Secretary ; Theodore Sullivan, Treasurer. Board of Directors: David Deweese, Charles Gross, W. B. Cox, J. C. Chamberlain, Dr. W. W. Crane, J. S. Fergus.
Officers 1879-M. W. Hays, President B. P. Bond, Vice President A. M. Heywood, Secretary; J. N. Price, Treasurer. Board of Directors: A. Robbins, W. A. R. Tenney, Z. H. French, Cyrus McCurdy, F. D. Skinner, N. H. Albaugh, S. D. Green, John Wilson, C. R. C. Dye, H. Alexander, J. H. Young. The highest premium awarded this year was $40, for farm products ; the least was $1.
Officers 1880-M. W. Hays, President; B. P. Bond, Vice President; A. M. Heywood, Secretary; Mr. Price, Treasurer; David Deweese, W. B. Cox, John Wilson, C. R. C. Dye, Lewis Hayner, Board of Directors for two years; J. W. Widney for one.year. The vote for Jeff Snyder and William Ashworth being a tie, it was decided to settle the matter by drawing cuts, which resulted in the election of Ashworth for two years.
JUDICIAL AND OFFICIAL
The first session of court was held June, 1807, at the house of Peter Felix, in Staunton; in November, 1808,. at Mr. Overfield's, in Troy in February, 1809, at Crawford's; March 12, 1811, at Westfall's; May, 1811, at George F. Fennery's.
Court House.-In August, 1811, court was removed to the first court house, which consisted of a double house of hewed logs one end for prisoners, the other for the accommodation of the jailor, with court-room in the upper story. In 1816 a brick court hou se was built in the square by William Barbee and Fielding Young,
at a cost of $2,475. About 1830, Joseph Skinner built a stronger jail, and large brick house for the jailor. In 1839, A. E. Turnbull contracted to build the present court house, at a cost of $20,000, which was ready for the August term of court, in 184 1. The present probate building and jail were erected in 1854; the latter, a fine structure of Dayton stone, defies all attempts at egress.
Courts and Court Officers.-The following is an extract of the proceedings of the court, taken from the records:
"Be it Remembered, The house of Mr. Peter Felix, being the temporary place of holding courts, on the twenty-third day of June, Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and seven (1807). Two commissions were produced, signed by Edward Tiffin, Esquire, Gov ernor of the State of Ohio, sealed with the great seal of the State of Ohio, and countersigned by Secretary of the State. The one bearing date the fourth day of February, eighteen hundred and seven, appointing John Gerard an Associate Judge of the Cour t of Common Pleas, for the County of Miami; and the other appointing John Crawford Associate Judge as aforesaid, and bearing date the fifth day of February, eighteen hundred and seven. Whereupon the said John Gerard and John H. Crawford took the oath t o support the Constitution of the United States and the State of Ohio, and also the oath of office, and constituted a court.
"The court proceeded to prepare notifications to be set up in six public places in the county for the election of a Sheriff and a Coroner and three County Commissioners, and signed the same.
"Ordered, That the Electors of this county meet on Friday, the third day of July next, in Elizabeth Township, at the house of Peter Felix, in Staunton, and the electors of Randolph Township at the house of Mr. Joseph Evans, in the town of .Milton, for t he purpose of electing a Sheriff, Coroner, and three County Commissioners.
"Ordered, That the Listers of each township be notified to proceed to take the list of the taxable property in their respective townships, also to take in the enumeration of the white male inhabitants above twenty-one years of age.
"Adjourned until Tuesday, the fourteenth day of July, at this house, and appoint a Clerk pro tempore to our Courts."
At a court held at Staunton, on Thursday, the 14th day of July, in the year of our Lord 1807.
Present, the Honorable Francis Dunlavy, Esq., President of our Courts, and John Gerard, and John H. Crawford, Esquires, Associate Judges. Cornelius Westfall was appointed Clerk pro tempore of the Court of Common Pleas for Miami County, whereupon Judge D unlavy administered the oath to support the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Ohio and also the oath of office prescribed by law.
A certificate was produced in the court, certifying that Thomas B. Kyle was a regularly ordained minister of the Gospel, and on application, license was granted to the said Thomas B. Kyle to solemnize marriages according to law.
September Term for 1807.
The State of Ohio, Miami County, Common Pleas, September term, 1807.
Before the Honorables Francis Dunlavy, Esq., President,. John Gerard, Thomas R. Crawford, Associate Judges - Cornelius Westfall, Clerk, pro tem.; Stephen Dye, Sheriff - Arthur St. Clair, Esq., Prosecutor for the State.
Grand Jurors impaneled and sworn, to wit: James Blue, Foreman James L. McKinney, Henry Orbison, Joseph McKorkle. Henry Robinson, Daniel Knoop, Theodore Sanders, Michael Blue, John Huston, William Miller, Andrew Dye, Jr., Mathew Caldwell, John Wallace, John Jenkins, James Youart and Isaac Holt, Constable
Common Pleas, May term, 1808.
The State of Ohio, Miami County, SS
Common Pleas, May term, 1808.
Before the Honorable Francis Dunlavy, Esq., President , John Gerard, John H. Crawford, and William Barbee, Esqs., Associate Judges. Present, Cornelius Westfall, Clerk Stephen Dye, Esq., Sheriff Isaac G. Burnet, Esq., Prosecutor for the State.
Grand Jurors impaneled and sworn, to-wit:
Arthur Stewart, Foreman James Marshall, William Ellis, Charles Hilliard, Alexander Ewing, Joseph Bedle, Robert Mackey, Jesse Gerard, Albia Martin, Joseph Case. Samuel Freeman, Jacob Kinser, John Manning, Patrick Laferty, Abraham Hathaway. John Smith, Constable.
The Grand Jurors, after receiving their charge, went out of court, and after some time, returned back into court, and made presentments as follows, viz.:
We present George Overpeck for an assault and battery, and Alanson Shaw for assault and battery. And then the Grand Jurors, having, nothing further to present, were discharged.
June 6, 1808.
Present, John Gerard and William Parker, Esqs., Associate Judges; Cornelitis Westfall, Clerk.
The Commissioners for the county of Miami, made application for the appointment of a Commissioner, in the place of Joseph McCorkle, resigned, who was one of said board.
Arthur Stewart is duly appointed to fill said vacancy.
Common Pleas, September term, 1808.
The State of Ohio, Miami County, SS
Before the Honorable Francis Dunlavy, Esq., President; John Gerard, John H. Crawford, William Barbee, Esqs., Associate Judoes. Present, Cornelius Westfall, Clerk -, Stephen Dye, Esq., Sheriff; Isaac G. Burnet, Esq., Prosecutor for tile State.
Grand Jurors impaneled and sworn, to wit: David H. Morris, Foreman; Reuben Shackelford, Bennet B. Langley, Joseph B. Robinson, Thomas W. Furnace, Moses Coate, Andrew Dye, Sr., Isaac Embree, John Knoop, Michael Fair, Benjamin Knoop, Thomas Coppock, Joseph Evens, Shadrach Hudson and Levi Martin.
September term, 1808-September 17.
It is ordered by the Court, and is hereby understood, that Lots No. 134, 135, 145 and 146 are appropriated for the purpose of building a schoolhouse and academy,for public utility, on said lot.
Session of the Associate Judges
The State of Ohio, Miami County, SS
Sessions of November, Anno Domini, one thousand eight hundred and eight.
Be it remembered, that on the fifth day of November, being the next judicial day after our Court of Common Pleas, at the house -of Benjamin Overfield, in Troy.
Before John Gerard, John H. Crawford and William Barbee, Esquires, Associate Judges. Present, Cornelius Westfall, Clerk.
This term of court was held upstairs in the house of Benjamin Overfield. The lower floor was used as a bar-room attachment to the tavern, and through this all the court attendants were obliged to pass. This, it seems, occasionally created a little friction in the court machinery. On one occasion ex-Governor Arthur St. John and Mr. George Kerr were below stairs discussing the qualities of Mr. Overfield's stimulants, when, pitching their voices somewhat higher than a conversational tone, the noise penetrated the court-room and greatly annoyed the Judge, who finally sent Mr. Dye with his compliments to the gentlemen, and requested an immediate audience with them in the court-room. Upon their appearing, the Judge said "Gentlemen, the court fines you $ 2 each for contempt," to which Mr. Kerr rejoined, "It bears me in mind you might as well say $10 " "Well, I say $10,
what do you say, Brother Barbee? I say $10 for Mr. Kerr," said Judge B. Having paid their fines, Mr.Kerr, who had grown somewhat excited during the proceedings, turned to the court and said, "Judge Dunlavy, I knew you when you were so poor you had to lie in bed until your wife washed your breeches."
January term, 1809-Grand Jurors: John Norths, Foreman; Carman Winans, William Miller, Phillip Sailor, Samuel Tague, Christian Schreyer, Joseph Stafford, John Jenkins, Andrew Wallace, Benjamin Level, John Hathaway, John Knoop, William Daugherty, James Flinn and Ralph French.
May term, 1809-Grand Jurors James Youart, John Mast, John Coppock, James William Ellis, James Orr, Abraham Thomas, Andrew Sheets, Jonathan Rollins, Christley Statler, William Frost, William Mendenhall, James Knight, William Gahagan, David Jenkins and Mathew Caldwell, Isaac Holt, Constable.
September term, 1809-Grand Jurors: James Blue, Foreman; James Youart, James Fargus, Lewis Deweese, Ezekiel Kirtty, William Steward, William Thomas, David Kinworthy, Uriah Blue Sr., James McClure, James Brown, James L. McKinney, William Gahagan, Joseph B. Robinson, Samuel Freeman. John Smith, Constable. Two days each.
January term, 1810-Grand Jurors: Charles Mortimer, James Marshall, Samuel Freeman, Christley Knoop, John Houston, Robert Mackey, Alexander McCullough; Levi Martin, James L.McKinney, John Peck, John Johnston, Jacob Prillerman, Alexander Ewing, Samuel Morrison and Nathaniel Gerard. Isaac Holt, Constable. Three days' attendance.
May term, 1810-Grand Jurors: Arthur Stewart, Ralph French, John Freeman, James Knight, James Flinn, Hugh Scott, James Naylor, Joseph Stafford, Jacob Price, Alexander Telford, James Orr, Aaron Tullis, David Hendershot, Benjamin Knoop, William Stewart. Joseph Smith, Constable three days each.
September term, 1810-Grand Jurors: Henry Gerard, foreman; Jesse Gerard, Samuel Marshall, Henry Coats, Casper Hendershott, Benjamin Dye, George Moffett, Henry Robinson, Frederick Yount, Joseph Bedle, Samuel Kimble, William Thomas, Jonathan Rollins, William Miller, Shadrach Hudson, John Smith, Constable; three days each.
January term, 1811; Grand Jurors: Daniel Cory, foreman, William Fincher, Jonathan Smith, John Wallace, Michael Blue, William Knight, Joseph Mellender, Jesse Jenkins, John Montgomery. On the venire there were only the above regular jurors answered to their names, whereupon the court ordered the Sheriff to take talesmen to make up the number of flfteen; thereupon the following were summoned and answered unto the--- (The records, from this date to 1814, are lost.)
January term, 1814-Grand Jurors: James Fergusr, foreman; William Berry, Daniel Cory, Samuel Winans, James Deweese, Parker Atkins, William Snodgrass, David H. Morris, Jacob Curtis, James Knight, Hugh Scott, John Clingan, Thomas Hill. Patrick Laferty, Constable two days.
May term, 1814-Grand Jurors Thomas W. Furnas, foreman Benjamin
Brandson, William Furnas, William Fincher, William Concannon, Samuel Jones,
Sr., George W. Caven, Joseph Mendenhall, Samuel Marshall, Uriah Blue, Peter
Sewell, Ralph Stafford. Only the above jurors on the venire answered their
names. The court ordered the Sheriff to take talesmen to make up the number
of fifteen, whereupon the following answered to their names, to wit: Samuel
Freeman, Christley Statler, Abraham Studabaker. Tegal Trader, Constable;
September term, 1814-Grand Jurors: Levi Martin, foreman Lewis Winters, Andrew Wilson, Willis Northcutt, Ezekiel Kirtley, William Campbell, Benjamin Koop, Joseph Stafford, Jonathan Ballenger, Jonathan Miles. Only the above jurors on tne venire answered to their names. The court ordered the Sheriff to take talesmen to make up the number of fifteen, whereupon the following answered to their names, to wit: Moses Scott, John North, William Gahagan, Adam Thomas, James Youart. David Arnold, Constable two days.
January term, 1815-Grand Jurors: George W. Green, foreman; John Coppock, Thomas Cory, William Knight, Henry Freeman, Jonathan Mote, Aaron Tullis, John Moffett, Joseph Bedle, Eli Jenkins, William Gahagan, Alexander Telford, John Wilson, John Knight. Michael Cox, Constable.
May Term, 1815-Grand Jurors: John Johnston, foreman; John Simmons, Daniel Shryrock, William Barbee, John M. Freeman, John Wiley, Joseph Coe, John Gearhart, John Mast, Michael Mitchel, Uriah Blue Sr., Armstrong Brandon, Robert D. Brier, James Hawarth. Michael Cox, Constable; two days each.
September term, 1815-Grand Jurors: Joseph Cropley, George Recharon (uncertain), Joseph Culbertson, James Brown, R. Morrison, David M. Conanhay, George Westfall, William M. Cecil, James Brown, Capt. Foreman, Thomas Hile, Abia B. Martin. John North, Sr., Henry Hoover, James Knight, John Foda, Philip Sailor. Patrick Laferty Constable; 3days.
January term, 1816-Grand Jurors: William McCampbell, Foreman, John Underwood, Robert Hinton, David Jenkins, Sr., Alexander McCullough, Sr., Edward Jackson, James Orr, Richard Lenox, William Fischer, William Frost, Daniel Lefevre, Samuel Teagaue, John Campbell, Samuel Freeman, John F. Tullis. Michael Cox, Constable.
April term, 1816-Grand Jurors: James Brown, Foreman, Joseph Layton, Samuel Teague, Barnabas Burns, Ralph Stafford, Alexander Telford, Robert Morrison, Jesse Edwards, Benjamin Ledwell, Joseph Defrees, Benjamin Dye, Hugh Scott, Thomas Coppock Archibald Byron, Jacob Williams. Michael Cox, Constable.
September term, 1816-Grand Jurors: Jonathan Ballenger, Foreman, Thomas McKinney, William Tullis, Phillip Sailor, Hezekiah Hubble, John M. Dye, William Coate, John Jeffries, John Williams, Daniel Egenbroad, Robert Montgomery, Samuel Freeman, Isaac Embin, Daniel Ferrel, John Shidacker. Tegal Trader, Constable.
December term, 1816-Grand Jurors: Robert Barnes, Foreman, George Brier, Isaac Garard, Nathan Hill, John Williams, Barnabas Blue, Sr., Joseph Elmore, Aaron Thomas, Thomas McCool, George Williams, Beniamin S. Cox Sr, William Tullis, Robert C. Crawford, Ralph Stafford, John North Sr. Michael Cox, Constable.
May term, 1817-Grand Jurors: Alexander Moffett, Foreman, John Johnston, John Francis, Esq, Christian Lefevre, Andrew Wiatt, Cephas Cary, Joseph Mellenger, William Huston, David Jenkins, John Jay, Sr, John Gilmore, William Mitchell, John Carson, Tedas Hart, Henry Mann. Jonathan Couch, Constable.
October term, 1817-Grand Jurors: .Eli Jenkins, Foreman, John
Underwood, James Knight, Robert McClure, John Reed, John Knoop, Uriah Blue,
George Cavern, Joseph Mendenhall, James Stafford, James Scudder, William
Gahagan, Joseph Miller, James Youart, Andrew Dye, Jr. Tegal Trader, Constable.
Treasurers-Andrew Wallace, appointed 1807, served four years; William Brown, appointed 1811, served thirty-one years; John G. Telford, elected 1842, served one year; Jacob Knoop, elected 1843, served eight years; William C. Knight, elected 1852, served one year; Andrew Patterson, elected 1853, served one year George S. Murray, elected 1854 George C. Clyde, elected 1855, served eight years; M. D. Mitchell, elected 1863, served two years; A. L. McKinney, elected 1865, served five years Samuel D. Frank, elected 1870, served two years; Theodore Sullivan, elected 1872, served four years; John A. McCurdy, elected, 1876, present incumbent.
Auditors-H. W. Culbertson, elected October, resigned December, 1822 David Grosvenor, appointed December, 1822, served seven years; Thomas S. Barrett, elected October, 1829, served six years; Jacob Knoop, elected October, 1835, served seven years; Benjamin F. Powers, elected October, 1842, served seven years Thomas B. Kyle, elected October, 1849, served five years; James Nesbitt, elected October, 1854, served two years; C. N. Hoagland, elected October, 1856, served two years; J. W. Defreese, elected October, 1858, served four years; Robert J. Douglass, elected October, 1862, served four years; George C. Clyde, elected October, 1866, resigned October, 1871; Newton C. Clyde, appointed October, 1871, served till election; Eli Tenney, elected October , 1871, deceased in September, 1873; W. I. Tenney, appointed September, 1873, served four years; Charles C. Barnet, elected October, 1877, present incumbent.
Recorders.-Cornelius Westfall, appointed August, 1807, served sixteen years; William Barbee, elected August, 1823, served eight years; Z. Riley, elected August, 1831, served seven years; George D. Burgess, elected January, 1848, served three years; J. Widener, elected January, 1851, served six years; J. P. Williamson, elected January, 1857, served six years; H. M. Lukens, elected January, 1863, served three years; George Green, elected January, 1869, present incumbent.
Sherifs.-Stephen Dye, elected October, 1807, served four years; Thomas W. Furnas, elected October, 1811, served two years; Stephen Dye, elected October, 1813, served four years; Levi Hart, elected October, 1817, served four years; Leander Munsell, elected October, 1821, served two years; Robert Culbertson, elected October, 1823, served four years; Thomas W. Furnas, elected October, 1827, served four years; John Shidler, elected October, 1831, served four years; Thomas W. Furnas, elected October, 1835, served four years; Joseph Defreese, elected October, 1839, served four years; Stephen Johnston, elected October, 1843, served four years; Thomas Jay, elected October, 1847, served four years; Joseph Pearson, elected October, 1851 served two years; James M. Roe, elected October, 1853, resigned 1854; Daniel Ellis, appointed August, 1854, served five years; John Hart, elected October, 1859, served four years; C. T. Baer, elected October, 1863, served two years; Samuel D. Frank, elected October, 1865, served four years; William Evans elected October, 1869, served four years; David L. Lee, elected October, 1873, served four years; D. C. Miller, elected October, 1877, present incumbent.
Presidinq Judges.-Francis Dunlavy, elected September, 1807, served ten years Joseph H. Crane, elected May, 1817, served twelve years; George B. Holt, elected March 1829. served seven years; William L. Helfenstein, elected April, 1836, served fourteen years; John Beers, elected March, 1850, served -- years.
Associate Judges. -John Gerard, elected September, 1807, served
eight years; John H. Crawford, elected September 1807, served ten years;
William Barbee, elected May, 1808, served six years; William Parker, elected
June, 1808, served years; James Blue, elected January, 1814, served five
years; John Widney, elected May, 1817, served five years; John Wilson,
elected November, 1819, served fifteen years; Thomas Adams, elected 1820,
served - years; Asa Coleman, elected 1822, served five years; James Fenner,
elected 1827, served seven years; Benojah Ayres, elected 1834, served seven
years; Francis Johnston,
elected 1834, served seven years; John Wilson, elected 1841, served - years; Moses G. Mitchell, elected 1841, served - years; John C. Winans, elected 1841, served - years; John Smeltzer, elected 1842, served - years; David H. Morris, elected 1848, served two years; William Barbee, elected 1850, served two years; Abner Haines, elected 1852, served one term R. S. Hart, elected 1852, served three years; James Clark, elected 1855, served one term; R. S. Hart, elected 1855, served three years; William White, elected 1857, served one year; Ebenezer Parsons, elected 1859, served five years; Alexander F. Hume, elected 1863, served two terms; William Allen, elected 1866, served one year; lchabod Corwin, elected 1867, served two terms; George J. Smith, elected 1867, served five years; W. J. Gilmore, elected 1872, served one year Robert C. Fulton, elected 1873, served one year; David L. Meeker, elected 1874, served - years.
Clerk of the Court.-Cornelius Westfall, elected 1807, served twenty years; John G. Telford, elected 1827, served twelve years; Thomas J. S. Smith, elected 1839, served thirteen years; Benjamin W. Leavill, elected 1852, served seven years; Barton S. Kyle, elected 1859, served three years; Charles V. Royce, elected 1862, served one year; Smith Talbot, elected 1863, served eleven years; John W. Cruikshank, elected 1874, served six years; John B. Latchford, elected 1880; E. Adams, elected 1818, served four years; William J. Thomas, elected 1822, served thirteen years; Thomas S. Barrett, elected 1835, served five years; R. S. Hart, elected 1840, served three years; Ebenezer Parsons, elected 1843, served seven years; R. G. Sellers, elected. 1850, served one year; M. H. Jones, elected 1851, served eight years; James T. Tanvier, elected 1859, served seven years; Walter S. Thomas, elected 1866, served four years; William F. Ross, elected 1870, served two years; Henry H. Williams, elected 1872, served four years; Calvin D. Wright, elected 1876, served four years; M. B. Earheart, elected 1880, present incumbent.
Surveyors.-It appears from the records that Surveyors were not regularly elected, but, as occasion demanded, were appointed for surveying roads, ditches, etc. The following is a list of the same, with the date of appointment, as nearly as can be ascertained: Armstrong Brandon, appointed February 1,, 1808; Fielding Loury, April 1, 1808; Andrew Wallace, June 6, 1808; Armstrong Brandon, December 4,1809; David Hoover, November 1, 1813; Benjamin S. Cox, September 28, 1814; John Devor, March 6, 1815; James Cregan, June 6, 1815; Robert Finney, December 3, 1816; Henry Hoover, May 26 1817; James Cregan, August 4, 1818; William R. Finn, November 29 1819; J. T. Tullis, March 6,1826; Simon Loop, March 2, 1835; James Hanks, January 23, 1836; John H. Wolcott, December 5, 1836; James Hanks, 1837; John H. Wolcott, 1838; Jacob Knoop, 1839, William Giffin, elected 1844, served seven years; John B. Fish, 1851 served one year; Charles Gibbs, 1852, served two years; Benjamin Field, 1854, served seven years John E . Alexander, 1861, served six year; John N. Rouzer, 1867, served four years; A. R. Byrkitt, 1871, resigned 1872; John Rouzer, appointed 1872, served one year; A. C. Buchanan, 1873, served two years; E.P.Kellog, 1875 served one year; N.O.Evans, 1876, present-incumbent.
Tax Collectors- John Smith, appointed 1808; Henry Orbison, 1808; Isaac Holt, 1809; John Smith, 1810; Robert C. Crawford, 1811; William Barbee, Sr., 1812; Robert Barns, 1813; James L. McKinney, 1814; Jesse Gerard,1815; Corbly Martin, 1816; Andrew Wiatt, 1817; James Kineannon, 1818; Levi Martin Jr, 1819; G. W. Green, 1821; John Young, 1822; Joseph M. Skinner, 1825; Joseph M. Skinner, 1825, and 1826. Abolished in 1827.
County Commsioners.- At the first session of the Court of Common
Pleas held in this county (1807), it was ordered by the court, that the
electors of Miami County meet on Friday, 3rd day of July, for the purpose
of electing a Sheriff, Coroner, and three County Commissioners. At this
meeting, it appears that Samuel Jones, William Barbee and Henry Gerard
were appointed to serve till the regular eleetion, held the 13th of October
following, at which election Joseph McCorkle was
elected Commissioner by 109 votes; Henry Gerard, 195, and James Naylor, 108. Joseph McCorkle resigning in June, 1808, Arthur Stewart was appointed to fill the vacancy till the election, in October, 1808; Henry Gerard served from his appointment, in July, 1807, till October, 1824; William Barbee served from his appointment, in July, 1807, till October, 1808; Alexander Ewing, from October, 1808, till October, l810; Thomas Coppock, from October, 1808, till October, 1811; James Naylor, from October, 1810 to October, 1813; Alexander McNutt, from 1811, to March, 1814; James Fergus, from March 1814, to October, 1818; John Wilson, from October, 1818, to October 1819; William Mendenhall, from October, 1819, to October, 1822; James Orr, from October, 1820, to October, 1826; James Johnston, from October, 1822, to October, 1826; William Barbee, re-elected Octoher, 1824, served till October, 1829; Oliver Benton, from October, 1826, to October, l829; Hugh Scott, from October, 1826, to October, 1827; Henry Gerard, from October, 1827, to October, 1828 from October, 1828; William Wiley from October 1828 to June, 1831; Robert Morrison, from October, 1829, to October, 1838; Michael Williams, from October, 1829, to October, 1842; James Brown, from September, 1831, to October, 1834; Ephraim P. Davis, from October, 1834, to October, 1835; William Wiley, from October, 1835, to October, 1837; Samuel Pierce, from October, 1836, to October, 1839; Richard Morrow, from October, 1837, to October, 1843; James Fergus, re- elected October, 1838, served till October, 1842; Jacob Knoop, Sr., from October, 1842, to October, 1844; Samuel Kelly, from October, 1842, to October, 1851; William C. Knight, from October, 1843, to October, 1846; William Elliott, from October, 1844, to October, 1847; D. R. Morris, from October, 1846, to October, 1848; Isaac Sheets, from October, 1847, to October, 1850; William Scott, from October, 1847, to October, 1849; J. N. Wolcott, from October 1849, to October, 1852; Jacob Knoop, from October, 1850, to October, 1853; Thomas B. Rose, from October, 1851, to October, 1855; Abner Jones, from October, 1852, to October, 1854; Ralph Peterson, from October, 1853, to October, 1856; B. F. Brown, from October, 1854, to October, 1860; Howard Mitchell, from October, 1855, to October, 1861; Jeremiah Fenner, from October, 1856 to October, 1859; Jacob Rohrer, from October, 1859, to November, 1865; Jonathan C. Coate, from Octoher, 1860, to his death in 1872; James Sims, Jr. from October, 1861, to October, 1867; D. M. Rowzer, from December, 1865, to October, 1871; Nathan Jackson, from October, 1867, to October, 1870; B. F. Brown, reelected October, 1870, served till November 1876; James Saylor, from October, 1871, to October, 1874; D. M. Coate, from October, 1872, to October, 1875; Isaac Clyne, elected October, 1874, serves at the present time; William H. Norcutt, elected, October, 1875, serves at present time; D. C. Branson, served from December, 1876, to October, 1879; William Johnston, elected in October, 1879, serves at present time.
MIAMI COUNTY IN THE OHIO LEGISLATURE
The first Representative in the Legislature for Miami County, session
cornmencing December 8, 1808, was Arthur Stewart; flrst Senator for Montgomery,
Miami and Preble Counties, same session, was Daniel Cooper, of Montgomery
County. In the vote for Governor in 1808, Miami County cast 270 votes.
1809-Representative for Miami County, Fielding Loury Senator, Daniel C.
Cooper. 1810 RepTesentative, Fielding Loury; Senator, David Purviance.
181I- Representative, Joseph Evans Senator, David Purviance. 1812- Representative,
James Blue Senator, David Purviance. 1813- Representative, Thomas W. Furnas;
Senator, David Purviance. 1814- Representative, Samuel Kyle Senator, David
Purviance. 1815- Representative, Robert Montgomery; Senator, David Purviance.
1816- Repre sentative, Asa Coleman ; Senator, Thomas W. Furnas. 1817- Senator,
Thomas W. Furnas; Representative, Darke and Miami Counties, Asa Coleman,
1818-Senator, Thomas W. Furnas; Representative, Miami and Darke Counties.,
James Furgus. 1819- Senator, Thomas W. Furnas - Representative,. Miami
and Allen Counties James Furgus. 1820-Senator, Wiiliam L. Henderson - Representative,
John P. Finley. 1821-Senator, Walter Buell; Representative,
Thomas W. Furnas 1822-Senator, Thomas W. Furnas; Representative, William Mendenhall. 1823-Senator, Thomas W. Furnas; Representative, Leander Munsell. 1824-Senator, Miami, Shelby, Logan, Hardin, Hancock and Wood Counties, Robert Young - Senator, Miami, Shelby, Logan, Hardin, Hancock and Allen Counties, J. W. McC'orkle. 1825-Senator, Miami, Shelby, Allen, Logan, Hardin, Wood and Hancock Counties, Robert Young; Representative, Miami, Shelby and Allen Counties, James Furgus. 1826-Senator, Miami, Shelby and Wood Counties, James Furgus; Representative, Miami, Shelby and Allen Counties, James Furgus. 1827-Senator, same Senator from same district; Representative, Miami and Shelby Counties, William Fielding. 1828-Senator, Montgomery and Miami Counties, G. B. H olt; Representative, Miami and Shelby Counties, John McCorkle. 1829-Senator, Montgomery and Miami Counties, Morris Seeley; Representative, Miami and Shelby Counties, William Barbee. 1830 Senator, Montagmery and Miami Counties, Morris Seeley Representati ve, Miami and Shelby Counties, William Barbee. 1831- Senator, Montogomery and Miami Counties, Robert Young Representative, Miami and Shelby Counties, William Barbee. 1832- Senator, Miami and Shelby Counties, Robert Young Representative, Miami County, Amos Perry. 1833-Senator, Miami, Darke and Shelby Counties, James Johnston , Representative, James Furgus. 1834- Senator, Miami, Allen and Darke Counties, James Johnston Representative, John Wilson. 1835-Senator -Miami, Allen, Darke and Shelby Counties, John E . Hunt Representative, Thomas J. Smith.. 1836,-Senator, Miami, Darke and Mercer Counties, William I. Thomas; Representatives, Darke and Miami, Stacy Taylor, and Hiram Bell. 1837-Senator, Montgomery, Darke and Shelby Counties, William 1. Thomas; Represen tative, Montgomery, Darke and Miami Counties, Hiram Bell. 1838 Senator, Montgomery, Darke and Miami Counties, William I. Thomas; Representatives, same District, John Briggs and Justin Hamilton. 1839-Senator, Montgomery, Darke and Miami Counties, William I. Thomas; Miami, Darke and Mercer Counties, Thomas Shidler, and Marshall J. Purviance. 1840-Senator, Montgomery, Darke, Miami and Shelby Counties, William I. Thomas; Representatives, Montgomery, Darke, Miami and Shelby Counties, Hiram Bell, Justin Hamilton and John Brown. 1841 Senator, Montgomery, Darke, Miami and Shelby Counties, Justin Hamilton, Joseph S. Updegraff, I.N.Gard. 1842-Senator, Montgomery, Darke, Miami and Shelby Counties, Joseph S. Updegraff; Representatives, Montgomery, Darke, Miami and Shelby Counties, Jacob Counts and John McClure, 1843-Senator, Joseph S. Updegraff; Representatives, Miami, Darke, Mercer and Shelby Counties, David Alexander, James Bryson and J. W. Riley. 1844-Senator John O'Ferrall; Representative, David H. Morris. 1845-Senator, John O'Ferrall; Representative, Stephen Johnston. 1846-Seiiator, William M. Wilson; Representative, Joseph Potter. 1847-Senator, William M. Wilson Representative, W. A. Weston. 1848-Senator, J. S. Conklin; Representative, Tanzy Julian. 1849-Senator, J. S. Conklin; Representative, Joshua Worley. 1850-Senator, J. H. Hart; Representative, H. S. Mayo. Adoption of New Constitution changed the term to two years. 1852-Senator, Rankin Walkup Representative, Augustus Fenner. 1851-Senator, John McClure; Representative, Levi N. Booher. 1856-Senator, W. H. Lawder Representative, Eli Tenney. 1858-Senator, Isaac N. Gard; Representative, M. H. Jones. 1860; Senator, Hardesty Walker; Representatives, W. B. McLung and S. E. Brown. 1862-Senator, W. B. McLung; Representative, J. H. Randall. 1864-Senator, D. J. Mauzy; Representative, J. H. Randall 1866; Senator, J. E. Cummins; Representative, David Alexander. 1868; Senator, J. L. Winner; Representative, J. C. Ullery, 1870.- Senator, J. L. Winner; Representative, J. P. Williamson. 1872 Senator, J. W. Morris: Representative, G. C Clyde. 1874-Senator, J. W. Morris; Representative, Joseph E. Pearson. 1876-Senator, N. R. Burress; Represntative, J. C. Ullery.
MIAMI IN THE GREAT REBELLION
When, on that memorable day in April, 1861, the old flag was struck by traitor hands, and a semi-circle of hostile batteries converged their fire on Sumter, compelling its surrender, a thrill of martial ardor, a firing of souls to revenge the deed, brought Miami to the front. In a single day the Covington Blues had enrolled and responded to the President's call. A second day saw them at Columbus. Swiftly organized as Co. I, Second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, they pushed on to Washington.
The number of soldiers raised by Miami, under the calls for 75,000 and 300,000 men, can only be approximately stated at 1,405. The Ninety-fourth Ohio, rendezvousing at Piqua, and raised in Greene, Clark, Darke and Miami, was filled on August 14. The One Hundred and Tenth Ohio was recruited full by October 3. The county filled her quota, and had a surplus on October 1, 1862. From an enrollment of 5,814 men, 2,120 had volunteered by September 1. All honor to the county where such patriotism dwells, and to the brave men who feared not, for their country, to quench life's gushing tide in the fore-front of many a desperate battle-field fears, later justified, of armed invasion, caused an enrollment of the National Guard. To this enrollment Miami furnished 4,485 men.
While the soldiers contested the question of secession in the field, the heroic women acted a noble part at home. Box after box of clothing and edibles was packed and forwarded. Letters came to the camps by the hundreds; even the rough was ennobled by his uniform, and unknown hands penned him cheering missives. Sanitary supplies for the absent, and relief funds for those at home, were offered by no laggard hands. There was a board of men in Miami who gave their time and labor gratuitously as a military committee. It is just that this humble record should do its part to give them honorable mention. Their names are Hon. M. G. Mitchell, Chairman; Dr. Harrison, Robert L. Douglass, James W. Rowe, Charles Morris, William W. Crane and John Wiggin.
How well Miami stood at the close of the war may be gained by the following final statement. Miami's quota in February, July and December of 1864, was 440. Four hundred and twenty-nine men were recruited to fill this quota, and seven only raised by draft. The total number furnished was 436 -a surplus of four- a deficit, without a draft, of three men. These figures tell the story of that strong, unwavering and devoted impulse which never filtered, from Sumter's fall till Lee's surrender at Appomattox.
The soldiers from Miami enlisted in various organizations, but chiefly in the Eleventh, Forty-Fourth, Seventy-First, Ninety- Fourth, One Hundred and Tenth and One Hundred and Forty-seventh Ohio Infantry.
The Eleventh Regiment was raised for three months, and mustered into
the service in April, 1861, at Camp Dennison. Prominent and promising,
from his brief but glorious record, the name of Augustus H. Coleman is
associated with the career of the battle-worn Eleventh. He was born in
Troy, Miami County, on October 29, 1829. He was the son of Dr. Asa Coleman,
an early settler and prominent citizen of the county. He was sent in June,
1847, as a cadet to West Point. Responding promptly to the call of the
imperiled Nation, he enlisted as a private; recruited Company D of the
Eleventh, 100 men in forty-eight hours. On April. 26, 1861, he was chosen
Captain at Columbus. April 29, on the regimental organization, he was commissioned
Major. Re-enlisting, he was advanced to Lieutenant-Colonel on January 9,
1862, and a commission as Colonel issued on September 17, 1862, the day
upon which he fell. Colonel Coleman was an officer well qualifled by nature
and training for soldierly duties; firm in discipline, fearless and cool
in action, he never hesitated in the performance of duty, whether in the
bold charge of the Eleventh at Monocacy, the fierce contest at South Mountain,
or, as leader of the forlorn hope, to advance upon the bridge across the
Antietam Creek. It was while resolutely moving upon this cannon-swept
that he fell, struck by a hostile shot, which pierced his arm and side. The Eleventh wavered at his fall, and then swept down upon and over the bridge, up the hill beyond, and gained the rebel position. Thus fell a gallant officer, his last, words telling how his thoughts were not of self, but of his men and country.
As a three-years' regiment, the Eleventh was mustered into the service on June 20,1861. Five full companies went from Miami County viz.: B and F from Piqua, and D, H, and E from Troy. July 7, they were sent to the Kanawha Valley, and placed in the Kanawha division, officered by Gen. J. D. Cox. On December 1, 1861, the regiment went into winter quarters at Point Pleasant. August 18, 1862, the Eleventh moved to Parkersburg, and thence to near Washington D. C., and camped by Alexandria.
August 27, the regiment was ordered to Manassas Junction. The rebels took position previous to their arrival, and Taylor's New Jersey troops were being driven back as the Eleventh Ohio came up, crossed Bull Run, and, forming line, checked the enemy. Overpowered in numbers, the Union troops fell back to Fairfax, the Eleventh being the rear guard. A night march brought them within the lines at Washington.
August 29, the regiment took position at Munson's Hill. September 6, the men were on the march to Maryland. September 12, the rebel line was found on the banks of the Monocacy, and holding the bridge across. Of three columns formed for attack upon their position, the Eleventh led the center, drove back the enemy, and took the bridge. The Union line became disordered; the rebels advanced and seized two cannon. Led by Col. Coleman, the Eleventh rushed forward cheering, recovered the artillery, and never stopped till the enemy were completely beaten. A night at Monocacy; another at a bridge over creek near a Middletown; and, on the morning of September 14, the Kanawha Division had moved to the Sharpsburg Road, where the Eleventh prepared for battle. A severe fire from three sides met their advance. Amid the thick laurel growth individual acts of bravery were numerous, and the men fought on till the enemy yielded their strong position and retired toward Sharpsburg.
The battle of Antietam was one of those struggles which decided the question of armed supremacy. Lee was beaten, and his scheme of invasion frustrated. The Eleventh performed no ignoble part in this service. All the morning of September 17 this regiment had been more or less engaged, when Burnside received the order from McClellan to "carry the bridge, gain the heights beyond, and advance along their crest to Sharpsburg and reach the rear of the enemy."
The bridge was of stone, 12 feet wide, 150 long. Six thousand veteran troops in splendid position over the stream, with artillery trained upon the bridge and narrow approach, awaited the Union advance. Sharpshooters and skirmishers were soon at work. Simmons and McMullen's batteries pouted a rain of missiles among the rebel ranks, while a storm of lead and iron smote the front of the devoted column: it wavered and then fell back.
The call for help was answered by the order, "Assault the bridge,
and carry it at all hazards," and again the lines were formed for
the fearful work. With sublime devotion the column dashes forward, and
again the deadly sleet strikes their faces; but t hey push on, sweep over
the bridge, clear the crest, and fight their way on. Lee turns upon this
force, and Burnside calls for help. A corps and a division of troops are
in reserve, but Burnside cannot have them, and the troops of the Burnside
Brigade retired to the bridge crowned with honor. On January 24, 1863,
the Eleventh started for Nashville, Tenn. February 22, they occupied and
fortified Carthage. The regiment was at Murfreesboro by June, and assigned
to Third Division, Fourteenth Army Corps. It was at Hoover's Gap, Manchester,
Tullahoma, and made a halt at Big Springs, on the march toward Chattanooga.
On September 17, the Eleventh withstood an assault at Catlett's Gap, in
the mountains below Chattanooga. Next day, was passed in counter marching,
and the dawn of the 19th found them near Gordon's Mill, in line of battle.
Their devoted Chaplain, W. W. Lyle, rode down to the center of
the line amid the sound of battle and addressed the men. A Prayer followed, and, with bent head and rifle-clasping hands, the men of Miami looked briefly to the God of battle for his blessing. The regiment moved immediately into action a charge was made the rebels were driven half a mile. The regiment retired to its old position, whence a second charge was made with success. On September 20, the Eleventh stood behind a rude breastwork of logs and stones here Company D lost heavily. The log breastwork took fire; a part of B put it out. Later the reoiment became divided, the fragments fought on and finally re-united near Rossville.
The Eleventh took part in the battle of Mission Ridge, and in a charge capttired a battle-flag and cannon. Sergt. Ball bore the colors forward till a seventh shot struck him down helpless. Lieut. Peck took them from his hands, placed them on the rebel works, and fell with a mortal wound. In behalf of the ladies of Troy, Chaplain Lyle presented the Eleventh with a handsome stand of colors on February 17, 1864.
The regiment took part in, the advance on Rocky Face, and lost heavily at Buzzard's Roost; again at Resaca they were warmly engaged. Their time of service expiring, the regiment was mustered out June 26, 1864.
A part of the regiment, consisting of two companies, accompanied Sherman to the sea, under command of Lieut. Col. D. C. Stubbs.
The Forty-fourth Ohio was organized at Springfield, Ohio, in 1861. They were engaged in the West Virginia campaign, and, at the battle of Lewisburg charged upon and captured a four-gun battery, took a number of prisoners, and began the rout of the enemy.
In a retreat to the Gauley, the Forty-fourth was the rear guard to protect the retiring column from the attack of a rebel force six thousand strong. They fought bravely at Charleston on September 13, 1862. Removed to Kentucky, they were mounted and kept constantly at work. At Dunstan's Hill the regiment charged the rebel position, and materially aided in their rout. Re-enlisting as the Eighth Ohio Cavalry, the men returned to their old campaion territory in Virginia. Acting as rear-guard near Liberty, the Eighth fought a brigade of mounted rebels and lost from their number seventy-one men. Six companies of the regiment were surprised in camp at Philippi, underwent the trials of prison life, and finally obtained release. Some went to Clarksburg, where four companies were stationed; others were mustered out in June as prisoners of war. The remainder of the regiment was mustered out the month following.
The Seventy-first Ohio Infantry was recruited in part from Miami County, she having furnished Companies F, C, and E. About February 1, 1862, the regiment was recruited and organized, with Barton S. Kyle, of Troy, as Lieutenant Colonel. The brave and worthy man, born in Miami County April 7, 1825, was active and successful in his efforts to recruit the regiment, and fell at Pittsburg Landing while at the post of duty, cheering on his men. A bullet entered his right breast, and he fell mortally wounded, and the service lost a true, brave man, and Miami one of her best citizens. The Seventy-first reported to Gen. Sherman at Paducah, Ky., and in February took part in a reconnaissance toward Columbus.
In the advance up the Tennessee, the regiment was among the first. At about 7 o'clock of April 7, 1862, the action at Donelson began by the rebel attack upon the Union center. The Seventy-first was soon in line. They were placed on the line of a road favorable to the enemy and, being assailed by artillery, were withdrawn to a better position. The change was well-timed and fortunate, as the enemy soon advanced with two batteries upon the recent position of the regiment. The attack was fierce, the resistance stubborn, and the Seventy-first fell back. Re-forming, it fought bravely till night closed the struggle. The loss at Donelson was 130 killed and wounded.
On April 16 the regiment was ordered to hold the posts of Clarksville
and Fort Donelson. Sunday, August 17, Col. Mason was attacked by the rebel
Col. Woodward, at Clarksville. The Seventy-first were scattered about at
and Col. Mason had with him only tbout 200 men. These were surrendered to a force some four times their own. Being exchanged, four companies defeated Woodward at Fort Donelson on Auoust 25, 1862. In the spring of 1864 the Seventy-first moved south and bore itself vallantly. In the battle at Nashville, one-third their number killed and wounded, attested the courage and devotion of the men. The summer of 1865 was passed upon the Rio Grande, and not till January, 1866, was the regiment mustered out.
The Ninety-fourth Ohio was organized at Camp Piqua, Miami County, Ohio One thousand and ten men were recruited within a month. Kirby Smith had. invaded Kentucky and this raw regiment was ordered to Lexington. They obtained three cartridges apiece and, taking the cars, reached the city at 9 o'clock P. M. of Saturday. Ordered to Yate's Ford, east of Lexington, the regiment made his first march of fifteen miles, and reached the vicinity of the ford at dark. Some rebel scouts fired upon them, killed two men and wounded six. The Ninety-fourth secured a position and passed the night unmolested, while the entire army of Smith lay encamped at two miles' distance. Morning brought 125 rounds of ammunition to each man from Lexington. It also brought up the rebel army, which opened from a battery upon the troops at breakfast. Col. Frizell withdrew the regiment back from a cross-road, down which the enemy came rapidly. Capt. Drury was ordered to take his company and guard the rear, while the regiment formed for action. A message now arrived, ordering the Ninety-fourth to hasten back to Lexington. Twelve miles upon the road was too much for some of the men, who fell by the way and were captured by the enemy. Ordered to Louisville, the men went in to camp almost exhausted. Two hundred and eight men were lost, paroled, and returned to the ranks. At the battle of Perryville the regiment won special mention. At Stone River they were engaged every day of the contest. A synopsis from Ohio in the War gives ther need of honor to the organization:
In the advance on Tullahoma and the fight at Hoover's Gap in June, 1863 skirmishing at Dug Gap, and participants in the battle of Chickamauga, they were in charge at Mission Ridge and the battle of Lookout Mountain. With Sherman they took part in actions at Buzzard's Roost, Resaca, Kingston, Pumpkinvine Creek, Kenesaw Mountain, Chattahoochie River, Peachtree Creek, Atlanta, Jonesboro, and Bentonville. They were flrst to enter Raleigh, and took part in the grand review. When mustered out, June 6, 1865, 338 men were all that were left of the original 1,010.
The One Hundred and Tenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry was organized at Camp
Piqua, Miami County, on October 3,1862. At Winchester it was assigned to
the First Brigade, Second Division, Eighth Army Corps, and variously employed
till on the 13th of June, 1863, the regiment advanced to Kernstown, and
fought steadily with the superior force of Lee. Next day, the One Hundred
and Tenth held a small work some distance from the fort. The enemy concentrated
upon them the fire of twenty-six cannon, and followed the cannonade by
an assault in column. The regiment fell back at the point of the bayonet,
and at night fought their way to Harper's Ferry. After various movements,
one of which was to Governor's Island, New York, the regiment are found
crossing the Rappahannock, capturing prisoners, and, despite severe shelling,
taking the ground held by the enemy at BrandyStation. May 4, the One Hundred
and Tenth crossing the Rapid and in to the Wilderness, made a charge and
drove the rebels into their breastworks and held their ground till night.
Their loss this day was 118 in killed,wounded and taken prisoners. Next
day they were subjected to a severe artillery fire; fell back a mile in
the evening; held their position on the 7th; and then fell. back to Spottsylvania
court house. It waded the Nye and occupied the rebel works, fought at Cold
Harbor; stood a heavy fire on June 3, as a regiment on the first line;
was moved to Monocacy, and battled bravely with heavy odds, and retired
to Ellicott's Mills having lost 130 men. The One Hundred and Tenth make
several marclies and change their position till we again find them marching
as train-guard to Charleston. August 29, they
are victors at the last-named place. At Fisher's Hill they capture four cannon and 100 prisoners. October 19, they struggled bravely at Cedax Creek to check the rebel advance, and take an active part in the rout of Early's force. On March 25, 1865, they charge with their brigade the rebel trenches, pursue the enemy, drive him at Sailor's Creek, and capture many battle-flags. The One Hundred and Tenth was in twenty-.one actions and lost 795 men. They were discharged at Columbus, Ohio, and returned w ith gladness to former peaceful avocations.
The One Hundred and Forty-seventh Regiment National Guards was mustered into service at Camp Dennison on the 16th of May, 1864, and set out for Washington on the 20th. Ordered first to Fort Ethan Allen, then to Fort Strong it finally found quarters for six companies in the former work, and for four at Fort Marcy. At midnight of June 11, the regiment was ordered to Fort Reno. The enemy were near by, and skirmishing was brisk as they took position in the trenches. Ordered to Crystal Springs, the regiment took position as support to the First Maine and First Ohio Batteries, and, though not engaged, was under fire. President Lincoln thanked the organization for their public service as it passed through Washington homeward bound.
The dead of Miami's patriotic soldiery sleep on the fields where they fell, only where their bodies could not be found. In the National Cemeteries a nation has gathered them, and yearly, as the spring-time comes., the fairest of the land go forth and strew their resting-place with flowers in memory. So have they done at Rose Hill Cemetery, where lie the remains of some forty men; and years will pass, and still this token of a grateful people will show itself in memory of the soldiers of 1861-65.
We have now endeavored to unfold the history of this county from its
earliest settlement to the present. While it has been impossible to note
each fact specifically in the process of its evolution, or enter into the
details of each step in its development, yet we have taken it in its infancy,
and during its initial tottering steps, we have guided it with care, and
as the framework of its organism grew into shape, and its proper function
gave it strength and direction, so have we in proportion withdrawn the
minutiae of our description, until now she stands before us in Perfection,
the exponent of her own beauty and power, from which she can look back
to her feeble genesis, and exclaim, ultima thute. Look in the past and
see the four posts supporting pole, covered with brush and earth, that
protected the first mill, in its transition to the round-pole house, the
hewed log, frame, and finally the brick and steam. From the millstone,
made from a huge boulder, with a boy to turn the bolting apparatus, to
the present grand flouring mills of endless capacity; from the little copper
still to the immense manufactories of rotgut poison and tangle-foot from
the old-fashioned flax break, swingling and fulling (which latter process
is so peculiar that we here introduce a description of it after Maj. Johnston:
"The process of fulling our home-made cloth in our county, was by
the neighboring men gathering at the house of one of their number, say
six or eight, taking seats on the old-fashioned split-bottomed chairs,
in a circle, with a rope around the back to keep them together, and with
the web of cloth in the center, and the feet of the men pressing together
in opposition to each other, with pants rolled up, and a good woman, with
gourd in hand, to supply the web with hot soapsuds poured on to the cloth,
and so work, kicking against the web until a late hour in the night, when
the woman of the house, with yardstick in hand, measuring-the shrinkage,
would pronounce the words, Thick enough"), the spinning wheel, and
the tow, to the carding-mills and spinning jenny, with its thousand spools;
from hog and hominy, venison, potatoes, corn bread, sassafras or spice-wood
tea, to pies, preserves, baking-powder biscuit, etc.; from rosy cheeks,
round waists, and sound lungs, to arsenic hue, sunken chests and flat waists
; from the sugartrough to the rosewood automatic crib; from the old wooden
mold-board, with doubletree and singletrees fastened on by hickory withes
for harness, a good hemp rope fastened to the harness by passing through
an auger hole, brought back and tied, harness fitted into a collar of husks
stuffed in leather, with a boy
on the horse; this combination among the roots would kick a man down, and, it is said, kick him over the fence, and kick at him after he was over; from this grotesque apparatus, we go to the glittering steel mold-board that turns the unbroken furrow from end to end from the shovel-plow, the boy and the hoe, we go to the modern planter, which, by a rope and knot, drops, furrows out and covers the corn; from the sickle we go to the self-binder; from the flail and the hoof of the horse, to the steam separator; from the blazed path, meandering through the woods, to the countless turnpikes; from the lumbering ox-team to to the lightning speed of the railway; from the corduroy bridge, in the shady swamp, to the magnificent iron structures that now span our streams; from the circle around the fire, shelling the corn by hand, to the steam- power capacity of a thousand bushels a day; from the hickory-bark bureau and clothes-press to the inlaid productions of the cabinet- maker from the three-legged stool to the reclining, rep-covered mahogany chair from the home-spun linsey-woolsey to the flounced silk and, satin and real point lace; from the plain sun-bonnet to the coronal flower garden; from the rude log cabin, stick chimney, capacious fireplace, greased paper window, to the brown-stone front, polished base-burner, French plate and silver call from the old dandy wagon, to the liptic-springed phaeton.
The old fireside home ----
Where, piled with care, the nightly stack
Of wood against the thimney -back;
The oaken log, green, huge and thick,
And on its top the stout back stick
The knotty fore- stick laid apart
And filled between with curious art,
The ragged brush ; then, hovering near,
We watched the first red blaze appear,
Heard the sharp crackle, caught the gleam
On whitewashed wall and sagging beam,
Until the old, rude-furnished room
Burst flower-like into rosy bloom
where nuts were cracked and turnips scraped, and the good old dog and cat lay snoozing by the fire, have all given place to the fashioned blazonry of modern art; style and stiff formality. Such were the times then; such are the times, customs and people today; and we may conclude in the words of Cicero:"O tempora, O mores!"
GEOLOGY, ANCIENT MOUNDS, RELICS, ETC
We append the report of the State Geological Survey:
The undulating surface of Miami County is characteristic of, and dependent upon, the underlying geological formations. We find a bed of loose material, of greater or less thickness, overlying a not very uneven rock bed beneath. This condition determine s the gentle slopes which prevail throughout this section of the State. The blue limestone in the southern part of the county, on the two principal water-courses, is a thin-bedded stone, inter-stratified with thicker courses of blue marl or shale, whic h do not resist the action of atmospheric agencies in sufficient degree to form precipitous bluffs, but wear down into those rolling slopes so characteristic of Southwestern Ohio.
What abrupt unevenness of surface exists is partly covered up by the
loose material, composed of gravel, sand and clay, which commonly receives
the name of drift, spread over the surface. If this drift were not present,
we should be able to trace the line of outcrop of the cliff formation wherever
it occurs throughout the county. There would be a chain connecting the
cliffs near Charlestown with those two miles cast of Tippecanoe,
at Col. Woodward's, and onward, marking the course of all the tributaries of the Miami, and showing the course of this river, limiting the valley to the point where the Miami enters the county on the north. In most instances, the beds of the water-courses would be greatly deepened, and there would be rapids, or even precipitous falls, in some places, in most, if not
all of them. The same remark applies to the Stillwater, which would be lined by a series of cliffs throughout its entire course in the county. But the drift, now smooth, in a great deotee, the unevenness of the surface, and the transitions from one geological formation to another are only by gentle undulations of surface, instead of abrupt cliffs. The origin of this drift material is discussed at considerable length in other portions of these reports, and no further allusion to it is required of me in this place.
It will be seen that the character of the surface depends upon the geological formation of the region. And so geology determines, in no small degree, the occupation of the people of any land, and also the character of the people, in so far as character is dependent upon occupation. In one region, agriculture is indicated as the chief mode of livelihood; in another, stock-raising; in another, mining and manufactures. The full development of these natural conditions depends upon still other physical co nditions- the direction and extent of a country's drainage, the oceans, bays and gulfs, which give rise to commerce.
The character of the surface and soil is such that an average proportion of rainfall is retained in the soil, and there are numerous springs in the county which afford an ample supply of water throughout the year. The farms are generally supplied with an ample quantity of good water from the springs and water-courses, which abound in all, Sections. This county, lying on a lower level than Shelby, has a better supply of water from springs. The outcrop of the cliff limestone, whether concealed by drift or not, could be readily traced by the occurrence of fine springs of water, and those farms which lie along this outcrop have, fine perennial springs. As the cliffs lie on a horizon about midway between the highest and lowest parts of the county, it happens that the places are very numerous where excellent water is obtained. There are some springs in the county whose supply of water is sufficient to be of service in propelling machinery for manufacturing purposes, taken in connection with the fall, which is available. The principal one of these springs is at the town of Milton, where considerable manufacturing is carried on. The question has been often asked, where such a large supply of water comes from? The water falls as rain on the surface and is held in the porous rock and given out gradually. The idea, which is sometimes entertained, that there is an underground reservoir, is untenable; the force of the issuing stream.is so nearly the same for weeks and months together. In the case of the fine springs at Milton, there is a large extent of surface west and north, above the place where the spring issues. There is, indeed, but a very thin soil and little drift in the immediate vicinity, but the surface rises and the bedded rock thickens to the northwest while in the same directions, especially north, the drift thickens to nearly 100 feet. The upper portion of the Niagara, which is found north and northwest, may reach a considerable thickness, perhaps a hundred feet, and is composed of a very porous limestone. These springs, unlike the greater number which furnish water to the farms throughout the county, issue near the base of the Niagara formation, and not at the base of the Clinton, in which most of the cliffs are. When we consider the large extent of surface, which rises above the place of the springs, upon which falls throughout the whole year about thirty inches in perpendicular height of water, in the form of snow or rain, and the suitable character of the deep drift and porous rock for absorbing and retaining this, to be yielded gradually, we need not be surprised at the quantity of water which flows from these springs. The surprise, which is often expressed, has not been at the absolute quantity of water, for this is not great compared with many other springs, but at the quantity which should issue from a locality which seems to be so near the general level of the country immediately in the vicinity, whence the supply must apparently come. But the supply may be drawn, as I have endeavored to show, from a much greater distance than we might at first suppose.
Wells-Where there are no springs, water is readily obtained
by sinking wells, either in the drift or solid rock. The sinking of wells
is a means of exploring the earth to a moderate depth, and some interesting
facts are often obtained
by inquiry into the character of the material penetrated. For example, in some places in the county no wells have ever penetrated beyond the drift, or, at least, reached bedded rock; while on each side, sometimes at no great distance, other wells have to be sunk in the rock. Generally, perhaps always, it will be found that a line can be marked out by such excavations, within which no rock is ever reached by the deepest wells, while the excavations on each side show bedded rock near the surface. Here, then, we have traced for us the channel of some ancient water-course which has been filled in with drift at some time in the past. There were rivers, and a river system, cut far deeper in the rocks of a former age. than any we now have in this region. The whole surface was sunk down under deep water and gravel; sand and clay covered up all inequalities of surface When the surface emerged again, the drainage began to excavate channels, the general character of the surface remaining the same; the streams would take courses in general the same as before, but from local causes would be deflected in places. The old, filled-up channels are now traced by means of excavations. I will mention that at Mr. Murray's, on the Troy and Covington turnpike, no bedded rock is found in sinking wells, while to the east, within a half-mile, and to the west, stone in situ is encountered in well-digging.
The influence of the character of the surface on the soil can be noticed in various parts of the County. This may be illustrated by comparing the soil and surface on the east of the Miami River with that on the west. East of the Miami the surface is rolling, and gravelly ridges abound.
This gives a good drainage in general, and the soil is composed of drift
material, with accumulation of mold, composed of vegetable substances,
partially decomposed. There is a good proportion of clay mingled with the
mold. Not only does this clay affect the character of the soil, but the
free drainage and the gravel beneath also affect it. Where local causes
obstruct the free drainage, there are local swamps, whose soil, when cleared
and drained, is entirely different from that of the rolling land. Somewhat
like the swamps in a wide scope of land between the Miami and Stillwater
Rivers. Here the land was not rolling, and hence not naturally well drained,
but was flat and moist. The result was that a different vegetation sprung
up here. Rough sedge grasses, mosses and kindred vegetation flourished
in this region, growing and perishing successively, until several feet
of deep, black soil had been accumulated. At a certain time, trees suitable
to a wet region, such as elms, soft maple, and shrubs, such as button bush,
and, finally, burroak and ash began to grow. The vegetable material perishing,
underwent a process of decay, or, rather, a process of preservation. The
substance of the vegetation broke down into a number of compounds, which,
situated as they are, in moisture, do not undergo further decay. This material
was arrested in a stage of decomposition different from that of the drier
substances on the rolling drift land east of the Miami River. In the case
of much of the vegetation east of the river, it passed back, by complete
decomposition, into "thin air," into invisible gases, and left,
no trace behind. A certain other portion was arrested in the process of
decay, and forms the mold, which, with the clay commingled, constitutes
the soil. On this side flourish the oaks, beeches, walnuts, sugar maple,
with an undergrowth of dogwood, redbud, haw, pawpaw, with a peculiar vegetable
growth which sprung up and perished annually. The most of the growths of
the east side differ entirely from those in the swampy district of a former
day, where the deep, fibrous, black soil is found, west of the Miami River.
The moisture retained on the surface has a twofold influence one to favor
a vegetation, as I have said, of a peculiar class; the other to prevent
its decomposition, in fact, to preserve it. The two classes of soils differ
in four respects: (I) In the quantity of vegetable substances (2) the condition
they are in as regards the extent of decay which they have undergone; (3)
i n the character of the vegetable substances which make up the material,
and (4) in the different proportion of clay they contain, that on the east
being composed largely of clay, while very little clay is found in the
swamp soil. The black soil, not being so completely decomposed, does not,
at first, until exposed
to air by being worked and drained, yield so well, while the mold of the upland woods is in condition at once to yield abundantly. I refer, in the foregoing remarks about the differences in the soils of the east and west sides of the Miami River, to the characteristic soils, and not to every part of each. On the east, there are swampy places, where the soil approaches in character to the black soil of the west side, while, on the west side of the river, as in the southern part of the county, the soil has the character of that on the east. There are some places west of the Stillwater where the drift does not exist at all, or very little of it is seen, but the soil, only a few inches or feet in depth, rests immediately upon the limestone of the Niagara formation. This soil is largely derived from the underlying rock. This is not usual in the region of the drift. In most places, our rocks have but little influence upon the surface soil, except so far as fragments of the rocks are mingled with, and, by decomposition, give their strength to the soil.
The Drainage---All of the drainage finally reaches the Miami River. The county slopes from north to south, with two subordinate systems of drainage pouring the surplus waters into the two outlets, the Miami and Stillwater Rivers, to be united after they leave the county. The longest tributaries of the Miami come from the east, as those of the Stillwater come from the west. On three sides, the county receives accessions of water from other counties, while the streams from the general watershed on the north contribute the drainage of several counties, all together making a large and constant volume of water flowing across the entire county, furnishing water-power for great and profitable industries. The Miami Canal is a convenient conduit for the utilization of this immense power. The advantages of this situation are becoming appreciated in this county, and companies, have been formed, aided by municipal appropriations, to make use of this power, which has been largely allowed to pass by wit hout making contributions to the wealth of the county. The success of the enterprises undertaken and partly completed at the time of my visit, are assured by the natural and physical advantages of the situation of the county, if no engineering blunders are encountered, or financial embarrassments delay the completion of the works. The breadth of country lying above the horizon of the northern boundary of Miami County will furnish a drainage ample enough for an immense water-power, if it is directed in to proper channels. It may be necessary, as it is practicable, to detain the water in a reservoir on the Miami, in the southern part of Shelby County. The two State reservoirs, the Loramie and the Lewiston, could be greatly improved and rendered both more effective as a supply for the canal, and useful for holding a supply of water, especially the one on the Miami, for manufacturing purposes. There can be no question of the ability of the breadth of country drained by the Miami and its tributaries above the northern line of this county, to give a supply of water for the uses of the canal far beyond any demand which has ever been made upon it. This power, which has been going to waste, will some day be turned to good account, and Miami Countv will become known for its manufacturing industries, as it has been for its agricultural thrift. The foregoing remarks regarding waterpower have referred to the Miami River. On the Stillwater we find water-power of no mean proportions. This river is fed, from source to mouth, by numerous fine, living springs, which keep up a constant flow of water along its channel. It has also several good mill streams tributary to it. In addition, its bed is deep, and large dams are practicable, both for giving a good head and holding water in reserve. This stream alone would be a fortune in many localities, and we may confidently anticipate the time when industries of great importance to the county will spring up on its banks. Taken altogether, Miami County has natural advantages superior to many, if not all its neighbors, for becoming a manufacturing center, since no power is so economical in application as water.
The Drift---The entire surface of the county, as has been
said, is covered with loose material, composed of gravel, sanded clay,
with a great number of granitic and other rocks of similar origin, whose
origin we must look for away from this region. The commonly received opinion
is, that these materials have
been drifted hither by the agency of water, either fluid or as ice, and the facts observed, all point to the north, mostly beyond the chain of great lakes, as the source whence it has been brought. In the several volumes of this survey, the reader will find the whole subject of the drift agencies discussed, and many interesting statements made as to the probable method of transportation, the relative age, the phenomena, and physical history of the drift. It so happens that our soil, where the drift exists, does not depend altogether---in general not at all, or very little-upon the nature of the underlying rock for its qualities, but upon material transported from distant regions. In some places, the thickness of drift, amounting to thirty feet or more, renders the influence of the underlying rock utterly without influence upon the soil. I have already referred to some soil west of the Stillwater, which is influenced by the underlying rock, lying, as it does, within a few feet of it. Much of the gravel is calcareous, and has been derived from rock broken up in the course of the movement of the drift. The sand is silicious, and has been derived from the grinding down of masses of igneous rocks.
This county lies south of the area of thickest drift, which may be regarded as extending no further south than about the latitude of Sidney, the county seat of Shelby County. Thence it begins to thin out southward. The Miami River, where it enters the county in the north, cuts through a perpendicular thickness of about seventy- five feet of drift-clay, gravel, and bowlders, and all the water- courses which intersect the northern portions of the county, but through the drift to a depth of from thirty to fifty feet. As might be expected, the material of the drift varies greatly in different localities. In some places, it is composed of blocks, whose nature and condition show them not to have been transported far, and commingled with them are gravel, sa nd, clay, quartz, and granite bowlders in varying proportions. Sometimes the drift is composed of sand and gravel, with a small proportion of clay, or none at all, arranged with more or less stratification. An illustration of this character of drift may be seen well developed on the new hydraulic works, two miles north of Piqua, where they form a bed some forty feet in thickness, cemented in great masses. The same formation is seen across the country on the Stillwater, about one mile from the town of Clayton. The drift being largely composed of gravel and sand, there is no deficiency of these valuable materials for all purposes. The streams wash out the clay, and leave the gravel and sand, assorted in beds, along their entire course. In other cases, the large accumulations, left by floods of former days, afford convenient material for road-making, in localities distant from water-courses. Advantage has been taken of the abundance of good material for road-making. The county is threaded in every direction with the finest of roads, most of which are entirely free of toll-houses.
Striated, and Smoothed Rock-Surfaces---At Piqua. on both
sides of the river, where the quarries are exposed to view by the removal
of the superincumbent drift, it is observed that the surface of the rock
upon which the drift was lying, is worn smooth a nd polished, and variously
striated and grooved. At no point, I understood from quarry-men, does this
character fail to present itself. Lying upon the smoothed surface of the
bedded rock, is a confused mass of yellow clay, with blocks of limestone,
not worn, of various sizes and in great confusion of position, together
with well-rounded gravel, both of limestone and granite, and other igneous
rocks, with larger bowlders of igneous rocks distributed throughout the
mass. All these have the appearance of having been arrested in the midst
of their course. in which they were grinding, marking and polishing the
surface of the bedded rock, as well as each other. There are no indications
of assortment according to specific gravity, or by any stratification.
On the east side of the river, at French's " Old Railroad Quarry,"
at the time of my visit, an instructive observation could be made of the
action of the drift on the bedded rock. The stripping of one portion was
composed of drift clays, bowlders of quartz, granite and kindred rocks,
and blocks of limestone, all commingled in a mass, and the surface of quarried
rock beneath, here only four feet in thickness, was everywhere
smoothed ; while in another portion of the same quarry, there is an additional four feet of the upper portion of the rock, not worn away by the same agency which was acting close to it, nor was the surface of this portion smoothed. Deeter's quarry, near the mouth of Panther Creek, illustrates the character and condition of the drift which I have just referred to.
There are unworn blocks of limestone, rounded masses of the same material, rounded and smoothed bowlders of granite and quartz rock, gravel, sand, and clay, commingled without any kind of selection according to quality of material or specific gravity.
Bowlders---While this class of detached rocks is to be found in all portions of the country, scattered here and there, there are some special belts of them extending in a direction somewhat west of south, through the entire extent of the county. The finest collection, in a continuous belt, occurs in a line which passes within three and one-half miles to the east of Troy, passing through the farm of John Lefevre, on Lost Creek, where, as well as both north and south, in a line, it may be observed. It continues in a nearly direct line throughout the county. A fine locality to observe it is on the turnpike-road, leading from Tippecanoe to New Carlisle, between three and four miles from the former place. Here a portion of the bowlders have been remove d from the field to make room for the plow, and, besides being ample for the construction of good fences, are heaped up in long rows, on each side of the road, reminding one of a region of igneous rocks. Here one may see nearly all varieties of granite and quartzose rocks. The variety is astonishing, as if gathered from a hundred sources, many of them of very brilliant colors. They have been removed to adorn the grounds of residences in the adjoining towns.
They vary in size, some of them reaching a weight of several tons. This line extends to and beyond the southern boundary of the, county, passing about one mile east of Tadmor, where the Dayton & Michigan Railroad intersects the National road. The belt is fully one mile in width, and altogether contains a mass of bowlders to be greatly wondered at, whether we consider their combined weight, their variety and beauty, or their regular distribution and direction. There is another belt, either an independent one or a spur of the foregoing, which passes by the line of the new hydraulic works near Troy. This has many bowlders of great dimensions, and often those of unusual interest some composed of rounded quartz pebbles, imbedded in a matrix of dark mineral; some, again, formed of angular fragments of various colors, imbedded in like manner. Some of these have been taken to their private grounds as adornments by the citizens of Troy. Rev. D. Tenney has one of the finest marked bowlders I have ever seen, on his grounds. About one mile north of Troy some very large bowlders of this composite character may be seen. One bowlder in this locality measured about 640 cubic feet. The large bowlder, east of Sidney, mentioned in my report on Shelby County, is nearly in the line of this belt cast of Troy. Another great belt of bowlders, but, perhaps, inferior to that in the eastern part of the county, occurs west of the Stillwater, where it may be observed in the neighborhood and north of the town of Milton. This belt is about 100 feet in altitude above the bed of the Stillwater. Here, also, are very large and beautiful specimens of ingenons rocks.
Remains of a Former Race----It will be necessary to notice
but briefly the remains which a former race have left. The usual stone
and flint implements, which are so abundantly scattered over the country
occur, also, here in about equal rate of distribution as elsewhere. Heretofore,
those who have picked them up, when engaged in working the ground, have
either broken them or lost them again, and but a very small number can
be obtained. But as attention has been called to them, more care will be
taken to preserve them, and collections of them will be made with greater
ease hereafter. There are many persons in the county who take an intelligent
interest in these relics of a people who once dwelt upon this soil, and
of whose history so little is yet known that everything which will reflect
light upon them should be carefully treasured up. The cabinet of the public
school of Troy
contains a number of these flint and stone tools, and should be made a depository of many which, in private hands, are subject to all the vicissitudes of our uncertain lives. Many private collections fall into the hands of unappreciative persons when those who have gathered them pass away. This school cabinet is an admirable one for purposes of instruction, and will doubtless continue to receive from the friends of the schools in Troy additions of value from time to time.
Remains of Mammals---These are by no means abundant in the county. A fragment of an elk horn, of about eight pounds weight, about ten inches long, and without the prongs, and six inches wide, which was found on the land of Mr. Isaac Sheets, I saw in possession of Mr. Ira L. Morris of Troy. This gentleman has many specimens of natural history in his cabinet, and some relics of a past race of men. I saw the tooth of a mastodon in possession of Mr. C. S. Coolidge, of Troy. The tooth was found on the farm of Mr. Abram Beddle, about north of Troy.
Public Improvements---The account of these works does not properly belong to the purpose of this investigation, but as they depend largely upon the physical character of the country, it will not be out of place to speak of them. Reference. has already been made in these pages to the admirable system of graded and graveled roads, which connect all parts of the county together. The Miami & Erie Canal passes through the county from north to south, near the right bank of the Miami River, and affords water-power for manufactories at Piqua, Troy, Tippecanoe, and at some other points. At Piqua and at Troy there were in process of construction, at the time of my visit (1872), extensive works to make available the large water-privileges of the canal and river for manufacturing purposes. While the actual success of these enterprises remains to be seen, there seems to be. no reasonable doubt in regard to it. If success does crown these efforts, the result will show itself in greatly increased prosperity in all the interests of the county. The urban population must already be, as compared with the rural, rather beyond the average of that in the agricultural counties. The town population of Miami county is distributed among several prosperous cities and towns, instead of being collected into one larger city. To this report there is lacking the statistics of the cities as well as the figures of the comparative elevations of the various portions of the county, above the sea-level, or as compared with the Miami River, the canal, railroads, and the turnpike roads. I made several efforts to obtain these figures, but have failed. Those who have them, and have failed to furnish them, are responsible for the lack of fullness of the report in this respect.
Bedded Rock-Niagara---There are three distinct geological
formations exposed, in Miami County, below the drift, belonging to era
known as Silurian. The lower Silurian is seen at all exposures below the
horizon of the base of the Cliffs at Charlestown, and Col. Woodward's,
at Tippecanoe. The rock composing the cliffs next to that just mentioned,
is that known in geology as Clinton, called, often in the county, sandstone.
The cliffs in Ludlow Creek are in the same formation. Next above the Clinton,
and the only remaining bedded rock in the county, is that known as Niagara.
The Niagara extends on a horizon throughout the county, from the upper
parts of the abrupt cliffs mentioned, to the drift above. The falls and
bluffs on Greenville Creek, near Covington, are in the Niagara. The upper
surface of the Niagara is made uneven by the wearing away of portions of
it by the action of the drift period. When it was formed, it extended over
the entire county in a bed of a thickness, no doubt, much greater than
the thickest portion which remains. How much of its original thickness
was abraded by drift action, we have no means of ascertaining. But a small
part remains of that which formerly existed. The water-courses have worn
off both Niagara and Clint on. In some places all the Niagara is abraded,
and the Clinton is the surface rock, as at all horizons below that of the
top of the cliffs named as composed of Clinton. In other places the Niagara
is but a few feet thick, as at the Piqua quarries. At Kerr's quarry, in
the south, at those in Ludlow, Panther and Greenville Creeks, and at the
lime-kilns, north of Clayton, the formation remains of considerable,. thickness.
The fragments of the upper beds of Niagra which escaped the denuding effects of the Drift period, are of a soft, porous rock, highly fossiliferous. This portion of the formation makes building lime of the best quality. At Brant, in the south, and at Clayton, in the north, exposures of this upper portion of the system remain, and a large quantity of lime has been manufactured and commands the highest price in the market. Practically, the quantity is sufficient for all demands likely to be made upon it . The lack of transportation hinders the development of the resources of the localities named for lime-making.
The quarried stone of this county comes mostly from the Niagara. I place the Piqua stone in the Niagara. I am aware that it is in lithological characters anomalous when compared with this formation as developed in this section. It is equally so with t he Clinton. It is extremely local and lies, without any transitional strata, immediately upon undoubted Clinton. It may represent the transition of Clinton to Niagara. It is a finer grained, mostly sedimentary stone, without a large proportion of foss ils. It probably thins out in all directions. It dresses extremely well, and is a stone of rare excellence. The Clinton underlies this stone, and has an uneven upper surface. This unevenness consists of mound-like elevations, sometimes twenty feet in diameter and four feet high in the center. Upon these little mounds, composed of species of branching corals, the Piqua stone lies, conforming to its unevenness of surface. I have spoken of the worn surface of this stone by the action of the drift. The drift has removed the Covington type of stone from the top of this at Piqua.
Passing to the other quarries in the Niagara, for a connected view of the whole, with the subjacent formation, I refer the reader to sections at the end of this article, showing the thickness of the stone at several of the best exposures in the county.
The other exposures of the Niagara are those at the quarries at Covington, and at Kerr's, and at Ellis', on Ludlow Creek. Good building stone is obtained at all of these. At Kerr's and Covington, fine blocks are obtained, containing very large and fine specimens of Pentamerus oblongus; trilobites of the species Calymene Blumenbachii occur frequently here. The quarry of Mr Ellis, on Ludlow Creek, not many feet above the upper part of the Clinton, contains stone in its lowest part approximating more nearly to that of the Piqua quarries than any observed in the other quarries. I am inclined to believe it may be of the same age, and that it really lies lower than the lowest beds quarried at Covington.
Clinton Formation---The horizon of this formation has been already indicated, Whether the Clinton rises somewhat to the north or not, I had not the instruments to ascertain. A plane drawn through the upper portions of the cliffs at Charlestown, Col. Woodward's, Milton, Ludlow Creek, and extending to the rock-bank of the Miami River, at Bogg's Mill, in the edge of Shelby County, would nearly show the upper limit of the Clinton. Whether this plane would be horizontal or not, remains to be ascertained. I shall mention the principal exposures of the Clinton. The cliffs referred to several times are in this formation the sections given will show its thickness at the places named. The lime-kiln quarry of Mr. John Brown is in the Clinton. The lime burned at these kilns is very pure lime, strong and valued highly by papermakers, who make use of lime to soften the straw used in the manufacture of paper; at Mr. Rudells, on the Tippecanoe and Carlisle road, and on the farm of Mr. J. H. Harter, north of Honey Creek, can be seen good exposures of the Clinton. On the roadside, at his gate, a very friable stone may be seen, called sandstone; it is of a reddish color, and may be easily crumbled in the hand. On this farm are cliffs of the Clinton about ten feet in altitude.
On the farm of the Messrs. Nooks the Clinton has been quarried for their
own use. Here a Syringopora coral was highly developed and some masses
of Favistella stelleta. The quarrying has been carried to a depth of about
fifteen feet, everywhere characteristic rock of this formation.
The highest locality, in Lost Creek, where the shale underlying the Clinton, can be seen, is in a ravine on Mr. John Lefevre's farm, below the old dam on the creek.
In all exposures observed, the lower strata of the Clinton are of a coarse and sandy nature. The characteristic unevenness of the bedding renders the quarrying of it difficult, and makes it necessary, before it can be used for masonry, to cut it on all sides. The lower strata are used for fire-stones and hearths, and endure the greatest heat of the ordinary fire-place, as lining stones, for many years.
At Mr. S. D. Green's, one mile east of Lost Creek, the Clinton appears about twenty feet above the bed of the creek, and attains a thickness of some thirty feet on his farm. While the lower exposures are composed, in a large measure, of fragments of encrinites, the upper is made up of various species of coral. At the highest exposure, on Mr. Green's farm, is a very good quality of stone for lime. Very fine specimens of Syringopora can be obtained in the old quarry, as well as of Halysites.
Between Troy and Piqua the new Troy hydraulic was cut for several hundred feet through the solid Clinton formation. Near this point the same stone may be seen exposed on the river bank.
The lime quarries, on the south of Piqua, are in the Clinton. The lime has nearly the same properties as that burned in Mr. Brown's quarries. Here the Clinton seems to be but a mass of fossils, mostly corals of the genera Stromatopora, Halysites, Favosites and Syringopora.
At the falls of Ludlow Creek, attempts were made to open a quarry, a few years ago, to obtain building stone, particularly of a fine quality. It is called the "marble quarry." The stone is of a good quality, crystalline, even-grained limestone, which takes a fine polish but its hardness, and the frequent fractures and unevenness of strata, made it unprofltable as a business operation. I have given enough instances of the occurrence of this stone. Any one observing with care the horizon of each form ation, and the character of the stone, can readily decide as to any exposure where it belongs.
The Blue Limestone of the Cincinnati Group. -I shall attempt to do nothing, more than indicate the horizon of this Group, and refer the reader to the volumes of these reports in which this formation is specially treated of.
The blue limestone comes in below the base of the Clinton. In some places heavy beds of shale intervene. It will be observed in the sections given, that various transitional strata exist between this formation and the next above. Whether these represent formations, which are more distinctly developed in other localities, I do not undertake to decide.
The blue limestone may be regarded as practically, in this county, coming in next below the Clinton. The Clinton is succeeded downward by blue or red shales. These may be observed at the base of the Charlestown cliffs and then at Col. Woodward's. On the same line of cliffs, further south of the National road, the blue shale is manufactured into a good article of drain tile by Mr. Mark Allen. It is to be seen in the railroad cut north of Tippecanoe. On the Stillwater, near Milton, the same shale is seen at the base of the cliff, and on the east of the river on the hill-side opposite. From the horizon of these localities, all below belongs to the Cincinnati group. All the streams below this horizon cut through the upper strata of this group. The outcrop of the blue limestone must be looked for up all the streams, far enough above these localities to allow the rise to reach the horizon of the base of the cliffs.
SECTION AT KERR'S QUARRY
Flinty courses overlying Springfield stone, containing Pentamerus oblongus and characteristic corals...............20ft Niagara shales-covered......................................25ft Clinton limestone-partially exposed.........................63ft Cincinnati group............................................40ft Level of Miami & Erie Canal................................ page 301
SECTION AT WOODWARD'S
Clinton limestone-top of cliff, near residence-corals abundant in upper bed........................................35 Iron-stained limestone-firestone, called-sandstone, 6-inch course, fine grained ................................. Light blue clay, dividing strata between 5 Lower and.................................5 and upper silurian........................4 Red shale. Blue shale, of Cincinnati group..............................20 20 Blue limestone, of Cincinnati group, in solid layers.........15 15 Level of Miami River.
FALLS AT MILTON
Clinton limestone, with characteristic fossils-Chaetetes, Favosites, Halysites, layers often iron-stained-encrinal.....20 20 Cincinnati group-blue shale and limestone, containing Orthis occidentalis, Orthis biforata, and other characteristic fossils.......................................18 Unseen at this locality......................................55 Level of Stillwater River.
One of the attractive features of this county in a very early day were
the various tracts of land, devoid of timber, called prairies. We venture
the opinion that these did not arise from natural causes, but that, long
prior to the advent of white settlements, the forests in these localities
had been cut off by the Indians, for the purpose of raising maize and the
fact that they were found by the whites covered with growing corn, confirms
this opinion. The different expeditions of Clarke, Harmer and others, destroyed
vast amounts of corn raised by the Indians on these so-called prairies.
Prairies are formed by dynamical causes, as explained by geological conformations,
and, though we have not examined these localities, we do not understand
them to be the result of any such agency, but, on the contrary, wholly
the result of the agency of man. We take our description from Dr. A. Coleman.
Beginning at the south side of the county, we will first mention Freeman's
Prairie, which was named after Samuel Freeman, who entered a portion of
it. It is about two miles southeast from Tippecanoe, opposite the mouth
of Honey Creek, west of the river, in Monroe Township. It is said there
were some two or three hundred acres ready for the plow, which was utilized
by the early settlers, on the east side of the river. The second, about
two miles north, on the east side of the river, in Staunton Township was
called Gerard's Prairie, for Judge John Gerard who was one of the first
white men to cultlvate it. The next was called Gahagans Praire, located
in Concord Township, below Troy, directly opposite the old village of Staunton,
or the original "Dutch station" of 1798. The last two were largely
cultivated by the first settlers of the above station, and yielded them
a bountiful support for themselves and animals. The fourth was a small
tract situated in the bend of the river, now embraced within the corporate
limits of Piqua. The fifth was in Washington Township, west of the river,
beginning three miles north of the city of Piqua, with the farm of Col.
Johnston and James Johnston, and extending two or three miles northeast
to the mouth of Loraimie Creek, and was known as Johnston's Prairie, after
Col. Johnston. All these prairies were subject to overflow except the last,
which was called "second bottom," and was rolling. Being high
and free from inundation, it was the favorite resort of the Indians, and
many of their densely populated villages were located here. The Indian
Piqua towns were located here, which were invaded by the Kentuckians; this
was the dwelling-place of the ancient Twigtwees; here were many battles
fought, many war-dances celebrated, many feasts, scalp-dances, torturings
and all other characteristic scenes and features incident to Indian savage
life. Here, too, Tecumseh, when a boy, swam in the Miami River and shot
at a mark with his tiny bow. In addition to those already enumerated, we
may mention two on Stillwater, one near the county line in Union Township,
the other in Newton Township,
known as Williams' Prairie, named from Michael Williams, who settled on it in 1800 or 1801. While these latter were much smaller than those previously mentioned, they were utilized by the early settlers in the same way, and were a great advantage to them in furnishing products to sustain them while clearing out and improving their new homes.
One peculiar feature of these prairies was the existence of plum thickets, covering their borders and in clumps over their entire area. Gerard's Prairie especially abounded with them. They were a source of some benefit to the early settlers, in the directon of a rather delicious fruit, which was of various colors and quality- yellow, red, and occasionally purple. Some were of large size, and, though thick-skinned, were very palatable. The yield was abundant, continuing to the year 1825 or later, when the curculio destroyed the fruit, and the trees, being no longer of any benefit, were cut down.
OLD FORTIFICATION AT PIQUA
On Wednesday, March 21,. 1823, an expedition, under the care of Major
S. H. Long, left Columbus, its ultimate object being the source of the
St. Peter's River. Passing through, Piqua on its route, the expedition
remained a few days for the purpose of surveying the old fortifications
in this locality, a graphic description of which we here reproduce in the
author's language: "Piqua is a small incorporated town, situated on
the west bank of the Miami River, and on a spot which appears to have been
the site of a numerous Indian population. The river is navigable for keel
boats a few miles above the town, during half the year. The town is built
in a semi-circular bend of the river, so that its streets, which are rectilinear,
and parallel to the chord of the arc, are terminated at both ends by the
water. The spot is one of the most advantageous in the country for a large
population; the situation is very fine for defense against aggressors;
and we find that, with their accustomed discrimination, the Indians had
made this one of their principal seats. The remains of their works are
very interesting, and being, as we believe, as yet undescribed, we surveyed
them with such means as were at our disposal. They consist, for the most
part, of circular parapets, the elevation of which varies at present from
three to five or six feet, but which bear evident marks of having been
at one time much higher; many of them are found in the neighborhood of
the town, and several of them in the town itself. The plow passes every
year over some parts of these works, and will probably continue to unite
its leveling influence with that of time to obliterate the last remains
of a people, who, judging from the monuments it has left behind, must have
been far more advanced in civilization than the Indians who were found
there a century or two ago, and of whom a few may still be seen occasionally
roving about the spot where their fathers met in council. We observed one
elliptic, and five circular works, two of which are on the east bank of
the river, the others are on the west. The ground appears, in all cases,
to have been taken from the inside, which forms a ditch in the interior;
its depth cannot, of course, be ascertained at present, as it is in a great
measure filled up, but it must have been considerable. The area with in
the ditch, probably retained the level of the surrounding country. The
parapet may have been from three to four feet wide, but from slow decay
it appears much wider. The first which we visited is situated at about
a quarter of a mile to the southwest of the town and half a mile westward
to the river. It appears to have been the most important of all, and forms,
as it were, the center round which the others are disposed. Its form is
circular its diameter is about one hundred and fifty feet; it has a gateway
from eight to ten feet wide, which faces the river. Immediately connected,
and in close contact with it, to the south-southeast, there is a small
circular work, the parapet of which is considerably higher its diameter
is about forty feet; it has no gateway or opening what so ever. It has
generally been considered as intended for a look- outpost, but this opinion
appears incorrect, from the circumstance that it is not raised high
enough for this purpose; that its size is much greater than what would be required for a mere post of observation; and, finally, that its construction essentially differs from that which is recorded by Mr. Atwater and other observers, as belonging, to such posts of observation.
"There is nothing to support this opinion but its situation, which is in the most elevated part of the plain. We, however, think it more probable that it was considered as a stronghold which should be resorted to in the last extremity. This opinion accounts for all the characters which we observe about it. Its situation near the main fort at the center of the works its smaller dimensions, which, while they would admit a considerable force, would permit it to be defended mo re easily than the extensive works with which it is connected; the height and thickness of its parapet-confirm this belief. The circumstance of there being no gateway, is an additional proof for us, that it was intended to be used, like the citadel of a modern fortress, as the last spot in which the remnants of a defeated army might be concentrated in order to make a decisive stand against their aggressors.
"Proceeding in a direction south sixty-five degrees east from the
first work, at a distance of about 760 feet, we find another fortification,
which, like the former, is partly situated in a plowed field, but which
passes also over a by-road. In this old work, the white man has built his
barns, stables, etc., and appears anxious to hurry on the destruction of
what would, if uninjured by him, have withstood the assaults of time. The
parapet of the fort is not quite so elevated as that of the former; its
dimensions are larger, being about 225 feet in diameter; it has a gateway
fronting that in the first fort, and similar to it. If any covered way
existed by which these two works were connected, it has disappeared no
trace of it being at present visible. Taking again the first fort as a
center, and proceeding from it in a course north eighty- five degrees east,
we find another circular enclosure, distant 750 feet, from the first, and
about 540 feet in a northerly course from the second, its parap ets are
higher than those of the other two; its diameter is about 150 feet; it
is provided with a gateway fronting that of the first fort. Between the
second and third forts, and near the bank of the river, there are remains
of a water-way, formerly connected, as we suppose, with the third fort.
These remains consist of a ditch dug down to the edge of the river; the
earth from the same having been thrown up principally on the south side,
or that which fronts down the river; the breadth between the two parapets
is wider near the water than some distance from it, so that it may have
been used either for the purpose of offering a safe passage down the river,
or as a sort of harbor, in which canoes might be drawn up, or, perhaps,
as is most probable, it was intended to serve both purposes. This water-way
resembles, in some respects, that found near Marietta, but its dimensions
we smaller. The remains of this work are at present very inconsiderable,
and are fast wasting away, as the road which runs along the bank of the
river intersects it, and, in the making of it, the parapet has been leveled
and the ditch filled up. This is much to be regretted, as this work, if
it could be seen in its perfect state, would, perhaps, discover the motive
which led to the erection, of these fortifications, the attacks against
which they were intended to provide, and the means with which the resistance
was to be effected. But the largest of the works on the western banks still
remains to be noticed. This is an elliptical construction of great eccentricity,
its conjugate and transverse diameters measuring 83 and 225 feet; it is
situated 600 feet in a direction north forty degrees east from the first
fort; its transverse axis extends nearly east and west; we observed no
gateways. This work is almost effaced, its parapet does not rise quite
one foot above the ground. We crossed the river in a canoe and landed at
the foot of a very steep hill, about 100 feet high. On the top of this
hill, remains of a fort, in a very good state of preservation, are to be
seen, it lies in a direction north sixty degrees east-from the first fort
which we visited; and is 123 feet in diameter. It is placed on a very commanding
position on the brow of the hill, which has, unfortunately, been partially
washed away, and has carried down with it about one-fourth of the work.
There is at present but one gateway visible, which is on
the east side, and is about six or eight feet wide. This part of the works is one of the most interesting, it having, as yet, received no injury from the hands of man. It is covered with trees of a very large size. Upon the top of the parapet we found the trunk of a tree, which had evidently grown long after the rampart had been constructed, and probably much after it had ceased to be the theater of bloodshed and of assault.
The interior part of the trunk was very much decayed, but we counted 250 concentric layers, in what appeared to be less than the outer half, whence we concluded that this tree was certainly upward of five-hundred years old at the time it was cut down. These works all bear the impress of a very remote antiquity. In some cases, trees of very large size are seen growing upon the trunks of still larger trees. We have, as we conceive, no data to enable us to refer to them any definite date; but we are well warranted, from all their characters, in assigning to them an antiquity of upward of 1,000 years. At about fifty rods to the northnorthwest of the last-mentioned work, there is another which is circular, and of a much larger size. It has two gateways, one fronting east and the other west. We did not see this last, but we are indebted to some of the inhabitants of Piqua for a description of it. About these forts there are, as might be expected, many Indian arrow-heads, and other remains to be found. Those which we saw present, however, nothing peculiar. We observed both the war and peace arrow-head, or that which is used in hunting, and which is distinguished from the war arrowhead by the absence of the acute shoulder with which the war arrow is always provided, in order to cause it to remain in the wound, from which it cannot be extricated without much danger and pain to the patient; whereas, that used in hunting, is such that it can be withdrawn without difficulty. For the same reason, while the latter is attached to the arrow-head very firmly, the war-head adheres to it but imperfectly, so that, after it has entered into the body, if the arrow be withdrawn, the head remains buried in the flesh. Among offer things found near these fortifications, was a piece of broken pottery, which was considered as of Indian manufacture; but, upon examining it closely, we immediately recognized it to be a fragment of a small earthen crucible, and, from its appearance, we believe it to be of French m anufacture, as it resembles more the French than the German crucibles. . Taking this into consideration, and bearing in mind that the first French settlers in this country were constantly looking out for ores of gold, silver, etc., we entertain no doubt that this, instead of being of Indian manufacture, is a fragment of a crucible, probably imported from France, and used in some domastic experiment.
"We had an opportunity the ensuing day, on our road to Fort St.Mary,
to see the remains of an old Indian work, which consists of stones apparently
from the destruction of a stone wall, which is supposed to have been erected
by the same nation. It is situated about three miles west of Piqua, on
a bluff elevated about thirty feet above the level of the valley of the
river. The wall, which is considered by some as having been erected for
purposes of defense, stood near the brink of the hill, facing to the southeast.
It has been completely thrown down, but its limits may be distinctly traced
by the stones which lay on the ground, forming an ellipsis, whose.axes
are respectively 1,500 and 900 feet. This work is stated, upon the authority
of Col. Johnston, to inclose an area of seventeen acres. The longest axis
extends in an east-and- west line; the distance of the nearest point of
the ellipsis to the river was estimated to be about seven hundred yards.
At its southeastern part it is supported by a circular earthen fort, similar
to those previously described, and measuring about thirty- six yards in
diameter. The stones, of which the wall was built, are all rolled, mostly
granite; few of them are calcareous; they are in every respect similar
to those we find scattered over the country, and especially on the banks
of the river. At present they form a loose pavement, about six feet wide,
around the ellipsis. The figure of the ellipsis deviates, in some cases,
from a strict regularity, probably to accommodate itself to the surface
of the country as it then was. In sundry parts, and more especially
toward the west side, are many gateways, or interruptions in the walls, which are generally from six to eight feet wide. Back of these, and within the area of the ellipsis, we find a number of stones heaped up in the form of mounds, which are supposed to be the remains of small works, thrown up for the defense of the gateway, and so situated that one mound will protect two gateways. Although the general opinion seems to be favorable to the idea that this stone wall was erected as a fortification, we by no means consider this as proved. All the stones which are found there, if arranged so as to form the highest possible wall, would probably not rise above four and a half to five feet, but in order to afford the walk any degree of solidity, it wonld be necessary to give it such a breadth as would probably reduce its dimensions to less than three feet. On the part of those who do not consider this as the remains of a military work, it may be argued that we have no proof of these stones having ever formed a wall that they may have been gathered for the purpose of forming the elliptical pavement which they now present. That this may have been constructed for motives which we cannot at present conceive of, is no proof that such motives may not have existed; further, it may be said that, admitting these stones to be the remains of a wall, it is not probable that it was made for military purposes, as a work of this kind would certainly not have been erected for the protection of a small force, and as a large number of persons collected in it would have been quite unprotected against the arrows and other missile weapons; that the situation, though a commanding one, appears quite untenable for want of water, which can only be obtained by descending the hill toward the river, in which case the party venturing out would be exposed to be cut off by the enemy. A spring was, it is true, observed within the elliptic enclosure; but the small quantity of water which it affords at present, renders it improbable that it should have been, at any time, sufficient for the consumption of as large a force as would have been required in the defense of so extensive a work. The number of gateways, it may be said, likewise excludes the possibility of its being intended as a work of defense, for they are very numerous, and sometimes within four or five feet of each other. The unevenness of the ground, part of the wall being along the sides of the hill and much lower than the rest, may. be urged as another strong objection to its being considered as a military work. If it be not intended for purposes of war, what was the intention of those who erected it? Its extent, the labor which it required in order to accomplish it, its form and situation, in fine, all its characters, would then concurin leading to the belief that it must have been a religious monument, probably forming an arena for their sacked festivals; their games, their ceremonies, could be conveniently carried on. The number of the gates, the heaps of the stones which lay near them, all tend to prove that no other origin can be safely ascribed to it. It was suggested that this may, perhaps, be the remains of a pound, similar to those made by the Indians to this day for the purpose of entrapping buffaloes and other game.
"But this opinion is, likewise, excluded by the little resistance
which a wall of such small dimensions, formed by the union of uncemented
stones but loosely piled together, would have presentd to the powerful
efforts of the wild animals, which it would have been intended to inclose.
Its situation on an uneven ground, likewise excludes this hypothesis from
any claim to plausibility. The stones used vary much in size, from that
of a walnut to the largest which a man can carry; doubts may exist whether
this wall was raised upon an earthen parapet; if there was one of this
kind, it has certainly disappeared almost entirely, yet in a few places
the elevation formed by the stones appeared greater than might have been
expected, from the quantity of mat erials which were observed. It is, therefore,
not impossible that in some places, at least, the wall may have been supported
by an earthen parapet. The motive for which these stones were collected
will, probably, ever remain a secret, and we must be contented with surmises,
all of which are unsatisfactory, because all are founded upon hypothetical
manners which we ascribe to the authors of these works. Where we observe
rampart with a fosse, a gateway and a transverse inside of the gateway, we discover a similarity to our modern fortifications, and we immediately consider that this may have been erected for the same purpose, without inquiring into the foundation which we have for assigning to them the same system of fortification which we have adopted. In examining into the character of man, whether civilized or savage, we are, it is true, struck with the powerful influences which two of the most opposite passions, a warlike and religious spirit, will exercise over him; and to one or both of these, we may attribute his most astonishing actions, whether good or bad. The experience of every nation proves, that almost all religious faiths have led to the undertaking of vast constructions. Without recurring to the Egyptian and Indian antiquities, we find in the splendid remains of Greece and Rome, in the colossal and magnificent Gothic cathedrals of the middle ages, and even in the more recent edifices of modern times, that religion has at all periods been the principal motive which has induced men to exert their genius and expend their labor in constructions. Judging, by the same test, of the nations long since extinct, which at one time covered the banks of our Western streams, we will not be surprised if the remains of their finest works bear the character of having been undertaken, partly, at least, with religious views."
About a mile south of Piqua is an old Indian cemetery, situated upon a level piece of ground, elevated about twenty feet above high- water mark, in a romantic spot intersected by a small stream. The surface is formed by limestone rocks in horizontal strata, upon which it seems the bodies were laid and covered over with slabs of limestone.
On the south, and higher up on the point of the hill, is a mound described by Mr. Wiltheis as being 240 feet in circumference, six feet in height, and surrounded by a ditch paved with pebbles. In May, 1880 he explored it and found it contained a sacrificial altar. After digging through a foot of soil he came to a stratum of yellow sand ten inches thick, then six inches of ashes mixed with burnt bones, pressed into a solid mass, then nineteen inches of clay burnt red. One mile southeast of the main fort is another, 160 feet in circumference, with ditch on the inside and entrance on the east and west. One mile south, on Section 7, is another, 300 feet in circumference, with a southeast entrance, gravel embankment and ditch inside. Three hundred yards to the northeast is another, 250 feet in circumference and nine feet in height. Excavations showed this also to contain a sacrificial altar, made of clay burnt red, and covered with ashes, charcoal and burnt bone three inches thick. On this was a layer, eight inches thick, of clay; on this again was a layer of burnt bone pressed solid, covered with clay; then five alternate layers of clay and charcoal, five feet thick; the whole mass covered with gravel mixed with clay two feet in thickness. West of the altar, human remains were found, viz.: a skeleton lying with the head towards the southeast, imbedded in clay. The skull bore the appearance of having been crushed with a blunt instrument, as fragments of the cranium were found within the cavity. Near the surface were found broken pieces of pottery. Southeast of this, between the river and canal, was an ancient burial ground. Ten skeletons were exhumed by Mr.J.Reyt; they were buried in a circle, with their feet toward the center, which was occupied by a beautifully ornamented piece of pottery. About ten feet from this, he found a single skeleton with a piece of pottery near him. The graves were lined and covered with limestone.
Across the river, in Spring Creek Township, is another burial ground, containing many bodies exposed after the recession of high water. On Section 29, Washington Township, was a stone mound containing many bodies. Near the canal, same section, was a very large mound 400 feet in circumference, and from fifteen to eighteen feet high. Within the limits of the city of Piqua was one of their largest burial places, reaching from Young street to the Rocky Branch. All along the bank of the canal were found many stone graves, but the stones were taken out and burnt for lime as long ago as 1820.
On Section 30, Spring Creek Township, were three circular fortifications,
now obliterated; on Sections 27 and 28, are also two more burial grounds,
remains. On Section 19, Newton Township, are two pre-historic works, situate near Pleasant Hill, on the west bank of Stillwater, on the bluffs forming, the west bank. The larger of these works is 700 feet in circumference. On each side of the hill upon which the fort was built, are two ravines of about 100 feet in depth, runing back from the river, and forming a junction about three handred yards from it; in the angle of these the fort is built. The ravines running, northwest and Southwest protect it on three sides, and on the west side runs a half-moon embankment, 240 feet in length and six feet high, reaching from ravine to ravine; where the wall joins the ravines they are about twenty-five feet deep. Ditches are cut inside and outside of the wall. From the bottom of the ravines, looking up, the fort has the appearance of an immense truncated mound. It presents a formidable front, and its ragged sides look impossible to scale. Five hundred yards north of this is a smaller one, protected on the north by a similar ravine, running from west to east. The embankment is a circular enclosure, .300 feet in circumference, about three feet high at present. Trees of great age stand within.
This county is prolific of specimen instruments of a prehistoric age, mostly to be met with along the rivers, made of different kinds of stone, viz.: Granite, greenstone, sandstone, quartz, in its various forms, as chalcedony, agate, flint, jasper, slatestone, bone, horn, shells, and sometimes obsidian.
Mr. Wiltheis, of Piqua, a German gentleman of much intelligence, has in his possession 1,350 specimens of ancient handiworks. He has stone axes, ranging from two ounces to nine pounds; pestles, from three to six pounds; rolling-pins, three to four pounds; hammers and hammer stones, from one-half to three pounds; zelts, from one ounce to three pounds; chisels, all sizes; spades and hoes of different sizes scrapers, of flint and other material; fish spears, of slender form; flint knives, of all sizes and shapes; lance, spear and arrowheads, both for war and the chase; stone beads and shell drills of ffint, large and small spoons of shells, slatestone shuttles, calendar stones, of various patterns; slings, discoidal stones, war-club plates, pendants, ceremonial instruments, badges of power, beautiful in design; hollow tubes, perforated balls of stone, various kinds of ornaments, smoothing stones, jasper pipes, inscribed tablets, found one-half mile west of Piqua, in a gravel pit, buried eighteen feet, and flfty feet in the hillside.
They are made of burnt clay. The smaller one has twelve characters inscribed on it, a bow and arrow on one side, and a Grecian cross on the obverse, inside of a Square. This tablet is two and one-fourth inches wide, three and one-half feet long, and one-fourth of an inch thick. Through the upper comers are holes, evidently for suspension. The other is four inches by two and one- fourth, has twenty one characters, seventeen on one side, with bow and arrow on the obverse, square, with Grecian cross, inside, holes, as in the former, and a hole through the cross, filled with lead. By comparison, the inscriptions on these tablets bear a striking resemblance to those found at the ruins of Nineveh and Babylon. Some of the characters are identical with the Phcenician. Mr. W. has taken casts of these tablets, and presented the originals to the Smithsonian Institute. Anyone interested in archaeological study will find a splendid collection and a hearty welcome by visiting Mr.W. at Piqua, through whose kindness and intelligence we have been enabled to present the above facts.
We copy the statistical reports as compiled by Dr. Coleman, which are undoubtedly correct:
All taxes upon lands in Ohio prior to 1827, were by the acre, without
reference to improvements, and for State purposes only. Personal property
and town lots were taxed for county and local purposes. Lands were rated
for taxes, first, second and third, and the tax generally about $4, $3
and $2 per quarter-section
upon these rates. In 1827, the valuation of lands was placed upon the county duplicate, and, including town lots, amounted to $594,292, and chattel property to $156,941, making an aggregate of 758,238. The population of the county in 1830 (nearest census) was 12,807 valuation of property per capita (poll tax), $58.65.
The agricultural interests of the county had, up to this period, been very slowly developed; and there had been no advance in the value of improved land since the war of 1812.
Improved farms, of as good land as was to be found in the county, could be purchased at $10 per acre, and frequently sales were made at from $5 to $7 in quantities for quarter-sections, one fourth or more improved, and under cultivation. At this period agricultural lands possessed but a nominal value, but at the same time the canal question was agitating in the Legislature, which gave promise of an improvement of the State in the near future.
The second valuation, in 1835, was, of lots and lands, $1,161,050; chattel, $363,145; total, $1,532,193 ; the aggregate more than doubling in eight years. This improvement may, in part, be attributed, no doubt, to the completion of the Miami Canal to Dayton, which opened a limited market for produce. In the course of eight years, 1827 to 1835, agricultural lands advanced 100 per cent.
In 1842 the third valuation was taken Lands & lots, $1,654,758; chattel, $1,400,039 - total aggregate, $2,054,747.
The population, by the census of 1840, was l9,688, giving a valuation of property per capita. of $104.37, being an increase of about 100 per cent in ten years, and an extension of the Miami Canal to the north line of the county in 1837, and the increase of land from $15 to $25 per acre. 1840 may be considered the termination of the log-cabin period. The increase of wealth created a desire for more commodious and better-appearing habitations, and the faithful log-cabin, that had sheltered them alike from the cold and rain, as well as from the bullets of the Indian, was deserted for the beautiful frame or brick. In 1853 the fourth valuation of lands was taken, amounting to $7,722,018; chattel, $3,401,082 ; amounting in the aggregate to, $11,128,000.
The population in 1852, was 25,000, giving a valuation of property per capita of $445.20, being an increase of value of the tax list of more than four-fold, in the last eleven years. The completion of the canal to Lake Erie stimulated the agricultural interests to such an extent, that land advanced from $25 to $50 per acre, which seemed to be the maximum increase by the opening of the canal.
In 1859, the fifth valuation of lands and lots was taken, amounting
to $9,852,652-chattel, $3,512,927; in the aggregate, $13,365,579. Population
in l860, 30,377, with a valuation per capita of $445.40. The Legislature
failed to make appropriation for a sixth valuation, its approximate estimate
can be made based on 100 per cent advance upon the previous valuation,
which would give lands and lots, $19,704,304; chattel property in 1868,
$6,452,888, makin g, in the aggregate, $26,057,192, being the approximate
amount on the tax list of 1868, with a probable population of 35,000, giving,
730.20 per capita. The valuation of property in 1870 was $17,478,998- in
1874, $21,938,672.. State tax for same year, $70,203,73. Other taxes, amounting
to $248,568,41, aggregate, $318,772,14.
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