Horace S Knapp.

A history of the pioneer and modern times of Ashland County : from the earliest to the present date online

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Online LibraryHorace S KnappA history of the pioneer and modern times of Ashland County : from the earliest to the present date → online text (page 1 of 40)
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Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive

in 2010 witii funding from

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center




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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the jear of our Lord
one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, by


In the Clerk's Office of the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Ohio.



In 1857 the late Lorin Andrews — the first white male child
who lived to attain mature manhood, and surely his was a
mature manhood, who was born in the Township of Mont-
gomery — suggested to the undersigned the undertaking of the
work which is herewith offered to the public. It was after
repeated conversations and solicitations on his part, and with
many misgivings in my own mind that the matter attainable
would be of a quality to recompense the public and the
author, that I finally commenced my labors. Having, how-
ever, once entered the field of investigation, I found the re-
sources more ample and interesting than had been anticipated;
and, although the work has been protracted and toilsome, I
find compensation in the self-assurance that to the people of
Ashland County has been rescued from a rapidly perishing
condition material that will be of no ordinary value to them
and to future times.

An accurate history of the events sought to be given derives
more importance from the fact that several writers of the
purely "sensation" stamp have so caricatured, in publications
they have made, certain prominent incidents connected with
the early settlement of the territory that now forms the
county, that truth and falsehood have been utterly con-
founded. Had the effort to vindicate the truth of history
against the assaults of mere romancers been much longer de-
layed, the period would soon, in the course of nature, have
forever passed, within which it would have been possible to



correct, by contemporary evidence, the errors into "whicli a
considerable portion of tbe public have been led by "his-
tories" which, like more unpretending "tales" we see pub-
lished, can scarcely claim the merit of being even ^^ founded
upon facts."

Outside of oflBcial records, inaccuracies in minor details
will doubtless be discovered. Such inaccuracies are unavoid-
able, where dates and events which occurred more than a
generation ago depend alone upon the memory for their
authenticity; but every reasonable effort has been made to
avoid errors and reconcile discrepancies.

I gratefully acknowledge my obligations to Rev. James
Rowland and James E. Cox and William Johnston, Esqs.,
of Mansfield; Rev. R. R. Sloan, of Mt. Vernon; Hon. A. H.
Byers and Joseph H. Larwill, of Wooster; Hon. John H.
James, of Urbana; Revs. John Robinson, "W. A. G. Emerson,
and Thomas Beer, of Ashland; Thomas L. Armstrong, Esq.,
of Hayesville; Miss Rosella Rice, of Perrysville; and to
many other kind friends for valuable information furnished.
I do not, however, acknowledge ordinary courtesy at the
hands of the General Post-Office Department, at "Washington,
for information often requested of it through Hon. H. G.
Blake and others, but to which request no attention has been
paid. I have also to regret that applications for facts in pos-
session of parties relating to certain churches have not been
responded to, thus rendering it impossible, in many instances,
to give satisfactory details.

The historical matter embraced in the contributions of the
pioneers will afford ample reason for the absence of matter
which would otherwise be more appropriate under the imme-
diate heads of the several chapters of the work.

H. S. Knapp.

Januarj, 1863.



Ashland County previous to its Settlement by White Inhabitants 9


The Pioneers and their Times 1-t


Refuse Lands— Condition of early Agriculture — The opening of Mar-
kets, etc 2-4


Johnny Appleseed 27


Ashland County — Commencing with its Organization 38

Elections 41

Ashland County' Judiciary 46

The Common School System of Ashland County 61

Taxable Wealth of Ashland County 69

Taxable Property..... 73

Meteorological Phenomena 76

Registry of Periodical Phenomena 78

Marriage Statistics 79

Ashland County Agricultural Society 80

The June Frost of 1859 81

Ashland County Sabbath-schools 83

Pauperism 84

Diminution of Population 85

Volunteers for 1861-62 86


Clearcreek Township 103

Churches in Savannah and Clearcreek Township 103

Official Record '. 110

Population of Clearcreek Township in 1828 110

Ofl&cers elected ia April, 1829 ...< 112




Township OflScers in 18G2 112

Savannah 113

Reminiscences of the Pioneers of Clearcreek Township llS


Montgomery Township 167

Elections 168

Churches 170

Reminiscences of the Pioneers of Montgomery Township 179


Ashland 215

Churches 221

Masons and Odd Fellows 241

Independent Order of Odd Fellows 243

The First Burial Grounds 244

Ohio Normal Academy of Music 245

Ashland Newspapers 246

Public Buildings and Institutions 249


Vermillion Township 254

Extracts from the Official Records of Vermillion Township 266

Elections. 270

Justices of the Peace 272

Churihes in Vermillion Township 273

Reminiscences of the Pioneers of Vermillion Township 274


Hayesville 297

The Original Town 298

Concord Lodge, No. 325, 1. 0. 0. F 300

Churches in Hayesville 800

Permanently Established Business Men in Hayesville — 1862-63 303


Green Township 303

Churches in Green Township 305

Perrysville 306

Reminiscences of the Pioneers of Green Township 307

Extracts from the Official Record of Green Township 856

Successive Justices of the Peace in Green Township 861


Hanover Township 862

Extracts from the Official Record 864



Justices of the Peace 3G8

Churches — Evangelical, Lutheran, and German Reformed 369

Murder of John Whitney 370

Loudonville 371

Churches in Loudonville 374

Benevolent Institutions 376

Reminiscences of the Pioneers of Hanover Township 377


Lake Township 386

Odell'sMill 386

Reminiscences of the Pioneers of Lake Township 386

Churches in Lake Township 390

Extracts from Lake Township Records 391

Justices of the Peace for Lake Township 393


Mohican Township 394

Churches in Mohican Township 398

Extracts from the Official Records of Mohican Township 399

Justices of the Peace for Mohican Township 399

Jeromeville 400

Churches in Jeromeville 401

Mohicanville 404

Churches in Mohicanville 405

Reminiscences of the Pioneers of Mohican Township 405


Perry Township 428

Extracts from Official Records of Perry Township 428

Rowsburg 430

Churches in Perry Township 431

Reminiscences of the Pioneers of Perry Township 436


Jackson Township 471

Perrysburg 472

Churches in Jackson Township 473

Justices of the Peace in Jackson Township since 1831 476

Reminiscences of the Pioneers of Jackson Township 477


Orange Township 499

Orange Township Churches 500

The Village of Orange 602

Reminiscences of the Pioneers of Orange Township 506



MifiBin Township , 623

Mifflin 532

Churches 532

Township Officers for 1862 533

Successive Justices of (he Pence 533

Reminiscences of the Pioneers in Mifflin Township 534


Milton Township 535

Extracts from the Official Record 536

Election of April 7, 1862 536

Successive Justices of the Peace of Milton Township 536

Pioneers of Milton Township 537


Euggles Township 538

Extracts from the Official Record of Ruggles Township 540

Commissions of Justices of the Peace 540

Pioneers of Ruggles Township 540


Troy Township 542

Troy Centre 543

Churches 543

Pioneers of Troy Township 643


Sullivan Township 544

Pioneer Sketches , 544

Sullivan Village 549

Churches 549

Sullivan Lodge, No. 313 650



Ashland County previous to its Settlement by WMte

"With regard to the period that preceded the settle-
ment by white people of Ashland County, very little,
of course, is known. The space indicated compre-
hends an indefinite rule of darkness and barbarism;
and the investigation of its traditions and imperfect
annals, and their embodiment into historical form,
would involve an amount of antiquarian research
not consistent with a work like this. Many of the
acres that are now embraced within Ashland County
have doubtless been the theater of events that would
render them "classic ground;" but the history of those
times is neither attainable nor germain to the object of
this work. The scope and design of this volume em-
braces the period commencing with the permanent
settlement by the white race. Such resources, how-
ever, as are available and authentic, relating to the
anterior period, are employed.

In Taylors History of Ohio, there is a reference
(p. 79) to an Indian trail leading from Fort Duquesne,
by way of Fort Sandusky, to Detroit; which is traced

2 (9)


by him as passing through the townships of Mohican
and Vermillion. This route was supposed to have
been opened soon after the erection of the -fort at
Pittsburg, in 1754. An appendix to Hutchins' His-
tory of Boquet's expedition in 1764, gives five differ-
ent routes through the Ohio wilderness. "Second
route, (p. 163,) W.N.W., was twenty-five miles to
the mouth of Big Beaver, ninety-one miles to Tusca-
roras, (the junction of Sandy and Tuscaroras Creeks,
at the south line of Stark County;) fifty to Mohican
John's Town, (Mohican Township, near Jeromeville
or Mohicanville, on the east line of Ashland County;)
forty-six to Junandot or Wyandot Town, (Castalia,
or the source of Cold Creek, in Erie County;) four
to Fort Sandusky, (at mouth of Cold Creek, in Erie
County;) four to Fort Sandusky, (at mouth of Cold
Creek, near Venice, on Sandusky Bay;) twenty-four
to Junqueindundeh, (now Fremont, on Sandusky
Eiver, and in Sandusky County.) The distance
from Fort Pitt to Fort Sandusky was two hundred
and forty miles." Referring to Pownal's map, pub-
lished in 1776, which locates the various Indian
tribes then in Ohio, Mr. Taylor infers that " the
west branch of the Muskingum, known on our maps
as the Whitewoman or Mohican, was assigned to the
remnants of the old Connecticut tribe, whose name,
otherwise evanescent, has been embalmed by the
genius of Cooper. As we have seen from the diary
of Smith, there was a Canghnawaga village (the
Mohican was the origin of this tribe, but fused with
Canadians and Iroquois, and lately resident near
Montreal) about twenty miles above the Coshocton
Forks, and still farther north, on the lake branch of
the Mohican River, was the Mohican John's Town,


near the (now) village of Jerome ville, in Ashland
County. Thence these 'Last of the Mohicans' were
accustomed to range northward to the lake, and east-
ward over the comparatively vacant plains now con-
stituting the counties of the Western Reserve."

The diary of Colonel James Smith, to which Mr.
Taylor refers, is republished more fully in a volume
entitled " Western Adventures," by John A. McClung,
printed at Dayton, Ohio, in 1847. Smith was a cap-
tive five years among the Mohicans, and was adopted
as a member of their tribe. After his escape, in
1760, he published a narrative of his adventures.
In . company with his adopted brother, whose name
was Tontileaugo, he made a journey, during his cap-
tivity, from the west branch of the Muskingum to
Lake Erie. They proceeded to the head waters of
said branch, and thence crossed to the waters of
a stream called by Smith the Canesadooharie. This
was probably the Black River, which, rising in Ash-
land, and traversing Medina and Lorain Counties,
(at least by the course of its east branch,) falls into
Lake Erie a few miles north of Elyria. If we sup-
pose that Tullihas, situated twenty miles above the
principal forks of Muskingum, was near the junction
of the Vernon and Mohican Rivers, on the border of
Knox and Coshocton Counties, Smith and his com-
panions probably followed what is called, on Thayer's
Map of Ohio, the " Lake Fork of the Mohican," until
they reached the northern part of Ashland County,
and therft struck the head waters of the Canesadoo-
harie, where, as Smith testifies, they found " a large
body of rich, well-lying land ; the timber, ash, wal-
nut, sugar-tree, buckeye, honey-locust, and cherry,
intermixed with some oak and hickory."


The 8th of September, 1760, was the date of the
surrender of Canada to the English, by the French
Governor Vaudrueil. Major Robert Rogers, a native
of New Hampshire, and an associate of Putnam and
Stark, was ordered to take possession of the Western
forts. He left Montreal on the thirteenth of Sep-
tember, with two hundred rangers. In his History
of Ohio, Mr. Taylor quotes liberally from the Journal
of his Military Life, published by Rogers, in London,
in 1765, and also a "Concise Account of North
America." From Detroit, the major went to the
Maumee, and thence across by the Sandusky and
Tuscarawas trail to Fort Pitt; and from his journal of
this overland trip, Mr. Taylor traces his route. On
the 4th of January, 1761, he finds Rogers encamped
at a point eleven miles south from Monroe ville,
in Huron County. We adopt Mr. Taylor's definition
of the trail from thence as contained in his annota-
tions to the Journal of Rogers, which occurs on pages
124 and 125. "On the 5th, traveled south-southwest
half a mile, south one mile, south-southwest three-
quarters of a mile, south half a mile, crossed two
small brooks running east, went a southwest course
half a mile, south half a mile, southeast half a mile,
south two miles, southeast one mile, south half a mile,
crossed a brook running east-by-north, traveled south-
by-east half a mile, south-southeast two miles, south-
east three-quarters of a mile, south-southeast one mile,
and came to Moskongam Creek,* about eight yards
wide, crossed the creek, and encamped about thirty
yards from it. This day killed deer and turkies in
our march.

* Black Fork of Mohican.


"On the Gth, we traveled about fourteen or fifteen
miles, our general course being about east-southeast,
killed plenty of game, and encamped by a very fine

"The 7th, our general course about southeast,
traveled about six miles, and crossed Moskongam
Creek, running south, about twenty yards wide.f
There is an Indian town about twenty yards from
the creek, on the east side, which is called the Mingo
Cabbins. There were but two or three Indians in
the place, the rest were hunting. These Indians
have plenty of houses, hogs, etc.J

"The 8th, halted at this town, to mend our moga-
sons and kill deer, the provisions I brought from De-
troit being entirely expended. I went a hunting with
ten of the Rangers, and by ten o'clock got more veni-
son than we had occasion for.

"On the 9th, traveled about twelve miles, our
general course being about southeast, and encamped
by the side of a long meadow, where there were a
number of Indians hunting."§

With regard to the identity of the "fine spring"
mentioned, those who have given attention to the
matter differ in opinion. It is not probable that it
is " somewhere between Vermillion and Montgomery
Townships." Dr. Bushnell, of Mansfield, who has

* Who will identify this " fine spring," somewhere between
Yermillion and Montgomery Townships, in Ashland County ?

f Lake Fork of Mohican, below Jeromeville, Ashland County.

I A prominent object on all early charts, but usually called
"Mohican John's Town." The township is now called "Mo-

§ Still called, on the map of Ohio, " Long Prairie," in Plain
Township, Wayne County.


been familiar with the country for a period of upwards
of forty years, supposes it to be one of the " Quaker
Springs," two or three miles southeast of Haysville.
The "Mingo Cabbins" were probably upon the Indian
village of "Green Town."

This is all the information, from sources which are
entitled to be regarded as authentic, that we are
enabled to obtain relating to Ashland County a
century since. It has been supposed by some that
the route of the lamented Colonel William Crawford,
in the expedition which terminated so disastrously
and miserably to himself, in 1782, led through this
county; but such data as we have been enabled to
obtain do not authorize this conclusion. . .


The Pioneers and their Times.

Fifty-three years have elapsed since the first
white settlement was commenced within what is
now the organized territory of Ashland County.
What changes have been Avrought within that half
century ! The first pioneer found the country with-
out church, school, market, road, merchant, mechanic,
or cultivated acre — if we except a few spots that may
have been marked by the rude efforts at tillage by
the Indian. Savage beasts and uncivilized men were
in deadly conflict throughout the domain of the
wilderness. Except when winter withdrew them to
their caverns, the earth teemed with venomous and
loathsome reptiles. The country was utterly desti-


tute of any of the moral or material resources that
bear relation to civilized life. Such, in brief, was its
condition when that band of moral heroes, the
Pioneers, entered the country and grappled with
privations and dangers altogether unknown to the
generation who now occupy this country, and even
to the experience of those who have of late years
undertaken the subjugation of the forests west of
this. There exists no analogy between the habits
and modes of life of those who were backwoodsmen
at the commencement of the present century, and
those who have peopled the new States and Terri-
tories of the West. Here, until the opening of an
Atlantic market by the completion of the New York
and Erie Canal, in 1825, there had been no sale of
produce except for neighborhood consumption; while
westward of this, during the last ten or fifteen years
particularly, artificial communications, by means of
canals, turnpikes, or railroads, have advanced, almost
pari passu, with the van of the immigrating column,
and agriculture, commerce, and manufactures, with
all the happiness they bestow, have been enjoyed,
with the exception of brief delays, by the first popu-
lations of the new States and Territories. Steam, as
an agent of transit alone, has wrought a wonderful
revolution in accelerating the distribution of popula-
tion and wealth. The pioneers of Ashland County
made their way hither from their former Eastern
homes by the tedious process of horse and ox teams,
and some even on foot, occupying weeks in their
journeys. They were the manufacturers of almost
everything they used, including their farming imple-
ments and the fabrics with which they were clothed.
Their food, also, as well as their raiment, was the


exclusive production of their own farms. There
were no importations of goods. Their modes of life,
created by their necessities and their isolation, made
them a race sui generis. The world will "ne'er look
upon their like again."

Different has it been with those who first settled
the States and Territories north and west of us.
Themselves and families, stocks of clothing, farming
implements, merchandise, and abundant supplies of
provisions, embracing even the luxuries of life, have
been conve3'ed from tramontane homes to within a
stone's throw of their places of destination in the
" far West," by means of the modern facilities which
steam employs on natural and artificial channels,
performing, in a single day, a distance which, fifty
years since, would have occupied nearly or quite a
month to accomplish. These transportations, too,
were conducted on* a scale of cost corresponding in
reduced amount Avith the difference in time em-
ployed. Thus, comparatively, has time and space
and expense been equally annihilated by the magical
improvements of the utilitarian era which has had
its dawn since the first white settler commenced his
improvement of the soil within our limits. Had
anything essential to comfort been forgotten by the
pioneer family of the country west of us, commerce
met them almost at the doorway of their cabin and
supplied the needful commodity. The privations of
the pioneer life as it formerly existed, the occidental
adventurer may have heard of or read of, but it is a
matter altogether outside of his own experience.
Pioneer life in the States and Territories west, as
compared with that of Ohio, has been a mere holiday'


There is much embraced in the personal history of
the pioneers that may not interest the general reader.
The office of the author, in this department, has
been little else than that of- amanuensis and com-
piler — some of the narratives being from the manu-
script as furnished by the* narrator himself, without
any attempt at revision by the editor. If the mat-
ter under this head is sometimes found wanting in
symmetry, and if repetitions occur, or if statements
touching the same events are occasionally found in
conflict, in unimportant details, it must be borne in
mind that they are simply reminiscences, unaided, in
most instances, by memoranda or other record. All
efforts at adornment of these narratives, however,
would only impair their value. They are the most
attractive in their simplest form.

We confess to a feeling of veneration for the char-
acters of those men who penetrated the wilderness
and inaugurated civilization and its train of blessings
in a reo;ion where savao;es and wild beasts had main-
tained undisputed empire. The scenes through which
they passed are suggestive of rich fields for the genius
of the poet and painter, and fields that it is hoped
may be hereafter occupied. "Would not that, reader,
furnish a night-scene for an artist, where our friend,
Elias Ford, was reposing, "one eye open," in his little
three-sided cabin — his faithful dog, "who could do
everything except talk," posted as sentinel between
his "open front" and the fire which always blazed at
night a few feet distant from his hammock — his
trusty rifle supported by his left arm — the reptiles
coiled upon the ground beneath him — the hordes
of ravenous wolves, attracted by the venison, the
savor of which, during the process of cooking the


supper for himself and dog, had impregnated the
atmosphere around, stimulating their voracious appe-
tites to a point of uncontrollable fury, — would not
this, and many kindred scenes described in these
pages, constitute material worthy the genius of the
best painter?

No country settled at and prior to the date of the
portion which now forms the State of Ohio, ever had
but one race of pioneers — the men who penetrated
the wilderness, endured all the hardships incident
to its subjugation, and transmitted to their successors
the comforts and conveniences of a high civilization.
When this class of men pass off a given spot, they
disappear for all time : the country which was first
redeemed by them will know them nor their like no
more forever. To record the stories of the adventures
and sufferings — the joys and sorrows — of the pioneers
who yet survive in' Ashland County, was the chief
object in producing this volume. It is a work which,
had it been commenced earlier, would have been
more satisfactorily prosecuted; while, had it been
postponed to a much later period, the grave would
have closed over the last of the pioneers, and any-
thing like a faithful history of their times could not
have been produced. The present and rising genera-
tion may derive an instructive moral lesson, by con-
trasting the privations and discomforts which beset
the first settlers with the circumstances which sur-
round themselves. Such contrast should inspire the

Online LibraryHorace S KnappA history of the pioneer and modern times of Ashland County : from the earliest to the present date → online text (page 1 of 40)