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History of Darke County, Ohio, from its earliest settlement to the present time .. (Volume 1) online

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stood the peaceful hamlet, calm as the great soul that sat
upon and moved his own great heart."

We append herewith another interesting account of Harri-
son's reception from "Beer's History of Darke County"

"Up to this time, political enthusiasm had never reached
a ver}^ high pitch among the hardy settlers, but now the ex-
citement was as great in the woods of Darke county as it
was in Hamilton county, Ohio, or in any of the older states,
and when it was announced, weeks in advance, that 'Old
Tip' would address the people, the surrounding country went
wild. Immense delegations came from Kentucky, Indiana
and [Michigan. There were more than three hundred ladies
present from Kentucky, and the gallants of the backwoods
were so much smitten by their graces of person, manners and
apparel that from that time till after the election all the young
men were Whigs, and 'log cabins, canoes and coonskins' be-
came the SA^mbols of their faith, and 'hard cider' the favorite
libation. Many of the delegations were headed by log cab-
ins on wheels, drawn by horses, and in one or two instances
by oxen. One delegation from one of the river counties was
headed by a monster canoe mounted on wheels, in which were
twenty-seven young ladies, representing the twenty-six
states and the Goddess of Liberty. This canoe was drawn by
ten white horses. The meeting was held just west of town
in a beautiful grove. Facing the speaker's stand, or rather
encircling it on three sides, was a liank, well shaded and af-


fording comfortable seats for the vast throng. This natural
amphitheater could not have been improved had it been de-
signed for this special occasion. The various delegations as
they approached the town were met by one of the 'Greenville
bands' and escorted in with honor. A brief description of
these musical companies will not be without some degree of
interest. The 'band' par excellence consisted of William
Morningstar, mounted on a fine horse, and his instrument a
violin, upon which he was no mean performer. He met each
delegation in turn, and gave them a medley comprising sev-
eral of the rollicking airs to which the campaign songs were
sung: "Hail to the Chief.' 'Bonaparte's March.' with the more
inspiring strains of 'Soldier's Joy' and 'Money Musk,' and
thus, with the booming of cannon and the cheers of the ex-
cited multitude, the delegations were welcomed. The other
bands, consisting of drums and fifes, although less singular,
were much more noisy, and far and near the martial music
resounded, stimulating the feeling, accelerating pulsation, and
with rattle and roll of drum and shrill, clear shriek of fife,
performing the air of 'Yankee Doodle,' and intensifying the
excitement with the 'double drag.' The principal speakers
were Tom Corwin and Gen. Harrison. Corwin argued that
tlie re-election of VanBuren would be the signal for a reduc-
tion in the prices of labor and all American products, and, in
support of his plea, read several advertisements of well-known
produce dealers from Whig newspapers, somewhat after the
following effect: 'On and after the 1st of December. 1840,
the subscriber will pay $1 per bushel for wheat if Harrison
be elected and 40 cents if the election "favors Van Buren.'
Similar notices concerning corn and hogs were also read from
the advertising columns of the partv press. Various argu-
ments were presented by Corwin in a way and with a force
that brought conviction to many a close listener. The speech
of Harrison was characterized as an able and eloquent states-
manlike eflfort in support of republican institutions. He also
devoted considerable time to personal reminiscence, and won
over many warm friends from the opposing party. He re-
mained two nr three days in Greenville, the guest of Mr.
Scribner, and. in company with his host and neighbors, vis-
ited many points of interest in the town and its environs.
The old merchant and tavernkeeper had been a staunch
Democrat, but from this time on. became and continued an
ardent supporter of the hero of Tippecanoe." From Green-


\ille Gen. Harrison went to Dayton, Chillicothe and Colum-
bus, O., wliere he received similar enthusiastic receptions.

The Burial of Patsy and Anna Wilson.

In the summer of 1871 the Darke County Pioneer Associa-
tion prepared to observe the nation's Natal day in a most
fitting manner. As a special feature of the day's program
it had been decided to exhume the remains of the Wilson
children, who had been tomahawked by the Indians in Oc-
tober, 1812, and to re-bury them in the new cemetery with im-
pressive ceremonies. Accordingly, good speakers were in-
vited, an attractive program arranged and preparations made
on a large scale for the event. The pioneer associations of
Preble, Miami, Montgomery and other counties were invited
to be present on this occasion, and a speakers' stand was con-
structed in X. Hart's grove (Meeker's woods) on the north
side of the creek near the site of the children's burial. In
spite of the rain on the afternoon of ^Monday, July 3d, and
in the early forenoon of the 4th, the people came from all
directions, and by 10 o'clock a. m. the main streets were
thronged with people. At 11 o'clock a. m. a large procession
formed in front of the Wagner House (Public Square) es-
corted by Col. D. Putnam, Maj. Eli Hickox, Capt. J. W.
Smith. Capt. Jas. Creviston and Maj. Frank E. Moores, the
officers of the day, and the Arcanum band, and proceeded to
the grove. Upon arrival at that place, the singers, orators
and invited guests mounted the platform and rendered the
following program :

Prayer — Rev. Levi Purviance.

Music — Choir.

Declaration of Independence — T. Riley Knox.

Music — "Hail, Columbia" — Band.

Oration — Hon. G. Volney Dorsey (of Piqua, O.).

Music — "Red, White and Blue" — Choir.

Address — Hon. George B. Holt.

Music — "Star Spangled Banner."

Address — Hon. George D. Hendricks (Eaton, O.).

Music — By Choir.

Remains of children presented to young ladies for re-in-
terment by Col. J. W. Frizell.

Music — Dirge.

The address of Dr. Dorsev. which lasted over an hour, was


pronounced a most sound, able, eloquent and brilliant ef-
fort and was listened to with profound attention and eager-
ness by the assembled throng.

•After the dirge, Barney Collins, the local poet, read the
following beautiful and appropriate poem which he had writ-
ten especially for the occasion :

"When Autumn tints had tinged the woods

And dyed the grape with blue.
By Greenville's stream two maidens stood

\\'ith cheeks of ruddy hue ;
Beyond the farther shore they knew

Deep in a shady dell.
The grape in wild profusion grew —

The grape they lov'd so well.

To reach these grapes their young hearts sigh'd,

Nor could they brook delay ;
Together they stepped in the tide

That flashed the morning's ray,
Xor dream'd they then that on that day

Ere yet their sports were o'er.
Another stream of darksome way

Their sports would explore.

"With mirthful laugh and joyous song

They through the forest strayed,
Xor thought that they were doing wrong

In being vindismayed ;
But, ah ! in deep and somber shade

Two dread Wyandots stood ;
Who had their every act surveyed.

Yet did their sight elude.

"^^'ith a.xe upraised and gleaming eyes

They from their covert sprung;
In vain were uttered mercy's cries

And hands in vain were wrung — •
In vain the two together clung

.\n(l called their mother's name —
The whetted axe that o'er them swung

Fell swift with deadlv aim.


"Their golden locks that in the morn

A mother's pride had shone,
Red dripping from their heads were torn

To deck an Indian zone ;
Beside a gray primeval stone

Their mangled forms were laid,
Where oft in sadness and alone.

The mother wept and pray'd.

"Yes ! on yon hill of gentle rise,

Whose base yon brook flows round —
The gallant Cloyd, with streaming eyes

Low placed them in the ground ;
And now, though time with lengthen'd bound

Has measured sixty years —
He comes to view this spot renowned

And shed again his tears.

"But O ! what changes time has wrought.

Since here amid alarms.
These murder'd ones he bravelj' caught

Within his stalwart arms ;
And braving death in all its forms.

Wiped from each lovely face
The gore that veil'd those youthful charms

That death could not efiface.

"No mother smoothed their silken hair,

Nor deck'd the pulseless breast ;
No funeral hymn rose on the air

When they were laid to rest ;
No words of solace were express'd

When closed the lonely grave.
All sounds save sighs were there repress'd —

The sighs of soldiers brave.

"Alas! the breast with grief must swell,

The eyes with tears must flow ;
The heart must ache, and bid farewell

To cherish'd ones below;
But who that mother's grief could know, ^

Could feel her heart's deep pain, i

When, wild with tears and nameless woe,

She mourned her children slain."


The poem was well read and made a decided impression.

After a dinner a procession was formed and a committee
of the following representative young ladies escorted the
coffin containing the few remains of the unfortunate children
to the new cemetery: Lilly Perry, Adda Benham, Euma
McGinnis, Cora VanTilburg. Isleoel Blessing, Edna Comp-
ton, Mary McConnell, Flora Tomilson, Clara Crider, Ella
Helm, Lizzie Biltimier and Fannie Frizell.

A few brief and well chosen remarks were made at the
grave by Rev. H. K. McConnell of the Christian church, ufter
which an appropriate selection was sung by the little pall-
bearers and the benediction pronounced by Levi Purviance.

On the same day a large field boulder, weighing about four
tons, was swung under a wagon drawn by six horses, and
transported to the cemetery where it was placed over the
new grave, where it may be seen today inscribed with the
brief but impressive words : "In memory of Patsey and
Anna Wilson, killed by the Indians at Greenville, O., in 1812,
aged 14 and 8 years."

Dedication of New Court House in 1874.

Many notable scenes took place in the county seat dur-
ing the stirring days of the Civil War as described and sug-
gested eleswhere. After the close of this conflict, the resi-
dents of western Ohio, who were tired of accounts of camps
and battles, of slaughter, misery and hardships, eagerly de-
voted themselves to the arts of peace, and took up the prob-
lems of life with renewed determination. Years of hard
labor and sacrifice ensued, but before another decade had
closed old "Darke" had forged ahead and was assuming an
enviable position among the counties of the state. Her prog-
ress was well typified by the substantial new court house
in 1874. The dedication of that structure is aptly described
by a former attorney and historical chronicler.

"It has been mentioned before that in the year 1874 the
new court house was finished. In the summer of that year
the business of the courts was transferred from the old to
the new court house. This proceeding was done with con-
siderable ceremony. Notice had been given that on a certain
day the new court house would be dedicated. Quite a con-
course of people collected in town. At one o'clock p. m. the
people collected in the old court house, which was soon


crowded, when \Vm. Gilmore, of Eaton, a prominent lawyer,
and the same year elected one of the Supreme Judges of
Ohio, and who had practiced his profession a great many
years at this bar, and who had also been judge of this court,
as orator of the day, ascended to the judge's seat, when he
made the following remarks as well as can now be remem-
bered : 'Forty years ago this very year, this old house
then new was dedicated to the use of the courts as a tem-
ple of justice. Here used to assemble in those early days
of your county when this house was new such eminent judges
and jurists as Joseph H. Grain and William Holt, who in
succession first occupied the seat and dispensed even-handed
justice to all. In 1840 and 1841, the seat was occupied by
Judge Holt, then by John Beers, and in succession by Clark
and Hume, of Hamilton, then by Judge Haines, of Eaton,
then by W. M. Wilson and William Allen, of your own coun-
ty, then by your humble servant, then by Jas. McKema, and
last, though not least, by David L. Meeker, your present

" 'Of the legal gentlemen who attended this bar from
abroad were Joseph H. Grain, Wm. Holt, David Stoddard,
Charles Anderson, of Dayton ; William McNut, Joseph S.
Hawkins, David Heaton, Abner Haines and your humble
servant, of Eaton ; John Beers, Hiram Bell, W. M. Wilson, C.
F. Dempsey and others of your own county. Besides these,
as accasional visitors on special legal business, your bar has
been honored by the name of L. D. Campbell, Thomas Cor-
win and C. L. Valandigham, whose stirring eloquence has
reverberated around and through this room and shook and
caused to tingle every nerve in your system.

" 'Of those renowned judges and jurists, whom we were so
glad to meet and see, J. H. Crain, David Stoddard. Thoiiias
Corwin, C. L. Valandigham, Wm. McNut, J. S. Hawkins,
Abner Haines, John Beers, Hiram Bell and W. M. WilNon
have passed away and entered the silent shades. AVe jsliall
hear them no more. Their eloquence will not again thrill our
bosoms, but a voice they left in our hearts and affections is
still felt, and long may their memories live. While remem-
bering these legal gentlemen we would not forget another
frequenter of this house, and though he was neither judge
nor juist, but an humble page and constable, who so fully
attended to our wants and comforts about the court house
for so many years, and greatly endeared to us all. I allude


to Eleazer Sharp. He, too, has passed away to that home
from which no traveler returns, and which we are all nearing
with each revolving year. These were the tenants and the
life of this house and its business. Some of whom have
grown old, and worn down by the cares of business, ha\e
fell by the wayside. The tenement they occupied has also
grown old and must soon give way for another. We have not
met here at this hour to bid farewell to this old house, not
the memories and pleasant incidents kindled here but to these
old walls. And now, farewell, old court house, the honors
that belonged to you we this day transfer to another. Your
halls will henceforth be silent. No eloquent appeals will
any more resound within you to listening jurors and audi-
tors. No strife nor bickerings. No heart burnings nor back-
bitings. No more efforts of crime to conceal itself behind a
legal dodge or false statements of perjured witnesses. Nor
will • wrong and oppression any more drive innocence and
virtue to the wall. These latter we would leave and bury
forever, and ever forget them if we could, but like the fatal
ignatus fatuis, unbidden, feared and loathed, undesired, they
will follow. Farewell, old court house, forever, farewell.'
The people now left the old court house and re-assembled
in the new house. Air. Gilmore again took the judge's stand
and spoke somewhat as follows :

" 'My friends, we are now in the new court house of Darke
county, and Darke county needed a new court house. Here
you have one, large and finished in all its compartments. I
see no marks of either poverty or stinginess about it, nor
yet of useless expenditures. A house suitable to the greai
and growing country of Darke county and an honor to yru
who have furnished the means to build it. This grand and
magnificent building we now dedicate and to the purposes
for which you have intended it. In this beautiful building
you intend your courts to assemble. Here you intend that
justice shall be administered, and the public business of your
county be transacted. Here is your Recorder's office, the
Probate office, the Treasurer's office, the Auditor's office, the
Commissioner's office, the Clerk of the Court's office and
Sheriff's office, with large and commodious rooms for the
use of jurors, a council room, with several other rooms an-
ticipating any further need — and this great court room, ca-
llable of accommodating 1,000 persons, all of these are now
set apart to their appropriate uses, and will henceforth he
occupied by the proper officers, and that pertaining to his


office. This court room is made large and commodious that
the people may from time to time assemble here to see and
hear the manner in which the courts are conducted, and that
they may keep a watchful eye upon the manner in which
justice is administered. This is one of your great safe-
guards, for no court nor jurors, however corrupt in secret
transactions, are willing to commit a flagrant outrage against
right and justice in the face of the people. In these times of
general intelligence it can no longer be presumed that the
people will not see partiality or an attempt to evade the law
by either court or juries. Justice is easily wounded, and like
oppression will cry out, and it is woe to the man who stifles
justice or puts the heel of oppression on innocence. The day
was when the word of a jury court was law, and the verdict
of a jury was not to be gainsaid, but those days have passed
away and the decisions of courts and the verdict of juries
are as freely mooted and criticized at this day as the conduct
of a general in the field, or any other public officer. I would
not intend to create, or even leave an impression that courts
in any age of the world have been generally corrupt. But
on the contrary history will bear me out in the broad asser-
tion that no part of the public administration of any nation,
ancient or modern, has sustained a better reputation for honor
and honesty than the judiciary. It has been the good fortune
of mankind for the ages past, as we may hope it will be for ages
to come, to be as a general thing blessed with honest and
competent judges. Indeed much- of the civilization and lib-
erty enjoyed by the world at this time is due to the con-
struction of the laws by the judges of the past. And great
things will yet be done in the future to uphold and perpet-
uate Christianity, civilization and liberty. The life, liberty
and reputation of man is often held and treated by the rabble
as things of small importance, and tyrants may and have
ground to the dust the innocent who have fell into their
power. But not so with the courts of justice. The great and
leading principle with them is now and always has been to
shield the innocent, guard the reputation and preserve the life
and liberty of all.

" 'Away back in the infancy of courts and of civilization
justice was sculptured in marble in the habiliments of a fe-
male, as less liable to corruption than the male, with a pair
of evenly balanced scales in her hand, and blind that she
might not be prone to favor by her sight. Such a figure you
have affixed to the external front of your court house, not that


322 DARKi: couxrv

you would thereby intimate that you would have your juclge.s
blind, but as a hint that they should see no favor on either
side, and that they be moved neither by pity nor passion to
the prejudice of justice, and right here in this house as year
after year shall drop into the great reservoir of eternity, right
here as your county shall year after year rise in her greatness
and her commercial interests increase with her growth, may
justice be done.' "

Unveiling of the Wayne Treaty Memorial.

In February, 1906, the Greenville Historical Society de-
cided to select a suitable site and place thereon a large me-
morial boulder commemorating Wayne's Treaty of 1795.
Frazer E. Wilson, Jacob W. Morrison and Wm. I. Swartz
were appointed as a committee to carry this decision into
effect. A search was soon begun for a granite boulder large
and shapely enough for this purpose. After diligent searcli
a fine specimen of black diorite boulder was located in the
Meeker woods north of Greenville creek, near the site of the
killing of the Wilson children before mentioned.

On the fourteenth day of March considerable snow fell,
a 'mud sled' was improvised and the huge boulder, weighing
nearly four tons, was transported to the lot belonging to
Chas. Katzenberger (No. 70) on West Main street opposite
the reputed site of the treaty, through the generosity of Mr.
Geo. A. Katzenberger. then president of the soceity.

By dues and special subscriptions the society then secured

a beautiful bronze tablet 20x28 inches in size, bearing the

following appropriate inscription, inclosed in a circle and

surrounded bv the emblems of savage warfare and peace :


to commemorate the

Treaty of Greeneville,

Signed August 3, 1795, by

General Anthony Wayne

representing the

United States Government

and the Chiefs and agents of the

Allied Indian Tribes

of the

Territory Northwest

of the Ohio River




This tablet was firmly attached to the front face of the
boulder and unveiled with appropriate ceremonies on August
3, 1906, the one hundred and eleventh anniversary of the
signing of the treaty.

President Katzenberger delivered the speech of presenta-
tion on behalf of the Historical Society ; Mayor Thos. C.
Maher accepted the monument on behalf of the city, and S.
M. Gorham, Grand Sachem of the Ohio Red Men, and Hon.
E. O. Randall, secretary of the Ohio State Archaeological
and Historical Society, Hon. C. R. Gilmore, of Dayton, and
Mrs. Edward Orton, Jr., Regent of the Columbus Chapter of
the Ohio Society. Daughters of the American Revolution,
delivered appropriate addresses.

The unveiling was done by Masters Sanford Irwin and Os-
car Kerlin, Jr., descendants of Thos. Irwin and Major Adams,
respectively, who served in the Indian wars.

Music was furnished by the Greenville band and a salute
fired by Company M, Third Regiment, O. N. G.

The preliminary parade was participated in by the Green-
ville band, Jobes Post, G. A. R., Little Turtle Tribe and visit-
ing Red Men, Company M, Third Regiment, members of the
Historical Society, Reppeto's drum corps and an improvised
troop of "Redskins" led by Mr. Alvin Kerst.

Although the day was quite sultry and a small circus ut-
fered a counter attraction, a goodly sized crowd witnessed
the parade and listened attentively to the dedicatory speeches,
which were pronounced interesting, instructive and appro-
priate to the occasion.

The total cost of securing and placing the boulder and tab-
let and conducting the dedicatory exercise was only aDout
$175.00, showing what a modest sum will do toward marking
a historic site when expended by those who are actuated by
feelings of patriotism and local pride.

Dedication of the Fort Jefferson Memorial.

Encouraged by the success of the enterprise of placing the
Wayne Treaty Memorial, the Greenville Historical Society
next determined to erect a suitable memorial on the site of
old Fort Jefferson, the most advanced post established by St.
Clair on his unfortunate campaign. Accordingly, the own-
ers of the site. Messrs. Patty and Coppock, of the Greenville
Grave! Company, were persuaded to donate and transfer two


lots adjoining the Neave Township House lot on the west
to the Township Trustees in trust for a park and monument
site. On September 12, 1907, ground was broken for the
monument by the citizens of Fort Jefferson, granite field
boulders were soon collected from the neighborhood and on
October 7th the work of erection began. The shaft was
erected by Mr. Fritz Walter, of carefully selected boulders,
faced on one side, laid in Portland cement and pointed black.
When completed it was six feet and six inches square at the
ground line, with a shoulder about two feet high, surmounted
by a tapering shaft with a total height of about twenty feet.
To the north side of this shaft facing the road, was attached
a neat bronze tablet secured from Paul E. Cabaret & Co.,
of New York, and bearing this inscription:

"Fort Jefferson

built by the army of

General Arthur St. Clair

in October, 1791,

and used as a military post

during the expedition against

the Northwestern Indian Tribes


The school children of the neighborhood erected a fifty
foot flag staff near the shaft. The dedication took place on
Ocfober 24, 1907, the one hundred and sixteenth anniversary
of the naming of the fort, when the following program was

Online LibraryThe Hobart publishing CompanyHistory of Darke County, Ohio, from its earliest settlement to the present time .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 29 of 57)