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

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rendered :

"Hail, ColumlDia" — Deubner's Drum Corps.

"America" — Audience.

"Invocation" — Rev. C. H. Gross.

Address on Ijehalf of Committee on Erection — Frazer E.
Wilson.

Address of Presentation — Geo. A. Katzenberger.

Unveiling — Elizabeth D. Robeson.

Military Salute — Gun Squad Co. M.

"Star Spangled Banner" — Drum Corps.

Address of Acceptance — Prof. Jacob T. Martz.

Historic Address — Judge Jas. I. Allread.

"Yankee Doodle" — Drum Corps.

Address on behalf of the Red Men — Lewis E. Wills.

Reminiscenes — Wesley Viets.

Benediction — Rev. G. ^^'. Berrv.



• M


V,


Hl^B



BOULIiER rvIEMORIAI. OX THE SITE OF FORT .1 SFF.TIIISON. UN-

VEILEP BY THE GREENVILLE HISTORICAL

SOCIETY' OCTOBER 24. 1907



DARKE COUNTY 325

The weather was crisp and clear and the exercises were a
success in every way.

A novel scene, not on the program, was enacted when an
improvised band of motley attired "redskins" under Chief
Scout Alvin Kerst, "attacked the fort" from the low ridge to
the south. Flitting from bush to bush they fired random
shots and took the crowd by surprise, making a very realistic
performance.

The cost of the tablet was ninety dollars and the entire
cost of the shaft, tablet and dedication about one hundred and
ninety dollars.

Since the erection of this appropriate memorial the ground
has been fenced and nicely planted with trees, providing a
nice park dedicated to the memory of St. Clair and his brave
soldiers who suffered in the primitive wilderness.



CHAPTER XIV.
SOME NOTABLE CITIZENS.

Every established comnninity has produced or nurtured
men of exceptional energy and ability, who by their activity,
local pride and steadfast devotion have made a worthy record
for themselves which should be preserved for the instruction
and inspiration of future generations.

Darke county is no exception and should enroll on her
scroll of fame the names of her citizens, who have blazed the
way in husbandry, business, education, medicine, law, politics
and the active affairs of men. Among the pioneers we have
especially mentioned the names of Azor Scribner and Linus
Bascom, the frontier merchants ; Abraham Scribner, the poli-
tician ; John Devor, the surveyor ; Abraham Studebaker, the
stalwart farmer, besides many others of less prominence.
To this notable list should be added the name of

Major George Adams."

This man was born in Virginia, Octolser 26. 1/67; served
as a drummer boy in the latter days of the Revolution, and
was sent in 1790 with important dispatches to General Har-
mar, then in command of Ft. Washington. Adams came
down the Ohio river from Pittsburg in a canoe and when
he arrived at Ft. Washington learned that General Harmar
had started with an army for the ]\Iaumee town a few days
before. Governor St. Clair, wishing Harmar to get the ex-
press, fitted Adams out with a good horse, saddle, bridle,
rifle, ammunition and rations and sent him forward. He
overtook the army at the old Indian town of Chillicothe, near
Xenia, some fifty miles out. on the fourth day. Here he de-
livered the despatches to Harmar, joined the Kentucky
mounted men and proceeded with the army on its eventful
campaign,' described elsewhere in this volume. AMien the



*The main points of this sketch are derived from an article
by George .-\. Katzenberger in \'(iUr"c XXIT of Ohio His-
torical .Societv Reports.



328 DARKE COUNTY

whites and Indians met in combat on the 22d of October,
near the present site of Ft. Wayne, Ind., a spirited engage-
ment took place in which Adams exhibited marked bravery
and was severely wounded. On this expedition, it is said, he
killed five Indians and received four or five severe wounds ;
one ball entering his thigh, one breaking his arm, another
lodging under his arm, while the fourth cut his breast and
lodged under his shoulder blade. The arm}- surgeons found
him in a very weak condition on the evening after the fight,
dressed his wounds, but said that he could not live until
morning and ordered his grave dug. On the retreat he was
carried on a litter betwen two horses and a grave was dug
for him three evening in succession. However, Adams, who
is described as being about five feet, eight inches tall, with
a shock of red hair, had a robust constitution, and arrived
safely at Ft. Washington where he recovered completely.
Not daunted by these experiences he continued in the ser-
vice of his country as a scout and was with St. Clair in his
disastrous expedition. On this occasion he was with Captain
Slough and party, who were sent along the trace ahead of
the army on the evening before the battle to ascertain wheth-
er any Indians were near. At the beginning of the retreat
lie endeavored to form the panic stricken troops in line but
without success.

On January 26, 1792, he married Elizabeth Ellis, probably
of Limestone, K3^

On Wayne's expedition, it is said, Adams acted as Captain
of scouts, disguised himself in full Indian rig, and with painted
face hung about their encampments where he secured infor-
mation of value for his commander. It is probable that he
continued with \\'ayne throughout his campaign and was
present during the negotiations which resulted in the treaty
at Greenville in 1795.

After the wars he settled for a short time on a hundred-acre
tract south of Hamilton, which he secured on a warrant issued
by the government for his services in the re\'olution. Later
he entered four hundred acres of fine land further up the
Miami near Silver creek (Hale's), about five miles from the
site of Dayton, which he secured on account of his services in
the Indian war. Here, in 1797, he established himself with his
famih' in a cabin equipped with scanty furniture and supplies,
including his trusty axe and rifle, which he considered pre
requisites.



DARKE COUNTY



329



"In the river were fish in abundance, and in the woods,
game and wild honey, so that even in the first year there was
but little privation for his family. With each year his farm
was improved and the furniture and the cabin were made more
comfortable. In the fields were cattle and hogs, and the fer-
tile soil yielded abundant crops. The farmer and his family
had bread and butter, milk, meat and vegetables in plenty
for themselves and gave freely of it to hungry travelers and
wandering Indians." During these peaceful years of his life
his home was used for various meetings, and the major pro-
fessed a religious quickening and joined the Xew Light
church. In 1806, probably after the experience, he and his
wife united with the Baptist church, called the Union church,
near Dayton on the Great Miami river.

In this primitive Arcady, under his own vine and fig tree,
enjoying for most of the time peace, prosperity and plenty,
he lived until the outbreak of the war of 1812, when he again
•responded to the call of his country and enlisted for service.
On account of the hostile attitude of the Indians several
block houses were at this time built in Montgomery county
as rallying places for the exposed and scattered settlers of
Preble, Darke and Miami counties. Troops assembled at
Dayton in the spring and summer of 1812, upon the urgent
call of Governor Meigs, and on August 26th, six companies,
consisting of over four hundred men. were organized into a
battalion and chose Major Adams as their commander.
"Shortly after this time two regiments of Montgomery
county militia were stationed at Piqua, Major Adams' bat-
talion was ordered to St. Mary's and Col. Jerome Holt, and
his regiment to Greenville, where they were directed to build
a block house and stockade. Later as the Indians were
threatening Fort Wayne, it became necessary to obtain re-
inforcement for Major Adams' battalion, who were about to
march to St. Mary's for the relief of that post." At St. Mary's,
Adams' volunteers awaited reinforcements which soon ar-
rived from Piqua. The troops thus collected at St. Mary's
are said to have numbered four thousand and were led by Gen.
William H. Harrison from that place on September 9th. On
the 12th. they arrived at Fort Wayne, where thev soon de-
stroyed the villages of the hostile Indians. Here Adams' reg-
iment was discharged on the 23d of September after one
month's prompt and effective service, which was highly ap-
preciated by the people of Dayton and the Miami valley.



330 DARKE COUNTY

Early in October Major Adams raised a company of mounted
riflemen whom he expected to take to Fort Defiance. On the
2d or 3d day of that month Patsey and Anna Wilson were
murdered by the Indians near Greenville and reports of de-
predations and hostile demonstrations by the Indians of the
'^Mississinawa region kept coming in. Accordingly, the new
Dayton company was ordered to Fort Greenville, where they
soon arrived and garrisoned the stockade. On December
11th, a detachment of regular troops left Dayton in a north-
westerly direction and proceeded against the hostile Miami
Indian villages near Muncie town on the Mississinawa. As a
result of this expedition thirty Indians were killed, some sixty
wounded and forty-three taken prisoner. Great hardships
were suffered on the return on account of the severe cold,
insufficient provisions and forage and almost impassable
roads. Major Adams went to their relief with ninety-five
men and on the 22d, met and supplied them with half rations.
Colonel Flolt also assisted them on the 23d and enabled them
to march to Greenville, where they arrived on the 24th, with
forty-one prisoners. Colonel Campbell soon marched toward
Dayton with his regulars, where he arrived on the 27th, and
after resting several days, proceeded to headquarters at
Franklinton (Columbus, O.). The Indians taken on this oc-
casion were sent to Piqua on December 26th, under a guard
of twenty-five men.

Major Adams, it seems, remained in command of Fort
Greenville until after Harrison's treaty July 22, 1814, and the
conclusion of peace with Great Britain later. During his two
years' occupancy of the stockade Adams, no doubt, recon-
noitered the country for many miles and selected a site for
future residence. Accordingly, it is stated that he entered
land at this time about five miles east of Greenville on
Greenville creek, where he built a cabin and moved his fam-
ily. Later he erected a little mill here where he turned out a
coarse grade of cornmeal and flour. A little grocery was soon
established here where whisky and tobacco could be secured,
and the place became a popular resort, where shooting
matches, quoit throwing, and fist fights were participated in
by the pioneers. ".^dams was a genial, fun-loving man,
widely known and deservedly popular : a crowd of congenial
spirits gathered around him and the little settlement took the
name of "Adams' Mill," and when the township was finally
orcanized nBlQl it was named in his honor. That .Adams



DARKE COUNTY 331

chose a good site for a mill is attested by the fact that a hour
mill is still located there (Cromer's) after nearly a century, it
being one of the few remaining in the county. Besides his
large circle of local acquaintances Adams retained the friend-
ship of old comrades of the late wars, including Col. Robert
Patterson, of Dayton, and his sons-in-law, Captain Nesbit and
Henry Brown. In the winter of 1826-27 the Major was ap-
pointed as associate judge for Darke county and served ac-
ceptably in this position until his death, November 28, 1832,
in the sixty-sixth year of his age. Major Adams and his wife
Elizabeth were the parents of twelve children, probably half
of whom died in infancy, or before the age of thirty-five.
The record of these children's lives is quite incomplete, but it
is known that Elizabeth, the first daughter, was born in 1796,
in or near Cincinnati. She married Caleb Worley about 1816
and in 1823 moved to Covington, Ohio, where she resided
until she was past ninety years of age. Her granddaughter,
Avarilla Fahnestock, of Versailles, Ohio, married Dr. O. C.
Kerlin, of Greenville, where she still resides. They have two
sons, Oscar, Jr., and Worley and a daughter Doris. On
account of his descent from Major Adams, Oscar, Jr., was
chosen to assist in the unveiling of the Wayne Memorial tab-
let in Greenville, August 3, 1906.

Nancy Adams, who was born in 1803, lived until near the
close of the Civil war. Martha Adams, the last daughter,
born in 1816, married Robert L. Harper and lived until 1894.
The time of the death of two sons, George, born in 1794, and
William, born in 1806, seems to be generally unknown.

The remains of Major Adams lie buried under a humble
headstone in the Martin cemetery about three miles east of
Greenville, and it is hoped that patriotic citizens will soon
erect a fitting monument here to perpetuate the memory of
his heroic life of service.

Abraham Studabaker.

As an illustrious example of the stalwart pioneer, perhaps
no better example could be taken than Abraham Studabaker.
Born in 'V\'estmoreland county, Pennsylvania, about the year
1785, he came in the vanguard of civilization with his father's
family to Scioto county, Ohio, and later to Clinton or War-
ren county, Ohio, where they settled. Here his parents
remained until death, and in 1808 Abraham, then some



332 DARKE COUNTY

twenty-three years of age, with his wife, settled on Congress
land on the south bank of Greenville creek, opposite the pres-
ent site of Gettysburg, in section 25 of Adams township. He
is credited with being the first permanent settler in Adams
township, and the third in the county. His nearest neighbor
was Azor Scribner, the pioneer Indian trader at Greenville,
about eight miles distant through the forest. He had other
neighbors in Miami county on the Stillwater, some fourteen
miles east. When he built his cabin he was compelled to use
logs of such size as he could handle himself. The great In-
dian trail connecting Piqua and the Whitewater Indian set-
tlement passed near his door and brought him occasional
dusky visitors. For the first three or four years these were
mostly friendly but at times became troublesome. On one
occasion two Indians appeared at the cabin door and de-
manded some bacon which Mrs. Studabaker was cooking.
Refusing to give up the precious meat which had been
brought from the Stillwater settlement the day before, she
held fast to one end while one of the redskins pulled at the
other end and his companion cut the meat oflF near her hand.
Her cries attracted her husband who was preparing ground
for corn planting, but he arrived too late to save the bacon as
the Indians had disappeared.

It is said that Tecumseh, the Prophet, Little Turtle, Black
Hoof and other noted warriors frequently visited Studa-
baker's cabin and that he had visitors almost daily whom he
treated with kindness and hospitality and therebj^ made his
life secure in the lonely wilderness prior to the war of 1812.

When Studabaker came to this spot he brought along a
horse and a cow, and his stock was augmented before long
by the birth of a calf. Shortly after he had harvested his first
small crop of corn his faithful horse died of the then prevalent
disease commonly called "milk-sickness." Not long after this
the wolves killed the precious calf. • Desiring to catch some
of the volves he baited a trap with the carcass of the calf
with the sad result that the cow stuck her head in the trap,
thereby causing it to spring and break her neck. On another
occasion Mr. Studabaker had gone to mill at Milton in Miami
county, leaving his family alone over night. Having butch-
ered a hog the day before the scent seems to have attracted a
pack of hungry wolves, who created pandemonium about the
lonely cabin in the night until a sudden smothered cry of
pain from a single wolf was followed bv a chorus of svmpa-



DARKE COUNTY



333



thetic snarls and yells for a moment when all became quiet
again. The cause of this strange procedure was discovered in
the morning when a large wolf was found within a few feet
of the door with his tongue frozen to the blade of the axe,
from which he had attempted to lick the blood and bits of hog
fiesh which had adhered to it in the butchering operations.
It is supposed that his companions turned upon him when he
uttered the cry of pain and soon ended his misery. The
wolves never returned after this occasion to molest the cabin.
The American panther inhabited this region and has left his
name in "Painter" creek which drains the county a short dis-
tance to the southeast. Mr. Studabaker had many thrilling
and dangerous experiences with this stealthy animal and
killed many of them during his residence. One specimen
which he killed with his rifle after a very narrow escape, had
an extreme measure of eight feet. Soon after the outbreak of
the war of 1812, Studabaker built a block house on his land
and made such defensive preparations as he could to resist
any possible attack that might be made on the place. Six
soldiers with arms and ammunition were soon sent to protect
his family and this out station became an inn, a citadel and
official quarters for the small garrison. It is said that
upon one occasion he captured five armed Indians and turned
them over to the government, but that they subsequently
escaped and killed Elliot and Stoner in the summer of 1813,
as before mentioned. During the latter part of the war, Mr.
.Studabaker furnished cattle for the government to feed the
Indians, who had gathered around Greenville awaiting peace
negotiations. About 1816 he settled on a tract of some eight
hundred acres located about two miles south of Greenville
in the Bridge creek valley, which, it is said, was ceded to him
by the United States government in payment for these cattle.
Although his early education was very meager his natural
talents and business qualifications early won recognition, as is
shown by the fact that he was placed upon the first board of
county commissioners and served thirteen years in this ca-
pacity ; that he was a captain in the early militia ; that he did
much toward securing the Greenville and Miami railroad for
the county: that he advanced the money to build the first
court house in the county, raised a large family and accumu-
lated a competence. He is described as a man of excellent
judgment, great sagacity, large hospitality, unquestioned in-
tegrity and decided, outspoken convictions. He was married



334 DARKE COUNTY

twice, was the father of twelve children and died March 16,
1852, leaving a long record of constructive accomplishments.

Dr. Isaac Newton Gard.

A history of Darke county would scarcely be complete
without a sketch of the life of the veteran pioneer physician,
Dr. Isaac Newton Gard. \\'hile not the first, he was among
the first physicians locating in the county, where he remained
during a long, eventful and eminently useful life. His pa-
rents, Stephen and Rachel (Pearce) Gard, were natives of
New Jersey, but migrated to Ohio early in the last century.
Stephen Gard was a Baptist minister and organized many of
the churches of this denomination in the Miami valley.
Rachel Gard, the mother of the subject of this sketch, died in
Butler county in 1816. Rev. Gard married a second time and
died in 1839. Dr. I. N. Gard was born March 20, 1811, in
Butler county, Ohio, and was educated in the common
schools, Miami University and the Ohio Medical College, Cin-
cinnati, Ohio, from which he was graduated in 1831. At first
he practiced in his native county, but in 1834 came to Green-
ville where he resided until his death on April 24, 1905, a pe-
riod of seventy-one years. At the time of his arrival there were
but few physicians in the county and his associates were prob-
ably Drs. Briggs, Perrine and Baskerville. The county was
very sparsely settled at that time and was covered with
swamps, ponds and pools which bred nausea. Sickness was
quite prevalent and the few roads were in a miserable condi-
tion. Bilious complaints were especially prevalent. The doc-
tors of those days rode horse back and carried their medicines
in saddle bags. As an illustration of the manner of practice, a
good story is told in Beer's "Historj' of Darke County," as
follows : "Dr. Gard was called in as a family physician to min-
ister to the wants of a sick child. Cold water was forbidden
and calomel, as was usual, was administered. The doctor
then retired with promise of a return next day. Cold water
was barred; the boy begged for a drink, but entreated in
vain, as the doctor's orders were immutable law. He then
resorted to strategy. Feigning a desire for rest and repose,
the family retired to permit their indulgence. Soon heavy
breathing annotmced that all were asleep, and the patient
arose from bed. staggered to the water bucket, and to his dis-
may, found it empty. This discovery would ha\"e been hailed



DARKE COUNTY



335



with imprecations that would have roused all in the house
had not the necessity of the case demanded control. Water
must be had, although the spring was at quite a distance. The
coffee-pot was found, and the patient set out to assuage his
consuming thirst. He rested several times in the wet grass,
but finally arrived at the spring, drank heartily, and undis-
covered, returned to his bed, having placed the well filled
coffee-pot at the bedside. This was two-thirds emptied be-
fore the suicidal act was known, when the doctor was hur-
riedly summoned and soon stood with astonished and omin-
ous look, awaiting serious results that did not happen. In a
few days the patient had recovered."

The doctor often had to ride long distances but he was a
man of powerful physique and withstood the years of ex-
posure and fatigue in a wonderful manner. The doctor was a
big man, mentally as well as physically, and was called upon
by a confiding public to serve in various important capacities.
He organized the first medical society, as well as the first
agricultural society, and acted as the first president of each.
He was also president of the Greenville and Miami railroad
during the period of its construction. He represented his dis-
trict in the state legislature in 1841 or 42, and in the senate in
1858-59. About 1862 he was appointed by the Governor as
one of the trustees of the Dayton State Hospital (insane asy-
lum) and held that office for sixteen years.

On January 6, 1835, he married Lucy Tod, of Kentucky,
and to them five children w^ere born, two of whom are now
living, Mrs. A. Wilson Arnold and Mrs. Harry Knox. In pol-
itics he was a Republican. He was a very sociable man upon
all occasions and an enjoyable conversationalist.

Dr. Gard died April 23, 1905. full of years and honors.

Edward B. Taylor.

On October 21, 1821, there w^as born in Lewis county, Ken-
tucky a lad who was destined to play an important part in the
councils of a political party then unborn and to wield a power-
ful influence in another state during the decade just preced-
ing the Civil war. I refer to Edward B. Taylor, who, it seems,
was descended from the Scotch-Irish settlers of Virginia, a
race remarkable for patriotic zeal, intelligence and strife. From
the meager records that we have, it appears that the Tavlor
family moved to Piqua, Ohio, when E. B. was a small bov



336 DARKE COUNTY

and his father died not long afterwards, leaving him a waif
wandering about the streets. One of the newspaper men of
Piqua employed him to run errands for a mere pittance, and
later discovered that he was a boy of exceptional feeling and
intelligence. His schooling from this time was probably neg-
lected but by dint of application he learned the printer's art
and educated himself while he labored for a living. His
progress is indicated by the fact that before the age of twen-
ty-nine he had become editor and publisher of the Piqua Reg-
ister. About 1848 or 1849 he removed to Greenville, Ohio,
and soon purchased the Greenville Journal, of which he took
charge on April 19, 1850. This paper was the ablest defender
of Whig principles at that time in the county and at the or-
ganization of the new Republican party in 1856 took up the
defense of its platform. During this critical period Colonel
Taylor gave free utterance to his personal convictions and
became prominently identified with local Republican politics.
During the historical Lincoln and Douglass campaign of 1860
he acted as chairman of the Republican Central Committee
and on November 1st issued the following ringing call:

"Dear Sir : —

"Tuesday, November the sixth, is the day of the presiden-
tial election. We enclose you this circular, containing a gen-