A. E. Hough J. W. Klise.

The county of Highland: a history of Highland County, Ohio, from the ... online

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four rooms were occupied. January, 1890, the fifth was added.
The schools gradually grew until it was found necessary to complete
and furnish the only remaining room in the building. In January,
1895, it was found necessary to employ an assistant teacher for the
high school, making a junior high school and a senior high school,
and latter taught by the superintendent The present school build-
ing is one of modern architecture, and is furnished throughout with
elegant and substantial equipments. Few school rooms in Ohio pre-
sent a more attractive appearance and have better appliances. A beau-
tiful grove surrounds each building, the old schoolhouse now being
occupied as a town hall and mayor^s oflSce. The grove about the old
building forms a most beautiful park, where many public gatherings
are held every year. May 16, 1877, the board of education decided
to plant two hundred trees in the schoolhouse yard and bids were
asked for trees not less than twelve feet high of the following vari-
eties : Hickory, ash, elm, locust, maple, sycamore, wild cherry, sugar
and hackberry. The contract was let to M. B. Pulse, who found that
only one hundred and eighty-six trees could be put on the lot^ for
which he received $16.74, at nine cents a tree. When the school
board sold the old building to the city it wisely reserved the beautiful
park as a play-ground for the children, in addition to the two acres
in the new grounds, just joining the park."

The first purchase of books for a public library was made in 1891
by the students of the high school, and in a little time quite a re-
spectable collection was formed of the following character: Books
of reference, 116 volumes ; history and civics, 53 volumes ; biography,
49 volumes ; natural science, 20 volumes ; supplementary and common
branches, 19 volumes; literature, 14 volumes; poetry, 9 volumes;
essays and miscellaneous, 17 volumes ; supplementary readers, 30 vol-
imies, with others not purchased but donated, amoimting to 450 vol-
umes in all. The school does not expect to stop here but with the
generous aid of the board will make a library second to none in the
character and quality of the books selected. The library is being

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added to every year by donations and purchase and will soon become
an exhaustless source of information and reference.

The Teachers' Institute, which has been in existence for years,
holding its sessions each year at some central place in the county,
has reached a degree of perfection in character and work which indi-
cates progress and development along educational lines. The teachers
as a class are compelled by the high standard fixed by the county ex-
aminers, in qualifications and character, to reach high attainments
before they are given authority to teach, and as a result, the teachers
and schools of the county are in advance of the older methods by
which force physical in place of force mental was the common school
rule. The Institute session closing in August, 1902, was an ideal
one in nimibers and methods. Two hundred teachers were enrolled
and the opera house was crowded for days with an interested and
delighted audience.

The present day development of the public schools of Highland
county is revealed in the figures of the statistical reports for the
school year of 1899-1900. From these it appears that there are 145
schoolhouses in the townships, accommodating the township schools,
besides nine houses for the separate or special town districts. All
together contain 213 school rooms. The machinery of control pro-
vides for 144 subdivisions of the seventeen township districts and
eight separate districts, under the management of 174 meanibers of
the boards of education. The value of the school property in the
township districts is $104,700, and in the separate districts the value
of buildings for elementary schools is $94,500, and for high schools
$44,000. The grand total of value of school property is put at

The enumeration of children and youth of school age is 4,450 boys
and 4,111 girls, total, 8,561, and of these 3,949 are enrolled in the
township schools and 2,311 in the separate district schools, a total of
6,260 or something over eighty per cent of the whole number in the
county. To teach these six thousand and more, 232 teachers are
employed, 176 of them in the township district schools, and the aver-
age cost of tuition based on the enrollment is $8 in the elementary
township schools, $14.11 in the township high schools, $9.28 in the
elementary schools of the separate districts, and $21.45 in the high
schools of the towns. The total school revenue of the county in the
year under report was $100,867, and the expenditures were, for
teachers, $61,679, for other purposes, $22,503, total expense, $89,875.

In the separate districts which include high schools, namely:
Greenfield, Hillsboro, Leesburg, Lynchburg, New Lexington and Eus-
sell, about 2,000 pupils were enrolled in the elementary schools and
320 in the high schools. In that year the high schools graduated 47,
and it appeared that Hillsboro high school, from its b^inning, had
gr^duat^ 276.

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TATE statistics show 268,104 acres of land in Highland
county, valued at $2,980,983. The surface of Highland,
though diversified with much rolling land and some con-
siderable elevations, includes a great deal of level land, and
the country is generally adapted to agriculture. Wheat and com
are raised in large quantities, and fruits of almost every variety
flourish. The soil of the county is adapted to quite a variety of
products, and yields a fair increase to the industrious toiler. The
crops in average years are, tobacco, 425,438 pounds; potatoes,
197,368 bushels; butter, 487,982 pounds; com, 1,941,549 bushels;
wheat, 467,240 bushels; oats, 364,156 bushels; hay, 82,641 tons.
Other products are, sorghum molasses, 29,211 gallons; maple sugar,
1,829 pounds; maple syrup, 3,314 gallons ; honey, 9,941 pounds;
eggs, 668,434 dozens ; apples, 5,000,000 bushels ; peaches, 30,000
bushels ; pears, 8,000 bushels ; cherries, 4,000 bushels ; plums, 5,000
bushels ; wool, 80,000 pounds. The live stock of the county is much
above the average in character and quality. It is well understood
among the intelligent farmers that it costs no more to keep good stock
than it does a poor class. There are about 8,000 milch cows in the
county, and the standard of value is high. In the matter of horses
the stock sales report prices hi^er, and stock better in Highland
county than in any other county in the state. This demand for
quality is evidenced from the fact that within the county there are
something over one hundred fine blooded stallions. While the gen-
eral conditions are favorable to all classes of industries, there are
some branches to which the county is especially adapted. In those
articles in the construction of which wood enters largely, the county
is well adapted. The county abounds with a magnificent timber
growth, oak, hickory, walnut and other varieties ; ship timber has
been shipped to Europe from Highland county. These timber advan-
tages have been appreciated by quite a number of enterprising men,
who have successful plants, such as bent wood factory, chair factory,
carriage and wagon factories, saw mills, planing mills, broom fac-

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tones, lumber yards, and other signs of unmistakable thrift and pros-
perity. The most essential conditions of life's success is a happy
combination of "vocation and location," and in Highland county
these conditions exist in unity. The beauty of the locality has lost
none of its attractions that first caught the eye of the pioneer fore-
fathers, whose ^descendants have been careful to preserve, with cul-
ture and care. The hospitality of the county is proverbial, the invi-
tation is extended to all to visit the county, get a deep full breath of
God's pure air, stand in the presence of one hundred years of prog-
ress and civilization and lift up your eyes to heaven and thank God
that your "lines have fallen to you in pleasant places."

A brief mention of early industries of the county will be of inter-
est, and it is to be noted that conditions then were different. The
immense changes in industrial conditions in the past hundred years
have reduced to a humble rank some of the industries that were then,
in a community of pioneers, very important occupations, command-
ing the respect of evjery one. The pioneer shoemfdcer at Lynchburg,
for instance, was John Duvall, who also was one of the early associate
judges of the court of common pleas. Other changes in conditions
should be considered also in reading these and other pages, for exam-
ple, the vast revolution in sentiment that has taken place since it was
quite a matter of course for a pioneer to set up a still and manufac-
ture com whisky for the use of himself and neighbors.

Hatmaking was one of the earliest industries of Hillsboro, being
started in 1808 by John Smith, the pioneer merchant and twenty
years county treasurer. WoqI hats were cheap, and fine fur hats
were worn by many. The "Woodro\v hats," manufactured by
Joshua Woodrow, a partner in mercantile business with Joseph
Woodrow, were widely known througjh southern Ohio after 1810.
Francis Shinn, John Hibben and I^hilip Stone were other notable
hatters of the early days, and among the journeymen hatters of the
county was William Russell, afterward a member of congress.

Textile manufacturing at Hillsboro had its pioneers in Allen
Trimble and John M. Nelson, who established a cotton carding and
spinning factory on the south side of Beech street east of High, early
in 1814, using machinery which had been brought by wagon from
North Carolina. The raw cotton was bought at Maysville, Ky.,
whither it had been hauled from Tennessee by wagon, and after the
yam was made at Hillsboro it readily commanded forty or fifty
cents per pound. About five years later Henry Davis, a graduate of
Dartmouth college, came to the settlement and established a nail fac-
tory, using rolled iron from Pittsburg. He made the work profit-
able and was able to support four sons at Kenyon college, who became
eminent in the professions. About the same time George and Jacob
Shaffer started a wool carding machine and later John Baskin carried
on the same sort of work, also making linseed oil from the flax seed

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that the farmers accumulated from the flax that they grew for the
home industry of manufacturing linen. The making of spinning
wheels to supply this industry was a very important industry from
the earliest days. Thomas Patterson established the Hillsboro
woolen mills on the Ripley pike as early as 1835, and this institu-
tion was the basis of a large and flourishing business of modem
times. Nathan Baker and Llewellyn Griffith started wagon making
about 1820. Tanyards had been established much earlier, and car-
ried on by John Campton, George Shinn and Joseph Woodrow. R. D.
Lilly and Isaac Rhoades were afterw^ard successful in this indus-
try. John White, Robert Stewart, and Armistead Doggett were pio-
neer harness and saddle makers, at a time when almost all the travel
was on horse back, and Jacob Butcher, William Doggett and Jacob
Bishir manufactured barrels for the Ripley and Cincinnati markets. "
The first blacksmith was Belzer, a sturdy German, who had as his
helper negro Tom, brought to the land of freedom by his former
master, Capt. James Trimble. Joseph Dryden was also a famous
village blacksmith at a time when that trade was one of the most con-
spicuous of industries. Col. William Keys, the first auditor of the
county, commander of a regiment in the w^ar of 1812, and a devout
Presbyterian elder and radical abolitionist, lived by cabinet making,
and Xewton Doggett and his sons were experts in the same impor-
tant village industry. P. and C. C. Arthur were notable builders.
John Timberlake and L. L. Daniels established the first carriage
factory about 1840. The iron foundry of C. S. Bell was established
in 1855, and became the foundation of an industry that is one of the
most prominent in the history of Hillsboro. J. F. Bell founded the
Highland flouring mills in 1866, and for a few years after 1874 an
organ factory was operated by Cluxton and Murphy. Brickmak-
ing, lime burning and lumbering and planing have been important
industries at Hillsboro as well as in other parts of the county. The
Richards flouring mill, of Hillsboro, is among the most substantial
industries of the county, affording a ready market for the wheat and
corn of the coimty and the headquarters for the feed supply of the

One of the most important industries of Highland county is quar-
rying, which is carried on extensively both at Greenfield and Hills-
boro. The oldest rock in the county, exposed to view, is along
Paint creek. Here is found the Niagara limestone, of the Devonian
age of geology. Overlaying this is the Helderberg limestone. This
rock was laid down in an ocean of considerable depth. It is a mag-
nesian limestone, and has been quarried from the early days of set-
tlement The stone is regular in its bedding, and slabs three or four
inches thick, with a superficial area of four feet, can be obtained
with surfaces as smooth and regular as if sawed. In fact the slabs
can be used for doorsteps without dressing. They are in good

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demand for curbing and crosswalk stone, and used to a less extent
for building. The stone is exceedingly strong, two-inch cubes stand-
ing a pressure of over 50,000 pounds before crushing. The color
is drab at first, and darkens to a yellowish brown. Occasionally
some fossil corals are found in it, some zinc blende, and streaks of
iron oxide, and bituminous matter that gives a strong fetid ordor to
the stone when worked. A quarry near Greenfield has forty-two
feet of stone, in layers, capped by only ten feet of drifts and is prac-
tically inexhaustible. The spoils are burned into lime in kilns that
are kept continually going, and the product has hydraulic qualities
that make it specially adapted to outside work.

Quarrying was carried on at Greenfield from an early day, but
not extensively until the Marietta & Cincinnati railroad was opened,
when, in 1854, G. F. Rucker embarked in the industry, coming for
that purpose from Cincinnati. lie acquired considerable land favor-
ably situated and at once began the production of a large output for
the Cincinnati market. The Rucker Stone Company now operates
quarries in Greenfield and Hillsboro and a gravel bank at Loveland.
The officers are G. W. Rucker, president; G. F. Potter, vice presi-
dent and George A. Love, secretary apd treasurer. The Greenfield
quarries are situated on the east bank of Paint creek just outside
the city limits. Steam drills, stone crushers, lime kilns, elevated
tracks, shifting cables, derricks and hoisting apparatus diversify the
scene, and on working days the industrious activity is cheering to
behold. Great improvements have been made in the lifting and car-
rying appliances, among which is an ingenious system of elevated
tracks and cables, of Mr. Rucker's own devising, by which the mate-
rial for the lime kilns and crusher is carried where desired in cars
by force of gravitation and automatically dumped, and the heavier
stone is carried by cables to the railroad track and deposited on
train. The company employs from 100 to 125 men in the Green-
field quarries and about the same number in Hillsboro. The busi-
ness done is enormous, the average yearly shipments aggregate 4,700
carloads valued at $200,000. Another profitable quarry near Green-
field is operated by Almond G. Frazier.

Other industries at Greenfield are highly deserving of mention.
Long ago a noted citizen, David Bonner, contributed materially to
the establishment of the town by starting a wool carding factory.
This was in about 1815. In .1822 he built a factory for handling
both wool and cotton. In 1834 he introduced steam power and
added grist milling to his industries, but his establishment was
burned out in 1837. After that he built the large stone building,
for his factory, which later became the Odd Fellows hall. Charles
and James Robinson also operated a wool carding factory for a con-
siderable time after 1835. The first grist mill in the town was a
log structure, built by John Kingery, about a hundred years ago, on

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the site of the later Greenfield mills. Samuel Smith became the
owner in 1830, and in 1854, when the railroad came, Daniel Leib
began the building of a new and modem mill, and lost his life by
falling from a beam of the unfinished structure. David Wels-
heimer, who was the owner from 1871, made many improvements
and greatly increased the business. Now, under the ownership of
Charles A. Welsheimer, it is known far and wide as the Island
Grove flouring mill, and an extensive business is done in grain and
flour. The Model milling company, conducting another important
industry, had its origin in a flouring mill built south of the village
in 1849 by Robert. Knox. Isaiah Case acquired the plant about
twenty years later, and his sons are now in charge and important fac-
tors in the business of Greenfield. Hugh Boden many years ago
founded a milling business, and the Boden Milling company, com-
posed of his sons, is now a successful concern. Another early miller
of note was John F. Cowman. The E. L. McClain manufactur-
over two hundred people. The fact that this concern consimies over
five milliom yards of cotton drilling annually is one of the indica-
tions of the magnitude of its operations. In 1895 Mr. McClain was
making over three-fourths of the sweat collars that are sold in the
United States, and also managing the Sun novelty works. The
Columbian manufacturing company produces incubators, and the
wooden ware works founded by John M. Waddel employs many peo-
ple. The hardwood lumber mills of W. I. Barr and Ferneau
& Simpson and W. J. York's brick yard, and various machine and
carriage shops are other important factors in Greenfield's prosperity.

A very prosperous establishment at Lynchburg is the distillery,
owned by Freiberg and Workum since 1847, which has nine ware-
houses arid employs eighty men, consumes an immense lot of com,
and produces one million gallons of whiskies annually.

At Leesburg a carding mill was established by David Swain in
1822, which soon went into the hands of William W. Hardy, who
became one of the most notable manufacturers of the county. He
was in the business at intervals until 1837 when he bought a mill
site and established a woolen mill, which flourished so well that in
1855, when he sold out to his sons, he was manufacturing large quan-
tities of stocJcing yam, satinets, jeans, tweeds, cassimeres, flannels
and blankets. At the same town the important steam flouring mill
industry was established about 1832 by John C. Batton. The mill
is yet in operation and is one of the important industries of
the county. A number of other pioneer industries throughout the
county have been mentioned on other pages of this work. Such
were the Sonner, Bamgrover, Gossett, Baldwin, Crawford, Reece,
Hulitt, Spargur, VanPelt and Fenner mills ; the Andrew Smith mill
at Lynchburg that began with the career of that town in about 1830 ;
the J. B. Faris mill on White Oak, about the same date ; the mill of

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Zachariah Leatherwood at Sinking Spring, established in 1810, that
once shipped flour to New Orleans and New York ; the Gerens and
Bingerman mills and later the Kibler and Marconet mills in Clay
township, and other thriving industries of a day that is gone forever.
Some of those were the origins of industries yet maintained and still
bear the names of their founders. Of the present status of manu-
facturing there is no statement more accurate than the figures of the
United States census of 1900. According to this work there are
180 manufacturing establishments in Highland county, with an
investment in the various forms of capital of $1,062,392. The
wage earners employed average 985, and the total of wages paid is
$339,960. The materials used annually are valued at $1,379,019,
and the product of the year is estimated at $2,164,974. The part
taken by Hillsboro in this showing is as follows : establishments, 48 ;
capital, $331,539; wage earners, 293; wages, $114,135; materials,
$305,399; products, $574,988. Unfortunately, the figures are not
given for Greenfield, or other places of the county. '


The pioneer roads have already been noticed. They were for
many years in a condition that greatly embarrassed the development
of the county, but they were the best, apparently, that the people
could afford to make. The first marked improvement came as the
result of the apportionment of the surplus in the United States treas-
ury among the states under the administration of Andrew Jackson.
The Ohio legislature divided the money that fell to this state, popu-
larly known as the Jackson Fund, among the counties, and the High-
land county authorities devoted their share to aiding two turnpikes
or toll roads, the Milford & Chillicothe road, which was a link in the
communication between Cincinnati and the E^st, and consequently
very important to the people of Highland coimty, and the Hillsboro
& Ripley road, which served to connect Hillsboro and the county with
the Ohio river. As originally made, the two turnpikes were sixty
feet wide, covered with broken stone and provided with stone cul-
verts and substantial bridges. The cost of construction was not less
than $5,000 a mile, as the labor of clearing away forests and haul-
ing stone was immensa Through the Jackson Fund the county
subscribed $39,450 to the Milford & Chillicothe turnpike company,
of which Gen. Joseph J. McDowell was president, and $7,500 to
the other, and as the county was required to pay these amounts back
to the state treasury in taxation, and no dividends were ever received
from the roads, the transaction did not profit the county treasury,
except a little interest at five per cent. Yet it was a great blessing
to have a temporary use of the money for this purpose, and the script

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that was issued in connection with the subscription by the county
served for a good number of years as the local money. How impor-
tant this item was may be inferred from the fact that the total
amount involved, less than $50,000, was as large in comparison with
total county wealth and taxation, as a million would be now, and
money was very scarce and very uncertain in value. In a much later
period the county bought up all the interests in these two roads
within her bounds and made the roads free.

The next great improvement was under the free turnpike laws of
the state, under which assessments for benefits were levied upon the
owners of land within two miles on each side of the proposed road,
and paid as taxes for the specified purpose. Under the law land
owners were able to "work out" their assessments, which made the
burden less onerous when money was scarce. Under this law
in 1866 the people of Sinking Spring and vicinity constructed a road
from Sinking Spring over the old Maysville and Zanesville road,
or "Zane's trace'' to the Pike county line, and many other improve-
ments followed. Judge Dittey wrote in 1890:

"From, this time on there was a general movement in the county
for better roads, and by the year 1876 roads had been completed
or were rapidly approaching completion from Hillsboro to Belfast
and Locust Grove, Hillsboro to Lexington, Hillsboro to Danville and
Pricetown, Greenfield to Cynthiana, Greenfield to Carr's Ford,
Greenfield to the county line, Greenfield to Centerfield, Samantha
to Leesburg, Lynchburg to Dodsonville and McCarthys, and Lexing-
ton to the county line. These roads were built under the same gen-
eral act as that at Sinking Springs, and were macadamized, but the
work was not so elaborate as that done on the Milford & Chillicothe
road, although it cost almost as much per mile. The discovery of
gravel about this time in large quantities where before it was not
known to exist gave new zest to the movement, and from then until
the present more than two hundred miles of turnpike roads have

Online LibraryA. E. Hough J. W. KliseThe county of Highland: a history of Highland County, Ohio, from the ... → online text (page 25 of 63)