A. E. Hough J. W. Klise.

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

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Online LibraryA. E. Hough J. W. KliseThe county of Highland: a history of Highland County, Ohio, from the ... → online text (page 8 of 63)
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neighborhood, a happy, peaceful community, lacking no essential
thing to make them happy, having none of the vices which mar the
peace and morals of society, without a code of laws for government
and control, without taxes, and without the petty strife of partisan
politics, the bitter cup in civilized life. These people were by no
means ignorant and uncultured, or destitute of the means of mental
improvement and enjoyment. Many had books and all had Bibles,
and the Sabbath day was more carefully observed in its sacred char-
acter and purpose than now when in the midst of our boasted advance
in morality and civilization.

In Xovember, 1799, Mareshah Llewellyn came to Highland
county and settled upon Rocky Fork about two miles south of
Hillsboro. He was a native of Xorth Carolina, of a Welsh family
that came to America during the reign of Charles II, and as they
were of a wald and roving disposition, the name was found, not only
upon the shores of the Chesapeake, but amid the sands and swamps
of the old ^^Xorth State" and the mountains of eastern Tennessee.
Llewellyn was twenty-four years of age, strong, good looking, and
polite, yet notwithstanding all these good qualities, he could
not persuade old George Smith to give him Peggy for wife, but
in lieu thereof Smith swore that he would shoot Llewellyn if he
caught him paying any attention to his daughter. This action did
not agree with the mind and heart of Peggy, and she determined
to have her own way in the selection of her husband, and selecting
a time when her father was called awav from home as a witness at



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BEGINNINGS OF NEW MARKET AND GREENFIELD. 71

Rutherford Court House, they packed their worldly goods on
a tough old horse that Mareshah bought on a long credit, and on a
bright moonlight night they started for Tennessee. In about two
weeks of brisk travel they reached Elizabeth town, on the head
waters of the Holston, where they w^ere legally married. Thence
they traveled to Kentucky, camping out at night. Llewellyn did
some very successful hunting upon this journey, and by this means
supplied himself and wife with food and material for raiment.
They at last reached Boonville on the Kentucky river, where they
tarried for some time, exchanging bear and deer skins for some nec-
essaries, among which was a large sized hand mill for grind-
ing com. Once more they started north, but by the time they
reached Blue Lick the horse's back was so sore that they could
travel no further. Finding employment in boiling salt they
remained during the summer at Blue Lick, and w^hen October came,
bundling up tlieir goods they again started on their journey.
After various stops the wandering pair finally settled on Rocky
Fork at a fine spring on the west side of the road now known as
the West L^nion and Hillsboro pike.

During the fall of 1799, Xew Market improved largely, and some
six or seven cabins were visible from the tavern door. Much of the
dense undergrowth had been cut out, and the timber cleared or
thinned out in the surrounding forest, which gave to the town the
appearance of being the center of a logging camp with the bushy tops
of the fallen trees yet remaining uncleared. Winter firewood was
near and plentiful and the blue smoke going up from the wide chim-
neys gave evidence of cheerful comfort within. The permanent
settlers in Xew Market in the year 1800 were Eli Collins and family,
Isaac Dillon, Jacob Eversole, John Eversole, Christian Bloom, Robert
Boyce, Jacob Beam, John Emrie and the plucky landlord of the hotel,
William Wishart. Jonathan Berryman was on his farm, adjoining
the to^vn. He had cleared and cultivated a few acres, and was known
as the most successful farmer in the community. He had raised more
com than would supply his own wants and found ready sale for his
surplus at his own crib. Oliver Ross had erected a house on his land
east of town, the best in that region. Houses in that day consisted
of a single room which answered the purpose of kitchen, parlor and
bedroom. Ross, however, built his house of hewed logs, clapboard
roof, wath one room in front and one back of it which served as a
kitchen. He had cleared some land and raised some com, and under
a special license from Governor St. Clair opened a tavern. Robert
Huston had built upon his land and tended a patch of com. This
was the condition of things in and about Xew Market in the year
1800.

All the necessaries, save com and wild game, were brought from
a distance — Manchester or ChillicothcT— yet the people were con-



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72 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

tented and happy and were able to control their appetites by the
amount and variety of the supply of provision on hand, and when
spring returned, it found them in good condition for work in forest
and field, the hominy and bear meat fully agreeing with their diges-
tion. Now and then an effort was made by some lady, who had
brought a small quantity of tea from her old home, to make some dis-
play of the lost art of tea making, when some special occasion
demanded extra exertion at entertainment. We give one instance
for the edification and comfort of the tea lovers of the present age.
A small number of ladies had gathered at a neighbor's caljin to enjoy
social converse and the detailing of events so common among the fair
women of all lands. To meet the demands of this visit the very best
the house could furnish was prepared and it was decided to brew a
cup of tea as extra fare to grace the board. But no fire proof vessel
could be found except an old broken bake-oven, such as was used to
bake compone. With this they went to work, beginning with the
substantials. First there w^ere some nice cakes made and fried in
bear's oil in the one vessel'; then some short cakes were made and
baked in it; then some fine venison steaks were fried in the same
vessel, after which it was used to carry water from the spring, some
hundred yards away, and finally the tea was made in this precious
old oven, and pronounced by all present to be most excellent.

In the spring of 1800 New Market w^as highly honored by a visit
from Governor St. Clair, w^ho, on a journey from Chillicothe to Cin-
cinnati, stopped at Ross' tavern, which greatly vexed our friend
Wishart of the New Market hotel. Ross was an Irishman, of broad,
good sense, and much blarney, and doubtless brought all his charms
to bear upon the fun-loving governor, who shortly after his return
to Chillicothe sent Ross a commission as Territorial justice of the
peace, making him the first officer of the law within the present limits
of Highland county. This honor highly elated Squire Ross, and was
an added dignity to the town of New Market. The commission did
not arrive quite soon enough for the purpose of certain parties in the
neighborhood of New Market. John Emrie and Squire Ross's eldest
daughter, Margaret, had concluded to get married, and as it was neces-
sary to have legal sanction to this contract as well as witnesses, a man
by the name of John Brown w^as brought up from Amsterdam to per-
form this interesting ceremony. The ceremony was performed at
eleven o'clock a. m. Dinner was served at twelve noon, and the rest
of the day was spent in shooting at mark, romping with the girls, and
a grand old dance at night.

In this same important year, 1800, the seat of government was
removed by act of Congress from Cincinnati to Chillicothe, and the
erection of a state house was commenced at that place to accommodate
the Territorial legislature and the various courts. Chillicothe, after
this, besides the seat of justice of the Highland settlements we have



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BEGINNINGS OF NEW MARKET AND GREENFIELD. 73

described, became the most important place in the Xorthwest, the
center of wealth and fashion, drawing its trade and extending its
influence for hundreds of miles, bringing to its busy crowded streets
the mixed population from everjnvhere.

In 1800 John Coffey, Lewis Lutteral, Samuel Schooley, Joseph
Palmer, James Curry, James ililligan and William Bell came to
Greenfield and began house building and other improvements with
the view of permanent settlement. Mr. Bell died the following
spring, leaving a wife and six children, three sons and three daugh-
ters. The sons all married and remained in Greenfield, and in the
course of a few years were the leading business men in the town.
Joseph and Charles were the first blacksmiths, and Josiah was the
first hatter in the town. They all saved money, and quitting their
old industries, engaged in the dry goods business and became the
prominent merchantvS in tjie town. Joseph removed from Green-
field to Washington,- Fayette county, where death found him in 1854.
John Coffey resided many years near Greenfield, and filled several
important offices in the church and state. James Curry did not
remain very long in Greenfield, removing with his family to Union
county and settling on a farm on Darby creek, where he died in 1834
at a ripe old age, respected and honored by all. ^^When quite a young
man James Curry had been with the Virginia forces in the bloody
battle of Point Pleasant. He served as an officer in the Virginia
Continental line, during the greater part of the Revolutionary war,
and was taken prisoner by the British when the American army sur-
rendered at Charleston, S. C. During his residence in Ohio he was
extensively known among the leading men of the State. He was
several times elected to the State legislature, and was one of the
electors by whom the State was given to James Monroe in 1820.
The last of many public trusts which he held was that of associate
judge for this county." Otway Curry, his youngest son, was bom
in Greenfield in 1804, and grew to be a lad of much promise. BUs
father bestowed great care upon his education, intending that his son
should, become a la\vyer. But this was not in harmony with the boy's
wishes and likes. His was the poetic temperament, and the musty
tomes of legal science had no charms for him, much to his father's
regret^ and while Otway made the effort to please his father, his heart
was not in the study, but far away in an ideal world. To escape from
this ordeal, he ran away from home and study, and reached Cincin-
nati unknown and without money. He engaged with a man to learn
the carpenter trade, leaving him some leisure to indulge the poetic
inspirations that filled his mind. He remained in Cincinnati some
years, and became noted as the poet of the west. His contributions
to magazines and newspapers were short, but full of the elements of
poetic fire, and many a sweet, pathetic note of his has cheered and
made better the vigorous toilers of the west He became editor of



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74 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

the Chillicothe Gazette in 1853-4. In the fall of 1854 he quit edi-
torial work and removed to Maiysville, Union county, for the pur-
pose of practicing law, but sickened and died in the February follow-
ing his removal, after an illness of a few days.

The first school, so far as w^e have been able to learn, was taught
outside the town of Greenfield in a little cabin, by Judge Mooney, in
1803-4. Iso house was erected for school purposes in that to^Ti
until 1810. This building was of round poles or logs and shingled
with clapboards. The room was sixteen feet square; half of the
floor was of split pimcheons and the other half was native earth. The
earth floor was toward the fire-place, w^hich filled one end of the
building. A door was cut out, and a log removed for a window, with
broad rails wuth wooden pins for seats. This constituted the con-
venience of these early schools. Coarse paper, quill pens, maple
bark ink, Webster's blue-backed spelling book. Pike's arithmetic;
bare feet from April to December, and a teacher with a well-seasoned
rod, were the incidents essential to the culture and enlargement of
the mental vision of the youth of that early day. But the history of
the coiinty will show that from the rude log school house have come
men and women who not only had the capacity to understand and
direct material events, shaping the character and destiny of the
country by their clear and cultured view of the true elements of
social economy, but were graced with every ^nrtue that made them
leaders and seers in social progress, intellectual and moral. This
school house was replaced by a larger building of hewed logs in 1815,
and occupied the ground afterward enclosed and used as a grave-
yard. This hoiise served the school purpose of Greenfield until
1837, when James Anderson and Thomas Boyd were employed to
build two frame school houses, which were used for many years.
Greenfield did not go forward at a rapid pace for some years after
its first settlement, and as one of her good citizens remarked, ^^up to
the year 1814 it was green enough." Most of the lots up to that
date Avere covered with hazel brush, grape vines, and running brier.
There were some progressive people in the towTi and they urged the
necessity of clearing out and the further improvement of the place
if the future of their city would be assured and permanent. Two
or three taverns, Avhich were mere excuses for the name, were nm-
ning; their only means of existence was the ability to keep whisky
on hand to satisfy the native thirst of the local and traveling public
The first public house of any note was erected by Francis P. Xott,
in 1804. A man by the name of Simpson also **kept tavern in the
toAvn," and he was followed by Xoble Crawford, who erected a stone
building, the first of its class in the town. This hotel had a good
reputation far and near. T. ilcGarrough owned this house for sev-
eral years, and kept it for a place of rest and comfort for the
emigi'ants in their journeys in search of homes. The building



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BEGINNINGS OF NEW MARKET AND GREENFIELD. 75

remains to mark the flight of time, and it has been said that if the
covering could be removed from the door arch the date of its erection
could be learned, for there, cut in the solid rock, are the words
"Travelers' Eest, by Xoble Crawford, A. D. 1812." Unlike the
rock-built pyramids that dot the valley of the Xile, it does not repre-
sent the tragic history of a vanished race, but stands a living witness,
marking a century of progress and civilization, amid homes of
affluence and wealth, in the midst of a little city filled with enlight-
ened and christian citizens, with the smoke of numerous factories
curling in fantastic shapes above the domes and steeples, of beautiful
churches, and commodious halls and city buildings.



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CHAPTER V.



CLEAR CREEK AND OTHER SETTLEMENTS.



DX THE spring of 1800 Hugh Evans with his sons and sons-in-law
canie into the present area of Highland and settled upon Clear
creek, on a tract of three thousand acres surveyed for him by
General Massie some years before. Evans came from Penn-
sylvania with his numerous family, first to Kentucky, at a time when
there was danger from hostile Indians, and he and others were
escorted by soldiers to Maysville. He settled near Paris, Ky., and
thence after Wayne's treaty of peace he started with his family for
Ohio,. first, however, coming over in 1799 with his sons to his land
on Clear creek and building the cabins. From Xew Market there
was no trace leading to the land located by Evans, and they were com-
pelled to follow the compass to reach their destination. Hugh Evans,
the father, biiilt his cabin on the farm afterward owned by Daniel
Duckevall. William Hill settled just below on the creek ; Amos next,
then came Daniel, Samuel, Joseph Swearinger, George, Wilson, and
Amos Evans. This was the extreme frontier settlement, no other
white man to the north, in a dense, dark forest, peopled only by the
wild game that seemed to be placed there to meet the demands of the
hour. The first thing they could do was to make sugar from the hard
maple, which was very plentiful then, and enough sugar was then
made to last a year. Then they cleared about ten acres ready for
planting by the last of May. The ground was new and rich, and the
com planted made a vigorous growth and yielded a very large crop,
while the pumpkins in golden globes covered the ground, and potatoes
and turnips were almost measureless in quantity and quality. When
the corn had ripened fully, 3Ir. Evans went to work and constructed
what was called a sweat mill, which answered the purpose, and gave
ample supply of new, fresh meal. Doubtless it would be of some
interest to describe this new mill for the edification of the present
dwellers amidst the new process roller mills. The first thing neces-
sary in making a sweat mill is to find a sycamore gum three feet
long, with a hollow two feet in diameter. Into this is fitted a dressed
stone, with a hole in the center. This stone is about nine inches



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CLEAR CREEK AND OTHER SETTLEMENTS. 77

from the top of the gum on the inside. Then another stone is dressed
to fit exactly on the face of the first, with a much larger hole in the
center through which the com is placed when grinding. Next comes
the hand pole, with a spike in the end made to fit in a small hole near
the outer rim of the top stone, and as the under stone is stationary,
the top stone is made to revolve ; being balanced on a pivot, it turns
easily and will grind quite fast when one turns with sufficient veloc-
ity to bring the sweat from which the mill took its name. The miller
or grinder was compelled to put the com in the hole with one hand
while he caused the stone to revolve with the other.

The Evans settlement on Clear creek was the pioneer settlement
north of Xew Market The Indians were all around in great num-
bers, but were peaceable and quiet, and seemed disposed to cultivate
friendly relations with the settlers. The first year the Evans raised
a great crop of watermelons on the rich bottom lands, and when they
ripened gave them freely to the Indians who enjoyed them greatly,
calling them "pumpkins.'' The Indians knew nothing of the use of
knives and forks and plates, and were much embarrassed when asked
to sit at table and imitate the example of their white brothers. At
one time a company of about thirty Indians called at the home of
Hugh Evans, and asked for something to eat. Mr. Evans was not
at home, but Mrs. Evans at once commenced a dinner. When she
began to set the table with plates and knives and forks, the old chief
shook his head and pointed to the floor of the cabin. The table was
removed and the Indians squatted in a circle on the floor and began
to eat, paying no kind of attention to the plates, knives and forks,
but each thrusting his hand in the dish and eating with his fingers
the generous meal.

In the fall of 1800 Maj. Anthony Franklin erected a cabin on the
blazed trace between Xew Market and Xew Amsterdam, some three
miles east of where the village of Marshall now is. This cabin was
the first improvement in that locality. The cabin at different times
was made larger by additions to it, which at last gave it the appear-
ance of a small town. Being the only habitation between the two
towns, it was for many years the stopping place for travelers follow*
ing this trace from Chillicothe to Cincinnati, back and forth. Many
persons of note stopped at this home in the wilderness, and were sure
of a hearty welcome. Among the number were Governor St. Clair,
and Aaron Burr, when he was dreaming of an empire in Texas.

The beginning of Leesburg may be traced back to the departure of
Xathaniel Pope from Virginia Avith his family, in the fall of 1796,
for the Northwestern territory. Knowing of the difficulty of cross-
ing the mountains with an ordinary wagon, he constructed a narrow
cart, low-wheeled, and heavy, adapted to the mountain road, with
ropes upon both sides, ready, should the case demand, to hold the cart
from upsetting upon the mountain side. The bed and bedding were



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78 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

Stored in this unique vehicle, together with the goods specially prized
in the household, while the kitchen and other furniture was packed
upon horses and thus made the journey. Mrs. Pope rode a horse
on a pack, while the rest of the family, several boys and girls, made
the journey on foot, aided now and then by short rides when the
ground was level. Mr. Pope with rifle upon his shoulder, and three
or four good hunting dogs at his heels, marched in advance of his
moving train, cheered by the presence of wife and children and the
prospect of a future home for all in the delightful country known
as the Xorthwest Territory. About the last of Xovember the trav-
elers reached the falls of the Great Kanawha, and there they passed
the winter, accepting a kind offer of shelter by Leonard Murrice.

In the month of Februarv' they prepared for their journey toward
the northwest. Mr. Pope with the aid of two of his sons felled a
giant tree upon the hill side and erected a scaffold upon the steep
side of the hill, rolled the logs upon it, and with whipsaw made
enough lumber to build a large boat which he laimched and loaded
with his goods, wife and younger children, cut the grapevine rope,^
and floated down the Kanawha for the beautiful Ohio, on reaching
which, the children stood in the bow of the boat and cheered with
wild shouts the majestic river. Landing at the French station —
Gallipolis — they disposed of their large supply of bear and deer
skins, together with the furs obtained by winter trapping, getting in
return a large amoimt of powder and lead, tomahawks, butcher
knives, Indian shawls, cotton cloth, and other needed articles. Con-
tinuing their voyage down the Ohio river, being careful to keep near
the center of the stream, and camping at nigbt upon the Virginia
side of the river, they came in sight of a far reaching space of beau-
tiful bottom land, which Mr. Pope at once knew to be the same land
explored by himself, in company with Thomas Beal and others. He
landed at the mouth of a little creek called Paddy, some miles above
the Guyandot, and on the north side of the Ohio river, and the loca-
tion was so pleasing, and the land so very rich, that the travelers
decided to stop, at least for a season. They were joined by Pope's
eldest son William, and his cousin John Walters, who brought the
horses and cattle by land, and during that summer another family
came down the river and landed at the same bottom vnth Pope.

Xathaniel Pope and Jessie Bald\vin were the first settlers upon
these bottoms, then came John Walter, Thomas Beal, the preacher,
and his sons, Obadiah Overman, and his brother, and quite a mmi-
ber of others whose names and history cannot be traced. This
community were all members of the Society of Friends, and
Thomas Beals preached the first Friends' sermon in the Northwest-
ern Territory. The male portion of the congregation were dressed
in leather, and the females in fabrics of their own manufacture,
mostly linen and cotton. The eldest son of Mr. Pope was a first-



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CLEAR CREEK AND OTHER SETTLEMENTS. 79

class woodman and hunter. In the yesLV of 1798 he contracted
with Uriah Paulding to furnish his salt works with meat through
the fall and winter, and they killed during that time eighty-three
bears, ten buffaloes, with deer and turkey almost without limit.
This meat was placed upon pack horses and delivered at the salt
works, while the skins were sold to die French traders at Gallipo-
lis.

During the summer of 1798, it wa.s discovered that the land upon
which they had ^'squatted'' could not be bought for a fair price,
and Avith much sorrow and regret the settlement was broken up,
and the major part of the families journeyed tx) the rich bottom
land on the Scioto. Xathaniel Pope wintered at the falls of Paiut,
and sold most of his stock to General Massie, and in the follow-
ing spring, with goods and family, cut his way through the woods
to the spot where Leesburg now stands in Highland county. With
the strong force of stalwart boys at his conmiand, he soon cleared
a lot of land on Lee's creek bottoms and planted a crop of corn and
prepared to establish a home, of which no defective title could rob
him in the coming future. He had purchased this land at a very
low price from Gen. Massie, and was told by the General to make
his own selecti(m as to locality. The first wheat ever raised within
the present limit of Highland county was a few acres by Xathaniel
Pope on his farm on the land now occupied by the town of Leesburg.



Online LibraryA. E. Hough J. W. KliseThe county of Highland: a history of Highland County, Ohio, from the ... → online text (page 8 of 63)