Henry James Lee.

Portrait and biographical record of Guernsey County, Ohio, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with biographies and portraits of all the p online

. (page 76 of 83)
Online LibraryHenry James LeePortrait and biographical record of Guernsey County, Ohio, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with biographies and portraits of all the p → online text (page 76 of 83)
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ground for "mush and johnny-cakes." John Ag-
new started the first carding-machine.

In 1816 Ziba Lindley came from Pennsylvania
and commenced the practice of medicine, and mar-
ried shortly after a daughter of William Rannels.

The first schoolhouse was built of logs near the
line separating the lands of Thomas Bay, Jr., and
Joseph Rannels. Its dimensions were 16x20 feet,
and it had a fireplace at one end which would
take in wood six feet in length. For light, at suit-
able distances, openings were cut out and "foolscap
paper well greased" pasted over them. For seats,
logs of suitable size were split in two, and wooden
legs driven into holes bored near the ends. In such

rude structures were the rudiments of an education
secured by these pioneers of 1814 to 1820.

Miss Grace Bay, daughter of Col. Thomas Bay,
Sr., taught the first school in this rude temple con-
secrated to the beginning of a scientific course.

Soon after this the people began to demand
church privileges, but to whom the honor belongs
of introducing the religious and moral forces
of which this township is at this time so justly
proud, is chiefly to be found in the memories of
the descendants of the early pioneers; therefore,
dates not noted herein from the musty and muti-
lated records examined are inserted from the mem-
ory of the "oldest inhabitant."

Revs. J. Moore and John Baldrige, Presbyteri-
ans; James Findlej', William Reeves, Methodists,
and Elder William Reese, Baptist, were early on
the ground, holding meetings in private houses in
winter, and in summer in barns, and ofttimes in
the leafy grove, where the people would gather
and make the hills resound with vocal sounds of
prayer and praise.

Spencer Township at its organization in 1818
contained thirty-six square miles, but in 1861
seven sections in the northeast corner were de-
tached in the forming of Noble County, leaving
its present area only twenty-nine. , Its present
population is seventeen hundred. Cumberland,
near the southwest corner, is the only incorporated
town within its limits. It was laid out by James
Bay in J832,and incorporated one year later, Rev.
William Wallace securing the honor of first Mayor.
The population at this time was about fifty.
Stephen Charlott opened the first tavern, William
George the first store, and John M. Foster the fii-st
select school, in a small rented room. In 1835 a
brick schoolhouse, about twenty-seven feet square,
was built near the west end of Main Street, which
was occupied up to 1854, when a two-story frame
building, with three rooms, was erected on the hill
nearer the center of population. About this time
the Board of Education adopted the "Akron Vil-
lage School Law," which provided for "union or
graded schools." In 1883 a lot was secured on
Broadway and a six-room, two-story brick build-
ing erected, said to be the best arranged, most
perfect in architecture, and more economically



builf than an}' other school building of like di-
mensions in Guernsey County, costing $10,000,
and the education to be obtained therein is equal,
if not superior, to any in the county.


Bitvminous Goal. — C. Newton Brown, Assistant
State Geologist, in Economic Survey of 1884, says:
"Spencer Township has more of the Meigs Creek
coal than any other township in Guernsey County.
It is found in the high ridge north of Cumberland,
between the Buffalo and Yoker Forks of Wills
Creek. The stratum is four to five feet in thick-
ness, of good quality and easily mined. This
seam extends south to the Muskingum River and
is the largest undeveloped coalfield of upper meas-
ures in the state." In 1893 a test was made for
the Hartford seam, on the northwest quarter of
section 27, near the Eastern Ohio Railroad, on
land now owned by J. L. Young, and at ninety-
four feet a six-foot seam was found of good qual-
ity. Between the upper and this lower is a thirty-
inch vein, said to be first class for engines.

Stone. — Near the south line of the township
there is a ledge of fine-grained, tough sandstone,
which the State Geologist says is unlike any other
in the state; and that it is superior for building
purposes. This ledge is about fifteen feet thick.
These quarries furnished the whole of the face
stone for the Guernsey County court house in
Cambridge. There are also numerous ledges of
good limestone from two to ten feet in thickness.

Clays. — There are large beds of fire-clay, which
has been tested, and found to be of superior
quality. Also good clays for drain tile, brick,
pottery and stoneware. All the real accretions to
the wealth of a country are procured from its soil
and mines. It is there stored for those who per-
sistently delve for it.


There is no early church record of its genesis,
but a presbyterial record says that the Lancaster
Presbytery appointed a committee, of which Rev.
Mr. Baldrige was chairman (in 1816), whose duty
was to organize a church in this township. It
further notes that three Elders were elected and
installed, uamely: Thomas Bay, Sr., Benjamin Bay

and William Allen. John Baldrige became the
first pastor for half time in 1817, and remained in
charge until 1823. In 1824 Rev. William Wallace,
a man of push and talent, a strong Calvinist and
one who stood firmly by his convictions, was
called and served with fidelity for fourteen years.
They built their first meeting-house in 1830, so
say the oldest inhabitants, there being no church
record of the fact. The builder was David Beach,
an early settler from Connecticut. He located on
lands now owned by Joseph Covert. The congre-
gation worshiped in this house until 1853, when
they purchased a second site from the Methodist
Church, on which they erected in 1853 a more
modern structure, and one more easy of access
than the one on Cemetery Hill. In this they wor-
shiped until December, 1894, when they moved
into their new brick structure, said to be more
suitably arranged and tastefully adorned than any
other in the county, costing over $15,000.


In 1809 the Ohio Methodist Episcopal Confer-
ence placed Rev. James Findley on a circuit ex-
tending from ZanesviUe, Ohio, to Sleubenville, on
the Ohio River, below Pittsburg, with appoint-
ments along a prescribed route, which required a
whole month to fill. It is said by some of the old-
est early settlers that he used to stop here and urge
the people to a better life; and that Rev. W. Reeves,
his successor, organized a class here as early as
1815, in the southwest corner of this township.
It is a known fact that this churcii built a house
of worship on land owned by James Bay, youngest
son of Col. Thomas Bay, Sr., who was one of the,
first permanent settlers iu this valley. This was a
frame building, 20x28 feet in dimensions. But
growing numbers caused them to arrange for more
commodious quarters, and in 1852 they sold their
house to the Presbyterian congregation and pur-
chased their present site, on which, in 1853, they
completed the elegant and commodious house of
worship, where they still continue to plead with
sinners to come to Christ. The record says that
Rev. W. C. P. Hamilton was the preacher in charge
on the circuit, and superintended its erection.
They have since erected a fine parsonage on the



lot, and are in a prosperous condition, with Rev.
T. I. McRa, a consecrated man, in charge, who is
loing a grand work for God and humanity.


Tliis church record says that "during tiie sum-
mer of 1835 a number of the members of the Buf-
falo congregation of the Presbyterian Church, who
were dissatisfied with the doctrinal preaching of
Rev. Mr. Wallace, solicited Rev. Isaac Shook, of
Tennessee, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, to
come and hold a series of meetings, which resulted
in an unusual awakening, and a large number pro-
fessed faith in the salvation so freely offered -for
all mankind." On the 16tb of August of that
year, the following persons holding certificates
from the. Buffalo congregation asked to be recog-
nized as a "Cumberland Presbyterian Church,"
namely: John Hammond, Nira Hammond, John
Conner, Lettie Conner, Jonathan Alden, Orpha
Alden, Merriman Downey, Jemima Downey, Ele-
azer Spooner, Isabel Spooner, Lyman Hurd, Nancy
Ilurd and Thomas Hill. The record shows that
John Hammond, Jonathan Alden and Lyman Hurd
were elected Elders August 17. Meetings were
continued daily up to August 30, at which time
the record shows a membership of forty-two.

This has been a vigorous body of believers, and
has had numerous pastors of marked ability, name-
ly: Messrs. Shook, of Tennessee; Thomas Thomas,
of Kentucky; Ezra K. Squier, 1). D.; and A. D.
Hail, D. D., who is now Superintendent of the
Cumberland Presbyterian Missions in Japan, a gift
from this church in 1875. W. G. Archer, the pres-
ent pastor, is a popular pulpit orator, a vigorous
and apt organizer. They occupy their second brick
structure, which contains a pastor's study, lecture-
room and free library in the basement, and a de-
lightful audience-room on the second floor. They
have the most eligible site and the finest parsonage
in the township.


This church has a well kept and finely preserved
record, which says that "on the 19th of October,
1822, seventeen persons were organized as a Bap-
tist Church, by Elders William Reese and W. R. Mc-
Gowan. Elder Reese was chosen pastor. For two

years meetings were held in private houses, but in
1824 they built a meeting-house for worship on Flat
Run," clearly showing that this body of "baptized
believers" built the first house of God in this
township. Elder Reese continued pastor from its
organization to 1832, ten years of faithful and suc-
cessful service bj- this pioneer evangelist, who re-
ceived no adequate remuneration, but continued to
stop at the cabins of the poor, entreating all to
come to Christ. The second pastor was Elder W.
K. McGowan. He served tliem well for four years,
when he was succeeded by Elder J.Sperry in 1836.
He remained with them until 184G, when Elder
M. Brown was called, who only served one year.
In 1848 Elder Peter Ogan was called and served
them to 1852. This man, now over eighty years
of age, was brought to Christ through the faithful
labors of Rev. Mr. Reese, the first pastor of this

In 1849 this church disposed of its property in
this township, and erected a house for worship a
sliort distance west in Rich Hill Township, Mus-
kingum County, where they still liold fast to the
"faith once delivered to the saints."


The records of tliis church show that on April 5,
1865, the following persons holding letters of dis-
missal from the Brookfield Baptist Church, viz.:
J. R. Knowlton, Sarah B. Knowlton, Edmund R.
Muzzy, Elizabeth Muzzy, John H. Daniel, Caro-
line F. Daniel, Thomas C. Downey, Lucinda
Muzzy, Mary A. Erskine, William B. McElroy,
Mary J. Harper, Mary A. Muzzy and Mrs. Lorinda
Muzzy were organized as a regular Baptist Church,
Rev. G. W. Churchill Moderator of Council.

The first pastorate by Rev. Mr. Churchill for
four years was very prosperous, the membership
reaching fifty-two, with a flourishing Sunday-
school, under the leadership of J. R. Knowlton.
Rev. S. G. Barber served the church about two
years, with several additions. The last pastor was
Rev. Thomas M. Irwin, who served the church
until 1879 with great fidelity and earnestness.
From that time until 1883 the church bydeaths
and removals lost in numbers and financial ability,
so that they could not sustain regular service. The


few remaining still hold their church property, a
frame building 40x60 feet, with cupola and bell,
new slate roof and new windows, all done during
1894. From a worldly standpoint some would
write "failure," but at the grand Assize of Nations
scores will come rejoicing, and date tlieir espousal
to Christ from the Baptist Church in Cumberland.


One roller process flouring-mill, with capacity
for one hundred barrels daily, employing four
men, owned and operated by Conners & Barton.

Two planing-mills, owned and operated by W.
H. Stevens and Johnsob

Online LibraryHenry James LeePortrait and biographical record of Guernsey County, Ohio, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with biographies and portraits of all the p → online text (page 76 of 83)