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of salt. After which a company was formed consisting of Ben-
jamin Stout, Caleb Gardner, Thomas Shepherd and Michael
Aleshire, who bored a well and erected a furnace and com-
menced making salt in 1822, when Benjamin Stout bought out
the other parties.


Pioneer History of Meigs County 135

In 1822 Abijah Hubbell and his son, Jabez Hubbell, and
Barsley Hubbell bored a salt well above the Stout well and a
furnace set for making salt in 1824.

Ruel Braley manufactured salt at his works, five miles above
on Leading creek, in 1830.

The Bradford and Stedman's furnace was located about five
miles below the Stout well in 1830 or 1831.

Still further down the creek Theophilus Jacobs operated a
furnace for a few years with a great deal of energy.

Near the mouth of Thomas Fork Herriman Plummer bored
a well and made salt in 1831.

Two other salt wells had been previously attempted in Rut-
land township, but failed to obtain salt water. One was bored
by Joseph Giles, Sr., and the other one was by Samuel Church
in 1822, which resulted in the discovery of a heavy lubricating
oil, the true value of which was not understood and very little
attention was paid to it.

After the Rutland furnaces began to make 200 bushels of
salt per week the prices came down to 50 cents a bushel. After
salt was made in large quantities along the Ohio river the
works on the creek became unprofitable, and the manufacture
of salt was discontinued.

In 1810 Joseph Vining and his brother, Joshua Vining, came
with their families from Hartford, Conn., and settled in Rut-
land township, near the later residence of John B. Bradford.
Timothy Vining, a son of Joseph Vining, was born in Hart-
ford July 24th, 1805. Joseph Vining died at the age of ninety-
one years, and his wife near ninety years. ^

Timothy Vining married Sina Jones, daughter of Charles
Jones, and they had a large family — six sons and three daugh-
ters. The six sons were all soldiers for their country. Mr.
Vining died at the age of eighty-seven years ten months and
twenty-eight days on May 23rd, 1893.

Mrs. Sina Vining died at the age of eighty-four years.

136 Pioneer History of Meigs County

Mrs. Jane Jones, nee McDaniel, was born and brought up
in the Shenandoah valley, Virginia, until she was fifteen years
old, when she came to Ohio. When twenty-four years of age
she was married to Elijah Jones, of Salisbury township. They
had a family of sons and daughters.

Mrs. Jones had belonged to the Christian Church for more
than fifty years. She died May 29th, 1893, at the age of eighty-
four years, seven months and nineteen days, and was buried in
the Bradford graveyard.

Abraham Winn moved with family from New York to
Canada and from there to Rutland in 1816, and bought a farm
on Section 17, where he lived until his death, in 1835, at the
age of sixty-four years. He left a widow and several children.
Mrs. Winn died in 1860, aged eighty-six years. The children
were: Joseph Winn, Sally, Mrs. Joseph Howell; Jacob Arm-
strong Winn, Fanny Winn, Mrs. Charles Nobles; Jonathan
Winn, Lydia Winn, Mrs. Alexander Stedman; John Winn
lived and died in Albany, Athens county, aged eighty-three
years; William Winn went to Illinois, Nancy Winn, Mrs.
Daniel Skinner.

Asahel Skinner and family moved from Maine to Rutland,
Ohio, June, 1817. Mr. Skinner's first wife was Phoebe Gould,
who died in September, 1817. Two of their children remained
in the East ; the others were : Daniel Skinner, a miller in the
southeast part of Rutland ; Alona, Mrs. William McKee ; Jo-
seph, Joel and William Skinner, Olive, Mrs. John Chase ;
Isaac Skinner, Edna, Mrs. Hiram Chase; Phebe, Mrs. Wil-
liam Hartinger; Asahel Skinner, David Skinner and Lucinda

Asahel Skinner married for his second wife Jane, the daugh-
ter of Thomas Everton. Their children were : Lucinda, Mrs.
Dr. Clark Rathburn ; Elizabeth, Mrs. Alexander Hogue ; Cal-
vin, Marinda, Mrs. Metcalf; Samantha, Thomas, Isaac Skin-
ner. Twenty-two children of Asahel Skinner's family.

Pioneer Mistory of Meigs County 13^

Daniel Skinner was born in Corinth, Me., in 1801, and
moved with his father, Asahel Skinner, to Rutland in May,
1817. He was constable one year and township trustee seven
years. He had a numerous family. His death occurred in

Thomas Everton came from Maine in 1800 to Rutland, Ohio ;
bought land and made a home for his family. He was a mem-
ber of the Regular Baptist Church and was familiarly known
as "Deacon" Everton. His children were : Betsy, Mrs. Ben-
jamin Richardson — first wife; Ebenezer Everton, Relief, Mrs.
Edwards; Thomas Everton, Jr., Polly, Mrs. Stone; Benjamin
Everton, Nancy, Mrs. Jesse W. Stevens; Sally, Mrs. Charles

Mrs. Lucinda Pendegrass was born in Conway county,
Mass., August 14th, 1793, and was married to Daniel Childs
April 29th, 1813. They had a family of nine children. They
came to Ohio in 1835. Mr. Childs died September 21st, 1846.
Later, Mrs. Childs was married to Benjamin Richardson in
1848. He died in April, 1852. She lived a widow nearly forty
years and departed this life on June 12th, 1892, aged ninety-
seven years, nine months and twenty-eight days. She had led
a most exemplary life, a devoted follower of her Lord. The
Bible was her companion, with a remarkable memory. She
read it through thirty-six times in thirty-six years. She was a
member of the Baptist Church in Pomeroy at the time of her

John Sylvester came from Maine and located in Rutland.

He married his second wife, who was a widow of Henry

\ Filkin. They had two children, Sarah and William. John

Sylvester was a son of the first wife, and John Sylvester, Jr.,

was a grandson of Joseph Sylvester and was noted for his

great strength and his skill in wrestling.

138 Pioneer History of Meigs County

Joseph Giles lived in Rutland and followed the blacksmith
business. He married Elizabeth Townsend in September,
1822. She was born in Kennebec county, Me., March 26th,
1803, and came to Scipio, Meigs county, in 1816.

Mr. Giles died in Rutland in 1873. Mrs. Joseph Giles died in
Middleport, February 18th, 1887, aged eighty-three years, ten


Lemuel Powell was born near Steubenville, Ohio, March
28th, 1814. He was married twice, first to Nancy Sook, and
his second wife was Miss Osca Elizabeth Tingley, from near
Cincinnati. Mr. Powell died January 9th, 1894, aged nearly
eighty years,

Aaron Torrence was born in Allegheny county. Pa., July
5th, 1792, and came to Meigs county in 1809. He was married
to Lucy Hussey in 1823. She died in 1872. They had a family
of seven children, and had been married forty-nine years. Mr.
Torrence married a second wife in 1873, Mrs. Rachel Horton.
He was a soldier in the War of 1812 and fought the British at
New Orleans. He lived a conscientious Christian life, a mem-
ber of the Methodist Church, and died at Bald Knobs, July
18th, 1884, aged ninety-two years and thirteen days.

Whittemore Reed was brought from New Hampshire in
1798, a child, to Orange township, by his mother. He married
Miss Stout and had a family of five sons — Darius, Aaron,
Whittemore, Jr., Enos and Sardine. Darius Reed married
Miss Curtis, of Washington county, and engaged in the drug
business in Pomeroy. They had a family — Curtis Reed, a
druggist; William Reed, banker, and Helen, the wife of Rev.
Thomas Turnbull. All of these families live in Pomeroy.
Darius Reed and his wife are dead. Aaron Reed married and
settled in Orange, a farmer. Whittemore, Jr., married Miss
Young and moved to Clermont county, a farmer. Enos Reed

Pioneer History of Meigs County 139

was married twice, first to Miss Curtis, and the second wife
was Miss Ann Maria Seely. He was a druggist in Portsmouth,
Ohio, but later went to farming. Sardine Reed graduated from
West Point with first honors and bright prospects, married,
and died in six months.


Samuel Downing came from Waterville, Me., in 1815. He
came overland to Pittsburg and then floated down the Ohio
river on a raft or flatboat to Gallipolis, Ohio. In February,
1818, he removed to Scipio township, Meigs county, where
he purchased land and opened a valuable farm. He was a sur-
veyor and a justice of the peace for many years. He was an
*fi infidel in belief, until in later life he became a zealous Metho-
dist. When Meigs county was organized, in 1819, the sheriff
and commissioners were chosen in April to serve until after
the general election in October of that year. Benjamin Stout,
sherifif ; Levi Stedman, William Alexander and Elijah Runner,
commissioners. At the October election in 1819 the following
men were elected for commissioners by drawing of lots. It
was determined that William Alexander should serve one
year, Philip Jones two years and Samuel Downing three years.
Mrs. Downing was Hannah Harding before marriage. They
had a numerous family — six sons and one daughter. Accord-
ing to their ages, they were : Samuel, Jr., George, Rodney,
Franklin, Hollis, Harrison and Hannah, the youngest child.
Samuel Downing, Jr., died when quite a young man. George
Downing was born in Waterville, Me., April 25th, 1801.

George Downing married Harriet Chase. He was a black-
smith by trade, also a surveyor, and served many years as a
justice of the peace. In 1826 an independent company of
militia was organized, with Jesse Hubbell for captain, George
Downing as lieutenant and Oliver Grant ensign. After seven
years, the officers having served out the time of their commis-
sion, the company disbanded. He was a large, well propor-
tioned man, of great strength. He was supposed to be the

140 Pioneer History of Meigs County

strongest man in southern Ohio. Many stories were told of
remarkable feats of lifting great weights and other exhibitions
of strength. He died July 12th, 1878, aged seventy-seven years
and three months. Mrs. Downing died March 10th, 1890.

Rodney Downing was born in Waterville, Me., November
8th, 1802, and came with his father, Samuel Downing, to Ohio.
He married Maria Black in 1825. They had two sons, Samuel. .
who died young, and John B. Downing, familiarly known as '
"Major" Downing. Mr. Downing and his wife became mem-
bers of the Disciples or Christian Church in 1829, under the
ministry of the Rev. James G. Mitchell. He lived in Rutland
and kept a country store and dealt largely in produce, built
flatboats and with a cargo of grain, fruit or hay sent them to '
trade on the coast of the Mississippi river in the South.

Mr. Rodney Downing built a steamboat, the Gen. Harrison,
at the Stedman farm on Leading creek, in 1835, intended for
the Cincinnati and New Orleans trade. He was one of the
leading spirits in nearly every useful enterprise. He was clerk
of Meigs county Court of Common Pleas for three terms. He
removed to Middleport in 1847. Mrs. Maria Downing died
October 22nd, 1870, in her sixty-fourth year. In April, 1873,
Mr. Downing married for his second wife Lorinda Downing,
of Harding, Lake county, Ohio. He died in Middleport, De-
cember 16th, 1886, aged eighty-four years.

Franklin Downing, third son of Samuel Downing, married
Nancy Black. They were members of the Christian Church
in Rutland and led consistent lives, unostentatious, industrious,
highly esteemed in the community.

Hollis Downing was born in Maine June 16th, 1807. He ^i
married Phebe Smith, of Middleport, with whom he lived
eighteen years, when she died. He married Jane Reed for his
second wife, after which they moved to Ripley, Ohio, in 1850.
He married again, Ellen Ross, his third wife. Hollis Downing
died December 29th, 1889, in Ripley, Ohio, aged eighty-two
years six months. >

Pioneer History of Meigs County 141

Columbia Downing was born in Maine August 23, 1809, and
came with his father to Scipio township. He married Mary-
Gibson in 1829. Mr. Downing held many public offices, such
as mayor of Middleport, magistrate, county commissioner and
member of the Legislature. His first wife died, and he mar-
ried Jane Smith in 1840. Columbia Downing died in Middle-
.,port, Ohio, July 25th, 1889, aged nearly eighty years. Many
friends mourned at his death.

Harrison Downing, the youngest son of Samuel Downing,
married Jane Graham, of Rutland. They moved to the West
many years ago, and Mr. Downing died in 1892.

Hannah Downing, the only daughter and youngest child,
was married to Mr. Thompson and settled in Athens county,
but afterwards moved to Pontiac, 111., where she died Febru-
ary 2nd, 1894, seventy-eight years of age. She was the last of
the old Downing family.

Aaron Thompson was born at Racine, Ohio, in 1815. He
had spent most of his life in Meigs county, but moved to
Kenova, W. Va., where he lived ten years and where he died
October 23rd, 1893. He was one of the first members of the
Meigs County Pioneer Society. He was a communicant of the
Christian Church, respected by all who knew him. He was
married twice and had a numerous family. Mrs. Thompson,
second, died at Kenova, W. Va., August, 1893.

Pleney Wheeler was born in Canada in 1815. She was mar-
ried to William B. Pennington in New Albany, Ind., Decem-
ber 31st, 1835, and moved to Middleport, Ohio, in 1847. She
was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and sus-

i'tained a character of piety and good works. She died in Mid-
dleport May 29th, 1892.

Alexander Von Schritz came to Salem township in 1816,
where he brought up a large family. Joseph Von Schritz was


142 Pioneer History of Meigs County

his son, born in Salem township, and married EHzabeth Sloan. .
They moved to Omega, Pike county, Ohio, in 1849.

The Von Schritz family were mostly daughters, married,
and are scattered in the country. The father, Alexander
Von Schritz, was a soldier in the War of 1812.

Joseph Townsend came from the northern part of Ohio to
the mouth of Leading creek in 1812. He was a tanner by
trade and made morocco leather. His children were : Maria,
born March 28th, 1806, and was married to Joseph Hoyt, one
of five brothers who settled in Orange township in 1813 ; Mar-
garet Townsend ; Sally Townsend was married to Berriman
Baily in 1825, and lived in Rutland; John Townsend; Albert
Townsend, and Charles Townsend, a son of Albert, a blind
man, well known in Rutland, Ohio.

John McClenahan and his wife, who was a Cargill and
lineal descendant of Rev. Donald Cargill, who was executed in
1684 at the cross in Edinburgh because of his religious prin-
ciples, came from Palmer, Mass., in 1816 and settled in Ches-
ter, Meigs county. They had two children, Guy McClenahan,
who resided in Sterling Bottom for a number of years, then
removed to the great West. His sister was married to Lyman
Stedman, a son of Levi Stedman, of Chester. They had three
children, Lyman Stedman and Lucy, who was the first wife of
J. J. White, of Portland, Ohio. Mr. Stedman died in 1828, and
his widow, Samary Stedman, was married to David de Ford
in 1832, who died in 1836, leaving one child. The third hus-
band was Isaac Sherman, in 1839. They had four children.
Mr. Sherman died in 1852, and the family emigrated to Kan-
sas, finally to east Washington, where Samary McClenathan
Sherman died at the age of ninety-three years. A life that
began within sound of the Atlantic ocean and ended on the
.shores of the Pacific in 1898.


Pioneer History of Meigs County 143

Stephen Smith was a native of New Jersey, but at an early-
age came to Fayette county, Pa., and later, in 1823, to Meigs
county. Stephen Smith and his wife Mary had a family of
fourteen children ; Sally, Leighty, Annonijah, Firman, Wil-
liam, Josiah, John, Elizabeth, Mrs. Branch ; Robert, Joseph
v., James and Isaac. Two sons died in infancy.

Stephen Smith died in 1841.

Joseph V. Smith was born in Fayette county. Pa., January
24th, 1816, and came with his parents to Meigs county in 1823.
He obtained his education in the schools of his native state
and in Meigs county after coming here. He was a plasterer
by trade, which he followed until 1854, when he was elected
sheriff of Meigs county and served two terms. In 1863 he was
appointed deputy provost marshal of the Fifth district of
Ohio, and at the same time he held the office of United States
marshal under President Lincoln. He served as deputy pro-
vost from April 1st, 1863, to April 1st, 1865, and as deputy
lUnited States marshal until 1864. During the incumbency of
these offices he had many exciting experiences and narrow
^scapes. As provost marshal he arrested ninety-seven desert-
ers from the United States army,

Mr. Smith married Rachel Hinckley, daughter of Abraham
Hinckley, who died in 1848, leaving two daughters. Marietta
ind Prussia.

Mr. Joseph V. Smith married for his second wife a daughter
)f Ira Foster, on January 1st, 1870. He died January 14th,
1.894, aged seventy-seven years, eleven months and twenty
lays. His daughter. Marietta, Mrs. Simms, died years since.
-*russia, the second daughter, married Stephen Schilling and
jiied in a few years.

Jesse Page came from Maine and located in Scipio township
11 1816. He had a wife and three children when he came to
Dhio. The children were : Edith Page, Mrs. Robinson ;

144 Pioneer History of Meigs County

Lydia, Mrs. Amos Stevens; Elizabeth, married a Mr. Page.
The sons were Samuel, Sargent, Reuben and John Page.

Jesse Page died in 1834.

William Stevens was born in 1767 at Cape Ann, Mass. He
came to Rutland, Ohio, in 1818, and settled on a farm near
Langsville. His children were : William, Jr., Jesse W. and
Rev. Amos Stevens, Sally, Mrs. Jared Gaston; Lois, Mrs.,
Cowdey ; Betsy, Mrs. Danforth ; Eunice, Mrs. Davis ; Mrs.
Loran Hovey was Harriet S. Rev. Amos Stevens married
Lydia Page. Their children : Jesse W. Stevens, A. J. W. Ste-
vens, Arion Lovejoy Stevens, Theresa, Mrs. Dyke; Sarah
Stevens, Mrs. Dudley. Rev. Amos Stevens' second wife was
Miss Anna Aleshire. Mr. William Stevens died in 1843, aged
seventy-nine years.

John Bing was born in Botetourt county, Va., November 1st,
1799, and with his parents came to Gallia county, Ohio, in 1805.
He came to Rutland in 18l9, when he married a daughter of
John Entsminger. They lived in Rutland until 1869, when
they moved to Masonville, Iowa. One son, Ernest Bing, was
in the Civil War.

Robert Bradford was born March 28th, 1796, in the stockade
near Belpre, Washington county, Ohio. He was said to be a
lineal descendant of Governor Bradford of Massachusetts.
In 1822 he married Mary L. Arnold, who was born July 26th,
1798, in Rensalear county, N. Y. They came to Meigs county
in 1828. Mr. Bradford sold goods in Rutland three years, and
then became interested in the manufacture of salt. Subse-
quently retired to a farm in Salisbury township. They had a j
family of sons and daughters. William Wallace Bradford and
John B. Bradford survived their parents.

Mr. Robert Bradford died December 3rd, 1875, aged seventy-
eight years, eight months and six days. Mrs. Mary L. Brad-
ford died July 29th, 1894, aged ninety-six years. They were
good citizens and enjoyed the respect of the community. ^

Pioneer History of Meigs County 145


A synopsis of an article from the pen of Albert G. Gardner,
in which the principal statement was related to him by his
father, Joshua Gardner: "Many of the early settlers were of
Puritan stock, and thoroughly imbued with the love of liberty,
united to dauntless courage and daring to aid or rescue from
oppression any helpless fellow being. But to the story.

One morning in the early part of sunimer of the year 1825
a party of neighbors were at the blacksmith shop of Joseph
Giles, near New Lima, among whom was Joshua Gardner, the
father of Albert, who lived near. A horseman was seen ap-
proaching from the direction of Scipio, and as he came fully
in view it was seen that a negro woman sat on the horse with
the stranger. It was evident that she was not a willing pas-
senger on that train, so they were promptly halted. Mr. Gard-
ner demanded of the man his authority for taking the woman.
He had none. He said that "she acknowledged herself to be a
slave of the Wagners in Virginia," opposite Kerr's run in Ohio.
She had made her escape from bondage and was on her way
to Canada to join her husband, who had made the race for
freedom some time before. Thereupon Mr. Gardner told them
that he was a peace officer, a town constable, and it was his
duty to prevent kidnapping as well as other crimes. Turning
to the woman, he asked her "if she wanted to go with this
man." She almost sobbed out, "No, sir." Mr. Gardner told
her to "get down and go where you please," and as an officer
of the law he would protect her. She slipped down from the
horse and started to retrace the road she came. The man
started for Virginia to inform the Wagners and to put them
on her track. Some of the party from the shop soon overtook
the woman and guided her to the house of one Crandle, a poor
man, but noble citizen, who lived in an "out of the way" place,
where she could be provided for until the search and excite-
ment should die away. The colored woman was hidden in an
old brush fence by a shelving rock and fed and well taken care

146 Pioneer History of Meigs County

of by Mrs. Crandle and family. The Wagners were soon in the
neighborhood, scouring the country and offering rewards. On
one occasion a very poor man from the east side of the town-
ship came loitering around the premises of Crandle in search
of deer or turkey and discovered the hiding place of the wo-
man. Tempted by the reward offered, he started to inform
the slave owners, but, as little souls are apt to be ignorant,
stopped at Stephen Ralps' and told him of his plan and visions
of future wealth. As soon as he left, Ralph shouldered his
rifle and, marching through the woods, gave the alarm. Next
morning the fire had destroyed the old brush fence and effaced
all traces of its recent occupant. The Wagners concluded the
old hunter was a wilful fraud. However, the woman was
removed to the farm of Benjamin Bellows and secreted until
he had communicated with parties in Canada and ascertained
the whereabouts of the woman's husband. Mr. Bellows pre-
pared a wagon with a false bottom, or double box, into the
bottom of which he put the woman and on the top a lot of
weavers' reeds and started for Canada to sell reeds. Mr. Bel-
lows reported that he traveled one day with one of the Wag-
ners and another party who were hunting this very woman,
and that Mr. Wagner got oflF from his horse and helped Bel-
lows' wagon down a steep, rocky hill to keep it from turning
over, little suspecting that the object of his search was so
near him.

Foiled in all other points, the Wagners determined to try
the law to obtain the value of their woman chattel from Joshua
Gardner. Suit was brought in Court of Common Pleas at
Chester and came to trial by jury, which resulted in a verdict
for the plaintiffs. An appeal was taken, and the Supreme
Court held that the admissions and sayings of the woman
could not be admitted to prove her identity ; if she was a com-
petent witness she must be produced in court : but if she was
a slave she could not be a competent witness. So the case

Pioneer History of Meigs County 147

After the trial, Judge Pease, of the Supreme Court, was
heard to say "that an action of trover for the recovery of stock
might do in Virginia, but it would not do in Ohio unless the
stock had more than two legs." M. Bosworth.

The next step was to kidnap Gardner and deal with him
according to the rules of chivalry. It was reported that twelve
men were seen on horseback in disguise for that purpose, but
they were anticipated by a force abundantly able to resist
them. There was no attack made. The expenses of this suit
and trouble consequent consumed all of Mr. Gardner's prop-
erty. He made an overland trip to California and obtained
money sufficient to buy a comfortable home in Rutland, Ohio,
where he enjoyed the respect and confidence of his neighbors.

Mr. Joshua Gardner was born in Connecticut January 5th,
1793, and died in Rutland March 1st, 1869, aged seventy-six
years. Mrs. Gardner was Nancy, the daughter of James E.
Caldwell, who came with his family from Vermont in 1817.

Albert Gallatin Gardner was born in Rutland March 15th,
1820. He contributed the foregoing narrative of Joshua Gard-
ner. He married Lucy Bellows November 27th, 1849, and had
a family of six children.

Albert G. Gardner died in Rutland, Ohio, January 13th, 1891,
aged seventy years, ten months and twenty-eight days.

From the "Leader," by Mr. Charles Matthews, Washington.
D. C, February, 1908 :

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