Stillman Carter Larkin.

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homestead farm.

The Sayres are a numerous people, residing in Letart, Ohio,
and Letart, W. Va. David Sayre entered land in Letart town-
ship in 1803. There are several branches of the name, de-
scendants in four and five generations, living in Meigs county.
Daniel Sayre, father of Moses E. Sayre and great-grandfather
to the Hon. Edgar Ervin, were first settlers in Letart township.
As a people the Sayres were religious, good, prosperous citi-
zens. Mr. Ervin is a member of the Ohio Legislature, a native
of Meigs, and has reflected credit on his family and won popu-
larity for his own public services in the Ohio Legislature for
the years of 1907 and 1908.

At the pioneer meeting in August, 1890, Mr. Phineas Robin-
son made a speech, in which he said that "in early times silver
was the coin most in use by the common people, and that it
was often cut into four or five parts to make change," a fact
that the writer of this article well remembers. Mr. Robinson
also gave a history of the Keg Company of Chester, which
was undoubtedly correct as he stated it, but not as published
from report in the Telegraph. Therefore this reviewer wishes
to state the case as he understands it.



Pioneer History of Meigs County 173

About 1825 or 1826, not sure as to date, a company was
formed, it was said, of Nathan Newsom, a tanner, who lived in
Chester; Moses Green, of Orange township, said to be a horse
jockey, who had married into a very respectable family ; Nich-
olas Lake, who also had a very respectable woman for a wife,
and John Nolan, a batchelor, who lived about Chester at that
time, not a bad man naturally, but so constituted that he could
be made a cat's paw when needed. The Keg Company made
and sold counterfeit money, silver dollars, that could not be
told from the genuine, and they would exchange two dollars
for one good one. So one man, having two or three hundred
dollars, agreed to buy of the spurious coin, and, repairing to a
secret room, his money was counted out on a table, when the
lights were suddenly put out and all the money swept oflf from
the table. The man lost his money. He went before the grand
jury, and the four men were indicted. They could not arrest
Newsom and Green, they fleeing to parts unknown. An officer
tried to arrest Nolan, who stabbed the officer and was sent to
the penitentiary for it. As soon as he had served his time he
left for New Orleans, where it was said that he became a
wealthy and respectable citizen.

Lake had stolen a horse in Athens county and was sent to
the penitentiary for that act. While in prison he, with others,
was taken under guard outside to work. Lake attempted to
run away, the guard shot and wounded him so that he died.

In 1818 Dr. David Gardner and his brother Charles came to
Chester, Ohio. They bought out Mr. Levi Stedman's store
and filled it with goods purchased in the Eastern cities. Charles
Gardner went back to Long Island, New York, but Dt. Gardner
remained in Chester many years and died there ; also Mrs.
Gardner, and both are buried in the Chester Cemetery. Their
daughter was married to Mr. Maples, an Episcopal clergyman,
who was rector of Grace Church in Pomeroy, Ohio, and influ-
ential in the erection of the neat Gothic church in that place,



174 Pioneer History of Meigs County

After a long and successful pastorate, winning high regard for
his character, he unfortunately became insane and died in the
Athens Hospital for the Insane.

Edward Weldon was married to Mary Paris in Dublin, Ire-
land, and emigrated to the United States. The precise date is
not on record, but they located for a few years in Washington
county. Pa., where Mr. Edward Weldon died ; also two sons,
each one named Edward. The widow, Mrs. Weldon, moved
first to the Lewis farm, above Point Pleasant, Va., and stayed
one year, when she removed with her family to Chester, Ohio.
The children were : Frank Weldon, who was lost, fate un-
known. James Weldon married Lettie Stout. William Wel-
don married Elinor Pullins; lived and died in Chester, Ohio.
John Weldon married Mary, daughter of Dr. Fuller Elliott;
settled in Letart township, later Sutton, and had a family of
sons and daughters. Richard Weldon, married Sally, daugh-
ter of Levi Stedman, of Chester. They had two daughters —
Emily, Mrs. Obadiah Walker, and Caroline, who was married
to Mr. Heaton. Richard Weldon and his wife died young.
Martha Weldon became Mrs. Samuel McKinley ; lived in Ken-
tucky. Catharine was married to John Van Kirk, in Chester
township. Margaret became the wife of Augustus Watkins.

Mary Weldon was the first wife of Andrew Donnelly, clerk
of the Court of Common Pleas for Meigs county during a long
period of years. Mrs. Donnelly died young, leaving two chil-
dren, Charles Donnelly and Margaret.

Francis Weldon, son of James Weldon, married Rachel
Cozad ; parents of Mrs. Lurinda Williamson, widow of Captain
James Williamson, now of California.

A remarkable meteoric shower was displayed in November
of the year 1831. It was called "the stars falling," and created
great alarm in some localities. Some people averred that the
judgment day had come, while others opened their Bibles to
read of "stars falling and men's hearts failing," while in many
homes in sparsely settled places the inhabitants slept soundly



Pioneer History of Meigs County 175

and knew nothing of the wonderful sight in the heavens re-
ported by witnesses.

Rev. Isaac Reynolds lived in Letart village and mingled
with the frightened ones, allaying their fears. He said "the
meteors fell thickly at one time, and that strange, fantastic
shapes were assumed by many of those lurid bodies in their
descent to the earth." The history of meteoric showers or the
aerolites had not been taught in the schools. This event was
generally concluded to foretell some great calamity to befall
the world.

Another natural phenomena was considered as an omen of
calamity — the aurora borealis, or northern light. The beauty
of the sky was not so impressive as the smothered belief that
some disaster was impending, as of war or pestilence.

A comet with a luminous following gave certain warning to
a class of credulous folks that the end of this world was near,
and a few believers in the Miller prophecy resided in Lebanon
township. Time has gone on with great regularity; spring
and summer, autumn and winter, have banished such fears.

A flood in the Ohio river in 1832 was a real and disastrous
event. The inhabitants were living in houses on the river
bank, and farmers especially had no buildings on the bluflf or
second bank to shelter themselves. In Lebanon several fam-
ilies sought shelter in a two-story log house, but the water
continued rising, so that at nightfall they were removed in
flatboats to the hillside, making beds on the ground in the open
field, although snow was falling in scattering flakes. One man
made a pen on his flatboat for his four fat hogs and for his
chickens, with corn for feeding them. Stock and horses were
taken to the hills before the water had wholly covered the
bottom lands. Houses, barns, haystacks, as well as uprooted
trees, went hurrying by on the swollen river.

Of the cholera in Chester in the year 1834 an account
of the scourge was published in the Meigs County



176 Pioneer History of Meigs County

Telegraph of January 20th, 1893, and copied from that
paper into this manuscript the same year by S. C.
Larkin. "Fifty-nine years ago since Meigs county had
that awful experience with cholera. Chester was then the
county seat and the chief village in the county, with a popula-
tion of 200 souls. Of those who lived in Chester in 1834 but
three persons remain as residents of the old village with clear
remembrance of that event, Mrs. Dolly A. Knight, Mr. Harold
Wells and E. Sardine Weldon, then a child of six years. Re-
ports were in circulation of the ravages of Asiatic cholera in
maritime cities, New York and New Orleans, and of its deadly
prevalence in foreign countries. Mrs. Dolly Knight and her
husband, Benjamin Knight, moved from the Ohio river, where
Pomeroy was located later, to Chester, where Mr. Knight took
charge of a flour mill. They were congratulated by their
friends for getting off from the river and going to the interior,
where they would be comparatively safe from the contagion.
Human foresight was a failure. In Chester they took a house
situated on the lot where the postofifice stands at present. On
the west end of the lot was a small brick schoolhouse, used
also for religious or church assemblies. The first case of
cholera was Dr. James S. Hibbard, who had been called to
Syracuse to prescribe for a man who was sick, a steamboat
man just returned from a trip on the river. Dr. Hibbard pro-
nounced the case cholera and prescribed accordingly. On his
way back to Chester he was attacked with the malady and,
getting ofif from his horse, took a dose of calomel, lay down
by the roadside and fell asleep in the woods. As soon as he
was able to remount his horse he proceeded homeward. He
finally recovered. This occurred in July. Soon afterwards a
son of Jasper Branch, about fourteen years of age, came to his
work in the mill from his dinner, was taken violently ill and
was assisted to an upper room, but grew rapidly worse, and
before nightfall he was dead. That night a sister, older than
he, took sick and died before morning. Two deaths in Mr.



Pioneer History of Meigs County 1Y7

Branch's family was a shock to the community. Two or
three weeks elapsed, and then a show came to Tupper's Plains,
which Lewis Nye, a youth, attended and remained over
night. He was stricken with the cholera next morning
and died in a few hours. Next in order of time was the family
of John Ware, a saddler. He had a large family, but the
father, mother and four children fell victims to the cholera.
First the daughter Polly, a young woman, returned from
church in the evening, apparently well, but that night she died.
The next day two of her brothers were snatched away, and
the second day the father and mother joined the dead children.
Relatives of the Ware family came up from Gallipolis to help
care for them, and took the survivors home, one boy dying on
the way. Five children remained, who lived, married and set-
tled in Meigs county, Gallia and Mason, W. Va. William
Ware never married ; lived in his sister's home and died there
at Miller McGlothlin's, near Ravenswood, W. Va.

Charles Doane, a tanner, was suddenly attacked after a talk
with Dr. Carpenter in a light vein, "that after the people all
died, he and the doctor would open a hotel." After parting, in
fifteen minutes the message was sent to the doctor of his sick-
ness, and in one hour Charles Doane was dead.

William Torrence was stricken by the epidemic, but rallied
for a time, then relapsed and died after an illness of fourteen
, jll days. Mr. Harold Wells nursed William Torrence fourteen

• nights in succession without taking off his clothes to go to
bed. Later, Myron Wells, Baza Wells, their mother and a

, sister were each prostrated with the disease, while Harold, the

I brother and son, attended them, and they all recovered.

A son of Marcus Bosworth, about ten years of age, went to

f bed as usual, but later called his mother, "so very sick," and,
although medicine was administered at once, by 10 o'clock the
child was dead. A Mr. Horton, aged about forty-five years,
was one of the fatal victims. Harold Wells, Otis Hardy and
Van Weldon were busy all the time ministering to the sick



178 Pioneer History of Meigs County

and burying the dead. Mr. Weldon was a cabinet maker and
made the coffins for those who died. This history of the
cholera in 1834 in Chester we believe correct and authentic.
S. C. L.

An incident occurred in 1833 in Lebanon township, below
Sandy, when the cholera was epidemic in New Orleans and
many cities, that a steamboat landed on the Ohio side of the
river near a small graveyard on the bank and sent a messenger
to a house not far away for permission to bury a man, then
dead on the boat. The request Avas denied with rudeness, so
frightened was the householder at the approach of cholera.
The man was buried by the roadside. No case of the disease
appeared in the neighborhood until the next summer, when
the man who refused the stranger a grave was stricken with
cholera and died, the only death from cholera ever known in
the place.

The second visitation of cholera at Middleport, in 1849,
resulted in the deaths of four persons in the Baily family — Mr.
David Baily and his wife, his daughter and son-in-law; also
Mrs. Hudson, a sister of Mr. Bailey. Oren Jones was their
nurse. He was a young man and claimed that by his strong
will he was able to resist the contagion. There were a few
cases of cholera in Pomeroy in 1849, but we are not in posses-
sion of details. In the first seasons of the epidemic there were
fatalities of some persons about Letart. Balser Roush and
family, living above Racine, in Letart township, were victims ;
several of them died. Dr. J. B. Ackley gave medical attention
and secured assistance for care of such as needed.

Job Story, of Bedford township, was one of the early set-
tlers of that township and a pioneer abolitionist, who ever
dared to vote his sentiments even in old Bedford. He died
March 18th, 1883, aged ninety-one years.



Pioneer History of Meigs County 179

Frederic Merrill and Arthur Merrill were brothers, who
were born in Newburyport, Mass., and moved with their
father to Cincinnati in 1823. The family came to Meigs
county in 1830, Frederic Merrill was a merchant in Rutland
village. He was a township trustee several years, but returned
to Cincinnati, where he died in 1844.

Arthur Merrill graduated in a law school and came to Rut-
land in 1834. He served as probate judge in Meigs county six
years. Died in Rutland April 18th, 1881, aged sixty-eight
years.

Samuel Pomeroy owned the valuable coal lands first de-
veloped in and near the town of Pomeroy, at the first quarter
of the nineteenth century. Much territory of the Ohio Com-
pany's Purchase is seen on the records of Gallia county and
of Washington county as entered by Abigail Dabney, and later
was transferred to other parties, Mr. Samuel Pomeroy, a rela-
tive, a Boston man, who lived in Cincinnati in 1833, at the

\ time that his daughter, Clara Alsop Pomeroy, became the wife
of Valentine B. Horton, a young lawyer from Pittsburgh, Pa.

i Mr. Horton was born January 29th, 1802, in Windsor, Vt.,
having taken a military training and also a regular course in
law, and after his marriage came directly to Pomeroy, Ohio,
in 1833, where he opened up the coal industry that gave Meigs
county its greatest commercial importance and laid out the
town of Pomeroy.

Mr. Samuel Pomeroy built a fine residence just back of the
present Court House, but died soon afterwards. The history
of V. B. Horton cannot receive adequate notice in these brief
articles, and belongs in fact to a later time than the real pio-
neer period of the early settlers. Mr. Horton died in Pomeroy,
January 13th, 1888, at the age of 86 years.

Mrs. Clara Alsop Horton was born in Boston, October 7th,
1804, and with her husband made their home in Pomeroy dur-



180 Pioneer History of Meigs County

ing fifty-four years of their wedded life. Her courteous man-
ners and fine intellectual equipment made her the peer of any
lady in any land. Her gracious charity and broad views of life
gave her influence with the best class of people in social, civil
or religious life. She was a devout Episcopalian, and her hus-
band built and donated to the town of Pomeroy the elegant
stone church of that denomination. She was a wise, exemplao-
wife and mother. They had a family of five children : Clam
Pomeroy Horton became the wife of Gen. John Pope. Fr^rf-
cis Dabney Horton was maMied to Gen. M. F. Force of Cin-
cinnati. Edwin Johnson Horton married a daughter of Dr.
Estes Howe of Boston. Annie Alsop Horton died in child-
hood, ^s (2)

Samuel Dana Horton becanre noted as a writer of promi-
nence in monetary afifairs, lived on the Continent of Europe,
and married a daughter of a retired British officer in Switzer-
land, (t)

Catharine Alsop Horton was the wife of John May of
Boston.

Mrs. Clara A. Horton died September 28th, 1894, nearly
ninety years of age, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Force,
in Sandusky, Ohio.

Martin Heckard, a lawyer, came to Meigs county about
1838 or 1839, not certain as to date. He located in Pomeroy
and married Miss Catharine P. Horton, a sister of the Hon. V.
B. Horton. Mr. Heckard was the first Probate Judge of Meigs
county; and served three years. They had a family of three
children. George Heckard, Lucy Heckard died in young
womanhood. Mary Heckard went to school on the Hudson,
and became the wife of Mr. Huntington of Long Island. Judge
Heckard died in Pomeroy. Mrs. Heckard died at her daugh-
ter's, Mrs. Huntington, January 9th, 1890, aged seventy-nine
years.



Pioneer History of Meigs County 181

Jacob Rice, born at Murrayville, Pa., January 2nd, 1790. He
married Hannah Plummer, who died leaving one child, Henry
Rice of Rutland. Mr. Jacob Rice died November 3d, 1888,
aged 98 years, 10 months, 1 day, in Salisbury township.

Ira McCumber was born July 5th, 1805, in Gallia county,
and married Mary Boyer, who was born April 29th, 1807, in
Pennsylvania. They lived in Salem township, and Mr. Mc-
Cumber died April 14th, 1882, aged 77 years.

Mrs. McCumber died May 5th, 1895, aged 88 years. She was
a member of the Pioneer Association, and died in Salem.

The fugitive slave law was brought to notice by two men
who had captured a slave belonging to one of the party, and
had taken him before a justice of the peace in Gallia county, O.
They requested a trial, and certificate for the removal of the
slave from the State. The justice appointed the trial to be
made the next day at 10 o'clock a. m. An anti-slavery man
who learned when the suit was to held, started at once to
Rutland for Nathan Simpson, a lawyer of local fame. The
following morning Mr. Simpson and his friend started for that
magistrate's office to watch proceedings. What could be
done? Evidently the master had all the proof that the law
required. When the lawyer's party got within a few miles of
the place, they began announcing their mission and inviting
people, every man they saw or could send word to, "to come
and see the fun."

At the hour, 10 o'clock, Mr. Simpson went into the court-
room and talked with the owner; also with the slave, and
offered to see that he had a fair trial. At first, he opened the
case very mildly, but as the house filled up, the crowd looking
Ij through the doors and windows and every place where they
could see or hear, Simpson's voice became louder and in-
creased in pathos and energy with little thought about cor-
rectness of language or logic. The slave owner became



182 Pioneer History of Meigs County

alarmed, fearing the mob had collected to lynch him, and with
his party slipped out of a back door, saying, "He would never
follow another slave into Ohio, for when they get there they
are beyond our reach." It is claimed that this case was the
last capture of a slave in Ohio. 1850.

James Petty was born in old Virginia in 1819, and came
when quite young with his parents to Pagetown, Meigs
county. His father Hugh Petty moved to Gallia county sub-
sequently, and died there. James Petty married in that
county, but lost his wife soon afterwards, when with his wid-
owed mother, he came to Rutland, and remained there the
rest of his life. He held many responsible local offices, justice
of the peace, for many years. He made a home for his aged
mother and invalid sister with filial and brotherly devotion.
His death occurred in Rutland, Ohio, January 26th, 1891, aged
seventy-two years.

Mrs. A. Hoff — nee More — was born in Parkersburg, W. Va.,
on November 1st, 1819, and was married to J. D. Hofif January
29th, 1839. They came to Letart, Ohio, in 1845, and to Mid-
dleport, Ohio, in 1849. She united with the Methodist Epis-
copal Church in her fourteenth year, and lived a consistent and
useful Hfe. She died in Middleport, July 18th, 1883.

Lucinda H. Dunham, wife of Hiram B. Smith, was born in
Washington county, Ohio, November 20th, 1808. She was the
daughter of Amos Dunham and wife — nee Laura M. Guthrie,
from whom she inherited a liberal share of physical and men-
tal qualities. She obtained a fair English education at Mari-
etta, Ohio. The family came to Pomeroy in 1837, where she
became the wife of Mr. H. B. Smith, a lawyer and prominent
man in business and social circles in Pomeroy, Ohio. He was
an active member and president of the Miegs County Pioneer
Association for several years. They had one son, who died



Pioneer History of Meigs County 183

in early manhood. Mrs. Smith died in Pomeroy, Ohio, March
17th, 1881,

Catharine Dawson was born July 17th, 1820, in Beaver
county. Pa., and was married to Dr. Joseph Dickson, October
19th, 1841. They moved to Athens county the same year.
They had five children, three of whom died in childhood. Dr.
Dickson went with a company overland to California in 1849,
and was killed by the accidental discharge of his own revolver
soon after reaching California. December 11th, 1864, Mrs.
Dickson was married to Mr. Josiah Simpson, of Rutland, Ohio,
and removed to his home with her two daughters. She died
June 4th, 1895. She had been a faithful member of the Free
Will Baptist Church, a most excellent woman.

The Bradbury family. Contributed by Judge Samuel Brad-
bury in 1895, to the Meigs County Pioneer Association.

"Seventy-nine years ago, December, 1816, the parents of
Judge Samuel Bradbury floated down the Ohio river in a little
boat and tied up at the mouth of Leading creek, where they
entered a small log cabin, and with their seven children be-
came citizens of the great State of Ohio. The father had but
one dollar and fifty cents in his pocket when he landed. The
family came from Maine, having made their way through the
wilderness as best they could. Samuel was seven years old at
that time. One son was born after the arrival in Ohio, who
died at the age of thirty-eight years. The family were reared
to honorable lives, and the sons achieved merited distinction
in positions of honor and trust. The seven children lived to
an average age of eighty-three years."

Judge Samuel Bradbury was born in Maine, August 4th,
1809, and died in Middleport, Ohio, March 1st, 1897, aged
eighty-seven and one-half years. He had been one of the most
active and efficient men in the organization of the Meigs
County Pioneer Association in 1876.



184 Pioneer History of Meigs County

Simeon Elliott was a brother of Judge Fuller Elliott, and
came to Meigs, rather Washington county, in 1797, and
bought land, situated back from the Ohio river, in what was
later included in Sutton township. He married Lucy Putnam,
a distant relative of George W. Putnam. They had a large
family, reared to honorable positions in the community, in a
home of refinement not common in those days. The sons
were : Rev. Madison Elliott, a graduate of Marietta College
and of Lane Seminary, Cincinnati, Ohio. He was the prin-
cipal of the academy at Chester in 1844-45, a flourishing insti-
tution at that time. Miss Clarissa Cutler, a daughter of Hon.
Ephraim Cutler, was the vice-principal. Two other sons were
Putnam Elliott, who died in early manhood, and Sumner
Elliott, who emigrated to some Western state years ago. The
daughters were : Nancy Elliott, Maria, Mrs. William Tor-
rence ; he died of cholera ; then she married Mr. Phineas Rob-
inson. Lucy, Mrs. Josiah Branch ; Lury Ann, Mrs. Orin
Branch; Adaline, Mrs. Elihu Stedman; Fidelia, and Lydia
died unmarried.

Mr. Simeon Elliott was called "Squire" Elliott, in distinc-
tion from Judge Fuller Elliott, M. D. He built a tread mill
run by horse-power, and attached to the machinery a carding
machine. Mrs. Elliott, after being a widow many years, mar-
ried Abel Chase, Sr., of Rutland.

Samuel Branch settled in Chester township in 1807. He
married Miss Tryphena Stedman, a sister of Levi Stedman, so
long prominent in public affairs.

Mr. Branch was a Free Will Baptist preacher, and opened
his own house for preaching; also built a schoolhouse on his
own land for the education of the children of the neighbor-
hood. Mr. Branch was ready to assist in any enterprise for
the benefit in morals or education in the community. They
had a large family of sons and daughters.

Samuel Branch, Jr., was a Baptist preacher. Harry and


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