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Cynthia Higley, born February 7th, 1797, and never mar-
ried. She died August 26th, 1819, aged 22 years.

Maria Higley, born July 30th, 1799, and married Willis
Knight, and died February 28th, 1834, aged 35 years.

Joel Phelps Higley was born June 9th, 1802, married
Catherine Wise, and died October 23d, 1836, aged 34. A son,
Captain Joel P. Higley, fell in fighting for the Union in 1863.

Laurinda Higley was married to Earl P. Archer and died
September, 1855, aged 90 years. She was the mother of a large
family. Marinda Archer, Henry, Sophia, Benjamin, Elam,
and Abiah Archer, who married Benjamin Whitlock, their
children were Hiram, Electa, Levi, Harriet, Eunice.

Eunice Higley married Silas Knight, known as "Deacon
Knight," in 1812 and came to Rutland in 1812. They were
highly respected. They had a numerous family — two sons
and six daughters. Mr. Knight and his wife, Eunice, both
died the same day and were buried in the same grave, July
31st, 1839, aged 67 years and 63 years, respectively.

Electa Higley was born in 1778, and came to Rutland with
her parents, and afterwards married Benjamin Williams. She

Pioneer History of Meigs County 31

was a remarkable woman, intelligent, energetic, with resource-
ful disposition to be adapted to pioneer conditions. She
taught school in her own house, cut and made men's best
clothes, and cared for a flower garden that was the pride of
Rutland for many years. She had two children, a daughter,
born February 21st, 1811, married Rev. James Mitchell, went
to Illinois in 1855, and died February 3d, 1881. Mrs. Electa
Williams died at her daughter's in Illinois, in 1865, aged 87
years. Her husband died July 26th, 1873. The son, Benjamin
Selah Williams, was born November 18th, 1808, and married
Elizabeth L. Brown, of Athens county, and lived on the home-
stead farm where he was born until his death, February 17th,
1891, aged 82 years, 3 months. Mrs. Williams was born July
2d, 1811, and died February 14th, 1897, aged 85 years, 7
months, 12 days. They had a numerous family of sons and
daughters, but they, except two children, James and Mary, left
t Ohio for the West.

Sophia Higley was married to Asa Stearns, a Free Will
Baptist preacher, finally settled in Mercer county, Ohio, where
they both died. They had four children, Rufus, Amos, Louise,
and Joel.

Flam Higley was a soldier in the War of 1812 and served
under General Harrison in the Army of the Northwest. He
married Sally Clarke, and settled on a farm in the northeast
corner of Rutland township. They had one child, Austin
Higley, who went to Iowa about 1876, and died there.

An incident in the life of Flam Higley is worth relating.
After his enlistment, when about to leave home, his mother
^ave him a Bible with directions to put it in a side pocket of
lis coat, already made for its reception. When in the Maumee
iountry they had a skirmish with the enemy, and a bullet
ired by an Indian, aimed at Flam's heart, struck that Bible
)ut did not pass through, thus his life was preserved. His
;omrades said, "Flam thought himself badly wounded, but the
I )all was found in the Bible, and he was not hurt."

33 Pioneer History of Meigs County

Hamilton Kerr was born in Philadelphia in 1764. He was
a noted Indian scout of great daring, courage and strength.
He married Susannah Niswonger, a highly educated young
woman, and daughter of Colonel John Niswonger. Mr. Kerr
came to his land below the mouth of Leading creek, on the
Ohio river, in 1797, and was an active, useful citizen, as seen
in reports of all civil proceedings of Salisbury township. Of
their children, William Kerr married Jane Murray and settled
on a farm on the west side of Thomas fork, just above the
mouth, where he died March 27th, 1883, aged 86 years.

Sarah Kerr was married to Samuel Everett, and lived near
the mouth of Story's run; later moved to the northern part
of Ohio.

Margaret Kerr was married to Hamilton Kerr, a distant

After the death of Hamilton Kerr in 1821 the estate was
settled by Colonel Everett, the administrator, and Mrs. Kerr,
the widow, and her daughter, Sophia, moved to the north
part of the state, probably Wyandot county.

Colonel John Niswonger was of German extraction and
early in life was from near Winchester, Virginia, He enlisted
Diecember 29th, 1776, to serve during the war; served as a
sergeant in Captain John Leman's company, Thirteenth Vir-
ginia regiment, commanded successively by Colonel John
Gibson, Revolutionary war, and appears on the muster roll,
October, November, and December, 1779, at Fort Pitt, and
February 13th, 1780, on which he is reported as being at Fort
Henry. Colonel John Niswonger was one of the heroes of
the battle of Point Pleasant, He settled on land near the
mouth of Leading creek, with his son-in-law, Hamilton Kerr,
in 1798, and was an important factor in the civil arrangements
for the government of Salisbury township, afterwards in-
cluded in Rutland township, Meigs county. His tombstone
was found in the tearing down of an old building, where

Pioneer History of Meigs County 33

it had been used as a hearthstone. It had this plain inscription :
"Sacred to the memory of Colonel John Niswonger, who de-
parted this life July 13th, 1821, aged 78 years and 4 months."
No person now living can find the place of his grave.

Peter Niswonger was a comrade of George Warth in the
hunting trips of the years 1811 to 1814, when Mr. Niswonger
had a still-house for making whisky and peach brandy, built
by a spring of excellent water, on Lot 182, Ohio Company's
purchase, afterward owned by Nehemiah Bicknell. The
spring was always called the "still-house spring." His name,
in connection with that of Elias Nesselrode, is used in an
account of an elk discovered crossing the Ohio river below
Sandy creek, by Andrew Anderson, who, being on the Ohio
side of the river, saw Niswonger and Nesselrode pushing a
canoe laden with salt upstream to whom he called "to head
off the elk," which had reached their side so near that they
threw a log chain at his horns, which so enraged him that he
capsized their canoe with the men and the salt and escaped to
the woods of Virginia.

LETTER, 1882.

"During the Indian war there came to the stockade in
Marietta a family named George Warth, his wife and two
daughters and five sons, namely: John, George, Robert,
Martin, and Alexander. They came from Virginia, brought
up in the woods and were all fine hunters. John and George
were employed as rangers, or spies for Fort Harmar. The
family lived in a log house on the first bottom between the
river and the garrison built by the United States troops for the
artificers to work in. George Warth married Ruth Fleehart,
and John Warth married Sally Fleehart, sisters to Joshua Flee-
hart, and Robert Warth married a daughter of a French widow

34 Pioneer History of Meigs County

named Lallance, who came from France with two children, a .
son and this daughter, and who were in the stockade at the time
when Robert Warth was killed by the Indians. He left a young
widow and one child, Robert Warth, afterwards a noted ''
merchant of Gallipolis. The family were illiterate, but pos- ;
sessed keen, clear intellectual faculties, which were improved
in later years by whatever opportunities were afforded for v.;

Mr. Paul Fearing taught John Warth the rudiments of his
education, which he cultivated so that at the close of Indian
hostilities, having settled on lands in West Virginia, Jackson
county, long known as Warth's bottom, he filled several offices I
for the government and was a magistrate for a number of ^l
years. He was also the owner of slaves. George Warth I
owned a piece of land in Meigs county, on the Ohio river, I
opposite the present town of Ravenswood, West Virginia, j
He, with his brother John, carried the first mails from Mari- i
etta to Gallipolis, in canoes. They went armed with rifles, '
carried provisions for their journey, traveling chiefly at night ,
to avoid Indian encounters. George Warth was a hunter of
wild animals, his greatest success during life. He had a
family of sons and daughters — Robert Warth and Alexander
Warth, Clara, Sally, Hannah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Drusilla.
He lived and died in his cabin on the banks of the Ohio, a
poor man in what the world calls wealth, yet all of the hero
is due to his name, for brave and fearless protection of the
helpless in times of peril.

The son, Robert Warth, married Mary Johnson, and lived as
a farmer in Jackson county. West Virginia, and died in

Alexander Warth was a boatman, married in Louisville,
Kentucky, and after the death of his parents, within two weeks
of each other, his sisters, Sally, Rachel, and Drusilla, moved to

Pioneer History of Meigs County 35

Rebecca Warth was married to Daniel Lovett, a river man,
and they moved to Kentucky,

Hannah Warth was married to Bartholomew Fleming and
lived and died in Ravenswood. Mr. Fleming bought the
placed owned by Mr. George Warth, valued chiefly for the
landing and ferrying opportunities.

Clara Warth was unmarried — died and is buried by the side
of her mother in the Pioneer graveyard in Great Bend, Meigs
county, Ohio,"


He was the son of Elisha Benedict, and his wife, Jerusha

Starr Benedict, and was born May 13th, 1767. He, with his

(father, Elisha Benedict, were living at Cooperstown, New

'York, when in October, 1780, they were taken prisoners by

j the British and Indians, then taken to Canada where they

were kept prisoners for two and a half years. He married

Clarissa Hubbell, daughter of Jabez and Sarah Hubbell, of

Otsego county, New York, and coming to Ohio, settled on a

I farm near where the village of Rutland is now. He was an

I active and influential citizen, prominent in every interest for

I the promotion of civil, educational or religious advancement

I for the moral good of the neighborhood in which he spent his

I long life. He died October 29th, 1828. Mrs. Benedict died

July 9th, 1849. Their children:

Sarah, born October 25th, 1788, married John Dixon, died
[September 29th, 1835.
Polly, died young.

Euretta, born March 18th, 1793. She was married in 1821
SI to Cornelius Merrill. She died December 12th, 1880. They
liiad six children, Mary, Robert, Luther, Harriet, Clarissa, and

36 Pioneer History of Meigs County

Elisha Hubbell Benedict, born September 15th, 1795. He
married Maria Simpson, and they lived in Rutland township
several years, but removed to Kansas in 1856, where Mrs.
Benedict died. They had six children — Lydia Ann, Claretta,
Sarah A., EHsha C, Walter. Elisha C. enlisted in Company
D., Ninth Regiment, Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, and died at
Fort Scott, Kansas, September 13th, 1862.

Walter F., born July 28th, 1845, enlisted in Company D,
Ninth Kansas Regiment, Volunteer Infantry, served during
the Civil war and participated in fifteen engagements.

Harriet, born December 15th, 1797, and married November]
8th, 1829, to Benjamin Savage, and died November 9th, 1861

Felix Starr, born May 3d, 1806, and died August 13th, 1824. j

William Spencer, born November 28th, 1808, and died June
16th, 1833.


He was a son of Felix Benedict and wife, Clarissa, and was
born October 13, 1802, and removed with his parents to Lead-^
ing Creek, Ohio, October 13, 1803. He married April 4th,
1833, Miriam Chase, daughter of John and Miriam Chase, of
Athens county, Ohio. Their children were four — Clarissa,
born May 7th, 1835; William S., died young; John Merrill
Benedict, born September 17th, 1839. He enlisted in the
Eightenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry as a private and was pro-'j
moted to lieutenant colonel, served four years in the Civil
war, was wounded twice at Nashville, but recovered, and was
brevetted colonel at the close of the war. He married Octo-
ber 18th, 1882, to Miss Bettie Rife, of Morgantown, West

George W. Benedict, son of Jabez Benedict and wife, was
born July 21st, 1843. He served three years in the Eighteenth
Ohio Volunteer Infantry, was married March 4th, 1878, to
Florence Grimes, a daughter of James Grimes, of Rutland,

Pioneer History of Meigs County 3Y

j Jabez Benedict died January 28th, 1886. He was noted for
I his fondness for reading, and with a retentive memory he was
famihar with the best authors of his time, and of the Holy
j Scriptures.

Thomas Everton came from Canada in 1800, and settled on
a farm near the mouth of Leading creek. He was a member
of the Regular Baptist Church and was called, familiarly,
j "Deacon Everton," and died on his farm in Rutland township.
I'There were eight children: Betsy, Mrs. Benjamin Richard-
ison; Ebenezer Everton; Relief, Mrs. Edwards; Thomas
'jEverton, Jr.; Polly, Mrs. Stone; Nancy, Mrs. Jesse W.
n' Stevens; Benjamin Everton; Sally, Mrs. Charles Richardson.


, He came to what is now called Pagetown, in 1800, and
jmarried Miss Rachel Keller. They had a large family:
William James, Frank, Jeremiah, Jr., George, Elias, Jackson
Perry, and three daughters, Rebecca, Nancy and Polly. There
is no date of the death of Jeremiah Riggs or his wife. Several
of the sons moved to some western states ; the daughter,
Nancy, never married. Rebecca was married twice, and lived
and died in the Hocking Valley. Polly was married to Martin
^ Dye, of Pagetown, for his second wife ; left a widow she died
iat the home of her niece, Mrs. John Crary, in Lebanon town-
ship, October 13th, 1895. She was the last one of Jeremiah
I Riggs family.


John Miles came from Rutland, Worcester county,

:|. Massachusetts, to Cooperstown, N. Y., where he married

jg |Chloe Jervis. They came to Belpre, Washington county,

f, Ohio, in 1798, where they remained three years. In 1801 they

:ame to Leading Creek, being the second family in what was

38 Pioneer History of Meigs County

afterwards Rutland township. He bought a share in the Ohio
Company's Purchase for ninety-six pounds, sterling, and
settled on the farm where he died on November 10th, 1847,
aged eighty years. Chloe Jarvis Miles died September 21st,
1844. They had seven children. Benjamin Lanson Miles
went to Arkansas, had a cotton plantation, some slaves ; lived
and died there in 1839. He was twice married, but left one
son, James B. Miles.

Mary Miles was never married. She died in Rutland, April
9th, 1857, aged sixty-four years.

Barzillai Hosmer Miles was a preacher of the Christian
denomination. He married Amy Guthrie, who died leaving
two daughters. As a preacher he was successful, traveled
some and died of cholera in 1832, while on his way home from

John B. Miles married Mary Johnson and owned a farm in
Rutland township, where they lived many years. They had
a family of sons and daughters. He died in Racine in 1864,
aged sixty-eight years. Mrs. Mary Miles died in Racine, Ohio.

Columbus Miles, son of John and Mary Miles, married
Elizabeth Hopkins ; was in the marble business at Gallipolis
and died there.

Benjamin Harrison Miles, a preacher, and a soldier in the
Civil war, but died later. John Wesley Miles, a marble dealer
in Gallipolis. Adaline Miles was married to Waid Cross, a ^
merchant in Racine, Ohio. They had a family of sons and
daughters. Mrs. Cross died in 1905.

Sally C. Miles was born November 5th, 1803, being the first
female born in the township, afterwards Rutland. She was
married to Russell Cook, lived on a farm in Rutland. They
had a large family of sons and daughters. She died in 1857,
aged fifty-four years.

Joseph Jarvis Miles was born October 19th, 1807. He mar-
ried Sarah Cutler Larkin in 1841. They had children but all
died in infancy. He was a tanner by trade, carried on the

Pioneer History of Meigs County 39

business in Gallipolis for a number of years, and later in the
same business in Pomeroy. He died July 27th, 1855.

Electa Miles, the youngest child of John and Chloe Miles
was born August 20th, 1812, and was married to John
McQuigg, and lived many years on the "Miles Homestead."
They had two children — George McQuigg and Frances. She
died January 10th, 1906, aged ninety-four years, loved and
esteemed by all.

George McQuigg was born November 25th, 1830. He was
married twice, first to Miss Caroline Smith, who was the
mother of two children, Lucy M., who died young, and John
McQuigg, connected with the Pomeroy National Bank. Miss
Kate Edwards was the second wife of Mr. McQuigg. They
had three children — Charles, in the salt business as a successor
to his father; Anna, married to Mr. Follett, of Kansas, and
Emma McQuigg. George McQuigg was a man of affairs, a
fine business man, clean in his political actions, genial, affable,
always winning the favor of the best citizens. He was gen-
eral agent of the Ohio Salt Company from 1868 to the time
of his death, October 29th, 1892; aged sixty-one years, ten
months and twenty-eight days.

Captain James Merrill was a sea-faring man and com-
manded vessels in the East India trade for Mr. Dexter, a
wealthy shipowner and merchant prince. After years of
service in Mr. Dexter's employ he quitted the sea and came
to Ohio in 1801, settling on a farm in Salem township given
to him by Mr. Dexter, but removed to a farm in Rutland
township in later years. Capt. Merrill built the first frame
house in what is now Meigs county. The weather-boards
were of wild cherry, sawed with a whipsaw. He had con-
ducted to the ocean one of the first ships built at Marietta. He
was a religious man, highly respected. He died in Rutland,
October 29th, 1826.

40 Pioneer History of Meigs County


William Parker, Sr., was born at Maiden, Massachusetts,
June 5th, 1745, and was married to Mary Warner, January
28th, 1772. She was the daughter of Philemon Warner, of
Gloucester, Massachusetts, and was born in 1753. He was a
cabinet maker and exported furniture to the West Indies.
He bought a share of land in the Ohio Company's Purchase,
and left the East in 1789, traveling as far as the forks of the
Youghiogheny, where he remained until about 1800; he re-
moved his family to his farm in Salem township, where they
lived and reared a large family. Their children were:

Elizabeth Warner, born September 21st, 1773, and died
January 19th, 1850, aged seventy-seven years. She was never
married and died in Salem.

William, Jr., was born July 4th, 1775, and married Betsy
Wyatt, May 13th, 1802. She was a daughter of Deacon
Joshua Wyatt.

Sally, born June 6th, 1777, and was married to Judge
Ephriam Cutler, April 13th, 1808. She died June 30th, 1846.

John, born June 20th, 1779, and married Lucy Cotton. He
was a Halcyon preacher and died in 1849.

Daniel was born August 7th, 1781, and married Priscilla
Melloy Ring, October 24th, 1816. He was a preacher of Uni-
versal Restoration. He died March 22d, 1861. His wife died
September 4th, 1874.

Polly, born May 27th, 1783, and was married to Judge
Cushing Shaw. They both lived and died in Salem, leaving a
numerous and worthy family of children.

Nancy, born March 13th, 1785, was married to Stephen
Strong, Esq. Mr. Strong was an early advocate of temper-
ance. He was elected to the legislature for one term, was a
surveyor and held many county offices. They had no children ;
lived and died in Salem.


Pioneer History of Meigs County 41

Susanna, born March 10th, 1787, was married to Dr. Syl-
vanus Evarts, and died July 5th, 1815, aged twenty-eight

Fanny, born March 26th, 1789, and was married to John
Fordyce and had several children. They were farmers and
lived and died in Salem.

Ebenezer was born December 22d, 1792, and married Mary
Swett, daughter of Benjamin Swett, of Newburyport, Mass.

Ebenezer Parker lived in the old homestead for many years,
but sold out and finally removed to Cincinnati to live with his
sons, where he died.

Clarissa, born May, 1795, and was married to Peter Shaw.
She died May 24th, 1817, aged twenty-two years.

Mr. William Parker, Sr., died November 26th, 1825, and
his wife, Mrs. Parker, died February 25th, 1811. They were
both members of the Presbyterian Church, lived useful and
honorable lives, leaving an exemplary record to their de-

The Aleshire brothers, Conrad, Michael and Peter, came as
emigrants from the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, to Ohio, in
1802, and settled first near the mouth of Kiger creek, until
1805, when Michael came to Leading creek and bought a
farm, but afterwards moved to Salem, where he died in 1845.
Conrad Aleshire came to Leading creek, settled on a farm ;
had a son, Abram, who came with him from Virginia, who
was born in 1784, and who had two children, Anna and Pres-
ton Aleshire. Conrad Aleshire died in 1842, aged eighty-nine
years. Abram Aleshire died in 1865. Peter Aleshire was a
regular Baptist preacher and lived in Salem township.

Thomas Shepherd moved to Leading creek in 1802 and set-
tled on Fraction No. 19, or the Denny lot. He was from
Maryland, but married Polly McFarland in Kentucky. She

43 Pioneer History of Meigs County"

was the daughter of Mr. McFarland, and who was in the
Block House in Marietta at the time of the massacre by the
Indians of the settlement twelve miles up the Muskingum.
In the alarm occasioned by that event the defense of the
Block House was left very weak, and Polly McFarland, a girl
of sixteen, was given a gun and stationed at a porthole. Mr.
McFarland moved to Kentucky, where Polly was married to
Thomas Shepherd. Interesting stories are related of her
courage in meeting emergencies. One night when Mr. Shep-
herd had gone to Gallipolis for ammunition, a large bear en-
tered a calf pen not far from the house, and in trying to carry it
off the calf bawled, which wakened Mrs. Shepherd, who went
out, drove the bear off and up a tree, under which she built a
fire and kept it there until morning. It is said of her that an-
other time she was going after the cows in the woods when
the dogs treed a raccoon. She sent a boy after an ax, cut down
the tree, caught the raccoon, tanned the hide and made herself
a pair of shoes.

They had three sons and several daughters. The sons were
Charles, Daniel and Thomas. The daughters were, Polly,
married to Andrew Long; Nancy, married to Lucius Higley
(see Higley family) ; Sally, married to Mr. Shaw ; Jane, Mrs.
John Savage ; Betsy, Mrs. James Caldwell ; Annie ; Peggie,
Clarissa, Mrs. Backus ; Almira, Mrs. Aaron Smith.

Mr. Shepherd's name appears as a voter for the first election
for Governor of Ohio; also on the supervisors tax list for 1806,
and he was one of the first trustees of Rutland township in
1812. He was born in 1772 and died in 1842.

Caleb Gardner came from the State of New York and
settled in Rutland in 1803. He was a man of good business
abilities, and served the township in various official capacities
with credit to himself and satisfaction to the public. He died
November 23d, 1823, aged fifty-nine years.

Pioneer History of Meigs County 43

Joshua Gardner was a son of Caleb Gardner, and was born
January 5th, 1793, in Connecticut, and came to Ohio with his
father. He also served as constable and other civil offices.
He was one of a company who went overland to California in
1849. Returning to Rutland after two years he closed his life
in March, 1862, aged seventy-six years and two months.

James E. Phelps came from Connecticut in 1803, and settled
in the lower part of Rutland township. He married Phylenda
Rice, a sister of Mrs. Daniel Rathburn. Mr. Phelps was an
enterprising farmer, filled several township offices, and went
to Columbus as a lobby member to get the county of Meigs
set off. He was one of the first associate judges of Meigs
county. He died in June, 1822. His children: James, who
studied medicine, went South and died there; Nancy Phelps
was married to William Bing, of Gallia county; Harlow
Phelps married Amelia Watkins, and lived in the old home-
stead ; Abel Phelps was a physician, practiced his profession
in the lower part of Pomeroy, and died there. He was mar-
ried twice. His first wife was Ruth Simpson. After her death
he married Amy Smith.

John Orlando Phelps was also a doctor and practiced medi-
cine in Piketon, Ohio; afterwards went South and died there.
Amelia Phelps was married to Dr. Eli Sigler, who had a con-
siderable practice. They lived near her old home. Dr. Sigler
was one of the associate judges at one time of Meigs county.
He died May 1st, 1848, aged fifty-three years, ten months and

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Online LibraryStillman Carter LarkinThe pioneer history of Meigs County → online text (page 3 of 16)