Stillman Carter Larkin.

The pioneer history of Meigs County online

. (page 4 of 16)
Online LibraryStillman Carter LarkinThe pioneer history of Meigs County → online text (page 4 of 16)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

twenty-seven days. He was married twice ; his second wife
was Barbara Rothgeb, who died April 2d, 1891, aged eighty-
two years, two months and four days.

Amanda Phelps died in early Avomanhood.


Daniel Rathburn was born in 1767 in Granby, Connecticut,
and married Desire Rice, born in 1764, in Connecticut. They
came with their family to Leading creek in 1803, and estab-

44 Pioneer History of Meigs County

lished their home, where itinerant Methodist preachers had
regular appointments. The names of Jacob Young, David
Young, WilHam Young, James Quinn, James Gilruth, and
John P. Kent, and others who found a cordial welcome. Mr.
and Mrs. Rathburn were leading and influential citizens in
those early times. They had a family of sons — no daughters.
Mr. Daniel Rathburn, Sr., died in 1852, aged eighty-five years,
six months. Mrs. Rathburn died in 1868, aged ninety-eight
years, ten months, three days.

The children were Daniel C. Rathburn, who married Laura
Higley, had a farm in Rutland, was justice of the peace, and
taught school. They had a numerous family of sons and
daughters. He died September 25th, 1855, aged fifty-nine

Elisha Rathburn was married to Polly Giles, September 23d,
1819. He came with his father to Ohio and settled on a farm
near the village of Rutland. He was highly respected by the
community and favorably known as a preacher in the Baptist
or Christian denomination. His gifts and graces, zeal and
charity were shown in a remarkable degree through a long
and useful life.

Elisha Rathburn was born June 30th, 1789, and died August
8th, 1869. Mrs. Rathburn was born April 13th, 1799, and died
February 7th, 1896, aged ninety-one years. They had a family
of one son, Joseph Newton, and five daughters, Clarissa,
Elizabeth, and Roana (Mrs. Seth Paine), and two daughters
who died in early womanhood.

Two sons of J. Newton Rathburn, Milton Rathburn and
Charles, are successful merchants, and prominent citizens of
Meigs county, Milton Rathburn being elected Senator from
this district, for state legislature, 1906. They were born and
brought up in Rutland township.

Timothy Rathburn, a son of Daniel Rathburn and his wife,
Desire Rathburn, married a Miss Daniel, of Gallia county, and


Fourth Generation from Daniel Say re.

Pioneer History of Meigs County 45

lived on a part of the old homestead. They had several

Alvin Rathburn was a physician and practiced medicine in
Rutland. He was married and had three sons. William P.
Rathburn, a banker, removed to Chattanooga, Tennessee,
where he was successful in accumulating a large property by
investments in iron and coal. He died in Chattanooga.

Joseph Rathburn, son of Alvin, was a physician, as was his
brother, James Rathburn, who removed to Gallia county,
where he died.

John Rathburn, a son of Daniel Rathburn, Sr., was a doctor,
but died young.

Francis Asbury Rathburn was the sixth son of Daniel
Rathburn, Sr., and his wife. He was born March 9th, 1800.
He was never married but lived with his parents, caring for
them with filial devotion in their old age. After the death
of his father in 1852 he moved into the village with his mother,
where she died in 1863. He continued to live in Rutland until
his death, an exemplary, respected by all who knew him.

Samuel Rathburn was the youngest son of Daniel Rathburn,
Sr., and his wife. Desire Rathburn, and was born in 1802. He
married a Miss Vanden, of Gallipolis, engaging in the mercan-
tile business in that city. He held several offices of public
trust, was probate judge of Gallia county, and maintained an
honorable character, a highly respected citizen, until his death.


An account of hunting adventures, as described by Mr. John
Warth and reported by Mr. Silas Jones, who was a member
of Mr. Warth's family in 1832. He says that Mr. Warth never
tired of entertaining his guests with narratives of perils and
adventures in his early life, and Mr, Jones reports, as near as
possible, in the actor's own words.

46 Pioneer History of Meigs County

"In the time of great peril, when it was not safe to look out
of the fort, and our brother Robert had been shot while
chopping a log near the fort, it became necessary to procure
some meat for the families in the fort. Thinking the Ohio
bottoms less liable to be infested with Indians, George and I
stole out of the fort at night, and paddled noiselessly down
the river to a point opposite Blannerhasset island, where we
hid our canoe in the willows. As soon as it was light we
started in dififerent directions to hunt for deer. I had not
gone half a mile when I saw two tall savages coming in the
direction I was going. I squatted in the high pea vines and
thick undergrowth that covered the ground while they passed
by near me but did not see me. However, they soon dis-
covered my trail, which they followed back to the canoe,
which I supposed they would watch until the owner would
come. My great concern now was the safety of my brother
George, as he not being aware of the presence of the Indians
would return to the canoe and fall a prey to them. Then I
decided on a plan to save George, which was to proceed to a
point out of sight of the Indians, hide my gun, swim across
the river, then swim to the island and watch for George's
return. This plan I fully carried out. Along in the afternoon
I heard the report of my brother's gun after which my anxiety
amounted to agony — minutes seemed hours. At length I saw
George coming out of the woods with the carcass of a deer
on his back. He looked up and down the shore, when I
got his attention and by signs and gestures got him to take
in the situation. We both regained the fort without further
trouble. When the danger was over I went with a party and
recovered my gun and the canoe.

"Another time George and I went out in search of game,
and were separated some distance, when I heard the report of
his gun, after which I heard cries of distress coming from
George. I ran to him with all the possible speed of my limbs,
and found him pinned to the earth by a large elk. I was so

Pioneer History of Meigs County 4T

exhausted that I could not draw the bead, so I ran up and
thrust the muzzle of my rifle against the animal's ribs and
fired, when he fell dead at my feet. My brother was not much
hurt, the horns of the elk had not penetrated through the
ample folds of his hunting shirt, which held him to the
ground. (The hunter's shirt was made sufficiently large so
that he could stow a week's provisions above the belt.)
George had fired on the elk, only wounding him, and so en-
raging the beast that he turned on the hunter and compelled
George to take refuge in a high upturned root where he fought
with his clubbed rifle till he had nothing left but the bent
barrel, when the maddened elk finally dislodged him, with the
above result. Our capture was a valuable one, but did not
compensate for George's gun."

An Encounter With Wolves at Shade River.

George Warth and Peter Niswonger took their rifles and
went out for a hunt. After traveling some time they came to

1 a ridge that ran to near the mouth of Shade river, when Warth
said to Niswonger, "You go on the bottom on one side of
the ridge and I will take the other side and will come together
at the end of the ridge on the bank of Shade river." They
started thus, but Niswonger got out of the way, and came
out above the second ridge. Warth went directly to the river
end of the ridge — there sat seven to ten wolves. They showed
no alarm at his approach, the largest walked toward him, the
others following. He shot the foremost one, and it fell dead.
He reloaded his rifle as soon as he could, for the wolves

[indicated fight. Then he went into the river until the water
was up to his hips, and the wolves went in after him. He shot
the foremost one through the shoulder and he went back to
the water's edge and sat down and looked at him. He de-
fended himself with his empty rifle, broke the stock in many
pieces, and then fought them with the empty barrel. He had
the advantage of being in the water deep enough to swim the

48 Pioneer History of Meigs County


wolves, and he pounded them until they retreated to the edge
of the water and sat down on their haunches and looked at
him. He dared not go out of the water as he might not be
able to fight if they followed him. Soon Niswonger came on
the shore opposite the wolves and Warth crossed over to him
and told him "not to shoot — we will call it a draw game,
neither party whipped." He would not let Niswonger shoot
lest they might be attacked. The hunters returned to their
homes on Oldtown creek, and next day increased their force
and went back to the place of the battle and found two dead
wolves but no live ones. (Sketch by Mr. Silas Jones.)

Black bears were numerous in these parts of southern Ohio
in the first years of the nineteenth century. Henry Roush, of
Letart township, related an incident of his encounter with
bears. He said : "I was going out to bring in the cows, and
contrary to my usual custom did not take my rifle with me,
and while passing along the rear of my neighbor's field of
corn I saw two young bears helping themselves to roasting
ears. I succeeded in capturing one of them, which began to *\
squall at a furious rate, which brought the mother bear rush-
ing upon me with great fury. I had to drop my prize and
run for a high fence which was near, with the angry bear at
my heels. After gaining the top of the fence, I seized a
stake and beat off my assailants."

Elk were seen, but not in great numbers. Wolves were f
numerous and very troublesome. It was as common to hear
the howl of a wolf in the twilight of an evening as it was to
hear the crowing of a cock in the morning. They would
answer each other from hill to hill when gathering their pack
for the depredations upon the settler's sheep or young cattle.
In 1827 a party of road viewers were cutting out a road from Aj
Chester, the county seat of Meigs county, to Sterling Bottom,
on the Ohio river, and at a certain point lay out a road from |
this to Oldtown. The viewers were Nehemiah Bicknell,
Samuel Bowman and one or two other men. They had pro- i

Pioneer History of Meigs County 49

gressed only half way from Chester when night came on and
they had to spend the night in the woods. They built fires
for protection from wolves, whose howling they heard appar-
ently in force, at no great distance, at intervals all night. The
men kept the fires burning, but slept little.
' Wolves continued to commit depredations on the farmers'
1 sheep in Lebanon township, a gang having dens somewhere
I about the head of Ground Hog creek and Oldtown creek. An
expert trapper named Allen came from Washington county
j in 1840 and successfully exterminated these wolves.
j The panther was often met by the hunter, but was easily
^killed, as the animal was of a bold, defiant nature, he would
J climb a tree where he was an easy mark for the hunter's rifle.
Deer were found in great numbers and were a great bless-
ing to the pioner families, who depended for meat upon the
wild game. Venison was a choice meat, while the deer's hide
was tanned and served to make various articles of apparel.
The deer has disappeared from this county. Gray foxes were
numerous and were great enemies to poultry raising, but the
jired fox seems to have superseded the gray, and neither are
seen in later years. The raccoon was a great pest, destroying
large quantities of corn while in a green state on the stalk.
Coon hunting with dogs was a common sport for boys until
the animal has disappeared. The opossum and red and gray
squirrel remain in limited numbers. (Silas Jones.)


Abel Larkin, son of Matthias Larkin, was born in Lancaster,
Worcestor county, Massachusetts, August 29th, 1764, and
married Susannah Bridges in 1794, in Rutland, Vermont. She
was born in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Her father, Mr.
" Bridges, was a surveyor, but started to Massachusetts on a
vessel to prepare a place for his family, and the vessel never
returned, nor was heard from after sailing. Her mother was
a Haskell, and went to Massachusetts with her family, where
she died.

50 Pioneer History of Meigs County

} Abel Larkin had mills on Otter creek, Vermont, which were
I swept away by floods. He then started with wife and four
-^children to Ohio, coming to Leading creek in 1804, in June.
He was able to obtain a house on Judge Higley's farm, where
his family remained four years. Mr. Larkin and Judge Higley
were acquainted in Vermont. In 1808 Mr. Larkin moved into
his own cabin on the farm he had purchased. Mr. Larkin was
the first township clerk for Salisbury township, elected July
27th, 1805 ; was also elected justice of the peace in 1808, again
in 1812, and again in 1818. Afterwards he served as associate
judge for Meigs county.

Their children were four sons and five daughters.

Susannah, born in Vermont in 1796, and died in Rutland in
July, 1805.

Emeline Larkin, born in Vermont 1798, and died in Rutland,
Ohio, in May, 1824, aged twenty-six years.

Abel Larkin, Jr., was born April 21st, 1801, married Adeline
Hadley in Illinois, near Mt. Sterling, in 1835. He settled on a
farm in Brown county, where they reared a numerous family
— five sons and four daughters. Three of his sons enlisted in
the Civil war, and one came back alive with injuries from
which he died. He was John Larkin. The daughters were
grown to womanhood, married and moved to different parts
of the country. Mrs. Adeline Larkin died in 1881. Mr. Abel
Larkin, Jr., died in 1884 in Illinois. He had been a pioneer in
Ohio, and going to Illinois in 1829, was a pioneer in that state.

Julia Larkin was born June 29th, 1802, in Rutland, Vermont,
and removed with her parents to Leading creek in 1804. She
was married to Nehemiah Bicknell March 16th, 1826, and
came with him to Lebanon township, to his farm, where she
lived until her death, February 25th, 1863. They had six chil-
dren, one son and five daughters.

Stillman Carter Larkin was born in Rutland, Ohio, March
9th, 1808. He married Mary Hedrick, November 21st, 1837,
and lived on the Larkin homestead until death. Stillman C.

.. ^

Pioneer History of Meigs County 51

Larkin died in January, 1898, aged ninety years, ten months,
twenty-three days. Mary Larkin died May 30th, 1904, aged
ninety-two years, five months, fifteen days. They had no

Sarah Cutler Larkin was born September 6th, 1811, in Rut-
land, Ohio, and was married to Joseph Jervis Miles, April 12th,
1841. They lived in Gallipolis a few years, then came to
Pomeroy, where Mr. Miles died in July, 1855. Mrs. Miles
returned to the old Larkin homestead. She had no children
that lived. Her death occurred January 17th, 1895., at the
age of eighty-three years, four months, eleven days.

Curtis Larkin was born May 27th, 1813, in Rutland, Ohio.
He was in California a few years, but returned to Rutland,
Ohio, where he married Lura Hubbell, who died in 1846. He
married again — Sarah Church. They had one son, George B.
Larkin. Their home was always in Rutland, Ohio. Mr.
Larkin held some local and township offices, was a trustee of
Rutland township several years. He was a member of the
First Christian church and served as an active local elder for
more than thirty years.

Edwin Larkin was born September 25th, 1815, in Rutland,
Ohio. He went to the South in 1839 and never returned.

Betsy Larkin was born August 8th, 1806, in Salisbury town-
ship, Gallia county. She was married to Daniel Cutler, No-
vember 5th, 1834. They lived in Warren township, Washing-
ton county, Ohio, for twenty-one years, and had two children,
Charles Curtis and Mary, who died when sixteen years of age.
Mr. and Mrs. Cutler moved to the West in 1856, and settled
finally in Franklin county, Kansas. Mrs. Cutler died June
19th, 1883, aged nearly seventy-seven years.

Daniel Cutler was born February 19th, 1799, in Waterford,
Washington county, Ohio. He was the son of Judge Ephram
Cutler and his first wife, who died early, leaving four children,
Charles, Nancy, Mary, and Daniel, who was taken to the
home of Rev. Manasseh Cutler, where he spent his childhood.

52 Pioneer History of Meigs County

His father, Ephram Cutler, married Sarah Parker, and she
was the mother of Hon. WilHam P. Cutler. Mr. Daniel
Cutler was an anti-slavery man, and lived in Kansas in those
exciting times of border warfare. He was also a temperance
man, and a member of the Congregational church. He was
the first postmaster of Rantoul, Franklin county, was a farmer,
owned a thousand acres of land in one body. He lived and
died an honorable. Christian gentleman, on January 10th,
1887. Charles C. Cutler, an only child, survives him and oc-
cupies the homestead.

Mr. Daniel Cutler commenced life in the Northwestern
Territory, and followed up along the border of civilization
during a most eventful period of time, for the whole of his
eighty-eight years of life.

Abel Larkin, whose family has been noted, died February
17th, 1830, in Rutland, Ohio, aged sixty-five years, five
months, nineteen days.

Susannah Larkin (Bridges) died August 14th, 1860, aged
eighty-nine years, four months, twenty-six days. She passed
away from her own homestead in Rutland, a woman honored.

Nehemiah Bicknell was the son of Japhet Bicknell and wife.
Amy Bicknell (nee Burlingame), was born June 26th, 1796,
at East Greenwich, Rhode Island. His parents moved to
New York state in 1798, where he lived until nineteen years
of age, and his father and brother having died, Nehemiah,
with his widowed mother, came with a company under the
leadership of Rev. Samuel Porter, to Athens, Ohio, in October,
1815. They traveled with teams and covered wagons, and
were forty days on the way, always stopping over Sunday.
His mother died in February, 1816, and lies buried in the
old cemetery at Athens, leaving him and his younger sister,
Zimrode, alone among strangers in a new country. God took
care of them and they soon found good friends.

Pioneer History of Meigs County 53

March 16th, 1826, Nehemiah Bicknell married Julia Larkin,
in Rutland, Ohio, and they moved immediately to make their
home on his farm in Lebanon township on the banks of the
Ohio river. They endured many hardships incident to pioneer
life, none of which they deprecated more than the ignorance
and low state of morals in the neighborhood. Mr, Bicknell
opened his own house for preaching in about 1828 or 1829, to
the Methodist itinerant. Later he secured the building of
a school house on his land adjoining the Pioneer burying
ground, where the preaching appointment was removed, and
continued for many years. Afterward he gave a lot for a
site for a church, deeded to trustees of the Methodist Episco-
pal church, and a public graveyard. Mr. Bicknell was a
public spirited man, who felt the lack of early education a
constant impediment to progress. He was elected magistrate
three terms, township trustee, postmaster eleven years, Sun-
day-school superintendent for many years, class leader when
the appointment was known as the Oldtown class. He was an
uncompromising temperance man all of his long life, and
erected a large barn, the second building in Meigs county
raised without the compliment of whisky. He was a road
viewer and helped in laying out roads in nearly every part of
the county, and dissented from the policy of narrow minded
men who would lay out a public road on inaccessable hillsides,
or around the corner of a selfish man's farm. He claimed foi
the traveling public suitable ground, and making good roads
everywhere. At eighty-three years of age his step was firm,
his eyes bright, and cheeks rosy. His birthday, celebrated in
June, 1879, he, with his eldest daughter, left home August 1st
to revisit his boyhood home in Chenango county. New York,
and attend to the placing of gravestones anew at his father's
grave. In some strange manner he seemed to have gone
out of the car to the platform, when he fell oflf and was
killed. This was on the Erie railroad, near Beaver Flats, and
the fatality occurred about 3 a. m,, August 6th, 1879. His

54 Pioneer History of Meigs County

stricken daughter brought his body back and he was laid by
the side of his wife in the graveyard by the little church
called "Bicknell's Chapel." (E. L. B.)

The children of Nehemiah Bicknell and his wife, Julia
Bicknell (nee Larkin), were Emeline Larkin, born February
19th, 1827, and was married to Isaac A. Cowdery in July,
1846. It proved a most unfortunate marriage, and she ob-
tained a divorce in June, 1853, in the Common Pleas court of
Meigs county, and her name restored to that of Bicknell.
She had borne two children, a son, dying at three months, and
a daughter, Ella Frances, who died October 10th, 1860, in her
ninth year.

Julia Amy was born December 28th, 1828, and died of fever,
September, 1846.

An infant son of Nehemiah Bicknell and his wife, March
10th, 1833.

Zimrode Adaline was married to John Roberts in May, 1855.
She died December 10th, 1870, leaving three children, Arthur
B., Zimrode Ella, and Albert John Roberts.

Sarah Elizabeth, born September 24th, 1839, and died
October 3d, 1860.

Mary Susannah, born March 7th, 1842, was married to Rev.
George J. Conner in October, 1869. They had one son, Charlie
Cookman, but father and son both died — the first 1873, the
latter 1876. She was again married to David B. Cross in
January, 1879, and died March 7th, 1882, forty years of age.
She left one son, Willie Bicknell Cross.

Allen Ogden was born in Maryland, April 13th, 1775. He
was in Marietta in 1788. In June, 1795, he married Miss
Hannah Keller, with whom, in April, 1804, they moved to
what is now known as Columbia township, Meigs county. He
purchased land, cleared up a farm, where he made his home
and reared a family of ten children. He served many years

Pioneer History of Meigs County 55

as a justice of the peace, and filled other responsible township

Mary Ogden was married to Joshua Wood, the first couple
married in Columbia township. They had nine children. Mr.
Wood was a justice of the peace and Whig politician.

Margaret Wood married Elias P. Davis. She died, leaving
two children. Nancy Wood was married to Nehemiah Bobo.
They had eleven children, twenty-nine grand children and
five great-grandchildren.

William Wood married Sarah Rutherford and reared four
children, with a number of descendants.

Elizabeth Wood was married to Eli Vale, and they had a
large family of children and grandchildren.

Joshua Wood married Elizabeth Forrest, and they had one

Rachel Wood was married to J. Q. A. Vale, a physician.
Their home was in Minnesota. Dr. Vale has been a member
of the legislature of that state. They had six children.

Mary Wood married Levi Whitlock, and they went to Min-
nesota and had a large family of children.

Adah Ogden, daughter of Alvin Ogden and wife, was born
March 7th, 1799, and was married to John Conner. They
moved to Indiana. To them were born six children.

Sabert Ogden was born October 3d, 1801, married Eliza
Forrest, and settled in Salem. They had seven children.
Sabert Ogden died February 10th, 1874. Mrs. Ogden died
December 24th, 1896, aged eighty-five years, six months,
eighteen days.

Alvin Ogden, Jr., married Nancy Jordan, and resided in
Salem. They had two children, and several grandchildren.

Herbert Ogden had three sons in the Civil war, Alvin,
John, and Hugh. John was in Company I, Fifty-third Ohio
Volunteer Infantry, and died in the service at Camp Denison,

56 Pioneer History of Meigs County

Hugh Ogden, the second son of Alvin Ogden, Sr., was born
March 11th, 1804. He never married. He died in 1872 in
Salem township.

Nancy Ogden, daughter of Alvin Ogden, Sr., and his wife,
was born May 18th, 1806. She was married to William Green,
and they both lived and died in Columbia township. They
had five children. Albert Green was a soldier in the
Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and died in the service.

Lovina Ogden Green married Lewis Castor, of Columbia.
Hannah Green married Miles Graham, a member of the
Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, who died shortly after
the close of the war.

Cynthia Green married William Graham, who was a soldier
and died in the service the first year of the Civil war.

Elizabeth Ogden, daughter of Alvin Ogden, Sr., was born
July 25th, 1808, and was married to Daniel Caleb, and moved
to Hardin county, Ohio, where they died. They had four

1 2 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Online LibraryStillman Carter LarkinThe pioneer history of Meigs County → online text (page 4 of 16)