Stillman Carter Larkin.

The pioneer history of Meigs County online

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slaves, and much of the riches vanished. They had a family,
one daughter, Eliza Richardson. Nicholas Richardson, the
eldest son, married Hannah Lauck. George, Jr., and other
children names unknown. The Richardsons left Sterling Bot-
tom some time in the 30's.

Philip Bufflngton purchased the Island of Duvol in 1796,
ever since known as Bufflngton's Island. Joseph Buffington
came from Hampshire county, Virginia, in 1814, bought a
farm, Jacob Buffington also, located on the Ohio bottoms, op-
posite and below the island. They both had large families of
sons and daughters. They were a well-to-do, industrious, hos<
pitable people — good neighbors.


The rock of Antiquity is so called from the fact that tht
earliest settlers found engraven on its face inscriptions and
figures of ancient date. These consisted of names of persons
not English ; also the figure of an Indian cut in the face of the
rock. He was represented as in a squatting position, his right
elbow on his knee, with a tomahawk pipe in his mouth. Dr.
Fuller Elliot, a man of much learning, thought that these in-
scriptions were made by a party of Frenchmen who descended

70 Pioneer History of Meigs County

the river after the evacuation of Fort Duquesne — now Pitts-
burg, as the date on the rock seemed to correspond with that
event. The inscriptions are now obhterated.

The rock in question is situated about four miles below
Letart Falls, and is detached from a confused mass of rocks
that have fallen from the clifif above. The village of Antiquity-
takes its name from this rock. — Silas Jones.

Comments on the Foregoing by Stillman C. Larkin.

The opinion of Judge Elliot (who at an early period lived
near the noted rock, and saw the inscriptions), that they were
made by a party of Frenchmen, is doubtless correct. But what
particular party did the work is not so clear. The English
and French nations were contending for many years by diplo
macy, and by wars, to secure the title and possession of the
Ohio Valley, and were not slack in employing every available
means to strengthen their claims. In a history of the Kan-
awha Valley by Professor V. A. Wilson, is the following :

'Tn 1748, the British Parliament passed laws authorizing the
formation of many new settlements and issuing land grants
for the settlement of the upper Ohio. In view of such ag-
gression the Governor General of Canada, by order of his
home government, determined to place along the 'Oyo,' or
La Belle Riviere, a number of leaden plates suitably inscribed,
asserting the claims of France to lands on both sides of the
river, even to the source of the tributaries. The command
consisted of eight subaltern officers, six cadets, 180 Canadians
and 55 Indians, an armorer, 20 soldiers, 270 men in all.

The expedition left Montreal on the 15th of June, 1749, and
on the 29th reached the junction of the Monongahela and the
Allegheny rivers, where the first plate was buried. The expe
dition then descended the river depositing plates at the mouths
of the principal tributaries, and on the 18tli of August they

Pioneer History of Meigs County 71

reached the mouth of the Great Kanawha and on the point
between the rivers the fifth plate was buried. It was found in
1846 by a son of John Beale of Mason county, West Virginia,
and was removed from the spot where it had lain for ninety-
seven years.

From the mouth of the Great Kanawha the voyage was con-
tinued down the river depositing plates until they reached
the mouth of the Great Miami, where they buried the sixth
and last plate, August 30th, 1749, and returned to Montreal by
way of Maumee." It being the business of this company to
establish monuments of ownership, it seems reasonable to
suppose that they might have made the inscriptions on the
rock at Antiquity, a historic monument worthy of giving name
to that enterprising village of Antiquity. S. C. L.

Dr. Fuller Elliot Vv^as the son of Aaron Elliot and wife Lydia,
and was born in Sutton, Massachusetts. He was a university
graduate, and chose the profession of medicine. Fuller Elliot
was an agent, and possibly a stockholder in the Ohio Com-
pany's Purchase, as the county records show his name in the
making of deeds of lands in 1792 to purchasers of lands situ-
ated in Washington and Gallia counties. He entered land for
himself in 1805, 277 acres, and again in 1817, 648 acres in Letart

Fuller Elliot was a man of high character and rare attain-
ment, and locating in Letart at that early date ; was promi-
nent in helping to organize townships, and in all matters per-
taining to public interest and benefit. He was appointed Asso-
ciate Judge of Gallia, and afterwards of Meigs county. He
was elected to the Legislature of Ohio, in all offices serving
with fidelity to the people, and honor to himself. He married
a daughter of Seth Jones who lived near, and came to Letart
about the same time. Judge Elliot and wife had a large family.
Mary Elliot, the eldest daughter, was born June 7, 1803, and
was married to John Weldon. Mrs. Weldon spent most of her

73 Pioneer History of Meigs County

married life not far from her father's home, and reared a nu-
merous family. Serena Elliot, another daughter, married

Swearingen and moved to West Virginia.

Decatur S. Elliot married Parma Sherwood, and resided in
West Virginia, Graham Station. They had a number of chil-
dren. Decatur Elliot and two or three of his sons were sol-
diers in the Civil War to preserve the Union.

Philip Elliot, a son of Fuller Elliot, married Serena Myers,
and had four children — Martha, Eliza, Thornton J. and Ben-
jamin. He had served as lieutenant in the militia, but died

Thornton J. Elliot, a son of Philip Elliot, served in the Civil
War, and won honorable distinction and promotions for
bravery and irreproachable conduct during the War for the

In his later life Judge Elliot resumed the practice of medi-
cine until his death which occurred in 1832, at the age of 60

James Smith, Sr., removed from Marietta, and located above
the mouth of Leading Creek in the spring of 1797. He died
May 8th, 1817. His wife was Elizabeth Mack, who died Au-
gust 9th, 1821, aged 77 years. He was 7Z years of age.

Their children were : Benjamin Smith, Esq., born October
1st, 1770, and married Alma Barker, a daughter of Judge Isaac
Barker, of Athens, O.

Their children were five sons and four daughters.

Benjamin Smith, Sr., died August 7th, 1836, aged 66 years.

Mrs. Smith died August 29th, 1831, aged 54 years 8 months
11 days.

John, James, Benjamin, Barker and Sardine (the sons, and
Polly, Elizabeth, Catharine and Rhoda and Amy, daughters),
of Benjamin Smith, Sr.

John N. Smith lived and died in Middleport, Meigs county.

Pioneer History of Meigs County 73

James Smith married Eliza Murray, of Rutland, and emi-
grated to Arkansas where they both died.

Benjamin Smith, second, a native of Salisbury, born in 1814,
and died on May 12th, 1887, aged 83 years.

Barker Smith settled on the West Branch of Thomas Fork

Sardine Smith lived on Hysell run.

Polly Smith was married to John Harris.

Elizabeth Smith, wife of Dr. William Van Duyn.

Catharine Smith was married to Hamilton Murray.

Rhoda Smith became the wife of Nial R. Nye.

Amy Smith was Mrs. Dr. Abel Phelps.

James Smith, Jr., married Sally Hubbell, sister of Capt. Jesse
Hubbell. He died August 8th, 1844, aged 61 years 6 months.

Mrs. Smith died April 20th, 1861, aged 61 years.

Esquire John Smith married Betsy Monroe and lived on the
old homestead. He died in 1872. They had a numerous fam-
ily of sons and daughters.

The daughters were : Polly, Mrs. Stone, of Washington
county, O. ; Betsy, Mrs. Russell ; Catharine, Mrs. Fulsom ; Jane,
Mrs. Erastus Stow.

Mr. Stow died in 1842, and Mrs. Stow died in 1870.

The Stow family : Eliza, married Dr. Augustus Watkins.

Euretta Stow was married to Franklin Knight, of Chester,
Meigs county.

Mary Stow was married to David R. Jacobs, and resided in

James Smith Stow, born July, 1806, went to Washington
county, and died there in 1895, aged 89 years 1 month.

John Stow went to California — to Mississippi with a boat of
produce, and died in the south among strangers.

Erastus Stow married Lucretia Whaley and lived on the old
Stow farm. He was a soldier in the Civil War until its close,
when he returned home and died. Mrs. Stow died December
18th, 1895. They had a family.

74 Pioneer History of Meigs County

Luke Brine moved with his family from Rutland, Vermont, ,
to Leading Creek in 1805. He bought a farm near New
Lima. He sold his farm to Horace Holt in 1824 or '25, and
moved to Marion county, O. His children were three sons
and three daughters.

Jonathan Brine, a son, married Elizabeth Bobo, of Athens
county, O. He was an ordained minister of the Christian
Church. They had a numerous family. One daughter, Eliza
H., was married to B. F. Stivers, a blacksmith, who lived in

Lumon Brine was born in Rutland, O., in 1806. He married
Lena Sylvester, and had a family of children. Lumon Brine
died April 16th, 1879. His widow lived on the home farm
with her son-in-law, Harvey Stansbury, until her death in
October, 1887, aged 81 years, 7 months, 18 days.

Almon Brine lived in Indiana, and died there.

Betsy Brine married William Gaston.

Sophia Brine was the wife of William Larue.

Semela Brine was the first wife of John Gaston.

Thomas Gaston was a native of New England, and served
seven years in the Revolutionary Army. He moved with his I
family to the State of New York, and afterwards, induced by
liberal grants of land, emigrated to Canada. But on account
of conscription measures by the British government and the
unfriendly feeling existing between that government and the
United States, he disposed of his property there at a sacrifice, [
and with others in like condition left Canada, and came to
Ohio, landing at Silver run, Gallia county, in 1807. He was a
millwright, and moved to the Higley Mills. Later he bought
a farm near New Lima, where he spent his remaining days.
He was a member of the Regular Baptist Church, and
preached occasionally. Mr. Gaston and his wife had a large
family. He was a man highly esteemed by all who knew him.
He died in 1823 and was buried in the Miles graveyard.

Pioneer History of Meigs County YS

Mrs. Gaston died some years after, while with some rela-
tives in Indiana. Their children were :

Jared Gaston, married Sally Stivers.

Anson Gaston married Lucretia Holt.

William Gaston married Betsy Brine.

Jonathan Gaston's wife was Selusia Morton.

John Gaston was married twice ; his first wife was Semelia
Brine, and for his second wife Lydia Larue, who was born
March 6th, 1806.

Her parents were Jacob Larue and Sally Gardner, who were
married in the Block House at Marietta four or five years
before Ohio became a State. Her grandfather, Abraham
Larue, was a French Huguenot. Mrs. Lydia Gaston was
married a second time, to Thomas Wood, who died in 1876,
while Mrs. Wood continued to live in the old Gaston home-
stead until her death in 1893.

James Gaston married Mary Woodworth, in Canada.

Thomas Gaston, second, died when quite a young man.

Elijah Gaston married Samantha Woodworth and emigrated
to the West. The daughters were : Hannah, Mrs. Joseph
Richardson; Polly, Mrs. Joseph Skinner. All are dead, 1893.

Frederic Hysell was a soldier of the Revolution and came
from eastern Virginia to Ohio in 1805, to the lower part of
Gallia county, but afterwards moved to Salisbury township,
in what is known now as Middleport. He married Nancy
Smith, and they had sons and daughters. Mr. Hysell died at
a good old age, and his wife died in 1823.

Their children : Edward Hysell lived on a farm in Salis-
bury township. Catharine, Mrs. Jason Thomas, settled in
lower Rutland township. Elizabeth, Mrs. George Hoppes,
lived in Salisbury, near Bradbury. Margaret, Mrs. Anthony
Hysell, lived on Thomas fork. Francis Hysell married
Nancy Dodson and lived on a farm on Hysell run. Smith

76 Pioneer History of Meigs County

Hysell married Elizabeth Hunter and lived in Salisbury town-
ship. Owen Hysell married Sophia Archer and lived in Salis- i
bury township. John C. Hysell moved into Rutland township
on a farm on Hysell run. Mr. John C. Hysell enjoyed the con-
fidence of his fellow citizens. He was township clerk seven
years and served as justice of the peace for Salisbury eight
years and for Rutland twelve years — twenty years entitled
him to be 'Squire Hysell always. He was county commis- '
sioner one term, when the court house was built at Pomeroy,
and superintended the same. He belonged to the Christian
church in Rutland, and was an active, useful elder for many
years. His wife was Miss Jane Bailey.

Nancy Hysell, a daughter of Frederic Hysell, was married
to Enoch Murray and lived on Thomas Fork. She died in
1892 or 1893.

James B. Hysell, of Middleport, was a son of John C.
Hysell, a good citizen, held several responsible offices, was
mayor of Middleport, trustee of the Meigs County Children's
Home, and held other positions of honor. He died in 1906.

Joshua Johnson (supposed to be from Portugal) came to
Ohio in very early times, and bought a valuable tract of
land in what is now Scipio township, and included the land
where Harrisonville is located. He was married twice, and of
the first marriage he had one son and two daughters. His sec-
ond wife was a sister-in-law of Mr. Trickier, a wealthy farmer
of Gallia county. This marriage was favored by two sons and j
one daughter. The eldest son, Isaac, went to a place near
Cincinnati, Ohio; and the sisters, Kate, Mrs. McHenry, and
Milly, Mrs. John Ervin. The second son, David, married
Mrs. Paton, and after a few years moved to Missouri.
James married his brother Isaac's widow and lived where his
father did. The third daughter, Polly Johnson, was a maiden
lady, taught school in Ohio and in Missouri. She was a much
respected and enterprising woman, and during the excitement

Pioneer History of Meigs County YY

caused by the discovery of gold in California she emigrated
with some relatives from Missouri to the gold fields, where it
is supposed that she died.

Leonard Hedrick was born in North Carolina May 14th,
1784, and came to Marietta, Ohio, in 1800, and went on the
first ship commanded by Captain James Merrill as a cabin
boy to the ocean. When he returned, he married Elizabeth
Loucks, of Gallia county, but settled on his own farm in Scipio
township. Mr. Hedrick was a soldier in the War of 1812 and
served under Colonel Robert Safford in the Northwest cam-
paign. Mrs. Hedrick was born February 3rd, 1786. Their
children were : Margaret, born February 2nd, 1810, married

Camp, who died in a few years after the marriage ; she

died in Rutland, December 14th, 1891, aged eighty-one years,
ten months. Mary, born December 15th, 1811, married Still-
man C. Larkin, November 21st, 1837, and died in the Larkin
homestead, May 30th, 1904, aged ninety-two years, five months,
fifteen days. Catharine, born September 25th, 1816, married
James Misner, who died many years ago. Mrs. Misner has
lived in Point Pleasant, W. Va. Sally, born October 17th,
1818, married David Forrest and lived in Scipio township.
William, the only son, June 29th, 1824, lives on a part of his
father's farm. Malinda, daughter of Mrs. Camp, moved to
West Virginia, married W. Starkey. Mr. Lemuel Hedrick
died March 29th, 1861, aged seventy-six years and ten months.
Mrs. Hedrick died March 4th, 1870, aged eighty-four years
and one month.

Mr. Hedrick was a good citizen, reliable and industrious.

Aaron Holt came originally from near Hartford, Conn., but
after the Revolutionary War was induced, like many others,
to go to Canada for cheap lands, but became dissatisfied and
removed with his family to Rutland, Ohio, in 1807. His son,
Horace Holt, was born October 7th, 1798, in Connecticut, near


78 Pioneer History of Meigs County

Hartford. He married Malinda Bellows, daughter of Benja-
min Bellows, of Rutland, Ohio, January 1st, 1824. They had a
family of five children: Columbus B. Holt, Nial N., Electa,
Mrs. John Stansbury, died many years ago; John B. Holt
and Lovina, Mrs. S. D. Webb. Horace Holt died in Rutland,
Ohio, March 6th, 1885, aged eighty-six years. Mrs. Holt, nee
Malinda Bellows, was born September 4th, 1805, in Belpre,
Ohio, and came with her father's family to Rutland in 1822.
She died May 20th, 1893, aged eighty-seven years, six months
and twenty-five days. She was much respected for her benevo-
lence and Christian character.

William Bellows, a son of Benjamin Bellows, was born
June 1st, 1816, and married Amelia Flynn, daughter of Thomas
Flynn and wife, who were early settlers of Lebanon township.
They had a large family. He was killed in a runaway of
frightened horses August 18th, 1893, aged seventy-seven years
two months. Mrs. Amelia Bellows was born September,
1817, and died December 16th, 1895, aged seventy-eight years
three months. They had lived a married life of fifty-six years,
respected by their neighbors and the community.

The manufacture of weavers reeds was commenced and
carried on by Horace Holt in Rutland township, Ohio, from
1823 until his death, March 1st, 1885. The history of this
nidustry, as well as that of the man who prosecuted the busi-
ness, is worth a page of careful record. When a young man, <
Mr. Holt went to the Wabash country, in Indiana, and was
taken sick, and while convalescent he found an old weaver's
reed, which he unraveled to find how it was constructed.
This led to a knowledge of the canes from which the splits
were made. Returning to Rutland, he began in earnest to
make weavers reeds. He obtained the canes from Mississippi
by sending men down the river to cut canes, convey them to
the river and to purchase boats to load with these and bring
them to Leading creek, a tedious and expensive enterprise.

Pioneer History of Meigs County 79

Mr. Holt, seeing the need of a proper machine for making the
spHts, m^ade such a one, which worked well, and went to
Washington, D. C, and obtained a patent. He went in a two-
horse wagon, laden with reeds to sell on the way as well as to
take his model for a patent, to the city of Washington. In
1831 he began to manufacture reeds on a large scale. The
sale of reeds had been by peddlers in wagons, traveling over
the country and taking store goods in return for the reeds.
That began the stores for the firm. Mr. Holt employed his
brother-in-law, John Rightmire, who was a blacksmith, to
make his machines, so that he secured complete control of the
weavers reeds manufacture. It is claimed that at one period
of time his was the only reed factory in the United States or
Canada. His books show that he had made 300,000 reeds, that
brought about $200,000. Mr. Holt paid good wages and
treated his employes fairly, and his business was a great ad-
vantage to the community, as it furnished remunerative em-
ployment for many young women who otherwise could have
earned but little. Mr. Holt was of commanding figure and
had a giant's strength. He engaged in other kinds of busi-
ness besides the making of reeds. In a partnership with Mr.
Clem. Church they built the first steam gristmill in Rutland
township, and he owned and brought into the township the
first thrashing machine. Before the Civil War he was an
abolitionist, and his place was a station on the "underground
railroad." A member of the Universalist Church, he was ex-
emplary in speech and honorable in business habits, never
using intoxicating liquors or tobacco, and in his last years he
was a prohibitionist. He sold the reed manufacturing business
j to his son, John B. Holt.

Meigs county is the richer for having had such an enter-
prising citizen.

Peter Lalance came from France with his widowed mother
and sister about 1788 to Marietta, Ohio, and lived in the

80 Pioneer History of Meigs County

stockade at Harmar. The sister was married to Robert
Warth, who was killed by the Indians just outside of the fort,
leaving a wife and one child, Robert Warth, Jr. Peter Lalance
was a comrade of the Warth brothers on their voyages down
the Ohio river to Gallipolis, or French Town, as the Amer-
icans called it. The Warths, George and John, were carrying
United States mail in their canoes, and young Lalance was a
companion. The company had to stop over night each trip,
not being able to go all of the distance in one day, and the
place for stopping was at Jacob Roush's, near or at Graham's
Station, Va. Mr. Roush owned a farm and slaves. He had a
family and, as the story goes, a handsome daughter, whos^:
beauty captivated the heart of Peter Lalance, but he kept his
secret until meeting his mother, when he described mam'selle
to her. "She's very pretty," summed up his account. "Bring
her here," said his mother; "I can teach her." So, with such
permission, he asked Mr. Roush if he might woo his daughter.
"If she is willing," was the father's consent, for up to this time
the ardent lover had not ventured to propose to the girl. Mat-
ters were arranged for mam'selle to go to Marietta on the
"mail boat," a trusty colored man to accompany the young
woman for her protection. Madame Lalance received her
graciously, and afterwards she was married at her father's
house to Peter Lalance. He located a farm below Bowman's
run, in Ohio, and reared a large family. Communicated by
Mrs. Cynthia Philson, of Racine, Ohio.

Mrs. Mary Lasher was a daughter of Aaron Holt, and his
wife, Elizabeth Holt, and was born in 1803, and came with
her parents to Rutland in 1807. She was married to Charles
C4iase in 1823, and had a family of nine children, all of whom
she reared to be respectable and useful citizens. Dr. Owen
Chase, of the West, and Dr. Lyman Chase, of Albany, werei
her sons. After the death of Mr. Chase, she married Mr. John;
V. Lasher, of Rutland, with whom she lived in social and

Pioneer History of Meigs County 81

religious harmony until his death, which preceded her own
about two and one-half months.

John V. Lasher was born August 9th, 1799, in Dutchess
county. New York, and married Catharine Martin, October
24th, 1820. In 1825 they moved to Sullivan county. New
York. In 1835, in company with his brother-in-law, Frederic
Tuckerman, they came to Ohio and settled on a farm in Rut-
land township. They had a large family of nine children :
William V., Charles, George V., Margaret, Mrs. Green;
Mary, Mrs. Tuckerman; Beattie, Mrs. Stansbury; Carrie,
Mrs. Brown. Mrs. Catharine Lasher died in 1864. After-
wards Mr. Lasher married Mrs. Chase, widow of Charles
Chase. Mr. Lasher seems to have favored all religious and
political reforms. First a Whig; then one of two or three
who voted for Birney, the Liberty Party man, and in his last
years for the Prohibition Party. He died in 1864.


An incident related by Mrs. Eliza Watkins, nee Stow:
Mr. Erastus Stow, at an early period, when a young man, was
employed by Captain James Merrill to stay with his family
in Salem while he (Captain Merrill) was taking a vessel from
Marietta to the ocean. Young Stow started with ten bushels
of corn to get ground on the Ohio or Muskingum. After
being gone a week, he returned to the mouth of Leading
creek. He then took a bushel of meal and started for home
and walked as far as Mr. John Miles, where he stopped and
borrowed a horse and proceeded on his way. Before he
reached home it became dark, and wolves began to howl and
made an attack on him. Both he and the horse were fright-
ened. He threw off the bag of meal, put his feet on the
horse's flanks and his arms around the animal's neck and
made all speed to his home. When he arrived, Mrs. Merrill
and the family came out, having heard the noise, and with

8S Pioneer History of Meigs County

firebrands drove the wolves away. The next day they found
the sack of meal, which had been torn open, but the contents
not destroyed.

Such incidents did not often occur, and the people did not
seem to apprehend much danger. Women and children often
went through the woods, hunting servis berries and grapes, or
frequently to hunt the cows, that would often stray from
home, and were seldom molested.


An account given by Mrs. Sarah Torrence of an incident
worthy of note was read at the pioneer meeting in August,
1879, by Mr. A. Gardner. Mrs. Torrence was a daughter of Mr.
John Knight, who came to Meigs county in 1818. A Mr.
John Harris, who lived in Bedford township, got Mr. Knight's

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