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W. A. (William Allen) Keesy.

Roster of Richmond soldiers and history of Richmond Township online

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GENEALOGY COl_LECTldR



ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY,



3 1833 02410 7416



GC

977.101

H94k



ROSTER

of

RICHMOND SOLDIERS

and

HISTORY of RICHMOND
TOWNSHIP

By
REV. W. A. KEESY

TIFFIN, OHIO



PRICE BOUND
Paper, ... 35 Cents
Cloth, ... 50 Cents

1908




RE\'. W. A. KEESY



^^r



1195071
Preface.

The author has no apology for presenting
the public with this work. It seems no one else
would undertake it. He has waited twenty years
for something like it and now that he is growing
old and that the old soldiers are passing away,
the old settlers gone, and the history being lost,
he is prompted to push it.

He is grateful to A. F. Sweetland of the
55th regiment, Co. I. for the roster, Edward
Franklin, Co. I. 55th regiment, 0. V. V. I. and
Doctor E. V. Buckingham, M. D., for help ren-
dered.

It can readily be seen that the scope of sale,
so limited, presents no financial temptation. But
it will be a souvenir to generations yet to come
and we make the sacrifice.

The Author.



THE LANING COMPANY

Publishers
NORWALK - - OHIO



Contents.



PAGE

Preface 3

Chap. I. Ohio — Huron County 12

Chap. II. Richmond Township — Description —

Marsh Notes 18

Chap. III. Early Settlers, Industries and

Churches 22

Chap. IV. Clearing Farms — Threshing — R a p-
ping Spirits — Water and Gas —
Johnney Appleseed 33

Chap. V. Primitive Schools — Teachers — Minis-
ters — Doctors — Lawyers —
Circuit Rider 43

Chap. VI. Selections 51

Chap. VII. Coon Hunting — Curious Find — In-
dians — Officers — Sugar Camp —
Lincoln's Assassination — Re-
ceipts — Sundries 73

Chap. VIII. Closing Chapter 87



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12 Roster of Richmond Soldiers and



CHAPTER I.

The foregoing roster will account for most of the
contents, and why this book is written. And we only-
need to add here that the thrilling scenes leading
up to the civil war can briefly be summed up as fol-
lows:

The desire to extend human slavery. That in-
famous institution, the "Sum of all villianies."

The Dred Scott decision, by the courts, in which
humanity was outraged.

The civil war of Kansas, caused by an effort to
make Kansas a slave state.

The John Brown raid on and capture of Harpers
Ferry.

Inflammatory speeches made both in the north
and south.

The political pot was boiling over when, in 1860,
Abraham Lincoln was elected president. And the
southern states began to secede from the federal
union. Secession had been advocated by Jefferson
Davis and others, in the national congress prior to
the war, for ten years.

Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated president on
March 4, 1861.

On the twelfth of April, 1861, Fort Sumpter was
fired upon. On the fifteenth day of April the presi-
dent called for 75,000 three-months' troops, to put
down the rebellion. But this war storm increased



History of Richmond Township. 13

so furiously that on May the third he called for
500,000 three-years' men to save the Union.

That Richmond did her part nobly in the mighty
conflict of four years' struggle which ensued, we must
first consider that there were called into the Union
army in those four years, 2,859,132 men of which
Ohio furnished 319,659 and Richmond township, out
of a population of 900, puts into the field, as the
roster will show, 112 men. Now Ohio has eighty-
eight counties. She has 1,357 townships, but most
of them, not like Richmond, have large cities or vil-
lages at most where population was heavier.

There were 2,208 land and fifty naval engage-
ments during that war, making a total of 2,258 en-
gagements.

The adjutant general's report shows the whole
number of deaths in that army up to 1870 to be
303,504.

Killed outright 60,000. Such battles as Chicka-
mauga, Nashville, The Wilderness, Antietam, Fred-
ricksburg. Stone River, Gettysburg and Franklin were
awful to contemplate, and are no more appreciated
today than a skirmish is to a real battle.

THE STATE OF OHIO.

By the treaty with Great Britian, her rights were
relinquished in the Northwest Territory and the
United States assumed control, acknowledging the
claim made by Virginia of 3,709,848 acres of land near
the Rapids of the Ohio, and a similar claim made by
Connecticut of 3,666,621 acres near Lake Erie which
became known as the Western Reserve.



14 Roster of Richmond Soldiers and

In 1787 congress passed the ordinance creating
the "Northwest Territory," creating the first common-
wealth in the world, whose organic law recognized
every man as free and equal.

The first permanent settlement was made at
Marietta, in 1788, under the ordinance, by OflBcers
of the Revolution Army.

In 1800 congress divided the Northwest Terri-
tory into two governments, the seat of the eastern
government being Chillicothe.

November 29, 1802, a constitution of state gov-
ernment was ratified, and on February 19, 1803, the
constitution was ratified by congress, admitting the
state of Ohio as the seventeenth state of the Union
in order of admission.

The seat of government was at Chillicothe until
1810, it was then moved to Zanesville until 1812,
when it was returned to Chillicothe until 1816, when
it found its present, permanent location at Columbus.

Ohio has 88 counties.

Ohio has 1,357 townships.

OHIO.

"The sun never shown on a country more fair

Than beautiful, peerless Ohio.
There's life in a kiss of her rarified air,

Ohio, prolific Ohio.
Her sons are valiant and noble and bright.
Her beautiful daughters are just about right,
And her babies, God bless them, are clear out of
sight —

That crop never fails in Ohio.



History of Richmond Township. 15

"Our homes are alight with a halo of love,

Ohio, contented Onio.
We bask in the smiles of the heavens above —

No clouds ever darken Ohio.
Our grain waves its billows of gold in the sun,
The fruits of our orchards are equaled by none.
And our pumpkins, some of them, weighing a ton —

We challenge the world in Ohio.

"Our girls are sweet models of maidenly grace.
They are perfect in figure and lovely in face.

That's what they are in Ohio.
Their smiles are bewitching and winning and sweet.
Their dresses are stylish, yet modest and neat,
A Trilby would envy their cute little feet,

In beautiful, peerless Ohio.

"When the burdens of life I am called to lay down,

I hope I may die in Ohio.
I never could ask a more glorious crown,

Than. one of the sod in Ohio.
And when the last trump wakes the land and the sea,
And the tombs of the earth set their prisoners free,
You may all go aloft if you choose, but for me —

I think I'll stay in Ohio."



HURON COUNTY.

Huron county formed February 7, 1809, and or-
ganized in 1815.

It originally constituted the whole of the Fire
Lands.

The site of Norwalk was first visited by the Hon.



16 Roster of Richmond Soldiers and

Elias Whittlesey, Piatt Benedict and two others, in
October, 1815.

In 1817 Piatt Benedict built the first log cabin
where Norwalk now stands. In May, after, Norwalk
was made the county seat.

In 1819 two Indians were executed for murder
at Norwalk. Their names were Ne-go-sheck and Ne-
gon-a-ba.

As it is not our purpose to give a history of

the county here, I will subjoin a list of the town-
ships in the county and dismiss it.

1840 1880

Bronson 1291 1092

Clarksfield 1473 1042

Fairfield 1067 1359

Fitchville 1294 822

Greenfield 1460 900

Greenwich 1067 1376

Hartland 925 954

Lyme 1318 2575

New Haven 1270 1807

New London 1218 1764

Norwich 676 1157

Norwalk 2613 7078

Peru 1998 1194

Richmond 306 1014

Ridgefield 1599 2359

Ripley 804 1038

Ruggles* 1244

♦Ruggles has since been detached from Huron
and given to Ashland county, leaving Huron nineteen
townships. Richmond township was set off from New
Haven in 1835.



History of Richmond Township. 17

1840 1880

Sherman 692 1223

Townsend 868 1405

Wakeman 702 1450



18 Roster of Richmond Soldiers and

CHAPTER II.

RICHMOND TOWNSHIP— DESCRIPTION.

Richmond is the southwest corner township of
Huron county, Ohio. The south half, or nearly so, is
a marsh, called the New Haven marsh. It is about
ten miles in extent, east and west, and about five
miles north and south. The ground or surface of
this marsh is a mushy, slushy muck, created by the
enormous growth of vegetation and the water held
intact. This is so soft that an ox or horse would
mire right down in it. It will be readily seen, there-
fore, that the marsh one-half of Richmond is un-
tenantable and this, with no village, will account for
the small population of the township at the time of
the war.

Now this marsh was composed of three useful
sections, viz.: one-third or about that was called the
hay marsh. When yet in the commons, and free
to the public, I have seen from 500 to 1,000 hay stacks
on it. When mowing time came, whoever wanted to
could go in and mow. Then when cured, the hay had
to be carried to the stack by hand. Here it was
left unmolested (except by storm or fire) until win-
ter froze the bottom so a team with sled could be
taken on and loaded down.

The early wild hay was of poor quality, and only
used in emergency, the small clearings yet furnishing
but small acreage of tame hay.

About one-third of this marsh was known as



History of l^ichmond Township. 19

the cranberry marsh. This yielded thousands of
bushels of cranberries in a season. It was usually-
raked over first, then the remaining berries were
gathered by hand.

MARSH NOTES.

My father, John Keesy (Geesy), gathered twenty-
four bushels of cranberries, before he ate his break-
fast, one morning.

Ezekiel Buckingham gathered sixty bushels in
one day.

Doctor E. V. Buckingham dug up on this marsh,,
the tooth of a mastodon, which weighed three pounds
and seven ounces. He also found a rib which meas-
ured three feet in length.

About one-third of this marsh was covered with
whortleberry bushes, maple trees and undergrowth
of bushes, and was known as the "Pigeon Roost" or
Whortleberry marsh.

This yielded thousands of bushels of berries an-
nually, and was a great source of revenue for those
who lived in the adjacent country.

The maple trees were sometimes even broken
down by the weight of the teeming myriads of wild
pigeons flocking there to roost by night. I have
seen the skies darkened from three o'clock until dark,
by the millions of pigeons coming from their feeding
ground up north, the beach wood and green field,
to their roost in the marsh. So in the morning on
their return.

People would come from fifteen miles around to



20 Roster of Richmond Soldiers and

go in the roost at night and kill and sack ofE these
birds.

Wilson Moore, a ditcher, says he killed twenty-
one massasoggers, (rattle snakes) in one day, and
it was not a very good day for "soggers" either.

Charley Thompson was lost on this marsh for
nearly a week, just after the civil war; the writer
with nearly 100 men hunted two days for him. Hav-
ing gotten ofE on the south side he was rescued near
New Washington in Crawford county.

In dry seasons, frequently, a wall of fire miles
in length could be seen sweeping across this marsh,
terrifying the border settlers, endangering anything
in its path.

.The Honey Creek on the west, flowing into the
Sandusky river near Tiffin, which in turn empties
Into Sandusky Bay at Fremont and the Marsh Run
on the east, which empties into Huron river in New
Haven township, and in turn reaches the lake at
Huron, furnish outlet for the waters of this marsh.
The numerous ditches turned into these have trans-
formed this wilderness into a very garden of beauty
and it will be a joy forever.

A small colony of Hollanders have built a village
at the intersection of the muck and dry land, on the
township line between Richmond and New Haven
and are caring for hundreds of acres of celery, onions,
potatoes and garden truck of all kinds. This now is
the Excelsior.

Eureka, they have built a church, have a school
house, are a very religious people, and are shipping
their produce in car loads from this Elderado while



History of Richmond Township. 21

the very muck is now turned into a very marketable
and profitable commerce.

The north half of Richmond township was cov-
ered with dense forest of heavy timber, the white
oak being the monarch of the forest, hickory,
beech, maple, bass-wood and ash in abundance, a
variety of others such as sycamore, buckeye, elm,
black ash, etc., interspersed with a few locust, iron-
wood, dogwood, gum walnut, poplar and burr-oak.

The soil is a rather heavy, though fertile clay,
and the rock almost invariably lies one hundred feet
beneath blue clay or hard pan. The surface when
properly tilled, tiled and fertilized is a very pro-
ductive loam. But I am anticipating.

The early settlers here found wild game in abun-
dance. The wild turkey, wild geese, ducks, pheasants,
the deer, bear, raccoon, o'possum, the fox, gray, black
and red squirrel, ground hog, mink, panther, wolves
and Indians.

The rattle snake, with numerous kinds of less
harmful reptiles, was in evidence then.

This early game was hard on the farmers' small
fields of corn, wheat and grain, but this in turn
enticed and drew these fattening creatures in range
of his unerring and fatal rifle. Thus a fair exchange
was rendered both.



22 Roster of Richmond Soldiers and



CHAPTER III.

EARLY SETTLERS, INDUSTRIES, CHURCHES.

There were three men, probably brothers, by the
name of Schofield, who were the first to take up
their abode in Richmond. They settled on the edge
of the marsh.

A Mr. Navel came next. He settled on what has
"Since been known as the Ezekiel Buckingham farm.
He had a little hand double burred mill and as
settlers came in they would dry their corn and take
it there to grind by hand. Mr. Ed. Franklin tells
me that he helped turn this mill.

Then came Packard and Lake and settled on
what became known as the Daniel Sykes farm. A
man and family next settled nearby on the Kirk-
wood farm and then Jas. Young settled down on
the hill just east of the Catholic cemetery near the
New Haven line. Hutchinsons came in 1836, Reuben
Franklin came in 1835, the Hutchinsons in 1836,
Daniel Sykes in 1837, Ezekiel Buckingham in 1842,
John Keesy (Geesy) in 1842, Daniel Sweetland on
Jan. 1, 1848, Andrew being five years old at the time,
Nathan and Benjamin Tanner with others in the
early forties.

I herewith give a list of the settlers of Rich-
mond from memory up to the civil war. Pardon any
omission.



History of Richmond Township.



23



Andrews.


Dicks.




Ditto.


Burlin.


Dole.


Buckingham.




Boyles.


Esterline.


Beamer.


Ebinger.


Bronson.


Eversole.


Barrels.




Briggs.


Frederick.


Bishop.


Fetterhoof.


Beelman.


Fosters.


Brubaker.


Foglesong.


Biuerle.


Finks.


Bash.


Fuller.


Bessie.


Facklers.


Brant.


Fox.


Baughman.


Fast.




Fulmar.


Courtright.




Cline.


Gribben.


Croninger.


Gurney.


Carpenter.


Gardner.


Channing.




Cole.


Hungerford.


Crothers.


Hutchinson.


Carsons.


Hoyles.


Clark.


Hahns.


Crawford.


Hord.




Hershiser.


Dunster.


Hicks.


Draher.


Hough.


Day.




Dawson.


Jump.



24



Roster of Richmond Soldiers and



Johnson.


Pond.


Jacoby, Rev.


Plank.


Jackson.


Piatt.




Pollinger.


Keesy.


Posts.


Koder.


Palmer.


Kelly.


Pressler.




Parks.


Lutts.


Pearch.


Lewis.




Loggerson.


Ringle.


Lane, Rev.


Rice.




Randies.


McKittric.


Resh.


Markley.


Riddle.


McBride.


Robinsons.


McMaster.


Roopely.


Motters.


Reiner


Moores.


Rogers.


Millers.


Rittenhouse.


Mowen, Rev.




Mohler.


Steels.


Mongold.


Sweetland.




Shoup.


Newman


Sciser.


Nesbitt.


Sparks.


Navel.


Spencers.




Sheely.


Ogden.


Staley.


Oilman.


Shineberger.




Shanks.


Peckingpaugh.


Snyder.


Pitts.


Sage.



History of Richmond Township. 25


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