Hardesty's History of Monroe County, Ohio

Hardesty's History of Monroe County, Ohio

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Hardesty's History of Monroe County, Ohio
Published about 1882

(Note: paragraphs cited are counted within a particular section. Capitalization of surnames also added by the typist. REH)

Early Settlements

Page 207, paragraph 3

The next settlement, in order of time, was on Buckhill bottom, in 1794, and was made by Robert Mc ELDOWNEY, who was soon followed by Jacob ULLOM and others. Settlements were made at and near the mouth of Sunfish creek and Opossum creek, by the VANDEVANTERS, HENTHORNS, ATKINSONS and others about the years 1798-9. A settlement was made about where the town of Calais now stands in 1802. An improvement was made there in 1798, by Aaron DILLIE, from Dillie's bottom, Belmont county.

Courts, Judges, County Officers

Page 208, paragraph 7-8

Arthur OKEY was the first Sheriff, by appointment in 1815. Since then the following persons have been elected in the order named: William D. HENTHORN, Noble RAYLE, William DEMENT, William MASON, Elliott HOLLAND, Joel F. RANDOLPH, Cornelius OKEY, Japheth SMITH, Thomas MITCHELL, William D. PATTON, Marshall MORROW, Willaim READ, Courtland M. MORROW, Geo. W. CARROTHERS, Joseph MYERS, George CALDWELL, Thomas O. LITTLE, William READ and Christian LUDE, the present incumbent.

The following are the names of those who have held the office of County Auditor, and the years their respective terms commenced: Cornelius OKEY, 1816; Theophilus MINER, 1820; Joseph GADD, 1821; Jeremiah HOLLISTER, 1824; Elijah ANDREWS, 1827; Jacob HEADLESS, 1832; William CRAIG, 1833; Jacob HEADLEE, 1835; John M. KIRKBRIDE, 1843; Thomas WEST, 1849; Joseph MOOSE, 1850 to fill vacancy; John B. NOLL, 1851; John S. HOLLIDAY, 1855; Martin L. BOWSER, 1859; Michael HOEFFLER, 1863; Samuel GRIMSHAW, 1867; Michael HOEFFLER, 1871; William WEDDLE, 1875, who died before his second term expired, and Michael HOEFFLER was appointed to fill his vacancy, 1878; Stephen A. ATKINSON, present incumbent, 1879.

County Commissioners - Finances

Page 209, paragraph 4

The journals afford no evidence that Arthur Scott ever served as Commissioner. Cornelius OKEY served until 1822. After those above names came Peter WITTEN, 1819; John BEVAN, 1822; John LINN, 1822; Wm. SMITH, 1823; Joshua RICHARDSON, 1824; John HENTHORN, 1826; William CRAWFORD, 1827; Elisha ENOCH, 1828; Peter WITTEN, 1829; John GRAY, 1830; William JOHNSTON, 1831; William SMITH, 1832; Isaac A. BROCK, 1834; Ambrose RUCKER, 1835; Thomas MITCHELL, sen., 1836; Randolph LAING, 1839; Edward SALISBURY, 1841; Wm. COCHRAN, 1842; Joseph CALDWELL, 1842; Joel YOST, 1842; Thomas ORR, 1843; John CLINE, 1844; Thomas GRIFFITH, 1845; Henry FORD, 1849; Stephen HENTHORN, 1850; Jacob TSCHAPPAT, 1851; Wm. MYERS, 1855; John W. WHEELER, 1856; Joseph MOOSE, 1857; Frederick MUHLEMAN, 1857; Thomas MITCHELL, jr., 1858; Barnet MANN, 1860; George S. ALGEO, 1862; Wm. F. BOOTH, 1863; Thomas MURPHY, 1865; F.A. LAMPING, 1866; Wm. WORKMAN, 1867; Isaac BERNHARD, 1868; Christian CEHRS, 1869; James ARMSTRONG, 1871; Edward OKEY, 1873; David LENTZ, 1875; Jacob AFFOLTER, 1877; Jonathan LIEUELLEN, 1879, Nicholas D. GARDEN, 1881.

War Record

Page 211, paragraph 7

116th OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY. -- This regiment rendezvoused at Marietta, August 25, 1862, and was mustered into the service September 18th. Companies A, C, D, E, and F were from this county (Monroe). James WASHBURN was commissioned colonel, and W.T. MORRIS, major. The company officers were: of Company A, Charles W. RIDGEWAY, captain; Robert WILSON, first lieutenant; William M. KERR, second lieutenant. Company C, Fred'k H. ARKENOE, captain; James P. MANN, first lieutenant; David M. LUPTON, second lieutenant. Company D, William MYERS, captain; Henry OKEY, first lieutenant; Richard CHANEY, second lieutenant. Company E, John VARLEY, captain; Peter DILLION, first lieutenant; John C. HENTHORN, second lieutenant. Company F, Matthew BROWN, captain; Henry McELFRESH, first lieutenant; Wilson F. MARTIN, second lieutenant. This regiment was mustered out of the service on the 23d day of June 1865.


Page 211, paragraph 9

In giving the history of the several townships in the county, in place of giving them in alphabetical order, it is thought to be more appropriate to give them in the order of their organization. As has already been said, four townships were organized at the first session of the commissioners, to-wit: Salem, Seneca, Centre and Jackson. Before this county was erected, Salem township was one of the townships of Belmont county, under the territorial government, and at the first term of the court of that county, November 24, 1801, the boundaries of the township were fixed as follows: "To begin on the Ohio river, at the sou theast corner of York township, thence with said township line west to the western boundary of the county, (being the present county line between Belmont and Monroe); thence south fifteen miles to the southern boundary of the county; thence east with said boundary line to the Ohio river; thence up the river to the place beginning, to be called and known by the name of the township of Salem." The court, on the 24th of February, 1802, ordered the election to be held for Salem township at the house of James HENTHORN, at the mouth of Sunfish.

Salem Township

Page 212

This township was organized July 19, 1815, and if, in giving its history, more space is allotted to it than to other townships, it must be remembered that larger and more numerous early settlements were made in it than in any other part of the county, though not at an earlier date. This was, probably, owing to the fact that Sunfish creek is the largest stream emptying into the Ohio river within the county's limits, and therefore furnished greater attractions to settlers. Below the mouth of the Opossum creek an improvement was made by Cornelius VANDEVANTER prior to 1802. John VANDEVANTER and the HURDS made improvements about the same time on the farm now owned by Vachel GAMBLE; Thomas HOWELL on the farm now owned by Levi BALDWIN; and a few years later Francis MARTIN made an improvement about a mile up the creek. His son, John MARTIN, Esq., still lives a mile or two below its mouth. William Mc LAIN, an old pensioner, Aaron HOWELL and Martin BOUGHNER, made improvements farther up the creek. About 1798-9, James HENTHORN settled at the mouth of Sunfish creek. He moved from the old fort on Wheeling creek. His sons were James, John, Henry, William and Adam, and his daughters Ann and Mary. He made his improvements where Clarington now stands. Charles ATKINSON at the same time cleared some fifteen acres on what is now the W.H. MALLORY farm. In 1802, Alexander NEWLEN cleared ten acres on the Joel Yost farm, and a Mr. GORDON settle opposite the mouth of Fish creek. Soon after, improvements were made by Elijah JOHNSTON, opposite Fish Creek Island; by James SCOTT near the Joel YOST farm; by Robert BALDWIN, on the James WALTON farm; and by Jonathan RUTTER where the town of Walton now stands. William POWELL settled at the point at the mouth of Sunfish, and kept the ferry. The following persons settled along the valley of the creek in the order of time their names are given: John VANDEVANTER, Peter VANDEVANTER, Jonathan RUTTER, Andrew Mc KEE, William Mc COY, Joseph BLARE, Matthew BROWN, Richard CAIN, and Samuel BUSKIRK. David HOWELL, Reuben REDMAN, and Reuben STURGEON lived on the hills near the mouth of the creek. Others of the first settlers were the BOWEN, ROBY, TWIBLE, PREBLE, GILMORE, DAVIS, ROSS, WATSON, JONES and KYGER families. These large and early settlements furnished settlers for many other parts of the county, and especially farther up the creek and on Will's creek.

It might be properly said that most of the first settlers were squatters; that is, a family moved into the county and settled on Congress land, and when the head of the family found himself able, he would enter the land upon which he had squatted or settled. It was considered a very mean trick, in those days, for another person to "enter out" a squatter who was doing his best to raise the means to pay for the home he was making for himself and family; and scarcely any one would do it without the consent of the squatter, who was frequently paid for the improvements he had made, when he found he was unable to enter the land himself. At the time these early settlements were made, the Indians were, as a general thing, peaceable. A correspondent writes: "One Sunday in the summer of 1801, a bear was seen swimming the river opposite Sunfish. William HENTHORN and John GILMORE, both nearly young men, concluded to capture it. They got into a John-boat and rowed out to meet it, intending to halter it with a chain and tow it to shore. As HENTHORN was about throwing the chain over the bear's head, it put its paws on the side of the boat and deliberately crawled in. No sooner was it in than the boys were out and swam to shore. The bear took a seat on the seat-board and quite contentedly floated down the river. William's uncle, John HENTHORN, and a Mr. TWIBLE hastened down the river, and on a hurriedly constructed raft, paddled out into the river and shot it. For a long time afterward when these young men felt disposed to do any bragging, their companions would tell them they had better capture another bear. That was sufficient."

Dr. N.E. HENTHORN, recently deceased, in a letter to John B. NOLL, Esq., says: "In 1831, I was returning home from Cincinnati by land, and stopped over night in the town of Reading, twelve miles from the city, at Jackson's tavern. When the landlord ascertained where I was from, he said his father and an old Indian would like to talk to me. I went to their room and Mr. JACKSON, sen., said he knew my grandfather at the old block-house at Wheeling; that at the time BOGGS was killed at Bogg's Island, the Indians were pursued by the whites, and that he (Jackson,) wounded this Indian, and when about to kill him with his tomahawk, the Indian told him he was the medicine man of the tribe, and if he would spare his life he would cure a cancer on this (JACKSON's) nose, which he did; that the Indian had lived with him ever since, and was with him in the war of 1812, under General HARRISON. the Indian told me that the Indian name of Sunfish creek was Buckchitawa, and Opossum creek was, in the Indian tongue, Eagle creek. He further told me of the killing of a big Indian at Buckchitawa, about the time of the settlement at Marietta. The Indians had a white prisoner whom they forced to decoy boats to the shore. A small boat was descending the river containing white people, when this prisoner was placed under the bank to tell those in the boat that he had escaped captivity, and to come to the shore and take him in. The Indians were concealed, but the big Indian stuck his head out from behind a large tree, when it was pierced by a bullet from the gun of the steersman of the boat. The Indians cried out Wetzel, Wetzel, and fled. This was the last ever seen of the prisoner. The Indians returned next day and buried the big Indian, who, he said, was twenty inches taller than he was, and he was a tall man.

When Chester BISHOP was digging a cellar for Asahel BOOTH, at Clarington, many years ago, he came across a skeleton, the bones of which were removed carefully by Dr. Richard KIRKPATRICK, and from his measurement the height of the man when living would have been 8 feet and 5 inches. It is probable that these were the bones of the big Indian of whom the Indian at Jackson's told me. He further told me that there was lead on Eagle, Buckchitawa and Captina creeks, but the veins were thin."

Some twenty years ago an image of hard grey stone was found in front of Clarington, where the river bank had caved in. The body was that of a wild animal, something like a lion, with a human head and face. It stood on a stone pedestal about 8 by 10 inches, and was 8 inches in height, and smoothly finished.

The township contained about 28 square miles or sections, seven of which, along the river are fractional, and is formed of parts of original townships 2 and 3, of range 3, and townships 3 and 4 of range 4. The township is bounded on the east by the Ohio river, on the south by Ohio township, on the west by Green and Adams townships, and on the north by Switzerland township. Sunfish creek passes through the township from west to east, emptying into the Ohio river at Clarington. The principal branches of this creek in the townships are Negro run on the north and Fish-pot run on the south side of the stream. Opossum creek, which empties into the Ohio two or three miles below Clarington, drains the southern part of the township.

The farm where the village of Clarington is now situated, was willed by James HENTHORN to his son William, and by him sold to David PIERSON, who, in 1882, laid out the town and called it after his daughter Clarinda, now the wife of Thomas FORD, of Woodsfield. Elam PATTERSON and David PIERSON kept the first store, about the year 1815. The first and only post office in the township was established in 1824 at Clarington -- Asahel BOOTH, postmaster, and, for many years, was known by the name of "Sunfish."

The population of the town, in 1880, was 915; of the town and township, 2,377. Clarington is the most extensive business point on the Ohio side of the river between Bellaire and Marietta. Daily communication is had with Wheeling, by steamboat.

The first church in the township was build by the Baptists, in 1820, on Opossum creek, about one mile from its mouth. Rev. Joseph Junior SMITH, a pious, zealous and somewhat eccentric minister, officiated at this and all the other churches of that denomination in the county, for many years. His eccentricities led him to be very hostile to other denominations, and especially to Methodists. The congregations to which he ministered were scattered over a large territory. At one time, in making his rounds, the back of his horse became very sore, and he was told by a friend that if he would get a wolf's skin and put it under the saddle it would cure it. He replied: "I don't know where to get one unless I skin a Methodist preacher."

The Methodists had preaching as early as 1802, and continuously on, but built no church until one in 1842, at Clarington. The Christians built their church, in 1841, at Clarington, but many years before held service in various places in the township.

The first mill in the township was built by Jonathan RUTTER and John VANDEVANTER about 1805-6, on Sunfish creek, about 200 yards below where is now the old Jones mill. The mill stones were of blue rock from the adjacent cliffs. A few years later John JONES built his mill on its present site, and used burrs brought from Cheat Mountain by John HENTHORN.

Mitchell ATKINSON taught the first school in a cabin on the farm of his brother Charles ATKINSON, in 1804, or '5. He soon after moved to Seneca township and taught the first school there. The first school house was built in 1815, two and a half miles up the creek on the lands of Daniel KYGER, now owned by Wm. COCHRAN. The name of the first teacher is unknown; the second was Robert F. NAYLOR. The second school house was on the Walton farm, two miles up the river from the mouth of Sunfish. The first teacher was a Mr. LITTLEFIELD. The school houses were of the class hereinbefore described.

The school statistics, for Salem township, for the year ending August 1881, are as follows: Total school money received within the year, $5,207.71. Amount paid teachers within the year, $2,404.50. Fuel and other contingent expenses, $348.88. Balance on hand September 1, 1881, $2,454.33. No. of sub-districts, 10. No. of school houses, 10. Total value of school property, $7,000. No. of teachers necessary to supply schools, 10. Average wages of teachers per month, $29.00. No. of different pupils enrolled within the year, 381.

The school statistics of Clarington for the same time, are as follows: Total school moneys received, $2,137.74. Amount paid teachers, $1,015. Fuel, etc., #237.53. Balance on hand Sept 1, 1881, $885.21. No. of school houses, 1. No. of rooms, 3. Value of school property, $6,000. No. of teachers, 4. Average wages of teachers, $31.00. High school, $55. No. of different pupils enrolled, 190.

The first marriage in the township was that of James HENTHORN, junior, and Nancy BOMAN or BOWEN, in the Spring of 1800. Wm. HENTHORN married Susan PARROTT, of the opposite side of the river, in 1807; and the records of Belmont county show that John PREBLE and Susan ARCHER, were married December 2, 1804, by David RUBLE, justice of the peace. The writer has no information as to the birth of the first child in the township.

Of the first person buried in the township the following facts have been gleaned: Mr. GOODHUE, a few years ago, in excavating a barn cellar, disinterred the remains of a woman. Inquiry was set on foot as to whose they were. Research brought to light that about the time of the first settlements, a family by the name of GRIMES, who were moving further west, stopped to rest a few days with a family of settlers at the base of the hill between Ward's run and the gravel plane. During their stay a daughter took sick and died, and was buried in the woods on the level above. This was about seventy-seven years ago. On this same gravel plane are three small mounds, evidently the burial place of a race of people now extinct. These ancient and simple relicts of the dead are in striking contrast with the beautiful cemetery, within few yards, dotted with finely chiseled monuments to the memories of those resting beneath.

The records of Belmont county show that between 1803 and 1808, John VANDEVANTER was paid $3.00 for a panther scalp, and Charles ATKINSON, David BOWEN, James ARCHER and Seth WARD were paid for wolf scalps.

The present Justices of the peace for the township are: Michael BOUGHNER, R.E. TILFORD, and J.W. Mc KIMMIE; and the present mayor of Clarington, R.E. TILFORD. Number of pounds of cheese manufactured in the township in 1881, 88,910.


Centre Township

Page 214, paragraph 3

On account of the burning of the court house, in 1867, there are no records in the probate office of early marriages. Amongst the first were those of Joseph GADD, one of the first auditors of the county, and a Miss HENTHORN; Daniel O'CONNOR and Rebecca CARROTHERS, and Elijah PATTERSON and Sarah MINOR. Probably the first child born in the township was Sarah JEFFRIES, a daughter of Elias and Deborah (JACKSON) JEFFRIES, September 25, 1816. These were given from the best information now obtainable, but not very reliable.


Ohio Township

Page 215, paragraph 1, 2, 5

The settlements in this township were made at quite an early period in the history of the territory now within the limits of the county. The time is fixed by the fact that Samuel Mc ELDOWNEY, now deceased, was born on Buckhill bottom, in 1794, and was four years old when his father, Robert Mc ELDOWNEY, moved to Fishing creek bottom, in Wetzel county, West Virginia, then Ohio county, Virginia. The next settlement was made on what is known as Frail farm, below Baresville. There was an improvement there with a log cabin upon it, into which Abner MARTIN moved about the year 1802. Buckhill bottom is so called in the United States surveys, made in 1801. A very large buck was killed near a mound on this bottom at an early date, by Wm. HENTHORN and a Mr. TWIBLE -- reported to have weighed 387 pounds -- hence the name, as is believed, Buckhill. Jacob OLLUM is thought to have been the next settler, followed soon after by BAILEY, SCOTT, STARRITT, SMITH, KNIGHT, BARE, NICHOLSON, HICKS and others; but the order in time of settlement is not known. The names of these settlers were obtained from Mrs. Anna HOWELL -- herself one of the first settlers in the county -- who died several years ago at the advanced age of 106 years. The history of the first German settlements is given elsewhere herein, to which the reader is referred.

No information is at command by or from which any extended history can be given of the churches in the township. There are three or four Methodist Episcopal churches, two or more Lutheran, and one Mennonite, or Baptist Church. The first German Sabbath school was organized by Father Jacob TISHER, in 1825, and in 1837 he organized the first English Sabbath school in Baresville. He was the first missionary for the German work of the Methodist church, and traveled in this and the adjoining counties. His circuit was nearly two hundred miles in extent, which he made, on foot, once every four weeks. He was very successful in organizing societies, and laid the foundation of a work now embraced in many circuits and stations. He died some years ago at the advanced age of 86 years.

Near where Abner MARTIN settled, now on te Albert BRIDGMAN farm, was a large flat rock, near the base of the hill, upon which were impressions or prints of human feet -- large and small -- tracks of deer, bears, turkeys, birds, squirrels, raccoons, etc. The tracks were very plain and distinctly shown in the rock. Our informant supposes them to be the work of Indians. Some years ago, a Mr. John HENTHORN, needing some building stone, used up the rock for that purpose.


Adams Township

Page 219, paragraphs 3, 4

Who were the first settlers of the township is not now certainly known. Of the five brothers ATKINSON -- Charles, James, Mitchell, William, and Isaac -- who settled at the mouth of Sunfish, about the beginning of the century, or before, Charles and James soon removed farther up the creek, James on the bottom, where the town of Cameron now stands, and Charles, the father of Stephen ATKINSON, senior, on the farm now owned by Michael BOUGHNER. Mitchell and Isaac removed to Seneca township. William is believed to have been, at one time, a resident of the territory now within the limits of Adams, but afterward removed to Greene, on the farm now owned by Christian ROTH. Other early settlers are GILBERT and Mitchell Mc COY, Elias CONGER, senior, Christian HARTLOINE [sic], Philip NOLAND, Robert NORRIS, Samuel BRACY, the MELOTTS, POWELLS, and others whose names have escaped the memory of the writer.

The town of Cameron was laid out in 1837, by James ATKINSON, and called Jamestown. It is situated on Sunfish creek, near the eastern border of the township. Stephen ATKINSON made an addition to the town next to the creek. At this place was established the first post office, called Rocky Narrows. The names of the town and post office were subsequently changed to Cameron. Some years ago there was a post office at the mouth of Piney, called Young's Mill, but the location changed to Taylor's store, and the name changed to Irish Ridge.

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Extracted by Richard Henthorn
Posted: March 29, 2011