Welcome to
"Linking the Past with the Present for the Future"

Miami Valley Vignettes
by George C. Crout

Preface Dedication and Contents


Two hundred years ago, the Miami Valley was the land where the West began. It was the frontier with Indians lurking in the deep forests. As the valley developed, the great city of Cincinnati became the Queen City of the West. The Miami Valley grew into the fabled land, or as Abraham Lincoln described it, "the garden spot of the world." Few river valleys have as rich a history as the Miami Valley of Southwestern Ohio.

In this small book we can only introduce the reader to some of its most famous people, its historic sites, and those events which were to influence our state and national development. In the Miami Valley much of the historic past is still with us, preserved in its museums, on its markers, in many of its old buildings and landmarks. A road map will guide the modern explorer to these places.

A vignette is a simple little sketch, and this book is a collection of such historical highlights of our valley. Perhaps the reader will want to dig deeper into area history. Your librarian can direct you to old county histories, which are rich in detail, and to local history books and brochures, and even to manuscript materials. A few general series of books have been written, such as Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio, Memoirs of the Miami Valley, and the History of Southwestern Ohio: The Miami Valleys (1964) by William E. and Ophia D. Smith.

This publication was written for the general reader, as well as the student of Ohio and American history, where it can serve as a resource in area schools. It was prepared as a public service by the Middletown Historical Society, whose motto is "Linking the Past with the Present for the Future." This book by our Curator, George Crout, was designed with this purpose in mind.


This book is dedicated to the inhabitants of the 14 counties which make up the beautiful Miami Valley. The counties are listed below in alphabetical order. Each county name is followed by its year of organization and county seat, with a brief note as to the origin of the county's name.

Butler - 1803 - Hamilton. General Richard Butler fought through the Revolutionary War, and later took part in St. Clair's ill-fated campaign against the Indians in western Ohio, where he was killed in 1791.

Champaign - 1805 - Urbana. The name is derived from the French word which means "level plain" thus indicating the French influence on early Ohio settlers.

Clark - 1817 - Springfield. Gen. George Rogers Clark's campaign against the Indians and their English allies, resulted in the western lands becoming part of the U.S. under the Treaty of Paris.

Clermont - 1810 - Batavia. The name is from the French word which means "clear mountain" or it may have come directly from the French town itself, Clermont.

Clinton - 1810 - Wilmington. Clinton was a Revolutionary War general who gave up his command in 1777 to become New York's first Governor. This soldier-statesman went on to become Vice President of the U.S.

Darke - 1816 - Greenville. Present at Braddock's defeat, Gen. William Darke was captured during the American Revolution, but exchanged in time to be at Yorktown. He aided in the retreat of St. Clair's forces in 1791.

Greene - 1803 - Xenia. A military leader when the Revolution began. Gen. Nathaniel Greene took part in the siege of Boston, and was in command of one company at Trenton, N.J., Christmas, 1776.

Hamilton - 1790 - Cincinnati. Alexander Hamilton had served as a general in the Revolution, and helped in obtaining the adoption of the Constitution. He then served in Washington's cabinet.

Logan - 1817 - Bellefontaine. Serving under Gen. Clark, Gen. Benjamin Logan helped secure the West during the Revolution, then in the years following helped to subdue the Indians along the frontier.

Miami - 1807 - Troy. Named in tribute to the brave, and intelligent Miami Indians, who inhabited the area along the Miami Rivers, before being driven out by the Shawnee tribe.

Montgomery - 1803 - Dayton. In 1775 Gen. Montgomery led a military expedition to Canada and succeeded in capturing Montreal, but he died in the attack on Quebec, becoming the first American general to be killed in the Revolution.

Shelby - 1819 - Sidney. General Isaac Shelby began his service during Lord Dunmore's War. After the Revolution he was elected Kentucky's first Governor, and as such led his men to the aid of Harrison during the War of 1812.

Preble - 1808 - Eaton. Gen. Edward Preble won his place in history as Commander of the naval attack force on the pirates of Tripoli in 1804, thus gaining world respect for the new nation. He had served in the American Revolution.

Warren - 1803 - Lebanon. As a doctor, General Joseph Warren helped organize forces for the American Revolution, and made speeches of protest over the Boston Massacre. As General, his service was short, for he was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill.


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Last Update  04/17/2007

1982 Middletown Historical Society