HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
BY JOHN W. OGDEN.
(RETURN TO THE TITLE PAGE)
IN periods like the present, when, from the increase in population and wealth, from the general diffusion of knowledge, and the invention and use of machinery in all departments of industry, the opinions, habits and pursuits of men are constantly changing, it is not without interest to look back on the early settlement of the land, and from the simple annals of the hardy pioneers learn something of the hardships they endured, and trace the changes which have taken place, not only in the appearance of the country, but in the habits and conditions of the people. The popular stories of Boone and Kenton, of Carson, of Lewis and Clarke, and other adventurous trappers and scouts, invested the unknown region with a strange interest. Distance and romance have given an added charm to the story. Under the illusions of fancy we are apt to blend the true with the false, to lose sight of the dangers and hardships encountered, and see only the successful issue. We are led to believe and look back on the early settlement of the Northwest Territory as one of Arcadian simplicity, but abounding in adventure; whose hardy pioneers were unlearned in books, but bold, independent and true; that Job of Uz had no greater flocks and herds than the settler could count from his cabin door, and that the exuberance of the soil made agriculture a matter of secondary importance. We are prone, under such conditions, to compare the free and untrammeled life in the wilderness, where every man was a law unto himself and common dangers and common wants made men considerate and helpful, with the more conventional present, where the iron hand of law scarcely restrains the vicious, and daily labor becomes necessary for daily sustenance, and in the estimate of the two extremes accept as true that " the former days were better than these."
It is our purpose in this paper to endeavor to describe, so far as we may be able, that portion of the State of Ohio now called the county of Champaign, when first opened to the rifle and ax of the pioneer; to make a hurried sketch of some of the men conspicuous in the early annals of the neighborhood; to make some note of those who, as the years went on, bore an active part in the development of town and country, and to contrast the various changes which have taken place from time to time to this present.
While the same general characteristics underlie the early settlers of the then West and Northwest, now the States of the Interior, yet each had its local hero and adventurer. The men who first tried the wilderness were poor, hardy, strong and hospitable. Their strength made them self-reliant, and their poverty never closed the cabin door. They were fitted by nature to build up a new country, and, restless under the conservative influences of old and well-established communities, fled from what men call the luxuries and security of civil ized life to try the dangers and discomforts of a new country. If the motives
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were inquired into why the exchange was made which not only insured unusual hardships and disappointments, but too frequently was attended with all the barbarities of savage warfare, the answer would perhaps be to promote their success in life; but underneath and beyond this was the love of forest life, the freedom from conventional restraint, the hunter's paradise.
Accustomed to look discomfort and danger in the face, the earliest adventurers soon learned to regard them as matters not worthy of anxious thought. Their wants were few and easily supplied. It is doubtful whether the Indian, in his best condition, is a match for the white man, and it became a second nature to suspect and circumvent the savage. Too often, indeed, the latter was treated with cruelty and treachery. Promises and pledges made on the part of the Government and authorized agents of the great land companies were unfulfilled. Aggressions and misunderstandings easily led to acts of violence, in the absence of which the early settlements might have been spared the infliction, and the country the recital, of the atrocities which attended the Indian warfare.
Much was known of Ohio long prior to the Revolution of 1776; but the first settlements in the State were made soon after the termination of the Revolutionary war and were composed largely of soldiers and their families, impelled, in some cases, by the spirit of adventure, and not infrequently to seek compensation for their services, which the General Government was unable to pay except in lands and land grants. A large portion of Ohio, prior to the Revolution, formed part of the domain of Virginia, under charter from King James. At the close of the war, she ceded to the United States this territory, reserving, however, all the lands lying between the Little Miami and Scioto Rivers, in Ohio, for the purpose of paying the Virginia soldiers who served in the war of the Revolution. A portion of Champaign was included in this reservation, and the road known as the "Ludlow line " passing north and south through Salem and Union Townships-marks one of the western lines of the reservation.
The reports carried back, from time to time, of the mildness of the climate, fertility of the soil, the abundance of game and future prospects of the country, soon turned a tide of emigration to the new El Dorado. Many of the early settlers came originally from Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, but many of them moved directly from Kentucky to Ohio. These pioneers of civilization and their immediate descendants braved the dangers of a comparatively unknown region, and endured the toils and trials unavoidably incident to a country totally without improvement. The present generation knows little or nothing of what it costs in time, in patient endurance and in deprivation of every comfort, to change the wilderness into a fruitful field, and to lay broad and sure the foundations of the prosperity that crowns the State of Ohio to-day.
The population of the Northwest Territory increased so rapidly and to such an extent that before the close of 1798 it contained 5,000 free male inhabitants, of full age, and eight organized counties-this being the requisite condition, under the ordinance of 1787, to entitle the people to elect Representatives to a Territorial Legislature, and on the 24th day of September, 1799, the two Legislative Houses were organized.
On the 30th day of April, 1802, an act of Congress was passed authorizing the call of a convention to form a State Constitution, which convention met at Chillicothe on the 1st day of November next following. On the 29th of the same month, a Constitution for State Government was ratified and signed
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the members of the convention. It was. not referred to the people for their approval, but became the fundamental law of the State by the act of the convention, and by this act, Ohio became one of the States in the Federal Union.
The first General Assembly, under the State Constitution, met at Chillicothe March 1, 1808, and, among other acts, created eight new counties, among which. were Greene and Franklin. Champaign County was formed out of these in March, 1805.
By the act of the Legislature, passed February 20, 1805, the boundaries of the county were described as follows: "Beginning where the line between the eighth and ninth ranges, between the Great and Little Miami Rivers, intersects the eastern boundary of the county of Montgomery; thence east to the eastern boundary of the county of Greene, and to continue six miles, into the county of Franklin; north to the State line; thence west with said line until it intersects the said eastern boundary of the county of Montgomery; thence to the place of beginning."
In the year 1817, Logan County, on the north, and Clarke, on the south, were established, and reduced Champaign to its present limits. From Howe's "History of Ohio" we learn that prior to the act of the Legislature defining the boundaries of Champaign, the first court for the then county of Greene, which, with Franklin, included Clarke, and extended to the lake, was held in a lob house, containing but one room, built by Benjamin Whiteman, five and one-half miles west of Xenia, near the Dayton road. On the 10th of May, 1803, the court for organizing Greene County was held in this log cabin, then the residence of Peter Borders. The first business of the court was to lay off the county into townships, and, after being in session one day, it adjourned for the trial of causes at the same place, August 2, 1803. One of the grand jurors was Joseph C. Vance, who afterward took an active interest in the settlement of Champaign County proper. The Judge having given his "charge" to the jury, "they retired out of the court " to a small but a short distance off to make solemn inquest of crimes committed. The records do not show there was any business for the grand jury when they retired, but they were not long permitted to be idle. It was characteristic of the times that personal disputes and difficulties be settled "by combat," and, as courage and strength were com mon, personal encounters were the rule. Black eyes and bruised faces not infrequently closed quarrels and " gave satisfaction."
Among the incidents of the day, it is narrated that Owen Davis, the owner of a mill hard by, charged some one with stealing hogs. The insult was resented. and a fight was engaged in at once, in which Davis came off victor. He then went into court, and, addressing himself particularly to Benjamin Whiteman, one of the Associate Judges, said, "Well, Ben, I've whipped that d-d horse thief -what's to pay-? " and threw down on the table a buckskin purse containing $8 or $10, from which " pay " was to be taken, and added, for the benefit of His Honor, "Yes, Ben, and if you'd steal a hog, d-n you, I'd whip, you too."
The grand jury examined seventeen witnesses, and found nine bills of indictment-all for affrays committed after the court was organized. All parties engaged pleaded guilty and were fined, Davis' share in the transactions of the. day costing him $8. The incident is characteristic of the times, and illustrates subordination to the civil authority, while exercising the right to settle private disputes in their own way, without the "law's delay." Joseph C. Vance. one
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of the grand jurors at the court named, was an expert surveyor and "laid out " the town of Xenia. When Champaign was partitioned from Greene and Franklin, he removed to Champaign, and, in his capacity as surveyor, laid out the town of Urbana, and was appointed the first Clerk of the Court for the new county.
By the third section of the act which fixed the limits of the county, the house of George Fithian, in Springfield, was made the temporary seat of justice, at which place the first term of the Court of Common Pleas was held. The officers of the court were Francis Dunlevy, President Judge; John Reynolds, Samuel McCullough and John Runyan, Associate Judges; Arthur St. Clair, Prosecuting Attorney; John Dougherty, Sheriff; Joseph C. Vance, Clerk. The first grand jury was composed of Joseph Layton, Adam McPherson, Jonathan Daniels, John Humphreys, John Reed, Daniel McKinnon, Thomas Davis, William Powell, Justis Jones, Christopher Wood, Caleb Carter, William Chapman, John Clark, John Lafferty, Robert Rennick. Among the first petit jurors were Paul Huston, Charles Rector, Jacob Minturn, James Reed, James Bishop and Abel Crawford.
At the May term of 1809, the names of Frederick Ambrose, Simon Kenton and John Guthridge appear in the panel of grand jurors. Edward W. Pearce was a resident attorney, and supposed to have been the first. Moses B. Corwin, Henry Bacon and James Cooley were among the early attorneys. Most of these men were conspicuous in the future growth of the county, and the descendants of many of them may be still-recognized in the politics and industries of the county.
The first trial at the first term of the court, September, 1805, was the case of the State against one Taylor for threatening to burn the barn of Griffith Foos, of Springfield. At the first session of the Supreme Court, held in 1805, the Judges were Samuel Huntington, Chief Justice, and William Sprigg and Daniel Symmes, Associate Judges. The first case tried was the State against Isaac Bracken, Archibald Dowden and Robert Rennick, for assault on an In dian named Kanawa Tuckow. The defendants pleading " not guilty," and taking issue " for plea, put themselves upon God and their country." The jury was composed of William McDonald, Sampson Talbott, Justus Jones, George Croft and others, and the accused were defended by Joshua Collett, who after ward was one of the Judges of the Supreme Court. The merits of the case are not recorded, but the fact that at that day an Indian could seek for redress of grievances before the Supreme Court shows that his white neighbors were willing to do him justice. The defendants were acquitted. Since that date, not only the Supreme Court of Ohio has taken a step forward in the trial of causes, but the Indian is an anomaly-neither a person nor a chattel!
Col. William Ward, who held a patent for Section 23, laid out, the same year, the town, which he called Urbana, Joseph C. Vance being surveyor. A square in the center of the town was donated for public uses. In the mean time, a log house on Lot No. 174, on East Court street, was made the seat of justice, and used as a court house until 1814, when a brick building was erected in the center of the public square. The lot was afterward the property and residence of Mr. Duncan McDonald, and to-day is occupied by the extensive livery stable of Mr. Samuel H. Marvin.
In the first year, also, the county was subdivided into Springfield, Salem and Madison Townships, which continued, with other subdivisions, until 1817, when Clarke and Logan Counties were organized. The other subdivisions were
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Bethel and Zane, in 1806; Harmony, 1807; Union, 1810; Moorfield, Concord, Wayne, Urbana and Lake, 1811 ; Pleasant, German and Boston, 1812; Jefferson, 1813; Miami, 1814; Goshen, Jackson and Harrison in 1815, and Pike in 1816. The present boundaries of the county were established in 1817, making, from the townships then created, Johnson in 1821, Adams in 1827, and Rush in 1828-in all, the twelve townships which now comprise the county. The township of Boston, now in Clarke County, contained the site of an Indian village called Piqua, and claimed to have been the birthplace of Tecumseh. Some log cabins were built, and the place. called Boston, with the expectation of building up a town ; but the cabins have disappeared and the sloping hill is covered with a growth of Indian corn.
DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTY.
Champaign County lies on the fortieth parallel of latitude, south of the middle of the west half of the State. It is bounded on the north by Logan and Union Counties, on the east by Union and Madison, on the south by Clarke, and on the west by Miami and Shelby. The boundaries are, for the most part, sectional lines. The general shape is that of a rectangle, about twenty-three miles in length, east and west, by an average width of fifteen and one-half miles, north and south, including an area of 356 1/2 square miles, or 228,160 acres.
The name is significant of the general character of the country. In a few places in the county it is hilly, with occasional undulations or rolling hills; but as a whole the surface is level, covered at an early day with timber, and made up of plains and prairies. The county is well watered and drained by permanent streams. The greater part is drained by Mad River, which rises among the hills in the eastern portion of Logan, and, crossing the northern line of Champaign, at nearly the middle point, flows, in almost a straight course, southward, crossing the southern boundary at a point about two miles further west than the point of crossing the northern boundary. The stream is ordinarily a quiet-running creek, where boys cast their hooks for sunfish and minnows ; but occasionally, after heavy rains, it rises suddenly, and, with a mad and foaming current, overtops its banks and asserts the propriety of its name. The settlement and drainage of the country have diminished the volume of water and the full flow, which at the first characterized all the water-courses of the country ; yet its tributaries keep a steady supply, and numerous flouring-mills and mill sites mark its banks.
Mack-a-cheek, the Indian name for the Indian towns of that locality, rising in Logan County, flows almost parallel with Mad River for several miles, and makes a junction with the latter about a mile below the northern line of Concord Township. King's Creek, which is understood to have taken its name from the death of an unknown Indian, who was killed on the banks of the stream, not far from where Kingston stands, and whose appearance gave indications of being a chief-rises in the northeastern part of the county, two miles southward from Mack-a-cheek, and flows about one and a half miles north of the middle of the county.
The eastern edge of the county, through the Darby and smaller tributaries, drains into the Scioto on the east, and the waters of a still narrower strip, on the western border, flow into the smaller branches of the Great 'Miami. The
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largest tributaries of Mad River on the west are Glady, Muddy, Nettle and Spring Creeks, which, with their innumerable branches, cover Harrison, Concord and Mad River Townships with a net-work of smaller streams. The southeastern townships drain into Buck Creek, which, though rising in Madison County, flows across the southeast corner of Champaign into Clarke County, emptying into Mad River.
The general form of the surface of the county is that of a broad, shallow trough, lying north and south, Mad River flowing through the middle, draining the main body of the land, while the edges shed their waters eastward to the Scioto and westward to the Miami. The western border is table-land, cut by tributaries of the Mad River and Miami. In the southeast, prairie predominates, and the highest and roughest lands are found in Wayne and Rush Townships.
In the higher lands, the soil is composed of drift-clays and gravel ; in the bottoms. gravel, deep under-alluvium and peaty matter.
Sugar, beech, oak and hickory give character to the forest. In the northwestern townships and Mad River bottoms, formerly poplar trees, in great numbers, abounded, which have been almost exterminated, and, from the demands for black walnut for distant markets, this timber is also being rapidly destroyed. The white cedar of the swamps and the red cedar of the hills are the only conifers native to the county. In the southeast part of Mad River Township is a large tract known as the "Cedar Swamp," once a favorite resort for botanists and others on holiday excursions. The tangled brakes and the treacherous ground are being changed by a system of drainage, and the indications are that in a few years the last vestige of the cedar, like the poplar and walnut, will be destroyed.
The wealth of the county consists in the productive capacity of its soil. Grass and grain are grown with equal facility and abundance, and have given to the county a mixed husbandry, to be found successfully employed on almost every farm. Statistics, to be hereafter given, will indicate the variety of products and the fatness of the soil.
EARLY CONDITION AND PROGRESS.
Prior to the settlement of the county by the whites, the Indians had undisputed possession, and Champaign was the common hunting-ground of the Ottawas, Shawnees, Wyandots. Senecas and other tribes, many of whom, long after farms had been opened, made their annual visits to their former haunts. On the waters of the creeks, farmers still point out the places of wigwams of Tecumseh, Capt. Lewis, Capt. Johnny, Cornstalk, Logan, Molunkee, La-wil-a-pie, Capt. Gray Eyes, Dr. John, Big Turtle, Little Turtle, Jocco, Beattise, Lumpon-the-Head and others, some of whom took a conspicuous part in subsequent troubles. A white woman, called Mollie Miser, who had been captured in childhood, usually accompanied some of them in their trading expeditions, and was said to be a most excellent interpreter. The first settlement followed up the water-courses, for the same reasons, probably, that led the Indians along the same course. In the valleys and along the water-courses, were to be found their favorite hunting grounds. Portions of the county were a dense forest, while other parts, other than the low, flat prairies, were clear of trees, excepting occasionally a clump of jack-oaks. These were called "the barrens,' and were found in various parts of the county. Some of them have since been covered
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with a growth of black and red oaks, which in turn are dying out, and, if not molested, will probably make way for some other species of timber. The timbered lands in the vicinity of the streams were in many places wet and marshy, and the woods abounded in ponds. Cooper, in his Leather Stocking Tales, gives currency to the thought that the treeless portions of the country were "cursed " and barren, and the notion prevailed to a considerable extent that these places were unproductive, a notion confirmed to a degree by the peaty character of the soil in the low prairies. A wide extent of these comparatively dry and untimbered lands was found in Salem, the eastern portion of Urbana and the south ern section of Union Township. In Salem, the land still is known as "the barrens," but is to-day considered by resident farmers as comprising the garden spot of the county. The " settling-up " and cultivation of the country interfered with the annual burnings of the grass, a common practice both with the Indians and the first settlers. This practice kept down the growth of young timber, which took a vigorous growth as soon as the fires ceased to be kindled, which, with the second growth of timber where trees had been removed or prostrated by storms, was called the "fallen timber." Mr. Abram Powell, one of the early residents of Champaign, thinks there is now more timber in the county than there was in 1805. Judge William Patrick, no mean authority on all questions of fact from that day to this, is of opinion that the forests have been materially diminished.
It is in dispute whether Pierre Dugan or William Owens was the first settler. Dugan was a Canadian Frenchman, who adopted a savage life, married a squaw, and followed hunting and trading. He lived in a cabin at the head of the prairie, still called "Dugan," not far from the homestead of the late James Long. He is known to have lived there prior to 1800. William Owens settled in Mad River Township in the year 1797, on what was afterward known as Owen's Creek, about two miles south of where Westville now stands. The farm on which the late Henry Blose lived comprised most of his lands. Capt. Abner Barrett settled on what is known as Ruffin's Ridge, but subsequently moved to a cabin in Union Township, on the ridge bordering the lower section of Dugan Prairie, the corner of his land being within a few rods of the Ludlow line. The farm now belongs to and is occupied by James Young. The Captain was a tall, active and muscular man, with a stentorian voice, and was fond of telling the fright given to a six-foot. Kentuckian, who had stopped with him for the night, by the unexpected entrance of Tecumseh, who, seeing the man's fears, patted him encouragingly on the shoulder, calling him a big baby. Later in life, he was injured in one leg by an accident in crossing a frozen stream, which compelled him to walk with a. crutch or cane. He was an early riser, and his voice might have been heard any morning calling the hired hands and boys to work. The home of the Captain overlooked the stretch of beautiful prairie in which the town of Mutual is built. Along this prairie, and near and south of the town, John Runyon, John Lafferty, Jacob Minturn and Justis Jones settled, and not long after Henry and Jacob Van-Meter, Nathaniel Cartmill, Benjamin and William Cheney and William McLain settled farther down the valley, then and still called Buck Creek, near what is now Catawba, a station on the railroad connecting Springfield and Columbus. Parker Sullivan, John Pence, John Taylor, Nathan Fitch, Jacob Pence, Ezekiel Arrowsmith and William Kenton, a brother of Simon Kenton, settled along Mad River, west and northwest of Urbana. John Reynolds settled in the western part of Mad River Township about the year 1803. He afterward removed to Urbana, and for many years took an active part in all
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public enterprises and whatever concerned the interest and prosperity of the town and county. He early saw the importance of drainage, and to him is chiefly owing the construction of the water-course known as the " Dugan Ditch," which drains the middle and upper portions of Dugan, by a circuitous route, now through the western section of the city, then far beyond the city limits, into a branch known as Deer Creek. Mr. Reynolds built the first frame house in Urbana, on the corner of what is now the Weaver House. He afterward built the frame building in the southeast side of the public square, now occupied as a photograph-room and grocery store, in which he lived. and built on the west and adjoining to the same, a brick house on the corner, which he used for a store. This house has been greatly enlarged and improved, and now occupied by Messrs. Hitt, White & Mitchell.
Jacob Johnson and Matthew Stewart settled on King's Creek, and Arthur Thomas about four miles north of Urbana. The latter, who was a Captain in the war of 1812, was ordered, with his company, to guard the public store at Fort Findlay. On his return, having lost his horses, he and his son separated from the rest of the company to hunt for them. They encamped at the Big Spring, near Solomonstown, about five miles north of Bellefontaine, and the next morning were found killed and scalped. Their bodies were brought to Urbana by a deputation of citizens.
John Thomas settled about three miles south of Urbana, about where Mrs. Newell now lives, and had a distillery up the creek, between where the Newell and Donavan houses now stand. At this date it is impossible to obtain the names of all who settled in the county prior to 1805. Besides those already named were Felix Rock, John Logan, John Owen, John Dawson, John Guthridge, Jonathan Long, Bennet Taber, Nathan Fitch, Robert Norse, Jacob Pence and others.
Fabian Engle opened the first store on the Springfield road, about half way between the present Newell and Dallas farms.
The town, as was before stated, was laid out in 1805. The first house erected was a log cabin built by Thomas Pearce, on Market space, immediately north of what was once the old market house, now the city hall building, and east of South Main street. This cabin was built before the town was laid out. He was the father of Mr. Harvey Pearce, of Urbana, who, in an active and vigorous old age, still manages the labor on a large farm. He afterward built a cabin on the knoll, about three hundred yards east of East Lawn street, which was subsequently used as a schoolhouse, being the first school, and taught by Peter Oliver and William Stephens. Hard by, Mr. Pearce cultivated a cornfield many years, which subsequently contained a race-track, where horses were shown and scrub-races run.
Among the first settlers of the village were Joseph C. Vance, George Fithian, Samuel McCord, Zephaniah Luse, William H. Fyffe, William and John Glenn, Frederick Ambrose, John Reynolds, Simon Kenton, Edward W. Pearce. Shortly after, were Anthony Patrick, William McDonald, John Hurd, James Dunlap, Daniel Helmick, John Miller, Henry Weaver, Bethuel Sample, Adam Mosgrove, Joseph Carter, William Smith and the Bells, who were distinguished, one from the other; by their several occupations.
As this distance of time from the early settlement of the town and county, it is difficult to fix the line indicating when the pioneer settlement ceased to be such and a new order prevailed. The Pioneer Association recognize and accept as members all who are over fifty years of age, resident of the county. This.
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under existing circumstances, is well enough; but if the rule be carried forward from year to year, that which is now considered the distinguishing feature of the pioneer or old settler-that is, the settlement of the primeval country and preparing it for the civilization of to-day is totally lost sight of. The association is called by a misnomer, and becomes, instead, an historical society, for the collection of incidents and current history during the lifetime of its members. If an arbitrary line were to be drawn, it would range somewhere about the time when the invention and use of machinery in the workshop and on the farm separates the two periods. Making this the dividing line brings it down to a comparatively recent date ; yet it has been only within the past forty years that the marked and material changes have been made. Taking the pioneer rule as the test, it will include the names of many who cast their lot with the "unfenced" village and country-who, by their talents and labors, have materially contributed to make them what they are. Among these in the town may be named James Cooley, John H. James, Israel Hamilton, John McCord, Joseph White, Lewis Crain, William C. Keller, Henry Weaver and others who may hereafter be mentioned in the sketch of Urbana in its earlier days, and the names of Edward L. Morgan, Ezra -Read, Joel Reed, Charles Lincoln, Anson Howard, Simon Earsom, John Earsom, Solomon Vause, Absalom Fox and many others, who located in the country and opened up the farms. These men and the sons of those who located prior to the war of 1812 were co-workers.
If a criticism were made of the character of the people of that generation and of that which preceded it, the common verdict would be that they were men and women of rare good sense, and with an utter contempt for all sham. There might occasionally be found a Roariny Ralph Stackpole, or a Hetty Gordon, delighted with her personal charms. These made the exception. Books and culture were, for the most part, limited to the clergy and lawyers, who were treated with a deference which the present day repudiates. Yet schools, at an early day, commanded general attention.
Rye and corn whisky was a common drink, and it was an almost universal practice "to treat." Men kept a bottle on the shelf or in the cupboard-yet delirium tremens was unknown. Both town and country taverns kept an open bar, where liquor was dispensed at retail, and public opinion had not pronounced so decidedly against the practice as in latter days. It is commonly admitted that before chemistry had manipulated the "mash " with drugs, in order to produce the largest yield from a given amount of grain, or an article called whisky and other spirituous liquors were compounded in the laboratory of the chemist, or rather in the cellar or outbuilding of the manufacturer, from ingredients furnished by the druggist and town pump, the spirits then distilled were comparatively pure. There is no question that the drink would, and often did, intoxicate; but it has been a mooted point whether drunkenness was as common then as now, and whether the country, in this respect, has not been going on from bad to worse. The best thing which can be said for the distilleries is that they afforded the best and almost the only market for the surplus grain, and usually paying several cents per bushel for corn more than could be obtained elsewhere. This advantage was offset by worse evils. So far as the producer was concerned, he always wanted a " little in the house," and the wagon-load of corn could be hauled back home in a jug; and, with the best of whisky, the character of the crowd that congregated at the distillery showed the character of the business.
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While Indian corn was the leading agricultural product, and for many years the main dependence of the settlers for bread, wheat was grown very early in the settlement of the country. Between 1803 and 1808, three grist-mills were started in the county on King's Creek, about a mile apart. These were a tub mill by Arthur Thomas, a tub-mill by Joseph Petty, and an overshot mill by John Taylor. Adam Kite also had an overshot mill on Mad River, where Parker Bryan's mill now is. To Kite's and Taylor's mills were attached saw-mills. In the same section of the county and on Nettle Creek, a little later, other tub-mills were started. At this day, it is hardly necessary to describe an overshot mill, though in the changes which have been effected by the "turbine " wheel and steam, the "overshot " is being done away with, and probably will be as lit tle known to the next generation as the tub-mill is to this. The "tub " was a simple modification of the overshot, the wheel, instead of turning on a shaft, moved by the overshot of water from the head race into troughs or buckets constructed in the circumference of the wheel to which was geared the machinery for grinding, turned in a tub, horizontally, with a spindle placed vertically, the lower end of the spindle turning in a socket in the bottom of the tub, and the upper end in a cross-beam. The water was let into the tub by means of a sluice or mill-race, which, impinging against flanges or buckets in the rim of the wheel, turned the machine and found escape through an opening on the opposite side of the tub into a "tail-race." Midway between the tub and the cross-beam, the buhr-stones were placed, revolved by the motion of the wheel in the tub. In the earlier settlements, the mill-stones were manufactured out of the common limestone rock of the country, and not until years afterward were they displaced by the French buhr. In nothing are we more impressed with the singular adaptability of the people of that day to the stress of surrounding circumstances. A mechanical ingenuity supplied a remedy for almost every difficulty. It may have been, and probably was, rude and rough, and not to be compared with the finished article made and dressed by machinery, but it answered the purpose for which it was intended. We see this same inventive faculty and adaptability to the condition of things in the preparation and making of the clothing and other articles of domestic use. In grinding, the miller did not consider it always necessary to stay at the mill. The corn was placed in a box or hopper, carefully covered to protect it from the blue-jays and sap-suckers with which the country abounded, opened the sluiceway and went to his corn-field or elsewhere to work, to return about the time the grist was finished, and perhaps to find several at the mill, waiting their turn.
EARLY MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
The young men and women of to-day have very little conception of the mode of life among the early settlers of the country. One can hardly conceive how great a change has taken place in so short a time. In no respect are the Habits and manners of the people similar to those of sixty years ago. The clothing, the dwellings, the diet, the social customs, have undergone a total revolution, as though a new race had taken possession of the land.
In a new country, far removed from the conveniences of civilization, where all are compelled to build their own houses, make their own clothing, and procure for themselves the means of subsistence, it is to be expected that their dwellings and garments will be rude. These were matters controlled by sur rounding circumstances and the means at their disposal. The earliest settlers
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constructed what were termed "three-faced camps," or, in other words, three walls, leaving one side open. They are described as follows: The walls were built about seven feet high, when poles were laid across at a distance of about three feet apart, and on these a roof of clapboards was laid, which were kept in place by weight poles placed on them. The clapboards were about four feet in length, and from eight inches to twelve inches in width, split out of white-oak timber. No floor was laid in the " camp." The structure required neither door, window nor chimney. The one side left out of the cabin answered all these purposes. In front of the open side was built a large log heap, which served for warmth in cold weather and for cooking purposes in all seasons. Of course there was an abundance of light, and, on either side of the fire, space to enter in and out. These "three--faced camps " were probably more easily constructed than the ordinary cabin, and was not the usual style of dwelling-house. The cabin was considered a material advance, for comfort and home life. This was, in almost every case, built of logs, the spaces between the logs being filled in with split sticks of wood, called " chinks," and then daubed over, both inside and outside, with mortar made of clay. The floor, sometimes, was nothing more than earth tramped hard and smooth, but commonly made of "' puncheons" or split logs with the split side turned upward. The roof was made by drawing in the top, gradually to the ridge-pole, and, on cross-pieces, laying the "clapboards," which, being several feet in length, instead of being nailed, were held in place by poles reaching the length of the cabin, laid on them, called weight-poles. For a fire-place, a space was cut out of the logs on one side of the room, usually about six feet in length, and three sides were built up of logs, making an offset in the wall. This was lined with stone, if to be had conveniently, if not, then earth. The flue or upper part of the chimney, was built of small split sticks, two and a half or three feet in length, carried a little space above the roof' and plastered over with clay, and, when finished, was called a " cat-and-clay chimney." The door space was also made by cutting an aperture in one side of the room of the required size, the door itself being made of clapboards secured by wooden pins to two cross-pieces. The hinges were also of wood, while the fastening consisted of a wooden latch catching on a hook of the same material. To open the door from the outside, a strip of buckskin was tied to the latch and drawn through a hole a few inches above the latch-bar, so that on pulling the string the latch was lifted from the catch or hook, and the door was opened without further trouble. To lock the door, it was only necessary to pull the string through the hole to the inside. Here the family lived, and here the guest and wayfarer were made welcome. The living-room was of good size, but to a large extent it was all-kitchen, bedroom, parlor and arsenal, with flitches of bacon and rings of dried pumpkin suspended from the rafters. In one corner were the loom and other implements used in the manufacture of clothing, and around the ample fire-place were collected the kitchen furniture. The clothing lined one side of the sleeping apartment, suspended from pegs driven in the logs. Hemp and flax were generally raised, and a few sheep kept. Out of these the clothing for the family and the sheets and coverlets were made by the females of the house. The country abounded with the weed called Spanish-needle, which seemed to grow everywhere and in immense quantities. Instances are given where this plant was pulled and treated precisely as flax, making a beautifully white and substantial goods. Over the door was placed the trusty rifle, and just back of it hung the powder-horn and hunting pouch. In the well-to-do families, or when crowded on the ground floor, a loft was sometimes made to the
218 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
cabin for a sleeping-place, and the storage of "traps " and articles not in common use. The loft was reached by a ladder secured to the wall; generally the " bed-rooms " were separated from the living-room by sheets and coverlets suspended from the rafters, but, until the means of making these partition walls were ample, they lived and slept in the same room. Rev. Hugh Price, in the former part of his ministry at Buck Creek, was sent by his synod as a missionary to one of the "waste places," where the people lived after this primitive fashion, used to give an amusing account of his embarrassment and the expedients he resorted to get into the bed assigned to him in the presence of the family and a bright light from the fire-place filling the room. The morning ablutions were made at the trough near the spring, sometimes from a pewter basin on a stump near the door.
Familiarity with this mode of living did away with much of the discomfort, but as soon as the improvement could be made, there was added to the cabin an additional room, or a "double log cabin " was constructed, being substantially a "three-faced camp," with a log room on each end and containing a loft. The furniture in the cabin corresponded with the house itself. The articles used in the kitchen were as few and simple as can be imagined. A " Dutch oven " or skillet, a long-handled frying-pan, an iron pot or kettle, and sometimes a coffee-pot, constituted the utensils of the best-furnished kitchen. A little later, when a stone wall formed the base of the chimney, a long iron "crane" swung in the chimney-place, which on its " pot-hook " carried the boiling kettle or heavy iron pot. The cooking was all done on the fire-place and at the fire, and the style of cooking was as simple as the utensils. Indian or corn meal was the common flour, which was made into "pone," or "corn-dodger," or "hoe-cake," as occasion or variety demanded. The "pone " and the " dodger " were baked in the Dutch oven, which was first set on a bed of glowing coals. When the oven was filled with the dough, the lid, already heated on the fire, was placed on the oven and covered with hot embers and ashes. When the bread was done, it was taken from the oven and placed near the fire to keep warm while some other food was being prepared in the same oven for the forthcoming meal. The "hoe-cake " was prepared in the same way as the dodger that is, a stiff dough was made of the meal and water, and, taking as much as could conveniently be held in both hands, it was molded into the desired shape by being tossed from hand to hand, then laid on a board or flat stone placed at an angle before the fire and patted down to the required thickness. In the fall and early winter, cooked pumpkin was added to the meal dough, giving a flavor and richness to the bread not attained by the modern methods. In the oven from which the bread was taken, the venison or ham was then fried, and, in the winter, lye-hominy, made from the unbroken grains of corn, added to the frugal meal. The woods abounded in honey, and of this the early settlers had an abundance the year round. For some years after settlements were made, the corn meal formed the staple commodity for bread.
The clothing of the early pioneers was as plain and simple as their humble homes. Necessity compelled it to be in conformity to the strictest economy. The clothing taken to the new country was made to render a vast deal of service until a crop of flax or hemp could be grown-out of which to manufacture the household apparel. The prairie wolves made it difficult to take sheep into the
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 219
settlements, but, after the sheep had been introduced and flax and hemp raised in sufficient quantities, it still remained an arduous task to spin, weave and make the wearing apparel for an entire family. In summer, nearly all persons, both male and female, went barefoot. Buckskin moccasins were commonly worn. Boys of twelve and fifteen years of age never thought of wearing anything on their feet, except during three or four months of the coldest weather in winter. Boots were unknown until a later generation. After flax was raised in sufficient quantities, and sheep could be protected from the wolves, a better and more comfortable style of clothing prevailed. Flannel and linsey were woven and made into garments for the women and children, and jeans for the men. The wool for the jeans was colored from the bark of the walnut, and from this has come the term "butternut," still common throughout the West. The black-and white wool mixed varied the color, and gave the "pepper-and-salt " color. As a matter of course, every family did its own spinning, weaving and sewing, and for years all the wool had to be carded by hand on cards from four inches broad to eight to ten inches long. The picking of the wool and carding was work in which the little folks could help, and at the proper season all the little hands were enlisted in the business. Every household had its big and little spinning wheels, winding-blades, reel, warping-bars and loom. These articles were indispensable in every family. In many of the households of Champaign, stowed away in empty garrets and out-of-the-way places, may be still found some of these almost forgotten relics.
The spinning-wheels, and probably other articles connected with their use, were made as late as 1834, by Joseph Clark, who lived in the little frame house on the west side of Locust, near Court street, where, some years prior to the time stated, he did a thriving trade in this line. The preparations for the family clothing usually began in the early fall, and the work was continued on into the winter months, when the whir of the wheels and the regular stroke of the loom could be heard till a late hour of the night. No scene can well be imagined so abounding in contentment and domestic happiness. Strips of bark of the shellbark hickory, thrown from time to time in the ample fireplace, cast a ruddy, flickering light over the room. In one corner, within range of the reflected light, the father is cobbling a well-worn pair of shoes, or trying his skill at making new ones. Hard by, the younger ones are shelling corn for the next grist. The oldest daughter whirls the large spinning wheel, and with its hum and whir trips to the far side of the room, drawing out the thread, while the mother, with the click of the shuttle and the measured thump of the loom, fills up the hours-the whole a scene of domestic industry and happiness rarely elsewhere to be found.
It is well for "Young America " to look back on these early days. It involved a life of toil, hardship and the lack of many comforts, but it was the life that made men of character. Champaign County to-day has no better men than the immediate descendants of those who built their cabins in the hazel brush and by patient endurance wrought out of the wilderness the landmarks for a prosperous commonwealth. One of these writes that "the boys were required to do their share of the hard labor of clearing up the farm, for at the time the country now under the plow was in every direction heavily timbered or covered with a dense thicket of hazel and young timber. Our visits were made with ox teams, and we walked or rode on horseback or in wagons to 'meeting.' The boys `pulled,' `broke' and 'hackled' flax, wore tow shirts and indulged aristocratic feelings in fringed `hunting shirts ' and coon-skin caps; `picked'
220 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
and 'carded' wool by hand, and 'spooled' and 'quilled ' yarn for the weavin till the back ached."
Industry such as this, supported by an economy and frugality from which there was then no present escape, necessarily brought its own reward. The hard toil made men old before their time, but beneath their sturdy blows they saw not only the forest pass away, but the fields white with the grain. Change and alteration were to be expected, but the reality has distanced the wildest conjecture, and, stranger still, multitudes are still living who witnessed not only the face of nature undergoing a change about them, but the manners, customs and industries of a whole people almost totally changed.
In a preceding portion of this sketch we have given an outline of the "lay" of the county, taken mainly from the geological report issued by the State. By reference to that description of the county, the reader will readily infer that, although covering but a small area of territory, compared with other counties, few, if any, possess finer agricultural advantages. In the earlier settlement of this section, ponds, marshes and swamps abounded where to-day are found fertile and cultivated fields. The low and flat places were avoided for the higher grounds, not only on account of the wetness but for sanitary reasons. The proximity of a spring, also, had much to do with the location of the cabin; but in the selection of places for the erection of other buildings, convenience was the ordinary test. The corn-crib, made of rails or poles, and covered with clapboards or prairie hay, as convenience suggested, was as apt to be in close proximity to the "front door " as at the rear of the building or near the stable. The latter was as primitive as the country. In the matter of stables and corn-cribs, very little improvement was made until long after material changes had been made in the dwellings, and we wonder, at this day, at the want of consideration shown not only in the general arrangement of these outbuildings, but of many things connected with the household work which now are considered of prime importance. Agricultural implements were, at the first, necessarily rude, and the agriculture of corresponding character. Even had such a matter been known, there was little need for "scientific " agriculture. The soil was new and productive. It was a question simply of home supply, and for many years the markets within reasonable distance scarcely repaid the labor of hauling. The methods and implements employed fully answered the purposes for which they were intended.
The first substantial inclosures were constructed of rails, in the form still used, called the "Virginia rail " or worm fence, in a new country, with abundance of timber, the cheapest, most substantial and durable fence that may be built. After the sod was broken, the ground was mellow and plowed with oxen. The plow in common use was a long wooden one, somewhat after the shape of the plow now in use, with an iron sole and point and an iron cutter. The immigrant brought his plow with him, but subsequently they were made by a man named Wesley Hughes, in Salem Township.
If the field was too full of stumps and roots, the mattock and hoe were required to do good service, and the field was planted to corn. The corn was dropped by hand in which work the girls commonly took part and was covered and cultivated with the hand-hoe. Many farmers as late as 1810 followed the same method. After that date, the horse-hoe or shovel-plow had begun to
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 221
be used, and gradually worked its way into general use, to mark out the rows and cross-furrows for the " dropper " and to follow after to cover the seed; and finally, with the two-shovel plow, or "double-shovel," drove the hand-hoe from the cornfield the horse, with the changes in implements, superseding the ox. Invention has kept pace with the demand for better and improved machinery. After the lapse of eighty or one hundred years, the science of corn-raising that is to produce the maximum yield per acre at the least expense is still in its infancy. Though great changes have been made in modes of planting and culture and in the style of the implements used, it is questionable whether larger corn crops are raised than were produced fifty or sixty years ago. Mathematically, the " breaking," or "bar-shear " plow, is perfect. Preferences are made for different manufactures, but the preference arises mainly from use in a soil for which a plow may be specially adapted. The future will probably show material changes in methods, rather than in the form of the machinery. The past ten years have made great changes in both respects. To-day, save in the cutting," "shocking " and " husking," the use of machinery enters into every process. Invention has come to the help of the farmer, as it has come to all other industries, and lifted from his life the drudgery of toil; yet it is a matter for surprise that none of the great labor-saving agricultural implements have been invented by farmers.
We have used the term "corn," instead of maize or Indian corn, as being the word in common use to designate the latter-named grain. The kind usu ally planted was an eight-rowed variety, called the Harness corn; but the "Hackberry," a rough-capped dent-corn, and the " calico," a spotted or various-colored species, were planted; but there was little pains taken to prevent the corn" mixing," and the result was a "mixed multitude." No special pains were taken to ascertain the quantity raised to the acre; but the estimate is that the product ranged in good seasons from fifty to seventy-five bushels.
In the cultivation of wheat, greater changes have perhaps taken place than in the planting and gathering of corn. The land was plowed the same as for corn, and harrowed with a wooden-toothed harrow, or smoothed by dragging over the plowed ground a heavy brush, weighed down, if necessary, with a stick of timber. It was then sown broadcast, or by hand, at the rate of, about a bushel and a quarter to the acre, and "harrowed in" with the brush. Though corn-meal, baked in the shape of pone-dodger or hoe-cake, was the main reliance for bread, and continued to be for many years, yet wheat was raised at an early day. The kind usually sown was a red wheat, and went by the name of red chaff. There was no classification as regards quality or freedom from foreign seeds and dirt into first, second or third class.
Occasionally, a field would be grown producing what was called "sick wheat," so named from its tendency to cause vomiting. Various devices were adopted to obviate this, but none of any avail; but it was commonly understood that the best thing to be done with it was to convert it into whisky. We have been unable to ascertain whether the "sick-wheat " was the product of a particular variety of wheat, or from certain localities, from the condition of the undrained soil, or made its appearance generally the same year. It has been described as differing little or none from the wheat now grown, except in the appearance of a red spot on the grain or an indication of sprouting. Some have claimed that. it was simply malted wheat. Whatever the cause, it has totally disappeared. The harvest of 1875 yielded a grain which some of the old settlers said was identical with the sick wheat of fifty years ago. That year was attended with
222 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
heavy and continuous rains. Thousands of bushels in the county were not cut. A large proportion of the wheat harvested sprouted in the shock, and a large part of this, when thrashed and ground, was unfit for bread, and, in some cases, the unground grain was refused by the hogs.
The wheat harvest ripened in the earlier part of July, and farmers expected to be pretty fairly in the field by the 4th of the month. The implement used was either the sickle or cradle, and, not infrequently, both in the same field. The sickle was at the first the only instrument; but by 1820, the cradle had begun to be in common use. The former, almost identical with the "grass-hook " now in use, has been so completely superseded by later inventions that one is rarely to be seen except in the cabin of the old settler. The stalks of wheat were grasped in the left hand,. and cut by drawing the knife close to the hand. The result was generally a "pretty close shave," and few middle-aged farmers of to-day can be found whose little finger or the lower part of the hand does not show the ugly scars received from the sickle teeth. When a sufficient quantity was cut to make a good-sized sheaf, it was bound and thrown aside, to be afterward placed in "stooks " or shocks, twelve bundles or sheaves making a stook, and "capped " in the same manner as now. The sickle was gradually exchanged for the " cradle," which came into general use about the years 1825-30.
The cradle was a scythe fastened to a frame of wood, with long, bending teeth or strips of wood, for cutting and laying the grain in swaths. The "reaper " has well-nigh as effectually displaced the cradle as the latter did the sickle. Life on the farm necessarily compels the husbandman to be a "jack-of all-trades," and there were many farmers over the county who could not only make a tub or a barrel but the frame work and fingers for the cradle. Jacob Gardner is the first one of whom we have any knowledge who made the making and repairing of cradles a regular business. Mr. Gardner lived on Court street, below North Main, and had his shop in the back part of his lot. He still occupies the old premises, broken with the infirmities of age, and rarely ventures out, unless to meet with his old Masonic brethren, of Harmony Lodge, with whose history and prosperity he has been long identified.
There were very few farmers who did not know how to swing the scythe and cradle, and there was no more pleasant picture on the farm than a gang of work-men in the harvest-field, nor a more hilarious crowd. Three cradlers would cut about ten acres a day. One binder was expected to keep up with the cradle. Barns for the storage of the unthrashed grain are a comparatively "modern invention," and, as soon as the shock was supposed to be sufficiently cured, it was hauled to some place on the farm convenient for thrashing and feeding and there put in stack. The threshing was performed in one of two ways-by flail or tramping with horses, generally the latter. The flail was used in stormy weather, on the sheltered floor, or when other farm-work was not pressing; the thrashing by tramping, commonly in clear weather, on a level and well "tramped " clay floor, or, in later days, if the space was sufficiently large, on the barn floor. The bundles were piled in a circle of about fifteen to twenty feet in diameter, and four to six horses ridden over the straw. One or two hands turned over and kept the straw in place. When sufficiently tramped. the refuse straw was thrown into a rick or stack. and the wheat cleared by a "fanning mi , or, sometimes, before fanning-mills were introduced, by letting it fall from a height of ten or twelve feet, subjected to the action of the wind, when it was supposed to be ready for the mill or the market
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HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 225
The next step was to get the wheat to market. At a very early day in the raising of wheat, the acreage sown was small, and fifteen bushels to the acre was considered a good return, and the immigration into the county gave a home mar ket for the surplus raised. This, however, did not continue many years, as each year added to the number of producers, and, as early as 1830, the hauling of wheat and other products of the farm to distant markets was the general practice. Sandusky, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati were the centers of trade for this section ; Dayton a little later superseding Cincinnati, owing, probably, to the supposed advantages of better roads and time saved, as well as extensive mills and breweries and enterprising grain-dealers. The "national road " was not completed through the State until some years afterward. The custom was for several farmers to go in company. The roads were heavy and full of marshy places, and the frontiersman's skill with the ax, and ingenuity in "fixing up "a disabled wagon, were always in requisition. When heavy loads were hauled, it was not unusual to take relays of horses, with provender for the trip, the exchange of horses being made at about the halfway house on the road. Teamsters carried their provisions with them, and camped out wherever nightfall overtook them, or, if corn and hay taken for the trip were consumed, to turn into the yard of one of the inns to be found along the line of all the great thoroughfares, "for man and beast." As small as the tavern fares were, the prices of wheat, barley and clover seed were insufficient to justify any expenses for travel that might be avoided, hence the teamster carried with him his food and some rough bedding. From 1830 to 1840, and perhaps later, the Salem Township "barrens " raised heavy crops of fall barley, which were hauled to the breweries or grain-dealers in Dayton. The last few years have hardly averaged a hundred acres to the county.
Laborers were abundant, and the farmer had little or no difficulty in supplying himself with "hands," either for the season or for an emergency. Almost every one could swing the cradle or scythe, or perform any other work in the harvest field. Before the introduction of the reaping machine, expert hands from settlements in the northern counties would go to some of the lower counties, and continue along with the ripening grain on their return trip. Journeymen and others working at trades in the towns, would also go to the country in harvest and take a hand in the field. The rule was, not only with the hired laborer but with the farmer and his boys, to be at work with the early light. The eight and ten hour rule did not enter into the arrangement. A day's work on the farm was the labor that might be performed between "sun and sun," and this was understood and accepted on the part of employer and employe, though it was usual to perform the "chores " after the return from the field, making an additional hour or two.
There was no fixed price for produce or stock. Judge John Taylor, whose father settled in Mad River Township in 1808, says, "the first purchase his father made of corn was a few bushels only, and cost 50 cents a bushel, and, at the same time, paid $12 for a cow and calf, and $5 for a brood sow. The market place was Cincinnati, and it took eight days to make the trip. I took a load containing eight barrels of flour and sold to a merchant named Ruffner, at the rate of $1.25 a barrel, and received for the load two barrels of salt." The time is not stated, but must have been about the year 1815. Making the usual estimate of five bushels of wheat to the barrel of flour, gives the price of wheat to be 25 cents per bushel, less the hauling to Cincinnati. He also adds, "that in the winter of 1815, he and Emanuel Metz hired to John Pence and John Norman to manage
226 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
and drive teams, attached to rough mud-sleds, which were loaded with flour to be delivered in Wahpokenetta; and in the next summer (1816), his employers built boats to carry the flour down the Auglaize River to old Fort Defiance, thence down the Maumee to the lake and into Canada, and in the venture lost both time and money." "The price of labor was 50 cents a day, which was also the wages of a hand in the harvest field. A good farm hand could be hired from $8 to $10 a month." In 1830, wheat hauled to Dayton sold for 37 1/2 cents a bushel. In 1879, the average price for the year was $1.07.
The swine of the early settlers, compared with the hogs of 1880, would present as wide a contrast as it is possible to conceive. Whatever the breed may have previously been or called, running wild, as was customary, the special breed was soon lost in the mixed swine of the country. They were long and slim, long-snouted and long-legged, with an arched back, and bristles erect from the back of the bead to the tail, slab-sided, active and healthy; the " sapling-splitter " and " razor back, °' as he was called, was ever in the search for food, and quick to take alarm. He was capable of making a heavy hog, but required two years or more to mature, and, until a short time before butchering or marketing, was suffered to run at large, subsisting mainly as a forager, and in the fall fattening on the "mast." Yet this was the hog for a new country whose nearest and best markets were in Cincinnati and Baltimore, to which places they were driven on foot. Persons then, as now, engaged in the purchase and driving of swine or cattle as a special occupation, and, by means of trustworthy agents, visited distant sections to buy up large droves. Judge John Reynolds, in connection with his other enterprises, was also a stock-dealer. It was not uncommon to see a drove of hogs driven into the public square to be weighed, preparatory to starting them on their long journey. As each porker was caught, it was thrust into a kind of leather receptacle, commonly the harness breeching, which was suspended to steelyards. As soon as the hog was fairly in the breeching, the whole was lifted from the ground, and thus. one by one, the drove was weighed and a minute made of each, and, with a pair of shears, a patch of bristles was cut from the hindquarters as evidence of the fact that the pig had been weighed. Two or three days' drive made the hogs quiet enough to be driven along the highway without trouble, moving along at an average gait of eight to ten miles a day. Much difficulty was experienced in keeping together in herds the hogs bought in distant and sparsely-settled neighborhoods, where they were but little handled and rarely fed. The highways, even when well-opened, led through hazel brush and fallen timber, and even clown to a late day, rarely fenced on both sides. Every strange sight and sound gave an alarm, and the hogs scattered in every direction, to be gathered together again at their former haunts. This difficulty was obviated, we are informed, by Mr. John Earsom, an old settler, who was engaged in collecting hogs from distant settlements into one drove, by enticing them into a pen and then running a "stitch " through the eyelids and securing by a knot. Thus blinded, the hogs seemed instinctively to keep the road, and once started could easily be driven by a person on horseback. Two or three days' drive made them comparatively quiet and tractable, and, reaching their destination a clip of the scissors or knife made all things right again. Another pioneer adds to this statement that, in order to catch the bogs, shelled corn was trailed from the brush into a strong rail pen, having a "slip-gap." As soon as the hogs were in the pen, the gap was closed, and, by means of a long pole with a hook on the end. which was made to catch behind the fore shoulder of the leg, the hog was drawn to a convenient. place; a strap with a slip-noose, which was
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 227
placed just behind the tushes of the upper jaw, drew the animal to the desired spot, when the stitches were made without further trouble and the brute then released.
Almost every farmer raised a few hogs for market, which were gathered up by drovers and dealers. The delivery of hogs began usually in September, and the business was carried on past the middle of winter. The price ranged in an early day at about $1.25 per 100 pounds, though at times running up to $3.25 or $3.50, with a fair margin after driving to Cincinnati or Baltimore. About 1840, the hog trade was brisk and speculation ran high. Mr. Andrew Wilson, Jr., then about twenty-two years of age, made a specialty for several years of buying up and driving herds of swine to distant markets, and was understood to have realized a handsome fortune in the trade, as fortunes then were counted, which afterward was lost in wilder speculation. Judge John Taylor [elsewhere spoken of in this sketch, about the same time was supposed to be hopelessly insolvent in consequence of some pecuniary ventures, but, as might have been expected of an old pioneer, he disregarded the importunities of his friends to avail himself of the law touching insolvent debtors, and entered the field as a buyer and drover of hogs. One or two seasons enabled him to pay the old score and lay the foundation for the competence of an honored old age.
In no stock of the farm have greater changes been effected than in the hog. From the characteristics of this wild animal, long-legged, slab-sided, roach-backed, muscular, tall, long, active and fierce, it has been bred to be almost as square as a store box, quiet as a sheep, taking on 250 pounds of flesh in nine or ten months. The swine no longer grows to be a hog, but goes to the butcher at not over a year old, and is a "pig." They are now ranked into distinctive breeds, which, so far as Champaign is concerned, has mainly narrowed to two the Berkshire and the Poland-China in the breeding of which the county seems to be the dividing line between the north and south parts of the State.
In cattle and horses, Champaign for many years has claimed a high grade. Ex-Gov. Vance, in his association with the public men of the county, met with those who were taking an active interest in the improvement of stock, and at an early day brought into the county thoroughbred short-horns and horses. The result encouraged others to make like importations, and in a short time the breeding of thoroughbred stock-of horses, cattle, sheep and swine-was made a specialty by many. Of short-horn breeders, honorable mention may be made of Charles Lincoln, Rowland C. Moulton, Parker Bryan, Samuel Cheney and others ; while farmers in every section of the county, engaged in breeding cattle for market, owned and kept a thoroughbred animal for use. Thirty to forty years ago, the breeding of cattle for feeding was carried on more extensively than to-day. The competition by reason of the occupation of immense tracts of the unoccupied Western territory, by persons owning immense herds of cattle, which may be fatted and shipped to market at four years old, at an average cost of $4 each, and the discrimination of railway companies in freights against the "local," or intermediate shipper, is rapidly driving the raising of fat cattle, as a business, out of. this section. The discriminations made against dealers living along the line of a railroad, and in favor of great railroad centers, and the rebates made to shippers at certain shipping points, the tendency of which has been, and is, to operate in the interest of capital and against the small dealer more certainly than the competition furnished by Texas and the Western Territories, are gradually undermining this important trade.
228 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
Whatever temporary advantage the policy pursued may give, we may reasonably hope that the pressure of public sentiment, or the force of a national law, may compel equitable rates of transportation on the part of an organization which threatens to be the overshadowing monopoly of the nation.
Under the act of the General Assembly of the State to authorize the organization of the residents of any county or district into societies for the improvement of agriculture, the required number of citizens met in Urbana in 1838, and in accordance with the act, organized the "Champaign County Agricultural Society." Unfortunately, the early records of the society have been lost, or, more probably, none were ever made, and the first minutes we find of its transactions date 1856.
It is difficult now to give the names of all who were directly concerned in the meeting called for the purpose of adopting a constitution and electing officers, and the proceedings of the first annual exhibit. Among those who took an active interest at that time were James C. Smith, John H. James, Philander B. Ross, Joel Funk, Joseph C. Brand, Lemuel Reynolds, A. F. Vance, John Thompson, Ed L. Morgan, William Patrick, Samuel Humes, Absalom Fox, Newton Harr, John Kenaga, James A. Nelson, William McDonald, Abram Herr, Dr. Adam Mosgrove, James Rawlins, Perry G. Madden, Jesse Phillips, R. M. Woods, Matthew Stewart, J. Pence, D. Loudenback and many others from all parts of the county. Mr. William Vance was elected President, and John H. Jones, Secretary, William Ward and Samuel Keener, Vice Presidents, Smith Minturn, Treasurer, and John Reynolds, Abram Showers, Isaac Smith, John Enoch and Henry Van Meter, Managers. The first annual fair was comparatively an insignificant display of the stock and agricultural products of the county; but few fairs have been held since more productive of substantial good or which have elicited more general and enthusiastic interest. The horses and stock lined the fence on North Main, beyond the town limits, and the Court House yard was covered with the varied products of the farm.
Since that day, county agricultural societies have been organized throughout the State.
Champaign, in addition to the competition resulting from the associations of the counties adjoining on every side, has also found an active and enterprising competitor in a district fair, organized and conducted under private auspices, and holding their annual exhibit at Mechanicsburg, in Goshen Township. This association is entitled: "The Central Ohio Fair Association," a more detailed account of which will be found in the record of Goshen Township.
A general description of the physical geography of the county has already been given, in which notice was taken of the quantity and waste of timber. Many localities which a hundred years ago were bare of trees, have since been covered with a dense forest. The western portion of the county still retains a heavy growth of beech and other trees, the primeval forest but slowly and surely making way for the plowshare. Scarcely a division of the county can be found where the second growth, or " fallen timber," has not appeared. The barrens of Salem indicate a second growth. A story is told of a man who " entered " at the land office a tract of land lying in. Salem, who afterward, learning that it was in the barrens, exchanged it for a tract of woodland, hardly worth a quarter of its value. On the Mechanicsburg pike, near the old St.
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George's Chapel, where Mr. James Fulton lives, and along through that quarter, was an open "barren " country, all of which was afterward covered with forest trees, of which large fields remain still. On the lower section of Dugan, on the farm lying at the junction of the Ludlow road and the Milford pike, the clumps of timber back some distance from the road have sprung up within the past fifty years. On the other hand, there has been a vast waste of timber, a hundred fold greater than that of eighty years ago. Then there was an immense superabundance, and the difficulty was how to get rid of it, and in its stead make a fruitful 'field. To-day, the forest trees have a specific value, and the harvest goes on for the money that is in it, taking no thought of restoring the waste by a new growth, or of protection from storms or protecting growing crops. The theory that the denuding the land of its forests tends to diminish the rainfall and in the end impoverish the land, is not confirmed by the statements of Prof. Henry, of the Smithsonian Institution, after years of observation. Yet, though this be true, and Champaign still have an abundance of certain kinds of timber and to spare, still, as a matter of "dollars and cents," the present cutting joined with the total neglect of planting a new growth, the future will deem a great waste. Forty years ago, with an occasional corn-field or open plain, almost the entire road from the eastern city limits, beginning at the lands of John Kenaga and Joseph Eichelberger, was an unbroken forest to the county line; and a large part of this was unfenced. The past twenty years have cleared away many acres. The same may be said of almost every other quarter of the county. The black walnut, wild cherry and poplar were found in all sections-immense specimens of the latter in the western townships-all of which are being rapidly removed. In the woods, and along the highways, were found thickets of red and yellow wild plums, growing as large as the large domesticated blue plum of the garden, and equal to any; also a blue grape, of good size, remaining long on the vine, slightly musky in flavor, but considered a fine grape. Forty years ago, the fields abounded in wild strawberries of delicious taste and fragrance. Few were raised in gardens, or were made a special crop. The berries, compared with the fruit and varieties now found in the gardens, were small, but they were abundant, and Saturday found the schoolboy., with his tin pail, looking for the tempting fruit. The grapes and strawberries are no longer to be found. Here and there may be found a clump of wild plums, but of stunted growth and bearing a fruit inferior to that of the old settlement.
Efforts have been occasionally made to raise the wild plum, but without satisfactory results. The tree in the wild state grows in groves, and its wild nature has been overlooked. The plantings made have been single trees, and the treatment the same as other fruit trees, which may possibly explain the failures. In 1880, several bushels of wild plums were sold in the Urbana market, which shows that the " plum thickets " of the county are not altogether destroyed. The new settler fancied, and with some truth, that the highlands were the more healthful. The nearness of a spring generally dictated the place for the cabin. The latter was made from the timber growing on the ground. A clearing was then effected by chopping off the trees of the field intended for cultivation; and a larger "opening " begun by cutting a small kerf around the body of the trees, usually called the " deadening," and the neighbors, at a given time, with their oxen, met to drag the fallen logs into heaps for burning. Large portions of the county were heavily timbered, and many of these places were wet and miry. The shade trees and luxuriant growth of underbrush and
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vegetation prevented the rapid exhalation and escape of the rainfall, and the streams were kept constantly full, and the rains kept up a uniform supply. The rainfall of the past ten years will probably equal that of any decade within the previous sixty years, but the effects are of no long continuance. A drought is felt much sooner than formerly. The pent-up waters which gradually oozed from the marshy flat, or percolated through the gravelly bank, have been liberated by the destruction of the trees, the diversion of the surplus water into new and few channels, and by means of under drains, so that the rivulet in a few hours becomes a foaming brook, and the modest stream a torrent. There is as much effort and expense put forth to-day to get rid of the surplus water as the early pioneers employed to get rid of the trees, and a recent agricultural journal gravely asserted but a short time since that in the next century there will be more anxiety and labor employed to take the tile up than were had in putting them in place. Whatever the future may do, the course adopted is drying the land.
With the beginning of the century, there were no roads in Champaign. For years, what were called roads were little better than wagon tracks through the forest, and these were supposed to follow the Indian trails. The highway was wide enough for all necessary purposes, but, down to 1840, or later, the roads were execrable. The undrained country partly explains the cause. At certain times, when the ground was frozen and worn smooth, or dry and solid, no roads were better ; but the proceeds of the road laws, in money or labor, were totally inadequate to keep them even in tolerable condition at the time most wanted, and only within recent years has it dawned into the minds of our road-makers that a good drainage is essential to a good road-bed. Fifty years ago, in every section of the county, the "corduroy " was found on every road. Corduroy was the name given to the roads made of rails placed crossways, through the soft and miry places. Occasionally the heavy teams, at this day, driving along the pike eastward from Urbana, will cut through the graveled crust and tear up fragments of the hidden "corduroy." At the present time, few, if any, counties of the State can boast better roads. A network of graveled pikes intersects every part of the county. These, in the aggregate, amount to 405 miles in length, and at a total cost of over $800,000, constructed on petition of parties interested in the proposed improvement, and paid for in installments, running through five years, by assessments on the real estate supposed to be benefited.
Of the history of Champaign County, as associated with the Indian tribes, little need be said. We have elsewhere spoken of the principal chiefs and tribes which made this section, prior to its occupation by the whites, and for some time after permanent settlements had been made, a hunting-ground and trading-point. Wigwams were found over the county, and the sites, and possibly the ruins. or many of them, are still pointed out. The Mack-a-cheek towns were in the borders of Logan, and the Piqua or Pickaway towns, in Clarke County. We are not aware that the territory was claimed by any one tribe.
The county presented a good hunting ground, with an abundance of deer, wild turkeys. black bear and small game. An occasional deer or flock of wild turkeys was found as late as 1835. For some time after the close of the war of 1812. Indians made their annual hunting-camps in various parts of the county, remaining long enough to lay in their usual supply. In a few years.
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they were removed to reservations, or the supply of game became so diminished that better opportunities were furnished in more unsettled parts of the State. The Miamis, Wyandots and Shawnees were the tribes whose parties most frequented this section. Several councils were held in Urbana, at an early day, and generally in a grove, a little distance beyond the old graveyard at the upper end of Locust street. At these councils, distinguished chiefs of the Shawnee and Wyandott tribes were generally present, conspicuous among whom was Tecumseh. The life of this extraordinary man is closely identified with the history of Ohio, and no sketch would be complete without a particular reference to him. He was born not far from the city of Springfield, about 1768, at the Indian village called the Pickaway towns, which were destroyed by Gen. Clarke, in August, 1780. A town named Boston was afterward laid out on the same grounds. In 1795, he was declared chief. He then lived on "Deer Creek," near the site of Urbana. Deer Creek is supposed to be the small stream flowing through and beyond the western part of the city, fed by the springs and rivulets from the higher grounds, and at one time a good-sized brook or creek. The following year, he returned to Piqua, and, in 1798, went to White River, Indiana. and from thence, in 1805, to a tract of land on the Wabash, given to him and his brother, commonly known as " the Prophet," by the Pottawatomies and Kickapoos. He was now about thirty-seven years old. and from this time forward became conspicuous in the councils and conduct of the Indians. He is described to have been about five feet and ten inches in height, stoutly built and possessing great powers of endurance. In the chase or in feats of physical strength and skill, he was an acknowledged leader. His countenance was naturally pleasing, and he was said to have been generally opposed to the barbarities practiced by the Indians. In Drake's "Memoirs," it is stated he assisted in an attack on some boats on the Ohio River, near Lime stone, Ky., when he was about seventeen years of age. The boats were all captured and all in them killed, except one, who was burned alive. Tecumseh was a silent spectator, having never before witnessed the burning of a prisoner, and when it was over, expressed his abhorrence of the act. It is questionable whether the Indian, unprovoked and uninjured, would not have remained friendly and hospitable. The many instances, narrated by persons still living, of their confidence and friendly intercourse with the whites. are too well authenticated to doubt that they too often were the injured party. In the settlement of the country, they were in the way. The same supposition has prevailed wherever the Indian has been found, and the law of force has been made the rule of action in dealing with them from that day to this. The question has been, how to get rid of him, and there was a want of moral sense in the Government to deal with him as a man, with the innate rights of a man. The wilderness-all frontier settlements beyond the power of the civil authority-develops an intuitive manhood or the lowest phase of human nature. Common wants and a common humanity elevate the former, and these are they who lay the foundations of a prosperous commonwealth; the others "are ofthe earth, earthy"- "the rangers and regulators "-who live by selfishness and violence, and administer the public interests by the equities of Lynch law. Every community, whether new or old. has its lawless ruffian., and too often these were the men who exasperated the Indian into deeds of atrocity. Once on the war-path. the worst passions of his nature were roused. and he inherited the vindictive cruelties of his race. The instances of the magnanimity and hatred of cruelty on the part of Tecumseh make him the more conspicuous. The active part which Tecumseh
232 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
took in his hostilities to the white settlements did not arise solely from acts of violence. The wide-spread combination which he sought to effect had a broader purpose than retaliation for personal injuries. He was opposed to the grants of lands made by the Indians to the whites. To his clearer perceptions, the practice was fraught with evil. To prevent further surrender of their territory, he determined to unite all the Indian tribes into a league, the purpose of which should be that no treaties or grants of land should or could be made, save by the consent of the confederation. For the success of his scheme and the co-operation of all the Indian tribes in its maintenance, he saw the only protection against their dispossession and ultimate destruction by the whites, and to this end he constantly traveled, taking long and perilous journeys, and everywhere, by his matchless oratory, was successful in arousing the tribes to a sense of their common danger.
The prosecution of his purpose unavoidably led to conflict in arms. In the war of 1512, he was an active ally of the British, rendering them efficient service, but always humane in his treatment of prisoners, never allowing his warriors to wantonly murder captives or mutilate the bodies of the slain. In the summer of 1813 occurred Perry's victory on Lake Erie, when active preparations were made to capture Malden. On the 27th of September, the American army, under command of Gen. W. H. Harrison, set sail for Canada, and in a short time reached the ruins of Malden, from which the British army, under Proctor, had retreated to Sandwich. The route of Gen. Proctor led through the valley of the Thames. On the 29th, Harrison was at Sandwich, and Proctor on his retreat. On the 2d of October, the pursuit was begun and the retreating enemy overtaken on the 5th. The battle of the Thames followed on the 6th of the month. Tecumseh, who was at the head of the column of Indians, was killed early in the engagement, and his followers, no longer seeing him or hearing his voice, fled. The battle was decisive, and effectually closed hostilities in the Northwest.
The recollections of Gen. George Sanderson, who was Captain of a company in the regiment of Col. Lewis Cass, published in the records of the Western Historical Society, give some particulars of the battle and of Tecumseh. In this paper, he says he had seen Tecumseh a number of times before the war, and remembers him well. He was a man of huge frame, powerfully built and about six feet two inches in height. I saw his body on the Thames battle-field, before it was cold. In the evening, on the day of the battle, I was appointed by Gen. Harrison to guard the Indian prisoners with my company. The location was near a swamp. As to the report of the Kentuckians having skinned Tecumseh's body, I am personally cognizant that such was the fact; I have seen many contrary reports, but they are untrue. I saw the Kentucky troops in the very act of cutting the skin from the body of the chief. They would cut strips, about half a foot in length and an inch and a half wide, which would stretch like gum elastic. I saw a piece, two inches long when it was dry, which could be stretched nearly afoot in length. I have no doubt it was the body of Tecumseh; I knew him. Besides, the Indian prisoners under my charge continually pointed to his body, which lay close by, and uttered the most bewailing cries at his loss. By noon, the day after the battle, the body could hardly be recognized, it had so thoroughly been skinned. My men covered it up with brush and logs, and it was probably eaten by the wolves. Although many officers did not like the conduct of the Kentuckians, they dare not interfere. The troops from that State were infuriated at the massacre at the River Raisin, and their battle-cry
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was "Remember the River Raisin." It was with difficulty the Indian prisoners could be guarded, so general was the disposition of the Kentuckians to massacre them.
Gen. Sanderson, from whose statement the extract is made, was then a Captain under Col. Lewis Cass, was at the surrender at Detroit with his company, and with Harrison at the Thames, as a Captain in the regular army. He died at Lancaster, Ohio, a few years since, at an advanced age. The story as recited, and from that day until now currently believed, that the body of the Indian chief was flayed to be made into razor-strops, as mementoes of the battle, is too horrible for credence, and is only on a par with the barbarities tolerated by Proctor, under the weak plea that he was unable to restrain the men under his command.
The first church built in the town was a log structure, erected in 1807, in the northeastern part of the village, and, as was customary at that day, the lot on which the house was built was made the general burying-ground. In a few years, both the house and lot became too small for their intended purposes, and the same denomination erected a brick church, then considered to be of ample proportions, on the lot on the corner of Court and Locust streets. The platform on which the preacher sat was high, and approached by a flight of winding stairs on each side, and the pulpit for the use of the minister was a narrow semicircular desk, apparently too contracted for the demonstrative efforts of the pioneer preacher. All carpenter and cabinet work was made by hand, and the doors and lintels, still to be seen, give evidence of the painstaking and general finish of the work, though the pulpit presented the most elaborate workmanship. The pews were long wooden benches, with backs nearly perpendicular, uncushioned and uncomfortable, and were entered by two aisles running through the body of the building. A narrow ante-room across the south end shut off the audience-room, and on either side a stairway led to a gallery which extended on three sides of the house. Against the walls and to each of the pillars that supported the gallery, were affixed or hung on a nail a tin candlestick or socket, with a tin back, about four inches broad by eight or ten inches long, the latter intended, probably, to perform the double duty of reflector and to guard against fire. As "reflectors " they were not a continued success. The house was lighted by tallow candles-the ordinary "dip" of that time-making ten to the pound, the sexton making his regular rounds to "snuff " the wicks of the dimly burning lights. Carpets down the aisles or around the chancels were not thought of. As a rule, the older men chewed tobacco, and wooden boxes filled with sawdust, for spittoons, were provided for, or perhaps furnished by the more incorrigible users of the weed. Not only the members of the church and the more devout, but usually all, kneeled during prayers, and to this, perhaps, taken in connection with the tobacco, more than any other reason, is due the custom of men and women occupying different pews, the women usually occupying the central slip and the men the side-pews. At this day we wonder how our fathers and grandfathers were enabled to read by the light of the tallow candle, but, if the sexton did his duty in keeping the " dips " well snuffed, the candles seem to have answered their purpose.
The preacher used no manuscript or notes. The use of written sermons would hardly have been tolerated. Whatever the clergyman may have thought or known to the contrary, the congregation commonly believed that the minister,
234 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
being called of God to preach, would be endowed with power from on high, and his duty was to take no heed to what he should speak, as the inspiration he should receive would be all-sufficient for the hour. Hymn-books were very scarce, and, to supply this want, the chorister, or more frequently the minister, "lined " the hymn, reciting a stanza, or two lines, alternately with the singing. The singing was eminently congregational, and the tunes those which had been sung for generations, as " Dundee," and "Elgin," "Mear" and "Coronation," and the hymns mainly those of Charles Wesley. The choir sat in the gallery, opposite the pulpit, and not infrequently in singing a "voluntary " entertained the worshipers with one of the fugue tunes, which seem to have passed away with the performers. The old church was a shouting church, under the ministrations and preaching of Raper and Finley, Boucher, Marley and Lorraine. The responses and demonstrations were numerous and loud.
In 1835, the sleepers sustaining the floor gave indications of decay, which, together with the increasing population, suggested the expediency of building another house. Fears were aroused as to the safety of the building, and, as a house of worship, it was at once and forever abandoned."To what base uses do we come." The "old temple of worship" was converted into a carriage-shop, and to-day is used as a livery stable.
The congregation erected, in 1836, a more commodious and convenient house, on the corner of North Main and Church streets, now recognized as the First Methodist Episcopal Church, which, from time to time, has been altered and improved to suit the wants and tastes of the community. An offshoot of the first church organized a second church on Water street, and, in 1879, removed to the beautiful building, styled "Grace M. E. Church," on the corner of South Main and Market streets.
We have been thus particular in our sketch of the first church as a type of the pioneer associations. In the country, worship was commonly had in the cabins of the settlers as the "itinerant" made his circuit or a chance preacher came along. The early settlers attracted to their respective neighborhoods families and acquaintances from their former homes, who soon built up "settlements " to which were usually attached the name of the first settler or most conspicuous man of the neighborhood, and sometimes designated and known from some incident or physical formation of the country. Thus, we find the Diltz and Middleton settlements, Ruffin's ridge, the Barrens, Fort Mingo, Mount Tabor and Mount Pisgah.
These settlements generally contained a few pious persons, who were ever ready to welcome the man of God, and if need be, keep a "prophet's chamber " for their use. The result was that as soon as the little colony felt itself strong enough to build a house of worship, however rude, it was put into execution without waiting for help or pecuniary aid from a distant society. The "church erection fund," common to the churches of to-day, was an after-thought. The fact is, the frontier life not only developed individuality and brought into active life the best and worst qualities of the people, but it made them independent, self-reliant and progressive, and in a little while we find chapels at Mount Tabor, Pisgah, Saint George, Nettle Creek, Concord and other places. These early structures were small, though probably sufficient for the immediate wants of the vicinity. Camp-meetings, at an early day, supplied a recognized want and were generally attended, and, if rumors are to be trusted, the "sons of Belial " were present in full numbers. The structures were of the most temporary and rude character. but, in the absence of rain, met the necessary
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requirements, and to both saint and sinner gave a week of enjoyable rest, worship and pleasure. As the camp-meeting was a feature in the life of the early settlers, the subject may be referred to again. The log structures of the primitive days, as they decayed or became insufficient, were replaced by brick houses, somewhat more pretentious than the "hewed log," and indicative of the increasing growth in wealth and numbers, but these, again, have been replaced, in many cases, by more commodious and luxurious buildings. Saint George's Chapel, on the eastern edge of Urbana Township, near the Mechanicsburg pike, on the farm of Mr. David Sowles, for many years ceased to be used, but was a source of interest and curiosity to strangers. It served its day, and with the generation that worshiped in its narrow walls, gradually decayed, and within a few years past was torn down. For more than a generation the burdock spread its broad leaf over the door-step and in the path, and the goldenrod nodded over the lonely graves, and to-day the few rails which still protect the latter alone remind the old settler and the passer-by of what it once was. The little church at Mount Pisgah, perched on one of the highest hills in Union Township, near the pikes leading to Buck Creek Church, further down on the same ridge of hills, is still standing and occupied at stated periods for religious services. It, too, begins to show decay, and perhaps within a generation will be made to make way for a more imposing house. To-day it stands a connecting link with the past, and, like other old structures erected by the pioneers, which have been preserved, will be worthy the examination of the antiquary.
The Presbyterian society and church erected their first house of worship on the lot on which the court house now stands. The members who took an active part in this work were Messrs. Ward, McBeth, Bell, Magrew, Fyffe, Vance, McCord and others.
This house was destroyed by a tornado that crossed the county in 1830, inflicting great damage and considerable loss of life. The house was rebuilt on the site where the First Presbyterian Church now stands, on the lot directly west of the court house. This building was very much after the style of the old Methodist building on the corner of Locust and Church streets, both as to dimensions and interior arrangements. The high pulpit and stiff-backed benches and gallery were thought to be essential features in every house of worship of any magnitude. The men who took an active part in erecting the second house were William Ward, John Ward, McCord, Helmick, Hunt, McBeth, Luse, Fyffe, Vance, Magrew, Smith, Bell, McDonald, the members of other churches, and of the church at Buck Creek.
This society was rigidly Calvinistic, believed in the " Decrees," and sang Watts' psalms and hymns. The singing was not very artistic. Spasmodic efforts were made to organize and continue a choir, which, after short periods of usefulness, vacated the seat set apart for their use, and occasionally the preacher requested some one of the congregation to "raise the tune." The service of song must have been a heavy burden, both to pastor and people, and the wonder is that the Scriptural injunction °° to make melody in their hearts to the Lord " during the interval had not been adopted, both as more edifying and Scriptural than the practice in vogue. In one or two matters, however, the two congregations, representing the religious sentiments of the people, were in accord. One was an uncompromising hostility to musical instruments in a house of worship. In the eyes of these godly men and women, "a fiddle" in religious assemblies would have been considered the "abomination of desolation,"
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and he who in a catholic spirit suggested the viol or other musical instrument as eminently serviceable and necessary, was worse than " a heathen and a publican." Nor was there charity for sister churches. They assumed to stand on the same common platform, but the Methodists inserted "a plank" touching "free agency" and "falling from grace," while the Presbyterian improved his with one relating to "predestination" and the "final perseverance of the saints. "Religion was a serious business, and he who had "come out from the world," and, like Bunyan's pilgrim, had set out from the "City of Destruction to go to the Celestial City," had no business to tamper with conscience. "Thus saith the Lord" ended all controversy, and, as a rule, they were strict constructionists, as they understood the Scriptures. There could not, therefore, be much harmony between the several denominations, and doctrinal sermons were not unpopular. A favorite topic in the pulpit was the sin of dress. The curls and flounces and head-dress of fashionable display were so many snares of the devil to lead to perdition, and matters for the discipline of the church. Nor had they any weakness for flowers on the sacred desk. It was an effeminacy not to be tolerated. The Gospel was "yea and nay," and "whatsoever was more than these came of evil." The character of the one seemed built on the dogma, "salvation's free," that of the other, "repent and live." It colored their lives. The rule of faith and practice was, "Why should we keep up distinct organizations unless we adhere to our distinctive tenets?" let us not judge the men of the earlier part of the century by the standards of the latter part. In many respects they were no common men. We may criticise their ways, but Phariseeism itself will recognize their virtues, and they helped to make Ohio what it is to-day.
The society composing the first and second church erections, was not strong enough (or possibly from prudential motives as a missionary organization) to maintain itself without alliance with another society. This was effected with the Presbyterians residing in the lower part of Union Township. A house for worship was erected on the hill where the present house stands, which was afterward destroyed by fire. The first Pastor, both of the Urbana and Buck Creek churches, was Rev. James Hughes, who preached alternate Sundays at each place. He was a man universally beloved, and remembered by ma many still living for his many virtues. He was not considered a great preacher, but he was a rare good man and well qualified to build up an infant church. A more detailed sketch of this branch of the church and its early founders may be found in the notes of Union Township. The successor of Mr. Hughes was the Rev. Mr. Britch. He was an Englishman, and, it was said, a protege of Lady Huntington, under whose auspices he had been educated and sent to the Western wilds. He was a large, heavy man, with a broad, English pronunciation, nearly allied to the Scotch. He, too, continued his ministrations alternately at the Urbana and Buck Creek Churches. Many anecdotes are told of his eccentric ways and speeches. One of them was that, on a certain occasion, he announced to his congregation that he would preach in that house "on the next Sabbath, the Lord willing, and on the Sunday after the next anyhow." His residence was in Urbana, and his library kept in a store box. On one occasion a young miss whom he had reproved for her indulgence in light reading, proposed to do better if he would loan her one of the large folios she had seen on his table. The book was a large one, and held together by massive brass clasps. It proved to be a volume of Barrow's or some other sermons of that day which he loved and guarded with jealous care. The young miss cared
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nothing for Barrow or Tillotson, but had had her curiosity excited by the heavy clasps and the closing of the fly leaf to the back by many wafers-a mode of pasting papers together at that day. She was a true daughter of Eve, and had her curiosity gratified by lifting the leaf from its wafer fastenings, the only writing found on the page being, "You are a good man, but a most incorrigible beggar." The fly leaf was replaced, but the young lady never got beyond that page in the book. It has been said that his congregation verified in their acquaintance with him the truth of the criticism expressed on the fly leaf. His last sermon in the house was delivered on the day the building was destroyed, and he removed to Illinois, on one of whose wide prairies, one winter day, he was found frozen to death, sitting on the ground with his back against a tree and his saddle-bags by his side. The house was rebuilt, and the successor to Mr. Britch was Rev. David Merrill. In 1840, the two churches were able to stand alone, and the Buck Creek branch secured the services of Rev. Hugh Price. Mr. Merrill was a man of learning and rare abilities, a most genial and social companion, fell of wisdom and wit. In 1837-38, when the controversy arose between the two wings of the Presbyterian Church, called Old and New School, he was suspected of favoring the new heresy, and by stress of circumstances compelled to resign his charge. He afterward was Pastor of a Congregational Church in Vermont, and died from the effect of a sunstroke in the hay-field. His sermons were short and demanded close attention, and were read tolerably fast and without gesture. The use of intoxicating liquors agitated the good people of the country then as now, and, in one of his sermons, afterward of wide circulation, and known as the -ox sermon," he first propounded the principle that the maker and seller of ardent spirits should be held responsible for the evils of intemperance, and used as his text the law enunciated by Moses, that, where the ox pushed with the horn and the owner knew the fact, he was liable for the injury the ox might do.
During the latter part of the ministerial labors of Mr. Merrill, the two organizations at Buck Creek and Urbana were thought to be strong enough to stand alone. The Urbana branch was supplied for a time by Mr. Elcock, then by Mr. Adams. The congregation was hard to please, or these men were inefficient as preachers, and they remained no long time, and were succeeded, in 1846, by Rev. Mr. C. Magill. The Buck Creek Church gave a call to Rev. Hugh Price, which was accepted, and he was duly installed.
Mr. Price remained at Buck Creek many years, popular and successful. He was not a "rare and ripe scholar," but he had good sense, the zeal of an evangelist, and, in his pulpit efforts, was full of enthusiasm and gesticulation. He was a most companionable man, and probably owed much of his popularity to this characteristic. The Buck Creek Church was different from its Urbana neighbor in the department of singing. This was led by Elder Samuel Humes and Deacon John Earsom, who stood up before the congregation and performed the duties of choristers. They sang as though they enjoyed it, and the whole congregation joined in the singing with a good will and earnestness, and verified the Scriptural injunction to "sing aloud and make a joyful noise.
Again a change came over both churches. New houses of worship were erected in Urbana and at Buck Creek, and with the new houses, a new order of things was introduced. Frequent changes occurred in the pastorate of the Urbana Church, which, in 1869, was filled by Dr. J. A. P. McGaw, who resigned the place, June, 1880, for a church in Rock Island, Ill., Rev. W. F.
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Claybaugh being settled at Buck Creek, Dr. John F. Marley at First Methodist Episcopal Church, and James Murray at Grace Church, Urbana ; E. C. Stone, Baptist; Toliver, of St. Paul's; A. I. Imhoff, of Lutheran; H. H. Thompson, of the United Presbyterian denomination; and President Frank Sewell, of the New Church. They were representative men, fully up to the times in general scholarship, harmonizing in social intercourse and religious enterprises, and taking an active interest in the duties of the public-spirited citizens. The unification of several branches of the Presbyterian Church, twenty-two years ago and the surrender of the differences of New School and Old School, eleven years since, tended not only to make unity in these and other branches of the same general denomination, but to infuse a spirit of harmony in and with all other churches. The material changes which have taken place are a want of the profound respect for the office of clergyman, which was a marked feature forty or fifty years ago. The clergyman then was largely in advance of his congregation, as a general rule, and was not only a religious teacher, but was consulted on matters of daily secular concern. The office was reverenced, if not the man. The general diffusion of knowledge has brought the Pastor and his hearers more on the same intellectual level. The preacher of to-day is proverbially an inefficient business man. The line which once separated the Pastor from the people, and was overstepped only by few, has been broken down, and the minister is regarded as a preacher and a man, rather than " a teacher sent from God." In the pulpit, dogmatic theology has made way for the spirit and teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, and, ordinarily, a stranger would be unable to say what are the distinctive tenets of the congregation where he might chance to worship. Political sermons make no part of the intellectual bill of fare. The infraction of this rule or custom would hardly be tolerated by church-going people. In the question of music, the most radical changes have been made. The interlining of the hymn has been abandoned, and in its stead the hymn-book, with musical notes, substituted and placed in every pew. The churches, for the most part, pretend to hold to congregational singing, but rely mainly on a trained choir, sustained by some musical accompaniment. In the houses of worship above mentioned, which we have selected as types of the churches generally, are found large and expensive pipe-organs, while the reed-organ is made an essential part of the furniture of almost all others, both in town and country.
The former hymn-books have been superseded by a more enlarged and select collection. Galleries are obsolete, and the choir occupies a platform in the rear of the minister, or on the side of the rostrum, which latter, with an upholstered desk or table, is raised a foot or two above the floor. Much of the old congregational music is changed. The "voluntaries " and " fugues " of long time ago have given place to "solos," and selections from the masters of song, rendered, probably, with technical skill. However much the change may gratify the current musical culture, to the gray-beards who have long occupied the "amen corner;" it holds the same place that the violin and cornet did in the estimation of their fathers-and, for all religious purposes, might as well have been written in Choctaw.
We have entered into details respecting the two pioneer churches of Urbana -the Methodist Episcopal and Presbyterian-as the parent hives from which went out in large measure, the societies which sprung up over the county as time went by, and which in their methods have followed the same development. A just exhibit demands a short review of other denominations that have established
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 239
themselves in the village and city, and have carried their organizations, with perhaps two exceptions, into every township.
The Baptist Church. For nearly half a century after the first settlement of the State, nearly all the churches of the Baptist faith and order, were instituted in the rural districts. Whether the country was supposed to present a more advantageous field than the city, or whether the latter was pre-occupied by the Methodists, who were the early religious pioneers, does not appear. The first organization in Ohio was in 1790, at Columbia, five miles from Cincinnati ; the second at Pleasant Run, near Lancaster, in Fairfield County, in 1801, and the third in Champaign County, on King's Creek, three and one-half miles northeast of Urbana, in the year 1805. At the time of its organization, it numbered eight members only, but some additions were made within the next five or six years, under the pastorate and alternate care of Elders Thomas and Gutridge. Among these were Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Patrick, who afterward helped to organize the society in Urbana.
During these few years other rural churches were instituted at Nettle Creek, Honey Creek, Lost Creek, Tharp's Run, Buck Creek and Darby Creek, and these separate and independent organizations united themselves in a body under the name of the " Mad River Baptist Association." In a few years Baptist Churches were organized throughout the State, and numbered in their membership some of the ablest and most influential men of the country. The subject of a more efficient instrumentality for the propagation of the tenets of the church in places where societies had not been established, and especially in the towns, took hold on the minds of the leading men of the denomination, which led to the formation of an advisory missionary body, styled "The Ohio Baptist State Convention." Among the other towns which were selected as "waste places," and entitled to the fostering care of the church as a whole, Urbana was thought to present a good field for missionary labor. To this field Elder Enos French was sent, under the auspices of the convention in 1843. Worship and other religious meetings were held by permission of the County Commissioners in the court house. The result of these efforts, was that upon petition to the Legislature, a charter was issued authorizing Samuel V. Baldwin and two others named in the charter, and their successors, to constitute themselves into a corporate body, and, as Trustees of said church, hold property, sue and be sued, etc. This body was called the "Urbana Baptist Society," and drew support in some measure from neighboring Baptist Churches. Among its active workers were Douglas Luce, William Patrick, James Dunlap, Judge Baldwin, Jacob Pence, William Richards, John Logan, John Newell, Powell.
The Methodist Episcopal Church. -We have elsewhere given a sketch of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This was recognized as the " Pioneer Church " of the new settlements. The itinerant was to be met everywhere, and wherever he could find a lodgment was erected a place of worship. The pioneer itinerant was not distinguished for his learning; commentaries and books being scarce. Indeed he had little room for books in his lonely rides. The church did not demand a high order of scholarship, but he possessed higher qualities for his calling, good sense, earnestness, endurance and fearless ness. While he did not boast " book learning," in fact too often despised it, he was on an equality in point of intelligence with any of his hearers, and in advance of most of them. He made the Bible his study, practice made him a ready talker, and social intercourse with all classes suggested new thoughts. It was his business to hunt up the "lost sheep," and when one was found he was
240 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
at once installed a "class leader," and the nucleus of a church then and there placed. A log by the wayside, the cabin in the wilderness, the dedicated house, each or all, as opportunity offered, were used to• deliver his message. Under such a system of work, success was inevitable, and at an early day we find evidences in every locality of an organized society, a settled purpose to stay. The early log structures have passed away with the hands that built them. Here and there over the county we find the small brick building, which marks the first step in the onward movement. These, for the most part, have fulfilled their purpose and begun to show signs of disuse and decay. A later period has erected in the rural districts the frame house with white weather boarding and green blinds. The towns, as the societies have increased in numbers and wealth, have vacated the frame buildings for more pretentious edifices of brick. Urbana being among the earliest settled portions of the county, we might infer that here the initial movement would be made. But the itinerant system did not necessarily select the towns. The preacher studied the geography of the circuit to which he was sent as well as his Bible, and his equipment was a fine horse, a capacious pair of saddle-bags and an abiding faith in his mission.
Trustworthy information in reference to the first Methodist Episcopal Church organization in the county, is difficult to be had. The early system of work and the religious zeal of its preachers were well adapted to make the Methodist Episcopal Church missionary in its work. Preaching was probably had before an organization was effected, of which the circuit called-" Mad River " was the first, about the year 1803-04. In 1800, the circuit was known as the "Scioto and Miami." In 1803, it was subdivided, and part called "Miami," and in 1805, "Miami and Mad River." As the emigration increased, Urbana was made a preaching-point, and the first regular place of meeting was in a small log house on Lot 207, on Locust street, between Church and Ward, now owned by Mrs. Sciota Hendley. The old house was sold to William Downs. who became contractor for the erection of a brick building on the corner of Locust and Court streets, which has been elsewhere described. In 1833, Urbana appears for the first time in the general minutes, and attached to the Lebanon District; W. H. Raper, Presiding Elder over the district, and R. Brandriff and 0. Johnson, first preachers on the Urbana Circuit. In 1834, the circuit reported a membership of 1,314 members. In 1835-36, Urbana District, W. H. Raper, Presiding Elder, and Urbana Circuit, G. W. Walker and M. Marley, Joshua Boucher and A. Morrow, preachers. In 1837, Urbana was made a station, of which Joshua Boucher was Pastor. Membership reported, 283 ; in the circuit, 1,196.
The denominations named-Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist-were the pioneer churches of the county. Small societies of other churches were feebly maintained in various parts of the county at a comparatively early day, among which. may be named the Universalist and Christian or Disciples Churches. The former has grown to be a society of considerable magnitude and wealth, erecting several houses for worship in different parts of the county, of which the largest and most expensive was built at Westville in 1878. This church, with others in the county, is under the ministerial supervision of Rev. Mr. Carlton, of Woodstock.
The Christian, New-Light, or Campbellite, or more recently the Disciples, Church (for by each of these names was this particular branch of the church known in this county), at one time had considerable strength. The difference in
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HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 243
name probably arose from some shadow of difference in the views of special churches on minor matters, the name Campbellites having bee given from a recognition of the services of Alexander Campbell, of West Virginia, who is accepted as the founder of the tenets held by the church, in the earlier part of the present century. Some years since, this society was stronger in the county than at present. Many who held to the doctrines of this branch of the church are to be found in the eastern part of the county, and religious meetings are held at different points occasionally during the year, but the church as a body, in this locality, is not adding to their numbers.
By permission of the County Commissioner, the court hall was opened to the meetings of all religious denominations. The court house in the public square was common property for meetings of all kinds. The erection of the building on the corner of North Main and Court streets, induced considerable restriction in this respect ; but for religious teachers, until the formation of societies with their own place of worship and the erection of the city hall, the doors were opened, and scarcely a Sunday passed in which the advocates and expounders of the doctrines of other branches of the Christian Church did not receive a free hearing. Some of these had followers enough to form societies, which still maintain themselves in Urbana and are prospering. The result is that while the three first named, the pioneer churches of the county, keep the advance in numbers and wealth, here the various shades of opinion, doctrine and church government are represented, and with church settings amply suffi cient for the entire population in the city. The various churches which have at different times erected houses of worship in Urbana will be noted more particularly in the notes on Urbana City.
A passing notice of Sunday schools may not be out of place. The first school was opened about the year 1820, in the brick church on the corner of Locust and Court streets, and shortly after, one in the Presbyterian House. The pupils were mainly under sixteen years of age, and in 1830 numbered fifty to seventy-five pupils each, with ten teachers for each school. The schools labored with two serious difficulties ; one, the want of classification, the other, the want of teachers. The latter was a serious drawback, as changes were not only frequent but supplies were in constant demand. The Bible, outside of what was called the Bible Class, was not studied. Each teacher selected certain books to be read, the reading of which would give the more interest or benefit, and the pupils were expected to commit to memory and recite passages of Scripture without reference to their connection or bearing. Every ten verses entitled the pupil to a white ticket ; attendance counted one white ticket; ten white tickets were the equivalent and exchanged for one blue, and ten blue for one red ticket. The red ticket was supposed to have a pecuniary value, but few secured enough to make this an object, and the few usually earned were held as high rewards of merit. The system was not well calculated to teach doctrinal theology, but the reading of verses, alternately, in the classes, through whole chapters, and the recitation of portions of the Scriptures committed to memory gave a knowledge of the Bible hardly to be had in any other way. The singing was not very attractive, usually, or rather always, a church hymn, sung without spirit and mainly by the teachers. The libraries were small and pretty well thumbed, and, while they contained some trashy books, contained a less
244 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
percentage of "Dime Novels" than are found in the Sunday-school collections of to-day. The schools continued an hour in session, and met in the morning and afternoon. The Sunday schools of fifty years ago, with all their imperfec tions, supplied a great want. Experience only was necessary to make them more useful. Mason and Bradbury rendered effective service in composing and arranging simple music, which soon worked its way into all the schools. The harmonium and reed organ gave an added attraction. Instead of depending on chance collections in the churches, or subscriptions by those who took an interest in the schools, they have become self-sustaining by a system of voluntary weekly contributions of small sums of money. But perhaps more than all else the introduction and use of a system of lessons, prepared by competent men, ranging through years of study, and which in turn has called into active exercise the learning and talents of many persons fitted for the preparation of books and periodicals for the use of Sunday schools, has contributed to make them efficient and attractive. Out of these have also grown missionary and other bands, having the accomplishment of special objects in view, and a county organization composed of delegates from all the schools, who meet semi-annually to consider the questions appertaining to the prosperity and usefulness of the work. The same spirit, system and progress have characterized the Sunday schools throughout the county, with this exception, that, outside the towns and villages, the schools are closed during the winter months.
SCHOOLS-PRIVATE AND PUBLIC.
The founders of the Republic had a clear perception of the importance of education as a means to insure the prosperity and permanency of the nation. The building-up of an empire based on the manhood of the citizen, and each holding a ballot, was not in accordance with the accepted opinions of the world, and when the declaration went forth that it was a government by the people and for the people, the wisest statesmen of Europe predicted a failure in less than three generations. A hundred years have passed, every decade of which brought with it a dangerous ordeal, culminating in a civil war such as the world had not seen for three hundred years. Through them all, the nation not only passed safely, but came out of the trial stronger than before. Yet the lesson each has taught, is the necessity of education to the great body of the country. The Franco-Prussian war was won, not by the needle gun, but by the mental training of the German soldier. In a struggle for national life, the odds are all on the side of an educated people, and the history of the world shows that no nation can remain free, however wise and virtuous her rulers may be, when its people are degraded. The Republic has nothing to fear from its educated class. What that education shall be, or to what extent it shall be pursued, are questions for the future to determine.
The convention that assembled at Chillicothe November 1, 1802, in accordance with the act of Congress, April 30, of the same year, besides framing the constitution, had another duty to perform. The act of Congress providing for the admission of the new State into the Union, offered certain propositions to the people. These were, first, that Section 16 in each township, or, in lieu thereof, other contiguous and equivalent lands, should be granted for the use of schools ; that thirty-eight sections of land, where salt-springs had been found, should be granted to the State, never, however, to be sold or leased for a longer term than ten years; and, third, that one-twentieth of the proceeds from the
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 245
sale of the public lands in the State should be applied for the construction of roads from the Atlantic to and through the same. These propositions were offered on the condition that the public lands sold by the United States after the 30th day of June, 1802, should be exempt from State taxation for five years after sale.
The ordinance of 1785 had already provided for the appropriation of Section 16 to the support of schools in every township sold by the United States ; this, therefore, could not, in 1802, be properly made the subject of a new bargain between the United States and the State; and, by many, it was thought that the salt reservations and one-twentieth of the proceeds of the sale of public lands, were inadequate equivalent for the proposed surrender of a right to tax for five years. The convention, however, accepted the propositions of Congress, on their being so far modified and enlarged as to vest in the State, for the use of schools, Section 16 in each township sold by the United States, and three other tracts of land, equal in quantity respectively to one-thirty-sixth of the Virginia reservation, of the military tract and of the Connecticut Reserve ; and to give 3 per cent of the proceeds of the public lands sold within the State to the construction of roads in Ohio, under direction of the Legislature. Congress agreed to the proposed modifications.
We here have the basis of the common-school fund of the State, never probably conjectured or intended to be sufficient for the purposes of education, but adequate to encourage broader and more liberal views. In the early development of Ohio, a great variety of influences were felt in the way of general education. The settlements were, and for years continued to be, sparse. The people, as the pioneers of all new counties are, were poor, and lacked the means of remunerating teachers. Their poverty compelled all who were able to labor, and the work of the females was as important and toilsome as that of the men. Added to these, both teachers and books were scarce. This condition of things continued perhaps for more than a quarter of a century.
Taking these facts into consideration, it is surprising that they had any schools whatever. The interest awakened in the Eastern States in literature and science immediately after the Revolution, followed the pioneers to their Western homes ; but, to make their efforts productive of useful results, time became absolutely necessary. Just as soon as the settlements were prepared for the experiment, schools were opened ; but at every step it was the acquisition of knowledge under difficulties. Everything connected with them was as simple and primitive as were their dwellings, food and clothing. Houses were built in the various neighborhoods as occasion made necessary, not by subscription in money, but by labor. On a given day, the neighbors assembled at some place previously agreed upon, and the work was soon done. Timber was abundant; they were skilled in the use of the ax, and, having cut logs of the required length, out of them, the walls were raised. The roof was made of clapboards, kept in place by heavy poles reaching the length of the house. The door was of clapboards, and creaked on wooden hinges ; the latch of wood, and raised by a string. The floor was " puncheon," or trees split in the middle, tolerably true, with the edge and face dressed with the ax. The crevices between the logs forming the walls were filled with " chinks," or split sticks of wood, and daubed with mud. The fire-place was equally rude, but of ample dimensions, built on the outside of the house, usually of stone to the throat of the flue, and the remainder of the chimney of split sticks of wood, daubed with puddled clay within and without. Light was admitted through the door and by
246 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
means of an opening made by cutting out one of the logs, reaching almost the entire width of the building. This opening was high enough from the floor to prevent the boys from looking out, and in winter was covered with paper saturated with grease to keep out the cold as well as to admit the light.
In the rural districts, school " kept " only in winter. The furniture corresponded with the simplicity of the house. At a proper distance below the window, auger holes were bored in a slanting direction in one of the logs, and in these strong wooden pins were driven, and on these a hewed slab or puncheon was placed, which was to serve as a writing-desk for the whole school. For seats, they used the puncheon, or, more commonly, the body of a smooth, straight tree, cut ten to twelve feet in length, and raised to a height of twelve to fifteen inches by means of pins securely inserted. It has been said that not infrequently the logs were of unequal length, and the bench predisposed to "wabble." The "master " was generally an Irishman, quite as able to make a full hand in the field or with a flail on the thrashing-floor as he was to flourish a shillalah or hickory in the schoolroom. Dr. Johnson's notion that most boys required learning to be thrashed into them was practically carried out in the pioneer schoolhouse. The pupils sat with their faces toward the wall, around the room, while the teacher occupied the middle space to superintend each pupil separately. In some rooms, a separate bench was furnished for those too young to write. Classes, when reciting, sat on a bench made for this purpose.
The books were as primitive as the surroundings. The New Testament was a common reading book; "The English Reader" was occasionally.- found, and sometimes the " Columbian Orator." No one book was common in all families. The reading class recited paragraphs alternately, and the book in use was made common property, passing from hand to hand during recitation. It was not unusual for. the teacher to assist a pupil in one of his "sums," discipline a refractory scholar, and hear the reading class while the reading was going on. Deibold, Smiley and Pike's arithmetics were commonly used, with the examples for practice almost exclusively in pounds, shillings and pence, and a marked absence of clear rules or definitions for the solving of the different divisions. Webster's " American Speller " was the ordinary spelling-book, which afterward made way for Webster's " Elementary Speller." This latter book maintained its popularity for half a century. The spelling-class closed the labors of the day. All who could spell entered the "big class," and the rivalry was sharp as to who should rank first as good spellers. The class was numbered in the order in which they stood in line, and retained the number until a °` miss" sent some one above them. Spelling-matches were frequent, and contributed largely to make good spellers. Grammar was not often taught, partly for the reason that books were hard to get, and partly because the teachers, as a rule, were not proficient in this branch of learning. When the science was taught, the text-book was the earlier and larger edition of Murray, which, by the close of the first quarter of the century, was largely superseded by "Kirkham," which, though of little real merit, stimulated a taste for grammar. The boys and girls went to the same school, but sat on opposite benches. It occasionally happened that a teacher would be employed who had learned that an elephant may be led by a hair, or more probably was blessed with a gentle nature, and won the hearts and life-long affection of his pupils by his pleasant and loving ways ; but these were the exception. The standard of excellence was too often measured by the ability and swift readiness to knock down and thrash on any provocation. Disobedience and ignorance were equally
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 247
causes for the use of the " hickory." "Like master, like boy." The characteristics of the one tended to develop a corresponding spirit in the other, and the cruelty of the one, with the absence too frequently of all just discrimination in the use of the rod, excited animosities which death only obliterated. There were few boys of that day who did not cherish the purpose to " whale " the "master " on sight at a future day.
The schools were made by subscription, the charge being from $1 to $3 per term of three months, during winter, to begin at 8 o'clock in the morning, with an hour to an hour and a half recess at noon, and close at 5 o'clock. One-half of Saturday or alternate Saturdays made part of the term. Writing was taught to all the larger pupils, and the only pen used was the goose or turkey quill. made into a pen by the skillful hand of the teacher. Mending the pens was an essential part of the work. Copy-books were made of sheets of foolscap paper stitched together, and copies were "set" by the teacher during recess, which were commonly taken from the maxims of poor Richard or other " wise saws " which have been in use from time immemorial. Sometimes the teacher was partly paid in produce or other commodities, which were the equivalent to him for money. The latter was scarce, and to make change it was usual to halve and quarter pieces of silver coin with an ax or heavy chisel.
The games played were different from those of the present day. The little fellows played with the ball a game called "Anthony Over," on the calling of which the ball was thrown over the house, and, if caught upon the opposite side, entitled the catcher to the right to steal around the house and throw it at any one of the adverse party. But the principal game with the larger boys, was a ball game, called the " Bull Pen." The run of the play was to divide equally, tossing for first choice of partners and for corners. The ground was then laid off into corners or bases, there being as many corners as there were players on one side. Within these corners was the bull pen. The ball was thrown rapidly from corner to corner, until one saw his opportunity to throw and strike one in the pen. If the thrower missed, he was counted out or sometimes entered the pen. If he struck his man, then all the players on the corners ran away, and the one struck in the pen endeavored to save himself by striking one of the fugitives. If be failed, he was counted out, but, if successful in his throw, both were counted in, and the game proceeded until all the " corners " were out, when places were exchanged. The game was a rough one, and to be played only by those who were ready to take as well as give a hard hit. In the next generation, this game was surrendered to the smaller boys, and finally went into disuse. With the larger boys, it was superseded by what was called " Town Ball," substantially the " Base Ball " of the present day reduced to a science. The next generation added two other games, one of which involved trials of speed and endurance. This was called " Prisoner's Base," and was played by forming two base lines and dividing players equally. Each side had a space marked near by for a prison. Members of either party tempted the other side for trial of speed, and, if touched or " tagged," entered the adversary's prison, until exchanged or rescued by one of his own party. The game proceeded until all of one side were prisoners, or the bell tapped " school." The other play was rough and dangerous, but had quite a fascination for many. The name was - Whip the Shake." and was played by forming a line and clasping hands. The head of the line then started in a run, pulling after him the others, and when the the line was well under way, it was whipped around in a short circle. throwing those at the end off at a tangent.
248 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
The introduction of schools in one settlement was an incentive to their speedy adoption in all. The first schoolhouse, so far as we have been able to learn, was erected on the little rise of ground in the lot on the left-hand side of the pike, not far from the road leading to the cemetery. The description we have given above, applies to all the earliest schoolhouses erected.
The building of saw-mills and the opening up of wagon roads brought about a better order of things, and plank, weather-boarding and glass took the place of clapboards, puncheon floors and log benches.
What does or does not constitute a secret society is a question about which honest men may conscientiously differ. It is not our purpose to enter on a defense of them. "By their fruits shall ye know them," applies with equal pertinency to-day as it did 1800 years ago to the men and societies of that age. Three or four propositions will be readily admitted-that enrolled with the membership of the so-called secret societies are many of the best men of the county . that just as foolish things are said and done at the meetings as elsewhere; that an organization having a secret political purpose cannot maintain a permanent existence, and that the time has passed by when an organization in this country, simply through its "s crecy," can effect either good or evil.
If "blessings" follow the instituting of "secret" societies, Champaign County should consider itself blessed. Among these may be enumerated the Masonic orders, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Daughters of Rebecca, the Improved Order of Redmen, the Knights of Pythias, the Knights of Honor, the Royal Arcanum, United American Mechanics, Sons of Temper ance, the Sons of Hibernia, the Sodality and the Patrons of Husbandry. Of these, more special mention may be made. The first named on the list having had an existence for centuries, and maintained itself through times of bitter controversy, the presumption is that it will continue. The Order of Odd Fellows, having survived the ordeal of sixty years, and having, with its social and beneficiary objects, organized a mutual life assurance association, it also will probably abide the inevitable changes of the future for many years. The other societies, based on the same general plan of working, but having for their purpose some specific object not otherwise attained, will probably continue so long as the necessity demands, or advantages to be derived from their maintenance can be the more easily secured than elsewhere. They will be more specially noticed in the notes on Urbana City and Township.
The order of the Masonic Fraternity and that of the Patrons of Husbandry had their first organizations in Urbana, and bpth became co-extensive with the county. It will be left for the notes of the various townships to include state ments which concern these in their respective localities. For the two societies which organized in Urbana, and consequently became the initial members of their respective organizations in the county, we make room here.
Harmony Lodge, No. 8, A., F. & A. M.-This lodge, as its number indicates, is one of the oldest Masonic organizations in the State. On January 4, 1809, there were six lodes in Ohio, and a convention of Masons was held in Chillicothe on that day. when it was resolved to organize a Grand Lodae for the State. which was accomplished on January 2, 1809. At the second communication of the Grand Lodge held in Chillicothe, January 1, 1810, Harmony Lodge was represented by George F. Tenery, its first Worshipful Master, but
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the minutes of the Grand Lodge are silent as to the time or to whom the warrant under which Harmony operated was granted.
In the first organization of the lodge, meetings were held alternately at Urbana, Springfield and Dayton. The first Masonic Lodge opened in Urbana convened at the court house, September 20,1809; E. W. Pierce, Samuel Gibbs and David Gwynne, were added to the membership. During the winter, Bennet Tabor, B. W. Langly, Thomas Gwynne and Alex McBeth. Same year, Hiram M. Curry, was appointed W. M. on a warrant empowering the lodge to hold meetings in Urbana and Springfield alternately. April 11, 1811, Joseph Vance, John Gunn, George Fithian, James Bishop and James M. Reed, new members. In 1814, the inconvenience of meeting in Springfield prompted a surrender of charter, and the present charter was issued January, 1815. At the first meeting thereafter, John Hamilton, John Mendenhall, Joseph S. Carter were received January 14, 1815 ; Samuel McCord, W. M. On November 15, the lodge passed the following resolutions:" That all the members be a committee to examine into the conduct of each other, and to report to the lodge any unmasonic conduct that may come to their knowledge." Under which Brother Gunn was charged with intemperance and cited to appear. The first return of Harmony to the Grand Lodge, December 27, 1815, for six months, reported four Past Masters, twenty-eight Master Masons, four Fellow Crafts and four Entered Apprentices--in all forty members. Joseph Vance represented the lodge in the Grand Lodge. April, 1818, the County Commissioners granted privilege to use rooms in new court house for lodge purposes, on condition that the lodge finish them in the same style as the rest of the building. William Malone was buried with Masonic honors August 18, 1818. and funeral sermon preached by Rev. Samuel Hitt, in the Methodist meeting-house. October 6, 1819, the lodge allowed Brother Meredith 50 cents for refreshments furnished the brethren. The record is silent as to the kind of refreshments. In 1820. John Hill was W. M. ; the P. M.'s, Joseph Vance, John Hill, Samuel McCord, George Fithian, Abram Colwell, James Cooley and Adam Mosgrove ; whole number of members, forty-five. June 25, 1821, the festival day of St. John was celebrated for the first time by Harmony. Rev. Samuel Hitt, who was not a Mason, on several occasions addressed the body assembled in the Methodist Church. After the exercises the members repaired to the tavern to partake of a dinner. June 25, 1821, cost the lodge $2 for music and refreshments. David Davis, 1824, was expelled for leaving his wife dependent on the charity of the lodge. That year the lodge numbered sixty. From 1828 to 1833, Harmony suspended its meetings. The abduction of Morgan created a storm of opposition, and it was deemed the wiser course to suspend for a time. Among all the Masons who were members at that time, four only are now living-John H. James, Evan Banes, Jesse C. Phillips and John Hurd. March, 1838, the lodge re-organized and held its regular meetings; E. S. Morgan, W. M. From the year 1840 to 1850, general prosperity and harmony prevailed. A return of Harmony to the Grand Lodge, for the year ending October 1, 1862, showed a total membership of ninety-two, and at the last return, October l, 1876, was 129.
At this present date, September, 1880, this lodge shows a harmony and prosperity greater perhaps than it has felt at any period of its existence.
The Patrons of Husbandry.-In 1866, several gentlemen and ladies connetted with the agricultural department at Washington, agreed to form a society to be composed exclusively of those whose '` leading pursuit is agriculture." The
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society adopted signs, words, ritual and degrees, after the approved manner of secret orders, but published a declaration of principles setting forth the objects and purposes of the organization. These may be succinctly stated to be "to secure a more social intercourse-to encourage a more thorough education, and a more general diffusion of knowledge-to promote the thrift of the farmer, by a broader knowledge, by higher farming, and by all legitimate means that individuals or communities may of right do-and to build up a nobler and better manhood and womanhood in the agricultural class." The scope of the society includes a lodge, a lyceum, a debating society, a farmer's club, an exchange. The general name of the organization is "Patrons of Husbandry," that of the local society " A Grange." The divisions of the association are: 1st. A National Grange, composed of the presiding officers of State granges, and having a general jurisdiction. 2d. State granges composed of delegates chosen by subordinate granges by counties, and having jurisdiction over sub-granges in the State. 3d. Local or subordinate granges, restricted to one society in a township. Women are received in membership, and entitled to the same rights and privileges as the men. In six years the organization spread over thirty-five States and Territories, enrolling a membership of one and a half millions. In 1373, the Ohio State Grange was organized, and within two years numbered over 60, 000 members. In the fall of that year several township or subordinate granges were chartered in Champaign County, which within eighteen months in the aggregate, numbered over 900 members. Every township in the county had its subordinate grange. The reasonable presumption is that an order having for its basis of organization the general methods which underlie other well-established secret societies, but differing in this, as being the only one identified with the daily lives and labors of its members, and thoroughly adapted to promote the social and educational interests of the rural population, would become and continue to be an efficient factor in agriculture, and in promoting the interests of the farmer. The character of the persons composing the grange in Champaign County may be determined from the fact that a society exclusive in its nature, taking a thousand adults from the body of the rural population, would necessarily take a considerable portion of many of its best and most intelligent citizens.
We have given more space to this society than perhaps the question intrinsically demands. But from present indications the grange in Champaign County has ceased to be an organization for good or evil. With capacities for great and continued usefulness, sufficient in its appointments to meet the wants and prospective condition of the agricultural class, we may be well surprised that the association has not made a continued progress. That mistakes and blunders in its management have been made, was natural, but a little experience should and would cure these, and that a real and permanent progress has been lost sight of, in the pursuit of trifling gains, is more than probable, but these were hardly sufficient to break down a society thoroughly organized and having for its object a beneficent work. We must look to other causes for an explanation, and in this we are impelled to one of three conclusions. 1st. That the farmer, of himself and by himself, is sufficient "to hoe his own row," independent of the aid to be attained by the power of cooperative effort. 2d. That the grange in the scope of its purposes and organization, is in advance of the age ; or, 3d. To formulate an opinion which pervades the community outside the rural districts" productive industry wants manual labor, and not brains nor mental culture." The order is still maintained in the county in a number of sub-granges, but at present does not show in Champaign the growth and vitality claimed for the
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organization in other sections, holding, perhaps, not over one-half of its original numbers in active membership.
Central Ohio Scientific Association.-October 24, 1874, Messrs. T. N. Glover and L. C. Herrick, of Woodstock ; R. H. Boal, I. F. Meyer, T. F. Moses, W. F. Leahy and P. R. Bennett, of Urbana, met at the office of Dr. R. H. Boal, in Urbana, to organize a society, having for its object the cultivation of physical and historical science; the study of the surrounding country and its inhabitants ; the development of a scientific taste in the community, and a mutual acquaintance among scientific workers. The meeting adopted a constitution, and effected a permanent organization in the choice of T. N. Glover, President; P. R. Bennett, Jr., Vice President; T. F. Moses, Corresponding Secretary; T. F. Meyer, Treasurer. Although not specified in the constitution, the association also contemplated, and has kept steadily in view, the founding of a public museum for the collection of specimens and curiosities as may be loaned or donated by individuals, whether members or not. Mr. W. A. Brand, Postmaster in Urbana, made space in the general delivery room of the post office for the reception of part of the collections of the association, and of such as might from time to time be brought in. The society justly claims that no more suitable location could have been selected for such a museum than Urbana. The field abounds in objects of interest and importance, and has scarcely been touched. President Glover, in his inaugural address, says, " Within a radius of a hundred miles lies a magnificent geological field, with its paleontological treasures. The drifts and more recent deposits have been little studied. In natural history, zoology and botany, the region is a rich one; in ancient remains, the richest in America. Dr. Foster, in his Prehistoric Nations, says Ohio, alone, contains ten thousand tumuli or mounds, and of these not five hundred have been opened." Many of the smaller earthworks have been destroyed, and the process of destruction is continually going on, under the demands of agriculture and through an ignorance or indifference to the character and variety of the relics found in the soil. From these must be gathered all that can be known concerning the civilization and customs of the race of which every other vestige has been lost. Under the process of destruction going on, the lapse of a few years may make it exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to settle, definitely, theories and beliefs which are now only matters of conjecture.
The association has held its regular monthly meetings, and, aside from the salutary scientific influence otherwise exerted, has been the means of exciting an interest generally in all matters pertaining to the pre-historic race, and spreading an intelligent appreciation in the community of the value of the relics found in the soil, and of the importance of collecting and preserving them. At the meetings discussions have been had and papers read on a variety of popular scientific topics. The field-work has been almost entirely confined to the examination of mounds, earth-works and aboriginal remains.
In January, 1878, the association took formal possession of a room in the Weaver Block corner of Scioto street and Monument square, specially fitted up for its use, under the superintendence of Mr. George A. Weaver. While the present rooms are sufficient for the immediate wants of the society as a place of deposit for certain collections, and for the holding of meetings. the probabilities are that at no distant date the demand for more space will arouse sufficient public interest in the association and its work to carry out a plan for the erection of a public museum. The progress made was deemed sufficient to make the association an incorporated body, and articles of incorporation were duly
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executed and filed May 10, 1878, and six trustees elected to serve for periods of one, two and three years; namely, for three years, George A. Weaver and R. H. Boal ; for two years, John H. Young and Thomas F. Moses; for one year, Charles G. Smith and Hamilton Ring.
At the stated meeting in October of the Central Ohio Scientific Association, the following-named officers were elected for the ensuing year: Prof. P. B. Cabell, President; Prof. Thomas French, Vice President; Dr. F. S. Lock wood, Secretary; Prof. T. F. Moses, Corresponding Secretary; J. S. Parker, Treasurer; George A. Weaver, Curator and Librarian; George A. Weaver and Dr. R. H. Boal, Trustees. Stated meeting the third Tuesday in each month.
Champaign County Medical Society.-We have been kindly favored by Dr. James M. Mosgrove with the following paper relative to the medical profession of the county
"Being anxious to have as full and correct history of the medical profession of Champaign County embodied in your forthcoming work as possible, I have, since our late interview, devoted such time as I could conveniently give it; but, I regret to say, my efforts in this direction have resulted in only partial or indifferent success as the opportunity for obtaining such information has long since passed away, by the death of the older physicians and their cotemporaries.
"From the date of the organization of the town of Urbana up to 1812, 1813 and 1814, I have obtained the names of the following physicians, all of whom, it is said, practiced medicine in Urbana, for a brief time at least. In presenting their names, I cannot give the exact dates of entrance or exit, nor reconcile their claims to priority, but give them simply in the order in which I received them. And, in accordance with the best information thus obtained, from our few remaining 'old settlers,' I believe that to Dr. James Davidson should be accorded the honor of first locating and practicing medicine in this town ; and, if correct, therefore the pioneer of our profession.
"Soon after Dr. Davidson's arrival, the names of Drs. Case, Collins, Mendenhall, Conkright and Bonner appear, as residents of Urbana. Dr. Collins resided here as late as 1814, for about that time he married a Miss Scott, a sister of Mrs. Byrdwhistle. Dr. Conkright married Miss Culver, sister of Miss Abi Culver, who afterward became the wife of Joshua Baldwin. The Doctor lived where Mrs. Dr. Basset's house now stands, but a frame then, owned by Judge A. R. Colwell. Drs. Davidson and Bonner were both, I believe, brothers-in-law of the late Judge Reynolds. Dr. Bonner at one time lived in the block, afterward so long owned by the late John C. Pearson, and now known as the 'Weaver House Block.'
"In 1814, Dr. Joseph S. Carter, a native of Kentucky, arrived in Urbana and located here for the practice of his profession. Dr. Carter had received a liberal education and was a graduate oŁ the Medical Department of the Transylvania University, which, in connection with a high order of natural ability, soon enabled him to take first rank among the ablest physicians and surgeons of Central Ohio. He remained a citizen of Urbana and continued in practice up to within a few months preceding his death, which occurred in 1852, being in the sixty-second year of his age. Dr. Obed Horr was, for a few years, associated with Dr. Carter in practice, at the end of which time he removed to Mechanicsburg, and entered upon a successful career of merchandising.
"Dr. Adam Mosgrove arrived in Urbana in the spring of 1818, and, possessed of an iron constitution and undaunted resolution, soon entered upon the
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large practice which he maintained up to within a few years of his death, which occurred in March, 1875. He died at the ripe old age of eighty-four, being at that time one of the oldest physicians in the Western States, and had been engaged in the arduous duties of his profession for a period of over sixty years. Drs. Carter and Mosgrove were associated together as partners in the practice of medicine and surgery for many years, and, in a large portion of Central Ohio, the names of Carter and Mosgrove were as familiar as household words.
"The practice of- medicine has changed much since the earlier days of Carter and Mosgrove. Then money was scarce and hard to come at. Those old doctors would ride on horseback, night or day, over the muddy or frozen roads of summer or winter, and through the almost trackless forests, five, ten and fifteen miles, for the privilege of making a charge of from $2 to $3 or $4, which, after standing for years, would be settled by trade in part, and, finally, by note, which would again, in its turn, stand for years or until a new "dicker' could be made.
"From an intimate acquaintance with the business of Carter & Mosgrove, confirmed by a recent examination of their books, I am safe in saying that their entire receipts did not amount to over 50 cents on the dollar of their business, and of this amount, about 10 per cent only would be cash. Indeed, it seems to have been a constant struggle with them to realize sufficient money to pay for their medicines and to meet that inexorable monster, the tax-gatherer.
"For many years, probably up to 1830 or 1835, Carter & Mosgrove were almost the only physicians in Urbana, and of an area almost, if not quite, co-extensive with the county limits. I have, however, obtained the names of a few physicians who must have been here in practice about or shortly previous to this time. Among them may be mentioned Drs. Hughs, Martin, McCann, Curry, Latta and possibly Evan Banes. Dr. Samuel Latta, at least, read medicine at a very early day with Dr. A. Mosgrove, but afterward removed to Cincinnati; where he located and became quite eminent in his profession. After this period, the accessions were more rapid and numerous, among whom may be named Drs William M. Murdock, Wilson Everett, Evan Banes, E. P. Fyffe, William Happersett and M. Woods. Between the years of 1840 and 1850, Urbana sent quite a large delegation of its young men to medical colleges, chiefly the Ohio Medical College, of Cincinnati, all of whom graduated at the termination of their college courses with distinguished honors. About the first of this class to graduate were Elijah Collins and Ichabod C. Taylor, followed, a year or two later, by E. P. Fyffe, Thomas Cowgill and Joseph C. Brown. Dr. Fyffe, however, had been in practice a number of years before this, but, owing to feeble health and pecuniary embarrassments, was not able to complete his college course until the spring of 1845. The following spring (1846), D. M. Vance and James M. Mosgrove graduated, and, two years later, Jo S. Carter, Jr. About the time last mentioned, or perhaps a few years later, Douglas Luce, Jr., H. C. Pearce, I. W. Goddard and William H. Pearson graduated at Starling Medical College, Columbus, Ohio.
"All of the above named. after receiving their degrees, except Drs. Luce and Pearson, settled in Urbana and vicinity, and immediately entered upon the duties of their profession, and have continued in active practice up to the present time. I will close this hastily written and imperfect sketch, by giving the names of physicians who composed the first or earliest regularly organized
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County Society of which we have any correct data. The organization, which was made in March, 1852, was as follows
"President, William H. Happersett; Vice President, Adam Mosgrove ; Secretary, James M. Mosgrove ; Treasurer, Marquis Wood; Librarian, Jo S. Carter; Board of Censors, Adam Mosgrove, William Murdoch and E. P. Fyffe.
"The following is a list of members:
"A. Mosgrove,* William H. Happersett,* William M. Murdoch, E. P. Fyffe,* J. M. Mosgrove, John Baker, I. W. Goddard, M. Wood,* Cyrus Smith,* J. C. Brown, James M. Pheron,* J. S. Carter, Jr., W. M. Housten, J. H. Clark, M. L. Haster, D. M. Vance.*
"It has been suggested, in order to make this sketch more satisfactory to all parties, that it should be continued to present date, and, as I am particularly desirous of mentioning and recording the name of every regular physician of Urbana and of the county, I have concluded that I can do so in no more acceptable manner than by appending a list of the members of our County Medical Society, which, it is believed, includes the name of every regular physician of the county.
"The following list of physicians of Urbana and Champaign County were members of Champaign County Branch of Ohio State Medical Society, June 27, 1880
"Urbana-Drs. J. M., S. M. and William A. Mosgrove, Miami street; Dr. H. C. Pearce, Scioto street; Dr. T. S. Hitt, Main street; Drs. W. J. Sullivan, G. H. Hodges, I. W. Goddard, J. E. McLain, J. C. Brown, J. H. Ayres, P. R. Bennett, Jr., William M. Murdoch, J. S. Carter, Samuel Chance and Israel Fisler. Mutual-Dr. H. S. Preston. Mechanicsburg-Drs. J. H. Clark, C. K. Clark and C. H. Newcomb. St. Paris-Drs. John Baker, B. F. Baker, John Musson, McIlwaine and Jones. Millerstown-Drs. Whitmer and Comer. Careysville-Dr. H. B. Hunt. Terre Haute-Dr. W. S. Hunt. Woodstock-Dr. L. C. Herrick. Northville-Dr. E. J. Barr. Kingston Dr. A. B. Pearce. Cable-Drs. Moore and Swimley. Spring Hills-Dr. Offenbacker. Mingo-Dr. J. F. Good. North Lewisburg-Drs. Williams and Smith. Crayon-Dr. Thatcher. Bowlesville-Dr. Henderson. Fremont-Dr. Hughs. Westville-Dr. Richard McLaughlin.
"Homoeopathists-Drs. Hamilton Ring and W. M. & H. C. Houston, Urbana.
"Eclectic-Drs. S. and J. C. Butcher Urbana."
We gather from a report of the antiquities of the Mad River Valley, made by Prof. Thomas F. Moses, of the Urbana University, to the Central Ohio Scientific Association, a condensed. statement of an examination made by him self and others of two mounds lying in Champaign County, known respectively as the Roberts Mound and the Baldwin Mound. The location of the earthworks of the Mad River Valley, thus far examined, bears a close relation to the topographical features of the country. They occur usually on the high lands overlooking the river valley, the exception being nearly always in the upper part of its course, where a mound is occasionally found located on low ground, at the junction of the main stream with one of its smaller tributaries. The mounds vary greatly in size. The smaller ones are usually low, and flat on the
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summit. These are from three to five feet high, and from thirty to fifty feet in diameter. Another class of mounds is more conical in shape, varying from eight to fifteen feet in altitude, and having a diameter at the base of from seventy to eighty feet. The internal structure of all the mounds of this region that have been opened, is nearly homogeneous in character, being generally of a clayey loam like the surface soil. In regard to the relation of the mounds to each other, sufficient data have not yet been obtained upon which to base a definite statement, but as, in the case of those situated on high ground, one or more may be distinctly seen from the summit of another, it suggests the idea that they may have been used as signal stations.
The Roberts Mound.-These mounds (Roberts and Baldwin) are so called from the name of the owners, on whose lands they are found. The former was opened in the summer of 1877, and, like the Baldwin, is located on a high hill composed of drift, gravel and sand, the material having been chiefly derived from the limestone strata of this State. Standing upon its summit a wide and beautiful prospect meets the eye in whatever direction one may turn. On the east the horizon is bounded by a range of hills. These hills are, in reality, the termination of a broad plateau, and indicate the contour lines of the eroded valley, formed during some former geological period, into which valley new flow the streams which furnish the natural drainage of the country. Similar plateaus stretch away to the north and south. One of these elevated plains is styled "Pretty Prairie," but, while the name is applied only to the southern part of the northern plateau, geologically it extends to the eastern side of Urbana, the city itself being placed_ upon a lower terrace, and is the whole tract included between the valley of Mad River and its eastern tributary, Buck Creek. But perhaps the most remarkable feature of the landscape is the broad valley itself which sweeps down between the places above described from the northeast, near Mechanicsburg, and, taking a course due west, as it flows by the base of the hill upon which the mound stands, trends away to the southwest, broadening as it goes, and is lost to view in the distant horizon. One cannot fail to be impressed with the idea that this valley once held a noble river. The only remnant of this river, if such there were, is the little stream called Buck Creek, so called from the manner in which its smaller branches here unite with the main trunk like the antlers of a stag. Standing upon the Roberts Mound, tokens of welcome or signals of approaching danger could be seen from the mound now on the Baldwin farm, crowning the summit of the opposite bank. These sites, selected as they were with unusual care as burial places for their dead, betray a love of nature and an appreciation of its beautiful features, worthy to be classed among man's nobler faculties. Permission of the owner of the property having been given to make such use of the mound as was thought fit, it was at first proposed to expose the whole floor at once by means of plow and scraper; but, the number of trees, some of which were of considerable size, scattered over the surface, and their interlacing roots, soon made it apparent that this would be out of the question. Work was accordingly begun by carrying an adit from the northwest side and sinking a central shaft four feet by eight, the longer diameter of the shaft running north and south. In the side adit nothing was disclosed till the floor of the mound was reached, when, perhaps, about a foot above the natural surface of the soil, the trench passed through a layer of white ashes. This layer was found to extend from nearly the outer margin of the base of the mound across its whole floor, arching up over the center. so as to present a convex surface above. The thickness varied from
256 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
half an inch to one and a half inches. Near the center the layer was almost of stony hardness, causing it to come off in large flakes. When the clay was cleared off, the layer disclosed a mottled surface of a reddish-brown color. The hardness was apparently due to the lime, of which the ashes seemed to be largely composed, and the reddish-brown surface might have been produced by a covering of bark placed over the ash layer. Below this layer of a varying depth, but on an average of eight or nine inches. a second layer was reached similar in character. The space between was filled with clay, like that composing the mound. At the point of junction between the side adit and central shaft, was found a heap of loose ashes mingled with small fragments of calcined human bones. In the heap were found also several rudely fashioned flint arrow, heads and a pierced ornament of stone. At a later day one or two other heaps of calcined bones were found, all at about the same distance from the center of the mound. It is a question whether the whole of the ash layers were not originally composed of burnt bones. In carrying down the central shaft, some fragments of human bones much decayed were unearthed near the surface, marking the site of an intrusive burial. At the depth of three and a half to four feet, near the center of the mound, a human skeleton was reached, lying on the back, the head toward the north, and was found firmly imbedded in the compact clay. With the exception of only a few bones of the ankle and wrist and several phalanges, the entire skeleton was secured, and was found to weigh exactly nine pounds. The breast-bone had been perforated by some sharp instrument, probably a flint spear or arrow head, as the aperture, larger on the outer than upon the inner surface of the bone, shows it to have been made by a tapering instrument. The external opening measures one and a half inches, while the inner one is but three-fourths of an inch. Under the right thigh was found a fragment of quartz rock as large as the palm of the hand, one side of which was flat and polished. It was then proceeded to deepen the excavation, which resulted in the finding of a skull of a second skeleton. This skeleton was in very imperfect condition, and but small part removed. It was underneath the upper layer of ashes, the head but a short distance from the heap of calcined bones before described, and from the position of the scattered fragments. had been placed upon the back with the head toward the west. At a short distance from this the bones of a third skeleton were found. The bones of the forearm and hands were entirely wanting, and but little of the spine was present. This might have been the result of decay, but the bones that remain are remarkably heavy and nearly vitrified. They were covered with a thick incrustation, and presented the appearance of having been in the fire. The lower jaw is much awry, and the skull has a very low and retreating forehead, and altogether presents the appearance of a very low type of humanity.
Some two feet from the surface, at the south end of the excavation, a mass of charcoal was met with, the fragments of which were of large size. With the charcoal was found a piece of thigh bone, charred and petrified, and part of a bone of the forearm. Near by was a stratum of clay, burnt nearly red. It is inferred that these charred fragments of bone and charcoal, as well as those found on the surface, were scraped up from the site of the cremation, and that they were thrown on the mound with the surrounding earth during the process of construction. Two modes of burial-inhumation and cremation-appear here to have been simultaneously practiced, unless the latter had been imperfectly perform ed in regard to the imperfect skeleton on the floor of the mound. The practice of cremation, sufficiently common in ancient times, is still observed to some extent by the native races of North America.
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 257
The Baldwin Mound.-This mound is located on the top of a hill lying between the North and East Forks of Buck Creek at their junction, about eight miles southeast of Urbana, and upon the farm of the late Judge Samuel Baldwin. It is nearly conical in shape, about seventy-eight feet in diameter at the base, and fifteen feet in height. Upon it oak trees of considerable size are now standing. The brick used in the construction of a house, some fifty years ago, and now standing on the farm, were made from clay taken from the south side of the mound. In the process of removing the clay, it is said a quantity of bones was unearthed, but afterward re-interred. Work was begun by carrying an adit from the side toward the center, and, after the center was reached, sinking a shaft toward the base. Some two feet from the surface, the bones of several skeletons were found. These are frequently found in the surface, of mounds, and are generally accounted to be those of some Indian tribe, and of comparatively recent date. The original place of sepulture was reached at the depth of twelve feet. Here an under structure had been made, constructed, as nearly as could be ascertained, in the following manner: First, a layer of bark was laid down, then the bodies placed upon this ; the head of one being directly toward the east, of the next toward the west, and so on. Logs were placed at the sides and between the bodies, dividing the grave into as many compartments as there were persons to be buried. The whole was then covered with a thick layer of bark, upon the surface of which was found a thin layer of charcoal. Bark, branches and bodies had of course reached the last stages of decay, only the ashes of the former remaining to show how they had been disposed ; and long, hollow cavities, filled with dirt, alone indicated the position of the logs. The whole mass had been pressed down and flattened by the weight of the overlying earth and most of the bones showed evidence of the great pressure, being crushed in and broken. The first skeleton reached was found with the head lying toward the east, and supposed to be that of a female; a small copper ring was found at the head. Further excavation disclosed a second skeleton, with the head toward the west. The bones of this skeleton were very large and strong, and those of the lower limbs in a remarkable state of preservation ; near the hand, and lying across the body, were the flint heads of three spears or arrows. Their position seemed to show that they had been held in the hand by wooden shafts, now moldered away. The upper part of the body had been crushed and distorted to a great extent by the pressure above. It had apparently been placed on the left side, and the arrows grasped in the right hand. Removing the earth carefully from this, a third skeleton was seen, its head pointing to the east. This was lying upon its back, and measured from its toes to the top of the head nearly six feet. The teeth were thirty-two in number and perfectly sound. Around the neck was a string of beads, made of mother of pearl, probably taken from the shells of the river Mussel. This skeleton seemed to be that of a young woman of from 18 to 20 years.
The skeleton next disclosed was that of a young man of about sixteen years. The head was placed in the reverse position to that of the preceding one. The skull is remarkably well shaped. Over the heart were found several plates of mica cut in the form of a crescent. Plates of mica are frequently found in mounds, and the mica is believed to have been brought from Carolina. This, with the copper from Lake Superior and shells from Mexico, is an evidence of the commercial habits of the people. The next space was occupied by the skeletons of two small children, placed feet to feet. Near the head of one of these was a heap of small sea shells belonging to a species now found in the Gulf of
258 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
Mexico. These were pierced at the ends. The succeeding skeleton was that of an adult person, and near it was found a small implement of banded slate, belonging to the class called "boat-shaped" implements in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution. An eighth skeleton was found belonging to this group, near which also lay a small quantity of shell beads like those last described. Following these, near the margin of the mound, were three others, thrown down apparently without regard to position. as they were disposed at various angles, with the limbs crossing each other, and no protection of logs had been placed around them, nor were any ornaments found with them. Of all the, skeletons found in the mound, the eight first described were buried with especial care, and each of them had some mark of distinction or token of affection. The arrangement of the bodies was also somewhat remarkable, they being placed with great uniformity with the heads alternately toward the east and west, though the conjecture is that this arrangement was made simply with a view to economize space.
The excavation above described occupied the northwest quarter of the mound. A few days later, work was resumed in the northeast quarter by carefully uncovering the whole until the floor was reached. The space was found covered with ten skeletons, which had been promiscuously thrown down, the bodies being bent at all angles, and the limbs of one often lying across those of another. A layer of charcoal was found over the upper surface, and another had been placed below. No implements or ornaments were found with these bodies. In one corner of the area, near the center of the mound, was a small heap of ashes containing a few burnt bones and calcined mineral shells. At the outer angle was a vase of baked clay crushed to fragments, the rim only retaining its original form. This vase was placed with the mouth downward. The interior surface was coated with black carbonaceous matter. In the south part of the mound, from which the clay had been taken for making brick, a pit was dug, and bones were reached quite near the present surface. Here were parts of three skeletons, conjectured to be the same as those mentioned when the clay was removed, and said to have been again buried. On the west side a test pit was sunk, but nothing found.
It is quite probable that much more remains to be discovered in the remaining portion of the mound, and it is the design of the association to continue the exploration at a future day. The soil of the mound is composed of a clear yellow clay, quite free from stone or gravel, and cutting under the spade with a smooth, bright surface. The hill upon which it rests is a loose mixture of limestone pebbles, having a thin surface covering dark loam. For a considerable distance around the base of the mound, the earth is somewhat similar in character to that of the mound, but it is not so free from stone. Such pebbles as were found in the mound were of quartz and sandstone, only a single specimen of limestone being found, and that a water-worn one. The material was probably brought from a distance. The clay was nearly homogeneous throughout, and very compact. At the base, a complete arch had been formed by the decay of the log structure, the superincumbent soil having first become sufficiently firm to retain its position. In regard to the bones in general, it may be said that the same peculiarities that are mentioned by other writers, such as the foreshortening of the skulls and their want of symmetry, the flattening of the tibia and perforation of the humerus, are all exhibited in a marked degree. Many of the bones had become bent by the weight of earth resting upcn them, and much of the distortion exhibited in the skulls is believed to be
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HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 261
due to this cause, rather than to compression during life. Frequently bones lying over each other were found soldered together. To account for this, it is only necessary to consider the peculiar conditions to which they have been subjected. For centuries they have lain beneath an immense mass of earth, and this constant and long-continued pressure, accompanied by a kind of molecular disintegration and re-arrangement of the particles of bony matter, is amply sufficient to produce these changes of form.
A number of mounds, of a less important character, have been opened from time to time. One, a small, flat mound, at the junction of the Mackachack with Mad River, on Mr. Clem's farm, and another of similar character, on the farm of Mr. Michael, near Buck Creek. One on the ridge northeast of the Baldwin Mound, on the farm of Mr. Wilson ; the latter, about three feet in height and thirty in diameter. Also, one opened by Mr. James Dallas, on the farm of the late Judge Dallas, four miles below Urban. From a survey made by Dr. R. H. Boal, this mound was found to be fifty feet in diameter and four feet in height, and situated 105 feet from the edge of the plateau. A few rods below, on the slope of the hill, is a small circular ridge, some fifteen feet in diameter, the earth forming the ridge thrown out in such a way as to leave a small conical elevation in the center. The mound is placed on the summit of the bend overlooking the Mad River Valley, and, as the valley here changes its direction, making a sweep toward the southeast, and is some three or four miles in width, the situation is a very commanding one. The beauty and extent of the view are remarkable. The relics taken from this mound by Mr. Dallas were numerous and particularly interesting.
The places of sepulture over which no structures have been erected are numerous throughout this whole section. Hardly a railroad or turnpike cutting is made, or gravel bed opened, that does not disclose a mass of skeletons. The hill-tops are literally sown with the dead. In the case of these gravel bank burials, every surface indication of the cemetery below has usually been effaced by time. The bodies occur singly, in graves grouped together, or crowded promiscuously in long trenches. They have been found in almost every posture, prostrate, sitting, and even standing. Sometimes parts of the same skeleton are widely separated from each other, and so mingled with the materials of the drift that they would almost seem to have been deposited by some surface action before the alluvium was laid down upon it. This condition was particularly observable in a deposit on the farm of S. M. Hodges, on the east side of Buck Creek Valley. In this latter many interesting relics were found. Future explorations will undoubtedly reveal multitudes of similar mounds, rich in strange and curious deposits, and valuable in aiding to decipher the unwritten history of past ages.
We are indebted to Mr. Joshua Saxton, the former editor and publisher of the Urbana Citizen and Gazette, for the following paper
The first paper published in the county was in 1812, by Corwin & Black burn, under the title of Farmer's Watch Tower. Moses B. Corwin was a young lawyer who had come to the county a year or two before, and probably performed the duties of editor, while his associate, Blackburn, was a practical printer and performed the duties of type-setter and foreman. It was afterward published by Corwin & Poff, in a log-cabin on the lot where the residence of William H. Colwell now stands, corner of Church and Walnut streets. This paper was followed by the Spirit of Liberty, under the management of Allen
262 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
M. Poff, which was succeeded by the Mad River Courant, edited and published by Martin L.. Lewis. The management was soon after changed into the firm of Banes & Lewis. In 1824, Daniel S. Bell started the Farmer's Friend, but the title was soon changed to the Ohioan and Mad River Journal. Next followed the Country Collustrator, by Robert Barr and Wilson Everett, but the paper soon changed hands to Dr. Everett and Evan Banes. The two papers then published were consolidated into the Had River Courant and County Collustrator, edited and published by Banes & Lewis. A few years afterward, Hays & Raymond started the Urbana Record, which soon after fell into the hands of James H. Bacon, who continued its publication to the fall of 1831, when it was suspended, and no regular paper was published until the spring of 1838. During the interim, John A. Corwin, then a student at law, and Decatur Talbott, a practical printer, both of whom were reared in the village, started a small paper called the Rattler. The Rattler was a two-leaved, quarto size; created some little sensation in the community, and soon died. Next followed The Western Citizen and Urbana Gazette, which was started in April, 1838, by Joshua Saxton. Some years after, the title was changed to Urbana Citizen and Gazette. In 1850, John D. Burnett purchased an interest in the establishment, which continued two years. In 1865, William A. Brand took a half interest in it, which continued until February 1, 1879, when, on account of ill health, he retired, selling his interest to C. T. Jamieson, of Batavia, Ohio, and in December following Mr. Saxton, after forty-two years' service as editor of the paper he had founded, sold his interest to Mr. Jamieson, who still continues the paper as editor and proprietor.
In February, 1867, the Mackachack Press was started at West Liberty by Donn Piatt. It was moved to Columbus, when, after a lapse of a few months, it was transferred to Urbana, where it died before a year had ended.
In 1844, Judge John Taylor started the first Democratic paper in Champaign County, with the title of the Western Dominion. This paper changed hands several times within a few years. Judge Taylor was succeeded by a Mr. Reed, and he by Mr. D. M. Fleming, now of the Piqua Journal. It was then consolidated with the Democratic Expositor, of Springfield, Ohio, and edited by W. F. Mosgrove, of Urbana, and E. G. Dial, of Springfield. In 1850, it fell into the hands of Charles Flood, of Columbus, who changed the name to the Ohio State Democrat. After a brief existence, it passed into the hands of O. B. Happersett and W. A. Sampson, who changed the name to Urbana Free Press. Next, Col. John H. James became owner of the establishment, and the paper was edited by John W. Houx, under the name of the Urbana Union. Soon after this, the Urbana Union Printing Company was formed, and the paper was edited by A. R. Candy. In February, 1872, E. T. Harkrader took the office and changed the name to the Democratic Plaindealer. In 1873, he was succeeded by Flannegan & Runkle, which soon changed to the firm of Ben P. Runkle & Co., under the head of the Urbana Union. Mr. Flannegan was next owner, who kept it a few years under the name of the Urbana Union Democrat. Messrs. Hayward & Gulick succeeded Mr. Flannegan, and in a little time it passed into the hands of I. K. Newcomer, the present owner and publisher, who has changed the title to that of Champaign Democrat.
Some years ago, W. H. Gulick started a small daily paper, called the Daily News, which is still published, we believe, at intervals. Next followed the Daily Democrat, still published by Mr. Newcomer under the title of Urbana Daily Union.
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 263
Several years ago, Messrs. F. W. and M. Gowey started a small paper at North Lewisburg, called the Boomerang, but it was short-lived, and has never been resuscitated. There are two papers published at Mechanicsburg-the Central Ohio News, by Messrs. Church & Baxter, and the Mechanicsburg Herald, by O. C. Wheeler. Some years ago, a paper called the New Era was started at St. Paris. It has changed hands several times, and is now published by Charles R. Musson, who succeeded H. H. Hall.
CHAMPAIGN COUNTY WAR RECORD.
It is not intended in these sketches to explain the causes, nor to give any connected statement of the wars in which the citizens of Champaign County have taken part. These enter into the history of the country, and are the war of 1812, the Mexican war and the Southern rebellion. In 1812, Urbana was a frontier town on the border of an almost unbroken wilderness-without highways to any extent, and infested with hostile Indians. Its location naturally made it a base for army operations. Return Jonathan Meigs was Governor of the State, and immediately after the declaration of war in June, designated the place as the rendezvous for troops. Here Gen. Hull brought three regiments, under the respective commands of Cols. Duncan McArthur, Lewis Cass and James Findlay, for the purpose of being organized with other forces. These troops encamped on the grounds east of town, occupying the lots between East Water street and East Court street, now known as the Berry, Nelson, Wilev and Kauffman property, and extending north to East Court street. They remained several weeks for the arrival of Col. Miller's regiment of U. S. troops, which had made a brilliant record at the battle of Tippecanoe the previous November. The citizens of the town united with the troops to give Col. Miller and his gallant regiment a worthy reception. Southwest of the lot now occupied by Mr. Frank Chance, was a considerable declivity, which at one time, was called Shryach's Hill, and, afterward, the Baldwin Hill. At the foot of this hill an arch, bearing the inscription, "Tippecanoe Glory," spanned the road. The regiment of Col. Miller was met at the public square by Gen. Hull and his staff officers, accompanied by a body guard, and was escorted to the camp in triumph, between files of citizens and soldiers, the ladies strewing flowers in the way. The reception and triumphal march are considered the finest military pageant ever displayed in Urbana. The regiment then crossed over to the higher ground, now partly occupied by the residences of Mr. George Weaver and Mr. P. B. Ross, and encamped.
This accession to Gen. Hull's army completed the organization, and the entire force, in a short time, was ordered to Detroit, and opened the army road afterward known as Hull's Trace. The reverses which followed in the North continued to make Urbana an objective point. Gov. Shelby, of Kentucky, for the protection of the exposed frontier settlements, called out and took command in person of some 5,000 mounted men, and encamped on the south border of the town, reaching from the place where the upper factory pond now is, westward through the Weaver and Ward lands to the old mill near the water works, where they remained some days before being ordered to the front.
Gov. Meigs, immediately after the surrender of Detroit, made a requisition for a large Ohio force, under command of Gen. W. Tapper. Urbana was made the place of rendezvous, and the encampment was on the high grounds north of the ravine bordering what is now known as Laurel street.
264 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
During the siege of Fort Meigs, in May, 1813, runners were sent through the surrounding country, urging the male inhabitants to assemble immediately at this point to take measures to relieve the besieged fort. The summons resulted in a large mass-meeting, from all points south to the Ohio River, and the greater part, being armed, volunteered to march at once to the relief of the fort. Joseph Vance, Simon Kenton and other citizens of Urbana took an active and prominent part in the movement. The force was officered by acclamation, and immediately moved north under command of Col. McArthur. Four days' forced march were made through the wilderness, when they were met by Col. William Oliver, John McAdams and Captain Johnny, an Indian, who had been sent as spies with the intelligence that the enemy had abandoned the siege. The force then returned to Urbana and were discharged.
The concentration of forces and supplies at this point, necessarily required the establishment of appropriate agencies. Among these, the Quartermaster's Department was managed by William Jordan. Alexander Doke had charge of the armorer's yards and shops. Zephaniah Luce was Issuing Commissioner. Dr. Gould, Physician and Surgeon to the hospital. Jacob Fowler, being at the head of the Quartermaster's Department, was general agent and contractor for Govern ment supplies. Maj. David Gwynne here made his headquarters as Paymaster, and Josiah G. Talbott, formerly a Lieutenant in the regular army, opened a recruiting station and enlisted a number of soldiers.
Joseph Vance organized a volunteer company of riflemen from the surrounding country, who elected him Captain; William Ward, Jr., Lieutenant; and Isaac Myers, Ensign. They were mostly old hunters, and could hit the " bull's eye " at seventy-five yards' distance. It has been asserted that the hunters were so expert with the rifle that, a deer bounding through the grass, and fired at by a number, the hand would cover the space where the bullets struck. This company was denominated Minute-men and Rangers, and, when danger from Indians was apprehended-which occurred several times during the war they promptly responded to the call and moved to the point of danger. Other companies, from Urbana and the surrounding country, were also organized, which did efficient service. Among these was a company under Capt. John McCord, one of Capt. Barrett and one of Capt. Kizer.
From the first settlement, and until after the close of the war, alarms of threatened Indian raids were frequent. Reports of massacres of whole families, in close proximity, added to the alarm. In the earlier times, the rumor of the approach of hostile savages would send the few settlers to the more strongly built and roomy log-houses, where they would barricade the doors and windows. On one occasion, it is reported that Zephaniah Luce, receiving information that a body of Indians in the neighborhood intended to make an attack on the place during the night, went around among the settlers, urging them to repair to the house of George Fithian, and carry with them all their guns and ammunition, and barricade it as the most secure stronghold in the place. The advice was followed, and the night was one of intense anxiety and excitement. The attack was not made, and in a day or two they returned to their deserted cabins. These alarms suggested the expediency of building a block-house, which the people erected shortly after on lot No. 104. This house was used during the war as one of the artificer's shops for the army. The neighboring frontier tribes of Indians professed friendship, yet many distrusted them, and were suspicious that through the representations and influence of Tecumseh and his brother, the Prophet, they might be induced to join the Pottawatomies and other hostile tribes. At
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the battle of Tippecanoe, fought in November, 1811, though the forces of Gen. Harrison met with heavy losses, the Indians, under Tecumseh, were, after much slaughter, routed. This being late in the fall, no fears were entertained that they could be reorganized before the next summer. To provide against their reassembling and renewing hostilities, precautionary measures were taken by Gov. Meigs by calling a council of Indians, and especially those who professed friendship for the United States, to meet with him at Urbana on a given day. To make the call successful, Col. James McPherson, Zane and Walker were employed to visit the several tribes, over whom they were supposed to be able to exert a favorable influence. The result was that the chiefs of the Shawnees and Wyandots, with leaders of other tribes, accompanied by their braves, made their appearance on the appointed day. A platform stand had been erected at the place where the Indian councils were generally held in a grove a few rods southwest of the old graveyard, marked on the city plat as inlots Nos. 197, 198, 199, 200, 207, 208, 209 and 210. The stand was about the center of the block inclosed by Church, Locust, Ward and Kenton streets. The time was a little after the declaration of war. The result was considered satisfactory. The Indians avowed their determination to take sides with the United States, and the Governor agreed, on his part, to guarantee protection and support to their families against hostile tribes in league with Great Britain. To carry out the agreement in good faith, a block-house was erected near Zanesfield, in Logan County, for the protection of the women and children, who, at the public expense, were furnished with provisions, etc.
The war with Mexico made no great stir among the people of Champaign, though the progress of the victorious troops from Vera Cruz to Mexico was hailed with an enthusiasm similar to that over the country generally. There was a sentiment very widely prevalent that the war was unnecessary, and that the United States, strong in its resources, ought not to have attacked a sister Republic; but, being in, the patriotism of the county was for the country, right or wrong. The newspapers of the county do not return any names of the volunteer soldiery who were at Buena Vista, the heights of Monterey, or the storming of Chapultepec, but a green memory has kept in remembrance the names of Evan Jenkins, Oliver Jenkins. Frank Jenkins, Thomas Lowe, Isaac N. Pierce, George Hoover, Thomas Connerton, Thomas Wilson, Stephen Hagerbaugh, George Seibert, Finley Dunham, Robert Wallace, John Needler and Johnson K. Putman-all of whom were from Champaign, who volunteered in the Army of the Rio Grande. To these may be added the name of Gatch Ambrose, youngest son of Frederick Ambrose, whose name has appeared in these pages as one of the oldest pioneers. Young Ambrose was engineer on a Mississippi River steamboat, which he left for the war. Passed safely through its dangers; afterward joined the ill-starred expedition of Walker, "the gray-eyed man of destiny," and, with other young men deceived into participation in the Nicaraguan expedition, paid the penalty with his life.
THE CIVIL WAR.
The election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency was the signal for the bursting forth of the volcano which had smoldered many months, and which
266 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
the country had hoped would die out without a general conflagration. The country did not believe that the States which claimed the right of peaceable secession from the Union would proceed to extremities. In the supposition that such might be the case, men's minds were confused, and the thoughts of what ought to be done, under the circumstances, had not taken a tangible shape. The air was full of rumors, anxieties and fears, but confusion and dis cordant counsels everywhere prevailed. The very few, by intuition, saw an impending calamity; time was required to develop its magnitude and create a common sentiment.
The successive stages in the great drama tended to arouse a commotion over the entire country, and to bring men together to consult as to the common welfare. The secession of South Carolina was the tocsin which brought men together for thought-the shot at Fort Sumter brought them together for action. Champaign County was equally moved with the rest of the State. Every section held its indignation meeting, but a public meeting, called by the Mayor of Urbana, and held in the court house, took precedence in point of force, character and numbers. William Patrick was Mayor, and, believing that the time had come both for thought and action, called a meeting of the citizens and appointed a committee to present resolutions representing the sentiments of the people of Champaign County in relation to the condition of public affairs.
The meeting was held on the evening of January 17, 1861, and at an early hour was densely packed by men and women, who for hours stood in their places, and taking an active interest in the proceedings. The Mayor was called to preside over the meeting, and John Russell was chosen Secretary. The President stated the object of the meeting was to consider the state of the Union, and, by a few appropriate words, with great earnestness reviewed the situation, the value of the union of the States, and the importance of prompt, considerate and effi cient means to meet the impending crisis. The band, while the applause which followed the Mayor's speech was being made, struck up " Hail Columbia," which added to the enthusiasm, and gave the crowd the appearance of a tumultuous assembly.
Silence being restored, Rev. I. I. Thompson was called on, and prayed for the peace and safety of the country, and for wisdom to guide in their proceedings. Mr. John H. Young nominated Joshua Saxton and Christopher Ryan to sit as Vice Presidents, which was carried, and the two gentlemen-the opposite of each other in size, appearance, politics, religion, business and general make-up-cordially shook hands as they ascended the rostrum, and the band again brought forth bursts of applause on playing "The Star Srangled Banner," many of the audience joining with rapturous enthusiasm in the chorus.
The farewell address of Washington was then read by A. M. Pence. After the reading, the committee previously appointed by the Mayor to consider the situation and to present resolutions as to the condition of affairs, composed of Messrs. A. F. Vance, F. M. Wright. John H. Young, Levi Geiger and John D. Burnett, were called and reported resolutions. The committee, perhaps, gives a fair index to the mixed elements composing the meeting, and one may well wonder, not that there were diversities of opinion, but that persons having such diverse views could ever be brought into harmony at all. Vance represented the Bell-Everett wing of politics ; F. M. Wright was a radical of the Chase school; John H. Young had faith in the Douglas Democracy ; Levi Geiger was considered a conservative and supporter of Lincoln, and John D. Burnett, in
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 267
ceasing to be a Whig, was identified with the Breckenridge section of the Democracy. Notwithstanding the discordant elements composing the committee, the times and the situation demanded an abeyance, if not an entire surrender of, previous political affinities, and a new and single plank in a platform on which all might stand, the advocacy of a principle paramount to all partisanship, and, for the time being the disintegration of all political parties.
The committee reported four resolutions, in substance, that the citizens are attached to the Constitution and Union, and that the preservation of the General Government and the Union of the States are essential to the tranquillity and safety of the people at home and their security and respect abroad ; that the constitutional rights of every State and citizen must be preserved ; are opposed to the citizens of any State intermeddling with the domestic relations of another State, and the legal and constitutional obligations of the people of one State to be carried out in spirit and letter to the citizens of other States ; that the power and authority of the General Government must be maintained, and the laws of Congress enforced in every State and Territory, until repealed or adjudged unconstitutional by the proper judicial tribunal, and that attempts by the authorities of any State to nullify the Constitution of the United States or laws of the Federal Government, or to resist the execution of them, are revolutionary in their character and tend to the destruction of the country. After some discussion, the three resolutions were adopted by the meeting.
The fourth resolution was divided into sections, and gave rise to an acrimonious debate, protracted to some length, and marked throughout with an impassioned oratory such as the speakers themselves were rarely capable of and the court-room was a stranger to.
Resolved (1), That we recommend the repeal of all personal-liberty bills.
(2) That the Fugitive Slave law be amended for the preventing of kidnapping, and so as to provide for the equalization of the Commissioners' fees, etc.
(3) That the Constitution be so amended as to prohibit interference with slavery in any of the States where it now exists.
(4) That Congress shall not interfere with the inter-State slave trade.
(5) That there shall be a perpetual prohibition of the African slave trade.
(6) That the line of 36° 30' north latitude shall be run through all the existing territory of the United States; that north of that line slavery shall be prohibited, and south of that line neither Congress nor the Territorial Legislature shall hereafter pass any law abolishing, prohibiting or in any manner interfering with African slavery; and that when any Territory, containing a sufficient population for one member of Congress in any area of 60,000 square miles, shall apply for admission as a State, it shall be admitted with or without, slavery, as its constitution may determine.
The fourth resolution, with its various sections, was discussed by a number with great earnestness and eloquence, when Henry T. Niles offered as a substitute the following, which he supported with great ability
Resolved, That we, as citizens of Urbana, are in favor of the Union, the Constitution, and the enforcement of the laws.
No second was made to the amendment, and consequently no action was had on the resolution. The fight of the meeting was mainly on the fourth resolution, the first three meeting little or no apposition.
Joseph C. Brand and John A. Corwin opposed, and Ichabod Corwin, John S. Leedom, A. F. Vance, L. H. Long and R. C. Fulton spoke in favor of the adoption of the fourth resolution. Levi Geiger, A. C. Denel and George B. Way replied adversely to its adoption, making the key-note of their speeches that the Constitution needed enforcement, not amendment, when Levi Geiger moved to lay the resolution on the table, which was carried.
268 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
A communication was then read by the Secretary, which was a copy of a letter from Gen. E. P. Fyffe to Gov. Dennison, pledging the valley to promptly respond to a call for 5,000 men whenever the Governor thought proper to make the call, which called down the applause and a vote of thanks. to Gen. Fyffe by the House.
Ichabod Corwin offered the following:
We, the people of the town of Urbana, are unalterably and forever attached to, and in favor the supremacy of the Constitution, and of all laws passed in pursuance of it, and of the union ithese States; and for the maintenance thereof against all attacks from all quarters we pledge to ach our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
The resolution was passed unanimously, and the multitude, having joined in singing " The Flag of the Union," adjourned.
This little reminiscence of the ante-war days is significant of the popular thought then in its formative state. The time was soon to come when thought was to take shape in action.
April 12, 1861, the Confederate forces at Charleston, S. C., bombarded Fort Sumter-a fort built on an artificial island at the mouth of Charleston Harbor, and under command of Gen. Robert Anderson. The evident object of the bombardment was to give assurance to the world that the dissolution of the Union was complete, and, by the overt act of treason, remove all hope of a reconciliation of differences between the North and South, and to intimidate the States which remained loyal to a continued union of all the States into acquiescence in the dissolution.
If such were the purposes, the result proved them fallacious. The firing on Sumter only gave assurance to the country that the issue had to be fought out on the battlefield, and that compromises and proclamations were empty trifling. Delay gave strength and opportunity to the rebel cause. In the excitement that followed, Champaign wheeled into line for the Union.
Whatever latent patriotism may have remained in the South, or whatever mental reservations may have been made, under an apparent devotion to the newly formed Confederacy, the revolting States, to all intents and purposes, were a unit. It was no spasmodic effort, excited by some fancied or real danger, but the result of a long-contemplated purpose. The previous Presidential term had given unusual facilities for preparation, and the confederated States in rebellion entered the contest organized, armed and equipped with all the appliances necessary to carry on a deadly and protracted war.
The lapse of a few years has removed much of the rubbish which obscured the facts. The South charged that the interests of its section were endangered, and that for the maintenance of its interests any State had the right to withdraw from the Union and set up an independent government for itself, or join any other political organization, without interference or objection on the part of the Government from which it had seceded. The Northern States denied the right, and asserted that, if granted, it involved not only the disintegration of the nation, but the building up of hostile and belligerent States, dangerous to the common welfare, and entailing a civil war, to be continued until one or the other should be exterminated.
It required no prophetic vision to see that, if slavery were restricted to a limited territory, its extinction would be inevitable. It would break down from its own weight. In this anticipated danger lies the unwritten history of the civil war. The ambition of a few disappointed politicians and the cruel selfish-
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 269
ness of less than a hundred thousand slave owners cost the nation more than three thousand millions of treasure and over half a million of lives.
The distinctive opinions which had divided the political parties of the country became merged in the more important question at issue, which was to be settled by the wager of battle. The great body of the men of all parties in the Northern States were loyal to an unbroken union of States. A considerable element remained to give aid and comfort to the enemy, terror-stricken at the chances of a forced draft, and too cowardly to enlist; many blinded by the contaminating influences of slavery; and not a few from "unadulterated cussedness." In the contest, differences of opinion unavoidably arose as to the beat mode of prosecuting the war, and of the conduct of officials. But two parties were recognized, patriots and traitors. The latter were too insignificant in influence and numbers in Champaign to require special notice. If the nation in the hour of its success could afford to restore to the active and unrepentant rebel the privileges of citizenship which he had vilely thrown away, it can, with equal magnanimity, forgive and forget the sympathizer, who, with mistaken j judg-ment, gave aid and comfort to treason.
In the Army of the Republic, in the organizations from Ohio, Champaign County, in whole or in part, was represented by the following-named regiments
Second Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Third Cavalry. Twelfth Cavalry, Thirteenth Infantry, Twenty-sixth Infantry, Thirty-second Infantry, Forty-second Infantry, Forty-fifth Infantry, Sixty-sixth Infantry, Ninety-fifth Infantry, One Hundred and Thirteenth Infantry, One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Ohio National Guards, to which are to be added colored troops and citizens of Champaign enrolled in other organizations. Total number, 2,025.
The total losses of the county were: Killed in battle, 151; died of wounds, 78; died in Confederate prisons, 48; died by drowning, 3 ; died by steamboat explosion, 6 ; died by disease, 292. Total, 578.
The Militia.-The early settlers of the county were generally good marksmen, and it was usual for each family to own a trusty rifle. In anticipation of Indian raids, volunteer companies were formed as minute-men, at an early day, and a common danger made all soldiers for the time. The war of 1812 gave encouragement to the hostile Indians,'and induced the formation of companies for the common defense. Among these was a rifle company under command of Capt. Joseph C. Vance. Also, companies were enlisted by John McCord, Abner Barrett and Philip Kizer, of which they were respectively elected Captains. When the necessity for their services was past, these companies disbanded. The holiday parade had little attraction for them. From time to time, volunteer companies were organized, but after one or two years' service at "general muster," 4th of July and drill days, they went quietly out of existence, to make way for other patriotic young men to follow in the same way. The inducements offered by the State were not sufficient to continue the organizations, and the glory was a poor substitute for the loss of time and money. A State law was enacted, requiring the enrollment of citizens of twenty-one years of age, and their formation into companies in their respective precincts. These companies were required to spend one day of each year in drill, and on the following day to meet at -a place designated, for what was called the general muster, for inspection by the Brigadier General, and the performance of the various evolutions required of large bodies of militia. The Captain and other officers were elected by the company to serve two years, and due public notice was given of the time and place of parade. The grand muster was held in July or
270 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
August, and several times on the farms east of the Ludlow line, in Union Township, then belonging to John Protsman and the Rohrers ; now owned by the Protsman heirs and William Madden, and also in Mad River Township, near Westville.
The general muster brought out a great concourse of people, and to a large number it was a day of hilarity and fun. Raids on the watermelon patches within miles of the parade-ground were made, and, if roasting-ears were ripe, the corn-fields of the neighborhood offered extensive facilities for foraging. Whisky and hard cider were plenty, and so were fights and black eyes. Insubordination in the ranks was unusual ; but there was not great effort made to keep "eyes right" and "toes out," nor to form in a mathematically direct line. The law required each man to carry a gun, but scarcely one in ten complied with the requisition. Walking-sticks, broom-handles and pieces of board, sawed and whittled into the shape of a fowling-piece, supplied the omission. It was Falstaff's company on a large scale. The home companies were still less particular. Many, to avoid the fine for that day's omission, would then turn out who would not attend the general parade. The common impression was that, for the purpose of teaching military tactics, or to hold the body of the county as minute-men for any emergency that might arise, the whole thing was a miserable farce. Yet there were plenty of men ambitious to serve in the capacity of Captain or Lieutenant. The office of General, Colonel or Major gave a certain prominence which was not without its political or professional value, and the higher officers exhibited a military pride in the parade. The review by the commanding officer and his suite, and the orderly march of the regiments, in battalions and companies, led by volunteer companies in uniform, with bands of music, "with plumes and banners gay," made no mean show; while a march through the town, filling up the street for the distance of several squares, was quite as imposing as more modern shows of no more practical value.
Gen. Hamilton, for many years and until his death, in 1842, was the commanding officer of the brigade. He was a small man, about five feet six inches in height, sat erect on his horse and led the troops with all the dignity of the profession. He knew more of the law than of military evolutions. He rode a fine, large, gray horse, stringhalted in the right leg, which, in his cavorting around, was jerked up and down in time with the music.
Dr. Fyffe was a large, fine-looking officer, with short legs and long body, who always rode a magnificent bay horse, and rode well. He had a sonorous voice, which could be heard above all the din of the field. Col. Dye was tall and military looking, felt'the importance of his position, but was nervous and excitable. To him the whole affair meant business, and he wore a face as solemn as one going to a funeral. The Major, Joseph A. Nelson, when on duty, made the most of it. He was of small stature, five feet six inches in height, and well proportioned, athletic and muscular. He was a man of rare common sense. To him the military parade was a spectacle to be enjoyed by others. Generally simple in his tastes and dress, on dress parade, he believed in " fuss and feathers." His uniform then was faultless, and he wore a profusion of ruffles on his shirt-bosom-stylish and showy. When the regiment was dismissed, the ruffles and buttons were laid aside with his other military trappings, and he was again the man of simple tastes and business habits.
With all the "parade, pomp and circumstance" of the tented field enjoyed by some and used by others-the " soldiers " composing the "rank
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 271
and file" saw that it was a pretense of military practice and an enforced holiday.
Volunteer companies have been organized from time to time, but have generally been of short life. In 1876, a volunteer company, styled the Urbana Guards, was organized in Urbana, under the revised laws of the State. The company, as organized, numbered eighty-nine members, and elected for officers: Captain, B. F. Ganson; First Lieutenant, Charles Kulencamp ; Second Lieutenant, Thomas Binkard ; First Sergeant, J. M. Knight; Second Sergeant, R. J. Winder; Third Sergeant, George McDonald ; Fourth Sergeant, C. S. Kirtland ; Fifth Sergeant, C. E. Colwell.
The uniform adopted was a full gray-being the West Point suit complete.
Latitude 40° 6' north; longitude 83° 43' west; and 1,044 feet above tide-water.
We here present the result of meteorological observations made by Mr. Milo G. Williams, at Urbana, during a period of twenty-five years, from 1852 to 1877. The observations and records were made in accordance with the forms adopted by the Smithsonian Institution ; the regular hours of observation being 7 o'clock A. M., 2 P. M., and 9 P. M.
The temperature at sunrise, as indicated by the thermometer, is recorded as the minimum for that day. The annual minimum and maximum are the lowest and highest points for the year, without regard to the regular times of observation.
The degree of cloudiness is indicated by numbers, the scale being from 10 to 0, 10 indicating entire cloudiness, 5 one-half, and 0 entire clearness. The course of the clouds is given to eight points of the compass, and the prevailing course for each day recorded.
The monthly and annual means; the highest and lowest points each year, and the annual range for 25 years.
(TABLE NOT INCLUDED)
272 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
TABLE II - BAROMETER
TABLE III - WEATHER
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY - 273
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY - 273
TABLE IV - RAINFALL AND WIND.
TABLE V - RETURN OF MIGRATORY BIRDS.
274 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
Cincinnati, Sandusky & Cleveland Railroad.-This road, first called the Mad River & Lake Erie Railroad, under which designation it was chartered and built, was the first railroad to enter Champaign County. It was many years in building, and, being the first road proposed through this county, its advent was looked for with great interest, by the citizens of the county, many of whom had subscribed liberally to the stock. The northern end of the road was early placed under contract, and work was also begun from Cincinnati to the north during the year 1847 or 1848. The first passenger train arrived at Urbana, from Sandusky City, on Thursday evening, July 30, 1848, and was welcomed by a large and enthusiastic concourse of citizens, who had assembled at the depot to witness the long-expected and gratifying event. The completion of the line to Urbana left but fourteen miles of staging between Urbana and Cincinnati, and this soon gave way to the iron track and cars. The progress of this great thoroughfare has been rapid, and to-day it is one of the great lines among the many in this State.
The Pittsburgh, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railroad.-This is a branch of the great railway system of the country, and was first projected and built as a connecting line between Co!umbus, Ohio, and Indianapolis, Ind., and was called the Columbus, Piqua & Indiana Railroad. It was completed from Columbus to Urbana some time in 1853, and the work was slowly pushed westward, reaching Piqua in 1854. The first regular through train passed over the line on Monday, April 4, 1859, and from that time forward the road has advanced rapidly in importance until it is now one of the greatest of the great east-and-west railroads, with a press of both freight and passenger traffic that has assumed mammoth proportions. The original road received material aid from the citizens of Urbana and Champaign County, and the road, in turn, has been of incalculable benefit both to the city and county.
The New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio Railroad.-This name was adopted in April, 1880, for the Atlantic & Great Western Railroad. This road was some years in building, and was finally completed to Urbana in 1865, since which time the road has been twice in the hands of a receiver; the last occasion it was secured by the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio Railroad Company, which now controls it. The road was originally constructed as a broad gauge of six feet in width, and continued as such until the 22d of June, 1880, on which day the entire route of 389 miles was changed, in the short space of four hours and fifteen minutes, to the standard width of four feet and nine inches.
The Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati & Indianapolis Railroad.-This road runs through the southeast corner of Champaign County, through Union and Goshen Townships and the town of Mechanicsburg in the latter township. The original company was called the Springfield, Mt. Vernon & Mansfield Railroad Company, and the road was built through this county in 1851 and 1852. Its advent at Mechanicsburg was celebrated by a grand free excursion to Springfield, and general rejoicing by the people. The people of Goshen Township voted $25,000 in aid to the road, and later some litigation was had, but seems to have been decided favorably to the road, after an outlay of nearly as much more in the legal test. Some 234 car-loads of stock were shipped from Mecbanicsburg in 1879, and 100 car-loads of lumber. The road opens up a fine country, and will, no doubt, continue to prosper and prove a great benefit to the county.
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 275
THE UNITED STATES EXPRESS COMPANY.
This company has indeed become a national institution, and the agency at Urbana has well kept pace with the general advancement of the business throughout the country. The agency at Urbana was established about March, 1848, with the advent of the Mad River & Lake Erie Railroad, and was then known as the W. A. Livingstone & Co. Express, until merged into the United States Express. W. W. Helmick, now an old citizen and Justice of the Peace in Urbana, was the first agent, and he relates how strangely the business was conducted in those days. People were singularly honest. They intrusted their money and valuables to the care of the agent without receipt, and the agent, for want of better facilities, frequently carried large sums of money around in his pockets, and no man molested or made him afraid. Mr. Helmick served as agent for about two years, the first year attending to the business as an accommodation, and latterly receiving, in all, about $50 as compensation. He was succeeded by Lucien Barney, who held the position two or three years, and was, in turn, succeeded by Mr. William Hamilton. The business gradually increased and became systemized, as other railroads were completed through Urbana. Mr. A. C. Humphreys took the agency in 1859, and conducted it successfully until about September, 1861, when he retired to go into other business, and was succeeded by the present incumbent, Mr. O. B. Happersett. Since that time, from a limited business, employing only the agent and one occasional assistant, the business has increased until now six men are required to properly attend it, and some nineteen express trains. arriving and departing by day and night, require their almost constant attention.
In the removal of papers, etc., incident to the rebuilding of the court house, statistics of agricultural reports cannot be ascertained to any extent. We are able to present a few years only.
|Maple Sugar, pounds||128662||28746||4365||12373|
|Maple Sirup, gallons||8086||6237||4561||7752|
Average of wheat per acre in 1869.................................................. 19.31 bushels.
Average of wheat per acre in 1874 .................................................. 16.72 bushels.
Average of wheat per acre in 1879 .................................................. 21.18 bushels.
Average of wheat per acre for ten years .......................................... 15 bushels.
Average per acre in corn, 1869 ...................................................... 88.2 bushels.
Average per acre in corn, 1874 ...................................................... 35.4 bushels.
Average per acre in corn, 1879 ...................................................... 39.2 bushels.
Average per acre in ten years .......................................................... 38 bushels.
276 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
|TOWNSHIPS AND TOWNS||1850.||1860.||1870.||1880.|
|Mad River Township||1,908||2,006||1,803||2,000|
The censuses of the county, as shown by national census statistical reports of the State, are as follows, differing in some respects from the foregoing report. The precincts of several of the townships will add to 1880 : For 1810, 6,303 ; 1820, 8,479 ; 1830, 12,131; 1840, 16,721 ; 1850, 19,782 ; 1860, 22,698 ; 1870, 24,188; 1880, 31,397.
A detailed history of the political parties of Champaign County would occupy unnecessary space, and is consequently neither contemplated nor desired. As in other matters of current history, we shall endeavor to group this topic into separate periods, sufficiently indicating the political complexion of the community. It does not fall within the scope of our plan to investigate the causes which have given marked and continued differences of political opinions in townships separated only by an arbitrary line, nor to seek to know what man, by the force of his intellect, was able to impress upon the people within his reach the convictions which have remained with them. Three periods may be more particularly noticed, as indicating the changes that have occurred in partisan politics and in the character of party organizations ; these are 1800, 1840 and 1880.
1800.-In the organization of the Republic, men's minds were naturally divided as to what power should be conferred on the General Government, and
PAGE 277 - PICTURE OF DAVID STEINBERGER
PAGE 268 - BLANK
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 279
after the ratification of the Constitution, as to the doubtful line of powers conferred on or restricted to the legislative department of the nation. The question has in a large measure entered into the political principles of the leading parties of the country, from that day to this, and was indicated in the beginning by the names adopted-Federal and anti-Federal. The evil results that followed were not from the differences of opinion, but from the bitterness of controversy.
In the inaugural address of Jefferson, March 4, 1801, was enunciated the policy of the President, which showed that he desired to effect a unity of action between the parties which divided the country. To a great extent this had the desired effect, and for a Iong time constituted a creed of political faith for great numbers of the people. The political principles then announced have been made the primer of all politicial parties, and make the glittering generalities of platforms in modern days.
In the earlier period, politics was more a question with the individual than with the masses, and, consequently, organization was the work of a subsequent generation. Caucuses were unknown, and would not have been tolerated. As late as 1820, a call was made by Samuel Smith for a nominating caucus of the House of Representatives ; but it received so little favor that the few who attended adjourned sine die. For local or county officers, the field was open for all who chose to present their names. Population was so sparse that every voter could be seen on the day of election ; and fitness for office was considered of more im portance than opinions on abstract questions of government. In Mad River Township, a certain man was candidate for the office of Assessor on one occasion. The year previous he had filled _the same office, and employed twelve days in the work. John Tavlor refused to vote for him for the reason of waste of time in his official duties. This was sufficient groundwork for the election of Taylor on the spot, and this spirit largely pervaded the old settlers.
Candidates, or sometimes political friends, announced names for election. Thus we have elsewhere seen that, as late as 1828, Mr. John H. James, Mr. Abram R. Colwell and Mr. Charles Anthony were each before the public for election to the Legislature, presented without the dictation of a caucus or the manipulations of a convention of delegates.
The system commends itself for its simplicity and honesty, and is substantially reached, in 1880, by what is called the "primary election " system. Jefferson's inaugural of 1801 had its influence in molding the politics of Champaign, and the political complexion of the county was what was then distinctly called Republican, and for some time Democratic Republican. The party afterward divided into two sections, one following the lead of Jackson and Crawford, the other of Adams and Clay. The former were called Jackson men, and Democrats-a title by which the Jacobins of France were known, and which this branch of the party accepted as their distinctive title; the other branch styled themselves Whigs. In the division, the body of the county followed the Whig standard.
1840.-Prior to the canvass of 1840, material changes had taken elate in the political machinery of the county. Some knowledge of the general politics of the country is necessary to understand these The election of Andrew Jackson to the Presidency introduced a new element into politics, afterward called the "spoils system." from an expression used by William L. Marcy, "To the victors belong the spoils." The President removed 690 men from Federal offices and an connection with the removal said that "he was too old a soldier to leave the garrison in the hands of his enemies. A proscriptive policy was
280 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
novel in politics, and at once suggested the expediency of combination to secure success. Prior to 1831, nominations for President and Vice President had been made by members of Congress composing the distinctive parties.
The first National Convention ever assembled in the United States, met in Baltimore in September, 1831, and nominated Mr. William Wirt for President on an Anti-Masonic ticket. The "National Republican," or Whig party, met in the same city in December, and nominated Henry Clay. In May following a ratification meeting was held in Washington City, and a platform adopted favoring a protective tariff and internal improvements, and opposing removals from office. Mr. Lemuel Weaver represented Champaign County at the ratification meeting. The Democratic Convention met in Baltimore in 1832, and nominated Andrew Jackson. From this period dates more thorough party organizations. Martin Van Buren was chosen successor to Andrew Jackson as President, and continued the same general policy.
The year 1837 was one of great financial depression. The banks suspended specie payments, which was followed by great commercial distress, prostration of business and depreciation of property, all of which was attributed to the policy of the administration. To make matters worse, the prices of wheat, corn, oats, pork and other farm products, were high, selling in 1838 at better figures than those of 1880. The policy is more clearly set forth in questions growing out of the establishment of the U. S. Bank, and which were usually termed " the removal of the deposits," or placing the moneys belonging to the United States in the hands of certain agencies specified by the Secretary of the Treasury instead of the bank ; " the specie circular," or an order requiring payments for public lands to be paid in gold and silver, and a "Sub-Treasury," or agency, to be established by law for the deposit and safe-keeping of the national moneys.
The Presidential campaign began in fact very soon after Van Buren had taken his seat. Pursuing the policy of Jackson, to which was charged the general distress, aroused fears of a continued depression of business ; and the general stagnation of trade gave ample time to discuss the situation. The Whig papers, at an early day, opened the attack and very generally expressed preferences for William Henry Harrison for President, Thomas Corwin for Governor, Thomas Ewing for United States Senator, and Joseph Vance for District State Senator. Conventions composed of delegates were not then in fashion. February 18, 1838, a mass convention of the county was called to Ur bana to select delegates to attend a convention to be held in Columbus. Of this meeting, A. R. Colwell was Chairman, and Moses B. Corwin, Ira Bean, James R. McBeth and R. R. McNemar, a committee to report resolutions. The committee reviewed the general condition of the country and the causes from a Whig standpoint; expressed a preference for W. H. Harrison for President; concurred in a convention at Pittsburg, and recommended 123 delegates for a convention in Columbus. William Patrick, John Owens and E. P. Fyffe were appointed a committee to report names of delegates, all of which was concurred in by the meeting. May 31, 1838, the Columbus Convention was held. Among the delegates from Champaign were William McDonald, William Vance, M. B. Corwin, Absalom Fox, James A. McLain, William Rock, W. L. Converse, Joseph Hill, James Grafton, John West, J. R. McBeth, Joseph Wiley, Henry Funk, Decatur Talbott, I. F. Noble, S. H. Robinson, Harvey B. Corwin, J. C. V. Taylor, James Rock, J. C. Phillips, William Barrett, Thomas Moore, A. S. and C. Hunter, Elijah Breedlove, W. W. Helmick, W. Nichol-
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 281
son, W. W. Crabb, D. C. Whitehall, William Patrick, William McGill, John A. Corwin, William Thomas, Oren F. Mann, Joel Burnsides, E. Burnham, Joseph Irwin and David Parry. All the counties of the State sent to the convention at Columbus large delegations, and multitudes went from interest and curiosity. Never before nor since has the city been so crowded. In August, the Central Committee made a call for a new convention of all the Whigs of the county to agree on a list of candidates, and appointed a committee to draft an address to the people of the county. The Democrats also had a mass meeting in Urbana, August 4. Wm. Hunt, Israel Hamilton and Andrew Ebert, the Committee on Resolutions made report in which they declare that the parties now represent the distinguishing features of 1798, 1800 and 1812 ; that the Whigs represent the monopolies and exclusive privileges ; the Democracy, the cause of equal rights; that the policy of the Whig party tends to establish an aristocracy by aid of concentrated and incorporated wealth ; that the main point at issue was the establishment of a United States Bank, which was opposed by the Democracy because anti-republican and dangerous, and was supported by the Whigs because it gave an aid to political designs; that the body of the people were in favor of Republican principles and the administration of Van Buren, who was abused by the banks and their Whig allies, and that the election which had been carried by the Whigs in several States had been carried by pressure and panic, and the authority thus acquired had been exercised to create alarm and a apprehension of danger.
The Whigs held a mass meeting August 25, Samuel McCord, Chairman, and Joseph C. Brand, Secretary. The resolutions adopted averred that the measures of the administration were at war with the interests of the country-opposed to the long-settled policy of every administration until Jackson's; that innovations and experiments had been persisted in which were destructive to national prosperity and destroyed confidence in the future, the effect of which had been to derange foreign and domestic commercial relations, depreciate a healthy currency, suspend improvements and individual enterprises, lessen credit abroad and cripple credit at home; that the obstinacy of the administration in seeking to force the adoption of the Sub-Treasury bill indicated a determination to follow the policy of Jackson; that the administration looked to the interests of office-holders, and not of the country; and that a change of policy could be had only by a change of men.
In the abstract of the resolutions adopted by the respective mass conventions above stated, is shown the key-note to the campaign. Beginning so early to prosecute the Presidential canvass, we might conjecture that the enthusiasm would die out long before the time for a vote for Presidential Electors. But every mass convention seemed to give intensity to the movement. The conventions brought out the masses as well as the politicians. Delegations came from every quarter, with banners, transparencies and music, in wagons, on horseback and on foot. The rural districts came in all sorts of vehicles, bearing strange mottoes and devices. The processions and assembled crowds were vociferous in their demonstrations, and full of humor. The outpouring of the people and their noisy enthusiasm secured the nickname of the "Log Cabin " and "Hard Cider Party." This was accepted as the rallying cry of the masses, and suggested a multitude of devices for delegations, transparencies and clubs. Log cabins were built and placed on wheels, drawn by six horses, with a coonskin stretched and nailed to the outside; sometimes a live coon perched on the ridge-pole. A barrel of cider usually was found in the "log
282 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
cabin" and the significant motto, "The latch-string always hangs out," gave license to all who desired a cup of cider. The Democrats charged that the barrel generally had " buckeye chips " in it to give the cider additional strength. Bands of music preceded and appeared at regular intervals in the procession, but a marked feature of every club, local meeting, procession, or mass conven tion, was the songs. These were published in the newspapers and soon learned by all, and were sung to the well-known, popular airs of the day. Every week furnished new ballads. No more efficient means was used to heap ridicule on the administration and its supporters, and to ride the opposition into power. It was then popular, and had the merit of keeping up the enthusiasm; but the sober second thought " calls it most execrable doggerel. A vast deal of it was not even funny. No one was ever crazy enough to call the best of it poetry. A few samples may not be amiss
Oh, what bas caused this great commotion-motion-motion
The country through ?
It is the ball a rolling on
For Tippecanoe and Tyler too,
For Tippecanoe and Tyler too;
And with them we'll beat little Van-
Oh, Van! a used-up man-
And with them we'll beat little Van.
One of the most popular of the earlier songs or ballads was entitled the " Log Cabin," written by Otway Curry, a lawyer, politician and scribbler, of Union County, who at one time was suspected of being a favorite of the Muses, but who, so far as we know, has no higher claim to immortality than a popular campain song of 1840. It was sung to the tune of the "Highland Laddie." We give the first verse. The " poem " may be found in the notes on Rush Township.
Oh, where, tell me where, was your Buckeye cabin made?
Oh, where, tell me where, was your Buckeye cabin made?
'Twas built among the merry boys who wield the plow and spade,
Where the log cabin stands in the bonnie Buckeye shade.
'Twas built, etc.
The following had its "run " of popularity
Come, all you log-cabin boys, we're going to have a raisin';
We've got a job on hand that we think will be pleasin'.
We'll turn out and build Old Tip a new cabin,
And finish it off with chinkin' and daubin'.
We want all the log-cabin boys in the nation
To be on the ground when we lay the foundation;
And we'll make all the office-holders think it amazin',
To see how we work at Old Tippecanoe's raisin'.
Hurrah! hurrah! for Harrison and Tyler,
A neat log cabin and a barrel of hard cider.
On the thirtieth day of next October,
We'll take some hard cider, but we'll all keep sober;
We'll shoulder our axes and cut. down the timber,
And have our cabin done by the second of December;
We'll have it well chinked, and we'll have on the cover
Of good sound clapboards, and the weight of poles over,
And a good wide chimney for the fire to blaze in:
So come on boys to Old Tippecanoe's raisin'
Hurrah' hurrah: etc
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 283
Ohio will find the house log timber,
And old Virginia, as you'll remember,
Will find the timber for the clapboards and chinkin' ;
'Twill all be first-rate stuff, I'm thinkin'.
And when we want to daub it, it happens very lucky,
That we have the best of Clay in old Kentucky;
For there's no other State has such a good Clay in
To make the mortar for Old Tippecanoe's raisin'.
Hurrah! hurrah! etc.
For the hauling of the logs, we'll call on Pennsylvania,
For their Conestoga teams will pull as well as any;
And the Yankee States, and York State, and all of the others,
Will come and help us lift, like so many brothers;
The Hoosiers and the Suckers and the Wolverine farmers-
They all know the right way to carry up the corners;
And every one's a good-enough carpenter and mason
To do a little work at Tippecanoe's raisin'.
Hurrah! hurrah! etc.
We'll cut out a window and have a wide door in;
We'll lay a good loft and a first-rate floor in ;
We'll fix it. all complete for Old Tip to see his friends in,
And we know that the latch-string will never have its end in.
On the fourth day of March, Old Tip will move in it,
And then little Martin will have to shin it;
So hurrah, boys, there's no two ways in
The fun we'll have at Old Tippecanoe's raisin'.
Then hurrah! hurrah! for Harrison and Tyler,
A nice log cabin and a barrel of hard cider.
The Democracy endeavored to meet the political storm by similar means; but the ball was rolling on for " Tippecanoe and Tyler too," and the enthusiasm aroused, expired with the effort. John Brough. William Allen, John B. Weller, Wilson Shannon, Richard M. Johnson and Samuel Medary were the champions of the administration, and, at different times, discussed the situation in Champaign. Alfred Kelly, Thomas Corwin, Samson Mason and Thomas Ewing represented the opposition. Conventions and barbecues were held frequently, and always well attended. Newspapers published the names of former Democrats who
"Came out from among the foul party,
To vote for old Tippecanoe."
Applause attended the man who deserted his former colors. Men rode in the log cabins hauled in processions, wearing their coats wrong side out. " Strike my name from the Nottingham list " headed the column of turn-coats in the newspapers. The women everywhere entered into the canvass with the same enthusiasm as the men, frequently joining in the dusty procession. Tables were placed on the sidewalks, covered with cold ham, beef, chickens and bread.
Hotels were insufficient to accommodate the throngs of strangers, and committees quartered all who applied for accommodations on private citizens. In this way Dayton twice entertained an uncounted multitude, variously estimated at from one hundred and eighty thousand to three hundred thousand men. Badges, made of red or crimson silk, three by four inches in size, with the design of a spread eagle and Harrison and Tyler, were generally worn. It was a national holiday.
Champaign, with other counties of the State, had its grand convention and barbecue. The largest, perhaps, ever held in the county was on September 15, 1840. Delegations commenced coming in early in the morning from the
284 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
north, out of Logan, Hardin, etc.; from the east, from Union, Franklin and Madison; from the south, from Clark, Greene and Montgomery. A delegation met Harrison, escorted from the west with an immense cavalcade, miles in extent. A platform had been erected on the public square, which, with every avenue leading to it, and every window and house-top within sight, was filled with eager spectators.
Gen. Harrison was introduced by Moses B. Corwin, in a very short speech, which was responded to in a speech of two hours' length, in a voice not loud nor strong, but clear and distinct, in which he reviewed the attack made on him as a soldier and man, the condition of the country and the public policy of the administration. The delivery and substance of the speech gave general satisfaction, though the age of the General was such that his best days were past. The crowd was too large to hear what was said in the square, and stands for other speakers were erected. Dinner was had in the grove of Mr. John A. Ward, in the southwestern part of town, where twelve tables, each over three hundred feet long, had been erected and laden with provisions. Oxen and sheep were barbecued, and an abundance of cider supplied the drink for the day. In the evening. addresses were made by Arthur Elliott, Ex-Gov. Metcalf, of Kentucky, who wore a buckskin hunting-shirt, Mr. Chambers, from Kentucky, Mr. Christie, from Louisiana, and Richard Douglass, of Chillicothe. The day was one of great hilarity and excitement, and passed off without a sin gle accident. The delegations and processions had every conceivable mode of conveyance, and carried flags and emblems with various and strange mottoes and devices. Among them was one, "The people is oil korrect," which gave rise to the use of the letters "O. K.," not uncommon at this day.
1880.-In the electoral vote of 1840, out of two hundred and sixty-four votes Van Buren received only sixty. From so triumphant a victory, the jubilant Whigs were destined to ignoble defeat and ultimate annihilation. As the years ran on, the moral sense of the States, in which slavery did not exist, increased and gave efficient aid and comfort to the Abolition, or "Liberal," party. Multitudes who cared nothing about slavery became alarmed at the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and the claims of slavery on free territory. The passage of the Fugitive Slave law exasperated thousands who cared naught for the negro or his master, or the political question involved in the controversy. The contest between the parties was a fight for place and power, and in the struggle a new party came into power, and, to a great extent, new men manned the ship of state. For twenty years the Republican party controlled the public affairs. Under its administration, slavery was not only abolished, but the former slave was made a citizen, with all the rights and privileges before the law, as his former master, and which was made part of the fundamental law of the nation. In June, 1880, a National Convention of the Republican party was held in Chicago, composed of delegates representing Congressional districts and chosen by State Conventions. The Chicago Convention was divided between Ex-President Grant, James G. Blaine, John Sherman, Senator Edmonds and a few scattering votes. On the thirty-fifth ballot James A. Garfield's name was announced, and on the thirty-sixth he was declared the nominee.
In the same month, a National Democratic Convention assembled in Cincinnati and nominated W. S. Hancock for the same office. Both conventions issued a platform of principles, each abounding in professions of loyalty to the Constitution, country and laws. The Democratic platform pledged the Democracy to the constitutional doctrines and traditions of the Democratic party as
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illustrated by the teachings and examples of a long line of Democratic statesmen and patriots. In the presentation of twelve resolutions are averred opposition "to centralization " of powers; an advocacy of " home rule," and "a tariff for revenue only congratulate the country upon the continuation of prosperity at home and the national honor abroad, through a Democratic Congress, and upon the promise of such a change in the administration of the Government as shall insure a genuine and lasting reform in every department of the public service."
"The Republican platform appeals to the history and acts of the party it has represented during the past twenty years, and asks the continued confidence and support of the people; and charges on the Democratic party the habitual sacrifice of patriotism and justice to a supreme and insatiable lust for office and patronage."
The canvass for the respective candidates opened in August, and during the month of September a meeting to be addressed by political speakers was held in some portion of the county nearly every night.- Each of the parties erected on Miami street, below Monument Square, on nearly opposite sides of the street, board structures at considerable expense, capable of containing six hundred to one thousand persons each. They were lighted by gas, and the walls were decorated with transparencies, mottoes, flags, rude portraits and evergreen boughs. Both parties were equally sanguine of success. During the campaign the Democracy charged that if the party in power should win, the result would give the sanction to corruption, encourage centralization of power in the hands of the Federal Government, destroy the right of independent State action and introduce an era of despotism. The Republicans, on the other hand, charged that if the Democracy should win, the result would be repudiation of the National debt; the recognition of the right of persons lately in rebellion to payment from the Government for property lost or destroyed during the civil war, including the valuation of the slaves set free; the disfranchisement of the colored race; the sanction of nullification ; the issue of which will be a dissolution of the Union, with anarchy or despotism.
The patriotism of the people outside the late slave-holding States cannot be questioned, and the sincerity of the opinions entertained by the members of both parties, both as to the good to be attained by the adoption of the principles they advocate and the evils which will follow if the policy of the opposing party shall prevail, is also equally true. Each party suspects in the other the greed and lust of power and patronage, and imagines, on the part of the opposing faction, no villainy too great to secure its ends. A calm and deliberate judgment sees only the sincerity of purpose and the earnestness of conviction on questions of public policy, which are believed to be essential to the peace, prosperity and perpetuity of the Republic. To this sincerity of opinion is due the personality and bitterness of the controversy. Truth has nothing to fear so long as a public press is left free to combat and expose error. A mistake now would be a virtual recognition of the failure of the public-school system.
The canvass of 1880 differs from that of 1840 in this: Notwithstanding the vastly greater facilities for travel, the conventions of to-day do not compare with the immense assemblages which met in 1840 ; then it was a national holiday and jubilee, and the tidal billow that swept over the country did away with partisan bitterness. In 1880, evening parades with torches, and the discharge of rockets and Roman candles, take the place of the day processions of 1840, and there is an under-current of bitterness and hostility.
286 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
The machinery of party polities has also changed. In 1800 there was none; political opinions were no less decided than now, but the work of nominating candidates and discussing their merits were personal matters. As population increased, changes were made.
In 1840, conventions of the people were in order. A mass meeting elected a central committee, who had a general supervision of all matters appertaining to the county canvass.
In 1880, the machinery was more complicated, but less liable to control. A central committee, composed of representatives from the several townships, have a general supervision of the affairs of the party within the county or district, the local representatives having charge of the work in their respective precincts. Meetings are called by the central committee in each township and precinct for the election of delegates, in the ratio of the number of votes cast at the previous election for Secretary of State. The representatives thus chosen attend a general convention of delegates called by the same committee, when nominations are made and ballotings had for candidates for various offices, the entire proceedings being conducted in accordance with the usual parliamentary laws. It is understood and agreed, that all persons whose names are presented for the votes of the convention for any office will accept the result of the vote in good faith and support the nominee. And the successful candidates are taxed by the committee, in the ratio of the salaries of their respective offices, for the expenses of the campaign. Both the leading parties pursue substantially the same modes of political management.
From the division of the National Republican party into Democrats and Whigs, the majority of the electors of Champaign County were identified with the name and policy of the Whig party, until 1856, when old questions, as suming new shapes and importance, and new men, made sectional issues. These gave rise to the Republican party, and for twenty years a majority of the citizens of the county have supported the principles and policy of this party.
Early Settlers.-In other portions of this work, embracing the local history and incidents of the county, will be found the name's of the men who at an early day came to this section and took an active part in laying the foundation for a new order of things. The condition of the country and the sparse population, exacted of each one, however humble or illy prepared, efficient service in the work to be done. This was not limited to promptness in a defense against a common enemy, but in an interest in the common welfare and a friendly aid in assisting poor and sick neighbors and emigrants. Poverty was not only no bar to considerate regard, but was one of the strongest incentives to insure a general interest. The newly-arrived emigrant brought together an entire neighborhood to assist in preparing the family a home, and before the day had closed the cabin would be ready for occupancy. Advice and material help were given as circumstances demanded, and the new comer felt bound to repay the debt by reciprocal kindness and good deeds. The same spirit continued to be a characteristic of the' men of that generation under changed circumstances. He who would be insensible to such treatment, or hesitate to fall in with the prevailing current, must be a bad man. With all the mutual help and good will, there was still among the earliest settlers much deprivation. As the country became opened up and more populous, the discomforts were greatly removed. But we are surprised that these men were willing to endure the cares, hardships and dangers from which there was no escape, except to retrace their steps to the older and long-settled sections of the country. To this, it may be replied, that
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 287
familiarity with danger and deprivation of what are now called necessaries, became a second nature, and they had faith in the future. But, more than all, they felt free and independent. Many of them had come from sections where wealth had drawn social lines not to be passed over; and there was a servitude and a caste galling to men who looked for better things. We need not be surprised, then, to find that a large majority of the men who for these reasons braved the wilderness, were not ordinary men. The true men counted the cost and never "bated jot of heart or hope," and in the struggle developed the manly character with which they were endowed by nature. There were undoubtedly men of "bad blood " among them. But we can readily believe they were the exception.
We are also surprised at the fact that these men were not mere adventurers, untrained to habits of industry, but, for the most part, were skilled in the mechanical trades. The country at first presented no opportunity for the exercise of their trained skill, and they were of necessity agriculturists, but engaging in their several occupations as the development of the country gave occasion. Without, therefore, indulging in a long list of names of worthy men and women who made their impress on the country, but whose influences were of a local nature, it may not be inappropriate to mention something of a few who became more widely known or who for many years occupied a prominent position in the State.
Gov. Vance's ancestors were Irish Protestants, or what were commonly called Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, who settled in the colony of Virginia long prior to the Revolution. His father served in Capt. Vail's company, in Morgan's famous rifle regiment. Joseph Vance was born in Washington, Penn., near an Indian town called "Catfish," March 21, 1786. His father moved to Maysville, Ky., thence to Clifton, in Greene Co., Ohio, and in 1805, to Urbana, where he died in August, 1809. Joseph was married when twenty-one years of age, and at once took an active part in matters of public concern. For some years prior to and during the war of 1812, fears were entertained of hostilities from the Indians, and, to meet these dangers, Mr. Vance was active in organizing an independent rifle company, composed of some of the best marksmen of the county, to act as minute-men as occasion might require. He was chosen Captain of the company, and on several occasions was called out and rendered efficient service; in addition to other duties, erecting a block-house for the safety of the inhabitants in the exposed quarter. He afterward passed through the several grades of Major, Colonel, Brigadier and Major General. Was member of the State Legislature in 1812 ; served as Representative in Congress, from 1820 to 1836, and again in 1843; Governor in 1837, and member of Ohio Senate in 1839. His last public service was as member of the Convention of 1851, to revise the Constitution of the State. After the convention had been in session several days, he had a severe attack of paralysis, from the effects of which he never entirely recovered, and died the following year on his farm in Salem Township, two miles north of Urbana.
Like all the men of note of that day, he was " the architect of his own fortune," commencing business in life when a mere boy as a wood-chopper at the salt works, and by his economy saving money enough to buy a wagon and ox-team, with which he hauled and distributed salt to the scattered settlers in Kentucky, and even after his settlement in Urbana making occasional trips to the
288 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
salt works. It was here where he formed the acquaintance of Thomas Ewing, and an intimacy that continued through life. Under such circumstances, his educational opportunities were exceedingly limited.
It is no place here to speak of his public services as a legislator. His long time in the public service is sufficient assurance of his natural ability, and the satisfactory manner in which he discharged the trusts committed to his hands at a time when political parties were critical and plans to secure elections were not reduced to a science. His long public career brought him in contact with the first men of the nation, and necessarily largely increased his general knowledge and remedied the defects of his early education. In politics, he was a Whig of the Henry Clay school, and a zealous advocate of public improvements.
In 1827, he advocated the repair and extension of the National road, then called the Cumberland road, through Ohio and other States of the West, and, in a speech in Congress in support of a bill before the House, made some hard thrusts at the advocates of State rights. It was a time when the "Code " settled such matters, attacks in the House being satisfied in the field. But it was understood not only that the General would fight, but that he was a dead shot with a rifle, and nothing more was said about fighting.
Gov. Vance was about five feet ten inches in height, with a large frame, inclined to corpulency. He had a large head and forehead, and a strongly marked face. The eyebrows were heavy, and the right eye nearly closed, as though pained by the sunlight. He always wore a standing shirt collar, loose around the neck and not always square with his chin, and a black silk cravat or a neckerchief tied with a small bow-knot. At home and among his neighbors, he was partial to a blouse and jeans pantaloons, and had a great dislike to the fashionable cut of the latter. In his public life, he wore, according to the custom of that day, the conventional suit of black cloth.
To young men with whom he met, he was pleasant and talkative, and had a happy faculty of describing scenes of public life he had witnessed and the public men he had met, talking in an easy, conversational way of the every-day life not often found in the books and papers.
As a speaker, he had a strong, rich voice, speaking with great earnestness and force, and without the arts of the practiced debater, and in the heat of the discussion apt to indulge in an argument ad hominem.
He not only gave his vote and influence in favor of works of public improvement, but was interested in the private enterprises which contributed to the general good. He was President of the Mad River & Lake Erie (now the C. S. & C.) Railroad. In 1818, he built a mill on King's Creek, a short distance above the junction with Mad River, with all the improvements in milling in use at that day. The patterns for the castings were made on the farm, and the castings hauled by wagon from McArthur's furnace, on Raccoon Creek. He was one of the first men in the county to import thoroughbred stock-cattle and horses-into this section.
We are not aware that the name that heads this sketch ever did anything to make the world wiser or better, and his title to being "handed down to posterity " is the simple fact that he lived near the head of the prairie that winds through Salem and Union Townships, which in that day was, at certain seasons, a succession of ponds or lakes, where he trapped and fished, and which, for this reason, bears his name.
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 289
It is not known certainly who was the first white man that lived in Salem, or where the first cabin was built, but it is generally accepted that Dugan is entitled to the "honor." Pierre Dugan was a Canadian Frenchman, who had an Indian squaw for his wife, and in 1803 was living in a cabin near the residence of Mr. Mark Higbee, not far from the junction of the railway track with the main road, about four miles northeast of Urbana. Dugan was a simple, inoffensive man, who employed his time in fishing, hunting and trapping, for which his location at the head of the prairie gave him unusual facilities. At that time, and for many years afterward, with the exception of here and there an island, it was covered with water, in some parts to a considerable depth. In spring and summer it had the appearance of a lake, winding around the projections of land, interspersed with elevated spots of timber, and extending miles toward the south. To-day, the prairie presents as fine a body of alluvial and black soil as may be found anywhere, and a large portion of it under the plow. The traveler, looking down from any of the hills which skirt its sides, sees stretched out before him, as far as the eye can reach, or bounded only by a jutting piece of timber, a beautiful landscape, dotted with farmhouses and orchards and checkered with fields of golden corn, instinctively says there was the bed of a once mighty river. Great bowlders lie along its channel, seamed and washed in fissures by the once moving waters, and a mountain of sand, now covered with great oaks and hickories, attest the eddy that swept around its base. Sloping banks of clay and beds of marl confirm the conjecture. But conjecture is lost in the time when this bed was a majestic stream. If the supposition be true, King's Creek, breaking away to the west, and Buck Creek, bearing off on the south, alone indicate the diminished current. Here a vast amount of fish, frogs and turtles were to be found, and countless numbers of water-fowl made it their resort, and the beaver, otter, mink and muskrat had their houses near the margin of the lake. It was a terrestrial paradise for a man like Dugan. "In very dry summers, water on the prairie would get so low that some parts would become entirely dry, and leave large quantities of fish exposed, which would be devoured by the hogs, wild beasts and fowls, or left to rot in the hot sun, causing an intolerable stench and much sickness for miles around."
In 1825, the Legislature passed an act authorizing John Reynolds, of Urbana, to drain the prairie, which he accomplished in a short time at a heavy expense. The ditch begins not far from the boundary line of Urbana, Salem and Union Townships, on the land owned by Joseph Reynolds and more recently by Judge Warnock, thence northwardly, making a wide circuit and washing past the railway stations and depots in Urbana. The ditch not only drained a large extent of country, but has been a blessing to the entire neighborhood through which it passes in removing prolific sources of disease. The ditch for a long time was called the Reynolds Ditch. The lower portion of Dugan, within the past ten years, has been drained by a ditch beginning not many rods from the head of the Reynolds Ditch, thence running south into the waters of Buck Creek. As the waters were removed, the wild grass grew luxuriantly, still furnishing shelter for deer and turkey, and the undrained ponds a resort for wild geese and ducks. It was customary for farmers of the neighborhood to cut the wild grass for hay, though coarse and not very nutritious. Black and prairie rattlesnakes were very numerous. An old settler, who lived in the cabin on the hill, three-fourths of a mile northeast of the crossing of the Milford pike and Ludlow, east of William Madden's residence, according to his
290 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
own report, went out one morning to cut a pile of hay, not far from a clump of trees opposite his cabin, in the midst of the prairie. His grass hook happened to be a sharp butcher knife, and after cutting what he supposed would make a good-sized haycock, he proceeded to gather it up in a pile, and was surprised to find thirty-seven heads of rattlesnakes, which he had cut off while cutting the grass ! Prairie rattlers are abundant in that locality still, and the serious manner in which the statement is made removes the last vestige of doubt as to the truth of the story. The same party also told of a trip down the prairie one morning, when a thunder-storm came up before he could reach home, and be took shelter beneath a tree. While there, he saw a squirrel on the highest branch of a tree near by, coming down to its nest in a knot-hole, when at the same instant the lightning struck the tree. He had never before supposed that a squirrel could climb so fast, and for a moment he thought the squirrel would escape; but the lightning was too quick for him, for before he could pull his tail in the hole, the lightning, in passing down the tree, cut it off.A volume would hardly contain the stories of the early history of Dugan, and, though marvelous and strange, quite as truthful as the foregoing. A young man named Rohrer, who was much interested in the stories and adventures of the Western hunters and trappers, spent a night at his cabin. There happened to bean old crony present, and the old hunters sat up till midnight, recounting their adventures in hunting bears and other animals. Rohrer enjoyed the stories as much as the old hunters, and closed the talk by saying he had just bought a book containing many anecdotes of hunting and trapping bears, in which he had been much interested; but after hearing their marvelous adventures and accounts of the animal, he was satisfied that the author knew nothing about bears, and as soon as he got home he intended to burn the book !
Well, we have wandered a little from the subject of our sketch. Pierre Dugan and our story-teller have long since left the margin of the lake and the prairie where they caught fish and killed rattlesnakes. The name still remains. The times in which he lived were full of adventure, danger and heroism. The quiet life of the trapper suggests a life as simple and true as that of Natty Bumpo, and out of it, with the known history of the time, another Cooper may narrate the story of the last of the Shawnees.
Dugan, like Natty Bumpo, loved solitude and the wilderness. The fires that shone out from the distant ridge or gleamed at night from the trees along the margin of his lake, with the sound of the woodman's ax by day, suggested that game would soon be scarce, and it was time for him to be hunting a new home. He accordingly packed up his traps, and with his wife, children, and dogs, wended his way to the head-waters of the Scioto, where he "pitched " his cabin and spent the remainder of his life. Once a year he would visit Urbana, to dispose of his furs and skins, and as Judge John Reynolds had become the owner of his old home, be always called on him for his rent, which was duly honored in the shape of a pound of " pig tail " tobacco, or a calico dress for his papoose.
The following story is told of him by Judge E. L. Morgan, and is a fair instance of the simplicity of his character: Having purchased a bag of corn meal of John Taylor, at his mill on King's Creek, and having no horse of his own to carry the meal home, Mr. Taylor kindly offered to loan him a pony he called Gopher. Pierre thankfully accepted the loan, but after looking at the bag of corn meal, then at Gopher, and finally at himself, concluded that
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the load was too heavy for the horse, but as the bag was too heavy for himself to carry, he compromised the difficulty by shouldering the bag, then led the pony to a stump and mounted his bare back with the bag of meal on his own shoulders. saying as he did so, "that he could carry the bag and Gopher could carry him," and in this way rode home.
The names of two other men, Lorenzo Dow and Jonathan Chapman, should be mentioned in this connection, not as having been residents of Champaign County, but as occasional visitors, men without an abiding home, and who were strangely identified with the pioneer life of the country; names that the world would not willingly let die. Lorenzo Dow, at this day, would be called an "evangelist " preacher. Acting on his own responsibility, making appointments wherever it suited his convenience or whim, and making his "circuit " to traverse a large extent of territory, he generally announced long periods in advance when and where he would preach in the vicinity where he happened to be, and was considered remarkably punctual in filling his appointments. These were made a note of and remembered, and multitudes flocked to his ministry. Before the hour appointed, the entire neighborhood might be seen wending their way to the designated spot. His name and fame attracted large crowds. Many anecdotes are told of his eccentricities and blunt rudeness. It was a rough age, and the "terrors of the law " hurled at his audiences in his vehement and impressive manner, was perhaps the best, if not the only way, to reach the consciences of his more rough and lawless hearers. A writer describing him says that, at the appointed time he came to the place of meeting walking very fast, dressed plainly, with a straw hat and white blanket overcoat. He rushed into the midst of the congregation, pulled off his hat and coat and dashed them on the ground in an excited, angry manner, and with great sternness, began his discourse with the words " Hell and Damnation ! " which were followed by expressions of shocking profanity, which, after a pause, he declared to be the common language of many of his hearers, and then preached a solemn warning sermon against the wickedness of a violation of the second commandment, and was listened to without interruption to the end.
The kindly courtesies extended to him, by persons living in neighborhoods where he had sent notice of his purpose to preach, were not always received with a corresponding good will. An instance in point is given by Dr. Thorn Cowgill, of Salem Township, in an account of an appointment and visit Lorenzo to Bellefontaine. He had stopped at the house of Eleazer Hunt, in Hardin County. Phineas Hunt, the father of Eleazer, was there with his wagon, and, being about to start for his home in Champaign County, kindly gave Lorenzo a ride. They reached Bellefontaine at the hour appointed, the people generally, who had heard of the appointment, anxiously looking for him. Judge McCulloch and others went out to meet him, and, seeing the wagon, inquired if Mr. Dow were there. He said, "Yes, my name is Dow." Judge McCulloch then invited him to go to his house for dinner, as there was sufficient time before the hour of meeting. - Without saying a word, he directed the driver to go a little farther south, where he alighted from the wagon and sat down under the shade of a tree, and made his dinner of some bread and meat taken from his pocket. There was a large crowd in attendance at the meeting.
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and the preacher took occasion to make personal applications of tattling, slandering one's neighbors, etc. That evening he had a meeting in the house of Phineas Hunt. Next day, being Sunday, a meeting which had been appointed to be held at Mount Tabor, at 10 o'clock, was well attended. On the road to the meeting, he overtook some persons, and walked a distance on the way with them, and, taking a by-way from the main road, was reminded by one of the company that the highway was the direct road to the place of meeting, but, after telling them to go on the road they were following, continued his journey nearly a mile north of Mount Tabor, and then retraced his steps to the place of meeting. Without stopping at the place where the assembly had met, he walked on past the congregation, down the hill among the bushes and timber, southeast of the church, where he immediately began to preach, the people following him, carrying benches and chairs, though most of his hearers continued standing during the delivery of his discourse. William H. Fyffe sent a carriage to convey him to Urbana, where he had an appointment to preach that afternoon at 3 o'clock. He was kindly invited to dinner by several persons, but refused the invitations, and laid down to rest on Judge Reynolds' cellar-door, making his meal, as usual, from bread taken from his own pocket. The meeting was a large one, and the preacher became very earnest, and, in his excitement, when in his gesticulations, the hymn-book slipped from his hand and struck a lady on the head.
The visit to Champaign was held in May, 1826, though it is understood both previous and subsequent visits were made. He is described as being a spare man, of rather small size; his beard was long, reaching to his breast; his hair a little gray, parted in the middle and reaching down to his shoulders, and his dress very plain, clean and neat. He wore a straw or palm-leaf hat, a black overcoat, which seemed to be the only coat he had on. His eye was calm but piercing. While preaching, he rested on his cane. In manner, he was earnest and impressive, and never hesitated for the precise word he wanted to use. His doctrine appeared to be the same as that held by the Methodists, and he spoke with much severity against proud and deceitful professors of religion. Our description of Mr. Dow is taken from an account of him by Mr. Thomas Cowgill.
In some respects, Lorenzo Dow was a remarkable man; well fitted to do a missionary work in a rude period, and possessing a certain native eloquence and force that attracted attention and carried conviction to his hearers. His eccentricities were not of a character to provoke ridicule or laughter; and while his manners, by the way, were not always tempered by the refinement and courtesy which we instinctively assume to be the distinctive mark of a Christian preacher and gentleman, the beneficent purpose of his mission and the work of his life gave character to the man and commanded the respect of his hearers. Still, it is with difficulty we can disguise from ourselves the belief that his eccentricities bordered on insanity, and that an ill-balanced religious zeal enforced the wandering life which he led.
The name and life of this strange man are entitled to a place in every sketch, however crude, of the pioneer settlement. The man of to-day, nay, the men who were familiar with the olden time which they made and of which they were a part, and who grew up with the ever-enlarging civilization, are
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living in a changed atmosphere: So suddenly and so strangely has the genius of change and alteration waved his charmed wand over the land that the early settler has changed and kept pace with the changing years, and the unwritten history of the early days is recalled as one remembers a fading dream. The sharp and hard conflicts of life make heroes, and the fierce struggles of war and bloodshed develop them into self-reliant, stubborn and aggressive men, as fierce and sanguinary as their bitter foes.
We are living in the age of invention and machinery. These have destroyed the romance of frontier life, and much of the strange, eventful realities of the past are rapidly becoming mythical, and the narratives of the generations that settled the "Far West," abounding in rich treasures of incident and character, are being swallowed up and forgotten in the surging, eventful present. From the dark stories of Indian warfare, of pioneer suffering and want, we turn with delight to another character, the rarest in all the times of which we write.
Few persons of the present generation ever heard of Jonathan Chapman, and his name is rarely mentioned now, save by the few surviving pioneers who remember his quaint appearance, his gentle ways and his good deeds; and among the heroes of that age, the names of none more deserve to be perpetuated.
Among the older citizens who saw him frequently in the earlier years were Mr. William Patrick, and, in more recent times, Mr. John H. James, who met with him several times in Urbana. A contributor to Harper's Monthly Mag azine for November, 1871, gives a sketch of his character and life, and from this and Howe's " History of Ohio " we glean the details of his life, and which, from the recollections of his appearance and labors, are confirmed by those who recall his simple ways.
According to a statement made in one of his less reticent moods, his name was Jonathan Chapman, and he was born in Boston, Mass., in 1775. The first trustworthy trace we hear of him finds him in the Territory of Ohio, in the year 1801, in that section of the country known now as Licking County, where he was engaged in planting apple-seeds in various places on the borders of Licking Creek. The first orchard that originated from this planting was on the farm of Isaac Stadden, in that county. During the neat five years, nothing is known of his movements ; but the reasonable conjecture is that, as he had a horse-load of apple-seeds when on Licking Creek, he was following the same occupation.
On a pleasant spring day, in 1806, a pioneer settler in Jefferson County noticed a peculiar craft slowly dropping down with the current of the Ohio River. The occupant of the craft had two canoes lashed together, and the cargo was composed of apple-seeds. It was the same Chapman who, five years before, was on the Licking, and now transporting his seeds to the frontier, for the purpose of creating orchards beyond the limits of civilization. Arriving at Marietta, he entered the Muskingum ; up this river to the Walhonding; up the Mohican, into the Black Fork, and onward to the head of navigation, now designated on the map as Ashland and Richland Counties. As be stopped at every inviting spot to plant the apple-seeds for the future nurseries, the voyage must have been long and toilsome. The strange craft, managed by so strange a man, engaged in so strange an occupation, naturally attracted attention, and he was called Johnny Appleseed, by which name he became known, in subsequent years, from the Ohio to the lakes, and westward
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to the prairies of Indiana. The seeds he gathered from the cider-presses of Western Pennsylvania, but, after the time above mentioned, his journeys were made on foot. Having planted his stock of seeds, he would return to Pennsylvania for a fresh supply. Canvas bags being found to be insufficient to endure the hard usage of so long a trip through forests dense with underbrush and briers, leathern ones were substituted, which were sometimes packed on horseback, but more frequently on his own shoulders.
The region which he made the theater of his operations still possesses a romantic beauty. The margins of the streams, near which the first settlements were generally made, were covered with a low growth of timber, while nearer the water a rank mass of long grass, interlaced with morning-glory and wild pea vines, climbing the swamp willow and the clustering alder, grew in rank profusion. The hills were crowned with forest trees, and in the coverts were innumerable bears, wolves, deer, and wild hogs as ferocious as beasts of prey. In the tangled grass lurked the venomous moccasin and rattlesnake, as dangerous and distrusted as the wily Indian. To this day, in the low prairie lands, the farmer cuts his hay or goes through his strip of wild grass suspicious of his insidious enemy, and guarding against attack by wrapping bandages of twisted grass from the ankle to the knee. But Johnny would shoulder his bag of apple-seeds, and, with bare feet, would penetrate to some remote spot, where his fancy or judgment suggested a proper place for. his future nursery, and then clearing away the grass and tangled vines, would plant his seeds, place a alight inclosure around them, and leave them to grow until large enough to be transplanted by the settlers to their clearings, as they should fill up the country. Many of the places selected are still pointed out-open spots on the loamy lands bordering the streams, hemmed in by giant trees, beautiful still, after the lapse of more than half a century, with all its changes.
In personal appearance, Chapman was a small, wiry man, full of restless activity. He had long, dark hair, a scanty beard that was never shaved, and keen black eyes that sparkled with a peculiar brightness. Generally, even in the coldest weather, he went barefooted, but sometimes, for his long journeys, he would make himself a rude pair of sandals; at other times wearing any castoff covering he chanced to find-not infrequently a boot or shoe on one foot and a moccasin on the other. It seemed to be a matter of conscience with him not to buy shoes, and instances are told where, having received the gift of them, he would force them on the first person he saw whom he thought more needy than he, and continue his journey barefoot through mud and snow. His dress was generally composed of cast-off clothing that he had taken in payment for apple trees. In his later years he seems to have considered even this kind of second-hand raiment too luxurious, or probably finding the buckskin breeches and hunting shirt too cumbersome and rigid for his mode of life he discarded them, and substituted as his principal garment a coffee-sack, in which he cut holes for his head and arms to pass through, and pronounced it "a very serviceable cloak, and as good clothing as any man need wear." His headgear was equally unique. His first experiment was a tin vessel that served to cook his mush, and from which he usually ate his meal when he stopped at the settler's cabin; but this did not protect his eyes from the rays of the sun, and he constructed a hat of pasteboard with an immense peak in front, which, combining utility and economy, became his permanent fashion.
Thus clad, he was constantly wandering, and unexpectedly appearing in white settlements and Indian villages, planting his seeds and dispensing "news
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right fresh from heaven."But there must have been some rare force of goodness in his face and ways, and such gentle tenderness and love breathing in every word, for everywhere he was treated with cordiality and respect. With grown-up persons and boys he was usually reticent, but manifested great affection for little girls for whom he always carried a bit of ribbon or gay calico. When he stopped at the settler's cabin, and was pressed to partake of the family meal, he would never sit down to the table until he was assured that there was an abundance for the children. We can hardly wonder that the boys forgot to jeer at his outer appearance, or the rudest frontiersman treated him with respect. To the Indians he was a "great medicine man," and not only treated with kindness by the savages, but from their superstitious observances was one not to be molested. He therefore wandered through hostile regions and dangerous places with impunity, and on many occasions gave the settlers warning of approaching danger in time to enable them to take refuge in their block-houses. An effect of Hull's surrender was to send out large bands of Indians and British, destroying everything before them, and murdering defenseless women and children. Johnny's wanderings showed him the impending danger, and day and night be traveled, visiting every cabin and rousing the people to a sense of their danger by proclaiming "The spirit of the Lord is upon me, and He hath anointed me to blow the trumpet in the wilderness and sound an alarm in the forest, for, behold, the tribes of the heathen are round about your doors, and a devouring flame followeth after them."Refusing all offers of food, and denying himself a moment's rest, he traversed the border day and night until he had warned every settler of the approaching peril.
His diet was as meager as his clothing. He thought it a sin to kill any creature for food, or to allow anything designed to supply man's wants to be diverted from its purpose. He was an earnest disciple of the faith taught by Swedenborg, and always carried with him a few odd volumes, which he was anxious should be read by every one. As he could not carry books for all, he devised an original mode of distributing what he had. These he divided into several pieces, leaving a piece at -a log cabin, and at his next round taking up what he had left before, which he replaced by one taken from another. Thus all were enabled to read parts of the same book at the same time, and in process of time the whole volume-a little liable to the objection of a backward course of reading from the unavoidably irregular course of distribution. The book he considered "an infallible protection against dangers here and hereafter." It was his custom, after a weary day's wandering, to lie down on the puncheon floor of the cabin where he was welcomed, and, after inquiring if his auditors would hear " some news right fresh from heaven," he would produce his few well-worn books, among them the New Testament, which he would read and expound with rare enthusiasm. Next to his advocacy of his religious ideas, the absorbing object of his life was the cultivation of apple-trees from what he termed "the only proper way "-that is, from seeds. Upon this, as upon religion, he was eloquent in his appeals, and he equally denounced as absolute wickedness all devices of pruning and grafting, and would speak of the act of cutting a tree as if it were a cruelty inflicted on a sentient being.
He was equally faithful in his protection of animals from abuse and suffering. Whenever he saw an animal abused, or heard of it, he would purchase it and give it to some more humane neighbor, on condition that it should be kindly cared for. Lame and broken-down horses were frequently turned loose by emigrants, being unable to go further. These he would gather up in autumn,
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bargain for their shelter and care until the next spring, when he would lead them to some good pasture for the summer. If they recovered, he would loan or give them away, but always with the condition of their good usage. He was pained that in the " heat of his ungodly passion," he had killed a rattlesnake which had bitten him, and carefully released from his coffee-sack coat a hornet which had become entangled and stung him repeatedly. On another occasion, he put out the fire he had ignited near where he had intended to pass the night because he noticed that it attracted large numbers of mosquitoes, which flew too near the blaze and were burned, saying, in explanation of his conduct " God forbid that I should build a fire for my comfort which should be the means of destroying any of His creatures." At another time, he removed a fire he had kindled near a hollow log, and slept on the snow, lest he disturb a bear and her cubs which had taken possession of the log.
In business, he was particularly methodical. The location of his nurseries had reference to a probable future demand for his trees by the time they were large enough for transplanting. He would give them away to those who were unable to pay. Old clothing or a little corn meal were always a legal tender, but he preferred to receive a note payable at some indefinite period; but be never gave himself any trouble about its collection. His expenses for food and clothing were trifling, and he had more money than he cared to keep, which he quickly disposed of for wintering infirm horses or for the use of some poor family, whom the ague or accident had impoverished. In a single instance, he purchased a small piece of ground, in Ashland County, but with his customary indifference to matters of value, he failed to record the deed, and lost it.
In 1838, thirty-seven years after his appearance on Licking Creek, Johnny noticed that population was pressing into the State. Hitherto he had just kept in advance of the wave of settlement, but he now felt that his work was done in the region where he had labored so long. He visited every house, and with parting words of admonition, he left them and turned his steps toward the setting sun.
During the next nine years he pursued his old employment on the western borders of Ohio and in Indiana. In the summer of 1847, at the close of a warm day, after traveling twenty miles, he entered the house of a settler, in Allen County, Ind., and was warmly welcomed. He declined to eat with the family, but accepted some bread and milk, which he ate on the door-step. Later in the evening, he delivered his "news right fresh from heaven," by reading the beatitudes. He slept, as usual, on the floor. In the morning he was found with his face all aglow, but so near death that he was unable to speak. There, at the age of seventy-two, died one of the memorable men of pioneer times; who never inflicted pain or knew an enemy. "laboring, self-denying benefactor of big race; homeless, solitary and ragged, he trod the thorny earth with bare and bleeding feet, intent only on making the wilderness fruitful. Now no man knoweth of his sepulchre, but his deeds will live in the fragrance of the apple blossoms he loved so well, and the story of his life will be a perpetual proof that true heroism, pure benevolence, noble virtues and deeds that deserve immortality, may be found under meanest apparel and far from gilded hall and towering spire."
On other pages the names of James Cooley appears as one among the earliest resident lawyers and active citizens of the village. What we have been
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able to learn of Mr. Cooley, personally, is of a general character, but from all we can gather from the newspapers of that day, and from the testimony of the few survivors who knew him well, he was a man of no ordinary merits. It was a time of able men; and a young man, whose virtues and talents shall be continued to be praised more than half a century after his death, dearly indicates not only his magnetic power to win and hold personal friendships, but that, essentially he stood in the front rank of his associates. He was a man of fine appearance and prepossessing manners, and had secured the confidence of the community. Before his departure to Peru, he had filled several minor offices, and the same year was Prosecuting Attorney for the county.
In 1826, having been appointed to the Court of Peru, Charge d'Affaires of the United States, in July of that year, when making arrangements for his departure, , `° a number of his friends in Champaign and adjoining counties, desirous of manifesting their respect for him personally, as well as to bid him an affectionate farewell," requested him to attend a dinner to be given for that purpose at Mr. Hunter's hotel, on the 26th of the month. The invitation was accepted, and the dinner presided over by Judge Smith, of Champaign, as President, and Judge Paige, of Clark County, as Vice President.
After the cloth had been removed, the following toasts were drank
1. Perpetuity to our Republic and its institutions; immortal honors to Washington and Franklin.
2. Ohio, when her native beauties shall have received the polish of art, her fairest sister may well dread the rivalry of her charms.
3. The memory of the great compatriots, Adams and Jefferson. The nation they honored when living mourns them dead.
4. The President and Administration-like those who judge of its acts, the American people, intelligent and virtuous.
b. Our much-esteemed fellow citizen, James Cooley.
Mr. Cooley arose, and in an impressive manner said: " That the very flattering testimonial of the esteem and confidence of his fellow-citizens, ,and the more flattering distinction in the sentiment given, demand and have his heart- felt acknowledgment. If he had been so fortunate as to acquire their confidence , and in his endeavors faithfully to discharge his public duties, he had met their approbation-the measure of his reward was ample. Coming together from distant and various parts of the country and, in many instances, remote parts of the world, bringing different habits, feelings and tastes, it was natural that different and discordant opinions should be entertained on many subjects, but on one, at least, all united-a-devoted attachment to our common country, the principles of her government and a sincere zeal for the prosperity of the State."
He then spoke of the encouragement and support he had received during a residence of eleven years in Urbana, and the prosperity he had from their approbation and aid; that going to a new and untried field of labor, he knew their best wishes would go with him, and diminish the embarrassments incident to the occasion, and that in the discharge of its duties he would hold an earnest desire to promote the best interests of the country. That, though he then bade them farewell, it was with the hope that he again might be permitted to return to tread the fertile fields of Ohio, when her system of internal improvement shall be completed, her commerce giving life to the industry of her citizens, her system of education established and a solid foundation laid for the development of the resources of the State. And concluded with offering the following sentiment The Mad River Country: its generous, patriotic and enterprising population; health and continued prosperity attend them.
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The Mad River Courant adds: " The company dispersed with marked feelings of regret that so valued and esteemed a citizen is about to leave us for an undefined period of time-perhaps forever. In the evening a party numerously attended was given in honor of Mrs. Cooley. Arrangements are made to leave on Monday next, and if the virtues of a good and upright man, with the best wishes of many friends and acquaintances can secure him health, happiness and prosperity, he will be sure of those blessings."
Mr. Cooley left at the time proposed, reached his destination safely, and during a period of about fifteen months successfully prosecuted the duties of his mission and made troops of friends.
On the 19th of April, 1828, he had a violent bilious attack, which, from the beginning, he thought would terminate fatally, and on Sunday, the 24th, he died.
A letter from Stanhope Prevost, dated Lima, March 1, 1828, addressed to Henry Clay, then Secretary of State of the United States, after announcing the death of Mr. Cooley, goes on to say: " The body was removed to Callao, on the morning of the following day, in a carriage-and-four, accompanied by the Ministers of Foreign Relations and War of the Peruvian Government, and the aids of His Excellency, the President, with a suitable escort, an immense train of carriages and attendants on horseback, comprising the American merchants of the place, who, together with myself, appeared as chief mourners, and all the foreign residents of every nation, as well as many native citizens and officers. At about 2 P. M., the procession reached Callao, when the body was immediately embarked in a boat of the Brandywine frigate accompanied by the Captain and pall bearers. Next followed a boat with the before-mentioned members of the Government and the chief mourners, afterward, in their respective 'barges, Adm. Guise, Com. Jones, the British commanders and Vice Consul, Capt. Finch, a most numerous and respectable attendance of officers and citizens. The line of boats, occupying about two miles, moved toward the island of San Lorenzo, minute guns being fired by several men-of-war in the harbor. As the body passed, the English commencing, and, in succession, the French, Peruvian and American, which latter continued until the interment had taken place. On the return of the boats, as the members of the Peruvian Government, who had been in attendance, passed the Brandywine, Com. Jones displayed the Peruvian flag at his fore and fired a salute of seventeen guns, which being answered by the Admiral's ship, closed the ceremony of the day."
"Mr. Cooley bore his illness, which from the commencement he appeared to conceive as likely to be fatal, with the serenity and spirit of a man and Christian. As such he. died, as deeply regretted as he had been esteemed and respected. His modest and correct deportment, his superior sense and talents, set off by an unexampled mildness and moderation of character, had procured him universal esteem, as was testified in the most sincere manner by the deep sorrow evinced at his loss."
The subject of this sketch came to Urbana in 1828, when about thirty years of age. He was born in Massachusetts, was educated at Brown University, then taught school several years in Abbeville, S. C. In the mean time, studied law, and, having been admitted to practice, sought a location in the then West. Discouraged and despondent, poor, without employment and no friends, Judge John Taylor revived his energies by suggesting that Urbana presented as
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good opportunities for success as any other place, and he at once opened an office in a little room on the north side of a frame building on the corner of the square, where McDonald & Rock's store now is. His professional life is simply the counterpart of all men who have brains, resolution, endurance and economy. He was always found in his office, made himself master of the cases placed in his hands, and attended to his business faithfully. The few friends who at the first gave him encouragement, spoke of him as the rising young lawyer, and success, in a few years, thronged him with clients.
The first office to which we find he was elected was that of Fence Viewer, in 1832. We are apt to suspect the office to have been a very humble one, and the election to it an indignity. But then caucuses and conventions were a refinement in politics not known, fences were a constant source of litigation and quarrels, and no higher compliment to good citizenship could be shown than to elect him Fence Viewer. It was the equivalent of stopping many foolish and bitter quarrels between neighbors, and we find that the best men in the county were chosen to the office, and among them John H. James, James Dallas, John Hamilton, John Glenn, William Patrick, Daniel Helmick, Samuel McCord and others. He took an active- interest in matters of general concern. He entertained the opinion that parties became corrupt by long continuance, and that once in fifteen years changes ought to be made, and that, in the re-organization of parties, men, without being subject to the charge of instability or inconsistency, might affiliate with the new. When he settled in Urbana he was a Whig. He afterward became an active Democrat. As early as 1840, he believed that the Democratic party had outlived its usefulness, and that the only thing that could restore its honesty and integrity was the election of Harrison and a few years rule of the Whigs. But, as corrupt as. he considered the Democratic party, he thought the Whigs more so, and that the only salvation for the country was a new organization and new men. At heart, he was an Abolitionist, and spoke with bitter denunciation of African slavery and its influence. During the administration of Martin Van Buren, he was appointed United States Attorney for the District of Ohio. Although a respectable general scholar, he had little taste for reading outside of a law book, and, to one of his students, recom mended the utter discarding of metaphysics, newspapers and novels. Yet no man was fonder of a metaphysical topic, and has an undisguised contempt for "leading " editorials. His notion was that a newspaper should give the current news, and stick to facts. The "editorials " he ranked in the same class as the summing-up of the testimony by the attorney to a jury-a paid-for job-and the facts he wanted to be stated clearly without coloring.
On one occasion, Charles Flago had been appointed Secretary of a Democratic meeting, and the proceedings of the meeting were thought worthy a place in the Ohio Statesman, a political newspaper of Columbus. Flago felt the importance of the case, and wanted Hamilton to assist him to draft the paper. "Did you take minutes of the proceedings ? " inquired Hamilton. "Yes, here they are." " Well," said Hamilton, "all you have to do is to tell the facts.""But," said Flago, " they are to be printed in the Statesman." " Tell the facts, and tell them just as they were," was the answer and all that Flago could get from him.
On another occasion, Mr. went to his office to make some inquiry in regard to a title, and handed him a dollar as his fee. Hamilton told him to state his case, and, having answered two or three irrelevant questions, informed him that he "had his dollar's worth " of advice, and took occasion to give his client
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a lecture on the niggardliness of asking counsel in regard to a purchase involving thousands of dollars, for which he was willing to pay only a dollar In company, he was reticent, but in the society of a few friends, talkative and easy; with but a single friend, he was communicative and confiding. In term-time, he was abstracted, little disposed to talk-energetic in every movement. When court had adjourned and business hours were over, a favorite position was to stretch himself at length on a bench in the office and ask questions on metaphysical topics, and talk of the unseen and the unknown.
In person, he was about five feet six inches high, of good proportions, but not stoutly built; straight as an arrow ; a square built head, covered with steel gray hair; clean shaven; dark blue eyes, nose short and strong, mouth tolerably large, with thin lips. As a public speaker, his voice was strong and good-but without training; in the office with a friend, low-toned and full of sweetness. He never forgot a kind act, and never spoke an unkind word concerning his political opponents personally. He lived at a time when the bitterness of party strife acknowledged no virtues in an opponent. He died in the fall of 1842, atthe age of forty-four. Death obliterated the asperities of partisan criticism, and the common sentiment of all who knew him was that the county had lost a good citizen, an honest lawyer, and an able man.
The subject of this sketch will be remembered by multitudes of persons as the proprietor and landlord of the Hamilton House, forty years ago. He died in 1868, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. He settled in Urbana in 1814, being in his twenty-second year, and during his long residence in Urbana, his frequent election to offices of trust and responsibility sufficiently shows the confidence of his neighbors in his integrity and prudence. He was a quiet, reserved man-had little to say-disliked any unnecessary noise, and kept a temperance, house. The interest that mainly attaches to Mr. Hamilton, is his capture and residence among the Indians. At the breaking-out of the war in 1812, under the call of Gov. Scott, of Kentucky, he volunteered, and was attached to a company in the regiment of Col. Lewis, of that State, which was soon ordered to Fort Wayne. After the performance of a military order near Tippecanoe, the regiment returned to Fort Wayne, and from there was ordered by Gen. Winchester to march to Defiance on short rations about November 1 ; thence down the Maumee to Camps Nos. 1, 2 and 3, where they had no flour and but little meat for three weeks. On December 25, 1812, they left the latter encampment, when shortly after snow commenced falling, which continued all day, and fell two feet deep. They pitched their tents that night in the snow on the bank of the river. Col. Lewis was ordered to detach six hundred of his regiment and move them immediately to the River Raisin to dislodge the British and Indian forces there encamped. On January 18, 1813, Col. Lewis commenced the assault and drove them from their quarters into the woods, both sides suffering severe losses. Col. Lewis took possession of the enemy's position, and sent word to Gen. Winchester of the victory. Winchester then ordered a detachment of three hundred to support Col. Lewis, who arrived and encamped outside the pickets. The detachment was commanded by Gen. Winchester himself. On the morning of the 22d, the enemy were discovered approaching. The battle being joined, was fought with desperation, the enemy having the advantage. The detachment to which Hamilton belonged, was
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ordered to retreat into the woods, when Col. Lewis rode up and requested the men to make a stand and break the force of the attack. A few rounds were fired, when he saw that his men were surrounded, and he gave the word for" each one to take care of himself." Young Hamilton at once turned toward the south, but soon discovered that he was followed by an Indian. He had retained his gun, and was enabled to keep his pursuer in check-each occasionally " taking to tree." When being close enough to converse, the Indian would beckon to him and say " come here," to which he answered "no," when under pretense of firing, the Indian would " tree " and Hamilton would take advantage to spring forward and gain another tree, hoping thus to evade his pursuer until nightfall, when he should trust his activity and endurance. Late in the afternoon, while watching the Indian in his rear, he was startled by a shot on his right hand, and saw at once that he was a prisoner. Quick as thought, he reasoned that a man who would follow him all day without firing a shot, was the more to be trusted, and leaving his gun against the tree, beckoned to the first and gave himself up to him. The other demanded a division of the spoils, and a compromise was effected by a surrender by his captor of his overcoat and knife. He was then taken to the rear of the British lines and was permitted to warm himself at a camp-fire. While there, the second Indian made further claim, and in the controversy, that followed, the Indians being of different tribes-one an Ottawa, the other a Pottawatomie-the latter threatened to kill and raised his gun to shoot, when the Ottawa satisfied the other by giving him his remaining coat. On the evening of the battle, the Indians retired to Stony Creek, about four miles eastward. There he was told by the interpreter that he would not be sold or exchanged, but must go with his ad opted father, his captor, to his wigwam. At this place they arrived in about nine days' walk in a northwestern direction-and remained there until Jan uary, 1814. As the warriors were absent, the village was, at times, reduced to the verge of starvation, he suffering perhaps more than others from his inability to eat horse and dog flesh. Mr. Hamilton narrated many incidents of his life with the savages, but became enthusiastic in speaking of the high moral nature of his adopted father and the neatness of his mother. Of the latter, he was accustomed to say that, during the course of a long life, he had never seen a woman who, in her household affairs, was so scrupuously neat. The moral sense of the old patriarch would not tolerate the least prevarication, and on one instance when Hamilton had attempted to screen one of the boys from punishment by withholding a fact, the old man being satisfied of the guilt of the culprit and his prevarication, cut a hickory and soundly thrashed them both with equal stripes. His squaw mother could also on occasion use the hickory to some purpose. On one occasion, he was sent to the spring with a sugar trough filled with hot hominy, which had just been boiled in lye to remove the hulls, his business being to wash out the hulls made free by the lye. The day was cold, and his feet bare, and the hominy hot, and the temptation was too great not to stand in the trough. The old lady saw the act, and without delay, thrashed him severely.
In November, a deputation arrived from Detroit, offering terms of peace to the Ottawa tribe, on certain conditions. A council was convened to consider the matter, which resulted in an acceptance of the terms, among which was the surrender of prisoners ; and is January, 1814, he was delivered to the officer of the fort at Detroit, with other released prisoners. He was well cared for and forwarded to his home, and shortly after removed from Kentucky to spend the residue of his life in Urbana.
301 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
DR. ADAM MOSGROVE.
Few men have lived in Urbana more widely known throughout the county than the subject of this sketch. Born in Enniskillen, Ireland, August. 1790, attended lectures in the Medical College of Edinburgh; and graduated by the Royal College of Surgery, Dublin, April, 1814, and was at once commissioned Surgeon in the British navy. The ship Charlotte, on which he was Surgeon, sailed for America, 1816. The vessel becoming disabled in a storm, put into Philadelphia for repairs, and some dispute having arisen between the ship's officers and the British Government, the officers resigned their commissions and left the ship to rot in the harbor.
He at once resolved to practice his profession in a strange, and, according to a common opinion among Europeans, a semi-barbarous land, and located, first in Lancaster, and afterward in Elizabethtown, where, in 1817, he was married to Mary Miller, a sister of the late Lawrence Miller, of Urbana. Learning that George Moore, a former resident of Enniskillen, was living in Urbana, the ties of nativity were strong enough to attract him to the home of his old friend, and, in 1818, packing his worldly goods in a wagon, he and his wife took up their journey for the Far West and arrived here in June of that year. There are now but two persons living in Urbana who were then over eighteen years of age.
The Doctor's wealth consisted of a few hundred dollars in coin, which he invested in the lot where the Democratic Wigwam now is, about midway between the Weaver House and Walnut street, with the tier of lots west to Walnut and south to Market. The frame building adjoining the wigwam was occupied by him as a residence for several years, which afterward was used as a schoolhouse by several of the pedagogues of town.
He was a strict Democrat in politics, and the party to which he was attached several times placed him in nomination for Congress and State Legislature, but with overwhelming majorities against the party, it was never anticipated that an election was possible..
He was a practitioner in Urbana for fifty-seven years, and settled here when houses were scattered, roads scarce, many of the trails blazed on the trees; with all of which he became familiar, and traversed at all hours and weather, sometimes hitching his horse and taking his needed sleep on the ground.
He was temperate in all things, always cheerful, abounding in pleasantry and good humor; possessed of a kind and affectionate disposition, his coming into a sick room was the signal for renewed hope and confidence on the part of the invalid.
His manners were those of the courtly gentleman of long time ago. He lived an active, consistent life, and died quietly and peacefully, at his home, March 3, 1875, in his eighty-fifth year, respected and esteemed by all, as an old citizen, a faithful physician, and an honest man.
A history of the life and times of the subject of this sketch, has, so 'far as we are aware, never been published; yet no name is more intimately connected with the early history of Ohio. There are persons still living who knew him well, and who at times drew from him incidents connected with his own life and the times in which he lived, who it is hoped may make such record of them
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that in the future some historian may be able to make the biography full and complete.
Simon Kenton was born in Fauquier County, Va., April 3, 1755, and died in Logan County, near the place where he once narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Indians.
At the age of sixteen, he became entangled in a love affair, which brought him in contact with a rival, with whom he had an affray, and supposing that he had slain his antagonist, fled to the wilds of Kentucky. West of the Alleghanies, he assumed the name of Simon Butler, became an associate of Daniel Boone, and took an active part with Boone and other frontier's men in border life. The life was well adapted to develop an adventurer's true character, and young Kenton showed remarkable courage, sagacity and endurance. These virtues recommended him to the notice of Gov. Dunmore, by whom he was employed as a spy.
In 1782, learning that his adversary, whom he supposed he had left dead, was still alive, he returned to his native place, and by his representation of the country west of the mountains, induced his father to remove with him to Kentucky.
The scouts and spies of that day, by the nature of their employment, and perhaps from their natural impulses, were unsettled. His associations with Boone and others connected him with expeditions in Kentucky and Ohio against the Indians, and he had traversed nearly every part of Ohio before he settled in it. In 1778, when on one of his first expeditions through this State, he was taken prisoner by the Indians, on the north bank of the Ohio River, securely lashed to the back of a wild horse, and the horse turned loose in the woods. The animal, after plunging and kicking violently for some time, without being able to throw off the burden, and marvelously without injury to his rider, in his mad career through the brush and woods, quietly fell into line with the other ponies, subdued and tame. He was then taken to Chillicothe, and there compelled to run the gauntlet; from thence to the Mac-a-cheek towns and Wapatomica-the latter near where Zanesfield, in Logan County, now is at each of which places he was compelled to run the gauntlet. He was then condemned to be burned, but reprieved for a time, through the intervention of Simon Girty, a renegade white man, who had known Kenton years before as Simon Butler, and claimed him as his brother. He was again saved from the same horrible death, by the generous contrivance of the Mingo Chief Logan, by which he was taken to Detroit, from which place he escaped, and returned to Kentucky.
In 1786, the Mac-a-cheek towns, at the head of Mad River, were destroyed by a body of Kentuckians under Gen. Benjamin Logan. In this attack, Col. Boone and Simon Kenton (then Major) led the advance.
He settled in Urbana in 1802, and from that time until the close of the war of 1812, was identified with the interests and perils of the people of Champaign County, and no wrong. treatment, of which he thought himself the victim, swerved for an instant his loyal mind.
His opportunities enabled him to secure large quantities of land in Kentucky and Ohio, but, though with every facility for being the owner of valuable lands, he became poor and necessitous. Several reasons may be assigned for this. He was unable to read, and trusted to his memory and the honor of men ; added to this, he was as generous and kind-hearted as he was brave, and incurred obligations which gave him much annoyance and distress. He judged
306 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
others by himself, and was not conscious of the impositions and dishonesty to which he was subjected, until, defrauded and robbed of his estate, it was too late to remedy the wrongs.
He had certificates of purchase of five tracts of land in Ohio, being 2,700 acres on the Scioto, a tract on the Mac-a-check, a considerable portion is the large and valuable farm now owned by John Enoch ; a tract called the "Kenton farm," now owned by the heirs of Maj. William Hunt, and lies on the road from Urbana to Springfield, about five miles north of Springfield. Kenton had a cabin on this farm and at one time lived there. He had also what was called the Kenton Mill tract, and a place in possession of one Anderson. The Mill tract is now Lagonda. The Anderson tract embraced what afterward were the farms of James Johnson and Orsamus Scott, of Concord Township. He also owned several tracts of land in Ohio, together with Col. William Ward; in the division of which and exchange for other property, Kenton claimed that he was entitled to a half-section adjoining Urbana. It is easy to conceive how an unlettered man in the sale or exchange of property might be overreached, but it is as easily conceivable that his memory might be treacherous, or misunderstandings exist. Col. Ward was also interested in certain lands in Kentucky, which Kenton was supposed to hold in fee simple. It is claimed that Ward furnished some capital and his knowledge of land titles and conveyances. Kenton was familiar with the country and knew of choice locations. To the latter was entrusted the payment of taxes, which Ward claimed he neglected, involving loss to him, and that be closed his partnership with Kenton by written article. The consequence was that Ward was accused of cheating Kenton, but there is no evidence to confirm the charge, and on the other hand Kenton, well meaning, honest and upright, was nevertheless known to be careless and shiftless in his business matters, and as to his business ventures with Ward, he was always reticent.
In 1811-12, when the jail stood on the corner of Locust and Market streets, he was jailer, and for a year was kept within prison bounds. Under the old law permitting imprisonment for debt, he was arrested on an execution issued by some Kentucky creditors. To avoid being locked up in his own prison, he availed himself of his privilege of prison bounds, which at that time extended from the alley on Scioto street, adjoining Dr. J. C. Brown's property, to High street ; and from Ward to Reynolds streets. These bounds afterward, by legislative enactment, became co-extensive with the county. He always walked with a long staff, which he grasped about a foot from the upper end. This end was charred, as he constantly used it as his poker to stir the fire. When walking within his prison bounds he would draw near the line as though about to pass, when he would bring up with a sudden halt, and though his own jailer, neither violated his duty nor the obligation of his bond.
In 1824, he visited the Legislature of Kentucky, then in session at Frankfort, to solicit a release of some claims held by the State on some mountain lands owned by him. He was now old and poor, and presented that tattered appearance which on first sight provoked the smiles and inattention of the members. But as soon as it was known that the old man was Simon Kenton, the companion and friend of Boone, he was the lion of the day, and received all due honor and consideration. The Legislature not only remitted the State claims, but was active in securing him a pension from Congress of $240.
Many of the older citizens of Urbana and Champaign knew and remember him well. Mr. John H. James, some time prior to the death of Gen. Kenton,
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 307
spent several days with him, and learned from himself many facts connected not only with his own life, but of the history of the country not generally known. In his interviews with him, Mr. James was not only impressed with the simplicity, sincerity of purpose, and integrity of the man, but also with his peculiarity of manner and phraseology and shrewd comments, and with the tenacity of his memory. Mr. Patrick knew him from 1811 until his death in 1836, and sums up his character in these words : " He was one of nature's noblemen, and, taken as a whole, his life was in many respects worthy of all imitation. "
The Scientific Association of Urbana has in its possession a copy of what is said to be an excellent portrait of him. It represents Kenton at apparently about the age of seventy, with a face clean shaven, a kindly expression of eye, a prominent chin, a well-shaped strong mouth, long nose, deep, overarching eyebrows, and high forehead, somewhat narrow toward the top. The face is a striking one and naturally attracts attention.
He was tall, nearly or quite six feet ; in younger life, erect; compactly built and muscular; blue eyes, inclined to gray, and a light sandy complexion.
His remains lie in Oakdale Cemetery, with no monument worthy of the man. There would be a fitness in the Legislature of the State granting a commission to John Quincy Ward, grandson of Col. Ward, and a native of Urbana, to erect over his grave a monument and statue of the old soldier, worthy the fame of Kenton and the genius of the sculptor.
GENERAL SIMON KENTON.
During the summer of 1846, I chanced to spend the night with a Mr. Sloan, of Zanesfield, Logan County, Ohio. Gen. Simon Kenton having ended his days, as well as spent the latter years of his eventful life in that im mediate neighborhood, he very naturally became the subject of conversation. Sloan having for many years been the personal friend and intimate acquaintance of Kenton, received from Kenton's own lips many incidents and items of interest which never appeared in print, and which, as Kenton belongs to Champaign County, may be read with interest by the readers of your valuable collection of incidents and reminiscences.
About the year 1793, Kenton had been spending a season of inactivity in and around Boone's and Logan's Stations, Kentuckv, and feeling that to him activity and adventure was life, while quietude and confinement were enervat ing, to say the least, concluded to sally forth in quest of something to relieve the monotony of camp-life. Equipping himself with all the appurtenances pertaining woodcraft, he crossed the Ohio River and struck boldly into the domain of the red man. Pursuing a northerly direction, he continued with all the strength and activity of youth until admonished by the shades of darkness and the gnawings of an empty stomach that arrangements for shelter and refreshments for the inner man required his immediate attention.
So, hastily improvising a shelter and bed from the branches of the trees, and preparing and dispatching his frugal meal, he wrapped himself in his blanket, and was soon in the land of dreams.
Contrary to Kenton's usual precaution, or from fancied security, he neglected to put out or cover up his camp-fire before retiring. Certain it is, however, that a party of straggling Indians, attracted by the light or by accident, discovered
* By S. H. Wallace
308 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
his retreat, and while reveling in the arms of Morpheus, little suspecting a visit from his enemies, he was brought to a realizing sense of his situation by a hearty kick in the ribs, accompanied by the command, expressed in good English, to "get up." Springing to his feet with the agility of a cat, he was confronted by four stalwart warriors. To resist or attempt to escape under such circumstances would be worse than madness. So, making a virtue of necessity, Kenton with an affability and grace, peculiar to himself, after being deprived of his accouterments, took up his line of march as a prisoner.
Pursuing a northerly course, after six days of hard travel the party reached the Indian village, at a point somewhere in what is now Northern Indiana or Southern Michigan; Kenton maintaining meanwhile a demeanor so cheerful and hilarious that his captors extended many little acts of kindness, and even went so far as to return his arms and ammunition while on the march ; at night, however, he was deprived of everything, and was compelled to sleep between two of the warriors, whilst the other two took turns standing guard.
Upon arriving at the village, Kenton was conducted into the presence of the chief, who seemed to be impressed with the manly proportions and pleasant, smiling countenance of the prisoner, and resolved at once to adopt him as a son, which he accordingly did, and Kenton was at once regularly installed a member of the family, anti heir apparent to the rulership of the tribe. Being desirous of gaining the esteem and confidence of his new father and mother, as well as making himself useful in his new home, Kenton conceived the idea of improving his prospective winter quarters, and it was not long until the wigwam, with the hole in the top, had been supplanted by a neat log cabin, with door, floor and chimney. The chief, together with the tribe, were electrified with this new acquisition, and Kenton at once became a hero, and would have become in a short time, chief architect and practical builder to the entire community, but for the intervention of the chief, who at once entered his protest that his adopted son should not be the slave of the tribe, being a member of his family. A compromise was effected, however, by which Kenton became superintendent of re-construction-men being detailed to perform the labor. Thus the summer passed away, and the fall winds and eddying blasts heralded the approach of winter, which to the Indian is an important period, as it involves the necessity of providing sustenance in advance. A grand fall hunt was arranged, and, although Kenton desired to be one of the party, he wag informed that he must remain at the village. Consequently, when the party left, Kenton and another prisoner were left in charge of two braves. Although Kenton had never exhibited any signs of discontent or dissatisfaction with his situation, yet there never was a time daring his captivity that he did not meditate an escape when the proper time came and a suitable opportunity offered. The tribe having gone to the hunt, there remained only the old men, the women and children and the two warriors, the auspicious moment seemed to be approaching. The escape could be effected without trouble or opposition but for the two guards, who always went armed, and who watched Kenton and his companion with unceasing devotion. Finally an opportunity offered, a detailed account of which will close this chapter.
About a mile from the village was a small lake, which abounded in fish, and to which the Indians were in the habit of resorting, both for the sport of fishing as well as a means of sustenance.
A few days after the departure of the hunters, the guards proposed and arranged an excursion to the lake, to spend the day in fishing. Each one of the
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 309
party being provided with hook and line, started. Kenton and his companion having discussed the probabilities, had previously determined to make the attempt at escape this day, if any possible opportunity should offer. The most eligible point for taking fish was where a large tree had fallen so that about thirty feet of the trunk extended into the lake. The Indians, in their anxiety to obtain the best point, were some thirty feet in advance of Kenton, and, thoughtlessly, no doubt, laid their guns and ammunition on the tree near the margin of the lake. Kenton, with his characteristic sagacity, took in the situation at once, saw his opportunity at the instant the Indians saw their mistake, snatched up one of the guns, and, as the Indians sprang to their feet, shot the foremost one, killing him instantly. The other Indian being so close upon him he had no time to use the other gun, clubbed the one he had in his hand, made a pass but missed his antagonist, and before he could gather for another blow, the Indian had clinched, and they both went into the water. In the struggle which ensued, the Indian succeeded in getting Kenton's head between his legs, and evidently intended to keep him under the water until drowned, to which arrangement Kenton did not so readily acquiesce; so, with a mighty effort for life, he got one of the Indian's thumbs between his teeth, causing such acute pain that Kenton was enabled to extricate his head, and they both came to the surface, Kenton still holding on to the thumb, and, grasping the Indian by the throat, he succeeded in getting the Indian's head under water, where he held it with the determination of desperation until death ended the struggle. Kenton's companion meanwhile stood a quiet spectator of the scene. Arming themselves with the arms of their enemies, they struck out for home, which they reached in due time, to the surprise and joy of friends who had long mourned Kenton as dead.
Other names conspicuous in the history and prosperity of the county might be mentioned. These will be remembered in the sketches of the several townships.
Many names identified with the general prosperity have been mentioned in the preceding pages. More special notice may be made of them and others, residents of Urbana Township.
Among the early merchants and business men of the county was
He was a man of simple tastes, quiet, unpretending and unambitious. He was a man of enlarged views, and, in an early day, took an active interest in all matters of public concern. The marked features of his character were great integrity and rare common sense. He never neglected his business, prospered in his undertakings, contributed to the prosperity of all connected with him, and had the open hand of a true charity. He died at an advanced age.
came from Kentucky when a youth, and soon became one of the first shots with the rifle in the country. The killing of a white man by the Indians in the southwestern part of the county alarmed many settlers, and most or all who came with him from Kentucky returned, he alone remaining. About 1830, he opened a store in a small frame building on the corner of the public square, where the Weaver hardware store now is. He had a judicious eye for a speculation or purchase, invested his profits in loans, mortgages and profitable enterprises, and
310 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
died a few years since at an advanced age, having accumulated perhaps the largest private fortune of any citizen of the county. In advanced life, his appearance showed little of the encroachments of age, and he continued the practice of horseback-riding to the last.
one of the earliest residents of the county, and among the first to be chosen Sheriff. He opened the first store in town, and always had an interest in the general prosperity. The crushing of his foot by a saw-log, in 1844, gave him much inconvenience for the remainder of his life. He was fond of a practical joke, and was in the habit of attending auctions and bidding on all goods offered, apparently for the purpose of exciting a spirited bidding among the bystanders, and as a consequence had his cellar full of useless " traps." He built, in 1821, the brick residence on the corner of Scioto and Locust streets, which, for many years, was considered a model house. During a long life, he continued the hospitalities of the early pioneer, and the stranger and friend were made welcome. The table always had an extra cover laid for the probable guest. He died in 1849 at a green old age.
for many year la prominent citizen of Urbana, and partner in the mercantile firm of W. & D. McDonald. He represented the county in the State Legislature, and was considered a man of good sense, general intelligence and great integrity.
was from Baltimore. Had been formerly connected with a wholesale drug establishment, and, on removal to Champaign, became a farmer, and brought the training of his mercantile life into the business of the farm. He was a man of general knowledge, a considerable reader, and of fine practical sense. He was a good talker, " of infinite jest," and, in matters of business, a man of positive convictions and plain in their expression. Few men, perhaps no one in the township, did more for the development of a higher farming than he, both in the introduction of thoroughbred stock and in his system of agriculture, and, by his success, demonstrated that "farming may be made to pay." He died in 1854, aged fifty-six. Mr. Griffith Ellis is in possession of a fine oil portrait of Mr. Keener.
Other names might be mentioned equally meritorious-men of industry, integrity and worth, among whom may be named William H. Fyffe, John A. Ward, James Smith, William G. Keller, Ira Bean, Matthew Magrew, Jacob Kauffman, Dr. J. S. Carter, William Rianhard, John and William Glenn, Dr. William Happersett, Edmund Hovey, John Goddard, Joseph White, Erastus Sheldon, Milo. G. Williams, and others, who were known as useful and valuable citizens-men who build up and give character to a town and country.
In art-life, Champaign has a number of representatives. The first in point of time, was Harrison Hite, son of George Hite, who, forty years ago, might have been seen any day standing in the water, or sitting on the factory pond bank, with his rod and line, waiting patiently "for a bite." Young Hite has the reputation of a finished miniature painter. He located in New York City, where, it is said, his time was fully occupied in his profession. He died a number of years ago.
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 311
William Sweet, son of Azel Sweet, had a decided talent for portrait painting. Travel and study would have given him a name in his profession. He was making arrangements for a residence in Europe for the prosecution of his profession, about 1840, when he died, at the age of twenty-five or thirty years.
Andrew Way had considerable talent as a portrait painter. He studied in Europe, and is said to have painted a number of historical pictures. He lives in Baltimore.
John Q. A. Ward, son of John A. Ward, a man of rare talent as a sculptor, and, by his designs and works, has now an enviable reputation. Emphatically a "home-made" man, having never had leisure to study the works of art in the old world. Central Park, New York City, contains a number of his works. The plaster statuette of Simon Kenton, to be seen in the Citizens' Bank, was designed and made by him.
Edgar Ward, son of John A. Ward, has talent for figures and landscape painting. He excels in depicting the country life of the old world. Several of his pictures were on exhibition at the Exposition in Chicago. He has spent some time in Europe, and is now in Paris.
Warren Cushman, a native of Woodstock, has a studio in Urbana, and has painted portraits of a large number of the citizens of town. In crayon drawing, he has been very successful, and has made one of the very best of the many portraits of President Hayes.
Mr. DeVoe, in connection with his photographic gallery, paints in oil colors, making landscapes a specialty.
Miss Lillie King paints both in oil and water colors, and, in some of her sketches and paintings, has shown considerable talent in landscape and natural objects.
ODDS AND ENDS.
Changes in fashion are so gradual we scarcely notice them, but it may not be uninteresting to note a few.
As the century came in, much of the fashion that prevailed during the Revolution began to make way for a simpler dress. The three-cornered hat, the cue, the Continental coat, with its lappels and buff facings, the breeches, knee-buckles and garters, were hardly suited to a new country, and, of necessity, made way for buckskin, tow shirts, coon caps and linsey-woolsey. Yet at the time of which we write, the "gentleman of the old school," who prided himself on his "blue blood," held with pertinacity to his cue and his buckles.
A majority of the early settlers wore the buckskin hunting-shirt and trowsers. There was no economy or comfort in it after linsey-woolsey could be obtained. After they had become wet, no amount of manipulation could restore their wonted pliancy; and the boy running daily through the woods and high grass, soon found his trowsers not only rigid, but, in spite of his best endeavors, by skrinkage leaving a wide margin between his feet and the trowsers.
It is difficult to find a true dandy of that period. The common feeling was one of contempt for those who made a display of dress. At the log-rollings, corn-huskings and general social gatherings, there was rivalry for partners, pride in athletic sports, and in neatness of personal appearance; but, so far as we have been able to learn, the animal we call a "dandy " was not known in the earlier part of the century. The same feeling of contempt for fashionable dress continued a marked trait of the rural population until, perhaps, within the present generation.
312 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
The girl of the period dressed in homespun, showed the deft hand in the adjustments which give a charm to the humblest materials, at home went barefoot, tied up her hair in a knot with a string, wore sun-bonnets or hats made of straw, and, when she was married, put on a cap.
The changing fashions brought the "swallow-tailed" dress-coat and pantaloons into use, and a disuse of the cue, or " pig- tail," as it was styled among the profane among the younger set. The older class still held to the cue and knee breeches. The clergy were in the habit of railing at the frivolity of the age. Martin Hitt wore what was then'and has since been called the "shad-belly," cue, breeches and buckles, which he held to be the true dress of a gentleman as long as he lived.
About the year 1.820, the Methodist Episcopal Conference sat in Urbana, of which Henry T. Bascom, then a young man, was a member. Bascom was a little foppish in his dress, and carried a light cane, and gave great offense to the "shad-bellies" for preferring broadcloth to jeans, and a fashionable swallow tail to the distinctive style of the minister. Bascom had a ready answer, that he had no objection to a suit of the simplest sort, but his clothes had been given to him, and he was too poor to throw them away, and would be glad to receive another suit of plainer cut!
William Ward, more commonly called Col. Ward, who was grandfather of the families bearing the name in the vicinity of Urbana, during his life held to the old style of dress. Solomon Vause, discarding the rest, retained the cue until his death, which happened in 1837.
About 1830, the "shad-belly " and "pig-tail" were to be seen only on men of advanced age, though occasionally a young man affected the latter. About this time, singing-schools were places of common interest. One of them was conducted by Samuel Miller, afterward a man of some note in the village, who wore his hair in a cue. Some of the young fellows of the town started a manuscript newspaper, called The Wasp, of which half a dozen copies were gratuitously circulated. The Wasp was used to lampoon the follies of the day, and Miller's cue came in for a share of the ridicule, and was called the " skillet handle." Miller was not invulnerable to the satire, and cut off the handle. The style of wearing the hair during the first forty years underwent several changes. The young man of fashion at the first tied his back hair in a bandage of ribbon, leaving the extremity loose, and no Chinaman ever guarded his pig-tail with more jealous care. By 1830, the fashionable man "roached" his hair, and trimmed behind to a moderate length. By 1840, the hair of the back part of the head, in a line drawn from ear to ear across the crown, was cut very short, and the front part permitted to grow to the length of six to eight inches, which was nicknamed by the unfashionable "soap-locks."
The men of eighty years ago were all clean shaven, which was the custom generally until a very recent day. In 1840, the men who wore whiskers were the " border ruffian " and the Mississippi steamboat poker player. The long beard and waxed mustache in the rural districts were a curiosity, and the big watch chain, flowing beard and fierce looks plainly indicated the proprietor to be somebody. In recent times, it has become almost universal to let the beard grow. The exceptions are to be found mainly among the " oldest settlers," who, to this day, wear clean shaved faces. Among these, we now recall the faces and names of Judge John Taylor, John Enoch, Samuel Humes, Robert M. Woods, John H. James, John Earsom, James McLean, William Patrick; John Hurd. Jacob Minturn. Simon Earsom and others.
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PAGE 314 - PICTURE OF GABRIEL KENTON - MAD RIVER TP
PAGE 315 - PICTURE OF MRS. MARY A. KENTON
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HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 317
The fashions of the ladies have been so variable and complicated that He shall not attempt the task of describing them. 'Tis said the quantity requisite for a dress pattern has increased with the increasing years. It is a greater puzzle to the " old man " when he foots the bill, and remembers that Mrs. Lafferty, the largest woman in the county when linsey-woolsey was fashionable, required only six yards, and left a remnant for repairs !
The Urbana Union newspaper, in March, 1867, began a publication of the history of Champaign County, prepared by Mr. John H. James, running through the pages of that paper about a year. The papers abound in items of interest, and personal sketches of men who lived in the county. Having come to Urbana at an early day, and whose studies and pursuits brought him in close acquaintance with the old settlers, and an intimate knowledge of the projected improvements and changes which have taken place for nearly three-quarters of a century, no one is better qualified than he to narrate the details of the border life, and the progress that the hand of industry has wrought accurately and well. The history was copyrighted by Mr. Houx, the publisher, and we are authorized to make extracts from its pages.
The first Legislature had provided for an enumeration of the inhabitants. This was duly made, and the returns made to the General Assembly, which met in 1803, showed that there were then fifteen counties in the State, and that the number of white male inhabitants was 17,767. Of this number, Greene County, out of which Champaign was carved, had 446.
The first session of the Legislature passed an act to establish seats of justice. The law required three Commissioners, to be appointed by the General Assembly, to examine and determine what part of the county was most eligible for holding the courts. The Commissioner was not to be a resident of the county, nor own any land therein, and must have arrived at the age of twenty-five years. The Commissioners were to meet within sixty days of notice of their appointment, give twenty days' public notice to the people, take an oath to perform their duties, and then proceed to select a place as near the center of the county as possible. Report of what was done was to be made to the Court of Common Pleas, and, if no town had been laid off, the court appointed a Director to purchase the land, lay the same off into lots and streets, and sell the same at public or private sale for the benefit of the new county. The law is interesting, as showing the means adopted to secure justice and honesty in the discharge of a public duty.
Ichabod B. Halsey and George Harlan, of Warren County, and William McClelland, of Butler County, were appointed Commissioners to locate the county seat for Champaign. They met during the summer of 1805. Springfield was the only town laid off in the county, but the law required the seat of justice to be as nearly central as possible. Instead of purchasing land for a site as the law required, they made an arrangement with Cola Ward to select the present site of Urbana on condition of his laying off a town, and giving to the county one-half of all the lots. Col. Ward, it is said, urged them to select the table-land on Bogle's Run, now owned by the county as the Infirmary Farm, the reason being that the nearness to Springfield would prevent the latter from being made a county town, and, consequently, the incentive for the division of the county would be taken away. The Commissioners made report to the court at the September term of their selection and the proposals of Col. Ward. The action of the court consisted in appointing "Joseph C. Vance as Director to purchase the land and make the necessary arrangements for estab-
318 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
lishing and fixing the permanent seat of justice." In an old contract between Robert Renick and another for the sale of a piece of land at Urbana, the land is described as lying on Flag Run. The " crossing place " was "down by old Mr. Luse's." The curious of to-day will find Flag Run is what is now called the "Town Branch." The "crossing" was on Miami street, near an old tannery, and " old Mr. Luse " was Zephaniah Luse, owner of the tanyard, which was perhaps the first one sunk in Urbana. On the authority of the " history " before named, a colored barber named Robert Fleming, who always traveled the circuit with the Court of Common Pleas, and had spent his youth among the Shawnee Indians as a servant of Matthew Elliott, said that the Run " was called by the Shawnees the "Hop-kesepo," which meant the Pleasant River.
Sales of lots were made in October, '1805. But no sale lists were preserved and no reports of sales exist. The court files were kept loosely. No minutes of the County Commissioners are found prior to 1809. William H. Fyffe was present at the first sale and bought the lot on the corner of South Main and Market, where he lived and carried on a saddlery shop.
The court allowed Arthur St. Clair $25 for his services at the first term of the court as Prosecuting Attorney. In 1826, James Cooley, then Prosecutor, received $30. In more recent times, the sum of $200 is considered the proper honorarium.
At that period, the body could be taken for debt. In the list of civil cases, it is curious to note that in every instance suit was commenced by capias, and special bail was entered. In every instance defendants gave bail when execution was ordered, which was generally by an entry on the docket and signed by the attorney. The order is for a writ to take the defendant's goods and not a writ for his body.
At a special election in 1806 to choose a Sheriff, Coroner and three Commissioners, the returns of Salem Township only are found, which consists of a single sheet of foolscap, folded in half and stitched, with the certificate of John Runyon, Associate Judge, at the top. Thirty-seven votes were polled. Jacob Minturn, Alexander Miller and William Hendricks were Judges, and David Vance and John Lafferty, Clerks. Some of the names of the voters are spelled differently from the orthography of to-day, but this probably was due to the Clerk. Salem then embraced the Pastern half of what is now Champaign and Logan, and the list of voters shows that their descendants are still among the efficient men of the section in which they lived. The names are in the following order: John Runion, George Jameson, James Suit, Zekiel Davis, John Jameson, Abner Barret, Clark Miller, Joseph McLain, James Walker, Samuel Lafferty, Barton Minturn, Allen Minturn, Stephen Runion, John Clark, Joseph C. Vance, Jacob Minturn, David Vance, Matthew Stuard, Hiram M. Curry, William Dosen, William McLain, William Hendrix, John Lafferty, Archy McCaney, Joseph Sutton, Joseph Caffey, Paul Huston, Justes Jones, Abraham Jones, William Powell, Thomas M. Pendleton, David Parkison, Benamin Springer, Daniel McKinnon, Daniel Jones, John Pierce, Ninion Nicols. In 1806, Zane Township was formed and taken from the north end of Mad River and Salem Townships, and embraced very nearly the present county of Logan. It was named in honor of Isaac Zane, who lived at the Big Bottom on Mad River, near the present town of Zanesfield. When nine years old, he was taken prisoner by the Wyandots, and, having lived with them many years, married an Indian woman. By her he had a son, Isaac Zane, who lived
HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. - 319
at the same place, and four daughters, who married men of prominence in the county, and among the earliest settlers, named McCulloch, Armstrong, Long and Reed. Their grandchildren and descendants still live in Logan.
Isaac Zane was one of the sworn interpreters at the making of Wayne's treaty at Greenville, in 1795. He stood high in the estimation of the Wyandots, who assigned him a tract of land four miles square at the Big Bottom on Mad River. This reservation was not stipulated in the treaty, and he after ward petitioned Congress to confirm the grant. Being in the Virginia Military District, the confirmation could not be made, but the President was empowered to convey by patent to Zane three sections, which he could select from any unsold lands in the Northwest Territory. Two of the sections selected were on King's Creek, east of the Urbana & West Liberty road, embracing now the Kingston Mills; the third, at the mouth of King's Creek, on Mad River.
Robert Renick was a Justice of the Peace in the early days, and many good stories are told of him. One of them is that, having occasion to detain in custody a person who had been brought before him, and having no courthouse, he had a large stick of wood, too heavy to be dragged off, split open at one end by a " glut." The prisoner's leg was inserted in the openin and the glut knocked out. The clamp was not tight enough to do injury; but-sufficient to hold the prisoner till wanted.
The store of Fabian Engle has been noticed elsewhere. The grassy nook by the edge of the forest, near the clean and gravelly knoll where it stood, still remains, but the house was removed fifty years ago. His stock in trade consisted of knives and forks, spoons, knitting-needles, weavers' reels and Turkey red, awl-blades, sewing-thread, needles, powder, lead and tobacco, a little whisky, and one piece of calico, to exchange for linsey-woolsey and home-made linen.
For these valuables he received, in pay, home-made woolsey and linen, bees wax and deer-skins. Money was a scarce article, and could be dispensed with altogether except for the payment of one thing-taxes. Fabian was a bad manager and a not very neat shop-keeper. He fell into debt, and the last accounts of him were his arrest and imprisonment for debt.
In 1807, two men named Bowyer and Morgan, brothers-in-law, had settled in the southwestern part of the county, and made a clearing. As the country was open, the Indians, in their hunting expeditions, built lodges near by, which Morgan one day burned. This exasperated the Indians, who sought revenge in shooting Bowyer, whom, by accident, they had mistaken for Morgan. The killing was done in sight of the wives of the two men, who, with their children, fled and hid in a thicket. Five Indians passed close by them and approached the body, and finding they had shot the wrong man, passed on without carrying off any plunder or committing any depredations. It gave great alarm to the country. Morgan left the country, and many returned to Kentucky. Henry Weaver, long an old resident of Urbana, then a mere lad, was among the few who refused to leave. A deputation from Urbana, among them Joseph Vance, went down to William Lemon's to make note of matters and bury the body. They reported that the killing indicated a private grudge, and that there was no cause for general alarm. Mary Lemon rode to Urbana on horseback behind Joseph Vance, as was the custom. In December of that year (1807), Joseph Vance and Mary Lemon were married.
The killing of Bowyer caused very general alarm, and brought in messages of peace from the Indians. A general meeting of the Indians was held at
320 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
Springfield, and some of the chiefs stopped in Urbana to talk the matter over. Col. Ward and Simon Kenton were present. Ward exhibited great excitement in his talk and manner, while Kenton, throughout, remained composed and silent. His knowledge of the Indian character made him take this course and gave an effectiveness to his words when the time came for him to speak.
Joseph C. Vance was appointed Director of Greene County in 1803, and in laying off the seat of justice drew on his classical learning for a name for the new town, which he called, from the Greek, Xenia, meaning hospitality. In 1805, he moved to the newly created county of Champaign, and was again appointed Director of the county. In laying off the town, which he called Urbana, he drew his name from the Latin tongue, literally meaning city-like, or courteous. He died in 1809, leaving a large family. His successor as Clerk of the Court was Maj. Thomas Gwynne, one of a family which came from Cumberland, in Maryland, and settled on Deer Creek. They, or their ancestors, perhaps, came originally from Wales, the name in Welsh being a synonym of White. He was for many years Paymaster in the army, and settled and died in Cincinnati in 1824. Other members of the family settled here, and were conspicuous as merchants and enterprising men. Maj. Gwynne probably never served as Clerk. In the year following the death of Joseph C. Vance, William Ward was appointed Clerk, and succeeded to all the offices held by Vance. He was also made Director of the town of Urbana, David Gwynne and Samuel McCord being sureties in the sum of $1,500.
The aggregate statement of taxes for the year 1810 shows there were seven townships, and the amount of State and county tax levied was, for county, $925.85, and for State, $792.20, making a total of $1,767.85-a rate of about $1 to each inhabitant. In 1866, the same territory (Clark, Champaign and Logan) paid $210,000 State and municipal taxes, and Champaign alone, in 1880, $236,033.92.
The wolf was a serious enemy to the early settlers. The Territorial Legislature enacted a law paying to every one over ten years of age, for killing a wolf within six miles of any settlement, 50 cents for a wolf under six months old, and $1.25 if more than six months. A bounty was allowed by the County Commissioners, in 1809, of $1 for each one. The certificates for wolf scalps were used for currency, and Collectors of taxes took them in payment as money. The price for scalps was afterward made 75 cents for those of wolf pups, and $1.50 for those of the old wolves.
It has been elsewhere noted that Congress provided in the law for the sale of the public lands that Section 16 in each township should be set apart for the use of schools in that township. By State law, it was required that the inhabitants of these townships should elect three Trustees and a Clerk, who should be a corporation for leasing the school sections. This was done by granting a lease of a quarter-section for a short term of years, on condition that the tenant should erect a cabin and clear a certain number of acres, after which the tenant paid a portion of the crops as rent. The proceeds of these crops were paid to the teachers, as per pupils, and the amount was credited each quarter, pro rata, on the tuition bills. Congress afterward gave consent to the sale of the lands, which was concurred in by the State, with the provision that the money should go into the State Treasury, at 6 per cent forever. Sales were made in 1828 and after-probably the land selling for all it was worth then but subsequent growth and value have shown the short-sighted policy, to be repeated nearly forty years afterward in the sale of Agricultural College land
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scrip. The section within a mile of Urbana sold for an average of $3 per acre, or about $1,900 in the aggregate. The same land to-day will be valued at $50 an acre, without the improvements.
The number of votes cast in these townships, which, in 1810, comprised the limits of Champaign County now, was 287. The amount of tax-lists for 1811, for the three counties named, delivered to Samuel McCord, Collector, was (State and local), $1,727.75. It was then made the duty of the Collector to call on every tax payer at his home. His fees, by law, were 8 per cent, and the Commissioners appropriated that year $130 for his services.
Among the first-or probably the first-native-born citizens of the town, were Newton Harr and Edward P. Fyffe, and in the county, James McGill, James McLain and Jacob Minturn.
When John Reynolds settled in Urbana, a post road had been authorized from Cincinnati to Detroit, and a mail was carried from Cincinnati to Lebanon, and thence to Xenia, where it stopped. Postmaster General Granger agreed to establish a mail to Urbana on condition that the inhabitants would pay the expenses and save the department from loss. Mr. John Reynolds became Postmaster on these terms, and the mail was carried at his expense, less the proceeds of the office, which but slightly reimbursed him.
In 1826, John C. Pearson was Postmaster, and postage on a letter was 12 1/2, 25, 37 and 50 cents per half-ounce, according to the distance carried. Every separate piece in the letter was taxed at the same rate. Thus, a letter containing two one-dollar notes was charged at the rate of three letters. The envelope was a later invention. To fold a letter neatly was considered a fine art, and some of the school-teachers made this one of the lessons for their pupils. ' In 1838, William Hunt was Postmaster, who afterward was President and Director in the Mad River & Lake Erie Railroad. About 1840, he removed to the old Simon Kenton farm, about five miles from Springfield, on the Urbana pike, where he died a few years since.
In the early settlement of the country, the office sought the man. If any one wanted an office it was no discredit to announce his name as a candidate. Conventions came into fashion about 1828, and like all new machinery worked awkwardly and with friction at the first. The setting up and manipulation of conventions, have, in these later days, been reduced to a science. A change of parties in power is now understood to mean new men and new ways; and we find in the run of years that Samuel K. Ward, Decatur Talbott, John A. Corwin, James Taylor, Newton Ambrose, William C. Brand, Daniel Hitt, and perhaps others who have in turn sorted the mail, ranging from the weekly advent of the post-boy on his tedious and tired horse with his single pouch of papers and letters to the two-horse "carryall "-sem i-weekly-the splendid coach of the old stage company- "all full inside "-and to-day a daily mail by express car-from east, west. north and south-weighing 500 to 1,000 pounds.
One portion of this "veritable history " is lacking-a feature commonly overlooked-but one which perhaps as much as any other one thing shows " the form and pressure of the times "-the phraseology or modes of expression and thought of the people at different periods. That of Simon Kenton was peculiar, and although each man brought more or less of the dialect of the locality whence he came-there soon came to be a " shibboleth," common to many of which the slang words and expletives formed a rich and forcible vocabulary, which, if the truth were known, has contributed its portion of " Anglo-Saxon "
322 - HISTORY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
to the unabridged. Untrained in the schools, circumstances suggested analogies and expressions stronger and more expressive than its Latin synonym.
Abram Smith in the early settlement oŁ Salem Township, bought a tract of land on what is now the Urbana pike, about three miles southeast of', West Liberty, and paid at the rate of $2 per acre. David Oadea sold the same land to Abraham Herr about 1850, for $50 an acre. The property to-day is owned by Joseph Miller, and would probably sell in the market for $100 per acre.
Daniel Louderback, of Mad River, purchased, in 1820, 160 acres of land, valued at $50. He has held continued possession until 1880, and the same land is now valued at $70 per acre. Taxes have advanced in the same ratio.
Mr. Solomon Vause's farm in Union Township, in 1830 valued at $5 per acre; has been in the uninterrupted possession of Robert M. Woods till 1880 ; assessed value, $50 per acre. In 1832, taxes $1 per 100 acres; in 1880, 50 cents per acre.
In 1830, and onward for many years, the town held weekly lyceums, composed of the attorneys, preachers and young men of literary tastes, where questions of popular interest were discussed in the presence of enthusiastic audiences, of which the ladies composed a large part. By 1840, an essay or lecture was added to the amusement of the evening.
In 1850, or later, public lectures were read at certain intervals. Members of the bar and other scientific and literary gentlemen of the community responded to the call, and a course of lectures was given during the winter months.
By 1870, the public lecturing business had become one of the fixed "institutions " of the country. Bureaus were established at various centers to facilitate the securing of prominent and popular essayists and orators, when a choice of names was offered and terms arranged without an extended correspondence. Under this system, a committee have continued until the present a winter course of lectures by many of the distinguished public speakers.
It is elsewhere stated, that, in the earlier period of the State's history, the squirrels were accustomed to travel in countless numbers from the north to the south. The squirrels then were a nuisance, and their destruction encouraged by a squirrel tax. So effective has been the course pursued, but more particularly by the bands of young hunters, that the squirrels are becoming very scarce, and in one or two more decades will be so rarely seen as to be a curiosity. The last emigration of the squirrels from or through Champaign County was in 1836. They came from the northwest, moving across the county diagonally, and crossing open fields, fences and houses in their course. They were rarely seen in numbers together, but, singly, each seemed to be striv ing to reach its destination. In the fields one might have been seen in every space of fifty yards square. Thousands were killed by the boys with clubs in mere wantonness, and a large proportion of the squirrels were found to be infected with "warbles," a probable larva of the gadfly. The "stampede" continued about a week, but was at its height not longer than twenty-four hours. The remaining time was filled by scattering ones, which had perhaps lagged behind from weariness.
In 1830, and for many years thereafter, the "martins," as the summers came, were very numerous. In 1880, they are little seen. The birds which are found in the groves and in the trees of town, are the thrush, catbird, robin, blue-jay and turtle dove. In the country. the prairie blackbird, the woodpecker, sap-sucker, crow and blackbird-tbe last in numbers-the others less
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numerous than they were ten years ago. No flock of wild turkey has been seen since 1840, and no wild deer since 1835. The pheasant is occasionally found, but is almost exterminated. Quails are becoming numerous-protected for a limited time by law. In 1875, a few pairs of English sparrows were first noticed in Urbana. In 1835, wild geese and ducks were abundant, but annually have become less and less numerous, and, in 1880, are rarely bagged by the hunter.
Every national census has recorded the names of residents in every town ship who have long passed the year allotted by the Psalmist as the measure o human life. The two oldest, of whom we have any record, are Stanhope, of Concord, mentioned in the notes on that township, and James Gales, of Urbana Township-both colored men. Gales is still living on a farm about four miles south of Urbana. The oldest citizens of Urbana remember his coming to Urbana fifty or sixty years ago, and say he was an old-looking man then, and the uniform testimony is that he cannot be less than one hundred and twelve years old. The record in the family Bible, in the possession of his son, Cal Gales, makes him one hundred and twenty. He is a native of Berkeley County, Va., and his occupation generally was that of a farm hand. He goes about the house and yard, but his senses and appearance all indicate the feebleness and breaking of old, old age.
In a hurried manner, we have reviewed the early beginnings and progress of the county until the present. The log cabin has made way for the commodious dwelling; the tinder-box, with its lint and flint, for the lucifer match ; the pine knot and the cotton-wick in the bowl of grease, tallow candle, lard oil, to kerosene and gas; hard, constant, manual toil in the workshop and the field, for machinery-lifting the burden of labor. Instead of the transient, expensive weekly newspaper, the mammoth daily, from every city; the lumbering coach and weekly mail exchanged for the palace car, steam and telegraph; the science of politics and the rights of man better understood than ever before; art, science, literature and religion cultivated and maintained; human life lengthened. These are among the landmarks in the progress of a lifetime; and, dispassionately surveying what was, compared with what is, and as indicative of what may be, the general verdict will be, " the latter times are better than the former.