(In 1891 Henry Howe released a three volume set on the history of Ohio. The section on Montgomery County is reproduced here - Editor)
IN THREE VOLUMES
AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE STATE
HISTORY BOTH GENERAL AND LOCAL, GEOGRAPHY WITH DESCRIPTIONS OF ITS COUNTIES, CITIES AND VILLAGES, ITS AGRICULTURAL, MANU-FACTURING, MINING AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, SKETCHES
OF EMINENT AND INTERESTING CHARACTERS, ETC.,
WITH NOTES OF A TOUR OVER IT IN 1886.
ILLUSTRATED BY ABOUT SEVEN HUNDRED ENGRAVINGS
CONTRASTING THE OHIO OF 1846 WITH 1886-90
From drawings by the author in 1846 and photographs taken solely for it in
1886, 1887, 1888, 1889, and 1890, of cities and chief towns, public
antiquities, portraits, maps, etc.
THE OHIO CENTENNIAL EDITION
BY HENRY HOWE, LL.D.,
AUTHOR “HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS OF VIRGINIA”
AND OTHER WORKS
HENRY HOWE & SON
COPYRIGHT 1891 BY HENRY HOWE
MontgomeryCounty was named from Gen. Richard Montgomery, of the American Revolutionary army; he was born in Ireland, in 1737, and was killed in the assault upon Quebec, Dec. 31, 1775.This county was created May 1, 1803, from Hamilton and Ross, and the temporary seat of justice appointed at the house of George Newcom, in Dayton.About one-half of the county is rolling and the rest level; the soil of an excellent quality, clay predominating.East of the Miami are many excellent limestone quarries, of a grayish-white hue.Large quantities are exported to Cincinnati, where it is used in constructing the most elegant edifices; nearly all the canal locks from Cincinnati to Toledo are built with it.This is a great manufacturing county, and abundance of water power is furnished by its various streams, and it is very wealthy, with a dense agricultural population.The principal products are corn, wheat, rye, oats, barley, flaxseed, potatoes, pork, wool and tobacco.
Area about 470 square miles.In 1887 the acres cultivated were 167,779; in pasture, 18,402; woodland, 34,134; lying waste, 9,624; produced in wheat, 639,886 bushels; rye, 4,655; buckwheat, 171; oats, 415,084; barley, 55,960; corn, 1,523,796; broom-corn, 67,759 lbs. brush; meadow hay, 15,104 tons; clover hay, 8,628; flax, 176,477 lbs. fibre; potatoes, 85,200 bushels; tobacco, 4,717,558 lbs. (largest in the state); butter, 827,943; cheese, 2,715; sorghum, 5,872 gallons; maple syrup, 13,934; honey, 4,018 lbs.; eggs, 635,473 dozen; grapes, 132,790 lbs.; wine, 6,301 gallons; sweet potatoes, 3,648 bushels; apples, 563; peaches, 15; pears, 1,725; wool, 15,747 lbs.; milch cows owned, 10,497.Ohio Mining Statistics, 1888:Limestone, 5,062 tons burned for lime; 195,537 cubic feet of dimension stone; 33,977 cubic yards of building stone; 422,558 square feet of flagging; 9,750 square feet of paving; 48,586 lineal feet of curbing; 1,352 cubic yards of ballast or macadam.School census, 1888, 26,797; teachers, 402.Miles of railroad track, 165.
Townships and Census
Townships and Census
Dayton (city and township)
Population of Montgomery in 1820 was 16,061; 1830, 24,374; 1840, 31,879; 1860, 52,230; 1880, 78,550; of whom 54,396 were born in Ohio; 4,059 Pennsylvania; 1,197 Indiana; 1,114 New York; 1,037 Virginia; 813 Kentucky; 7,894 German Empire; 2,574 Ireland; 664 England and Wales; 270 France; 207 British America; 159 Scotland, and 11 Norway and Sweden.
Census, 1890, 100,852.
Among the early settlers of Montgomery county was Col. Robert Patterson.He was born in Pennsylvania in 1753, and emigrated to Kentucky in 1775.In 1804 he removed from Kentucky and settled about a mile below Dayton. He was the original proprietor of Lexington, Ky., and one-third owner of Cincinnati, when it was laid out.He was with Col. George Rogers Clarke in 1778, in his celebrated Illinois campaign; in the following year he was in Bowman’s expedition against old Chillicothe.In this expedition, according to Patterson’s memoranda, Bowman had 400 men.In August, 1780, he was also a captain under Clarke, in his expedition against the Shawnees, on the Little Miami and Mad River; was second in command to Col. Boone, August 19, 1782, at the battle of the Lower Blue Licks; was colonel on the second expedition of Gen. Clarke, in the following September, into the Miami country; held the same office in 1786, under Col. Logan, in his expedition against the Shawnees.He died, August 5, 1827.His early life was full of incidents, one of the most remarkable of which we give in his own language, as originally published in the Ohio National Journal:
Canoe Journey up the Ohio. – In the fall of 1776 I started from McClellan’s station (now Georgetown, Ky.) in company with Jos. McNutt, David Perry, James Wernock, James Templeton, Edward Mitchell and Isaac Greer, to go to Pittsburg.We procured provision for our journey at the Blue Licks, from the well-known stone house, the Buffalo.At Limestone we procured a canoe, and started up the Ohio river by water.Nothing material transpired during several of the first days of our journey.We landed at Point Pleasant, where was a fort commanded by Capt. Arbuckle.After remaining there a short time, and receiving dispatches from Capt. Arbuckle to the commandant at Wheeling, we again proceeded.Aware that Indians were lurking along the bank of the river, we traveled with the utmost caution.We usually landed an hour before sunset, cooked and eat our supper, and went on until after dark.At night we lay without fire, as convenient to our canoe as possible, and started again in the morning at daybreak.We had all agreed that if any disaster should befall us by day or by night that we should stand by each other, as long as any help could be afforded.
Attacked by Indians. – At length the memorable 12th of October arrived.During the day we passed several new improvements, which occasioned us to be less watchful and careful than we had been before.Late in the evening we landed opposite the island [on the Ohio side of the river, in what is now Athens county].then called the Hockhocking, and were beginning to flatter ourselves that we should reach some inhabitants the next day.Having eaten nothing that day, contrary to our usual practice, we kindled a fire and cooked supper.After we had eaten and made the last of our flour into a loaf of bread, and put it into an old brass kettle to bake, so that we night be ready to start again in the morning at daybreak, we lay down to rest, keeping the same clothes on at night that we wore during the day.For the want of a better, I had on a hunting-shirt and britch clout (so called), and flannel leggings.I had my powder-horn and shot-pouch on my side, and placed the butt of my gun under my head.Five of our company lay on the east side of the fire, and James Templeton and myself on the west; we were lying on our left sides, myself in front, with my right hand hold of my gun.Templeton was lying close behind me.This was our position, and asleep, when we were fired upon by a party of Indians.Immediately after the fire they rushed upon us with tomahawks, as if determined to finish the work of death they had begun.It appeared that one Indian had shot on my side of the fire.I saw the flash of the gun and felt the ball pass through me, but where I could not tell, nor was it at first painful.I sprang to take up my gun, but my right shoulder came to the ground.I made another effort, and was half bent in getting up, when an Indian sprang past the fire with savage fierceness, and struck me with his tomahawk.From the position I was in, it went between two ribs, just behind the backbone, a little below the kidney, and penetrated the cavity of the body.He then immediately turned to Templeton (who by this time had got to his feet with his gun in hand), and seized his gun.A desperate scuffle ensued, but Templeton held on, and finally bore off the gun.
A Forlorn Condition. – In the meantime I made from the light, and in my attempt to get out of sight, I was delayed for a moment by getting my right arm fast between a tree and a sapling, but having got clear and away from the light of the fire, and finding that I had lost the use of my right arm, I made a shift to keep it up by drawing it through the straps of my shot-pouch.I could see the crowd about the fire, but the firing had ceased and the strife seemed to be over.I had reason to believe that the others were all shot and tomahawked.Hearing no one coming towards me, I resolved to go to the river, and, if possible, to get into the canoe and float down, thinking by that means I might possibly reach Point Pleasant, supposed to be about 100 miles distant.Just as I got on the beach a little below the canoe, an Indian in the canoe gave a whoop, which gave me to understand that it was best to withdraw.I did so; and with much difficulty got to an old log, and being very thirsty, faint and exhausted, I was glad to sit down.I felt the blood running and heard it dropping on the leaves all around me.Presently I heard the Indians board the canoe and float past.All was now silent, and I felt myself in a most forlorn condition.I could not see the fire, but determined to find it and see if any of my comrades were alive.I steered the course which I supposed the fire to be, and having reached it, I found Templeton alive, but wounded in nearly the same manner that I was.James Wernock was also dangerously wounded, two balls having passed through his body; Jos. McNutt was dead and scalped; D. Perry was wounded, but not badly, and Isaac Greer was missing.The miseries of that hour cannot well be described.
Wernock’s Resignation. – When daylight appeared we held a council, and concluded that inasmuch as one gun and some ammunition was saved, Perry would furnish us with meat, and we would proceed up the river by slow marches to the nearest settlements, supposed to be one hundred miles.A small quantity of provisions which was found scattered around the fire was picked up and distributed among us, and a piece of blanket, which was saved from the fire, was given to me to cover a wound on my back.On examination, it was found that two balls had passed through my right arm, and that the bone was broken; to dress this, splinters were taken from a tree near the fire that had been shivered by lightning, and placed on the outside of my hunting shirt and bound with a string.And now, being in readiness to move, Perry took the gun and ammunition, and we all got to our feet except Wernock, who, on attempting to get up fell back to the ground.He refused to try again, said that he could not live, and at the same time desired us to do the best we could for ourselves. Perry then took hold of his arm and told him if he would get up he would carry him; upon this he made another effort to get up, but falling back as before, he begged us in the most solemn manner to leave him.At his request, the old kettle was filled with water and placed at his side, which he said was the last and only favor required of us, and then conjured us to leave him and try to save ourselves, assuring us that should he live to see us again, he would cast no reflections of unkindness upon us.Thus we left him.When we had got a little distance I looked back, and distressed and hopeless as Wernock’s condition really was, I felt to envy it.After going about 100 poles, we were obliged to stop and rest, and found ourselves too sick and weak to proceed.Another consultation being held, it was agreed that Templeton and myself should remain there with Edward Mitchell and Perry should take the gun and go to the nearest settlement and seek relief.Perry promised that if he could not procure assistance he would be back in four days.He then returned to the camp and found Wernock in the same state of mind as when we left, perfectly rational and sensible of his condition, replenished his kettle with water, brought us some fire and started for the settlement.
Wernock’s Death. – Alike unable to go back or forward, and being very thirsty, we set about getting water from a small stream that happened to be near us, our only drinking vessel an old wool hat, which was so broken that it was with great difficulty made to hold water; but by stuffing leaves in it, we made it hold so that each one could drink from once filling it.Nothing could have been a greater luxury to us than a drink of water from the old hat.Just at night Mitchell returned to see if Wernock was still living, intending, if he was dead, to get the kettle for us.He arrived just in time to see him expire; but not choosing to leave him until he should be certain that he was dead, he stayed with him until darkness came on, and when he attempted to return to us, he got lost and lay from us all night.We suffered much that night for the want of fire, and through fear that he was either killed or that he had ran off; but happily for us our fears were groundless, for next morning at sunrise he found his way to our camp.That day we moved about 200 yards farther up a deep ravine, and farther from the river.The weather, which had been cold and frosty, now became a little warmer, and commenced raining.Those that were with me could set up, but I had no alternative but to lie on my back on the ground, with my right arm over my body.The rain continuing next day, Mitchell took an excursion to examine the hills, and not far distant he found a rock projecting from the cliff sufficient to shelter us from the rain, to which place we very gladly removed.He also gathered pawpaws for us, which were our only food, except perhaps a few grapes.
Rescuers Arrive. – Time moved slowly on until Saturday.In the meantime we talked over the danger to which Perry was exposed, the distance he had to go and the improbability of his returning.When the time had expired which he had allowed himself, we concluded that we would, if alive, wait for him until Monday, and if he did not come then, and no relief should be afforded, we would attempt to travel to Point Pleasant.The third day after our defeat my arm became very painful.The splinters and leaves and my shirt were cemented together with blood, and stuck so fast to my arm that it required the application of warm water for nearly a whole day to loosen them so that they could be taken off; when this was done, I had my arm dressed with white oak leaves, which had a very good effect.On Saturday, about , Mitchell came with him bosom full of pawpaws, and placed them convenient to us, and returned to his station on the river.He had been gone for about an hour, when to our great joy we beheld him coming with a company of men.When they approached us, we found that our trusty friend and companion, David Perry, had returned to our assistance with Captain John Walls, his officers and most of his company.Our feelings of gratitude may possibly be conceived, but words can never describe them.Suffice to say that these eyes flowed down plenteously with tears, and I was so completely overwhelmed with joy that I fell to the ground.On my recovery, we were taken to the river and refreshed plentifully with provisions, which the captain had brought, and had our wounds dressed by an experienced man, who came for that purpose.We were afterwards described by the captain to be in a most forlorn and pitiable condition, more like corpses beginning to putrify than living beings.
While we were at the cliff which sheltered us from the rain, the howling of the wolves in the direction of the fatal spot whence we had so narrowly escaped with our lives, left no doubt that they were feasting on the bodies of our much-lamented friends, McNutt and Wernock.While we were refreshing ourselves at the river, and having our wounds dressed, Captain Walls went with some of his men to the place of our defeat, and collected the bones of our late companions, and buried them with the utmost expedition and care.We were then conducted by water to Captain Wall’s station, at Grave creek.
HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE MISCELLANIES
The following series are from the pen of Mr. Robert W. Steele as originally communicated to the “History of Dayton” a large octavo of seven hundred and twenty-seven pages, published in 1889 by Harvey W. Crew.Mr. Steele is a Christian gentleman, who has devoted a large part of a long life to the highest interests of the public.He was born in Dayton, July 3, 1819, of an honored parentage, his ancestry having been of that Scoth-Irish Presbyterian stock that settled in the Valley of Virginia.He graduated in 1840 at the MiamiUniversity; was for thirty years member of the Dayton Board of Education and long its president; has been connected with the Dayton Public Library from the beginning; is a member of the State Board of Charities and of the State Board of Agriculture.Several of the other articles which follow are also contributed by him as the account of the great Harrison Convention of 1840.Sketches of Daniel Cooper, the Van Cleves, etc.
Long before any permanent settlement was made in the MiamiValley, its beauty and fertility were known to the inhabitants of Kentucky and the people beyond the Alleghanies, and repeated efforts were made to get possession of it.These efforts led to retaliation on the part of the Indians, who resented the attempt to dispossess them of their lands, and the continuous raids back and forth across the Ohio River to gain or keep control of this beautiful valley, caused it to be called, until the close of the eighteenth century, the “Miami Slaughter-house.”The report of the French Major Celoron de Bienville, who, in August 1749, ascended the La Roche or Big Miami River in bateaux to visit the Twightwee villages at Piqua, has been preserved, but Gist, the agent of the Virginians, who formed the Ohio Land Company, was probably the first person who wrote a description in English of the region surrounding Dayton.Gist visited the Twightwee or Miami villages in 1751.He was delighted with the fertile and well watered land, with its large oak, walnut, maple, ash, wild cherry and other trees, “The country,” he says, “abounded with turkey, deer, elk and most sorts of game, particularly buffaloes, thirty or forty of which are frequently seen feeding in one meadow; in short, it wants nothing but cultivation to make it a most delightful country.The land upon the Great Miami River is very rich, level and well timbered, some of the finest meadows that can be.The grass here grows to a great height on the clear fields, of which there are a great number, and the bottoms are full of white clover, wild rye and blue grass.”It is stated by pioneer writers that the buffalo and elk disappeared from Ohio about the year 1795.
The development of the MiamiValley has shown that the glowing accounts of the early explorers as to the fertility of the soil were not too highly colored.Beautiful and fertile as the MiamiValley is, no part of it surpasses, if it equals, the region immediately surrounding Dayton.The “MAD RIVER COUNTRY,” as this region was called by the first pioneers, was the synonym for all that was desirable in farming lands.
Dayton is fortunate in its location at the confluence of four important streams – the Miami, MadRiver, Stillwater and WolfCreek.Each of these streams has its valley of great beauty and fertility, and these valleys produce large and profitable crops of every variety.As reported in the United States census report of 1880, the total value of farm products in Montgomery County in 1870 was three million two hundred and eighty-eight thousand four hundred and forty-nine dollars, a greater amount than was produced by any other county in Ohio.An incidental advantage resulting from the four-river valleys is the facilities they afford for the construction of railroads, which, through them, may reach Dayton on easy grades, and at comparatively small cost.No doubt to this cause may be partly attributed the fact that, with Dayton as a centre, ten railroads radiate in every direction.
BUILDING STONE AND GRAVEL.
One of nature’s chief gifts to Dayton is the building stone that underlies a large part of MontgomeryCounty.Of especial value is the Niagara, or, as it is commonly called, the Dayton stone.So extensive are the beds of this stone that Professor Orton, the State geologist, pronounces it inexhaustible.
Another article, which at first thought may be considered of little value, is of the greatest importance.Gravel is so abundant and so cheap that we seldom reflect what an important part it has played in the development of the country.Professor Orton says: “It is not easy to set a proper estimate upon the beds of sand and gravel of MontgomeryCounty until a comparison is instituted between a region well supplied with such accumulations and another that is destitute of them.The gravel knolls and ridges with which in the southern and eastern portions of the county, almost every farm abounds, afford very desirable building sites, and are generally selected for such purposes.Land of the best quality for mortar, cement and brick-making is everywhere within easy access.
“An inexhaustible supply of excellent materials for road-making – what is frequently designated the lime-stone gravel, though in reality largely composed of granite pebbles – is found in the drift deposits, from which hundreds of miles of turnpikes have been already constructed in the country, thus affording free communication between farm and market at all seasons of the year.The smaller boulders of Canadian origin are selected from the gravel-banks for paving-stones, and transported to the neighboring cities.In regions where stone suitable for macadamized pikes can be obtained, good roads can be had, even though gravel is wanting but at largely increased expense above that of gravel turnpikes.The districts which are supplied with neither can certainly never compete in desirability with these gravel-strewn regions.”
Benj. Van Cleve, one of the original settlers of Dayton, gives in his hournal an interesting account of the survey, in the autumn of 1795, of the purchase made by Gov. St. Clair, Generals Dayton and Wilkinson and Col. Ludlow from Judge Symmes.
Two parties set out, one under Daniel C. Cooper, to survey and mark a road, and the other, under Capt. John Dunlap, to run the boundaries of the purchase, Mr. Van Cleve says: “On the 4th of November Israel Ludlow laid out the town at the mouth of Mad river and called it Dayton, after one of the proprietors.A lottery was held, and I drew lots for myself and several others, and engaged to become a settler in the ensuing spring.”
JOURNEY BY LAND TO DAYTON.
In March, 1796, three parties left Cincinnati, led by William Harner, George Newcome and Samuel Thompson.Harner’s party was the first to start; the other two companies left on Monday, March 21, one by land and the other by water.Harner’s party came in a two-horse wagon over the road begun, but only partially cut through the woods by Cooper, in the fall of 1795.The other party that traveled by land walked.They were two weeks on the road.Their furniture, stoves, clothes, provisions, cooking utensils, and agricultural implements and other property, as well as children too small to walk, were carried on horses, in creels made of hickory withes, and suspended from each side of pack-saddles.It was a difficult matter to ford the creeks without getting the freight and the women and children wet.Trees were cut down to build foot-bridges across the smaller streams.Rafts were constructed to carry the contents of the creels and the women and children over large creeks, while the horses and cattle swam.Their rifles furnished them with plenty of game, and their cows with milk, at meals.
Thompson’s party came in a large pirogue down the Ohio to the Miami, and up that stream to the mouth of Mad river.
VOYAGE UP THE MIAMI TO DAYTON.
At the close of each day the boat was tied to a tree on the shore, and the emigrants landed and camped for the night around the big fire, by which they cooked their appetizing supper of game and fish and the eggs of wild fowls, for which the hunger of travelers was a piquant and sufficient sauce.No doubt their food, as described by other pioneers, was cooked after this fashion:Meat was fastened on a sharpened stick, stuck in the ground before the fire, and frequently turned.Dough for wheat bread was sometimes wound around a stick and baked in the same way.Corn bread was baked under the hot ashes.“Sweeter roast meat,” exclaims an enthusiastic pioneer writer, “than such as is prepared in this manner no epicure of Europe ever tasted.Scarce any one who has not tried it can imagine the sweetness and gusto of such a meal, in such a place, at such a time.”
ARRIVAL AT DAYTON.
The passage from Cincinnati to Dayton occupied ten days.Mrs. Thompson was the first to step ashore, and the first white woman, except, perhaps, the captive Mrs. McFall, rescued by Kentuckians in 1782, to set her foot on Dayton soil.Two small camps of Indians were here when the pirogue touched the Miami bank, but they proved friendly, and were persuaded to leave in a day or two.The pirogue landed at the head of St. Clair street, Friday, April 1.The following brief entry is the only allusion Benjamin Van Cleve makes in his “Journal” to this important event in the history of Dayton:“April 1, 1796.Landed at Dayton, after a passage of ten days, William Gahagan and myself having come with Thompson’s and McClure’s families in a large pirogue.”
We can easily imagine the loneliness and dreariness of the uninhabited wilderness which confronted these homeless families.There were three women and four children – one an infant – in the party.“The unbroken forest was all that welcomed them, and the awful stillness of night had no refrain but the howling of the wolf and the wailing of the whippoorwill.”
DAYTON BLOCK HOUSE.
During the summer of 1799 an Indian war was apprehended, and a large block house was built for defensive purposes.It stood on the Main street bank of the Miami.The threatened attack did not come, and it was never used as a fort, but was converted into a school-house, where Benj. Van Cleve, the first Dayton schoolmaster, taught the pioneer children.
EARLY POSTAL FACILITIES.
December 13, 1803, Benjamin Van Cleve was appointed postmaster.Probably in the spring of 1804 he opened the office in his cabin, on the southeast corner of First and St. Clair streets.He served till his death in 1821.Previous to 1804 the only post-office in the Miami valley, and as far north as Lake Erie, was at Cincinnati, and from 1804 till about 1806 the people to the north of Dayton, as far as Fort Wayne, were obliged to come to our office for their mail.In 1804 Dayton was on the mail route from Cincinnati to Detroit, and the mail was carried by a post-rider, who arrived and left here once in two weeks.But soon after Mr. Van Cleve opened the post-office a weekly mail was established.Only one mail a week was received for several years, the route of which was from Cincinnati through Lebanon, Xenia and Springfield to Urbana; thence to Piqua; thence down the Miami to Dayton, Franklin, Middletown, Hamilton, and Cincinnati.A letter from Dayton to Franklin, or any other town on the route, was sent first to Cincinnati and then back again around the circuit to its destination. No stamps were used, but the amount of postage due was written on the outside of the letter.Postage was sometimes prepaid, but oftener collected on delivery.Mr. Van Cleve frequently inserted notices similar to the following in the newspapers:“The postmaster having been in the habit of giving unlimited credit heretofore, finds it his duty to adhere strictly to the instructions of the postmaster-general.He hopes, therefore, that his friends will not take it amiss when he assures them that no distinction will be made.No letters will be delivered in future without pay, nor papers without the postage being paid quarterly in advance.”Now that postage for all distances is equal and very low, we can hardly realize the burden and inconvenience the high and uncertain postage rates imposed upon the pioneers.Money was very scarce and difficult to obtain; and to pay twenty-five cents in cash for a letter was no easy matter.
In 1816 the rates of postage were fixed as follows:Thirty-six miles, six cents; eighty miles, ten cents; over one hundred and fifty miles, eighteen and three-fourth cents; over four hundred miles, twenty-five cents.Newpapers anywhere within the State where printed, one cent.Elsewhere, not over one hundred miles, one cent and a half.Magazines at one cent a sheet for fifty miles; one cent and a half for one hundred miles; two cents for over one hundred miles.Pamphlets and magazines were not forwarded when the mail was very large, nor when carried with great expedition on horseback.For a good many years the Eastern mail was brought to Wheeling by post-riders, and thence down the river to Cincinnati in government mail-boats, built like whaling craft, each manned with four oarsmen and a coxswain, who were often armed.The voyage from Wheeling to Cincinnati occupied six days, and the return trip up stream twelve days.
In the spring of 1805 the Dayton Library Society was incorporated by the Legislature.It is creditable to the pioneer citizens of Dayton that among the first institutions established were a public library and an academy.In 1805 the first Act of Incorporation of a public library granted by the State of Ohio was obtained from the Legislature, and in 1808 the DaytonAcademy was incorporated.
NAVIGATION OF THE MIAMI.
The Great Miami was navigable both above and below Dayton during the great part of the year for keel boats, which were built like canal boats, only slighter and sharper, as well as for flat boats, till about 1820, when the numerous mill-dams that had by that time been erected, obstructed the channel.From that date till 1829, when the canal was opened, freighting south by winter, except what was done in flat boats during floods, was almost abandoned.The boats were often loaded with produce taken in exchange for goods, work, or even for lots and houses, for business men, instead of having money to deposit in bank or to invest, were frequently obliged to send cargoes of articles received in place of cash South or North for sale.Cherry and walnut logs were sometimes brought down the river on the flat boats.The flat boatmen sold their boats when they arrived at New Orleans, and, buying a horse, returned home by land.The foundations of many fortunes were laid in this way.Flat boats were made of “green oak plank, fastened by wooden pins to a frame of timber, and caulked with tow or any other pliant substance that could be procured,” and were inclosed and roofed with boards.They were only used in descending streams, and floated with the current.Long, sweeping oars fastened at both ends of the boat, worked by men standing on the deck, were employed to keep it in the channel, and in navigating difficult and dangerous places in the river.The first flat boat was launched in the winter of 1799, near McDonald’s Creek, by David Lowry.It was loaded in Dayton with grain, pelts and five hundred venison hams, and when the spring freshet raised the river started on the two months’ trip to New Orleans.The voyage was safely accomplished.
Fish baskets, of which there is frequent mention in the newspapers of the day, were made by building a dam on the riffles so as to concentrate the water at the middle of the river, where an opening was made into a box constructed of slats and placed at a lower level than the dam.Into this box the fish ran, but were unable to return.A basket of this kind remained on the riffle at the foot of First street as late as 1830.
Paul D. Butler, on the 21st of August, 1809, gives notice in the Repertory of his intention to navigate the Miami from Dayton to the mouth of Stony creek as soon as the season will permit, and forewarns all persons obstructing the navigation by erecting fish baskets or any other obstructions, that he is determined to prosecute those who erect them.He and Henry Desbrow soon after proceeded to build two keel boats.
They were built during the winter of 1809-1810 in the street in front of the courthouse, and when finished were moved on rollers up Main street to the river and launched.They ascended the Miami to the Laramie portage (see ShelbyCounty), which was as far as they could go.Then one of the boats was taken out of the river, and drawn across to the St. Mary’s.For some time this boat made regular trips on the Maumee, and the other on the Miami, the portage between them being about twelve miles across.A freight line which did good business was thus established between Dayton and Lake Erie by way of the Miami, Auglaize and Maumee rivers.
During the last week of March, 1819, eight flat boats and one handsome keel boat loaded here, shoved off for the landing for the markets below, and several flat boats loaded with flour, pork and whiskey also passed down the Miami.This year a second line of keel boats was established for carrying grain and produce up the Miami.At Laramie it was transferred, after a portage across the land intervening between the two rivers, to other boats, and transported down the Maumee to the rapids, which was the point of transfer from river boats to lake vessels.At the rapids there was a large warehouse for storage of cargoes.
In May, 1819, Daytonians were gratified to see a large keel boat, upwards of seventy feet in length and with twelve tons of merchandise on board, belonging to H. G. Phillips and Messrs. Smith and Eaker, arrive here from Cincinnati.She was the only keel boat that had for a number of years been brought this far up the Miami, as the river between here and its mouth had been much obstructed.
Saturday and Sunday, March 26 and 27, 1825, were unusually exciting days in Dayton among boatmen, millers, distillers, farmers, merchants and teamsters, as a fleet of thirty or more boats that had been embargoed here by low water left their moorings bound for New Orleans.Rain had begun to fall on Wednesday, and continued till Friday, when the river rose.“The people,” says the Watchman, “flocked to the banks, returning with cheerful countenances, saying, ‘The boats will get off.’
“On Saturday all was the busy hum of a seaport; wagons were conveying flour, pork, whiskey, etc., to the different boats strung along the river.Several arrived during the day from the North.On Sunday morning others came down, the water began to fall, and the boats carrying about $40,000 worth of the produce of the country got under way.”The whole value of the cargoes that left the Miami above and below Dayton during this freshet was estimated at least $100,000.Some of the boats were stove and the flour damaged, but most of them passed safely to their destination.Twelve boats left here for New Orleans in February, 1827, from Montgomery and MiamiCounties, chiefly loaded with flour, pork and whiskey.Their cargoes were worth about $20,000.In February, 1828, the last boat, loaded with produce for New Orleans, left hereby the Miami.The next year freight began to be shipped south by canal.As late as 1836, and perhaps a year later, when the canal was opened to Piqua, the line of boats to the north was continued.
A comet was visible in 1811, and this, together with the series of earthquakes throughout the Ohio Valley, which occurred during that and the succeeding year, and neither of which had been experienced before since the settlement of the western country, were regarded with terror by the superstitious, who considered them evil portents, and ominous of private or public misfortune.
The first earthquake shocks occurred on the 16th and 17th of December, 1811, and the inhabitants of Dayton were kept in continual alarm by repeated shocks.The first and by far the severest was felt between two and in the morning.
Other shocks occurred January 23, 1812, again on the 27th, and the last on February 13th, when the motion of the earth was from the southwest.
Although no material damage was done by these earthquakes, the people, and animals and fowls as well, were very much alarmed.Persons who experienced it in youth, spoke of it in old age with a shudder of horror.
ARRIVAL OF THE FIRST CANAL BOATS.
In January, 1829, the citizens of Dayton were gratified with the sight, so long desired, of the arrival of canal boats from Cincinnati.At daybreak, Sunday, January 25th, the packet, Governor Brown, the first boat to arrive here from the Ohio, reached the head of the basin.This packet was appropriately named, for since 1819 Governor Brown had been engaged in urging the connection of the two towns by means of a canal.In the afternoon the Forrer arrived; followed at dark by the General Marion, and during the night by the General Pike.Each boat was welcomed by the firing of cannon and the enthusiastic cheers of a crowd of citizens assembled on the margin of the basin.
The Governor Brown was henceforth to make regular trips twice a week between Dayton and Cincinnati.It was the only packet fitted up exclusively for passengers, and was very handsomely and conveniently furnished.The master, Captain Archibald, was very popular and accommodating.The Alpha, which also made regular passages, was commanded by M. F. Jones, of Dayton.A part of the Alpha was prepared for passengers.A fleet of canal boats, the Governor Brown, Forrer, General Marion,General Pike, accompanied by the Alpha, with a Dayton party, were to have made the first return trip to Cincinnati in company, but their departure was prevented by a break in the canal at Alexandersville.
In 1830 Stevenson ran the first locomotive in England over the Manchester and Liverpool railroad.The same year a miniature locomotive and cars were exhibited in Dayton in the Methodist church.The fact that council, by resolution, exempted the exhibition from a license fee, and that the Methodist church was used for this purpose, illustrates the deep interest felt by the public in the then new and almost untried scheme to transport freight and passengers by steam over roads constructed for the purpose.A track was run around the interior of the church, and for a small fee parties were carried in the car.A large part of the then citizens of Dayton took their first railroad ride in this way.
THE CAPTURE AND SUICIDE OF A FUGITIVE SLAVE.
In 1832 a fugitive slave was captured in Dayton and carried off by his master, who lived in Kentucky.The occurrence produced the greatest excitement and indignation in the community.All that was necessary to prove the detestable character of the fugitive slave law was an attempt to enforce it.The following account, from the Dayton Journal, of the affair, by an eye-witness who was not an Abolitionist, though his sympathies were all with this negro, is worthy of insertion in the history of Dayton:
“A short time ago a negro man, who had lived in this place two or three years under the name of Thomas Mitchell, was arrested by some men from Kentucky, and taken before a justice under a charge of being a slave who had escaped from his master.The magistrate, on hearing the evidence, discharged the black man, not being satisfied with the proof brought by the claimants of their rights to him.A few weeks afterward some men, armed and employed by the master, seized the negro in our main street, and were hurrying him towards the outskirts of the town, where they had a sleigh in waiting to carry him off.The negro’s cries brought a number of citizens into the street, who interfered, and prevented the men from taking him away without having legally proved their right to do so.The claimants of the negro went before the justice again, and after a long examination of the case on some new evidence being produced, he was decided to be the slave of the person claiming him as such.In the meantime a good deal of excitement had been produced among the people of the place, and their sympathies for the poor black fellow were so much awakened that a proposition was made to buy his freedom.The agent of the master agreed to sell him, under the supposition that the master would sell him his liberty, and a considerable sum was subscribed, to which, out of his own savings, the negro contributed upwards of fifty dollars himself.The master, however, when his agent returned to Kentucky, refused to agree to the arrangement, and came himself the week before last to take the negro away.Their first meeting was in the upper story of a house, and Tom, on seeing those who were about to take him, rushed to the window and endeavored, but without success, to dash himself through it, although, had he succeeded, he would have fallen on a stone pavement from a height not less than fifteen feet.He was prevented, however, and the master took him away with him and got him as far as Cincinnati.The following letter, received by a gentleman in this city, gives the concluding account of the matter:
POOR TOM IS FREE.
DEAR SIR: - In compliance with a request of Mr. J. Deinkard, of Kentucky, I take my pen to inform you of the death of his black man Ben, whom he took in your place a few days ago.The circumstances are as follows:On the evening of the 22d inst., Mr. D. and company, with Ben, arrived in this city on their way to Kentucky, and put up at the Main Street Hotel, where a room on the uppermost story (fourth) of the building was provided for Ben and his guard.All being safe, as they thought, about , when they were in a sound sleep, poor Ben, stimulated with even the faint prospect of escape, or perhaps pre-determined on liberty or death, threw himself from the window, which is upwards of fifty feet from the pavement.He was, as you may well suppose, severely injured, and the poor fellow died this morning about .Mr. D. left this morning with the dead body of his slave, to which he told me he would give decent burial in his own graveyard.Please tell Ben’s wife of these circumstances.
Your unknown correspondent,
R. P. Simmons.
Tom, or, as he is called in the letter, Ben, was an industrious, steady, saving little fellow, and had laid up a small sum of money; all of which he gave to his wife and child when his master took him away.A poor and humble being, of an unfortunate and degraded race, the same feeling which animated the signers of the Declaration of Independence to pledge life, fortune and honor for liberty, determined him to be free or die.”
THE “MORUS MULTICAULIS” MANIA.
In 1839 the Dayton Silk Company was incorporated, with a capital of $100,000.The company advertised that they had on hand one hundred and fifty thousand eggs for gratuitous distribution to all who would sell to them the cocoons raised from the eggs.They published fifteen thousand copies of a circular, giving all requisite information on the subject of silk culture, which were freely distributed.It was proposed to introduce the cultivation of the variety of white mulberry known as Morus Multicaulis.The leaves of the Morus Multicaulis, unlike those of the other variety, could be used the first year in the rearing of silk-worms.Farmers were advised to turn their attention to this valuable crop, and many of them did so; and the raising of silk-worms became the fashion.The trees sold in the East for from seventy-five cents to one dollar and fifty cents apiece, and the demand for them was increasing.The people were assured that one acre had been known to produce as high as seventy-five pounds of silk the first year from the cuttings, and it was believed that fifty pounds could be produced the first year without injury to the trees.This silk company, like a former one, proved a failure.
The mention of the Morus Multicaulis tree recalls to memory one of those strange manias that occasionally sweep over the country.The tree had recently been introduced from China, was of rapid growth, and furnished abundant feed for silk-worms.It was believed that the cultivation of this tree and the use of its leaves to feed silk-worms, would make the United States the great silk-producing country of the world.The most extravagant price was paid for young trees and thousands of acres planted.Widespread ruin was the result, and hundreds of persons lost their all in this wild speculation.
DESCRIPTION OF DAYTON IN 1846.
The following sketch of Dayton, in 1846, was supplied for my first edition by Mr. John W. Van Cleve, the first-born child of the settlers.A sketch of his life will be found on a few pages beyond.
The thriving city of Dayton is in this county.This is a beautiful town.It is regularly laid out, the streets are of an unusual width, and much taste is displayed in the private residences – many of them are large and are ornamented by fine gardens and shrubbery.The following sketch is from a resident:
Dayton, the county-seat, is situated on the east side of the Great Miami, at the mouth of Mad river, and one mile below the southwest branch.It is 67 miles westerly from Columbus, 52 from Cincinnati and 110 from Indianapolis.The point at which Dayton stands was selected in 1788 by some gentlemen, who designed laying out a town by the name of Venice.They agreed with John Cleves Symmes, whose contract with Congress then covered the site of the place for the purchase of the lands.But the Indian wars which ensued prevented the extension of settlements from the immediate neighborhood of Cincinnati for some years, and the project was abandoned by the purchasers.Soon after Wayne’s treaty, in 1795, a new company, composed of Generals Jonathan Dayton, Arthur St. Clair, James Wilkinson and Col. Israel Ludlow, purchased the lands between the Miamis, around the mouth of Mad river, of Judge Symmes, and on the 4th of November laid out the town.Arrangements were made for its settlement in the ensuing spring, and donations of lots were offered, with other privileges, to actual settlers.Forty-six persons entered into engagements to remove from Cincinnati to Dayton, but during the winter most of them scattered in different directions, and only nineteen fulfilled their engagements.The first families who made a permanent residence in the place arrived on the 1st day of April, 1796.The first nineteen settlers of Dayton were William Gahagan, Samuel Thomson, Benj. Van Cleve, William Van Cleve, Solomon Goss, Thomas Davis, John Davis, James McClure, John McClure, Daniel Ferrell, William Hamer, Solomon Hamer, Thomas Hamer, Abraham Glassmire, John Dorough, William Chenoweth, James Morris, William Newcom and George Newcom, the last of whom is still a resident of the place and the only survivor of the whole number.
Judge Symmes was unable to complete his payments for all the lands he had agreed to purchase of the government, and those lying about Dayton reverted to the United States, by which the settlers were left without titles to their lots.Congress, however, passed a pre-emption law, under which those who had contracted for lands with Symmes and his associates had a right to enter the same lots or lands at government price.Some of the settlers entered their lots, and obtained titles directly from the United States; and others made an arrangement with Daniel C. Cooper to receive their deeds from him, and he entered the residue of the town lands.He had been a surveyor and agent for the first company of proprietors, and they assigned him certain of their rights of pre-emption, by which he became the titular proprietor of the town.He died in 1818, leaving two sons, who have both since died without children.
In 1803, on the organization of the State government, Montgomery county was established.Dayton was made the seat of justice, at which time only five families resided in the town, the other settlers having gone on to farms in the vicinity or removed to other parts of the country.The increase of the town was gradual until the war of 1812, which made a thoroughfare for the troops and stores on their way to the frontier.Its progress was then more rapid until 1820, when the depression of business put an almost total check to its increase.The commencement of the Miami canal in 1827 renewed its prosperity, and its increase has been steady and rapid ever since.By the assessment of 1846 it is the second city in the State in the amount of taxable property, as the county also stands second.
The first canal boat from Cincinnati arrived at Dayton on the 25th of January, 1829, and the first one from Lake Erie on the 24th of June, 1845.In 1825 a weekly line of mail stages was established through Dayton from Cincinnati to Columbus.Two days were occupied in coming from Cincinnati to this place.There are now three daily lines between the two places, and the trip only takes an afternoon.
The first newspaper printed in Dayton was the Dayton Repertory, issued by William McClure and George Smith on the 18th of September, 1808, on a foolscap sheet.The newspapers now published here are the Dayton Journal, daily and weekly, the Dayton Transcript, twice week, and the Western Empire, weekly.
The population of Dayton was 383 in 1810; 1139 in 1820; 2954 in 1830; 6067 in 1840; and 9792 in 1845.There are fifteen churches, of which the Presbyterians, Methodists and Lutherans each have two, and the Episcopalians, Catholics, Baptists, Disciples, Newlights, German Reformed, Albrights, Dunkers and African Baptists have each one.There is a large water power within the bounds of the city, besides a great deal more in the immediate vicinity.A portion of that introduced in the city by a new hydraulic canal is not yet in use, but there are now in operation within the corporate limits two flouring mills, four saw mills, two oil mills, three cotton mills, two woolen factories, two paper mills, five machine shops, one scythe factory, two flooring machines, one last and peg factory, one gun-barrel factory and three iron founderies.The public buildings are two market houses, one of which has a city hall over it, an academy, a female academy, three common-school houses and a jail of stone.There are two banks.A court-house is now building of cut stone, the estimated cost of which is $63,000.The architect by whom it was designed is Mr. Henry Daniels, now of Cincinnati, and the one superintending its construction is Mr. Daniel Waymire.There are nine turnpike roads leading out of Dayton, and connecting it with the country around in every direction.The Miami canal, from Cincinnati to Lake Erie, runs through it. – Old Edition.
Dayton, county-seat of Montgomery (incorporated February 12, 1805), about fifty miles north of Cincinnati, about sixty-five southwest of Columbus, is on the C. C. C. & I., L. M. & C., D. & W., N. Y. P. & O., D. & M., C. H. & D., D. Ft. W. & C. Railroads, and the Miami river and Miami canal.Four miles west of the city is the National Soldiers’ Home.One mile south of the city is the Dayton State Insane Asylum.There are five street railroads.
County Officers, 1888:Auditor, John D. Turner; Clerk, F. Kemper Bowles; Commissioners, John Munger, James B. Hunter, Alonzo B. Ridgway; Coroner, Simon P. Drayer; Infirmary Directors, William A. Klinger, George Rentz, John C. Heidinger; Probate Judge, William D. McKemy; Prosecuting Attorney, Robert M. Nevin; Recorder, Joel O. Shoup; Sheriff, William H. Snyder; Surveyor, Herman S. Fox; Treasurer, Frank T. Hoffman.City Officers, 1888:Ira Crawford, Mayor; Eugine Shinn, Clerk; Louis J. Poock, Treasurer; David B. Corwin, Solicitor; Edwin C. Baird, Engineer; George H. Wolker, Street Commissioner.Newspapers:Herald, J. Edward B. Grimes, editor; Daytoner Wolkszeitung, German Independent Democrat, Neder & Moosbrugger, editors; Democrat, Democrat, John G. Doren & Co., editors and publishers; Journal, Republic, W. D. Bickham, editor and publisher; Monitor, Democrat, J. E. D. Ward, editor; Christian Conservator, United Brethren, Rev. William Dillon, editor; Christian World, Reformed, Rev. E. Herbruck and Rev. M. Loucks, editors; Der Froeliche Botschafter, German United Brethren, Rev. Ezekiel Light, editor; Herald of Gospel Liberty, Christian, J. P. Watson, editor; Religious Telescope, United Brethren, Rev. J. W. Hott, D. D. editor; Woechter, German, M. Bussdicker & Co., editors and publishers; Workman, Labor, Stine & Hull, editors and publishers; Golden Words, juvenile, Reformed, Publishing Company, publishers; Leaves of Light, Reformed Church, juvenile, Reformed Publishing Company, publishers; Young Catholic Messenger, Catholic, juvenile, Rev. P. H. Cusack, editor; Farmer’s Home, agriculture, W. B. Dennis, editor; Nutzlicher Freund, German fiction, Rev. M. Bussdicker, editor and publisher; Ohio Poultry Journal, Robert A. Braden, editor and publisher; Ohio Swine Journal, E. D. Hyre, editor; Ohio Bible Teacher, United Brethren, Rev. D. Berger, D. D., editor; Instructor, Reformed Church, Rev. M. Loucks, editor.Churches:2 Methodist, 6 United Brethren, 2 Lutheran, 3 Evangelical Lutheran, 6 Methodist Episcopal, 8 Baptist, 1 Protestant Episcopal, 7 Catholic, 5 Presbyterian, 1 United Presbyterian, 1 Reformed, 1 Evangelical Association, 1 German Reformed, 1 Jewish, 1 Christian.Banks:City National, Simon Gebhart, president, G. B. Harman, cashier, Dayton National, William H. Simms, president, James A. Martin, cashier; Dayton Savings’, Louis H. Poock, president, Ziba Crawford, cashier; Merchants’ National, D. E. Mead, president, A. S. Estabrook, cashier; Third National, William P. Huffman, president, Charles E. Drury, cashier; Winters’ National, J. H. Winters, president, James C. Reber, cashier.
Principal Manufactures and Employees. – Fridman & Rothenberg, cigars, 18 hands; Joseph Shaefer, cigars, 155; Uhlman & Bloom, cigars, 135; Shaefer & Mahrt, cigars, 185; C. Wight & Son, builders’ wood-work, 57; Moses Glas, cigars, 31; The Merchants’ Tobacco Co., tobaccos, 44; M. J. Houck & Co., carriage whips, 11; Kemp & Kinney, laundrying, 14; Hewitt Brothers, soap, 8; Christian Publishing Association, 21; H. Hoefer & Co., bar fixtures, etc., 16; W. P. Callahan & Co., general machinery, 60; T. P. Long, shirts, 146; Stoddard Manufacturing Co., agricultural implements, 477; Kratochwell Milling Co., 10; J. R. Johnson & Co., general machinery, 20; Pierce & Coleman, general wood-work, 123; The Ohio Rake Co., agricultural implements, 75; Zwick, Greenwald & Co., carriage wheels, etc., 90; Farmers’ Friend Manufacturing Co., agricultural implements, 148; Crune & Seftom Manufacturing Co., paper boxes, etc., 93; Bradup & Co., school seats, 10; Boyer & McMaster, stoves, 30; Stout, Mill & Temple, mill machinery, etc., 150; Hoskot & Young, laundrying, 18; McHose & Lyons, bridge irom works, etc., 194; Joseph Shaefer, cigars, 176; Shaefer & Mahrt, cigars, 185; Bloom, Gerweis & Co., cigars, 205; Hoffritz & Keyer, cigar boxes, 31; W. W. White, tablets and stationery, 14; Walker & Walker, printing, 12; Keifer, Reed & Co., laundrying, 54; Murray & Hannah, carriages, 15; U. B. Publishing House, printing and publishing, 99; Buckeye Iron and Brass Works, machinery, etc., 185; Miller Brothers, cigars, 73; Thomas Nixon & Co., paper bags, 28; Dayton Leather and Collar Co., leather, 9; Laubach & Iddings, paper novelties, 119; Schaefer & Co., lawn rakes, 6; G. Stomps & Co., chairs, 186; Nixon Nozzle Machine Co., sprinkling machines, 15; Nixon & Castello, card board cases, 11; C. H. Frank, carbonated waters; C. N. Smith, flour mill work; Lewis & Co., saws; J. P. Wolf, tobacco handler, 13; Union Collar and Net Co., horse collars, etc., 58; J. H. Wilde, woolen yarns, etc., 10; R. M. Connoble & Co., overalls and shirts, 69; George J. Roberts & Co., hydraulic and steam pumps, 16; H. R. Parrott & Co., furniture, 36; Booher & Riper, job machine work; Wise, Sheible & Co., cotton batting, 56; E. H. Brownell & Co., boiler works, etc., 53; Pinneo & Daniels, carriage wheels, etc., 97; Gen City Stove Co., stoves, etc., 31; Mrs. John B. Hogler, lumber, 30; C. F. Snyder, extension tables, 35; W. P. Levis, paper, 20; John Stengel & Co., furniture, 62; C. Wight & Son, builders’ wood-work, 62; The Brownell & Co., engines, etc., 183; The Parrott Manufacturing Co., plows, 25; The Aughie Plow Co., plows, 15; E. J. Diem, brown paper, 35; Josiah Gebhart & Co., white lead and colors, 20; The Dayton Plow Co., plows, 40; The Dayton Screw Co., screws, 145; The Mead Paper Co., white paper, 114; D. E. McSherry & Co., agricultural implements, 83; The Dayton Manufacturing Co., car furnishing goods, 169; E. B. Lyon, trunk material (wood), 48; Barney & Smith Manufacturing Co., railroad cars, 1,587; The Troup Manufacturing Co., blank books, etc., 36; John Rouzer & Co., builders’ wood-work, 46; Dayton Leather and Collar Co., horse collars, 32; Leland & Tiffany, cone pulley belt shifters; The Sachs-Pruden Ale Co., ginger ale, etc., 44; Crawford, McGregor & Canby, lasts, pegs, etc., 47; Adam Zengel, cigar and packing boxes, 22; Bright & Fenner, candy; Dayton Loop and Crupper Co., loops and cruppers, 26; W. R. Baker, bolt and screw cases; National Cash Registry Co., cash registers, 79; The Holden Book Cover Co., book covers, etc., 26; H. E. Mead & Co., printing, etc., 11; John Dodds, sulky bay-rakes, 93; Dayton Malleable Iron Co., malleable iron castings, 262; E. Canby, baking powder, etc., 25; A. A. Simmonds, machine knives, 22; M. Ohmer’s Sons, furniture, 41; Stilwell & Bierce Manufacturing Co., turbine water wheels, etc., 253; S. C. Bennet & Co., upholstering, 7; The C. L. Hawes Co., straw and binders’ boards, 118; The Smith & Vaille Co., pumps and oil machinery, 167; S. N. Brown & Co., carriage wheels, etc., 20; Hanna Brothers, cigars, 92; F. Cappel, upholstering, 9; A. Cappel, umbrellas, etc., 22; J. G. Doren, printing, 34; The Volks-Zeitung, printing, 16; A. Bretch, tin and sheet-iron work, 10; The Brownell & Co., steam boilers, 120; Terry & Shroyer Tobacco Co., tobaccos, 27; The Bryce Furnace Co., furnaces, 25; Robert Barnes, cigar boxes, 5; B. L. Bates & Bro., machine job work, 10; Charles Winchet, cornice, etc., 25; Mull & Underwood, candy, 8; Johnson & Watson, blank books, etc., 25; Reynolds & Reynolds, printing, 90; Monitor Publishing Co., newspaper printing, 19; The Grenewig Printing Co., job printing, etc., 30; Turner & Knerr, laundrying, 27; The Herald Publishing Co., daily newspaper, 26; Cotterill, Fenner & Co., tobaccos, 65; G. W. Heathman & Co., crackers, etc., 20; John Klee & Son, ginger ale, etc., 7; Beaver & Co., soap, 10; Adam Eckhart, brooms, 10; J. W. Johnson, job printing, 16; G. Weipert, beer kegs, casks, etc., 12; A. L. Bauman & Bro., crackers, etc., 31; J. L. Baker, carriages, 35; L. & M. Woodhull, carriages, 95; The Columbia Bridge Co., iron bridges, 60. – State Report, 1888.
Population in 1880, 38,678.School census, 1888, 15,466.W. J. White, school superintendent.Capital invested in industrial establishments, $5,144,450.Value of annual product, $9,520,782.Census, 1890, 61,220.
Among the public buildings may be mentioned the Public Library, the Young Men’s Christian Association Building, the Court House and Jail, Government Post-office, Firemen’s Insurance Building, Odd Fellows’ Temple, Widows’ Home, Children’s Home, St. Elizabeth Hospital, sixteen public school-houses, several of them large, new and embracing every convenience that experience has suggested, and numerous churches, many of them unsurpassed for size and beauty by those of any city of equal population.
The PUBLIC LIBRARY and the YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION are worthy of special notice.The library building is located in Cooper Park, which secures abundant light and freedom from noise.As the park is near the centre of the city, access to the library is convenient.In general style of architecture the building is a free treatment of the Southern French gothic or Romanesque, built of Dayton limestone, laid in random range work, with Marquette red sandstone trimmings freely used, giving a very rich contrast, assisted largely by red slate for the roof.The building is fire-proof.Peters & Burns, of Dayton, are the architects of this fine building.The plan of the interior was obtained from Dr. William F. Poole, of Chicago, who has no superior in the knowledge of library construction and management.The building was erected by the city, and the library is sustained by taxation.All the people of Dayton over ten years of age may have free use of the library, subject only to such restrictions as are necessary for the care and safe keeping of the books.The library numbers 29,310 volumes and 1,188 pamphlets.
The Y. M. C. A. building is complete in all its appointments.Beautiful externally, in its interior arrangements every want of such an association seems to be provided for.It is supplied with a reading-room, where the leading papers and magazines may be found, with elegant parlors for social entertainments; with school-rooms where night schools are taught, and where instruction is given in free-hand drawing and modeling; with a large and completely-appointed gymnasium; with baths, shower, tub and swimming, and a beautiful hall, seated in open house style, for meetings and lectures.The large amount of money necessary to accomplish these objects has been promptly and freely given by public-spirited citizens of Dayton.
The location near Dayton of the SOUTHERN OHIO LUNATIC ASYLUM, with its extensive buildings and beautiful grounds, and the magnificent NATIONAL SOLDIERS’ HOME, have added no little to the attractiveness and prosperity of the city.The most remarkable business development in Dayton within the past few years has been the establishment of numerous BUILDING ASSOCIATIONS.No less than nineteen of these associations, some of them with large capital, are doing a prosperous business.These associations have contributed largely to the prosperity of the city, and have enabled hundreds of working men to secure homes who probably otherwise would have never attained that desirable end.Dayton is noted for the large number of laborers who own their homes.
No greater boon can be conferred on a city than an abundant supply of pure, cold water.Dayton in this respect is fortunate.By a system of drive-wells, so deep as to be beyond the reach of contamination, as inexhaustible supply of water has been obtained which chemical analysis has shown to be free from all impurities.Holly steam-pumps force this water to every part of the city.By attaching hose to fire-plugs located at the street corners, water may be thrown over the highest buildings.This, in connection with a non-partisan and most efficient fire department, makes Dayton practically exempt from disastrous fires.
Dayton has superior street railway facilities, seven lines, two of which are electric.These roads run over twenty-seven and one-half miles of double track, or fifty-five miles of single track.
THE SOLDIERS’ HOME.
The National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers was originated April 21, 1866, from a joint resolution of the two houses of Congress.A board of managers was appointed of nine citizens of the United States, not members of Congress, no two of whom should be residents of the same State, nor residents of any State other than those which furnished organized bodies in the late war.The ex officio members of the board, during their terms of office, are the President of the United States, the Secretary of War, and the Chief Justice.This board was vested with authority to establish besides a Central Home for the Middle States, sectional branches thereto, in view of the wide extent of territory to be represented by the just claimants of such a benefice.
In the following November, 1866, the EASTERN BRANCH was opened near Augusta, Maine, and in the course of the succeeding year the CENTRAL BRANCH, near Dayton, Ohio, and the NORTHWESTERN BRANCH, near Milwaukee.Three years later the SOUTHERN BRANCH was founded at Hampton, near Fortress Monroe, Virginia.This was established from the increasing number of beneficiaries and the necessity felt for a milder climate for a certain class of diseases.By an act of Congress, passed in 1884, another branch was established, the WESTERN BRANCH, located at Leavenworth, Kansas.This partly grew out of a clause in that act, which directs the admission to the Home “of all United States soldiers of any war who are incapable of earning a living, whether the incapacity resulted from their service or not.”
The SOLDIERS’ HOME at Dayton, the Central Branch, is by far the largest and most important branch in point of numbers.The citizens contributed $20,000 towards its establishment.Its land area is 627 acres – nearly that of a mile square.Its location is three miles west of the court-house in Dayton, on the gentle bounding slopes of the great Miami valley, which is here some five or six miles wide.It is an unique place; a small city mainly of graybearded men, few women, and no children, excepting those of the families of the officers.It is a spot of great beauty, from its location, its fine buildings, its green-houses, flower beds, and for the display of the triumphs of landscape gardening.These features render it a great place of attraction in summer for visitors, who come by thousands in excursion trains from all parts of Ohio and the adjacent States of Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, etc.The other Branches have like attractions in the way of landscape adornments with pleasant walks and drives, and whatever contributes to the comfort of the veterans, and are like places of resort for the public.The visitors at the Dayton Home number annually over 100,000.
Two railroads enter the Home from Dayton, the one called “The Home Avenue” and the other the T. D. & B. – the first entering from the east side and the last from the north.On reaching the Home the visitor alights at a handsome depot.Near it is a fine hotel for the accommodation of visitors, and in close view a large open space, where is a flag-staff with the American flag unfurled, waving over siege guns and mortars, with pyramids of shot and a battery in position as in battle.
Standing almost in front is the Headquarters’ Building, an imposing brick structure, 130 by 41 feet, three stories in height.The first story is used for the offices, the governor – at this writing, 1891 – Col. J. B. Thomas, the treasurer and secretary.The second and third stories are used for a library and reading room; is 104 by 41 and 19 feet from floor to ceiling, lighted by ten windows each on the north and south sides, making it light, airy and cheerful; at night it is lighted brilliantly by a cone reflector.
This room contains the noted “Putnam Library,” contributed by Mrs. Mary Lowell, of Boston, Mass., as a memorial to her son, killed at Ball’s Bluff early in the war, and also the Thomas Library, contributed by the old soldiers and admirers of Gen. Geo. H. Thomas.Unitedly these libraries contain about 15,000 volumes.This room is handsomely frescoed, hundreds of pictures hang on its walls, its tables are strewn with the leading magazines and newspapers, and in cases and around are many interesting relics of the war.
“Upon leaving the library, and looking to the right, the beautiful “Memorial Hall” and HomeChurch are in full view; and beyond, on a knoll, shaded by forest trees, stands the Chaplain’s residence.Still farther to the right the magnificent and commodious hospital charms the beholder; and a little farther on the neat cottage of the Resident Surgeon, surrounded by a lvely lawn, completes the picture in that direction.As we look to the northwestward, we behold the Soldiers’ Monument, rising from a hilltop in the distance, which marks the place where the heroes sleep.
“Keeping the same position we now turn to the left and observe a rustic arbor, the springs, the flower garden, the fountain, the conservatory and the lakes, upon which are numerous swans and other water fowl; and still letting the eye sweep onward, we behold the rustic bridges, the beautiful groves of forest trees, the deer park, with more than fifty deer, elk, antelopes, buffaloes, etc.; the Veteran Spring, the Governor’s residence, embowered in trees and flowers, the residences of the treasurer, the secretary, and the steward, all located on the borders of the grove.
“To the left is the long line of neat and comfortable barracks where 4000 veterans rested from the fight; the large and comfortable dining hall, kitchen, bakery, laundry, workshops, the Home store-building, the Quartermaster and Commissary store-building, the tasteful band pagoda, surrounded by a charming lawn, while the whole grounds are interspersed with broad, well-paved avenues and shaded paths, combining to make this splendid picture complete.Strolling beyond the woods and immediate confines of the institution, we come to the farmer’s residence, the vegetable garden, the barn, the stable, and the well-fed stock that graze upon the broad acres of the Home farm.From the HeadquartersBuilding, which we have already described, we will now go on to give a description of the principal buildings of the Home.”
The Memorial Hall is used as an opera house, a place of public entertainment for lectures, music and theatricals.It is a magnificent structure, with a seating capacity for 1600, beautifully painted and frescoed.The stage is fitted up with beautiful scenery and all the other appliances for first-class amusement.
The Church is a fine Gothic structure, and said to have been the first church built by the United States Government anywhere.It will seat 1000 persons.The basement is fitted up for a Catholic chapel.
The Hospital is the largest single building of the Home, and will accommodate 300 patients; beside this are several branch hospitals.The wards are perfectly warmed and ventilated, and everything supplied for the comfort and health of the inmates, and it is believed to be one of the best hospitals in the country.
The Cemetery and Monument. – More than 3000 of the disabled veterans who were residents of the Central Home since its establishment have died and been buried with military honors in the grove west of the Hospital, which had been tastefully laid out for a cemetery.“Their comrades, officers and men have erected there a beautiful monument of Peru white marble, fifty feet high, and surmounted with a splendid figure of a private soldier.It was unveiled on the 12th of September, 1887, by the President of the United States, with grand ceremonies and in the presence of 25,000 people.On the pedestal are the words ‘To our fallen Comrades’ and ‘These were honorable men in their generation.’On the base are four figures, beautifully carved in Italy, representing the four arms of the service, viz.: ‘Artillery, Infantry, Cavalry, and Navy.’The entire cost of the monument was $16,000 from 16,000 veterans, each paying one dollar.The base is surmounted by tablets, on which are engraved the names of all who are buried in the cemetery.”
Schools and Labor. – An excellent feature of the institution is a school where the veterans are taught various useful branches.Here men who lost their right arms are taught to write with their left, while instruction is given in book-keeping, wood-carving, as well as telegraphy, and most trades can be acquired here.It has been the steady policy of the institution to encourage labor of every kind by establishing workshops and by making the cultivation of flowers and fruits, etc., one of the features.About a dozen different trades are carried on, including printing and bookbinding.
The Dining Room building in its two dining rooms has a capacity for seating 3000 persons.All the cooking and serving is done by the veterans, and the food is of the best and in great variety.The cost of food is about seventeen cents per day to each man.In amount it is great.A recent dinner for 4300 veterans consumed of beef over 2000 pounds, of bread, 2700 pounds, of sugar, 240 pounds, of potatoes, 50 bushels, of coffee, 1200 gallons, and 900 pies.
The post-office does a large business, the annual receipts of pieces about 140,000, and the laundry work is also great.The weekly wash averages 36,000 pieces.Machinery moved by steam, and steam itself accomplish marvels here in the line of domestic labor.
Since the organization in 1867 to June 1888, the number admitted were 22,397, and from nearly every State.The largest from Ohio, viz. 7510; Pennsylvania, 3662; New York, 3579; Indiana, 2187; Illinois, 1091; Kentucky, 811, etc.A larger part of these as at all the branches were foreign born, mainly German, Irish and English.In their newly-adopted country they were generally without family ties, and when disabled while fighting for its flag, they were “doubly entitled as loyal foster-sons of the mother Republic to a full share of its bounties.”
The number of veterans enrolled in 1888 at the Central Home was 5936, and present for duty, 4500, the rest being off on furlough, largely visiting their families and friends.The cost of running the institution in 1888, exclusive of repairs, was $705,270.21 or $131.18 per man, including shelter, food, and clothing.
THE GREAT HARRISON CONVENTION, 1840.
Never in the history of the Northwest has there been a more exciting presidential campaign than that which preceded the election of General Harrison, and nowhere was the enthusiasm for the hero of Tippecanoe greater than in Dayton.A remarkable Harrison convention was held here on the date of Perry’s victory on Lake Erie, and tradition has preserved such extravagant accounts of the number present, the beauty of the emblems and decorations displayed, and the hospitality of the citizens and neighboring farmers, that the following prophecy with which the Journal began its account of the celebration may almost be said to have been literally fulfilled:“Memorable and ever to be remembered as is the glorious triumph achieved by the immortal Perry, on the 10th of September, 1813, scarcely loss conspicuous on the page of history will stand the noble commemoration of the event which has just passed before us.”
Innureable flags and Tippecanoe banners were stretched across the streets from roofs of stores and factories, or floated from private residences and from poles and trees.
People began to arrive several days before the convention, and on the 9th crowds of carriages, wagons and horsemen streamed into town.About the Cincinnati delegation came in by the Centreville road.They were escorted from the edge of town by the Dayton Grays, Butler Guards, Dayton Military Band, and a number of citizens in carriages and on horseback.The procession of delegates was headed by eleven stage coaches in line, with banners and music, followed by a long line of wagons and carriages.Each coach was enthusiastically cheered as it passed the crowds which thronged the streets, and the cheers were responded to by the occupants of the coaches.Twelve canal boats full of men arrived on the 10th, and every road which led to town poured in its thousands.General Harrison came as far as Jonathan Harshman’s, five miles from town, on the 9th, and passed the night there.Early in the morning his escort, which had encamped at Fairview, marched to Mr. Harshman’s and halted there till , when it got in motion, under command of Joseph Barnett, of Dayton, and other marshals from Clarke county.
GEN. HARRISON’S ESCORT.
A procession from town, under direction of Charles Anderson, afterwards governor of Ohio, chief marshal, met the general and his escort at the junction of the Troy and Springfield roads.The battalion of militia, commanded by Capt. Bomberger, of the Dayton Grays, and consisting of the Grays and Washington Artillery, of Dayton; the Citizens’ Guard, of Cincinnati; Butler Guards, of Hamilton; and Pequa Light Infantry, were formed in a hollow square, and Gen. Harrison, mounted on a white horse, his staff, and Gov. Metcalf and staff, of Kentucky, were placed in the centre.“Every foot of the road, between town and the place where Gen. Harrison was to meet the Dayton escort, was literally choked up with people.”
The immense procession, carrying banners and flags, and accompanied by canoes, log cabins furnished in pioneer style, and trappers’ lodges, all on wheels and filled with men, girls and boys, the latter dressed in hunting-shirts and blue caps.One of the wagons contained a live wolf, enveloped in a sheep-skin, representing the “hypocritical professions” of the opponents of the Whigs.All sorts of designs were carried by the delegations.One of the most striking was an immense ball, representing the Harrison States, which was rolled through the streets.The length of the procession was about two miles.Carriages were usually three abreast, and there were more than 1.000 in line.
“GRANDEST SPECTACLE OF TIME.”
The day was bright and beautiful, and the wildest enthusiasm swayed the mighty mass of people who formed the most imposing part of “this grandest spectacle of time,” as Col. Todd, an eye-witness, termed the procession.The following description of the scene, quoted by Curwen from a contemporary newspaper, partakes of the excitement and extravagance of the occasion:“The huzzas from gray-headed patriots, as the banners borne in the procession passed their dwellings, or the balconies where they had stationed themselves; the smiles and blessings, and waving kerchiefs of the thousands of fair women who filled the front windows of every house; the loud and heartfelt acknowledgements of their marked courtesy and generous hospitality by the different delegations, sometimes rising the same instant from the whole line; the glimpses at every turn of the eye of the fluttering folds of some one or more of the 644 flags which displayed their glorious stars and stripes from the tops of the principal houses of every street; the soul-stirring music, the smiling heavens, the every-gleaming banners, the emblems and mottoes, added to the intensity of the excitement.Every eminence, housetop and window was thronged with eager spectators, whose acclamations seemed to rend the heavens.”
“Second street at that time led through a prairie, and the bystanders, by a metaphor, the sublimity of which few but Westerners can appreciate, likened the excitement around them to a mighty sea of fire sweeping over its surface, gathering, and heaving, and rolling upwards, and yet higher, till its flames licked the stars and fired the whole heavens.”
AN AUDIENCE OF SEVENTY-EIGHT THOUSAND.
After marching through the principal streets, the procession was disbanded by Gen. Harrison at the National Hotel, on Third street.At the procession was reformed and moved to the stand erected for speeches.Upon a spacious plain east of Fourth street and north of Third, Mr. Samuel Forrer, an experienced civil engineer, made an estimate of the space occupied by this meeting and the number present at it.He says:“An exact measurement of the lines gave for one side of the square (oblong) one hundred and thirty yards, and the other one hundred and fifty yards, including an area of nineteen thousand five hundred square yards, which, multiplied by four, would give seventy-eight thousand.Let no one who was present be startled at this result or reject this estimate till he compares the data assumed with the facts presented to his own view while on the ground.It is easy for any one to satisfy himself that six, or even a greater number of individuals, may stand on a square yard of ground.Four is the number assumed in the present instance; the area measured it less than four and one-half acres.Every farmer who noticed the ground could readily perceive that a much larger space was covered with people, though not so closely as that portion measured.All will admit that an oblong square of one hundred and thirty yards by one hundred and fifty, did not at any time during the first hour include near all that were on the east side of the canal.The time of observation was the commencement of Gen. Harrison’s speech.Before making this particular estimate I had made one, by comparing this assemblage with my recollection of the 25th of February convention at Columbus, and came to the conclusion that it was at least four times as great as that.”Two other competent engineers measured the ground, and the lowest estimate of the number of people at the meeting was 78,000; and as thousands were still in town, it was estimated that as many as 100,000 were here on the 10th of September.
HOSPITALITY OF DAYTONIANS.
Places of entertainment were assigned delegates by the committee appointed for that purpose, but it was also announced in the Journal that no one need hesitate “to enter any house for dinner where he may see a flag flying.Every Whig’s latch-string will be out, and the flag will signify as much to all who are ahungry or athirst.”A public table where dinner was furnished, as at the private houses without charge, was also announced as follows by the Journal: “We wish to give our visitors log cabin fare and plenty of it, and we want our friends in the country to help us.”A committee was appointed to take charge of the baskets of the farmers, who responded liberally to this appeal.
The convention was addressed by many noted men.Gen. Harrison was a forcible speaker, and his voice, while not sonorous, was clear and penetrating, and reached the utmost limits of the immense crowd.Gov. Metcalfe, of Kentucky, was a favorite with the people.A stonemason in early life, he was called the “Stone Hammer” to indicate the crushing blows inflicted by his logic and sarcasm.The inimitable Thomas Corwin held his audience spellbound with his eloquence and humor, and Robert C. Schenck added greatly to his reputation by his incisive and witty speeches.
In 1842 another Whig convention was held in Dayton, which nearly equalled in numbers and enthusiasm that of 1840.The object of the convention was to forward the nomination of Henry Clay for the Presidency.Mr. Clay was present and addressed an immense audience on the hill south of Dayton, now occupied by the Fair Grounds.At a morning reception for ladies, at the residence of Mr. J. D. Phillips, where Mr. Clay was staying, a crowd of women of all ranks and conditions, some in silk and some in calico, were present.Mr. Clay shook hands with them all, afterwards making a complimentary little speech, saying, among other graceful things, that the soft touch of the ladies had healed his fingers, bruised by the rough grasp of the men he had received the day before.
DANIEL C. COOPER was born in Morris county, N. J., November 20, 1773.He and one brother constituted the family.Mr. Cooper came to Cincinnati about 1793 as the agent for Jonathan Dayton, of New Jersey, who was interested in the Symmes purchase.He obtained employment as a surveyor, and his business gave him an opportunity to examine lands and select valuable tracts for himself.In 1794-1795 he accompanied the surveying parties led by Col. Israel Ludlow through the Miami valley.As a preparation for the settlement of Dayton, he, bu the direction of the proprietors, in September, 1795, marked out a road from FortHamilton to the mouth of Mad river.During the fall and winter he located one thousand acres of fine land near and in Dayton.In the summer of 1796 he settled here, building a cabin at the southeast corner of Monument avenue and Jefferson street.About 1798 he moved out to his cabin on his farm south of Dayton.Here, in the fall of 1799, he built a distillery, “corn cracker” mill, and a saw mill, and made other improvements.
St. Clair, Dayton, Wilkinson and Ludlow, on account of Symmes’ inability to complete his purchase from the United States, and the high prices charged by the government for land, were obliged to relinquish their Mad river purchase.Soon after the original proprietors retired Mr. Cooper purchased pre-emption rights, and made satisfactory arrangements with land-owners.Many interests were involved, and the transfer was a work of time.He was intelligent and public-spirited, and to his enlarged views, generosity and integrity and business capacity much of the present prosperity of the city is due. He induced settlers to come to Dayton by donations of lots; gave lots and money to schools and churches; provided ground for a graveyard and a public common, now known as Cooper Park, and built the only mills erected in Dayton during the first ten years of its history.He was appointed justice of the peace for Dayton township, October 4, 1799, and served till May 1, 1803, the date of the formation of the county.In 1810-1812 he was president of the Select Council of Dayton.He was seven times elected a member of the State Legislature.
About 1803 he married Mrs. Sophia Greene Burnet, who was born in Rhode Island, and came to Marietta with her parents in 1788.Mr. Cooper died July 13, 1818.When he died his affairs were somewhat involved, but by prudent and conscientious management of his property the executors, H. G. Phillips and James Steele, relieved the estate from embarrassment, and it henceforth steadily increased in value.Every improvement of this large property benefitted the city.
BENJAMIN VAN CLEVE was a typical man, and, as a good representative of the best pioneer character, is worthy of especial notice.He kept a journal, from which the incidents mentioned in the following sketch have been mainly drawn.He was the eldest son of John and Catherine Benham Van Cleve, and was born in Monmouth county, N. J., Feb. 24, 1773.His ancestors came from Holland in the seventeenth century.His earliest recollection was the battle of Monmouth, which occurred when he was five years old.He remembered the confusion and the flight of the women and children to the pine swamps, and the destruction of his father’s house, stock and blacksmith’s shop by the British.The refugees in the pine woods could hear the firing, and “when our army was retreating many of the men melted to tears; when it was advancing there was every demonstration of joy and exultation.”His father served with the New Jerseymilitia during nearly the whole of the Revolution.He removed to Cincinnati, January 3, 1790.Benjamin Van Cleve, who was now seventeen, settled on the east bank of the Licking, where Maj. Leech, in order to form a settlement and have a farm opened for himself, offered 100 acres for clearing each ten-acre field, with the use of the cleared land for three years.John Van Cleve intended to assist his son in this work, but was killed by the Indians.
Benjamin Van Cleve, by hard work as a day-laborer, paid John Van Cleve’s debts, sold his blacksmith’s tools to the quartermaster-general, and tried to the best of his ability, through a mere boy, to fill his father’s place.Much of the time, from 1791 till 1794, he was employed in the quartermaster’s department, whose headquarters were at FortWashington, earning his wages of fifteen dollars a month by hard, rough work.
He was present at St. Clair’s defeat, and gives in his “Journal” a thrilling account of the rout and retreat of the army, and of his own escape and safe return to Cincinnati.
In the spring of 1792 he was sent off from Cincinnati at , at a moment’s notice, by the quartermaster-general, to carry despatches to the war department at Philadelphia.At that day such a journey was a long and weary one, and although the authorities were satisfied with his services and accounts, they did not pay him until March, 1793.In connection with this visit to Philadelphia, he mentions drawing a plan of the President’s new house, reading “Barclay’s Apology,” and a number of other Quaker works, and purchasing twenty-five books, which he read through on the voyage from Pittsburg to Cincinnati; entries which are all very characteristic of the man.
In the fall of 1785 he accompanied Capt. Dunlap’s party, to make the survey for the Dayton settlement.April 10, 1796, he arrived in Dayton with the first party of settlers that came.In the fall of this year he went with Israel Ludlow and William G. Schenck to survey the United Statesmilitary lands between the Scioto and Muskingum rivers.“We had deep snow,” he says, “covered with crust; the weather was cold and still, so that we could kill but little game, and were twenty-nine days without bread, and nearly all that time without salt, and sometimes very little to eat.We were five days, seven in company, on four meals, and they, except the last, scanty.They consisted of a turkey, two young raccoons, and the last day some rabbits and venison, which we got from some Indians.”
August 28, 1800, he married Mary Whitten, daughter of John and Phebe Whitten, who lived in Wayne township.In his “Journal” occurs this quaint record of the event:“This year I raised a crop of corn, and determined on settling myself and having a home.I accordingly, on the 28th of August, married Mary Whitten, daughter of John Whitten, near Dayton.She was young, lively, industrious and ingenuous.My property was a horse creature and a few farming utensils, and her father gave her a few household and kitchen utensils, so that we could make shift to cook our provisions; a bed, a cow and heifer, a ewe and two lambs, a sow and pigs, and a saddle and spinning-wheel.I had corn and vegetables growing, so that if we were not rich we had sufficient for our immediate wants, and we were contented and happy.”
Benjamin Van Cleve, though self-educated, was a man of much information, and became a prominent and influential citizen.In the winter of 1799-1800 he taught in the blockhouse, the first school opened in Dayton.From the organization of Montgomery county in 1803, till his death in 1821, he was clerk of the court.He was the first postmaster of Dayton, and served from 1804-1821.In 1805 he was one of the incorporators of the Dayton Library.In 1809 he was appointed by the legislature a member of the first board of trustees of MiamiUniversity.He was an active member of the First Presbyterian church.
His valuable and interesting “Journal”, only a small part of which has been printed, contains almost all the early documentary history of Dayton now in existence.The files of Dayton newspapers, 1808-1821, fortunately preserved by him and presented to the Public Library by his son, John W. Van Cleve, furnish the largest part of the material for that period of the history of the town now obtainable.
Mr. Van Cleve’s graphic description in his “Journal” of St. Clair’s defeat, is considered the best account of that terrible rout and massacre ever written, and has been published many times.His manuscript journal, written for “the instruction and entertainment of his children,” is now in the possession of his great-grandson, Mr. R. Fay Dover, of Dayton.It is written in a beautiful hand, as legible as copperplate, and is adorned with a neatly-executed plan of FortDefiance, drawn and colored by the author.
JOHN V. VAN CLEVE was born June 27, 1801, and tradition says was the first male child born in Dayton.His father, Benjamin Van Cleve, was one of the band of first settlers who arrived in DaytonApril 1, 1796.
John W. Van Cleve from his earliest years gave evidence of a vigorous intellect of a retentive memory.When but ten years old his father wrote of him, “My son John is how studying Latin, and promises to become a fine scholar.”At the age of sixteen he entered the OhioUniversity at Athens, and so distinguished himself for proficiency in Latin that he was employed to teach that language in the college before his graduation.As is not often the case with students, he was equally proficient in mathematics.In after life he mastered both the French and German languages, and made several translations of important German works.He was as remarkable for his thoroughness as for his versatility.There were few things that he could not do and do well.He was a musician, painter, engraver, civil engineer, botanist and geologist.He conducted a correspondence and made exchanges with naturalists in various parts of the United States, and collected and engraved the fossils of the surrounding country and made a herbarium of the plants indigenous to this region.Plates of the engraved fossils and the herbarium have been placed in the Dayton Public Library, which, with other specimens of his handiwork also found there, will convince any one that his accomplishments have not been exaggerated.
He studied law in the office of Judge Joseph McCrane, and was admitted to the bar in 1828.Not finding the practice of the law congenial, he purchased an interest in the Dayton Journal, and edited that paper until 1834.After being engaged in other business for a few years, in 1851, he retired and gave the remainder of his life to his studies and to whatever could benefit and adorn his native city.Unmarried and possessed of a competence he might have lived a life of idleness, but, by nature he was the most indefatigable and industrious of men.
While not seeking political preferment he did much public service.He was elected and served as mayor of the city in 1831-32.He also served at various times as City Civil Engineer, and in 1839 compiled and lithographed a map of the city.He was an ardent Whig, and entered enthusiastically into the celebrated political campaign of 1840, writing many of the songs and furnishing the engravings for a campaign paper called the Log Cabin, which attained great notoriety throughout the United States.He was one of the founders of the Dayton Library Association, now merged in the Public Library, and the invaluable volumes of early Dayton newspapers from 1808 to 1847, was his gift to the library.
It was his suggestion to plant the levees with shade trees, and the first trees were selected by him and planted under his direction.But the chief work for which the city is indebted to him is the foresight which secured the admirable site for the WoodlandCemetery before it was appropriated to other uses.In 1840 when the Cemetery Association was organized public attention had not been generally called to the importance and desirability of rural cemeteries, and the suggestion at that time of a rural cemetery for Dayton was in advance of the times.WoodlandCemetery is the third rural cemetery in order of time in the United States, preceding Spring Grove at Cincinnati three years.To Mr. Van Cleve the honor is due of suggesting the cemetery, and persistently carrying it through to completion.
Mr. Van Cleve was of large size and very fleshy, weighing over three hundred pounds.Calling one evening at a friend’s house, a bright little boy of four years was evidently much puzzled, and, after walking around him and viewing him on all sides approached with the inquiry, “When you was a little boy, was you a little boy?”The joke was so good that Mr. Van Cleve used to tell it on himself.
Mr. Van Cleve died September 6, 1858, at the comparatively early age of 57 years.Although holding no official position at the time of his death, the City Council adopted resolutions of respect for his memory and appreciation of his great services to the city.
Mr. Van Cleve was a great admirer of Corwin, and when he was a candidate for Governor in the Harrison campaign he wrote and published in the “Log Cabin,” this enthusiastic song, which illustrates the affection of the Old Time Whigs’ for their “Wagon Boy.”
SUCCESS TO YOU, TOM CORWIN.
Success to you, Tom Corwin!
Tom Corwin our true hearts love you!
Ohio has no nobler son,
In worth there’s none above you!
And she will soon bestow
On you, her highest honor,
And then our State will kindly show
Without a stain upon her.
Success to you, Tom Corwin!
We’ve seen with warm emotion,
Your faithfulness to freedom’s cause,
Your boldness, your devotion,
And we’ll ne’er forget
That you our rights have guarded;
Our grateful hearts shall pay the debt,
And worth shall be regarded.
FRANCIS GLASS, A. M. who taught school in Dayton, in 1823-24, was born in Londonderry, Ireland, in 1790, and came to America with his parents when eight years old.His father was a teacher at Mt.AiryCollege, Philadelphia.Francis Glass was graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in his nineteenth year.He married young, and, pressed by the wants of an increasing family, he emigrated in 1817 to Ohio.He removed from place to place, having schools at various times in Warren, Miami and Montgomery counties.
There is something pathetic in the story of this enthusiastic and guileless scholar, who, amid the hardships of pioneer life and the bitter privations of poverty, never for a moment lost interest in classical study.Mr. J. P. Reynolds, - see ClintonCounty – one of his pupils gives a graphic description of a pioneer school-house and its teacher Francis Glass.
He says:“The school-house now rises fresh in my memory.The building was a log cabin with a clap-board roof, but indifferently lighted – all the light of heaven found in this cabin came through apertures made on each side of the logs, and then covered with oiled paper to keep out the cold air, while they admitted the dim rays.The seats or benches were of hewn timber, resting on upright posts placed in the ground to keep them from being overturned by the mischievous urchins who sat on them.In the centre was a large stove, between which and the back part of the building stood a small desk, without lock or key, made of rough plank, over which a plane had never passed, and behind this desk sat Professor Glass when I entered the school.There might have been forty scholars present.The moment he learned that my intention was to pursue the study of languages with him his whole soul appeared to beam from his countenance.
“The following imperfect sketch drawn from memory may serve to give some idea of his peculiar manner: - ‘Welcome to the shrine of the muses, my young friend, Salve!Xaipe!The temple of the Delphian god was originally a laurel hut, and the muses deign to dwell accordingly, even in my rustic abode.Non humilem domum fastidiunt umbrosamve ripam.”
Mr. Reynolds gives more to the same effect, but this may suffice.It was Glass’ great ambition to write and publish a “Life of Washington” in Latin, and when Mr. Reynolds met him he had nearly completed the work.Mr. Reynolds, who highly esteemed him, furnished him the means to remove to Dayton in 1823, and there the life was completed and the manuscript delivered to Mr. Reynolds, who agreed to assist him in finding a publisher.Lengthy proposals of publication fully describing the work were printed in the Cincinnati and Dayton papers, but without result.His friend, Mr. Reynolds removed from Ohio and was absent for several years, and during his absence Francis Glass died.With his inextinguishable love of the classics, shortly before his death he published in the Dayton “Watchman” a Latin ode on the death of Lord Byron, which was prefaced by the following introduction: - “To the academicians and scholars in the United States of America, especially of those who delight in literary pursuits, Francis Glass, A. M., wishes much health.”
His death occurred August 24, 1824, after an illness of about three weeks.
In 1835, the “Life of Washington,” through the instrumentality of Mr. Reynolds, was published by Harper Brothers.It forms an openly printed volume of two hundred and twenty-three pages.That such a work in Latin should have been written by a country school teacher remote from libraries and compelled to teach an ungraded school for his daily bread is certainly one of the curiosities of literature.Eminent scholars have pronounced the style terse and vigorous, and the Latin classical.It was introduced into many schools as a text book, and the writer (Robt. W. Steele) remembers its use in the DaytonAcademy in 1838.It is now out of print and rare, but a copy may be found in the Dayton Public Library.
Another remarkable literary production is that of which Mr. Addison P. Russell writes as follows: - “I have in my possession a very well preserved copy, in English, ‘Of the Imitation of Christ,’ by Thomas A. Kempis, printed in this place (Wilmington. O.), by Gaddis Abrams, in 1815.Think of it!A religious classic printed in the wilderness, in the midst of milk-sickness, floating logs and rattle-snakes.”
GEORGE CROOK, General United States Army, son of Thomas Crook, was born in Wayne township, Montgomery county, Ohio, September 8, 1828, and died in Chicago, March 21, 1890.
He worked on his father’s farm and attended school until nineteen.In one of his early campaigns Robert C. Schenck was a guest at the Crook farm house, was attracted by the boy, and appointed him a cadet at the West Point Military Academy.He was graduated July 1, 1852, and for a number of years was on duty with the Fourth Infantry in California.
He took part in the Rouge river expedition in 1856 and commanded the Pitt river expedition in the following year, being wounded by an arrow in one engagement with the hostiles.At the breaking out of the civil war he held a captain’s commission, and returned East to become colonel of the Thirty-sixth Ohio Infantry.He served in the West Virginia campaigns, in command of the Third Provisional Brigade, until August, 1862, and was wounded in the action at Lewisburg.His next service was in Northern Virginia and Maryland, during August and September, 1862, and he especially distinguished himself at Antietam, being brevetted lieutenant-colonel in the regular army for his services.
In 1863, he was serving in Tennessee, and in July of that year he was transferred to the command of the Second Cavalry Division.After various actions, ending in the battle of Chickamauga, he pursued Wheeler’s Confederate Cavalry from the 1st to the 10th of October, defeated it, and drove it across the Tennessee with great loss.In February, 1864, he assumed command of the Kanawha district of West Virginia, where he was almost constantly in action of one kind or another.In the autumn of the same year he played a prominent part in Sheridan’s Shenandoah campaign, and received the brevets of brigadier and major-general in the United States army in 1865 for his gallant and effective conduct.From March 26 until April 9 he had command of the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac, and was engaged at Dinwiddie Court-house, Jettersville, Sailor’s creek and Farmville, and was present at the surrender of Appomattox.
He was mustered out of the volunteer service January 15, 1866, and was subsequently commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the Twenty-third Infantry, since which time his services have been intimately associated with Indian campaigns.He conducted them so successfully that he gained the sobriquet of “The Great Indian Fighter.”In 1872, when assigned to the Arizona district to quell Indian disturbances, he sent an ultimatum to the chiefs to return to their reservations or “be wiped from the face of the earth.”
In 1882 he forced the Mormons, squatters, miners and stock-raisers to vacate the Indian lands and encouraged the Apaches in industrial pursuits.In the spring of 1883 the Chiracahuas intrenched themselves in the fastnesses of the mountains on the northern Mexican boundary and began a series of raids.Gen. Crook struck the trail, and, instead of following, took it backward, penetrated into and took possession of their strongholds, and as fast as the warriors returned from their plundering excursions made them prisoners.He marched over two thousand miles, made four hundred prisoners, and captured all the horses and plunder.
During the two years following he had sole charge of the Indians, and during that time no depredation occurred.He set them all at work on their farms, abolished the system of trading and paying in goods and store-orders indulged in by contractors, paid cash direct to the Indians for all his supplies, and stimulated them to increased exertion.The tribes became self-supporting within three years.He was appointed major-general April 6, 1888, and soon after was placed in command of the division of the Missouri, with headquarters at Chicago.
The DaytonJournal gives the following personal description of Gen. Crook:
He was quiet, unostentatious and self-possessed under all conditions, especially so in the presence of the enemy.In a fight he blazed, and looked the soldier that he was.His presence was confidence and inspiration to his command.But out of uniform he was so simple and unostentatious, almost shy, that those to whom he was unknown could not have suspected such a modest man to have been one of the great soldiers of the United States army.His personal and social characteristics were very charming, and in congenial company he surprised people by the extent of his information and vigor of his discussion of public questions.But it is likely that he will go into the history of his country mainly upon the solid and brilliant reputation he acquired in Indian warfare.No man in that service was so consummate a master of it as he was.
Gen Sherman said of him:
“George Crook was always a man on whom we could depend,” said he.“He was the most successful man in dealing with the Indians that the United States ever had in its service.The Indians respected and trusted him, and he could bring them around or make them amenable when every one else failed.During the rebellion Crook had charge of the Second Cavalry Division, stationed in Northern Alabama, and did excellent work.During my fifteen years as commander-in-chief of the army, I had ample opportunity to find out Crook’s good traits, and I never found him anything but a man who could be depended on in every emergency.”
The story of the courtship of Gen. Crook is romantic.Early in the war Crook, then a captain, was stopping at the Queen City Hotel, Cumberland, Md.He was there assisting Gen. Kelly in organizing regiments and defending the State of West Virginia from invasion.Gen. Kelly was at the same hotel.The proprietor of the house was John Daily, who was also proprietor of Glade’s Hotel at Oakland, Md., a famous resort.Mr. Daily had two daughters, the eldest of whom, Miss Mary, was a charming and pretty girl.She had Southern sympathies, for her mother was a member of a notable old Virginia family who lived at Moorfield.
During Crook’s stay at the hotel he was much attracted by the young lady, but she was a spirited girl, and refused to be gracious to the Yankee, though at heart she liked him.
The eldest of Boniface Daily’s children was a son James, who was devoted to the cause of the Confederacy.He took offence at the persistent and open attentions of Crook to his sister, and finally organized a band of about fifty young and daring spirits like himself, and saw that they were well mounted and armed.When everything was ready about a dozen of Daily’s band crept into the hotel after midnight, seized Gen. Kelly and Capt. Crook, gagged them, and in a few moments they were all on their way to Richmond.The Federal lines were passed without detection, and the prisoners were safely landed in the Confederate capital.Afterward they were exchanged.
Crook went into active service and was badly wounded.He was sent to Oakland with other wounded officers, and singularly enough was quartered at Glade’s Hotel.Miss Mary then showed her true feelings, and nursed her brother’s late captive through what at one time was thought to be a fatal illness.When he recovered he proposed, but was refused, her political sentiment still being in the ascendant.Twice after that the conqueror of Cochez and Geronimo attached the fair fortress, and at last it surrendered.The General has been happy in his married life.
ROBERT CUMMING SCHENCK was born in Franklin, Warren county, Ohio, October 4, 1809, and died in Washington, D.C., March 23, 1890.His ancestor, Roelof Martense Schenck, emigrated from Holland to New Amsterdam in 1650.His father, Gen. Wm. C. Schenck, was an officer in Gen. Wm. Henry Harrison’s army, and one of the pioneers of the Miami valley.He died in 1821, and Robert C. was placed under the guardianship of Gen. James Findlay, of Cincinnati.He was graduated at MiamiUniversity in 1827, and remained at Oxford as a tutor for three years longer, then studied law with Thomas Corwin, was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Dayton.He served two years in the State Legislature, and was elected to Congress as a Whig, serving from 1843 till 1851.President Fillmore then sent him to Brazil as minister plenipotentiary.While serving in this capacity he distinguished himself as a diplomat by taking a conspicuous part in the negotiation of treaties with Paraguay, Uraguay and ArgentineRepublic.After two years in Brazil he returned to Ohio, but took no part in politics.When the civil war broke out he at once offered his service to the government, and was commissioned a brigadier-general by President Lincoln, May 17, 1861.He served with his brigade in the first battle of Bull Run.He next served in West Virginia under Gen. Rosecrans, and did some brilliant fighting at McDowell and Cross Keys.Gen. Fremont then intrusted him with the command of a division, and, while leading the first division of Gen. Franz Siegel’s Corps, at the second battle of Bull Run, his right arm was shattered by a musket-ball.He would not allow himself to be carried from the field until his sword, which had been lost when he was wounded, had been found and restored to him.This wound destroyed the use of his right arm for life, incapacitated him for military service until December, 1862, when he took command of the Middle Department and Eighth Corps at Baltimore, having been promoted major-general September 18.
Gen. Schenck and Gen. Ben Butler had many similar characteristics – great ability, readiness, wit, humor, sarcasm, full information, boldness, originality and the like.Butler in command at New Orleans and Schenck at Baltimore had trouble with the rebel women.
Whitelaw Reid, in “Ohio in the War,” tells how Schenck settled them: -
The men dared not insult the soldiers, but many women did, relying on their sex to protect them.Finally they came to wearing rebel colors and displaying them upon the promenades, and upon occasions when such exhibitions were particularly annoying.Without issuing an order patterned after General Butler’s noted proclamation at New Orleans, he made a more skillful and much more discreet use of similar means, which is thus described in Reid’s “Ohio in the War:”
“A number of the most noted women of the town were selected.Each was instructed to array herself as elegantly as possible, to wear the rebel colors conspicuously displayed upon her bosom, and to spend her time promenading the most fashionable streets of the city.Whenever she met any one of the ladies wearing the same badge she was to salute her affectionately as a sister in the unholy calling, and for these services she was to be liberally paid.The effect was marvelous.In less than a week not a respectable woman in Baltimore dared to show herself in public ornamented by any badge of the rebellion, and from that time to the end of Schenck’s administration that particular difficulty was settled.”
After performing effective service in the Gettysburg campaign, he resigned his commission on December 3, 1863, in order to take his seat in the House, to which he had been elected over Vallandigham.He was immediately made Chairman of Military Affairs, and during this and the following Congress his position enabled him to do good service for the Union cause.He was re-elected to the three succeeding Congresses, and throughout these exciting times, during and after the war, he took a leading part in proceedings in the House.
Hon. James G. Blaine, in his “Twenty Years in Congress,” says:-
“Robert C. Schenck was an invaluable addition to the House.He was at once placed at the head of the Committee on Military Affairs, then of superlative importance, and subsequently made Chairman of Ways and Means, succeeding Mr. Stevens in the undoubted leadership of the House.He was admirably fitted for the arduous and difficult duty.His perceptions were keen, his analysis was extraordinarily rapid, his power of expression remarkable.On his feet, as the phrase went, he had no equal in the House.In five minutes’ discussion in committee of the whole, he was an intellectual marvel.The compactness and clearness of his statement, the facts and arguments which he could marshal in that brief time, were a constant surprise and delight to his hearers.No man in Congress during the present generation has rivaled his singular power in this respect.
“He was able in every form of discussion, but his peculiar gift was in leading and controlling the committee of the whole.”
In 1871 General Schenck was appointed by General Grant Minister to Great Britain, in which capacity he served with distinction until 1876.It was during this period that he was appointed a member on behalf of the United States of the celebrated Joint High Commission, which assembled at Washington and effected a treaty providing for the Geneva Conference, a measure which, by the substitution of arbitration for war in the settlement of a serious controversy between two powerful and warlike nations, marked an era in the development of the spirit of a true Christian civilization.
On his return to the United States General Schenck practiced law in Washington, D. C., participating but little in public affairs.Throughout his public career he regarded Dayton as his home and took an active interest in its affairs.He was the real father of the National Home for Volunteer Soldiers and Sailors, being the first to suggest it to Congress, and securing the co-operation of General Benjamin Butler in the most beneficent public measure in the history of nations.
JAMES FINDLAY SCHENCK, brother of General Robert C. Schenck, was born in Franklin, O., June 11, 1807; died in Dayton, O., December 21, 1882.
“He was appointed to the U. S. Military Academy in 1822, but resigned in 1824, and entered the navy as a midshipman March 1, 1825.He became passed midshipman June 4, 1831, and lieutenant December 22, 1835, and in August, 1845, joined the “Congress,” in which he served as chief military aide to Commodore Robert F. Stockton at the capture of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Pedro, Cal.He also participated in the capture of Guaymas and Mazatlan, Mexico, and in October, 1848, returned home as bearer of dispatches.He was commended for efficient services in the Mexican war.Lieutenant Schenck then entered the service of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, and commanded the steamer “Ohio” and other steamers between New York and Aspinwall in 1849-52.He was commissioned commander, September 14, 1855, and assigned to the frigate “St. Lawrence” March 19, 1862, on the WestGulf blockade.
“On October 7, 1864, he was ordered to command the “Powhatan” in the North Atlantic squadron, and he also received notice of his promotion to commodore, to date from January 2, 1863.He led the third division of the squadron in the two attacks on FortFisher, and was highly commended for his services.Commodore Schenck had charge of the naval station at Mound City, Ill., in 1865-6, was promoted to rear-admiral September 21, 1868, and retired by law June 11, 1869.”(Ap. Biog. Ency.)
CHARLES ANDERSON was borne June 1, 1814, at Soldier’s Retreat, his father’s home, nine miles from Louisville, Ky.His father was an aide-de-camp to Lafayette.His brother Robert was the Major Anderson commanding FortSumter in April, 1861.Charles Anderson graduated at MiamiUniversity, Oxford, O., in 1833.Studied law in Louisville and was admitted to practice.He removed to Dayton, and September 16, 1835, married Miss Eliza J. Brown, of that city.In 1844 he was elected to the Ohio Senate.His efforts in behalf of the colored race and for the repeal of the “Black Laws” made him unpopular with his constituency, and at the close of his term he made a tour through Europe.On his return to Ohio he practiced law in Cincinnati for eleven years in partnership with Rufus King.In 1859 he went to Texas, and on November 20, 1860, he addressed a large gathering of people at San Antonio, advocating in the strongest and most pathetic language the perpetuity of the National Union.He received many letters threatening his life, and later was confined as a political prisoner in the guard-tent of Maclin’s battery of artillery.He escaped to the North and was appointed colonel of the 93d O. V. I.He was severely wounded at the battle of StoneRiver.
In 1863 he was nominated and elected Lieutenant-Governor on the ticket with John Brough, and on the death of the latter succeeded to the office of Governor.He is a man with a fine sense of honor, tall and elegant in person, of brilliant qualities, and the ideal gentleman personified.
THOMAS JOHN WOOD was born in Munfordville, Ky., September 25, 1823; was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy; received the brevet of 1st lieutenant for gallant and meritorious conduct in the Mexican war; served in 1848-9 as aide-de-camp to Gen. Wm. S. Harney.He served as captain in the First Cavalry in Kansas during the border troubles, and on the Utah expedition under Albert Disney Johnston till 1859.
In 1861 he was commissioned brigadier general of volunteers and placed in command of a division; took part in the battles of Shiloh and Corinth, also the battle of StoneRiver, December 31, 1862, where he was wounded.
He commanded a division in the 21st Corps, Army of the Cumberland, at the battlers of Chickamauga and Mission Ridge, receiving the brevet of brigadier-general for Chickamauga.He was engaged in the invasion of Georgia and was severely wounded in the action of Lovejoy’s Station.He commanded the 4th Corps in the battles of Franklin and Nashville, receiving the brevet of major-general for the latter.He was promoted major-general of volunteers in January, 1865, and was mustered out of the volunteer service September 1, 1866.He retired from active service with the rank of major-general June 9, 1868, and that of brigadier-general March 3, 1871.He is now a resident of Dayton.(Abridged from Ap. Biog. Ency.)
During the war period and until his death, June 17, 1871, at Lebanon, CLEMENT L. VALLANDIGHAM was a resident of Dayton.A sketch of his career is under the head of ColumbianaCounty, in our first volume.
Miamisburg in 1846. – Miamisburg is ten miles southerly from Dayton, on the Miami canal and river, and the State road from Dayton to Cincinnati.This locality was originally called “Hole’s Station,” and a few families settled here about the time Dayton was commenced.The town was laid out in 1818; Emanuel Gebhart, Jacob Kercher, Dr. John and Peter Treon, being the original proprietors.The early settlers were of Dutch origin, most of whom emigrated from Berks county, Pa.The German is yet much spoken, and two of the churches worship in that language.The river and canal supply considerable water power.The town is compactly built.The view was taken near J. Zimmer’s hotel – shown on the right – and givers the appearance of the principal street, looking from that point in the direction of Dayton.A neat covered bridge crosses the Miami river at this place.Miamisburg contains 1 Dutch Reformed, 1 Lutheran and 1 Methodist church, 1 high school, 12 mercantile stores, 1 woollen and 1 cotton factory, 1 grist mill, 1 iron foundery, and had in 1840, 834, and in 1846, 1055 inhabitants. – Old Edition.
In the lower part of Miamisburg are the remains of an ancient work; and this region abounds in the works and fortifications so common in the West.About a mile and a quarter southeast of the village, on an elevation more than 100 feet above the Miami, is the largest mound in the northern states, excepting the mammouth mound at Grave creek, on the Ohio below Wheeling, which it about equals in dimensions.It measures about 800 feet around the base, and rises to the height of 67 feet.When first known, it was covered with forest trees, from the top of one of which – a maple tree growing from its apex – it is said Dayton could be plainly seen.The mound has not been thoroughly examined, like that at Grave creek; but probably is similar in character.Many years since a shaft was sunk from the top; at first, some human bones were exhumed, and at the depth of about 11 feet, the ground sounding hollow, the workmen were afraid to progress farther.Probably two vaults are in it, like those of Grave creek; one at the base in the centre, the other over it, near the summit; it was, we suppose, this upper vault which gave forth the hollow sound.The mound is the steepest on the north and east sides, and is ascended with some little difficulty.It now sustains an orchard of about 40 apple, and a few peach and forest trees.The view from the summit is beautiful.At one’s feet lays the village of Miamisburg, while the fertile valley of the river is seen stretching away for miles. – Old Edition.
In July, 1869, a number of resident citizens made another effort to determine the nature of this mound.They sunk a shaft five or six feet in diameter from the top to two feet below the base.They found eighty feet from the top a human skeleton, in a sitting posture facing due east.A cover of clay several feet in thickness, and then a layer of ashes were found and deposits of vegetable matter, bones of small animals, wood and stone surrounding it.
At twenty-four feet a triangular stone, planted perpendicularly, about eight inches in the earth with the point upward was discovered.Around it at an angle of about forty-five degrees and over-lapping each other like shingles upon a roof, were placed stone averaging about a foot in diameter, all rough, but of nearly uniform size, and similar to those quarried in the neighboring hills.
The work of sinking the shaft continued from day to day until a depth of sixty-six feet was reached.This was down to two feet below the natural surface as surveyed, as nearly twenty feet had been cut from the cone in former explorations, its original height must have been over eighty feet.
It had been determined to remove the skeleton before closing up the shaft, but upon examination it was found in condition to render this impossible, and it was allowed to remain.
The Miamisburg Bulletin published a series of interesting articles on the explorations at the time they were made.
MIAMISBURG is ten miles southwest of Dayton, on the Great Miami River, Miami & Erie Canal, and on the C. H. & D., and C. C. C. & I. Railroads.It is the centre of the Ohio seed leaf tobacco producing district.City Officers:1888, Lewis H. Zehring, Mayor; A. C. Schell, Clerk; Geo. T. Mays, Treasurer; Wm. Dalton, Marshall; H. Ross, Street Commissioner.Newspaper:Bulletin, Independent, Blossom Bros., editors and publishers; News, Democratic, Chas. E. Kinder, editor and publisher. Churches:1 United Brethren, 1 Reformed, 1 Lutheran, 1 Catholic and 1 Methodist.Bank:(H. Groby & Co.)
Manufactures and Employees. – Miamisburg Binder Twine and Cordage Co., 205 hands; Hoover & Gamble, agricultural implements, 185; Bookwalter Brothers & Co., carriage wheels, etc., 46; D. Grobe, builders’ wood-work, 8; Miami Valley Paper Co., 42; The Ohio Paper Co., 54; A. Kuehn, lager beer, 4; The Kauffman Buggy Co., carriages, etc., 63.
Population, 1880, 1396.School census, 1888, 925.Thomas A. Pollok, school superintendent.Capital invested in industrial establishments, $700,300.Value of annual product, $1,544,500. – Ohio Labor Statistics, 1887.
Germantown in 1846 – Germantown, named from Germantown, Pa., is thirteen miles southwest of Dayton, in a beautiful valley, surrounded by one of the most fertile sections of land in the West.It is steadily improving, and is noted for the substantial industry and wealth of its citizens.This thriving town was laid out in 1814, by Philip Gunckel, proprietor, who previously built a saw and grist mill on Twin creek, and opened a store at the same place.Most of its early settlers were of German descent, and emigrated from Berks, Lebanon and Centre counties, Pa.Among these were the Gunckels, the Emericks, the Schaeffers, etc., whose descendents now comprise a large proportion of the inhabitants.The village is handsomely laid out in squares, the houses are of a substantial character, and the streets ornamented by locusts.It contains 2 German Reformed, 1 Lutheran, 1 Episcopal Methodist and 1 United Brethren church, a flourishing academy for both sexes, 1 book, 2 grocery and 5 dry goods stores, 1 newspaper printing office, 1 brewery, 1 woollen factory and about 1200 inhabitants. – Old Edition.
GERMANTOWN is twelve miles southwest of Dayton on the C. J. & M. R. R., and in the beautiful TwinValley, and is sometimes called the “TwinCity.”It is the seat of TwinValleyCollege and Ohio Conservatory of Music.Its manufacturing industries are carriages, buggies, agricultural implements, tobacco and cigars.Newspaper:Press, Democratic, E. B. Harkrider, editor and publisher.Churches:1 German Reformed, 1 Lutheran, 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 United Brethren.Bank:First National, J. W. Shank, president, J. H. Cross, cashier.Population 1880, 1618.School census, 1888, 408.J F. Fenton, superintendent of schools.
CHAMBERSBURG is six miles north of Dayton, on the C. H. & D. R. R.Population, 1880, 115.
VANDALIA is eight miles north of Dayton.Population, 1880, 315.School census, 1888, 104.
BROOKVILLE is thirteen miles northwest of Dayton, on the D. & U. and P. C. & St. L. R. R.It has 1 Lutheran, 1 United Brethren and 1 Methodist Episcopal.Population, 1880, 574.School census, 1888, 248.
NEW LEBANON is ten miles west of Dayton.Population, 1880, 76.
FARMERSVILLE is fourteen miles southwest of Dayton, on the C. J. & M. R. R.It has five churches.Population, 1880, 794.School census, 1888, 130.
CENTERVILLE is nine miles south of Dayton.Population, 1880, 294.