The Medical Profession
To no factor in the development of a pioneer community does history owe higher honor than to the physicians who ministered to its sick in the days when drugs were difficult to obtain and almost equally difficult to distribute, and when, in addition to the ordinary ills of human flesh, the pioneers were plagued with mysterious maladies that puzzled the medical profession (as in the case of "milk sickness") and when the land was heavy with miasma, and (page 234) grievous epidemics visited the cabins and laid low the men and women who had undertaken the "Conquest of Canaan." Typhoid fever made its appearance as early as 1839. Smallpox raged in West Liberty in 1843, attacking one person in every three-though deaths were comparatively few. Dr. S. W. Fuller wrote of it that the diet of rice and molasses, and the medication of Epsom salts, to which the village was at the time chiefly confined, "could scarcely have been bettered." Handkerchiefs were worn as preventive masks. That was seventy-five years ago. Interesting to note, in this connection, is the fact that in the fall and winter following, an epidemic of influenza spread all over the country and carried off numerous victims. In March, 1844, spinal meningitis, a disease not then thoroughly understood, made its first fatal inroads, returning in 1851-2. Cholera first appeared in 1849, subsiding and then breaking out again in 1851-2 with renewed violence. But, so far as records show no scourge visiting the county since then has been so widespread as the dreaded Spanish influenza, which baffles the preventive and curative resources of modern science of medical men everywhere this season of 1918-9. Dr. Fuller smiled in 1843 at the handkerchief masks. Yet, in 1918, masks of gauze have been ordered by boards of health all over the United States.
The long roll of Logan county physicians who became known to all its borders and in many cases far beyond, presenting as bright a page of professional history as can be turned in Ohio, begins with the name of Mrs. Phoebe Sharp, whose intelligence and skill were freely at the service of the settlers of the Darby creek neighborhood for years before a regular physician ventured so far. Dr. John Elbert came to Middleburg vicinity in 1809, and was for several years the only physician of the county. He died after twenty years of arduous practice in the wilderness. Dr. Benjamin Stanton Brown was the next, coming to Logan county about the same time that his father settled in the Marmon valley, in 1818, and beginning his local career in the capacity of a surveyor. He was a man of varied talents and broad mentality, the genial charm of his personality still remembered by those who knew him near the close of his life, when he had retired from the laborious life of pioneer physician, in which service he had been unexcelled. Dr. Brown married Rebecca Shaw (daughter of Henry Shaw), who outlived him, and gave to the city, in memory of his life and work, the lovely little park which bears his name. Dr. James Crew, who came to Zanesfeld in 1821, was the next in order, practicing for forty-seven faithful years, his service ending only with his death in 1868. Dr. Abiel Hovey Lord, born in Windsor, Vermont, in 1802, came to Bellefontaine in 1823, the only practicing physicians nearer than Urbana, at the time, being Drs. Elbert and Crew. Dr. Lord's field of practice covered not only all of Logan county, but all of the counties touching it, including a great deal of work among the Indians, seven hundred and fifty of whom he vaccinated just before they were taken to the west in 1832. Dr Lord married Letitia McCloud, daughter of Col. McCloud, in 1824. Their residence in Bellefontaine was a large house built of logs, and stood on the northwest corner of Main and Chillicothe streets. The building afterward became a place of mercantile business, and finally (page 235) degenerated to the base purpose of a saloon and latterly a pool room, being finally removed in 1913, to make room for the erection of the beautiful Canby building, the pride of latter-day Bellefontaine. It was at that time the oldest known structure in the town, and remembering its former honorable estate, the logs were purchased, for preservation, by (Prof.) Thomas Hubbard, jr., who presented them to the city. They were, later, built into a log cabin in Rutan Park. northeast of the city, at the expense of the late Miss Mary Powell, granddaughter of William Powell, one of the founders of Bellefontaine.
Mrs. Lord died in 1875, while Dr. Lord's active career ended in 1882, after nearly sixty years in practice. Dr. Joseph Canby, who came from Virginia in 1825, was a graduate of Rush Medical college, Philadelphia. He settled in DeGraff-or near where DeGraff was afterward built-but his reputation was county-wide, not only as a physician, but as business man and influential citizen. Richard S. Canby, well-known lawyer and jurist, was his son. Dr. Canby died in 1847, having previously retired from practice to devote his energies to business pursuits. Drs. Good and Leedom, of Quincy, were his contemporaries, as were also Dr. Thomas of Logansville, Dr. Samuel A. Morton of Cherokee, and Dr. Robb of Zanesfield. Dr. S. W. Fuller, who came to West Liberty in 1838, and from there practiced the county over, removed his headquarters to Bellefontaine in or about 1852, retiring from practice there only a few years before his death in February, 1908, after nearly seventy years' professional life. With the exception of Dr. john Elbert, who died in 1836. Dr Fuller was the contemporary practitioner of all the physicians ever resident in Logan county, with the exception of the very youngest members of the present medical "round table." Dr. Thomas L. Wright, the son of Dr. Thomas Wright, who emigrated to America from Ireland in 1817, was himself a native of Portage county, Ohio. After completing his education at Miami university and Ohio Medical college, he went to Kansas as government physician for the Wyandot Indians. He came to Bellefontaine in 1856, Miss Lucinda, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Lord, becoming his wife not long after Dr. Wright was deeply read, and of broad and liberal mind, a fine theoretician, a lecturer and writer of essays and pamphlets on pathological subjects, his most noted work being a treatise on Inebriety, which caused him to be rated a High authority on that subject. He was at all times generous with advice and counsel to younger doctors, sharing with them the richness of his reading. He died, 1893. Dr. David Watson, also a son of Irish parents, who emigrated to America early in the last century, was born in Adams county, in 1819, and came with his parents to Logan county in 1823, locating in the Cherokee and Huntsville district. In the spring of 1839, when aged 20, he lost a leg by amputation after an accident incurred in logrolling. Thus unfitted for the business of farming, he took up the study of medicine under the tutelage of Dr. B. S. Brown. His first anatomy lesson was recited to Dr. Brown in the latter's cornfield (which happened to be the same plot of ground now known as "Brown Park") the doctor stopping the plow to listen. Dr. Watson maintained himself, while studying, by teaching school. After his (page 236) marriage to Miss Eliza Richardson of Shelby county, Dr. Watson
practiced in Upper Sandusky and in Wyandot county, where their five elder children were born, and where they were buried after their brief lives. They came to Bellefontaine in 1857, and at first lived in the house on East Columbus avenue, where their only surviving child, Mrs. Maggie Ginn, now makes her home. Dr. Watson achieved signal success in his profession in which he was noted for his keen and well-balanced judgment, while his faculties, both as diagnostician and prognostician were remarkable. He was also a clever and skilful surgeon of the old school. His death occurred March 31, 1894. Wells Watson Ginn, the gifted reader, is a grandson. Dr. W. D. Scarff, born in Green county, Ohio, May, 1819, the son of Dr. John and Rachel (Curl) Scarff, received a collegiate education and graduated from Louisville Medical Institute in 1844, locating in Bellefontaine soon after, making the journey hither from Green county on horseback. Dr. Scarff's coming gave the city of Bellefontaine three practicing physicians. He was associated with his brother, James Scarff, in the drug business, but entered at once upon his practice, following his profession with ability and distinction for ffty-six years, during which time he held several positions of professional honor and trust. He was also an able contributor to "The Lancet" (a medical journal), and to the "Examiner," his last manuscript being sent in at the beginning of his final illness, which ended in paralysis and death, November, 1901. He married, 1851, Miss Lois Whitehead.
Dr. Edwin Pratt, who began his career at Bloom Centre, in 1850, located in Bellefontaine, in 1865, where he was already well-known because of long prominence in public office. Dr. Pratt's talent as a physician is attested by the fact that it has descended to the second and third generations of his family, son and grandsons all being successful physicians. Drs. Clayson, Aaron Hartley and James Cooper were of the period now under consideration, but exact data are not obtainable concerning them, although all were prominent in the community. Dr. Clayson died in the early seventies, in the prime of life. Dr. Hartley spent a long period of years in Bellefontaine, and left for Colorado at the age of nearly eighty, still hale and hearty. Dr. Cooper was a specialist in drugs, rather than a pathologist, but his vast and comprehensive knowledge of the materia medica made him a valuable member of the medical fraternity. Early in the summer of 1872, Dr. J. M. Wilson located in Bellefontaine, coming from the Cleveland Hospital School of Homeopathy. Though belonging to a school which had then but scant popularity, locally, Dr. Wilson has won the respect and high regard of all the "regulars" of his day, and, at past seventy, is still hale, active and very busy. He became the husband of Miss Ella Emery at an early stage of his career, and is now the senior physician of Bellefontaine, having been born in Carroll county in 1844. Closely following Dr. Wilson came Dr. Perry D. Covington, Dr. William H. Cretcher and Dr. Rutter-the latter a native of Rushsylvania. Dr. Rutter, after a few years' practice, took up institutional work, and left Bellefontaine for Gallipolis, and Newberry, and latterly Columbus. Dr. Cretcher, who was born and reared in Springhill, Champaign county, (page 237) was a brilliant student, and a gifted surgeon, making an immediate success. He was stricken with death in the very zenith of his professional powers, and died in 1890. Dr. Covington, a captain in the Civil War at a very early age, was a nephew of Dr. Watson, by whom his choice of a profession was somewhat influenced. He was a native son of Logan county, his parents being- Samuel and Ruth Watson Covington, whose farm lay south of Bellefontaine a short distance. Born in 1842, he graduated from Ohio Medical college in 1868, and practiced about four years at Roundhead, during which period he was married to Miss Ellen McClain, and came to Bellefontaine in 1872. Dr. Covington rose to the foremost position in the local practice and was regarded, after Dr. Fuller's retirement, as the dean of the profession here, until his death, which occurred in September, 1915. Mrs. Covington is the author of an able pamphlet touching pathology. Dr. James Paulding Wallace, born Oxford, Ohio, a graduate of Monmouth college, Ohio Medical college and Bellevue hospital, located in Bellefontaine in 1877, and went into partnership with Dr. S. W. Fuller, who at that time believed himself about to retire from active practice. Dr. Wallace at once achieved a wide popularity, being of a genial and sunny nature, and full of kindly benevolence. Among the poor and lowly he was held in warmest affection, for his manifold benefactions. In 1886 he decided upon a change of climate, and went to California, where he remained a short time, returning to Kentucky, where he unfortunately contracted a pulmonary illness which undermined his health. A third removal, to Greeley, Colorado, resulted in recovery, but after a few years of great success, professionally, he died in 1894, of pneumonia. Mrs. Wallace was Miss Laura Garvey, of Piqua, and the Wallace home in Bellefontaine was the old Noah McColloch residence on East Columbus avenue. Upon his departure for California, Dr. Wallace sold the house to Dr. R. W. Chalfant, who afterward remodeled it into the Chalfant Block. Mrs. Wallace returned to Bellefontaine with her family, two daughters, Miss Margaret Wallace and Mrs. Paul O. Batch, and herself still residing here, while the three sons, Will G., James Fuller and Hallett Denman Wallace follow their professions in Canada, Texas and Colorado, respectively. Dr. Wallace was the son of a United Presbyterian minister, but during his residence here was an elder in the First Presbyterian church.
Dr. John Saxton Deemy, born in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, in 1866, passed his boyhood in Frenchtown, New Jersey, and was graduated from the Medico-Chirurgical College of Philadelphia in 1890, winning the appointment of chief interne in the hospital department of the same institution for one year. He then returned to Frenchtown, where he entered practice in company with his father, Dr. E. K. Deemy, remaining there until 1892-3, when he located in Bellefontaine, associating himself for several years with the late Dr. S. W. Fuller. In 1899 he was married to Miss Bessie Riddle, daughter of Mrs. Margaret Riddle, a happy union to which four children were born. After the tragic death of Dr. Deemy's mother, in a runaway accident, the elder Dr. Deemy made his home hi Bellefontaine until his death-an additional shock to the son-followed in 1911.
(page 238) A third severe shock and bereavement came to Dr. and Mrs. Deemy one year later in the drowning of their little daughter, Margaret, April, 1912. Of great personal magnetism, Dr. Deemy attracted a large and devoted clientele, to which his cheery disposition and human sympathy increasingly endeared him, while his profciency as a physician and surgeon won him enviable distinction in the profession. During the twenty or more years of his residence in Bellefontaine he served the city as health offcer for a long term, and at the time of his death he was the surgeon for the Big Four, Ohio Electric and the T. & O. C. railroads, succeeding Dr. J. H. Wilson, who resigned. Dr. Deemy was a leader in the revival of the Logan County Medical Society, a member of the State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. In his own practice he had but one aim-the relief of human suffering. His death was caused by pneumonia-a short but violent illness of three days-on February 13, 1915.
Dr. Robert G. Reed, born and raised at Huntsville, Ohio, successfully practiced at Bellefontaine for about ten years, when he removed to Cincinnati, here he is now practicing as an eye specialist. Of the Bellefontaine physicians now included in the Logan County Association, as nearly complete a list as possible is here given : Dr. Carrie Richeson, who was born and reared in this city ; Dr. Charles W. Heffner (of Lewistown), 1881; Dr. L. C. Pratt (son of Dr. Edwin Pratt), now about thirty-fve years in local practice ; Dr. W. W. Hamer (of Lewistown), 1885; Dr. W. Gail Stinchcomb (who came to Bellefontaine at the age of ten, in 1884), and after graduation at Bellevue Hospital in 1897, began practice here; Dr. J. P. Harbert (from Belle Center), about 1898; Dr. E. R. Henning (of West Liberty) ; Dr. J. W. Young, Dr. W. C. Pay (city physician, 1918), 1909; Dr. F. R. Makemson (DeGraf and Lewistown), 1917; Dr. H. A. Skidmore (West Mansfeld), 1917. "In Service": Dr. Guy L. Swan, Dr. A. J. McCracken, Dr. Robert H. Butler, Dr. F. B. Kaylor, Dr. Clyde K. Startzman, Dr. W. Gail Stinchcomb, Dr. O. W. Lofer, Dr. W. H. Carey, Drs. Robert, Lester and Malcolm Pratt. The dentists of today are: Dr. Frank R. Griffin, son of Dr. A. E. Griffin, one of the principal earlier dentists of Bellefontaine, and Drs. C. N. Miles, C. W. Schroeder, J. E. Thatcher, Fred S. Wood, J. C. Longfellow, and Edw. Thompson. Drs. F. G. Burnett and Mac. J. Reid represent the Osteopathic cult.
Another well-known physician is Dr. J. W. Arbegast, born in Logan county, May 21, 1857, son of Joel and Caroline (Antrim) Arbegast, and grandson of Daniel Antrim, the frst white boy born in the county. Dr. Arbegast began the study of medicine at the age of 18, but the death of his father interrupted his career, and it was not until the nineties that he was able to resume his studies. He graduated from Cincinnati Eclectic Medical Institute in 1894, and at once began to practice at West Mansfeld, where he resided until 1912, when he removed to Bellefontaine, and has since been established here in a successful practice. Mrs. Arbegast, who was Miss Susan Leymaster, has been a comrade and helper in the professional career of her husband.
Hospitals in Bellefontaine have had short history, although (page 239) several have been established. That of Dr. W. W. Hamer served for a time, but financial difficulties usually beset the unendowed hospital, and it closed about ten years ago, after being several years in operation. Dr. Hamer has lately, in company with Dr. Henning, embarked upon an exclusively surgical practice. Miss Wilhelmina Aikin, a good business woman, as well as a professional nurse, located in Bellefontaine in August, 1912, opening a private hospital on East Sandusky avenue, where for six years she filled a decided need of the community. Miss Aikin, who was a native of Northwood, Logan county, was trained in the Seton (Presbyterian) hospital in Cincinnati, and in the Queen City Hospital there, where she graduated, and afterward took the position of matron in Dr. Vale's hospital in the same city. A few years of private nursing ensued, and she thus brought to her work in Bellefontaine not only ten years of practical experience, but also great native ability and personal charm. Held in highest esteem by the local medical profession, Miss Aikin had been chosen directress of the new Mary Rutan hospital, just completed, in the north part of the city, when her most untimely death occurred, during the influenza epidemic of 1918. Her appointment was a deserved tribute to her worth, and her loss is keenly felt by the city. The trustees of the hospital have elected Miss Hazel Webster, of Kenton, Hardin county, to fll Miss Aikin's place as directress. The Mary Rutan hospital was made possible by the bequest of a fund from Mrs. Rebecca Williams, in honor of her mother, Mary Rutan. The hospital is "the last word" in modernity; fireproof and accommodates at present 30 beds, including the two wards. Ample space is provided in the grounds, and the plan is so arranged that wings may be added to the structure in the future.
The Churches of Bellefontaine
That the early establishment of religious organizations has had much to do with the character of the population of today cannot be overlooked. The pioneers who entered the trackless wilds of Logan county more than a century ago were almost without exception of recognized religious convictions and their efforts to plant the banner of Christ solidly in the new soil has had an enduring success. Laying aside all references to creeds and sects, there has been a co-operative movement for all good things by all good people from .the start, and while there are changes, and the Quakers and the Covenanters and the various subdivisions of other denominations have fused into a smaller list of creeds than once prevailed, it is, perhaps, because all have become "Friends" in the best and finest sense of the word, while the line between Catholic and Protestant is less clearly defined than it used to be, in the diffused light of Christian brotherhood. After the soul-searching experiences in united effort of all schools of faith, exampled in the welfare activities of the recent world war, the members of one body see clearly the essential union of them all. That the work of that body will continue to be done by its members as in the past, is evidenced by the vigorous condition of the various church organizations, and the (page 240) eagerness with which each is pursuing its labors for the cause of Christ.
The Methodist Episcopal church was the earliest to organize a class in the city, the "meetings" held from cabin to cabin crystallizing at last into an organized body about 1819, the exercises thereof being conducted by Rev. John Strange, at the house of Samuel Carter. The first chapel was erected in the new county seat in 1823, and stood on West Chillicothe street, at a point between the present post office building and the old Kennedy residence. Rev. John Strange was installed as first pastor. A trifling difference separated the congregation for a period, but in 1858 this was amicably adjusted, and there has ever since remained one strong church body. Its handsome church edifice on North Main street was erected in 1889. Dr. J. L. Albritton was pastor when the new (present) church was built. Dr. Isaac Newton was pastor when it was decided to build, February 2, 1886. The building committee was appointed January 3, 1887 and consisted of John B. Williams, Robert Colton, J. M. Williamson, Alfred Butler and William Barton. Rev. Whitlock was pastor of this congregation for five years, during the boyhood of the now famous author and diplomat, Brand Whitlock, his son. Rev. F. M. Swinehart is the pastor at this date (1919). The First Presbyterian church was organized in Bellefontaine in 1828, under the ministry of Rev. Joseph Stevenson, who came to the town in 1825 with this end in view. The Presbyterian church at Cherokee (now Huntsville) had been organized September, 1824, by Rev. James Robinson, and called the "Church of Logan." From this germ the church at Bellefontaine took motive, the services of Rev. Stevenson being divided between Cherokee, Bellefontaine, Stony Creek (Springhill, in Champaign county), and West Liberty, until 1828, when the church at Bellefontaine became the larger and was granted independence. Rev. R. H. Holliday came in 1840 to assist Rev. Stevenson in his several charges, the latter retiring about 1844. The church membership in 1835 was ninety-one. Rev. George A. Gregg followed Rev. Stevenson in 1845, and remained here nine years, dying in February, 1854, of smallpox. Rev. Raffensperger came in 1854, and was the first pastor who gave his whole time to this church. He remained for five years, re-uniting the congregation and adding greatly to its membership. Rev. George P. Bergen came after him, staying until 1863, during a period of great excitement and political dissension, through which the church made steady progress. In 1863 commenced the long and happy pastorate of Rev. George L. Kalb, D.D., his installation taking place in 1864. For thirty-five, years Dr. Kalb christened, received into membership, married and buried the individuals of the flock, resigning in 1898 on account of his advanced years. He was made pastor emeritus and continued in the veneration of his own people and the community until his death, in September, 1912. Rev. George E. Davies, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, was called to the pulpit of Dr. Kalb, and installed as pastor in 1899, resigning after eleven years' service to accept a call from St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. William L. Barrett was installed pastor January 1, 1911. The membership at that time had grown to about six hundred, and has in the eight years since (page 241) increased to nine hundred. The congregation is noted for including in its membership an unusual number of business and professional men. At present (1918) over half of the Logan county bar are members of this church. A few of the prominent members along the years have been : Joshua Robb, Robert Patterson, Edward Patterson, Ezra Bennett, Gen. Robert P. Kennedy, S. W. Fuller, William McColloch, John A. Mcllvaine and Judge William H. West. The present session consists of: John Q. A. Campbell, George A. Henry, G. Harry Aikin, Major E. K. Campbell, Dr. R. W. Chalfant, William D. Faris, Dr. John P. Harbert, Charles B. Harner, Reuben B. Keller, Max Leonard, Judge J. Duncan McLaughlin, Fred C. Spittle, John E. West, George W. Worrell and Judge John C. Hover, who is clerk of the session. Dr. Barrett is among the strongest pulpit orators Bellefontaine has had within the memory of present citizens. The services of the church previous to 1829 were held in the frst court house (afterward a tavern), and prayer meetings were held in Robert Patterson's home, which stood just north of it. The first church edifice was built of brick, forty-three feet square, and stood on North Main street. This building became by purchase the property of the Christian church a good many years later, and about 1880 passed into the hands of the Reformed or Covenanters' church. A new church was erected where the present church now stands, which during the pastorate of Rev. Davies was completely rebuilt into the modern and spacious edifice now seen. The English Lutheran church was first organized in 1840, at the home of John Horn, by Rev. J. H. Hofman, and had a struggling existence for several years, being without a pastor from 1845 to 1850. Rev. J. H. Brickley was then sent to reorganize, and at the old court house, in the spring of 1851, a congregation of seventeen members was established which immediately set about building a church, the cornerstone of which was laid in July, 1851. The building was a small brick chapel situated at the corner of Detroit and Sandusky streets. The first pastor was a victim of cholera during the completion of the church, and the first service held in the building was his funeral. Dr. J. W. Goodlin succeeded to the pastorate and was followed by Dr. Kuhns, Dr. Breckenridge, Rev. Shearer and Dr. W. H. Singley, who came in the summer of 1876 and infused new life into the congregation, building at the old site a large new church, which was once remodeled and a pipe organ installed before he left it in 1892. Since then the church has had uninterrupted progress under the successive pastorates of Revs. W. E. Hull, S. S. Adams, S. E. Greenawalt, and the present pastor, Rev. C. E. Rice, who entered upon his work in 1908, and under whom the church has been rebuilt at a cost of $24,000, now presenting a wholly modern and harmonious exterior, while the interior is not only commodious, but ecclesiastically correct.
St. Patrick's Catholic church was organized in Bellefontaine in 1853 by Father Grogan, and a church was built the same year. However, services had been held in homes for many years before that date, and the little Piatt chapel at West Liberty had made a Mecca for early Catholics, still previous. The original church, built on East Patterson street, stood through several pastorates, Fathers (page 242) Thomas Sheahan, J. F. McSweeney, John Coveney (who was assassinated by a lunatic) and Father Young preceding Father Bourion, a clergyman of unusual talents and culture who improved and enlarged the church and also built the large parochial school which stands immediately west of it. Father Bourion was followed in 1889 by Father William Conway, and he by Father Doherty in 1894. In 1897 the church was destroyed by a fire of unknown origin, but was immediately rebuilt upon a somewhat larger scale, being dedicated by Archbishop Elder in 1898, at which time Father C. J. Conway was the priest in charge. Father Conway has been followed by Fathers Benning, Singleton and Sourd, and since August 1, 1916, by Father Wm. C. Welch, who has made a host of friends in the two years of his service, both in his parish and in general society, taking a prominent part in the war activities, Red Cross and kindred work. A handsome new rectory, completed in the summer of 1918, has replaced the old house east of the church, the site being ideal for a clerical residence.
The Baptists organized in 1845, and while gathering strength and numbers for church building, held their meetings at the houses of members. In 1852 ground was broken for the original church building on the same corner (East Columbus and Mad River streets) where the present church stands. Rev. Roney was the pastor, and at least one member, Mrs. Mary Kerr, still remembers coming to see the ceremony, sixty-six years ago. Rev. A. J. Wyant was one of the earliest and best remembered pastors, and, following him, a somewhat fragmentary account indicates that Rev. James French and Rev. W. H. Stringer were among the ministers who occupied the pulpit. The church edifice has been remodeled twice, being so completely rebuilt in 1907, under the pastorate of Rev. Jasper- H. Winans, that little but the old bricks form a part of the Baptist church of today. The re-dedication took place in 1908. Four years ago Rev. F. F. Fenner succeeded Rev. Winans, and the congregation is in a flourishing condition. It will celebrate its seventy-fifth anniversary in 1920.
"The First Christian Church," or, as it is called today, the Church of Christ, was originally organized with fourteen members, at a meeting held in the basement of the Baptist church, at a date not set down in the chronicles. From this lowly beginning the society emerged in 1857 to build a "hall" on East Columbus avenue, which they used as a church until about 1870, when they sold it for business purposes and purchased the old chapel of the Presbyterians on North Main street, paying for it the sum of sixteen hundred dollars. This was later sold to the Reformed church congregation. Revs. A. F. Abbott, T. A. Brandon, William Lawrence and several other pastors ministered to the congregation until May, 1878, when the church was closed for want of a pastor. Removals and deaths had depleted the membership from sixty to twenty, yet it continued to hold together as an organization through various ups and downs chiefly downs-until 1896, when a movement to build a new church resulted in a substantial rally under Rev. D. D. Burt. The new edifice was erected on, the corner of East Sandusky avenue and Park Place, at a cost of sixteen thousand dollars. Twelve (page 243) years later it was remodeled at a cost of four thousand more. On the fifteenth of January, 1915, the church was totally destroyed by fire. Undaunted, the congregation at once took steps to rebuild, and extra ground was purchased on the west, to build larger. Funds were quickly raised, and the contract was let, in April, following the fire. The cornerstone of the new temple was laid August 22, 1915, and the building completed and dedicated early in 1916.
December 31, 1915, the membership numbered eleven hundred persons, an increase of six hundred in the preceding fourteen months. The beautiful new temple, of pale buff brick and white sandstone, stands west of Brown park,. and is a fine example of classic architecture. All its inner working forces are in a high state of organization, and full of ardor. Following Rev. Burt, the pastors have been, in order, Revs. A. S. Morrison, 1898, E. S. Muckley, 1900, W. T. Groom, 1903, Roy L. Brown, 1907, C. C. Wilson, 1912, U. E. Hootman, 1913, and Rev. Traverce Harrison, who came in 1915, and will stay, it is hoped, many years.
From the union of the drifting elements of the Associate and Associate Reformed societies in Bellefontaine and vicinity, that had existed since the early thirties, the United Presbyterian church was formed briefly subsequent to 1858, the Rev. Joseph Hatton, of the Associate Reformed church remaining in charge of the new organization until April, 1859, after which it was without a regular pastor until 1862. From 1862 until 1865 Rev. W. H. Jeffers was in charge, being followed by Rev. John Williamson, D.D., who led the congregation through over twenty years of vigorous growth. The original church edifce was built on an elevated site on North Detroit street and provided an auditorium of ample size, which was improved from time to time and served the congregation until the eighties, when, during the pastorate of Dr. Williamson, the new church at the corner of East Sandusky avenue and Mad River street, was built. The old church may still be seen on Detroit street, surrounded by many evidences of the mutations of time. It has long been used for factory purposes. The "New" church, now over thirty years old, was built upon so modern a principle that it bears rigid comparison with those of twentieth century architecture. During Dr. Williamson's pastorate he formed "The Young People's Prayer-Meeting," which was the earliest organized young people's body connected with the Presbyterian church in the United States, antedating the Christian Endeavor by some years. Members of this society are still living, among them some of Bellefontaine's oldest citizens. After Dr. Williamson's retirement, four pastors, J. W. Allen, D.D., J. D. Simpson, D.D.. Rev. John S. Dague, and Rev. W. T. Mabon successively filled the pulpit until 1918. Rev. G. L. Brown has accepted a call to this congregation and will occupy the pastorate beginning January 1, 1919.
The first parish of the Episcopal church organized in Bellefontaine, 1856, had an existence of only two years. A second attempt to organize an Episcopal parish was made in 1859, when Rev. Robert Paul, an Episcopal clergyman born in Ireland and settled in Philadelphia, occasionally preached in the old courthouse. About this time, there being no church, a temporary altar was set up in the (page 244) Dunham home on east Chillicothe avenue, where little Emma Dunham and Annie Blaney were baptized by Rev. Paul. December 26, 1860, "Grace Church" was organized at a meeting in Dr. Gilson's office, the old Methodist chapel on west Chillicothe was purchased, and for a few years the little parish struggled along, but failed on account of its too small membership. In 1874, at the invitation of Mrs. N. E. Patterson, Rev. Julian held a service in the firemen’s hall, over the engine house, and for some time thereafter services were held at this place, conducted by different clergymen. A guild was formed, with E. Douglas, A. S. Knapp, George Foote and W. A. Arnold as officers, and Rev. A. B. Nichols was called to the rectorate the same year. His salary was limited to five dollars and expenses for each visitation. The records are somewhat misty and incomplete, but the services were held in the firemen’s hall until a lot was purchased by the committee (Mrs. William H. West, J. G. Campbell and James McKinney) on East Chillicothe avenue, and a frame chapel erected, which was consecrated January, 1879, by
Bishop Bedell. With some fluctuations of fortune through which the parish maintained an existence, kept alive by a latent germ of loyalty and faith, the year 1893 was reached, bringing to the rectorate for ten succeeding years the Rev. J. W. Thompson. In 1903 he retired, and Rev. Thomas G. C. McCalla followed him. The roof of the old chapel had by this time been pronounced unsafe, and the building was sold to Frank I. Gray and converted to mercantile uses, while a new church site was purchased on the corner of East Sandusky and Park streets. The cornerstone of the new church was laid July 23, 1917, by Bishop Leonard, and the name of the parish then changed from Trinity to Holy Trinity. The first service in the new church was held in July, 1908. The succeeding rectors of the parish, after the retirement of Rev. McCalla in 1909, have been Rev. S. Powell, October 1909 to October 1915, Rev. John Stuart Banks, February 1912 to March 1915, Rev. John Williamson, March 1915, to May, 1918; Rev. William Seitz, came to the Bellefontaine parish in June, 1918. The present vestry is: John E. Miller, senior warden; Claude Southard, junior warden; Charles Lentz, clerk; William Wissler, treasurer; and Harry Loth. The new church is of rough gray stone with red tiled roof, and the architecture is true to churchly traditions, very simple, yet modern withal. Instead of a tower, an arch, in the old mission mode, seems to invite the hanging of a bell.
The Reformed Presbyterian or Covenanters' church in Bellefontaine was organized about the later seventies and the Rev. Finley M. Foster was installed its first pastor, in the little brick church which was the original home of the Presbyterians, and which the Church of Christ had been using for some years. The congregation is not large, but numbers some of Bellefontaine's staunchest citizens. Rev. Foster retired from the pastorate in August, 1887, after which no incumbent was of long residence for a number of years. In the early part of August, 1900, Rev. J. M. Faris accepted a call to this charge, taking rank at once as one of the strongest members of the Ministerial Association in Bellefontaine. He died in the autumn of 1918, respected and esteemed by all who knew him. His (page 245) place has not as yet been filled, and this church is without a pastor. The Church of the Brethren was erected as a mission in 1907, and became a regularly organized congregation in 1909. Their building, on South Detroit street, is a neat chapel of cement construction. Rev. Abraham Horst and Rev. Josiah Weaver occupied the charge for the first few years, but for more than half the time since its organization the church has been without a regular pastor, and the present minister, Rev. William Tinkle, who came to the charge in August, 1918, has had but a short time in which to put new vigor into his little flock. The membership is now fifty, and is on the increase, while the general outlook is encouraging. The A. M. E. church on South Main street, is a neat structure, well attended by its people. Rev. W. P. Myers is its pastor. At the Second Baptist church (colored) Rev. J. M. Green is pastor. The regular pastor of the Wesleyan Methodist church is Rev. E. W. Benton, and the church stands on West Sandusky street. Fraternal, patriotic, civic and philanthropic organizations in Bellefontaine are in equal alignment with such movements in the average city, with a few points of special interest to mark some of them. The secret orders, Knights Templars, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, are all of old standing, doing the work usually expected of these societies, and aid perhaps to an unusual extent in the efforts of other charities. The orders of Sons of Temperance and Good Templars were also organized in the earlier days of the struggle against the liquor evil, dating as far back as the forties, and giving place to the more modern movements in that direction which came into prominence after the Civil War.
The first of all the philanthropic bodies to organize was the Women's Christian Temperance Union, formed originally by the association of about five women who had taken leading parts in the great woman's crusade in 1873-4. Among the number were Mrs. J. R. Smith and Mrs. Thomas W. Riddle. The date of organization is not positive, but the later seventies doubtless saw the initial steps of the movement, for the state convention of the Union was held in Bellefontaine in 1883. The work gathered force, and membership increased for a number of years, but as other societies began to form, interest became divided, and four or five years ago only twenty-eight members might have been counted. Since the election of Mrs. Mary B. Yoder to the presidency, four years ago, there has been a revival of interest, and the Bellefontaine branch now numbers two hundred members, while in the county at large there are one hundred and ninety more. The Bellefontaine contingent contributed one hundred dollars to the "dry" campaign fund last year, the county members adding seventy-one dollars. In addition to this the local W. C. T. U. has adopted a French war orphan, money has been sent to the "economy kitchens" and to the W. C. T. U. ambulance in France. Mrs. Yoder, the president, is also state lecturer and organizer in Ohio. The vice president is Mrs. Charles Gregory; treasurer, Mrs. W. H. Bushong; secretary, Mrs. W. S. Hamilton. The county president is Mrs. W. S. Jones of Bellefontaine. In every struggle at arms since the war of 1812. Logan county (page 246) has given of its sons to the defense of the nation without stint. There went from this commonwealth, in the war for the Union, more than two thousand soldiers, out of its then scant population of 20,342. The first Logan county soldier to fall in that struggle was Eugene Reynolds, and in his honor the Grand Army Post No. 441 was named, upon its establishment in May, 1884. There were then but thirty-four charter members, of whom but six are now living. The membership grew until at its highest point it reached three hundred and sixty, but each year subsequent to that has seen the number decrease, until now there are but thirty-four members left. Of the more than thirty who rode in last year's parade, "taps" have been sounded for four.
The Women's Relief Corps organized in Bellefontaine in September, 1886, charter 156, with ten members, Mrs. Mary Wilkinson, president. The chaplain, Catherine Humphreys, and the guard, Mattie W. Roebuck, are all that are left of this number. This organization has numbered and still numbers some of Bellefontaine's ablest women, who are carrying along the work that is left them with the ardent faith of old. In 1901 the State Encampment was won for Bellefontaine by the famous impromptu speech of Mrs. J. Q. A. Campbell, who pledged at the Findlay Encampment "a feather pillow for every old soldier's head" in the name of the women of Logan county. And the pledge was kept. Mrs. Campbell is now the treasurer of the corps ; Mrs. Samuel Cooper, the president, and Mrs. A. N. Jenkinson, the secretary. The W. R. C. provide the flag for the "High Point" flagpole, on the C. D. Campbell farm. "Will Riddle" Camp, No. 23, Sons of Veterans, was chartered in January, 1898, with twenty-three members. A "Woman's Auxiliary" to the camp was also organized a few years later under charter .79, dated April 27, 1901.
An organization usually regarded as wholly religious, the Order of the King's Daughters and Sons was started in Bellefontaine about thirty years ago, in 1889 or early in 1890, "for spiritual culture" and for "silent service," the number being at first limited to ten members. The first circle of ten was named the "Alpha" and the charter members were Bertha Powell (Stuckenberg), Mrs. George Emerson (Coulter), Mrs. Henry Whitworth, Georgia Coulter, Mrs. John E. West, Annie Price, Anna Colton, Emma Byers (deceased), Mrs. Clara G. West (deceased), and Mrs. Anson Carter. This was the first purely charitable work organized here which had no limitations, except the need of the object. This society so exactly filled a long felt want that the circle was soon enlarged to twenty members, and as time has passed three additional circles of equal magnitude have been formed, the St. Cecilias in 1899, the Dorcas circle in 1908, and the Agape, early in 1913. To avoid over-lapping of the charities of the circles, who have grown into the place usually occupied by the Associated Charities of other cities, a City Union was organized of all existing circles, to act as a clearing house and to carry on the movement for a visiting nurse more effectively. The order had already made the care of the needy sick one of its chief objects, and had borne the expenses of many individual cases at homes and at hospitals. In 1912 the Red Cross Christmas seals were first sold (page 247) in Bellefontaine with this end in view. Through successive sales, aided by systematic contributions from the fraternal orders, and from the Presbyterian and other church brotherhoods, and the co-operation of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Agency, and the liberality of private individuals, the public health nurse has now become an established institution in Bellefontaine, Miss Josephine Cunningham, who resigned after the completion of one successful year, having been at once replaced by her sister, Miss Amy Cunningham. Miss Steckel, who preceded them in a six-months' service, was called to Red Cross war service. St. Cecilia circle inaugurated a sewing class, at one of the public schools, which led to the adoption of domestic science training in the schools. In spite of the motive of "silent service" the work of the King's Daughters has grown to such proportions that a certain degree of publicity now necessarily obtains. Mrs. Margaret Riddle is the senior member of the order, and as leader of Alpha Circle has been held in high reverence for a long term of years.
The Bellefontaine chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, organized June 15, 1910, with eighteen charter members. The first regent was Miss Mary Powell, and vice regent, Mrs. Rebecca Williams; treasurer, Mrs. Gorton Scarff, all since deceased; secretary, Miss Dade Kennedy; registrar, Blanche Hamilton; historian, Nellie Huston; directors, Mesdames Ellis, Jones and West. The local work done by the organization is in line with the ethics of the order, and briefly stated, has been the marking of Hull's trace by a bronze tablet set in a natural boulder at the old McPherson home site. They have supported a French orphan during two years of the war, and are prepared to assist in the restoration of the ruined village of Tilloley, in France. There is also a project, which has been delayed by the war work, to erect a memorial entrance to Rutan park, in honor of Mrs. Rebecca Williams. Mrs. Martha McPherson Miller, of Lewistown, who died December, 1918, was a member of this chapter, the only real "daughter" left in the country. The membership, January, 1919, numbers forty-six, and the officers of today are: Mrs. J. W. Young, regent; Mrs. Charles D. Campbell, vice regent; Mrs. R. M. Wissler, secretary ; Helen Patterson, treasurer ; Mabel Walker, registrar ; Mrs. D. B. Leonard, historian ; directors, Mesdames Harriet Jones, J. J. Anderson and J. S. Deemy.
A city federation of women's clubs was formed in the winter of 1913-14, the idea originating, locally, with Mrs. Lewis Pettit, of the Tourist Club, who became-the first federation president. The constitution, adopted February 21, 1914, states the purpose of the federation to be the promotion of public welfare, and the work of the organization has been to assist financially in civic welfare movements, having taken for a special motive, the establishment of playgrounds for the growing boys and girls of Bellefontaine. The playgrounds have been operated, at the South and West schools. Eleven clubs are united in the federation as follows : Tourist, Sunnebah, Athenian, Woman's Franchise League, Woman's Literary Club, Woman's Club, Swastika, Economics, Onaway, Edelweiss and Art Clubs, all study organizations. The officers are: President, Mrs. (page 248) W. M. Stamats; first vice president, Mrs. C. F. O'Donnell; second vice president, Mrs. E. M. Hamilton ; secretary, Miss Etta McCormick; treasurer, Mrs. Margaret Barton.
The Woman's Franchise League was organized in Bellefontaine in January, 1912, following a preliminary meeting held at the home of Mrs. Martha Fehl and Miss R. Eva Byers at which, by co-operation with the W. C. T. U., Mrs. Florence D. Richard addressed the women, and a permanent organization was effected, with Miss Florine Folsom as president, the name "Woman's Franchise League" being chosen at a later meeting. The Constitutional Convention being in session in Columbus at the time, the supporters of equal suffrage had taken new hope of success for a suffrage amendment, and a canvas of the Bellefontaine tax duplicate having disclosed eight hundred and fifteen women taxpayers in the city, the local Franchise League was given a strong point of attack for their initial campaign. Though supported by the opinions of two great presidents-Thomas Jefferson, who said, "A government is, not complete that withholds from its women what it gives to its most benighted men," and Abraham Lincoln, who said, "I go for all sharing the privileges of the government who assist in bearing its burdens-by no means excluding women," the franchise movement was by no means a popular one in the start. But in the seven years just closing (1919) great headway has been gained, and public support is still growing apace. The daily papers have been generous in space and comment, public speakers of note have been heard at the Chautauqua, at the county fairs and at meetings held in public places as well as in private homes, and in schools. Among a long list of famous women workers along this line, the visit of Rosalie Jones and Elizabeth Freeman of New York City, in the little yellow wagon, is certain to be remembered. The passage of the twenty-third amendment became at once the objective of the Leagues' efforts in 1912, and succeeding in the convention at Columbus, the local suffrage women braved the criticism of the public by working at the polls at the September election, passing out the "vote yes" cards. The amendment was lost, but in 1914 an amendment having again been petitioned for by the State Suffrage Association, the local Franchise League secured the signatures of fifteen hundred and forty voters of Logan county for its passage. Again the amendment was lost, but with a decided gain over the vote of 1912. The result was simply harder work, and the inauguration of a campaign of public education, by means of public lectures, the newspapers, distribution by mail and personally, of suffrage literature, and by a study of civil government and parliamentary law on their own part, in classes. Efforts have not been confined solely to suffrage questions, however, but lectures have been given and classes conducted, under their auspices, in the "cold-pack" canning processes, the preservation of wild bird life, and kindred subjects, while a large amount of literature from the state board of health has been distributed on the prevention of tuberculosis and "How to Save the Babies."
The Franchise League has never been connected, in any way, with the old "Congressional Union," nor with the "Woman's (page 249) Political Party" of militant notoriety. It is a member of the City Federation of Women's Clubs, and works only along the most enlightened lines. It has been supported by the best brains and wisest women of Bellefontaine, among whom foremost mention should be made of Mrs. Mary Phillips Koogle, who is of the same lineage as the great reformer, Wendell Phillips, who long ago lifted his voice for equal suffrage; while the active workers and influential members include such names as Mesdames Martha Byers Fehl, Celia A. Inskeep, Margaret Stillwell, Strayer Pool, Estelle H. Campbell, Rosa Hall, Henry Switzer, Mary Henry, Oscar McLaughlin, Jessie Gibson, C. C. Yule, Juliette McLaughlin, Alice Rankin, Maggie Watson Ginn and Mary Jeffries and Misses Dr. Carrie Richeson, Mary Craig, Mary A. Cheever, May McReynolds, Alice Hamilton, Sarah A. Knight, R. Eva Byers, Florine Folsom, Mary McElree, Sarah Henry, Ida May Moore and Cloris Aikin.
The Railroad Young Men's Christian Association of Bellefontaine was organized in 1900, and the headquarters, erected in the vicinity of the Big Four shops, was opened and dedicated January 10, 1901, for the benefit of railroad men resident and running between Cleveland and Indianapolis. Mr. Edward Hamilton, international secretary of R. R. Y. M. C. A.'s had supervision of the construction and planning of the institution, his wide experience enabling him to provide the home-like atmosphere desirable. The f irst board of managers were: Chairman, A. N. Jenkinson; Dr. J. H. Wilson, J. Belser, Will Spittle and Henry Myers, the first secretary being Mr. Pawlings, who was followed by Mr. Imish, Mr. Weaver and J. H. Underkircher, the present secretary, replacing the latter in 1909. The efficiency of the institution has been greatly enlarged since the administration of Mr. Underkircher, although the work has grown steadily from the start. In addition to the original hotel from one to four dwelling houses have been operated as rooming places, and in November, 1914, the downtown hotel headquarters was opened, using the old Bellefontaine Hotel on West Columbus avenue for the purpose. A gymnasium is accommodated here, and the hotel provides more and better rooms than were available in the dwellings previously rented. The association has done a great work in the city, and has been felt in all the war work and other public movements undertaken. In 1918 they provided and erected a fne steel fag pole to mark the highest' point of land in Logan county, and the state of Ohio, the spot being located authentically on the C. D. Campbell farm, a few miles east of the city, on the Jerusalem pike. The fag which few from it was provided by the W. R. C. of Reynolds Post. The membership of the Y. M. C. A. has reached eight hundred. The present board of directors is A. N. Jenkinson, Dr. J. H. Wilson, A. Jay Miller, Fred C. Spittle, Edward G. Costin, W. D. Paul, J. H. Underkircher. The prospects are now bright for the building of a new and modern home for the association in the near future.
The Bellefontaine council of the Knights of Columbus began its life as part of the Sidney, Ohio, council from 1906 until April 1, 1915, when they formed an independent council with fifty charter (page 250) members, a number which has grown until now (1919) there are eighty-six members, taking no account of those who have come and gone in the interim. Primarily formed to provide proper social atmosphere for the young men of St. Patrick's parish, the council has during the late war broadened its scope and co-operated with the entire community in all the war drives and relief work, and has also raised separate funds for the maintenance of moral uplift work in the army camps and cantonments in this country and overseas. Twenty-two of the eighty-six members have been in army service, part of the number being still in France. John A. Sugrue, present Grand Knight, represented the council on the board of the War Chest drive, when the Red Cross, Y. M. C. A., K. of C., Jewish Welfare and Salvation Army joined hands to raise funds for the support of all.
The remaining officers of the council are: Deputy grand knight, Christopher Rath ; chancellor, Harry Sellars ; guards, M. J. Brophy, and Anthony Fisher; advocate, T. M. Shea; recording secretary, Edward Brandenburg; financial secretary, Francis J. Brennan; trustees, T. A. Hennesy, M. J. Brophy and William Purcell. Industry in Bellefontaine began with log cabin building, in which for the greater part "every man was his own architect," at least until he had a roof over his head, when specialization set in. Nathaniel Dodge not only kept a public house, but was Bellefontaine's first shoemaker. Shoes, of course, called for leather, and the first of several tanneries was established by Leonard Houtz and Jacob Staley, outside the southwest corner of the town plat. The very first saddler was justice Edwards-also known in the county as a school teacher. He was soon competed with in the saddlery business by Martin Shields, and by a man named Chevalier. Abner Riddle was a journeyman saddler in the Chevalier shop about 1826, but did not locate permanently in the county seat at *that time. William Powell was the first carpenter and cabinet maker, and though not written down as an undertaker, he made coffins, using the native walnut from the Marmon sawmill in Mad river valley.
The first blacksmith was Thomas Good, who had a shop on East Chillicothe avenue, nearly opposite the site of the first Episcopal chapel. John Powell was the first tailor, in a community where homemade buckskin breeches prevailed. Jacob Powell was a gunsmith. But these were only the "first." Many a rival establishment was opened as the village grew. The blacksmithies developed into wagon shops. A distillery and, after awhile, a brewery started up outside the old corporation limits, but these long ago "died the death."
From William Powell's shop to Stupp's and Kennedy Brothers', or from John Powell's to the tailors, clothiers and haberdashers of modern Bellefontaine-Geiger, Wolfheim, Parker, Hamilton & Co. and others-seems a far cry, but every line presents the same degree of progress, both in trade and manufacture. In the industrial history of Bellefontaine one line of (page 251) manufacture has from the first occupied a major part of the field, and while at the present time other lines have risen to equal rivalry, vehicle making is still a distinguishing industry in Bellefontaine, and one for which this city is known in every part of the United States among buyers and manufacturers.
Beginning with the pioneer blacksmiths, who of necessity became wheelwrights and wagon makers to supply the needs of the times, rising prosperity created a market which could better be supplied by local manufacture than by any other means; and a demand for vehicles of a high grade came as quickly, for the settlers of Logan county were but a generation removed from the refinements of the oldest civilization in America, and had no process of evolution to pass through in this regard. They knew what they wanted. Whether the shop of William Pollock on Detroit street, in which he followed blacksmithing, wheel and wagon making, or the little brick shop on East Chillicothe street at the site of the Leister JoHantgen residence was the first permanent home of the industry, is indeterminate and of no importance. Both were early enough to claim the honor of pioneering. But the distinguishing line of manufacture begun at the latter place by the Emery brothers, John, Peter and George, who came to Bellefontaine in 1849, deserves frst mention. Their specialty was pleasure vehicles, originally and elaborately designed, and usually made to order. Carriages of every description were made, every part of the work being produced in the local factory. The luxuriousness of finish, fittings and trappings can scarcely be conveyed here, but an immediate fame followed the industry which spread afar. Many people still remember vividly the celebrated "swan sleigh"-designed and made by the Emerysa creation of white and gold, with its sides fashioned in the sweeping lines of a floating swan, with gorgeous cushionings, in which the gay youth of Bellefontaine swept over the snowy highways, the envy of all beholders. It ended its days (which were long in the land of Logan) in a sombre coat of black, but the merry parties it carried enjoyed it none the less. The Emery brothers began their work in the shop on East Chillicothe avenue, but soon built larger quarters on the east side of Detroit street, where, in 1853, Amos Miller, who came to Bellefontaine from Cleveland, Ohio, had established himself in the carriage industry in the Pollock shop on the west side. Both factories grew, and after a period of several years the Emery brothers withdrew from the field while still in the high tide of success, to engage in less strenuous pursuits, while Amos Miller's brothers, David J., Jacob N. and Samuel P. Miller, all of Wayne county, Ohio, came to join him in the more extensive manufacture of carriages and pleasure vehicles which he had planned. Miller Brothers then became the leading firm in this line, and held the center of the field for more than thirty years following. They were the patentees of the famous "Eureka" jump-seat buggy, which had a popularity as wide as the country, and were the originators of the carriage body business, to which they turned their attention exclusively, incorporating under the name of the Miller Carriage Company. Some degree of unwisdom in promoting too many novelties in style, the sudden uprise of the automobile (page 252) trade, and, chiefly, advancing age finally brought this time-honored business to an end about twenty years ago. Amos Miller died March 6, 1910, and David J. Miller (father of Charles Miller), now eighty-nine years of age, is the only one of the Miller brothers surviving.
The A. J. Miller and Company Auto Bodies plant, which now occupies quarters with some hundred thousand square feet of floor space under roof, is not an outgrowth of the former Miller establishments, although Alfred J. Miller ("Allie" Miller), the sole proprietor, is the son of Amos Miller. The present business was begun in a small shop at the site of the King buggy repair shop on Detroit street, in which Mr. Miller, then nineteen years of age, opened for business on his own initiative and "capital." Before so very long the business had outgrown this little shop and was moved to the old Everett tannery, where C. L. Robb's factory now stands. This place being destroyed by fre April 19, 1890, Mr. Miller purchased the Byers property lying in the angle of the railway tracks south of the Big Four depot, where he erected the frame part of the present large plant. More ground was added presently, and the property now comprises seven acres, part of which is neatly parked. The business has been enlarged from time to time since 1890, and since 1911 has been devoted exclusively to the manufacture of auto bodies, of which practically every variety is made, for civil and military uses, the chief line now being ambulances, hearses and a complete line of motor driven vehicles for the undertaking trade. Work is done by contract for auto manufacturers, and for the direct purchaser, and the entire process from start to finish is completed in this factory, the bodies leaving it ready for the chassis. The Miller factory also assembles a chassis of its own, known as the "Miller."
Various other vehicle concerns have flourished and gone their way during the decades, the little shop on East Chillicothe having accommodated, successively, after the Emerys, Younglove and McLaughlin; Fossler, Green and Company; Falte, Green and Company ; H. C. Garwood and Company (1883) ; Kingsbury and Crockett (1893) ; Kingsbury and Rawlings for awhile, the Kingsbury firm removing in 1908 to their present location between Auburn and Patterson streets, west of Main, where the Kingsbury buggy and auto works does a repair and rebuilding business. Joseph JoHantgen, who originally came to Bellefontaine to enter the Miller brothers factory, established himself in business in the Detroit street quarters, and now occupies both the old Emery and the Miller sites, in a prosperous business along auto repairing lines. The Miller works was moved to the old Bellefontaine skating rink, which stood of East Chillicothe avenue near where is now the residence of W. T. Haviland, and from there to the empty building of the defunct woolen mill, which has since been converted into a mattress factory. In the old chapel of the United Presbyterians, on Detroit street, David J. Miller at one time engaged in the carriage business with a son-in-law of Amos Miller, Mr. Kiplinger, the place being occupied afterward by Barker and Foulk in the same line, while, eleven years ago, Harry W. Eaton took the building and continued (page 253) the industry until 1916, when he changed it to automobile repairing. The Dodge Brothers Motor car has its agency there. Other temporary firms in this line have been Duddy, Fossler and Goodwin, Duddy and Goodwin, and O. S. Goodwin. The original Pollock establishment on Detroit street was removed to the neighborhood of the Colton mill-not then built. Lawrence Rausenberger, a boy born and reared in Logan county, on a farm near DeGraff, was always of the type who "wanted to see the wheels go around," and after the death of his father, he removed with his mother to Bellefontaine. Here he learned the machinist's art and was employed in the A. J. Miller factory, where his unusual ability and originality were constantly in evidence. At this period he conceived an idea for an airplane motor, for which he made his own patterns, assembling the castings, and, collaborating with a young colleague from Vermont, who built the plane, after which the whole was successfully tried out in public and exhibited at the Logan county fair in 1913, and at other points. The flights were made by the partner, who, though an expert, lost his life in an accident soon after. Young Rausenberger, diverted from the thought of becoming an aviator, continued the perfecting of his motor, which became recognized by experts as superior, and certain features of it were adopted in the "Liberty" motor, assembled under government supervision for army airplane use.
With the gradual decline of the great lumbering camps and sawmills in Logan county, the more modern of the latter attracted woodworking industries which availed themselves of the machinery. In connection with the Mack Dickinson sawmill in the northwest part of Bellefontaine, N. H. Walker in 1879 erected a saw, scroll and planing mill, where furniture parts were manufactured in the rough, and where the manufacture of chairs was begun, although the unfinished product was chiefly shipped to frms in New York and Boston. The firm collapsed, however, and the plant was idle in the eighties, when the father of W. T. Haviland purchased it; and in 1886 the firm of Chichester and Haviland (junior) came to Bellefontaine and embarked in the manufacture of chairs, using the Walker building. Their product was begun and finished in the local plant. Several years of prosperous business ensued, but in the financial depression of 1893 the manufacture was discontinued. The building was later sold by Haviland, senior, to the Citizens' Ice and Supply Company, a regularly organized stock concern, whose officers and directors are Nevin U. Smith, president; W. T. Haviland, vice-president ; Charles H. Zearing, secretary, treasurer and manager ; John E. Miller, W. G. Wissler. The affairs of the company may be briefly termed "one hundred per cent solid," with a fine surplus, and paid, at the end of the last year, an eight per cent dividend on stock.
The warehouses of Keller & Gebby in Bellefontaine are the oldest in the county, built about 1850, by David Boyd, operated by Douglas & Gardner for some time, then by Boyd & Ghormley, and later by David Boyd & Sons, who controlled it for a period of (page 254) from twenty to thirty years, or until 1886, when the plant and business was sold to Armstrong, Elliott & Co., D. C. Keller being the "company." After three years Mr. Elliott retired from the firm, which Mr. Frank Dowell then entered, the name changing to Armstrong, Keller & Co., under which business was conducted from 1889 to 1899. As Keller & Dowell the firm continued from 1899 to 1906, when Elmer R. Gebby replaced Mr. Dowell-and he firm of Keller & Gebby is now entering its thirteenth successful year. Thus nearly seventy years' continuous elevator shipping and storage business has been carried on from this historic plant, which is the largest concern of its nature within a wide circle. Branch plants are located at Bellecentre, New Richland and Huntsville, and the business done here is commensurate with the importance of Bellefontaine as a commercial center. Grain, seed, wool, coal, hay and builders' supplies are the lines handled.
The A. R. Kerr & Co. warehouse business was founded in 1870, by R. S. Kerr & Co., and operated under that name until 1895, when it was changed to Kerr Brothers, who maintained the same lines of trade and shipping until 1915. The death of R. S. Kerr occurring in May, 1915, the firm was reorganized, becoming A. R. Kerr & Co., A. R. Kerr being the son of the founder. Coal, grain, wool and feed are the lines of commerce now engaged in by the firm. The present warehouse and office stands south of Auburn street, extending south to the alley, but formerly was situated on the north side of Auburn, on railroad ground, using a part of the space once occupied by the old "Bee Line" roundhouse. It then covered the historic Blue jacket spring, the water from which was piped into the office of the warehouse for drinking purposes. In the old roundhouse days, the same spring furnished water for the engines of the road, the. once well-known Michael Kelly operating the pumping engine which kept the tank filled. Also, it was the water from this spring which played a major part in subduing the great conflagration of 1856, when Bellefontaine narrowly escaped being wiped from the map, the "Bucket Brigade" maintaining a line of water from the spring to the fire. After all this service, it seems hardly credible that this flowing fountain of pure water should be hidden away in the debris of a neglected spot. It is, however, still there in the old place, though tightly covered, and requiring a six-inch pipe to conduct its waters to a sewer. Bellefontaine owes it to itself to bring the forgotten fountain to light and perpetuate it. The lumber market in Bellefontaine is supplied by two concerns, the oldest of which is of long history, having its beginnings in the firm of Hoge, Williamson and Brown. In 1876 this firm became, by deaths and reorganization, Williamson and LeSourd. At Mr. Williamson's death, Mr. LeSourd took his sons into partnership, the frm becoming A. LeSourd and Sons, and the business is now conducted as "The A. LeSourd Sons company," Mr. LeSourd senior having departed this life in 1914. The LeSourd company have played an important part in the building up of Bellefontaine, erecting, upon their own initiative, many houses of which the increasing population of the city gladly availed themselves. Other firms who deserve special mention in this connection are the real (page 255) estate firms of Carter brothers, and Hamilton brothers, both of which have built extensively, providing homes for the rapid influx of industrial forces in the city. The second lumber concern is the Logan County Lumber company, which is the largest lumber warehouse in the county, and operates a wood-working department at its headquarters on Patterson street. This plant was established by the Peter Kunz company about fifteen years ago (in 1904), with capital largely local, and the manager is Mr. E. Ray Allebaugh, a business man of high standing.
The O'Brien Stone company of Bellefontaine, is an important industry, manufacturing crushed and pulverized limestone from domestic sources, as well as cut and building stone, which is imported. The headquarters of the company is located near the original quarries of Logan county, west of Bellefontaine.
The Bellefontaine Bridge and Steel company was organized and incorporated about 1890, and began business on Garfield street, at the vicinity of the Bell Novelty company and the Grabiel apple warehouse. After a few years a new location, where space was less expensive, became desirable and a new plant was erected, around which the growing suburb of Iron City has clustered, the land being platted into lots for the homes of employees. The plant was destroyed by fire in 1906, but the company almost immediately rebuilt, on a larger scale, to meet the increasing business prospects. This concern has been a boon to the city of Bellefontaine, as it has furnished steady employment since its beginning, and under the efficient management of Mr. John E. Miller, who entered the employ of the company in 1895, coming here from his native state, Vermont, it has become a great financial success. The product, which is normally devoted to bridge and structural steel, will be resumed as soon as the government contracts for war materials are completed. Fully one hundred employees are kept busy at the plant. The capital stock, which originally was $10,000, has grown to $150,000. The officers and board of directors at present stand as follows : president, John L. Longfellow; vice-president, F. E. Milligan ; secretary-treasurer and general manager, John E. Miller; Dr. W. S. Phillips and George P. Worrell.
The Colton Brothers company, merchant millers, is the oldest mill in Bellefontaine, and the largest by far in the county, covering nearly two acres enclosure, and standing on its original site between the railroad tracks, fronting on Columbus street west. The personnel of the original firm was Robert and Joseph Colton, who built the mill in 1869, since which date the business has been continuous for practically fifty years, with steady growth. The original mill operated with old-fashioned "buhrs," but in the summer of 1918 the capacity of the mill was greatly enlarged by the installation of a three hundred horsepower engine, supplemented by an oil engine of one hundred horsepower, the flour milling capacity now being six hundred barrels daily, and corn meal and feeds, two hundred barrels: About one hundred tons of corn and other feeds can be turned out daily, when desired. The average output of four is in the neighborhood of one hundred thousand barrels annually. The warehouse has room for storing about one hundred thousand bushels of grain. The (page 256) product goes southeast into the Virginias and Carolinas, and also far to the northeast, exports to England and Scotland in normal times, being extensive. During the war with Germany shipping has been under government supervision. The Colton brothers were in active business connection with the mill until the death of Robert Colton in the spring of 1918, and that of Joseph Colton in the spring of 1917. The business was incorporated in 1900, and the personnel of the present firm is: Edwin M. Colton, president; Alfred S. Colton, vice-president; C. J. Pierce, secretary ; H. K. Humphrey, treasurer and manager.
The question of why a county so noted for wool production as Logan does not manufacture an ounce of wool for the trade is not yet satisfactorily answered. Attempts have been made in this direction, but from no vital cause have failed. The Peerless Bedding company now occupies a building which was erected by John F. Miller for a woolen mill, and which prospered for a time, but failed because the proprietor, a saloon-keeper, was more interested in wildcat mining schemes than in wool manufacture, and sacrificed the industry to the injury of others as well as himself. The building was idle for some time, or used for temporary manufacturing endeavors, then occupied by the Miller brothers' carriage body works, and finally, at the suggestion of an outside investor, opened up about 1900 as a mattress factory in charge of Howenstine and Huston, who engaged a capable manager and included the manufacture of comforts and pillows in the industry, which grew rapidly to a volume worth hundreds of thousands annually. The present manufacturers of the same lines, incorporated in 1911, and the building is rented to them. The firm was re-organized in 1914, and now stands as Bennett and Goodfellow, after several changes in its personnel. Bennett and Goodfellow are sterling business men and their product is of sterling manufacture, consisting of mattresses of cotton, wool and "silk fibre," the latter known by the trade name of "Kapoc." Pillows are made both of feathers and of cotton. A government contract for fifteen thousand beds is just now, January, 1919, being brought to completion.
Other industries which have become prominent and are growing in magnitude and importance are the J. L. Simpson company, iron castings ; the Ironwood Manufacturing company, machine products ; the Clingerman machine shop ; the Humphrey Bronze and Aluminum company, and the Kaufman Metal Parts company; all of which are adding to the material prosperity of Bellefontaine, and all of which have been doing important war work for the government during the two years past.
It seems unnecessary to say that the really great financial tower of strength in Bellefontaine is the pay-roll of the Big Four shops and terminal, and the division offices. These plants, located in Bellefontaine in 1890 for the now trifling bonus of one hundred thousand dollars voted by the citizens, are at present more than equal, in dollars and cents returned, to all the other industries in the city. More than half a million dollars annually are being poured into Bellefontaine by means of the Big Four pay-roll. The great terminals have been enlarged in the season just past (1918), and still greater (page 257) additions are planned. The third foor of the beautiful Canby block is occupied, entire, by the division offices.
A commercial asset of decided importance to Bellefontaine is the wholesale groceries concern of F. N. Johnson & Co., which occupies its own large warehouse on West Chillicothe street.
It was established in 1900, and is not only the first but the only wholesale house in this line in Logan county, and is operated by a live wire company, the officers of which should be given the credit they are too modest to claim. The officers and board of directors are: president and manager, F. N. Johnson; vice-president, L. A. Chapman (Lima, Ohio) ; secretary-treasurer, A. L. Kendall ; Emil Geiger, Max Kaufman, and J. L. Longfellow. With practically the same personnel, the F. N. Johnson Maple Syrup company (an entirely separate firm) was formed in 1917, which operates branch plants in Geauga county and in Essex, Vermont. Charles McLaughlin and A. P. Johnson are included in this board of directors. A new industry or line of commerce recently opened in Bellefontaine is the hides and pelts depot of the Brown brothers, which bids fair to promote the local welfare by centralizing the product of Logan county in this line.
Of the industry of the county at large, which is pre-eminently agricultural in character, two elements may be broadly said to have contributed chiefly to its development, the Sheep Breeders' association and its successor, the Logan County Woolgrowers' association, and the Logan County Fair association. The sheep and wool industry had the encouragement of judge Lawrence, whose interest in and knowledge of these questions was of the greatest value and developed early; and the county fair, which, with the possible lapse of one or two seasons, has been held annually for seventy years or more, has promoted agriculture in all its lines, as well as the fine and homely arts of farm and domestic life. The Granges, also, have been a benefit to the rural communities.
Bellefontaine banks and loan companies occupy an enviable position in the public confidence which is well deserved, for it has been won entirely upon merit and not through advertising. Financial gales have passed over this city as well as others, but its banks have weathered them all without harm.
The oldest financial institution in Logan county is the People's National bank, which was first organized as a private firm in 1854, by William Rutan and Abner Riddle, under the firm name of Rutan and Riddle, and, with re-organizations at different milestones along the way, has had an uninterrupted existence ever since that date. The firm employed Robert Lamb as cashier, and as the People's bank the business was conducted. After a few years Mr. Lamb was taken into the firm, which became Rutan, Riddle & Co., without change of the bank title. At the next re-organization J. B. Williams entered the firm, which did not change name. Reuben B. Keller entered the bank in 1869 as clerk and messenger. In 1880 the bank was again re-organized, being chartered July 1, 1880, as "The People's National bank," with Abner Riddle, president; J. B. Williams, vice-president; Robert Lamb, cashier; Reuben B. Keller, assistant cashier. The bank was capitalized at $100,000, which (page 258) remains the same, while the accumulated surplus and undivided profits approximate at this date (January, 1919) $55,000, with total resources over one million dollars. The newly elected officers are: W. W. Riddle, president; John E. West, vice-president; R. B. Keller, cashier; F. L. Cory, R. B. Hiatt and Ray S. Fisher, assistants.
Mr. Keller is the second cashier in the history of the bank, and the only one left of the working force of the bank when he entered it in 1869. The headquarters of the bank were remodeled, enlarged and modernized in 1908, when special attention was paid to the safe deposit department, which is of the strongest construction, while the general equipment and furnishings of the bank are massive, artistic and commodious.
The earliest Bellefontaine institution to be so chartered, is the Bellefontaine National bank, which was organized in 1870, and opened for business April, 1871, with $100,000 capital. The first president was judge William Lawrence, under whom it was organized, and who retained the presidency until shortly before his death ; vice-president, J. N. Allen ; cashier, James Leister; assistant, and bookkeeper, Charles McLaughlin. At the date of January 1, 1919, the surplus and undivided profits are $47,000, the resources of the bank aggregating close to $1,000,000. From 1909 to 1918, deposits have increased $287,853 to $643,132. Mr. Charles McLaughlin is now the president, Charles S. Hockett, vice-president, Fred C. Spittle, cashier, and S. W. Hufer and Miss Cora Zearing the assistants. The bank was originally housed at the same corner where it now stands, but in the old building which had accommodated the Gazette printing office, and a drug store, Dr. Aaron Hartley being the owner of the property, which was purchased and remodeled to meet the needs of the bank. In 1892 this old building was torn down and the present substantial bank building erected on its site.
The Commercial and Savings Bank company is the youngest of the Bellefontaine banks, being organized April 8, 1901, and opened for business in October of the same year, in the building now occupied by the Emil Geiger clothing house. This position was exchanged several years ago for the situation in the Watson Block at the northeast corner of North Main and Columbus streets, which was remodeled in modern style and with good taste for the banking business. The original directors were Robert Colton, president; Alfred Butler, vice-president; Harry S. Kerr, cashier; Fred C. Spittle, assistant; T. F. Bushey, W. W. Fisher, Mack Dickinson, Edw. W. Patterson, William R. Niven and E. P. Chamberlain. Capital stock, $30,000; surplus and undivided profits, date of December 31, 1918, $30,000; resources, practically a half million. The present officers and board are : Edw. W. Patterson, president ; William T. Haviland, vice-president; Alfred Butler, cashier; Harry E. Travis, assistant. Niven U. Smith, Fred W. Arnold, John R. Cassady, Edw. M. Colton, and Robt. P. Dickinson.
The Citizens' Building and Loan company is the oldest organization of its character in Bellefontaine, having been established January 29, 1885, by Thomas L. Hutchins, president; Isaac N. Zearing, vice-president; Joseph C. Brand, jr., secretary; John B. (page 259) Williams, treasurer ; Ducan Dow, Frank J. Scarf and Patrick F. Dugan. The resources of the institution have grown to full $750,000, according to report of December 31, 1918. Its present board of directors is as follows : I. N. Zearing, president; Charles McLaughlin, vice-president; W. W. Riddle, solicitor; Mary A. Cheever, secretary ; J. D. McLaughlin, C. B. Churchill and R. M. Wissler. The Savings Building and Loan company was organized and established by Capt. William Lane, president, and Corey L. Lane, secretary, in July, 1891, and carried on along the usual lines, becoming a solid institution with total resources, to date, $746,000. Earn
ings and distribution equal about $40,000. Its 1919 organization is: Dr. R. W. Chalfant, president; W. E. Smith, vice-president; John D. Inskeep, secretary; A. Jay Miller, solicitor; Fred C. Spittle and Fremont C. Hamilton, directors.
The Bellefontaine Building and Loan company was organized in 1894, and is now twenty-five years of age. It started business in the second story of the old building which, partially destroyed by f ire some years ago, has been replaced by the new Lawrence block, on South Main street. The company then consisted of Joseph Colton, Anson B. Carter, Alfred Butler, Mack Dickinson, Reuben B. Keller, M. R. Boales and L. E. Corey, first secretary. Joseph Colton and Mack Dickinson, both deceased, have been replaced in the company by Leister JoHantgen and Charles Zearing, while Charles S. Hockett succeeded M. R. Boales, who moved away from Bellefontaine some years ago. The present secretary is F. W. Arnold, under whose management the growth and prosperity of the institution has been almost phenomenal. In the quarters on West Columbus avenue the company is beginning to ft rather tightly, and the business is growing, with loans totaling about one and a half millions, and resources of three million dollars. The Bellefontaine Chamber of Commerce was formed, of representative business and professional men, April 1, 1916. Its purpose is to build up and promote the commercial, industrial and civic interests of the city and community. That it will fulfill its avowed purpose of "a bigger, busier, better Bellefontaine," is assured by the character of its membership. The official organization of the current year is: President, John P. Aikin; vice-president, Myran LeSourd; treasurer, Alfred Butler; secretary, Merlyn R. Whitney; Committees : Business, A. P. Humphreys ; organization, G. E. Underhill ; agricultural, 0. P. Morris ; civic, J. 0. Stiles ; at large, H. K. Humphrey, W. H. Hamilton, George K. Werrell.
It is not the intention of the writer of this article to attempt a detailed account of the rise, progress, and present attainments of each of Logan county's schools, but to treat of their evolution in a general way.
Perhaps the most difficult problem that school men have been trying to solve for the past forty years is what to do with the rural school that it may keep pace with the progressive spirit of the times. The backward look is sometimes a pleasing as well as a profitable (page 260) pastime since it affords us a better realization of what has been done by comparing what was with what is.
The first work of the pioneer of old Logan was providing for the physical welfare of his family. Food, clothing, and shelter were absolute necessities, to furnish which forests must be cleared and drained and arable fields carved from the trackless wilderness. It is a significant fact that in all pioneer settlements, as soon as a comfortable cabin was erected, and a little corn planted, a log school house was rolled up. A cavernous fire place filled the rear end; the outside chimney was made of sticks and mud; the roof, often, of logs chinked with leaves over which a covering of dirt was packed ; the windows were mere slits between the logs, glazed with greased paper; the seats were rude benches hand-made.
What a "Red Letter" day for the entire community was the dedication of this frst Temple of Learning.
"There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule,
The village master taught his little school;
A man severe he was, and stern to view,
I knew him well, and every truant knew;
Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace
The day's disasters in his morning face;
Full well they laughed with counterfeited glee
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;
Full well the busy whisper, circling round,
Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned;
Yet he was kind, or if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault.
The village all declared how much he knew;
'Twas certain he could write, and cipher too:
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage,
And even the story ran that he could gauge.
In arguing, too, the parson owned his skill,
For e'en though vanquished, he could argue still;
While -words of learned length and thund'ring sound
Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around,
And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew
That one small head could carry all he knew,
But past is all his fame. The very spot,
Where many a time he triumphed, is forgot."
Though myriads of bacilli, microbes, and germs of every known variety lurked in the chinks of the walls, or held high carnival in the cracks of the puncheon floors, the unwary rustics thoroughly enjoyed their school life and many of them passed their fourscore milestone before succumbing to heart failure.
The public school system of Ohio was established in 1821, and four years later the first uniform law on school taxes was passed, directing the county commissioners to levy one-half mill for common school purposes, only one-half of which could be expended for a site and a house. Ten years later the maximum amount of schoolhouse tax was fixed at $300. In 1853 the power of taxation for (page 261) schoolhouse construction was vested in boards of education, which resulted in an increased amount available for building purposes. The log house was replaced by one of frame or brick all constructed on the same architectural plan, which of necessity was marked by great simplicity. Of equipment for teaching there was little if any. No attempt was made to beautify either school room or grounds. The three R's may have been well taught; but the spiritualizing influences so necessary to educational uplift were lacking.
The pioneer having settled the country, now began to settle down and improve country life. New methods of communication, better means of transportation, had brought the erstwhile isolated farmer right into the hurry and bustle of the world's work. Newer and better comforts of life were within his reach. His two-roomed cabin had given place to a commodious modern house. His ample barns afforded storage for the greater harvests improved machinery and scientific farming had made possible. No longer was the old 'umber wagon used for social visits or for church going, the carriage or automobile having taken its place. The successful farmer is not satisfied with mere creature comforts. Flowers, shrubbery, and shade trees tastefully arranged on a well-kept lawn indicate his love for the beautiful in nature. Music, pictures, current magazines, and the masterpieces of the best authors, within his home, speak eloquently of higher ideals and a richer country life. But what about the country school house? Has it kept pace with its surroundings? 'Tis true that the old order has changed in many localities, and the improvement of house and grounds has given the country boy and girl a wider outlook and a richer life; but too often the box-car type, with its blank walls and desolate yard, remains.
"Of the many pictures that hang on memory's wall," that of a dilapidated weather-beaten structure seemeth most vivid. The little old building stood on the edge of a ravine back of which were forest trees. One stormy morning, late in November, an old man mounted on a shambling farm horse was slowly approaching this temple of learning, for such it was. Behind the old man sat a terror-stricken young girl. Soon the building was in sight and gathered around its door was a group of eager rustics of every age and size. The zero hour came all too quickly; the horse stopped, the girl dismounted, and twenty pairs of eyes were focused upon her. The very critical examination seemed to result in the unanimous decision that her head could carry all she knew and not be overcrowded. The door was open ; a fire made; the director, mounting his old horse, slowly rode away, and the three months' campaign began. It was fierce, but there were no casualties, though four months slowly rolled by before hostilities ceased along that line.
"Still sits that schoolhouse by the road,
A ragged beggar sleeping;
Around it still the sumachs grow,
And blackberry vines are creeping;
Within the teacher's desk is seen,
Deep scarred by raps official;
The warping floor, the battered seats,
The jack-knife's carved initial;
The charcoal frescoes on its wall;
Its door's worn sill, betraying
The feet that creeping slow to school
Went storming out to playing!
For many years have wintry suns
Shone over it at setting;
Lit up its western window panes,
And low eaves icy fretting."
The writer was delighted to hear recently that the old building had been abandoned and the children of the neighborhood are now conveyed to Jerusalem for instruction.
"Education is a living into better things." The country boy who knows only hard work sees little of the divine joy of rural life. Under the old regime this was too often his portion. Educators had long been considering his case, and at a meeting of the National Educational Association in 1897 the Committee of Twelve on Country Schools reported in favor of consolidation or centralization.
Many good movements often meet with open hostility or at least with indifference and such was the fate of the consolidation idea when first presented in Logan county.
Rural schools in northeastern Ohio, having tried the plan, had found in it higher educational advantages and were publishing abroad the good news. Some of this literature found its way into the hands of two public-spirited young people of Union township, a youth and a maiden, who immediately had a vision. The little "red school house," with its charcoal frescoes, had given place to a two-roomed edifice. On its delicately tinted walls hung choice works of art. A well-filled bookcase graced one side of the room while a table nearby was piled with current literature. The school yard was no longer barren and cheerless, having been transformed into a place of beauty by trees, flowers, vines, and shrubs. The longer they meditated the more enticing grew the vision. Without consulting the wise men of the neighborhood, the young enthusiasts invited a gentleman from Toledo to come and present the subject with all its advantages. They knew the speaker would expect some remuneration, but of course his convincing Words would draw from deep pockets a sum sufficient for all expenses with a surplus for Perry pictures and flower seeds.. The eventful evening came; a capacity house greeted the speaker, who eloquently told what great things were being done elsewhere. The youthful promoters were much elated at first, but long before the gentleman from Toledo concluded they realized by ominous shakes of gray heads and disapproving looks that passing the hat would be useless.
(page 263) "All's well that ends well," and it did for the speaker, the maiden's father coming to the rescue. Union township, however, still supports her original number of one-room rural schools. Logan county was slower than many other counties in adopting the new movement, but in course of time, she, too, fell into line. There are now twelve village and centralized schools, as follows : DeGraff, S. A. Frampton, superintendent; Quincy, Guy Garwood, superintendent; Stokes township, Clyde Lynn, superintendent; Mcarthur, Huntsville, Ohio, H. Maffet, superintendent; Bellecentre, J. Ralph McGaughy, superintendent; Rushsylvania, H. B. Strawsburg, superintendent ; West Mansfeld, Don Pyers, superintendent ; Perry township, J. E. Dunaway, superintendent; Zane township, Panzy Grabiel, superintendent ; Jefferson Township, Mentor Rowand, superintendent; West Liberty, S. H. Stanley, superintendent. These twelve men have the supervision of 114 teachers. All but Stokes maintain first-grade high schools, Stokes having a second grade.
Four of these, Washington, McArthur-Huntsville, Perry, and Zane are wholly centralized. All of Richland township except one district is centralized at Belle Center and McArthur-Huntsville. The first in Logan county to centralize were McArthur-Huntsville and Perry, the former beating the latter by twenty-four hours. To carry into successful effect the new movement requires the remodeling of old structures and the building of new ones. Belle Centre remodeled her grade building this year and has a fine up-to-date high school under process of construction. The new centralized building of Zane, located at Middleburg, is a fine modern structure, containing a large auditorium and a room for domestic science and manual training, though not yet equipped for either. Washington's new building, located at Lewistown, is modern in every respect, equipped for home economics and manual training, having a gymnasium and a large auditorium in which is installed the latest motion-picture equipments. McArthur-Huntsville's building is also modern, its equipment being similar to that of Washington. Monroe township voted centralization in 1917 and a new building is now being constructed, which when completed will close nine more one-room schools.
The war has somewhat interfered with the centralization of schools, but with the dawn of peace, it is hoped that building operations may be resumed and the one-room rural be a thing of the past. By the new school code county boards have the power to make transfers of townships or parts of townships. This means of centralization tends to consolidate schools at trade and social centers. Harrison township in Champaign county is now being attached to the West Liberty district by the joint action of the two county boards. If all goes well, the result will be a centralized school at West Liberty and a new high school building.
The aim of centralization is not to make the rural school a duplicate of the city school, or to abolish it entirely; but, by means of a pleasanter environment and the advantages of a graded system, to enlarge and enrich the life of the country child, and to make the rural school "an expression of the intelligence and pride of the (page 264) community as well as a place to develop both." It is the only plan proposed that deals with the special characteristics of farm life and its facts.
Supervision is an improving factor in the present day rural school. Under the working of the new code, which went into effect in 1914, the schools are under the close supervision of county, district, and village superintendents, who meet monthly to consider plans for the betterment of the schools under their care.
J. W. McKinnon, well known as one of the Ohio's foremost educators, was the first county superintendent. His death occurred during his first term, and A. B. Lynn was then chosen to fill the vacancy, and also served one year afterward. Prof. E. A. Bell, for years a successful teacher in the county, is the present very efficient supervisor. Harry Ansley, also well known throughout the county, is the district superintendent, and has some sixty teachers over whom he must keep a watchful eye.
Another important educational factor is the County Normal, located at West Liberty and established in 1915. H. W. Holycross, formerly of Belle Center, is its most efficient director. Its students are given a year of professional training, free. The average yearly enrollment has been twenty-five. The untrained teacher is almost unknown in Logan county.
All of the village schools are admirably managed. The superintendents are very efficient and each is ably assisted by a corps of excellent teachers. Two of these schools deserve special mention:
De Graf is the only village high school in the county offering chemistry and the only one having the honor to be on the recognized list of the North Central College association. The impress left upon West Liberty's schools by Prof. P. W. Search has deepened through the services rendered by succeeding superintendents and their able assistants. Her high school is now entitled to a place on the accredited list, though it has not, as yet, been formally enrolled thereon.
Bellefontaine is having "a boom" in school building this year, planning to spend $145,000 for remodeling, repairing and building. The East building, erected in 1878 at a cost of $35,000, is being remodeled; the high school and the North, South, and West buildings are to be repaired, and a new building in the southwest section of the city is to be constructed in 1919.
From a copy of the "Bellefontaine Union School Offering," published in 1855, the writer gathered much interesting information regarding the schools of our city when it was but a small village. Among the many items gleaned from that record of the long ago was the startling fact that our town was nearly a quarter of a century old before she had a single public school building.
Prior to the year 1844 Bellefontaine had relied upon employing teachers who furnished rooms for school purposes as necessity might require or opportunity permit. Usually there were schools in different parts of the village. Frequent changes in teachers and schoolrooms, with no uniformity in teaching or in discipline, made it necessary for the rapidly growing town to provide better school facilities. Consequently four brick houses were erected for common school purposes, one house being located in each of the four corners (page 265) of the town, which then covered sixteen blocks. These single room buildings soon filled with pupils of every grade and degree of progress. Classification was impossible, and the schools were conducted with as much success as the unfavorable circumstances permitted. The continued growth of Bellefontaine and the progressive spirit of its citizens demanded better educational privileges for its young people. In 1852, by popular vote, it was determined to levy a sufficient tax for a Union School building; but the tax for that year, having been enjoined, necessary funds were not secured until the following year.
Through the industry and energy of the School Board, consisting of Gen. Isaac S. Gardner, S. B. Taylor, William Thomas, M. D., William D. Scarf, M. D., B. S. Brown, M. D., and A. Casad, a very plain, three-story building was erected and furnished at a cost of $12,000. An excellent superintendent and a corps of eight experienced teachers having been secured, the Union School was formally opened in December, 1854.
The members of the Board of Education were the fathers of the school, watching its growth and progress with all the anxiety of a parent. Their frequent, almost daily, visits encouraged the pupils and strengthened the teachers, as did also the many visits of patrons
The building contained eleven large rooms and an auditorium, not then dignified by so classical a name, but called The Hall. The rooms were seated after the most approved model, and the blackboards were extensive and the best in the state. Included in the furnishings were two pianos, a library, a laboratory, and a geological cabinet.
The course of study for the grades was similar to the one now in vogue, but not so complete. What is lacked was amply provided for in the high school curriculum. The mathematical requirements began with philosophical arithmetic and ended with differential and integral calculus. Nothing of mathematical nature was omitted. All of the 'ologies and 'osophies then known to scientists were included in the scientific course.
Latin and Greek, plenty of both, were offered to gentlemen only. German and French were optional, but ladies were eligible to both. The modern languages were taught by a real German, Prof. Reinhold E. Henninges, whose pupils, from their excellent pronunciation and accuracy in speech, were often taken for native German. He was also the musical director, both instrumental and vocal music being taught.
A commercial college was connected with the Union School. Its faculty consisted of Supt. Parsons, Hon. Benjamin Stanton, Hon. William Lawrence, Hon. William H. West, and Robert Lamb. Instruction was given in bookkeeping and its collateral branches, political economy, commercial law, commercial ethics and penmanship. This extensive course of study required five years for completion. The first and second years constituted the academic department, and the remaining years the collegiate. The course was much simplified long before the writer had any personal acquaintance with the high school.
(page 266) School activities, though not numerous, were not entirely lacking. Connected with the school were three prosperous literary societies, which at the close of each term gave an entertainment in The Hall. The gentlemen displayed their oratorical ability, much attention being then given to public speaking, and the ladies their proficiency in theme writing. Trios, duets and choruses enlivened the exercises.
A few excerpts from "The Offering" show the school spirit of the time:
"Bellefontaine Union School: May it ever prosper and stand first in its onward course. May it spread its fame to an admiring world."-R. P. K.
"Bellefontaine : May it continue to rise until it becomes a city of vast importance."
"Board of Education : Bright shining stars in the literary firmament; may their luster never be dimmed by the clouds of adversity; may they ever be the polar star of the youths of Bellefontaine to guide them over the boisterous waves of life's ocean." "The Bellefontaine Union School Offering : The opening bud of our Union School. May its leaves ever bear the impress of truth, beauty, and intelligence ; may it continue to increase in importance as its contributors do in knowledge; may it never droop for want of sustenance, or be withered by the harsh criticism of the literati ; may it ever bear its truthful motto : `Acknowledged ignorance is the beginning of wisdom.' "
The following is suggestive of the spirit of him who did much in later years to beautify his home town:
"Within the last few weeks there has been considerable improvement in our town of Bellefontaine, and especially that portion called the Public Square. Some beautiful trees have been planted, which not only look well, but are an ornament to the town. May the citizens continue their good works and extend their labors, even to the Union School yard, where such improvement will be duly appreciated, and efficient service rendered in aiding such improvement. Try it and see for yourself."-R. P. K.
"Bellefontaine Union School Bell: Long may it be heard ringing in this pleasant village, calling the youth to their studies. Long Live the Bell !"
Though old and homeless, the bell is not entirely friendless. Many who once heeded its call are now hoping that it may soon resume business at the old stand. Tardiness was not permitted in the early history of the school. The tones of the bell rang out on the clear air for a stated period, then for five minutes it was tolled.
At the last stroke the doors were shut and tardy loiterers were forced to homeward wend their weary way. "The Offering" is considerate and reveals naught of the culprits' reception by father or mother.
All examinations were oral. A board of twenty-four members, consisting of Dr. Jesse Holmes, William H. West, Rev. E. Rafensperger, Hon. Benjamin Stanton, Dr. Lord, William Hubbard, Rev. John Goodlin, C. W. B. Allison, Dr. T. L. Wright, Hon. William Lawrence, N. Z. McColloch, Matthew Anderson, and others, was (page 267) chosen to examine pupils and report on the condition of schools. If the youthful aspirant for promotion satisfactorily answered the questions asked by the examiners and the judgment of the teacher approved the decision of the board, a certificate of promotion was granted, which, if marked O. K. by the teacher to whom it was presented, the child "passed." Rather a unique method of procedure, but surely a conservation of paper, midnight oil, and pedagogical nerve force.
Supervised study hours were unknown. Teachers gently but firmly urged pupils to do their own thinking. If an entire evening was spent in determining how far the hound ran to catch the hare, what did it matter to the boy, so he was in at the death? If it required days to know the horizontal distance between two inaccessible objects, there being no point from which' both could be seen, there was no reason why one should not discover this for himself; necessary measurements being given and a table of logarithmic sines and tangents furnished, time would do the rest.
The school enrollment for the years 1854 and 1855 was 697. The names of R. P. Kennedy and Merrill Miller appear in the catalogue of students. A few years later the name of Julius Chambers was placed on the roll; and later still, that of Brand Whitlock.
In the late fifties the members of the mathematical department were asked to write a short paragraph on a subject interesting to them. The time allotted was fifteen minutes. One member wrote the following:
"May your names be distinguished for the glow of moral sentiments and intellectual attainments. May they adorn the pages of our country's history and shine on like fixed stars in undiminished lustre from age to age."
Has not this wish of the past been largely fulfilled in the present?
The founders of our schools insisted that all the faculties, mental, moral and physical, should be carefully and equally cultivated; that there should be no display in the schoolroom at the expense of more solid attainments. Their motto was "Esse quam videri." With such a beginning, is it any wonder that our schools have attained their present status?
Bellefontaine had one school building in 1878. Now she has six, all up-to-date and well equipped; then her teaching force did not exceed twelve, now there are forty-five names on the teachers' pay-roll ; then its alumni roster numbered fifty-one, now it numbers approximately nine hundred and fifty graduates. Bellefontaine high school is on the accredited list. A fair percentage of her graduates enter some college or normal school. Busy and useful men and women are they, splendidly contributing to the world's work. In recent years the branches of manual training and domestic science have been introduced in the grades, and the studies of agriculture, home economics, public speaking and argumentation have been added to the high school curriculum.
Bellefontaine is very proud of the fact that her schools have furnished to the home town so many teachers whose services, through a long term of years, have never been surpassed. Today (page 268) the principals of her six schools, with one exception, are all home products, ably assisted by many who can claim old Logan as their birthplace. The Bellefontaine schools are under the efficient management of Prof. R. J. Kiefer, superintendent.
The schools of Logan county have played an important part in the world's greatest war. Many brave boys just out of school and others who cast books aside, eagerly answered the call to the colors. Blue stars on service fags have been replaced by golden ones. Many of our stalwart youths have made the supreme sacrifice and now sleep on foreign soil; others will come back to us maimed and weakened for life. Their service was cheerfully given to secure and preserve to others those inalienable rights for which this nation was founded. That their service shall not have been in vain, those that remain must make "governments of the people, by the people, and for the people" safe for the world.
Teachers mould the habits and the ideals of the boys and girls of today who soon shall be the men and women of tomorrow. Not greater intellectual ability, but greater earnestness and a deeper sense of responsibility is now needed in the classroom, that the boys and girls may successfully solve the great problems of the future. The world needs high-minded men who know the right and dare maintain it.
The Past has made possible the Present, which in turn is responsible for the Future. What shall be the future of Logan county's schools?
Belle Center, the rural metropolis of the northern border of the county, has a lively little history all its own. The original purchasers of government land in this vicinity included Duncan McArthur, James Taylor and Walter Dunn. These early purchasers of large tracts sold subdivisions to settlers as they came prospecting for homes, the first among whom appears to have been James Hill and family, who had spent several years in Zanes Town (1810-1817), when they decided to take up a new tract in the virgin lands of the north. By the end of a dozen years there had followed them first, Thomas Rutledge and Thomas Burton, and in their train the names of Dowling, Scott, Thompson, Wilmuth, Hendricks and Hemphill, Wilmuth settling upon the land which became the site of Northwood, Hemphill upon that where the village of Richland was subsequently laid out, while James Boyer became proprietor of a thousand acres which embraced the Indian village of Solomon's Town, now for many years the farm of A. C. McClure.
Daniel Colvin purchased the tract upon which the village of Belle Center now stands. The Powers, Wysons, Grays, Harrods, Clarkes (Rev. Thomas), Brooks, Sesslers, Johnstons and numerous others were also of an early period, and Robert Boyd, Isaac Patterson, Gersham Anderson and Cornelius Jameson had settled there before the end of the thirties. With few exceptions, these families were all from eastern states.
The route of Hull's Trace was followed in opening the first thoroughfare which connected the northern settlements with the rest of the world, beginning at Cherokee, where it was met by a road from the county seat, Bellefontaine, and running to Richland (page 269) village, where it struck off to the northwest. Upon this route, which bridged the swampy portions with stretches of "corduroy" and traversed by the Springfield and Sandusky stage line, John Hemphill dreamed of a fair little town to which the gay yellow coaches (often sadly spattered with black prairie mud, it must be surmised), should bring prosperity. He awoke and platted his dream upon paper, and the town became a reality, of log dwellings, and larger buildings, housing a "general store," and a hostelry surmounted by the sign, "E. Bain. At Home." A postoffice was established at once, Albert Chapman distributing the pioneers' mail. A church was organized, and presently a "frame meeting-house" and then a log schoolhouse reared themselves from among the stumps of the disappearing forest. Johnston and Mitchell opened a larger store, and frame dwellings began to replace the more primitive log architecture.
All this while, a new style of corduroy road, in which the logs were ridden by iron rails, had been creeping from Sandusky down into the valley of the Miami, toward Dayton, at the mouth of Mad river. The survey reached the northern settlements at last, and the tide of little Richland's affairs approached the food. But alas! While Richland hesitated over the small concessions of depot site and water supply, heeding not at all the warnings of its wiser citizens, landholders at Belle Center held forth liberal inducements, and the Mad River railroad built its station on the wide plain there, leaving Richland to slow collapse.
Prosperity hops to the doorsill of those who have the courage to reach out and pluck it. The sugar orchard of 1846 had, in 1847, become Belle Center, a village growing apace. J. S. Johnston had moved hither his "general store," housing it in a building which rested its four corners solidly upon as many sturdy tree stumps.
"Horton's Tavern" was erected about the same time, and the year after the "brick hotel" was built. It took twenty-one years for the village to reach its majority, but it was at last incorporated, and its first election held in 1867.
Its first official family was: J. H. Brown, mayor; T. S. Patrick, recorder ; David Herron, a member of the town council. A Masonic lodge had preceded the incorporation of the town, and the Oddfellows organized soon after. The Methodists were the pioneer church builders of Belle Center, their first "class" having been formed in 1819, with the Hill family and a few friends, one negro (called Tom), and several Indians, the meetings being held at the Hill cabin, and from there taken to the house of (Rev.) William Brooks, thence to Daniel Colvin's, and then to the schoolhouse, until the building of the first little brick church in Belle Center, in 1850.
The Disciple church was organized in 1839, at James Harrod's dwelling, with Rev. William Dowling, the Harrods, Patricks, Roberts and others, including Mary Cooper, Rebecca Hover, Nancy McIntyre and Elizabeth Howell. The services were removed in 1852 to a schoolhouse, and a year later to their first edifice in Belle Center. The Presbyterian church at Belle Center was organized December 9, 1852, with Rev. H. R. Price, Elders Samuel Hover and
J. H. Gill, and twenty-five members, including the Hemphills, (page 270) Lamberts, Yates, Pattons and other names still familiar in the county. The Reformed (or Covenanter's) Presbyterian church was organized in Belle Center in 1877, with a membership of thirty-eight. Its building, finished in 1879, is still in use. The United Presbyterian church is of later date in the town, and has the largest church edifice of any congregation there. The First Presbyterian congregation rebuilt their church in 1901; the Methodist congregation at no great interval previous; and the Disciple church (Church of Christ) has a very pretty chapel built in 1906, making five edifices to adorn the town of today, which has about eleven hundred inhabitants. Three of Belle Center's streets are paved with brick laid in concrete, and the rest are well "piked" or macadamized. Smooth cement sidewalks lead everywhere, giving the whole town a neat appearance, and the residence portions are very attractive and well kept. A new high school is building this year (1918), and the present building now houses the children from nearly all over the township of Richland, which has adopted the "consolidated" plan of public school administration.
Belle Center has had a fire department since "before the war" (Civil), when it operated with little hand engines. The "volunteer" system has been in vogue for the most part, but after being equipped with modern engines it was for a time a "paid company." This proved less satisfactory than was expected, and some years ago, under the present mayor, T. H. Elder, and a representative council, a new plan was adopted, with a paid chief and assistant and a volunteer force, which, owing to the co-operative spirit of Belle Center's male population, has shown itself a highly efficient method of dealing with the local fire fend. Every man and boy in the village considers himself a fire laddie when the bell rings. No disastrous fires have occurred in many years. Water supply for fire fighting is obtained from several deep and seemingly inexhaustible wells, which, at Belle Center, may be drilled at almost any point.
From the days when the settlers had to pound their corn in a hollowed stump, using a round boulder for a pestle, and on through the period when hulled corn and maple syrup was the daintiest dish of festive occasions, and johnnycake made of cracked corn did duty for the pioneer brides-cake, to the day of the first steam grist mill at Belle Center, is a panorama which can only be passed in swift review, while its wonderful advancement after the advent of the railroad, which opened the rich acres of the northern prairie to the world of commerce, shown in the town of today, is a picture less romantic but of much more vital interest to the present. There is not in the whole Miami valley a locality which surpasses this farm country in productiveness, and but few which equal it. The lumbering industry passed with the steady years of clearing, and the sawmills which once made the wooded districts populous with axemen and laborers are a thing of the past, though shipments of logs are still noticeable from this point. The old roads of black mud, passable only by laying them thick with cross logs, are replaced everywhere with stone or gravel pikes. The very pikes themselves are altering the landscape by depleting the gravel ridges which furnish the paving material. But everywhere the fields stand thick with (page 271) corn, wheat, oats and clover, and the highways in harvest time teem with wagons and auto-trucks transporting to the warehouses and elevators at Belle Center the generous produce of the prairie. Only where grain gives way to grazing. is difference seen. In addition to the sheep, hog and general cattle raising business among the farmers, a large number of sheep and lambs are shipped in for fattening, nearly ten thousand arriving in September alone of this year (1918). This little market ships out more sheep and hogs each year than are received by the railroad at any point between Springfield and Sandusky. Approximately a half million pounds of wool leave the local warehouses every year, the amount being handled, in 1918, by H. J. Mack and Harry Noble, in about equal proportion. Not only pasturage, but the larger per cent of the vast corn crop of this region is consumed in the feeding of sheep, hogs and cattle, so that the corn shipments from Belle Center are comparatively small, but other grains are sufficient to keep two large elevator companies busy. One of these is a branch plant of the Keller and Gebby company of Bellefontaine, and the other is the Otto Polter plant, a local concern. Both receive and distribute not only grain and other agricultural products, but lime, cement, and hard and soft coal. Local depots of the J. A. Long company and others handle large poultry and milk shipments. The Belle Center Lumber company is a Peter Kunz plant, but has local stockholders, and a local manager, Curtis Brown. The lumber is all shipped from the south. Building hardware of all kinds is also handled by the concern.
Three thriving hardware houses beside this are supported in Belle Center-the Harrod, domestic hardware; Hover & Bridge, successors to Harrod & Hover, domestic and farming hardware, fencing and similar items, and T. H. Elder & Son, who handle general hardware, farming implements, and wagon and buggy parts. The business of which Belle Center has a monopoly in the county is that of Healy Brothers, wholesale growers of seed corn, and buyers and shippers of timothy, clover, alfalfa, oats, barley and rye seed. The business was established in 1906, and a farm of two hundred and fifty acres is devoted entirely to the culture of seven varieties of sweet corn, the yield being all packed and shipped as seed corn. Popcorn seed is also one of the specialties of the firm. All kinds of garden seeds are distributed, these coming from eastern growers, and from Europe. The alfalfa seed is brought from Montana, as this climate does not produce a satisfactory seed harvest, but other grains are all from local sources, as well as timothy and clover seed. As high as twenty thousand bushels of field seed corn are shipped by this firm in a single season. Seed potatoes are included in the business, which requires two large warehouses to accommodate it.
McLean & Fulton have a practical monopoly of the furniture and undertaking industry, and are housed in a large and substantial brick structure well-adapted to their business.
The public is supplied with water, as yet, by the old-fashioned driven well in the dooryard, but the water is pure and cold. (page 272) Roundhead, Hardin county, has united with Belle Center in an independent electric light plant.
Every branch of commerce necessary to the life of a town is represented in the village, and its financial interests have been taken care of since 1886 by the Bank of Belle Center, established with a capital of fifty thousand dollars, and maintained with a surplus of equal extent. Its officers are: President, W. B. Ramsey; vice-president, D. R. McArthur ; cashier, E. W. Ramsey; assistant cashier, M. F. Campbell.
Doctors Banning, Phillips and McNeill represent the medical profession, the first-named being still active after a practice of nearly half a century. Dr. Banning is the possessor of one of the largest privately owned collections of American Indian relics in the state. None of them is of Logan county origin, however, with the exception of a single skull, which the doctor is positive is that of a white man, probably of some early and friendly explorer. His belief is founded upon the shape of the skull, and the fact that when exhumed -in the Spencer gravel pit, near the McClure farm, there were still fragments of a puncheon coffin near it, held together by two wrought iron nails, things unknown to Indian economy. The circumstance seems also to refute any suspicion that the mound in question may have been the work of ancient mound builders.
The first newspaper attempted in Belle Center was the Weekly Paragrapher, which failed for lack of support, about 1880. In 1883, Guy Potter Benton came to Belle Center and started a weekly paper called The Herald, engaging a local young man, George Wood Anderson, as printer, and Ralph Parlatte, scarcely more than a lad, as "devil." These three edited and published a paper that was worth while, and set it so firmly on its feet that after a few years, when they were-called to wider work in the world, they had a paper to sell, and it was bought by a man named Long. Long, in turn, sold out to L. L. Lemon, who, in 1901, was replaced by C. R. Kring, brought here to conduct the paper in the interest of the "Drys" in the great agitation of that period. The Voice was started about the same time, as an opposition sheet. The fight waxed very fierce, but the "Drys" won in the ballot, following the campaign. The heat of the controversy was by no means cooled, however. The liquor traffic monster was still wriggling its tail, and the campaign had to be prolonged in pursuit of blind tigers and boot-legging, the climax being reached in the shooting of Robert Young by James Pergrin, a reputable citizen and member of the town council. Young recovered, and Mr. Pergrin was promptly acquitted. The blind tiger which Young maintained was several times raided by the women of Belle Center, and by citizens, but it was not driven out for some time. Young at last removed to Columbus, where, eight years ago, he became a convert to Billy Sunday's preaching, and during the "wet and dry" campaign of October, 1918, he was a leader among the "dry" forces. James Pergrin also went to Columbus, embarking in a successful heavy hardware business there, and one of his good friends is Robert Young.
Rev. E. P. Elcock and Rev. Huston, both of whom removed to (page 273) points far distant from Belle Center, were prominent ministers there during the prolonged struggle between the liquor faction and those opposed to it. Thomas C. Danforth was the mayor of the day. It was about 1903, during the closing scenes of the excitement, that the present editors and proprietors, J. R. and M. J. Martin (Mr. and Mrs. Martin) bought in both local papers and continued their publication as the Herald-Voice, a wide-awake paper, and devoted to the best interests of the town. Of the three founders of the paper, Guy Potter Benton has for years been the president of Vermont university; Dr. George Wood Anderson, whose mother still lives at Belle Center, is a noted evangelist, and was in Y. M. C. A. service in France during the war with Germany; Ralph Parlatte, erstwhile printer's devil, and now a famous humorist and lecturer, is editor of the Lyceumite, at Chicago. Among other products of its fertile countryside-where, they say, the fenceposts must be burned before they are set, to keep them from growing-Belle Center mentions these three with pardonable pride.
Huntsville, the trig little capital of McArthur township, lies about six miles to the northwest from Bellefontaine, being approached from that city by three very direct routes, the Huntsville pike, which leads also, by a turn to the northeast, toward Belle Center, following the route of "Hull's Trace," the Sandusky division of the Big Four railway, and the Ohio Electric, which maintains one of its local power stations at this point. Connecting Huntsville with the towns of the north and east are other pikes, on one of which, a half mile to the east of the crossing of the two railroads, is all that remains of a once promising little village called Cherokee, now only a rural hamlet of ten or a dozen houses. Not dead, but sleeping-or a new house was built there only five years ago-Cherokee's story is that of being passed by when the railroad chose its right of way, and of slow desertion by the elements which had begun to crystallize into a live town.
When the settling of the northwest territory began, the conditions were not different from those of all the broad prairie country sloping or rolling gently toward the upper Miami river. It was as pre-eminently an agricultural land of promise as any part of the county, and as little improved. Including the Indian reservation, there was no part of it which might not have made either Indian, squatter or settler well-to-do had either of the first mentioned been inclined to or acquainted with the industrious habits of the latter. As it was, the first settlers found the dense forests broken only here and there by small clearings barely large enough to yield subsistence. The squatter element faded out after the advent of real settlers, but few, if any, of them undertaking to follow the example of the newcomers. The Indians, transferred to the west, left the land about and to the northwest of Indian lake open, and after the conversion of the lake into a state reservoir, it became in time a circle of pleasure resorts bearing various designations, and still favored fishing and hunting grounds, though the hunting is not all that it used to be. "O'Connor's Landing" is named for the present owner of the farm it is a part of, the original settler of which was James Patterson. James Russell was the original owner (page 274) of the land, where "Russell's Point" was established by his son.
Other localities are known as "Turkey Foot," "Sassafras Point," and "Lakeview,' where a town is growing out of the resort, which offers exceptional fishing and boating advantages, but which for years has been the harbor of the only saloon in Logan county, keeping the better class of pleasure seekers away from this attractive resort, and contaminating a large district with its evil influence. However, Lakeview voted itself "dry" in the last statewide election, and this drawback will soon be removed.
To discover the real beauty of the lake, however, one must take the auto hack from Huntsville, and be driven by genial Dick Floyd to the Spencer tollgate, and through it to Lake Ridge, the delightful retreat created in 1890 by William Clarke, who built a pike across the shallows of the lake, converting what had been an island into a peninsula, and erected a spacious summer hotel facing the original body of Indian lake. The avenue leading to the island is lined on either side with wonderful old willows which meet far overhead and form what the resorters like to call "lover's lane"-but Mr. Clarke says it is the Way to Yesterday-and yesterday it seems when one arrives there, where no sound strikes the ear save those of nature, the splash of water under the oars, the call of wild birds and the wind in the trees. Attractive little cottages line the lagoon to the east, and along the drive, which extends the length of the ridge, facing the lake and past the hotel, where an old-fashioned hospitality awaits the guest. No clock has ever ticked in that hotel. "Time," says Mr. Clarke, "was made for slaves." The cordial host has "never wet a line in Indian lake," either, although he has a feet of rowboats from which others cast their lines. Flocks of domesticated wild geese and ducks are confined in ample enclosures on the lagoon in the rear of the hotel.
Near the lake front is a circular Indian mound about twelve feet in diameter and flat on top, which seems to point to at least temporary occupancy of this country by the mound-builders. The mound in question has been carefully preserved, but no investigation of its contents has ever been permitted. The resort is lighted by nature only (except for kerosene lamps indoors), for the proprietor wishes to preserve the atmosphere of rest, for which this place was intended. The bass-fishing is a lure to anglers, strong enough to draw a crowd of votaries, without the glare of electricity to prolong the day to weariness. Mr. Clarke has made a determined stand against John Barleycorn, and no one is permitted to carry to the island liquor of any sort for any purpose whatever. One of the first sales of land in the section of the county embracing the lake townships and the Cherokee district was the conveyance, "by title bond," from Duncan McArthur to John and Samuel Harrod, of four hundred and fifty acres on Cherokee Man's run, which winds in a circuitous channel and empties into the Miami just below the lake. Thomas Scott was the first settler to bring his family to a home here, but the Harrod families arrived in the fall of the same year, 1820. A settler named John Watt came in 1821 and in 1823 Peter and Samuel Hover made homes near the Harrods. Samuel Lease was the next prospector, and he made a (page 275) purchase of land in 1825, but as a settler he was preceded by George Hover, who with his wife and eight children came to occupy a tract of two hundred acres embracing a large part of the site of Huntsville. Hugh Bickham settled not far from this tract about the same time, and Isaac Cooper came with his wife in 1826, living near the Harrods until 1830, when he bought land near the spot where the Huntsville cemetery was afterward located. He built there the first tannery of the settlement, pursuing his trade for five years,
when he removed to the vicinity of Lewistown. A second tannery was established by Thomas Wishart in what is now Huntsville, not long after Cooper's. Adcock Carter came in 1827 to settle on a thousand-acre tract acquired by Joseph Carter some years before, which embraced Solomon's Town and the famous "twin springs" of that place of many legends. The David Wallaces afterward owned a part of this land, said to be the locality where Hull's expedition encamped, and identified by many traces of the pause. All was a dense forest except a small clearing where a blockhouse stood during the War of 1812. Joseph Wallace came in 1833 with his wife and three children, and settled a little to the west of the site of Huntsville, and there their descendants still hold title and residence. John Shelby, Henry Hover, John Casebolt, and the Black, Grabiel and Williams families are also of the early period of settlement. About 1835, several important families arrived.
Kemp G. Carter settled at Cherokee, while to the south of the Huntsville site Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Elder and their eight children made a home, and James Steen, John Russell and Thomas Patterson and others found satisfactory locations. Adan Yearn must have come several years earlier, for we find that he built the first grist mill on Cherokee Man's run in 1828. John Coulter came from Bellefontaine in 1835, and purchased the Isaac Cooper tannery and farm, married a daughter of Abraham Elder, and with the family they reared became an integral part of the life of this locality, and of the county. Of the three sons, James, John and Wood, James remained on the home farm, and the others came to Bellefontaine where Wood Coulter is still in business. Mrs. J. P. Harbert is a daughter of Dr. John Coulter.
The second grist or flouring mill built on the Cherokee was erected by Jonathan Woodward, who came to the Cherokee valley in 1836 and purchased from the Mahin heirs a tract of twenty-seven acres upon which stood a log cabin and a badly wrecked sawmill. Mr. Woodward's wife had formerly been Mrs. Sarah Robinson, and came originally from Delaware, while Mr. Woodward was a Pennsylvanian by birth. He also was a practical miller and millwright, and the ruined sawmill was repaired at once and in it the lumber was sawed for the building of the gristmill. During the long summer while the mill and the race or "overshoot" were building, Mrs. Woodward cooked the food and baked the bread required to feed a force of twenty men who performed the out-of-door labor. The bread was baked several times weekly, in a brick oven. It is therefore to be remarked that Mrs. Woodward helped to build that mill. In later years she was rewarded in the possession of the first cookstove brought into that part of the country. As an instance, (page 276) however, of the refinements which even the early settlers transported into the wilderness, these strenuous hardships were ameliorated, in the Woodward home, by the musical tinkle of an old-time "dulcimer," which is still preserved in the Coulter home at Huntsville. The first "organ" brought hither was also in the Woodward home -one of the old-fashioned type, with four octagon legs. The mill began running in 1839, and sent out the first barrel of four ever shipped from a Cherokee mill. In 1866 the old mill was sold to Brown and Douglas, who in turn sold out to James McCormick (now, 1918, a very old man of ninety years or thereabouts), who still lives at the mill and does a little sawing with the old machinery. Anna, a daughter of the Woodwards, married James Coulter, and lived on the farm and in Huntsville until 1910, when her husband died, after which the family removed to Bellefontaine, where Mrs. Coulter and her daughter, Miss Lulu, still reside. Miss Blanche Lawson, Mrs. Lydia Baker and Mrs. Maude White, of Bellefontaine, are also granddaughters of the Woodwards. James Stewart, born in County Tyrone, Ireland, came to America and in 1830 settled in the Cherokee district, on a tract of six hundred and twenty-five acres of military lands. He built the well-remembered Stewart mill in 1836, but he was not himself a miller, and his son Samuel conducted the mill from the start, continuing through many years, with the help of his sons, to do a large and successful flouring business. The story of the Cherokee mills would be incomplete without mention of the sawmills which preceded and accompanied them during the great clearing period, when the population of Logan county flourished as never since in point of increase. The loggers and other laborers who flocked to the timber districts were a necessary factor, but included a large proportion of "undesirable citizens," for the greater part transitory, but stamping the times with a roughness in great contrast to the character of the real settlers. Also it encouraged another industry which was in conflict with the ethics of the good people who made their homes there. While not the only spot so abused in the county at that period, it is with regret that the record is made of a distillery to match every one of the Cherokee mills, and that the distillers were also settlers. Hugh Bickham built the first, directly south of Huntsville. It was a hewn log structure, built early, and stood a long time. At the vicinity of the Yearn mill, which had passed into the hands of Jacob Anstine, another distillery was built in 1845 by Edward Harper, "a quite respectable building," to house a disreputable business-which, luckily, "did not pay." It closed in 1850. The third, last, and largest was built by William Harland and Henry Anstine. It is claimed in extenuation of these settlers who catered to the rough element of the lumbering camps and at the same time thoughtlessly accomplished the ruin of many gifted pioneer sons, that there were few teetotallers then, and also fewer positive drunkards. Perhaps the popular mind was not so well educated then as now, but the distillers who brought so much sorrow and ruin into the fair land of Logan had blunt but eloquent old Habakkuk's warning, the same as now. It was doubtless the beginning of the great fight of later times for a "dry" Logan, when (page 277) the settlers who suffered innocently set their wills to drive out the stills. And good was stronger than evil, for the millers, the tanners, the smiths, the wagon makers, and the honest farmers who subdued the prairie, ditched its lowlands, rid it of wild beasts and banished the yellow rattlers that made life a terror, scattered their flocks and herds among well-tilled fields, and built "underground railway stations" where slaves were helped to freedom and hope, survived the hosts of John Barleycorn, and their descendants have, by the ballot, removed the prophet's curse.
In all these early days the churches of this territory stood together in fighting evil and fostering good. The Presbyterian church of Cherokee, organized in 1822, was the first of that creed to be formed in Logan county. Its first meetings were held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Scott, who with Mr. and Mrs. Peter Hover, Mr. and Mrs. George Hover, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Hover, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Edmiston, Mr. and Mrs. John Watt and Mr. and Mrs.
James Stover, constituted the entire membership. About 1825 a hewn-log meeting house was built at Cherokee, where the settlers already seemed inclined to gather, and where, in 1832, Robert Edmiston, Dr. Samuel A. Morton and Alexander Thompson laid out the town. A second church edifice, built of brick and of ample size, was built at Cherokee some years later; and when that village declined, it was taken down and rebuilt in Huntsville, being the neat and substantial church standing at the present time. The rebuilding occurred in 1866, and the dedication took place early in 1867.
The Methodists were the second religious body to form, a small "class" being organized following a series of meetings held during the summer of 1823 in the cabin of Solomon Richards, about a half mile southwest of Cherokee. So far as known, the families of Richards, Pendergress and Lease constituted the membership. For a few years the meetings continued from one to the other of these homes until the membership had so increased that a meeting house was a necessity, and a small frame chapel was erected at Cherokee. This was in use until Huntsville had grown to be a town of considerable size, in 1866, when a new Methodist church was built there, replacing the old frame at Cherokee. The United Presbyterians organized in Cherokee in October, 1831, under Rev. S. Wilson, of the Miami Presbytery. The society comprising the congregation were the families of Abraham Elder, A. Templeton, W. Langhead, David and Peter Dow, James and Isabella Hays, John McElree and James Patterson. Rev. James Wallace was the first pastor, continuing in service until 1861. Their first building was a brick, situated in Cherokee, and the work of the organization was directed largely against the widespread Sabbath desecration and drunkenness, as indeed were the efforts of all the churches. At Lewistown, a few miles west, a body of Indians lived, and all of these earliest churches endeavored to do some missionary work among them. The United Presbyterian congregation moved to Huntsville at a later date, and built a frame chapel there, the old brick at Cherokee being used for a time as a woolen factory. In 1833 the Rev. J. B. Johnston organized the Reformed Presbyterian (or Covenanters') church at Northwood, with Abraham Patterson, (page 278) Thomas, James and Henry Fulton, Robert Scott and John Young and their wives as members. They met first in the schoolhouse, then in a log chapel which they built on the east bank of the Miami river (Middle Fork), near the cemetery. In 1840 this was discarded for a little brick church which they erected near by. In later years a large frame church was built in the village of Northwood, and this is still in good repair (1918). In 1847 Rev. J. B. Johnston originated the project which resulted in the establishment at Northwood of a classical and scientific school, under the auspices of the Reformed Presbyterian church. It became an accomplished fact, under the name of Geneva college, the college building still standing in good condition just off the township line road, with the dormitory building at its left. The latter has become a dwelling, and the Hall is vacant except for a small repair shop for buggies and wagons in the rear. A female seminary was added to the institution, Rev. Johnston discreetly placing this building, also of good brick construction, nearly half a mile away from the Hall, so that the lads and lassies should not distract one another from the pursuit of classical learning. By 1852 the institution was in full swing, and a perusal of the old catalogue not only brings to light nearly every prominent name in the county, but includes names from several far corners of the earth. The isolation of the college from transportational facilities at last became a drawback, and about 1878 or 1879, it was decided by the Synod to remove it to Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, where it has continued a useful career as college and theological seminary. The "Female Seminary" at the fork of the road to the east has been a ruin for a long time, being partly torn down to provide brick for other buildings, and since then carried away brick by brick for souvenirs, and, it is said, to repair the neighborhood chimneys. A United Presbyterian church was organized at Northwood, also, and during its first struggling days was given the use of the Reformed chapel and of Geneva Hall for its meetings until 1866, when they built a chapel of their own. The pastorates of Rev. W. H. Jeffers, J. W. Taylor and Rev. Alexander Smith, which ended in 1879 covered the period of greatest growth. The rural churches are not so well attended now as formerly, the automobile having so altered rural family life that church attendance centralizes in the larger town rather than clings to small and feeble country organizations. Time will tell whether this is better than the old way. Northwood itself is like a house put in order for the Sabbath, and the brooding quiet which is its distinguishing characteristic today is very like to that of slumber. Immediately after the "Mad River and Lake Erie" railroad was surveyed, and its route determined, the village of Huntsville was platted by Alexander Harbison (county surveyor in 1846), upon lands owned by George M. Hover and Thomas Wishart, and when, in 1847, the first train drew into the station, the town was there to meet it. Thomas Wishart had built a brick house in the plat as early as 1844, and the development of the village was rapid. Buell & Dodson put up a brick store building in 1848, the first store in the town. During the year 1847 Samuel Harrod had erected a frame hotel near the depot. It was destroyed by fire in 1850, but at once (page 279) rebuilt. John Bimel next built the second brick dwelling, and in 1852 the "Grand Central," successor to the first Harrod hotel, was opened. This was afterward owned and operated by H. P. Ingalls for many years. The old taverns of stage coach days at Cherokee being deserted, their contingent of idlers flocked to Huntsville and the cellar of the Grand Central gained a wide reputation. The postoffice established at Cherokee in 1830 was removed to Huntsville in 1850. H. Shafer, once a merchant of the deserted village, erected a commodious frame building at Huntsville and transferred his business thither. He also built a house which John Bimel afterward purchased, enlarging and fitting it up as a hotel. It is still doing duty in this line, but the bar and the "cellar" have long ago vanished, with the saloons. General retail business in all lines sprang up and succeeded, and in 1865 Huntsville became an incorporated town, electing its first mayor, Sidney B. Foster, the next spring.
William Beatty, William T. Herron, J. H. Harrod, A. Bartholomew and Josiah Carr composed the "city" council and David and Joseph Carr were recorder and treasurer respectively. The regular village industries of harness making, blacksmithing and carpentry, as well as shoemaking shops, multiplied. The population in 1880 had grown to five hundred, around which figure it hovered for some time, falling in 1910 to 338, but it is now once more on the high tide of prosperity, and may fairly claim five hundred inhabitants. Those who should know best call it "the best town of its size in the state." The quality of its citizenship is not surpassed, and its public spirit and patriotism is one hundred per cent. It has three churches, the Presbyterian, Charles Marston, pastor; Methodist Episcopal, Rev. William Reves, pastor; and the United Presbyterian, Rev. J. H. T. Gordon (newly elected representative to the state legislature), pastor. All are in prime working condition. The physicians are Drs. J. S. Montgomery, G. W. Jones and F. A. Richardson. Huntsville, which has come to the front in giving everything else to the work of the war, did not have to send her doctors, who are all outside the age limit of service, and consequently spared to the service of home people. G. W. Carder is present mayor of the town. Huntsville has no public water system, but the water which is furnished by wells is of the same excellence as elsewhere in the county. Natural gas is still comparatively abundant, and the Traction company furnish electricity at a reasonable rate, so that the town is brilliantly lighted and many make use of electricity for domestic motor service, and for hot plates for cooking.- There is an independent telephone exchange, housed in a neat building next to the artistic little headquarters of the Huntsville Banking company. The latter institution is an unincorporated bank, but organized in 1907 under the state laws, and subject to state examination. Its capital stock is $20,000, its surplus, $8,000, while deposits and loans run about $80,000 and $62,000 respectively. The organizing chairman was G. M. Hover, at that time mayor of the village. The first president was S. L. Horn ; vice-president, C. C. Cook ; and the cashier for the first ten years was F. F. Myers. Dr. J. S. Montgomery was the secretary. The present officials are: S. L. Horn, president; T. A. McLees, vice-president ; Harry E. Clapper, cashier. The bank (page 280) is doing great service to the community in localizing capital and advancing the commercial interests of the town.
The I. C. Miller elevator at Huntsville is connected with the Keller & Gebby plant of Bellefontaine. It has a capacity of thirty thousand bushels storage, and shipped, during last year, about one hundred thousand bushels of grain, oats, wheat, corn, rye, and barley. Wool is also shipped, some feed milling is done, and coal, tile, salt, cement and similar materials are handled. Hay is another important export. The Sandusky division of the Big Four R. R. ships out of Huntsville yearly about sixty. carloads of livestock, and the Ohio Electric carries large quantities of milk both north and south, from this point. There is up to date garage service, locally, and every branch of retail trade is in prosperous condition. Harvey Monteith operates a feed mill and coal depot. There is no manufacturing done in the town, which is important chiefly as a market for a large and productive farm district.
The history of Huntsville newspapers is not long, but that is because the Huntsville News has had an uninterrupted career. It was preceded only by the Gazette (started long ago, by a Mr. Rupert), which was too short-lived to remember. Omar L. Wilson established the News, coming from Washington, D. C., to which city he returned, selling out to Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Day, who came to Huntsville about 1894, Mr. Day as superintendent of schools. The editors and proprietors are active at both type case and editorial desk, and the result is a lively little sheet which does credit to everybody concerned, and advances the material interests of the town. Huntsville has no better friends than its editors. Huntsville still retains a number of the old names familiar to local history, numbering among its citizens of today Mrs. Wallace Templeton, Emrick Miller, Mrs. Flora Ingalls, who was a Miss Bimel, Mrs. Henrietta Carr, who was Miss Dewey, Mrs. Ada Williamson, daughter of J. H. Harrod, Evanses, Dulaneys, Bimels, Coulters, and others.
The handsome new township school stands at the eastern edge of the village, and has the distinction of being the first of the new centralized schools to open its doors to the children of the entire district, rural and urban. It requires eleven vans to transport the pupils to and from the sessions.
Lewistown, three or four miles south of the Lewistown reservoir (by statutory enactment now renamed Indian Lake Park), is the central point of historic interest in the upper Miami region, lying a half mile west of the McPherson section, given Col. McPherson by the Indians, with the "Nancy Stewart section" about one and a half miles to the southwest, all three points being north of the Treaty line, and within the later reservation boundary on the east. The removal of the Indians by the new treaty of 1832 removed also these imaginary lines and opened the Miami country to white settlement.
With the exception of old Polly Keyser, James McPherson and John Mcllvain, the last Indian agent, a white squatter or two were the only white persons ever known to have lived in this territory. Immediately upon the opening of these lands for sale, Major Henry (page 281) Hanford, a native of New Canaan, Connecticut, and an officer of the War of 1812, purchased from the government (under the administration of Andrew Jackson) a tract of six hundred and forty acres, the land including the Indian village and the headquarters of Chief John Lewis, which stands on the elevation south of the present village, beyond "Bad Axe" creek. The Hanford family were the first permanent settlers of this locality, but they were followed very soon by others who came with increasing rapidity, hailing, for the greater part, from the older Ohio settlements, with a few from Virginia, among the latter being Mrs. Plum and her five sons and daughters, and Michael Kearns.
Isaac Cooper moved hither in 1832 from the Huntsville settlement, and Abram Cherry came from Clark county in 1833. William Lowry and John Renick purchased large tracts of forest land north of Lewistown, and John Hogge, Alexander Trout, Samuel Brown, Daniel Wagoner, George Berry, the Dearduff brothers and the Stafford and McCauley families were early arrivals whose names still survive in the community of today.
Major Hanford took possession of the old log house which had been the headquarters of Chief Lewis, and tore away all but that part of the structure which had been built of hewn logs under the direction of the British allies of the Indians in pre-Revolutionary times. This part, two stories in height, had been lathed and plastered in imitation of white men's dwellings, and the primitive carpentry is still to be noted where the later mortar put on by Major Hanford has fallen from the crude lathing. It is told that, at their first attempt to plaster the building, the Indians applied the mortar to the outside. Major Hanford added an extension of more than equal size and enclosed the whole in a sheathing of clapboards, an enormous chimney and fireplace in the central wall giving strength to the structure, which was refinished inside and made a commodious farmhouse which is standing today, though in somewhat unstable condition. The original log part is believed to be the oldest building in Ohio. More recently a cottage was attached to the original building, where the residents of latter years make their home. This took the place of the ancient "lean to" where poor Polly Keyser drudged for the lazy though friendly Lewis, and where the animals used to be housed at night to keep them safe from wolves. In the upper story of the council house the floor still shows the stains where the blood of animals dripped when hung up for skinning. Many interesting relics were found in and around the old house, which are preserved by the family.
In 1835 Major Hanford had the village of Lewistown (named in honor of the old chief) surveyed and platted, on a twenty-five acre tract. Three streets, William, Main and Elbridge, were projected at right angles to another three, Council, Centre and Hanford, and the unusual feature (at that date) was a system of alleys which bore the names of various Indian chiefs.
The first store in Lewistown was built and conducted by Major Hanford, who also kept the first tavern, and upon the establishment of a postoffice at his store in 1839, he became the first postmaster. His son-in-law, Elijah Brunk, built the first dwelling - a log cabin (page 282) - in the village. The land for the first schoolhouse was. donated by the founder of the town in 1833, to be used for educational purposes only, and to revert to his heirs when abandoned by the school trustees as a school ground. It has been in continuous use until the recent building of the now consolidated high school at the farther side of the town. A Connecticut man named Conley was Lewistown's first shoemaker.
The Miami river is too slow a stream at this part to have furnished much encouragement for the old-fashioned pioneer water mill. "Inky" creek is the largest stream above the elbow bend on the east side, while "Bad Axe" is scarcely more than a brook, which rises in a pair of springs about two miles easterly from the village and winds prettily through a narrow valley. On this stream, in 1835, E. G. Hanford built a small mill which served the pioneer needs for a few years, Hanford, Stamats and McCauley's steam sawmill at the edge of the village soon supplanting it with a grist milling attachment. A more modern steam sawmill was built by Rood and Clay in 1873, and at present E. B. Miller operates a large sawmill, shipping many carloads of oak bridge planking and walnut logs each year, as well as other varieties of lumber in the rough. There are living in the upper Miami valley in Logan county today about one hundred descendants of Col. Crawford, who was so cruelly murdered at the upper Sandusky council in the troublous times before the savages were subdued. Col. Crawford was a contemporary of Gen. Washington, and his daughter Sally married Major William Harrison. Nancy, the daughter of the Harrisons, married Daniel McKinnon, and their son, judge William Harrison McKinnon, married Kitty Foley of Clarke county. Dr. B. F. McKinnon, the son of judge and Mrs. McKinnon, married Charlotte, the daughter of Major Hanford, and their home was a gift from the bride's father, being the same house that has for a long time been known as the Price hotel. There their daughter, Harriet, was born, and from it Dr. McKinnon went into the United States Medical corps, the first volunteer of the Civil war from Lewistown. Harriet McKinnon married D. A. Hamer, and their son, Gale B. Hamer, was a captain in the Signal corps in France, serving the United States in the war with Germany, while their daughter, Helen Hanford, is Mrs. Harry Price. James B. McKinnon, a son of Daniel and Nancy Harrison McKinnon, settled two miles south of Lewistown, and has three descendants of the name, Milton McKinnon, who lives in Bellefontaine; J. T. McKinnon, who still runs the farm, and Miss Irene McKinnon, who for the last fourteen years has resided in Lewistown. Members of the Plum family are also Crawford descendants, and numerous genealogical chains might be given connecting the people of the Miami district with the brave old scout and soldier, but these must suffice.
The church history of Lewistown is confined to that of the Protestant Methodist denomination, which was organized, in a log house on the farm of Gabriel Banes, by Rev. John B. Lucas (of Springfield circuit), with Mr. Banes and his wife, Sarah Banes ; Mrs. Mary Harrison, Josiah and Catherine McKinnon, Mrs. Catherine Smith and her daughter Mary, Mrs. Shade and Mrs. Sally Ann Plum, whose (page 283) husband, Jonathan Plum, afterward became a member. James B. McKinnon and his wife, Elizabeth, of Pleasant Hill, united in 1837, and also Miss Susan Plum, afterward Mrs. McLaughlin. Mr. and Mrs. William Black came the same year, Mr. Black being the first "class leader." The first minister was Rev. John Bell. The meetings were removed in 1847 to the old schoolhouse, afterward occupied as a dwelling by Jacob Kraus. In 1852, Rev. Reuben M. Dalby and Rev. John J. Geer, ardent temperance workers, were instrumental in breaking up a vile drinking den in Logansville. In 1853 a church was built, Major Hanford donating ground for the purpose. In 1868 Isaac and Jonathan Plum purchased a parsonage and gave it to the church. A great revival in 1875 caused remarkable church growth. A fine bell was purchased and hung in 1879, which has been transferred to the tower of the handsome new church which now stands on the old site. The original chapel was moved to another site, and is now the shop of the village blacksmith. Noah Miller, Harmon Trout and William Plum are some of the older members of the congregation. Miss Irene McKinnon is the class leader, and the present pastor, Rev. D. L. Custis, is now in the fourth year of. local service. The earlier facts of this sketch are gleaned from the hand-written history of James B. McKinnon, set down by him from memory, in 1881, the last year of his life. When the railroad (T. & 0. C.) was built through Lewistown it opened a new era of prosperity, and something like a boom occurred. An elevator was flung up in haste by an outside speculator, and numerous improvements, some permanent and some quite the reverse, were made. But the prosperity was real, and the inadequate elevator has been replaced by a new one, owned by C. E. Dalrymple, which has a capacity of fifty thousand bushels storage, and handles all sorts of feed, four, lime, salt, cement, tile and coal. About sixty carloads of grain-wheat, oats, corn, barley and rye-are shipped out annually. Corn is the heaviest crop in this locality, but most of it is kept at home for feeding stock. Sixty carloads of hay is a modest statement of that export, and about thirty carloads of hogs, sheep and cattle. Dairy farming is an important industry here, and great quantities of milk are transported by motor truck service and by railroad both east to Bellefontaine and west to St. Marys. D. A. Hamer has a fine herd of blooded jerseys on the old Hanford farm. There is a spot near Bad Axe creek at the edge of the village, where in 1862 a German, Jacob Westenhaver, established a distillery, which was an unwelcome addition to the few industries, and was given good riddance some years later when the government confiscated the property because of failure to comply with the law. The first doctors of Lewistown were James Morehead, Lewis (a suicide), Dr. Pollock and Dr. B. F. McKinnon, a physician of more than ordinary ability. Dr. J. L. Forsythe, who died in the summer of 1918, Drs. Makemson and Hefiner, who have removed to Bellefontaine, have been later members of the profession. Col. McPherson, after the death of his first wife, married Dolly, a daughter of John Tullis, sr. They had one daughter, who at the time of her death, December 9, 1918, was the oldest resident of Lewistown - Mrs. Robert ("Aunt Martha") Miller, who was a member (page 284) of the Bellefontaine chapter of the D. A. R. and the. only actual daughter of a Revolutionary soldier in the county. After Col. McPherson's death, Dolly Tullis McPherson married James Bennett,' an early local settler, and reared a second family of children. Lewistown has never incorporated, and has a population of only two hundred and eighty, although it appears larger. Business is flourishing, with two large general stores, the Price and the Zolman stores, built in 1909; two good hardware stores, a garage and machine shop; an independent telephone exchange, a fire department, and a bank as solid as can be found.
The Farmers' bank, established in 1910, is not an incorporated institution, but was organized under the same plans drafted for the Huntsville bank. The capital stock is $20,000 and the deposits are $75,000 or more. The committee of organization were: W. H. Plum, I. M. Plum, B. F. Howard, J. T. McKinnon, Charles Black, Frank Howard. Noah Brunner, Noah Miller, T. M. Cooper, Mrs. Elnora Price, Anna Huber, D. A. Huber, John Dunson, Lytle Plum, and A. Clarence McKinnon. President, W. H. Plum; first vice-president, J. T. McKinnon; second vice-president, Charles Black; first cashier, F. S. Kiser ; cashier for the past seven years and present, T. M. Cooper.
On the west side of the Miami in this region, the settlement was later and slower, the land there being very fat and, until drained artificially, too wet for farming except on the low "ridges" between the winding streams, which form the routes for nearly all of the roads. The land is black loam and clay, productive and now easily farmed, but less interesting to the eye than the eastern and central parts of the county. Bloom Centre is the location of the steam mill built in 1878 by A. Connolly; a drain tile factory of the same date; of two churches, a store and the usual civic developments that can be expected of a village remote from any railroad. As the centre of a large farming district, it has its place in the world of produce and trade.
The early days, when the land was still thickly covered with forest, were fraught with difficulty and danger until a much later date than the older parts of Logan county, but the struggle was a much shorter one, for the improved methods of the middle of the century were within reach, and good roads soon connected these late settlers with their neighbors. There does not seem, at present, any prospect of urban growth on that side of the Miami. The Muchinippi (or Wolf) creek, about which the Seneca Indians congregated in the Reservation days, rises in Auglaize county. Brandywine and Rum creeks have names suggestive of things which are not written down, although the first store "over there" was stocked chiefly with "whiskey, tobacco and tea." To do the proprietor justice, however, the character of his stock was soon changed, and the store became a prosperous and proper one.
The state dam, built in 1850, has made a beautiful lake of the miasmatic swamp lands surrounding the original Indian lake, where, among the pleasure resort settlements, Lakeview is developing into a real town, which has a bank of its own, good stores, and a small newspaper and other evidences of community life.
(page 285) That large tract of the county comprising Harrison and Union townships and extending into Miami township, while it is quite without towns, contains some of the most prominent points of interest to be seen, all of them being easily reached by excellent roads and pikes. Leaving the expanse of beautiful farms and grazing grounds which lie in the valleys of the northwestern creeks, the observer enters an equally fine district, that where the McPherson farm was a central point in the blockhouse days, and which was afterward a trading centre for many years. The McPherson farm was purchased long ago by Logan county for an infirmary, and the present building, which is one of the most perfect institutions of its nature in Ohio, was erected under the administration of E. D. Campbell, R. S. Kerr, and C. C. Harshfield, the board of directors. Mr. and Mrs. George Kennedy are and have been superintendent and matron, respectively, for fifteen years, and under the excellent management of Mr. Kennedy the farm is self-sustaining. Fifty inmates are housed there at this date (1918) and a more comfortable home for the aged and friendless is certainly not provided anywhere at public expense. On the front lawn, at the west side of the entrance, is pointed out the spot where stood the famous blockhouse, which assured protection to settlers and Indians from the foe of 1812. The old family burial plot remains undisturbed on the infirmary farm, and in it, Col. McPherson's grave may be seen, marked with a simple headstone. The Buckongehalas creek flows in a curve around the grounds before turning southward toward DeGraff and the Miami. East of the creek lies the farm of Louisa Sullivan McPherson, widow of Aaron Hartley McPherson, the colonel's grandson. A mile or more west, on the road to Lewistown, is situated the beautiful farm on which George Wood Anderson is developing an enormous poultry plant. House and barns are attractively built and situated, and beyond them looms a hennery large enough for a township house, which promises to be a veritable palace for the breeding and care of fine poultry.
On the road from Bellefontaine to Logansville, a mile directly west from the courthouse, the Children's home spreads hospitable wings, as if calling homeless children to its shelter. About forty years ago, in the old brick house on Main street, Bellefontaine, which now does duty as a depot for the Ohio Electric railroad, lived Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Chambers. Mr. Chambers was a merchant, his business occupying the same situation as the Wissler drygoods store of the present. Mr. and Mrs. Chambers had children of their own (Julius Chambers of New York being a son), and the house was not large ; yet they found room in it for children who were bereft of their natural homes by poverty, unkindness or disaster, and at one time there were no less than sixteen children being cared for under that roof. Mr. Chambers endeavored upon occasions to interest the county at large in the project of a children's home, as Mrs. Chambers' strength was being overtaxed with the self-imposed burden. At length the movement took hold of the public mind, and the farm west of the city was purchased, the house already upon it answering a temporary purpose as residence during the building of a substantial one of brick, which was completed about 1885. The old house is (page 286) still retained in good condition and can be used for semi-occasional overflow, or as a hospital in the event of an epidemic-which to date,
happily, has never visited the home. The building of 1885, though much more pretentious than the present one, as well as larger, accommodating one hundred children, was not as well planned, nor as homelike. It was destroyed by fire, May 14, 1907, and replaced the following year, during the administration of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Curl, of Bellefontaine, who entered the work in 1903 and retained the position until the winter of 1912-13, being then succeeded by Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Harshfield. After five years, in the spring of 1918, the Harshfields resigned, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Hill took charge in June, as superintendent and matron. The home now accommodates fifty boys and girls at most, but is scarcely ever filled to capacity. Few children remain beyond the age of fifteen, when they become old enough to win a home by their own efforts. Very young babies make but extremely short stays here, as homes are nearly always waiting for them. During the last year the youngest babe in the institution was eight months old, but at the date November, 1918, there were no babies in the house, and but thirty-four children, boys and girls all told. The average age is from eight to twelve years. This is, incidentally, a very good answer to the sometimes heard question, "Why is not the farm self-sustaining, like the infirmary?" The building is excellent, and the situation all that could be desired, but there are crying needs at the institution which it is to be hoped will receive early attention. Superintendents and matrons for the last five years have worked under distinct disadvantages in the matters of insufficient help and inadequate provision for upkeep of the house and furnishings, and antiquated light and water systems. The farm is too small to produce revenues sufficient for the support of so large a family. Two governesses teach, manage the dormitories, mend, and have general oversight of the recreation rooms, for children of both sexes from infancy to eighteen. Miss Ovy Foster has charge of the boys and their dormitory in the east wing, and Miss Helen Dickeson of the girls and the littlest boys in the west. With run-down equipment these estimable ladies are overworked. A cook is the remainder of the inadequate retinue with which Mr. and Mrs. Hill are making "home" for the children. There is, however, an atmosphere of genuine kindness in the place, and under a liberal system of discipline the boys and girls alike accord a smiling obedience to every direction, and help with the work to the best of their limited ability. With such willing minds, the necessary financial help should make this home ideal, and certainly these little ones, dependent through no fault of their own, should not be grudged the same advantages as those of city schools. And of course Logan county will see to that.
Southwest of the Children's home, in the basin of Blue Jacket creek, lies a beautiful little sheet of water known as Silver lake, which was for many years a pleasure resort for picnics, boating, fishing, and, though very cold, for bathing. The lake is fed by springs, and in the center a plummet line has never found bottom. The tiny beach on the south shore is of white marl, and the marshy ground at the north end is marl, also. The lake and surroundings (page 287) are now the property of the Y. M. C. A. of Columbus, Ohio, and a summer camp for boys is to be established there.
Fully a dozen clear lakes of varying size lie within this southern territory, draining, for the greater number, into McKee's creek, or into Stony creek, farther west. The most interesting, however, are the "Twin lakes," belonging to the Blue jacket channel, lying one on either side of the Carlyle pike, which passes through the property of the brothers Anson and Andrew Carter-who, although twins, are not the origin of the name borne by these pretty morainic pools, concerning which there is a mournful legend of the old Indian days. The highway, which leads southwest from Bellefontaine, was once an Indian trail, and at this pleasant locality an Indian chieftain dwelt with his motherless daughters, two maidens of great beauty. As was the custom, the chieftain went away on the annual hunt, leaving his daughters safe in their tepees. Two or three weeks later, returning from the expedition laden with the spoils of the forest, he watched for the joyous greetings of the maidens as he came down the trail. But they did not come. And when he came to the place he found only the ashes of his camp, while on either side of the trail lay the slain bodies of his children. Broken with grief, the old chieftain buried each where she lay, and spent the brief remainder of his life weeping over their graves. When at last his tribal followers sought him, nothing was found of their chief except the two crystal pools where he had wept his life away.
Seriously, these great springs are believed to be links in a chain connecting the vanished lake of "Round prairie" with the creek to the northwest. Round prairie, the small but obstinate swamp which refused to respond to drainage, and which had to be filled with the timber from twenty or more acres of heavy woodland, in order to build the railroad in a straight line across it, lies a little more than a mile east of Twin lakes, but, contrary to "auld wives' tales," there is no subterranean channel leading thither from it, through which little fishes swim. If there are fish in the stagnant water of the low spots, the best advices ascribe their presence there to water birds as carriers. Dokes' and Black lakes are not as large as Silver lake, nor have they the same attraction, but they are good fishing grounds, and are interesting and pleasant features of the landscape. Among the other pretty lakes, bearing the original names of the estates on which they lie, are McCracken's and Newell's, and others.
As if to make up for the sparsity of towns in the territory just discussed, the southwest quarter of Logan county boasts two thriving towns scarcely three miles apart, DeGraff, on the east side of the Miami river, a half mile above the bend, and Quincy, on the southern side of the same river, about two miles below the bend, while about two miles north of DeGraff is Logansville, projected before either of the preceding towns, and located in the center of an excellent wheat and corn growing country, watered in the eastern part by Buckongehalas creek, which also afforded power for mills in early days.
Robert Dickson and James Moore, who arrived from the south in 1809, were the earliest settlers to locate in this vicinity. Mr. (page 288) Moore afterward built the first mill, about 1819-20, on the west bank of the Miami, supplementing it soon after by a sawmill, both of which were of great assistance to the settlement, and were in practical use for a long period. The Mathews, Means, Pipers, Ellis and McMullen families are said to have been all who arrived before the year 1820. Only the Dicksons, Moores, Mathews and Meanses came before 1812, but being large families, they made a noticeable group. One of the government blockhouses of 1812 was erected about a mile east of the site of Logansville for their protection. In 1825 Moore built a distillery which for fifteen years put the corn of the settlement to the poorest use ever made of that grain. Thomas Dickson built a tannery in 1826, and every cabin was a tavern for the entertainment of the traveler, until John Dickson and Joseph Davidson opened public taverns at Logansville in 1835 and 1837, the town having been -platted in 1827. The first real road in the district was cut in 1830 from the site of DeGraff through Logansville and north to Bloom Centre, crossing the Miami river near Logansville at what is now known as the Moore bridge. A road of later construction is the pike leading west through Logansville from Bellefontaine, the Miami bridge at this point being one of the first modern bridges to be built across the stream in this county. A live little community gathered at the new village, and it might have become the leading town of the Miami district, had not the railroads chosen the more southerly route, which inevitably drew the center of population away from Logansville and gave rise to the lower towns. Religious history in the Logansville district dates from 1815, with a series of meetings conducted from cabin to cabin by the "New Light" or Christian denomination until about 1824, when the families of the first four settlers united and built a log chapel in what soon after became the site of Logansville. A few years later the Presbyterians organized, and, with the Christians, erected a neat frame church which served them both until 1876, at which time a substantial and churchly edifice was built, and the old frame was converted into a grange hall. The Methodist Episcopal denomination also organized and built a log church in Logansville previous to the Presbyterians, but through deaths and removals the congregation dwindled and the old chapel was allowed to fall into decay. The United Brethren were a later growth. Of the settlement of the southwest, Jeremiah Stansbury and his two sons were the pioneers, arriving in 1805. In 1808 the Makemson brothers, John, Thomas and Andrew (who brought his wife, while the two first were unmarried), and Benjamin Schooler followed. Like most of the Miami settlers they were from Kentucky. William Lee came later in the same year, and Samuel Black also settled on the east shore of the lake which bears his name. The Blacks were of Irish descent. Philip Mathews came in 1809 with a family of four sons, who was a valuable asset; and one of the most noted of the several Moore families settled in the district about the same time. James Shaw came in 1810. Settlement in the southwest, though it began as early as elsewhere, was slow, many reasons uniting to account for the fact. There were no roads, and few trails ; much of the land was swamp prairie, which, apparently (page 289) advantageous for immediate farming (there being no timber to cut), did not bear out the hopes it raised. Even though the settlers persisted in planting, clouds of blackbirds descended on the fields and ate up the seed before it could be covered. Nearly all the settlers were men of small means, who came to carve their fortunes, and had little to bring with them. Malarial and miasmatic conditions prevailed. Dogs were more numerous than stock, and were needed for protection from wild beasts and pests. A great deal of the land had been bought up by speculators who kept it from the market. "Every man for himself" appears to have been the rule of the trail for some time. The family of Samuel Black endured terrible hardships in their first years of pioneering, escaping starvation during the "lean winters" by catching fish from the little lake. Wild pigeon roosts were a feature of all the southern border lands, and these, with wild turkeys, which could be trapped by pioneer devices learned in part from the Indians, aided in keeping the gaunt gray wolf of hunger from many a cabin door, until after the last real wolf was banished or slain.
The Indians had for the greater part removed from this vicinity before the time of Tecumseh's threat in 1811, when Simon Kenton averted battle by his bold diplomacy. At Oldtown, the village of the friendly Indians, situated about a mile or so above the mouth of Stony creek where the warlike braves had gathered, a blockhouse was erected for the settlers' safety, notwithstanding the noisy "peace celebration" which followed the departure of Tecumseh's band. Nevertheless this very locality was a gathering point for pioneers, and in spite of all drawbacks, hardy enterprise conquered the land. Jeremiah Stansbury built a mill on Stony creek, the work occupying nearly four years, owing to natural difficulties, and the lack of help. When finished, it was leased to John Provolt, who had operated it but a few months, when it was destroyed by fire, a dire calamity to the settlers, who had no means of grinding their corn nearer than Springhill, across the southern county line. Between 1820 and 1828 the Newmans, Nicholses, Cannons, Kresses and Spellmans settled at various points, and probably within these dates came John Leach, from Kentucky; James R. Baldwin, from Virginia, who located at the site of Quincy; John Saylor, who set up a store near the Champaign county line ; - Thomas Turner, who bought a high bluff on the Miami river and waited for a canal to be built; and Dr. Canby, who came from Lebanon, Ohio, in 1825, and settled near the site of DeGraff.
Dr. Canby was not only the first physician here, but a shrewd and enterprising business man who gave an impetus to progress which meant much for the upbuilding of the community. He erected a grist mill in 1828, which was large enough to attract immigration, being assisted in the work by the settlers, who built the dam, an unusually strong and permanent one of brush construction. The mill boasted "two run of stone," though one was but a corn cracker. A sawmill was added to the plant, a community began to gather, and buildings to improve.
Mr. Baldwin laid out the town of Quincy in 1830, naming it in honor of John Quincy Adams. Mr. and Mrs. John Bell, from (page 290) Virginia, were the first to purchase and build in the new village.
Like Baldwin, of whom he was an old acquaintance, Mr. Bell was a tanner, and like him he built a tannery as well as a home, these tanneries being the foundation of industry in the village. The plat of Quincy was enriched in 1833-36-39 by Mr. Baldwin, Manlove Chambers and Thomas Harriman, each of whom contributed additions which far outstripped the arrival of population. The village began to thrive. But the expected canal failed to arrive. Business failures ensued and land which was mortgaged was lost to wealthy mortgagees in the east, being released for sale only when the railroad arrived after many years, giving the waiting village a chance for latent growth. The land grants to the railroad, were, however, the gift of the mortgagees (the Blatchley heirs), and from falling to the rank of a deserted village, Quincy was rescued by the railroad. Its situation is exceptionally advantageous as well as beautiful, lying high on the bluffs above the river and cleft by picturesque ravines which afford perfect drainage.
"W. and D. Josephs," two plausible and enterprising men who set up a small general store business about 1845, were the temporary salvation of the town. Their business grew rapidly and attracted traders from as far as West Liberty and Bellefontaine. They sold everything a farmer needed, and they bought everything a farmer had to sell. They also borrowed the farmers' money at extravagant interest. Then the bubble burst, as bubbles will, and Quincy's progress received a serious check. The coming of the railroad restored hope. From time to time a sawmill, a gristmill, several wood-working factories and similar industries supplanting the older pioneer tanneries have flourished there, all, with the exception of the mill, giving way in turn to more modern enterprises as conditions changed. The population, which has grown slowly, is now about seven hundred. The streets have been sidewalked with cement, and present a neat and well-kept aspect, though only piked, not paved. Rounding the picturesque hill which leads up from the bridge to the level of the town, a little frame "cornerstore" building, dark and weather-beaten, shows where one merchant weathered the financial gale of the forties. The ancient canopy over the sidewalk supports a wild grape vine, branching from a stem as heavy as a tree, which was planted seventy years ago-a slip from a vine at the river's edge-by Mrs. William Johnson, whose husband kept the store. Mrs. Johnson's daughter, Miss Minnie Fidler, still lives in the old-fashioned cottage next door, and is, with Mrs. D. C. Arthur, now among the oldest living residents of old Quincy. Dr. Nicholas V. Speece, who died in the autumn of 1918 at the age of eighty years, was for more than fifty years the leading physician of the town and vicinity, and no more devoted member of the profession may be instanced in the county. His library was the largest in western Logan. Drs. A. M. Curl and F. E. Detrick are left in the local medical field.
The Canby mill, which was located not at the site of DeGraff but nearer Quincy, passed through various ownerships, and by 1860 was the property of Joseph Eicher, a German emigrant of 1848, and a fervent Unionist during the Civil War. The mill then stood on (page 291) the original site, on the north side of the river, but after it passed into the hands of the Allingers in 1871, it was abandoned, and the old sawmill on the south side was destroyed about 1882 to make room for the present substantial four mill, which is widely known.
The race for the mill allows a fall of only six feet, but, with turbine wheels, power is furnished sufficient to grind about three barrels per hour, of "Golden Rule" four. The modern character of the mill in no way detracts from the original beauty of the situation, which is being carefully maintained by the citizens. At the doorstep of the mill an interesting relic arrests the eye. It is the buhr stone from a pioneer mill, which is averred to have ground the meal and flour which fed Anthony Wayne's soldiers on the famous march to Detroit. The stone is a light red granite, of extreme hardness, and with the rude grooving still clearly defined after more than a century of grinding. The, cyclone of 1825, in the track of which both Quincy and DeGraff were located, was repeated in 1872, devastating property and causing loss of human life, and piling up the list of misfortunes already borne by the little town. Materially, Quincy has long since recovered from this blow, but scars are left that can never be forgotten.
The D. T. & I. railroad, completed in 1892-3, gave to Quincy a north and south shipping route in addition to the east and west line of the Big Four railway, which is of great advantage. One of the beauty points of the vicinity is the D. T. and I. bridge which spans the gorge of the river from the rolling heights on the north to the bluff on the south. Built of steel, its airy perfection was attained at a cost of a million dollars, and was completed without delaying the passage across the river of but one train. The Quincy Grain company's elevator is placed conveniently to both railroads, and is one of the most important institutions of the town. The company incorporated in 1909 with a capital, all local, of $15,000, and exports not less than 100,000 bushels of grain annually, besides handling the local trade in all grain products, seeds, salt, coal, etc. The manager is W. A. Nisonger.
The Peter Kunz company has a large plant at Quincy, in which local stockholders are interested, and which is well managed by Mr. Maurice Albaugh, a prominent citizen.
Electric light is supplied from Sidney, Ohio, but the telephone service is independent. Fire protection is furnished by very good general equipment, with gasoline engines, the water being drawn from fire cisterns, or, in emergency, may be drawn from the river. However, no large fires have ever visited the town. The Miami Valley bank, unincorporated, was first organized in 1903 with a capital stock of $5,000, with J. E. Wells, J. W. Wilkinson, E. T. Lowe, J. F. Speece and W. H. Persinger as officers. It was reorganized in June, 1918, with $10,000 capital stock, and the following board: J. W. Wilkinson, president; E. T. Lowe, vice-president ; J. S. Kneisley, cashier ; F. M. Sayre, assistant cashier; stockholders, J. F. Speece, J. E. Wells and W. H. Persinger. It is installed in remodeled headquarters on the principal business street.
The Methodist Episcopal body was the first to organize in (page 292) Quincy, being followed by the Baptist, and later by the Universalist, each of which had its neat church edifice. All three were destroyed in the cyclone of 1872, and only the Methodists were strong enough
to rebuild. This congregation is now housed in a beautiful temple erected in 1908, in which the Methodists of a large district gather to worship.
DeGraff, which, like Quincy, was built in the track laid waste by the tornado of 1825, was not so located merely on that account, for John Boggs of Pickaway county, Ohio, entered this land in 1805 as an investment for his infant son, William. It lay undeveloped until 1826, when William Boggs, now grown up and become a husband and father, decided to carve a fortune from it for his wife and child. Bringing a man to help, the family camped in the moving wagon in which they made the journey thither, while the two men built a substantial cabin, on a well-chosen hill site. In 1833 Mr. Boggs built a sawmill below his cabin, bringing the machinery from Columbus. In 1840 he built a gristmill, on Buckongehalas creek, founding a permanent industry. In 1850 Mr. Boggs laid out a town on his land, the railroad (then the Bellefontaine and Indiana, but now the Big Four) having been staked out through it. The name of DeGraff was bestowed in honor of the president of the new steel highway. John Koke and Samuel Gilfillin, who had purchased a portion of the land, platted a tract southeast of the railroad line, but being unable to fulfill the purchase contract, this addition reverted to Mr. Boggs. The first business house in DeGraff was opened by J. M. Askrin. A. J. Lippincott put up a second store a month later, choosing Main street rather than Boggs street for a business site, a judgment which set the pace for followers. The prospect of a second railroad at one time helped to attract investment, but the route was secured by Quincy. Mr. Boggs stood by his town with fine public spirit, assisting wherever he found need. He built a warehouse for Aaron Mitchell, an honest man who, without capital, began to purchase wheat, and by persistence built up a wheat market at DeGraff which competed with the best, and benefited the whole district as well as himself. The old warehouse did duty during the sixties as railroad depot and freight house, but a neat depot and improved equipment long since replaced it. Larger warehouses have been built, and DeGraff is now a shipping center of great importance, despite the nearness of Quincy with its double railroad facilities. William Boggs in 1852 gave to the Presbyterians, who were the first religious body to organize in DeGraff, a site for church property, to be used for that purpose only, and to revert to his heirs if ever abandoned by the church. Here, in the woods, reached only by a mere wagon track through the trees which still covered most of the village plat, the neat chapel was built. It was at first used by all denominations, Rev. William Galbreath preaching for the Presbyterian contingent. The Methodists, however, soon separated and built for themselves, and in 1860 the Baptist group erected a substantial church which is still in use, having escaped the cyclone which wiped out nearly half the town in 1872. Rev. A. W. Denlinger is the present pastor. The Presbyterian chapel, still neat and intact, stands in its old place, though the forest (page 293) is departed, but the congregation built a new church home, in 1910, at the corner of Main and Miami streets, W. E. Harris, grandson of William Boggs, and heir to the estate, waiving his claim, and permitting the old property to be sold for the benefit of the building fund. The new edifice is artistic and very modern, with a portecochere at the rear entrance as an unusual feature. Rev. J. A. Kumler, who was pastor at the time of rebuilding, resigned in 1916 and was succeeded by Rev. William Haldstab. The "New Light" Christians once organized and built a church, but languished soon after, and the chapel was converted into a G. A. R. hall. The original Methodist church was destroyed by the cyclone in 1872, and rebuilt on a larger scale in 1873, where it still stands, having been lately enlarged by the addition of a parish house and lecture room. Rev. Clark L. Gowdy is pastor at this date (1918). The "Primitive Baptist" and the Christian Brethren hold meetings in a hall on alternate Sundays. The first school house of DeGraff was subsequently used in various ways, but at one time was devoted to a mission of St. Patrick's church of Bellefontaine under Father Bourion. It was abandoned, and the old building having been removed to the outskirts, where it serves some utilitarian purpose, the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Weller now occupies the site. DeGraff was incorporated in 1864, and A. J. Lippincott was elected first mayor, with Mathias Wolf, who then owned the Boggs Mill, as recorder, and a council of five citizens. In 1865 the streets were graded, and in 1873, following the cyclone, a fire department was established, which has been modernized to keep pace with the times, its pride being the engine which was named the "William Boggs." In 1877 the city hall was built, housing the city offices, court and lockup, as well as the fire department. The town has had its full share of fires, but the "William Boggs" was always equal to the emergency until the disastrous conflagration of July, 1914, when a fire, which started in the rear of the Figley livery bar, leveled everything on Main street, from the Rhodes hotel south to the railroad, leaped the street, and consumed everything on the opposite side from the city building to the elevator, which was saved. Bellefontaine, Quincy and Sidney all rushed to the rescue or little of DeGraff would have been left. It is characteristic of DeGraff spirit that today only one of the destroyed buildings still awaits replacement, and the devastated portion presents an unusually fine appearance for a town of DeGraff's size. Scarcely forty per cent of the loss was covered by insurance. It was a brave rally. Dr. Galer and H. C. Thatcher, two venerable citizens, lent cheer and encouragement to the stricken business men, but did not live to see the restored street rise from its ashes. The DeGraff journal, whose plant was utterly ruined, never missed an issue of the paper, which was printed at the Fort Wayne branch of the Newspaper Union until the pretty new building of art brick, with its Campbell press and type-casting machine, was ready to resume work at the old stand. The editor, S. P. Pond, was, at the time of the fire, the chief of the fire department, which fought so valiantly at such unequal odds. The journal files of those weeks following the conflagration contain some of the most valuable items of local history (page 294) ever published, as well as a great deal of inspiriting matter which kept courage at the necessary pitch. The journal is just twenty-five years old (1918) having been founded in 1893 by Mr. Pond, who with the assistance of his three daughters, operates the entire establishment, Mrs. Pond (who was Miss Jennie Reynolds, daughter of an early settler) contributing occasional articles, though she has retired from daily service in the editorial office. Mr. Pond was previously for eleven years connected with Daniel S. Spellman, on the DeGraff Buckeye, the pioneer newspaper of the town. Like many another town DeGraff resolved to reform its water system at once, and avoid further disasters, but there are many things in the way of complete reform. A water works system is too expensive for a small town, and it involves a sewage system, which doubles the expense, and thus far the only move is a waiting one-DeGraff will not pave her streets until the water mains and sewers are laid. The streets are well sidewalked, and fairly well piked. This enterprising little city had the first electric light plant in Logan county, establishing it in 1893. It was municipally owned until February, 1918, when it was sold to avoid a bond issue-an act of doubtful wisdom.
Of the two elevators at DeGraff, that of the Buckland Milling company, which operates a flour mill in connection with the plant, has a local manager, William Ward, while the Andrew Mohr warehouse is owned by DeGraff capital. The combined shipments of these firms aggregate in the neighborhood of three hundred thousand bushels annually, of all grains.
DeGraff is the home of the oldest bank in Logan county outside of Bellefontaine, the "Citizens' Bank of DeGraff" having been organized in 1885. It was then a private concern, and its first president was I. S. Williams, and the cashier, B. F. Loofbourrow. Later the firm became Williams, Harris, Galer & Koogler, and in 1908 it was reorganized and incorporated under the state banking laws, with a capital of $30,000. The officers are W. E. Harris, president; F. M. Galer, vice-president; Harry W. Koogler, cashier; S. B. Hamsher, assistant cashier. Dr. C. G. Weller and Dr. J. A. Shawan are second and third vice-presidents, and there are thirty stockholders. The surplus and undivided profits total about $27,000. The bank's headquarters were remodeled in 1914, and are not surpassed in interior elegance and commodiousness in the county. There is a safe deposit department in the vault, which is the largest burglar proof vault in the county, being fire proof as well.
DeGraff is a fair open town, pretty and well built. It has unusually wide-awake retail business houses, and it is growing. Across the Buckongehalas, which circles the major part of the town before emptying into the Miami west of the bend, is an extension of the village set against a fine hill which overlooks DeGraff proper, the "suburb" being known as "Thatcherville," from the numerous members of the prominent family who have built their homes over there. It is not a separate village, but a natural extension of DeGraff, and a very pretty one.
The really unique industry of DeGraff is the plant of the DeGraff Canning company, a stock company organized by local (page 295) capitalists in 1907, for the purpose of canning Logan county products.
It has five main buildings, including the packing and shipping house. Four varieties of product are prepared for market, sweet corn, peas, succotash and pumpkin. Sweet corn and succotash are put up under private label, bearing the brands respectively of "White Dove Sugar Corn" and "Miami Leader" succotash. The other products are canned and labeled for wholesale houses. The entire product of the cannery finds immediate market, and in the season just closed seventy-five thousand cases of twenty-four cans each were shipped, an equivalent of sixty carloads. The maximum of help employed in the season is about 125, largely women and girls, or boys, and the pay roll amounted to about $20,000. It is, admittedly, a small plant, but DeGraff is a small town, and may well take pride in having placed itself in the list of manufacturing towns on a purely domestic basis. A visit to the cannery is most interesting, and the machinery by which the corn is received from the trucks which bring it fresh from the fields, husks it, and after it leaves the sorting table (the only place where fingers touch it) seems almost endowed with intelligence. There is no waste, all refuse of every sort being at once converted into feed which is either used for hogs while yet fresh, or, as in the case of sweet corn husks and cobs, treated as ensilage, which is sold to farmers, who cart it away in great loads. The first of December sees the plant closed each year, the winter months furnishing the necessary period for renovation and repairs. The towns of the Scioto slope, in the eastern part of Logan county, represent both the earliest and latest settlement periods. Beginning with Middleburg, where job Sharp and his neighbors slowly crystallized into an organized community, and following the chain-Rushsylvania, East Liberty and West Mansfield-the records and the names preserved in the population of today give evidence of the natural scattering from the original settlements in old Zane township to the northern border, with accessions from the other avenues which began to open into the county after it was set apart from Champaign.
In many respects the eastern slopes exhibit a very different character, as to soil and water supply, from the Mad river or Miami sections, which was shown in the original forest growth as clearly as otherwise. Especially in the southeastern part the maple forests were distinctive, making this one of the greatest sugar producing sections of Ohio, the effect of the sun on the eastern slopes bringing on the "sugar season" about two weeks earlier than it came to the western valley. Sugar making thus naturally developed into one of the first industries of the new community, the art being learned from the Indians and afterward greatly improved upon. The Euanses, Garwoods, Inskeeps, Outlands and Ballingers were all a part of the fine element which settled this territory, also the Cowgills, Warners and Curls, and Dr. John Elbert, sr., who, coming in 1809, was the first physician of regular standing in the county. Previous to this, Mrs. Job Sharp, a benevolent and resourceful woman well schooled and skilled in the treatment of ordinary illness, ministered to her neighbors, and was esteemed a physician in the settlement. Dr. Elbert passed a busy and useful life, full of self (page 296) sacrifice, meeting his own death while on the way to the bedside of a patient, in 1838.
"Johnny Appleseed" planted his first Logan county nursery here in 1810, on the farm of Joshua Inskeep. The first death in the settlement, that of "Grandfather" Jones, occurred in the same year, his burial being the first in the little Quaker burying ground. The first marriage performed in the settlement was that of William Euans and Rachel Stokes, in 1811.
Wyandot Indians lingered in this neighborhood for a good many years, and were generally friendly, though not always trusted. Job Sharp's fine house of hewn logs, double built (in 1807), and the similar one of William Seger were often used as blockhouses in times of Indian or outlaw disturbances.
John Garwood went farther north and built a mill at the site of East Liberty, but the first gristmill in the original settlement, after the little Sharp mill, was built by Caleb Ballinger in 1824, and sold, in 1831, to David and Daniel Eicher, who remodeled it. In 1856 it was entirely rebuilt on a larger scale, and for many years was one of the county's important industries. Up to 1815 all building material was prepared by hand, and marvels were achieved with ax and whip saw, not only in house-building but furniture making.
Joshua Inskeep built the first sawmill in 1815, on "Mill branch." A freshet carried his mill down stream to destruction. The second attempt was anchored to a tree stump, which helped it to resist the elements. The Stratton mill on the same creek was a third, and Jose Garwood built a fourth, in 1831, which outlived the other three to a late period.
The first steam sawmill in central Ohio was built by Brattany and Sellars during the winter of 1833-4, in the new village of Middleburg, which had been platted in 1832, on land belonging to Levi and William Grubbs. Urbana and Columbus streets, named for the already existing highways, crossed at right angles in the middle of the plat, the land on the east of Urbana street belonging to William and that on the left to Levi. Elias D. Gabriel opened the first of several stores, and the town grew with considerable rapidity, promising for a time, a great future. Arthur Crifeld, a Disciple minister, a good man and a very progressive one, started a newspaper there, in 1836, called "The People's Palladium and Advertiser"-for four counties. This paper, in July of the same year, promoted Martin Van Buren for president. Various kinds of farm produce were taken in payment of subscriptions. Later, Mr. Crifeld changed the paper to a religious journal, called "The Heretic Detector," and under this title removed the publication to Cincinnati, where it continued for some years.
Located on the route from the southeast counties toward the land office at Lima, Middleburg took on importance as a stopping place for travelers. Taverns sprang up, well-famed for their accommodations but bringing the usual train of rough and lawless loafers into the settlement, and giving to the town a reputation which its real founders and citizens did not deserve. Help was sought, and obtained, from the state inspector, who found the liquors vended there to be adulterated, and ordered them emptied into the road. (page 297) The Sons of Temperance organized in June, 1848, and a lodge of Good Templars was formed in 1855 to drive the demon Alcohol out of the village. The fight ended successfully in 1861. John Hellings, who started a distillery near Middleburg in 1835, manufactured peach and apple brandy, and also whiskey. He was assisted by his son, W. M. Hellings, who afterward forsook the trade and became one of the stoutest supporters of temperance in Middleburg. On his farm, southeast of Middleburg, Daniel Garwood opened the first tannery, in 1808. He also built the first brick house of the settlement, in 1818, when sand for brick making (a commodity so plentiful in. Logan county, had they only known it) was so scarce that ashes had to be mixed with the lime to eke out the mortar. In 1818 clocks were first brought to the settlement by "yankee peddlars." The first frame house, built in 1820, was a curiosity worth a pilgrimage to see. Mrs. Lydia Marquis once cut the blocks for a quilt with a knife, because there was not a pair of scissors in the wilderness. Wheat was not successfully raised here until 1812, and then had to be hauled a hundred miles to find a market. Salt must needs be brought from Chillicothe or Sandusky, and cost thirteen dollars a barrel. Cows were lost or mired in the swamps, or ate the poisonous weed that caused the mysterious "milk-sickness." Hogs, which were allowed to roam wild for their food, had to be hunted, like wild game, in the fall. The first cookstove was brought by Dr. Elbert in 1839, and cost nearly a ton and a half of these hogs. The first left-hand plow, made in Urbana, was used in 1841. Kettles for the sugar making had to be brought from the Mary Ann furnace in Licking county.
After the rapid progress of the decade following the thirties, these early difficulties were half forgotten in the tide of prosperity. The Brattany and Sellars steam sawmill became, in the sixties, a factory where wooden buckets were manufactured by Chesher & Son. One of the successful merchants of earlier days in Middleburg was Edward Allen, who built up a fine business in general merchandise and hardware, meat packing and shipping. He met a tragic death in 1851, whether by his own hand or not was never determined. Among the famous taverns of old times may be mentioned those of Allen and Marquis, the Joel Haines, and the Hellings houses. In 1851 a large tile and pottery factory was established, which flourished for many years, the manufacture of sugar crocks and jars for local maple sugar packing being an important branch. Gangs of counterfeiters were known to operate in this wild country, so full of hiding places, but their lairs were never found, nor any of the law-breakers convicted, though the spurious currency was met with troublesome frequency.
The oldest church was that of the Friends', built in 1805, which was used both as school and church until 1825. The sexton, young Carlisle Haines, used to receive twenty-five cents for his janitor service each winter. The Methodists used this little chapel by courtesy of its builders until 1812, when they built one for themselves at Innskeep dam, a small log structure about eighteen feet square. In 1829 the Episcopal Methodists rallied and built Mount Moriah church, all labor being voluntarily contributed. The first members, (page 298) most of whom sleep in the little church yard there, included the Elberts, Innskeeps, Ballingers and Euanses, and Allen and David Sharp, the latter being in all probability the first preacher. In 1854 this log meeting house was replaced by a brick chapel, which was destroyed by fire in 1874, rebuilt, and once more wrecked, in 1880, by a storm. However, it was repaired, and still serves. A Methodist Episcopal church was built at Middleburg in 1834, which was abandoned and converted into a dwelling house about 1840, because of a defection of its members toward the Protestant Methodist body, which in the meantime had organized and built a church. This latter church, which was built anew in 1873, is wideawake and well attended. The Christian church which organized at Middleburg under Rev. Crifeld, in 1835, has also held its way steadily through all the changes of fortune which have visited the town. Rev. Charles A. Freer of East Liberty devotes a part of his time to the Middleburg congregation. About 1836, the-Methodist church at Innskeep's dam having fallen into disrepair, the congregation projected a large church at Middleburg which should eclipse all others. Mr. Innskeep supported the movement liberally, but the edifice failed of completion, having simply overreached the times, and after standing unfinished for some years, it was converted to use as a carriage factory by Eurem Carpenter.
The "grange" movement started in this district with much enthusiasm, which took deep root. The Jericho and Maple Grove granges became quite prominent organizations.
The Township hall, built in 1879, at Middleburg, is still a staunch structure, the lower floor occupied by Ora Innskeep's store ; while the Oddfellows' building, a large and substantial frame, erected in 1897, accommodates the Maurice Sharp store. Koch's restaurant dispenses bakery products, and provides refreshment for the chance traveler, but the taverns of old are only memories. The old Allen and Marquis sign may still be deciphered, but the place is empty and going to decay. Even the Joel Haines and Hellings hotels are things of the past, as is the Hellings store of forty years ago. Two or three of the larger dwellings of the village are pointed out as former "hotels." The Middleburg of today is quite lapsed from its old-time activity, and its industries are no longer evident, but it is a church and social centre for a populous and beautiful farming country. It stands on a nearly solid limestone ridge, and extensive quarrying has been done near by, but at present the Middleburg quarries are idle. The question of water supply was always a drawback to the village, as deep boring through the limestone to secure wells was necessarily expensive. However, water has been successfully pumped, by hydraulic process, from the famous old springs on the job Sharp farm-the same which furnished water power for the tiny mill a hundred years ago. It is the lack of railroad transportation, however, which chiefly militates against the future growth of Middleburg.
The modern centralized school building, at the eastern extremity of Columbus street, brings new life there when school is in session, but seems anomalous beside the last century appearance of the neat little street, on which are many reminders of the past. Mrs. (page 299) Samuel Marquis' pleasant home is one of the old "hotels," and across the street is another, both quiet and subdued, in white paint and drawn blinds. Mrs. Jenny Milledge Antrim, widow of Joshua Antrim's son, Lamar Antrim, lives near the Shrap store, while across the street is Mrs. Elloria McWade, aged eighty years, daughter of Job Haines Sharp, granddaughter of Joshua Sharp, and great-granddaughter of job Sharp, first pioneer. Mrs. McWade's twin sister, Victoria Sharp, died in early womanhood. "She was the beauty of the village," says Mrs. McWade, adding, with a sudden twinkle of the old blue eyes, "They couldn't tell us apart." And behind the mask of eighty toil-worn years, one catches a fleeting glimpse of a girl with a face like a wild rose.
John Garwood, sr., William Skidmore and three of the Inskeep brothers were the first of the Zane township settlers to move northward. The Hatchers, Bairds, Freers and Randalls followed soon after, and Anthony Bank, a colored man of considerable ability, from Virginia, settled near. Bank, who had bought his wife, treated her quite as his slave, although he became very wealthy and could have lightened her existence with ease. For himself, he indulged in sumptuous living, while his wife, whom he outlived, died rejoicing that at last she was going to be a free woman. The children, who inherited a really fine fortune, wasted it in improvident living. Garwood's mill, first built in 1810, drew its power from Otter creek. The mill, however, was not well placed, and later was moved to a more advantageous situation by Thomas James, enlarged, and rebuilt more than once, until at last it was all new, although it never ceased to be called the "Old Garwood mill." In its palmy days, the machinery was capable of grinding one hundred and fifty bushels of grain in twenty-four hours, but it has now been in disuse as a mill for a good many years, and stands silent in its old place, while the village of East Liberty, which grew up around it, has turned its attention to other industries.
Another gristmill, built by William B. Moore, was washed down the creek in a freshet. Thomas James and William Smith built and operated a distillery near Garwood's mill in 1832-33, and sold out to one Brooks, who continued it after a few years. The first road built to the north from this settlement continued the Urbana route toward Big Springs, where it crossed the Sandusky road. Lot Inskeep opened a store on this road in 1826, it being the first mercantile venture in this section. C. H. Austin bought him out and later removed the store to East Liberty, when that village had been platted, which was in March, 1834. The land chosen for the building of the town originally belonged to John Garwood, who sold it to John Bowyer, by whom the plat was made. The first residence built was that of Josiah Austin, and the second that of John McCalley, while the stores of King and Hitchins, and White and Allen, were opened in October of 1834. In 1833 John McCalley had opened a tannery, which afterward was sold to Job Haines Sharp about 1843. James Seaman was the first blacksmith, John Ewing the first shoemaker and Samuel Cook the first saddler, of East Liberty. S. B. Taylor kept its first tavern, followed in after years by another at which Joseph Seaman was the landlord.
(page 300) In 1880 the "Liberty House" was kept by E. S. Stover. At present (1918), there is not the exact equivalent of a hotel in the town, although the visitor can find very good entertainment for a temporary stay.
Of religious organizations the early history is scant in detail, but the Quakers were doubtless the first to hold services, and John Garwood, sr., was himself a "preacher" of this persuasion. There was no Friends' church until 1850, when a chapel was built, which was destroyed a few years later by fire. About 1860 or after, a more modern frame building was erected, a mile or more west of North Greenfield, where Mary Elliott was the preacher for many years. A cemetery was laid out near by. Herbert Baird, an early settler, was the first Methodist preacher, becoming a regular "circuit rider." Samuel Bradford and David Dudley were the earliest preachers of the Baptist faith. North Greenfeld was laid out on the site of a well-known Methodist camp-meeting ground of the pioneer days, and the first Methodist church of the settlement was built on this ground, it being now in the town. The Methodists also built the first church in the town of East Liberty, a log cabin, which long ago gave way to a modern structure. The United Brethren also established a church north of the town about 1850, which was not of long career. At the Skidmore neighborhood about 1858, or later, the Union Baptist church was built and became a permanent organization. There are now two local churches in East Liberty, the Methodist, under the present pastoral care of Rev. Kuppert, and the Christian, of which Rev. Charles A. Freer has been pastor for the last six years. Rev. Freer is a native son of East Liberty, but after finishing his college courses he spent twenty-three years in labors far afield. He is the local correspondent for the Bellefontaine Examiner,. and a citizen of wide and beneficial activity. Both the churches are handsome modern edifices, their congregations imbued with vigorous spirit, maintaining wide-awake Sunday schools, and co-operating in every movement for the good of town and countryside. The East Liberty Echo, edited for twelve years or more by Howard Harvey, was a meritorious sheet and is much missed by the community since its discontinuance. The fine new Consolidated high school at this center was the second in the county to open, six vans being needed to transport the students between home and school. A branch of this school is established at North Greenfield, where the children of the first four grades, who are too remote to attend the central building, are accommodated. In 1883, the Central Ohio college was established at East Liberty. An excellent building was erected and a still more excellent faculty engaged, and for fifteen or more years the institution had a useful and, from that standpoint, successful career. Not being endowed, however, the income was not sufficient to maintain it at the high standard set, and rather than lower that standard it was reluctantly abandoned. The college had been, nevertheless, long enough a part of the community to imbue it with its high ideals, and East Liberty is still the better for its one time higher institution of learning. Rev. Charles Freer was one of the first graduates, in the class of 1887. The building, a substantial structure, has now for some time past (page 301) been used by the Harding Automatic Screw Machine company, which during the World War has been manufacturing small parts for airplane machinery, on government contracts.
East Liberty is not an incorporated town, but has independent telephone exchange, and volunteer fire department with hand engine, and convenient fire cisterns, and everything in the way of public works is compassed by co-operative effort, which is characteristic of its five hundred citizens. One of the great natural advantages possessed by the village is its abundance of pure water which is obtained at a minimum of trouble, every well being a flowing well, gushing water of -a delicious coldness. The situation is excellent and sanitary, and provides pretty sites for homes, of which few towns of its population can boast as large a number of the strictly modern type, architecturally, fitted with lighting and plumbing systems operated by individual power plants, electricity being provided from the municipal electric plant-which is another institution of which the enterprising little town can boast. The Odd Fellows' Hall is the finest as well as the most pretentious structure in the village, and the Odd Fellows are themselves, doubtless, a match for their building. The old Town Hall, while not ornamental, is of ample size, wide open and busy, with the intrinsic dignity that comes from real public service. The P. J. Humphreys well-kept and extensive lumber plant fronts on Main street above the T. & O. C. depot, while beyond the latter is the elevator, owned by Johnson & Harvey, who ship out, every year, an average of twenty thousand bushels of grain. In 1918 this output was chiefly wheat, although oats is usually the preponderant export. Stock raising is a chief industry of this section of the county, and stock feeding is so extensive that a large import of corn is necessary. Seventy-five carloads of livestock leaves East Liberty yearly by rail. A. L. Benton, stock dealer, also exports about twenty carloads of horses. Hay is also a heavy export item from this and all the eastern border towns. Near the old mill the Mabel Dill & Son firm of poulterers handles a shipping business of ten thousand dollars yearly, besides dealing in hides, furs and junk. An equally large plant of the same nature is situated farther down the tracks. The Raymond creamery and another local milk depot ship fresh milk, cream or butter fat, and condensed skimmed milk, in large quantities, the Raymond concern handling as high as six thousand pounds of milk daily. The Hamilton bank, now nearing its twentieth birthday, is a private institution, organized and founded in 1899 by Fremont C. Hamilton, its president. The first cashier was Earl M. Smith. The second to serve the bank in this capacity was Bernice F. Skidmore, who afterward became assistant commissioner of securities in the state banking department. The present official family of the bank is F. C. Hamilton, president; Helen E. Herd, cashier; E. Helen Smith, assistant cashier; H. W. Harshfeld, bookkeeper. The capital stock is $19,000, and the deposits approximate $300,000. Mr. Hamilton's office is in the same room-though the building has been reconstructed-where his father, Dr. J. C. Hamilton, East Liberty's first physician, began his profession. Dr. Hamilton, who (page 302) was born in Venango county, Pennsylvania, located in the new village in 1836, at a time when a doctor was sorely needed, and for fifteen years he practiced at high speed, keeping four saddle horses for professional visits alone. During the malaria, milk-sickness and cholera scourges of those fifteen years it was a not uncommon occurrence for him to prescribe for one hundred patients in a day, while once, at least, the number reached one hundred and forty. Perhaps it should be explained, lest some who read should cavil, that every member of some extraordinarily large family often needed medical attention at the same visit. (During this period, in 1843, an epidemic of influenza ravaged the country. People called it "the Tyler grip.") No fewer than ten young doctors began their medical studies under Dr. Hamilton's direction, all of whom became prominent physicians. Among them were his three brothers, and Dr. S. N. James, who succeeded to the village practice, and whose daughter became Mrs. Fremont Hamilton. Dr. Smith, who succeeded Dr. James at East Liberty, was the latter's pupil. Drs. Adams and Unkifer were also early physicians. Following Dr. Hamilton's retirement, he entered other business, in which he was successful. He died in 1879. Dr. Smith continued in practice for a long term of years. East Liberty is now a remarkably healthy town, and during the last summer and fall (1918) has had no resident physician, Dr. Clippenger having entered army service ; but since the cessation of hostilities with Germany, it is expected that he will return to his clientele. The railway through East Liberty has given the town an assurance of continued prosperity, as it is in direct communication with the county seat and the state capitol, and as a shipping point has few equals for the variety of produce furnished by the district.
East Liberty is the headquarters of the Slenker depot for fur pelts, an interest that has in the last two or three years had a sudden and profitable revival in this county, in which the smaller fur-bearing animals, mink, muskrat, skunk and others, are still numerous, especially in the northwest and northeast portions. An idea of the value of this trade to Logan county may be conveyed by the authorized statement that full $300,000 worth of fur pelts passed through the Slenker warehouse in 1918, probably four times the value of the output a few years ago.
The first settler in the Rush Creek valley was Thomas Stanfield, who brought with him in 1805 his wife and their family of nine daughters and one son. Mr. and Mrs. William Reams came
soon after, with their family, nine sons and one daughter. The Stanfields were Quakers, and as usual with that society they made friends with Indians, who were numerous in that vicinity. During the troubles of 1812, however, the anger of the Indians became in some mysterious way inflamed against the Stanfelds, whom they planned to surprise and massacre. Word of the situation having come to the knowledge of Daniel McCoy, of the Zanesfeld settlement, he not only assisted the family to make a good escape, but by a brave strategy made the lurking Indians believe that he was accompanied by troops, so that the cabin itself was found unharmed when the Stanfields returned a few days later.
(page 303) May, 1814, the only daughter of the Reamses was married to the only son of the Stanfields, the first marriage in the district. Thomas Sutherland, whose wife was Phoebe, a daughter of the Stanfields, settled in 1816 on land where William Reams' son Aaron had built the first cabin. No other names appear to have been entered prior to 1820, settlement continuing to be very slow in this section. Richardson and Rodaker are the first after 1820, and thereafter came McClure, Thomas, Wilson, Smith, Collins, Tyler, Green, Anderson and Fry, with a few others, up to 1830. "Squire" Rodaker was one of the first justices of the peace, and an amusing anecdote is preserved of a case in his court, in which Anthony Casad persisted in making a speech in behalf of his client, in defiance of the Squire's prohibition. Mr. Casad was rewarded for his very conclusive eloquence by an adverse decision from the rural "bench."
From the edge of the Miami watershed northwest of Rushsylvania, and winding down in a belt of varying width toward the eastern boundary of the county, near West Mansfield, is a region which, agriculturally, is the poorest to be found in Logan's borders. A large portion of it was originally covered with swamp and marsh land, once heavily timbered, but in a day when timber was a nuisance when enough of it had been felled to build the settler's log cabin, a shelter for his cattle, and a few rail fences. Rush creek lake, lying about two miles southwest of Rushsylvania, is about ninety acres in extent, but before the development of Logan county's thorough system of drainage it was surrounded by vast marshes, often covered deep in water, which are now reclaimed and cultivated. Rush creek, a pretty stream for the greater part, varies from clear rapids to muddy levels spreading, originally, into wide marsh regions which in early days generated miasma which hung like a pall over the district, retarding settlement and creating a fabulous market for quinine among the hardy pioneers for more than fifty years.
The historic tornado of 1825, which swept across the entire county, disturbed the settlers in Rush creek and vicinity, but injured no one. In this terrific but freakish windstorm, which dashed mud from the lake marshes against trees a quarter of a mile away, surrounded the cattle of Joel Thomas with an area of fallen timbers, but did not hurt one animal; Enoch Lundy's cabin was demolished by a falling tree, but himself, his wife and four children escaped uninjured. Never did an ill wind blow more good than this, for it opened a track through and into a new country, and the footsteps of settlers soon found it.
The first industry of the pioneers of this district was trading, their early harvests producing too little to live upon. The first wheat went far to grinding or to market, and sold at fifty cents the bushel at best, pay was usually taken in salt or other necessities, and happy was the pioneer who bought home enough cash to pay his taxes.
The earliest church built among these difficulties was the little log chapel of the Quakers, the ground being given by Thomas Stanfield, first settler. Here Thomas Antrim came periodically to (page 304) preach, and here the first school was conducted, until the building of a log school house near by. Isaac Myers and Justice Edwards both taught this school previous to 1820. A cemetery afterward occupied the site of the little Quaker meeting house, and in it the remains of Thomas Stanfeld rest. A Baptist church was the second to be built, in 1827 and the early preachers who ministered there were Revs. Haines Parker, George McColloch, Hiram Hukel and Clark. The chapel, known as "Rush Creek church," was a hewn log cabin, and a public burying ground was established by it, on land donated by Solomon Cover. Samuel Patrick, who died October, 1831, was the first person to be buried there. Ebenezer Zane and his wife, Hannah, had a camp on Mill creek, and upon occasions the many Indians in the district were preached
to by a son-in-law of Ebenezer, "Doctor Gray-eyes," an Indian Missionary from the Sandusky reservation, who addressed them in their own tongue. Other settlers attended these preachments, and the whole congregation were once dined at the Zane camp by "Aunt Hannah," the piece de resistance being bear meat furnished by Ebenezer's rifle, with wild honey for a savor. The incident is significant of the friendliness between the settlers and the red man. But pioneer churches were few, and meetings of a religious character were held chiefly in schoolhouses. The Methodists were great missionaries, however, and by means of revivals at these places kept the church spirit alive. Their first church was built in Rushsylvania, and was remodeled into a dwelling when in 1867 the Presbyterians united with them in the building of a larger church. In 1870 they purchased and remodeled the old Reformed Presbyterian chapel, its original congregation organized by Rev. J. B. Johnston of Northwood, having scattered. The Disciples, first established in 1840, erected a brick church at Rushsylvania in 1868. The old Sandusky road, opened in 1824, traversed this territory from southwest to northeast, and along this route, at Big Springs, the Buckminster tavern, a frame and log structure, stood in 1830, while at the point where the pike now turns to cross the railroad, John May also kept a tavern at the same time. Squire Rodaker built the first sawmill in 1830, and in 1832 the Sutton sawmill was built on Rush creek, about a mile east of the Sandusky road, John Basil building one on the Miami fork about the same time. The first grist mill was built near the Rodaker sawmill, the same year, and John Basil added a grist mill at his own site, fashioning the buhrs himself from boulders. No town was projected until 1834, but the population was gathering. A blazed road was the only means of travel between Rushsylvania and the Cherokee mills at this time. The May tavern was the location of the first postoffice, as well as a stage stand and resort for travelers. The first tannery was set up by James Clagg, who bought the land where Rushsylvania stands and the town, which was platted in 1834, was at first nicknamed "Claggstown." Clagg had settled first on the Miami, where he sold out to Enos Pickering, purchasing the site of Rushsylvania from the heirs of James Qua. The tale of the Miami mills, near which region was the settlement known as "White's Town," is perhaps best explained by the fact that the mysterious "milk (page 305) sickness" made its worst ravages there, John Basil, the miller, and his wife and child being included among its victims. Whole families were wiped out. Rushsylvania, therefore, had no rival in that section of the county. Four "hotels" sprang into being in the new town, kept by James Elam, Robert Stephenson, Thompson Hughes and Jacob Niglebarger. Both of the latter kept stores in connection with their taverns, the same hosts being postmasters in the first years. They were succeeded by Dr. Doran, who retained the position of postmaster for at least forty years. The village as at first built was all of log houses, three of the taverns on as many corners at the intersection of the two main streets, the Hughes store occupying the corner where the Bennett drug store afterward was opened. Benjamin Green had a pottery shop, and William Gibson and S. B. Stillwell were early wagon makers. Stillwell was the first blacksmith. Whiskey was "a leading commodity of trade," quinine being its only rival, according to a statement by Dr. Doran, who, after Dr. Green and Dr. Kingston, was one of the earliest physicians, his practice having required "horseback travel enough to go twice around the world and part way again."
The first frame house was built for Thomas Hughes, by John Basil, who finished all the lumber for the outside by hand, and received for the entire work, including all materials, the princely sum of fifty dollars.
In 1853 the Big Four (then the Bellefontaine & Indiana) railroad was completed through the county, giving to Rushsylvania all the advantage which the young community needs and desires. A fire destroyed practically all the business portion in 1857, but gave an opportunity to rebuild in better fashion. Jacob Pym bought and improved the Rubart grist and saw mills, and in 1862 the Pym brothers built a stone mill in the town, Robert Porter and the Day brothers being later owners of the same mill, which was a steam mill and had a capacity of seventy-five barrels per day. James Adams started a woolen mill at the old Pym grist mill on Rush creek, which, running night and day, promised great success. A freshet in 1868 washed out the dam, which was rebuilt, but washed out a second time, after which the disheartened owner sold out to William George, who operated it until 1870, when the plant was destroyed permanently by fire. Up to this time the business history seems to be a long chapter of discouraging disasters which only the hardiest courage overcame. Blacksmithing, however, must have been a fairly good trade, in those times, for we find that at the time of the removal of the Indians to the far west, the local blacksmiths, Jacob Good, Daniel Hall and Joseph Ellsworth, shod seven hundred ponies for the trip. The animals had to be thrown and tied with ropes in order to do the work. Rushsylvania had some advantages, however, which count heavily, and, in spite of some reverses to the village, the general outlook is good. The finest limestone in the county is quarried close to the town, this industry giving employment to a good number of inhabitants, and the manufacture of bricks is also a local industry. The discovery, about 1879, of the fine marl deposits along (page 306) Rush creek led to the development of the cement industry, it being found that Portland cement of the most superior wearing quality and whiteness as well as tensile strength ever put on the market
could be produced here. The Buckeye Portland Cement works, organized in the eighties, had a great success, becoming famous all over the country, and boosting the prosperity of the Rush creek district as well as the town of Rushsylvania. The pavement around the courthouse in Bellefontaine was made from it, and after twenty-nine years is still in good condition, far less worn than stone would have been in less time, and defying comparison with any other paving material ever used in this part of the country. The cement blocks laid in Bellefontaine were the first street paving done with cement in America, and blocks from the street were taken up after three years' use and exhibited at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893. Temporarily at least the cement is now of the market, it having been found that limestone cement can be made at much lower cost, than the marl product, but it is not impossible that a revival of the manufacture may be effected. The plant is now being used as an experimental station by the American Refractories company. The Buckeye plant, seen from the pike and the railroad, is but a short distance south of Rushsylvania, while still farther to the southwest is the ruin of the Alta Cement works, once a flourishing plant, which benefited both Harper and Rushsylvania, but was destroyed by fire several years ago. The marl deposits were found in greatest depth on the McAdams farm, near the Buckeye works. In general this territory is not as rich, agriculturally, as most other parts of the county, but furnishes good grazing ground, and the largest exports by rail are of livestock, eighty-five or more carloads going yearly to market. Hay and straw aggregate nearly as many carloads, while wool, lumber, poultry and eggs as well as milk are shipped by rail and carried by motor trucks to a far greater amount than can be shown by figures here. The milk products go to the condensery at Ridgeway, on the Hardin county line.
The Rushsylvania of today is holding its own, and retail business is in good condition, if not rushing. It is a fairly built town, and has good sidewalks, but no pavements. The world war conditions have hampered the district here perhaps a little more heavily than elsewhere, but that will pass. The W. A. Wright furniture and undertaking business is a large concern, established in 1873, Mr. Wright, though not a native, having been a citizen since 1862. The elevator, owned by W. S. Lehrer, is a capacious affair, handling all the grain produce of the surrounding territory, and builders' and farmers' supplies. Some of the older residents, who have stood with the town through its bright and stormy days, are David Roberts, the first agent of the Big Four railroad there, and David Lawson, the well-known stock buyer. H. A. Shoemaker, the straightforward editor of the Rushsylvania Record, is a farmer as well as an editor, and while the Record is kept with faithfulness, it sometimes "skips" a number (because the editor has to supply the shortage of labor on the farm, and patriotically deserts the type-cases for the harvest field), but in the long run nothing of importance to (page 307) Rushsylvania escapes Mr. Shoemaker. The Record was established in 1879.
Three churches, survive in Rushsylvania, all in flourishing condition, the buildings having been modernized or rebuilt. Rev. John W. Alexander, the shepherd of the Presbyterian flock for forty-three years, has lately (1918) resigned on account of advancing years; and as yet a successor to the pulpit has not been secured. Rev. Alexander still resides in Rushsylvania, and occasionally preaches. The professional roster of the village at present (1918) numbers Dr. F. M. Lewis, dentist; Mr. John P. Bower, attorney, and well-known member of the Logan county bar; and Drs. John C. Blinn and Zurmley. The latter is still in army service, stationed at a camp near Chattanooga, Tennessee. There are two well-kept drug stores, a good restaurant, and for more than forty years there has been no saloon in the district. Electric light is obtained from the plant at Mount Victory, the telephone is independent, and water is supplied from wells which yield a flowing abundance. The Citizens' Bank company was organized and incorporated under the laws of the state of Ohio in 1907, with a capital of $25,000. Its officers are: Samuel Jenkins, president; Lewis W. Fawcett, vice-president; John W. Ansley, cashier; the additional directors being WillIrick, Charles Kimmel, Martin McAdams, Frank McColloch and Lewis J. Shoots. This bank has made Rushsylvania financially independent, and is a solid institution in which the surrounding population place confidence.
At Big Springs, northeast of Rushsylvania, Lanson Curtis (of Zanesfield) had started improvements long before the other settlements of the north had begun to crystallize into towns, his tavern there being established to catch the custom of the early stage coach travelers. No town was platted, however, until 1852, when the railroad was completed, at which time Henry Rosebrook first sold some lots. It is now a fair sized community with two handsome churches, the Christian and the Protestant Methodist, which proclaim it the center of a church-going district. There is a goodly collection of neat homes, and all the elements of village life. The Big Springs Elevator Company handles a large shipping business for the farmers of the vicinity, and the small or perishable exports are transported by motor truck service.
The pretty little hamlet at Walnut grove, is not in the line of growth, but as a landmark is agreeable to the traveler. It stands at the crossing of the Treaty Line and East Liberty pikes, and at the edge of what was once characterized as the "fallen timbers," left in the wake of the great cyclone of 1825.
The town of Harper was also the product of the railroad, being laid out in 1852, by John Q. Williams, in anticipation of coming advantages. It is not in the way of becoming a large town, but has become a rural shipping center for all kinds of agricultural products and has gathered a comfortable population which clusters around the pretty Methodist church, and enjoys the enviable reputation of never having supported a grog shop within its borders.
The belt of fallen timber opened a path to settlement farther east in the basin of Bokes (or "bogy") creek. Jeremiah Hill and (page 308) his son, John Hill, came from Greene county in 1827, and purchased a tract in "the windfall," paying $5 an acre for it, which was more than twice the price asked for wooded lands. A Mr. Bell came very soon after, and as the Hills had not secured a good title to their land, they were compelled to forsake their improvements, and take up a new claim on the border of Rush creek, some miles north. A distance from their cabin stood an old Indian council house, built of poles (round logs covered with bark), the remains of which were preserved until a very recent date. The earth about the structure was covered far below plowing deapth with ashes, presumably from council fires. At one corner of the Hill farm existed an Indian "spring" or well, near the bank of the creek. It was about eighteen inches square and walled to great depth with poles six inches in circumference, driven into the ground one above another. It was deemed a mystery that, after the departure of the Indians from the county to the west, this spring should have collapsed and disappeared ; but as it was doubtless not a spring, but a seep well, the walls probably rotted and, in falling, closed the cavity in a most natural manner. The Coffields and Clines, and William Callahan settled on Rush creek in 1829, and about 1830 the Skidmores made their appearance at the eastern border of the county, from which point they multiplied the name over that part of the settlements. E. C. Hathaway came from Massachusetts in 1831 and settled on a farm on Bokes creek, about a mile and a half north of the site of West Mansfield, a district which now exhibits some of the finest farms in Logan county. It sold then for $2 an acre. Between the dates 1830 and 1840, the names of Scranton, Gardner, Lewis, Bates, Firederick Keller, Robert and David Ray and James Hatcher are on record as settling south of the Greenville treaty line. Jacob Keller settled in 1839 close to the site of West Mansfield. North of the treaty line, after 1840, Felix Thornton, William Lufel, Archibald Wilson, Henry Williams, William Furrow and Jacob Green settled. Land values were evidently increasing by this time (1840, as the latter three paid $4 an acre for their farms. Still farther north, however, on Rush creek, Samuel Higgins, William Richards, Andrew Wilson and John Ramsey secured tracts at $1.25 per acre. Next to tree felling, hunting was the chief occupation, 'coon hunting being an accompaniment to the first. Skins were the substitute for currency-which was scarce-and were traded at their estimate value among neighbors or at market. Wild honey, corn bread of a coarse variety, and hominy, with venison and other wild meat was the extent of the pioneer's bill of fare. Hogs of the razorback species were the first stock to be raised, and fed in the woods upon acorns and mast. William Callahan sold his first "fifty head" at 75 cents per hundredweight! Maple sugar, also, became profitable, and passed as legal tender. Jeremiah Hill, jr., a brother to John Hill, was the first birth in the northwest territory, the event occurring in the first year after the immigration of the family. The first burying ground was located on the Hill farm, a little girl named Stiles being the first to be laid to rest there. The first two marriages were those Isaac Cline to be ill, about 1840 and of Christopher Cline to Lida (page 309)Bushaw (or Bushong) soon after. Three lads, including the son of E. C. Hathaway, each death the result of accidents, were the first burials made in the Bokes Creek graveyard, which was set apart on the Hathaway farm. The Indians were always friendly with the settlers in this district, and hunted with them. Deer were numerous, as many as forty red deer skins sometimes hanging around a single Indian camp fire. Bear were still occasional victims of the rifle, and it was related by John Hill that he had seen a squaw using a bearskin as a kneading board, and shortening the dough with the bear fat.
The first road to the south from these settlements was "blazed" from the fallen timber to East Liberty, meeting, of course, the previously opened road from East Liberty to the south. A settler named Sumpter is said to have gone ahead as a pathfinder around the swamps and hills, sounding a horn to his followers, who felled the trees and cut away the brush in his wake. It was a mere bridle path at first. With intervening changes of route this road is still the north and south route of the eastern slopes, running from Mount Victory to Champaign county.
Great difficulty was experienced, all the early roads of this district, on account of the swamps, which often stood so deep in water, that upon one and probably more occasions the trees felled were floated out of the clearing on the water. But if there were no roads, to speak of, and no stage or mail routes, neither were there the usual taverns, with their invariable accompaniment of drunkenness and loaferism.
Alexander Ramsey, in 1830, built the first sawmill in the northeast, on the banks of Rush creek, and in connection with it operated a "corn-cracker." He also tried to maintain a small trading store, but trading was not profitable, and the settlers depended chiefly upon Zanesfield and West Liberty for their merchandise. Andrew Murdock built a sawmill on his farm about 1840, the same year in which the Bellefontaine and Jerusalem road, theretofore a blazed
bridle-path, was opened, which became the fine highway of today. The Painter creek road was opened or "blazed" about the same period. The finest roads in all Logan county are now to be noted in the middle eastern section, centering toward West Mansfield and East Liberty.
About 1845 a sawmill stood where the town of West Mansfield was platted in 1848 by Levi Southard, a progressive farmer who died as a soldier in the Civil War. The town was named for Mr. Southard's infant son, Mansfield. Bliss Danforth built the first house, a structure eighteen by twenty feet, of round logs covered with clapboards. Ellis and Henry Baldwin built homes soon afterward, and John Cousins erected a story-and-a-Half tavern, thirty by twenty feet in size. It stood on the site occupied by George Harshfield's house in later years. Samuel Danforth and William Keller opened a grocery and notion store in a log cabin sixteen by eighteen feet in size, and James Wilgus kept the first shoe store, at the corner where his sons are still in business. Mark Austin and John Cousins operated blacksmithies.
The town grew steadily, being incorporated in 1879, with the (page 310) following city officials : William Ballinger, mayor; Dr. Joshua Skidmore clerk ; Dr. Sylvester Marls, treasurer; H. McDonald, marshal and a council composed of J. T. Robinson, F. Carson, and J. N. Wilgus. Two good hotels had been built by this time, and in addition to regular retail trade harness and shoemaking, blacksmithing and wagon work were prosperous industries. The Bushong & McDonald sawmill and the Loring steam gristmill were built before 1871.
John Wilgus, a native of Delaware, came to Zanesfeld, Logan county, in 1840, removing, to West Mansfield a few years later. With his sons, H. C., C. A. and P. R. Wilgus, he opened a clothing house in 1868, which has had a continuous existence ever since. Mr. Wilgus, sr., retired from active business in 1898, at which time the firm was reorganized by the Wilgus brothers, and has this year (1918) completed a half century at the same location. Mr. Wilgus, sr., died in 1916.
The largest retail store in the town is the Moore & Knight department store, but all business is in wide-awake condition. An exceptionally attractive drug store and jewelry house is noticeable.
About fifteen years ago a disastrous fire destroyed a large part of the central business district, but the result was better building and today West Mansfield presents a most modern and substantial appearance. Only one fire-in a frame building-has since occurred. The two principal streets, Main and Centre, are paved with fine brick as far as the city limits, and the remaining thoroughfares are well macadamized, while the neatest of cement sidewalks line the pavements everywhere. There is no sewage system, but the intention is to locate the sewers, at a future day, along the alleys without disturbing the pavements.
The volunteer fire department is quite adequate, and several f ire cisterns are maintained. A hand engine is used. Water for domestic purposes is obtained from driven wells which are necessarily very deep, but the water is good, slightly tinged with white sulphur. A municipal electric light plant was built about 1906. About forty-five years ago, Jeremiah Benedict and his son, F. N. Benedict, undertook the conduct of a tile factory at West Mansfield. They operated it about one year, then sold out to Hathaway Brothers, by whom the manufacture was continued until 1898, when the business was bought by the Van Cleve Clay Products company, an incorporated company with a capital of $65,000, and the plant has been enlarged and developed for the manufacture of tile and ditching commodities, and, it is expected, of other pottery products. Simpson Van Cleve is the president and general manager, and H. C. Wilgus is secretary. The establishment employs about forty hands and is the largest manufacturing business the town has ever boasted.
A handsome city building was erected in 1892, the main floor of which is occupied by the local theatre, seating two or three hundred auditors, while below are the city court and jail. The council chamber is in the upper story. Mr. O. L. Harvey is the present mayor.
(page 311) The Odd Fellows' lodge, instituted June 23, 1874, included every honorable name in the community, and as in other communities, the order is author of innumerable good deeds, so quietly done that their source is not always recognized.
The first religious organization of this section was the Wesleyan Methodist, which held services in an old schoolhouse on the Southard farm. Its existence was short. The United Brethren organized in 1845 and built a church in West Mansfield in 1852, under the Rev. F. Hendricks. They rebuilt in 1877, and again quite recently, and now have a fine large church. Pastors are only transient at this time. The Baptist and Christian (or Disciple) churches are also without preachers since the resignations of Revs. Dickens and Ely. The Episcopal Methodists organized in 1869, and have lately built a $20,000 church, which is attended by a flourishing congregation and Sunday school, under the pastorate of Rev. O. L. Utter.
West Mansfield's first physician was Dr. Roberts, who lived there only three years, from 1853 to 1856. Dr. William Reames came next, about 1854, a graduate of Starling Medical college, and practiced for over a quarter of a century. Dr. Joshua Skidmore, born near West Mansfield in 1844, graduated from Miami college in 1868, and was in continual practice in West Mansfield until his death, which occurred in 1912. Dr. Sevan, Dr. Sylvester Maris and Dr. Whitaker, also Dr. G. F. Plotner, graduate of Starling Medical college in 1888, gave long terms of service to the sick of the district, Dr. Plotner being still active. Dr. Maris lost his eyesight and was obliged to retire. Dr. N. T. Sullivan and Dr. C. E. Louthan, of Big Springs, were several years practitioners in West Mansfield, Dr. H. A. Skidmore, son of Dr. Joshua Skidmore, graduated from Starling Medical college in 1902, commenced practice in West Mansfield in 1903, and continued in practice until November, 1917, when he removed to Bellefontaine and located permanently. Two prosperous banks have commodious headquarters at the heart of the town. The Union Banking company, not incorporated, was organized in 1893 (about the time the Toledo & Ohio Central railroad was completed through the village), with a capital stock of $15,000. It has rounded twenty-five years of success with a surplus of $8,000, and its deposits approximate $250,000. The officers are : J. T. Drake, president; Ed. S. Moore, vice-president; A. L. Votaw, cashier ; M. H. Bell, assistant cashier. Directors, J. T. Drake, Ed. S. Moore, W. N. Plotner, I. R. Winner, E. W. Elliott, H. E. Southard and William Gilbert.
The Farmers' State bank was first organized as a private bank in 1904, and after running for twelve years was incorporated under the state laws in 1916, with a capital stock of $25,000. Its surplus already amounts to $2,000 and the deposits aggregate close to $225,000. The board of directors include George Needham, C. E. Miner, Charles Dally, Charles McGee, J. C. Moore, E. B. Evans and N. P. McColloch ; W. A. Bell, president; G. F. Plotner, vice-president ; J J. L. Headington, cashier ; C. A. Underwood and Miss Lucile McGee, assistants.
The E. D. Vance sawmill handles hardwood timber from local (page 312) sources, employing, regularly, four hands. The principal shipments during the late war have been government consignments of oakbridge planking.
Isaac Brown, stock dealer, reports in round figures the stock output from this point, for the year ending October 20, 1918, as two hundred and twelve carloads of livestock, all kinds, hogs preponderating, with cattle, sheep and veal calves in lessening proportion. The aggregate value of the same to shippers, for this period, was $400,000.
The West Mansfield elevator, owned by Titus and Bell, capacity 40,000 bushels of grain, exported, during the same time not less than 100,000 bushels of grain-wheat, oats, barley, rye, and corn. Wheat was the heaviest this year, but oats generally exceeds, while hay is also a heavy export.
The Wildi milk condensery at Ridgewav collects from $6,000 to $10,000 worth of milk from this point each month in the spring and summer, while many of the dairy farmers along the railroad
ship directly to the market from independent depots at the right of way, in the country. The Needham creamery at West Mansfield handles cream from the surroundings and from East Liberty, frequently producing as high as seven hundred pounds of butter daily in the summer season.
The whole country to the north, east and south is in a high state of cultivation, and the poultry produced in this part of Logan county reaches stupendous figures. The largest farm of the county, a fourteen hundred acre tract lying on the south side of the Treaty line pike, known as the Hogsett estate, has lately become the property of Parrett and Stinson, of Washington Court House, Ohio, who are draining the creek bottom lands and reducing the entire place to. cultivation, under an extensive system of farming not Hitherto practiced in this county. Modern quarters are building, and barns and granaries indicate the plans of the new owners. "West Liberty is a pretty town and shines where it stands," against the background of its green hill, with the waters of Mad river and the "babbling Mac-o-chee" silvering the plain at its edge. The hill stood there a century ago, just as it had stood for centuries before that, looking down on the green plain and the winding creeks, waiting. And so John Enoch found it in 1815, when, after eighteen years of prospecting in southern Ohio, he settled in the Mad river valley. No fairer prospect could have greeted his eyes in all the eighteen years previous than that which lay before him here. He went no farther, but purchased the land and immediately planned a town and built the first house as a home for his family. And then he built a mill.
The town was regularly surveyed and platted two years later, receiving its name at that time. A town that is planted, not built, must have time to grow. It took West Liberty some time to germinate. Of the aspect of the village in 1820, Dr. Thomas Cowgill wrote, many years afterward, "I did not recognize the place as a town. *** A few small houses were built, and the house north of the mill, which was the residence of John Enoch, sr., whose farm was as yet nearly all covered with a dense thicket of hazel, (page 313) wild plum and thorn, and the prairie still overgrown with wild grass." There was not at that time a half mile of roadway or lane from the Cowgill home to the mill. They were late in arriving and found many patrons ahead of them, who had come from as far as twenty miles to "tarry their grinding," among them being judge Daniel Baldwin, John Shelby, Capt. Alexander Black, Moses McIlvaine, James Baird and other settlers of the day. John Enoch, jr., a young man of twenty, was the "miller" that morning. Beside the hill and the mill, a still had been set up on Muddy run, not far away, and the product thereof was very much in evidence. H. M. White had a log building boasting a shingle roof, and a porch, where he carried on a small trade in calicoes, pins and needles, and performed some tailoring; but the place was designed chiefly for the entertainment of travelers, and the form of refreshment was the raw whiskey from the pioneer distilleries. In spite of appearances, however, the germ of a good community was there and sprouting, and the town had an increasing commercial importance, given to it by the mill, which had speedily become the most patronized in a radius of fifty miles; and had not the county boundary line been too near, West Liberty might naturally have been chosen as the county seat. As it was, it waxed equally with Bellefontaine for some time. In 1828 Detroit street appears to have been the choice of location for residences, Dr. John Ordway, John Vaughn and William Vaughn, both Baptist preachers, as well as farmer and tailor respectively; John Williams, a local Methodist preacher and a tanner by trade ; Benjamin Ginn, the tailor; and Robert Crockett, an apprentice of Vaughn the tanner; William Kenton, William Moore, a wheelwright and painter ; Orin Hubbard, carpenter and builder (father of William and Thomas) ; Abner Tharp, wagon
maker ; Tillman Longfellow, a tanner, and Simon Robinson, a miller, all having their homes upon this thoroughfare. (Hiram White's old 'tavern, which stood at the corner of Detroit and Baird streets, was destroyed in the great fire of 1880.) Benjamin F. Ginn built a second tavern in 1832, naming it "The Buckeye House." The village was incorporated in 1834. In 1837, in keeping with the general advancement of the town, Ira Reynolds erected the "Giraffe" building, a three story brick which seemed then a mammoth structure, and is still a substantial business building after eighty years. Its height probably suggested its name, but no building of West Liberty has climbed higher than that, although several similar buildings keep it company on the compactly built "Main Street" of 1918. The first livery stable, after those which accompanied the taverns of early days, was built in 1853, and survived several decades, but has now been relegated to the past with the arrival of the motor car, and only up-to-date garages are in evidence today unless in the outskirts, where the local horse market is still an important feature of commerce. From time to time industries of genuine importance gained a foothold in West Liberty, and many of Logan county's ablest financiers gained their experience in the lively little market town. Its tanneries, the saddlery, and other industries were ambitious, manufacturing in intent and, for the times, in scope, The mill was a steadfast Gibraltar of trade, (page 314) and as time went on, other and more modern ventures made good headway. The "Nonesuch" overalls, jackets and shirts were manufactured there, employing many hands and adding to the prosperity of the community.
The first religious organization in this vicinity was the Bethel or Muddy Run church, organized in 1814 by Rev. Richard Clark.
A large log meeting house was built, about a half mile west of the site of the village, and the church book held nearly a hundred names, including that of Thomas Baird, who owned the distillery, which shows that his calling was not regarded as a public crime in "the light of other days." In this old chapel preached several of the most noted pioneer pulpit orators, including the "White Pilgrim," Joseph Thomas, who died in 1835. In 1844 this congregation divided, after the destruction, by fire, of the old meeting house, and the urban contingent built the West Liberty Christian church the same year. The first religious society to organize in the town was the Methodist, who built their first chapel in 1830, the contributors to the building fund being Dr. John Ordway, Riddle and Rutan (tanners, saddlers and general business men), John Williams, John Strange, Amos and Stephen Jackson, John Poisdell, J. B. Conklin, Isaac Hatcher and Truman Wolfe. Some of the pledges were paid in cash, some in building material, some in work, and some in trade or labor.
From 1829 forward, the Presbyterians began to struggle towards organization, Rev. Joseph Stevenson, of Bellefontaine, giving a part of his time to the adherents of Calvinism at West Liberty, and until 1845 missionary efforts were used to keep the small society from discouragement, Rev. Robert H. Holliday and Rev. Milton Hackett assisting them. The building of the church was an impetus, and fitful progress was made, under the ministration of Revs. James H. Gill, William Perkins and L. I. Drake, to whom at last in 1855 a unanimous call was given, and the congregation then entered upon its long period of uninterrupted progress. In 1849 the Methodists built them a more stately mansion, and their first little chapel was converted into a dwelling house, which is still in use. An English Lutheran church was permanently organized in 1857, following ten years of patient missionary work. Rev. N. B. Little was the first pastor, and the services were held in various places-the Christian church, Mrs. Roberts' hall on Main street, in an upper room on Baird street, and the homes of the members. At length, in the summer of 1858, the corner stone of their chapel was laid, and though operations were delayed by a building panic, the edifice was ready for dedication in March, 1860. Five years later (1865) this church was wrecked by a cyclonic storm, and it was ten years before the restored building was ready (in 1875) for rededication. These three churches are still flourishing in West Liberty, each maintaining a pretty chapel which points the spectator heavenward. In addition two more denominations have built there, one, the Latter Day Saints, or Church of God, and the Defenseless Mennonite, which is of much later date, and first organized in the country outside the town, where two congregations flourished. These were distinguished as the "top buggy" (page 315) church, and the "no top" church. The present church of the Mennonites in the village has no such designation, as all of the members ride in automobiles. In 1830, Benjamin Piatt, who then lived on a beautiful farm about a mile and a half east of the town, on the Mac-a-chack creek, gave five acres for the building of a chapel for the observance of Roman Catholic services. The land was situated a half mile east of the village. Mrs. Piatt, who was an ardent Catholic, appropriated for the building of the chapel the logs which her husband had designed for a workshop, and the first Catholic church of Logan county greeted his eye upon his return from a trip. Hasty as had been its construction the little log building stood until a comparatively short time ago, though empty for years. It has at last gone the way of all the log cabins. It had never a resident priest, but the congregation was ministered to by priests from other parishes. A small chapel built at the farm was sometimes used. Mrs. Donn Piatt at one time contemplated building a stone chapel to replace the first, but it has never materialized. The Catholics of the vicinity attend services at Bellefontaine. Grand View cemetery is located upon land once owned by Thomas Miller, one of West Liberty's most successful and respected merchants. It is well named, for the hill rising to a height of one hundred feet above the level of the plain commands a wonderful view of the whole Mad river valley in Logan county, a scene of surpassing beauty, and worth traveling from far to see. Bald Knob is clearly visible from this height, and the spot is ideal for the purpose to which it is dedicated. The cemetery was endowed by Mary Brown, an eccentric but benevolent woman of West Liberty who passed nearly the whole of her ninety-six years there. By her will the cemetery board received the gift of a section of fine farmland for a perpetual support of the cemetery, her only condition being the specific but modest request for the preservation of her own family burial plot. A memorial tablet of bronze is set in one of the sandstone pillars of each entrance to the cemetery, in her honor.
To the right of the highway leading down into the town from Grand View, extends the heights where J. Milton Glover, son-in-law and heir to the estate of Thomas Miller, built a palatial homestead-an example which was followed by other citizens of that date, so that the avenue sweeping the inner curve of the hill is dotted with attractive dwellings of superior size. One of these was built by Ira Reynolds who called his place "Sycamore Heights." This was afterwards the property in succession, of the Runkles, and the Taylors, but it has now become a tenement occupied by two or three families. It was, however, an imposing homestead, and is still capable of complete restoration. The Glover residence, after the financial collapse of its builder, went into other hands and is now the property of the Mennonites, who have added another building of equal size at the left, both constituting a commodious orphanage, where over seventy orphaned children of the Mennonite faith are brought up in the way their parents wished them to go. Entering the town from the highway between Cemetery hill and the ridge, the village wears an aspect of placid well-being, like (page 316) that of the household that has reached the early afternoon lull dinner being over, and supper all ready in the ice-box, and the children, neat in fresh pinafores, basking in the shadow-flecked sunshine of the front yard. One does not go far, however, without recognizing that the quiet is only that of a busy hive, in which every inmate is too much occupied to talk. In all the borders of this trim compact little town one may see not a vacant building, save one or two instances of ancient carpentry, flung up in some long past period of rapid growth, and now sagging into decay. "Ancient?" Yes, but with all the hoary images conjured up by the words "a hundred years" there is in West Liberty the vitality of an oak tree, which is young at the end of a century. It is as young, indeed, and as sturdy, as the veriest urchin in it, that wrestles with his comrades on the greensward after school. A few minutes' walk brings one to the end of Main street, and there, looming skyward, the old Enoch mill rears its lofty gable, as erect as when first tested by the plummet, its rooftree still as level as a lake. The two-inch ash planks of its floor (somewhat worn, it is true, where the office chairs of a century of millers have dug into the straight grain, or where the brogans of a century of patrons have ground shallow hollows in the main aisles) are the same that John Enoch laid in 1815. The different stories, as well as the great frame of the building, are supported by massive timbers of the straightest and strongest oak and walnut axe-hewn "to the line" with a nicety that belonged to another day of industry, and though darkened now, by time, the same invisible force has made them hard as steel, and impervious to any element save fire, from which let it be spared forever. The mill race, which conducts the water from a mile above the mill to the great overshot wheel that turns the machinery, has f lowed so long between its pretty green banks that it has forgotten that it is not a real brook; and the wheel itself and the machinery it turns, renewed and renovated from time to time, still grinds away, making ("Liberty Queen") flour at the rate of eighteen barrels a day. After the retirement of the Enochs, Thomas Miller was once owner of the mill, and John M. Glover, his son-in-law, handled it for awhile, followed by Armstrong, Ansley and others. It has now for some time been the property of D. K. Hartzler, a miller of the sturdy old-fashioned school. One stands in the little doorway over the mill-wheel, and dreams begin to weave a spell-but there isn't time for dreaming in stirring little West Liberty. A "rightabout-face" turn discloses, not more than a long stone's throw away, one of the most modern of twentieth century establishments, the West Liberty Milk Condensery company's up-to-date plant, built less than two years ago and opened April, 1917, with a capacity for reducing 50,000 pounds of milk daily. The stock in the concern is fully half owned in West Liberty, and the management is entirely local, E. W. Neidig being the head. All of the labor employed is also local. The milk is collected by a motor truck service within a radius of eight miles, which distance will be extended gradually. At present only 15,000 pounds of milk is reduced daily. The equipment is of the most modern type, and the laboratory is a model of efficient and sanitary execution. The product is not, as (page 317) yet, sold under private label, but shipped to consumers by wholesale, in casks or cans, according to the distance. It is chiefly used by bakers, ice cream manufacturers and confectioners. The casks are never used a second time for milk, but the cans are, of course, returned, being put through a thorough renovating process and finally sterilized with dry steam before being put to use again.
Near by the condensery the Springfield Pure Milk Company maintains a large shipping depot, from which a vast quantity of fresh milk is shipped daily from the dairy farms in the vicinity. A merging of these two plants is whispered as being in progress. Two large elevators stand convenient to the railroad (the Sandusky division of the Big Four)-the Hartzler and the Yoder-their shipments by conservative estimate aggregating, annually, one hundred and seventy-five carloads of grain, chiefly wheat, and one hundred and twenty-five carloads of hay. Fully one hundred carloads of cattle and sheep are shipped into Logan county at this point for fattening, while local exports of hogs, cattle and sheep are from four hundred to four hundred and fifty carloads each year. West Liberty is a recognized horse market, the Kelley Horse company, Hite & Buroker, Hill & Garver, and Secrist & Muzzy being the most prominent buyers and shippers. Twenty-five or thirty carloads of horses have been shipped from the yards here in the season just past (1918). A large quantity of fine poultry also finds its way to market from West Liberty.
The Farmers' Banking company, established and incorporated in 1892, has become one of the most solid financial institutions of Logan county. Its first president and vice-president, respectively, were H. A. Hill and George F. Bailey. The capital stock is $50,000, and the surplus is equal to that, while the deposits run to about $250,000. The officers at present are: J. A. Weidman, president; Donn C. Bailey and Harry A. Wilson, vice-presidents; A. B. McIlvain, cashier. Donn C. Bailey, always a member of the board of directors, has never missed a meeting of that body since the incorporation of the bank. The great conflagration of 1880, when the larger portion of West Liberty was wiped out by fames, bore fruit in better buildings for the business of the town, and in a suitable f ire protection, which is maintained in the rear of the old Town Hall, remodeled about twenty-five years ago, and constituting the usual headquarters of village government, and a central place for public meetings. The Mayor at this date (1918) is John C. Rock. West Liberty has been the birthplace of various newspapers, none of which survived infancy, though several of them were very promising youngsters, and consigned to early graves with genuine regret. The first attempt at a periodical in West Liberty was The Democratic Club, a very small sheet produced during the campaign of 1840, jointly by Robert Bruce Warden and Donn Piatt, who were co-students in law in judge Piatt's office at the farm gate where the printing was done, with, it is said, some assistance from William Hubbard. Young Warden had previously tried his hand at the printing business, and the tiny ramage press was his property. The youthful editors failed financially, and the "club" disbanded. In 1850, when Coates Kinney was principal of the school, The (page 318) West Liberty Banner was hoisted, and waved for a few years under his editorship, William Barringer being the printer. As might have been expected, the paper was too good, too literary, to succeed, and failed for want of wider financial support. Its editor, however, achieved fame, and its printer was long a successful press man in other fields of action. About 1856, the Banner was revived by Sydeham Shafer and William H. Gribble, but it was only a feeble fluttering. West Liberty's journalistic day had not yet dawned.
The Budget was opened in 1860 by J. W. Houx, and proved of pleasing content, but it, too, was soon exhausted. The Weekly Enterprise was launched about the early seventies, by B. S. Leonard (the Dr. Leonard of today) and H. S. Taylor. It was a purely original sheet, meritorious, and of "home production" ; but the home consumption was not equal to the output, and the Enterprise also suspended for want of appreciation. Then the Independent made a bid for patronage, frankly acknowledging its dependence upon "patent insides"; but its publishers, J. H. Fluhart and W. P. Marion, were, like their predecessors, dependent upon public patronage, which did not come in time to save them. In 1876 the Weekly News, owned by W. H. Gribble and edited by Clarence Hilderbrand, awoke to a sprightly existence of eighteen months. It was followed in 1878 by the Gazette, edited by Harry Hamilton, who later renamed it the Buckeye Blade. Hamilton went to Washington, D. C., and died there, and the paper was taken over by Donn C. Bailey, the assistant editor, who rechristened it The Banner, after the original newspaper of the town, and under this caption the paper has now for thirty years advanced the interests of the town in a masterly manner, as wide-awake a sheet as may be found in any town of the county, or of the same size in the Miami valley, and quite worthy to stand in line with those of the county seat, where its editor is as well known as at home. In the office of The Banner (where everybody works) the foreman printer is James Gribble ("Jim"), now the oldest printer in Logan county, and over sixty years in service at the type case. At one time Mr. Gribble was assistant foreman on the Cincinnati Enquirer, and was noted as the fastest "ad" compositor on the force. Mr. Bailey does no small amount of press work himself, in these days when "all the boys" are in army. service. Another appropriately chosen industry of West Liberty is the horticultural plant of Van B. Bailey, whose expansive greenhouses are set at the foot of Grand View, where the roads divide. Established about ten years ago (in 1908), a general florist’s business is very successfully being carried out, the patronage increasing with every season.
West Liberty's medical history is ornamented with the names of men whom all Logan county holds in reverence, and whose service covered large territory in the county to the south as well. Dr. John Ordway, Dr. S. W. Fuller, Dr. B. B. Leonard, Dr. Fulwiderit is a roll of fame to inspire the present and future members of the profession there to emulation. Each was a prophet in his time, not alone as a physician but as a moral and civic leader. Facing death and the terror of it in the various scourges of disease of the past, not only medical skill but skill in dealing with panic-stricken human (page 319) nature was required of them. Many scores of amusing and also pathetic experiences might fill a volume, did space permit ; but it is probable that they will be repeated in the intimacy of family histories only, for Dr. Fuller was physician to half the county in his day. His daughter, Mrs. E. J. Howenstine, of Bellefontaine, is still an active member of church and society. Dr. Leonard, the elder, was a man of remarkable gifts in many directions. He might have been a statesman, a poet or other literary light, yet no more nobly so than as a physician, which he was in pre-eminent degree, devoting his life to ministering to the sick and the afflicted. Born in Champaign county, near King's creek, he became a student under Dr. Fuller, preparatory to entering the Medical college at Cincinnati, after which course he formed a partnership with his senior physician, in 1847. As a public speaker on several memorable occasions, he will never be forgotten by those fortunate enough to hear him, and his memorial and historical contributions to the local and county press are on record. Dr. Leonard died June 15, 1911, at the close of sixty-four years of tireless practice. Three times during his long career it was his duty to write for the town of his choice their resolutions of grief for the death of a martyred United States president. There is in existence a picture, photographed before the death of Dr. Fuller, in which, side by side, appear four physicians of West Liberty: Fuller, Leonard, Fulwider and Henning, each of whom was the one time pupil of the preceding.
Dr. B. S. Leonard, who stands worthily in the position of his father, sustains, with Dr. A. C. Brindle, the burden of medical practice for the village, for Drs. G. B. Hale and J. W. Croft are both in the United States army medical service, and Dr. Guy J. Kent lost his life in the summer of 1918, in an operation undergone in the hope of fitting himself also for national service in the army. Dr. Kent's life went out in the very prime of his professional career. As a physician he was skillful and trustworthy, pleasant and successful. The Dr. Leonard residence near the north end of Main street is one of the older homes of West Liberty, its position retired but inviting, and still the home of Mrs. Leonard and her daughter, Miss Carrie Leonard.
East of the village of West Liberty, along the lovely valley of Mac-a-chack creek, a stream celebrated in savage legend and the white conquerors' tales, early settlement was made picturesque and at the same time rather overshadowed by the advent, in 1828, of the Piatt family, whose expansive and ornamental career occupied, perforce, the centre of the stage for several decades. Judge Benjamin Piatt, born in New Jersey, and pioneer in Kentucky with his father, Jacob Piatt, had settled in Cincinnati-where he was the law partner of his contemporary of Nicholas Longworth-when the health of his young family made a change to rural life desirable. A farm in the Mac-a-chack hills was the spot chosen for a new home, and there the family was brought to the large double cabin of hewn logs, built with respect to beauty of site and outlook, and embellished as to surroundings with every touch within the range of possibility at that time. The grounds were parked with unquestionable taste, and planted with lovely shrubbery, and many blooms of local rarity (page 320) were imported from the far east, making a garden of glowing beauty.
Luxuries not dreamed of in other pioneers' homes graced the life of the Piatts, who were famous entertainers and frequently received visits, in the Mac-a-chack wilds, from distinguished literary and political personages. The eldest son, Wykof, remained in Cincinnati in the practice of law, and was never a part of the circle at Mac-a-chack. Twice during the thirties the Piatts spent a period of years in Cincinnati, for the education of the younger children, but the home was maintained, and eventually roofed them all. There were three daughters, two sons and two granddaughters who grew up beneath it. Mrs. Piatt was the founder of the Catholic church in Logan county, she having been re-converted to the old faith after two generations of French Protestantism. (The Piatts were of French blood with a slight admixture of Holland acquired during the migration of the family toward America.) Judge Piatt entered into the life of the pioneer with zest, during the intervals of business life in Cincinnati, building on his own farm a large sawmill, and, later, a flouring mill, and erecting tenant houses for the farmers he employed on the place, and as well as barns and granaries and other buildings required for a planter's industry.
At the same time he kept a law office at the farm gate, where his sons and other young men afterward well known in Logan county studied law under his tutelage. Judge Piatt himself was a Whig, but both of his sons wavered in their political views, and were at one period strong Democrats.
Donn Piatt, born June, 1819, and Abram Saunders Piatt, born May, 1821, were little boys of nine and seven respectively, when they came to the Mac-a-chack home. The younger, rather delicate as a child, grew to strong manhood and reared a large family of children, several of whom are living in West Liberty and elsewhere, while his son William Piatt occupies the homestead farm, and with his sons operates a garage in the old mill building. The brothers were tutored at the farm by an accomplished young priest of the Catholic faith, the younger boy, Saunders, being equally poetic and intellectual, and, though less spectacular, much more faithful in the performance of duties than his dreamy brother, Donn. Indeed, it is told that he frequently performed the tasks laid out by their father for both boys, rather than leave Donn to the penalty of his own neglect. Many of his poems saw the light of print, and very worthily. He once wrote a novel, but by the advice of his tutor, Father Collins, it was laid away with many other literary efforts, and never made public. In the meantime, he dutifully took up the study of law, became a daring and accomplished horseman, and an expert marksman and hunter. Of the law he said that he read "enough to eschew it as a profession." It in no way compensated him for burying his talent. The outdoor life, however, was his native element, and the outbreak of the Civil war gave him an opportunity to develop hitherto unused talents which he gave without stint. He recruited, at West Liberty, a company which was the basis of the Thirteenth Ohio regiment, and was commissioned colonel, but relinquished this position to organize the first Zouave regiment known as the Piatt Zouaves, in which was one of his own (page 321) sons, and which served throughout the war. Col. Piatt maintained this regiment for one month at his own expense. He was promoted, for gallant service, to the rank of brigadier-general, being the only Logan county soldier to reach that rank while in the service, and continued in the army until after the death of his wife, when he resigned to return to the bereaved family, and his aged parents. Afterward he wished to re-enter the army, but it was then too late. When Piatt was colonel of the Zouaves, quite early in the war, his men captured Jefferson W. Davis, after a skirmish in which the rebel officer was wounded. . After having his wounds attended to, Col. Piatt extracted a promise from Davis not to take up arms against the United States government again, and released him-an act of good intent, but not, in the light of later times, of wisdom. Always a staunch patriot, he was swayed by sentiment rather than by sound reason, and his political views were somewhat unstable. But he was a brave soldier, gallant, resourceful and fiery, yet never insubordinate. Both as citizen and soldier his name is held in highest honor in Logan county. He married again, in 1864, Miss Eleanor Watts, and built a beautiful home, following the French chateau manner, on the south Mac-a-chack heights, where he spent the remainder of his life in quietude, pursuing the literary and artistic tastes evinced in his boyhood, which had been laid aside for the sterner realities of the times. The mansion, built of rugged stone, and set on a commanding eminence, had an interior of equal interest, being a repository of heirlooms of beauty and value, as well as trophies of travel, chase and battle; and the life there was one of lavish and brilliant social character, the events of which are closely interwoven in the inside history of Logan county society. Since the death of Gen. Piatt, the great grey stone pile has become dismantled and empty, its treasures scattered, while the present family now occupies the more convenient and practical pioneer mansion of their grandparents. Approachable only from the gateway of the old farm, the most interesting view of the chateau is gained from the pike which skirts the northern bank of the Mac-a-chack creek. Donn Piatt, nicknamed in childhood "Big Fire," by his father (who doubtless read him thoroughly), presented, during all his varied life, an interesting study in human nature. Undeniably gifted, he exhibited, very early in life, talents which might have made of him a great journalist, a poet, a novelist, a soldier, a diplomat, a statesman, possibly, had he steadfastly devoted himself to any definite ideal. He had a talent for publicity which kept him in a limelight of increasing circumference for full fifty years, yet it cannot be truly said of him that he was any one of the things which he might have been, though he was certainly a little of each. His political career is a phantasmagorian spectacle in which he skips from party to party and from policy to policy with the agility of a deer-or possibly only that of a poet or romanticist-always entertaining, sometimes enlightening, seldom logical ; humorous, pathetic, exasperating; assuming interest where he felt it not, for the sheer love of exercising his rhetoric, and in a hundred ways gratifying his brilliant, if whimsical, wit. Against her father's will he married the beautiful and brilliant Louise Kirby, of Cincinnati. During the (page 322) administration of President Pierce they were in Paris, Piatt as secretary of the legation, under John Y. Mason, of Virginia. Mason dying in 1859, Piatt became charge d'affaires for the remainder of the term. It was during this four years with the legation that the "Belle Smith Abroad" letters were published by Mrs. Piatt. Returned to America, Piatt stumped southern Illinois for Abraham Lincoln, and the following year entered the war as a captain of cavalry. Being transferred to another branch of service he was advanced to the rank of colonel, and placed on the staff of Gen. Schenk. In this position, during a temporary absence of Gen. Schenk, Col. Piatt issued an order to Gen. Birney, in Maryland, to recruit a regiment of negroes, enlisting none but slaves. This order, carried out in good faith, had the effect of immediately freeing all the slaves in Maryland, as fast as the news few broadcast. However much to be desired in the end, this result was at the moment a serious embarrassment to the administration, and Piatt was severely and justly censured by President Lincoln for the misuse of his position, being saved from disgrace and dismissal only by the intervention of Secretary Stanton, who was a cousin of Benjamin Stanton, of Logan county. But he was denied further promotion, and remained a colonel to the end of his military service.
The death of his beautiful wife, Louise, recalled Col. Piatt to Mac-a-chack in October, 1864. His mourning was sincere and deep, and though he married early in the following year Miss Ella Kirby, a younger sister of Louise, and was a devoted husband to the end of his life, yet his most perfect poems are those which he dedicated in after years to the love of his young manhood. Worthiest, indeed, of all his writings to be preserved are the inscriptions on the monument surmounting the mausoleum which he built, in her honor, a half mile south of the old Piatt home, on a hillside overlooking the Mac-a-chack valley. The inscription reads: "To the memory of one whose voice has charmed and presence graced these solitudes." And on the reverse:
"She rested on life's dizzy verge
So like a being of a better world,
Men wondered not, when, as an evening cloud
That grows more lovely as it steals near night,
Her gentle spirit drifted down
The dread abyss of death."
After the conclusion of the war, having turned his attention to politics, Piatt was sent, as a Republican, to the state legislature, where he distinguished himself as a supporter of negro suffrage, but "quit, by unanimous consent" (to use his own words), having defeated nearly every measure he supported. In 1874, in company with George Alfred Townsend (Gath), he founded and edited the Washington Capital, a journal in which he satirized and turned to ridicule every subject and personage on whom his capricious fancy lighted, including his friends. He was at last indicted by the federal court for his personal attacks, and, while escaping a jail sentence (which, he said, "he did his best to incur"), he decided to retire to private life for a while, incidentally selling the objectionable (page 323) periodical at a handsome figure. This occurred about 1876, and for some time thereafter he found occupation in literary pursuits and in the designing and building of his country home, which was not finished until 1880. The situation, on the north side of Mac-a-chack creek, just east of the Ludlow road, is extremely beautiful, against a succession of lovely hills rolling eastward up the valley, and much finesse was exercised in developing the surroundings of what he chose to call his "castle." Though built so long after the death of the wife of his youth, the place embodied the ideal of which they had dreamed together when drifting down "the castled Rhine" nearly a quarter of a century before, and in the interior decorations, executed by the French artist, Alexis Fournier, may still be seen memorial tribute to her, a faithful portrait of her being set in the ceiling of the library. In the quiet of this country mansion, facing the very meadows where he "heard the bob-white whistle in the dewy breath of morn," Piatt devoted himself by turns to magazine writing and politics, conducting his (unsuccessful) campaign for the governorship of Ohio from the "castle" terrace, from which point he addressed visiting delegations of followers. He emerged, in the later eighties, to edit Belford's Magazine, which he made a vehicle for free trade propaganda. A certain triviality of purpose seems to have marred his public writings, and makes his great talent appear a futile gift. Tempted, by his own brilliant wit, to attack today that which he had defended yesterday, out of sheer love for discovering how well he could oppose himself, this mercurial character recorded himself as a Republican and a Democrat, a financier and a free trader, a patriot and a bitter critic of the greatest of patriots was, in short, inconstant and inconsistent-yet, a warm and generous friend, a delightful companion, a faithful lover (and "all the world loves a lover"), a tender and devoted husband, and altogether a magnetic and unforgettable personality. About the "babbling Mac-o-chee" he draped a glamour which is fadeless. Of all the men of genius who visited him at the hillside villa, none was more graciously received than the then comparatively unknown Hoosier poet, James Whitcomb Riley, who was nursed back to health under that hospitable roof, and whose delightful dialect poem, "When the frost is on th' punkin," was inspired amid the rural beauty of Mad river valley, and written in the little tower room that was his host's private study. A glimpse of the gracious intimacy of genius harbored in the "castle" is noted in the title of one of Fournier's most successful landscapes, "When the Frost is on the Pumpkin." Donn Piatt died in 1891, as the result of accidental exposure and chill, which produced pneumonia. His wife, Ella Kirby Piatt, survived him, and still lives, though no longer in the Mac-a-chack hills, where the lovely home, which passed to stranger hands, now stands empty and dismantled, but in a cozy cottage in West Liberty, where Miss Birdie, a daughter of William Piatt, is her companion, their winters being spent, for the greater part, in Florida. Along the Mac-a-chack (or Mac-a-cheek) creek several places are pointed out as the spot "where Simon Kenton ran the gantlet," and one may take his choice-all seem eligible-at this date. Another legend, much older yet more credible, attaches to a great (page 324) boulder near the edge of the creek, known for more than a century as "Squaw Rock." It appears that the Indians, before the white invasion of the valley, had a superstition that when the blood of a slain deer should run past the rock into the waters of the stream, the white foe should drive the red man from his forest home. A warrior, whose maiden sweetheart awaited him in the shelter of the rock, witnessed his aim at a deer which approached the rivulet to drink, but she was unable to warn him in time to prevent the catastrophe. The deer fell, and its blood trickled down the sands and mingled with the bright water. Weeping, the dusky maiden told her lover the story, and prophesied the doom of the Shawanoese tribes. At a later day, a squaw, presumably the maiden, grown older, watching from behind the boulder the struggle between the warriors and the white foe, was mistaken for a warrior and slain by a shot from a white man's rifle.
In the hills between Mac-a-chack and the Mad river country in Logan county, is the little hamlet of Pickrelltown, which, during ante-bellum days, became a well-known and much patronized station of the "underground railway," through which a large number of slaves made safe escape from southern pursuers. It is worthy of note that many of the colored race still keep their homes there, clustered around the little church on the high hill road, just of the main highway, which runs through the tiny town. This part of the county received, also, the first colored settlers who came in their own right and not as escaping slaves. Some of them attained wealth and were the founders of families which have representatives scattered all over the county. Darius Newsom, descendant of Henry Newsom, the first of all colored emigrants, was long an honored and faithful teacher there.
A Valley of Memories. "Back to scenes of beauty" leads the road from Bellefontaine to Zanesfeld. Though he trudged afoot, the traveler would be repaid for the journey merely by the changing prospect of the hills, rising higher and higher, cleft by ravines with threadlike streams trickling down their jagged, boulder-strewn channels ; and lo, at the end, the last and loveliest of all views to f ill the eye with wonder and delight, and the heart with measureless rest. As if to withhold the sight as long as possible and thereby enhance the thrill, the road winds like a corkscrew in its descent between the hills, then opens, like the gate of a lost Eden, upon a scene of idyllic beauty, the Morning Land of Logan. As far as the eye may sweep, from the mild-eyed spotted cattle in the field beside the roadway to the farthest tree-clad hill and green slope dotted with placid sheep ; across level bottom lands and rolling uplands laid of in patterned grain fields and gardens ; up roadways threading the opposite steeps into some farther land of dreams beyond the forests of maple, beech and walnut; tinted with the delicate greens of spring; flaming with autumn's crimson and yellow; in summer's full leaf or with the bare boughs of November-beauty to tempt the artist's brush is never absent from the paradise of Mad river valley. Poets may rave about it, and novelists weave romances, but there is no need, for here, nestling in the cradle of the hills, is Zanesfield, whose other name is Romance, born of Reality.
(page 325) Its beginnings have already been told in the story of Isaac Zane and his family, up to the date of its formal platting by his heirs, in 1819, when the Town of Zane became "Zanesfield." The changes of a century have passed over the little village, and there is now but one house in it of which any part was built prior to 1820, although a number are survivals of ninety years, and nearly every decade since is represented in the neatly kept streets and the houses thereon.
Descending the hill, at the left of which the Oliver Fawcett home looks southward across the basin toward Wapatomica, one enters the level of the village. Here, at the right, stands the neat schoolhouse, built in 1875 and remodeled in 1909. It was preceded by two others within the village limits, both built on Sandusky avenue. The first sufficed for the period from 1831 to 1854, when it was torn down to make place for a larger structure. That went its way when the smart new school of 1875 was erected, William Reames opening a blacksmithy in the old temple of learning. It was a very good smithy, and survived until 1913, when the site was needed for the new library.
Next to the schoolhouse of today stands the original chapel of the Zanesfield Presbyterians, a severely simple frame building which has weathered the storms of time since the fifties. A cottage or two, with the lawn clipped quite to the edge of the road, come next, and on the Sandusky avenue corner, at the left, stands an ancient brick, once an office, but now the headquarters of the "West Jefferson cream depot," and beyond it, set back from the street behind a group of tall old spruces, is the old Brown residence, known as "the Omar Brown house," but now belonging to Ellsworth B. Roberts, who has removed to Raymond, Ohio. The old house is vacant, but is worthy of renovation and occupation, as are several more noticeable in the same locality.
Coming back to the corner of Sandusky and the Bellefontaine road one finds the postoffice occupying the corner room of the old hotel built by Edward Kenton, and later kept by Amos Thompson, Davis, Porter, Pope, Horn, and others of the famous old landlords of long ago. The rest of the building is practically vacant, but "apartments" are "to let" within it. South of this building on "lot 24," is the house where, prior to 1830, job Garwood kept tavern. It was then a one-story affair of hewn logs. Jacob Gross bought Mr. Garwood out in 1832, and was himself bought out in 1833 by Conrad Marshall and Jeremiah Fisher, who kept the tavern until 1840, in the meantime building a two-story extension and raising the original house to two stories, thus making a good and comfortable hostelry. It was here, in 1839, that Mr. Marshall entertained Henry Clay, for one night only, but the glory of that one night's presence of the great man has never entirely departed from the house, which is pointed out to visitors, and is still in astonishingly good preservation. John Sloan and William Vaughn rented the tavern in 1840, but Marshall returned in 1843, and remained in control until 1848, being succeeded then by Jacob Wonders and William Keys, after which the place became a private residence. South of it is the large frame store building put up in 1866 by (page 326)Charles Folsom, in which the "general store" business of O. K. Reames is now conducted, and where, twenty-five years ago, the Plummer brothers, John, Dan and Jim, kept a similar store, with hardware in addition. Oren Outland also once occupied this store.
In the second story the Odd Fellows maintain their lodge. In the Reames store was installed the first telephone in Zanesfeld. Across the street is a little building the doors of which stand always open, watchful of the village safety from the fire fend. In it, waiting, waiting, may be seen the high buggy-wheeled "hook and ladder wagon," the tiny hose cart, and the quaint old hand fire-engine which once, in the days of long ago, did duty as the fire equipment of Bellefontaine. Fire cisterns are filled and ready. Above, in a toy belfry, hangs a diminutive bell. One smiles, but hopes devoutly that it may never ring an alarm, nor the old "department" ever be used for anything more serious than a village celebration. For, by this time, we, who entered it so casually an hour ago, already love it so that we would not see a splinter from the cradle of Logan county sacrificed.
Past the "Fire Station" the Town Hall looms up neat in white paint, and has been, during the days of the world war, the scene of tireless Red Cross activity, and other village interests. One looks back to the west side of the street again, to see a cottage which was once the home of the Sloans, where the boyhood of an ambitious little lad was passed amid narrow circumstances. A circulating library had its shelf of books set up in one of the village stores, presided over by Ira Brown, a good man, but of the old school. Little Earl one day asked for a book. The librarian looked sternly over his spectacle tops and scowling replied: "We don't give out books to little boys."
Burning with childish indignation, the boy went home empty-handed and confided to his mother a vow to "be rich enough, some day, to make a place where no one could say `no' to a boy who asked for a book."
So, there is a swelling of the heart when one-turns to face the beautiful Sloan Library, which is the realization of that boy's resolution. The building is of yellow pressed brick and Bedford stone, and above the Greek portal is a fine bronze medallion of the benefactor, set in an arabesque of stucco, the models for both being made by Warren Cushman, the artist who has put Mad River valley on canvas and shown it to the world. Within, the library is all that a library of its size should be, its reading rooms, committee rooms, and stack room (already boasting two thousand volumes), light, airy, commodious, filling the main floor; while in the basement the banquet hall, accommodating a hundred guests, and a perfectly equipped kitchen complete a simple but sufficient social center. A loan collection of great value is constituted by the eighteen or twenty paintings by Warren Cushman, which hang upon the walls of the library. The librarian is Mrs. Eva Grubbs Lovelace, born in the village, a daughter of Mrs. Mary Grubbs, who, at the age of seventy-two, is probably the oldest native of the village proper at present living there. Mrs. Grubbs was a Vaughn and her mother was a Sloan. In her childhood, she recalls, it was her greatest treat to be (page 327) permitted to go across the valley to the cabin of an Indian family, and help in the Saturday afternoon toilet of the pappooses. John Collins, aged seventy-six, relates to us, as we chat in the Reames store, the day he started to school, seventy-one years ago, in the old log schoolhouse north of the village. He is the only man still living in Zanesfeld who went to that old school. Some of the pupils of the day were Thomas Robb, and Dan Fisher, Omar Brown and his sister Ellen, John Knight, Ed Griffin, Charlie Folsom, and the Moore children. Joseph Robb was the teacher. The benches whereon the pupils sat were made of puncheons, with the bark still clinging, the urchins' homespuns sometimes clinging also. The blackboard on which they learned to write was a hewn slab, painted. The same old school was, either before or afterward, the home of "old man Easton," and it was there that William Easton was born. About three miles north of Zanesfeld is the farm where Simon Kenton settled early in the nineteenth century, and where he lived until his death, being buried, at his specific request, on his own farm, the grave being marked by a natural boulder, and surrounded by a stout paling of hewn hardwood pickets. It remains an unanswered question upon what grounds the city of Urbana claimed the honor of his dust in later years. To the Knight farm, above the Kenton place, Edward H. Knight, celebrated scholar and scientist, and at the time United States commissioner of patents, brought the first wheat cutting machine ever used west of the Alleghenies. The machine, known as the "Walter A. Wood" reaper, was a new invention, for which the patent had just been secured. Also at the northern edge of the valley is the well-known spring on the farm of George A. Henry, where, as a boy Mr. Henry was wont to amuse himself by dropping a cork into the center of the pool, to see which way the water ran that day-north, toward Rush creek and the Scioto, or south toward Mad river and the Miami! The spring was quite impartial.
Come back to Zanesfield. Around the corner on the left after leaving the library, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Polk stands at the foot of Columbus street, on the same spot where Grandmother Dickinson prepared, in her cabin, a great feast for the entertainment of Governor Meigs and his staff, in 1812. However, while the governor made his round of inspection of the block house defenses, a delegation of uninvited Wyandots quite informally ale up the choicest viands, and the distinguished guests sat down to the leavings. Such was the Wyandot way.
Turning townward again, the brick building erected in 1838, or earlier, by the Marmon brothers, stands on the left-hand corner, bravely holding its own after eighty years' service. It is now unoccupied except for storage, but it once housed a prosperous trading store, and at one time was a tavern. On the east side of the street the corner is now occupied by "the brick," built about 1881, by Omar Brown, and used by him as a store. The building is still fresh looking, and is the headquarters of the C. E. Wooley general merchandise company. On this corner, in 1833, stood a two-story frame store, built by Robert Marmon, who enclosed in the structure a building already standing on the spot. This store was soon (page 328) afterward converted into a tavern which was kept successively by Abraham McNeill, Jonathan Hopkins (1840), Daniel Mason, I. G. Williams, John Clingerman, William Keys, Wilson S. Sloan, Thomas Wade, James Cole, Horatio Clingerman and James G. Hamilton, who took possession about the end of 1871, and under whose ownership the building was totally destroyed by fire November, 1872. Mr. Hamilton was the father of John M. and Ernest Hamilton of Bellefontaine. The tavern was built in "L" shape, and at the west end of the lot stood a livery stable belonging to the establishment. To the rear and south of the stable, near "Brad" Smith's home, stood the old Isaac Zane block house.
A flag pole erected at the intersection of Sandusky and Columbus streets bears very proudly, this autumn of 1918, a fag of white bordered with red, and barred four times with blue, significant of Zanesfield's loyalty in the Fourth Liberty Loan. But the fag pole is forgotten in a moment when at the end of the street the Zane Kenton memorial arrests the eye. It is a giant granite boulder brought hither from an adjacent hillside and set up, on a pedestal of native stone, at the parting of the ways. It bears two bronze tablets, one inscribed to Isaac Zane, founder of the old village, while the other is dedicated to the memory of Simon Kenton. Dr. Sloan assisted in this work and the remainder of the cost was borne by the villagers and the heirs of Zane and Kenton. It is intended at some future day to surmount the boulder with a bronze figure of an Indian representing Chief Tarhe, the father of Myeerah Zane-a project which should enlist the help of every citizen of Logan county whose ancestors once called Zanesfield home. This unique monument figured in the great "homecoming" of a few years ago, when, inspired by the artist, Warren Cushman, and Dr. Earl Sloan, the villagers and young men and maidens of the valley rendered a beautiful- pageant portraying the story of "Isaac Zane among the Wyandots." The dramatization was the work of O. K. Reames, and was a conception of artistic merit, while its execution, under the direction of Mr. Cushman, who portrayed Chief Tarhe, was faithful and enthusiastic. The pageant was hoped to be, and deserves to become an event of periodic repetition, which shall keep alive the beautiful story of the past, and from time to time draw Logan county home "to find the hollows where those flowers grew" in the playground of its youth.
When, in 1898, the Toledo & Ohio Central railway broke through the stillness of the valley, it did more than give its passengers a glimpse of paradise. It opened the way from this garden spot of the county to outer markets, and it carries away annually large shipments of grain, hay, livestock and lumber-which is still a very important export from this point, owing to the black walnut timber which is still plentiful in the woods. As high as three hundred carloads of logs have been shipped in one year, cargoes during the war with Germany being consigned to the government. The elevator is the property of the Yoder company, of West Liberty.
Milk, eggs and poultry and other farm produce is transported to market by motor truck service, tons upon tons going to the cannery at DeGraff.
(page 329) The "first gristmill" in this valley which was once a valley of mills, was built by William McColloch, and followed by others at very early dates, accompanied by the equally necessary sawmills. At least one was built before the War of 1812, for it was abandoned before 1820. It stood south of Zanesfield, on the West Liberty road. In 1830 Joshua Folsom built a sawmill about one mile north of the village. It was operated by means of a "flutter wheel," and the dam was built of logs, which the Mad river freshets frequently washed out, necessitating many repairs. But it did good service until 1850, when Charles Folsom, the son, built a new mill farther down the stream and utilized the water from the mill race to operate a flouring mill, while he installed a steam engine for the sawmill, abandoning the latter after a time, however, to devote his time to flour milling. Another well-remembered gristmill of early times was that built by John Pym in 1836. At first operated by water power, it was after many years converted into a steam mill, and much enlarged. I. J. Baldwin purchased the mill from Pym, and his name clung to the business ever after, although it passed from his ownership at last, to Rutan & Riddle, G. P. Stevenson, and J. Crawford Smith, a brother to "Brad" Smith, and both sons of Benjamin Smith. J. N. Dickinson became the owner of the old Folsom Mill. The Marmon sawmill stood near their land. Benjamin Smith, Samuel Lippincott, Benajah Williams, Dr. James Crew, Jonathan Thomas, William Easton, Daniel Antrim, Oren Outland and Absalom Brown were among the early home builders in Zanesfeld. Lanson Curtis, who was the first merchant after Robitaille, and who also brought into the county the first wheeled vehicle, was the first postmaster. Curtis was never a popular man, but is remembered gratefully for the real benefits which he conferred on the village. Zane McColloch followed him as the village merchant, and after him the Marmon brothers came into prominence in this capacity. Foos, Taylor, Kenton, Cleveland, McBeth, Smith, Means, Brown, Keys and Sands were successors as the years went by, and later store keepers were Omar Brown, Oren Outland, the Plummer brothers, and, today, the Wooley company and O. K. Reames.
The first tannery in Zanesfeld was opened by Benjamin Smith, son of Christopher, who settled in the village immediately following his marriage to Cynthanetta Garwood. Downs & Marmon succeeded him in the business, and John Monroe afterward occupied the field until time and change swept this industry elsewhere.
Of resident physicians in Zanesfeld, Dr. James Crew was the first, followed by Dr. Joshua Robb; and it may be said here, in addition to other mention, that from this valley came Dr. Benjamin Stanton Brown, the son of Aaron and Anna Stanton Brown, who were from North Carolina, and settled, near Marmon's Bottom, in 1818.
The first church to be established in the valley of the upper Mad river was the congregation of Quakers, who built the old Goshen chapel on the Middleburg road about one mile east of Zanesfield. It followed the organization of the Middleburg Society very shortly, and the chapel dates well previous to 1810. The (page 330) controversy excited by the spread of the Hicksite doctrines caused a split in this congregation of good people which was only settled by the Hicksites retiring a half mile west on the same road, where they built, in 1828, a chapel which is still in occasional use, though neither body possesses the same strength as of old. The second religious body to organize was the Baptist, who built, in 1814, a church near Tharp's Run, by which designation the congregation was always known. It was a congregation inspired with great zeal, and full of missionary spirit. No less than four churches were dismissed from it to other points in the growing new country, the last being the congregation established in the village of Zanesfeld. The old Tharp's Run church was built of hewn logs in 1819, but in 1845 this was replaced by a brick chapel thirty by forty feet in dimensions, and there the congregation continued to meet and to hold its annual reunions for nearly fifty years longer. A thousand pleasant and tender memories rise at the mention of "Old Tharp's Run church," where young George McColloch's ministry began, the beneficent sanctity of whose life still keeps his memory sacred. The chapel itself was razed to permit the passage of the railroad through the valley.
The Methodists were the third pioneer religious body, but built no church for some time, holding their classes in homes and in the school building. This became a point of conscientious objection at last, and the difficulty was settled by Lanson Curtis, who built a little brick chapel at his own expense, and gave free use of it to the Methodists, who were by that time (1836) a regularly organized congregation. It is still the strongest denomination in the locality, and members are ministered to at their pretty church by Rev. E. A. Boots.
The_ Presbyterian church was the last to be organized in Zanesfield. Exact dates are not to be had, but the family of John Robb (an uncle of James Robb) and L. P. Burton and his wife and her sister, all of the "'30s," are the first Presbyterians known to have come to this part of Logan county. They were joined not long after their arrival by Sylvester Robb and William Cook and their families, and by Mrs. James Kenton. The first sermons were delivered by Revs. J. H. Gilman and W. M. Galbreath, between the years 1842 and 1845; in the little brick meeting house of the Methodists, their own chapel not being built until 1853. Dr. Joshua S. Robb was the chairman of the building committee, and William Cook and Joshua Scott put up the building. A glance at the following list of "ruling elders" of the conyegation reveals not only the passing generations of the church, but of Zanesfeld itself. They were, from 1851 to 1880, Joshua Robb, Luther Smith, Justus Rutan, E. T. Davis, Samuel Marquis, George D. Adams, Charles Chapman, J. K. Abraham, Samuel Jameson, Thomas Marquis, William S. Irwin, Charles Rockwell, R. B. Porter, J. E. Smith, and G. P. Stevenson. The congregation has since then dwindled with time and removals, until a few years ago, when Dr. Earl S. Sloan, of Boston (originator of the world-famed "Sloan's Liniment, Good for Man and Beast") born in Zanesfeld and reared in the Presbyterian faith by his mother, Susan Sloan, visited the village and found the (page 331) staunch old chapel in sad need of repairs. He at once provided for its renovation, in honor of that mother of his-to whom a bronze memorial tablet now hangs upon the east wall of the room and left a fund to provide ministerial service as often as obtainable. Rev. Charles Marston, of Huntsville, now gives a part of his time to the Zanesfeld Presbyterians. At Dr. Sloan's direction, three mural panels were executed by Warren Cushman, representing Love, Hope and Charity, and these hang on the front wall of the chapel, being done on canvases and removable if the church is ever rebuilt.
The Wyandot Indians, of whom Tarhe was chief, had located their village about the cluster of fine springs in the bottoms. As settlement by the whites progressed and wells were sunk, for convenience, in everybody's dooryard, these springs became neglected, and were gradually forming a marsh in the vicinity, where the land was owned, up to twenty years ago, by "Brad" Smith. After the extension of the road to the south through this little marsh and toward the depot, about twenty years ago, a cantaloupe garden was started in the vicinity by Mr. Cushman, and about the same time B. G. Cushman's attention was attracted to the springs, situated in the fork of the two roads. Mr. Smith ascertained that the springs were wells of water pure and free from mineral taint, and Mr. Cushman then bought the land and set about reclaiming the springs for the purpose of establishing a trout hatchery. A thorough scientific study of fishery has enabled him to develop, since 1903, a complete system of trout hatcheries and fishing pools which cover some acres of ground, and have converted the unsightly marsh into a pretty park with grassy levees separating the pools, the water from which passes freely through hidden conduits from one to another, and is maintained at the purity which is absolutely imperative for trout culture. Along the levees one hundred young birches were planted a year ago, giving promise of future beauty to the place, while a well-grown row of the same graceful trees extends along the middle levee already. The pools are planted with water cress, and with mosses brought from Castalia, Ohio, where is the only other trout fishery of this character in the state. No prettier tail-piece to the village could be devised than this fishing park-for Zanesfield seems a story-book, the last chapter ending as all romances should, "And they were happy for ever after." The turmoil of its life is past, but life is left and it is good. It is one of those stories that should and will be read and re-read by succeeding generations, like Grimm's Tales, or "Alice in Wonderland"-a perpetual new edition with the Zane-Kenton memorial stamped in gilt on the cover, the Sloan Library for its frontispiece, and thumb-nail sketches of its quaint landmarks littering the favorite pages.
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