Stories of Guernsey County by Wm. Wolfe pages 884-905
AT THE first meeting of the Guernsey county commissioners, April 23, 1810, the county was divided into five townships whose total population was 3,051. Following the War of 1812 there was a flood of immigration, and by 1820 the number of people in the county had reached 9,292, an increase of two hundred per cent in a decade. For local convenience this necessitated smaller political units, and petitions for new townships were presented. At least a dozen new townships were formed in the ten years following the organization of the county.
Among the first of these was Madison. It is now five miles square, but was much larger when set apart by the commissioners. On July 28, 1810, a meeting was called to elect officers for the new township. This was held at the house of Absalom Martin who later served as a captain in the War of 1812.
Pioneers of the Township.--James Bratton, who established a home on the present site of Winterset, in 1805, was the first settler in Madison town-ship.
The Huffman family came from Pennsylvania in 1809. Among the other early settlers were the Stockdales, of Irish origin; Michael Adair, Robert Campbell, John Saviers, John Hanna, the English family, the McBrides, the Carlisles and the Harfords-all from Pennsylvania; the Weyers, Scotts, Bonnells and Yeos, from Maryland; and Daniel Tetrick from New Jersey.
The Cunningham family settled north of Antrim in 1820. They entered a part of a thousand-acre tract from which not a stick of timber had been cut. Hogs, having the range of the woods, multiplied rapidly, grew wild, and became fiercer and more dangerous than the native wild beasts. On one occasion a wild boar emerged from the forest and attacked the hogs which Mr. Cunningham was feeding, ripping them open with its tusks. Mr. Cunningham saved his own life by climbing a tree.
Old Folks of 1876.--On the hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence a census of Guernsey county old people was taken by The Jeffersonian. Madison township had the following residents over seventy-six years of age: Mrs. Sanderson, Benjamin Berry, Elias Burdett, James Copeland, Mrs. E. Cramer, Mrs. Anne Ferrell, Mrs. Grizelle, Wesley Gill, Mrs. R. Harris, F. L. Harford, Bennet Harding, William M. Jenkins, Mrs. Mary Johnson, John Jones, Mrs. C. Lenfesty, Samuel Lindsey, Mrs. M. Lindsey, Andrew F. Linn, George McCormick, J. W. Mills, Henry Nichols, Mrs. E. Pritchard, Mrs. S. Nichols, Mrs. F. Parker, Isaac Ricker, Mrs. Amy Ricker, Mrs. Mary Shaw, Mrs. E. Shuman, John Smith, Mrs. Mary Smith, John Sheridan, John Stockdale, Mrs. M. Stockdale, William Scott, James Stockdale, John Saviers, Samuel Tannehill, Mrs. F. Tetrick, James Weyer and Mrs. Wyrick.
Population.--1820, 643; 1830, 846; 1840, 1,569; 1850, 1,519; 1860, 1,702; 1870, 1,170; 1880, 1,170; 1890, 1,038; 1900, 883; 1910, 755; 1920, 618; 1930, 550.
Antrim was laid out by Alexander Alexander, March 1, 1830. Sections No. 1, No. 2, No. 9 and No. 10, situated in the northeastern corner of the township, were reserved by the state and set apart for school purposes when Guernsey county was formed. As were other school lands, they were to be leased and the income used for school purposes. By authority of a legislative act these lands were sold when the term of the lease expired. Alexander bought the northwest quarter of section No. 10, platted twenty-four lots, twelve on each side of the Steubenville road which passed through his quarter section, and named his town Antrim, honoring the Irish ancestral home of certain Madison township people.
The Ohio Gazetteer, published by Warren Jenkins in 1837, describes Antrim as follows:
"Antrim, a small post town laid out in 1830, by A. Alexander, the present postmaster, in Guernsey county, 91 miles east of Columbus, 40 miles east of Zanesville, 41 miles northwest of the Ohio River at Bridgeport, 16 miles south-east of the Ohio Canal, 25 miles from Cadiz, 16 miles from Cambridge. It is on the state road leading from Steubenville to Cambridge, and directly on the pro-posed route of the M'Adamized road between the two last named places. It contains about 30 buildings, three stores, two taverns, and sundry mechanics' shops, three churches, one academy, etc., etc. The seminary is called the Philomathean Literary Institute, and is in a flourishing condition. The languages and sciences generally are here taught, and the situation being healthy and pleasant, much exertion will be made by the Trustees to render the Institute worthy of extended patronage."
Alexander's town never became large. In 1850 it had a population of 252; in 1860, 242; and in 1870, 160. In 1854 general stores were kept by A. Sankey, J. and S. W. Stockdale, and Clark and Company; M. Smith was the tanner and currier; J. R. Moss was the bookseller and stationer; J. Harrison and Brothers, and G. Lytle were fashionable tailors; John Reed was the wagon-maker; Hugh Bowers was the blacksmith; J. Harper was the boot and shoemaker; T. C. Clark and R. G. Stephenson were the village doctors; William C. Dobbins and J. M. Patterson were saddle and harness makers; Metcalf's tavern afforded accommodations for the traveling public.
In 1870 H. H. Bowers, Albaugh and Boyd, and Bickham and Hutchison kept general stores there; D. W. Brumbaugh and W. Harding were black-smiths; Richard Beem was a wagon-maker; C. C. Tolle kept a tavern; and J.H. Crumbacker was the village doctor.
For the story of Madison College which was located in Antrim see the chapter, "Schools and Education." An Antrim war story may be found in the chapter, "Morgan's Raid."
On August 18, 1836, when Antrim was six years old, Isaac Bonnell laid out a town which he called Winchester. It is on the Steubenville road, three miles southwest of Antrim. Bonnell was born in Frederick, Maryland, and, when twelve years of age, came with his father to Madison township. His town is now called Winterset. There is a Winchester in Adams county. For many years the postal authorities would not permit the postoffice in Madison township to be called by the name of the platted village. It was named Brown after its long-time postmaster, Simeon Brown. To avoid confusion the names of both town and postoffice were changed to Winterset.
Like Antrim, Winchester never grew as its founder may have expected. Its population in 1850 was 147; in 1860, 197; and in 1870, 179. Among the business and professional men of the village in 1870 were the following: B.Borton, jeweler; Adam Linn, drygoods and groceries; William C. Scott, groceries; Elias Tetrick, nursery; Hiram Stiles, saw and grist mill; R. Burson, proprietor of tavern; and J. B. Kirk, physician.
Some Historical Facts.--Historically, that which was first possesses some distinction. Like other places Madison township had its pioneers in the various lines of activity. George Linn built the first mill on Salt Fork, but it was in that part of Madison, that afterwards became Jefferson township. Brindle Wickham was the first justice of the peace. George Wines opened the first store in Winchester, and Alexander Alexander the first in Antrim. John Keepers kept the first tavern in Winchester. William Risk was the first blacksmith in Antrim.
Rev. Riddle, of the Associate Reformed church, came into the township in 1820 as the first preacher. The Methodists built the first church in Winchester.
First Slander Case in County.--Before the National Road was built there was much travel on the Steubenville road which was considered a better highway east from Cambridge than was either Zane's Trace or its successor, the Wheeling road. Emigrant wagons westward bound, droves of cattle and hogs on their way to eastern markets, and wagon-loads of farm products or merchandise passed daily through Madison township. For the entertainment of the travelers many of the settlers kept taverns. Two of the tavern keepers in the Winchester neighborhood were James Bratton and Absalom Martin.
The first slander suit in Guernsey county grew out of a controversy relative to the respective merits of the Bratton and Martin taverns. It was brought in 1811, the year after the county was organized. This is the record:
"Absalom Martin vs. James Bratton, slander. Let a jury be called. The following good and lawful men came, to wit: James Cloy'd, Frederick Dickerson, John Chapman, Lloyd Frizzle, John Moffit, William Talbert, John Hanna, William Launtz, John Frame, Joseph Cook, John Carlow and Andrew Moore. After hearing the evidence, arguments of counsel and charge of the court, (the jury) retired to consult together, and returned into court with a verdict for the plaintiff of $22 damages. Motion made by defendant's counsel for appeal to supreme court."
We do not know the outcome of the case when, or if, taken to the higher court. Absalom Martin, the plaintiff, was prominent in ~the early history of the county. He was a member of the first board of county commissioners, serving as such when the case was brought against him. The following year he raised a company of Guernsey county men to fight in the Second War with Great Britain, and John Bratton, son of James Bratton, was one of his sergeants. Notwithstanding his prominence as a citizen, Absalom Martin, it is said, never owned any real estate in Guernsey county.
The "Buckwheat Line."--As early as the year 1830 stages ran every other day during the summer months, between Cambridge and Steubenville. They were unlike the highly decorated coaches lined with silk plush that ran on the National Road; they were ordinary spring wagons with covers for protection against rain and the hot sun. They carried both passengers and goods.
A farmer near Antrim contracted with the manager of one of the stage lines to haul buckwheat to Moore's mill at Cambridge to be ground and to return the flour to him. On many trips passengers and buckwheat were mixed indiscriminately in the stages. This gave rise to the name, the "Buck-wheat Line."
The Mystery of the Bells.—Excitement that reached far beyond the boundaries of Madison township was occasioned in the summer of 1881 by the mysterious ringing of bells at the home of Reuben Tetirick two miles southwest of Winterset. To the Tetiricks the sounds were like those of cowbells. First heard in the distance, they would approach the house as if carried by ghostly cows, then fade away to be followed at irregular periods of time by similar sounds. The ringing seemed to approach the house from a ravine which led to Salt Fork creek three-fourths of a mile south. Sometimes it sounded as if a mile away. Sometimes it would be heard in the cellar, and at night it seemed to come from under the beds.
The annoyance became almost unbearable to the Tetirick family and they reported it to their neighbors. The latter visited the place and while some of them claimed that they could hear the bells distinctly, others seemed to hear nothing. Tetirick’s daughter, a schoolteacher, could neither read nor study, she said, because of the constant ringing of the bells. Any person visiting the Tetiricks could readily see that they were greatly troubled. Was the ringing the result of some natural cause, or was there something weird and ghostly in the background? To the superstitious, of whom there were many in the community at that time, it was believed to be the latter.
Many wild rumors were afloat. On the farm was a burial ground in which all graves were marked except one, that of a woman. Tenants who lived on the farm before it was occupied by the Tetiricks had reported hearing strange sounds and seeing a ghostly visitor often a woman robed in white. Before Mr. Tetirick moved from an adjoining farm to this one it was occupied by Elizabeth Cramer, a German widow whose title to the place was not sound. Tetirick wished her evicted and they quarreled. She told him that he would never get the farm while she lived and if he took possession after her death, she would came back to haunt him.
Mrs. Cramer died and was buried in the graveyard on the farm. The superstitious believed that the old lady was keeping her word. One man testified that, besides hearing the bells, he had seen a bright light to rise from the ravine, pass near the house and on to the graveyard where it rested on Mrs. Cramer’s tomb. Some came forward to say that they had attended the old lady’s funeral and had doubted at the time that she was dead; she had died suddenly. The preacher who had conducted the services was called to testify. He said he witnessed the “looking-glass test after she had been laid out,” and thought it showed death, but was not sure.
Hundreds of people visited the Tetirick home during the summer, some coming from more than twenty miles away. One night sixty persons gathered at the place, determined to solve the mystery. It was an off-night for the ghosts. The Tetiricks claimed that they could hear the bells daily, nightly, hourly—in the fields and in the house.
The ringing continued to be heard—by some—for several weeks. Newspaper reporters visited the scene and the publicity given the mystery caused much excitement. People flocked to the place. Fences were torn down and crops were trampled into the ground. The superstitious were sure that Mrs. Cramer’s ghost was abroad raising a disturbance, as she had claimed it would be. Serious-minded persons sought a natural cause for the phenomenon. Several were considered. One that seemed most probable was that the sound of ringing was produced by a current of air sweeping up the ravine. When the leaves fell from the trees late in the year the bells rang no more. Some believed that daughters of Tetirick, dissatisfied with the home, caused the ringing sound to be produced by some means, hoping that their father would become scared and move the family elsewhere.
The Long-lived Harfords.—One who visits the United Presbyterian cemetery at Antrim may notice a group of gravestones in the eastern part, each bearing the name of Harford and dates indicating that the one memorialized lived to a great age. The Harfords were a long-lived family. The father, mother three sons and three daughters lived to an average age of approximately ninety-one years. In this record the first born is not included, as it died in infancy before the family moved to Guernsey county. For information concerning this family of remarkable longevity we are indebted to Mrs. Alena Rinehart, daughter of Alexander Harford, one of the sons.
Freeman L. Harford and his wife, Mary M., came to Madison township in 1839, from Fayette county, Pennsylvania, and settled on 132 acres of land near the site of the present Madison high school. The only improvements on the land were a log cabin for the family and a small log shed for the stock. Harford began clearing away the forest and two or three years later he erected a comfortable hewn-log house of four rooms. In Pennsylvania he had learned the cabinet-making trade. The demand for such work in the pioneer settlement prompted him to build a small log shop where he made various articles of furniture, also wagons, sleds and wooden farm implements much needed at this time. As the log cabins of the first settlers, with their puncheon floors, strick chimneys and rude improvised furnishings, gave way to hewn-log houses with more that one room, the demand for chairs, bedsteads, bureaus, tables and other articles of furniture increased. Harford found but little time for farm work. Turning the farm over to his sons, he bought a small place on the Steubenville road, a mile east of Winchester, and erected a frame house into which he and his wife moved. Here they spent the remainder of their lives, Freeman dying at the age of ninety-four, and his wife at ninety-six. A few years after they came to Madison township they united with the Baptist church in Antrim. When this church was discontinued they transferred their membership to Brushy Fork. Both were buried in the United Presbyterian cemetery in Antrim.
George M., the oldest of the six Harford children in Guernsey county, died at the age of eighty-four. Sarah A. (Harford) Campbell, whose home was four miles east of Cambridge, lived to be ninety. Charles N. became a Baptist preacher, was pastor of a number of churches in Central Ohio, and resided in Granville the latter part of his life. On his one-hundredth birthday he preached at Johnstown, Ohio, where a celebration was held in his honor. His death occurred five days later. Alexander Harford resided on the original Harford farm for a number of years and then moved to an adjoining farm. The original farm is now owned by Wade Harford, son of Alexander. Alexander Harford died in 1933, being then nearly ninety-three years of age. Mary E. Harford never married. She remained with and cared for her parents until their deaths. She then located in Cambridge where she died at the age of ninety-two. Emma A. Harford, the youngest daughter and the youngest to died, lived to the age of seventy-seven. She married William M. Allen and resided in Granville the latter part of her life.
There is some argument here for the claim that longevity is hereditary. Both parents attained great ages. Shall we attribute the long lives of the children to this, or did they just happen?
Owners of Real Estate in 1840.—Who the families owning real estate in Madison township were a century ago (1840) may be learned from the following list. The number of acres owned by each and the section in which the farm was located are given. The list is complete. Other families living in the township at that time were tenants.
Arneal, Hugh, 156 acres, sec. 3; Adair, George, 160 acres, sec. 24; Adair, John (Heirs), 237 sec. 13; Anderson, William, 187 acres, sec. 3 and 4; Adair, Michael, 160 acres, sec. 8; Anderson, Andrew, 61 acres, sec. 9; Andrews, William, 160 acres, sec. 21; Bell, Richard, 156 acres, sec. 1; Beall, Charles, 80 acres, sec. 24; Bratton, John, 196 acres, sec. 15 and 20; Boyd, Jonathan, 80 acres, sec. 24; Bowers, James, 80 acres, sec. 22; Bonnell, Catherine, 68 acres, sec. 6; Berry, Benjamin, 80 acres, sec. 18; Bratton, Jacob, 240 acres, sec. 15 and 20; Bratton, James, Jr., 160 acres, sec. 20; Boyd, Thomas, 160 acres, sec. 22; Beatty, Thomas, 130 acres, sec. 20; Bell, Robert, 68 acres, sec. 4; Burson, Isaac A., 80 acres, sec. 17; Burnsworth, John, 1 acre, sec. 10; Bowers, Joseph, 1 acre, sec. 9; Beggs, Morris, 156 acres, sec. 11.
Cramer, Henry, 139 acres, sec. 16; Campbell, Jane, 35 acres, sec. 4; Congleton, James, 56 acres, sec. 11; Congleton, William, Jr., 30 acres, sec. 20; Casterline, James, 160 acres, sec. 21; Carlisle, William, 973 acres, sec. 7, 14, 17 and 23; Crouse, Jacob, Sr., 30 acres, sec. 23; Congleton, 95 acres, sec. 20; Cunningham, James, 156 acres, sec. 2; Cunningham, Andrew, 156 acres, sec. 2; Callendine, Jacob, 36 acres, sec. 24; Duensing, Christopher, 47 acres, sec. 17; Davenport, John, 45 acres, sec. 19; Devinney, Aaron, 80 acres, sec. 18; Duncan, John, 90acres, sec. 13; English, John (Heirs), 80 acres, sec. 19; Eviston, George, 80 acres, sec. 22; Ferguson, John, 78 acres, sec. 1; Forrest, Gabrill, 70 acres, sec. 19; Forsythe, John, 112 acres, sec. 11 and 12; Findley, Samuel, 78 acres, sec. 9.
Griffith, Joseph, 160 acres, sec. 22; Gillett, Horace, 50 acres, sec. 8; Gill, Barnabas, 75 acres, sec. 12; Gillett, Jedediah, 160 acres, sec. 6; Gillett, Wheeler, 40 acres, sec. 7; Green, Milton, 3 acres, sec. 10; Helm, Madison, 80 acres, sec. 24; Huffman, Benjamin, 140 acres, sec. 5; Hughes, Thomas, 69 acres, sec. 18; Hanna, John, 856 acres, sec. 3, 13, 17, 18, and 25; Hixson, Matthew, 10 acres, sec. 16; Huston, Mary, 78 acres, sec. 2; Harford, Freeman L., 130 acres, sec. 13; Hamilton, William, 156 acres, sec. 3; Hagan, Joseph, 62 acres, sec. 13; Hamilton, William, 156 acres, sec. 3; Hagan, Joseph, 62 acres, sec. 13; Harding, Bennett, 117 acres, sec. 1; Huffman, George, 155 acres, sec. 5; Harding, John, 112 acres, sec. 11; Hotchkiss, William, 7 acres, sec. 10.
Irwin, William, 69 acres, sec. 18; Jenkins, Eleazer, 51 acres, sec. 4; Karnahan, William, 156 acres, sec. 12; Kinkead, David, 78 acres, sec. 1; Keepers, John, 74 acres, sec. 6; Leas, John, 117 acres, sec. 1 and 2; Lindsey, Joseph, 78 acres, sec. 10; Lenfesty, Thomas, 77 acres, sec. 5; Lindsey, Samuel, 158 acres, sec. 12; Long, Jonathan, 20 acres, sec. 8; McCracken, Alexander, 8 acres, sec. 20; McCormick, George, 155 acres, sec. 10; Mustard, John, 68 acres, sec. 6; McCollum, Casper, 138 acres, sec. 18; Masters, Henry, 304 acres, sec. 4, 8, and 13; Miller, Matthew, 78 acres, sec. 1; McPeek, Ezekiel, 150 acres, sec. 12; McCune, John, 4 acres, sec. 9; Moss, James R., 30 acres, sec. 10; McDowell, Mark, 160 acres, sec. 21; Medley, Francis, 73 acres, sec. 8; McCandless, John, 73 acres, sec. 13; McMillen, James, 67 acres, sec. 20; Morrison, Joseph, 78 acres, sec. 8; Martshall, Benjamin, 80 acres, sec. 1.
Nichols, Henry, 50 acres, sec. 17; Orr, Robert, 80 acres, sec. 7; Porter, Stewart, 178 acres, sec. 1; Porter, Hugh, 56 acres, sec. 9; Pounds, William, 40 acres, sec. 7; Rorick, Edward, 34 acres, sec. 6; Skinner, John, 40 acres, sec. 19; Skinner, Phineas, 50 acres, sec. 19; Smith, Washington, 116 acres, sec. 11; Smith, William, Jr., 117 acres, sec. 1 and 2; Savage, Thomas, 66 acres, sec. 10; Shipman, Jacob, 118 acres, sec. 6; Sankey, Jennett, 39 acres, sec. 1; Stockdale, Moses, 78 acres, sec. 10; Smith, John, 80 acres, sec. 22; Saltsgaver, Frederick, 100 acres, sec. 23; Saviers, John, 129 acres, sec. 5; Stewart, John, 320 acres, sec. 14; Stoner, Nicholas, 160 acres, sec. 19; Spear, Robinson, 139 acres, sec. 23; Stafford, Benjamin, 160 acres, sec. 21; Saltsgaver, Mary, 30 acres, sec. 23; Stockdale, John, 78 acres, sec. 10; Stockdale, James, 234 acres, sec. 9 and 10;
Tracy, William, 80 acres, sec. 7; Tedrick, Michael, 150 acres, sec. 16; Taylor, George, 136 acres, sec. 5 and 6; Tedrick, Jacob, Jr., 160 acres, sec. 19; Tidrick, Daniel, 139 acres, sec. 23; Tedrick, Isaac, 120 acres, sec. 15; Tedrick, Jacob, Sr., 156 acres, sec. 15; Tedrick, John, Jr., 138 acres, sec. 16; Tuttle, John A., 91 acres, sec. 11; Thompson, Samuel A., 7 acres, sec. 9; Vanhorn, Bernard, 10 acres, sec. 1; Vanevey, Isaac, 65 acres, sec. 17; Webb, John, 136 acres, sec. 8; Wyrick, Obadiah, 204 acres, sec. 24 and 25; Webb, James, 193 acres, sec. 16 and 17; Wilkin, Hananiah, 156 acres, sec. 9; Wishard, John R., 100 acres, sec. 4; Watts, Joseph, 50 acres, sec. 4; Watson, Alexander (Heirs), 160 acres, sec. 7; Wier, James, 160 acres, sec. 24; Youst, John, 83 acres, sec. 3.
Owners of lots in Antrim were the following; Alexander Alexander, William Arneal, John M. Allison, Alexander Arneal, George Anderson, Andrew Anderson, William G. Alexander, William Burnside, Joseph Bowers, Thomas Finney, Samuel Findley, Wheeler Gillett, Oliver P. Gillett, Milton Green, Jeremiah Harding, Castle Hotchkiss, John Hanna, William Hixon, Henry Hanna, Thomas Harrison, Thomas Hanna, William Hotchkiss, David Johnson, William Johnson, Thomas Johnson, Henry Johnson, Robert Lindsey, Joesph Mills, James R. Moss, John McCune, David McConaughy, Alexander Patterson, James Ramsey, Edward Roache, Mayberry Smith, Robert Stockdale, Thomas Savage, Henry Savage, James Stevenson, William H. Stone, Jonathan Warne, John Wise, Jacob Watkins and Daniel White.
The following owned lots in Winchester: John M. Allison, John M. Brown, William Bonnell, George Bates, John Bonnell, Daniel Bonnell, Nathan Barnes, Levi Booth, John Carlisle, William Carlisle, John Fordyce, David D. Fordyce, Thomas Hanna, Joseph Keepers, John Keepers, Thomas Lenfesty, Joseph Morrison, Matthew Miller, William H. McCoy, Jacob Shipman and William Tedrick.
Brattons the Pioneers of Madison Township
Came in 1805.—We are starting this story of the Brattons who, without doubt, were the first white settlers in Madison township, with an inscription on a stone in the Pleasant Hill cemetery in Jefferson township:
A Soldier of the Revolution
Born in Chester County, Pa.
Died, Oct. 6, 1844
In the 88th Year of His Age
In 1799 James Bratton, then forty-three years of age, brought his wife and eight children into Ohio, settling on leased land near Zane’s Trace, not far from where St. Clairsville now stands. In 1805, the land of the United States Military district having been thrown open for settlement, he decided to enter two quarter sections on what is now Brushy Fork creek in Guernsey county. At that time this land was in Muskingum county.
During the Brattons’ sojourn in Belmont county three more children were born, making eleven in all. Edward, the oldest, was married. The group of Brattons that set out for the new home on Brushy Fork was composed of fourteen persons.
A Difficult Journey.—There were no established roads. However, there was a path through the forest, that had been broken by General Braodhead in his expedition against the Indians at Coshocton, in 1781. The Brattons followed this until they reached the present site of Antrim. Here they found a trail running east and west, which was crossed by the path they had been traveling, near the present location of the Antrim school. This trail had been made by cutting out the underbrush. It afterwards became the Steubenville road. Turning to the left on this trail, and traveling westward, they came to the present site of Winterset, the place of the new home.
The names of the eight oldest children the ones who were born in Pennsylvania, together with the dates of their births, were as follows: Edward, 1784; Robert, 1786; Elizabeth, 1787; John, 1789; William, 1791; James, 1795; Rachel, 1796; Sarah, 1798. The ages of the three younger children, the ones born in Belmont county, were one, three and five years, when the family came to Brushy Fork.
The journey to Brushy Fork was a difficult one. The mother rode a horse, carrying the youngest child in her arms. Fastened behind her on the horse was a feather bed on which the next youngest child was tied. Another horse was used in carrying the little property they possessed.
The other members of the party walked. The boys wore no shoes and their feet were badly lacerated by the stones and briars before the end of the journey was reached.
Indians as Neighbors.—A rude cabin was built and a new home established. It was eight or ten miles to the nearest white family east of them. On the west there was none nearer than the Beatty family at the Wills creek crossing (Cambridge). Some Indian families lived on the creek below. They did not molest the Brattons, but showed a friendly attitude in giving them corn, something much needed by them. Until the land could be cleared and crops raised the game in the forest was their main food.
Within a few years other settlers came. The Steubenville trail was widened and became the Steubenville road. Many pioneers seeking homes in the western country, traveled over it. Taverns for their accommodation sprang up like filling stations on the main thoroughfares today. As liquor was sold, the owner of a tavern was required to obtain a license.
Kept a Tavern.—The first court records of Guernsey county have the following entry:
“To James Bratton on the Steubenville road permission to open a Tavern, having paid into the treasury $1.36.”
This license, issued May 5, 1810, was for the third tavern licensed in Guernsey county.
In 1812 James Bratton moved to what is now the Pleasant Hill community in Jefferson township, where he remained until his death. Edward, the oldest son, moved to Salt Fork, no far from the present location of the cross Road school. A stone in the Pleasant Hill cemetery shows that hs death occurred April 13, 1876. He was then ninety-two years of age. William went into Jefferson township, too, where he died in 1873. His grave is at Pleasant Hill.
Elizabeth, the oldest daughter, married Robert Warnock. He joined the company of Absalom Martin for service in the War of 1812, and was killed by the Indians in the Copus battle, the story of which is published elsewhere in this work.
John, the third son, was a sergeant in the Absalom Martin company, fought the Seneca Indians, returned safely from the war and received a pension until his death, which occurred in Muskingum county, after he had reached a very old age. He liked to boast of having been for Thomas Jefferson and every succeeding Democratic candidate for the presidency. After his father moved from the original home on the Steubenville road, he and his widowed sister, Elizabeth, kept the Bratton tavern for a few years.
Only a Few Descendants Here.—The purpose of this story is to show the beginning of Madison township, not to trace the Bratton family. While there may be several descendants in Guernsey county, we know of but three of the fourth generation, all of whom are aged persons. One of these is William Mawhorr, a grandson of Edward Bratton; he lives near Pleasant Hill. The others are Mrs. Marda Buker, a granddaughter, of William Bratton, whose home is on Highland avenue, Cambridge, and Mrs. Ruth Oliver, of Foster avenue, Cambridge, a granddaughter of Edward Bratton.
Dr. Samuel Findley, Pioneer Preacher and Teacher
We remember the men and women who first settled the county and cleared away the forests, who built roads, who held office, who fought in wars, who engaged in activities that advanced it materially. Such persons, overlook the fact that there were others here whose work, although of a different kind, affected the future of the county. One of the greatest of these was Dr. Samuel Findley. His memory should be honored.
There are seemingly but few persons in Guernsey county today who know much about Dr. Findley. However, there are many whose lives have been influenced by the work done by him here almost a century ago. His influence has reached down through the generations, affecting directly or indirectly both the educational and the religious interests of the county, even to the present time.
His Youth.—Dr. Samuel Findley was born in Western Pennsylvania in 1786. His father was a farmer and a judge in the Butler county court. His uncle, William Findley, was appointed by President George Washington as arbiter in the settlement of the Whisky Rebellion. He was a member of the Pennsylvania delegation that met to ratify the Constitution of the United States, and voted against it because it contained no provision for education.
At fourteen years of age Samuel dedicated himself to the preaching of the Gospel. He found a Latin grammar, and having no time out from work for study, he tied it between the plow handles and studied as he walked back and forth across the fields. He took up Hebrew, Greek and the Bible, and walked a mile each morning before breakfast to recite to a preacher. At the age of twenty he rode horseback to New York City to study for the ministry. His last cent was spent to cross the Hudson River by ferry. He sold his pony for money to pay tuition, and then worked at odd jobs for enough to pay for his room and board. Having received his diploma, he walked home, a distance of 500 miles.
Becomes a Preacher and a Teacher.—Ordained to preach in the Associate Reformed church, he married and located in Washington county, Pennsylvania. Here he preached in several churches, and he opened an academy in which he taught.
In 1818 Dr. Finley made a missionary trip through the newly opened country west of the Ohio River. He followed Zane’s Trace until he came to Fairview in Guernsey county, Ohio, which was then a settlement of log cabins. Gathering the pioneers about him, he preached to them under the trees on the hill south of the settlement. He returned later and organized an Associate Reformed society. The little group built a stone church under the trees on the hill where he had preached. This was the first Associate Reformed church in Guernsey county, and , as that denomination afterwards became the United Presbyterian church, it may be considered the first of that faith whose adherents now constitute the county’s second largest religious group. All of their many churches in this section, with few exceptions, can trace their origin directly or indirectly to the influence of Dr. Findley.
In 1824 Dr. Findley organized an Associate Reformed church at Washington, and one near the present Antrim, which was called Miller’s Fork.
Having three preaching appointments here, he moved his family form Pennsylvania to Washington, giving up an academy and established congregations for the hardships of a new country. His unselfish reason for this change is shown in a petition to the Guernsey county commissioners for his release from the bond of dishonest county official. He therein says of himself in the third person: “Twenty-one years and two months have now elapsed since the subscriber became a located citizen of this county. The literary, as well as the moral and religious character of the county was, at that time below par. He felt that there was work to do, and he set about doing it with his very might. His labors for the elevation of the literary, moral and religious character of the community have been untiring. Whilst obstacles apparently insuperable, at times, have blocked up his way, he has found perseverance and increased exertion at all times the sure badge of Success.”
The Religious Examiner.—At Washington, in 1827, Dr. Findley began publishing The Religious Examiner, a monthly periodical of forty or more pages devoted to the interests of the Associate Reformed church. It was one of the first religious journals to be published west of the Allegheny Mountains. In the closing issue of the first year he says:
“His (the editor’s) resources of information are greatly increased. His exchanges with the most respectable eastern publications are now extensive. (The National Road was built through Washington that year.) He has it in his power to give the earliest intelligence even from Europe, that can be thrown afloat at the same distance, in the interior of America. The mail stage passing through this place in which he resides, twelve times every week, renders his situation a thoroughfare of intelligence—and being on the great National Road which connects the eastern and western hemispheres of the U.S., forty miles west of Wheeling on the Ohio River, he can correspond with and have access to, the eastern and western extremities of the U.S. with equal facility.”
Dr. Findley published The Religious Examiner for several years. As the organ of the Associate Reformed church, it had much to do with the planting of the principles of that church in the minds and hearts of the early settlers of Guernsey and neighboring counties.
Locates at Antrim.—He purchased 160 acres of land immediately west of Antrim in the early 1830’s, built a cabin on it and moved his family there. Educational advantages were lacking in the community. The young people attended the little log schools in the woods, where they were taught to read, write and cipher, but nothing else. Although Dr. Findley was still editing The Religious Examiner, was preaching at Fairview, Miller’s Fork and Washington, and farming to support his large family, he offered to teach any of the young men of the Antrim neighborhood who might want to pursue studies beyond what the little log school had to offer.
In the fall of 1835 a class of eight young men was organized, and began work in a room of his cabin home. So enthusiastic was Dr. Findley and so eager were the young men to learn that within a short time the number wishing to enroll could not be accommodated in the cabin. In 1837 Dr. Findley opened an academy which was called the Philomathean Literary Institute. This proving to be a success, a charter was granted by the state legislature to 1839 and the name changed to Madison College, with Dr. Samuel Findley as president.
Educated Preachers and Teachers.—The popularity of Madison College extended throughout Eastern Ohio. On its advisory board were such persons as Hon. John A. Bingham, the nationally known statesman, and Dr. Joseph Ray, the author of the old-time popular arithmetics. Young men prepared for teaching at Madison, and lifted the schools of Guernsey county to a higher plane. Dr. Findley prevailed upon many of the students to enter the ministry; in fact, it was his desire to advance the interests of the Associate Reformed church that prompted him to establish a college. Financial difficulties resulting from the unsettled condition of the country in Civil War days caused the college to be closed.
A Strict Disciplinarian.—As shown by the rules of Madison College, Dr. Findley exacted the very best conduct of his students. In the family circle he was a disciplinarian of the first order. No literature was permitted in the home more profane than Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. One of his sons, David, wanted to study medicine, but Dr. Findley would not give his consent on the grounds that no doctor could be a Christian. But David did become a doctor, and two of his sons are now prominent physicians in the West. Four of Dr. Samuel Findley’s sons went into the ministry and two of his daughters married ministers.
Dr. Findley opposed the introduction of the organ into the church services. It is said that he and his son, Samuel, attended the meeting of the General Assembly in Philadelphia when the question was up for debate. It was well into the night when the meeting broke up, having arrived at the decision in favor of the organ. As the two left the meeting, Samuel asked, “Father, where shall we sleep tonight?” The father replied, “My son, I do not know, I do not care.”
The story is told that he would begin his Sabbath service at in the forenoon and close it with the twinkling of the stars; that his prayer was three-quarters of an hour long and that the exposition of the Scriptures consumed twenty minutes. To prepare for the Sabbath service he would shut himself up in his room on Friday and would brook no interruptions from anybody but his wife.
It is not recorded that he ever indulged in frivolities save on one occasion when he took his children to a circus, for which he was castigated by members of his congregation. Reconciliation came when it was learned that he only saw the animals, avoiding the allurements of the ringside.
His Works Do Follow Him.—Guernsey county has never realized its debt to Dr. Samuel Findley. A reading of the Cambridge newspapers published since 1824 will show that he had a leading part in every movement designed to elevate the intellectual, moral and religious planes of the county. He came here because, on a missionary journey, he found them to be “below par,” and he labored “with his very might” to change this condition.
We submit the following as one example of his influence: From the first little church established by him at Fairview went forth a score or more of preachers, some of whom reached prominent places in the United Presbyterian ministry. Some of them became professors in theological seminaries. Two of them became presidents of Muskingum College. Through all of these Dr. Findley’s influence was multiplied.
After Madison College had been closed Dr. Findley left Guernsey county. His death occurred at the home of a son in Newark, New Jersey, in 1870. In compliance with his oft expressed wish, is body was brought to Antrim for burial. The United Presbyterian congregation served by him there for thirty years, erected a modest monument to his memory.
In the United Presbyterian cemetery at Antrim is a monument that has attracted much attention for more than a half century. Twenty feet high and weighing thirteen tons, it is crowned by a life-size statue of “Hope.” The base and shaft are made from the best grade of granite, and the statue from a high type of Italian marble. Both the monument and the statue are artistically designed. Inscribed on the shaft is the following:
Lum W. Owen
Apr. 16, 1816
Feb. 19, 1884
Lum W. Owen
Jul. 25, 1819
June 6, 1868
Their work is Done
May they Rest in Peace
A Peculiar Will.—Many who visit the cemetery ask the question, “Who was Lum W. Owen, and what wealth or fame did he attain to justify the erection of such a memorial?” Nobody by the name of Owen lives in that section of Guernsey county today. The probate records are 1884 in the court house show that his will was made in 1879. to his wife, Rebecca Owen, he bequeathed $1,300. To the United Presbyterian church of Antrim he bequeathed $500. for “improvement of the cemetery.” Then he provided that $2,500 (which subsequently proved to be the remainder of his estate) should be used in erecting a monument to himself and his first wife. This monument should also mark the burial place of his “present wife,” the will states, should she choose to have her remains interred along his side. Robert Wilkins is named executor. There is nothing on the monument to indicate that his second wife was buried there.
The monument was completed and set in the cemetery in 1886. The base and shaft were brought from Quincy, Massachusetts, and the marble statue was sculptured in Carrara, Italy, expressly for this work. To transport the monument from the nearest railroad point to Antrim required the use of one four-horse and two six-horse teams. As an attraction it drew hundreds of people to Antrim.
Lum W. Owen.—But who was Lum W. Owen? At the time of his death the local papers referred to him as being eccentric and his will as being peculiar. From some older citizens we learn that he was married two times, but had no children. He came form Pennsylvania to the southeastern part of Washington township where he owned a farm of 100 acres. He lived mostly to himself. Inclined towards agnosticism, he seldom attended church. Ministers who called upon him were always rejected. In his last illness he refused to take any of the medicine offered him by his physician.
Another Monument--A few feet from the Owen monument is a modest little gravestone. Few visitors to the cemetery ever notice it. Inscribed on the side is the following:
Erected by the U.P. Cong.
of Antrim to the Memory of
Rev. Samuel Findley, D. D.
who was born
June 11, 1786
Feb. 22, 1870
In the 84th year of
He was installed first pastor of
this Congregation in June, 1824,
and faithfully served in this capacity
His works do follow him
Cobbing in the Old Days
After literally “pegging away” for sixty-six years, Samuel C. (Craig) Knouff, one of the last of the old-time shoemakers, has laid down his last for the last time. On account of his advanced age (he is now eighty-one, but doesn’t look it), he decided the other day to retire from a work which he began in 1870. He was then fifteen years old. Every day and many nights since that time he had been engaged in making and repairing boots and shoes.
Mr. Knouff’s first place of business was in Antrim, where he cobbled for thirty years. He came to Cambridge thirty-six years ago. His last location here was on North Tenth street, between Wheeling and Steubenville avenues.
Upon retiring Mr. Knouff disposed of his shoemaking equipment, retaining one hammer that he had used during the entire sixty-six years that he had worked at the cobbling trade. Its battered head is evidence of its use in driving a countless number of pegs into the soles of boots and shoes. The original handle and many of its successors succumbed to the constant thumbrubbing through the years. “There have been at least a dozen handles to that hammer,” Mr. Knouff remarked.
Followed Trade of His Father.—William Knouff, father of Samuel C., was a shoemaker, too. When a small boy he was “bound out” as an apprentice for a specified number of years to an old cobbler who lived and operated a shop between Antrim and Birmingham. His master being severe, the lad ran away to Cadiz where he found another master who was more humane Here he remained until he had learned the trade; then he went to Antrim and started a shop of his own. It was in Antrim that Samuel C. was born in 1855.
Back in those days it was customary for a boy to follow the trade of his father, so Samuel C. became a shoemaker. Mayberry Smith had a tannery in Antrim, and Samuel C. worked in the tanyard before he was fifteen years old, learning how to make leather. “it was a much better grade than we get today,” he said, “because it was tanned with bark and not with chemicals Such leather not only wears longer, but is pliable and will shed water.”
Made Boots by Hand.—“All men wore boots in those days,” Mr. Knouff went on to say, “and those who could afford them had ‘fine boots’ for Sunday. These were made from the best grade of kip leather and would sell for about six dollars, if the soles were pegged on; or seven, if sewed. We had a little toothed wheel we ran around the soles, leaving indentations to guide us in doing neat stitching. All work was done by hand.
“When Madison College was in Antrim I was not old enough to work in the shop, but father made boots for President Samuel Findley, the professors and some of the students. They wore ‘fine boots’ and wanted neat work done. Father made boots for Colonel J. D. Taylor, when he was in school there.
“I could make a pair of boots in a day, but it was a big day’s work. Late one night William Cunningham came to the shop, told me he was leaving for Kansas early the following morning, and must have new boots to wear. I measured his feet and went to work. Just at daybreak he returned and found the boots ready to put on. They must have been satisfactory, because he afterwards sent me an order for four pairs just like them.
“We made our own shoemaker wax by boiling resin, beeswax, tar and tallow together. When it was reduced to the proper consistency, we would pull it as one pulls taffy. Boys used to come to the shop and beg for pieces of it to chew as they now do chewing gum. People often came for it when they had boils. It was claimed that a plaster made of shoemaker wax would draw a boil to a head.
Worked at Night.—“At Antrim we worked at night, lighting the shop with candles. A candlestand was made by taking a block of wood for a base, boring a hole in the center and inserting a broomstick into it. Set at rightangles to each other at the top of the broomstick were two pieces of wood about a foot long. Near the ends of the two cross-pieces holes were bored, into which the candles were stuck. Before I was old enough to do shoemaking, father would keep me busy snuffing candles at night, while he worked.
Loafers Gathered at Shop.—“Our shop was the general loafing place for the men around Antrim. They would gather there each evening to argue great questions, especially ones about religion and politics. I liked to listen to them and I wondered if I would ever know as much as some of them seemed to know.
“One of our regular evening loafers was Billy Bonnell, an old bachelor who worked in Hughie Bowers’ blacksmith shop. Billy always came early in order to get a certain comfortable seat which he would occupy all evening. Some of the fellows played a trick on him one night. They arrived ahead of Billy, but nobody took his seat. Billy came in at his usual time, proudly wearing a new pair of jeans pants. That his seat was unoccupied pleased him as he considered it a mark of respect shown him by the others. Some of the fellows had deposited a huge chunk of shoemaker wax on Billy’s chair, and when he sat down he stuck. He came over the next day complaining that his new jeans pants had been ruined; father showed him how to remove the wax.”
Work Now Done by Machine.—When asked for an estimate of the number of boots and shoes he had made, Mr. Knouff replied that it reached high into the hundreds; as to he number repaired, it was so many thousands that he would not venture to make an estimate.
After coming to Cambridge he engaged principally in repair work. All work was done by hand until about the close of the World War, when the demand for his services became so great that he found it necessary to install modern power machinery and employ several helpers. For the past few years Mr. Knouff has again worked alone.
Boots and shoes are no longer made by hand in the little shoe-shop, but by machines in great factories. “Fine boots” are no longer worn. Wooden pegs are no longer used. Electricity now furnishes the power for rapid machine-repairing. Mr. Knouff has seen many changes in his trade.
After two-thirds of a century Mr. Knouff now retires. It is not often that we hear of a person who has worked at one trade every day and many nights for such a long time. The number of his patrons reaches far into the thousands. He has the best wishes of his many friends in his well-earned retirement.
An Underground Railroad Station
Before the Civil War many fugitive slaves from the South reached Canada by passing through Ohio. Pursued by their owners or overseers, they were assisted along the way by men and women whose hatred of slavery was so intense that they defied the Fugitive Slave Law. This law not only made one liable to fine and imprisonment if he helped a fugitive to escape, but also made it his duty, if requested, to assist in the capture of a runaway slave. To most people in the North it was so odious that resolutions were passed against it. In New York a judge refused to enforce it in his court. Emerson, in one of his addresses said, “The Fugitive Slave Act is a law which no man can obey without forfeiting the name of gentleman.”
How Slaves Escaped.—Extending from the Ohio River to Canada were several chains of homes of abolitionists, which served as places of refuge for the fugitives. Such a chain was called an Underground Railroad. The owner of the home was the “station master” and usually the “conductor.” The slave would learn that if he could reach Canada he would be free under the English law. He would learn, too, that Canada was in the direction of the North Star, and with this to guide him he would try to make his way there. Once across the Ohio he would usually fall into friendly hands, as did Eliza of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. By these sympathizers he would be hidden and fed until an opportune time could be found to pass him on to the next station. He might be hidden in a cave, a cellar, a loft, a hollow haystack. This was continued at each station until a place of safety was reached.
Why the Underground Railroad was so called has never been satisfactorily explained. Much of its efficiency depended upon secrecy, and the necessity of working “under cover” may have suggested the name. The story is told that an escaped slave, closely pursued by his master, reached the Ohio River. Plunging into the water, the fugitive swam to the other shore where he was picked up and hidden by some abolitionist. Keeping the negro in sight as he swam across, the master followed in a skiff, but he did not witness the rescue. He searched for a long time to no avail. Baffled, he said to some watching him, “The slave must have gone on an underground road.” The incident was told many times and so amused the abolitionists that they applied the name to a fugitive slave route.
Station at Winterset.—On one of the lines of the Underground Railroad running north the first station in Guernsey county was at Senecaville. (See Chapter xx.) Here was a strong Wesleyan Methodist church, and the Wesleyan Methodists were much opposed to slavery. The main line extended from Senecaville to Cambridge, through Byesville, and then north to Tuscarawas county Another line from Senecaville ran north through Winterset where Elias Tetirick, an adherent fo the Wesleyan Methodist faith and a strong abolitionist, lived.
The Tetirick home was located in the yard fronting the present residence of Douglas E. Tetirick, son of Elias, one-half mile west of Winterset. It was a log cabin of one large room, above which was a loft reached by a peg ladder. Fugitive slaves were brought from Senecaville at night in a covered wagon and concealed in the loft. They were frequently kept there several days at a time, because in the neighborhood were persons unfriendly to the abolition movement, who suspected Tetirick of aiding the runaways. For the rewards that were offered they would attempt to capture the fugitives, or report the ones assisting them to the officers. On this account there was much secrecy in the Tetirick home.
The slaves brought to Tetirick’s were conveyed by him to the next station, which was near Gnadenhutten about twenty-five miles north. The trips were made at night with the slaves covered with straw or sacks in the wagon. Weapons were carried in order that they might defend themselves in case of attack.
A Frightened Child.—Douglas E. Tetirick relates an incident connected with his father’s activities in behalf of the fugitive slaves. They were brought to the house secretly. The children would know nothing about it. One day when the parents were outside the cabin, Mary Jane, the oldest child, seven years of age, heard a disturbance in the loft. Curious to know the cause, she climbed the peg ladder which served as a stairway, until her head reached above the second floor. Peering into the semi-darkness, she saw the faces of two or there big slaves turned towards her. Never having seen a negro before, she was so frightened that she dropped to the floor below.
Elias Tetirick was born in 1819, in the southeastern part of Jefferson township, and died in 1901. His father, John Tetirick, came from Pennsylvania, and was one of the first settlers of Jefferson township. In politics Elias Tetirick was first a Whig, then a Republican. On account of his anti-slavery activities he was threatened several times, but like most abolitionists who believed their cause a righteous one, he continued in a fearless way.