Stories of Guernsey County by Wm. Wolfe Pages 906-933
ALTHOUGH one of the first to be settled, Millwood was one of the last of the present nineteen townships to be organized.
Prior to 1810 all the township, excepting two and one-half sections in the southwestern part that belonged to Muskingum, was in Belmont county. When Guernsey county was formed, that which is now Millwood township became a part of Oxford. In 1816 the southern part of Oxford was cut off to form Beaver township (now in Noble county). The county commissioners, in 1835, erected Millwood township from the northern part of Beaver. The area of Millwood township is twenty-six and one-half square miles, twenty-four of which lie in the seventh of the Seven Ranges, and two and one-half in the Military district.
Running west across the southern part of the township is Leatherwood creek, the story of which may be found in another chapter of this book. No. 8 vein of coal, which here has a thickness of approximately four feet, is found in nearly all the hills.
Joseph Williams the First Settler.--The first man to settle in what is now Millwood township was Joseph Williams, a Quaker. His family was one of the first to settle in Guernsey county. Born in England in 1762, he came with his father to a farm near Monmouth, New Jersey. When the Revolutionary War began, Joseph was a lad too young to enter the service. In 1778 General Clinton, the British commander, fled with his army from Philadelphia to New York. General Washington, who was in pursuit with the American army, reached the Williams farm and camped there. The Battle of Monmouth followed. Joseph, then sixteen years of age, joined the American forces and served as a wagon-master under Gershon Johnson.
After the war he married Sarah Woodard and moved to Maryland. Here he became dissatisfied. His neighbors owned slaves and Williams, like all others who believed in the established principles of the Quaker religion, was opposed to the institution of slavery. The Northwest Territory in which slavery was prohibited by the Ordinance of 1787, had been thrown open for settlement. With his family and effects Joseph Williams set out for this land of freedom to all.
He came to lands near the present St. Clairsville, owned by David Newell, founder of the town, and remained there during the winter, in the meantime looking about for a permanent place to settle. In the spring of 1801 (believed to be the year) he bought his family to the newly-opened Military district and settled on the northwest quarter of Section 10, which is in the southwestern part of the present Millwood township. This land was then in Washington county, but became a part of Muskingum in 1804.
In the Williams family were ten children-Woodard, Anthony, Constantine, Margaret, Phebe, Nimrod, Abner, Joseph, Jacob and Sarah. Nearly all of them married and settled in the neighborhood of their old home. Their descendants are now numerous in the southeastern part of Guernsey and the northern part of Noble county. Joseph Williams died in 1838. He was buried in the family graveyard near the home.
In the Oxford township chapter of this volume may be found an account of the first wedding in Guernsey county, which occurred on September 11, 1810. There were weddings within the present boundaries of Guernsey county before that time, but it was not then Guernsey county; they were considered Muskingum county weddings. Anthony, the oldest son of Joseph Williams, married Sarah Cook in 1808. Instead of procuring a license from the proper official at the county seat the engaged couple posted notices on trees in the community, of their intention to marry. The law of that day held this sufficient, and it obviated the necessity of a long trip to Zanesville.
John Hall the Pioneer Quaker.--Traveling westward alone, a young Quaker came into what is now Millwood township on August 4, 1806. He was carrying a sack of corn meal, a loaf of bread, a flitch of bacon, a knife and fork, a pewter plate and some cooking utensils. His name was John Hall and he was twenty-two years of age. A year before this he had come with his father from North Carolina to Belmont county. Having become of age, he wanted to be free to work out his future his own way; hence this journey in quest of a place to settle. Liking the appearance of the northeast quarter of Section 13, he decided to enter in and establish a home there.
All about him was a dense forest. Near a spring he selected a spot for a cabin. At the foot of a big oak tree he slept the first few nights; then, as a protection from wild beasts, he slept on a scaffold that he erected under the trees. He split a buckeye log in two and from one of the halves he hewed out an oblong tray which was about twenty inches across the short way. This, when covered, made a safe protection for his provisions. Wild turkeys were plentiful and easily captured. For many days he lived on their meat and the food he had brought from his father's home. In the meantime he was engaged in building a cabin for a home. The Williams family five miles down Leatherwood valley were his nearest neighbors, but of their presence there John Hall may have had no knowledge.
A few weeks later two strangers appeared at his cabin, announcing that they were John Webster and Henry Sidwell from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania; that they were Quakers seeking a place to locate. Hall pointed out a suitable tract just west of the one he had entered, and Webster decided to purchase 800 acres from the government, eighty acres for each of his ten children. The cost was $1.25 an acre. Sidwell, who was a brother-in-law of Webster, chose a half section of land east of Hall's place. They then returned to Pennsylvania for their families.
A Quaker Romance.--When John Webster reached home and reported the result of their trip, the character of the land and his purchase in the wilderness, one of his daughters, Phebe, protested against leaving civilization for a home far away in an unbroken forest. "Never do thee mind, Phebe," said her uncle, "we found a lad out there who will make thee a good husband." Whether or not this was an inducement, Phebe came with the others, and the next spring she became the wife of the identical lad of whom her uncle had spoken. The wedding took place at a Quaker church in Belmont county.
John and Phebe Hall made their home in the cabin he had built. Later they erected a large brick residence near the cabin. Their family consisted of eight children, six sons and two daughters. All were buried in the Friends cemetery at Quaker City, as were may of their descendants.
A Successful Pioneer.--John Hall was a man of great industry, integrity and economy, and he possessed the confidence of all who knew him. Not only did he become an extensive landowner and farm on a large scale, but he engaged in the mercantile business and in buying tobacco which was an important crop in that section. He seemed to be successful in every activity in which he engaged. He was the largest stockholder in the first Guernsey county bank which was organized at Washington. When the Central Ohio (Baltimore and Ohio) Railroad was proposed, he was one of its leading advocates. To encourage the promoters of the railroad to build it down Leatherwood valley instead of across the central or northern part of the county he bought much stock in the company, and became one of its first directors. As such officer he was succeeded by his son, Isaac W. Hall, who, in turn, was succeeded by his son, the late John R. Hall, benefactor of Quaker City. At the time of his death, in 1854, John Hall was the wealthiest man in Guernsey county. In 1906 the descendants of John Hall observed the hundredth anniversary of his coming into the township, near the Quaker meeting-house at Quaker City.
The Webster Family.--John Webster arrived with his family in the fall of 1806. In coming the family followed a trail through the forest to Pultney Ridge, three or four miles north of the place selected for a home. To travel this short distance from the trail to their destination required a whole day, as they had to cut their way through the woods.
A large two-story hewed-log house was built by Webster at a spring near Leatherwood creek. This was removed a half century later for the Central Ohio Railroad which crosses the exact spot the Webster home stood. On the creek below his home Webster, who had been a carpenter and wood-worker in Pennsylvania, built a saw and grist mill in 1807, the first in Leatherwood valley, probably the first in Guernsey county.
John Webster died eighteen months after coming to the Leatherwood valley, at the age of fifty-seven. He was the first person to die in the community and was buried on his own farm. His body was removed to the Friends cemetery a few years ago. After his death the family continued to operate the mill and farm.
Arrival of Other Quakers--Soon after the arrival of John Webster Michael King with his wife and eight children came from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, and settled on the farm now owned by Walter A. Webster. King was the chief petitioner for a road down the creek to Cambridge. The petition, the first for a road in Guernsey county, was granted by the commissioners in 1810. Samuel King, son of Michael King, taught the first school in that part of the county.
Isaac Copick from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, entered land north of Michael King. Joseph Rogers, a brother-in-law of Michael King, came from Nottingham, Maryland, and settled on the tract that is now the site of Quaker City. Henry Bailey from North Carolina located in the southeastern corner of the present township. A railroad station, known as Bailey's Mills, was later established on his land.
Noas Doudna, a North Carolinian, married a daughter of John Webster and settled in the township, in 1810. Family names of other early Quaker settlers were Hartley, Smith and Beall.
Indians Were Friendly.--When Hall and Webster came into that section, Indians were there, but they did not disturb the settlers. Quakers, on account of their peaceful ways, were always respected by the Indians. A short time after John Webster got settled an Indian called, evidently for the purpose of looking him over and deciding whether to be a friend or an enemy. A platter of meat, one of bread, and a cup of milk were set before the Indian He ate all the meat first, then all the bread, then drank the milk. Following the meal he bent himself downward and started off through the forest. He returned in a short time with the hind quarters of a deer which he had killed, and he insisted that Webster accept it as a gift from him. After this incident the Indians were very friendly.
There was an Indian camp a mile north of the settlement. Isaac W. Hall, son of John Hall, related that when he was a small boy his father took him to the camp to visit the Indians. He was impressed with the bear and deer skins that were hung around to dry. Fawn skins filled with bear's grease were hanging on the walls. The Indians continued to live in the community, unmindful of their Quaker neighbors.
Settlement Due to Ordinance of 1787.--In an indirect way this settlement was due to the Ordinance of 1787, which expressly declares that there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, other than in the punishment of crime, in the Northwest territory. Quakers have ever been opposed to slavery. A place in which slavery was forbidden appealed to the Quakers, and as soon as Ohio was thrown open for settlement, some of them from other states sought homes in this new land of freedom. They settled in Jefferson and Belmont counties, because that territory, being a part of the Seven Ranges, was amongst the first to be offered for sale. Smithfield and Mt. Pleasant in the former county, and Barnesville and Flushing in the latter are of Quaker origin. It will be noted that the part of Millwood township settled by them is in the Seven Ranges.
Church and School.--The stipulation that "religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall be forever encouraged," set forth in the Ordinance of 1787, appealed to the Quakers. True to their faith the Leatherwood valley Quakers, as soon as they arrived, met for worship at the homes of each other. Like the Pilgrims of old their minds were on religion first, then the education of their children. On the hill, in what is now the Friends cemetery, they built a little log meeting-house which they used both for a place of worship and a school. This is believed to have been the second school opened in the county. Notwithstanding the great work of clearing the forest and establishing their homes they never let anything interfere with attendance at both the first-day and mid-week meetings.
Jonah Smith Plats a Town.--In 1811 fifty-nine persons were living In the community. All were Quakers who had come from North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey. The settlement was known as Leatherwood, having been given the name of the creek in whose valley it was located. The homes of the settlers had been built along the creek for a distance of five miles.
Jonah Smith, a young Quaker from the Shenandoah valley in Virginia, arrived in 1818 and purchased 160 acres of land. At what is now the southwest corner of Main and Barnesville streets he erected a log cabin, its location being determined, perhaps, by the spring a few rods north. More people came and clustered about the place. On the hillside higher up a log schoolhouse was built. Then in the late autumn or early winter of 1834 Jonah Smith platted a town which he named Millwood after his old home in Virginia.
The original town had only two streets-Senecaville (now known as Main) and Pike streets. When the town was platted there were a few log cabins scattered about in the eastern part. Long afterwards these constituted what was called "Cabin Row." In 1835 the Methodists built a log church on the hillside, near the schoolhouse. On the hill southeast of the town was the Friends church and down on the creek was the Webster mill.
Dr. E. Williams purchased the first lot and built a frame dwelling, the first in the Leatherwood settlement. Not only was he highly regarded because he was the first doctor, but he was looked upon as a man of outstanding wisdom because he received the only newspaper that came to the town-The Philadelphia Saturday Evening Post. It would be passed around and read until it was worn out. Through the efforts of Dr. Williams a postoffice was established and William Smith was appointed the first postmaster.
Early Days in Millwood.--Jonah Smith was an enterprising citizen. Across the road from his cabin he built a more pretentious house which he afterwards sold to James Pyles who here kept the first tavern in the town. (This was later known as the Susan Bay house, the scene of the story, "Spiritualism in Guernsey County," Chapter XX.) Jonah Smith was the first justice of the peace in Millwood township and held the office for eighteen years. He opened the first store in Millwood, bought produce form the settlers, and kept a number of teams on the National Road, hauling agricultural products to Baltimore and bringing back merchandise.
In 1839 Isaac W. Hall, son of John Hall the original pioneer, opened a store on the north side of Main Street. The building in which it was kept still stands, having been moved to the rear of the lot. When erected, it was the building farthest west in the town. Isaac w. sent teams to Baltimore for merchandise to stock his store, and on election day, 1839, he opened it for business. From this small beginning he came to be one of the wealthiest men in Southeastern Ohio.
In 1841 Samuel Rodgers built the first brick house in the town (still standing on Main street). Here, in 1842, Sarah Beall opened the first millinery store. James Emery, Sr., had a tannery which he sold to Benjamin F. Mead. Richard English was the first blacksmith, and James Fisher was the second. Joseph Huntsman made boots and shoes. Elisha McKain was the saddler, and Homer Campbell the tailor, Aquila Dyson, William Haig and Cyrus Hayes were carpenters. The doctors in the order of their coming to Millwood were Dr. Williams, Dr. Berry, Dr. Patterson, Dr. Kester, Dr. Long, Dr. Wood, Dr. Gibbons, Dr. Romans, Dr. Hickson, Dr. Wright and D. Hawthorne. In 1844 Thomas Moore began operating a fulling mill and carding machine.
The discovery of gold in California excited the town and a company of thirteen Millwood men left for the gold-fields. All retuned a few years later excepting one (James Fisher) who died on the journey there. Some of these Argonauts were fairly successful, but the town was not much enriched by the gold brought home.
Millwood Incorporated.--The town was incorporated on March 23, 1850, and Pennington Scott was elected the first mayor. During the administration of the second mayor, Thomas Moore, some ordinances designed to promote the comfort and peace of the village were enacted. Hogs had seemingly become a nuisance, for one would be fined if he let such stock run at large on Main street Another ordinance imposed a penalty on one for "screaming in the night to the annoyance of his neighbor."
For twenty years after it was laid out Millwood was a sleepy little town. The coming of the railroad in 1854 did not proved to be the stimulus expected. Spencer's Station seemed to be a better shipping point for trade coming from the south, and if building lots could have been obtained there, Millwood would probably have faded away. Even the excitement of the Civil War failed to lift the town out of its chronic tendency to remain dormant. Moore's old fulling mill was converted into a schoolhouse. There was a Christian church at the east end of Main street, and a Quaker church on the hill, but the Methodist church on the hillside had gone into decay.
Naming of Quaker City.--In 1870 Alex Cochran, came to Millwood and opened a drug store. Here was a man with a vision. From the day he entered the won to engage in business until his death in 1904, he was active in development of the community. Having sensed the possibilities of the place, he immediately after his arrival succeeded in getting a progressive movement started that changed the sleepy little village to a bustling town. A Fair Association was organized in 1871, of which Mr. Cochran was a leading spirit. The fair grounds included the land now occupied by Broadway and Fair Street. Mr. Cochran purchased a part of the grounds from the fair board, still leaving enough for the fair, and laid out, "Cochran's Addition" or Broadway. He sold what lots he could and then built houses on the others. On the Northwest corner of Broadway and South street he erected the Beecher House in 1875, said to have been the finest hotel between Wheeling and Zanesville. On the opposite corner he erected a three-story block of business rooms, including a hall for public gatherings. In 1871 the Methodists reorganized and built a church at the Northwest corner of Main and Pike streets. The old Christian church on East Main Street being no longer adequate, the members of that denomination erected a new edifice at the Southeast corner of Broadway and South Street, in 1874.
Although the town had been platted as Millwood, the name of the postoffice was Leatherwood. The railroad station was called Millwood. Mail meant for the Leatherwood postoffice was often addressed to Millwood and reached a town by that name in Knox County. To avoid this confusion, the citizens held a meeting on February 17, 1871, to consider changing the name to one that might apply to the post office, the railroad station and the community in general. A vote was taken by those present, which resulted in fifty-three for "Quaker City," twenty-five for "Guernsey City," and three for "Guernsey." Application was made to the state legislature for a change of name and it was granted.
Although the fairs were a success, more room was needed for the growing town, and after holding fairs a few years, the organization laid out the grounds in 100 lots and opened Fair Street. The most of these lots fell to Alex Cochran, as he was one of the largest stockholders. Within a short time he built ten or twelve dwellings on the street.
Alex Cochran's chief desire was to see Quaker City prosper. He owned much land in the community and directed the farming of it. He was an extensive coal operator, giving employment to many men. He engaged in mercantile enterprises, managed a hotel and livery barn, dealt in timber and was proprietor of on of the largest planing and saw mills in that section and which is still operated under the name of The A. Cochran Company.  So closely was he identified with all activities of Quaker City that the village was sometimes referred to as "Cochrantown."
In the middle 70's a macadamized road was completed between Quaker City and Summerfield, Noble County, thus diverting the southern trade from Spencer's station to Quaker City. In 1879 a large brick school building was erected at the corner of Fair and South streets and a high school was established. This building was in use until 1927 when it gave place to a more modern structure. The Quaker City National Bane, which had been established on Main Street in 1872, moved to its new building at the Southwest corner of Broadway and South Street in 1909. The Methodists built a modern church in 1908 to replace the one erected in 1871.
The Quaker City Window Glass Company was organized in 1884, with Isaac W. Hall, one of the largest stockholders, as president, ant T.M. Johnson, secretary. Its capital was $60,000. A ten-pot factory was erected, composed of three main buildings and several smaller structures - a furnace room (160 by 130 feet), a flattening house (120 by 80 feet), a wareroom (100 by 80 feet), a pot-house, cutting room and offices. About 100 men were employed at this plant. (See the story, "Making Glass in Guernsey County," Chapter XX.)
The oldest continuous industry in Quaker City is now known as the Community Mill. It was built in 1854, the year the railroad entered the town, by Isaac W. Hall, Thomas Moore and others, at a cost of $15,000. for many years this mill produced an average of seventy-five barrels of flour a day. The A. Cochran Company's planing and saw mill had its beginning in 1871. J.B. Lydick was the original owner.
Millwood (Quaker City) had a population of 216 in 1850, 246 in 1860; and 367 in 1870. The population of Quaker City was 594 in 1880; 845 in 1890; 878 in 1900; 746 in 1910; 732 in 1920; 613 in 1930; 634 in 1940.
Salesville.--Robert McCormick, Sr., born Robert McCormick, Sr., born in Tyrone county, Ireland, came to America in 1800, and established a home in the Leatherwood valley two or three miles west of the Quaker settlement, in 1815. About the same time or a little later the Brills, Pulleys, Frames, St. Clairs and others came into that section. Not being adherents of the Quaker faith, they did not worship with their neighbors up the creek, but built the "Temple' as a place for religious services. (See the story, "The Leatherwood God," Chapter XX.)
In 1835, the year following the platting of Millwood, George Brill laid out Salesville, which was not incorporated until August 20, 1878. Included amongst the mayors of the village during the next thirty years were Louis Turnipseed, Dr. W. A. White, J. A. Perry, Jasper Dollison, W. H. Long, Sumpter Long and R. D. St. Clair. Millwood is the only Guernsey county township having two incorporated villages within its boundaries.
Salesville had a population of 71 in 1850; 120 in 1860; 172 in 1870; 266 in 1880; 296 in 1890; 286 in 1900; 265 in 1910; 247 in 1920; 193 in 1930; and 213 in 1940. Sixty years ago James H. Tillet kept a general store there, and J. L. Turnipseed, a hotel. J. W. White was the village doctor, and W. C. Rose, the railroad station agent. G. M. St.Clair operated a grist and saw-mill.
Spencer's Station, now known as Eldon, was platted in the eastern part of the township. It was once an important shipping point. Putneyville on Pultney Ridge, not far from the Belmont county line, was platted by George W. Henderson, in 1846. This town, if it ever materialized, disappeared long ago.
Old Folks of 1876.---From the Jeffersonian census of Millwood township residents in 1876, we learn that the following were seventy-six years of more of age: Michael Aubmire, John Addison, Susannah Arnold, Jacob S. Brill, Elizabeth Brill, Mary Brill, Michael Creighton, Jesse Coles, Washington Clary, William Crouse, Samuel Carter, Joseph Dunlap, George Emerson, George K. Fox, Mary Hall, Henry Hall, John D. Hall, Nathan Hall, Noah Hartley, Sarah Hartley, Hannah Hague, James Hurst, William Hyde, Jehu Hague, Ann F. Harvey, James R. Johnson, Priscilla Johnson, Francis Linn, Thomas Mills, Elizabeth Mills, Josiah Outland, George Palmer, Sarah Perego, Daniel Ruth, Margaret Ruth, Thomas Ruth, William Rose, John Rimer, Isaac Spencer, Albina Sayre, John Stotts, Clarissa Shuman, John Shuman, Hannah Scott, James Tillet, Isaac Webster, Mary Wolford and James Whitcraft.
Population of the Township.—Before 1840 the population of Millwood township was included in that of Beaver, which was 556 in 1820; and 1,488 in 1830. Following are the populations since 1830; 1840, 1,722; 1850, 1,624; 1860, 1,855; 1870, 1,524; 1880, 1,984; 1890, 2,131; 1900, 2,243; 1910, 1,922; 1920, 1,742; 1930, 1,472.
Cloth Made from Nettles.—Nettles once grew in abundance in the Leatherwood valley; but like the leatherwood trees which once lined the creek, they are now rarely found. The nettles grew in patches, sometimes covering several acres, most frequently several square rods or square yards. They seemed to thrive best in a rich moist soil shaded by trees. The removal of the forests and the drainage of the land may account for their disappearance.
The plant grows to a height of three or four feet, occasionally to five or six. The stem is partly covered with minute sharp hairs containing a poison and causes a painful itching and disagreeable sensation. The young nettle is succulent, tender and easily masticated. Hogs relish it almost as much as they do red clover. To the pioneer whose swine roamed at large in the forest it was a useful plant.
But some of the Quaker pioneers of the Leatherwood valley and the western part of Belmont county made cloth from the nettle. The plants were mowed with a scythe and left exposed to a process of maceration as was the custom of rotting flax and hemp; then they were broken and scotched. After this process the stem of the woody part, which formed the interior of the stock, would become brittle. It was then broken and swingled as was flax.
The fiber was said to be finer, softer, stronger and more pliant than flax. From it a cloth was woven that served the purpose of linen. The garments manufactured from nettles were said to be durable and agreeable to wear.
An outlaw of Fifty Years Ago.—Fifty years ago an outlaw terrorized a part of Guernsey county. His name was Theodore Taylor, but he was generally known as “Dory” Taylor. He displayed unusual daring, committed crimes, broke from prison, defied officers, and succeeded in eluding them for a long time.
“Dory’ Taylor, after committing crimes in Pennsylvania, which he claimed to be his home state, came to Ohio to escape the officers. He was arrested near Salesville, taken to Pennsylvania and placed in the Washington county jail. Escaping from prison, he returned after a time to the Salesville community. Officers of both Pennsylvania and Ohio attempted to capture him, but the wary criminal by tricks of various kinds was able for a long time to elude them. He roamed the hills, hiding here and there during the day. Numerous threats and outrages were attributed to him. He threatened to shoot any person who attempted to arrest him. It is needless to say that all the southeastern part of Guernsey county became alarmed.
One night St. Clair’s mill burned. There was evidence that “Dory” Taylor had set it afire. Officers were determined to capture him. When word was brought to Salesville one day that he was in a house a mile from town, a posse was formed, headed by the mayor, Dr. W. A. White, and other village officials. Having surrounded the house, the men closed in. “Dory” rushed out only to have a revolver thrust in his face by Dr. White. The outlaw was brought to Salesville, bound hand and foot, guarded by three men during the night, and taken to the jail at Cambridge the next morning. The court acted quickly in his case, sending him to the penitentiary for ten years.
“Dory” Taylor, when terrorizing Guernsey county, was about forty years of age. Why he came to this section to escape the Pennsylvania officials and continue his work of crime is not known.
A Pioneer Mill.—As stated before in this chapter, John Webster built one of the first mills, if not the first mill, in Guernsey county. The following concerning this moll was written by Cyrus Hall:
After there had been a crop of corn planted in the spring of 1807, John Webster directed his attention towards building a grist mill on Leatherwood creek, a few hundred yards above the present location of the Quaker City depot. It was finished in the autumn of 1807, or the early spring of the next year. It was not long until there were byways sought out through the unbroken forest, by blazing trees and saplings in the desired direction, chopping off the bushes and the drooping limbs of trees that hung over the intended pathway from the mill to the neighboring inhabitants, and to the more remote settlers, to a distance of some eight or ten miles in different directions, so as to admit of pack horses passing to and from the mill. Those pathways were made over dividing ridges, down declivities, and through dense secluded thickets of grapevines which grew along the slopes in massive entanglement.
The mill proved to be of special advantage to all the neighboring inhabitants. John Webster conferred a special favor, not only on his own numerous family, but on the community at large, in the timely accomplishment of this work at so early stage of the settlement.
In the first erection of the grist mill it was designed to have a saw run by means of gearing attachments to the same water wheel, but there was not sufficient water power to run both at the same time to any advantage. But a saw mill seemed to be a pressing necessity at this time, owing to the scarcity of plank amid the wholesale destruction of so much good timber in clearing, as oak and black and white walnut; the two latter grew to great perfection along the Leatherwood bottom.
Webster’s mill was the common center from the dividing ridge between Beaver and Seneca creeks from the south, to Salt Fork creek near the old Wheeling road on the north. There were lonely cabins erected along those creeks, which, in due time, became surrounded by garden spots, and partly, by small fields of corn which grew to better advantage at this early stage of the settlement than any of the other cereals. It was used for bread by the mass of the people for the first few years after the settlement began, and also in a multitude of other ways.
Owners of Real Estate in 1840.—One hundred years ago (1840) the following persons owned the farms of Millwood township. The number of acres in each farm and the section in which it was located are given. This may be considered a complete list of the township’s pioneers.
Ansley, William, 157 acres, sec. 24; Arick, John, 99 acres, sec. 12; Anderson, George, 40 acres, sec. 23; Beall, James, 50 acres, sec. 7; Brill, Jacob G., 15 acres, sec. 32; Brill, George, 25 acres, sec. 26 and 32; Brill, Samuel, 249 acres, sec. 30 and 33; Brill, David, 153 acres, sec. 32; Brinton, James, 87 acres, sec. 13; Broomhall, John, 52 acres, sec 12; Burch, Ephraim, 40 acres, sec. 2; Barker, Edie, 30 acres, sec. 2; Barker, John (Heirs0, 128 acres, sec. 2; Bay, Nathan, 152 acres, sec. 34; Bay, William, 76 acres, sec. 34; Brill, Henry, 79 acres, sec. 25; Bay, Andrew, 76 acres, sec. 34; Brill, John, 228 acres, sec. 27 and 33; Barnes, Amos, 16 acres, sec. 4; Beall, Elijah, 78 acres, sec. 25; Bailey, Jesse, 175 acres, sec. 1 and 6; Brady, Michael, 67 acres, sec. 1; Broomhall, Jacob, 102 acres, sec. 18; Benson, Levi, 109 acres, sec. 15 and 16.
Curry, James, 67 acres, sec. 25; Crause, William, 170 acres, sec. 31; Cowden, David, 107 acres, sec. 21 and 28; Coles, John, 104 acres, sec. 30; Cline, Abraham, 25 acres, sec. 30; Clark, Barnabas, 80 acres, sec. 4; Coles Isaac, 272 acres, sec. 3 and 9; Coles, Solomon, 146 acres, sec. 3; Coles, Benjamin, 13 acres, sec. 3; Coles, Jesse, 46 acres, sec. 15; Creighton, Michael, 77 acres, sec. 2; Cook, Allen, 104 acres, sec. 24; Chalfant, Jesse, 80 acres, sec. 25; Cowden, William, Sr., 315 acres, sec. 27 and 8; Cowden, William, Jr., 80 acres, sec. 22; Carnal, Archibald, 80 acres, sec. 16; Carter, Samuel, 107 acres, sec. 15; Clary, Enoch, 82 acres, sec. 21; Clary, Howard, 41 acres, sec. 15.
Durner, Abner, 80 acres, sec. 1; Deal, Richard, 51 acres, sec. 18; Douglas, Jane, 12 acres, sec. 20; Doudna, Jesse, 179 acres, sec. 1 and 3; Doudna, Noas, 453 acres, sec. 1, 3 and 8; Doudna, John, 80 acres, sec. 1; Dyson, Aquilla, 19 acres, sec. 21; Frye, Isaac J., 40 acres, sec. 6; Foster, Jesse, 105 acres. Sec. 6; Foreaker, James, 70 acres, sec. 32; Flood, Thomas, 153 acres, sec. 7; Foulke, Judah, 30 acres, sec. 26; Finch, Thomas, 16 acres, sec. 2; Fields, Vincent, 81 acres, sec. 15; Gibson, George, 32 acres, sec. 12; Garrett, Samuel, 156 acres, sec. 32; Graham, William, 238 acres, sec. 4 and 21; Galloway, Enoch, 119 acres, sec. 15; Grubb, Smith, 65 acres, sec. 27 and 33; Gibson, John, 5 acres, sec. 31.
Hall, John, 787 acres, sec. 13, 14, 19 and 36; Hall, William, 35 acres, sec. 2; Hall, Stephen, 40 acres, sec. 2; Hall, Henry, 80 acres, sec. 8; Hall, Benjamin, 384 acres, sec. 9; Hall, Joseph, 79 acres, sec. 9; Hall, Nathan, 79 acres, sec. 9; Hall, Caleb, 30 acres, sec. 2; Hall, Isaac, 72 acres, sec. 8; Hall, John P., 79 acres, sec. 7; Hartley, David B., 52 acres, sec. 30; Hartley, Joseph, 171 acres, sec. 7 and 19; Hartley, Noah, 115 acres, sec. 19 and 25; Hartley, John, 79 acres, sec. 20; Hoopman, Jacob, 159 acres, sec. 4; Hays, Edmund, 32 acres, sec. 2; Holland, James, 40 acres, sec. 15; Henderson, George, 100 acres, sec. 10; Hufford, Mary, 37 acres, sec. 33; Harvey, Thomas, 119 acres, sec. 2 and 3; Holmes, John, 159 acres, sec. 10; Hays, Joseph, 79 acres, sec. 13; Hays, Bailey, 181 acres, sec. 2 and 8; Householder, Frederick, 70 acres, sec. 31; Harris, Israel, 52 acres, sec. 12; Hilton, Joseph, 80 acres, sec. 1; Holt, James, 41 acres, sec. 22; Hill, Matthew, 56 acres, sec. 30.
Jameson, David, 144 acres, sec. 4; Johnson, John, 30 acres, sec. 16; Johnson, James R., 160 acres, sec. 28; James, Judah, 79 acres, sec. 9; Johnson, David, 223 acres, sec. 2 18 and 24; Kuhns, Daniel, 237 acres, sec. 20 and 26; Kester, John, 79 acres, sec. 20; Kester, William, 79 acres, sec. 25; Lowe, Samuel, 52 acres, sec. 6; Lowry, James, 21 acres, sec. 8; Linn, Francis, 138 acres, sec. 26; Lowe, Henry, 110 acres, sec. 16; Lowe, Benedict, 20 acres, sec. 16; Long, John, 300 acres, sec. 31; Long, John J., 74 acres, sec. 31; Lindsey, Abraham, 155 acres, sec. 27.
McQuaide, Charles, 103 acres, sec. 32; Morrison, John, 79 acres, sec. 10; Martin, Joel, 75 acres, sec. 28; McClain, M., 80 acres, sec. 1; Moland, Jacob, 50 acres, sec. 15; Marlatt, Richard, 80 acres, sec. 16; Marlowe, William, 66 acres, sec. 28; Molineause, Thomas, 37 acres, sec. 33; McCormick, Robert, 201 acres, sec. 27; McClaskey, Charles, 40 acres, sec. 33; Marshall, William, 81 acres, sec. 15; Mead, Daniel, 101 acres, sec. 18; McDonald, William, 10 acres, sec. 19; Oliver, Henry, 79 acres, sec. 70; Perrigo, Isaac, 90 acres, sec. 9 and 10; Perrigo, James, 80 acres, sec. 22; Peters, George, 79 acres, sec. 24 and 30; Piggott, John, 160 acres, sec. 7.
Roach, John, 6 acres, sec. 12; Richardson, John, 48 acres, sec. 36; Redd, Isaih, 122 acres, sec. 7 and 12; Rose, Washington, 40 acres, sec. 22; Rose, William, 150 acres, sec. 33 and 34; Rodgers, Samuel, 160 acres, sec. 14; Ruth, Samuel and Thomas, 215 acres, sec. 34; Reed, John, 156 acres, sec. 6 and 12; Shuman, John, 75 acres, sec. 33; Smith, Jonah, 176 acres, sec. 19, 20 and 36; Shamhart, Henry, 96 acres, sec. 36; Scott, Jesse, 79 acres, sec. 25; Swayne, Samuel, 102 acres, sec. 18; Stewart, Robert, 104 acres, sec. 30; Smith, William (Heirs), 160 acres, sec. 22; Spencer, Richard, 159 acres, sec. 28; Smith, John, 159 acres, sec. 20.
Triplett, Jesse, 48 acres, sec. 36; Temple, William, 80 acres, sec. 10; Thompson, David, 164 acres, sec. 21; Vance, Ezekiel, 241 acres, sec. 4 and 10; Vance, James (Heirs), 160 acres, sec. 16; Vance, Nancy, 40 acres, sec. 22; Webster, Eli, 200 acres, sec. 15 and 16; Webster, Thomas, 370 acres, sec. 25 and 26; Webster, John, 140 acres, sec. 14; Webster, Isaac, 80 acres, sec. 19; Webster, William, 100 acres, sec. 19; Whitcraft, James, 324 acres, sec 21 and 22; Wendell, Lawrence, 51 acres, sec. 18; Webster, Charles, 78 acres, sec. 25; Whitcraft, Henry, 82 acres, sec. 21.
Owners of lots in Millwood (Quaker City) were the following; Joseph Arrick, Samuel Ackley, John Anderson, Eli Broomhall, William H. Berry, David Cowden, Benjamin Currell, John Carter, Samuel Carter, Plummer Clary, John Clary, Aquilla Dyson, David Douglas, Albert Douglas, Lawrence Dyson, Auldy Embree, Richard English, John English, James Fisher, James George, Milton Griest, Charles Haines, Isaac Hall, Mahlon Hartley, John Hall, Benjamin hall, James Keenan, Samuel Kuhns, Benjamin L. Meade, William McDonald, James Pyles, Samuel Rodgers, Samuel H. Ruby, Jonah Smith, John Shamhart, Jesse Triplett, James Vance, John Ward, Effy Workman, Abner Webster, Ephraim Williams.
Owners of lots in Salesville were Solomon Brill, George Brill, Jacob G. Brill, Jacob Culbertson, John Mehanna, John Reimer, Abner Reynolds and Matthew White.
TOBACCO DAY AT QUAKER CITY
Tobacco was the chief source of revenue of the early settlers in the southern part of Guernsey county. For two or three years the newly cleared land supplied the elements necessary for the production of this crop. Following the tobacco came two or three crops of corn and wheat. Then the field was turned into a meadow or pasture. After a time it became what was called “dry ground.” Some of the elements drawn from the soil by the early crops of tobacco having been restored, the field might again be planted in tobacco. However, this form of rotation cold not be kept up with profit. Tobacco draws heavily from the richness of the ground.
Long before the railroad was built tobacco was hauled from here “over the mountains: to Baltimore. A single Conestoga wagon has been known to carry as many as nine hogsheads of tobacco, each weighing one thousand pounds. Many farms were paid for by the first two crops of tobacco on the new land. The soil of the townships in the southern part of Guernsey county was especially suitable for tobacco raising. In early days tobacco was tied and packed in hogsheads for convenience in hauling. For shipment in later days it was loaded on cars in bulk.
As recently as thirty years ago large crops of tobacco were produced in the Quaker City neighborhood, chiefly on “old ground.” In 1909 the American Tobacco Company purchased two million pounds to be delivered at Quaker City. During the month of November five or six carloads were shipped out each day. The price received by the farmers averaged $9.50 per hundred pounds. This brought nearly two hundred thousand dollars into the community.
To deliver their tobacco many farmers would come to town and it made much business for the merchants. For a block or two near the depot dozens of wagons would be lined up awaiting their turn to unload. The picture above shows a busy tobacco day at Quaker City. On the right is the Community mill.
Pioneer Sugar Making
Pioneer families of Guernsey county made their own sugar. They did this in the early spring as soon as the sap of the sugar maple began to flow. Each family would make and store away a supply of sugar sufficient to last until the next sugar-making season.
Cyrus Hall, the first white child born in what is now Millwood township, was a son of John hall, the pioneer Quaker. A short time before his death, which occurred many years ago, he wrote (chiefly for his descendants) an account of his father’s settling in Leatherwood valley, and incidents of pioneer days. From this description of sugar making by his father one may appreciate the labor then required to produce a necessary article of food.
Being a Quaker, Cyrus Hall wrote in the quaint style characteristic of the language of that sect. Days of the week are referred to as “first day,” “second day, etc. Note the fullness of detail in the following which is here presented as written by him.
Preparation for Sugar Making.—During Preparation for Sugar Making.—During the winter and spring of 1807 father engaged in clearing a piece of bottom land, grubbing and chopping the saplings, and piling the brush during the open and mild weather—embracing every opportunity to suit the varied changes. In time of a snow he would be chopping, mauling rails, and making sugar troughs to catch the water as it ran from the trees, conveyed by the spiles; also making larger troughs to store the water in time of rapid run, when the water accumulated faster than it could be boiled down, as he had (but) two sixteen-gallon kettles and a five-gallon pot (in which to boil the water0. Thus, at the approach of early spring, he had three large troughs that held altogether about five barrels, for storing water, and one barrel with a wooden funnel which he hauled water in, with a horse and sled.
Tapping the trees.—There were some thirty or more large sugar trees within the bounds of the clearing. Father, having previously made all the necessary preparations for tapping thee trees, one second-day morning when there was a white frost and the ground frozen some near the surface, and the sun rose with a cloudless sky, commenced girdling the trees and putting in spiles to convey the water. When there was sufficient water to fill the two kettles and pot, they were started to boil at their utmost capacity. The girdling of the trees was a tedious job, for they were notched deep with the intention of cutting them down at the close of sugar making, so the girdling would not be labor lost when it came to felling the trees.
Boiling the Water.—Thus the weather continued with clear days and frosty nights, with sharp freezing for five days and nights. The water commenced to run each day by nine or ten o’clock, and continued to run in a stream until about an hour by sun, when an icicle would form at the end of the spile and the water ceased running for that day.
He kept the kettles boiling at their utmost capacity both day and night, and all he slept for five days and nights was what he napped around the camp fire. The water that he would boil through the day, when it was reduced to the proper consistency for stirring off into sugar, commonly called syrup, was poured into a tub in the evening and left to settle until morning; and what was boiled during the night was poured into something in the morning to settle; and , after having some milk or egg poured into it while hot, it was left until evening to stir off, as the case might be to suit circumstances.
The Stirring Off Process.—He generally stirred off of a morning as early as he could see to strain the liquid. As soon as strained, the clearing matter was put in, which consisted of milk or eggs, or both. Then it was hung over the fire and, as it approached the boiling point, was carefully and thoroughly skimmed. Thus each batch or parcel of syrup has cleaning matter twice applied. When set off the fire boiling hot, it immediately curdles, the whole gravitates, settles to the bottom, and can be poured off nearly clear.
By the time the syrup could be boiled down of a morning and the sugar sufficiently cooled to be taken out of the kettle, the water would trickle again from the spiles. Thus the process of boiling and stirring off was continued from second-day morning, after some of the trees were tapped and the troughs filled with water, until sixth-day evening, when the weather turned warmer and the water continued running all night. On that evening he continued boiling until eight or nine o’clock, having all the vessels filled that he had for storing water, and taking a portion of the water out of some of the troughs at the trees to equalize their capacity for catching the water.
Three Hundred Pounds of Sugar.—It being a natural consequence after so copious run of water caused by nightly frost and freezing and daily shine and thaw, the water slaked from running as it had been through the week, when the wind blowing gently from the south denoted rain. Father, feeling weary from loss of sleep, and somewhat wearied from unmitigated labor, with but little intermission for five days and nights, repaired to the cabin and went to bed.
When he awoke it was cloudy and had been raining. From the density of the clouds intervening the sunlight it had the appearance of early morn; but the sun’s rays broke through a crevice in the clouds and revealed the fact that it was about .
When there were some thirty trees girdled and tapped, the water accumulated as fast or faster than he could save it with all his capacity for boiling night and day together, with his means of storage. During this sugar making he made over three hundred pounds of sugar and a gallon or so of molasses.
Two Incidents of Pioneer Days
The first settlers of Guernsey county had experiences unknown to the people here today. They lived in little scattered clearings surrounded by the vast forest abounding in reptiles and wild beasts. Danger lurked everywhere, necessitating vigilance both within and outside their cabins. The two incidents related here will illustrate the dangers from reptiles and animals that beset the pioneer of the Leatherwood valley.
For many years rattlesnakes have been extinct reptiles in Guernsey county; in fact, it is not generally known that hey were ever found here. Before the forests were cleared away there were rattlesnakes in every part of the county, existing in some places in great numbers. (See Chapter XXXVIII.) Dreaded as much as the rattlesnake, or more so, by the pioneer was the copperhead. This venomous reptile did not disappear with the forest. One is often seen today on a shady hillside where there ware rocks and logs.
The stories that follow were told by Cyrus Hall. As stated elsewhere in this chapter his father, John Hall, lived in a cabin on Section 13, a short distance west of the present site of Eldon. The Samuel Stires, who had the adventure with the wolves, lived a mile or two southwest of the present location of Salesville.
Both stories are given here almost exactly as they were written by Cyrus hall. The quaint style and attention to detail are characteristic of the language of the older members of the Quaker faith.
Rattlesnake in a Backlog.—One day after dinner father carried a back-long into his cabin, placed it in the fireplace and covered it with a few live coals for the purpose of having it ready to kindle when he came in from work in the evening. He observed the log was hollow, but his attention was in nowise particularly attracted to it at the time.
After he came to the cabin in the evening and uncovered the coals of fire preparatory to getting his supper, as it was while he still lived measurably alone, he fetched a bucket of fresh water from the spring. He took a drink from the gourd which he had brought with him from North Carolina, where they grow and harden to the greatest perfection. But when he was done drinking, there being a small balance left in the gourd, he threw it behind the backlog, this being the readiest way to dispose of it. It created a simmering sound, somewhat similar to water falling on a hot stone.
It attracted his attention for a moment, seeming passingly strange that the backwall should in anywise be heated to that degree from the small portion f fire that had been there during the day. After those reflections had passed through his mind, he set about getting supper, the fire burning freely in front of the backlog. This, as the process f cooking was going on, the cheerful flame of the fire lighted every part of the cabin, as the twilight was receding and the darkness of the night was closing in.
At this juncture his attention was drawn to a large rattlesnake slowing and deliberately emerging from behind the backlog. He killed the snake immediately.
The most reasonable supposition was that the snake had been in the hollow log when it was carried in at . Feeling inclined for some reason to change its position during the interval, it had crawled behind the backlog and was the cause of the singular noise when the water was unintentionally thrown upon it.
Attacked by Wolves.—It was deemed of great importance among the early settlers, whose stock almost universally ran at large in the forest, to select good bells to be worn by these domestic animals. Cows in particular that were milked twice a day were generally fitted out with bells, and most farmers took pride in their ringing qualities, especially of those that could be heard one or two miles in a calm time, no high hills intervening to obstruct the sound. And there were hardly two bells in a neighborhood that gave the same sound, so that he well practiced ear could discriminate between the sounds of different ones.
Samuel Stires, one of the early settlers in Leatherwood valley, was at work in his clearing. He usually went clad in hunter’s style, wearing a leather belt to which were fastened a tomahawk and butcher knife that could be drawn under the exigency of the moment, in case of self-defense.
While busily engaged n burning brush in his clearing, he rather conjectured that he heard an uncommon clatter among the cowbells in the distance. He immediately stepped away from the noise caused by the crackling brush and roar of ascending flames from the burning pile. When he assumed the listening posture by instinctively opening his mouth so as to give sudden access to his sense of hearing, the sound of bells was clear and distinct. The cattle were running at their utmost speed, with one animal bawling as if in terrible distress.
Through the impulse of the moment, he caught up his gun and shotpouch, adjusted the flint in the lock, and sprang forward in fearless mood, impatient to reach the scene of attraction. He soon met the terribly frightened cattle aiming their flight in a homeward direction. In passing them the owner saw that a steer was missing, the one that was constantly giving out the signal of distress.
This animal had been seized by five or six large grey wolves that were holding him back. The steer was making his way the best he could through the forest. His progress was impeded by a large tree that had fallen across the path. This gave the wolves a signal advantage over their prey. By the time the owner came within common seeing distance the wolves had the steer down on the opposite side of the log, grappling for his life’s blood.
Over the top of the log Stires discharged a rifle ball through one of the wolves. The others were so intent and eager on their pry that they seemed not to heed or regard the crack of the gun for this moment, or else it was not distinguishable from the other confused noise, amidst the effort of breathing under exhaustion and worry, and the bellowing of the steer.
Having discharged his rifle, Stires leaped over the log and thrust his butcher knife into the side of another wolf which was holding on to the steer, like a bull dog. This wolf was soon overcome. The others made their escape.
Daring of a Quaker Pioneer
Friends, or Quakers as they are commonly called, are opposed to war, believing it to be morally wrong. IN this they are sincere. Their reluctance to participate in war cannot be attributed to a lack of bravery, as one of their outstanding characteristics is physical and moral courage. An illustration of this is given by Cyrus Hall. The story that follows is taken from his writings. He says that when he was a boy he heard it told many times, and he never doubted its authenticity. The adventure is somewhat like that so often related of Israel Putnam of Revolutionary War fame.
Valley Infested by Wolves.—Large grey wolves were numerous in the Upper Leatherwood valley. By their depredations they kept the settlers in a state of alarm both day and night. They preyed especially upon sheep; sometimes upon cattle. It was obvious that domestic stock could not be raised unless the wolves were destroyed. Organized groups of men conducted wolf hunts and killed many of them. Some of the wariest of the animals, however, eluded the hunters and continued their depredations.
Wolf’s Den Discovered.—John Doudna was one of the first Quakers to settle in the Upper Leatherwood valley. Like others in that community, he suffered much damage from the wolves. A certain old she-wolf came into that section each year to rear a litter of whelps, apparently for the reason that lambs to feed them were available there. Efforts to kill her were made time and again, but she was too sagacious to come within gun-shot of the hunters. To the annoyance of John Doudna especially, she continued her activities with impunity, year after year.
One day in the spring season, while strolling through the woods near the outskirts of his land, Doudna noticed a large grey she-wolf pass by and enter a hole under a big rock. He recognized her as the neighborhood pest. He immediately reported what he had seen, and within a short time a number of men gathered at the place. From all appearances the den was the headquarters of this sagacious old animal that for many years had infested the valley. She had outwitted all the hunters who had sought her scalp. Now that she was holed, she must not be permitted to escape. But how could they take her? For the answer to this question, we turn to Cyrus Hall, letting him tell the remainder of the story in his own way.
Doudna Enters the Den.—“John Doudna was a man of the most undaunted and true courage. He not only possessed great physical strength, both natural and acquired, but he also had nerve and determination of purpose, and was quick of motion. He proposed to go into the den as the most certain and speedy way of securing the wolf.
“He requested the men to tie a strong cord around his body, and another around his leg above the ankle, these to be held by the men outside, whom, when he kicked on the rope ties to his leg, were to draw him form the den. Being thus appended, he commenced descending into the den on his knees and elbow, with a lighted candle in one hand and a loaded gun in the other. He soon came to a deep descent where he glided down without much effort. This opened into a larger space which proved to be the hollow of the den. He set the candle down and rested a moment.
Alone with the Ferocious Wolf.—“Looking around, he saw the ferocious animal’s eyes shining in one corner of the cavern. He raised his gun to a level corresponding to the glaring eyeballs, and aiming between them, pulled the trigger. The flash and smoke of the powder seemed to blind him. Taking the candle in one hand and his gun in the other, he kicked on the rope as a signal that he was to be drawn out.
“After waiting on the outside for the smoke to subside, he descended a second time with the candle, but without the gun, and cautiously approached the wolf. She was dead. Taking her by the leg, he again signaled the men above, who drew both him and the wolf out together.
“While inside the second time he discovered some young wolves; but they crept back into the crevices of the rock, and he could not reach them. The men made a trap of setter sticks, similar to a partridge trap, and set it in the den so as to crop them when they came in contact with it. Thus they caught five young wolves at two or there falls of the trap.”
Stretching across the entire length of Millwood township from east to west is Pultney Ridge which divides the waters of Leatherwood creek on the south from those of Salt fork on the north. At one place it mounts to 1200 feet above sea level, one of the highest elevations in the county. It is a sandy ridge with outcroppings of sand rock. Although the soil is fertile, much of it is not cultivated on account of its stony condition. Once there were many chestnut trees on the ridge but these all disappeared a few years ago, victims of the chestnut tree disease that swept through this part of the country.
The Pultney Road.—Winding along the crest of the ridge is Pultney road from which the ridge takes its name. This road was authorized by the legislature of the Northwest Territory about the year 1801. It was to extend from Dillie’s Bottom on the Ohio River below Wheeling, through what is now Belmont county to intersect Zane’s Trace in what is now Wills township, Guernsey county. At the junction of these two thoroughfares Joseph Smith platted Frankfort in 1804. (Frankfort was the first town laid out in Guernsey county. It is now known as the “Lost Town.’)
The Pultney road was only a blazed trail at first. The men who built it sought open spaces in the forest and when these were not available they grubbed out the underbrush to make a passage-way. To assist travelers in following the trail they blazed trees along the route. A large oak tree at the side of Pultney road in Millwood township was cut down a few years ago. Half way between the center and circumference three distinct ax marks were found. The number of rings outside the incisions, each ring representing a year’s growth of the tree, was the same as the number of years since the road was blazed a century and a third before. This tree, undoubtedly, was one of the original markers.
Pultney Ridge Pioneers.—Many settlers came into Guernsey county by way of Pultney road. Others, when they reached Zane’s Trace at Frankfort, continued their journey westward. One of the first to settle on Pultney Ridge was Ezekiel Vance who came from Fayette county, Pennsylvania, and purchased the southeast quarter of section No. 10 and the southwest quarter of section No. 4. This land is now known as the Grier farm and a member of that family possesses the original deeds showing that the purchase was made at the Steubenville landoffice where sales of land in the Seven Ranges were made. The deeds were signed by President James Madison.
After clearing a patch of ground Vance erected a large two-story house of hewn logs and opened a tavern. There was much travel on the Pultney road, especially in the wet seasons of the year. This road was high and dry and the sandy soil did not get muddy. Drovers took their stock over it to the eastern markets and many of them lodged at the Vance tavern and fed and rested their stock in yards set apart for the purpose. The old tavern is gone but the cellar and foundation stones are still there to mark its location.
Three miles west of the Vance tavern was one kept by William Smith and known as the Royal Oak. This tavern was famous for the cheap whisky dispensed at its bar, which Smith purchased at the distilleries on Whisky run in what is now Noble county for twelve and one-half cents a gallon. Every pioneer tavern had its bar; without a bar there would have been but few guests, especially of the drover and wagoner classes.
William Smith came from Yorkshire, England. He was a skilled mason and upon his arrival in Washington City, he obtained employment dressing stone for the Capitol building on which work had just begun. Leaving Washington City, he came to Ohio and purchased 700 acres of land on Pultney Ridge. A part of this land is owned today by his descendants, one of whom possesses the chisel that William Smith used in his work on the Capitol.
Included amongst the pioneers who were living upon the crest or sides of Pultney Ridge a century or more ago were the following; Ezekiel Grier, Thomas McFarland, G. W Henderson, Archibald Carnal, James Perrigo, Benedict Lowe, Henry Lowe, James Vance, J. R. Johnson, Richard Spencer, Samuel Ruth, William Cowden, James Hote, Richard Molatt, William Marlowe, Washington Rose, James Whitcraft, William Bay, Andrew Bay, Nathan Bay, Joel Martin, John Holmes, William Graham and Robert McCormick.
Guernsey county’s only son to attain a seat in the United States senate was born on Pultney Ridge. This was Nathan B. Scott who left the ridge to attend school and work in a store in Millwood (Quaker City). He served as a Union soldier during the Civil War and at its close he went to Wheeling where he engaged in the manufacture of glass and became wealthy. He began his political career as a member of the Wheeling city council. He served several years as a senator in the West Virginia state legislature. President McKinley appointed him United States commissioner of internal revenue and in 1899 the legislature of West Virginia elected him to the United States senate where he remained for twelve years.
Putneyville.—Washington Henderson, an enterprising pioneer of Pultney Ridge, owned a tract of land in section No. 10 (now the Floyd farm). At the junction of the cross road from the south with the Pultney road he platted a town on April 18, 1846, which he named Putneyville. The two principal streets were Main and Cross, running east and west and north and south, respectively, and there were several alleys. Lots four rods long and ten rods wide were laid off and offered for sale. But the anticipated boom failed to materialize; there is not Putneyville today. The present owner of the farm on which the town was located did not know until recently that he was living on the leading street of a once budding metropolis.
The School Lease.—Section No. 16 of every township was reserved for the maintenance of the public schools within the township. The school authorities of the township might sell a part or all of the section and place the money derived in the state treasury where it would become a part of the irreducible debt and yield six per cent annually for the schools of the township, or they might lease it. Section No. 16 of Millwood township lies on Pultney Ridge. The ground being rough and stony, the school authorities were unable to sell the tract for many years. They rented it to the neighboring farmers for pasture and it thus became known as the School Lease. A mile of the Pultney road passes through this section.
Pultney, sometimes spelt Poultney, is usually called Putney by the people on the ridge. Its northern slope reaches into Oxford township and at the west it extends into Wills. The eastern part of the ridge reaches nearly to Barnesville in Belmont county; however, we are describing only that part of it that lies in Guernsey county.