Stories of Guernsey County by Wm. Wolfe Pages 985-1000
Spencer township was organized in March, 1819, and named by Thomas N. Muzzy in honor of his old home town, Spencer, Massachusetts. A year before this the county commissione4rs had cut thirty-six square miles of territory from Buffalo township to form the new subdivision. When Noble county was organized in 1851, seven sections of Spencer township were joined to Valley, as the latter had yielded some of its territory to Noble county. The area of Spencer township is now twenty-nine square miles. All of it lies in the district known as Congress lands.
Physical Features.—The greater part of the township is drained by Buffalo creek which joins Seneca near Derwent in Valley township, thus forming Wills creek. The valleys of this creek and its tributaries are fertile, and these, together with a part of the higher land are considered amongst the best farming sections in Guernsey county.
Vein No. 7, of the Cambridge coal field, underlies about one-fifth of the township. A seam of what is known as Meigs creek coal, four to five feet in thickness, is found in the high hills of the western part.
In the southern part of the township is a ledge, about fifteen feet thick, of fine-grained, tough sandstone that state geologists have pronounced superior for building purposes. The face stone of the court house in Cambridge came from this ledge.
Pioneers of Spencer.—According to tradition a man named Reuben Atchison came into what is now Spencer township, in 1795, for the purpose of establishing a home. He did not stay long, but returned later and settled permanently. Had he remained after his first coming, the honor of being the original pioneer of Guernsey county might have gone to him instead of Levi Williams, Ezra Graham or John Mahoney; one of these was probably the first.
The first settler of whom there is any authentic record was a Mr. May who came in 1806. He made an entry and some improvements on land that afterwards became a part of the Covert farm. However, he died before he was able to bring his family into this western country. The patch of ground he tried to clear was long known as “May’s dead’ning.”
John Latta came in 1808. When the township was organized in 1819, he became its first justice of the peace. Mr. Latta may be considered the first permanent settler of Spencer township. In 1809 a Mr. Wolfe from Frederick, Maryland, built a cabin and cleared a field in what is now the eastern part of Cumberland. About the same time Finley Collins came from Virginia, and entered eighty acres of land near that occupied by Mr. Wolfe. He paid for it by making and selling maple sugar in the markets of Pittsburgh, Zanesville and Wheeling. Collins was a soldier in the War of 1812. The creek on which he settled still bears his name.
Col. Thomas Bay arrived in 1812, from Washington county, Pennsylvania. Within a few years his eight sons—William, Thomas, Benjamin, Robert, Samuel, John, Archibald and James—were rearing families in the community. Thomas Bay purchased the farm of Finley Collins, and much land extending two miles east and west of the place he entered. He subsequently divided this amongst his children. When he arrived, the surrounding county was a vast forest abounding in black bears, deer, turkeys, and other wild game. With axes and mattocks Colonel Bay and his stalwart sons set to work clearing the land. To no other single pioneer family, perhaps, is more credit due for helping to make Guernsey county habitable.
Among the early settlers of Spencer township were a number of families from the New England States. The many substantial qualities of its citizens may, in part, be due to their Yankee background. The first New Englander to arrive was Eli Bingham, who came from Vermont in 1813, and located on land adjoining Mr. Bay’s. He built the first brick house in the Cumberland community.
Thomas N. Muzzy came into the community from Spencer, Massachusetts, in 1814. He was a veteran of the War of 1812, attracted to the West by the inducements the government made to its soldiers. An enterprising citizen, he immediately began to work for the advancement of the community, intellectually and morally as well as materially. After building a saw and grist-mill, he organized and taught the first school in the community. He organized the first Sunday school, laid the foundation for the first church, and established the first temperance society.
William Rannels, a Pennsylvanian, came in 1815. Being a man of intelligence, enterprise and superior judgment, he stood high amongst his neighbors. His son-in-law, Ziby Lindley, came from Pennsylvania the next year and commenced the practice of medicine.
David and Julius Beach, of Connecticut, located on the Covert farm in 1814. They resided there until 1840 and sold it to John Foster.
John Bane, of Virginia, in 1816, settled on a part of the tract that Finley Collins had entered. Bane had been in several skirmishes with the Wyandotte and Delaware Indians, and had been twice wounded by them. John Hammond came from Connecticut to the Cumberland community the same year.
Another settler in 1816 was Andrew Wharton from Wheeling, West Virginia. Russell Prouty came from Maryland and began the manufacture of castor oil, an uncommon industry for this new country. It proved to be a success. He induced his neighbors to engage in bean raising, which to them was a profitable type of farming. Prouty afterwards turned his attention to the culture of honey bees and had several hundred swarms.
It took John Draper twenty-one days to come here from Maryland, in a one-horse wagon, in 1817. He purchased a tract of land upon which a cabin had been built and some improvements made by Rev. James Moore, the first preacher in the community.
Linas Bacon, noted for his musical talent, was another New Englander, coming from Massachusetts. William Bates, from Pennsylvania, claimed to be the first to settle on the creek that bears his name. Exceedingly rugged, he was afraid of neither man nor wild beast. It is said that he killed more black bears than any other person in the community. Joseph Taylor, form Pennsylvania, located on what afterwards became the William McClelland farm, in 1817. Taylor was a Dunkard and preached occasionally. John Green, an Irishman, located in the community in 1817; he was familiarly known as General Green.
Zoth Hammond’s tavern was on the old road leading from Zanesville to Marietta. It was opened in 1817. Inclined to temperance, Zoth declined to retail whisky to the traveling public. The only beverage obtainable at his hostelry was cider. In front of the tavern was the following sign in large letters erected by him: “SIDER KIPT FUR SAIL HEAR.”
Old Folks of 1876.—In 1820 fifty families were living in the township. In 1876 there were forty persons within its boundaries, who were seventy-six or more years of age, as follows: Rebecca Blackstone, Nancy Blackstone, Robert Barton, Jane Bay, Elijah Blackstone, Martha Bemis, Vincent Cockins, Nancy Conner, Jacob Conkle, Thomas Crawford, James Crawford, Michael Cusick, Mary C. Conner, Henry Cosgrove, Jacob Dennis, E. Daniel, Samuel Finley, Catherine Finley, Jane Forsythe, John Hawes, Thomas Haney, Catherine Haney, Nancy Harper, Annie Imlay, Hiram Ingle, Amelia Ingle, Michael Joyce, Mary Johnson, Nancy McClelland, Thomas N. Muzzy, William McKelvey, Larinda Muzzy, William Rabe, Sarah Rabe, Reuben Stevens, Mary Shively, Junietta Stone, William Stewart, William Shaw, Elizabeth Young.
Population.—Spencer township had a population of 410 in 1820; 864 in 1830; 1,669 in 1840; 1,847 in 1850; 1,790 in 1860; 1,359 in 1870; 1,552 in 1880; 1,421 in 1890; 1,353 in 1900; 1,416 in 1910; 1,350 in 1920, 1,059 in 1930.
The First Town.—On June 21, 1820, eight years before Cumberland was platted, Benjamin Bay laid out a town on the northwest quarter of section 27, township 9, range 10, which is about one mile northeast of Cumberland. He named his town New Zealand. Lots ten rods long and four rods wide were platted. The leading street was called Cambridge street. Benjamin Bay’s town failed to materialize. The Guernsey Times of January 24, 1835, carried the following notice signed by William St. Clair; “Public notice is hereby given that I will apply to the next court of common pleas for Guernsey county, in March next, for the vacation of the town of New Zealand, in the township of Spencer, in the county aforesaid, where all or any persons concerned may object, if they please.”
Cumberland.—James Bay, brother of Benjamin, platted a town on April 24, 1828, which his wife named Cumberland. It was incorporated on February 11, 1832, five years before Cambridge was incorporated, and was the second town to be incorporated in Guernsey county.
Cumberland having been platted and named, Mrs. Bay built the first house in it. Stephen Charlotte opened the first tavern, afterwards known as the Bradley House. Geroge Stranathan and Mr. Hathaway opened stores. John Agnew operated a horse mill for grinding corn and fulling cloth. William Cosgrove had a chair factory operated by dog power. He moved it near the stream running through town, which has since been called Dog run. James Annon was the first tailor.
Cumberland had a population of 430 in 1850; 362 in 1860; 319 in 1870; 519 in 1880; 601 in 1890; 618 in 1900; 609 in 1910; 636 in 1920; 556 in 1930; 521 in 1940.
Among the Cumberland business and professional men and women back in the 70’s were the following; drygood stores—Squiers, Hathaway and Roseman, McClelland Brothers, A. Holmes, and C. Draper; groceries----McCortle and Company, J. A. Crozier, D. W. Forsythe, O. O. Barnes, and Ford Reece; millinery shops--Atchison and McCortle, Belle Murphy, Augusta Cosgrove, Mrs. Quick; tin shops.—Morris and Crozier, and William Robe; harness shops—McClelland and Company, and William Johnson; blacksmith shops—Fulton Brothers, William McCortle and Company, and M. Cusic; planning mills—Stevens and Company, and Johnson Brothers; grist mills—Robert Barton, and Howell Brothers; hotels—W. Cosgrove, James Kennedy, Cyrus Bradley, and George Green; lawyer—Joseph Purkey; doctors—J. H. McCall, C. Draper, and R. S. Conner; livery stables—Cyrus Bradley, and C. Draper; meat shops—Bay and McCortle, and Joel Ferre; art gallery—I. N. Knowlton; jewelry—H. B. Zoller; hardware—W. B. Cosgrove; marble shop—George Stockwell; gunsmith—J. Ferre; undertaker—William Dolman; dentist—C. T. Sweet; bakery, Mrs. Burr; tannery—Vincent Blackiston; tailor—O. C. Forsythe; carriage factory—J. W. Henman and Company; plasterer—G. J. Scott; carpenters—G. H. and J. H. Daniels, Samuel and John Dolman, and Thomas O. Mann.
Cumberland Schools.—Thomas N. Muzzy taught the first school, as has been stated, but it was not in a building erected for school purposes. the first schoolhouse was built of logs. It was twenty feet long and sixteen feet wide, and had a fireplace at one end that would take logs six feet in length. Openings in the longs, covered with greased paper, admitted the light. Logs split in two, with wooden legs driven into holes bored near the ends, served as seats. Miss grace Bay, was the first teacher in this building.
For a few years after the town was established a select school was taught in a small rented room, by John M. Foster. In 1835 a brick schoolhouse, about twenty-seven feet square, was erected at the west end of Main street. In 1854 a three-room two-story frame building was constructed near the center of the village, and used until 1883, when it was replaced by a large brick structure that is still in use. The Spencer township and Cumberland village school districts were united as one district in 1929, and a large modern high school was erected. To this and to the old building, which is used for elementary school purposes, the children of the township, as well as many elementary school purposes, the children of the township, as well as many from Noble county, are transported for instruction.
Churches.—A brief history of the Presbyterian church may be found in the chapter of this volume devoted to churches.
Rev. James B. Finley, the pioneer circuit rider, came into this community occasionally and preached to the settlers, long before there was an organized Methodist Episcopal church here. Rev. W. Reeves, the successor of Rev. Finely, urged those of the Methodist faith in the community to erect a house of worship. This was a frame structure twenty-eight feet long and twenty feet wide, which stood on land owned by James Bay in the southwest corner of the township. In 1853 they erected a commodious church building in town.
A series of meetings held by Rev. Isaac Shook, a Cumberland Presbyterian preacher of Tennessee, in 1835, resulted in the withdrawal of several from the Presbyterian church, and the formation of a new church society. Among its early pastors were Rev. Thomas, Rev. Ezra K. Squier and Rev. A. D. Hail.
Seventeen persons organized the Goshen Baptist church in 1822. After holding services in private homes for two years, they built a meeting house on Flat run. This was probably the first church building in the township. In 1849 the members disposed of the property and erected a church in Rich Hill township, Muskingum county.
Several persons living in Cumberland, who adhered to the Baptist faith, organized a church in 1865, with Rev. Churchill as pastor. A frame building was erected for a place of worship. The membership was so reduced by deaths and removals from the town that regular services were discontinued about the year 1883.
Railroads.—The Eastern Ohio Railroad, connecting Cumberland with Lore City on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, was built in the early 1880’s. About five of its sixteen miles of main track lie in Spencer township.
In 1883 the Bellaire, Zanesville and Cincinnati Railroad was completed across the southwest corner of the township, a distance of about three miles. This was a narrow-gauge line which helped materially in developing the country, but was far from being a successful source of revenue for its owners. Reorganized as The Ohio River and Western Railroad, it finally came under the control of the Pennsylvania System. In the early 1930’s it was abandoned.
A School Tragedy.--William C. Frazier, twenty-two years of age, son of Mrs. Mary Frazier, New Concord, Ohio, was employed as teacher of the Miller School near Cumberland for the term 1882-83. Two boys—John Hays, aged twenty, and Charles Luse, aged eighteen—were enrolled there as pupils. Frazier requested the boys to join a class in English grammar, that he had formed, but neither cared to do so.
On Monday, December 11, 1882, he insisted that they join the class. They refused, whereupon Frazier ordered them to stand upon the floor for disobeying orders. The boys, who were seated together, arose and started forward as if to comply with the order, but in passing Frazier, Luse struck him a forcible blow in the face. When Frazier returned the blow, Hays joined in the fight, and the two boys forced the teacher upon or between the seats. Frazier drew a dirk knife having a blade six inches long, it is said, and stabbed Hays in the left breast and Luse in the side. Hays started towards the door, daring the teacher to follow, but as soon as he reached the outside he fell and almost immediately expired. Frazier rushed to his side, and with the assistance of Luse and a brother of Hays started to carry him to the Hays home a short distance away. Weakened from the loss of blood, Luse fell by the wayside before the Hays home was reached. Two days later he died.
From the Hays home Frazier went to Cumberland and surrendered to a constable. He was immediately brought to Cambridge and lodged in the county jail. His uncle, Judge W. H. Frazier, of this common pleas court district, was notified, and Attorneys J. W. White and J. W. Campbell were employed as counsel for the prisoner. On Wednesday he was admitted to bail in the sum of $5,000. When it was reported that Luse was dead, Frazier was rearrested and again bound over to the court in the additional sum of $5,000. On the first bond were Judge Frazier, Mrs. Mary Frazier (William’s mother), Thomas Foy and S. L. Grimsley; on the second were William Stranathan, Bennett Roseman, George Smith, and several persons living in New Concord.
At this session of the grand jury in February, Frazier was indicted for carrying concealed weapons. He pleaded guilty to this offense and was fined $100 and costs.
A Big Tree.—In Spencer township trees of enormous size were found by the pioneers. It was, perhaps, the luxuriant vegetation of that section, indicative of a fertile soil, that influenced them to settle there. From a copy of The Jeffersonian published in 1865 we learn that a poplar tree had recently been felled on the farm of John bay, that was attracting much attention. The following description of the tree, written and signed by a resident of Spencer township, was published:
The diameter at the stump measured eight feet and nine inches. The body, or trunk, was straight and sixty feet long, without a single limb. At the top of the trunk the tree branched into three parts, the largest of the three branches measuring three feet and nine inches in diameter. One log twelve feet long, cut form this branch, made 1,372 feet of lumber. From the three limbs alone 3,182 feet were sawed. One who is interested may estimate the number of feet in the main trunk.
For many years the Globe House was a familiar landmark in Cumberland. Built in 1840 by Wilson Cosgrove for a residence, it was occupied by him for a short time and then remodeled and enlarged for a tavern. Cosgrove came to Cumberland in 1833 to engage in cabinet making. For generating power in his factory he used thirty-six dogs but the cost of their food made their employment unprofitable.
In 1862 Mr. Cosgrove sold the Globe House to Dr. Stone who sold it to James Canaday in 1865. Mr. Canaday was the landlord until his death in 1887, when his wife took charge and managed it for several years. The office was in the southeast corner, with doors opening on Main street and the road extending north. Built on sloping ground, it had doors on the second floor, that opened into the back yard. It was a rambling old affair noticeable for its curious style of architecture.
When Gen. John H. Morgan and his 600 raiders took possession of Cumberland on the evening of July 23, 1863, the Globe became Confederate headquarters. The landlord’s protests were of no avail. He was forced to play host to more guests (unprofitable ones, too) than he had ever entertained at one time before. Morgan entered Cumberland at five o’clock in the evening and remained there five hours.
Good beds, good meals and a homelike atmosphere gave the Globe a wide and favorable reputation. But the sign—a wooden globe—displayed on a post in front is seen no more; the site of the old tavern is now occupied by a residence.
Owners of Real Estate in 1840.—Several of the persons listed below were transferred to other townships when Noble county was formed. There was then a shifting of boundary lines that changes the map of southern Guernsey county.
Agnew, Isaac, 65 acres, sec. 6; Agnew, John, 1 acre, sec. 9; Anderson, Samuel, 2 acres, sec. 33; Archer, George, 40 acres, sec. 24; Archer, Henry, 40 acres, sec. 24; Archer, James, 40 acres, sec. 23; Bucher, George, 74 acres, sec. 3; Burr, John, 40 acres, sec. 25; Barton, Richard, 72 acres, sec. 1; Ballou, Joseph, 40 acres, sec. 10; Bishop, Eli, 80 acres, sec. 24; Ballou, Welcome, 2 acres, sec. 32; Beach, Julius, 194 acres, sec. 32; Bay, William C., 80 acres, sec. 21; Burrough, Zachariah, 147 acres, sec. 4; Bay, James, 170 acres, sec. 16 and 32; Bay, Robert, 554 acres, sec. 29, 30 and 31; Blackston, Elijah, 140 acres, sec. 5; Balckston, Michael, 92 acres, sec. 7 and 8; Balckston, Thomas, Jr., 92 acres, sec. 7 and 8; Barnes, Ford, 230 acres, sec. 17 and 18; Bucher, Asa, 1 acre, sec. 33; Beach, David, 74 acres, sec. 72; Bingham, Eli, 145 acres, sec. 32; Blackston, Thomas, Sr., 4 acres, sec. 5; Bemis, Jonas, 14 acres, sec. 32; Beall, James P., 114 acres, sec. 3 and 10.
Crawford, William B., 80 acres, sec. 16; Carter, Richard, 84 acres, sec. 1; Culver, John, 84 acres, sec. 9; Carnes, John, 81 acres, sec. 10; Crow, William, 40 acres, sec. 24; Crow, William J., 80 acres, sec. 24; Cox, Peter P., 2 acres, sec. 32; Conner, James, 80 acres, sec. 34; Conner, John, 40 acres, sec. 27; Conner, John, Jr., 240 acres, sec. 34; Collins, John, 86 acres, sec. 4; Cooper, Abraham, 437 acres, sec. 7 and 18; Collins, Findley, 73 acres, sec. 31; Condon, John, 160 acres, sec. 26; Cochins, Vincent, 260 acres, sec. 6; Charlott, Stephen, 7 acres, sec. 32; Dobbs, John, 95 acres, sec. 15; Daugherty, James, 40 acres, sec. 24; Deeran, Thomas, 72 acres, sec. 1; Dollman, William, 1 acre, sec. 32; Dean, Henry, 159 acres, sec. 35 and 36; Dennis, Jacob, 120 acres, sec. 8; Dennis, William, Sr., 100 acres, sec. 5; Dennis, David, 3 acres, sec. 16; Dunlevy, Joseph, 100 acres, sec. 5.
Emmons, Stephen, 6 acres, sec. 25; Evans, Ashabel, 127 acres, sec. 4, 5 and 9; Evans, William J., 220 acres, sec. 36; Farrar, Andrew, 75 acres, sec. 26; Forsythe, George, 162 acres, sec. 20; Farrar, James, 162 acres, sec. 20; Foster, John, 55 acres, sec. 32; Grandstaff, Cyrus, 107 acres, sec. 22 and 27; Gander, David, 200 acres, sec. 23; Garvin, John, 80 acres, sec. 23; Glass, Davis, 161 acres, sec. 8; Gallentine, Jeremiah, 159 acres, sec. 11 and 12; Grimes, John, 39 acres, sec. 35; Gray, John, 85 acres, sec. 26.
Hammond, Benjamin, 80 acres, sec. 16; Hammond, Zoath, 80 acres, sec. 16; Huggins, Andrew (Heirs), 50 acres, sec. 15; Hinton, David, 20 acres, sec. 9; Hineline, Edward, 40 acres, sec. 12; Hawes, John, 148 acres, sec. 2 and 3; Hineline, Asa, 120 acres, sec. 10; Huggins, John, 52 acres, sec. 28; Huhn, John, 73 acres, sec. 18; Hinton, Moses, 320 acres, sec. 9; Hollis, David, 178 acres, sec. 20; Hessen, William, 77 acres, sec. 9; Huhn, Jacob, 73 acres, sec. 18; Heskett, Elam, 225 acres, sec. 1 and 2; Hartman, John, Sr., 40 acres, sec. 34; Hartman, John, 40 acres, sec. 23.
Imlay, Joseph, 120 acres, sec. 23; Irwin, William, 80 acres, sec. 25; Johnson, William, 350 acres, sec. 11, 13 and 14; Johnson, William, Jr., 3 acres, sec. 33; Johnson, George, 16 acres, sec. 32; Johnson, John, 239 acres, sec. 14 and 15; Jordan, Joshua, 301 acres, sec. 4 and 5; Jones, William, Jr., 200 acres, sec. 13 and 24; Kidwell, Edward, 80 acres, sec. 24; Kell, Robert, 40 acres, sec. 26; Kell, Andrew, 80 acres, sec. 35; Kinney, David, 10 acres, sec. 1; Knowlton, Josiah, 1 acre, sec. 33; Karr, John, 109 acres, sec. 1.
Lott, Samuel, 120 acres, sec. 35; Llewellyn, William, 80 acres, sec. 10; Lazear, Francis, 173 acres, sec. 9; Langlois, Peter, 14 acres, sec. 11 and 12; Leeper, James, 63 acres, sec. 21; McBride, Alexander, 40 acres, sec. 36; Miller, David, 100 acres, sec. 8 and 17; Moore, Aaron, 160 acres, sec. 10; McClelland, James, 480 acres, sec. 27 and 34; Moore, John of David, 160 acres, sec. 10; McCoy, Hugh, 14 acres, sec. 1; Moore, John, 151 acres, sec. 21; Moore, James, 80 acres, sec. 30; Moore, James, Jr., 145 acres, sec. 20 and 21; Moore, David, 241 acres, sec. 17 and 24; Muzzy, Thomas N., 60 acres, sec. 33; Moore, Thomas, 160 acres, sec. 21; Marshall, Joseph M., 160 acres, sec. 35; Moore, Isaac, 200 acres, sec. 14 and 23; Mackey, William, 210acres, sec. 5 and 10; Mackey, Alexander, 146 acres, sec. 7; Maple, Jacob, 109 acres, sec. 2; Marshall, Elizabeth, 40 acres, sec. 23; McMahan, James, 219 acres, sec. 28.
Newland, Daniel, 80 acres, sec. 13; Newland, Joseph, 40 acres, sec. 23; Neil, Solomon, 6 acres, sec. 32; Nelson, Peter, 160 acres, sec. 16; Ogier, Thomas, 479 acres, sec. 10, 11, 13 and 14; Ogan, Peter, 80 acres, sec. 21; Ogan, E., 120 acres, sec. 13 and 24; Parrish, Parker, 40 acres, sec. 25; Phillis, Charles, 40 acres, sec. 26; Perry, John, Jr., 53 acres, sec. 9; Patterson, Alfred, 34 acres, sec. 25; Potts, Joseph, 80 acres, sec. 25; Patterson, Joseph, 40 acres, sec. 23; Parrish, Evans, 180 acres, sec. 25 and 33; Paxton, Samuel, 6 acres, sec. 32; Patton, Hugh, 196 acres, sec. 6; Parrish, Jesse, 240 acres, sec. 25, 26 and 36; Paisley, James, 195 acres, sec. 19; Patterson, Elijah, 20 acres, sec. 36; Perkins, James, 149 acres, sec. 3.
Robbin, Martin, 40 acres, sec. 13; Robbin, John (Heirs), 491 acres, sec. 1, 2, 12 and 13; Rose, Susanna, 2 acres, sec. 5; Reynolds, David, 160 acres, sec. 26; Reynolds, Joseph, 160 acres, sec. 29; Redd, Peter, 146 acres, sec. 18; Ross, Thomas, 72 acres, sec. 18; Ross, Henry (Heirs), 70 acres, sec. 5; Reese, Armine, 5 acres, sec. 32; Scantlan, Thomas, 8 acres, sec. 33; Sturges, Solomon, 40 acres, sec. 25; Suediker, Josiah, 80 acres, sec. 36; Scott, Hugh, 36 acres, sec. 1; Shriver, Jacob, 520 acres, sec. 15, 22 and 24; Shannon, Charles, 40 acres, sec. 23; Stevens, Reuben, 73 acres, sec. 4; Seaton, Robert, 117 acres, sec. 2 and 11; Starr, James, 149 acres, sec. 3; Scott, James, 226 acres, sec. 2; St. Clair, William, 240 acres, sec. 27; Strahl, David, 80 acres, sec. 20; Shively, John, 100 acres, sec. 8; Sparr, Daniel, 114 acres, sec. 17; Stevens, William, 44 acres, sec. 31; St. Clair, David, 149 acres, sec. 19; St.Clair, Margaret, 148 acres, sec. 19; Stranathan, Samuel, 9 acres, sec. 32; Stewart, James, Jr., 17 acres, sec. 21; Stanberry, Jonas, 160 acres, sec. 23 and 36; Stewart, James, 27 acres, sec. 21; Smock, Peter, 40 acres, sec. 10; Steele, Alexander, 80 acres, sec. 25.
Tanner, John, 80 acres, sec. 16; Winn, William, 40 acres, sec. 36; West, Nathaniel, 39 acres, sec. 35. Wilson, William C., 120 acres, sec. 12; Waller, Joseph S., 75 acres, sec. 3; Waller, Joseph, 80 acres, sec. 25; White, Edward, 208 acres, sec. 28 and 29, Wharton, James, 147 acres, sec. 31; Wallace, William, 194 acres, sec. 28 and 33; Wilson, Thomas, 1 acre, sec. 33; Young, Isaac, 148 acres, sec. 19.
Owners of lots in Cumberland were the following: Samuel Anderson, William Abel, Asa Bucher, Samuel Benns, James Bay, David Burt, Welcome Ballou, James Berry, John E. Boyd, Charles Barnes, Jonas Bemis, Daniel Curtis, Calvin Charlott, Wilson Cosgrove, John Cowan, Peter P. Cox, Firnean Dye, Merryman Downey, Nehemiah Davis, John Foster, Joseph Farrar, William George, Thomas Gordon, Adam Grandstaff, Thomas Huggins, Lyman Hurd, Jacob Holt, Edward Hineline, Jacob Houseman, William Johnson, Israel Koontz, Josiah Knowlton, Warren Knowlton, John Kell, Judith Leland, John Mevey, Peter McGlaughlin, Thomas N. Muzzy, Solomon Neil, Evans Parrish, Benjamin Palmater, Armine Reese, John Reed, Elijah Stevens, Samuel Stranthan, Thomas Scantlin, George Smith, Rachel Teener, John Wharton, Jonathan Warne, James Wharton, Robert Wallace, martin Westbroom and Rev. William Wallace.
A Picturesque Spot.—One of the most picturesque spots in Guernsey county is Perry’s Den in Spencer township. to reach it, one turns to the right on a road leading form the Cambridge-Marietta highway, between Glenwood and Ava, and travels west about one and one-half miles. The lover of nature will find here much of interest. Rocks, caves, waterfalls, trees and shrubs of various kinds make it a place of enchantment.
At one time laurel grew here in abundance, adding to the beauty of the glen in winter, but this has largely disappeared. Laurel is an evergreen shrub that is rarely found in Guernsey county. A little of it is known to grow in the wilder parts of two or three townships. It is claimed that it will not grow when transplanted, although much has been carried away from Perry’s Den by those who hoped it would do so.
Perry’s Den is the name given to a place comprising a number of acres, although it is but one of several caverns found there. Two other points of special interest are Ravens’ Roost and Circular Rock. Perry’s Den itself is formed by projecting ledges of rocks over which water falls at certain seasons of the year.
An Historic Place.—But aside from its natural beauty, which attracts many visitors, the place has an historical connection that has made it widely known. One hundred years ago the scattered settlers of Southern Ohio suffered from the depredations of horse thieves. Many horses were stolen from Guernsey county. It was believed that the stealing was the work of an organized band of men who passed the horses along a line from Southern Ohio to Lake Erie in much the same way that slaves were carried through by way of the Underground Railroad. Horses were concealed at certain places until an opportune time was found for moving them further.
Near Blue Bell, about three miles north of what is now called Perry’s Den, lived Walter G. Perry, a man who was suspected of stealing horses and making counterfeit money. A horse was stolen in Tuscarawas county. The thief was seen and described, and so well did the description fit Perry that measures were taken for his arrest, but he could not be found.
Perry Caught by a School Teacher.—Adonijah Parrish was a school teacher who boarded at the home of Anthony Jones, a brother-in-law of Perry, near what is now Ava. One night he heard some one cautiously admitted to the Jones dwelling, who, he noted, stealthily departed before morning. Knowing of the relationship of Jones and Perry, he thought the visitor might be the latter. His suspicions were confirmed when told the next morning by one of the small sons of Jones that his Uncle Perry had been there in the night.
On reaching his school Parrish sent a boy over to the Jones home to get goose quills to be used for making pens. He told him to see if there was a strange man about the place, thinking that Perry might have returned after he had departed for his school. Upon his return the boy reported that he saw no one. Parrish then secured the assistance of five or six men who lived in an adjoining district, and, finding Perry’s tracks in the snow, made after he had left the home of Jones, trailed him to a deep dark ravine on either side of which were great projecting rocks. It was noted than an effort had been made to cover the tracks.
Parrish and his companions hesitated to enter such a wild retreat, fearing that Perry might have accomplices who would fire upon them form the rocks if they advanced. They moved forward cautiously, until they had come near the head of the ravine, when they discovered Perry standing by the rocks. He had a pistol in his hand and cried out with an oath that he would shoot any one of them who came near. They advanced and he started to run. Two of the pursuers fired and Perry fell, wounded in the leg.
Sentenced to the Penitentiary.---After Perry’s wound had been dressed he was taken to Cambridge and placed in jail. He was tired in the court of Tuscarawas county, found guilty and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. As his wound refused to heal, he was pardoned by the governor at the end of the first year. He returned to Guernsey county, remained a short time, and then, with his family, left for parts unknown. After his departure tools for making money were found, showing that he was a counterfeiter as well as a horse thief. Fifty years later more than a hundred counterfeit coins were plowed up in a field near where he had lived.
The cavern in which Perry was captured is large enough to stable twenty horses at one time. There was evidence that it had been used for that purpose. This was probably one of the stations on the line over which the stolen horses were passed and Perry had charge of it. That was a hundred years ago. The place has ever since been called Perry’s den.
Two Guernsey county men once served several months in the Ohio Penitentiary for a crime they did not commit. Their conviction and subsequent sentence to imprisonment resulted from a combination of both direct and circumstantial evidence. Of all the persons connected with their trial only one, the attorney who defended them, seemed to believe in their innocence. Their case was one of the most remarkable ever tried in the courts of Guernsey county.
Jennie Archer Robbed.—About sixty years ago Jennie Archer, a woman past middle age, lived as a recluse three or four miles northeast of Cumberland. Her cabin, made of rails and daubed with clay, was located in a hollow surrounded by woods. Her only companions were a cow, a ferocious dog, and some chickens which roosted in the loft of the cabin. People of the country round-about knew her as Jennie Archer, the eccentric old woman. It was reported that she had between two hundred and a thousand dollars which she carried in a belt about her body.
Late one dark, rainy night in February, 1877, two men riding horseback approached the cabin, dismounted and knocked. They told Jennie they were officers looking for horse thieves who, they had reason to believe, were concealed in her cabin. Although she tried to assure them no such persons were there, they forced an entrance, after shooting the dog which offered resistance. They then demanded her money. She denied having any, but her movements led to their searching the loft where a sack containing between two and three hundred dollars was found. The men then rode away with the money.
Robbers Tracked.—The next morning Jennie reported the robbery and officers came to the cabin. As the ground was soft, the tracks of the robbers’ horses could be seen plainly. A shoe was missing from the hoof of one of the horses. The tracks were followed to the main road leading to Cumberland, thence to a place where it forked. One horse had gone straight ahead; the other had turned to the left toward Ava. They followed the tracks of the former, which led to the stable of Everett Heskett. Within was a horse whose feet corresponded to the size of the tracks followed, and with one shoe missing. In appearance Heskett answered the description of one of the robbers, given the officers by Jennie. Returning to the forks the officers followed the tracks of the other horse. They led to the stable of Thomas Stewart, in which was a horse whose feet showed the same measurements as the tracks. Stewart answered the description of the other robber. The two men were immediately arrested.
Both, protesting their innocence, gave bond to appear before the court at Cambridge at its next session. In the meantime Heskett fled the country, forfeiting his bond.
Convincing Evidence.—Stewart engaged Colonel John Ferguson, Cambridge attorney, to defend him. His case was tried before Judge Frazier, with J. C. Steele as prosecutor. Jennie Archer told the story of the robbery, as related above, and positively identified Stewart as one of the two men who had taken the money. The officers testified as to their tracking the horses. Then other witnesses stated that Heskett and Stewart knew Jennie had money; that they had been heard to make some remarks which would indicate their intention to try to get it. The fact that Heskett had fled forfeiting his bond, was evidence of guilt.
Only a short deliberation was necessary for the jury to render a verdict of guilty. Judge Frazier sentenced Stewart to two years in the penitentiary. Heskett was subsequently rearrested in Illinois, whence he had fled, and brought back to Cambridge. His trail, which was similar to that of Stewart, resulted in his getting a sentence of three years. An additional year was given him because he had forfeited his bond.
In the minds of the judge, prosecutor, jury and people generally, there seemed to be no question as to the guilt of Heskett and Stewart. One man, however, was not satisfied, although he held no other persons under suspicion. This was Colonel John Ferguson, counsel for the defense.
A Remarkable Coincidence.—About a year later Orange Pettay and Joseph Odell, of Sarahsville, Noble county, who had been spending money more freely than usual, made some remarks on a certain occasion that led to their arrest for the robbery of Jennie Archer. They were brought to Cambridge and tried for a crime for which two men were then paying the penalty at Columbus.
As in the former case, Judge Frazier was on the bench, and J. C. Steele was the prosecutor. This time, though, Colonel John Ferguson did not serve as counsel for the defense. The jury was composed of J. S. Riddle, John S. Wilkin, J. T. Oldham, James Hutchison, Solomon Hutton, John S. Clark, Charles H. Scott, George S. Nichols, James Bell, Lot P. Hosick, Dennison Tetrick and peter Longsworth.
When called to the stand, Odell confessed. He declared that Heskett and Stewart were innocent. He and Pettay went to Jennie’s house the night of the robbery, he said, and there occurred exactly what she told at the trials of the other men. They then rode together to the Cumberland road, thence to the forks where they separated, one going past Hesketts, the other past Stewart’s. This accounted for the tracks leading to the homes of the original suspects. A remarkable coincidence in the case was that the foot measurements of the Heskett and Stewart horses were the same as those of the horses Pettay and Odell rode; and more, too, shoes form the same feet were missing. Heskett and Stewart resembled Pettay and Odell in appearance. Odell shaved his beard on the day following the robbery.
Victims of Circumstances.—Heskett and Stewart were the victims of the most unfortunate circumstances in the court history of Guernsey county. They would probably have been convicted on circumstantial evidence alone. But to this was added the direct but mistaken evidence of a weak-minded old woman. She had not mingled enough with the outside world to make distinctions as to people. Nobody blamed her, the judge, the prosecutor or the jury.
Sentences of five and two years in the penitentiary were given Pettay and Odell, respectively. Petitions for the immediate release of Hesket and Stewart, signed by Judge Frazier, Prosecutor Steele and the members of the jury were forwarded to Governor Richard M. Bishop. It was a case of mistaken evidence.