Stories of Guernsey County by Wm. Wolfe Pages 1024-1036
WESTLAND township is five miles square. When set apart by the county commissioners on April 23, 1810, it was much larger than it is today, as it included all the western part of the newly formed county. ON Friday, June 10, 1810, an election was held and the first officers of the township were chosen.
First Settlers.—Traveling along Zane’s Trace, John Reasoner came into this western country from Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, in the year 1802, seeking a location for a home. He crossed Wills creek by ferry at the place where Cambridge now stands. There was one house at the ferry, the cabin occupied by Ezra Graham and George Beymer, whose business was to transport travelers across the stream. A few miles west of the ferry crossing, on the trail he had been following, he chose a site for a home. He returned to Pennsylvania for his family and the next year, July 4, 1803, he arrived as the first settler in what is now Westland township.
A short time after John Reasoner had located here, his father, Peter Reasoner, came with his four brothers—John, Solomon, Benjamin and William—thus forming a settlement of Reasoners, some of whose descendants are now living in the township.
John Reasoner was born in 1774. He married Elizabeth Wilson Thompson in 1798. When they came to Westland township, there were only six white women living within the boundaries of the present Guernsey county. Elizabeth Wilson Thompson Reasoner, the mother of eleven children, experienced some distress of mind because Mrs. Benjamin Reasoner was the mother of fifteen. This distress was mitigated somewhat by her taking into her home three or four children bereft of their mother.
Catherine, daughter of John and Elizabeth Wilson Thompson Reasoner, born March 25, 1805, was the first white child born in what is now Guernsey county. She married Thomas E. Conner and lived in the township all her life, dying at the age of eighty-four. Her body lies in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, just over the line in Muskingum county. Elizabeth Wilson Thompson Reasoner, who was buried in the same cemetery died at the age of eighty-three. Elizabeth Conner Morgan, daughter of Catherine Reasoner Conner, was ninety-two years of age at the time of her death in 1931. It is interesting to note that the lives of a mother an daughter spanned 126 years of Guernsey county history, and that the mother was the first child to be born in the county.
Isaac Grummond, born in New Jersey in 1775, married and came into what is now Westland township in 1804. Like John Reasoner he located on Zane’s Trace. He opened a tavern that was widely known as Grummond’s. Being a strong Whig, he made the tavern the headquarters for the local adherents of that party. Grummond served four terms of one year each in the state legislature, in 1819-20 and in 1822-23.
Zane’s Trace was cut through the forests of what is now Westland township in 1798. It entered the township a mile or two west of the present site of Cassell’s Station, crossing the National Road from the north, and continued its course along the valley of Crooked creek to the Muskingum county line.
Old Folks of 1876.—In 1876 there were nineteen persons living in Westland township, who were seventy-six or more years of age, persons born within or before the year 1800. They were mostly members of the pioneer families. Their names follow: J. Amspoker, Mary Barnett, Mr. Best, Ephraim Barnett, Thomas E. Conner, W. B. Crawford, Thomas J. Freeman, Susan Galloway, John Hammond, Joseph Kelley, James Lawrence, R. R. Moore, William B. Stewart, Mrs. Sterling, James Sterling, Elijah Wycoff, Mary Wycoff, Mrs. Wilson and Maria White.
Population.—The population of the township in 1820 was 576; in 1830, 802; in 1840, 1077; in 1850, 1126; in 1860, 1134; in 1870, 889; in 1880, 925; in 1890, 819; in 1900, 711; in 1910, 649; in 1920, 748; in 1930, 680.
Westland Towns.—Crossing the southern part of the township from east to west is a road known as the Clay pike, upon which there was much travel in early days. As a good dirt road it was much used by drovers taking stock to eastern markets, because the animals could travel it better than they could the stony National Road. Much tobacco and other farm products were hauled over the Clay pike.
Upon or near the Clay pike four towns were platted in Westland township, of which only one survives. The first was West Barnesville, laid out by Ford Barnes, a veteran of the War of 1812, on December 23, 1825. On the southeast and southwest quarters of section 22, William Hunter laid out a town which he called Paris, December 24, 1827. Hunter advertised the location of his town as being “twenty-one miles east of Zanesville and eleven miles west of Senecaville, where the McConnelsville and Cambridge road crosses the road leading from the Pleasant Hill meeting-house to Bay’s mill.” He offered free lots to a tanner, a tailor, a shoemaker, a cabinet-maker, a carpenter and a blacksmith, as inducements for them to locate there. What became of the town is not known; there is no Paris in Guernsey county today. West Boston, platted by Charles Phillis, on December 3, 1836, had thirty-six lots and a public square. Like West Barnesville and Paris, it passed away long ago.
Ford Barnes laid out Claysville on June 7, 1828. It soon became an active business center with stores, taverns, blacksmith shops, shoemaker shops and cabinet shops. Among the early merchants of the town were Colonel Johnston, John Perry, and R. F. and C. B. Burt. Joe Waller and William Wilson, who kept taverns, did a profitable business.
The first postmaster in Claysville was George O’Hara, appointed by President Andrew Jackson in 1830. The town still has a postoffice, although most of the unincorporated villages in the county receive their mail on rural routes.
Claysville was the center of a tobacco-growing region in early days, and the merchants engaged in the tobacco business as well as in buying hogs, cattle, sheep and horses, which were taken by drovers over the Clay Pike to eastern markets. The tobacco trade gave employment to coopers in making hogsheads.
The population of Claysville had reached 205 by 1850 Four years later the Central Ohio (Baltimore and Ohio) Railroad was built a few miles north of the town, affording a new means for transporting stock and tobacco. Drovers and wagoners became fewer on the Clay pike. Business slumped and Claysville began to decline. Its population in 1860 had dropped to 159; in 1870, to 118.
Physical Features.—While Westland township is hilly, the greater part is fit for cultivation, and much of the land is fertile. The northern and western parts are drained by Crooked creek and its tributaries; the southeastern, by Chapman’s run that empties into Wills creek between Cambridge and Byesville.
During the gas and oil boom of 1926, several wells that proved profitable were sunk in the township.
Early Days in Westland.—From a letter written in 1913 by Dr. Henry McCreary, of New Concord, the following account of early days in the northern part of Westland township and adjacent territory has been taken.
I was born May 8, 1836, and when four years of age I started to school in District No. 2, afterwards called Unity Hall and sometimes White’s district. The schoolhouse was of hewed logs with a large fireplace and outside chimney, puncheon floor and benches and desks made of slabs. Of the teachers I remember Oliver Wylie, Jemima Ewing, Elizabeth Hawk, Margaret Wilson, John Snodgrass, John C. Walker, Robert Miller, John B. Walker, William White and Bill Allison.
We did not always have uniformity of books. I remember reading alone in the Introduction to the English Reader, and that long-legged, good-natured Bill Allison would sit down and take me on his knee to read my lesson. One other fellow had to read in a class by himself. Hi book was Bunyan’s Holy War.
This was known as White’s schoolhouse from the fact that the three families nearest it all had the name White. Thomas White sent five children to the school, James White nine, and John White sixteen—eight boys and eight girls. The three families had thirty in the school. And children were not scarce in the other families. The old roll would show these names: Palmer, Linn, Thompson, Fox, Bennett, Fulton, Stout, Coulter, Redd, Glenn, Messer, Wilson, Barnett, Hodges and Boyd.
Over on Crooked creek near what is now Cassell’’s Station Judge Speer built a water mill to grind grain and saw lumber. Two miles up the creek was Grummond’s saw-mill, and two miles from this on a south branch was Hannan’s grist-mill. On a north branch near New Concord was David Arnold’s mill. There was also a horse mill near East Union church.
David Arnold had three nieces who lived with his family and successively taught school near Chestnut Knob. One of these, Eliza Ballou, married Abram Garfield and became the mother of James A. Garfield, President of the United States. Among the pupils enrolled in this school were Peter Reasoner, Alex McKinney, Dick Jones, John Smith and my mother, Sarah Mills.
Isaac Grummond represented Guernsey county for four terms in the state legislature. He would put some feed on his horse and ride to the capital to help make the laws of Ohio. Other officials of those days were Judge Speer and Judge Marshall, who left good names for their worthy and numerous descendants.
Soldiers of the War of 1812 were Samuel Boyd, John Dickson and James Forsythe. Neighbor boys who perished in the Civil War were Oliver and Harry White, Miller McKinney, Lieut. Henry Speer, Lieut. Thomas L. Walters and Capt. Thomas N. Hanson.
A Peculiar Rock Formation.—In 1878 a geological survey of Guernsey county was made by J. A. Boals, an expert geologist. While surveying in Westland township he was told of an old legend that was often repeated in that section in pioneer days—of a stratum of lead that had been worked by the Indians, but whose location had never been disclosed to the white men. According to the tradition it was believed to lie in the forest covered hills in the eastern part of the township. It is not know what basis there was for the belief, but the story persisted even to sixty years ago.
In his search for evidence of lead Mr. Boals explored the hills and hollows of the eastern part of the township, but he found none. He did, however, have his attention drawn to some partly finished millstones of a rock unlike any other he had seen in that section, and to an outcropping of the same kind of stone on the farm of T. H. Pyle. The stone resembled granite. It was granite, he believed, but how could there be granite in Guernsey county? Going farther, he found the same stone outcropping on the farm of Andrew Beresford, and again on that of William Craig.
Here was an unexpected discovery. Mr. Boals set to work immediately to analyze the rock and ascertain the extent of the stratum. He found it to resemble Tennessee granite, to be beautifully colored, and to be susceptible to a fine polish. After making a survey Mr. Boals announced that the block of granite, elliptical in form, lay in a north and south direction for a distance of our miles. Its width at the center was one-half mile and it tapered to one hundred feet at the north and south ends. Its thickness varied from four inches to twenty feet.
Overlying the block of granite, Mr. Boals reported, was a stratum of red sandstone. Surrounding the granite, which was believed to be of volcanic origin, was a layer of fossiliferous limestone formed of shells. This formation was from three to four feet thick, the blending of the two rocks produced a beautiful effect.
Announcement of the discovery caused much excitement, especially in Cambridge. It was pointed out by Mr. Boals that a fine grade of granite for buildings and monuments was right at hand. From the great abundance of it and its nearness to both the Baltimore and Ohio, and the Cleveland and Marietta Railroads, there could be sufficient exportation to insure a flow of wealth into the community. A development company composed of E. W. Mathews, R. M. Green, Dr. J. T. McPherson, J. A. Boals and John Kirkpatrick was formed. All the land under which the block of granite lay was leased and plans for opening quarries were made.
Many people were skeptical. They claimed that the rock was nothing more than a peculiar kind of limestone, and not an igneous formation. It’s hardness was due to a lack of lime, they claimed, and its colorings to deposits from water. The excitement subsided; there was no development of the Westland township granite. The rock—whatever it is—is still there. Perhaps a use for it may be found some day.
Owners of Real Estate in 1840.—Westland township farms were owned by the following persons a century ago (1840). The list that follows is complete, showing the name of every owner, the number of acres in his farm and the section in which it was located.
Arnold, David, 37 acres, lot 31; Allison, Thomas, 120 acres, sec. 11; Bryan, William, 4 acres, lot 1; Barnett, Ephraim, 160 acres, sec. 19; Bell, Walter, 27 acres, sec. 22; Boyd, Samuel (Heirs), 137 acres, sec. 8; Bennett, John, 160 acres, sec. 2; Barnett, George, 80 acres, sec. 20; Burt, David, 238 acres, lot 3 and sec. 2; Bay, Thomas, 29 acres, lot 4; Cowan, John, 100 acres, lot 12; Crawford, Robert, 80 acres, sec. 21; Carson, Ebenezer, 244 acres, lot 30; Craig, William, 80 acres, sec. 20; Crow, Alexander, 100 acres, lot 18; Conner, Thomas E., 114 acres, sec. 23; Conner, Joseph (Heirs), 75 acres, sec. 23;
Culbertson, James, 80 acres, lot 19; Conner, Robert, 100 acres, lot 21; Coulter, Elizabeth, 320 acres, sec. 21 and 22; Cherry, William, 40 acres, sec. 20; Coulter, David, 160 acres, sec. 10; Clodfelter, John, 40 acres, sec. 22; Carson, James M., 80 acres, sec. 19; Camp, Thomas, 82 acres, sec. 11.
Dennis, John, 134 acres, sec. 11 and 20; Dickson, John, 130 acres, lot 9; Dickson, Francis, 45 acres, lot 5; Forsythe, David, 240 acres, sec. 10; Fulton, Joseph 80 acres, sec. 10; Forsythe, James 100 acres, lot 13; Ferree, John, 160 acres, lot 10; Grummon, Isaac, 109 acres, sec. 3; Grummon, Ichabod, 39 acres, sec. 3; Galloway, Elijah, 161 acres, sec. 12; Glenn, Gabriel, 160 acres, sec. 12; Grier, John, 80 acres, sec. 10.
Hancock, John, 48 acres, lot 8; Hughes, Levi, 100 acres, lot 23; Hodges, Charles, 160 acres, sec. 13; Houseman, Johnson, 200 acres, lot 20; Hudson, Benjamin, 40 acres, sec. 11; Hanson, Thomas, 371 acres, lot 18; Jameson, Samuel, 120 acres, lot 10; Kelly, Joseph, 200 acres, lot 23; Looker, William, 108 acres, lot 1; Leaman, Nicholas, 60 acres, sec. 22; Linn, Samuel, 160 acres, sec. 1; Leeper, Samuel, 72 acres, sec. 3.
McCreary, Alexander, 113 acres, lot 26; McDonald, Archibald, 75 acres, lot 15; McGiffin, John, 86 acres, lots 13 and 18; McDonald, William, Jr., 200 acres, lot 25; Moorehead, Joseph, 80 acres, sec. 11; Moorehead, William, 97 acres, lot 7; Messer, Israel, 120 acres, sec. 9; Messer, Job, 40 acres, sec. 9; Moore, John, 100 acres, lot 2; Moore, James, 160 acres, sec. 18; Moore, Thomas, 127 acres, lot 3; Mills, William (Heirs), 140 acres, lot 17; McCreary, George, 97 acres, sec. 3; McKinney, John (Heirs), 153 acres, lot 34; McKinney, Mary, 42 acres, lot 33; McIlvaine, Andrew, 160 acres, sec. 19; Mills, David, 120 acres, lot 16; McKinney, Joseph, 167 acres, lot 29; Moss, Herbert, 41 acres, sec. 11; Marshall, Samuel, 150 acres, lot 15; Marshall, Robert, 256 acres, lot 24; Magee, Jackson, 83 acres, sec. 13; Myers, Margaret, 1 acres, lot 6; Moorehead, Cummins, 80 acres, sec. 11; McKinney, Matthew, 82 acres, lot 20.
Noble, William, 120 acres, sec. 20; Noble, Andrew, 40 acres, sec. 20; Noble, James, 100 acres, lot 16; Pollock, A., 244 acres, lot 8; Palmer, William, 160 acres, sec. 1; Pollock, Sarah, 87 acres, lot 7; Proudfit, Robert, 220 acres, lot 25; Proudfit, Andrew, 200 acres, lot 22; Proudfit, Patterson, 200 acres, lot 21; Patterson, John, 300 acres, lot 20; Patterson, Jeremiah (Heirs), 307 acres, lot 27; Phillis, Charles, 150 acres, sec. 23; quick, Jonathan, 108 acres, lot 6.
Reasoner, peter, 160 acres, sec. 12; Reasoner, Joseph, 160 acres, sec. 19; Robb, Samuel, 92 acres, lot 13; Rankin, John, 630 acres, lot 14; Reasoner, John C., 88 acres, lot 17; Reasoner, John, 192 acres, lot 32; Reasoner, Solomon, 162 acres, sec. 18; Reed, James, 80 acres, sec. 10; Robb, Joseph, 25 acres, lot 14; Stone, Lemuel, 180 acres, sec. 22; Spear, Robert (Heirs), 212 acres, lot 22; Spear, Thomas, 4 acres, lot 35; Steele, James, 160 acres, sec. 20; Stevens, William, 160 acres, sec. 21 and 22; Stout, James, 140 acres, sec. 2; Stevens, John, 80 acres, sec. 21; Smyth, John, 83 acres, sec. 13; Spencer, Nathan, 160 acres, sec. 21; Smith, William B., 2 acres, lot 2.
Toner, John, 160 acres, sec. 9; Thompson, John, 10 acres, sec. 1; Turner, James, 102 acres, sec. 11; Vandervort, John, 15 acres, lot 28; Wilson, Joshua, 315 acres, sec. 8 and 19; White, John, 323 acres, sec. 9 and 12; Wilson, David, 200 acres, lot 17; Whitaker, Reuben, 76 acres, lot 5; White, Thomas, 160 acres, sec. 9; White, James, 260 acres, sec. 2; Waller, William, 86 acres, sec. 20; Walker, Robert, 80 acres, sec. 22.
Owners of lots in Claysville were the following: Ford Barnes, Walter Bell, James Blackstone, William Bailey, Liston Burrows, John Brown, Alexander Cowan, Robert Erwin, Samuel Eckler, Benjamin Gay, Joshua Giffen, Joseph Kelly, Samuel McKee, William McCortle, Mark Matson, John Parkhill, Sarah Pollock, Isaac Wilson, J. Waller, H. Wilson and Robert Walker.
The owners of lots in West Boston were Cyrus Burt, Abraham Cooper, Robert Campbell, James Campbell, John Dennis, Samuel Fulton, William Hessen, Edward Jones, James Lamon, William Looker, Rezin Messer, Thomas Moorehead, John McCullough, Thomas McDonald, Charles Phillis, John Pollock, Joseph Pollock, John Richey, Elisha Smith, Peter Smith, Arron Teele, Joseph Waller and Samuel Waller.
First Church Service in Guernsey County
On a Sunday afternoon in the summer of 1804 a group of eight persons—five men and three women—assembled beneath a beech tree below the cabin of John Reasoner in the western part of what is now Westland township, for religious worship. One member of the little congregation was Rev. Arbuthnot, a Presbyterian preacher. The others were John Reasoner and wife, John McKinney and wife, a Mr. Murphy and wife, and a boy whose name was Robert Thompson. This, it is believed, was the first religious service ever held in Guernsey county.
A Presbyterian Service.—On July 4, 1803, John Reasoner, coming from Pennsylvania with his family, established a home on Zane’s Trace, a short distance east of the present site of New Concord. His was the fifth family to settle between Cambridge and Zanesville. When John Reasoner came here there were only six women living in what is now Guernsey county. He had married the widow Thompson who was formerly Elizabeth Wilson. Robert Thompson, who was present at the first religious service, was her son.
Within the year following the arrival of John Reasoner he had two or three other families as neighbors. Nothing is known about Rev. Arbuthnot other than that he conducted this first service. Traveling through on Zane’s Trace, he may have been invited to stay over Sunday and preach to the settlers. Harry Reasoner, great-grandson of John Reasoner, who is now living near the home of his pioneer ancestor, has a record of the meeting held beneath the beech tree. According to it the persons names here “communed.” Before coming here John Reasoner was active in the work of the Presbyterian church and he so continued throughout his life.
The Pleasant Hill Church.—For several months this little group of pioneers continued to hold their meetings near or within the home of John Reasoner; then they changed their place of worship to a hill south of the present New Concord. Here they met in a tent erected under trees below a spring. In 1807 they built a church which they called Pleasant Hill and near it they laid out a burial ground. The church was afterwards removed to New Concord. The Pleasant Hill cemetery, widely known today, is the last resting place of many pioneers. It is in Muskingum county just over the line from Guernsey.
When John Reasoner settled on his half section of land in 1803, it was in Washington county which then embraced all Southeastern Ohio. The year after his family arrived, Muskingum was formed and he thus found his land in a county different from that in which it had been purchased. Six years later land was taken from Muskingum to help form Guernsey county, and John Reasoner without moving became a resident of the latter.
The Old Burial Ground.—According to a Reasoner tradition the oldest burial ground in Guernsey county lies a few rods south of the National road at the Best hill. It had its beginning in an unusually sad way. A short time after the arrival of John Reasoner a family westward bound passed through on Zane’s Trace. This thoroughfare crossed the hill south of the present National Road. As the family wagon jolted along over the rough ground, the baby fell out and was killed. It was buried in the forest by the side of the trail. The family, whose name has not been preserved, moved on.
Near the little grave the bodies of others who later died were laid. For many years it was the community burial ground. It was abandoned many years ago, and like many others of its kind it has been neglected. (Our claim that this is the oldest white burial ground in Guernsey county is based upon tradition only. The Reasoners believed it to be the first, as it was established when very few settlers were living in the county.)
“My boy, carry a low head, and you will save many a hard knock.” Dr. Benjamin Franklin said this to Isaac Grummond, a fourteen-year-old boy who afterwards became one of the earliest settlers of Guernsey county and one of its most prominent citizens in pioneer days. Isaac Grummond always took great pleasure in telling about his meeting Dr. Franklin and the occasion for his receiving such advice from the venerable statesman and philosopher.
Employed to Carry Mail.—Isaac Grummond was born in New Jersey, October 1, 1775. Ichabod Grummond, his father, was awarded a contract for carrying mail between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, a distance of more than 300 miles. It was thought the influence of Dr. Franklin, of whom Grummond was a close friend, that the contract was awarded him. While there were many settlements between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh at that time, much of the mail route lay through a dense forest and over mountains that were inhabited by Indians and wild beasts.
When Ichabod Grummond told Dr. Franklin that Isaac, his son, would serve as a carrier, Dr. Franklin hesitated to endorse him, on the ground that it was a work too strenuous and dangerous for a boy so young. The father pleaded for Isaac, maintaining that he had a strong body, an intrepid will and a brave heart. Dr. Franklin then consented. Laying his hand on Isaac’s head, he gave him a benediction and the advice quoted above.
Four weeks were required to make a round trip on the mail route. It was frequently necessary for him to spend the night in the forest, with no living creatures near except his horse, and howling wolves which he would frighten away by keeping a fire burning. Some of the stations at which he left or collected mail were nothing more than deep notches cut in large trees. His coming into a settlement was hailed with delight, as he brought news from places far away.
Comes to Guernsey County.—The land west of the Ohio River having been opened for settlement, Isaac Grummond came to what is now Guernsey county. From one record it would seem that he came here in 1801; from another, in 1804 or 1806; but this does not matter. His was one of the first families to settle in the county, west of Cambridge. His journey here was made in an ox-cart whose wheels were solid cross-sections of a white-0ak tree. He entered land on Zane’s trace, five miles west of the Wills creek crossing, in what is now the north-central part of Westland township. Here he built a tavern, perhaps the first between Cambridge and Zanesville.
Isaac Grummond was a true pioneer. Possessed of the qualities outlined by his father in his conversation with Dr. Franklin, and the power of endurance developed by his work as a mail-carrier, he was fitted to cope with the hardships of the early setter. East of him was the family of Stewart Speer; west of him that of John Reasoner. In the pioneer days of Guernsey county the names of these three men stood high in the list of useful citizens.
The opening of a saw-mill on Crooked creek was one of the first services rendered the community by Grummond. He was chosen a justice of the peace of Westland township which then included much of what is now Adams. As a Whig, he became prominent in politics. Before the days of that party he had been elected four times to represent Guernsey county in the General Assembley.
A Noted Tavern.—Among the many taverns that sprang up along Zane’s Trace, and later along the National Road, Grummond’s was one of the best known in this section. Not a small part of its popularity was due to the personality and prominence of its proprietor. During his four terms in the state legislature he made the acquaintance of many politicians and statesmen, who in traveling through, would stay over night at Grummond’s. The tavern was the Whig political headquarters of that section.
When the National Road was built, crossing Zane’s Trace below the tavern, Grummond changed its location to the new highway. The site of the second tavern was on the south side of the road, a few rods east of the east foot of the Best hill. Here was a small settlement known as Grummond’s.
Isaac Grummond died on May 30, 1845. His body lies in an old cemetery near the site of the tavern. So far as is known, no descendants of Isaac Grummond are living in that community today.
A Refuge for Fugitive Slaves.—After Isaac Grummond’s death his son, who was an ardent abolitionist, kept the tavern. A visitor there in 1855 related an interesting experience. He had come through from Indiana where he had met a Southerner who was searching for seven fugitive slaves. The slave-hunter told him how severely the negroes would be punished if he could lay his hands upon them. His talk so disgusted the traveler that he was glad when their ways parted.
Some days later the traveler arrived at the Grummond tavern. It was late in the evening. He found the Grummond family much excited and somewhat embarrassed. He was finally told that their tavern was one of the stations on what was called the Underground Railroad. They said they were expecting some fugitive slaves that night, and , assured of his sympathy, they requested him to manifest no special interest in what might happen.
At five minutes before eleven o’clock the door opened and seven negroes entered. First came a very large black woman, then five children, then a tall, fine looking negro. They were immediately seated at a table where they partook of a meal in silence. Grummond’s son took up a lantern and nodded to the visitor who followed him to the stable. Within was a spirited black team of horses already hitched to a large covered wagon. .The curtain in front had been lowered, leaving only a small opening through which the driver might see. On the driver’s seat was a box containing pistols and knives. In a few minutes the seven negroes were conducted to the stable. They entered the conveyance. Not a word was spoken. Having taken his place on the driver’s seat, young Grummond gave a low whistle. The door flew open—automatically, it seemed--, the covered wagon passed out and was gone.
The next morning the visitor noticed that the horses and wagon were in the stable and that young Grummond was at his work as usual. He did not ask and was not told what direction the fugitives were taken or how far; neither was he told when young Gummmond returned. He was impressed with the secrecy surrounding the affair. The Fugitive Slave Law was then in effect. Large rewards were offered any one who would report persons aiding slaves to escape.
The visitor remained at Grummond’s for a few days. On the third day after the slaves had been taken away two men on horseback, accompanied by a dog, rode up to the tavern and ordered dinner and horse feed. One of the men was the slavehunter whom the visitor had met in Indiana. He was still hunting for the seven slaves who had escaped. He had learned at Barnesville, he said, that they had struck the Underground Railroad. He declared with an oath that he would get them before they were smuggled into Canada.
The Guernsey County Meteor
Meteorites Fell in Valley and Westland Townships.—A meteoritic shower that disturbed all Southeastern Ohio occurred in the western part of Guernsey county shortly after noon on Tuesday, May 1, 1860. The day was cool and the sky was covered with light clouds. The sound attending the fall of the stones was very loud and lasted about two minutes. It was as if a number of cannons had been discharged, followed by volleys of musketry. The detonations were heard over an area having an estimated diameter of 150 miles. Windows of houses in Cambridge and as far away as Woodsfield were caused to rattle. Fire alarms were sounded at Washington and Barnesville.
According to an article published in Silliman’s Journal of Science (July, 1860) the meteor which threw off the fragments had a diameter of five eights of a mile. Traveling at a speed of four miles a second, at a height of about forty miles above the surface of the earth, it crossed Washington county, Noble county and Western Guernsey county, and disappeared in the northwest.
As the explosion occurred while the meteor was passing over Guernsey county, it was here that the meteorites fell. The region upon which they fell was about ten miles long and from two to three miles wide, extending in a northwestern direction from a little west of Pleasant City in Valley township to the northwestern part of Westland township. The meteorites that fell in the southeastern part of the region were small; those that fell in the north-western part were large.
Piece Weighed 103 Pounds.—The largest stone weighed 103 pounds; it is now preserved in the cabinet of Marietta College Claim is made that it is the largest meteorite existing in an unbroken mass, in any cabinet in the world. A piece of the Guernsey county meteor is preserved in the cabinet of Yale University.
Harper’s Magazine for June, 1868, contained an article about the remarkable meteorites that fell in Guernsey county, written by Prof. Elias Loomis, of Yale University. The article stated that about thirty stones were picked up, whose combined weight was approximately 700 pounds. The fragments were irregular blocks covered with a thin black crust, giving them the appearance of having been fused.
A piece that fell on the Lawrence farm, between the national Road and the railroad, in Westland township, weighed fifty-six pounds; one on the Amspoker farm, fifty-two pounds; on the Torrence farm, forty-one pounds; on the Reasoner farm, thirty-six pounds; on the Phillis farm, twenty-three pounds; on the Adair farm, sixteen pounds; on the Hodges farm, twenty- three pounds. Smaller pieces fell on the Craig, Waller, Stevens, Wall, Heskett, Snaveley and Carter farms in Westland and Valley townships. One stone weighing about there pounds fell in Claysville. The ones found were seen to fall. Many, no doubt, were never discovered and they struck the earth with such force as to bury themselves as deep as two feet beneath the surface.
Theories of Origin.—Several theories have been advanced as to the origin of meteorites. A theory once maintained was that they were the products of volcanoes upon either the earth or the moon, but their great velocity would indicate that they come out of the depth of space and not from bodies so near. Another was that they may have been shot out long ago from now extinct volcanoes on the moon or some other heavenly body with a velocity that made little planets of them. Since that time they have been traveling around the sun in independent orbits of their own. Occasionally their paths cross that of the earth with the resulting collisions.
The light and heat of a meteorite are due to the friction and resistance of the air when its path carries it into the neighborhood of the earth. Its crust is formed by the melting of the surface in its flight through the air. Analyses of meteorites show them to contain many of the elements possessed by the earth, but no new ones have been found in them. However, they invariably show new combinations, one of which is a substance formed of iron, nickel and phosphorus, never found anywhere excepting in meteorites. By means of this peculiar composition a meteorite can be easily identified.
One of Most Remarkable in History.—Since 1800 about 250 meteorites or meteoritic showers have been known to reach the earth. Between twenty-five and thirty of these fell within the United States. In Young’s Astronomy the following five are named as the most remarkable: Weston, Connecticut, 1n 1807; Guernsey county, Ohio, in 1860; Amana, Iowa, in 1875; Emmett county, Iowa, in 1879; and Johnson county, Arkansas, in 1886.
The Guernsey county meteor attracted nation-wide interest. Scientists and newspaper men came here for first-hand information regarding the remarkable phenomenon. Aside from the two stones here mentioned as being preserved in cabinets, what has become of the many that fell? Are there any in Guernsey county?