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Early History 29 Nov 1894
November 29, 1894 Page 1
As Related by the Venerable James Gibson, of Kimbolton.
We paid a visit to James Gibson, of Liberty, Guernsey county Nov. 16th 1894, now ninety years old, his birthday being Nov. 15th. We found the old couple living by themselves, cheerful and happy, Mrs. Gibson being eleven years the junior, born in 1815. The old gentleman introduced me to a very nice rocking chair that was presented to him at a meeting last summer at Newcomerstown, he being the second oldest man on the platform. We made known to him the object of our visit, and he and his wife seated before a glowing fire in their rocking chairs, began to detail their life histories. “To my question as to ages, the old family Bible, was brought and laid on the table before me. This Bible was “the book” of the venerable James Gibson’s grandfather, and was brought from Ireland to Pennsylvania more than two hundred years ago. In it was the ages of the children of William Gibson and Nancy Larrison, his wife, written in a very legible hand. The book is preserved with great care, being carefully wraped up and kept in a secure place. They were both born in Washington county, Pa. and died at Liberty Guernsey county. He at the age of 76 years and she at 98 years. William Gibson made a journey on horse back from Newelston, Belmont county, Ohio, in 1806, to enter the two quarter sections of land, which was to be the future home of himself and family. He had with him his gun for self protection. He returned to Newelstown with all the deer saddles and hides his horse could carry. They being killed and dressed on the way back. Of the family, John, Martha ,William, Henry, James and George were born in Belmont county, Ohio. George being the baby on the mother’s lap, at the time of the land journey, in the early spring of 1807, from Newelstown, now St. Clairsville, to Cambridge, over the old Wheeling road, in a wagon. This occupied several days. Our venerable friend being but three years old recollects but little of its incidents except their arrival at Cambridge. To my question who did you find at Cambridge? He answered, the Beattys, George R. Tingle, “Tommy” Sarchet, Judge Metcalf and somebody at the cabins at the crossing of Wills creek. Two canoes were got at Cambridge and were lashed together, and on these were placed the household goods, and we poled down the creek. The cattle and horses were taken through the woods near the creek. My mother rode one of the horses and carried George. Communication with each other was kept up by hellowing from one to the other, and I think they had a dinner horn that they blew. Father had chosen the site for our home, and we landed at the stake on the bank of the creek.
To those of the children old enough this wilderness at the place of our landing did not look very inviting. The nettles, pea vines and horse weeds were higher that a man’s head. But it was our chosen home then and for the future it was warm and pleasant, and by cutting out the underbrush and tramping down the weeds and vines we soon had a comfortable place beneath the shade of the spreading branches of the elms in a forest in which the click of the pioneer’s axe had not yet been heard.
A tent was made out of elm bark which was peeled as long as the tent. These were flationed out and weighted down and when they were pup up they were as sleek and (unreadable) soy pl????? board you ever saw, we (next lines unreadable) Joseph Bell, who lived further down the creek called to see us one day, and he said to mother, “Mrs. Gibson you will all freeze here this winter.” But we did’nt. We huddled together and were as warm as kittens. The next spring a cabin was built 16 x 18, with a loft above, the floors being of puncheous split and dressed with an axe, the chimney would take in a five foot back log, and a longer log for a fore stick. These we rolled in on rollers We could make a roaring fire.
To my inquiry about Indians, he said there was nobody else around but Indians. Old Douty had a camp down the creek below us, in a prairie, where these grew what the Indians called wild potatoes. These they dug up and ate. I have eaten them and they were good and sweet. Old Douty frequently came to our cabin. I was afraid of him and would hide under the bed. The Indians never disturbed us only for something to eat. They like mush and milk. There was plenty of wild game then, I have seen from 25 to 30 deer in a gang. They would come and jump over the fence into the wheat field. They always followed one another and would jump over at the same place. We would drive stakes in the ground and sharpen the ends and some of them would get caught on the stakes, I have taken my gun when I went out to plow and gone over to the lick, where they came to drink and shot many of them. I have gathered up buck horns in the woods by the arm loads and have boiled them into the best of glue.
Wild hogs were so plenty that it was not safe to go into the woods with a dog. They would make for the dog and the dog for us, and you would have to climb a tree for safety. Every night we would hear the wolves houling around the cabin. We had to keep our few sheep in a pen near the cabin. Fish were plenty in Wills creek. We had a fish basket down on the ripple fixed so as to catch them coming or going. We used to catch a wagon load some nights. These we took to Cambridge and Washington and sold them all. I have seen my father with a fish on a pole over his shoulder and its tail drug on the ground. The fish were pike, cat fish, perch and suckers. Wild turkeys came in droves into the cornfield.
We would shoot them and catch them in rail pens diging a trench under and sprinkling corn along for a trail. They would go in with their heads down and when they were in they would try to get out by looking up and so we had them. Bears were plenty. I mind one that had a nest in a hollow dead tree. This was cut down and when it fell it bursted open and out bounced Mr. Bear. This was the fattest bear I ever saw. The fat on it was as deep as your hand. Bear meat was sweet-the best meat I ever eat. The first corn we raised was on a piece of ground on government land adjoining ours. I have put in days pounding hominy in a hominy block, and in grinding corn in a band mill for meal. We lived well then with all the wild game we wanted and mush and hominy. The first corn we had ground at a mill was at the old Gomber mill at Cambridge. The first flour we had my father took the wheat to a mill near Uhrichsville, and the next to Coshocton. We reaped all our wheat. I was a good reaper and never came across a man that could get ahead of me. We thrashed with a ?ail and cleaned with a sheet. Elizabeth, Mary, Lucinda, Abel, Thomas and Hiram were born in the cabin on the old farm.
We raised our flax. It had to be pulled and then hackled to get out the seed, then laid out on the grass to rot so as to be broke and scratched. Flax pullings and breakings and scatchings were great frolics and at night came the dance. All the young folks for miles around would turn out to these frolics. The wool off of the sheeps, back, my mother carded by hand, and spun the rolls. The flax was spun into thread and wove into fine linen for shirts and dresses, and the coarser into tow-linen and into sacks for grain. We were dressed in tow-linen and linsey woolsey and all the men and boys wore waumases, they were either red or blue. My mother was a spiner and a weaver. She made all our clothing, all home made. She and the girls had Sunday calico dresses, laid away for big occasions. There were two Sigman girls from about Cambridge, that my mother hired to come time about to spin. They spun for sixty-two and a half cents per week; a dozen being a day’s work.
“O leeze me on my spining wheel,
O leeze me on my rock and reel;
Frae tap to tae that cleeds me bien,
And haps me tle’l and warm at e’en,
I’ll set me down and sing and spin,
While laigh descends the summer sun,
Blest wi content and milk and meal,
O lense me on my spinning wheel.” S.
December 6, 1894 Page 1
As Related by the Venerable James Gibson, of Kimbolton.
Our land on both sides of Wills creek. We kept a canoe for crossing and sometimes used a flat boat. Wills creek was not then like it is now filled with old logs and brush and sandbars. It was lined on each side with large trees and the limbs almost later lapped so as to exclude the sun in summer. It contained more water and it was clear and pure. I could paddle a canoe just where I pleased. I have ferried people over the creek when it was from hill to hill. My father and brother John were both drafter in the war of ‘12. They furnished substitute, paying one $80 and the other $60. Their names were Josish Keere. and Samuel Vance. They went in Capt, C. P. Beatty’s company and both came back again.
My brother John was the first of our family to marry. He married Hannah Douglas. They lived three or four miles further down the creek. They were married by Esquite Mulvaue from over on the Tuscarawas. There was a big infare at our house. I mind it well, I was twelve years old. It was on a Thursday between Christmas and New Year 1816. Wills creek was frozen over hard enough to bear a four horse team. The folks began to come to our house along in the afternoon all on horseback. They came up the creek and down the creek on the ice, and through the woods. They all seemed to come about the same time. They formed in a circle on the creek on their horses, and my father and mother were inside the circle with the jug of whiskey, and they all took a drink women and men. That was the way John and his bride were greeted at home. There were the Douglases, Bells, Phillips, Mitchells, Leepers, Hedges, Newells, Hosicks and more that I don’t remember. There were more than forty of them. They rode up to the cabin and got off. The horses were tied around in pens and to trees and fed in sugar troughs. We had a big supper; three or four tables. When supper was over, the cabin was cleared of everything but a chair in one corner for the fiddler. Old George Phillips was the fiddler. He played a new tune called “The Mississippi.” They danced the Virginia reel, and chase the fox, and while one floor was a dancing, the rest were standing around the wall waiting for the next turn. They danced all night; there was no room for anything else. About the break of day they all went home.
My father got a carpenter to come and fix a pair of stairs to get into the loft. Before this we had gone up on a ladder. To my question, had you a still house? He answered: yes, I remember when my father and I with two horses and some gears, went to St. Clairsville after the stills. We made two drags out of poles, and drug them home. The whiskey we made was good, if I had some of it I would drink it now. This poison stuff they have now I never touch. To my question about cabins, he said, cabins and hewn-log houses, barns and stables were raised in a day. I have seen more than forty men at these raisings, the whole neighborhood would turn out and this would continue for days at a time. All would volunteer labor. They thought
“They were all good enough,
Carpenters and Masons,
To lend a helping hand
At a log cabin raisen.”
My father gave John sixty acres of land over the creek, now the lower end of Liberty. John laid out some lots and they called the town Liberty. I don’t know why. John built a big house on the high bank at the creek and kept a tavern and kept some horses for the improvement of the breed. One of these was called “The True American” and the other “Gray Expedition. S.
When Naphtall Luccock came to Liberty in 1830-31; he called the postoffice, Kimbolton, after the town he came from in England. To my question you left home when you were young, he answered yes, I wanted to get more schooling than I could get here. I went to school here to Robert Forsythe, but I had to stay out and work so much that I didn’t learn much. I thought I would go to Virginia where I could learn more. I went in there along with a Francis Scott and his sister. We had one horse, the girl rode the horse and we walked. The first night we got to Cadiz, and the next to the Ohio river, at the mouth of buffalo creek. I went to school to a Dr. Smith in a school house that was near what was called the “cross roads tavern” In Brooks county, Va. I soon learned to read and write well and thought I could figure as good as anybody. Dr. Smith wanted me to get a school and begin to study medicine with him and be a doctor. I wrote to my father about it, and told him if he thought I ought to do it, to send me a young horse that I called mine. He came on to Virginia, and we talked it over, and he thought I had better come back home, to the farm. So I came back and went to work grubbing and deadening the timber and making rails. We burnt up a mighty sight of good timber that would be worth money now. Father got Andy Marshall to come down from Cambridge and built him a bigger house. I worked some at the carpenter trade, and worked with Old “Bill” Chambers, he had worked for Wernwagg the contractor who built the bridge at Cambridge over Wills creek, on the National road. Wernwagg wanted Chambers to go with him and help on a bridge that he was building at Frederick City, Maryland and Chambers wanted me to go along. We went on horseback and was fourteen days on the road. We passed through what was called the “Shades of Death” in the mountains. It was so dark that we could hardly see our horses. We went from Frederick, to work on a bridge, which Wernwagg was building over the Susqttehanna river, at Port Deposite, Maryland. This bridge was a mile and a quarter long. We remarked that Wernwagg, was a son-in-law of Judge Metcalf. He said yes I know that, I have been at their house many a time. She was a nice woman from Port Deposits I went to Washington city to look around. It was a business place then, boats going and coming on the Potomac river. I went to see General Jackson; he was the President then. I got back to Wheeling and there came across a man, who said there was plenty of work for carpenters in South America. Three others and myself concluded we go. We got on a flat boat going down the Ohio river. We overtook a steamboat that was grounded on a sandbar. We got a skill to take us to the boat. The captain said they would soon be off, and we bargained with him to take us to Cincinnati, for seven dollars a piece. At Cincinnatti we gave up the South American trip. We thought we could find work there but there was no work, hundreds of carpenters were idle. Old Andy Jackson had just vetoed the United States Bank bill. The cholera was beginning to be plenty on the river below, and I thought I had better got back home. I got up to Wheeling and footed it out to Liberty, that was in 1882. In 1888, I was married to Matilda Morrison, she lived in Virginia. She was out to this country on a visit and I went up to Cambridge and got the license from “Mose” Sarchet, he was Clerk and Squire David Hunt married us. We said you have lived together sixty-one years. They looked at each other and he said, a long time, but it seems short.
December 13, 1894 Page 6
As Related by the Venerable James Gibson, of Kimbolton
We began to keep house in a shanty at the upper end of Liberty. We soon got a cabin that was better. Old John Duffey took the other. He was a blacksmith, and we wanted a blacksmith to upset our area and mattocks and do all kinds of blacksmith work. I went to keeping school and kept school here in Liberty. Some of the boys from over the creek began to run off and stay about the creek hunting crawfish and mussels. I found it out and brought them up and gave them a good tannen. They went home and told their folks, I had whipped them. The next day their fathers rode up to the school house and called me to the door, and said they had come to give me a tannen for whipping their boys. I replied, what color are you going to tan me. If you have any business out there you can attend to it, but if you come in this school house I will do the tannen. There was no tannen done. I think a good tannen never hurt a boy when he needed one.
I kept a tavern for a few years. Times were better, the canal was built and farmers go more money for their produce, but at that time I could buy all the oats I wanted for 10 cents a bushel and wheat at 20 cents a bushel. I mind when Liberty township was formed in 1820. The first election was held at my father’s house. Before that we were in Wheeling township and went down to old George Phillips to vote. My father died in 1840. He willed me the old farm over the creek. I was to pay the heirs a certain sum of money each and keep my mother as long as she lived. She lived twenty-two years after his death. I moved the arm in 1849 and kept my mother and paid the heirs every cent. My father planted an orchard. Some of the old trees are living yet. The big orchard there now I planted, getting the trees from a New York nursery. I left the farm in 1876 and built this tavern stand and kept tavern until a year or so ago. I thought I was too old and rented it. I want to sell it. If you hear of anyone wanting to buy send him down to me. We had eleven of a family, eight boys and three girls. Four boys and three girls are living. We have eleven grand children and six great grand children. Three of the boys went to the army during the war of the rebellion. I cast my first vote for President for Hen-Clay in 1828. I was a Whig and latter a Republican. There used to be some high times here in politics. The Whigs would stop at my tavern and the Democrats with Josse O. Piper. Dr. Milligan kept a tavern here, and so did Jesse Smith. Davy Hunt and Seneca Needham built the Liberty Mill. Sececa Needham lived here before he went to Cambridge. The first preacher about here was a Rev. Patterson, he preached over bout Hossick, I think he was a Seceder or a Covenater. After Naphtaile Luccock came the Methodists began to preach here at Liberty.
Mrs. Gibson being the junior, was able to correct in names and dates and was much interested, and took part to the general detail of their long life at Liberty. It was now train time and we said you have a favorite huntsman’s song “My dog and my gun,” give me a verse, but he could not repeat a verse. They looked about a long time to find the song, but couldn’t find it. He said when I find it, I will be coming up to Cambridge one of these days and will bring it up and leave it for you at Charley Madison’s or at your brother John’s music store. While we were waiting at the station he came down with an ear of corn in each hand, and said to us, take these. This is a very early kind of corn. Here is exemplified a trait of pioneer life. What one, had he was ready to bestow a part to his neighbor. We had said to him, looking back over your life, how did the people of early days compare with the people of this day? He answered I must say that the people of today are not as friendly and ready to help one another. They are more selfish-every fellow looking out for himself. On the train we mused this way. Here is a man within whose memory every President of the Untied States, but three have entered upon the executive duties as the head of this nation. All the presidents that have died, but one, have passed away during his life. The great West, North-West and South have been peopled and cut u into 26 states. What a life time these ninety years have been, from the wilderness waste, to the enlightenment and advancement of this day. We cannot more fittingly close this history than to give a part of the peroration, of the late General William H. Gibson, who was of this same family and a distant relative of James Gibson, in an address to the G. A. R’s in Hammond’s Opera house in Cambridge several years ago which is but a recital of the wonderous growth of the life time of this pioneer of the wilderness from 1807 to 1894.
“O America! One hundred and fifty thousand miles of railroads. America gave the world the steamboat that covers every sea and floats on every river America, that snatched the lightnings from the clouds and chained them to the electric wire. America, that girdles the globe with a wire, and makes it tremble with the burdens of passing thought. O America! Land of the noble free, land consecrated to the work of liberty, humanity, science, art and commerce I hail thee today, America, first born of freedom, thou hast lighted the world through the burden of war, the conflict of parties, the crash of cannon and hast achieved a triumph for liberty and justice.” S.
Thursday, January 12, 1905 Page 3
Interesting Scraps of Personal and Political Affairs
Contrast Between Then and Now.
James Bradley was an early wagoner and stage driver on the east end of the old pike. He drifted west with the stone bridge building firm of Kinkcade and Beck to Cambridge. He married a daughter of Tom. Lawrence’s, who was a Revolutionary soldier and who lies buried in the old Cambridge cemetery.
Before the completion of the pike, he drove one of the stage wagons on the old Wheeling road west from Cambridge to Zanesville. After the pike was completed to Cambridge in 1828 he began to drive stages on it. Then he began to wagon, first for James. B. Moore, father of R. B. of this city, and in 1834 he began as a wagoner for Moses Sarchet, making regular trips with a six horse team, to Baltimore and later to Cumberland, Md.- after the B. & O. railroad had been opened that far west.
This wagoning continued summer and winter for fifteen years. He drove one team of six large greys. The two leaders were well matched. These two horses were sold in 1837 to be used as a team on the street car line from Baltimore west to Ellicott’s mills, thirteen miles. The “Niles Register” of May, 1830, says that the Baltimore and Ohio railroad will be traveled in wagons thirteen miles to Ellicott’s Mills, at the rate of ten miles an hour. Tens of thousands of people will embrace the opportunity of seeing the noblest work yet attempted in the United States. Traveling twenty-six miles in two and a half hours. This was the beginning of the B. & O. system of today. These horse wagons were only used at first for mails and passengers in connection with the stage coaches.
This story about James Bradley, was told to the writer by William Sheets, of Fairfield, Iowa. It is also given in the “Old Pike” and we reproduce what it gives: “The wife of William Sheets was Sarah Wiggins, of Fayette county, Pa, She was an attractive girl and had many suitors. One of her lovers was a man named Bradley, an employee of the Kinkcade and Beck bridge building firm. She gave her hand to Bradley and consented to become his wife, and went so far as to appear upon the floor with Bradley to have the knot tied by the renowned old Baptist parson, Rev. William Brownfield. The relatives and friends of Miss Sarah were stoutly opposed to her alliance with Bradley and a moment before the old Baptist parson began the ceremony Col. Wiggins, an uncle of the would-be bride, appeared on the scene and carried Miss Wiggins from the floor, thus abruptly terminating the pending nuptials to the great astonishment of those in attendance, and caused much town gossip. This unusual incident happened in a house in Uniontown, Pa. The fair Sarah in a short, time thereafter. forgetting her affection for Bradley, became the wife of William Sheets.”
When William Sheets told substantially this same story to the writer, we told him that Bradley was then living In Guernsey county. Ohio, that he had driven my father’s team on the old pike for many years. And that we bad often heard him say to “Polly,” his wife, that she was his second wife, and now your story explains it.
Col, Seneca Needham was a tavern keeper and wagoner at Cambridge. His large tavern, “The Globe Inn,” was located on the site of the present Hoge— Orme block on East Wheeling avenue. On a vacant lot east of the tavern was a large wagon yard and on the south end of the lot was a large frame stable. It was a noted wagon stand and the principal one in Cambridge of that day. All the other taverns were stage offices. For some reason the old wagoners did not like to stop at the stage offices and there were very few of the stage offices that were noted wagon stands.
Col. Needham was an officer of the militia, and when mounted on his horse, fully caparisoned and he in full military dress, surmounted with a three cocked hat, with a tail cockade, seemed to be looking for the man that struck “Billy Patterson.” He the keeper of the first brick jail the county in 1837—38. In the Guernsey Times, edited by John
Hersh, there is this local, May 13th, 1831: “The road wagon of Seneca Needham was robbed in the night, at Fairview. A quantity of store goods belonging to Joseph Bute was taken, also some goods belonging to Jas. Wright.” It seems a little strange that the first robbery on the old pike then just opened for traffic west through Guernsey county, was in the now historic “Pennyroyal.”
Pete Fry was a wagoner on the old pike. He lived at what was then known as “Fry’s Mill,” located on Salt Fork creek, on the road from Washington to Antrim. He was one of the fancy wagoners and drove a five horse “bell team.” The reader of today, who never saw the almost endless string of road wagons on the old pike east and west, may have the impression that the bells used by some of the old wagoners were like the sleigh bells of this day. But that was not the kind, These bells were cone shaped with an open end, of the style of small dinner bells, and were fastened to a thin iron arch sprung over the top of the harnes. There was usually a chime of thirteen bells to each arch, a large bell in the center and the six on each side, gradually lessening. Some of the arches were trimmed with fustion,. In red, white and blue. The motion of the horses caused a quiver in the arch as the teams moved proudly along. It was said that bells made the horse proud, jingling, jingling as they went.
John Randolph called the officers and soldiers that strutted around the Capital at Washington City “ragamuffins.” That was intended to mean a lazy set. Now we have a new version not only of the soldiers but of “Uncle Sam” found in an old almanac published in Lexington, Ky., in 1814. It states that in 1807 there was authorized by law, the raising of a regiment, of “light dragoons.” When the first company appeared their caps bore the letters U. S. L. D., signifying United States Light Dragoons.” A country man seeing the company on dress parade asked a bystander what the letters stand for. “Why was the answer , that means Uncle Sam’s Lazy Dogs.” But that could not be said of Peter Fry’s bell team. It was said that he hauled the biggest load ever brought from Baltimore to Wheeling with five horses over the old pike.
Peter Fry was a son of a noted tavern keeper on the east end of the old pike. Matthias Fry, at Hopwood, on Laurel Hill, known as the “Turkey ‘s Nest.” This name is supposed to be given from finding at that point a wild turkey’s nest. Not far from the house is a stone tavern, still standing, called the “General Wayne House.” It is said that General Wayne at an early day, before the old pike was constructed, traveling west, stopped at a log tavern kept by a Mr. Delford, over night. Delford told the General that he intended building a new stone house. Then the General drew him a plan for his new house. After the old pike was built he built the stone house on its line. The architecture of the house, as seen today, shows that General Wayne was thinking more or a fort than of a modern house. Fry also kept this house.
Robert Leeper was a tavern keeper and wagoner. He kept a tavern on the old pike east of Washington. It was beautifully located and had for many years a good run of custom. It was a great movers’ stand. Near it a road intersected the old pike. On this road large quantities of tobacco were hauled from the south by “militia teams” and stored at the tavern to be reloaded for delivery in Baltimore.
When Abolitionism first began to be agitated, John Leaper, a son of the tavern keeper, became one of the rabid sort that had “Abolitionism on the brain,” which had a tendency to turn away travel from the tavern. There is nothing now left of the old tavern, stables and sheds. Aaron Patterson, a respected citizen of Wills township, is at home on the old site.
Robert McMurry was a wagoner and tavern keeper east of Cambridge at what was then known as the two mile house. He was there before the old pike was constructed The present brick house, the residence of Charles Scott, is built on the line of the Zane Trace. The old McMurry tavern has a history of which no other tavern old or new In Guernsey county can boast, namely of having entertained over night a President and his suite.
After Antonio Lopez DeSanta Anna, then President and Dictator of Mexico, had been defeated by Gen. Sam Houston, at the battle of San Jacinto, Texas, and taken prisoner, he and his army he was held as a captive for some time. He was then released on parole and permitted to travel east through the United States in a private conveyance. This notice appears in the Guernsey Times: “Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna passed through this place Wednesday, Dec. 13th. 1836, in a private coach, accompanied by two Texan officers, on his way to Washington City. He stopped for the night at the McMurry Hotel two miles east of this place.”
Alexander McCracken, of Philadelphia, John A. Beatty and Sandy Hutchison walked out to the McMurry tavern to get a peep at that noted and wiliest of all Mexicans. On entering the bar room they were told that Santa Anna and party were then eating their suppers, and that Santa Anna had left strict orders not to let any person in the parlor, and to keep the window blinds down. These young men didn’t get a full view of the one legged Mexican, who at that time walked with a crutch, but through a peep bole in the window from the front porch, they got to see him standing in front of the parlor fire leaning on his crutch.
A young man, James Long, from near Cambridge, was a soldier in the Texan army and was killed in the massacre of the Alamo. Some of the people of Cambridge though that Santa Anna kept in hiding for fear some friend of Long’s would shoot him in retaliation.
The writer is perhaps the only one now living on the old pike who saw the Santa Anna equipage pass over it in Guernsey county.
“Samuel Fry, a brother of Peter Fry, was a wagoner and tavern keeper at Easton east of Washington on the old pike. The tavern was then known as the “Sulphur Spring House.” This advertisement appears in the Guernsey Times Dec. 11, 1836: “Samuel Fry has sold his tavern stand and offers for sale furniture of all kinds and horse gears, wagons, etc.”
Many old wagoners kept the “Sulphur Spring House.” Charles Swan., John McLaughlin,, Peter Colley and others. Peter Colley kept a tavern in Claysville, Pa. The noted broad wheeled wagons used on the old pike east and west, were made at Claysville. If a wagoner had a Claysville wagon and six good horses, covered. over with the big harness made by John Morrow, of Petersburg, and a “London” whip, he felt as proud as a boy with his first gallows trousers.
There were two Colley families near Uniontown, Pa. , Abel and Peter. It was said of Peter that he was the first man on the old pike that he had a barrel of money. He kept his money under the bar counter in a barrel. The Colley of the “Hub” in Cambridge and others of this county are descendants of Peter and Abel Colley.
Edward Nelson father of ‘Squire Nelson, of Center township, was a wagoner and tavern keeper. His tavern was located on the old pike, one of the first houses built between the four-mile hill and Washington. The residence of Mr. Nelson occupies site. That it was a noted wagon stand was evidence by the large sign that swung back and forth on the sign post. On each face of the sign was shown a six horse team with the driver on the saddle horse, with the long single line in one hand, and cracking the long whip with the other. The sign has gone and the glories of the old tavern have departed.
“Time the tomb builder holds his fierce career.
Dark, stern, all pitiless and pauses not
Amid the mighty wrecks that strew his path
To sit and muse upon the ruin be hath wrought.” S.
January 26, 1905 page 3
Interesting Scraps of Personal and Political Affairs.
Thrilling Contrasts Between Then and Now.
When the writer was traveling in Iowa in 1852 he stopped at a tavern located on the state road leading from Koekuk to Des Moines, about ?6 miles north of KeoKuk, kept by an old man, Thomas Brownfield. When we registered our name he put on his specs and said Cambridge,-Cambridge, Ohio, then you were situated on the old pike. We replied yes, we were born on it and witnessed in boyhood and young manhood the great tide of emigration that passed over it seeking homes in the then far west, as well as the great lines of stages, carrying passengers and mails from the east to the west, and from west to east, and also the great strings of road teams that carried the produce and merchandise over it.
He then said: I passed thirty years of my life keeping a tavern near Mt. Augusta in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, on the old pike. We then said that we had heard of the old large brick tavern with the double watering trough at Mt. Augusta. He said: That was my old place and many a time I have lain in my bed and heard sixty horses cracking corn in the wagon troughs, and in the bar room there were a dozen of wagoners sleeping in a circle around the big bar room fire.
He then said: “Them old times were lively.” We found that his thirty years’ experience gave him a fund of historical knowledge, which we endeavored to draw out. He knew many of the old wagoners and stage drivers and tavern keepers of the west end of the old pike.
The first person he mentioned was Jake Probasco. He said that beside keeping a tavern down at Jockey Hollow, he had teams on the road and was a large contractor for repairs and material for the old pike. He also kept a store and had a grist and saw mill. One of the lines of stages took dinner at the Probasco tavern. He described the house as being built at different times and was part stone, part logs and part frame, all joined together. At Mt. Augusta the old Braddock trail and the old pike follow the same line for some miles. He also said that Probassco got into some trouble, and sold out and moved to Ohio, and farther that a son or brother of Probasco erected the celebrate Probasco Fountain in Cincinnati.
In that he was mistaken. Jacob Probasco kept what was known on the old pike as the fourteen mile tavern, west of Cambridge and the ten mile house east of Zanesville, a large brick tavern beautifully located with a good farm attached. He was the father of I. N. Probasco of this city.
Mr. Brownfield told of the many distinguished statesmen that had passed over the old pike, some of whom had taken dinner or supper at his tavern. He named Gen. Jackson, Clay, Harrison, Benton, Cass, Corwin, Polk and others. We then asked him if he had seen Black Hawk when he passed over the old pike. He said: “Yes, I saw the old Ingen, and a mighty grum old chap he was. The stage driver stopped to water his team at my watering through. The water was free to every traveler, and good whisky and brandy in the bar for all who would pay for a drink.”
Then he said that Black Hawk and the stage full of Indians had been upset in the main street of Washington, Pa.; that Black Hawk was the first to get out of the overturned coach; that he stood up in the street and said Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! And swore that they were trying to kill him. There were none of the passengers hurt except the interpreter, who had an arm broken. When another stage was brought to the tavern, Black Hawk became wild with excitement, and it was with the greatest difficulty that he was induced to get into the stage. This occurred during the Van Buren administration in 1837.
Besides the old wagoners we have spoken of there were many others in Guernsey county adjacent to the old pike on the south. At Millwood John Hall and Jonah Smith had teams on the road for many years. There were the two Kildows, who were first drivers and then became owners of teams. Near Salesville John Miller and his son John were wagoners of long standing on the old pike. They were not driven from their chosen calling even by the appearing of the “Leatherwood God” who came to set up the “New Jerusalem” right in their midst. These wagoners were all engaged in moving the products of that section and further south from Monroe county, the principal of which was tobacco in hogsheads destined for the Baltimore market.
To haul a load of eight or nine hogsheads of tobacco was, as the old wagoners said, a ticklish business. It made a high and shakey load and it was not uncommon for one of the hogsheads to slip off and roll down the mountain side, sometimes more than a mile. These had to be gathered up and hauled back to be reloaded. There were always wagoners enough in a gang to soon roll a hogshead back to its place or to right up an upset.
Among the first of the old wagoners of Guernsey county was Abraham Dilley of Senecaville. He wagoned on the Zane Trace and the old Wheeling road before the construction of the pike. He was an early settler of Senecaville, and one of its best and most useful citizens, one who went before and pioneered the way for others to follow. How true it is that these pioneers of a hundred years ago labored and we of today are reaping the rewards of their enterprise an labors.
Abraham Dilley, then living in the woods at Senecaville, a newly married young man, was drafted as a soldier of the war of 1812. Being either unable to procure a substitute, or patriotic enough, in the hour of his country’s peril, he obeyed the call and made preparation for the comfort of his young wife by bringing her to Cambridge to be with the family of Thomas McClary, who was in some way related, while he was away on the frontier during his six months’ service.
Whilst he was away a girl baby was born to the family. This daughter of a then absent father, doing a soldier’s duty amid the dangers of a wilderness campaign, became at womanhood, Mrs. Mary Hill, wife of Dr. Noah Hill, the prominent early physician of Senecaville.
Some days ago we met our long time friend, Luther Spaid, in Cambridge. He said that his wife had told him to ask the writer if he remembered anything of somebody who lived on Steubenville street that had a parrot, east of the old court house. The parrot was a noted talker. We replied that we would study the parrot question, and give an answer later on.
Some of our friends call us “Old Methuselah,” If that is true then we must have been around in the days of that parrot. We put on our studying cap and rummaged among some of our papers and historical notes until we sruck the parrot. It belonged to Thomas McClary. He owned the two lots fronting on Steubenville avenue and east of the courthouse and resided first in a log house located on the corner now occupied by the Baptist church. Jo McClary, son of Thomas, who was much of a wag, was the teacher, of the parrot, and soon got it into the first reader, and it became an adept in short phrases. Somehow a parrot by instinct, inclines to “cuss words” and other words that would not look well in print.
At the time we write of William McCracken was engaged in black-smithing in a shop located on the now Davis corner on Wheeling avenue. He was also engaged in tanning at the McCracken tan yard on East Steubenville avenue and resided in the now residence of Dr. McFarland.
A grand uncle of the writer, Nicholas Sarchet, worked for McCracken at blacksmithing, and it is through his line of the family that we learn of the talking parrot. When McCracken was going from the shop to his residence or to the tan yard, he would pass by the parrot on its perch in front of the McClary residence. It would say: “Uncle Billy, do you make the sparks fly at the shop?” or “Uncle Billy, there is a man at the tan yard with a hide,” then it would laugh.
The McClary family were Seceders of the strictest order, keeping the Sabbath day in perfect seclusion, the house dark and still, the window blinds down and silent meditation reigned within. This was a dull day with the parrot who had been reared in the bright, long sunny days of the South; but to it was also a day of meditation. On Monday morning when placed out on its perch, it filled the air to every passerby, man, woman or child with its pent up vocabulary.
What Mrs. M. L. Spaid knows of this parrot history is from her mother and grandmother and the writer is under obligations to her for calling to mind this bit of true history of the long ago. “S.”
4 May 1893 Page 2
The following article is written from memory for the most part and is a brief sketch of the Jeffersonian and its editors during the long period of its career.
The Jeffersonian began it’s publication at Washington, Guernsey county, under the name of the “Democratic Star,” and it may have had some other name. David Robb and Dr. Anderson were its first editors. David Robb was twice elected Senator from the Monroe-Guernsey district, first in 1820 and again in 1828. He went from Guernsey to Muskingum county, He was one of the commissioners appointed to remove the Wyandotte and Delaware Indians to the Indian territory. After these Peter B. Ankeny was in charge of the paper as “The Democratic Star,” up to as late as 1841. The paper had not been a paying venture and was sold by the Sheriff. Peter B. Ankeny was twice elected Senator from the Guernsey-Coshocton district in 1847 and 1849. The paper was purchased by Mr. Lord and W. H. Gill, and the name changed to “Guernsey Jeffersonian.
Lord was not connected long with the paper. He afterward published the “Lord Counterfeit Detector.” Robert Leech took the place of Lord and during the ownership of Gill and Leech it was removed to Cambridge in 1845. Robert Leech was elected a member of the Ohio Constitutional Convention of 1850, and W. H. Gill was elected Secretary to the Convention. The paper was taken by Arthur L. Clark; he was followed by Jos. McGonegal, Wagstaff & Wagstaff, T. W. Peacock, George McClelland, Lewis Baker and C. E. Mitchener. For the few preceeding years it has been the property of a company of Democrats and was purchased of these by John Kirkpatrick. S.
4 May 1893 Page 2
THE OLD BROWN HOUSE
Some facts and Reminiscences
The old house now being moved back to give place, to a more modern structure, “The Brown House” is not the oldest relic of the old Hutchison tavern. This tavern in its zenith days occupied almost the front of two lots. The first part built was where the Shaffner houses now are. This was a large two story log and frame house of L shape. It was built by Frederick Dickinson, and transferred by him to Robert Bell, and by Bell to Wyatt Hutchison in 1812. This house was weather boarded, with split board on the ends and rear. The front was weather boarded with sawed boards. This sawed lumber was from the “Whipsaw Mill,” of Sandy & Miller, two Scotchmen, who had a mill on the lot now occupied by the Presbyterian church. This whip sawing was done by raising the log on trestles, one of the men standing on the log above and the other under, it may be styled upright-cross cutting. It was a slow way of getting out lumber compared to the steam mills of to-day, and yet these men having the pick of the woods for logs and by the use of wedges to help the saw could get out considerable lumber in a day and make very good wages for their labor. The records of the county show that Wyatt Hutchison was indicted for selling liquor without a license in 1813, but there is not record to show that he had a license to keep a tavern. The retailing of liquor was then given with the license to keep a public house, and he may at that time have kept a tavern. The records show that he was granted a license in 1815. James Bichard, grandfather of the writer, owned and settled on lot 51, the Brown lot, in 1807. He built upon it a double log cabin. He conveyed to Daniel Davis and Davis to William McCracken, who built the west part of the house now being moved back. The walls of the old brick court house were built in 1810, finishing of the building as to time was conditional on the time of the completion of the Gomber saw mill, then being built on the “old mill” site south of the Cambridge cemetery. This house being frame was built of lumber from the Gomber mill after it began work. Mrs. Margaret Thompson now living in Cambridge, is a daughter of William McCracken, and was born on the old farm north of town in 1816. William McCracken conveyed this lot to Wyatt Hutchison, and Hutchison was in possession at this time. The old first house was entered by a large hall, on the west was the large bar and reception room in which was a huge fire place for burning wood, taking in logs from six to eight feet long. The east end of the house, now being moved, was built by Wyatt Hutchison and this is the connecting link of the two original houses. The J. O. McIlyar house is older than the Brown house, and was a tavern kept by Thomas Knowles the first Sheriff of Guernsey county. The east part of the Ogier house is older. The second Guernsey settlers came to Cambridge in 1807. The Ogiers settled on the Ogier lot, the Huberts on the Hoge-Orme lot, the Bbenfesteys on the middle Hoge lot, the Naftels on the Mackey-Kirkpatrick lot and the Bichards on the Brown lot, in my boyhood days the sign post and pump of the Hutchison tavern stood opposite the open space between the two Shaffner houses and this space would be the hall entrance of the old original tavern after the two houses were joined together. The Brown’s never had control of the house on the east lot. When the Hutchison was in full blast at this early day all the fires were wood, and it took the labor of a team and driver and a chopper on the wood pile to keep up the supply of fuel. Old Aunt Betsy went around from fired to fire with her broom and spit rag to keep the hearths clean, and if some dirty-mouthed fellow had spit on the sanded floor, he heard of it and sometimes got a whack over his head for his nastiness. If we were to undertake to tell all the events of this old house it would make a book. It was the great stage office before and after the building of the national road. And the most noted men of the nation have sat at its table and enjoyed its cuisine, which was always of the best. Old Aunt Fannie’s biscuits and coffee had a reputation widespread. Henry Clay spent a few hours in a friendly chat in its reception room with citizens who chose to call and see him. Daniel Webster walked back and forth in front whilst the coach horses were being changed. Then the great Expounder of the constitution and the peerless statesmen of the nation, Gen. Cass, Thomas Benton, Dick Johnston, Tom Corwin, long John Wentworth and many others of the great men of the nation stopped an took meals. Black Hawk, the great Indian chief, when being taken to Washington City as a prisoner, was peeped at in the coach by many of the citizens whilst the exchange of horses was being made. We have seen Indians by the score, chiefs, squaws an papooses, stopping at this house on their way to see the “Great Father” at Washington City. Sometimes they traveled on foot, sometimes by coach loads. The papooses wore tied to a board and stood up against the house, the women carrying all the traps and the ‘big Ingens’ having a good time drinking whisky and shooting at “fips and levies,” with their bows and arrows. During Basil Brown’s occupancy, a coach load of Indians were up set going down the hill, opposite the lower hotel. They were all chiefs, of the Sac and Fox nation and were returning from a visit to the “great father.” In charge of an interpreter, they were dressed up for state occasion with all their Indian toggery. They were badly bruised and cut up, and were detained for some time, for our doctors to patch up. They drank plenty of whisky and sat under the surgeon’s knife, without a quiver.
John Robinson is coming with his great spectacular show, Queen of Sheba, Solomon and all free on the out side. We remember of setting up until long after midnight to see old “Bet” the first elephant to pass through Cambridge being always driven at night and covered up. She was put into an old log stable in the rear of the Hutchison house. She was small but then it was the elephant. It was something in that day to see an elephant. “He has seen the elephant” is an old saw at his day.
Wyatt Hutchison, Basil Brown, who died from falling from the top of a coach in endeavoring to take off a trunk, a Mr. Dilley and Mrs. Nancy Brown, widow of Basil Brown, were all that could be called hotel keepers; since then it can only be classed as a boarding house. What the now building will be remains to be seen. S.
Thursday – 20 Apr 1893 Page 3
OLD LAND MARK REMOVED
The First Aristocratic House Built In Cambridge.
A Descendant Bemoans Vandalism.
Some years ago, at the request of the Jeffersonian, when some changes were being made on the old house, corner of 7th street and Wheeling avenue, we gave to the readers of the Jeffersonian, some of its history. The article was headed “The old house and home.” As we look back at the article we find that we wrote rather pensively, our ancient “roof tree” was being disturbed, the room in which we were born. We said this house had a history not written, we will give a part before the advancement of the enlightened age, we call progress, which is in one sense vandalism, obliterates every vestige of a pre-historic age. If the adage “Woodman, spare the tree,” can or would have the effect to prevent the destruction of the forests, laying bare worthless hill tops and irregular slopes, furrowed with gullies and ditches, destroying the beauty of the natural landscape, why not raise the cry, “spare that venerable relic of a former generation.” Shall there nothing remain of the father? Are the days and nights spent around the old hearth stone, only to live in remembrance? Will this history repeat itself?” The house was built by Thomas Sarchet, in 1807. The logs were prepared during the previous winter. They were cut on what was then called the lots, how the White out-lots, the Meredith addition and the McCollum property. Isaac Oldham, then a young single man dressed the logs ready to be raised. At the time of its building there were but two other houses in Cambrige, one on the lot now the “Stoner Scott block.” And one on the east lot of the “Taylor block.” The double cabins were at the crossing of Wills creek, and a few cabins in the town proper. This home was the largest, and the best and it was thought by the cabin dwellers that the “old Guernseyman” had brought over some of the aristocracy of Europe. Peter Sarchet was a carpenter, and the house finishing was done by him: John Sarchet was a blacksmith and the nails used in the building were made by him. It was built against a bank, at the head of a deep ravine that crossed Wheeling avenue, In its original state there was a long porch corresponding with the projecting roof. This porch was reached by steps from the front and from the sides. The M. E. church, of Cambridge had its beginning in it in 1808, when James Watts was sent out from the Baltimore Conference, on the request of Thomas Sarchet, Francis Asbury, Henry Boem his traveling companion, were entertained in it. They were being conveyed from Wheeling by Daniel Zane. In a one horse wagon, to the seat of the Western Conference at Chillicothe, making Cambridge the second day out from Wheeling. In the front east room was opened the first store. Old Edward Bratton, who was one of the settlers near Winchester, use to say “that he remembered when Old Tommy Sarchet opened the first store in Cambridge with a shirt tall fold of dry goods.” Captain John Jack, a member of the Mecklenburg convention, and a soldier of the Revolutionary war was found dead in the store room, having , it was supposed, laid down on the counter to rest. He was a contactor for supplies, for the war of 1812, and came to Cambridge at the close, and succeeded Thos. Sarchet. The first company for the war of 1812, commanded by Cyrus P. Beatty, assembled at this house and slept in it the night before starting to Fort Tiffin. Thomas Sarchet and Catherine Marquand were married in it before Guernsey county was formed, by the Rev. James Quinn, presiding elder of the Chillicothe district. The Methodists used it as a church for many years. The lot cost in 1806, $37.50. The lots on the corner of the public square were held at $100. Thomas Sarchet bought this lot and the lot west, and his brother, John, bought the two lots opposite, now owned by Darnes, Haines, Madison and Salmon. These were all held at $50 per lot, but there was a split of the difference and they were lumped at $87.50 each. This part now being torn away was Guernsey first and last. The last occupant, Miss Rachel Ogier, is a daughter of William Ogier, and Judith Ferbrache, who came with their parents, when children, from the “sea-grit” island. Perhaps some day in the future when the rest of the old house is torn away, we may give some history pertaining to the remaining part, was we were born in it, and whether it was under a lucky star, or we saw the moon first over our right shoulder, we don’t know, and it is none too late in life to begin to inquire, we look at its demolition with sadness, and wish that all that is old might remain, and that the advance of the age would carry along with it the relics of the past. C. P. B. S.