Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Is Coming

The Marietta Register, December 21, 1893

The remark of an old merchant is, "I never saw a time yet when there was not a Christmas trade."  And so he has not and never will.  This year is no exception.  Hard times in Marietta is only in the newspapers and found elsewhere.  Business is not booming, as it was a year ago, but, it must be acknowledged, we are a favored community.  Not a concern fully shut down, not a failure of any sort and not many unemployed.

There are more idle than usual for us, but there is not much suffering for necessaries nor much painful self-denial.  In the best of times we have the improvident and the unfortunate.  We have them now.  But Christmas is coming and the unmistakable signs are seen on every hand.  Christmas spirit, thought for others, is manifest all about.

The shop windows and counters show the faith the merchants have in the Christmas time, and the throngs that gather about them tell the rest.

What a social love-feast Christmas is.  How everybody is remembered from "tot" to grandma, and how blessed it all is.  How many warm up the cold estrangements among kin and acquaintance at the Christmas altar and consume in the holy fire of kindness the bitterness carried in unrelenting silence.  The older know full well that selfishness pays no dividends, and the younger cannot learn the lesson too early.  Christmas teaches it and brings conviction in time to start off the new year right.

Join the Christmas chorus; open the old wallet and buy something for somebody.  Surprise some one, too.  The gift need not be costly.  Our advertisers will name the price from five cents to fifty dollars, and the cheerful giver, rather than the expectant receiver, will reap the reward.

Christmas is coming.  It is almost here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Visiting His Old Home

Marietta Semi-Weekly Register, August 19, 1884

The return of Capt. Thomas S. Battelle, after an absence of more than a third of a century, to visit his old friends in his native county, is an event of unusual interest.  Capt. Battelle, who is now 72, bears the burden of so many years with remarkable vigor.  He was born in Newport, this county.  One of the earliest incidents of his eventful career will certainly not diminish the cordiality of his welcome at the hands of the people of this city.  While in business in Clarksburg, (now W. Va.) in 1837 or '38, he came near being the victim of an infuriated mob, because he resented the charge of cruelty made by the slaveholders against the people of Marietta, in their treatment of certain Virginians, who were arrested and imprisoned for attempting to smuggle the negroes back into slavery, without due process of law.

In 1840 Captain Battelle moved to Muscatine Iowa, and for several years engaged in the steamboat business on the upper Mississippi.  He was unfortunate in this venture, twice sinking his boat, but managed to save enough from the wreck of his fortune to buy ox teams and outfit, and with his family he started in 1852 across the plains.  The wonderful revolutions of time are shown by the simple statement that he was as many months in making that disagreeable journey as he was days upon his recent return across the continent.

After an absence of half a long life time the captain, of course, finds many changes in his old friends and the scenes of his youth.  In that time very many have passed away.  His father and mother, who almost reached the century, lie buried at Newport.  Three of his brothers, whose families he has been visiting, and who, like himself, are natives of this county, are living in other parts of the state.  He expects to return in the fall to California, where he has grown up sons and daughters, who are married and settled in the Southern part of the state.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The College Foot-Ball Team Defeated by Ohio State University

Marietta Register, November 30, 1893

The foot-ball team left, Friday, for Columbus, to contest for honors with the State University in foot-ball.  They were full of enthusiasm and expected to hold their competitors down.  The account of the game from Sunday's State Journal tells the rest.  It says:

The Ohio State University defeated the Marietta College, Saturday afternoon, in a onesided game of foot-ball.  The attendance was very slim, due to the fact that there was no advertising of the game.  Not even a notice appeared in the halls of the University buildings and many students will be surprised to learn that a game was played.

The State University team was an experiment, new men being played in several positions to try their strength as possibilities for the Kenyon game on Thanksgiving.  Of these Potter fought through the line with some success, but was a failure going around the end and tackling.

Snediker played his second game at center to the satisfaction of everybody, with the possible exception of a few Marietta people.

The visitors had  a strong line but were weak in tackling.  Nelson, Moore and Rorebeck did some good individual playing.

O.S.U. scored the first touchdown after thirteen minutes, in which the ball changed sides several times on downs.  Nagle and Reed each made 25 yard gains.  Touch by Howard.  No goal.  O.S.U. 4, Marietta 0.

In seven minutes O.S.U. scored again, after they had secured the ball on downs.  Nagle made a 20-yard run, and Foley made 20 yards and touch by hard fighting through the line.  Goal.  O.S.U. 10, Marietta, 0.

Next after O.S.U. received the ball on downs the ball was advanced within two yards of Marietta's line, when Howard carried the ball over for a touch.  No goal.  O.S.U. 14, Marietta 0.

Marietta made her first score by a kick for 20 yards, several short runs and Rorebeck's 12 yards and touch.  No goal.  O.S.U. 14, Marietta 4.

In the start off Wood gained 25 yards.  Then the ball was lost and regained on downs.  After the ball was advanced to the 5-yard line Howard carried it over for a touch.  No goal.  O.S.U. 18, Marietta 4.

Marietta next got the ball to the O.S.U. 20-yard line when Howard kicked for 20 and Wood secured the ball and made a 60-yard dash for a touch.  No goal.  O.S.U. 24, Marietta 4.

In second half O.S.U. made a touch after the ball had changed sides on downs and fumbles.  Potter carried it over.  Goal.  O.S.U. 34, Marietta 4.

Marietta tried to make a field kick, but was blocked by Reed, and Thurman securing the ball, carried it to the 5-yard line.  Nichols then crossed the line with the ball.  Goal.  O.S.U. 40, Marietta 4.

Marietta scored the last touch on Rorebeck's 40 yards and Nelson's 3 yards over the line.  No goal.  O.S.U. 40, Marietta 8.  The teams lined as follows:

O.S.U. - Nagle, Right End; Mullay, Right Tackle; Reed, Right Tackle; Gibbs, Right Guard; Snediker, Center; Calkins, Left Guard; Carson, Left Tackle; Boynton, Left Tackle; Thurman, Left End; Wood, Capt., Quarter; Foley, Right Half; Nichols, Right Half; Potter, Left Half; Howard, Full.

Marietta - Nelson, Right End; Hughson, Right Tackle; Williams, Right Guard; Keyes, Center; Middleswart, Left Guard; McLaren, Left Tackle; Dana, Left End; Brown, Capt., Quarter; White, Quarter; Moore, Right Half; Rorebeck, Left Half; Sloan, Full.

Summary:  Touchdowns, O.S.U., Howard 3, Foley 2, Wood, Potter, Nichols.  Marietta, Rorebeck, Nelson.  Goals, Howard 4.  Length of halves, 15 and 30 minutes.  Umpire and referee, Messrs. Haas and Sears.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Four Boys Drowned

Marietta Register, December 28, 1871

Drowned is a simple word, but it occurs often in the newspapers and is almost always passed by lightly, as a matter of course.  Yet there are hearts to which it carries inexpressible anguish.

Thursday afternoon, 21st inst., towards four o'clock, three among the best boys in Marietta, full of life and joy, were skating on the Muskingum - Wm. B. Coen, only son of Mrs. Coen and grandson of W. C. McCarty, aged nearly sixteen; Lee C., only son of Samuel L. Grosvenor, Sheriff of our county, aged about fifteen; and Charles Shipman, second son of Martin D. Follett, Esq., in his twelfth year.  They went up within about half a mile of Devol's Dam, and turned in near the eastern shore, to come down again, when suddenly a treacherous place in the ice, covered with a light snow, gave way, and they all went in together, in about six feet of water.  A man on the bank, said to be a German, saw them, and went to their aid; but Lee Grosvenor and Charley Follett had already disappeared.  Willie Coen came up, struggled for his life, and talked to the man who was trying to help him, and who pushed out a piece of fencing, which the poor boy was able just to touch with his fingers, but he was so benumbed that he could not get firm hold, and he sank beneath the surface.  Neighbors rallied, and in course of an hour or two, the bodies of all three had been recovered.

The body of Willlie Coen was first recovered and word sent to town.  It was not then known who the other two boys were.  Mr. McCarty went up for his grandson's body.  Charley Follett was late in getting home, and his father and older brother, unaware of the dire calamity, had started to look for him, walking up the road.  Capt. Grosvenor, fearing that his son Lee was one of the two unknown boys, started up in a buggy, and overtaking Mr. Follett, took him in, and the two fathers drove on fearing the worst, yet not without hope.  They met the wagon in which lay in a row, with their heads to the rear, the lifeless bodies of the three boys; and looking in, by the pale moonlight of early evening, they then discovered that the two before not known were their boys.  It was a terrible shock - and three mothers of our best known families, in the heart of town, came into the bitterness of the saddest grief.

Sunday, at 2-1/2 o'clock, P.M., the three funerals were held together in the Congregational Church, services conducted by Rev. Dr. Hawks, of that Church, and Rev. A. C. Hirst, of the Centenary M. E. Church. The house was crowded to its utmost capacity, and perhaps half the people could not get in.

There had been singing and prayer, and just as Dr. Hawks was commencing his remarks, two boys strolled across the common, in front of the church, walked down on the ice, and in a moment the alarm was given that Albert R. Field was in the river.  A few yards from the shore was a hole, perhaps two or three feet across, and the boy was under the ice, in fifteen feet of water.  It was about an hour and a half before his body was recovered.  He was about seventeen years of age, and the oldest of two sons of Mrs. Field, on Second street, widow of the late Richard Field, a most worthy woman, in the church, attending the funeral of the other three boys, when this quick and terrible calamity came upon her.  The funeral took place Tuesday, 10 A.M., at the Unitarian Church, services conducted by Rev. J. Riley Johnson.

It forms, perhaps, the most sorrowful page in the history of Marietta's families.  And yet we repeat what was said in this paper, only two weeks ago:

The Editor of the Register was once, when a boy, drowned, as far as to lose all consciousness; but consciousness continued what seemed to be a long time after respiration must have stopped.  The mind acted with lightning rapidity, and the things thought of in their multitudinous numbers and extreme vividness would appear absolutely incredible to one who has not tried it.  The only disagreeableness was in the first strangling.  After that, all was pleasantness, perfect physical and mental happiness.

From Out the Past: Statement by Elisha Allen

Sunday Morning Observer, August 25, 1918

Letter from Elisha Allen to Dr. Samuel P. Hildreth.

In answer to your letter, I will now give a short relation of my father's emigration to this country.

In May, 1791, my father with four other families left the County of York, Township of Wells, in the now State of Maine, for the Ohio Company's purchase and arrived at Westmoreland County in the State of Pennsylvania the following Autumn.  Because of the Indian hostilities at Marietta they concluded to stay there until the close of the war.  Nothing particular came under my observation until the Summer of 1794 when the insurrection broke out called the "Whiskey Boys" one company of which marched past my father's going and coming from burning Mr. Wells, the excise master's house.  In the Autumn an army of United States troops marched through to quell the insurrection and consumed the greater part of the provisions near their route which created a great scarcity of provisions and also of the greater part of the inhabitants who took flight for Kentucky.  My father became dissatisfied and hearing of Wayne's treaty with the Indians concluded to move and having heard Marietta highly spoken of concluded to remove there.

Early in March, 1795, he joined with a neighbor and built a boat and arrived, I think, at Marietta, April 6th.  You may surmise with what consternation he was seized as soon as he ascended the bank, expecting to find Marietta a thriving, industrious, enterprising town, to find a few log cabins and block houses, surrounded with palisades 15 or 16 feet high, with almost every room occupied and numbers preparing to remove to their farms in the country, which many did that Spring.  And now, dear sir, think of Marietta more than half of the houses empty going to decay, with but a few men of any enterprise, schools and but very little respect paid to the Sabbath.  No society but down at the point and that was protracted society, meeting night and day at the tavern and returning often with wounded heads and bloody noses.  However, this dark picture did not [last] long.  There were some seeds of Puritans here and others frequently arriving.  In the Summer of 1795 a man by the name of Daniel Gurley taught three months, the first school we had after our arrival.  I went to his school and now believe he was an excellent teacher.

The next school was taught by _____ Little who practiced law as States' attorney at Marietta and had to leave for misconduct which was as follows:

An action of criminal law was pending in the court.  The defendant being an avaricious man and Little a lover of money, he (Little) received a fee on both sides.  The case was called and Mr. State's attorney pleaded "not prepared."  The Judge told him that the State must always be ready and called on the defendant if he was ready.  He answered, "yes."  Who is your attorney, in quired the judge.  Mr. Little, sir, replied the defendant.  Have you paid him, said the Judge.  I have answered the defendant.  Have you his receipt, inquired the Judge.  I have, was the reply.  The Judge ordered the court to be cleared.  Shortly after the Deputy Sheriff came out of the Court with Mr. Little followed by a crowd to his lodgings.  There he took his trunk and proceeded to the river, put Mr. Little and his trunk in a small canoe and in another took him to the middle of the river, and there left him without a pole or paddle.  He begged for some time for either pole or paddle but being denied took off his cocked hat, these being then fashionable, and began to paddle with it.  Not being a waterman he soon gave up, sat down in the canoe and so floated out of sight.  I heard afterward that he was taken up at Parkersburg.

There were by that time considerable additions to the town by the return of a number of citizens who had been absent with Wayne's army.  They began to pull down the old buildings and build new ones.  The next school was in the academy taught by Mr. David Putnam, Esq., where I received the most of my education and from the knowledge I have had of the scholars taught by him, in their after life, great praise is due to Mr. Putnam for his stability and perseverance while connected with the school.  You will perhaps inquire how persons of every grade and from almost every clime, lodged in that lone spot in the wilderness, could keep up their spirits.  But there are always some in every society full of chicanery and others to act the Mountebank.  Of such I will give one or two specimens.

The first I shall name is Edward Moulton, who was the butt of all the humorous.  To detail all the pastime had with him would exceed my limits.  One, however, I will relate as a specimen.  The family consisted of his mother, two sisters and himself.  They kept a respectable boarding house for the time.  A certain Dr. _____ came on with a small allotment of cheese (which was a rare thing) and took up his lodging with Widow Moulton, who was rather parsimonious and who set a table for the Dr., herself and the daughters, in the dining room but Edward had to eat in the kitchen.  They had their tea, coffee, butter and cheese and he had to eat hasty pudding and milk.  This he thought rather humiliating.  However he soon found an opportunity to convey one of the doctor's cheeses away and secreted it in the barn.  The Doctor soon missed the cheese, suspected Edward, and got a warrant to apprehend him.  The Sheriff found him hoeing corn and read his warrant, and as soon as read told Edward he must go with him.  His answer was, "I will not go for Doctor loves cheese, Marm loves cheese and Dr. b[e]ds with Anna and I won't go."  This was nuts for the Sheriff.  Away he went to the Esquire returning his warrant.  (The house was crowded.)  "Where is your prisoner?" asked the Esquire?  He says "Doctor loves cheese, Marm loves cheese, Anna loves cheese and Doctor b[e]ds with Anna and I won't go."  A burst of laughter arose all over the house.  The Doctor arose and said, "I will pay the cost; let him go."

Not long after this another Doctor arrived from England, known about as much as a curiosity as Moulton for his chicanery.  He was a very small man, merely skin and bones, without a spire of hair on his head but covered with a large wig finely powdered with old-fashioned shad-body coat, vest with flapped pockets, breeches and stockings, large shoes with silver buckles.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Marietta Woollen Factory

American Friend & Marietta Gazette, April 17, 1830

The Subscriber has commenced the various branches of Manufacturing Cloth, at his Fulling Mill.  Carding and Spinning, Fulling and Dressing Cloth, or either of the said branches will be done for customers; or he will take wool in the fleece and manufacture it into Flannels, Satinett, or Fulled cloths, on the most reasonable terms.  His Cards, as well as his machinery are new, and of a superior quality, and he will spare no pains to perform every part in a workmanlike manner; he would however observe, that much depends on the cleansing and preparing the wool before it is brought to the Carding Machine; as well as the management of the Sheep before shearing, (which he would not undertake to describe at this time.)  Those who have Domestic Spinning Machines, should bring their wool in boxes; and particular pains will be taken in carding, to make the rolls of a proper and equal size, and pack them so that they may be transported any distance without injuring them.

The customary price will be charged for carding; varying according to fineness, &c.

Spinning, eight and ten cents per run.

Cloth dressing, at reduced prices.

The subscriber has for sale a new and complete Spinning Gin and Roping Machine, containing 72 spindles.

He has also the exclusive right of using, and vending to others the right of using that valuable and highly approved machine called the Columbian Spinner, in the township of Marietta, excepting a few family rights already sold by Mr. Barnard.

Cash, Wool, and many other articles will be received in payment for the above.

WANTED, - A good Weaver, and three or four young women to spin, splice rolls, prepare wool, &c.

Billy Todd.

Marietta, April 3d, 1830.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The Marietta Register, October 31, 1884

Saturday, November 1st, is All Saints' Day.  The evening preceding the festival of All Hallows is Hallow-E'en or, as the modern American youth calls it, "Holler Eve."  The beautiful custom of celebrating the vigil of the Saints by the fireside has been done away with for rude outdoor sports.  The average Marietta boy finds more pleasure in unhinging gates, removing signs, and presenting the unsuspecting passers with bouquets of decayed cabbage, than he does in roasting chestnuts with the family around the fireside.

Had a Most Busy Night

The Marietta Daily Times, November 1, 1907

Hallowe'en Was Celebrated By the People of the City.  Pranks and Schemes By the Hundred Carried Out.

Hallowe'en was most appropriately observed in Marietta last evening, at least every feat and prank imaginable was put through and if there were any schemes that failed to work they have not been reported.  But at that there was little destruction of property although the celebration was more lively than it has been for some years.

Some of the younger boys were able to enjoy themselves with harmless amusements, but these did not satisfy their older brothers.  The street car crews had their troubles and there were many trials for them.  Wagons and everything that could be carried or pulled were placed on the tracks.  On Putnam street early in the evening a large box was put on the track.  The West Side crew removed it, but there was always a pair of willing hands to place it back in the way before the car had passed the point.  The crew told how they felt about it in no uncertain terms but the mob did not care, in fact it was D-e-l-i-g-h-t-e-d.

Probably some of the disturbers tried to run away with an automobile that had been left standing in the same neighborhood.  On Front street a wagon was placed on the track and afterward it blockaded traffic on the sidewalk.  On Greene street a lot of lumber stopped the cars for a time.  On the West Side the track was soaped and on the way down from the Country Club the crew were horrified to find that they were running over an object that resembled a man.  But it was only an imitation.

It is reported that a gang of school boys went to the High School building and raised a racket there in the surrounding neighborhood.  One window was broken in the school structure and others nearby.  The bunch are said to have gained an entrance to the building when it was found that two of the men teachers were there to receive them.  The lights were turned on by the men who had been concealed in the building.  There is a possibility that something may result from this prank.

A number of the residents from this side of the river attempted to cross the Putnam street bridge when they were met by a worthy foe from the other side who were loaded with a basket of bricks and other missiles.  A battle resulted and the East Siders were driven back.

At Marietta College there was some disturbance at a late hour.  After midnight some of the students got the President's cow from his barn and they took her and tied her in the room where the chapel exercises of the Academy are held.  The cow remained there for several hours.  She was removed when people went to the place today.

The minute hands on the four faces of the College clock were carried away.  Considerable paint was used about the buildings as is usually the case.

Friday, October 23, 2009

To Arms

The Home News, December 17, 1859

The Union is almost dissolved sure! The South is arming its frontiers! They've got cannon at Parkersburg! But we did not dream that the North was also preparing for the "irrepressible conflict," until we were informed of the fact by a late bulletin from the "seat of war." The gallant citizens of Belpre, determined that the Virginians shall not point cannon at them with impunity, have mounted a number of churns on wheels on the river bank. If Governor Wise should come to Parkersburg, he would see these dreadful weapons, taking a deadly aim, not only at that devoted city, but at the whole South -- institutions and all. Therefore, beat the hew-gag! Sound the tom-tom!! Call out the malishy!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Emblem Town

American Friend & Marietta Gazette, March 12, 1828

Mr. Prentiss:

In 1824, a little prior to Robert Owen's first arrival in America, I went to Washington, distributed my printed memorial to each member of that Congress, for a grant of a million acres of land in East Florida in behalf of my "Scientific Commonwealth."  When read in the Senate, it expired for need of breath.  I then embarked for St. Domingo, intending to petition Boyer; but was wrecked by a gale, and lost 650 dollars.  With the remainder of my damaged cargo, I visited South America, and found it a paradise for communities.  But those superstitious people could not estimate how unity gives knowledge, knowledge wealth, wealth power and felicity.

The "Scientific Commonwealth" over which I preside, (and Sol, like the head of any body, must guide the rest of the planets) has commenced at Emblem Town, 7 miles from Marietta, between Duck Creek and Muskingum river; and several families are now in full co-operation, one for all - all for one!  My school begins this week.  We receive scholars to board, &c. on moderate terms; mutual instruction our method, withits monitorial discipline.  But we inculcate no other religion than that of nature, and reverence to the Great Spirit of the Universe; by which we learn to love each other, and do all the good we can.

Do me the favor to publish this communication.  Not that we seek members.  Too many, alas! will seek us.  The Community I was three months associated with at Valley Forge, near Philadelphia, was overwhelmed by a rush of importunate applicants, and there was not fortitude enough to refuse them.  All that have failed have been surcharged in the commencement.

Edward P. Page

Parmelia Sparks

American Friend & Marietta Gazette, May 9, 1827

Information Wanted

Parmelia Sparks, sister to Joseph Sparks, a native of Maryland, who left there when 7 or 8 years of age, with a family whose name I do not recollect, and who moved to Centre Square, in the State of Delaware.  She then went to live with a Mrs. Campbell, who shortly afterwards moved to Marietta, in the state of Ohio, which was about eighteen years ago, and since that time I have not heard from her.  Any information by letter or otherwise, concerning her, addressed to the subscriber at Dayton, O. will be gratefully received, besides relieving a brother of much uneasiness of mind on her account.

Joseph Sparks.
March 12, 1827.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Washington County Postoffices

The Homes News,  March 5, 1859

There are 41 Postoffices in this county, an average of nearly two to each township.  The following is a correct list of the several Postoffices and Postmasters:

Aurelius - Albert G. Grubb
Barber - Jessie Johnson
Barlow - Lyman Laflin
Bartlett - William Crow
Belpre - E. Benedict
Beverly - John Keyhoe
Big Run - Thomas Featherston
Bonn - Walter Athey
Brown's Mills - Thomas Brackinridge
Centre Belpre - George N. Gilbert
Coal Run - Jere Wilson
Constitution - J. Harvey Deming
Decaturville - Philip Shrader
Dunbar - Shelton Dunbar
Dunham - Jasper Needham
Fillmore - Alexander McGirr
Fearing - Thomas F. Stanley
Flint's Mills - James M. Groves
Grandview - Anthony Sheets
Harmar - Chauncey T. Judd
Lawrence - William Hune
Layman - Carmi Smith
Lowell - James S. Williamson
Little Hocking - H. G. Curtis
Liberty Hill - Jacob Wharton
Lower Lawrence - William Caywood, Jr.
Lower Newport - Henry Sheets
Marietta - A. W. McCormick
Moss Run - George Casady
Newport - John Witten Gale
Olds - Joel Gilbert
Ostend - William Rea
Regnier's Mills - John Smithson
Saltpetre - William H. Kirkman
Tunnel - I. J. Vandewalker
Veto - W. H. Chevalier
Vincent - Mary J. Preston
Waterford - Charles Bowen
Watertown - Michael Ryan
Wesley - Joseph H. Gage

The following postoffices are located in villages differing in name from the office:

Centre Belpre is in Cedarville
Fearing is in Stanleyville
Flint's Mills is in Bloomfield
Layman is in Fishtown
Lower Salem is in Salem
Olds is in Cutler
Regnier's Mills is in Macksburg
Saltpetre is in Germantown

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fourth Street Presbyterian Church in Marietta

Marietta Register, March 18, 1869

Preliminary History.

This church was formed by a colony from the Congregational Church.  The first meeting to promote the object was held at a private house July 3, 1865, at which there were thirteen persons present.  The first step they took was to invite the Rev. H. W. Ballantine to be minister of the church, and next to appoint a committee to secure a place for meetings.

Accordingly Mr. Ballantine came and commenced his labors, July 30th, following, in the Baptist School House on Washington Street, the use of which, Sabbath mornings, was generously given by the Baptist Church until the present Presbyterian church edifice was ready for occupation.  The Sunday afternoon service, as also the Sunday School and the evening meetings were held in the German Lutheran Church, corner of Fourth and Scammel Streets, which was rented for the purpose.


The organization of the church was completed Sunday afternoon, August 27, 1865, by the enrollment of 53 members, and the election and ordaining of Silas Slocomb and Sala Bosworth, as Ruling Elders.  Forty-six of the enrolled members were from the Congregational Church, and the remaining seven from various other churches.  The organization was conducted by Rev. Prof. E. B. Andrews, of Marietta College, and the Rev. Chas. D. Curtis, then of Belpre, now president of Farmers' College, in connection with the Rev. Mr. Ballantine.

Original Members.

Silas Slocomb
S. S. Porter
Euretta S. Porter
Sala Bosworth
M. Frances Bosworth
Mrs. J. H. Shipman
H. B. Shipman
Jennie Shipman
Geo. H. Eells
Letitia Eells
Stephen Newton
Sarah A. Newton
Chas. H. Newton
Mary H. Newton
Maria B. Shipman
Anna M. Dana
J. D. Cotton
Ann S. Cotton
Ella M. Cotton
Sarah C. Dawes
Lucy Dawes
Mary B. Dawes
Eliza A. Tenney
Geo. C. Tenney
John Tenney
Mrs. L. E. Currier
Chas. P. Currier
John M. Slocomb
Julina Slocomb
Theodore F. Hall
Evelyn Hall
C. F. Andrews
Mary M. Stewart
Marian A. Stewart
William Shaw
Eliza Shaw
Charlotte E. Shaw
Sophia L. Paxton
Ann M. Porterfield
Benj. F. Stone
Julia F. S. Orr
Lucy Chapman
D. P. Pratt
Chas. Little
C. W. Anderson
L. L. Ballantine
J. J. Preston
Frances F. Plumer
M. F. Hay
Thos. Mitchell
Sarah Mitchell
Naomi A. Tenney

House of Worship.

The Church almost immediately began the building of a house of worship, laying the foundation in September, and occupying the house for public worship January 14th following.  The dedication services took place Sabbath, Jan. 28, 1866.  The building and lot cost about $9000; plans drawn and work superintended by John M. Slocomb, late of this place.

Other Matters.

The trustees of the Church from the beginning have been:  Silas Slocomb, Stephen Newton, Dr. J. D. Cotton, Geo. H. Eells and Gen. R. R. Dawes - and Dr. H. B. Shipman has been Treasurer.

Mr. Ballantine was duly installed as Pastor of the Church, by the Presbytery of Athens, in connection with the U.S. General Assembly, on Sunday, Apr. 15, 1866, and on the same day Luther Edgerton and Prof. Samuel Maxwell, having been previously elected, were inducted into the office of Ruling Elder.

On Sunday, Nov. 8, 1868, Prof. Maxwell having died some time before, Stephen Newton, Dr. H. B. Shipman and Cornelius P. Tinkham were ordained to the Eldership.

The present Session of the church therefore consists of the Rev. H. W. Ballantine, Pastor, and Elders, Silas Slocomb, Sala Bosworth, Luther Edgerton, Stephen Newton, H. B. Shipman and Cornelius P. Tinkham.


Three out of the four years since the organization of the church have been marked by religious interest, but not so general a revival has been enjoyed as during the two past months of the present year.  The fruits of this have not yet been gathered in so as to appear on the records, but 38 have thus far been examined and approved by the Session for admission at the coming communion.  It is expected that several more will be added to this number before that time.


William Shaw, Oct. 10, 1865 - 90 years.
Mary A. Anderson, Aug. 25, 1866 - 30 years.
Ellen Shaw, Sept. 21, 1866 - 82 years.
Joseph C. Huber, Dec. 10, 1866 - 30 years.
Samuel Maxwell, Jan. 21, 1867 - 62 years.
Frances P. Plumer, March 12, 1868 - 72 years.
Maria B. Shipman, July 15, 1868 - 42 years.


Whole No. members - 145
Dismissed to other churches - 40
Died - 7
Present No. members - 98
Accepted for admission - 38

Friday, October 2, 2009

Our Old Homes - Number 2

Marietta Semi-Weekly Register, May 23,1884.

One of the most interesting of all our historic houses is the present residence of C. B. Hall, Esq.  This is one of the oldest, if not the very oldest, house in Marietta, being erected some time during the Indian war, 1791-1795, by Col. Sproat.  The late Colonel Battelle, of Newport, the drummer boy of Farmer's Castle during the Indian war, once gave Mr. Hall an account of the first time he saw the house.  He was passing from the block houses at the Point to the garrison on the Stockade, and when about midway heard the sound of hammers.  This unusual noise in what was then still a forest surprised him greatly.  Stooping down and parting the underbrush, he soon spied the tall figure of Col. Sproat and his assistants, who, hammers in hand, were driving the wooden pegs, then used for nails, putting up what is now the kitchen of Mr. Hall's house.  Col. Battelle said the building was formed entirely of logs obtained from one of the block houses at the Point, which stood near the spot where Nye's Foundry now is.

Additions were afterwards made including the first story of the present houses and a South wing which has since been pulled down.  Here resided for a number of years with Mr. and Mrs. Sproat, Commodore and Mrs. Whipple, the parents of Mrs. Sproat.  Commodore Whipple, it will be remembered, was one of the heroes of the Revolution.  It was he who burned the hated British steamer "The Gaspe," in 1772, and who when Sir James Wallace wrote him a letter, intimating that he would hang him for it, exasperatingly and laconically replied:  "Sir: Always catch a man before you hang him.  Abraham Whipple."

It was also Commodore Whipple who fired the first gun upon the ocean, in the Revolution, and who first unfurled the American flag upon the Thames, after the Peace.

During the Indian War, Commodore Whipple cultivated a garden at Col. Sproat's place and was specially proud of his watermelons.  The old gentleman regretfully saw, hosever, each morning, that during the night his finest specimens disappeared.  he decided, one night, to stand guard and catch the mischievous boys from the garrison, whom he supposed to be the depredators.  So the old soldier took his place, and patiently, as so often he had done during the Revolution, stood sentry, his ancient musket loaded, resting in one of the loop-holes of the logs, ready to give the boys a good scare.  Presently he heard the steps he was listening for, but instead of boys playing their pranks, he was surprised to see three Indians step solemnly over the fence and begin gathering his favorite fruit.  It would have been an easy thing to shoot one or more of them, but, as he said, the melons were not worth the life of a man, even an Indian, so he allowed them to depart in peace and stood guard no more over his melon patch.  Commodore Whipple, having exhausted his means in the service of his country, died in May, 1819, poor but honest, on a farm on the banks of Duck Creek,now owned by Mr. Pape.

Col. Sproat, the builder of this old home, was the first Sheriff of the Northwest Territory.  He was an extremely handsome man, very tall and straight, standing six feet four inches in height.  The Indians always called him "Big Buckeye," and Dr. Hildreth gives this as the origin of the nickname of Ohioans.

In this house was married Col. Sproat's only child to a Mr. Sibley, of Detroit, Michigan.

Col. Sproat was extremely fond of cultivating the ground, and owning to Putnam street, his garden occupied almost an acre.  This was laid out tastefully in walks and squares, shaded with ornamental trees.  He also had here quite an orchard of pear, apple and peach trees.  Boys would be boys then as well as now, and these fruit trees were a great temptation to the students of the Academy which stood near by. The late Mr. James Lawton used to tell with a great deal of glee of his going to steal apples from here and how valiantly old Black Sucke, Col. Sproat's domestic for many years, defended the garden against their attacks.  In 1805 Col. Sproat died at his home, quite suddenly, at the age of fifty-five years, and his wife leaving the old house lived with her parents.

The place was then occupied by several different persons, among others by Dr. S. P. Hildreth, and here was born his oldest daughter afterwards Mrs. Douglas Putnam.  Finally in 1809 the property was bought by Captain Greene, a cousin of the great Gen'l. Greene of Revolutionary memory, by whom it was improved in 1812, the logs being weather-boarded and a second frame story added.  Capt. Greene came from New England and had been a sea captain for many years, trading to those far off points in the old world, rich in rare old china, beautiful shawls and other beautiful things, a lucrative business at one time, but finally broken up by our troubles with foreign nations.  Captain Greene once had a desperate encounter with pirates upon one of those voyages, the marks of which he bore to his dying day.   In the thick of the encounter, while giving an order, a musket ball passed through his face, going through both cheeks but not injuring his tongue.  Captain Greene was a merchant and a down river trader, a man of enterprise and public spirit, highly respected by all who know him.

The handsome old structure now owned by Judge Follett was built in 1802 by Governor Meigs, who previous to this time, when in Marietta, had lived on the Point, on the Muskingum bank.  In 1805 the building was not finished, but the upstairs was fitted up temporarily for the Congregational Society, though their usual services were held in the Academy.  Jan. 8th, 1806, the Rev. S. P. Robbins, one of the most devoted ministers any church every had, was ordained in this house.  From a very rare old pamphlet by Dr. S. P. Hildreth, some interesting facts concerning this occasion have been gleaned.

The various pastors, living at a distance, who were to officiate, arrived on horseback some days previous to the great day and were hospitably entertained.  At this date there were only six or seven Congregational or Presbyterian ministers in Ohio, the State having a population of ninety thousand.  Reverend Jacob Lindsley came from Waterford and upon the ordination day made the opening prayer.  Rev. Thomas Robbins, cousin of the candidate, came from New Connecticut or the Western Reserve, and delivered the sermon from the words "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."  Matt. 24, 14.  The address was afterwards printed.  Rev. Lyman Potter, of Steubenville, made the consecrating prayer; Rev. Mr. Badger, from Austinville, Pa., gave the charge; Rev. Stephen Lindsley, pastor of the Presbyterian church at marietta, presented the right hand of fellowship and Rev. Mr. Badger made the concluding prayer.  After the services the pastor and people renewed the covenant and gave their assent to the confession of faith.

About this time Gov. Meigs returned from the South, where he had filled the position of Colonel and Commandant of the upper district of Louisiana, to accept the office of Judge of the Northwest Territory.  He some time after finished his residence, even now one of the handsomest in town, which was then surrounded with extensive grounds, reaching to the property owned by Col. Sproat.  The principal workman upon the house was Loftus Katon.

The militia training was often held upon the commons in front of Gov. Meig's residence.  The Governor not satisfied with the drill the men went through on that occasion, always had the boys form in line also with wooden guns and swords, under the command of Dudley Dodge, one of their own number, and go through with the same training.  Much to the disgust of Mrs. Meigs and Daphne Squire (the latter of whom was born in Gov. Meigs' house and lived there for forty years), at the close of the training the boys were always marched through the great hall, leaving all the mud possible, to the back yard, where they were treated to apples, pears, melons and ginger bread, then with a right about face were marched back through the hall and dismissed.  At the close of training day the militia were always drawn up in front of the Meigs residence and a salute given the Governor.

Governor Meigs, although a staunch Democrat, was fond of a good deal of display.  In this old home was placed the first Brussels carpet ever brought to Marietta and also the first of those abominations, considered in those days the height of elegance, a hair-cloth sofa.  These were all brought, with what trouble we can imagine at that early day, from Washington City.  At one time the paper in the parlor was a beautiful shade of pink.

The Governor also used a handsome carriage and cream colored horses.  The footman always accompanied the carriage, riding upon a horse the exact match of the ones which drew the carriage of his master and mistress.

During the time that Gov. Meigs was Postmaster General, from 1814-1823, Mrs. Meigs spent much of her time in Washington.  Then the house was left in some one's charge, and three maiden ladies, Miss Clarissa, Miss Catherine and Miss Mary Stone, at one time lived there under these circumstances.  In traveling to the Capital the Governor and Mrs. Meigs went much of the way on horseback, with Mrs. Meigs' reception and party dresses crushed into saddle bags in a way to drive a modern belle distracted.  During this time the Governor's salary, as a cabinet officer, was three thousand dollars, while their bill for board was twenty dollars a week.

The old house saw a good deal of gayety in those early days.  The Governor was a great favorite with youngmen and enjoyed their society.  Besides he had a pretty and interesting daughter, an only child, who was very much admired.  Royal Prentiss, connected with the first paper published in Marietta, "The Ohio Gazette and Territorial and Virginia Herald," afterwards one of the editors of "The American Friend," was one of the beaux of pretty Mary Meigs.  Lieutenant Danielson, who was in Marietta from 1804-1812, teaching much of the time and the leader of gay society, was also one of her admirers.  He went into the war of 1812 (was it on account of her unkindness to him?) and after a long illness of malarial fever (so the doctors called it), died at Fort Winchester, five months after he had put on a lieutenant's epaulets in the service of his country.  A Mr. Jeffers was also one of the victims to her bright, black eyes and raven hair and pale, fair complexion.  (Do you wonder she wanted the parlor pink?)  But probably the most distinguished of her lovers was Samuel Huntington, afterwards Governor of Ohio.  Finally, after working all the woe she could, with her sweet face and winning ways, when she was nineteen, a nuptial ceremony was solemnized by Rev. Mr. Robbins in the North parlor, and Mary Meigs married John G. Jackson of Virginia.

During the winter of 1812, several quite severe earthquakes occurred at Marietta.  Mr. Meigs was at that time Governor of the State and the family were alone in the great house.  The shocks occurred at night, once at least, the doors and windows in the stout mansion rattled viciously, the dishes danced in the closets and half the inhabitants of Marietta were in the streets in their night clothes.

Finally, after filling many of the most prominent offices in the State and Nation, having been Supreme Judge, Senator, Governor, Postmaster General, the old home witnessed a solemn scene, when its master, after months of suffering with consumption, was carried from its portals and laid to rest in Mound Cemetery.  His daughter was called to grieve for not only her father but her husband also, as both died the same day, March 29th, 1825.  Mrs. Meigs continued to live at the old home.  Usually some of her grandchildren were with her and Daphne Squier now was able to return some of the kindness with which the Governor and Mrs. Meigs had always treated her.

After Mrs. Meigs' death, in 1838, a number of persons occupied the house.  Among others were Mrs. and Miss Julia Miller and Mrs. Betsey Lovell.  In 1865 the house was purchased by Judge Follett.

Strange to say, the first owner, Governor Meigs, filled the first State office to which any citizen of Washington county was ever elected, and after a lapse of seventy years, the last owner of the house, Judge Follett, holds the second State office to which any one from Washington county has been summoned by the suffrages of the people.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Our Old Homes - Number 1

Marietta Semi-Weekly Register, May 9,1884.

Old houses have a language of their own, alas that it should be unintelligible to us.  An occasional sleepless night would not be so unbearable if the creaking floors and groaning walls and rattling windows of our historic houses could convey to our dull senses what they try so hard to make us understand.  This cannot be.  With all their well meant efforts they only succeed in giving us Rheumatism.  There are however still with us, white haired men, who count many, many more friends in the other world than in this, who, as they walk our streets, see there the houses of almost a century ago and people the side walks with the friends of other years, the pioneer men and women, who made the great State of Ohio a possibility.  From these patriarchs, the connecting link of past and present, we have collected some facts, concerning our most interesting old homes and their early owners.

In the first years of the century, a young man, Henry P. Wilcox, moved to Marietta.  He had some means, a most agreeable manner, and a handsome person, and besides being the protege of Governor Meigs was soon a favorite with all the best people in Marietta.  Having prospered in business and married a Miss Willard, the daughter of an Episcopal clergyman, he looked about for a pleasant home.  He soon purchased the square lying between 4th and 5th and Putnam and Scammel streets.  The only building upon this ground was a small, frame house, which stood where the Mills residence now does.  This was put up in 1797, by Dr. Wm. Putnam, grandson of Gen'l. Israel Putnam, and now stands on the plain, being occupied by Mr. Kerns, the expressman.  This building gone, Mr. Wilcox proceeded to build the house which was been occupied for so many years by the family of the late Col. Mills.

This was in 1820-22.  In the year 1832 the whole square sold to Mr. Swearengen, of Wheeling, for $1300.  Mr. Wilcox and Gov. Meigs also built the store in which Mr. Brigham now has a grocery on the corner of Front and Putnam streets, and here Mr. Wilcox kept a store and the post office.  In time there was brought against him a terrible charge.  He was accused of opening letters and stealing money from them.  A man named Morris, an applicant for the position which Mr. Wilcox held and the principal witness against him, said that looking through the window, one night, he saw Mr. Wilcox taking money from letters.  The disgraced man at once fled the country leaving wife, children, property all behind.  His family afterward joined him and his business was settled by his staunch friend Gov. Meigs.  Some of his old comrades remained true to his memory; the many whom he had nursed through the long, terrible, sickly season of 1822-23, those who had admired his business ability and whose hearts he had won by his pleasant address.  These all said that he was an honest man, though a timid one, and that he had been simply frightened away.  The truth now will never be known.  It is said that Mr. Wilcox prospered and was never accused of anything dishonorable in the new home to which he fled.

An interesting house is the one in which for so many years dwelt the late lamented A. T. Nye, Esq.  Over its front door, in early times, was seen a stone with these words engraved upon it: "S. & P. Pool, 1806."  Simon and Polly Pool were the first owners of the house and for many years it was used by them for a tavern.  Mr. Nye used to say that one of his earliest recollections was of being sent there by handsome Colonel Sproat, our first Sheriff, to bring him a just of whisky.  As was the habit of those days the reckoning was kept on the door, P standing for pints and Q for quarts, from which early custom of tavern keepers arose the old adage "Mind your p's and q's."

The place was sold to Nathaniel Dodge, grandfather of Mrs. A. T. Nye, who is the last remaining member, but one, of the old generation of the Dodges.  Mrs. Nye still owns the property and keeps the ancient home a model of old fashioned comfort.  Many have been the merry makings, the weddings, the Thanksgiving dinners, in this hospitable mansion, and also many the death beds, the funerals, the heartaches, as the sad procession so many times has wound its slow length from the crape marked door.  Five generations have lived in the old house and a sunny haired girl and boy belonging to the sixth generation are never so happy as when under the roof of their great grandmother.

Next the Nye house stands the substantial brick residence of Dr. Hildreth.  The back part of this dwelling was put up in 1804 or 1805 by Nathan McIntosh for Timothy Gates.  In payment for the brick work Mr. McIntosh received one hundred acres of land near Beverly.  The three story front was erected in 1823 by Dr. S. P. Hildreth, and it is said that much of the work was done by men in payment for the services of the good doctor in the dreadful, sickly season.  Within these walls were written the invaluable accounts of the early history of Ohio and the first settlers, which form the foundation of all later works upon this subject, and without which the story of the pioneers would now be little better than a myth.

The home of the Ward family for so many years, now occupied by Geo. Rice, Esq., was built by Gen'l. E. W. Tupper, a gallant soldier of the War of 1812, about 1801, and made the finest appearance of any Marietta residence at that early day.  Gen'l. Tupper occupied it till 1810 when he moved to Gallipolis.  in 1817 it was sold to Nahum Ward, Esq.  The house was celebrated during his life-time for its open doors and hospitable cheer.  No one in Marietta enjoyed entertaining his friends more than Mr. Ward, and he never appeared to better advantage than when arrayed in his usual ruffled shirt and suit of broadcloth, he sat at the head of his long table, the picture of dignified hospitality.  When court was in session the table was always laid for a company and many were the meals taken in the old dining hall, then one of the front rooms, by such men as Tom Ewing, Gen'l. Goddard, Thomas [Samuel] Vinton and Attorney Gen'l. Stanberry, who in those early days were very frequent attendants at court in Marietta.

Two very distinguished guests have been within the walls of this old house.  In 1825 Gen'l. Lafayette was making a second tour of triumph through the United States.  One peaceful May morning, almost sixty years ago, the citizens of Marietta were startled by the booming of cannon.  A great concourse of people assembled at the riverbank, and soon a little steamer, "The Herald," was descried and across her bow, in great white letters, was seen the name of La Fayette.

It was Monday morning and Mrs. Ward, like all good house-wives, was busy superintending her home duties, when Mr. Ward hurried in, with the word that every thing must be dropped to prepare for La Fayette as he was coming and would soon be at the door.  Mr. Ward met La Fayette, whom he had visited in Paris, at the boat and the Gen'l. drove with Mr. Ward at once to his house.  The news had spread like wild fire and almost at once the house and grounds were filled with people.  Even the upstairs rooms were crowded and one woman was discovered on the back stairs, almost breathless with excitement, enquiring eagerly for "the La Fayette" and declaring impetuously that she must see "it" as she had come expressly for that purpose.  What she imagined the great Frenchman to be no one had time to find out.

Finally the people were prevailed upon to arrange themselves in lines on either side of the long, front walk and La Fayette walked up and down between them.  Everybody was introduced and shaken hands with and even the babies kissed, by this great man, whom all Americans delighted to honor.  As the boat could wait but a few hours, this soon came to an end and amid the booming of cannon and the cheers of the people "The Herald" steamed off and once more bore La Fayette over the blue waters of the Ohio.  Among the most highly prized relics in the Ward family is a cane, which La Fayette carried at the time he was confined in Russia at the Olmutz prison, and which he presented to Mr. Ward when he met him in Paris.

Later, in 1843, the old house had within its walls, as a guest, a former President of the United States, John Quincy Adams.  After an address at the Congregational Church by the distinguished visitor, he drove through the town with Mr. Ward and resting at his house for an hour, drank a glass of wine, as had also La Fayette, from the vintage of 1818.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

History of the Class of 1853 - Marietta High School

The Marietta Register (semi-weekly), June 21,1887

By Mrs. Vesta Westgate Glines, read at the Alumni re-union.

March 28th, 1860, the Board of education authorized the Secretary to correspond with reference to a teacher for a female school of the highest order. In the annual report of the Board to the town Council, under date of March 22d, ’51, is this entry: “During the year the Board of Education have secured the services of Mr. M. D. Kingsley for Superintendent, who also teaches the Boys’ High School. The services of Miss Pickett who teaches the Girls’ High School.” It is probable the High School was established in the fall of 1850, though there is no formal record of the fact.

July 22d, 1853, the first class graduated. A class of seventeen. At the time of their graduation the teachers were Mr. E. D. Kingsley and Miss Lucy Temple. The members of the Board: I. W. Andrews, president; Beman Gates, secretary; Lucius Brigham, Robert Crawford and T. W. Ewart.

The Commencement exercises were held in the school-room. The Board, their wives and particular friends of the class, were invited. The music consisted of duets, choruses, songs sung by the class. All passing off nicely however; we were as well satisfied, as any class which has since graduated with sound of the cornet and flourish of trumpet.

While memory holds her sway, we can never forget “ye olden times” thirty-four years ago, when we and our “Alma Mater” as well, were young, but many have been the changes in the years which have passed; to some time has brought choice and rich blessings, to others, adversity and trials; some have been a blessing to the communities in which they have lived, and thankfully we can say, none have been a curse; many lives that bid fair to be the richest and fullest have passed away first. Among the number of these is Justus Morse, who died three years after graduation. Had he lived he certainly would have made a name and place for himself among the great men of his times; besides being class poet he was famous for his knowledge of chemistry; in that recitation he never failed. His sister, Maria Morse graduated in the class with him. After she left school she taught for a while in the country, also in the union schools. She was very energetic and enterprising, and she filled the eight years she lived after graduation with kind acts, and good deeds, showing she was one who could master circumstances and not be molded by them.

The next to be called home, was Maria Booth, one of the sweetest and loveliest girls of our class, with a gentle affectionate spirit, shrinking to quiet corners with congenial friends, yet a patient toiler for other’s good. Called away in the morning of life, before she had sorrowed or suffered much; who shall say, hers was not the better lot.

Immediately after leaving school John Morse obtained a situation with the engineering corps, engaged in surveying and locating the old M. & C. R. R. He followed this business successfully for several years, until obtaining a situation, as agent of the T. H. & St. L. R. R. at Alton, Ill. He remained with the Western R. R. Co. until failing health required him to give up active duties; overwork resulted in the complete breaking down of his physical strength and of the consequent fatal result of an over-worked brain he died Feb. 13th 1880 at the age of 44. We might say a great deal more of this kind, great-hearted class-mate, but everyone who knew him needs no reminding of this generous hearted man.

These, our classmates, died single. The first of those who married, to leave a loving husband and little children, was Virginia Nye Ford, who died in Iowa four short years after her marriage, leaving two motherless daughters, the youngest a few days old. How sad must have been that home when the change and shadow fell, when the wife and mother went out into that wider life. I do not think that they in the heavenly peace and freedom will go on so fast beyond us who stay here, as to go away, for we who stay and bear, are climbing, by rough, grand steps, to as beautiful heights.

Carrie Brigham married William Rankin Feb. 12th, 1863. Her married life was spent in Putnam, O. They were given an only son who, with the father, was called to mourn the loss of a devoted mother and true and faithful wife, when Carrie went home, twenty-one years after marriage. It seemed that her life’s work was not nearly done, and one so loved and loving could not be spared. The swift passing away of our classmates causes us to exclaim, with the poet –

“Life is but a beautiful shell,
Thrown up by eternity’s flow,
On Time’s bank of quicksand to dwell,
And a moment its loveliness show.

Gone back to the elements grand,
Is the billow that cast it ashore;
See another is washing the sand,
And the delicate shell is no more.”

Mary Slocomb graduated at the age of seventeen, married Dr. David Cotton Nov. 21st, 1861, going to Portsmouth to live. She has had four daughters, and one son who died in infancy. Grace, the oldest daughter, was the valedictorian of her class and spent some time in Boston at an art school. Mary, the second daughter, also took the first honor of her class and is in the Senior class in the Women’s College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Mary has been foremost in the good works of Portsmouth, her name intimately connected with the Children’s Home of that place. Her life has seemed to us who have looked on to have been a success in the very best sense of the word.

Jennie Butler was the first one of the class to marry. She was married at her home in the East to J. Russell Crawford, sixty-nine days after graduation. Her only child, Walter Wells Crawford, was born August 26th, 1854, and died at the age of sixteen. Mr. Crawford died in March, 1859. Four years afterward Mrs. Crawford married Dr. H. B. Shipman. Since Mr. Crawford’s death Jennie’s life has been spent in Marietta.

Her life’s cup has been filled to the brim, containing bitter and sweet, joy and sorrow. Her work has been in her home, and her church, and those who know her best love her most.

Sophia Browning was the second one of the class to marry. She lived at her home in Belpre until she married Mr. Clark, who practiced law in Marietta, until the late war. Mr. Clark was instrumental in raising the 36th O.V.I., who were encamped in the fair grounds. He became Colonel of this regiment, and was killed at the battle of Antietam, August 17th, 1863, and buried with military honors in the Mound Cemetery.

At Col. Clark’s death Sophia was left a widow at the age of twenty-six, with four children. I think it impossible to find one at that age with such heavy responsibilities, that showed more courage than she, in doing and bearing, with no word of complaint. Her step-son, Joseph, went out with the one hundred days men and was killed. Thus she gave husband and son to her country. In ’63 she returned to Belpre and devoted her life to the care of her blind mother and fatherless children, until she died September 6, 1878. In speaking of death she said: “I love to think of this life and the next as a school, and leaving this life and entering the Heavenly world as only being promoted from a lower to a higher grade.”

Her children have all lived to be an honor to their mother and to one who was a mother to them after they were left fatherless and motherless.

Mary Gilbert went to her home in Belpre after graduation. Soon after she had a large music class in Pomeroy, afterward was governess near Charleston. Wishing to perfect herself in music she went to Boston, where she became acquainted with her husband, Mr. Wm. B. Porter. For years she has been a great sufferer with spinal trouble. She has had three children; the oldest daughter is with her Savior. Mary is a good, Christian worker, and notwithstanding her sickness, has done good missionary work in her Iowa home. We hope her life may be spared these many years to loving husband, children and many friends, who feel, if she were taken away, her place could never be filled.

Elizabeth Soyez remained at her home in Marietta until the spring of ’58, when she was married to Lewis Stockman and went with him to Lawrenceburg, Ind., to live. Her husband entered the army in ’61 and died in Andersonville prison in ’64, after a confinement there of eleven months. At his death Elizabeth was left a widow with four small children, the oldest only a little over five years old. Who that has never passed through similar trials can write the history of a life such as hers must have been, can tell of her sorrows, cares and responsibilities, of her many sad hours and heart aches, or of the good end and the gladness, the joy and thanksgiving in these later years as her children, all spared to her, have grown to be a real blessing and comfort. When we speak of sacrifices made for a loved country, we should not forget those mothers who gave their husbands and their children’s father.

Rhoda Shipman was married to Rev. Temple Cutler, Aug. 15th, 1860. She has two daughters of whom she has every reason to be proud. In the fall of ’61, Rev. Mr. Cutler entered the army as Chaplain of the 9thMaine. At the close of the war they were among the freedmen, employed by the A. M. A. five years. At present Mr. Cutler is settled over a church in Essex, Massachusetts. As a missionary, and minister’s wife, Rhoda has had rare opportunities for doing good, and faithfully has she improved them. We all preach our sermon, but not all with the same earnestness.

One of the class, Julia Holden, has held to her maiden name. Her life has been a busy, happy life full of thought for others, full of kind acts and self-sacrifice.  Julia is a true, christian woman, ever ready with the sympathetic word, the hand and heart to help; her life has been one of love, and prayer, and faith, and doing; would there were more like her. Until the last year she has lived in Marietta. Now she is with her brother in Petroleum, West Virginia.

The third one of the class to marry was Vesta Westgate. After leaving school she taught two years in the Union Schools on Greene St. Nov. 1, 1855, married C. E. Glines. Her home has always been in Marietta, her life a quiet, sheltered, happy one. Many blessings [have] been bestowed upon her. Among the greatest, the four children given them. One God took back; three he has trusted them with. The passing years have left their traces upon them both; but what life that is worth the living, does not make its record. Few have had warmer and truer friends than they, and none have loved and appreciated their friends more.

Hattie Shipman taught in the Washington St. School, the 4th St. Grammar School and for one year was assistant in the High School. She was valedictorian of the class of 1853; married Martin Follet, who was valedictorian of his class; their son Dewey taking the first honor in his class; and the Grand daughter, Harriet, bids fair to keep the ball rolling. Hattie buried her only daughter, and her son Charlie, went out from home a healthy, happy lad, and in three short hours was brought back a corpse, drowned, with three playmates, while skating on the Muskingum.

Hattie’s life was a pure and happy one. She lived above the level of jealousy and petty selfishness, rejoicing in the success and happiness of every one. Her death adds one more to the list of loved ones the class of ’53 have in that better land.

Mary Tolford left Marietta soon after graduation to teach in Monmouth, Ill. There she married Mr. A. B. Page, who owned a stock farm near that place. Mary and her husband have been for many years members of the Baptist church. Mr. Page was a prominent man in that part of the state, a widower with several children. Mary has been the mother of nine children, four of whom have died; her eldest son has taken a preemption claim at the far west; the oldest daughter is a missionary at Salt Lake City, under auspices of the W. B. H. M. Mr. Page died in ’81, and Mary has resided on the farm until this spring when she went to Monmouth to educate her younger children. In speaking of her life, Mary says: “My life has been one of constant self-sacrifice, of toiling and striving for others, and yet it has brought its joys and reward; if I have had much care and toil, I also have had my share of love and happiness.” Mrs. Page has never returned to Marietta since she first left, and her letter tells very little of her life’s work, but enough, so we can know she has earned the “well done” which will be said to those who faithfully use their opportunities.

William B. Loomis was born at New London, Conn.; removed to Marietta in 1840; he is of Puritan stock, his ancestors having come from London, Eng., to Boston in the ships Susan and Ellen in 1638. He entered the High School at about twelve years of age and graduated at the age of sixteen, after which he studied jurisprudence and read law sufficient to enable him to be admitted to the Bar in ’57 by the District Court then held at Marietta. Since then he has practiced law continuously with the exception of five years from July ’68 to July ’73, spent upon the Bench as Common Pleas and District Judge. He still has his office at Marietta, is engaged in a general practice of the law in the courts. He was married Oct. 1st, 1860 to Harriet Frances Wheeler, who died in 1879. The children of this marriage are three boys and one daughter, who died in infancy. Judge Loomis was again married June 15, 1880, to Mrs. N. C. Hodkinson. One son is the only child of this marriage.  The class of ’53 wish to impress it upon the mind of Judge Loomis, that they look to him for all political honors.

There are now living, nine members of the class, twenty-eight children, and eight grand children.

The class of 1853 has given to the world dutiful daughters, first-class school teachers, devoted, self-sacrificing mothers, and faithful wives.

One energetic business man, whose life was shortened by his endeavors to earn a place for himself among the foremost men of his times, and one Judge who has great future possibilities.

The Marietta High School may well be proud of her Alumni, but while the class of ’53 dip their Pennant in salute and welcome to the class of ’87 they lower it to none.

Reminiscences of Slavery

The Marietta Register, January 4, 1894

About thirty years ago, Harvey Martena went to the polls in West Marietta to vote.  A gentleman living there at that time, a worshiper at the shrine of Gambrinus, objected to his voting, on the ground that Mr. Martena was a "nigger."  Mr. Martena was sworn and he testified that he was begotten and reared on the sacred soil of Virginia, the mother of states and statesmen, by a white man, a Dutchman named Martena, who had been a Democratic law-maker in the Old Dominion.  He also stated that in his mother's veins flowed a little white blood.  It is needless to say that his vote went into the ballot box with a whoop.  The late Silas Malcomb of Tunnel, informed the writer years ago that he voted for Harvey Martena's father for the legislature in Virginia.

There lived in Barlow for many years before the late war, during the war and for many years after the war, a quiet, unoffending citizen, rather dusky, but had been considered white and was allowed to vote undisturbed for many years.  What I am about to relate occurred about the time of the war or just before.  This dusky man was about to vote at the polls, in Barlow, when some one in a joke, whispered in the ear of a son of Erin, who despised negroes, to challenge this man's vote.  The dusky man and the son of Erin were not acquainted.  The latter yelled in a stentorian voice, "I object to that man's voten."  Said one of the judges of the election, calling the son of Erin by his name, "Why do you object to the man's voting."  The reply was, "Because he is dom nagur."  The dusky man was allowed to vote.

Somewhere in the fifties a young slave woman escaped from slavery and reached the home of W. S. Heald.  Shortly after she arrived at Mr. Heald's, her owner put in an appearance in the neighborhood in search of his slave girl.  As the boys would say, the circumstances of the affair made it "a ground hog case."  Something had to be done and that immediately.  Miss Martha J. Heald, daughter of W. S. Heald, the old Abolitionist, seemed at once to take in fully the situation and at once dressed the slave girl in her clothes and gave her a veil to hide her face with and they mounted horses and were soon on their way to a locality north of Plymouth, where they arrived in safety, and ere long the slave girl planted her feet on the free soil of Canada.  Miss Heald is the wife of our much esteemed friend, Lawyer Jim Ross.  A cousin of Miss Heald's, a boy of about 15 years, went with Miss Heald and the slave girl, on horseback, a short distance in the rear to protect the girls against the assaults of the slave hunter.  This boy is now a prosperous citizen in Vincent, Ohio.

On a hot, sultry day in August, 1860, a colored boy about sixteen years of age, entered a store in Vincent, without hat or shoes.  The merchant approached him and inquired if he was a run-away slave.  His answer was in the affirmative.  Inquiry was then made by the merchant if he wanted to go to Canada and be free.  He answered that he did.  He was then concealed till night.  In the meantime he was furnished with a hat, food, &c.  Two anti-slavery men then arranged to take him to friends that actually were Friends at Plymouth.  Horses had to be procured for the trip, which were difficult to obtain, on account of the owners being timid about such business.  One more horse was needed, and the question was where can it be procured; finally it dawned upon the mind of one of the Abolitionists that a lady lived in the vicinity, whose husband had horses, who had a brother that was a Wesleyan Methodist preacher.  All Wesleyan Methodist preachers were Abolitionists, and the application would be made to her husband for the needed horse, to which he demurred, but his wife on learning what the horse was wanted for prevailed on her husband to let the horse go.  The following night the slave boy reached Plymouth safe and sound, and next night he was taken further on toward the land of freedom.

The following is from Prof. Ames' notes.  Henry Parker was a slave belonging to Benj. Cooper, who lived near Parkersburg.  In his own auto-biography he says:  "I left my master on the fourth Saturday in October, 1859, and with great difficulty made my way to the Under Ground Railway, fording the Hocking and carrying my mother and sister across."  Mr. Smith piloted him to Jonathan Lee's, who told him (Parker) that he was the one hundred and tenth escaped slave who had been assisted by him and none had ever returned.  Mr. Lee had been so active and so successful in his operations on the Under Ground Railroad that a reward of $1000 had been offered for him.  Henry Parker went to Canada, remained a year, went to Michigan, went blind and there preached seven years ago (1886).  He returned to see his benefactor, Lee, and came to Parkersburg.  His master hearing of his presence in the city sent for him.  The master was now blind and when these two, master and slave, now sightless, met, a feeling of mutual joy took possession of both.

The kidnapping of Peter M. Garner, Creighton Loraine, and Mordecai Thomas, on the Ohio river near the mouth of Little Hocking, created intense excitement, not only in this locality, but throughout the nation.  They were incarcerated in jail at Parkersburg about six months.  Samuel F. Vinton defended them.  The writer never saw Peter M. Garner but once.  He came to our house at Middle Creek, shortly after he was released from his incarceration and stayed over night.  I was but twelve years old at the time and I remember distinctly how he looked or appeared.  The reason why I remember his appearance so vividly is because I listened attentively to the thrilling story of his capture and incarceration as he related it to my father.

The following is taken from Prof. Ames' notes:  "Six slaves, the property of Harwood, Washington's Bottom, had been sold.  Their anxiety to escape to a land of freedom was influenced by the knowledge of the sale to new and unknown masters.  A Baptist minister, Joseph Romine, is supposed to have been the instrument in making arrangements to have a party of Ohio abolitionists meet the negroes at nightfall a short distance above the mouth of Little Hocking river.  The rescuing party was composed of Peter M. Garner, Creighton Loraine, Mordecai Thomas, Titus Shotwell, Burdon Stanton and James Smith.  The latter was prevented from joining his companions by a heavy rain.  A man by the name of Sims, who lived in a house nestled against the cliffs that frown down upon the river at the landing place, led on by hope of reward, had learned of the plot and secretly notified the Virginians of the place of escape and rescue.  Accordingly several armed men from the Virginia side anticipated all parties and secreted themselves in the willows.  As the Ohio men were carrying the baggage from the canoe, the Virginians rushed upon them and captured five of the negroes and three of the whites, Peter M. Garner, Creighton Loraine, and Mordecai Thomas.  One negro rushed through the crowd and secreted himself in a tree-top, densely overgrown with vines and weeds.  He lay there till nearly morning when he climbed the bank and took refuge with Henry Thompson, who lived near Red Bush.  He fell into the hands of Mr. Smith, thence into Conductor Coursey's train."  Titus Shotwell still lives and is as lively as a cricket.   A granddaughter of Burton Stanton's is the wife of one of the most respected and prosperous merchants of Marietta.

The following incident is from Prof. Ames' notes:

"In 1850 a company of six or seven negroes were piloted from Francis Stone's by Mr. Smith, one night, to Doctor Vickers', who lived just beyond the twin bridges at the forks of Hocking.  At that time Mr. Smith was building the abutment for the bridge at the mouth of Davis creek.  Mr. I. W. Putnam, the next morning at breakfast discovering Mr. Smith's late return, jokingly remarked that he must have been running negroes away.  Mr. Putnam's remark was nearer the truth than he knew."

Fifty years ago a company of slaves, consisting of men, women and children, I do not remember the number, made their escape from Virginia, not far from Marietta, and reached the farm of Massa Hovey, on Duck creek, about fifteen miles from Marietta.  Their pursuers were so close on their track that it became absolutely necessary that they should be concealed in a deep hollow or ravine on the farm of Massa Hovey.  A very huge tree had fallen down and they were concealed by the side of this fallen tree.  There they were kept for three weeks, the Abolitionists not daring to move them, as the woods in that locality were being searched for them by their owners and the "lick spittle" they had hired to assist them in their search.  During all this time the Abolitionists clandestinely furnished food and water for them.  Finally a way opened up by which they were moved on.  Randall L. Wells, a courageous and adventurous man of Middle creek, Monroe county, Ohio, was their Moses who piloted them out of the wilderness to the promised land.  Only two Israelites ever reached the happy land of Canaan, but the whole band of Randall L. Wells' reached the happy land of Canada.  While the search for these slaves was going on two of the "lick spittle" who were given money to buy whisky and tobacco by the slave hunters to do their dirty and nefarious business . . . two birds with one stone," hunt the runaway slaves and also kill squirrels.  One of the men shot a squirrel in the top of a very tall tree, and it fell in the midst of these slaves where they were concealed behind the fallen tree, and he started to get the squirrel when the other hunter said, "Damn it, come on, we are not hunting squirrels, we are hunting niggers."  If he had gone and got his squirrel he would have found the negroes.

In the year 1856, G. E. Smith, jeweler of Parkersburg, was taking an anti-slavery paper, published by Fred. Hasanreck at Cincinnati.  It was a German paper.  Thomas Smith was postmaster at Parkersburg at the time of this incident.  He learned that Mr. G. E. Smith's paper was anti-slavery.  The postmaster said to him you are taking an abolition paper, and you cannot get it through this office any longer.  After that for a while he received his paper in Belpre, then again he received it at Parkersburg through some kind of manipulating that the postmaster did not catch on to.

This will be my last article on the Reminiscences of Slavery.  I have endeavored to write nothing but facts.  No doubt there may be some errors.  No person realizes how difficult it is to get historical facts until he tries it.  I will here make a few corrections.  Whistler's two lines to which he refers to Rev. Whitfield favoring the African Slave trade, I wrote as follows:

"He bade the slave ships speed from coast to coast.
Framed by the wings of the Holy Ghost."

The printer has it, "He leads the slave ship's speed, &c."

In the mob at West Marietta it was Eb Cory who struck Tom Hutchinson, instead of Eb. Corry, as I had and the printer had it Carry.  W. W. McCoy informs me that the mob occurred in 1835 or 1836 instead of 1830.  I presume he is correct.  My informant thought it occurred in 1830, but he was not positive, but he was positive that it was during Old Hickory's Administration and that A. D. V. Joline got the post office under him.  Reuben C. Knowles, of Armenia was my informant.  He was present when the mobbing took place.  In giving the names of the surviving abolitionists of my acquaintance I made two mistakes.  It should be Titus Shotwell instead of Thomas Shotwell.  I have given Jonathan Lee as one of the survivors; this is a mistake for he is long since dead.  The stars in his heavenly crown are numerous, provided he has one for every poor slave he has helped on his way to freedom.  If you cannot get stars in your crown by assisting suffering humanity, how can you obtain them?  I wrote it Wm. Steel was a full cousin of W. E. Gladstone, &c., instead of as printed, E. Gladstone.  Thus far, I believe, I have corrected all the mistakes.

I have been asked why I call slavery, as it existed in this country, the crime of crimes.  My answer is that it was the "sum of all villainies."  It embodied murder, theft, robbery, adultery, forced concubinage, falsehood and piracy.  It was the vilest system of oppression under the sun and finally culminated in the blackest crime recorded in world's history.  I refer to the hideous treatment of the gallant and heroic men who went forth to battle for the glorious stars and stripes, the emblem of personal and religious liberty, who, while in rebel prisons, froze and starved to death, many of whom were eaten up alive with hateful vermin.  It cannot be denied that for many, many long years the American church and clergy were the bulwarks of this crime of crimes.  The old-time abolitionists were the pioneers in the grand cause of universal freedom and they kept agitating the question of slavery at the risk of their lives, many of whom did lose their lives, and many more were persecuted, boycotted, tarred and feathered, ridden on rails and hated by most people.  But they finally put in motion the liberty ball that eventually wiped from this country the curse and blot of the crime of crimes.  Think of the scoffs and jeers, the insulting remarks they have endured, and they never flinched.  How often I have heard it said that they, as a class, were a set of fanatical ignoramuses and withal unprincipled.  Let me say right here, the three hundred thousand slave-holders of this country did not have money enough to buy one of them to betray a runaway slave.  A more noble band of men has never lived in this country.  What would be thought of a man who would favor re-instating slavery as it was in '61.  We, as a nation of liberty loving people, acquiesce in the principles advocated and carried out by that noble band of men.  What would this country be had it not been for them.

Jno. W. Tuttle