Thursday, August 13, 2009

Uncle Sam Bell

The Marietta Register (Semi-Weekly), July 1, 1887

All the old settlers here should know Uncle Sam Bell and Mary, his wife. They were a thrifty couple - untiring workers and keen, shrewd dealers. In all purchases, if it was but to buy a pig, they went together. Their united sense brought success, and they added acre to acre, at the proper time giving to each of their children a farm. Their own home was a hewn log house of four rooms, now torn down to give place to the well arranged, well kept summer boarding house of our friend Rowland. But I must not write an advertisement and tell of pebbly beach, the never ceasing upstream winds, the shady grounds of this resort.

Sixty-five years ago Sam Bell lived in this cabin, and like all thrifty house holders, he dug a well and walled it up with stone. It was said that this water was a health restorer. I visited this spot the other day, the first time for sixty years. Long years ago the traveled road was on the bank of the Ohio river - Duck Creek and Little Muskingum were crossed with boats at the mouth, and it was not until 1839 that our road builders took us back from the bank and gave us the Marietta and Newport Pike.

When I first had knowledge of the livers in Upper Marietta Township and Lower Newport Township, many old-fashioned men were there - Moore, Fields, Cogswell, Cook, Fuller, McCallster, Capt. Tim Buell, D. H. Buell, Ebenezer Buell, Lewis Anderson, Robt. Alcock, Granville Harness, Wm. West, P. V. Thorniley, Wm. Thorniley, Wm. Renolds, Ben Racer, Hollister, McGee, Clark and Jacob Middleswart, Joseph Barker, Jr., Capt. Harry Hill, Joseph Holdren, the best judge of a horse in the county. I remember one visit to him to ask him about buying a horse. He walked around him and said: "Too much day light under him; he won't suit."

The men I have named are all gone. One other on this same route lives John Plumer, Sr. His recollections of men and things should be put on paper.

On this road lives one of the third generations of Racers that the writer has known, David C. Racer. He is about eighty years old, and has much knowledge of the business and businessmen of Marietta township for the last 65 years.

Old friends, you are gone from my sight. May the Great Spirit guide your children.


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