Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fire Chief Had to Step Lively

The Register-Leader, January 25, 1911

Attempted to Stop Runaway Horse and the Animal Chased Him from the Street.

Is Chief Holst of the fire department some sprinter?  Well, rather especially when pursued by a mad runaway horse.  The laugh is on the chief, and after the excitement of Tuesday evening, it is a safe guess that he will go shy of runaway horses in the future.

Late Tuesday afternoon, a horse attached to a meat wagon owned by Spindler and Best became frightened while standing on the street, and ran away.  The animal was heading up Third street at its best clip.  Chief Holst was standing in front of the hose house and when he saw the runaway coming up the street, he ran out to stop it.  He got in the path of the runaway and threw up his arms to stop the frightened horse, but the beast evidently resented this attempted interference of its mad flight, and laying back its ears started for Holst.

The chief deemed it no fitting moment to argue the question and took to his heels, with the infuriated and frightened animal after him.  He ran for the stage door which opens on Third street, but the horse was so close to him and rapidly gaining that he saw he would be overtaken before he could reach his goal of safety.  Therefore he caught the iron fence beside the building and changed the course of his flight down the street.  The horse was not so nimble and being unable to either turn after the chief or stop himself he plunged straight in through the stage door and became jammed in the doorway.

This ended the excitement, for the horse was unable to extricate himself from the doorway and it was only after hard work on the part of the firemen that they released the animal.  The only damage done, strange to say, was the breaking of the glass in the door.

The chief continued his flight until safe in the fire department quarters, and is thanking his lucky star today, that he was able to outstep his angry pursuer.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Former Editor Rolls Cigars

The Register-Leader, January 24, 1911

Jacob Mueller Opens Factory Near His Home on Upper Third Street.

Jacob Mueller, former owner and editor of the Marietta Zeitung, has returned to his first love, and has opened a cigar factory in Marietta.  Few of Mr. Mueller's acquaintances will remember that he is a cigar maker, but nevertheless he is, being one of the pioneers in that industry in this section, finally selling it to the late J. L. Lehnhard, who in turn, disposed of it to Mr. Schlicher.

For some years, Mr. Mueller has lived a retired life. The field of a German newspaper at Marietta proved unprofitable, and he closed out the business, retiring to his farm at Cornerville. Finally, he rented the farm and moved to town. Lately, time has hung heavily on his hands, and he determined to get back into business.

Accordingly, Mr. Mueller opened a shop at 1027 Third street, where he will manufacture a line of cigars and stogies, expecting to build up a profitable business. Though well up in years, Mr. Mueller is still able to do a good turn at the bench, and will devote much of his spare time to the rolling of smokes for his patrons.

State Seeks Clear Title

The Register-Leader, January 23, 1911

Wants Site for Proposed Armory Without Strings Tied to it.

The State Armory Board has passed upon the title deed of the lot offered by the city as the site for the erection of the new armory.  They ask that the clause in the deed stating that the lot shall revert to the city when the state shall cease to use the same for the purpose stated, be stricken out.  This is the only correction suggested by the board.

The deed, accompanied by a letter, has been returned to Colonel Knox by Mr. B. L. Bargar, Secretary of the Board.  Mr. Bargar states in his letter that the work on the plans of the building is nearing completion and expresses the hope that the deed will be so adjusted as to meet the requirement asked by the board, in order that when the additional appropriation is made for the building, work can be started without delay.

It rests with the city council as to whether or not the clause above mentioned will be stricken out, and it is likely that this body will take up the matter in the very near future.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Explosion of Nitro-Glycerine! Death of Alexander Dye

The Marietta Register, July 11, 1872

One Man Killed – Three children and One Woman Fearfully Burned – House Made a Wreck

Editor Register:

Thursday night, July 4th, about half past 11, the few who were at work at that hour on Cow Run, were startled by a loud report, which at first was thought, from its direction, to be the boiler of the Grecian Bend Well, or some patriotic individual celebrating the “Fourth.” Immediately afterwards, John Bush was aroused by Mrs. Rebecca Dye, begging him to come to their house, as one of the logs had fallen on her husband and killed him. Bush and another neighbor, McCoy, went to his assistance; but the sight was such a sickening one, they were compelled to seek more help before they could muster courage to enter the house.

The scene was a frightful one. The house was shattered to pieces, the sides blown out, the chimney rent from top to bottom, and every article of furniture in the house scattered in every direction. Dye was lying on the floor, entirely divested of clothing, his left arm blown off midway between hand and elbow, his throat fearfully torn, (his windpipe being cut), five holes in the chest just below the left nipple, his body and legs one mass of small wounds, both legs below the knee being riddled by grains of corn, some ears of which were in the loft above. He lived but a few minutes after assistance came, and was unable to give any account of the cause of the accident; his only words were, “I am killed.” Mrs. Dye was slightly wounded on the ankles, and three of the children are seriously injured, but will probably recover.

An inquest was held on Friday, and the following facts were elicited: Some time since, Palmer, agent for the Roberts Torpedo Co., was at Cow Run torpedoing a well, and having some surplus nitro-glycerine, instead of taking it away with him, placed in an old coal bank near Dye’s house, at the entrance of which is the spring from which Dye’s family were supplied with water. The children, in some of their visits to the spring, discovered the can, and thinking it contained oil, carried it to the house, and Mrs. Dye filled up the lamp from the can the day previous. After filling up the lamp, the can was placed in a little pen or chicken coop, some distance from the house, and to this circumstance the rest of the family owe their lives, as the can contains probably between one and two quarts of nitro-glycerine. The night of the accident the family were all in bed, and Dye, who had risen for some purpose, lit the lamp, and almost immediately the lamp exploded; but in what way cannot now be ascertained, as Mrs. Dye is unable to give any satisfactory account of what transpired.

The jury found a verdict that Alexander Dye came to his death by the explosion of a lamp containing nitro- glycerine, and censure the carelessness of Palmer in leaving the nitro-glycerine


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Newbury Correspondence

The Marietta Register, August 22, 1872

Mr. Editor:

An incident, related at the Newbury Harvest Home Picnic, by Mr. A. L. Curtis, ought to be preserved from oblivion.  As near as I can remember, these are his words:

"Some fifty years ago, when slaves were owned on the other side of the river, an energetic colored man named Harry, purchased his freedom from his master, and came over here to work for my father, in order to obtain the balance of the purchase money.  Harry left a wife in bondage, and, as he was still in debt, there was little prospect of obtaining freedom for his wife.  They concluded, as have many since that time, that there was a shorter road to liberty; so one night Harry quietly paddled his canoe across the river, and brought his wife to this side, and made a camp among the rocks just on the other bank of that ravine, not a stone's throw from where we are now standing, hoping to get her to a place of greater security during the coming night.  the owner of the chattel, very naturally supposing that Harry had been instrumental in getting her away, came over to get her if possible.

"The woman had built a fire to keep herself warm, and the smoke betrayed her hiding place.  Stealthily creeping through the forest, they came upon the camp, and made a rush to catch her.  She saw them coming, and with a terrible scream for help, tried to escape, but was soon overtaken, and with her hands tied, was started as fast as she could run for the river.  Harry, driving a team to the plow, just on the other side of that strip of timber, heard the scream, and, divining at once that his wife was captured, seized a long hickory club, and ran to cut off their retreat to the river.  With the speed of a deer, he rushed across the field and halted the slave catchers.  With an open knife he cut the cord which bound his wife, and she fled to the woods.  One of the men raised a gun to shoot Harry.  At one bound, he caught the gun with his left hand, and with his right drew the club, at the same time telling the man that if he moved a muscle he would dash his brains out.  The club in the hands of a powerful man, drive to desperation, cowed the man, and he begged for his life.  Still keeping it drawn, he then told them that if they did not give their word not to pursue his wife again, he would slay them as he would a dog.  They gave the required promise, and the wife gained her freedom."

Friday, January 14, 2011

Some Reminiscences of the Pioneers

The Marietta Register, June 19, 1873

It is to be regretted that perfect lists of the early settlers at Marietta, have not been preserved.  We have lists of those who resided in Campus Martius, the garrison at the Point, and in Fort Harmar at the commencement of the Indian war, in 1791.  Of the period which followed the war we have a very imperfect record of names. 

Among those who, I suppose, came out, after the war, was Dr. Robert Wallace, of Philadelphia, with his family.  The exact time of his coming to Marietta we do not know.  He was an intelligent physician.  He had three sons and three daughters.  The eldest son was the Rev. Matthew Wallace, a Presbyterian clergyman.  He married Deborah, daughter of Dr. Joseph Spencer, of Wood county, Virginia.  The second son, Dr. David Wallace, was unmarried when he left Marietta.  The youngest son was Robert; he was a young man when the family left here.  Robert was living, a short time since, in Covington, Ky., where he has resided for many years.  One of Dr. Wallace's daughters married Charles Green; another married the Hon. Jacob Burnet, formerly of Cincinnati.  The exact time of Dr. Wallace's removal from Marietta to Cincinnati, I do not know, probably 1809. 

Two of the oldest houses in town were built by Dr. Wallace, while he resided here:  the first, is now occupied by Mrs. Smith, tobacconist, on Ohio street, opposite the wharf boat.  He resided in this house for some years, and kept his office in the front room.  After this he built the lower part of what is known as the "Brophy House" on Ohio street.  Here he lived for several years previous to leaving Marietta.  The Doctor was well known in Cincinnati.

Charles Green

Mr. Green came to Marietta, probably in the latter part of 1788, or early in 1789.  He built a house in what was known as Campus Martius, on the Stockade, in which he resided during the Indian war, with his wife and his three children, Sophia, Susan, and Charles.  His wife's sister, Miss Sheffield, resided with them.  She afterwards married Major Ziegler, of Wayne's army (who settled in Dayton, O.).  Mr. Green was one of the earlier merchants of Marietta and was also engaged, after 1800, in building sea-going vessels:  in 1800, brig "St. Clair," in 1801, brig "Eliza Green," in 1806, brig "Sophia Green." 

The brig "St. Clair" went out in the spring of 1801, under the command of Commodore Whipple.  She was owned by Mr. Green and several other business men of Marietta, and was loaded with flour, pork, and other produce.  Her first voyage was to Havana, where her cargo sold to advantage.  Flour brought forty dollars a barrel (the duty was twenty).  The yellow fever raged in Havana, and hindered their operations somewhat.  The next voyage of the vessel was to Philadelphia, where she was sold.

During the continuance of the Territorial Government from 1788, to the organization of the State Government in 1803, there was no registration of marriages; but, as I understand, the second wife of Mr. Green was Miss Wallace, the daughter of Dr. Robert Wallace.  Capt. W. W. Green, who died at St. Louis, on the 16th of April, 1873, was their son.

Mr. Green, while living in Marietta, built a house on Ohio street, afterwards occupied by Moses McFarland as a public house.  A portion of it is still standing.  Part of it was torn away to build a three story brick for Skinner & Thomas.  Mr. Green's eldest son settled at Dayton, at an early period, and was killed in an unfortunate street fray.

A. T. N.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys Are Marching, On Marietta for County Reunion of Veterans

The Register-Leader, October 7, 1913

Many Old Soldiers Register Today, Others Coming Wednesday

At Auditorium

This Evening Will be Held the Opening Camp Fire of the Reunion

About a hundred members of the Washington County Veterans' Association had registered in the assembly room of the court house at noon, for the annual reunion, which opened today.  A number of visiting members are present.  It is expected that the attendance will be largely increased by Tuesday.

The morning was given over to registration and distribution of badges.  During the afternoon regimental, battery, and company reunions were held.  The following reunions were held:  1st and 7th O. Cavalry, Buell Post Room; 36th O. Infantry, small assembly room; 77th Ohio Infantry, common pleas court room; 186th O. Infantry, grand jury room; 148th O. Infantry, Probate Court room.

At six-thirty o'clock this evening, the ladies' auxiliary societies will give a reception honoring W. R. Warnock, department commander, G.A.R. of Ohio, and staff; Past Commander of Ohio, Charles H. Newton; Mrs. Myrtle Best, department president, D. of V. of Ohio, and staff; Mrs. Dora Bush, past department president, W.R.C. of Ohio, and F. W. Combs, division commander, Sons of Veterans of Ohio.

Following this there will be a camp fire at the Auditorium Theatre, at 7:30 o'clock, in charge of C. H. Newton, chairman.  W. N. Warnock and Mrs. Dora Bush will deliver addresses.


A. P. Beach, Barlow
I. N. Hickle, Pleasant City
Henry Cherry, Marietta
J. W. Kackley, Pleasant City
S. N. Secrest, Cambridge
Edward Magines, Elba
Isaac Larick, Pleasant City
C. V. Kelly, Lower Salem
Austin F. Braddock, Marietta
J. G. Baker, Graysville
A. J. Hardy, Sumner, Mo.
Daniel Tracy, St. Marys
W. W. West, Marietta
James M. Deaton, Boaz, W. Va.
Jacob Willison, Woodsvield, O.
J. C. Griggs, Beverly
R. F. Lowe, Caldwell
Lewis Barcus, Round Bottom, R. D. 11
Samuel Jewell, Gipson, W. Va.
James Jewell, Bloomington, O.
J. M. Snively, Bens Run, W. Va.
Jesse McGrew, Belpre
Charles H. Newton, Marietta
Jabez Osborn, Macksburg
J. C. Goldsmith, Marietta
E. W. Tompkins, Lowell
C. F. Coates, Pomeroy, O.
Joseph Flanders, Marietta
Henry C. Ferguson, Marietta
J. H. Antill, Summerfield
Benjamin Bragg, Marietta
K. B. Davis, Newport
Elias McIntire, Enterprise, W. Va.
J. W. Thorniley, Marietta
Isaac Shotwell, Rockland
Roscoe Wolcott, Waterford
Robert Harsha, Reno
Dennis Felter, Fay
David C. Smith, Marietta, R.D. 1
B. P. Reppert, Marietta
A. G. O'Bleness, Marietta
John W. Bowers, Heslop
D. M. Sharpbach, Petroleum, W. Va.
Alexander Ritchey, Moore's Junction
R. B. Griggs, Marietta
Philip Haberling, Marietta
W. H. Thorniley, Marietta, R.D. 1
Capt. J. G. Barker, Marietta
Sampel D. Carpenter, Coal Run
Miles A. Stacey, Marietta
Charles Coffman, Marietta
S. A. Brown, Athens
A. E. Brown, Circleville
W. M. Bush, Newells Run
Jacob Ingrahm, Marietta
W. H. Brown, Marietta
J. W. Wolfe, Rockland
T. L. Buell, Marietta, R.D. 1
John Miracle, Parkersburg
Adam Landsittle, Marietta
James R. Hostetter, Tupper's Plains
Kendall Barnett, Parkersburg
James Lightfritz, Marietta
D. J. Richards, Zanesville
Henry Posey, Marietta
Hiram Fogle, Marion, Ind., National Home
J. M. Mitchell, Parkersburg
W. J. Emmons, Summerfield
W. H. Ghrist, Dexter City
Robert Parks, Sharon
Asa Day, Lower Salem
Jewett Palmer, Marietta
Theodore F. Davis, Marietta
Lewis Noe, Marietta
John W. Davis, Summerfield
H. G. Crooks, Caldwell
George Wharff, Warner
James G. Cain, Reno
George A. Smith, Whipple
W. L. Safreed, Raven Rock
William Westbrook, Saltpetre
James McCourt, Cambridge
Nathiel Bates, Caldwell
John Dice, Dallison, W. Va.
J. M. Baker, Cambridge
C. Yost, New Martinsville
Isaac H. Delong, Macksburg
R. L. Curtis, Marietta
L. J. Cutter, Marietta
W. Mickle, Marietta
O. V. Denny, Chesterhill
Robert Bruce, Marietta
Franklin M. Gilman, Marietta
W. H. H. Cole, Marietta
Hardison Parsons, Beverly
William Morgan, Marietta
George W. Kennedy, Marietta
George Smith, Marietta
I. R. Rose, Coal run
J. M. Riley, Marietta
Patrick H. McCann, Marietta
Robert Shires, Marietta
Henry Slobohm, Stanleyville
George S. Worstell, Jackson, O.
John Reynolds, Marietta
W. H. Brown, Athens
W. G. Craig, Akron
W. S. Nugent, Parkersburg
S. L. Ward, Waverly, W. Va.
S. E. Hutchinson, New Matamoras
George O. Henry, Beverly
Isaac Sole, New Matamoras
J. F. Keyhoe, Beverly
C. A. Miller, Marietta
B. B. Stone, Marietta
Alden J. V. Pierce, Marietta
Daniel Espensheat, Marietta
S. W. Harvey, Marietta
S. L. Grosvenor, Marietta
Christian Bowman, Marietta
J. W. Bonnell, Marietta
E. Davis, Marietta
I. N. Webster, Des Moines, Iowa
Jerry Swain, Marietta
A. Windom, Summerfield
William Theis, Marietta
H. Cochran, Marietta
Armon P. Huff, Marietta
Isaac Whetsone, Salem
George Dyer, Macksburg
J. R. Beebe, Watertown
T. Power, Watertown
J. A. Arnold, Vincent, R.D.
George W. Rice, Caldwell
Abraham Andrews, Marietta
Titus Burton, Belpre
Monroe Pitts, Marietta, R.D. 4
S. Mains, Bartlett
Moses F. Duckworth, Cutler
James Congleton, Marietta
W. H. Britton, Marietta
J. F. Palmer, Barlow
Louis Foraker, Marietta
James Hyler, Marietta, R.D. 1

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Custer Massacre

The Marietta Register, July 13, 1876

The official list of killed and wounded in the Indian fight of June 25, has been published, showing 260 killed and about 45 wounded, some of whom have since died.

Of the killed there were 14 commissioned officers, including Gen. G. A. Custer, Col. F. W. Custer and others of the Custer family, 1 acting assistant sergeant, 237 enlisted men, 5 civilians and 3 Indian scouts.  These men were recklessly led into a camp of Indians of 2,000 lodges, numbering 2,500 to 4,000 men, and literally butchered as the result shows.  The effort of the Government is to force a band of Sioux Indians, who are troublesome, to settle on a reservation.  The troops are too few to cover the territory.  Doubtless, now, the army will be recruited and concentrated. 

Among the killed is William Dye, son of Jonathan Dye, of this city.  So we understand.  Mr. Dye was known to be in that region and a Mr. Dye, whose given name is not furnished, is among the killed.  Gen. Crook is located with some 1,400 men not more than fifty miles from the Custer battle and is gathering supplies, &c., with a view to pushing on.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter of 1856

The Marietta Register, January 4, 1877

Editor Register:

The present cold "Snap" - ice and snow - reminds me of 1856.  I give you a few extracts from my diary of "linked sweetness" long drawn out for many years:

Jan. 1, 1856.  Thermometer at zero.  Gusts of snow.

Jan. 9, 1856.  16 degrees below zero.

Jan. 12, 1856.  Heaviest snow storm occurred to-day, known within the memory of the 'oldest inhabitant.'  Snow on the ground to the depth of 16 inches.  Deacon Adams pronounces it the heaviest here for the last 40 years; side walks blocked with snow and heavy gorges to be seen.  Thermometer ranged from zero to 18 degrees below during the week.  Sleighing fine.

Jan. 15, 1856.  The snow heaviest since 1818, which at that time occurred Feb. 2, and the depth of snow was 24 inches; followed by excessive cold weather.  The thermometer standing on the 10th of that month at 22 degrees below zero, followed by a great flood.  Snow now reported at Wheeling and Pittsburgh three feet.

Jan. 30, 1856.  Thermometer ranged to-day from 10 to 15 degrees below zero.  Snow has been on since Dec. 24th.

Feb. 4, 1856.  Thermometer 10 degrees below zero.

Feb. 5, 1856.  This morning, by G. M. Woodbridge's thermometer, 20 degrees below zero.  We have had six weeks' nice sleighing.

Feb. 13, 1856.  Thermometer 12 degrees below zero.

Feb. 22, 1856.  The 'Washington Guards' celebrated Washington's birth day on the ice on the Ohio river, in front of Woodbridge's corner, foot of Front street, in full dress parade.  Gen. Hildebrand proud as a 'Briton.'  Eleven steamers destroyed at Cincinnati to-day. Snow on ground for nine consecutive weeks - river crossable for teams eight weeks.

Feb. 28, 1856.  Ohio river commenced breaking up below the island at 9 o'clock.  Crowds of people flocked to the banks.  Steamboat bells rang out in joyful peals in anticipation of speedy liberation.  Bonfires on the banks.

March 8, 1856.  Seven steamers lying in the mouth of the Muskingum.

March 10, 1856.  Snowed to the depth of 4 inches.  Thermometer at 12 degrees below zero at 6 o'clock.  10 steamers in mooring, Iowa, Arctic, Messenger, Caledonia, Fremont, Argyle and others.  Lamartine's sail ice boat made a trial trip, with success, on the Muskingum river.

March 14, 1856.  Eleven steamers in port.  Ice - ice - snow - cold weather.

March 17, 1856.  17 steamers in port.  Ice again commenced running; 8 steamers left.  Caledonia pushed out, and when opposite Front street, a monster cake of ice cut her down when under full head of steam.  In five minutes she was on the bottom of the river; water over her boiler deck, aft half way to cabin.  Freighted with sugar &c., a mule, hot and cow swam out in the ice.  Insured for $12,000.

March 22, 1856.  The "Monongahela Bell" came down the river from McConnelsville - first steamer for 10 weeks.  The frost King has done immense damage from the Atlantic to the Pacific - as far south as Memphis.  The M. & C. R.R. completed to within 13 miles of Athens.  Beman Gates, one of its ruling spirits, returned to day, after an absence of 4 months.

J. S. S.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Attempted Burglary

The Marietta Times, April 10, 1890

R. J. Stephenson, of the Newport Pike, was called to Kansas on the 20th ult., by the serious illness of Mrs. Athey, his sister.  In his absence, Mrs. Cogswell, another sister, took charge of his residence.  Last Sunday morning about 2 o'clock, the occupants of the house were aroused from their slumber by the noise of breaking glass.  Miss Bertha Weaver, the domestic of the family, arose and went down stairs, and found the doors and windows open.  She then called to Mrs. Cogswell and Wm. Baun, an old gentleman, in the house.  As soon as the occupants came down stairs the burglars withdrew to the yard and commenced throwing stones and shooting through the windows, the bullets striking near the occupants; then the women became frightened, went up stairs and bolted the door of the bed-room, and secured their revolvers. 

Miss Weaver raised the window and asked the scoundrels what they wanted.  They replied "money."  Whereupon Miss Weaver told them there was no money in the house and ordered them off the premises.  This they did not heed, but continued to shoot and stone the building.  Miss Weaver then shot six times in return, but unfortunately, without effect. 

Then the burglars re-entered the house and commenced helping themselves to the edibles, eating cake and honey, and ransacking everything at their leisure; remaining in the house an hour and a half.  All this time the women were kept in their [room], supposing the burglars would try to enter at any moment; the women were armed and ready for the battle.  About 3 o'clock the burglars left without securing anything of value.  They left no trace but a Fultonburg election ticket, with some very dim writing on the back of it, but not plain enough to be deciphered.  The wretches, if caught, should be severely dealt with.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Early Physicians

The Marietta Times, April 3, 1890

Some of the Trials and Hardships of Early Ohio Physicians - An Extraordinary Costume in Marietta.

Dr. E. C. Brush's paper on Early Physicians of the Muskingum Valley was read last evening before the Historical Association in Columbus.  It is full of matter of interest to our readers, which it would be hopeless to attempt to compress into limits available for a newspaper.  It is a series of biographical sketches of the pioneer physicians of this locality.  Extracts are herewith given from two of them, one being the earliest to come to Marietta and the other to settle in what is now Zanesville.

Nathan McIntosh

In 1791 Doctor [Nathan] McIntosh was appointed surgeon's mate to Fort Frye at Waterford.  At first he was employed by the Ohio company and afterwards by the government.  He remained at Fort Frye about two years, and during this time - May 23, 1792 - he was married to Rhoda, the daughter of Deacon Enoch Shephard, of Marietta.  In July, 1793, the people of Clarksburg, Va., were in need of a physician and sent to Marietta for Dr. McIntosh.  The request was accompanied by a company of soldiers to escort the doctor to that place.  Mrs. McIntosh, with a baby six weeks old and a sister, went with the doctor.  There were no roads or public houses on the way, so that when night came they camped out.  In order to keep the baby from crying and thus attract the attention of the Indians, it was dosed with paregoric and a handkerchief used to suppress its cries.  This baby grew to be Col. Enoch Shephard McIntosh, one of the most respected and best known citizens of the Muskingum valley.  He died not long since in his ninety-sixth year.

Think of the bravery of that young mother and sister!  Imagine, if you can, a journey on horseback eighty miles through the forests, in constant danger from the Indians!  Imagine camping out at night with a sky for a covering and a six-weeks-old baby to care for!  No truer, nobler lot of heroic women ever lived than those who helped to settle the great northwest territory.

Doctor Increase Matthews

[Dr. Matthews] was born in Brain, Massachusetts, Dec. 22, 1772.  He was the son of Gen. Rufus Putnam's oldest sister, Huldah, and Daniel Matthews.  John Matthews, who came to Ohio with the original forty-eight, was a brother.  In 1798 Dr. Matthews came to Marietta on a prospecting tour and to visit relatives.  His diary of this journey is in the possession of his descendants, and is a very interesting document.  Under date of August 13, 1798, 1 P.M., is found the following note:

"Went with Mr. Edward Tupper to call on Mr. Blannerhassett and his lady, by whom we were politely received.  Met Miss Sallie Loudon there on a visit.  She was on the whole an amiable girl, and possessed of many of those qualities which make a good companion; kind, obliging, ever in good spirits and free from affectation."

The young doctor seems to have been impressed, and human nature was the same then as now.

Under date of October 31, 1797, is the following:

"Attended a ball at Col. Putnam's, in Belpre.  We had a large collection of ladies, some from Marietta and the Island, who made a brilliant appearance.  Spent the evening very agreeably."

The ladies from the Island were no doubt Mrs. Blannerhasset and her guest Miss Loudon.  It does not take a very great stretch of imagination to see the young doctor and Miss Loudon doing a little flirting.  After a pleasant visit Dr. Mathews went back east and married - April 29, 1799 - Abigail Willis, of Oakham, Mass.  In the fall of 1800, with his wife and baby, he again came back to Marietta, arriving there Oct. 4.  The winter was spent in Marietta, and the other half of the house in which they lived was occupied by the father of the late Governor Brough.

In the spring of 1801 the Matthews family moved to Zanesville, Ohio.  This same year Gen. Rufus Putnam and his two nephews, Dr. Matthews and Levi Whipple, purchased the land now composing the Seventh and Ninth wards of that city, and laid it out in a town, which they called Springfield, afterwards Putnam.  Doctor Matthews, after about one year's stay in Zanesville, moved across the river to the newly laid out town, and lived there the remainder of his life.  He was the first physician to permanently settle on the Muskingum river above Marietta.  On June 14, 1802, the doctor's wife died, and on March 23, 1803, he married for his second wife Betsy, daughter of Captain John Levins.  They were married at Major Lincoln's, who had married Betsy's sister Fanny.

Possessing large landed interests, and having a taste for agriculture, Doctor Matthews retired from the practice as other physicians settled around him.  He was a man of many accomplishments, with more than the usual amount of energy and push so characteristic of the pioneers.  He established the first drugstore, and was one of the five original members of the first church organized in Muskingum county.  Dr. Matthews sent to Spain for the first full-blooded Merino sheep brought to Ohio.  These sheep were delivered in Washington, D.C., and driven through to Putnam, Ohio, by a man sent to Washington for that purpose.

In 1801, when Dr. Matthews went to Marietta to buy land above mentioned, he had as his companion John McIntire.  These young men rode together, camped together at night, out on the road, but neither mentioned his business.  When they arrived at Marietta Dr. Matthews turned up Washington street to go to his uncle's, Gen. Putnam's office, whilst John McIntire went on to the tavern.  The next day the two men found themselves bidding against each other for the same tract of land.  John McIntire already owned a large tract where Zanesville proper now stands, but Dr. Matthews bid in the tract in question at $4.25 an acre.  Many years after it became blended with McIntire's tract in the City of Natural Advantages. 

The doctor enjoyed telling his grandchildren that the earliest distinct recollection of his childhood was the ringing of the bells to celebrate the declaration of independence.  He was a cultivated gentleman of the old school and a man whose energy and character were felt in his day and are still exemplified in his descendants.  He was an accomplished performer on the violincello and an entertaining and instructive conversationalist.  His life was characterized by its simplicity and purity.  He died full of years and with the high esteem of all his fellow-townsmen in the eighty-four year of his age, and is buried in Woodland cemetery, which is a part of his original purchase from the government in 1801.  Date of death, June 6, 1856.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Destructive Fire

The Marietta Times, March 27, 1890

Newton's Corner at Front and Greene Street and Four Adjoining Buildings in Ruins.

About two o'clock Tuesday morning a fire broke out in the rear of the building recently vacated by R. L. Curtis' drug store, first door below Gates & Payne's Store on Front street.  The building was being used by L. S. Brown & Bro.  The flames spread rapidly, and by the time the engine arrived they were darting high above the roof of the building, and by this time the rear of the old bank building and the rear of the rooms below on Front and Ohio streets were blazing vigorously.

The Marietta steamer was promptly on hand and had two streams of water playing on the flames within three minutes after her arrival on the ground which she kept up until the fire was extinguished.  The Defiance boys were also on hand on good time and kept two good streams going as long as needed.

The Harmar steamer came over as soon as word reached them that they were wanted.  This engine was set at the foot of Post street, and did excellent service with two good streams in the rear of the burning buildings, and with the combined efforts of the three engines, the flames were confined to the R. L. Curtis, two intervening buildings, the Newton corner, and the W. F. Curtis building adjoining Newton's on Ohio street, but these were all destroyed.

The Gates & Payne building was in great danger, but escaped with a good scorching, as did the laundry room on Ohio street.

The buildings were occupied as follows:  The R. L. Curtis room, by Brown Bros., auctioneers; their goods were badly damaged, but were insured for $900, and Mr. Curtis had $1,000 on the building.

The next room below was used by Dan Gerhart as a ten cent store.  His loss is considerable, but was covered by $1,000 insurance.  The room was owned by Mrs. Balch, formerly Mrs. John Newton, and was insured for $1,000.

The next building was owned by J. W. Staley and family and was not insured.  It was used as a feed store by L. D. Devol.  He was sleeping in the room and escaped through an upstairs window, losing most of his clothing.  He had $500 insurance.

Mr. Newton's corner was used by him as an insurance office.  His papers, &c., were all saved.  He had $2,000 insurance on his building.  John Baker lost about $20 worth of tools he had in the room for the purpose of lowering the floor of the room.

W. F. Curtis lost his old building back of Newton's, but it was of little value as it was old and out of repair.  The fire was a bad one but the buildings were mostly covered by insurance.

The space burned over is the one that has been talked of for some time for the location for a new hotel.

The firemen and people in general worked with a will to save goods and stop the flames.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Body of Infant Found in River

The Marietta Times, May 16, 1889

Last Friday Mr. Henry Klostermeier, of Harmar, found the body of a female infant floating in the Muskingum River on the Harmar side opposite Elston's mill.  Esq. Guyton, acting Coronor, took charge of the body.  A post mortem examination was made by Doctors Eddy and McKim.  They found the child had been born at full time and alive, but there was nothing to indicate that any violence had been used to produce its death.

The investigation before Mr. Guyton, on the inquest, developed the fact that Miss Myrtle Ritchie had given birth to it on April 22nd, at the house of S. C. Rinehart, who lives on the Rathbone place in Muskingum Tp., about a mile above the city, where Miss Ritchie was employed as a domestic.  The mother swore that the child was born dead, that it was begotten in September last at room ten in the St. James Hotel, this city.  She says shortly after its birth it was covered slightly with earth in the yard back of the house.  Rinehart swears that the body smelled and he had it exhumed and that by his direction his hired boy tied a cord about the neck of the child and tied a stone to the other end and threw it into the river.  He says he discovered the remains by the dogs getting after it, and that he thought it was a premature birth, and that he at once discharged the girl.

The Coronor found that he did not know what caused the death of the child.  The mother is about 19 years old, quite pert and rather good looking, and hails from Long Run, Newport township.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Marietta High School Commencement, 1889

The Marietta Times, May 30, 1889

The High School commencement will be held at the City Hall, Friday evening, June 14th.  The class is composed of eighteen persons, as follows:

Miss Minnie Johnson, valedictorian
Miss Louise Lorey, salutatorian
Miss Martha Gerken, third
Miss Nellie Best, fourth
Miss Winifred Curtis
Miss Blanche Bruce
Miss Carrie Brigham
Miss Helen Hart
Miss Anna Hill
Miss Nellie Kidwell
Miss Luella Lancaster
Miss Minnie McConnell
Miss Laura Morse
Miss Waldine Rathbone
Miss Willia Ward
Miss Cornelia Wehrs
Miss Emma Wendelken
Miss Maude Wilhelm

It will be noticed that there is not a boy in the above list.  This should not be so, neither can we understand why it is so, and if any person knows we would be obliged for an explanation.  In most places the classes are about equally divided between the sexes.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ohio Floods

The Weekly Leader, March 16, 1881

How many times, and when since the settlement of the Ohio Valley by the whites, has this stream been out of its banks and inconvenienced the inhabitants?  This question has been asked a score of times every day in the three last weeks and no one has essayed to answer it, nor shall I.  I do propose to name a few of the times and the dates however.

A writer of merit, speaking of the privations of the inhabitants of Farmers' Castle, in the winters of 1791-1792, says: "The last of February, the ice broke up in the Ohio, with a flood of water that covered the banks and inundated the ground on which the garrison was built.  Early in March the young men arrived with a small Kentucky boat loaded with provisions, and entering the garrison by the upper gate, moored their ark at the door of the commandant."

The same writer says, "The winter of 1793 was in general mild, especially the month of January.  On the 30th of which there fell a snow of eighteen inches in depth, which exceeded that of any other since the settlement.  The first of March following, the river Ohio was two feet higher than ever known before, overflowing all the low grounds, and the streets in the garrison at the point."

I have good authority for saying that the Ohio river was out of its banks several times after 1793 and previous to the year of 1818.  Who knows and can state from recollection how high the water was at that time?  My belief is that the water in 1818 was as high at this place as in any of the years except 1832 and in 1860.

The flood of 1818 drove an old resident family from their home on Front street to higher land.  The household goods and children were removed in a flat-boat and were handed from the second-story windows to the boat, which was landed well up the ascent south of Putnam street.

The flood of 1832 was the most famous of all the floods in the memory of white man.  This flood occurred in February of that year, the water running over the banks at Marietta on the evening of the 10th of that month.  Work commenced among the merchants and dwellers on the low lands early on Friday, (the 10th) as from every information from above we were to have a big over-flow.  Our only means of knowledge from above was by steamboat, as we had no telegraph or railroad lines in those days.  Great interest was manifested by all the people in the result, and the "oldest inhabitant" was sought out and his opinion anxiously asked.  Damage from a fall soon took away our oldest merchant, but many whose opinions in the past had proved very good, as to the doings of the water, remained and were hourly consulted.  As in every such emergency in later years, there was a great diversity of opinion.  One of our old merchants, whose prognostications in other years had been very trustworthy, after moving more than once his merchandise, fixed his mark, declared his opinion and nailed it by hanging his loaf-sugar on the beams of his store-room and placing his hardware on the upper shelves.  The result was, when the water went down, the strings and brown paper remained - the sugar was gone; but more than that, for many months all the boys in town and country exulted in possessing cheap pocket knives, slightly damaged, purchased of Uncle Joe.

Below Butler street, almost all the houses then standing had water upon their second floors.  Furniture, beds and bedding, family supplies, store-goods, &c., &c., were generally elevated on boxes, boards, kegs, &c.  Some store-goods, many supplies and household goods, with their owners, sought the high ground.  Will your readers believe it? The water was in every house below the hill, except the old Woodbridge house on Putnam street, and on Monday morning, when it ceased rising, it was within 7 inches of the lower floor of that house.  The water was in the Court-house, the Congregational Church, the Mills House (now Dr. Sam'l Hart's), the Capt. Green house (now Mr. Chas. Hull's), and the Meigs house (now Mr. Follett's), the Dr. Hildreth house (the house now occupied by Mr. A. T. Nye).  Stock of all kinds was taken to the high grounds on the Stockade.  On Sunday, several small buildings left for the lower country.  There was some current above Second street, and several buildings on the east side of that street, South of Green, when the water reached the floors of the 2d story or the top of the one-story buildings, arose, swung round and were bourne down the river.

The water was at its height on Monday and commenced falling before night, and when the flood had subsided we found ourselves in possession of damp houses and much high water deposits, but really very little damaged.  The opinion of the writer is that Marietta was benefited by that flood, in this way.  Having had the reputation of being frequently submerged, whilst other places escaped; this time all other river towns suffered, and most of them more than did Marietta.  But let me close this already too lengthy article, by an item cut from a newspaper of that day, which will show what excited men may say.  A letter, dated at Wheeling, to the Philadelphia Chronicle, states:

"The steamboat Columbus, which has just arrived, reports that not a vestige remains of many of the towns below.  Marietta presents a most melancholy appearance.  A large portion of the place has entirely disappeared, and in the higher parts of the town, little more is to be seen than the tops of the chimneys.  Nothing could be learned of the safety of the inhabitants."


Monday, January 3, 2011

Death of John Test

The Weekly Leader, March 16, 1881

Squire Test, well known in this community, died at the County Infirmary on Sunday.  He was seated at the dinner table when the summons came, and lived but a few moments after being taken to his room.  He had been an inmate of the institution about two months, his mental condition requiring that he should be placed under restraint.  Squire Johnnie was well known throughout the county, many who did not know him personally, will remember him as the little old man, with form bent from age, eternally searching the sidewalks and gutters for something; something which he never found.  Of late years he has been subject to heart troubles, and it is supposed that this was the cause of his death.  During his life he filled several positions of trust, and was, at one time, a prominent politician.  He was buried from the residence of his wife, in this city, on Monday afternoon.