The Muskingum river is the largest and most important tributary emptying into the Ohio within the limits of the State. It is remarkable for its beauty, and has sometimes been called the "Hudson of the West." There are various points along the river of peculiar interest, and one of these received the name of Rainbow, from the fact that it is situated in a bend of the river, resembling a rainbow in shape. It is located in a tract known as "Rainbow Creek Allotment of Donation Lands." The lower end of this tract is said to begin at Rainbow Creek, five or six miles above Marietta, and extends up the Muskingum several miles to a point nearly opposite the mouth of Bear Creek. The lands situated in this bend are remarkable for their beauty and fertility, as any person ascending the river may notice. I have no means of ascertaining when the first improvements were made on these lands, but my impression is that nothing was done until after the "Indian War," which ended in 1795. The number of lots laid out, included 27 proprietors, some of them, however, never resided on their lands, but lived in Marietta. Of those who settled on this tract the following is a list, and I suppose the most of them went to Rainbow in 1796:
William Stacey, Jr.
So far as I know the other proprietors never resided in Rainbow. The following is a list of those who drew lots, but did not reside on them:
William Dana, Jr.
R. J. Meigs
William R. Putnam
Ebenezer Nye removed his family to Rainbow in the Spring of 1796, and Joseph Wood also, and probably Col. Wm. Stacey. Among the present inhabitants of Rainbow are the descendants of several of these families, viz: Joseph Wood, Wm. Stacey, and Eleazar Olney. It is much to be regretted that the materials for a history of this settlement were not collected at an earlier period.
Joseph Wood was a native of New Jersey. He came out as far as Pittsburgh in 1785, for the purpose of assisting in the survey of the "seven ranges," but the Indians were so troublesome, the survey was not completed until 1786. While at Pittsburgh he made an engagement with the proprietors of a large tract of land at Belleville, Virginia, below the mouth of the Big Hocking, to act as their agent in selling the lands. He resided at Belleville several years in this capacity, and while living there he was married to Miss Margaret Pewtherer, at Farmer's Castle, by Gen. Benjamin Tupper, one of the Judges of the County Court of Quarter Sessions.
When the war commenced he removed to Campus Martius, in Marietta, where he remained until its close in 1795. In the spring of 1796, he removed to Rainbow, where he began to improve the land which has remained in the family ever since. He had three sons and one daughter. Sons - Paulus Emilius, James and Carius Martius. The last of the sons, Carius Martius, died a short time since. Miss Agnes Wood is still living, and is a resident of Marietta.
During the administration of Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Wood was appointed "Register of the United States Land Office," at Marietta. From this office he was removed, after holding it a number of years, during the Administration of Martin Van Buren, I believe, and Chas. D. Flood was appointed in his place.
Mr. Wood was for some years one of the Associate Judges of the Court of Common Pleas.
Archibald Lake was a native of Scotland. He came first to the British Possessions, and from thence to New York. In 1789, he came to Marietta. He had three sons - Andrew, Thomas and John. John died at an early period of the settlement of Rainbow. Mr. Lake and his two sons settled in Rainbow. Archibald and Andrew Lake were original proprietors. Thomas was a mechanic; his name does not appear among those who drew "Donation Lots." He resided in Rainbow for some time, and then removed to Wesley township, near Plymouth. Andrew resided in Rainbow until his death. He has two daughters now living, Mrs. Monette, of Muskingum, and Mrs. Courtland Shepard, of Harmar.
Ebenezer Nye was a native of Tolland, Connecticut. In the Fall of 1789, he came to Marietta, and resided in Campus Martius until the close of the war. In the Spring of 1796, he removed to Rainbow, where he resided until his death in 1823. His farm is now owned by Thomas Ridgway, Esq.
Mr. Nye had six sons - Lewis, Niel, George, Melzer, Nathan and Theodorus, and one daughter, Sarah, who married Azariah Pratt.
Lewis settled in Muskingum county, six miles west of Putnam; George settled on Federal Creek, in Athens county, Niel, Nathan, Melzer and Theodorus settled in Meigs county. The last of these children, Melzer, died November 7th, 1873, leaving one son and five daughters, all married.
Ebenezer Nye was a minister of the Baptist Church, noted for his piety and excellence of character.
Israel Stone was born probably in Rutland, Massachusetts, April 15th, 1749, and came to Marietta in 1789, with his son, Sardine Stone. During the "Indian War," they resided in Belpre, and removed to Rainbow in 1795. His sons, Sardine and Jasper, were among the original proprietors of Rainbow. In 1790, Mr. Stone sent for his family, and they arrived in the Autumn of that year, with the family of Gen. Rufus Putnam. The children of Israel Stone and Lydia Barrett, his wife, were Sardine, Elizabeth, Matilda, Jasper, Lydia, Israel, Augustus, Benjamin Franklin, Christopher Columbus, Polly B., Harriet H., and John B., son of his second wife, Mary Corner, widow of George Corner, and by birth an English lady.
Israel Stone was drowned at Belpre, in his 13th year. John B. Stone resides in McConnelsville.
Elizabeth was born in 1771. She married Truman Guthrie, and died in 1858. Matilda was born in 1772, married Stephen Smith, and died in 1830. Lydia was born in 1776, married Ezra Hoyt, died in 1859. Polly, born 1787, married John Dodge, died in 1822. Harriet, born 1792, married James Knowles, and is still living. Augustus Stone is now living at an advanced age, and has resided in Marietta or Harmar, since 1790. He was born in 1780. Israel Stone died at Rainbow, July 13th, 1808.
Col. William Stacey
Col. William Stacey was a native of Massachusetts, and one of the proprietors of the Ohio Company. He joined the army, and in 1778 was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, in Col. Ichabod Alden's regiment. In that year, Col. Alden's regiment was ordered to Cherry Valley, N. Y., for the protection of the inhabitants. On the 11th of November, an army of 500 Indians entered the settlement undiscovered, and began an attack on the houses outside the Fort. The attack was so unexpected that the house Col. Stacey occupied was surrounded before he could escape, and he was taken prisoner. The Indians departed after killing about 40 of the inhabitants, carrying their prisoners with them. After consultation, it was decided to burn Col. Stacey at the stake. He was tied, and the fire kindled, when Col. Stacey discovered Brant in the crowd. Having heard that Brant was a Mason, he made the sign, which was recognized by Brant - and through his influence with the Indians, Col. Stacey was released. He remained a prisoner four years, however, and was finally exchanged.
His family consisted of his wife, five sons, and a son-in-law. In 1789, he moved with them to Marietta. Two of his sons, John and Philemon, joined the settlement at Big Bottom. At the attack on that place, John was killed and Philemon taken prisoner. He afterwards died in captivity. During the war, Col. Stacey lived in a small block house on the banks of the Ohio.
He died at Marietta in 1804, much esteemed by the community.
I had hoped to make this account more complete, but have been unable to obtain the desired information.
Major Olney was an officer in the Revolutionary War. He had two sons, Columbus and Discovery. Eleazar Olney had a wife and fourteen children. These were all residing in Campus Martius during the Indian War.
I have also been unable to obtain the information I desired in relation to Wm. Stacey, Jr., and Joseph Stacey.
A. T. N.