Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Wedding and Funeral

The Home News, January 31, 1861

On the 9th Inst. David Feldner was married to Rebecca Elliot, in Aurelius township, and on the same evening, his mother, Mrs. Feldner, living near Salem, was accidentally burned to death.  There was no one about the house at the time of the occurrence, except her husband.  She had been subject to fainting fits, and it is supposed that during his temporary absence from the room, she was seized with one of these, for when he returned, she was lying with her head in the fire.  She was so badly injured that death relieved her in a short time from her sufferings.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Interesting Letter From an Old Timer

Sunday Morning Observer, May 20, 1917

Who is there that does not remember Jasper S. Sprague, who for many years conducted a grocery store on Front street, at one time in a room two or three doors below Butler, later in a room on the upper canal bridge.

Mr. Sprague before going into the grocery business was a printer and was one of the best that ever "stuck type" in Marietta.  We came into possession this last week of an article he wrote some twenty years ago, just prior to his death, which is of much interest and tells of some old Marietta history that many will remember.  His predictions, in a large measure, have come true, showing the great foresight that Mr. Sprague possessed.

Mr. Sprague's article follows:

We old printers never die.  Like Elijah, the prophet, they are supposed to go up in pillars of fire.  None ever go down except the "devil" apprentice who receives his first lessons in the "lie" trough and plying the inky roller.  I am one of two survivors who, 43 years ago, worked on the old "Intelligencer," edited by Beman Gates, Esq., lately deceased.  The other lucky, living soul, who was a companion printer on the same paper, is the Rev. George R. Gear, of this city.  In those days the pittance of wages scarcely provided for the body of the entered apprentice in the "Black Art," and the Reverend Gear did well in entering a field to save the souls of men.  His life as a minister is no doubt the happy result of his early training in the old dingy printing office, where tallow dips were supreme and soap was at a premium.

This was in the days of the older and middle Marietta.  There is still another Marietta, buried, dark, deep, infathomable.  Mounds and stockades mark the resting place of the Cuthites and Titans who went out from Babylon on the first exodus - 240,000 strong - the Aztec and the Tolice - and no doubt were hunting for oil territory in these wild woods of ours.  They are mostly dead as Ramesis whom they fought in Egypt.

When I came to Marietta there were no railroads centering here.  To get a scoop on the latest news, we boys were sent to the boat landing morning and evening to await the arrival of the great "Buckeye State," "Crystal Palace" and other steamers plying the Ohio river from Wheeling to Cincinnati, veritable swift birds of passage.  The obliging clerks supplied us with papers.  These latest morsels, a week old, were displayed in big, startling head lines as the "Latest from Washington City" and Cunard line news, a month old from Europe!  There were no stereotype plates and patent insides coming in by express to supply the lack of editorial brain power - there was no express office even in the city then.

The "Intelligencer" - the Register now - went out in the weekly mail by stage coach or post box to the rural subscribers who formulated their political opinion from the oracle at the county seat.  Subscriptions were payable in ginseng, feathers, beeswax and a limited amount of cord wood as well as cash.

I remember when the first telegraph office was established in Marietta and the dismay of the opposition paper when Franklin Pierce's presidential message came over the line and was printed in the night and put out in an extra edition the next morning.  The printers wore standing collars that day.  The Whigs were ahead!

While a printer boy in Zanesville in 1852, I met Samuel Fairlamb, who was then about 85 years of age, and an inmate of the County infirmary, where he died shortly after.  He had been a printer for Ben Franklin in Philadelphia.  He gave me some of Franklin's type.  With tearful eye and trembling lips, he related his bitter experience in printing the first paper in Ohio in 1801, on what is now Front street, Marietta, Ohio, and called the "Ohio Territorial Gazette and West Virginia Herald" of which paper the Marietta Register is now the lineal descendant by purchase and succession.  He also printed a religious book similar to "Baxter's Saints Rest," edited by David Israel.  Probably the first book printed west of the mountains.

In these days of progress there is no more use for the old printers than a live Indian.  Type setting machines are fast supplanting the nimble fingered type setter.  The evolution of journalism is evolving new methods.  The newspaper of the future, possibly may be published by means of x-cathrode rays taken direct from great syndicates of brain reservoirs.  The printer must go.  The country editor must go - maybe the great dailies will succumb to electrical auroral writing in the sky when he that runs may read.  When these things all happen the good printer will be found sitting at the right hand of the Majesty above.

J. S. Sprague.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Old Time Marietta

Unidentified, undated newspaper clippings, ca. 1902

Reminiscences of the City Sixty Years ago, By Matilda.

On Sixth street, just above Mound cemetery, is where the first corn and wheat were raised in the first settlement of this state.  Mr. George Hovey has a corn knife in his possession which was used at that time to cut this corn.  In front of his residence, part of which stood there sixty years ago, there stands a wild cherry tree.  As teams pass this tree in the road a hollow sound is given out, which has been noticed for many years.  It has been surmised there might have been an underground passage connected with the ancient works, but never having been investigated, the sound remains a mystery.

A low house stood above this, in which Rev. Mr. Barnes once lived, long ago.  Going around the corner of Wooster and Sixth, we come to the house once occupied by Caleb Emerson, editor of the "Western Spectator" and later of the "Marietta Gazette."  He was one of the first trustees of the College, a lawyer of note and an active member in the Baptist church.  His daughter, Mrs. Bailey, at an advanced age, still lives on the same lot.

A few years ago, an old resident of Marietta living in Ross county, returned.  Looking around he said, "I just want to see that chinquapin patch where I gathered nuts when a boy."  With a boyish gait he made his way to the end of Wooster street, expecting to see a deep hollow, the sides covered with chinquapin (a species of chestnut) bushes, but lo!  No hollow, no bushes; a disappointed old boy was he.  At this time "Oak Grove" had not become a cemetery and was called the "Nye woods."  The Fourth of July was once celebrated on the north side of the hill; the Stars and Stripes floating among the trees, a brass band (a new institution) called forth the echoes from hill to hill; a speech by Judge Arius Nye, a procession, a dinner, and the "Fourth" was a success.

Our city once boasted a market house at the foot of Second street.  There were no meat shops, very few groceries, no delivery wagons.  Why is it since we have made such progress in civilization we do not need a market house?

There were about half a dozen stores at that time, among them that of Nathaniel Holden, John Mills, the Holden brothers, Dudley Woodbridge and the Shipman brothers.  The demand for imported goods was small.

To have seen a lady in church, or walking on the street in the habiliments of the time would be a great surprise to the girls of this generation.  Scoop bonnets were worn, which must come beyond the nose of the modest dame, or the green calash, a construction of berage and rattans, which would let down behind the head like a buggy top.  Her dress was of scant dimensions, two or three inches waists, did not sweep the pavement.  (There were no pavements to sweep.)  Her hands were encased in silk net mits in summer, in winter with mittens carded, spun and knit by herself.  Her shoes were of stout calf skin in winter, Morrocco in summer.

About this time the rubber overshoes were invented.  When the first installment reached Marietta they were regarded critically by the buyers, as you would have done.  They came with the clay moulds inclosed over which they were made; these had to be broken out, then you beheld a rather shapeless quivering rubber affair, but very acceptable on the muddy streets.  No gentleman wore them, that was too feminine.  Now he can get them on quicker than any lady.  The umbrellas and parasols carried had the genuine whale bone ribs and the cloth of many colors, green predominating.  One of this color is shown in a Chicago museum, said to have been carried by Washington.  The bandanna was the handkerchief for gentleman and carried generally in their hats.

As the streets were not lighted at night in any way, sixty years ago, every family had its tin lantern, perforated with holes, as indispensable as the tea kettle to the household.  In a socket within was inserted a "tallow dip" to light the wayfarer.  "What was a tallow dip?" you say.  It was the kind of candle our great-grandmothers made, by the quantity, in the fall (before the era of candle moulds) for winter use.  This consisted in taking pieces of candle-wicking twice as long as the candle was intended to be, doubling it and slipping the loops, of a great number of these, on sticks two or three feet long, then arranging these on bars.  The housewife would take each stick, insert the wicks in melted tallow, hang up to cool, when through the number, commence and dip over again and so on until each was the required size of a candle, the dipping was done and all were packed away for use.  One of these was supposed to light a room for a household, inserted in the old brass candlesticks (now cherished as relics) with the accompanying tray and snuffers, the snuffers being used every few minutes.

When lard oil lamps came in use the family would stand at a distance while the wick was lighted for fear of an explosion, later the kerosene lamp caused greater fear, but was used on the street corners, a wonderful improvement on the lanterns.  Now we use two kinds of gas and electricity and fear nothing.

Another custom of the housewife was the making of soft soap in the spring.  The bar soap of the one hundred and one brands now in use were unknown, only small quantities of Castile soap in cakes were seen.

The large fire places, large enough for children to walk into, with cranes to swing out, covered with hooks for kettles, were built in every house.  A cooking stove was unknown and when many years later a few were brought to Marietta, they were looked upon with distrust, pronounced a fraud, taking all the flavor from anything baked therein.  Long sticks of wood chopped with an ax, andirons to hold them up, a backlog, a bellows, the bake kettle, spiders and hanging griddle completed the arrangements for cooking and housewarming.  Woe to that family who let their fire go out.  Lucifer matches were not invented until after 1830, so if so unfortunate as to lose fire there was a hurrying to a neighbors for the live coals and hurrying back, before they died out, this short stay originating the expression, "Have you come for fire?" to visitors making short calls.  A flint and steel was used in emergencies to strike fire by the pioneers.  To wind the clock and cover the fire were the last duties of the day at bed time.  A foot stove was a luxury, sometimes used in churches, by individuals, before the time of heating churches.

It was not uncommon for girls of that period, if papa was away from home, to go to the wood yard and wield the ax (without cutting a foot off) either in cutting wood for the fire.  She had not heard of the drudgery of the modern fashionable gymnasium, or she might still have preferred the ax.  She had not one hundred and fourteen years old and Marietta in that time has laid aside most of the old time customs and devices, yet it took nearly a hundred years of drowsiness before it awoke to its present vigor, push and hustle.  We have over fifteen churches, as many Sabbath schools, and schools, home missions, a jail, Court House, banks, many plants for manufacturing this and that.  Many good things have come to us as the years rolled on.

Sprightly new suburbs as Norwood, Fairview Heights, Emerson Heights, Putnam Place, Sunnyside, Riverside and others, have seemed to arise out of the ground before we realized it.  With all the good things have come the evil.  There are "dark corners" and dens in alleys, basements, back rooms, second stories, which are not classed in the category of churches and we hold our breath while we think of all the young men (and older ones) and girls from some of our best families who frequent these places unknown to their parents.

We look for the "Good Government League" to come to the rescue.


Reminiscences of Marietta Sixty Years Ago - Second Street

To stand at the south corner of Second and Putnam streets and look at the paved thoroughfares in all directions, one can hardly realize that sixty years ago, the people of Marietta had no more idea of paved streets of brick and asphalt than of the streets paved with gold they read about in their New Testaments.  One was as much beyond their ken as the other.  The Union Depot, just in sight from this corner, we had no use for then.  Not a railroad entered the town.  Telegraphy and telephone service had not been invented.  The mail and travelers were carried mostly by stage coach.  The great lumbering vehicle, with its black "boot" behind in which was stored the baggage of the passengers, was a welcome sight to the children as it came in from Zanesville in the evening.  The driver blew long blasts on his horn, then the shout went up "The stage is coming" the stage is coming!" thus breaking the monotony where steam whistles and screechers had not invaded.  Just above the present depot stood the first jail, its dungeons being secured by a lock and key now in existence, weighing 17 pounds, the key alone weighing two pounds.  When this dungeon was empty, the sheriff would sometimes lock in the children playing around just to see how it felt to them.  They did feel the grating of that key to the bone, and were as frightened as if they were all murderers.

On the south corner stood a female Seminary, superintended and taught by Lionel Tenny, wife and assistants.  The girls of seventy to-day remember the good, also the adverse times that came to them within those walls.  The graduates of that institution and the teachers have mostly passed away.

Across from this corner stood the residence of Nahum Ward, one of Marietta's oldest citizens.  This house was set back from Putnam street, perhaps 200 feet, a large house for those days, and shaded in front by locust trees.  The lawn in width extended from the bank corner to the alley.  Beautiful shrubbery, fanciful trimmed evergreens and flowers along the paved walk to the house, delighted the school children as they gazed through the pickets, and seniors enjoyed it as well.  Those daffodils and johnquils!  I seem to see them still, nodding their heads in the springtime.  Giant sycamores stood on Putnam street, a joy to the citizens.  They have all been razed against the protests and moist eyes of the girls in their sixties.  Nahum Ward's little land office stood some distance up Second street, demolished only within a few years.

The court house on the north corner had been re-modeled a number of times till finally to-day we behold an entirely new and magnificent Court House on the same site.  Above the Court House stood the old Wilson home.  Next came the Skinner house and a dwelling owned by three maiden sisters by the name of Stone.  The last two houses still stand.

The old Academy, which had been removed from Front in very early times, stood on the ground where the Patterson house now stands.  A stately elm marks the spot now, which has survived the skinnings of the boys of long ago, to procure the delectable "slippery elm" bark.  Above the Ward land office, stood a building one story high, which was used for Episcopal services before a church was built, afterward for select schools.  Beside this stood a house with a great window of diamond-shaped panes, said to have been an Episcopal parsonage.

The next building as you walked up the street was the small Methodist church, the first of that denomination built in Marietta.  It's evening meetings were held at "early candle lighting."  Woe to any bonnets under those sputtering candles on the wall.  They had to be snuffed about every fifteen minutes.  The "Easter bonnet" was unknown to our grandmothers.  None of these church members were allowed to wear a bow of ribbon or an artificial flower, no amusements indulged in "which were not for the glory of God."  Imagine their consternation should they behold the flower beds carried on hats to-day.

Next to the church lived Joseph Kelly.  Grandpa Kelly was a staunch Methodist and held several offices in the church.  He and his wife were entertainers and helpers of the itinerant preachers of that time.  When only seven years old he was stolen from his parents by the Indians and kept until he was eleven.  Little Joseph had a hard time among them, was tortured by the Indian lads by making him run the gauntlet (a long board) and each in a long row giving him a stroke with a whip as he passed.  For some reason his ears were cut in slits, which marks he retained through life.  This little story was published a great many years ago by Doctor Samuel Hildreth, in pamphlet form.  Mrs. Barber, a daughter, and a number of grandchildren still reside in Marietta.

An old parsonage stood next Mr. Kelly's, was removed to north Fourth street, and is now re-modeled and occupied by Amon Huff.

From Wooster street to the Franks property was an immense pond covered with skaters in the winter.  These boys have exchanged their skates for spectacles, crutches, canes and rolling chairs, and call themselves "grandpa" to wee men and women.  Where the Franks residence now stands, a small frame called the Adams house, stood, where religious services were sometimes held.  There were no houses on the other side from Wooster up to Washington.  On the other corner there was a great hill, resembling a mound, for some reason called "Liberty hill."  It has been carted away.  The front enclosure reached to Second street.  Therein were shops, where making and repairing of all articles the pioneer needed was done.  Some of the account books kept at that time, yellow with age, kept in pounds, shillings and pence are now extant.

Dates in 1796-7 show the names of Return Jonathan Meigs, who had knee buckles repaired; Blennerhasset, who had a great deal of work done; Commodore Whipple, Fearing, Tupper, Nye and scores of others.  Spoons were made from coins, gold beads for the ladies, also thimbles, guns, axes, plows, shovels, door latches, nails, everything made by hand.

There were no houses above this sixty years ago.


Reminiscences of Marietta Sixty Years Ago - Third Street

This was considered a back street at that period.  There were only four buildings on it, from Putnam street to "Putnam Place" at the other end.  The most important of these was the Morris house, corner of Washington and Third, remodeled now, and occupied by the Otto family.  This was a harbor to many flood sufferers in '32.  Just above this was the long building called, I think, the Wheeler Wagon works.  The residence of Joseph Morris was at the other end.  He and his wife rode to the Congregational church every Sunday morning in a green wagon, common in those days, but which would be a curiosity now.  Few of his descendants are living.

From Putnam to Wooster a wagon track was seldom seen, being mostly a swamp, and where the cows pastured themselves as on many another street.  During the summer and fall, great quantities of mushrooms could be gathered in the morning dew on this street, immense in size, not like the tiny canned goods of our time, when epicures would revel in such morning harvests.

Some years before this, the whole block, on the corner of which stands the German M. E. church, and Dr. Gear's on the opposite corner was a sheep pasture.  From the backs of these sheep the wool was sheared, picked (famous for fun were the "wool pickings"), carded into rolls by hand, spun and woven by the pioneer mothers into fabrics for winter wear of their households, and the flax fields in the vicinity after the long labor of planting, cutting, rotting, hatcheling, spinning and weaving, were converted into cloth for household linen and summer wear.  In 1796 a young girl, Sarah Nye, living in this neighborhood, was soon to be married and the flax was stored in the attic of her father's house (Ebenezer Nye), which when converted into cloth would make her wedding outfit.  The house caught fire, and burned down, flax and all.  Bitter tears were shed by Sarah, as she had to wait another year till another crop of flax was raised.  Time rolled on and in 1797 she became Mrs. Azariah Pratt.  Her descendants of 70 and 80 live to tell the tale.  Calico then was 50 cts per yard (eight yards only being required by our grandmothers for a dress) and other dry goods and groceries ranged accordingly.  The wages for out of town, good school teachers was one dollar and twenty-five cents per week, one fourth to be paid in money, the other three-fourths in flax, rolls or wool. 

As late as '84 the north corner of Wooster and Third was a sand bank.  One summer afternoon two men sat on the ground here talking excitedly.  A lady acquaintance passing by said, "What in the world are you doing in this sand?"  "We are going to build a church here," was the reply, to the astonishment of the listener, and soon after there loomed up the First M. E. church of brick, in which the first service was held in the basement, Thanksgiving day, 1885.  It does not seem very long ago that Wooster hill from Third, and Third from Wooster, could not be ascended by a team.  Behold the transformation.  There is no more desirable locality for a home than just this neighborhood.

The home of Dr. Samuel Hildreth still stands on Putnam beside the new Court House.  A three-story residence was a wonderful sight; the constructing of from sixteen to twenty-four story buildings, skyward, had not yet been achieved by Americans, and now, perhaps, no other nation has succeeded in getting as near the stars.  Doctors Hildreth and Cotton were the two who had the widest reputation (not half a dozen of them), and were appreciated and loved in the long ago.

The "Pool" house still stands next the Hildreth residence, said to be over a hundred years old, and now occupied by members of Anselm T. Nye's family.  The Woodbridge homestead, similar in construction to the Wards, stood back from the street, on the corner of Putnam and Third.  Immense trees decorated the yard, giving such a quiet cool look to the surroundings.  The late G. M. Woodbridge was the last of a large family to pass away, children of this genial old gentleman, Dudley Woodbridge, who lived and died in this lovely home, as we remember it.


Sixty Years Ago - Fourth Street as it Was.

The College grounds were not as extensive as now, and only one of the four buildings, the old Dormitory, had been built at that time.  Fronting on Fourth street was the President's residence (Lindsley).  The district school children stood as much in awe of a College President as of the President of the United States.  One was equal to the other in their eyes.  If he passed a group of these young scientists, they would huddle together and whisper "Yes, its the President."  Good father Woodruff, who was called Marietta's polite man, so courteous to all and a great cultivator of flowers, lived in a cottage also fronting Fourth and had many apple trees in the rear from which the students (did not steal, of course) helped themselves secretly after night.  Being observed by the owner, he would call out, "Boys, you can have as many apples as you wish."

Fronting Putnam, stood the old Academy, plastered on the out side, a dismal looking affair, but from which many a young man started in the ways of knowledge.  A little lower on Fourth lived John and "uncle Bill Slocomb," who kept a shoe store, and where they also cut and made the yellow envelopes, a new "fad" of the day, and sold them readily to their customers.  First above Putnam stood the district school house, two stories high, now remodeled into a dwelling house and occupied by Mrs. Gates.  Here the three R's were taught, also grammar and Watts on the mind" year after year, mostly by male teachers.  Here also were enacted pugilistic feats to the consternation of the scholars, between the teacher and some of the big boys, excelled only by "Corbett."  Sometimes the teacher had the upper hand, oftener the big boy, first one prone on the floor, then the other.  Time has leveled all differences, as to who should rule; all the teachers and nearly all of the scholars have passed away.

On the other side of the street, up to Scammel, were vacant lots, most of the year covered with water from the hill, making a long pond, a fine sliding place for the school children in winter, and thereby making custom for the local shoe maker.

A two story house came next, stairs on the out side.  Next that the residence of Mr. Jones, father of Charles Jones, the merchant, and where Charlie spent his boyhood days, and still sticks to this street, noting all the improvements as the years go by.  A brother of the first Mr. Jones lived in a cottage next.  This completes the number to Scammel.  As you crossed Scammel, the hill rose up in front of you and pedestrians had to climb at one side by the fence.  At this corner a large orchard yielded its yearly crop of natural fruit, being also the corner of the "sheep pasture."

Just over the brow of the hill stood quite a large brick house, the residence of Nathaniel Clark, the "potter," who supplied the town people with jars, pans and jugs, made in a very laborious and primitive style.  North of this Mr. Clark owned a large orchard reaching from Fourth to Fifth street, where Sabbath school picnics were held on the Fourth of July and addressed by G. M. Woodbridge and others.  After this came a long stretch of grassy street equal to a lawn, only one small brick house thereon, the home of grandfather Shaw.

This desolate locality was said to be inhabited by ghosts, dark nights, and so believed by the school children, who would not venture through this avenue even in daylight.  The ghosts proved generally to be belated drunken men, trying slyly in their dazed condition to locate their homes.

There was another little district school house standing on the site now occupied by the large Washington street school house.  Theodore Scott, a successful teacher in many parts of Marietta, taught here at the time of his marriage to Miss Sarah Booth.  Union Sabbath schools were also held in this building and occasionally a sermon delivered; one by Rev. John Woodbridge will be remembered by some, from the text, "I am the vine, ye are the branches."  Just above this on the other side of Fourth on the corner, lived Barker Devol and wife (called the "odd women") and two daughters, Sally and Abby, and son, George.  The oblong square, with its approaches on the four sides, a part of the ancient works, all are familiar with.  It was named Camp Tupper in time of the Civil war, when soldiers encamped there.  Beyond this there was a large extent of woods on the premises of Morris and Putnam.

What a hush there was among those trees; not a sound could be heard, save the clatter of falling beech nuts and hickory nuts, or the scurrying of a frightened squirrel up a tree with its winter stores.  Not a locomotive whistle had ever been heard in this vicinity.  A few steamboats plied the Ohio; two or three the Muskingum river, but no whistle sounded their coming; their distant puffing, seldom heard, was listened to with such interest and awe as we can hardly imagine now.


Fifth Street, as Seen By Matilda, Fifty Years Ago.

If the Marietta friends are not tired of these old-time streets, will start again up Fifth street, beginning at the Deterly house.  There are three houses only, to Putnam, Deterly, Preston and Darrow, the latter named from a minister living there at the above date, and it still stands on the corner.  On the west corner of Putnam and Fifth stood and now stands, the beautiful residence and the grounds called the Mills property, reaching to the alley on Putnam and quite a distance up the other street.

This place was the envy of our grandmothers, and as it becomes more and more improved by present owners, the grandchildren gaze with admiration on all that has been done.  "Jack Mills" was a fun loving fellow and many are the pranks that the daughters of the pioneers have told us that he perpetrated in his younger days.  Later, he was the stately, sedate Colonel Mills who occupied this house, respected by all.  On the other side of Fifth stood the Henry Armstrong house.

Next Came "Mound Cemetery."  As you pass in the gates and up the walk at the present time, you are struck with the great number of slabs and monuments, which are in view in this small inclosure, but when we consider that the unmarked graves are greater in number than the marked, how densely populated it seems, neighbor crowding upon neighbor.  People generally feel that they are familiar with this city of the dead, yet how few know how many noted men and lovable women connected with Marietta's early history lie beneath this sod.

They made Marietta politically and financially and in church and college gave their brain work to this small community.  One is surprised, in examining their life records, to see what they accomplished.  One of these, Colonel Ebenezer Sproat, was six feet four, called by the Indians "Big Buckeye."  Some think this gave the name "Buckeye," to our State.  Others as Col. Ichabod Nye, Major Anselm Tupper, Gov. R. J. Meigs (who was also the first postmaster in Marietta), his father, R. J. Meigs, Sr., represented Washington county in the first Territorial Legislature, General Buell, Commodore Abraham Whipple, Nahum Ward, Joseph Holdren, Dr. Hildreth, Dr. John Cotton, Caleb Emerson, John Mills, Nathaniel Dodge and Oliver Cram.  Any of these should make the grounds as sacred to Marietta as Mt. Vernon to the United States.

It is wonderful how many ministers of the Gospel have their last resting place here.  Among them Rev. Daniel Story (the first pioneer minister), Samuel Robbins, Luther Bingham, Thomas Wickes, Greenbury Jones and Hiram Gear.

Colonels, Majors, Captains, Lieutenants and privates, volunteers in the Civil war, from Marietta homes, have their graves marked on Decoration Day to the proud satisfaction of our community.  Perhaps a hundred years from now this ground will be regarded with greater interest than now.  Ascending the forty-five steps to the summit of the "mound," one is led to inquire, "What is this on which I stand, an altar, a sepulchre, a fortress, a look out, or place of amusement?  What kind of tools and instruments were used in its construction?  What race of people and color lived here?  What is the age of this structure?"  These whats? might be asked all over Ohio, a good part of the United States and Mexico; surmises and conjectures are many, but we still remain in a mystery.

Opposite the cemetery stands the Cram house, now as then.

At the corner of Fifth and Scammel a few will remember, there stood a one-roomed house in the sand, occupied by different parties as the years went by, but at that time by "Old Mother Ellis," a very quaint character, who, when living on lower ground during the '32 flood, sought to pray down the high water while it was coming through her hearth and around her, insisting it would not touch her.  She would not move out of her chair and had to be carried out.  In this small house on the hill she died alone, her hymn book before her, her finger on a hymn, also a chapter marked in her bible, lying open, both of which were used at her funeral.

On the corner of fifth and Wooster stood an old brick house, built in primitive style, with an oven bulging out at the end, like many another in those days.  This has given place to the "Ranger Block."

Above Wooster, there now stands a house owned by Mrs. Kingsbury, which was a very odd looking house before being remodeled and quite commodious for the time.  A one story cottage came next on the same side.  On the other side of fifth the older house owned by Mrs. Berry has quite a little history.  Tradition said this building was made from parts of the "Blockhouse" or fort, which stood on Washington, from Front to Second.  Mr. G. M. Woodbridge, to satisfy himself whether this were true or not, a number of years ago, when the house was being re-roofed, climbed up in the attic to investigate, when behold! there were the port holes through the beams, where guns were used by the pioneers to ward off the Indians, in early times.  Services were held here by the Methodists, who had no church then and had a hard time to get a foothold in Marietta.  The house was stoned, the windows broken, boards put on the chimney, smoking out the worshippers.

This house has been occupied and owned by quite a number of persons.  Mrs. Bliss and daughters, Caroline and Mary, lived here at one time.  (Mary is Mrs. Dr. Parker, of West Marietta).  It was called the Stephens' property, the Grosvenor home and finally passing from one to another, Mrs. Berry is now the fortunate owner.  Next comes the Martin Sinclair house, now occupied by J. W. Sturgiss.  This ends the number of houses on Fifth street.

As you walked across Washington ahead of you might have been seen some ridges by the roadside, some small mounds and excavations, a part of the ancient works, all obliterated now, except the elevated square which is mutilated considerable on the west side of it.  It formerly had approaches on three sides and a large indenture on the fourth.  It had no trees upon it until latter years, unlike the "Mound" which had all over its sides oak and hickory, of very large growth, but have been mostly cut down.  Again we come to the pawpaw bushes and the woods and I bid you "good-night."


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Days Recalled When "Old Putnam Street Was New"

The Marietta Sunday Times, November 2, 1930

Nearing of completion of the new Citizens' bank building reminds the average-aged Mariettan of the days when "old Putnam street was new."  Putnam street has been rebuilt - built new within the past half-century, except for only a few of the older buildings.

The forefathers who laid out the broad street had a vision, it seems, that automobile traffic would be an important feature in the trend of human and industrial events, else they would have laid out what are "horse and buggy" streets that are found in many other towns and cities that are not nearly so old as is Marietta.

Looking up and down Putnam street, one finds only three of the old buildings of the 100 year old class standing, those buildings that belong to the age of Marietta pioneers.  They are the Corner Drug Store building and the Cooke building at Front street and the Hildreth building.  The Corner Drug Store building that housed Marietta's early post office is the oldest of the trio, it having been built previous to the Hildreth building that dates back before 1820.  The Cooke building at one time housed a Marietta bank.  It is of the architectural vintage of 1830.

The first movement for the continuation of the business section advancing up Putnam street came in 1883-1884, when Strecker Bros. erected the first unit of their manufacturing plant on a part of the premises of the old Nahum Ward home.


Just working out on one's memory, the beautiful old trees that were on Putnam street until they were removed with the widening and resurfacing of Putnam street are already almost forgotten; and so are the old wooden telephone poles and telegraph poles on which were tacked constables sales, notices and posters.  The poles were perforated with tacks just as the trees along the walks in Marietta College campus with their long years of service in advertising most everything - even the old black bordered funeral notices.  There are those who distinctly remember when Putnam street was a dirt road before it was elevated to its grade of today.

And delving back further in one's memory, do you remember the F. A. Wheeler home that stood on the site of Otto Bros. store, with its semi-circular portico and high columns?  And the George M. Woodbridge home, a square roofed old colonial house that stood on the south-west corner of the street at Third?  And the Mrs. Kate Wakefield Dye home at Third and Putnam on the site of which is now the Wakefield hotel?  And the old Sheppard home, at Fourth and Putnam, where stands the First Baptist Church?  And the Miss Mary Nye home and the Judge Cutter home where now stand the business blocks between the Hildreth building and the Wakefield hotel?  One would hardly know the Judge Cutter house in its new environment in a fine residential section on Second street where it was removed to make way for the Putnam theatre.


And, does one remember the old sheriff's residence and county jail that stood where is now the First National Bank building and the Turner-Ebinger store?  And when the late George Wieser erected the Wieser building on a part of what was the armory lot?  Do you remember when the old armory was the roller skating rink?  When it was used as a display hall for the relics of Marietta's centennial in 1888?  All of the building blocks- the St. Clair building and the Meigs building are on the site of the old armory premises, the armory having stood back at the rear of the lot.

And, does one remember the old centenary church where General Ballington Booth talked when the Salvation Army first came to town?  The old church disguised as a business block and was razed last year to make room for the Kresge building.

Just like the trees and the telephone poles of recent memory are the memory of the old Nathan Fawcett mansion, later the Cadwallader and Dr. Sam Hart homes that were razed in very recent years to make room for the Wood and Augenstein blocks, and the Montgomery Ward store.


The old Marietta Female Seminary stood where the People's bank building is located now and that was one of the first, if not the first institution for higher learning for women in Ohio.  The school was opened in the early 1830's.  The mother of Col. John Mills and W. W. Mills was a teacher in the seminary.

The Tea Room was originally the home of Daniel P. Torpy who built the house that was later occupied by Dr. Charles S. Hart.  What is now the Osteopathic Clinic was formerly the home of Prof. H. S. Saroni.  The Follett home was built by the late A. D. Follett some 30 years ago.

The Unitarian church of 1857; the City Hall of 1871-1873; the old Baptist church of 1865; the old "law building" opposite The times' offices; the block of buildings between the Corner Drug Store building and Otto Bros. store' and also the Kropp building are some of the buildings left on Putnam street.

The court house corner has held its own for 107 years, when the "second" Washington county court house was erected on the present site in 1823.  The old building was razed to make way for the present elegant structure in 1900-1902.  The first court house was a log structure that stood where is now the First National bank building.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Marietta Museum

American Friend & Marietta Gazette, September 17, 1831

The Marietta Museum is now open for the reception of company at the house of Maj. Alexander Hill, on Green street.  Among the numerous articles it contains are the following Natural Curiosities.

Of Animals,
Pied Deer, Panther, Wolf, Ounce, Tiger Cat, Canada Lynx, Opossum, Wild Cat, Porcupine, &c.

Of Fish,
Sea Elephant, Shark, Sturgeon, Sea Dog, Seal, Alligator, Guana, &c.

Of Birds,
The Ostrich, Bittern, Loon, Swan, Peacock, and a great variety of small birds. 

A handsome collection of Minerals, Shells, Petrifactions, Coins and Insects.  Also

Wax Figures,
Among which are Washington, Jackson, Bolivar, Paez, Bonaparte, and Josephine.  Wm. Wallace, Robert Bruce, Helen Mar; Capt. Wm. Morgan, Alexander the Great; Blue Beard as about to kill Fatima, when Selim interposes and slays Blue Beard, Irene stands weeping.  Romeo, Juliet, and many others.

The Cosmorama,
Representing the City of Rome, Forts, Fortifications, Shipping, &c.

Temple of Industry,
With more than Forty figures, Mechanics engaged at their different occupations.  Likewise a number of very interesting paintings.

The public is most respectfully informed that additions and changes will be weekly made, and no pains or expense will be spared to render the establishment worthy a continuance of the very liberal patronage it has already received.

Admittance 25 cents.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ceremony in Aurelius

The Home News, May 25, 1861

On Saturday afternoon last a large and enthusiastic gathering of the people of Aurelius township, men and women, took place at Pleasant Hill, near the Methodist Church. A handsome Liberty Pole was erected by the men, when a beautiful set of Stars and Stripes, "flag of the free heart's hope and home," prepared by the ladies, was run up by them, amid the hearty greetings of the four or five hundred persons present. Patriotic speeches were made by S. L. Fisher, of Pittsburgh, and H. Schofield, Esq. of Salem, and a renewed determination was manifested by all to defend the glorious ensign of the nation's integrity to the last and forevermore. The initial steps were taken to organize an efficient military company, some twenty or thirty names being subscribed on the spot.