Friday, February 17, 2012

Pioneers of Newport Township

Marietta Register, Semi-Weekly, May 22, 1888

Benjamin Racer, Sr., (whose real name was Benjamin DeCourcy) landed at Marietta, Ohio, April 7th, 1794, bringing at that time his family, consisting of wife and four children, viz:  Dennis, Benjamin, jr., Elizabeth and Mary (Polly).  The family lived for some time in the Stockade at Marietta, then moved to land now owned by Mr. John M. Plumer in lower part of Newport Tp., when said land belonged to the Government, the exact date cannot be ascertained, but between 1794 and 1797, when he moved in last named year to the old John Rowland place in Newport Tp., lived there several years and then moved to west side of Big Muskingum River below Devol's Dam on place now owned by Capt. Gage Barker.  It is not known exactly how long he lived there but he spent his last days on the farm owned by his son Benjamin in upper end of Marietta Tp., where he died in 1823.

Three of his children viz:  Dennis, Benjamin Racer, jr., and Mary, married Holdrens, and Elizabeth married Aaron D. Straight.  Dennis, the oldest son, built a log cabin on Bell's Run below where the oil tank stood on hill, and in this in March, 1805, Benjamin Racer, jr., went to housekeeping.  Once child, David C. Racer (now living in Marietta Tp., and thought to be oldest man living born in Newport Tp.), was born in the cabin, Dec. 19, 1805.  About 1806, said Benjamin Racer, jr., bought and cleared 50 acres close to Newport village, and is part of what is now the Jeremiah Bosworth farm, and he lived there until 1816.  Here were born to him eight children:  Dennis in 1807, Benjamin in 1808, Mary in 1809, Sophia in 1810, Susan in 1812, Frank in 1813, Rachel in 1814 and Wm. Pitt in 1816.  In 1816 he sold and moved to farm now owned by E. O. Racer in Marietta Tp., where he died in 1872, aged 88 years.  In Marietta Tp., were born to him by his first wife, seven children, viz:  Grace, Cynthia, Elizabeth, Charles, Dudley, Ann and Ezra, in the order named, making in all 16 children.  Benjamin Racer, jr., married for his second wife, Mrs. Abigail Churchill (widow of ___ Churchill) in 1834, they having one child which died in infancy, and his second wife died before he did.

David C. Racer, his oldest child, married for his first wife, Anna Maria Corner, great granddaughter of General Rufus Putnam, the head of the company that settled at Marietta, was with the last Dudley Woodbridge, Esq., as clerk and partner for a great many years in Marietta, but in May, 1841, because of poor health moved back into the township in which he was born, on to the place known as the Woodbridge farm.  Here two children were born, viz: Mary, now Mrs. Chas. Dana of said Township, born Sept. 2, 1842, and Geo. C., born April 29, 1845, a son Benjamin and a daughter Susan, having been born in Marietta.  Benjamin died in infancy, and Susan is now Mrs. Geo. O'Neal, David D. Racer lived in Newport Tp. about four years and then back to Marietta, where his first wife died in 1846.  In 1848 he married Miss Susan C. Flagg, daughter of the late Capt. James Flagg, she having one daughter Sophia.  He survives them both.

Geo. C. Racer, son of David C., bought the upper part of the Woodbridge farm, the place of his birth and moved onto it in the fall of 1883, and still resides there.

This covers so far as known the history of the Racer family in Newport Tp.  The history of that part of the family moving into and born in Marietta Tp. will probably be covered by history of that township.

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