Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Washington County's Temple of Justice Stands a Vane

Sunday Morning Observer, December 2, 1917

The first court held in the County was that of the Court of Common Pleas at Campus Martius, September 2, 1788. A procession was formed at the Point, where most of the settlers resided, in the following order:

The high sheriff, with drawn sword; the citizens, the officers of the garrison at Fort Harmar, the members of the bar, the supreme judges, the Governor and clergymen, and the newly appointed judges of the court, General Rufus Putnam and Benjamin Tupper. Rev. Dr. Manasseh Cutler, one of the directors of the Ohio Company, opened the court with prayer; and Colonel Ebenezer Sproat, the sheriff, made official proclamation that "a court is opened for the administration of even-handed justice, to the poor and the sick, to the guilty and the innocent, without respect of person."

There was no suit, either civil or criminal, brought before this, the first court.

The northwest blockhouse of Campus Martius was used for a court house for a number of years. In 1792 the Court of Quarter Sessions submitted estimates for a court house and jail, $1,000 each.

In 1793 Thomas Lord was directed to take a log house near Campus Martius and fit it up for a jail. At this time a log building at the Point was being used as a court house. In December 1797, repairs were made on it.

In 1799, Griffin Greene and Timothy Buell were appointed Commissioners to build a jail and court house. They estimated the cost to be $3,001.81. Contracts were made with Joshua Wells to frame and raise the building. With Joshua Shipman to weatherboard and shingle the house, make the doors, lay the floors, etc. With James Lawton to do the mason work and with Gilbert Devol, Jr., to furnish 3,000 weight of good iron, manufactured into spikes, bolts, grates, etc., for which he was to receive sixteen cents a pound.

The building was located on the corner of Second and Putnam where the German Bank and Turner-Ebinger now are. It was completed in 1800.

The court room was in the second story, being forty feet by twenty broad. The walls of the jail on the first floor were three feet thick, and the whole was built in the most substantial manner and was known as one of the strongest prisons in the state.

The subject of a new court house was agitated in 1819. At a meeting of citizens held September 13, that year, a committee consisting of Governor R. J. Meigs, Hon. Levi Barber and D. H. Buell, Esq., reported in favor of a new building to be located at the corner of Second and Putnam streets, the present site. The next day the County Commissioners passed a resolution to the same effect.

The matter seemed to rest for two years, when the Commissioners appointed Joseph Holden, the County Treasurer, to superintend the delivery of the materials.

In November, 1821, they advertised for a plan, the building to be 48 feet square, with a fireproof office 16 feet square in each corner.

In the Winter of 1822 there was no little excitement as to the site of the new Court House. Many were opposed to the corner of Second and Putnam as too low, and favored a higher location. Some advocated the elevated square on Washington street. Others wanted it on Fifth street near the Mound. Petitions and counter-petitions were sent to the Commissioners.

On March 6, 1822, they decided to locate it on Fifth street, south of Mound Cemetery, provided a better subscription could be obtained than for any other location. Three weeks later a public meeting was held and a majority voted for the Thierry lots, the old Ewart home were Ed. Flanders now lives.

At a meeting in April the Commissioners resolved upon that location, but in the same month they reconsidered their action, and again and finally, decided in favor of the corner of Second and Putnam streets.

The edifice was completed in 1823. In 1854 an addition on the north side was built in which was located the office of the Probate Court. In 1876 another addition was built and more was added to the front of the building on Putnam and as well to the height of the structure.

A new brick jail to take the place of the old log jail on the southeast corner of Second and Putnam was built in 1848, according to plans furnished by Hon. R. E. Harte. It was proposed to place the jail on the same lot with the Court House, but in consideration of $500 paid by Dr. S. P. Hildreth and Mrs. Martha B. Wilson, who lived on adjoining lots, the Commissioners agreed to erect it on the old site.

The land on which the old jail stood was given the county by Dudley Woodbridge. That on which the present Court House stands was given by Col. Ebenezer Sproat.

This Court House served till long in the late 1800's when the subject of a new Temple of Justice became a leading topic. The question of location again caused friction. The old "Ice Harbor Lot," Fifth street near Putnam, the elevation where now stands the public library, and Camp Tupper were discussed.The Commissioners finally decided on the old site and after much discussion as to plans, the contract was let for the present building.

The old jail and lot were sold and the jail provided for in the third floor of the new Court House.

The present building was erected in 1901 and is one of the most beautiful and substantial stone county Court Houses in Ohio. It is three stories and a basement high, with huge cupola and town clock.

Marietta had the first Court House and jail in Ohio and today boasts the "last word" in such a building.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

First White Christmas Here in Twelve Years

The Marietta Daily Times, December 24, 1929

Remember the red sled that Santa Claus brought you years and years ago? Can't you just feel the thrill of it now? And you could hardly wait until breakfast was over and you could go out on the hill and try it.

Well, your children and grandchildren are going to have that same experience tomorrow morning - thanks to a genuine white Christmas.

It has been a long time since there has been as much snow for Christmas as there is this year, and few boys and girls of 15 can recall a real white Christmas. There has been one in the last 15 years, but it was so long ago that most 15-year-olds were too young to remember it.

To make sure The Times appealed to the U.S. Weather Bureau for the record and Forecaster Howe supplied it.  Two years ago, on Christmas Day, 1927, there was a trace of snow but not enough to make a white Christmas.

Five years ago, on Christmas Day, 1924, there was more snow and the official measurement showed four-tenths of an inch of the white and beautiful. But that wasn't enough to make a real white Christmas, much less to make coasting possible.

Christmas Day, 1917, was the last real honest-to-goodness, snow-bound white one of which there is record in this section of the United States. It was cold, with a lot of snow - something of the same sort that we are promised this year.

That was 12 years ago.

Today there is more than six inches of snow. The weather man promises moderating temperatures for Wednesday. But the snow is here and a genuine, old-fashioned white Christmas is assured.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

When the Snows Were a Pleasure

Sunday Morning Observer, December 30, 1917

The snows that came to blanket the earth a week ago and the cold weather that followed to harden the crust of Old Mother Earth and make the roads an even pathway that created a certain pleasure to traverse them, brought to mind the days of ye olden time in and about Marietta, the good old days, a time which, looking back, seems far away in the misty past when a fall of snow such as that of the other day would have completely filled the bill of winter delights.

There are a few of us still who can recall the sleighing carnivals when streets and roadways were not so encumbered with trolley tracks, and paved streets had not yet come to mar the pleasures of a real sleigh ride. The sport was fast and furious all day and well after the cold, gray shades of night had settled down, and there were many who were loathe to give it up even then.

There were trotters in those days that were snow horses and there were quite a number of horsemen and horse enthusiasts who spent many a pleasant hour behind the prancing steed. Lovers joined in the merry throng and the livery stable keepers reaped a harvest in the sleighing season. If the sleighs were not engaged in advance, there were none to be had for days.

A big bus-sleigh was owned by Reckard's livery, and this was used to carry parties to and from dances that were held at places throughout the country. The wheels were taken from wagons and "bobs" put under and in these a hay wagon picnic was put to shame.

Everywhere it was jingle, jingle, jingle; there was a steady stream of sleighs leaving the city; business men took a half holiday, for sleighing did not come so frequently that it could be neglected when it did come. Nearly every man who drove a sleigh had one of the fairer half of humanity, either his wife or sweetheart, by his side. In almost all cases the females were models of gentle grace and loveliness. The solitary jingle of bells could be heard in the most out of the way parts of the town, like the rippling of small brooks in lonely fields, and hastening to join the jingling river of bells, rushing on through all the avenues and out upon the highways. 

Sleighs could be counted by the hundreds, and from parents to infants there was the rejoicing and merriment that sleighing always brings in its train. The roadways furnished pompous equipage indeed, whips fluttering with rainbow-hued ribbons, gorgeous lap-robes, streaming and glossy manes, switching tails, huge overcoats, fur caps, sealskin sacques, blushing cheeks and sparkling eyes, little clinging gloved hands, the whole bright procession stretched on and out of the city, and the air danced again with wild sweet music of the bells.

The man with the best horse was the best man on the road in those days. The hard-working artists behind the roadhouse bar put unusual care into the mixing of the cocktails; the ladies sipping lemonade behind the portieres. There was bliss in the snow in the olden days.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Business Booming Despite War

Sunday Morning Observer, December 23, 1917

Shoppers Crowding Stores Show Tendency To Concentrate On Gifts To Soldiers And Children.

Mariettans are crowding the shops just as in the piping days of peace, though this is the first Christmas with the United States at war since 1864.

Business is actually better than usual, and all indications point to a really lavish celebration of the Yuletide.  Yet the people as a whole are by no means reckless in their expenditures.  There is a tendency to concentrate on the children and the soldiers.

More toys are being sold this year than ever in the history of the Marietta stores. Everybody seems bent on "keeping the kiddies out of the war," and the youngsters are certainly in for a glorious time.

Then, too, all hearts have gone out to the soldiers, not only the boys in France, but the young rookies in the National Army training camps.  Thousands of gifts have been sent to the men of General Pershing's Army, and to the cantonments where the selected service men are learning to fight the Hun.

Besides sweaters, warm flannels, military greatcoats, wrist watches, rubber boots, rubber ponchos, and fur-lined corduroy coats, there have been plenty of miscellaneous gifts sent. Of course tobacco in every form, pins, candy, jams, jellies and marmalade and fruit cakes have been sent by the thousands.

Banjos, ukuleles, phonographs, and other musical instruments have moved out of the shops in a steady stream, headed for the training camps.  Big boxes of books have also been forwarded to the Y.M.C.A., Knights of Columbus and other organizations working to keep the new soldiers amused.

Efforts to send inappropriate gifts have been discouraged by the stores. For instance, few people know that sailors, soldiers, and marines are forbidden to carry umbrellas.  It's true, though. The regulations put a ban on them. So it was necessary to persuade many loving relatives that it would be much better to send Johnny a pipe or a poncho.

They tell a tale in the Army of a young officer who came into the service from civil life, and was appointed to a certain famous regiment. A day or so after he arrived, being off duty that morning, he strolled over to watch guard mount, sheltering himself from a gentle shower under a large umbrella.

Even afterward that regiment was known as the "Umpty-third Umbrellas," instead of by its real designation, and the unfortunate young officer was never allowed to forget the disgrace he had brought upon his fellow officers.

Among the other things to which the general public has been treating itself this year are jewels, furs and pianos.  Of course such articles are really an investment, for the chances are that the cost of all three will go jumping within the next six or eight months.

Christmas shopping began earlier than usual this year.  And the daily volume of business has been increasing steadily, reaching the proportions of a rush last Saturday,  and keeping up the pace this week. The indications are that the final rush will be a record breaker.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Name Change Effected By Local Firm

The Marietta Register, November 28, 1923

After operating for a period of nearly twenty-one years under the name of The Marietta Mantel Company, this firm has changed its name to The Brickwede Brothers Company.

The name was no longer representative of the business.  About twenty-one years ago the present firm started the manufacture of cabinet mantels, which line they still manufacture at their lower plant at the corner of Gilman and Wood streets.  Six years ago they built a new furniture factory in the new Westview Industrial Addition, and the furniture business has grown by such leaps and bounds until at present the furniture business is several times as large as the mantel business.  Therefore, the name was no longer representative of the business.

C. O. Brickwede and F. M. Brickwede having been in charge of the active management of the business since its beginning, and having a wide acquaintance with the trade, the board of directors by unanimous vote have changed the name to the Brickwede Brothers Company.

This business was started nearly twenty-one years ago in a small frame factory at the corner of Harmar and Lancaster streets where it operated for about five years.  They then purchased the plant known as the Lawrence Piano Company, which was later occupied by the Marietta Paint and Color company, from whom the purchase was made, where they have since operated their mantel factory, and this line is recognized throughout the country as the strongest line of mantels being made in the United States.

In 1917 they built one of the most modern furniture factories to be found in the country at the new Westview Industrial Addition where they manufacture a very high class line of period dining room suits, which includes buffets, tables, china cabinets, serving tables, and chairs, and this line has found a ready market in every state in the Union.

They compete successfully with the well established factories in Grand Rapids and Jamestown, and in fact, display their line twice a year at the Grand rapids furniture market in competition with five hundred other furniture factories.

C. O. Brickwede is in charge of sales and has as his assistants eighteen other salesmen who travel from coast to coast and from the gulf to the lakes.

F. M. Brickwede has been the general manager for the past twenty-one years and with Mr. A. J. Shircliffe, a highly successful furniture manufacturer and designer, as general superintendent and in charge of production, the firm is assured of a successful future under its new name.  The directors of the firm are as follows:  C. O. Brickwede, F. M. Brickwede, W. W. Trout, C. F. Strecker, B. F. Strecker, W. T. Hastings, and A. J. Shircliffe.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Marietta Intelligencer, December 2, 1854

Thanksgiving was this year more generally observed in Marietta than ever before.  Nearly all the stores were closed, the factories were stopped, and there was quite a general suspension of business.

The heartiness and sincerity of the Thanksgiving of those who have been blessed during the year, cannot at this time be better manifested than by a kind remembrance of the poor and destitute, among us - for there are families in every community to whom winter brings terror and peril.

"Few save the poor feel for the poor;
     The rich know not how hard
It is to be of needful rest
     And needful food debarr'd;
They know not of the scanty meal,
     With small pale faces round;
No fire upon the cold damp hearth
     When snow is on the ground."


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sale of Property

The Daily Register, April 1, 1903

H. W. Craig Disposes of Residence and Business in Marietta.

H. W. Craig, the well known citizen, has disposed of his fine residence property at the corner of Third and Washington streets to Capt. J. M. Hammett, of Pittsburgh, who will remove his family to this city and occupy the property at once.  Mr. Craig has also disposed of his photograph gallery to Miss Helen Clogston, who takes possession at once.  The consideration in both sales is private.

Mr. Craig, who has resided in Marietta for about twenty years, will move to Florida and locate permanently.  The people will regret his departure, but will welcome Capt. Hammett and his family to the city.

Capt. Hammett is building several boats here and is much pleased with Marietta as a city in which to live.

Miss Clogston, who is the purchaser of the gallery, is well known in the business and bears an enviable reputation in photography.  The Craig Studio has borne a good reputation and Miss Clogston will keep up the high standard of work that has been the rule.

The sale was made through the Marietta Real Estate Exchange.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Bell Is Here

The Daily Register, April 2, 1903

Washington County's New Bell Arrived This Morning.

The new bell for the Washington County Court House reached Marietta this morning, and has attracted a good deal of attention at the Pennsylvania depot.  It is an immense bell, the largest in the city by 1,000 pounds, and will no doubt be of a musical tone and very loud.  The brief inscription on the bell is "Honest John, 1788-1903."  The bell will be hoisted to its permanent abode soon.  The fine clock has been shipped and there is every reason to believe that the clock and bell will be in operation not later than April 15th.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Brief Sketch of George Posey

The Daily Register, April 2, 1903

One of Washington County's Pioneer Citizens Who is Ninety-Two Years Old, Today.

George Posey, son of Thomas and Amy Petty Posey, was born in Prince Williams county, Virginia, April 2, 1811.  When not two years old his father moved to Washington county, Ohio, settling near Marietta.

To Thomas Posey and wife were born seven children, one daughter and six sons, viz:  Amney, Henry, Alexander, George, Thomas, Dudley and William.  Amney, the daughter, was married when quite young, to James McKibben; when William was two years old the wife and mother died, leaving the father and six sons to battle life's rough ways together.

The hardships and privations of those earlier days can hardly be imagined by the younger people of today.  Settled in the dense woods, where panther, bears, wolves and other wild beasts were quite plentiful, with the prowlers around the home at night, with their mournful, hungry howls, made many lonesome nights for the little boys.  The boys grew to young men working at different occupations, the three older ones working in the timber.  Dudley was a stone cutter and Thomas worked in the brick yard with Westgate, until his death at 21 years of age.  

George, the subject of this sketch, with one of his older brothers, worked in the ship yards at Cincinnati at whip-sawing, getting out the timbers for the boats.  Saw mills at that time were unknown.  At the age of 21 he made his first trip to New Orleans on a flat boat, and from that time until the breaking out of the civil war he went every winter to New Orleans and was a successful flat boat pilot.  After the close of the war he made one trip through to New Orleans and one to Memphis, and about that time flat boating was superseded by freighting produce on steamboats and railroads.  He always enjoyed the flat boating and loved to tell the stories of the travels.

 George Posey

March 25, 1838, he was married to May Riley.  On the following day he came onto the farm where he now resides, having rented it in September, of the same year.  The farm, containing three 8-acre lots, was sold at sheriff's sale and he bought it for $500, having saved the full amount from his earnings at flat boating and working in the ship yards.  Later he added three more 8-acre lots to the farm, which has ever since been his home.

To him and his wife were born ten children, all of whom are dead but one daughter, Rose, the wife of Whitney Corner, who, with her husband, since the death of his wife, May 28, 1893, have made their home with him and cared for him in his declining years.

During the years of his life the many great improvements have been made in all of which he always took a great interest.  He has been a great reader and hi mind is stored with useful knowledge.  He has retained his faculties to a wonderful degree, his eye sight and hearing being good and his mind good, remembering events of years ago clearly and distinctly, and often persons wanting to know something that had transpired years ago will come to him and he can usually give them the desired information.

The last three years he has been quite feeble and moved about with difficulty, though the most of the time enjoying very good health for one of his years.  On the evening of March 17th, while going from his chair to his bed, he fell, receiving an injury to his hip that has confined him to his bed.  Considering his age and his feeble condition, his friends fear he will hardly be able to recover from the injury and the shock occasioned by it.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Boy Wounded In Halloween Prank

The Register-Leader, November 1, 1922

Gun Turned Into Crowd By Doctor

As the result of an alleged Hallowe'en prank Tuesday evening, Jack Riley, 18, of 325 Mathews street, is in Marietta hospital suffering from a bullet wound in the right leg and Dr. Winfield S. Ross, of 312 Fifth street, is at liberty under bond of $1,000 charged with shooting with intent to kill.  The physician is alleged to have fired the bullet which struck Riley and at his arraignment before Mayor G. B. H. Sanford, Wednesday morning, he entered a plea of not guilty and was released under bond for hearing Saturday morning at nine o'clock.

The bullet which struck Riley was fired from a 32 callibre Colt automatic revolver.  It penetrated the fleshy part of the right thigh midway between the knee and hip joint and penetrated within a quarter of an inch of the opposite side of the youth's leg.  Riley was removed to Marietta hospital shortly after the shooting and the bullet was removed Wednesday morning by Dr. C. A. S. Williams.  The wound is not considered a dangerous one and Riley's early recovery is expected.

Contradictory Reports

Contradictory stories as to happenings which led up to the shooting were secured by police officers who investigated the case but it appears that Riley and about twenty or twenty-five other young companions were in the party when the shooting occurred.  These boys, it was stated, were in the vicinity of the Mills home on Fifth street, directly across the street from the Ross residence, when someone hurled a portion of a brick on to the front porch of the Ross home.  At the same time, it was reported, someone shouted a name at the physician and he appeared on the porch of his home with the revolver in his hand.

The young men fled up Fifth street, it was stated to police, and Dr. Ross gave chase, firing the gun as he ran.  At Fifth and Scammel streets the boys turned down Scammel with the doctor in close pursuit.  When just opposite the high school building, Riley is said to have exclaimed that he was shot and he began limping.  His companions, however, continued to flee, thinking that the boy was only joking and Riley was soon left behind.  Dr. Ross apparently gave up the chase at this juncture and returned to his home.

Police Find Wounded Boy

Meantime police had been notified of the occurrence and Patrolmen Mills and Goodman were detailed on the case.  On Scammel street they found the Riley boy in considerable pain and suffering from a slight loss of blood.  He was taken to police headquarters and then rushed to Marietta hospital, where medical aid was rendered.

After placing the wounded lad in the hospital the patrolmen went to the Ross home on Fifth street and arrested the physician charged with the shooting.  He was lodged in the city jail for the night and was released Wednesday under bond.  When the officers arrived at the home, Dr. Ross is alleged to have been sitting just inside the front door with an old model single shot rifle of large calibre in his hands.  He also had in his possession the Colt 32 automatic and a number of cartridges for both weapons.  He showed no resistance to the officers but admitted them without a word.

Had Gun in Possession

The rifle which Dr. Ross had in his possession bore the trademark of the E. G. Lamson Company of Windsor, Vermont, and apparently was a gun of high power.  The cartridges for the weapon were of 48 calibre with wooden tips.  It was loaded when brought to headquarters.

During the affair which resulted in the wounding of the Riley boy, Dr. Ross is alleged to have fired six shots, police reported.  One of these bullets penetrated the home of Susman Ruby, at 325 Fifth street, tearing a hole nearly a half inch in width through the wall of the dwelling, ripped open a curtain behind which one of the sons of Mr. Ruby kept his clothing, shattered plastering on the wall of the closet and dropped into a coat pocket.  The bullet was later secured by the police.

Room Was Unoccupied

A son of Mr. Ruby is said to have missed being struck by the stray bullet by only a few moments.  The room which it penetrated is used by him as a study room and only a few moments before he had been seated at a typewriter at the desk over which the bullet sped.  He had just gone into the library of the home when the shooting occurred.  Police stated that had the youth been seated at the typewriter the course of the bullet indicated that he would have been struck squarely in the head.

Investigation of the case by police revealed only the names of three other members of the party in addition to Riley, who are alleged to have been fired upon by Dr. Ross.  They are Edward Cleary, of Muskingum Drive; Donald Haynes of Fifth street, and Clayton Porter.  It was reported that about twenty or twenty-five boys made up the party.

 The Riley boy, victim of the shooting, is a stepson of Cyril Tooley, who is employed at a clothing store on Greene street.  He is a student at St. Marys Parochial School and came to this city about six years ago from Bushnell, Illinois.  It was stated that the boy has a sister at Bushnell who is seriously ill with tuberculosis and his mother is in that city at the present time.  He had been out of school for several days and had been caring for younger children at his home.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


The Marietta Times, April 27, 1898

Complaint having been made to Mayor Richardson that one Mollie Williams was running a disorderly house on Church street, he ordered the police to raid the place which they did about 2 o'clock Sunday morning.  They found in the house 5 women and 7 young men and arrested all but one woman who made her escape through a window.  The women captured were arraigned before the Mayor Monday morning, and three of them pleading guilty, they were each fined $10.00 and costs except Mollie Williams who, being the keeper of the place, was fined $40.00.  Edith Berry pleaded not guilty and her trial was set for a later date.

The boys arrested were given a lecture full of good advice, and after being notified that a severe penalty would follow a repetition of the offence, were permitted to go without being fined.  It is a sad commentary upon the time in which we live that they in age ranged from 15 to 20 years.  If we were Mayor those who encouraged the visits of boys of those tender years to their places would spend most of their time in jail.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Francis MacMillen Given Medal

The Marietta Daily Times, May 3, 1907

Francis McMillen and Associates Had Large Crowd at Last Concert.

The concert given at the Auditorium last evening was, like the three previous ones in which Francis McMillen participated attended by an audience which completely filled the house.

It was given under the auspices of and for the benefit of the Marietta Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  The three artists in their lines - McMillen on the violin, Richard Hageman on the piano, and Mdme. Rosina Van Dyke, the Dutch soprano gave a concert which is seldom equaled in Marietta and it was an enthusiastic audience that greeted them last evening.

Hageman rendered two numbers in his usual finished style and Mdme. Van Dyke also came in for a share of the applause.

Upon behalf of the local chapter of the Daughters of the Revolution, Francis McMillen was presented with a gold medal.  Hon. Charles S. Dana made the presentation speech and he said that the medal was given on account of the real genius of McMillen.  The donors of the medal rose when the remembrance was being presented.

Francis McMillen was much affected.  He said that he was not much of a speech maker at any time and even less of a one last evening.  He and Mr. Hageman rendered "Home, Sweet Home."

McMillen will give one more concert in this city.  It will be for school children under 14 years of age and will be held at the Auditorium Saturday afternoon at 1 o'clock.  No admission will be charged, but nobody above the age stated will be admitted.

The Register-Leader, May 4, 1907:

Fifteen hundred little voices led by that masterful violinist in the great national anthem "America," sent a thrill through the hearts of older people such as they will remember the remainder of their lives.  Such was the opening number of the concert given this afternoon, by Francis MacMillen for the school children of Marietta.  When MacMillen stepped to the front of the stage every available seat in the house was taken, every foot of the stage occupied by children, after chairs had been placed for them, and still many had to stand up. The concert was announced for half past one.  Long before twelve o'clock the children flocked to the big Auditorium, for they realized that the opportunity of a lifetime was to be presented to many of them. 

Long before MacMillen, escorted by the twelve little girls who had strewn flowers in his path upon his arrival at Marietta, last January, arrived, the big hall was filled.  Never did it contain such an audience.  Never did this world famous violinist, whom Marietta is proud to claim as a son, and who is proud to call the old city "home," have such an audience, exacting, yet appreciative.

As he drew his magic bow back and forth over the wonderful instrument there was a silence so great that even the softest of his harmonies could be heard distinctly any place in the house.  His program, which lasted more than an hour, was made up of numbers widely varied, giving the children an opportunity of hearing him in his every mood.  There were the little light pieces and the more classical, even to the most difficult numbers and they were all rendered with the same care as if he had been standing before the crowned heads of Europe.  He was at his best, that the children of Marietta might say they had heard the great MacMillen.

The concert was a compliment to the children of the city, given to them free of charge, and they certainly appreciated it.  MacMillen will be remembered by them as long as they live.  And it is safe to say that the feeling will be reciprocated.

Every possible precaution to prevent danger to this precious audience had been taken, the firemen keeping close watch over the building that nothing should happen while police protection was there in case of calamity, but nothing occurred to even slightly mar this most enjoyable occasion.  The children are especially honored for MacMillen's last public appearance before returning to Europe was for their benefit.  The first of next week he and his party leave for New York and will go from there to London.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Marietta and Washington County, Pilot, April 21, 1826 

Much has been erroneously reported, and in some measure believed abroad, on this subject, prejudicial in its tendency to the interests and prosperity of this Town.  We feel it to be our duty, briefly to correct some mistaken views, entertained by strangers respecting our place.  During the high freshets of the present spring, whilst Louisville, Cincinnati, and other places, - are reported to have been more or less deluged; (and in the streets of one of said Towns, Steam Boats it was said, “were seen to ride at anchor,”) the waters of the Rivers here (Ohio and Muskingum) did not transcend the banks by some feet.

The truth is, that the banks of the Ohio at this place, are quite as high, if not higher than they are at the generality of the towns on the River.  The occasional inundations at this place, which occur perhaps once in ten years, result from the concurrent and simultaneous rise in the two rivers – Ohio and Muskingum, the latter, at its confluence, uniting with the former at right angles.

Some are led to suppose, from the Bug-Bear stories circulated abroad, that this town is situated very low, and is a sort of swamp or morass, than which, nothing can be more foreign from the truth.  Our river banks are about forty feet high, and on Point Harmar still higher.  At a short distance from the river, after ascending an acclivity of fifty or sixty feet, a beautiful and extensive plain presents itself to view, on which a part of the town is built; this summit has never been approached by flood, (since the general deluge) scarcely to its base.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

County Boys Leave Camp Knox Today

The Marietta Register, July 31, 1924

After a month of intensive training in military tactics, the twenty-six young men from Washington county who attended the citizens' military training cantonment at Camp Knox, Ky., have started for home.  A large number of them will arrive here tonight, but several of the boys will remain in Cincinnati for a short sight-seeing trip.

Of the twenty-six Washington county youths who attended the camp, thirteen of them are from this city.  Three Marietta men, Major Robert Cole, Captain S. A. Coffman and Lieutenant Walter K. Payne, are in the officers' training school at Camp Knox.  They are expected to return the first of the week after eighteen days' instruction in military strategy and advanced tactics.

Marietta's delegation to camp Knox played no small part in the affairs of the camp.  Twelve of the thirteen boys from here were corporals, six of them in the First Ohio regiment.  Three Marietta boys, Edward Spence, Marvin Wellman and Robert Ford, were in the Camp Knox band, the largest military band in the country.  Spence was assisting director.

Those from Marietta who attended the camp are:

John E. Rennard, 528 Front street; Walter D. Sauer, Rathbone Addition; George A. Cooke, 308 Montgomery street; Robert R. Ford, 405 Franklin street; Howard M. Scott, 422 Bellevue street; James Sprague, 316 Third street; Ralph B. Klintworth, 618 Ninth street; John Philip Seeley, 806 Front street; Marvin F. Wellman, 415 Third street; Melvin A. Leppin, 411 Fort street; Edward D. Spence, and Ray C. Spence, 208 Putnam avenue; Albert R. Schuff, Rathbone Addition, and Edward J. Chamberlain, Elmwood street.

Those from out of Marietta who went to Camp Knox are:

Arthur W. Ellix, Main street, New Matamoras; Perry A. DeLong, and Howard C. Knapp, Newport; Cecil W. Beaver, R.F.D. No. 3, New Matamoras; Joseph C. Eddy, R.F.D. No. 3, Newport; Virgil R. Swift, Swift; Clarence M. Lager, R.F.D. No. 3, New Matamoras; Orland P. Clark, Newport; William G. Nixon, Waterford; Howard H. Nowland, Fay; Carl F. Edwards, Newport; Harold W. Sweeney, Lowell; Darryl W. Travis, Waterford.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Death of Another Old Settler

Marietta Intelligencer, March 16, 1853

Mr. John Wizer, one of the early settlers of Ohio, died last week at the residence of his son-in-law, Stephen Davis, in Marietta, at the advanced age of 84 years.  Mr. Wizer started from New England with the first company of emigrants to the North Western Territory, but when the company arrived at Wheeling, he was left there in charge of the cattle, and did not arrive here until some time after the "landing," on the 7th of April 1788.  He has resided here ever since the summer of '33, and we suppose was the last survivor of the pioneer company.

Will not some one furnish us a more extended obituary notice than we are able to write?  Many facts in his history must be worthy of preservation, and will be read with interest by many, probably all, of our citizens.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Sad Accident

The Marietta Times, April 14, 1881

A Boy Shot Dead.

A very sad case of accidental shooting occurred on Tuesday afternoon, by which Elmer P. McGirr, a boy about fourteen years of age, a son of Mr. A. C. McGirr, the Front street gunsmith, lost his life.  It appears that he in company with several other boys on their way home from the Washington street school had a very small single barrel cartridge pistol belonging to a son of Mr. L. S. Brown, but it was in the possession of William Schramm, a ten year old son of Mr. John Schramm, on Second street.  When near the corner of Third and Washington streets, the Schramm boy attempted to cock the pistol while Elmer McGirr stood near to him.  By some means the hammer slipped and the pistol was discharged.  The ball entered McGirr's left breast, and we are informed severed the pulmonary artery, which caused instant death.  The parents of both children are nearly distracted and have the sympathy of all.  The funeral of McGirr will take place this Thursday afternoon, provided his sister, Miss Lucy, who has been attending school at Mansfield, reaches home in time.

Such occurrences as this should cause parents and teachers to exercise great caution in order to prevent school children from carrying pistols and other dangerous weapons.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Oak Grove To Be Improved

The Daily Register-Leader, September 15, 1906:

Grading of Hill as Planned By Service Board will Enhance Not Destroy Beauty.

The idea of cutting down the top of the hill in Oak Grove Cemetery has been protested against by a few people on the grounds that the grading down of the hill would mean the destruction of some of the large oak trees which crown the hill, and from which the beautiful grounds were given their names.

In speaking of this matter this morning one of the members of the Board of Service stated that it was not the purpose of the board to destroy the beauty of the place, but rather to enhance it.  The part which would be leveled is merely a knob with a few scraggy oaks on top.  It is the intention of the board to level up a good portion of this, put in a drinking fountain, flower beds, plant new trees, make gravel walks and roads leading to the place, and put in seats so that it can be enjoyed.

It is believed that when the people of the city understand the intentions of the board in this matter they will readily endorse the proposition.  The extra dirt which would be taken away in making the cut, can be used for fills in various parts of the city and the expense of this necessary improvement be greatly lessened.

The Marietta Daily Times, September 17, 1906:

Is it possible that any one would entertain for a moment the thought of defacing the natural mound in Oak Grove cemetery by taking off the beautiful, round, symmetrical top?  Ten feet would bring them to solid rock.  Some years ago the well rounded proportions of the mound in the back were destroyed by a few loads of soil being taken out.  By whom or for what I have been unable to learn.  Why not restore this, instead of taking more?  Will the writer in Saturday's Register-Leader go and see the so-called "scraggy oaks."  He will find them to be handsome, thrifty white oaks, that have been growing as long as has this city.  Too many century old trees have been destroyed.

Look at the nakedness of the "Indian Mound" in Mound cemetery which only a few years ago was robbed of the few remaining garments that clothed it.  The most beautiful views that we send out on our souvenir postal cards are the ones that were taken years ago, when that mound was covered with fine, old trees.

And now must the old oaks in Oak Grove cemetery go?  With the symmetry of this most beautiful mound, placed by nature in our "City of the dead," can we without protest allow it to be made a place of resort with drinking fountains and benches.  The benches in the front part of the cemetery have been removed within the last year to prevent loitering.

As you enter the ground you see this grand old hill looming up before you, with its natural rounded top.  A monument itself, excelling all others in Oak Grove, and one which we as citizens should be mutually interested to protect.  Can man improve the handiwork of the Creator?  At the height of two hundred feet, with its fine view, the only high point in the corporation, the grand old forest trees.  Let us preserve it intact as it was given to us.

A Citizen.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dwelling House Burned

Marietta Intelligencer, October 4, 1853

The fine two story dwelling house belonging to Mr. James Holden, situated on Front street, was destroyed by fire, between five and six o'clock last evening.  It was the house built by the late William Holden, since owned by Dr. Trevor, and was purchased by Mr. James Holden only a few weeks since.  Considerable alterations and improvements have recently been made in the building, and except some painting, which was going on when the fire occurred, the house was nearly ready for occupancy.  It is not certainly known how the fire originated, but it is not impossible that a spark from the pipe or cigar of a workman may have caused it.  It was certainly the work of carelessness or design, for there was not properly any fire about the premises.

The house was one of the best frame buildings in town, and the loss must probably be at least $1,800.  There was an insurance on the property, but a recovery under it will depend upon the terms of the policy in regard to repairs, and upon other facts of which we have no knowledge.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Runaway Slave

Western Spectator, December 21, 1811

Ten Dollars Reward. 

Ran away, on the 9th inst. from the Subscriber, of Washington's Bottom, Wood County,Virginia, a Negro Girl named Phillis, about twenty four years old, five feet five inches high, a dark yellow complexion; on the back of her right wrist, she has a long fresh scar, when walking bends her head forward, a downcast look and naturally very active.  She had on and took with her, a blue cotton and a white cambric gown, a linen, a calico and a humhum petticoat; a dimity and a red calico jacket, a large leno and a large dark colored shawl, an old linsey habit and a pair of calf-skin shoes, with sundry other articles too numerous to mention.  She has lived at Parkersburgh two years in a tavern, with Dean and Baily, and will probably be known to many.

Any person who will bring the girl to me, or secure her so that I can get her, will be entitled to the above reward.  If she is brought home, all expences will be paid exclusive of the reward.   

John H. Harwood.
Washington's Bottom, Dec. 13, 1811.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Scotch Settlements in Washington County

Marietta Register, June 7, 1894

A paper read by Hon. John A. Brown before the New Century Historical Society at their rooms Friday, Evening, June 1st.

It has been said that the first settlers of a country stamp the imprint of their characteristics on the inhabitants of that country.  Our own county settled by hardy natives of New England, by men fresh from the fields of the war for Independence, and schooled in the giant struggle that formed the Federal Constitution, thus merging thirteen separate political communities into one great nation, still retains that imprint.

First after the natives of New England came the Scotch, whose character, traditions and education, being of the same stamp, fitted them to be able auxiliaries, working for the same objects, and pursuing those objects, by the use of the same means, with an obstinacy that seemed to defy opposition.

The first permanent Scotch settlers of whom we have any account, were John Harvey and family who settled in Barlow township on the farm now occupied by his grandson, Samuel Harvey.  James Harvey, a nephew came in the same vessel settled in Wesley, afterward removed to Warren, now Dunham.  They left Scotland in 1816, arriving here the same year.  In 1821 there came the father of James Harvey, with his family, he and William Fleming, who came the same time, settled in what is now Dunham on the farm owned by William Fullerton, lately the home of Alexander McTaggart.  John Fleming and family, who settled in Barlow, Daniel Shaw, of Dunham, then Belpre, Archibald Greenlees and John McCuig came the same year.

Robert Breckenridge, whose wife was Catharine Harvey, left Greenock, June1st, 1818, and arrived at Marietta in October following.  Mr. Breckenridge settled in Wesley but removed to Barlow in 1828, where he died October 2nd, 1871.  His wife survived him a few years.  John and Hugh Breckenridge came in 1820, settled in what is now Palmer.  John served as County Commissioner from 1849 to 1852.  Hugh was killed at a barn raising, April 8th, 1838.  Edward and William Breckenridge with their sisters, Elizabeth and Nancy came in 1830.  Edward settled in Watertown and William in Barlow.  Elizabeth married David Reed in 1838, who settled in Fairfield.  Nancy married David Greenlees in 1833, who came from Scotland in 1832.  Isabella married James Colville in 1814 and came to Washington County in 1837.

The Breckenridges above mentioned are all the children of Andrew whose wife was Nancy Brown.

In 1831, there arrived Thomas Breckenridge who settled in Belpre, David, George and Andrew Breckenridge, who settled in Barlow Township in what was formerly known as the "Burgh."  David Loynachan, Thomas Drain, William Fullerton, Edward McLarty who died at Rockford, Illinois, August 31st, 1887.  John Dunlap and others in 1832.  Neil McTaggart who now lives in Iowa and Duncan Shaw who died in Dunham in 1871, in 1833.  James Brown about the same time.  Hugh Greenlees, William Andrew, whose wives were daughters of David Breckenridge, Isabella Colville, who married Duncan Shaw, and possibly Hugh Mitchell, in 1836.  In 1838 about sixty of our people sailed from Liverpool, England, among whom were A. McTaggart and Daniel Drain, who died December 17th, 1882.  John Drain who died 1864, Duncan Drain, who still lives in Palmer, John Gordon, Neil McKay, of Barlow, and his family, John Brown and family, and Alex McIlievie who after some years removed to Cincinnati where some members of his family still reside.  In 1841 John Dunlap and family, Walter McFarland, Neil McKay of Dunham, his sons Neil, James and Malcomb, still live.  His daughter Catharine, who married Daniel Shaw, died some years ago.  Archibald, William, John and Daniel Murchy and their mother came about that time.

It is impossible at this time to give all dates, but we may be pardoned for attempting to give from memory, the names of some omitted, as well as to name some arrivals since 1841. 

George Turner, of Barlow, whose wife was a daughter of Thomas Breckenridge, came at an early day, also John McKay who married a daughter of John Fleming, Neil and Daniel McCuig, Peter Waterson, Angus Conley, Duncan Monroe, Joseph Reed, Hugh Reed, Robert Dunlap, Daniel and A. McArthur, and later Alexander Dunlap and his four sisters.  Daniel Turner, of Barlow, his father and mother and the rest of their family.  James Smith, Neil Conley, Donald and Alex. Galdreath, A. McCollomson, John Drain, of Belpre, James and John Kelly, Hugh Bailey, Alexander McPherson and family, Colin Lang, his two sisters, since removed to Illinois.  And about 1850 Charles and Archibald McKay, who bought a farm in Belpre Township.  Archibald died on the farm which was afterward sold by Charles to John P. Coe. Charles and his wife removed to Michigan to be near their son Daniel, an only child, and later went South where Charles died in 1890.  Mrs. Mary Armour came in 1869, and lived with John Gilchrist, in Belpre Village, and died in 1890, aged 86.  And about 40 years ago Hugh Blue and wife in company with his father-in-law, Hugh Loynachan and his wife, their sons Malcomb and james, bid Scotland farewell.  Mr. Loynachan and James are dead and Mrs. Loynachan and Malcomb returned to Scotland.

These are all natives of Argyleshire in the southwest part of that shire the peninsula of Cantire jutting out into the North Channel, in latitude about 55 degrees North and longitude nearly 6 degrees West of Greenwich.

There are other Scotch pioneers from Lanarkshire, William Frazier who came in 1823, John Ormiston, William and David Lamb, their father and mother who came in 1824.  James Ormiston in 1828.  He was the father of ten children nine of whom are alive, seven reside in this county, three occupy the homestead, 487 acres, on the south branch of Wolf creek.  David Ormiston, his sons, James, William and John, emigrated from Scotland and settled in Barlow, in 1828, James still resides in Barlow.  The writer remembers when James "taught his little ideas how to shoot."  James Ormiston, the father of James and David arrived in 1831, Robert Haddow the same year.  His son John represented this county, in the General Assembly, during its sessions of 1860 and 1861; he died several years ago.  James served in the last war, he was a member of the 36th regiment, O.V.I., and still lives in Barlow township.  William Johnston from Dundee, settled in Decatur fifty years ago.  James Dalzell, George Croll and James Donaldson came later.

All, whose names I have given, settled west of the Muskingum river, in the townships of Warren, Belpre, Barlow, Watertown and Wesley.  Their descendants are numerous in Barlow, Belpre, Dunham, Fairfield, Palmer and Watertown.

Of those who arrived previous to 1840, few survive.  David Fleming and his sister, Mrs. Daniel Dunsmore, are the only survivors of John Fleming's family.  Ann Harvey of Dunham is the last of James Harvey's family, and Mrs. Jane Murchy is the only one left of the children of John Harvey.  Thomas and David Breckenridge of Barlow, are the only resident survivors of their father's family.  Others might be named; but the greater number have passed over the river.

It is not the object of this sketch to give a personal history of each pioneer nor to emblazon his virtues, but having known Daniel Shaw long and well, the writer will be sustained by those who knew him equally well, in calling attention to his many virtues.  His door was always open to the stranger or to him in distress, and no person, be he worthy or unworthy, ever sought his aid in vain.  Many can date his start in business to the advice and material aid of Daniel Shaw.  It is not saying too much that he might with safety have used the language of one of old, "If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail; or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; if I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering; if his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; if I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate; then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone."

The Scot, on leaving his native heath, had no other institutions to plant in the land of his adoption, than those in harmony with American civilization.  They are industrious; few indeed have disappointed their creditors; "their proverbial caution has prevented them from assuming obligations which were beyond their ability to discharge.  By their industry and thrift, they have kept themselves above want, and beyond the reach of those temptations which lead to crime."  In the matters of education, morality and religion they are in harmony with the American idea.  In religion nearly all are Presbyterians, and are staunch defenders and supporters of the church and school.  And although there are fears that many immigrants are the enemies of our institutions, and a strong desire to exclude such exists, yet the Scotch have never been named among that class which is denied a welcome to our shores.

It may not be considered a digression to notice the facts; That the Scotch were in this country at, and previous to the Revolution; "that John Witherspoon, born in Scotland in 1722, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, was in 1768, called to the presidency of Princeton College; that he became a member of the Continental Congress, and affixed his name to that immortal document, "the Declaration of Independence."  And a few years later, when a more perfect union was formed, James Wilson of Pennsylvania,another Scotchman, signed his name to that constitution which made the thirteen colonies one Nation.  It has been estimated that one-third of the men who fought for Independence were of Scotch blood.  They were in the war of 1812, in the Mexican war and in the late civil war.

In conclusion allow me to express our obligations to your fathers and mothers for their great work in founding here a State based upon civil and religious liberty, and we rejoice that they built not alone for themselves and their descendants, but for us and ours as well, and while we acknowledge to you our obligations to them, we would not forget our duty, to join you in preserving the principles for which they sacrificed so much.

And should a crisis arise, and the Nation look to Ohio for a leader, may our noble state, made largely what it is by the dissemination and growth of those principles planted at the mouth of the Muskingum, be found not wanting.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ferryman Has Narrow Escape

The Marietta Register, October 7, 1925

C. K. Walker, ferryman at Briggs Station, is making efforts today to raise the houseboat in which he nearly lost his life Sunday at 3 a.m., when the craft sprung a leak and sank in six feet of water.

Walker, who had retired early Saturday evening after reading accounts of the efforts of divers to reach the sunken S-51, was awakened early the next morning with the sound of slopping waves about the foot of his bunk.

He barely had time to slip from his bed, pull on a few clothes and make it to shore when the boat took its final plunge and went to the bottom of the Ohio.  Mr. Walker is unable to account for the sinking as the craft was in good shape.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Mill At Wiseman's Bottom

Western Spectator, November 23, 1811

The Subscriber hereby gives Public Notice that in consequence of an increase of business in the Clothier's Works erected by himself and Carlisle, at their mill at Wiseman's Bottom, that they have lately employed an additional mechanic, in said branch of business, with the advantage of Patent machinery for shaving Cloth, by which means customers will be served with dispatch.  They are now at said mill in every branch of their business in full tide of successful experiment, having lately been at considerable expence for Bolting Cloth, and other repairs; they hereby acknowledge with sentiments of gratitude the encouragement of a large custom, but do at the same time consider as their best patrons those who are prompt in their pay.  Those persons who have wool to card will do well to send it in soon as we wish to get through with Carding before severe cold weather.  

Jonathan Devol  
Marietta, Nov. 20, 1811.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Comrade Rose

The Marietta Times, May 11, 1898

Comrade Isaiah R. Rose headed the delegation from Waterford Township to the Republican Congressional convention at Zanesville.  The other crowd kills him off regularly every year but he is one of those "cusses" who will not stay dead and rises the next year to torment his friends.  It is unnecessary to say that he belongs to the "Rule or Ruin Gang."

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Interesting Interview with Mrs. Nancy Frost, Aged Ninety-Eight

The Weekly Leader, April 3, 1883

As the time for the celebration of the first settlement of Ohio draws near, every scrap of information which sheds light upon the history and experience of the early settlers, who came here in 1788, and the few years following the landing of the Western "Mayflower," acquires fresh importance.  We cannot learn too much of the pioneers.  All of those early settlers and their families who came here in 1790, in the infancy of the settlement, have perished save one.  The only person living who came to Marietta prior to 1790, is we believe, Mrs. Nancy Frost.  Mrs. Frost is the eldest daughter of Robert Allison, who came to Marietta from Fayette County, Pennsylvania, in the fall of 1789, about eighteen months after the advent of the first settlers.

A reporter from the Leader office visited Mrs. Frost last Friday, to listen to such recollections and reminiscences of her youth as she might choose to relate.  She is the grandmother of Messrs. Miles and O. A. Stacy and lives with the latter gentleman, at his home a short distance below Lowell.

Mrs. Frost was born October 22nd, 1784, and has completed nearly half of her ninety-ninth year.  She is an intelligent old lady and talks with ease of the experiences of her childhood and is possessed of a singularly faithful memory.  From the number of details and minor incidents she recalls, and the generally strict sequence of dates she observes, one is impressed with the fact that for a child she was an unusually close observer, and that her mind was "Wax to receive and marble to retain."  Mrs. Frost has enjoyed excellent health till the time of the recent flood when she was seized with pneumonia of so acute a nature that she barely managed to survive the attack.  She attributes her recovery to a scrupulous abstinence from medicine.  She has taken no drugs for thirty years and is firmly resolved never to resume the practice, neither can she be persuaded to take a drop of spiritous liquor, even as a medicine.  She is tolerably active, attends to all of her own wants and would assume household duties if she were permitted to do so by her friends.  She takes short walks in the open air each day, and believes exercise better than medicine.  She has always been in the habit of retiring and rising with the sun.  To her excellent habits and her knowledge of the value of diet and exercise may be ascribed her long life, health, and the excellent state of her mind.  On her ninety-eighth birthday Mrs. Frost weighed one hundred pounds.  The old lady has some difficulty in hearing strange voices, and we conversed with her through Mrs. Stacy, who kindly acted as interlocutor.

She was in her 6th year when she came to Marietta with her father's family.  They came in a boat with a Mr. Hewitt, and in addition to their household supplies brought a cow.  Upon reaching Marietta they were given quarters in one of the block houses, which she describes as being "picketed in" as in distinction from the garrisons at "the Point" whose quarters were not surrounded by an enclosure.  She lived in the block-house till she left Marietta, which was either in 1794 or 1797, when her family moved up the Muskingum river, near the present town of Lowell.


Speaking of Indians, Mrs. Frost said that her earliest and most vivid recollection of them was associated with an alarm given to the garrison that the Indians were about to make an attack.  Gates were hurriedly closed and fastened, weapons grasped, and her mother with the other women set to moulding bullets, and she was told by her mother that upon no account must she allow her younger sister to cry.  Mrs. Frost says she kept the child silent by placing her against the wall and holding her hand firmly over her mouth until the anticipated danger was past.  She spoke of seeing two men who had been killed and scalped by the Indians.  One of them was John Rogers, the post scout, and the other a mulatto boy.  Rogers was killed, she said, near Col. William Putnam's old residence on the river bank.  (Now occupied by John Strecker, Esq.)


Mrs. Frost had many pleasant reminiscences of her early school life.  "School was kept every day of the week, both summer and winter, except on Saturdays.  On that day we had a holiday, and the little boy would spend the afternoon playing soldier, and fighting mullen stalks.  The girls each Saturday afternoon attended a kind of week day Sabbath school conducted by Mrs. Mary Lake."  Mrs. Lake taught them the creed, the Lord's Prayer and the catechism.  The late Col. William Putnam's father was the first schoolmaster.  Mrs. Frost says that he whipped a boy so mercilessly after he had been in office a few weeks that "The men held a meeting and turned him out."  He was succeeded by Major Anselm Tupper who taught three years, and probably plied the rod more sparingly than his predecessor.  Among her schoolmates she mentions "Gus Stone, Frank Stone and Maria, Susan and Sophie Green whose father kept store."  Sophie Green afterwards married a man named Burnett, and moved to Tennessee.

On Sunday Dr. Story preached regularly.  The minister and Judge Tupper were the only persons licensed to perform the marriage ceremony.  People would come on foot from Waterford and the other settlements to be married and then trudge back to their homes.  Mrs. Frost tells an amusing incident of a couple who were - 

Mated But Not Married

A man from the Belpre settlement came for Dr. Story in great haste one day, and said that he wanted him to come down the river and marry him immediately.  The worthy divine was engaged in the construction of a barge which he was desirous of completing, and replied that his barge would be done in one week and that he could come down in it at that time, and marry the couple.  The would-be groom said that he must be married at once as it was time to plant corn and he could not wait, as he needed the woman's assistance.  Dr. Story told him to go back and plant the corn and he would formally join them on the following week.  The man returned to Belpre and the next week Dr. Story went down, found the couple planting corn in the field; led them to their house and married them.  It cannot be said that the settlers "stood on ceremony" much in those days.

How They Lived

The early settlers were obliged to bring with them supplies of all kinds.  Cloth, ginned cotton, and wool were part of the stores provided by each family.  Soon flax was raised and spun and cloth made by many of the women.

Mrs. Frost spoke particularly of the excellent gardens cultivated in her youth and said that in variety of products, neatness and fruitfulness they surpassed any that she had ever seen.  Corn meal was the staple article of food.  During the first year of their stay in Marietta, Mrs. Frost's family had wheat flour, but after that supply was exhausted they purchased bolted meal from Pittsburgh, and afterwards ground their own corn in hand and horse mills.

No Corner in Corn

One fall owing to an early frost the corn crop was injured and corn became very scarce.  On the Virginia side of the Ohio river there lived an old Mr. Williams "who owned blacks" and had a goodly store of corn which he disposed of to the settlers at the uniform price of fifty cents per bushel, refusing to take advantage of the scarcity of the commodity or the excess of the demand over the supply.  He not only refused to speculate himself, but took measures to prevent others from obtaining more corn than they needed for their own consumption and disposing of the surplus at an advanced price.  Mrs. Frost tells of two men who approached Williams and sought to buy up a hundred bushels of his corn, and were told that they could have three bushels each for their families, but that he would allow no one to speculate in the surplus.  The aspirations for a corner int he grain market were summarily crushed.

Very little coffee was used in those days, and a substitute for it was often made from browned barley.  Tea was the favorite beverage among ladies.  Milk was always plentiful as a number of cows were owned by the settlers and it was quite a common thing to see a yoke of cows preceded by a horse, hauling supplies and timber.

The most expensive commodity was salt.  At times it commanded five dollars a bushel.  It was the alum or rock salt and was all brought from the East.

There was oftentimes a scarcity of change and the Spanish milled dollar was divided into halves and quarters by means of a chisel and hammer to meet the demands for fractional currency.  Continental paper money had almost passed from use then and Mrs. Frost tells of her father having some as a curiosity, merely.


Mrs. Frost says that small pox raged for a time in the settlement.  She had had the dread disease before she came to Ohio.  It was especially fatal to the older members of the community, few of whom had ever been vaccinated.  The young people generally survived.  Doctors Barnes, True, and McIntosh vaccinated patients and with Mrs. Lake looked after the sick and dying.  Mrs. Frost said repeatedly that there was no regular place of burial at that time.  It was not thought safe to go any considerable distance from the Stockade and therefore interments were made at the nearest and most convenient spot, no matter where that happened to be.  She said that she attended the funeral of General Tupper, and that he was buried somewhere in the vicinity of the "Covered Way."  She relates a touching incident of the death and burial of Squire Wood's eldest child, which was a little girl.  Mrs. Frost, then Nancy Allison, Eliza Ayres, and Maria and Susan Green were chosen by Mrs. Lake, the teacher, to bear the coffin of their little companion to its last resting place.  She says:  "We tied handkerchiefs about the ends of the coffin and carried it to the grave in her father's garden."

An Enterprising Debtor

We endeavored to elicit some information about the early courts, but on that subject the narrator of these reminiscences was not so well informed, as she was a child and laws and their administration are not attractive to most young persons.  She recalls the old jail, of logs, and tells of a man imprisoned for debt, who supported his family while serving out his term of confinement by shearing his neighbors' sheep, which they kindly drove to him for that purpose.

Mrs. Frost recalls Generals St. Clair, Putnam, Tupper, and all of the prominent men of the settlement.  She remembers Mrs. Meigs, Sr., and tells of her taking out her snuff-box in church, rapping it, taking a pinch of snuff, and then passing it to all the other occupants of her pew.  Mrs. Frost frequently saw Blennerhassett chopping wood, and he was impressed upon her mind by the fact that he was very near-sighted, and after striking a few blows, would stop, stoop, and ascertain the progress he had made by gauging the incision with his fingers.  This was before he lived on his island.

Old Celebrations of April 7th

There was no public celebration of the anniversary of the first settlement of the State while Mrs. Frost resided in the block-house at Marietta.  She says they were much too busy and were occupied with more serious matters and would not then spend the time for a holiday, although Independence day was observed.  Some years later the younger members of the various settlements commenced the practice of celebrating the 7th day of April.  They usually had a picnic dinner, engaged in rustic sports, and wound up with a country dance.  From other sources we learned that a serious disturbance once took place on the 7th of April and that weapons were conspicuously flourished and that a riot and bloodshed were with great difficulty averted.  The scene of the outbreak is said to have been in the vicinity of the present Biszants Hotel, opposite the office of the Marietta Leader.


Mrs. Frost's active mind recalled more incidents than one could readily record in an hour.  She had much to say of the trials and annoyances which the pioneers suffered and endured.  She tells simply yet graphically of the stirring scenes of camp life when three companies of St. Clair's soldiers were quartered here before the Indian War.  She recounts how soldiers were served whisky as a part of their rations, and how they were bound to a post in the Stockade and flogged for drunkenness; how the settlers suffered by disease, and floods and famine; how they were molested by wild animals and their livestock killed; how wolves made night hideous by their dismal howlings; how the ugly redskins lurked in the shadow of the forest and shot down unsuspecting farmers; how panthers crouched in trees and waited for their human prey; how the pioneers

Prayed and fasted in the forest -
Not for triumphs in the battle,
And renown among the warriors,
But for profit of the people
For advantage of the nation."

It will be observed that these facts as they have been related to the writer do not coincide, in all particulars, with the late History of Washington County.