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.