Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Marietta at the Outbreak of Civil War

Sunday Morning Observer, April 15, 1917

Many at that time opposed the War as do many today, but the spirit of loyalty ran rampant.

The other day we happened to run into an old veteran of the Civil War and we soon got into a conversation that covered that period that was of intense interest and he described Marietta at the outbreak of that conflict in an interesting manner.

In telling of the scenes in and about Marietta at that time he said that the people of Marietta went wild with enthusiasm after Fort Sumter was fired upon by the rebel forces and a declaration of hostilities was made by President Lincoln.  Lincoln called for 175,000 volunteers to serve for three months at the beginning, and the supply of men was far greater than the demand.

Several companies were recruited here.  Around the old court house there were five or six recruiting stations.  The crowds around the Court House were tremendous, and excitement ran high.  Men were feverish to join one of the companies so that they might assist in preserving the Union.  Their wives showed a noble spirit of self-sacrifice and seemed only too glad of the privilege of giving their husbands and their sons to the cause.

After three months the President called for 300,000 more troops and the response was instant.  The patriotism of the men of the city and county was not challenged in vain.  Farmers left their work in the fields to come to the city to volunteer.  Gawky country youths burned with desire to enlist.  There was much disappointment expressed by those who could not be accepted, because of some disability or because the companies were all too soon filled up.  The streets were black with carriages.

The desire to enlist was so keen and the response at first was so large that Marietta and Washington county's quota of men was soon complete.  It was not until several years later that it was necessary to resort to conscription in order to get enough men to continue the war.

The whole mind and purpose of Marietta and Washington County was centered upon returning those states to the fold which had seceded.  There was no thought at the outset of getting the negroes free.  It was not until the war was more than half finished that President Lincoln freed the slaves by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, but it was necessary to prolong the struggle a long time before the terms of the proclamation could be actually carried out.

Of course, there were many men who enlisted who did not believe that the Southern states could be brought back through engaging in war.  They preferred to exhaust all diplomatic means before throwing down the gauntlet.  They were patriotic and true to their ideas of right, but they believed that some settlement between the North and the South could be affected through peaceable means.  They had the same purposes as the men who believed that the South could only be brought back by war, but they differed unto the means by which this might be accomplished.  Of course they were censured cruelly by the more hot headed and impulsive men, and they were taunted, defiled and called Copperheads.  But they were honest in their convictions, at least.

Opinion as to President Lincoln's honesty of purpose differed also.  He was not universally admired and worshiped as he is today.  No man is beloved of everybody except when he is sleeping his last sleep.  It takes martyrdom for a man to be judged for what he really is.  

But there were few men in Marietta who were not willing to stand by the president after the cause of battle had been accepted.  They thronged the streets and cheered while the bands played and the enlisting went on.  It was a most impressive scene, one that will never be forgotten.  I mention it now, he said, because conditions are so different in this present crisis, and people seem to be so undemonstrative and serious.  Their patriotic fever may be just as strong as it was then, but their feelings are expressed differently.  Also there was something very close and near and tangible about the Civil War, from the standpoint of the North.  To lose that struggle meant the loss of half the country, and the setting up of two republics upon American soil.  In this war we fight for a principle and we get nothing tangible, according to President Wilson's message.

After the companies were filled, they were trained in camps located at the Fair grounds and Camp Tupper.  Large crowds of visitors visited these camps daily.

Finally, the city turned out en masse when the soldiers left the city to begin their warfare.  Everything was bright and gay, in spite of the sadness of farewell.  It was like celebrating the return of a conquering hero.  But thousands of the troops that marched away that day never returned.

That the Marietta and Washington County boys in blue gave a good accounting of themselves is history.  And in talks that we have with a number of them in these days when the country is getting ready for another war, they still maintain their patriotism and many expressed their willingness to again shoulder their gun in defense of their country.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An Interesting Bit of River History

The Marietta Daily Times, January 22, 1906

A Veteran River Man Furnishes the List of Boats and Their Captains Who Navigated the Muskingum in the Palmy Days of River Traffic.

Many of the Names Are Familiar and Will Recall Pleasant Memories.

In the appended article the writer gives a list of the early river craft plying the Muskingum and the men who followed the adventurous calling of boatmen.  A few of the names are quite familiar, descendants of the old time river men now being residents of this city.

Memories of the early days will be recalled by many who read the following contribution.

In making individual mention of bats and boatmen they will be taken up in order of their priority of date, as a class, and as there is no representative of the canoe era on the Muskingum now living, nor any trace of any of them to be found, we must pass over that class of craft and the men who navigated them and take up the days of keel boating.

Keel Boating

The writer has been unable to find anything that will definitely establish the date that keelboating first commenced on the Muskingum river, but there are many circumstances which strongly point to the time as about 1814 to 1815.

The following is copied from a letter written by a young lady of New York who was traveling in the west at the time it was written.  It was published in Marietta papers a few years ago:

Marietta, Ohio, May 14th, 1815.

The Muskingum has been six feet higher at Springfield (Putnam) than it was ever known to be.  A part of the upper bridge was undermined and carried away.  Dr. Fowler in attempting to cross the bridge was drowned.  He was much respected and highly esteemed as a physician and was the last person to bestow on us his good wishes and farewell when entering the boat we left Springfield in for this place."

Dr. Fowler is buried in the old Putnam grave yard, the inscription on his headstone states he was but 22 years old at the time of his death.

As this young lady made her trip from Zanesville to Marietta on a boat years before the first steamboat ascended the Muskingum and as it is improbable that she went in an open flat boat, it seems quite certain that at least one keel boat was here in May, 1815.  Perhaps others were here at an earlier date, but evidence of this is lacking.

List of Primitive Craft

The following list of names of keel boats which navigated the Muskingum river is doubtless very incomplete, but when we consider that it is nearly seventy years since the last boat of this kind was seen on this river, and that all the men but one or two who navigated them are dead, we can realize how useless would be an effort to obtain a complete list of the names of those early crafts.  With perhaps a few exceptions no attempt will be made to state the dates any of these boats were running on the Muskingum.  The name of the Captain of each of these boats so far as they have been learned will be given, but as the boats often changed captains as well as owners, some may have had more than one, but only one will be named here:

Amanda - Lemuel Pratt, captain.
Allegheny - Jesse Smith, captain.
Black Snake - William Scales, captain.
Buck - A. Z. Morris, captain.
Consolation - Absolom Boyd, captain.
Charity - Jesse Smith, captain.
Commodore - Absolom Boyd, captain.
Comet - Hercules Boyd, captain.
Davy Crocket.
Express - Harry Stull, captain.
Elk - Benjamin Godfrey, captain.
Faith - William Scales, captain.
Fink, Mike.
Governor Ritner - A. W. Sprague, captain.
General Marion - Ryan, captain.
Hercules - Hercules Boyd, captain.
Hope - Washington Scales, captain.
Hazard - Alexander Hahn, captain.
Lovely Sally - Ferrell, captain.
Lady - Williams, captain.
Merry Lady - John B. Lewis, captain.
Muskingum Valley - Dudley Davis, captain.
Mink, Mike.
McGregor, Hellen - Absolom Boyd, captain.
Majestic - Randolph Fearing, captain.
Marietta - Albert Carpenter, captain.
Marietta 2 - Baker, captain.
None such.
Number 4 - Absolom Boyd, captain.
Olive Green.
Patriot - Davis, captain.
Post Boy.
Pocahontas - Ferrell, captain.
Paul Jones - Hercules Boyd, captain.
Rob Roy.
Red Rover.
Return - George Carpenter, captain.
Rifleman - Absolom Boyd - captain.
Ram - Roberts, captain.
Remlin, James - Joseph Devol, captain.
Splendid - Reese, captain.
Silver Heels.
Sam Patch.
Steubenville Ranger - James Brooks, captain.
Saucy Jack.
Sycamore - Hart, captain.
Tam a am - Absolom Boyd, captain.
Uncle Sam.
Western Packet - S. M. Devol, captain.
Washington - Randolph Fearing, captain.
Waterford - Beatty Cheadle, captain.
Zanesville Packet - Dennis, captain.

Facts of the Amanda

The Amanda, named in the foregoing list, was sunk at Blue Rock bend in 1837, was soon raised, repaired and sold by her owners, Fearing and Sprague.  

The "Sycamore," belonging to Hale, Boyd and Scales, was sunk at Taylorsville, where her bones were to be seen but a few years ago and may be there yet.

Old Time Boatmen

The following is a list of the names of all the Muskingum river keelboatmen that can be obtained by the writer, but like the list of names of the keel boat, it is no doubt quite incomplete.  Many of these men became prominent steamboatmen and contributed much to the development of navigation of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys.

David Anson, Baker, Absolom Boyd, Hercules Boyd, James Boyd, Hiram Burch, McC. Bell, James Blunt, John Burroughs, James Booker, Booths, Curtis, McC. Coleman, John Carpenter, William Carpenter, Daniel Clay, Stephen Davis, Freeman Davis, Hildrick Davis, Ed Davis, Dudley Davis, Frederick Davis, John Davis, S. M. Devol, Paul Ditenhaver, Joseph (Little Jo) Devol, Bennett Devol, Simeon Devol, Till Devol, Dennis, Stanton Devol, Joseph (Big Jo) Devol, Evans, Frederick Erick, George W. Ebert, Evans, Evans, Ferral, Randolph Fearing, John Farris, Mike Fink, Jacob Flake, Benjamin Godfrey, Simeon Girty, Samuel Godfrey, John Green, George Hahn, Michael Hahn, Frederick (Major) Hahn, James Herron, William Helmick, Scudder Hart, Aaron Hart, Owen Hale, Issac N. Hook, Alexander Hahn, Israel, Knott, Knott, Isaac Johnson, Thomas Johnson, William (Purdy Bill) Larison, John B. Lewis, Robert Leggett, James Leggett, John Lyons, George Michael, A. Z. Morris, Adam Poe, Lemuel Pratt, William Parker, Jacob Poe, Reardon Reese, Tice Ridenhour, Ryan, Stephen Roberts, Harry Stull, William Scales, Lemuel Swift, Jessie Smith, Washington Scales, Nelson Stone, Stephen Stone, Austin W. Sprague, William Silverthorn, John Tarrier, Talbot, Asa Travis, Harris White, Stephen West, Williams, Webster.

Who They Were

Of the men named in the foregoing list the Boyds, the Hahns, the Caseys, Ayers, Scales, Ridenour and Helmick were from Zanesville.  The Davises were from Marietta and Lowell vicinities and the Devols were nearly all from Beverly and its vicinity.  Clay was from Lowell, Fearing and Hart were from Marietta.  The Johnsons, Evanses, Knotts, Godfreys, Leggetts, White, Swift and Webster were from Luke Chute.  Travis, Coleman, Bell, and others from McConnelsville.  Hook living near Windsor and nearly all the others resided somewhere on the Muskingum river and have descendants still living.  It is a matter of much regret that the names of all the men who were connected with these pioneer boats could not be obtained for publication in this list.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Naming the New Hotel

The Marietta Register, November 24, 1891

The name of a public house or hotel should be in keeping with the outside surroundings, and the inside management as well.  It often seems very appropriate to connect some prominent historic interest with the name.  The query arises, what has Marietta left that has not been used until it is threadbare?  Were it not for this, such names as "The Whipple House," "Putnam House," or "Hotel Putnam" and "Hildreth House" might be suggested.  "The St. Clair" reads much more euphonious than the record of the man, so far as concerns this locality.  "River View," "Riverside," "Grand View" and Crescent" seem too commonplace.  The balance of the names suggested, like "The Marietta," seem too silly to notice.

As it is something so new for this city to have a first-class hotel, it will not be in keeping to call it "The Pioneer," "The Century" or "Old Northwest."  The name must not be effeminate, so nothing in this line can be considered.

It cannot be named for any person in political prominence, for what Republican would be willing to stop at "The Cleveland," or "Campbell's Inn," or what Democrat would put up at "The Harrison House" or "Hotel McKinley"?

"The Columbia" or "Columbian" is very appropriate, when the year of completion is considered.  There are many tribes of Indians who frequented this section, that would lend a pretty name.  The Delawares, Wyandots and Seneca's, or even old Tecumseh, who has made these hills ring with the echo of his war-whoop and perverted the rays of the sun by the polished steel of his battle-axe.  No question could be raised against any of these, unless they might cause a nightmare among the timid sleepers who were sheltered beneath its roof.

Considering the location, "The Aurora" or rising sun is not objectionable, but rather common.

Marietta has the historical right to perpetuate the name of Lafayette, and this is the name the writer proposes to leave with the readers.  It occupies the spot near where Lafayette landed.

The person having the honor of selecting a name that will please all will find the task even more arduous than raising the funds and completing the structure.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Improvements in Harmar

The Marietta Intelligencer, June 1, 1859

The following, as near as we can ascertain, is a statement of the improvements which are making upon the other side of the Muskingum, this season.  Their number is greater than we supposed, even exceeding that of improvements in Marietta; though they are not quite so extensive.

Douglas Putnam.  Large stone dwelling at the end of Putnam St., on the side of Harmar hill.  The main building is two stories high, and 80 feet front by 68 ft deep; the observatory four stories high, and 15 ft. square, commanding an extensive and beautiful prospect; and the office and library two stories high, 30 ft. by 19.  There is a brick building in the rear for a wash-room and store-room, two stories high, 32 ft. by 28; and a fine two-story frame building at the side, for a stable 28 ft. by 36.  John Slocomb is the architect and master builder, Nelson Alcock was superintendent of the stone work, Joseph Jones of the brick work, and Henry Miller, plasterer.  The building will be completed by fall.

Levi Barber.  Two story frame dwelling, just finished, on Franklin St.  There are two parts to the building - one 30 ft. by 16, and the 15 by 24.  William McCoy builder.

Thomas Turner.  Frame cottage, with stone foundation, 34 ft. by 36, on ____ St.  William McCoy is contractor for the frame work, and Samuel Cox for the stone work.

E. Locker.  Two story frame dwelling, 36 ft. by 24 - on Main St., between Putnam and Lancaster. The work on the building is done by the day, there being no contractor.

G. W. Sharp.  Frame dwelling on Franklin St.  There are two parts to the building - one two stories high, the other, a story and a half, together measuring 36 ft. by 22.  J. S. Sharp builder.

N. Cordry.  Frame dwelling, of the same size and location.  E. S. Morton builder.

David Putnam.  Two story frame dwelling, 14 ft. by 28, with kitchen in the rear, 12 ft. by 14 - on Clinton St.  William McCoy builder.

William McCoy.  Two story frame, 20 ft. by 40 on Franklin St. - to be used for the present as carpenter shop, for the owner.

Putnam, Pool & Co.  Two story frame, 32 ft. by 80,in the rear of their establishment, to be used as a ware house and stable by the manufacturing company.  The work on the building is done by the day.

Chapin & Bro.  Addition to their sawmill, on Ohio St., of two stories, 21 ft. by 73.  The old part is to be raised 6 feet.

Isaac Spaulding is altering a ware-house on Ohio St., into a fine dwelling house, 45 ft. by 20, and improving his former dwelling.

John Bartlett.  Addition to house on Ohio St., on one side, one story, 32 ft. by 10 - on the end, two stories, 16 ft. square.

Gardner Hall.  Two story frame dwelling, 24 ft by 18, on Franklin st.  George Locker builder.

S. N. Cox.  Frame cottage, 16 ft. by 24, on Franklin St.  William McCoy carpenter.

Josiah T. Hart.  Two story frame dwelling, 16 ft. by 24, in McCoy's addition to Harmar.  William McCoy builder.

Gilbert Wood.  Frame cottage, 16 ft. by 24, on Wood st.  William McCoy builder.