Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Third Street Project Given New Impetus

Marietta Daily Times, February 24, 1915

Property Owners Name Committee to Learn Cost of Raising

Not only are residents of Third Street between Putnam and Wooster, and Scammel between Second and Fourth, interested in the project for the raising of those streets above flood level, but a large proportion of them are willing to meet their full share of the expense and will devote their efforts to putting the project through. The residents of other of the low-lying streets are also interested, and it is practical certainly that if Third Street raises itself above flood line, other thoroughfares will quickly follow suit.

These facts are made evident at a meeting held in the high school Tuesday evening for consideration of the Third and Scammel streets matter. There was a big attendance of enthusiastic property owners from the district directly interested. In addition, many persons living on other streets were present, as well as city officials, members of the city council, officials of the board of trade, members of the board of education, real estate men, contractors, and railroad representatives. About 150 people in all were on hand for a discussion of the proposal, in the agitation of which some of the biggest property owners on the streets have been the prime movers.

The outcomes of the meeting, which was purely preliminary in character, was the appointment of a committee of three, composed of Messrs. Charles Weber, W. A. Sniffen, and H. A. Wagner, with instructions to secure plans and estimates, with information as to how the improvement could be handled through the city administration, for report at at meeting to be called in the near future. This committee is expected to canvass the situation thoroughly and be able to give each of the property owners information as to how the raising of the street in front of his property will cost.

A number of enthusiastic and business-like speeches were made at the meeting, which was devoted to a general discussion of some of the phases of the proposed improvement. W. A. Whiston was elected temporary chairman and J. W. Gray temporary secretary.

Plan Is Outlined

Charles H. Weber said that the plan which had been in mind for the improvement was to run a grade from a 46 foot elevation at Putnam and Third streets to about 35 at Wooster, crossing Scammel Street at about 50 feet, with Scammel graded from about 55 at Fourth Street to the 50 foot elevation at Third. This was only tentative, he said and the men who had suggested it were willing to give or take a few feet from others who had different views on the matter.

H. A. Wagner moved that the chairman appoint a committee of three to draft resolutions and bring the street raising proposition before the meeting for consideration. On this committee were reported Hon. C. S. Dana, Henry Albrecht, and John W. Mills. The committee reported a resolution recommending that a committee be appointed to investigate the plan outlined by Mr. Weber, with the probable cost and the plans for financing it, for report to property owners and the permanent committee named above was then selected by the chairman.

Endorses the Plan

B. B. Putnam was called upon and said that the committee of 21 which recently investigated the street raising matter as a general proposition for the city had been forced to the conclusion that the only way to do it was for the property owners to get together, as they are doing in this case, and raise a street or two at a time. He had hastily figured since coming to the meeting that the deepest part of the fill, about 10 feet, would require 42 cubic feet of dirt to the running foot. Figuring this dirt at top price of 30 cents per yard, it would cost approximately $12.90 per running foot to fill the street at the most expensive point.

Dividing this between the properties on both sides of the street would mean an assessment of $6.45 per front foot on the abutting property. Add to this the cost of new paving, he said, and it would mean an assessment of not over $10 per foot to fill and pave the street at the point where the fill would be deepest and the coast greatest. Where the fill was three feet the cost would be less than $6 per front foot, he said. It would cost not over $250 to fill any yard on the street, he thought.

Thinks It Would Pay

"The cost is significant and the possible benefit unlimited," said Mr. Putnam. "Marietta can never become a city among cities until her citizens become live ones and put her up out of the reach of floods. Hardly a day passes that someone does not come into my office and ask about a business location out of the reach of the water, but we have nothing to give them. If your street is raised and other streets do not come in on the plan, I predict that most of you will be forced to sell your properties for business purposes, because the prices offered you for them will be so big you cannot afford to refuse them." 

Dr. J. C. Swan was asked to speak. He said that for about 11 years he has been attending meetings called for the purpose of raising streets, but about the only thing the citizens of Marietta have raised is their voices.

Easy to Finance It

"This is no financial obstacle in the way of raising Marietta. There is no physical obstacle in the way with the exception of the laziness in the heads of people who should be doing things. Excuse me for scolding. The trouble with Marietta is its lack of unity, its lack of community of interest, its lack of initiative and cohesion.

"If you unite on this proposition you will make money for yourselves and leave legacies for your children."

Charles H. Weber expressed the belief that the Third Street proposition can be put through. "We can do it," he said "and can bring Third Street to the front. Other streets will follow and we can make Marietta bigger and better than she has ever been. My idea of financing the proposition its that we have got to do this ourselves. We can't ask the hill people to do it. We must do it ourselves for the value it will add to our property."

He said that the meeting had been called for the purpose of learning the opinion of the property owners and urged them to express themselves freely.

Dr. Ballard For It

Dr. C. B. Ballard said that he had concluded after the 1913 flood that he would not ask anyone to raise his property or the street in front of it, believing that the increase in the value of it would remunerate him for any expense to which he was put. "What we would like to know," he said, "is just about what our tax would be on a fixed grade. This is important, as we must know whether we can finance the proposition. I believe the way for this work to be done is for the property owners to say that they will raise their property so that the property will have greater value. I believe that the other lowlanders feel the same way."

Rev. John H. Holtkamp of the German M. E. Church spoke enthusiastically in favor of the proposal. He said he thought he could say that his church, which has property at the corner of Third and Wooster streets, would do its part and that he would do so personally. "You can't stop the water's coming," he said, "but you can go up above it. The good Lord has given lots of room up there."

Suggests 48 Foot Level

F. L. Alexander of Second Street raised the question whether it would not be a mistake to raise the street to a 50-foot level. He said this would necessitate the raising of a lot of houses that have already been raised once, while a 46 or 48-foot street would make this unnecessary and would at the same time put a house five feet above the street out of all probable floods, placing them above practically every inundation that the city has experienced save that of 1913. Reducing the level at Scammel Street from 50 to 48 feet would save a lot of money, he said, and would make friends for the project.

President Crawford of the city council, when called to the floor, said he believed council would go as far as it could under the city's ordinances to aid the project. He has not heard a dissenting voice among the members of the body. Personally he pledged himself to do all he could to further the success of the scheme.

Mr. Dauenhauer of the house moving department of the John Erichleay Jr. Company of Pittsburgh, contractors, told the meeting that what is proposed here is nothing new, that it has been done before, and can be done easily. The Third Street proposition is a very small matter, he said. To accomplish it is just a matter of going ahead. The general average of cost of raising the frame residences on the street, according to his estimates, would be from $500 to $750.

Engineers Present

Engineer E. Frank Gates gave the elevation of the streets which it is proposed shall be raised and made some suggestions  as  to the best grades for them. He said he thought the best way to get at the grade would be to assume one at Third and Scammel streets and work from that to the outer ends of the proposed improvement.

E. D. Baldwin, agent of the B. & O. Railway Company, said that his company had no figures available on the cost of laying dirt down on the streets here. He said, however, that the company had sent two of its engineers to this city to attend this meeting, and that they were present to learn whether or not the people meant business, that they would doubtless look the ground over and would be glad to meet the committee that had been appointed. Mr. Baldwin was accompanied by P. Didier of Pittsburgh, chief engineer, and J. Fordella of Newark, division engineer.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Some Notes On Floods At Marietta

The Marietta Register, December 18, 1873

The rivers here have been high this week - higher than before since January 1862, twelve years ago next month, when the water was about a foot above what is was now.  Yet it was not one of the big floods, such as came upon this locality nine times in the last hundred years.  It came to a stand Monday evening when Front street, below Putnam, was under water, which barely came upon the floors of a few stores - was just even with the floor of the Post Office, and about six inches below the floor at the front of the stores of Bosworth, Wells & Co.

The most notable flood here since the first settlement was in February 1832 - over ten feet higher than it was this week; yet in June 1772, it was some three feet higher at Wheeling than it even was in 1832, as marked by the first settlers there at the backwater at the falls of Wheeling Creek.

In 1778, there was another flood, within two feet of the mark of that of 1832; and in 1784, the water here was just about the level of that in 1832, as appeared from marks at the cabin of Isaac Williams on his "tomahawk improvement" opposite the mouth of the Muskingum.

When the first settlers began building on the low bottoms at Marietta in 1788, Indians shook their heads and said they had seen the water up to a certain height on the sycamores, but their warnings were disregarded as exaggerations; and for twenty-five years after, there was no flood here to over flow the banks of the rivers - or twenty-nine years after the great flood of 1784.  

But in January 1813, the security of Marietta people was sadly disturbed when came upon them one of the most appalling floods known in our history, the famous "Ice Fresh," as it was called.  The river was full of very heavy running ice, causing great destruction of property.  The water came to a stand January 28, at which time it had turned severely cold, making ice thick enough so people could walk on it over all the lower part of the town, at a height of some five or six feet above that of the water this week.

April 1, 1815, the water a little higher than it was in 1813, yet but little damage was done.

The famous flood of 1832 was at its height here, February 13th.  The winter began early, and ice stopped navigation in the last of November 1831, the mercury standing at 12 degrees above zero on the mornings of the 28th and 29th.  December 18th, it was 10 degrees below zero.  From January 20th to January 30th, 1832, sixteen inches of snow fell here, and in the first part of February, snow lay upon the ground over a foot deep; and in the mountains it was three or four feet deep.  Heavy rains came on, eight inches of rain falling here from February 1st to the 12th.  The water here began rising on Thursday, February 9th, and came to a stand on Monday the 13th, when it stood about two inches deep on the floor of the building now used for the Preparatory Department in the College yard; and it was some fifteen inches deep in the front rooms of the house of Dr. Hildreth.  The river was out of its banks for nine days.  

The destruction of property all along the Ohio was immense.  At Pittsburgh, the floods was at its height on the morning of the 10th; Wheeling, afternoon of the 11th; Marietta, morning of the 13th; Cincinnati, morning of the 18th, where it was over sixty feet above low water.

The next high flood here was in December 1847 - about six feet below that of 1832; and on April 22, 1852, about four feet and a half below.  The great flood of April 13, 1860, was next to that of 1832, at this point, since the first settlement, coming up within about three feet of the highest mark in 182.

Notes might be made on these floods to the extent of columns of the Register which might be of interest, but space must limit to a mere outline.

R. M. S.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Curious Marriages

The Marietta Register, July 9, 1868

Three weeks ago we printed many interesting items that we had collected, relating to singular marriages. We now give a chapter of curious matters in this line that have happened in our county of Washington - premising that the record could be made much more complete, were it not for the danger of "treading on somebody's toes."

December 28, 1865, in Ludlow Township, James M. Groves, J. P., married on the same evening, at the same place, George Pugh and Mary Watson; also Isaac Pugh and Martha A. Watson.  These were father and son married to mother and daughter.

Two Greene Street girls - Misses D____ - who are sisters, have between them five living husbands. The oldest was divorced from her first husband on account of his willful absence; her second husband was divorced from her, by reason of her absence; and she is married to her third husband. The second girl was married and divorced, and is married again. None of the parties now live in this county.

John Brough, Esq., who was Sheriff of this county sixty years ago, came from England about the beginning of this century, when he was past middle age. In 1809, he buried a wife; was soon married to Miss Jane ____, and in 1811, the late John Brough - late distinguished Governor of Ohio - was born to them in the jail building. October 20, 1821, Mrs. Brough died; in five months and one day, March 21, 1822, Esq. Brough, who was then about 75 years old, married Mrs. Bridget Cross; in just four weeks, April 19, she died. Esq. Brough himself died, October 16, 1822. So, it appears that he buried two wives and was buried himself, all in less than a year.

There are several cases in this county wherein men have been married four times; one, three times, whose third wife is the niece of his second; one of our highly respectable citizens married his son's widow, there being children by both marriages. And in another case, many years ago, a young man and a young lady were engaged to be married; her parents objected, but they had a son born to them out of wedlock; both subsequently married (he twice) and buried other partners; their son had now become a man and was married, with a family of children; his parents were then married at his house, the grandchildren seeing their grandparents married! They are both now in their graves.

Many years ago, Pardon Cook, father of the late Mrs. Rhoda Hildreth of this city, and his brother, Joseph Cook, father of Rev. Pardon Cook, of Marietta, married sisters. In course of time, Pardon Cook died, also Joseph Cook's wife. Then Joseph Cook and Pardon Cook's widow were intermarried. So, in the last marriage (no children) the husband bore that relation to two sisters, while the wife was the wife of two brothers. Consequently the late Mrs. Hildreth and Rev. Pardon Cook were not only double cousins, but also stood in the relation of step-brother and step-sister.

Two brothers and two sisters of one family in Marietta, years ago, were intermarried with two sisters and two brothers of another family; not all at once, but at different dates. These were Otis Reckard and Nancy Jennings; Joseph Leonard Reckard and Delila Jennings; Jonathan Jennings and Susan Reckard; Junia Jennings and Eliza A. Reckard. Of these eight, six are now living - all in the neighborhood of "three score and ten," most over, some a little under. Jonathan Jennings died ten years ago. His widow (Susan Reckard) is now the fourth wife of Rev. J. C. McCoy. Otis Reckard died about three years ago.

Col. William B. Mason, our County Treasurer, and his wife, are both Masons, but of different families, claiming no relationship.  His father was William Mason, and her father was William Mason; his grandfather was William Mason, and her grandfather was William Mason. And they have a son William. So the young scion of four generations now known, counts himself a William, his father a William, his two grandfathers both Williams, and two great-grandfathers Williams, and all Masons.

We here mention a case out of this county, yet involving a young lady of Marietta. Miss Emily Palmer, who was raised by Rev. Luther G. Bingham, went to Lawrence County to teach, and there married Dr. McDowell, who had separated from his wife in Pennsylvania, leaving a daughter in her charge. In the course of years, Mrs. Emily McDowell died. The daughter by the first marriage was now grown up and married. Through her intervention, her father and mother were then remarried, after a separation of over twenty years, the husband of the daughter, who was a minister, performing the marriage ceremony!

It may be remarked that fifty years ago, when the population of this county was not over one-quarter of what it now is, three men advertised their wives as having left their bed and board, for every one man who does so at this day; a fact that we know, having carefully examined full files of Marietta papers from the year 1811. Does it indicate that ill-assorted and unhappy marriages were much more frequent half a century since than now? or was advertising wives more in fashion then?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Former Slave Is Dead

The Marietta Times, October 6, 1917

John Holloway, 80, a widely known colored resident of Marietta, was found dead in his hut beyond the Marietta Paint & Color Co.'s factory in Norwood, Saturday morning.  Coroner Green was called and upon investigation pronounced death due to troubles incident to old age.

The deceased was a familiar character about Marietta.  He was for years engaged in hauling garbage and rubbish for residents in the city, and was known as "Boss."  He was a former slave and had spent a great part of his life here.  He lived alone.

The remains were taken in charge by undertakers Doudna & McClure.  No arrangements have as yet been made for the funeral and burial.