Away back in the 1830s when this country was thinly settled, I took my first trip to Marietta. My father was a plain farmer, and like most plain farmers, used a yoke of oxen and cart to haul his produce to market, to trade for groceries and other necessaries.
As my brother was going to Marietta with a load of produce, my father told me I might have all the walnuts I would gather and could go with my brother to sell them. I went right to work and gathered two bushels. I had heard father speak of all the principal stores, and was familiar with the names of most of the people who lived there. Most of the old settlers traded with Joe Hall. The business part of the town was from Hall's to Mills' corner on Ohio Street.
My brother drove down Greene Street to the market house, which was a building about fifty feet by twenty-five, and stood where the National Hotel now stands. As we backed up to the market house, a man came up and asked me what I had in the sack. I told him walnuts. He bought them and paid me two quarters for them.
I started down town feeling very rich. Finally I came to a store where there were piles of cheese, cakes and crackers. I stepped up to the counter and asked a big red-faced man for a quarter's worth of crackers. He weighed out a pan full and asked me if I had anything to put them in. I took off my saw-tooth cap and held it up for him to put them in. He poured them in and I started out, but he told me to wait and get the rest of them. He weighed another pan full and asked had I no other place to put them. I opened my hunting shirt, which was belted around my waist, and he poured them in.
I started back to the market house, carrying my cap full of crackers in my hands. When I got to the cart I emptied them into a half-bushel we had along and started for home. I had crackers enough to last for months, and so ended my first trip to the celebrated city of Marietta.