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CLERMONT COUNTY

 

CLERMONT, the eighth county erected in the Northwestern Territory, was formed December 9, 1800, by proclamation of Gov. ST. CLAIR.  The name was probably derived from Clermont, in France.  The surface is generally rolling and quite broken near the Ohio, and the soil mostly rich.  The geological formation is the blue fossiliferous limestone interstratified with clay marl, and mostly covered with a rich vegetable mould.  It is well watered, and the streams furnish considerable water power.  Area, 440 square miles.  In 1885 the acres cultivated were 117,644; in pasture, 65,350; woodland, 31,265; lying waste, 13,662; produced in wheat, 65,387 bushels; corn, 1,219,477; and 3,152,566 pounds of tobacco, being alike with Brown, its neighbor, one of the finest and largest tobacco-growing counties of the State.  School children enrolled in 1886, 11,028, and teachers 234.  It has sixty-two miles of railroad track.  The following is a list of its townships, with their population in 1840 and 1880.

 

Township

And Census

1840

1880

 

Township

And Census

1840

1880

Batavia,

2,197

3,687

 

Pierce,

 

1,984

Franklin,

2,219

3,402

 

Stone Lick,

1,478

1,871

Goshen,

1,445

1,908

 

Tate,

2,292

2,754

Jackson,

   883

1,761

 

Union,

1,421

1,992

Miami,

2,061

4,346

 

Washington,

2,102

2,876

Monroe,

1,617

2,101

 

Wayne,

   976

2,164

Ohio,

2,894

3,531

 

Williamsburg,

1,459

2,336

 

The population of the county in 1820 was 15,820; in 1840, 23,106; and in 1860, 33,034; and in 1880, 36,713, of whom 30,264 were Ohio-born.

 

The following facts in the history of the county are given as communicated for the first edition by Mr. Benjamin MORRIS; this gentleman, by profession a lawyer, died in 1862, aged seventy-five years.

 

In June, 1804, and in the 19th year of my age, I came to Bethel, which, with Williamsburg, were the only towns in the county.  They were laid out about 1798 or ‘99, and were competitors for the county-seat.  When I came, Clermont was an almost unbroken wilderness, and the settlers few and far between.  In the language of the day, there were Denham’s town, now Bethel; Lytlestown, now Williamsburg; Witham’s settlement, now Withamsville; Apples’, Collins’, and Buchanan’s settlements.  The following are names of part of the settlers in and about Williamsburg, in 1804:–Wm. LYTEL, R. W. WARING, David C. BRYAN, James and Daniel KAIN, Nicholas SINKS, Jasper SHOTWELL, and Peter LIGHT.  Wm. LYTEL was the first clerk of the county, and was succeeded by R. W. WARING and David C. BRYAN.  Peter LIGHT was a justice of the peace under the territorial and State governments, and county surveyor.  Daniel KAIN was sheriff, and later justice of the peace under the State government.  David C. BRYAN represented the county several years in the State Legislature, before he was appointed clerk.  I was at Williamsburg at the sitting of the court of Common Pleas in June, 1804.  Francis DUNLAVY was the presiding judge, and Philip GATCH, Ambrose RANSOM, and John WOOD, associates, while the attendant lawyers were Jacob BURNET, Arthur ST. CLAIR–son of Gov. ST. CLAIR–Joshua COLLET, Martin MARSHALL and Thomas MORRIS.

 

The following are part of the settlers in and about Bethel, in 1804; Obed DENHAM–proprietor of the town–James DENHAM, Houton CLARK, John BAGGESS, Dr. LOOFBOROUGH, John and Thomas MORRIS, Jeremiah BECK, Henry WILLIS and James SOUTH.  John BAGGESS for many years was a representative in the legislature, justice of the peace and county surveyor.  John MORRIS was appointed associate judge after the death of Judge WOOD, in 1807; he was also justice of the peace, and one of the first settlers at Columbia.  Houton CLARK was one of the first, if not the very first, justice of the peace in Clermont.  Thomas MORRIS practised law in the county about forty years, was a representative in the legislature, and once appointed a judge of the Supreme Court.  In the winter of 1832-33 he was elected to the United States Senate, where he acted a con-

 

 

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spicuous part in the anti-slavery movements of the day.  The most prominent political act of his life was his reply to a speech of Mr. CLAY.  He died suddenly, Dec. 7th, 1844: Posterity only can judge of the correctness or incorrectness of his course.  A neat marble monument marks his resting place, near Bethel.  Jeremiah BECK and Henry WILLIS were farmers and justices of the peace.  Ulrey’s Run takes its name from Jacob ULREY, who settled on its west side in 1798, and was the earliest settler upon it.  The place is now known as “the ULREY farm.”  Bred in the wilds of Pennsylvania, he was a genuine backwoodsman, and a terror to the horse thieves, who infested the county at an early day.  Deer and bear were plenty around him, and a large portion of his time was passed in hunting them, for their skins.  The early settlers around him received substantial tokens of his generosity, by his supplying them with meat.

 

The first newspaper in Clermont, The Political Censor, was printed at Williamsburg, in 1813: it was edited by Thos. S. FOOT, Esq.; the second, called The Western American, was printed in the same town, in 1814: David MORRIS, Esq., editor.

 

A considerable number of the early settlers in Clermont were from Kentucky.  Of those before named the following were from that State:–R. W. WARING, Jasper SHOTWELL, Peter LIGHT, Obed and James DENHAM, Houton CLARK, John BOGGESS, Jeremiah BECK, Henry WILLIS and James SOUTH.  Nicholas SINKS was from Virginia, David C. BRYAN from New Jersey, and John and Thomas MORRIS the KAIN family (I believe) from Pennsylvania.  After 1804 the country increased rapidly by settlers from New Jersey, Kentucky and Pennsylvania, with some from Maryland, New England, and a few from North Carolina.

 

Neville was laid out in 1811, Gen. NEVILLE proprietor.  Point Pleasant and New Richmond were laid out about 1814; Jacob LIGHT proprietor of the latter.  George ELY laid out Batavia afterwards.  The early settlers about that place, as well as I remember, were George ELY, Ezekiel DIMMIT, Lewis DUCKWALL, Henry MILEY, Robert and James TOWNSLEY, Titus EVERHART and Wm. PATTERSON.  Before Milford was laid out, Philip GATCH, Ambrose RANSOM and John POLLOCK settled in its vicinity.  Philip GATCH was a member from Clermont of the convention which formed the State constitution, and for years after was associate judge.  RANSOM, as before stated, was associate judge; and John POLLOCK, for many years speaker of the house of representatives, and later, associate judge.  Philip GATCH was a Virginian.  He freed his slaves before emigrating, which circumstance led to his being selected as a member of the convention to form the State constitution.

 

The most prominent settlers in the south part of Clermont were the SARGEANT, PIGMAN, PRATHER, BUCHANAN and FEE families.  The oldest members of the SARGEANT family were the brothers James, John and Elijah.  They were from Maryland.  James, who had freed his slaves there, was, in consequence, chosen a member of the convention which formed the State constitution.  The SARGEANTS, who are now numerous in this part of the county, are uncompromising opponents of slavery.  The PIGMAN family were Joshua, sen., Joshua, jr., and Levi.  The BUCHANAN family were William, Alexander, Robert, Andrew, James, John, etc.  James BUCHANAN, the son of John, was at one time speaker of the Ohio house of representatives.  The BUCHANANS were from Pennsylvania, and the PIGMANS from Maryland.  There were several brothers of the FEE family, from Pennsylvania.  William, the most prominent, was the proprietor of Felicity, and a member of the legislature.  His brothers were Thomas, Elisha and Elijah; other early settlers were Samuel WALDREN, James DAUGHTERS and Elijah LARKIN, who has been postmaster at Neville for more than a quarter of a century.  In the vicinity of Withamsville the early settlers were Nathaniel and Gideon WITHAM, James WARD, Shadrach, Robert and Samuel LANE.  The Methodists were the most numerous in early times, and next the Baptists; there were but a few Presbyterians among the first settlers.

 

When I first came into the county, the “wet land,” of which there is such a large proportion in the middle and northern part, was considered almost worthless; but a great change has taken place in public opinion in relation to its value.  It is ascertained, that by judicious cultivation it rapidly improves in fertility.  At that time, these lands were covered by water more than half the summer, and we called them slashes: now the water leaves the surface in the woods, early in the spring.  Forty years ago, the evenings were cool as soon as the sun went down.  I have no recollections of warm nights, for many years after I came, and their coolness was a matter of general remark among the emigrants from the old States.  I believe it was owing to the immense forests that covered the country, and shut out the rays and heat of the sun from the surface of the ground, for after sunset there was no warm earth to impart heat to the atmosphere.

 

BATAVIA, the county-seat, is on the east fork of the Little Miami and on the C. & N. R. R., 24 miles easterly from Cincinnati and 103 southwest of Columbus.  It was laid out in 1814 by Geo. ELY and David C. BRYAN, and in 1824 became the county-seat.  County officers in 1888: Probate Judge, James B. SWING; Clerk of Court, A. B. SHAW; Sheriff, J. C. F. TATMAN; Prosecuting Attorney, Louis HICKS; Auditor, Wm. A. PAGE; Treasurer, Nathan ANDERSON; Recorder, Geo. W.

 

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GOODWIN; Surveyor, Geo. H. HILL; Coroner, Elijah V. DOWNS; Commissioners, O. H. HARDIN, Alfred HAYWOOD and Francis M. LINDSEY.  Batavia has 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 Presbyterian, 1 German United Brethren Churches.  One bank, First National, president, M. JAMESON; cashier, J. F. DIAL.  Newspapers: Clermont Advance, Prohibitionist, J. S. ROBINSON, proprietor and editor; Clermont Sun, Democratic, E. A. LOCKWOOD, S. CRAMER, editors; Clermont Courier, Republican, R. W. C. GREGG, J. S. HULICK, editors.

 

Manufactures.–STIRLING & MOORE, carriage and buggy works; J. F. SMITH & Co., shoe factory.  In 1840 Batavia had 537, and, in 1880, 1,015 inhabitants.

 

The First Cabin.–Ezekiel DIMMIT, a Virginian by birth, in the fall of 1797

 

Drawn by Henry Howe, 1856; standing in 1887

COUNTY BUILDINGS, BATAVIA

 

erected the first cabin in the township.  The following spring he made a little maple sugar and planted a few acres of corn on leased land at Columbia, fifteen miles away, where he went by following blazed paths through the dense woods.  A little corn, flax and potatoes were also planted around the cabin on partly cleared ground.  His nearest neighbor lived in a cabin seven miles distant.

 

Soon other settlers came in, and Ezekiel DIMMIT’S cabin afforded a friendly shelter to many a pioneer on the lookout for a new home.  Among these was the family of Charles ROBINSON, from Maryland, who having heard of the wonderful fertility of the Ohio country came to Clermont in 1806 and lived near the DIMMITS with his family until the next spring in a cabin put up for them near by, when he moved on to a farm of his own on Lucy’s run.

 

A Thrilling Adventure befell Mary ROBINSON in the succeeding winter: the oldest daughter, a robust young lady.  Mounting a spirited horse one afternoon, she started on an errand for Mrs. MITCHELL’S, some twelve miles distant.  A deep snow covered the ground, which delayed her, when night overtook her in the woods and the snow beginning to fall, it grew so dark that she could with difficulty see the blazed trees which indicated the bridle-path which she expected to follow.

 

Losing the trace, she alighted and tied her horse to a tree until she could investigate.  While thus engaged she heard the howling of a pack of wolves, when she hastened back to her horse, but he was so frightened that he would not allow her to approach him.  A few moments later the wolves were around her and she began to suffer from the intense cold.  To ward them off and keep from freezing, she decided to keep moving in a path far enough from the horse to avoid being kicked and yet near enough to keep the wolves from approaching her; so she walked to and fro the entire night, the wolves continuing their fiendish howls and the horse his stamping and kicking.  At dawn the wolves disappeared, when with difficulty she mounted her horse and reached the home of John MITCHELL.  On seeing her, he exclaimed: “Why, Mary, have you been in the wilderness all night?”  She said “Yes,” and had hardly been assisted from her horse when she fell into a swoon.  Her family becoming alarmed at her absence sent a messenger on her tracks.  He found the place where she had passed the terrible night, and then proceeding on to Mr. MITCHELL’s saw Mary, who for several days was too weak to be moved.

 

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The name of Cornelius WASHBURN, or Neil WASHBURN as he was commonly called, is lastingly identified with the early history of this region.  This famous Indian hunter, so noted for his sagacity and courage from 1815 to 1833, lived near Williamsburg.  He was born in New Jersey in the year before the outbreak of the American Revolution.  He died “in his boots,” as the frontiersmen express it, being killed by the Indians in 1834 while acting as a hunter and scout for a fur-trading and trapping company on the Yellowstone.  This account of him we derived in 1846 from the lips of Thos. MCDONALD, the brother of the author of the sketches and the first person, as he sated to us, who erected a cabin in Scioto county.

 

THE EXPLOITS OF NEIL WASHBURN.

 

In the year ‘90, I first became acquainted with Neil WASHBURN, then a lad of sixteen, living on the Kentucky side of the Ohio, six miles below Maysville.  From his early years, he showed a disposition to follow the woods.  When only nine or ten, he passed his time in setting snares for pheasants and wild animals.  Shortly after, his father purchased for him a shot-gun, in the use of which he soon became unexcelled.  In the summer of ‘90, his father being out of fresh provisions, crossed the Ohio with him in a canoe, to shoot deer, at a lick near the mouth of Eagle creek.  On entering the creek, their attention was arrested by a singular hacking noise, some distance up the bank.  Neil landed, and with gun in hand, cautiously crawling up the river bank, discovered an Indian, about twenty feet up a hickory tree, busily engaged in cutting around the bark, to make a canoe, in which he probably anticipated the gratification of crossing the river and committing depredations upon the Kentuckians.  However this may have been, his meditations and work were soon brought to a close, for the intrepid boy no sooner saw the dusky form of the savage, than he brought his gun to a level with his eye, and fired: the Indian fell dead to the earth, with a heavy sound.  He hastily retreated to the canoe, from fear of the presence of other Indians, and recrossed the Ohio.  Early the next morning a party of men, guided by Neil, visited the spot, and found the body of the Indian at the foot of the tree.  Neil secured the scalp, and the same day showed it, much elated, to myself and others, in the town of Washington, in Mason.  Several persons in the village made him presents, as testimonials of their opinion of his bravery.

 

In the next year, he was employed as a spy between Maysville and the mouth of the Little Miami, to watch for Indians, who were accustomed to cross the Ohio into Kentucky, to steal and murder.  While so engaged, he had some encounters with them, in which his unerring rifle dealt death to several of their number.  One of these was at the mouth of Bullskin, on the Ohio side.

 

In ‘92, the Indians committed such great depredations upon the Ohio, between the Great Kanawha and Maysville, that Gen. LEE, the government agent, in employing spies endeavored to get some of them to go up the Ohio, above the Kanawha, and warn all single boats not to descend the river.  None were found sufficiently daring to go, but Neil.  Furnished with an elegant horse, and well armed, he started on his perilous mission.  He met with no adventures until after crossing the Big Sandy.  This he swam on his horse, and had reached about a half a mile beyond, when he was suddenly fired upon by a party of Indians, in ambush.  His horse fell dead, and the Indians gave a yell of triumph; but Neil was unhurt.  Springing to his feet, he bounded back like a deer, and swam across the Big Sandy, holding his rifle and ammunition above his head.  Panting from exertion, he rested upon the opposite bank to regain his strength, when the Indians, whooping and yelling, appeared on the other side, in full pursuit.  Neil drew up, shot one of their number, and then continued his retreat down the Ohio, but meeting and exchanging shots with others, he saw it was impossible to keep the river valley in safety, and striking his course more inland to evade his enemies, arrived safely at Maysville.

 

In the fall of the same year, he was in the action with KENTON and others against TECUMSEH, in what is now Brown county.  WASHBURN continued as a spy throughout the war, adding the “sagacity of the lion to the cunning of the fox.”  He was with WAYNE in his campaign, and at the battle of the Fallen Timbers manifested his usual prowess.

 

Neil WASHBURN was in person nearly six feet in height, with broad shoulders, small feet, and tapered beautifully from his chest down.  He was both powerful and active.  His eyes were blue, his hair light, and complexion fair.  A prominent Roman nose alone marred the symmetry of his personal  appearance.

 

MILFORD is a picturesque location on the Little Miami eighteen miles above Cincinnati, and is connected with the Little Miami railroad by a bridge.  Population in 1880, 1,047.  School census in 1886, 315; S. T. DIAL, superintendent.

 

Oldest Methodist Church in Ohio.–This place was early settled, being a milling centre.  In the summer of 1797 Francis MCCORMICK, the pioneer Methodist

 

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preacher, organized a church here in his cabin, which is the oldest Methodist society in Ohio, and supposed to be the first church organized in the great North-west.  He had left Kentucky in 1795 through his hatred of slavery, and settled just north of the site of the village.  This founder of Methodism north of the Ohio was a giant in stature, with a well-developed head, florid face and benevolent expression.  Early in life he had been a soldier in the American Revolution and served under LAFAYETTE at Yorktown.  Prominent among his small congregation were Ezekiel DIMMIT and wife and John and Phoebe MITCHELL, four pioneers residing near where Batavia now stands, who went to Parson MCCORMICK’S, a distance of twelve miles through dense woods, to hear him preach.  Uncle Zeke DIMMIT was the first class-leader, and at his old log-cabin the earliest prayer and speaking meetings were held, beginning in the fall of 1797.  A few years later he with others organized a church now known as the Methodist church in Batavia.

 

In 1799 the very eminent Rev. Philip GATCH settled alongside of MCCORMICK.  He was born near Baltimore in 1751; in 1774 he and William WALTERS took appointments as Methodist ministers and were the first native preachers in America to serve a circuit.  He was very zealous, and as Methodism was not favorable received became subject to violent abuse.  He was tarred by a mob, his eyesight injured permanently, and he narrowly escaped death at their hands.  On account of his position on slavery he was selected as a member of the first Constitutional Convention, and for twenty-two years was an associate judge of Clermont.

 

In 1817 DIMMIT and his associates began the erection of a stone meeting house at Batavia, and which was used by the society until Sunday evening, May 15, 1887, when the old bell rang out its notes for the last time for a farewell meeting within its venerable walls; a very interesting occasion, it being the most historic landmark in this region.  It had been largely used for public meetings.  Here the “Clermont boys” on their return from the Mexican war were given a warm welcome, and here was rallied the first Clermont company for the Union in the war of the rebellion.  The old building now altered is used for a shoe factory.

 

The First Camp Meeting in Clermont and possibly in Ohio was held near Zeke DIMMIT’S in October, 1815, at which a great crowd was present and many were converted.  The meeting was chiefly conducted by that celebrated and eccentric itinerant Lorenzo DOW.  He travelled through the United States from fifteen to twenty times visiting the wilderness parts, often preaching where a sermon was never heard before.  Occasionally he went to Canada, and made three voyages to England and Ireland, where as elsewhere he drew crowds around him, attracted by his long flowing beard and hair, singularly wild demeanor and pungency of speech.  During the thirty years of his public life he must have travelled nearly two hundred thousand miles.

 

So great a factor was he in the religious history of Ohio and the “new countries” generally that the pioneers about the year 1830 largely named their boy babes “Lorenzo DOW,” as in 1824, the period of General LAFAYETTE’S visit to the United States, boy babes were named after him.  Those then named, the “Lorenzo Dows” and “Lafayettes,” are now, when living, old men.

 

PICKETT, in his “History of Alabama,” avers that he was the earliest Protestant preacher in that State; says he: “Down to this period–in 1803–no Protestant preacher had ever raised his voice to remind the Tombigbee and Tensaw settlers of their duty to the Most High.  Hundreds, born and bred in the wilderness, and now adult men and women, had never seen a preacher.  The mysterious and eccentric Lorenzo DOW one day suddenly appeared at the boat yard.  He came from Georgia, across the Creek nation, encountering its dangers almost alone.  He proclaimed the truths of the gospel here to a large audience, crossed over the Alabama and preached two sermons to the ‘Bigbee settlers,’ and went from thence to the Natchez settlements, where he also exhorted the people to turn from the error of their ways.  He then visited the Cumberland region and Kentucky, and came back to the Tombigbee, filling his appointments to the very day.  Again plunging into the Creek nation this holy man of God once more appeared among the people of Georgia.”

 

When DOW was in Indiana Judge O. H. SMITH had the pleasure of listening to a discourse from him, some items of which he has thus preserved among his sketches.  “In the year 1819,” states the judge, “I was one of a congregation assembled in the woods back of Rising Sun, anxiously awaiting the arrival of Lorenzo DOW.  Time passed away, we had all become impatient, when in the distance we saw him approaching at a rapid rate through the trees on his pacing pony.  He rode up to the log on which I was sitting,

 

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LORENZO DOW

[So important a person was Lorenzo Dow in the religious history of Ohio and the “new countries” generally that the pioneers largely named their boy babes from him.  We saw him when on June 30, 1832, the drawing in the lower picture was made by our old friend, Mr. John W. Barber, and it agrees with our memory as to his swaying attitude.  He was in truth a wild-looking creature.]

 

 

 

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threw the reins over the neck of the pony and stepped upon the log, took off his hat, his hair parted in the middle of his head, and flowing on either side to his shoulders, his beard resting on his breast.  In a minute at the top of his voice he said: ‘”Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me.”  My subject is repentance.  We sing, “While the lamp holds out to burn, the vilest sinner may return.”  That idea has done much harm, and should be received with many grains of allowance.  There are cases where it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a man to repent unto salvation.  Let me illustrate.  Do you suppose that the man among you who went out last fall to kill his deer and bear for winter meat, and instead killed his neighbors’ hogs, salted them down, and is now living on the meat, can repent while it is unpaid for?  I tell you nay.  Except he restores a just compensation his attempt at repentance will be the basest hypocrisy.  Except ye repent truly, ye shall all likewise perish.’  He preached some thirty minutes.  Down he stepped, mounted his pony, and in a few minutes was moving on through the woods at a rapid pace to meet another appointment.”

 

On another occasion, it has been said, having been informed that the people thereabouts had suffered from the depredations of a hog thief, he took occasion to state to an assemblage whom he was addressing, that he felt certain that the thief was among them.  Then stooping down he picked up a stone, and said: “Now I am going to throw this stone at him,” at the same time making a motion as if to throw it, whereupon an individual in the crowd dodged.  “That’s him,” exclaimed DOW, pointing to the conscience-striken individual.  The people called him Crazy DOW; his wife Peggy accompanied him in his travels.  He introduced camp meetings in England.

 

BETHEL, on the line of the C. G. & P. R. R. and Ohio turnpike, in a fine country.  It has 2 Methodist, 1 Christian, and 1 Baptist church, and in 1880 582 inhabitants.  The place was settled in 1797 by Obed DENHAM, a Virginian, on account of his abhorrence of slavery.

 

A Witch Story.–In the early settlement a family by the name of HILDEBRAND accused one of their neighbors, Nancy EVANS, of being a witch.  Although the statutes of Ohio made no provision for cases of this kind, they persuaded a justice of the peace to take the matter in hand.  A tradition prevailed that if a witch was weighed against the Bible she would be compelled to tip the beam.  A rude scale was made, and in the presence of the neighbors, with the Bible at one end and Nancy EVANS at the other, she was thus adjured: “Nancy EVANS, thou art weighed against the Bible to try thee against witch-craftry and diabolical practices.”  This being done in the name of the law, and with a profound respect for the word of God, had a solemn and conclusive effect.  Nancy was of course too heavy for the Bible; an excellent woman, who willingly submitted to this novel process to bring peace of mind to her ignorant, deluded neighbors, whom she pitied.

 

Bethel is noted for the number of prominent characters who have dwelt there.  SAMUEL MEDARY, from Pennsylvania, came to Bethel almost destitute; with twenty-five cents capital opened a school, and in 1828 started a newspaper, the Ohio Sun, now the Clermont County Sun, at Batavia.  MEDARY was no printer, but he edited it, delivered it personally to the subscribers, and taught school at the same time.  He eventually moved to Columbus, and as editor of the Statesman and Crisis, became the most influential editor of the Democratic party in the State.  Late in life he was territorial governor of Kansas and Nebraska.  He was genial, possessed business tact and force of character.  Prof. DAVID SWING, D. D., the eminent divine, was born near the village.  Two eminent Methodist divines were identified with the history of the county: Rev. Dr. RANDOLPH SWING FOSTER, who was born here, and Rev. STEPHEN M. MERRILL, who passed his youth here.  The noted Gen. THOMAS L. HAMER, in 1818, came to Bethel a poor, friendless boy, and found a home in the family of Thomas MORRIS, with whom he studied law.

 

JESSE R. GRANT, the father of Gen. GRANT, bought a home at Bethel about 1845, where he lived ten or twelve years.  While he was there the general, at that time just from the Academy at West Point, and later from the Mexican campaign, visited his father, and passed a number of months in the quiet village.  The general’s father carried on a tannery, and in 1852 was elected mayor.  His duties were partly magisterial, and one of his first was to try some of the village roughs for fighting, on which occasion he used the finishing-room of his tannery for a court-room.  The place was crowded, and the better to see some of the small boys mounted a pile of hides.  The pile was totlish, and the leather slid, and one urchin landed precipitately into a tub of Father GRANT’S oil, which afforded as much diversion as the fight itself.

 

In the village graveyard at Bethel is the grave of THOMAS MORRIS; a marble monument with the annexed inscription marks the spot.  Said Salmon P. CHASE: “Senator MORRIS first led me to see the character of the slave power as an aristocracy, and the need of an earnest organization to counteract its pretensions.  He

 

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was far beyond the time in which he lived.”  In 1637, Thomas MORRIS, the first representative of the family, a name prominent in English history and patriotism, settled in Massachusetts.  Isaac, the father of Thomas MORRIS, was born in Berks county, Pa., in 1740, and his mother, Ruth HENTON, in 1750, being the daughter of a Virginia planter.  Nine sons and three daughters were born to them.  Thomas, John, and Benjamin came to Ohio, finally settling in Clermont county.  Thomas was the fifth child, and was born January 3, 1776; soon after his birth his parents moved to Western Virginia, and settled near Clarksburg.  The father was a faithful minister of the Baptist church, preaching without failing in a single appointment for over sixty years, never taking a dose of medicine.  He died in 1830, aged ninety-one.  The mother of Thomas MORRIS refused her inheritance of four slaves.

 

At sixteen Thomas MORRIS shouldered his musket to repel the aggressions of the Indians, serving several months in Capt. Levi MORGAN’S rangers, stationed near Marietta.  At nineteen he was employed as a clerk in the store, at Columbia, of the then famous Baptist minister, Rev. John SMITH.  November 19, 1797, he married Rachel DAVIS, daughter of Benjamin DAVIS, from Lancaster, Pa.  In 1800 Thomas MORRIS and his wife removed from Columbia to Williamsburgh, where, in 1802, he commenced the study of

 

A. E. McCall, Photo., Bethel, 1887

MOUNMENT TO THOMAS MORRIS

Tombstone as of 2006

 

law, without friends, pecuniary means, or a preceptor, with a growing family and but few books.  After the hard labors of the day he studied at night by the light of hickory bark or from a brick-kiln which he was burning for the support of his family.  With resolute purpose and iron will he succeeded in over-coming these formidable difficulties, and in two years was admitted to the bar.  In 1804 he removed with his family to Bethel, and in 1806 was elected a representative from Clermont.

 

In the Legislature his abilities soon placed him among the most distinguished men of the State.  He labored for the equal right of all, and to conform the civil government to the principles of justice and Christian morality.  He opposed chartered monopolies, class legislation, and traffic in spirituous liquors, believing in a prohibitory high license.  He was a warm friend of the common schools, labored earnestly for the extinction of the law of imprisonment for debt, and advocated the doctrine of making all offices elective.  In 1828 he introduced a bill to allow juries before justices of the peace, and one the next year that judges should not charge juries on matters of fact.  In 1812 he obtained the passage of a bill allowing the head of a family to hold twelve sheep exempt from execution for debt.  In 1828 he endeavored to obtain a law taxing all chartered institutions and manufactories and exempting dwellings.  He foresaw the great future of Ohio, although he alone of the public men opposed the canal system, for he deemed it impracticable, and prophesied that in twenty years Ohio would be covered with a network of railroads and canals superseded.

 

An incident will illustrate the wonderful progress since that time.  When the Legislature adjourned in March, 1827, the mud roads were about impassable and streams overflowing their banks.  But Mr. MORRIS determined to overcome all obstacles, and with Col. Robert T. LYTLE embarked in a canoe or “dug-out” with their baggage, and after a passage of some hundred miles down the Scioto from Columbus in this frail craft reached Portsmouth, where they took a steam-boat , reaching home after a perilous journey of four days.  This transit now by rail takes less than four hours.

 

Thomas MORRIS was elected Senator in 1813, 1821, 1825, 1827, and 1831, and while occupying this position for the fifth time was elected United States Senator for the term of six years from March 4, 1833, having as colleagues from Ohio Thomas EWING (four years) and William ALLEN (two years).  On the opening of the United States Senatorial session in December, 1833, Mr. MORRIS became actively identified with the anti-slavery movements against the aggressions of the slave power.

 

To him were addressed the memorials and petitions from all parts of the land, and in spite of the frowns and entreaties of his own party, he would introduce them all, although

 

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on all other subjects he was in full accord with it.  In Thomas MORRIS the apostles of human freedom found their first champion.  The Congress of 1837-38 saw a deep and agitated discussion of this question, and Mr. MORRIS replied to the arguments of John C. CALHOUN, in an able and elaborate speech, which attracted the attention of the whole country by its bold and truthful utterances.

 

February 7, 1839, Henry CLAY made a great speech, to counteract and arrest the public agitation of slavery; and two days after Thomas MORRIS replied to it, in the mightiest and crowning effort of his life, concluding with these prophetic words (golden in the light of subsequent events): “Though our national sins are many and grievous, yet repentance, like that of ancient Nineveh, may yet divert from us that impending danger which seems to hang over our heads as by a single hair.  That all may be safe, I conclude that the negro will yet be free.”

 

This noble speech startled the Senate, produced a marked sensation throughout the country, and electrified the warm hearts of humanity the world over.  John G. WHITTIER, the poet, then a young editor, said: “Thomas MORRIS stands confessed the lion of the day.”

 

Thomas MORRIS was far in advance of his time, and in less than a month after the delivery of his great startling speech he left the Senate and public life, a political exile, his party having refused to re-elect him to the Senate.  Mr. MORRIS soon became identified with the “Liberty Party,” and in 1844 was its candidate for Vice-President.  He died suddenly December 7, 1844, aged sixty-nine years, with his intellectual powers unimpaired by age, his physical system in vigorous activity, and his heart still warm in the cause of freedom.

 

WILLIAMSBURG has 1 Presbyterian and 1 Methodist church.  Chair factory of S. D. MOUNT, 23 hands; C. H. BOULWARE & Bro., chair factory, 20; SNELL & WILLIAMS, planing-mill, 12.  Pork-packing, tobacco preparing, and tanning are carried on here.  Population in 1840, 385; in 1880, 795.

 

Williamsburg, as previously mentioned, was laid out in 1795-96 by Gen. William LYTLE and his brother, and was originally called Lytlestown.  His life was one of much incident.  He was the grandfather of Gen. Robert T. LYTLE, the poet-soldier, killed at the battle of Chickamanga.  The following facts respecting him are from Cist’s Advertiser:

 

Gen. William LYTLE was born in Cumberland, Pa., and in 1779 his family emigrated to Kentucky.  Previous to the settlement of Ohio young LYTLE was in several desperate engagements with the Indians, where his cool, heroic bravery won general admiration.  Before the treaty of Greenville, while making surveys in the Virginia military district in Ohio, he was exposed to incessant dangers, suffered great privations, and was frequently attacked by the Indians.  This business he followed for the greater portion of his life.  In the war of 1812 he was appointed major-general of Ohio militia, and in 1829 surveyor-general of the public lands of Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan.  In 1810 Gen. LYTLE removed from Williamsburg to Cincinnati, where he died in 1831.  As a citizen he was distinguished for public spirit and benevolence, and in his personal appearance and character strikingly resembled President JACKSON.  Beside the facts given under the head of Logan county, we have space for but a single anecdote, exhibiting his Spartan-like conduct at GRANT’S defeat in Indiana.  In that desperate action the Kentuckians, over-powered by nearly four times their number, performed feats of bravery scarcely equalled even in early border warfare.

 

In this struggle LYTLE, then hardly seventeen years of age, had both his arms shattered, his face powder-burnt, his hair singed to the roots, and nineteen bullets passed through his body and clothing.  In this condition, a retreat being ordered, he succeeded in bringing off the field several of his friends, generously aiding the wounded and the exhausted by placing them on horses, while he himself ran forward in advance of the last remnant of the retreating party to stop the only boat on the Ohio at that time which could take them over, and save them from the overwhelming force of their savage adversaries.

 

On reaching the river he found the boat in the act of putting off for the Kentucky shore.  The men were reluctant to obey his demand for a delay until those still in the rear should come up, one of them declaring that “it was better that a few should perish than that all should be sacrificed.”  He threw the rifle, which he still carried on his shoulder, over the root of a fallen tree, and swore he would shoot the first man who pulled an oar until his friends were aboard.  In this way the boat was detained until they came up, and were safely lodged from the pursuing foe.  Disdaining personally to take advantage of this result, the boat being crowded almost to dipping, he ran up the river to where some horses stood panting under the willows after their escape from the battle-field, and mounting one of the strongest, forced him into the river, holding on to the mane by his teeth, until he was taken in the middle of the stream into the boat, bleeding and almost fainting from his wounds, by the order of his gallant captain, the lamented STUCKER, who had observed his conduct with admiration throughout, and was resolved that such a spirit should not perish; for by this time the balls of the enemy were rattling like hail about their ears.

 

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THE LOST CHILD

 

Two sisters living in Williamsburg–Lydia OSBORN, aged eleven years, and Matilda OSBORN, aged seven years–started on the afternoon of July 13, 1804, to drive home the cows, following the paths which led to the “big field,” about a mile from the village, where the cattle were wont to range.  They were guided in their movements by the tinkling of the cow-bells, and perhaps were led off from the main path by this means and lost their way.  The elder girl, Lydia, supposed the cows were going away from home, and left her little sister, Matilda, to make a detour and head them off, but without success.  So she returned to where she had left her sister, but could not find her; after wandering about for a long time and crying out her name she started for home, as she supposed, but took the wrong direction, wandered on, and was lost in the wilderness.  The younger sister followed the sound of the cow-bells and arrived safe at home.

 

THE BOWER OF THE LOST CHILD.

 

The following is from the touching account of the Rev. J. B. FINLEY, who was with the party in the search for her:

 

Night came on, casting its darkened shadows over the forest, but she came not to greet the anxious eyes of her parents; their child was in the woods exposed to the savages and wild beasts.  The neighborhood was aroused with the alarm of “lost child!”  Every heart was touched, and soon in every direction torches were seen flashing their lights into the darkness of the forest.  Bells were rung, horns were blown, and guns were fired, if perchance the sound might reach the ear of the lost one.  The news reached the settlement where we resided, and as many as could leave home turned out to seek for the lost child.  Some signs of her tracks were discovered crossing branches and miry places; all indicating, however, that she was going farther into the wilderness. 

 

On the third day Cornelius WASHBURN, the famous backwoodsman and hunter, arrived with about five hundred others and accompanied by his noted hunting dog.  We were now deep in the wilderness and made preparations for camping out that night.  At day-break we were again ready for our search, but as the collection of people was so numerous we formed into companies taking different directions and meeting at night at a place designated.  Money was collected and sent to the settlements to buy provisions.  Our numbers increased so that on the seventh day there were more than a thousand persons, many from Kentucky.

 

WASHBURN discovered the place where she had slept for several nights.  He also saw where she had plucked and eaten foxgrapes and whortle-berries.

 

The place she had selected was where one tree had fallen across another, which was lying down and afforded a good protection.

 

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To this place the whole crowd hurried.  Nothing could restrain them so eager were they to find the lost child.

 

In all these journeyings the father was present, so absorbed in grief that he could neither eat nor sleep.  Sorrow drank up his spirits, and he refused to be comforted.  When hope was kindled he seemed like one frantic, and flew in every direction, calling most piteously the name of his child, “Lydia!” “Lydia!”

 

The eight morning the company started out abreast, about three rods apart, with a man in the middle and one at each end of the line, whose duty it was to blow horns at intervals to keep the line in order.  The line extended for several miles.

 

On the morning of the fifteenth day we found on the north fork of the Whiteoak her footprints in the sand where she had crossed that stream.  These footprints greatly revived our hopes, as they appeared fresh.  Sending back a man to notify the main body we proceeded up the creek until we came to a large blackberry patch.  Near this patch we found a neat little house built of sticks over which were placed, in regular layers, pieces of moss.  In the centre was a little door, and in the interior was a bed made of leaves, covered with moss and decorated with wild flowers.  All could see at once that it was the work of a child, and as we gazed upon it the tears stole freely down our cheeks. 

Here away in the wilderness, far from human habitation, had this child constructed this miniature house, and thus recalled the scenes of home, sister, mother and father. 

 

The child must have been here several days, for from her little house to the black-berry patch she had beaten quite a path.  Discovering no fresh signs of her presence we determined to return to the main creek and wait the coming of the company, and prevent, if possible, the eager crowd from rushing on and destroying the signs.  More than a thousand men camped along the creek that night.

 

Fearing the consequences of disclosing our discovery that night we kept it secret until morning, when, forming the company into military order, we marched them out into the opening flanking out right and left.  They surrounded the entire space, forming a hollow square.  At the sight of the little bower a scene occurred which it would be impossible to describe.  Here were brave stalwart men, who had been subjected to the perils of the wilderness, contending for every inch with savages and wild beasts, whose hearts were never known to quail with fear, who at the sight of that little bower were melted to tears.  But when the father came up to the little dwelling his own dear child had built, and exclaimed, “Oh!  Lydia, Lydia, my dear child, are you yet alive?”  A thousand hearts broke forth in uncontrollable grief.

 

The result of investigation showed that the tracks were several days old.  Horse tracks were also found, and the conclusion was that she had been carried away by the Indians.

 

Two miles from “Lydia’s camp,” for so it is called to this day, they found her bonnet, and farther on an Indian camp several days old.  Further pursuit being considered useless the company disbanded and returned to their homes.

 

The father never gave up the search, but penetrated the wildest solitudes and sought her among the Indians till the day of his death.  The lost was never found.

 

The spot of Lydia’s bower is pointed out to this day in Perry township, Brown county; a citizen of that township, Mr. L. W. CLAYPOOL, in speaking of this occurrence, has given some additional items:

 

Cornelius WASHBURN engaged in it with the keep perceptive intelligence which only a noted hunter possesses, and that it was wonderful to see him calm and thoughtful walking slowly along noting a leaf upturned, pea vine, brush or anything disturbed, while others could see nothing except at a time when he would point out to them tracks of the child on the sand bars, beds of leaves or the like.  Some of the searchers made so much noise, hollowing, blowing horns, etc., that WASHBURN begged of them to desist, and he would find the child, insisting that after she had been lost so long that she would hide from man as quick as she would from a wild animal.  They would not heed him but dashed ahead.  Mr. CLAYPOOL continued : I was once lost when eight or nine years of age with Jake ASHTON, a year younger, and can fully realize WASHBURN’S assertion of fright.  We went out early in the morning to hunt the cows; soon the path gave out and we were lost in the flat beech swamps between Glady and Glassy Runs.  We wandered about until night, coming out at a new road recently underbrushed just at the time that an infair party of about a dozen couple on horseback were passing.  Although knowing most of them we hid until they passed.

 

NEW RICHMOND, founded about 1816, is the largest and most important business village in the county.  It is on the Ohio, twenty miles above Cincinnati, with which it is also connected by railroad, and three miles below the birthplace of Gen. GRANT.  It has newspapers: Clermont Independent, B. L. WINANS, editor; The News, A. TOWNSLEY, editor.  Churches: 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 Colored Metho-

 

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dist, 1 Colored Baptist, 1 Baptist, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Christian, 1 Catholic, and 1 Lutheran.  Bank: First National, Franklin FRIEDMAN, president, D. E. FEE, cashier.

 

Manufactures.–J. & H. CLASGENS, woollen yarns, 97 hands; FRIEDMAN, ROBERTS & Co., planing-mill, 20.  Tables and carriages are also made here.  Population in 1880, 2,545.  School census in 1886, 675; George W. FETTER, superintendent.

 

The Philanthropist.–In 1834 James G. BIRNEY began the publication of his noted anti-slavery publication, The Philanthropist, in New Richmond, under the assurance of the DONALDSON brothers and other well-known anti-slavery men that he should be protected from mob violence.  A native of Kentucky, he could not even attempt the issue of his paper there, much as he wished.  In 1836 he removed his paper to Cincinnati, where, on the night of July 30, a mob having the countenance of the leading citizens broke into the printing-office, and destroyed the press and scattered the type.  While at New Richmond lawless men threatened to sack the office; but, at a signal of danger, the people of the village at a public meeting resolved to stand by Mr. BIRNEY at the peril of their lives.  In 1844 Mr. BIRNEY was the “Liberty Party’s” candidate for President, with Thomas MORRIS for Vice-President.  They received 62,163 votes.

 

THE UNDERGROUND RAILWAY.

 

Anti-Slavery Settlers.–Clermont county, and indeed the Ohio river border, was largely settled by men from Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky to escape the baleful institution of slavery.  These men became the strongest of anti-slavery men, and the position of Clermont was pre-eminent in the great struggle that ended in the emancipation.  Judge BURNET, in his “Notes,” in his account of the delegates who framed the first Constitution, says “that GATCH and SARGENT from Clermont were among the honored men who successfully labored in the construction of the State Constitution and the early legislation of Ohio; that they were elected because they were anti-slavery men, and they were Virginians, and both practical emancipators.”  Obed DENHAM, a Virginian, the founder of Bethel, in his conveyance, wrote as follows: “I also gave two lots in said town for the use of the regular Baptist church–who do not hold slaves, nor commune at the Lord’s table with those who do practise such tyranny over their fellow-creatures.”

 

Fleeing Slaves.–The position of Clermont on the border made it the first place of refuge for fleeing slaves.  Byron Williams in the history of the county gives these facts: “Nothing was done to entice slaves from Kentucky; only as they came were they sped on their way.  True men never refused bread to the beseeching negro fleeing from chains and with his face toward the North Star.”

 

The owners pursuing the negroes were informed who were most likely to have assisted the fugitives, and, returning in baffled rage, heaped curses loud and deep on names of persons and localities in hearing of slaves, who reverently preserved the stealthy knowledge for their own time of need.

 

The late Robert E. FEE, of Moscow, was, it is true, charged with abducting slaves, and at one time was under requisition for the same.

 

Robert FEE and the Kidnappers.–About the year 1840 a family of blacks, living for years in the south part of the county, were, except the father, kidnapped at night and carried into Kentucky, under the plea that the mother was a runaway slave, and her children, though born out of bondage, must share her lot.  Robert FEE devoted himself to their rescue by legal means.  He followed them into a distant State into which they had been sold, and narrowly escaped death.  The mob, raging for his blood, actually passed through the room adjoining his hiding-place.  The affair produced much excitement, and caused many hitherto neutral people to join the opposition to slavery.  The family was hopelessly lost and separated, but FEE repaid his wrongs many-fold.

 

A light was said to have burned in his house all night to guide travellers across

 

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the river.  His doors were barred, and his family, girls and all, slept with loaded firearms in ready reach.  His house was surrounded again and again by violent slave-hunters.  The romance of the border of that day was thrilling in the extreme, though its actors were but plain farmers and timid shadow-fearing fugitives.

 

There was no preconcerted action on the part of the men so engaged, yet there was a kind of system.  When runaways got across the river, the FEES and others, according to circumstances, either hurried them on or secreted them until the hunt went by.  They were then guided northward, generally through Tate township, where they were cared for by the RILEYS, Benjamin RICE, Richard MACE, Isaac H. BROWN, and others.  The route from thence led by various ways to the Quaker settlements of Clinton county.  The work was generally done in the night, to avoid trouble with some who for the sake of rewards were often on the watch.  Few were ever captured, and many hundreds must have escaped. 

 

A Fourierite Association was formed in the county in 1844.  The Phalanx bought three tracts of land on the Ohio, in Franklin township, and put up some buildings.  At the end of two years, seeing that communism did not better their lot in life and the association getting in debt, they closed up its affairs. 

 

A Spiritualistic Community bought their buildings.  At its head was John A.

 

BIRTHPLACE OF GEN. U. S. GRANT, POINT PLEASANT

 

WATTLES, with a following of nearly 100 persons.  It was based on principles of business and religion, and involving a system of communism.  In the great flood of 1847 their main building fell and seventeen lives lost, which ruined the enterprise.

 

UTOPIA.–The little village of Utopia was established at this era by Henry JERNAGAN, one of the Fourierites, and on Utopian principles.  Many of the old members of the Phalanx moved thither, and carried on various avocations.  For a time Utopia was a happy, beautiful place; the people had few wants, and these were supplied at home.  They eventually became restless, and some of the better class moving away and others moving in harmony with its trustees, its Utopian features dissolved.

 

POINT PLEASANT, a little village or hamlet on the Ohio, about twenty-five miles above Cincinnati, will ever be memorable as the birthplace of Gen. U. S. GRANT.  This event took place April 27, 1822.  The next year the family removed to Georgetown, Brown county, which became his boyhood home.  His father the year before had married Miss Hannah SIMPSON, of Tate township.  At the time of his birth Jesse R. GRANT was employed in the tannery of Thomas PAGE.  The house in which the young and poor couple resided belonged to Lee THOMPSON.  It

 

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remains as well preserved as originally built; a lean-to kitchen has since been added.  It is a one-story frame, 16 x 19 feet, with a steep roof, the pitch being five feet, and on the right or north end is a huge chimney, affording a spacious fire-place.  The window-panes are very small, and it was quite a humble domicile, having but two rooms: that on the right being the living-room, and that on the left the bedroom in which the general first saw the light.

 

CHRONOLOGY OF GEN. GRANT’S LIFE.

 

1822.  April 27, Born at Point Pleasant, Ohio.

1839.  July 1.  Entered West Point Military Academy.

1843.  Graduated from West Point.

1845.  Commissioned as second lieutenant, and served in the Mexican war, under Gens. TAYLOR and SCOTT.

1848.  Married Miss Julia DENT, of St. Louis, Mo., while stationed at Sackett’s Harbor, N. Y.

1852.  Ordered to Oregon.

1853.  Commissioned as captain in August.

1854.  Resigned from the army in July.

1854-59.  Lived in St. Louis.

1859.  Removed to Galena, Ill., engaged in the tanning business with his father and brothers.

1861.  Commissioned as colonel.  Made brigadier-general in July, in command at Cairo; saved Kentucky to the Union.  In November fought the battle of Belmont.

1862.  Conducted a reconnaissance to the rear of Columbus in January; Fort Henry surrendered, February 6, and Fort Donelson, February 16.  Made commander of West Tennessee; his army fought the successful battle of Shiloh, April 6 and 7.  Second to Gen. HALLECK at the siege of Corinth, he was given charge of the Department of Tennessee on the latter’s call to the East.

1863.  July 4.  Forced the surrender of Vicksburg with 30,000 Confederates, after a siege beginning the previous October.  In November defeated Gen. BRAGG at Chattanooga, the fighting extending over four days, beginning November 23.

1864.  Commissioned lieutenant-general by President Lincoln, March 3, and called to Washington.  Assumed command of the armies of United States, March 8.  Forced a passage across the James river between June 12 and 15, after the severe battles of the Wilderness, and laid siege to Richmond and Petersburg.

1865.  April 2.  The Confederate lines broken.  Lee abandoned Richmond.  The flying Confederates overtaken at Appomattox Court-House, April 9, Lee surrendered his entire army as prisoners of war, which was followed by the surrender of all the remaining forces of the Confederacy, and the close of the civil war.

1866.  July 25.  Congress created the grade of general, and he received the commission the same day.

1867.  Served as Secretary of War from August to February, 1868.

1868.  Elected President, receiving 214 of 294 electoral votes.

1872.  Re-elected President by 268 electoral votes to 80.

1877.  Started upon a tour around the world, which ended in the spring of 1880.

1880.  Was a candidate for a third Presidential term, but was defeated for the nomination by Gen. James A. GARFIELD.

1881.  Took up his residence in New York city.

1882.  Became a member of the firm of GRANT & WARD, whose disastrous failure, involving some $14,000,000 occurred in May, 1884.

1884.  In June physicians were summoned to prescribe for an affection of the mouth, which was pronounced a cancer.

1885.  March 3.  The House passed the bill putting Gen. GRANT on the retired list.  June 16, he was removed from New York to Mount MacGregor, Saratoga county, where he died Thursday, July 23.

 

LOVELAND is on the Little Miami river, twenty-three miles from Cincinnati, on the line of the P. C. & St. L., the C. W. & B., and C. & C. M. railroads.  It contains 1 Methodist, 1 Colored Methodist, 1 Presbyterian, and 1 Catholic church.  Planing-mill, A. B. BROCK, 10 hands; lumber- and coal-yards, carriage-factory, machine-shop, agricultural depot, etc.  Newspaper: Loveland Enterprise, Con. W. GATCH, editor and proprietor.  Population in 1880, 595.  Sixty trains pass daily through it, and it is fast building up.

 

FELICITY is on an elevated plateau, in a rich, densely populated agricultural country, and is a good business centre, five miles from the Ohio.  Furniture and chair-making is the chief industry.  It has 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 Wesleyan Methodist, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Church of Christ, 1 Colored Methodist, and 1 Colored Baptist church, and in 1880 a population of 1,047.

 

The following are the names of other villages in the county, with their populations in 1880: MOSCOW, 516; NEVILLE, 445; BOSTON, 307.

 

Clermont has produced quite a number of authors.  Mary E. FEE was a poetess, born in the county, who wrote for the public prints over the signature of “Eulalie.”  Her poems were published in one volume of 194 pages, in Cincinnati, in 1854.  She at that time married John SHANNON, and with her devoted husband sought a home in California, where as “Eualalie” she lectured and recited her poems, drawing the largest and best-paying houses the Golden State ever accorded to any person.  She did not live long to enjoy her brilliant triumphs, and after her lamented hus-

 

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Abbie C. McKeever.band fell in a duel.  Another lady, Mrs. Dr. George CONNER, of Cincinnati, formerly Miss Eliza ARCHARD, and the well-known “E. A.,” of the Cincinnati Commercial, is also a native.

 

George M. D. BLOSS, editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer, resided at Branch Hill, on the line of the L. M. R. R.; he was run over by the cars and killed there in 1876.  He was regarded as one of the most able of political writers; but his handwriting, worse than Horace GREELEY’S, was so illegible that only one compositor in the office could decipher it, and he was retained for that purpose.  His memory for election statistics was as extraordinary as his chirography was detestable.  His “Historic and Literary Miscellany,” a book of 460 pages, was highly popular.  Milton JAMEISON, of Batavia, who was lieutenant of Ohio volunteers in the Mexican war, wrote a work valuable as descriptive of army life there, and especially vivid in its descriptions of Mexican agricultural life and the shiftless character of the Mexican people.

 

Abbie C. MCKEEVER, the acknowledged successor of Phoebe CARY, was born near Withamsville in 1852, and is still living there.  She has written largely for the serials.  Two of her poems which have been much admired are annexed:

 

 

DRIFT AWAY

 

Drift away, oh clouds of amber.
     Crimson-lined in billowy mass;
Drift away in silent footsteps:
     I shall watch you as you pass.
I shall watch you–yes, and love you–
     For the beauty that you gave:
Beauty dying in the twilight,
     Like the lilies on his grave.

 

Drift away to unknown heavens,
     Crimson clouds along the west;
But remember that you are bearing
     In your downy amber breast.

Hopes that whisper softly to him
     Of a love that never dies–
Love that tires of waiting lonely
     Ere the call to other skies.

 

Drift-away, oh, clouds of sunset,
     Purple with the later light;
See!  The stars are all about you–
     Diamond eyes of early night.

Drift away; but while you are passing
     Bear this message up to him.
That the earthly skies that fold me
     Soon shall part and let me in.

 

ONLY.

 

Only a golden token,
    Tied with ribbon blue;
Only a promise broken,
Darling, by you.

  

Only a life made dark
   All the weary way;
Only an aching heart
Throbbing to-day.

 

Only a happy dream
     In the early light;
Only a bitter stream
     Flowing by night.

 

Only a touching prayer
     For the strength that lies
Far from the world and care,
     Far beyond the skies.

 

 

NOTE: Tombstone photos are available because of the marvelous volunteer spirit of the Clermont County Genealogical Society. Please note that it very possible that I linked to the incorrect image since I am relying pretty much on matching names and dates, and gut feeling.  If you find that I am incorrect please do let me know.

  

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