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CLINTON COUNTY

 

 

 

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CLINTON COUNTY was organized in 1810, and named after George Clinton, Vice-President of the United States, who was of Irish ancestry, born in Ulster county, New York, in 1739, and died in Washington D.C., in 1812.  He projected the canal system of New York in 1791, his ideas being carried to their legitimate ends by his nephew, Governor DeWitt Clinton.

 

George Clinton, in 1758, returned from a privateering cruise, and as a lieutenant took part in the expedition against Fort Frontenac.  After disbandment of the colonial forces he studied law and entered into polities, being elected to the New York Assembly in 1768.  He was elected a delegate to the second Continental Congress in 1775.  He was prevented from signing the Declaration of Independence with the New York delegation by an imperative call from Washington to take post in the Highlands as a militia general.  In 1777 he was made a brigadier-general in the Continental army and in October of that same year made a brilliant but unsuccessful defence with Montgomery of the Highland forts against the British.  He was chosen first governor of the State of New York, April, 1777, and was successively elected until 1795.  He thwarted an expedition led in 1780 by Sir John Johnson, Brant and Cornplanter against the settlers of the Mohawk valley, saving them from massacre.  At the time of Shay’s rebellion he marched in person at the head of the militia against the insurgents, and greatly aided in quelling that outbreak.  In 1788 he presided at the State convention to ratify the Federal Constitution, the adoption of which he opposed on the grounds that it delegated too much power to the Federal congress and executive.  At the first presidential election he received three electoral votes for the vice-presidency.  In 1792 when Washington was re-elected, he received fifty votes for the same, and at the sixth presidential election, 1809-13, he received six ballots from New York for the presidency.  In 1800 he was chosen to the legislature, and in 1801 was again governor.  In 1804 he was elected Vice-President of the United States, which office he filled until his death.

 

He took great interest in education and in his message at the opening session of the legislature in 1795 he initiated the movement for the organization of the common school system.

 

In his private life he was affectionate and winning, though dignified.  He was bold and courageous as a military man, and in public life he wielded vast influence owing to his sound judgment, marvellous energy, and great moral force of character.

 

The surface of this county is generally level, on the vast undulating; it has some prairie land.  The soil is fertile, and is well adapted to corn and grass.  Its area is 400 square miles.  In 1885 the acres cultivated were 115,154; in pasture, 52,313; woodland, 34,954; lying waste, 2,351; produced in wheat, 160,389 bushels; corn, 2,419,796.  School census 1886, 7,717; teachers, 189.  It has 97 miles of railroad.

 

Townships

And Census

1840

1880

 

Townships

And Census

1840

1880

Adams,

 

   921

 

Richland,

1,385

2,338

Chester,

1,784

1,443

 

Union,

3,284

5,051

Clark,

1,297

2,006

 

Vernon,

1,434

1,552

Greene,

1,842

2,758

 

Washington,

1,170

1,294

Jefferson,

   474

1,448

 

Wayne,

1,366

1,448

Liberty,

1,050

1,382

 

Wilson,

 

1,159

Marion,

   643

1,956

 

 

 

 

 

The population in 1820 was 8,085; in 1840, 15,729; in 1860, 20,638; in 1880, 23,293, of whom 21,061 were Ohio—born.

 

This county was settled about the year 1803, principally by emigrants from Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.  The first settlement, however, was

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made in 1797 by William SMALLY.  Most of the first emigrants were backwoods-men, and well fitted to endure the privations incident upon settling a new country.  They lived principally upon game, and gave little attention to agricultural pursuits.  As the country grew older game became scarce, emigrants flocked from

 

 

Drawn by Henry Howe in 1846.

CENTRAL VIEW IN WILMINTON.

 

different parts of the Union, and the primitive manner of living gave place to that more conformable to the customs of older States.

 

The following are the names of some of the most noted of the early settlers:  Thomas HINKSON, Aaron BURR, and Jesse HUGHES, the first associate judges; Nathan LINTON, the first land surveyor; Abraham ELLIS and Thomas HARDIN, who had

 

SLACK & BERRY, PHOTO, WILMINGTON, 1886.

CENTRAL VEW IN WILMINGTON.

 

 been soldiers of the Revolution; Joseph DOAN, James MILLS, and Henry BABB, who served as commissioners; Morgan MENDICAN, who erected the first mill in the county, on Todd’s fork; and Capt. James SPENCER, who was distinguished in various conflicts with the Indians.

 

The first house for divine worship was erected by Friends, at Centre, in 1806

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The first court was held in a barn belonging to Judge HUGHES, and for a number of years subsequent in a small house belonging to John M’GREGOR.

 

There are some of the ancient works so common throughout the West on Todd’s fork, near Springfield meeting-house.  The “Deserted Camp,” situated about three miles northeast of Wilmington, is a point of notoriety with the surveyors of land.  It was so called from the circumstance that a body of Kentuckians, on their way to attack the Indian towns on the Little Miami, encamping over night lost one of their number, who deserted to the enemy, and giving warning of their approach, frustrated the object of the expedition.

 

Wilmington the county-seat, is in the township of Union, on Todd’s fork, seventy-two miles southwest from Columbus.  It is regularly laid out on undulating ground, and contains five houses for divine worship, one newspaper printing-office, one high-school, nineteen mercantile stores, and a population estimated at 1,500.  The engraving represents of the principle streets of the village, as it appears from the store of Joseph HALE; the building with the spire is the court-house, a structure of considerable elegance.  Old Edition.

 

County officers 1888: Auditor, Asa JENKINS;  Clerk of Court,  Court, Frank D. DAKIN; Coroner, John C. OUTCART; Prosecuting Attorney, William W. SAVAGE;  Probate Judge, Ambrose N. WILLIAMS; Recorder, Egbert B. HOWLAND, Sheriff, Samuel A. HOLLIDAY; Surveyor, James A. BROWN; Treasurer, L. W. CRANE; Commissioners, Daniel M. COLLETT, Jonas WATKINS, Edward CLINE.

 

WILMINGTON, about fifty miles northeast of Cincinnati, on the C. & M. V. and C & C. Midland railroads.  Newspapers: Clinton Republican, Republican, C. N. Browning & Co., editors and publishers; Journal, Republican, W. G. & C. R. Fishers, editors, and publishers; Clinton County Democrat, Democratic, J. S. HUMMELL, editor and publisher.  Banks: Clinton County National, F. M. MOORE, president, Madison BETTS, cashier; First National, C. M. BOSWORTH, president, C. C. NICHOLS, cashier.  Churches: 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 Colored Methodist Episcopal, 1 Presbyterian, 2 Friends, 2 Free-Will Baptist (1 Colored), 1 Christian, and 1 Catholic.

 

Industries and Employees.—Fulton & Peters, flour and grain shippers, 16 hands; The Champion Bridge Company, iron bridges, repair-work, etc., 25; Fisher & Hughes, general wood-work; Hawkins & Spray, lumber; William Schofield, woolen yarns; Shepard & Ludlum, builders’ woodwork; Williams, Cusick & Co., flour, etc.  State Report 1886.  Also, Clinton Furnace Company and Auger-Bit Works.  Population in 1880, 2,745.  School census in 1886, 740; Edward MERICK, superintendent.

 

Wilmington College was founded in 1870.  It is under the management of the Society of Friends, James.  B. UNTHANK, president.

 

Wilmington was laid out in 1810, principally settled by emigrants from North Carolina, and named from Wilmington in that State.  The first log-house was built by William HOBSIN, and Warren SABIN’S was the first tavern.  The first church, a small brick edifice, was erected by the Baptist.  In 1812 the first court was held.  The earliest settlers were Warren SABIN, Samuel T. LONDEN, William HOBSIN, Larkin REYNOLDS, John SWANE, James MONTGOMERY, John McGREGOR, Sr., and Isaiah MORRIS.  This last named gentleman, a native of Pennsylvania descended the Ohio river with his uncle in a flat-bottomed boat in the Spring of 1803, and landed first at Columbia, where his uncle opened a store from a small stock of goods he had brought.  After remaining at that place about three months he removed his goods to Lebanon, and not long after died, leaving his nephew, then a lad of seventeen years of age, without any means of support.  He however made friends, and eventually moved to Wilmington, where, on the 8th of July, 1811, he opened the first store in the town in company with William FERGUSON.  He was obliged in moving from Lebanon to make his way through the forest, cutting a wagon-road part of the distance; the town having  been laid out in the woods, it was with great difficulty that he could get through to the little one-story frame

 

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house, erected in the midst of trees, logs, and brush, on which he then settled and has since resided.  Mr. MORRIS was the first postmaster in the town, the first representative to the Legislature, and has since held various public offices.  Old Edition.

 

Mr.  William SPENCER, who supplied this historical items relating to the original edition, also included the following sketches of two of these noted characters among the first settlers:

 

WILLIAM SMALLY was born in Western Pennsylvania, in 1764.  At the age of six years he was stolen by the Indians, carried into the interior of Ohio, and remained with them until twenty years of age.  While with them he witnessed the burning of several white prisoners.  On one occasion he saw an infant snatched from its mother’s arms and thrown into the flames.  In 1784 he left the Indians, rejoined his parents near Pittsburg, and a few years after moved with them to the vicinity of Cincinnati.  He was in Harmar’s campaign, and at St. Clair’s defeat, in the last of which he discharged his rifle thirty-five times, twenty-one of which, it is said, took effect.

 

He likewise accompanied Wayne’s army.  On one occasion sent forward with others, on some mission to the Indians, they were fired upon on their approach to the camp, and his two companions killed.  He evaded the danger by springing behind a tress, and calling to one of the chiefs, whom he knew, telling him that he had deserted the whites and had come to join him.  This not only saved his life, but caused him to be treated with great kindness.  He, however, took an early opportunity, escaped to the army, and the battle of the Fallen Timbers showed his usual cool courage.

 

In 1797 he settled on Todd’s fork in this county, and resided there for a number of years, depending principally upon hunting for subsistence.  His personal appearance was good, but his address resembled that of a savage.  A little anecdote illustrates his determined character.  He purchased land on which he resided from a lawyer of Cincinnati, who refused to make him a deed.  SMALLY armed himself, called upon him and demanded a bond for his land, with the threat that if not furnished in three days he would take his scalp.  This positive language soon brought the lawyer to a sense of his dangerous situation, and before the expiration of the time he gave SMALLY the desired paper.  Mr. SMALLY passed the later part of his life in poverty.  In 1836 he emigrated to Illinois, where he died in 1840.

 

Col. Thomas HINKSON was born in 1772, in Westmoreland county, Pa.  His father had emigrated from Ireland in early life, had become an excellent woodsman, and visited Kentucky at a very period.  He established a station near the junction of Hinkson and Stoner, which form the south fork of Licking river.  Here the subject of this notice was raised until the age of eighteen years, when in the autumn of 1790, as a volunteer in the Kentucky militia, he accompanied the expedition of Gen. Harmar.  He was in the battle near the Miami villages under Col. Hardin’s command in front of the town, and witnessed the total overthrow and massacre of the detachment of Major Wyllis.  In this battle he received a slight wound in the left arm, and narrowly escaped with his life.  He was afterwards in the disastrous defeat of Gen. St. Clair, but amidst the general slaughter escaped unhurt.  Hitherto he had served as a private, but was subsequently selected as a lieutenant in the mounted volunteers from Kentucky, who formed a part of the forces of Gen. Wayne against the same Indians in 1974.

 

He was in the battle near the Rapids of the Maumee, but never pretended that he had done anything worthy of distinction on that memorable day.  During these several campaigns, however, he had formed the acquaintance of most of the leading men of Kentucky, and others of the Northwest Territory, which was highly advantageous to him in after life.  Shortly after Wayne’s battle he returned to Kentucky, married and settled on a farm inherited from his father, situated in Harrison county, where he lived until the spring of 1806, when he emigrated to Ohio, and in 1807 settled on a farm about eight miles east of Wilmington , but then in the county of Highland.  He was soon afterwards elected a justice of the peace for the latter county, and captain of the militia company to which he belonged, in which several capacities he served until the erection of

 

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Clinton county, in 1810, when, without his knowledge, he was elected by the legislature one of the associate judges for the new county.  He made no pretensions to legal knowledge, nor the writer claim anything for him in this respect further than good common sense, which generally prevents a man from making a very foolish decision.

 

After this appointment be remained quietly at home in the occupations common to farmers until the declaration of war in 1812, nor did he manifest any disposition for actual service until after Hull’s surrender.  That event cast a gloom over the west.  All of Michigan, Northern Ohio, Indiana and Illinois were exposed to savage depredations.  Some troops had been hastily assembled at Urbana and other points to repel invasion.  Captain HINKSON was then in the prime of life, possessing a robust and manly frame seldom equalled, even among pioneers.  He was a man of few words, and they to the purpose intended.  He briefly, explained to his family that he believed the time had come to serve his country.  He immediately set out for headquarters, and tendered his service to Gov. Meigs, at Urbana.  The President having previously made a requisition on the governor of Ohio for two companies of rangers to scour the country between the settlements and the enemy, Capt. HINKSON was appointed to command one of those companies, with liberty to choose his own followers.  This was soon done, and a company presented to the governor ready for duty.  By this time the Indians had actual possession of the exposed territory, and it was the duty of these companies to hold them in check and keep the army advised of their numbers and position.  In performing this duty many incidents might be related in the life of Capt. HINKSON, but one or two must suffice.

 

Having at one time ventured to the Miami of the Lake to ascertain the condition of the enemy, they found them encamped near the foot of the rapids of that river with a select company of rangers, commanded by Capt. Clark from Canada, numbering in all from three to five hundred, and under the command of the celebrated TECUMSEH.  The ground on the hill was for miles covered with a thick undergrowth, which enabled Capt. HINKSON and company to approach nearly within gun-shot of the enemy without being seen.  It was late in the afternoon, and while waiting for the approach of night, to enable them to withdraw more successfully, the company was secretly drawn up near the brink of the hill, and directed in whispers to merely take aim at the enemy.  This was rather a hazardous display of humor, but as many of his men had never been in battle Capt. HINKSON told the writer it was merely to try their nerves.

 

While engaged in this sport they discovered Capt. Clark in the adjacent cornfield below in hot pursuit of a flock of wild turkeys, which were running toward the place of concealment.  Here was a crisis.  He must be slain in cold blood or made a prisoner.  The later alternative was adopted.  The company was disposed so as to flank the captain and his turkeys.  They were alarmed and flew into the tree tops, and while the captain was gazing up for his prey, Capt. HINKSON approached and politely requested him to ground arms upon pain of instant death, in case he gave the least alarm.  He at first indicated signs of resistance, but soon found “discretion the better part of valor,” and surrendered himself a prisoner of war.  Being at lest one hundred miles from the army, in sight of such a force, Capt. HINKSON and company were in a very delicate condition.  No time was to be lost.  A retreat was commenced in the most secret manner, in a southerly direction at right angles from the river.  By traveling all night they eluded pursuit and brought there prize safely to camp.

 

Shortly afterwards Gen. Tupper’s brigade arrived near the rapids and encamped for the night, during which Capt. HINKSON and company acted as Piquet guard, and in the morning a few  selected to accompany him on a secret reconnaissance down the river.  Unluckily they were met at the summit of a hill by a detachment of the same kind from the enemy.  Shots were exchanged, and the alarm fairly given to both parties.  This brought on the skirmish which ensued between that brigade and the Indians.  While fighting in the Indian mode, near Wm. VERNARD, Esq. (one of Capt. HINKSON’S men, who had been severely wounded), Capt. HINKSON saw a dusky figure suddenly rise from the grass.  He had a rifle never before known to miss fire.  They both presented their pieces, which simultaneously snapped without effect.  In preparing for a second trial it is sup-

 

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posed the Indian was a little ahead of the captain, when a shot from Daniel WORKMAN (another ranger) sent the Indian to his long home.

 

After this skirmish the Indians withdrew to Frenchtown, and block-houses were hastily thrown up near the spot where Fort Meigs was afterwards erected, and where the Ohio troops were encamped when the fatal disaster befell Gen. Winchester at Raisin, Jan 22, 1813.  The news was carried by express, and the main body retreated, leaving Capt. HINKSON and company to perform the sorrowful duty of picking up some poor stragglers from that bloody defeat, and burning the block-houses and provisions within twenty-four hours, which was done before it was known that the enemy had retired to Maiden.  The Ohio brigade, and others from Pennsylvania and Virginia, soon rallied again and formed a junction at the rapids, when they commenced building the fort, so renowned for withstanding two sieges in the spring and summer of 1813.  During its erection Capt. HICKSON was attacked with a peculiar fever, then raging in the army, from which be did not recover fit for duty until late in the spring.  With a shattered constitution he returned to his home, and was immediately elected colonel of the Third regiment of the Second brigade and First division Ohio militia, which was then a post of honor, requiring much patience and discretion in a region rather backward in supporting the war.

 

The reader will, in this is narrative, see nothing beyond a simple memorial of facts, which is all that the unassuming character requires.  He was a plain, gentlemanly individual, of a very mild and even temper; a good husband and kind father, but rather indifferent to his own interest in money matters, by which be became seriously involved, lost his property and removed to Indiana in 1821, where be died in 1824, aged fifty-two years.

 

THE WOMEN’S TEMPERANCE CRUSADE.

 

In the winter of 1873—74 arose in Southern Ohio that strange phenomenon in the temperance cause known as the “Women’s Crusade.”

 

It began in Hillsboro on the last of December, and in the course of a few months extended into adjoining States.  In the large cities it was not anywhere successful, but in the small villages the results were often surprising, the Crusaders in some cases closing every saloon and for the time entirely suppressing the liquor traffic.  The manner of conducting their operations was in this form: the women daily assembled and marched in solemn procession two by two, sometimes to the number of 50 or 100.  On coming to a saloon they halted in front and sent in word for permission to enter and hold religious exercises within.  If this was denied they held them outside.  They opened with singing two or three hymns, and then all kneeled on the pavement regardless of the condition of the weather and the streets; sometimes kneeling in the mud or snow.  In every case the ladies plead with the saloon keeper, to induce him to sign the pledge; in this way every saloon was visited.  In the larger places the ladies organized in this way separate bands so as to simultaneously visit different saloons.

 

The excitement soon died away, and at the end of a few months the crusade had passed into history.  While it was in progress the public prints were filled with anecdotes of the experiences of the Crusaders with the saloon keepers.  Those of the New Vienna ladies in this county were peculiarly interesting with John Calvin VAN PELT, reputed to be the wickedest man in Ohio.  He kept a saloon near the depot, known as the “Dead Fall.” he was a tall, solidly-built man, with a red nose and the head of a prize fighter, and noted for his bull-dog pluck.

 

The ladies assembled and proceeded to VAN PELT’S, “Dead Fall,” when he threatened to hang, draw and quarter them if they came to his saloon again, and the next day he decorated one of the windows of his saloon with flasks of whiskey.  Across the other was an axe, covered with blood over the door empty flasks were suspended, and near them a large jug branded “Brady’s Family Bitters.”  Over all waved a black flag, while within VAN PELT was seen brandishing a club, threatening and defying the temperance band to enter at the risk of their lives.  This had no effect, however, as about fifty ladies entered and, kneeling, one of them began praying, when he seized a bucket of dirty water and threw the contents

 

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against the ceiling, from which it came pouring down upon the kneeling supplicants; at the same time he burled the vilest invectives at them, but they heroically stood to their posts until thoroughly drenched with dirty slops and beer, when they retreated to the outside.  Without were about two hundred men, husbands, fathers and brothers of the ladies, and it was only through the earnest entreaties of the women that they were prevented from mobbing VAN PELT.  He was, however, arrested and languished in jail several days before getting bail.  In the meanwhile his brother officiated at the saloon, permitting the ladies to enter and carry on their devotional exercises.

 

THE CRUSADING WOMEN OF NEW VIENNA.

 

Upon VAN PELT’S release, he became more bitter and determined, he boldly attended the meetings of the ladies at the Friends’ Meeting house, and publicly argued the question with them, and being a man of quick wit proved a formidable disputant.

 

But at length he gave evidence of weakening by offering to sell out for five hundred dollars and eventually dropping to ninety-five dollars (the amount of his legal expenses), and agreeing to quit town on the payment of this sum.

 

Many were in favor of accepting this proposition, particularly the ladies, one of whom said that she had forgiven the insults heaped upon her, although refusing to acknowledge any indebtedness, was willing to make him a present of the amount as an evidence of kindly feeling.  But the men, more indignant, refused to compromise with VAN PELT on any basis, and held that “he might be thankful he got off with his life.”

 

A few days later he proved indisputably his title of the ‘‘Wickedest Man in Ohio.”  When the ladies called at his saloon he told them they might come in and pray if he were allowed to make every other prayer, which condition was accepted, and after the opening prayer by them he commenced a long and blasphemous harangue in the form of a prayer.  He classed women as brutes and asked the Lord to be merciful to them and teach them wisdom and understanding;   Women, he said, first caused sin and were in great need of prayer.  The Lord operated the first distillery, or at least made the first wine, and he was following the Lord’s example, etc.

 

Before the services ended three prayers of this description had been made.  The women were amazed at such depravity, and disheartened at any prospect

 

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of his reformation; but a week later he surrendered, took up the cause he had fought so desperately, and became one of its most ardent disciples.

 

About noon of the day of the surrender it got noised about that it was about to take place; bells were rung, boys rushed through the streets with handbills, crying “Everybody meet at VAN PELT’S place at two o’clock and hear his decision.”  People rushed from all parts of the town, places of business were closed, and at two o’clock an immense multitude had gathered.  After singing and prayer by the ladies, VAN PELT appeared and made a complete surrender of stock and fixtures.  He said he yielded not to law or force, but to the labor of love of the women.  One barrel of whiskey, another of cider and a keg of beer were then rolled out, and seizing an axe he said, “This is the same weapon with which I used to terrify the ladies; I now use it to sacrifice that which I fear has ruined many souls!”  Whereupon he stove in the heads of the barrels, and the liquor ran into the gutters.  Prayer was then offered, a hymn sung, and he made a few more remarks, saying: “Ladies, I now promise you never to sell or drink another drop of whiskey as long as I live, and also promise to work with you in the cause with as much zeal as I have worked against you.”

 

There was great rejoicing throughout the town, and in the evening a thanksgiving meeting was held in the Christian Church, at which VAN PELT spoke.  He was a changed man, with his eyes fully opened to the evil of the liquor traffic, very repentant and humble, and zealous in his efforts to induce others to quit the business, and a week later entered the field as a temperance lecturer.

 

 

TRAVELLING NOTES.

 

March 5.— Wilmington  is the home of  Mr. Addison P. RUSSELL, one of Ohio’s literary men, and I had a day with him; a day with such a man cannot be called lost.  Some sixty years ago he was born here, and remains as he started—single.  His ancestors, Ohio pioneers, cam originally from Virginia, and were of Revolutionary stock.  In size and port he is about like Daniel Webster; and, as did Daniel, fills out a big suit of cloths, topping off with a high, square collar, well laundried, and white cravat around a plump, full neck, like a gentleman of “ye olden time.”  Mr. RUSSELL was bred a printer, then editor; in 1855 was elected to the Legislature; in 1857 and 1859 was elected Secretary of the State; through the war period was financial agent for Ohio in New York, appointed successively by Govs.  Todd, Brough, and Cox.  Since then literature has absorbed him, and his books have the endorsement of the first critics.  His first was anonymous, published by Appleton & Co., in 1867, and entitled, “Half Hint; Table-de-H?te and Drawing-Room;” it has been long out of print.  In 1875 appeared the first edition of “Library Notes,” Hurd, Houghton & Co., Boston; this book has gained a wide reputation.  His last was “Thomas Corwin; a Sketch,” Robert Clark & Co.; a labor of love, which gave its pages the right sort of flavor.

 

The Sage of Yamoyden.—Mr. RUSSELL gave me an interesting item in regard to our mutual friend, the late Edward D. Mansfield, the “Sage of Yamoyden,” so called from the name of his country home, high on a hill, overlooking the valley of the Little Miami. 

 

Through the war period Mr. Mansfield contributed weekly letters to the New York Times,  over the signature of “Veteran Observer,” dating them from “The Beeches,: and devoted entirely to comments upon passing events.  Few men were so well equipped for this sort of labor, for he had been educated alike as a civilian and soldier; graduated at Princeton, West Point, and at Gould’s famed law-school on Litchfield hill, and then from youth up had been in social contact with the first minds of the nation.

 

These letters, evidently written by a military man, were so full of intelligence, that they came with great sustaining force, and, more than the words of any other writer or any speaker, inspired multitudes with hope and encouragement in the dark and distressing periods.

 

Who was this unknown writer, evidently a Western man, was a matter of curious inquiry from leading characters who visited Mr. RUSSELL in his office—the Ohio office, 25 William street, New York They often said that, in spite of themselves, when on the verge of despair, they were lifted out of their despondence and gloom by their cheery spirit, broad intelligence, and superabounding faith.

 

A year or more passed, when on day who should enter the Ohio office but the “Veteran Observer” himself, Edward Deering Mansfield, right fresh from “The Beeches.”  Nobody could have been more welcome than he: an old man rising of sixty, with long gray locks, who to the wisdom of the sage united the simplicity of youth.  When he was told of the effect of his writings upon the magnates around the old gentleman was filled with surprise, and stammered and blushed like a girl.  He had not even dreamed he had been doing such a work of beneficence while writing under the shade of those magnificent “Beeches” that stood in glory along the hillsides of Yamoyden, unscathed by war’s alarms, untouched by the awful disasters that in those days appalled so many human hearts.

 

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Gen. James W. DENVER, of Wilmington, is a very prominent citizen, from whom Denver, Col., received its name.  He was born in Virginia in 1817, and in 1831 came with his father’s family to this country, and labored for a while on his father’s farm.  He graduated at the Cincinnati Law School; and was a captain in the Mexican war in the Twelfth U. S. Infantry, under Gen. Scott; edited the Platte Argus, in Missouri; emigrated to California, and in 1854 was sent from there to Congress; later, was appointed by Buchanan Commissioner of Indian Affairs; from 1857 to 1859 was governor of Kansas; returned to California and served in the war of the Rebellion as brigadier-general of volunteers.  In 1876 his name was mentioned as a Democratic candidate for President.  His family resides here, but most of the time he is a resident of Washington City, where he is engaged in the practice of law.

 

Among the residents of the town is Mrs. Rhoda Corwin MORRIS, a very aged lady, sister of the Hon. Thomas CORWIN, and widow of Hon. Isaiah MORRIS.  She has scarcely a gray hair, perfect hearing and good sight, and takes an active interest in all the live issues of the time.  On passing her eighty-seventh birthday, she laughingly exclaimed; “Isn’t it wonderful that a harp of a thousand strings should stay in turn so long.”

 

Near the town is the nursery and fruit farm of Mr. Leo WELTZ, comprising about 300 acres, where he has a very large nursery stock finding a market even so far West as the Indian Territory.  Mr. WELTZ was born in Prussia in 1825, the son of a professor in botany.  He graduated from the Government Botanical Garden, at Berlin; was for a time in the employ as a gardener of Alexander III, Czar of the Russias; fought as a lieutenant in the revolution of 1847 in Germany, and received four medals for gallantry in battle.  Emigrating to this country, he laid out the grounds of Gov. Chase, Robert Buchanan, George H. Pendleton, and others near Cincinnati, and came to Wilmington in 1860.  His prominence in connection with the agricultural and horticultural interests of Ohio renders further notice here unnecessary.

 

The Contemptuous Cobbler.—Mr. RUSSEL, among other amusing matters, told me of an old Welsh cobbler.  He was a native of the island of Guernsey; was living there during the years of Victor Hugo’s exile, whom he knew well, he said; and the laughable thing about his knowledge was the view he presented of the great author of “Les Miserable” from his (the cobbler’s) standpoint.  To a question from Mr. RUSSELL, he replied; “Oh, yes!  I knew him well!  Victor Hugo!  He pass my shop every day!” and then, with a contemptuous toss of the head, he added, “Victor Hugo!  he nobody!”

 

THE ROMANTIC HISTORY OF JEREMIAH N. REYNOLDS.

 

The story of Jeremiah N. REYNOLDS’ life, as told in the “History of Clinton County,” is a romantic story.  He was born in Pennsylvania, and in 1808, when a lad of eight years, the family (that of his stepfather, Job JEFFRIES) moved into this county.  They were poor, and he had but little schooling, and this little with board inclusive he paid for by working mornings and evenings and on Saturdays.  Sometimes he went into the prairies of Clark county, and added to his funds by engaging in ditching.  He was regarded as a bright boy by his schoolmate, the late Judge Abner HAINES, of Eaton, who says he came to school clad in leather breeches and a linsey warmus, and then the judge told this story illustrative of his character:

 

Job’s oxen.—“He had a stepbrother by the name of Darlington JEFFRIES, a son of Job JEFFRIES, and the neighbors called him in fun Job’s oxen,  and often ran the joke to the chagrin of young REYNOLDS.  On one occasion there was a log-rolling at Azariah Wall’s, when the neighbors were pretty generally collected, and among them Darlington JEFFRIES and Jeremiah REYNOLDS.  In the afternoon REYNOLDS was carrying the end of a handspike opposite to Peter WRIGHTMAN,  a small, well-built man, and young REYNOLDS, though large of his age, was unable to move with the weight and broke down, which incident  created much merriment among the hands, and one of them remarked that one of  Job’s oxen was a calf.  This so offended REYNOLDS that he left the field, and, as he crossed the fence near by,  he set his feet on the outside lower rails, and in the most stately attitude thus addressed them ‘Gentlemen, I  have no father to guide and protect me through life, and you have had your fun with me to-day.  Many of you are old enough to be ashamed of thus rallying a young and unprotected boy; but, gentlemen, you know little about him of  whom you are making fun, for I assure you the time is coming when you will feel proud that you ever rolled logs with Jeremiah N. REYNOLDS, and with this sentiment I bid you good-bye.’

 

This little speech produced such a sensation among the hands; some said it was an outburst of chagrin and spite, but others looked upon it as the outcropping of his coming manhood.  But, he this as it may, I myself have heard several of

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these men in after life refer to this incident in the very light in which young REYNOLDS expressed it from the fence.”

 

A Convert to Symmes & Theory.—By teaching a common and then a writing-school, he gathered funds to enable him to obtain three years of instruction in the Ohio University at Athens.  After this he edited a paper the Spectator at Wilmington, which he sold out about 1823.  He became a convert to the theory of Capt. Symmes that the earth is hollow and inhabited within, called the system of “Concentric Spheres.”  His theory was, that the earth was composed several spheres one within another, and all widely open at the poles.  Mr. REYNOLDS united with Capt. Symmes, and the two travelled and lectured together, when Symmes was taken sick and died.  REYNOLDS preserved, and lectured in all the principal Eastern cities, always to full houses, and charged fifty cents admission, making many converts.  He thus acquired a large fund; this, with the influence and co-operation of Messrs. Rush and Southard, members of President John Quincy Adams’ cabinet, enabled him to fit out a national ship, to explore the ocean toward the South Pole, to test the truth of the theory, but before he could sail Andrew Jackson came to the Presidency, and stopped the project.

 

REYNOLDS soon found a congenial spirit in Dr. Watson, of New York.  Watson being a man of wealth, he and Reynolds united their means, and fitted out a ship and two small tenders for southern explorations, which were manned with officers and men and provisioned for twelve months.

 

Sails for the South Pole.—Their vessel, the “Annawan,” N. B. Palmer, captain, sailed from New York harbor in October, 1829, expecting to have the pleasure of entering into the South Pole.  “They at length arrived in sight of land, which they afterward discovered to be a southern continent, which seemed completely blockaded with islands of ice.  A landing was determined on.  The long-boat was launched, with a crew of twenty men.  In attempting to reach the shore in a storm, while the waves were rolling mountain-high, they were obliged to pass along between the shelving rocks of the shore and the heaving masses of floating ice for a considerable distance every moment liable to be crushed to atoms.  They, however, arrived at a landing-place, and immediately with joy drew their boat upon shore, which proved to be a solid rock.  On careful observation they found they were on an extensive continent, covered completely with solid ice, and no vegetable growth to be seen.  Now that they were landed no provisions were to be obtained, and starvation seemed to stare them in the face.  But behold!  Providence seemed to provide the means to support in the sea-lion.  He exhibited himself at the mouth of a cave, and ten men in two squads, were sent out to bring him in.  They soon returned with his carcass, which weighed 1,700 pounds.  His flesh was excellent eating.  By an accurate astronomical observation they found their latitude to be eighty-two degrees south exactly eighty-two degrees from the South Pole.  After some ten days of anxious delay on land, the sea becoming calm, they put out to sea in their long-boat, to endeavor to discover the ships they had left.  They sailed on for nearly forty hours.  At length being very weary, late in the night, they drew their boat upon an inclined rock.  All in a few minutes were all were asleep except REYNOLDS and Watson.  They stood   sentinels over the boat’s crew, too anxious to sleep.  About two or three o’clock in the morning they saw a light far distant at sea.  The crew was soon wakened and all embarked in their boat, and rowing with might and main for the ships they soon arrived, and the meeting of the two parties was full of enthusiastic joy.  They were convinced that they could not enter the South Pole, as it was blocked up with an icy continent, hence they were willing to turn their faces homeward.  They soon arrived at Valparaiso, Chili.  Here the seamen mutinied against the authority of the ship, set REYNOLDS and Watson on shore, and launched out to sea as a pirate-ship.’’

 

REYNOLDS now travelled by land through the Republic of Chili and the Araucanian and Indian territories to the south.  It is said that while among the Araucanians he was engaged as a colonel of a regiment at war with a neighboring tribe and while marching through a deep and narrow gorge was thrown from his horse and severely hurt.  He was at Valparaiso in October, 1832, when the United States frigate “Potomac,” under Commodore John Downes, arrived there.  This vessel in August, 1831, had been sent to the coast of Sumatra, to avenge the

 

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wrongs done the United States ship “ Friendship,” of Salem, at Quallah-Battoo, on that coast.

 

At Valparaiso he joined the “Potomac” in the capacity of private secretary to the commodore, and was with her until her long cruise of several years’ duration was completed, the entire history of which he wrote for the United States government.

 

Then he studied law in New York, and became a successful advocate.  In 1848 he organized in New York a stock company for mining in New Mexico, which was successful.  His health, however, broke down under his persistent labors, and he died in New York in 1858, aged fifty-nine years.

 

To this foregoing sketch we add a few lines of personal recollection.  Mr. REYNOLDS in his politics was a Henry Clay Whig, and during the political campaigns of that era delivered free lectures in behalf of protection.  At one of these we were present.  According to our memory he was a firmly built man, of medium stature, with a short nose, and a somewhat broad face.  His delivery was monotonous, but what he said was solid, and his air in a high degree respectful and earnest and withal very sad, as though some great sorrow lay upon his heart, which won our sympathy, and this without knowing anything of his history.

 

In the county history, giving the military history of Greene township in the war of rebellion, is this poetic lament for the dead from the pen of Miss Morley AMBERG, which is both an historical and literary curiosity.

 

A Lament for the Dead.

 

The rolling deep, whose azure wave

Sweep o’er our darling lost one’s grave,

Doth many friends now make to weep

For those lost in the briny deep.

 

Some died from sickness far away,

In misty twilight dim and gray;

Or at eventide, so calm and still,

They bowed to God’s own holy will.

 

Upon this list was one brave boy,

Gone home to share eternal joy!

John Dixon’s friends did sadly mourn,

When he from their embrace was torn.

 

Upon the bloody battle-ground

Our brave men, pierced with many a wound,

Have fallen here to rise no more,

Covered with wet and reeking gore.

 

In the second battle of Bull Run,

Beneath the hot and burning sun,

Carey Johnson was killed in fight,

While battling for his country’s rights.

 

And then another from this cause,

While struggling for our own free laws,

Colonel Townsend fell amidst the fray

Upon this sad and fatal day.

 

While suffering much from bitter pain,

Have our poor boys so often lain.

With not a gentle mother’s hand

To smooth the brow where cold drops stand.

 

No sister’s winning smile to cheer,

Nor father’s well-known voice to hear,

They thus have sunk into the grave,

The noble and true-hearted brave.

 

 

 

 

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Carl Huff and Cyrus Hodson, too,

They thus passed home to heaven to view,

The splendors of that beauteous land,

Where all is lovely, rich and grand.

 

They there have met the brave George West,

In heaven’s attire so richly dressed

How joyous will that meeting be

When they, their friends—each—gladly see!

 

Austin Hildebrant  lingered long,

Then went to join the happy throne.

Surely for him hot tears were shed

When gathered around his dying bed.

 

The noble Burley from us torn,

Left his dear wife and son to mourn,

When he his fame and kindred left

Of him have we all been bereft.

 

Another, parted from his wife,

Whom he had chosen for his life;

He, too, rests in the silent grave,

Yes, Adams was among the brave!

 

In loathsome prisons some have died,

How bitterly for them we’ve sighed!

O sad indeed is such a death

Where is not o’en felt one pure breath!

 

In gloomy ‘‘Libby Prison” died

These two brave boys each side by side

John Ryan was the hallowed name

That died in such a place of shame,

 

Matthew Ryan while fighting well,

At battle of Stone river fell;

Amidst the booming cannons’ roar

This brave boy fell to rise no more.

 

Captain John Drake with his brave men,

Whom he hind led through marsh and fen.

Was shot upon the battle-ground

And here his last remains were found.

 

Another that hoped soon to see

His cherished wife and family,

To us no more—was stricken down,

Elijah Hussey, from this, our town.

 

 

 

SABINA, 66 miles northeast of Cincinnati, on the C & M. V. and C. & C. M. Railroads.  Newspaper: Weekly News, Independent, Griffith and Gaskins, editors and publishers.  Five churches: Banks: Sabina, Isaac LEWIS, president, E. A. LEWIS, cashier; Dun & Co., Alfred DUN, president, J. T. RULON, cashier.  Population in 1880, 757.  School census in 1886, 313

 

NEW VIENNA, on the M. & C. Railroad, has, newspapers, The Record, weekly, Independent; 2 monthlies, viz., Messenger of Peace and Southern Ohio Teacher.  1 bank, New Vienna, Ellis GOOD, president, E.  ARTHUR, cashier.  Churches: 1 Methodist, 1 Friends, 1 Baptist, 1 Disciples, 1 Catholic.  Census in 1880, 797.

 

MARTINSVILLE, on the M. & C. Railroad, has 1 Friends, and 1 Methodist Episcopal church.  Two flouring-mills and A. J. DARBESHIRE’S tile brick and lumber factory, employing 17 hands.  Census in 1880, 355.  School census in 1886, 193; E. P. WEST, principal.

 

BLANCHESTER, 41 miles northeast from Cincinnati, on the C. W. & B. Railroad.  Newspaper: Star, Independent, Fred A. GOULDING, editor and publisher.

 

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Churches: 1 Methodist, I Baptist, 1 Universalist and 1 Catholic.  Bank: Blanchester, E. D. SMITH, president and cashier.  Industries: Western Hame Works, sash and door, patent fence, wagon and carriage, and Old Honesty yeast factories, large flouring-mill, etc.  Population in 1880, 776.  School census in 1886, 387; N. H. CHANEY, superintendent.

 

CLARKSVILLE, on the C. & M. V. Railroad, has 1 Methodist Episcopal church.  Census of 1880, 367.  Reesville, on railway, has 1 church.  Census of 1880, 245.  School census in 1886, 140.  Port Williams, census of 1880, 181.


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