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Crawford County

Page 482

 

CRAWFORD COUNTY was formed April 1, 1820, from old Indian Territory.  It formed a part of the “New Purchase.”  This included the last part of the State under Indian domination, and was ceded to the United States in accordance with a treaty made at the foot of the Maumee Rapids, September 29, 1817.  The New Purchase was divided into seventeen counties.  The surface of the county is generally level and in parts slightly rolling.  The south  and west part is beautiful prairie land, comprising a part of the great Sandusky Plains, and covered with a rich vegetable loam of from six to fifteen inches deep; the subsoil in most parts is clay mixed with lime, in some others a mixture of marl.  Save on the plains, the land originally was covered with a dense growth of heavy timber.  The original settlers were largely of New England origin; later, about 1832, a heavy immigration set in direct from Germany.  In 1848 the political troubles of Germany brought a great addition to the Teutonic element, so that it obtained the ascendancy.  The area is 400 square miles.  In 1885 the acres cultivated were 135,300; in pasture, 32,056; woodland, 41,324; lying waste, 857; produced in wheat, 512,287 bushels; oats, 448,783; corn, 927,107; wood, 245,572 pounds.  School census in 1886, 10,019: teachers, 171.  It has 72 miles of railroad.

 

Township

And census

1840

1880

 

Township

And Census

1840

1880

Auburn

 

1,176

 

Liberty

1,469

1,679

Bucyrus

1,654

5,073

 

Lykins

   742

1,225

Chatfield

   878

1,266

 

Polk

 

6,518

Cranberry

   680

1,824

 

Sandusky

   679

   658

Dallas

 

   500

 

Texas

 

   587

Holmes

   744

1,660

 

Tod

 

1,099

Jackson

   636

3,216

 

Vernon

 

1,038

Jefferson

 

1,224

 

Whetstone

1,124

1,840

 

 

Population in 1830 was 4,788; in 1840, 18,167; 1860, 23,881; 1880, 26,862; of whom 22.634 were Ohio-born, and 2,531 natives of Germany.

 

Page 483

 

This county derived its name form Col. William Crawford, who was born in Virginia in 1732, the same year with Washington. In 1758 he was a captain in Forbes’ expedition, which took possession of Fort Duquesne, on the site of Pittsburg.  Washington was the friend of Crawford, and often in his visits to the then West was an inmate of his humble dwelling in Fayette county.  He was a brave and energetic man, and, at the commencement of the Revolution, raised a regiment by his own exertions, and received the commission of colonel of Continentals.  He often led parties against the Indians across the Ohio. In 1782 he reluctantly accepted the command of an expedition against the Ohio Indians. On this occasion he was taken prisoner, and burnt to death amid the most excruciating tortures, on the Tyemochtee, in the former limits of this, but now within the new county of Wyandot.

 

 

Drawn by Henry Howe, 1846

CENTRAL PART OF BUCYRUS.

[BUCYRUS IN 1846.—Bucyrus, the county-seat, is on the Sandusky river—here a small stream—sixty-two miles north of Columbus, and forty-six from Sandusky city.] 

 

 

 

Jones Dougherty, Photo., Bucyrus, 1887

CENTRAL PART OF BYCYRUS.

 

[The new view shows on the right the same frame building seen in the old view; also, the new opera house.  On the left appears the court-house and the Methodist church.]

 

 

The view shows on the right the Lutheran church, and on the left the county buildings and the academy.  It contains 1 Presbyterian, 1 Lutheran, 1 Baptist, 1

 

 

Page 484

 

Methodist, and 1 Protestant Methodist church; 14 stores, 1 grist, 1 saw, and 2 fulling mills, 1 newspaper printing office, and a population of about 1,000; in 1840 it had 704 inhabitants.  On the land of R. W. MUSGRAVE, in the southeastern part of the town, a gas well has recently been dug. On first reaching the water—a distance of eighteen feet—it flew up about six feet, with a load, roaring noise; a pump has been placed over it, and the gas is conducted to the surface by a pipe, which, when a torch is applied, burns with a brilliant flame.  Bucyrus was laid out February 11, 1822, by Samuel NORTON and James KILBOURNE, proprietors of the soil.  The first settler on the site of the town was Samuel NORTON, who moved in from Pennsylvania in 1819.  He wintered in a small cabin made of poles, which stood just north of his present residence on the bank of the Sandusky.  This region of country was not thrown into market until August, 1820, at which time it abounded in bears, wolves, catamounts, foxes, and other wild animals.  When he came there were but a few settlers in the county, principally squatters on the Whetstone, the nearest of whom was on that stream eight miles distant.  North and west of Mr. N. there was not a single settler in the county.  Others of the early settlers in the town whose names are recollected were David and Michael BEEDLE, Daniel M’MICHAEL, John KENT, William YOUNG, Jacob SCHAEFER, Thomas and James SCOTT, James STEWARD, David STEIN, George BLACK, John BLOWERS, and Nehemiah SQUIRES.  The first frame house was built by Samuel BAILEY, and is the small frame building standing next to and north of F. MARGRAF’s residence.  The first brick dwelling is the one now owned by William TIMANUS, on the public square.  The Methodists built the first church.—Old Edition.

 

Bucyrus, sixty miles north of Columbus, on the Sandusky river and O. C. R. R., and the P. Ft. W. & C. R. R., located in the centre of a thickly settled and prosperous farming community.  County officers 1888: Probate Judge, Frederick HIPP; Clerk of Court, Lewis C. DONNENWIRTH; Sheriff, Peter FAETH; Prosecuting Attorney, Isaac CAEHILL; Auditor, Adam J. HIGH; Treasurer, Christian H. SCHONERT; Recorder, William F. CROWE; Surveyor, Harry L. WEBER; Coroner, John A. CHESNEY; Commissioners, Henry  DAPPER, Peter BAUER.  Newspapers: Crawford County Forum, Democratic, Holbrook & Co., publishers; Journal, Republican, J. Hapley and Son; Critic, Independent, Holbrook & Co.; Crawford County News, Prohibition and Temperance, T. E. HOPLEY, editor; Courier, German Democratic, A BROEMEL.  Churches: 1 English Lutheran, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 Baptist, 1 German Evangelical, 1 German Reformed, 1 German Methodist, 1 Catholic, and 1 Disciple.  Banks: First National, J. B. GORMLY, president, G. C. GORMLY, cashier; Second National, M. J. MONNETT, president, J. C. F. HULL, cashier; Monnett & Co., E. B. MONNETT, president, J. H ROBINSON, cashier.

 

Manufactures and Employees.—C. ROEHR, planing mill, 40 hands; Eagle Machine Works, machinery, 30; C. ROEHR, planing mill, etc., 55; G DONNENWORTH & Bro., lager beer, 8; Bucyrus Foundry and Manufacturing Company, steam excavators, etc., 102; Bucyrus Creamery, 8; T. & O. C. R. R. Shops, 102; P. SAEGER, wagons, buggies, etc., 6; VOLLRATH Bros., planing mill, 16; FRANZE & POPE Knitting Machine Company, 40; A. SHUNK, SR., plows, etc., 10; T. A. VOLLRATH, flour, etc., 6; Bucyrus Woollen Mill; GEIGER & BUSH, copper kettles, 9; NUSSBAUM & BOWERS, flour, etc., ; G. K. ZIEGLER, flour, etc.; D. PICKING & Co., copper kettles, 10.—State Report 1887.  Population in 1880, 3,835.  School census in 1886, 1,504; F. M. HAMILTON, superintendent.

 

While excavating for a mill-race in Bucyrus, August 13, 1838, Mr. Abraham HAHN discovered the perfect skeleton of a mastodon.  The spot was near the dividing ridge of the northern and southern waters of the State, in a wet, spongy soil.  Mr. HAHN at first exhibited the bones, but finally sold them for $1,800, and they fell into the hands of BARNUM, and were destroyed in the burning of his museum.  Within the last thirty years, in making excavations for sewers and cellars in Bucyrus, the bones of mastodons have frequently been found.

 

Page 485

 

Col. James KILBOURNE, the surveyor who laid out Bucyrus, gave it its name; and it being so unusual much conjecture has arisen as to its origin. The daughters of Samuel NORTON asserted that one of KILBOURNE’s favorite historical characters was Cyrus the Persian General, and the town was named in his memory.  The syllable “bu,” the sound of the first syllable in the word beautiful, was given because the country around at an early day was very beautiful, and the old surveyor said that the name should always mean “beautiful Cyrus.”  An old citizen, F. ADAMS, says that Mr. KILBOURNE named it from “Busirus” in ancient Egypt, and changed it so that in its name it should be a nonsuch.  The colonel wrote a poem of eighty lines in it praises called “The Song of Bucyrus.”

 

He was a great favorite with the early settlers; in his frequent visits from his home in Worthington, Franklin county, he was wont to assemble with his old cronies at the village tavern and sometimes make “a night of it,” singing songs and telling stories, all under the inspiring influences of the landlord’s choicest liquors; on those occasions the colonel was wont to give them his “Song of Bucyrus.”

 

The song is descriptive of the riches and beauty of the country.  We annex its opening and closing verses:

 

THE SONG OF BUCYRUS

 

Ye men of spirit, ardent souls,

Whose hearts are firm and hands are strong,

Whose generous enterprise controls,

Attend!  and truth shall guide my song.

I’ll tell you how Bucyrus, now

Just rising like the star of morn,

Surrounded stands by fertile lands,

On clear Sandusky’s rural bourne.

*       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

Then here, my friend, your search may end,

For here’s a country to your mind,

And here’s a town your hopes may crown,

As those who try it soon shall find.

Here fountains flow, mild zephyrs blow,

While health and pleasure smile each morn,

From all around Bucyrus found

On fair Sandusky’s rural bourne.

 

When Bucyrus was laid out the only outlet to the lake for teams was by way of New Haven, and by ox teams the trip was usually from ten days to two weeks.  Directly north was an almost unbroken wilderness to the Huron plains, and very few outlets between this place and Sandusky city.  For the first ten years after the settlement of the county the inhabitants were poor, having little to sell and no market for that little, except to supply the wants of newcomers, and what was sold abroad had to walk abroad, as cattle and hogs were driven east and sold at barely living prices.

 

In 1834 was finished the turnpike road from Columbus to Sandusky; it had been seven years in the building. It was 106 miles in length, and for some years was the great thoroughfare of the State from the river to the lakes, and the principal road to market for the counties of Delaware, Union and Marion.

 

Seventy-five wagons loaded with wheat were counted passing through Bucyrus in one day, all of which would return loaded with goods, and this stimulated the development of the entire region.  From the first a good market could always be found for furs, which would bring the cash at the East.  Many occasionally hunted and raised funds to meet their taxes in that way.  Sometimes they employed the Indians of the Wyandot tribe to hunt for them, which they would do for a trifling compensation.  The settlers were always on good terms with those simple childlike people.

 

Page 486

 

In the “County History” are some valuable items in regard to the Nortons, the first settlers of Bucyrus.

 

Pioneer Privations.—In October, 1819, there was not a single white family in the limits of the county. The following winter they occupied their first cabin.  The physical privations many of the early families is hard to realize.  When the NORTONS arrived in 1819 the nearest flouring-mills were at Lexington, Richland county, and the Herron mills near Fredricksburg.  The man or boy who visited the mills walked the entire distance and led a horse loaded with two or three sacks of wheat.

 

When the NORTON family could not visit these mills they secured flour or meal by pounding the wheat or corn in a mortar with a wooden pestle.  The mortar used was a log, hollowed out by burning a hole with fire until the cavity was large enough to hold a half bushel of grain.  The meal was sifted with sieves of three different sizes and three grades of flour were obtained.  The finest was baked into bread; the coarsest was boiled, and it sometimes required a whole day over the fire to soften it.  When the wheat-flour was all gone the family subsisted on food prepared from corn-meal, but frequently there was none of this in the cabin, and the mother of the family, busy with other household duties, was expected to provide a supper without even flour, corn-meal, vegetables, or meat.  The father is away at work and will shortly appear tired and hungry.  The pioneer women were full of resources; they had an instrument called a grater made by taking one side of an old tin bucket, punching small holes close together all over it, and nailing it on a board in such a manner that the middle curved upward two or three inches from the board. Meal could be made by industriously rubbing ears of corn along its surface; and this must be done until sufficient meal is obtained to furnish food for supper and breakfast next morning.  The mother, then, having nothing in the house for supper, says to her children: “Here, Louisa, you and Warren take this basket and go out to the corn-patch and bring in enough corn to grate for supper and breakfast.”  When the children return the grater is taken down and after considerable hard labor the meal was provided.  If the corn-meal was mixed and baked in a Dutch oven it was called “pone,” if baked on a board near or over the fire it was called “Johnny cake,” and if it was made into round balls and baked in oven they then called these balls “corn dodgers.” A very common way was to boil the meal into mush and eat it with milk.  But sometimes flour and corn-meal could not be either pounded with a pestle or grated with their rude instrument, for the reason that no grains of this description were in the cabin, and the NORTONS could not secure of their few neighbors wither grain, flour or meal.

 

Wild Game.—It is reported by NORTON’S daughters that they frequently lived for weeks without bread, during which time the family subsisted on honey, pork, potatoes and game from the woods.  Wild turkeys were frequently shot; they were cooked on a hook in the fireplace with a pan underneath to catch the drippings, and these were poured over the suspended carcass with a spoon.  The forests were for many years full of smaller game upon which a meal could be made when other expedients failed.  One winter Mr. NORTON killed five deer near the present site of T. C. HALL’S barn.  A deer-lick was situated near the river in this vicinity, and when these animals visited this lick, they fell victims to the unerring shot of the first pioneer settler.  Deer continued plenty in the vicinity of Bucyrus until after 1830.  In consequence of the industry of many swarms of bees at Crawford at an early day it was literally a land of honey, if not milk.  The Indians, depending on nature to provide food, never wasted what they found in the forest, and in obtaining honey, never secured more at one time than they wished to supply their temporal wants.   NORTON found in one day twenty-three bee trees, and the honey secured from the woods was always a rich treat for the children, and more especially when the family larder was not filled with those articles which, at this day, every family considers a necessity.  NORTON also secured his first swarm of bees from the wild bees found in the woods.

 

Spinning and Weaving.—The hardships suffered by the NORTON family were not only in consequence of a scarcity of food.  The Norton’s brought from Pennsylvania both looms and spinning-wheels.  In those early days every young lady was taught to spin, and many added weaving to their skill as industrious and expert housekeepers.  Mothers frequently were expected to cook, wash, scrub, bake, sew, spin and weave for a large family of small children without any assistance.  Mrs. NORTON’S elder children were valuable aid in providing clothing for their younger brothers and sisters.

 

NORTON purchased forty sheep from settlers in Marion county, and brought these valuable domestic animals to his pioneer home, but in a few weeks they were all devoured by wolves.  For many years the settlers were not able to keep sheep in consequence of these same mutton-loving beasts.  The early settlers were not fond of these ravenous animals.  Their howling and yelping made many a night hideous and for this and many other reasons it was soon decided that in order to civilize the county the wolves should be exterminated.  A bounty was paid by the State for the scalp of each wolf, not that these scalps were valuable, but because each new scalp secured furnished additional proof that the mutton crop of the future looked more promising.

 

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Fever and Ague.—Sickness.—The first settlers suffered greatly from fever and ague and a few additional privations in consequence of extreme poverty.  One case of privation has been graphically described by Mrs. Lucy ROGERS, who says: “My husband took sick on one occasion and was bedfast.  He could neither eat nor drink a part of the time.  Meanwhile our scanty store of food was consumed, until not a particle was left in the house for our subsistence.  The last crust was gone.  My prayer to God was that all of us, my young babe, my helpless husband, and my starving self might die together before the sun should set.  That night was one of sleepless agony.  Next morning I went through an Indian trail, unfit as I was to go through the tall wet grass, which was then as high as a man’s head, to William LANGDON’S near YOUNG’S grist-mill, and between sobs told my pitiful story to him and begged for some flour to keep my little family from starving to death.  He did not know me and refused, but his wife, God bless her, spoke up and said: ‘You shall not starve if it takes all there is in the house.’ Her husband relented and weighed me out nineteen pounds of flour, and then blessing them for their charity, I returned home through the tall grass with ‘the bird of hope’ again singing in my bosom.

 

“How sweet the short cake without meat, butter or anything else tasted that day! In the afternoon Aunt Lois KENT, learning of our destitution, brought us a pan of meal.  I got some milk of Mrs. SCHULTZ, and then made some mush.  Believe me, the tears of joy and sorrow rained down my cheeks when this meal was eaten.  I then told Louisa NORTON, who afterward married Harris GARTON, how terribly we were distressed by want and hunger.  She went home and told her father, Samuel NORTON, who said: ‘This will not do; these folks have come to a new country and must be helped.  They shall not starve in Bucyrus.’ So every evening he sent us new milk fresh from the cow, and as we needed it a ham of meat.  One day he sent Louisa over to us with a dressed pig.  I never had a present that did me so much good.  In a few weeks my husband recovered, and then we fared better.”  But very few of the early citizens were reduced to such extremes, although most families were many times without the necessities of life.

 

The Knisely Springs, gas and medicinal, are in the township of Sandusky, on the farms of Mr. Joseph KNISELY, about seven miles northeast of Bucyrus.  Within an area of four rods are eleven springs and the owner maintains that chemical analysis shows that each one possesses a virtue not found in either of the others.  They are located in a small basin on a little rill that flows into the Sandusky river.  Scattered along the creek above them are about a dozen others, some of which contain no traces of sulphur, while the Knisely springs are highly impregnated with it.  From one of them inflammable gas is continually issuing.  Many years ago Mr. KNISELY put a large funnel over the surface of the water, and collecting the gas, led it to his house, about 100 feet distant, through an India rubber tube and burned it steadily over two years.  One of the springs is very valuable and interesting on account of its medical properties.  A stone box four feet deep, with the same length and width, is sunk over it almost to the top of the box, and up through an orifice in the bottom the spring water bubbles as clear as crystal.  The water is four feet deep and seemingly possesses a magnifying power, as objects at the bottom can be seen as plainly as in the open air.  The bottom of the box is covered with a beautiful purple sediment of a chalybeate character.  The water is a mild cathartic and possesses valuable diuretic and diaphoretic properties.  It is asserted by the owner that animals live but a few minutes in this water.  Its properties are not fully known, but several very obstinate cases of skin disease have been cured.

 

Cranberry-picking and Rattlesnakes.—Cranberry is the name of a township in this county which derives it name from an extensive cranberry marsh within it, containing about 2,000 acres.  It was known far and near by the hunters and trappers in early years, who came when the water was covered with ice to trap wolves, foxes, minx and other fur bearing animals.  Prior to 1820 a large variety of animals abounded and the enterprising hunter, if he had the necessary skill, could penetrate the marsh and kill a panther or bear whenever he wished.  About the year 1830 a large emigration arrived from Germany and located in different parts of the township.  The county history gives some interesting items in regard to these people, their cranberry-picking and annoyances while so engaged by rattlesnakes.

 

As far as possible they chose the higher lands, but many of them built their cabins on the ridges that rose almost like islands from the swamp.  They seemed to have a reckless disregard for ague and the various types of malarial diseases.  With no hope of seeing the land drained for twenty or thirty years, they went to work to let in the sunlight and to let out the stagnant water.  After many years this course brought the desired result, but not without all the accompanying hardships and self-denials.  The settlers were quite  unobtrusive and industrious.  The cranberry marsh furnished an abundant harvest of berries, and it also furnished to those of sufficient skill valuable returns in the way of furs.  The cranberries grew on short stems on the under side of the long, wiry vines that crept over the mosses and sedges growing in profusion in the marsh.  The vines did not grow on the dry ridges, but sought the wet grounds, often growing out of the mud, which was covered with several inches of water.

 

Cranberry-picking was extensively engaged in by all the neighboring settlers, many of whom made no little money in the business.  In 1824 the berries sold for twenty and 

 

 

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twenty-five cents a bushel.  They steadily increased in value, the market for them being always active.  In 1835, they were worth seventy-five cents a bushel, and in 1850 had arisen to about two dollars.  Those gathering the berries—men and women—wore long legged boots to keep out the water, and as a precaution against snake bites.  A section of plank, from a foot and a half to two feet long, and about a foot wide, was taken, and around one end was bound a tough band of hickory bark, forming a sort of box.  The other end of the plank was serrated, the teeth being about eight inches long.  Two handles were attached, and the rude implement thus completed was used in gathering cranberries.  The teeth were placed over one of the long slender vines, and the implement was held so that when it was pushed along the berries were scooped into the box at the other end.  Fifteen or twenty bushels were often gathered in one day with this implement.  The cranberry season began in the latter part of September and lasted nearly two months; or rather it lasted all winter and the next spring.  But few were gathered in the winter, however, owing to their being frozen in the ice.  As soon as the ice thawed in the spring, the gathering began again, and the berries obtained at this season were considered better than those gathered in the fall, as less sugar was required to prepare them for the table.

 

Whole families turned out during the cranberry season, and the marsh swarmed with settlers, some of whom came many miles are remained several days, camping in their wagons.  When a sufficient quantity of berries was gathered to fill the wagon-bed, they were taken to Sandusky, or some other city, and sold.  Some families desiring to make the most of the marsh, picked day and night while the season lasted.  The berries were heaped on some dry mound near by, and a member of the family was detailed to guard and clean them, while the remaining members picked as fast as they could.  Although hundreds of bushels grew in the marsh, they usually were all gathered long before the season had closed.

 

Snake Bites.—Several incidents are related where the gatherers were severely bitten by rattlesnakes, though no cases are recollected where death resulted from the bite, except perhaps the death of the snake, as an inevitable result of the reptile’s indiscretion.  Joseph SMITH and Robert HILBURN were one day picking in the marsh, when they were startled by a piercing scream near them, and glancing quickly around, saw a woman, distant about twenty rods, throw her arms wildly in the air and sink fainting to the ground.  They ran to her assistance, and as there happened to be no water near, Robert plunged his arm down into the mud, forming a well after a small pattern, which was quickly filled with muddy water.  This was dashed copiously in the face of the unconscious woman, who soon revived.  She said she had been bitten by a rattlesnake, and showed a small wound just above the ankle.  The flesh had already begun to swell, and SMITH took from his pocket quite a quantity of “dog-leg” tobacco, and having moistened a moderately large quid, applied it to the wound.  After a few minutes this was removed and another portion applied, and the operation was repeated until all the tobacco was used.  The woman recovered from her nervous shock and arose to her feet.  She had had enough cranberry-picking for that day and started for home.  Her name has been forgotten.  After she left, a large rattlesnake was killed about a rod from where she had fallen.  It was evidently the same one that had bitten her.  In 1855 the marsh had grown so dry that cranberries no longer grew there in paying quantities.

 

GALION is eighty miles southwest of Cleveland and fifty-eight miles north of Columbus, on the C. C. C. & I. N. Y. P. & O., and Bee Line railroads.  It is an enterprising and growing town.  Its newspapers are: Inquirer, Democratic, H. S. MATTHIAS, editor, George L. MATTHIAS, publisher; Sun-Review, Republican, A. D. ROWE and F. E. COONRAD editors and publishers.  Churches: 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 English Lutheran, 1 United Brethren, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Baptist, 1 Episcopalian, 1 German Methodist, 1 German Lutheran, 1 German Reformed, and 2 Catholic.  Banks: Citizens’ National, J. H. GREEN, president, A. F. LOWE, cashier; First National, C. S. CRIM, president, A. W. MONROE, assistant-cashier;  Galion National, George SNYDER, president, O. L. HAYS, cashier.

 

Factories and Employees.—N. Y. P. & O. R. R. Shops, railroad repairs, 230 hands; C. C. C. & I. R. R. Shop, railroad repairs, 50; Central Lounge Manufacturing Company, lounges, 18; SQUIER & HOMER, machine work, 15; Central Ohio Wheel Company, vehicle wheels, 136; Armstrong, Daily & Co., planing mill, etc., 39; Plank, Gray & Co., flour, etc., 15.—State Report 1887.  Also, Central Oil Company Works; A Howard, buggy works; I. K. KUNKEL, buggy works; H. ALTSTATER’s brewery and bottling works; REISINGER’S bottling works; J. KESSELMEIR, jewelers’ lathes; O. R. COX & Co., carriage hardware, etc. Population in 1880, 5,635.  School census in 1886, 1,873; Marcellus MANLEY, superintendent.

 

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Galion was laid out in 1831 by Michael and Jacob RUHL, being then in Sandusky township, Richland county.  In 1824 a post-office was established here, in accordance with a petition from the inhabitants, who, however, had requested its name be Goshen, but as there were several Goshens in the country the Postmaster-General to prevent confusion gave the name Galeon; it was later changed in the spelling to Galion. The name can be found nowhere else in the world; it is unknown why this particular name should have been adopted.  John RUHL, the father of Michael and Jacob, came from York county, Pa., and entered several sections of land here.  The RUHLS were German Lutherans, and were active in building the first church, erected the first saw-mill, kept a tavern and a store, and were enterprising in developing the settlement.  In 1849 it had less than 400 population. Its prosperity is due to the building of railroads, which, with their immense shops, constitute the life of Galion; two-thirds of the population consist of railroad men and their families.

 

L. M. Reck, Photo., Galion, 1887.

CENTRAL VIEW IN GALION.

 

[This view was taken on the public square, looking down South Market street.  The church spires shown are German Lutheran, the Presbyterian, and the German Methodist.]

 

 

The following sketches of character and incident are in the “History of Crawford County,” an unusually fine work of its class:

 

The Tailor Justice.—“Squire Peter WORST, one of the early justices, was a tailor by trade, and generally heard the cases while sitting cross-legged on his office bench, seldom pausing in the work on which he was occupied.  It is reported that one day a case was brought before him, and he continued sewing while the plaintiff’s side was being argued, after which he quit work for a moment, grabbed his docket, made several entries upon it and continued his task.  The counsel for the defendant was anxious to make a plea, and growing impatient, asked, “Doesn’t the Court wish to hear any evidence on the other side?”  “Oh, yes,” replied the squire, “you can talk just as long as you please, but I have decided the case in favor of the plaintiff.”

 

It is unnecessary to write of the details of this case, but the remark was characteristic of Mr. WORST, who was one of the early settlers of Bucyrus township.  Mr. WORST was a resident of the county for nearly forty-five years, and held various township and corporation offices during this period.  He was a citizen of strongly marked character, peculiar and quaint, fond of harmless fun and ever ready with an original remark or an innocent jest, but never with any unkindness or sting in his cheerful mirth.

 

The Two Bachelor Hermits.Among the early residents of Auburn townships were two singular old bachelors named Varnica and Wadsworth.  They were hermits and lived lonely and solitary lives in rude caves dug by

 

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themselves in the side of embankments, the roof being supported with upright posts, standing at intervals within the cave.  People called them crazy and the eccentricity of the two gave abundant credence to the reports.  They shunned all associates except their faithful dogs, and were never seen in the neighborhood settlements, unless called there for supplies or to dispose of provisions.

 

Varnica was a German, and could handle the glib idioms of his native language with a grace and fluency that proved his education to be of unusual excellence.  It became current, and was universally believed that he had been an officer in one of the European armies, possibly in that of Napoleon Bonaparte.  His language and manners indicated that he was familiar with military tactics, and his inability to speak English  proved that he had not resided long in America.  Although he lived in poverty, and went dressed in insufficient and even ragged clothing, he seemed to have an abundance of money, which he kept hid in out-of-the-way places.  He entered a quarter section of land, upon which he resided until his death.  But little money was found after this event, until a will was found among his papers, bequeathing his land, and a few hundred dollars in money to a young man named James WILSON, with whom he had lived at the time of his death.  He was always silent and melancholy, and seemed to have a deep-rooted sorrow preying upon his mind, robbing it of joys that make life endurable.  By the provision of the will, WILSON was made executor, and was enjoined to distribute the balance of the money among poor and friendless females.  This provision was a denouement to some, who had noticed that Varnica shunned the opposite sex as he would the plagues of Egypt, his conduct giving rise to the report that his life had been blighted by a woman.  The will disclosed the hiding place of $2,200 in gold, which had been concealed in a gate post, into which a hole had been bored and the gold dropped in, after which the hole closed with a pin of the same wood as the post.  He died in 1840, and WILSON faithfully executed the provision of the will.

 

Wadsworth was a graduate of Yale College, and had evidently fitted himself for the ministerial profession.  He lived in a cave on his land, and though bent almost double from unknown circumstances, was possessed of enormous strength.  He carried his melons, potatoes, and other provisions, in a sack on his back, from house to house or to some of the surrounding villages.  He was a recluse, and seemed contented only when he could brood without molestation over his mysterious life.  He had rich relatives living in Boston, who occasionally visited him and tried to induce him to abandon his life of poverty and loneliness, but without avail. A happy smile was never seen upon his sad face, and when he at last died, in about 1838, his property was claimed by his eastern relatives.

 

Lost People.—About one mile southwest of Galion, was a double log-cabin, in which two families lived, one by the name of ERYSMAN and one by the name of DUN, or DOORMISE, who had a little daughter about four years of age.  The mother was boiling sugar water in the woods near by, and had the little girl by her.  Thinking it time the little one was in the house, she went with her to the fence, lifted her over the enclosure and told her to amuse herself until the mother arrived.  Nothing was ever seen of the little girl after that day.  A number of strange Indians ( called Canadians, because they belonged near the lake, where the settlers were French) had been roving around the settlements, and but a few hours before the child was missed a party of four or five had been to Mr. HOSFORD’S to purchase some whiskey.  But a few days before a party of Indians, supposed to be the same, had been to the house of Benjamin SHARROCK, and attempted to negotiate for a young girl whom they wanted to raise in their tribe, and be adopted as one of them. 

 

When the poor mother came in from her work and found that the little daughter had not come in the house, she knew almost intuitively that the little one was lost. She was frenzied with horror, and a strange terror crept over her; in a frantic manner she roved up and down the woods, one moment calling in endearing accents the name of her little child, and the next the woods would ring with her piercing shrieks, her cries and appeals to heaven.  Word had been sent to Mr. Asa HOSFORD, and he came with men as promptly as possible; for three days and nights the woods were searched; parties of men were sent with information in every direction, but all of no use.  The frantic mother suffered so much that all the good-hearted old pioneers tried to think of some expedient; finally they ceased their search in the woods and began to drag the creek.  Men, women and children with poles, rakes, grappels, and every implement that could possibly be of use, were brought out for the purpose.  But hopes of the lost one died within them, and the search was gradually given up, and the bright little one lost forever.

 

The strange Indians were never seen in that vicinity thereafter.  It was the theory of those most versed in Indian affairs that some chief was desirous of bringing up in his tribe a white squaw that in time should be the wife of one of his favorite sons, or his legitimate successor.  The only mitigation of this horrible destiny was the fact that nearly all remembrance of her parents and her innocent childhood joys would be obliterated from her memory. 

 

Near the same place a family by the name of BASHFORD had taken a little girl to raise.  She went out to find the cows, which, by the ringing of the bell, she soon discovered; but she was confused about the route to be taken for the house.  She kept cool, and determined to stay with the cows, knowing that when they were found she would be all right.  She followed them around until they laid down, when she crawled up and laid as near the back of an old cow as she could for the

 

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sake of warmth.  In the morning she was found rambling around with the cattle and her feet somewhat frost-bitten.  She was much alarmed by the howling of wolves through the night.

 

There were hardly any roads except Indian trails, and women and children were often lost in passing from place to place, and in some instances men were lost.  A man by the name of Samuel DANY went into the woods to shoot a deer; he soon became lost, and wandered round and round until he became perfectly confused.  At last he came within sight of a cabin and a woman standing in the door; he walked up to the fence and inquired where Samuel DANY lived.  She laughingly told him he might come in and see.  He was overjoyed to discover that it was his own wife and his own cabin.

 

Indian War Dance.When the first settlers came to Polk, they found a village of Wyandot Indians on the south side of the Oleantangy, on ground that now forms the northern part of Galion.  They were peaceful and well disposed toward the white settlers, and rendered them valuable assistance in the erection of their cabins and at log-rollings.  At one time Mr. HOSFORD had employed a number of them to assist in a log-rolling.  In the evening, when the day’s work was done, they all assembled in Mr. HOSFORD’S kitchen; being slightly intoxicated, they were in humor for some demonstration of their pent-up spirits.  Mr. HOSFORD, thinking to amuse all present, and desiring to witness some of their ceremonies, proposed that the Indians should give an exhibition of their war dance.  They readily acceded to his request, and immediately placed one of the number, by name “Buckwheat,” in the center of the room, and commenced a horrible dance around him.

 

Hideous as they were of themselves, they added to their repulsiveness contortions of body and countenance.  They whooped and yelled and grew fiercer in their actions, till they finally dragged Buckwheat roughly from his seat and threw him violently upon the floor.  One of the braves placed his foot upon Buckwheat’s neck and went through the pantomime of scalping him, while others represented themselves as plunging their knives into the quivering victim.  Buckwheat played his part well; he was personifying a white man in captivity.  So realistic was this tableau, that a white man present became enraged at the apparent fear and trembling of Buckwheat, and it almost required the personal restraint of Mr. HOSFORD to prevent Buckwheat being killed.  Mr. HOSFORD had reason to congratulate himself that before the exhibition commenced all arms and weapons had been concealed.  This mimic dance and death of a white man at this period made a lasting impression on those who saw it, and it brought vividly to their memories the horrible atrocities perpetuated in this near neighborhood but a comparatively few years before.

 

How to Find Honey Bees.—Many persons at an early date engaged in bee-hunting.  A Mr. SCHAUBER sold enough homey to secure the purchase-money on what is known as the SCHAUBER farm.  The beautiful forests abounded in bee-trees; it is surprising to see the countless swarms that spread over the West.  The Indians considered them the harbinger of the white man, as the whites do the buffalo and deer of the Indian, and note that as the larger game retires the bee advances.

 

The Indians with surprise found the moldering trees of their forests suddenly teeming with ambrosial sweets, and nothing could exceed the greedy relish with which they banqueted for the first time upon this unthought of luxury in the wilderness.  The honey-bee swarms in myriads in the noble groves and forests that skirt and intersect the prairies, and along the alluvial bottoms of the creeks and rivers.  The hunters generally place a piece of comb on a tree, and await the arrival of workers.  As soon as the bees have loaded themselves with honey, they take their flight straight for their own tree with their load.  The hunters run after them with head erect and eyes aloft, frequently stumbling over obstacles at their feet; in this manner they track the bees to their individual colonies, mark the trees and seek for more.  They dare not cut down the trees until fully prepared to take away the honey, for the bears, skunks, raccoons and possums have sweet teeth and would soon devour any honey within their reach.  The bears will gnaw for days together until they make a hole in the trunk, big enough to insert their paws, and then draw out the honey, bees and all.

 

Mr. STORY states that in an early day, DOUDY, an Indian, with his squaw, cut down a bee-tree.  The grandfather of STORY was along; the honey was very fine, and the Indian, who was very fond of Mr. STORY, sent him a large piece of comb on a piece of shellbark.  STORY was quite overcome by the generosity of the Indian, who, he says, was gentle in peace, while desperate and brave in war.

 

Petroleum Nasby Characters.—Portersville gained national notoriety during and since the last war by being the celebrated X Cross Roads where the fictitious personage Petroleum V. Nasby first began to chronicle his experiences, and to send communications to the Toledo Blade and other well-known newspapers.  Many of the incidents and circumstances narrated by him, though given with partisan partiality, actually transpired; and all the principal characters, such as Nasby, Bigler, Bascom, Pogram and others, were taken from fancied resemblances to individuals residing in the village at that time.  The inquisitorial eyes of the nation became centered upon the little town, and the characters drawn have become almost as well known to the citizens of the United States as those of Dickens or Shakespeare.  They have become permanent characters in standard American literature.  It was not long before the renowned Nasby sold out at Portersville

 

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(if the figure may be indulged in) and established himself at the “Confedrit X Roads, which is in the State of Kentucky.”  Several of the originals from which the principal characters were drawn are yet living in the village, or in other parts of the county.  The legend of Nasby’s trials in the political world, like that of the fanciful Don Quioxte, will ever remain connected with the unpretentious little village, and will afford abundant material for gossip for scores of years to come.

 

Abundance of Game.—Crawford county was a favorite hunting-ground for the Indians, and the early settlers found an abundance of game.  Deer were very plenty, but for the first few years the slaughter of deer was carried on so wantonly that the more thoughtful and prudent among them saw that those animals were soon destined to become unknown in the country, unless some means could be devised to end the useless slaughter.

 

Bawling up Deer.—The Indians who camped on the small streams throughout the country killed hundreds of them for nothing but their skins, leaving the flesh for the wolves and buzzards.  During the season, when the fawns were young, the Indians, in order to kill as many deer as possible, were in the habit of what was called “bawling up a deer.”  They imitated the bleating of a fawn in distress, when the instinct of the doe to protect her young was on the alert and paramount; and when she ran to her offspring she was shot by the Indians.  In this manner large numbers of does were slaughtered.

 

After a few years the settlers forbade the Indians coming to the neighborhood to kill deer; and on one occasion, when they disobeyed the command and killed a fine doe by the “bawling process,” several settlers, among whom was one of the CHILCOTES, of Cranberry Township, and Enoch BAKER, informed them emphatically, with a significant tap upon the rifle, that if the act was repeated the Indians doing it would be shot.  This put a stop to the destruction in that direction, and the settlers were requested not to slaughter the animals unnecessarily.  Ira BLAIR, on one occasion, remained in the woods for three days, killing during that time eight deer.

 

It is related by Amos MORSE, that in about 1821, Jacob BYERS made a contract with Rudolphus MORSE, the father of Amos, to the effect that he could kill more deer the next day than Mr. MORSE could bring in.  The bargain was made one evening, during a heavy fall of snow.  BYERS knew that the following day would be an excellent one for the hunt, so early in the morning he started out.

 

He had an old flint-lock rifle that had evidently seen any amount of service, as the parts were tied together in many places with bands of tow.  But the gun proved very effective in the hands of the experienced BYERS, who, during that eventful day killed seven deer, all of which were brought in, according to the agreement, by Mr. MORSE, except one, which had been mortally wounded, and had been followed and killed about eight miles east of the township.  The approach of darkness prevented Mr. MORSE from bringing this animal in, and he therefore failed to live up to his part of the agreement.

 

Fawns were often captured alive, and after a few days elapsed they would follow the members of the family around like dogs.  Almost every cabin had its per deer or fawn.  Bells were hung around their necks to prevent them from getting lost in the woods.

 

Encounter with Wolves.—Mr. BAKER owned one of these pets which was prized very highly by members of his family.  One day, while it was feeding near the cabin, Mr. TYNDAL, who was hunting in the woods, possibly thinking it was a wild one, shot and killed it.  He also killed several others about the neighborhood, when the indignant owners came to the conclusion that it was preposterous to look any longer upon the act as a mistake.  Enoch BAKER became quite an expert hunter, and in 1887 was still living in Auburn township, on the farm purchased by his father in 1826.  On one occasion, when returning late at night, or rather early in the morning, from “sparking” a neighbor’s daughter, he barely escaped being devoured by wolves.  He had left the cabin of his sweetheart and was walking along through the forest, swinging his cane and whistling, as boys do yet when returning on similar occasions, when the distant howl of a wolf was borne to his ears.  The howl was repeated, and soon the woods were filled with a chorus of terrifying sounds.

 

The boy was terribly frightened, and as he had several miles to go before reaching home, he started rapidly on the run, hoping to reach his father’s cabin before the wolves closed upon him.  He ran on as swiftly as his feet would carry him, but soon the foremost wolves were seen bounding along at his right and left.

 

He swung his club aloft and shouted, and the wolves fell back a short distance, only to again approach nearer than before.  But the panting boy was almost home.  He struggled on, with the wolves about him, and finally ran into the clearing around his father’s cabin, when the animals fell back and were soon lost to sight in the dark forest.  This was a lesson to the youth, but it did no good, for the next Sunday night he was out late again for the same reason.

 

Catamounts.—On another occasion, William JOHNS, a neighbor, having lost several pigs through the agency of some wild animal that carried them off one by one on successive nights, offered Mr. BAKER a dollar if he would kill the animal.  BAKER accordingly established himself with his dog in the cabin of JOHNS to watch for the animal during the night.  About twelve o’clock the swine were heard squealing, and BAKER opened the door and told the eager dog to go.  Away it went after some large animal that bounded off

 

 

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into the woods and ran up a tree.  Baker followed and saw by the light of the moon a catamount crouched on a large limb above his head.  He fired and the animal fell to the ground dead.  The death of the catamount stopped the destruction of the swine; but BAKER refused to take the dollar he had earned, being satisfied with the skin of the animal.  At another time, when returning from a neighbor’s, his dogs treed two catamounts.  After a lively skirmish, during which he experienced considerable personal danger, he succeeded in killing them both.

 

Squirrels.The woods were filled with squirrels, which came by the hundreds into the corn-fields and dug up and destroyed the growing corn.  Hunts were frequently organized to rid the forest of these pests, and often on such occasions hundreds were killed and for days after the hunters’ families were provided with an abundant supply of choice meat.  A hunt of this character was projected one day by a party of settlers, among whom were Thomas COOKER and Enoch BAKER.  When night came and the hunters assembled to see who had been the most successful, it was found that almost 200 squirrels had been killed.  As each hunter brought into the room the squirrels he had killed, BAKER, to the astonishment of all, lugged in a large catamount as the result of his day’s hunt.  It was conceded by all that he had done the best day’s work.

 

Encounters with Bears.At another time, William CLOE, then a boy about sixteen years old, called the dogs one evening, and started in search of the cows.  The dogs left his side, and he soon heard them barking furiously at some animal that had turned at bay.  He hurried forward and saw them standing guard over a large hollow log, and from their cautious movements, he knew they were confronted by an animal of which they were afraid.  He stole cautiously forward from the rear, and, peering under the log, saw the huge paws of a bear.  The boy was without a gun, but determining to attack the bear at all hazards, he armed himself with a heavy club and resolutely approached the log.  While the attention of the bear was diverted to the dogs, which, emboldened by the approach of the boy, had renewed the attack with great fury, he seized it by the hind leg and pulled it from the log.  Before the animal could recover its feet, the boy dealt it a terrible blow across the head, repeating the act again and again, until life was extinct.  When the excited boy returned home without the cows and related his adventure his story was not believed until the dead bear was seen.

 

William’s brother Daniel remained one night at the cabin of a relative near West Liberty, and early the next morning, before daybreak, started for home.  He was accompanied by a large bull-dog, belonging to Enoch BAKER, and after going a short distance he was startled by seeing several wolves running along in the woods on either side of and behind him.  He started forward, but had not gone ten paces before a pack of eleven wolves, with open mouths, bounded toward him from behind.  A large one, the leader of the pack, was almost upon him when it was seized by the throat by the dog and pinned to the ground.  The others fell back, giving the boy time to ascend a small iron-wood tree, and, after a short fight, the wolf escaped the hold of the dog, and together the whole pack turned and disappeared in the woods.  The boy had been saved by the dog from a horrible death.

 

One day. Seth HAWKES, hearing one of his hogs squealing loudly in the woods about a quarter of a mile from his cabin, hastened out to see what could be the matter.  A large log lay upon the ground between him and the squealing hog, and nothing could be seen by the settler until he reached the log and peered over.  There lay his hog upon the ground, while standing over it, with their sharp teeth and claws in its flesh, were two large bears.  The animals instantly perceived the intruder and turned upon him furiously, but he ran to a small tree, and sprang into the lower branches just in time to escape the claws of the larger bear, which had swiftly pursued him.  The furious animal began making desperate efforts to reach the settler.  It at first endeavored to climb the tree; but failing in this, it retired to a short distance and, turning, ran toward the tree with the apparent intention of leaping into the lower branches.  The terrified Mr. HAWKS sat on a limb above and regarded with no little concern the efforts of the bear.  He began hallooing loudly for assistance, and the bear increased its efforts to reach its enemy.  It soon wore quite a path in running to the tree, and would leap high enough to seize one of the limbs in its teeth.  After about half an hour, Rudolphus MORSE, who had been apprised by Mrs. HAWKS of the dangerous situation of her husband, appeared upon the scene, whereupon the bears, whose fury had spent itself, apparently realizing that it was no longer wise to dispute against such odds about the ownership of the hog, shambled off through the woods as fast as their feet could carry them.  Many other interesting anecdotes of a similar nature are related by the old settlers.

 

CRESTLINE is situated at the crossing of the P. Ft. W. & C. and the C. C. C. & I.  Railroad, about 13 miles from Bucyrus.  It was laid out in 1851 by Renselaer LIVINGSTON and originally bore the name of Livingston.  It is in Jackson township, comprising only 8 square miles, probably the smallest in the State.  It is a railroad town and supported mainly by the railroad shops located here.  Be-

 

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fore the day of railroads a town on this spot was not thought of.  Men who are still in the prime of life remember when it was a good place to hunt deer.  The site is flat.  When laid out it was thought to be the highest point above sea-level in the State, hence the name Crestline.  It has two newspapers, Advocate, Ind., D. C. BILLOW, editor; Violette, Dem., W. W. POPE, editor. Churches: 1 Methodist Episcopal, 2 German Lutheran, 1 English Lutheran, 1 German Reformed, 1 Presbyterian and 1 Catholic.  Babst’s Banking House, Babst Bros., proprietors, Joseph BAPST, cashier.

 

Manufactures and Employees.—Talbot & Co., meal and feed, 4 hands;  ECKSTEIN and ROSS, planing mill, 14; J. W. POND & Co., flour, etc. 3; P. Ft. & C. R. R. Co., railroad repairs, 156; N. BURCH Plow Works, plows, 8.—State Report 1887.  Population in 1880, 2,848.

 

New Washington village had in 1880 675 inhabitants, and Leesville Cross Roads 213.

 

 

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