Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   



 HARDIN COUNTY


Hardin County was formed from old Indian territory, April 1, 1820.  Area about 440 square miles.  In 1887 the acres cultivated were 132,898; in pasture, 30,697; woodland, 47,516; lying waste, 8,167; produced in wheat, 359,060 bushels; rye, 12,526; buckwheat, 635; oats, 340,047; barley, 315; corn, 1,187,035; meadow hay, 22,771 tons; clover hay, 5,243; flax, 2,012 lbs. fibre; potatoes, 114,506 bushels; butter, 550,396 lbs.; cheese, 574; sorghum, 1,488 gallons; maple syrup, 2,810; honey, 25,358 lbs.; eggs, 524,031 dozen; grapes, 5,085 lbs.; sweet potatoes, 40 bushels; apples, 53,791; peaches, 255; pears, 403; wool, 209,683 lbs.; milch cows owned, 5,954.  School census, 1888, 9,306; teachers, 264.  Miles of railroad track, 91. 

 

Township

And Census

1840

1880

 

Township

And Census

1840

1880

Blanchard

  241

2,428

 

Lynn

 

   922

Buck

 

1,610

 

Marion

  177

   982

Cessna

  259

   966

 

McDonald

  285

1,449

Dudley

  349

1,418

 

Pleasant

  569

5,492

Goshen

  549

1,030

 

Roundhead

  564

1,035

Hale

  267

1,740

 

Taylor Creek

  400

1,189

Jackson

  260

2,176

 

Washington

  203

1,291

Liberty

  170

3,295

 

 

 

 

 

Population of Hardin, 1840, 4,583; 1860, 13,570; 1880, 27,023; of whom 22,328 were born in Ohio; 1,047 Pennsylvania; 480 Virginia; 320 new York; 187 Indiana; 85 Kentucky; 738 German empire; 386 Ireland; 147 England and Wales; 57 in British America; 20 Scotland; and 18 France. 

Although Hardin was formed from old Indian territory as early as 1820, it was not organized until January 8, 1833, previous to which it formed for judicial purposes a part of Logan County, and when Champaign was organized of that county.  About half of the county is level and the remainder undulating, and all capable of thorough drainage.  The soil is part gravelly loam and part clayey and based on limestone and rich.  Its original forests were very heavy in timber and of the usual varieties. 

Originally the deep woods of the county were singularly free from underbrush, so that the pioneers could see a long distance between the trees.  It is supposed that this arose from a habit of the Indians of annually burning the underbrush to facilitate the capture of game.  Owing to the heavy timber the county slowly settled, so that as late as 1840 it had but 9 inhabitants to the square mile.  The county, like Marion, is on the great watershed of the State, the southern part being in the Mississippi valley and the northern part in the Lake Erie basin.  Its principal streams are the Scioto and the Blanchard, the waters of the first going into the Ohio and the other into Lake Erie.  The Blanchard, Hog Creek and the north branch of the Miami head in this county, while the Scioto heads in Auglaize County, enters Hardin from the southwest, flows through the great Scioto marsh, first goes northeast and then southeast by Kenton. 

Col. John HARDIN, from whom this county was named, was an officer of great distinction in the early settlement of the West.  He was born of humble parentage, in Fauquier County, Virginia, in 1753.  From his very youth, he was initiated into the life of a woodsman, and acquired uncommon skill as a marksman and a hunter.  In the spring of 1774 young HARDIN, then not twenty-one years of age, was appointed and ensign in a militia company, and shortly after, in an action with the Indians, was wounded in the knee. Before he had fully recovered from his wound he joined the noted expedition of Dunmore.  In the war of the revolution, he was a lieutenant in Morgan's celebrated rifle corps.  He was high in the esteem of General MORGAN, and was often selected for enterprises of peril, requiring discretion and intrepidity.  On one of these occasions while 

Page 876

with the northern army, he was sent out on a reconnoitering expedition, with orders to take a prisoner, for the purpose of obtaining information.  Marching silently in advance of his party, he ascended to the top of an abrupt hill, where he met two or three British soldiers and a Mohawk Indian.  The moment was critical.  HARDIN felt no hesitation - his rifle was instantly presented, and they ordered to surrender.  The soldiers immediately threw down their arms - the Indian clubbed his gun.  They stood, while he continued to advance on them: but none of his men having come up, and thinking he might want some assistance, he turned his head a little and called to them to come on; at this moment, the Indian, observing his eye was drawn from him, reversed his gun with a rapid motion, in order to shoot HARDIN; when he, catching in his vision the gleam of light reflected from the polished barrel, with equal rapidity apprehended its meaning, and was prompt to prevent the dire effect.  He brings his rifle to a level in his own hands, and fires without raising it to his face - he had not time, the attempt would have given the Indian the first fire, on that depended life and death - he gained it and gave the Indian a mortal wound; who, also, firing in the succeeding moment, sent his ball through HARDIN'S hair.  The rest of the party made no resistance, but were marched to camp.  On this occasion HARDIN received the thanks of General GATES.   In 1786 he settled in Washington County, Kentucky, and there was no expedition into the Indian country after he settled in Kentucky, except that of General St. Clair, which he was prevented from joining by an accidental lameness, in which he was not engaged.  In these, he generally distinguished himself by his gallantry and success.  In Harmar's expedition, however, he was unfortunate, being defeated by the Indians when on detached command near Fort Wayne.  Colonel Hardin was killed in the 39th year of his age.  He was - says MARSHALL, in his history of Kentucky, from which these facts are derived -a man of unassuming manners, and great gentleness of deportment; yet of singular firmness and inflexibility as to matters of truth and justice.  Prior to the news of his death, such was his popularity in Kentucky, that he was appointed general of the first brigade. 

Colonel HARDIN was killed by the Indians in 1792.  He was sent by General Washington on a mission of peace to them - and was on his way to the Shawnees' town.  He had reached within a few miles of his point of destination, and was within what is now Shelby County, in this state, when he was overtaken by a few Indians, who proposed encamping with him, and to accompany him the next day to the residence of their chiefs.  In the night, they basely murdered him, as was alleged, for his horse and equipments, which were attractive and valuable.  His companion, a white man, who spoke Indian, and acted as interpreter, was uninjured.  When the chiefs heard of HARDIN'S death, they were sorry, for they desired to hear what the messenger of peace had to communicate.  A town was laid out on the spot some years since, on the State road from Piqua through Wapakonetta, and named, at the suggestion of Colonel John JOHNSON, Hardin, to perpetuate the memory and sufferings of this brave and patriotic man: it is about six miles west of Sydney. 

Fort M'Arthur was a fortification built in the late war, on the Scioto river, in this county, on Hull's road.  It was a low, flat place, in the far woods, and with but little communication with the settlements, as no person could go far one to the other but at the peril of his life, the woods being infested with hostile Indians. 

The fort was a stockade, enclosing about half an acre.  There were 2 block houses; 1 in the northwest and the other in the southeast angle.  Seventy or eighty feet of the enclosure was composed of a row of log corn-cribs, covered with a shed roof, sloping inside.  A part of the pickets were of split timber, and lapped at the edges: others were round logs, set up endways, and touching each other.  The rows of huts for the garrison were a few feet from the walls.  It was a post of much danger, liable at any moment to be attacked. 

The site of this fort is about three miles southwest of Kenton, and not a vestige of it now remains.  It must have been an exceedingly dreary spot and largely fatal to the soldiers, as it is in the vicinity of the great Scioto marsh.  The graves of sixteen of the garrison are nearby.  The prompt building of this fort reflects great credit upon the foresight of Governor MEIGS.  On the 11th of June, 1812, one week before the declaration of war, he dispatched Duncan M'ARTHUR with a regiment of soldiers from Urbanna, to open a road in advance of Hull's army and build a stockade at the crossing of the Scioto.  On the 19th HULL arrived with the residue of his army.  His trace is still discernible, after a lapse now of seventy-seven years, in various places through the northwestern counties as he passed on his way to Detroit.  Not a vestige of the fort now remains,

Page 877

Top Picture

Drawn by Henry Howe, 1846

KENTON

 

Bottom Picture

I. N. Hays, Photo, 1890

COURT HOUSE SQUARE, KENTON.

 

Page 878

but remnants of M'Arthur's corduroy through the boggy forest are yet to be found. 

On page 705 is a sketch of Thomas Coke WRIGHT, who gave for our first edition this interesting incident.  It was at one time commanded by Captain Robert M'CLELLAND, who recently died in Greene county.  He was brave, and when roused, brave to brashness.  While he commanded at Fort M'Arthur, one of his men had gone a short distance from the walls for the purpose of peeling bark.  While he was engaged on a tree, he was shot twice through the body, by a couple of Indians in ambush, whose rifles went off so near together that the reports were barely distinguishable.  He uttered one piercing scream of agony, and ran with almost superhuman speed, but fell before he reached the fort.  An instant alarm was spread through the garrison, as no doubt was entertained but that this was the commencement of a general attack, which had been long expected.  Instead of shutting the gates to keep out danger, MCCLELLAND seized his rifle, and calling on some of his men to follow, of which but few obeyed, he hastened to the place of ambush and made a diligent search for the enemy, who, by an instant and rapid retreat, had effected their escape; nor did he return until he had scoured the woods all around in the vicinity of the fort. 

The old M'Arthur road, or "Hull's trail," was for many years the principal highway from Bellefontaine to Detroit, while fort M'Arthur remained garrisoned for some time after the close of the war. 

According to tradition the first family to locate in the county was that of the Alfred HALE, who came to Fort M'Arthur in 1817, and in 1819 was born their son Jonas, their fourth child.  Hale was a hunter and squatter, and remained but a short time.  The first permanent settlement was made near the site of Roundhead, in the spring of 1818, by Peter C. M'ARTHUR and Daniel CAMPBELL, where they built cabins, and after planting corn went back to Ross County to bring their families, but from fear of a sudden outbreak of Indians, did not return until 1822.  The nearest settlement was about Bellefontaine.  It is said that their fire at one time was going out, but M'ARTHUR was compelled to walk to that point to obtain a fresh supply.  Upon his return he met a squaw, who, laughing at his ignorance, showed him how to make a fire with a flint and a piece of punk.  About the next family in that vicinity was that of Samuel TIDD, a blacksmith, who at one time did much work for the Indians.  He came in February, 1822, and settled in the forests, where was born, November 15 of the next year, their daughter Jane, the first female child born in Hardin county.  In the county history appears her portrait, as Mrs. Jane TIDD RUTLEDGE, and the good, strong, womanly face. 

The first court held in the county was held March 8, 1834, in a block-house, the residence of Hon. William MCCLOUD, at M'Arthur, MCCLOUD being one of the associate judges.  The first county officers were elected the next month.  The total vote was only sixty-three.  Little or no business was done at the first term of court. 

The next year a trial jury was required.  The farmers were busy, the country sparsely settled, and the sheriff found great difficulty in impaneling a jury.  On the morning of the second day, the judge opened the court and asked the sheriff if the jury was full.  The sheriff is said to have replied "Not quite full yet.  I have eleven men in the jail and my dogs and deputies are after the twelfth man."  The jail at that time was a log-cabin near the fort.  The court-room was a shed constructed from the side of the block-house, with clapboards, with forked saplings for uprights.  The benches for jury and spectators were split clapboards, with auger holes for legs.  The "bench" were provided with a table and chairs.  The jury retired to the woods for their deliberation. 

Kenton in 1846. -Kenton, the county-seat, is on the Scioto river and Mad river railroad, seventy-one miles northwest of Columbus, and 78 from Sandusky City.  The view shown was taken southwest of the town.  The railroad is shown in front, with the depot on the left: the Presbyterian church appears near the center of the view.  In the center of the town is a neat public square.  From the facilities furnished by the railroad, Kenton promises to be an inland town of considerable business and population.  It now contains eight dry-goods and four grocery stores, one newspaper printing office, one foundry, one grist and one saw mill, one Presbyterian and one Methodist Church, and had, in 1840, 300 inhabitants, since which is estimated to have more than doubled its population.  There is a house in this town, the rain flowing from its north ridge

Page 879

finds its way to Lake Erie, and that from its south ridge to the Gulf of Mexico. -Old Edition. 

The old view, excepting that of Xenia, is the only one that shows a railroad in all the 180 engravings of our original edition.  The hut in the center stood a little southwest of the site of YOUNG Brothers' present office.  The church in the centre was the old Presbyterian, now down; and the taverns on the right were those of the American House, kept by Judge David L. GOODIN, and the Mansion House, built by William FURNEY.  

The railroad shown was opened to Kenton, July 4, 1846, the very year the view was taken, and amid great rejoicings, an excursion train having come from Sandusky.  Its name was the Mad River and Lake Erie, then running from Sandusky to Dayton; later, changed to the Cleveland, Sandusky and Cincinnati.  The house which shed its rain for both Lake Erie and the Ohio was then the residence of John W. HOLMES.  The site is the present residence of General ROBINSON.  About the highest point in the county is Silver Creek Summit, 1,118 ft. above tide.  See page 60. 

In the spring of 1833 the State committee appointed by the legislature selected a site for the county-seat, on the north bank of the Scioto, on part of sections 33 and 34 in Pleasant township, George HOUSER, Jacob HOUSER and Lemuel WILMOTH giving forty acres of their land as an inducement.  The committee having decided upon the site were unable to agree upon the name, but after its selection rode over three miles west with William MCCLOUD to Fort M'ARTHUR, where he resided in a block-house, to get dinner.  MCCLOUD, who was a great hunter, and his good lady, had provided an appetizing feast of wild meat, for they were very hungry.  The subject of the name of being discussed, they left it to the decision of Mrs. MCCLOUD, who declared in favor of Kenton, in honor of the friend of her husband, and nobody ever regretted the choice. 

A sketch of him will be found on page 376.  Father FINLEY, in his own memoirs, gives these interesting details of his conversion in his mature years to the truths of Christianity. 

Simon KENTON was the friend and benefactor of his race.  In the latter part of his life he embraced religion; in the fall of 1819 General KENTON and my father met at a camp meeting on the waters of Mad river, after a separation of many years.  Their early acquaintance in Kentucky rendered this interview interesting to both of them.  The meeting had been in progress for several days without any great excitement until Sabbath evening, when it pleased God to pour out his spirit in a remarkable manner.  Many were awakened, and among the number were several of the General's relatives. 

His heart was touched, and the tear was seen to kindle the eye and start down the furrow of his manly cheek.  On Monday morning he asked my father to retire with him to the woods.  To this he readily assented, and as they were passing along in silence, and the song of the worshipers had died upon their ears, addressing my father, he said, "Mr. FINLEY, I am going to communicate to you some things which I want you to promise me you will never divulge." My father replied, "If it will not affect any but ourselves, then I promise to keep it forever."  Sitting down on a log the General commenced to tell the story of his heart, and disclose its wretchedness; what a great sinner he had been, and how merciful was God in preserving him amid all the conflicts and dangers of the wilderness.  While he thus unburdened his heart and told the anguish of his sin- wounded spirit, his lip quivered and the tears of penitence fell from his weeping eyes.  They both fell to the earth and, prostrate, cried aloud to God for mercy and salvation.  The penitent was pointed to Jesus, the Almighty Savior; and after a long and agonizing struggle, the gate of eternal life was entered, and

"Hymns of joy proclaimed through heaven

The triumphs of a soul forgiven."

Then from the old veteran, who immediately sprang to his feet, there went up a shout toward heaven which made the woods resound with its gladness.  Leaving my father he started for the camp, like the man healed at the beautiful gate, leaping and praising God, so that the faster and farther he went the louder did he shout glory to God.  His appearance startled the whole encampment: and when my father arrived he found an immense crowd gathered around him, to whom he was declaring the goodness of God, and his power to save.  Approaching him, my father said, "General, I thought

Page 880

we were to keep this matter a secret."  He instantly replied, "Oh, it is too glorious for that.  If I had all the world here I would tell of the goodness and mercy of God."

At this time he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, lived a consistent, happy Christian, and died in the open sunshine of the Saviour's love.  If there is any one of all the pioneers of this valley to whom the country owes the largest debt of gratitude, that one is General Simon Kenton.  His body sleeps on the waters of Mad River, about six miles north of Zanesville, and

 

"When that winding stream shall cease to flow,

And those surrounding hills exist no more,

His sleeping dust reanimate shall rise,

Bursting to life at the last trumpets sound;

Shall bear a part in natures brand assize,

When Sun, and time, and stars no more are found."

 

 

Kenton, county seat of Hardin, is forty-eight miles northwest of Columbus, seventy south of Toledo, on the dividing ridge of the State, the water running north and south.  It is on the I. B. & W. and the C. & A. R. R. County Officers, 1888: Auditor, George W. RUTLEDGE; Clerk, James C. HOWE; Commissioners, Wilber F. PIERCE, Andrew DODDS, John L. CLARK; Coroner, John WATTERS; Infirmary Directors, John WILSON, Samuel M. ANDREWS, Samuel UTZ; Probate Judge, James J. WOOD; Prosecuting Attorney, Charles M. MELHORN; Recorder, Dennis W. KENNEDY; Sheriff, John S. SCOTT; Surveyor, Sidney F. MOORE; Treasurer, Edward SORGEN.   City Officers: Mayor, W. H. WARD; Clerk, George W. BINKLEY; Treasurer, A. B. CHARLES; Marshall, Michael FLANIGAN; Solicitor, Frank C DAUGHERTY; Street Commissioner, W. H. MILLER.   Newspapers: Das Wochenblatt, German, Louis SCHLOENBACH, editor; Democrat, Democratic, Daniel FLANAGAN & Co., editors and publishers; News, Prohibition, Henry PRICE, editor and publisher; Republican, Republican, E. L. MILLER, editor and publisher; Herald, Republican, L. I. DEMAREST, editor and publisher.  Churches: one German Lutheran, one Episcopalian, one Presbyterian, one African Methodist Episcopal, one Methodist Episcopal, one Disciples, one Baptist, one Catholic.  Banks: First National, S. L. HOGE, president, H. W. GRAMLICH, cashier; Kenton National, Asher LETSON, president, Curtis WILKIN, cashier; Kenton Savings, L. MERRIMAN, president, James WATT, cashier. 

Manufacturers and employees. -Champion Iron Fence Company, iron fencing, etc., 125 hands; John CALLAM & Co., doors, sash, etc., 12; John CALLAM & Co., building material, 6; G. H. PALMER & Co., chair stock, etc., 52; Scioto Straw Board Co., straw boards, 33; POOL Brothers, carriages, etc., 6; SMITH & SMITH, wood and iron novelties, 10; CURL & CANAAN, chair stock, etc., 24; J. C. SCHWENCK, handles, etc., 9; Kenton Milling Company, flour, etc., 7; Kenton Milling Company, flour, etc., 6; YOUNG & Bro., lumber, 19; William CAMPBELL, staves and headings, 33. - Ohio State Reports, 1888.  Population in 1880, 3,940; School census in 1888, 1,403; E. P. DEAN, school superintendent.  Capital invested in industrial establishments, $583,130.  Value of annual product, $566,000. - Ohio Labor Statistics, 1887. 

The location of Kenton is such that it can be seen on being approached in any direction for five or six miles.  Being in a fine agricultural region, it commands a large trade in grain, cattle and pork, as well as lumber, staves, etc..  All the principal streets are graded and gravelled.  Indeed, but few counties in this part of Ohio have made such a complete network of gravel pikes as Hardin.  They were begun in 1869, now cover over 230 miles, costing about $2,500 per mile, or a total of over half a million of dollars.  They radiate in every direction from Kenton, and the work of building still goes on.  The streams are spanned by good bridges, and driving over smooth roads is a luxury to be enjoyed alike in rain and sun. 

Historic and Descriptive Miscellanies. 

The Great Marshes. - The marsh lands of this county cover 25,000 acres, or an area of about thirty-nine square miles.  The largest of these is the "Scioto Marsh," having about sixteen thousand acres inside of the timber line.  In is in the southwest part, through which

Page 881

runs the Scioto river.  Next is the "Hog Creek Marsh" with about 8,000 acres in the northern part, and then also a part of Cranberry Marsh of Wyandotte county, of which about 1,000 acres lie in this county.  These low prairies attracted large numbers of deer and other wild animals that often found a safe retreat in high grass, which the Indians would burn to drive them away.  Since their departure an annual crop of grass often ten feet high has been added to the other accumulations of these basins.  The bottoms of marshes are drift clay, which is covered from two to ten feet with the vegetable accumulations of centuries and is very rich.  The margins, as with the banks of rivers, are lined with willows. 

The subject of draining these marshes has long agitated the people.  They have been a constant source of malarial poison, and retarded settlement.  In 1859 a contract was made by the county with Mr. John MCDUFFY to reclaim the wastelands of the Scioto Marsh by ditching the marsh and the clearing out the drift of the Scioto for three miles.  The work failed it is said from the lack of sufficient fall in the river below the marsh.  In 1883 the work under different plans was again begun, and is now progressing to a successful completion.  The surface is peaty, and beneath it are found shell, marl and sandy deposits.  The marsh is in the shape of a ham, and it is supposed was once a small lake.  The main ditch we are told is from 45 to 60 feet wide, 7 feet deep and some 12 1/2 miles long.  In all, thus far, 150 miles of ditching have been done therein, and 20 miles of the Scioto cleared and straightened.  The work on Cranberry Marsh was begun in 1865 and finished in 3 years by a main ditch 20 feet wide and 4 feet deep with two lateral ditches.  The water is carried into Blanchard river, and the soil is of the finest, deep, rich and inexhaustible. 

Hog Creek Marsh, comprising twelve and one-half square-miles, is mainly in Washington township.  By ditching and also by deepening, widening and straightening the channel of Hog Creek for a distance of four miles, which took six years of labor, from about 1868 to 1874, these marsh lands have been reclaimed.  Thirty years ago these lands were almost worthless, a hot-bed of malaria, the resort of all sorts of venomous reptiles.  The lands will now average 60 dollars per acre, and are among the most valuable in the Scioto Valley.  The expense of draining was about 13 dollars per acre. 

The wide ditches are cut by huge dredges worked by steam-power; the small lateral ditches are cut by spade.  A picture of one of the dredges is before us, an improved dredge-boat, the invention of Colonel C. H. SAGE.   It is a scow drawing two and a half feet of water, twenty-six feet wide and seventy-two feet long, at work in the Scioto marshes, and the colonel himself is supposed to be on board, as he has charge there.  The view is from the rear, and the scene around is wild and picturesque.  A clearing wide as a road has been cut through the original forest, through which is a wilderness vista for miles.  A large area of the ditch is in the foreground, at the rear of the boat, where the water looks as placid and pure as a mountain lake, and reflects upon its surface, in pleasing vividness, forest, sky and scow. 

The dredge has a roof on posts some seven feet high, but is open at the sides and rear, into which we can gaze.  In front are some huge spars coming to a point about twenty feet above the prow of the scow, which another beam, the pioneer of the concern, from the point of which hangs a huge bucket or dipper, which swings to alternate sides of the ditch and deposits mud as it goes, fifty-four feet from the center of the turntable.  Evidently it was not made for ocean navigation; but it is a fact that some years ago in an adjoining county, near the head-waters of the St. Mary's we believe it was, a scow-dredge was built in a swamp and then dug its way out until it floated into a river and got an experience of river navigation. 

The Ditch Laws of the State are admirable.  The system is very simple.  Parties wishing their land ditched petition the county commissioners, who first examine, by sending an engineer to run the necessary levels, and, if his report and plans are favorable, they grant the request and assume the expense and supervision of the work.  To meet the expense the county issues its bonds,, running a term of years.  The interest on the bonds, and finally the principal, are met by increase on the tax value of the land. 

It is by this system that the Black Swamp and other low wet lands of the Northwest are becoming the garden of Ohio.  The people no longer shake with the chills and fever, the snakes have wriggled away, and big crops, sunshine and gladness have come over the land. 

Great Trees.

This county had some noted trees.  One termed "Hardin's Great Walnut" has thus been described by Mr. James CABLE: It stood 22 miles east of Kenton, in the center of the Marion pike.  Its roots - large spurs - extended twenty feet from the body each way, the body growing well to the ground.  It died in 1832, and was cut in 1837.  The diameter is not known, but its body measured seventy-two feet to the forks, and large rail cuts were made from each fork.  Large stiles had to be cut in the body to notch it for the saw.  The tree was without a blemish.  Mr. CABLE said it was the best tree he had ever seen. 

Walnut was abundant in the vicinity.  On section twelve, nearby, Mr. JOHNSON, an old Indian scout, reported that a walnut was cut in 1789 which measured four feet and a half in diameter.  It was cut for bees by a white man.  The stump was standing late as 1879.  It was reported that a white man was killed near it by an Indian.  This was probably the first tree cut in Hardin county. 

Page 882

Capture and Escape of Dr. John Knight.  

The earliest known incident of striking interest occurring within the limits of this county was the escape of Dr. John KNIGHT in June, 1782.  He was the brother-in-law of Col. CRAWFORD, and had been captured with the Colonel and two others near what is now Leesville, Crawford county.  After the burning of CRAWFORD, KNIGHT was painted black and next morning put in charge of an Indian named TUTELU, a rough-looking fellow, to be taken to the Shawnee town of Wakatomika for execution. 

It is a well-received tradition that the precise spot where the Doctor outwitted, overpowered and escaped from his Indian guard was in Section 8, Dudley township, on the north bank of the Scioto, near the residence of the late Judge Portius WHEELER.  The spot is on the old Shawnee trail, from the Wyandotte and Delaware villages on the Sandusky and Tymochtee to the Shawnee towns on the Big Miami and Mad rivers, passing through what is now known as the townships of Goshen, Dudley, Buck Hall, and Taylor Creek.  The details, as told by KNIGHT, are these:

They started for the Shawnee towns, which the Indian said were somewhat less than forty miles away.  TUTELU was on horseback and drove KNIGHT before him.  The latter pretended he was ignorant of the death he was to die, though Simon GIRTY told him he was to die; affected as cheerful a countenance as possible, and asked the savage if they were not to live together as brothers in one house when they should get to the town.  TUTELU seemed well pleased and said, "Yes."  He then asked KNIGHT if he would make a wigwam.  KNIGHT told him he could.  He then seemed more friendly.  The route taken by TUTELU and KNIGHT was the Indian trace leading from the Delaware town to Wakatomika, and ran some six or eight miles west of what is now Upper Sandusky.  Its direction was southwest from Pipetown to the Big Tymochtee.  They traveled, as near as KNIGHT could judge, the first day about twenty-five miles.  The Doctor was then informed that they would reach Wakatomika the next day a little before noon. 

The Doctor often attempted to untie himself during the night, but the Indian was very watchful and scarcely closed his eyes, so that he did not succeed in loosening the tugs with which he was bound.  At daybreak TUTELU got up and untied the Doctor.  They had built a fire near which they slept.  TUTELU, as soon as he had untied the Doctor, began to mend the fire, and as the gnats were troublesome, the Doctor asked him if he should make a smoke behind him.  He said, "Yes."  The Doctor took the end of a dogwood fork, which had been burnt down to about eighteen inches in length.  It was the longest stick he could find, yet too small for the purpose he had in view.  He then took up another small stick, and taking a coal of fire between them, went behind the Indian, when, turning suddenly about, he struck the Indian on the head with all his force.  This so stunned him that he fell forward, with both his hands in the fire.  He soon recovered, and springing to his feet ran howling off into the forest.  KNIGHT seized his gun, and with much trepidation followed, trying to shoot the Indian; but using too much violence in pulling back the cock of the gun, broke the main-spring.  The Indian continued his flight, the Doctor vainly endeavoring to fire his gun.  He finally returned to the camp from the pursuit of TUTELU, and made preparations for his homeward flight through the wilderness.  He took the blanket of the Delaware, a pair of new moccasins, his "hoppes," powder-horn, bullet-bag, together with the Indian's gun, and started on his journey in a direction a little north of east.

About half an hour before sunset he came to Sandusky Plains, when he laid down in a thicket until dark.  He continued in a northeasterly direction, passing through what is now Marion, Morrow, Richland, Ashland, Wayne, and so on, until evening of the twentieth day after his escape, he reached the mouth of Beaver creek on the Ohio, in Beaver county, Pa., and was then among friends.  During the whole journey he subsisted on roots, a few young birds that were unable to fly out of his reach, and wild berries that grew in abundance through the forest. 

The Tornado of 1887. 

On the night of Friday, May 14, 1887, the western part of Ohio was visited by one of the most destructive storms known in the history of the State.  While great damage was done to property throughout other counties, its effects in Hardin and Greene counties were particularly disastrous.  The destruction in Greene was largely caused by flood, the damage in Hardin principally by the great force of the wind; it partook more of the character of a tornado, the effects being similar to those of the tornado which had visited Fayette county the preceding September, nearly destroying the entire town of Washington C. H.

Commencing in the western part of Hardin county the storm traveled in a northeasterly direction over a course of about eight miles, leaving destruction in its path.  It passed out of Hardin at the northeast corner, and did great damage in Wyandot county. 

Page 883

Traveling notes. 

At Kenton on this tour we met Gen. James S. ROBINSON.  We were glad to meet him again, having made his acquaintance on our original tour, but had not seen him since.  In the interim he had an unusual career, civil and military.  He was born of English parentage, near Mansfield, October 14, 1827.  He was bred a printer and editor, looks like the typical John Bull, but is every inch an American.  He is a tall, somewhat huge man, with clear, weighty voice, one with strong convictions and frank in their expression.  He was secretary of the first Republican State Convention ever held in Ohio, of which Salmon P. Chase was president; has held many other political and civil offices; is the only person ever elected to Congress from Hardin County, first in 1880 and then in 1882; was Secretary of State from 1885 to 1889. 

He enlisted in the civil war as a private, and ere its close had become a full brigadier and brevet major-general.  He was in the Virginia campaign under Fremont; was in Sherman's march to the sea, and had some interesting experiences at Gettysburg, incidents of the first days of fight and what he saw while he lay wounded and a prisoner within the enemy's lines.  We Gen. James S. Robinson.abridge from a published account. 

He entered the fight as commander of the Eighty-second O. V. I., two other colonels ranking him.  But in five minutes one was wounded and the other (Colonel MUSSER, of the Seventy-fifth Pennsylvania) killed while engaged in conversation with him, which devolved upon him the command of the brigade.  The firing was from the right flank and front and was very destructive of human life.  His regiment went into action on the morning of the first day's fight with 19 officers and 236 men.  It lost all but 2 officers and 89 men.  After the death of General REYNOLDS and other disasters an order was issued assigning to ROBINSON the command of the division, but ere it reached him he was struck in the left breast by a minie-ball, which passed clear through his body, making a gaping wound. 

This was just at the edge of Gettysburg, and as he fell his troops were forced to give way before the overwhelming forces of the enemy, who swept on and over the field on which he lay wounded.  He was taken to the residence of a couple of maiden ladies by the name of MCPHERSON, sisters of Hon. Edward MCPHERSON, late Clerk of the House of Representatives, where he lay upon the kitchen floor during the night.  The following day he was taken upstairs and placed in a bed, looking out upon the busy scenes being enacted in the town.  In the meantime he had had no treatment whatever.  Some water was brought him, which he poured through his wound and which ran through his body like through a sieve.  To this the general attributes his recovery from a wound which would have killed almost any other man. 

After an examination of his wound the surgeon coolly told him that he could not possibly recover and that he had better complete at an early moment whatever arrangements he wanted to make preparatory to a voyage across the dark river.  But the colonel intimated that he had some faith in his recovery and that he had no arrangements to make just yet.  Another surgeon came who succeeded in finding a small dose of morphine.  This gave relief, and he was able to sleep for a few hours.  During both days of the battle he could hear the rattle of the musketry and the roar of artillery on all parts of the field. 

On the afternoon of the third day, when the signal gun was fired and the artillery opened from both lines, the shock was terrific.  It fairly shook the building which he occupied.  Then came a lull and after that the rattle of musketry.  Just as the sound

Page 884

of musketry died away an officer belonging to General Lee's staff came riding through the town opposite the general's window, evidently carrying orders from General Lee to General Johnson on the left.  The rebel provost marshal, who was commanding in the town, occupied the hotel office as his headquarters.  He was heard asking Lee's staff officer for the news at the front. 

The officer replied: "Glorious! Longstreet is driving the Yankees it to h--l."  The general says that that was an anxious moment for him.  Finally the roar of battle entirely ceased and only an occasional shot was heard along the line.  Just then a captain on Lee's staff came riding down with orders to Johnson, probably countermanding the previous order.  The rebel provost marshal again asked the staff officer for the news at the front.  He said: "Bad enough.  Longstreet has been repulsed, with terrible slaughter, and everything is going to the rear in utter confusion."

Those were words of good cheer to the old soldier.  He called to a soldier who had remained with him to come forth from his hiding place and requested him to open the back shutters of the house and raise him up and let him look over the battlefield.  He saw great confusion in Lee's lines.  Ambulances, caissons and ammunition wagons were going to the rear in great confusion.  The retreat continued all night long. 

As he lay there wounded, seeing the panic and confusion that had seized Lee's troops, he longed to get word to Meade that he might pursue.  Meade had 16,000 fresh troops, and had he done so he has always felt that then and there the rebellion would have ended. 

About daybreak on the morning of the 4th, he heard the welcome voices of his own regiment, as they came marching through the town, calling upon some rebel soldiers who had taken refuge in a barn to surrender. 

We again visited KENTON Wednesday, September 11, 1889.  This was Pioneer Day on the County Fair grounds, a memorable occasion, the dedication of the pioneer cabin, which had just been completed, to commemorate the virtues of the fathers and mothers who had laid the foundations in the wilderness of Hardin.  Among the multitude who poured in from the country were many who had brought the old-time tools and implements and placed them in the cabin, as spinning-wheels, flax-boards, Dutch ovens, tables, chairs, reels, knives, forks, spoons, pewter and wooden utensils, guns, cabin-lamps, etc., that had done grand service in the olden time, even as far back, perhaps, as the days of Lexington, for there were some old flint-lock guns that must have flashed their light in or near that dim remote.  Indeed, even in the present sense, it was a dim remote, as shown A Log-Cabin Lamp.by the specimens of the cabin-lamps, for the pioneers must have had the vision of bats to have seen much by them.  They consisted simply of receptacles for a lump of grease, with a rag laid in for a wick.  These were either shoved into crevices between the logs of the cabin or, if they were extra splendid, they were hung by a wire.  Our engraving is from one of this splendid kind brought on to the ground by Mr. John P. RICHARDS, a pioneer from Buck township, which came from his father, who used it in New Hampshire about a century back.  Its material is brass, and it is black with age and use.  To our vision, having tried it, we discovered that it has a decided advantage over a respectable-sized lightning bug - that is, the light is more steady. 

The exercises consisted mainly of speeches by General GIBSON, Colonel CESSNA, Henry HOWE, etc.; singing by the Old Fogy singers, of Logan County, winding up with grateful resolutions by the committee of the whole to Col. W. T. CESSNA, president, and Dr. A. W. MUNSON, Secretary, of the Pioneer Association, for their services in bringing the building of the cabin to such a happy conclusion, wherein about every log was the gift of some one family who had hauled it on to the ground as their special pet log, in some cases miles away, from the "dim remote" of their tree lands.  The Old Fogy singers were a most attractive feature, in the quaint costumes of the olden time, with their hair smoothly parted in the middle, with not even a solitary "bang" to molest the dome of thought.  Then their old hymns and fuguing tunes reminded of one especial fugue that was sung in the ancient days wherein the treble and alto would start out and sing:

"Oh! for a man; Oh! for a man; Oh! For a mansion in the skies."

Page 885

And then the tenors and basses replied

"Bring down sal; - bring down sal; - bring down salvation from above."

The Old Stage Driver. - Among the old pioneers present at the dedication was Harvey BUCKMINSTER, born in 1800, the last year of the last century and, whose unusual experience has thus been often related, and should have this permanent record.  He was a Vermonter and came to Ohio in 1828, when 28 years old, first settling on the Sandusky plains, where, in the person of Miss Abigail BROWN, he obtained a good wife and made many friends among the Indians.  He borrowed money-3 dollars - to pay for his marriage license, and mauled 1,200 rails at twenty-five cents a hundred, to pay it back.  During the summer after he was married he engaged to mow the meadow of a neighbor who lived five miles away, and walked there and back daily, receiving as compensation for each day's work six pounds of pickled pork, then worth about four cents a pound.  He then engaged in driving stage on the deep muddy roads through dense forests between Bellefontaine and Upper Sandusky, the home of the Wyandots, in the night season, when it was often so dark that he could not see the wheel horses, when he would be compelled to carry a lantern, and with a pole pry out the stagecoach from the deep holes or over stumps in the road.  He followed this occupation for six years, and eventually bought a tract of woodland and cleared it at a place called Grassy Point, now in Hale.  There he opened a house of entertainment in a primitive style for travelers on the road.  The Shawnees and Wyandots were quite numerous, and he was often visited by them, and became on friendly terms with their leading men.  For thirteen winters he bought furs for the Northwestern Fur Company in northwestern Ohio and Michigan, paying out some $5,000 annually to the Indians and white hunters, by which he secured a competency. 

He used to relate this incident, which occurred under his observation, in one of his trips to Sandusky.  A young Indian having been found guilty of killing another Indian by a council of the Wyandots, was sentenced to be shot.  The culprit was taken to his place of execution, pinioned, blindfolded and made to kneel by his coffin, when 5 young men - Wyandots - being supplied with rifles, 4 of which only were loaded with balls, at the word "fire" simultaneously discharged their pieces, when four balls entered close together the breast of the unfortunate young man.  The wife of the doomed man was present at the execution.  She was at the time with child, and when it was born there were 4 distinct red marks of the bullet holes, and the appearance of blood trickling down from them on the breast of the child. 

OHIO NORMAL UNIVERSITY

Ada is fourteen miles northwest of Kenton, sixty south of Toledo, on the line of the P. Ft. Wayne & C. Railroad.  It derives its main interest from being an educational point.  It was laid out in 1853, and was called Johnstown until incorporated in 1861.  It is the seat of the Ohio Normal University, the largest institution of the kind in the state, and which has been recognized by the government by its sending an army officer and ordnance to give instruction in military tactics.  It has thirty instructors, male and female; H. S. LEHR, president.  Its enrollment of pupils for 1889 was 2,473, many for brief courses.  The town is lighted by electricity and the fuel used is natural gas.  Newspapers: Record, neutral, Agnew WELSH, editor and proprietor; University Herald, college, Herald Company, publishers; One Principle, religious, Rev. J. M. ATWATER, publisher;

Page 886

Holiness Conservator, religious, Revs. ROWLEY and RICE, publishers.  Churches: one Methodist Episcopal, one Wesleyan Methodist, one Presbyterian, one Evangelical Lutheran, one Baptist, one Catholic, one United Brethren, one Reformed and one Disciples.  Bank: Citizen's, P. AHLEFELD, proprietor.  Population in 1880, 1,760.  School census in 1886, 763; Alexander COMRIE, superintendent. 

Forest is twelve miles northeast of Kenton, at the crossing of the P. Ft. W. & C. and I. B. & W. Railroads.  It is surrounded by a fine grain and fruit producing country.  Its principal manufactures are lumber, tile, brick and handles.  City Officers, 1888: Matthew BRIGGS, Mayor; Fred. HUME, Marshall; W. P. BOWMAN, Clerk; J. F. NYE, Treasurer; J. L. WOODWARD, Street Commissioner. 

Newspapers: Review, Independent, Harvey S. HORN, editor and publisher.  Churches: 1 Presbyterian,, 1 Methodist Protestant, 1 Methodist Episcopal.  Bank: Nye's (John F. NYE), J. F. NYE, cashier.  School census in 1886, 413; C. F. ZIMMERMAN, Superintendent.  Population in 1880, 987. 

Mt. Victory is in the southeastern part of the county, on the line of the C. C. C. & I. Railroad.  It is surrounded by a fine farming and grazing country.  It has one newspaper, Observer, Independent, E. E. LYNCH, editor.  Churches: 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 United Brethren, and 1 Wesleyan Methodist.  Principal industries are E BURKE & Co., flouring mill, and BOYD Bros.' handle a factory.  Population in 1880, 574. 

Dunkirk is an incorporated town on the P. Ft. W. & C. R. R., twenty-six miles east of Lima and ten miles north of Kenton.  Churches: 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 United Brethren,, 1 Wesleyan Methodist, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Adventist, 1 African Baptist.  Newspaper: Standard, Independent, O. OWEN, editor.  Bank: Woodruffs, John WOODRUFF, president; A. B. WOODRUFF, cashier.  City Officers: D. F. FRYER, Mayor; Calvin GUM, Marshall; Gage HELMS, Clerk; J. M. HUTCHINSON, Treasurer; Jacob REINHART, Street Commissioner.  The surrounding country is very productive, and all kinds of grain are raised in abundance.  Population in 1880, 1,131.  School census, 1888, 431.  H. B. WILLIAMS, Superintendent of Schools. 

Patterson is ten miles northeast of Kenton, on the I. B. & W. R. R.   School census, 1888, 141. 

Ridgeway is on the C. C. C. & I. R. R., ten miles south of Kenton.  School census, 1888, 83. 

Roundhead, a hamlet in the southwest corner of the county, was named from ROUNDHEAD, a Wyandot chief, who had a village there.  Major GALLOWAY, who visited it about the year 1800, stated that there were then quite a number of apple trees in the village, and that the Indians raised many swine.  ROUNDHEAD whose Indian name was STIAHTA, was a fine-looking man.  He had a brother named John BATTISE, of great size and personal strength.  His nose, which was enormous, resembled in hue a blue potatoe, was full of indentations, and when he laughed it shook like jelly.  These Indians joined the British in the late war, and Battise was killed at Fort Meigs. 

 


Image button58061219.jpg