Trefzger Families: Cincinnati

Cincinnati in 1800S

Ohio became the 17th state of the Union on Mar.1, 1803. On Apr.30, 1803, President Thomas Jefferson bought a bit of land from Napoleon Bonaparte: 885,000 square miles of territory stretching west of the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. In 1805 Lewis and Clark set out from St. Louis to explore the vast Louisiana Purchase.

Cincinnati:
Cincinnati was a very small but fast growing town, more than doubling in size every ten years. The population in Cincinnati was as follows:
1805 -- 950 people
1810 -- 2,320
1820 -- 9.642
1830 -- 20,515
1840 -- 40,382
1850 -- 115,000

A map of Cincinnati in 1842 shows streets laid out in what is now the Cincinnati downtown area, and to the west as far as Freeman Avenue. It wasn’t until a map in 1850 that streets were laid out as far as the Mill Creek to the west. The Mill Creek was a natural barrier to the west. The city of Cincinnati just extended out to the Mill Creek.

Before 1800, there were only a few scattered residents (mainly hunters and trappers) west of the Mill Creek in what would become Green Township. There were a few trails and dirt wagon roads going west. John Cleves Symmes gave Jacob Johnson land in 1805 for cutting a road from the Mill Creek to Harrison – the present Harrison Pike. The tract west of the Mill Creek was organized as Green Township in 1809. It was about this time that the early settlers began to establish permanent farmsteads. In the 1820s and 1830s Green Township became an important agricultural district with over 90% of its male population involved with farming. Most of the other residents were engaged in activities related to agriculture, such as operating mills, or dairies, or making farm vehicles, or tools. The blacksmith was essential. The businesses were clustered in small villages and hamlets.

The largest village, Cheviot, was platted in 1818. Other communities consisting of little more than a store, inn, or blacksmith shop, and a few houses established in the 1830s and 1840s included Dent, Bridgetown, Covedale, White Oak, Mt. Airy, and Mack.

A stream called Lick Run flowed into the Mill Creek at the mouth of a beautiful valley. This valley was wide near the Mill Creek, but became more narrow back between the hills to the west. About 2 miles up the valley (now near Wyoming and Queen City Avenue) was a very small community named Petersburg. It was next to this stream that the Metz family purchased land just west of Petersburg in 1837, and later John and Mary Metz Berger purchased Berger Hill n 1865.

In the 1840s and 1850s Cincinnati had a very large and growing German population.


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