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DEFIANCE COUNTY was erected March 4, 1845 from Willliams, Henry and Paulding, and named from Fort Defiance.  It is watered by the Auglaize, the Tiffin and the Maumee; this last-named street was anciently called “Miami of the Lake,” and sometimes “Omee.”  The Maumee is navigable by streamers, in high water, to Fort Wayne, and I ordinary stages to that place for keel boats carrying sixty tons.  The Auglaize is navigable for keel boats to Wapakoneta, and the Tiffin, which is a narrow, deep stream, is navigable, for pirogues of a few tons, received a large part of its supplies by the Maumee.  Much of this county within the Black Swamp region, and where cleared and drained as fertile perhaps as the aimed valley of the Nile.  It was covered by abundant forests of oak, hickory, ash, and elm and other trees, mostly of gigantic size, rendering the clearing away a heavy labor. Area 420 square miles.  In 1885 the acres cultivated


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Were 113,070; pasture, 12,019; woodland, 65,823; lying waste, 906; produced in wheat, 342,352 bushels; oats 242,330; corn, 650,887; wool, 66,570 pounds. School census 1886, 8,2038; teacher, 148. It has 49 miles of railroad.


Township and Census



Township and Census








































Population of the country in1840 was 2,818; in 1850, 2,818; in 1860, 11,983; in 1870, 15,719; and in 1880, 22,515, of whom 16,711 were Ohio-born; 1,780 born in Germany, 867 Pennsylvania; and 553 New York.


The annexed plan and description of Fort Defiance is found in the memoranda of Benj. VAN CLEVE, communicated by his son, John W. VAN CLEVE, of Dayton to the American Pioneer.


Fort Difiance Map.At each angle of the fort was a block-house.  The one next the Maumee is marked A, having port-holes, B, on the three exterior sides, and door D and chimney C on the side facing to the interior.  There was a line of pickets on each side of the fort, connecting the block-houses by their nearest angles.  Outside of the pickets and around the block-houses was a glacis, a wall of earth eight feet thick, sloping upwards and outwards from the feet of the pickets, supported by a log wall on the side of the ditch and by fascines, a wall of fagots, on the side next the Auglaize.  The ditch, fifteen feet wide and eight feet deep, surrounded the whole work except on the side toward the Auglaize; the diagonal pickets, eleven feet long and one foot apart, were secured to the log wall and projected over the ditch.  E and E were gateways. F was a bank of earth, four feet wide, left for a passage across the ditch. G was a falling gate or drawbridge, which was raised and lowered by pullies, across the ditch, covering it or leaving it uncovered at pleasure.  The officers’ quarters were at H, and the storehouses at I.  At K two lines of pickets converged toward L, which was a ditch eight feet deep, by which water was procured from the river without exposing the carrier to the enemy. M was a small sand-bar at the point.




The lands now embraced with Defiance county were ceded by the Indians to the United States by the treaty of Sept. 29, 1817, at the rapids of the Miami of Lake Erie.  Surveys were made from the Indiana line east to the line of the Western Reserve and south to the Greenville treaty line.  The base line of this survey is the 41st degree of north latitude and it is also the south line of the Connecticut Western Reserve.  On the 12th of February, 1820, the legislature of Ohio passed an act erecting these coded lands “into fourteen separate and distinct counties.”


Among these was Williams county.  When Williams was organized in 1824 Henry, Paulding and Putnam counties were attached to it for judicial purposes, with the town of Defiance as the county-seat of Williams county, and it so remained for many years, when Bryan, then covered with a dense forest, was selected as the site of the new county-seat of Williams.  Dissatisfaction with this change led to the creation of Defiance county, with Defiance as the seat of justice.


The nucleus of the early settlement of these counties was at Defiance, and it was chiefly settled in what now constitutes Defiance county by those who were active in the early official life of Williams county.


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The first court-house (a brick structure)  for Williams county was, as late as 1883 standing on the banks of the Maumee in Defiance and used as a private dwelling.  A large part of the settlers of Defiance county was Germans.  Many were laborers upon the railroads, who remained and took up lands.


Drawn by Henry Howe in 1846.




DEFIANCE IN 1846—Defiance, the county-seat, is on the south bank of the Maumee, at its junction with the Auglaize, on the line of the canal, 152 miles north-west of Columbus, 58 from Toledo and 50 from Fort Wayne.  It was laid out in 1822 by Benj. LEVEL and Horatio G. PHILIPS and contains 1 Methodist and 1 Catholic


L. E. Beardsley, Photo, Defiance, 1887



church, 5 mercantile and a population of about 700.  It is destined, from its natural position, to be, when the country is fully settled, a large and flourishing place; it already has an extensive trade with a large district of country.  Defiance is on the site of a large Indian settlement, which extended for miles up and down the


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river. Gen. Wayne, on his advance march, arrived at this place Aug. 8, 1794, His army found it surrounded by a highly cultivated country, there being vegetables of every kind in abundance, and not less than one thousand acres of corn around the Indian town, besides immense apple and peach orchards. It had been a great trading point between the Canadian French and the Indians. On the 9th of August Wayne commenced the erection of a fort, which he called Fort Defiance. The army remained here several days and then moved northward, and on the 20th routed the Indians at the Maumee rapids. On their return they completed the fortress. Fort Defiance was built at the confluence of the Auglaize and Maumee, traces of which work are now plainly discernible. The situation is beautiful and commanding: it is indicated in the view of Defiance by the flag shown on the left. Gen. Winchester, previous to his defeat at the river Raisin, in the war of 1812, encamped in a picketed fort, which he built on the Auglaize, about 100 yards south of the other and named Fort Winchester.


Defiance is 115 miles northwest of Columbus and 49 southwest of Toledo, at the confluence of the Auglaize and Maumee, formerly called “The Miami of the Lake,” rivers. It is on the line of the W. St. L. & P. R. R. and the B. & O. & C. R. R. County officers in 1888: Probate Judge, John H. BEVINGTON; Clerk of the Court, Simon M. CAMERON; Sheriff, Henry WONDERLY; Prosecuting Attorney, John W. WINN; Auditor, Wyatt T. HILL; Treasurer, John F. DOWE; Recorder, Geo. A. HEATLEY; Surveyor, Martin W. STEINBERGER; Coroner, D. P. ALDRICH; Commissioners, Jacob KARST, David MILLER, Frank J. CLEMMER. Newspapers: Defiance County Express, Rep., Jos. Ralston, proprietor; Democrat, Dem., W. G. BLYMER, editor; Weekly Herald, Dem., German, J. A. DIENDORFER, editor; Local News, Rep., Aaron F. SCHRACK editor. Churches: 1 Presbyterian, 1 Baptist, 1 Episcopal, 2 Catholic, 2 Methodist Episcopal, 1 German, and 1 English, 2 Lutheran, 1 Albright Methodist and 1 United Brethren. Banks: Defiance National, James A. ORCUTT, president, Edward SQUIRE, cashier; Merchants’ National, Wm. C: HOLGATE, president, E. P. HOOKER, cashier.


Industries and Employees—Karst & Fenger, doors, sash, etc., 34 hands; Burgland & Shead, butter tubs, etc., 69; Defiance Woollen Mills, 37; Defiance Machine Works, wood-working m chinery, 176; Corwin & Kiser, carriages, etc., 10; Kuhn Brothers, tobacco boxes and lumber, 75; Christ. Diehl, beer, 13; Turnbull Wagon Co., wagons and: agricultural supplies, 190; L. Archembeault, wagons, etc., 5; Peter Schlosser & Son, carriages, etc., 20; C. Geiger & Son, furniture, 36; Wilhelm & Son, flour, 12; Levi & Ginsburg, cigars, 32; Defiance Paper Co., wrapping paper, 25; John Marshall, lumber, etc., 11; J. V. Olds, spokes and hubs, 11; George H. Dicus, cooperage, 15; Alexander Friedman, cigars, 5; Arbuckle, Ryan & Co., flour, etc., 13; Oconto Box and Barrel Co., barrels and boxes, 40; Marshall and Greenlen, hoops and staves, 30; D. F. Holston & Son, hoops, 65; Crowe & Hooker, hoops and staves, 53; John Rowe & Son, hoops; Trowbridge & Eddy, staves and heading, 65.—State Report for 1887. Population in 1880, 5,907. School census in 1886, 2,113; C. W. BUTLER, superintendent.


From early times Defiance has been an important historical point. It occupies the site of the ancient “Tu-en-da-wie” of the Wyandot and “En-sa-woe-sa” of the Shawnee. Wm. C. HOLGATE, in an address before the Historical Society of the Maumee Valley, describes it as the heart of the Indian nations, the great centre where the ancient races came to live, trade and counsel. He ascribes it to the peculiar topography of the Maumee valley, extending, 100 miles east and west and 100 miles north and south, of which Defiance is the centre. The valley is the territory drained by the Maumee and its tributaries, which consists of bout twelve counties in Ohio and parts of Michigan and Indiana. The chief tributary streams from the north, the Little St. Joseph and the Tiffin, originate in Hillsdale county, Mich., about fifty miles north of Defiance. All these streams


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were navigable to a certain extent. The other two tributary streams from the south, the Auglaize and St. Mary’s, originate as far south of’ Defiance. Au Glaize and Grand Glaize were the names given by the French to this place, and it was so called in all historical accounts prior to the erection of Fort Defiance. It is claimed on good authority, says KNAPP, that the noted chief PONTIAC was born here, one of his parents being a Miami and the other belonging- to the Ottawa tribe. HECKEWELDER states “the Miami of the Lake, at the junction of the Auglaize with that river,” was the place of abode and refuge in 1781 for a remnant of the Moravian Christian Indians after the massacre of the Muskingum.


In 1780, during the Revolutionary war, an expedition under Col. Byrd was fitted out at Detroit, consisting of 600 men, including Indians and Canadians, with two pieces of artillery, destined for the invasion of Kentucky. This expedition took Au Glaize on their route and, it is inferred, erected a stockade here and rested on both going and returning from Detroit. This was the force that appeared before” “Bryant’s Station” and “Ruddle’s Station” and compelled their surrender, and, after promising protection to the prisoners, massacred them in cold blood. One of the early historical accounts speaks of a great council of all the Indian tribes, held at Au Glaize in October, 1792, and says it was the largest Indian council of the times; that the chiefs of all the tribes of the Northwest were here, and representatives of the seven nations of Canada and of the twenty-seven nations beyond Canada; that CORNPLANTER and forty-eight chiefs of the six nations of New York repaired here; that three men of the Gora nations were in attendance, whom it took a whole season to travel to this point. “Besides these,” says CORNPLANTER, “there were so many nations that we cannot tell the names of them.” The question of peace or war was long and earnestly discussed: the chiefs of the Shawnees being for war, and RED JACKET, the Seneca chief; for peace. This convention represented a larger territory than any convention of Indians we have an account of, before or since, being held on the American continent. It seems to have been a natural intuition that led the red men of the forest to see that this was the strategetic centre of North America.


Captivity of Two White Boys.—Captives were brought to Au Maize; and what is singular two boys, when captured, one nine years of age. John BRICKELL, from Pittsburg; the other eleven years of age, Oliver M. SPENCER, from Cincinnati, have left written accounts of their experience. BRICKELL was taken in February, 1791, and was adopted by a Delaware Indian named WHINGY POOSHIES and lived with his family four years. In his narrative he says he was treated very kindly, every way as one of themselves, and had every opportunity of learning their manners, customs and religion, and thinks he has been influenced to good more from what he learned among these Indians than from what he has learned from amongst people of his own color. Honesty, bravery and hospitality were cardinal virtues among them. When a company of strangers come to a town and encamp, they are not asked if they want anything, but a runner starts out proclaiming “strangers have arrived.” On this every family provide of the best they have, and take it to the strangers, for which not a thought is had of anything being received in return, and when they start out they are helped on their journey. Worshipping the Great Spirit, whom they call Manitou, “never,” says BRICKELL, “even on one occasion did I know of their using the name irreverently,” and they had no term in their language by which they could swear profanely. Their young honor the aged. The first corn that is fit to use is made a feast-offering. The first game that is taken on a hunting expedition is dressed whole without the breaking of a bone, with the head, ears, and hoof on, and being cooked whole, all eat of it, and if any is left it is entirely burnt up; and in respect to things clean and unclean they follow the Jewish customs. They have no public worship except the feasts, but frequently observe family worship, in which they sing and pray. They believe in a resurrection after death, and in future rewards and punishments. Their cruel treatment of their enemies in war seems but the acting out of the precepts, “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and blood for blood.” Young BRICKELL was trained to hunt and much of his time was out on hunting expeditions. These were generally to the streams of the Maumee in summer, but in winter extended to the Scioto, the Hocking and Licking rivers. During his four years’ sojourn here, two very important events occurred—St Clair’s defeat, in 1791, and Wayne’s victory, August 20, 1794.


He gives some interesting items in regard




to Wayne’s victory. The following winter his people had to winter at the mouth of Swan creek, on the site of Toledo. He says: “We were entirely dependent upon the British, and they did not half supply us. The starving and sickly condition of the Indians made them very impatient, and they became exasperated at the British. It was finally concluded to send a flag to Fort Defiance in order to make a treaty with the Americans. This was successful. Our men found the Americans ready to treat, and they agreed upon an exchange of prisoners. I saw nine white prisoners exchanged for nine Indians. I was left, there being no Indian to give for me. PATTON, JOHNSTON, SLOAN and Mrs. BAKER were four of the nine; the names of the others I do not recollect.


On the breaking-up of spring we all went to Fort Defiance, and arriving on the shore opposite, we saluted the fort with a round of rifles, and they shot a cannon thirteen times. We then encamped on the spot. On the same day WHINGY POOSHIES told me I must go over to the fort. The children hung around me, crying, and asked me if I was going to leave them. I told them I did not know. When we got over to the fort and were seated with the officers, WHINGY POOSHIES told me to stand up, which I did. He then arose and addressed me in about these words: ‘My son, these are men the same color with yourself, and some of your kin may be here, or they may be a great way of. You have lived a long time with us. I call on you to say if I have not been a father to you; if I have not used you as a father would a son? ‘I said, ‘You have used me as well as a father could use a son.’ He said, ‘I am glad you say so. You have lived long with me; you have hunted for me; but your treaty says you must be free. If you choose to go with people of your own color I have no right to say a word; but if you choose to stay with me your people have no right to speak. Now reflect on it and take your choice and tell us as soon as you make up your mind.’  I was silent for a few minutes, in which time I seemed to think of most everything. I thought of the children I had just left crying; I thought of the Indians I was attached to, and I thought of my people whom I remembered; and this latter thought predominated, and I said, ‘I will go with my kin.’ The old man then said, ‘I have raised you. I have learned you to hunt; you are a good hunter. You have been better to me than my own sons. I am now getting old and I cannot hunt. I thought you would be a support to my old age. I leaned on you as on a staff. Now it is broken—you are going to leave me and I have no right to say a word, but I am ruined.’ He then sank back in tears to his seat. I heartily joined him in his tears, parted with him, and have never seen or heard of him since.”

On his return from his captivity BRICKELL settled in Columbus, and became one of its most esteemed citizens. O. M. SPENCER, the eleven-year-old Cincinnati boy, was taken in 1792, while a little way from home, by two Indians. His captor was a Shawnee, but he shortly transferred his rights to his companion, WAH-PAW-WAW-QUA or WHITE LOON, the son of a Mohawk chief. At their arrival at the confluence of’ the Auglaize and the Maumee, after disposing of their furs to a British Indian trader, they crossed over to a small bark-cabin near its banks, and directly opposite the point, and, leaving him in charge of its occupant—an old widow, the mother-in-law of WAH-PAW-WAW-QUA—departed for their homes, a Shawnee village, on the river about one mile below. COOH-COO-CHE, the widow in whose charge young SPENCER had been left, was a princess of the Iroquois tribe. She was a priestess, to whom the Indians applied before going on any important war expedition. She was esteemed a great medicine-woman. The description of the settlement at that time is from the narrative of SPENCER:


On this high ground (since the site of Fort Defiance, erected by General Wayne in 1794), extending from the Maumee a quarter of a mile up the Auglaize, about two hundred yards in width, was an open space, on the west and south of which were oak woods, with hazel undergrowth. Within this opening, a few hundred yards above the point, on the steep high bank of the Auglaize, were five or six cabins and log-houses, inhabited principally by Indian traders. The most northerly, a large hewed log-house, divided below into three apartments, was occupied as a warehouse, store and dwelling by George IRONSIDE, the most wealthy and influential of the traders on the point. Next to his were the houses of PIRAULT (Pero), a French baker, and M’KENZIE a Scot, who, in addition to merchandising, followed the occupation of a silversmith, exchanging with the Indians his brooches, ear-drops, and other silver ornaments, at an enormous profit, for skins and furs. Still farther up were several other families of French and English; and two American prisoners, Henry BALL, a soldier taken at St. Clair’s defeat, and his wife, Polly MEADOWS, captured at the same time, were allowed to live here, and by labor to pay their masters the price of their ransom; he by boating to the rapids of the Maumee,


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From this station I had a fine view of the large village more than a mile south, on the east side of the Auglaize, of BLUE JACKET’S town, and of the Maumee river for several miles below, and of the extensive prairie covered with corn, directly opposite, and forming together a very handsome landscape. and she by washing and sewing. Fronting the house of IRONSIDE, and about fifty yards from the bank, was a small stockade enclosing two hewed log-houses, one of which was occupied by James GIRTY (brother of Simon), the other, occasionally, by M’KEE and ELLIOTT, British Indian agents, living at Detroit.


Young SPENCER was redeemed from captivity on the last day of February, 1793, and through the solicitation of Washington to the governor of Canada. The latter instructed Col. ELLIOTT, the Indian agent, to interpose for his release. He was taken down the Maumee in an open pirouge, thence paddled in a canoe by two squaws along the shore of Lake Erie to Detroit. His route thence was by Lake Erie in a vessel to Erie, Pa., thence to Forts Chippewa and Niagara, across New York State, then mostly a wilderness, to Albany, down the Hudson to New York city, thence through Pennsylvania to Cincinnati. The distance was 2,000 miles, and such the difficulties to be overcome that two years were consumed in the journey; but for the protecting auspices of those highest in authority it could not have been accomplished at all.


Young SPENCER became a Methodist minister, and reared a family of the highest respectability; one son became postmaster of Cincinnati about 1850, another judge of its superior court.


Wayne was eight days in building Fort Defiance; began on the 9th of August and finished on the 17th. After surveying its block-houses, pickets, ditches, and fascines, Wayne exclaimed, “I defy the English, Indians, and all the, devils in hell to take it.” Gen. Scott, who happened at that instant to be standing at his side, remarked, “Then call it ‘FORT DEFIANCE!”‘ and so Wayne, in a letter to the Secretary of War written at this time, said: “Thus, sir, we have gained possession of the grand emporium of the hostile Indians of the West, without loss of blood. The very extensive and highly cultivated fields and gardens show the work of many hands. The margin of those beautiful rivers—the Miamis of the lake (or Maumee) and Auglaize appear like one continued village for a number of miles both above and below this place; nor have I ever before beheld such fields of corn in any part of America from Canada to Florida. We are now employed in completing a strong stockade fort, with four good block-houses, by way of bastions, at the confluence of the Auglaize and the Maumee, which I have called Defiance.”


When first known, there was an abundance of apple trees at Defiance. The bank of the Auglaize at one spot was lined with these trees, and there were single trees scattered about in various places. It is supposed they were planted by French missionaries and traders during the French dominion on the lakes, and cared for afterwards by the Indian trappers and traders. The fruit of these trees was better than that of the so-called natural trees of the present time; they grew larger, and had a more agreeable taste. The stocks were more like the forest trees; higher to the branches, longer to the limbs than the grafted trees of the present day. Probably the shade and contracted clearings m which they were grown had much to do with this large growth. There was then no civilization to bring in borers, worms, and curculios, and so the trees thrived without hindrance. The “County History,” published in 1883, from which the above was derived, says: “Defiance has been famed for the possession of a monstrous apple tree. Strangers have seldom failed to visit it, to measure its proportions, and speculate upon its age and origin. It stands on the narrow bottom, on the north side of the Maumee, and nearly opposite the old fort. It has never failed, in the knowledge of present settlers, in producing a crop of very excellent apples. One large branch, however, has of late years been broken off by the storms, which has much marred its proportions; the remainder is yet healthy and prospering. Before the town was laid out there were many trees, equally thrifty and not less in size, in


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this vicinity.” The famed apple tree was destroyed by a gale in the fall of 1886. It was judged to be 150 years old, and was much dilapidated. It has produced in some seasons 200 bushels of apples.


In the war of 1812 Fort Defiance was an important point for the concentration of troops, under Gen. Harrison, against the British and Indians on the frontier. On one occasion a revolt tool: place in the Kentucky regiment of Col. Allen. Gen. Harrison was not present, but luckily arrived that night in camp, and had retired, when he was suddenly awakened by Col. Allen and Maj. Hardin with the bad tidings. The outcome illustrates the knowledge of his men and the inimitable tact which Gen. Harrison appears to have possessed in his management of them. The details are from Knapp’s “History of the Maumee Valley:”


Col. Allen and Major D. Hardin informed the General that Allen’s regiment, exhausted by the hard fare of the campaign, and disappointed in the expectation of an immediate engagement with the enemy, had, in defiance of their duty to their country and all the earnest impassioned remonstrances of their officers, determined to return home. They begged the General to rise and interfere, as the only officer who could bring the mutineers to a sense of their duty.


Gen. Harrison informed the officers that he would take the matter in hand, and they retired. In the meantime, he sent an aid to Gen. Winchester to order the alarm, or point of war, to be beat the following morning instead of the reveille. The next morning, at the roll of the drum, every soldier sprang to his post, all alert and eager to learn the cause of the unexpected war alarm. Gen. Winchester formed them into a hollow square; at this moment Gen. Harrison appeared upon parade. The effect on the assembled troops of this sudden and unexpected appearance in their midst of their favorite commander can be easily imagined. Taking advantage of this Gen. Harrison immediately addressed them. He began by lamenting that there was, as he was informed, considerable discontent in one of the Kentucky regiments; this, although a mortification to himself, on their account, was happily of little consequence to the government; He had more troops than he knew what to do with at the present stage of the campaign; he was expecting daily the arrival of the Pennsylvania and Virginia quotas. It is fortunate, said this officer, with the ready oratory for which his native Virginia is so famed, that lie had found out this dissatisfaction before the campaign was farther advanced, when the discovery might have been mischievous to the public interests, as well as disgraceful to the parties concerned. Now, so far as the government was interested, the discontented troops, who had come into the woods with the expectation of finding all the luxuries of home and of peace, had full liberty to return. He would, he continued, order facilities to be furnished for their immediate accommodation. But he could not refrain from expressing the mortification he anticipated for the reception they would meet from the old and the young, who had greeted them on their march to the scene of war, as their gallant neighbors.


What must be their feelings, said the General, to see those whom they had hailed as their generous defenders, now returning without striking a blow and before their term of plighted service had expired? But if this would be the state of public sentiment in Ohio, what would it be in Kentucky? If their fathers did not drive their degenerate sons back to the field of battle to recover their wounded honor, their mothers and sisters would hiss them from their presence. If, however, the discontented men were disposed to put up with all the taunts and disdain which awaited them wherever they went they were, General Harrison again assured them, at full liberty to go back.


The influence of this animated address was instantaneous. This was evinced in a manner most flattering to the tact and management of the commander. Col. J. M. Scott, the senior colonel of Kentucky, and who had served in the armies of Harmar, St. Clair and Wayne, in the medical staff, now addressed his men.


These were well known in the army as the “Iron Works” from the neighborhood from which they had come. “You, my boys,” said the generous veteran,” will prove your attachment for the service of your country and your general by giving him three cheers.”


The address was attended with immediate success, and the air resounded with the shouts of both officers and men.


Colonel Lewis next took up the same course and with the same effect.


It now became the turn of the noble Allen again to try the temper of his men. He begged leave of the general to address them, but excess of emotion choked his utterance. At length he gave vent to the contending feelings of his heart in a broken but forcible address, breathing the fire which ever burned so ardently in his breast. At the close of it, however, he conjured the soldiers of his regiment to give the general the same manifestation of their patriotism and returning sense of duty which the other Kentucky regiments had so freely done. The wishes of their high-spirited officer were complied with, and a mutiny was nipped in its bud which might, if persisted in, have spread disaffection


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through the Kentucky troops, to the disgrace of that gallant State and the lasting injury of the public cause. No troops, however, behaved more faithfully or zealously through the remainder of their service till the greater part of them offered up their lives in defence of their country on the fatal field of Raisin.


HICKSVILLE is twenty miles west of Defiance, on the line of the B. & O. & C. R. R. It has two newspapers: Independent, Republican, T. G. DOWELL, editor; News, Independent, W. C. B. HARRISON, editor. Churches: 1 Catholic, 1 Christian, 1 Methodist, 1 Episcopal, 2 Presbyterian, and, in 1880, 1,212 inhabitants. Hicksville was laid out in 1836 by Miller ARROWSMITH for John A. BRYAN, Henry W. HICKS, and Isaac S. SMITH. The next spring the Hon. ALFRED P. EDGERTON (born in Plattsburg, N: Y., in 1813) came out here in 1837 and assumed the management of the extended landed interests of the “American Land Company “ and of the Messrs. HICKS, their interest being known as the “ Hicks Land Company.” He revised and added to the layout of the town, built mills, and made extensive improvements, and was a generous contributor to every good work or thing connected with the welfare of the community. In his land-office in Hicksville, up to October 5, 1852, he sold 140,000 acres, all to actual settlers. In 1857 he removed to Fort Wayne, Ind., but remained a citizen of Ohio until 1862, and now, late in life, is Civil Service Commissioner “under the general government.


Alfred P. Edgerton.Mr. EDGERTON is a man of remarkable intellectual and physical vitality, and his life has been strongly and usefully identified with the history of this region and the State. In 1845 was elected to the State Senate from the territory embraced by the present counties of Williams, Defiance, Paulding, Van Wert, Mercer, Auglaize, Allen, Henry, Putnam, and part of Fulton, where he became the leader of the Democratic party, and electrified the Senate by his clear, logical speeches in opposition to some of the financial measures advocated by the late Alfred Kelley, the Whig leader. It was stated that “while the debate between the two was one of the most noted of the times, that the respectful deference shown by Mr. EDGERTON to Mr. KELLEY, who was the senior, won for him the respect of the entire Whig party of the State and secured to him ever after the warm friendship and respect of Mr. Kelley, which he often exhibited in kind and valuable ways.” This was during the period of our original tour over the State, and we well remember seeing him in his place in the Senate, being impressed by the keen, sharp, intellectual visage of the then young man. That memory has prompted us to this full notice.


He was elected to Congress in 1850 and again in 1852, and during the latter, term, with several others of the more sagacious members of the Democratic party, opposed the rescinding of the Missouri Compromise.


On closing up the affairs of the land company Mr. EDGERTON bought a large amount of land of them at a merely nominal price. We terminate this account of him by the relation of a very pleasant incident of honorable history, as related by Mr. Frank G. CARPENTER:

Along early in the seventies Mr. EDGERTON was worth between $800,000 and $1,000,000, and he was helping his brother, Lycurgus EDGERTON, who was doing business in New York. His brother had only his verbal promise for surety, and when the panic of 1873 came around and caused him to fail to the extent of $250,000, EDGERTON was not


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legally responsible for his debts. Nevertheless, he paid very dollar of them, though in doing so it cost him the larger part of his fortune.” In order to get the ready money he had to sell valuable stocks, such as the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago railroad stock, and others which are not away above par, but which went then at a sacrifice.  Upon EDGERTON’S friends urging him not to pay these debts of his brother, stating that he could not be held for them, he replied that the legal obligation made no difference to him.  He had promised his brother that he would be his surety, and had he made no such promise he would have paid his brother’s debts rather than see his notes dishonored. Such examples as that above instanced by Mr. CARPENTER of a fine sense of honor on the part of public men are of extraordinary educational value to the general public, especially so to the young.  Hence it pleases us to here cite another illustrative instance on the part of one of Ohio’s gallant officers, Gen. Chas. H. GROSVENOR, the member of Congress from the Athens district. He made claim for an invalid pension, which was allowed.  Later, finding he could attend to business so as to support his family he felt it wrong to accept of his pension, and ordered the check in his favor, which was about $5,000 to be cancelled.




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