Page 587


            FAIRFIELD COUNTY was formed December 9, 1800, by proclamation of Gov. St. Clair and so named from the beauty of its fair fields.  It contains every variety of soil, from the richest to the most sterile.  In the north and west it is generally level and the soil fertile.  The southern part is hilly and broken, the soil thin and in many places composed of sand and gravel.  A great and permanent source of wealth to the county is its vast sandstone quarries, the stone from which is largely sent to other parts of the State for building purposes.  Area 470 square miles.  In 1885 the acres cultivated were 130,721; in pasture, 93,071; woodland, 12,005; lying waste, 5,258; produced in wheat 160,756 bushels; corn, 2,649,925; butter, 713,868 pounds; wool, 146,192; cattle owned, 23,448; sheep, 30,391; hogs, 32,538.  School census, 1886, 10,663; teachers, 205.  It has 95 miles of railroad.




And Census





And Census
























Clear Creek,




Rush Creek,


























            The population in 1820 was 16,508; 1840, 31,858; 1860, 30,538; 1880, 34,284, of whom 29,963 were Ohio-born; Pennsylvania, 1,058; Germany, 1018; Ireland, 230; Virginia, 623; New York, 135; Indiana, 113.


            From the lecture delivered before the Lancaster Literary Institute, in March, 1844, by George Sanderson, Esq., we derive the following sketch of the history of this region:


                The lands watered by the sources of the Hockhocking river, and now comprehended within the limits of Fairfield county, when first discovered by the early settlers at Mari-


Page 588

etta, were owned and occupied by the Wyandot tribe of Indians.  The principal town of the nation stood along the margin of the prairie, between the south end of Broad street and T. EWING’S canal basin, and the present town of Lancaster, and extending back to the base of the hill, south of the Methodist Episcopal church.  It is said that the town contained in 1790, about 100 wigwams and a population of 500 souls.  It was called TARHE, or in English the Crane-town, and derived its name from that of the principal chief of the tribe.  Another portion of the tribe then lived at Tobey-town, nine miles west of Tarhetown (now Royalton); and was governed by an inferior chief called Tobey.  The chief’s wigwam, in Tarhe, stood upon the bank of the prairie, near where the fourth lock is built on the Hocking canal, and near where a beautiful spring of water flowed into the Hockhocking river.  The wigwams were built of the bark of trees, set on poles in the form of a sugar camp, with one square open, fronting a fire, and about the height of a man.  The Wyandot tribe numbered at that day about 500 warriors. . . . . By the treaty of Greenville, in 1795, the Wyandots ceded all their territory on the Hockhocking river to the United States.


                The Crane chief, soon after the treaty, with many of the tribe, removed and settled at Upper Sandusky; others remained behind for four or five years after the settlement of the country, as if unable or unwilling to tear themselves away from the graves of their forefathers and their hunting grounds.  They were, however, so peaceably disposed towards the settlers, that no one felt willing to drive them away.  In process of time, the game and fur became scarce, and the lingering Indians, unwilling to labor for a living, was forced by stern necessity to quit the country, and take up his abode with those of his tribe who had preceded him, at Upper Sandusky.


            In 1797 Ebenezer Zane opened the road known as “Zane’s Trace,” from Wheeling to Limestone (now Maysville).  It passed through the site of Lancaster, at a fording about 300 yards below the present turnpike bridge, west of the town, and then called the “crossings of the Hockhocking.”  He located one of his tree tracts of land, given by Congress for the performance of this task, on the Hockhocking, at Lancaster.


            In 1797, Zane’s trace having opened a communication between the Eastern States and Kentucky, many individuals in both directions, wishing to better their condition in life by emigrating and settling in the “backwoods,” so called, visited the Hockhocking valley for that purpose.  Finding the country surpassingly fertile, abounding in fine springs of the purest water, they determined to make it their new homes.


                In April, 1798, Capt. Joseph HUNTER, a bold and enterprising man, with his family, emigrated from Kentucky and settled on Zane’s trace, upon the bank of the prairie, west of the crossings, and about 150 yards northwest of the present turnpike road, and which place was called “Hunter’s settlement.”  Here he cleared off the underbrush, felled the forest trees and erected a cabin, at a time when he had not a neighbor nearer than the Muskingum or Scioto rivers.  This was the commencement of the first settlement in the Upper Hockhocking valley, and Capt. Hunter is regarded as the founder of the flourishing and populous county of Fairfield.  He lived to see the county densely settled and in a high state of improvement, and died about the year 1829.  His wife was the first white woman that settled in the valley, and shared with her husband all the toils, sufferings, hardships and privations incident to the formation of the new settlement.  During the spring of the same year (1798) Nathaniel WILSON, the elder, John and Allen GREEN, John and Joseph M'MULLEN, Robert COOPER, Isaac SHAEFER and a few others, reached the valley, erected cabins and put out a crop of corn.


                In 1799 the tide of emigration set in with great force.  In the spring of this year two settlements were made in the present township of Greenfield.  Each settlement contained twenty or thirty families.  One was called the Forks of the Hockhocking, and the other Yankeetown.  Settlements were also made along the river below Hunter’s, on Rush creek, Raccoon and Indian creeks, Pleasant run, Fetter’s run, at Tobeytown, Muddy Prairie, and on Clear creek.  In the fall of 1799 Joseph Loveland and Hezekiah Smith erected a log grist-mill at the upper falls of the Hockhocking, now called the Rock mill.  This was the first grist-mill built on the Hockhocking.


                In April, 1799, Samuel COATES, Sen., and Samuel COATES, Jr., from England, built a cabin in the prairie at the “Crossings of the Hockhocking,” kept bachelors’ hall, and raised a crop of corn.  In the latter part of the year a trail route was established along Zane’s trace, from Wheeling to Limestone.  The mail was carried through on horseback, and, at first, only once a week.  Samuel COATES, Sen., was the postmaster, and kept his office at the Crossings.  This was the first established mail route through the interior of the territory, and Samuel COATES was the first postmaster at the new settlements.


                The settlers subsisted principally on cornbread, potatoes, milk and butter, and wild meats.  Flour, tea and coffee were scarcely to be had; and when brought to the country, such prices were asked as to put it out of the reach of many to purchase.  Salt was an indispensable article, and cost at the Scioto salt works $5 per fifty pounds.  Flour brought $16 per barrel; tea, $2.50; coffee, $1.50; spice and pepper, $1 per pound.


Page 589


            In the fall of 1800 Ebenezer Zane laid out Lancaster, and by way of compliment to a number of emigrants from Lancaster county, Pa., called it New Lancaster.  It retained that name until 1805, when, by an act of the Legislature, the word “New” was dropped.  A sale of lots took place soon after the town was laid off and sold to purchasers at prices ranging from five to fifty dollars each.  The greater portion of the purchasers were mechanics, and they immediately set about putting up log-buildings.  Much of the material needed for that purpose was found upon their lots and in the streets, and so rapidly did the work of improvement progress during the fall of 1800 and following winter that in the spring of 1801 the principal streets and alleys assumed their present shapes and gave assurance that New Lancaster would, at no distant day, become a town of some importance.


            About this time merchants and professional men made their appearance.  The Rev. John Wright, of the Presbyterian church, settled in Lancaster in 1801, and the Rev. Asa Shinn and Rev. James Quinn, of the Methodist church, travelled on the Fairfield circuit.


                Shortly after the settlement, and while the stumps yet remained in the streets, a small portion of the settlers occasionally indulged in drinking frolics, ending frequently in fights.  In the absence of law, the better disposed part of the population determined to stop the growing evil.  They accordingly met and resolved, that any person of the town found intoxicated, should, for every such offence, dig a stump out of the street, or suffer personal chastisement.  The result was, that after several offenders had expiated their crimes, dram drinking ceased, and for a time all became a sober, temperate and happy people.


                On the 9th day of December, 1800, the governor and council of the Northwest Territory organized the county of Fairfield, and designated New Lancaster as the seat of justice.  The county then contained within its limits all, or nearly all, of the present counties of Licking and Knox; a large portion of Perry, and small parts of Pickaway and Hocking counties.


            The first while male child born in Fairfield was the son of Mrs. Ruhama GREENE.  This lady emigrated to this region in 1798 and settled three miles west of Lancaster, where her child was born.  The sketch appended of her is from Col. John McDonald, of Ross county.


                Mrs. Ruhama GREENE was born and raised in Jefferson county, Virginia.  In 1785 she married a Mr. Charles BUILDERBACK, and with him crossed the mountains and settled at the mouth of Short creek, on the east bank of the Ohio, a few miles above Wheeling.  Her husband, a brave man, had on many occasions distinguished himself in repelling the Indians, who had often felt the sure aim of his unerring rifle.  They therefore determined at all hazards to kill him.


                On a beautiful summer morning in June, 1789, at a time when it was thought the enemy had abandoned the western shores of the Ohio, Capt. Charles BUILDERBACK, his wife and brother, Jacob BUILDERBACK, crossed the Ohio to look after some cattle.  On reaching the shore, a party of fifteen or twenty Indians rushed out from an ambush, and firing upon them, wounded Jacob in the shoulder.  Charles was taken while he was running to escape.  Jacob returned to the canoe and got away.  In the meantime, Mrs. BUILDERBACK secreted herself in some drift-wood, near the bank of the river.  As soon as the Indians had secured and tied her husband, and not being enabled to discover her hiding place, they compelled him, with threats of immediate death, to call her to him.  With a hope of appeasing their fury, he did so.  She heard him, but made no answer.  “Here,” to use her words, “a struggle took place in my breast, which I cannot describe.  Shall I go to him and become a prisoner, or shall I remain, return to our cabin and provide for and take care of our children?”  He shouted to her a second time to come to him, saying, “that if she obeyed, perhaps it would be the means of saving his life.”  She no longer hesitated, left her place of safety, and surrendered herself to his savage captors.  All this took place in full view of their cabin, on the opposite shore, and where they had left their two children, one a son about three years of age, and an infant daughter.  The Indians, knowing that they would be pursued as soon as the news of their visit reached the stockade, at Wheeling, commenced their retreat.  Mrs. BUILDERBACK and her husband travelled together that day and the following night.  The next morning the Indians separated into two bands, one taking BUILDERBACK, and the other his wife, and continued a westward course by different routes.


                In a few days the band having Mrs. BUILDERBACK in custody reached the Tuscarawas river, where they encamped, and were soon rejoined by the band that had had her husband in charge.  Here the murderers exhibited his scalp on the top of a pole, and to convince her that they had killed him, pulled it down and threw it into her lap.  She recognized it


Page 590        


at once by the redness of his hair.  She said nothing, and uttered no complaint.  It was evening; her ears pained with the terrific yells of the savages, and wearied by constant travelling, she reclined against a tree and fell into a profound sleep, and forgot all her sufferings until morning.  When she awoke, the scalp of her murdered husband was gone, and she never learned what became of it.


                As soon as the capture of BUILDERBACK was known at Wheeling, a party of scouts set off in pursuit, and taking the trail of one of the bands, followed it until they found the body of BUILDERBACK.  He had been tomahawked and scalped, and apparently suffered a lingering death.


                The Indians, on reaching their towns on the Big Miami, adopted Mrs. BUILDERBACK into a family, with whom she resided until released from captivity.  She remained a prisoner about nine months, performing the labor and drudgery of squaws, such as carrying in meat from the hunting grounds, preparing and drying it, making moccasins, leggings and other clothing for the family in which she was raised.  After her adoption, she suffered much from the rough and filthy manner of Indian living, but had no cause to complain of ill-treatment otherwise.


                In a few months after her capture, some friendly Indians informed the commandant at Fort Washington that there was a white woman in captivity at the Miamitowns.  She was ransomed and brought into the fort, and in a few weeks was sent up the river to her lonely cabin, and to the embrace of her two orphan children.  She then recrossed the mountains, and settled in her native county.


                In 1791 Mrs. BUILDERBACK married Mr. John GREENE, and in 1798 they emigrated to the Hockhocking valley, and settled about three miles west of Lancaster, where she continued to reside until the time of her death, about the year 1842.  She survived her last husband about ten years.


                Her first husband, BUILDERBACK, commanded a company at Crawford’s defeat.  He was a large, noble-looking man, and a bold and intrepid warrior.  He was in the bloody Moravian campaign, and took his share in the tragedy by shedding the first blood on that occasion, when he shot, tomahawked and scalped Shebosh, a Moravian chief.  But retributive justice was meted to him.  After being taken prisoner, the Indians inquired his name.  "Charles Builderback,” replied he, after some little pause.  At this revelation, the Indians stared at each other with a malignant triumph.  “Ha!” said they, “you kill many Indians—you big captain—you kill Moravians.”  From that moment, probably, his death was decreed.


Near the town of Lancaster stands a bold and romantic eminence, about two


Drawn by Henry Howe in 1846.



hundred feet high, known as Mt. Pleasant, which was called by the Indians “the Standing Stone.”  A writer on geology says in reference to this rock:  “What is properly called the sandstone formation terminates near Lancaster in immense detached mural precipices, like the remains of ancient islands.  One of these, called Mt. Pleasant, seated on the borders of a large plain, affords from its top a fine view of the adjacent country.  The base is a mile and a half in circumference, while the apex is only about thirty by one hundred yards, resembling, at a distance, a huge pyramid.  These lofty towers of sandstone are like so many monuments to point out the boundaries of that ancient western Mediterranean which once covered the present rich prairies of Ohio.”


Page 591


            It is a place much resorted to by parties of pleasure.  The Duke of Saxe-Weimar, when in this country in 1825, visited this mount and carved his name upon the rocks.  The lecture delivered before the Literary Institute gives a thrill-



Drawn by Henry Howe in 1846.




ing narrative of the visit of two scouts to this spot (the famed Wetzel brothers) at an early day, their successful fight with the Indians, the recapture of a female prisoner and their perilous escape from the enemy.  The incident was the foundation of a novel by Emerson Bennett, issued about 1848.  The name of his heroine was Forest Rose.



J. J. Wolfe, Photo., Lancaster, 1886


[Near the top of the hill on the lest is the Sherman homestead, where in the then log-house were born Senator and general Sherman.  The Ewing mansion and new court-house are near them on the summit of the hill.]


            LANCASTER IN 1846.—Lancaster, the county-seat, is situated on the Hockhocking river and canal on the Zanesville and Chillicothe turnpike, 28 miles southeast of Columbus, 37 from Zanesville, 18 from Somerset, 19 from Logan, 35 from


Page 592        


Chillicothe, 20 from Circleville and 27 from Newark.  It stands as a beautiful and fertile valley, and is a flourishing, well-built town.  It contains 1 Presbyterian, 1 Methodist, 1 Catholic, 1 Lutheran, 1 Protestant Methodist, 1 Baptist and 1 German Reformed church, about 20 mercantile stores, 2 newspaper offices, and had, in 1840, 2,120 inhabitants.  It has since much increased.  The engraving shows the appearance of the principal street in town.  It was taken near the court-house and represents the western part of the street.  The court-house is shown on the right and the market on the left of the view.—Old Edition.


            Lancaster, at the intersection of the C. H. V. & T. and C. & M. V. Railroads, 32 miles southeast of Columbus.  It has natural gas and a fine surrounding agricultural district.  Its fair ground is one of the finest in the State and its fairs highly successful.  County officers in 1888: Auditor, Benjamin DEEM; Clerks, Wm. H. WOLFE, Wm. B. HENRY; Coroner, Wm. L. JEFFRIES; Prosecuting Attorney, Wm. H. DAUGHTERY; Probate Judge, John Theodore BUSBY; Recorder, Robert A. BELL; Sheriff, Benj. F. PRICE; Surveyor, Chas. W. BORLAND; Treasurer, Solomon BADER, Michael D. MILLER; Commissioners, Allen D. FREISNER, Henry W. GERRETT, John HOZEY.  Newspapers: Ohio Eagle, Dem., Thos. WETZLER, editor and publisher; Gazette, Rep., S. A. GRISWOLD, editor; Fairfield County Republican, Rep., A. R. EVERSOLE, editor and publisher.  Churches: 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Catholic, 3 Lutheran, 1 Reformed, 1 Episcopal and 1 Evangelical.  Banks: Fairfield County, Philip RISING, president, H. B. PETERS, cashier; Hocking Valley National, Theo. MITHOFF, president, Thomas MITHOFF, cashier; Lancaster, S. J. WRIGHT, president, George W. BECK, cashier.


            Industries and Employees.—E. Becker & Co., lager beer, 14 hands; McAnespie & Co., cloth, yarns, etc., 10; J. B. Orman Bros., doors, sash, etc., 10; Peter Miller & Col., clothing, 70; Beery & Beck, clothing, 74; Temple of Fashion, clothing, 92; Sifford & Schultz, doors, sash, etc.; Peet & Dennis, flour, etc.; J. R. Mumaugh, flour, etc.; Hocking Valley Manufacturing Co., agricultural implements, 93; Hocking Valley Bridge Co., bridges, 14; C. & M. V. R. R. Shops, railroad repairs, 40; A. Bauman, crackers, etc., 13.—State Report for 1887.


            Population in 1880, 6,803.  School census in 1886, 2,023; Geo. W. Walsh, superintendent.


            On the 1st of February, 1887, natural gas was discovered, after prospecting about fifteen months, in the city of Lancaster, on the grounds in the south part of the city belonging to Dr. E. L. SLOCUM, who was the first to advocate the organization of a stock company to bore for gas.  At the depth of 1,957 feet a flow of gas of 100,000 cubic feet a day was discovered in the Clinton or limestone rock.  This was named the Wyandot well, or Well No. 1.  Since the discovery at the Wyandot well two other wells have been put down; the one is named Mt. Pleasant, or Well No. 2, and the other East End well, or Well No. 3.  Well No. 2 has a flow of 900,000 cubic feet per day, and Well No. 3 over 1,000,000 cubic feet per day.


            The pressure is 700 pounds to the cubic inch, being much higher than any in the State.  Well No. 2 is 1,989 feet deep, and Well No. 3, is 2,023 feet deep.  In all of those wells the gas was found in the Clinton shale or limestone rock.  At the depth of about 1,900 feet a large flow of salt-water was found in each of the wells in the Niagara shale, which had to be cased off before boring could proceed.  The Clinton rock at Lancaster is a highly crystalline limestone, included between two beds of rock, the upper one being a deposit of the famous fossil ore of the Clinton formation.  The gas is regarded as being equal to any in the State.  Two additional wells are now being put down; one at the Eagle Machine Works, and the other at the Becker brewery.  Pipes are now being lad along the principal streets in the city, and all the manufactories, and some of the offices, hotels, and residences are already using it.


            Lancaster has an unusual record in the line of illustrious men.  First for our notice comes THOMAS EWING, who passed most of his youth in Athens county,



Page 593




Page 594

which head will be found details of his early life from his own pen.  From 1816 to 1831 he practised law in Lancaster.  He first entered political life in 1830, and served two terms in the United States Senate, viz., having been elected by the Whigs from 1831 to 1837, again in 1850-51 in the place of Thomas Corwin on the appointment of the latter to the office of Secretary of the Treasury.


            In the Senate Mr. EWING wielded great power and introduced several important bills.  In his last term he opposed the fugitive slave law, Clay’s compromise bill, and advocated the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia.  In 1841 he became Secretary of the Treasury under Harrison.  Upon the death of the President, Vice-President Tyler invited the Cabinet in a body to remain.  Upon the meeting of the extra session of Congress, having evidence that Mr. Tyler designed to betray the trusts and disappoint the hopes of the Whig party that had elevated him to power, Mr. EWING indignantly resigned.  He retired from public life in 1851 and resumed the law practice.  He early won and maintained throughout life unquestioned supremacy at the bar of Ohio, and ranked in the Supreme Court of the United States with the foremost lawyers of the nation.


            In strength and massiveness of intellect he was then and is to-day by many regarded as not having had an equal in the history of the State.  In physical strength also he had but few equals, being a man of large frame and ponderous in body.  We take the following items from the county history:


            At one time, when Mr. EWING was chopping wood in the forest, a pioneer Methodist preacher came along.  By a recent rain the stream to be crossed was swollen.  The missionary was afraid to attempt to ford it.  Mr. EWING, being a young man, strong and tall, took the preacher on his shoulders, the horse by the bridle, and landed them safely on the other side of the stream, and then returned to his axe.


            At another time, as he was passing the old court-house in Lancaster, shown in the view, a number of stout men were trying to throw a chopping axe over it; they had all in vain tried their power.  Mr. EWING halted just long enough to take the axe-handle in his hand and send it sailing five feet or more above the steeple and then passed on.


            In oratory he was not eloquent, but he could say more in fewer words than any one, and in that lay his great success.  By some he was considered unsocial, as he seemed when his mind was at work; but when once reached, his social qualities were warm, cordial and sincere.  His mind worked on an elevated plane, leaving the impression that he knew little of the small affairs of life, but at the same time he could tell a farmer more about plows than he could tell himself.  During the latter part of his professional life his business was chiefly before the Supreme Court at Washington.  Daniel Webster in his last years largely sought his aid in weighty cases.  Among the anecdotes related of him it is said that after two eminent lawyers had argued a case before the Supreme Court for two days, he took but a little over an hour for reply and won his suit.


            Mr. EWING in 1861 was a member of the Peace Congress, and during the civil war he gave through the press and by correspondence and personal interviews his countenance and influence to the support of the national authorities.  He died in Lancaster and was buried in the Catholic cemetery by the side of his wife Maria, eldest daughter of Hugh BOYLE.  Her death was in 1864.  On the lid of Mr. EWING’S burial casket was engraved the following:




Born  December 28, 1789.


Died  October 26, 1871.



            The Ewing mansion stands on the summit of the hill on the corner to the left shown in the street view, and which until recently was the home of Mr. Ewing’s daughter, Mrs. Col. Steele.  It is of brick: a solid, substantial edifice, comporting with the memory of the giant among en who once made it his home; of the memory of one of whom James G. Blaine, who in his youth was a visitor here, wrote on the occasion of his death to his daughter, Mrs. Ellen Ewing SHERMAN: “He was a grand and massive man, almost without peers.  With no little familiarity and association with the leading men of the day, I can truly say I never met with one who impressed me so profoundly.”  In an interesting article upon Mr. Ewing, Mr. Frank B. Loomis, late State Librarian, appends this sketch of his also eminent family:


“Thomas Ewing transmitted to his sons some of the fine and rare qualities that made him a great man.  His four sons, Hugh, Philemon, Thomas and Charles, have all distinguished themselves in various useful ways.


Page 595


            Hugh, Charles and Thomas EWING were brave and successful soldiers in the war of the rebellion.


                General Thomas EWING has achieved political prominence, and is now a lawyer of note in New York; has been President of the Ohio Society there from its beginning.


                General Charles EWING, who was a man of much prominence, is dead.


                Major General Hugh EWING was engaged in the practice of law at the outbreak of the civil war.  In May 1861, he was appointed by Gov. Dennison Brigade-Inspector of the Third Brigade, Ohio militia, with the rank of Major, and was stationed at Camp Dennison until the 21st of June in the same year, when he enlisted in the three-year service and joined McClellan’s army at Buckhannon,





W. Va.  He participated in a number of important battles.  At Antietam he commanded a brigade at the extreme left which, according to Gen. Burnside’s report, saved that wing from disaster.


                Gen. EWING commanded the Thirtieth, Thirty-second and Forty-seventh Ohio and the Fourth Virginia Infantry before Vicksburg, and with this brigade led a gallant but unsuccessful movement on the city.  The colors that were borne in that memorable charge are furled in the general’s reception-room at his home.  They are riddled with bullet holes and the battered staff bears many a scar.


                In 1886 Gen. EWING was appointed Minister of The Hague.  He is now living in pleasant retirement at Lancaster.


                Gen. Thomas EWING, the third son of Thomas EWING, was born in Lancaster, August 11, 1829.  He was liberally educated, and is an alumnus of Brown University and of the Cincinnati Law School.  In 1856 he removed to Leavenworth, Kan., and commenced the practice of law.  He soon became prominent, and for two years held the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State.


                In 1862 he organized the Eleventh Regiment of Kansas Infantry, of which he was appointed colonel.  At Pilot Knob he was engaged against several times his force in one of the most stubborn, and, in proportion to the number engaged, one of the most fatal conflicts of the war.  He lost one-fourth of his available force, and having to retreat, kept up a running fight for twenty miles.  The campaign of a week was a remarkable one.


                Thomas EWING’S oldest daughter, Ellen EWING, was married to Gen. W. T. SHERMAN in 1850.  Mrs. SHERMAN has inherited some of her father’s mental vigor and has manifested it in a literary, social and religious way.  The EWINGS are zealous members of the Catholic church, and Senator EWING embraced that faith a short time before he died.  So the influence of this remarkable family has always been cast upon the side of effective Chrisitanity.”


            It is rare that so small a place as Lancaster has in its history two such famous families as the EWINGS and the SHERMANS.  The founder of the SHERMAN family, Judge CHARLES SHERMAN, was born in Norwalk, Conn., May 26, 1788.  In 1810 he was admitted to the bar, the same year marrying Mary HOYT, of Norwalk.  In the following year he came to Lancaster with his wife and infant child, and commenced the practice of the law.  Their journey from their New England home was weary and beset with hardships, exposure, and danger, being obliged to


Page 596


journey the greater part of the distance on horseback, carrying the baby on a pillow between them.  The little boy carried thus was the late Hon. Charles Taylor SHERMAN, United States District Judge of the northern district of Ohio.


            Charles SHERMAN, the father, was elected by the Legislature to the bench of the Supreme Court in 1823; here he remained over six years, when he died suddenly at Lebanon, Ohio, from cholera, while attending court, June 24, 1829.  He was but forty-one years of age, and a man of fine legal capabilities.  Mary Hoyt SHERMAN survived him many years.  Their tombs are in the cemetery east of Lancaster.


            Judge SHERMAN was the father of Hon. John SHERMAN, born in 1823, now of the United States Senate, and Gen. William Tecumseh SHERMAN, born February 8, 1820; also, Mrs. W. J. Reece, of Lancaster, and Frances, wife of the late Col. Charles W. Moulton, of New York, and other children—eleven in all.  A sketch of Senator SHERMAN is given under the head of Mansfield, Richland county, which has been his home from early manhood.  We here give a few paragraphs to WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN:


            General SHERMAN, we believe, is the only eminent American named from an Indian chief.  His father had seen and greatly admired Tecumseh from his nobility of character and his humanity to prisoners, and he wanted one boy trained for the army.  The name, considering the brilliant history of its recipient, is peculiarly appropriate, as in the Indian tongue it signifies the Shooting Star.


                A few months after his father’s death he was taken to the church to be baptized.  The preacher, a Presbyterian, objected to baptizing him by the name of a heathen, Tecumseh.  He wanted to call the lad simply William.  He at once rebelled, saying, “My father called me Tecumseh, and Tecumseh I will be called.  If you won’t, I’ll not have any of your baptism.”  The preacher yielded.


                Judge SHERMAN’S widow being left with a large family and her means of support slight, Hon. Thomas EWING offered to adopt one of the boys and educate him.  He consulted with the mother, and “Cump,” as the general was then called, a sandy-haired youth, was selected.  At the moment the future warrior was playing with other lads in a neighboring sand-bank.  The new home was only a stone’s throw from his mother’s, so the lad was in no danger from attacks of nostalgia.  Beside he found in Mr. EWING’S little daughter Ellen a pleasant playmate; to vary the monotony of excursions to sand-banks, and who from the very happy intimacy thus began eventually became the queen of his heart and home.


                Mr. EWING educated the lad and sent him when 16 years of age to West Point, where he graduated the sixth in his class.  He was commissioned second lieutenant in the third Artillery, and sent to Fort Moultrie, Charleston, thence in 1846 to California, where he rose to the rank of captain.  In 1850 he went to Washington, and then married the eldest daughter of his friend and benefactor.  Three years later, tired of the monotony of military life, he resigned, and from 1853 to 1857 had charge of a banking-house in California, and again for a short time in New York, but with small success.  Having studied law in the leisure of his army life, he united with his brother-in-law, Thomas H. EWING and Gen. D. McCook, who were establishing themselves in the law in Leavenworth, Kansas.  The practice of the profession not agreeing with his tastes, he was offered and accepted the position in 1859 of President of the Louisiana State Military Academy at a salary of $5,000 per annum.


                He remained in that position until he saw that civil war was inevitable and then sent in his resignation, with a letter which clearly showed that he read correctly the signs of the hour.  This is the closing paragraph of the letter: “I beg you to take immediate steps to remove me as Superintendent the moment the State resolves to secede, for on no earthly account will I do any act or think any thoughts hostile to the defence of the old Government of the United States.”  It will be seen by the foregoing sketch that SHERMAN’S experience had been a wide one.  He was acquainted with many people in many parts of the country; he was impressed with the notion (gained from his life among the people of the South) that the war was to be a long, bitter, and costly one; he went to Washington and had an interview with the President and Secretary of War.  He laid his views before them, but they laughed him aside and thought him a crusty and excitable man.  He failed to convince the Government that the struggle was to be something more than a temporary storm.  Seventy-five thousand troops were called for, and SHERMAN exclaimed, “You might as well undertake to extinguish the flames of a building with a squirt-gun as to put down this rebellion with three months’ troops.  We ought,” said he, “to organize at once for a gigantic war, call out the whole military power of the country, and with its forces strangle the rebellion in its very birth.”


                The five years of bloody contest which ensued demonstrated the truth and power of SHERMAN’S prophecy.  In the first battle of Bull Run, SHERMAN was commander of a brigade in the regular army.  He fought bravely and desperately.  Two-thirds of the loss fell on his brigade.  He was shortly made brigadier-general of the volunteers which were sta-


Page 597


tioned at Louisville.  He had some trouble with newspaper correspondents, and the rumor that he was insane was set afloat.  SHERMAN next distinguished himself at Shiloh.  Rousseau, in speaking of his conduct on that field, said, “No man living could surpass him,” and Gen. Nelson remarked a few hours before his death, “During eight hours the fate of the army, on the field of Shiloh, depended on the life of one man.  If Gen. SHERMAN had fallen the army would have been captured or destroyed.”  Gen. Grant added, “to his individual efforts I am indebted for the success of that battle.”  SHERMAN’S services before Vicksburg are well know.


                He was next heard of thundering along the heights of Mission Ridge and Lookout Mountain.  Here he added to his reputation and to his services to the country.  In the spring of 1863 he began to prepare for his movement upon Atlanta; it was a remarkable campaign, and again demonstrated his wonderful foresight and genius.  It was followed by a still more important military movement, the Georgia campaign and the march to the sea.  He cut loose from all that was behind him, burned his bridges, threw aside superfluous baggage, and marched without provisions into the heart of the enemy’s country.  He set at defiance many of the old and established maxims of warfare, and when his daring project was first made public the world was astonished.


                “Military critics and warriors in this country and in Europe predicted the destruction of his army.  They said: ‘The people of the South and on the line of his proposed march would hang about his army as lightning plays along the thunder clouds.’  These same critics declared ‘that people would remove all provisions beyond his reach, so that his soldiers must perish by starvation.’  The British Army and Navy Gazette said: ‘He has done either one of the most brilliant or most foolish things ever performed by a military leader.’  SHERMAN, however, trusting in Thomas and Grant, his own army, his own genius, and a favoring Providence, set duly out on his march.  He drove before him the troops of the enemy, and in a short time established his headquarters in the Executive Mansion at Macon.  The soldiers fared sumptuously on the fat of the land.  No army was ever more contented or in better condition.  The great column swept splendidly on through cities, villages and forests.  It was a triumphal march.  All opposition melted before them.  Savannah was the next point to be gained, and SHERMAN was soon able to send the following dispatch to the President of the United States: ‘I beg to present to you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah with 150 guns and plenty of ammunition and about 25,000 bales of cotton.’


                “So ended one of the most remarkable campaigns in the world’s military history.  To the prestige of his Georgia achievements SHERMAN soon added the glory of a successful campaign in the Carolinas.  He swept on in his resistless way and practically received the surrender of Johnston at Raleigh, though the War Department fell out with him about his terms with the rebel commander, and finally sent Gen. Grant to arrange for the surrender of Johnston’s army.


                “SHERMAN was appointed lieutenant-general in 1866, and in 1869 became commander-in-chief.  He has had ample justice done to the daring originality of design, the fertility of resource, the brilliant strategy and untiring energy, that made Gen. Grant pronounce him ‘the best field officer the war had produced.’  He retired from the command of the army of the United States November 1, 1883.” 


            Of the many interesting characters that adorned our military annals not one occupies a warmer place in the affections of his countrymen; and, moreover, he has the singular distinction of refusing to become Chief Magistrate when it was freely offered.  In the progress of the nation but a little time will elapse when the names of most of those on the long roll of its Presidents will be forgotten, but never that of the bold, gallant leader of the famous “March to the Sea.”


            It is in place here to give the famous army song which SHERMAN’S veterans chanted on their victorious march.  It was written by Adj. Byers, of the Fifth Iowa, while in the prison at Columbia, S. C., and being set to music, was frequently sung by the captives as a relief to the monotony of their prison life.  After Wilmington was taken it was sung in the theatre, producing immense enthusiasm.




Our camp fires shone bright on the mountains

    That frowned on the river below,

While we stood by our guns in the morning

     And eagerly watched for the foe—

When a rider came out from the darkness

     That hung over mountain and tree,

And shouted, “Boys, up and be ready,

     For Sherman will march for the sea.”




Page 598


When cheer upon cheer for bold Sherman

     Went up from each valley and glen,

And the bugles re-echoed the music

     That came from the lips of the men.

For we knew that the stars in our banner

     More bright in their splendor would be,

And that blessings from Northland would greet us,

    When Sherman marched down to the sea.


Then forward boys, forward to battle,

     We marched on our wearisome way,

And we stormed the wild hills of Resaca—

     God bless those who fell on that day.

Then Kenesaw frowned in its glory,

     Frowned down on the flag of the free,

But the East and the West bore our standards,

     And Sherman marched on to the sea.


Still onward we pressed, till our banners

     Swept out from Atlanta’s grim walls,

And the blood of the patriot dampened

     The soil where the traitor flag falls.

But we paused not to weep for the fallen,

     Who slept by each river and tree,

Yet we twined them a wreath of the laurel

     As Sherman marched down to the sea.


O, proud was our army that morning,

     That stood where the pine darkly towers,

When Sherman said, “Boys, you are weary;

     But to-day fair Savannah is ours,”

Then sang we a song for our chieftain,

     That echoed o’er river and lea,

And the stars in our banners shone brighter

     When Sherman marched down to the sea.




            The Bar of Fairfield County has from early times been pre-eminent.  We here notice some of the more prominent.  HOCKING H. HUNTER was among them, and alike valued professionally and as a man.  He was the son of Joseph HUNTER, the first white man to build a cabin in the Hocking valley.  He named his son from the river.  The latter died in 1872.  WILLIAM J. REESE, a lawyer, who came, in 1827, from Philadelphia to Lancaster, was a prominent Mason, and is said to have been the first Scottish-rite Mason in Ohio.  He was a man of rare culture and refinement.  He died in 1883, and his widow, a sister of Gen. SHERMAN, still survives him.


            PHILEMON BEECHER was one of the Connecticut BEECHERS; was born in Kent, Litchfield county, in 1775, came out her early, represented this district in Congress from 1817 to 1827, and died about 1840.  Was in politics a Whig, and a man of fine address and presence.  He it was who gave Thomas EWING his first law business of any moment.  The very elegant HENRY STANBERY, who began his law practice in Lancaster, and lived here for many years, married for his first wife a daughter of Mr. BEECHER.  He later lived in Columbus and in the vicinity of Cincinnati, and ended his professional career as Attorney-General of the United States under President Johnson.


            WILLIAM MEDILL was the eleventh governor of the State, and the first under the new Constitution, which he had done so much to mould.  He came from the State of Delaware, and opened a law office in Lancaster in 1832.  He early acquired the public confidence, and arose to distinction; was a Democrat, and ambitious politically; was three times elected to the Ohio Legislature.  In 1838-41 he was a member of Congress, serving four years.  He occupied the position of Indian agent at Washington, and, in 1860, held the office of First Comptroller of the Treasury under Buchanan.  In the fall of 1852 he was elected lieutenant-governor of Ohio, and acted as governor of the latter part of the term.  In 1854 he was chosen


Page 599


governor.  He was never married, and at his death, in Lancaster, in 1865, left a large estate.  He was a man of superior ability and character.  In his administration of the Indian Department he inaugurated many needed reforms, and won the regard of the Indians by his just, kind treatment.


            The Ohio Boys’ Industrial School was founded in 1858 by the Legislature, who appointed three commissioners, and they purchased a farm site of 1,170 acres six miles a little south or southwest of Lancaster, high up on the hills and 500 feet above the town.  The following description is from the “County History:”


            Cheap log-buildings were first erected, and to these ten boys were brought from the House of Refuge of Cincinnati, and a beginning made.  George E. Howe was constituted acting commissioner, and with his family resided on the farm, and had general superintendence until 1878, with Mrs. Howe as matron.  He was then superseded by John C. Hite, of Lancaster, with Mrs. Hite as matron.  Mr. Howe was then called to the






charge of the State Reform School of Connecticut, at Meriden, which he still retains.  From an humble beginning the farm has grown into gigantic proportions and beauty.  The soil for the most part is thin, but it seems well adapted to fruits—as apples, pears, peaches, berries, grapes, etc.—of which large quantities as well as garden vegetables are produced and consumed in the institution, numbering usually about 600 inmates.


                The institution became popular from the start; the log structures soon disappeared and fine brick buildings took their place.  The present value of the farm with all its buildings and improvements is over half a million dollars.  The total number of pupils who have passed through the school is over 4,000, of whom it is estimated eighty per cent have become good citizens.


                The main building is 161 feet in length, with projections.  It contains offices, reception-rooms, parlors, dining-rooms, residence, guest-rooms, storage-rooms, council-chamber, and telegraph-offices.  The kitchen, culinary department, and boys’ dining-rooms are all in projections of the main building.


                What are denominated family buildings are two-story bricks, with basement.  The basement is the wash-room and play place for the boys; the second story is the school-rooms and apartments of the elder brother and his family; the third story is the sleeping apartment for boys.  There are nine of these family buildings, besides union family buildings.  The other buildings of the farm are the chapel, shops, laundry and wash-houses, water-tower, bake-house, engine-house, stables, hot-houses, coal-houses, hospital, “chamber of reflection,” besides many other out-buildings.  The buildings are disposed in squares, more or less spaced, and altogether occupy an area of about twenty acres.  The Ohio building, which is the home of the small boys, is isolated from the others, and stands off a third of a mile to the east, and is connected with the chapel and main grounds by a plank walk.  A telegraph line connects it with the main buildings shown in the engraving.  The grounds are laid off with gravel drives and plank walks, and are beautifully decorated with evergreen trees, arbors, flower-houses, and grass lawns.  The family


Page 600        


buildings are named after rivers in Ohio, thus: Muskingum, Ohio, Hocking, Scioto, Cuyahoga, Huron, Maumee, Miami, and Erie.  The family of boys of each building take the family name after the building, as the Maumee family, Hocking family, etc.


                In the incipient state of the school some discrepancy of opinion existed in regard to modes of discipline.  By some it was proposed to adopt the House of Refuge plan, in part, in connection with the “open system.”  The latter was adopted.  The term “open system” signifies that an establishment is not walled in like a prison, but is all open to the surrounding country, the same as it would be were it not a place of confinement.


                The time of the boys is divided between work of some kind, school, and recreation.  Every boy is half the day in school and the other half at work.  There is an hour for dinner.  Recreations in the form of playing ball and other athletic plays are taken after supper, on Saturday afternoons, and holidays.  Each family is under the management of an officer denominated the elder brother, whose wife, with few exceptions, is the teacher.  The branches taught are those of a common-school education.  The boys are held to close and rigid discipline, but treated with uniform kindness and trust.  One of the leading features of the discipline is to inspire the inmates with the ambition of earning a good reputation for trustworthiness.  Corporal punishment is only resorted to in extreme cases, and is always with the rod.  A lockup is provided for the most incorrigible, and is denominated the “chamber of affection.”


                In addition to school education and manual labor on the farm mechanical branches are also taught.  The institution has a shoe and boot manufacturing establishment, a brush factory, a tailor-shop, a cane-seat making department, a telegraph-office, and a printing-office, from which is issued a weekly newspaper, edited and printed by the boys.


                Other mechanical trades have been learned there that have been highly creditable to the institution, and greatly advantageous to the inmates.  The management find homes for them on their discharge.  The time of commitment depends upon conduct, as no time is specified, this matter being optional with the superintendent.  Boys under sixteen years of age who commit penitentiary crimes are usually sent to the Reform Farm, and some who have been sentenced to the State prison have been commuted to the farm.


                Religious instruction is given in the chapel and Sunday school, and presided over by alternation of clergymen of different denominations.  There is also a library provided by the State, and from which they draw books under regulations.




                My experience has been peculiar—a Sunday passed at the Industrial School of Ohio, high on the hills six miles south of Lancaster.  I went out Saturday afternoon in a carriage belonging to the institution.  The ride out was invigorating; all the way up hill, with peeps down into side valleys where, in little dimpling spots, farmhouses were snugly nestled with orchards and vineyards.


                It is an interesting spot.  I felt while there as if I was lifted above the world, the location is so sightly and so secluded.  It seemed as if one could see over everything.  To the west, points thirty miles away in Pickaway county, and to the east, in Perry county, about as far, are in view.  With a glass, I am told, one can discern the spire of St. Joseph, near Somerset, a place associated with the boy days of Phil Sheridan.


                The institution is under the charge of Mr. J. C. HITE, a tall, venerable-looking gentleman, who gave me a cordial welcome.  He was born on a farm, and has had a varied experience as farmer, teacher, bookseller, county auditor, and now superintendent.  The boys address him as “Brother,” as they do all of the officers.  In the evening Mr. HITE took me over to the buildings, a quarter of a mile away, where dwell the smaller boys from ten to twelve years of age.  About 200 were in the school room seated on benches, and in the centre was a black boy cutting the hair of his mates.  It was Saturday night, and they were preparing for Sunday.  Presently they marched around the room in single file preparatory to retiring—marched to music; and then I witnessed a sight that surprised me.  A boy passed me completely transformed; he marched stiff, head thrown back, arms stiff by his side, his face transfused, expression intense, and he seemed completely as if under the influence of melody and rhythm.  In a moment another went by in like manner affected, and then another, and so in that long string of marchers about one in five were thus possessed.  Mysterious power, this of music, to lift the soul into the far away realms of what we fancy without a particle of knowledge must be akin to the spirit world.  And what a lever this emotional faculty is to work upon in this checkered life of ours for good or evil!


                The scene on the lawn the next morning, the first Sunday in May, was charming.  It was alive with birds.  Birds are social, seek the company of man, and here are none to molest or make afraid.  The variety is great, and at times the lawn is fairly studded with robins.  Here, too, fly the blue-birds, the yellow-birds, scarlet-tanagers, mocking-birds, the modest little chip-bird, who says, “Is there room for me in the world?” and the saucy little sparrow, who asks no odds of anybody, and tries to fight its way into the boxes of the martens, but can’t quite make it; woodpeckers from the adjacent woods beat their rataplan, and whip-poor-wills in the shadows of night send forth their sad, reproachful cries.


                Ten o’clock came, and then opened a beautiful sight.  My ears were arrested by a slow, measured tramp, tramp, on the planks, like that of soldiers.  And then I saw what it was; the boys, in companies of about fifty,


Page 601


one company from each cottage, were marching to church, neatly attired in blue blouses and blue caps and gray pantaloons.  Some of these companies were composed of lads from sixteen to eighteen years of age, in stature men.


                Everything was so orderly and neat, that I instinctively felt a respect for them; and well I might.  Most of those who live here become so well grounded in the principles of morality that they become good citizens.  Very many of the boys never had virtuous homes, and their coming here where the law of kindness is the prevailing rule has been a great blessing.  Prominent engineers, builders, lawyers, farmers, and merchants have gone from this institution, and I expect the time will come when some of them will rise to be among the highest in the land.  They have among them a literary and debating society, issue a newspaper, and have a Christian association of 200 or more members.


                The entire village, as I may call it, gathered into the chapel—in all about 700 souls.  A huge platform filled one side of the auditory.  Being an expected visitor, Mr. HITE introduced me to the boys, telling them who I was and what I had done in the past for the State and was now doing, and how my book had blessed his youthful days, so that when I alighted from the carriage the evening before and made myself known a thrill passed over him.  I had brought back the memories of his youth; he had never expected to meet me.  The boys wanted me to talk to them; and I did, the sum of it about this, which I repeat here for the benefit of the young people, for whose use I give these Travelling Notes:


                “Happiness is what we all desire; but it won’t come by a grab for it.  This is where those silly ones, the pleasure-seekers and self-indulgent, fail; it only comes by indirection, the following of the path of duty.  Many live in their imaginings and not in their facts, and hence are largely miserable.  The wise Thomas Jefferson once truly said, ‘mankind suffered more from imagining evil that never ensued than all the real evils of life.  Once I saw this sentence in a newspaper: ‘If you would be happy, perform the disagreeable duty first.’  There was a world of wisdom in this; for, if shrunk from, there is misery in the sense of duty unperformed, and when met is never so disagreeable as imagined; in fact, generally proves a positive pleasure, and when finished lifts the spirits in the emotion of triumph that is inevitable.  It is as a successful charge of the bayonet; after the one is ready for the next fight with a stronger heart and more cheery spirit.  This as a continuous role of life results in victory all along the line.”


                Mr. HITE being bred a farmer, is very enthusiastic upon the agricultural capacities of these hills.  Immense quantities of fruit are raised here, as apples, pears, peaches, grapes, and berries of all sorts, for which last the soil seems peculiarly well adapted.  The success is such that it is bringing in a better class of farmers, and pushing out the rude population yet dwelling in cabins, and called by the boys "hillikens.”  The “hillikens” are the police of the institution, and ever ready to “nab” a runaway for the standing reward of $5.  Land on the hills is cheap, and can now be bought for from $10 to $15 per acre.  The autumnal scenery here is said to be grand, from the mixture of the green of the pines with the scarlet and gold of the oaks and other deciduous trees.  In summer these hills are cooler and in winter warmer than the valleys.  And what homes there will be among them and all the hill country of Southeastern Ohio, on their summits and slopes, in the riper, richer future of the coming decades.  This is one of the most healthy spots of the globe.  From 1858 to 1885, a period of twenty-seven years, out of 4,530 boys who have been here there have been but twenty-three deaths, four of these by accident.  From this, it would seem as though this was one of those peculiar places where people neglect trying to get sick, and when, perchance they do, refuse to die.


            LITHOPOLIS, is about eighteen miles southeast of Columbus, is on a high elevation, surrounded by a fine farming district.  Newspaper: Lithopolitan Home News, Independent, Miss O. E. D. BAUGHN, editor and proprietor.  Churches: 1 Lutheran, 1 Methodist, and 1 Presbyterian.  Industries:  Hunter Buggy Works, Lithopolis free-stone and William LONG quarries, Stone City Creamery, etc.  Population in 1880, 404.  School census in 1886, 156; H. C. BAILEY, superintendent.


            RUSHVILLE, thirty-seven miles southeast of Columbus, on the T. & O. C. R. R.  Newspaper: Item, Independent, W. J. MORTAL, editor and publisher.  Churches: 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 German Reformed.  Population in 1880, 227.


            AMANDA, on the railroad, about eight miles southwest of Lancaster, has 1 Presbyterian, 1 Methodist, and 1 Lutheran church, and, in 1880, 375 inhabitants; is in a fine farming country, and is a large grain market.


            BALTIMORE, twenty-nine miles east of Columbus, on the T. & O. C. R. R., is situated in a fine farming country.  Newspaper: Messenger, Independent, MILLER & EVANS, publishers.  Churches: 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 Baptist, 1 German Reformed, and 1 Evangelical.  Population in 1880, 489.  School census in 1886, 217.


Image button58061219.jpg