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FAYETTE COUNTY was formed in March, 1810, from Ross and Highland. The surface is flat; about half the soil is a dark vegetable loam on a clayey subsoil, mixed with limestone gravel, the rest is a yellow, clayey loam. The growth of the county when first settled was retarded by much of the land being owned by non-residents, and also from the wet lands, which, when drained, proved highly productive. The county is noted for stock-raising, its fine horses and cattle. Its area is 420 square miles. In 1885 the acres cultivated were 95,549; in pasture, 78,938; woodland, 26,167; lying waste, 1,841; produced in wheat, 111,318 bushels; corn, 2,594,944; wool, 142,852 pounds; hogs, 33,958. School census 1886, 6,733; teachers, 136. It has 97 miles of railroad.



And Census





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Population in 1820 was 6,336; 1840, 10,979; 1860, 15,935; 1880, 20,364, of whom 17,363 were Ohio-born; Virginia, 1,052; Kentucky, 298; Pennsylvania, 291; Ireland, 256; Germany, 136.


A gentleman of the county at the time of the issue of the first edition gave the annexed list of some of the more prominent characters in the early history of Fayette. This gentleman was the late Hon. Alfred S. DICKEY, whom Justice CHASE described as “an eminent judge in Ohio, and worthy of the great esteem in which he is held.” He died in 1873, aged sixty-two years. He was the father of Hon. H. L. DICKEY, of the Forty-fifth and Forty-sixth Congress:


The following are the names of some of the first settlers of this county, viz.: Col. James STEWART, Jesse MILLIKEN, Wade LOOFBOROUGH, Thomas M’DONALD, Dr. Thomas M’GARA, John POPEJOY, Gen. B. HARRISON, Jesse ROWE, John DEWITT, Hamilton and Benjamin ROGERS, William HARPER, James HAYS, Michael CARR, Peter EYEMAN, William SNIDER, Judge Jacob JAMISON, Samuel WADDLE James SANDERSON, and Smith and William RANKIN.


Col. STEWART, at an early date, settled near the site of Bloomingburg, about five miles northerly from Washington. His untiring industry in improving the country in his vicinity and the moral influence which he had in the community will be long remembered. Jesse MILLIKEN was one of the first settlers of Washington, was the first postmaster, and the first clerk of both the supreme and common pleas courts of the county, in all of which offices he continued until his death in August, 1835. He was also an excellent surveyor, performed much of the first surveying done in the county, and erected some of the first houses built in the town. Wade LOOFBOROUGH, Esq., was one of the first citizens and lawyers in the county. Thomas M’DONALD was one of the first settlers in this part of Ohio, built the first cabin in Scioto county, was engaged with Gen. MASSIE and others in laying off the county into surveys. He rendered valuable services in Wayne’s campaign, in which he acted as a spy, and was also in the war of 1812.


Dr. Thomas M’GARA was one of the first settlers and first physician of the town of Washington, where he practised his profession for a number of years. He represented the county in the Legislature, and was associate judge. John POPEJOY, Esq., was one of the first justices in the county; he built the one-story house on Court street, on the lot No. 5. It is said that he kept his docket on detached scraps of paper in the most convenient cracks of his cabin, and that his ink was made of


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walnut bark. Although many amusing anecdotes are related of him yet he was a good man, sincerely desirous of promoting peace and good-will in the community. When a lawsuit was brought before him his universal practice was, if possible, to prevail upon the parties to settle the dispute amicably. He always either charged no costs, or took it in beer, cider, or sonic other innocent beverage, of which the witnesses, parties, and spectators partook at his request, and the parties generally left the court in better humor and better satisfied than when they entered.


The first court of common pleas in the county was held by Judge Thompson, at the cabin of John DEVAULT, a little north of where Bloomingburg now stands. The judge received a severe lecture from old Mrs. DEVAULT for sitting upon and rumpling her bed. The grand jury held their deliberations in the stable and in the hazel-brush. Judge Thompson was a man of strict and Puritan-like morality, and distinguished for the long (and in some instances tedious) moral lectures given in open court to the culprits brought before him.


The Fighting Funks. —The pioneers of Fayette county were principally from Virginia and Kentucky, and were generally hale and robust, brave and generous. Among the Kentuckians was a family of great notoriety, by the name of FUNK. The men, from old Adam down to Absalom, were of uncommonly large size, and distinguished for their boldness, activity, and fighting propensities. Jake FUNK, the most notorious, having been arrested in Kentucky for passing counterfeit money, or some other crime, was bailed by a friend, a Kentuckian by the name of TRUMBO. Having failed to appear at court, TRUMBO, with about a dozen of his friends, well armed, proceeded to the house of the FUNKS for the purpose of taking Jake, running him off to Kentucky and delivering him up to the proper authorities, to free himself from paying bail.


The FUNKS, having notice of the contemplated attack, prepared themselves for the conflict. Old Adam, the father, took his seat in the middle of the floor to give command to his sons, who were armed with pistols, knives, etc. When TRUMBO and his party appeared, they were warned to desist; instead of which, they made a rush at Jake, who was on the porch. A Mr. Wilson, of the attacking party, grappled with Jake, at which the firing commenced on both sides. Wilson was shot dead. Ab. FUNK was also shot down. TRUMBO having clinched Jake, the latter drew him to the door, and was about to cut his throat with a large knife, when old Adam cried out, “Spare him!—don’t kill him —his father once saved me from being murdered by the Indians “—at which he was let off, after being severely wounded, and his companions were glad to escape with their lives. The old house at which this fight occurred is still standing (1846), on the east fork, about eight miles north of Washington, with the bullet-holes in the logs as a memento of the conflict.


The FUNK family were no enemies to whiskey. Old Adam, with some of his comrades, being one day at ROEBUCK’S grocery—the first opened in the county, about a mile below FUNK’S house—became merry by drinking. Old Adam, wishing to carry a gallon of whiskey home, in vain endeavored even to procure a wash-tub for the purpose. Observing one of ROEBUCK’S pigs running about the yard, he purchased it for a dollar and skinned it whole, taking out the bone about two inches from the root of the tail, which served as a neck for the bottle. Tying up the other holes that would, of necessity, be in the skin, he poured in the liquor and started for home with his companions, where they all got drunk from the contents of the hog-skin.


CAPTAIN JOHN was a Shawanee chief well known to the early settlers of the Scioto valley. He was over six feet in height, strong and active, full of spirit and fond of frolic. In the late war he joined the American army, and was with Logan at the time the latter received his death-wound. We extract two anecdotes respecting him from the notice by Col. John M’DONALD. The scene of the first was in Pickaway, and the last in this county.


When Chillicothe was first settled by the whites, an Indian named John CUSHEN, a half- blood, made his principal home with the McCOY family, and said it was his intention to live with the white people. He would sometimes engage in chopping wood, and making rails and working in the corn-fields. He was a large, muscular man, good humored and pleasant in his interviews with the whites. In the fall season, he would leave the white settlement to take a hunt in the lonely forest. In the autumn of 1779, he went up Darby creek to make his annual hunt. There was an Indian trader by the name of FALLENASH, who traversed the country from one Indian camp to another with pack-horses, laden with whiskey and other articles. CAPTAIN JOHN’S hunting camp was near Darby creek, and John CUSHEN arrived at his camp while FALLENASH, the Indian trader, was there with his


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goods and whiskey. The Indians set to for a real drunken frolic. During the night, CAPTAIN JOHN and John CUSHEN had a quarrel, which ended in a fight: they were separated by FALLENASH and the other Indians, but both were enraged to the highest pitch of fury. They made an arrangement to fight the next morning, with tomahawks and knives. They stuck a post on the south side of a log, made a notch in the log, and agreed that when the shadow of the post came into the notch the fight should commence. When the shadow of the post drew near the spot, they deliberately, and in gloomy silence, took their stations on the log. At length the shadow of the post came into the notch, and these two desperadoes, thirsting for each other’s blood, simultaneously sprang to their feet, with each a tomahawk in his right hand and a scalping- knife in the left, and flew at each other with the fury of tigers, swinging their tomahawks around their heads and yelling in the most terrific manner. Language fails to describe the horrible scene. After several passes and some wounds, CAPTAIN JOHN’S tomahawk fell on CUSHEN’S head and left him lifeless on the ground. Thus ended this affair of honor, and the guilty one escaped.


About the year 1800, CAPTAIN JOHN, with a party of Indians, went to hunt on the waters of what is called the Rattlesnake fork of Paint creek, a branch of the Scioto river. After they had been some time at camp, CAPTAIN JOHN and his wife had a quarrel and mutually agreed to separate; which of them was to leave the camp is not now recollected. After they had divided their property, the wife insisted upon keeping the child; they had but one, a little boy of two or three years of age, The wife laid hold of the child, and John attempted to wrest it from her; at length John’s passion was roused to a fury, he drew his fist, knocked down his wife, seized the child and carrying it to a log cut it into two parts, and then, throwing one-half to his wife, bade her take it, but never again show her face, or he would treat her in the came manner. Thus ended this cruel and brutal scene of savage tragedy.


WASHINGTON COURT-HOUSE IN 1846.—Washington Court-House, the county- seat, is on a fork of Paint creek, 43 miles south-southwest of Columbus. It contains 1 Presbyterian, 1 Methodist church, 1 academy, 8 mercantile stores, 2 newspaper printing offices, 2 woollen factories, 1 saw and 2 grist mills, and 97 dwellings. It was laid out in 1810 as the county-seat, on land given for that purpose by Benjamin Temple, of Kentucky, out of his survey.- Old Edition.


Washington Court-House, county-seat, is on the C. & C. M., D. Ft. W. &.C., P. C. & St. L., and I. B. & W. railroads, thirty-eight miles from Columbus and seventy-seven miles from Cincinnati. County officers in 1888: Probate Judge, Thomas N. CRAIN; Clerk of Court, E. W. WEISHEIMER; Sheriff, A. B. RANKIN; Prosecuting Attorney, Robert C. MILLER; Auditor, T. J. LINDSEY; Treasurer, James F. COOK; Recorder, John R. SUTHERLAND; Surveyor, Frank M. KENNEDY; Coroner, L. F. HOUSE; Commissioners, Lewis C. MALLOW, Henry Mark, THOMAS F. PARRETT. Newspapers: Herald, Republican, William MILLIKAN & Son, editors; Fayette Republican, Republican, Thomas F. GARDNER and Will R. DALBEY, editors; Ohio State Register, Democratic, William CAMPBELL, editor. Banks: Commercial, Morris SHARP, manager; Merchants’ and Farmers’, M. PAVEY, president, J. W. FARINGER, cashier; People’s and Drovers’, Daniel McLEAN, president, Robert A. ROBINSON, cashier. Churches: 1 Presbyterian, 1 Catholic, 1 Christian, 1 Methodist, 1 Colored Methodist, I Baptist, and I Colored Baptist. Principal industries: Jauney & Manning’s machine shop; Fayette Creamery Company; White & Ballard’s shoe factory; A. Coffman & Co., doors, sash, and blinds; the Ludlow Soap Factory; J. D. Stucky and Parks Bros., milling. Population in 1880, 3,798. School census 1886, 1,398; Charles F. Dean, superintendent.


Washington is a leading stock centre. The last Tuesday of every month is stock-sales day, when the streets are often filled with cattle. As many as 6,400 head of cattle have been sold in a single day.


There is yet a pensioner of the American Revolution alive and residing in Washington Court-House—Mrs. Mary CASEY, “a war widow,” who when young married an old soldier of the “times that tried men’s souls.”


On the 8th of September, 1885, Washington Court-House was partially destroyed by one of the most disastrous of cyclones. The loss of life was surprisingly small considering the fearful disturbance of the elements, there being but six persons killed and a comparatively small number injured. The loss of property was estimated to be nearly $500,000.


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The cyclone had its origin in Greene county, and moving southeasterly struck Fayette county in Jasper township, increasing in power and destructiveness until it reached Washington Court-House, about eight o’clock ill the evening, leaving almost total devastation along its course of twelve miles. An hour before the cyclone struck Washington a huge black cloud slowly crept up the western horizon,


Drawn by Henry Howe in 1846.



which was followed by a strange phosphorescent cloud filled with lightning shooting from heaven to earth in a constant chain. Some described the cloud as resembling a huge elephant’s trunk, the lower end of which dipped down first on the right hand and then on the left. Others say it resembled a great and luminous hornet’s-nest, whirling in the heavens in frantic fury. As the clouds approached


Willett, Photo, Washington, 1886.



the darkness became intense; the roar of the angry elements could be heard gradually increasing in power. About five minutes past eight the rain commenced falling in torrents, and the storm burst upon the town with a terrible roar, amidst which could be heard the falling of walls, crashing of timbers, and smashing of



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glass, while the earth seemed to sway and reel under the force of the discordant elements. This lasted about a minute, when the storm passed over, but the rain continued falling in torrents.


The entire western, southern, and central parts of the town were swept by the storm, and within that territory which includes the business portion very few houses escaped injury, while many were totally destroyed, and the majority more or less seriously damaged.


Along the course of the storm in the country whole farms were totally destroyed, buildings blown down, and fields mowed clean of vegetation; corn not only blown, from the stalks, but in some instances completely husked; patches of timber liter ally mowed down, and barns, straw-stacks, etc., blown to atoms. On the farm of Mr. Jesse BUSH, three miles from Washington, blades of straw were found blown endwise into trees to the depth of half an inch; in. another place a piece of pine fence-board was found with a piece of tarred-paper roofing driven into it to a depth of three-quarters of an inch and firmly imbedded. A train of nine cars and caboose standing on a bridge on the Ohio Southern railroad was blown off. An apple-tree in the yard of Mrs. Lou HARRIS, the milliner, on Fayette street, was driven from two to three feet into the ground without breaking a bough. A carload of tin roofing, cornices, etc., from Washington, was gathered on a farm eighteen miles distant.


Besides these curious freaks of the great storm illustrating its power, and which are vouched for by thoroughly trustworthy parties, many instances of heroism transpired, one of which is particularly noteworthy. Miss Lucy PINE, a schoolteacher, was left in charge of her sister’s children, two boys, aged respectively one and a half and three years. The babies had been put to bed; when the storm came up Miss PINE rushed to them, and, as the roof was torn off she leaned over the bed, receiving the weight of a falling joist upon her back, and thus saved their lives. By pressing down the springs of the bed she was enabled to extricate them and herself from their perilous position. From the Fayette Republican we quote:


“The residence of Mr. Henry C. SHOOP, on the corner of Oak Lawn avenue and the Washington pike, was considerably shaken up. Mr. SHOOP tells the following story:


‘My wife and myself, with our three small children, were in the house when the cyclone struck it. The house shook and the glass door crashed in. Fearing the house would be demolished and we all crushed beneath the ruins, my wife and children rushed out of the door, and were carried by the wind fully fifty feet. I, anxious about my wife and little ones, leaped out of the house, and was instantly carried ten feet high into the air. The whole family were blown against the fence in front of the house. A large tree was blown up by the roots and fell across the street, the top of it almost reaching us as we clung with a death-grip to the fence, which, fortunately, was not blown away by the terrible gale. A large limb of the tree was hurled over the fence, and struck on the ground just a few feet away. The screams and moans of those who were buried beneath the débris were heartrending. Many of my neighbors’ houses were blown entirely away, and the inmates pinned to the ground by heavy timbers. As my house was the only place in the neighborhood where the lights were not extinguished my neighbors, after extricating themselves from the rubbish, congregated there for shelter. My house was full of unfortunate victims; mothers and children crazed with fright, with blood streaming from their wounds and chilled by exposure to the heavy rains. Those who could not help themselves from the ruins cried most pitifully for help. The house of Mr. James BENCH was in the same locality as mine, and it was utterly demolished. His wife, who was lying upon the bed, holding in her arms an infant but three days old, and her two little children standing at her bedside, were in an instant carried quite a distance with their house, which was picked up by the whirling monster and dashed to pieces upon the ground. Mr. BENCH was knocked senseless. After he began to realize the situation he heard screams from his children, and hearing his wife’s voice, he was overjoyed to think that they were still alive. Mrs. BENCH received several bruises, which were not serious, and the infant was unharmed. Mr. BENCH is a very industrious young man, and by economy and frugality had just finished paying for his little house. But the cyclone scattered it to the four winds, and to-day he and his estimable family are homeless. The house of Mr. George BYBEE, Sr., moved on its foundation, and it was feared it was going, but Mr. BYBEE, who has been prostrated upon a bed of affliction for years, remained, in the house with his family unharmed, while the huge trees in the yard were torn up by the roots and thrown all around them.’”


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One of the narrow escapes was that of the Rev. John B. STEPTOE, pastor of the Second Baptist (colored) church, who had sought shelter from the storm in the tower of the Catholic church, and was there engaged in prayer at the moment of its destruction. The reverend gentleman has favored us with the following unique account:


I was going home from prayer meeting at the Second Baptist church (colored), of which I was pastor, and the skies above me seemed angry and threatening. As the lightning above me would flash every moment I noticed clouds of different kinds and colors, dark and angry, red, pale and an inky blue.


Then a kind of warm something passed by me. At this time I was a few rods from the Catholic church when balls of hail commenced to fall around me, and way above my head in the air it appeared that something like large whips and guns were firing and cracking. I turned back in search of a place of refuge, but I could not get any farther than the Catholic church. There I stood in the tower, and in a quiet manner I thought I was praying my last prayer. I did not make a noise, but I prayed secret.


Just across the street stood the First Baptist church, when something like a big slap struck it and it fell; then with two Willett, Photo
The Catholic Church After the Cyclone.crashes the Catholic church fell, all except the tower, in which I was standing and praying; but the Catholic church went down so easy, as it appeared to me, that I thought it was only a breach or two in the wall, for where I was standing I could not see the main building. I had my umbrella in my hand and the top part of the stick was broken off and carried away; my hat was also taken off my head. I have never found it. My lantern was burning in my right hand and did not go out. I don’t suppose the cyclone lasted over two or three minutes, but it was a long time to me. I passed the same by myself, for nobody knew where I was, and as soon as the storm was over, instead of going home as I had started to, I turned back bare-headed to tell the people what had happened, for I was not aware at that time the destruction was nearly general, and I tell you, my dear reader, I never felt so thankful in my life as I did that night when God heard and answered my prayer. It is a truth, and my very legs felt glad in a way they had never felt before. But afterward, when I had surveyed the remains of the church, and saw what a narrow escape I had made, my legs then reversed their feeling, for they trembled, and I could not avoid it. “Though Thou slay me, yet will I trust in Thee!”




Some places we can never forget. In my experience Washington Court-House is one such. First, because it is the only town in Ohio which, when named, it seems necessary to convey the idea that there justice is done, so it is written with “Court-House” against it. Second. because there, on my original tour, I made the acquaintance of the man who had committed one of the most audacious, if not the most audacious, act known, in American history—the man who had committed a personal assault on a President of the United States, and that President Gen. JACKSON. He had tried to pull his nose, and, as he claimed, succeeded; but this was denied. This man was Lieut. Robert B. RANDOLPH, of Virginia, who had been dismissed in disgrace from the navy by President JACKSON.


Assault on General Jackson.—The circumstances of the assault were these. In the summer of 1833, in company with Vice-President Martin VAN BUREN and the members of his cabinet, the President, or “Old Hickory,” as the people often called him, made his grand tour through the principal cities. Just before starting he went down to Fredericksburg, Virginia, to attend the ceremony of laying the corner stone of the monument to the memory of the mother of Washington. On the way thither the steamboat in which he was stopped at the wharf at Alexandria.


At the moment the general was almost alone in the cabin, reading a newspaper, when RANDOLPH, smarting under a sense of wrong, hurried aboard, and finding him thus absorbed, rushed upon him, and having fully accomplished, as he claimed, this indignity, quickly made good his escape before the bystanders could fairly comprehend it. Taken by surprise, the aged warrior, in a torrent of passion, sprang from his seat, his spectacles, it was said, going one way and his newspaper another, and called out, “Give me my cane! Give me my cane! By the Eternal, I’ll chastise the rascal.’’


A Pen Portrait of Gen. Jackson.—The wrath of Gen. Jackson was something terrible to behold. I saw him on his tour and I


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can imagine it; a six-foot tall, wiry old man, visage long, thin, melancholy, solemn as that of the Knight of the Rueful Countenance. His face was red from the sunburn of recent travel, having bowed bareheaded, riding in his carriage, to enthusiastic, shouting multitudes in many cities through which he had lately passed. In striking contrast, his hair, snowy white, stood upright, bristling from every part of his head. It was a common saying in that day, “Yes: his hair stands up bristling all over his head just like General JACKSON’S.” ‘He wore a tall white hat, the lower half buried in crape in mourning for his deceased wife, upon whom he had doted, and in defense of whose good name he once fought a duel and killed his man. This assault created a great sensation at the time. JACKSON was a man implacable in his enmities and warm in his friendships. He was idolized by the people at large because he had defeated the British at New Orleans, the feeling at that era being very bitter against England, and for the effective manner in which he had stamped out nullification in South Carolina.


Lieut. Randolph—At the time of my visit to Washington I met RANDOLPH, who was boarding at the Wilson tavern shown in the old view, where I was stopping. He was indeed a pitiable object, old, poor and seedy; a disgraced and fallen man living in bitter memories, existence joyless, without hope. But, withal, his air was of one born to command, and I saw in that tall, imperious presence a gentleman from one of the proudest, most honored families of old Virginia.


On making his acquaintance he greeted me with great warmth. I had but a short time previously made an historical tour of his beloved Virginia and published a book on it, and this warmly commended me to his regards. He had that indescribable air characteristic of the old style gentlemen of Virginia in their social intercourse, a mingling of dignity with great suavity and deference of manner and a simplicity and frankness of speech that was charming. Like children, it seemed often in talking with such as though they were laying their hearts open bare to one’s gaze. A highly emotional people, largely planters, knowing nothing of the great business world, when the finer chords of their nature were played upon, nothing could be more winning than their society.


Randolph’s Eccentricities. —On this present visit I found Richard MILLIKAN, an elderly gentleman, here, one who knew RANDOLPH well. He gave me some items. Having been at sea in early life, MILLIKAN and RANDOLPH met on congenial grounds; and they were quite intimate, often took their Sunday dinners together. RANDOLPH came here to have the oversight of some wild land which belonged to the family. He was, when not antagonized, a pleasant man, delighted in children, had a fancy for the young men of the town, whom he was wont to gather in his room and play chess and entertain with nautical stories of his experience while in the navy. As was common with the old-style of seafaring men, he was exceedingly profane, but was never known to utter an oath in the presence of ladies or of clergymen. Although very poor he seemed, Old Virginia like, to have no idea of the value of money. He shipped a barrel of hickory nuts to his wife in Richmond. This was before railroads and the freight was $10.00. He was in continued litigation with his double cousin, Richard RANDOLPH. He had quarrels with him and Judge Jacob JAMIESON; with the latter in regard to a boundary line. One night lie displayed his wrath; hung them both in effigy here in Washington on the Court-House Square, the bodies being duly labeled with their names.


He finally sold his land for a trifle, owing to an imperfection in the title, which, however, proved good, and then returned to Virginia. In BUCHANAN’S administration he for a time held a petty office in the navy department at Washington, but was not allowed to hold it long. Some member of Congress from JACKSON’S State, Tennessee, made a raid upon him and had him turned out. The poor old fellow long ere this must have been gathered to his fathers, the RANDOLPHS of— Virginia.


JEFFERSONVILLE, about 35 miles southwest of Columbus, is in the centre of a fine stock-raising and grain district. It is on the O. S. and C. C. & H. V. Railroads. Newspapers: Ohio Citizen, Independent, L. A. ELSTER, M. D., editor; Chronicle, Independent, Adolphe VOIGHT, editor and publisher. Churches: 1 Congregational, 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 Universalist. Jeffersonville Bank, E. A. LEWIS, president, S. M. TAGGERT, cashier. Industries: Jeffersonville is the shipping point for fine specimens of Poland-China hogs and Short-horn cattle for breeding. Population in 1880, 374.


Bloomingburg, on the C. & C. M. R. R. and on the east fork of Paint, 5 miles easterly from Washington Court-House, has several churches and, in 1880, 526 inhabitants.


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