GREENE COUNTY was formed from Hamilton and Rose, May 1, 1803, and named from Gen. Nathaniel Greene, of the revolution. The soil is generally clayey; the surface on the east is flat and well adapted to grazing, the rest of the county is rolling and productive in wheat and corn. Considerable water-power is furnished by the streams. It has some fine limestone quarries, and near Xenia, on Caesar's creek, is a quarry of beautifully variegated marble. The principal productions are wheat, corn, rye, grass, grass seed, oats, barley, sheep and swine. Area, 430 square miles, In 1885 the acres cultivated were 131,197; in pasture, 35,693; woodland, 34,544; lying waste, 6,668; produced in wheat, 362,749 bushels; oats, 183,639; corn, 2,560,852; flax, 72,500 pounds; wool, 129,355; horses owned, 10,703; cattle, 18,986; sheep, 33,411; hogs, 30,191.  School census, 1886, 9,027; teachers, 183. It has 87 miles of railroad.



And Census





And Census







New Jasper



Beaver Creek







Cæsar Creek




Silver Creek







Spring Valley







Sugar Creek











Population in 1820 was 10,509; 1840, 17,753; 1860, 26,197; 1880, 31,549, of whom 23,747 were Ohio-born; Kentucky, 1,645; Virginia, 1,377; Pennsylvania, 854; Indiana, 340; New York, 230; Ireland, 729; and Germany, 384.


The Shawnee town, “Old Chillicothe,” was on the Little Miami, in this county, about three and a half miles north of the site of Xenia: it was a place of note,


Page 693


and is frequently mentioned in the annals of the early explorations and settlements of the West. It was sometimes called the Old Town.

In the year 1773 Capt. Thomas BULLIT, of Virginia, one of the first settlers of Kentucky, was proceeding down the Ohio river, with a party, to make surveys' and a settlement there, when he stopped and left his companions on the river, and passed through the wilderness to Old Chillicothe, to obtain the consent of the Indians to his intended settlement. He entered the town alone, with a flag of truce, before he was discovered. The Indians, astonished at his boldness, flocked around him, when the following dialogue ensued between him and a principal chief, which we derive from Butler's “Notes on Kentucky:”


Indian Chief. What news do you bring? are you from the LONG KNIFE? If you are an ambassador, why did you not send a runner?


Bullit. I have no bad news. The LONG KNIFE and the Red men are at peace, and I have come among my brothers to have a friendly talk with them about settling on the other side of the Ohio.


Indian Chief. Why did you not send a runner?


Bullit. I had no runner swifter than myself, and as I was in haste, I could not wait the return of a runner. If on were hungry and had killed a deer, would you send your squaw to town to tell the news, and wait her return before you would eat?


This reply of Bullit put the bystanders in high humor: they relaxed from their native gravity and laughed heartily. The Indian conducted Bullit into the principal wigwam of the town, and regaled him with venison, after which he addressed the chief as follows:

Brothers:— I am sent with my people, whom I left on the Ohio, to settle the country on the other side of that river, as low down as the falls. We came from Virginia. I only want the country to settle and to cultivate the  soil.  There will be objection to your hunting and trapping in it as heretofore. I hope you will live with us in friendship.

To this address the principal chief made the following reply.


Brothers:—You have come a hard journey through the woods and the grass. We are pleased to find that your people in settling our country are not to disturb us in our hunting; for we must hunt to kill meat for our women and children, and to have something to buy powder and lead, and procure blankets and other necessaries. We desire you will be strong in discharging your promises towards us, as we are determined to be strong in advising our young men to be kind, friendly and peaceable towards you. Having finished his mission Capt. BULLIT returned to his men, and with them descended the river to the falls.


Some of this party of BULLIT'S shortly after laid out the town of Louisville, Kentucky.


The celebrated Daniel Boone-was taken prisoner, with twenty-seven others, in Kentucky, in February, 1778, in the war of the revolution, and brought to Old Chillicothe. Through the influence of the British governor Hamilton, Boone, with ten others, was taken from thence to Detroit.


The governor took an especial fancy to Boone, and offered considerable sums for his release, but to no purpose, for the Indians also had taken their fancy, and so great was it that they took him back to Old Chillicothe, adopted him into a family, and fondly caressed him. He mingled with their sports, shot, fished, hunted and swam with them, and had become deeply ingratiated in their favor, when on the lst of June they took him to assist them in making salt in the Scioto valley, at the old salt wells, near, or at we believe, the present town of Jackson county. They remained a few days, and when returned to Old Chillicothe, his heart was agonised by the sight of 450 warriors, armed, painted and equipped in all the paraphernaha of savage splendor, ready to start on an expedition against Boonesborough. To avert the cruel blow that was about to fall upon his friend he alone, on the morning of the 16th of June, escaped from his Indian companions, and arrived in time to foil the plans of the enemy, and not only saved the borough, which he himself had founded, but probably all the frontier parts of Kentucky, from devastation.


Boone told an aged pioneer that when taken prisoner on this occasion, the Indians got out of food, and after having killed and eaten their dogs, were ten days without any other sustenance than that of a decoction made from the oozings of the inner-bark of the white-oak, which after drinking, Boone could travel with the best of them. At length the Indians shot a deer and boiled its entrails to a jelly of which they all drank, and it soon acted freely on their bowels. They gave some to Boone, but his stomach refused it. After repeated efforts, they forced him to swallow about half a pint, which he did with wry face and disagreeable retchings, much to the amusement of the simple savages, who laughed heartily. After this medicine had well operated, the Indians told Boone that he might eat; but if he had done so before it would have killed him. They then all fell to, and soon made amends for


Page 694


their long fast. At Detroit, he astonished       the governor by making gunpower, he having shut up in a room with all the materials.

Col. John Johnston, who knew Boone well, says in a communication to us:


It is now (1847) fifty-four years since I first saw Daniel Boone, He was then about 60 years old, of a medium size, say five feet ten inches, not given to corpulency, retired, unobtrusive, and a man of few words. My acquaintance was made with him in the winter season, and I well remember his dress was of tow cloth, and not a woollen garment on his body, unless his stockings were of that material. Home-made was the common wear of the people of Kentucky, at that time: sheep were not yet introduced into the country. I slept four nights in the house of one West, with Boone: there were a number of strangers, and he was constantly occupied in answering questions. He had nothing remarkable in his personal appearance. His son, Capt. N. Boone, now an old man, is serving in the lst regiment United States Dragoons.


In July, 1779, the year after Boone escaped from Old Chillicothe, Col. John Bowman, with 160 Kentuckians, marched against the town. The narrative of this expedition is derived from Butler's Notes.


The party rendezvoused at the mouth of the Licking, and at the end of the second night got in sight of the town undiscovered. It was determined to await until daylight in the morning before they would make the attack; but by the imprudence of some of the men, whose curiosity exceeded their judgment, the party was discovered by the Indians before the officers and men had arrived at the several positions assigned to them. As soon as the alarm was given, a fire commenced on both sides, and was kept up, while the women and children were seen ran running from cabin to cabin, in the greatest confusion, and collecting in the most central and strongest. At clear daylight it was discovered that Bowman's men were from seventy to one hundred yards from the cabin in which the Indians had collected, and which they appeared determined to defend. Having no other arms than tomahawks and rifles, it was thought imprudent to attempt to storm strong cabins, well defended by expert warriors. In consequence of the warriors collecting in a few cabins contiguous to each other, the remainder of the town was left unprotected, therefore, while a fire was kept up at the port-holes, which engaged the attention of those within, fire was set to thirty or forty cabins, which were consumed, and a considerable quantity of property, consisting of kettles and blankets, were taken from those cabins. In searching the woods near the town, 133 horses were collected.


About 10 o'clock Bowman and his party commenced their march homeward, after having nine men killed. What loss the Indians sustained was never known, except BLACKFISH, their principal chief, who was wounded through the knee. After receiving the wound, BLACKFISH proposed to surrender, being confident that his wound was dangerous, and believing that there were among the white people surgeons that could cure him, but that none among his own people could do it.


The party had not marched more than eight or ten miles on their return home, before the Indians appeared in considerable force, on their rear, and began to press hard upon that quarter. Bowman selected his ground, and formed his men in a square; but the Indians declined a close engagement, only keeping up a scattering fire. It was soon discovered that their object was to retard their march until they could procure reinforcements from the neighboring villages.


As soon as a strong position was taken by Col. Bowman, the Indians retired, and he resumed the line of march when be was again attacked in the rear. Re again formed for battle, and again the Indians retired; and the scene was acted over several times. At length, John Bulger, James Harrod and George Michael Bedinger, with about 100 more mounted on horseback, rushed on the Indian ranks and dispersed them in every direction; after which the Indians abandoned their pursuit. Bowman crossed the Ohio at the mouth of the Little Miami, and after crossing, the men dispersed to their several homes.


In the summer after this expedition Gen. Clark invaded the Indian country, an account of which is related under the head of Clark County. On his approach the Indians burnt Old Chillicothe.


The article relating to early times in Greene county is slightly abridged from a communication by Thomas C. WRIGHT, Esq., the county auditor.

After Abdolonymus had been taken from humble station in life, and made king of  Sidonea, it is said he kept a pair of wooden shoes his throne, to remind him of his


Page 695

former obscurity, and check the pride which power is so apt to engender in the heart of man. The annexed drawing is deemed worthy of preservation, not only as a memento of early times, and serving as a contrast to the present advanced state of improvement, but on account of the historical associations it raises in the memory of the first judicial proceedings and organization of Greene county.


The house, of which the engraving is a correct representation, is yet (1846) standing, five and a half miles west of Xenia, near the Dayton mad. It was built by Gen. Benj. Whiteman, a short distance south of the log cabin mill of Owen DAVIS on Beaver creek. This will, the first erected in Greene, was finished in 1798. A short distance east were erected two block-houses, and it was intended, should danger render it necessary, to connect them by a line of pickets and include the mill within the stockade. his mill was used by the settlers of “the Dutch Station,” some thirty miles distant, in the centre of Miami county.

On the 10th of May, 1803; the first court for organizing Greene county was held in this house, then the residence of Peter BORDERS, Wm. MAXWELL, Benj. WHITEMAN and James BARRET were the associate judges and John PAUL, clerk. The first business of the court was to lay off the county into townships, and after transacting some other business, they adjourned “until court in course,” having been in session one day.


The First Court for the trial of causes was held in the same house, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 1803, with the same associate judges and Francis DUNLAVY, presiding judge, and Daniel SIMMS, prosecuting attorney. “And there came a grand jury, to wit: W m. J. STEWART foreman John WILSON, Wm. BUCKLES, Abrm.. VAN EATON, James SNODGRASS, John JUDY, Evan MORGAN, Robt. MARSHALL, Alex. C. ARMSTRONG, Joseph C. VANCE, Joseph WILSON, John BUCKHANNON, Martin MENDENHALL and Harry MARTIN, who were sworn a grand jury of inquest, for the body of Greene county.”







 After receiving the charge “they retired out of court;” a circumstance not to be wondered at, as there was but one room in the house. Their place of retirement, or Jury room, was a little squat-shaped pole hut, shown on the right of the view. And now, while their honors, with becoming gravity, are sifting behind a table ready for business, and the grand jury making solemn inquest of crimes committed, the contrast between the state of the county then and at present, naturally presents itself to the mind Since then, forty-four years ago –a period within the recollection of many of our citizens-and what a change Then it was almost an entire wilderness—a primeval forest, planted by the hand of nature. The first house in Greene county was built by Daniel WILSON, who is now living near Centerville, Montgomery county. It was raised on the 7th day of April, 1796, about four miles from where Bellbrook has long been laid out, in Sugarcreek township. In 1798 Thomas TOUNSLEY settled near the falls of Massie's creek, some eight mile from Xenia. The same year James GALLOWAY, Sr., settled on the Little Miami two miles north of Oldtown. Isaiah and Wm. Garner SUTTON erected the first house in Cæsar's Creek township, in 1799, about five miles south of Xenia, near where the Bullskin road crosses Cæsar's creek. Cæsarsville was laid out by T. CARNEAL, in 1800, and the first house in it was built the year following. It was expected to become the county-seat, but was finally rejected in favor of Xenia Cæsarsville, at the time of this court, contained a few log-cabins, and so scattered about miles apart, the traveller might find one of these primitive dwellings sending its smoke from a mud and stick chimney among the giants of the forest, each cabin with a little patch of a corn-field, thickly dotted over with girdled trees. A bridle-path, or blazed trees, led the traveller from


Page 696

one to the other. But they were the abodes of contentment, simplicity of manners, whole-hearted hospitality and generosity of soul, which does honor to human nature and gives a charm to existence.


But to return to the court. From a careful examination of the records and other sources of information I cannot learn there was any business for the grand jury when they retired.


But they were not permitted to remain idle long: the spectators in attendance promptly took the matter into consideration. They, doubtless, thought it a great pity to have a learned court and nothing for it to do: so they set to and cut out employment for their honors by engaging in divers hard fights at fisticuffs, right on the ground. So it seems our pioneers fought for the benefit of the court. At all events while their honors were waiting to settle differences according to law, they were making up issues and settling them by trial “by combat”—a process by which they avoided the much complained of “law's delay,” and incurred no other damages than black eyes and bloody noses, which were regarded as mere trifles, of course. Among the incidents of the day, characteristic of the times, was this: A Mr. ____, from Warren county, was in attendance. Owen DAVIS, the owner of the mill, who, by the way, was a brave Indian fighter; as well as a kind-hearted, obliging man, charged this Warren county man with speculating in pork, alias stealing his neighbor's hogs. The insult was resented—a combat took place forthwith, in which DAVIS proved victorious. He then went into court, and planting himself in front of the judges he observed, addressing himself particularly to one of them, “Well, Ben, I've whipped that d--d hog-thief—what’s the damage—what’s to pay?” and thereupon, suiting the action to the word, he drew out his buckskin purse, containing eight or ten dollars, and slammed it down on the table then shaking his fist at the judge, whom he addressed, he continued, “Yes Ben, and if you'd steal a hog, d--n you, I'd whip you, too.” He had, doubtless, come to the conclusion, that, as there was a court, the luxury of fighting could not be indulged in gratis, and he was for paying up as he went. Seventeen witnesses were sworn and sent before the grand jury, and nine bills of indictment were found the same day-all for affrays and assaults and batteries committed after the court was organized. To these indictments the parties all pleaded guilty, and were fined—DAVIS among the rest, who was fined eight dollars for his share in the transactions of the day.


The following is the first entry made on the record after the grand. jury retired : The court then proceeded to examine the several candidates for the surveyor's office, and James GALLOWAY, Jr., being well qualified, was appointed surveyor of said county. “On the second day of the term Joseph C. VANCE (father of ex-Gov. VANCE, of Champaign county) was appointed to make the necessary arrangements for establishing the seat of justice, who, with David HUSTON and Joseph WILSON, his securities, entered into a bond, with a penalty of $1500 for the faithful performance of his duties. He surveyed and laid out the town of Xenia (which, by the way, is an old French word, signifying a new-year's gift) the same season, for at the next December term he was allowed “$49.25 for laying off the town of Xenia, finding chainmen, making plots and selling lots.” On the third day of the term Daniel SYMMES was allowed twenty dollars for prosecuting in behalf of the State. The presiding judge then left the court, but it was continued by the associate judges for the transaction of county business. In addition to the duties now pertaining to associate judges, they discharged the duties now performed by the board of county commissioners. Archibald LOWRY and Griffith FOOS were each licensed to keep a tavern in the town of Springfield, on the payment of eight dollars for each license. A license was also granted to Peter BORDERS to keep a tavern at his house, on the payment of four dollars “together with all legal fees.” So our old log-house has the honor of having the first learned court held within its rough walls; and, in addition to that, it was, in fact, the first hotel ever licensed in the county in which hog and hominy and new corn whiskey could be had in abundance. Perhaps the court was a' little interested in granting the license. Like old Jack FALSTAFF, they might like “to take their own ease in their own inn.” James GALLOWAY, Sr., was appointed county treasurer. The court then adjourned, having been in minion three days.


On the 19th day of the same month (August), the associate judges held another court for the transaction of county business. They continued to meet and adjourn from day to day, waiting for the lister of taxable property to return his book, until the 22d, when they made an order, that fifty cents should be paid for each wolf killed within the bounds of the county, and “that the largest block-house should be appropriated to the use of a jail; “and Benjamin WHITMAN, Esq., was appointed, in behalf of the county, to contract for repairing it—a decisive mark of civilization. Among the allowances, at this term, there was one of six dollars to Joseph C. VANCE, for carrying the election returns of Sugar Creek township to Cincinnati; and a like sum to David HUSTON, for returning the poll-book of Beaver Creek. He afterwards held the office of associate judge twenty-one years, and twice represented Greene county in the State legislature. He lived the life of an honest man-was beloved and respected by all who knew him. He died in 1843. The clerk and sheriff were allowed twenty dollars each for ex-officio fees, and Jacob SHINGLEDECKER, nine dollars and fifty cent, for preparing the block-house to serve as a jail—a great perversion from the original design of the building, as it was intended at first to keep unwelcome visitors out, and ended in keeping


Page 697


unwilling visitors in. It was ordered by the court, that the inhabitants of Mad River township should be exempted from the payment of taxes, or rather, their taxes were reduced two cents on each horse and one cent on each cow. The reason assigned for this favor was “for erecting public buildings. “ As we have seen no public buildings yet but the two block-houses, and the one which figures at the head of this communication, the reader would, doubtless, be much surprised that the erection of these should be deemed sufficiently meritorious as, in part, to exempt the inhabitants from the payment of taxes. But these public buildings were situated in Cincinnati. We apprehend that but few of our citizens are aware of the fact, that the first settlers in this county contributed to the erection of public buildings in Cincinnati—the old atone court-house, we suppose, which was burnt down while used as barracks in time of the last war, and the hewed log jail which stood on the north side of the public square.


The first supreme court was held in the same house, on the 25th day of October, 1803, by their honors Samuel HUNTINGDON and Wm. SPRIGGS, judges; William MAXWELL, sheriff, John PAUL, clerk, and Arthur ST. CLAIR, Esq., of Cincinnati, prosecuting attorney. Richard THOMAS was admitted an attorney and counsellor at law. Nothing more was done, and the court adjourned the same day.


At the November term of the court of common pleas, the first thing was to arraign Thomas DAVIS, a justice of the peace, for misconduct in office. He pleaded guilty, was fined one dollar, and ordered, in the language of the record, “to stand committed until performance.” But what the misconduct was for which he was fined, the record sayeth not; neither is it known whether he raised the dollar, or was made familiar with the inside of the block-house. On the first day of this term the Rev. Robert ARMSTRONG received a 'license to solemnize the rites of matrimony. He and the Rev. Andrew FULTON, were sent, by the general associate synod of Scotland, as missionaries to Kentucky, and arrived at Maysville, in 1798; but, not liking the institution of slavery, Mr. FULTON went to the neighborhood where South Hanover now is, Indiana, and Mr. Armstrong came to Greene county, Ohio. This was the commencement of the Seceder denomination in this county. From this small beginning it has become the most numerous, perhaps, of any other in the county. They form a large portion of an orderly, law-abiding and industrious population-strict in observing the Sabbath and in discharge of their religious duties, and correct in moral conduct. They are mostly farmers, in independent circumstances. Mr. ARMSTRONG was a small man, of vast learning, with the simplicity, in some things, of a child. An anecdote is told of his being at a log-rolling assisting to carry a log, and having but a few inches of handspike, the weight of it resting mostly on him. The person with whom he was lifting, seeing his situation, said, “Stop, Mr. ARMSTRONG—let me give you more handspike.” “No,” said Rev. gentleman, “no more stick for me; I have already as much as I can carry.” He was universally esteemed and respected. He died in 1818. He brought a very large library of books with him, and was very liberal in lending them. To this circumstance, perhaps, may be attributed the fact, that more books have been sold and read in this county than in any other of the same population in the State.


At this term, in the case of Wm. ORR vs. Peter BORDERS, leave was given to amend the declaration, on payment of costs—an indication that some attention began to be paid to special pleading. The first civil case that was tried by a jury was that of WALLINGSFORD vs. VANDOLAH.  A verdict was rendered for the plaintiff of twenty-four cents, upon which “he paid the jury and constable fees.”


At the December term of the common pleas four cases of assault and battery were tried by jury, which took up the first day. The day following, this entry was made: William CHIPMAN vs. Henry STROM, “judgment confessed for one cent damages and costs.” But such is the imperfect manner in which the records were kept, that it is impossible to ascertain what the subject matter of the controversy was in which such heavy damages were admitted. The court decided that the fee paid to the State's attorney at the August term, was illegal, and should be refunded. This was the result of “sober second thoughts” of the court about that twenty dollar fee, for which the attorney came from Cincinnati, more than fifty miles, through the woods, and drew nine bills of indictment and attended to the cases. At this term Andrew READ, an early settler near where the beautiful village of Fairfield now is, took his seat on the bench as associate judge, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the election of William MAXWELL to the office of sheriff. The first view and survey of a new road route was granted at this term. It was to commence at granted at pass the Yellow spring and intersect the Pinkney road near Isaac MORGAN'S.  Wm. MAXWELL, Lewis DAVIS and Thomas TOUNSLEY were appointed viewers, and James GALLOWAY, Jun., surveyor. So our fellow-citizen, Maj. GALLOWAY, was the first county surveyor, surveyed the first road by order of the court and afterwards made a map of the county, in its present metes and bounds, showing all the surveys and sections of the land, with their divisions and subdivisions into tracts. Tavern licenses were granted to Thomas FREAM, William MOORE, and James M'PHERSON to keep taverns in their houses for one year, and so ended the term.


The June term of 1804 was the last court ever held in the old log-house. It was composed of the same judges, clerk and sheriff, with Arthur ST. CLAIR, Esq., of Cincinnati, prosecuting attorney. The writer of this has been informed he wore a cocked hat and a


Page 698


sword. William M'FARLAND was foreman of the grand jury. A singular incident took place at the opening of this court. There was a shelf in one corner, consisting of a board on two pins inserted in the wall, containing a few books, among which counsellor ST. CLAIR searched for a Bible, on which to swear the jury. At length he took down a volume, and observed, with his peculiar lisp , “Well, gentlemen, here is a book which looks  thist like a testament.” The foreman of the grand jury was accordingly sworn upon it—but the book, which so much resembled a testament in external appearance, turned out in fact to be an old volume of The Arabian Nights Entertainment! From this mistake, or some unknown cause, the practice of swearing on the Evangelists, has gone entirely out of use in this county, being substituted, by swearing with the uplifted hand, or affirming. The grand jury found several bills of indictment, and were discharged the same day. In proportion as cases of assault and battery begin to decrease, a sprinkling of civil suits make their appearance on the docket. Fourteen cases were called the first day, and all continued except one in which judgment was confessed and stay of execution granted until next term. The entry of continuance was in this form: A. B. vs. C. D. E. F. and G. H. pledges for the defendant in the sum $------. This form was observed in all cases, the amount being more or less, according to the subject matter in controversy. On Wednesday of this term Joseph TATMAN produced his commission as associate judge, and took the oath of office. He afterwards, in 1816, in company with Samuel and William CASAD, laid out the town of Fairfield, not far from the site of an old Indian town, named Piqua, at which Gen. George R. CLARK defeated the Indians in 1780 On this day 22 cases were called: 11 continued, 2 settled, 1 judgment, 5 ruled for plea in 40 days, 1 in 10 days, l discontinued and 1 abated by death. This was certainly a pretty fair beginning, and quite encouraging to the learned profession.


The total amount of taxable property returned by the “listers” “was $393.04, and this levy included houses and mills, if any. As to houses, there was but one returned, and that was valued for taxation at one dollar! Considering the sparseness of population and small amount of property in the county, the proportion of litigation was greater then than at this time, 1847, when the total amount of taxable property is $6,583,673. So much of a change in forty-three years, they fought less and lawed more. In newly settled counties, there appears to be a peculiar fondness among the people for lawsuits. After a court has been organized in a new county, they still continue to settle their difficulties by combat, until fines become troublesome. The court then becomes the arena in which their contentions and quarrels are carried and finally disposed of. If one cannot afford the fine or imprisonment which would be incurred by taking personal satisfaction, he can bring a suit, if any cause of action can be found, and no matter how small the amount claimed, or frivolous the matter, if he can only cast his adversary and throw him in the costs, he is as much gratified as if he had made him halloa “enough—take him off.” It is this spirit which gives rise to so many trifling and vexatious lawsuits.


And now we take leave of our primitive dwelling-house, court-house and tavern. It is still standing, and occupied as a residence. While our drawing was being taken, an old-fashioned long-handled frying-pan was over the fire—its spacious bottom well paved with rashers of ham, sending forth a savory odor, enough to make a hungry person’s mouth water. What scenes it has witnessed—what memories it recalls! It has witnessed the organization of the county, the first administration of law and justice, the first exercise of the right of suffrage through the ballot-box, and the first legal punishment of criminals. Near it the first corn was ground into meal for the use of the settlers, and here they rallied to build block-houses to protect them from the hostile attacks of the Indians. As a tavern many a weary traveller, through the tall and lonely forest, has been sheltered and refreshed beneath its humble roof. How many buckeye lads and lasses have been reared within its walls-for


Buirdly chiels and clever hizzies

Are bred in sic a way as this is! “

How many jovial dances have been had on its puncheon floor! While we may suppose some lame or lazy fellow seated on a stool in a corner, prepared with an awl or Barlow knife, to extract splinters from the heels of the dancers, as fast as the sets were over. How many courtships have been carried on during the long winter nights—the old folks asleep, and the young lovers comfortably toasting their shins over the decaying embers—happy in present love, and indulging in bright anticipations of housekeeping in a cabin.


Long mayest thou stand, old relic, as a memento of pioneer life, primitive simplicity and good old-fashioned honestly, to remind the rising generation of the hardships and privations our pioneer fathers encountered in first settling the county, and to show by this humble beginning, compared with the present state of improvement, how much honest labor, painstaking industry and thrifty management can accomplish.



Josiah HUNT resided in this county in the time of the last war with Great Britain. He was a stout, well-formed, heavy-set man, capable of enduring great


Page 699


hardships and privations, and was then a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. There was a tone of candor and sincerity, as well as modesty, in his manner of relating the thrilling scenes in which he had been an actor, which left no doubt of their truth in the minds of those who heard him. He was one of Wayne's legion, and was in the battle of the Fallen Timber, on the 20th of August, 1794.


At the commencement of the onset, just after entering the fallen timber, HUNT was rushing on and about to spring over a fallen tree, when he was fired at by an Indian concealed behind it. The latter was compelled to fire in such haste that he missed his aim. It was, however, a close shave, for the bullet whizzed through the lock of his right temple, causing that ear to ring for an hour after. The Indian's body was entirely naked from the waist up , with a red stripe painted up and down his back. As soon as he fired he took to his heels. HUNT aimed at the centre of the red, stripe, the Indian running zig-zag” like the worm of a fence. “When he fired, the Indian bounded up and fell forward. He had fought his last battle.


He was an excellent hunter. In the winter of 1793, while the army lay at Greenville, he was employed to supply the officers with game, and in consequence was exempted from garrison duty.  The sentinels had orders to permit him to leave and enter the fort whenever he chose. The Indians made a practice of climbing trees in the vicinity of the fort, the better to watch the garrison. If of a person was seen to go out, notice was taken the direction he went, his path ambushed and his scalp secured. To avoid this danger, HUNT always left the fort in the darkness of night, for said he, “when once I had got into the woods without their knowledge, I had as good a chance as they.” He was accustomed, on leaving the fort, to proceed some distance in the direction he intended to hunt the neat day, and bivouac for the night. To keep from freezing to death, it was necessary to have a fire; but to show a light in the enemy's country was to invite certain destruction. To avoid this danger he dug a hole in the ground with his tomahawk about the size and depth of a hat crown. Having prepared it properly, he procured some roth, meaning thick white-oak bark, from a dead tree, which will retain a strong heat when covered with its ashes. Kindling a fire from flint and steel at the bottom of his “coal pit,” as he termed it, the bark was severed into strips and placed in layers crosswise, until the pit was full. After it was sufficiently ignited it was covered over with dirt, with the exception of two air holes in the margin, which could be opened or closed at pleasure. Spreading down a layer of bark or brush to keep him off the cold ground, he sat down with the” coal pit” between his legs, enveloped himself m his blanket, and slept cat-dozes in an upright position. If his fire became too much smothered, he would freshen it up by blowing into one of the air holes. He declared he could make himself sweat whenever he chose. The snapping of a dry twig was sufficient to awaken him, when, uncovering his head, he keenly scrutinized in the darkness and gloom around—his right hand on his trusty rifle “ready for the mischance of the hour. “A person now, in full security from danger, enjoying the forts and refinements or civilized life, can scarcely bring his mind to realize his situation, or do justice to the powers of bodily endurance, firmness of nerve, self-reliance and courage, manifested by him that winter. A lone man in a dreary, interminable forest swarming with enemies, bloodthirsty, crafty and of horrid barbarity, without a friend or human being to afford him the least aid, in the depth of winter, the freezing winds moaning through the bare and leafless branches of the tall trees, while the dismal bowling of a pack of wolves


“Cruel as death, and hungry as the grave;

Burning for blood, bony, gaunt and grim,”


might be heard in the distance, mingled with the howlings of the wintry winds, were well calculated to create a lonely sensation about the heart and appall any common spirit. There would he sit, nooding in his blanket undistinguishable in the darkness from an old stump, enduring the rigor of winter, keeping himself from freezing, yet showing no fire,—calm, ready and prompt to engage in mortal combat, with whatever enemy might assail, whether Indian, bear or panther. At day-light he commenced hunting, proceeding slowly and with extreme caution, looking for game and watching for Indians at the same time. When he found a deer, previously to shooting it, he put a bullet in his mouth, ready for reloading his gun with all possible dispatch, which he did before moving from the spot, casting searching glances in every direction for Indians. Cautiously approaching the deer, after he had shot it, he dragged it to a tree and commenced the process of skinning with his back toward the tree, and his rifle leaning against it, in reach of his right hand. And so with his rear protected by the tree, he would akin a short time, then straiten up and scan in every direction, to see if the report of his rifle had brought an Indian in his vicinity, then apply himself to skinning again. If he heard a stick break, or any, the slightest noise indicating the proximity of animal life, he clutched his rifle instantly, and was on the alert prepared for any emergency. Having skinned and cut up the animal, the four-quarters were packed in the hide which was so arranged as to be slung on his back like a knapsack, with which


Page 700


he wended his way to the fort. If the deer was killed far from the garrison, he only brought in the four-quarters. One day he got within gun-shot of three Indians unperceived by them. He was on a ridge and they in a hollow. He took aim at the foremost one, and waited some time for a chance for two to range against each other, intending, if they got in that position, to shoot two and take his chance with the other in single combat. But they continued marching in Indian file, and though he could have killed either of them, the other two would have made the odds against him too great, so he let them pass unmolested. A midst all the danger to which he was constantly exposed, he passed unharmed.


Owing to the constant and powerful exercise of the faculties, his ability to hear and discriminate sounds was wonderfully increased, and the perceptive faculties much enlarged. He made $70 that winter by hunting, over and above his pay as a soldier.


At the treaty at Greenville, in 1795, the Indians seemed to consider Hunt as the next greatest man to Wayne himself. They inquired for him, got round him, and were loud and earnest in their praises and compliments: “Great man, Capt. HUNT—a great warrior—a good hunting man; Indian no can kill!” They informed him that some of their bravest and most cunning warriors had often set out expressly to kill him. They knew how he made his secret camp-fire, the ingenuity of which excited their admiration. The parties in quest of him had often seen him—could describe the dress he wore, and his cap, which was made of a raccoon's skin with the tail hanging down behind, the front turned up and ornamented with three brass rings. The scalp of such a great hunter and warrior they considered to be an invaluable trophy. Yet they never could catch him off his guard—never get within shooting distance, without being discovered and exposed to his death-dealing rifle.


Many years age he went to Indiana, nor has the writer of this ever heard from him since, nor is it known among his old friends here whether he is living.


Mr. T. C. WRIGHT, who supplied the foregoing sketch of Josiah HUNT for our first edition, also gave the annexed historical sketch of Xenia, which name is said to be from a Greek word signifying friendship.


Xenia was laid off in the forest, in the autumn of 1803, by Joseph C. VANCE, on the land of John PAUL, who gave the ground bounded by Main, Market, Detroit and Greene streets, for the public buildings. The first cabin was erected in April, 1804, by John MARSHALL, in the southwest corner of the town. The first good hewed log-house was erected for the Rev. James FOWLER, of the Methodist persuasion, from Petersburg, Va.: it is still standing, and is now the hatter's shop, a short distance west of the old bank. David A. SANDERS built the first frame house, on the spot occupied by the new bank; it is yet standing on Main street, in Gowdy's addition.


The first supreme court was held Oct. 3, 1804. The grand jury held their deliberations under a sugar tree in the rear of the present residence of James GOWDY.


The first court of common pleas in Xenia was on the 15th of November, 1804, and was held by the associate judges. A license was granted to “William A. BEATTY, to keep a tavern in the town of Xenia for one year on the payment of $8.00!” This was the first tavern ever licensed in the place. It was a double hewed log-house, two stories high, and was in progress of erection at the same time with FOWLER'S house. It stood on the south side of Main street, opposite the public square, on the spot where there now is a two story brick house, occupied as a drug store. In the west room, above stairs, the court was held. The first election in the place was held in this house. It continued to be a tavern until after the last war with Great Britain, and, until Mr. James COLLIER built his brick tavern on Detroit street, was the grand hotel of the place. In a corner of the west room there was an old-fashioned bar—the upper part enclosed with upright slats of wood, with a. little wicket through which the grog was handed out in half pint glass cruets. In time of the war the recruiting officers put-up at this house; and here might be seen the recruiting sergeant rattling dollars on a drum's head, and calling for half pints, appealing to the patriotism of the bystanders, tempting them with jingling dollars, and adding thereto the potency of whiskey, to enlist recruits for the army. Court continued to be held in this house for the years 1804 and 1805, and until a new court-house was built.


In 1804 the building of the first jail was let to Amos DUROUGH; it was received from the contractor in October. It stood on ground now covered by the new court-house, and was constructed of hewed logs. It was burnt down the year following; and in April, 1806, a new jail was accepted from William A. BEATTY. It stood on the site of the present market house –was a rough log-building; two stories high, with a cabin roof, and was burnt down in time of the war with England. The building of the first court-house was let on the 8th day of April, 1806, to William


Page 701


KENDALL, who was allowed six dollars for clearing the timber from the public square.  The house was built of brick, forty feet square and twenty-eight feet high, with a cupola in the centre of the roof, ten feet in diameter and fifteen feet high.  It was finished, and on the 14th day of August, 1809, accepted.


On the 6th of April “a license was granted to James GOWDY, for retailing merchandise, on his complying with the law!”  He opened his goods in a log-house, with a mud and stick chimney, which stood on Green street, at the north end of where Mr. John EWING’S store now is.  He was the first merchant in the place.


The first punishment for crime was in 1806.  The person was convicted for stealing leather,


Drawn by Henry Howe, in 1846.




To half-sole a pair of shoes.  There was a sugar tree on the public square, which served as a whipping-post. He was tied up to the tree, and underwent the sentence of the court, which was to receive one stripe on his bare back, which was inflicted by James COLLIER.  The sugar tree served as a whipping-post for the last time on the 8th of October, 1808.  A man was convicted for stealing a shovel-plow and clevis, and the sentence was that he should receive eight lashes on his bare back, “and stand committed until performance.”  He drank a pint of whiskey just before hugging the tree, and though it don not prevent him form halloaing lustily, while receiving the eight stripes.



Wm. M. Gatch, Photo, Xenia, 1886.



[Both view were taken near the same stand-point, but showing different sides of the same street, and

In time taken 40 years apart.  The court-house is yet standing.  A fine bank building now seen on the

Right side of the new picture occupies the site of the two-story store shown in the old view.]



Page 702


XENIA IN 1846—Xenia, the county seat, is on the Little Miami railroad, 64 miles north of Cincinnati, and 61 from Columbus. It is a handsome; flourishing and well-built town, with broad streets, and some fine stores and elegant dwellings. The engraving represents a part of the principal street: the court-house, shown on the left, is the most elegant, as yet built, in Ohio. Xenia contains 1 German Lutheran, 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 Methodist Protestant, 1 Seceder, 1 Associate Reformed and 1 Baptist church, beside 2 churches for colored persons—two church edifices are erecting, one by the Presbyterian and the other by the Associate Reformed denomination—17 mercantile stores, 1 foundry, 2 newspaper printing offices, 1 bank, a classical academy in fine repute, and in 1840 had 1,414 inhabitants, and in 1847 about 2,800.-Old Edition.


Xenia is 55 miles southwest of Columbus and 65 miles north of Cincinnati, on the line of the P. C. & St. L. and D. & I. R. R. It is the county-seat of Greene county. County officers in 1888: Probate Judge, John H. COOPER; Clerk of Court, John A. CISCO;  Sheriff, Clement W. LINKHART;  Prosecuting Attorney, J. N. DEAN; Auditor, William R. BAKER; Treasurer, F. E. McGERVEY, James A. JOHNSTON; Recorder, S. N. ADAMS; Surveyor, Levi RIDDLE; Coroner, Addison S. DRYDEN; Commissioners, Moses A. WALTON, Alfred JOHNSON, Henry H. CONKLIN.


Newspapers. Democrat-News, Democrat; Republican, Republican, O. W. MARSHALL, editor; Gazette, Republican; Torchlight, Republican; Boss Painters' Journal, Trade. Churches: 2 Methodist, 3 United Presbyterian, 1 Reformed, 1 Lutheran, 1 Baptist, 1 Episcopal, 1 Catholic, 1 Old School Presbyterian, 2 Colored Methodist, 2 Colored Baptist, and 1 Colored Christian. Banks: Citizens National, J. D. EDWARDS, president, W. R. McGERVEY, cashier; Second National, Thomas P. TOWNLEY, president, Robert LYTLE, cashier; Xenia National, John B. ALLEN, president, A. S. FRAZER, cashier.


Factories and Employees: J. P. & W. P. Chew, newspaper, 14 hands; N. F. Copenhaver, lumber, 5; Upham & Clayton, .builders, wood work, 4; Leonard Smith & Co., linseed oil, 12; The Xenia Paper-Mill Company, brown paper, 25; The Field Cordage Company, 183; The Xenia Twine and Cordage Company, 94; Hoover & Allison Cordage, etc., 111.—State Report 1887. Population in 1880, 7026. School census in 1886, 2107: Edwin B. COX, superintendent. Xenia is sometimes termed “the Twine City;” its three twine factories are said to be the largest west of the Alleghenies.


In Xenia are two extensive gunpowder companies which do a large business—the Miami Powder Company, whose mills are on the railroad five miles north of the city, and King's Great Western Powder Company, whose works are near Foster's Crossings on the Little Miami.



Notwithstanding the care taken the history of all powder works is marked by explosions of greater or, less frequency. One of the heaviest of these occurred on the morning of March 1, 1886, at the works of the Miami Powder Company. Several had taken place at the same works in the intervals of years. A large dry house containing 50,000 pounds of powder at this time exploded, from some undiscovered cause. It was completely demolished; the fields about were strewn with débris, none of it larger than a man's hand. A car to which a horse had been harnessed could not be found; one of the large wheels was thrown to the other side of the Miami river, 500 yards distance. Of three men at work there the largest part found was a piece of backbone; other fragments being scattered necessitated the gathering up of the remains in bags and baskets. Part of an arm with other débris was found at Oldtown, a distance of two miles. Houses were injured and débris scattered for miles away. The scene among the families of the employees who flocked to the ruins was heartrending; as husbands, fathers


Page 703


and brothers came out uninjured, their families gathered about them and wept tears of joy. But to three women and their children the fathers and husbands came not.


At Xenia every, building was badly shaken and many, windows broken. The people rushed out of their houses into the street fearing that the buildings were about to fall; while north of the city could be seen an immense white cloud of smoke and débris hanging over the scene of devastation. The cloud was photographed from Xenia. Reports of the explosion were heard 100 miles distant. A house three miles from the explosion was completely demolished and the covered bridge on the Yellow Springs turnpike, half a mile distant, was blown in; while a number of people in the vicinity were so prostrated by the shock that they were confined to their beds for several days after.


In May, 1886, the southern and western parts of Ohio were visited by perhaps the most severe storm or tornado known in the history of the State. The destruction of property was very great throughout several counties, but the greatest damage to life and property prevailed in Greene county, in and about Xenia.


On the evening of Friday, May 14, 1886, between 8 and 9 o'clock, a violent storm of wind, rain and hail struck Xenia and grew in violence until about 12 O'clock. The wind came in a continual gale. At 10 o'clock the fire-bells rang an alarm, and the people came forth from their houses to assist in the rescue of the unfortunate. Owing to the dense darkness and the severity of the storm, they could only grope around and were not able to do much. Above the roar of the elements came frantic cries for help.


It was found that Shawnee creek had burst its banks and was rising at the rate of one foot in every five minutes. The stream became a torrent and threatened to submerge the entire southern part of the town, through which it passed; houses on its banks were most all swept from their foundations or floated down the stream. The house of Aaron FERGUSON was carried away and lodged against the Detroit street bridge, where nine persons were rescued from it.


From this point to the Second street bridge the flood swept everything in its way: The dwellings were mostly occupied by poor people and the waters rose so rapidly that it was with the utmost difficulty that any were rescued. Screams and cries for help came from every quarter, and many acts of heroism were performed by the rescuers, ladders and lanterns were procured to aid in the work, and huge bonfires kindled that the workers might see.

Alongside the Springfield Railroad, in Barr's Bottoms, the destruction was terrible; of twenty houses only three remained. The gas works were flooded and coal-oil lamps were in use all over the town.


The flood seemed to start at a small culvert on the Little Miami Railroad, where the water formed an immense lake rising to the top of the embankment, when it suddenly broke through and swept down upon the town. In some places where the houses were carried away the ground was washed as smooth as a floor, leaving not a vestige of plank or timber.


It was prayer-meeting night in Xenia, and many people had attended the meetings, leaving their children at home alone; the storm detained them in the churches, but when they learned its disastrous results they rushed forth in an agony of apprehension for the safety of their children, who had, however, mostly been taken to places of safety by rescuing parties. Their anguish while searching for the missing little ones was heartrending to see. Strong men wept and women wrung their hands while rushing hither and thither, and were filled with doubt, hope and dread.


A house containing Orin MORRIS and family was seen floating down the stream, and the screams of the family could be heard above the roar of the relentless


Page 703


waters. Then the house struck the solid masonry of a bridge, sank, and all was still. Afterwards two of his children were saved.

Among many others whose heroic efforts saved many lives that horrible night were six young men, named WATSON, TARBOX, BYRES, MORRIS, PAXTON and EYLER. (The town of Xenia presented these young men with medals commemorative of their bravery.)


 BYRES made three attempts to swim to the FERGUSON house (which lodged against the Detroit street bridge) with a rope around his waist, but was swept away each time by the swift current. Finally TARBOX succeeded in reaching the house by going farther up stream and allowing the current to carry him against the house, in which the family was rescued, the house going to pieces just as the last person was taken out.


A colored boy named BOOKER, who was rescued with his mother from one of the buildings, could have saved himself but would not leave his mother, whom he placed with great difficulty on top of some furniture; then groping his way around, with the water up to his neck, he found a rope and after great effort succeeded in fastening the floating house to a tree, where the two remained until rescued. Rev. Mr. YORKEY and Homer THRALL succeeded in rescuing Mrs. John BURCH from her house; she was found with the water up to her neck, holding her baby above her head.


The scene at the mayor's office next morning was a sad one; here were brought the bodies of those who had lost their lives; some were in night-clothes, having been swept away while in bed, others were partially dressed. Side by side lay the bodies of the MORRIS family, seven in number. In all them were twenty-three bodies, although the total number of lives lost was about thirty, as other bodies were afterward found one or two miles below the town, carried there by the powerful current. The dead included the young and old, white and colored.


The mayor and city authorities took active measures for the relief of the surviving sufferers, and aid was generously forthcoming from other cities.


The loss of lives by this storm was confined to the town of Xenia, but the loss of property extended throughout a large district of territory into many counties. Railroad bridges were destroyed and tracks washed away throughout may parts of Southwestern Ohio. In Greene county nearly every bridge in the county wag destroyed, while the pikes were so washed out that access to Xenia was almost entirely cut off. The day after the flood the correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial Gazette, from whose communication to that journal most of these facts are gathered, was five hours going from Dayton to Xenia (16 miles), being compelled to walk, make use of boat, farm wagons, railroads, hand-car and carriage.



To have chats with old gentlemen has been to me in my years of historic travel a great eat source of amusement and instruction. Such grow mellow and sweet under the revival of memories of events and characters of their early days. I always found they ran largely to anecdote, and the humorous rather than the sad formed the burden of their talk.


In Xenia two elderly gentlemen ministered to my entertainment—Dr. Geo. WATT and James E. GALLOWAY. The first named was born in the county in 1820, was surgeon in the One hundred and fifty-fourth Ohio, and is an invalid from an injury to the spine, a direct result, of his love for the old flag


Feeding Joe Hooker's Soldiers.—The first point of our talk was the passing of Joe Hooker's army cows of some 30,000 men through Xenia. They were on their way from the sea-board to the mountains of Georgia. It was a mighty host, and it was days in passing; and these boys in blue had to be fed. The whole town was alive in the good work, women busy cooking and all ministering to the blue-coated host, a free offering of hospitality on the altar of patriotism. Such were the scenes and the common sarcrifices of that period in Ohio on the lines of transportation. It helped to ennoble the people, but is one of those minor matters illustrating the spirit of the times that rarely finds a place in formal history.


Indian Anecdote.—The Doctor's memory went back to the time “when the Indians were about,” and so he told me this. About the year 1825 Father MAHIN, a local preacher of the Methodist church living in the eastern part of the county, having lost his wife, and his children being properly cared for, went as a self-supporting missionary to the Wyandot Indiana near Upper Sandusky.


Page 705

He had a mechanical turn and made himself especially useful in giving them, with moral and religious instruction a knowledge of the arts of civilized life, as blacksmithing, shoemaking and the like. I well remember a scene occurring when I was about five years of age. Six Indians the first I ever saw, came to my father's, having been sent to see why Father MAHIN, who was at home on a visit, had not returned to them at the expected time, and if needed to aid him in the journey.


My mother gave them their dinner and when they asked the way to Father MAHIN'S she replied it was about a mile distant in a direct line and two miles by the road. “I advise you,” she said, “to go by the road as you may miss the way.” “What!” replied the leader “must Indian keep out of the Woods? Indian get lost? Point to Father's wigwam and tell what it like.” She pointed the direction and gave instructions, and they set out across the fields, fences and woods, going direct, as she afterward learned.


An Eccentric Character.—On the preceding pages are amusing accounts of early times, in gig county, contributed to our first edition by Thomas Coke WRIGHT, at the time county auditor. He was, I think, the most eccentric as well as the most beloved man of his time in Greene county, and when I knew him was about sixty years of age. He was nearly six feet in stature, very fleshy, face florid; and he was excessively deaf. His voice was light, pitched upon a high key, and he was a complete specimen in his simplicity of a child-man, susceptible and quickly responsive to every shade of emotion. At one moment speaking of something sad, his face would put on the most lugubrious aspect, and his fine high voice crying tones: then in a twinkling, as something droll flitted across his memory which he would relate, there would come out a merry laugh. The expression of big face when at rest was sad, as is usual with very deaf people of strong social natures, being in this respect different from the blind, who are generally It is because the first, by the use of vision, are constantly reminded of their infirmity, while the last can have no conception of their great deprivation.


Mr. WRIGHT was indeed what they term ‘a character,’ one worthy of the pen of a Dickens, and, like the Cheeryble brothers, superabounding in benevolence and sociality. He was a native of Virginia, and when a young man had been a teacher under Father FINLEY, studied law, but becoming too deaf to practice, the people gave him the position of county auditor He was a poor accountant, but he got along with an assistant. His deficiencies made no difference, his superabounding affection for everybody was such that the plain farmers, irrespective of politics, would have given him any office he wanted, he was such a warm friend to everybody and so anxious to do everybody some good. He was a Republican, loved his old native Virginia, and told me some excellent anecdotes illustrative of the affection some of the old-time slave-holders had for their old servants, with whom they had begun life as children playing together.


Dr. WATT related an amusing incident of Mr. WRIGHT, who died shortly after the war, at an advanced age. Said he: “A few years before his death, the late Dr. Joseph TEMPLETON of Washington, Pa., but a former resident of Xenia visited here, and the late Dr. S: MARTIN and myself were entertaining him. As we walked with him to the railroad station we met Mr. WRIGHT. The two men, equally deaf, cordially saluted each other, when this dialogue ensued:


Templeton.—Xenia has greatly improved since I left.


Wright – It is a great misfortune, but the best thing for us is a short tin trumpet.


Templeton.—Some very fine business blocks have been built.


Wright—I’d show you mine, but a tinner has it for a pattern while making a new one for a friend.


Templeton.—Some of my old friends now reside in very fine houses.


Wright.—I’ll have one made and send it to you if you will give me your address.”


And in twenty minutes' conversation,” continued Dr. WATT, “they got no nearer. As we went on, Dr. TEMPLETON cordially, thanked us for waiting to let him have such a pleasant conversation with his old friend Coke WRIGHT. Coming back we met Mr. WRIGHT, who still more cordially thanked us for our patient waiting, as he had not had such a pleasant chat for years.”


Mr. GALLOWAY I found living in his rooms over some stores in the centre of the town, alone among his books and papers and old-time relics. Among these, over the door, were the horns of the last deer killed in Greene county. The year of Mr. GALLOWAY’S birth I know not, but evidently it was so far back that he must have been born in some cabin in the woods, or perhaps in one near their leafy margins, among the girdled trunks of the skeleton monsters of a once luxuriant forest.


The Bullet Barometer.—His grandfather, James GALLOWAY, Sen., a native of Pennsylvania, was the first settler in his part of the county. In 1797 he came from Kentucky, and built a cabin on the Little Miami, near the site of the Miami Powder Mills. During the revolutionary war he was in the service of the United States in the capacity of hunter, to procure game for the army. “My grandfather,” said he “was in the Blue Lick fight in Kentucky and during the campaign of 1792 he was shot by the renegade Simon GIRTY, whom he well knew. He had met GIRTY while on horseback going through the woods face to face, who, perceiving that he was unarmed, said: “Now, GALLOWAY, d--n you, I have got you,” and instantly fired three small bullets into his body. GIRTY supposed he had killed him. Although in a fainting condition, GALLOWAY wheeled his horse and made good his escape. One bullet


Page 706


passed through his shoulder and stopped in the back of his neck. He carried it there for many years, and brought it with him to Ohio. It was a great source of annoyance, which varied much with the state of the weather. It served one useful purpose-acted as a barometer; so much so that when anything important was to be done requiring good weather, the neighbors would send to him to learn the prospect. Finally grandfather concluded that he must part with his barometer; it was getting altogether too demonstrative. There was no surgeon about, so one day he sent for a cobbler and seating, himself in his big arm-chair the cobbler extracted it, using his shoe knife and awl.”


Having told me this, Mr. GALLOWAY took me into his attic and brought out the identical old arm-chair in which his grandfather had sat when the cobbler had turned surgeon. found it the most comfortable of seats. It was hand-made, very strong, the wood maple and hickory and a great deal of thought with faithful workmanship had gone into its construction. The seat was very elastic. It consisted of a network of deer-thongs covered with buckskin, so that it yielded gently to every varying tack or movement of the person. The back slats were each curved with a due regard to exactly fitting the part of the form leaning against it, the lowest having, as it should, great curvature. The chair arms were a curiosity, inasmuch as each terminated in a knob m which were cut grooves to admit the spreading fingers of a sitter, while resting in comfort.


Tecumseh Smitten, with Rebecca Galloway.—Having shown me the arm-chair, Mr. GALLOWAY gave me some anecdotes of the great Indian chief. “TECUMSEH,” TECUMSEH,” said he, “was a young man of about thirty years when my grandfather first moved into Greene county. He lived some fifteen or twenty miles away. They became great friends, TECUMSEH being a frequent visitor. Whether the chief was attracted by friendship for grandfather or his fancy for his daughter, my aunt Rebecca, was at first a matter of conjecture; it was soon evident however, that he was smitten with the “ white girl “ but according to the Indian custom he made his advances to the father, who referred him to his daughter.


Although TECUMSEH was brave in battle he was timid in love, and it was a long time before he could get his courage up to the sticking-point, which he did finally and proposed, offering her fifty broaches of silver. She declined, telling him she did not wish to be a wild woman and work like an Indian squaw. He replied that she need not work, as he would make her a “great squaw.” Notwithstanding his rejection, he ever remained friendly with the family.


Tecumseh on a Spree.—The books speak of TECUMSEH having been a large man; but this, I can assure you was not so; he was but a moderate-sized Indian. He was fond of “fire-water,” and would go on a spree sometimes, when he would become very troublesome and provoking. On one occasion, when at the shop of “Blacksmith” James GALLOWAY (a cousin of my grandfather's who lived on the banks of Mad River), TECUMSEH, being on one of his big “drunks,” became very insulting and annoying. GALLOWAY grew angry, and being a very powerful man took him, much to his disgust, and tied him up to a tree until he became more sober and quiet.


This noble institution of the State is located at Xenia. The Home farm consists of 275 acres, and a healthful site a mile southeasterly from the centre of the town and about three-quarters from the depot of the Little Miami railroad.


The buildings consist of an administration building with large dining-room attached, the two forming an Egyptian cross; twenty cottages, ten on each side of the administration building, a school-home, chapel, hospital, laundry, industrial building, engine room, gas houses and all necessary farm-buildings. The build-


Image button58061219.jpg



Image icon173734.png