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MORGAN COUNTY, named from Gen. Daniel Morgan, of the Revolution, was organized March 1, 1818. The Muskingum flows through the heart of the county, which, with its branches, furnishes considerable water-power. The surface is very hilly; the soil, limestone clay, strong and fertile.


Area about 400 square miles. In 1887 the acres cultivated were 57,506; in pasture, 120,966; woodland, 43,947; lying waste, 3,229; produced in wheat, 150,256 bushels; rye, 972; buckwheat, 240; oats, 74,190; barley, 108; corn, 482,299; broom-corn, 300 lbs. brush; meadow hay, 26,212 tons; clover hay, 1,772; potatoes, 37,802 bushels; tobacco, 123,080 lbs.; butter, 518,583; cheese, 450; sorghum, 2,883 gallons; maple syrup, 1,308; honey, 7,532 lbs.; eggs, 571,534 dozen; grapes, 23,040 lbs.; wine, 233 gallons; sweet potatoes, 2,126 bushels; apples, 4,181; peaches, 1,348; pears, 1,005; wool, 592,029 lbs.; milch cows owned, 4,876. School census, 1888, 6,066; teachers, 225. Miles of railroad track, 26.



And Census





And Census




































































Population of Morgan in 1820, 5,299; 1830, 11,800; 1840, 20,857; 1860, 22,119; 1880, 20,074, of whom 17, 789 were born in Ohio; 795, Pennsylvania; 467, Virginia; 65, New York; 27, Indiana; 13, Kentucky; 140, German Empire; 127, Ireland; 43, England and Wales; 15, British America; 5, France; and 4, Scotland. Census, 1890, 19,143.


The first settlement in this county, made at BIG BOTTOM, on the Muskingum, near the south line of the county, was broken up by the Indians. In the autumn of 1790 a company of thirty-six men went from Marietta and commenced the settlement. They erected a block-house on the first bottom on the east bank of the river, four miles above the mouth of Meigs creek. They were chiefly young, single men, but little acquainted with Indian warfare or military rules.


Those best acquainted with the Indians and those most capable of judging from appearances, had little doubt that they were preparing for hostilities, and strongly opposed the settlers going out that fall and advised their remaining until spring, by which time, probably, the question of war or peace would be settled. Even Gen. Putnam and the directors of the Ohio company, who gave away the land to have it settled, thought it risky and imprudent, and strongly remonstrated against venturing out at that time.

A Block-House Built.—But the young men were impatient, confident in their own prudence and ability to protect themselves. They went; put up a block-house which might accommodate the whole of them in an emergency, covered it and laid puncheon floors, stairs, etc. It was made up of large beech logs and rather open, as it was not chinked between the logs; this job was left for a rainy day, or some more convenient season. Here was their first great error, as they ceased to complete the work, and the general interest was lost in that of the convenience of each individual; with this all was lost. The second error was, they kept no sentry and had neglected to stockade or set pickets around the block-house. No system of defence and discipline had been introduced. Their guns were lying in different places, without order,


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about the house. Twenty men usually encamped in the house, a part of whom were now absent, and each individual and mess cooked for themselves. One end of the building was appropriated for a fire-place and when the day closed all came in, built a large fire and commenced cooking and eating their suppers.


The weather, for some time previous to the attack, as we learn from the diary of Hon. Paul Fearing, who lived at Fort Harmer, had been quite cold. In the midst of winter and with such weather as this, it was not customary for the Indians to venture out on war parties, and the early borderers had formerly thought themselves in a manner safe from their depredations during the winter months.


Two Cabins Built.—About twenty rods above the block-house and a little back from the bank of the river, two men, Francis and Isaac CHOATE, members of the company, had erected a cabin and commenced clearing their lots. Thomas SHAW, a hired laborer in the employ of the CHOATES, and James PATTON, another of the associates, lived with them. About the same distance below the garrison was an old “tomahawk improvement” and a small cabin, which two men, Asa and Eleazer BULLARD, had fitted up and now occupied. The Indian war-path from Sandusky to the mouth of the Muskingum, passed along on the opposite shore in sight of the river.


Indians Surprise and Destroy the Settlement.—The Indians who, during the summer, had been hunting and loitering about the settlements at Wolf’s creek mills and Plainfield, holding frequent and friendly intercourse with the settlers, selling them venison and bear meat in exchange for green corn and vegetables, had withdrawn early in the autumn and gone high up the river into the vicinity of their towns, preparatory to winter-quarters. Being well acquainted with all the approaches to these settlements, and the manner in which the inhabitants lived, each family in their own cabin, not apprehensive of danger, they planned and fitted out a war party for their destruction. It is said they were not aware of there being a settlement at Big Bottom until they came in sight of it on the opposite shore of the river in the afternoon. From a high hill opposite the garrison they had a view of all that part of the Bottom, and could see how the men were occupied and what was doing about the block-house. Having reconnoitered the station in this manner, just at twilight they crossed the river on the ice a little above and divided their men into two parties; the larger one to attack the block-house and the smaller one to make prisoners of the few men living in CHOATE’S cabin without alarming those below. The plan was skilfully arranged and promptly executed. As the party cautiously approached the cabin they found the inmates at supper; a party of the Indians entered, while others stood without by the door and addressed the men in a friendly manner. Suspecting no harm, they offered them a part of their food, of which they partook. Looking about the room the Indians espied some leather thongs and pieces of cord that had been used in packing venison, and taking the white men by their arms told them they were prisoners. Finding it useless to resist, the Indians being more numerous, they submitted to their fate in silence.


While this was transacting the other party had reached the block-house unobserved; even the dogs gave no notice of their approach, as they usually do, by barking; the reason probably was, that they were also within by the fire, instead of being on the alert for their masters’ safety. The door was thrown open by a stout Mohawk, who stepped in and stood by the door to keep it open, while his companions without shot down those around the fire. A man by the name of Zebulon THROOP, from Massachusetts, was frying meat and fell dead in the fire; several others fell at this discharge. The Indians then rushed in and killed all who were left with the tomahawk. No resistance seems to have been offered, so sudden and unexpected was the attack, by any of the men; but a stout backwoods Virginia woman, the wife of Isaac MEEKS, who was employed as their hunter, seized an axe and made a blow at the head of the Indian who opened the door; a slight turn of the head saved his skull and the axe passed down through his cheek into the shoulder, leaving a huge gash that severed nearly half his face; she was instantly killed by the tomahawk of one of his companions before she could repeat the stroke. This was all the injury received by the Indians, as the men were all killed before they had time to seize their arms, which stood in the corner of the room. While the slaughter was going on, John STACY, a young man in the prime of life, and the son of Col. William STACY, sprung up the stair-way and out onto the roof, while his brother Philip, a lad of sixteen, secreted himself under some bedding in the corner of the room. The Indians on the outside soon discovered the former and shot him while he was in the act of “begging them, for God’s sake, to spare his life, as he was the only one left.”


This was heard by the BULLARDS, who, alarmed by the firing at the block-house, had run out of their cabin to see what was the matter. Discovering the Indians around the house they sprung back into their hut, seized their rifles and ammunition, and closing the door after them, put into the woods in a direction to be hid by the cabin from the view of the Indians. They had barely escaped when they heard their door, which was made of thin clapboards, burst open by the Indians. They did not pursue them, although they knew they had just fled, as there was a good fire burning and their food for supper smoking hot on the table. After the slaughter was over and the scalps secured, one of the most important acts in the warfare of the American savages, they proceeded to collect the plunder. In removing the bedding the


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lad, Philip STACY, was discovered; their tomahawks were instantly raised to dispatch him, when he threw himself at the feet of one of their leading warriors, begging him to protect him. The savage either took compassion on his youth or else, his revenge being satisfied with the slaughter already made, interposed his authority and saved his life. After removing everything they thought valuable, they tore up the floor, piled it on the dead bodies and set it on fire, thinking to destroy the block-house with the carcases of their enemies. The building being made of green beech logs the fire only consumed the floors and roof, leaving the walls still standing when visited the day after by the whites.


There were twelve persons killed in this attack, viz., John STACY, Ezra PUTNAM (son of Major Putnam of Marietta), John CAMP and Zebulon THROOP—those men were from Massachusetts; Jonathan FAREWELL and Jas. COUCH, from New Hampshire; William JAMES, from Connecticut; Joseph CLARK, from Rhode Island; Isaac MEEKS, his wife and two children, from Virginia. They were well provided with arms, and no doubt could have defended themselves had they taken proper precautions; but they had no old revolutionary officers with them to plan and direct their operations, as they had at all the other garrisons. If they had picketed their house and kept a regular sentry, the Indians would probably never have attacked them. They had no horses or cattle for them to seize upon as plunder, and Indians are not very fond of hard fighting when nothing is to be gained; but seeing the naked block-house, without any defences, they were encouraged to attempt its capture. Col. STACY, who had been an old soldier, well acquainted with Indian warfare in Cherry valley, and had two sons there, visited the post only the Sunday before, and seeing its weak state, had given them a strict charge to keep a regular watch, and prepare immediately strong bars to the doors, to be shut every night at sunset. They, however, fearing no danger, did not profit by his advise.


The party of Indians, after this, bent their steps towards the Wolf creek mills; but finding the people here awake and on the lookout, prepared for an attack, they did nothing more than reconnoitre the place, and made their retreat at early dawn, to the great relief of the inhabitants. The number of Indians who came over from Big Bottom was never known.


The next day Capt. Rogers led a party of men over to Big Bottom. It was a melancholy sight to the poor borderers, as they knew not how soon the same fate might befall themselves. The action of the fire, although it did not consume, had so blackened and disfigured the dead, that few of them could be distinguished. Ezra PUTNAM was known by a pewter plate that lay under him, and which his body had prevented from entirely melting. His mother’s name was on the bottom of the plate, and a part of the cake she was baking at the fire still adhered to it. William JAMES was recognized by his great size, being six feet four inches in height, and stoutly built. He had a piece of bread clenched in his right hand, probably in the act of eating, with his back to the door, when the fatal rifle-shot took effect. As the ground was frozen outside, a hole was dug within the walls of the house and the bodies consigned to one grave. No further attempt was made at a settlement here until after the peace.


McConnelsville in 1846.—McConnelsville, the county-seat, named from its original proprieter, Robert McCONNEL, is situated upon the east bank of the Muskingum, seventy-five miles southeasterly from Columbus, thirty-six above Marietta, and twenty-seven below Zanesville. The view was taken in the centre of the town. On the left is seen the court-house, the jail and county clerk’s office, and in the distance, down the street, appears the Baptist church. This thriving town contains one Presbyterian, one Congregational, one Baptist, one Protestant Methodist, and one Methodist Episcopal church; fifteen mercantile stores, two newspaper printing-offices, one foundry, one woollen factory, two flouring mills, and had, in 1840, 957 inhabitants.—Old Edition.


McCONNELSVILLE, county-seat of Morgan, is about sixty-five miles southeast of Columbus, on the east bank of the Muskingum river, forty-eight miles above Marietta and twenty-seven below Zanesville; also, on the Z. & O. Railroad. County officers, 1888: Auditor, Jesse T. ELLIOTT; Clerk, John Q. ABBOTT; Commissioners, Henry F. JAMES, Leonidas J. COBURN, Thomas J. CHAPPELEAR; Coroner, Andrew H. HENERY; Infirmary Directors, James RALPH, Henry L. MELLOR, A. S. WILSON; Probate Judge, Eugene J. BROWN; Prosecuting Attorney, Marion E. DANFORD; Recorder, William H. YOUNG; Sheriff, John R. HARPER; Surveyor, Joseph F. DOUGAN; Treasurer, Albert P. WHITAKER. City officers, 1888: J. W. McELHINEY, Mayor; W. O. FOUTS, Clerk; Enoch DYE, Marshal; C. E. COCHRAN, Treasurer; Jacob HATTON, Street Commissioner. Newspapers: Herald, Republican, Charles S. SPARGUE, editor and publisher; Morgan County Democrat, Demo-


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cratic, J. B. TANNEHILL, editor and publisher. Churches: one Baptist, two Methodist, one Methodist Episcopal, one Methodist Protestant, one Universalist, one Presbyterian and one Catholic. Bank: First National, James K. JONES, president, R. STATNON, cashier.


Manufactures and Employees.—George P. Hann, cigars, 16 hands; McConnellsville Sash and Door Co., doors, sash, etc., 9; McConnellsville Roller Mills, flour, etc., 6; Morgan County Democrat, printing, 5; McConnellsville Herald, printing, etc., 7; James Bain, wagons and buggies, 7; E. M. Stanberry & Co., flour, etc., 3.—State Reports, 1888.


Population, 1880, 1,473. School census, 1888, 469. Capital invested in industrial establishments, $101,500. Value of annual product, $131,000.—Ohio Labor Statistics, 1887. Census, 1890, 1,771.


MALTA is on the west bank of the Muskingum river, directly opposite McConnellsville, on the Z. & O. Railroad. It has two churches. City officers, 1888: J. W. ROGERS, Mayor; W. S. CONNER, Clerk; H. A. DAVIS, Treasurer; J. H. DUNNINGTON, Marshal; Harmon SEAMAN, Street Commissioner; Newspaper: Valley Register, Independent. Bank: Malta National, W. P. SPARGUE, president, George S.. CORNER, vice-president.


Manufactures and Employees.—A. M. Dunsmoor, furniture, 5 hands; Brown-Manly Plow Co., Malta plows, 130; McGrath & Humphrey, doors, sash, etc., 8; G. L. Hoffman & Son, harness leather, 10.—State Reports, 1888. Population, 1880, 652. School census, 1888, 239. Capital invested in manufacturing establishments, $64,000. Value of annual product, $162,000.—Ohio Labor Statistics, 1888.




One of the most remarkable natural curiosities of the Muskingum valley is the “Devil’s Tea Table,” which stands on one of the bluffs on the east side of the river, three miles above McConnelsville, on a farm owned by L. D. REED. Its position is exactly central on the top of a high hill, the ground sloping rapidly from it in every direction. It stands like a lone sentinel, keeping its silent watch, as the years go by, over the beautiful river whose waters glide by it on their way to the ocean. The following description of it was contributed to this work by Dr. H. L. TRUE, of McConnelsville.


It consists of an immense table of sandstone estimated to weigh over 300 tons, supported by a slender base of shelly slatestone. It maintains its place and position mainly by its equilibrium, the top being so evenly balanced on the pedestal that if a small portion were broken from one side of the table it would cause it to topple over. The table is quadrangular or diamond shaped, and has the following dimensions: it is about 25 feet high, 33 feet long, 20 feet wide, 10 feet thick, and 85 feet in circumference. The dimensions of the base are as follows: length, 18 feet, width 5 feet, height about 14 feet, circumference 40. The long diameter is in a direction north and south.


When this massive stone is viewed in close proximity it appears to lean in every direction, so that on whatever side an observer may be, it seems liable to fall on him.


There is a difference of opinion as to whether this rock can be made to vibrate or not. Some claim it is easy to vibrate it while standing on top. My own experience is that it cannot be made to vibrate with a pole from the ground, although it looks as if it could be done.



In 1820 a number of keel-boatmen, under the direction of Timothy Gates, gave out that on a certain day they were going to push it down into the river. Many of the early settlers gathered there to witness the proceeding. But the boatmen failed in their attempt to unsettle it, and the crowd was disappointed. Several attempts to overthrow it have since been made, notably one by falling a tree against it, but all resulted in failure.


Another remarkable stone formation in this picturesque valley of the Muskingum is the “natural bridge” on the Glenn farm, two miles south of Roxbury.


Natural Bridge.—It consists of a huge stone arch, spanning a hollow which forms a rocky channel, sometimes dry and sometimes swollen by rains. Over the arch a grapevine runs riot, and here and there dainty fringes of cool ferns cling to the damp earth near its extremities. Underneath, the walls are covered with the initials of stragglers, who seek enduring fame after the manner of visitors to such spots. The bridge is perhaps thirty feet from end to end, fifteen feet high, and so wide as to allow a sleigh to cross with safe margin.



Top Picture

Drawn by Henry Howe in 1846.



Bottom Picture

Photo, E. Witherell in 1886.






According to the United States statistics for 1840, more salt was manufactured in Morgan than in any other county in Ohio. It was procured by sinking wells. Its principal market was in Cincinnati, where it was called “Zanesville salt,” although the far greater part of it was made in this county. The sketch of the salt region on the Muskingum, as it was then, we take from an article by Dr. S. P. Hildreth, in the twenty-fourth volume of “Silliman’s Journal.”


This is now history. The amount of salt now manufactured here and elsewhere in Ohio is very trifling, owing to the superior strength of the brines elsewhere, especially those of Michigan and Syracuse, N. Y.


The first attempt at procuring salt on this river was made by Mr. AYERS, in the year 1817, a few miles below, and at the foot of the rapids at Zanesville, in the year 1819, by S. FAIRLAMB. He, being a man of considerable mechanical ingenuity, constructed some simple machinery, connected with a water-mill, which performed the operation of boring without much expense. Salt had been made for many years at the works on Salt creek, nine miles southeast of Zanesville, and some slight indications of salt on the rocks, at low water, led to this trial. Water was found, impregnated with muriate of soda, at about 350 feet. It afforded salt of a good quality, but was not abundant, nor sufficiently saturated to make its manufacture profitable. Within the period of a few years after, several other wells were bored in this vicinity, but generally lower down the river. It was soon discovered that the water was stronger as they descended, and that the salt deposit was at a greater depth.


At Duncan’s falls, nine miles below, at the mouth of Salt creek, the rock had descended to 450 feet, and with a proportionate increase in the strength of the water. At the latter place, the owner of a well not finding a sufficient supply of water for his furnace, although it was of the desired strength, pushed his well to the depth of 400 feet below the salt rock. His praiseworthy perseverance, however, met not with its proper reward. No additional salt water was found, although it is highly probable that other salt strata are deposited below those already discovered, but at such a depth as to render it very difficult to reach them by the present mode of boring. As we descend the river wells are found, at short distances, for thirty miles below Zanesville, gradually deepening until the salt rock is reached, at 850 feet below the surface. The water is also so much augmented in strength as to afford fifty pounds of salt to every fifty gallons.


Twenty-two miles below the rapids a stratum of flint rock, from nine to twelve feet in thickness, comes to the surface and crosses the river, making a slight ripple at low water. This rock has a regular dip to the south, and at McConnellsville, five miles below, it is found at 114 feet; and two and a half miles farther down, it is struck at 160 feet. Where wells have been sunk through this rock it affords a sure guide to the saliferous deposit, as the intermediate strata are very uniform in quality and thickness, and the practical operator can tell within a foot or two the actual distance to be passed between the two rocks, although the interval is 650 feet. Above the point where the flint rock crops out, the rock strata appear to have been worn away, so that as you ascend the river the salt rock comes nearer to the surface, until, at the forks of the Muskingum, it is only 200 feet below. This flint rock is so very hard and sharp-grained that it cuts away the best cast-steel from the augers, nearly or quite as rapidly as the steel cut away the rock, and required three weeks of steady labor, night and day, to penetrate ten feet. With few exceptions the other strata are readily passed.


The lower salt rock often occasions much difficulty to the workmen from the auger’s becoming fixed in the hole. The sand of this rock, when beaten fine and allowed to settle compactly about the auger in the well, becomes so hard and firm as to require the greatest exertions to break it loose, frequently fracturing the stout ash poles in the attempt. From the sand and small particles of the rock brought up by the pump, the salt stratum appears to be of a pure, pearly whiteness; and the more porous and cellular its structure the greater is the quantity of water afforded; as more freedom is given to the discharge of gas, which appears to be a very active agent in the rise of water, forcing it, in nearly all the wells, above the bed of the river, and in some to twenty-five or thirty feet above the top of the well.




The geological formation in the vicinity of McConnellsville is such as to indicate prolific sources of oil and gas, and recently steps have been taken toward the development of these interests. The Trenton limestone is at great depth; about 1,000 feet above the Trenton the Clinton limestone is found, then above that the corniferous still higher, 400 or 500 feet, and the great Macksburg rock of Berea sandstone is about 1,7000 feet from the surface. All these rocks afford supplies of


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gas and oil. Where gas and oil have been found near here at depths of 40 to 100 feet, crevices were struck which conveyed it near the surface. No doubt by upheavals these rocks are opened so the oil and gas escaped from rocks below, and they are found here in the Mahoning sandrock, and in some places oil came to the surface and is found on the water, which, years ago, was collected by the farmers, and used for cuts and bruises on animals. The oil found on this range of the oil bet, as marked by surface oil, is all heavy lubricating oil, of great value compared with the lighter oils.


In 1830 Rufus P. Stone was boring near Malta for salt water, which he struck at a depth of 400 feet, as well as a flow of natural gas. Mr. STONE, being interested in other enterprises, permitted this well to remain idle for some years, when it was leased to Captain STULL.


Evaporators were soon in place, with pipes to convey the gas, and everything ready for commencing operations, when the entire plant was destroyed by fire. Mr. STONE, who was one of the old time puritanical moralists, expressed himself on the destruction of the works in the following language: “The hands at the well struck hell last night and burned up the whole concern.”


Later the furnace was repaired, different proprietors took charge, and salt made by using the gas until 1878, when an attempt was made to get more salt water and the gas ceased to flow.


For years the illumination from this well by night was a prominent feature in steamboat travel on the Muskingum at night.


In 1878 Messrs. SHIELDS and WILLIAMS, while boring for oil some two miles south of Malta, struck gas at a depth of 400 feet. The gas was piped a distance of 800 yards, and used as a motive power for engines in place of steam. Two engines were run in this manner without any fire. In addition to the amount used in the engines, a blaze some 30 to 40 feet in height illuminated the hills for miles around, so that fine print could be read at night half a mile distant. Gas was also used for cooking and heating.




One of the most enjoyable steamboat trips within my experience was that up the Muskingum from Marietta to Zanesville, which occupied parts of two days in May. In a direct line the places are a trifle over 60 miles apart, but by the winding of the river about 80 miles. The head of steamboat navigation is at Dresden, 15 miles north of Zanesville.


The river falls about 106 feet between Zanesville and Marietta, which was in its natural state a bar to steamboat navigation. Nearly half a century ago the State made it navigable by a series of dams, locks and short canals. Between the two places are ten dams, with a lock at each; at five of the locks are canals. The falls are about 10 feet each. This is called the Muskingum River Improvement. John SHERMAN when a youth assisted in the construction, acting as rodman in the corps of engineers. Lately the U. S. Government has taken possession of the work, which renders it free to navigation, thus relieving the State of the expense of repairs and commerce from the heavy burden of tolls. These on a single trip, I am told, sometimes amounted to as much as one hundred dollars, depending upon the cargo. A railroad has recently been constructed up the Muskingum. But no one travelling by it could have any conception of the many charming pictures which greet the eye from the deck of a steamer moving on its waters.

The First Steamer, it is said, that ever went up the Muskingum was the “Rufus Putnam,” owned and commanded by Captain Daniel GREEN. This was about the year 1824. Tradition says he was an old sea-captain and an excellent man. He had a deep base voice of tremendous carrying power. In a still summer morning on the Ohio his voice, they said, could be heard on shore two miles away. Yes, they added, sometimes when his steamer was rounding a bend out of sight the people, from the sound of Green’s voice in conversation reaching them, knew it was the “Rufus Putnam” that was coming.


Thursday Night, May 13.—Have just come aboard a steamer which starts up the Muskingum at daylight. Had a pleasant time at Marietta, and to-day was in at the birth of one of the best of puns. There have been heavy rains, and in the morning I went down to look at the Ohio, which I found very much swollen. On my return I entered an old-style house where was a valued acquaintance in the person of an old lady—fat, jolly and full of fun.

As I came in she was sitting by the window with a pleasant outlook upon green things. A newspaper was spread over her ample lap,


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Top Left


Sec. Dept of Agriculture and fraternally known as “Uncle Jerry.”


Top Right

E. Witherell, Photo





This view was drawn by me in 1885 while passing up the river on a steamer, and re-drawn for an engraving by J. N. Bradford, Ohio State University. It is noted as the place (below the falls where Morgan’s troopers in their fight forded the Muskingum.


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and with spectacles on nose she was reading, when the following conversation arose:

Mrs. Z.—“This is what I call comfort.”

Myself.—“Yes, it is. But I have been down to see the river, and I found it rising.” Then after a pause, I added, reflectively, “though rather late in the morning—after eleven o’clock.”

Mrs. Z.—“You must be mistaken; it can’t be that the river is leaving its bed.”


Story of a Pair of Stockings.—Mrs. Z. then regaled me with one of her amusing stories. The subject was Lyne Starling, called in history the “Father of Columbus”—not of Christopher, the open-eyed discoverer, who had the proud satisfaction of teaching mankind how to make an egg stand on end, but father of our Ohio hub. Starling was the head of the illustrious four who saw money in Columbus, laid it out for the State Capitol, and it soon sprouted with buildings, Ohio laws and many people. Sterling was a Kentuckian, a bachelor, huge in person, full in purse, and eccentric every way, fond of Kentucky Bourbon, fast horses, etc., and so not exactly adapted to the role of a Calvinistic deacon—that is, of the Jonathan Edwards type.


When a young girl Mrs. Z., with another young girl like herself from Kentucky, was attending in Columbus a seminary for the polishing of young ladies. They boarded at the American House, which also was long the home of Lyne Starling, and wherein, well up in the sixties—in 1848 it was—he died as he had lived and unwedded, fully ripe; that is, ripe after the old Kentucky type.


Mr. STARLING was so immense that he used an extra-sized carriage.


His feet were also immense, and one day he complained to the young ladies that he could not find any stockings in the Columbus stores large enough for him. If they would each knit him a full capacious pair, he would pay them each twenty-five dollars.


The girls accepted the offer in glee. Neither had ever knit a stitch—the knitting of stockings was not in the curriculum of the polishing seminary—but they went at it all agog, took proper instructions from ancient dames, surmounted all the difficulties, such as turning the heels and tipping the toes, and in due time had the pairs finished. These they sent by the hands of a colored waiter to the huge man’s room—sent neatly wrapped in a napkin on a waiter with a note. In due time he returned with his waiter, on which were envelopes addressed to each containing checks for $25. Without a moment’s delay, feeling rich as Crœsus, the gleeful maidens made a foray upon the Columbus dry-goods men and milliners, and it seemed as though nothing was good enough nor rich enough for their tastes, and no bottom dollars to such a huge pile as twenty-five of them.


The great man’s heart now warmed toward those maidens. In such a generous frame of mine had he been put through the influence of those comfort-giving stockings that covered his Brodignag-like feet, that he then made his will, leaving $8,000 to each of the knitting damsels. On later thinking over it he cancelled those items; maybe the stockings were showing great holes. A big toe perhaps had cut its way through, and child-like he had given way to a feeling of revulsion at the disaster, and so cut off the damsels.


“We knew nothing of all this,” said Mrs. Z., “until years after. But it then explained the sudden and extraordinary attentions to me of a young man, a fellow-boarder, to whom I turned the cold shoulder. He had been a witness of the will, and knew its contents. I sometimes fancy I can see, in case his suit had been granted and the knot tied, the expression of dismay that must have come over the poor young man’s face when he came to learn that Lyne Starling had not left me a cent.”


Friday Morning, May 14.—The steamer I am on is the “Lizzie Cassel,” Captain Lewis MYRICK. Soon after starting I stepped up to the captain’s office “to settle.” He replied, “Nothing to you.” On this answer I asked, “What dreadful thing have I done that you should treat me so?” “Oh!” said he, “you are a gentleman—it is something to have a gentleman on board!” This shocked me; it was such a hard reflection upon my fellow-passengers who had paid their passage. Luckily none were around to hear it. I was reconciled when he told me it was his contribution to the History of Ohio; I now have my revenge—here embalm him—and he is now “part of the bone of that bone and flesh of that flesh” in that history. Strange the Captain has only recently come into the State, and is not what is usually called an Ohio man, but he has the qualities that go to make one, and will be soon full-fledged; perhaps the first of all the Myricks to get such feathers.


The Muskingum is about 180 yards wide at Marietta; George Washington is my authority, for he so states in his tour into the Ohio country made in 1753. Here is the first dam and lock; the river is full as wide at Zanesville, and a noble stream all the way up. It is now very much swollen by heavy rains, and the water, owing to the clayey soil, the color of coffee with a proper palatable infusion of milk.

The banks are largely lined with low willows, a peculiarity I have observed of most of the streams of the central part of the State. The valley varies from half a mile to a mile in width, and is rich in cultivated farms and prospering people. The river has many long reaches, and discloses at every turn charming vistas. There is very little bold scenery, but on each side are hills some 150 to 300 feet in height, mostly gently sloping, and wooded to their summits. The effect as a whole is to fill one with the sense of peace and loveliness. There is almost an entire absence of islands.

I sat on the upper deck, and with a knot of others looked ahead with my eyes open to the unfolding beauties. It is a tendency of mankind rather to be prospective than retrospective. So even travellers on steamboats





choose their seats in front, to see what is coming, though often the scenery which they have passed may be the most entrancing.


Near the county line we passed on the right Beverly, a sweet little village on some low hills, embowered in trees, and connected by a bridge with Waterford, a sister village on the west bank.


These villages were among the first settled places in Ohio, and I longed to pause there, and see if I could find any curious inscriptions in their old graveyards. In the older States they are often very interesting, supply valuable historic items, and amuse by their quaintness.


Floating Saw-mills.—At Lowell, below Beverly, we had passed through the second lock. The roar of the falls there was, as elsewhere I afterwards found, very great. The entire body of the river, striking on the apron below, breaks into foam, and then uniting hurries on with irresistible force. They have on the river travelling saw-mills, stern-wheel steamboats, which move from point to point and saw the trees of the farmers into boards. I was pointed out a travelling saw-mill at work in the river, which in the flood a few weeks before became unmanageable by a floating log entangled in its wheel, when it went over the dam at Luke’s Chute, making a leap of 10 feet and without harm to either boat or crew. Luke’s Chute is a few miles above Beverly. Here is a long reach in the river, with bold hills on the right, and a view of surpassing grandeur looking up the stream. It seemed like the Hudson on a small scale, so straight the reach.


Some of the canals above the locks are a mile long. It takes about 15 minutes to go through a lock. It creates a curious sensation to leave the river behind, go through a lock beside the roaring falls, and then enter a canal and pass in a steamboat through cultivated fields and by farm houses and milch cattle, with often no sign of the river one has left anywhere.


It is impossible to go fast on the canals. They are so narrow that the water is thrown away from a boat. Lower the water, slower the boat; if the water was twenty feet deep it would go as fast as in the river.


The salt industry was forty years or more ago a prominent feature on the river. There were twenty-five or thirty furnaces below Zanesville in operation, now less than half a dozen, and even these could not subsist were it not that they burned slack screenings, which cost but a trifle. This change is owing to the competition with Michigan and Syracuse, where the brine is stronger and the salt can be more cheaply manufactured.


McConnelsville.—At 3 o’clock, P. M., the steamer left me at McConnelsville, where I made arrangements with a photographer to take views from the same point I made the pencil sketch in the long ago, and early the next morning resumed my voyage up the river.

Saturday, May 15.—Left McConnelsville after breakfast in steamer Olivet, Captain Ed. MARTIN. As usual I sat in the midst of a group on deck looking ahead. Four miles above, on the summit of a hill about 150 feet high, I was pointed out the Devil’s Tea Table, elsewhere described.

About eight miles above McConnelsville, nestled in the midst of one of the most charming nooks at the foot of the hills on the west bank of the river, lies Eagleport. It is famous as the spot where and just below the dam across the river John Morgan with his troopers forded the Muskingum.

Comical Incidents of Morgan’s Raid.—Those around me were full of the subject, taking it in its ludicrous aspects. At the news of his approach the whole country flew to arms; some who were full of courage at the beginning found it had all oozed away as the bold riders hove in sight. Among the comical stories a fellow-passenger told me was this of a poor wight who sought safety in a pig pen and laid down, as he thought, where he could not been seen, crouched behind a matronly specimen who was attending to the gastronomic requirements of a new-born progeny.

He had been seen to flee by one of the troopers, who, on coming to the pen, looked in and espying the poor frightened fellow, exclaimed with a grin: “Halloa! How did you get here? Did you all come in the same litter?” Another, a stuttering man, had bragged what he would do when he met the foe. A few hours later he was suddenly surrounded by Morgan’s raiders, who called out “Surrender! You ----- rascal.” He at once threw up his hands and exclaimed: “I-I-I s-s-sur-surrendered fi-fi-five minutes ago.”


On hearing this last incident I was tempted to relate one not unlike it, which Captain Basil HALL calls, in his “Fragments of Voyages and Travels,” “two-o’clock-in-the-morning courage,” that is, courage at the instant of unexpected peril, which is a rare quality. “Hence,” he says, “mutiny on a vessel or a rising of prisoners is apt to be successful.”


It was in the war time when I was in a train crossing the State, when I engaged in conversation about the war with a large man who sat by my side. He was a Union man from Kentucky, fat and merry. After having asked me if I was ever so scared I forgot my own name, I replied in accordance with the facts. “Well,” said he in reply, “I was once. I was riding on a road down in the ‘Blue Grass Country,’ absorbed in thought, when my attention was aroused by the clatter of horses galloping up from behind me. In a moment I was enveloped in a cloud of guerillas, when one, presenting a revolver at my head, exclaimed: “----- you, what is your name?’ With that I answered: ‘My na-na-name is-is-is,’ and for the life of me I couldn’t remember what my name was.” Then on telling this my fat fellow-passenger shook all over like jelly with laughter, in which the listening travellers around heartily joined.


The Blue Rock Mine Disaster.—A few miles above Eagleport, on the side of


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the river, I was pointed to the spot of the Blue Rock Mine Disaster. The entrance to the mine is a short distance above the river bank. This event occurred on the 12th of April, 1858, and is detailed elsewhere.


Gaysport.—We stopped at a little hamlet on the east bank to take on the mail and a passenger or so. It was named Gaysport, but every thing about it was dismal enough, for

“Misty, moisty was the morning,

And cloudy was the weather,”


while the buildings were dingy and brown. These were mainly on a single road fronting the river. Behind all were some low hills and above a murky sky. On the river bank stood a post some ten feet high, to which was attached a bell to call the ferryman from the opposite bank.


Our boat stopping was the one daily great event in the life of Gaysport. We had no sooner shoved a plank ashore than the village men, with the leisurely tread of country people who rise early, taking time by the forelock, left their various avocations, came loping down and arranged themselves in an irregular line on the bank about 14 feet above us and some 60 feet away. Then their postmaster came hurrying down through them with the mail bag on his shoulder, while a woman with a red shawl emerged from a house behind and without even deigning to look at us, turned a corner and vanished.


I had a curiosity to count this line of humanity that stood there in their very much every-day clothes, with open mouths and contemplative airs. My census returns were eighteen men, three boys and a black, short-haired dog, also contemplative, sitting on his haunches near the boys and ferry-bell; mouth like the others, open. All the boys and seventeen of the eighteen men had their hands in their breeches pockets—pockets open. The eighteenth man, gay with a red shirt, had folded his arms and was resting with one foot lifted on a stone; mouth, of course, open; pockets, apparently unoccupied, were, perhaps, for rent.


As our boat turned its back the group dispersed, refreshed and invigorated, I have no doubt, by this break in the monotony of their lives. As for the dog he must have been so invigorated as to straightway have gone somewhere and scratched for his buried bone.


At Duncan Falls, nine miles below Zanesville, we came to the most varied and picturesque scenery on the river. Here the Muskingum contracts to about half its original width. The objects to lend to the scenic effect are the falls and a huge mill, an old bridge, precipitous bluffs on the west bank the canal, a mile long, wending its way through fields out of sight of the river; the companion villages on opposite sides of the Muskingum, Taylorsville and Duncan Falls, and then an expansive up-river, view of several miles, which in the far distance was bounded by high and irregularly-shaped hills. One could tarry here for days, wander from point to point and be regaled by the many eye-feasts that nature in the morning lights and evening shadows must have dispensed to those who love her and know how to woo her sweet delights.


An Original Character.—On the Duncan Falls side my eyes were attracted by caves in the river bluff, their ugly, black mouths facing the river. The bluff was not over twenty feet high and beyond were the houses of the villagers scattered about on a level spot. I was attracted by the caves, which it seems were abandoned coal mines, and especially by several walls of small stones, which were, perhaps, hundreds of feet long and two or three feet high; these led from the bluff to the water-side and along the shore. They looked like a child’s work, sort of toy walls, and just there as I could see of no early use, and indeed, could be of no use anywhere. They excited my curiosity, so a passenger, a resident of Duncan Falls, enlightened me about them in this wise:


“We have,” said he, “in our place an old gentleman, a retired physician, Dr. -----, a very highly respected man, now seventy-eight years of age. He lost his wife some few years ago and being without a family and out of business, sort o’ lone in the world, he built those walls just through a whim. He works winter and summer in the caves with pick and wheel-barrow. When far in he works by a light. He has a grate there and in the coldest days of last winter he burnt coal. He says the work is his medicine, that he labors solely to keep his mind and body employed; that if he did not do so he should become paralyzed and sink into imbecility.”

It seems the doctor had been a highly successful practitioner, and some forty years ago prominently identified himself with the Washington Temperance Reform by lecturing and speaking. The temperance meetings were sometimes disturbed by rowdies. On an occasion going to a certain village to lecture where the baser sort had mobbed temperance speakers, he went fully armed. As he arose to speak he produced his weapon, a huge syringe, and holding it up to the audience, said: “This is my weapon of defence; if any among you should attempt to molest me they had better look out.” On saying which he laid down the syringe on the desk beside him and went on with his lecture in peace.


The approach to Zanesville was beautiful, the river for miles straight as an arrow, with low banks fringed with leaning willows and meadows on both sides, while in the distance the lofty wooded hills, near which the spires of Zanesville spring into view, gave a finishing touch to a scene of pastoral beauty.


At Zanesville, we entered a canal by the side of the river. It was Saturday afternoon and some school-boys with pantaloons drawn up to their knees, were wading in the water and greeted us with yells; thus, amid the exuberance of fresh young hearts I felt that my interesting voyage up the Muskingum had been blessed with a happy termination.


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JEREMIAH McLAIN RUSK, Governor of Wisconsin for several successive terms and now a member of President Harrison’s Cabinet, is a native of this county. In amiable parlance he is sometimes called “Uncle Jerry Rusk.” He was born June 17, 1830; worked on a farm with intervals of study until when at twenty-three years of age he removed to Wisconsin and engaged in farming; entered the national army, became Major of the 25th Wisconsin, and eventually Brevet Brigadier-General. Was four years Bank Comptroller of Wisconsin; served six years as a Republican in Congress, where he was Chairman of the Committee of Pensions. During the threatened Milwaukee riots in May, 1886, his prompt action met with wide commendation in ordering the militia to fire on the dangerous mob when they attempted to destroy life and property.


JAMES W. DAWES, Governor of Nebraska for successive terms, was also a native of this county. He was born in McConnelsville, January 8, 1845. When a boy of eleven years he removed to Wisconsin with his parents. He was educated to the law; removed to Nebraska, was sent by that State to the United States Senate in 1876. He was elected Governor by the Republicans in 1882 and again in 1884.


CHESTERFIELD, P. O. Chester Hill, is thirteen miles south of McConnelsville. Newspaper: Morgan County Tribune, Independent, W. R. Dutton, editor and publisher. School census, 1888, 158.


DEAVERTOWN is eleven miles northwest of McConnelsville. It has three churches. School census, 1888, 107.


STOCKPORT is ten miles south of McConnelsville, on the west bank of the Muskingum river and on the Z. & O. R. R. School census, 1888, 142.


EAGLEPORT is on the west bank of the Muskingum and Z. & O. R. R., eight miles above McConnelsville. It has a Protestant Methodist church and about thirty dwellings. It was below the dam here that Morgan’s raiders forded the Muskingum.

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