NOBLE COUNTY was organized March 11, 1851, the last of the eighty-eight counties formed within the State, and named in honor of James NOBLE, one of the first settlers living near Sarahsville.  His name had previously been given to Noble township, of Morgan county, and when this county was formed it was used for the entire county.  The townships of Beaver, Wayne, Seneca and Buffalo came from Guernsey county; Marion, Stock, three-fifths of Centre, Enoch, Elk, and the greater part of Jefferson came from Monroe; Olive, Jackson, Sharon, Noble, Brookfield and two-fifths of Centre came from Morgan; and a small portion of Jefferson from Washington county.


            Area about 400 square miles.  In 1887 the acres cultivated were 63,935; woodland, 40,991; in pasture, 127,715; lying waste, 2,887; produced in wheat, 143,135 bushels; rye, 655; oats, 116,279; corn, 533,459; meadow hay, 28,721 tons; potatoes, 33,262 bushels; tobacco, 577,329 lbs.; butter, 538,790; sorghum, 11,862 gallons; honey, 14,743 lbs.; eggs, 511,330 dozen; apples, 1,474 bushels; peaches, 1,643; pears, 627; wool, 443,828 lbs.; milch cows owned, 5,276.  Ohio mining statistics, 1888: Coal, 6,207 tons; employing 13 persons.  School census, 1888, 7,238; teachers, 146.  Miles of railroad track, 53.




And Census





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            Population of Noble in 1860 was 20,751; 1880, 21,138, of whom were born in Ohio, 19,101; Pennsylvania, 577; New York, 50; Virginia, 312; Kentucky, 6; Indiana, 27; German Empire, 305; Ireland, 117; England and Wales, 77; Scotland, 19; France, 10; and British America, 6.  Census, 1890, 20,753.

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            This county, in its form, is exceedingly crooked.  It has in its boundary line thirty corners, which we believe makes it the most zig-zag county in the State.  It is divided into two main slopes by a dividing ridge across it nearly east and west through the townships of Marion, Centre, Noble, Buffalo and a corner of Brookfield.  The streams north of this ridge are Will’s creek and its tributaries, which flow into the Muskingum at Coshocton, Tuscarawas county; and those south, Duck creek and it tributaries, which flow into the Ohio four miles above Marietta.


            The county is generally hilly and undulating, containing many natural mounds.  The hills are not so rugged but what they can generally be cultivated to their summits, a feature not common to hilly countries.  Hence there is but little waste land in the county.  An abundance of limestone is found in the uneven sections, even to the tops of the largest hills.  This being continually exposed to the air crumbles and mixes with the soil, rendering it akin in fertility with the lower levels.  The variety of soil gives a wide scope to agriculture.  The farms being generally small induce many of the farmers to direct their attention to the growing of grain and tobacco; consequently, the lands are under a higher state of cultivation than in other counties where the farms are larger.


            The principal products are hay, corn, wheat, oats, rye, tobacco, sorghum, apples, pears, beef, cattle, sheep and swine.  In 1873 it was the second county in the production of tobacco in Ohio.  But finding its cultivation exhausted the soil, farmers turned their attention more to cattle-raising.  It is one of the best apple-producing counties in Ohio.  The mineral resources are abundant.  Coal abounds and nearly all the hills contain iron-ore, building-stone, petroleum, salt, etc.


            Enoch, Elk, and parts of Jefferson and Stock are exclusively of foreign German birth and of Catholic faith.  In Enoch is a massively-built cathedral, costing $40,000.  Marion township was originally settled by Scotch-Irish, a thrifty, substantial people.  The balance of the county was settled by people from Pennsylvania and Virginia and a few New Englanders.  These last were the very first settlers of the county.  They were New Englanders from the Marietta settlement, who followed up the valley of Duck creek, a stream which empties into the Ohio, four miles above Marietta.


            The early settlers were greatly troubled with wolves who committed depredations upon the stock.  An old settler, who died in 1879, at the age of 93, caught in a trap a wolf that had been preying upon his sheep.  He told a friend that he was so exasperated that he flayed him alive out of revenge.


            In the novel “Prairie Rose,” by Emerson Bennett, is a story of Lewis Wetzel recapturing a white girl named Rose from the Indians.  (See Belmont county, Vol. 1, page 308.)  The scene of the rescue was a point on Wills creek, about five miles east of Summerfield.


            A Monster Tree.—Near Sarahsville stood, as late as 1880, one of the mammoth white oak trees for which this section of Ohio was famous.  In 1875 it was measured by then Gen. R. R. Hayes and Hon. John H. Bingham, while on a political tour.  Above the articulation of the roots it girth was thirty-four feet six inches.  Its trunk tapered but little and ran up to the height of seventy-eight feet without a single bend.  At that height it branched out into one of the most majestic tops ever found on a tree of its kind.


            General Garfield in 1879, on a visit to the county, having heard from the gentlemen above of this remarkable tree and being somewhat sceptical, went and measured the tree and found their statement correct.  This monarch of the forest was uprooted by a storm in 1880 and converted into fence-rails, and its top branches into a bon-fire, burned to commemorate the election of Garfield to the Presidency.


            Hugh Skeletons.—In Seneca township was opened, in 1872, one of the numerous Indian mounds that abound in the neighborhood.  This particular one was locally


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known as the “Bates” mound.  Upon being dug into it was found to contain a few broken pieces of earthenware, a lot of flint-beads and one or two stone implements and the remains of three skeletons, whose size would indicate they measured in life at least eight feet in height.  The remarkable feature of these remains was they had double teeth in front as well as in back of mouth and in both upper and lower jaws.  Upon exposure to the atmosphere the skeletons soon crumbled back to mother earth.


            CALDWELL, county-seat of Noble, about eighty miles east of Columbus, thirty south from Zanesville and thirty north of Marietta, is on the C. & M. Division of the W. & L. E. and on the B. Z. & C. Railroads.


            County officers, 1888: Auditor, A. C. OKEY; Clerk, Isaac W. DANFORD; Commissioners, Julius R. GROVER, J. R. GORBY, Nathan B. BARNES; Coroner, Corwin E. BUGHER; Infirmary Directors, Peter VORHIES, Richard IAMS, George WEELKEY; Probate Judge, C. FOSTER; Prosecuting Attorney, C. A. LELAND; Recorder, Henry M. ROACH; Sheriff, Henry J. CLEVELAND; Surveyor, C. S. McWILLIAM; Treasurer, James F. RANNELS. City officers, 1888: C. FOSTER, Mayor; C. M. WATSON, Clerk; T. W. MORRIS, Treasurer; David DYER, Street Commissioner; F. C. THOMPSON, Marshal.  Newspapers: Journal, Republican, Frank M. MARTIN, editor and publisher; Noble County Democrat, Democratic, C. W. EVANS, editor and publisher; Noble County Republican, Republican, W. H. COOLEY, editor and publisher; Press, Democratic, L. W. FINLEY & Son, editors and publishers.  Churches: 1 Presbyterian, 1 Baptist, 1 Methodist.  Bank: Noble County National, W. H. FRAZIER, president, Will A. FRAZIER, cashier.


            Manufactures and Employees.—Stephen Mills & Co., doors, sash, etc., 12 hands; Caldwell Woollen Mills, blankets, etc., 25; T. H. Morris, flooring, etc., 3; P. H. Berry, flour, etc., 4; L. H. Berry & Co., hosiery, 22; Noble County Republicans, printing, 5; Caldwell Democrat, printing, 4; The Press, printing, 6; Henry Schafer, tailoring, 6.—State Reports, 1888.


            Population, 1880, 602.  Capital invested in manufacturing establishments, $32,000.  Value of annual product, $40,000.—Ohio Labor Statistics, 1888.  Census, 1890, 1,248.




            Caldwell was laid out in 1857, on lands belonging to Joseph and Samuel Caldwell on the west fork of Duck creek.  A noble granite monument stands to the memory of the latter in the cemetery on a hill east of the town, from which we learn he died in 1869, at the age of sixty-nine years.


            The first oil well in Ohio was drilled in 1814, near the town, by Mr. THORLEY, father of Benjamin THORLEY, drilling for salt brine; but, striking oil, it was covered up, oil not being what was wanted.  About two years later, in 1816, a second well was drilled not far from the same spot, also for brine, when they struck oil mingled with the brine.  This well was still running oil with the brine when we visited it.  Mr. Joseph CALDWELL, born in 1798, stated to us there that he helped to drill this well in company with his father, brother, John and Hughey JACKSON.  The drilling was done by a spring pole.  They went one hundred and eighty feet when they struck oil, which they did not want.  In five hundred feet they came to the brine, but it was weak.


            The oil went by the name of Seneca oil.  Pedlars were accustomed to gather the oil by soaking blankets in the spring, wringing out the oil and then travelling the country on horseback and selling it to farmers’ wives for rheumatism, sprains and bruises, for which in its crude state particularly it is especially efficacious.


            Caldwell is a pleasing little spot.  In the centre is the public square of about two acres, on which are the county buildings; neat, inexpensive brick structures.  The ground is thickly covered with shade trees and the whole enclosed by a neat iron fence.  In summer evenings the population largely came out to hear there the village band.


                I am told the population is almost entirely American, not a dozen families of foreign


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Top Left Picture


The last surviving soldier of the

Revolutionary War.


Top Right Picture

C. S. CURRY, Photographer.



Bottom Picture

C. S. CURRAY, Photo., Caldwell, 1886.




Page 353


birth in the village.  The morals of the county are exceptionally good.  There is very little crime, not a case of murder has occurred, and but two of manslaughter in its history, and the jailer’s office is largely a sinecure; three quarters of the time the jail is without a tenant.  When used it is usually for such offences as violation of the liquor law or other trifling breaches of the peace.  There are but few large farms in the county; probably not an individual worth $100,000 within its bounds and no very poor people.  So the entire community is one that helps to give back-bone to the nation; one on which the heart rests with a sense of solid satisfaction.


                Caldwell is the only spot in the Union that possesses a Union soldier who never was an officer who has a national reputation, for it is the home of one who has a higher name than that of a score of ordinary brigadiers, and that is Private Dalzell.  There is a small swinging sign hanging from a small building on the public square, which is here shown:





                Mr. DALZELL practises law and cultivates a family.  A troop of little girls with one little boy are often at his heels on the street.  Patriotism begins at home and the hearthstone is its cradle.  On my arrival at Caldwell that sentiment I found at fever beat.  It was just on the eve of Decoration Day and the streets were full of children assembling to prepare for its celebration, and among them was those of the Private.  Mr. DALZELL is of Scotch-Irish parentage, tall and wiry in person, with profuse yellowish locks, which once in the war time, when in Washington, caused him to retreat from a band of music, who were after him for a blast, mistaking him for General Custer.


            CALDWELL is the early noted Macksburg oil and gas field.  For the following valuable historical article upon it we are indebted to Capt. I. C. Phillips, of Caldwell;


            First Discovery of Petroleum.—Petroleum was first found in Ohio, and perhaps the world, in what is now Noble county, within one mile of Caldwell, the county-seat.  In 1816 Robert McKEE, one of the early pioneers and a man of great energy, began drilling a well for salt water, and stuck a crevice containing oil, which gave him great trouble in the manufacture of salt, and which finally led to the abandonment of the well and the drilling of other wells to obtain a supply of salt water free from the oil.  This well still continues to yield oil in small quantities.


            When Col. E. L. Drake found oil in Pennsylvania, David McKEE, a son of the man who first struck oil, happened to be in Pittsburg, and in conversation with some business men there who were interested in some ventures on Oil Creek, Pa., remarked, when shown a sample of the oil, that “There was plenty of that stuff on Duck creek where he lived,” and promised to send his friends some of the oil, which he did, and a company was formed to develop the new region.


            First Well Drilled for Oil.—To James DUTTON, however, belongs the distinction of being the first man to strike oil in the new field, who was actually looking for it.  He drilled a well about one and a half miles southeast of Macksburg, using a spring pole and kicking it down.  At a depth of sixty-seven feet he struck what was undoubtedly a crevice containing the oil and water combined, but entirely without gas.  From this well he pumped 100 barrels per day when at its best.  Oil was worth from eight to ten dollars per barrel at that time.  A season of intense excitement existed throughout the valley.


                Oil Flowing into the Creek.—The valley of the West Fork of Duck creek bristled with derricks from below Macksburg to where the town of Caldwell stands.  The drilling was done generally with the spring pole, and with varied success.  Oil was generally obtained within 300 feet of the surface, and if not reached at that depth was abandoned.  A noted well was struck near the Slocum village at a depth of eighty-nine feet, which flowed such large quantities of oil as to fill everything at hand, and flowed out over the bottoms and into the creek.  Thousands of barrels of oil are said to have been wasted.


                Oil Abandoned for War.—Meantime oil had been steadily declining in price, and as the only way to get it to market was to haul it by wagons over the wretched roads, often axle-deep in mud, to the Muskingum river, the net proceeds became very small to the producer.  The consequent rapid exhaustion of the shallow wells reduced the production materially, and it was brought summarily to an end by the outbreak of the Rebellion.  Dril-


Page 354                                             


lers abandoned their derricks to rot down and enlisted in the army.  At this time steam-engines for drilling wells and rope tools had been introduced, but were in a primitive state compared with those of the present time.


                Speculations in Oil.—When the Rebellion collapsed the oil business was resumed, not for the purpose of production, but for speculation, stimulated by condition of the currency.  The country was invaded by the men of New England, New York and Pennsylvania, who obtained control of old exhausted wells and undeveloped territory, either by purchase or lease, and proceeded to incorporate companies with capital stock ranging from $100,000 to $1,000,000, and placed the stock with Eastern people with more money than brains.  Stock was readily disposed of and offers of fabulous sums were made for lands on which to base new oil companies; offers were made and refused of $1,000 per acre for valley lands.


                Fortunes Made in a Day.—Those owning farms along the creek had within their grasp fortunes such as had never entered their minds in their wildest dreams; but the prices offered were generally refused, with, perhaps, a dozen exceptions.  The advance was so rapid from $40 to $1,000 per acre, that land owners were afraid to let go for fear some one would make a profit beyond the price obtained by them, and they lost an opportunity to become rich which will never return again.


                As an illustration:


                “Two sisters who owned less than eighty acres of land, gave an option to buy at $30,000 for a limited time; when the parties holding the option were ready to pay the money, they refused to carry out their contract and barricaded themselves in the house, and stood a siege of several days’ duration in order that the option might expire.  They were finally induced to execute the deeds before the bubble burst and got their money.”


                The land was not worth $25 per acre for agricultural purposes, and there never has been a barrel of oil obtained from the land since.


                George Rice and the Deckers.—After the bubble collapsed nothing was done in developing the oil interests of the Duck creek valley, except in the vicinity of Macksburg, in Washington county, a portion of which village is in Noble.  The operations there were conducted principally by George RICE, and the DECKERS, father and son, and they only drilled for the shallow oil in what is termed there the 500-foot sand, which in that locality was quite productive.  In the year 1869 or 1870 Mr. RICE concluded that perhaps similar geological conditions existed in that field that did in Pennsylvania, and determined to test the matter with the drill, and was successful in finding a light well in the third sand, at the depth of 1,450 feet.  The result Mr. RICE kept as a profound secret.  In the winter of 1882-83 the “wildcatters” from the oil fields of Pennsylvania put in an appearance and began operations on Long Run, about three miles southeast of Macksburg, in Jefferson township, Noble county.


                The “Greenies?”—They were successful in finding oil in the third sand, but plugged the well, removed the derrick, and reported, when questioned by the anxious farmers in the vicinity, that it was a failure, allowed their leases to expire, and to complete the hoax, hired a farmer under a pledge of secrecy to haul some oil over the hill from Macksburg, and pour it on the ground around the well, telling him that other oil men from Pennsylvania would come, and being deceived by the appearance of the oil at the well would buy his and his neighbors’ lands at a good price for the purpose of drilling for oil.  They then departed, and in a short time the supposed “greenies,” strangers ignorant of the facts as the farmers supposed, arrived and were enabled to lease lands for a small royalty and a light bonus, and made purchases outright of lands at about what they were worth for agricultural purposes.  After most of the land over a wide extent of country had been secured, drilling began in earnest, and there was a general rush to the new field from all quarters, and the field was rapidly developed and its limits defined.


                “Pay Sand.”—Inside these limits there was scarcely a chance of failure to find oil in the third sand in paying quantities.  Pumping stations were established to force water to the tops of the highest hills for the use of the drillers, and soon the ground was a network of pipes conveying water and oil to their different destinations.  The wells range in depth from 1,425 in the valleys to 1,900 feet on the hilltops.  The field has an area of about 4,000 acres, and is oval in shape, with its longest axis extending from the northwest to the southeast.  The sand varies in thickness from three to twenty feet, and besides containing oil has enough gas in the same rock to force the oil to the surface with great energy, through a tube usually two inches in diameter, enclosed in a gum packer, located fifty or sixty feet above the oil producing sand, which prevents the water from descending to the sand, and causes the oil and gas to flow through the tube an discharge into the receiving tank located near the well.


                Storage Tanks.—Then it is drawn off into the Standard Oil Company’s tanks, erected for storage purposes.  These tanks are erected in the valley above Elba, Washington county and are connected with all the wells in the field except those belonging to George RICE.  The receiving tanks number thirty-five or forty, and have a capacity of 600,000 barrels, and are connected with the refineries located at Parkersburg, W. Va., by a 3-inch pipe line.  The Macksburg field at its best produced about 3,500 barrels of oil daily.  The production has fallen to about 1,800 daily, at the present writing, November 1, 1886.  This production is from about 500 wells.


                George RICE, an independent producer and


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refiner, erected receiving tanks at Macksburg and laid a 2-inch pipe line over the hills to Lowell, on the Muskingum river, through which he forces oil into boats at that place, and floats it to his refinery, located at Marietta.  The Macksburg field could never boast of such wonderful “gushers” as were found in the Thorn creek and the Washington fields of Pennsylvania.  The best well in the Macksburg field probably did not produce more than 300 barrels the first twenty-four hours after it was shot and tubed; the sand is more compact than any of the fields in Pennsylvania, and consequently yields its precious contents more slowly, and the well is not so soon exhausted.


                Gas Wells.—Northeast of Macksburg, near the edge of the field, several large gas wells have been struck in the search for oil, which would have caused great excitement in any other locality, but which here were only referred to as a failure to find oil.  One of these wells visited by the writer three months after the gas was tapped, threw a column of salt water ninety feet high, at intervals of five minutes; between these intervals the column stood about fifty feet high as steadily as a fountain in full play.  In time the great salt rock here, 180 feet thick, became nearly exhausted of its water, and the intervals became longer, but the gas has not decreased perceptibly, although more than two years has elapsed since the well was drilled.


                In the winter of 1885-86, a small pool was struck two and a half miles northwest of Macksburg, in Aurelius township, Washington county, in the 300-foot sand, which, in defiance of old experience, was free from water and had gas enough to force it to the surface.  The well started with a yield of fifty barrels per day.  The pool was soon drilled out and did not contain more than 100 acres, but was very profitable, owing to the low cost of the wells.


                The “Wild Catter.”—There have been a number of “wild-cat” wells drilled in various parts of the county, at a considerable distance from the Macksburg field, without finding oil; but if oil should advance to a good price the “wild-catter,” ever hopeful and sanguine of success, would renew with his old energy the search for oil, obtaining which, his dreams of the wealth and renown he seeks would be speedily realized.  There is no doubt other fields and pools exist in southeastern Ohio, besides those already discovered.  Nature is not likely to limit her gifts to two such small affairs as the Macksburg and Wickens pools.  It remains to be demonstrated whether nature has been niggardly in her gifts to this section, and the “wild-catter” carries the key in the drill for its ultimate solution, and with him we leave it, confident that he will not fail in the future, as he has not in the past.


            JAMES M. DALZELL was born in Allegheny City, Pa., September 3, 1838.  When he was nine years of age his father removed to Ohio.  Under great difficulties he succeeded in obtaining an education, and was a junior at Washington College, Pa., at the outbreak of the war.


            He served two years as a private in the One Hundred and Sixteenth O. V. I.  After the close of the war he studied law, filled a clerkship at Washington, and in 1868 settled permanently in Caldwell.  During his life Mr. DALZELL has been a prolific and able writer for the prose; his championship of the cause of the private solder of the Rebellion has been spirited, fearless and influential.  Over the signature of Private DALZELL his writings have appeared in almost every newspaper in the land.  In 1875, and again in 1877, he was elected to the Ohio Legislature, but withdrew from political life in 1882.  He is a very able stump speaker, an ardent Republican, and associate and friend of such men as Sumner Garfield, Hayes, Sherman, and their contemporaries.


            Mr. DALZELL was the originator and author of the popular Soldiers” union, now held annually in all parts of the country.  Mr. DALZELL takes great pride in his work in behalf of John GRAY, the last soldier of the Revolution. In 1888 Robert Clarke & Co., of Cincinnati, published a volume entitled “Private Dalzell.”  It contains “My Autobiography,” “My War Sketches,” etc., and “John Gray.”  It is an interesting and valuable publication.  We quote a retrospect of his political life.  “In an evil hour, in the summer of 1885, I foolishly accepted a nomination to the Legislature, was elected, and there ended my prosperity.  After the election, in October, my name was in all the papers, congratulations poured in on me from every quarter, and I was invited to take the stump in Pennsylvania, which I did, at a great waste of time and money.  I thought nothing of it then.  It was only when, years after, I looked into an empty flour barrel and hungry children’s faces and felt in my empty pockets, that I fully apprehended my folly.  Four years I now spent in the maelstrom of politics, whirled and tossed about at the caprice of fortune, without any power to control it.  I look back on it with pain, . . .It is a grand game, and none but grand men need try to play it.  Let men of moderate



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Private Dalzell.

abilities like myself, keep out of it if they would escape the chagrin and mortification of failure, accentuated with the pangs of poverty.”


                WILLIAM H. ENOCHS was born near Middleburg, March 29, 1842, and is the only native of Noble county who attained the rank of General in the late war.  He enlisted as a private in April, 1861; saw much hard service and distinguished himself for bravery and gallantry.  At twenty-two he commanded a brigade, and at twenty-three he was commissioned Brigadier-General.  Ex-President Hayes says of him:  “His courage, promptness and energy was extraordinary.  His diligence was great and his ability and skill in managing and taking care of his regiment were rarely equalled.”  Gen. Enochs is now a prominent lawyer of Ironton, Ohio.


                FREEMAN C. THOMPSON was born in Washington county, Pa., February 25, 1846.  His family removed to Noble county, Ohio, in 1854.  At sixteen years of age he enlisted in the 116th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and in the assault on Fort Gregg, April 2, 1863, he performed the gallant action for which he received a medal of honor by vote of Congress.  The County History says:


                “In this engagement (which General Grant in his Memoirs says ‘was the most desperate that was seen in the East’), through a perfect tornado of grape and canister, he and his comrade reached the last ditch.  How to scale the parapet was a question requiring only a moment for solution.  Using each other as ladders they commenced the ascent.  Almost at the top one was shot and fell back into the ditch.  Thompson was struck twice with a musket and fell into the ditch with several ribs broken, but in short time was again on the top of the parapet fighting with muskets loaded and handed him by his comrades below.  Soon the advantage was taken possession of, the whole army swept in and the fort was ours.”  In 1865 Mr. Thompson was elected sheriff of Noble county and re-elected at the expiration of his term.


                JAMES MADISON TUTTLE was born near Summerfield, Noble county, September 24, 1823.  His father removed to Indiana when James was ten years old.  James enlisted in the Union army at the outbreak of the war and at the battle of Fort Donelson he gallantly led his regiment into the enemy’s works, it being the first to enter.  The tender of this post of honor was first made to several other regiments and declined and Gen. Smith then said to him: “Colonel, will you take those works?”  “Support me promptly,” was the response, “and in twenty minutes I will go in.”  The Second Iowa “went in” with Col. Tuttle at its head and planted the first Union flag inside Donelson.  Col. Tuttle was slightly wounded in this assault, but was able to stay with his command.  In June, 1862, he was commissioned Brigadier-General for gallant service in the field.


                After the war Gen. Tuttle settled in Des Moines, Iowa, and has been engaged in mining and manufacturing interests.  He has been commander of the G. A. R. for the department of Iowa and twice a member of the Iowa Legislature.




            John GRAY, the last surviving soldier of the American Revolution, was born at Mount Vernon, Virginia, January 6, 1764, and died at Hiramsburg, Ohio, March 29, 1868, aged 104 years.


            His father fell at White Plains, and he, then only about sixteen years of age, promptly volunteered, took up the musket that had fallen from his father’s hands and carried it until the war was over.  He was in a skirmish at Williamsburg and was one of the one hundred and fifty men on that dangerous but successful expedition of Mayor Ramsey.  He was also at Yorktown at the final surrender, which event occurred in his eighteenth year.  He was mustered out at Richmond, Virginia, at the close of the war and returned to field labor near Mount Vernon, his first day’s work after his muster out being performed for General Washington at Mount Vernon.


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            Mr. GRAY married twice in Virginia and once in Ohio.  He survived his three wives and all his children, except one daughter, who has since died over eighty years of age, and with whom he resided in Noble county, Ohio, at the time of his death.


                In 1795 Mr. GRAY left Mount Vernon and crossing the mountains settled at Grave creek.  Here he remained until Ohio was admitted to the Union, when he removed to what is now Noble county.  Mr. GRAY was not illiterate; he learned to read and write before entering the Revolutionary army.  In disposition he was quiet, kindly and generous; a good Christian, having joined the Methodist church at twenty-five years of age, and was for seventy-eight years a regular attendant.


                His means of support was earned by farm labor.  When in his old age, poor and infirm, Congress granted him a pension of $500 per annum.  The bill providing this was introduced in the House in 1866, by Hon. John A. Bingham.  This tardy act of justice to the old hero was the result of efforts in his behalf by Hon. J. M. DALZELL, whose kindly interest and generous efforts to make comfortable and peaceful the last years of Mr. GRAY are highly honorable to him.


                Mr. DALZELL has published a full and complete account of John GRAY’S career and it is to this work that we are chiefly indebted for the sketch here given.


                On the occasion of Mr. DALZELL’S last interview with John GRAY, he asked if he were not growing fatter than when he last saw him.  “Oh, no,” laughingly replied Mr. GRAY, “we old men don’t fatten much on hog and hominy and the poor tobacco we get now-a-days.”


                Mr. GRAY had used tobacco about a hundred years and knew something of its virtues as a solace, for later in the interview, speaking of deprivations in the past, he said: “I sometimes have had nothing else but a dog,” and musing a moment he added, “a plug of tobacco, of course; for without a dog or tobacco I should feel lost.”


                This simple, inoffensive, kind-hearted old hero died of old age, in his one-story, hewed-log house, near Hiramsburg, where he had resided the last forty years or more of his life.  His funeral services were held in a grove near his home, with an audience of more than a thousand people present and presided over by several clergymen, the principal speaker being Capt. Hoagland, of the 9th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, a minister of the Protestant Methodist church.


                He was buried some two hundred and fifty yards north of the house in which he lived and died, in a family graveyard containing about thirty of his relatives and family connections.  Near his remains lie those of two of his relatives, Samuel Halley and Gillespie David; the first fought under General Harrison at Fort Meigs during the war of 1812, the other died in the war of the Rebellion.  Thus the heroes of three wars and of the same family lie side by side.


                John GRAY’S grave is marked by a plain stone some three feet high, on which is inscribed:



J O H N   G R A Y,




March 29, 1868


104 years, 2 months, 23 days,


The Last of Washington’s



The horay head is a crown of glory.




            In 1873 J. M. DALZELL determined to call a soldiers’ reunion, to be held at Caldwell, Ohio, September 16 and 17, 1874.  The papers of the whole North threw open their columns to his ready pen and he spent the most of that year in writing up his beloved project.  An interesting account of it is given in Mr. DALZELL’S Autobiography, from which we extract the following:


            “The first year I held my reunion in the woods near the little village were I live.  Over twenty States were represented, and while the crowd was largely made up of privates, General Sherman and some of the leading men of the nation were present and spoke.  It was an immense success.  The number present was estimated at 25,000.  The Associated Press spread its proceedings before the whole world every morning.  It at once became National and known and read of all men.”


                In 1875 and again in 1876 similar reunions were held at Caldwell.  In 1879 it was located at Cambridge. . . “I have been at scores of reunions since these, which sprang out of this rural beginning, and no one rejoices more than I at the growth of the idea which


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I had the honor to originate and plant in American soil, even if it did cost me years of hard labor and all my little fortune.  And it would be ungenerous of me to forget that Congress passed bills to help me carry out my programme; and the War Department, under General Grant, freely gave me guns, ammunition and other materials, without which I should have failed.  The Legislature of Ohio did the same thing.  The two men who were so soon to be President—Hayes and Garfield—honored it with their presence and were by guests.  Not a man of any note, in war or peace, then living, but what sent me a generous God-speed.  My object was attained.  The rank and file, the poor, nameless private soldiers had commanded public attention and asserted their individuality.  The nation had applauded the effort to compel the public to respect the rights of the rank and file and at the same time recognize the fact that sectional hatred no longer existed between the men who did the fighting North and South.  My idea had won its way to popular favor and there I dropped it.”


            BATESVILLE, once called Williamsburg, is about sixteen miles northeast of Caldwell and five south of Spencer station of Guernsey county.  It has 1 bank—First National, W. H. ATKINSON, president, W. W. ELLIOTT, cashier; 1 Catholic, 1 Lutheran and 1 Methodist church, and in 1880, 369 inhabitants.  The Catholics are strong in this region.  As early as 1825 they erected a log church, which in 1853 was succeeded by a brick edifice at a cost of $8,000.  In 1828 the Methodists erected their first edifice, and of logs also.


            Anecdote.—Batesville, it is said, was named from an old Methodist preacher, Rev. Timothy Bates, who was noted throughout the county for his terse discourses and lack of physical beauty.  It is related as an illustration of his homeliness that Ebenezer Zanes, founder of Zanesville, made salt kettles.  He jocosely set one aside to be given to the ugliest looking man who would come to the town and claim it.  One Bartlett, hearing this story, drove to Zanesville to secure this kettle, and having loaded it upon his wagon started home with it when he met Bates on the way.  He was so startled by his ugliness that he told Bates about the kettle, and added, “I thought the kettle belonged to me, but now I have seen you I see I was mistaken; it don’t, it belongs to you; here, take it,” and suiting his action to his words passed the kettle over to Bates.


            SUMMERFIELD, on the B. Z. & C. Railroad, near the Monroe county line, has 1 Episcopal, 2 Methodist churches, and in 1880, 435 inhabitants.


            This place by the wagon-road is fourteen miles from Caldwell, but by railroad seventeen miles; this greater travelling distance arising from the topography of the country, which fact I learned while stopping off the cars from Mr. S. S. PHILPOT, merchant at Summerfield.  He also stated, in illustration of the cost of making roads through this hill country, that in 1870 a McAdam road was made from here to Quaker City, fifteen miles, which cost $120,000.  It is a toll road.  This partly shows why the river hill counties are slow in their agricultural development—the cost of transportation.  In speaking of large trees, he said that near Ringer’s mill, on Beaver creek, not far from Batesville, was a huge sycamore tree which he entered about 1840 horizontally, and holding a fence rail, say ten and a half feet long, he was enabled to turn it around.  The tree fell about 1864.


            SARAHSVILLE is on the B. Z. & C. Railroad, six miles north of Caldwell.  It was the original county-seat and so remained until 1858.  In 1884 the town was mostly destroyed by fire.  It has been rebuilt and has 3 Methodist churches, several tobacco packing-houses and, in 1880, 249 inhabitants.


            DEXTER CITY is on the C. & M. R. R., nine miles south of Caldwell and twenty-seven north of Marietta.  It has 1 Methodist church and about 350 inhabitants.  It is on the county line and centre of the Maxsburg oil district.


            The other small villages in this county, with twenty to fifty dwellings each, are Sharon, Hoskinsville, Renrock, Hiramsburg, Rochester, Bell Valley, Ava, Mount Ephraim, Kennonsburg, Freedom, Carlisle, East Union, South Olive, Middleburg, Harrietsville and Fulda.



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