Page 704



UNION COUNTY was formed April 1, 1820, from Delaware, Franklin, Madison and Logan, together with a part of old Indian territory. The surface is generally level, and most of the soil clayey. The southwestern part is prairie land, and the north and eastern woodland of great fertility when cleared. In the eastern part are valuable limestone quarries.


Area about 420 square miles. In 1887 the acres cultivated were 124,261; in pasture, 53,807; woodland, 37,046; lying waste, 1,364; produced in wheat, 276,985 bushels; rye, 785; buckwheat, 362; oats, 180,250; barley, 79; corn, 1,111,352 broom corn, 800 lbs. brush; meadow hay, 28,045 tons; clover hay, 4,639; flax, 8,000 lbs. fibre; potatoes, 21,075            bushels; butter, 383,982 lbs.; cheese, 11,500; sorghum, 1,934 gallons; maple sugar, 26,092 lbs.; honey, 2,814; eggs, 551,631. dozen; grapes, 6,340 lbs.; wine, 35 gallons; sweet potatoes, 142 bushels; apples, 5,288; peaches, 200; pears, 770; wool, 354,274 lbs.; milch cows owned, 4,880. School census, 1888, 7,301; teachers, 247. Miles of railroad track, 63.


Township And




Township And













Mill Creek,



































Population of Union in 1830, 3,192; 1840, 8,443; 1860, 16,507; 1880, 22,375; of whom 19,218 were born in Ohio; 618, Pennsylvania; 591, Virginia; 232, New York; 104, Indiana; 42, Kentucky; 379, German Empire; 222, Ireland; 131, England and Wales; 39, British America; 12, Scotland; 8, France, and 2, Norway and Sweden. Census, 1890, 22,860.


The first white men who ever made a settlement within the county were James EWING and his brother Joshua. They purchased land and settled on Darby creek, in what is now Jerome township, in the year 1798. The next year came Samuel MITCHELL, David MITCHELL, Samuel MITCHELL, Jr., Samuel KIRKPATRICK, and Samuel McCULLOUGH; and in 1800, George REED, Samuel REED, Robert SNODGRASS and Paul HOUSTON.


James EWING’S farm was the site of an ancient and noted Mingo town, which was deserted at the time the Mingo towns, in what is now Logan county, were destroyed by Gen. Logan, of Kentucky, in 1786. When Mr. EWING took possession of it, the houses were still remaining, and, among others, the remains of a blacksmith’s shop, with coal, cinders, iron-dross, etc. Jonathan ALDER, formerly a prisoner among the Indians, says the shop was carried on by a renegade white man named BUTLER, who lived among the Mingoes. Extensive fields had formerly been cultivated in the immediate vicinity of the town.


The county was erected through the exertions of COL. JAMES CURRY, who was then a member of the State legislature. He resided within the present boundaries of the county from the year 1811 until his death, which took place in the year 1834. He served as an officer in the Virginia continental line during the chief part of the revolutionary war. He was taken prisoner when the American army surrendered at Charleston, S. C. In early youth he was with the Virginia forces at Point Pleasant, at the mouth of the Kenawha, and took part in the battle with the Indians at that place. His account of that battle


Page 705


differed, in one respect, from some of the accounts of it which we have read. His recollection was perfectly distinct that, when the alarm was given in the camp, upon the approach of the Indians in the morning, a limited number of men from each company were called for, and sent out with the expectation that they would have a fine frolic in the pursuit of what they supposed to be a mere scouting party of Indians. After the party thus detached had been gone a few minutes, a few scattering reports of rifles began to be heard. Momently, however, the firing became more rapid, until it became apparent that the Indians were in force. The whole available force of the whites then left the camp. During the forenoon Mr. C. received a wound from a rifle-ball which passed directly through the elbow of his right arm, which disabled him for the remainder of the day.


During his residence in Ohio he was extensively known, and had many warm friends among the leading men of the State. He was one of the electors by whom he vote of the State was given to James Monroe for President of the United States. The last of many public trusts which he held was that of associate judge for this county.—Old Edition.


Marysville in 1846.—Marysville, the county-seat, so named from a daughter of the original proprietor, is thirty miles northwest of Columbus, on Mill creek, a tributary of the Scioto. It contains 1 Presbyterian and 1 Methodist church, an academy, 1 newspaper printing office, 3 mercantile stores, and had, in 1843, 360 inhabitants; it is now estimated to contain about 600.


MARYSVILLE, county-seat of Union, twenty-five miles northwest of Columbus, is surrounded by a rich farming district, and is on the C. C. C. & I. R. R. County Officers, 1888: Auditor, George M. McPECK; Clerk, Robert McCRORY; Commissioners, Thomas  M. BRANNEN, David H. HDNDERSON, Berry HANNAWALT; Coroner,  Robert H. GRAHAM; Infirmary Directors, John E. HARRIMAN, William M. WINGET, David R. WHITE; Probate Judge, Leonidas PIPER; Prosecuting Attorney: Edward W. PORTER; Recorder, Jefferson G. TURNER; Sheriff, Thomas MARTIN; Surveyor, Robert L. PLOTNER; Treasurer, Robert SMITH. City Officers, 1888: W. M. WINGET, Mayor; John C. GUTHRIE, Clerk; John H. WOOD, Treasurer; Moses COOLEDGE, Marshal: Antone VANDERAU, Street Commissioner. Newspapers: Tribune, Republican, J. H. SHEARER, editor; Union Co. Journal, Democratic, A. .J. HARE, editor and publisher. Churches: 1 Methodist, 1 Catholic, 1 Presbyterian, l Congregational, 1 Lutheran, 1 African Methodist Episcopal. Banks: Farmers’, J. M. SOUTHARD, president, Chas. W. SOUTHARD, cashier; Bank of Marysville (Fullington & Phellis), R. M. HENDERSON, cashier; People’s, A. J. WHITNEY, president, C. S. CHAPMAN, cashier.


Manufactures and Employees.—Robinson, Curry & Co., doors, sash, etc., 15; Half, furniture, 42; C. F. Lentz, butter tubs, etc., 28; S. A. Cherry, lumber, Flack & CHAPMAN, doors, sash, etc., l0; A. S. Turner, carriages and Spargue & Perfect, flour, etc., 5; J. Z. Rodgers, machine repair shop.State Reports, 1888


Population 1880, 1,061. School census, 1888, 928; W. H. COLE, school superintendent. Capital invested in industrial establishments, $78,700. Value of annual product, $159,600.—Ohio Labor Statistics, 1887. Census, 1890, 2,832.


Marysville is sometimes called “the Shaded City,” because its streets are so well maples. The county is remarkable for its excellent macadamized roads extending in the aggregate 550 miles and made at a cost of a million and two hundred thousand dollars. The county court-house is a handsome substantial structure of Berea sandstone and pressed brick, and built in 1883 at a cost of $150,000. It is the fourth county court-house. Its predecessor is shown in the old view of Marysville.


The Magnetic Springs recently opened at Marysville are said to be very similar to those of Saratoga in medicinal properties. They have a daily flow of 238,000


Page 706

Top Picture

Drawn By Henry Howe in 1846.



Bottom Picture

W. O. SHEARER, Photo, 1890.

Each picture was taken from the same standpoint.




Pages 707, 708, 709


gallons.  A fine large bath-house has been erected and other preparations made for visitor.


The memorable “LOG-CABIN CAMPAIGN,” during which the word “Buckeye” became the fixed sobriquet of Ohio, was intimately connected with the history of Union county, for here the first log-cabin was built.


The building of the log-cabin and its introduction into the campaign was brought about by a scurrilous newspaper article, describing Gen. Harrison’s home life, and representing him as living in a log-cabin, drinking hard cider, and without ambition or ability to fill the highest office in the land. The people of Ohio were at this time just emerging from the log-cabin era; all the early associations and sentiment of their lives were identified with the log-cabin, where they had lived while they and their parents had fought the daily battle of privation and hardship in the wresting of the wilderness from barbarianism. The contemptuous reflection on this life they resented with great indignation, and enthusiastically supported Gen. Harrison.


At the Whig State Convention held in Columbus, February 22, 1840, every county determined to be well represented. They taxed their ingenuity to devise curious insignia of their party. Songs were written without number and sung to such an extent that the campaign also became known as “The Song Campaign.” Two of these songs became famous throughout the length and breadth of the land for their exceeding aptness, sentiment and tuneful rhymes: these were “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too,” by A. C. Ross, of Zanesville, and the “Log-Cabin Song,” by Otway CURRY, of Marysville.


The idea of constructing a log-cabin to be taken to the State Convention first occurred to the Union county delegates. Under the supervision of Levi PHELPS, William W. STEELE, A. C. JENNINGS, James W. EVANS; Stephen McLAIN and Mains WASON the cabin was constructed.


Jackson G. SPARGUE (living in Bloomfield, ILL., in 1889) built the cabin of buckeye logs, cut for the purpose from the forest in the vicinity of Marysville. It was built on the wagon which was intended to carry it in the procession to Columbus. (The Convention being a mass convention, each county was represented by hundreds of delegates.) Before the completion of the cabin, Mr. CURRY was waited upon by a delegation of citizens and requested to compose a suitable song for the dedication ceremonies. Mr. Curry complied with the request and composed the “Log-Cabin Song” and played an accompaniment on the flute the first time it was sung.


On the morning of February 21 at the log-cabin on a wagon drawn by four horses and accompanied by a large procession started for Columbus. The neat morning on nearing Columbus the procession was augmented in numbers by a large delegation from Clarke county. A band of singers had been placed in the cabin, and on it printed copies of the song had been distributed, so that when the procession entered Columbus and moved through the city every person had learned the song, and the tuneful air rang out loud above the cheers that greeted the delegation on every side.


In a very short time every delegation had procured copies of the song, which was printed by the Columbus papers, and when these delegations returned to their homes the refrain was taken up and spread throughout the country with marvellous rapidity until the whole country was resounding with the air. Its effect in rousing the spirit of the people throughout the nation cannot be estimated.





TUNE—Highland Laddie.


Oh, Where, tell me where, was your Buckeye Cabin made?
   Oh, Where, tell me where, was your Buckeye Cabin made?
Twas built among the merry boys who wield the plow and spade,

   Where the Log-Cabins stand in the bonnie Buckeye shade.
              Cho.:Twas built, etc.


Oh, what, tell me what, is to be your cabin’s fate?
   Oh, what tell me what, is to be your cabin’s fate?
We’ll wheel it to the Capitol, and place it there elate,
   As a token and a sing of the bonnie Buckeye State.
               Cho.: We’ll wheel it, etc.


Oh, why, tell me why, does you Buckeye Cabin go?
   Oh, why, tell me why, does your Buckeye Cabin go?
It goes against the spoilsman—for well the builders know
   It was Harrison that fought for cabins long ago.
             Cho.: It goes against, etc.


Oh, who fell before him in battle—tell me who ?
   Oh, who fell before him in battle—tell me who ?
He drove the savage legions, and British army, too,
  At the Rapids and the Thames and old Tippercanoe.
            Cho.: He drove, etc.


By whom, tell me who, will the battle next be won ?
  By whom, tell me who, will the battle next be won ?
The spoilsmen and leg-treasurers will soon begin to run !
   And the Log-Cabin candidate will march to Washington!
           Cho.: The spoilsmen, etc.


Oh, what, tell me what, then will little Martin do ?
   Oh what, tell me what, then will little Martin do?
He’ll follow the footsteps of Price and Swartout too.
   While the log-cabins ring again with old Tippecanoe !
          Cho.: He’ll follow, etc.




The “Song” incited the production of many similar songs, but none of these shared its popularity except.” Tippecanoe and Tyler, too.” This was written by A. C. Ross, of Zanesville, on his return from the State Convention. Ross was a member of the Zanesville Tippecanoe Glee Club and was asked to write an original song for them. A friend suggested “Little Pigs” as an air that would furnish a chorus well adapted for public meetings. “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too” was composed and first sung at a meeting of the Glee Club. It was received with great enthusiasm, but did not spread much beyond the Buckeye State until September. In that month at a political meeting held in Lafayette Hall, New York city, Mr. Ross was pesent having gone east to purchase goods. goods. The speakers, Prentiss of Mississippi, Talmadge of New York, and Otis of Massachusetts, were late in reaching the hall. Several songs were sung to hold the crowd, but the stock was soon exhausted and chairman Delevan requested any one present who could sing to come forward and entertain the people.


Ross said, “If I could get on the stand I would sing a song,” and hardly had the words out before he found himself passing over the beads of the crowd to be landed on the platform. Questions ofWho are you?” “What’s your name?” came from every hand. “I am a Buckeye from the Buckeye State,” was the answer.” Three cheers for the Buckeye State! “cried out the president and they were given with a will. Ross requested the meeting to keep quiet till he had sung three or four verses, and it did. But the enthusiasm swelled up to an uncontrollable pitch, and at last the whole meeting joined in the chorus with a vim and a vigor indescribable. The song was encored and sung again and again, but the same verses were not repeated, as he had many in mind and could make them to suit the occasion. While he was singing in response to the third encore, the speakers, Otis and Talmadge, arrived and Ross imporvised—


“We’ll now stop singing, for Talmadge is
     here, here, here,
And Otis too,
We’ll have a speech from each of them
     For Tippecanoe and Tyler, too.”




He took his seat amid thundering applause and three times three for the Buckeye State. After the meeting was over the crowds in the streets, in the saloons, everywhere, were singing “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too.”



Oh, what has caused this great commotion,
     motion, motion.
     All the country through ?
It is the ball a rolling on
     For Tippecanoe and Tyler, too.
            And with ‘em we’ll beat little Van !
            Van, Van is a used up man ;
            And with ‘em we’ll beat little Van !

Like the working of mighty waters, waters,
  On it will go,
And in its course we’ll clear the way.
  For Tippecanoe, and Tyler, too, etc.

See the Loco’s standard tottering, tottering,
  Down it must go,
And in its place we’ll rear the flag
  Of Tippecanoe and Tyler, too, etc.

The Bay State boys turned out in thousands,
     thousands, thousands,
  Not long ago.
And at Bunker Hill they set their seals
  For Tippecanoe and Tyler, too, etc.


Now you hear the Vanjocks talking, talking,
  Things look quite blue,
For all the world seemed turning around
  For Tippecanoe and Tyler, too, etc.

Let them talk about hard cider, cider, cider,
     And log-cabins, too.
It will only help to speed the bakk
     For Tippecanoe and Tyler, too, etc.

His latch-string hands outside the door, door,
  And is never pulled in,
For it is always the custom, of
  Old Tippecanoe and Tyler, too, etc.

He always had his table set, set, set,
     For all honest and true,
To ask you in to take a bite.
     With Tippecanoe and Tyler, too, etc.

See the spoilsmen and leg-treasures, treas-
     urers, treasurers,
  All in a stew,
For well they know they stand no chance
   With Tippecanoe and Tyler, too, etc.

Little Matty’s days are numbered,numbered,
  And out he must go,
For his place we’ll put the good
  Old Tippecanoe and Tyler, too, etc.




The authorship of “Tippecanoe and Tyler too,” has been erroneously attributed to John Greiner, of Columbus, who wrote a large number of popular campaign songs.


Soon after the nomination of David Tod for governor by the Democrats in January, 1844, Samuel Medary, through the columns of his paper (Ohio Statesman), called “for a song from Greiner,” The following unique lines were the result of that call:







Air: Rosin the Bow.


Soon after the great nomination
   Was held at Columbus, so odd,
There was quite a jollification
   At the homestead of Governor Tod.


His mother, good pious old lady,
   Her spectacles thew on the sod—
“Good gracious ! who’d thought that our  Davy
Would ever be Governor Tod.”


His sisters, each other remarking,
   Said proudly, “Those fellows may plod,
Who used to come up here a –sparking
   The sisters of Governor Tod.”


The little Tods, building play houses,
   As they in their petticoats trod,
Said,   “Oh mother, now shan’t we wear  trousers.
   Since papa is Governor Tod ?”


 “Be quiet each little young sappy,
   I’ll tickle your backs with the rods ;
It’s only myself and your papa
Are Governors,—saucy young Tods.


So, now, if the people are hardened,
   And shouldn’t elect him how odd ;
They surely will never get pardoned
By Davy, the Governor Tod.




A Nght of Suffering and Peril of Two Soldiers of the War of 1812.—The following account of the terrible suffering of two of the early residents of Union county is abridged from the “County History.” It illustrates one of the many perils common to all pioneer settlements.


In the latter part of December, 1813, David MITCHELL and James MATHER, soldiers of the war of 1812, who had been honorably discharged at Fort Meigs, were on their way to their homes at the “Mitchell Settlement” on Big Darby creek, when they were overtaken by a heavy snow storm, accompanied by severe cold. Their path lay through an uninhabited region, with not even a blazed tree to guide them. To cross Mill creek, they had felled a tree for a foot bridge. The exertion had produced profuse perspiration. The tree did not quite reach the opposite bank, so that in crossing they were wet to the knees. When the opposite bank was reached MITCHELL, who was in feeble health, was seized with a fit of sickness and vomiting, as a result of the chill caused by the wetting. Some six miles from “Mitchell’s Settlement” he became too weak to proceed, and sank to the ground exhausted; believing that he could not survive; he besought MATHER to leave him to his fate and seek his own safety. This MATHER refused to do, but went courageously to work to do what he could for his companion. Gathering some dry leaves, he made a bed of them at the roots of a large tree, and, with brush, limbs and bark, constructed a rude shelter, to which he carried MITCHELL. By rubbing his feet and legs he endeavored to get up a reaction through the circulation of the blood; then taking a pair of stockings from his own knapsack he put them on MITCHELL’s feet. In the meanwhile, night closed in, and, although the snow ceased falling, the cold increased in severity. Throughout the long, dreary night, MATHER kept up his efforts to restore his comrade, but apparently without avail. When at last dawn began to break, although still alive, MITCHELL was rapidly sinking, and again by words and signs besought die MATHER to seek safety and leave him to die alone. MATHER again refused to do this, but as soon as sufficiently light started on a swift run to the settlement, and when nearing Judge MITCHELL’s house he met three brothers of MITCHELL, to whom he communicated the condition of affairs. They immediately procured blankets and restoratives and hastened on horseback to the rescue, though scarcely expecting to find their brother alive.


Mitchell was still alive when found, was hastily conveyed to his father’s house; medical aid was summoned, and by careful nursing he was restored to health, although he never recovered from the effects of his terrible experience. His feet and legs having been frozen, he was crippled to some extent. MATHER suffered no permanent injury from the exposure.


Protection to a Slave.—In a biographical sketch of Captain Horatio Cox HAMILTON,


Page 710


given in the “Union County History,” is related an account of his refusal to turn over to a jailer a slave that had sought protection from the Union army. It involves a question which was at the time a national one, and a subject for consideration in the cabinet of President Lincoln.


Capt. HAMILTON was born in Irville, Muakingum county, O., September 24, 1830. When a boy of eight years he removed with his father’s family to Richwood, Union county. He worked on his father’s farm, spent two years in college at Delaware, taught school; married, June 3, 1856, Edmonia DAWSON, daughter of Dr. Nelson DAWSON, of Putnam, O.; commenced farming in Black Hawk county, Ia., in 1857; returned to his father’s farm in 1861; July 22, 1862, was appointed by Gov. Tod to raise Union county’s quota of volunteers; Aug. 7, 1862, was elected captain in the 96th O. V. I. The regiment was assigned to the command of Brig.-Gen. S. C. Burbridge, and the brigade was attached to Maj.-Gen. A. J. Smith’s division of the Thirteenth Army Corps.


Capt. HANILTON resigned from the army Aug. 9, 1863, on account of disease contracted in the service. His wife died Jan. 29, 1877, and in 1879 he married Miss Molly KENDALL, and they now live together in the village of Richwood. Capt. HAMILTON has partially regained his health.


The account of Capt. HAMILTON’s refusal to return the fugitive slave is here quoted from the “County History:


“The 96th O. V. I. reached Kentucky on the 1st day of September, 1862. It will be remembered that at this time there was a sentiment among the new recruits that slaves and slave property were being wrongfully protected by the army, and that it was no part of a soldier’s duty to protect rebel property, and catch and return slaves to their masters. It began to be noticed that negroes were turned out of our lines with an ever-increasing degree of reluctance; also that Capt. HAMILTON was the friend of the oppressed, and that he did not always obey an order to do so inhuman a thing as to turn a fellowman over to his rebel master even in obedience to a positive command of a senior officer. Finally a boy, some fourteen years of age, came into the camp of the 96th Ohio, at Nicholasville, Ky., calling himself William CLAY, and reporting that his master was a rebel, and that he had thrown an axe at him (Billy), and that he wanted protection. He found a friend in Capt. HAMILTON, and remained with him, as a servant, for some time, until the army was ordered to move to Louisville. On the way, and as it passed through Versailles, a person dressed in the uniform of a Union soldier came, representing himself as being on Maj.-Gen. A. J. Smith’s staff, and that as such he ordered Capt. HAMILTON to deliver the boy Billy to him to be turned over to the jailer as an escaped slave. This he refused to do unless the order came in writing from Gen. Smith in the ordinary way, being countersigned by Gen. Burbridge and Col. I. W. Vance, of the 96th O. V. I. This the fellow refused to get, but notified him that he would be back in fifteen minutes “with a detachment of soldiers, and that he would take the boy by force. Upon this the captain turned to his company, and told them that if it was going to be a question of force, that they might load their guns and prepare for the affray.


That order the company made haste to execute, and as they did so one company after another did the same, until, as far as one could see, the road seemed to glisten with the light of the sun as it was reflected by the several thousand ramrods which were being used to send home the ball that was intended to perforate the hide of any man who would attempt to take Billy by force. The effect of his preparation was that the staff officer gave upon his notion of taking the boy by force at at time, but notified the captain that the affair would be deferred until evening, at which time the boy would be taken by force, and the captain put under arrest for disobedience of orders. This kept the matter brewing in the minds of the soldiers. As soon as the army was encamped for the night, the soldiers held an impromptu meeting, at which speeches were made and resolutions passed approving the course of Capt. HAMILTON, and resolving that they would stand by him to the death A committee was appointed to inform him of their purpose, and he was soon waited on by a soldier who made known their action to him, and requested that, if any move should be made to take the boy by force, immediate notice should be given to the officers and soldiers whose names were found on a card which was handed to the captain. This uprising of the soldiers, cocasioned by the refusal of Capt. HAMILTON to give up the boy Billy, had the effect to stop all effort in the Army of Kentucky to arrest or return slaves to their masters.


On reaching Louisville, the army was ordered to go to Memphis and Vicksburg. The boy could not be taken, and the only thing that could be done was either, to let him loose in Kentucky, to be seized upon, and returned to slavery, or to send him home to Ohio. The latter the captain chose to do, but had to force his way across the river for fear of arrest; but he finally reached New Albany, Ind., and bought a railroad ticket to Marysville for the boy, paying for it all the money he had and going $1.25 in debt. When the boy reached Richwood, it set everything in commotion. Some approved of the course pursued by the captain, others condemned. The party m opposition called a meeting, and resolved that the “nigger” should not be permitted to stay, and that they would return him to his master, etc. They also resolved that Capt. HAMILTON should not be permitted to return to Richwood. The matter got into all the papers of the State, and of other States as well. Letters came to the captain from every quarter, some approving and some disapproving his course.  One man, who was given to understanding the force of what he said, wrote him that it was supposed that an effort would be made to


Page 711


take the bop by force and send him back to Kentucky, but he said that the captain need not be alarmed, for that many thousands of men were armed and ready for any move that might be made to return the boy.


Billy CLAY and H. C. HAMILTON both live in Richwood at this time, and this story would not have been told if it had not been for the fact of its having had so important a part in the war in overthrowing the slave power, and in developing liberal and Christian sentiment at home.”


The name of OTWAY CURRY stood high among the people in the olden time as that of a man of singular purity and dignity of character, and a poet whose verses illustrated the thoughts and emotions of a devout and reverent spirit.


He was born on what is now the site of Greenfield, Highland county, March 26, 1804, and when a lad of seven years came with his father, Col. James CURRY, into what is now Union county. His father the next year, 1812, was summoned to Chillicothe as a member of the legislature; an older brother went into the army to do battle for his country, and the rest of the family remained on the farm with their prudent and patriotic mother. Alone in the wilderness, surrounded by savages, they were never molested, though often alarmed. On one occasion their horses showed every indication of fear; their dogs barked furiously, now rushing into the cornfield and then retreating with bristling hair as if driven. The family thinking that the Indians were near, decided to fight as well as pray.


The mother, in marshalling her forces, stationed young Otway and his brother Stephenson on guard, Otway at the house corner and Stephenson at the bars with loaded guns at rest and ordered them to take aim and fire as soon as they saw an Indian. Fortunately none appeared.


Otway learned the carpenter’s trade at Lebanon, and followed that occupation for several years, part of the time in the lower Mississippi country. At this period he began writing verses anonymously for the newspapers, as “My Mother,” and “Kingdom Come;” these gained popular favor and won the life-long friendship of William D. Gallagher. He married Miss Mary NOTEMAN, and eventually settled on a farm in Union county, where he courted the muses in the intervals of agricultural labor. In 1836 he was elected to the legislature; again in 1837 and 1842. For a while he edited the Xenia Torch Light, and was associated with Gallagher in Columbus in the publication of the Hesperian, a monthly magazine of a high order, and therefore naturally of a short life.  In these years he studied the law, and though entering the profession late evinced marked capacity. In 1850 he was elected a member of the second Ohio Constitutional Convention. In 1853 he purchased the Scioto Gazette and removed to Chillicothe, where he edited it for a year, and health failing, returned to Marysville and resumed the practice of the law. In 1854 he was president of the Ohio Editorial Convention, and died February 15, 1855. He was one of the choice spirits of the Methodist church. The late Bishop Thomson wrote of him “as a man without, a spot in his character, of strong domestic nature, whose home to him was a paradise: a man of fervent piety, and his poetry as the song of a religious soul: a faith that brings heaven near to earth and man into fellowship with angels.”


Mr. Curry was tall and well proportioned, with a broad, lofty brow, and an open countenance. He was strikingly neat in his personal appearance, and careful and cautious in his speech and writings as though the eye of the Master was ever upon him in all his words and acts. Annexed is one of his poems, which has been a comfort to many devout souls:





Tis sweet to think when struggling
   The goal of life to win,
That just beyond the shores of time
   The better days begin.


When through the nameless ages
   I cast my longing eyes,
Before me, like a boundless sea,
   The Great Hereafter lies.


Along its brimming bosom
   Perpetual summer smiles,
And gathers like a golden robe
   Around the emerald isles.


There is the long blue distance,
   By lulling breezes fanned,
I seem to see the flowing groves
   Of old Beulah’s land.


And far beyond the island,
   That gem the wave serene,
The image of the cloudless shore
   Of holy Heaven is seen.


Until the Great Hereafter—
   Aforetime dim and dark—
I freely now, and gladly, give
   Of life the wandering bark.


And in the far-off haven,
   When shadowy seas are passed,
By angel hands is quivering sails
   Shall all be furled at last.



The manager of “the Associated Press,” Mr. WM. HENRY SMITH, journalist is from Union county.  He was brought here in 1836 by his parents when a child, three years of age, from Columbia county, New York, when he was born


                         Page 712


December 1, 1838.  Francis F. Browne, author and editor of the Dial, thus outlines his career in “Appleton’s Cyclopedia of American Biography:”


Mr. SMITH had the best educational advantages that the State then afforded. He was tutor in a western college, and then assistant editor of a weekly paper in Cincinnati, of which, at the age of twenty-two, he became editor, doing also literary work on the Literary Review. At the opening of the civil war he was on the editorial staff of the Cincinnati Gazette, and during the war he took an active part in raising troops and forwarding sanitary supplies, and in political work for strengthening the government.


He was largely instrumental in bringing Gov. John Brough to the front as the candidate of the United Republicans and War Democrats; and at Brough’s election, in 1863, he became the latter’s private secretary. The neat year he was elected secretary of  the State of Ohio, and was re-elected in 1866. He retired from public office to establish the Evening Chronicle at Cincinnati but, his health giving way, he was forced to withdraw from all active work. In 1870 he took charge of the affairs of the Western Associated Press, with headquarters at Chicago. in 1877 he was appointed by President Hayes collector of the port at that city, and was instrumental in bringing about important reforms in customs methods in harmony with the civil service policy of the administration.


In January, 1883, he effected the union of the New York Associated Press with the Western Associated Press, and became general manager of the consolidated association.


Mr. SMITH is a student of historical subjects. He is author of “The St. Clair Papers” (2 vols., Cincinnati, 1882), a biography of Charles Hammond, and many contributions to American periodicals. He has partly completed (1888) a “Political History of the United States.” By his investigations in the British Museum he has brought to light many unpublished letters of Washington to Col. Henry Bouquet, and has shown that those that were published by Jared Sparks were not correctly given.


Mr. SMITH is of Scotch-Dutch descent, through both the male and female line. His father, William DeForest SMITH, was a native of Litchfield county, Connecticut, where his family had settled about 1639. Mr. SMITH’s mother was Almira GOTT, daughter of Deacon Story GOTT, a lieutenant in the Revolutionary army, who was a descendant of Daniel GOTT, who emigrated from Scotland and settled in the Connecticut Valley before the year 1690. After the close of the Revolutionary war Lieutenant GOTT removed to Columbia county, N. Y.


At the northwest corner of Broadway and Dey streets, New York, stands the first of the tall buildings erected in that great metropolis. Here are the headquarters of the Western Union Telegraph Company and of the Associated Press. From this building radiate the business nerves of the whole world. Mr. SMITH’s office is on the fifth floor, but the editorial and operating rooms are on the eighth floor, and it was here that I found that gentleman surrounded by the men whose business it is to disseminate intelligence. Perhaps nowhere else in the world is such a striking contrast presented between the past and the present as in this place: for here are to be been in practical operation the wonderful products of electrical science which bring into close relations all nations. I invited the executive head to put aside the contemplation of war rumors from St. Petersburg, Berlin and Paris, and of the acts of “a strictly business administration” at Washington for a chat about himself and his recollections of Union county, and here follows the substance of the interview:




“Both branches of my family are of the oldest of the Connecticut settlers, and mingle freely, Dutch, Scotch and English blood. There are intermarriages with JOHNSONS, STODDARDS, DeFORESTS, GOTTS, WILCOXES, etc. The DeFORESTS are descended from Isaac De le Forest, who came to New Amsterdam about 1635. The ‘History of Ancient Woodbury’ records many good old-fashioned names, but none more so than of my father’s family. Thus, William DeFOREST, son of Lyman and Elizabeth DeFOREST SMITH, born 1805; Lyman, son of Bethel and Deliverance SMITH, born December 17, 1780; Bethel, son of Thomas and Patience SMITH, baptized March 2,1755, etc., until the founder is reached.


“My earliest recollections? I plucked a bunch of fox grapes in the garden of James C. MILLER, in Union township, in 1836. It was in that hospitable family


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Top Picture Left:


Journalist and Manager of Associated Press


Top Picture Right:


Journalist and Poet.


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that we, the new emigrants from the East, were made welcome until a house could be provided for us. Compared with others, our people could hardly be called pioneers. My uncle, Dr. Benjamin DAVENPORT, had induced my father to leave the Housatonic Valley for the fertile plains of the West, and he naturally sought a neighborhood where friends had previously located. The COLVERS, MILLERS and DAVENPORTS were of kin, and by courtesy we were recognized as ‘cousins’ of these pioneer families. Our people had travelled in a Conestoga wagon, procured at Wilkesbarre, Pa., over the mountains to Pittsburg, thence by boat to Marietta, thence up the Muskingum to Zanesville, and thence across country in the wagon to the Darby Plains in the southern part of Marion county. We became citizens of the village of Homer, which was then an active and intelligent centre, much frequented by the citizens of the contiguous parts of Madison and Champaign counties. Then Homer had a saw mill, one large general store, a woollen and carding mill, with a spinning jenny, an extensive furniture manufactory and various other industrial shops. To these my father added a wagon and carriage manufactory, the first in the county, or, indeed, in that section of the State, for the manufacture of fine buggies and carriages. Later a second store and a large cheese factory were added. Cincinnati was the principal market for the cheese, which was transported in wagons and exchanged for merchandise. But time and a new civilization have obliterated all this activity, as there is not a trace left, and town lots have been merged into the adjoining farms.


Pennsylvania and Virginia had the honor of supplying the first of the pioneers for the southern part of Union county. The Darby Plains—originally a prairie country—was a favorite Indian hunting-ground. Along the banks of the Little Darby were found great quantities of arrow heads, stone hatchets and other Indian relies; while along the Big Darby were burial grounds, some of which I explored when a boy. The first settlers in 1808 found the plains dotted with small patches of timber, chiefly bun-oak, jack-oak and hickory, plum thickets, etc., surrounded by a rank growth of tall grass. This was not changed much in 1836, as the amount of cultivated land was small. The number of inhabitants then in Union township did not probably exceed five hundred, and half of these resided in Milford Centre, which I believe was the first village to be laid out in the county. Here was located the post-office, to which the denizens of Homer repaired for their mail, and the mill which supplied the flour for bread. Not unfrequently in the spring of the year, when the black prairie roads were bottomless, the citizens of the southern part of the county found both mental and physical food run unpleasantly low. In the same section now are to be found free gravelled turnpikes equal to the best in any country. I have a personal satisfaction in this, inasmuch as the free turnpike law under which these roads were made received legislative sanction, after vigorous opposition, at my earnest solicitation when I was Secretary of State. But to return to our subject: MITCHELL, EWING, CURRY, REED, SNODGRASS, GABRIEL, WOODS, IRWIN, STOKES, PORTER, ROBINSON, WITTER, WINGET, and McDOWELL were names connected with the beginning of civilization in that part of the county. Later New England and New York sent a larger number whose influence was controlling in social life—SABINE, BIGLOW, KEYS, FAIRBANKS, COLVER, MILLER, COOLDIGE, HOWARD, BURNHAM, HATHAWAY, REYNOLDS were representative names of this second immigration; and thenceforth the increase was from the East.


The citizens of Union county were amongst the most intelligent in the State. The land they cultivated was very rich and productive, and although they were deprived of many luxuries, they lived comfortably and enjoyed life. I am speaking of the 30s and 40s. Farm wages were low, 37½ to 50 cents a day being the ruling rates; and yet there was prosperity. Of course there was exchange or barter, which rendered a liberal supply of currency less necessary. Cattle-raising was carried on extensively, and vast droves were annually taken across the mountains for the Eastern markets by FULLINGTON, STOKES and others. This business secured for our section a better supply of money than was possible in other sec-


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tions that depended upon grain-raising. There was less suffering on account of the mad tampering with banks during the 30s than in many other sections. We had schools, public and select, that ranked deservedly high, and in the promotion of these John F. SABINE, James C. MILLER, my father, and a few other public spirited gentlemen were active and enterprising. And, in order to keep up intellectual activity, we had also a society at whose weekly meetings were discussed questions of public interest. I recall the names of three or four who displayed a good deal of ability in these forensic contests: Samuel and Hiram COLVER, sons of the early pioneer Samuel, young lawyers; Dr. DAVENPORT, William GABRIEL, Dr. HATHAWAY, Dr. MANN and Bushrod Washington CONVERSE. The latter was a Vermonter, a Harvard graduate, with many rare natural gifts, including a most fascinating style of oratory. He was the head of our ‘select school’ at Homer; but so wide was his fame he was invited to meet divines and politicians in other counties, in church and on the stump, in defence of religion and Whig politics. These public meetings were a striking feature of the civilization of that day, and an important influence in the education of the people. They would frequently last for days, and the arguments advanced by the speakers would be rehearsed and criticised in the family circle for weeks afterward. The intellectual activity in that country in those days was quite as great and of as, high an order as that prevailing in the cities, where the advantages were greater. But the leaders in the Darby Plains country, living neighbors in Union, Champaign and Madison counties, were no ordinary men. They came of the best American blood. Let me recall a few names as types: John F. SABINE came of one of the most widely-known New England families, and must have been born about the beginning of the century. He was a most charming gentleman, popular and influential. At his home were refinement, intelligent conversation, and the manifestation of a deep interest in everything that concerned the welfare of society. He was a model citizen, who was frequently called on to fill positions of trust. His two sons, Hylas and Andrew, have followed in his footsteps. The former has been a member of the Legislature and State Commissioner of Railroads and Telegraphs; and the latter had a distinguished career as surgeon and medical director during the war of the rebellion. William B. IRWIN, another popular and useful citizen, was a native of Virginia, and was born while Washington was still President. He was an ingenious man, and as surveyor ran the lines in a large part of the Virginia military district. The families of Col. James CURRY, Judge MITCHELL and John W. ROBINSON were conspicuous in Jerome and Darby townships. Otway CURRY, son of Col. James CURRY, was associated with W. D. Gallagher in the publication of The Hesperian, and was a fellow-poet whose verse is still repeated. Col. W. L. CURRY, a grandson of the Col. CURRY of Revolutionary days, was a gallant soldier during the rebellion, and is a leading citizen of the county to-day. So, too, is James W. ROBINSON, a descendant of John W., whose career at the bar, as member of the Legislature and of Congress, has been an honorable one. There has been a pretty wide scattering of the descendants of these early families. They have helped to build up new States or to develop others. The COLVERS, COLLEDGES and DAVENPORTS went to Oregon and Washington. My brother, Chas. Warren SMITH, resides in Chicago, and is one of the railroad magnates of our new, civilization. For thirty-four years he has been conspicuous in that field of enterprise, and has had under his control at one time as many as eight thousand miles of railroad. His administrative ability is of a high order. L. M. FAIRBANKS, son of Luther FAIRBANKS the pioneer, and most of his sons, are in Illinois. His son, Charles W. FAIRBANKS, a graduate of Wesleyan University of Delaware, married a daughter of Judge P. B. COLE, of Marysville, and resides at Indianapolis. He is an able member of the bar, and has accumulated a large fortune.


You observe that my personal references have been chiefly to the settlers of the southern part of Union county. The northern part developed much more slowly, and the intercourse between the two parts was slight. As Marysville, the


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county-seat, increased in population and the machinery of county government was more extensively employed, there was a greater degree of homogeneity. The most conspicuous family in the northern part was that of the Rev. William HAMILTON, a Virginian, who settled in Claibourne township, and was a father in the Methodist Church. There were a good many sons born to this worthy man, some of whom have reached distinction. Dr. John W. HAMILTON, the head of Columbus Medical College, and an eminent surgeon, I believe, is the oldest son. I. N. HAMILTON and another son adopted the profession of medicine. But the ‘flower of the flock’ was Cornelius S. HAMILTON, who possessed great intellectual and moral endowments. His energy, self-reliance and moral courage would have made him a leader in any community, albeit his lack of tact insured him a vigorous opposition. I remember him with warm feelings of friendship, as, while he was editing the Marysville Tribune, he encouraged me to write, and thus influenced my choice of a career. That was when I was fourteen years of age, and the friendship then formed continued during his life. His tragic death in 1867 cut short what promised to be a brilliant and useful public career. He was the first citizen of Union county to represent that district in Congress. Another able man who has reflected honor on Union county is Judge Philander B. COLE, who has often been called to high stations, and who commands the respect of all who know him.


“Our county was not free from eccentric people, but their eccentricity took on the character of religious fanaticism. These were the Farnhamites (also called ‘The Creepers’), followers of Douglas FARNHAM; and later there were Millerites, who were always expecting the second coming. I could tell you many anecdotes of the Farnhamites, if we had the leisure and it were profitable. One will do as illustrating this phase of the times. The leaders taught the birth to sin, and salvation only through public confession and walking humbly and contritely before the world. The fanaticism consisted in the absurd acts which were inspired and performed. Sackcloth and ashes and creeping in the dirt were not the most objectionable. An estimable young lady was converted, and told that it was necessary to display the corrupt nature of her heart. She conceived this novel plan. One night she rode several miles to the farm of a well-known citizen, visited his corn-crib, filled a bag with corn, which she carried home. The next day, in the light of the sun, this bag of corn was placed upon the back of a horse, and upon that the young lady rode to the farmer’s, to whom she confessed the theft in contrite words and with many tears. This fanaticism soon disappeared and left no evil effects, as it touched only a handful in the community.


“The controlling politics was National Republican and then Whig. But opposition to slavery found early supporters amongst us, and a branch of Levi Coffin’s ‘Underground Railroad’ passed through the southern part of Union county, the adjoining part of Champaign county, and thence to Canada. The residences of Dr. DAVENPORT and Anson HOWARD, in Rush township, Champaign county, were places of concealment for the poor fugitives, and from them was conducted an active missionary campaign which made sad inroads in the ranks of the Whigs.


There were hot debates at our house. My father was a conservative Whig, a devoted follower of Henry Clay and Thomas Corwin; and when the Abolitionists defeated the former for President, in 1844, he was heart-broken. But the PIATT slave case, in which William LAWRENCE, a brilliant lawyer of Marysville, volunteered to defend the slave, who had been captured after an exciting chase in the vicinity of Milford Centre, did more to create an anti-slavery sentiment in that part of the country than all other influences.”


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On visiting Marysville the second time I was warmly welcomed by an old friend in the person of John H. SHEARER, editor of the Tribune. When I saw him in the olden time he was conducting a newspaper in Somerset, and Phil. SHERIDAN was a keen, nimble boy in a store hard by. Across the street was the Perry County Court-House, where over the door stood, and I believe yet stands, a proclamation carved in stone, from which the reader is led to infer that the dispensation of justice in Perry county was conditioned upon the heavens falling. (See Perry County.)


After I had left, Mr. SHEARER supplied me by mail with a list of the first settlers of the county, “as far as recollected,” ending with “John Lashley,” and quite a number of dittos. Whether the Dittos were but a continuation of the Lashleys, I was undecided; but on reflecting that a wrong omission was safer than a wrong commission, I then cut off those people of repeating names, but now restore them in this edition. (See Perry County.)


Mr. SHEARER, at the date of my writing out these notes, Dec. 20, 1890, is ten days beyond his seventy-fourth year of life. He was born in the then wilderness of Perry county, Dec. 10, 1816, and is of that solid stock that early crossed the Pennsylvania border, and by their numbers and strength of character largely formed the backbone of Ohio.


In the spring of 1836 Mr. SHEARER was apprenticed to the printing business, and is now probably the oldest in service of any Ohio-born editor. He is the oldest representative in the Ohio Legislature, and may well be called the “Father of the House.” In the winding up of his interesting autobiography in theCounty History,” he gives some melancholy words. “It may be,” he says, “well enough to make an open acknowledgment as life is at best but a struggle to those who start out without assistance or even friendly advice. It matters little, however, in the end what the struggle may have been so it has been made honestly. The question after all that concerns us most is the one that has been asked tens of thousands of times along the earthly journey—if a man die, shall he live again?’ ”


The question of Job, which Father SHEARER quotes, comes with pressing force upon those of advanced years, for “the young may die and the old must.”  Reason alone may thus answer.


It is too appalling for belief that such a being as man, with so much of the spiritual in his nature, so well adapted for immortality, should but endure for this brief flash-like life, then be annihilated in eternal nothingness to become as though he never had been.


If so, the yearnings of the pure, the good and the true; the prayers and tears of the forsaken and the helpless; the nobility and intellectuality of man; and the loveliness and devotion of woman; the innocence and trustfulness of childhood; the sweet strains of music; the glory of the day and the sublimity of the night; indeed, all moral and all material beauty have been and are as a fleeting phantasmagoria of deceit, so monstrous that one shudders in view of its atrocity. And bad as man may be, if he had the power he would not create but to destroy; would not present such hopes; unfold such beauty; elevate by such strains; lift such a delicious cup to the lips, then dash it in fragments forever


JUSTICE is eternal !

Justice can but demand immortality.

Therefore MAN is immortal, and LOVE is

     over all.


It is pleasant to know that the greatest of intellects of antiquity, as Plato, Socrates, Cicero, etc.; had the assurance of immortality from their inner consciousness alone. Cicero, who was born a hundred years before Christ, said: “When I consider the faculties with which the human mind is endowed, I have a conscious conviction that the active, comprehensive principle cannot be of a mortal nature.


I am so well convinced that my dear, departed friends are so far from having ceased to live, that the state they now enjoy can alone with propriety be called life. . . . I am far from regretting that this life was bestowed upon me, and I have the satisfaction of thinking I have employed it in such a manner as not to have lived in vain. . . . In short, I consider this world as a place which nature never intended for my permanent abode; and I look upon my departure from it, not as being driven from my habitation, but as simply leaving an inn.”


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He spake, when light from darkness flashed ;
Mountains from oceans skyward sprang ;
While star sang unto star,
As each in glory on its course began.

   And that power man can trust, and as his
last day nears its setting sun, fed that
   “while the earth grows chill the shadows

point to the morning.”



MAGNETIC SPRINGS is a small village eleven miles northeast of Marysville, on Bokes’ creek. In 1879, in sinking an artesian well, the waters which gushed forth unexpectedly proved highly medicinal. As a result, the place has become quite a favorite resort for invalids. It has a large bath-house and several hotels for their accommodation. The water possesses high magnetic properties, and it is said that a knife blade, held in it for a few moments, becomes so highly charged that a nail may be lifted by it. Several other medicinal springs have been discovered having distinct mineral ingredients, one a sulphur spring, about a mile distant from the village.


RICHWOOD is fifteen miles northeast of Marysville, on the N. Y. P. & O. R. R. It is situated in the centre of a rich agricultural region, made up of thrifty small landowners as in New England. Newspapers: Gazette, Independent, W. H. STOUTT, editor and publisher; Leader, Democratic, YOUNG & WOODRUFF, editors and publishers; Octographic Review, Disciples, W. B. F. TREAT and L. F. BITTLE, editors; Educational Sun, educational, H. V. SPICER, editor. Churches: 1 Methodist Episcopal; 1 Presbyterian; 1 Methodist Protestant; 1 Baptist; 2 Disciples; 1 Adventist, and 1 African Baptist. Bank of Richwood: James CUTLER, president; B. L. TALMAGE, cashier. Richwood Deposit: W. H. CONKRIGHT, president; H. E. CONKRIGHT, cashier. Population in 1880, 1,317. School census, 1888, 469; S. L. BOYERS, Jr., superintendent.


MILFORD CENTRE 16 five miles southwest of Marysville, at the crossing of the C. C. C. & I. and C. St. L. & P. Railroads. It has 4 churches. Newspapers: Ohioan, Republican, W. L. McCAMPBELL, editor and publisher. Bank (Fullington & Phellis), F. G. REYNOLDS, cashier.


Manufactures and Employees.—C. Michaels, drain tile, 5 hands; A. J. Rigdom, lumber, 4; Elliott & Moore, flour, etc., 3; C. Erb. & Bro., carriages and buggies, 6.—State Report, 1888.


Population in 1880, 490.Capital invested in manufacturing establishments, $18,000. Value of annual product, $49,000.—Ohio Labor Statistics, 1888


BROADWAY is nine miles northwest of Marysville, on the N. Y. P. & O. R. R. Newspapers: Enterprise, Independent, C. F. MONROE, editor and publisher. Population, 300.


UNIONVILLE is eight miles southeast of Marysville, on the C. St. L. & P. R. R. Population in 1880, 200.


YORK is on Bokes creek, in the northwest part of the county. By the census of 1890 it had 1498 inhabitants; Richwood, 1415; Marysville, 2832; Milford Centre, 718.

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