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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCIIES, arranged in Alphabetical O1‘-
THE COUNTY OF ROSS.
ROSS COUNTY ANTIQUITIES.
river which traverses it-. The name is that given it by the Wyandots whose language is allied closely to that of the Iroquois, and the signification of the name is, according to thehbestyauthorities, f‘deeSr.” The egrly studentglpf Igdian ft/on.g11esj,‘ suc as .e1s erger give cenoto or cenonto or 9.110 0 as orms 0 the Mohawk and énondaga words for “deer.” In H0we’s Historical Collections John Johnston, an Indian agent of the Miami valley, is quoted as saying that the name of the Sci-on-to river is from the Wyandot, but its meaning is unknown, yet he gives “Ough-Scanoto” as Wyandot for “deer.” “Unknown” seems also '00 have been the meaning of the word to Mrs. Mary Inglis, a captive after 1755 at the Shawanee town at the mouth of the Scioto. But the fact that she was among the Shawanees may explain her ignorance of the meaning. She gives the name as “Siotha ” “Sonhioto ” and “Sioto seepee,” the latter word meaning river. I"ather Bonxiccamp, the chroniele1' of Celeron’s expedition do\vn the Ohio in 1749, called the river “Sinhioto,” which was pronounced like Sankioto, whence another form to he found in early narratives——“St. Yoto.” Christopher Gist, who visited it in 1751, called it- “Sciodoe.” The Rev. David Jones, who traveled through the valley in 177 2, said “The name which the Shawnese give Scioto has slipped my memory, but it signified Hairy river. The Indians tell us the deer were so plenty when they came to drink, the stream would be thick with hairs.” Whatever the Shawanee name was, the Wyandot name for the stream, the name that has been perpetuated, was Deer river. In direct line from source to mouth, the Seioto is one hundred and
T HE far-famed Valley of the Scioto derives its name from the
thirty miles in length, traversing the counties of Auglaize (_its source), Hardin, Marion, Delaware, Franklin, Pickaway, Ross, Pllie and Scioto, einptyiiig into the Ohio at Portsmouth. Throughout_its ineaiiderings, the Scioto drains a vast extent of territory, embracing lands unsurpassed in fertility and adaptability to the wants of the inhabitants. The stream, from its source, flows through a country either level or gently undulating, until it reaches Chillieothe, where it enters the hilly sandstone region, through which it passes to the Ohio, in a wide and fertile valley, bounded by lofty hills and wild, romantic scener_y. The Ross county tributaries to the Scioto are Paint creek, Deer creek and Stony creek, with their several tributaries, entering the rircr from the west. Those flowing into it from the cast are Salt creek, Kinnickinniek creek and Rattlesnake creek, all smaller than the western tributaries, though not. lacking in historical interest. The Scioto drains a scope of coiuitry averaging seveiit_v miles in width and passes thr0ug;li a tei-ritory picturesquely beautiful and historicall_\,' interesting.
The Seioto valley is renowned for its natural be-aut_v as well as~for the historical interest. which centers about it. The land is in a high state of iniproveuieiit, yielding abundant returns in all phases of diversified farming. l\Iagiiificent- homes and a happy ous people evince the wisdoni of the pioneer fathers in locating in this “garden spot of Ohio.” But the white man was not. the only one of God’s creatures who recognized the peculiar attractions of the S_cioto valle_'y. The Shawanee or “Sout.liei'n” Indians loved the location, and though driven from it. by stronger tribes of savages, they ‘returned at the first opportunit_\_' from far-distant regions. O Before them another family people, possibly those of whoniithere is something told in the traditions and the ancient painted record of the Delawares, had their homes in this fertile valley at a time when it was
more populous than at any time between their dispersal and the white settlement. The evidences of their existence are scattered throughout the Scioto valley in the greatest profusion; and Ross county stands second to none in this respect. Volumes have been written and will con. tinue to grace our library shelves, until the end of tinie in the effort to prove the origin and fate of the “Mound Builders.” l It is not; the purpose of this volume to make any attempt at a decision of the vexed question, but, rather, to give the reader a brief 1'QS11]né of the theories and discoveries of those who have spent; vears of atie t to'l and a great deal of money, in the investigatioii Tliatpan nn ‘ 11,; race, possibly f1lfi61'(3I1l§f1'O1]1 the Indians known to the white men and possessing a certain degree of civilization once inh bptlihdmillil’ central portion of the United States, , O a 1 e e
fact. They left no writt has long been an established
_ en history, and all that. is know them is gathered from the mounds, enclosures .,
n concerning and implements which they left behind. They have been called “Mound Builders,” simply because of the innumerable mounds which they have erected, and which remained until the coming of the white man. These earthworks are very generally distributed from western New York, along the southern shore of Lake Erie, through Michigan, to Nebraska, thence north from this line to the southern shore of Lake Superior. From this line they extend south to the Gulf of Mexico. Mounds occur in great numbers in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. They are found in less numbers in western New York, the Carolinas, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, Iowa and portions of Mexico. In choosing this vast region, extending from the Alleghanies to the Rocky Mountains, and from the great lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mound Builders took possession of the great system of plains, controlling the long inland water courses of the continent. Along the broad levels drained by this vast river system, the remains of prehistoric man are found. It is authoritatively stated that there are not less than thirteen thousand mounds and enclosures in the state of Ohio. Archaeologists have no difiiculty in locating the places which were most densely populated, by reason of the irregular distribution of the works. In Ohio these are found in the vicinity of Marietta, Athens, Port-stnouth, Chillicothe, Circleville, Newark, Springfield, Alexandcrsville, Middletown, Eaton, Oxford, Hamilton and Cincinnati. It is interesting to note that in the selection of sites for these earthworks, the Mound Builders were influenced by the same motives, apparently, which governed their European successors. It is a well established fact that nearly every town of importance in the valleys of the Ohio and Mississippi, and their tributaries, is located on the ruins left by this ancient people. Of these we may mention N01-walk, Dayton, Xenia, in addition to the others previously named in our‘ own State; Frankfort, Ky, St. Louis, Mo., Chicago, Ill., and Milwaukee, \Vis. The sites selected by the Mound Builders for their most pretentious works were on the river terraces, or bottoms, no doubt because of the natural highways thus rendered available, besides the opportunities for fishing, and the cultivation of the warm, quick soil, easily tilled.
In Ross county there are one hundred prehistoric enclosures, varying in degrees of completeness, which have long been recognized by archaeologists as the handiwork of the Mound Builders. X0 other county in the State contains as great a number of these ancient relics. Many of the enclosures arc of great size. In addition to the enclosed works, there are about five hundred mounds. The valley of the Scioto embraced within the county limits and the beautiful valley of Paint creek are most clearly shown to have been the favorite localities of the Mound Builders, as they were in a later day, the chosen resorts of the Indians. Here was a seat of the most dense population of the