« PreviousContinue »
It is a subject of regret that most of the old burying grounds which hold the bones of so many of the pioneers should be found in neglect and comparative ruins. They sleep none the less quietly for that, but it should not be so, and at no distant day the people of the West will become aware of it.
Robert Fitzpatrick, one of the sons of old James, spent his life near the old homestead—was a most worthy and respected man—was out in the Mexican war—was a devoted Methodist and esteemed a true citizen. The other two sons we are not in the possession of the history of.
This interesting pioneer family is all gone and none of them have for many years resided on the old homestead. Their early home in Highland—the meeting place of the Methodist Church and the head quarters of the circuit preachers for so many years—that sweet looking, pleasantly situated log house, with its surrounding of peach trees, plums, bee hivesand blue grass sward—its cool spring, by which always hung the clean gourd—is gone and with it all that made it sweet and dear, except the spring—houses, peach orchard, bee hives—all. The entire ground is now a field or pasture and none of the young generation would ever suspect the appliances of civilization which had once graced it.
In. the autumn of 1806 Matthew Creed, another Revolutionary soldier, who 'fought at King's Mountain and "the Point," was a great hunter and an Indian spy during the troublous times of Western Virginia, came, with his large and chiefly grown family, from Monroe county, Virginia, and bought out Terry Templin and settled within half a mile of his brother-in-law, James Fitzpatrick. They both had lived close ■ neighbors in Virginia. Creed and his family were also members of the Methodist Church and aided much in advancing its interest in the county.
The great difficulty which all the early settlers had to encounter—want of mills—was overcome in this neighborhood in a year or two. Creed erected a horse mill, which was resorted to by distant settlers. Before the building of this mill, Fitzpatricks and their neighbors were obliged to carry their grain to Porter's horse mill beyond New Market. Creed's mill stood for near twenty years and was extremely useful. At an early day it was no uncommon thing to see half a dozen persons at a time setting by a log fire out of doors, late in the fall, their
teams with the gears on hitched close by, cracking jokes and patiently waiting their turn to grind, for at a horse mill, which is propelled by hitching horses to a sweep which turns round and thus works the machinery, each man had to take the motive power with him and wait till his turn came in. It was no uncommon thing for men from ten or twelve miles distance to have to wait three or four days in a throng time before their turn came. But those days are past and the boys of the present time have no conception of the trouble their fathers had when boys to get the meal for a dodger. But the mill boys of those days, in their thin half worn linsey roundabouts and pants, without shoes, and often bare headed, enjoyed themselves much* when they were not too hungry and could find a place to parch corn. They were healthy and did not mind cold and the privations incident to the times.
The first wheat ground on the upper Rocky Fork was ground at-Creed's horse mill. He was not prepared for bolting the flour, but he went to Chillicothe and got enough bolting cloth to cover an ordinary sieve and fastened it on the hoop of one. When any one took wheat to the mill one of the girls or his wife had to go along and sift the flour. The name at that day for this substitute for a bolt was a ■"sarch.'' Esther Fitzpatrick says many a day she has stood at the mill sifting the bran out of the flour as it was ground. This kind of flour she says made most excellent bread and was first rate to lighten. When it is recollected that the wheat thus converted into eatable flour, had to be reaped with a sickle, thrashed on the ground with a flail and winnowed by means of a sheet swung by two stout persons, it is not a subject of surprise that the sifted flour made good tasting bread at least to those who produced it with so much labor.
Although game was abundant at this date and old Mr. Creed a good hunter, yet he did not take time to indulge as much as many others. He built a turkey pen near the house, in which he caught a large number of turkeys. They were thus taken until the family became tired of them, when the old man would then turn them out to see them run.
A turkey pen is thus described by one who has seen them, A pen is built at a suitable place of light fence rails, commencing at the base a square about the size the rails will make and narit so deep that a turkey may walk in easily. Corn is then strewn pretty freely in the trench and over the bottom of the pen. The turkeys commence picking up the corn some distance perhaps from the pen and follow up the bait in the ditch, until they unconsciously enter the pen. After they
rowing in each round to the top, which have gathered up all the corn of course is secured. A trench is then cut into they want to go and, as is their nature,
instead of looking down to the ditch by which they entered, they constantly persist in looking up for a place to get out. They thus await the pleasure of the owner of the pen. Not infrequently whole flocks of twenty or thirty were thus taken.
FREDERICK FAWLEY, JEREMIAH SMITIT, MATTHEW CREED, JO. HART, MARK EASTER, ABRAHAM CLEVENGER AND JESSE AND WM. LUCAS MOVE INTO THE COUNTY—A QUEER MARRIAGE FEE—ACCESSIONS TO THE SETTLEMENTS NEAR LEESBURG AND FALL CREEK, COMPOSED OF THE WRIGHTS, MORROWS AND PATTONS — COURT RECORDS AND ELECTION RESULTS— EARLY TOWNSHIP OFFICERS—JACOB HIESTAND LOCATES NEAR SINKING SPRINGS—THE ROGERS SETTLEMENT NEAR GREENFIELD, AND EARLY PRESBYTERIAN HISTORY.
The same spring that Fitzpatrick moved up from Chillicothe Fredrick Fraley moved with his family from Pee Pee bottom and settled on the farm afterwards owned and occupied by Adam Miller, about four miles southeast of Hillsborough. His eldest son, John, had come up the year before and purchased the farm and made some improvement.
Mr. Fraley moved from Pennsylvania, on the banks of the Susquehana, a few years before to the (Scioto. He was a blacksmith and started a shop almost immediately on his arrival in Highland, having brought his smith tools with him from Pennsylvania. This was the first shop of the kind established on 'the waters of the Rocky Fork, except a little thing set up by Llewellyn a few years before. It was not even an apology though, as he knew little or nothing about the business and could only tinker a little with hot iron. Fraley was a good workman and made everything in his line the country needed. He made a great many chopping axes, for the excellency of" which he acquired quite a reputation. He also made mattocks, hoes, &c. He was esteemed a very industrious and honest man. The Fraleys were all Methodists and the father was much esteemed as an exhorter and leader of his class. He died in 1825 or '6 at the age
of eighty-four. He had some eccentricities or rather peculiarities of manner, but with all his bluntness was regarded by all as a good man to the day of his death.
Jeremiah Smith and Matthew Creed, jr., came out from Monroe county, Virginia, as early as 1804. They made a crop for Hugh Evans and worked where they could get work to do. Shortly after the Fitzpatricks came Smith married Sally and settled down in the neighborhood of his father-inlaw.
The first coffin ever made on the Rocky Fork, that we have any information of, was that made for the corpse of George Weaver in the winter of 1806. Jeremiah Smith was the undertaker, being a pretty good carpenter and cabinet maker, but owing to the fact that there were no saw mills yet established in the county he had "no plank, nor could he get any. So he was obliged to split the lumber out of a walnut log. In dressing up this material Esther and Nancy Fitzpatrick, in the spirit characteristic of the pioneer girls, assisted him. They worked nearly all night at it in order to have it ready by the hour appointed for the burial.
In the spring of 1806 Jo Hart, with his family, consisting of two grown sons, two daughters and his wife, came from North Carolina and stopped at a big spring on Rocky Fork. They were very poor and had packed out all the way on horseback—the men and girls walking. They built a rough little cabin at the spring and on the faith of a "squatter's claim," cleared out a patch of ground, and, by some time in J une, were ready to plant corn. Being all hunters they relied more on the woods for subsistence than any other resource. The old man was addicted to drink and followed hunting almost entirely for a livelihood.
Mark Easter, with his three sons, Adam, John and Jacob, and one son-inlaw, Evans, came from Pennsylvania in the spring of 1806, and having purchased five hundred acres of land on Churn Creek, a small tributary of the Rocky Fork, divided out the land equally among the four. They all settled down, built cabins, made improvements, reared large families, and are now dead. John Criger came out with them. He also settled down in the same neighborhood, where he continued to reside until his death.
About 1804 Abraham Clevenger came from Kentucky and settled on a piece of land on the Rocky Fork. Clevenger acquired this farm as compensation for clearing a number of acres of land on a tract belonging to a man in Kentucky by the name of Blinco. His land lay on a small stream crossed at this day by the turnpike east of Hillsborough, nearly opposite the residence of Daniel Miller. This was the first improvement made' on the creek and from the owner of it the stream has since borne the name of Blinco,
Jesse and William Lucas built cabins and cleared some land on Blinco in the spring of 1806. The Lucases came from Pennsylvania. There were six brothers of them, all married and with families of children They came down the river from Redstone and stopped at or near Manchester, where they made a crop. Jesse came up into Highland and purchased five hundred acres of land on Blinco. The next winter or spring he and William moved up. Richard, Basil and Charles came up shortly af tec and settled in the vicinity of their brothers. James did not come for some time afterwards. He bought out Borter 8umner. The farm where Jesse settled was afterwards owned and occupied by C. Berch Miller. The old folks of this neighborhood were Methodists and regular preaching circuit was established at William's house in the fall of 1806. James
Quinn was the first preacher of that denomination who preached in that settlement and from that time for more than twenty years regular preaching was had at or near his house. Some years after the settlement was commenced they built a parsonage—a good log house of three rooms, one of which was designed for a meeting house on meeting days and a dwelling house the remainder of the time. It had a pulpit fixed in one corner and movable seats. The young generation, which was very numerous, are pretty much all scattered. Many of them are dead, and many have emigrated to the West. A few yet reside in this county and are very worthy citizens. Basil was the youngest of all. He was a worthy member of the Methodist Church over sixty years, near forty of which he was leader of a class. The first sermon ever preached in Ohio by James Quinn, (says Basil Lucas) was preached in the cabin of William Lucas, at the Gift Ridge, on the Ohio River, and his first in the Lucas settlement in this county, in the cabin of the same William Lucas. James Quinn also preached his funeral many years after at the parsonage, the first meeting house erected in the settlement. All the first pioneer preachers, says Mr. Basil Lucas, took for "quarterage" all kinds of produce, such as flour, meat, potatoes, corn, hackled flax, &c.. The first marriage in the settlement was at the cabin of Jesse Lucas—then a Justice of the Peace. The groom's name was Obediah McKinney—the marriage fee was one bushel of hulled walnuts.
This year (1806) Heth Hart, father of Joel, with his family, arrived from North Carolina at Nat Pope's Heth was a famous—a mighty hunter, indeed, and he carried a rifle of proportionate calibre—capable of throwing an ounce ball to a great distance for those days, and with such unerring aim as to prove fatal to whatever unlucky "varmint'' happened within its range. Shortly after he came out he erected a cabin at a spring at the upper side of George Wilson's orchard, on Clear Creek—the farm afterward owned by Albert Swearingen and converted into a vineyard. This cabin was most characteristic in appearance. It was built on the general model of the primitive "rough log cabin" of the time, but the exterior was literally covered with the trophies of the chase. The buck horns were generally tossed up on the roof, until, from the vast quantity slain by Heth, it became covered; while the sides and ends were literally plastered
with the stretched skin, of every variety of wild animal from deer down to raccoon. In the interior were stowed bears' skins, beaver, fox and all kinds of peltries known in this country as valuable in those days. Added to these were the carcasses ot deer hanging against the walls, from which the family cut and eat as hunger or inclination prompted. Their beds were skins of animals and the ponderous rifle, tomahawk and shot pouch of otter skin, the skin of the face of the animal, nose down, swung for the flap, hung, when not in use, the first on two wooden hooks over the door and the others at the side, convenient" at a moment's warning to be put in immediate requisition.
Heth and his sons followed the chase for many years, making hills resound with the reports of their rifles, old Heth's being easily distinguished from all others by its unusually heavy report. Indeed, to the people of the time it was known for miles around. They could always tell when "old Heth" was out and tradition has it that his rifle could be heard reverberating through the still woods and over the hill as far as a four pounder. Heth was a man of decided mark. His nose was diseased and grew constantly larger and redder to the day of his death, and 'when he used to range the Clear Creek and Rocky Fork hills, as was always announced by the boom of his big gun, he wore moccasins, leather leggins, hunting shirt and fox skin cap, and his tremendous large and fiery looking nose was generally the first part of Heth that became visible through the brush after the report of his gun was heard.
Game was very abundant,at the date of which we speak (1806), not only on Clear Creek, but all over the county. "I have known our neighbor, Joseph Swearingen," says an early settler on Clear Creek, "often to come home in the evening when the snow was on the ground, with a deer before him on his horse 'Paddy,' and one other tied to his tail, dragging behind."
Daniel Huff, Sr., came from Surrey county, North Carolina, in 1806, and bought the land on which Jehu Beeson afterward resided, where he made an improvement. He moved his family out the next year and became a permanent citizen. Daniel was a member of the Society of Friends and his descendants still reside in this county, most worthy citizens, who strictly adhere to the faith and religious customs of their ancestors.
There, were numerous accessions to
the Clear and Fall Creek settlements during the summer and fall of 1806. William Wright-Quaker Billy, as he was called—came from Tennessee and settled on Hardin's Creek in the neighborhood of Beverly Milner, 'a most esteemed citizen. David Mitchell came from Kentucky with his family and settled on the farm afterward owned and occupied by Major John W. Woollas. William Morrow, also from Kentucky, came with his family and settled on the farm afterward owned and occupied by his son Joseph. He was a member of the Presbyterian denomination and up to the time of his death was a valuable citizen and an honest, good man, Alexander and James Wright, from Kentucky, came the same year and settled in the same neighborhood. The father of William, Joseph and James Patton came from Kentucky the following year and settled on Fall Creek. These were the old stock and were, in their day, prominent and useful citizens. Many of their descenders now reside in the county and a part of them occupy the same farms on which their fathers made their improvements fifty years ago. They are all most worthy citizens.
During 1805 and '06 the whole of the Fall Creek country filled up and we regret our inability to give the names of all the settlers. This Fall Creek region embraced the best lands of the county and was much sought after at that day.
In October of this year (1806) the first Supreme Court for the county of Highland was held at New Market by Judges Ethan Allen and W, W. Irwin. The only case tried at this term was Isaac Collins against Joseph Kerr— appeal. It was an action of covenant, named in another chapter of this history. The issue being joined, the following jurors were empanneled to try it, to-wit: Samuel Evans, Oliver Ross, Jacob Medsker, Jacob Kite, Allen Trimble, Jacob Coffman, Philip Wilkin, Joseph Swearingen, Samuel McQuitty, Frederick Miller, William Keys and Elijah Kirkpatrick, who, in the language of the record, being elected, tried and sworn, find a verdict in these words: "In this case the jury find the defendant hath not kept and performed his covenant, &c. They, therefore, find for the plaintiff to recover of the defendant the sum of six' hundred and fifty dollars and fifty cents damage." Thereupon the cause was continued on motion of defendant's counsel for a new trial until October term, 1808. This closes the business of the first Supreme Court of the county. The attorneys in the case were James Scott and William Creighton, jr. In connection with this is an order of the Commissioners of the county, that Abraham J. Williams receive twenty dollars for attending as Prosecuting Attorney at the term of the Supreme Cdirt held on the 10th day of October, 1800, and for the October term of the Court of Common Pleas for Highland county.
Jn October of this year an election took place in Highland for member of Congress, State Senate, &c. Jeremiah Morrow and James Prichard were the candidates for Congress. Elias Langham and Abraham Claypole for the State Senate. James Dunrap, James Johnson, Henry Brush, John A. Fulton, Nathaniel Massie, David Shelby and Abraham J. Williams, for Representative. Bigger Head, George W. Barrere, Ezekiel Kelly, Alex. Fullerton and Joseph Quillin, for Commissioner. It appears by the names of the candidates at this election that Highland and Ross counties formed one District for Senator and Representative. The official returns of this election on file in the Clerk's Office of this county, show that Jeremiah Morrow received one hundred and sixteen votes for Congress and James Prichard one hundred and twenty-two. Elias Langham received one hundred and forth-four votes for State Senate and Abraham Claypole one hundred and eighteen. For Representative, James Dunlap received two hundred and fifty-nine, James Johnson one hundred and • fifty-seven, Henry Brush one hundred and twenty-nine, John A. Fulton one hundred, Nathaniel Massie one hundred and thirty-nine, Abraham J. Williams one hundred and twenty-live and David Shelby one hundred and twenty-three. For Commissioner, Bigger Head received one hundred and fifteen votes, Ezekiel Kelley eighteen, G. W. Barrere one hundred and twenty-four, Alex. Fullerton ten and Joseph Quillin two. It appears that G. W. Barrere was elected Commissioner. As to the other candidates, their votes in' Ross not being within our reach, we are unable to say who was successful for Senator and Representative. Morrow was elected to Congress.
This appears to have been one of the good, honest, old-fashioned kind of elections, in which all citizens were permitted to be candidates who chose and each voter could vote for the man who pleased him best, without saying "by your leave" to the petty managers of any party. Indeed, as far as we' are
able to learn there were no parties known in this county at that day, and every man ran on his own merits—but eighty years have worked a mighty change and a contemplation of the effect causes many a manly, honest wish for the good" old days of the past, in politics, if not in anything else. Men were honester and better in those days —more hospitable, patriotic and trustworthy, and the present, with all its improvements, suffers greatly when contrasted with the days of eighty years ago, in every thing save the skill and success in getting the dollar.
The Trustees of New Market township this year (1806) were James B. Finley, Joseph Davidson and Hector Murphy. James Fanning and William Curry, clerks of the election. In Liberty township, Edward Chaney, Amos Evans and Robert Fitzpatrick; Samuel Evans and Reason Moberly, clerks. In Fairfield township, Joseph Hoggatt, John B. Beals and William Lupton; B. H. Johnson and John Todhunter, clerks of the election. In Brushcreek township, there appears only two judges of the election this year, to-wit: Peter Moore and James Cummins, and Jonathan Boyd and William Head, clerks. The election for Liberty township was held at Capt. William Hill's on Clear Creek. The Fairfield election was held this year at Beverly Milner's. At the same election Samuel Littler was elected Justice of the Peace, and Dimpsey Caps Constable for Fairfield.
In" the fall of 1805 or the spring of 1806 Reason Moberly came with his family from Maryland and settled on Clear Creek. He was an honest, industrious citizen, and left a large family of sons and daughters, some of whom still reside in the county. Mr. Moberly has been dead many years. ■
This year (1806) Jacob Hiestand, Sr., moved from Bottetourt county, Virginia, to Ohio, and purchased the land on which the town of Sinking Spring now stands. Some time after he settled on this land he conceived the idea of laying off a town on it, and went so far as to survey and make a plat. But the members of his church, after considerable deliberation, came to the conclusion that making towns and selling town lots was an anti-Christian transaction and advised him to abandon the enterprise. He complied with their wishes and stopped proceedings. We are not able to say to what denomination of Christians Mr. Hiestand belonged; certain it is, however, that he gave up all idea of being proprietor of a town and some time afterwards sold