« PreviousContinue »
In the smaller towns of the county there are excellent schools of higher grades than the common schools, of which mention is made in the township histories. Altogether the school system of the county is worthy of its historical importance and widespread fame.
Ross county now has in the township districts 170 schoolhouses for elementary schools, and three high schools; in the separate‘ districts 16 elementary schools and three high schools, making a grand total of 192 school buildings, with 268 rooms. The value of the school property in the township districts is $126,550; in the separate districts, $131,000, making an aggregate of $257,550. Two liundred and seventy-three teachers are employed, teaching thirty-one to thirty-two weeks in the township schools and thirty-six in the others, at salaries ranging from $34 to $85 per iuonth. The enumeration of children of school age (between 6 and 21) is 12,267, of whom 9,500 are in the Virginia military district. The actual enrollment of pupils is 73 per cent of the enumeration in the township districts and 82 per cent in the separate districts. There are six high schools in the township districts and four in the separate districts. The avcrage cost of tuition of the pupils enrolled is $9 in the elementary schools, and $15.60 in the high schools of the townships, and $9.40 in the elementary and $31.40 in the high schools of the separate districts. The county received from the State, mainly from the common school fund, $20,957 for the support of education in 1900; from local taxation $104,935; from the sale of bonds, $47,099; from all other sources, $1,930, making the total receipts but 51 little 105$ ‘(hall $175,000, to which should be added a balanco on hand September 1, 1899, of $58,457, swelling the aggregatfi funds to $233,381. ()ut of this there was paid $83,344 to teachers in elementary schools, and $8,455 to teachers in high schools; $2,855 for supervision, $2,136 on buildings and grounds, $2,800 on bonds and interest, and $24,300 for all other purposes, making an aggrogate expenditure of $123,942. On September 1, 1900, the close of the fiscal year, the balance on hand was $109,438.
In the city of Chillicothe, with its seven sclioolhouses and seventy" two school rooms, the total value of school property is $105,000, sixty-five teachers are employed, at salaries ranging from $43 to $100; the enumeration is 3,878, enrollment 2,471, dailv attendance 1,989. The receipts for the year were $90,950 and expenditures $45,330.
_In the county there are the village and special districts of Bainbridge, J. A. Shannon, superintendent, and school property valued at $10,000, annual expenditures, $3,332; Frankfort, J. A. .Drushel, 5uPE1'111te11d9T1t, PI'0pert_v valued at $8,800, annual expenditures,
l$2fl_6G; Hilllsville, J. F. Warner, superintendent, property valued at $33000, mlnllfll 9XPG11(lit11res, $1,085; Kingston, A. L. Ellis, superintendent, property valued at $10,000, annual expenditures,
$2,190; and North Union, property valued at $3,000, annual expenditures, $1,940.
The county examiners of teachers are A. L. Ellis, F. W. Yaple and R. C. Galbraith. The teachers have a county institute annually, and a count-y and a tri-county meeting.
Among Ross county people who have become prominent in educational work may be mentioned Professor James Woodrow, formerly president of the University of South Carolina, son of Rev. Thomas Woodrow, at one time pastor of the First Presbyterian church of Chillicothe. In this connection may be named his cousin, President VVo0drow \Vilson, of Princeton University, whose mother was a daughter of Rev. Thomas Woodrow, born in Chillicothe. The late Prof. \Villiau1 Williams, the oldest and one of the most distinguished educators of the Ohio \Vesleyan University at Delaware, was born in Chillicothe. Two connections of his, grand nephews, both of Chillicothe, hold places in the educational world, Dr. Charles Graham Dunlap, professor of English in the State University at Lawrence, Kan, and Dr. Frederick Levy Dunlap, assistant in the chemistry department of the University of Michigan. Lieut. Matthew Elting Hanna, son of Robert Hanna, a respected citizen of the vicinity of Richmond Dale, is distinguished for his work, under General \Vood, in establishing the school system of Cuba, which was
modeled after that of Ohio. II-11.
BENCH AN D BAR.
famous for the ability‘ of the lawyers that. compofied itMarietta, of course, has the distinction of being the place where court was first held in Ohio, where Fearing and t_h° younger Meigs and their contemporaries began the practice. Cincinnati, almost as old as Marietta, and for many years the Queen City of the West, drew to itself brilliant talent and soon outstrippedits Scioto valley rival in numbers at least of practitioners of 18“?Lancaster was the seat of a remarkable group of jurists, and jvhen Columbus became the capital of the State there was an inevitable gravitation of lawyers to that center. But Chillicothc had somfl notable lawyers at the founding of the State and she has ever _S1nC6 been the home of men distinguished in this field of professional effort. Settled largely by Virginians and North Carolinians, she partook in some degree of that tendency in the South that impclfl young men to law and politics—a tendency that present industrial conditions favor, but which was much stronger at the beginning Of the last century.
It does not appear that there were any lawyers among the party of first settlers of Chillicothe, though the doctors and preachers Were represented; but some of these first comers served upon the bench as justices in the first courts, and the lawyers were not long in following the advance guard. .
Upon the organization of new counties Governor St. Clair appointed, under the provisions of the Territorial laws, a number of justices of the peace, five of whom should constitute a quorlllll for holding court. This body of justices was required to meet three
times a year, and hence received the name of the Court of Quaflel‘ Sessions of the Peace.
“The first court held in this county convened at Chillicothe on the fourth Tuesday of December, 17 98. It was called the court of common pleas for the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, and W45 presided over by ‘gentlemen justices’ commissioned by Gov. Artlm!'
THE bar of Chillicothc from the earliest days has been
St. Clair. Thomas Worthington, James Scott, Samuel Finley, William Patton, Elias Langham, James Ferguson, John Guthrey, James Dunlap, Robert Gregg, Isaac Davis and Reuben Abrams, were appointed justices by commissions which bore date, October 11, 1798. James Scott, Samuel Finley and J amcs Ferguson soon resigned; but the others served until the judiciary was reorganized under the State constitution, and even after that event, Patton and Abrams, with Felix Renick, Isaac Cook, and others, served the State long and well as associate judges of the court of common pleas.* “At the opening of the first term of this court, there were present of these justices, Worthington, Scott, Finley, Patton and Langham. Edward Tiifin was the prothonotary, or clerk, and Jeremiah McI.ene (afterwards secretary of state) was sherifi. So far as we can ascertain, the only liccnsed attorneys present at this first court were John S. Will and Levin Belt. The licenses to practice law, granted by this territorial court, were as follows: Robert. F. Slaughter in March, 17 99, \Villiam Creighton and James Montgomery in June,
-1799, Michael Baldwin in November, 1799, and Thomas Scott in
June, 1801. The first cause (locketed was: ‘Blair vs. Blair. In case. Damages thirty dollars. Daniel Rotruck, special hail.’
“The first jury was empaneled in the case of Kennett vs. Hamilton, and the entry upon the journal is as follows: ‘A jury was returned by the sheriff, to-wit: Isaac Davis, Jas. I-Iays, Joseph T iffin, \Villian1 l\IeI.inahan, Isaac Owens, J no. Wilkinson, Robert W. Finley, Elias Bootman, Jno. Bishong, Jno. Patton, Benj. Miller and Jas. Kilgore, who, being duly elected, tried and sworn, found a verdict for the defendant.’ Truly a model entry for conciseness and simplicity. Failure to agree upon a verdict was rare in those good old times when ‘rogues were hung that jurymen might dine;’ and the modern practitioner is often tempted to wish for a. return to the old practice.
“Nearly all the entries in ‘order book A’ are in the neat and correct handwriting of Edward Tiffin; but at the September term, 1799, the prothonotary tried a deputy, and that deputy, evidently an Irishman who wrote a good hand, but spelled with a brogue, for he always Wrote Justice Ferguson’s name ‘Faugorson’ and Guthrey’s ‘Gutery,’ and closed the daily records of the courts ‘adJournments.’ His record, however, only fills six pages, when Tifiin resumed the pen, and continued them until the January term, 1803, when, says the record, ‘Thomas Scott, csq., produced a commission from Charles Willing Byrd, Esq., ac-ting governor, appointing him prothonotary of the county,’ after which, having taken the required oath, he assumed the
‘This and other paragraphs quoted in this chapter are taken, by permission of C01. William E. Gilmore, from his sketch of the Bench and. Bar of Ross county.
ofiice, and kept it until the State organization went into effect, in
April of that year. _
Woithington and Samuel Smith, esqrs., do superintend the building of a court house, jail, jailor’s house, stocks and pillory.’ And a few
days later it was further ‘Ordered, that one hundred and twenty dollars be appropriated out of the treasury for the purpose of assisting
toward the expenses of building the court house, jail, j ailoi-’s house,
stocks and pillory.’
“On the fifth day of February, 1803, the records of the territorial common pleas end with the words ‘Adjourned until court in due course.”
\Vithin this period the high tribunal was the Territorial court of three judges, appointed by Congress, but none of these were Ross county men. The list includes Samuel H. Parsons, James M. V81‘num, John Cleves Symmes, George Turner, Joseph Gilman, Return Jonathan Meigs, Jr., Rufus Putnam, W’illiam Barton, John Armstrong, all from the Muskingum and Miami valleys, the people of which regions were dominant during the administration of Gm-'e1'H0l' St. Clair. Court was doubtless held at (‘hillieothe by some of these judges in the period 1798 to 1803, the judges and attendant lawyers coming in cavalcades from Marietta or Cincinnati, swimming swol
len streams, camping out in the woods on their way, and living at times from the wild game of the forest. A successful judge 01' attorney in that time necessarily, united some knowledge of W00 craft with his other accomplislunents, and if he was not fitted t0 endure great hardships he could not survive the fatigues of riding the circuit. Such conditions continued for a long time after the admission of the State. "
Of the Ross county lawyers introduced to our attention by the 1'69‘ ords quoted, some interesting facts have been preserved.
John S. \Vill was a native of Virginia (1773), where he W85 admitted to the bar in 17 94. On coming west he first went to Gill" cinnati, and thence came to Chillicothe, in 1798, to become the first lawyer in Ross county. He remained at Chillicothe for about ten years, serving in 1807-8 as public prosecutor, but it does not appeal‘ that he was a remarkably prominent or successful lawyer. In 1309 he removed to Franklinton, the forerunner of the city of Columbus, and while he was a resident at that town, which was military headq\1=11"11ers during the War of 1812, gossip blamed alleged delays on fill’; P8141 Of Gen. William Henry Harrison to the attractions of M15Wllli who was =1 lady of great beauty and, from all that appears, Of
unquestioned modesty and discretion. The army gossip was und011l>'E'
edly unjust to both her and the general, but it is not improbable that
P1935311?» S0<1i@t_V and comfortable quarters might make the 561191‘
more determined to wait for pleasant weather before venturing in