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The world's history is a divine poem, of which the history of every nation is a canto and every man a word. 
Its strains have been pealing along down the centuries, and, though there have been mingled the discords of 
warring cannon and dying men, yet to the Christian philosopher and historian — the humble listener — there has 
been a divine melody running through the song which speaks ot hope and halcyon days to come. — James A. 





THE publishers place this volume before 
the public believing that they have 
fulfilled every promise made at the beginning 
of the enterprise and every reasonable 
expectation. That there are faults of omission 
they are aware, but this has arisen from 
inability to obtain the required information. 
That a volume of upwards of eight hundred 
quarto pages, containing ten thousand names, 
should be free from error, no one will expect. 

A large part of the writing has been done 
by a citizen of the county, Homer Everett, 
Esq., whose personal knowledge of leading 
events reaches back almost to the first white 
settlement. This important service could have 
been entrusted to no better hands. The first 
five chapters and those relating to the Moral 
and Material Development of the county, and 
Civil History, have been prepared by a writer 
in the employ of 

the publishers. With these exceptions all of 
the general history is from the pen of Mr. 
Everett. The same gentleman also prepared 
the church history of Fremont and several 
biographical sketches. One biography and 
the commercial history of Fremont are the 
contributions of Wilbur G. Zeigler. 

It is impossible to make special ac- 
knowledgments to all to whom we are in- 
debted for assistance. The people of the 
county have received the writers and 
collectors of information with uniform 
courtesy, and given them every facility for 
the prosecution of their work. 

Instead of being bound in cloth with 
leather backs, as were the samples shown to 
subscribers, the volume is bound in full 
leather, while the form of the book renders 
it much more convenient for use, and better 
adapted to the shelves of a library. 





I. — Aboriginal Occupation 9 

II. — Ownership of the Northwest 19 

III. — Advent of the White Man 24 

IV. — Lower Sandusky before Fort 

Stephenson 27 

V.— Early Ohio 53 

VI. — Pre -historic Races 66 

VII.— The Indians 72 

VIII. — County Organization 94 

VIII(a).— Fort Stephenson 98 

IX.— Civil History 121 

X. — Development, Material, Moral, 

Social 125 

XI. — Improvements 139 

XII.— The Ohio Railroad 154 

XIII.— Plank Road 159 

XIV.— Railroad 164 

XV. — The Fremont and Indiana Rail- 
road 172 

XVI.— County Roads 177 

XVII. — County Buildings and Institutions 181 

XVIII. — Topography and Geology 194 

XIX. — Iron Bridges and Drainage 200 

XX. — Sandusky County Agricultural 

Society 208 

XXII. — 

XXVI. — 
XXXI. — 

Sandusky . 

The Press 

Military History 

Court and Bar of Sandusky 





Fremont Continued 

Business Progress . 



Public Schools 

Religious History 

Social Societies 



Green Creek.. 















Map of Sandusky county facing 9 

Fort Stephenson facing 101 

Portrait of Colonel Croghan facing 105 

McPherson Monument facing 241 

Portrait of General C. G. Eaton facing 348 

" " Major General James B. 

McPherson facing 359 

Portrait of Dr. L. Q. Rawson facing 446 

'Mrs. Dr. L. Q. Rawson facing 449 

' Rutherford B. Hayes facing 513 

' Mrs. Lucy W. Hayes facing 521 

' General R. P. Buckland facing 522 

' Mrs. R. P. Buckland facing 524 

' Sardis Birchard facing 528 

' Homer Everett facing 544 


Portrait of J. S. Van Ness, with biog- 
raphy facing 553 

" Mrs. H. Seager facing 584 

" Rev. M. Long facing 601 

" Mrs. Cynthia McPherson facing 633 

" Alfred Hutchinson facing 639 

" Hon. O. Mclntyre facing 640 

" James Cleveland facing 645 

" Rev. N. Young facing 643 

" S. Baker facing 646 

" S. W. Chapin facing 647 

" J. L. Brown facing 649 

Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Charles 

Clapp facing 650 

Portrait of Nathan Birdseye between 684 and 685 



Portrait of Mrs. Nathan Birdseye 

between 684 and 685 

" " T. G. Amsden facing 686 

Portraits of Frederick Smith and wife facing 688 

" Mr. and Mrs. John Mc- 

Cauley facing 690 

Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. John Rife facing 691 

" " Mr. and Mrs. James 

Chapman facing 692 

Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Seneca D. 

Hitt facing 693 

Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. John S. 

Gardner facing 644 

Portrait of Jeremiah Smith between 694 and 695 

" " Mrs. DeLora Smith between 694 and 695 

" " Mrs. Amanda Birds- 
eye between 696 and 697 


Portrait of J. S. Van Ness, with biog- 
raphy facing 553 

Mrs. H. Seager facing 584 

Rev. M. Long facing 601 

Mrs. Cynthia McPherson facing 633 

Alfred Hutchinson facing 639 

Hon. O. Mclntyre facing 640 

James Cleveland facing 645 

Rev. N. Young facing 643 

S. Baker facing 646 

S. W. Chapin facing 647 

J. L. Brown facing 649 

Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Charles 

Clapp facing 650 

Portrait of Nathan Birdseye between 684 and 685 



Aunesly, William 391 

Ainger, William W 391 

Amsden, Thomas G 686 

Adams, H. R 697 

Adams, Amy R 699 

Buckland, Chester Averill 350 

Buckland, Ralph P 380-522 

Baldwin, Marcus D 387 

Buckland, Horace S 393 

Bell, Charles F 395 

Bartlett, Joseph R 395 

Bartlett, Brice J 396 

Brainard, Dr. Daniel 444 

Beaugrand, Dr. Peter 451 

Brown & Anderson, Drs 451 

Brinkerhoff, Dr, David H 461 

Baker, Dr. H. F 461 

Bemis, Dr. J. D 461 

Birchard, Sardis 528 

Bell, General John 532 

Bushnell, Ebenezer, D.D 534 

Bauer, Seraphine 536 

Burgner, Jacob 555 

Buckland, Stephen and family 557 

Brown, Dr. J. L 649 

Birdseye, Nathan P. and Mary A 684 

Birdseve, Joseph and Amanda B 696 

Beaugrand, Captain John B 828 

Canfield, Lieutenant Colonel Herman 354 

Cummings, J. W 384 

Corey, Dr. John M 459 

Caldwell, Dr. W 462 

Caldwell, William 537 

Creager, Frank 539 

Cleveland, James 641 


Chapin Family 647 

Clapp, Charles and family 650 

Chapman, James 692 

Carver, Amos R 829 

Curtis, T. V 830 

Drake, Benjamin F 378 

Dickinson, Rodolphus 379 

Dewey, Thomas P 388 

Dudrow, Byron R 388 

Dickinson, Edward F 392 

Deal, David 558 

Eaton, General Charles Grant 348 

Eddy, Nathaniel B 384 

Eckt, Dr. S. P 462 

Everett, Jeremiah and family 540 

Everett, Homer 544 

Finefrock, Henn R 385 

Fronizer, F. R 387 

Finefrock, Thomas P 389 

Fowler, James H 390 

Failing, Dr. J. W 459 

Fabing, John 528 

Fuller, William 717 

Graves, Increase 379 

Greene, John L., Sr 382 

Garver, John T 390 

Click, George W. and C. S 391 

Garver, Samuel C 395 

Greene, John L., Jr 396 

Gessner, Dr. Louis 452 

Gessner, Dr. L. S. J 458 

Groat, John W 461 

Gallagher, David 547 

Giebel, Francis J. W 548 

Gardner, John S. and Ann 694 




Griswold, Stephen 830 

Goodin, Dr 443 

Harmon, Harvey J 378 

Heffner, D. A 390 

Haynes, George R 391 

Hord, John K 392 

Hastings, Dr 444 

Holloway, Dr 444 

Hammer, Dr. A. J 462 

Hayes, Rutherford B 513 

Hayes, Lucy Webb 521 

Howland, Elisha W 551 

Hutchinson, Alfred 639 

Hitt, Seneca D. and MahalaE 693 

Hirt, Casper 740 

Johnson, John A 383 

Justice, James and family 552 

Johnson, J. C 831 

Kessler and Belding 358 

Keeler, Isaac M 526 

Kridler, W. B 529 

Lemon, M. B 386 

Loveland, John B 388 

Lemon, John M 392 

Lee, Dr. George 461 

Long, Rev. Michael 601 

Levi see family 719 

McPherson, Major General James B 359 

Meek, Basil 389 

Moore, John P 547 

Millious, Jacob 552 

Mclntyre, Hon. 640 

McCauley family 690 

McCulloch, C. R 827 

Norton, Faulkner 1 535 

Newman, John 538 

Nyce, Jacob 825 

Otis, Lucius B 381 

O'Farrell, P 387 

Olmsted, Jesse S 549 


Pettibone, Hiram P 380 

Putnam, Alpheus P 392 

Rawson, Major Eugene Allen 354 

Rhodes, John H 385 

Richards, S. S 390 

Remsburg, Hezekiah 394 

Rawson, Dr. L. Q 446 

Rice, Dr. Robert S 450 

Rice, Dr. John B 458 

Rice, Dr. Robert H 459 

Rife family 691 

Richards, Franklin 722 

Rozell, Charles, and family 759 

Rice, Alfred H 825 

Snyder, Merritt L 394 

Stilwell, Dr. Thomas 454 

Smith, Dr. George E 460 

Sharp, Isaac B 528 

Smith, Frederick, and family 688 

Smith, Jeremiah 695 

Sanford, Carmi G.and Lydia 715 

Schultz, Christian 737 

Skinner, Samuel 776 

Tyler, Morris E 393 

Taylor, Dr. Sardis B 460 

Tyler, John S 535 

Taylor, Austin B 535 

Thorp, Alonzo 724 

Wegstein, Michael 353 

Watson, Cooper K 383 

Williams, Ernest B 391 

Winslow, Hiram W 392 

Williams, Dr. B. F 451 

Wilson, Dr. James W 452 

White, Dr. C. B 462 

Woodward, Gurdon 701 

Wood, Bourdett, and family between 702 and 703 

Young, Noah 643 

Zeigler, Wilbur G 386 

Zeigler, John 739 




The Sandusky Valley in Aboriginal History — The Ancient Eries — General Indian War — The Wyandots Driven from, their 
Ancient Seats — The Eries Perish — Extent of the Conquest of the Six Nations — The Neutral Nation — Two Forts at Lower 
Sandusky — Origin and Destruction of the Neutral Nation — Ohio Indians — Return of the Wyandots — Character of the 
Wyandots — Brant Visits Lower Sandusky, and Forms a Confederacy — Upper Sandusky Becomes their Seat of 
Government — The Wyandots are Given a Reservation in 1817 — Their Final Removal from Ohio in 1842 — Other Tribes and 

THE Sandusky country, in aboriginal 
history, possesses a peculiar charm and 
fascinating interest. During that period of 
years which fills western annals with the story 
of intrigue and bloody conflict, the plains and 
prairies of the lower Sandusky valley were the 
home of the most powerful and most generous 
of the savage nations. The border country of 
Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky, and 
the first settlements of Ohio, saw the Indian at 
war, and too often his character has been 
estimated by his conduct when inspired to 
cruelty by a natural desire for revenge. Here 
we see him at home, far removed from his 
enemy, and perceive the softer side of his 
untamed nature. The field brings us to a 
nation's capital, acquaints us with the manners 
and customs of primitive life, and by 
affording a more accurate knowledge of the 
treatment of white prisoners, softens harsh 
prejudices. Less than a century ago these 
plains, now covered by a thriving city, 
presented all that interesting variety of scenes 
of Indian life, primitive agriculture, rude 
cabins, canoe-building, amusements, and the 

cil fire, around which painted warriors 
planned campaigns and expeditions having 
for their ultimate object the preservation of 
the vast, beautiful forest, and the beloved 
hunting grounds, the return and welcome of 
war parties and the terrifying and not always 
harmless treatment of prisoners. 

Tradition goes back a century farther, and 
makes the locality of this city the seat of a 
still more interesting people, a people who 
for a time preserved existence by neutrality, 
while war, which raged with shocking 
ferocity, effected the extinction of the 
neighboring tribes. 

It will be necessary in these preliminary 
chapters, in which are traced the occupation 
and ownership of the territory included in 
Sandusky county, in order to an 
understanding of historical events common 
to a wide range of country, to frequently go 
beyond the small field of which this volume, 
by its title, professes to treat. At the risk of 
being tedious, we begin with the primitive 
events of Western history. 

Nothing is known of the aboriginal oc- 
cupation of Ohio previous to 1650, and 



many statements of events during the 
succeeding century rest upon traditional 
authority. At the opening of the historical era, 
the territory now constituting the State was a 
forest wilderness, inhabited mainly by the 
powerful but doomed Eries. Most of their 
villages were located along the south shore of 
the Lake which bears their name. Good Indian 
authority supports the theory that one of the 
strongholds of the tribe was the archipelago 
lying north of Sandusky Bay.* Brant, the 
distinguished Mohawk chief, speaks of them as 
a powerful nation. But the doors of 
extermination awaited them. 

The Indians of Northeastern North America 
have been classed in two generic divisions, the 
Iroquois and the Algonquin. The Iroquois 
family, consisting of the Wyandots, Eries, 
Andastes and the five Confederate tribes, were 
confined to the region south of Lakes Erie and 
Ontario and the peninsula east of Lake Huron. 
They formed as it were an island in the vast 
expanse of Algonquin population extending 
from Hudson's Bay on the north to the Carolinas 
on the south ; from the Atlantic on the east to the 
Mississippi on the west. The Delawares were the 
leading tribe, and, according to tradition, the 
parent stem of the Algonquins The Wyandots 
lived on the eastern shore of Lake Huron and 
were in consequence named by the early French 
explorers, "Hurons." The western tribes of the 
Iroquois family were more powerful than the 
eastern until the great Confederacy of Five 
Nations, afterwards Six by the addition of the 
Tuscarawas, was formed early in the 
seventeenth century. The Six Nations had the 
rude elements of a confederated republic, and 
were the only power in this part of the continent, 
deserving the 

+Parkman's Conspiracy of Pontiac. 

name of Government.* About the middle of the 
seventeenth century began a war which 
desolated the western forest of its inhabitants 
and changed the whole face of aboriginal 
geography. The confederated tribes, grown 
arrogant by fifty years of power, made war upon 
their western neighbors. The country of the 
Wyandots was first invaded. This war had 
already commenced where Champlain entered 
the St. Lawrence, and that enterprising officer 
accompanied one of the hostile parties against 
their enemies. The Wyandots suffered 
disastrously in that war. Driven from their 
ancient home, they were pursued by the 
victorious Iroquois to the northern shores of 
Lake Huron. Distance was no security against 
the relentless fury of their foes, who were 
encouraged by victory and maddened by 
resistance. Famine and disease assisted war's 
devastation. The account of the suffering, told 
by missionaries, who witnessed and shared their 
fate, excites our pity. Driven from their hiding 
places, they fled farther westward until at last a 
feeble remnant found protection in the dominion 
of the Sioux. This helpless remnant of the most 
proud and haughty of the Indian tribes in little 
more than a century, again became the most 
powerful of the Indian nations. 

During this fearful war the Eries remained 
neutral, or, rather, were at the head of a 
confederation of neutral tribes, whose dominion 
extended into Canada, and was crossed by the 
Iroquois confederacy in their campaign against 
the Wyandots. $ The proud Iroquois next began 
that cruel war which resulted in the extinction of 
the whole Neutral Nation. The Canada tribe fell 
first, and then the Eries of Ohio became victims 
of savage butchery. Using their canoes as 
scaling ladders, 

*James Albach's Annals. 

+North American Review, 1827. 




the warriors of the eastern confederacy 
stormed the Erie strongholds, leaped down 
like tigers upon the defenders, and murdered 
them without mercy. This general massacre 
was carried to the entire extinction of the 
powerful nation which once held dominion 
over the whole southern shore of Lake Erie. 
The Andastes next perished. The date of this 
event is placed, upon good authority, at 
1672. About the same time the Shawnees 
were driven from their ancient home far into 
the South. The proud Iroquois now 
pretentiously claimed to be the conquerors 
of the whole country from sea to sea, and 
indeed they may have been masters of the 
vast expanse between the lakes and the Ohio 
as far west as the Mississippi. The Miamis, 
however, have no tradition of ever having 
suffered defeat. Well accredited Indian 
writers think, therefore, that the Miami River 
was the western boundary of the Iroquois 

The territory now embraced in the State 
of Ohio, in consequence of this fatal war, 
became a land sparsely inhabited. The upper 
Ohio Valley was without human habitation 
when explored by the early French 
navigators. The western post of the Six 
Nations on the lake was a Seneca village on 
the Sandusky River, at the location of the 
present village bearing the same name. 

But in the general narrative an item of 
local interest has been passed over. General 
Lewis Cass has preserved the tradition of the 
Wyandots that, during the long and bloody 
wars between the eastern and western tribes, 
there lived upon the Sandusky a neutral tribe 
of Wyandots called the Neutral Nation. They 
occupied two villages which were cities of 
refuge, where those who sought safety never 
failed to find it. These villages stood near 
the lower rapids. "During the long and dis- 
astrous contests which preceded and 

followed the arrival of the Europeans, in 
which the Iroquois contended for victory, and 
their enemies for existence," says General 
Cass, "this little band preserved the integrity 
of their tribe and the sacred character of 
peacemakers. All who met upon their 
threshold met as friends, for the ground on 
which they stood was holy. It was a beautiful 
institution, a calm and peaceful island, 
looking out upon the world of waves and 
tempests." Father Segard says this Neutral 
Nation was in existence when the French 
missionaries first reached the Upper Lakes. 
The details of their history and of their 
character and privileges are meager and 
unsatisfactory. "And this," continues General 
Cass, "is the more to be regretted, as such a 
sanctuary among the barbarous tribes is not 
only a singular institution, but altogether at 
variance with the reckless spirit of cruelty 
with which their wars are usually prosecuted. 
The Wyandot tradition represents them as 
having separated from the parent stock during 
the bloody wars with their own tribe and the 
Iroquois, and having fled to the Sandusky 
River for safety." The tradition runs, that at 
the lower rapids two forts were erected, one 
for the Iroquois or Six Nations, the other for 
their enemies. In these, war parties might find 
security and hospitality when they entered the 
country. Tradition does not tell why so 
unusual a proposition should be made or 
acceded to. General Cass thinks it probable 
that superstition lent its aid to the institution, 
and that it may have been indebted for its 
origin to the feasts and charms and juggling 
ceremonies which constituted the religion of 
the natives. "No other motive was sufficient 
to restrain the hand of violence and to 
counteract the threat of vengeance." 

Major B. F. Stickney, for many years an 
Indian Agent in this part of Ohio, said in a 
lecture delivered in Toledo in 1845: 



The remains of extensive works of defence are now to 
be seen near Lower Sandusky. The Wyandots have given 
me this account of them: At a period of two centuries 
and a-half ago* all the Indians west of this point were at 
war with those east. Two walled towns were built near 
each other and each were inhabited by those of Wyandot 
origin. They assumed a neutral character and all the 
Indians at war recognized that character. They might be 
called two neutral cities. All of the west might enter the 
western city and all of the east the eastern. The 
inhabitants of one city might inform those of the other 
that war parties were there or had been there; but who 
they were, or whence they came, or anything more must 
not be mentioned. The war parties might remain there in 
security, taking their own time for departure. At the 
western town they suffered warriors to burn their 
prisoners near it, but the eastern would not. (An old 
Wyandot informed me that he recollected seeing, when a 
boy, the remains of a cedar post or stake at which they 
used to burn prisoners). The French historians tell us 
that when they first came here these neutral cities were 
inhabited and their neutral character preserved. At 
length a quarrel arose between these two cities and one 
destroyed the inhabitants of the other. This put an end to 

These traditions, handed down along the 
generations for nearly two centuries, are 
probably inaccurate in detail, but the general 
fact of the existence of two such cities, 
located near the headwaters of navigation on 
the Sandusky River, is entitled to as much 
consideration as any other fact of early 
Indian history. In view of the general 
historical events of the period the tradition is 
reasonable. A fierce and relentless attack 
was made upon the Wyandot Nation by the 
Confederated Iroquois. In the bloody contest 
which followed, the Wyandots were defeated 
and driven from their native soil. While the 
body of the defeated nation sought refuge in 
the high latitudes above Lake Huron, it is 
not improbable that a tribe or company 
crossed Lake Erie towards the south, found 
their way into Sandusky Bay and thence 
ascended the river to where rapids and 
shallow water prevented further progress. 
Here, at the head of navigation, 

*This tradition places the time too early by more than 
half a century. 

would be a natural place to settle, and ex- 
perience would dictate the propriety of 
building works of defence. Experience, too, 
would dictate the propriety of neutrality, 
when the Eries, among whom they had 
settled, were compelled, at a later period, to 
take up the weapons of war in defence of their 
country. These refugee Wyandots, if we 
suppose the tradition to be true, had seen the 
Neutral Nation of the northern side of the lake 
escape the cruel invaders, on account of 
neutrality. A similar policy of neutrality 
shielded them during the equally savage 
contest which resulted in the extinction of the 
Eries. History and tradition authorize the 
belief that a neutral tribe once dwelt near the 
present city of Fremont, and also that they 
were destroyed; either in an internal 
dissension or by the hand of the invading 
warriors of the Iroquois Confederacy. Gist 
found, in 1750, on White-woman creek, a 
Wyandot village containing about one 
hundred families, named "Muskingum." This 
is supposed to have been an isolated govern- 
ment. There can be no doubt but that the 
Wyandot Nation was greatly scattered by the 
general war of 1655. 

We have now given the most trustworthy 
information, so far as our knowledge of 
aboriginal history goes, of the Indian 
occupation of the region in which Sandusky 
county is included, prior to the period which 
historians have termed the second Indian 
occupation of Ohio. Previous to 1650, nothing 
is known. The succeeding century may be 
called the first period of Indian history. At the 
opening of this period the Eries were un- 
doubtedly masters of the Sandusky River 
region. Accepting tradition as authority, a 
detached band of refugee Wyandots 
established themselves at the lower rapids, 
and probably became masters of the soil. 
Then followed the conquest of the Six 
Nations, and a half century of quiet, per- 



haps undisturbed, preceded the second 
Wyandot occupation. 

The first authentic and accurate knowl- 
edge of Ohio Indians may be said to have 
had its beginning about 1750. About that 
time French and English traders sought out 
the denizens of the Ohio forests, and from 
their accounts some knowledge of the 
strength and character of the Indian tribes 
and their location, can be gleaned. The most 
trustworthy and valuable accounts are to be 
found in the narrative of the captivity of 
Colonel James Smith, who, as a prisoner, 
tramped the forest from the lakes to the 
river, having been a captive from 1755 to 
1759, and in the reports made in 1764 by 
Colonel Boquet, as the result of his 
observations while making a military 
expedition west of the Ohio. 

According to Boquet' s report, the prin- 
cipal Indian tribes in Ohio about the middle 
of the last century were the Wyandots, the 
Delawares, the Shawnees, the Mingos, the 
Chippewas and the Tawas (or Ottawas). The 
Delawares occupied the valleys of the 
Muskingum and Tuscarawas; the Shawnees, 
the Scioto Valley; the Miamis, the valleys of 
the two rivers which bear their name; the 
Wyandots occupied the country about the 
Sandusky River; the Ottawas were located 
on the valleys of the Sandusky and Maumee, 
or Miami of the Lake; the Chippewas in- 
habited the south shore of Lake Erie; and the 
Mingos, an offshoot of the six Nations, were 
in greatest strength on the Ohio, below the 
present city of Steubenville. All the tribes, 
however, frequented the country outside 
their ascribed limits of territory, and at 
different periods, from the time when the 
first definite knowledge concerning them 
was obtained, down to the era of white 
settlement, occupied different locations. 
Thus the Delawares, whom Boquet found in 
1764 in greatest numbers 

in the Tuscarawas Valley, thirty years later 
mainly occupied the county which, bears 
their name; and the Shawnees, who were 
found strongest on the Scioto, had, by the 
time of St. Clair and Wayne s wars, con- 
centrated upon the Little Miami. As the 
natives saw white settlements encroaching 
upon their hunting grounds, a bond of 
sympathy and common danger united the 
nations. Tribal differences and jealousies 
were forgotten when they foresaw the des- 
truction of their loved domain by the white 
man's axe. 

The Delawares had their densest popu- 
lation on the Upper Muskingum and Tus- 
carawas. They were in possession of the 
greater part of the eastern half of the present 
territory of Ohio, their domain extending 
from the Ohio to Lake Erie. This tribe, 
which claimed to be the elder branch of the 
Lenni-Lenape, has, in tradition, in history, 
and in fiction, been accorded a high rank 
among the Indians of North America. The 
best accredited Indian historians have testified 
to the superiority of the Delawares, and James 
Fennimore Cooper, in his charming romances, 
has popularized the fame of the tribe. Long 
before the advent of Europeans upon the 
continent, according to tradition, the 
Delawares lived in the West, but separating 
from the rest of the Lenni-Lenape, they 
migrated slowly eastward. In alliance with the 
Iroquois they conquered a race of giants, the 
Allegewi, and finally settled on the Delaware 
River, where European navigators found 
them. After the Atlantic coast became settled 
by whites the Delawares again came West. A 
portion of the tribe having obtained 
permission from the Wyandots, then settled 
on the Muskingum. They called the Wyandots 
their uncles, thus acknowledging the 
superiority of that Nation. They settled on the 
Muskingum about 1745, and the fact that 
permission was obtained 



from the Wyandots is an evidence that that 
Nation succeeded the Iroquois to the domain 
of the conquered Eries. The most successful 
labors of the Moravian missionaries were 
among the Delawares. 

The Shawnees are interesting to us, chiefly 
because of the nativity of the great war chief, 
Tecumseh, through whose influence the tribes 
of Ohio were drawn into an alliance with the 
British armies in 1812. The Shawnees were 
the only Indians who had a tradition of 
foreign origin, and for some time after the 
whites became acquainted with them they 
celebrated the arrival of their remote 
ancestors. Little is known of the early history 
of this tribe. It is generally conceded, 
however, that at an early period they were 
overcome and scattered, some being carried 
by their conquerors into Pennsylvania, and 
others driven South into the Creek country. 
Encouraged by the Wyandots and French they 
returned, about 1740, and settled in the fertile 
valley of the Scioto. It is said that Tecumseh's 
mother was a Creek woman whom his father 
took for a wife during the southern residence 
of the tribe. The chief himself, who 
commanded the Indian forces during the 
attack on Fort Stephenson, was born in the 
Mad River Valley after the return of his tribe. 

Shawnee war parties frequently visited 
Lower Sandusky while this place was oc- 
cupied by the Wyandots. Their captives were 
brought here on the way to Detroit, and their 
friendly alliance with the Wyandots made the 
Indian power most formidable during the 
early settlement of the Northwest. The four 
tribes of the Shawnees were the Piqua, 
Kiskapocke, Mequachuke, and Chillicothe. 
They were a highly imaginative people as is 
shown by the abundance of fanciful 
traditions. Their account of the origin of the 
Piqua is a good example. According to the le- 
gend, the tribe began in a perfect man, 

who burst into being from fire and ashes. 
The Shawnees said to the first whites who 
mingled with them, that once, when the wise 
men and chiefs were sitting around the 
smouldering embers of a council fire, they 
were all startled with a great puffing of fire 
and smoke, and suddenly from the ashes and 
dying coals there arose before them a man of 
splendid form and mien. He was named 
Piqua to signify the manner of his coming 
into the world, that he was born of fire and 
ashes. This legend of the origin of the tribe, 
beautiful in its simplicity, has been made the 
subject of much comment by several writers, 
as showing, in a marked degree, the romantic 
susceptibility of the Indian character. The 
Shawnees have been designated "the 
Bedouins of the American wilderness" by 
some writers, and "the Spartan of the race" 
by others. They are justly entitled to the 
former title by their extensive and constant 
wanderings; the latter title more properly 
belongs to the Wyandots. The Shawnees 
were vigorous warriors. They made frequent 
incursions into the white settlements; were 
the active allies of the French, and 
afterwards of the British during the 
Revolution; made constant war upon the 
frontier settlements of Ohio and Kentucky, 
and participated actively in the war against 
St. Clair and Wayne; in the War of 1812 a 
part of the Nation followed the celebrated 
Tecumseh. It was during this long period of 
war that they frequently visited Lower 
Sandusky with captives or for council. 

The Ottawas existed in the territory 
constituting the State of Ohio, in small 
numbers. They seem to have been inferior in 
almost every respect to the other great 
Indian nations of Ohio. The name of Pontiac 
alone renders them conspicuous in history. 

The Miamis, so far as is known, were the 
original inhabitants of the valleys 



bearing their name, and claimed to have 
been created in it. The Mingos had a few 
small villages along the Ohio River and the 
Lake basin. Drake mentions a Mingo village 
near Lower Sandusky. Logan has made the 
name Mingo familiar to every reader of 
western adventure. 

In our sketch of the first period of 
aboriginal history, we left the main stem of 
the Wyandot Nation, a weak band of refugees, 
under the protection of the Sioux, in the 
country west of Lake Superior, where they 
enjoyed safety and tranquility. But defeat and 
overthrow did not kill the proud spirit native 
to the tribe. A domain lost, left dominion to 
be gained. In a few years the power of the 
Iroquois Confederacy was crippled by their 
wars with the French. The Wyandots de- 
scended Lake Superior and occupied the lands 
about old Michilimackinac. When the French 
fort at Detroit was established they were 
invited to settle in its vicinity and their 
services were important in resisting the 
hostile operations which the Foxes continued 
against the infant colony. Their final 
migration was to the plains of Sandusky. Just 
when they came to Sandusky is not known. 
Colonel James Smith in the narrative of his 
captivity, claims to have visited, in 1757, a 
town on the "Little Lake" (which was the 
name given Sandusky Bay) named 
Sunyendeand, which was probably located 
near the mouth of Cold creek,* in Erie 
county. This is spoken of as a village of 
considerable size, but, although he ascended 
the river, no mention is made of a village at 
the falls. "When we came to the fall of 
Sandusky," says the narrative, "we buried our 
birch bark canoes as usual, at a large burying 
place for that purpose, a little below the falls. 
At this place the river falls about eight feet 
over a rock, but not perpendicularly; with 
much difficulty we pushed up our wooden 

:I: Firelands Pioneer, 

canoes; some of us went up the river and 
others by land on horses, until we came to 
the great meadows or prairies that lie 
between the Sandusky and Scioto." 

Colonel Smith describes the country from 
the mouth of the Sandusky to the falls as 
chiefly first-rate land, lying flat or level, 
intermixed with large bodies of clear mead- 
ows, where the grass is exceeding rank and 
in many places three or four feet high. "The 
timber is oak, hickory, walnut, cherry, black 
ash, elm, sugar-tree, buckeye, locust, and 
beech. In some places there is weft timber 
land the timber in these places is chiefly 
water-ash, sycamore, and buttonwood. From 
the falls to the prairie the land lies well to 
the sun; it is neither too flat or too hilly, but 
is chiefly first-rate; the timber nearly the 
same as below the falls, excepting the water- 

Colonel Smith's narrative gives negative 
evidence that the seat of government of the 
Wyandots was yet at Detroit, and that there 
were no villages on Sandusky River above 
the bay and below the prairies. The Nation, 
however, was acknowledged to be at the 
head of the great Indian family.* 

How this preeminence was acquired none 
now can tell. They were the guardians of the 
great council fire, and they alone had the 
privilege of sending their messengers with 
the well-known credentials, wampum and 
tobacco, to summon other tribes to meet 
their uncle, the Wyandot, when any 
important subject required deliberation. In 
the calamities occasioned by the victories of 
the Iroquois, the site of the council fire had 
often changed, but always with prescribed 
ceremonial and with due notice to all.t This 
fire was extinguished in blood at 
Brownstown, at the mouth of the Detroit 
river in 1812. The Wyandots were the 

*Lewis Cass, in North American Review, 
tGeneral Lewis Cass. 



keepers of the grand calumet and performed 
that office in the unequal contest with 
General Wayne in which the allied tribes 
were hopelessly defeated. 

Lower Sandusky probably became the 
principal war seat of the Wyandots, although 
Upper Sandusky was the chief seat of 
government. Half King, the great chief, lived 
at Upper Sandusky, but Tarhe, the Crane, the 
principal war chief, lived at Lower 
Sandusky, at least until Wayne's victory and 
the treaty of Greenville, after which the 
office of Half King was abolished, and 
Crane, the great war chief and chief of the 
Porcupine tribe, became the head chief of 
the Nation. Crane led his warriors from 
Lower Sandusky against Wayne, and he, 
himself, carried the grand calumet. He was 
made custodian of the treaty of Greenville.* 

The first mention of an Indian village at 
Lower Sandusky is made by Boquet, in his 
report, made in 1764, where he speaks of the 
Wyandot village Junqueindundeh, near the 
falls of Sandusky. When missionaries first 
visited this county the plains along the river 
were planted in corn and the Wyandots of 
Upper Sandusky frequently sent down for 

An event of unusual consequence is 
hinted at by Captain Brant, the famous half- 
breed chief of the Mohawks and war chief 
of the Six Nations. In a council held at 
Buffalo Creek, in 1794, Brant, addressing 
General Chapin, the United States 
Commissioner, said: "This idea (exerting 
ourselves to hold our territory,) we all 
entertained at our council at Lower 
Sandusky, for the purpose of forming our 
confederacy and to adopt measures for the 
general good of our Indian nations and 
people of our color." On another occasion 
Brant said: "For several years we were 
engaged in getting a confederacy formed, 
and the unanimity occasioned 

* History of Fort Wayne. 

by these endeavors among our Western 
brethren enabled them to defeat two 
American armies." In 1785, after the 
formation of the confederacy, Brant went to 
England.* These fragments indicate that the 
present site of the city of Fremont is the 
ground on which the grand confederacy was 
formed, of which Brant was chief, and which 
enabled the Western tribes to defeat two 
American armies. 

The government of the Wyandots was 
reposed in a council of seven chiefs, and the 
Nation was divided into seven tribes, over 
each of which a chief presided. These were 
the three Turtle tribes, the Little Turtle, the 
Water Turtle, and the Large Land Turtle; the 
Porcupine tribe, the Deer tribe, the Bear 
tribe, and the Snake tribe. The office of chief 
was hereditary in the female line. A chief 
was succeeded by his sister's son or by the 
nearest male relative in that line. After the 
office of Half King was abolished, the chief 
of the Porcupine tribe was the acknowledged 
head of the Nation. This honor belonged to 
Tarhe, or the Crane, as he was generally 

We cannot dismiss this subject without 
speaking of the character of this Nation, 
which but little more than half a century ago 
possessed and inhabited our soil, but is now 
well nigh extinct. General Harrison gives to 
the Wyandots unquestioned preference 
among the Western Indians on the score of 
bravery. With other tribes, flight in battle, 
when occasioned by unexpected resistance 
and obstacles, brought with it no disgrace, 
and was rather a part of their strategy, but 
otherwise with the Wyandots. In the battle of 
the Maumee Rapids, in which the 
confederated tribes were broken by General 
Wayne, of the thirteen Wyandot chiefs 
engaged, but one escaped, and he badly 

When General Wayne assumed his 

"Perkins's Annals of the West. 



position at Greenville, in 1795, he sent for 
Captain Wells, who commanded a company 
of scouts, and told him that he wished him to 
go to Sandusky, and take a prisoner for the 
purpose of obtaining information. Wells 
(who, having been taken from Kentucky 
when a boy and brought up by the Indians, 
was perfectly acquainted with Indian 
character,) answered that: he could take a 
prisoner, but not from Sandusky." "And why 
not from Sandusky?" said the General. 
"Because," answered Captain Wells, "there 
are only Wyandots living at Sandusky." 
"Well, why will not Wyandots do?" "For the 
best of reasons," answered Wells; "because 
Wyandots will not be taken alive." 

Upper Sandusky had been the main 
station of the Wyandots, and probably after 
the treaty of Greenville was their only seat 
of government in Ohio. By the treaty of the 
Maumee Rapids, in 1817, they relinquished 
all claim to the Sandusky Valley, except a 
reservation twelve miles square in the 
county, which bears their name. The center 
of this reservation was Fort Ferree, now the 
town of Upper Sandusky. An additional 
reservation, one mile square, was granted 
them for hunting purposes, on Broken Sword 

By the same treaty the Delawares re- 
ceived a reservation, three miles square, in 
Wyandot county. The Delawares ceded their 
reservation to the United States in 1829, the 
Wyandots in 1842, they being at that time 
the only Indians remaining in the State. They 
departed for the West in July, 1843, their 
number at that time being seven hundred 
souls. Colonel John Johnson, the Indian 
Commissioner at that time, says many of the 
old chiefs cried, and all regretted to leave 
their native land. 

During the later years of their residence in 
Ohio, William Walker was a leader among 
the Wyandots. He had been clerk 

on an Ohio river steamboat, but came among 
the Indians for purposes of speculation. He 
married a half-blood squaw at Upper 
Sandusky, who was one of the most 
intelligent women on the reservation. Walker 
became quite wealthy. He had several boys 
and girls whom he educated. One of the sons 
was William H. Walker, for some time 
Government interpreter. He had considerable 
poetical genius, as is shown by the following 
lines composed while at college: 

Oh, give me back my bended bow, 

My cap and feather, give them back, 
To chase o'er hill the mountain roe, 

Or follow in the otter's track. 

You took me from my native wild, 

Where all was bright, and free and blest; 

You said the Indian hunter's child 

In classic halls and bowers should rest. 

Long have I dwelt within these walls 

And pored o'er ancient pages long. 
I hate these antiquated halls; 

I hate the Grecian poet's song. 

Just before departing for the West, young 
Walker wrote the following song in the 
Wyandot tongue, but translated it into 


Farewell, ye tall oaks, in whose pleasant green shade 
I've sported in childhood, in innocence played, 
My dog and my hatchet, my arrow and bow, 
Are still in remembrance, alas! I must go. 

Adieu, ye dear scenes which bound me like chains, 
As on my gay pony I pranced o'er the plains; 
The deer and the turkey I tracked in the snow, 
O'er the great Mississippi, alas! I must go. 

Sandusky, Tyamochtee, and Broken Sword streams, 
No more shall I see you except in my dreams. 
Farewell to the marshes where cranberries grow, 
O'er the great Mississippi, alas! I must go. 

Dear scenes of my childhood, in memory blest, 
I must bid you farewell for the far distant West. 
My heart swells with sorrow, my eyes overflow, 
O'er the great Mississippi, alas! I must go. 

Let me go to the wildwood, my own native home. Where 
the wild deer and elk and buffalo roam, 
Where the tall cedars are and the bright waters flow, 
Far away from the paleface, oh, there let me go. 



There were along the Sandusky River 
scattered bands of other tribes — Mingos, 
Mohawks, Onondagas, Tuscarawas and 
Oneidas. Good Hunter, a leading Mingo chief, 
said his band was a remnant of Logan's tribe. 
By the treaty of Maumee Rapids in 1817, 
these scattered fragments of tribes, with a few 
Wyandots, were grouped together upon a 
reservation consisting of thirty thousand acres 
of land, which was increased to forty 
thousand the following year. This reservation 
extended two miles and an eighth northward 
of the south county line, and from the 
Sandusky River to Green Spring. The name 
Senecas of Sandusky was applied, because of 
the old Indian village of that name. Most of 
the inhabitants of this reservation were 
descendants of the six tribes composing the 
Iroquois confederacy of Six Nations. It should 
be remembered that the territory included 
within the limits of this reservation was, 
before the treaty of 1817, embraced in the 
country of the Wyandots. By a treaty 
concluded at Washington in 1831, these 
Indians relinquished their land, and removed 
to the Neosho River. 

Like the Wyandots of Upper Sandusky, 
they came to Lower Sandusky to trade, 
Judge Olmstead being their favorite 

The principal chiefs of the Senecas were 
Coonstick, Small Cloud Spicer, Seneca 
Steel, Hard Hickory, Tall Chief; and Good 
Hunter. Many interesting episodes in their 
history are narrated in the chapters relating 
to Ballville and Green Creek townships. 

The Ottawas were a nation of hunters and 
trappers, and were always subjects of shame 
among their warlike neighbors. This last 
residence in Ohio was on the Maumee River. 
They never laid claim to any part of 
Sandusky county, but often followed both 
the Portage and Sandusky Rivers on hunting 

The Delawares, after being forced from 
their seats on the Muskingum, occupied the 
western and central part of the State. The 
Muncies, the most warlike of the tribes of 
this Nation, established a village on the 
Sandusky River, about three miles below the 
Wyandot village at the rapids. Here 
Tecumseh visited them in 1809. 



The Claims of France, Founded on Discovery and Occupation — England's Claim Based Upon Discovery and Settlement of the 
Atlantic Coast and Treaties of Purchase — Treaty of Paris in 1763 — Ohio as a Part of France and Canada — The "Quebec 
Bill" — Title Vested in the Confederated States by Treaty in 1783 — Conflicting Claims of States — Virginia's Exercise of Civil 
Authority — The Northwest Territory Erected as Botetourt County — Illinois County — New York Withdraws Claim — Virginia's 
Deed of Cession Massachusetts Cedes Her Claim Without Reservation" — The Tardy and Reluctant Sacrifice of State 
Pretensions to the Public Good," Made by Connecticut — A Serious Evil Averted — The States Urged to their Action by New 
Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland — Extinguishment of the Indian Title — Difficulty of Making Satisfactory Provisions — A 
Harsh and Unjust Policy — Washington's Influence Causes More Humane Treatment of the Indians — Treaty of Fort Stanwix — 
Treaty of Fort Mcintosh — George Rogers Clarke, General Butler, and S. H. Parsons Confer with Several Tribes at the Mouth 
of the Miami — Measures of the Treaty Ineffectual to Preserve Peace — Great Improvement in the Attitude of the 
Government — Indian Tribes Recognized as Rightful Owners — Appropriations Made to Purchase Title from Them. 

FRANCE, resting her claim upon the dis- 
covery and explorations of Robert Ca- 
valier de la Salle and Marquette, upon the 
occupation of the country, and later, upon 
the provisions of several European treaties 
(those of Utrecht, Ryswick, Aix-la- 
Chapelle), was the first nation to formally 
lay claim to the soil of the territory now in- 
cluded within the boundaries of the State of 
Ohio as an integral portion of the valley of 
the Mississippi and of the Northwest. Ohio 
was thus a part of New France. After the 
treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, it was a part of 
the French province of Louisiana, which 
extended from the gulf to the northern lakes. 
The English claims were based on the 
priority of their occupation of the Atlantic 
coast, in latitude corresponding to the 
territory claimed; upon an opposite 
construction of the same treaties above 
named; and last but not least, upon the 
alleged cession of the rights of the Indians. 
England's charters to all of the original 
colonies expressly extended their grants 
from sea to sea. The principal ground of 
claim by the English was by 

the treaties of purchase from the Six Nations, 
who; claiming to be conquerors of the whole 
country and therefore its possessors, asserted 
their right to dispose of it. A portion of the 
land was obtained through grants from the Six 
Nations and by actual purchase made at 
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1744. France 
successfully resisted the claims of England, 
and maintained control of the territory 
between the Ohio and the takes by force of 
arms until the Treaty of Paris was 
consummated, in 1763. By the provisions of 
this treaty Great Britain came into possession 
of the disputed lands, and retained it until 
ownership was vested in the United States by 
the treaty of peace made just twenty years 
later. We have seen that Ohio was once a part 
of France and of the French province of 
Louisiana, and as a curiosity it may be of 
interest to refer to an act of the British 
Parliament, which made it an integral part of 
Canada. This was what has been known in 
history as the "Quebec Bill," passed in 1794. 
By the provisions of this bill the Ohio River 
was made the southwestern, and the 




River the western boundary of Canada, thus 
placing the territory now constituting the 
States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, 
and Wisconsin under the local jurisdiction of 
the Province of Quebec. 

Virginia had asserted claims to the whole 
territory northwest of the Ohio, and New 
York had claimed title to portions of the 
same. These claims had been for the most part 
held in abeyance during the period when the 
general ownership was vested in Great 
Britain, but were afterwards the cause of 
much embarrassment to the United States. 
Virginia, however, had not only claimed 
ownership of the soil, but attempted the 
exercise of civil authority in the disputed 
territory as early as 1769. In that year the 
Colonial House of Burgesses passed an act 
establishing the county of Botetourt, 
including a large part of what is now West 
Virginia and the whole territory northwest of 
the Ohio, and having, of course, as its western 
boundary, the Mississippi River. This was a 
county of vast proportions-a fact of which the 
august authorities who ordered its 
establishment seem to have been fully aware, 
for they inserted the following among other 
provisions of the act, viz: 

WHEREAS, The people situated upon the Mississippi 
in the said county of Botetourt will be very remote from 
the courthouse, and must necessarily become a separate 
county as soon as their numbers are sufficient, which will 
probably happen in a short time, be it therefore enacted by 
the authority aforesaid that the inhabitants of that part of 
the said county of Botetourt, which lies on the said waters, 
shall be exempted from the payment of any levies to be 
laid by the said county for the purpose of building a 
courthouse and prison for said county. 

It was more in name than in fact, however, 
that Virginia had jurisdiction over this great 
county of Botetourt through the act of 1769. 
In 1778, after the splendid achievements of 
General George Rogers Clarke — his 
subjugation of the British posts in the far 
West, and conquest of the whole country from 
the Ohio to the 

Mississippi — this territory was organized by 
the Virginia Legislature as the county of 
Illinois. Then, and not until then, did 
government have more than a nominal 
existence in this far extending but 
undeveloped country, containing a few 
towns and scattered population. The act, 
which was passed in October, contained the 
following provisions: 

All the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia who 
are already settled, or shall hereafter settle on the 
western side of the Ohio, shall be included in a distinct 
county which shall be called Illinois; and the Governor 
of this Commonwealth, with the advice of the council, 
may appoint a County Lieutenant or Commandant-in- 
Chief, during pleasure, who shall appoint and 
commission so many Deputy-Commandants, Militia 
officers and Commissaries, as he shall think proper, in 
the different districts, during pleasure, all of whom, 
before they enter into office, shall take the oath of 
fidelity to this Commonwealth, and the oath of office, 
according to the form of their own religion. And all 
officers to whom the inhabitants have been accustomed, 
necessary to the preservation of peace and the 
administration of justice, shall be chosen by a majority 
of citizens, in their respective districts, to be convened 
for that purpose by the County Lieutenant or 
Commandant, or his deputy, and shall be commissioned 
by the said County Lieutenant or Commandant-in-Chief. 

John Todd was appointed as County 
Lieutenant and Civil Commandant of Illinois 
county, and served until his, death (he was 
killed in the battle of Blue Lick, August 18, 
1782), being succeeded by Timothy de 

New York was the first of the several 
States claiming right and title in Western 
lands to withdraw the same in favor of the 
United States. Her charter, obtained March 
2, 1664, from Charles II., embraced territory 
which had formerly been granted to 
Massachusetts and Connecticut. The cession 
of claim was made by James Duane, William 
Floyd, and Alexander McDougall, on behalf 
of the State, March 1, 1781. 

Virginia, with a far more valid claim than 
New York, was the next State to follow New 
York's example. Her claim was 



founded upon certain charters granted to the 
colony by James I., and bearing date 
respectively, April 10, 1606, May 23, 1609, 
and March 12, 1611; upon the conquest of 
the country by General George Rogers 
Clarke; and upon the fact that she had also 
exercised civil authority over the territory. 
The General Assembly of Virginia, at its 
session beginning October 20, 1783, passed 
an act authorizing its delegates in Congress 
to convey to the United States in Congress 
assembled, all the right of that 
Commonwealth to the territory northwest of 
the Ohio River. The act was consummated 
on March 17, 1784. By one of the provisory 
clauses of this act was reserved the Virginia 
Military District, lying between the waters 
of the Scioto and Little Miami Rivers. 

Massachusetts ceded her claims without 
reservation, the same year that Virginia did 
hers (1784), though the action was not 
formally consummated until the 18th of 
April, 1785. The right, of her title had been 
rested upon her charter, granted less than a 
quarter of a century from the arrival of the 
Mayflower, and embracing territory 
extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific. 

Connecticut made what has been char- 
acterized as "the last tardy and reluctant 
sacrifice of State pretensions to the common 
good" * on the 14th of September, 1786. She 
ceded to Congress all her "right, title, 
interest, jurisdiction, and claim to the lands 
northwest of the Ohio, excepting the 
Connecticut Western Reserve," and of this 
tract jurisdictional claim was not ceded to 
the United States until May 30, 1801. 

The happy, and, considering all 
complications, speedy adjustment of the con- 
flicting claims of the States, and consolida- 
tion of all rights of title in the United 

* Statutes of Ohio; Chief Justice Chase. 

States, was productive of the best results both 
at home and abroad. The young Nation, born 
in the terrible throes of the Revolution, went 
through a trying ordeal, and one of which the 
full peril was not realized until it had been 
safely passed. Serious troubles threatened to 
arise from the disputed ownership of the 
Western lands, and there were many who had 
grave fears that the wellbeing of the country 
would be impaired or at least its progress 
impeded. The infant Republic was at that time 
closely and jealously watched by all the 
governments of Europe, and nearly all of 
them would have rejoiced to witness the 
failure of the American experiment, but they 
were not destined to be gratified at the 
expense of the United States. As it was, the 
most palpable harm, caused by delay, was the 
retarding of settlement. The movement 
towards the complete cession of State claims 
was accelerated as much as possible by 
Congress. The National Legislature 
strenuously urged the several States, in 1784, 
to cede their lands to the Confederacy to aid 
the payment of the debts incurred during the 
Revolution, and to promote the harmony of 
the Union.* 

The States of New Jersey, Delaware, and 
Maryland had taken the initiative action and 
been largely instrumental in bringing about 
the cession of State claims. The fact that they 
had no foundation for pretensions of 
ownership save that they had equally, in 
proportion to their ability with the other 
States, assisted in wresting these lands from 
Great Britain, led them to protest against an 
unfair division of the territory-New Jersey 
had memorialized Congress in 1778, and 
Delaware followed in the same spirit in Jan- 
uary, 1779. Later in the same year Maryland 
virtually reiterated the principles 

Albach's Annals of the West. 



advanced by New Jersey and Maryland, 
though more positively. Her representatives 
in Congress emphatically and eloquently 
expressed their views and those of their 
constituents, in the form of instructions upon 
the matter of confirming the articles of 

The extinguishment of the Indian claims 
to the soil of the Northwest was another 
delicate and difficult duty which devolved 
upon the Government. In the treaty of peace, 
ratified by Congress in 1784, no provision 
was made by Great Britain in behalf of the 
Indians-even their most faithful allies, the 
Six Nations. Their lands were included in 
the boundaries secured to the United States. 
They had suffered greatly during the war, 
and the Mohawks had been dispossessed of 
the whole of their beautiful valley. The only 
remuneration they received was a tract of 
country in Canada, and all of the sovereignty 
which great Britain had exercised over them 
was transferred to the United States. The 
relation of the new Government to these 
Indians was peculiar. In 1782 the British 
principle, in brief that "might makes right" 
that discovery was equivalent to conquest, 
and that therefore the nations retained only a 
possessory claim to their lands, and could 
only abdicate it to the government claiming 
sovereignty-was introduced into the general 
policy of the United States. The Legislature 
of New York was determined to expel the 
Six Nations entirely, in retaliation for their 
hostility during the war. Through the just 
and humane counsels of Washington and 
Schuyler, however, a change was wrought in 
the Indian policy, and the Continental 
Congress sought henceforward in its action 
to condone the hostilities of the past and 
gradually to dispossess the Indians of their 
lands by purchase, as the growth of the 
settlements might render it necessary to do 
so. It was in pursuance 

of this policy that the treaty of Fort Stanwix 
was made, October 22, 1784. By this treaty 
were extinguished the vague claims which the 
confederated tribes, the Mohawks, 
Onondagas, Senecas, Cayugas, Tuscarawas, 
and Oneidas had for more than a century 
maintained to the Ohio Valley. The 
commissioners of Congress in this transaction 
were Oliver Wolcott, Richard Butler, and 
Arthur Lee. The Six Nations were represented 
by two of their ablest chiefs, Cornplanter and 
Red Jacket, the former for peace and the latter 
for war. La Fayette was present at this treaty 
and importuned the Indians to preserve peace 
with the Americans. 

By the treaty of Fort Mcintosh, negotiated 
on the 21st of January, 1785, by George 
Rogers Clarke, Richard Butler and Arthur 
Lee, was secured the relinquishment of all 
claims to the Ohio Valley held by the 
Delawares, Ottawas, Wyandots, and 
Chippewas. The provisions of this treaty were 
as follows: 

ARTICLE 1st — Three chiefs, one from the Wyandot 
and two from the Delaware Nations, shall be delivered up 
to the Commissioners of the United States, to be by them 
retained till all the prisoners taken by the said Nations or 
any of them shall be restored. 

ARTICLE 2d— The said Indian Nations and all of their 
tribes do acknowledge themselves to be under the 
protection of the United States and of no other sovereign 

ARTICLE 3d — The boundary line between the United 
States and the Wyandot and Delaware Nations shall begin 
at the mouth of the river Cuyahoga and run thence up the 
said river to the portage between that and the Tuscarawas 
branch of the Muskingum; then down the said branch to 
the forks at the crossing-place above Fort Laurens; then 
west-wardly to the portage of the Big Miami, which runs 
into the Ohio, at the mouth of which branch the fort stood 
which was taken by the French in the year one thousand 
seven hundred and fifty-two; then along the said portage 
to the Great Miami or Owl River, and down the southeast 
side of the same to its mouth; thence down the south shore 
of Lake Erie to the mouth of the Cuyahoga where it began. 

ARTICLE 4th— The United States allot all the lands 
contained within the said lines to the Wyandot and 
Delaware Nations, to live and to hunt on, 



and to such of the Ottawa Nation as now live thereon; 
saving and reserving for the establishment of trading posts 
six miles square at the mouth of the Miami or Owl River 
and the same at the portage of that branch of the Miami 
which runs into the Ohio, and the same on the Cape of 
Sandusky, where the fort formerly stood, and also two 
miles square on the lower rapids of Sandusky River; 
which posts and the land annexed to them, shall be for the 
use and under the Government of the United States. 

ARTICLE 5th — If any citizen of the United States, or 
other person not being an Indian, shall attempt to settle on 
any of the lands allotted to the Wyandot and Delaware 
Nations in this treaty, except on the lands reserved to the 
United States, in the preceding article, such person shall 
forfeit the protection of the United States, and the Indians 
may punish him as they please. 

ARTICLE 6th — The Indians who sign this treaty, as 
well in behalf of all their tribes as of themselves, do 
acknowledge the lands east, south and west of the lands 
described in the third article, so far as the said Indians 
claimed the same, to belong to the United States, and none 
of the tribes shall presume to settle upon the same or any 
part of it. 

ARTICLE 7th— The post of Detroit, with a district 
beginning at the mouth of the River Rosine on the west 
side of Lake Erie and running west six miles up the 
southern bank of the said river; thence northerly, and 
always six miles west of the strait, till it strikes Lake St. 
Clair, shall also be reserved to the sole use of the United 

ARTI CLE 8th — In the same manner the post of 
Michilimackinac with its dependencies, and twelve 
miles square about the same, shall be reserved to the use 
of the United States. 

ARTICLE 9th — If any Indian or Indians shall commit 
a robbery or murder on any citizen of the United States, 
the tribe to which such offenders may belong shall be 
bound to deliver them up at the nearest post, to be 
punished according to the ordinance of the United 

ARTICLE 10th — The Commissioners of the United 
States, in pursuance of the humane and liberal views of 
Congress, upon the treaty's being signed, will direct 
goods to be distributed among the different tribes for 
their use and comfort. 

The treaty of Fort Finney, at the mouth of 
the Great Miami, January 31, 1786, secured 
the cession of whatever claim to the. Ohio 
Valley was held by the Shawnees. George 
Rogers Clarke, Richard Butler, and Samuel H. 
Parsons* were the 

* General Samuel H. Parsons, an eminent Revo- 
lutionary character, was one of the first band of Marietta 
pioneers, and was appointed first as Associate 

Commissioners of the United States. James 
Monroe, then a Member of Congress from 
Virginia and afterwards President of the 
United States, accompanied General Butler, 
in the month of October preceding the treaty, 
as far as Lirnestonet (now Maysville, 
Kentucky). The party, it is related, stopped 
at the mouth of the Muskingum and (in the 
words of General Butler's journal,) "left 
fixed in a locust tree" a letter recommending 
the building of a fort on the Ohio side. By 
the terms of this treaty the Shawnees were 
confined to the lands west of the Great 
Miami. Hostages were demanded from the 
Indians, to remain in the possession of the 
United States until all prisoners should be 
returned, and the Shawnees were compelled 
to acknowledge the United States as the sole 
and absolute sovereign of all the territory 
ceded to them, in the treaty of peace, by 
Great Britain. The clause embodying the 
latter condition excited the jealousy of the 
Shawnees. They went away dissatisfied with 
the treaty, though assenting to it. This fact, 
and the difficulty that was experienced even 
while the treaty was making, of preventing 
depredations by white borderers, argued 
unfavorably for the future. The treaty was 
productive of no good results whatever. 
Hostilities were resumed in the spring of 
1786, and serious and widespread war was 
threatened. Congress had been acting upon 
the policy that the treaty of peace with Great 
Britain had invested the United States with 
the fee simple of all the Indian lands, but 
urged now by the stress of circumstances the 
Government radically 

and then as Chief Judge of the Northwest Territory He 
was drowned in the Big Beaver River, November 17, 
1789, while returning to his home in Marietta from the 
North, where he had been making the treaty which 
secured the aboriginal title to the soil of the Connecticut 
Western Reserve. 

+2 General Butler's Journal in Craig's "Olden Time," 
October, 1847. 



changed its policy, fully recognizing the 
Indians as the rightful proprietors of the soil, 
and on the 2d of July, 1787, appropriated the 
sum of twenty-six thousand dollars for the 
purpose of extinguishing Indian claims to 
lands already ceded to the United States, and 
for extending a purchase beyond the limits 
heretofore fixed by treaty. 

Under this policy other relinquishments of 
Ohio territory were effected through the 

treaties of Fort Harmar, held by General 
Arthur St. Clair, January 9, 1789, the treaty 
of Greenville, negotiated by General 
Anthony Wayne, August 3, 1795, and vari- 
ous other treaties made at divers times from 
1796 to 1818.* But of these it is beyond our 
province to speak in this chapter. 

* It is a fact worthy of note, and one of which we may well be 
proud, that the title to every foot of Ohio soil was honorably 
acquired from the Indians. 



La Salle Upon the Ohio Two Hundred Years Ago — Possibility of His Having Explored the Muskingum — The Griffin on Lake Erie — 
French Trading Stations — Routes Through the Wilderness — The Sandusky River — The English Supersede the French — Interest 
in the West Exhibited by Governor Spotswood, of Virginia, in 1710 — The Transmontane Order Founded — Licenses Issued for 
Trading with the Indians, by the Governor of Pennsylvania, in 1740 — Systematic Exploration of the Ohio Valley by Celeron de 
Bienville — Fort Sandusky Built by the French — Pickawillamy, the First Building Erected by the English in Ohio — Organization 
of the Colonial Ohio Land Company, in Virginia, in 1748 — Preparation Made to Establish a Colony — French Resistance — War 
of Britain Against the French and Indians — Its Results — Franklin's Plans for Western Settlements — Pontiac's War — Fort 
Sandusky Destroyed — Probable Effect of this Event Upon Lower Sandusky — Immense Schemes for Western Colonization — 
Colonel Boquet Wins a Bloodless Victory on the Upper Muskingum — Hostility of the Shawnees — Logan — Lord Dunmore's 
War — The Battle of Point Pleasant — An Event of Immeasurable Importance in the West — General George Roger Clarke's 
Conquest of the Northwest — Value of His Foresight and Decisive Action — His Services Unappreciated — Miscellaneous 
Military Invasions — The Establishment of the Moravian Missions on the Muskingum — The Massacre — Crawford's Campaign 
Against Sandusky. 

THE adventurous La Salle, there is every 
reason to believe, was the first white man 
who trod the soil of the destined State of Ohio, 
and the first whose eyes beheld the beautiful 
river. With a few followers and led by Indian 
guides he penetrated the vast country of the 
powerful Iroquois until, as Parkman says, he 
reached "at a point six or seven leagues from 
Lake Erie, a branch of the Ohio, which he 
descended to the main stream," and so went 
onward as far as the "falls," or the site of 
Louisville. His men abandoning 

him there, he retraced his way alone This, 
according to the best authorities, was in the 
winter of 1669-70, over two hundred years 
ago. Indeed, there is some reason to believe 
that he made his way from Lake Erie to the 
Ohio by the Cuyahoga, the Tuscarawas and 
Muskingum, though the preponderance of 
evidence points to the Allegheny as the 
route followed. Ten years later La Salle 
unfurled the first sail ever set to the breeze 
upon Lake Erie, and upon the Griffin, a 
schooner of forty-five tons burden, made 



the voyage to Lake Huron. In 1682 he 
reached the Mississippi, descended to its 
mouth, and there solemnly proclaimed 
possession of the vast valley in the name of 
his king. 

It is known that the Sandusky was a water 
route of travel for the early French traders 
and explorers from Canada to the 
Mississippi. They ascended the stream from 
the bay to the mouth of Little Sandusky, 
thence up that creek four miles to a portage, 
thence across the portage, about a quarter of 
a league to the Little Scioto, thence to the 
Scioto and the Ohio. "Ascending the 
Sandusky," writes William Walter to Mr. 
Butterfield, "to the mouth of the west 
branch, known as Little Sandusky, with a 
bark or light wooden canoe, you could in a 
good stage of water ascend that tributary four 
or five miles further; thence east across to the 
Little Scioto is about four miles further. This 
was the portage." Colonel James Smith 
estimates the distance, when he crossed, to be 
one-half mile. This was in the spring of 1757. 
The Sandusky and Scioto was the path of 
travel of the northern Indians, when on 
excursions south into Kentucky, and also the 
highways of the Shawnees to Detroit. In early 
history the term Sandusky is applied to the 
whole region which casts its waters into the 
bay. The origin of the name is given in 
another chapter. 

Governor Alexander Spotswood, of Vir- 
ginia, became interested in the Western 
country early in the eighteenth century; 
engaged in exploring the Alleghenies in 1710; 
discovered a passage through them in 1714, 
and entered with great ardor upon the scheme 
of taking practical possession of the Ohio 
Valley. He founded the Transmontane order, 
whose knights were decorated with a golden 
horseshoe bearing the legend "Sac jurat 
transcendere mantes, " and urged upon the 
British Sovereign 

the importance of securing a foothold in the 
West before the French had gained too 
powerful an ascendancy. His suggestions 
were not regarded, and many years later the 
British Government had cause to remember 
with regret the wise policy they had 
neglected to act upon. Although no 
systematic plan of exploration or settlement 
was followed, individuals from time to time 
passed the great barrier and visited the 
valley of the la belle riviere. There have 
been handed down certain vague traditions 
that the English had trading posts on the 
Ohio as early as 1730, and it is known 
positively that they had soon after that time. 
In 1744 the Governor of Pennsylvania issued 
licenses for trading with the Indians as far 
west as the Father of Waters. John Howard 
had descended the Ohio in 1742 and been 
captured on the Mississippi by the French; 
and six years later Conrad Weiser, acting in 
behalf of the English, visited the Shawnees 
at Logstown (below the site of Pittsburgh,) 
bearing gifts with which to win their favor. 
About the same time George Croghan and 
Andrew Montour, the half-breed son of a 
Seneca chief, bore liberal presents to the 
Miamis, in return for which the Indians 
allowed the whites to establish a trading post 
and build a stockade at the mouth of 
Loramie Creek on the Great Miami (within 
the present county of Shelby). The fort, built 
in 1751, which was called Pickawillamy, has 
been cited by some writers as the first 
English settlement in Ohio. The building, 
which was undoubtedly the first erected by 
the British on the soil of the State, was 
destroyed in June, 1752, by a force of 
French and Indians. 

Prior to the middle of the century the 
French strenuously reasserted their 
ownership of the Northwest, and did actually 
take possession of what is now the northern 
part of Ohio, building a fort and 



establishing a trading station at Sandusky. 
This was probably the first trading station 
east of the Maumee (Miami of the lake). The 
French looked upon the English traders with 
jealousy and made reprisals at every 
opportunity. The Indians of the Lake basin 
were loyal to the French while those of the 
South accepted the friendship of the English. 
These events forecasted serious trouble and 
made the establishment of a military post on 
the lake a measure of expediency. Gist's 
Diary fixes the time under date of December 
7, 1750. At the village of Muskingum, on the 
Tuscarawas, he makes the following entry: 

Two traders belonging to Mr. Croghan came into town 
and informed us that two of his people had been taken 
by forty Frenchmen and twenty Indians who carried 
them, with seven horse-loads of skins, to a new fort the 
French were building on one of the branches of Lake 

The location of Fort Sandusky has been a 
subject of much dispute. Taylor, in his 
excellent history of Ohio, concludes that the 
exact locality cannot be ascertained, but the 
probability is that the site was about three 
miles west of the city of Sandusky, near the 
village of Venice, on Sandusky Bay. The old 
trail from Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh) to 
Detroit, struck the bay near this point and 
the fort was probably near the trail. All the 
Revolutionary treaties with the Indians, and 
the treaties of Fort Harmar and Greenville, 
reserve to the United States "six miles 
square upon Sandusky Lake, where the fort 
formerly stood." On a map of Ohio, 
published in 1803, this tract is delineated as 
extending from the south shore of the bay, 
and includes the locality Taylor supposes to 
have been the location of the fort. In this 
opinion Parkman, in his "Chart of Forts and 
Settlements of America, A. D. 1763," agrees; 
but Evans' map 

* Bancroft quotes Gist as saying the captives were 
taken to a new French fort at Sandusky." 

of the British Colonies, 1755, places the fort 
on the peninsula, between the bay and lake, 
and marks Fort Juandat (probably a 
corruption of Wyandot) near the mouth of the 
Sandusky River, on the south side of the bay. 
This latter place is the same as the Indian 
village of Sunyendeand, visited by Colonel 
James Smith in 1757. This village was at the 
mouth of a small creek, but what creek is not 
known. Evans' Chart would locate it in the 
territory now included in this county, but the 
weight of evidence is against that conclusion. 
There was another Wyandot village at the 
source of Cold Creek. Celeron de Bienville 
made a systematic exploration of the Ohio 
Valley and formally declared by process verbal 
the ownership of the soil. On the 16th of 
August, 1749, he was at the mouth of the 
Muskingum. This fact was revealed in 1798 by 
the discovery of a leaden plate which had been 
buried by him and which set forth that the 
explorer sent out by the Marquis de la 
Gallissoniere, Captain General of New France, 
agreeably to the wishes of His Majesty, Louis 
XV, had deposited the plate as a monument of 
the renewal of possession of la riviere Oyo, 
otherwise la belle riviere, and all those which 
empty into it, and of all the lands of both sides 
even to the sources of the said rivers, and 
which had been obtained by force of arms and 
by treaties, especially those of Ryswick, 
Utrecht, and Aix-la-Chapelle. A similar plate 
was found in 1846 at the mouth of the 
Kanawha. They were doubtless deposited at the 
mouths of all the principal tributaries of the 

The French had a very just claim to the Ohio 
Valley, but it was destined that they should not 
hold it, and already events were shaping which 
eventually led to the overthrow of their 
authority and the vesture of title and possession 
in the English crown. 

The Colonial Ohio Land Company was 
organized in Virginia in 1748, by twelve 



associates, among whom were Thomas Lee, 
and Lawrence and Augustine, brothers of 
George Washington. Under their auspices 
Christopher Gist explored the Ohio as far as 
the falls, travelling a portion of the time with 
Croghan and Montour. The company secured 
a royal grant of half a million acres of land 
in the Ohio Valley. In 1763 preparations 
were made to establish a colony. The French 
exhibited an intention of resistance, and the 
royal Governor of Virginia sent George 
Washington, then a young man, to the 
commander of the French forces to demand 
their reason for invasion of British territory. 
Washington received an answer that was 
both haughty and defiant. Returning to 
Virginia he made known the failure of his 
mission. The project of making a settlement 
was abandoned, and preparations were 
immediately made for the maintenance of the 
British claim to the western valley by force 
of arms. The result was the union of the 
colonies, the ultimate involvement of 
England in the war that ensued, the defeat of 
the French, and the vesture in the British 
crown of the right and title to Canada and of 
all the territory east of the Mississippi and 
south to the Spanish possessions, excepting 
New Orleans and a small body of land sur- 
rounding it. Benjamin Franklin had 
previously tried to effect a union of the 
colonies and had been unsuccessful. He had 
proposed a plan of settlement in 1754, and 
suggested that two colonies should be 
located in the West — one upon the Cuyahoga 
and the other upon the Scioto, "on which," 
he said, "for forty miles each side of it and 
quite up to its head is a body of all rich land, 
the finest spot of its bigness in all North 
America, and has the peculiar advantage of 
sea coal in plenty (even above ground in two 
places) for fuel when the wood shall have 
been destroyed." 

The peace concluded by the treaty of Paris in 
February, 1763, was only a fancied 
settlement of difficulties in the Northwest. 
For a few months war clouds shifted from 
the zenith and left a clear sky just long 
enough for the frontier farmer to plant his 
crop in the hope of harvesting in security; 
and for the industrious trader to begin his 
journey from village to village. But a storm 
of terrible fury was gathering on the horizon 
all around. 

The Northwestern Indians submitted sullenly 
to the British arms. They remained jealous 
of encroachments, and having been 
accustomed to receiving splendid presents 
from the French, they soon began to cherish 
those bitter feelings of resentment which 
neglect always inspires. The organization of 
the Ohio Land Company, the multiplication 
of grants to settlers by the Government of 
Virginia, the outrages of the English soldiery 
which displaced the gay French garrisons in 
the Northwestern forts, all contributed to 
bring on the war which is known in history 
as "Pontiac's Conspiracy." The Ottawa chief, 
Pontiac, was the soul of a formidable 
conspiracy which exploded in the spring of 
1763, spreading desolation and death 
throughout the whole Northwest. He was a 
chief of great genius and possessing qualities 
unsurpassed by the most distinguished of his 
race.* There is something lofty in the proud 
speech addressed to the English traders who 
came to his camp for purposes of business: 

Englishmen! Although you have conquered the French, 
you have not yet conquered us. We are not your slaves. 
These lakes, these woods, these mountains were left to 
us by our ancestors. They are our inheritance, and we 
will part with them to none. Your Nation supposes that 
we, like the white people, cannot live without bread, 
pork and beef, But you ought to know that the Great 
Spirit and Master of Life has provided food for us on 
these lakes and in these mountains. 4 " 

*Taylor's History of Ohio. 
+Writings of Perkins. 



Bancroft styles Pontiac the colossal chief, 
whose "name still hovers over the 
Northwest, as the hero who devised and 
conducted a great but unavailing struggle 
with destiny for the independence of his 
race." He had taken a conspicuous part in the 
French war, having been in command of the 
Indian forces in the defence of Fort 
Duquesne and at Braddock's defeat. By some 
historians he is given the title of emperor. 
Like Tecumseh, a half century later, Pontiac 
appealed to superstition to reach the Indian 
heart. He aroused the tribes from the 
Carolinas to Lake Michigan by interpreting 
the voice of the Great Spirit as saying to 
them: "Why do you suffer these dogs in the 
red clothing to enter your country and take 
the land I have given you? Drive them out! 
Drive them! When you are in distress I will 
help you." 

By incessant work and unsurpassed 
genius, Pontiac secretly formed a league 
which was to environ and enfeeble the 
garrisons, and by stratagem and force sim- 
ultaneously to destroy them. The frontiers 
were then to be swept by a general massacre. 

"At last the day came; traders everywhere 
were seized, their goods taken from them, 
and more than one hundred put to death. 
Nine British forts yielded instantly, and the 
savages drank, 'scooped up in the hollow of 
joined hands' the blood of many a Briton. 
The border streams of Pennsylvania and 
Virginia ran red again. 'We hear,' says a 
letter from Fort Pitt, 'of scalpings every 
hour.' In western Virginia more than twenty 
thousand people were driven from their 
homes. Detroit was besieged by Pontiac 
himself, after a vain effort to take it by 
stratagem, and for many months that siege 
was continued in a manner and with a 
perseverance unexampled among the 
Indians. It was the 8th of May when Detroit 
was first at- 

tacked, and on the 3d of the following 
November it was still in danger. As late as 
March of the next year the inhabitants were 
still sleeping in their clothes, expecting an 
alarm every night."* 

The destruction of Fort Sandusky and the 
consequent destruction of the neighboring 
Wyandot village, come within our legitimate 
field, for although the fort was beyond the 
east line of this county, and the village 
probably was, the burning of both had the 
effect of giving Lower Sandusky greater 
importance in Indian affairs. The destruction 
of the fort left no foreign military station 
nearer than Detroit, which gave to the Indians 
here confidence of greater security, for 
although in after years they received at the 
British headquarters pay for furs, bounty for 
scalps, and ransom for prisoners, they never 
ceased to entertain a lurking suspicion of the 
white men. The destruction of the village on 
the bay had the effect of concentrating the 
population about the headwaters of 
navigation, a place more difficult for white 
expeditions to approach, superior for 
agriculture, nearer the centre of tribal 
dominion, and in almost every respect better 
adapted for an Indian stronghold than any 
other point in the lake basin. Colonel Smith's 
narrative speaks of visiting the "Little Lake," 
giving that locality considerable importance. 
After its destruction it was never rebuilt, and 
Lower Sandusky is next described* as the 
home of the great war chief Tarhe, the Crane, 

From the report of Ensign Paully of the 
garrison, there has been compiled by Parkman 
and Bancroft detailed accounts of the siege of 
the fort. 

On the 16th of May (1763), Fort Sandusky was 
approached by a party of Indians, principally from the 
Wyandot village. Ensign Paully was informed that seven 
Indians were waiting at the gate to speak with him. They 
proved to be four Hurons or Wyan- 

• Perkins's Annals of the West. 
*By Heckewelder in 1782. 



dots, and three Chippewas, and as several of them were 
known to him he ordered them to be admitted without 
hesitation. Arrived at his quarters two of the treacherous 
visitors seated themselves on each side of the 
commandant, while the rest were disposed in various 
parts of the room. The pipes were lighted and 
conversation began, when an Indian who stood in the 
door, made a signal by suddenly raising his head. Upon 
this the astonished officer was seized, disarmed, and 
tied by those near him, while at the same moment a 
confused noise of shrieks and yells, firing of guns, and 
the hurried tramp of feet sounded from the area without. 
It soon ceased, however, and as Paully was led from the 
room he saw the dead body of his sentry, and the parade 
ground was strewn with the corpses of the murdered 
garrison. The body of his sergeant lay in the garden 
where he was planting at the time of the massacre. Some 
traders who were stationed within or near the pickets 
were also killed and their stores plundered. At nightfall 
Paully was conducted to the margin of the lake, where 
several birch canoes lay in readiness, and as amid thick 
darkness the party pushed out from shore, the captive 
saw the fort, lately under his command, bursting on all 
sides into sheets of flame. 

The tragedy at Sandusky did not remain unavenged. 
On the 26th of July a detachment of two hundred and 
sixty men, under command of Captain Dalzell, arrived at 
Sandusky on their coastwise route to Detroit. Thence 
they marched inland to the Wyandot village, which they 
burned to the ground, at the same time destroying the 
adjacent fields of standing corn. After inflicting this 
inadequate retribution of the scene of May 16, Dalzell 
steered northward, and under cover of night effected a 
junction with the Detroit garrison. 

George Washington made a journey down 
the Ohio in 1770. He was accompanied by 
Dr. Crank, Captain (afterwards Colonel) 
William Crawford (who was burned to death 
at the stake within the present limits of 
Wyandot county in 1782), and several other 
white men, also by a party of Indians. 

Largely through Washington was the 
interest in the West revived. Immense 
schemes for settlement and land speculation 
were projected. A huge company was 
organized which included the Old Ohio 
Company and the Walpole scheme as well as 
recognizing the bounties of the Virginia 
volunteers in the French war. Doubtless 
some of these plans for the development of 
the West would have succeeded 

had it not been for Indian hostilities upon the 
border settlements already established, and 
the probability of a long continuance of the 
perturbed condition of affairs generally. 
Colonel Henry Boquet, who had the year 
before rescued the garrison of Fort Duquesne 
and dispersed Pontiac's warriors, made a 
military expedition into the Ohio country in 
1764, his purpose being to punish and awe 
the Indians and recover from them the 
captives they had taken during the previous 
years on the Pennsylvania and Virginia 
borders. He was successful in the 
accomplishment of each one of his objects. 
The expedition was directed against the 
Delawares upon the Muskingum and 
Tuscarawas. No blood was shed, the Indians 
assenting to the terms of a treaty prepared by 
Colonel Boquet, and delivering to him over 
two hundred prisoners. Upon the 28th of 
November the army of about fifteen hundred 
returned to Fort Pitt, which point they had left 
on October 3d. This expedition for a time 
tranquilized the Indians of the Ohio country, 
and the next ten years passed peacefully and 
without the occurrence of any important 

But returning to the period from which we 
retrograded to speak of the Boquet expedition, 
we find in 1774 that the Shawnees have 
become bitterly hostile, principally on 
account of the prospect of losing their land 
and because of the murder of the kindred of 
Logan, the famous Mingo, who was now 
dwelling with them at the Old Chillicothe 
town on. the Scioto (where was afterward the 
village of Westfall, Pickaway county). Logan 
had "fully glutted his vengeance" upon the 
white settlements of the Monongahela 
country, and numerous atrocities had been 
committed all along the border. To quell the 
turbulence that prevailed Lord Dunmore, the 
then royal Governor of Virginia, organized an 
army of invasion of the Indian country. He 



had a desire for military renown and decided 
to assume personal command of the large 
division, while he entrusted the other, 
consisting of about eleven hundred men 
raised west of the Blue Ridge, to General 
Andrew Lewis. The forces of the latter were 
attacked by the Indians on the 10th of 
October, south of the Ohio, and the ensuing 
combat, known as the battle of Point 
Pleasant, was one of the most desperate and 
bloody in the annals of the West. The 
contending forces were very nearly equal, it 
is claimed by most writers, but there is 
strong probability that the Indians were 
much weaker in numbers than the army 
which they assailed. The whites lost half of 
their officers and fifty-two men killed, while 
the Indian loss was estimated at two hundred 
and thirty-three. Lord Dunmore's division 
passed through a bloodless campaign. They 
descended the Ohio to the mouth of the 
Hocking River, and there built Fort Gower. 
The Governor was here at the time of the bat- 
tle of Point Pleasant, and had sent messengers 
to Lewis ordering him to march toward the 
Scioto towns. Dunmore marched through the 
territory included in Athens county and 
onward to the Pickaway (originally Piqua) 
plains, below the site of Circleville. There he 
was met by Lewis' decimated division, whom 
he could hardly keep from falling upon the 
Indians to avenge the death of their comrades 
at Point Pleasant. A treaty was held at Camp 
Charlotte, which was attended and acquiesced 
in by all of the leading chiefs of the villages 
except Logan. Lord Dunmore dispatched John 
Gibson to confer with the haughty Mingo, and 
his visit elicited the famous speech, which 
Jefferson pronounced equal in eloquence to 
any ever made by the great orators of 
civilized nations. 

Already the premonitory signs of that 
discontent which developed into the 

Revolution and American independence 
were exhibiting themselves, and soon the 
conflict was begun which riveted the atten- 
tion of the world upon the colonies. The 
Revolutionary period was almost barren of 
events in the West. There was one event, 
however, of immeasurable importance. The 
time had come when the destiny of the Great 
West — of the Northwestern Territory — was 
to be decided. The man who was to shape its 
destiny was, in 1774, an officer in Lord 
Dunmore's army, and in 1776 a pioneer 
settler in Kentucky — George Rogers Clarke. 
He was a realization of the ideal soldier — 
cool, courageous, and sagacious, and at once 
the most powerful man and the most 
picturesque character in the whole West. It 
was his foresight and prompt, efficient 
action which at the close of the war made the 
Northwest Territory a portion of the United 
States instead of leaving it in possession of 
the British. He foresaw that even if the 
colonies should be victorious in the War for 
Independence they would be confined to the 
eastern side of the Alleghenies, unless the 
West was a special field of conquest. After 
failing to interest the House of Burgesses he 
made an appeal to Patrick Henry, the 
Governor of Virginia, and from him he 
succeeded in obtaining the authority which 
he needed, viz.: commissions that 
empowered him to raise seven companies of 
soldiers, and to seize the British posts in the 
Northwest. In January, 1778, he was at 
Pittsburg securing provisions and 
ammunition; in June he was marching 
through the unbroken forest at the head of a 
small but valiant army, principally composed 
of his fellow 

* "The cession of that great territory, under the treaty of 
1773, was due mainly to the foresight, the courage and 
endurance of one man, who never received from his 
country an adequate recognition of his great 
service." — Hon. James A. Garfield: Address, 1873. 



pioneers from Kentucky. His march was 
directed towards the Illinois country. His 
able generalship and courage soon placed the 
garrisons of Cahokia, Kaskaskia, and St. 
Vincent in his possession, and his equally 
great tact enabled him to win over the 
French inhabitants to the American cause 
and make of them warm allies. Two other 
expeditions were made by General Clarke 
both against the Indians upon the Miamis 
one in 1780 and the other in 1782. Other 
expeditions into or through Ohio territory 
were made as follows: by Colonel Bradstreet 
(simultaneously with Boquet's expedition — 
1764) along Lake Erie to Detroit, 
accompanied by Major Israel Putnam (the 
Major-General of the Revolution); by 
Colonel Angus McDonald (just prior to 
Dunmore's invasion); by General Lachlin 
Mcintosh in 1778 (to the Tuscarawas, where 
he built the first English fort, with a parapet 
and stockade, intended as a permanent work, 
in Ohio); by Colonel John Bowman in 1979; 
by General Daniel Broadhead in 1781; by 
Colonel Archibald Lochry in the same year; 
by Colonel Williamson in 1782; by Colonel 
Benjamin Logan in 1786; and still others of 
less importance by Daniel Boone, Simon 
Kenton, Colonel Edwards, and Colonel 
Todd, at various times during the decade 
preceding the settlement of the territory. 

Another topic to be touched upon briefly 
in this chapter is of painful and peculiar 
interest. We have in mind the Moravian 
missions on the Muskingum, and use the 
word painful, as the horrible massacre 
perpetrated there — the blackest stain on Ohio 
history — comes to mind. We say also a 
peculiar interest, and that phrase is 
suggested by the fact that the Moravians had 
better claims to be considered as settlers 
than any other dwellers north of the Ohio, 
prior to the arrival of the New England 
colony, and however 

inadequate such claims may appear it must at 
least be admitted that these "monks of 
Protestantism" presented to the Western 
world a phase of civilization and religion 
which was both picturesque and inspiring. 

As early as 1761 the Delaware Indians on 
the Tuscarawas branch of the Muskingum 
were visited by a Moravian missionary, the 
Rev. Christian Frederick Post. In March of 
the following year John Heckewelder 
became his companion and assistant. Only a 
few months, however, were spent in 
missionary labor, for in the fall the Indians 
who had first welcomed them, became 
suspicious that their sojourn there was only a 
ruse through which a foothold was to be 
gained leading to settlement, and Post and 
Heckewelder were obliged to leave the 
country to save their lives. Not until ten 
years had passed by was another attempt 
made by the zealous religionists to plant a 
mission among the savages. In 1772 Rev. 
David Zeisberger founded Schoenbrunn 
(Beautiful Spring) on the west side of the 
river and near the site of New Philadelphia, 
Tuscarawas county, and twenty-eight 
persons located there. Gnadenhutten (Tents 
of Grace) was established the same year 
seven miles below Schoenbrunn. The Rev. 
George Jungman, Rev John Roth and Rev. 
John Etwin, came out as missionaries from 
Pennsylvania the same year; and with the 
last named, immigrated to Zeisberger's 
Station a large company of converted 
Indians, bringing with them the implements 
of industry. Good log huts were built in the 
regularly laid out village, a large chapel 
reared in which to hold religious services, 
the ground tilled, and every measure taken 
that was considered needful in the formation 
of a permanent settlement. The simple, quiet 
life went on very pleasantly, and all was 
peace and 

* Madame de Stael. 



prosperity. Much did the Delaware chiefs 
and the few traders who visited Schoenbrunn 
marvel to see so many Indians living 
together after the manner of the whites, and 
devoting themselves to agriculture rather 
than the chase. They had abjured war and all 
savage customs. New converts were made 
almost daily, and the pious missionaries felt 
well rewarded for their patient toil, and gave 
praise to Him whom they regarded as the 
prime author of their success. So many 
accessions were made by the Moravians that 
in 1776 Zeisberger formed another colony, 
village or station, near the present town of 
Coshocton, and gave it the name Lichtenan. 
In 1780 Salem was founded five miles below 
Gnadenhutten, and the Rev. John 
Heckewelder became its regular preacher. 

All went well with the mission stations 
until the British, fearing or pretending to 
fear, that they were performing various 
services for the Americans, forcibly removed 
them in September, 1781, to Upper 
Sandusky. They were sorely distressed by 
lack of provisions, and in the latter part of 
the following winter obtained permission to 
return to their old stations and gather the 
corn which they had planted the summer 
before, and to secure if possible any of the 
valuables they had been obliged to leave 
behind them when they were hurried away. 
They came down from Sandusky in 
February, and March 1 found them busily 
engaged in plucking the corn which had been 
left standing during the winter, and packing 
it for transportation to their famishing 
brethren. "The weather during the greater 
part of February," says Doddridge, "had 
been uncommonly fine, so that the war 
parties from Sandusky visited the 
settlements and began depredations earlier 
than usual. One of the parties fell upon a 
family named Wallace and murdered all of 
its members, exhibiting even greater 

than usually characterized their atrocities. 
The early period at which the fatal visitation 
was made led to the conclusion that the 
murderers were either Moravians or that the 
warriors had their winter quarters at their 
towns on the Muskingum. In either case the 
Moravians being at fault, the safety of the 
pioneer settlements required the destruction 
of their establishments at that place.* A 
force of eighty or ninety men was 
immediately organized, and led by Colonel 
David Williamson set out for the 
Muskingum. On their arrival at 
Gnadenhutten they found the Indians in the 
fields gathering their corn and with their 
arms by them as was the common custom, 
for the purpose of shooting game, and also to 
guard against attack. The unsuspecting 
Indians hearing the whites' protestations of 
peace and good will, and being informed that 
they had come to remove them to Fort Pitt 
and place them under the protection of the 
Americans, gave up their arms and began 
with all speed to prepare food for the white 
men and themselves for the proposed 
journey. A party of men sent out for the 
purpose soon brought in the Indians from 
Salem, and with the Gnadenhutten Indians 
they were placed in blockhouses and 
confined under an armed guard. Colonel 
Williamson then coolly put the question to 
his men, should the prisoners be taken to 
Pittsburg or dispatched. Sixteen or eighteen 
men only out of the eighty or ninety men 
leaned toward the side of mercy. The 
majority were for murdering them and were 
impatient to begin their hellish work. The 
Moravians had. foreseen their fate as soon as 
they had been placed in confinement, and in 
the hour of extremity exhibited the 
steadfastness of their simple faith by singing 
the hymns and breathing the 

Notes on the Early Settlement and Indian Wars in 
Western Virginia and Pennsylvania by Joseph 



prayers that Heckewelder and Zeisberger had 
taught them. Some of them appealed for 
mercy when the murderers came among 
them to begin their work, but the greater 
number, sustained by their acquired religious 
faith or natural stoicism, met death with 
majestic composure. The executioners, with 
tomahawks, war-clubs, and knives, entering 
the crowded slaughter-pens struck down the 
defenceless and innocent captives until their 
arms grew tired, and then their places were 
taken by others of those white savages who 
thirsted for blood; and the dreadful carnage 
went on until ninety-six lives had been 
taken. Of these sixty-two were grown 
persons, of whom one-third were women, 
and the remaining thirty four were children 
of various ages, from those just entering 
manhood or womanhood down to babes on 
their mothers' breasts. Neither the gray hairs 
of old age nor the mute, appealing innocence 
of childhood were protection from the fury 
and the brutality of these fiends in the form 
of men. Of all these Indians gathered in the 
blockhouses only two escaped. Those at 
Schoenbrunn fled before the approach of 
Williamson's men and none of them were 
taken. This massacre occurred on the 7th of 
March, 1782, just six years and one month 
before the landing of the pioneer colony of 
Ohio at the mouth of the Muskingum. 

The wanton butchery of these inoffensive 
Moravians, more than any other event in 
Western history, had the effect of making 
the Indians hostile to the Americans, and, 
therefore, naturally inclining them to amity 
with the British. This was an end which the 
latter people constantly sought to effect by 
every method of intrigue. There is some 
reason, too, for the belief that Williamson's 
men were led to the Moravian towns and 
incited to the commission of the stupendous 
massacre through the shrewd wiles of the 

It seems to be authoritatively established 
that the murderers of the Wallace family 
retreated by way of Gnadenhutten, and that 
one of them bartered with an unsuspecting 
young woman there for food, and in payment 
gave her a garment which he had stripped 
from Mrs. Wallace or one of the other 
victims, and that this garment, was seen and 
recognized by some of the pursuing party as 
one which had been familiar to them at their 
homes. This fact may partly explain, but 
cannot in the slightest measure justify, the 
murder of ninety-six persons. It is sufficient, 
at any rate, to suggest the suspicion that to a 
dark stratagem of the English emissaries in 
the West, was attributed the foulest deed in 
the history of the border. The Indians, 
wrought into frenzied passion, began that 
malignant, remorseless, and unceasing 
raiding of the borders which terrorized the 
frontiers from Fort Pitt to the falls of the 
Ohio. Their evil deeds were more numerous 
than ever before, and their treatment of 
prisoners more severe. One of the first acts 
of retaliation upon the Americans, strangely 
enough, was visited upon Colonel William 
Crawford, an intimate friend and companion 
at arms of Colonel Williamson. But the 
diabolical cruelty that was practiced upon 
him was only one of the many horrible deeds 
which were the outgrowth of the white man's 

Of Crawford's campaign we shall speak at 
greater length, because of its relation to the 
legitimate field of this history. The object of 
this fated expedition was to destroy the 
Wyandot and Delaware towns on the Upper 
Sandusky plains, and to punish these Indians 
for border depredations. The border had 
suffered seriously, and when the object was 
announced volunteers were not found 
wanting to engage in a work of punishment 
and revenge. The War Department 
encouraged the 



movement in the hope of being able to strike 
a blow which would silence hostility from 
this quarter. 

On the 20th of May, 1782, the volunteers 
assembled at a deserted Mingo village on the 
west bank of the Ohio, seventy-five miles 
below Pittsburgh, their number being about 
four hundred and fifty. Here occurred the 
election of officers. The two candidates for 
colonel were William Crawford and David 
Williamson. The latter's recommendation 
was the murder of the Christian Indians two 
months before; the former was chosen 
because of his experience as an Indian 
fighter in the French war and his activity as 
a Revolutionary patriot. He was a friend of 
General Washington, whose acquaintance he 
made in the French war. It was unfortunate 
for Crawford, as the sequel shows, that Wil- 
liamson, whom the Indians hated more than 
any other white man, was chosen to the 
position of second in command. On May 25 
the army commenced the march in high 
spirits and sanguine of complete success. 

The Indians during this time were not 
inactive. Williamson had taught them the 
necessity of wakefulness, and spies daily 
visited the border hills along the Ohio. Before 
the organization of the volunteers on the Ohio 
side was complete, the whole Indian country, 
from the falls of the Sandusky far into the 
Scioto and Miami Valleys was making 
hurried preparations for war. The objective 
point of the expedition the Indians did not 
know, but the warriors of every tribe were in 
readiness, and swift spies promptly reported 
the onward march of the mounted volunteers. 
They read on the trees the inscription left by 
loungers of the advancing army, "No quarter 
is to be given to any Indian, whether man, 
woman, or child." They saw prominently in 
command the hated Williamson and had no 
reason to doubt 

the terrible and inhuman threat. Every 
patriotic, more than that, every generous 
feeling of the red man's heart was aroused. 
More than their beautiful valley and loved 
hunting ground was now at stake; upon the 
issue of the battle hung the lives of their 
women and innocent children. We do not 
mean to imply that this threat was authorized 
by Colonel Crawford, or that in the event of 
success he would have permitted 
indiscriminate murder without mercy, as 
Williamson had at Gnadenhutten, but the 
Indians had both precedent and threat on 
which to base premonitions of the terrors of 
defeat, and their resolve to fight as long as a 
drop of blood remained to give them strength, 
is an evidence of real nobility of character. 

The northward course of the volunteers after 
crossing the Muskingum left no doubt as to 
the destination of the expedition. The 
Shawnees of the Upper Scioto, the Delawares, 
and the Wyandots of the whole Sandusky 
Valley began to concentrate their forces on 
the plains. Meanwhile the mounted borderers 
were rapidly approaching, anxious for the 
fray. The sixth day the old Moravian village 
on one of the upper branches of the Sandusky 
was reached, but, as will be seen in a suc- 
ceeding chapter, the missionary band had been 
removed in March preceding, and the 
congregation dispersed by order of Governor 
DePeyster, commandant at Detroit. This was a 
fortunate circumstance, for it was the purpose 
of the invaders to destroy and plunder this 
village first. In place of meeting with Indians 
and plunder they found nothing but vestiges 
of desolation. 

The army next moved to where the town of 
Sandusky formerly stood, but from which the 
Indians had lately moved to their new town 
eighteen miles below. Again disappointed at 
finding no Indians or plunder, the volunteers 



anxious to return, giving as a reason that 
only five days' rations remained and that the 
horses were jaded; so a council was held and 
the officers decided to continue the march 
one day longer; but just as the council was 
breaking up a scout reported that the 
advance guard had met the Indians in 
considerable numbers. The main line 
resolutely advanced over the plain covered 
with high grass, while the advance guard 
slowly retired before the enemy. The red 
warriors began to take shelter in an island of 
wood in the vast expanse of grassy plain. 
Crawford, seeing the advantage thus being 
gained by his enemy, ordered his men to 
dismount, tie their horses and force the 
Indians from their position, which they did. 
The Indians continued their fire from the 
high grass in the prairie. From 4 o'clock 
until dark the contest was animated. Some of 
the volunteers ascended into the thick tops 
of the trees, and from these aimed mes- 
sengers of death at the enemy sheltering in 
the grass, while others from behind trees and 
logs fired at the red warriors when they 
raised to shoot. The presence of Girty, the 
white savage, was noticed among the 
Indians, and Elliott, a runaway Tory of 
Pennsylvania, who was given a captain's 
commission in the British army, was seen 
directing the battle. At night the enemy 
withdrew, and Crawford's soldiers slept on 
their arms expecting to resume battle the 
next morning. The attack was not resumed as 
was expected, as the Indians seemed to be 
awaiting reinforcements. In large bodies 
they traversed the plains in every direction, 
apparently carrying off their dead. 

It was evident to the volunteers that the 
Indian forces were increasing rapidly and 
that their position was one of great danger. 
At nightfall a council was held and a retreat 
decided upon. 

The outposts were silently withdrawn, 

and the troops arranged in three parallel 
lines with the wounded in the centre. At 9 
o'clock the retreat began in good order. 
Scarcely a hundred paces had been traversed, 
when the report of several shots in the rear 
had the effect of a lightning shock upon the 
lines. The shrill voice of a man in front 
crying out that the design was discovered, 
and the "savages" would soon be upon them, 
precipitated a panic. Uproar and confusion 
made the command unmanageable. The 
wounded were abandoned, and straggling 
parties hurried in every direction. The 
Indians, abandoning the main body, pursued 
the stragglers, and few of them escaped. 
Less than three hundred reached the Ohio, 
thus making the number killed and captured 
more than one hundred and fifty, among 
whom was the commandant. The remnant of 
the army was conducted back to the frontier 
by Colonel Williamson. 

Colonel Crawford, when flight com- 
menced, tried to seek out from the panic- 
stricken soldiers his son, son-in-law and two 
nephews, and for this purpose remained till 
the last straggler had passed. He met the 
surgeon, Dr. Knight, but no trace of those for 
whom he was searching was found. Presently 
a heavy fire was heard in the distance, 
accompanied by yells, which indicated a 
fierce attack. Crawford, out of heart and 
anticipating the worst, set off with Dr. Knight 
and two others in a northward direction. After 
travelling about an hour they turned east, thus 
avoiding the enemy. They entered the forest 
and pushed their course eastward as fast as 
their horses could travel until morning, when 
the exhausted animals were abandoned, and 
the refugees hurried along on foot. Their 
company was increased to six in the course of 
the day, by casually meeting Captain Biggs 
and Lieutenant Ashley, to whom he had given 
his horse, Ashley being wounded. On the 
second day they came to the path 



which the expedition had followed on their 
advance. Here Crawford insisted on 
retracing the trail, and the other members of 
the party reluctantly followed. They had not 
travelled more than an hour, when a party of 
Delaware Indians sprang up within twenty 
yards of Crawford and Knight, who were one 
hundred and fifty yards in advance of their 
comrades. The Indians presented their guns, 
and in good English ordered the fugitives to 
stop. Crawford and Knight surrendered; the 
other members of the party escaped, but two 
of them, Biggs and Ashley, were captured 
and killed the next day. 

It was an unfortunate circumstance for 
Crawford that he was captured by 
Delawares, for the disposal of his case 
thereby fell to Captain Pipe, at whose hands 
little mercy could be expected. He was taken 
to Sandusky, where he was permitted an 
interview with Simon Girty, whom he had 
known. Girty promised to do all he could to 
procure his ransom, and it is supposed 
offered Captain Pipe three hundred and fifty 
dollars to release the prisoner. The proud 
Delaware treated the proposition as an insult 
and threatened Girty with torture should it 
be renewed. 

On the morning of June 11, 1782, 
Crawford was taken to the old town, where 
he joined his companions in captivity, whose 
faces had been painted black by Captain 
Pipe. Pipe, upon Crawford's arrival, painted 
him also, but was respectful and dignified in 
his manner. The party now proceeded toward 
Tyinochtee, Crawford and Knight in charge 
of Wingemand and Pipe, the other nine 
prisoners being sent on ahead. The two in 
the rear had the horror of seeing the bodies 
of four of the prisoners in the path, and of 
witnessing the slaughter of the other five. 
Now anticipating the worst, Crawford took 
advantage of an opportunity to make an 
appeal to Wingemand, whom he had 

long known and frequently drank punch 
with. The chief told him that nothing could 
save him; that he had come with the 
cowardly Williamson to destroy the 
defenceless Christian Indians. Crawford 
tried to convince the chief that he was not 
responsible for the murder of the. 
Moravians, and would have prevented a 
repetition of that atrocity. We quote the 
chief's reply, which shows the intense 
feeling of the Indian nature: 

Had Williamson been taken with you, I and some of my 
friends, by making use of what you have said, might, 
perhaps, have saved you; but as the matter now stands 
no man would dare interfere in your behalf. The King of 
England himself, were he to come to this spot, with all 
his wealth and treasure, could not effect this purpose. 
The blood of the innocent Moravians, more than half of 
them women and children, cruelly and wantonly 
murdered, calls for revenge. The relatives of the slain 
who are among us, cry out and stand ready for revenge. 
The nation to which they belonged will have revenge, 
The Shawnees, our grandchildren, have asked for your 
fellow prisoner (Dr. Knight). On him, they will take 
revenge. All nations connected with us cry out, revenge, 
revenge. The Moravians whom they came to destroy, 
having fled instead of avenging their brethren, the 
offence is become national, and the nation itself is 
bound to take revenge. 

The chief then tried to reconcile 
Crawford to his fate. When the crowd came 
to the pile he took an affectionate farewell of 
his old friend, and hid in the bushes. The 
fire was lighted, and no words can express 
the three hours of excruciating torture and 
pain which ended the ill-fated life. In vain 
the sufferer appealed to Girty for the mercy 
of a well aimed bullet, but that monster 
exulted at his writhing, and told Knight, the 
other prisoner, that a precisely similar fate 
awaited him. After the last breath of life 
had passed away in the ascending smoke, 
Knight was placed in charge of a guide and 
hurried toward the Shawnee towns on Mad 
River. He made his escape, however, on the 
way, and returned to Virginia. 

Thus ended the doomed expedition of 
Crawford. The Wyandots returned to 



their homes on the Sandusky with greater 
confidence in their own power and ability to 
resist invasion. The failure of the expedition 
also preserved to the territory of 

the Wyandots of Sandusky a superstition that 
it was to be the inviolable seat of the nation. 



Sources of Information- Lower Sandusky Becomes a Trading Pos- Geographical Features of Ohio, Give the Place Its Importance in Indian 
History- Captain Bradys Adventure- The Moravian Missionaries Prisoners at Lower Sandusky- Description of Running the 
Gauntlet- Location of the Gauntlet Course- General Treatment of Prisoners- Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton, Captives- A 
Sentence to Torture Revoked- James Whittaker and Elizabeth Fulk, Captives; A Romantic Incident- Negro Captives- First 
Appearance of Bees in the Indian Country- Captivity of Major Goodale and Daniel Convers- Sarah Vincent Made a Captive- Her 
Marriage to Isaac Williams- The Williams Family- Tecumseh Visits Muncietown- His Plans of War Are Overheard- Expedition 
of Five Hundred Warriors from Muncietown- Tecumseh Visits Isaac Williams- The Ottawas and Death of Captain Pumpkin- 
Agriculture Along the Sandusky. 

IN 1764 the village of Junquiindundeh 
(Lower Sandusky), located at the falls of 
the river, was on an Indian trail leading from 
Fort Pitt in a northwesterly direction.* This 
part of the State was then little known to the 
whites, till a score of years later, and then 
the information was derived froth ransomed 
Indian captives. Upon these same narratives 
we are compelled to rely for the greater part 
of our information relating to Lower 
Sandusky, and, by repeating a variety of 
incidents, we hope to be able to present an 
intelligible picture of life in the fertile 
Sandusky Valley, before the advent of white 
soldiers, in 1813. 

We have no satisfactory knowledge of the 
Indian, village which occupied the hill rising 
toward the east from the headwaters of 
navigation, until about 1780, when the well- 
known borderer, Samuel Brady, at the 
instance of Washington, 

Hutchins's History of Boquet's Expedition 

came here as a spy. About this time began 
the general border war, which continued 
until 1795, and in which the Wyandots took 
a conspicuous part. This period was 
productive of the scenes which it is the 
object of this chapter to delineate. 

In 1795 the Wyandot Nation passed the 
summit of its power and glory. For more 
than a century the warriors of the tribes had 
gratified the vanity and avarice of the 
nation, but one defeat turned the tide of 
fortune, and twenty-two years more grouped 
the survivors of a haughty dominion within 
the confines of a tract twelve miles square. 
The disaster of Fallen Timbers extinguished 
the council fire at Lower Sandusky. Crane, 
the great war chief, became the head of the 
nation, and only peace councils called the 
wise men together until the close of the 
period to which we have allotted this 

shall frequently have occasion to mention, 



The time of the advent of traders is not 
known. Arundel and Robbins, whom we were 
here in 1782. The Wyandot village, although 
it had lost its importance, maintained its 
existence until troops formally took 
possession of the two miles square reserved 
for trading purposes by the treaty of Fort 
Mcintosh, and unconditionally reserved by 
the treaty of Greenville. The language of the 
former treaty, which is given in a preceding 
chapter, indicates that the commercial 
advantage of the place was fully appreciated 
as early as 1785; the next ten years gave the 
author of the treaty of Greenville a knowledge 
of its military importance. 

The treaty of Greenville also had the effect 
of concentrating into the Northwestern Indian 
Reservation, of which this county was a part, 
representatives of all the tribes of Ohio. The 
Delawares, whose relations with the 
Wyandots had always been of the most 
cordial character, came into the Sandusky 
country in considerable numbers. They 
established a village about three miles below 
Lower Sandusky, on the east side of the river. 
The white traders named this village 
Muncietown, most of its inhabitants being of 
the Muncie tribe of Delawares. 

Detroit, from the time the French estab- 
lished themselves at that point, was the 
leading trading post of all the tribes of the 
Northwest Territory. After the outbreak of the 
Revolution and during the whole period of 
border war, the British Government at that 
point encouraged hostility by paying a liberal 
bounty for scalps and ransom for prisoners. 
The northwestern part of the State being 
almost an impenetrable swamp, the Sandusky 
River became the common thoroughfare of all 
the Ohio tribes. The favorite canoe of the 
Indians was made of birch bark. These were 
only used in water free from obstructions. 
Streams abounding in ripples and with 

dangerous bottoms were, however, avenues 
of travel but only with wooden canoes which 
were made by hollowing out the half of a 
log. A short distance below the falls at the 
side of the river, was a place for burying the 
bark canoes. This was done, probably, for 
the purpose of keeping them from cracking. 

War parties usually came to this point on 
foot or on horses captured in the white 
settlements, and when captives were taken 
further, as most of them were, canoes were 
used for transportation. Horses were 
considered great prizes, and horseracing 
indulged in without mercy to the poor 
animals. An interesting race is described by 
Captain Samuel Brady, a man well known in 
the border history of Northern Ohio. He is 
celebrated chiefly for his wonderful leap 
across Cuyahoga River. In 1780, Captain 
Brady was dispatched, by direction of 
General Washington, to Sandusky, to learn if 
possible the strength of the Indians in this 
quarter and the geography of the country. 
Brady, with a few choice soldiers and four 
Chickasaw Indians, set out from Fort Pitt 
and made a forced march through the 
wilderness. Soon after entering the Wyandot 
country, the Chickasaw guides deserted, and 
it was feared by the brave scout had gone 
over to the enemy. Knowing the penalty of 
detection, Brady proceeded with the greatest 
caution. He approached the village adjacent 
to the rapids under cover of night, and 
fording the river, secreted himself on the 
island just below the falls. When morning 
dawned a fog rested over the valley, which 
completely cut off from view the shore on 
either side. About 1 1 o'clock a bright sun 
quickly dispelled the mist, and the 
celebrated borderer became the witness of an 
unusually interesting event. A war party had 
just returned from Kentucky with a number 

*Colonel James Smith's Narrative, 1757 



of fine horses, a trial of whose speed was the 
feature of the day's amusement. The horses 
were all drawn up in line on the west side of 
the river a short distance above the head of 
the island. One heat after another always 
brought a white Kentucky mare out ahead. 
At first the Indians cheered heartily when 
the favorite pony reached the goal in 
advance of all competitors; but no 
amusement can last long without variety. 
The victorious mare was weighted down 
with two riders but even under this burden 
distanced her competitors. Another rider was 
added to the load, which accomplished the 
purpose of defeating her, and seemed to give 
the congregated warriors, children and 
squaws, great pleasure. All this time Brady 
was concealed on the island, disturbed only 
by the fear of being seen and made the 
Subject of an evening's barbarous sport, 
around a stake of torture. That night he 
escaped and hastened rapidly toward the 
fort, which he reached after a perilous tramp 
of several days. 

In the preceding chapter, the history of the 
Moravian missions is reverted to the labor of 
the converts, their persecution, and the final 
murder of more than ninety persons. 
Simultaneously with this event, in 
consequence of the misrepresentations of the 
dishonest British agent Elliott and the white 
desperado Simon Girty, Captain Pipe and 
Half King applied persecution with such 
severity that in March, 1782, Governor De 
Peyster, fearing for the safety of the teachers, 
directed Girty and Half King to remove them 
and their families as prisoners to Detroit; but 
as these two had just planned an expedition to 
the Ohio, a Canadian Frenchman, Francis 
Levallie, was directed to accompany them. 
The company consisted of four families, two 
single men, "with a number of brethren and 
sisters," children, and a number of 

Moravian Indians. Levallie was kindhearted 
and well-disposed toward his prisoners, 
giving Zeisberger his own horse to ride, 
insisting that the age and station of the 
missionary alike prompted the act. 

Heckewelder, in his narrative says that 
after several days' travel through the wil- 
derness and swampy grounds they arrived at 
Lower Sandusky, where they were 
hospitably received by two English traders — 
Arundel and Robbins. Arundel having a 
spacious house took in those who had 
families, and Robbins took in the single men 
and the guide. Boats were sent for at Detroit, 
and before they arrived two events took 
place, which are described by Heckewelder 
in such a way as to throw much light on the 
character of Indian life here at that time. 

The houses of Arundel and Robbins were 
about a mile apart, and were located upon 
high elevations; between them was the 
Indian village. During his stay, Heckewelder 
went to the house of Robbins to visit the 
brethren, and while there the yelling of two 
parties of Indians returning from expeditions 
against the whites, was heard. One of the 
parties had been in the neighborhood of Fort 
Mcintosh, at the mouth of Beaver, and was 
bringing with them three white prisoners; the 
other party came from the opposite direction 
and had scalps. From the elevation of 
Robbins' house both parties could be seen, 
but from the village, which lay between one 
of the parties and the house, but one party 
could be seen. The people of the village ran 
to meet the one band of returning warriors. 
Heckwelder, at the advice of Robbins, took 
advantage of the occasion and returned to 
Arundel's house through the village, while it 
was thus deserted. He reached Arundel's 
house before the people and the war party, 
with their prisoners, reached the place for 
running the gauntlet. Heckewelder 



and his party saw this favorite treatment of 
prisoners and has given a faithful account of 

A certain class of writers who depend 
upon a vivid imagination to supply defi- 
ciencies of information, have made the In- 
dian gauntlet an institution of the most 
shocking cruelty. It is true, severe tortures 
were often inflicted upon prisoners, the 
degree depending much upon their fortitude 
and presence of mind, for no people admired 
bravely as the Indians did. But the gauntlet 
was rather a place of amusement than 
punishment, unless the offence has been one 
worthy of particular revenge. On entering the 
village, the prisoner is shown a painted post at 
a distance of from twenty to forty yards, and 
told to run to it and catch hold of it as quickly 
as possible. On each side of the course stand 
men, women, and children, with axes, sticks, 
and other offensive weapons, ready to strike 
him as he passes. If he should be so unlucky 
as to fall or so frightened as to stop on the 
way, he is in danger of being dispatched by 
some one anxious to avenge the death of a 
relative or friend slain in battle; but if he 
reaches the goal safely, he is protected from 
further insult until his fate has been 
determined by the war council.* 

Heckewelder goes on to state that if a 
prisoner in such a situation shows determined 
courage, and when bid to run for the painted 
post, starts with all his might, and exerts all 
his strength and agility until he reaches it, he 
will most commonly escape without much 
harm, and sometimes without any injury 
whatever; and on reaching the designated 
point will have the satisfaction of hearing his 
courage and bravery applauded. The coward 
who hesitates or shows symptoms of fear does 
well if he escapes with his life. A brave youth 
who has succeeded in reaching the 

*Heckewelder's Indian Nations. 

goal is almost certain to be adopted into one 
of the families of the tribe and treated with 
the greatest kindness. In many instances 
youths left their adopted parents with regret, 
when peace procured them ransom, and we 
have in our own county two notable 
instances of permanent adoption into the 
tribe, as we shall see further along. 

But we have been digressing from the 
course of our narrative. The missionaries 
saw from Arundel's house the party of 
fourteen warriors, with their prisoners, ap- 
proach from the east, having come from Fort 
Mcintosh. As soon' as they had crossed the 
Sandusky River, to' which the village lay 
adjacent, they were told by the captain of the 
party to run as hard as they could to a 
painted post, which was shown them. The 
youngest of the three immediately started 
without a moment's hesitation, and reached 
the post without a single blow; the second 
hesitated for a moment, but recollecting 
himself, he also ran as fast as he could and 
reached the post unhurt; but the third, 
frightened at seeing so many men, women, 
and children, with weapons in their hands 
ready to strike him, kept begging the captain 
to spare his life, saying that he was a mason 
and would build him a large stone house or 
do any other work he should choose. "Run 
for your life," cried the chief to him, "and 
dont talk now of building houses." But the 
poor fellow still insisted, begging and 
praying to the captain, who, at last, fearing 
the consequences, and finding his exhor- 
tations vain, turned his back upon him and 
would not hear him any longer. Our mason 
now began to run, but received many a hard 
blow, one of which nearly brought him to 
the ground, and which, if he had fallen, 
would have decided his fate. He, however, 
reached the goal, not without being sadly 
bruised, and besides he was bitterly scoffed 
at and reproached as 



a vile coward, while the others were hailed 
as brave men, and received tokens of uni- 
versal approbation. 

Hon. Isaac Knapp, a pioneer of the 
county, and for many years an honored 
citizen, has related an incident in this con- 
nection which locates the gauntlet track, and 
contrary to the impression given by 
Heckewelder, indicates that having passed the 
savage lines and reached the goal did not 
insure to the prisoner absolute safety from 
injury until the disposition of his case by the 

Some time before Wayne's campaign, 
three sisters and two brothers named Da- 
vidson were captured by a war party in 
Kentucky and brought to Lower Sandusky as 
prisoners. All were ordered to run the 
gauntlet. The brothers were stout, active men, 
and both succeeded in getting through without 
a scratch. John, the elder brother, seemed to 
be a mark of particular hatred. When he had 
reached the post exhausted and breathless, he 
sat down upon a log, having passed, as he 
supposed, the ordeal of his captivity. But an 
old squaw, dissatisfied with his easy escape, 
walked up behind, struck a tomahawk into his 
shoulder, and left him. The sisters were then 
ordered to run, but they refused, begging to be 
tomahawked where they sat. This conduct on 
their part probably made the sentence upon 
the whole family more severe. At a 
consultation of the chiefs and warriors it was 
decided to hold the prisoners as slaves. They 
were taken to Canada, where a British trader 
paid their ransom. Mr. Knapp afterwards 
became acquainted with these persons and 
knew them well. They settled in northern 
Kentucky. He obtained from them a minute 
description of the bends of the river, the lay 
of the ground, and the surrounding hills, from 
which he was enabled to locate the gauntlet 
track. According to the description, the lines 
of the savages extended from the site of the 

block now occupied by Wagner's store, to 
the Kessler House corner. The council was 
probably held on the site of the Buckland 

In general the treatment of prisoners by the 
Indians was not so severe as is popularly 
supposed. There were, of course, exceptions, 
among which the melancholy fate of Colonel 
Crawford is prominent. But few were 
burned, and nearly all who acted bravely 
were treated with kindness. We should not 
forget that the events which are grouped 
together in this chapter occurred during a 
state of active war, in which the Indians 
were fighting for the maintenance of the 
forest, and were encouraged by British 
agents with British gold. Affairs at Lower 
Sandusky, during the long period of border 
war, extending from the opening of the 
Revolution to the celebrated victory of 
Wayne, possess a peculiar interest. This was 
an important military centre, and every 
narrative relating to the place is a glimpse 
into the enemy's camp. For many years 
before the first settlement of Ohio, a war 
both offensive and defensive was waged 
between the Ohio tribes and the frontiersmen 
of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and the 
Kentucky borders. When humanity is made 
an element of comparative consideration in 
the conduct of that war, the burden of shame 
hangs over the graves of our own 
countrymen. The contest itself could but be 
one of most barbarous cruelty on both sides, 
for the Indians were fully persuaded that it 
was the design of the whites to destroy their 
hunting grounds and ultimately exterminate 
them, while the borderers looked upon the 
Indian as little better than a wild beast, and a 
pest to be exterminated by any means 
whatever. They attributed to him no rights 
which civilization was bound to respect. 

Some of the earlier outrages perpetrated 
against the Indian race by the white, were 



of the most perfidious character. While we 
are reading that cruel page of Ohio history 
describing the tortures inflicted upon 
Colonel Crawford at Upper Sandusky, let us 
not forget the treacherous blows by which, 
previously, the kindred of Logan's tribe fell 
at Yellow Creek, or the expedition of 
Captain Williamson, which culminated in the 
coldblooded murder of the Moravian 
Christians and the burning of their bodies. 
The whites took few prisoners, but the rifle 
industriously, often treacherously used, 
dispatched many brave warriors on both 
sides of the Ohio. Revenge is a part of the 
Indian nature, and the tribes were not slow 
to retaliate every wrong, and full-measured 
retaliation it was. It is estimated that on the 
frontiers, south and west of the Ohio River, 
during the seven years preceding the 
outbreak of the war on the Ohio colony at 
the mouth of the Muskingum, the Indians 
killed and took prisoners fifteen hundred 
people, stole two thousand horses and other 
property to the value of fifty thousand 
dollars* After the general war began in 
1791, the annual destruction of life and 
property was much greater, until its close in 
1795. Probably more captives were brought 
to Lower Sandusky than to any other place 
in Ohio. This was a retreat where prisoners 
were brought and disposed of, many being 
sent to Detroit and Canada. So far as is 
known, not a solitary prisoner was tortured 
here at the stake, and in a majority of cases 
captives who had passed the gauntlet safely 
and bravely were treated kindly. It should be 
remembered that this was in the heart of the 
Indian country, and a point which had never 
been visited by a military expedition of 
whites. Under these circumstances the events 
which we have narrated and are about to 
narrate can have no other effect than to 
create charitable ideas 

*Colonel Barker's Reminiscences 

of Indian character, cruel as some of these 
occurrences might seem, did we not know 
the subjects were prisoners of bloody and 
relentless war. 

Among the notable characters who were 
brought to Lower Sandusky as captives were 
Simon Kenton and Daniel Boone. The 
former having been captured in 1778, was 
taken first to Piqua, where he ran the 
gauntlet; from there he was taken to Old 
Chillicothe, where he spent several days 
with Logan. He was sentenced to the stake at 
Wapitomika, but Logan, assisted by Girty 
and a Canadian Frenchman, succeeded in 
having the decision of the council reversed. 
Kenton was then sent to Lower Sandusky 
and from here taken by water to Detroit.* 

The fact that Daniel Boone was brought 
through Lower Sandusky while in captivity, 
is a fact worthy of mention because of the 
celebrity of that unequalled hero of border 
annals. The name of Boone is familiar and 
dear to every boy, and his heroic adventures 
interest, even in the years of more prosy 
manhood. In the proud old Commonwealth 
of Kentucky the name of Boone and the 
story of his life is more familiar than any 
other character in American history. In the 
winter of 1778 Captain Boone, while with a 
party of salt-makers on the Licking River, 
was captured by Shawnee warriors who took 
him to Chillicothe and from there to Lower 
Sandusky on the way to Detroit, where 
Governor Hamilton, the British commander, 
was encouraging Indian depredations by 
paying liberal premiums for scalps and 
prisoners. The Governor took a great fancy 
to Boone, and offered liberally for his 
ransom; he was an object of particular 
interest among the officers at the garrison. 
But the Shawnees had also taken a special 
liking to the old hunter and said he must 
become one of them, 

*M cD on aid's Western Sketches. 



and be a great chief. He returned with the 
Indians to Chillicothe, and remained with the 
tribe several months. 

It will be seen from these incidents that 
the Shawnees and other tribes made the 
Sandusky River a highway to Detroit, but 
probably none but the Wyandots brought 
their prisoners to Lower Sandusky for sen- 
tence and the infliction of penalties. 

Those of the captives whom the Indians 
took a liking to, on account of bravery or 
other qualities which they particularly 
admired, were the only ones adopted into the 
tribe; other prisoners were either made 
slaves, as in the instance of the Davidson 
family above noted, or taken to Detroit. It 
should be noted to the credit of the 
Wyandots that they rarely burned prisoners 
at the stake. Colonel Crawford was captured 
by the Delawares and sentenced by a 
Delaware council, so that the Indians in 
whom we are especially interested are free 
from the odium of that savage sentence. 

But Wyandot captives were not secure 
against the liability of torture, as is shown 
by the following incident, which also proves 
the kindheartedness of Arundel and Robbins, 
the two English traders, and the 
susceptibility of Crane, the great war chief, 
to flattery. 

In the spring of 1782, a young man was 
brought captive from Fort Mcintosh to 
Lower Sandusky, where he heroically passed 
the gauntlet ordeal. Crane admired his 
bravery and sent him to Half King at Upper 
Sandusky, to be adopted into his family in 
place of a son who had been killed the 
preceding year while at war on the Ohio. The 
prisoner having arrived at Upper Sandusky, 
was presented to Half King's wife, who 
refused to receive him, which, according to 
the unwritten law of the Wyandots, was a 
sentence of death. The prisoner was returned 
for the purpose of being tortured 

and burned. Preparations for the dreadful 
event were made near the village; warriors, 
squaws, and children gathered from all 
directions to witness the terrible execution. 
It fortunately happened that the two traders, 
Arundel and Robbins, were present, and, 
shocked with the horror of the act about to 
be perpetrated, resolved to make an effort to 
prevent it. They offered the war chief a 
liberal ransom for the prisoner's life, which 
he refused, saying that it was an established 
custom among them that when a prisoner had 
been offered as a present and was refused, he 
was irrevocably doomed to the stake, and no 
one could save him. Besides, the chief 
further declared the numerous war captains 
who were on the spot had it in charge to 
carry out the execution. Failing to move the 
great war chief by offers of money, they 
appealed to his vanity, which proved the 
vulnerable point of his character. "But," 
answered the generous but wily traders, 
"among all these chiefs you have mentioned, 
there is none equals you in greatness; you 
are considered not only the greatest and 
bravest, but at the same time the best man in 
the nation." The chief looked up with an 
expression of pride and gratification. "Do 
you really believe what you say?" he 
queried. "Indeed we do," answered the 
traders. The object was accomplished. 
Without another word the great war chief 
blackened himself, and, taking knife and 
tomahawk in hand, forced his way through 
the crowd to the unhappy victim at the post. 
Crying with a loud voice, "What have you to 
do with my prisoner?" he cut the cords with 
which the prisoner was tied. The chief took 
him to his house, which was near Mr. 
Arundel's, and from there sent him with a 
safeguard to the commander at Detroit, who 
gave him his liberty.* This incident 

Heckewelder's Indian Nations. 



clearly shows the supremacy of Crane 
among the Wyandot chiefs. 

We have spoken more than once in the 
preceding pages of the custom among the 
Indians of adopting into their families young 
men to whom they took particular liking. An 
instance of this kind is recorded by Finley as 
having occurred in 1786. Robert Armstrong, 
a young lad of four years, was captured near 
Pittsburgh, and brought here through the 
wilderness. He was adopted into an Indian 
family and grew up a perfect Wyandot.* But 
the most notable instances of this kind were 
the capture and adoption of the heads of two 
families, some of whose descendants are yet 
living in the county, and to whom were 
granted reservations in the treaty of Maumee 
Rapids, spoken of in a succeeding chapter. 

The narrative of the Whittakers" 1 " is a story 
possessing the elements of ideal romance. 
We give the outline, to which our 
imaginative reader can supply fictitious 
coloring to suit his own taste, and thus 
complete the picture. In about the year 1780, 
two brothers, Quill Whittaker and James 
Whittaker, in company with another young 
man, left Fort Pitt one morning on a hunting 
expedition. They wandered a considerable 
distance from the fort, intent upon securing 
game with which to gratify their friends, but 
at an unexpected moment a volley of rifle 
balls rattled among the trees. One took 
mortal effect in the body of the young man; 
another passed through the hat of Quill 
Whittaker, who saved himself by flight; a 
third ball shattered the arm of James, the 
younger brother, and in a few minutes he 
was the prisoner of a band of painted 
Wyandot warriors. After several days hard 
travelling, the Indians, with their 

* History of Moravian Missions. 

+From an interview of Hon. Homer Everett with Mrs. Scranton, 
daughter of James Whittaker. 

captive, reached a village within the present 
boundaries of Richland county, Ohio. Here 
the lines were formed and Whittakers 
bravery and activity tested on the gauntlet 
course. The boy, wounded as he was, 
deported himself with true heroism. The first 
half of the course was passed without a 
single scratch, but as he was speeding on 
toward the painted goal, an old squaw, who 
cherished a feeling of deep revenge, 
mortified by the captive's successful 
progress, sprang forward and caught his arm 
near the shoulder, hoping to detain him long 
enough for the weapon of the next savage to 
take effect. The prisoner instantly halted, 
and with a violent kick sent the vicious 
squaw and the next Indian tumbling from the 
lines. His bold gallantry received wild shouts 
of applause along the lines. Attention being 
thus diverted, he sprang forward with 
quickened speed and reached the post without 
material injury. Not satisfied that this favorite 
amusement should be so quickly ended, it was 
decided that the prisoner should run again. 
The lines for the second trial were already 
formed when an elderly and dignified squaw 
walked forward and took from her own 
shoulders a blanket which she cast over the 
panting young prisoner, saying, "This is my 
son; he is one of us; you must not kill him." 
Thus adopted, he was treated with all that 
kindness and affection which the savage heart 
is capable of cherishing. 

It is a saying as old as the institution of 
voluntary marriage itself, that "those who are 
born to go together will marry under any 
circumstances," which is but a particular- 
ization of the general doctrine "that to live is 
but to follow the path made by fate." Those 
philosophers who entertain this belief might 
find in the second part of this narrative an 
applicable illustration in support of their 

About two years after the capture of 



Whittaker, another party of warriors made an 
incursion into Pennsylvania and captured at 
Cross Roads, Elizabeth Fulks, a girl eleven 
years old, whom they carried into captivity 
and adopted into a family of the tribe. Both 
captives lived contentedly and happily, 
having adopted the manners and customs of 
their wards. A few years after, somewhere in 
the vast expanse of the Northwestern 
wilderness, probably here on the Sandusky 
River, at a general council of their tribes, 
these two adopted children of the forest 
made each others acquaintance. The brave 
boy who ran the gauntlet had become a well 
proportioned man, and the sweet, timid 
captive girl was now a blooming maiden 
whose native beauty had never been 
destroyed by the torturing artifices of society 
dress. Perhaps this meeting occurred in the 
full light of an encouraging moon, while 
savage warriors were deliberating cruel 
expeditions around a bright council fire in 
the distance. Who can think of the meeting 
being formal and reserved, or of a 
fashionable courtship? A marriage according 
to the customs of civilized life was at once 
arranged, and the couple, ardent in their love 
and happy in their expectations, set off for 
Detroit, where the Christian ritual was 
pronounced which made them man and wife. 
The Indians seemed well pleased by this 
conduct of their paleface children. They 
gave them a choice tract of farming land in 
the river bottom, and here Rev. Joseph 
Badger visited the family in 1806, where he 
found them living in perfect harmony with 
their Indian neighbors, but practicing the 
forms of civilized life.* Mr. and Mrs. 
Whittaker reared a large family, for whose 
education they 

*Whittaker's thorough adoption into the Wyandot 
tribe is shown by the fact that he joined their war 
parties. He was present at St. Clair's defeat and at the 
battle of Fallen Timbers McClung's Western Adventures. 

expended considerable sums of money. In 
1808 a teacher was secured who came to the 
residence, which was a short distance below 
the falls on the west side of the river, and 
instructed the older children. The oldest 
daughter was subsequently sent to school in 
Pittsburgh, at an expense of eight hundred 
dollars a year, and there qualified to teach 
the younger children. 

Mr. Whittaker entered into mercantile 
business, for which he was well fitted. He 
established a store at his residence, one at 
Tymochtee, and one at Upper Sandusky. He 
accumulated wealth rapidly, having at the 
time of his death his goods all paid for and 
two thousand pounds on deposit with the 
Canada house where he made his purchases. 
At Upper Sandusky he had a partner, Hugh 
Patterson, with whom, in the year 1816, he 
drank a glass of wine and died in a short time 
afterwards, his death being attributed to 
poison in the wine. Patterson was largely 
indebted to him, and, it was discovered 
afterwards, had forged an order on 
McDonald, proprietor of the Canada house, 
for the two thousand pounds on deposit. 
Mrs. Whittaker, to whom a reservation was 
granted in the treaty of 1817, survived her 
husband many years, but as to the time and 
place of her death we are not informed.* 

A few prominent acts of kindhearted 
benevolence on the part of Mr. Whittaker 
can not be omitted. A short time before the 
war of 1812, he went to the Maumee on 
business, and found among the Indians a 
young white woman who bore a strong 
resemblance to his own daughters. She was 
engaged at carrying wood and piling it up. 
Mr. Whittaker, after talking with her a short 
time, became convinced that she was 
preparing her own funeral pile, though 
herself ignorant of the fact. 

Later events relating to this family are narrated in the 
sketch of Sandusky township. 



He engaged to procure her freedom on 
condition she would never expose him in a 
lie. Having been informed of the probable 
fate which awaited her she readily assented. 
At the dictation of her rescuer she sat upon a 
log while he went to the assembled Indians 
and asked them what they were doing with 
that young woman, to which they replied 
that preparations were being made for a 
dance that night, and that she was to be 
burned. He then told them that she was his 
daughter, and the strong resemblance 
between her and his family, with whom the 
Indians were slightly acquainted, convinced 
them that the statement was true, and out of 
respect they gave her up. Whittaker brought 
her home and gave a guide sixty dollars to 
conduct her to her friends, who lived down 
the Ohio river. 

Near the time of the capture of Whittaker, 
and probably later, a party of negroes were 
captured in Virginia and brought to the 
Sandusky River, where they were held as 
slaves. They were placed in charge of a 
peninsular tract several miles below the 
falls, which they cultivated for the Indians, 
no doubt to the great satisfaction of the 
squaws, upon whom devolved all menial 
labor. The peninsula became known as 
Negro Point, a name which it has retained 
ever since a period of about a century 

There is a singular tradition relating to the 
first appearance of the honeybee in the 
Northwest, which places that event within 
the field of our history. The late Mrs. Rachel 
Scranton, a daughter of . James and 
Elizabeth Whittaker, is authority for the 
following statement, which was first 
published in 1860: 

Previous to the time of Mrs. Whittaker's captivity, 
the honeybee and the plantain were unknown to the 
Indians. While she and her brother George, who was 
also a captive, were yet children, and menial servants to 
the Wyandot tribe, they were hoeing corn in an Indian 
field, when they discovered a swarm of bees in a tree 
near by. They remembered some 

thing of bees at home and conjectured what they were. 
The idea of white people was instantly suggested, and 
they talked with one another as to whether this might 
not be a sign that white people would come soon. Their 
discovery was communicated to the Indians, who 
flocked to the tree in great numbers to see the wonderful 
insects. The suggestion was made by George and 
Elizabeth, that bees belonged to white people and stayed 
with them, and that probably this was a sign that the 
palefaces were coming, and would bye-and-bye have the 
country. None of the tribes had ever seen the insect 
before, and their superstitious minds were affected to 
such a degree that, with the Wyandots especially, it 
became a settled conviction that the Indians would be 
driven out and the whites would take their country. 

The account continues: 

Henceforth this tribe, yielding to what they con- 
sidered inevitable fate, felt and said it was useless to 
contend against the palefaces, and became a peaceful 
people. It is true they joined the other tribes to fight 
Wayne, but they refused to join the expedition until a 
confederation of all the other tribes of the Northwest 
plainly told them that if they did not send out warriors 
to fight Wayne, they unitedly would exterminate the 
Wyandots. There was no other way to save themselves, 
and they did send the best of their men to be slaughtered 
by "Mad" Anthony at the battle of Fallen Timbers. 

This latter statement is probably incorrect 
in fact, although there may have been such a 
local sentiment. In the open war, which was 
commenced on the Ohio Company's 
settlement in 1791, and terminated with 
Wayne's victory, the Wyandots took an 
active and conspicuous part, a part which 
justifies assigning to them leadership from 
the beginning to the end of that cruel 
contest. The first attack on the Ohio settlers 
at Big Bottom, in 1791, was made by the 
allied warriors of the Delawares and 

The Whittaker cabin and trading-house, 
which stood just above the head of the bay, 
was a usual stopping point for war parties 
when on their way from Lower Sandusky to 
Detroit with prisoners. The family always 
treated captives with the greatest kindness 
consistent with their situation. Major Nathan 
Goodale, a prominent and valuable citizen of 
Belpre, the 



second settlement in the Ohio Company's 
purchase, was captured by a band of Wyandot 
warriors in 1793, while at work on his farm a 
short distance from the fort. They sprang out 
from the forest and seized him before he was 
aware of their presence, or could make any 
defence, threatening him with death if he made 
a noise or resisted. After securing him with 
thongs they made a hasty retreat, intending to 
take him to Detroit and get a large ransom. 
They got along as far as Whittaker's house, 
when he could go no further, in consequence of 
sickness. Mrs. Whittaker, in relating the 
account afterwards, testified that he had 
received no ill treatment while in captivity, and 
that he died at her house in a few days after he 
had been left there, of a disease like pleurisy.* 

The narrative of the captivity of Daniel 
Conyers* in 1793, throws considerable light on 
affairs here at that time. Convers was a boy 
sixteen years old, who lived at the Waterford 
garrison on the Muskingum River, twenty 
miles above Marietta. He afterwards became a 
wealthy merchant of Zanesville, Ohio. He was 
captured by a party of Indians lurking about the 
garrison, most of them being Wyandots. They 
travelled singly through the woods so as to 
leave no trail behind, until they struck the old 
Indian path leading from Lower Sandusky 
through Upper Sandusky to Fort Harmar. This 
was a plain, beaten track, used by the Indians 
for many years when going to Marietta to sell 
their peltry. The evening was rainy and the 
night very dark, but they did not stop until late, 
fearing that the whites might be in pursuit. For 
the same reason, no fire was kindled. Before 
going to sleep they tied leather thongs around 
their prisoner's wrist, stretching out the ends 
upon the ground and passing them under the 
Indians who lay on each side of him, so as to 
awaken them if he attempted to escape. 

* Pioneer History of Ohio. 

The Indians did not sleep much, but talked 
until almost morning. At daybreak the 
journey was resumed. An old Ottawa was in 
the party, who complained of being sick and 
gave his pack to the prisoner to carry, which 
greatly wearied him. After he had borne the 
burden about three miles they came to a 
creek where all stopped to drink. The brave 
lad threw the pack on the ground saying, 
"Me sick too." The Ottawa picked it up 
without saying a word, and his master, or at 
least the Indian who claimed him by right of 
capture, patted his young prisoner on the 
back exclaiming "Ho yee, a token of 
approval of the fearless act. The second 
evening, being more than fifty miles from 
any white settlement, they halted before 
night, killed a deer for supper and kindled a 
fire. They seasoned their venison with wild 
onions. That night they trimmed their bright 
young captive s hair in the Indian fashion, 
leaving a long lock on top which they 
braided into a queue. They also painted one 
of his eyelids. 

On the third day a place of considerable 
interest was reached, where two trails 
leading toward the north came together. A 
hieroglyphic tree stood at the junction, on 
which was painted, in a rude manner, a war 
party, indicating their number and the 
direction of their course. The warriors 
painted on the same tree their own number, 
indicating the capture of one boy prisoner by 
placing behind the warriors who bore arms a 
smaller figure without arms. 

From here they hurried on rapidly to 
Upper Sandusky, where the prisoner saw, for 
the first time, in a cabin, a number of scalps 
hung up to dry. This was the cabin of a 
crabbed old Indian, who welcomed the lad 
with a cuff on the head. From Upper 
Sandusky the party 



proceeded down the river, and in the course of 
the afternoon met a white trader and a negro. 
The white man paid little attention to them, 
but the negro took the prisoner kindly by the 
hand, and with evident interest inquired if any 
of his friends had been killed, and where he 
came from. This negro was probably one of 
the slaves from Negro Point, and hoped to 
find out something about his old friends in 
Virginia. That night they had nothing for 
supper except a woodchuck, which was 
divided among eight persons. Here the 
Indians gave their prisoner a blanket and 
moccasins, he having been barefoot and thinly 
clad at the time of the capture. The next night 
they' passed in a vacant hut by the river. Here 
Convers saw a cow which belonged to his 
mother, and had been stolen three months 
before. The narrative declares: "She directly 
knew her old friend Daniel; came up to him, 
and looked as if she felt sorry for his unhappy 

The prisoner on this occasion was a lad 
whose appearance commanded admiration 
and excited sympathy, as is shown by the 
conduct of two boys at a village on the 
prairie. They caught him, one by each hand, 
and hurried through the town, thus shielding 
him from the ordeal of running the gauntlet. 
"On the tenth day of his captivity," says the 
narrative, "the party arrived at Lower 
Sandusky, where there was a large Indian 
village. Here they crossed the Sandusky River 
in a canoe. As soon as they had landed, an 
Indian came up, took Daniel by the hand and 
bid him go with him. He hesitated for a mo- 
ment, when one of the warriors motioned him 
to go. He ran with him up the river bank 
about twenty rods and stopped, appearing 
very friendly, and no doubt took this course to 
keep the prisoner out of the sight of the other 
Indians living in the town. While waiting 
there for his party 

to join him, a large Indian who was drunk, 
came to him and struck him over the eye, 
knocking him down. The eye instantly 
swelled so that he could not see with it. As 
he repeated the blow, another Indian, who 
was much smaller, ran to the rescue, and, 
seizing the drunken one by the hair, jerked 
him to the ground and beat him severely. He 
then, in a very kind manner, took young 
Convers by the hand, calling him, in broker 
English, his friend. At the same time two 
squaws came up and expressed their pity for 
the young prisoner. "They went away, but 
directly returned, bringing him some hominy 
and meat to eat, thus showing that the female 
heart in the savage, as well as in the 
civilized races, is readily moved at the sight 
of distress, and ever open to compassion and 
kindness. The party to which he belonged 
encamped near this spot, and during the 
night some of the party who had been 
present at the attack on the garrison at 
Waterford, hearing from their countrymen an 
account of this foray at the same place, and 
the ill-treatment of their prisoner by the 
drunken Indian, came into the camp and 
passed the night to protect him from any 
further abuse." 

The next day the party, with their 
prisoners, proceeded on down the river on 
their way to Detroit. They stopped at 
Whittaker's cabin and there received from 
that kindhearted man a loaf of sugar which 
the Indians divided, giving their prisoner a 
share. The Indians were very fond of sugar, 
and the present was highly appreciated by 
them, as well as by the captive. Whittaker 
dared say little to the prisoner, however, lest 
he should excite the jealousy of the Indians. 
At Detroit the prisoner was ransomed and 
sent with a party of horsemen to his friends 
in Connecticut. Colonel Convers in after 
years testified to the uniform humanity 



of his treatment. "His treatment was not only 
humane, but kind and gentlemanly." 

We have presented this incident to con- 
siderable length, because it is the most 
faithfully detailed account of Indian cap- 
tivity within our knowledge. Let those who 
have believed the Indian a beast in human 
form, whose only human element of 
character was treachery, follow Convers 
from the scene of his captivity to the place 
of ransom, and compare his treatment with 
that of the war prisoners of any Christian 

The treatment of prisoners was very much 
similar in all cases, except when special 
weakness of character was betrayed, or the 
magnitude of a crime demanded severe 
punishment. We have chosen a variety of 
such incidents as are best calculated to give 
an idea of aboriginal life at Lower Sandusky, 
which was, during the period covered, the 
military centre of the most warlike of the 
Indian nations. Another event more far 
reaching in its historical consequences next 
demands our attention. 

The frontier posts of Kentucky suffered 
more from Indian incursions than the 
settlements of any other locality. There were 
two reasons for this: being the most western 
settlements they were regarded as the most 
dangerous intruders on the red man's 
domain; and second, nowhere did the 
"Longknives," as the Indians called the 
whites, treat the savages with so much 
cruelty. During one of these incursions, led 
by Simon Girty against Boonesborough, 
Sarah Vincent, a little girl seven years old, 
was made captive and settled on the 
Sandusky River, where she became a 

Several years afterwards Isaac Williams, a 
trader at Upper Sandusky, made her 
acquaintance, and they were married. They 
settled at Upper Sandusky, and reared one 
son, Isaac Williams, who married 

Sarah Loveler near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 
They settled on the tract which his mother 
had occupied while a captive, located on the 
river, at the Chestnut grove, on the present 
estate of Sidney Forguson. It was to the 
widow of this Isaac Williams that a 
reservation of one hundred and sixty acres, 
on Negro Point, was granted. She died about 
1830, leaving a family of five children — 
Alexander, George, Joseph, Rachel, and 

George married a Tawa (Ottawa) squaw, 
and never claimed any share in the estate. 
This woman, in 1808, overheard an in- 
terview between the Shawnee, Tecumseh, 
and a Muncie, or Delaware chief, which, had 
it been properly communicated to the 
Federal authorities, would have furnished 
important information concerning the 
strange, mysterious movements of the wily 
chief who organized the Indian rebellion of 
1811, and consummated the British alliance 
of 1812. 

Tecumseh was neither a peace chief, nor a 
war chief in his tribe, but he was a man of 
preeminent intellect, and attained to an 
influence, throughout the whole Indian 
country, which was well nigh imperial. He 
commenced the great work which he had 
long contemplated, in 1805. His first object 
was to unite the several nations, many of 
which were hostile to each other, and had 
often been at war. He sought to reform their 
prejudices, and to reestablish original 
manners and customs. To this end all 
intercourse with the whites was to be 
suspended, and the use of ardent spirits 
abandoned. Professing to the American 
Government no other object than moral 
reform, he was unceasing in his toil. Having a 
wide reputation as a sagacious counselor and 
warrior, he everywhere received considerate 
attention. His general plan of union being 
matured, he brought superstition to his aid. 

His brother, the Prophet, now began to 



dream dreams and see visions. The fame of 
his divine commission spread from the 
frozen North to the gulf on the South. While 
believing pilgrims were coming to the shrine 
of the Prophet, Tecumseh's activity was 
simply wonderful. He was pleading loyalty 
to the Americans at Governor Harrison's 
office at Vincennes, and the same week 
arranging war plans on the Wabash and on 
the plains of Sandusky. His canoe crossed 
the Mississippi, and before any were aware, 
he was addressing Cherokee councils in 
Georgia and Alabama. The whole West was 
thus aroused to war, which begun openly at 
Tippecanoe in 1811. Until shortly before that 
time the Government was ignorant of the 
real designs of Tecumseh and the power of 
the league which he had formed. In view of 
the consequences of the chieftain's move- 
ments, the tradition of his visit to Lower 
Sandusky will be of general interest. This 
brings us back again to the Williams 
family. * 

One afternoon in the autumn of 1809, the 
wife of George Williams, who lived on 
Negro Point, made a visit to the Wyandot 
village, which was on the hill northeast of 
the present Fremont bridge. Her way home 
was through Muncietown, which she reached 
about dark in the evening. By a light in a 
wigwam she saw Tecumseh in consultation 
with an Ottawa chief. Her path passed close 
the wigwam, in which she heard a 
conversation in the Ottawa language. Being 
herself an Ottawa, she understood what was 
said; and the theme being war, curiosity 
induced her to listen. Mrs. Williams, on 
returning home, told her husband that 
Tecumseh said, the next year when corn was 
knee high, a war would commence by the 
killing of all white people living on Indian 

* This tradition is written from the recollections of 
Lorenzo Dow Williams, grandson of Isaac Williams. 

and along the river (the Ohio river), and that 
the British would join them in the war. This 
was the first information obtained by any 
white settler that the roving Shawnees 
contemplated war. Alexander Williams,* a 
brother of George Williams, who lived in 
Virginia, was at that time visiting his parents 
on Negro Point. He started home the 
following morning, going by way of 
Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, where he 
announced what had been heard in the Indian 
country concerning Tecumseh's intentions. 
At Sweet Springs, Virginia, his fellow- 
townsmen prepared for the conflict. 

The following summer five hundred 
warriors gathered in Muncietown, whence 
they started on an expedition to plunder the 
frontiers of Virginia. After they had been 
gone two days, Mrs. Williams, who had 
heard the prediction of Tecumseh and knew 
the meaning of these hostile preparations, 
called two white prisoners, who had been at 
Muncietown for a long time, to her house, 
painted them as warriors, and sent them on 
the trail of the war party with instructions to 
travel night and day and to pass around the 
warriors, if possible, before they reached the 
settlements, in order that, the white people 
might prepare for an attack. The two young 
men, rejoiced to escape captivity, arrayed in 
the costume of the savages, with rifle, 
ammunition, tomahawk and scalping knife, 
hurried in the path as fast as possible. At a 
place called Walker's Meadow, three miles 
from the village of Union, the two brave 
messengers entered the Indian camp. 
Carelessly they passed through, unnoticed by 
the redskins, who supposed them a couple of 
their own number, engaged in the enterprise. 
About three miles from the encampment they 
came to the house of a settler, where they re- 
mained quiet until morning. The first 

* Father of our informant. 



person seen was a man who came out of the 
house, mounted a horse, and rode away 
without seeing the messengers. A negro next 
came out and went to the barn. The two young 
men now entered the house where they found 
a woman and several children. The woman 
screamed terribly, supposing Indians with the 
war paint on their faces were in possession of 
her house, and that quick murder was sure to 
follow. The boys spoke to her in good 
English, explaining who they were and what 
they had come for. The woman's husband was 
Judge Donelly, who was holding court two 
miles distant. They informed him of the 
danger to which the settlement was exposed. 
Judge Donelly was also colonel of militia, and 
on receiving the information he adjourned 
court and collected the people of the 
settlement into the blockhouse, upon which an 
unsuccessful attack was made, and the war- 
riors left with one prisoner. This was one of 
the first acts of Indian hostility. Very few 
Wyandots participated in it, their nation being 
averse to war. Tecumseh's visits were mostly 
to the villages of other tribes. The Wyandots 
generally entertained the opinions expressed 
by Crane's confidential advisor, Walk-in-the- 
Water, in a council held at Brownstown in 
1812. He said: "No, we will not take up the 
hatchet against our father the Longknife. Our 
two fathers are about to fight, but we have no 
concern in their quarrel; it is best for us to sit 
still and remain neutral." 

The Wyandots on the American side of the 
lakes were not drawn into the war in any 
considerable numbers, although the British 
Government exhausted intrigue to effect an 
alliance. Tarhe, the Crane, exerted his 
powerful influence in favor of neutrality, and 
those of the tribe who had taken hold of the 
British hatchet deserted Proctor at the first 

*North American Review, 1827. 

Tecumseh, at one time, while endeavoring 
to effect a union of the tribes, visited the 
house of Isaac Williams, on Negro Point. The 
visit, from Mr. Williams' standpoint, has an 
amusing feature, though, on part of the great 
Indian statesman and general, it was probably 
no more than an accident. We give the 
incident, as it has become traditional in the 
Williams family. 

The Wyandots had cornfields all along the 
river bottoms, which were cultivated by the 
squaws and boys, each family having a small 
patch, and no fences between them. Isaac 
Williams owned a large number of hogs, and 
tried to enclose his premises with a brush 
fence, but they frequently found a way out 
and destroyed the corn, which greatly 
provoked the squaws. They urged their dogs 
upon the hogs, and killed several of them. 
One day Williams, hearing the dogs barking 
and the hogs squealing, grasped his gun, and, 
despite the importunities of his wife, rushed 
to the corn field, where two dogs were tearing 
to pieces one of the favorites of the herd, 
while an old squaw and her boy were looking 
on with amusement. Williams, still more 
enraged by this, aimed so as to bring both 
within the range of the shot, but the gun 
snapped and the squaw discovered her danger. 
She implored forgiveness, and promised that 
the injury should never be repeated. The 
family were, however, greatly annoyed by the 
fear that the event had. excited the wrath of 
the Indians, who would seek revenge. This 
explains the uneasiness of Williams when, the 
next day, Tecumseh appeared at his door. 
This was during that chiefs earlier visits to 
the towns along the river. The magnitude of 
the indignity of the day before increased in 
Williams' mind a hundredfold, and his first 
thought was that the great Tecumseh had 
come to revenge the insult. Suppressing all 
appearances of fear, the old trader asked his 



guest to come in and be seated, himself, with 
seeming carelessness, taking a chair in that 
corner of the cabin in which the gun was 
standing. Both sat for some time without a 
word passing between them. The chief at 
length took his tomahawk from his belt and 
filled the end of it with tobacco. Stepping to 
the fire, he took a coal from the ashes, lighted 
his pipe and began smoking, continuing silent. 
Williams also sat quiet, every moment ex- 
pecting to be reproved, or, perhaps, punished, 
for attempting to shoot the squaw. The latter 
finally broke the spell by saying: "Tecumseh, 
what are you doing? I see the wampum is being 
carried from place to place and secret councils 
are being held. What is this for? Are you 
organizing war against the white people?" Te- 
cumseh could speak and understand. English 
well. He answered: "Maybe war with the white 
man. He is too saucy." Williams then informed 
the chief, who was afterwards termed monarch 
of the North American Indians, that he had 
better not go to war; that he had travelled 
through the white man's country, and they were 
too numerous for the Indians; that they would 
exterminate all the Indians in the country if a 
war should occur, and more such advice, to 
which the chief paid no attention. He sat 
moody for a long time, then knocked the ashes 
from his pipe and retired. Williams was 
agreeably surprised at there having been no 
allusion made to the attempt to shoot the 

The Ottawas are characterized by Indian writers as the 
hunters and trappers of the forest. They followed the Portage 
and Sandusky Rivers and came to Lower Sandusky to trade 
as late as 1833, Judge Jesse Olmstead being the favorite 
merchant. The story of the execution of an Ottawa warrior 
was given in a lecture by Hon. Homer Everett, delivered in 

Wild, unlearned, and in many things repulsive as the Indians 
were, still, amongst them were found many noble specimens 
of men and women, who cherished and displayed the 
cardinal virtues of humanity: modesty, chastity, truth, 
sincerity, honesty and courage. 

In that stoic courage which coolly meets death 
without even the appearance of fear, the North 
American Indian never had a superior in any race of 
men on the earth. In illustration of this wonderful 
characteristic, two instances, well known to my 
informants, may be given. 

Among the Ottawas who frequently visited our town 
to trade, was a warrior named Captain Punkin. He was 
by nature, as well as practice, a vicious, treacherous, 
cruel Indian; he was one of the company who captured 
the Snow family, on Cold Creek, somewhere near 
Castalia; and the identical individual who took away 
Mrs. Snow's infant because it hindered her march. In 
spite of all her entreaties, cries and resistance, he 
seized it by the feet and dashed its brains out against a 
tree before the mother's eyes. 

Long years after this event, Punkin was found guilty 
of violating the laws of his tribe, and sentenced to die, 
by a council. This decision was communicated to him, 
and he was asked when and where he would die. He 
informed them of the time and place at which he would 
choose to die and be buried; he went unguarded and at 
liberty for some time alone in the forest. No human 
eye watched him; he was at liberty to flee if he chose. 
The time fixed came, and his executioners repaired to 
the spot he had selected, and where his burial place 
had already been prepared. They found him ready, 
sitting at the verge of his own grave. Raising his 
bowed head as they approached, he said: You have 
come; I am ready. Strike sure!" Instantly the 
tomahawk described a glittering circle and descended 
deep into his brain. He expired without a groan, and 
was buried there. 

The extent of the cornfields along the 
river remains to be spoken of. The prairies 
bordering the bay were cultivated when 
Colonel James Smith visited the country as 
a captive, in 1757, but he mentions nothing 
about agriculture along the river. But at a 
later period the river prairies supplied the 
whole Wyandot country. This was, no 
doubt, owing to the exhaustless fertility of 
the soil and the ease with which it was 
cultivated. The plains now covered by the 
lower part of the city of Fremont were 
cleared land when first seen by white men, 
and except the tract used for councils, 
gaming, racing, and the village 



bore corn season after season. The squaws and 
boys attended to agriculture, and all other 
menial duties. To handle a hoe would have 
disgraced the strong Indian, whose only 
business was war. 

That Lower Sandusky was celebrated among 
the Indians for the fertility of soil, is proved by 
an incident which, in 1807, occurred at Ogontz 
place, now Sandusky. The Indian title to the 
Firelands was 

extinguished in 1805, but the Indians 
about the neck of the bay were slow to 
leave in obedience to the terms of the 
treaty. Complaint was made to Ogontz, 
to whom the commissioner put the 
question: "Why do you not raise your 
corn at Lower Sandusky?" "Ugh!" 
retorted Ogontz, "Big corn grow at 
Lower Sandusky, but no papoose grow 



Five Characteristic Centres of Settlement — First Measures After the Revolution for Selling Western Lands — 
Ordinance of 1785 — Revolutionary Bounties — Organization of the Ohio Company — Ordinance of 1787 The 
Ohio Company Land at the Mouth of the Muskingum — Formal Inauguration of Government — Growth of the 
Massachusetts Colony — Settlement Between the Miamis — John Cleves Symmes' Purchase — Founding of 
Cincinnati — French Settlement at Gallipolis — The Virginia Military District — Settlement of Manchester — 
Founding of Chillicothe — Character of Population — The Western Reserve — Sale to the Connecticut Land 
Company — Surveyed into Townships — Cleveland Founded — Slow Growth at First — Subsequent Rapid 
Growth — The Northwestern Indian Reservation — Frontier Line of Settlements in 1812 — Population in 1812 — 
Erection of Counties — Formation of State Government — Origin of the Northwest Boundary Difficulty — Open 
Conflict Between Ohio and the Territory of Michigan — Opening Wedge to Settlement in Northwestern Ohio — 
Causes of the War of 1812 — Attitude of the Wyandots — Results of the War Forecasted — Hull's Surrender — 
Ohio Exposed to the Enemy — Militia Volunteers Victories Follow Defeat and Disaster — Ohio's Part in the War. 

THE fading picture of Wyandot Lower 
Sandusky calls to mind a more stirring 
scene, Lower Sandusky of Fort Stephenson 
fame. This period, brief but crowded with 
tragic events, dates the beginning of white 
settlement in Sandusky county. What was 
Ohio then? is a question which naturally 
suggests itself, and one which this chapter 
is intended to answer. 

Historically Ohio is carved into seven 
distinct divisions, bearing five characteris- 
tic civilizations transplanted from 
different Eastern colonies, and tracing 
their ancestry to antagonistic races or 
social castes. Out of these five elements 
has grown the Ohio of today justly proud 
and sufficiently honored. 

The centres of early settlement, widely 
separated from each other by bridgeless streams 
and long reaches of untraversed forests, 
impressed the instincts and training brought 
from Eastern homes upon their localities. That 
impress is still discernible in the politics, 
religion, and culture of the native population. 
The clashing of opinion which has been a 
necessary result of grouping five discordant ele- 
ments into one State, has been potent in 
developing native intellect and producing 
occasions for its exercise. It is further a 
proposition, proved by the inevitable logic of 
history, that the mingling and fusion of people 
of different races, temperaments and training, is 
productive of physical and mental strength. To 
these facts may be 



attributed in great measure the high position 
which Ohio has taken in affairs. 

When the Revolution closed, the Congress 
of the Confederation found itself in 
possession of a vast Western domain of 
boundless fertility. Plans of emigration and 
colonization again revived. Congress, in 
May, 1785, passed "an ordinance for 
ascertaining the mode of disposing of the 
Western lands, and Thomas Hutchins, the 
United States geographer, was instructed to 
lay off the territory into townships of six 
miles square, and each township into thirty- 
six lots, containing six hundred and forty 
acres each. Congress had, in 1776, and by 
several succeeding acts, pledged bounties to 
the Continental soldiers. One-seventh of the 
land was to be reserved for this purpose. 
Lots eight, eleven, twenty-six, and twenty- 
nine were to be reserved for future sale; the 
remainder was to be divided among the 
several States and sold by them at not less 
than one dollar per acre, with the additional 
cost of the survey and sale. This system 
operated against the colonization plan, for 
the townships were to be drawn by the 
several States, making it impossible for a 
company to purchase a large tract in one 
body. This ordinance excepted an undefined 
tract between the Scioto and the Little 
Miami, which had been' reserved by Virginia 
in her act of cession, for the use of her own 
troops. Indian hostilities prevented 
individual settlement, and it was evident that 
Congress had placed too high an estimate on 
the value of the unbroken forest. 

From time to time, as circumstances 
suggested, this original ordinance was 
amended. The bounty claims of, Revo- 
lutionary soldiers were the strongest agency 
in the settlement of the Northwest. A major- 
general were entitled to eleven hundred 
acres, a brigadier-general to eight hundred 
and fifty acres, colonel to five 

hundred acres, lieutenant-colonel to four 
hundred and fifty acres, major to four 
hundred acres, captain to three hundred 
acres, lieutenant to two hundred acres, 
ensign one hundred and fifty acres, 
noncommissioned officers and privates one 
hundred acres each. As early as 1783 
General Rufus Putnam, of Massachusetts, 
transmitted to Washington a memorial 
asking for an appropriation of Western lands 
to supply these claims. The measure was 
placed before Congress, but the question of 
ownership not being settled action was 
postponed. In 1775 Colonel Benjamin 
Tupper came West as a surveyor, but the 
survey being interrupted by Indian troubles 
he returned to the East the following winter 
with such favorable impressions of the 
country beyond the Ohio that he united with 
Putnam in forming a plan of association and 
settlement. They prepared a publication 
setting forth the project, and inviting all who 
desired to promote the scheme to send 
delegates to a general convention to be held 
in Boston, March 1, 1786. 

An opportunity now seemed open to the 
hardy and resolute soldiers who had carried 
the war to a successful issue, to retrieve their 
ruined estates. The convention which met in 
pursuance to this call, represented the best 
elements of New England society. Articles 
of association were agreed upon, which 
made the capital of the company one million 
dollars. Three directors Samuel H. Parsons, 
General Rufus Putnam, and Dr. Manasseh 
Cutler, were elected, with instructions to 
purchase a private grant of lands. Major 
Winthrop Sargent (second Territorial 
Governor) was elected secretary. 

About the time of the organization of the 
Ohio Company another land company was 
organized in New York, with William Duer 
at its head. Dr. Cutler, to whom was 
delegated the responsible office of 



making a contract with Congress, found that 
body averse to the New England scheme, but 
by combining with the New York company, 
in which several members of Congress were 
interested, there was hope of success. It had 
been the hope of the Massachusetts company 
to have General Parsons, one of their own 
number, placed at the head of the new 
territorial government which colonization 
would make it necessary to establish; but his 
plan of purchase could not succeed without 
the support of General St. Clair, who was a 
representative from Pennsylvania and 
President of Congress. Cutler was a good 
lobbyist and yielded the choice of his 
associates in favor of St. Clair for the 

A contract was finally agreed upon in 
July, 1787, and confirmed the following 

The first ordinance directing the estab- 
lishment of a government for the Western 
territory, was submitted by Mr. Jefferson in 
1784, and contained a clause against 
slavery. It also contemplated the division of 
the Territory into seventeen States. This 
ordinance, with the important omission of 
the proviso against slavery, was passed by 
Congress in April, 1784. This act, owing to 
the divisions it contemplated, was thought 
inexpedient, and another act, applying only 
to the territory acquired by the cession to 
the United States by Massachusetts, New 
York, Virginia, and Connecticut, all the 
territory at that time owned by the United 
States was submitted, which resulted in the 
passage on July 13, of the celebrated 
ordinance of 1787, which is in fact the 
fundamental law of the States whose 
territory was comprehended, Ohio, Indiana, 
Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan. 

This enactment organized a single ter- 
ritory northwest of the Ohio and eastward 
of the Mississippi, subject to future 

if deemed expedient by Congress, into two 
districts. This fundamental law, enacted 
before a solitary freeholder raised his cabin 
on the territory it was intended to govern, 
has been characterized as a fit consummation 
of the glorious labors of the Congress of the 
old Confederation. It established in the 
Northwest, the important principles of the 
equal inheritance of intestine estates, and the 
freedom of alineation by deed or will. After 
prescribing a system of territorial civil 
government, it concludes with six articles of 
compact between the original States and the 
people of the States in the Territory, which 
should forever remain unalterable unless by 
common consent.. The first declared that no 
person demeaning himself in a peaceable and 
orderly manner, should ever be molested on 
account of his mode of worship or religious 
sentiments. The second prohibited legislative 
interference with private contracts, and 
secured to the inhabitants trial by jury, the 
writ of habeas corpus, a proportionate 
representation of the people in the 
Legislature, judicial proceedings according 
to the course of common law, and those 
guarantees of personal freedom and property 
which are enumerated in the bill of rights of 
most of the States.. The third provided for 
the encouragement of schools and for good 
faith, justice, and humanity toward the 
Indian. The fourth secured to the new States 
to be erected out of the Territory the same 
privileges with the old ones; imposed upon 
them the same burdens, including 
responsibility for the Federal debt, 
prohibited the States from interfering with 
the primary disposal of the soil of the United 
States, or taxing the public lands; from 
taxing the lands of nonresidents higher than 
residents; and established the navigable 
waters leading into the Mississippi and St. 
Lawrence, and the portages between them, 
common highways for the use of all the 
citizens of all the 



United States. The fifth article related to the 
formation of new States within the Territory, 
the divisions to be not less than three nor 
more than five. By this article the west 
boundary of Ohio became a line running 
northward from the mouth of the Great 
Miami, until it intersected a line running 
eastward from the southern bend of Lake 
Michigan, the northern boundary. 
The sixth article provided that, 

There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary 
servitude in the Territory, otherwise than in the 
punishment of crime whereof the party shall have been 

This ordinance gave the greatest en- 
couragement to immigration, and offered the 
fullest protection to those who became 
settlers, for "when they came into the 
wilderness they found the law already there. 
It was impressed upon the soil while yet it 
bore up nothing but the forest." * 

The Ohio Company, before the close of 
the summer, was rapidly formulating regu- 
lations for the government of their affairs, 
and the associates making hasty preparations 
for the anticipated removal to the beautiful 
country of which they had formed most 
extravagant ideas. 

In October Congress ordered seven 
hundred troops for the protection of the 
frontiers, and on the 5th of the month 
appointed the territorial officers: Arthur St. 
Clair, Governor; Winthrop Sargent, 
Secretary; Samuel H. Parsons, James M. 
Varnum, and John Armstrong," 1 " Judges. 

On the 7th of April, 1788, a company of 
forty-eight men, with General Rufus Putnam 
at their head, disembarked from their boat at 
the mouth of the Muskingum and planted the 
first American colony on the soil of Ohio. 

The civil government of the Territory 

*S. P. Chase, Statutes of Ohio. 

+ Judge Armstrong declined the office and John Cleves Symmes 
was appointed to fill the vacancy. 

which had been created the fall before, was 
formally established upon Ohio soil, on the 
15th of July. The Governor and Judges had 
arrived at Fort Harmar several days before. 
The ceremonies attending inauguration of 
government were highly impressive. The 
Judges, Secretary, and inhabitants assembled 
on the site of Marietta, where the Governor 
was welcomed by Judge Parsons. Under a 
bower of foliage contributed by the 
surrounding forest, the ordnance of 1787 
was read, congratulations exchanged, and 
three hearty cheers echoed and reechoed 
from the waters of two rivers, the high hills, 
and thick forests. 

Marietta, the town founded by the 
Massachusetts colony, became an important 
centre of settlement. Conceived on the soil 
of the loyal old Bay State, the story of its 
birth was heralded throughout all New 
England. Reinforcements came from the best 
homes and the best communities, not from 
Massachusetts alone, but of Connecticut and 
Rhode Island also. The course of emigration 
from the impoverished States, once opened, 
widened and deepened until temporarily 
closed by an unfortunate conflict with the 
red natives, a little less than three years after 
the arrival of the first company of pioneers. 
Early in 1789 two colonies branched off 
from Marietta, one settling on the Ohio, 
opposite the mouth of the Little Kanawha, 
known as the Belpre Association; the other 
on the Muskingum, twenty miles above its 
mouth, which still bears the name of 
Waterford. During the same summer a third 
colony branched off from the parent town, 
and located on Big Bottom, in Morgan 
county. The attack on the Big Bottom 
blockhouse, January 2, 1791, and the 
indiscriminate slaughter of its inhabitants, 
was the opening of a general Indian war 
along the whole border. 

New England had little more than com- 
menced to plant her civilization at the 



mouth of the Muskingum when a people of 
different stock cut into the forest, and 
raised their cabins between the Miamis of 
the Ohio. In October, 1788, John Cleves 
Symmes, one of the judges of the Territory, 
and a native of New Jersey, negotiated with 
Congress on behalf of himself and 
associates for the purchase of one million 
acres extending northward from the Ohio, 
between the Great and Little Miamis, but in 
consequence of failure to make payment the 
greater part of the purchase reverted to 
Congress, the patent when issued covering 
but about three hundred thousand acres. 
Judge Symmes sold the large, natural 
amphitheater opposite the Licking Rive, to 
Mathias Denman; of New Jersey, who 
entered into a contract with Colonel 
Patterson and Mr. Filson, of Kentucky, for 
laying out a town. Mr. Filson was killed by 
the Indians, and his interest became the 
property of Israel Ludlow. Patterson and 
Ludlow, accompanied by a small party, 
arrived on the site of Cincinnati December 
26, 1788. This may be considered the date 
of the founding of Cincinnati. A few 
blockhouses had been erected the preceding 
month at the mouth of the Little Miami. In 
February following the arrival of 
Patterson's party, Judge Symmes, with a 
party of citizens and soldiers, descended 
the Ohio, and disembarked at the mouth of 
the Great Miami, where it was proposed to 
found a city destined to become the 
metropolis of the West, but unfortunately 
the site was inundated by spring floods, 
necessitating abandonment of the cherished 
project. Judge Symmes, determined to be 
the founder of a city, then laid out a town 
extending from the Ohio to the Miami. But 
nature had formed another place for the 
Western metropolis, which, unfortunately 
for the projector of the Miami settlement, 
he had sold. 

North Bend was the name given by Symmes 
to his town, Losantiville to the town in the 
amphitheater, which was soon changed to 
Cincinnati, and the town at the mouth of the 
Little Miami founded by Colonel Stiles, was 
named Columbia. The three villages were 
rivals for a short time, but the establishment 
of Fort Washington in June, 1789, and its 
occupation by three hundred soldiers under 
command of General Harmar probably turned 
the tide in favor of Cincinnati. The original 
settlers of these villages were mostly from 
New Jersey, and recruits for a number of 
years came from the same place. Thus was 
planted in the Miami Valleys the civilization, 
temperament and hereditary bias of the Red 
Sand State, Hollander and English tinctured 
with Swedish blood. 

The third settlement* in Ohio, and the first 
foreign colonization, was made opposite the 
Big Kanawha in the summer of 1791. We 
have mentioned the joint negotiations of 
William Duer of New York, and Mannasseh 
Cutler, for the purchase of an extensive tract, 
bounded by the Ohio River on the south and 
extending northward between the first seven 
ranges to the Scioto. A patent for the whole 
tract was issued to the Ohio Company; but 
two days afterward, all of the tract lying west 
of the seventeenth range was transferred to 
the Scioto Company, of which Duer was 
chief. The Scioto Company at once took 
measures, for the disposition of its lands, 
foreign colonization being the favorite and 
novel scheme. Joel Barlow, the poet, was sent 
to France, then in the days of its discontent 
and revolution. His roseate descriptions 
pictured an Arcadia, of which Fair Haven was 
the destined capital. Attentive listeners saw 
noble forests, consisting of trees that 
spontaneously produce sugar, and a plant that 
yields ready made 

* By the term "settlement we mean the clusters of related posts 
and villages. 



candles, gracefully rising from la belle riviere, 
a pure stream abounding in excellent fish of 
vast size. To live in a land of plenty with no 
taxes to pay and no military services to 
perform, was the fair vision of this 
transcendent land which influenced a large 
company, composed chiefly of carvers and 
gilders, coach-makers, friseurs, and other 
artistes. Less than a dozen heavy laborers 
embarked in the enterprise. Deeds for their 
land, handsomely printed in high colors, 
raised still higher the delusive anticipation 
that their journey was to a Fair Haven in fact 
as well as in name. 

The Scioto Company employed General 
Rufus Putnam, of the Ohio Company 
association, to locate a village and prepare 
homes for the immigrants. Fair Haven, located 
opposite the mouth of the Kanawha, was found 
to be below the high-watermark, which 
induced General Putnam to locate Gallipolis 
(City of the French) four miles below upon a 
high bank. A detail of forty laborers, under 
Major Burnham, cleared a small tract of land, 
and built blockhouses and cabins, arranged in 
four rows, twenty in each row. The Company 
had also contracted with the Ohio Company to 
furnish the colony with provisions, but having 
failed to make payment for labor already 
discharged, the French were left in a pitiful 
condition. The disheartenment of 

disappointment on their arrival at the promised 
paradise became utter dejection when they 
learned that the Scioto Company had never 
paid for the land, and in consequence could 
give no title. These deluded foreigners, inured 
to tender-handed employments, were thrown 
into the pioneer battle under the greatest dis- 
advantages. In constant danger of an attack 
from Indians, suffering from sickness, and 
without money, they were unable to do for 
themselves as settlers at the other openings 
along the river were doing. They were 
provided for by an act of Congress, 

in 1798, which set apart for them a tract of 
land known as the French Grant, east of the 
mouth of the Scioto. Many remained at the 
original place of settlement; others, 
disgusted with the imposition practiced upon 
them, found homes at other places- 
Vincennes, St. Louis, Kaskaskia, and St. 
Genevieve. We have not included Gallipolis 
as one of the centres of settlement because 
the original colony, although it has left its 
impress upon its own locality has never 
asserted itself in affairs of the State. 

The Virginia Military District is one of the 
most interesting historical divisions of the 
State. It became practically an extension of 
Virginia into Ohio, between the Scioto and 
the Little Miami, as far north as the centre of 
the State. As has been noticed in a preceding 
chapter, Virginia, of which Kentucky was a 
part, reserved in her act of cession of all 
claims to lands northwest of the Ohio, this 
extensive tract to be appropriated as bounty 
to her own troops in the war of the 
Revolution. General Nathaniel Massie was 
appointed by the State Government to make 
a survey of the District, and for some time 
carried on the work by making expeditions 
with his party through the present territory 
of Kentucky. In the winter of 1790-91, 
encouraged, no doubt, by the flourishing 
progress of the settlements at the mouth of 
the Muskingum and at the Miamis, Massie 
determined to plant a colony on Virginia 
soil. Such a settlement would afford his 
party protection from danger and exposure 
while prosecuting the survey. The site of 
Manchester was chosen and a town laid off 
in lots. The adjoining tracts were surveyed 
into an equal number of out-lots of larger 
size. He gave general notice through 
Kentucky of his intention to found a town, 
and offered to the first twenty-five families 
one out-lot and one in-lot, and one hundred 
acres of land. His terms were quickly 



accepted by upwards of thirty families. The 
company arrived in March, 1991, and went 
to work with a will. In a short time each 
family had a cabin, and the whole village 
was enclosed with a strong stockade, with 
blockhouses at each angle. The Indian war 
was at its hottest when this colony crossed 
the river and built their fort, but "it suffered 
less from depredation and even interruption 
by Indians than any settlement previously 
made on the Ohio River. This was, no doubt, 
due to the watchful band of brave spirits 
who guarded the placemen who were reared 
in the midst of danger, and inured to peril, 
and as watchful as hawks."* 

This settlement was known as Massie's 
Station for a few years. The name was 
changed to Manchester. 

A general border war, which had been 
waged industriously on both sides between 
the Ohio tribes and the Pennsylvania and 
Virginia borderers for a long term of years, 
assumed more alarming proportions with the 
opening of the year 1791. The first attack on 
the north side of the Ohio was at Big 
Bottom, on the ad of January. That bloody 
surprise, in which fourteen persons were 
slain and five taken captive," 1 " marks the 
opening of a period of distress and peril for 
the pioneers of Ohio. Lower Sandusky's part 
in the history of that period has been shown. 
For four years immigration was almost at a 
standstill, and at the settlements unceasing 
danger from a clandestine enemy held in 
check material improvement. 

The report of Wayne's decisive victory on 
the Maumee was a joyful message to the 
garrisoned settlers along the Ohio. That 
event marks the beginning of the second 
epoch of Ohio history, an epoch full of 
activity and one which moulded the 

* McDonald s Western Sketches. 

+ One of the captives was the father of a highly re- 
spected citizen of this county, Charles Choate. 

political destinies of the State. The 
boundless possibilities of the West was no 
longer a speculation. Colonization and war 
together had disseminated through the East a 
knowledge of the fertility of the soil and 
transportation facilities. Peace opened the 
garrisons, and the valleys of every river 
resounded with the woodman's axe. "Never 
since the golden age of the poets," says an 
old writer, "did the "siren song of peace and 
harmony' reach so many ears or gladden so 
many hearts as after Wayne's treaty in 
1795." Never did a people, we may add, 
engage with such earnestness of purpose in 
the incalculable task of hewing a great State 
out of an unbroken forest. 

The village of Cincinnati, which in 1792 
had a population of about two hundred, 
increased to upwards of six hundred souls 
before the close of 1796. Population spread 
northward from Cincinnati, and was 
characteristically Jersey, but there was a 
considerable mixture of people from other 
Eastern States. 

Hamilton, Butler county, was laid out in 
1794, and settled soon afterward. 

Dayton, Montgomery county, and 
Franklin, Warren county, were settled in 

An attempt was made by Massie, in 1795, 
to found a town in the heart of the Virginia 
Military District, but Indian hostilities 
defeated his scheme. The following year the 
attempt was repeated with a more favorable 
result. Chillicothe was laid out early in 1796, 
and became by far the largest town in the 
District, and first capital of the State of 
Ohio. The pioneers of the military tract came 
through the passes of the Blue Ridge, 
bringing with them the institutions of the 
Old Dominion, except slavery, which was 
fortunately barred beyond the Ohio by the 
ordinance of 1787. The contrast between the 
Virginian of the Scioto and his Eastern 



the New Englander of the Muskingum, was as 
marked as the difference in the character of 
their native States. The Virginian proudly 
traced his ancestry to English nobility, and 
claimed the blood of Norman and Cavalier; 
his neighbor at Marietta turned to the New 
England Register of Genealogy, and 
followed his line of descent to the Puritan 
Nonconformist who came to America for 
religious freedom. These two elements have 
been, since before the formation of the State 
Constitution, opposing forces in State pol- 
itics, at times on the floors of legislation, 
fighting each other as bitterly as the re- 
spective States from which they sprung. 

We have now hurriedly sketched the 
founding and growth of the three southern 
and oldest centres of settlement. The fourth 
division in order of settlement,, but first 
entered by Federal surveyors, was the seven 
ranges. The survey of these ranges was 
commenced in compliance with an ordinance 
of Congress passed in 1785. The seven 
ranges extend seven townships west from the 
Pennsylvania line, and from the Ohio River 
to the fortieth parallel of latitude. Most of 
the settlers came over the Alleghenies from 
Eastern Pennsylvania. Many are of Quaker 
descent, but a larger proportion are of 
German origin. Some of the counties were 
partially settled from other States. There is 
less homogeneity of race and training in this 
than in any other of the five centres of early 
settlement. In this respect it is like the 
United States Military Reservation lying just 
west of it and extending to the Scioto. This 
tract was set apart to satisfy Revolutionary 
bounties, and in consequence drew its 
population from all the States. Settlements 
were made simultaneously in several parts of 
the seven ranges as soon as Indian hostilities 
were suppressed. Steubenville, one of the 
oldest of the towns which flourished, was 
founded in 1798. 

The county of Jefferson was erected in 1797. 

The Northwestern Indian Reservation, of 
which Sandusky county is a part, drew 
largely from the seven ranges and from the 
Military Reservation. These two divisions 
are coupled together as one centre of 
settlement, the character of the mixed 
population being about the same in each. 

The Connecticut Western Reserve is the 
largest tract in the State possessing a 
homogeneous population. Extending 

westward from the Pennsylvania line to the 
east line of Sandusky county, and from the 
forty-first parallel to the lake, it contains an 
area of more than three million three 
hundred thousand acres, and is settled even 
to this time almost wholly by people of 
Connecticut stock. 

In a previous chapter relating to the 
ownership of the Northwest, it was seen that 
the dispute between the States arising from 
indefinite colonial titles to Western lands, 
was finally settled by the States ceding their 
claims to the Federal Government. "The last 
tardy and reluctant sacrifice" was made by 
Connecticut, in 1786, with this extensive 
reservation, which it was supposed by the 
Legislature would eventually become a new 
State New Connecticut almost 

commensurate with the parent 

Commonwealth. Another dispute arose, 
when, in 1788, Governor St. Clair, in 
obedience to the ordinance of 1787, 
organized the Territory into counties, 
constituting all that part east of the Cuya- 
hoga, the Tuscarawas and the Scioto, 
Washington county, with Marietta as the 
county seat. This proclamation was deemed 
by Connecticut an interference with territory 
over which she had sole jurisdiction. 

The first tract of land disposed of by the 
State, was sold in 1786 to General Samuel 
Parsons. It consisted of twenty-four 
thousand acres, lying partly in each of 



the present counties of Mahoning and 
Trumbull. He had heard that there were 
available saline springs on the tract, and 
made the purchase for speculative purposes. 
His expectations were never realized, and he 
was drowned in the Beaver River, three 
years afterward. He never paid for the land 
and it reverted to the State of Connecticut, 
the original grantee of the patent. 

The Firehinds, embracing the present 
counties of Huron and Erie, was the next 
section carved off from her Western 
possessions by the State. During the 
Revolution, British invading parties were the 
special terror of Connecticut. Most of her 
able-bodied men were in the army, leaving 
the State with a feeble guard against hasty 
exploits from the royal headquarters at New 
York. Nine towns were thus plundered and 
laid waste, mostly by fire, and the 
inhabitants of one of them massacred. The 
sufferers, after the war appealed to the 
Legislature for relief, and, after several years 
discussion and delay, they were voted an 
appropriation of five hundred thousand 
acres, to be surveyed off from the western 
part of the Reserve, and distributed in 
proportion to their losses. The settlement of 
this district did not commence until about 
1808, owing to Indian occupation and fear of 

The Legislature of Connecticut took the 
first measures towards the sale of the State's 
Western lands in October, 1786, when a 
resolution was passed directing a survey of all 
that part of the Reserve east of the Cuyahoga 
and the portage leading from the Cuyahoga to 
the Tuscarawas. The resolutions also directed 
the sale of the land at fifty cents an acre, in 
the public securities of that day. No sales 
were made, except to Parsons, under this reso- 
lution, which was displaced by another 
resolution changing the method of sale, in 
1795. The Company plan, which had 

proved successful in the southern part of the 
Territory, was finally adopted by Con- 
necticut. In May, 1795, a committee was 
appointed to receive propositions for the 
purchase of all the unappropriated lands in 
the Reserve, and to make the best contract 
possible for the State, the committee being 
empowered to give deeds to the purchasers. 
One million dollars in specie was the 
minimum price fixed by the Legislature, and 
specie or specie notes only were to be 
received as payment. The committee 
succeeded in making the sale in September, 
1795, to a company of thirty-five persons, at 
the sum of one million two hundred 
thousand dollars. This sum became the basis 
of the Connecticut school fund, which now 
amounts to about two million dollars. The 
transfer was made to the Connecticut Land 
Company, which was incorporated under the 
laws of Connecticut. An act was also passed 
incorporating the proprietors of the 
Firelands. These acts granted political 
jurisdiction over transferred lands, under 
authority of the State of Connecticut. It will 
be seen that by this act practically a dual 
government was created in Northeastern 
Ohio. The Reserve, by the ordinance of 
1787, was made a part of the Northwest 
Territory, the United States recognizing the 
reservation, by Connecticut, of a proprietary 
right to the soil, but claiming absolute 
political jurisdiction. This intricate conflict 
of claims was finally settled in 1800, by 
Connecticut abandoning her pretensions and 
recognizing the political authority of the 
Territorial Government. 

The leading man in the Connecticut Land 
Company, and the heaviest stockholder, was 
Oliver Phelps. A deed was made by the State 
to each purchaser, giving him absolute title 
to a number of acres proportional to the 
amount of stock subscribed. The buyers, for 



transferred the whole tract to three trustees. 
The company was enlarged to four hundred 
shares at three thousand dollars a share. The 
management of its affairs was entrusted to a 
board of eight directors. 

General Moses Cleaveland was appointed 
surveyor of the Company, with instructions 
to lay off all that part of the Reserve east of 
the Cuyahoga in townships of not less than 
sixteen thousand square miles, and to lay out 
a town at the mouth of the Cuyahoga. 
Washington, Jefferson, and other statesmen 
of the times, who took a live interest in 
Western settlement, looked upon the mouth 
of the Cuyahoga as destined to become an 
important commercial point. This prediction, 
widely entertained, led to the selection of the 
site of the prospective capital of New 
Connecticut, for the authority of the 
Northwest Territory had not yet been 
accepted. The surveying party commenced 
early in July, 1796, and reached the mouth 
of the Cuyahoga in October, where a town 
was laid out in accordance with the direction 
of the company, and named Cleaveland, in 
honor of the veteran chief of the corps. A 
small settlement was made that fall, but the 
growth of the village was slow, 
discouragingly slow, in comparison with the 
flourishing towns on the Ohio. At the end of 
the first year the population was fifteen. 
Three years later there were but seven 
residents, and in 1810 only fifty-seven. A 
feeble settlement was made at Conneaut the 
next year after Cleaveland was founded, and 
several openings were made in the Mahoning 
Valley during the next few years. The 
Mahoning country was more accessible, and 
consequently grew faster than the northern 
part. Warren was the most important point 
on the Reserve for a number of years, and 
contained, in 1801, thirty-five families. 
Trumbull County was organized in 1800, 
with Warren as the county seat. 

If the growth of the Reserve at first was 
slow, the superiority of its soil finally 
became known, and New Connecticut has 
grown within the last seventy years, with 
remarkable rapidity. Chillicothe, the 
principal town of the far famed Scioto 
Valley, founded but a few months before 
Cleveland, became the first capital and 
second city of the State, while the Reserve 
was yet scarcely a factor in politics. In 1880 
there were within the Reserve four cities out 
rivaling in size and industry the Virginian 
city of the Scioto. 

The seventh division into which patents, 
grants, and treaties carved the territory of 
Ohio, is the one including Sandusky county. 
It was almost without white habitation at the 
opening of the period which closes this brief 
outline of the growth of Ohio. It was upon 
the native population of this Northwestern 
Indian reservation that the British arms, in 
1812, depended for their chief assistance. 

The frontier line of settlements, at the 
opening of that struggle, extended from Lake 
Erie at Huron, southward through Richland, 
Delaware, and Champaign counties, thence 
westward to beyond the Miami and Indiana 

The early settlers of Ohio, without 
exception, were superior men. The dangers 
of the frontier kept back all who were 
lacking in courage or incapable of enduring 
physical hardships. Even in the lull of 
supposed peace there was constant danger of 
an attack from red warriors, kindled to 
vengeance by a real or supposed injury. In 
1810 the population of the State was 
230,760; the vote for governor, in 1812, was 
19,752, and at different times during the 
war, then actually in progress, more than 
twenty thousand Ohio troops were in the 
field, more than the entire number of votes 
cast at an important State election. 

The first county proclaimed by the 



Governor was Washington, embracing 
about half the present territory of Ohio, and 
reaching from the mouth of the Cuyahoga 
to the mouth of the Scioto. Hamilton county 
was proclaimed in 1790. Detroit was 
occupied by American troops in 1796, and 
made the seat of a new county Wayne- 
which embraced the whole territory of 
Michigan, Northwestern Ohio and Northern 
Indiana. The Virginia Military District was 
erected into a county in 1797. The same 
year Washington county was divided, the 
northern half being set off as Jefferson 
county, with Steubenville as the county 
seat. Adams was divided by the erection of 
Ross in 1798, and Jefferson by the erection 
of Trumbull in 1800. Trumbull was the first 
county of the Reserve. Several counties 
were formed in the Reserve between 1800 
and 1809, when Huron was erected. The 
treaty of Maumee Rapids, the inevitable 
sequence of the issue of the War of 1812, 
brought into market all Northwestern Ohio 
except the Indian reservations, and by an 
act of the Legislature the tract thus fully 
acquired was carved into counties in 1820. 

Indiana Territory was set off by an act of 
Congress in 1800, and in 1802 an enabling 
act was passed authorizing the people of 
Ohio to elect delegates to a convention for 
the formation of a State constitution as a 
preliminary step to admission into the 
Union. The act admitted delegates only 
from that part of the Territory compre- 
hended by the ordinance of 1787, as the 
most eastern of the five States into which it 
was proposed to divide the Northwest. This 
act cut off the northern county of the 
Territory (now the eastern part of 
Michigan), and brought upon Congress the 
charge of endeavoring to erect the State for 
partisan purposes. 

One of the duties of the convention was 
to define the boundaries of the new 

State. The ordinance made the western 
boundary a line running due north from the 
mouth of the Miami River, and the northern 
boundary a line running east from the 
southern bend of Lake Michigan. This line 
was not yet surveyed in 1802, but the 
convention, acting on the hypothesis that it 
was the intent of the ordinance to include 
Maumee Bay in the Eastern State, resolved 
that the northern boundary should be a line 
running from the most northerly cape of 
Maumee Bay to the southern bend of Lake 

The Constitutional Convention finished 
its labors in November, and the document 
became the fundamental law of the State 
without being submitted to the people. 
Congress recognized Ohio as a member of 
the Federal Union in February, 1803.* It is 
not the purpose of this chapter to trace the 
civil history of the State, but only to 
present such a view as will show the 
chronological and ethnological relations of 
Sandusky county, and the events of a 
general character which have affected its 

The Constitutional Convention's 

definition of the northern boundary was for 
many years the subject of serious dispute 
and eventually threatened to involve the 
State in war; indeed more than threatened 
war was actually begun. The convention 
determined the line on the principles on 
which courts of chancery construe 
contracts. The map on file in the State De- 
partment, and used by the committee which 
framed the ordinance of 1787, marked the 
southern extreme of Lake Michigan far 
north of its real position, and a line was 
drawn due east which intersected the 
western coast of Lake Erie north of the 
Raisin River. This line was 

*The date of admission is variously given as April, 1802, (the 
date of the passage of the enabling act), November, 1802, and 
February, 19, 1 803. The latter date has the best claim. 



manifestly intended to be the boundary of 
the new State when formed. The ap- 
prehension caused among the members by an 
old hunter's statement that a line drawn due 
east would cut off Maumee Bay, which was 
manifestly intended by Congress to belong 
to Ohio, induced the convention to change 
the line prescribed by the language of the 
ordinance in order to make certain of saving 
to the State the valuable harbor at the mouth 
of the Maumee.* 

The question of jurisdiction over the 
territory lying between the line prescribed by 
the Ohio Constitution and the line prescribed 
by the ordinance, first came up in 1812, the 
population of the disputed tract at that time 
being fifty families. Nearly all desired the 
jurisdiction of Ohio, except a few officers 
serving under the government of Michigan, 
and determined to enforce the laws of that 
Territory." 1 " 

Conflicting claims in 1835 caused an 
open rupture in which Sandusky county 
participated. This conflict is detailed in 
another chapter. Its origin was in the in- 
terpretation and definition by the State 
Convention, of an act of the Federal Con- 

It remains to close this chapter with a 
summary of an episode in National history 
and an epoch of preeminent consequence in 
local history. We say an episode in National 
history, for although the blood of America's 
bravest citizens and England s trained 
soldiers stained the hardly contested 
battlefields of three campaigns, although the 
Federal Treasury was depleted, private 
estates bankrupted and the occupations of 
peace well nigh destroyed, the result in an 
international sense was negative. We have 
called the war an epoch in local history 
because it was the opening wedge to white 

Burnet's Notes. 
IBurnet's Notes. 

settlement, from the Sandusky Valley to the 
Maumee. Nearly all the able-bodied men of 
Ohio were brought into the field, and the 
expanse of forest inhabited only by rebellious 
Indians, which lay between the British 
western headquarters and the Ohio 
settlements, was an important part of that 
field. Men of sufficient sturdiness, self- 
respect and courage to volunteer in defense of 
their homes bivouacked in the heavy forests 
of the Northwest, perceived the unbounded 
wealth of the soil and discussed around 
cheerful camp fires the probable future of the 
wilderness and advantages of early 
settlement. Many even blazed on the trees the 
chosen locality of their future home. Forts and 
permanent camps made openings in the 
wilderness, were the centres of army, trails, 
attracted traders and tradesmen, and thus 
became incipient villages. The 

complementary local result of the war was its 
weakening and demoralizing effect upon the 
Indians to whom this region had been 
guaranteed a home inviolable as long as they 
maintained peace with the United States. 

In the previous chapter we called attention 
to the ambition of Tecumseh, and his 
operations looking toward the establishment 
of an Indian empire in the West. He was 
encouraged and aided in his scheme by agents 
of the British Government, who desired to 
have an organized force of braves ready to 
follow the standard of the crown in the event 
of probable conflict with the United States. 
The European powers had, for a long time, 
been engaged in war, and successive military 
decrees involved serious commercial 
complications. England, as a war measure, 
claimed the right to search all neutral vessels, 
and under this pretense hundreds of American 
seamen were impressed on board British 
ships. Congress threatened war, but the threat 
only made English agents more active in 
spreading the fire 



brands of discontent and rebellion among 
the Western tribes. 

The attitude of the Wyandots has already 
been touched upon. Crane and his cabinet 
of chiefs foresaw in the approaching 
conflict certain destruction for their nation, 
and exercised their utmost efforts to prevent 
the calamity by maintaining neutrality. The 
disaster to Tecumseh's cause at Tippecanoe, 
in 1811, further impressed them with the 
futility of war, and threatened to crush the 
confederacy before it had been completed. 
It was Tecumseh's plan to refrain from 
attack upon the white settlements until the 
conflict with Great Britain should be in 
actual progress, but the battle of Tippe- 
canoe was precipitated by the Prophet while 
Tecumseh was on a diplomatic mission 
among the Creeks, in the South. That battle 
disclosed to the Americans the dangers of 
the situation, and the extent to which 
British influence had been exerted among 
the Indians. 

Interference with American trade, 
enforced by the blockade system, the 
impressment of American sailors, and the 
encouragement given the Indians supple- 
mented by supplying them with arms, 
induced Congress in June, 1812, to declare 
war. Although this ultra measure had long 
been contemplated, our Government was 
totally unprepared for the conflict, which 
accounts for the disgraceful series of 
blundering during the first year of its 

To General Hull, Territorial Governor of 
Michigan, with headquarters at Detroit, was 
given the important commission to make an 
invasion of Upper Canada; but, through the 
imbecility of that officer, the project was a 
total failure, and for the same reason 
Detroit fell into the hands of the British, 
without a blow, on the 15th of August. This 
disaster spread the greatest apprehension 
throughout Ohio. 

The Northwestern army, composed of 
fourteen hundred brave men, were now 
prisoners of war; the British command of 
the lakes was absolute; the Territory of 
Michigan was in the possession of foreign 
troops and their Indian allies, and nothing 
was left to prevent an invasion into Ohio. 
The militia of the Reserve, under General 
Wadsworth, turned out almost to a man, 
and in little more than two weeks from the 
first announcement of Hull's surrender at 
Cleveland, an army of raw farmers and 
woodsmen were encamped on the Huron 

Before the close of the summer British arms 
presided over the Upper Lakes, Fort 
Dearborn, the last American post, falling 
victim to a most horrid Indian massacre. 
During the winter of 181213 warlike 
preparations were pushed in the Northwest 
with the spirit of self-defence. Harrison, with 
an army of volunteers, occupied the northwest 
of Ohio, constructed forts and garrisoned 
every strong point, so that at the opening of 
spring a greater feeling of security prevailed, 
and able-bodied men followed the army with 
less apprehension concerning the safety of 
their homes. It is not within our province to 
follow this conflict, which opened with 
defeat, disaster and disgrace, except one 
desperate scene, which is fully treated in a 
separate chapter. Croghan's gallant and 
successful defence of Fort Stephenson turned 
the tide in favor of the volunteer arms. Perry 
followed by making the flag of the Republic 
master of Lake Erie, and Harrison 
complemented these achievements by totally 
defeating Proctor and extinguishing the allied 
Indian force under Tecumseh on the Thames. 
The bullet which mortally wounded 
Tecumseh killed British influence over the 
Northwestern Indians, and secured the people 
of Ohio perpetually against incursions from 
that source. Jackson, at New Orleans, 
crowned the 



series of brilliant victories, and gave perpetual 
luster to American arms. 

During the whole contest the conduct of the 
State Government was as patriotic and honorable 
as the devoted bravery of her troops was eminent. 
When the necessities of the National Treasury 
compelled Congress to resort to a direct tax, Ohio, 
for successive years, cheerfully assumed 

and promptly paid her quota out of the 
State Treasury.* There was, at first, a 
difference of opinion with regard to the 
expediency of war, but when a foreign 
army landed on our shores her citizens 
cheerfully volunteered, and Ohio's blood 
stained every important battlefield in the 



The Cave-Dwellers — Mound Builders — Their Fortifications and Works in the County — Description and Location of 

the Works — The Stone Workers. 


THAT there was a race of men who dwelt 
in caves made in the rocks, who inhabited 
this continent, or parts of it, is now pretty 
well settled among those who search for 
ancient traces of mankind. Much inquiry has 
been made in this direction by earnest and 
learned men, and the facts gathered furnish 
strong circumstantial, if not positive evidence 
that some of the Cave-dwellers inhabited 
different parts of Ohio, and that they were the 
first inhabitants. Among the proofs adduced 
to establish the existence of the Cave- 
dwellers, we find that some time ago Colonel 
Whittlesey, who was President of the 
Northern Ohio Historical Society, made an 
exploration along the Cuyahoga River, from 
its source to its mouth, and reported that he 
found artificial habitations made in the rocks 
forming the north side of the river, which, 
though narrow, has 

*The following chapters, up to and including parts of 
the history of Fremont, were written by Hon. Homer 

cut a channel down the north side of the 
dividing ridge between that river, and the 
Tuscarawas. He found that in some places the 
chasm was made deeper than the stream is 
wide at its head, and on the sides were caves 
containing human bones and bones of 
animals, showing that they were once 
inhabited by human beings. 

General Bierce, who published a history of 
Summit county, corroborates, from personal 
observation, the statements of Colonel 
Whittlesey as to the caves. General Bierce 
also shows that in Green township, formerly 
of Stark county, now of Summit, on the east 
side of the Tuscarawas River, great numbers 
of stones were found by the white settlers of 
Stark county on an elevated plateau. These 
stones varied from four to six feet in 
circumference and were elevated a little 
above the earth's surface, with a 
comparatively even surface on top. On these 
stones it was supposed sacrifices of human 
beings were made to appease the wrath or 

•S. P. Chase. 



the favors of some ancient god or gods. 
Near by the place where these stones were 
found was the Indian trail used in passing 
from the Sandusky country to the Ohio 
River. The trail ran along the elevated ridge 
on which these stones were found. But no 
evidence was found about these stone altars 
either of calcined bones of burnt prisoners, 
or of charred wood, or of implements to 
indicate that the altars had been made use 
of for any purpose by the modern Indians; 
and in the absence of other evidence, the 
conclusion is that the altars were erected by 
the ancient race domiciled in the caves, and 
who were probably the first of mankind in 
Ohio. Mr. Whittlesey, in passing down the 
Cuyahoga, found earthworks and other evi- 
dences of a later race than the Cave- 
dwellers, and further on toward the lake he 
found what approaches to be regular 
fortifications, evincing a still higher civili- 
zation than the earthworks already men- 
tioned; but he leaves his readers to form 
their own conclusion. 

From the facts given here by Colonel 
Whittlesey and General Bierce, taken in 
connection with the better and the un- 
doubted testimony which the Mound 
Builders have left of their existence, and 
interpreting the works each race has left on 
the earth, as they came and passed in 
successive ages, we may quite reasonably 
conclude that first came the Cave-dwellers 
into this land to inhabit it. Second, there 
succeeded them at some time another race 
who had invented implements, and could 
erect earthworks for defences, and who 
piled it up into great mounds for burial, 
sacrificial, or military purposes. Thirdly, 
came a race who worked stone and earth 
and with their improved implements, made 
regular fortifications and places of abode or 
worship. Fourthly came a race of red men 
who afterwards kicked down the stone 
altars and 

destroyed the earthworks of their predeces- 
sors, struck fire from flint, burned all they 
could of the structures of the more ancient 
races, using for themselves the bow and 
arrow and stone hatchets and stone arrow 
heads, with bark canoes and thongs of the 
hides of animals for fishing and hunting 
purposes, while the mounds of earth raised 
by the more ancient races were left 
unharmed, as places for lookout, or of 
burial for their chiefs and warriors. Thus 
seems to read the inscriptions made by the 
ancient races on the surface of the earth, as 
far as they have been yet interpreted by 
observation, science and reason. 


Where these most ancient of the inhab- 
itants of our continent, the Cave-dwellers, 
came from, is a question which perhaps 
may never be satisfactorily answered. But 
certain geological facts may help to con- 
jecture whence they came. First, it is said 
by the most learned geologists of the time, 
that certain portions of this continent are 
the oldest portions of the earth's surface, 
and contain its Eozoic crust without 
evidence of marine beds or other proofs of 
submergence by any floods since that day. 
Certain areas in northern New York, 
Canada, Labrador, and west of the 
Mississippi, in Missouri, Arkansas, Dakota, 
and Nebraska remain as in the Eozoic time, 
or time when there was no life. Second, 
from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic 
Ocean no sea has ever overflowed these 
parts of the continent since the close of the 
carboniferous age or the age which 
produced the plants and forests out of 
which coal was formed.* Third, at the time 
the carboniferous sea disappeared the 
watershed holding back the mass of waters 
of the lake existed and on which dry land 
first appeared in Ohio. This watershed 
traversed the State from south 

•See Dana's Geology, 135, 136, 137 and 138. 



west to northeast, in the direction of the 
Canadian highlands. 

Mr. Atwater, the antiquarian, in his work 
on the antiquities of America, holds the 
opinion that the people who put up stone 
altars, earthworks, and fortifications, com- 
menced that work at the head of the northern 
lakes, thence moved along their borders into 
what is now western New York, thence in a 
southwestern direction, following the rivers 
to the Ohio River and down the Ohio and 
Mississippi, thence to the city of Mexico, as 
now known, where they had their central 
power, and from which locality they radiated 
colonies into what is known as South 
America, and other countries. But whence 
came the Cave-dwellers is a question still 
unsolved. Some speculations are found about 
it, such as that at one time the islands in the 
Atlantic, North or South were once so 
approximate as to allow convenient transit 
from continent to continent, and that 
afterwards upheavals in the ocean and the 
sinking of these islands left a greater 
expanse of water. That crossing was once 
effected by way of Greenland, and thereby a 
race was planted on this continent- others 
claiming that man was as indigenous to this 
continent as to the Eastern hemisphere. 
These speculations are of little value in 
settling the query, and leave the question 
still unanswered and surrounded with that 
mist and darkness which bounds the region 
of ascertained facts. There are as yet no 
discovered traces of this race in Sandusky 
county; still, the nearness of them to us 
makes the mention of them pertinent, while 
the facts discovered are interesting to all. 


The subsidence of the waters of the 
glacial period of the earth, which geologists 
say formed the great chain of lakes whose 
waters flow over the Falls of Niagara in such 
awful grandeur, sending the lowest 

bass of perpetual thunder against the re- 
verberating hills around, left the region of 
country called Northwestern Ohio, of which 
Sandusky county is a part, a great plain 
slightly inclined from the south towards the 
north, its northern termination but little 
elevated generally above the level of the 
lake which bounds it at the present time. The 
region was generally almost level, and, 
though swampy, was chiefly covered with a 
dense growth of large forest trees of 
considerable variety. 

The singular absence of high hills, low 
valleys, high rocks, and intervening ravines, 
which made this country ineligible to the 
Cave-dwellers, rendered it also a rather 
uninviting location to the Mound and Fort 
Builders. The works of the successors to the 
Cave dwellers are therefore not as numerous 
nor as striking to the beholder as they are in 
many other localities. But, notwithstanding 
this unfavorable feature in the surface of the 
county, there are yet found within its limits 
sufficient of these works to prove that this 
ancient race, or these ancient races of men, 
were once here. 

There were, a few years ago, the remains 
of a line of earthen forts, supposed to be for 
defence, extending from Muskash Point, now 
in Erie county, along south and eastward on 
the solid lands along the marshes of 
Sandusky Bay to the Sandusky River, 
striking the river in section twelve, township 
five, range fifteen; thence up the river to 
Negro Point, on the Williams Reserve, in 
section fourteen, and along up the river on 
the high bank or hill along the river on the 
east side, up to near the north line of Seneca 

Mr. Michael Stull, an aged farmer now 
residing in section twelve, Riley township, 
says that in 1820 he came to Muskash and 
owned a piece of land there on which were 
the remains of a considerable ancient fort. 
The walls were of earth, 



with openings or gates. The fort was in a 
circular form and inclosing several acres of 
ground. In this fort he found flint 
arrowheads, stone axes, and numerous 
specimens in various forms of rude pottery 
which appeared to have been made of burnt 
clay, largely mixed with pounded shells of 
clams or oysters. 

Another similar fort, with similar remains 
in and about it, was found in section one, 
Riley township. Then another on the farm 
now owned by Mr. Stull in section twelve in 
the' same township. This fort or ancient 
structure is now entirely obliterated, and 
was, when the writer visited the place in 
August, 1879, part of a beautiful clover 
field, not revealing even a trace of its walls 
or form. Mr. Stull leveled it himself. It was, 
according to his description of it, circular in 
form, with two gates or openings opposite 
each other. The circle was about twenty rods 
in diameter. A distinguishing feature of this 
fort was that a part of the wall on the west 
side was made by piling soft lime stones, 
which were found in plenty on the surface of 
the land a short distance from its structure. 
The walls of this fort, when first seen by Mr. 
Stull, were about four feet high. The ridge of 
soft limestone had been covered on the sides 
and on top by earth to a considerable height; 
the other portions of the wall were composed 
of a ridge of earth only. 

Another ancient fort was found on the 
premises now or lately owned by Mr. J. 
Longan, in section twelve, township five, 
range fifteen. 

Another on land owned by Charles Werth, 
in the same section, and a little further up 
the river than that last mentioned. 

Another a little further up the river on the 
land now owned by Jacob Thorn, in the same 

Another on the Williams Reserve, still 

further up the river, in section fourteen, 
same township. This fort included five or six 
acres of land, and is situated partly on the 
land now owned by L. D. Williams, and 
partly on another tract. The five last 
mentioned of these ancient forts are in the 
form of semicircles, the river forming the 
arc. The bank of the river where these 
remains are found, is composed of earth 
which readily dissolves and washes away by 
the action of the water, and these works are 
on the side of the river on which the current 
and the motion given to the water by the 
winds spend their force, and where these 
forces have for a long time been encroaching 
upon the land, which, in times past, was 
some distance away from the river. It is 
quite plain, therefore, that these, like the one 
at Muskash Point and the one on the Stull 
farm, were originally circular in form, and 
some distance from the perpendicular, low 
bank of the river, for all the remains of the 
other forts in this chain, unaffected by the 
wash of a stream, are in that form complete. 

There are evidences of another fort of the 
same kind above the Williams Reserve a 
short distance, on the high bank of the river, 
in section thirteen, township five, range 
fifteen. This work is different in form from 
those heretofore mentioned, being nearly 
square, and is supposed to include about 
three acres of land. It is situated at a place 
where there was once an Indian village 
called Muncietown, about three miles below 
the city of Fremont. 

Another and larger ancient fort was found 
a little down the river from the residence of 
Mr. L. D. Williams, which, he says, was a 
circle and enclosed about ten acres of land. 


Near the fort next above the residence of 
Mr. Williams, and not far from it, was found 
a mound about fifty feet in diameter, 



which must originally have been raised to a 
considerable altitude, and must have been of 
very ancient construction. Mr. Williams says 
that about the year 1820 he assisted in cutting 
down a white-oak tree which stood on the 
very summit of the mound, for the purpose of 
capturing a swarm of bees which had long 
been in the tree, and that this tree was then 
near three feet in diameter. At the time this 
tree was cut the elevation of the mound was 
about eight feet above the general level of the 
surrounding land. The mound was afterwards 
opened by Mr. John Shannon, of this county, 
and his brother, about the year 1840. The 
mound had then attracted considerable 
observation and much speculation among the 
observers as to what it was raised for, and 
what might be in it. One night Mr. Shannon's 
brother dreamed that there was a large wedge 
of gold buried under this mound, and 
communicated his dream as a profound 
secret, and the two were so strongly 
impressed with the belief that the gold 
wedge was there that they, being then young 
men, resolved to dig open the mound at all 
events, and see what was in or under it. The 
stump of the oak had then so far decayed 
that it was removed without much difficulty. 
On removing the earth from a considerable 
space and a little below the general level of 
the surface around the mound, they found, 
not the gold wedge dreamed of, but the teeth 
of a human being in good preservation. Upon 
further carefully removing the earth they 
found, marked in a different colored earth 
from that surrounding it, the figure of a man 
of giant size, plainly to be seen. Where the 
breast of the buried man had lain were found 
two oval-shaped plates of white mica. One 
of these plates had been, or appeared to have 
been, perforated, as there was a round hole 
in it near the centre, such as might have been 
made by a rifle ball. On 

the other plate were dark streaks and spots, 
which the discoverers supposed might be 
characters or letters, understood at the time, 
recording the name and rank of the man who 
had been buried, and the circumstances of 
his death; but these inferences can only be 
entitled to the rank of conjectures. 

Following the river up about two miles 
from the location of the mound above 
mentioned, the remains of another ancient 
fortification were found on the hill 
overlooking the valley of the river of the 
opposite side below and both sides above. It 
included the block of lots once called the 
Whyler property, on which he many years 
ago erected a brick cottage, which is still 
standing. Here the hill or bluff trends quite 
sharply to the east for some distance, and 
then curves southward, meeting the river 
again near where it is crossed by the Lake 
Shore railroad in the southern portion of the 
city. No more advantageous point for a fort 
and lookout can be found along *the whole 
course of the Sandusky River than this one. 
Our informant* saw this fort before 
improvements had obliterated it. According 
to his description of the location of these 
remains this fort was in the original plat of 
the town of Croghansville, on lots 649, 650, 
667, 668, 669, 670, as now numbered on the 
present map of the city, and perhaps other 
and parts of other lots. 

There were a few years ago the remains of 
another fortification about two miles from 
the last mentioned, on the bluff commonly 
known as the Blue Banks, in section ten, 
township four, range fifteen, in Ballville 

The remains of another ancient fort were 
discovered by our informant some distance 
from the river, on Sugar Creek, 

*Mr. Julius Patterson. 



in the south part of Ballville township, on the 
east side of the river.* 

There was also found a considerable mound 
on what is now out-lot thirty-three, a little to 
the left or east side of the road leading from 
the south end of Front street in the city of 
Fremont, to Ballville village. This mound was 
leveled and plowed over many years ago. In it 
were found some human bones, pottery, 
arrowheads, and stone axes, so common in 
these tumuli, but the fact that human skulls 
and other bones were found indicated that the 
human remains had been placed there at a 
later date than that of the age of the Mound 


If any one is curious enough to inquire what 
inducements existed to bring these ancient 
races to the region of country through which 
this line of ancient fortifications is found; 
why they should settle and fortify themselves 
along the marshes bordering the Sandusky 
Bay, and the dry land along the banks of the 
Sandusky River, the answer could rationally 
be, that they were attracted hither by the 
health, beauty, or the grand scenery; or by 
advantageous localities for strong 
fortifications for defence or aggressive war. 
The most rational and acceptable answer to 
these questions may be found in the fact that 
those races obtained their supplies of food by 
capturing the game in the woods and prairies, 
and in the waters in their vicinity. Credible 
accounts given by the early settlers of 
countries where the remains of these 
fortifications were found, all tend to prove 
that in all the regions of the Northwest, there 
could be no point found where the locality 
afforded such a superabundance of superior 
game and fish in close proximity, as this. The 

* M r . L. Leppelman. 

great abundance of deer, bear, turkeys and 
wild fowl of the woods; and of waterfowl, 
such as swan, geese, brant, and crane, and 
ducks of great variety; and such animals as 
beaver, otter, mink, etc., which the Indians 
and early white settlers describe as once 
being here, and the immense quantity of 
excellent fish, show that no better point 
could be found for a race of men to locate 
who depended on the chase for food. 


The evidence of the existence of a race of 
men who worked stone into weapons and 
clay into utensils, is abundant in the county. 
There are also proofs showing the great 
antiquity of this race. Mr. Albert Cavalier, 
residing on Mud Creek, in Rice township, 
this county, on section twenty-five, township 
six, range fifteen, a few years ago cleared a 
part of his land, which was level-no sign of 
mound or fort was perceptible. The trees 
were of white oak, very large and fine; some 
two and some as large as three feet in diame- 
ter. On plowing the land, his plow threw up 
a great number of flint arrowheads, stone 
axes, stone pipes, and pieces of pottery 
composed of burnt clay mixed with pounded 
shells. These could not be seen on the 
surface, but were covered nearly to the depth 
of a furrow, and some were found under the 
stumps of the trees he had cut, when the 
stumps were removed. Mr. Cavalier 
deposited a variety of these articles with the 
Historical Society, and they are now in 
Birchard Library. Mr. Lewis Leppelman, of 
this city, has been for some years gathering 
specimens of the same kind. He is entitled to 
great credit for the time, energy, and money 
he has spent to collect the largest variety and 
finest specimens of this kind of relics known 
in Northwestern Ohio, and placing them also 
In Birchard Library, where they can be seen 
by all visitors. A description of all 



the varieties of this interesting collection, and 
where found, would alone make a volume. Mr. 
Leppelman would lay the public under still 
greater obligation by placing with them a 
descriptive catalogue, showing where each of 
the important pieces was found. This collection 
contains not only stone arrowheads, axes, and 
pipes in great variety, but a large number of 
specimens of other forms of stone, showing 
equal or more skill in their make, of which it is 
difficult to conjecture the use. Many of the 
specimens of Mr. Leppelman have the same 
form, and are of like material as those found in 
the lakes of Switzerland, and described and 
lithographed in the Smithsonian Report of 

1876, on page 356 and the four succeeding 
pages. This valuable work proves very 
clearly that in Europe there were distinct 
periods marked by mans use of different 
material: first, the age of stone; second, the 
age of bronze; third, the age of iron. The age 
of stone seems to have for a long time been 
coextensive with the races of men. The 
writer was lately informed by Mr. Samuel 
Ickes, now residing at Deadwood, that some 
of the Western Indians still use the flint 
arrow point for some purposes, such as 
killing small game with the arrow, and 
skinning deer and preparing the skin for 
various uses with the stone axe. 



Indian Wars — General Wayne's Campaign — Battle of Fallen Timbers — Treaties — Grants of Land. 

THERE is, of course, no written history 
of the races of men who were here 
previous to the red men, found here when 
the whites first came. There is a blank of 
untold ages in the history of this Continent, 
and for many years after the country had 
been visited by white men, all the 
information concerning the race then 
occupying the country rests upon traditions. 
These traditions reach back to about the year 
1790, or nearly one hundred years ago. They 
throw a dim light, but are sufficiently 
definite to be interesting, and to give some 
idea of the manners and customs of the 


That this locality was considered valuable 
and important by the Indians seems 

to be pretty well established. Hon. Lewis 
Cass, who was early familiar with all the 
Indian tribes of the Northwestern Territory, 
and had great facilities for obtaining 
information from and about them, as Indian 
agent of the United States, may be regarded 
as good authority. In a discourse before the 
Historical Society of Michigan, delivered 
September 18, 1829, he gives some 
interesting statements respecting a tribe 
called the Neutral Nation. The following is 
an extract from this interesting and valuable 

This Neutral Nation, so called by Father Sequard, was 
still in existence two centuries ago, when the French 
missionaries first reached the Upper Lakes. The details 
of their history and of their character and privileges are 
meager and unsatisfactory, and this is to be the more 
regretted, as such a sanctuary among the barbarous is 
not only singular institu- 



tion, but altogether at variance with that spirit of cruelty 
with which their wars were usually prosecuted. The 
Wyandot tradition represents them as having separated 
from the parent stock during the bloody wars between 
their own tribe and the Iroquois, and having fled to the 
Sandusky River for safety; that they here erected two 
forts within a short distance of each other, and assigned 
one to the Iroquois and the other to the Wyandots and 
their allies, where their war parties might find security 
and hospitality whenever they entered their country. 
Why so unusual a proposition was made and acceded to, 
tradition does not tell. It is probable, however, that 
superstition lent its aid to the institution, and that it may 
have been indebted for its origin to the feasts and 
dreams and juggling ceremonies, which constituted the 
religion of the aborigines. No other motive was 
sufficiently powerful to restrain the hand of violence 
and to counteract the threat of vengeance. An internal 
feud finally arose in this Neutral Nation, one party 
espousing the cause of the Iroquois and the other of 
their enemies; and like most civil wars, this was 
prosecuted with relentless fury. Our informant says that 
since his recollection the remains of a red cedar post 
were yet to be seen, where prisoners were tied previous 
to being burned. 

The informant above alluded to by Gov- 
ernor Cass, we have reason to believe, was 
Major B. F. Stickney, of Toledo, long an 
Indian agent in this region. That there may 
have been such a tradition among the Indians 
we are unable to gainsay, but of its truth we 
have doubts. 

Major Stickney, in a lecture (as yet un- 
published) delivered February 28, 1845, 
before the Young Men's Association, of 
Toledo, says: 

The remains of extensive works of defence are now to 
be seen near Lower Sandusky. The Wyandots have given 
me this account of them : At a period of two centuries 
and a half or more since, all the Indians west of this 
point were at war with all the Indians east. Two walled 
towns were built near each other, and each was 
inhabited by those of Wyandot origin. They assumed a 
neutral character, and the Indians at war recognized that 
character. They might be called two neutral cities. All of 
the West might enter the western city, and all of the East 
the eastern. The inhabitants of one city might inform 
those of the other that war parties were there or had 
been there; but who they were or whence they came, or 
anything more must not be mentioned. The war parties 
might remain there in security, taking their own time for 
departure. At the western 

town they suffered the warriors to burn their prisoners; 
but those at the eastern would not practice this cruelty. 
(An old Wyandot informed me that he recollected, when 
a boy, the remains of a cedar post or stake at which they 
used to burn prisoners,) The French historians tell us 
that these neutral cities were inhabited and their neutral 
character respected when they first came here. At length 
a quarrel arose between the two cities, and one 
destroyed the inhabitants of the other. This put an end to 
the neutrality? * 



There is good reason to believe that one of 
them was at Muncietown, and that if the 
ancient fort, the remains of which were 
found there, was the work of a preceding 
race, the Wyandots, or rather a portion of the 
Wyandots called the Neutral Nation, adopted 
and used it as a defensive position and city 
of refuge as above suggested by Governor 
Cass and Major Stickney. Where the western 
fort or city of refuge was located is a matter 
not now so easily determined. Close inquiry 
of the oldest inhabitants about Fremont at 
this time (1881) fails to obtain any tradition 
or account of any remains of any ancient 
fortification on the west bank of the river, 
nor can any such remains be discovered at 
the present time. 


This name is used to designate a body of 
Indians, consisting at first of five, then of six 
and afterwards of eight nations, who planted 
themselves in Western New York and on the 
shores of Lakes Ontario and Erie. These 
nations formed a confederacy prior to 1722, 
but the precise date of its formation is not 
recorded. The confederacy consisted, when 
first known, of the following Nations of red 
men Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, 

Cayugas, and Senecas, to whom the Tus- 
caroras were added as a sixth Nation in 
1722, and after that the organization was 

Howe's History of Ohio. 



called the Six Nations. In 1723 the Huron 
tribes were received; and as an eighth Nation 
the Algonquin Massassaguas, from Canada. 
This Confederation was remarkable in many 
respects. It was the most permanent and 
powerful of the savage governments found in 
North America. 

Seeing the other tribes destroying 
themselves by internal discords, the Iroquois 
formed themselves into a confederacy, in 
which the principles of military glory and 
tribal union were carried to the highest 
Indian perfection. They pursued war and 
hunting but returned to their fixed villages. 
Each canton or tribe was independent, and 
each bound to the others of the confederacy 
by ties of general interest and honor. Matters 
of a general interest were decided in a 
general meeting of the sachems of all the 
nations, commonly held at Onondaga, New 
York. They followed the maxim used by the 
ancient Romans, of encouraging other 
nations to incorporate, and adopted captive 
people into their confederacy. In this way 
they became so strong that in the early part 
of the seventeenth century they had 
conquered all the neighboring tribes. Their 
sachems were chosen by the general voice, 
admitting their courage and wisdom; these 
chiefs, in a true Roman simplicity, accepting 
no salary, disregarding profit, and giving 
away their share of the plunder of war or the 
perquisites of peace, and thought themselves 
fully rewarded by the love and respect of the 
people. The Iroquois Nation possessed 
conservative power in the State, being 
represented in the public councils and 
exercising a veto influence in the declaration 
of war. This was certainly very remarkable 
in a government founded on military 
principles. Slavery was unknown among 
them. As in other republican confederations, 
where no single person has power to compel, 
the arts of 

persuasion were highly cultivated. The 
Iroquois were celebrated for their eloquence; 
in proof of this we need only mention the 
Cayuga, Logan; the Seneca, Red Jacket; the 
Oneida, Skenandoah; and the Onandaga, 
Garangula. The famous Brandt was a half- 
breed Mohawk. The tradition of Hiawatha (a 
person of very great wisdom), who advised 
the union of the Five Nations, is given in 
Schoolcraft's History of the Indian Tribes, 
Volume III. 

The Iroquois took part with Great Britain 
during the war of the Revolution, and greatly 
annoyed the frontier settlements of New York 
and New Jersey. A powerful expedition was 
sent against them in 1779, under command of 
General Sullivan, and their country was 
ravaged, and eighteen of their villages burned. 
This movement effectually broke their power, 
though their incursions did not immediately 
cease. After the war treaties were made with 
them, by which extensive cessions of land 
were made to the United States. Other treaties 
followed until their title has been 
extinguished to all, or nearly all the land in 
the Northern, Eastern, Middle and Southern 
States. In the War of 1812 their few 
remaining warriors assisted the Americans 
against the British, and were organized for 
military service under the command of 
General Porter. Repeated cessions of land 
have reduced their territory from the 
dimensions of an empire to that of a 
plantation. At the time the French 
missionaries found the Wyandots on the 
Georgian Bay, and, as Schoolcraft says, when 
the Canadas were first settled, they were 
found on the Island of Montreal, and probably 
about the time the great confederacy was 
formed, numbered forty thousand. The 
number of the Senecas is not given, but they 
were called "a powerful tribe occupying 
western New York and a part of northwestern 
Pennsylvania." Of course, the other nations 



of the confederacy must have been quite 
numerous. In 1855 the total remaining 
population of all the tribes belonging to the 
confederacy was only six thousand souls, 
scattered in New York, Wisconsin, Arkansas 
and Missouri.* 

The historian says, after describing this 
powerful confederacy: 

In this way their strength became such that in the 
early part of the seventeenth century they had conquered 
all the neighboring tribes, and doubtless, in a hundred 
years, had the whites not colonized America, would 
have absorbed all the nations from Canada to the Gulf of 

It is interesting to notice that in the 
formation of the confederacy we find in this 
organization of the red men of North 
America, the model of the confederation of 
the subsequent colonies of white men to 
resist the oppressions of Great Britain. This 
great and powerful confederacy of the North 
American Indians is broken, and the people 
are few and scattered. The confederation of 
the white men served well so long as a 
common danger threatened the colonies, but 
our fathers saw its weakness, and met and 
formed "a more perfect union," by which we 
were made a Nation, one and indissoluble, 
under a written constitution, securing the 
right of the Nation, of the people and the 
States; and neither the wild waves of civil 
discord, nor the power of external force have 
been able to break it. 


The different names by which men 
belonging to this Indian confederacy have 
been designated in history, has given rise to 
much confusion and misunderstanding. It is 
therefore proper to state that the French 
called them Iroquois; the Dutch, Maquas; by 
other Indians, Mengive, and thence by the 
English, Mingoes or Mohawks, so that when 
we read the story about Logan, the Mingo 
chief, and his 

* American Cyclopedia. 

famous speech, the word Mingo does not 
signify his tribe or nation, but that he was of 
the confederacy. In fact, he was of the blood 
of the Mohawks, a nation who joined the 


Before 1680 the Six Nations had overrun 
the Western lands, and were dreaded from 
Lakes Erie and Michigan to the Ohio and 
west to the Mississippi. In 1673 Allouez and 
Dablon found the Miamis upon Lake 
Michigan fearing a visit from the .Iroquois. 
It appears that in 1684, by treaty, and again 
in 1701 the Six Nations conveyed this vast 
domain to Great Britain, "in trust to be 
defended by his Majesty the King, to and for 
the use of the grantors and their heirs." The 
title to this vast domain, or so much of it as 
lay west of the Alleghenies, was disputed by 
the French, who claimed it by discovery 
made by their early voyagers and 
missionaries, who had traversed the great 
chain of lakes and descended the Mississippi 
many years before. This contest gave rise to 
the war between the two powers, in which 
hostilities were actually commenced early in 
1752. After much bloodshed the British took 
by conquest this territory, and it was ceded 
by France to Great Britain in the treaty of 
Paris, in 1763. 

It should be remembered that in treaties 
and conveyances of the Great West by the 
Indians to Great Britain they did not part 
with their title to the land. They themselves, 
and their lands, were placed under the care 
and protection of Britain ; the land was to be 
held "in trust for the Indians and their heirs." 
Hence the Indians were justified in 
contending for the possession of their 
inheritance. Let us now briefly consider how 
we obtained 


At the close of the war of the Revolu- 



tion this whole region was in the possession 
of the Indians. It was no longer claimed or 
occupied exclusively by the Six Nations; 
they had sided with Great Britain in that 
war and their power was broken. Other 
tribes had, during the war, settled on the 
territory and occupied it in common with 

These red men claimed title to the land. 
True it is, they had no parchment or paper 
title signed and sealed by man or any 
human authority, but they believed and felt 
that the Great Spirit, the Lord of Lords and 
King of Kings, and Lord paramount of all 
things, had in his goodness given these 
happy hunting grounds to his red children. 
No wonder then, that when he saw the "pale 
face" settling and building on his domain 
and killing the game which was given him 
to live upon, he was roused to resistance. 
He had no court to try his title but that 
court of last resort, the court of force, a 
trial by wager of battle. Their arguments 
were not made by attorneys. In this court of 
force the red men argued with the rifle, 
tomahawk, and scalping-knife, and with 
fire. His cruelty to his enemy knew no 
bounds; helpless infancy and non-resisting 
woman appealed in vain. The recital of his 
cruelties curdle the blood with horror. The 
burning of Colonel Crawford, near Upper 
Sandusky, and the massacre of his men, in 
1782; the destruction of St. Clair's army, on 
a branch of the Wabash, in 1791; the 
butchery of Harmar's men in 1790, were 
attended with scenes and incidents of 
indescribable cruelty in almost every form 
in which cruelty could be inflicted. But 
there came at last an end to those terrible 
conflicts about title to the land. The final 
contest over the right to occupy the 
Northwest took place on the bank of the 
Maumee River, in 1794, in the battle of 
Fallen Timbers, and as it had a powerful 
influence to settle the title to the land in 

Sandusky county, a notice of it seems 
proper in this work. 


Before the defeat of Crawford at Upper 
Sandusky, in 1782, the United States had 
acquired, by treaty with certain separate 
tribes, a portion of the land north of. the 
Ohio River. After this the Indians were 
induced by the notorious half-breed Mo- 
hawk, Brandt, and the white renegade, 
Simon Girty, to confederate together and 
insist that the Ohio River should be the 
boundary line between the lands of the two 
races. They cunningly insisted that the 
territory was the common property of all 
the tribes, and that no single tribe could 
give title to any portion of it. President 
Washington, by commissioners appointed at 
different times, strenuously endeavored to 
convince them of the wrong they were 
insisting upon; that the lands ceded to the 
United States were acquired in good faith, 
and some of it sold to actual settlers; and 
that the Government had no right to deprive 
these settlers of their land or remove the 
owners from it. He offered to make peace 
and to protect the Indians' occupancy of all 
their land not ceded to the Government. But 
the Indians had already destroyed two 
armies sent to punish them for their 
murders of frontier settlers, and they felt 
strong enough to resist any force that would 
follow them into the wilderness. To this 
feeling may be added t hat love of war, 
cruelty, and plunder so characteristic of the 
North American Indian. 

While these efforts for peace were being 
made, President Washington, who so well 
understood the character of the natives, 
made preparation for the other alternative 
in case pacific overtures should fail. The 
concluding paragraph of the answer of the 
confederated Indians to the offers of peace 
and protection will show the reader how 
determined they were to have the Ohio 



River for the southern boundary of their lands. 
The extract is taken from "Annals of the West," 
by James H. Perkins, published at Cincinnati in 
the year 1847, and is as follows: 

Brothers, we shall be persuaded that you mean 
to do us justice, if you agree that the Ohio shall 
remain the boundary line between us. If you will 
not consent thereto, our meeting will be 
altogether unnecessary. This is the great point 
which we hoped would have been explained 
before you left your homes, as our message last 
fall was principally directed to obtain that 

Done in general council at the foot of the 
Maumee Rapids, the 13th day of August, 1793. 












It was suspected at the time that the British 
emissaries, or some indirect influence from that 
source, was employed to prevent the peace so 
much desired by the United States. The histories 
of the time inform us that Brandt said, in 
speaking about efforts for peace: 

That for several years we were engaged in getting a 
confederacy formed, and the unanimity occasioned by these 
endeavors among our Western brethren enabled them to defeat 
two American armies. The war continued without our 
brothers, the English, giving any assistance, except a little 
ammunition, and they seeming to desire that a peace might be 
concluded, we tried to bring it about at a time that the United 
States desired it very much, so that they sent commissioners 
from among their first people to endeavor to make peace with 
the hostile Indians. We assembled for that purpose at the 
Miami River in the summer of 1793, intending to act as 
mediators in bringing about an honorable peace, and if that 
could not be obtained, we resolved to join our Western 
brethren in trying the fortunes of war. But to our surprise, 
when upon the point of entering upon a treaty with the 
commissioners, we found that it was opposed by those acting 
under the British Government, and hopes of further assistance 
were given to our Western brethren, to encourage them to 
insist on the Ohio as the boundary between them and the 
United States.* 

*Stone's Life of Brandt. 

The talented and wily Brandt no doubt 
knew whereof he spoke, and his testimony 
puts a grave responsibility upon the 
British Government for those terrible 
Indian wars. 

President Washington knew the Indian 
character and his mode of warfare. Early 
in life he, as a surveyor, had seen the red 
men in their homes, and knew their 
domestic habits and propensities from 
actual observation. He had seen the defeat 
of Braddock and the destruction of his 
army at Pittsburgh, then called Fort 
Duquesne; as commander-in-chief of the 
American forces in the Revolutionary War 
he had witnessed their cunning duplicity 
and cruelty as exhibited under the 
employment of the British Government in 
that war, and with his usual discernment 
and wisdom calculated all chances. 
Therefore, while he hoped for peace he 
was busy preparing for war. Accordingly, 
after St. Clair's defeat on the Wabash, the 
President allowed that general to withdraw 
from the service without a court-martial, 
and appointed Anthony Wayne, who had 
served so well in the war of the 
Revolution, to the command of the army to 
conquer the allied tribes of Indians in the 
Northwest. He instructed Wayne to 
organize an army at Pittsburgh, with spe- 
cial reference to the subjugation of the 
Indians. In June, 1792, Wayne moved 
westward to Pittsburgh, and proceeded to 
organize the army which was to be the 
ultimate argument of the Americans with 
the Indian Confederation. Through the 
summer of 1792 the preparation of the 
soldiers was steadily attended to. "Train 
and discipline them for the service they 
are meant for," said Washington, "and do 
not spare powder and lead, so the men be 
made marksmen." 

In December, 1792, the forces now re- 
cruited and trained, were gathered at a 
point twenty-two miles below Pittsburgh, 



on the Ohio, called Legionville. The army 
itself having been christened The Legion of 
the United States, was divided into four sub- 
legions and provided with legionary and sub- 
legionary officers. While these wise 
preparations were going on, the peace 
propositions above mentioned were offered 
and urged upon the savages, and resulted in 
their final reply above given that nothing 
short of an agreement that the Ohio River 
should be the boundary of the land to be 
occupied on the south by the whites and on 
the north by the Indian tribes. Freeman, who 
left Fort Washington April 7th, Truman, who 
left on May 22d for Maumee, and Colonel 
Hardin, who on the same day started for 
Sandusky with proposals for peace, were all 
murdered. The particulars of their deaths 
will be found in the Western Annals. 

The final reply to all these overtures for 
peace is contained in the last clause of the 
answer of the tribes, which is quoted above, 
and closed the attempts of the United States 
to make peace. Some few further attempts 
were made to secure the Iroquois to the 
cause of America, but they ended in nothing; 
and from the month of August the 
preparations for a decision by arms of the 
pending questions between the white and the 
red men, went forward constantly. 

Wayne's Legion moved from Legionville 
about the last of April, 1793. It was taken 
down the Ohio River to Cincinnati, where it 
encamped near Fort Washington, and there it 
continued until October, engaged merely in 
drilling and preparation. Legionville was 
situated on the Ohio River, about twenty-two 
miles below Pittsburgh; Fort Washington 
was at Cincinnati; Fort Jefferson was located 
about six miles south of the town of 
Greenville, in Darke county. 


On the 5th of October, 1793, General 
Wayne wrote from Cincinnati that he could 
not hope to have, deducting the sick and those 
left in garrison, more than two thousand six 
hundred regular troops, three hundred and 
sixty mounted volunteers, and thirty-six 
guides and spies to go with him beyond Fort 
Jefferson. He further said, in the same 
communication to the Secretary of War: 

This is not a pleasant picture, but something must be 
done immediately to save the frontier from impending 
savage fury. I will therefore advance tomorrow with the 
force I have, in order to gain strong position in front of 
Fort Jefferson, so as to keep the enemy in check (by 
exciting a jealousy and apprehension for the safety of their 
own women and children) until some favorable 
opportunity may present to strike with effect. The present 
apparent tranquility on the frontiers and at the head of the 
line is a convincing proof to me that the enemy ate 
collected or collecting in force to oppose the legion, either 
on its march or in some unfavorable position for the 
cavalry to act in. Disappoint them in this favorite plan or 
maneuver and they may probably be tempted to attack our 
lines. In this case I trust they will not have much reason to 
triumph from the encounter. They cannot continue long 
embodied for want of provisions, and at their breaking up 
they will most certainly make some desperate effort upon 
some quarter or other. Should the mounted volunteers 
advance in force we might yet compel those haughty 
savages to sue for peace before, the next opening of the 
leaves. Be that as it may, I pray you not to permit present 
appearances to cause too much anxiety, either in the mind 
of the President or yourself, on account of the army. 

Knowing the critical situation of our infant Nation, and 
feeling for the honor and reputation of Government 
(which I will support with my latest breath) you may rest 
assured that I will not commit the legion unnecessarily; 
and unless more powerfully supported than I at present 
have reason to expect, will content myself by taking a 
strong position advanced of Jefferson, and by exerting 
every power, endeavor to protect the frontiers, and to 
secure the posts and army during the winter, or until I am 
honored with your further orders. 

This manly and patriotic letter, while it 
indicates the danger of the situation, 
expresses no fear, for Anthony Wayne never 
knew what fear was. 



On the 7th of October the legion left 
Cincinnati, and on the 13th of the same 
month, without any accidents, encamped on 
the strong position referred to in his letter, 
afterwards called Fort Greenville. The town 
of Greenville now covers the site of the fort. 
Here, on the 24th of October, 1793, he was 
joined by one thousand mounted Kentucky 
volunteers under General Scott, to whom .he 
had written pressing requests to hasten 
'forward with all the men he could muster. 
This request Scott had hastened to comply 
with, and upon the 28th of September, 1793, 
the Governor, in addition to these volunteer 
forces, had ordered a draft of militia. The 
Kentucky troops, however, were soon 
dismissed until spring, but their march had 
not been in vain, for they had seen enough of 
Wayne's army to give them confidence in it 
and in him, so that the full number of 
volunteers was easily procured in the spring. 

One attack had been made upon the troops 
previous to the 23d of October, and only 
one. A body consisting of two commissioned 
officers and ninety noncommissioned 
officers and soldiers, convoying twenty 
wagons of supplies, was assaulted on the 
17th of that month, seven miles beyond Fort 
St. Clair, which was built in 1791-92, about 
one mile west of Eaton, now the county seat 
of Preble county. In this attack by the 
savages Lieutenant Lowry and Ensign Boyd, 
With thirteen others, were killed. Although 
so little opposition had thus far been encoun- 
tered, General Wayne determined to stay 
where he was during the winter, and having 
seventy thousand rations on hand in October, 
with the prospect of one hundred and twenty 
thousand more, while the Indians were sure 
to be short of provisions, he proceeded to 
fortify his position, which he named Fort 
Greenville, and which was situated on 
ground now occu- 

pied by the town of that name. This being 
done, on the 23d of December a detachment 
was sent forward to take possession of the 
field of St. Clair's defeat, in the now county 
of Darke. On Christmas day this detachment 
reached the ground on which St. Clair's army 
was slaughtered November 4, 1791, or a little 
more than two years before. "Six hundred 
skulls," says one present, "were gathered up 
and buried. When we went to lay down we 
had to scrape the bones together and carry 
them out to make our beds." Here Fort 
Recovery was built, properly garrisoned, and 
placed in charge of Captain Alexander 
Gibson. Thus situated, during the early 
months of 1794 General Wayne was steadily 
engaged in preparing everything for a sure 
blow when the time to strike should come. By 
means of Captain Gibson and his various 
spies, he kept himself informed of the plans 
and movements of the savages. All this 
information showed that the Indians were 
relying on British assistance, and this reliance 
animated the doomed race of red men to resist 
offers of peace, and stealthily prepare to fight. 
On the 5th of June, 1794, Captain Gibson 
captured two Indians of the Pottawatomie 
tribe, and had them examined, and their 
examination showed reports to them that the 
British were then at Roche de Boeuf, on the 
Maumee River, on their way to war against 
the Americans; that the number of British 
troops there was about four hundred, with two 
pieces of artillery, exclusive of the Detroit 
militia, and that they had made fortifications 
around McKee's house and store at that place, 
in which they had deposited all their stores of 
ammunition, arms, clothing, and provisions, 
with which they promised to supply the 
hostile Indians in abundance. They further 
reported that there were then collected there 
not less than two thousand warriors, and were 
the Pot- 



tawatomies to join, the whole would amount 
to upwards of three thousand hostile Indians; 
that the British troops and militia that will 
join the Indians to go to war would amount 
to fifteen hundred according to the promise 
of Governor Simcoe, of Canada. To the 
question, "At what time and at what place do 
the British and Indians mean to advance 
against this army?" these prisoners an- 
swered, "About the last of this moon or the 
beginning of next they intend to attack the 
legion at this place" (Fort Trumbull). Two 
Shawnee warriors captured on the 22d of 
June, substantially corroborated the 
statements of the Pottawatomies. The 
conduct of the savages proved these reports 
of the Indian prisoners not to be fables. 

On the 30th of June Fort Recovery, the 
advanced American post, was assaulted by 
Little Turtle at the head of more than one 
thousand warriors, and, although repelled, 
the assailants rallied and returned to the 
charge and kept up the attack through the 
whole day and part of the day following. Nor 
was this assailing force composed entirely of 
natives. White men, and some in scarlet 
coats were there advising and directing the 


When St. Clair was defeated in 1791 
(December 4), his guns were left on that 
field of slaughter. Some time afterwards 
General Wilkinson dispatched Captain 
Bunting from Fort Washington to the field of 
St. Clair's defeat. The captain, in his report, 
says, among other things: "We found three 
whole carriages; the other five were so much 
damaged that they were rendered useless." 
This indicates clearly that St. Clair had left 
eight pieces of artillery on the ground. It was 
winter when Bunting examined the 
battlefield. He did not believe the Indians 
had taken off the cannon, and it was his 
opinion that 

they had been thrown into the creek, which 
was then frozen over and so thickly covered 
with snow that it was vain to look for them. 
The next recorded notice is found in General 
Wayne's dispatch after the assault on Fort 
Recovery. After asserting that there were 
British officers and privates engaged with 
the Indians in the assault, the dispatch 

It would also appear that the British and savages 
expected to find the artillery that was lost on the 4th of 
November, 1791, and hid by the Indians, in beds of old 
fallen timber or logs which they turned over and hid the 
cannon in, and then turned the logs back into their 
former places. It was in this artful manner that we 
generally found them deposited. The hostile Indians 
turned over a great number of logs during the assault, in 
search of these cannon and other plunder which they had 
probably hid in this manner after the action of the 4th of 
November, 1791. I therefore have reason to believe that 
the British and Indians depended much on this artillery 
to assist in the reduction of the post; fortunately they 
served in its defence. 


On the 26th of July, 1794, Scott, with 
about one thousand six hundred men from 
Kentucky, joined Wayne at Greenville, and 
on the 28th the legion moved forward. On 
the 8th of August the army was near the 
junction of the Auglaize and Maumee 
Rivers, at Grand Glaize, and proceeded at 
once to build Fort Defiance, where the rivers 
meet. At the place had been the Indian 
headquarters, and Wayne expected to 
surprise them there, but a deserter from his 
army had informed them of his approach, 
and they were gone. It had been Wayne's 
plan to reach the headquarters of the savages 
undiscovered, and in order to do this he had 
cut two roads, one towards the foot of the 
rapids (Roche de Boeuf), the other to the 
junction of the St. Mary's and St. Joseph 
Rivers, while he in fact pressed forward 
between the two, and this stratagem General 
Wayne believed would have succeeded but 
for the deserter above referred to, who was 
in his quartermaster's department, when he 


left and went to the Indian headquarters. 
While engaged upon Fort Defiance, the 
American commander received full and 
accurate accounts of the Indians and the aid 
they would receive from the volunteers of 
Detroit and elsewhere; he learned the nature 
of the ground and the circumstances favorable 
and unfavorable; and upon the whole, 
considering the spirit of his troops, officers 
and men, regulars and volunteers, he 
determined to march forward and settle 
matters at once. But still true to the spirit of 
compromise and peace so forcibly taught by 
Washington, on the 13th of August he sent 
Christopher Miller, who had been naturalized 
among the Shawnees, then taken prisoner by 
Wayne's spies, as a special messenger, 
offering terms of friendship. To aid the reader 
in forming a correct judgment upon Wayne's 
subsequent dealing with the savages and to 
vindicate the United States against any charge 
of deception or cruelty, it seems necessary to 
give in full the message sent by Miller on this 
occasion. It is found in Perkins' Annals of the 
West, on page 404, and is as follows: 
I, Anthony Wayne, Major General and Commander-in- 
Chief of the Federal Army, now at Grand Glaize, and 
Commissioner Plenipotenti ary of the United States of 
America, for settling the terms upon which a permanent 
and lasting peace shall be made with each and every of the 
hostile tribes or nations of Indians northwest of the Ohio, 
and of the United States, actuated by the purest principles 
of humanity, and urged by pity for the errors into which 
bad and designing men have led you, from the head of my 
army now in possession of your abandoned villages and 
settlements, do hereby once more extend the friendly hand 
of peace towards you, and invite each and every of the 
hostile tribes of Indians to appoint deputies to meet me 
and my army, without delay, between this place and 
Roche de Bceuf, in order to settle the preliminaries of a 
lasting peace, which may eventually and soon restore to 
you the Delawares, Miamis, Shawnees, and all other tribes 

nations lately settled in this place and on the margin of 
the Miami and the Glaize Rivers - your late grounds and 
possessions, and to preserve you and your distressed and 
hapless women and children from danger and famine 
during the present fall and ensuing winter. 

The army of the United States is strong and powerful, 
but they love mercy and kindness more than war and 
desolation. And to remove any doubts or apprehension 
of danger to the persons of the deputies whom you may 
appoint to meet this army, I hereby pledge my sacred 
honor for their safety and return, and send Christopher 
Miller, an adopted Shawnee warrior, whom I took 
prisoner two days ago, as a flag, who will advance in 
their front to meet me. 

Mr. Miller was taken prisoner by a party of my 
warriors six moons since, and can testify to you the 
kindness which I have shown to your people, my 
prisoners; that is, five warriors and two women, who are 
now all safe at Greenville. 

But should this invitation be disregarded, and my flag, 
Mr. Miller, be detained or injured, I will immediately 
order all those prisoners to be put to death without 
distinction, and some of them are known to belong to 
the first families of your nations. 

Brothers, be no longer deceived or led astray by the 
false promises and language of the bad white men at the 
foot of the rapids ; they have neither the power nor 
inclination to protect you. No longer shut your eyes to 
your true interest and happiness, nor your ears to this 
overture of peace; but, in pity to your innocent women 
and children, come and prevent the further effusion of 
your blood; let them experience the kindness and 
friendship of the United States of America, and the 
invaluable blessings of peace and tranquility. 

Grand Glaize, August 13, 1794. 


Wayne had seen enough of the Indian 
character in the Revolutionary War in the 
Northern colonies and in Georgia, .whither 
he had been sent to fight Indians almost 
exclusively, to be a judge of them. Perhaps 
no man had a better understanding of the war 
capacity and traits of the North American 
Indian than he. If the Indians were silent he 
read unerringly their intent; in their' speech 
he detected with great accuracy what was 
true and what was intended to deceive. He 
had no superior as a character reader of the 
red men he was contending with. Neither 



their shams, feints or false pretenses ever 
mislead him. Braddock at Fort Duquesne, 
Crawford at Upper Sandusky, Harmar at the 
Maumee, and St. Clair at the Wabash, all 
failed for want of those high qualities which 
gave such great superiority and success to 


Let it be remembered that General Wayne 
dispatched Miller with his peace proposition 
on the 13th of August, 1794, from Fort 
Defiance. No doubt intending that if either 
party must be surprised it should be the 
Indians and not himself, Wayne moved his 
troops forward on the 15th, and before he 
had received any report from Miller. On the 
16th he met Miller returning with the 
message that if the Americans would wait 
ten days at Grand Glaize they, the Indians, 
would decide for peace or war. Wayne was 
not to be deceived into giving the Indians 
their choice of the time and place when and 
where to strike. He understood this proffered 
delay to mean that he should wait until the 
Indians were more completely prepared for 
the decisive conflict, and he replied to their 
wily answer to his message by marching 
straight on towards them. 

On the 18th the legion had advanced 
forty-one miles from Grand Glaize, and 
being now at Roche de Boeuf and near the 
long looked for foe, began to throw up some 
light works called Fort Deposit, wherein to 
place the heavy baggage during the expected 
battle. During the 19th the army still labored 
on their works. 


On the 20th, at 8 o'clock, all baggage 
having been left behind, the white forces 
moved down the north bank of the Maumee; 
the legion on the right, its flank covered by 
the river; one brigade of 

mounted volunteers on the left, under 
Brigadier-General Todd, and the other in the 
rear under Brigadier-General Barbee. A 
select battalion of mounted volunteers 
moved in front of the legion, commanded by 
Major Price, who was directed to keep 
sufficiently advanced so as to give timely 
notice for the troops to form in case of 
action, it being yet undetermined whether 
the Indians would decide for peace or war. 
After advancing about five miles Major 
Price's corps received so severe a fire from 
the enemy, who were secreted in the woods 
and grass, as to compel him to retreat. The 
legion was immediately formed into two 
lines, principally in a close, thick wood 
which extended for miles on our left and for 
a very considerable distance in front; the 
ground being covered with fallen timber, 
probably occasioned by a tornado, and which 
rendered it impracticable for the cavalry to 
act with effect and afforded the enemy the 
most favorable covert for their mode of 
warfare. The savages were formed in three 
lines within supporting distance of each 
other, and extending near two miles at right 
angles with the river. 

I soon discovered (says General Wayne, in his report 
of the battle), from the weight of the fire and extent of 
their lines, that the enemy were in full force in front, 
and in possession of their favorite ground, and 
endeavoring to turn our left flank. I therefore gave 
orders for the second line to advance and support the 
first, and directed Major-General Scott to gain and turn 
the right flank of the savages with the whole of the 
mounted volunteers, by a circuitous route. At the same 
time I ordered the front line to advance and charge with 
trailed arms and rouse the Indians from their cover at the 
point of the bayonet, and when up to deliver a close and 
well-directed fire on their backs, followed by a brisk 
charge so as not to give them time to load again. I also 
ordered Captain Campbell, who commanded the 
Legionary cavalry, to turn the left flank of the enemy 
next the river, and which afforded a favorable field for 
that corps to act in. All these orders were obeyed with 
spirit and promptitude; but such was the impetuosity of 
the charge by the first line of infantry, that the Indians 
and Canada militia and volunteers were driven from all 
their coverts in so short a time, that although 



every possible exertion was used by the officers of the 
second line of the legion, and by Generals Scott, Todd, 
and Barbee, of the mounted volunteers, to gain their 
proper positions, but part of each could get up in season to 
participate in the action; the enemy being driven in the 
course of an hour more than two miles through the thick 
wood already mentioned, by less than one-half their 
number. From every account the enemy amounted to two 
thousand combatants. The troops actually engaged against 
them were short of nine hundred. This horde of savages, 
with their allies, abandoned themselves to flight and 
dispersed with terror and dismay, leaving our victorious 
army in full and. quiet possession of the field of battle, 
which terminated under the influence of the guns of the 
British garrison. The bravery of every officer belonging to 
the army, from the generals down to the ensigns, merit my 
highest approbation. There were, however, some whose 
rank and situation placed their conduct in a very 
conspicuous point of view, and which I observed with 
pleasure and the most lively gratitude. Among these I 
must beg leave to mention Brigadier-General Wilkinson 
and Colonel Hamtramck, the commandants of the right 
and left wings of the legion, whose brave example 
inspired the troops. To these I must add Lieutenant 
Harrison, who, with Adjutant-General Major Mills, 
rendered the most essential service by communicating my 
orders in every direction, and by their conduct and bravery 
exciting the troops to press for victory. 

The loss of the Americans in this action 
was thirty-three killed and one hundred 
wounded; that of the enemy was reported 
much greater, but the number is not given. It 
is said, however, the woods were strewn for 
a considerable distance with the dead bodies 
of the Indians and their white auxiliaries, the 
latter armed with British muskets and 


Contrary to the articles of peace between 
Great Britain and the United States in 1783, 
the British erected and garrisoned Fort 
Miami, on the Maumee River, on the present 
site of South Toledo. This was done within 
the acknowledged boundaries and 
jurisdiction of the United States, and no 
solution of the motive for the act but a 
determination on the part of the British to 
aid the Indians in their wars to drive the 
whites south of the Ohio River. 

Wayne's troops had followed the retreating 
Indians under the guns of this fort, and 
expected to see them take refuge in it, but 
the gates were shut against them and the fort 
fired no gun. The day following the battle a 
spicy correspondence took place between 
Major Campbell, commander of the fort, and 
General Wayne, in which Major Campbell 
expressed his surprise that Wayne would 
deliberately insult his King and country by 
approaching so near the fort in a hostile 
attitude. Wayne replied, in substance, that he 
was no less surprised to find Campbell 
fortifying himself on American soil, and 
intimated that had the Indians taken refuge 
in the fort, or had a gun been fired from it, 
he could not have restrained his troops from 
an assault which would have carried it. In 
this sharp dispute both Wayne and Campbell 
seem to have been restrained from striking a 
blow which would have rekindled the war 
between Great Britain and the United States, 
and the question was referred to diplomacy 
between the two governments. 

At the time Captain Campbell, under 
Wayne, was endeavoring to turn the left 
flank of the enemy; three Indians, hemmed 
in by the cavalry and infantry, plunged into 
the river and endeavored to swim to the 
opposite side. Two negroes of the army on 
the opposite bank concealed themselves 
behind a log to intercept them. When within 
shooting distance one of them shot the 
foremost Indian through the head. The other 
two took hold of him to drag him to the 
shore, when the second negro fired and 
killed another. The remaining Indian, being 
now in shoal water, endeavored to tow the 
two dead bodies to the bank. In the 
meantime the first negro had reloaded, and 
firing upon the survivor, mortally wounded 
him. On approaching them, the negroes 
judged from their striking resemblance and 



devotion that they were brothers. After 
scalping them they let their bodies float 
down stream. 

Another circumstance shows with what 
obstinacy the conflict was waged by in- 
dividuals of both armies. A soldier who had 
become detached a short distance from the 
army, met a single Indian in the woods, 
when they attacked each other, the soldier 
with his bayonet, and the Indian with his 
tomahawk. Two days after they were found 
dead, the soldier with his bayonet in the 
body of the Indian-the Indian with his 
tomahawk in the head of the soldier. 

Several months after the battle of the 
Fallen Timbers a number of Pottawatomie 
Indians arrived at Fort Wayne, where they 
expressed a desire to see "The Wind" as they 
called Wayne. On being asked for an 
explanation of the name, they replied that at 
the battle of the 20th of August he was 
exactly like a hurricane, which drives and 
tears everything before it. 

General Wayne was a man of most ardent 
impulses, and in the heat of action apt to 
forget that he was a general and not a private 
soldier. When the attack on the Indians who 
were concealed behind the fallen timbers 
was commenced by ordering the regulars up, 
the late General Harrison, then being 
Lieutenant with the title of Major, 
addressing his superior, said: 

General Wayne, I am afraid you will go into the fight 
yourself and forget to give me the necessary field 
orders. Perhaps I may, replied Wayne, and if I do, 
recollect that the standing order for the day is, Charge 
the d — d rascals with the bayonet. 

As a further illustration of Wayne's im- 
petuosity in battle, which Harrison seemed 
to understand, the writer will give an inci- 
dent related to him by his father, who heard 
the circumstance from one who was in the 
battle. The narrative was briefly, that when 
General Wayne saw his regulars 

obey his order to charge with the bayonet 
and shoot afterwards, the General, seeing the 
promptness and effect with which his order 
was obeyed, became so excited that he was 
about to dash personally into the conflict and 
do duty as a common soldier; his attendants, 
seeing a strange fire in his countenance, and 
that he reined up his horse for a dash, two 
men seized his reins near the bridle bits, and 
held the bounding, foaming horse, while 
Wayne, grinding his teeth and driving his 
spurs into the horse's flanks, frothing at the 
mouth with rage, hissed from between his 
grinding teeth, "Let me go, d — n them; let 
me go! Give it to them, boys," etc., etc. This 
incident gave him the appellation of "Mad" 
Anthony, a name which ever after struck 
terror to the Indians, collectively and in- 

After the battle, an Indian being asked if 
he did not think General Wayne a good 
general and great man, replied, "He no man, 
he Devil." No doubt the Indians, after the 
battle of the Fallen Timbers, entertained a 
superstitious dread of "Mad" Anthony, 
which exercised a powerful influence over 
them in making treaties of peace and grants 
of land afterwards. 

We quote further from General Wayne's 
report of the battle. He says: 

We remained three days and nights on the banks of the 
Maumee, in front of the field of battle, during which time 
all the houses and cornfields were consumed and 
destroyed for a considerable distance, both below and 
above Fort Miami, as well as within pistol shot of the 
garrison, who were compelled to remain tacit spectators to 
this general devastation and conflagration, among which 
were the houses, stores, and property of Colonel McKee, 
the British Indian agent, and principal stimulator of the 
war now (then) existing between the United States and the 
savages. The army returned to this place (Fort Defiance) 
on the 27th of August, by easy marches, laying waste the 
villages and cornfields for about fifty miles on each side 
of the Maumee. There remains (he says) yet a great 
number of villages and a great quantity of corn to be 
consumed or destroyed, upon Auglaize and Maumee, 
above this place, which will be effected in a few days. 



General Wayne, after strengthening his 
works at Fort Defiance, on the 14th of 
September established Fort Wayne, now in 
Indiana, of which, on the 22d of October, 
1794, he placed in charge Colonel 
Hamtramck, who so distinguished himself in 
the battle of the Fallen Timbers. Meantime, 
the troops suffered greatly from sickness and 
want of provisions, such as flour, salt, and 
whiskey. Whiskey sold at eight dollars a 
gallon, and salt was held at six dollars a pint. 

The legion began to march back to 
Greenville on the 28th of October, 1794, the 
volunteers, who had become dissatisfied and 
troublesome, having been started for that 
place on the 12th of that month for 

The Indians were terribly defeated and 
disorganized by the battle of Fallen Timbers. 
Their crops and provisions for the coming 
winter were destroyed, and starvation was 
before them and they would have promptly 
made sincere overtures for a treaty of peace 
but for British influence, which was at once 
brought, to bear against such a movement. 


Governor Simcoe, of Canada, Colonel 
McKee and Captain Brant, met at Fort 
Miami September 30 of that year, and at 
once began plotting to prevent a treaty of 
peace. They invited the hostile chiefs Blue 
Jacket, Backongelies, the Little Turtle, 
Captain Johnny, and other chiefs of the 
Delawares, Miamis, Shawnees, Tawas, and 
Pottawatomies, to meet at the mouth of 
Detroit River about the first of October, 
1794, and together they set off for that place, 
about eighteen miles below Detroit. 

It appears that about the 10th of October 
the Indians did meet the British at Big Rock, 
and were advised that their 

griefs would be laid before the King of 
England, and, in connection with this, as 
General Wayne learned from the friendly 
Wyandots, Governor Simcoe insisted that the 
Indians should not listen to any terms of 
peace from the Americans, but to propose a 
truce or suspension of hostilities until 
spring; that a grand council would then be 
held of all the warriors and tribes of Indians 
for the purpose of compelling the Americans 
to cross the Ohio. He also advised every 
nation to sign a deed or conveyance of all 
their lands on the west side of the Ohio 
River to the King of Great Britain, in trust 
for the Indians, so as to give the British a 
pretext or color for assisting them in case the 
Americans refused to abandon all their posts 
and possessions on the west side of that 
river, and which the Indians should 
immediately warn them to do after they, the 
Indians, had assembled in force in the 
spring, and then call upon the British to 
guarantee the lands thus ceded in trust, and 
to make a general attack upon the frontiers at 
the same time; that the British would be 
prepared to attack the Americans also in 
every quarter, and would compel them to 
cross the Ohio and give up the lands to the 

The wily Captain Brant also told the 
Indians to keep a good heart and, be strong 
to do as their father (Simcoe) had advised 
them, and he would return home with his 
warriors and come again early in the spring 
with an additional number so as to have the 
whole summer before them to fight, kill, and 
pursue the Americans, who could not stand 
against such numbers as would be brought 
against them; that he had been always 
successful and would ensure them victory. 
But he, would not attack the Americans at 
this time, as it would only put them upon 
their guard and bring them upon the Indians 
in this quarter during the winter; therefore 



he advised them to amuse the Americans 
with a prospect of peace until they could 
collect in force, and fall upon them early in 
the spring and when least expected. That, 
agreeably to this plan, the hostile tribes 
would frequently send flags with 
propositions of peace during the winter to 
put the Americans off their guard. 

The British then made large presents to 
the Indians, and continued from that time to 
furnish them with provisions from Colonel 
McKee's new stores at the mouth of the 
Miami of Lake Erie (Maumee River), where 
all the Indians whose towns and property 
had been destroyed by Wayne's army were 
located in tents and huts, and where those 
who promised to sign away their lands and 
in all respects comply with the British 
proposition, were kept. 


Several causes operated to counteract the 
British influence and finally to prevent the 
execution of their plans. First, the fort at 
Maumee had been built and garrisoned by 
the British while at peace with the United 
States, for the express purpose of aiding and 
protecting the Indians in their war against 
the Americans. The Indians, in good faith, 
believed that if they should be compelled to 
retreat before Wayne's army they would find 
shelter, and protection in Fort Miami; but 
when they did retreat and were pursued 
under the guns of the fort, they found the 
gates shut and not a gun fired for their 
protection. A large part of the Indians who 
saw this treacherous, act of Major Campbell, 
the British commander, lost faith in all 
British promises of protection and 
assistance, and would not sincerely listen to 
subsequent overtures. Thus the influence of 
the British over the Indians was broken by 
their own perfidy. If Major Campbell 

had fired a gun at Wayne's forces the act would 
have been cause for another war between the 
United States and Great Britain; or if he had 
opened his fort to protect the enemies of the 
United States, the same result might have 
followed. The responsibility for such an act 
was too grave to be hastily incurred, and beside 
this, Wayne was at his gates with a victorious 
army, which if once assailed by the British was 
able to, and would have taken good care that 
that fort and those within would not again 
make aggressive war on the United States. 
These powerful reasons compelled him to an 
act of treachery to the Indians which finally 
brought an end to the war. 

Another cause was, that while the Indians 
were suffering under the sore distress which 
before the fight Wayne plead with them to 
avoid, by meeting and preparing for peace, he 
again made and kept before them the same 
kind offer of peace and protection. 

Another, and perhaps the most potent of all 
considerations which operated to destroy 
British influence over the Indians at this time, 
was a superstitious fear of "Mad" Anthony. 
They had found his cunning superior to their 
own; they realized that he thoroughly 
understood their character and mode of 
warfare, that he could not be baffled or 
deceived by any of their devices; they 
witnessed his personal bravery and his awful 
fierceness and passion in battle; they were 
starving and dying under the consequences of 
his wrath, and their superstitious minds clothed 
him in many instances with supernatural 

The circumstances above mentioned so 
operated on the minds of the Indians that on 
the 28th and 29th days of December, 1794, 
proffers of peace were made by the chiefs of 
several tribes. Messages were sent to Colonel 
Hamtramck at Fort Wayne, from the 
Chippewas, Ottawas, Sacs, Eel Rivers, 
Kickapoos, Kaskaskias, Pottawatomies, 



and Miamis. The result of these overtures 
was a meeting of the chiefs and sachems of 
the above named tribes, and three other 
tribes, namely: the Delawares, Wyandots, 
and Shawnees, with General Wayne at 
Greenville, en the 24th of January, 1795. At 
this meeting preliminary articles for a 
treaty of peace were entered into. The basis 
of the intended treaty was that hostilities 
should cease and prisoners be exchanged. 


About the 16th of June, 1795, the tribes 
began to gather at Greenville to make a 
complete treaty of peace. They had become 
convinced that they could not successfully 
resist the American arms, and General 
Wayne dictated the terms of the treaty, 
although there was much debate, and at 
times the Indians manifested much angry 
excitement while talking of their wrongs. 
But while General Wayne knew he had the 
tribes in his power, and could compel them 
to almost any terms, he was eminently just 
and humane in his demands. The 
conference lasted until the 3rd day of 
August, when the treaty was engrossed and 

By this treaty the Indians ceded to the 
United States small parcels of land, evi- 
dently wisely selected by Wayne for military 
posts, covering most of the advantageous 
points for such purpose in various parts of 
the Northwestern Territory, and stretching 
with intervals from Lake Huron eastward to 
Lower Sandusky (now Fremont). "Two 
miles square at the lower rapids of the 
Sandusky River," is the language of the 
treaty as to this parcel of land. Excepting 
the Maumee and Western Reserve road 
land, this two miles square was the first 
land within the present limits of Sandusky 
county ceded by the Indians to the United 
States. The tract was afterwards surveyed 
by the United States and the 

lines of that survey are now the boundary 
lines of the city of Fremont. 

In this treaty the United States engaged to 
protect the Indians against the aggressions 
of other nations, and also in the enjoyment 
of their other lands. The closing articles are 
as follows: 

ARTICLE 6. The Indians or United States may 
remove and punish intruders on Indian lands. 

ARTICLE 7. Indians may hunt within ceded lands. 

ARTICLE 8. Trade shall be opened in substance, as 
by the provisions of the treaty of Fort Harmar. 

ARTICLE 9. All injuries shall he referred to law, not 
privately avenged, and all hostile plans known to either 
shall be revealed to the other party. 

ARTICLE 10. All previous treaties are annulled. 


The title to the other lands in the 
Northwest, including Sandusky county, had 
first been claimed by France on the ground 
of discovery by the pioneer Jesuits sent by 
the church of that Nation. But in the war 
between England and France about the 
possessions, preceding the Revolutionary 
War, England had obtained all the title 
France had. The United States, by the treaty 
of Paris in 1783, after the Revolution, had 
obtained the British title to all the vast 
Northwestern Territories. But the red men 
were in possession, and each country 
claimed subject to the Indian title, and each 
in succession undertook to protect the 
Indians in the enjoyment of these great 
hunting grounds. The United States held 
them, therefore, subject to the same 
encumbrance. Wayne's treaty of Greenville, 
August 3, 1795, recognized the rights of the 
Indians as the rightful owners of the soil. 
Therefore it was only by treaty or purchase 
that the United States could honorably 
obtain title to the vast domain. To effect 
this, many treaties and purchases have been 
made at different times and places. To 
mention all of these would be foreign to the 
object of this 



work. But in giving a history of our land 
titles in Sandusky county, which shall be 
satisfactory to the conscience of the present 
enlightened occupants of the land, it seems 
proper here to state the following further 
facts in the chain of title. About seventeen 
years after the treaty of Greenville above 
mentioned, the war commonly called the 
War of 1812, between the United States and 
Great Britain was declared. 

In this struggle for "free trade and sailors' 
rights," as Henry Clay denominated it in his 
great speech, the British hired and enlisted 
all the Indian tribes of the Northwest they 
could induce to join them. Under the lead of 
Tecumseh and the Prophet, his brother, a 
powerful force of Indians joined the British 
in that war, and made it, on the frontier 
settlements, most bloody and cruel. At the 
battle of Fort Stephenson, August 2, 1813, 
there were, according to history, five 
hundred British and eight hundred Indians. 
The Indians formed a large part of the forces 
encountered at Fort Meigs, at Tippecanoe, 
and at the battle of the Thames, in Canada, 
where Tecumseh fell and General Harrison 
obtained a decisive victory, October 5, 1813. 
These two victories, with Perry's victory on 
Lake Erie, September 10, 1813, virtually 
settled the War of 1812, which was closed 
by General Jackson's victory at New 
Orleans, January 8, 1815, although virtually 
settled before the last named battle. After the 
close of the War of 1812, which brought a 
cessation of Indian hostilities, the white 
settlers began to push for new homes in the 
West, and it was difficult to keep the peace 
between the white pioneers and the Indians, 
as the former often encroached upon the 
lands of the latter. The necessity for 
extinguishing the title of the Indians to 
Western lands became daily more urgent and 
apparent to the United States Government. 

To accomplish this a commission was 
appointed on behalf of the United States, 
consisting of Lewis Cass and Duncan 
McArthur, who met the chiefs and sachems of 
the tribes occupying the Northwestern 
Territory, at Maumee, and, after due 
deliberation, a treaty was there signed on the 
29th day of September, 1817. By the 
agreement there made the United States 
purchased from the Indians all Northwestern 
Ohio, except a few parcels reserved by some of 
the tribes. Among these reservations was one 
of the Seneca tribe, of forty thousand acres, 
located east of the Sandusky River, and on the 
south part of Sandusky and north part of 
Seneca counties, as since surveyed and named. 

The Senecas sold this reservation and 
moved West about the year 1832. This 
reservation was soon after surveyed and sold 
by the United States, and is now a wealthy 
portion of the counties in which the lands were 

The other lands were surveyed and put in 
market about 1820, and all have since been 
sold to individuals, who directly or indirectly 
derive their titles from the United States, with 
the exception of two parcels. 


These two reservations were located nearly 
three miles north of Fremont, the Whittaker on 
the west and the Williams on the east side of 
and both bounded by the Sandusky River. The 
persons who held these reserves in fee simple 
were not to sell the land unless consent of the 
President of the United States should be first 

The Whittaker Reserve, originally con- 
taining twelve hundred and eighty acres, long 
since passed to purchasers, and is now owned 
by several persons in distinct and separate 

The Williams Reserve, of one hundred 



and sixty acres, is still occupied by de- 
scendants of the original owner. 

There is an interesting narrative con- 
nected with the last two reservations, which 
will be found in a sketch of the Whittaker 
family in another part of this history. 

Thus we have traced the general title to 
the lands in Sandusky county from the 
aborigines to the United States, and from the 
United States the present owners have 
derived their title, excepting the Williams 
Reserve, and Maumee and Western Reserve 
Road, and the lands given for its 
construction, which latter will form the 
subject of another chapter. 

The first surveying in this then wilderness 
was done by William Ewing, Deputy 
Surveyor, in 1807, who surveyed the reser- 
vation, or rather grant, by the Indians at 
Greenville to the United States. The two 
miles Square was then by him divided into 
sections, as other lands were surveyed, but 
afterwards, in 1816, the reservation was 
divided into tracts, running from the river 
each way to the line of the two-miles square: 
This method of subdivision did not, 
however, include , the whole square. The 
northeast part was then surveyed into in-lots 
and out-lots for city purposes, and as such 
put on sale by the United States. This survey 
was called the town of Croghansville, 
(pronounced Crawnsville,) and now forms a 
part of the city of Fremont. 


in the county were all surveyed in 1820, as 
appears by the recorded surveys and plats, as 

The lands composing the townships of 
Ballville, Sandusky, Rice, Riley, and Green 
Creek by Sylvanus Bourne; York and 
Townsend townships by P. F. Kellogg; 
Woodville by Charles Roberts; 

Washington and Jackson by James Worth- 
ington, and Madison and Scott townships by 
J. Glasgow. 

The reservation of the Seneca Indians forty 
thousand acres was surveyed into sections by 
C. W. Christmas, in 1832. All these 
surveyors were employed by the United 
States, and are official surveys. The lands, 
excepting villages and the two miles square 
at the lower rapids of the Sandusky River, 
were surveyed by ranges; townships of six 
miles square and sections of one mile square 
divided into quarters. Trees were used to 
designate the corners of these surveys, and 
the kind of timber, size of tree, and the 
distance and course 'of them from the corner, 
accurately measured and recorded with the 
plat. Perhaps no better plan for the 
convenient description of land has ever been 
devised. Each township contained thirty-six 
sections, and each section contained six hun- 
dred and forty acres, which can readily be 
subdivided into any smaller quantities. 
Sections on lakes and rivers were sometimes 
not complete; such are denominated 
fractional sections. 


Let the fact be ever remembered with 
gratitude, that the wise men of the Republic 
foresaw that our form of government rested 
on the intelligence of the people. The desire 
to advance the intelligence of the common 
people, and thereby better fit them for the 
maintenance of liberty by perpetuation of a 
republican form of government, induced our 
statesmen of an early day to promote the 
education of the people. To this end, in 
surveying this part of the State they set apart 
every sixteenth section of land for the support 
of common schools. These school lands were 
entrusted to the State for the purpose of ed- 
ucation. The State in an early day provided by 
law for the leasing of these lands 



at an interest of six per cent, on the 
appraisment value, the leases running 
ninety-nine years, renewable forever, with a 
provision for a reappraisment every thirty- 
three years. The subdivision and leasing of 
these school lands (section sixteen in each 
surveyed township of thirty-six sections) 
was given by the State to the county 
commissioners of counties respectively in 
which the lands were situated. It is now a 
matter of interest, and will be still more 
interesting in the future, to place in this 
history a brief notice of the renting and final 
disposition of these school lands. Such a 
record will serve to show the increase in the 
value of lands in the county, and thus furnish 
evidence of the general advancement in 
wealth since the early settlements. 



In the book containing a record of the 
leasing of school lands in the county, on the 
first page, appears the following entry: 


COLUMBUS, OHIO, March 1, 1821. 

I certify that Jaques Hulburd, esq., was, on the 3d 
day of February last, duly appointed by a resolution of 
the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, Auditor of 
the county of Sandusky, to continue in office according 
to law. 


Secretary of State. 

Under this authority. Auditor Hulburd 
proceeded in the performance of his duties. 

On the next leaf of the same book appears 
the record of a lease of great length, made 
and concluded on the 14th day of April, 
1821, between Jaques Hulburd, Auditor of 
Sandusky county, Ohio, and his successors 
in office, of the first part, and Joel Chaffin, 
of the same place, of ' the second part, etc. 

This lease demised and let to the said 
Chaffin fifty-three acres of section sixteen in 
township No. 1, north of range fif- 

teen east, for the term of ninety-nine years- 
renewable forever, and subject to be 
reappraised every thirty-three years there, 
after, and a stipulation to pay as rent six per 
cent, annually on the amount of such 
reappraisement. The said Chaffin agreed to 
pay as rent for the land yearly and every 
year to the treasurer of the county and his 
successors in office "the sum of four 
dollars." This land, if there is no mistake in 
the description, was located about twenty 
miles south of Fremont, and is now in 
Seneca county, which was organized April 1, 

A tract of one hundred and sixty acres, 
being the southeast quarter of section sixteen 
in township four, range seventeen, now York 
township, was in like manner leased by 
Jaques Hulburd as Auditor, to Jacob Dagget, 
for the yearly rent of seven dollars and 
twenty cents for the whole tract. This lease 
bears date July 14, 1821, and the land is in 
one of the richest townships in Sandusky 
county, and is worth now A. D. 1881 not less 
than one hundred dollars per acre, and each 
acre of the one hundred and sixty would rent 
for almost as much as the whole one hundred 
and sixty acres rented for then. 

On the 21st day of July, 1821, a like lease 
was made by Auditor Hulburd to Morris A. 
Newman, for a part of section sixteen, in 
Riley township, being a parcel of prairie 
land and a woodlot of twenty acres, together 
containing one hundred and ten acres, for the 
annual rent of six dollars and eighteen and 
three-fourth cents for the whole tract. 


When the reservation of two miles square 
at the lower rapids of the Sandusky River 
was last surveyed by authority of the United 
States, as mentioned in a former chapter, the 
town of Croghansville was laid out and 
surveyed into in-lots and 



out-lots. Certain of these lots were set apart 
as school lands. Among, them were a 
number of in-lots and out-lots. Out-lot No. 
11, containing four acres, was one of them. 
On the 21st day of July, 1821, Auditor 
Hulburd leased this out-lot, eleven, to 
Josiah Rumery, by a lease similar to those 
above mentioned, for ninety-nine years, for 
the yearly rent of one dollar and ninety-two 

This lot eleven, by the renumbering of 
lots in Fremont, is now designated as lot 
No. 52 on the map of the city, and con- 
stitutes a part of the estate of the late James 
Park, and is known as the Park tannery 
property; and the lot, exclusive of 
improvements, is worth at least two 
thousand dollars, the simple interest on 
which sum would under the lease make one 
hundred and twenty dollars rental value of 
the lot at this time, against one dollar and 
ninety-two cents in 1821, and for thirty- 
three years thereafter. 

We give the above facts about the leasing 
of the school lands in the county, to set 
before our readers the rental value of lands 
in 1821. 

Although Congress had set apart and 
reserved these lands for the purpose of 
supporting common schools, the General 
Government conferred the trust of 
managing and disposing of them on the 


After the law providing for leasing the 
school lands was passed, various other laws 
were enacted, and, amongst other things, it 
was provided that when the lands were 
appraised those not leased might be sold by 
the auditors of the respective counties at 
not less than the appraised value, and that 
the lessees had the option to either pay six 
per cent, on the valuation, or pay the 
appraised value in thirteen annual 
installments with annual interest, and 
receive an absolute title from the State on 

final payment on or before the expiration of 
the thirteen years. 

As the different townships came to be 
inhabited by people who appreciated the 
benefits of education, they desired the aid 
of the fund to be derived from these lands 
to support their respective schools. The 
law, be it remembered, provided that the 
fund arising from the sale of sections 
sixteen should be applicable only to the 
support of schools in that particular 
surveyed township of thirty-six sections, or 
the fractional township in which it chanced 
to be located. 


We do not propose to give a full and 
detailed account of all the sales of school 
lands in the county, but sufficient speci- 
mens to enable the reader to judge fairly of 
the whole, may prove interesting and 
perhaps valuable information. 


The first sale of section sixteen was 
made in 1831, and disposed in fee simple of 
part of section sixteen in surveyed township 
No. 4, range 15, in what is now Ballville 

Lot fifty of that section, containing one 
hundred and seven acres, was sold to Isaac 
Prior, June 6, 1831, for one hundred and 
seven dollars. 

Lot fifty-two, containing one hundred 
and one acres, to Joel Strawn, for one 
hundred and twenty-six dollars, September 
4, 1833. 

Lot fifty-one, containing one hundred 
and thirty acres, to R. Dickinson and Sardis 
Birchard, for one hundred and sixty-three 
dollars, October 3, 1833. 


Section sixteen, township five, range 
fifteen, Sandusky township, was sold in 
1846 for five dollars per acre, excepting 



one lot of eighty acres which sold for six 


The school land, section sixteen, township 
four, range seventeen, Townsend township, 
was sold, chiefly in 1847, for five dollars per 
acre. One lot was sold to Nelson Taylor in 
January, 1849. The lot contained eighty acres, 
and was sold for three dollars and fifty cents 
per acre. 


Section sixteen, township five, range 
thirteen, Madison township, was sold, chiefly 
in 1847, for prices ranging from five dollars 
and thirty-seven cents to eight dollars and 
twenty-five cents per acre. 


The section sixteen in township four, range 
thirteen, Scott township, was sold in 1854 for 
prices per lot ranging from five dollars and fifty 
cents to seven dollars and forty-five cents per 


The section sixteen in township five, range 
sixteen, was sold in May, 1,862, at prices per lot 
ranging from three to twelve dollars per acre. 
The average price would be near ten dollars. 
This section had all been under the ninety-nine 
year leases from 1821, before it was sold to the 
lessees for the appraised value. 


Section sixteen, township four, range sixteen 
was sold in 1850 at prices ranging from ten 
dollars and fifty cents to five dollars per acre- 
averaging about eight dollars for the section. 


Section sixteen, township four, range 
seventeen, was sold in June, 1849, for an 
average of eight dollars per acre, and had been 
in part previously under the ninety-nine years 


Section sixteen, township six, range 
thirteen, was sold in 1856 by lots, the prices 
ranging from five dollars to seven dollars 
and fifty cents per acre. 


Section sixteen in township four, range 
fourteen, Jackson township, was' sold in 
September, 1837, for an average price of two 
dollars and sixty cents per acre. 


took place in 1850, and produced a fund 
amounting to eleven hundred and twenty-six 
dollars and seventy-five cents. 


The proceeds of all these sales are paid 
into the State Treasury and constitute an 
irreducible debt or fund on which the State 
pays six per cent, interest annually to the 
county; the interest is then credited to the 
county school fund, and by the county 
auditor the amount arising from each section 
sixteen sold is credited to the township 
school fund of each surveyed township, and 
then distributed to the sub-school districts 
according to the respective enumerations of 
the children entitled to the privileges of the 
common schools residing therein. 

The total amount of the proceeds arising 
from the sale of school lands, now in the 
State Treasury to the credit of Sandusky 
county, is thirty-three thousand two hundred 
and fifteen dollars and fifty cents, producing 
annually one thousand nine hundred and 
ninety-two dollars, and eighty-seven cents to 
be applied to the support of schools and 
distributed as above mentioned. 

There is yet to be paid over to the State 
the further sum of three hundred and 
seventy-five dollars and twenty-two cents, 
being amounts due from purchasers 



who are delinquent in payment for their 
lands. When this delinquency shall be paid 
over to the State, as doubtless it soon will 
be, the total amount on which the county 
can draw interest will be thirty-three 
thousand five hundred and eighty-nine 
dollars and twenty-two cents. The annual 
interest then to be drawn from the State for 
the support of schools, as long as the State 
may exist, will be two thousand and fifteen 
dollars and thirty-eight cents. This fund, 
under the law, is applied to the payment of 
teachers only, and as the law stands cannot 
be applied to any other purpose. The cost of 
building schoolhouses and all expenses of 
public or common schools, excepting wages 
of teachers, are paid out of money raised by 
taxation on the localities respectively. A 
further mention of this subject will fall 
properly under the chapter on schools, and 
may be mentioned there. 

If these school lands had remained 
undisposed of until the present time, and 
were sold at present prices they would have 
brought not less than an average price of 
twenty dollars per acre, or an aggregate of 
seventy thousand four hundred dollars, 
yielding annually, at six per cent., the sum 
of four thousand two hundred and four 

Whether the early selling of these lands 
was wise or unwise is a question useless to 
discuss at this time, but if any 

one should feel inclined to charge impru- 
dence on the pioneers and early settlers in 
the disposition of the land, there are some 
considerations in mitigation of any blame 
to be charged, if indeed there be not a 
complete justification. 

The early settlers were poor; they desired 
to have their children educated, and needed 
the help which 'the interest on these sales 
afforded, in the support of schools. They 
were here making the roads, clearing away 
the forests, and undergoing many hardships 
not experienced by the present inhabitants. 
These early inhabitants might be compared 
to a young man in possession of a little sum 
of money, which, if invested at good inter- 
est, would make him an ample fortune in 
old age, but he has no other means, and is 
hungry; bread he must have even if it costs 
all he has, and though he give all and save 
himself, his money is well spent, even if his 
anticipation as to a future fortune must be 
all dissipated. These pioneers did well to 
begin as they did, to start the cause of 
education at an early day, though they 
sacrificed prospective pecuniary gain in 
doing so. Another fact should be 
considered, which is, that with the 
obligation on the part of the State to pay 
annual interest at six per cent, there is a 
time coming when, if summed up, the 
payments will overtake and far surpass any 
value the land can ever attain. 


The Name — The County Organized — First Court-House — How Built. 


SANDUSKY is derived from the lan- 
guage of the Wyandot tribe of Indians, 
who for a long time possessed the country 
along the Sandusky River to its source, and 
along Tymochtee Creek, one of its principal 
tributaries. The Wyandot pronunciation of 
the word was Saundustee; as spoken by the 
English interpreters, it was compressed and 
pronounced Sandusky, and thus the word 
was changed from a word of four syllables 
to one of three. 

The signification of the word has been a 
matter of some question and dispute. It is, 
according to the best authority: "water 
within water pools." In the discussions about 
the name, it seems to have been claimed that 
it was derived from "Sowdousky, " the name 
of an early Indian trader among the 
Wyandots. But the correctness of this claim 
is put in great doubt, if not entirely 
overcome, by the explanation of William 
Walker, the head chief of the Wyandots, and 
a man of learning and great intelligence, and 
fully competent to give a correct definition 
of the word in both languages. In 1835 Mr. 
Walker was at Columbus, Ohio, and in that 
year had a conversation with Mr. John H. 
James on the precise question. In this 
conversation Mr. James asked Mr. Walker 
the meaning of the, word Sandusky. Mr. 
Walker re- 

plied that it meant "at the cold water, and should 
be sounded Sandoos-tee; that it carried with it 
the force of a preposition." The Upper 
Coldwater (Upper Sandusky) and Lower 
Coldwater (Lower Sandusky) then were 
descriptive Indian names, given long before the 
presence of the trader Sowdousky. 
The word, then, taking these statements 
together, seems to mean a river or 
watercourse, where cold water stands in 
pools. The name having this peculiar 
signification, in early times was used to 
designate the whole country along the 
Sandusky River and Bay. Hence, in order to 
give a more specific designation to different 
localities along the river and bay, we had in 
the earlier days of the white settlements of 
the region, Sandusky, now Sandusky City on 
the bay; Lower Sandusky at the lower rapids 
of the Sandusky River, now Fremont; Upper 
Sandusky, Little Sandusky and Big 
Sandusky, located nearer the sources of the 
river, and on different branches of it. The 
county derives its name from the Sandusky 
River, which runs through it nearly from 
north to south, but inclining to the east as It 
approaches the Sandusky Bay, into which it 
empties its waters. 


The county was for a number of years 
within the boundaries of Cuyahoga county, 




which for some time extended over nearly all 
the north part of the State, and Cleveland 
was the seat of justice. Afterwards Huron 
county was organized, and Norwalk was for 
a time the seat of justice for all the territory 
west of it. The sale of the lands in the 
reservation of two miles square at the lower 
rapids of the Sandusky River, which took 
place in 1817, induced emigrants to settle at 
the place, and soon sufficient settlements 
were made to require a county organization. 
Accordingly, the county was formed by an 
act of the General Assembly, dated April 1, 
1820, and then included in its boundaries-not 
only the present county of Sandusky, but 
also the territory which now forms the 
counties of Seneca and Ottawa. 

At this time (1820) a number of men 
associated for the purpose, called the 
Kentucky Company, had purchased that 
portion of the Reserve, or nearly all of it, 
west of the river, and had laid out a large 
part into city lots. The plat denominates this 
survey as "the town of Sandusky." The 
United States had before laid out the land 
upon the hill east of the river into city lots, 
and called it Croghansville, in honor of 
Colonel George Croghan, the hero of Fort 

In the county auditor's office of this 
county is an old, rather small record book, 
faded and worn but quaint and interesting in 
appearance as well as in the matter it 
contains. In a few years it may be lost 
amongst the rubbish of the office, or con- 
sumed by fire, and all it contains pass be- 
yond the historian's reach, and all the facts 
recorded in it be forgotten. This old record is 
interesting, because it contains the names of 
men who were pioneers indeed, and who 
were active in organizing the county; it also 
gives some idea of the poverty of the early 
settlers, and their method of transacting 
public business, and at the same time is so 
pertinent to the 

subject of this chapter that we incorporate in 
this collection the following extracts from it. 
The title of the book is in large, coarse 
handwriting, entirely covering the first page, 
and reads as follows: 


The following documents of the Commissioners 
Record are transcribed from the organization of 
Sandusky county up to January the 5th, in the year 1822, 
by Josiah Rumery„auditor of Sandusky county by order 
of the commissioners. 

Test by JOSIAH RUMERY, Auditor. 

Such is the title of this record, from the 
first two pages of which we take the fol- 
lowing entries: 

At the first meeting of the Commissioners, held at the 
house of Morris A. Newman, in the town of 
Croghansville, on Saturday, the 8th day of April, one 
thousand eight hundred and twenty. 

No. 1. — Ordered that Jesse W. Newman be appointed 
Clerk of the Commissioners. 

No. 2. — Ordered, that Nicholas Whiringer be ap- 
pointed Treasurer of Sandusky County. 

No. 3. — Ordered, that there be two blank books 
purchased for the use of the County. 

No. 4. — Ordered that Charles B. Fitch be appointed 
collector for Sandusky County for the year 1820. 

No. 5. — Ordered that this meeting be and is hereby 
adjourned until Monday, the 10th instant, at four o'clock 
P. M., on said day, at the house of Israel Harrington, in 

No. 6. — Met in pursuant to adjournment at the house 
of Israel Harrington, on Monday, the tenth day of April, 
1820, when Jesse W. Newman was qualified and took 
the oath required by law, as Clerk of the 

No. 7. — Be it remembered that this day personally 
came Jaques Hulburd, County Clerk pro-tem, Willis 
Brown, Sheriff, Nicholas Whitinger Treasurer for the 
County of Sandusky, and severally gave bonds 
conditioned for the faithful discharge of their several 
duties as required by law. 

No. 8. — Ordered that this meeting be and is hereby 
adjourned until the 25th day of April, 1820, at 1 O'clock 
P. M., at the house of Morris A. Newman, in the town of 

No. 9. — Commissioners met in pursuance to ad- 
journment at the house of Morris A. Newman, on 
Tuesday, the 25th of April, in the year 182o, in the town 
of Broghansville. 

No. 10. — Ordered that Joseph Chafey be paid eleven 
dollars for Blank Books to be paid out of the county 



No. 1 1. — Organization of Thompson Township — 
Ordered that a township be detached from the township 
of Croghansville by the name of Thompson; boundaries 
as follows: Beginning at the northeast corner of the 
Seneca Reservation, thence north from the Cinica 
Reservation to the present trailed road from 
Croghansville to Strong's settlement till it shall intersect 
the FireLands, thence South with said line to the Base 
Line, thence west along said line till a line due north 
will strike the place of beginning. 

Order to elect officers. — The qualified electors of the 
township of Thompson are ordered to meet on Saturday, 
the 6th of May next, at the house of Joseph Parmeter, for 
the purpose of electing their township officers, at 10 
O'clock A.M. on said day, and then and there proceed to 
elect said officers as the law directs. 

The foregoing extracts are a complete 
transcript with figures, capital letters, and 
spelling found on the first two pages of the 
old record. 

The county commissioners at the time, 
April 8, 1820, were Moses Nichols, 
Jeremiah Everett, and Morris A. Newman. 
They met, it seems, at different places, 
sometimes in Croghanville, on the east 
side, and at other times at Sandusky, on the 
west side of the river. 

In 1824 the statutes of the State required 
merchants and tavern-keepers to pay a 
license, and this old record shows the 
revenue of the county from these sources to 
have been as follows: 

A list of treasurer's receipts from tavern and store 
licenses and permits since March 1, 1882, in my office 
to wit: 

To George Reynolds, permit to keep tavern $1.70 

To Calvin Leezen, tavern license 10.00 

To M. A. Newman, tavern license 5.00 

To James McCollister, tavern license 10.00 

To Samuel Baker, permit to keep tavern 1.50 

To Laurence Gynal, permit to keep tavern 4.00 

To Jacob Millions, permit to keep tavern 1.00 

Jacob Millions, permit to keep tavern 4.00 

To J. S. & G. G. Olmstead, store license 15.00 

To Richard Sears, store license 15.00 

To Abram Courtright, tavern license 5.00 

To Samuel Cochran, tavern license 5.00 

To Bartholomew Rossoms, tavern license 5.00 

To Israel Harrington, tavern license 10.00 

To Nicholas Whitinger, tavern license 10.00 

To Speeks, permit to vend merchandise 1.00 

Full amount $103.20 

All which is respectfully submitted March 4, 1823, 

Clerk C. P. 

The exhibit of receipts from March 5, 
1822, to June, 1823, on this record is as 

Received for store, tavern and ferry licenses $152.59 

from county collection of taxes 166.10 

from fines of fishermen and fighting 

men 11.70 


The record of expenditures for the year 
1823 shows the following items: 

Seth Cochran, for wolf scalps $34.00 

Henry Cochran, for wolf scalps 12.00 

J. Spanknoble, for wolf scalps 3.00 

S. Baker, for wolf scalps 15.00 

Caleb Rice, for wolf scalps 4.00 

D. Cochran, for wolf scalps 6.00 

W. White, for wolf scalps 3.00 

S. Root, for wolf scalps 3.00 

T. Wood, for wolf scalps 3.00 

J. Parrish, for wolf scalps 3.00 

J. Guinale, for wolf scalps 3.00 

A. Switzer, for wolf scalps 6.00 

A. Courtright, for wolf scalps 12.00 

Total $107.00 

In 1824 horses and cattle over three years 
old were listed and taxed by the head. Seneca 
county had then been organized, but what is 
now Ottawa county was still a part of 

The record above mentioned gives the number 
of horses and cattle over three years old in the 
different townships as follows: 


Sandusky township 33 83 

Croghan township 21 46 

Portage township 26 151 

Riley township 26 169 

Ballville township 35 122 

Green Creek township 28 165 

Townsend township 10 123 

York township 22 153 

Total in the county 201 1012 

The total amount of taxes charged on the 
tax duplicate for the year 1824 was two 
hundred and ninety-five dollars and eighty- 
two cents. 




October 27, 1817, the proprietors of land 
on the west side of the river laid out and 
recorded the plat of the town of Sandusky on 
the west side of the river. The location of the 
county seat became a question of hot contest 
between Croghansville and the new town of 
Sandusky. After much discussion, 
commissioners to settle the question of 
difference were appointed by the General 
Assembly of the State. On viewing the 
ground and hearing the arguments and 
propositions of each party, these 
commissioners finally decided in favor of 
the west side. In platting the town of 
Sandusky the proprietors had set apart on 
their plat a square containing about half an 
acre of land, and dedicated it to the county 
for a court house, and another square of 
equal size (marked B) for jail and offices. 
Sandusky county not then having been 
organized, the plat of this survey was 
recorded in Huron county, of which 
Sandusky then formed a part. The proprie- 
tors who signed this plat of the town of 
Sandusky were: Thomas L. Hawkins, for self 
and Thomas E. Boswell; Morris A. Newman; 
William Oliver, for self and company; Israel 
Harrington, for self and E. P.; Josiah 

The following extract, from the county 
commissioners' record in the book above 
referred to, is interesting for several reasons, 
among which are: that it shows the manner 
of doing public business in those days, and 
also the names of a number of the pioneers 
who settled at Lower Sandusky and vicinity, 
and who were leading men in public affairs 
in 1822: 


We, the undersigned, citizens of the county of 
Sandusky, do hereby bind ourselves, our heirs, executors 
and administrators, firmly, to pay unto the 
commissioners of said county the following sums set 
opposite our names respectively, for the purpose of 
building a courthouse, etc., provided the permanent seat 
of justice shall be located in the village of San- 

dusky, the same to be paid as follows, by the first day of 
April, 1823. 

Cyrus Hulburd 

Harvey J. Harmon 

Benjamin Wheat 

Israel "Harrington 

Calvin Leezen.. . . . 

E. W. Howland 

Richard Sears 

William Andrews 

William McClellan 

George and J. S. Olmstead 

David Gallagher 

Lysander C. Ball 

Nicholas Whitinger 

Moses Nichols 

Thomas L. Hawkins 

Jacob Bowlus 

Charles B. Fitch 

Joseph Loveland 

Daniel Brainard 

Asa B. Gavit 

Ezra Williams 

John Drury 

John W. Tyler 

Morris Tyler 

Daniel Tindall 

Sylvanus Bixby 

John Custard 

Martin Baum, of Cincinnati, 

by M. T. Williams 

David Chambers 

Ebenezer Granger & Co. , 

by C. Hulburd 



2 5 



s! s 


50 100 


Totals $235 $305 $515 $745 $179 5 










1 55 





Now let the reader realize, if possible, the 
actual surroundings of the few people in it 
when the county was organized. To do this, it 
must be remembered that at that time its 
surface, like that of northwestern Ohio 
generally, was an almost unbroken wilderness, 
and with the exception of a few small spots of 
wet prairie, covered by a dense forest of tall 
trees, here and there a lonely, tortuous footpath 
or bridleway through the woods made by the 
Indians in travelling from stream to stream, no 
wagon-ways but those through the woods along 
the river, made for the movement of troops 
during the wars; no roadbeds on these but the 
soft, wet, earth walled on each side and 
covered overhead by tall forest trees, among 
and around which the road was continually 
winding. As to the means of subsistence, the 



and garden furnished bread and vegetables; 
fish were very abundant and conveniently 
procured from the rivers and creeks. Probably 
half the meat used by the inhabitants was 
obtained by the use of the rifle among the 
deer and turkeys in the woods, and ducks and 
geese along the streams. For a number of 
years during the early settlement on the 
Sandusky River, corn bread made of meal of 
Indian corn, was the only bread, and the meal 
was made in two ways: One was, by grating 
the corn before it entirely hardened, on a 
grater made by punching a sheet of tin full of 
small holes, and taking the rough side for the 
grater. The tin was bent into an arch, rough 
side out, and the sides nailed to a shingle or 
piece of wood. On this rough surface the fresh 
ear of corn was 

rubbed until the corn was grated from the 
cob. The other method was to dry the 
shelled corn until it was hard and brittle and 
then placing it In a wooden mortar pound it 
to meal with a wooden pestle. 

These brief statements may give some 
Idea of the condition of the country and of 
the people who launched Sandusky county 
into civil life and power, and laid the 
foundations of her prosperity, and the 
happiness of her people. 

We place these statements on record here, 
so that when years shall have rolled past, 
and the county shall be thickly peopled and 
all its resources fully developed, the curious 
may be able to compare the county from the 
beginning, and reckon the course and 
distance of her progress. 


FREMONT, OHIO, August 22, 1877. 
Hon. Homer Everett: 

DEAR SIR: You are hereby requested 'by the city 
council of this city to furnish for publication an his- 
torical account of the defence of Fort Stephenson, and 
the purchase and dedication of the site of the fort for a 
public park. Hoping this request will meet with your 
approbation, we remain, 

Yours, etc., 

President of the Council. 
W. W. STINE, City Clerk. 

In compliance with the request in the foregoing 
resolution, I submit to the Mayor and council of the city 
of Fremont the following memoranda of events 
connected with Fort Stephenson (or Fort Sandusky). 


The histories of the War of 1812 use two 
names to designate this fort. In an account 
of the battle here, published in March, A. D. 
1815, Volume V., of the Port-Folio, a 
monthly pamphlet published 

by Oliver Oldschool, it is called Fort 
Sandusky. In late publications and histories 
both names are used to designate the place, 
as "Fort Stephenson or Lower Sandusky." 
[Western Annals, by James H. Parker, page 
544; Historical Collections of Ohio, by 
Henry Howe, pages 448 and 449; History of 
the Maumee Valley, by H. S. Knapp, page 

The name of Fort Sandusky was naturally 
derived from the river, near which it was 
situated. The other appellation of Fort 
Stephenson (or Stevenson, for it is spelled 
both ways in published histories,) was 
probably given to the place because Colonel 
Stevenson at one time commanded the post. 
The following general order shows that he 
was in command on and before the 14th of 
May, 1813: 



14th May, 1813. 

The troops which now form the garrison at Lower 
Sandusky will be relieved today by a detachment 
furnished by His Excellency, General Meigs, to the 
senior officer of which Colonel Stevenson will deliver 
the post and public property in his possession. 

The militia belonging to General Wadsworth's 
division, now at this place, will, as soon as relieved, 
commence their march for Cleveland, where they will 
remain for the protection of that town. 

Colonel Stevenson will furnish the senior officer of 
this detachment with a copy of this order, and the 
quartermaster here will provide the means of a transport 
for them. By order, 

R. GRAHAM, Adjutant. 

The following report is the first instance I 
have found where the name "Fort Steph- 
enson" was authentically used. It seems to be 
a report on the transportation to be furnished 
under the preceding order, but the spelling of 
Stevenson, I notice, is changed: 

May22, 1813. 
May it Please Your Excellency: 

SIR: Agreeably to your orders, sent by Mr. Bishop, I 
have forwarded all the articles specified therein. The 
carriages on which they are to be mounted have not yet 
arrived, but are daily expected, as teams have been sent 
from this place under an escort from the garrison. If you 
deem it necessary that one of the carriages should be 
forwarded to Cleveland, the same will he done, on your 
order. Considerable manual labor has been done on the 
garrison since you left this place, and improvements are 
daily making. 

The troops in general in the garrison are afflicted with 
bad colds. No epidemic or contagious disorder prevails. 
One person has been buried since you left this post. He 
came from Fort Meigs with a part of the baggage of 
Major Todd. 

No news, or any apprehension of danger. 

By order of Major Commanding. 

R. E. POST, Adjutant. 

R. J. MEIGS, Governor State of Ohio. 

My memory holds, clearly, events as early 
as 1825, and events earlier. I have lived here 
since the year 1815, and ever since my 
earliest recollection the fort has been known 
in the locality as "Fort Stevenson." 


I am unable to find any data by which to 
determine the exact time when the con- 
struction of the fort was begun. By the treaty 
of Greenville, between the United States, 
represented by Anthony Wayne, and the 
hostile tribes of Indians in the territory 
northwest of the Ohio River, August 3, 1815, 
the United States obtained title to a number 
of tracts of land, called afterwards 
reservations, in different parts of the 
territory. Among those was a tract of land 
two miles square at the lower rapids of the 
Sandusky River. They also obtained by the 
same treaty the right of way to and from 
each of these several tracts. Wayne was an 
experienced Indian fighter, and had then 
effectually subdued them; and knowing their 
character, no doubt anticipated further 
hostilities. His wise foresight is remarkably 
displayed in the selection of these parcels of 
land for advantageous military posts and 

The next we know of military operation 
here was on the 18th of January, 1813, when 
General Harrison hastened here from Upper 
Sandusky, and on that morning sent forward 
a battalion of troops to the support of 
Winchester in his march to Detroit. 

The next mention of the place in military 
history is found in a general report to United 
States Secretary of War John Armstrong, 
under date of "Headquarters, foot of the 
Miami Rapids, 11th February, 1813," in 
which, while giving his intended disposition 
of his forces, he wrote: "A company will be 
placed at Upper Sandusky, and another at 
Lower Sandusky." 

He does not in this communication apply 
the term "fort" in connection with either 
place. Hence, a fair inference that at the date 
of this report no fort had been constructed. 

I therefore conclude that the fort was built 
between the 11th of February, 1813, 



and the 14th of May following, by Colonel 
Stevenson, who was relieved at the date last 
mentioned, by the order first above quoted. 

That it was improved by the detachment 
sent to his relief, as shown by the foregoing 
report of Adjutant R. E. Post, under date of 
May 22, 1813, and was completed by Major 
Croghan (pronounced Crohan) after he took 
command of it, which was on or about the 
15th of July, 1813. [Portfolio, Vol. V., page 
216, published March, 1815.] The same 
communication to the Portfolio has the fol- 

No doubt was entertained that the enemy would visit 
Sandusky. Accordingly Colonel Croghan labored day 
and night to place the fort (which had received no 
advantages from nature or art) in a State of defence. The 
necessity of cutting a ditch round the fort immediately 
presented itself to him. This was done; but in order to 
render the enemy's plans abortive, should they succeed 
in passing the ditch (which was nine feet wide and six 
feet deep), he had large logs placed on top of the fort, 
and so adjusted that an inconsiderable weight would 
cause them to fall from their position, and crush to death 
all who might be situated below. 

The walls of the fort were made of logs, 
some round and some flat on one side, being 
half of larger pieces of timber, averaging 
about eighteen inches in thickness, set firmly 
in the earth, perpendicularly, each picket 
crowded closely against the other and about 
ten feet high, sharpened at the top. The walls 
inclosed about one acre of ground on a bluff 
formed by the hills, bounding the valley of 
the river on the east of the fort, and a ravine 
running in a northeasterly direction, cutting 
through the bluff north of the fort. 

After Croghan arrived at the fort he had a 
ditch six feet deep and nine feet wide, dug 
around it outside; throwing about half the 
earth against the foot of the pickets, and 
grading it sharply down to the bottom of the 
ditch. The other portion of earth was thrown 
on the outer 

bank of the ditch, thus increasing the depth 
from the top of the outer bank. 

Our esteemed citizen, J. P. Moore, informed 
the writer a few years since that he had a 
conversation with one James Kirk, then of 
Michigan, but since deceased. Kirk was then 
on a visit to Fremont, and guest of Mr. 
Moore. He informed Mr. Moore that he (Kirk) 
was here in the spring of 1813, and worked on 
the fort, and, being a blacksmith by trade, put 
the hinges on the gate of an addition to the 
fort; that an additional area was enclosed that 
spring and fore part of the summer equal to 
the area of the original fort. 

This fact accounts for what might otherwise 
appear singular, viz: A blockhouse or bastion 
near the middle of the north ditch. Kirk also 
mentioned a storehouse then erected, built of 
peeled logs, which, being higher than the 
other buildings and not so strong, was 
battered down by the enemy's cannon during 
the siege. In this house, Kirk said, was stored 
a quantity of hard bread intended for the 
support of the men in Perry's fleet, which was 
expected up the lake about that time. Kirk was 
sent to Fort Seneca shortly before the battle, 
and was, consequently, not present during the 
engagement. But he returned shortly after, 
and for many years worked at his trade in this 
place. He was long known to the writer when 
a boy, and was a good citizen and an 
honorable, truthful man. 


Having raised the siege of Camp Meigs, 
the British sailed around into Sandusky Bay, 
while a competent number of their savage 
allies marched across through the swamps of 
Portage River, to cooperate in a combined 
attack on Lower Sandusky, expecting, no 
doubt, that General Harrison's attention would 
be chiefly directed to forts Winchester and 
Meigs. The General 


~~~-* : ?&$i%;? -. 

■:- ■■ - : ■->■ ' 

'- § 




f-.'V, woods i — -^ - ; -"TjSjiin **-*Ti I "•*! "-T "* T 

. Picket.-. 

l Embankment from ditcn ■ 
and against the pickets. 
j. Dry ditch 9 feet wide, at 
6 feet deep. 
(Head of Navigation.) 
, Outward Embankment 
\. first ««*" 
by five cannon. 
Bastion from which "f 
ditch was raked by tot 
Croghan't sii-pounoet 

(Good Old Bess.) 

C. Guard Blockhouse. 

D. Hospital. 
R. Storehouses. 

F. Commissary's Storehouse 

G. Magazine. 
H. Fort gate. 

K. Wicker gates. 
L. Partition gate. 
M. Mortars. , , 
P. Graves of Bntish <*»«• 

Plan Of Fort Stephenson and Battle of Lower Sandusky. 

(For DESCRfPTiON See History.) 



however, had calculated on their taking this 
course, and had been careful to keep patrols 
down the bay, opposite the mouth of the 
Portage, where he supposed their forces 
would debark. 

Several days before the British had 
invested Fort Meigs, General Harrison, with 
Major Croghan and some other officers, had 
examined the heights which surrounded Fort 
Stephenson; and as the hill on the opposite 
or southeast side of the river was found to be 
the most commanding eminence, the General 
had some thoughts of removing the fort to 
that place, and Major Croghan declared his 
readiness to undertake the work. But the 
General did not authorize him to do it, and 
he believed that if the enemy intended to 
invade our territory again, they would do it 
before the removal could be completed. It 
was then finally concluded that the fort, 
which was calculated for a garrison of only 
two hundred men, could not be defended 
against the heavy artillery of the enemy; and 
that if the British should approach it by 
water, which would cause a presumption that 
they had brought their heavy artillery, the 
fort must be abandoned and burnt, provided 
a retreat could be effected with safety. In the 
orders left with Major Croghan, it was 
stated: "Should the British troops approach 
you in force with cannon, and you can 
discover them in time to effect a retreat, you 
will do so immediately, destroying all the 
public stores." 

"You must be aware that the attempt to 
retreat in the face of an Indian force would 
be vain. Against such an enemy your 
garrison would be safe, however great the 

On the evening of the 29th General 
Harrison received intelligence, by express, 
from General Clay, that the enemy had 
abandoned the siege of Fort Meigs; and as 
the Indians on that day had swarmed in the 
woods round his camp, he 

entertained no doubt but that an immediate 
attack was intended either on Sandusky or 
Seneca. He therefore immediately called a 
council of war, consisting of McArthur, 
Cass, Ball, Paul, Wood, Hukill, Holmes and 
Graham, who were unanimously of the 
opinion that Fort Stephenson was untenable 
against heavy artillery, and that as the enemy 
could bring with facility any quantity of 
battering cannon against it, by which it must 
inevitably fall, and as it was an unimportant 
post, containing nothing the loss of which 
would be felt by q s, that the garrison should 
therefore not be reinforced, but withdrawn, 
and the place destroyed. In pursuance of this 
decision, the General immediately dis- 
patched the order to Major Croghan, di- 
recting him immediately to abandon Fort 
Stephenson, to set it on fire and repair with 
his command to headquarters across the river 
and come up on the opposite side, and if he 
should find it impracticable to reach the 
General's quarters, to take the road to Huron, 
and pursue it with the utmost circumspection 
and dispatch. This order was sent by Mr. 
Conner and two Indians, who lost their way 
in the dark, and did not reach Fort 
Stephenson until 11 o'clock the next day. 
When Major Croghan received it, he was of 
the opinion that he could not then retreat 
with safety, as the Indians were , hovering 
round the fort in considerable force. He 
called a council of his officers, a majority of 
whom coincided with him in opinion that a 
retreat would be unsafe, and that the post 
could be maintained against the enemy, at 
least till further instructions could be 
received from headquarters. The Major, 
therefore, immediately returned the 
following answer: 

Sir: I have just received yours of yesterday, 10 
p.m., ordering me to destroy this place and make good 
my retreat, which was received too late to be carried 
into execution. We have determined to maintain this 
place, and, by heavens, we can. 



In writing this brief note Major Croghan 
had a view to the probability of its falling 
into the hands of the enemy, and on that 
account made use of stronger language than 
would otherwise have been consistent with 
propriety. It reached the General on the same 
day, who did not fully understand the 
circumstances and motives under which it 
had been dictated. The following order was 
therefore immediately prepared and sent 
with Colonel Wells in the morning, escorted 
by Colonel Ball, with his corps of dragoons: 

July 30, 1813. 
SIR: The General has just received your letter of this 
date, informing him that you had thought proper to 
disobey the order issued from this office, and delivered 
to you this morning. It appears that the information 
which dictated the order was incorrect; and as you did 
not receive it in the night, as was expected, it might 
have been proper that you should have reported the 
circumstance and your situation, before you proceeded 
to its execution. This might have been passed over; but I 
am directed to say to you, that an officer who presumes 
to aver that he has made his resolution, and that he will 
act in direct opposition to the orders of the General, can 
no longer be entrusted with a separate command. 
Colonel Wells is sent to relieve you. You will deliver 
the command to him, and repair with Colonel Ball's 
squadron to this place. By command, etc. 
A. H. Holmes 
Assistant Adjutant-General. 

Colonel Wells being left in the command 
of Fort Stephenson, Major Croghan returned 
with the squadron to headquarters. He there 
explained his motive for writing such a note, 
which was deemed satisfactory; and having 
remained all night with the General, who 
treated him politely, he was permitted to 
return to his command in the morning, with 
written orders similar to those he had 
received before. 

A reconnoitering party which had been 
sent from headquarters to the shore of the 
lake, about twenty miles distant from Fort 
Stephenson, discovered the approach of the 
enemy, by water, on the 31st of July. 

They returned by the fort after 12 o'clock the 
next day, and had passed it but a few hours 
when the enemy made their appearance 
before it. The Indians showed themselves 
first on the hill over the river, and were 
saluted by a six pounder, the only piece of 
artillery in the fort, which soon caused them 
to retire. In half an hour the British gunboats 
came in sight, and the Indian forces 
displayed themselves in every direction, 
with a view to intercept the garrison, should 
a retreat be attempted. The six pounder was 
fired a few times at the gunboats, which was 
returned by the artillery of the enemy. A 
landing of their troops with a five and a half 
inch howitzer was effected about a mile 
below the fort, and Major Chambers, 
accompanied by Dickson, was dispatched 
towards the fort with a flag, and was met on 
the part of Major Croghan by Ensign Shipp, 
of the Seventeenth regiment. After the usual 
ceremonies, Major Chambers observed to 
Ensign Shipp that he was instructed by 
General Proctor to demand the surrender of 
the fort, as he was anxious to spare the 
effusion of human blood, which he could not 
do should he be under the necessity of 
reducing it by the powerful force of artillery, 
regulars, and Indians under his command. 
Shipp replied that the commandant of the 
fort and its garrison was determined to 
defend it to the last extremity; that no force, 
however great, could induce them to 
surrender, as they were resolved to maintain 
their post, or to bury themselves in its ruins. 
Dickson then said that their immense body 
of Indians could not be restrained from 
murdering the whole garrison in case of 
success; of which we have no doubt, 
rejoined Chambers; as we are amply 
prepared. Dickson then proceeded to remark, 
that it was a great pity so fine a young man 
should fall into the hands of the savages Sir, 
for God's sake, surrender, and prevent the 
dreadful massacre 



that will be caused by your resistance. Mr. 
Shipp replied, that when the fort was taken 
there would be none to massacre. It will not 
be given up while a man is able to resist. An 
Indian at this moment came out of the 
adjoining ravine, and advancing to the 
ensign, took hold of his sword and attempted 
to wrest it from him. Dickson interfered, and 
having retained the Indian, affected great 
anxiety to get him safe into the fort. 

The enemy now opened fire from their 
sixpounder in the gunboats and the howitzer 
on shore, which they continued through the 
night with but little intermission and with 
very little effect. The forces of the enemy 
consisted of five hundred regulars, and about 
eight hundred Indians commanded by 
Dickson, the whole being commanded by 
General Proctor in person. Tecumseh was 
stationed on the road to Fort Meigs with a 
body of two thousand Indians, expecting to 
intercept a reinforcement on that route. 

Major Croghan, through the evening, 
occasionally fired his sixpounder, at the 
same time changing its place, to in, duce a 
belief that he had more than one piece. As it 
produced very little execution on the enemy, 
and he was desirous of saving his 
ammunition, he soon discontinued his fire. 
The enemy had directed their fire against the 
northwestern angle of the fort, which 
induced the commander to believe that an 
attempt would be made to storm his works at 
that point. In the night Captain Hunter was 
directed to remove the sixpounder to a 
blockhouse, from which it would rake that 
angle. By great industry and personal ex- 
ertion, Captain Hunter soon accomplished 
this object in secrecy. The embrasure was 
masked and the piece loaded with a 
halfcharge of powder, and doublecharge of 
slugs and grapeshot. Early in the morning of 
the 2nd the enemy opened 

their fire from their howitzer and three 
sixpounders, which they had landed in the 
night, and planted in a point of woods about 
two hundred and fifty yards from the fort. In 
the evening, about 4 o'clock, they 
concentrated the fire of all their guns on the 
northwest angle, which convinced Major 
Croghan that they would endeavor to make a 
breach and storm the works at that point; he 
therefore immediately had that place 
strengthened as much as possible with bags 
of flour and sand, which were so effectual 
that the picketing in that place sustained no 
material injury. Sergeant Weaver, with five 
or six gentlemen of the Petersburg 
volunteers and Pittsburgh Blues, who 
happened to be in the fort, was entrusted 
with the management of the sixpounder. 

Late in the evening, when the smoke of the 
firing had completely enveloped the fort, the 
enemy proceeded to make the assault. Two 
feints were made toward the southern angle, 
where Captain Hunter's lines were formed; 
and at the same time a column of three 
hundred and fifty men was discovered 
advancing through the smoke, within twenty 
paces of the northwestern angle. A heavy, 
galling fire of musketry was now opened 
upon them from the fort, which threw them 
into some confusion. Colonel Short, who 
headed the principal column, soon rallied his 
men, and led them with great bravery to the 
brink of the ditch. After a momentary pause 
he leaped into the ditch, calling to his men to 
follow him, and in a few minutes it was full. 
The masked porthole was now opened, and 
the sixpounder, at the distance of thirty feet, 
poured such destruction among them that but 
few who had entered the ditch were fortunate 
enough to escape. A precipitate and confused 
retreat was the immediate consequence, 
although some of the officers attempted to 
rally their men. The other 



column, which was led by Colonel 
Warburton and Major Chambers, was also 
routed in confusion by a destructive fire 
from the line commanded by Captain Hunter. 
The whole of them fled into the adjoining 
wood, beyond the reach of our firearms. 
During the assault, which lasted half an 
hour, the enemy kept up an incessant fire 
from their howitzer and five sixpounders. 
They left Colonel Short,* a lieutenant and 
twenty-five privates dead in the ditch; and 
the total number of prisoners taken was 
twenty-six, most of them badly wounded. 
Major Muir was knocked down in the ditch, 
and lay among the dead till the darkness of 
the night enabled him to escape in safety. 
The loss of the garrison was one killed and 
seven slightly wounded. The total loss of the 
enemy could not have been less than one 
hundred and sixty killed and wounded. 

When night came on, which was soon 
after the assault, the wounded in the ditch 
were in a desperate situation. Complete 
relief could not be brought to them by either 
side with any degree of safety. Major 
Croghan, however, relieved them as much as 
possible he contrived to convey them water 
over the picketing in buckets, and a ditch 
was opened under the pickets, through which 
those who were able and willing, were 
encouraged to crawl into the fort. All who 
were able preferred, of course, to follow 
their defeated comrades, and many others 
were carried from the vicinity of the fort by 
the Indians, particularly their own killed and 
wounded; and in the night, about three 

*Colonel Short, who commanded the regulars 
composing the forlorn hope, was ordering his men to 
leap the ditch, cut down the pickets and give the 
Americans no quarter, when he fell mortally wounded 
into the ditch, hoisted his white handkerchief on the end 
of his sword, and begged for that mercy which he had a 
moment before ordered to be denied to his enemy. 

o'clock, the whole British and Indian force 
commenced a disorderly retreat. So great 
was their precipitation that they left a 
sailboat containing some clothing and a 
considerable quantity of military stores; and 
on the next day, seventy stand of arms and 
some braces of pistols were picked up about 
the fort. Their hurry and confusion was 
caused by the apprehension of an attack from 
General Harrison, of whose position and 
force they had probably received an 
exaggerated account. 

It was the intention of General Harrison, 
should the enemy succeed against Fort 
Stephenson, or should they endeavor to turn 
his left and fall on Upper Sandusky, to leave 
his camp at Seneca and fall back for the 
protection of that place. But he discovered 
by the firing on the evening of the 1st, that 
the enemy had nothing but light artillery, 
which could make no impression on the fort; 
and he knew that an attempt to storm it 
without making a breach, could be 
successfully repelled by the garrison; he 
therefore determined to wait for the arrival 
of two hundred and fifty mounted volunteers 
under Colonel Rennick, being the advance of 
seven hundred who were approaching by the 
way of Upper Sandusky, and then to march 
against the enemy and raise the siege, if their 
force was not still too great for his. On the 
2nd he sent several scouts to ascertain their 
situation and force; but the woods were so 
infested with Indians that none of them 
could proceed sufficiently near the fort to 
make the necessary discoveries. In the night 
the messenger arrived at headquarters with 
the intelligence that the enemy were 
preparing to retreat. About nine o'clock 
Major Croghan had ascertained, from their 
collecting about their boats, that they were 
preparing to embark, and had immediately 
sent an express to the commander-in-chief 
with this information. The General now 

Major GeorgsCrocjidn 

Hero of Fort Stephenson 2 d Aug 1843 



determined to wait no longer for the rein- 
forcements, and immediately set out with the 
dragoons, with which he reached the fort 
early in the morning, having ordered 
Generals McArthur and Cass, who had 
arrived at Seneca several days before, to 
follow him with all the disposable infantry at 
that place, and which at this time was about 
seven hundred men, after the numerous sick, 
and the force necessary to maintain the 
position, were left behind. Finding that the 
enemy had fled entirely from the fort, so as 
not to be reached by him, and learning that 
Tecumseh was somewhere in the direction of 
Fort Meigs, with two thousand warriors, he 
immediately ordered the infantry to fall back 
to Seneca, lest Tecumseh should make an 
attack on that place, or intercept they small 
reinforcements advancing from Ohio.. 

In his official report of this affair, General 
Harrison observes that: "It will not be among 
the least of General Proctor's mortifications, 
that he has been baffled by a youth, who has 
just passed his twenty-first year. He is, 
however, a hero worthy of his gallant uncle, 
General George R. Clarke." 

Captain Hunter, of the Seventeenth 
regiment, the second in command, conducted 
himself with great propriety; and never was 
there a set of finer young fellows than the 
subalterns, viz:, Lieutenants Johnson and 
Baylor of the Seventeenth, Meeks of the 
Seventh, and Ensigns Shipp and Duncan, of 
the Seventeenth. 

Lieutenant Anderson, of the Twenty- 
fourth, was also noticed for his good 
conduct. Being without a command, he 
solicited Major Croghan for a musket and a 
post to fight at, which he did with the 
greatest bravery. 

"Too much praise," says Major Croghan, 
"can not be bestowed on the officers, 
noncommissioned officers, and privates 

under my command, for their gallantry and 
good conduct during the siege." 

The brevet rank of Lieutenant Colonel was 
immediately conferred on Major Croghan, 
by the President of the United States, for his 
gallant conduct on this occasion. The ladies 
of Chillicothe also presented him an elegant 
sword, accompanied by a suitable address. 

The following sketches of Colonel George 
Croghan are taken from the Portfolio, 
published in 1815: 

FRANKFORT, July 22, 1814. 
To the Editor of the Port-folio: 

SIR: Upon receiving the letter which you did me the 
honor to address to me by Mrs. B., I immediate took 
such measures as were necessary to procure tie 
information you requested. I now transmit to you the 
result of my inquiries, regretting that it was not in my 
power to do it sooner. 

At the time when Colonel Croghan and myself were 
inmates of the same house, he was in his fourteenth 
year. No incident occurred during that early period 
sufficiently interesting to find a place in his history; 
yet, even then, his conduct exhibited a happy 
combination of those talents and principles which have 
already procured him the admiration and gratitude of his 

Though ingenuous in his disposition and unassuming 
and, conciliating in his manners, he was remarkable for 
discretion and steadiness. His opinions, when once 
formed, were maintained with modest but persevering 
firmness; and the propriety of his decisions generally 
satisfied the spirit with which they were defended, et, 
though rigid to his adherence to principle, and in his 
estimate of what was right or improper, in cases of 
minor importance he was all compliance. I never met 
with a youth who would so cheerfully sacrifice every 
personal gratification to the wishes or accommodation of 
his friends. In sickness or disappointment he evinced a 
degree of patience and fortitude which could not have 
been exceeded by any veteran in the school of 
misfortune or philosophy. Were I asked, what were the 
most prominent features of his character? (or rather, 
what were the prevailing dispositions of his mind?) at 
the period of which I am speaking, I would answer, 
decision and urbanity; the former, resulting from the 
uncommon and estimable qualities of his understanding 
the latter, from the concentration of all the sweet 
"charities of life," in his heart. Thus far from my own 
observation. I have seldom seen Colonel Croghan for the 
last eight years; but subjoin the testimony of those to 
whose observation he has been exposed during the 
whole of that period. 



An intelligent young gentleman, who was his asso- 
ciate in study and in alms, has given me a brief sketch of 
his military career, which I herewith transmit, together 
with such corroborative and additional circumstances as 
I have collected from other sources, and which in 
substance amount to this: 

Lieutenant-Colonel George Croghan was born at 
Locust Grove, near the falls of Ohio, on the 15th of 
November, 1791. His father, Major William Croghan, 
left Ireland at an early period of life ; was appointed an 
officer in our Revolutionary army, and discharged his 
duties as such, to the satisfaction of the commander-in- 
chief. His mother is the daughter of John Clarke, esq., of 
Virginia, a gentleman of worth and respectability, who 
exerted himself greatly, and contributed largely towards 
the support of our just and glorious contest. He had five 
sons, four of whom were officers in the Revolutionary 
army. General William Clarke, who, together with 
Captain Lewis, explored, and is at present the Governor 
of Louisiana, was too young to participate with his 
brothers in the achievement of our liberties; but his 
conduct since is a sufficient demonstration of the part he 
would have taken, had he been riper in years. The 
military talents of General George R. Clarke have 
obtained for him the flattering appellation of "the father 
of the western country." 

Colonel Croghan has always been esteemed generous 
and humane; and, when a boy, his manly appearance and 
independence of sentiment and action commanded the 
attention and admiration of all who knew him. 

The selection of his speeches for scholastic exercises 
tended in some measure to mark his peculiar talent. 
They were of a nature entirely military. He read with 
delight whatever appertained to military affairs, and 
would listen for hours to conversations respecting 
battles. His principal amusements were gunning and 
foxhunting. He would frequently rise at in o'clock at 
night, and repair to the woods alone (or with no 
attendant but his little servant), either to give chase to 
the fox, or battle to the wild cat and raccoon. 

Nothing offended him more than for any one, even in 
jest, to say a word disrespectful of General Washington. 

While in the State of Kentucky his time was 
principally occupied by the study of his native tongue, 
geography, the elements of geometry, and the Latin and 
Greek languages. In these different branches of 
literature he made a respectable progress. 

In the year 1808 he left Locust Grove for the purpose 
of prosecuting his studies in the University of William 
and Mary. In this institution he graduated as A. B. on 
the 4th of July, 1820; and delivered, on the day of his 
graduation, an oration on the subject of expatriation. 
This oration was deemed by the audience, concise, 
ingenious, and argumentative, and was pronounced in a 
manner which did great credit 

to his oratorical powers. The ensuing autumn he 
attended a course of lectures on law, and upon the 
termination of the course returned to his father's where 
he prosecuted the study of the same profession, and 
occasionally indulged himself in miscellaneous reading. 
Biography and history have always occupied much of 
his attention. He is an enthusiastic admirer of the 
writings of Shakespeare, and can recite most of the 
noted passages of that great poet and philosopher. He 
admires tragedy but not comedy. He is (as his 
countenance indicates) rather of a serious cast of mind; 
yet no one admires more a pleasant anecdote, or an 
unaffected sally of wit. With his friends he is affable 
and free from reserve; his manners are prepossessing; he 
dislikes ostentation, and was never heard to utter a word 
in praise of himself. 

In the autumn of 1811 was fought the battle of 
Tippecanoe. This was the first opportunity which 
offered for the display of his military talents. He 
embraced it with avidity - left his father's house in the 
character of a volunteer, and was appointed aid to 
General Harrison. On the 7th of November an attack was 
made on the troops under the command of that officer; 
the enemy were repulsed with valor; and during the 
engagement young Croghan evinced the greatest 
courage, activity, and military skill. His services were 
acknowledged by all; and he exhibited such proofs of a 
genius for war that many of his companions in arms 
remarked that "he was born a soldier." A cant saying 
among the troops at Tippecanoe was "to do a main 
business;" and during the battle he would ride from post 
to post, exciting the courage of the men by exclaiming, 
"Now, my brave fellows, now is the time to do a main 
business." Upon the return of the troops from 
Tippecanoe, they were frequently met by persons 
coming to ascertain the fate of their children or friends. 
Among the number of these was a very poor and aged 
man, whose son was slain in the battle. Colonel 
Croghan, having ascertained the situation of the old 
man, and observing his inability to perform much bodily 
labor, regularly made his fires every morning, and 
supplied him with provisions, clothes, and money. Many 
acts of this kind are related of him by the soldiers and 
officers of Tippecanoe. 

After the battle of Tippecanoe, his military ardor 
greatly increased, and, upon the prospect of a speedy 
declaration of war, he expressed a desire to join the 
army. Recommendatory letters of the most flattering 
kind were written by Generals Harrison and Boyd to the 
Secretary of War; and upon the commencement of 
hostilities against Great Britain, he was appointed 
captain in the Seventeenth regiment of infantry. He was 
stationed some time at Clark Cantonment, near the Falls 
of Ohio, but had not been long in command there before 
he was ordered to march, with what regulars he had, to 
the headquarters of the Northwestern Army, then at 



His countenance beamed with delight upon receiving 
this order. There were large bodies of militia and 
volunteers on their march to Detroit, but before they had 
proceeded far they heard of Hull's surrender. 

Shortly after this the command of the Northwestern 
Army was given to General Harrison. Colonel Croghan 
commanded a short time at Fort Defiance, on the Miami, 
but upon the defeat of General Winchester he was 
ordered to Fort Meigs. His conduct during that 
memorable siege is handsomely noticed in General 
Harrison's official report, and he was shortly afterwards 
promoted to a majority, and stationed with his battalion 
at Upper Sandusky. While there he received 
information, by express, of an attack upon Lower 
Sandusky. It was late in the afternoon when the 
intelligence reached him — the road between the two 
places was intolerably bad — the distance thirty-six 
miles, and the rain descending in torrents; yet he 
proceeded at the head of his battalion to its relief, and 
continued his march until 12 o'clock at night, by which 
time he had advanced twenty miles. It then became so 
dark that he and his men were obliged to lie down in the 
road, and wait the return of light rather than run the risk 
of losing their way. 

He arrived at Fort Ball (twelve miles distant) before 
sunrise the next morning, having waded through mud 
and mire frequently waist deep, and having been 
exposed to a heavy rain during the whole night. He was 
there informed that the report of an attack upon Lower 
Sandusky was unfounded, but after remaining a few 
days at Fort Ball he proceeded thither, having received 
orders to take the command at that post. He arrived there 
about the 15th of July. A few days after this Fort Meigs 
was besieged by a large British and Indian force. No 
doubt was entertained that the enemy would visit 
Sandusky. Accordingly, Colonel Croghan labored day 
and night to place the fort (which had received no 
advantages from nature or art) in a state of defence. The 
necessity of cutting a ditch round the fort, immediately 
presented itself to him. This was done; but in order to 
render the enemy's plans abortive, should they even 
succeed in leaping the ditch (which was nine feet wide, 
and six deep), he had large logs placed on the top of the 
fort, and so adjusted that an inconsiderable weight 
would cause them to fall, from their position, and crush 
to death all who might be situated below. This im- 
provement in the art of fortification took place but a few 
days before the attack. It is novel, and originated with 

A short time before the action, he wrote 
the following concise and impressive letter 
to a friend: 

The enemy are not far distant — I expect an attack — I 
will defend this post till the last extremity — I have just 
sent away the women and children, with 

the sick of the garrison, that I may be able to act without 
incumbrance. Be satisfied. I shall, I hope, do my duty. 
The example set me by my Revolutionary kindred is 
before me — let me die rather than prove unworthy of 
their name. 

The following extract of a letter, written 
by a fellow-student and fellow-soldier of 
Lieutenant-Colonel Croghan, is here 
introduced as throwing additional light on 
the military character of that distinguished 
young officer: 

Lieu ten ant -Colonel George Croghan is a native of 
Kentucky, and the second son of Major William 
Croghan, near Louisville. He is the nephew of the 
gallant hero and accomplished general, George Rogers 
Clarke, the father of the western country, and of General 
William Clarke, the present enterprising Governor of 
Missouri. His father is a native of Ireland, and having 
early embarked his fortunes in America, was a 
distinguished officer in the war of the Revolution. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Croghan was born on the 15th of 
November, 179 1, and received all the advantages of 
education the best grammar schools in Kentucky could 
afford, until in his seventeenth year, when he 
commenced a scientific course in the ancient college of 
William and Mary, in Virginia. Both at school and at 
college be was remarked for an open manliness of 
character, and elevation of sentiment, and a strength of 
intellect, connected with a high and persevering 

In July, 1810, he graduated at Willi am and M ary 
college, and soon afterwards commenced the study of 
law. With this view, he continued to visit that university 
until the fall of 1811, when he volunteered his services 
as a private in the campaign up the Wabash. A short 
time before the action of Tippecanoe, he was appointed 
aid-decamp to General Boyd, the second in command: 
and, although from his situation, he was not enabled to 
evince that activity which has since so much 
distinguished him, he exhibited a soul undaunted in one 
of the most sanguinary conflicts of the present day, and 
accordingly received the thanks of the commanding 

In consequence of his services on the Wabash ex- 
pedition, he was appointed a captain in the provisional 
army directed to be raised and organized in the spring of 
1812. In August he marched with the detachment from 
Kentucky, under General Winchester, destined to relieve 
General Hull in Canada; and to those acquainted with 
the movements of that gallant but unfortunate little 
army, the caution, zeal, and military capacity of Captain 
Croghan was conspicuous. Upon visiting the various 
encampments of the army on its march along the Miami 
of the Lake, both before and after the attack on Fort 
Wayne, the ground occupied by Captain Croghan 



was easily designated by the judicious fortifications 
erected for the night. On the movement of the army 
towards the Rapids, he was entrusted with the command 
of Fort Winchester, at the junction of the Auglaize and 
Miami Rivers, where he manifested his usual military 
arrangement. After the defeat at the River Raisin he 
joined General Harrison at the Rapids, previous to the 
erection of Fort Meigs. 

It is creditable to the discernment of General 
Harrison, that he relied with the utmost confidence on 
the judicious arrangements of Captain Croghan, in the 
trying, brilliant, and ever memorable siege of Fort 
Meigs. In the sortie under that gallant soldier, Colonel 
Miller, on the 5th of May, to the companies led by 
Captains Croghan, Langhan, and Bradford was confided 
the storming of the British batteries, defended by a 
regular force and a body of Indians, either of them 
superior in number to the assailants. Here Captain 
Croghan's gallantry was again noticed in general orders. 

At a very critical period of the last campaign (that of 
1853,) young Croghan, now promoted to a majority, was 
appointed to the command of Fort Sandusky, at Lower 
Sandusky. On his conduct in the defence of that post, 
the official documents of the time, and the applause of a 
grateful country, are the most honorable commentary. 
The character of the campaign was changed from 
defensive to offensive operations, and its issue very 
materially influenced by the achievement. For his valor 
and good conduct on this occasion, Major Croghan was 
made, by brevet, a Lieutenant-Colonel. 

Colonel Croghan was made Inspector 
General of the army, with the rank of 
Colonel, December 21, 1825, and in that 
capacity served with General Taylor in 

Congress presented him with a gold medal 
February 13, 1835, as a recognition of his 
gallant services in the defence of Fort 

I close this sketch with an incident which 
pithily illustrates the character of President 
Jackson and the esteem in .which Colonel 
Croghan was held. 

Colonel Miller, the gallant "I'll try, sir," 
of the War of 1812, was the first to make 
known to President Jackson that George 
Croghan, the splendid hero of the Fort 
Stephenson fight in 1813, who, with a 
handful of men, maintained against a 
thousand British and Indians a position that 
involved all the communication and 

defences of the Northwest, that George 
Croghan, with this gallant record, was to be 
court-martialed on a charge of 
"intemperance in alcoholic drinks." The old 
General listened impatiently to the infor- 
mation, but heard it through, and then he laid 
down his paper, rose from his chair, smote 
the table with his clenched fist, and, with his 
proverbial energy, declared: "Those 
proceedings of the court-martial shall be 
stopped, sir! George Croghan shall get drunk 
every day of his life if he wants to, and by 
the Eternal, the United States shall pay for 
the whiskey." 


At an early day after the village of Lower 
Sandusky was chartered a few men 
suggested and desired that the village should 
purchase and preserve the fort. The purchase 
was talked of from time to time. While it 
was owned by Chester Edgerton, esq., he 
verbally agreed to sell it to the city for four 
thousand dollars. General R. P. Buckland, 
then representing this district in the Ohio 
Senate, about the year 1856 procured the 
passage of an act empowering the village to 
purchase at that price, on the majority vote 
of the inhabitants. The vote was taken and 
carried in favor of the purchase. But by this 
time Mr. Edgerton had changed his mind, 
and declined, for some reason, to sell to the 
city, but afterwards sold to Mr. Lewis 

Among those who were always desirous 
the city should purchase, was Mr. Sardis 
Birchard, uncle of President Hayes. Fremont 
in the meantime became a city of the second 
class. Mr. Birchard, while alive, determined 
to found a public library in the city, where 
he had resided and accumulated considerable 
wealth. He accordingly donated property 
valued at fifty thousand dollars for the 
purpose, and appointed as trustees of the 
library and the fund : The Mayor of the city 
of Fremont, 



the Superintendent of the city schools, R. B. 
Hayes, R. P. Buckland, Rev. Ebenezer 
Bushnell, James W. Wilson, Thomas 
Stilwell, William E. Haynes, and L. Q. 
Rawson. On meeting, the Board of Trustees 
chose the following officers, who still hold 
their respective positions: President, R. B. 
Hayes; Vice-President, R. P. Buckland; 
Secretary, W. W. Ross; Treasurer, James W. 

It was the earnest wish of Mr. Birchard 
that the library should be located on the site 
of the fort, and that the city should own that 
ground for a park. Hence, when the owner, 
Lewis Leppleman, esq., offered four lots 
embracing the fort ground property for 
eighteen thousand dollars, and Mr. Claghan 
and Dr. W. V. B. Ames, each a lot on the 
south, which connect the ground from 
Croghan to Garrison streets, consented to 
sell for nine thousand, Mr. Birchard 
authorized the trustees of the library to 
divert six thousand dollars of the library 
fund to the purchase. This not being 
sufficient with the funds appropriated by the 
city, General Hayes, to complete its 
purchase of the whole block, guaranteed 
three thousand dollars more out of the 
library fund, and the whole was purchased, 
and deeded to the city with condition that the 
library building should be erected therein. 


The gun used by Colonel Croghan with 
such good effect, in defence of the fort, 
naturally became an object of inquiry with a 
view to having it placed in the fort as a relic 
of the past. 

Brice J. Bartlett, a citizen and prominent 
lawyer of the place, father of Colonel J. R. 
Bartlett, and then mayor of the village, was 
untiring in his efforts to find and preserve 
the gun. By correspondence with the War 
Department and inquiry through members of 
Congress, he ascertained 

that the identical gun was stored at 

Aided by other citizens, he procured the 
passage of a resolution by Congress, 
directing that the gun be forwarded to this 
place and given to the village authorities. 

It was forwarded, but by some misdi- 
rection was carried to Sandusky City. The 
authorities of that place desired to keep it, 
and when it was traced there and claimed by 
Mayor Bartlett, it was concealed by being 

He set a detective on the search, who, after 
several days, succeeded in finding where it 
was buried and informed Mayor Bartlett. 

The Mayor sent a force of several men 
with a team, who found the gun and brought 
it away. There was much rejoicing over the 
arrival of the gun, and the people still hold it 
as a sacred relic of the past and a witness of 
the bravery of Colonel Croghan and his one 
hundred and sixty brave Kentuckians. 

This gun is now placed on the site of Fort 
Stephenson, to be there kept as a memento 
and a reminder to future generations, of the 
heroism and bravery of the fort's defenders. 

The following communication was written 
by Clark Waggoner, who formerly edited the 
Lower Sandusky Whig, and was published in 
the Fremont Journal of August, 1879. It 
seems so pertinent to the history of the fort 
and the people of Lower Sandusky, that we 
give it entire: 


The history of Fremont and vicinity is especially rich in 
events and associations, some of which have been 
gathered for record, while many others remain unwritten 
and liable to the oblivion which sooner or later 
overtakes tradition. Most prominent of all now stands, 
and must stand, the thrilling story of the heroic and 
successful defence of Fort Stephenson by Major George 
Croghan and his gallant little band of one hundred and 
sixty-nine men, August 1, 1813. 



from the combined attack of five hundred British 
regulars and eight hundred Indians, under command of 
General Proctor. After a furious cannonading of twenty- 
four hours, the assault was made, which resulted in 
complete repulse, with a loss to the assailants of two 
hundred men m killed and wounded, and to the brave 
defenders of one man killed and seven slightly wounded. 
We need not stop here to repeat the many features and 
incidents of that notable event, so highly important in 
staying the advance into Ohio of the confident leader of 
that mongrel command, our present object being rather 
to refer to the notable commemoration of that great 
victory, which took place here on the twenty-sixth 
anniversary of the same, August 2, 1839. This is made 
the more fitting at this time by the occurrence tomorrow 
of the sixty' sixth anniversary of that event. 

Since the celebration of 1839, forty years have 
passed. Forty years! Two score of the earth's cycles! 
How few, of the hundreds who participated in the 
exercises of that occasion, remain to have its pleasant 
memories revived by this reference thereto. Not one in a 
hundred of the present population of Fremont and 
vicinity have any information of that event, except as 
received from others. And yet there are some who have 
all these long years of intervening time kept the matter 
in mind, and these will take special pleasure in a brief 
review of some of the incidents of the occasion. It is 
proper here to state that in 1839 there still remained 
some who were either here or in the immediate vicinity 
at the time of the tragic scenes of 1813. 

The celebration of 1839 was the first formal recog- 
nition made of the anniversary of the battle, and was 
entered into by all classes of citizens with a Spirit and 
an energy which indicated the deepest interest in the 
chief local event of the town. Action looking thereto 
was inaugurated by a preliminary meeting of citizens, 
held at the court house on the evening of July 6, when 
Thomas L. Hawkins was called to the chair and Ralph E. 
Buckland appointed secretary. On the motion of Dr. 
Frank Williams, it was resolved to take measures for the 
celebration of the then approaching anniversary, when a 
committee of arrangements therefore was appointed, to 
consist of the following named citizens, to wit: General 
John Bell, James Justice, N. B. Eddy, John R. Pease, 
Ralph P. Buckland, Dr. Frank Williams, Isaac Knapp, 
Andrew Morehouse, James Vallette, Dr. L. Q. Rawson, 
William Fields, Dr. Daniel Brainard, Rodolphus 
Dickinson, General Samuel Treat, General John 
Patterson, Captain Samuel Thompson, Major James A. 
Scranton, Jesse S. Olmsted, General Robert S. Rice, 
Thomas L. Hawkins, and Jeremiah Everett. This list will 
call up many memories among the readers of the 
Journal. It embraces the names of most of the prominent 
citizens' of old Lower Sandusky then living, nearly all 
of whom, one by one, have passed from earth. Of the 

Twenty-one named, but three remain - General 
Buckland, Dr. Rawson, and William Fields. 

The committee at once entered upon its duties, the 
discharge of which must be judged from results. Suffice 
it here to say that the undertaking committed to their 
hands was not then what it would be now. At that time 
nearly everything of ways and means had to be 
improvised for the occasion, while the population was 
small, with resources limited. The design of the 
committee was of the most liberal kind, and included, 
besides the usual procession, music, orations, etc., a 
grand barbecue dinner, something entirely new in this 
section. The people cooperated zealously and liberally 
with the committees' plans in the supply of money and 
other assistance, while business was wholly given up to 
the festivities of the day. Special invitations were sent to 
a large number of distinguished men throughout the 
country, from many of whom letters were received. A 
splendid ox was neatly and admirably roasted whole, 
after the best Kentucky style, and was supported by 
several smaller animals cooked in the same manner. The 
dinner was served under a capacious arbor especially 
prepared on the hill, in full sight and within a few rods 
of the old fort. 


In his letter to the committee, Hon. Elisha 
Whittlesey gives, upon the authority of the 
person named, for whom he vouches as "a 
gentleman of respectability and of strict 
veracity," the following statement, which has 
not otherwise been made public. Mr. 
Whittlesey wrote: 

Aaron Norton, then a resident of Tallmadge, Portage 
county, on the ad of August, 1813, left Huron county to 
visit Fort Stephenson on business. He had furnished 
supplies for the Northwestern Army at different times 
after Hull's surrender, and was very well acquainted 
with the country east of the Maumee River. He arrived 
in the vicinity of Fort Stephenson in the afternoon, and 
without knowing that the British and Indians had elected 
a landing, he rode about halfway from the high bank to 
the place for fording the Sandusky River, when he 
discovered the British on the left bank, and that the 
Indians were on each side of him and in his front. The 
road descended from the high bank south of the present 
turnpike, and followed the river bank to the ford, which, 
according to my recollection, was south of the present 
bridge. To gain the fort was impossible, while a safe 
retreat was doubtful. The parties discovered each other 
at the same instant, and each were alike astonished. Mr. 
Norton wheeled his horse and pressed him to the top of 
his speed. As soon as the Indians recovered from their 
surprise and regained their rifles, they 



shot at the fugitive, who reached the hill and the woods 
without injury. 

Immediately after this active preparations were made 
to attack the fort. Mr. Norton supposed the enemy, 
apprehending that reinforcements were marching to the 
fort, made the attack sooner and with less caution than 
they otherwise would. Without detracting in the least 
from the brilliant merits of Major Croghan and his brave 
companions-in-arms, he looked upon the incident as 
having, under the guidance of Providence, contributed to 
the signal defeat of the enemy. He claimed no merit, and 
was thankful that he possessed the presence of mind that 
enabled him to make his escape. 

On reading this statement the mind cannot 
wholly resist the view taken by Mr. Norton, 
that his timely appearance may have 
operated to precipitate the attack on the fort, 
which proved so disastrous to the assailants. 

With some readers the memories revived 
by this reference will be of mingled pleasure 
and sadness. It is always gratifying to review 
the past in its pleasant aspects; but in 
proportion to the lapse of time involved, we 
associate thoughts of those who contributed 
to such memories, but who no longer remain 
to share therein. But it is profitable at times 
to stop in life's activities, to give special 
thought to departed sharers in our joys and 
sorrows, for thereby we are lifted out of, if 
not above, the engrossing cares of everyday 
life, which too often shut out thoughts which 
ennoble and elevate. 

After dinner the company adjourned to 
the old fort, a few relics of which still 
remain, where Hon. Eleutheros Cooke, of 
Sandusky, from the steps of the residence of 
General John Patterson (which was the 
wooden building lately removed from the 
centre of Fort Stephenson), delivered an 
able, eloquent, and appropriate address, 
which was published at the time. Letters 
were received from a large number of 
persons invited, including Colonel Croghan, 
General W. H. Harrison, Henry Clay, 
Colonel R. M. Johnson (then Vice- 
President), Governor , Shannon, Hon, 

Thomas Ewing, Hon. Elisha Whittlesey, 
John A. Bryan (Auditor of State), Hon. 
John W. Allen, General James Allen, and 
Dr. John G. Miller, of Columbus. Besides 
the regular, volunteer toasts were offered 
.by General John Patterson, B. J. Bartlett, 
William B. Craighill, Josiah Roop, Dr. 
Niles, Henry Spohn, Sidney Smith 
(subsequently by special legislative act, 
Sidney Sea), Colonel E. D. Bradley, Dr. A. 
H. Brown, Clark Waggoner, Captain 
Samuel Thompson, Pitt Cooke, and John N. 
Sloan, of Sandusky. One of the volunteer 
toasts was this: 

By a citizen: Colonel Bradley, Assistant Marshal of 
the Day, the dauntless hero and friend of liberty. When 
another victory like the one we celebrate is to be won, 
his country will know on whom to call to achieve it. 

"Another victory," and many of them, 
have since been "won" for "liberty," and the 
sentiment of the "citizen's" toast has been 
met in the heroic part taken therein by 
Colonel Bradley, the brave commander of 
the Sixty-eighth Ohio Volunteers in the 
Union army. That gentleman, still at 
Stryker, Williams county, Ohio, survives 
the battles of Point au Pelee and of the 

Of those from whom letters were re- 
ceived, only Hon. John W. Allen, of 
Cleveland, and ex-Governor Shannon (now 
of Kansas), are living; while, of the 
volunteer toasters named, only Colonel 
Bradley, Pitt Cooke, and Clark Waggoner 
are known now to survive. 


The letter of Colonel Croghan was as 

ST. Louis, Mo., 26th July, 1839 
GENTLEMEN: I have had the honor to receive your 
letter of the 8th inst., inviting me, on the part of the 
citizens of Lower Sandusky, to be present with them in 
the coming anniversary of the defence of Fort 

It is with regret that I am, on account of official 
duties, unable to comply with your flattering invitation, 
In communicating this, my reply, I cannot 



forbear to acknowledge with deep gratitude, the honor 
you confer. To have been with those gallant men who 
served with me on the occasion alluded to, permitted by 
a kind Providence to perform a public duty which has 
been deemed worthy of a special notice by my fellow- 
citizens, is a source of high gratification, brightened, 
too, by the reflection that the scene of conflict is now, 
by the enterprise and industry of your people, the home 
of a thriving and intelligent community. 

I beg to offer to you, gentlemen, and through you to 
the citizens of Lower Sandusky, my warmest thanks for 
the remembrance which you have so flatteringly 

With every feeling of respect and gratitude, 

I am yours, ' G. CROGHAN. 

Dr. Frank Williams and others, Committee. 



Mr. Webb C. Hayes has expended much 

time and great care in his endeavors to 
obtain the names of the men who so bravely 
defended Fort Stephenson. The results of his 
labors have been a partial, but not a 
complete success. By his correspondence 
and inquiry at different departments at 
Washington and elsewhere, it appears that 
the American force at Fort Stephenson, 
August 2, 1813, consisted of detachments 
from Captain James Hunter's company of the 
Seventeenth regiment of United States 
Infantry; from Captain James Duncan's 
company of same regiment; also a 
detachment from the Twenty-fourth United 
States Infantry, and from the Pittsburgh 
Blues, Petersburgh Volunteers, and 
Greensburg Riflemen, in all amounting to 
one hundred and fifty men. 

Mr. Hayes' correspondence reveals the 
fact that there was not found in the Adjutant- 
General's office in Washington, any rolls of 
volunteers in the War of 1812, all of them 
having been sent to the Third Auditor's 
office many years before he made the 
inquiry. The Auditor's office failed to show 
the names of these detached volunteers. But 
there were records of the regulars, and from 
these Mr. Hayes obtained the following lists, 
which he has 

very kindly furnished the writer, to be used 
in this history, and which are as follows: 


Major George Croghan, Seventeenth United States 
Infantry, commanding. 

Captain James Hunter, Seventeenth United States 

First Lieutenant Benjamin Johnson, Seventeenth 
United States Infantry. 

Second Lieutenant Cyrus A. Baylor, Seventeenth 
United States Infantry. 

Ensign Edmund Shipp, Seventeenth United States 

Ensign Joseph Duncan, Seventeenth United States 

First Lieutenant Joseph Anthony, Twenty-fourth 
United States Infantry. 

Second Lieutenant John Meek, Seventh United States 

Petersburg Volunteers. 

Pittsburg Blues. 

Greensburg Riflemen. 


Captain James Hunter, commanding. Sergeant Wayne 


Sergeant James Huston. 

Sergeant Obadiah Norton. 

Corporal Matthew Burns. 

Corporal William Ewing. 

Corporal John Maxwell. 


Pleasant Bailey, Samuel Brown, Elisha Condi ff, 
Thomas Crickman, Ambrose Dean, Leonard George, 
Nathaniel Gill, John Harley, Jonathan Hartley, William 
McDonald, Joseph McKey, Frederick Melts, Rice 
Millender, John Mumman, Samuel Pearsall, Daniel 
Perry, David Perry, William Ralph, John Rankin, Elisha 
Rathburn, Aaron Ray, Robert Row, John S alley, John 
Savage, John Smith, Thomas Striplin, William 
Sutherland, Martin Tanner, John Zett. 


First Lieutenant Benjamin Johnson, commanding. 
Second Lieutenant Cyrus A. Baylor. 
Sergeant Henry Lawell. Sergeant Thomas McCaul. 
Sergeant John M. Stotts. Sergeant Notley Williams. 


Henry L. Bethers, Cornelius S. Bevins, Joseph 
Blamer, Jonathan C. Bowling, Nicholas Bryant, Robert 
Campbell, Samuel Campbell, Joseph Klink en beard, 
Joseph Childers, Ambrose Dine, Jacob Downs, James 
Harris, James Heartley, William 



Johnson, Elisha Jones, Thomas Linchard, William 

McClelland, Joseph McKee, John Martin, Ezekiel 

Mitchell, William Rogers, David Sudderfield, Thomas 
Taylor, John Williams. 



First Lieutenant Joseph Anthony, commanding. 


William Gaines, John Foster, Jones, Samuel Riggs, 
Samuel Thurman. 


Sergeant Abraham Weaver. 

Private Edmund Brown. 


Mr. Hayes has also furnished us, for use, the 
following correspondence relative to the battle and the 
proceedings of Congress on the subject, which we place 
before our readers, with thanks to Mr. Hayes: 

LOWER SANDUSKY, 25th July, 1813. 

DEAR SIR: Mr. Connor has just arrived with the 
Indians which were sent by you to Fort Meigs a few 
days since. To him I refer you for information from that 

I have unloaded the boats which were brought from 
Cleveland, and shall sink them in the middle of the river 
(where it is ten feet deep) about one-half mile above the 
present landing. My men are engaged in making 
cartridges, and will have, in a short time, more than 
sufficient to answer any ordinary call. I have collected 
all the most valuable stores in one house. Should I be 
forced to evacuate the place, they will be blown up. 
Yours with respect, 

Major Commanding at Lower Sandusky. 
Major-General Harrison. 


July 29, 1813. 

SIR: Immediately on receiving this letter, you will 
abandon Fort Stephenson, set fire to it, and repair with 
your command this night to headquarters. Cross the 
river and come up on the opposite side. If you should 
deem and find it impracticable to make good your march 
to this place, take the road to Huron, and pursue it with 
the utmost circumspection and dispatch. 


July 30, 1813. 

SIR; I have just received yours of yesterday, 10 
o'clock P. M., ordering me to destroy this place and 

make good my retreat, which was received too late to be 
carried into execution. We have determined to maintain 
this place, and by heavens we can. 

July 30, 1813. 
SIR: The General has just received your letter of this 
date, informing him that you had thought proper to 
disobey the order issued from this office, and delivered 
to you this morning. It appears that the information 
which dictated this order was incorrect; and as you did 
not receive it in the night, as was expected, it might 
have been proper that you should have reported the 
circumstances, and your situation, before you proceeded 
to its execution. This might have been passed over; but I 
am directed to say to you, that an officer who presumes 
to aver that he has made his resolution, and that he will 
act in direct opposition to the orders of his General, can 
no longer be entrusted with a separate command. 
Colonel Wells is sent to relieve you. You will deliver 
the command to him, and repair with Colonel Ball's 
squadron to this place. 
By command, &c, 


Assistant Adjutant-General. 

LOWER SANDUSKY, 3d August, 1813. 


DEAR SIR: The enemy made an attempt to storm us 
last evening, but was repulsed with the loss of at least 
two hundred killed, wounded, and prisoners. 

One lieutenant-colonel,* a major, and a lieutenant, with 
about forty privates, are dead in our ditch. I have lost 
but one in killed and but few wounded. Further 
statements will be made you by the bearer. 

Major Commanding Fort Sandusky. 
P.S. — Since writing the above, two soldiers of the 
Forty-first regiment have gotten in, who state that the 
enemy have retreated in fact, one of their gunboats is 
within three hundred yards of our works, said to be 
loaded with camp equipage, etc., which they in their 
hurry have left. 


A true copy. 

JOHN O'FALLOW, Aid-de-Camp. 

4th August, 1813. 
SIR: In my letter of the first instant I did myself the 
honor to inform you that one of my scouting parties had 
just returned from the Lake Shore and had discovered, 
the day before, the enemy in force near the mouth of the 
Sandusky Bay. The party had not passed Lower 
Sandusky two hours before the advance, consisting of 
Indians, appeared before the fort, and in half an hour 
after a large detachment of British troops; and in the 
course of the night commenced a cannonading against 
the fort 

*(Lieutenant-Colonel Short.) 



with three sixpounders and two howitzers, the latter 
from gunboats. The firing was partially answered by 
Major Croghan, having a sixpounder, the only piece of 

The fire of the enemy was continued at intervals 
during the second instant, until about half after five 
P.M., when finding that their cannons made little 
impression upon the works, and having discovered my 
position here and apprehending an attack, an attempt 
was made to carry the place by storm. Then troops were 
formed in two columns. Lieutenant-Colonel Short 
headed the principal one, composed of the light and 
battalion companies of the Forty-first regiment. This 
gallant officer conducted his men to the brink of the 
ditch, under the most galling and destructive fire from 
the garrison, and leaping into it was followed by a 
considerable part of his own and the light company. At 
this moment a masked porthole was suddenly opened 
and a sixpounder, with an half load of powder and a 
double charge of leaden slugs, at the distance of thirty 
feet, poured destruction upon them and killed or 
wounded nearly every man who had entered the ditch. In 
vain did the British officers exert themselves to lead on 
the balance of the column; it retired in disorder under a 
shower of shot from the fort, and sought safety in the 
adjoining woods. The other column, headed by the 
grenadiers, had also retired, after having suffered from 
the muskets of our men, to an adjacent ravine. In the 
course of the night the enemy, with the aid of their 
Indians, drew off the greater part of the wounded and 
dead, and embarking them in boats, descended the river 
with the utmost precipitation. In the course of the ad 
instant, having heard the cannonading, I made several 
attempts to ascertain the force and situation of the 
enemy. Our scouts were unable to get near the fort from 
the Indians which surrounded it. Finding, however, that 
the enemy had only light artillery, and being well con- 
vinced that it could make little impression upon the 
works, and that any attempt to storm it would be resisted 
with effect, I waited for the arrival of two hundred and 
fifty mounted volunteers, which on the evening before 
had left Upper Sandusky. But as soon as I was informed 
that the enemy were retreating, I set out with the 
dragoons to endeavor to overtake them, leaving Generals 
McArthur and Cass to follow with all the infantry (about 
seven hundred) that could be spared from the protection 
of the stores and sick at this place. I found it impossible 
to come up with them. Upon my arrival at Sandusky I 
was informed by the prisoners that the enemy's forces 
consisted of four hundred and ninety regular troops, and 
five hundred of Dixon's Indians, commanded by General 
Proctor in person, and that Tecumseh, with about two 
thousand warriors, was somewhere in the swamps 
between this and Fort Meigs, expecting my advance or 
that of a convoy of provisions. As there was no prospect 
of doing anything in front, and being 

apprehensive that Tecumseh might destroy the stores 
and small detachments in my rear, I sent orders to 
General Cass, who commanded the reserve, to fall back 
to this place, and to General McArthur, with the front 
line, to follow and support him. 

I remained at Sandusky until the parties that were sent 
out in every direction, returned not an enemy was to be 

I am sorry that I cannot transmit you Major Croghan's 
official report. He was to have sent it to me this 
morning, but I have just heard that he was so much 
exhausted by thirty-six hours of continued exertion as to 
be unable to make it. It will not be amongst the least of 
General Proctor's mortifications to find that he has been 
baffled by a youth who has just passed his twenty-first 
year. He is, however, a hero worthy of his gallant uncle, 
General G. R. Clarke, and I bless my good fortune in 
having first introduced this promising shoot of a 
distinguished family to the notice of the Government. 

Captain Hunter, of the Seventeenth regiment, the 
second in command, conducted himself with great 
propriety, and never were a set of finer young fellows 
than the subalterns, viz: Lieutenants Johnson and 
Baylor, of the Seventeenth, Anthony, of the Twenty- 
fourth, Meeks, of the Seventh, and Ensigns Shipp and 
Duncan, of the Seventeenth. 

The following account of the unworthy artifice and 
conduct of the enemy will excite your indignation. 
Major Chambers was sent by General Proctor, ac- 
companied by Colonel Elliott, to demand the surrender 
of the fort. They were met by Ensign Shipp. The Major 
observed that General Proctor had a number of cannon, a 
large body of regular troops, and so many Indians whom 
it was impossible to control, and if the fort was taken, as 
it must be, the whole of the garrison would be 
massacred. Mr. Shipp answered that it was the 
determination of Major Croghan, his officers and men, 
to defend the garrison, or be buried in it, and that they 
might do their best. Colonel Elliott then addressed Mr. 
Shipp, and said. "You are a fine young man; I pity your 
situation; for God sake, surrender and prevent the 
dreadful slaughter that must follow resistance." Shipp 
turned from him with indignation, and was immediately 
taken hold of by an Indian, who attempted to wrest his 
sword from him. Elliott pretended to exert himself to 
release him, and expressed great anxiety to get him safe 
in the fort. 

In a former letter I informed you, sir, that the post of 
Lower Sandusky could not be defended against heavy 
cannon, and that I had ordered the Commandant, if he 
could safely retire upon the advance of the enemy, to do 
so after having destroyed the fort, as there was nothing 
in it that could justify the risk of defending it, 
commanded as it is, by a hill on the opposite side of the 
river, within range of cannon, and having on that side 
old and illy constructed block 



houses and dry, friable pickets. The enemy, ascending 
the bay and river with a fine breeze, gave M aj or 
Croghan so little notice of their approach that he could 
not execute the order for retreating. Luckily they had no 
artillery but sixpounders and five-and-a-half -inch 

General Proctor left Maiden with the determination of 
storming Fort Meigs. His immense body of troops were 
divided into three commands, (and must have amounted 
to at least five thousand); Dixon commanded the 
Mackinaw and other Northern tribes; Tecumseh, those of 
the Wabash, Illinois and St. Joseph; and Round Head, 
Wyandot chief, the warriors of his own nation, and those 
of the Ottawas, Chippewas and Pottawatomies of the 
Michigan Territory. Upon seeing the formidable 
preparations to receive them at Fort Meigs, the idea of 
storming was abandoned, and the plan adopted of 
decoying the garrison out, or inducing me to come to its 
relief with a force inadequate to repel the attack of his 
immense hordes of savages. Having waited several days 
for the latter, and practicing ineffectually several 
stratagems to accomplish the former, provisions began 
to be scarce, and the Indians to be dissatisfied. The 
attack upon Sandusky was the dernier resort. The greater 
part of the Indians refused to accompany him, and 
returned to the River Raisin. Tecumseh, with his 
command, remained in the neighborhood of Fort Meigs, 
sending parties to all the posts upon Hull's road, and 
those upon the Auglaize to search for cattle. Five 
hundred of the Northern Indians, under Dixon, attended 
Proctor. I have sent a party to the lake to ascertain the 
direction that the enemy have taken. The scouts which 
have returned, saw no signs of Indians later than those 
made in the night of the and inst., and a party has just 
arrived from Fort Meigs, who make the same report. I 
think it probable that they have all gone off. If so, this 
mighty armament, from which so much was expected by 
the enemy, will return covered with disgrace and 
mortification. As Captain Perry was nearly ready to sail 
from Erie when I last heard from him, I hope that the 
period will soon arrive when we shall transfer the 
laboring oar of the enemy, and oblige him to encounter 
some of the labors and difficulties which we had 
undergone in waging a defensive warfare and protecting 
our extensive frontier against a superior force. I have the 
honor to enclose you a copy of the first note received 
from Major Croghan. It was written before day. He was 
mistaken as to the number of the enemy that remained in 
the ditch; they amounted to one lieutenant-colonel (by 
brevet), one lieutenant and twenty-five privates; the 
number of prisoners to one sergeant and twenty-five 
privates, fourteen of them badly wounded. Every care 
has been taken of the latter, and the officers buried with 
the honors due to their rank and their bravery. All the 
dead that were not in the ditch, were taken off in the 
night by the 

Indians. It is impossible from the circumstances of the 
attack that they should have lost less than one hundred; 
some of the prisoners think that it amounted to two 
hundred. A young gentleman, a private in the Petersburg 
volunteers, of the name of Brown, assisted by five or six 
of that company and the Pittsburgh Blues, who were 
accidentally in the fort, managed the sixpounder which 
produced such destruction in the ranks of the enemy. 
I have the honor to be, with great respect, sir, 
Your obedient servant, 

N. B. Of our few wounded men there is but one that will 
not be well in less than six days. 


5th August, 1813, 6 o'clock A. M. 

SIR: I have the honor to enclose you Major Croghan's 

report of the attack upon his post, which has this 

moment come to hand. Fortunately the mail has not 


With great respect, I have the honor to be, sir, Your 
humble servant, 

P. S. — The new ship was launched at Maiden on the 
17th ult. I have apprised Commodore Perry of it. Hon. 
General Armstrong, 

Secretary of War. 
LOWER SANDUSKY, August 5, 1813. 
DEAR SIR: — I have the honor to inform you that the 
combined force of the enemy, amounting to at least five 
hundred regulars and seven or eight hundred Indians, 
under the immediate command of General Proctor, made 
its appearance before this place early on Sunday evening 
last; and so soon as the General had made such 
disposition of his troops as would cut off my retreat, 
should I be disposed to make one, he sent Colonel 
Elliott, accompanied by Major Chambers, with a flag, to 
demand the surrender of the fort, as he was anxious to 
spare the effusion of blood, which he should probably 
not have in his power to do, should he be reduced to the 
necessity of taking the place by storm. My answer to the 
summons was, that I was determined to defend the place 
to the last extremity, and that no force, however large, 
should induce me to surrender it. So soon as the flag 
was returned a brisk fire was opened upon us from the 
gunboats in the river, and from a five-and-one-half inch 
howitzer on shore, which was kept up with little 
intermission throughout the night. At an early hour the 
next morning, three sixes (which had been placed during 
the night within two hundred and fifty yards of the 
pickets,) began to play upon us, but with little effect. 
About 4 o'clock P.M., discovering that the fire from all 
his guns was concentrated against the northwestern 
angle of the fort, I became confident that his object was 
to make a breach, and attempt to storm the works at that 
point. I therefore ordered out as many men as could be 
employed, for the purpose of strengthening that part, 
which was so 



effectually secured by means of bags of flour, sand, etc., 
that the picketing suffered little or no injury, 
notwithstanding which the enemy, about five hundred, 
having formed in close column, advanced to assault our 
works at the expected point, at the same time making 
two feints on the front of Captain Hunter's lines. The 
column which advanced against the northwestern angle, 
consisting of about three hundred and fifty men, was so 
completely enveloped in smoke as not to be discovered 
until it had approached within fifteen or twenty paces of 
the lines, but the men being all at their posts and ready 
to receive it, commenced so heavy and galling a fire as 
to throw the columns into a little confusion. Being 
quickly rallied, it advanced to the centre works and 
began to leap into the ditch. Just at that moment a fire of 
grape was opened from our sixpounder (which had been 
previously arranged so as to rake in that direction,) 
which, together with the musketry, threw them into such 
confusion that they were compelled to retire 
precipitately to the woods. During the assault, which 
lasted about half an hour, an incessant fire was kept up 
by the enemy's artillery (which consisted of five sixes 
and a howitzer), but without effect. My whole loss 
during the siege was one killed and seven wounded, 
slightly. The loss of the enemy in killed, wounded and 
prisoners, must exceed one hundred and fifty. One 
lieutenant-colonel, a lieutenant, and fifty rank and file 
were found in and about the ditch, dead or wounded. 
Those of the remainder who were not able to escape, 
were taken off during the night by the Indians. Seventy 
stand of arms and several brace of pistols have been 
collected near the works. About three in the morning the 
enemy sailed down the river, leaving behind them a boat 
containing clothing and considerable military stores. 

Too much praise cannot be bestowed on the officers, 
noncommissioned officers, and privates under my 
command for their gallantry and good conduct during 
the siege. 

Yours with respect, 
[Signed.] G. CROGHAN, 

Major Seventeenth United States Infantry, Com- 
manding Lower Sandusky. 
Major General Harrison, Commanding Northwestern 


LOWER SANDUSKY, August 27, 1813. 

I have, with much regret, seen in some of the public 
prints such misrepresentations respecting my refusal to 
evacuate this post, as are calculated not only to injure 
me in the estimation of military men, but also to excite 
unfavorable impressions as to the propriety of General 
Harrison's conduct relative to this affair. 

His character as a military man is too well established 
to need my approbation or support, but his public 
services entitle him at least to common justice. This 
affair does not furnish cause of reproach. If 

public opinion has been lately misled respecting his late 
conduct, it will require but a moment's cool, dis- 
passionate reflection, to convince them of its propriety. 
The measures recently adopted by him, so far from 
deserving censure, are the clearest plods of his keen 
penetration and able generalship. It is true that I did not 
proceed immediately to execute his order to evacuate 
this post, but this disobedience was not, as some would 
wish to believe, the result of a fixed determination to 
maintain the post contrary to his most positive orders, as 
will appear from the following detail, which is given in 
explanation of my conduct: 

About 10 o'clock on the morning of the 30th ultimo, a 
letter from the Adjutant-General's office, dated Seneca 
Town, July 29, 1813, was handed me by Mr. Connor, 
ordering me to abandon this post, burn it, and retreat 
that night to headquarters. On the reception of this order 
of the General I called a council of officers, in which it 
was determined not to abandon the place, at least until 
the further pleasure of the General should be known, as 
it was thought an attempt to retreat in the open day, in 
the face of a superior force of the enemy, would be more 
hazardous than to remain in the fort, under all its disad- 
vantages. I therefore wrote a letter to the General 
Council in such terms as I thought were calculated to 
deceive the enemy, should it fall into his hands, which I 
thought more than probable as well as to inform the 
General, should it be so fortunate as to reach him, that I 
would wait to hear from him before I should proceed to 
execute his order. This letter, contrary to my expec- 
tations, was received by the General, who, not knowing 
what reasons urged me to write in a tone, so decisive, 
concluded, very rationally, that the manner of it was 
demonstrative of the most positive determination to 
disobey his order under any circumstances. I was 
therefore suspended from the command of the fort, and 
ordered to headquarters. But on explaining to the 
General my reason for not executing his orders, and my 
object in using the style I had done, he was so perfectly 
satisfied with the explanation that I was immediately 
reinstated in the command. 

It will be recollected that the order above alluded to 
was written on the night previous to my receiving it. 
Had it been delivered to me, as was intended, that night, 
I should have obeyed it without hesitation. Its not 
reaching me in time was the only reason which induced 
me to consult my officers on the propriety of waiting the 
General's further orders. 

It has been stated, also, that "upon my representations 
of my ability to maintain the post, the General altered 
his determination to abandon it." This is incorrect. No 
such representation was ever made. And the last order I 
received from the General was precisely the same as that 
first given, viz: That if I discovered the approach of a 
large British force by water (presuming that they would 
bring heavy 



artillery), time enough to effect a retreat, I was to do so; 
but if I could not effect a retreat with safety, to defend 
the post to the last extremity." 

A day or two before the enemy appeared before Fort 
Meigs, the General had reconnoitered the surrounding 
ground, and being informed that the hill on the opposite 
side of Sandusky completely commanded the fort, I 
offered to undertake, with the troops under my 
command, to remove it to that side. The General, upon 
reflection, thought it best not to attempt it, as he 
believed that if the enemy again appeared on this side of 
the lake it would be before the work could be finished. 

It is useless to disguise the fact that this fort is 
commanded by the points of high ground around it; a 
single stroke of the eye made this clear to me the first 
time I had occasion to examine the neighborhood, with a 
view of discovering the relative strength and weakness 
of the place. 

It would be insincere to say that I am not flattered by 
the many handsome things which have been said about 
the defence that was made by the troops under my 
command; but I desire no plaudits which are bestowed 
upon me at the expense of General Harrison. 

I have at all times enjoyed his confidence so far as my 
rank in the army entitled me to it, and on proper 
occasions received his marked attention. I have felt the 
warmest attachment for him as a man, and my 
confidence in him as an able commander remains 
unshaken. I feel every assurance that he will at all times 
do me ample justice; and nothing could give me more 
pain than to see his enemies seize upon this occasion to 
deal out their unfriendly feelings and acrimonious 
dislikes; and as long as he continues (as in my humble 
opinion he has hitherto done,) to make the wisest 
arrangements and most judicious disposition which the 
forces under his command will justify, I shall not 
hesitate to unite with the army in bestowing upon him 
that confidence which he so richly merits, and which has 
on no occasion been withheld. 

Your friend, GEORGE CROGHAN, 

Major 17th Infantry, Commanding Lower Sandusky. 

LOWER SENECA TOWN, August 29, 1813. 
The undersigned, being the general, field and staff 
officers, with that portion of the Northwestern Army 
under the immediate command of General Harrison, 
have' observed with regret and surprise that charges, as, 
improper in the form as in the substance, have been 
made against the conduct of General Harrison during the 
recent investment of Lower Sandusky. At another time, 
and under ordinary circumstances, we should deem it 
improper and unmilitary thus publicly to give an opinion 
respecting the movements of the army. . But public 
confidence in the commanding general is essential to the 
success of the campaign, and causelessly to withdraw or 
to withhold that confidence is more than individual 
injustice; it becomes a serious injury to the service. A 
part of the force of which the American Army consists 
will derive its 

greatest strength and efficiency from a confidence in the 
commanding general, and from those moral causes 
which accompany and give energy to public opinion. A 
very erroneous idea respecting the number of the troops 
then at the disposal of the General, has doubtless been 
the primary cause of those unfortunate and unfounded 
impressions. A sense of duty forbids us from giving a 
detailed view of our strength at that time. In that respect 
we have fortunately experienced a very favorable 
change. But we refer the public to the General's official 
report to the Secretary of War, of Major Croghan's 
successful defence of Lower Sandusky. In that will be 
found a statement of our whole disposable force; and he 
who believes that, with such a force, and under the 
circumstances which then occurred, General Harrison 
ought to have advanced upon the enemy, must be left to 
correct his opinion in the school of experience. 

On a review of the course then adopted, we are de- 
cidedly of the opinion that it was such as was dictated 
by military wisdom, and by a due regard to our own 
circumstances and to the situation of the enemy. The 
reasons for this opinion it is evidently improper now to 
give, but we hold ourselves ready at a future period, and 
when other circumstances shall have intervened, to 
satisfy every man of its correctness who is anxious to 
investigate and willing to receive the truth. And, with 
ready acquiescence beyond the mere claims of military 
duty, we are prepared to obey a general whose measures 
meet our most deliberate approbation and merit that of 
his country. 

Brigadier General, U. S. A. 
Colonel Seventeenth R. U. S. I. 
Colonel Twenty-eighth R. U. S. I. 
Colonel Seventeenth R. U. S. I. 
Colonel, Quartermaster-General. 

Lieutenant Colonel. 

Lieutenant Colonel. 
Major Nineteenth R. U. S. I. 
Major Twenty-eighth R. U. S. I. 

Major Twenty-eighth R. U. S. I. 
Major Seventh R. U. S. I. 
Major Seventeenth R. U. S. I. 
Major and Assistant Inspector General. 

Major Engineers. 



8th February, 1815. 
Mr. Troup, from the Committee on Military Affairs, 
reported the following resolutions, the adoption of 
which is recommended by the said committee, viz: 

(2) Resolved, That the thanks of Congress be, and 
they are hereby presented to Major-General Harrison, 
and to Governor Shelby, and through them to the 
officers and men under their command, for their 
gallantry and good conduct in defeating the combined 
British and Indian forces under Major-General Proctor, 
on the Thames, in Upper Canada, the 5th of October, 
1813, capturing the entire British army, with their 
baggage, camp equipage, and artillery, and that the 
President of the United States be requested to cause gold 
medals to be struck, emblematical of this triumph, and 
presented to General Harrison and Governor Shelby. 

(3) Resolved, 

(4) Resolved, That Congress entertain a high sense of 
the merit of Colonel Croghan, and the officers and men 
under his command, for the gallant defence of Fort 
Stephenson, on the Lower Sandusky, on the 1st and 2d 
of August, 1813, repelling with great slaughter the 
assault of a British and Indian army much superior in 
number; and that the President be requested to present 
an elegant sword to Colonel Croghan. 

(5) Resolved, 

(6) Resolved, 

(7) Resolved 

(8) Resolved 

The resolutions were twice read, and referred to a 

committee of the whole. 

Hon. George M. Troup, of Georgia, reported the 
above resolutions. 

[See Annals of Congress, Thirteenth Congress, 
Volume III.] 

No action was taken on the resolutions. 

January 21, 1835. 

The joint resolution to present a gold medal to 
Colonel Croghan, for his gallantry in the defence of Fort 
Stephenson, was taken up and considered as in 
committee of the whole. 

Mr. Bibb observed that the brave and noble defence of 
this fort had been the cause of saving all the Western 
country from the hostile and destructive incursion of the 
British and Indians. To Colonel Croghan's valiant 
defence of Fort Stephenson, this and other advantages 
equally great and beneficial were owing. As a reward for 
the gallant and dauntless spirit exhibited by our brave 
soldiers in time of imminent danger, he hoped this bill 
would pass. It should be borne in mind that Colonel 

might, without any dishonor, have preferred a course 
safer, indeed, to himself, but disastrous to his country, 
by not persevering in a defence which appeared so 
difficult, nay, so impossible; that to have abandoned 
the fort, to have left the West open to the enemy, 
would have been deemed a necessary, a prudent, and 
not a pusillanimous proceeding; yet, in the face of 
every obstacle, under the weight of every 
discouragement, he, with a handful of brave men, 
presented a bold and undaunted front to the enemy, 
arrested them on the threshold of the West, and saved 
Ohio and the adjoining States from invasion, from 
desolation, from plunder, and from bloodshed. For such 
a noble and deserving exploit, for such an eminent 
service, this bill provided a just, but a moderate 
compensation. As far as regarded the value given, the 
bill was not of any great importance; but, sir, said Mr. 
B. with great animation, as a tribute to deeds of noble 
daring, as a reward of services performed at the peril of 
life, as an encouragement for soldiers who bared their 
bosoms in defence of their country, and offered them as 
a shield to the defenceless homes of their fellow- 
citizens, in this point of view the provision is of the 
first importance. He hoped, therefore, that no 
difficulties would be offered to the bill; it had already 
undergone the closest examination, and the report of 
the committee establishing the goodness and propriety 
of the bill was full and satisfactory. 

Mr. Hill wished to know whether all the officers 
were included in the bill. 

Mr. Bibb replied that they were all, with one single 
exception, in the case of an individual, whose name he 
should not mention, but who, he regretted to say, had 
not performed his duty on that memorable occasion. 

Mr. Preston suggested the insertion of the words 
"heirs and representatives," by which the benefit of the 
bill might be extended to the children, in case of the 
decease of the original grantees, which was acceded to; 
and the bill, as amended, was read a second time. 

Tuesday, January 27th, 1835. 


Mr. Speight, from the Committee on Military Af- 
fairs, reported a joint resolution, which had been 
referred to that committee, with an amendment, 
authorizing the President to present a gold medal to 
Colonel Croghan, and swords to several officers under 
his command, for their gallant conduct in the defence 
of Fort Stephenson, during the late war. 

Mr. Speight said, as he believed that no opposition 
would be offered to the resolution, he would move its 
third reading. 

Mr. Parker, of New Jersey, said he had no doubt as 
to the gallantry of these officers; not the least; but if 
they conferred these distinctions in the present case, 
why not in others, it would be asked, 


ll c 

which occurred during the last war? It was his im- 
pression also that some acknowledgment had been 
already made to these officers. 

Mr. Mercer said such was not the case. Mr. Mercer 
briefly explained the nature and importance of the 
services rendered by these officers. 

The joint resolution, as amended, was read a third 
time, and passed. 

February 3, 1835. 

The amendments of the House to the bill making an 
appropriation for presenting a gold medal to Colonel 
George Croghan, and swords to the officers who served 
under him at the defence of Fort Sandusky, during the 
late war, were concurred in; and a further verbal 
amendment having been made, on motion of Mr. 
Preston, the bill was sent to the House of 
Representatives for concurrence. 

This debate was participated in by Senator George M. Bibb, 
of Kentucky; Senator Isaac Hill, of New Hampshire, and 
Senator William C. Preston, of South Carolina, in the Senate; 
and by Honorable Jesse Speight, of North Carolina; Honorable 
James Parker, of New Jersey, and Honorable Charles F. Mer- 
cer, of Virginia, in the House of Representatives. 

[See Congressional. Debates, Vol. XI. 
Part I.] 



Resolved, etc., That the President of the United States 
be requested to cause a gold medal to be struck, with 
suitable emblems and devices, and presented to Colonel 
Croghan, in testimony of the high sense entertained by 
Congress of his gallantry and good conduct in the 
defence of Fort Stephenson, and that he present a sword 
to each of the following officers engaged in that affair: 
to Captain James Hunter, to the eldest male 
representative of Lieutenant Benjamin Johnson, and to 
Lieutenant Cyrus A. Baylor, John Meek, Ensign Joseph 
Duncan, and the nearest male representative of Ensign 
Edmund Shipp, deceased. 

Approved, February 13, 1835. 

Albert Cavalier, esq., who is noticed in the 
history of Rice township, and who 

came to Lower Sandusky from the Maumee, 
in January, 1812, in an interview with 
Homer Everett on the 6th of September, 
1878, amongst other things narrated some 
events connected with Fort Stephenson, 
which seem proper in the history of the fort. 
Mr. Cavalier said: "After arriving here, the 
families who came lived in the government 
barracks during the remainder of the winter. 
In the spring the whole country about the 
fort was infested with Indians in small 
bands, who were giving information to the 
British of the condition of the inhabitants, 
and also of military preparations, and 
plundering, murdering, and scalping such 
inhabitants as they found in a defenceless 
condition. And it soon became evident that 
no family or person was safe from the 
scalping knife and tomahawk of the savages, 
except those who were under cover of 
military protection. When the planting 
season came, we lived in a log house near 
the fort, and planted some corn and potatoes 
on the bottomland, within a short distance 
from the fort, ready to flee into it on the first 
alarm. A few other settlers or pioneers were 
in like manner attempting to raise a living 
from the soil. "Although but a boy at the 
time" said Mr. Cavalier: "I recollect vividly 
one or two incidents which occurred that 

"Mr. George Shannon, a son-in-law of 
Mrs. Elizabeth Whittaker, with a man named 
Pomroy, were at work on the flats below the 
fort, and near where the shops of the Lake 
Erie & Louisville Railroad now stand. I 
think they were working in a field, or 
gathering some vegetables. While they were 
engaged, a third man, named Isaac Futy, 
with rifle in hand, was on the lookout for 
Indians. They were startled by the crack of a 
rifle in an adjoining cornfield, or of two 
rifles fired at the same instant. Both Shannon 



Pomroy were hit and wounded, but not 
mortally. Futy instantly fired in the direction 
of the smoke, and then the three men made a 
hasty run for the river bank, to conceal 
themselves in the thick bushes which then 
margined the river. The Indians, losing sight 
of these men, then proceeded to a log cabin 
near the place, where a family resided 
consisting of two elderly people, a son and a 
daughter. On hearing the firing on Shannon 
and Pomroy, and the return fire of Futy not 
far off, the son and daughter left the old 
people and fled to a cornfield near by to 
hide, but here they were met and 
tomahawked and scalped by the savages, 
who then followed the father and mother, 
who had fled to the river bank, and murdered 
and scalped them there as they were in the 
act of getting into a small boat or canoe to 
cross the river. 

"On hearing the crack of the rifles one 
Francis Navarre, a Frenchman, and a hunter 
as well as an Indian fighter, also a dead shot 
with his rifle, scaled the pickets of the fort, 
rifle in hand, and ran down the river toward 
the scene of trouble. Navarre discovered two 
Indians chasing a soldier, who had ventured 
from the fort and was now running toward it. 
Navarre quickly shot the foremost Indian, 
concealed himself by squatting in the high 
grass, reloaded his rifle while thus con- 
cealed, and then shot the remaining savage. 

"Navarre was familiar with the habits of 
the Indians, and though he knew he had 
killed them both, on returning to the fort 
with the rescued soldier told the men that if 
they would go where he shot they would not 
find any dead Indians, but they each had a 
pack on their back, and they would find the 
packs there with the bullets in them or a 
bullet hole through each pack, for he had 
shot them in front through the breast right 

the packs, and the bullets went through or 
lodged in the packs. He also said they would 
find that the family had been murdered and 

"A detachment was at once sent from the 
fort, and found Navarre's words true. There 
were the Indians' two packs and the bullets 
in them, but the bodies of their dead owners 
had been carried away by other Indians 
lurking near. The detachment also found the 
bodies of the family of four, and also the 
bodies of two soldiers, all of whom had been 
murdered and scalped. 

"Shannon, Pomroy and Futy were dis- 
covered in their hiding places under the river 
bank. They and the dead bodies were all 
brought to the fort." 

Mr. Cavalier says: 

"I heard these facts from men and women 
at the time, and I saw the six dead bodies 
when they were brought into the fort. The 
alarm and the sight of these six bloody and 
mutilated bodies made an impression on me, 
though young at the time, which I can never 
forget, nor express in words." 


Eleven days after Croghan's splendid 
victory, the ladies of Chillicothe, then the 
State capital, presented to the gallant 
commandant a sword, accompanied by an 
address, as a public acknowledgment of his 
bravery and military skill. The names 
attached to the address show that the wives 
of the most prominent men of the time 
anxiously watched affairs, and were ready to 
reward and praise gallantry. 

CHILLICOTHE, August 13, 1813. 
SIR: — In consequence of the gallant defence which, under the 
influence of Divine Providence, was effected by you and the 
troops under your command, of Fort Stephenson, at Lower 
Sandusky, on the evening of the second instant, the ladies of 
the town of Chillicothe, whose names are undersigned, 
impressed with a high sense of your merit as a soldier and a 
gentleman, and with great confidence in 



your patriotism and valor, present you with a sword. 

To Major George Croghan. 

(Signed by) 




















To this letter Major Croghan made the 
following reply, dated at Lower 
Sandusky, August 25: 

LADIES OF CHILLICOTHE: I have received the 
sword which you have been pleased to present to me, as 
a testimonial of your approbation of my conduct on the 
second instant. A mark of distinction so flattering and 
unexpected has excited feelings which I can not express. 
Yet while I return you thanks for the unmerited gift you 
have bestowed, I feel well aware that my good fortune, 
which was bought by the activity of the brave soldiers 
under my command, has raised in your expectations in 
my future efforts, which must, sooner or later, I fear, be 
disappointed. Still, I pledge myself, even though fortune 
may not be again propitious, that my exertions shall be 
such as never to cause you in the least to regret the 
honors you have been pleased to confer upon your 
"youthful soldier." 



Erection of Townships — Names on Tax Duplicate of 1823 — Civil Register — Representatives in Congress — Representatives in the Ohio 
Senate and House — Common Pleas Judges — Associate Judges — Clerks Of Court — Sheriffs — Prosecuting Attorneys — Auditors — 
Treasurers — Surveyors — Commissioners. 

THE erection of Sandusky county out of 
the territory to which the United States 
acquired an undisputed title by the treaty of 
1817, has already been noticed. Although 
Seneca county was erected by the same act 
(1820), local government was not organized 
until four years later. During the interval, 
Sandusky county's authority extended over 
Seneca. Sandusky county proper then 
included all the territory between the 
Firelands and Wood county, as far north as 
Lake Erie. All this tract was originally 
divided into two townships Croghan (or 
Croghanville), east of the river; and 
Sandusky, west of the river. 

Note — Prepared by direction of the publishers. 

At the first meeting of the county 
commissioners, in 1820, Thompson township 
was set off from Croghan, and soon after 
Seneca township from Sandusky. Both these 
divisions, as originally constituted, are now 
mainly included in Seneca county. Portage 
township was next set off from Sandusky. 
The petition placed before the 
commissioners by residents of the proposed 
town, is characteristic of official papers of 
the early period of the county's history. It 

to the Honorable Commissioners of Sandusky, Gr. 
the inhabitants of the under Signed Residence of 
Sandusky county humbly Shueth that they with the other 
Residence of saide county Leighbour under 



many seorious defficults and di sad vanti ages in con- 
ciquence of the distance they have to go to the place of 
holding their elections, in fact the Great Bounds of said 
township and the distance we reside one from another 
tends greatly to retard publick business in our quarter of 
the township. under these conci derations your 
pratitioners therefore pray that you may direct a new 
town to be Laid off to be Cald portage. 

The township of Portage, as erected in 
1 820, included portions of the present 
townships of Sandusky, Washington, and 
Woodville, all of Ottawa county, and a 
corner of Lucas, and all of Rice township. 

Townsend was established in 1820; Green 
Creek, York, and Ballville in 1822, and 
Riley in 1 824. Other townships were 
organized from time to time in that part of 
the county now included in Ottawa. The 
Black Swamp region was organized into 
townships as follow: Jackson, 1829; 
Washington, 1830; Scott, 1833; Madison, 
1833; and Woodville, 1840. Bay township 
was divided by the erection of Ottawa 
county, in 1840, and that part remaining in 
Sandusky county, together with several 
sections of Sandusky township, was con- 
stituted a new township named Rice, in 
1840. Fremont was set apart as a separate 
township, in 1878. 

The following names appear on the tax 
duplicate for 1822: * 

Sandusky: Jacob Bowlus, jr.; Jacob Bowlus, sr.; 
George Boyles, Louis Couts, James McCollister, 
William Christie, Jacob Cline, William Dew, E. P. 
Disbro, Cyrus Hulbard, Peter Holbrook, Robert Harvey, 
Thomas L. Hawkins, Israel Harrington, Nathaniel 
Holbrook, George Kemp, James Kirk, Calvin Leezen, 
Joseph Loveland, Alexander McIIroy, Sanford Marn, J. 
& G. G. Olmstead, Reuben Patterson, George Shannon, 
John W. Tylor, Morris Tylor, Nicholas Whittinger, 
Elizabeth Whittaker, Benjamin Wheat, Isaac Whittaker, 
Isaac Ward. 

Total tax of Sandusky township, $19.20. 

Croghan: Jacob Ash, John Ash, Eldridge Bristol, 
Seth Cochran, Peleg Cooley, Andrew Courtright, 
Richard Guinall, G. Davis, Josiah Gate, James 

NOTE. For boundaries see township histories. 
* Townships properly belonging to Seneca county are 

Hopkins, L. Hulbard, Anny Ierey, Rural Loomis, Israel 
Markham, Moses Nicholas, Joseph Parish, Joel Risdon, 
S. Sutton, Aley Harris, Isaac Knapp, Boswell Lomice, 
M. A. Newman, W. & R. Ross, Philip Sutton, William 
Stull, Samuel P. Newman. 

Total tax of Croghan township, $18.70. 

Portage; Pascal Bisnette, J. Ballard, Samuel Cochran, 
G. Cuture, Lewis Cuture, Benjamin Drake, B. Dishetter, 
Lewis Deoo, Archibald Easter, George McFarland, 
Thomas & H. Forguson, A. Fuller, Joseph Phelps, 
Stephen Grissell, John Holmes, Thomas Herold, Thomas 
Demas, A. Jerman, Gabriel Lepoint, S. M. Lockwood, 
A. Mominna, Jasper Mitchell, Francis Mominna, 
William Manor, Wilford Norris, G. S. Brinald, B. 
Rossman, Valentine State, Almond Sands, Samuel 

Total tax of Portage, $19.40. 

Ballville: Samuel Bond, David Chambers, John 
Custard, David Cochran, James Chard, Jeremiah Everett, 
Phineas Frary, Charles B. Fitch, William Chard, Asa B. 
Gavitt, Lord P. Hast well, Thatcher Lovejoy, Joseph 
Moore, Moses Nicholas, Adam Nuff, George G. 
Olmstead, Isaac Prior, John Prior, John Preslet, 
Theodore A. Rexford, John Thompson, Giles Thompson, 
Elizabeth Tindall, Sarah Woolcutt, William Wirt, Peter 
Wirt, David Chard. Total tax of Ballville, $17.20. 

York: Allison Abby, Augustus Beebe, John Da- 
venport, Benjamin George, Zeby George, Joseph 
George, H. Knox, Martin Knott, Abram Marks, Thesion 
Moore, Rufus Nichols, Andrew Sluson, Simon Root, 
Joseph Will, Peter Wallace, Lansford Wood, Martin 
Powell, Benjamin Follett. 

Total tax of York, $8.20. 

Green Creek : Samuel Baker, Ephraim Bennett, Silas 
Bennett, Clark Cleveland, Thomas Emerson, Thomas J. 
Emerson, Silas Dewey, Joshua Fairchild, Hugh Graham, 
Joseph George, Coonrad Hawks, Elisha Johns, William 
Jinks, Jared H. Miner, Samuel McMillin, Andrew 
McNutt, James Merrill, Daniel Mills, Sumuel Price, 
James Guinall, Jonathan Reterbrook, Josiah Rumery, 
Jacob Right, T. F. Shep, Abraham Russell, Samuel 
Utley, David Underill, Eli Whitney, Thomas Will, A. 
Widener, William Whitney. 

Total tax of Green Creek, $18.70. 

Townsend : William Caspell, Wilford Hall, Samuel 
Markham, Abner Perkham, Jesse H. Putnam, Solomon 
Right, Ebenezer Ransom, A. B. Thomas, William Yew, 
William Wilson, Moses Wilson, Abram Townsend. 

Total tax of Townsend, $8.80. 


Under this head is included the names of 
those men who have represented Sandusky 
county in the House of Representatives of 
the United States, in the Senate 



of Ohio, and in the House of Representatives 
of Ohio; also the Judicial Staff of Sandusky 
county, under the old Constitution, and the 
Common Pleas Judges elected from the 
Sandusky county bar, under the present 
Constitution. The register concludes with a 
complete list of county officials since 1820, 
except for the offices of coroner and 
infirmary director. 


The congressional districts of Ohio, prior 
to the apportionment of 1840. were very 
large, especially those including the counties 
of the northwestern part of the State. The 
northwestern Indian reservation, acquired by 
the treaty of 1817. was a small factor in 
politics prior to the census of 1840. The date 
of election is given. 


1820, John Sloane, Wayne county; 1822, Mordecai 
Bartley, Richmond; 1830, Eleutheros Cook, Huron; 
1832, William Patterson, Richland; 1836, William 
Hunter, Erie; 1838, George Sweeney, Crawford; 1842, 
Henry St. John, Seneca; 1846, Rodolphus Dickinson, 
Sandusky; 1848, Rodolphus Dickinson,* Sandusky; 
1849, Amos E. Wood,* Sandusky; 1850, John Bell,* 
Sandusky; 1850, Fred W. Green, Seneca; 1854, Cooper 
K. Watson, Seneca; 1856, L. B. Hall, Crawford; 1858, 
John Carey, Wyandot; 1860, Warren P. Noble, Seneca; 
1864, Ralph Pumeroy Buckland, Sandusky; 1868, 
Edward F. Dickinson, Sandusky; 1870, Charles Foster, 
Seneca; 1878, Frank Hurd, Toledo; 1880, John B. Rice, 


1821, Alfred Kelley, Frankland; 1823, Jabez Wright; 
1824, David H. Beardsley, Cuyahoga; 1826, James 
Kooken; 1827, David Campbell, Huron; 1830, Samuel 
M. Lockwood, Huron; 1832, Daniel Tilden; 1834 
Joseph Howard, Delaware; 1837, David E. Owen 
Seneca; 1838, William B. Craighill, Sandusky; 1840 
John Goodin; 1842, Moses McAuelly; 1844, Amos E 
Wood, Sandusky; 1846, Henry Crouise, Seneca; 1848 
James Myers; 1852, Elisha P. Hill; 1854, Albert G 
Sutton, Huron; 1856, Ralph P. Buckland, Sandusky 
1860, F. D. 

*Died March 20, 1849. Amos E. Wood elected to fill 
vacancy, died August, 1850. John Bell elected at a 
special election held December, 1850, to fill vacancy 
caused by the death of A. E. Wood. 

Elected at the regular election, October, 1850. Sworn 
in as Bell's successor, December, 1851. 

Parish, Erie; 1862, John Kelley, Ottawa; 1864, Frederick 
Wickham, Huron; 1866, E. B. Sadler, Erie; 1868, Homer 
Everett, Sandusky; 1872, Welcome O. Parker, Huron; 
1874, James H. Hudson, Erie; 1878, James II. Hudson, 
Erie; 1880, H. E. O'Hagan, Erie. 


1821, David Abbott, Huron. --Seat contested by and 
given to Lyman Farwell, Huron; 1822, Eleutheros Cook, 
Huron county; 1824, Jeremiah Everett, Sandusky; 1825, 
Josiah Hedges, Seneca; 1826, Eber Baker, Huron; 1827, 
Samuel M. Lockwood, Huron; 1830, Josiah Hedges, 
Seneca; 1831, Harvey J. Harman, Sandusky; 1832, 
Jeremiah Everett, Sandusky; 1834, Jaques Hulburd, 
Sandusky; 1835, William B. Craighill, Sandusky; 1837, 
Samuel Treat, Sandusky; 1838, John Welch, Sandusky; 
1840, Amos E. Wood, Sandusky; Moses McAuelly, 
Crawford; 1841, Amos E. Wood, Sandusky; George W. 
Baird, Seneca; 1842, George W. Baird, Seneca; Henry 
C. Brish, Seneca; 1843, William B. Craighill, Ottawa; 
Samuel Waggoner, Sandusky; 1844, John Bell, 
Sandusky; 1846, Mathew M. Coe, Sandusky; 1848, Isaac 
VanDoren, Sandusky; 1849, Elber Wilson; 1852, Isaac 
Knapp, Sandusky; 1854, Abner J. Dickinson, Sandusky; 
1856, John L. Greene, sr., Sandusky; 1858, Thomas P. 
Finefrock, Sandusky; 1860, Charles Powers, Sandusky; 
1862, Alonzo Thrope, Sandusky; 1864, Oliver Mclntyre, 
Sandusky; 1866, James Parks, Sandusky; 1870, Hiram 
W. Winslow, Sandusky; 1872, Andrew Smith, Sandusky; 
1874, Benjamin Inman, Sandusky; 1878, Almon 
Dunham, Sandusky; 1880, Almon Dunham, Sandusky. 


The following served as judges under the 
old Constitution: 

182 0, George Todd, Trumbull county; 1824, Ebenezer 
Lane, Huron county; 1831, David Higgins, Huron 
county; 1838, Ozias Bowen, Marion county; 1845, 
Myron H. Tilden, Lucas county; 1847, Ebenezer B. 
Sadler, Erie county. 

The following Common Pleas judges, 
under the present Constitution, have been 
elected from the Sandusky County Bar: 

1852, Lucius B. Otis, term expired in 1857; 1861, 
John L. Greene, sr., term expired; 1874, T. P. Finefrock, 
term expired 1879. 


Under the old Constitution of Ohio, the 
following served as associate judges: 

1820, Israel Harington, David Harold, Alexander 
Morrison; 1821, Israel Harington, Charles B. Fitch, 
Jeremiah Everett; 1822, Israel Harington, Jeremiah 
Everett, Jaques Hulburd; 1824, Israel Harington, 



Jeremiah Everett, Morris A. Newman; 1825, Israel 
Harington, Joel Strawn, James Justice; 1827, Joel 
Strawn, James Justice, Elisha W. Howland; 1832, James 
Justice, Elisha W. Howland, Luther Porter; 1834, James 
Justice, Luther Porter, Jacob Nyce; 1839, Jacob Nyce, 
Isaac Knapp, George Overmyer, sr.; 1841, Isaac Knapp, 
George Overmyer, Alpheus Mclntyre; 1846, Alpheus 
Mclntyre, Jesse S. Olmstead, Frederick Chapman; 1850, 
Jesse S. Olmstead, Frederick Chapman, Samuel Hafford. 


J. Hubbard, 1821-25; J. O. Scranton, 1825-37; L. Q. 
Rawson, 1837-51; Daniel Copper, 1851-54; Charles H. 
Green, 1854-57; James N. Smith, 1857-65; W. W. St. 
Clair, 1865-67; E. W. Cook, 1867-68; J. Gephart, 1868- 
73; B. W. Winter, 1873-79; Basil Meek, 1879. 


John Bell, 1852-55; Lyman Gilpin, 1855-58; John 
Bell, 1858-63; W. S. Russel, 1863-66; E. F. Dickinson, 
1866-69;" John L. Green, 1869-72; F. Wilmer, 1872;t 
Edward E. Dickinson, 1877-79;± C. Doncy, 1879. 


Willis E. Brown, 1820-24; Josiah Rumery, 1824-27; 
Giles Thompson, 1827-31; Samuel O. Crowell, 1831-33 
J. S. Olmstead, 1833-35; J. D. Beaugrand, 1835-39; 
Homer Everett, 1839-43; John Strohl, 1843-46; Daniel 
Burger, 1846-50; James Parks, 1850-52; Jonas Smith, 
1852-54; George Engler, 1854-58; Michael Wegstein, 
1858-62; A. R. Forguson, 1862-66; R. H. Russel, 1866- 
70; A. E. Young, 1870074; Henry Coonrad, 1874-78; 
Charles F. Pohlman, 1878. 


Jacob Parker, 1820-22; P. Latimore, 1822-24; Increase 
Graves, 1824-27; R. Dickerson, 1827-28; John Bush, 
1828-31; R. Dickerson, 1831-35; W. W. Culver, 1835- 
36; Samuel Treat, 1836-38; W. W. Culver, 1838-44; L. 
B. Otis, 1844-50; J. L. Green, 1850-52; E. F. Dickerson, 
1852-56; T. P. Finefrock, 1856-60; A. B. Lindsay, 1860- 
64; W. W. Winslow, 1864-66; A. B. Lindsay, 1866-70; 
A. B. Putman, 1870-74; H. Remsburg, 1874-77; J. T. 
Garver, 1878. 


Josiah Rumery, 1820-22; Thomas L. Hawkins, 1822- 
24; Ammi Williams, 1824-26; Jesse S. Olmstead, 1826- 
28; Ezra Williams, 1828-30; Samuel Treat, 1830-36; 
Nathaniel B. Eddy, 1836-38; Ezra Williams, 1838-40; 
Nathaniel B. Eddy, 1840-42; A. Coles, 1842-48; Homer 
Everett, 1848-52; Horace E. Clark, 1852-56; William E. 
Haynes, 1856-60; 

* Resigned in 1 868, being elected to Congress. 

t Died July, 1897; J. L. Green appointed to fill vacancy. 

± Elected to fill unexpired term of F. Wilmer. 

Thomas Tuckerman, 1860-62; Oscar Ball,* 1862-65; 
John Lynch, 1865-66; Edwin Hoff, 1866-70; George W. 
Gust, 1870-74; F. J. Geible, jr., 1874-78; Adam Hodes, 


N. Wittenger, 1820-26; Harvey J. Harman, 1826-28; 
Grant C. Forguson, 1828-30; Isaac Van Doren.t 1830- 
38; Jesse S. Olmstead, 1838-42: Isaac Click, 1842-48; 
Oliver Mclntyre, 1848-52; J. T. R. Sebring, 1852-56; A. 
D. Downs, 1856-58; Wilson M. Stark, 1858-62; D. L. 
June, 1862-64; Charles G. Green, 1864-66; John P. 
Elderkin, 1866-70; J. P. Elderkin, jr., 1870-74; Henry 
Baker, 1874-78; Elias B. Moore, 1878. 


Ezra Williams, 1820-28; David Camp, 1828-36; David 
Reeves, 1836-46; W. B. Stevenson, 1846-47; Horace E. 
Clark, 1847-52; T. W. Clapp, 1852-56; D. D. Ames, 
1856-58; T. W. Clapp, 1858-60; J. L. Rawson, 1860-62; 
Horace E. Clark, 1862-64; Jeremiah Evans, 1864-76; 
Michael Putman, jr., 1876. 


Charles B. Fitch, 1822-25; James A. Scranton, 1825- 
34; James Robinson, 1834-40; N. S. Cook, 1840-46; 
Benjamin F. Fletcher, 1846-48; William E. Rearick, 
1848-54; Jacob Snyder, 1854-60; A. F. Gallagher, 1860- 
67; W. W. Stine, 1867-73; James Worst, 1873-79; J. R. 
Conklin, 1879. 


Maurice A. Newman, Charles B. Fitch, Moses 
Nichols, 1820; Maurice A. Newman, Moses Nichols, 
Giles Thompson, 1821 ; Giles Thompson, Elisha W. 
Howland, Thomas Emerson, 1824; Elisha W. Howland, 
David Camp, Jared H. Miner, 1825; Elisha W. Howland, 
David Camp, J. S. Olmstead, 1826; Samuel L. 
Lockwood, L. G. Harkness, Jeremiah Everett, 1827; L. 
G. Harkness, Jesse S. Olmstead, Jeremiah Everett, 1828; 
Jesse S. Olmstead, Samuel Hollingshead, Oliver 
Comstock, 1830; Samuel Hollingshead, Oliver 
Comstock, Casper Remsburg, 1834; Samuel 
Hollingshead, Oliver Comstock, George Overmyer, sr.;, 
1835; Samuel Hollingshead, George Overmyer, sr., Paul 
Tew, 1837; Samuel Hollingshead, Paul Tew, Ezekiel 
Rice, 1838; Paul Tew, Ezekiel Rice, Jonas Smith, 1839; 
Paul Tew, Jonas Smith, John Bell, 1840; Paul Tew, 
Jonas Smith, Wilson Teeters, 1841 ; Paul Tew, Jonas 
Smith, James Rose, 1844; Paul Tew, Jonas Rose, John S. 
Gardner, 1845; Jonas Rose, John S. Gardner, Hiram 
Hurd, 1846; John S. Gardner, Hiram Hurd, Eleazer 
Baldwin, 1847; John S. Gardner, Hiram Hurd, Martin 
Wright, 1850; Hiram Hurd, Martin Wright, Michael 
Reed, 1 85 1 ; Martin 

:|: Resigned 1865 to accept treasurer's office. 
tReelected. Died before beginning of second 
term — Isaac Van Doren appointed to fill vacancy. 



Wright, Michael Reed, William Morgan, 1855; Michael 
Reed, William Morgan, John Orwig, 1856; John Orwig, 
Sanford G. Baker, Joseph R. Clark, 1858; John Orwig, 
Joseph R. Clark, Benjamin Inman, 1860; Joseph R. 
Clark, Benjamin Inman, John Beery, 1862; Benjamin 
Inman, John Beery, C. G. Sanford, 1864; Benjamin 
Inman, C. G. Sanford, S. E. Walters, 1865; Benjamin 
Inman, S. E. Walters, Henry Reiling, 1867; Benjamin 
Inman, Henry Reiling, David Fuller, 1868; Benjamin In 

man, Henry M . Reiling, Longanbach, 1 872; M . 
Longanbach, David Fuller, John Morrison, 1873; M. 
Longanbach, John Morrison, F. William Sandwisch, 
1874; John Morrison, F. W. Sandwisch,* Manuel 
Maurer, 1877; Manuel Maurer, N. G. Rathbun, Byron 
O'Connor, 1878, N. G. Rathbun, Byron O'Connor, D. S. 
Tinney, 1880. 

* Resigned November 18, 1878 ; Byron O'Connor 
appointed to fill vacancy. 

chapter x. 


Sandusky County a Desolate Wilderness — Early Settlement — Suffering Prevails — Pioneer Hospitality — Raisings, Log-rollings and Dances — 
Woman's Work — Early Schools and Establishment of the School System — Churches — Material Advancement — Comparison of Tax 
Duplicates — Abstract of Census Since 1 820 The County's Future. 

THE Indians of Northwestern Ohio 
battled firmly and bravely against 
progressing civilization, but their conflict 
was with destiny. At last, weakened, 
demoralized and discouraged, they sold 
their birthright for but little more than a 
"mess of pottage."* Reluctantly and sadly 
they abandoned their wigwams and 
cornfields, and crowded upon the 
reservations, leaving a desolate wilderness, 
oppressive in the gloom of its solitude. 
Beautiful words and roseate sentences 
would be ill-chosen in a description of the 
forest which baffled the energy of Sandusky 
county's pioneers. A loam soil of boundless 
fertility gave rapid growth to trees of nearly 
every variety, except where inundation or 
fires had left islands of prairie in the sea of 
heavy forest. Vegetables as well as animals 
are subject to a common law of nature, 
which requires the old to give place to the 
new. A tree grows, matures, dies, and falls 

*About 8-10 cents per acre. Treaty of 1817. 

decay, leaving a young and more vigorous 
shoot to shade the spot it had darkened, and 
so on in endless succession. In the forest to 
which the pioneers of this county came, 
foliaged branches crowded each other, and 
enveloped poisonous gasses breathed from 
decomposing vegetation. Fallen trunks, 
crossing each other at every angle, closed 
natural watercourses and made the 
oversaturated soil a fulsome breeder of 
malaria. Armies of insects filled the woods 
with their hungry hum, and howling wolves 
made night melancholy. To such a 
wilderness, every feature of which shot 
arrows of despondency, brave men brought 
determined spirits and generous women 
devoted hearts. 

It has been said that the white settlement 
of Sandusky county began before Wayne's 
war, and that the first settlers were James 
Whittaker and Isaac Williams, the former 
having been brought here a captive, and the 
latter the son of a trader 



at Upper Sandusky and a captive. These two 
families were indisputably the first 
permanent white settlers. Arundel and 
Robbins, the English traders mentioned by 
Heckwelder in the narrative of his captivity, 
can not properly be called settlers. They 
were here for the purpose of speculating, and 
had no intention of remaining to assist in the 
development of the country. The War of 
1812 brought to the county a company of 
French from Michigan, who made squatter 
settlements on the river prairies as soon as 
peace was established, 

In the earlier and poorer days of the 
Republic there was no public policy for the 
encouragement of settlement. The public 
domain was looked upon by Congress as an 
important source of revenue, and laws were 
passed from time to time making it a 
criminal offence to settle upon public lands. 
One dollar and a quarter an acre was the 
unvarying price, and whoever paid it 
received a patent from the Government. 
Purchasers usually found on their land small 
clearings and rude cabins lately deserted by 
that nomadic class of people known as 
squatters. They are the link which in history 
connects the native hunters with the pioneer 
woodsmen. Partaking of the character of 
both, they precede one and follow the other. 

There is another class of pioneers who 
may be termed squatter settlers, for they 
came to stay, and awaited with patience the 
opportunity to purchase land. This class a 
wholesome homestead law would have 
benefited. Industrious, but poor, they toiled 
amidst every difficulty of forest life, borne 
up by the hope of securing an heritage for 
their children. How discouraging it must 
have been, after two or three years of 
ceaseless toil, to see the title of their 
prospective homes become the possessions 
of another yet such was often the case. 

The first settlers of Sandusky county, 
outside of the old military reservation now 
included in the city of Fremont, and ex- 
cepting the French and captive settlers on 
the Sandusky prairies, penetrated the forest 
near the eastern border, and were mostly 
Eastern people, who had temporarily located 
in the Firelands. Land east of the Reserve 
line was selling at prices ranging from two 
to four dollars. Preferable land on this side 
was surveyed and platted, preliminary to 
being placed on the market at one dollar and 
a quarter per acre. Emigrants, when on the 
ground, with their goods packed in large 
covered wagons, sought out a dry spot in the 
trackless wilderness, cut out a road just wide 
enough to pass through and erected a 
temporary cabin. Two or three families 
usually came together, and gave each other 
such assistance as was needed in raising a 
house, which was made by the first arrival, 
of poles. Notches were cut in on each side at 
the ends, so that the hastily built structure 
might stand more firmly. Mud, plentifully 
mixed with leaves, was used to fill the 
cracks, and a chimney of sticks was built 
outside. These cabins were little better than 
Indian huts, but the lone pioneer was unable 
to erect a hewed log house, such as he had 
heard his Eastern parents talk about. He was 
almost a solitary adventurer in an 
inhospitable forest. Having provided a 
shelter for his family, this advance guard of 
the pioneer army next set to work to prepare 
a spot of ground for corn, which in new 
settlements is the staff of life. He did not cut 
down all the trees, as is done in modern 
clearing, but only the underbrush and 
saplings the larger trees were girdled to 
prevent them from leafing. These advance 
Settlers often planted considerable corn, 
without even clearing away the water-soaked 
logs, which covered more than half the 



Skirmishers of the pioneer army made 
their appearance in Townsend in 1818, and 
about the same time in Green Creek and 
York. This year, also, the incipient village of 
Lower Sandusky extended up the river as far 
as the second rapids, and a few openings 
were made in the forest adjoining the 
bottoms below town. 

Sandusky county did not present the true 
picture of pioneer life until after the public 
lands were platted and placed upon the 
market. Huron county was by that time well 
advanced in settlement, and general 
improvement under rapid way. The fame of 
the exhaustless fertility of Sandusky's fertile 
vegetable soil had reached New York, and a 
stream of emigration turned westward. Some 
came in large covered wagons all the way, 
but by far. a larger proportion utilized lake 
transportation from Buffalo to Huron, and 
thence in wagons. Many Huron settlers 
abandoned unfinished improvements, and 
began anew in the adjoining forest. York, 
Townsend, and Green Creek townships 
received their immigration mostly from New 
York. A few years later .Central Ohio caught 
the pioneer fever, and many people of Penn- 
sylvania stock joined axes with the New 
York Yankees in a general war against the 

Below the falls, on the Sandusky, the dry 
river hills were entered early, and a French 
colony gathered about the head of the Bay, 
where many of their descendants are yet 
living. The Black Swamp west of the river 
was for many years viewed with an eye of 
despair and abandoned to wolves, frogs and 
mud hens. This dismal region was first 
penetrated for purposes of settlement in 
1826. Its rapid development did not begin 
until neat' the close of 1830. The black 
swamp was a subject for conversation in 
nearly every country house in Perry county, 
Ohio. The settlers, then nearly all sturdy of 
Pennsylvania stock, 

inured to rugged work, looked with favor 
upon this rejected tract which concealed its 
fertility beneath vegetation and water. Old 
men with their families abandoned the 
homes they had made, and young men bade 
farewell to the firesides of their fathers, all 
seeking fortune in a new country. 

Farther west, in Scott and Madison 
townships, the pioneers came from the Seven 
Ranges, many of them from Columbiana 
county, Ohio. They trace their genealogies 
back to New England. The complement of 
settlement is made up of people of 
Pennsylvania German descent, who came to 
this county from Central Ohio Perry, 
Guernsey, Columbiana, and Wayne counties 
have contributed more to the settlement of 
the Black Swamp than any other part of the 
country. The pioneer community of 
Woodville was characteristically Yankee. 

Pioneer life, particularly in such a wil- 
derness as primitive Sandusky county, is a 
most thorough test of strength of character, a 
test which only the fittest survive. Many 
were induced to leave cultured homes and 
communities by the delusive hope of 
accumulating a fortune amidst surroundings 
such as are pictured by romantic fiction; a 
few knew something of pioneer life in other 
places, where nature's wild beauty and a 
healthful air lightened the woodman's task. 
But Sandusky county's forest taxed not only 
the spirit but the bodies of the pioneers. It is 
estimated that less than two-thirds of all who 
joined the advanced settlers endured the 
conflict. Some who had purchased land 
sickened at the sight, and, if they were able, 
either turned back to the homes of their 
childhood, or pushed westward to fairer 
lands. Others entered upon their task with 
spirit and resolution. A willing hand sank the 
axe deep at every stroke, and a buzzing 
wheel furnished music to 



the cabin. All went well till poverty came 
poverty with every discouraging 

accompaniment. A crop almost ready for the 
harvest became the plunder of animals and 
birds. Reserved capital was soon exhausted, 
and nothing remained to supply the 
necessities of life. The awful picture of 
starvation impressed itself upon a troubled 
fancy. Disease and distressing sickness 
completed the desolation of spirit, and often 
grim death entered the loving family circle 
and wrecked every hope. All the past was 
lost, and nothing in future seemed attainable. 
Prudence counseled desertion of an 
undertaking whose only end seemed 
desolation and ruin. It is not to be wondered 
at, therefore, that many of the early 
immigrants deserted improvements 

commenced and lands partially paid for. 
Only those excelling in bravery, sturdiness, 
and determination, continued the battle of 
the wilderness to a successful issue. The 
survivors of that trying period have a right to 
recite the story of their hardships, and we of 
a younger generation would be ungrateful to 
refuse to listen. Their life was one of stern 
reality and work-disinterested work-having 
for its affectionate inspiration a desire to 
leave their children the heritage of an estate. 
But pioneer life had its amusements and 
good cheer as well as toil, privation, and 
sadness. A few outline sketches of early 
scenes may be of interest in this connection. 

The most distinguishing characteristic of 
the pioneers, was their generous, social 
disposition to give each other assistance in 
every time of need. Sincere, welcoming 
generosity shone from every fireplace, and 
when a new corner into a community was 
received with his family into a cabin, and 
entertained with the best its scanty 
accommodations could furnish. The site of a 
house being selected, neighbors for miles 
around welcomed their new neighbor 

by building a cabin for him. Such a 
company was always in the. best of humor, 
for a raising was one of those holiday 
occasions which break in on the dull monot- 
ony of life, dispelling doubt and gloom, and 
leaving only jollity. After a general hand 
shaking with their new neighbor, the 
company organized for work by appointing 
a captain, whose business it was to direct 
the work of the day. Then trees about the 
chosen site of the cabin were cut down, the 
large, straight-grained trunks being split 
into puncheons for the floor and door. The 
ground once cleared, the raising 
commenced. A skilled axe-man stood at 
each corner, and when, with many a "heave, 
oh heave!" a log tumbled into position, it 
was notched near the ends so that the next, 
crossing at right-angles, would rest more 
firmly. Thus log by log the cabin was 
raised, while another party of men, better 
skilled in woodcraft, was dressing 
puncheons and splitting shakes or 
clapboards for the roof. The first houses 
were rarely more than one low story high, 
so that by means of skids, logs were easily 
placed in position. The logs which built up 
the gable were smaller and were secured by 
poles running the whole length of the 
building, at intervals of about three feet. On 
these, clapboards were laid in such a way as 
to make a tight roof. The roof was weighted 
down by poles laid over the rafter poles, 
and held in position by blocks at the ends, 
running from one to the other. A puncheon 
floor vindicates the axe-manship of our 
pioneer fathers. Many of them were as 
smooth as plane dressed floors, yet no other 
tool was used than an axe. One side was 
hewn smooth, and the others notched so 
that the sleepers brought them .exactly to 
the same height. A chimney, a window, and 
a door completed the structure. 

The chimney was built of poles imbedded 
in mud mortar, on a foundation of 



stone, and was usually placed outside of the 
house against one end; a large opening was 
cut out to form a fireplace. A fire-chamber 
was formed of stone to keep the poles of the 
chimney from burning. 

An opening about five and one-half feet 
high and four feet wide was cut info the side 
for a doorway. The door was made of 
puncheons pinned to cleats at each end, and 
was hung on squeaking wooden hinges. A 
window was made by cutting out a piece of 
one or two logs, pinning bars at right-angles 
across the centre, and pasting over the 
opening greased paper. Glass in the West 
was a rare luxury, and sold at a price far 
beyond the reach of early settlers. 

The cabin completed, the company 
indulged in various amusements, such as 
wrestling, running races, lifting, and 
shooting at a mark. Whiskey, always free on 
such occasions, increased the general 
hilarity, and at times was the cause of a 
friendly fight. 

Cabin furniture corresponded with the 
simplicity of the building. A bedstead was 
made by joining two poles, one into the end, 
the other into the side of the cabin near one 
corner. The two other ends were tied 
together with bark, and supported by a post 
resting upon the floor. Pins were driven into 
a log of the side of the cabin, and into the 
pole opposite, to which was fastened strips 
of hark in such a way as to form a matting. 
Under the bed was a convenient place for 
packing articles not in everyday use. A white 
linen curtain concealed from view this 
useful, though suspicious looking corner. 

Few cabins afforded more than two split 
bottom chairs. These, however, were 
generally easy and comfortable, elegance 
being a secondary consideration. Benches 
were in common use. They were made by 
driving into wide punch 

eons long pins, for legs. The table was 
generally the product of a cabinet shop, and 
constituted part of the outfit purchased 
before leaving home. 

One or two kettles and a spider consti- 
tuted the cooking furniture. The table fare 
consisted of corn bread, pork, and wild 

Articles of dress were largely of home 
manufacture, and were made either of flax or 
wool. Every pioneer in the more favored and 
earlier settled part of the county, had a few 
sheep and a flax patch. The flax was pulled, 
bleached, and dressed. The tow was then 
cleanly carded with a hand card. The 
spinning-wheel prepared it for the shuttle. 
Spinning was at one time the National 
employment of American women. It is 
particularly an occupation of pioneer life and 
the accompaniment of penury. There is real 
beauty in that picture representing virtue, 
which figures a devoted wife and mother, 
busily spinning with both hands; one foot is 
on the treadle which moves the whirling 
wheel, while the other is rocking, in a cradle, 
her tender offspring, quieted by the rhythmic 
hum to sweet, innocent sleep. 

The whirl of the wheel and thud of the 
loom, mingled with the echoing stroke of 
axes, the crash of falling trees, and roar of 
clearing fires. The music of the wife's 
industry did not cease at nightfall, but 
wolves heard the sound and owls hooted its 
melody. Shirts, trowsers, bed clothing and 
dresses were all the product of woman's busy 
hands. But upon the woman rested more than 
the burden of spinning and weaving and 
sewing and cooking and rearing her family, 
and hunting cows in a fenceless forest and 
milking and making butter. Mills, during the 
first years of settlement, were inaccessible, 
and the preparation of corn for food involved 
great labor. As among the Indians, corn was 
used considerably in the form of 



hominy, ashes being used to take off the 
outside shell. Corn was prepared for 
"johnnycake" by cracking it with a hammer 
or wooden mallet, on a block hollowed out 
for the purpose. It took one woman an hour 
to prepare in. this way sufficient meal to 
supply the appetites of three men. It was not 
long, however, until mills with very simple 
machinery were constructed where a creek of 
sufficient size offered a favorable site. Most 
of these consisted simply of a buhr driven by 
an undershot or breast wheel. The bolting 
was all done by hand. Corn was sifted before 
using, by the cook herself, while wheat flour 
was bolted through a web of cloth hung on 
rollers and turned by hand. The customer 
always had to turn the bolt for his own grist. 
These mills, on account of their slowness, 
were wholly inadequate even to the simple 
wants of the 

pioneers. People came long distances 
through the woods to bring such grists as 
they could carry on the back of a horse, and 
when once at the end of their tedious 
journey, were compelled to wait one, two, 
and sometimes even three days for their turn. 
The mills built by Chambers and Moore, on 
Sandusky River, were more efficient. Being 
centrally located, an extensive business 
made the best machinery of the time 
profitable, and the water supply furnished all 
the power, necessary. We say improved 
machinery for the time, for Moore's mill of 
sixty years ago would be an insignificant 
establishment, compared with Moore's mill 
of the present. The pioneers, speaking of the 
old mills, very appropriately termed them 
"corn crackers." But people who had cracked 
grain got along very well; all were not so 
fortunate as to have that. It is a significant 
fact that many of the early settlers of this 
county were poor, sometimes even to the 
point of physical want. 
Very few of the pioneers had more 

than enough money to bring them here. They 
depended for a start upon their own labor 
and the resources of the country, about 
which so much had been said in the old 
communities. The first season's planting, 
owing to the difficulty of preparing the soil, 
was small, but under favorable conditions 
would have been sufficient to furnish bread, 
had the destroyer remained away. What must 
have been the hardworking farmer's 
disappointment and chagrin, to see his crop 
at ripening time become the feast of all the 
multitude of animals and birds, which filled 
the woods. Blackbirds, squirrels, raccoons, 
and turkeys literally devoured the drooping 
ears of an entire field, upon which the hard 
pressed family placed sole dependence for 
their winter's food. 

Another and prevalent cause of poverty 
and want in pioneer Sandusky county, was 
fever and ague, which visited almost every 
cabin. Scarcely a spring opened but the old, 
unwelcome visitor returned in its most 
malignant form. At places clearing fires died 
out for want of attention, and weeds 
smothered the growing corn. The spinning 
wheel, perchance, ceased its cheerful whirl, 
and the dismal prospect, amid desolate 
surroundings, day by day, became more 
gloomy. All were not thus unhappily 
afflicted, but all had generous hearts and 
were willing to lend assistance in a day of 
need. As the forest gradually became more 
broken the years grew brighter and crops 
increased in fullness. Hewed log and frame 
houses took the place of the first rude 
cabins; and when at evening the family 
gathered round the great brick fireplace, the 
parents and older children told and retold to 
the interested little ones, melancholy 
experiences of sickness, want, and hardship. 
Those experiences are, thanks to our hardy 
and resolute ancestors, happily past. Events 
live only in imagination and history; very 
few memories 



yet retain impressions of the heroic conflict, 
and the number is monthly becoming 

To increase the acreage of tillable land 
was a main object of the well-to-do pioneer. 
He first girdled the trees and cut out the 
underbrush and logs of a small patch, 
probably ten acres, for the first season's 
planting. The next season, if health 
permitted, he more than doubled the "girdle 
clearing," and began to cut or burn down 
dead trees standing on the first opening. 
Those that were hollow or partially decayed 
burned readily, but solid timber had (to be 
cut. Straight white oak, walnut, and poplar 
was split into rails for fencing fields under 
cultivation. Other trees were cut into, logs, 
and when several acres had been thus 
reduced, a frolic was made, to which all the 
neighborhood came. Log-rollings were the 
joy of pioneer life. All work was turned into 
fun. Heavy lifts were made a contest of 
strength, and the fatigues of the day were 
drowned by the contents of well filled jugs. 
These pleasant gatherings, after the logs had 
all been piled ready for the torch, often 
terminated in happy social occasions, in 
which the wives and sisters figured 
conspicuously. Dancing was a fashionable 
amusement, encouraged by the mothers, and 
greatly enjoyed by all. When the men went 
to roll their neighbors' logs, their dames and 
lasses dropped in to help do the cooking, and 
perchance make a quilt between meals. The 
men concluded their labor by triumphantly 
carrying the captain on their backs; the 
women dedicated a quilt by enfolding it 
around their hostess. The strains of a fiddle 
brought all together, when night's shadows 
expelled the day. Round dancing was then 
unknown, but all the variety of movements 
may be described as a free and easy, go as 
you please affair. It was not expulsion from 
the ballroom to step on a lady's toes, 

though such a sad accident rarely happened, 
for the nimble, though not tender feet, of 
these pioneer lasses quickly rebounded from 
the solid puncheon floor. One thing 
commendable can be said of the pioneer 
"French Four" or quadrille; it was performed 
with hearty enthusiasm. The dancers were 
lost in their amusement, and joy inspired 
every step. Beaux swung their partners with 
a generous hug, and the girls made no 
peevish objection. Joyfully the dance went 
on till howling wolves grew hoarse, and 
candles melted to their sockets. 

Stock was allowed to pasture in the 
fenceless woods. Every cow was provided 
with a bell, and every flock of sheep with 
several. Cattle often ate the poisonous 
grass, which caused that terrible disease, 
milk sickness, spoken of at greater length 
elsewhere in this history. Sheep were 
penned in a high enclosure every night, to 
protect them from wolves, which often 
came to the cabin door. Hogs were marked 
and turned out to fatten on nuts and acorns. 
Hogs bred in the woods became wild, and 
sometimes dangerous. It was unsafe to go 
far from the clearing, accompanied by a 
dog, for the sight of that animal arouses all 
the savage nature of a hog. An old settler 
assures us that an infuriated boar was a 
more dangerous enemy than a bear or wolf. 
Every farmer had his stock marked, which 
the law required him to have recorded in a 
book of indentures kept for the purpose by 
the township clerk. 

No market was accessible to the pioneers 
of Sandusky county, where farm products 
could be exchanged for cash, but furs 
always commanded the ready money. This 
circumstance made many of the pioneers 
hunters, particularly those in the north part 
of the county. Soda ash found a ready cash 
market, and several kilns in the east part of 
the county were 



constructed for its manufacture. Fish filled 
the streams emptying into the bay and river. 
Nature thus afforded the otherwise 
unfavored early settlers a bountiful supply of 
nutritious meat. The woods also abounded in 
deer, squirrels, and turkeys. Nature lavished 
her wealth too bountifully upon Sandusky 
county; too much timber and too many 
animals was the cause of much distress. 

As the little spots of sunshine in the long 
reach of forest grew more numerous and 
larger, the pioneers began to avail 
themselves of the advantages of churches 
and schools. The first schools were kept in 
private houses, where all the children of the 
neighborhood came, each contributing a 
share toward the support of the teachers, 
which was very little, indeed, but, as a rule, 
the teachers were as poor as the pay; there 
were, however, many exceptions to this 
unfortunate rule. The first schoolhouses. 
were built by the voluntary efforts of the 
neighbors. A little council of residents 
determined on a location, and set a day for 
raising. All concerned came, and by night 
the house was under roof. Several holes were 
cut in the walls, over which greased paper 
was pasted, which served the purpose of a 
window, for light alone was needed; cracks 
between logs admitted sufficient fresh air. 
The benches were made of puncheons, and a 
wide puncheon on each side of the room, 
fastened to blocks about three feet high, 
served as a desk. Reading, writing, and 
arithmetic were the only branches taught. 
Until 1825 teachers were supported wholly 
by private subscription. The first school law 
which gave each township at least one 
school, supported entirely or in part by 
taxation and the proceeds of section sixteen, 
which the ordinance of 1787 set apart for the 
support of education, was passed in 1825, 
and went into effect soon after. In 1829 

a new law, authorizing the trustees to divide 
each township into districts, was passed, and 
was more effectual. Still, in the new 
communities of Sandusky county, the tax of 
three-fourths of a mill on the dollar was 
insufficient, and private subscription had to 
be relied upon. The teachers boarded with 
the scholars, and many of them worked for 
two shillings a day. The public school 
system of Ohio was revised and established 
on a solid basis in 1838, when local 
authorities were given permission to levy 
taxes to the amount needed for the liberal 
support of public instruction. 

In 1852 the present school law was 
passed, since which time educational facil- 
ities have steadily improved till there is no 
longer the semblance of an excuse for 
common ignorance. It is to be regretted that 
the public library system, once well 
established, fell to premature decay. It is a 
melancholy fact that but few people through 
the country have given any attention to the 
collection of books for the use of their 
children. Libraries breed scholars, and 
scholarship has become a necessity in almost 
every walk of life. The indifference of 
people in respect to furnishing their children 
proper reading matter, is shown by the 
inexcusably reckless management of the 
excellent library, which the State once 
furnished to every township. The only public 
libraries to which the people of the county 
have access, are those at Fremont and 

A gratifying improvement in 

schoolhouses is noticeable all over the 
county. Log structures are no longer to be 
seen anywhere. Frame buildings took their 
places, and these, in turn, are fast being 
displaced by comfortable brick houses. 
People have lately formed an idea of the 
value of talent in the schoolroom, and are 
paying better wages than formerly. It is 
needless to say that the standard of 



common school education is steadily 
improving. The children of the pioneers, 
now grown frosty with years, esteemed 
themselves fortunate if they learned to spell, 
read, write, and cipher as far as the rule of 
three. Now a common school course 
prepares a student for any department of 
business, or for admission into the higher 
seminaries of learning. The change in school 
government during the sixty years of 
Sandusky county's history, is worthy of 
mention. Early teachers ruled with the rod 
rather than the head. Pupils were reduced to 
obedience by beating out of them their life 
and spirit. There were a few teachers who 
practiced humane and sensible methods of 
government. The names of such are held in 
grateful remembrance by the men and 
women fortunate enough to enjoy their 
association and instruction. 

Nothing is so difficult to reduce to words 
and express on paper as the moral condition 
of a pioneer community. This subject, as 
applied to Lower Sandusky, is referred to in 
other chapters. Throughout the country there 
were conflicting elements of human nature, 
but the moral life, taken as a whole, was 
healthful. Depravity is generally found 
among the idle and indifferent classes. A 
few such there were, but the country 
possessed little attraction for them. 
Sandusky county's pioneers were not, 
generally speaking, an intellectual class of 
people. They were hardworking people 
before they came, and had no time here for 
anything but hard work. But they had due 
appreciation of the value of education, and 
against all adversities of circumstance gave 
attention to the instruction of their children. 
Neither were they a Godless people, but 
heard with interest, and were refreshed by 
the preaching of a devoted, self denying, 
itinerant clergy. 

The mission of early preachers was as 
arduous as the early practice of medicine. 

Long rides through a malarial forest, by 
paths almost untraceable, ministering to the 
sick at almost every house, and preaching in 
every settlement, was the heaven-ordained 
calling of a United Brethren or Methodist 
clergyman. Meetings were at first held in 
private houses, then schoolhouses, and 
finally the little log church made its 
appearance. The United Brethren and 
Methodist were the pioneer churches of 
Sandusky county. Methodism was first 
established at Fremont (then Lower 
Sandusky), as will be seen by reference to 
the proper chapter. A preaching station was 
established in Green Creek township, in 
1822, the outgrowth of which is the Clyde 
Methodist Episcopal church. About 1825 
itinerant Methodists began to hold services 
in Townsend township. A class was 
afterwards formed there, and in 1840 a 
church was built. It is not known just when 
Methodist evangelists carried the light of 
religious instruction into Riley. A class was 
formed there about 1850.* The Methodist 
Episcopal church has made little progress in 
the western townships. Washington was 
made a preaching station as early as 1833, 
probably earlier. A class was formed a few 
years afterwards. This was the only pioneer 
association of that denomination in the 
Black Swamp region. Recent classes have 
been formed in Scott and at Gibsonburg. 

By far the largest church in the county, 
both in number of congregations and in 
membership, is the United Brethren. There 
are two churches in York, one in Townsend, 
two in Riley, one at Clyde, one at Green 
Springs, two in Ballville, four in Jackson, 
two in Washington, two in Rice, one in 
Scott, one in Madison, and one in 

*See township history. 

+A general sketch of the United Brethren church in 
this county, contributed by J. Burgner, will be found in 
the chapter on Ballville township. 



Next to the United Brethren in numerical 
strength, in the country districts, is the 
Evangelical Association, popularly known as 
Albrights. This denomination has one church 
in Townsend, one in Riley, one in Ballville, 
two in Jackson, one in Fremont, two in 
Washington, one in Scott, one in Madison, 
and one in Woodville. The membership, like 
that of the United Brethren, is almost 
entirely of people of Pennsylvania Dutch 
descent. The clergy, as in the United 
Brethren and Methodist, are itinerant, with 
licensed local preachers for assistants. 

Reformed churches are of later 
organization than those of any of the denom- 
inations mentioned. Churches have been 
erected in Fremont, Washington, Jackson, 
and Woodville townships. There are several 
preaching stations besides. 

The first Catholic churches in the county 
were in Fremont and Rice. There are at 
present two congregations in Fremont, one 
in Rice, one in Clyde, one in Jackson, and 
one in Woodville. 

The Evangelical Lutheran church came 
into being in this county in 1836, Adolphus 
Konrad being the pioneer preacher. He 
organized congregations in Fremont and at 
Woodville. Rev. George Cronnenwett took 
charge of the church at Woodville in 1841, 
and Rev. Henry Lang of the church at 
Fremont in 1843. Both have been 
indefatigable in their labors ever since. 
There are six churches in the county, 
organized as follows: Fremont, Four-mile 
Point (Sandusky township), Hessville, and 
Woodville, from 1836 to 1841; Rice, 1843; 
and Gibsonburg, 1876. A large proportion of 
the church in Erie county, four miles north 
of Bellevue, live in this county. There are in 
the county about three thousand Lutheran 

Besides these congregations of the more 
leading and influential denominations having 
a membership distributed over the 

entire county, there are many individual 
churches. For further details the reader is 
referred to the accompanying sketches of 
Fremont, Clyde, Bellevue, and the several 

Fifty years ago people esteemed 
themselves fortunate to have the privilege of 
church service once a month; now a meeting 
house is within walking distance of every 
house in the county. 

The material advancement of any section 
of country depends, in a large degree, upon 
its natural resources. In this respect 
Sandusky county is more than duly favored, 
although without mines of iron or coal. The 
most substantial wealth is fertility of soil, 
and nowhere in Ohio is the soil better 
adapted to general agriculture. The rich 
alluviums of the Scioto have long been 
celebrated, but a comparison of acreage 
productions is in favor of the valley of 
Sandusky Bay. From the time the asperities 
of pioneer life began to soften, and, the real 
natural advantages of the county to stand out 
in public view, population and wealth have 
multiplied with surprising rapidity. In 1826, 
in York township, the total valuation 
(including houses,) of real property was 
$2,303. The names of fifty-two persons are 
entered on the duplicate, with personal 
property amounting to $4,668, of which 
$1,500 is on merchandising. 

Excepting Sandusky township, in which 
the village of Lower Sandusky was then 
included, Ballville paid more taxes in 1826 
than any other township in the county. The 
total valuation of real estate was $6,133, and 
personal property, assessed against thirty- 
seven individuals to the amount of $2,632. 

The real estate of Sandusky township in 
1826 was valued at $19,095, merchandising 
at $9,313, and other personal property at 

At that time no real estate in Riley 



township was subject to taxation, but the 
personal valuation was $3,480, $2,440 of 
which was on cattle alone. The personal 
valuation of Townsend was $1,488; no real 
estate was listed. 

The valuation of real estate in Green 
Creek was $819, and of personal property 

At this time the west part of the county 
was a wilderness, untrodden by the assessor, 
or scarcely any one else. 

In York, in 1826, there were 26 horses 
and 266 cattle; in Townsend, 9 horses and 
141 cattle; in Green Creek, 22 horses and 
175 cattle; in Ballville, 30 horses and 134 
cattle; in Riley, 26 horses and 305 cattle. 

One year later, in 1827, in York, 3,325 
acres were valued at $6,232, or less than two 
dollars an acre; merchandising at $1,200, 
and other chattels at $2,640. 

Five hundred acres in Townsend were 
valued at $900, and the personal valuation 
was $1,240. 

In Green Creek, 1,911 acres were valued 
at $4,255; chattel valuation, $1,664. 

One hundred and sixty acres in Riley were 
valued at $240; personal property amounted 
to $2,800 more than any other township 
except Sandusky, showing the extent of the 
stock-raising industry on the prairies in the 
northern part. 

In Ballville, in 1827, 3,510 acres were 
subject to taxation, valued at $14,131; 
valuation of personal property, $1,152. 

In Sandusky township, 5,249 acres were 
entered on the duplicate at $14,806. The 
valuation of merchandising had increased to 
$7,300, and other chattels to $1,112. 

The progress of improvement was most 
rapid between 1827 and 1840. During that 
period the Black Swamp was entered and 
settled. An important element was also 
added to the population. German emigration 
to Ohio began about 1830. Sandusky county 
began to receive these thrifty immigrants 
about 1835 and for 

ten years the influx was quite rapid. They 
settled chiefly on improved lands in Riley, 
Rice, Washington, and Woodville 
townships. A few scattering settlements are 
also to be found in other parts of the 
county. Germans work hard for their 
money, and when they have it they save it. 
The tax valuation of the county is higher by 
many thousand dollars than it would have 
been without a substantial German element 
in the settlement. 

It will be seen that there exists on the soil 
of Sandusky County rather a remarkable 
mixture of blood — Yankees of almost every 
type; Pennsylvanians, with all the race 
mixture in one individual that that term 
implies; Germans, and French. If the 
doctrine that crossbreeding is productive of 
superiority, surely much may be expected 
of the county in future generations. 

The following statistics show the real 
estate valuation of the several townships in 
1840. Sandusky includes the town of Lower 
Sandusky: Sandusky, $141,695; Ballville, 
$81,883; Green Creek, $74,479 
Washington, $69,579; York, $64,223 
Riley, $58,875; Jackson, $57,259 
Townsend, $51,106; Scott, $49,881; Wood- 
ville, $42,311; Madison, $27,446; Rice, 

This shows the rapid development of the 
Black Swamp townships, which thirteen 
years before had a population of less than 
half a dozen families. Jackson, the 
settlement of which did not really begin till 
1828, takes rank over Townsend, where, 
settlement was made more than ten years 
before. Washington takes fourth place 
among the townships. The progress of 
settlement in Washington was greatly 
accelerated by the improvement of the pike. 
The following statistics give a comparative 
view of the number and value of horses and 
cattle in the several townships in 1840. The 
following showing makes 



considerable change in the former order of 

York — Number of horses 268, valuation $10,720; of 
cattle 600, valuation $4,880. 

Sandusky — Number of horses 255, valuation $10,200; 
of cattle 417, valuation $3,336. 

Green Creek — Number of horses 198, valuation 
$7,920; of cattle 511, valuation $4,088. 

Ballville — Number of horses 170, valuation $6,800; of 
cattle 449, valuation $3,892. 

Washington — Number of horses 141, valuation 
$5,640; of cattle 442, valuation $3,536. 

Jackson — Number of horses 157, valuation $6,280; of 
cattle 353, valuation $2,824. 

Townsend — Number of horses 115, valuation $4,600; 
of cattle 361, valuation $2,888. 

Scott — Number of horses 98, valuation $3,920; of 
cattle 429, valuation $3,432. 

Riley — Number of horses 79, valuation $3,120; of 
cattle 306, valuation $2,528. 

Rice — Number of horses 46, valuation $2,860; of 
cattle 204, valuation $1,632. 

Wood vi lie — Number of horses 41, valuation $ 1,660; 
of cattle 180, valuation $1,440. 

Madison — Number of horses 31, valuation $1,240; of 
cattle 134, valuation $1,072. 

The following table shows the valuation as 
appraised in 1880, including villages and 


Green Creek. 
Washington . 





Woodville. . . 


Townsend. . . 
Madison .... 


$i ,303.486 
804, 882 
45 1 .977 


$479, ° 66 

I 7 8 -°5S 
io 5,35° 


The population of Sandusky county in 
1820 was 852; in 1830, 2,851; in 1840, 
10,182; in 1850, 14,305; in 1856, 21,429; in 
1870, 25,503, and in 1880, 32,063. 
According to the census of 1880 Sandusky 
county stands thirty-fifth with respect to 
population among the counties of the State. 
In one other respect the county stands 
somewhat higher when placed in comparison 
with other counties. During the year 1879 
there appeared on 

the court docket forty-nine petitions for 
divorce. This number was exceeded in only 
fourteen other counties of the State, and in 
proportion to the population, in not more 
than half a dozen other counties. Of these 
forty-nine petitions, twenty-six alleged as 
the cause, cruelty; sixteen, neglect; six, 
adultery; and one, fraud. 

The following table shows the relative 
growth and comparative population of the 
several townships since 1850. In the last 
column is given the foreign-born population 
in 1870: 

1850 1860 

Fremont .... . 1464 35 

Green Creek 1128913228 

Washington - •-■- "-■- 


Madison. . . 
Sandusky. . 
Townsend . 






5455 8 45i 



181 1'i6i9;2094 2319 




^s 6 





1 290 1697 

'73 « 
146 1 

Scott ' 792 12641274 



Rice 1 486I 943I 927! 930 









Excepting Sandusky township the above 
table includes towns and villages. The 
population of these, severally, as given by 
the census of 1880, was as follows: 

Fremont, 8,451; Clyde, 2,380; Bellevue, 
2,169;* Green Spring, 720; + Gibsonburg, 
589; Lindsey, 409; Woodville, 406; Helena, 
111; Burgoon, 110; Rollersville, 99; 
Millersville, 52. 

The future of any section of country is 
always a subject of hazardous speculation. 
But that Sandusky county is not yet fully 
developed is apparent to every observer. 
Some of the older townships outside of town 
limits are not increasing, and will not 
increase in population with any great 
rapidity, for the tendency in settled com- 
munities is for the farms to grow larger by 
the natural law of concentration of capital; 
but the towns are growing 

737 in Sandusky county, 1,432 in Huron. 
+ 389 in Sandusky county, 331 in Seneca. 



larger, and land advancing in value. There 
are yet in the county large tracts of 
unimproved land which will in the near 
future be developed and add largely to 
wealth and population. In fact, the day is not 
far distant when the swamps, now only fit 
for hunting, will be recovered by ditches and 
dykes, and golden harvests will decorate the 
fertile soil now despoiled by water. A 
beginning has already been made-the end is 
beyond human imagination to predict. 

Railroads are plowing through the county 
in every direction. Towns are springing up in 
every township, making the products of the 
soil and the rocks under the soil more 
valuable. Sandusky county and its towns are 
yet in their youth-every sign points to a 
healthy and full growth. 


The following shows the official vote of 
Sandusky county since the first gubernatorial 
election in 1822, to 1880. The vote is for 
Governor, except when otherwise indicated: 

1822-Allen Trimble, 118; William W. Irvin, 81 
Jeremiah Morrow, 23. 

1826-Allen Trimble, 203, Alexander Campbell, 79; 
John Bigger, 13. 

1828-Allen Trimble, 153; John W. Campbell. 64. 

1830-Duncan McArthur (National Republican), 181; 

Robert Lucas (Democrat), 141. 

1 832-Presidential election, Andrew Jackson 

(Democrat), 279; Henry Clay (Whig), 294. 

1834-Robert Lucas (Democrat), 383; James Findlay 
(Whig), 313. 

1 836-Presidential election, Martin Van Buren 
((Democrat), 799; William H. Harrison, (Whig), 642. 

1838-Wilson Shannon (Democrat), 834; Joseph 
Vance, (Whig), 724. 

1840-Wilson Shannon (Democrat), 930; Thomas 
Corwin, (Whig), 841. 

1842-Wilson Shannon (Democrat), 957; Thomas 
Corwin (Whig), 738; Leicester King, (Abolitionist), 7. 

*[Note. Compiled by the publishers from Secretary of 
State's reports of 1875, 1876, 1879, and 1880]. 

1844-David Tod (Democrat), 1198; Mordecai Bartley 
(Whig), 951; Leicester King, (Abolitionist), 00* 

1846-David Tod (Democrat), 961; William Hebb 
(Whig), 754; Samuel Lewis (Abolitionist), 30. 

1848 John W. Weller (Democrat), 1074; Seabury Ford 
(Whig), 874. 

1850-Reuben Wood (Democrat), 1215; William. 
Johnston (Whig), 742. 

1851-Reuben Wood (Democrat), 1293; Samuel F. 
Vinton (Whig), 687; Samuel Lewis (Abolitionist), 2. 

1853-William Medill (Democrat); 1417; Nelson 
Barrere (Whig), 467; Samuel Lewis (Abolitionist), 154. 

1855-William Medill (Democrat), 1499; Allen 
Trimble (Know Nothing), 447; Salmon P. Chase 
(Republican), 1042. 

1856-For Attorney General, C. P. Wolcott 
(Republican), 1450; S. M. Hart (Democrat), 1443.: John 
M. Bush (Know Nothing), 16. 

1857-Salmon P. Chase (Republican), 1315; Henry B. 
Payne (Democrat), 1699; Philip Van Trump, 67. 

1858-For Attorney General, C. P. Wolcott 
(Republican), 1237; Durbin Ward (Democrat), 1555. 

1859-William Dennison (Republican), 1473; Rufus P. 
Ranney (Democrat), 1822. 

1861-David Tod (Republican), 2160; Hugh J. Jewett 
(Democrat), 1856. 

1862-For Secretary of State, Wilson P. Kennon 
(Republican), 1474; William W. Armstrong (Democrat). 

1863-John Brough (Republican), 2571; C. L. 
Vallandingham (Democrat), 2213. 

1864-For Secretary of State, William H. Smith 
(Republican), 2040; W. W. Armstrong (Democrat), 

1865-Jacob D. Cox (Republican), 2161; George W. 
Morgan, (Democrat), 2355. 

1 867-Rutherford B. Hayes, 2261; Allen G. Thurman, 

1 868-Presidential election, U. S. Grant (Republican), 
2443; Horatio Seymour, 2846. 

1869-R. B. Hayes (Republican), 2175; George H. 
Pendleton (Democrat), 2630. 

1871- Edward F. Noyes (Republican), 2022; George 
W. McCook (Democrat), 2610. 

1 872-Presidential election, U. S. Grant (Republican), 
2380; Horace Greeley (Democrat), 2729; blank, 31; 
O'Conor, 5. 

1873-Edward F. Noyes (Republican) 2025; William 
Allen, 2740; G. T. Stewart, 122; Isaac Collins, 13. 

1875-R. B. Hayes, 2609; William Allen, 3353; J. 

*Sandusky, Henry, Paulding, Putnam, and Van Wert 
were the only counties in the State in which no 
Abolition votes were cast. 



The following shows the vote for Rep- 
resentative in Congress from the Tenth 
District, October, 1880: 























3682 3I98 
2876 2992 





39 6 7 


+ 6 35 










The vote for President in 1876 is given by 


York and Bellevue Precinct. . . 
Green Creek and Stem Precinct 





















59 6 

r 59 




















Rutherford B. Hayes, Republican 3,032 

Samuel J. Tilden, Democrat 3,330 

Peter Cooper, National Greenback 45 

G.C. Smith 2 

1879 — Charles Foster (Republican) 2643; Thomas Ewing 
(Democrat) 3427; G. T. Stewart (Prohibition) 53; A. S. Piatt (National 
Greenbacker) 287. 

Presidential election; vote given by 



Bellevue Precinct. . . 

Green Creek 











Fremont — 

First Ward 

Second Ward.. ...... 

Third Ward 

Fourth Ward 

Stem Town Precinct.. 

209 262 







3 1 / 

2 55 






157 81 

I22J 213 




Totals J3Q59 3640 1 148 


Maumee and Western Reserve Road — Treaty Providing for Roads — Method of Making — Condition When 
Completed — The Ohio and Michigan War — Road to Fort Ball. 


HAVING in the preceding chapters of 
this history placed before the readers 
some remarks touching upon the prehistoric 
races, the description of the remains of their 
works as far as found in the county, a brief 
notice of the Indians found here when the 
white man first came upon the soil of the 
county; also remarks to show how we 
became entitled to the land the people of the 
county now live upon, and having given also 
something about the soil, surface, and 
geology of the county, we might properly 
proceed to next give an account of the early 
settlement of the county by the white race. 
But by the arrangement of subjects best 
adapted to accomplish thoroughness, and 
completeness in. the matter of individual 
history, the more particular history of early 
settlements and individual settlers will be 
found in our township and city histories. 
Pursuing, then, the general history of the 
county, it seems not improper to give some 
history of the improvements of the county, 
and some account also of the circumstances 
and incidents which induced them, as well as 
a notice of the men who were actively 
instrumental in bringing them about. 

Slow, sleepy, and dull as it may look now, 
when viewed by the side of the thundering 
locomotive and its immense train, the older 
inhabitants of the county will still realize the 
fact that there never has been an 
improvement which contributed more to 
invite attention to, and induce settlement in 
the county, than did the 


This road and the men connected with it 
have a history. The men who projected it and 
executed the design in building this road, did 
a great and good work, not only for this 
county but for all people east and west of the 
county, in all parts of the country, and they 
deserve honorable mention in the history of 
the locality, although, in some measure, their 
labors of late are rendered perhaps less 
important than they were, by improvements 
then unknown and unthought of. 

It will be remembered that the title to lands 
generally was not obtained from the Indians 
until the treaty made by Duncan McArthur 
and Lewis Cass, with the Indian tribes, at 
Maumee, in 1817, September 29. But east 
and south the Indian title had been acquired; 
also in part of Michigan. On the 25th of 
November, 1808, at Brownstown, Michigan, 
Governor Hull, on behalf of the United 
States, concluded a treaty with the chiefs and 
warriors of the Chippewa, Ottawa, 
Pottawatomie, Wyandot, and Shawnee 
nations of Indians, which, after reciting that 
the United States had acquired land north of 
the Miami of Lake Erie, and lands east and 
south of that, but not adjoining, and that the 
lands lying on the eastern side of the Miami 
River, and between said river and the 
boundary line established by the treaties of 
Greenville and Fort Industry, with the excep- 
tions of a few small reservations to the 
United States, still belong to the Indian 
nations so that the United States cannot, 




of right, open and maintain a convenient 
road from the settlements in the State of 
Ohio to the settlements in the Territory of 
Michigan, nor extend those settlements so as 
to connect them. In order, therefore, to 
promote this object, so desirable and 
evidently beneficial to the Indian nations, as 
well as the United States, the parties have 
agreed to tile following articles which, when 
ratified by the President of the United States, 
by and with the advice and consent of the 
Senate, shall be perpetually binding. 

After the preamble, which is substantially 
given above, the treaty proceeds in the 
following language: 

ART. 2. The several Nations of Indians aforesaid, in 
order to promote the object mentioned in the preceding 
article, and in consideration of the friendship they bear 
towards the United States, for the liberal and benevolent 
policy which has been pursued towards them by the 
Government thereof, do hereby give, grant, and cede 
unto the United States a tract of land for a road of one 
hundred and twenty feet in width, from the foot of the 
rapids of the Miami of Lake Erie to the western line of 
the Connecticut Reserve, and all the land within one 
mile of the said road on each side thereof, for the 
purpose of establishing settlements along the same; also 
a tract of land for a road, only one hundred and twenty 
feet in width, to run southwardly from Lower Sandusky 
to the boundary line established by the treaty of 
Greenville, with the privilege of taking at all times, such 
timber and other materials from the adjacent lands as 
may be necessary for making and keeping in repair the 
said road, with the bridges that may be required along 
the same. 

ART. 3. It is agreed that the lines embracing the 
lands' given and ceded by the preceding article shall be 
run in such direction as may be thought most advisable 
by the President of the United States for the purpose 

ART. 4. It is agreed that the said Indian Nations shall 
retain the privilege of hunting and fishing on the lands 
given and ceded as above, so long as the same shall 
remain the property of the United States. 

Done at Brownstown, in the Territory of Michigan, 
this 25th day of November, in the year of our Lord one 
thousand eight hundred and eight, and of the 
Independence of the United States of America, the 



NE-ME-KAS, or Little Turtle, 

PUCK-E-NESE, or Spark of Fire, 

MACQUETEQUET, or Little Bear, Chippewas. 


WAPE-ME-ME, or White Pigeon, 


KEWECHEWAN, -i Ottawas. 


MOGAN, Pottawatomies. 

MIERE, or Walk-in-the-Water., 

I-YO-NA-YO-TA-HA, or Joe, Wyandots 

SKA-HO-MAT, or Black Chief, 


MA-KA-TE-WE-KA-SHA, or Black Hoof,-, Shawanees. 
KOI-TA-WAY-PIE, or Colonel Lewis. -I 

It will be noticed that this Brownstown 
treaty, November 25, 1808, was the first step 
in the direction of procuring a road through 
the Black Swamp and on east of the river to 
the west line of the Connecticut Western 

While the treaty did not in terms set a time 
within which the United States should open 
this road for travel, and thus make it 
available to emigrants, the Government ac- 
cepted the donation of valuable land for the 
purpose. This acceptance raised an implied 
obligation binding the Government, as the 
donee, to establish and open the road 
between the points indicated in the treaty 
within some reasonable time. 

This obligation was clearly and definitely 
recognized by the United States by an act of 
Congress, approved by the President, 
December 12, 1811. This act provided that 
the President should appoint three 
commissioners to survey and mark the most 
eligible course for the road, and return an 
accurate plat of the survey to the President, 
who, if he should approve the same, should 
cause the plat and survey to be deposited 
with the Secretary of the Treasury of the 
United States; and providing further, that 
said road should be located, established and 
constructed pursuant to the treaty held at 
Brownstown on the 25th day of November, 
1808. This act also provided that the 
commissioners should be paid three dollars 
and their assistants one dollar and fifty cents 
per day while employed in the work. 



This act appropriated six thousand dollars 
for the purpose of compensating the 
commissioners and opening and making the 

The act contemplated the survey and 
making of two roads provided for in the 
treaty of Brownstown. One from the Miami 
of Lake Erie to the west line of the 
Connecticut Western Reserve, and the other 
from Lower Sandusky southward to the 
Greenville treaty line. 

It is difficult now to ascertain with cer- 
tainty whether the survey provided for by the 
act of Congress of 1811 was made, or, if 
made, at what precise date it was done; or 
the line which was reported for the roads, or 
who were the commissioners under the last 
mentioned act. There is, however, little 
doubt that a survey of a line for the Maumee 
and Western Reserve Road was made some 
time between 1811 and 1816. We find in an 
old volume, entitled Land Laws for Ohio, 
published in 1825, another act of Congress, 
approved April 16, 1816, which authorizes 
the President of the United States to cause to 
be made, in such manner as he may deem 
most proper, an alteration in the road laid 
out under the authority of an act to authorize 
the surveying and making of certain roads in 
the State of Ohio, contemplated by the treaty 
of Brownstown, so that said road may pass 
through the reservation at Lower Sandusky, 
or north thereof not exceeding three miles. 

The act of 1816 provided that the nec- 
essary expenses incurred in altering said 
road should be paid out of moneys appro- 
priated for surveying the public lands of the 
United States. This expression, "altering," 
clearly implies that a survey had before been 
made. Probably the alteration was not, in 
fact, made, nor is the fact material, because 
Congress, in 1823, in authorizing the State 
to make the road, did not restrict the State to 
any survey or par- 

ticular location of the road which had before 
been made, but only gave the termini of the 
road as given in the treaty of Brownstown. 

In the meantime, communication between 
Fort Meigs, on the Maumee, and Fort 
Stevenson, on the Sandusky River, was 
carried on. by way of the Harrison trail, as it 
was called, which will be mentioned in 
another part of this work. About the year 
1820, after this county was organized and 
the lands around Lower Sandusky were 
coming into market, and the country was 
attracting settlers, some unsuccessful efforts, 
were made to have, Congress construct the 
road, according to the obligations to do so, 
by fair implication from the terms and spirit 
of the treaty. These efforts were unavailing, 
but finally Congress consented to transfer 
the building of the road to the State of Ohio. 
This was' done at the earnest solicitation, not 
only of the pioneers who had settled at and 
about Lower Sandusky, but also the 
Kentucky Land Company, who Clad 
invested in lands in the reservation. 

Thereupon, by an act of Congress, ap- 
proved February 28, 1823, it was provided 
that the State of Ohio might lay out a road, 
specifying termini and dimensions, the same 
as specified in the treaty, and to. enable the 
State to make the road, Congress granted to 
the State the same quantity of land given by 
the treaty. But in the meantime the United 
States had been, selling land, regardless of 
the strip two, miles wide for the road, and 
many of the best tracts along the line . had 
been sold to individual purchasers. On the 
east portion of the line, especially from the 
sand ridge and Clyde to Bellevue, a large, 
part of the road land had been thus disposed 
of, and many of the best tracts west of the 
Sandusky River were taken in like manner; 
also much of the reserve of two miles square 
at Lower Sandusky. For 



the lands thus sold which should have been 
applied to making the road, the act provided 
that the Secretary of the Treasury of the 
United States should pay the State, to be 
applied to the construction of the road, one 
dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. The 
United States also provided in the act that 
the Government would stop selling these 
lands as soon as the State reported a survey 
and location of the road, and provided, also, 
that the road should be made by the State in 
four years from the date of the act, and that 
the lands should not be sold by the State for 
less than one dollar and twenty-five cents 
per acre. The lands along the road were by 
this act to be so taken as to be bounded by 
sectional lines as run by the United States. 
The money arising from the sales of these 
lands was, after building the road, to vest in 
the State to keep the road in repair. 

The reader having traced the original 
design of this road back to its source, in the 
treaty of Brownstown, November 25, 1808, 
should not fail to notice that we owe the 
right to it to the liberality and kindness of a 
people we call savages. Having also seen 
that the United States transferred the work of 
making the road to the young and growing 
State of Ohio, February 28, 1823, it is easy 
to realize that a spirited set of pioneers 
would not long be barred, and the seekers 
after homes still further west, as in Michigan 
and Indiana, barred in, too, by the Black 
Swamp. They were wide awake and keenly 
alive to the improvement of the county, and 
country around them. They foresaw that if 
Lower Sandusky was ever to he a place of 
note and thrift, there must be a road 
connecting the place with the East and West. 

The town of Lower Sandusky had in it in 
1823-24-25, such men as Jesse S. Olmstead, 
Josiah Rumery, Nicholas Whittinger, 

Thomas L. Hawkins, Ammi Williams, Ezra 
Williams, Moses Nichols, Cyrus Hulburd, 
Charles B. Fitch, Jeremiah Everett, Jacques 
Hulburd, Elisha W. Howland, Morris A. 
Newman, Israel Harrington, and others, all 
too shrewd, clear of apprehension, and too 
energetic, not to strive zealously for the 
contemplated great improvement. The zeal 
of these early settlers, aided, no doubt, by 
the influence of the Kentucky Company, 
who had purchased largely of the 
reservation, induced the General Assembly 
of the State to accept the proposition made 
by the United States, to assume the work of 
selling the land and making the road. 

The General Assembly of the State 
promptly took up the subject, and, by laws, 
provided for surveying the line and 
establishing the road, and also for surveying 
these lands which were to be sold to raise 
the money necessary for its construction, and 
also to contract for the making of the road. 

In the year 1824 an office for the sale of 
the lands was opened at Perrysburg, under 
the superintendence of Mr. McNight, who 
began the sales and also contracted for the 
making of the road in 1824. 

Quintus F. Atkins was the surveyor of 
the lands, and of the road also; but he had 
under him a surveyor named Elijah Risdon, 
whose special duty it was to run the line of 
the road and stake it out. The act authorizing 
this survey was passed January 27, 1823, 
and the line was run in the summer and fall 
of that year. Our respected fellow-citizen, 
Hezekiah. Remsburg, who resided near the 
line of the road, on the bank of Muskalonge 
Creek, remembers well, although then a boy, 
that Risdon and his surveying party, coming 
through from the West, were attracted to his 
father's by the light of an outdoor 



brick oven, which his mother was heating 
quite late in the evening, and called at for 
refreshments and lodging, which the party 
received without charge, according to the 
custom of the generous pioneers of that day. 


It should be remembered that the line of 
this road, from the Maumee (Miami) River 
to Hamer's Corner, as it was then called, but 
now Clyde, a distance of near forty miles, 
ran through an almost unbroken forest of 
exceedingly dense and heavy growth. The 
roadway was to be cleared one hundred and 
twenty feet wide thirteen feet next the outer 
lines of the one hundred and twenty feet 
was, by the contract, to be cut with stumps 
as high as ordinary clearings; the next inner 
seventeen feet was to be cut nearly or quite 
level with the surface of the earth, with a 
view to have it available for a side road; the 
inner sixty feet was to be grubbed up clean, 
and thrown up in the form of a turnpike. 
This sixty for the pike was placed nearer to 
the south side of the outer line, leaving 
greater room for a side road on the north 
side, where the sun might sometimes shine 
and make that dry sooner than the south side. 
Hence we find now that the side road is on 
the north side of the main or Macadamized 
pike. The timber from the clearing and 
grubbing was piled on the outer thirteen feet. 

It was no child's play to cut down, grub 
out, and roll away the immense trees which 
stood so thick in this one hundred and 
twenty feet, especially when we consider the 
fact that these courageous men had 'to 
contend, not only with the giant trees and 
their roots, but also with tormenting flies 
and mosquitoes, mud and water, and fever 
and ague; and yet the work was done in spite 
of all these obsta- 

cles, and done on time, that is, substantially 
and to the acceptance of Congress, within 
the four years' limit prescribed by their act 
of 28th February, 1823. 


Our much respected, fellow-citizen, 
Nathan P. Birdseye, now of Fremont, in a 
recent interview with the writer, stated that 
his father, James Birdseye, was one of the 
early contractors for work on the road. His 
contract was to make seven miles in all, and 
also to build the bridge over the Sandusky 
River at Lower Sandusky. About two miles 
and a half of his job was west of the river, 
and the remainder east of it, a part being in 
York township, and a part between the river 
and Green Creek. Our informant was then a 
young man, and worked with his father in 
the performance of his contracts. He says the 
first work done on the road was in 1824, 
(Mr. Birdseye "began his in September of 
that year), and that the whole was cleared 
and piked up in the year 1827. 

Messrs. Fargo & Harmon had a large 
contract to make this road between Green 
Creek and Clyde. 

Mr. James Birdseye finished the bridge 
over the Sandusky River in January, 1828, 
for the contract price of three thousand 
dollars. It was built of solid, heavy white 
oak timber of the very best quality procured 
from land east of Lower Sandusky, about 
two miles distant. There were no stone piers 
or abutments, but instead, strong double 
bents were used. These bents were boarded 
up with strong plank, and the space between 
the two walls filled with stone to give weight 
and solidity to the structure, and to resist the 
high waters of the river. 




In February, 1833, occurred the greatest 
flood ever known on the Sandusky river. The 
ground was frozen and covered with a deep 
snow. Several successive days of heavy rain 
dissolved the snow, and the combined water 
from the rain and snow, no part of which 
was absorbed by the earth, was suddenly 
precipitated into the ice-covered river. The 
large bodies of ice in the upper portion of 
the stream were soon raised and loosened by 
the accumulating water, and brought against 
the still firm ice a little below the city, 
where it gorged and for a time prevented the 
water passing; the gorge of broken ice 
extended a long distance above the bridge. 
The water rose until in about twenty-four 
hours after the gorge was formed the ice 
began to lift the bridge; the great pressure 
forced a movement of the ice below, and the 
whole body of ice at and above the bridge 
moved down stream carrying on its surface 
the entire structure without parting it except 
from the shore at each end. The bridge was 
carried down stream about half way from 
where it stood and where the present iron 
bridge stands, and head of the island next 
below the bridge. 

The movement thus far was slow, steady, 
and majestic, growing slower and slower 
until the river was again gorged with ice 
below, and the movement ceased with the 
bridge intact, though a little curved, and 
nothing broken. After this second gorging of 
the ice, the pent up waters turned from the 
channel above, flowed over the valley, and 
formed a strong current down Front street, 
which brought and lodged there great cakes 
of ice. It was then a river from hill to hill on 
either side of the channel, and the whole 
covered with broken ice of more than a foot 
in thickness. Through the crevices in the 
broken ice the water went gurgling and 
roaring for several days. A sudden change 

in the weather froze this mass together, and 
the bridge was for weeks, perhaps a month, 
used as a footbridge to cross the river on. A 
few boards used as an approach made it a 
great convenience for the time. All this time 
a current of water was running quite swiftly 
down Front street, and canoes and skiffs 
were used to go from one part of the town to 
another for a period of about ten days, when 
the water found an outlet below and the 
flood subsided. But the bridge remained in 
the place where the ice left it until the usual 
spring freshet, which was comparatively 
moderate, carried it further down and broke 
it. The bridge was floored with two-inch oak 
plank, sawed at Emmerson's sawmill, which 
then stood on Green Creek, on the farm now 
owned by George T. Dana, and about half a 
mile south of the line of the road. Mr. 
Birdseye says there were four double bents 
to support the bridge, besides those at each 
end. That it was well put together, and of 
good material, is shown by its tenacious 
resistance to the forces brought against it. 
But the engineer had not raised it high 
enough for such a flood. The bridges built 
after this one will be noticed in another 
chapter of this work. 


The average cost of clearing, grubbing, 
and throwing up this road was about dollars 
per mile, exclusive of the cost of bridges; 
and the contractors in many instances paid 
for land by the work they performed. The 
road lands, Mr. Birdseye said, were sold at 
different prices, ranging from one dollar and 
twenty-five cents to two dollars and fifty 
cents per acre, during the time of making the 


When the road was completed according 
to the original design, in 1827, it was simply 
a strip one hundred and twenty 



feet wide cleared through the woods, with a 
ridge of loose earth about forty feet in width 
between the ditches along the sides. 

The trees outside of the hundred and 
twenty feet stood thick and towering on 
either side, giving at a little distance the 
appearance of a huge wall about a hundred 
feet high, and when in foliage almost 
shutting out the rays of the sun except a little 
time in the forenoon. Still, this road was a 
benefit. It was at least a guide through the 
Black Swamp, which travelers could follow 
without fear of losing their way, and during 
the dry seasons of the year was a tolerable 
road for a few years. It soon became a stage 
route, and about 1830 a line of four-horse 
post coaches was established on this road. 
The attempt, however, to run passenger 
coaches with regularity was a failure, for the 
road, then being much travelled through the 
swamp, was found impassable for coaches 
more than half the. year. Occasionally, in the 
dry portions of the year, from July to the 
equinoctial rains, the coaches would go 
through with some regularity. The 
contractors, however, endeavored to carry 
the mails through every day. As a con- 
veyance for the mails the hind wheels of a 
wagon were furnished with a tongue, a large 
dry goods box made fast to the cart thus 
improvised, into which the mail pouches 
were stowed. To this four stout horses were 
harnessed to plunge and flounder through 
thirty-one miles of mud and water. If a 
passenger on this line would pay well for the 
ride and take his chances to get through, he 
was permitted to mount this box and keep 
his seat if he could, but there was no 
insurance against being splashed all over 
with mud, or plunged into it headforemost 
by being thrown from his seat. When this 
conveyance arrived at either end of the line 
the cart, the driver, and the horses often pre- 

sented almost an indistinguishable mass of 
slowly moving mud. 

Meantime emigration to the West 
increased, and the more the road was trav- 
elled the worse it became. Some attempts 
were made now and then by the superin- 
tendent to fill up an impassable mud-hole 
with earth, but such work only made it 
thicker and deeper. The condition of this 
road, traversed by emigrants from all 
sections of the east; the reported failures in 
carrying the mails according to contract, by 
reason of its impassability, gave it a 
National reputation for being, perhaps, the 
worst road on the continent. The distance 
from Lower Sandusky to Perrysburgh was 
thirty-one miles. Hauling stalled teams, out 
of the worst mud-holes had become a regular 
and well-established employment of the 
settlers along the route, and in 1834, 1835, 
and 1836, there were thirty-one taverns 
between Lower Sandusky and Perrysburgh, 
which would be a tavern averaging one to 
every mile of road. These taverns had two 
purposes; one was to give the traveler food 
and shelter for the night, and the other to 
pull their tired and stalled teams through the 
worst places with ox teams, and start them 
forward to the next impassable mud-hole, 
where they would find another ready to 
perform a like service. These taverns, be it 
remembered, were log huts in the woods, on 
the borders of the road. Our very worthy 
citizen, John P. Moore, says that one 
Andrew Craig happened to locate on the 
road in the vicinity of several of the worst 
places in the track; that Andrew charged 
exorbitant prices for pulling out the. stalled 
teams, and for the use of his cabin for 
emigrants to rest in over night. That it was a 
common occurrence for Andrew to work all 
day in getting the team through one or two 
bad places, and then have the emigrants go 
back to stay at his house for three successive 
nights, until they got 



within the jurisdiction of the next tavern. 
Andrew's charges were never too low to 
afford him a good income. He was a 
representative tavern-keeper of the time, on 
that road. 

There was little variation in the condition 
and management of this road until an event 
happened which aroused public attention 
throughout the State to the necessity of its 
improvement, and that event was what is 


While this war, as it was called, was not 
the direct result of any action of Sandusky 
county, still its influence and bearing upon 
the subsequent improvement of the road had 
such an importance in the advancement of 
the county that a brief allusion to it seems 
proper. Beside this, the prominent part taken 
in that dispute by citizens of the county 
makes a notice of its causes and results 
pertinent to this history. 

The convention of delegates which met at 
Chillicothe in September, 1802, formed a 
Constitution for the purpose of presenting it 
to Congress for acceptance, and for then 
being admitted to the Union as a State. In the 
seventh article of the sixth section of the 
instrument as finally agreed upon and 
accepted by Congress, the convention 
undertook to set out the boundaries of the 
State. After minutely and clearly describing 
the eastern, southern, and western boundary, 
the section continued in the following 

On the north by a line drawn east through the 
southern extreme of Lake Michigan until it shall in- 
tersect Lake Erie or the territorial line; thence with the 
same through Lake Erie to the Pennsylvania line. 
Provided that said line shall not intersect Lake Erie east 
of the mouth of the Maumee River; then and in that case 
it shall, by and with the consent of Congress, be 
bounded by a line drawn from the southern extreme of 
Lake Michigan to the northern cape of the Maumee Bay. 

It was soon ascertained that an east line 
drawn from the southern extreme of Lake 

Michigan would intersect Lake Erie far east 
of the mouth of the Maumee or Miami River. 
Ohio, upon ascertaining this fact, solicited 
Congress to assent to the establishment of 
her northern boundary according to the 
proviso contained in the seventh article of 
the sixth section of her Constitution. The 
opinions of members of Congress differed on 
the subject, some holding that the proviso 
had already been assented to by the adoption 
of the Constitution; others believed that the 
assent of Congress was made necessary by 
the terms of the proviso, and that further 
action was necessary to establish the 
boundary beyond all question. In 1815 the 
Senate of the United States acted on the 
subject, favoring the claim of Ohio, but the 
bill was rejected by the House of 
Representatives. Again, in December, 1834, 
the Senate passed the same bill and it was 
again rejected by the House of 
Representatives. Thus it appears that the 
State of Ohio had, for a period of nearly 
thirty years, solicited Congress from time to 
time to establish beyond a doubt or cavil her 
northern boundary, without accomplishing 
the purpose. In the meantime she had 
exercised civil jurisdiction to the line 
mentioned in the proviso, and had at great 
cost constructed the Miami canal, which 
connected with the Maumee River at 
Manhattan, which place then, 1834, 
promised to be what the city of Toledo now 
is, the chief commercial city of northwestern 
Ohio. It should be mentioned here, in order 
to properly understand the cause of dispute, 
that in 1805 Congress, in organizing the 
territorial government for the Territory of 
Michigan, had bounded that Territory on the 
south, unconditionally, by a line drawn east 
from the southern extreme of Lake 
Michigan. This line would leave Toledo, 
Manhattan, and the mouth of the Maumee 
River, to the territory of Michigan, and take 
from Ohio a strip of land 



about ten miles in width at the west line of 
Ohio, and running to a point; then the line 
due east from the southern extreme of Lake 
Michigan touched Lake Erie. 

For many years the country was so wild 
and had so few settlers that there was no 
strife and no question about its occupancy or 
the civil jurisdiction over it, and Ohio in 
good faith held possession and built the 
canal through it without hindrance or 
opposition. After the project for building the 
canal was formed and the work under way, 
the then future commercial importance of the 
mouth of the Maumee River and the Maumee 
Bay, and this ten miles of territory including 
them, began to be appreciated. 

The repeated failures of Congress to pass 
the necessary enactment or declaration, 
especially the last failure in 1834, served to 
attract attention to the subject and induce a 
discussion of the question whether Ohio or 
Michigan owned this strip of valuable 
territory. To Ohio this question had become 
one of grave importance. She had spent large 
sums of money in improvements on it, and it 
was then clearly seen that in the future 
development of the Northwest a large 
commercial city must grow up somewhere 
near the mouth of the Maumee River. Wea- 
ried of importuning Congress, the State itself 
took action in the matter. February 6, 1835, 
the Governor of Ohio, Robert Lucas, sent a 
communication to the General Assembly of 
the State, recommending the passage of a 
law "declaring that all the counties bounded 
on the northern boundary of the State of 
Ohio, shall extend to and be bounded by a 
line running from the southern extreme of 
Lake Michigan to the northern cape of the 
Maumee Bay." On the 23rd day of February, 
1835, an act was passed by the General 
Assembly in accordance with the Governor's 
recommendation. Over a part of the 

territory included by this line, which was the 
line mentioned in the proviso above noticed, 
Ohio had not up to that time exercised any 
specific jurisdiction. This act specifically 
required the public officers of the townships 
and counties bounded by this line to exercise 
jurisdiction to it, thus enforcing the laws of 
Ohio over a considerable territory, which for 
a number Of years had been tacitly subject 
to the laws of the Territory of Michigan. 

On the 12th of February, 1835, the 
legislative council of Michigan passed an 
act, the second section of which reads as 

And be it further enacted, that if any person residing 
within this Territory shall accept any office or trust from 
any State authority other than the government of the 
United States or the Territory of Michigan, every person 
so offending shall be fined not exceeding one thousand 
dollars, or imprisoned five years at the discretion of the 
court before which any conviction may be had. 

The act of the General Assembly of Ohio 
above mentioned, also provided that the 
Governor should appoint three commis- 
sioners to run the line and distinctly mark it 
on trees, and by monuments where trees 
were not available for the purpose; that is, 
mark the line which terminated at the 
northernmost cape of the Maumee Bay. 

In the two acts above mentioned may be 
seen the rising clouds which were soon to 
culminate in a storm of opposing authorities, 
and the collision of hostile forces. The 
acting governor of Michigan, Stevens T. 
Mason, seeing Ohio preparing to take from 
Michigan a part of her territory, prepared to 
execute the laws and defend what he 
understood to be the rights of the people of 
Michigan. To do this and to effectually drive 
off all hostile invaders from the soil in his 
Territory, he ordered Brigadier-General 
Brown, under his command, to have in 
readiness a military force to repel any 
encroachment upon their Territory, and 
intimated to the authorities of 



Ohio in plain terms, that the first man who 
should attempt to run the line ordered by the 
authorities of the State of Ohio, would be 
shot without hesitation or compunction. 

The citizens of Toledo, then a small 
village situated on the disputed territory, 
manifested a disposition to yield to the 
claims and jurisdiction of Ohio. This 
disposition on their part raised a spirit of 
jealousy against them in the minds of the 
people of Michigan, which led the latter to 
commit unwarrantable and odious dep- 
redations upon the citizens of that village. 

Numerous instances of violence and 
kidnapping resulted from the hostility engen- 
dered by the contest for civil jurisdiction by 
Ohio over this disputed territory, and to 
prevent the survey of the line as required by 
the law of the State. These outrages brought 
Governor Lucas to the conclusion that the 
commissioners he had appointed to make the 
survey would be arrested while performing 
their duty, and the work prevented unless 
protected by adequate force. Sincerely 
believing that the claim of Ohio was legal 
and just, and feeling it to be his solemn duty 
to see the laws of the State faithfully 
executed, though regretting the necessity for 
force, he resolved to use force, if it must be 
used, to execute the law and maintain the 
rights of the State. 

The Governor, for the purpose of pro- 
tecting the commissioners and maintaining 
the peace, ordered General John Bell, then a 
brigadier-general of Ohio militia, to raise 
five hundred men to rendezvous at Lower 
Sandusky on the aid of April, 1835, and 
repair immediately to headquarters at Fort 
Miami, on the Maumee River and there be in 
readiness for service. 

On the 31st of March of that year 
Governor Lucas, with his staff and the 
boundary commissioners, arrived at Perrys- 

burgh on their way to run the line as directed 
by the law of Ohio. 

General Bell, then in command of the 
Seventeenth division of Ohio militia, the 
boundaries of which included the disputed 
territory, arrived about the same time with 
near three hundred men, who went into camp 
at Fort Miami to await orders. This force 
was the first to report, and was from the 
vicinity of the expected conflict, being under 
the command of Colonel Mathias Van Fleet. 
The Lucas Guards, an independent company 
of Toledo, formed a part of this force. These 
were soon after joined by part of a regiment 
from Sandusky county, under command of 
Colonel Lewis Jennings; also a part of a 
regiment from Seneca and Hancock counties 
under command of Colonel Henry C. Brish, 
of Tiffin, numbering about three hundred 
more; all together numbering about six 
hundred effective men. The last mentioned 
three hundred men, and the Governor and 
staff, as well as the surveying party, 
necessarily had to pass through the Black 
Swamp, by the Maumee and Western 
Reserve road, in the spring of the year. 

And now we have arrived at the event 
which makes the mention of this war perti- 
nent in the history of the Maumee and 
Western Reserve road, and that lies in the 
fact that the contest over the north boundary 
of the State, made it necessary for the troops 
and officers, the Governor and his staff, and 
the commissioners, to run the line, and many 
other distinguished and influential men of 
the State and from other States, to wallow 
through thirty-one miles of mud and water, 
and to realize that it was for land travel the 
connecting and only way from the East to 
the rapidly developing region of the 
Northwest ; and to realize further, that the 
condition of the road was a shame and a 
disgrace to the State. 

But now that we have gone thus far in 



the mention of the war, let us briefly trace it 
to the conclusion and then resume the more 
direct history of the road. 

On Sunday, the 26th of April, the sur- 
veying party which had been engaged in 
running the line, when resting about a mile 
south of the line, in what they consider a 
part of Henry county, in Ohio, at about 12 
o'clock noon, were surprised by about fifty 
of Governor Mason's mounted men, well 
armed with muskets, under command of 
General Brown. The commissioners who at 
the time, had only five armed men with 
them, who had been employed as a lookout 
and as hunters for the party, thought it 
prudent to retire, and so advised the men. 
Several made good their escape, but nine of 
the party did not leave the ground in time, 
and, after being fired upon by the enemy, 
were taken prisoners and carried away to the 
interior of Michigan. The names of those 
who were thus captured are, Colonels Scott, 
Hawkins, and Gould, Major Robert S. Rice, 
father of our Congressman-elect, and of our 
other prominent citizens, William A., Robert 
S., and A. H. Rice; Captain Samuel 
Biggerstaff, and Messrs. Ellsworth, Fletcher, 
Moale, and Reckets. These men were taken 
by an armed force to Tecumseh, Michigan, 
brought before a magistrate there for 
examination, and, though they there denied 
the jurisdiction of Michigan, six entered bail 
for their appearance, two were released as 
not guilty, and one, Fletcher, refused to give 
bail and was retained in custody. 

Governor Lucas, finding it impracticable 
to run the line without further Legislative 
aid, disbanded his forces and called an extra 
session of the General Assembly to meet on 
the 8th of June, which was held accordingly. 
That body passed an act to prevent the 
forcible abduction of citizens of Ohio, and 
made the crime punishable by imprisonment 
in the penitentiary, not 

less than three nor more than seven years; it 
also passed an act to create the county of 
Lucas out of the north part of Wood county, 
including the disputed territory north of it, 
and a portion of the northwest corner of 
Sandusky county. The General Assembly 
also provided ample means to enforce the 
claims of Ohio. It appropropriated three 
hundred thousand dollars to carry its laws 
into effect, and authorized the Governor to 
borrow the money. 

It was ascertained by the Adjutant-General 
of Ohio, Samuel C. Andrews, that not less 
than twelve thousand men in the State were 
ready to volunteer to sustain and enforce the 
claims and laws of Ohio. 

The partisans of Michigan continued, 
during the summer of 1835, to arrest and 
harass the people on the disputed territory, 
and the war cloud daily became more and 
more portentous and threatening. 

Before the forces under General Bell had 
reached the scene of military operations, the 
President of the United States had sent Hon. 
Richard Rush, of Philadelphia, and Colonel 
Howard, of Baltimore, as commissioners to 
use their influence to stop the warlike 
demonstrations. These eminent men were 
accompanied by Hon. Elisha Whittlesey, one 
of Ohio's most honored public men, and 
these endeavored to persuade Governor 
Mason to permit the line to be peaceably 
surveyed and marked, and then let matters 
rest as they had been before, until the next 
session of Congress; but he refused compli- 
ance with the proposition, while Governor 
Lucas assented because he considered the 
Governor of the Territory as a subaltern to 
the President and subject to his (the 
President's) control. This reliance on the 
President's authority it was that induced 
Governor Lucas to believe he could run the 
line in peace, and hence he set 



the surveyors at work without a military 
guard, as above noticed. But no effort for 
peace was successful in modifying the 
warlike determination of the Governor of 
Michigan, and Ohio went on with her 
preparation, to meet force with superior 

The war cloud rose higher, became 
darker, and spread wider until the authorities 
at Washington began to feel uneasy about 
the peace of the country. President Jackson, 
to whom the proceedings and the preparation 
for hostilities were reported, became 
strongly impressed with the necessity of 
interposing a check to the tendency to 
serious trouble. 

Governor Lucas, perceiving the state of 
mind at Washington, wisely chose the time 
to make an effort to induce the President to 
interfere in behalf of peace. For this purpose 
he sent a deputation to confer with the 
President on the subject. This deputation 
consisted of Noah H. Swayne, William 
Allen, and David T. Disney, all eminent and 
very influential men, who procured from the 
President an urgent appeal that no 
obstruction should be interposed to running 
the line; that all proceedings begun under the 
Ohio act of February 23rd be discontinued, 
and that no prosecutions be commenced for 
any violation of it, and that all prosecutions 
then pending be discontinued. This ar- 
rangement or appeal from the President was 
obtained July 3, 1835. The authorities of 
Michigan, however, disregarded the 
President's recommendation, and continued 
their resistance to running the line, still 
claiming jurisdiction over the disputed 
ground; and thus matters stood until the 15th 
of June, 1836, when Michigan was admitted 
into the Union and her southern boundary 
fixed as Ohio had claimed it to be. To 
console Michigan for what her people 
thought was wrongfully taken from them, the 
same act gave her a 

large scope of mineral lands about Lake 
Superior. Thus, by the liberality of Con- 
gress, the contending parties were reconciled 
and made happy. 

Having followed this digression to its 
termination, let us now go back to the 
subject from which we diverged and return 
to the history of 


The dispute with Michigan, which we 
have briefly mentioned, brought the condi- 
tion of the Maumee and Western Reserve 
road, and its future importance, prominently 
into notice. The militia from Lower 
Sandusky and the counties south of it; the 
commissioners appointed to run the line of 
the State; and their assistants; the peace 
commissioners sent by the President to the 
theater of impending conflict; high 
functionaries of the State, including the 
Governor and his staff; all were in the dis- 
charge of public duties, compelled to plunge 
and wallow through thirty miles of mud and 
water in order to reach ,the objective point 
of contest. Thus leading men in our own 
State councils were by actual and 
disagreeable experience brought to a correct 
understanding of the condition of the road. 
True it is, that for some years before the 
contest with Michigan, the stage drivers, the 
emigrants, and all others who were 
compelled to travel the road, out of their 
wallowings in the mud had sent up oaths and 
imprecations sufficient to split the skies. But 
the stage driver had little to do with moving 
public opinion of the State, and the emigrant 
passed on, and the imprecations never 
reached the ears of the State authority but 
the road obtained a frightful reputation all 
over the country. Now, however, our own 
people, and our Governor and many of his 
influential friends, had found to their own 
discomfort and the shame of the State, the 
true condition of the road, and had realized 
its future importance. In 



1836 Rodolphus Dickinson, of Lower 
Sandusky, was, fortunately for the 
northwestern part of the State, and especially 
for the town in which he resided, chosen a 
member of the board of public works of the 
State. The road was in his division of the 
works, and thus came under his personal 
direction and management. He at once put 
his rare abilities, favored by his public 
position, into the work of procuring the 
improvement of the road. In his efforts he 
was, of course, warmly supported by the 
localities to be benefited, and such progress 
was made in moving public opinion in the 
right direction for the accomplishment of the 
purpose, that on March 14, 1838, the General 
Assembly of the State passed an act 
providing for the repairing and 
macadamizing the road, and appropriating 
forty thousand dollars to be expended in the 
work. This act provided that the work should 
begin at the western termination of the road, 
and progress eastwardly from that point 
through to the eastern termination. It also 
provided that after a good roadbed had been 
made, and before the stone covering should 
be put on, gates might be erected and tolls 
charged upon teams travelling over the 
repaired portion. Here it should be noticed 
that the United States had not at the time this 
act was passed, in any way given the State a 
title to the one hundred and twenty feet in 
width of land on which the road was made, 
but only the land on each side of it, with 
authority to make the road, and pay for the 
making out of the proceeds of the sale of the 
land. Therefore, before the State actually 
began the expenditure of the appropriation, 
the act of Congress of July 7, 1838, was 
passed, ceding the title to the road and land 
which it covered, that is the one hundred and 
twenty feet in width between the termini of 
the road, to the State of Ohio; since then the 
State has been the real owner of the road. 

Soon after the appropriation of this forty 
thousand dollars was made and the above 
mentioned act of Congress passed, the Board 
of Public Works sent General John 
Patterson, one of the State engineers, to 
survey and superintend the work of repairing 
and macadamizing the road, and too much 
praise cannot be bestowed on General 
Patterson, though he is now dead, for the 
honesty and skill, and the fidelity with which 
he executed his duties. March 16, 1839, the 
State appropriated one hundred thousand 
dollars to forward the macadamizing of the 
road. The timber originally grubbed out and 
cut off the road and piled on the sides, had 
now become dry and was burned off. The 
roots and stumps had so much decayed that 
they were easily removed, and the plowing 
of the ground and scraping up of a good road 
bed was comparatively easy. Mr. Patterson 
skillfully laid the grade with a view to the 
best possible drainage into all the rivers, 
creeks, and swails, by which the water could 
be carried away, and where necessary con- 
structed large lateral ditches leading to the 
north from the road. The new roadbed or 
pike was sixty feet in width, located about 
ten feet nearer the south line than the north 
line of the road. This location of the road 
bed was adopted for the purpose of affording 
an ample side road on the north side, which, 
in dry periods, was preferred by teamsters to 
the stoned road bed, and thus the wear of the 
stone was made much less than if it bore the 
wear of all the travel-twenty feet in width of 
the crown of the road bed was covered with 
stone, well broken. A prominent feature in 
the work of General Patterson in designing 
the improvement of the road, was the 
capacious, and, in some places, deep side 
ditches which he caused to be constructed 
along the sides of the sixty feet road bed, 
with frequent culverts, by which water was 
conducted from one ditch 



to the other, under the roadway. The water 
which had rendered this road such a terror to 
travelers in very rainy or wet seasons, had a 
tendency to slowly soak away to the north 
with the general direction of the rivers and 
creeks, and hence the ditch on the south side 
of the road caught the water as it slowly 
drained in from the south. The system of 
culverts and large ditches afforded a passage 
for the water along the road to the nearest 
point where a natural or artificial channel 
would carry it towards the lake. 

At this day, and in future times, the reader 
may feel tempted to ask, Why were these 
dry, commonplace details about the 
construction of this road set out here as a 
matter of history? The answer is simple; 
when completed to some outlet, these 
ditches almost instantly — though in some 
instances the water would necessarily run 
many miles along the road-relieved the lands 
along them of surface water; especially was 
this the case with lands south of the road. 
This, however, is not the full answer. It was 
thereby demonstrated that the Black Swamp 
lands could be drained, and that dreadful 
locality made one of the most productive 
regions of Ohio, as it now, in fact, is. A new 
spirit was given to the inhabitants; their land 
had become valuable, and they could 
discern, through all their former 
discouragements, that their part of the 
county would soon be filled with inhabitants 
and become rich and prosperous. The result 
was to draw public attention to a realizing 
sense of the great benefits to this country to 
be derived from draining land, and in this 
view, the location, construction, and 
improvement of the Maumee and Western 
Reserve road was not only the first, but the 
most important public improvement made in 
the county. The State, through the Board of 
Public Works, collected the tolls, repaired 
and managed the road, until 

the misconduct of a few unfaithful officers 
and agents aroused public opinion to a belief 
that our whole system of public im- 
provements, including our canals and roads, 
were managed to promote plunder and 
political party ascendancy. So thoroughly 
disgusted and offended did the people 
become at the revelations of an investigation 
into their management, that it was 
determined to rid the State of the cause of so 
much expense and corruption. The General 
Assembly, under the force of this public 
opinion, on the 8th day of May, 1861, passed 
an act which provided for 


This was accomplished, and the lease 
included the transfer of the management of 
the Maumee and Western Reserve road to 
the lessees, who took charge of it in the year 

The lessees, of course, managed the road 
in a way to produce for them the greatest 
amount of net profit, and like tenants 
generally, became negligent in making the 
repairs provided for in the lease. They 
collected the tolls with the utmost rigor, but 
failed to renew the road with a covering of 
stone when the same was worn out, until the 
people along the line became so dissatisfied, 
that they demanded from the General 
Assembly a repair of the road by the lessees, 
or a forfeiture of the lease. This 
dissatisfaction resulted in an act passed 
March 30, 1868, withdrawing the road from 
the charge of the lessees and offering the 
care and management of it to the county 
commissioners of the counties respectively 
through which it passed; each county to have 
jurisdiction over that portion within its own 

The county commissioners of Wood and 
Sandusky counties, after consultation, 
declined to take charge of the road, because 
the lessees had permitted it to become so 
much out of repair. Much talk of suing the 
lessees by the State for 



breach of the lease, then ensued; finally, 
the matter was adjusted by the lessees 
putting on about three thousand dollars in 
repairs and giving up the road to the charge 
of the State about June 1, 1870, and ever 
since the road has remained in charge of the 
board of public works of the State. 

The following is the mention of some of 
the men of the county prominently in- 
strumental in procuring the construction 
and maintenance of the road: 

We have already mentioned the names of 
the settlers at Lower Sandusky, who, in 
1821 and 1822 and '23 began to agitate the 
public mind on the subject of having the 
road constructed. Among these, Jeremiah 
Everett was conspicuous, for, although the 
acts of Congress of 1823, giving the State 
charge of the clearing and making the road, 
and the sale of land granted by the Indians 
for the purpose, and the act of the General 
Assembly of Ohio accepting the trust, had 
been passed by the concurrent efforts of 
Mr. Everett and other citizens of Lower 
Sandusky, Sandusky county did not have a 
representative at Columbus to represent 
there the local interests of the vicinity until 
the year 1825. In this year Jeremiah Everett 
was elected to the House of Representatives 
of the State, and took his seat as a member 
on the first Monday in December of that 
year. Important legislative acts were passed 
during that session, concerning the road and 
the sale of the road lands, and his exertions 
and influence were highly serviceable in 
hastening on the work. He was elected 
again in 1835, and did much to produce that 
public sentiment which finally impelled the 
State to appropriate money to repair and 
macadamize the road as provided by the act 
of 1838. 

Rodolphus Dickinson, from the time the 
question was first agitated, was an 

ardent advocate for the improvement of the 
road. When, however, he was made a 
member of the board of public works in 
1836, his influence became more potent on 
the public mind, and probably no one man 
did more to have the road improved, and to 
induce the State to appropriate money for 
the purpose in a season of great financial 
depression, than Mr. Dickinson. 

McKnight, of Perrysburg, Wood County, 
was the first superintendent of the road, and 
commissioner, in 1824, to sell the road 
lands. He officiated until his death, which 
occurred January 11, 1831, by accidental 
shooting. Mr. McKnight travelled on the ice 
in 1820, from what is now Sandusky City to 
a place then called Orleans, afterwards 
called Fort Meigs, and now the town of 
Perrysburg, on the Maumee River. He was 
clerk of the court in Wood county, an 
active, well esteemed business man, and 
has descendants of much respectability now 
residing near Perrysburg. 

John Bell, of Lower Sandusky, succeeded 
Mr. McKnight, who continued to sell the 
land until all was sold, and superintended 
the road under the direction of the State 
authorities, until the road was placed in 
charge of General Patterson, State engineer, 
about the last of the year 1838. General 
Bell, however, closed out the sale of the 
road lands, and made an acceptable report 
of his administration, settled his accounts 
with the State, and the office was 
discontinued some time in 1840. 


Although the treaty of Brownstown, A. D. 
1808, which provided for the construction 
of the Maumee and Western Reserve road, 
provided also for a road, or rather ceded to 
the United States a tract of land for a "road 
only," one hundred and twenty feet in 
width, to run southwardly from Lower 
Sandusky to the boundary line established 
by the treaty of Greenville, little attention 
seems to have been 



paid to the construction of this road, either 
by the United States or the State of Ohio, for 
no legislation by either can be found upon 
searching the indexes of legislation of that 
time or since. But about the years 1827 and 
1828, a road southward from Lower 
Sandusky was cleared through the woods, on 
a straight line from Wolf Creek south until it 
struck the bank of the river a few miles 
below Fort Ball, and then followed the river 
to Fort Ball, which was at that time an im- 
portant post next south of Lower Sandusky. 
Previous to opening this road the travelled 
track meandered the river all the way 
between the two places. This old road, which 
was traversed by portions of General 
Harrison's army in the War of 1812, was not 
only crooked and greatly 

increased the distance to Fort Ball, but 
crossed a deep ravine at Old Fort Seneca, the 
steep hills on either side of which were a 
terror to all teamsters who were compelled 
to travel that way. The new road was straight 
from Wolf Creek to a point above Fort 
Seneca, and was located so far west of it as 
to avoid the hills and shorten the distance 
materially. From the best information now to 
be had, it is believed that the expense of 
clearing out and improving this road was 
borne, by the counties of Seneca and 
Sandusky. Whether this information be 
accurate or not, the fact remains that the 
opening of this road was the second and a 
very important improvement, in the way to 
and from the country south of Lower 
Sandusky, and greatly facilitated its trade. 



Design of the Road — Manner of Building — The Plunder Law — Financial Management — Bankruptcy and 


ALTHOUGH it may at first appear to 
the reader that a history of improve- 
ments should not notice such as were 
never completed, still the design of 
building this road was so bold for the 
time at which it originated, as well as for 
the then financial condition of the 
country, and it came so near being a 
success, that some mention of it seems 
proper. Besides these reasons, the form of 
the road, and the manner of constructing 
it, were novel and ingenious, and the 
financial methods for obtaining money to 
pay the expenses, are all so well 
calculated to illustrate the 

spirit of the time and the consequences of bad 
legislation, that a brief record of the 
enterprise may be of value to legislators as 
well as to financiers, and thus justify the 
mention of it in this work. 

The Ohio canal, through the eastern portion 
of the State, and the Miami canal in the west, 
bad developed an improved condition of 
business and increased prices for farm 
products along the lines. Thither capital and 
enterprise were attracted, and the business and 
chief markets were found along and near 
them. But the districts remote from the canals 
and not fa- 



vored with a navigable river in their vicinity, 
were stuck in the mud, with a long haul for 
the marketable products of their farms and 
factories. The State had contracted millions 
on millions of debt in the construction of 
these canals, and the people remote from 
them must, of course, give their labor and 
sweat for tax money to pay the obligations. 
Under these circumstances what was more 
natural than for the people to demand of the 
State her help to make easy transportation to 
the markets on these canals. Hence arose a 
clamor for roads, turnpikes, other canals, 
and railroads to enable the people located 
away from the canals, to carry their products 
away. The demand for a more extended and 
more generally diffused system of internal 
improvements became imperative. Under 
this pressure the General Assembly, on the 
24th day of March, 1837, passed an "act to 
authorize a loan of the credit of the State of 
Ohio to railroad companies, and to authorize 
subscriptions by the State to the capital stock 
of turnpike, canal, and slack-water navi- 
gation companies. This act provided as to 
railroad companies substantially as follows: 
That every railroad company that was then, or 
thereafter might be duly organized, and to the 
capital stock of which there shall be 
subscribed an amount equal to two-thirds of 
its authorized capital, or an amount equal to 
two-thirds of the estimated cost of the road 
and fixtures, shall be entitled to a loan of 
credit from the State equal to one-third of 
such authorized capital, or equal to one-third 
of the estimated cost of such road and 
fixtures, to be delivered to the company in 
negotiable scrip or transferrable certificates 
of stock of the State of Ohio, bearing an 
annual interest not exceeding six per cent, 
and redeemable at periods not exceeding 
twenty years, and the State should then 
receive certificates of stock in the conr- 

piny for the amount so paid. The provisions 
of this law as to turnpike companies were in 
substance like those as to railroad 
companies, with this difference, that on 
showing the plan of the proposed work, the 
amount of stock subscribed, and that one- 
fourth of the stock subscribed had been paid 
in cash to the treasurer of the company, the 
Governor should subscribe to the stock of 
such company for an amount equal to that 
subscribed by private persons, which was to 
be paid in installments out of the treasury of 
the State. In like manner the act provided 
that the Governor should subscribe to the 
capital stock of canal and slack-water 
companies an amount equal to one-half that 
subscribed by private persons. 

A Solomon or a Solon might have sus- 
pected that such a law would soon exhaust 
the treasury and seriously impair the credit 
of the State; they might have suspected that 
companies would soon be very numerous, 
and that some Utopian enterprise would be 
undertaken, and that sham subscriptions and 
false statements of stock paid in would be 
resorted to in some instances for the purpose 
of drawing money from the State. But if 
Solomon and Solon had been out in the 
wilderness and stuck in the mud, where their 
wisdom and glory could not be known of 
men, and the laws promised them a way out 
into the world to bless it, they perhaps would 
not have cried their condemnation of the law 
in a very loud voice. Whatever may be said 
about the wisdom of such a law, practically 
it served one good purpose, and that was to 
stimulate all over the State enterprises to 
improve the means of transportation of her 
products, and facilitate travel and 
intercourse among the people. 

The Ohio Railroad Company was one of 
the enterprises brought into life by the 
patronage offered in this statute. It was 
chartered by act of March 8, 1836, and 



empowered to build a railroad with single or 
double track, from the east line of the State 
at some suitable point in Ashtabula county, 
west-wardly through the counties of 
Ashtabula, Geauga, Cuyahoga, Lorain, 
Huron, Sandusky, Wood, and Lucas, to the 
Maumee River, and thence to some point on 
the Wabash and Erie Canal. The act of 
incorporation carefully provided that if such 
road passed below the lower rapids of rivers 
it crossed it should not obstruct navigation. 
The capital stock of the company was four 
million dollars, divided into shares of one 
hundred dollars each, and the charter named 
influential men in each of the counties 
through which the road was to pass, as 
commissioners to open books and receive 
subscriptions to the capital stock. The 
commissioners named for Sandusky county 
were, Jesse S. Olmstead, Jacques Hulburd, 
and Sardis Birchard, all of whom, at that 
time, were prominent and leading citizens of 
Lower Sandusky, especially in all matters of 
finance and public improvement. 

The act of incorporation further provided 
that the money of the company should be 
paid out of the treasury thereof, on orders 
drawn on the treasurer, in such manner as 
should be pointed out by the bylaws of the 
organization. The reader will see, as the 
progress of the work went on, that this very 
reasonable and innocent looking provision 
for orders on the treasury was made to play a 
very important part in the financial 
management of the road. 

The commissioners to open books and 
receive subscriptions for stock were 
empowered to call the stockholders together, 
to elect directors, and the directors thus 
elected to organize the company, by electing 
president, secretary, and treasurer, etc., so 
soon as one thousand shares, or one hundred 
thousand dollars, should be subscribed to the 
capital stock. The exact 

date of the organization of the company is 
not conveniently ascertainable, and in fact is 
not deemed material to the purpose for 
which this sketch is written. But, sure it is, 
Nehemiah Allen was chosen president and 
Samuel Wilson treasurer. It is also true that 
surveys had been made, the line of the road 
established, and that rights of way were 
secured as early as January 19, 1838, 
perhaps earlier. 


The form of this railroad is peculiar, and 
deserves mention in this history, and 
whatever merits there may be in the plan, 
and whoever was the author of it (though 
President Allen is by some supposed to be 
that person), succeeding railroad engineers 
appear not to have adopted it as a general 
form for the construction of railroads. The 
base or foundation of this road was to be on 
piles, or sharpened trunks of white oak or 
bur-oak trees, about fifteen inches, more or 
less, driven into the ground by a machine 
called a pile-driver. This pile-driver was 
worked by steam (a wag might here 
interpose and say, so was the whole 
concern); this same pile-driver worked a 
horizontal buzz-saw which cut off the piles 
when thoroughly pounded down, to 
correspond with the engineer's tine for the 
grade of the road. This pile-driver and 
sawing-machine was trundled along on rails 
laid as occasion required, on the top of the 
piles as they were cut off. These pile- 
drivers were set to work, one somewhere 
near Cleveland, and another at the Maumee 
River opposite Manhattan, which place 
being then the terminus of the Miami canal, 
was to be the great future city of 
northwestern Ohio, which Toledo now is. 
Timber was plenty and cheap in those 
forests through which the line of the road 
passed. The pile-drivers went merrily on, 
booming, puffing, screaming, and pounding 



the woods, leaving behind them a clear track 
with two lines of piles cut level and ready 
for cross ties. The ties were to be laid from 
pile to pile; on these cross ties were to be 
laid timbers about eight inches square, an 
auger hole two inches in diameter was then 
bored through the square timbers or rails, 
down through the ties and into the pile; into 
this hole was firmly driven a red cedar bolt 
or pin about two feet in length, to hold the 
structure firmly together. On the square 
timbers thus fastened, were to be laid and 
spiked down the strap rail of iron on which 
the cars were to be propelled. 

Riverius Bidwell, then owner of the water 
power and mill site in the city, contracted to 
furnish the cedar pins. Machinery, with a 
turning lathe, was erected and attached to his 
water power; large contracts were made in 
Canada and elsewhere for red cedar timber, 
and Mr. Bidwell manufactured and had ready 
for delivery great piles of the fragrant cedar 
pins to fasten the superstructure together. 
Meantime a superb trestle work of solid oak 
timber was erected across the valley of the 
Sandusky River, from hill top to hill top on 
either side. Huge and substantial limestone 
abutments and piers rose out of the waters of 
the river to receive the woodwork of the 
bridge, which was located about half way 
between the Maumee. and Western Reserve 
road bridge, and the southern extremity of 
the island next below; being near one 
hundred rods below the present iron bridge. 

The work of driving the piles was begun 
at Brooklyn, on the west side of the 
Cuyahoga River, to work toward the west; 
also at the Maumee River, opposite Man- 
hattan, now Northern Toledo, to work 


The financial management of the 

company deserves particular notice. After 
the first hundred thousand dollars of stock 
was subscribed and the company organized, 
the State as bound by the act of March 24, 
1837, issued in scrip or negotiable 
obligations to the company thirty-three and 
one-third thousand dollars. This scrip could 
be converted into ready cash, or 
hypothecated to local banks with the 
agreement that the bank should redeem or 
pay the orders of the company to an equal 
amount of the deposits. The orders of the 
company on the treasury were nicely 
engraved and printed in the similitude of 
bank bills, in various denominations, and 
largely in fractions of a dollar. The 
contractors and laborers on the road were 
paid off periodically with these orders, 
which were promptly paid in currency at the 
treasury, or taken at bank as cash. Soon 
merchants and traders of all kinds, finding 
the Ohio Railroad money as good as any 
other currency then used, began to accept it 
in payment of debts, or for any thing they 
had to sell. Thus the means were obtained to 
start the building of the road. After the line 
was established and the work absolutely 
begun, men along the line whose lands were 
to be greatly benefited, began to subscribe, 
quite liberally, believing the stock would be 
worth its face, and that they would make 
great gains in the increased value of their 
property. One man in Lower Sandusky 
subscribed for twenty-five thousand dollars 
of the stock, although good judges thought at 
the time his whole property of all kinds was 
not worth twenty-five hundred dollars, but 
subscriptions drew one-third of this amount 
from the State treasury in an available form, 
and this is but a single example of what was 
extensively practiced all along the line. Ohio 
Railroad money became the general 
circulating medium, and for a time was 
considered as good as our local bank paper, 
which at the time 



was our chief medium of exchange and 
payment of debts. The Auditor of State, John 
Brough, in his annual report to the General 
Assembly for the year 1839, gave the 
amount for which the State had subscribed 
and paid stock to turnpike, canal, and slack- 
water navigation companies, but the amount 
of scrip or obligations of the State issued to 
aid in the construction of railroads, does not 
appear in the report of that year. He, 
however, informed the Assembly that the 
State debt was rapidly increasing, and that 
the revenues of the State were not sufficient 
to pay the interest on her debt. This report, 
doubtless, drew the attention of legislators to 
the financial condition of Ohio, and 
awakened public attention to consider the 
outcome and results of the then existing 
policy. Here it should be said that, although 
under this very liberal policy many useless 
schemes were organized, and, no doubt, 
much swindling of the State treasury had 
been accomplished in various ways under 
pretended compliance with the law, still 
many works were begun, and accomplished, 
which were of great value to the State, and 
served to hasten the development of her 

The pile-drivers, meantime, were working 
towards each other. It was expected they 
would meet somewhere near Huron. The one 
from the east had neared that place, and that 
from the west was somewhere between 
Castalia and Venice, when the bubble burst, 
the machines stopped, and the people had the 
worthless Ohio Railroad money in their 
pockets. This crash came about 1840. 
Auditor Brough, in his report of 1840, 
complained again that the State had been 
compelled to issue its obligations to raise 
money to pay interest on her debt, and in one 
brief line stated the amount of scrip issued to 
railroad companies to be three hundred and 
fifty-eight thousand dollars, most of which 

probably issued to aid in building the Ohio 
Railroad. Judge Nehemiah Allen bore the 
reputation of an honest and honorable man, 
who was sincerely engaged in accomplishing 
what he considered a great work for the 
State, and especially the north part of it, and 
the collapse left him poor in his old age. 
Samuel Wilson, the treasurer, was said to be 
poor at the beginning of the work, but at the 
bursting up of the concern was rich, and had 
bought land and built a splendid mansion on 
it, but the title to his property was found to 
be in his wife. 

The amount of Ohio Railroad orders 
outstanding at the time they became 
worthless, is not known, but almost every 
man in this part of the State had some of it, 
and many had large amounts. 

Mr. Charles O. Tillotson, who left a 
charge on the Maumee and Western Reserve 
Turnpike to assist in the construction of this 
railroad, and was in the employ of the 
company when the failure occurred, 
remarked to the writer a few days ago, that if 
this railroad had been completed, this county 
would have, been fifty years in advance of 
what it now is in the development of its 
resources and in wealth. 

About forty years have passed since this 
enterprise closed in ruinous insolvency. 
President Allen and Treasurer Wilson have 
passed away; all the bright anticipations of 
those who designed and gave their money in 
support of the work are vanished, and the 
magnificent trestle was long ago taken 
down, and the superb timbers were 
converted into the third bridge for the 
Maumee and Western Reserve road, under 
the engineer, Cyrus Williams. Even the solid 
stone piers and abutments have been taken 
down. The ties and timbers prepared for he 
superstructure are gone, the more than three 
hundred thousand dollars contributed by the 
State are 



gone, the money paid by its stockholders is 
gone, and the only visible remains of the 
work are the broken lines of decaying piles, 
to be yet seen in sections where the march of 
improvement has not taken them away. 
These still stand, silent, but fast disappearing 
witnesses of the great failure. 

"The best laid schemes of mice and men 
Gang aft a glee." 

The people, in 1839, had come to believe 
that the act of 1837 was ruining the State 
credit, and would soon result in bringing her 
hopelessly in debt. This be- 

lief became so general that it resulted in the 
repeal of the act, which had come to be 
popularly designated as the plunder law, by 
repealing the act passed March 17, 1840. 
And when the consequences of this plunder 
law became fully understood, so strong 
became the feeling against the principle in 
legislation, that in framing the new 
constitution such legislation is strictly 
forbidden, in the plainest and most 
unmistakable language. 

If "history is philosophy, teaching by 
example," then this mention of the Ohio 
Railroad may not be in vain. 


The Lower Sandusky Plank — Road Company — Stock Subscribed — Cost of Buildings — Benefit of the Road to the County. 

FOR a period of about nine years after the 
failure of the Ohio Railroad Company, 
the spirit of enterprise seemed to slumber in 
the county, and enterprising business men 
talked of the dullness of our prospects, and 
some even expressed a desire to leave and go 
to where business was more promising. Still, 
Lower Sandusky was a good point for 
collecting produce and selling merchandise. 
It was then the central trading point of a 
tolerably improved country, extending 
southward more than half way to Tiffin, 
eastward to a point at least half way to 
Bellevue, north almost to Port Clinton, and 
west half way or more to Perrysburg, and 
southwest as far as Risdon and Rome (now 
Fostoria), in the west part of Seneca County. 
Here was a circumference, then, 

of an average diameter of about forty miles, 
the products from which were brought to 
Lower Sandusky for sale or exchange, and 
for shipment by way of the river and lake to 
Buffalo, and thence to New York. The 
people residing on this circle were chiefly 
supplied with dry goods, groceries, drugs, 
salt and leather, and fish by the retail stores 
in Lower Sandusky, and, in fact, a large 
retail and barter business was carried on 
notwithstanding the absence of all railroads. 
But the roads, excepting the Maumee and 
Western Reserve turnpike, were unimproved 
earth roads, never good, and much of the 
year impassable. Consequently the time and 
expense of hauling heavy articles, such as 
wheat, corn, and pork, was very 
considerable, and of course materially 
reduced the 



value of the products at the respective farms 
where raised. Notwithstanding the bad 
condition of the roads, however, the farm 
products, in great quantities, were hauled to 
Lower Sandusky and trade was lively at 
certain seasons. A very large proportion of 
the products brought to the place for 
transportation came by the roads leading to 
Bettsville and Rome (Fostoria), and the trade 
was annually increasing, though the only 
transportation from Lower Sandusky was by 
water, and this method was of course closed 
during a considerable portion of the year. 
While this state of affairs existed, the idea of 
building plank roads came to be promulgated 
and discussed, and indeed it appeared to he 
precisely the system best adapted to the 
improvement of the roads through the 
county. The words "plank road" at once 
awakened the spirit of enterprise which had 
slept so long, and the 


with a capital stock of one hundred thousand 
dollars, in shares of fifty dollars each, to 
build a plank road from the south 
termination of Front street, in Lower 
Sandusky, southward along the Sandusky 
River to the south line of Edward Tindall's 
land; thence southwesterly to Bettsville, and 
thence to Rome, in Seneca county, with a 
branch starting from the south line of 
Tindall's land south to Tiffin. 

The stock subscription book of the 
company, so safely and carefully preserved 
by its president, James Justice, during his 
life, and since his death, by his daughters, 
shows the names of the subscribers and the 
amount of stock taken by each. The names of 
subscribers then living in the county and the 
amount of stock subscribed respectively are 
as follows: 

R. Dickinson, $2,000; S. Birchard, $3,000; J. R. 
Pease, $2,500; L. Q. Rawson, $2,000; R. P. Buckland, 
$1,500; I. S. Tyler, $500; James Moore, $2,000; 

C. Edgarton, $500; James W. Wilson, $500; Daniel 
Tindall, $1,800; L. B. Otis, $500; P. Brush, $500; C. 
Betts, $500; F. I. Nortun, $200; Kendall & Nims, 
$1,000; Morgan & Downs, $1,000; Doncyson & Engler, 
$200; J. Lesher, $200; John Joseph, $100; J. F. R. 
Sebring, $100; H. Everett, $200; H. E. Clark, $100; J. 
Millious, $200; G. F. Grund, $50; A. A. Bensack, $50; 
L. M. Bidwell, $100; C. O. Tillotson, $100; J. Kridler & 
Co., $100; I. VanDoren, jr., $100; E. Leppelman, $100; 
P. Door, $50; J. F, Hults, $50; S. Lansing, $200; J. 
Sendelbach, $50; D. Capper, $50; H. R. Foster, $50; C. 
Smith, $50; J. Emerson, $500; H. Bowman, $100; J. 
Justice, $1,500; A. B. Taylor, $500; A. J. Dickinson, 
$200; M. E. Pierce, Imo; P. Beaugrand, $300; H. Rems- 
burg, $100; J. B. Smith, $500; D. Marten, $50; M, A. 
Ritter, $200; C. J. Orton, $100; Samuel Thompson, 
$500; John Moore & Vallette, $5,500; Daniel Seaman, 
$200; A. Coles, $200; Dean & Ballard, $250; L. E. 
Marsh, $100; S. M. Steward, $100; John Hafford, $100; 
John Simon, $50; S. N. Russell, $200; J. W. Davis, 
$100; G. Kisseberth, $50; John Houts, $100; A. Phillips, 

The first fifty-three names in the above 
list were residents of Fremont at the time 
they subscribed, 1849. They were all men, 
excepting two, Mariah E. Pierce and Lucy E. 
Bidwell, both widows, but not of advanced 
age. The men were in middle age or younger, 
and were, at the time, active managing 
members in society and business. Thirty-two 
years have passed, and of these fifty-three 
persons, thirty-one are known to be dead. 

Thirty-two years ago these stockholders 
elected five directors, namely, James Justice, 
LaQ. Rawson, Charles W. Foster, John R. 
Pease, and James Vallette. 

BEGUN IN 1849. 

At a meeting of the directors of the Lower 
Sandusky Plank Road Company, held at the 
office of L. Q. Rawson, in Lower Sandusky, 
on the 11th day of April, A. D. 1849, 
present, James Justice, James Vallette, John 
R. Pease, and LaQ. Rawson, the following 
proceedings were had, to wit: 

James Justice was elected president, L. Q. Rawson 
Secretary, and John R. Pease Treasurer. It was ordered 
that the treasurer give bond with 



Sardis Birchard, his surety, in the penal sum of five 
thousand dollars. 

Ordered also that the stockholders pay an installment 
of ten per cent on their subscriptions, on or before the 
15th day of June next. 

It was also ordered that the president be authorized 
to contract for materials for building the road from 
Lower Sandusky to Rome and Swope's Corners. And the 
board also ordered, at this meeting, that notice be given 
to the stockholders of the order for the payment of the 
installment aforesaid, by publication in the Lower 
Sandusky newspapers for thirty days. The record is 
signed: "James Justice, President of the Lower Sandusky 
Plank Road Company; L. Q. Rawson, John R. Pease, 
James Vallette." 

The president lost no time in entering 
upon the work of constructing the road as 
directed by the board. Contracts for grading 
were promptly made and promptly executed, 
under the vigorous management of President 
Justice, assisted by Superintendent Daniel 
Tindall. The sawmills in the vicinity were at 
once engaged exclusively in sawing planks 
and stringers for the road, and at least one 
steam sawmill was erected and operated by 
Joshua B. Smith for special purpose of 
manufacturing lumber for the road. This mill 
was erected by the side of the road, in the 
woods, about three miles north of Swope's 
Corners, to which point the road was 
completed about the 1st of October, 1849, 
and tollgates erected. 

The branch to Rome was also being 
rapidly constructed. 

On the parts constructed tolls were col- 
lected before the 1st of January, 1850, to the 
amount of three hundred and eighty-seven 
dollars and twenty-six cents. 

The road was finished the following year 
(1850), from Swope's Corners to Tiffin. 

From Fremont to the south line of Edward 
Tindall's land, where the two branches 
diverged, the distance was five miles, and 
from there each branch was about thirteen 
miles long; total length of road built was 
about thirty-one miles. 

Tolls received in the month 

It appears by the hooks that on September 
30, 1851, there had been paid into the 
treasury of the company on stock, forty-two 
thousand five hundred dollars; donations 
made to the amount of two hundred and 
ninety-five dollars, and tolls collected from 
October 1, 1849, to September 30, 1851, six 
thousand seven hundred and twenty-two 
dollars, making a total of receipts of forty- 
nine thousand five hundred and seventeen 

The total expenditures from the com- 
mencement of the work to September 30, 
1851, was forty-eight thousand eight hundred 
and forty-five dollars. 

ofMay, 1850 $194.00 

1851 498.00 

1852 558.57 

1853 471.34 

1854 428.96 

1855 363.16 

The amount for the corresponding month 
in 1856, 1857, and 1859, cannot be obtained, 
but the tolls declined, and the planks and 
timbers had so decayed that the income 
would no longer meet the expenses and 
repairs, and it was surrendered up in 1860, 
and the gates removed. 

Many of the subscribers considered what 
they paid on the stock a donation for the 
public good, and when they had paid about 
half the amount subscribed, or less, forfeited 
their stock; some few never paid anything. 
Such forfeitures reduced the amount of 
actually paid up stock, when the road was 
completed, to thirty-nine thousand dollars, 
on which amount several dividends were 
declared, amounting, in the aggregate, to 
about forty per cent., as appears by the 
president's books. Although this enterprise 
was not a financial success for the 
stockholders, and although it demonstrated 
that plank roads were not durable, and would 
need rebuilding once in about ten years, still 
this, and one built about the same time from 
Fremont to Green Spring, were greatly 



beneficial to the county, and to the trade of 


As was stated in the beginning of the 
history of this plank road, the spirit of 
enterprise in Lower Sandusky seemed to 
have departed from the people. True, it was 
a good point for retailing merchandise and 
bartering for products of the land, but there 
was no faith in the future growth of the 
place, and little or no capital was invested in 
real estate or in building, nor, in fact, in any 
kind of improvement. So gloomy had the 
prospect of the future growth of the town 
become, that a number of the most ambitious 
and enterprising inhabitants had, in fact, 
determined to remove to some more 
enterprising locality, and where there were 
some better prospects for increase of 
business, and of increase in the value of real 

Prominent among those who had become 
impatient with the slow progress Lower 
Sandusky had been making for years past, 
was Ralph P. Buckland, who, by laborious 
practice of the law, had accumulated some 
money and a good reputation as an honest 
and responsible lawyer. He had been for 
some time seriously contemplating removal 
from Lower Sandusky to either Cleveland or 
Toledo, where enterprise and the future 
looked brighter and more encouraging to 
those ambitious of fame and fortune. But 
when he saw this plank-road enterprise 
started, he at once enlisted in it with means 
and enthusiasm, and seeing the project 
supported by the able men of the place such 
as Rodolphus Dickinson, John R. Pease, 
Sardis Birchard, and James Justice, of Lower 
Sandusky, and Charles W. Foster and others 
of Rome, in Seneca county, he concluded to 
remain and cast his lot for "weal or woe " 

with the people where he was. In con- 
versation with the writer only a few days 
since, General Buckland (he has earned the 
title of General, as may be seen in his 
biography in this work) said, in substance, 
that plank-road enterprise is the one thing 
that induced him to remain in the place. 
"And," said he, "do you not remember, that 
the very summer while the plank-road was 
being built, I built the first brick block ever 
erected in Fremont?" The interviewer did 
remember the fact. This block was erected 
on lot number two hundred and forty-three, 
on Front street, on what had been the 
Western House property, and is now a 
central business place of great value. It was 
fortunate for the then future of Fremont that 
General Buckland was induced to remain, as 
will appear by the more particular history of 
the city, and by General Buckland's 

Mr. John England, now quite aged, 
residing in the village of Ballville, states that 
he was in the service of Charles W. Foster as 
a teamster about seven years; four years of 
this term of service was spent in hauling on 
this plank-road between Rome and Lower 
Sandusky. The reader must bear in mind that 
Rome is now Fostoria, and Lower Sandusky 
is now Fremont. Mr. England says that he 
hauled produce from Rome to Tiffin, and 
also from Rome to Lower Sandusky, on the 
earth roads, before the plank-road was made; 
that then forty bushels of wheat, or twenty- 
four hundred pounds, was a full average load 
for a wagon and one span of good horses; 
fifty bushels, or thirty hundred pounds, was 
a large load and not often undertaken. After 
the plank-road was completed, he says he 
often hauled at one load one hundred and ten 
bushels of wheat, or a weight of six thousand 
six hundred pounds, with one span of horses. 
Thus it will be seen that the cost of 
transportation was reduced 



One-half, while the tall charged for such a 
load was forty-five cents. The time saved by 
hauling on the plank more than compensated 
for the toll charged. From that time (1850) to 
the early part of 1860, the salt, and all other 
articles of merchandise for Rome and the 
western part of Seneca county, and also for 
the whole country trading at Lower 
Sandusky, was transported by water to the 
head of navigation in the Sandusky river, 
and thence distributed by wagons to the 
various trading points. This merchandise 
furnished loads for many of the returning 
teams which came in with wheat, corn, and 
pork, and encouraged and supported a lively 
business for about ten years, of which the 
plank-road was the main artery. The amount 
of farm products brought to Fremont in 
wagons during the period between 1850 and 
1860, and the display of wagons which 
brought these products for shipment, storage 
or sale, were such as to make casual visitors 
express surprise, and wonder at the amount 
of business done in the place. Strangers 
passing through or stopping a time on 
business in the place would see the streets 
crowded with loaded teams, waiting their 
turn to be unloaded, and the signs of active 
trade everywhere about them, and were often 
heard to remark at that period that Fremont 
was the liveliest town they had seen in their 

Mr. Charles O. Tillotson was, during the 
larger part of the period above mentioned, 
engaged in buying and shipping grain at 
Fremont. He said to the writer a few days 
ago that it was not an uncommon thing to 
see four or five hundred two-horse wagons 
standing in the streets and along the way to 
the elevators, waiting their turn to unload 
their wheat; that during the wheat buying 
season, although there were a number of 
other persons engaged in buying wheat and 
competing with him, it was usual for him to 

receive from the farm wagons and store 
away from ten to fourteen thousand bushels 
in a day. The pork trade at Fremont during 
the period mentioned was also very large. 
The trade of the place then employed a large 
number of vessels to carry this produce to 

Though all this system of trade was 
destined to change; though the plank-road 
was to decay and be abandoned on the 
advent of a system of railroads through 
northwestern Ohio; although the noble 
horses of flesh and blood, whose food was 
oats and corn and hay, and which must have 
rest, was, in the grand march of invention 
and progress, soon to retire and leave this 
long and heavy hauling to be done by the 
iron horse which lives on coal and water, 
and never tires; still, these plank-roads 
encouraged our people to stay and strive on 
in the labor of developing the material 
resources of the county, and at the same time 
widely advertised the town and county as 
good places for business, and our people as 
active, enterprising and progressive. The 
completion of the Toledo, Norwalk & 
Cleveland Railroad, in 1852, by which 
produce was carried East and West, 
superseded in large part the carriage of 
produce by water from Fremont. The 
building of this railroad will be the next 
noticed. The finishing of the Fremont, Lima 
& Union Railroad from Fremont to Fostoria 
took the carrying of produce and 
merchandize away from the plank-road, and 
the latter was abandoned early in 1860. 


The form of the plank-road, when finished, 
was that of a turnpike well graded and 
ditched. The crown or flat surface of the top 
of the pike was eighteen feet wide. The 
plank were eight feet in length and two 
inches thick, of best white or bur oak, laid 
crosswise on firm stringers 



embedded in the earth, on one side of the 
crown, leaving a good earth road for use in 
dry weather, and for the use of teams in all 
weather which had to turn out for the team to 
pass which was entitled to the plank track. 

"In several instances," said Mr. England 
whose name is above mentioned: "I met 
heavily loaded teams on this plank road 

where the side or earth road was so soft that 
it would not do to turn off the plank, for if I 
did, I could never pull out. The result was 
that the team bound by the law of the road to 
turn out, would unload in part and then turn 
out to let the other pass, then take the plank 
again, reload his wagon, and then go on. But 
such difficulty did not often occur. 


The Toledo, Norwalk & Cleveland Railroad — Opposition Encountered — County Bonds Issued — Consolidated With the Junction 
Road — Name Changed to Cleveland & Toledo Road, Afterwards to Lake Shore & Michigan Southern — Benefits of the Road. 

THE Toledo, Norwalk & Cleveland 
Railroad was the next improvement in 
this county, and had such great influence in 
developing its resources and increasing the 
wealth and business of the people, that it 
should have a prominent place in this his- 
tory. The act incorporating this company 
was passed by the General Assembly of the 
State of Ohio, March 7, 1850. The first 
section of the act provides that Timothy 
Baker, Charles L. Boalt, John R. Osborn, 
George G. Baker, John Gardner, and James 
Hamilton, jr., of the county of Huron; 
Frederick Chapman, L. Q. Rawson, L. B. 
Otis, H. Everett, A. B. Taylor, and R. P. 
Buckland, of the county of Sandusky, and 
Hezekiah D. Mason, Edward Bissell, Daniel 
O. Morton, J. W. Bradbury, and John Fitch, 
of the county of Lucas, and their associates, 
successors and assigns be a body corporate 
and politic, by the name and style of the 
Toledo, Norwalk & Cleveland Railroad 

Company, with perpetual succession and all 
the usual powers granted to such companies, 
under the general law regulating railroad 
companies, passed February it, 1848. This 
last mentioned general law conferred the 
right to survey, locate, and appropriate lands 
necessary for any railroad which might be 
organized in the State. The second section of 
the act of incorporation provided that the 
capital stock of the company should be two 
millions of dollars, and that the company 
were empowered to construct a railroad from 
Toledo, in the county of Lucas, by way of 
Norwalk, in Huron county, so as to connect 
with the Cleveland, Columbus & Cincinnati 
railroad at Wellington, in Lorain county, or 
at some other point in said counties of Huron 
and Lorain to be determined by the directors 
of said company. 

The third section of the act of incorporation 
provided that the county commissioners of 
any county through which 



the road would pass in whole or in part, 
might subscribe to the capital stock of the 
company any sum of money not exceeding 
one hundred thousand dollars, and to borrow 
money to pay the sum at any rate of interest 
not exceeding seven per cent., payable 
semiannually in advance; and for the final 
payment of the principal and interest of the 
sum so subscribed, the county 
commissioners were empowered to make, 
execute and deliver such bonds, notes and 
instruments of writing as may be necessary 
or proper to secure the payment of the 
money so borrowed or subscribed, and to 
levy and collect annually such taxes as, 
together with the profits, dividends or tolls 
arising from said stock, will pay at such time 
or times as shall be agreed upon, said money 
so borrowed or subscribed, with the interest 
and incidental charges. The fourth section of 
the act of incorporation, however, provided 
that no subscription should be made by the 
county commissioners until a vote of the 
qualified voters of the county should be had 
in favor of the subscription. The vote was to 
be taken according to the provisions of the 
act of February 28, 1846, which was then in 
force, which provided that county 
commissioners should give at least twenty 
days' notice in one or more newspapers 
printed and in general circulation in the 
county, to the qualified voters of the county, 
to vote at the next annual election to be held 
in the several townships and wards in the 
county, for or against the subscription, and if 
a majority of the electors voting at such 
election for or against such subscription 
shall be. in favor of the same, such 
authorized subscription might be made, but 
not otherwise. 

The company was organized and sub- 
scriptions solicited from the commissioners 
of the several counties through which the 
road would pass. In this county a public 

meeting was called and Charles L. Boalt, 
president of the company, addressed a 
meeting at the courthouse, and endeavored, 
by stating numerous facts about the effect of 
railroads on towns and on the rural districts, 
particularly the beneficial effects of such 
means of transportation to farmers and farm 
lands, and produce, to convince our people 
that it would be to the interest of the whole 
county to have the road built, and that 
sufficient private subscriptions were not 
attainable. The subject was new to the mass 
of the voters a few years before the Ohio 
Railroad had swindled a great number of 
them and they were suspicious that this 
enterprise was got up for another swindle. 
Some went so far as to express the belief 
that if these sharp railroad men once got 
their hands on the county bonds they would 
be sold, the money arising from them would 
go into the pockets of the railroad men, and 
that would be the last we would hear about 
building the road. Arguments and suspicions 
like these rendered it difficult to move the 
popular mind toward farming the county 
subscription. But, fortunately, there were a 
few men in the county whose calmer 
judgment and better foresight led them to 
realize the importance of the road, not only 
to the city of Fremont, but to the people of 
the whole county. 

About this time a rival project, to build a 
road from Cleveland to Sandusky City, and 
thence to Lower Sandusky, on such a line as 
would not necessarily touch Norwalk or 
Bellevue, was designed. The charter for this 
latter road was passed March 12, 1846, and 
was entitled an act to incorporate the 
"Junction Railroad Company." This company 
was authorized to construct a railroad, 
commencing at such point on the Cleveland, 
Columbus & Cincinnati Railroad as the 
directors might select, either in the county of 
Cuyahoga or Lorain, and within thirty miles 



the city of Cleveland, thence to Elyria, in 
Lorain county, unless the junction with the 
Cleveland and Columbus road should be 
made at Elyria, and from thence on the most 
feasible route to intersect the Mad River & 
Lake Erie at Bellevue, or at such other point 
as the directors should choose, and thence to 
Lower Sandusky (Fremont), and the power 
was also given to this company to construct 
the railroad, or a branch of it, from Elyria to 
Sandusky City, in Erie county, and from 
thence to Lower Sandusky. The act of 
incorporation of the Junction Railroad 
Company also provided that if the directors 
of said company and the directors of the 
Cleveland, Columbus & Cincinnati Railroad 
Company could not agree upon the terms of 
junction, then, in that case, the Junction 
Railroad should commence at the city of 

The agitation of the project to build a 
road from Toledo to Cleveland by way of 
Fremont and Norwalk, had the effect to put 
the Junction Company into active rivalry and 
earnest opposition against the interests of 
Norwalk. Fremont at that time would have 
been satisfied if the Junction Company 
would have pledged its faith and promised to 
construct a railroad from Sandusky City to 
that point. A delegation was sent, and a 
consultation had with the authorities of the 
Junction Company, but no satisfactory 
arrangement was offered, and the 
consultation was without effect, except to 
satisfy the leading railroad advocates of 
Fremont that the Junction Company intended 
to ignore both Norwalk and Fremont, and 
build their road across the Sandusky Bay to 
Port Clinton, and thence direct to Toledo. 

Charles L. Boalt, of Norwalk, President of 
the Toledo, Norwalk & Cleveland Railroad 
Company, assisted by the strong men of 
Norwalk and Fremont, became the financial 
manager of his road, while 

Ex-Supreme Judge Ebenezer Lane, of 
Sandusky City, assisted by the strong men of 
that place, became the financial manager of 
the Junction road. 

These two managers were brothers-in-law, 
and each worked with untiring zeal for the 
interests of his own locality. Both were able 
men. Boalt, however, was the younger man, 
and though not a large man, he was by 
nature endowed with a remarkable capacity 
to endure mental and physical labor, and he 
certainly put them all into intense service in 
working his railroad through. At a meeting 
addressed by him at the courthouse in 
Fremont, in the summer of 1850, about 
twenty-five thousand dollars was subscribed 
on the spot by the citizens individually. The 
influential friends and advocates of the 
Toledo, Norwalk & Cleveland Railroad then 
set themselves about persuading the county 
commissioners to give the requisite notice 
for a vote on the question of a county 
subscription. The application was so far 
successful that on the 11th day of 
September, 1850, two of the commissioners, 
namely, Martin Wright and John S. Gardner, 
with Homer Everett, then county auditor, 
met at the auditors office. (Hiram Hurd, the 
other commissioner did not attend). The 
record opens in the following form : 

AUDITOR'S OFFICE, September 11, 1850. Be 
it remembered, that on this 11th day of September, in 
the year 1850, the commissioners of Sandusky county, 
upon application, met for the purpose of considering the 
propriety of giving notice for a vote of the people of 
said county in favor of or against subscription to the 
capital stock of the Toledo, Norwalk & Cleveland 
Railroad Company. 

The result of the meeting was that notice 
was ordered to be given to the voters of the 
county to vote for or against subscription at 
the next annual election, to be held on the 
8th day of October, 1851. 

The notice specified that the voters 



were to authorize the commissioners to 
subscribe one hundred thousand dollars. The 
vote was taken, and there was a majority 
against the subscription, and the question 
was decided adversely to the subscription. 
The line of the road was located, and did not 
pass through either Woodville or Townsend 
township, the voters of which naturally felt 
averse to being taxed for an improvement 
which would confer no special benefit on 
them. Besides this, many of the people of 
Townsend township did their trading at 
Sandusky City, and were more interested in 
the advancement of that place than that of 
Fremont, and it was suspected at the time 
that Sandusky City influence and argument 
had something to do in influencing the votes 
of. these townships, and both townships 
voted heavily against the subscription. As to 
procuring individual subscriptions sufficient 
to do Sandusky county's fair proportion of 
the amount necessary to build the road, that 
had been tried and seemed to be an 
impossibility. The success of the road by this 
adverse vote was put under a cloud, and 
many of its friends were discouraged, while 
others of the never-give-up sort, among 
whom the indefatigable president, Boalt, was 
a leader, did not for a moment despair of 
final success, nor abate their zeal and work 
in behalf of building the road. The efforts of 
these persevering men resulted in the 
passage of an act by the General Assembly 
of the State, January 20, 1851, authorizing a 
vote of the county on the question of 
subscription, excepting the townships of 
Woodville and Townsend, which townships 
should not be taxed to pay for the stock. 

At the next regular session of the com- 
missioners, March 4, 1851, the board, then 
consisting of Messrs. Martin Wright, Hiram 
Hurd, and Michael Reed (who succeeded Mr. 
Gardner), ordered that notice 

be given to the voters of the county, ex- 
cepting those in Woodville and Townsend 
townships, to vote for or against a county 
subscription of fifty thousand dollars to the 
capital stock of Toledo, Norwalk & 
Cleveland Railroad Company, at the then 
next ensuing annual April election. 

The question of subscription now became 
the absorbing topic in the public mind, 
throughout that portion of the county on 
which the responsibility was placed, by the 
amended law of January 20, 1851. At that 
time the political parties were the 
Democratic against the Whig party, and the 
former was largely in the majority. R. P. 
Buckland was then a practicing lawyer and a 
prominent and influential man, and was also 
the acknowledged leader and champion of 
the Whig party. On the other side, Homer 
Everett was also a lawyer and then held the 
office of county auditor by the suffrage of 
the Democratic Party. Both were in favor of 
the proposition to subscribe the stock. The 
county commissioners were all ardent Dem- 
ocrats, and not very decided in their views 
on the question at issue, but like wise pol- 
iticians, expressed no convictions or opin- 
ions on the measure. The friends of the 
measure very wisely concluded that it would 
not advance their cause to permit the 
proposition to assume the form of a political 
party issue, which some of the opposition 
were striving to give it. It was finally 
determined to hold a series of meetings at 
schoolhouses in the different townships in 
which the people were to vote, and have 
addresses made to convince the voters, 
especially the farmers, that the construction 
of the road would benefit them in a 
pecuniary point of view. An arrangement 
was thereupon made that these meetings 
should be attended and addressed by Ralph 
P. Buckland and Homer Everett jointly, and 
that both should give assurance that the 



had no relation to party politics, and the two 
gentlemen very willingly volunteered in the 
service without pay and at their own 
expense. Numerous meetings and 
consultations were appointed and advertised, 
at which the time was equally divided 
between the two speakers, and various 
arguments were by them offered, such as the 
increased price of wheat, pork, eggs, butter, 
etc., which would result from cheap and 
rapid transportation by the railroad, and the 
resulting increase in the value of their lands. 
The speakers also offered to answer as well 
as they could any questions about the matter 
in discussion which anyone in the meeting 
would ask. Some of the questions asked and 
some of the objections to building the road 
were really curious, and if propounded today 
would bring out only laughter from old and 
young in response. Some would ask how the 
building of the road would operate on the 
prices of horses and oats? Would not the 
railroad destroy the occupation of teaming, 
and thereby throw a great number of men 
and horses out of employment. Another 
objection was raised by certain hotelkeepers 
and land owners residing along the Maumee 
and Western Reserve turnpike. These 
claimed that not only would the occupation 
of hauling by wagon be destroyed, but that 
all the emigration which afforded these their 
chief income, would be diverted; that it 
would be very unjust to the State; that travel 
on the turnpike would cease, no tolls would 
be collected, and the road on which the State 
had spent such large sums of money would 
grow up to grass and be abandoned and so 
the State be made a great loser by the 
railroad. The speakers answered all these 
questions in a friendly and respectful way, as 
well as they could, and pressed on in their 
work. Particular mention of two meetings 
will serve to illustrate the spirit and the 
persistence with which this 

railroad campaign was carried by those who 
opposed as well as those who worked for the 
road. One was at Van Waggoner's 
schoolhouse, as it was called, a little north of 
what is since called Winters' Station, in 
Jackson township. That township was not 
touched by the line of the road, and of 
course not so directly benefited by its 
construction as some other townships. Nord 
came to the friends of the road that 
opposition to it had sprung up in that 
township and neighborhood, and that the 
vote of the township would probably go 
against the county subscription. 

Sardis Birchard, who had influence and 
many personal friends and acquaintances 
there, volunteered to go with the speakers to 
that meeting. In the evening Messrs. 
Birchard, Buckland, and Everett, and John 
R. Pease, started on horseback from 
Fremont, and reached the schoolhouse a 
little after eight o'clock. They found there 
from thirty to fifty voters. Addresses were 
made, and then a free consultation over the 
subject took place, in which Mr. Birchard 
did effective work in telling the voters what 
he had seen of the effect of railroads in other 
localities, and in answering questions. This 
consultation became so animated and 
interesting that the meeting did not disperse 
until after twelve o'clock; and when Mr. 
Birchard and the speakers reached Fremont, 
on their return, it was after two o'clock, A. M. 
Another meeting was appointed for the 
speakers at the schoolhouse at Gale Town, a 
little hamlet about three miles southward 
from Hamer's Corner, now Clyde. 

The leading man of Gale Town was one 
James Morrel. He was a justice of the peace, 
an active man in all public affairs, and 
withal the controlling member of the local 
board of school directors. Mr. Morrel was 
ardently opposed to having the county 
subscribe for the stock, and had infused his 
feelings and sentiments 



into the minds of his neighbors, so that the 
locality was quite strongly anti-subscription. 
The speakers were there about eight o'clock, 
expecting to find the schoolhouse lighted 
and the men assembled to hear what was to 
be said. But all was dark. One of the 
residents was found, who at once set off to 
Mr. Morrel's residence for the key to the 
schoolhouse, but returned with the word that 
the directors had consulted over the matter 
and concluded that the schoolhouse should 
not be used to advocate a scheme to swindle 
the taxpayers of the county. However, a man 
was found, after some effort, who said, 
though he was opposed to subscribing for 
the road, he thought it wrong to treat men so 
who came to speak on the subject, and he be- 
lieved it was right to hear both sides. 

This gentleman procured admission into a 
small wagon-maker's shop, where the work 
man had left his tools and lumber in readi- 
ness to commence the next day's work. He 
also procured, a single tallow candle, which 
he fastened to the wall back of the 
workbench; and, after partially clearing the 
bench, a few men besides the speakers 
gathered in to hear. The only way to get light 
enough to read memoranda, or reckon 
figures, was for the speakers to stand on the 
workbench and read, and from there deliver 
their remarks and answer questions. They 
mounted the bench and undertook to set 
forth the benefits which that part of the 
county would derive from the railroad when 
constructed. Hamer's Corners, since named 
Clyde, was indeed a promising place for 
marketing farm produce, and the speakers 
endeavored to convince the few hearers there 
of the fact. After talking about half an hour 
each, and answering various questions and 
replying to sundry objections, the speakers 
came home, quite well satisfied that if the 
people of Green Creek township were so 

blind about their own interest, the success of 
the road was very uncertain. 

On the Saturday next before the election, 
there were more men in the city than usual 
on that day. Mr. Birchard, and John R. 
Pease, and other friends of the road had 
become alarmed about the result. These men 
noticed the fact that there was, for some 
reason, on that day, a large proportion of 
Democrats on the streets, and also a number 
of the active opponents of the road. Mr. 
Everett had been out speaking the night 
before until quite late, and, after dinner, 
hoarse, tired, and thoroughly exhausted, had 
sought the refreshment only to be found in 
sleep. He was awakened by a delegation, 
sent by Mr. Birchard and others, with orders 
to go at once into the street and make an 
address on the railroad question. Worn and 
hoarse, and unfit as he was, he obeyed the 
orders under the impulse of his own zeal in 
the work, and for about half an hour summed 
up the arguments pro and con to a large 
crowd of listeners on Front street, in the 
open air, and this ended his labors in that 
campaign. Much discussion of the measure 
between individuals was had that day, and 
great good for the work was no doubt 

The election was held on the first Monday 
in April, 1851, and the following certificate 
shows the result: 


I, La Q. Rawson; Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas in and 
for said county, hereby certify that, at the election held in the 
several election districts in said county, except the townships 
of Townsend and Woodville, for the purpose of voting for or 
against railroad subscription to the capital stock of the Toledo, 
Norwalk & Cleveland Railroad Company, the vote, as appears 
by the abstract and returns on file, stands as follows: 

For railroad subscription 1,174 

Against railroad subscription 774 

Majority 400 

D. CAPPER, Deputy Clerk, 
April 10, 1851. 



On the 16th .day of April, 1851, the county 
commissioners, namely: Martin Wright, 
Michael Reed, and Hiram Hurd, met at the 
auditor's office, and, as their journal shows, 
found that the election had been had, and 
that a majority of the votes cast on the 
question was in favor of subscribing fifty 
thousand dollars to the capital stock of the 
road, ordered the stock to be subscribed 
accordingly, and that bonds to pay the same 
be issued, bearing interest coupons at seven 
per cent, per annum, payable semiannually, 
in due form, and in two series; one series 
numbered from one to forty, inclusive, for 
one thousand dollars each, and the others 
numbered from one to one hundred, 
inclusive, for one hundred dollars each. The 
order further provided that these bonds be 
delivered when there was executed a stipu- 
lation to abide the proposition of the 
directors of the company against loss, and 
upon delivering the proper certificate of 
stock equal to the amount of the bonds. 

The stipulation with the directors of the 
road alluded to in the order was, that the 
county should not suffer any loss by the 
subscription for stock. The bonds were made 
ready for delivery, but the commissioners 
refused to deliver them until there was ample 
security given to indemnify against loss, 
according to the verbal promise of the 

The undertaking of the directors 
themselves did not satisfy the 
commissioners, and they then demanded a 
bond, signed by residents of the county, of 
known ability, to pay any damage or loss the 
county might suffer. 

Thereupon came a suspension of the 
delivery of the bonds for nearly two days. 
The friends of the road finally agreed to 
indemnify the county against all loss by 
reason of subscribing the stock and issuing 
the bonds, on condition that the com- 
missioners would stipulate in the bond of 

indemnity to sell and transfer the stock 
whenever the signers of the bond should 
require them to do so. A bond was drawn, 
with the conditions clearly set out, and 
delivered to Sardis Birchard, who undertook 
to return it, signed by men whose pecuniary 
circumstances would satisfy the 

commissioners, that in no event could the 
county be a loser by taking the stock and 
delivering the bonds. This undertaking was 
returned on the second day after, signed by 
about thirty of the solid men of the county. 
The bond is not now in existence, or at least 
cannot be found, but the writer of this sketch 
thinks now it was for the penal sum of one 
hundred thousand dollars, and, though he 
cannot remember the names of all the 
signers, recalls now among them the names 
of Sardis Birchard, R. P. Buckland, 
Rodolphus Dickinson, Nathan P. Birdseye, 
James Moore, John R. Pease, and La Q. 
Rawson. He much regrets his inability to 
place on record all the other signers, that the 
present and future inhabitants of the county 
might know who is entitled to their gratitude 
for the great benefits the road has conferred 
and is still conferring, and will continually 
confer on all who reside or may reside in the 
county. At the time this indemnity was 
demanded, it was plainly to be seen that, but 
for the prompt action of these signers, the 
road would probably not have been built, or, 
if built, it would not have passed through 
Fremont. But the indemnity was so ample 
that there was no longer any excuse for the 
exercise of that vigilant, if not extreme 
prudence, on the part of the commissioners, 
which came so near to working a final defeat 
of the enterprise. 

The bonds were delivered and the stock 
taken, however, and the rapid construction 
of the road followed. A consolidation of the 
Junction and the Toledo, Norwalk & 
Cleveland roads was doubtless 



arranged for privately by the managers early 
in 1853. But the agreement to consolidate 
was not publicly and certainly known until 
July 15, and then to take effect September 1, 

In this arrangement such terms were made 
as to raise the value of the stock of Toledo, 
Norwalk & Cleveland considerably above 
par, and create a demand for it, in which 
condition of affairs the signers of the 
indemnifying bond demanded a sale of the 
stock held by the county. The stock was sold 
sometime in April, 1853, and the bonds 
redeemed and burnt up July 1, 1853, by the 
commissioners. In the transaction the county 
gained by the rise of the stock over fifteen 
hundred dollars above all expenses. 

The first through passenger train passed 
over the road on the 7th day of February, 
1853. After the consolidation the road was 
called the Cleveland & Toledo Railroad, and 
passed by that name until it was consolidated 
with the Lake Shore road, April 6, 1869, 
since which date it has been denominated the 
Southern Division of that road, and has 
formed a part of one of the great trunk lines 
of road from east to west. 


The reader will remember how, in the 
history of this road, the project was opposed 
and was once voted down; how cautious the 
county commissioners were in requiring a 
guarantee against loss by the county, in 
consequence of subscribing fifty thousand 
dollars to the capital stock, in order to insure 
the construction of the road, and how, 
afterwards, the stock was sold at a premium 
of fifteen hundred dollars. Now let us glance 
briefly at the further results which so 
completely justify the friends of the road in 
their efforts to 

build it, and at the same time illustrates the 
folly of opposing the march of improvement 
which had then (1852), reached this county 
on its way to the Great West. 

In 1854 the county duplicate shows that 
the Toledo, Norwalk & Cleveland Railroad 
Company paid into the county for taxes on 
its property the sum of three thousand three 
hundred and sixty-four dollars and thirty- 
five cents. Ten years later, in 1864, it paid 
for taxes into the treasury, nine thousand 
four hundred and fifteen dollars and twenty- 
five cents. 

This annual tax increased year by year 
until, in 1876, it paid into the treasury for 
taxes the sum of seventeen thousand two 
hundred and ninety-eight dollars. 

In the year 1877 the amount was a little 
less, being sixteen thousand three hundred 
and seventy-four dollars. In 1878 the amount 
paid for taxes was twelve thousand two 
hundred and thirty-four dollars. In 1880 the 
sum paid was thirteen thousand and ninety- 
nine dollars and thirty cents. 

The county auditors will show, that 
during the twenty-eight years of its 
existence, and including the year 1880, the 
road has paid into the treasury of this county 
alone, an average yearly tax of not less than 
nine thousand dollars, or an aggregate sum 
of two hundred and fifty-two thousand 
dollars. Now add to this large sum, which is 
to be swelled year by year, the gain to our 
farmers from the increased price of their 
products, and also the increased value of 
farming and city real estate in the county, 
and surely the friends of the road who 
resided in the county and struggled so hard 
to have it built, are justified in their views 
and opinions, and rewarded amply for all 
their labors for the public good. 



Organization of the Company — Building the Road — Its Financial Difficulties — Sales of Road — Reorganization of the Company — 
Change of Name — Perseverance, Trials, and Pluck of the President and some of the Directors — How it came to be Part of a Great, 
Important Line of Transportation, now called the Lake Erie & Western Railway. 

THE construction of the plank-roads had 
given such impetus to business, and the 
completion of the Toledo, Norwalk & 
Cleveland Railroad had so clearly demon- 
strated that all, and more than all, the 
benefits promised by its advocates were 
realized, that the town became ambitious for 
further improvements, and under the 
stimulus of this ambition the 


The General Assembly of the State of 
Ohio had passed an act, May 1st, 1852, to 
create and regulate railroad companies. The 
act provided that any persons, to the number 
of five, by certain proceedings might obtain 
from the Secretary of State a certificate of 
incorporation, and thereby become a body 
corporate, with all the powers necessary to 
build a railroad in Ohio. The Fremont & 
Indiana Railroad Company was incorporated 
under this law by certificate dated April 25, 
1853. The incorporators were L. Q. Rawson, 
Sardis Birchard, James Justice, John R. 
Pease, and Charles W. Foster Mr. Foster 
residing at that time at Rome, in Seneca 
county, and the other corporators at 
Fremont, in Sandusky county. 

The corporators, their associates, suc- 
cessors, and assigns were empowered to 
build a railroad from Fremont, in Sandusky 
county, thence through Sandusky and Seneca 
counties to the town of Rome, in Seneca 
county; thence through Seneca 

and Hancock counties to the town of 
Findlay, in said county of Hancock; thence 
through the counties of Hancock, Allen, 
Auglaize, Mercer, and Darke to the west line 
of the State of Ohio, in the county of Darke. 
The certificate of incorporation specified the 
capital stock of the company to be two 
hundred thousand dollars. This capital stock, 
on the 17th of October, 1853, was increased 
by the proper certificate to one million two 
hundred thousand dollars, and again 
increased, July 23, 1855, to two millions of 

The law of May 1, 1852, to create and 
regulate railroad companies, provided that, 
so soon as ten per centum of the capital 
stock should be subscribed, and five dollars 
on each share paid in, the corporators might 
notify the stockholders to meet and elect 
directors, and the directors should then meet 
and elect a president, secretary, and 

These requirements of the statute were 
promptly complied with, and the company 
organized, during the time that the capital 
stock was fixed at two hundred thousand 
dollars, as designated in the original cer- 
tificate of incorporation. The increase of 
capital stock was authorized subsequently. 

The directors elected L. Q. Rawson, 
president; A. J. Hale, secretary, and Squire 
Carlin, treasurer of the company. 

The work of obtaining the right of way 
and contracting for the building of the road 
was promptly begun. True it was, that the 
completion of the Toledo, Nor- 




walk & Cleveland Railroad, and advent of 
the iron horse harnessed for regular business 
on the 7th of February, 1853, had 
demonstrated the advantages of railroads to 
the county, and had overcome the prejudices 
which the advocates of that road were 
compelled to meet and vanquish. But the 
friends of the Fremont & Indiana road 
encountered difficulties which, though of 
another kind, were no less formidable; these 
were an indifference on the part of a portion 
of our people, resulting partly from the 
unfavorable condition of our money market. 
These causes combined rendered the ob- 
taining of money to carry on the work very 
difficult. But the president of the company, 
L. Q. Rawson, was determined to build the 
road. In his indomitable will to accomplish 
this he was supported by such men as James 
Moore, Charles W. Foster, David J. Corey, 
and Squire Carlin, the two latter named 
being residents of Findlay, in Hancock 
county; Foster residing at Fostoria, formerly 
Rome, in Seneca county, and Rawson and 
Moore being residents of Sandusky county. 

How the road was bonded; how and at 
what rates the bonds were sold and secured 
by mortgage on the road; how the 
obligations of the company were found 
unavailable for the purchase of iron for the 
road; how the five men above named, under 
the influence of President Rawson's will and 
pluck, pledged their private fortunes to 
obtain the iron for the road, and what and 
how much these five brave men were 
compelled to sacrifice for the completion of 
the road to Findlay, and how they labored to 
extend the road further on, might form an 
interesting chapter in this history, if space 
permitted its insertion. But it is enough to 
say briefly, that, but for the bravery and 
pluck of these men, under great 
discouragements, and their 

large sacrifices of their own private means, 
the road would not have been built, and 
Fremont might never have realized the 
benefits of a southern and southwestern line 
of transportation: 


By the pluck, perseverance, and pecuniary 
sacrifices of these men the road was built, 
iron laid, and cars for carrying freight and 
passengers put running from Fremont to 
Fostoria, formerly Rome, on the 1st day of 
February, 1859. 

During the summer and fall of 1859 the 
work progressed, and. iron was laid to within 
about one mile of Findlay. The people of 
Findlay were very desirous of its 
completion, but they did not come forward 
with the money, and the resources of the 
company were exhausted. 

In this condition of affairs David J. Corey, 
one of the directors above named, usually 
called Judge Corey, went to New York early 
in the spring of 1860, and on his own private 
credit bought iron sufficient to complete the 
track into the town of Findlay, thereby 
making a distance of thirty-seven miles from 

While this was being done, the road had 
been made ready for the iron nearly to Lima, 
in Allen county. In this condition of the 
company's affairs it was overtaken by 

In the same year Joseph B. Varnum and 
Henry L. Mott, trustees named in the 
mortgage given to secure the first mortgage 
bonds of the road, commenced an action in 
the Court of Common Pleas of Sandusky 
county, to sell the road to pay arrearages of 
principal and interest which had become due 
to the holders of the bonds. This suit was 
prosecuted by Messrs. Buckland and Everett, 
attorneys for the trustees, and resulted in a 
decree of foreclosure, and an order for the 
sale of the road was entered October 14, 
1861. The sale 



was made between the October and January 
terms of the court, the road franchises, 
property, and fixtures being bid off by the 

The sale was confirmed, and a deed or- 
dered January 6, 1862. 

On the 21st of January, 1862, a new 
company was organized, and took the name 
of the Fremont, Lima & Union Railroad 
Company, to construct a road on the same 
route as that which had been adopted by the 
Fremont & Indiana Railroad Company. 

The corporators of the Fremont, Lima & 
Union Railroad Company were: Charles 
Congdon, of the city of New York; David J. 
Corey, and Squire Carlin, of the county of 
Hancock, and L. Q. Rawson and James 
Moore, of the county of Sandusky, State of 

L. Q. Rawson was made president, and R. 
W. B. McLellan secretary, and also treasurer 
of the new company. 

The Fremont & Indiana Railroad, at the 
judicial sale, sold for twenty thousand dol- 
lars; not sufficient to pay the bonds men- 
tioned in the mortgage, and the original 
stock in that road was, of course, lost to the 

The capital stock of the Fremont, Lima & 
Union Railroad Company was increased by 
the proper certificate of the Secretary of 
State, under date of May 17, 1864, to two 
million five hundred thousand dollars. 

On the 4th of February, 1865, the Fre- 
mont, Lima & Union Railroad Company 
entered into an agreement with the Lake Erie 
and Pacific. Railroad Company, of the State 
of Indiana, by which it was agreed to 
consolidate the two companies, and that the 
consolidated road should be called the Lake 
Erie & Louisville Railroad Company. The 
agreement was ratified by the stockholders 
of the Fremont, Lima & Union Railroad 
Company, on the 14th of January, 1865, and 
by the stock 

holders of the Lake Erie and Pacific 
Company on the 18th of the same month, 
and the road on that day took the new name 
of "Lake Erie & Louisville Railroad 
Company," with a capital stock of six 
million dollars, in fifty dollar shares. After 
this organization was consummated, it 
became the settled purpose of the company 
to build a through line of railroad from 
Louisville to the head of navigation on the 
Sandusky River, so that heavy freight could 
be carried by water, thence to Buffalo and 
New York, and passengers and light freight 
could pass east or west from Fremont on the 
southern division of the Lake Shore railroad. 

The Lake Erie and Louisville Railroad 
Company continued to operate and extend its 
line beyond Findlay, and also, by contract 
with other companies, namely, the Columbus 
& Indiana Central, and the Jeffersonville, 
Madison & Indianapolis, constructed twenty 
and three-fourths miles of their line, and put 
it in operation between Cambridge City and 
Rushville, in the State of Indiana. 

There remained unpaid bonds issued by 
the Fremont, Lima & Union Railroad 
Company, and also bonds issued by the Lake 
Erie and Louisville Railroad Company. On 
these bonds a large arrear of interest was 
unpaid. These bonds were secured by 
mortgages to trustees for the benefit of the 

On the 29th day of March, 1871, the 
trustees commenced proceedings in the 
Circuit Court of the United States, to 
foreclose their mortgages and sell the road. 
On the 4th day of April, 1871, L. Q. Rawson 
was appointed receiver by the court, and 
took charge of the road as such. The road 
was sold under the decree of foreclosure, on 
the 18th day of October, 1871, but the 
property remained in charge of the receiver, 
Rawson, until January 1, 1872. The road and 



of the company was sold to trustees for the 

The part of the road located in Ohio, that 
is from Fremont to Union City, was 
reorganized November 4, 1871, under the 
name of the Fremont, Lima & Union 
Railway Company, and the trustees con- 
veyed the road property to the new company, 
December 26, 1871. That part of the road in 
Indiana was reorganized November to, 1871, 
under the name of the Lake Erie & 
Louisville Railway Company, and these two 
companies were consolidated April 12, 1872, 
under the name last above given. 

Bonds were issued by the road as follows: 
Five hundred thousand dollars on that part in 
Ohio, and ninety thousand dollars for that 
part in Indiana between Union and 
Cambridge City, and mortgages given 
respectively. This company put the road in 
operation to Lima, and then to St. Mary's, 
and graded the roadbed from Union City to 
Cambridge City, Indiana, a distance of 
thirty-four miles. 

But the bonds were not paid, and on suit 
of trustees to foreclose the mortgage on the 
property of the Lake Erie & Louisville 
Railway Company, the road was again 
placed in the hands of a receiver. From the 
first organization of the Fremont & Indiana 
Railroad Company, through all its ups and 
downs, all its trials and tribulations, L. Q. 
Rawson had been president and chief 
manager. He adhered to the enterprise, 
through good and through evil report, and he 
gave his time, his untiring energy and great 
executive ability, and largely of his 
pecuniary store, to keep it up and carry it 
through. But President Rawson saw his 
wishes accomplished so far that the road was 
completed and cars running on it to St. 
Mary's, a distance of eighty-six miles, before 
the 25th day of April, 1874, when under 
foreclosure proceedings the road 

and its property were placed in the hands of 
a receiver, and as such receiver Isadore H. 
Burgoon, of Fremont, took full charge of the 
road, and managed it successfully, and to the 
satisfaction of all concerned, until March, 
1877. The road was finally sold at judicial 
sale in two separate parts; that is, the part in 
Indiana being the subject of one, and the part 
in Ohio the other. The sale of the part in 
Ohio was confirmed February 24, and that in 
Indiana March 8, 1877. 

This last purchase was made by the newly 
formed Lake Erie & Louisville Railroad 
Company, through Mr. James B. Hodgskin, 
acting as trustee for the owners and holders 
of the first mortgage bonds of the Lake Erie 
& Louisville Railway Company. This sale 
carried to the purchasers all property of the 
company, personal and real, and the 
purchaser took it, of course, divested of all 
prior claims. 

On the confirmation of this sale to Mr. 
Hodgskin, or soon after, Mr. Burgoon, the 
receiver, filed in the Court of Common 
Pleas, of Sandusky county, his final report 
and the account of his doings and dealings in 
the management of the road of which he had 
full charge as receiver, under direction of the 
court, for almost three years. 

Isadore H. Burgoon is a son of one of the 
many worthy pioneers of Sandusky county, 
Mr. Peter Burgoon, now deceased. After 
attending the common school near his home, 
was for a time sent by his father to Oberlin 
College. After leaving Oberlin he went into 
the service of the Fremont & Indiana 
Railroad Company as office and errand boy, 
and from that station was advanced, step-by- 
step, in the service of the company, to that of 
general superintendent. We are pleased to 
record the fact that every step of this 
advancement was earned by hard work, 



combined with unusual activity and integrity 
exercised in behalf of his employers. 

Mr. Burgoon's final report and account as 
receiver was presented to the court and 
confirmed, not only without question, but by 
consent of the counsel on both sides, and he 
was highly complimented for his 
management of the affairs of the road, as is 
shown by the order of confirmation, which is 
as follows: 

And this court, having examined the said final 
account and report, and found the same in all respects in 
accordance with law and the order of the court, and that 
the said receiver has duly paid and delivered all money, 
credits and property of every kind which came into his 
possession or control, by virtue of his appointment and 
office in accordance with the order and direction of the 
court, and has in all respects well and truly and 
faithfully discharged all his duties as such receiver, it is 
hereby ordered that the said final report and account be 
and the same is hereby approved and confirmed, and the 
said Isadore H. Burgoon discharged from all further 
accountability as such receiver. And he is especially 
commended for the ability and faithfulness with which 
he has discharged the arduous duties of his office. 

Attorneys for Lake Erie & Louisville Railway Company. 

Attorneys for Plaintiffs, the Trustees. 

This account being confirmed, Mr. 
Burgoon's duties as receiver were ended. Yet 
he was to receive further manifestations of 
approval for his energy and activity. The 
road was now under the management of Mr. 
Hodgskin as a representative of the 
purchasers. A new company was promptly 
formed after the purchase, in New York city, 
of which Mr. Hodgskin was president. Mr. 
Hodgskin, from the time he purchased the 
road, seemed to appreciate Mr. Burgoon's 
ability and integrity, and kept him as 
superintendent of the road until the decease 
of President Hodgskin, which occurred 
March, 20, 1879. Soon after the death of Mr. 
Hodgskin the annual report of the company 
was made showing, its condition for the year 
ending December 31, 1878, and 

was signed by Charles Foster, as president, 
under date of March 26, 1879. C. R. 
Cummings, of Chicago, succeeded Mr. 
Hodgskin as president, and the directors 
again chose Mr. Burgoon as superintendent 
of the road. 

The road was now scaled of all its debts, 
and was represented by one million five 
hundred thousand dollars of stock. A 
syndicate, it is said, was formed to purchase 
in this stock, for good judges affirm that the 
road at this time was worth at least two 
millions of dollars. This syndicate probably 
embraced the holders of large amounts of the 
stock, and the stock held by those outside 
this syndicate was quietly purchased at about 
twenty cents on the dollar, until all was 
gathered in. Soon after the purchase of the 
stock had been accomplished, and probably 
in June 1879, the road seems to have been 
consolidated with other western lines, and 
became part of what has since been known 
as the Lake Erie & Western Railway. 

The northern terminus of the Fremont & 
Indiana Railroad, under all the different 
names by which it was known, had been at 
the head of navigation on the Sandusky 
River in Fremont, and all freight intended 
for transportation by water was carried down 
the river and through the Sandusky Bay, past 
Sandusky City, into Lake Erie, to any 
desired port on the lakes. 

However, after the first consolidation 
with an Indiana road, and the design was 
formed to make Louisville the southern 
terminus of the line, the intention was 
entertained to extend the road to the lake at 
some point, but this intention was never 
executed by that company. When the road 
was last transferred and took the name of 
Lake Erie & Western Railway, the new 
company made proffers to the people of 
Sandusky to extend their road to that place if 
sixty thousand dollars were 



raised in that city to donate towards the cost 
of the extension. 

Under an act of the General Assembly of 
the State, the voters of Sandusky authorized 
the city to issue sixty thousand dollars of 
bonds, which were sold, and the sixty 
thousand dollars procured. The proceeds of 
these bonds were not paid to the Lake Erie & 
Western Railway Company, 

but a new company, called the Sandusky & 
Fremont Railway Company, was formed, and 
proceeded to construct a road between the 
two cities named. Work was commenced on 
this road about July 1, 1880, and made ready 
for trains about the last of February, 1881, 
and is practically an extension of the Lake 
Erie & Western Railway. 



Macadamized and Gravelled Roads in the County — Date of Building — Persons Prominently Connected 
with their Construction, and their Cost and Benefits. 

THE man who, seated in a fine carriage, 
with perhaps wife, or sweetheart, or 
bride at his side, drives pleasantly along the 
good roads of today at the rate of from six to 
ten miles per hour, or the anxious one who 
has occasion to ride posthaste over the same 
road for a surgeon or physician, is not very 
likely to think of, nor thank the men who 
devised, and toiled, gave their time and 
money, and contended for the building of the 
structure which saves him or them from 
wallowing through the mud and mire which 
used to be there. The same may be said of 
the farmer as he, comfortably seated on his 
great load of produce or building material, 
jogs comfortably along without stalling, 
strain, or breakage. But history would not be 
just without making some specific mention 
of such improvements and of the men who 
contended for and executed them. Therefore 
we mention in our chapter on improvements, 
the macadamized roads made under the 

of the county, and some of the men 
connected with the construction of them. 

The law under and by virtue of which 
these roads were made, provided that on the 
application of a majority of land owners 
whose land would be subjected to a charge 
for the construction of the road, the county 
commissioners might appoint three viewers 
or commissioners, and a surveyor or 
engineer, to view the route proposed for the 
road, and if the construction of the road 
should, in their opinion, be required by the 
public convenience, they should also report 
an estimate of the cost of construction, and a 
description of the land which, in their 
judgment, should be taxed to pay for the 
work. They also reported the form of the 
road and the materials to be used, whether 
gravel or stone, and the width and thickness 
to which the material should be laid on. On 
the filing of this report commissioners might 
approve the same and order the construction 
of the road. The commissioners were also 



empowered to issue bonds of the county 
bearing interest, and sell them to raise the 
money necessary to carry on the work. To 
pay the interest and principal of the bonds an 
assessment was made on the land, to be paid 
in installments as taxes are paid, and these 
assessments were charged against the lots 
and tracts respectively, on the tax duplicate 
of the county, and collected by the county 
treasurer and applied to the redemption of 
the bonds. 

This brief outline of the statute governing 
the construction of free turnpikes in Ohio 
will serve to help the reader to understand 
better what follows on the subject. 


Ever since about 1831 settlers had been 
locating in the southwestern part of the 
county. Among the county roads laid out 
about that time was one from near James 
Moore's mill, in Ballville township, thence 
due west on section lines, to near the 
northwest corner of section ten in Jackson 
township, where the road angled southward 
through sections, until it intersected the 
south line of section eight in the same 
township, a little west of the southeast 
corner of the section, and where the village 
of Millersville now stands. From there the 
line ran due west through Greensburg on 
section lines, to the west line of the county, 
a distance of about fourteen miles and a half 
from the starting point. To describe the 
difficulties of travelling and the still greater 
difficulties of hauling heavy loads over this 
road, is needless to those who have had 
experience with roads in new, level, 
timbered countries. True, the inhabitants had 
done much in mending and draining the road 
from time to time, but with all they could do, 
more than half the way for about half the 
year, was mud, or if a dry surface was 

found it was hard travelling over the rough 
surface, cut into deep Tuts. 

On the 6th of March, 1867, Martin Wright 
and one hundred and twenty-eight others, 
owners of land along this road, filed their 
petition with the county commissioners, 
asking them to take the necessary 
proceedings to macadamize this road. The 
county commissioners at the time were 
Benjamin Inman, Samuel E. Watters, and 
Henry Reiling. A bond to pay all expenses of 
view, survey, etc., in case the report should 
be against the request of the petitioners, was 
filed by Martin Wright and Lewis K. Wright, 
of Scott township. On filing the bond the 
commissioners appointed William E. 
Haynes, Charles G. Green, and Hiram Haff, 
viewers, and Beman Amsden surveyor. 
These men performed their respective duties, 
and on the fourth of June, 1867, reported 
that in their opinion the prayer of the peti- 
tioners ought to be granted. They also 
viewed the land to be benefited by the road, 
and recommended that the road be graded 
twenty-two feet wide on top, and that twelve 
feet in width of the twenty-two, be covered 
with stone to the thickness of one foot. The 
viewers' and engineer's estimate of the cost 
of the road, was for grading, one thousand 
nine hundred and thirty-six dollars, and for 
macadamizing, twenty-three thousand four 
hundred and sixty-three dollars and fifty 
cents; making a total estimated cost of 
twenty-five thousand three hundred and 
ninety-nine dollars and fifty cents. The last 
paragraph of this report is as follows: 

We cannot conclude without commending to your 
favorable consideration the prayers of the petitioners, 
who are intelligent, prudent men, many of them large 
land owners and tax payers, and we respectfully, but 
earnestly recommend that you order the improvement, 
as provided by law. 


C. G. GREENE, Viewers. 


B. AMSDEN, Engineer. 



There was no remonstrance against the 
proposed improvement, and no claim for 
damages by reason of it, as is shown by the 
commissioners record. The work was 
promptly begun, bonds for the payment of 
the costs of construction were issued, and 
taxes, or rather assessments, levied upon the 
land to be benefited to meet the payment of 
the bonds, and Commissioner Inman gave 
his special attention and much time to 
directing and superintending the work. There 
was, as a matter of course, some contention 
among the land owners, in the apportionment 
of the burden of assessment each tract 
should bear. Such contention is almost 
inseparable from the prosecution of every 
improvement in town, city or country where 
there is to be an apportionment of the 
expenses of the work. But these wranglings 
have an end, which usually terminates in the 
dissatisfaction of part of those who have to 
pay out their money, for a perfectly 
satisfactory adjustment of such burden is 
seldom, if ever, arrived at. So blinding is the 
effect of selfishness on the perceptions of 
men that it is doubtful whether in such a 
case all would be satisfied, if the most 
perfect equity could be made to operate on 
such an apportionment. Mr. Inman being a 
resident of Scott township, a land owner to 
be benefited, as well as one of the county 
commissioners, and as such, exercising a 
kind of special supervision over the work, 
received the chief animadversions of the 
dissatisfied. But Benjamin Inman was an 
honest man and bore the unfavorable 
comments of some of his esteemed 
neighbors with patience and silence, though 
with pain and regret, until shame silenced 
the dissatisfied ones, and time vindicated 
and made clear his honesty of purpose, as 
well as sound judgment concerning the 

The road was finished during the year 
1870, at a total cost of forty thousand 

three hundred and twenty-one dollars and 
ninety-one cents, being fourteen thousand 
nine hundred and twenty-two dollars and 
forty-one cents more than the estimated cost 
as returned by the viewers and engineer; the 
actual cost per mile being a fraction less 
than two thousand eight hundred dollars. 


On the 4th day of December, 1867, 
William E. Lay and forty others, constituting 
a majority of the owners of land to be 
affected, petitioned the commissioners of the 
county for the macadamizing or gravelling 
of the county road, on the following routes: 
Beginning at the Lake Shore railroad, in 
Clyde, thence south on the east line of 
section 23, 26, and 35. in Green Creek 
township, to the county line between 
Sandusky and Seneca counties. Bond was 
given by C. G. Eaton, J. M. Lemmon, and 
William W. Wales. 

The county commissioners, namely, 
Benjamin Inman, David Fuller, and Henry 
Reiling, at their December session, 1867, 
appointed Andrew Smith, Hiram Haff, and 
John Orwig viewers, and Jeremiah Evans, 
surveyor. These viewers and the surveyor 
met according to notice, at the store of 
Darwin E. Harkness, in the village of Clyde, 
on the 15th day of January, 1868. They 
reported on the 3d day of March, 1868, that 
no claim for damage had been made, and 
recommended that the improvements be 
made as prayed for, by macadamizing or 
gravelling the same; that the road be opened 
sixty feet wide, top of roadway to be 
eighteen feet wide and covered with broken 
stone or gravel. The viewers and surveyor 
reported their estimate of the cost of the 
work to be as follows: For grading, eight 
hundred dollars; for gravelling, three 
thousand six hundred dollars; making a total 
of estimated cost of four thousand four hun- 



dred dollars. The length of the road was 
three miles and a-half. 

The road was constructed according to the 
recommendation of the viewers and 
engineer, and finished about the beginning 
of 1870, at a total cost often thousand seven 
hundred and thirty-even dollars and sixteen 
cents, or at the rate of two thousand nine 
hundred and sixty-seven dollars per mile. 

This William E. Lay road improvement 
was made under, regulations and proceed- 
ings like those by which the Greensburg 
improvement was made, and a repetition of 
them would be superfluous. 


On the petition of Charles H. Bell and 
others for the macadamizing of that part of 
the State road which lies between the east 
line of the city of Fremont and Bark Creek, 
and on filing the proper bond signed by C. 
H. Bell and J. H. McArdle, on the 9th of 
December, 1868, the county commissioners, 
namely: Benjamin Inman, Henry Reiling, 
and David Fuller, appointed Piatt Brush, A. 
B. Putman, and Jonas Smith, viewers, and 
Jeremiah Evans, surveyor. These were 
ordered to meet at A. B. Putman's office, in 
Fremont, on the 18th of February, 1869, 
which they did, proceeded to the discharge 
of their duties, and reported to the 
commissioners on the 6th day of March 
following. Their report was in favor of 
making the improvement, and they reported 
also that they estimated the cost of the work 
at nine thousand eight hundred and fifty-two 
dollars and eighty cents. Like proceedings 
were had as in the cases of the other im- 
provements, and the macadamizing of this 
road was completed to South Creek about 
1872, at a total cost of fourteen thousand 
eight hundred and twenty-six dollars and 
seventy cents, exceeding the statement by 

four thousand nine hundred and seventy- 
three dollars and ninety cents. 

The length of this improvement is three 
miles and a half, with stone macadamized 
track nine feet in width, at an actual cost of 
four thousand four hundred and thirteen 
dollars per mile, paid for by the land owners 


The macadamizing of that part of the road 
leading from Fremont to Port Clinton which 
lies between the north boundary of the city 
of Fremont and the south line of Rice 
township, was petitioned for by Andrew 
Engler and others. On May 4, 1874, bond 
was given, and Oscar Ball, Christian 
Doncyson, and Barney Donahu were 
appointed viewers. Their report was 
favorable, and the work was executed at an 
actual cost of six thousand and eighty-nine 
dollars and thirty-five cents. The estimated 
cost of this improvement was not found on 
the record of the proceedings, and is 
therefore not given here, nor is it deemed 
very material. The proceedings in the matter 
of this improvement were like those of the 
others above mentioned. The improvement is 
an important one, especially on that part of 
the road through the Whittaker reserve, 
where the road had been notoriously bad for 
a great many years. 

The reader may notice that in these works 
the actual cost is far in excess of the amount 
estimated by the viewers, in every instance, 
this excess being nearly fifty per cent above 
the estimate. This shows that estimates are 
as unreliable in these works as in the 
estimates for building houses, or any other 
work men undertake. The experience of 
persons who have built a house or a barn 
will confirm the assertion that the only safe 
way to proceed is to add about fifty per cent 
to the 



estimate of the carpenter who was consulted 
as to the cost of the proposed structure. Why 
this is so we leave to the reader to find out. 

The history of these roads is perhaps 
neither exciting nor attractive to the reader, 
but it will serve hereafter to mark the time 
when the people of the county began to 
realize that it does not pay to travel in deep 
mud when a little expense will give them a 
firm, dry wagon way, and that by comfort in 
travel, and cheapening the expense of 
transportation of produce and merchandise 
over the road, the outlay is very soon 
balanced, and the well-improved road 
thereafter, by repairing only, will remain a 
permanent source of economical saving to 
the community. 

These roads are now repaired with money 
derived from taxes levied on the 

property of the entire county, and the par- 
ticular locality thereby relieved from further 
special assessments. The aggregate cost of 
the macadamized roads made by the county 
commissioners, at this writing (1881), is 
seventy-one thousand nine hundred and 
seventy-five dollars and twelve cents. There 
have been portions of some of the other 
roads in the county macadamized by 
appropriations from time to time from the 
county and township road funds, the cost of 
which cannot well be ascertained. The 
people are now quite alive to improvement 
of roads, and ere long Sandusky county will 
be a delightful land to drive through, on 
good roads, and not a tollgate on any of 
them, excepting the Maumee and Western 
Reserve turnpike, which is controlled and 
managed by the State. 



The First Court-House — How and When Built — Its Removal and What Became of It — Organization of the 
County Infirmary — Subscription for Public Buildings. 

IN Chapter VIII of this history we made 
some mention of the subscription for 
building the first courthouse in the county 
showing that it was built by subscription of 
individuals, signed under date of April 1, 
1823. The subscription showed obligations 
to pay in cash two hundred and thirty-five 
dollars; in labor, three hundred and five 
dollars; in produce, five hundred and fifteen 
dollars; in material, seven hundred and 
forty-five dollars-making an aggregate of 
one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five 


The county commissioners, viz: Giles 
Thompson, Moses Nichols, and Morris A. 
Newman, met according to appointment on 
the 12th day of April, 1823, as the record 
shows, for the purpose of "investigating the 
propriety of immediately building a jail or 
some other public building with the funds 
subscribed for said purpose, in and for the 
county of Sandusky." After transacting some 
other business, such as ordering the trustees 
of the different townships to direct the 
supervisors to 



open all county roads through the townships 
at least sixty feet wide, they made an order 
that there should be erected a building for 
public purposes, out of the funds subscribed 
for that purpose, and a part thereof to be 
appropriated for a courthouse until other 
arrangements might be made, on the ground 
selected and donated for public purposes, 
and that the building should be of the 
following dimensions : A good and 
substantial frame, thirty-six feet long, 
twenty-four feet wide, twenty feet high, so 
as to furnish two full stories; a good and 
sufficient brick chimney at each end, with 
four fireplaces below and two above; joint- 
shingle roof, floors well laid, four rooms and 
a passage below, and one room above, etc. 
The following is a copy of the concluding 
order of the session: 

Ordered that the Auditor be authorized and instructed 
to write sundry advertisements comprehending the above 
order, for the purpose of letting said building to the 
lowest bidder, on the 10th day of June next, and that one 
of said advertisements be filed in the office and 
recorded, and that a draft thereof be attached to each 
advertisement so published and recorded. The 
commissioners adjourned until their June meeting. 

By order of the commissioners, 

Auditor and Clerk of said Board. 

County Auditor Hawkins issued the notices 
ordered by the commissioners, which is of 
record in the words and figures following: 

is hereby given to all who may feel interested in the 
same, that the commissioners of Sandusky county will 
sell to the lowest bidder who will give bond and 
approved security for faithful performance, the building 
of a courthouse in and for the county aforesaid, on the 
17th day of July next, comprising the following 
dimensions: A good and sufficient frame thirty-six feet 
long and twenty-four feet wide, and twenty feet from the 
ground sill to the top of the plate, so as to form two full 
stories high, and the frame to be elevated two feet above 
the ground with a good, substantial stone wall ; joint- 
shingle roof; two good and sufficient brick chimneys, 
with four fireplaces below stairs and two above; the 
lower story to be divided into four rooms, two at each 
end, and a passage eight feet wide between them; 

stairs to go up in the passage, and to be three and a half 
feet wide, and not to rise more than seven inches to each 
step; all the walls and ceilings to be lathed and 
plastered, except the two small rooms on the one end of 
said building and a small closet under the stairs; floors 
to be laid with tongue and groove joints; five windows 
and two outside doors in the lower story, four inside 
doors and a door to the stairway; eight windows in the 
second story, which shall all be left in one room; all 
windows to be filled with twenty-four lights of eight by 
ten glass; all doors to be panel work; all joiners' work of 
every description to be finished off in neat but plain 
order; all rooms, fireplaces, stairs, passage, windows 
and doors to be situated agreeable to the underneath 
plan. A subscription now in the hands of the com- 
missioners, signed by thirty-four of the most creditable 
citizens of the town of Sandusky, amounting to eighteen 
hundred dollars, will be given for the completion of said 
building, or so far as it may go towards the same. The 
subscription calls for two hundred and thirty-five dollars 
in cash, three hundred and five dollars in labor, five 
hundred and fifteen in produce, and seven hundred and 
forty-five in materials. All enterprising men and 
industrious mechanics will do well, considering the 
depreciation of the times and scarcity of good jobs, by 
making their terms known on said 17th day of July next. 

It is expressly understood that the seats such as is 
customary is to be finished off in court room, and the 
frame up and covered and underpinned with said stone 
wall, on or before the first day of December next. 

Sandusky County, April 26, 1823. 

To this notice was appended a front view 
of the building, presenting seven windows, 
four above and three below, and one door 
below; also a draft showing the plan of the 
courtroom in second story, and the offices, 
hall, stairway and fireplaces on the ground 

Tradition says that when the letting of the 
job of building the house took place, on the 
17th of July, 1823, Cyrus Hulburt's proposal 
was accepted, but on reflection he declined 
to complete his contract, and on the 10th of 
the same month Thomas L. Hawkins entered 
into a contract to erect the building for two 
thousand four hundred and fifty dollars. The 
commissioners, in payment of this sum, 
assigned to him the subscription list, 
amounting, as they called it then, to eigh- 



teen hundred dollars, and also agreed to pay 
him six hundred and fifty dollars in orders 
on the county treasury. 

The building was begun in the fall of 
1823; the frame was raised and the chimney 
partly built, but the work progressed slowly. 
The location proved unsatisfactory to the 
subscribers, and the result was that the 
building, in its unfinished condition, was 
moved out of the woods to the brow of the 
hill, a little north and west of where the city 
hall now stands, and was placed on lands 
now designated on the plat of the city as in- 
lots one hundred and three and one hundred 
and four. The building was moved on rollers, 
and was drawn from the old site to the new 
by twenty-four yoke of oxen. The exact date 
of this removal cannot now be ascertained; 
but the house was finished off and ready for 
the holding of court as early as 1830 or 
before. The commissioners procured the title 
to lot one hundred and three from Samuel 
Treat, by deed dated January 13, 1829, and 
the title to lot one hundred and four from 
James Birdseye, by deed dated October 9, 
1830. There is no doubt, however, but there 
were contracts for titles before these dates. 
On the same premises the commissioners 
shortly after built 


was erected about 1832, by Elisha W. 
Howland, under contract with the county 
commissioners. The walls, and ceilings, and 
floor of this building were composed of 
hewn timbers eighteen inches square, laid 
one upon another and bolted through with 
iron bolts. The windows were secured by 
iron grating of perpendicular bars one inch 
square, about three inches apart, and passing 
through horizontal flat bars about one inch 
thick, and with a space between them of 
about three inches. All these bars were 
deeply inserted into the timbers at the sides, 
and above and 

below the open space cut for the windows. 
This jail was completed about the year 1832. 
The courthouse was completed earlier, 
probably about 1826. 


were used for their respective purposes the 
one for the administration of justice and the 
county offices, the other for the confinement 
of criminals, until the year 1843, when 
another and better courthouse and a better 
jail were built by the county. 

In the old jail above described, S perry 
was incarcerated for the murder of his wife; 
in this old courthouse he was tried, 
condemned, and sentenced to be hung. 

The same jail confined Thompson for the 
murder of a young lady at Bellevue. 

In this old jail Sperry committed suicide, 
in the presence of Thompson, to escape the 

The walls of this old courthouse echoed 
the arguments of attorneys Hiram R. 
Pettibone, Peter Yates, Asa Calkins, 
Nathaniel B. Eddy, Homer Everett, L. B. 
Otis, C. L. Boalt, E. B. Sadler, Brice J. 
Bartlett, W. W. Culver, and fairly shook 
with the crashing voice of Cooper K. 
Watson, in his prime, when he prosecuted 
Sperry with wonderful powers of eloquence 
and logic. 

These buildings served their purposes 
well, until the increasing population and 
legal business of the county required more 
room and structures more secure from de- 
struction by fire. 

Soon after the erection of the brick 
courthouse the lots on which the old 
courthouse and jail were situated were sold 
by the commissioners. 

The deed conveys the lots numbers one 
hundred and three and one hundred and four 
to John Karshner for the sum of eight 
hundred and ten dollars, and bears date 
January 13, 1845, and the county 
commissioners who executed the conveyance 



were: Paul Tew, John S. Gardner, and James 

On the 14th day of March, A. D. 1845, 
John Karshner conveyed the same lots, for 
the same amount of consideration, to Daniel 
Schock, David Deal; John Stahl, John 
Heberling, and Frederick Grund, as trustees 
of "The United German Evangelical 
Lutheran, and German Evangelical 
Reformed St. John's Church, of Fremont." 
Rev. Henry Lang, pastor of the church, took 
possession of the buildings soon after the 
sale. The jail was used for a stable, the court 
room was converted into a place of worship, 
while the room below served as a residence 
for the worthy pastor and his family many 
years. The two societies separated, and the 
property is now owned exclusively by the 
Lutheran Church of Fremont, and the whole 
building is used as a parsonage of the 

The jail was taken down several years 
ago, but the old first frame courthouse is still 
standing, with all its timbers strong and 


On the judge's seat in this old courthouse 
sat John C. Wright, and as one of the judges 
of the Supreme Court of the State under the 
old constitution, heard and determined 
causes with wonderful promptness and 
marked ability. It was here that Judge 
Wright heard a divorce case, the cause 
alleged being cruel treatment of the wife by 
the husband. The testimony showed a 
chronic habit of indulging bad temper by 
both parties, but the wife, who sought the 
divorce, was the greater and more talented 
scold of the two. Judge Wright patiently 
heard the evidence and arguments in the 
case. As soon as the arguments were closed, 
the judge, in his sharp, ringing voice began, 
and said: "This is a petition for divorce, on 
the ground of extreme cruelty. The 

proof shows that the parties have been about 
equally cruel toward each other, and taking 
the evidence all into consideration, the Court 
is satisfied that in this case two people have 
been joined in the holy bonds of wedlock 
who are possessed of very unhappy tempers, 
but if bad temper should be held to be 
sufficient cause for divorce, we fear that few 
matrimonial contracts in Ohio would stand 
the test. The divorce is therefore refused." 
More such decisions are needed to preserve 
the sanctity of the marriage relation in more 
recent times. 

In this old courthouse Judge Ebenezer 
Lane sat and announced decisions as learned 
and sound as any since his day. In the old 
court room Brice J. Bartlett, Nathaniel B. 
Eddy, Lucius B. Otis, and Homer Everett 
first appeared in the practice of the law. The 
old house has served for a time as the temple 
of justice, then as a temple for illustrating 
God's mercy to man, and finally as the abode 
of a pious, peaceful, and happy family. 


The county, in 1840, had so increased in 
inhabitants and business that the old 
courthouse, twenty-four by thirty-six feet in 
dimensions, no longer afforded room for the 
proper and convenient transaction of the 
public business, nor a safe repository for the 
public records. Hence public opinion urged 
the county commissioners to the 
construction of a safer and more 
commodious building. It appears by the 
journal of the county commissioners, that the 
public desire put them in motion towards 
this object in March or April, 1840. The first 
recorded action of the commissioners is 
found in their journal under date of April 3, 
1840, when they met at the auditor's office 
with Nathaniel B. Eddy, then county auditor. 
They met, as the journal entry shows, and 
not having completed their view and location 
of a 



site for the courthouse, adjourned until the 
next morning. The next journal entry shows 
that on the 4th of April, 1840, the 
commissioners met pursuant to adjournment, 
and having completed the survey and 
location of a site for a courthouse, adjourned 
without delay. The commissioners then 
were: Paul Tew, of Townsend township; 
Jonas Smith, of Ballville township; and John 
Bell, of Sandusky township. 

The commissioners, at their meeting 
under date of June 2, 1840, after having 
published for proposals, met, and opened 
and examined offers filed, and after having 
them under advisement accepted the pro- 
posal of Isaac Knapp, to build the 
courthouse and jail, for the sum of fourteen 
thousand five hundred and fifty dollars. 

On the 4th day of June, 1840, the county 
commissioners ordered a levy on all taxable 
property of the county, of one mill and a half 
on the dollar valuation, for courthouse and 
jail purposes, to be held exclusively for 
those purposes and no other. 


The contract between the commissioners 
and Mr. Knapp, and the plans and 
specifications of the building, were not made 
matter of record, and cannot now be found, 
but the following items respecting the 
materials, form, and dimensions of the 
building as erected by Mr. Knapp, are 
gathered from those who are familiar with 
the courthouse before any alteration was 

The length of the building east and west, 
was fully sixty-seven feet; the breadth north 
and south, was fully forty-five feet. 

The basement was the jail, built of large 
blocks of cut limestone, with a wide hall 
along the north basement wall, and the south 
side partitioned by thick walls of cut 
limestone into cells for prisoners. These 
walls were all of unusual thickness, 

and the cells closed by doors made of strong 
iron bars. The floor of the jail was of very 
heavy limestone flagging, and the ceiling of 
the same material. Both floors, that is, first 
and second floors above the jail, were of 
sandstone flagging laid in mortar, on heavy 
timbers placed near together. 

The height of the wall from the eaves 
trough to the ground was forty-five feet; the 
roof, what mechanics denominate quarter- 
pitch, covered with pine shingles, with 
belfry a little east of the centre. The style 
was plain Grecian, with a porch on the front, 
or eastern gable end, supported by four 
fluted columns of woodwork, about eight 
feet deep, floored with dressed limestone 
flagging. A flight of steps, extending north 
and south, and in front centre about thirty 
feet, led from the pavement to the porch, 
which was elevated about four feet above the 

The exact time when the building was 
completed, or when it was first used, is now, 
after the lapse of forty years, rather difficult 
to find. But certain facts of record serve to 
show a near approximation to the time the 
building was completed, so far as Mr. 
Knapp's contract had to do with it. For 
instance, at a meeting of the commissioners, 
under date of December 5, 1843, they 
ordered, as appears by their journal, that as 
soon as the new courthouse should be 
finished, the auditor should let, to the lowest 
bidder, a contract for finishing and 
furnishing the inside of the clerk's office, 
according to plans and specifications 
furnished by the clerk. This entry indicates 
very clearly that the courthouse was not 
completed at the date of the order, December 
5, 1843. But under date of August 1, 1844, 
we find an entry in the commissioners' 
journal, reciting that a large number of 
taxpayers, being convinced that Isaac Knapp 
had lost largely in building the courthouse 



jail for the county, asked the commissioners 
to make him an extra allowance, to cover his 
losses, and they then ordered an allowance 
of two thousand dollars, to be paid out of the 
county treasury. This indicates that the job 
had been completed before the time this' 
extra allowance had been made, and leads to 
the conclusion that the spring term of the 
court of common pleas, of the year 1844, 
was held in the new courthouse. 

The building was intended to be safe 
against fire, but the stone floors were found 
to be objectionable, especially for the court 
room, on account of the noise produced by 
walking on the stone flagging. The stone 
floor in the court room, after a few years use 
was removed, and a wooden floor, with 
manila carpet, put down, which was a great 
improvement. Soon after, the stone floors in 
the offices were removed, for reasons of 
health, and wood floors substituted for them, 
but the stone floor in the hall is yet kept in 
use as it was originally laid. The jail, made 
with so much care and cost, was, in a few 
years, found to be so damp and unhealthy 
that it was repeatedly reported by the grand 
jury to be a nuisance, and finally the com- 
missioners built a jail on the rear of the 
courthouse lot, above ground, with means of 
ventilation, which is now occupied for the 


On the 10th of September, 1870, the court 
room was again found too small for the 
convenient transaction of business, and the 
commissioners on that date contracted with 
D. L. June & Son to extend the building 
westward a distance of forty feet, with 
dimensions of width and height, and style of 
work, to correspond with the main building. 
The June contract was only for the mason 
work, and the agreed price was eight 
thousand nine hundred dollars. 

After D. L. June & Son had finished the 
extension of the courthouse, the com- 
missioners contracted with Jacob Myers for 
doing the joiner work of the enlarged court 
room, who completed the work in the fall of 
1871, at a cost of about one thousand five 
hundred dollars. The court room was 
completed and occupied by the court in the 
fall of 1871. Hitherto the court room and 
offices had been warmed by stoves in each 
of the separate rooms and apartments. About 
this time two important ideas came over the 
county authorities in the way of progressive 
means of economy and safety. One was the 
heating of the courthouse by steam, and the 
other that of providing fireproof and 
burglarproof vaults for the preservation of 
the county records in the offices of the clerk, 
auditor, recorder, and probate judge; also a 
capacious time-lock burglarproof safe for the 
county treasury. 


On the 6th of September, 1871, the 
commissioners contracted with Sales A. 
June, of Fremont, to put into the court house 
a boiler and furnace in the basement, with a 
tank and heater sufficient to furnish steam to 
warm the courthouse; and with Davis & 
Shaw, of Toledo, to furnish pipe and coils 
sufficient to warm the halls, offices, and the 
court room in the house. They contracted to 
pay Sales A. June, for his work, the sum of 
six hundred dollars. The amount to be paid 
Davis & Shaw, for their work and materials, 
was two thousand seven hundred dollars. 
The steam heating apparatus was completed 
and used for the purpose of warming early in 
the winter of 1871-72, and has ever since 
worked satisfactorily, and is likely to be 
long continued in use. 

From the completion of the courthouse to 
the year 1880, the county clerk's office had 
been kept on the first or lower floor of the 
courthouse, in the northeast room. 



This arrangement was inconvenient, 
especially during sessions of the court, for to 
get access to the files and records of the 
office the clerk must leave the court room 
and descend the stone stairway. After the 
election of the present efficient and 
experienced clerk, Basil Meek, he suggested 
an improved arrangement of the clerk's 
office, by removing it up stairs on the same 
floor as the court room, and adjoining it in 
the rear. This was done in 1880; and now the 
attorneys and all concerned feel gratified 
with the improvement. A new fireproof vault 
was constructed up stairs in the new office, 
for the preservation of the court records, and 
there is now a sense of convenience and 
safety in the well-arranged clerk's office. 

We have thus traced the building of the 
second courthouse in the county to its 
present condition; and if the reader shall be 
impressed that the account is tedious in 
unimportant and uninteresting details, we 
suggest that as time passes, and when the 
county in its multiplied wealth and 
population shall, in the progress of events, 
build a more commodious and elegant 
structure in which to transact the business of 
an advanced generation, the particulars we 
have given will become more and more 
curious and interesting. 

The difference in cost, convenience, 
safety, and elegance, between the first 
simple framed courthouse, we have 
described, and this second one we have 
given an account of will not be a tithe of the 
difference between the present building and 
the next one the people will erect for the 
same purposes. 


Order is heaven's first law, and this confess'd, 
Some must be richer, greater than the rest. 

Pope's Essay on Man. 

The Lord said when on earth in the flesh, For 
the poor always you have with you. 

In these utterances we see that the poet 

philosopher simply and beautifully 
amplifies what the Divine Master of 
humanity had tersely uttered centuries 
before the poet lived. The utterances are 
both true, and both enunciate, not only what 
was and still is true, but what is always to 
be true. The word poor is applied to many 
objects, as our language is now framed, but 
no doubt in the quotations above given the 
word was used to signify persons who were 
destitute of money and property, and 
needed the assistance of others to obtain the 
proper means of subsistence, and would 
seem to embrace all who are found in that 
condition, whether by loss or lack of 
property, or by the mental or physical 
inability to acquire their own proper 
subsistence. When we consider the number 
of imbecile, and deaf and dumb, and blind 
from birth, born into this breathing world, 
how many men and women, once able to do 
their full share of productive labor, are 
disabled by the lapse of time, and decay of 
their powers. When we observe how many 
who are well endowed with will, and brain, 
and muscle, and who have worked well to 
maintain, improve, and ornament the great 
fabric of civilized society, are by fire and 
flood, cyclone and earthquake, and war, and 
all the minor accidents to which property, 
and life, and limb, and reason are subject, 
on sea and on land, society may well settle 
down to the conclusion that "the poor will 
be always with us," and that Christ in this, 
as on all other subjects he spoke of, uttered 
a truth which will not fail. The same Christ 
who uttered the truth referred to, also taught 
the universal brotherhood of man, with the 
sublime doctrine of love toward all. Under 
the influence of such teachings, the human 
heart individually, as well as in the 
aggregate of communities and States, has 
been moved up higher in the scale of 
charity and good will towards men, Marked 
and wonderful as the present 


age is, by its unparalleled progress in 
science, in explorations, in inventions for 
travel and transportation, and in the march 
of thought, the organized charities for the 
relief, maintenance, and comfort of the 
unfortunate, form the grandest, and at the 
same time the most beautiful work and 
proof of our progressive civilization. When 
one looks at the grand edifices raised by the 
people of the State, and given as homes for 
the deaf and dumb, and blind, and those 
who by birth or accident are deprived of 
reason, and the like, in the counties, for the 
poor and infirm, and considers the tender 
care bestowed upon them, all by 
kindhearted and Christian men and women, 
the contemplation fairly forces out the 
exclamation: "Surely the spirit of Christ is 
abroad in the earth." 


The early settlers of the State were of 
that class of people, few of whom needed 
more than temporary relief, which the 
generous heart of the pioneer promptly 
furnished, without resort to legal methods. 
In those communities so thinly populated 
that the face of a man or woman is of itself 
a matter of cheer and pleasure whenever 
met, neighborly kindness rendered poor 
laws unnecessary. But as the population 
increased and inhabitants began to crowd 
and cross each other in interest and design, 
that, free heartedness which prevailed 
among old pioneers subsided, or took 
another form of manifestation. 

On the 5th of March, 1831, the General 
Assembly passed a law providing for the 
organization of townships, and for the 
election of officers thereof. Among the 
township officers, this law required the 
election annually of two overseers of the 
poor. In another act, passed March 14, 
1831, and which took effect June 1, 1831, it 
was provided that when the overseers of the 
poor of any township in any county 

not having a poorhouse, should be satisfied 
that any person having a legal settlement (a 
residence of one year) in such township, 
was suffering and ought to be relieved at 
the expense of such township, they might 
afford such relief at the expense of the 
township as in their opinion the necessities 
of such person might require; and if more 
than temporary relief was required, then the 
overseers of the poor should give seven 
days notice, by written or printed notices, 
posted up in at least three public places in 
the township, of the time and place at which 
they would attend and receive proposals for 
the maintenance of such pauper. The 
contract for maintenance was by the law 
limited to one year. This provision, 
therefore, required an annual advertising 
and contracting for the support of each 
unfortunate. Whatever service the pauper 
could reasonably perform was done for the 
benefit of the person supporting him or her. 


In the act of March 14, 1831, the second 
section reads as follows: 

SEC. 2. That nothing in this act shall be so 
construed as to enable any black or mulatto person to 
gain a legal settlement in this State. 

We mention this provision of the statute 
in a total absence of all admiration or 
approval of it, but for the purpose of 
exhibiting a fact in history and preserving it 
as a point from which the progress of 
civilization and humanity may be measured. 
Fifty years ago the people of Ohio drew the 
color line, and excluded the man "with 
skins not colored like their own," from the 
pale of public charity, and turned him out to 
die like a dog in a fence-corner, or beg his 
bread from the hand of some individual 
whose heart had been touched by the spirit 
of Christ, or by the natural impulse of pity. 
While we remember that the white people 
of Ohio, by solemn legislative enactment, 



and withheld a crust of bread from a starving 
man on account of his color, in 1831, let the 
people of Ohio be moderate in their 
condemnation of other people who resist 
being governed and ruled by the same race 
of people in 1877. Until the angel of mercy 
has blotted our statute with his tears, as he is 
said to have blotted out Uncle Toby's oath, 
let us have charity for a more justifiable sin. 
But God's great work is going forward 

John Brown's body lies mouldering in the grave, 
But his soul is marching on. 

On the 8th of March, 1831, an act was 
passed, authorizing the county 

commissioners to purchase sites and erect a 
county poorhouse in their respective 
counties, and to levy and collect taxes to pay 
for and maintain the same; but this did not 
supersede the poor laws requiring townships 
to support the poor, nor was the law to erect 
poorhouses compulsory on the 


An act passed February 8, 1845, abolished 
the office of overseers of the poor, and 
imposed their duties on the township 
trustees. Under these statutes the townships 
of Sandusky county gave relief to the poor 
as from time to time they were required by 
circumstances, until the time when the 
commissioners resolved to 


After considering the subject quite 
earnestly for some time, and calculating the 
cost of keeping the unfortunates by the 
township, and looking to the future increase 
of that class of persons as the population of 
the county should increase, the 
commissioners arrived at the conclusion 
that, all things considered, the establishment 
of a county poorhouse, with a farm 
connected with it, would be for the interest 
of the people, as well as the comfort of those 
whose condition or misfortunes in life 
demanded help. Accordingly, 

on the 9th day of June, 1848, the county 
commissioners, namely, John S. Gardner, 
Hiram Hurd, and Eleazer Baldwin, ordered 
that there be levied on the taxable property 
of the county, to be collected by taxation on 
the duplicate, the sum of one thousand five 
hundred dollars, for purchasing a site and 
erecting a poorhouse. At this time Homer 
Everett was county auditor, and his advice 
and influence with the commissioners were 
earnestly used in favor of the measure, and 
there was no dissenting voice on the board. 
The tax was placed upon the duplicate, as 
directed, and so far collected in the fall of 
1848 that on the 16th day of January, 1849, 
the commissioners purchased of John P. 
Haynes, and partly paid for, the southwest 
quarter of section number twenty-five in 
township five, range fifteen, containing one 
hundred and sixty acres, and also the 
southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of 
the same section, containing forty acres, 
making together a tract of two hundred acres 
of land, for the agreed price of three 
thousand dollars. The object in purchasing 
this tract of land, which is situated about 
one-half mile east on a direct line outside of 
the city limits, was that those inmates of the 
institution who were able might till the land 
and thus contribute to their own support, 
according to their ability. The buildings on 
this land were fitted up and converted into a 
poorhouse. From time to time the buildings 
were improved, as was also the farm. 

Experiment and observation developed 
the fact that there were instances of not 
uncommon occurrence, where men who had 
some property were without friends who 
would minister to them, and supply their 
wants, and that public relief ought to be 
afforded to such, as well as to those who 
were destitute of property. Hence, an attempt 
to soothe the feelings of those who might be 
compelled to accept relief, by changing the 
name of the institution. 



The dreaded poorhouse was abolished by an 
act of the General Assembly, passed March 
23, 1850, and thenceforth the name of 
"county infirmary" was substituted. There 
probably were some good reasons for this 
change of name, but black is black whatever 
name be given to it, even should the General 
Assembly pass an act that it shall henceforth 
be called white. The rose would smell as 
sweet by any other name and the odor of the 
skunk would be as strong. 

Still, it should be considered that in the 
early history of the country, in some of the 
States, the inmates of the poorhouse were by 
law deprived of some of the civil rights 
enjoyed by other inhabitants of the town, or 
county, hence the charge of having been in 
the poorhouse carried with it, in a popular 
sense, a charge of degradation and disgrace. 
The change of name was, therefore, not only 
polite, but proper, for it cannot be truly said 
now that there is a man, woman, or child, 
kept in a poorhouse in Ohio, although many 
are relieved and maintained in our county 
infirmaries. It should be recorded that the 
State never, by law or decision of court, 
deprived a man of any civil right for being 

Man's inhumanity to man 

Makes countless thousand 

s mourn. 

We have already mentioned that the first 
legislation in Ohio making provision for the 
poor and unfortunate, denied all public relief 
to black and mulatto persons. This fact 
shows the deep prejudice entertained by the 
white people of Ohio against the colored 
race, in 1831. 

The flutter of some angel's wing must 
have moved the air over the stagnant sea of 
mercy, and produced a little ripple of 
humanity, which reached the heart of Ohio, 
for, on the 14th of March, 1853, the General 
Assembly added a proviso to the then 
existing statute, whereby, 

although black and mulatto persons were 
excluded from infirmaries, the law of 
exclusion should not be so construed as to 
prevent the directors of any infirmary, in 
their discretion, from admitting any black or 
mulatto person into said infirmary. 


The farm, though good and commodious, 
was not large enough to afford full and 
profitable employment for all the inmates, 
and it was thought good economy, in 1870, 
to acquire more land. Therefore the 
commissioners, on the 30th of January, 
1870, purchased of F. S. White, and took a 
conveyance in fee simple for the following 
described other tracts of land: 

The northeast quarter of the southeast 
quarter, and north part of the southeast 
quarter of the southeast quarter of section 
twenty-five, township five, range fifteen, 
containing together seventy acres of land, 
and paid for it the price of four thousand five 
hundred and fifty dollars. 

This last purchased tract is about eighty 
rods east of the main body of the tract first 
purchased by the commissioners for 
poorhouse purposes. 

The infirmary farm now embraces two 
hundred and seventy acres of excellent land 
near the city limits. This land has cost the 
county an aggregate sum of seven thousand 
five hundred and fifty dollars. 

Improvements in clearing, fencing and 
draining have, from time to time, been made 
on the property, which are so mingled with 
the profits and products of the land, that it is 
now impracticable to tell the exact cost, or 
the precise amount of the people's money 
from taxes which has been expended on the 
farm. The commissioners have sold a small 
parcel of the land, and recently the 
continuation of the Lake Erie & Western 
Railway from 



Fremont to Sandusky, appropriated land for 
a track through the farm, leaving now about 
two hundred and sixty-five acres of the land, 
the title to which remains in the county. 
Good judges estimate the land, without the 
buildings, at one Hundred and thirty dollars 
per acre. The buildings are estimated now to 
be worth twelve thousand dollars. The 
infirmary, at the present time, is of sufficient 
capacity to receive and accommodate 
continually sixty-five persons, with a 
separate building for the insane which has a 
capacity to keep from five to seven persons. 


A statistical and detailed statement of the 
names, ages, and the particulars of birth, 
nationality, and circumstances of the persons 
who have been received into the institution 
and cared for by the county, does not seem 
to be necessary in a work of this kind, nor 
would such matter be interesting to our 
readers. Unfortunately the early reports of 
the directors do not afford the data for a 
detailed statement of the infirmary affairs 
and management, and some of the reports 
cannot now be readily found. We have, 
however, been able to find sufficient 
documents on file, and books from which to 
glean sufficient facts and figures to give 
some idea of the average number of persons 
supported at the infirmary in certain years. 
These facts will furnish some part of what 
has been done by the county for the 
unfortunate portion of men, women, and 

Beginning with the year 1869, for 
instance, we find the average number of 
inmates to be 35; 1870, 42; 1871, 40; 1874, 
40; 1875, 50; 1876, 56; 1880, 57. 

The report for the year 1870 shows that 
one hundred and thirty transient persons 
were furnished with temporary relief such as 
a night's lodging, and supper and breakfast, 
and then sent on their way to some other 
place they wished to reach. These 

persons do not, by the report, appear to be 
considered inmates, nor estimated in 
calculating the average number of those 
maintained at the institution. 

The report for the year 1880 is the most 
complete and satisfactory of all on file, and 
furnishes some facts of interest to those who 
are engaged in works of charity. While the 
average number of inmates for the year is 
given at 57, the total for the year is given at 
122; the number received was 39; born in the 
infirmary, 3; deaths in the infirmary, 14; 
removed to other counties, 5; removed to 
other institutions, 9; children under sixteen 
years of age, 12; children placed in homes, 
3; hopelessly crippled when received, 1; 
number of inmates at date of report, 
September 1, 1880, 53. Idiotic males, 7; 
females, 3: total, 10. Taken together the 
reports show that of the inmates there are 
only about half as many females as males. 
But no doubt the proportion of females 
assisted is much larger, for more outside 
assistance is given to the women at their 
residences, then to men in like 


We cannot now state in detail the annual 
expenses for each year which has elapsed 
since the purchase of the poorhouse farm. 
But it is well to place on record some facts 
and figures concerning the cost of 
administering relief, as data for reference 
and comparison with the future. We find, by 
reference to the auditor's books, that for the 
years 1858, 1859, and 1860, the average 
expenditure of the poor fund for all 
purposes, was eighteen hundred and sixty- 
seven dollars per year. 

For the two years ending September 10, 
1874, the total for all purposes was seven 
thousand five hundred and thirty-three 
dollars and sixty-one cents, or at the rate of 
three thousand seven hundred and sixty-six 
dollars per year. 
For the single year ending September 



21, 1865, the total expenses were five 
thousand and five dollars. 

For the year ending September 2, 1867, 
the total was four thousand two hundred and 
thirty-two dollars. 

For the year ending September 2, 1872, 
eight thousand five hundred and ninety-six 

For the year ending September 1, 1873, 
seven thousand six hundred and forty three 

For the year ending March 1, 1877, five 
thousand eight hundred and ninety-five 

For the year ending March 1, 1878, seven 
thousand one hundred and thirty-three 

For the year ending March 1, 1879, seven 
thousand six hundred and thirteen dollars. 

For the year ending March 1, 1880, the 
total is about double that of the preceding 
year, and amounted to fourteen thousand and 
sixty dollars. 

For the year ending March 1, 1881, the 
aggregate expenditures amounted to fourteen 
thousand two hundred and thirty-five 

Of this sum of expenditures for the year 
ending March 1, 1881, seven thousand two 
hundred and ninety-three dollars were spent 
in giving relief to necessitous persons 
outside of the county infirmary. Thus we see 
that more than half the total expenditures go 
for what is called in the report, outside 


Following quickly after the financial 
panic of 1873 came the suspension of 
business in almost all its various 
departments, especially in the different 
branches of manufacturing and their 
dependent industries. The water was turned 
from the wheels of the great factories, the 
spindle ceased to revolve, and the inside of 

mills for the production of fabrics for 
clothing, were silent receiving-vaults for 
dead industry there. The great engines which 
furnished the driving power for machine 
shops ceased to puff and pulsate, the fires 
went out, and the boiler and the driving- 
wheel stood cold and motionless; the mines 
were closed, and the fires went out in the 
furnaces, and silence reigned in and around 
them. In short, the great manufacturing 
industries, on the employment in which so 
large a portion of our people depended for 
bread, were suddenly paralyzed. The 
workers in coal and wood, and cotton and 
brass, and iron and steel, had their bread and 
raiment, as it were, snatched from their 
hands by the terrible revulsion. Hundreds of 
thousands of workingmen were thus 
suddenly thrown out of employment, without 
food, without money, without property or 
other means to procure the necessaries of 
life. There were three things which they 
could do: starve, seek other and new 
employment which they knew nothing about, 
or appeal to the charity of their fellow men. 

Some were assisted to live by acquaint- 
ances, neighbors, and relatives, and many by 
organized charitable institutions and 
kindhearted strangers. Still, there was a vast 
army who took the road to find employment, 
and beg for bread until they found it. Some 
time in the year 1877 these travelling 
seekers after employment became rather 
numerous in Sandusky county. At first they 
were well treated, relieved by our 
kindhearted people, and some found 
employment among our farmers and in other 
pursuits. This wave of labor-seekers rolled 
from East to West, and touched every city, 
town, hamlet, and house in its course. In 
time the really idle, vicious vagabonds of the 
cities and towns, saw their opportunity to 
travel without expense, and plunder as they 
went along by joining in the march and 
adopting the 



habits of the travelers. These vicious recruits 
tramped from place to place and house to 
house, and obtaining victuals and clothes 
without work became a regular pursuit, and 
the vagabonds had their systematic 
communications, with cabalistic signs and 
ceremonies, by which they knew each other, 
and., one could tell by marks upon the door, 
fence or gatepost where another visited, and 
whether the visit was successful, and also 
the character and circumstances of the 
occupants of the house. 

Although the men who first started out in 
search of employment and bread were honest 
men and deserving of charity, and succeeded 
in obtaining it, when it became a regular 
occupation, and the scoundrels and 
vagabonds who adopted it began to develop 
their real characters by the commission of 
thefts, outrages, and crimes, the name 
became odious. The name formerly was 
applied to all travelling workmen who went 
from one place to another seeking 
employment, and was in no way disgraceful, 
but the name in 1879 and 1880 became the 
synonym of all that was vile and criminal. 
Numerous instances of theft, arson, and 
outrages upon unprotected women 
committed by tramps, were put before the 
public by telegraph and print, until the States 
were stirred to legislation for the 
suppression of their business. The General 
Assembly, of Ohio passed an act on the 5th 
of May, 1877, to take effect July 1, 1877, to 
punish vagrancy, and therein declared that a 
male person physically able to perform 
manual labor, who had not made reasonable 
effort to procure employment, or who had 
refused to labor at reasonable prices, who is 
found in a state of vagrancy, or practicing 
common begging, shall be fined not more 
than fifty dollars, and be sentenced to hard 
labor in the jail of the county until the fine 
and costs of prosecution are paid; and, for 
his labor, such convict shall receive credit 

upon such fine and costs at the rate of 
seventy-five cents per day. This law was 
never very effective, nor very rigidly 

The city of Fremont, in 1878, built a 
lodging house for tramps, and also an 
enclosure where they could be put at work 
breaking stone for the public. But the 
expenses of this establishment were borne by 
the infirmary directors, and this, with the 
temporary relief to such tramps as could not 
work, greatly increased the expenditures of 
the infirmary fund for the years ending 
March 1, 1880, and March 1, 1881. Although 
the additional expenses for the relief of 
tramps in part occurred before 1880, the 
increased expenditures did not, in the regular 
course of business, appear in the reports 
until the years mentioned. 

While the report of 1881 shows that the 
average daily number of inmates in the 
infirmary was only fifty-seven, the same 
report shows that relief was given to one 
hundred and thirty persons outside of it. 


It is difficult to arrive at the exact cost of 
maintaining each person in the infirmary, but 
it may be approximated by taking the report 
of March 1, 1881, and estimating the present 
value of the land and buildings devoted to 
the purpose, and stated thus: 

Total value of lands at forty six thousand three 
hundred and forty dollars. 

Interest on value of farm for the year $2780.00 

Add total expense account for the year 14235.00 

Total expenses $17015.00 

Deduct amount used for outside relief 7293.00 

Deduct for furnace and other improve- 
ments, say 500.00 

Cost of supporting average number of fifty- 
seven inmates $9222.00 

The average cost is therefore within a few 
cents of one hundred and sixty-two dollars 
per year, or three dollars and seven cents per 
week for each inmate, 



Soil — Surface — Timber. 

LOOKING at the county as it appears 
now, covered with fields and meadows, 
orchards and woodland, yielding rich 
support to vegetable and animal life, all 
contributing to and culminating in the 
support of an intelligent and orderly pop- 
ulation of men, women, and children, in the 
full tide of plenty and prosperity, and 
enjoying all the delights of social life, it is 
difficult to realize that this region was once 
the bottom of an ocean. Yet science says it 
was so, and spreads out before the mind 
many and convincing facts to prove the 
assertion. The granite boulders which are 
found thickly scattered in various parts of 
the county, testify that they have been 
transported from some granite shore, and 
rounded into the form we find them by some 
of nature's forces. They bear no relation to 
any strata of rock found in the vicinity, but 
correspond with rock found in the highlands 
in the Northern and Western mountains. The 
best solution of the presence of the boulders, 
is that vast glaciers were formed in some 
remote period of unnumbered years, on the 
sides of the granite mountains North and 
West of this locality. That the action of frost 
and water had first detached large and small 
pieces from the mountain side, and they had 
tumbled down to where the action of the 
waves rolled them against each other until 
the sharper angles were worn away. Then, in 
the colder seasons, these huge masses of 
stone were grappled by the frost, in icy 
holdings, and when the glacier was full- 
formed the whole mass was by its own 
gravity precipitated down the 

mountain side into the deep waters when it 
floated away to a southern shore, or shallow 
water, where it grounded and dissolved, 
leaving at the bottom its mass of debris. This 
debris consisted not only of the loosed stone, 
but also of the finely ground particles which 
had been worn from them, which were left to 
the action of the waters, washed from place 
to place to finally settle in the deeper and 
therefore calmer portions of the sea, and 
formed the clay beds so frequently met with 
in this part of the State. The coarser particles 
were not held in solution, but like the sand 
we see on the shores of our present lakes, 
were with pebbles washed to the shore lines 
and left as the water subsided. 

Another proof of the assertion that this 
region was submerged is found in the rocks 
of the period. When uncovered these rocks 
show stria, or grooves, in parallel directions, 
which geologists trace directly to the action 
of glaciers, icebergs, and water. 

Still another proof may be seen in the sea 
shells (mollusca), which are found in the 
lime rock at the highest point on Kelley's 
Island, in Lake Erie. 

By some process of nature the waters, as 
generally stated in Genesis, subsided, whether 
by upheaval of some part of the earth, or by the 
depression of another part, is matter of 
speculation which does not properly form a part 
of this work. The subsidence of the water was 
slow, and the geological survey of Ohio, 
especially the district including the Maumee 
Valley, reveals several distinct shore lines of the 




ceding waters, one of which sweeps through 
a part of Michigan and Indiana, as far west 
as Fort Wayne, thence down through Van 
Wert, Allen, and Hancock, and including 
Sandusky county; another sweeping 
southward only as far as Defiance, but also 
including Sandusky county. By this we see 
that the land in Sandusky county, and all 
north of it to the lake, was amongst the latest 
to appear above the waters in this region of 

Finally, after the lapse of ages, the sea, 
which once covered this goodly land, 
subsided into the confines of the Atlantic 
Ocean, and the trough of its bottom formed 
the chain of great lakes, with their tributary 
rivers draining the fresh waters from the 
rains and snows of nearly half a continent. 


As the water receded, the land, thrown 
under the direct influence of the rays of the 
sun, produced vegetation, which decaying 
upon the surface of the clay, gravel and sand 
deposited by the water, formed our soils. 
West and north of the sand ridge, called 
York North Ridge, north of Clyde, and 
Butternut Ridge, south of it, so much of this 
vegetable deposit had accumulated that the 
land would not produce wheat for the first 
white settlers. It was too rich for wheat 
farming. This was the case especially with 
that portion of the county lying in what has 
been known as the Black Swamp, which us- 
ually designated that level portion of the 
county west of the Sandusky River and to 
the Maumee. 

The soil in this part, now including the 
townships of Scott, Madison, Woodville, 
Rice, and the west part of Sandusky, was of 
this character. The township of Riley and a 
part of Townsend was similar in formation 
and soil to the Black Swamp proper. 

On these soils when first plowed, es- 
pecially the Black Swamp proper, corn, 
grass, and potatoes were produced in won- 
derful abundance; but wheat and oats would 
overgrow, fall down and blast, and 
sometimes rot before harvest time. It was 
found, however, that after from five to ten 
years of tillage and drainage, this same land 
produced such crops of wheat as made the 
heart of the farmer glad, and now, this once 
forbidding and often condemned Black 
Swamp, ranks as one of the most productive 
portions of the State for all kinds of grain, 
grass, roots, and fruit. 

It was no holiday amusement, however, to 
make a good farm in the Black Swamp. Real 
stalwarts were required to contend with 
water and mud under foot, while leveling 
and burning great tall trees, which spread out 
their branches overhead, almost entirely 
excluding the rays of the sun from the earth. 

The horse was little used in the clearing of 
the Black Swamp; that animal was too fiery, 
nervous and thin-skinned to endure the mud, 
brush, flies, and mosquitoes which hindered, 
fretted, and tortured horses. 

The more patient, stolid, and thick-skinned 
ox was preferred, and almost always used to 
drag the logs together for burning, and 
drawing the loaded cart or wagon through 
the mud and water. 

For many years of the early settlement the 
Black Swamp was the favorite locality for 
the fever and ague and intermittent fever, 
then so common in all parts of the West, and 
was a bonanza for the physician. Now, 
however, an ox team can hardly be found; 
horses are universally used, and this once 
sickly locality is as healthy as any other 
portion of the county. The first lands entered 
and settled upon in the Black Swamp were 
those along the creeks and Portage River. 
Between these streams lay level land and 
shallow swails, where 



the water stood from the fall rains until July 
or August annually. These were considered 
of little value for some time afterward. 
Excepting the courage, industry and 
perseverance of the settlers, nothing has 
contributed so much to the reclamation of 
the Black Swamp as the system of public 
ditches, introduced into the county in 1859, 
under an act of the General Assembly of that 
year. This act gave the county 
commissioners of all the counties in the 
State, on the petition of inhabitants, the right 
to locate and cause ditches to be constructed, 
and have the expenses charged upon the land 
according to the benefits conferred on the 
several tracts. 

William Driftmire, of Madison township, 
a native of Germany, has the distinction of 
first petitioning for a ditch under the law. 
The system of ditching which followed this 
first experiment of Mr. Driftmeir may be 
noticed more in detail in this work under the 
head of improvements. 

The eastern portion of the county, es- 
pecially that part lying south and east of the 
sand ridge on which Clyde is situated, 
presented to the earlier settler a more 
inviting soil, not so heavily timbered, and 
most of it well drained by reason of its 
undulating or rolling surface. The sandy soil 
quickly absorbed the surface water, or 
collected it into limited spaces, connected 
frequently with what were commonly called 
sink-holes, where the water was conducted 
by a natural funnel down into the fissures of 
the lime-rock underlying that part of the 
county for a considerable distance east of 
Bellevue, which is situated on the east line 
of Sandusky and west line of Huron county, 
which divides that enterprising and wealthy 

These features of the eastern portion of 
the county account for the fact that that part 
was settled and developed much earlier than 
the western part. This eastern portion 

when first settled, unlike the western, was 
good wheat land from the first breaking up 
and tillage of the soil, and by proper farming 
is still producing superior crops of wheat, in 
both quantity to the acreage and quality of 
grain. For fruit, no better region can be 
found than the eastern portion of the county. 
There is, perhaps, less poor and waste 
land in Sandusky county than in almost any 
other county of like dimensions in the State. 
On the whole, then, it may be said, that for 
richness of soil, and capacity for agricultural 
and horticultural productions, the county 
takes high standing among the best counties 
of the State. 


The general inclination of the surface is 
from south to north, while the most authentic 
measurements of altitude indicate also a 
descent from west to east. Bellevue is stated 
to be one hundred and ninety-one feet above 
the average level of Lake Erie, Clyde one 
hundred and twenty-seven feet, and Fremont, 
at the site of the courthouse, where it is 
presumed the measurements were taken, 
only sixty-two feet above the surface level 
of the Lake. Notwithstanding this result of 
measurements, which are probably correct, 
the Portage and the Sandusky River bear 
strongly to the east or north as they flow, the 
former into the lake and the latter into 
Sandusky Bay, and all the creeks have the 
same general direction. This apparent 
difference between the altitude, ascertained 
by measurement, in indicating the general 
inclination of the surface, can no doubt be 
reconciled. Various causes may be assigned 
for the direction of a creek or river differing 
somewhat from the general inclination of the 
surface as a ledge of rock, the tenacity of the 
soil, and especially minor inclinations of the 
surface in a direction opposite to that of the 
general inclination. 




The county when first formed included 
nearly all of what now composes the county 
of Ottawa, the territory of which was part 
prairie land. Ottawa county was organized in 
the year 1840, and left Sandusky with its 
present boundaries. The county, as now 
formed, was originally timbered land. In the 
south part of York township were found oak 
openings where the timber was not heavy, 
but all the other parts, saving a little prairie 
in Scott and Rice townships, were heavily 
timbered. Among the trees were found white, 
black, red, yellow, pin, and burr oak, white 
and red elm, shell-bark and smooth-bark 
hickory, black, white, and blue ash, poplar, 
cottonwood, black walnut, butternut, some 
mulberry, maple, honey-locust, beech, iron- 
wood, dogwood, and in two localities, one 
about three miles north of Fremont, on the 
east side of the river, the other on the ridge 
south of Clyde, in Green Creek township, a 
few chestnut trees; occasionally was found a 
tree of Pepperidge. Of all these kinds of 
timber the black walnut is now the most 
sought for as well as the most valuable. The 
primitive forests along the streams, 
especially along the Sandusky River and 
Green Creek; were largely made up of grand 
black walnut trees, On the river, in the 
vicinity of the mouth of Wolf Creek, in 
Ballville township, on quite a scope of land, 
this was the only, or nearly the only, timber. 
The farmers who first settled there used the 
best and straightest of these grand trees for 
rails with which to fence their farms. The 
timber split easily, and the rails were 
durable, it is true, and there was then no 
market in this region for either the logs or 
the lumber made from them, and besides, at 
the time of the earlier settlement, there were 
no sawmills to make the logs into lumber. 
Therefore, what of this now valuable timber 
was not used for rails was 

burned up or girdled in clearing the land. No 
doubt the walnut timber thus destroyed, if 
standing now, would buy the land and fence 
many of the farms in that locality with costly 
iron fences. But the settler must have bread, 
bread must be raised by tilling the earth, and 
the land to be tilled must be cleared, and so 
the timber, whatever it was, gave way to the 
necessities of the time. But that necessity is 
now past, and the now great value of timber, 
if it was here again, admonishes the people 
to wisely care for what is left, and guard 
against future costliness of timber by 
preserving what is left, had also looking to a 
judicious reproduction of it for future use. 

The history of the county, without some 
mention of its geological structure, would be 
incomplete. This science, which has done so 
much within the half century last past to 
reveal and interpret to the present age the 
various forces engaged, and the different 
periods occupied in the formations of the 
earth's present surface, presents some 
subjects of interest in almost every locality. 
In fact, it may be said that the geological 
structure of the United States and that of 
Canada also, was a sealed book until visited 
by Sir Charles Lyell, the British geologist, in 
1841, when he made many interesting 
observations which he published on his 
return to England. He again visited America 
in 1845, and made further investigations. 
The publication of Mr. Lyell's works 
awakened so much interest in the public 
mind, especially those fond of that line of 
study, that it stimulated investigation, and 
the investigations revealed the utility of the 
science, not only in solving theories about 
the earth's formation, but for practical pur- 
poses, in discovering the location of valu- 
able mineral deposits, wherever located. 
Especially has this science been of great 
service to mankind in determining the 



locality of coal deposits, so necessary for the 
comfort and business of the people of the 
present day. It is worthy of remark that since 
Sir Charles Lyell drew attention to this 
geology, in 1841, the efforts made under its 
teaching and practical application have been 
such that almost all our States and nearly all 
civilized nations have prosecuted 
investigations under its teachings, with great 
results to wealth and comfort for the world 
at large. At present no State is satisfied 
without a thorough geological survey, by 
which the people are almost as well and as 
certainly informed of what is hidden deep 
down in the earth, as they are of the 
geography or topography of their 
surroundings on the surface. This grand 
science has of late years been well and 
thoroughly applied to every county in the 
State with results which make Ohio proud 
and rich in mineral resources. 

So far as the geological survey of 
Sandusky county is involved, it may be said 
that it presents not so many remarkable 
features as some other parts of the State. But 
some particulars are interesting and worthy 
of notice, among which are, that this survey 
and report convinces the careful reader that 
the clays and gravels of our soil are what is 
called in geological phrase, drift, that is, the 
matter brought first in the ice period by 
glaciers, and then afterwards supplemented 
with the deposits from icebergs, and the 
remainder of the soil is either vegetable 
matter which grew upon and decayed on this 
drift, or deposits by the succeeding waters 
which prevailed; that Lake Erie at one time 
covered the lands of the county and from its 
waters came further deposit; that the sands 
and gravel found in heaps and beds in the 
southeastern part of the county, in parts of 
York, Townsend and Green Creek 
townships, were washed and heaped there by 
the action of the waters of the lake after the 
sea had subsided; that the prairies 

in the southwestern part of Scott township 
were formed by undulations in the surface of 
what is denominated the limestone, which 
underlies the soil a little below the surface. 
This rock is called by geologists the Niagara 
limestone. A depression of this rock, with a 
raised rim on the northern inclination, held 
the water in pools, so that vegetation grew 
and decayed until it became a wet prairie. 
The prairies north of Fremont, beginning six 
miles north on the road to Port Clinton, and 
on to the north line of the county below Big 
Mud Creek, must have been of a different 

The soil of these prairies is but little 
above the still waters of the mouth of the 
river and Sandusky Bay, and no doubt 
emerged from the water at a comparatively 
late period; hence the soil, being a wet, 
tough, bluish-colored clay, was unfavorable 
for the growth of timber. This prairie, as 
you travelled down the river, made its 
appearance about the present residence of 
Grant Forguson, esq., on the north half of 
section two, township five, range fifteen. At 
this point the traveler going north, as late as 
1825, perhaps later, emerged from the 
heavy timberland south of it into an open 
prairie, with a few scattering trees of burr 
oak and elm, and occasionally a limited 
grove or single tree. The grass was thick 
and tall, much of it what was called blue- 
joint, rising above a horse's back, and 
almost walling in the narrow wagon way for 
the greater part of the distance from Lower 
Sandusky to the present site of Port Clinton. 
The present county line of Sandusky, next 
to the south line of Ottawa County, crosses 
this road now about half a mile below Mud 
Creek bridge, and does not include a very 
large portion of this once prairie land. 


It has often happened that persons 
travelling through the western part of the 



county would find localities where in the 
forest they would see water and rock on the 
surface, and the same surface covered with a 
growth of trees whose roots seemed to draw 
nourishment out of the crevices and 
depressions in the surface rock. This rock 
was coarse limestone, and the surface of it 
rough and seamed by the action of the 
elements and frost. Such persons would 
generally remark that they never before saw 
such trees growing on rock which was 
almost bare, nor such a formation of land. 
Several such spots were found in Woodville 
township, some in Washington, Madison, 
and Jackson; but those most marked by the 
characteristics mentioned were probably 
found in Woodville, where many were 
deceived in the selection of their land when 
there was snow on the ground. The timber, 
often sugar and beech of good growth, 
indicated a good soil, but in fact, the land 
when cleared was of little value and could 
not be tilled. 

Geology, though it does not make such 
land valuable for farming, explains how 
these tracts came by this deceptive 
peculiarity. First, there is limestone, called 
the Niagara group, which underlies a large 
portion of the county. Second, the drift 
which had been deposited on this rock in 
former ages by the sea, when it prevailed 
over the land and subsided, was eroded or 
worn and eaten away by the action of the 
waters of Lake Erie, and in many places the 
rock left bare. There are out cropping of this 
rock in the townships of Woodville, 
Madison, Washington, Ballville, and 
Jackson. The most conspicuous exhibition of 
this outcropping is at Moore's Mill, a little 
above the village of Ballville, at the southern 
termination of the dam of Dean's woolen 
factory in the village. These outcropping 
rocks, however they may, in some degree, 
impair a small portion of the land for tillage, 
are not without a compensating benefit when 
fully considered. 

Immense quantities of superior white lime 
and good building stone, especially for 
foundation and cellar walls, also stone for 
paving and for macadamizing roads are 
conveniently distributed over the county. 
Mr. J. S. Newberry expresses the opinion 
that quarries could be opened into this 
Niagara limestone, in the west part of the 
county, and stone taken out equal in value 
for building purposes to the famous Dayton 
stone. If this be so, the time may not be far 
distant when the advancement in the 
requirements of business and improvements, 
and the increase of permanent structures at 
Toledo, Detroit, and other cities of the 
country around will demand the opening of 
these quarries and show them to be beds of 
immense value. 


This substance, the great dread of those 
who dig wells, underlies deeply a large 
portion of the county. People often wonder 
what it is made of, and how it came where 
they find it. Geology answers by informing 
us that the finely ground particles of rock 
were pulverized and deposited by the 
glaciers and icebergs during the period when 
the sea covered the land, a part of which 
time this latitude was subjected to an arctic 
temperature. This debris was most probably 
brought from the highlands of the Canadas, 
and being ground into extreme fineness 
settled to the bottom when the ice which 
brought it melted away, leaving the fine 
sediment to compact into a solid mass. 
Excepting solid rock, we find no portion of 
the earth's element so impervious to water 
and so well adapted to resist the action of it 
as hard-pan. Over this lies the deposits of the 
lake, which together form the drift. 

This drift, the geological survey informs 
us, covers the whole county with nearly a 
uniform spreading, but thicker in the eastern 
than in the western part, because 



the rock in the western part was more 
stripped or denuded by the action of the 
waters of Lake Erie. The average depth 

of this drift, or these deposits, it is esti- 
mated, would not be more than one hundred 



Bridges — When Built — Cost of Bridges — Ditching — Underground Draining and Tiling. 

THE preceding chapters give the reader to 
understand that the early settlers of the 
county, especially the western part of it, 
travelled through mud, and crossed the 
streams by ferry or fording. 

The first method resorted to for 
overcoming the inconveniences resulting 
from a soft, wet soil, was the making of 
corduroy road over the portions where the 
swail or very deep mud made the passage 
most difficult. The corduroy road was made 
by laying round logs across the track, side 
by side, in contact with each other. The 
wagon was trundled over these logs, and the 
motion was healthy for dyspeptics. That 
formed the purely primitive corduroy, but 
the highly finished road of this kind was 
made by throwing a little earth or rotten 
wood over the logs, to break the jolt, in 
some measure. These corduroy roads 
abounded in the west part of the county, and 
in parts of Riley and Townsend townships, 
as late as 1840, or say forty years ago. At the 
date mentioned the Greensburg road, the 
macadamizing of which we noticed in a 
preceding section of this chapter, consisted, 
in great part, of the corduroy. 

But we were to give an account of the 
iron bridges in the county. As everyone 
would naturally expect, the county, as 

soon as strong enough, began to bridge the 
streams where the roads crossed them. 
Sometimes the bridges were built by 
voluntary labor, and contribution of 
materials by those most deeply interested in 
the improvement. At other times, in the early 
settlement, the supervisors of roads would 
apply the two days' labor of each able- 
bodied resident of his district, which the law 
of the State required him to perform, to the 
building, in whole or part, of a much needed 
bridge. The bridges thus built were of the 
simplest form and cheapest construction, but 
they answered the purpose for a time. Then 
came the day of framed bridges, with stone 
work for abutments, which was a long step 
in advance; but these would decay and 
require rebuilding every few years, often in 
consequence of flood, and if not by flood or 
fire, then from natural decay of the timber. 
Meantime the increase in the manufacture of 
iron, and the uses to which it was found to 
be economically applicable, were going on, 
while the price of iron was reduced by the 
development of the vast iron deposits in the 
hills of Ohio; and iron bridges were one of 
the results of the consequent progress in the 
utilization of the wonderful substance. While 
the earth has stored away and preserved for 



ages, the evidence that a race of men in- 
habited its surface who did not know the 
uses of iron, and, although it was known to 
men, and utilized to a limited extent in times 
of great antiquity, the knowledge of it 
antedating the composition of the Old 
Testament writings, still, the uses to which it 
is applied, the facility with which it is now 
found and produced, and the quantity used in 
the present age, entitles it to the just 
appellation of the age of iron. Happily for 
us, these advances in the manufacture and 
the uses of iron, evolved the iron bridge for 
common ways amongst the inhabitants of 
Sandusky county, and we record the erection 
of the 


The first iron bridge erected in the 
county, was built over Mud Creek near the 
village of Millersville, in Jackson township, 
in the year 1870, and on the macadamized 
road called the Greensburg road, described 
in a former chapter. 

The stone work for this bridge cost about 
four hundred dollars, and the iron 
superstructure cost precisely eight hundred 
and seventy dollars. The bridge was put up 
by the King Bridge Company, of Cleveland. 
The length of this bridge is twenty-seven 
feet span, and width about eighteen feet. 

The county commissioners who are 
entitled to the honor of first introducing the 
iron bridge into the county, were Benjamin 
Inman, Samuel E. Walters, and Henry 

The next iron bridge in order of time, put 
up in the county, was over Wolf Creek, near 
Bettsville, and on the line between Seneca 
and Sandusky counties, June 26, 1872. This 
bridge was erected under a joint contract 
between the commissioners of Seneca and 
Sandusky counties on one part, and the 
Wrought Iron Bridge Company, of Canton, 
Ohio, on 

the other part. The iron work alone cost 
eight hundred and thirty-eight dollars and 
fifteen cents, of which amount each of the 
above named counties paid one-half. John P. 
Elderkin, sr., was the agent of the Wrought 
Iron Bridge Company in the contracts with 
that company. 

The third iron bridge in the county was 
built over Mud Creek, in Washington 
township, near the residence of Levi Fought. 
This was also put up by the Wrought Iron 
Bridge Company, of Canton, Ohio, at a cost 
of seven hundred and ninety-five dollars, for 
the superstructure alone, and was erected in 
the fall of 1874. The commissioners were 
John Morrison, Martin Longenbach, and 
William F. Sandwish. 

The same year, 1874, another iron bridge 
was put up over Mud Creek, in Scott 
township, near the residence of James 
Inman, at a cost of seven hundred and 
seventy-five dollars for the iron 
superstructure, contracted for between the 
same commissioners last above named, and 
Mr. Elderkin as agent for the Wrought Iron 
Bridge Company, of Canton. 

In the fall of the year 1876 an iron bridge 
of the same make was erected over Mud 
Creek, where it is crossed by the road from 
Fremont to Oak Harbor, contracted for by 
the same commissioners, namely: John 
Morrison, Martin Longenbach, and William 
F. Sandwish. The cost of the iron 
superstructure for this bridge was eight 
hundred and sixty-two dollars and fifty 

Another iron bridge was built over Sugar 
Creek, in Woodville township, completed 
and paid for January 3, 1876, at a cost of 
eight hundred and fifty dollars. Contracted 
for by same commissioners last above 
mentioned, with same bridge company. 

At the same time was completed and paid 
for the iron bridge over Toussaint 



Creek, in Woodville township, at a cost of 
seven hundred and eighty-one dollars and 
twenty-five cents, by the same commis- 
sioners and company. 

The bridge over Mud Creek, near Frank 
Fought's, was completed and paid for 
January 5, 1877, at a cost, for the iron su- 
perstructure, of six hundred and seventy-five 

On the 30th of July, 1877, another iron 
bridge over Mud Creek, near the residence 
of Noah Snyder, in Washington township, 
was completed and paid for, at a cost, for the 
iron superstructure, of six hundred and five 

December 18, 1877, an iron bridge was 
erected over Mud Creek, near the residence 
of Luther Winchell, in Scott Township, at a 
cost, for the iron superstructure, of five 
hundred and fifty-two dollars. 

The Portage River bridge, on the Maumee 
and Western Reserve turnpike, in Woodville 
Township, was finished in November, 1878, 
under a joint contract between the State and 
county commissioners, on one part, and the 
Bridge Company on the other part. The 
county contributed over half the costs, and 
paid towards the structure over two thousand 

The bridge over Green Creek, near Mr. 
Huber's residence, in Green Creek township, 
was completed and paid for by the county 
alone, August 15, 1879, by Commissioners 
John Morrison, Martin Longenbach, and 
Herman Sandwish, under contract with the 
Smith Bridge Company, of Toledo, at a cost 
for the superstructure alone of eight hundred 
and sixteen dollars. 

The bridge over Muskalunge Creek, in 
Sandusky Township, on the Port Clinton 
road, is a combination of wood and iron, 
constructed by the Smith Bridge Company, 
of Toledo, finished and paid for August 16, 
1879, and is thought to be a good and 
durable structure for the place. 

The exact cost of this bridge is not 

The foregoing mention of the date of the 
introduction of iron bridges into the county, 
will enable future observers to determine the 
relative economy between building the 
superstructure of bridges on our county 
roads of wood and of iron. The comparative 
cost with comparative durability of the two 
materials, will in time, settle the question 
with mathematical certainty. The present 
outlook indicates that timber for such 
purposes will, a few years hence, be much 
higher in price, and more difficult to obtain, 
while on the other hand the rapidly 
extending discoveries of seemingly 
exhaustless deposits of iron, and the daily 
improvements for mining and manufacturing 
it, indicate that not many years hence iron 
will be almost as cheap as wood, and with its 
far greater durability of the metal as a 
material for the superstructure of all our 
bridges, will settle the question in favor of 
iron superstructures for the purpose. 


The bridge built over the Sandusky River, 
in Fremont, on the line of the Maumee and 
Western Reserve Road, by Cyrus Williams, 
as master mechanic, under the employment 
of Rodolphus Dickinson, Member of the 
Board of Public Works, in 1841-42, was, as 
has been mentioned, a wooden structure. The 
supporting trestle-work erected across the 
Sandusky Valley, built by the Ohio Rail- 
road Company, which failed in 1840, fur- 
nished the timber for the bridge. This bridge 
was of good material, and was well roofed 
with pine shingles. The roof was renewed 
once during the time it stood, which was 
near thirty-five years. At the end of this 
period it was pronounced unsafe by 
engineers, and the Board of Public Works 
was importuned to construct a new bridge. 
The board had not suffi- 



cient money at its disposal to rebuild it, and 
an appropriation by the State was petitioned 
for. But there were objections, and 
consequent delay. Meanwhile the old bridge, 
though condemned and much slandered, 
continued to do duty while agitation for a 
new bridge continued. 


After being urged for two previous ses- 
sions, the General Assembly, by the per- 
sistent and wise efforts of Hon. Benjamin 
Inman, then our representative, passed an act 
on the 27th day of February, 1877, entitled 
"An act to aid the Board of Public Works to 
build a bridge on the line of the Western 
Reserve and Maumee road, over the 
Sandusky River. 

The preamble to the act, in substance, set 
forth that the bridge over the Sandusky 
River, on the line of the Western Reserve 
and Maumee road, one of the public works 
of the State, a wood structure built by the 
State over thirty-five years ago, is now 
unsafe and so far decayed that the Board of 
Public Works say it will be an injudicious 
expenditure of money to repair the same; 

SECTION 1.— Be it enacted by the General Assembly of 
the State of Ohio, That the sum of nine thousand 
dollars be and hereby is appropriated out of any moneys 
paid into the State treasury by the lessees of the public 
works, and also the sum of nine hundred dollars that the 
lessees have paid into the State treasury for the repair of 
said bridge. 

SEC. 2. — That the sums thus appropriated shall be 
expended by said Board of Public Works in erecting 
such iron bridge of such plan and dimensions as they 
may deem best for the interest of the State; and the fund 
hereby appropriated by the State shall be drawn from the 
treasury from time to time according to law. 

SEC. 3. — That there shall not be any money drawn out 
of the State treasury for the building of said bridge until 
the county commissioners of San-dusky county shall 
enter into bond to complete said bridge, after the sums 
above mentioned have been expended by the Board of 
Public Works. Said bond shall be made payable to the 
State of Ohio, and deposited in the office of the 
Secretary of State. 

SEC. 4. — This act shall take effect and be in force 
from and after its passage. 

On the 16th of March next after the 
passage of this act, the county commis- 
sioners, namely, Martin Longanbach, 
William F. Sandwish, and John Morrison, 
were in regular session, when, on motion of 
Mr. Longanbach, it was resolved that the 
bond required by the above act be filed. To 
this all the commissioners agreed, and 
recorded their votes in the affirmative. This 
bond was so framed as to bind the county to 
complete the bridge after the expenditure of 
the nine thousand nine hundred dollars 
appropriated by the act. 

The reader may notice that the act 
appropriates nine thousand dollars of money 
paid into the State treasury by the lessees of 
the public works, and nine hundred dollars 
which the lessees had paid into the State 
treasury, for the repair of the bridge. How 
this sum of nine hundred dollars came to be 
thus separately mentioned in the 
appropriation, perhaps ought to be ex- 
plained. The reader may remember that, 
prior to the date of this appropriation, the 
State had leased all her public works, which, 
of course, included the Maumee and Western 
Reserve road. The lessees paid an annual 
rent into the State treasury for the use of the 
works, and out of this fund the nine thousand 
dollars mentioned in the appropriation bill 
was to be paid. These lessees, like all other 
lessees, so managed the Maumee and 
Western Reserve road as to clear a nice little 
sum from the tolls upon it; this saving, 
however, was made the greater by neglecting 
to repair the road and permitting it to run 
down. They were bound by the terms of the 
lease to keep the road in repair, and seeing 
this neglect, the people along the road began 
to clamor for the State to compel the lessees 
to repair the road. The State authorities were 
convinced finally that in the management of 
the road the lessees had violated their 
contract, and 



were about to force a forfeiture of the lease 
and put the Board of Public Works in 
authority over it, and sue the lessees for 
damages for breach of the conditions of the 
lease. A compromise was, however, effected, 
by which the lessees agreed to put a 
covering of stone on parts of the road most 
worn, and to put a new roof on the old 
bridge, or pay nine hundred dollars into the 
treasury in lieu of the roofing, as the State 
should elect, and then surrender their lease 
so far as this road was concerned, and let the 
State take charge of it. When it was 
determined to build a new bridge, the 
authorities elected to have the nine hundred 
dollars paid into the treasury, and apply the 
amount towards the erection of the new 
structure; this will explain how this 
peculiarity in the appropriation act was 


The filing of the bond by the commis- 
sioners secured the immediate application of 
the nine thousand nine hundred dollars 
appropriated by the State. A conference 
between the county commissioners and the 
Board of Public Works soon resulted in a 
plan of the bridge and an estimate of the 
cost. The letting of the mason work took 
place June 22, 1877, and the contract was 
awarded to John P. Elderkin, for four 
thousand six hundred and fifty-one dollars 
and forty cents. The contract for the iron 
superstructure was awarded to the King 
Bridge Company, of Cleveland, Ohio, for the 
sum of fourteen thousand nine hundred and 
seventy-five dollars and five cents. 

The work was pushed rapidly during the 
summer and autumn of 1877, and the bridge 
was formally opened for travel on the 25th 
of December of the same year in which it 
was begun. The total cost, including 
engineering and all incidental expenses, was 
twenty thousand three hundred and fifty- 
seven dollars and seventy-six 

cents, of which the county paid ten thousand 
four hundred and fifty-seven dollars and 
seventy-six cents. The bridge is three 
hundred and twenty and one-half feet in 
length, resting on two abutments and three 
piers. The width affords two tracks, or ways, 
on each of which teams can pass each other. 
The structure is convenient, capacious and 
durable, at the same time presenting an 
ornament to the city of Fremont which is a 
monument testifying to the merit and 
enterprise of the people of the county, and 
especially to Hon. Benjamin Inman and the 
county commissioners named. 

The passage of this bridge appropriation 
bill, through the persistent urgency of Mr. 
Inman, was his last act in public life. In the 
election for representative in the county he 
was opposed by Daniel L. June, whose 
friends claimed for him greater ability to get 
the bill through, while Mr. Inman's friends 
claimed equal ability for him, and the matter 
entered in this form largely into the canvass. 
Therefore, Mr. Inman felt under special 
obligations to procure the passage of the 
law. During the session of 1877 his health 
failed, but he remained in his seat and 
worked and waited for his bill to pass, when 
prudence would have bid him home for rest. 
As soon as the bill was passed he hastened 
home, and soon after died amidst all the 
tender cares and affectionate surroundings 
which a devoted wife and loving children 
could bestow. His death was much regretted 
by the people of the county. 


And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be 
gathered into one place and let the dry land appear, and 
it was so. -Genesis 1:9. 

This was commanded and was done on 
the second day. Science, as illustrated by 
geologists and accepted by enlightened 



theologians, gives us to understand that this 
second day was a very long one, that it was 
in fact an indefinite period of time, so vast 
that the finite mind can neither count or 
comprehend the number of years. Hugh 
Miller, in his Testimony of the Rocks, and 
other geologists give us some idea of the 
progressive steps in the formation, and how, 
in obedience to the command quoted at the 
beginning of this subject, the dry land was by 
the process and forces of nature, slowly but 
surely made to appear, and was finally 
prepared for the abode of man. Now, without 
any feeling of irreverence or wish to express 
any such feeling, it may here be said in 
support of the conclusions of geology as to 
the slowness of the process, that 
notwithstanding the great antiquity of the 
order quoted, it is a fact that the west part of 
Sandusky county, called in early times the 
Black Swamp, was not all dry land in the 
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred 
and fifty-nine. Yet that there was such a 
command, and that it was executed as as- 
serted at the close of the verse, "and it was 
so," must be true, for man could not fish 
from the banks of the waters nor construct 
floats to fish from without land, nor could he 
capture his living in the forests. And as 
fishing and hunting are claimed to have been 
his earliest pursuits, we conclude that the 
formation of land preceded the existence of 
man. There need be no strife of argument 
about the when and the how of the matter 
under consideration. Let every man be fully 
persuaded in his own mind. Waiving all 
argument and speculation, however, it is 
very clear that - the Black Swamp, or a great 
part of it at least, could not be tilled so as to 
produce bread and meat, or at least the larger 
portion of it could not, without draining. 

The first settlers in the western part of the 
county selected their lands along the streams 
where the banks afforded a strip 

of dry land, which, when cleared of the 
timber, could be tilled without artificial 
drainage. But the structure of the surface and 
nature of the soil were such, that generally a 
little way from the bank artificial drainage 
necessarily preceded tillage. It must be 
confessed that the pioneer residents of the 
county were slow, indeed, to adopt the 
system of draining even the surface of their 
wheat fields in a proper manner to insure a 
good crop. When, however, a few German 
and English farmers located in the county, 
they brought with them the habit of more 
thorough drainage of their wheat fields, as 
practiced in the countries from which they 
came. The increase of the quantity and the 
certainty of the crop under this treatment 
soon demonstrated to all observers that it 
paid, and paid well, to keep the surface water 
from standing on their wheat fields. At first 
this was effected on the better class of land 
by plowing into narrow lands with deep 
furrows between, into which the water 
settled and was thence absorbed by the earth 
without covering so much surface. This 
arrangement, with a deep furrow entirely 
around the field, connecting with the dead 
furrows between the plowed strips, was 
found to be a great help to the crop. 

From these furrows, where sufficient fall 
could be found, sometimes you would see a 
deep furrow traced away from the field, 
forming an outlet for the whole field, but 
much of the land was so level and so widely 
surrounded with other level land, that this 
plan could not be put in operation without 
trespassing on a neighboring farm. 
Neighbors could not always agree; in fact, in 
a mixed settlement of Germans, English, and 
Yankees, they seldom would agree or 
sacrifice a jot or tittle of their own for 
another. But the water must be drained away 
or the labor of the farmer would be lost. If 
Mr. Mean owned a 



quarter section, including the banks of a 
creek into which the wet land back of him 
might all be drained, Mr. Poor, who had 
taken second choice land in the rear of Mr. 
Mean, would ask in vain for the privilege of 
cutting a small ditch across Means' land that 
he might raise his bread or get a reward for 
his labor. If some Jonathan Spikes, from the 
land of the terrible Yankees, had a piece of 
dry land through which, only, the waters 
could be taken off the land of Mr. 
Vonslaughterlaugh, Mr. Spike would never 
let a ditch be made through his land to 
accommodate a foreigner, or if he could be 
brought to consent, he would demand four 
times what he should, even though the ditch 
would be a benefit to his own land. If Mr. 
Johnson owned a piece of wet land near Mr. 
Jones, and wanted to get the water off by 
draining through Jones' land, he could not 
obtain it because, perhaps, Johnson, ten 
years before, threw a club at Jones' yellow 
dog to drive him out of the road and keep 
himself from being bitten. Standing water, 
stagnant water, and stinking water were 
destroying crops and breeding disease and 
pestilence in the land, and yet such is the 
perversity of men's nature, that they would 
not, even for their own benefit, abate the 
nuisance. Finally a remedy was given by 

On the 24th of March, 1859, the General 
Assembly of the State of Ohio passed an act 
to provide for locating, establishing, and 
constructing ditches, drains, and water 
courses. This act authorized county 
commissioners throughout the State to lo- 
cate, establish, and construct ditches, drains, 
and water courses in their respective 
counties, and it was the first law enacted in 
Ohio. It is a little remarkable that such a law 
was not put in force at an earlier period in 
the settlement of the State. 

Our State Constitution of 1852, jealously 

guarded the citizens of Ohio in their rights 
of property, by incorporating in it by clear 
language," Private property shall ever be 
held inviolate, but subservient to the public 

It appears, that in 1859 some statesman 
discovered that draining away stagnant pools 
of water, and thus preventing malarial and 
deadly diseases, would be subserving the 
public welfare, and justify the exercise of 
the right of eminent domain; that is, take the 
land of a private citizen sufficient for a ditch 
or drain, to promote the public health. Hence 
the act of 1859 conferred upon county 
commissioners, the right to enter upon and 
appropriate the land of any person for a 
ditch; drain, or water course, whenever, in 
their opinion, the same would be conducive 
to the public health, convenience, or welfare. 

With this law in force Mr. Jones could no 
longer deny Mr. Johnson the right to have a 
drain over his land, if Mr. Johnson's swail or 
pond could be found injurious to the public 
welfare. True, Mr. Jones had to be paid for 
the land, but he could no longer refuse to 
sell it, nor put on it a price so high as to 
forbid the improvement. Three impartial 
landholders fixed the value of the land to be 
taken, also the amount of damages, if any, to 
his premises over and above the mere value 
of the land taken. Ditching was by this law 
made practicable, and judicious county 
commissioners could make it effective in the 
improvement of the county. 


According to the records in the office of 
the county auditor, which, no doubt, present 
the truth, the first application for a ditch 
under the first ditch law of the State was 
made by William Driftmire, an enterprising 
and determined German, who had settled on 
wet land in Madison township. 



On the tenth day of September, 1859, 
William Driftmire, with a number of others, 
he, however, being prime mover and 
principal petitioner, filed a petition, under 
the act above mentioned, in the county 
auditor's office, praying for the es- 
tablishment and construction of a ditch on 
the following route: Commencing in 
Madison township eighty rods north from the 
southeast corner of section twelve, thence 
north along the township line road on the 
west side of the centre of said road to a swail 
called Wolf Creek, about one mile and a 

This swail or creek, which was to be the 
terminus of the ditch, entered the land of C. 
H. Damschroeder, also of Eberhard Myers. 
These men claimed that Driftmire's ditch 
would greatly increase the collection of 
water in the swail, and subject their lands, 
now dry, to overflow and consequent injury. 
Litigation followed by Eberhard Myers and 
C. H. Damschroeder on one side, and the 
county commissioners on the other. The case 
was taken to the probate court-John Bell, 
judge; a jury of twelve good men was 
selected, who viewed the premises and heard 
testimony and the arguments of counsel, and 
after due deliberation returned a verdict, and 
finding that Eberhard Myers and C. H. 
Damschroeder would sustain no damage by 
reason of the construction of the ditch. The 
case was taken on error to the Court of 
Common Pleas, where it was decided that 
persons owning land below the terminus of 
the ditch, could not, under the statute, claim 
damages, nor prevent the construction of a 

This decision, whether right or wrong, 
had a salutary effect on the utility of the 
ditch law, for, if it had been held that an 
increase of the flow of water in any swail, 
creek, or outlet, in which a ditch should 
terminate, would be good cause for re- 

straining the construction, very few ditches 
could be made. The natural tendency of all 
draining and ditching is to increase the flow 
of water in the natural channels, at least for a 

The result of this litigation was a cost bill 
for the plaintiffs, Myers and Damschroeder 
to pay, of one hundred and eight dollars. The 
total cost of constructing the ditch, aside 
from the cost of litigation, was one hundred 
and eighty-six dollars. From this time on 
parties were rather careful how they entered 
into litigation against the construction of 
ditches, although there were a few cases 
where projects were started under the law, in 
which perpetual injunctions were afterwards 
granted for irregular proceedings, or where 
the object was simply to make some man's 
land more convenient or valuable without 
any bearing or benefit to be conferred on the 
public welfare. The ditch law was modified 
and amended from time to time, as practice 
under it developed defects in its provisions, 
and under its improved provisions ditching 
in the county has gone steadily on without 
much litigation, although not without some 
controversy before the county 

commissioners, to the present time. The 
whole number of ditches established in the 
county previous to July 18, 1881, is two 
hundred and seventy. 

A minute description of each ditch and its 
cost, and the contentions arising from the 
constructions, would swell our history 
beyond proper limits, without being 
interesting to the general reader. 


Probably, if the beneficial consequences be 
made the criterion of decision, there has 
been no improvement introduced into the 
county so beneficial and at the same time so 
remunerative in a pecuniary point of view as 
ditching and draining. The improved 
statutory enactments provided 



for not only ditching but also for clearing 
out obstructions to natural water courses, 
and thus facilitating the passage of the 
surface water from the swamps and swails, 
to the rivers and thence to the bays and the 
lake into which they empty. The result of 
this surface draining in the increased 
productiveness of the soil, cannot now be 
easily calculated or given in figures. But that 
there has been a vast increase, not only in 
the product of the land per acre in all kinds 
of cereal crops, but great addition to the 
acreage of good farming land in the county, 
is plain and undeniable. These added acres 
of good land are not merely an addition of 
the value of the reclaimed land to the wealth 
of the county, but they are exhaustless mines 
of wealth out of which skill and industry will 
bring perpetual supplies of food more 
valuable than gold or silver. 


The object of the ditch law, so called, 
under which the system of ditching has 
hitherto been prosecuted, was to drain the 

water from the surface of the land. This was 
done, as has been said, to effect two 
purposes, one of which was to promote the 
public, health by removing the stagnant 
waters by which malarial diseases were 
produced; another was to adapt the surface 
of the country to the more easy construction 
of good roads. These are both matters of a 
public nature. In carrying out the plan to 
serve these purposes, lands of many persons 
were incidentally drained and greatly 
benefited; but the ditches were laid out and 
constructed with the single purpose of 
drawing off the surface water. The county 
commissioners are now, however, pursuing a 
different plan. In a recent conversation with 
Mr. Brian O'Connor, one of the 
commissioners, he informed us that the 
board was now making their ditches much 
deeper than formerly. The reason given by 
Mr. O'Connor for this change of plan, is that 
the old or first ditches were generally too 
shallow to admit of complete tiling or under 
draining of the lands along and in the 
vicinity of the ditches. 



IT has been often said, and will bear 
repeating to each generation of men, as 
they succeed each other, that he who makes 
two blades of grass grow where only one 
grew before, is a benefactor to mankind. The 
enlightened mind readily consents to the 
truth of this assertion. But it is equally true 
that he who invents 

the method of extracting from the earth six 
heads of wheat where five grew before, or of 
obtaining four pounds of meat from the same 
space of earth which before produced only 
three, or from the area raises ten pounds of 
wool, or cotton, or sugar where before only 
eight pounds were produced, is equally a 
benefactor to the hu- 



man race. The same may be said of all those 
whose observations and reasonings result in 
the improvement of our fruits and 
vegetables, and our domestic animals. 
Agriculture and horticulture of late years 
have made rapid advances toward the front 
rank of the sciences, but they still fail to 
stand where their real importance demands 
them to be placed, in the social and scientific 
scale. Among the noblest works of the 
earnest, thinking men of Sandusky county, is 
that to improve agriculture and bring the 
pursuit of it into a proper position in the 
opinions of high-minded and scientific men, 
by the organization of the society named at 
the head this chapter. 


In the summer of 1852 Doctor La-Quinio 
Rawson, who had become the owner of 
valuable farming lands, within the city 
limits, began to turn his attention to the 
cultivation of the soil. He at once began to 
call the attention of neighbors and friends to 
the advantages which would be derived to 
the farmers of the county, and the people 
generally, by the formation of an agricultural 
society. His reasonings and persistent 
urgency of the movement, soon brought 
others to his support, and resulted in a 
meeting at the courthouse in Fremont, on the 
31st day of August, 1852, at which the 
society was organized. 

At this meeting Hon. John Bell was 
chosen chairman, and Daniel Capper 
secretary pro tem. Sardis Birchard and Jonas 
Smith were made a committee for the 
appointment of a board of directors for the 
ensuing year. This committee, after 
consultation, reported as directors for the 
ensuing year the following names: LaQuinio 
Rawson, president of said board; Samuel 
Hafford, vice president; Stephen Buckland, 
treasurer; Daniel Capper, secretary; and 
James Vallette, Isaac Glick, Samuel Skinner, 
Alvin Coles, and 

D. Adams, managers, which appointments 
and report, on motion, were adopted and 
approved by the meeting. The meeting then 
adopted a constitution, which provides, in 
substance, as follows: 

First. — That the officers of the society should be a 
president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, and five 
managers, who together constituted a board of directors 
for the general management of the affairs of the society, 
to be elected annually by the members of the society, 
and hold their respective offices until their successors 
should be chosen. 

Second. — That the members of the society should be 
residents of the county, and pay the sum of one dollar 
annually to the treasurer. 

Third. — That competitors for premiums must be 
members of the society. 

Fourth. — That notice of the articles for which 
premiums would be awarded by the society should be . 
published in a newspaper, or in hand-bills, at least one 
month previous to the day of exhibition. 

Fifth. — That all articles offered for premiums must be 
owned by the persons offering the same, or by members 
of their families, and products of the soil or 
manufactured articles must be produced within the 

Sixth. — That awarding committees to examine the 
articles offered for premium, and award premiums 
thereon, should be annually appointed by the directors. 

Seventh. — That awarding committees should comply 
with the provisions of the law requiring competitors for 
premiums on crops and other improvements to furnish 
full and correct statements of the process and expense of 
cultivation, or expense of manufacture or production, 

Eighth. — That competitors for the premiums on crops 
be required to have the ground and its produce 
accurately measured by not less than two disinterested 
persons, whose statements must be verified by affidavit. 

Ninth. — That premiums on crops of grain and grass 
should not be awarded on the crops of less than one acre 
of land, and those on root crops on not less than one- 
fourth of an acre; the whole quantity produced and the 
amount of land specified shall be measured or weighed- 
the root crops to be estimated by weight, divested of the 
tops, and sixty pounds to be considered a bushel; and 
grain crops to be measured or weighed according to the 
usual standards; the rules in relation to other crops and 
productions to be agreed on by the directors of the 

Tenth. — The tenth and last article of the constitution 
provided that the annual exhibitions should be held at 
some period between the first day of September And the 
first day of November, the premiums on crops to be 
awarded if thought necessary. 



The foregoing is the substance of every 
provision in the first constitution of the first 
agricultural society in the county. 

The names of the members of this society 
when this constitution was adopted, are 
recorded in this work as upon a roll of 
honor, to be hereafter remembered with 
gratitude by the future patrons of husbandry 
in the county. They are: 

Matthew M. Coe, Samuel Hafford, James Parks, 
Edward Leppelman, Daniel Capper, John Bell, F. I. 
Norton, James Vallette, Isaac Glick, Samuel Skinner, 
Jonas Smith, J. F. R. Sebring, L. E. Boren, Jacob Lesher, 
David Garvin, Jacob Bowlus, Peter Burgoon, LaQ. 
Rawson, J. S. Olmsted, Alvin Coles, F. S. White, S. 
Birchard, C. D. Hall, George R. Haynes, L. B. Otis, E. 
F. Dickinson, C. Edgarton, S. Buckland, J. P. Haynes, 
James Mitchell, J. L. Greene, William Kepler, Horace E. 
Clark, F. Vandercook, R. P. Buckland, G. M. Tillotson, 
B. J. Bartlett, A. J. Dickinson, C. O. Tillotson, George 
Engler, J. R. Pease, D. Adams, J. S. Fouke, J. B. Downs, 
John S. Tyler, Homer Everett, John Moore, Samuel 
Thompson, Jesse Dorcas, Aaron Loveland, John 
Lefever, Daniel Tindall, Henry Nichols, J. C. Wales, J. 
justice, Philip King, Paul Tew, Samuel Fennimore, C. J. 
Orton, Dean & Ballard, James Moore, William A. Hill, 
W. M. Stark, Isaac Knapp, Daniel G. Shutts, Joseph R. 
Clark, Christian Doncyson, H. Shiveley, James H. 
Hafford, Jacob Kridler, Thomas L. Hawkins, W. B. 
Stevenson, John Orwig, Seneca Hitt, J. F. Smith, N. P. 
Birdseye, Adam Jordan, Norton Russell, F. Lake, 
George Cogswell, A. B. Taylor, John Younkman, W. C. 
Shutts, Hiram Haff, Miles W. Plain, Jesse Emerson, 
Martin Bruner, Sidney Forgerson, Lyman Miller, C. 
King, Orlin Sylva, John Whitmore, Isaac Mowrer, Henry 
Bowman, Hiram Miller, A. J. Henper, Edwin Doud, S. 
H.Tibbals, F.M. Clayton. 


The board of directors of the Sandusky 
County Agricultural Society, chosen as we 
have mentioned above, met at the office of 
the secretary on the 4th day of September, 
1852; present, LaQuinio Rawson, Samuel 
Hafford, Stephen Buckland, 
Daniel Capper, James Vallette, Samuel 

The board, after due consultation and 
deliberation, resolved that the first fair of 
said society should be held at Fremont, on 
the 13th day of October, 1852; and 

they also then and there resolved to invite all 
the members of the society to exhibit at said 
fair horses, cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, 
field crops, fruit, dairy products, and 
manufactured articles, and at the same time 
fixed the premiums on the various articles to 
be exhibited. 

Although it might be interesting in the 
future to publish a detailed statement of the 
premiums offered at this first county fair, we 
omit the details, because we intend giving 
the premiums actually awarded, what for, 
and the amounts, which will give all the 
facts the reader will desire, and will avoid, at 
the same time, a repetition of matter in this 


At the first annual fair of the Sandusky 
County Agricultural Society, held in 1852, 
premiums were awarded as follows: 

Class A, Cattle. — Best yoke of working oxen over 
four years old, to Isaac Glick, of Ballville, $5. Best 
bull over four years old, William Hill, of Scott 
township, $3; second best bull, Otho Lease, of Jackson 
township, $1 . Best bull over three years old, D. 
Seaman, Ballville township, $3; second best over three 
years old, Lyman Miller, Green Creek township. Best 
bull over one year old, James Vallette, of Ballville 
township; second, best bull, John Lefever, Green Creek 
township, $1. Best milch cow, John Moore, of Ballville 
township, $3; second best milch cow, James Vallette, 
Ballville township, $2. Best fat ox, John Moore, 
Ballville township, $3. Best two year old heifer, 
George Cogswell, Sandusky township, $2; second best 
two year old heifer, Samuel Fennimore, of Ballville 
township, $1. Best yearling heifer, William Kessler, of 
Sandusky township, $2; second best yearling heifer, D. 
Seaman, Ballville township, $1. 

Class B, Horses. — Best stallion, S. H. Tibbals, York 
township, $3; second best stallion, John Colvin, York 
township, $2. Best brood mare and colt, P. Burgoon, 
Sandusky township, $3: second best brood mare and 
colt, John Whitmore, Townsend township, $2. Best pair 
matched horses, J. C. Wales, of York township, $3; 
second best pair matched horses, H. Haff, Townsend 
township, $2. Best gelding over four years old, J. Hale, 
Sandusky township, $3; second best gelding over four 
years old, B. J. Bartlett, Sandusky. Best work horse 
over four years old, Otho Lease, of Jackson, $2; second 
best work horse over four years old, 



E. Doud, York, $1. Best carriage horse, William Tew, 
Townsend township, $2. Best three year old colt, C. G. 
Green, Ballville township, $3; second best three year old 
colt, N. Bowlus, Sandusky township, $2. Best two year 
old colt, W. Shutts, York township, $2; second best two 
year old colt, Hiram Haff, Townsend township, $1. Best 
yearling colt, John Whitmore, Townsend township, $2; 
second best yearling colt, John Whitmore, $1. Best three 
year old stallion, J. Gibbs, Riley township, $3; second 
best three year old stallion, William Shrader, $2. Best 
jack, Joseph R. Clark, Riley township, $2. 

Class C, Sheep. — Best buck, Hiram Haff, Townsend 
township, $2; second best buck, S. Hafford, Ballville 
township, $1 . Best pen of five ewes, D. Capper, 
Sandusky township, $2; second best pen of five ewes, S. 
Fennimore, Ballville township, $1. 

Class D, Hogs. — Best boar over one year old, James 
Vallette, Ballville township, $2. Best breeding sow, 
John Moore, Ballville township, $2; second best 
breeding sow, James Vallette, $ 1. Best fat hog, S. 
Thompson, Sandusky township, $2. Best pen of pigs, 
William Kepler, Sandusky township, $2. 

Class E, Fowls. — Best lot five domestic fowls, P. 
Brush, Ballville township, $2; second, James F. Hults, 


Class F, Dairy and Kitchen — Best roll five pounds 
butter, Mrs. Treat, Ballville township, $2; second do. 
Mrs. S. Buckland, Sandusky township, $1. Best lot 
cheese, Mrs. P. Tew, Townsend township, $2. Best 
bread, Mrs. P. Brush, Ballville township $2; second do. 
Mrs. S. Buckland, Sandusky township, $1. 

Class G, Fruit. — Best variety table fruit, Lyman 
Miller, Green Creek township, $2; second do. A. 
Loveland, Sandusky township, $1. Best lot winter fruit, 
H. Bowlus, Sandusky township, $1; second do. William 
King, Ballville, $1. Best lot grapes, Mrs. L. B. Otis, 
Sandusky township, $1. Best quinces, Mrs. Russell, 
Green Creek township, $1; second do. Mrs. S. Treat, 
Ballville township, $1; third do. Mrs. R. P. Buckland, 
Sandusky township, $1. 

Class H. — Best acres of corn, H. Haff, Townsend 
township, $5; second do. William Hyatt, Ballville 
township $2. Best variety garden corn, Mrs. Dickinson, 
Sandusky township, $1. Best potatoes, George Brim, 
Wood vi lie township, $1. Best turnips, George Hyatt, 
Ballville township, $1. Best squashes, Miles W. Plain, 
Greek Creek township, $1. Best beets, Mrs. Vallette, 
Ballville township, $1 Best honey, Mrs. S. A. Loveland, 
Sandusky township, $1. 

Class I. — Best faun wagon, J. C. Wade, York 
township, $3; second do, M. Halderman, Rice township, 
$2. Best straw cutter, William Orr, Sandusky township, 
$1. Best dressed calf skin, Dickinson & Co., Sandusky 
township, $ 1 . Best side harness leather, same, $2; 
second do. M. Justice, $1. Best buggy, William 
Raymond, Sandusky township, $3. Best barrel flour, 
James Moore, Ballville township, 

$2. Best bacon, M. W. Plain, Green Creek township, 
$2. Best two-horse buggy harness, James Kridler, 
Sandusky township, $2. Best farm harness, M. W. 
Plain, Green Creek, $2. Best lot fruit trees, J. A. 
Watrous, Green Creek, diploma. Best tin roof, Canfield 
& Co., diploma. Best sofa, J. W. Stevenson, Sandusky, 
$3; second do. same, $2. Best card table, same, $2. 
Best panel door, F. Luke, Sandusky, $2. Best domestic 
carpet, M. W. Plain, Green Creek, $2; second do, S. E. 
Edgerton, Sandusky, $1. 

Class K. — Best woollen stockings, Mrs. Tew 
Townsend, $2; second do. Mrs. Tyler, Sandusky, $1. 
Best comforter, Mrs. Norton, Sandusky, $1. Best made 
quilt, Mrs. Hyatt, Ballville, $2; second do, Mrs. 
Zimmerman, Sandusky, $1. Embroidery, A. M. 
Olmsted, Sandusky, $2; do. Miss E. Knapp, $2; do. 
Miss A. Kepler, $1; do. Mrs. Thorndyke, $1; do. Miss 
E. Ball, $1. Needlework, Mrs. Thorndyke, $2; do. Mrs. 
Parker, 2; do. Mrs. Boren, $1; do. Mrs. J. Nyce, $2; do. 
Miss Taylor, $1; do. Mrs. Momeny, $2. Best coverlet, 
Mrs. Younkman, $2; second do. Mrs. Treat. 
Embroidery, Miss Justice, $1; do. Miss S. E. Ball, $1. 
Drawing, Miss A. Norton, $1; do. Miss O. Dickinson. 
$1; do. Miss S. Dickinson, $1 . Best variety house 
plants, Mrs. J. W. Wilson; second do. Miss Olmsted. 
Best collection wax work flowers, Mrs. Orton, $1. Best 
basket of flowers, Mrs. C. King, $1. Needlework, Mrs. 
Wells, $1; do. Miss Montgomery, $1; do. Miss Ray- 


From voluntary subscriptions and donations, 

and from fees $236.54 

From the county treasury under the law to 

encourage the formation of agricultural societies200.00 

For lumber sold after the fair 58.88 

Total $495.42 


For lumber $105.00 

For laborers 88.00 

For printing 23.00 

For brass band 15.00 

Premiums awarded 205.00 

Total expenses $436.00 

Balance in the treasury on settlement $59.42 

This detailed statement of premiums 
awarded, to whom and what for, and the 
statement of the receipts and disbursements 
of the first agricultural fair in the county, 
may not now be of much interest to the 
reader. But the time is coming when, like 
the incidents of early pioneer 



life, to the present age, all the particulars of 
the first fair will be deeply interesting to 
those who would watch the progress of the 
society in all its phases, and more especially 
to that portion of the people of the county 
who would measure the progress of the 
county in the most important of all the 
industries pursued by man. 


The society had acquired no land on 
which to hold the fair of 1852. However, it 
procured the right to sufficient room to 
begin. If the reader will take the map of 
Fremont, find State Street, and follow it to 
the east end of the bridge over the Sandusky 
River, and find lots number four hundred 
and sixty-four and four hundred and sixty- 
five, fronting that street on the south side of 
it, and notice numbers four hundred and 
thirty and four hundred and thirty-one in the 
rear of them, they will find the ground where 
the first agricultural fair was held, beginning 
on the thirteenth day of October, 1852. 

The memoranda of the finances of this 
first fair are worth preserving in history, and 
the names of the men and women who 
organized or patronized the society, are 
worthy of preservation, and will receive the 
honor due them for the starting of an 
institution which has been productive of so 
much good already and promises so more in 
the future of the county. 

FAIR OF 1853 

A meeting of the board was held on the 
15th day of September, 1853, at which it was 
resolved that the second fair of said society 
be held at Fremont on the 12th and 13th days 
of October, 1853; also a resolution fixing the 
premiums for different articles, animals, and 
agricultural products, and works of art and 
domestic industries. This fair was held on 
ground, the use of which, for the purpose, 
was donated by General John Bell, on the 

side of the river, on an out-lot since sub- 
divided, and about where in-lots eleven 
hundred and sixty-two and eleven hundred 
and sixty three now are in the third ward of 
the city, as now bounded. 

The receipts for this year were as follows: 

Balance in treasury, 1852 $59.42 

Amount received by voluntary subscriptions 

and fees imposed on members 356.78 

Received from county 200.00 

From sale of lumber, etc 62.45 

From sale of bull 4 1.76 


Payment on premium list $188.00 

Paid lumber, labor, printing, etc 325.22 

Loss on county bull 11.25 

Unpaid bills last year 55.67 

Balance in treasury $136.67 

At a meeting of the society held at the 
courthouse in Fremont, on the 8th day of 
July, 1854, the following officers for the 
ensuing year were chosen, to wit: 

Horatio Adams, president; W. H. Rey- 
nolds, vice-president; Hiram Hurd, treasurer; 
A. Thorpe, secretary; C. G. Sanford, John 
Moore, Lewis Wright, Stephen Buckland, 
and Jeremiah Gibbs, managers. At a meeting 
held at the courthouse in Fremont, June 17, 
1854, the next fair was appointed to be held 
in Clyde, Ohio, on the 26th and 27th days of 
September, 1854. At a meeting in Clyde in 
July, 1854, a premium list was made out and 
published. The fair for that year was 
accordingly held at Clyde on the days 
appointed, with the following results: 

Total receipts, including two hundred dollars 
paid by the county and balance from the 
preceding year, amounted to $483.45 

Total disbursements 413.41 

Balance in treasury $70.04 

On the 25th day of April, 1855, the board 
met in Fremont; present, LaQ. Rawson, 
president; William Russell, vice-president; 
C. R. McCulloch, treasurer; 



D. Capper, secretary, and Paul Tew, Henry 
Nichols, and Samuel Skinner, managers. 

On motion it was ordered that James 
Vallette be and is appointed one of the 
managers of the society, in the place of 
Samuel Treat, deceased. 

At this meeting the society took the first 
step towards purchasing a suitable parcel of 
land on which to build proper structures, 
whereon to hold their future fairs, and LaQ. 
Rawson, Daniel Capper, James Vallette, and 
C. R. McCulloch, were appointed a 
committee to negotiate for or purchase the 
ground, and also to make out and publish a 
premium list for the next fair. 


The annual fair of the society for the year 
1855, was held on the 2d, 3d and 4th days of 
October of that year, on the ground 
bargained for by the committee above 
named, being what was then known as the 
east part of out-lot number one hundred and 
sixteen, in the city of Fremont. The purchase 
was made of Downs & Company, and 
consisted of seven and two one-hundredths 
acres, bounded by the river on the east, and 
situated east of their mill race. 

The result of the fair held in 1855, was 
financially as follows : 

Receipts from certificates of membership ....$366.82 

From donations to purchase and improve 

fair grounds 646.00 

From county treasury 489.08 

From unpaid subscriptions 148.50 

J. C. Wales" note from former treasurer 5.00 

Donations from publishers of papers 14.20 

Total $1,669.60 


Paid expenses of fair $39.99 

Paid printing 27.00 

Paid premiums 162.80 

Paid silver cups 24.06 

Paid improvement of fair grounds. ..564. 53 
Paid Morgan & Downs on land 691. 89 

Total $1,510.27 

Balance $159.33 

The society from this time had a local 
habitation as well as a name. 

At a meeting of the members of the 
society, held pursuant to notice at the office 
of John Bell, in Fremont, on the 1st day of 
March, A. D. 1856, the following officers 
were elected for the ensuing year: LaQ. 
Rawson, president; William Russell, vice- 
president; C. R. McCulloch, treasurer; 
Daniel Capper, secretary; James Vallette, 
Samuel Skinner, Martin Wright, Nathan P. 
Birdseye, Paul Tew, managers. 

On the 22d day of August, 1856, at a 
meeting of the board, it was ordered that the 
annual fair for the year should be held on 
the 7th, 8th, and 9th days of October. A 
premium list was made out and published 
soon after, and the annual fair held 
accordingly. The financial results of this 
fair were a total expenditure, including two 
hundred and twenty-three dollars and 
seventy-five cents for premiums, and two 
hundred and eighteen dollars for fitting up 
the grounds, amounting to six hundred and 
thirty-nine dollars and thirty cents. 
Receipts, six hundred and thirty-eight dol- 
lars and forty-three cents. Being an excess 
of expenditures over receipts of eighty- 
seven cents. 

At a meeting of the members of the 
society, held at the office of John Bell, on 
the 28th day of February, 1857, John Bell 
chairman and B. Amsden secretary, the 
following officers were elected for the 
ensuing year: L. Q. Rawson president; 
Jacob Winters, vice-president; J. F. R. 
Sebring, secretary; Daniel Capper, treas- 
urer; H. R. Adams, James Vallette, James 
Parks, Daniel Smith, and Peter King, 

FAIR OF 1857. 

The board met at the office of John Bell, 
in Fremont, Ohio, on the 18th day of April, 
1857, and ordered that J. F. R. Sebring, 
Daniel Capper, James Vallette, 



and L. Q. Rawson, be appointed an executive 
committee to prepare and publish a premium 
list, and fix the day, and to prepare the 
grounds for the next fair. 

The journal of the society hitherto 
recorded the premium list, the premiums 
awarded, and the financial results of the 
year's transactions, but no such record is 
made for the fair of 1857, and therefore the 
figures in these respects are omitted. But it 
is quite apparent that a fair was held in 1857, 
because the record shows that on the third 
day of the fair in that year, the society, at the 
office of the secretary, on the fair ground, 
pursuant to public notice, elected the 
following officers for the ensuing year: L. Q. 
Rawson, president; S. Buckland, treasurer; 
Daniel Capper, secretary; James Parks, 
Charles Powers, A. Thorp, J. Vallette, and 
Jacob Winters, managers. We have thus 
given the meetings, officers, and financial 
results of the society and its fairs up to the 
year 1857, and the election of officers for 
the ensuing year. 

FAIR OF 1858. 

The fair of 1858 was successfully held on 
their ground in Fremont, and on the last day 
of this fair, according to notice, the 
following officers were elected for the 
ensuing year: James Vallette, president; 
James Parks, vice-president; S. Buckland, 
treasurer; William E. Haynes, secretary; L. 
Q. Rawson, U. B. Lemmon, and Charles 
Powers, managers. 

Each year of the fair produced an enlarged 
premium list, and increased premiums for 
the various articles exhibited. 

THE FAIR OF 1859. 

This fair was duly and successfully held 
on the same ground purchased by the so- 
ciety, but the minutes of the proceedings do 
not show who were elected officers and 
managers for the ensuing year. 

FAIR OF 1860. 

On the third day of the fair, held on 

the society's grounds, in October, 1860, the 
following officers were elected for the 
ensuing year: Daniel Capper, president; John 
M. Smith, secretary; Theodore Clapp, 
treasurer; John S. Gardner, vice-president; 
Jesse Emerson, Benjamin Inman, Saxton S. 
Rathbun, Timothy Wilcox, and Alfred Black, 

On the 8th day of January, 1861, the 
society had paid for, and received a deed 
from Morgan & Downs, conveying to the 
society the east part of out-lot number one 
hundred and sixteen, in Fremont, containing 
seven and two-hundredths acres of land, for 
a fair ground. For this ground the society 
paid the sum of one thousand and fifty-three 
dollars. It was a very good location, 
affording shade and convenient access to the 
Sandusky River for water. But time 
afterwards showed the ground was subject to 
inundation by the river, and the fences and 
other structures were sometimes swept off 
by flood. For these reasons and also to 
accommodate the expansion of the society in 
the future, this land was sold, and other 
ground bought, as will be noticed further on. 

On the 5th day of June, 1861, the board 
met at the store of Theodore Clapp, in 
Fremont. At this meeting there were present, 
D. Capper, president; Theodore Clapp, 
treasurer; and Piatt Brush, Benjamin Inman, 
Saxton S. Rathbun, and Jesse Emerson, 
directors. At this meeting John M. Smith 
was elected secretary, to fill the vacancy 
caused by the absence of A. J. Hale, former 
secretary, and Amos R. Carver was elected 
vice-president, to fill the vacancy occasioned 
by the death of John S. Gardner, former 
vice-president, the persons so elected to 
serve in the respective offices for the 
ensuing year, and until their successors 
should be elected. At this meeting Theodore 
Clapp, Piatt Brush, and John M. Smith, were 
appointed a committee to make out a 
premium list 



for the year, to be submitted to the board at 
their next meeting. 

On the 22d day of June, 1861, the board 
again met at the store of Theodore Clapp. At 
this meeting those present were D. Capper, 
president; Theodore Clapp, treasurer; John 
M. Smith, secretary; and Piatt Brush, 
Benjamin Inman, Saxton S. Rathbun, Jesse 
Emerson, and Timothy Wilcox, directors. 

The committee to make out a premium list 
for the annual fair made their report which 
was read and approved by the board. The fair 
was appointed to be held on Wednesday, 
Thursday, and Friday, the 2d, 3d and 4th 
days of October, 1861, and the meeting then 
ordered the premium list published. 

On the 26th day of August, 1861, the 
board met and appointed Jeremiah Gibbs 
director, in place of Timothy Wilcox, absent. 
The premium list of this year was extensive 
and more elaborate than those of former 
years, and the fair was a success. But the 
financial results are not given on the journal 
of the society, and we therefore omit any 
statement of them. 


As a matter of history, already interesting 
in the county, and to become more and more 
interesting as time rolls on, we give the 
names of the committee designated by the 
board of the society, to fit up floral hall for 
the fair of 1861. We record them here for 
two reasons. First, because it gives some 
idea of the interest the people took in these 
annual exhibitions. Secondly, because it 
preserves for future mention the names of a 
number of the men and women then 
prominent in our social circles, for their taste 
and devotion to the cause of improvement in 
all directions. The committee named by the 
board for fitting up floral hall, for the annual 
fair of 1861, were as follows: 

J. W. Failing, O. W. Vallette, Henry Buckland, Willard 
Norton, L. Morehouse, E. Simpkins, Mrs. G. Grant, Mrs. 
L. Q. Rawson, Mrs. G. Canfield, Mrs. Nat Haynes, Mrs. 
John Magee, Miss Eliza Simpkins, Miss Beckey 
Simpkins, Miss Isabella Nyce, Miss M. Justice, Miss 
Martha Raymond, Miss Ellen Hafford, Miss Jennie 
McLellan, Miss S. Botefur, Miss E. A. Morehouse, Miss 
Mary Canfield, Miss Amelia Norton, Miss Sarah Jane 
Grant, Miss G. Thompson, Miss Myra Kepler, Miss L. 
Kepler, Miss Emma Downs, Miss A. Sharp, Miss Sarah 
Wilson, Miss Mary Durand, Miss Eva Bartlett, and Miss 
Bell Maxwell. 

To the resident of Fremont in the year 
1861, who was familiar with the social or- 
ganization at that time, the names on this 
committee will awake reminiscences of 
intense interest. The list of young, and 
beautiful, and cultured ladies, embraces what 
was, at that time, the cream of our collected 
beauty of person, and culture of intellect, 
and, no doubt, those who resided in Fremont 
in the fall of 1861, and witnessed how these 
earnest, and beautiful, and good women 
labored to make the fair of the society for 
1861 interesting and profitable, will trace the 
history of each gentleman and lady of this 
committee through the checkered scenes of 
their after life with intense interest. 

On the third day of the fair held in 1861, 
the members met according to notice, and 
elected officers for the ensuing year, as 
follows: Daniel Capper, president; Hiram 
Haff, vice-president; O. W. Vallette, 
secretary; Theodore Clapp, treasurer; S. S. 
Rathbun, C. G. Greene, Jeremiah Gibbs, 
Samuel Hafford, and Daniel Waggoner, 

A premium list for the next fair was 
prepared by Daniel Capper and O. W. 
Vallette, and submitted to the board, and 
approved at a meeting held on the 31st of 
May, 1862. At this meeting it was resolved 
that the next annual fair should be held on 
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the 1st, 
2d, and 3d days of October, 1862. 




From the formation of the society in 1852, 
to the year 1862, although the civil war 
broke out in 1861, the annual fairs had been 
held without a single failure in any year. 
True it is that in the year 1861 the war cloud 
hung heavy over all the land, but so remote 
were the people of Sandusky county from 
the contending armies and the battlefields, 
that our business was not seriously 
interrupted until the summer of 1862. Then 
the cloud, thicker and darker than before, 
spread over the whole sky and enveloped us 
in darkness, gloom, and fear. 

After the premium list was published and 
the days for the fair selected, we find the 
following entry on the journal of the society, 
in the handwriting of the secretary, Vallette: 

Owing to the unsettled state of the county on account 
of the war, and the fact that the draft in our county came 
on the days appointed for our fair, it was decided by the 
officers of the society to postpone the fair for this year. 
O. W. VALLETTE, Secretary. 
Fremont, August, 1862. 

Hence, the society held no fair in the year 

At the meeting of the members of the 
society held at the store of Theodore Clapp, 
in Fremont, in January, 1863, the following 
officers were elected to serve the ensuing 
year: Daniel Capper, president; Piatt Brush, 
vice-president; Theodore Clapp, treasurer; 
O. W. Vallette, secretary; S. S. Rathbun, U. 
B. Lemmon, C. G. Greene, and Daniel 
Waggoner, managers. An extended premium 
list was made out and published, and the fair 
was held successfully on the 7th, 8th, and 
9th days of October, 1863. The premiums 
were regularly awarded and paid. 

At a meeting of the members held on the 
16th of January, 1864, the following officers 
of the Sandusky County Agricultural Society 
were elected to serve the 

ensuing year: J. L. Greene, sr., president; 
John Moore, of Ballville, vice-president; 
John P. Moore, treasurer; O, W. Vallette, 
secretary; Daniel Waggoner, Jasper King, 
William E. Lay, Jason Gibbs, and Warren G. 
Hafford, managers. 

At a meeting of the officers of the society 
held on the 26th day of March, 1864, the 
president, J. L. Greene, sr., and Secretary O. 
W. Vallette, were appointed a committee to 
prepare a premium list for the next fair. 

On the 16th of April, 1864, the board met 
and appointed the fair to be held on 
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the 12th, 
13th, and 14th days of October. 

The financial results of the fair of 1864 
are not recorded, and therefore not pub- 

On the 18th day of January, 1865, the 
members of the society met at the office of 
John L. Greene, sr., and elected the 
following officers to serve the ensuing year: 
Theodore Clapp, president; William E. 
Haynes, vice-president; DeWitt Krebs, 
treasurer; O. W. Vallette, secretary; Edward 
Tindall, U. B. Lemmon, James N, Campbell, 
B. Amsden, and Charles Powers, directors. 

On the 27th of March, 1865, the board 
met at the office of Theodore Clapp. At this 
meeting William E. Haynes, DeWitt Krebs, 
and O. W. Vallette, were appointed a 
committee to revise and prepare a premium 
list for the next fair and report the same to a 
future meeting of the board, The premium 
list was approved and published, and the fair 
again successfully held on the 6th, 7th, and 
8th days of September, 1865, and the 
premiums awarded and paid. 

On the 27th day of January, 1866, the 
society met at the office of Theodore Clapp, 
and elected the following officers for the 
ensuing year. Theodore Clapp, president; 
William E. Haynes, vice-presi- 



dent; D. W. Krebs, treasurer; O. W. Vallette, 
secretary; Edward Tindall of Ballville, 
James N. Campbell of Washington, B. 
Amsden of Sandusky, Hiram Haff of York, 
managers for one year; O. W. Vallette of 
Ballville, D. W. Krebs of Sandusky, J. P. 
Elderkin of Woodville, Benjamin Inman of 
Scott, S. S. Rathbun of Green Creek, and 
David Betts of Sandusky township, 
managers for two years. 

In May, 1866, the board met and ordered 
that Theodore Clapp superintend the 
building of a new fence around the fair 
grounds, and put the grounds in good 

On the 28th of September the board met 
and made the following entry on their 

FREMONT, September 28, 1866. 
Owing to the late floods, and the damage done on the fair 
grounds, it has been decided to postpone the fair for this 

O. W. VALLETTE, Secretary. 

Therefore no fair was held in the year 
1866, on account of a flood. Thus we see the 
society was prevented from holding its fairs 
twice in the first fourteen years of its 
existence, first in 1862, by the war, and, 
second, in 1866, by a flood which 
overflowed and damaged its grounds. 

On the 14th of February, 1867, the 
members of the society met at the office of 
Theodore Clapp, and elected the following 
officers to serve the ensuing year: Piatt 
Brush, president; Charles H. Bell, vice- 
president, E. Walters, Charles Powers, 
George W. Beck, and J. V. Beery, managers. 

On the 7th of March following, the board 
met, and elected, J. V. Beery secretary, and 
J. P. Elderkin treasurer. 

Let it be remarked that about this time 
some enterprising gentlemen who were fond 
of cultivating speedy horse-flesh, had 
organized the Fremont Driving Park Asso- 
ciation, and had rented some out-lots on the 
hill, on the east side of the river, on 

which a fine track was formed, on which the 
speed of trotting and running horses could be 
tested and compared. Let no one think or 
suspect that anything like vulgar horse- 
racing was connected with this Driving Park 
Association. The out-lots rented by this 
association were very finely situated for a 
fair ground. Hence, at the meeting of the 
board in March, 1867, on motion of Mr. 
Rathbun, Piatt Brush and Charles H. Bell 
were appointed a committee to confer and 
make arrangements with a committee of the 
Driving Park Association, to hold the county 
fair upon their ground. 

On the 23d day of May, 1867, the board 
met; present, P. Brush, George Beck, D. 
Betts, B. Inman, E. Walters, and John V. 
Beery. The committee, C. H. Bell and P. 
Brush, reported that they had rented the 
driving park for nine years, at a yearly rent 
of seventy-five dollars, for the purpose of 
holding the fairs of the society. After the 
adoption of this report, the president 
appointed Charles H. Bell and Saxton S. 
Rathbun, a committee to attend to the 
removal of floral hall from the old fair 
ground to the driving park. At this same 
meeting the premium list was arranged, and 
the next fair of the society appointed to be 
held on the 2d, 3d, and 4th days of October, 
1867, the days of the week being 
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The fair 
was held, accordingly, on the grounds of the 
Driving Park Association, the premiums 
awarded and paid, and the fair was now 
established on the east side of the river, on 
the hill and above the reach of floods. But 
the facilities for procuring a supply of water 
were lacking, and there was no shade. Still 
the fair was well attended, and was 
reasonably successful. 

On the 1st day of February, 1868, the 
society met at the office of Theodore Clapp 
and elected the following officers: 



Charles H. Bell, president; Oscar Ball, vice- 
president; J. P. Elderkin, treasurer; J. V. 
Beery, secretary; B. Inman, John P. 
Elderkin, jr., Samuel Skinner, Piatt Brush, 
William McPherson, and David Fuller, 

On the 6th of February the board met and 
appointed Samuel Skinner, Oscar Ball, 
Benjamin Inman, Piatt Brush, and William 
McPherson a committee to prepare a 
premium list for the fair of 1868. 

The fair was held on the 17th, 18th, and 
19th days of September, 1868, and the 
premiums were awarded and paid as usual. 
This fair was held on the Trotting Park 
ground, east side of the river. 

The officers and directors of the society for 
1868, met on the 13th day of January, 1869. 
Present — C. H. Bell, Piatt Brush, Benjamin 
Inman, David Fuller, George Beck, J. P. 
Elderkin, jr., and John V. Beery. 
The object of this meeting was to consider 
on the disposal of the old fair ground, and to 
arrange the distribution of the finances, and 
pay out the funds on hand. It was, on motion 
of Piatt Brush, resolved that the old fair 
ground be offered for sale, provided that 
over fifteen hundred dollars should be 
offered for it, and the motion was carried 

Here crops out the intention of the society to 
abandon the old fair ground, purchased of 
Morgan & Downs long before. The reasons 
for this movement were sufficient 
justification for abandoning the location. 
First, all the fences and buildings the society 
might erect there were subject to be annually 
swept away by the floods in the river. 
Second, the quantity of ground was 
insufficient to accommodate the growing 
demands of the society. 

The secretary was ordered to advertise the 
ground in both the county papers, to be sold 
on the 29th day of January, 1860, at 2 
o clock P. M., at the east door of the 

court house in Fremont, and that it should be 
sold to the highest bidder. After ordering the 
payment of certain sums out of the treasury, 
the meeting adjourned. 

On the 30th of January, 1869, the members 
of the society met pursuant to published 
notice, and elected the following officers for 
the ensuing year: Benjamin Inman, 
president; Charles H. Bell, vice-president; 
Frederick Fabing, treasurer; James S. 
Vanvalkenburg, secretary; Elijah Kellogg, 
George Beck, James Parks, and John K. 
Richards, managers. This meeting appointed 
the time for holding the next fair to be on the 
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the 7th, 8th, 
and 9th days of October, 1869. 

The old fair ground was sold at auction at 2 
o'clock P. M., January 29, 1869, to Canfield 
& Co., for sixteen hundred and five dollars. 
Such is the mention of the record on the 
journal of the society. But the record of 
deeds shows that the old fair ground was 
conveyed to Downs & Co. (which is 
probably another name for Canfield & Co.), 
by deed dated February 11, 1869, for the 
consideration of one thousand six hundred 
and fifty-five dollars, 

On the 2d day of June, 1869, the board met 
upon notice, and Charles H. Bell, George 
Beck, Benjamin Inman, and Frederick 
Fabing were appointed to prepare a premium 
list for the year 1869, which they did. 

For this year the results of the fair are 
summed up as follows: 

Amount received from former treasurer $1.32 

Amount from State Board of Agriculture 106.00 

Amount from rents of ground and tickets sold.. 741.45 



Paid expenses and repairs at fair $219.47 

Paid printing 66.00 

Paid secretary's salary 50.00 

Paid assistants 9.00 

Paid treasurer's assistants 10.00 

Paid premiums to date 54.55 


Cash balance on hand $39.75 



The foregoing exhibit of the financial 
transactions of the year was reported to a 
meeting of the board, held on the 29th of 
January, 1870, and was then approved. 

On the same day of the above mentioned 
meeting of the board, after the approval of 
the treasurer's report above given, the 
members of the society proceeded to the 
election of officers for the ensuing year, 
with the following result: President, 
Benjamin Inman; vice president, Beman 
Amsden; treasurer, Christian Doncyson; 
secretary, William H. Andrews. The 
directors were David Fuller, for one year; for 
two years, W. W. Cooper, Green Creek; 
James Havens, Jackson, H. B. Hineline, 
Rice; Peter Burgoon, Sandusky; and Samuel 
Skinner, of Washington township. 
At this same meeting, held on the 29th 
January, 1870, James Parks, Samuel Skinner, 
and George W. Beck were appointed a 
committee to report on the purchase of fair 


At a meeting of the bard of directors of 
the society, held at the county auditor's 
office, on the 17th day of March, 1870, the 
board received the report of the committee 
above named on the purchase of a 
fairground, and by a unanimous vote 
selected the site proposed to be purchased of 
LaQ. Rawson, and appointed B. Amsden to 
survey the same under the direction of a 
committee consisting of James Parks, Peter 
Burgoon, and Samuel Skinner. The board 
then adjourned until the 23d day of April, 
1870, to meet at the county auditor's office 
at 10 o'clock A. M. A meeting was duly held 
at the time and place appointed. The 
committee and surveyor made their report. 

Without narrating tedious details, we may 
state that the survey and report offered the 
society twenty acres of land, 

fronting west on Elm street, and going near 
the brow of the hill overlooking the 
Sandusky valley, but did not include the 
side-hill. The society desired the hill, and 
hill-side, and on further negotiation relin- 
quished a strip about fourteen rods wide on 
Elm street, and took about twenty-seven 
acres covering the side-hill, for the sum of 
about seven thousand dollars. By this 
purchase the society acquired one of the 
most convenient and beautiful sites for a fair 
ground in the State. 

Pursuant to notice the members of the 
society met at the courthouse, in Fremont, on 
the 10th day of February, 1871, and elected 
the following officers for the ensuing year. 

William E. Haynes, president; Oscar Ball, 
vice-president; William H. Andrews, 
secretary; John M. Smith, treasurer; David 
Fuller, B. W. Lewis, Elijah Kellogg, Ben- 
jamin Inman, Jacob Stetler, and James Parks, 

At a meeting held March 11, 1871, Peter 
Darr was added to the list of directors to fill 
the vacancy occasioned by the death of H. B. 
Hineline. The board at this meeting also 
appointed Oscar Ball, B. Inman, David 
Fuller, B. W. Lewis, Peter Burgoon, and 
William E. Haynes, an executive committee 
to transact all business of the society in the 
absence of the board, and this executive 
committee was instructed to prepare a 
premium list for the next fair. At this 
meeting, it should be noticed, the society 
adopted a new constitution, the particular 
changes in which from the former one it is 
not deemed necessary to particularize, but it 
made some changes which time and ex- 
perience had proved necessary to the more 
successful management of the affairs of the 

At a meeting of the board, held May 13, 
1871, it was ordered that the next fair be 
held on the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th days 



of October, 1871. Vigorous measures were 
adopted to prepare the new grounds, and 
erect suitable buildings for the fair of 1871, 
the first held there. 

The fair was held according to appoint- 
ment, and the popular verdict was that the 
society had done a good thing in securing 
such an admirable location. The results of 
this fair were reported to the next meeting, 
held February 3, 1872, and may be briefly 
stated as follows. The report was made by 
the treasurer, Isaac M. Keeler, successor to 
John M. Smith, and shows 


Citizens' loan $2500.00 

County agricultural fund 2745.00 

Nineteenth annual fair and excursion 2465.66 


Improvement of new grounds $549.00 

Old debts prior to 1871 571.60 

Premiums to date 848.50 

Expenses of nineteenth fair 498.07 

Cash on hand 302.49 


At a meeting held at the courthouse on the 
3d day of February, 1872, the following 
officers were unanimously elected: William 
E. Haynes, president; Oscar Ball, vice- 
president; Joseph Waggoner, Peter Burgoon, 
William J. Havens, Peter Darr, W. W. 
Cooper, and R. P. Buckland, managers. 

On the 23d of April, 1872, William H. 
Andrews was elected secretary, and Isaac M. 
Keeler treasurer for the year. At this meeting 
it was resolved to hold the twentieth annual 
fair of the society on the 25th, 26th, 27th, 
and 28th days of September, 1872. The 
following committee was then appointed to 
arrange for the fair, namely: William E. 
Haynes, Oscar Ball, B. W. Lewis, David 
Fuller, and William H. Andrews. The fair 
was successfully held at the appointed time. 
Mr. Edward Tindall reported and proved to 
the board, accord- 

ing to the rules of the society, that at the 
harvest of 1872 he raised two hundred and 
twenty bushels of wheat on six and thirty- 
one-hundredth acres of his land. The land 
was measured by J. L. Rawson, surveyor, the 
wheat was measured and the quantity sworn 
to by Mr. A. Mosier. Mr. Tindall was 
awarded the premium. 

Pursuant to published notice the members 
of the society met at the courthouse in 
Fremont, on Saturday, February 1, 1873, and 
elected the following officers: William B. 
Sheldon, president; J. R. Gephart, vice- 
president; Z. Brush, B. W. Lewis, T. H. 
Bush, J. Fairbanks, and Frederick Smith, 
managers. Mr. Sheldon refused to serve, and 
on the 22d of February, 1873, Piatt Brush 
was elected president, and on the same day 
F. J. Giebel, jr., was elected secretary, and 
John P. Elderkin, jr., treasurer, for the 
ensuing year. Mr. Brush declined serving as 
president, and, on the 3d of May, 1873, the 
society elected John R. Gephart president. 
By this election a vacancy was caused in the 
office of vice-president, and T. H. Bush was 
elected to that office, which left a vacancy in 
the board of managers, which was filled by 
the election of Charles H. Norton. An 
executive committee was chosen, and the 
time for holding the next fair fixed for the 
1st, 2d, 3d, and 4th days of October, 1873, 
and the fair was held accordingly. 

This fair was a financial failure, for an 
entry on the journal shows that afterwards 
the executive committee met, and ascer- 
tained by the treasurer's report that the 
disbursements exceeded the receipts by the 
amount of seven hundred dollars, and that 
the treasurer had paid the excess of 
expenditures out of his own private funds. 
The committee authorized a loan to be made 
by the society for the amount, to be paid, 
with eight per cent, interest, on the 2d day of 
November, 1874. 



On the 7th day of February, 1874, pursuant 
to the provisions of the constitution of the 
society, and to printed notice, the society 
met at the county auditor's office, in 
Fremont, and received the treasurer's report, 
which shows the following receipts and 


March 22, cashonhand $23.63 

August 27, cash from excursion 208.75 

October, cash receipts from fair 2,687.00 

Cash, city of Fremont 100.00 

Cash, loans 689.50 


Paid interest on loan $200.00 

Paid premiums on class 17 617.00 

Paid improvements on grounds 538.56 

Paid premiums 818.00 

Paid expenses during fair 425.00 

Paid band for music 50.00 

Paid sec'y salary and expenses 90.00 

Paid L. Q. Rawson, on land 561.06 

Paid printing etc 222.55 

Steamer and band for excursion 185.00 

Balance on hand 73 


On the 27th day of February, 1874, the 
society met at the county auditor's office and 
elected the following officers, to serve the 
ensuing year, namely: R. P. Buckland, 
president; W. W. Stine, vice-president; Isaac 
M. Keeler, secretary; W. H. Andrews, 

The president was instructed to appoint an 
executive committee, to consist of five 
members. The committee was afterwards 
appointed, and consisted of the following 
persons : C. A. Norton, W. W. Stine, B. W. 
Lewis, Joseph Waggoner, and E. W. 

During the summer and autumn of the 
year 1874 an amphitheater or grand stand 
was erected on the fair ground, which af- 
forded visitors an excellent view of the 
ground, and all the proceedings of the fair to 
be seen by the eye. It also afforded shelter 
from the rain and shade from the 

often uncomfortable rays of the sun. 

The contract for this building was 
awarded to Mr. A. Foster, of the city of 
Fremont, at the price of one thousand two 
hundred and seventy-five dollars. 

It was also arranged and ordered by the 
board that there should be several new 
features in the fair of 1874, such as a special 
premium for the best pair of draught horses, 
and mules, also for single horse or mule. The 
first were offered a premium of twenty 
dollars, and the second ten dollars, to be 
tested on the ground by the dynamometer. 
Premiums were also offered for plowing, 
dragging, and drilling contests, to be put 
under the charge of D. C. Richmond, of Erie 
county, then member of the State Board of 

The fair of 1874 began September 30, and 
continued four days, with the following 
financial result: 


Received from former treasurer $179.96 

From loan of C. Norton 3,000.00 

From loan of W.W. Stine 350.00 

From loan of Bank of Fremont 175.00 

From annual fair 4,291.40 

From J. M. Raymond, pasture 24.00 

From State Board of Agriculture 227.52 


Paid F. I . Geibel, secretary, 1 873 $21.50 

Paid F. S. White, trustee citizens' loan 2,500.00 

Paid F. S White, interest on citizens' loan 200.00 

Paid C. A. Norton, interest on loan 45.00 

Paid L. Q. Rawson, on ground 1,088.00 

Paid B.Donahue, for loan 400.00 

Paid B. Donahue, loan interest 23.29 

Paid Bank of Fremont, loan and interest 3 1 8.20 

Paid W. W. Stine, interest 6.53 

Paid I. M. Keeler, expenses to Columbus 15.00 

Paid premiums to date 1 ,682.00 

Paid fair expenses 253.71 

Paid permanent improvement on grounds 840.40 

Paid Bank of Fremont on note 150.00 


Cash on hand February 5, 1 875 $3.28 

Here it will be noticed that the fair of 
1874 shows a marked increase in the re- 



ceipts and disbursements of the society. 

In an elaborate report made by the 
secretary, Isaac M. Keeler, of the fair of 
1874, to the State Board of Agriculture, held 
at Columbus, Ohio, January 6, 1875, he says, 
among other things: 

The exercise of horses on the half mile track during a 
portion of each day, attracted a large crowd, and some 
excellent time was made. 

Further on the report says: 

The results of the fair of 1873 were unfortunate to 
the society, for instead of decreasing the sum of its 
indebtedness, it added considerably thereto, and left a 
bad feeling among former friends of the society. The 
officers of 1874, therefore, felt the greater necessity for 
economy in expenditures, and at the same time to make 
the exhibition so attractive as to induce the people from 
all parts of the county to show their interest in the 
society by being present at the annual fair. The total 
indebtedness of the society at this time cannot be far 
from four thousand five hundred dollars. 

On the whole, the fair of 1874 was a 
success, and awakened a new interest in its 

Pursuant to notice, the society met at the 
county auditor's office, and, after hearing the 
treasurer's report, and ordering it referred to 
a committee, a resolution was passed at this 
meeting to amend the constitution, so that 
thereafter there should be thirteen directors 
of the society. One thereof should be chosen 
from each township, there being twelve 
townships, and also one director at large. 
Thereupon the following persons were 
unanimously chosen directors for the 
ensuing year: J. K. Richards, of York 
township; Levi Cowell, of Riley; W. G. 
Hafford, of Ballville; Piatt Brush, of 
Sandusky; Adam Bair, of Scott; John 
Sandwish, of Woodville; Casper Stausmire, 
of Madison; David Fuller, of Townsend; R. 
B. Hayes, Fremont, director at large. 

Of the preceding board the following 
directors held over and were also part of the 
board for 1875, namely: Henry Ludwig, of 
Jackson township; Joseph Waggoner, of 
Washington; S. S. Rathbun, of 

Green Creek; and Fred Smith, of Rice 

On the 13th of February, 1875, the board 
met and elected the following officers: 
William W. Stine, president; Charles A. 
Norton, vice-president; Isaac M. Keeler, 
secretary; Henry Baker, treasurer. 

A premium list was prepped and adopted 
by the board at their meeting, May 1, 1875. 

The board of directors appointed the time 
for holding the annual fair to be Wednesday, 
Thursday, and Friday, September 21, 22, and 

An extended premium list was prepared 
and the fair was held according to ap- 
pointment. This year the fair was not as 
successful as the year before. The entries for 
exhibition were about one hundred and fifty 
less than at the fair of 1894. Another 
injurious fact was the unfavorable weather 
of the first two days, which greatly reduced 
the entries, the attendance, and the amount 
received at the entrance gates. 


Cash received from treasurer $11.78 

Cash received from city of Fremont 100.00 

Cash received from annual fair 3,438.14 


Paid interest on loans $ 182.67 

Paid premiums on class 18 417.00 

Paid annual premium list 818.25 

Paid L. Q. Rawson, on land 615.95 

Paid permanent improvements 575.00 

Paid printing and stationery 1 80.00 

Paid Light Guard Band, music 75.00 

Paid secretary, for services 50.00 

Paid Bank of Fremont, note, 101 .75 

Paid bills of 1873 and 1874 72.00 

Paid expenses of the fair 437.00 

Paid cash in treasury 30.00 


The wheat crop of 1875 was reported not 
to be as good nor as large as that of 1874, 
but was, notwithstanding, above an average 



The fair was actually held four days, the 
last two of which brought fine weather and 
greatly increased the attendance and swelled 
the receipts, and also rescued the society 
from the losses of the first two days. 


This year the board, to encourage the 
planting of shade trees along the highways in 
the county, offered premiums for their 
planting. To the owner planting the best row 
of not less than forty trees, twenty dollars. 
For best row containing not less than twenty- 
five trees, ten dollars. The trees were to be 
planted during the year ending June, 1876, 
and the premiums to be awarded at the 
annual fair, in 1876. 

Pursuant to notice published, the members 
of the society met at the auditor's office, on 
the 5th day of February, 1876. A committee 
was duly appointed to report the names of 
seven directors, whose time had expired, and 
one director at large. This committee 
consisted of Henry H. House, Joseph 
Waggoner, James Wickards William J. 
Smith, and Nehemiah Engler, who reported 
the following names: W. B. Lewis, director 
at large for one year; W. D. Stine, one year; 
Casper Stausmire, William J. Smith, James 
D. Benner, S. S. Rathbun, W. H. Hineline, 
and E. A. Beebe, each for two years. The 
directors holding over were J. K. Richards, 
Levi Cowell, W. G. Hafford, P. J. Gossard, 
and John Sandwish. This board met on the 
12th of February, 1876, and. elected the 
following officers for the year: General R. P. 
Buckland, president; J. P Elderkin, vice- 
president; Henry Baker, treasurer; Isaac M. 
Keeler, secretary. 

Afterward, Vice-President Elderkin being 
about to remove from the county, resigned 
his office, and Henry Coonrod was elected to 
fill the vacancy. The premium list was 
agreed to and duly published. 

The fair was held October 3, 4, 5, and 6, 
1876. The number of entries for premiums 
was eleven hundred and seventy-five. The 
membership tickets, at one dollar each, were 
twelve hundred and seventy-eight. The total 
receipts of this fair amounted to three 
thousand two hundred and seven dollars and 
forty cents. The premiums paid, including 
races, amounted to one thousand four 
hundred and thirty-seven dollars and 
seventy-five cents. The more particular 
items of disbursement are not given, but the 
fair was a success, as the receipts appear to 
embrace no loans. 

On the 2d day of November, 1876, at 
night, floral hall, the pride of the fair 
grounds, was totally consumed by fire, 
which was said to be no doubt the work of 
an incendiary. It was, however, fully 

In the secretary's report to the State Board 
of Agriculture, on the fair of 1876, the 
following showing is made: 

Amount received for tickets of membership, single tickets and 

tickets to the grandstand $2,672.90 

For booths, refreshments, stands and per- 
mits 357.00 

From other sources 437.25 

On hand from 1 875 39.42 


Paid premiums $1,438 00 

Paid permanent improvements 1,057 16 

Paid fair expenses 928.00 

Paid balance to new account 103.48 


This must have been a prosperous year for 
the society, for the fair made by this 
showing more than a thousand dollars' worth 
of permanent improvements, paid all 
expenses and left a balance of one hundred 
and three dollars and forty-eight cents, in the 
treasury. Besides the items of receipts given 
in the secretary's annual report to the State 
Board of Agriculture, the State Board had 



the society one hundred and twenty-seven 
dollars and fifty-one cents, and the insurance 
on floral hall was paid into the treasury on 
the 3d day of February, 1877, amounting to 
one thousand dollars, which amounts do not 
appear in the secretary's report, and were no 
doubt standing to the credit of the society for 
the succeeding year, or promptly applied to 
the society's indebtedness. These two items 
were probably received too late to be 
included in the financial report of 1876, 
though paid in before the annual election of 

This fair was remarkable for a better 
exhibition of horses, cattle, and sheep than 
any preceding one, also for a better exhibit 
of mechanic arts, and of machinery, among 
which latter the Hubbard mower and reaper, 
manufactured by the Fremont Harvester 
works, was prominent; also June & 
Company's portable engine, manufactured in 
Fremont, and invented here. Lehr Brothers, 
also of the city of Fremont, had on 
exhibition agricultural implements and other 
articles, which did great credit to the 
growing manufactures of the county. At this 
fair it was shown that the farm products of 
grains, seeds, vegetables, butter, cheese, etc., 
were greater and better than ever before. 
Fruits, excepting peaches, were fine and in 
great variety. The hay crop was unusually 
abundant and good. Potatoes were what is 
commonly expressed as a short crop. 

In the report of 1876, the secretary es- 
timates the value of the fair grounds and 
improvements, the land being about twenty- 
eight acres, at fifteen, thousand dollars, 
which is generally thought to be a low 

Lewis Balsizer, of Riley township, raised 
on seven and one-eighth acres, two hundred 
and forty-eight bushels of wheat by weight, 
and on seven and one-eighth acres five 
hundred and thirty bushels of corn, 

and being the only one who made an entry 
for premium on these crops, took a premium 
of ten dollars on each. It is not improbable 
that other farmers raised an equal and even 
greater quantity per acre than Mr. Balsizer, 
but did not see fit to make the entry for the 

We have mentioned that the property of the 
society was estimated at fifteen thousand 
dollars at the close of the year 1876. On the 
17th of February, 1877, the secretary, Mr. 
Isaac M. Keeler, endeavored to ascertain 
accurately the entire indebtedness of the 
society, and after doing so stated it to be, on 
the 17th of February, 1877, one thousand 
nine hundred and ninety-eight dollars and 
thirty-two cents. This showing indicates a 
healthy financial condition, which promises 
well for the future. 

Assets in real property $15,000.00 

Debts 1,900.00 

Net balance on real estate $13,100.00 

At a meeting of the members, held at the 
auditor's office, on the 17th of February, 
1877, the following directors were elected, 
to wit: At large — Hiram Pool, Ballville 
township. For two years — W. D. Stine, 
Sandusky; Fred Smith, York; Joseph R. 
Clark, Riley; James Wickard, Ballville; D. S. 
Tinney, Scott; Henry Herman, Woodville. 
For one year — T. D. Stevenson, Madison, to 
fill vacancy. 

The directors holding over were: William 
J. Smith, Jackson; James D. Benner, 
Washington; S. S. Rathbun, Green Creek; W. 
H. Hineline, Rice; David Fuller, Townsend. 

This board of directors met on the 3d day 
of March, 1877, and elected the following 
officers: L. Q. Rawson, president; W. W. 
Stine, treasurer; Isaac M. Keeler, secretary. 

The executive committee was then chosen, 
consisting of the following-named persons: 
C. H. Bell, W. W. Stine, W. H. 



Hineline, James D. Benner, James Wickard, 
and Hiram Pool. 

The board, at their meeting April 25, 1877, 
resolved to encourage the planting of Osage 
orange hedge, and offered a premium of 
twenty dollars for the best forty rods, and ten 
dollars for the best twenty rods. 

At the same meeting the president and 
vice-president were appointed a committee to 
select the place and decide upon a plan for a 
new floral hall. The plan for the hall was 
made by J. C. Johnson, architect, and the 
place chosen near the site of the one 
destroyed by fire. 

The contract for building the hall was 
awarded to Henry Shively on the 2d day of 
June, 1879, at the price of one thousand six 
hundred and fifty-nine dollars. Floral hall 
was insured while being built, and was ready 
in time for the fair. 

On the first day of the fair of 1879, being 
October 2, at 9 o'clock in the evening, fire 
broke out at the northeast corner of the fair 
grounds, a locality occupied by trotting and 
running horses. In a very short time a block 
of stalls, twenty-two in number, were 
consumed. The loss on the stalls was fully 
insured. Mr. J. H. Harley, of Huron, lost a 
valuable mare, and some valuable harness, 
and some saddles were also burned. 

This fire was said to have been caused by 
fire communicated to straw in the halls from 
candles used by men who were sleeping in 
the stalls, and who went to sleep without 
properly caring for the light they had used. 
Perhaps the man fell asleep while reading. 
The damage done to the property by this fire 
was less than one hundred dollars, and was 
repaired by vigorous work the next day, 
without interrupting the proceedings of the 

The receipts and disbursements of the 
society, for the fair of 1877, were as follows: 


Amount in treasury from 1876 $161.81 

Gate fees and entrance 2,714.84 

Stand rents 465.00 

Permits 75.25 

Pasturage, racing, etc 455.55 



Amount of premiums paid $1,400.00 

Paid on real estate and improve- 
ments 1,288.95 

Current expenses other than pre- 
miums 1,217.75 $3,872.46 

Funds in treasury December 14, 1877 $15.76 

The society, at the date of this report, had 
a membership of fifteen hundred and fifty 
persons, with an indebtedness of two 
thousand five hundred and seventy-one 
dollars and sixty cents. 

Directors were elected on the 2d day of 
February, 1878, for the ensuing year, as 
follows; Henry Filling, Madison township; 
Joseph D. Benner, Washington township; W. 
H. Hineline, Rice township; W. J. Smith, 
Jackson township: E. A. Beebe, Townsend 
township; Henry Herman, Woodville 
township, each for two years, and Henry 
Coonrod, of Fremont, director at large. 

On the 16th of February, 1878, the board 
of directors met and elected the following 
officers: L. Q. Rawson, president; Charles 
H. Bell, vice-president; W. W. Stine, 
treasurer ; John Landgraff, jr., secretary. 

The president then appointed an executive 
committee, as follows: L. Q. Rawson, C. H. 
Bell, Henry Coonrod, W. W. Stine, and 
William J. Smith. This committee, on the 5th 
of March, arranged a premium list for the 
next fair. 

In this list, for the first Time, a premium 
was offered to encourage bee culture. 

This year the board designed and com- 
pleted a building for the use of the officers 
of the society, on the grounds. 
The fair was held on the 1st, 2d, 3d, 



and 4th days of October, 1878, and was 
attended by an estimated number of ten 
thousand persons. The weather was of the 
most favorable character for the exhibition. 
The arrangement was good, the grounds in 
better order than ever before, and the fair a 
success in all respects. The Driving Park 
Association were permitted to use the race 
track for a consideration, which no doubt 
contributed to swell the attendance. 

The receipts and expenditures for the fair 
of 1878 are as follows: 


Amount in treasury February, 1878 $15.76 

Received from State allowance for 1877 127.52 

Received from sale of tickets 2,888.40 

Received from stands and permits 852.00 

Received from county 507.00 

Received from other sources 402.66 


Premiums paid $1,609.50 

Paid for permanent improvements 860.21 

Paid on old indebtedness 1,325.82 

Paid for current expenses 992.51 

Balance on hand December 19, 1878 5.30 


The great financial success and the suc- 
cess in other respects of this fair, encouraged 
the society to hope that in another year it 
would free itself entirely from debt, and be 
on the highway of advancement clear of all 

This year's statistics showed that there 
were forty thousand acres of wheat raised in 
the county, and that the average yield was 
twenty-two bushels to the acre. 

The exhibition of machinery exceeded 
any thing done in that way on the ground at 
any previous fair. The inventions for binding 
grain were first exhibited at this fair, and 
attracted much interest and close attention. 

On the 1st of February, 1879, the 
members of the society met at the 
courthouse in Fremont, for the election of 

ors. At this meeting, before proceeding to 
the election, the president, as a matter of 
advice, wished an expression of the sense of 
the members on the question of allowing the 
sale of beer on the fair grounds. 

After considerable discussion, on motion 
of L. W. Ward, a vote was taken to express 
the opinion of the meeting on the question, 
but not to be binding on the directors, nor to 
take away their control of the matter. The 
vote was taken by ballot. The whole number 
of votes was forty-three; of this number 
thirty-two were in favor of allowing the sale, 
and eleven against it. 

The members then proceeded to the 
election of directors for the ensuing year, 
with the following result: Sandusky 
township, Manual Maurer, two years; York, 
T. E. Gardner, two years; Riley, Joseph R. 
Clark, two years; Ballville, James E. 
Wickert, two years; Scott, D. S. Tinney, two 
years; Woodville, H. Herman, two years; 
director at large, Joseph Waggoner, one 
year. Directors holding over one year were 
Joseph D. Benner, W. H. Hineline, William 
J. Smith, E. A. Beebe, S. S, Rathbun, and 
Joseph Waggoner, the director at large, 

On the 8th of February, 1879, the board 
met, and elected L. Q. Rawson, president; 
John L. Greene, jr., vice-president; William 
B. Kridler, secretary, and E. B. Moore, 

The executive committee for 1879 con- 
sisted of the following named gentlemen, 
who were appointed by the president, 
namely: Manuel Maurer, John I.. Greene, jr., 
and William J. Smith. At this meeting the 
rule of the State Board of Agriculture, 
requiring the exhibitors of thoroughbred 
animals to furnish the secretary of the 
society a pedigree of the animal at the time 
of making the entry, was adopted. At the 
same meeting the board resolved to hold the 
next annual 



fair on the 30th of September and the 1st, 
2d, and 3d days of the month of October, 

The premium list was revised and pub- 
lished, and the fair was held at the appointed 
time. The receipts and expenditures of this 
fair, according to the treasurer's report, were 
as follows: 


Balance in treasury, February, 1879 $35.89 

From sale of 4,500 tickets 1,127.75 

From sale of 251 half-tickets 25.10 

From sale of 856 grand stand tickets 58.60 

From sale of 1,543 membership tickets 1,543.00 

Received from other sources 81.80 



For current expenses $1,157.15 

For permanent improvements 958.96 

For premiums paid 1,997. 10 


The total indebtedness of the society on 
the 1st day of January, 1880, as stated in 
the journal of its proceedings, was one 
thousand three hundred and nineteen dollars 
and eighty-three cents. While apparently the 
expenditures of the society for the fair of 
1879 exceeded the receipts by the amount 
of four hundred and ninety-two dollars and 
seven cents, it must be remembered that 
nine hundred and fifty-eight dollars and 
ninety-six cents were invested in permanent 
improvement of its property. This shows, in 
fact, a net gain of four hundred and sixty- 
six dollars and eighty-nine cents, which is 
doing well. It should also be noticed that 
the amount of premiums paid in 1879 is 
much greater than that paid at any 
preceding fair. 

At a meeting of the society held at the 
courthouse on the 7th day of February, 
1880, Joseph Waggoner was elected 
director at large, but declined to act as such, 
and William J. Smith was elected to the 

The directors for the year 1880 were as 
follows: For Fremont township, M. Maurer, 
one year; York, T. E. Gardner, one year; 
Riley, Joseph R. Clark, one year 

Ballville, James E. Wickert, one 
year; Scott, D. S. Tinney, one year; 
Woodville, H. Herman, one year; Madison, 
J. Marvin, two years, Jackson, Daniel 
Sueckert, two years; Washington, N. Engler, 
two years; Green Creek, Joseph Lutz, two 
years; Rice, Peter Darr, two years; 
Townsend, Frank Dirlam, two years; 
Sandusky, Fred Smith, two years; director at 
large, William J. Smith, for one year. 

Amongst the proceedings at this meeting 
was the passage of a resolution forbidding 
the sale of beer or any intoxicating liquors 
on the grounds of the society, which was 
passed by a unanimous vote of the members 
of the society present at the meeting. At this 
meeting another resolution was unanimously 
passed, that the directors be requested to 
obey the laws of the State of Ohio in the 
matter of gambling, and that no wheel of 
fortune or gambling device of whatever kind 
be permitted upon the society's grounds at 
their annual fair. 

On the 14th day of February, 1880, the 
board of directors met at the city council 
chamber, and elected the following officers, 
namely: J. L. Greene, president; Joseph 
Waggoner, vice-president; William B. 
Kridler, secretary, and E. B. Moore, 

At this meeting, February 14, 1880, the 
time for holding the next annual fair of the 
society was fixed for the 28th, 29th and 30th 
of September, and the 1st of October, 1880. 

The fair was held according to appoint- 
ment, and was a success, as the treasurer's 
report to the board, made on the 1st of 
February, 1881, will show, and which is as 




Balance in the treasury February 1, 1880 $189. 17 

Received from sale of tickets 2,622.27 

Received from sale of stands and permits 347.00 

Received from other sources 188.00 

Received from pasturage 95.50 

Received from county 479.48 


Amount paid for premiums $1,861. 17 

Amount paid for permanent improvements 813.11 

Amount paid for current expenses 794.09 

Amount paid for interest on certificates 63.00 

Amount paid on principal of debt 72.62 

Balance in treasury 316.86 


At the meeting on February 1, 1881, the 
total indebtedness of the society was 
ascertained, and stated to amount to six 
hundred and sixty dollars. 

This shows the society to be on a solid 
financial basis, with the good will of the 
people to support it in the future, and in 
possession of one of the most attractive 
county fair grounds in the State. 

NOTE. — The reader will find inaccuracies in the 
figures forming the tables of receipts and disbursements, 
but wherever they occur the publishers have followed the 
manuscript exactly, and are not responsible for the errors 

and discrepancies. 



History of Newspapers Published in Fremont, Clyde, Bellevue and Green Spring — Their Editors, Politics' Changes, 

&c. — A Mistake and its Consequences. 

THE first step toward a complete civil- 
ization of a people is to open a way by 
which facts and ideas can be conveyed 
to and deposited in the storehouse of each 
one's heart and memory. This process may 
be likened to the removal from a highly 
productive region of country to other and 
new regions, rich by nature but unimproved 
and yielding nothing.. To clear the way and 
prepare the track to such new region of 
undeveloped hearts and minds of the people 
is the peculiar office and result of common 
education. And here the simile ends, for the 
whole earth may, within some vast period of 
time, be reached and subdued, and put in 
direct or indirect communication with every 
other part. But new territory to be reached 
and developed in the cause of civilization 
will be found in every succeeding genera- 

tion of men, and will be as perpetual as 
humanity itself. 

When education has opened the way to 
the hearts and understandings of the people, 
then next in importance comes 


which may be likened to the locomotive and 
train attached, transporting rich cargoes of 
fact, science, thought, and information from 
the old to the new region; and when the new 
region is developed, the train returns with 
rich freights from the new to the old, thus 
establishing a vast exchange of new thought 
and facts to enrich the world. 

The later inventions of the telegraph and 
telephone have not yet superseded the 
newspaper. The first is used for business 
chiefly, and beyond that is the hand- 



maid of the press only; the second is too 
limited in its capacity for communication 
with the great masses of the people. 

Notwithstanding the wonderful progress 
of invention, the newspaper yet remains the 
great engine for the rapid diffusion and 
transportation of facts and thoughts from 
mind to mind, and today stands the strongest 
helper in the great work of elevating 
mankind to a higher plane of sympathy and 

It is probably true that the press has not 
always raised those seed thoughts of 
progress which have produced so much 
good. These have in part come from the 
scientist s laboratory, the advanced thinker's 
brain, or the pulpit. But the press has sown 
the good seeds of progress, from whatever 
source they came, further, wider, and more 
broadcast amongst the people than any other 
instrumentality among men. 

It is, therefore, fitting that, whatever has 
been done toward establishing and 
supporting the press here should be made 
part of the county's history. Such a record 
will furnish interesting matter for reference 
and comparison in the future, and at the 
same time be only an act of justice to those 
who worked so hard, under financial 
discouragements, to establish this great 
medium of communication amongst the 
people of the county. 


The first printing press brought to Lower 
Sandusky (now Fremont), was a small hand 
press, introduced by David Smith. The first 
paper printed on it was called the Lower 
Sandusky Gazette, edited, and published, 
and in fact printed by the proprietor himself, 
alone, he being the only hand about the 
office. The first number was issued in July, 
18 29. The size of this paper when opened 
and entirely spread out, was seventeen by 
twenty-one inches, by exact measurement. 

The editor and publisher, typesetter and press 
man, all in one person, was a thin, pale, slip- 
shod specimen of humanity. He always wore 
his shoes, or rather slippers, broken down at 
the heels, and his socks were ragged. He was 
afflicted in the autumn of the year 1829, 
soon after the commencement of his brave 
enterprise, with fever and ague, which at that 
time no person of fashion was without in the 
dread month of September, who resided at 
Lower Sandusky. The editor and publisher's 
woodpile was always out doors in front of 
his office, and the pieces were eight feet 
long, to be chopped by himself into proper 
lengths of about four feet for the fireplace, 
from which the whole office was to be 
warmed in the winter. He would leave the 
care of the press whenever the temperature 
of his office fell near the freezing point, and 
go out to chop wood to replenish his fire, 
warm up the office, and then resume his 
place at the press, or case, or the editorial 
table, as the case might be. While, after a 
sudden, cold snap in the weather, Smith was 
cutting wood one winter in the snow, his 
heels being bare, were frozen before he 
could cut sufficient wood for the night, and 
his feet remained sore for a long time, 
during which kind friends volunteered to cut 
and carry in his firewood. 

Smith found after a while that the paper 
would not pay, and being generally disgusted, 
left the country with his press, and the 
Lower Sandusky Gazette died of malaria and 
hard times at the age of about eighteen 
months. The future life and fate of Mr. 
Smith is not obtainable at the present day, 
but wherever he may be, whatever his fate, 
David Smith stands as the pioneer newspaper 
editor and publisher of the county, and we 
cheerfully give him the honor in return for 
his daring and sufferings in the attempt to 
establish a paper at that early day in Lower 



Mr. Reuben Rice, now deceased, late of 
Ottawa county, near Elmore, in a communi- 
cation to the Sandusky County Pioneer and 
Historical Society, on the 26th of August, 
1875, said he was a practical printer, and 
settled on Portage River in 1823, after 
spending some time at Lower Sandusky and 
trading there. Mr. Rice, in this com- 
munication, further said: 

That in the year 18 — year not recollected — there was 
a man by the name of Smith started a paper at Lower 
Sandusky, called, I think, the Lower Sandusky Gazette. 
He was taken sick and he — no, he didn't, — but his paper 
drooped and died, not a natural death; but Sandusky 
being at that time a place infested with the effluvia 
arising from the marshes and stagnant waters, 
jeopardized almost every thing that had life, and some 
things inanimate as well as animate, suffered from the 
malaria of a sickly place, so the printing of the paper 
died out though the printing materials he removed. I had 
the honor of printing said paper for a few weeks while 
the editor and proprietor was sick, but whether this had 
a tendency to bring about a more speedy termination of 
the malady with which said paper was afflicted, I know 
not, but this I do know, that the paper was to no great 
degree benefited by the operation, as the sequel goes to 

It is not known now that the Lower 
Sandusky Gazette was the organ or advocate 
of any political party, church, or sect. It was 
probably only a newspaper and advertising 
medium of no marked proclivities or objects 
except to live, and in this primary object it 
failed. From some time in 1831 to the month 
of June or July, 1837, a period of more than 
six years, no paper was printed in Lower 
Sandusky, and newspapers published in 
other localities and townships, which, in a 
small village is about equal to a daily paper, 
fed the appetite for news. 

The next venture in the way of newspaper 
publication in Lower Sandusky was the 
publication of 


The press for this paper was brought here 
by Alvin G. White, who edited and 
published it for a time, under the auspices 

of some leading politicians of the county 
who were opposed to the administration of 
Martin VanBuren. The first number was 
issued in June or July, A. D. 1837. It was, 
under the management of Mr. White, a very 
useful medium for advertising, and in 
advocating moral order in society. Mr. White 
published the Lower Sandusky Times several 
years, when ill health caused him to retire, 
and Peter Yates succeeded him in the 
management and editing of the paper, Mr. 
Yates was a bitter partisan and a most 
acrimonious writer, and under his 
management the paper lost ground in 
popularity and patronage. The Democratic 
party being in the ascendancy in the county, 
it had no public patronage, and was printed 
at a loss to those interested. Mr. Yates sharp, 
personal attacks on men, and the bitterness 
in the treatment of the feelings and opinions 
of the party opposed to him, finally resulted 
in a transfer of the management, and a 
change of the name of the paper, In 1839 
Clark Waggoner, then a young printer, was 
placed in charge of the press and materials 
of the office, and commenced the publication 
of the. 


At this time events were tending to a great 
political excitement. Mr. Ogle, of 
Pennsylvania, had made his remarkable 
expose, in Congress, of the extravagance of 
the administration of Martin VanBuren, His 
great speech about the gold spoons and other 
golden furniture of the White House, and the 
immense defalcations which had taken place 
under his administration, amongst which was 
the notable defalcation of Swartwout, 
collector of customs in New York, were 
being exposed, and party spirit was being 
aroused under the cry of reform. The Lower 
Sandusky Whig, printed and published by 
Mr. Waggoner, was the organ of the Whig 
party of 



the county, through the memorable campaign 
of 1840. It had the patronage and support of 
such men as Ralph P. Buckland, who was an 
active leader in the Whig party, with many 
other able and influential men, such as 
Revirius Bidwell, John A. Johnson, Dr. L. G. 
Harkness, Barney Kline, Amos Fenn, 
Frederick Chapman, Alpheus Mclntyre, 
William S. Russell, Norton Russell, Caleb H. 
Bidwell, Elisha W. Howland, Thomas L. 
Hawkins, Dr. Thomas Stillwell, and many 
others, whose names do not now occur to the 
writer, who took an interest in the support of 
the paper, and many of whom became 
contributors to its columns. Some of these 
men still live, and will remember the 
political contest; but most of them have 
"passed to that bourne from whence no 
traveler returns," unless they return to 
communicate with the Spiritualists. It was in 
the heated campaign of 1840 that the now 
veteran editor of the Fremont Journal, Isaac 
M. Keeler, took his first lessons in the art of 
printing. The paper became an effective one 
in the campaign of 1840, and was rewarded 
for its labors by the triumph of its party in 
the election of William Henry Harrison to 
the Presidency. 

It is proper here to place on record a 
description of the printing press on which 
the Lower Sandusky Whig was printed. It 
was what was called a "Ramage," almost a 
facsimile of Benjamin Franklin's old press, 
now so carefully preserved in the patent 
office in Washington, and the same one on 
which, years before, the Albany Argus had 
been printed. With three pulls to print one 
side of the paper, it was no small job to work 
off an edition. 

The Lower Sandusky Whig was, after a 
few years, transferred to John Shrenk and 
changed to the 


Mr. Shrenk edited and published the 

paper with fair success until March, 1849, 
when it was purchased by James S. Fouke, 
who changed the name and edited and 
published it under the title of the 


When, at the October term of the Court of 
Common Pleas, the name of the city was 
changed from Lower Sandusky to Fremont, 
of course the name of the paper was changed 
accordingly. Mr. Fouke edited and published 
the paper until November 6, 1852, when it 
was transferred to Mr. J. M. Main, who 
issued about six numbers, when he sold the 

On the 27th of January, 1853, Mr. I. W. 
Booth commenced, with the same press, the 
publication of 


and continued it until December 24, 1853, 
when John Mastin, became the sole 

On the 26th day of May, 1854, Isaac M. 
Keeler purchased a one-half interest in the 
press and paper, and became the editor of it, 
and continued the publication under the firm 
name of Mastin & Feeler. 

On the 1st of December, 1854, Mr. Keeler 
bought out Mr. Mastin's interest and became 
editor and sole proprietor. Under Mr. 
Keeler's management the paper flourished, 
and became not only a paying concern, but 
the best record of passing events, local and 
national, in the county. He managed it 
carefully and ably in the interest of the city 
and county, and was always stalwart and 
able on the side of morality, law and order, 
and the right in politics, as he understood the 
right. The paper was born a Whig, and under 
his management did good service to that 
party, and also the Republican party since its 

Mr. Keeler continued to publish and edit 
the journal until the 18th. of September, 



1865, when he sold the establishment to 
Redway Brothers, under whose management 
the paper was published until the 5th of 
October, 1866, when they sold out to 
Messrs. Wilcox and Greene. 

On the 22d of May, 1868, Mr. Wilcox 
sold his interest in the paper to his partner, J. 
H. Greene, who managed it some months, 
when he sold the establishment to A. H. 
Balsley. Mr. Balsley continued in the 
management of the paper until November 12, 
1875, when Messrs. Harford & Grove 
became the proprietors and publishers, and 
conducted the journal until December 12, 
1877, when Mr. Keeler again became the 
owner of the journal office, and resumed 
control of the paper, after having been out of 
the publishing business for more than twelve 

The frequent changes in the management 
of the paper had not improved it in either 
popularity or profit in the publication of it. 

Mr. Keeler says that in all the twelve 
years he was engaged in other business he 
had a yearning for the journal office, where, 
for a period of twenty-five years, he had 
labored almost continuously. 

Since Mr. Keeler resumed the manage- 
ment of the Fremont journal, it has been 
much improved in all respects. It is now on a 
sound financial basis. The journal is now 
printed on a Wells' cylinder power press, 
moved by steam power. It has in the job- 
room two steam power-presses, and has a 
full patronage. 

Mr. Keeler, it is true, continues to edit 
and manage the paper, but has associated 
with him his son Samuel, who is local editor, 
and who is now in well advanced training in 
the newspaper business. The father now 
regrets that he ever left the management of 
the journal. He intends, however, when the 
course of human events shall disable him 
from the proper discharge of editorial labors, 
that his son, 

who is already a promising proficient in the 
business, shall become the editor and 
manager of the journal, and the indications 
are now quite plain that whenever the 
Fremont journal shall pas to the control and 
management of the son the paper will be 
fully sustained in all those qualities which 
make it an able, and pure, and popular 
county newspaper. 

The Lower Sandusky Times, the Lower 
Sandusky Whig, the Lower Sandusky 
Telegraph, and the Lower Sandusky Freeman 
were all staunch advocates of the Whig party 
and its principles, and the Fremont journal 
has always been an earnest Republican 
paper, and has been consistent in urging the 
party to organize and contend for its 
principles. It opposed the election of 
Buchanan, and supported the war for the 
Union with zeal and great effect. 


It should be noticed that the Lower 
Sandusky Times, which by sundry mutila- 
tions and changes of name became the 
Fremont journal, was first issued in Lower 
Sandusky in June or July, 1837. It soon 
appeared that A. G. White, the editor, was 
opposed to the Democratic party. After a few 
months the political course became clearly 
apparent, as it grew more and more 
pronounced in its political inclinations. This 
at once aroused the attention of the dominant 
Democracy, and they at once began to 
counsel, and devise the ways and means of 
meeting the advantages which the opposition 
had acquired by the establishment of a party 
organ in the county. 

About this time Adolphus Kreamer had 
purchased a tract of land at the head of 
navigation of the Portage River, then in 
Sandusky, but now in Ottawa county, and 
had laid off and platted a town there, which 
was named Hartford, and was to become a 
great city. Among 



other wise things, Mr. Kreamer, in order to 
make known the existence of the future city 
of Hartford, had determined to start a 
newspaper there, and had obtained for that 
purpose a printing press and type for a 
newspaper and moved them from Toledo to 
Hartford. It was an old and second-hand 
press, as was also the material. Mr. Kreamer 
was a good Democrat, and Hartford was then 
in the bounds of the county. The newspaper 
material had lain there some time but the 
paper did not make its appearance. A 
financial crisis occurred, and the sale of 
town lots in a wilderness, as Hartford was at 
that time, was cut off and the future 
prospects of the embryo town were 
shadowed by thick, dark clouds. 

In the fall of 1837, about three months 
after the advent of the Lower Sandusky 
Times, the leaders of the Democratic party 
were called together for consultation upon 
the question of establishing a Democratic 
paper in Lower Sandusky. John Bell was 
perhaps foremost in this enterprise and was 
chairman of the meeting. An association was 
formed to purchase a press and publish a 
Democratic paper. Stock was liberally 
subscribed, and a committee appointed to 
visit Hartford and endeavor to negotiate with 
Mr. Kreamer for his press and printing ma- 
terial. In due time the committee reported, 
and the press and printing material were 
finally purchased for twelve hundred dollars. 
The press, etc., was hauled by wagon from 
Hartford up the Portage River to the 
Maumee and Western Reserve road, and by 
that to Lower Sandusky: The paper was to be 
published by the joint stock company, not 
incorporated, and was to be under the 
control of a committee, of which John Bell 
was chairman. A young printer by the name 
of William Davis was employed to superin- 
tend the mechanical department, and the ed- 

iting was to be done by anyone who wished 
to write for the paper, the matter subject to 
the admission or rejection of the committee. 
The first number of the paper, under the title 
of the Sandusky County Democrat, was 
issued in the fall of 1837. The paper was 
managed in this way for a year, perhaps a 
year and a half, when it was found not to pay 
expenses. The office was, during this time, 
on the second floor of the old building on 
the southwest corner of Front and Croghan 
streets, where the First National Bank now 
(1881) stands. The company afterward gave 
the publication of the paper entirely into the 
hands of William Davis, the printer, on his 
agreement to faithfully publish and edit the 
paper, and to keep the stockholders from 
further charges and expense. 

Mr. Davis took charge of the paper on 
these conditions, and managed it to some 
profit for himself until after the October 
election of 1838. At this election Homer 
Everett, then a young man not quite twenty- 
five years of age, was elected sheriff of the 
county. Everett had written for the paper 
during the campaign, and on his election to 
the office, of course, became the dispenser 
of considerable advertising patronage. For, 
be it remembered that the financial crisis of 
1836 and 1837 produced more sheriff's sales 
than any period before or since in the history 
of the county. 

The stockholders by this time had become 
willing to donate their subscription for the 
benefit of the party, if the paper could be 
continued without further charge upon them. 
There was about four hundred dollars still 
due from the committee who had given their 
notes for the press, and they offered it to Mr. 
Davis if he would print the paper and pay 
that sum, or keep the signers harmless from 
the notes. On these conditions Everett and 
Davis bought the paper in the fall of 1838, or 
early in 



the year 1839. From this time Everett & 
Davis published the Sandusky County 
Democrat until 1842, when they dissolved, 
and at which time Everett was admitted to 
the bar, and entered the practice of the law 
in partnership with Nathaniel B. Eddy. Mr. 
Davis continued to publish the paper until 
some time in the year 1842, when he sold it 
to Charles J. Orton, who, for a time, had sole 
charge of it, after which Edward F. 
Dickinson bought an interest in the paper, 
and it was published a while by the firm of 
Orton & Dickinson, who transferred it to 
John Flaugher. Mr. Flaugher was a high- 
minded, honorable man, and a true 
Democrat, but his views on slavery and the 
war of the Rebellion were not satisfactory to 
the anti-war and pro-slavery portion of the 
Democratic party, who gave it a rather poor 
support, and the paper lost patronage and 
influence. In fact, as early as 1856, during 
the great discussion over the extension of 
slavery, the leaders of the extreme pro- 
slavery portion of the Democrats of the 
county started another paper, which drew off 
a large part of the patronage formerly 
enjoyed by the Sandusky County Democrat, 
and it had a hard struggle for life until, 
sometime in the spring of 1856, Mr. 
Flaugher sold the press and materials of the 
Democrat to Isaac M. Keeler, and the 
publication of the paper caused the radical 
pro-slavery Democrats of the county, who 
were dissatisfied with the principles 
advocated by the Democrat, to combine and 
bring about the establishment, in 1856, of 


This paper was started in 1856, under the 
editorial control of Jacob D. Botefur, who 
came from Boston. Mr. Botefur successfully 
conducted the paper for several years, but he 
had been reared where Democracy was 
composed of men of different characteristics 
from those of Sandusky county. Although 
his Democracy was radi- 

cal enough, he did not understand the mental 
and moral condition, or tastes of those who 
supported the Messenger, and it was thought 
best for the party to put the paper in charge 
of men to the manor born, and Mr. Botefur 
accordingly sold out and retired from the 
editorial charge of the Messenger, and it 
passed to the hands and control of John B. B. 
Dickinson. After managing the paper for 
some time successfully, and with more talent 
than the paper before had shown, he was 
willing to retire from the charge of the 
paper, and sold it to Messrs. John and Frank 
Foulke brothers, and young men of some 
literary aptness, but of too romantic 
proclivities to make a solid Democratic 
paper. The Foulke Brothers, after a short 
experiment, failed to please the Democracy, 
and failed financially. 

This condition of things resulted in a 
transfer of the press and materials for the 
printing of the Democratic Messenger to 
Mordecai P. Bean, who assumed the edit- 
orship and publication of the paper. For a 
time Mr. Bean conducted the paper and gave 
it considerable party popularity, but the 
patronage declined and the party then placed 
the paper in charge of J. S, Van Valkenburg, 
who conducted it until about the 1st day of 
April, 1872, when the establishment passed 
to the control of James M. Osborne, who had 
been a partner with Van Valkenburg about 
one year before, and who took charge as 
editor and publisher. Since Mr. Osborn took 
charge of the paper it has been a well- 
conducted political journal, thoroughly and 
decidedly Democratic. It is well received as 
the organ of the Democracy of the county. 
The Messenger office has a steam power- 
press, and a large job office attached, which 
is doing a thriving business aside from the 
patronage of the county officials, who are all 
of the Messenger's political party. 




This is a weekly paper published in 
Fremont, in the German language, to supply 
the reading wants of a large, industrious, and 
intelligent portion of the inhabitants of 
Sandusky county. The Courier was founded 
and first published in Fremont, March 10, 

1859, by Dr. Ferdinand Wilmer, a German 
physician by birth and education. Dr. 
Wilmer was a man of much learning, a ready 
translator of the English and German 
languages, and became at once, through his 
paper, the advocate of the most extreme 
party measures of the Democratic 
organization. Dr. Wilmer was not a practical 
printer, and Mr. George Homan was the 
printer of the Courier until the 14th of June, 

1860, when Mr. Homan withdrew from the 
firm, and Dr. Wilmer assumed sole control 
of the paper until August 28, 1862, at which 
time Mr. Paul Knerr took charge of the 
mechanical department of the office. Dr. 
Wilmer, however, continued as editor until 
the 6th day of November, 1862, when he 
sold the office to George Homan. 

It was during the day of the 18th of April, 

1861, when the excitement produced by the 
Rebellion was kindling into flame, and many 
patriotic Democrats were going into the 
service to fight for the Union, that one 
forenoon the Fremont Courier, printed that 
day, fell into the hands of Frederick Fabing, 
a prominent German citizen of Fremont and 
a thoroughly patriotic man at heart. Mr. 
Fabing read and translated an editorial 
article to the bystanders. The Courier was, at 
the time spoken of, printed in the third story 
of what is now known as White's block, cor- 
ner of Front and Croghan streets. 

The effect of this article in the Courier so 
well illustrates the temper of the times, that 
we give it as a part of the history of the 
Courier, as well as to show to future 
generations the true state of feeling at that 

memorable time. This can not better be done 
than by a simple and brief narration of what 
followed Mr. Fabing's interpretation of the 
Courier's article. 

In thirty minutes after the nature of the 
article was made known by Fabing, Front 
and Croghan streets, facing the Courier 
office, were filled with men. There were men 
with set teeth, and pale countenances, and 
eyes that expressed unutterable indignation; 
in fact, the whole crowd, numbering from 
five hundred to a thousand determined and 
angry men, had congregated under the 
windows of the office. One of the most 
pallid countenances in that crowd was our 
cool, level-minded fellow-citizen, Stephen 
Buckland, as patriotic a man as the city 
contained, and it contained many good ones. 
As he saw the crowd swelling and every 
moment becoming more threatening, he 
secured a location on the northwest corner of 
Front and Croghan streets. Colonel R. P. 
Buckland and Charles O. Tillotson took a 
position about half way up the outside stair 
leading to the Courier office. 

When the storm was about to burst, and a 
movement of the crowd, and the utterances 
from below indicated a rush up stairs, with 
threats looking to the destruction of the 
office, and to serious personal injury, if not 
the life of the editor of the Courier, Stephen 
Buckland mounted a railing running along 
the street, near the northwest corner of Front 
and Croghan streets, and holding by an 
awning post, called the meeting to order, 
saying, that if the paper had done wrong, as 
was claimed, he was in favor of doing all 
that was fair to suppress it. "True," said he 
"the paper can speak to thousands while by 
our words we can speak to few. Now," said 
Mr. Buckland, "we must not do anything un- 
manly or rash. I move that judge John L. 
Green be chosen chairman of this meting, 
that we may deliberate in an 



orderly manner." The crowd listened, and 
Mr. Green was chosen chairman. 

This firm and manly stand by Mr. 
Buckland had the desired effect. A com- 
mittee was chosen, consisting of William E. 
Haynes, Charles O. Tillotson, Doctor Robert 
S. Rice, and Jacob Snyder, who were at once 
permitted to pass up the stairs to perform the 
duty assigned them. 

In less than five minutes after the com- 
mittee passed Tillotson and R. P. Buckland 
on the stairs, a window of the Courier office 
was raised, and the whole edition of the 
Courier, containing the offensive article, 
came whirling down like leaves upon the 
pavement. The papers were carefully piled 
near the middle of the street, and every one 
burned to ashes. None of the edition had 
been sent beyond the city limits, and the 
angry multitude was satisfied when the 
committee announced from the window that 
the whole edition was destroyed, and the 
type which printed the offensive article 
distributed, and that the paper would print no 
more articles to prevent the enlistment of 
men in the Union army. 

The following is the translation of the 
offensive article, which appeared as editorial 
in the Courier of April 18, 1861: 

The Union in its past proportions is irrevocably lost. 
The Republicans will be answerable at the judgment seat 
of history for the annihilation of the freest republic in 
the world, and the curse of the oppressed, whom they 
have robbed of the last place of refuge, and last hope 
that could become their part. The Republicans are now 
everywhere calling meetings of all citizens, irrespective 
of party, to devise means how to support the 
Government. They succeed in their ruse to get some 
easily deceived Democrats into their trap. We caution all 
our Democratic friends to take no active part in such 
meetings, for after the first heat of the excitement is 
over, they will repent of having been caught in such a 
dull way. 

The next day, April 19, 1861, the Fremont 
journal published the foregoing in- 
terpretation of the Courier's article, with the 
following comment: 

When the liberty-loving citizens of our 
town and vicinity, without distinction of 
party, understood the above, their 
indignation knew no bounds. They at once 
secured an American flag and took it to that 
office, and saw that it was flung to the 
breeze from out of the window. 

The edition of the Courier, which had just 
been printed, was destroyed, and the editor 
requested to issue an extra, both in the 
English and German language, giving some 
explanation of his treasonable and palpably 
false article, which he did. 


A CARD TO THE PUBLIC. -An article which ap- 
peared in my paper of this morning, it seems, has 
created an immense excitement in our town. But few 
papers have been circulated, the balance of the edition 
has been destroyed. I declare to the public, upon my 
honor as a man, that it never has been, and is not now, 
my intention to write or publish a word, or to commit 
any action, against the General or State Government, or 
advise it to be done by others. 


Isaac M. Keeler was, at the time spoken of, 
when this affair occurred, editor of the 
Fremont journal, and appended to Dr. 
Wilmer's card in his paper, the following fair 
and manly editorial comments: 

The above explanation seems to have satisfied the 
people. We do not think Mr. Wilmer is a secessionist, or 
that he really had any intention of injuring the 
Government, but that he has permitted the partisan to 
get the upper hand of his patriotism. Let us all now 
throw aside party feeling, and unite in an endeavor to 
save the country at this serious crisis of its existence. 
Neither party, nativity, or sect, should now stand in the 
way of a hearty union of the people for putting down 
treason and rebellion, and of restoring peace and civil 
liberty to the whole country. 

Mr. Homan continued the publication of 
the Courier until July, 1865. He, however, 
labored under some disadvantages, arising 
from the war, and the position he had taken 
on that question. He therefore concluded to 
discontinue the publication of the paper, and 
its issue was suspended for a period of about 
eighteen months, when Messrs. Anthony 
Young and Paul Knerr bought the office, and 
recommenced the Courier, which again 
appeared. In 1867 Mr. Young sold his 
interest in the paper to Mr. Knerr, who 
remained the sole owner until 



1870, in which year Dr. Wilmer, who all the 
time edited the paper, became a partner with 
Mr. Knerr. Dr. Wilmer stood thus connected 
with the paper until his death, which took 
place on the 17th of July, 1879. Mr. Joseph 
Zimmerman, an editor from Cleveland, at 
once took charge of the editorial 
management of the paper. Mr. Knerr, 
meantime, bought of Dr. Wilmer's widow the 
interest his estate held in the paper, and 
continued to be sole proprietor of the 
Courier until July 1, 1881, at which date Mr. 
Zimmerman, by purchase, became sole 
proprietor of the concern, and so remains 
sole editor and proprietor of the paper. 

The Courier is now doing well. Mr. 
Zimmerman is a fine writer, as well as a 
gentleman of winning manners, whose 
management and talents will make the 
Courier welcome to the German reading 
citizens of the county and elsewhere. While 
thoroughly Democratic, Mr. Zimmerman is 
not of that bitter partisan nature which will 
make his paper odious to his opponents; on 
the other hand, he is a gentleman of such 
broad views and intelligence, that no doubt 
the paper will prosper under his 


Mr. Joseph C. Loveland has the honor of 
making the first attempt to establish a 
newspaper at Clyde. He issued the Clyde 
Times in April, 1866, sold it in 1867 to J. M. 
Lemmon and Mr. Notly, who continued the 
publication about one year, and sold out to 
parties from Elmore, in Ottawa county, who 
moved the press and material away. 


was the next paper printed in Clyde. It was 
started by Clark Brothers, from Berea, in. 
1868. Six months afterwards one of the 
brothers died and the printing of the paper 
was for a time suspended. In 

the fall of the year 1868, George E. 
Sweetland & Brothers bought the material 
and resumed the publication of the paper. In 
1869 H. H. Sweetland became the sole 
owner, and for a time published the paper; 
then L. D. Sweetland bought an interest in 
the business. The two Sweetland brothers 
last named carried on the paper until 1870, 
when it was discontinued for want of 


This paper was started by W. W. White in 
1870, who conducted it until 1874, when he 
sold the paper, and material for printing it, to 
F. J. Tuttle, on whose hands the paper lost 
patronage and died within a year. Mr. White 
emigrated to Canada, and, after his departure 
it was revealed that he had so badly dealt 
with the patrons of the paper as to ruin it, 
hence the chief cause of its failure in the 
hands of Mr. Tuttle. 


In 1873 Mr. George E. Sweetland returned 
to Clyde and commenced the publication of 
the Clyde Review, and carried it on until 
August, 1877, when he suddenly removed 
the press and material, and himself also, to 
the State of Michigan, and the publication of 
the Review was discontinued. In August, 
1881, Mr. Sweetland came back to Clyde 
and resumed the publication of the Review, 
beginning where he left off in 1877. It is a 
small sheet, printed in an amateur office 
owned by William Frederick, publisher of an 
insurance paper, Mr. Sweetland having no 
office or printing material of his own. 


In the winter of 1874-75 A. D. Ames, who 
was publishing a paper at Green Spring, 
came to Clyde and began the publication of 
the Clyde Sentinel. George J. Hulgate 
afterwards became his partner, and, in 
company with his brother, R. P. 



Holgate, subsequently bought the paper and 
material. The Sentinel was discontinued in 
May, 1880, when it became merged in the 


The Enterprise was established in March, 
1878, by Mr. H. F. Paden, with whom H. N. 
Lay was a partner until May, 1880, and A. 
D. Kinney from that date until July, 1881. In 
May, 1880, as above mentioned, the Clyde 
Sentinel was discontinued as a distinct 
publication, and its material and subscription 
list transferred to the Enterprise. The 
Enterprise, under the management of Mr. 
Paden, has become a public favorite. He 
wields a free, graceful, and fluent pen, and is 
a genial gentleman, of straight-out Republi- 
can principles, though courteous to oppo- 
nents when duty will permit him to be so. 
The Enterprise under his editorial control 
has obtained a much larger circulation than 
any former paper of Clyde, and seems to rest 
on a solid foundation, not only financially, 
but in public favor. While we acknowledge 
ourselves under obligation for much 
information concerning the press at Clyde, 
we must clear him of egotism by saying that 
the favorable comments on Mr. Paden and 
his paper are made by the writer, and must 
not be attributed to himself. 


Although the wealthy, pleasant village of 
Bellevue is not wholly within Sandusky 
county, it may be interesting to some of the 
people of the county to have the history of 
the whole press of that place put on record in 
this work, and we therefore do so. 

The first venture was made by G. W. 
Hopkins, in the fall of 1851. He opened an 
office in the old Howard house — now 
defunct on Monroe street, and issued 


with the still more pretentious title of Huron, 
Seneca, Erie, and Sandusky Advertiser, 
having a spread eagle at its masthead, 
bearing a scroll with "open to all" 
emblazoned upon it. The paper was a five- 
column folio, in coarse type, devoted to 
current news and the ventilation of such 
ideas as contributors were ambitious to 
furnish. C. C. Cook, at present deputy 
postmaster, served in the capacity of "devil," 
thus being the first "printer's devil." His 
most vivid remembrance is that of his duty 
to ink the forms on an old wooden Franklin 
press — a duty with little sentiment and no 
poetry to allure him on to continued service. 
The people felt disposed to give the paper a 
fair support, but its editor was a victim to 
that human bane-strong drink; so, after a 
brilliant but brief career of six months, the 
fledgling perished. 

In April of 1861, Mr. O. B. Chapman 
opened a printing office in Squire's block, 
corner of Main and Sandusky streets, and 


a seven-column folio, devoted to general and 
local news. This was the first year of the 
great rebellion, and it would seem that the 
stirring events of those times would furnish 
the necessary pabulum to make it a success. 
But it continued only a short time, and then 
perished for reasons not now apparent. 

We now come to consider the first suc- 
cessful paper established in the village - one 
to which the town is largely indebted for 
many of its most valued improvements, 
being always intensely devoted to the 
welfare of the place and the advocacy of 
such public works and measures as would 
secure its greatest prosperity. We therefore 
think its editor worthy of more than a 
passing notice. Mr. E. P. Brown says of 
himself that he was born at Oxford, 



Ohio, March 5, 1842, of distressingly poor 
but outrageously honest parents, and claims 
that the laws of hereditary transmission have 
not, therefore, allowed him a fair chance. 
His early life was one of toil, with little 
advantage in the way of education, an old 
darkey preacher being his best tutor, but was 
successful in obtaining a "sheepskin" in a 
public school and valedictory honors. He 
learned the trade of printer in the office of 
the Oxford Citizen at the age of fourteen, 
when he obtained employment in a 
Cincinnati job office. He enlisted in the 
Thirteenth Ohio volunteer infantry at 
Urbana, Ohio, in 1861, and fought the 
enemies of his country for two years, lacking 
a week, serving in all the engagements of 
that regiment until the battle of Shiloh, when 
a rebel bullet between the eyes placed him 
hors du combat. He was left for dead, and 
was thus reported, and had the pleasure of 
reading his own obituary, containing much 
of a laudatory nature, a privilege seldom 
accorded the human family; but subsequent 
events show him to be an exceedingly lively 
corpse. His wound gave him an honorable 
discharge from the Thirteenth, but he finally 
reentered the army in the one hundred day's 
service as substitute for a Dutchman, in the 
One Hundred and sixty-seventh regiment, re- 
ceiving three hundred dollars therefor. After 
the close of the war Mr. Brown casually 
made the acquaintance of William L. 
Meyers, of the Tiffin Tribune, who proved a 
fast, firm, friend, and proposed that, since 
Bellevue was an excellent place to establish 
a paper, they embark together in the 
enterprise. They did so, but at the end of the 
first six weeks Mr. Meyers became 
discouraged and sold his interest to his 
partner for four hundred and fifty dollars, on 
a year's time. Mr. Brown himself had had but 
two years experience in editorial work, and 
never managed an 

office on his own responsibility, hence he 
entered upon it with fear and trembling, 
almost certain he would fail inside the first 
six months. The outfit of type was purchased 
of the Franklin foundry, amounting to eight 
hundred and twenty-three dollars. A six- 
column Washington hand press and a half- 
medium Wells' jobber was purchased 
second-hand of other parties, for two 
hundred and thirty-seven dollars. This 
comprised the outfit. On Saturday, August 
10, 1867, the first number of 


saw the light. The interest taken by the 
business men in the success of the paper is 
shown by the material aid they accorded it. 
C. A. Willard, a leading business man, 
solicited all the subscriptions. Business men 
pledged one thousand two hundred dollars, 
deposited in Sinclair's bank, to be paid at the 
first issue, and taken in advertising during 
the first year, which was conscientiously 
done, and made the capital used by the 
energetic, intelligent, and careful 
management of Mr. Brown, insuring success. 
At the time the first number was printed, 
an all-absorbing interest gathered around the 
press. Indeed, the room was full, and as the 
clean, handsome twenty-four-column sheet 
was taken off the press, Mr. Willard's 
rhapsody was beyond expression. Peter 
Brady, present village mayor, was present, 
and as deeply interested as any until, in 
looking over the church notices, the blunder 
was discovered of dubbing him Rev. Peter 
Brady, pastor of the Catholic church. This 
was too much, and any idea that the editor 
may have had that Mr. Brady was a member 
of the clerical profession was immediately 
dispelled then and there. Proper correction 
being made, the printing of the edition 



Under Mr. Brown's careful management 
and the fulfillment of every anticipation the 
citizens may have had as to the benefits the 
village would derive from the paper, it 
proved an unbounded success, and all fears 
on his part of a failure were dispelled like 
clouds before the morning sun. In the course 
of the next three years Mr. Brown purchased 
a Hoe cylinder railroad press at a bargain, 
one which originally belonged to Dan Rice, 
and was used to print his show bills. This 
enabled him to branch out in the business. 
He, therefore, engaged in furnishing ready- 
prints for other offices, and introduced 
steam. Business increased on his hands until 
Mr. Aiken, the originator of the ready-print 
method of publishing newspapers, made him 
a very advantageous offer to accept the 
management of a new establishment in 
Cincinnati, which he did, and ultimately 
became, as he is now, the sole proprietor- 
only another example of what pluck, energy, 
and good management will do. 

Mr. E. J. Hammer bought the Gazette 
when Mr. Brown went to Cincinnati, en- 
tering upon its management July 1, 1874. 
Mr. Hammer was not a large man, but had 
large ideas, aspiring to greater things than 
the conduct of a one-horse country paper. 
Although that was very well done, yet his 
more ambitious views led him to unite with 
George B. Pratt to start the Norwalk 
Chronicle, which, being a county paper, was 
a step, at least, in the direction of excelsior. 
He finally turned the Gazette over to his 
father, Rev. George Hammer, of Van Wert, 
Ohio. The old gentleman, though very kindly 
disposed, had little or no practical skill in 
the publishing business, hence found it an 
elephant on his hands. In the spring of 1877, 
he sold it to Messrs. C. D. Stoner and S. C. 
Thompson, under whose care the paper 
throve, finding a cordial, generous support 
among the people of the community, whose 

tachment for an old friend was proof against 
mismanagement of the former proprietors, as 
well as the machinations of enemies. In the 
fall of 1879 Mr. Thompson retired from the 
paper, and C. D. Stoner conducted it until 
the following year, when he associated with 
himself Mr. C. R. Callighan, a promising 
young man, under the firm name of Stoner & 
Callighan, who continue the publication with 
a fair degree of success. 

At the time, Mr. K J. Hammer had started 
the Chronicle, and therefore contemplated 
the sale of the Gazette, as well as removal to 
Norwalk, H. F. Baker, son of Hiram Baker, 
one of the early pioneer settlers in Lyme 
township, proposed to buy it, but, unable to 
agree upon the price, he decided to purchase 
new material and start another paper. He had 
really no experience in the printing business, 
but his son, H. L. Baker, had mastered some 
of the intricacies of the trade in the Gazette 
office, and having a natural tact for it, they 
together hoped to make their venture a 
success. This determination was acted upon; 
an office was opened in the new Union 
block, and on Thursday, October 21, 1875, 
the first number of 


was issued. The paper flourished from the 
start. Being managed with full average 
ability, and by those brought up in the 
community, well versed in all its lore, it 
represents the local interests of the town 
with greater intensity than any other has 
been able to do. In April, 1878, Mr. Baker 
purchased the old Burlington stone building, 
contiguous to the new city hall, and tearing 
down the old front, rebuilt of brick in the 
same style of the city hall, which together 
make as fine a block among the many fine 
business houses as the town can boast. The 
proprietors put steam presses and engine 
info their new quarters and are conducting a 
flourishing business. 

The Mcpherson Monument at Clyde, Ohio. 


The War of 1812 — Mexican War — Volunteers of the War of the Rebellion, with Brief Histories of Regiments Recruited in whole or in 

part in Sandusky County. 

THE war of the Revolution was history, 
the Indian wars in which Wayne's 
memorable campaign occurred, the mem- 
orable battles at sea, the battles of Tippe- 
canoe and the Thames under Harrison, the 
last gun fired by Jackson at New Orleans had 
ceased to reverberate, Packenham had 
surrendered, and the War of 1812 brought to 
a glorious termination by American valor, 
before Sandusky county, as a civil and 
political organization, came into existence. 

Although the county was not organized 
until several years after the close of the War 
of 1812, a number of the soldiers of that war 
were pioneer settlers and aided in the 
organization. Amongst these we are able to 
give the following names, not doubting that 
there were others whose names cannot now 
be obtained. Among those soldiers of the 
war with England commonly designated as 
the War of 1812, who are known to have 
been here when the county was organized, 
we give the following: David Gallagher, 
Jeremiah Everett, Thomas L. Hawkins, 
Charles B. Fitch, Captain Jonathan H. 
Jerome, Israel Harrington, Josiah Rumery, 
and James justice. 

The county, however, embraces ground 
rendered memorable by the War of 1812, 
and such localities as Fort Stephenson, in the 
present city of Fremont, and Ball's battle 
ground, in Ballville township, are places of 
which our people are proud, and from which 
they still inhale the inspiration of true 
patriotism. The war with Mexico offered the. 
citizens of the county their 

first opportunity to display their zeal in the 
military service of the country. In the spring 
of 1847, a company of infantry was promptly 
recruited by Captain Samuel Thompson, a 
veteran who was wounded in the battle of 
Lundy's Lane, in the War of 1812. The 
members of this company were: 


Captain Samuel Thompson. 
First Lieutenant Isaac Knapp. 
Second Lieutenant George M. Tillotson. 
Second Lieutenant Lewis Leppelman. 


Orderly Sergeant Isaac Swank. 
Sergeant Thomas Pinkerton. 
Sergeant Michael Wegstein. 
Sergeant James R. Francisco. 
Corporal John Williams. 
Corporal John M. Crowell. 
Corporal Benjamin Myers. 
Corporal Edward Leppelman. 
Musician Charles Everett. 
Musician Grant Forgerson. 


William Scothorne, David Beery, C. D. Bishop, David 
Mowry, Joseph Stout, John Quinn, David Sane, David Beagel, 
John Beagel, Charles Faught, Charles Dennis, Samuel Faught, 
Timothy Wilcox, Franklin Dirlam, Frank Rathbun, Hosea 
Maxham, Henry McMillen, George A. Wheeler, Byron 
Wheeler, David Westfall, Albert Stinson, W. L. Engst, George 
Smith, Henry Swint, Sebastian Smith, John Deterly, Christian 
Steblin, Jacob Gugle, Jacob Fuller, Alexander Hartdrink, G. F. 
Wisner, L. D. Bunce, John Linebaugh, Darwin Clark, David 
Morton, Martin Zeigler, George Newman, William Parrish, 
Elias Shawl, Lewis Barkimer, Levi Hufford, Holly Newton, 
Elias Lowens, John McConnel, Samuel Hartly, John Stull, 
David Garret, Monroe Coffin, Erastus Honeywell, John G. 
Bartow, John J. Clark, Henry Lovejoy, Evan Davis, George 
Beem, Barzillia Inman, Holly Seeley, Theodore Fitzgerald, 
Frank Robbins, Charles Michael, Jacob Yanny, John Davis, 
John Fabing, James Van Pelt, Henry Fisher, Daniel Bender, 
George W. Kershner, Frederick Grider, Frederick 




Weiker, Jacob Sabley, Lewis Newcomer, Patrick Dougherty, 
Richard Cowper, Thomas Mason, Charles Cook, Charles 

After Captain Thompson had enlisted the 
required number of men for his company, he 
was ordered to report at Cincinnati. The 
company travelled by wagons from Lower 
Sandusky, now Fremont, to Perrysburg, 
where canal-boats were furnished for their 
further movement. Thence they were 
transported through the Miami Canal to 
Cincinnati on the same boats. They arrived 
at Cincinnati in due time, and in June, 1847, 
were mustered into service in the Fourth 
regiment of Ohio Volunteers, then forming 
in that city. 

The Fourth regiment of Ohio Volunteer 
Infantry, of which this company, C, now 
formed a part, were: 

Colonel Charles H. Brough. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Augustus Moore. 
Major William P. Young. 
Surgeon Oliver M. Langdon. 
Assistant Surgeon Henry E. Foote. 

The regiment was transported by 
steamboat down the Ohio and Mississippi 
Rivers to a place called Carleton, eight miles 
above New Orleans. From New Orleans the 
regiment was transported by steamer to 
Brazos Santiago, Texas, thence it marched to 
the mouth of the Rio Grande River. From the 
mouth of the Rio Grande the regiment 
moved by water transportation to 
Matamoras; thence to Vera Cruz, where the 
regiment was incorporated into, and became 
part of Brevet Major-General Joseph Lane's 

At Vera Cruz Captain Thompson returned 
home, on account of age and disability, and 
from that time the command of the company 
devolved upon Lieutenant Knapp through the 
entire war. 

The company, with the brigade, left Vera 
Cruz on the afternoon of Sunday, September 
19, 1847. At this time General Lane's 
brigade consisted of a battery of five pieces 
from the Third regiment 

United States artillery, under Captain 
George Taylor, also a battery of two pieces 
from the Second artillery, under First 
Lieutenant Henry C. Pratt, Lewis's cavalry, 
Sinlon's battalion, Fourth regiment Indiana 
volunteer infantry, and Fourth regiment of 
Ohio volunteer infantry, commanded by 
Colonel Charles H. Brough. A part of the 
road between Vergara and Puentade Marino, 
lay through sand ridges almost destitute of 
verdure, and the soldiers were obliged to 
push the artillery carriages up many of the 
steep ascents, on account of the large, deep 
ruts which had been formed. General Lane 
and his staff accompanied the brigade. About 
night-fall the brigade halted for the night at a 
little hamlet called Santa Fe. Here were 
found signs of the ravages of war, in the 
blacked and charred remains of the beautiful 
little hamlet. It had been the scene of a fight 
on the 25th of March, 1847, between 
Harney, with his dragoons, and a body of 
Mexicans. At this place the command 
camped for the night. 

The brigade marched thence with various 
interesting incidents, to the National fridge. 
This bridge is an ancient structure, and a 
brief description of it will be interesting to 
the general reader, and especially so to those 
who have an interest in what the volunteers 
from Sandusky saw on their march, as well 
as where they went. The National bridge of 
Mexico is a magnificent structure, and 
crosses the Rio Antaiqua, a swift stream 
which rises near the base of Mount Orizaba, 
and rests on a number of arches. The mason- 
ry is of the most durable character. It was 
finished in the year 1776, and at that date, 
1847, near three-quarters of a century after 
its completion, showed no sign of decay or 
displacement. At the middle of the bridge is 
a monument giving the date of its 
commencement and its completion, and by it 
are stone seats for weary 



travelers. There is a strong wall on each side 
of the bridge, running the whole length of it, 
which is between three and four feet high. 
Midway between the east and west ends of 
the bridge there is a high rocky eminence on 
which a fort was built by the Mexican 
empire. The bridge was formerly called 
Puente del Rey, or the Bridge of the King, 
but after Mexico became a republic the name 
was changed to Puenta Nacional, or National 
Bridge, and was a point of great military 
importance during the revolutions in 
Mexico. This bridge, with surrounding 
scenery, travelers say without doubt forms 
one of the most sublime landscapes in 
Mexico. The brigade of which the Sandusky 
volunteers formed a part, arrived at the 
National bridge about the 23d of September, 
1847. The bridge was then under the control 
of the American forces, but the possession of 
it had cost several severe struggles and the 
loss of more than a hundred brave men. 
Finally Colonel Hughes, in command of a 
battalion of Maryland, District of Columbia 
troops, after a hard struggle obtained 
possession of the fort at the summit of the 
rocky elevation, and thenceforward there 
was no more trouble from that fort. This 
action took place on the 9th of September, 
and about two weeks before General Lane's 
brigade arrived at that point. 

The ascent of this eminence, which was 
necessary to dislodge the Mexicans, was, if 
possible, more difficult than that of Lookout 
Mountain. Historians say that the only way 
the men could get up, was to pull themselves 
up by clinging to the roots and branches of 
the shrubs which covered the rocks on the 
sides of the steep acclivity. 

The brigade pushed forward, passing the 
battle ground of Cerro Gordo, and reaching 
the city of Jalapa on the afternoon of the 
30th of September, 1847. 

Although it would be interesting to 
describe minutely the marches, incidents, 
country, and scenery through which our 
Sandusky boys passed, still such narration 
would involve a portion of the history of the 
Mexican War, and would hardly be pertinent 
to our history of the county-still, to show the 
true state of affairs, and why Lane's brigade 
was urged on to Pueblo, it is proper to say, 
that when General Scott advanced upon the 
city of Mexico, which is seventy miles from 
Pueblo, he left Colonel Childs, of the 
artillery, at Pueblo with a body of men to 
guard the city, and protect the sick who were 
in the hospitals to the number of eighteen 
hundred men. The force left under the 
command of Colonel Childs numbered in all 
three hundred and ninety-three men. The 
cured from the hospitals afterward swelled 
this force to the number of fourteen hundred 
effective men. 

Everything was quiet about Pueblo while 
Scott was fighting at the city of Mexico, but 
as soon as the Mexicans there were 
overcome, they turned their attention toward 
Pueblo. On the 24th of September a large 
body of Mexicans came into Pueblo, and 
commenced the siege of that place which 
lasted until the lath of October, when 
General Lane arrived with his column. 

On the 22d of September, 1847, Santa 
Anna arrived at Pueblo from Mexico, with a 
considerable force, and assumed command 
of the Mexican forces, which at this time 
amounted to eight thousand men. Childs was 
summoned to surrender, but politely 
declined to do so, saying that Americans 
were not inclined to do such things. And he 
did not surrender, but held the fort until the 
arrival of Lane with his brigade, which, after 
a fight in the streets of Pueblo, drove the 
Mexicans away, and relieved Colonel 
The Fourteenth Ohio regiment re- 



maimed at Pueblo until after the treaty with 
Mexico was ratified. On the 2d of June, 
1848, the regiment left Pueblo on the return 
home. They reached Cincinnati in the latter 
part of July, where they were discharged, 
and Company C, homeward bound, travelled 
to Tiffin by railroad, thence to Fremont by 
wagons, to be warmly and thankfully 
received by their friends. Although the 
company lost few in battle, there were few 
sound men in the ranks when they reached 
home. Nearly all were greatly enfeebled by 
the diseases incident to Mexico and army 
life, and chronic diarrhea carried off a 
number after reaching home, and enfeebled 
many during the remainder of life. 

Captains Amon C. Bradley and J. A. 
Jones also recruited a number of men in 
Sandusky county for the Mexican war. It has 
been ascertained that the following named 
were enlisted in the company of Captain 
Jones, whose company, however, was 
chiefly composed of men from Huron 
county, their headquarters being at Norwalk: 

Matthew H. Chance, John Stahl, George 
Momeny, John Griffin, Nathan Griffin. 

The following other named men were 
volunteers from Sandusky county, and went 
into service, but whether in Captain 
Bradley's or Captain Jones' company, cannot 
be determined by the information within our 
reach, to wit: 

Jesse Herbster, Ephraim Herbster, Amos Crain, 
Frederick Noss, Michael Oberst, Amos Cumings, Aitkin 
Morton, George Fafer, George Parrish, Joseph F. 
Francis, Henry S. Francisco, and Andrew Kline. 


The election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, 
gave offense to the leading statesmen of the 

The baneful teachings of Calhoun had 
planted deeply and widely in the minds of 
the Southern people the political heresy that 
the several States of the Union were 

each sovereign, and had the right to secede, 
and to be the judge of their cause for 
seceding, and when they might respectively 
exercise the right. Not only did this doctrine 
prevail in the South, but the Northern 
Democracy, under the same, had for years 
given at least tacit assent to the teachings of 
Calhoun as the true theory of our 
Government. The Republican party rejected 
this theory, and claimed that we were a 
Nation, that for National purposes the 
Government of the United States must 
necessarily be supreme and the States 

The right and wrong of slavery in the 
Southern States, and the question of its 
extension into the territories which were 
soon to become States, had for years been 
debated in Congress, by the press of the 
country, by orators on the stump, and by 
lecturers on the platform, until the public 
mind had become profoundly agitated on the 
subject, both North and South. 

The election of Abraham Lincoln dem- 
onstrated that the institution of slavery could 
not be extended, and Southern statesmen 
whose influence had dominated the 
Government so long, saw plainly that 
without an extension of their peculiar 
institution, their power was destined to pass 
away, and that the sentiment of freedom 
would dominate in all departments of the 
Government. They clearly foresaw that such 
a condition, coupled with the growing and 
aggressive anti-slavery sentiment in the free 
States, would not only take from them the 
ascendency in the Government and the 
benefits of its patronage, but threatened the 
very existence of their own peculiar 
institution of slavery in the States where it 
existed. Hence, we see, political convictions, 
State pride,, love of power, and a 
tremendous force of self interest in the 
ownership of slaves, all converging to drive 
them to the terrible resort of a conflict of 
armed force. 



It is unnecessary here to recite all the 
steps taken by the enemies of the Union 
anterior to the inauguration of Abraham 

Fort Moultrie, when surrounded by 
scowling, deadly foes too numerous to be re- 
sisted, had been wisely abandoned by Major 
Anderson, who was compelled to transfer his 
feeble force to Fort Sumter in the night of 
December 26, 1860. 

John B. Floyd, Secretary of War, had 
resigned his post on the 29th of the same 

Jacob Thompson, Secretary of the Inte- 
rior, had left his post with a heavy defalca- 
tion of eight hundred and seventy thousand 
dollars in his department. 

The Star of the West, carrying rein- 
forcements and supplies to Major Anderson 
at Fort Sumter, had been fired upon by the 
rebels and compelled to turn back. 

General Twiggs, commanding the United 
States military forces in Texas, had, on the 
aid of February, 1860, treacherously, 
traitorously, turned over to the State of 
rebellious Texas, all the forces under his 
command, being nearly half the then regular 
army of the United States, with all the 
property and military stores in that State, 
amounting to near two millions of dollars in 

The ship Star of the West, which, after its 
return from the abortive attempt to reinforce 
and provision Fort Sumter, was dispatched, 
laden with supplies for the army of the 
frontier, went into the harbor of Indianola 
unsuspicious of the extent of the rebellion, 
and became an easy prey to the exultant 

The defensive fortifications located 
within the seceded States, mounting over 
three thousand guns, and having cost more 
than twenty millions of dollars, had been 
seized and appropriated by the Confederates- 
all under the eyes of President Buchanan, 
without a hand raised to prevent the rob- 

bery of the Nation, or to punish treason to 
the Government. 

There it no doubt but the naturally weak 
President, by accepting the doctrines of 
Calhoun, and by pledges to administer the 
Government according to the requirements 
of Southern statesmen, was fettered and 
bound hand and foot, and all his powers to 
save the Union were paralyzed. Hence he 
stood stupid, amazed, and helpless while 
the Union was crumbling, betrayed, and 
robbed, and an opposing confederacy 
formed with the purpose of overthrowing 
the Constitution of the fathers, and 
subjugating the North by armed force. 

While the later events above noticed were 
being enacted, and on the 11th of February, 
1861, Abraham Lincoln left his home at 
Springfield, Illinois, for Washington City. 
The story of his journey, how the people 
honored him on the way, how at Harrisburg 
his friends, having good ground to believe 
he would be assassinated at Baltimore if he 
should pass through there at the appointed 
time, started him on his journey through 
that city twenty-four hours in advance of 
the contemplated time, that he should 
escape from the assassins lying in wait for 
their opportunity; how he arrived at 
Washington; how he was inaugurated, his 
pleading with the rebels to desist and accept 
his most generous offers for peace 
consistent with the existence of the Union, 
are all too familiar to the people to need 
particularizing here. 

On the 15th of April, 1861, President 
Lincoln issued his proclamation for 
seventy-five thousand volunteer militia to 
be furnished by the several States according 
to population. The apportionment to Ohio 
was thirteen regiments, of seven hundred 
and eighty men each. 

The intelligent people of Sandusky county 
had watched all the events preceding this 
proclamation, with a burning, pat- 



riotic indignation. And now, when this 
proclamation came to them, they fairly 
leaped into the service. The first opportunity 
offered was to form two companies of the 
Eighth Ohio volunteer infantry, to serve 
three months. Hundreds of able-bodied men 
of Sandusky county offered to volunteer, but 
the quota for Ohio was so suddenly filled 
that they were denied the coveted privilege 
of serving their country under this first call. 

The Eighth regiment Ohio volunteers was 
first organized as a three months' regiment, 
at Camp Taylor, Cleveland, Ohio, and sent 
to Camp Dennison for equipment and drill, 
April 28, 1861. It was subsequently 
reorganized for three years, and left camp 
for West Virginia July 8, 1861, the following 
named officers and companies having been 
mustered into the service: 


Colonel Herman G. DePuy, Erie county. 

Lieutenant Colonel Charles A. Park, Lorain county. 

Major Franklin Sawyer, Huron county. 

Adjutant Joseph R. Swigout, Crawford county. 

Quartermaster Herman Reuss, Huron county. 

Surgeon Benjamin Tappan, Jefferson county. 

Assistant Surgeon Samuel Sexton, Hamilton county. 

Chaplain L. N. Freeman, Erie county. 

Surgeons B. Tappan, resigned; Thomas McEbright, 
resigned; Joseph L. Bunton. 

Assistant Surgeons-S. Sexton, resigned; T. Culver, 
resigned; Freeman A. Tuttle and James S. Pollock. 

Chaplains — Rev. L. N. Freeman, resigned, and 
Alexander Miller. 

Adjutants — Lieutenant Joseph R. Swigart, transferred 
to General Kimball's staff; Lieutenant David Lewis, 
promoted to captain, and Lieutenant John W. DePuy. 

Quartermasters — Lieutenant Herman Ruess and 
Lieutenant E. F. Dickinson, promoted to captain. 

The regiment was composed of ten 
companies: Company A, from Seneca 
county; Company B, Cleveland; Company C, 
Crawford county; Company D, Huron 
county; Company E, Erie county; Companies 
F and G, Sandusky county; 

Company H, Medina and Lorain; Company 
I, Lorain, and Company K, Medina. 

Company F was organized in Sandusky 
county. Captain George M. Tillotson died at 
Fremont, Ohio, March 4, 1863; First 
Lieutenant Charles M. Fouke, resigned; 
Second Lieutenant E. W. Cook, resigned; 
First Lieutenant Henry Farnum, promoted 
from sergeant, also promoted to captain, 
wounded at Gettysburg; Second Lieutenant 
Thomas H. Thornburgh, promoted from 
sergeant, wounded at Mine Run. 

Company G was organized in Sandusky 
county. Captain William E. Haynes, pro- 
moted to Lieutenant Colonel Tenth Ohio 
volunteer cavalry; First Lieutenant Ed. ward 
F. Dickinson, promoted to captain, served as 
regimental quartermaster (since a member of 
Forty-first Congress from Ninth 

Congressional district of Ohio); Second 
Lieutenant Creighton Thompson, wounded at 

The regiment left Camp Dennison for 
Virginia, July 8, 1861, and served in the 
campaign against Garnett's force; was 
present at an attempt on Romney, under 
Colonel Cantwell of the Eighty-second Ohio, 
at its capture under General Kelley. It was 
also engaged in a skirmish at Blue Gap and 
at Bloomey Gap. During the winter of 1861- 
62 it formed a part of General Lander's 
force, on the Upper Potomac, Patterson's 
Creek, and Paw Paw Tunnel. 

In November, 1861, Colonel DePuy and 
Lieutenant-Colonel Park resigned and Cap- 
tain S. S. Carroll, of the United States Army, 
was appointed colonel. Major Sawyer was 
promoted to lieutenant-colonel, and Captain 
A. H. Winslow to major. Colonel Carroll 
was a graduate of West Point, brave, active, 
and devoted to his profession. During six 
weeks under his command, at Romney, the 
regiment attained a high state of proficiency 
in drill and tac- 



tics, and the esprit du cords for which it was 
afterwards greatly celebrated., 

In March, 1862, the regiment joined 
General Shields' division, in the Valley of 
the Shenandoah, and took part in the 
campaign against "Stonewall" Jackson; and, 
on the 23d of March, in the battle of 
Winchester, Colonel Carroll, with part of the 
regiment, was at one time hotly engaged on 
the left of the position, losing three men 
killed, and receiving several balls in his 
clothing. Colonel Sawyer, with companies C, 
D, E, and H, was on the right, and charged 
the enemy in flank, in conjunction with the 
Fifth and Sixty-second Ohio. The loss in 
these four companies in killed and wounded 
was more than one-fourth the number 

After this battle Colonel Carroll was 
placed in command of a brigade, and did not 
again command the regiment, which was, 
during the balance of its service, in 
command of Lieutenant-Colonel Sawyer, 
with brief exception. The regiment was at 
this time assigned to General Kimball's 
brigade, consisting of the Fourth and Eighth 
Ohio, Fourteenth Indiana, and Seventh 

Shields' division now moved to Fred- 
ericksburg, and left General Banks to his 
fate in the valley; and as soon as he had been 
driven back into Maryland, Shields marched 
back to the valley. Kimball's brigade retook 
Front Royal, the Eighth being in front, and 
Captain Haynes, of Company G, entered the 
town, capturing most of the force and 
supplies of the rebels, also capturing the 
famous Belle Boyd. After Shields' failure at 
Port Republic he was relieved, and Kimball, 
with his brigade, sent to join McClellan, on 
the James, where he arrived on the 2d of 
July, by steamer, and debarked at Harrison's 
Landing as McClellan was falling back from 
Malvern Hill. Immediately, under command 
of General Ferry, the 

brigade pushed out for the Chickahominy, 
constantly skirmishing with the enemy for 
several days. On the 4th of July the Eighth 
drove in the enemy's pickets, losing seven 
men killed and wounded. 

The regiment remained at Harrison's 
Landing until the line of the James River 
was abandoned, August 16, 1862, when, 
being organized with French's division, 
Sumner's corps, then and afterwards known 
as Second Division, Second Corps, the 
regiment returned to Yorktown, thence to 
Newport News, whence, by transports, it 
arrived at Alexandria; thence marched to 
Centreville, where the retreating army of 
Pope was met. Here the corps protected the 
retreat of the army; supported Kearney at 
Chantilly, and moved on the left flank, 
crossing the Potomac at the chain bridge. 
From this point the corps moved to the 
Monocacy, having a brisk skirmish, thence 
to South Mountain, where the corps 
supported Burnside, and witnessed the battle 
of the 15th September. The corps crossed the 
mountain next morning, and took position on 
the Antietam which it crossed early on the 
morning of the 17th, and attacked the enemy 
by divisions in front of Sharpsburg. The 
First division, under Sedgwick, had been 
driven back, and our division, under French, 
was ordered forward, and finally carried an 
important position at the point of the 
bayonet. Kimball led his brigade gallantly to 
the work; not a man faltered, but the position 
was gained only at a loss of nearly one-half 
his men. But few over three hundred, rank 
and file, of the Eighth were present, and its 
loss in the battle was one hundred and sixty- 
two killed and wounded. Lieutenants 
Delany, Lantry, Bill, and Barnes were killed, 
and Lieutenants Shilletto Smith, company A, 
and Thompson, company G, each losing an 
eye, were carried from the field supposed to 
be dead. Nine other officers 



were severely wounded. Colonel Sawyer's 
and Adjutant Lewis' horses were both shot. 
Lieutenant Dickinson, then acting as 
quartermaster, was on the field during the 
day acting as aid-de-camp to General 
Kimball. The Fourteenth Indiana lost 
heavily, and in conjunction with the Eighth 
made a partial change of position under fire. 
The Seventh Virginia lost heavily also, and 
Colonel Oakford, One Hundred and Twenty- 
sixth Pennsylvania, was killed. This 
regiment — One Hundred and Twenty-sixth 
Pennsylvania — replaced the Fourth Ohio, 
which was at the time in convalescent camp 
at some distance from the battlefield. 
General French honored the brigade with the 
title of "the Gibraltar brigade." 

From this place the brigade was pushed 
rapidly to Harper's Ferry, and thence to 
Leesburgh, on a tedious and fruitless ex- 
pedition. From Harper's Ferry the regiment, 
with the army, marched to Falmouth, and 
participated in the battle of Fredericksburg, 
December 12, 1862. In this battle the Eighth 
and Fourth Ohio and First Delaware on the 
left, in command of Colonel Sawyer, formed 
a sort of forlorn hope, being ordered to drive 
in the pickets and sharpshooters between the 
town and Marie's Hill, to cut and level the 
fences, etc. This was gallantly done, and the 
position designated taken by the troops, at a 
point beyond which no organization of 
troops passed during the terrible battle that 

Captain Allen, company I, and Sergeant - 
Major Henthorn were killed, and several 
men were killed and wounded. 

Winter quarters were established at Fal- 
mouth. General Kimball having been 
severely wounded was relieved from com- 
mand. On the 10th of January, 1863, Colonel 
Carroll assumed command of the brigade, 
which he retained until wounded at the battle 
of Spottsylvania, May 12, 1864. 

The next battle was Chancellorsville. The 
Eighth regiment, though engaged in line of 
battle during the 2d, 3d, and 4th days of 
May, suffered but little, losing but one man 
killed and six wounded. 

Next came the Gettysburg campaign. In 
this battle the regiment showed conspicuous 
bravery. Midway between the two armies the 
turnpike is cut through a ridge, thus forming 
a good rifle-pit. This the rebels held, and 
from it their sharp-shooters were picking off 
our officers and men. The Eighth was 
ordered to take and hold the place. Colonel 
Sawyer led the charge, mounted, and drove 
out and captured the rebels in fine style. 
They were soon reinforced and attempted to 
retake it, but were driven back with great 

This was on the afternoon of July 2d. The 
loss in the regiment had been severe, but the 
order was to "hold the fort." At daylight on 
the morning of the 3d the rebels again made 
a determined attack, but were repulsed. 
About noon a tremendous cannonade began, 
the shot from both armies passing overhead, 
and two of the men were killed. As soon as 
the artillery duel had ceased the rebel 
infantry began to move in force toward the 
line, the main body moving to our right, but 
three regiments confronting us. The whole 
regiment now remaining was drawn up in 
line and made a desperate charge with the 
bayonet as the rebel line approached, which 
broke and ran, leaving half its men and three 
battle-flags in our hands. One-half the 
regiment present were killed and wounded. 
Among the killed were Lieutenant Hayden, 
company H, Sergeant Kipko, company A, 
and Sergeant Peters, company G; among the 
wounded were Lieutenants Farnam and 
Thornburgh, company F, and Captains 
Pierce, Miller, Ried and Nickerson. The 
regiment, with its corps, followed up the 
rebels, skirmish- 



ing continually, to Harper's Ferry, and 
thence to Culpeper. At this point the 
regiment was relieved from the front, and 
sent, with other troops, to New York city, by 
steamer, to suppress the draft riots. This trip 
was, to all, a most pleasant episode in army 

Returning from New York the regiment 
joined its corps, still at Culpeper. General 
Lee had turned the right wing of the army 
and was forcing it back over the path of 
Pope's retreat of the year before. During the 
retreat the Eighth was engaged in a severe 
skirmish at Auburn, and the brisk little battle 
at Bristow Station. Colonel Carroll's horse 
was killed, our baggage horses captured, and 
several men wounded. 

Lee now fell back to Mine Run, and 
Meade, commanding our army, followed. At 
a skirmish near Robinson's Tavern Colonel 
Sawyer's horse was killed, and several men 
killed and wounded. 

The army now went into winter quarters. 
On the 8th of February the Eighth 
participated in the skirmish at Morton's 
Ford, crossing the ford with the division 
under General Alexander Hayes. 

On the 3d of May, 1864, the regiment, 
with its corps, the Second, still commanded 
by General Hancock, crossed the Rapidan 
for the final campaign. The corps struck the 
enemy on the afternoon of the 5th, and the 
Eighth recaptured a gun just taken from 
Sedgwick, in which skirmish Lieutenant 
McKisson was wounded. The next morning 
the brigade was pushed forward, and the 
Eighth become hotly engaged in an almost 
hand to hand fight. Captain Craig, 
commanding company F, was killed, and 
Captain Lewis, commanding company G, 
was dangerously wounded, his left thigh 
bone being shot off. Several other losses 
occurred. Two wounded men fell into the 
hands of the rebels, and were carried to 

ville. Following the enemy to Spottsylvania 
the Eighth was engaged on the 9th, charging 
the enemy's works, with the division, which 
was repulsed. Lieutenant Huysung and 
Color-bearer James Conlan, were among the 
severely wounded. 

At a little after midnight on the morning 
of the 12th, the Second Corps drew out of its 
position, and, amid profound darkness, 
passed noiselessly to the left, with the design 
of attacking the enemy's right wing. By 
daylight we were supposed to be in its 
vicinity. The Eighth Ohio and First 
Delaware, in command of Colonel Sawyer, 
were ordered forward to clear out what 
appeared to be a few troops in an orchard 
and some negro huts in front. This developed 
the picket line, and the whole corps was 
soon in motion. The Eighth joined its 
brigade as it came up, and the whole 
division, moving forward at a quick-step, 
came upon a rebel brigade, which 
surrendered with hardly a shot, and soon 
received the first volley from the real rebel 

The salient, as the rebel right was 
repulsed, had been struck, and the whole 
corps, pushing forward at a double-quick, 
was soon master of the rebel works. The 
whole corps suffered fearfully, and the loss 
in the Eighth was terrible. Lieutenant 
Manahan, Company D, was killed; the color- 
bearer, Sergeant Gallagher, mortally 
wounded, with many others. Colonel Sawyer 
was severely wounded, at the time it was 
supposed mortally; Colonel Coons, 
Fourteenth Indiana, with other officers of his 
regiment, were killed; Colonel Lockwood, 
Seventh Virginia, terribly wounded; Colonel 
Davis, Twelfth New Jersey, the captain 
commanding the First Delaware, and several 
officers of the Fourth Ohio, all from our 
little brigade, lay dead around us as the 
smoke of the battle for a moment cleared 
away. The enemy soon rallied, and the fight 
went on. During 



the day Colonel Carroll was severely 
wounded and carried from the field. 

Major Winslow now assumed command of 
the regiment. On the 19th it participated in 
the battle of the North Anna, crossing the 
river under fire, and losing several men. On 
the 26th it was again engaged at Hanover 
Court House, and on the 31st at Cold 
Harbor, in which battle the loss in the 
regiment was twenty-four killed and several 

The regiment was not again seriously 
engaged, but followed the fortunes of the 
Second Corps to the front of Petersburg, 
from which place it was relieved, and 
returned home, its term of enlistment having 
expired. It arrived in Cleveland on the 
morning of the 3d of July, 1864, and was 
mustered out on the 13th, numbering less 
than one hundred rank and file fit for duty. 

The regiment had been engaged in forty- 
eight battles and skirmishes. It had never 
wavered in its duty, never had lost its 
position in battle, had lost, all told, but six 
prisoners, and they were wounded and 
unable to be removed from the field. It had 
taken four rebel battle flags and twice its 
own number of prisoners. It had frequently, 
as a regiment, been commended by 
commanding generals for its bravery, and 
was complimented by Governor Brough as 
one of the best of Ohio's brave regiments. 



Captain George M. Tillotson died March 4, 1863, at 
Fremont, Ohio. 

First Lieutenant Charles M. Fouke, resigned. 
Second Lieutenant Edward W. Cook, resigned. 


Sergeant Henry A. Farnum, promoted to first 
lieutenant and captain, wounded at Gettysburg, July 3, 

Sergeant Thomas H. Thornburgh, promoted to second 
lieutenant, wounded at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863, and at 
Mine Run, December 4, 1863. 

Sergeant James Daugherty, jr. 

Sergeant William H. Kirk, wounded at Antietam and 

Sergeant Joseph A. Fry, discharged January 16, 1862, 
for disability. 

Corporal Alfred M. Brown, discharged February 4, 
1863, for disability. 

Corporal Louis Mathews, killed at Antietam, Sep- 
tember 17, 1862. 

Corporal Michael Halderman, killed at Antietam. 
Corporal Richard Smithurst, killed at Antietam. 
Corporal Joseph Fisher, killed at Antietam. Corporal 
Edward S. Cooper. 

Corporal Charles A. Klegin, wounded at Chancel- 

Corporal William H. Myers. 


Charles D. Atkinson, discharged for disability; Zenus 
Nye, wounded at Antietam; Michael Moore, killed at 
Gettysburg; Philip Andrews, wounded at Gettysburg; 
Rudolph Arman; Noah Alspah; John Ashnell; Jonas 
B osier, killed at Antietam; William Burton, died 
September 21, 1872; Bernard Bondeli, discharged; John 
A. Bonnell, wounded at Winchester, discharged (since 
has been county treasurer of Wood county, Ohio); 
William W. Crandal, wounded at Antietam; Frank C. 
Culley, discharged for disability; Anthony C. Culver, 
discharged for disability; Isaac C. Chamberlain, 
wounded at Antietam; Vincent Dungheet, wounded at 
Chancel lorsvi lie, May 6, 1863; John B. Davis, 
discharged for disability; Benjamin D. Evans, 
discharged for disability; Josiah Fitzgerald; Joseph 
Fitzgerald; John S. (Fields, killed at Antietam; Matthew 
Freek, discharged for disability; Theodore Foster, 
wounded before Richmond; John D. Francis, discharged 
for disability; Henry Fairbanks, discharged for 
disability; Thomas W. Gordon, discharged for disability; 
Charles S. Grant; George Grisshaber, discharged for 
disability; Charles Guss, discharged for disability; 
Henry Graback, wounded in battle; Simon Gobble, 
wounded in battle; John Heller; Morris Hill, wounded at 
Antietam and discharged; William Jones, promoted to 
sergeant; Christian Jacobs; Joseph Kihm, discharged for 
disability; Josiah Linton, discharged for disability; John 
E. Lemon, died November 21, 1862; Balsar Leblo, 
wounded at Gettysburg; Emelius J. Leppleman, 
discharged for disability; Devit C. Lloyd, discharged for 
disability; John C. Mason, discharged for disability; 
William McBride; William Mullen, killed at 
Fredericksburg, December, 1862; William Miller; 
George W. Myers, wounded at Winchester; Anthony 
Magram, killed at Spottsylvania, May 12, 1864; Sophery 
Mayram; Jacob H. Milburn; Rufus M. Norton, wounded 
at Wilderness and Spottsylvania; James Olds, killed at 
Antietam; Samuel Paden, wounded at Cold Harbor; John 
Pepfer, discharged; W. S. Palmeter, killed at Antietam; 
Eurotus A. Pel ton, discharged; Francis B. Reynolds, 
killed at Antietam; Julius Reynolds, killed at Antietam; 



Richmond, killed at Spottsylvania, May 12, 1864; 
George Saur, wounded at Gettysburg; Martin A. Shrenk, 
promoted to ordnance sergeant; Eli Stanley, discharged; 
Emanuel Smith, wounded at Antietam and discharged; 
John Teel, wounded in Wilderness; Charles Taylor 
wounded at Fredericksburg and discharged; William A. 
Wilson, wounded at Gettysburg; Louis Zimmerman, 
wounded at Antietam and discharged; Simon Louis, 
discharged; Andrew J. Beith; Myron Watts, wounded at 
Chancellorsville and died; George Meyers, wounded at 
Winchester and discharged; Joseph Gullant, died at 
Grafton, Virginia, August 27, 1861; George Douglass, 
died at Grafton, Virginia, August 31, 1861; David A. 
Lemon, killed at Mine Run, November 27, 1863; John 
Fisher, wounded at Antietam; C. Shoemaker, died in 
Andersonville prison. 



Captain William E. Haynes, promoted to lieutenant- 
colonel Tenth Regiment Ohio cavalry. 

First Lieutenant Edward F. Dickinson, promoted to 
captain, and served as regimental quartermaster, 

Second Lieutenant Creighton Thompson, wounded at 
Antietam, and resigned. 


Sergeant Harrison Hoffman. 

Sergeant Morris Morrison, died December 9, 1862, at 
Cumberland, Maryland. 

Sergeant Daniel Miller, wounded at Winchester and 
the Wilderness. 

Sergeant Philip Tracy, wounded at Gettysburg, and 
died July 6, 1863. 

Sergeant Cyrus P. Taylor, wounded at Antietam. 

Corporal Charles W. Arlin. 

Corporal John A. Bevington, wounded at Winchester 
and Gettysburg. 

Corporal Virgil J. Crowel, wounded at Antietam. 

Corporal Manville Moore, wounded at Gettysburg, 
and died at Baltimore. 

Corporal William Luckey. 

Corporal Samuel S. Thirwictor. 

Corporal Rodolphus Dickinson, wounded at Antietam. 

Corporal James Hagarty, wounded at Gettysburg. 
Bugler Edward Sheetinzer. 


Henry Hone, Charles H. Culp, Charles G. Aldrich, 
Lewis S. Baker, Nicholas Frunkhouser, Wilbur G. Finch, 
Peter Grover, John Gbense, Michael Gassin; Charles 
Baker, George J. Bixler, John D. Bradv, Charles F. 
Clark, Albert Fayo, Alvin R. Gossard, Anthony George, 
Peter J. Hershey, John 1. Haynes, James Lordand, David 
Nighswander, John W. Stone, discharged for disability; 
David Biddle, died February 13, 1 863; Christian 
Binkley, Peter Bohler, wounded at Fredericksburg; 
Orville B. Cole, killed 

at Antietam; Bartholomew Conner, George W. Crosley, 
Richard Clark, Tobias M. Edwards, killed at Winchester; 
Nathaniel G. Foster, wounded at Gettysburg; John 
Guither, wounded at Fredericksburg and Gettysburg; 
John Gazin; John M. Hite, wounded at Antietam and 
discharged; Henry Herman; Eugene A. Hodges, 
wounded at Gettysburg; Thos. M. Heffner, Peter 
Heidelman, Adam Innes, Jason J. Jack, John W. James; 
Professor James, wounded at Antietam; William Jacobs, 
wounded at Fredericksburg; Matthias Knobble, killed at 
Fredericksburg; John Keran, killed at Antietam; John M. 
Roch; Samuel Kepfer, killed at Spottsylvania; Henry 
Kaettz, John Keefer; Jacob Saemstell, died March 12, 
1862, at Cumberland, Maryland; Daniel Sarg, Cornelius 
Mulachi; Philip Michael, wounded at Antietam and 
discharged; Samuel Metzker, died at Cumberland, 
Maryland; Homer Millious, wounded at Gettysburg; 
James McKeefer, died in Andersonville prison; Anthony 
Moier, wounded at Antietam and discharged; Austin J. 
Moore, died at Falmouth, Virginia, April 17, 1863; John 
Miller, Henry Nahliz, Joseph Orr, Henry Pulaski; John 
G. Peters, promoted to sergeant, and killed at Gettysburg 
July 3, 1863; George Reinhard, wounded at Antietam 
and Gettysburg; Francis M. Rivets, wounded at Gettys- 
burg; Patrick Roch, wounded at Antietam; William 
Shuher; Jefferson Taylor, died at Grafton, Virginia, 
September 6, 1 861; John M. Vail, Isadore Wentling; 
Lewis Winegardner, died at Fortress Monroe; Hiram 
Wing, wounded at Gettysburg and Antietam; John A. 
Williams, died at Fremont, Ohio, in November, 1862; 
John Walker, Morris Yates; Absalom Zeducer, wounded 
at Spottsylvania; Milton Miers, James M. Johnson; 
Myron Watts, wounded at Chancellorsville; Samuel 



Sandusky contributed a company, or nearly 
a company, to the Twenty-fifth Ohio 
Volunteer Infantry. The regiment was 
organized at Camp Chase in June, 1861, and 
contained men from various localities in all 
quarters of the State. On the 29th day of 
July, 1 86 1 , it went into service in West 
Virginia, and was stationed along the 
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, from Oakland to 
the Ohio River. While there the regiment 
paid attention to bushwhackers which 
infested the vicinity and broke up several 
gangs of them, to the great relief of the 
forces, as well as the loyal inhabitants. The 
regiment went through a long course 



of suffering and arduous service. It was in 
the battles of Cheat Mountain, Greenbriar, 
Camp Baldwin, Monterey; the engagements 
and marches in the Shenandoah Valley; in 
General Pope's campaign along the 
Rappahannock, in the second battle of Bull 
Run, at Gettysburg, and a great many battles, 
and many trying marches. 

It re-enlisted on the 15th of January, 
1864, and started for home, on veteran 
furlough, reaching Camp Chase on the 5th of 
March, 1864. While there, many recruits 
were added to the regiment, and were 
organized, and called Company B. 

On the 16th of February, 1864, the reg- 
imental flags, which had passed through 
twenty battles, and under which eighteen 
color-bearers had been killed or wounded, 
were presented to Governor Brough, to be 
placed in the archives of the State, and the 
regiment received a beautiful new stand of 

It served well in the Carolinas, and, in 
fact, all through the war; and on the 18th of 
June, 1866, when it held its last parade at 
Columbus, Ohio, surrendered again its sec- 
ond set of colors to Governor Cox, and was 
then mustered out, and discharged, having 
been in active service over five years. 

The following are the men of Sandusky 
county who enlisted in the Twenty-fifth 
Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and who are 
entitled to a share of its glory, and the thanks 
of the country: 



Captain Moses H. Crowell, resigned. 
Captain Michael Murray. 
First Lieutenant Hezekiah Thomas. 
Second Lieutenant George W. Iden. 


Sergeant Peter Molyett. 
Sergeant Samuel Hoffman. 
Sergeant Henry Barnup. 
Sergeant Christian Joseph. 
Corporal Henry Overmeyer. 
Corporal Frederick Gilyer. 

Corporal John Wise. 
Corporal Edward J. Teeple. 
Corporal Richard Kenny. 
Corporal Daniel Potter. 
Corporal Frederick Holderman. 
Corporal Byron Hutchins. 
Wagoner Joseph Hess. 
Musician Bryan Carrigan. 
Musician Andrew J. Lake. 


Obediah A. Bidgely, Gephard Rush, P. Duffey 
Thomas J. Overman, Joseph Vallance, Samuel Black, 
George W. Algyer, John Bigley, James Bacon, Frederick 
T. Bigler, James W. Barnes, Charles Cimmerer, Ethridge 
Comstock, Frederick Cannell, Charles Caul, George W. 
Clelland, Thomas C. Coalwell, Samuel H. Deselms, 
Andrew J. Davis, George Dagan, Samuel Edgar, John 
Everingham, Isaiah Eastick, George C. Edgerton, Josiah 
Fought, Samuel Frantz, August Freeh, John Ferrell, 
Monta Heath, Harvey N. Hall, Thomas C. Hemminger, 
William S. Hutton, Thomas Howell, John Q. Hutchins, 
Frederick Halderman, Oliver P. Hershey, Virgil Jacobs, 
John Jell, George Kessler, John Knappenberger, Jesse 
Little, John Leary, John Lose, Lawson Marsh, Joseph 
Mitchell, William Meuser, Linnus Marsh, Darius I. 
Minnier, William Mackey, John Morris, Lewis Moore, 
Michael Mulgrove, Blando L. Mills, Harrison I. Meyers, 
Peter Miller, Isaac Nye, Hiram Odell, Hiram Ostrander, 
Richard D. Phelps, Alexander Pemberton, John E. 
Rearick, Joseph Riddle, Lewis Robber, Frederick Shultz, 
William R. Stump, Abednego Stephens, Norton G. 
Skinner, Joel Spohn, Levi S. Stewart, Henry Smuch, 
Florian Smith, Alexander Scott, Benjamin Staley, 
Charles Slaughterbeck, Edward Teeple, Christopher 
Thayer, John Tweedle, Decatur Whiting, George D. 
Wormwood, Joseph C. Wright, Lewis Zeigler, Volney 
A. Dubel. 


This regiment, which did such conspicuous 
service in the war for the suppression of the 
Rebellion, was organized at Tiffin, in the 
county of Seneca. It left Camp Noble, near 
Tiffin, on the 10th of September, 1861, for 
Camp Dennison, where it received its 
equipments on the 21st of the same month, 
and moved for Louisville, Kentucky. The 
next day it reported to Brigadier General 
Robert Anderson, then in command at that 
place, and was the first organized Union 
regiment to enter Kentucky, where it met a 
most cordial re- 



ception on its arrival at Louisville. Two 
boats lashed together, conveying the regi- 
ment, approached the wharf at Louisville, 
while the regimental band was playing 
National airs. Its arrival was a surprise to 
military headquarters, and as the regiment 
debarked, the people received them with 
great enthusiasm. As they marched from the 
landing, the citizens formed in the rear and 
marched with them through the principal 
streets to the headquarters of General 
Anderson. The General appeared on the 
balcony of the hotel, and welcomed the 
regiment in a short address. To this address 
General Gibson responded, and tradition 
says that his response was full of that soul- 
stirring, heart-warming eloquence in behalf 
of the Union cause for which he is so 
celebrated wherever he speaks on the great 
theme of Union and liberty. 

A magnificent dinner for the regiment 
was given at the Louisville hotel by the 
citizens, and the men of the regiment were 
magnificently entertained. In the evening of 
the same day the regiment started from 
Louisville by railroad for Lebanon junction, 
to report to General W. T. Sherman, then at 
that point. The next morning it crossed the 
Rolling Fork, wading the river, and marched 
to Elizabethtown and went into camp at 
Muldsdraugh's Hill. Here the regiment re- 
mained until the 10th of October, when it 
moved to Nolan Creek, and went into Camp 

The Forty-ninth regiment was soon after 
assigned to the Sixth Brigade under com- 
mand of General R. W. Johnson, of the 
Second Division of the Army of Ohio. On 
the 10th of December, 1861, the Second 
Division moved to Mumfordsville, on the 
Green River, and drove the rebels to the 
opposite side of the river, and established 
Camp Wood. On the 17th of December the 
National pickets from the Thirty-second 
Indiana Infantry, on the south side of 

Green River, were attacked by Hinman's 
Arkansas Brigade and Terry's Texas Ran- 
gers. In sending troops to the relief of the 
pickets, the Forty-ninth Ohio was the first to 
cross the river, followed by the Thirty-ninth 
Indiana. The enemy was met and repulsed, 
Colonel Terry, one of the rebel commanders, 
being killed. 

The regiment remained at Camp Wood 
perfecting itself in discipline and drill until 
the lath of February, 1862, when it left the 
camp for Bowling Green, Kentucky. It 
marched thence towards Nashville, 
Tennessee, which place it reached on the 3d 
of March, 1862, and established there Camp 
Andrew Johnson. From this camp it moved 
on the 16th of March with Buell's army, to 
join General Grant's forces at Pittsburg 
Landing, and arrived there on the 6th of 
April. Here Colonel Gibson took command 
of the brigade, leaving the Forty-ninth 
regiment under the command of Lieutenant- 
Colonel A. M. Blackman. The regiment went 
into the fight at 1 1 o'clock in the morning, 
occupying the left of the brigade, and next to 
Crittenden's division. This position was 
maintained under a terrible fire from the 
enemy until 4 o'clock in the afternoon, when, 
with the enemy in full retreat, the regiment 
stacked arms and lay down to rest. In this 
battle the regiment twice successfully 
performed the hazardous feat of changing 
front under fire. 

The Forty-ninth then moved towards 
Corinth. The other portions of the army had 
some severe fighting at Bredges's Creek, and 
at other points on the way, and entered 
Corinth with the army on the 30th of May, 
1862. From Corinth it was sent in pursuit of 
the enemy, passing through Jericho, Iuka, 
and other points to Tuscumbia, Alabama, 
and Florence, crossing the river at Florence. 
Thence it marched to Battle Creek, 
Tennessee. At this time 



Bragg's army was found to be threatening 
Louisville, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, and 
the Forty-ninth was put in pursuit of him. On 
the march from Battle Creek, Tennessee, the 
Union forces were urged forward with all the 
speed the men could endure, and they 
suffered terribly from exhaustion, intense 
heat of the weather and from want of water 
and rations. These sufferings were, however, 
born with fortitude by the men, and the 
apprehension that their own Ohio might be 
invaded by rebels nerved them to most 
extraordinary endurance and hard marches. 
The regiment reached Louisville on the 29th 
of September, where, after a few clays rest, 
the march in pursuit of the enemy was 
resumed. Moving out on the Frankfort 
turnpike, through Shelbyville, driving the 
enemy before them, Frankfort was reached 
on the 5th of October in time to disperse the 
rebel troops gathered there to guard the 
inauguration of Captain Dick Hawes as rebel 
Governor of Kentucky. The march was 
resumed on the morning of the 7th of 
October, under orders to join the main army, 
the junction being made the day following 
the battle of Perryville. During the whole of 
the march from Louisville to Perryville, 
there was daily skirmishing. At Lawrence 
and Dog Walk brisk engagements were 
fought, in each of which the Forty-ninth 
Ohio was conspicuously engaged, under 
command of Lieutenant-Colonel Levi Drake. 
Pursuing the enemy to Crab Orchard the 
regiment, with its brigade and division, 
marched to Bowling Green. Thence it 
marched toward Nashville, and on the 5th of 
November was with the advance that raised 
the siege of that city. The regiment then 
went into camp at Mill Creek, where it 
remained until the 26th day of December. On 
the 26th of December, 1862, General 
Rosecrans then, in 

command of the Army of the Cumberland, 
commenced his movement on Murfreesboro. 
The Forty-ninth moved out of Nashville, on 
Nelsonville turnpike, with the right wing, 
under Major General McCook, and after 
constant skirmishing found itself in line of 
battle on the extreme right of the Union 
army before Murfreesboro, on the evening of 
the 30th of December, 1862. At six o'clock 
the next morning Kirk's brigade was 
furiously assaulted by the enemy, and giving 
way was pressed back on the Forty-ninth, 
which at once became engaged, and was in 
its turn borne back by overwhelming 
numbers to the Nashville turnpike, a distance 
of a mile and a half from the point of 
encounter. In this resistance to the rebel 
forces the Forty-ninth sustained an incessant 
conflict of nine hours' duration. 

The following morning the regiment was 
sent to reconnoiter on the right and rear of 
the main army. Returning from this duty, it 
rejoined its brigade, and that day was more 
or less engaged, operating on the extreme 
right of the army, in connection with 
Stanley's cavalry. On Friday, January 2, it 
occupied a position in reserve to the centre 
until late in the afternoon, when, upon the 
repulse of Van Cleve's division on the left, it 
was ordered, with its brigade, to retrieve the 
fortunes of the day on that part of the field. 
It joined in a magnificent bayonet charge, 
which resulted in recovering the lost ground, 
and a severe defeat of the enemy. 

The Forty-ninth went into this battle with 
the entire field and staff officers present. At 
its close it was under command of junior 
Captain S. F. Gray. The capture of General 
Willich placed Colonel Gibson, of the Forty- 
ninth, in command of the brigade. Lieutenant 
Colonel Drake was killed while bravely 
cheering on his men. Major Porter was 
wounded, and all the senior captains present 
were either 



killed or wounded. It should be noted here 
that, before this battle, Captain J. R. Bartlett 
had been promoted to the office of major, 
and was not in the immediate command of 
Company F, but served during the fight. 

For a time after this battle the Forty-ninth 
was engaged in various foraging expeditions, 
wherein it had frequent encounters with the 
enemy, and lost a number of men. 

From Murfreesboro, the regiment 
marched, on the 24th of June, 1863, and 
found the enemy strongly posted at Liberty 
Gap, to dispute the further advance of the 
Union forces. The Forty-ninth was attached 
to the First brigade, which was at once 
formed in line of battle, and, after some hard 
fighting, the Forty-ninth assaulted the 
enemy's works on a high hill, advanced upon 
him, scaled the heights in the face of severe 
fire, and drove the enemy from that position, 
and compelled him to fall back upon another 
equally strong position about a mile in the 

On the following day the National forces 
attacked the enemy again in the new po- 
sition. The Forty-ninth was brought into 
action about 3 o'clock p. m., after other 
troops had been engaged several hours. The 
regiment was selected to attack the enemy's 
centre, which rested in a valley, while the 
flanks rested upon the hill, on both sides. 
Here the Forty-ninth adopted a new method 
of attack, which had then lately been 
introduced, by the formation of four ranks, 
and to advance while firing. This method of 
attack proved efficient in this case, and the 
enemy's centre was soon .broken, and the 
position occupied by the Union army. 
Without further fighting, the brigade, with 
the Forth-ninth, reached Tullahoma July 1, 
and the regiment then went into camp. 
At the bloody battle of Chickamauga 

the Forty-ninth did great service, and dis- 
played the fighting qualities of veterans. It 
made a charge on the right of the enemy, 
drove him out of a dense wood, and captured 
two pieces of artillery. 

The next day the Forty-ninth was con- 
stantly engaged in various parts of the field, 
and accomplished a brilliant exploit in 
connection with Goodspeed's Battery, the 
Fifteenth Ohio, and other troops, which, it is 
claimed, saved Thomas' Corps from being 
swept from the field. 

In the battle of Mission Ridge the Forty- 
ninth shone with conspicuous gallantry, and 
was amongst the first to plant its colors on 
the summit of the ridge. It next moved with 
Granger's Corps to the relief of Burnside's 
forces at Knoxville. This march was of the 
most severely trying nature upon the troops. 
The weather was intensely cold, and snow 
was on the ground. The men were almost 
naked, and without shoes, and the rations 
were exhausted. Like the march from Valley 
Forge in the Revolutionary War, the army 
could be tracked by the bloody foot marks of 
the indomitable patriots who went out to 
save the Union. And yet these brave men did 
not complain, but were eager to be led 
against the foes of their country who were 
also the foes of liberty. At Strawberry Plain 
they heard that Burnside had repulsed 
Longstreet, and as he was no longer in need 
of relief the National troops returned to 
Chattanooga. At the heel of all this 
suffering, the men of the Forty-ninth were 
called upon the re-enlist for the war. To this 
call a prompt response was given in the 
affirmative. The regiment returned to Ohio 
to enjoy its veteran furlough of thirty days. 
At Tiffin, its place of organization, the 
regiment was received with every possible 
manifestation of respect and honor. Judge 
John K. Hord, now of the Cleveland Bar, but 
formerly a citizen of Tiffin, 



welcomed the brave men in an eloquent 
speech in their praise, which was responded 
to by Colonel Gibson and other officers of 
the regiment. 

Thirty days, oh! how brief to the soldier 
who returns after three years absence, to see 
his father, mother, wife, children and 
friends, and meantime hear the plaudits, and 
enjoy the feastings and manifestations of 
honor from a grateful people, for whom he 
has encountered danger and toiled and 
suffered. Still true to country, with the 
instinctive patriotism of the Union soldier, 
the Forty-ninth in due time reported at the 
headquarters of the Fourth Army Corps at 
Cleveland, Tennessee. 

At this time the National forces were 
concentrating and reorganizing at Cleveland, 
Tennessee, and making all things ready for 
the campaign against Atlanta, Georgia. Here 
the Forty-ninth was incorporated into the 
Fourth Army Corps, and the history of that 
corps is the history of the Forty-ninth 
regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The 
regiment participated in the engagements at 
Dalton, Resaca, Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain, 
Chattahoochie River, and Atlanta, suffering 
severely in the loss of men killed and 
wounded in all these battles. The regiment 
pushed on with the army beyond Atlanta, 
and participated in the battles at 
Jonesborough, and at Lovejoy's Station, and 
after abandoning the pursuit of the enemy, 
returned to camp at Atlanta. The Forty-ninth 

this time was assigned with the Army of the 
Cumberland to the command of General 
Thomas who was left to look after the rebel 
forces under General Hood, who was moving 
toward Nashville. 

In the movements of Thomas' forces the 
Forty-ninth Ohio, under command of 
Lieutenant-Colonel Strong, fully sustained 
its reputation for bravery and military skill, 
and bore a prominent part in many 

skirmishes and displayed great courage and 
efficiency in the battles of Franklin and 
Nashville. The battle of Nashville occurred 
in December, 1864, and on the 15th and 16th 
of that month the regiment made several 
brilliant charges and suffered severely in 
killed and wounded. 

After this battle and after returning from 
the pursuit of Hood's army, the regiment 
went into camp at Huntsville, Alabama, 
where it remained until the middle of March, 
1865. It then moved by rail into East 
Tennessee and went into camp at Greenville. 
On its return from the expedition to 
Nashville the regiment was, on the 16th of 
June, 1864, taken by transports to Texas, by 
way of New Orleans. Reaching Texas in 
July, the regiment landed at Victoria, and 
moved to the interior as far as San Antonio, 
passing by way of Green Lake and Gonzales. 
After suffering great hardships in this ser- 
vice for four months the regiment returned to 
Victoria, where it was mustered out of 
service on the 30th day of November, 1865. 

The whole number of names on the rolls 
of the regiment was fifteen hundred and 
fifty-two. Nineteen were born in Europe, 
seven hundred and sixty in Ohio, of whom 
four hundred and forty were from Seneca 
county. Eight officers were killed in battle, 
and twenty wounded (six of them mortally). 
Of the privates, one hundred and twenty- 
seven were killed in battle, seventy-one were 
mortally wounded, one hundred and sixty- 
five died from hardships or disease, and 
seven perished in rebel prisons at 

Andersonville and Danville. Six hundred and 
sixteen were discharged on account of 
wounds or other disability, five survived 
with the loss of an arm, and two with the 
loss of a leg. The killed and mortally 
wounded of the enlisted men were as one to 
seven and four-fifths, and the entire deaths 
as one to 



five and one-sixth. The men of the regiment 
suffered nine hundred and forty-two gunshot 
wounds. During two-thirds of his term of 
service, Colonel Gibson commanded a 
brigade by virtue of his rank. 

Although the Forty-ninth Regiment of the 
Ohio Volunteer infantry, engaged in the war 
for the suppression of the Southern 
Rebellion, was organized in the adjoining 
county of Seneca, and drew largely and 
chiefly from the patriotic and able-bodied 
citizens of that county, Sandusky county, in 
her exuberance of patriotism, contributed-a 
company to the regiment, consisting of some 
of her best and bravest men. The -history of 
Company F cannot be fully and fairly 
written without giving an account of its 
organization, marches, battles, victories, 
achievements, sufferings and losses of the 
regiment, of which it formed an important 

We would here acknowledge that for many 
of the facts regarding this regiment we are 
indebted to Colonel J. R. Bartlett, also to 
Ohio in the War, by Whitelaw Reid, as well 
as from records kindly submitted for 
inspection by the Adjutant-General of Ohio. 


The following incident, which occurred in 
the battle of Shiloh, in front of the Forty- 
ninth regiment, illustrates the appreciation 
which true soldiers entertain for bravery and 
desperate daring, when displayed by an 
enemy. The Forty-ninth made a dashing and 
sudden charge on the enemy in front of it, 
and drove them with great precipitation from 
their position. So sudden was the onset and 
the retreat, that the rebels forgot their colors, 
leaving them standing on the ground from 
which they retired. A storm of bullets were 
flying after the retreating foe, when the ene- 
my discovered their forsaken flag, then but a 
little way in advance of the Forty-ninth. 
Suddenly a rebel on a white horse was seen 

to leave the ranks, coming at full speed back 
to the flag. As soon as the men of the Forty- 
ninth realized the object of the desperate 
attempt to rescue the flag, struck by the 
bravery and daring of the act, and 
recognizing his qualities as a soldier devoted 
to his colors, they instinctively ceased firing 
and spared the life of the brave fellow while 
he took the flag and carried it back to his 
command, without harm. Had they not 
ceased firing as they did, the man would 
have been cut to pieces by their volleys. 


Captain Joseph R. Bartlett began re- 
cruiting, or rather enlisting men for Com- 
pany F, in July, 1861. After obtaining about 
forty men recruiting became dull and it 
seemed impossible to obtain a full company 
in any reasonable time. Charles A. Norton 
had assisted actively so far in procuring 
men, and expected to be first lieutenant of 
the company. Meantime Timothy H. Wilcox 
had enlisted about forty men to form a 
company of Home Guards, who were willing 
to join Captain Bartlett's company, and go 
into the service, on condition that Mr. 
Wilcox should have the position of first 
lieutenant. Mr. Norton generously gave way 
to Mr. Wilcox, and the men enlisted by the 
latter entered, and this, with little further 
effort, soon completed the company, and it 
went to Camp Noble, near Tiffin, Seneca 
county, for equipment and drill. 

The generosity of Mr. Norton soon met 
with reward in his appointment to the office 
of adjutant of the regiment, in which 
capacity he proved a good soldier and 
efficient officer during the service. 

About the middle of November, 1862, 
Captain Bartlett's soldierly qualities at- 
tracted the attention of General I. W. Sill, 
who appointed him Inspector-General of the 
Second Division of the Army of the 
Cumberland, of which General Sill 



was then in command. In December, 1862, 
General Sill was assigned to another 
command, and on leaving the division 
addressed to Inspector Bartlett the following 
complimentary and friendly letter: 

CAMP ON MILL CREEK, December 10, 1862. 
Captain Bartlett, Acting Division Inspector, Division 

SIR: In parting with you I beg to express my thanks 
for the zeal and fidelity with which you have performed 
your duties, and to assure you that if associated in future 
it will be a source of much gratification, as it is now a 
source of regret, that I am obliged to separate from you. 
Whatever be your course hereafter, I doubt not it will be 
creditable in the highest degree, and I tender you my 
best wishes for your success and promotion. 
Very respectfully, your friend, 

I. W. SILL, 

General R. W. Johnson then took command 
of the division, and continued Captain 
Bartlett in the same position on his staff that 
he had held under General Sill, and, until 
after the battle of Liberty Gap, he acted as 
chief of staff and Adjutant-General of the 
division, in addition to the duties of 
Inspector-General. Captain Bartlett has 
numerous testimonials of faithful service, 
and also recommendations for promotion. 
Amongst these are found commendations 
and recommendations from Colonel Keufler, 
commanding Third Brigade, Third Division, 
Fourth Army Corps; Major-General D. S. 
Stanley, commanding Fourth Army Corps; 
Major-General O. O. Howard, formerly com- 
mander of the same corps; Brigadier-General 
Thomas J. Wood, commander Third 
Division, same corps; also Colonel William 
H. Gibson, afterwards Brigadier-General 
commanding First Brigade, Third Division. 



Captain Joseph R. Bartlett. 
First Lieutenant Morris E. Tyler. 
Second Lieutenant Timothy Wilcox. 


Sergeant John J. Kessler. 

Sergeant Israel C. Totten. 
Sergeant Charles W. England. 
Sergeant Levi Laughlin. 
Sergeant Myron Sweet. 
Corporal James Maxwell. 
Corporal Edward Haff. 
Corporal Eli Lewman. 
Corporal William H. H. Wadsworth. 
Corporal David J. Wilson. 
Corporal William Whittaker. 
Corporal John W. Heason. 
Corporal Josiah Terry. 
Drummer James Michael. 
Fifer Thomas P. Folton. 


(All of Fremont.) 
Isaac N. Anderson, David Armstrong, James M 
Dennison, John Wesley Ash, Lewis Baker, Austin O. 
Bolton, Gustavus Boesh, David H. Barber, George H. 
Bearss, Thomas Bovill, Charles S. Bon, James N. 
Campbell, Eli Chaney, Thomas Clarke, George Davis, 
Albert Dodge, Jonathan Durfee, Wilson S. Flaugher, 
LaQuino Fletcher, Benjamin S. Frank, John Frees. 
Richard Gallagher, George W. Gurst, Charles E. 
Haskins, Joseph Hunt singer, George W. Heberling, 
Oscar June, Daniel Jackson, Edward D. Kintz, Cyrus C. 
Laughlin, Henry O. Marsh, John D. Maine, Henry 
Mark waiter, George Mears, Wesley Miller, Lewis 
Michael, John L. McAfee, Daniel McSorley, John W. 
Maxwell, John A. Nash, Charles A Norton, Jasper 
Palmer, John Charles Parrish, George H. Phillip, Joshua 
Powell, James Ragan, James Ramsey, Jeremiah Reed, 
Phillip Reiling, Moses Rogers, Josiah Rollins, Josiah T. 
Russell, William B. Richards, George Skinner, Josiah 
Stocking, Charles Stull, Daniel Sweet, Albert Sweet, 
Joel G. Sbiats, Jeremiah Smith, John H. Stoner, George 
J. Ferry, Luther White, George W. Yencer, William J. 


This regiment went into camp at Norwalk, 
Ohio, on the 17th of October, 1861. On the 
25th of January, 1862, it left Norwalk for 
Grafton, West Virginia, and after a short 
stay there it moved to New Creek. It moved 
by hard marches thence through Romney to 
Moorefield, where it participated in some 
skirmishing. It was raised chiefly by the 
exertions of Colonel John C. Lee, who 
afterwards became Lieutenant Governor of 
Ohio. Colonel Lee resigned May 8, 1863, 
and the command of the regiment devolved 
on Lieutenant Colo- 



nel Charles Gambee, of Bellevue. Colonel 
Gambee was killed at the battle of Resaca, 
on the 15th of May, 1864. On the 1st of 
January, 1864, three hundred and nineteen of 
the men of the Fifty-fifth had re-enlisted and 
returned to Ohio, arriving at Norwalk on the 
10th of the same month. On the 4th of 
March, 1 864, it was again encamped in 
Lookout Valley. It marched through Atlanta 
with the Twentieth Army Corps, toward the 
sea coast, and entered Savannah, Georgia, on 
the 21st of December and camped near that 
city. After much hard service and suffering, 
having passed through Goldsboro and 
Raleigh, on the 30th of April, 1865, it 
commenced its march to Washington, 
reaching Richmond on the 11th of May, and 
on the 1 8th camped in the vicinity of 
Alexandria. On the 24th of May, 1865, it 
crossed the long bridge and participated in 
the grand review and went into camp near 
Washington. On the 11th of July, 1865, the 
Fifty-fifth was mustered out of service, was 
paid off at Cleveland, Ohio, and discharged 
on the 19th day of July, 1865. 

The fighting qualities of this regiment are 
displayed in a brief statement. During its 
term of service it enrolled one thousand 
three hundred and fifty men, and of these 
about seven hundred and fifty were either 
killed or wounded in battle. 

A number of good men for this regiment 
were recruited in Sandusky county in the 
vicinity of Bellevue. The memoranda 
furnished the writer gives the names of men 
of certain companies of the regiment, but 
does not designate those of Sandusky county 
from those enlisted from other counties. We 
therefore give the list as furnished, as the 
time allowed the writer to finish his work 
will not permit of further search or 
investigation into the places of enlistment. 


Captain Charles B. Gambee. 
First Lieutenant Benjamin F. Eldridge. 
Second Lieutenant William H. Long. 

















Henry H. Moore. 

John E. Kunkel. 

Charles M. Smith. 

Albert J. Demick. 

William H. Harringer. 

Lyman Ford. 

Martin O. Smith. Corporal John Stevens. 

John Ryan. 

James W. Saunders. Corporal George H. 

Sidney F. Sinclair. 
Oren J. Stark. 

Daniel Herring. 

George W. Goodell, Wagoner William H. 


Horace B. Adams, Horace A. Bartlett, Nelson Barber, 
Philip Beckley, Thomas Beckley, Stephen Beckley, 
James Bought on, Lewis S. Bergstrener, Joseph Ball, 
James Carrer, John Chenrock, Howard M. Coleman, 
Albert Chapman, Albert P. Curry William Charrill, 
Nelson Crockett, Elliot A. Cobb, Alonzo Corser, Henry 
R. Carrer, Levi Close, Miles Duesler, John J. Duesler, 
Francis Davis, George G. Deitrich, Uriah M. Eckhart, 
Martin J. Ford, Benjamin F. Fulkerson, Arthur Franklin, 
John Grubb William H. Goodson, Francis Gale, Henry 
Gale, John Gleason, Henry Gerring, George H. Gale, 
Charles Gale, Charles Haler, Henry J. Hayward Henry 
Hanney, Theopholis P. Howard, William Hart man, 
Samuel Henney, William J. Hanson, William Hyde, 
Dexter R. Jones, Rollin Jacoy, Henry C. James, Thomas 
A. Kunkel, Jesse Kline, William E. Miller, John Moyer, 
Charles Mathis, Mandus Mohr, Aretas Miller, James G. 
Millen, David McCormick, James C. Moon, George W 
Orning, John Peightle, Silas P. Riley, Eli as Smith, 
William Stegman, Samuel Smith, Elias Stephens, Dewalt 
J. Swander, James Slinker, Jonas Shoemaker, William E. 
Sheffield, James Sowards, William Sowards, Ashael P. 
Smith, Ross C. Treamain, Amaziah Thorp, George W. 
Todd, Charles H. Welch, Eli C. Wright, George O. 
Winters, Jefferson Wright, Moses P. Wilt, Russell S. 
Williams. Benjamin Zimmerman, Martin Kinney, 
Samuel Hoofnagle, Francis A. Pixlev, Moses H. Smith, 
James H. Bitting, Sylvester Hevelone, Martin Lauden- 
schlager, William M. Giles, James J. Null, Milton 
Crockett, Edward Farnsworth, John Norris, Robert Otis, 
John Ryan. 



William Clinton, Joseph Hewitt. 

Private Francis Pixley. 

Private William Clinton. 

Private William Upton. 



The Fifty-seventh regiment Ohio Vol- 
unteer Infantry was organized at Camp 
Vance, near Findlay, in Hancock county, 
Ohio, under authority of Governor Dennison, 
given September 14, 1861. Before its 
organization was completed the regiment, on 
the 22d of January, 1862, moved to Camp 
Chase, where its organization was 
completed, on February 10, 1862. It 
numbered, when mustered in, nine hundred 
and fifty six men, and thirty-eight 
commissioned officers. 

Sandusky county furnished a number of 
men for different companies of the Fifty- 
seventh, whose services cannot be properly 
known and appreciated without a brief 
sketch of the services of the whole regiment. 

On the 18th of February, 1862, the Fifty- 
seventh was ordered to report at Fort 
Donelson, On its way, and while at 
Smithland, Kentucky, the order was 
changed, and it consequently reported at 
Paducah, Kentucky. Here it was assigned to 
the Third Brigade, Fifth Division of the 
Army of the Tennessee. Thence it was 
moved, by the steamer Continental to Fort 
Henry, arriving there on the 9th of March, 
1862. From Fort Henry it moved to 
Savannah, Tennessee, arriving there on the 
11th of March. After participating in an 
ineffectual attempt to strike the Memphis 
and Charleston railroad at Iuka, Mississippi, 
they returned 

and went to Pittsburg Landing, where they 
arrived on the 16th of March. Here the Fifth 
Division was employed in reconnoitering 
towards Pea Ridge, and also towards 
Corinth. On the 19th it went into camp at 
Shiloh Chapel, three miles south of the 
Landing. On the 1st of April the regiment in 
company with other troops and two 
gunboats, went to Eastport, Mississippi, 
about thirty miles from the Landing. The 
Fifty-seventh was on the foremost transport. 
The boats shelled the woods and towns along 
the way, but elicited no reply. Passing up as 
far as Chickasaw, Alabama, they there 
shelled the town and the rebel works, but the 
enemy had left, and the Fifty-seventh was 
ordered to debark and scout the surrounding 
hills and villages. In this scouting the 
regiment captured a few prisoners, men and 
boys, and then returned to camp. 

So much had the regiment suffered from 
sickness, that on the morning of the 6th of 
April there were but four hundred and fifty 
men for duty. Being posted with the right 
resting on the Corinth road immediately 
south of the church, it was among the first to 
meet the advance of the rebel forces. About 
six o'clock A. M., of the 6th of April, 1862, 
the Fifty-seventh formed and advanced until 
it reached the little eminence upon which 
Shiloh church stood. It held this position 
until ten o'clock, and successfully withstood 
the attack of the Mississippi Rifles, Crescent 
Guards from New Orleans, and the 
Fourteenth Tennessee, from Memphis. It was 
then ordered to fall back upon the Purdy and 
Hamburg road, which it did in good order. 
The Union line was pressed back three- 
quarters of a mile further. In three days 
fighting in and around Shiloh, the Fifty- 
seventh lost twenty-seven killed and one 
hundred and fifty were wounded (sixteen 
mortally), and ten captured. The regiment 
remained in 



camp at Shiloh Church until the 29th of 
April, and was engaged in drilling and 
preparing for the coming campaign. On the 
29th the regiment started for Corinth, and 
did good service until the rebels evacuated 
that place. It did good fighting at camps Six 
and Seven, and at the Russell House was 
warmly engaged. While advancing on 
Corinth the Fifty-seventh was assigned to 
the First brigade of the Fifth division. After 
various services in repairing roads and 
guarding bridges, the regiment, on the 12th 
of November, was assigned to the First 
brigade of the First, division of the Fifteenth 
Army Corps. During the stay at Memphis the 
regiment was drilled thoroughly in the 
skirmish drill and bayonet exercise. 

The Fifty-seventh was part of a con- 
siderable force sent against General Price on 
the Tallahatchie River near Wyatt, in 
Mississippi, which place it reached on the 2d 
of December, and finding the place 
evacuated the march was continued towards 

On the 9th of December the Fifteenth 
Corps returned to Memphis, where it arrived 
on the 13th. Here the Fifty-seventh was 
strengthened by receiving one hundred and 
eighteen volunteers and two hundred and 
five drafted men, which made the aggregate 
force six hundred and fifty men. Thence the 
regiment next moved, with the Fifteenth 
Army Corps, down the Mississippi, and 
reached Young's Point on the 26th of 
December. The corps next moved up the 
Yazoo River and disembarked at Sidney 
Johnson's plantation; marched thence to 
Chickasaw Bayou, where the corps, in trying 
to effect a crossing, was for five days 
engaged with the enemy. In this action the 
Fifty-seventh lost thirty-seven killed and 
On the 2d of January, 1863, the corps 

moved down the Yazoo to the Mississippi, 
and up the Mississippi to White River, and 
up the latter river to the cut-off, and through 
the cut-off into the Arkansas, and up the 
Arkansas to Arkansas Post, disembarking 
there on the 10th of January, 1863. 

The Fifty-seventh led the brigade in the 
charge and assault of Fort Henderson, where, 
after three days hard fighting, the enemy 
surrendered. In this action the regiment lost 
in killed and wounded, thirty-seven men. 
The regiment then moved back towards 
Vicksburg, disembarking at Young's Point 
on the 21st of January, 1863, and went to 
work on the canal. The regiment advanced 
upon Vicksburg, participating in the battles 
of Raymond, Champion Hill, and Black 
River, and reached the works around 
Vicksburg on the 18th of May, and partic- 
ipated in the general assault on the 19th, and 
after considerable hard fighting, was within 
seventy yards of the rebel line when, at 2 
o'clock of the morning of the 10th, the entire 
brigade was withdrawn to a position three 
hundred yards in the rear of the line of 
fortifications. Excepting a short time spent 
in reconnoitering between the Big Black and 
Yazoo Rivers, the regiment was in service in 
the trenches or on picket duty, until the sur- 
render of Vicksburg. 

After much hard service, on the 1st of 
January, 1864, it reenlisted in the Fifteenth 
Army Corps. After spending a furlough of 
thirty days at home among friends, the 
regiment rendezvoused at Camp Chase with 
two hundred and seven recruits. On the 29th 
of March, 1864, it arrived at Nashville, and 
was there detained until the 4th of April 
when it marched to Larkinsville, Alabama, 
where, on the 17th of April, it rejoined its 
brigade. On the 1st of May it moved with the 
corps in the Atlanta campaign, arriving 



in the vicinity of Chattanooga on the 6th, 
and advanced through Snake Creek Gap to 
Resaca, where it participated in the battle at 
that place, on the 13th and 14th of May, 
1864. This was one of the most severe 
contests in which the regiment was engaged, 
and its loss was fifty-seven killed and 
wounded. It joined in the pursuit of the 
enemy, who made a stand at Dallas, where 
fighting continued for three days. The 
regiment here lost fifteen men. After several 
days skirmishing, the regiment, on the 27th 
of June,, participated in an assault on the 
enemy's lines at Kennesaw. In this 
engagement it lost fifty-seven men in killed 
and wounded. 

From Atlanta the regiment was with 
Sherman's army, doing good service and 
enduring much hardship, until it reached 
Richmond byway of Petersburg. Thence it 
passed to Washington city and was in the 
grand review there on the 24th of May, 
1865; was ordered thence to Louisville, 
Kentucky, where it arrived on the 7th of 
June. On the 14th of June it was mustered 
out and paid at Camp Chase and finally 
discharged from the service. 

When the Fifty-seventh was first organ- 
ized the regimental officers were: Colonel 
William Mungen, Lieutenant Colonel 
William Mungen, Major Silas B. Walker, 
Surgeon John P. Haggett. There were many 
promotions and changes in rank and date of 
rank of these officers which are here 

The following list shows the men of 
Sandusky county who volunteered and 
served with the Fifty-seventh regiment and 
the companies to which they belonged. 



Captain Samuel R. Mott. 

First Lieutenant John W. Underwood. 

Second Lieutenant John Doncyson. 


Sergeant George Bush. 

Sergeant David W. Baker. 
Sergeant David C. Edmiston. 
Sergeant Anthony Bentler. 
Corporal Hamilton Granville. 
Corporal Israel W. Giberson. 
Corporal Franklin Burden. 
Corporal Henry Bruntuter. 
Corporal David Clenger. 
Corporal Francis Ganther. 
Corporal William H. Kellison. 
Corporal John Schlegel. 
Musician John M. Lanning. 
Musician John T. Schawn. 
Teamster Andrew L. Donnelly. 


George Casanova, Jacob Frank, Anthony Frees, 
Frederick Heltwein, Joseph Haberstock, Henry Link, 
Andrew Martine, John Malliet, Henry Winnes, Griffith 
F. Wilson, George Shriner, Anthony Rendlez, David 
Ohlinger, William P. Ayres. 



Captain Alva S. Skilton. 

First Lieutenant George T. Blystone. 

Second Lieutenant Edward E. Root. 


Sergeant Marcellus B. Dickey. 
Sergeant Henry H. Swisher. 
Sergeant Alexander K. Sipes. 
Sergeant Peter N. Gaberel. 
Sergeant William Berwick. 
Corporal Lewis Winemiller. 
Corporal William H. Pelton. 
Corporal Alonzo Blackson. 
Corporal William H. Green. 
Corporal David T. Bull. 
Corporal James Hathaway. 
Corporal Charles Hathaway. 
Corporal John Byers. 
Musician Sidney D. Briggs. 


William Brown, Daniel Bover, Peter Boyer, Moses 
Courchune, Thomas Current, John Current, John P. 
Franks, William King, John Matthews, John Mallett, 
Patrick Madigan, Frederick Picker, Lewis Peter, Edgar 
Peter, Frank Snope, Adam Sorg, Levi Smith, John W. 



Captain Daniel N. Strayer. 
First Lieutenant John A. Smith. 
Second Lieutenant Lucius Call. 


Sergeant William M. Newell. 
Sergeant Thomas B. McCormick. 



Sergeant Stephen H. Carey. 
Sergeant George M. Berger. 
Sergeant James R. Wilson. 
Corporal Robert J. Hemden. 
Corporal Jesse Meranda. 
Corporal William B. Carl. 
Corporal James R. McCormick. 
Corporal Bernard Poorman. 
Corporal Philip Hank. 
Corporal Henry Whitney. 
Corporal Henry Schultz. 
Musician Josephus Dodd. 
Musician John Botkin. 


Levi Binkley, Melancthon Binkley, Eugene A. 
Chapman, Ernst Dippman, James Hearl, Emanuel 
Lyburger, Daniel McMahon, James McMahon, Jacob 
Miniries, Michael Norton, Albert Overmier, William 
Poorman, Thomas Poorman, George S. Royce, Samuel 
Shannon, Samuel A. Shroud. 



Edgar Peter, Levi Smith, Perry Russell, John Molliett, 
William O'Neil, Tarleton Schultz, Frank Swope, Daniel 
Boyer, Peter Boyer, Thomas Current, John P. Franks, 
John Matthews. 



Henry E. Charrs, Edwin Wrenn, George Wagerman, 

Philip Harck. 


Although Sandusky county had furnished 
quite liberally of her brave and patriotic men 
to the Eighth, the Twenty-fifth, Forty-ninth, 
and Fifty-seventh regiments of volunteer 
infantry, all of which were organized in 
other counties, and also to the naval, 
artillery and cavalry service, and although 
these different organizations attracted those 
most ready and eager to go, there remained 
in the county many patriotic men whose 
business, family ties, or some particular 
temporary reasons held them back. But as 
the progress of events developed the dangers 
which environed the Nation and threatened 
more alarmingly the existence of the Union, 
it became evident that another appeal must 
be made to the men of the county, and more 

fices offered to save the country's flag from 
disgrace and to rescue the Constitution from 
the hands of traitors. These grave 
apprehensions for the Nation's existence 
brought out that state of feeling which in- 
duced the organization of the 


The first formal public notice of such an 
undertaking appeared in the Fremont Journal 
of October 4, 1861. It was an editorial 
mention that Hon. R. P. Buckland, of 
Fremont, had received orders from Governor 
Dennison, dated October 2, 1861, to raise 
regiment number seventy-two, and establish 
Camp Croghan in Fremont, of which he had 
been commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel. 
Isaac M. Keeler, then editor of the journal, 
made an appeal to the people to come 
forward and help to fill and organize the 
proposed regiment, and send it forward 
promptly to sustain the Constitution and the 

The next issue of the paper, October 11, 
1861, contained a call over the signature of 
Colonel Buckland. He reminded the men of 
Sandusky county that Kentuckians fought for 
us at Fort Stephenson, and that Kentucky 
was now appealing for help from us to drive 
back the invading enemies of the 
Constitution and of liberty; of the 
obligations we owed them and to the cause 
of constitutional liberty, and urged men to 
enlist and fill up the regiment as soon as 
possible, and march to the aid of brothers 
and fathers who had preceded them to the 
scenes of conflict and danger, and assist in 
rescuing them from impending danger and 

On the 6th of December it was announced 
through the press that recruiting for the 
Seventy-second was progressing 

satisfactorily. At that date company A, 
Captain C. G. Eaton, of Clyde, Ohio, had 
eighty-four men; Company B, Captain 
George Raymond, First Lieutenant Henry 



W. Buckland, Second Lieutenant William T. 
Fisher — had eighty-three men; company F, — 
Captain S. A. J. Snyder, First Lieutenant 
Jacob Snyder, Second Lieutenant Daniel 
Huffman — had eighty-four men; that two 
hundred Enfield rifles for the flanking 
companies, A and B, had been received at 

On the 19th of December, 1861, the cit- 
izens of Fremont presented Colonel R. P. 
Buckland with a beautiful and trusty sword, 
which he still retains and treasures with 
great care. 

On the 10th of December, 1861, the 
citizens of Clyde presented a sword to 
Captain C. G. Eaton, with an appropriate 
address, to which Captain Eaton responded 
in a short address, full of patriotism and 
eliciting hearty applause. 

On Friday, the 17th day of January, 1862, 
it was announced that the Seventy-second 
regiment was full and formed, and that the 
captains and lieutenants were as follows: 


(One hundred men.) 


Captain G. C. Eaton. 

First Lieutenant W. H. Gifford. 

Second Lieutenant S. Russell. 


(Eighty-six men.) 


Captain George Raymond, 

First Lieutenant Henry W. Buckland. 

Second Lieutenant W. J. Fisher. 


(Ninety men.) 


Captain S. A. J. Snyder. 

First Lieutenant Jacob Snyder. 

Second Lieutenant D. W. Huffman. 


(Eighty-six men.) 


Captain Andrew Nuhfer. 
First Lieutenant M. A. Fowler. 
Second Lieutenant Jesse J. Cook. 


(Eighty-two men.) 


Captain J. H. Blinn. 

First Lieutenant C. D. Dennis. 

Second Lieutenant W. A. Strong. 


(Eighty-five men.) 


Captain Leroy Moore. 
First Lieutenant A. H. Rice. 
Second Lieutenant J. B. Gilmore. 


(One hundred men.) 


Captain T. C. Fernald. 
First Lieutenant J. Fernald. 
Second Lieutenant J. Poyer. 


(Eighty-four men.) 
Captain Michael Weigstein. 
First Lieutenant A. Young. 
Second Lieutenant A. Kline. 


(Eighty-five men.) 


Captain Jacob Fickes. 
First Lieutenant A. Bates. 
Second Lieutenant J. W. Donnell. 


(Eighty-one men.) 


Captain S. A. Barron. 

First Lieutenant W. C. Biddle. 

Second Lieutenant T. W. Egbert. 

It was at the same time also announced that 
the regiment would be armed with Minnie 
rifles, which were then daily expected at 


On Friday, January 17, 1862, it was 
announced that the next day, Saturday the 
18th, would be a lively day at Camp 
Croghan. A picnic for the soldiers had been 
prepared by the ladies of Fremont and 
vicinity, to be served out to them at 12 
o'clock of that day. There was 



also notice that on the same day at 2 o'clock 
P. M., a beautiful regimental color, worked 
by the ladies, would be presented to the 
regiment by Homer Everett, on behalf of the 
ladies, and to Captain Weigstein's company 
(German) through the Rev. Henry Lang, a 
beautiful National silk flag, thus completing 
the stand of colors for the regiment. 

The picnic and flag presentation took place 
according to announcement, and the 
following extracts from the Sandusky 
County Democrat, published on Friday, the 
24th day of January, 1862, will show what 
was done and the manner of the ceremonies 
on that occasion. These extracts will also 
awaken in the minds of the surviving 
soldiers of the Seventy-second regiment, and 
of the men and women who participated in 
the ceremonies, many pleasing and many sad 
thoughts of persons and events connected 
with the regiment and the men who went out 
with it. 


The presentation of a stand of colors to the Seventy- 
second Regiment took place at Camp Croghan on 
Saturday last, and was witnessed by a large number of 
citizens from town and country. The day was very 
favorable, and the occasion was one of deep and heart- 
felt interest to all, but more especially to the soldiers, 
their families, sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers, and 
sweethearts, who there greeted each other with words of 
counsel, encouragement, and affection, while their 
hearts were stirred by those feelings and anxieties which 
none but they can know. 

Through the enterprising liberality of the ladies of 
Fremont, a picnic dinner was served up at 12 o'clock, of 
which the soldiers partook with a hearty relish. They 
will never forget the kindness of the ladies, as evinced 
in this as well as other acts intended to promote their 

After dinner, the chaplain of the regiment, Rev. Mr. 
Poe, assisted by Rev. Messrs. Bushnell, Lang, and 
Phelps, distributed to each officer and private in the 
regiment, a copy of the Testament and Psalms. Prayer 
was then offered by Rev. Mr. Bushnell. Horner Everett, 
Esq., on behalf of the ladies, then presented the 
regimental flag — a splendid one — prefacing the 
presentation by the following address, for 

a report of which, as well as the other addresses which 
follow, we are indebted to Mr. J. Burgner, teacher of the 
Fremont high school: 


"COLONEL BUCKLAND:— The ladies of Fremont 
have observed your untiring energy and labor, and your 
exertions in enlisting and organizing the Seventy-second 
regiment — the Fort Stephenson regiment. They are 
always patriotic, always quick to observe merit; and 
they have observed, sir, how you have proved yourself 
willing to give up, for a time at least, the enjoyments of 
an ample competence, a pleasant home, a dear family, 
and all the enjoyments of social life amongst us, and 
exchange them for the labors, the trials, and the dangers 
of a command like yours. They have observed, sir, how, 
when our county had sent to the service Captains 
Till ot son, Haynes, Crowell, Bartlett, and Amsden, 
furnished with men for the service, and had furnished 
many to other commands to fight the battles of this 
country, that when more help was called for, you came 
forward, and by the exertion of your widely extended 
personal influence, your personal efforts, your zeal, your 
stirring appeal to the hearts and patriotism of the people, 
which touched in them a deeper chord than bad been 
touched before, you impelled them to come forward and 
enroll themselves under your command, and they have 
observed that, under difficulties which would have 
prevented others from succeeding, by your perseverance 
the Seventy-second regiment is formed, and now ready 
for the field of action. Observing all these merits in you, 
they have determined to give proof of their appreciation 
and approval of these virtues, and to that end they have 
determined to present you with such proof as may be 
ever present to you and your command, reminding you, 
and stimulating you to high and noble action; and, sir, as 
a means of this expression on their part, have bid me 
present to you this beautiful regimental banner. 

"You will see, sir, upon its azure field, that beautiful, 
rich likeness of the soaring eagle, and that motto, 'The 
Seventy-second, Fort Stephenson regiment; and, sir, it is 
an apt and beautiful inscription. Let the one be ever 
suggestive to you and to the noble men under your 
command, of fearless and lofty sentiments; while the 
other, by its historic recollections and associations, will 
inspire you to emulate, in deeds of valor and daring, the. 
cherished hero of Fort Stephenson. Sir, the ladies, in 
presenting this to you, would have me say: 'Men of the 
Seventy-second regiment, of Fort Stephenson, officers, 
privates, and all: The ladies of Fremont have not been 
inattentive to your merits. They know well that every 
one of you has sacrificed much and will suffer much in 
the cause of our country; and they wish me to assure 
you, each and all, that these sacrifices, these labors on 
the altar of the country, are seen and appreciated by 
them, and will be remembered, too.' 



"Colonel Buckland, in your regiment are those of 
extended relations amongst us. Fathers and brothers, 
sisters, wives, and lovers, who refused and could not 
consent that their dear ones should go forward under any 
other commander, relying upon your justice, your 
courage, your kindness, and your reputation for all the 
qualities that fit you for the command, have consented 
that under you they may go and fight for the restoration 
of the Government that our fathers gave us, over the 
rebellious territory. 

"Sir, what higher expression of approbation of your 
character could we give? What greater responsibility, 
sir, could you receive? Your regiment, sir, is composed 
of those who, by the ties of kindred, acquaintance- 
father, brother, sister, wife-extends to every heart and 
hearthstone throughout our county. Not only so, but 
many of the other counties adjoining, and in distant 
portions of the State. More than this, your regiment 
embraces men who have come from Germany, from 
France, from Ireland, and perhaps from other foreign 
lands, whose connections and sympathies stretch across 
the wide Atlantic itself. And, sir, the happiness of all 
this connection, by this voluntary act on the part of our 
people, is, for a great measure, committed to your 
hands; and these sympathies and sentiments on the part 
of the ladies, permit me to assure you, are entertained by 
all the people as far as the Seventy-second regiment is 

"Take, then, that beautiful banner; and the ladies bid 
me say that it is presented to you and to all the members 
of the Seventy-second regiment; and when you go 
hence, if it shall be your fortune to do service, remember 
that the sympathies of all this people will follow you, 
and let that banner always be speaking to you of their 
happiness and your responsibilities. Let it be a beacon 
light, an assurance of the affection, respect, and 
confidence of the people who have given all these dear 
ones into your hands with such implicit confidence and 
trust. And when you are brought upon the soil of the 
enemies of this Government, whether upon the march, or 
in camp, or in the front of battle, remember, whenever 
that banner is unfurled, that the cords of affection in 
your regiment reach back to us; and that every heart in 
Sandusky county will thrill with the fortune of the Sev- 
enty-second regiment; and if it be its fate to be injured 
and to fall, every household in Sandusky county will 
shed a tear over its loss. 

"Colonel Buckland, take this banner, and remember 
that the prayers of this extended connection will follow 
you through every trial, every day and every moment 
while you are in the service of the country, for your own 
welfare, and the welfare, safety, and honor of the 
Seventy-second, Fort Stephenson Regiment." 


The flag of the German company, the gift of the 
German ladies of Fremont, was next presented to 

the regiment by Rev. H. Lang, who spoke as follows: 

"COLONEL BUCKLAND: It has fallen to my lot to 
present you this day, this standard, bearing the National 
colors. It was in the first instance the gift of the German 
ladies of Fremont to the German company of your 
regiment. In behalf of those ladies, and also of that 
German company, I bequeath it to you and your 
regiment, the noble band of patriots whom you have 
gathered around you to assist in fighting the battles of 
your country. You will perceive, sir, that it is a true 
pattern of the old noble ensign of '76; and I believe that 
the patriotism of those who bequeath it, as well as those 
who receive it, is of the old stamp of '76. The German 
company of your regiment, Colonel, will take care that 
not a leaf of the laurels of the German revolutionary 
heroes shall be disgraced by their cowardice, their 
treachery, or their want of bravery. I am proud, sir, of 
my German countrymen, who have, al lover the land, 
rushed to the rescue. You will remember Si gel, 
Blencker, Willich, and other noble German patriots. You 
will expect bravery from this company as well as from 
the rest of your regiment, and be assured, sir, you may 
depend upon them as long as you lead them to battle for 
the Constitution and the Union. The officers of the 
German company of your regiment have seen severe 
military service in Mexico. They have smelt Southern 
powder once before, and they are going to try it again. 
They will stand by your side in every contest. Give them 
an opportunity, sir, and they will show themselves 
worthy of your trust. 

"Accept then, this Star Spangled Banner; bear it on to 
victory and triumph; and be assured, sir, that my prayers 
and the prayers of this whole community shall follow 
you to the field of danger and honor; and, if called into 
actual service, see to it that not one star of this glorious 
constellation shall fall under the feet of those that have 
forgotten that they who take the sword shall perish with 
the sword. May. you return with this flag after glorious 
deeds of military honor, and may history inscribe upon 
its broad stripes: 'The Ohio Seventy-second was as true 
as the patriots of '76.' God speed you, sir, and let this be 
the war cry in your regiment: ' The sword of God and 
our country." 

On account of the throng it was impossible to 
obtain a verbatim report of 


"I tender my heartfelt thanks to you, the noble donors 
of these flags, and also the thanks of the Seventy-second 
regiment, which I have the honor to represent; and I 
know that I express not only my own feeling, but the 
feelings of the officers and men under my command, 
when I say to you that, so far as bravery and courage 
will do it, we have pledged ourselves here today to 
sustain the honor of the flags which you have done us 
the honor to present to us. 



I heartily concur in the remarks made by my friend, 
Lang, in behalf of my German fellow-soldiers. It is true 
that incidents are recorded everywhere in the history of 
this country, in every war, proving that the Germans 
have been among the bravest, most loyal, and patriotic 
of our countrymen. They were such during the 
Revolution, and in the present war we have a Sigel, a 
Blencker, and a host of German patriots; and wherever 
the fight has been the hottest, there have been our 
German fellow-countrymen; and nobly have they 
sustained the German character by their courage and 
patriotism. They are friends of liberty the world over, 
and when they are fighting under the stars and stripes, 
they are fighting under the emblem of liberty known 
wherever civilization has made any headway. They are 
here now, and we rely upon those in our regiment, as 
well as in others, to help sustain the honor of the 
regiment and the honor of the colors you have this day 
presented to us. I am well aware of the great responsi- 
bility I myself have assumed as colonel of this regiment; 
and I feel that I am not competent to the task; not so 
well qualified for the position as I wish I were. But all I 
can say in reply to that is, that I consented to supply that 
place, and that I will devote all my energies and 
abilities, whatever they may be, to advance the interests, 
the comforts, and the glories of the Seventy-second 
regiment. It is perhaps the greatest undertaking of my 
life, and I have pledged myself and my all to sustain the 
honor of this regiment. More than this I cannot do. I 
know it is one thing to propose what we will do, and 
another thing to accomplish that promise when the day 
of trial comes; and it would be useless for me to detain 
you here today with any promises. All I have to say is, 
look to these praying men who are surrounding me, and 
ask yourselves if you have any fears of the result. I say 
no! you cannot. I believe, yes I have full confidence, 
that we shall some day return marching under these 
glorious banners; and when you come to examine them 
you will not find anywhere on them a single stain of 
dishonor. However much they may be shattered and 
torn, they will be untarnished so far as honor is 
concerned. If I shall be mistaken, then I shall consider 
that my efforts have been in vain; but I have no fears, so 
far as the officers and men under me are concerned. 
When they bear in mind by whose influence these 
banners have been conferred today, they will be 
prompted to deeds of bravery, and the presence of these 
flags will have an influence on every act and every duty 
which shall be performed by the Seventy-second reg- 
iment. Whenever they go into the battlefield and behold 
these banners, the glorious stars and stripes under which 
our fathers gained their independence, and under which 
our men are now in the field fighting for the honor and 
glory of this country- 1 say whenever they go into battle 
under these banners, they will go in with a shout, 
remembering the beauti- 

ful donors, and be encouraged to acts of heroism by the 
recollection that they are fighting not only for 
themselves and the regiment, but for the honor of the 
ladies who have presented these banners to them. 
Therefore, ladies, I say I have no fear but that when 
these banners are returned to you, which I hope they will 
be, they will be returned covered with honor, and that 
there will be no spot of dishonor anywhere within their 

"Mr. Everett has referred particularly to the part I 
have taken in getting tip this regiment. I wish in reply to 
that barely to remark that I owe very much to the 
officers and men who have taken hold with me and 
worked so faithfully and energetically in this cause. I do 
not wish to assume to myself the whole honor of getting 
up the Seventy-second regiment; it does not belong to 
me. I only say I have done what I could, and I will give 
honor to those who have done what they could. We have 
raised a regiment where it was thought none could be 
raised. It has been well remarked that many of these men 
have left families and kindred at home. They have made 
greater sacrifices than I have made. Some can not well 
leave their families; and I wish now on this occasion to 
ask you to look well to the families of the men who have 
assembled here to do battle for our country and for your 
benefit. In our absence let them not suffer for want of 
the necessaries of life. I will not detain you longer, but 
will return you the heartfelt thanks of the whole 
regiment for these beautiful flags. 

"And now, fellow soldiers! Attention battalion! I 
propose that the whole battalion give the donors three 
hearty cheers. " (Cheers by the regiment.) 

In the afternoon of Friday, the 24th of January, 
1862, the Seventy-second left Camp Croghan, 
and travelled by railroad to Clyde, Ohio, and 
thence by the same conveyance to Camp Chase. 

The soldiers were appa