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John Bartle


Information comes from the files of the Campbell Co Historical Society & an article by Margaret S Hartman published in the Falmouth Outlook 11 Aug 1978, page 10

Captain John Bartle was born 2 Apr 1745 in New York City, fought in the Revolutionary War and was wounded leading his company of New York militia against General Burgoyne's redcoats at the battle of Freeman's Farm, New York in 1777.  While a captain of Continental troops, he fell into Iroquois hands near Rome, New York in 1778 and was traded off from tribe to tribe until he was dragged at the end of a rope as far west as Lake Superior.  His captivity lasted five years until a British colonel lent him 70 guineas (about $5300), the money demanded by the Indians for his release. 

"I entered the service of the United States as a volunteer on the 1st day of November 1875 and was elected Captain of the company at what was called "bloody-pond" and marched from there to Saratoga and there the army stood.  Gen Gates had the command and there we took John Burgoyne, British general who surrendered to the American forces at Saratoga. In the October 1877 I was wounded in the thigh and we went into winter quarters at Alban. Sometime in the spring of 1778 Col Willet requested me to go with him and take my company with me on an expedition against a fort on Lake Ontario.  We went and destroyed the fort.  On our return I was taken prisoner by the Indians at a place called Wood Creek, near Rome, New York.  They transferred me from tribe to tribe for five years.  They took me to Lake Superior and I was liberated by Col Campbell of the 56th regiment then stationed at Niagara. I then returned to my father's house in New York.  I once knew Gen George Washington and many of the heroes of the revolution."

In the fall of 1789 he migrated to Maysville KY with a boat load of merchandise. From Maysville he went on to Lexington and opened a merchant's store. In the spring of 1790 he then relocated his business the next year to Losantiville in Cincinnati, where he built that town's first shingled house and sold provisions to the army. It was here that he married his first wife but her name is not known. He married (2) Lydia Mould (daughter of Walter) 1 Mar 1797 in Maysville; married (3) Rachel Writtenhouse (widow of Edmond) 2 Dec 1808 in Newport.  Bartle had hired an agent to locate James Welch in an effort to purchase the land on the west side of the Licking River, present day Covington, but Thomas Kennedy found him first and bought the land.

Bartle then purchased four lots at Newport in 1791.  He built his home on Second Street, at the southeast corner of Central-then Cabot Avenue.  It would have been here that the first child born in Newport, his daughter Eliza, was delivered in 1791 or 1792.  She died and her next sister took that name in 1793. 

Children of John Bartle and wife

1. Eliza Bartle b&d 1791 in Newport
2. Eliza Bartle b-1793 in Newport; d-1876 in Campbell Co; m-Elijah Pierce 20 Jan 1809 in Cincinnati
3. John James Flournoy Bartle b-Aug 1801 in Newport; d-Sep 1882 in Campbell Co; m-Lavina Morin 22 Mar 1825 in Campbell Co; apprenticed to Joseph Todd in 1809 to learn the trade of a carpenter and house joiner; apprenticed to Elijah Pierce in 1818 to learn the same business

Bartle established Newport's first store and continued operating his original one near Ft. Washington in Cincinnati. On November 9, 1793, the first edition of The Centinel of the North Western Territory came out, published by William Maxwell.  John Bartle was the agent for taking subscriptions at Newport and he acted in this capacity until December 7, 1794.

John Bartle's Deeds

By 1794 Bartle was operating a ferry to Cincinnati, but James Taylor filed suit in the nearest court at Limestone, against him.  Taylor won the judgment affirming the Taylor's exclusive right to transport passengers across the Ohio. Bartle was a wealthy and sophisticated Continental veteran who commanded widespread respect.

Bartle resettled in the Indiana Territory in 1801, but came back to Newport after a few years.  His wife Rachel in June 1821 received a license to keep a tavern at her home in Newport but in Nov 1821 she died. In 1830 John was living with his son in Campbell County By 1838 he was living with his daughter Eliza Pierce in Cincinnati and on 24 Dec 1838 he visited Dr Daniel Drake in the city and recounted his recollections of the settlement and was present at the Presbyterian celebration on the 26th. Despite the chill winds and ice bound river, he sat at the side of Dr. Drake. He lived with his daughter until his death, 9 Dec 1839 and was buried in the Presbyterian Church Yard at Fourth & Race.

John Bartle's Pension

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