At a meeting of the Liberty men of Butler County on the 20th of September, 1847, Doctor W.H. SCOBEY was placed in the chair and John THOMAS appointed secretary. It was resolved that they regarded the Missouri Compromise as a wicked sacrifice of principle, and that they looked on the proposition of Secretary BUCHANAN to extend that compromise as a base treachery of the principles of liberty, and the man as a fit tool for the aristocracy of the South.
Subserviency to the slave-holding aristocracy of the south ruled, they declared, even to the legislative bodies of the free States, and they desired to vote for men who would stand firm to truth in a time of need.
The number of buildings erected in Hamilton for the four years ending in 1849 was as follows: 1846, 45; 1847, 43; 1848, 85; and 1849, 130.
Ludwick BETZ, auditor of Butler County, died in September, 1847. Mr. BETZ was an honest, upright citizen and a faithful public officer.
Pursuant to previous notice, a large meeting of the Germans of the towns of Hamilton and Rossville, together with many English-speaking citizens, was held at the court-house on Friday evening, April 14, 1848, for the purpose of expressing their sympathy for the gallant French who had just cast off the yoke of despotism and proclaimed republicanism in France. The meeting was organized by electing John W. SOHN president; William BECKETT, vice-president; John BAUGHMAN and Franklin STOKES, secretaries.
A committee of six was appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting in regard to the movements then making throughout Europe to establish free governments, consisting of the following gentleman: W.C. HOWELLS, T.E. LEMOND, Thomas REED, C. HIPP, P. RIFE, R. FISHER.
Doctor FISHER addressed the meeting in the German language, and his remarks were received with applause by the German portion of the audience.
Mr. HIPP, form the German portion of the committee, reported a series of resolutions, which were adopted with enthusiasm, and Mr. HOWELLS reported a set of resolutions which unanimously adopted.
They hailed with the most unfeigned delight the great movement in human progress made by France in her late revolution and change of government, and had abiding confidence in the success of her effort to free herself.
A committee of four was appointed to communicate these proceedings to our minister in France, Mr. RUSH. The following gentlemen were appointed the committee: Doctor A. FISHER, John W. SOHN, John B. WELLER, and W.C. HOWELLS.
The president of the meeting was authorized to appoint a committee to raise funds to aid the movements in progress in Germany towards the establishment of a republican government.
The Germans of Hamilton and Rossville also held a meeting at the court-house on the 30th of April, 1847, a the early candle-light, to adopt measures for the relief of the suffering and destitute Germans and the families of the political prisoners of that country. Dr. CIOLINA, a gentleman who had, according to his own account, been for many years a physician to crowned heads in Europe, addressed the meeting.
The proprietors of the omnibus which had in 1848 lately been established between Hamilton and Cincinnati had extended the line on to Eaton. They had put a large and commodious vehicle on the road between this place and Eaton, and took passengers through from that point to Cincinnati without any night travel. No railroads were yet in existence. The terms of fare from Eaton south per omnibus to Camden, 25 cents; Somerville, 37 ½ cents; Hamilton, 75 cents; from Hamilton to Cincinnati, 50 cents, making the fare through to Cincinnati $1.25.
The Junto of Enquiry, at its regular meeting in the school-house in Rossville, on Thursday evening, January 3, 1850, discussed the propriety of abolishing the credit system in all business transactions. Henry TRABER was the secretary.
It was some years after the beginning of telegraphing before any attempt was made to connect Hamilton with the outside world. Henry O'REILLY, still living the great old age in the city of New York, was the principal man in the combination that first reached this place. Work was begun in 1849, and the line from this place to Cincinnati was to be completed by the 20th, or at the farthest the 25th of December. Messrs. KENT and Co. informed the editors of the Telegraph that the posts would all be laid down in three or four days after November 29th, by which time they would have an effective force at work setting them. The route was by Springfield, Carthage, and Mount Auburn. Operations had begun also on the Cincinnati and St. Louis line, west of Hamilton, in the neighborhood of Darrtown. The line went by Oxford, Connersville, Indianapolis, Terre Haute, etc. The business would pass over the Hamilton line to Cincinnati, thus greatly enhancing the value of the stock. Town thousand miles of telegraph lines were now in actual operation in Ohio. Of these 1,400 belong to what called the Morse, and 600 to the O'Reilly lines.
The agents of the O'Reilly telegraph line published a card in the papers, in which he said their company had already in operation from the lakes to Dayton (connecting with the National Road and Wabash and Miami Valley towns) a line now extended through Germantown, Middletown, and Hamilton, to Cincinnati, which would be completed in a few weeks. "An office has been secured at Middletown by the requisite subscription of stock, and undoubtedly will be at Germantown. At Hamilton an office will also be opened, giving direct communication with every point upon this extensive line and connecting at all its terminations with O'Reilly lines to any part of the Union. The line now constructing by Messrs Kent & Co., from Hamilton to Cincinnati, is in violation of Morse's contract with O'Reilly, and will be opposed in every legitimate way. The citizens of Hamilton are respectfully invited to consider the matter, and to subscribe to the stock of the O'Reilly 'Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois' line, which will furnish them superior telegraphic advantages, and be a save investment.
"A subscription paper is in the hands of Mr. James BLAIR, at the Hamilton Hotel, to whom those favorably disposed are referred."
In an issue soon after, the Telegraph, said the office of Kent and Co.'s telegraph was to be in the Odd Fellows' building of Rossville. The office of O'Reilly's line would be in Campbell's Row, Hamilton. James BLAIR had received the appointment of agent, and would have the management of the office of O'Reilly's line.
On the 31st of January, 1850, the Morse telegraph line was in full operation, the laying on the wire having been completed, a couple of days before. The office was in Campbell's building, and Mr. J.L. WILKINS was ready to send and receive messages.
The first advertisement of Dr. HOWELLS that we have noticed was in the
Telegraph of January 9, 1845. It is as follows:
H.C. HOWELLS, Surgeon Dentist, Hamilton, Ohio. Room over Joseph HOWELL's Drug Store, formerly occupied as Corwin & Smith's Law Office.
R.E. DUFFELD informed his friends and the public generally, says a paper in 1845, that he had removed to his new shop and wareroom on Pearl Street, adjoining the office of the Hamilton Intelligencer¸ where he intended to carry on the cabinet-making business in all its different branches. A variety of finished work was constantly on hand and for sale at the most reasonable prices, and work would be made to order at the shortest possible notice. He was prepared to serve on funeral occasion with hearse, etc, at his former prices.
Henry TRABER had just opened an entire new stock of dry-goods, hardware, queen's-ware, etc., fresh from the Eastern cities, which he offered very low for cash on the 29th of April, 1847. All kinds of produce would be taken in exchange for goods. Store one door below Smith's drug store on the north side of Main Street, Rossville.
A mass meeting of the friends of free soil and free men, of free labor, and the free principles of the Jeffersonian ordinance of 1787, in opposition to southern politicians and northern doughfaces, would be held at the court-house, in Hamilton, Ohio, Saturday, July 29, 1848, to appoint delegates to the Buffalo convention, which would meet in Buffalo, New York, on the 9th of August, following, to nominate candidates for President and Vice-president of the United States, who would pledge themselves to carry out the principles of the Wilmot Proviso as applied to the free Territories lately acquired from Mexico. The friends of these measures were respectfully asked to participate in the proceedings. Some of the best public speakers in Ohio had been invited to attend.
Valentine CHASE, who little foresaw the bloody end of his own life, when a member of the Ohio Legislature introduced a bill on the subject of the immigration of colored persons, which we reproduce as showing that the prejudices of a century ago were still in existence thirty years since. The editor of the Telegraph approved the proposed enactment, and thought that there were enough negros in Ohio. "If the black race continues to increase among us as it has done for the past few years, there will hardly be room for us."
A Bill to prevent the further Immigration of Black and Mulatto Persons into
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, that from and after the passage of this act, it shall not be lawful for any black or mulatto person to come into this State for the purpose of residing or remaining there in and if any such black or mulatto shall hereafter, in violation of the provisions of this act, come into this State and remain or reside therein, he or she shall, so long as he or she shall remain in the State, be incapable of acquiring or holding any property, real or personal, therein; and shall, moreover, upon satisfactory proof thereof being made before any justice of the peace of the proper county, as hereinafter provided, be removed and taken out of this State upon the warrant of the said justice of the peace, which warrant it is hereby made the duty of said justice to issue; and it is hereby further made the duty of any constable to whom such warrant may be directed to serve and return the same according to the command thereof.
SECTION 2. It shall be the duty of every constable within this State, as soon as it shall come to his knowledge that any black or mulatto person has, contrary to the provisions of the first section of this act, come into this State, and is residing therein, forthwith to give notice thereof to some justice of the peace of his county, and the said justice of the peace shall cause notice of such information or complaint to be given to such black or mulatto person, and if said black or mulatto shall not, within ten days from the service of the said notice, either remove out of this State, or appear before the said justice of the peace, and by his own oath or otherwise satisfy the said justice that he or she is not remaining in this State in violation of the provisions of the first section of this act, the said justice shall cause the said black or mulatto person to be proceeded against according to the provisions of the first section of this act. Provided, that nothing in this act shall be so construed as to prevent any black or mulatto person from coming into this State for temporary purposes merely, and not with the intention of remaining therein.
Sec. 3. The said justice shall subpoena such witnesses as the party may require, and if upon hearing the testimony the said justice shall be of the opinion that the said black or mulatto person is remaining within this State contrary to the intents and meaning of this act, he shall so adjudge, and shall issue his warrant as directed by the first section of this act.
Sec. 4. The justices and constable shall receive the same fees that would receive for like services in criminal cases.
Sec. 5. If any justice of the peace or constable shall willfully neglect or refuse to perform any duty required by this act, he shall, on conviction thereof by indictment, be fined an any sum not less than twenty nor more than one hundred dollars, and shall, moreover, forfeit his office.
In a notice of the Miami Paper Mill, in 1849, it was said that this establishment was built upon the Hamilton and Rossville Hydraulic, in the northern part of the town, and spoke volumes in favor of the industry and enterprise of its proprietors, Messrs. BECKETT, MARTIN & RIGDON. The main building was seventy feet by forty and two and a half stories high, above the basement—in which were four rag engines, and rag cutting and dressing machinery, driven by a water-wheel thirteen feet in diameter, with twenty feet buckets. The paper machine and finishing rooms were in a wing ninety-four by thirty-eight feet, and one story high. The paper machine was of Fourdriener's pattern, built by Messrs. GODDARD & RICE, of Worcester, Massachusetts. It combined all the modern improvements in paper-making, and was a fine piece of mechanism. The mill was capable of turning out from one thousand seven hundred to two thousand pounds per day. The buildings were sufficient for another machine and four additional engines.
The subject of this sketch was born at Burlington Falls, now Winooski City, January 4, 1814. He enjoyed the usual education advantages furnished by the district schools of that day, until after having served an apprenticeship at millwrighting he entered a school of mathematics and civil engineering at Burlington, under the tuition of John JOHNSON, Esq., then the surveyor-general of the State of Vermont. Here he remained one year. At the expiration of that time—Spring of 1837—Edwin F. JOHNSON, son of the above, who then held the office of chief engineers for the survey of the New York and Erie Railroad, which, even at that early day, had been projected and State aid voted by the Legislature. Young MARTIN was to have had a subordinate place in the corps, but before the surveys were actually commenced the financial embarrassments of that memorable period came suddenly upon the country, resulting in universal bank suspensions, and paralyzing every public enterprise. But the growing West was an inviting field of adventure, and thither he went.
After a stay of a few months at Cleveland, he engaged in the service of the State on the Ohio Canal south of Columbus. From 1839 until he came to Hamilton, in 1846, he was engaged in building flouring-mills through the central portion of the state, from Toledo to Portsmouth. His first engagement here was the rebuilding of the Erwin, Hunter & Erwin Mill, after its partial destruction by fire, in the Spring of that year. In the Fall following he went to Wisconsin to locate a hydraulic improvement to the Milwaukee River, north of that city. Returning from Wisconsin, he engineered the repairs to the old toll-bridge, which was well-nigh swept away by the great flood in the Miami, January 1, 1847. "The old bridge" was one the earliest public improvements in Butler County, and was finally washed away by the great flood of 1866. In the Fall of 1847 he contracted for the building and equipment of a steam flouring-mill in the city of New Orleans, of the capacity of one hundred and fifty barrels per day. The engines and cast-iron machinery for the mill were built in Cincinnati; the wood and timber, ready-worked and in readiness to be set up in at the large warehouse for which they were designed, were prepared at Hamilton, the whole outfit loaded on barges at Cincinnati and towed to New Orleans. Within ten weeks from the time of reaching its destination the mill was in complete and successful operation, and the skilled workmen employed in its construction were homeward bound. In the Winter of 1848-49 Mr. MARTIN contracted with Calvin RILEY to build and equip—furnishing all machinery and materials—the paper-mill now owned and operated by Messrs. BECKETT & LAURIE. Mr. RILEY had previously had some experience in the manufacture of paper at Cuyahoga Falls. While the mill was being built, under that contract, RILEY engaged in produce speculations, in the northern part of the State, which were attended with heavy losses, consequent on the declining markets in the Spring of 1859, and he was thereby compelled to abandon the enterprise. Meantime the contractor had gone forward with the work, incurring an expenditure of over six thousand dollars, no part of it having been advanced by RILEY. All he could do was to transfer his interest in the property. Thereupon the firm of Beckett, Martin & Rigdon was instituted, and the mill carried forward to an early completion. Shortly after the mill went into operation a disastrous flood swept away the hydraulic head-gates and long lines of embankment. More than two months' time was expended in repairing the works, during which time all the mills were idle. The following Summer Mr. MARTIN sold his interest in the mill to his partner, William BECKET. In January, 1849, he was married to Sarah Ann POTTER, youngest daughter, and only child of a second marriage, of Samuel M. POTTER, a well-known and highly respected citizen, who resided in the vicinity of Trenton, Butler County, from about the year 1805 until the time of his death, in 1842.
In the Spring of 1852 the Middletown Hydraulic was projected. The State had just then contracted for the building of a new feeder dam at the old site, two miles north of the village. This together with the rights reserved to Abner ENOCH, the original proprietor, as far back a 1826, when the canal was located—which rights the Hydraulic Company secured by purchase—rendered the creation of valuable water power at that point at once practicable. Mr. MARTIN became at once identified with the development of the works. In the Spring of 1853 he formed a partnership with Joseph SUTPHIN. Thereupon they secured a lease of power from the Hydraulic Company with the exclusive privilege, for a term of years, of erecting a flouring-mill at that point. The firm continued in the joint ownership of the mill till 1873. They were also engaged in the manufacture of paper with the Messrs. WRENNS, now Sutphin & Wrenn. The flouring-mill firm is now Joseph Sutphin & Son.
In 1858 Mr. MARTIN received the Republican nomination for the State Board of Public Works. He was elected to that office in October of that year, and his term of office expired in February, 1862. The division of the public works assigned specially to his charge was the Miami and Erie Canal, and, for a part of his term, the national Road, or that portion of it in Ohio which many years before had been ceded by the general government to the State. In June, 1861, the entire public works of the State was leased to a private company by authority of an act of the Legislature passed at the previous session, for the term of ten years. But before the expiration of the term the lease was, by joint resolution of the Legislature, extended for an additional term of ten years. The lease was, however, surrendered in June, 1878, three years before the expiration of the term, on the ground, as was alleged by the lessees, of its forfeiture on the part of the State by reason of its having authorized the cutting off and abandonment of the Hamilton Basin. The act of the State authorizing the abandonment provided that the consent of the lessees should first be obtained. This, however, was not done, but the city took forcible possession by filling up the channel at its entrance to the main line of canal in the night time, so as to prevent injunction proceedings. Thereupon the lessees, after notice, abandoned the entire works to the State. The advantages that were to result to the city—as predicted by the advocates of the measure—from the filling up of the basin, even after an expenditure of near seven thousand dollars, seem not to have been realized. It was, to say the least, a measure of doubtful expediency.
In August, 1862, Mr. MARTIN was appointed by President Lincoln collector of internal revenue for the third district of Ohio, comprising the counties of Montgomery, Preble, Butler, and Warren. He served in that capacity until September, 1866, when General VAN DERVEER succeeded him, under appointment of Andrew Johnson. During his incumbency of the office of collector he resided in Dayton, where the principal office of the district was located. He also held a commission from Edwin M. STANTON, Secretary of War, issued under an act of Congress, passed March 3, 1863, as receiver of commutation money on account of exemption from the draft, as authorized by that act. During the pendency of the draft over 2,600 person commuted, paying the treasury of the nation $80,000 in the third district alone. After his retirement from the office of collector he, in the Spring of 1867, returned to Hamilton, taking the presidency of the Second National Bank. He remained in that position until January, 1870. At this time, through the agency of Cincinnati patties, stimulated by the speculative activities in the distilling and wholesale liquor interests, a majority of the stock of the bank changed ownership, Mr. MARTIN retiring, and A.C. SANDS becoming president. One year thereafter, financial embarrassments having depressed those interests, and the large defalcation having just then occurred in the office of county treasurer, reorganization of the bank was deemed necessary. Mr. MARTIN was urged to again take the presidency of the bank, which he declined. The stock that one year before had commanded a premium of fifteen per cent was now offered at par. The bank was, however, reorganized under the skillful and highly successful management which still continues.
In March, 1871, Mr. MARTIN moved to his farm, one and a half miles east of the city. Here he continued to reside until the death of his wife, which happened after a short illness, in April, 1873. Being left quite alone, he returned to the city, where he lived in the family of his brother-in-law, Ezra POTTER. In September, 1874, he married his second wife, Mrs. Mary C. ROOSA, who for many years had been a resident of Lebanon, Warren Country, Ohio. He once again took up his residence in Hamilton in August, 1875, where he now lives. His family consists of himself, wife, and son, Edwin C. MARTIN, who was born in Hamilton in February, 1850, and he now lives in Richmond, Indiana, engaged in the business of journalism. A second son, who died in infancy, February, 1859, was born at Middletown in September, 1858.
John LONGFELLOW, at the time of his death, was the oldest man in Hamilton, and its oldest resident. He was born in the State of Delaware, in the county of Kent, September 12, 1794, and began living here in 1804. He was consequently eighty-seven years old when he died. His father's name was Elijah, and his mother's Elizabeth. Mr. LONGFELLOW was three times married. By his first wife, Nancy, he had two children. Jonathan was born March 16, 1815, and Elijah August 29, 1817. His second wife, Elizabeth, had eight children. Delia was born October 11, 1820; Rebecca, October 3, 1822; Daniel, November 20, 1824; Levi, March 14, 1826; John J., May 15, 1828; James, April 3, 1834; and Jane in 1832. Rebecca, Daniel, and Levi are now dead. His third wife was Elizabeth, daughter of William L. and Rachel ROWLAND. Her father was in the war of 1812, and Mr. LONGFELLOW had a nephew in the last war, who died from a gun-shot wound in the neck.