My Memories While Growing Up In Jefferson Co. Ohio.
By; Joseph Edward Maxwell born 9 Feb. 1916 Mingo Jct. Jeff. Co. Oh.
I want to record what I remember about the Maxwell's of Unionport, Ohio. My Greatgrandfather David moved there from Reed's Mill (Originally Maxwell's Mill) David was born December 18, 1810 at Reeds Mill and died near there December 19, 1891. He and Sarah had a one year old daughter at the time and the year was about 1837. Sarah T. Ball wife of David, was born June 18, 1816 Richmond, Jeff Co Oh. and died 1894 Steubenville, Oh. Sarah’s family were the James Ball family of Fairfax & Loudon Co. Va. They were Quakers or Friends as they like to be called.
It was in 1837 that David & Sarah arrived and he built a brick farmhouse on the western side of route 39 that runs through the village from east to west from East Springfield. David had bought farmland there, amounting to 150 acres, with part of it being used by the railroad for a "Right of Way" Apparently it took one acre to make room for the rails plus the area on each side. The remains of the foundation was still there when my brother Howard was there as a young man. David gave 129 acres to my Grandfather David W. Maxwell. The 150 acres had been bisected by the Penn Central Railroad, leaving 120 on the north and 29 on the south. Greatgrandfather David had a herd of Merino Sheep that couldn't get over to the other field so, the railroad company made a tunnel for him so the sheep could get over there to graze. The property had been bought from the Tipton family. I'm assuming that they owned the gas station and grocery store on the south side of the tracks. The 150 acres did not border along route 39 but stood west of the property where the Church is located. Route 39 , going north to south, went to an intersection just west of Bloomingdale (Originally Bloomfield) where the road out of town took you to route 22 . The road to the right, went there.
Grandpa David Wakeman Maxwell. was born in Unionport, August 27th 1879, probably in the old homestead. (I never heard of a house on his property.) Grampa David, was one year old when they moved to 506 North Third St. Steubenville. The family lived there until my uncle Rob (Robert) and uncle Ollie (Oliver) were born. Probably when Ollie was old enough, possibly 1 year old they moved to W.VA. to a farm which was their Dairy. The farm was up the hill, just north of the Market St. Bridge across the Ohio River, from Steubenville. That would make it about 1888/89. As Ollie was born in 1888 . Robert was born in 1883. They lived there until Grandma Caroline Cable Maxwell, died March 24, 1892. Carrie as she was called was the daughter of Benjamin & Persis Shaw Cable. Her ancestors coming from Germany to Somerset Co Pa. David W. moved back to Steubenville to what is still called Pleasant Heights - up the Market Street Hill going west out of town. It laid to the south of the street. Grandpa had bought a large farm there and as he was a building contractor, he built all or some of the houses on a street that was later named after him. They called it Maxwell Avenue. It is at the top of Adams Street Hill. It is to the right, then one block to Maxwell Avenue. Note: He built the second floor of the Empire Hotel that had burned. Grandpa David W. never remarried after Caroline died. David & Caroline had 6 children; Wilmer Leroy, b. December 04, 1871;Rosanna C. b. September 30, 1874; Ella Elizabeth, b. December 16, 1876; my father, David Garfield, b. August 27, 1879; Robert Blaine, b. September 13, 1883; Oliver E. b. March 14, 1888. David, died February 12, 1934 in Steubenville, Ohio. He served in the 157th. Union Civil War National Guard and received a small pension from the government. He walked in almost every parade up until a couple of years prior to his death. He sat down to eat his supper, then retired to the big chair and went peacefully to sleep.
Grampa David W. Maxwell at one time lived at 506 north third street where the Sears Roebuck Building was and has been torn down, relocating to another part of town. They had a horse stable for the horses that pulled the milk wagon across the river when the water was low enough and by the cable operated ferryboad when it was high. They had to pull on the cable to get them across the river. Jim Maxwell (no relative according to Dad) ran a cable operated ferry at Mingo Jct. Up the river, north of Steubenville was a curve in the river called "Cable's Crossing" named after that part of the family. (Caroline Cable, My grandma) called Callie lived with her parents in the Cable Mansion in what was later called (Pottery Addition), named after the Steubenville pottery in the northern part of town. When Abraham Lincoln , came to town on his way to be inaugerated as President he stayed overnight at their house and he shook grammas hand . That was in 1861 so that would make her 13. At any rate it had to be exciting! Another Maxwell who had a business in town was George A. Maxwell who, in partnership with a man named Brown owned the Brown/Maxwell Produce Market where the Olympic theater was later, across Court Street from the Courthouse and on the same side of the street, going west on Market Street. Another partnership was Myers and Maxwell (My brother David). It was a photographic Studio. It was on south Market Street in the first block and I think on the western side of the street.
My Dad, David G. delivered milk from his Dad’s Dairy farm to the Union Dairy in Steubenville. He would get up very early ride the horse drawn wagon across the river when it was low, and take the ferry if the river was high. He would deliver the milk to the dairy, put the horse in the stable at 506 and then go to school. Then after school he would come back across the river again. He was about 15 or 18 when he delivered milk. He also got his first job when he was eighteen. He got a job as a “Brakeman” then freight clerk, freight agent then yardmaster. He was 24 when he married my Mother, Ina Rhea Kline in June 1903.
In 1909 Dad, got a job as Superintendent of Transportation and Labor at the Carnie Steel Company in Mingo Juction. Dad’s public life in Mingo Jct. was that of Chief of Police, Mayor for three terms, member of the school board, park committee, playground committee. Instigator with a local doctor getting the Ohio Valley Hospital in Steubenville. Before that he had something too do with the Gill Hospital downtown. In the early 1920s he and a local doctor did a lot to help during the dreaded Flu Epidemic. He also served on as Council President in Mingo Jct. And the Mayor of New Alexandria for three terms.
He was a devoted father, disciplinarian, but loving. Mother on the other hand was a serene loving gentleperson. Mother choose to raise a family over her love of the piano. She had trained to be a concert pianist. Our whole family was musical even my Dad. Dad spent 36 years with Carnie Steel and retired in 1945, they then moved to New Alexandria, there he bought a 100-year-old home which he had remodeled, adding two rooms. The house is still lived in and hosting another family today. Standing in the back yard you can see the entire New Alexandria cemetery on the opposite hillside. It has not changed since I was a young boy, the view is absolutly beautiful.
Charles Maxwell my 2nd great grandfather, was born 1777 in Ireland, his parents were both natives of Scotland. Charles’ wife Sarah was born in Pa. Charles dies 1857, and they both are buried at Two Ridges Cemetery Wayne Township Jeff Co Oh. Charles was millwright in Fayette Co. Pa. before he received a patent on Section NO. 35, Township NO. 6, in Range NO.2, in the N.W.T. (Now Jefferson Co. Oh) the section of land was located on Cross Creek in Wayne Township. He built a two story brick home and also a grist and sawmill on the creek. Charles also built the roof for the covered bridge. The foundation for the mill is there today. Part of the old stone bridge foundation was there in 2004, but when the flood hit later in 2004 it tore a considerable part of the stones away. My daughter has copies of all the deeds to this house, and it appears that it was in family hands up untill about 1996.
When Charles Maxwell came to Steubenville in 1797 he purchased one of lots on South 4th street. It was lot 220 for $45.00, and they (He and Sarah) lived there until 1806 when they moved to Maxwell's Mill (Reed's Mill on Cross Creek where as of 2005 the house is still standing after being restored by a Mr. Roger Pyles.). Which was west of town on old route 22.
In the meantime, Thomas Maxwell, who I think was a cousin built a hotel for him in downtown Steubenville.Thomas had bought a lot #89 for $22.00. Henry Maxwell probably a cousin bought a lot at the same time, it was lot #87 for $21.00.
The name of the hotel was St. Charles and I have a picture of the signpost out in front on Market Street. It was number 105 and was across the Street (Alley) from the First National Bank . Spies Jewelry Store was built on the site and was later torn down , in my time. I never checked to see what they put in it's place. Here's another thing about the Empire Hotel. It was located on --6th street, at the intersection of Market Street and 6th street where the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks were and the Station. Back to 220 South 4th street, Charles house. When Charles died in 1857 at the age of 80, his wife Sarah moved back down to lot 220 and stayed there for a while but I don't know how long. 220 south 4th street was on the left side of the street going south. At the intersection of Adams and 4th street, was the St, Paul's Church. The next property, north on the same side of the street was the Pearce Furniture Store, where grandpa John R. Kline Jr. had his cabinet making shop. Note: He repaired old musical instruments and furniture and undoubtedly built cabinets etc. He took care of the pipe organs of the many Churches around town. When he couldn’t come up with the regular replacement for a part, he just took out his penknife and whittled to fit. Grampa was a very outgoing man and walked around meeting people.Apparently he was very gregarious. He was of German descent and seemed to follow in the footsteps of the German attention to detail, with an inate sense of making things very precise. When the world famous composer Victor Herbert came to Steubenville to give a concert with his string ensemble, they were up in balcony above the first floor of the theater and one of the instruments fell off onto the floor below. It must have been pretty broken up. Mr. Herbert learned about grampa being a repairer of musical instruments so he asked him if he could fix the viola that had dropped. Well, grampa did and did it so well that they couldn't tell where it was put back together, and Mr. Herbert brought him up onto the stage and presented him to the audience and commended him for what he had accomplished. I think I have hear that he walked up Market Street Hill, which was very steep, to the watering trough/spring, half way up and get refreshed and go the rest of the way! That reminds me of my great uncle Jim who was a Rail Road Engineer and used to stop in Mingo to visit us. We lived half way up a steep hill too. John would get half way then turn around and go up backwards to rest the musles that become tired I suppose! Granpa’s father John Kline, Sr. was in the Civil War he served in when living in Washington Co. Pa.
My uncle Rob (Robert) owned an Electric appliance store on Market St. downtown Steubenville, up the street, north of the before mentioned St.,Charles Hotel and Ollie (Uncle Oliver) owned a Radio Store on Washington Street. Just across the alley east of the post office, directly from the Ft, Seuben Hotel (It, the hotel is still there but not the radio store). The post office is still there.
I'm going to tell you about my brother Howard Cable Maxwell, he was born April 19, 1911 in Jefferson County, and was more my age and my buddy. He was a fantastic trumpet player and played first trumpet in the high school orchestra, was in the Local Band and the Masonic Temple Band in Steubenville and finally he appeared on a radio station in Pittsburgh Pa. He played for a music store, called Wolkwein's. Beside that he taught himself to play the piano, imitating phonograph records of famous pianists, especially Padereski . He copied him so close that one thought it was him until they found out it was Howard. When he bought a new trumpet (A Conn), he gave me his cornet and taught me to play it and I ended up playing second chair in the highschool orchestra and in my senior year of highschool a few of us kids got together a dance orchestra but we never got good enough to play for one! We had six musicians and a girl singer and met at each other's homes to practice--poor parents…..We broke up when our piano player, a girl was killed when a car load of them went over a cliff, off the road to Steubenville. They landed onto the railroad below. Another girl who played the Sax was badly injured and it took years for her to recover. We had a drummer who to my estimation was Mr. Rhythm personified. The piano would start the rhythm, then the drums and the rest of us (3 saxaphones doubling on clarinet , and me on trumpet!
Brother Howard worked at the Chevrolet garage on south third street Steubenville and years later worked in the Palo Alto Chevy garage in California. He was a mechanic and body man. When at Steubenville the air would be filled with paint smog and fumes. I don't see how he could stand it. After that he went up on the hill at the top of Marked Street and had a Jewelry/Watch repair shop. It was across from Union Cemetery, the gates being about a block west. After that he went to Wintersville about five miles further to the west and had a Jewelry/Watch repair shop. By that time, his wife Edith was in ill health and they moved to California where she died and he married second to Janis Charlie Rhodes. Howard died in the 88th year of heart failure like my Dad and his Dad before him. Dad's grandfather died of Dropsy, an old fashioned affliction. On my mother's side there were strokes. My gramma had some and then Mother had three. The third one took her in September 1954. She's buried in the New Alexandria Ohio cemetery across the hill from where they lived . Dad was in charge of the cemetery and they kept the grounds in good shape. Dad (David Garfield Maxwell) became Mayor of New Alex and was in that position for three terms, just like he was in Mingo Jct. Ohio. He was Chief of Police then Mayor., from 1911 to 1915. He was on the School Board, the Park Committee and the Playground Committee. Once Howard, my older brother, who was a curious person asked Dad what it would be like to be in jail , so Dad obliged him by putting him behind bars to see! Knowing Howard, he probably enjoyed the experience.
When Howard became of age, he and and a buddy took off across the USA on a Motorcycle, getting a part time job long enough to keep them alive and traveling farther west. He latter wanted to settle in Palo Alto California area, which is about 25 miles south of San Francisco. He became ex-president Herbert Hoover's mechanic and was treated very well by that family. His friend Bill Christie who had married our sister Alice was personal secretary to Sterling Holloway the movie star. He was a thin lanky light haired comedian. Along that line I just thought of my sister's husband Percy Fuller, who's brother was secretary to the ambassador to India. Perce visited him and told us about life in India. Perce was an Industrial Engineer and Construction Engineer for Meade Paper Company, who sent him to establish new papers mill plants. After he retired having Emphysema by that time, he occupied his time playing an electronic organ. His eyesight became so bad he couldn't see the music notes good enough, so his daughters printed the notes real big so he could. He also memorized all the songs. An amazing man and very nice person. He was in charge of bridge building throughout Ohio. He learned the radio Morse code and became a Ham Operator like me with the help of a couple buddies.
I have found memories of Jefferson County and in 2004 my daughter Donna and her husband Bill drove me back to my old home place. I had been living in North Canton for a number of years prior to my wife’s death and had not been back for awhile. The area has changed so much we could not even find the original home that I was born in many years ago. Wintersville has grown up so fast and I just could not believe how much area it now consumes. We went out to see the original Charles Maxwell house that Mr. Pyles was restoring and what a visit we had. If only those walls could talk. How many little faces they must have seen and how many faces wrinkled with age. The area around the house is still real country living and the woods is almost impassable in many places. The old stone bridge foundation was still there in 2004 and the stones were huge about 6 feet long and almost 4 feet deep and 3 or 4 feet wide. An amazing feat, for men to build such a bridge in those days without heavy equipment. Mr. Pyles told me after the flooding in the county the stone foundation was washed away, what a loss.
This coming February 9th 2005, I will be 89 years old, and with God’s blessing I am in excellant health, mind and body. So I write these memories for my children and grandchildren and of course, my 1st & 2nd great grandchildren.