This section is taken from the book "History
of Muskingum County, Ohio" by J. F. Everhart and published
1892 in Columbus, Ohio.
THE BOUNDARIES - PIONEERS - REVENGE UPON THE INDIANS - THE FIRST
ORCHARDS - THE THEATRE OF THEIR ACTION - THE SOIL - THE FORESTS
- TOWNSHIP ORGANIZED - FIRST CHURCH - SABBATH SCHOOL IN EARLY
TIMES - FIRST MILL - FIRST TANNERY - BAPTIST CHURCH - PRESBYTERIAN
CHURCH - THE FIRST SCHOOL - PUNCHEONS - DISTINGUISHED MEN - BLACKSMITHS
- FIRST DISTILLERY - SALT WORKS - FIRST HOTEL - FIRST BRICK HOUSE
- ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC CHURCH - AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENTS - MILLING
- IMPROVED STOCK - MILITARY RECORD - ROLL OF HONOR - RAILROAD.
This is the second township north
of the city of Zanesville, west of the Muskingum river, being
bounded on the east by that stream, north by Cass township, west
by Licking township. and south by Falls township.
The first to explore its wilds, and make
a home there, were: David Devore, James Beach, and James Black,
in 1797. The former built his cabin on the east side of the township,
near the river, but subsequently abandoned this site and located
on the south half of section six, township two, range eight,
near a small stream that has since been known ,is "Devore's
run." James Black settled on the farm now owned by John
Stitt. The only homestead chosen by James Black. According to
tradition, was under his hat. These were followed, in 1798, by
John Bland, (whose son, Silas, was born while they were yet in
camp, the same year), Elijah Stradley. and Ebenezer Ryan. The
former settled on a part of section thirteen; Mr. Stradley, on
lot thirty-six, (as now surveyed), and Ryan continued to roam.
David Devore built the first hewed log house in the township,
in 1798. There, reaper, Death, came into the young settlement
and took Timothy Prior, in 1799, the record of whose coming was,
doubtless, buried with him, as it is not known. Jesse Dowell
and James Devore passed over the river about the year 1800. They
were buried on the Gardner farm, which spot became the first
cemetery of the township. William Bland joined his brother John
in 1803. In 1808, Levi Cooper, George Welsh, Samuel McCann, and
Joseph Spencer were added to the community. McCann settled on
section seven, Cooper on section thirteen, Welsh on the south
half of section twenty-two, and Spencer on section five.
It will be seen by referring to the date
of the acquisition of title to the lands from the Indians, that
it had not been fully consummated; that this region was a part
of the domain of the Aborigines, and, as subsequent history shows,
they were reluctant to quit this country for parts unknown to
them. And with the displeasure at parting with their happy hunting
grounds, came the pang of separating from the graves of their
fathers. That the inducements to remain where valuable game for
meat and skins was abundant, with the facility of carrying these
commodities, by boat, to the traders' headquarters, at Marietta,
or even beyond. was sufficient, in a commercial point of view,
will be apparent to anyone at a11 acquainted with the geography
and early history of the country. And when the great confederation
of Indian tribes is taken into account, we can but wonder that
the red men submitted to the greatly inferior force of the white
man. They did not make haste to depart. but lingered, thinking,
and rightly; that the whites were getting so much the best of
the bargain, that they were willing to ignore the stipulations
of the treaty, and occasionally found pleasure in running off
stock, and, upon slight provocation, killing men, and even women.
They killed a young woman who was affianced to one Hughes. This
very naturally, exasperated him, and he induced his friend Ratliff
to join him in an oath of revenge. This was quickly put to the
test by another overt act upon the part of the Indians, who stole
horses from Hughes and Ratliff, one night in the month of April,
1800. Revenge on the Indians-any Indians - was the literal meaning
of their vow. The injured parties easily enlisted another man
- John Bland - in their cause, which now included the recovery
of their horses. Fortunately for any unofiending Indians that
might have been in the neighborhood, sufficient snow had fallen
to enable them to track the marauders, and they followed them
into Knox county, thirty miles away, when, seeing there were
only two, they cast lots to determine who should be the avengers
of the outrage. The lot fell upon Hughes and Bland. The party
crept stealthily nearer, to make assurance doubly sure. Hughes
brought the first Indian to the dust, while Bland's gun failed,
and this gave the remaining Indian a chance to plead for his
life, which he did, saying:" Ugh! Me bad Indian; me do so
no more!" With this confession and promise on his lips.
Ratliff absolved him from further earthly trouble by sending
a bullet through his heart. The trio then secured their horses
and returned home: and such was the effect of this mode of dealing
out justice that the red man began to forsake this region, and
the pioneer pursued the ways of peaceful industry with but little
The first orchards were set out by Daniel
Devore and William Bland, in the year 1800, and soon after, George
Welsh planted an apple and peach orchard. These being the first
orchards in this section, the fruit was in great demand by old
and young, the latter sometimes appropriating a supply without
consulting the owners thereof.
The first barn was built on the farm
now owned by George Walsh, about the year 1810. Richard Owens
did the carpenter work, and was probably the first carpenter
in the township. Dutton Lane had a frame barn built on the farm
now owned by Milo Miller - one Crowel was the carpenter. "This
was in the early day.
Samuel Gest, John Dorsey, and Rev. Joseph
Thrapp came in 1810. Dorsey settled upon the west part of section
four; Thrapp in the southwest corner of the township, upon the
farm now owned by his son, J. E, Thrapp. In 1812, Henry J. Butler
and Samuel Baxter arrived. The former settled on the west border
of the township, just north of Thrapp, and the latter did not
make a home of his own. John M. Lane, a blacksmith, from Baltimore
county, Maryland, came in 1815; he opened a farm on section nineteen.
Norman Gorsuch, from the same place, came soon after, with his
family and household goods. They made the trip of three hundred
and seventy-five miles in twenty-two days. He died at the age
of seventy-three, His son, Joshua, now in his eighty-third year,
lives on the farm opened by his father. The wife of Joshua was
the daughter. of Rev. Joseph Thrapp, (of the Methodist Episcopal
church, who moved from Virginia to Licking county, and in 1810
settled upon the farm now owned by J. E. Thrapp.)
A Methodist camp meeting was held upon
the farm of Rev. Joseph Thrapp, in 1815, and among the ministers
present were - McKendree and Francis Asbury, afterwards so well
known as Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. J. E.
Thrapp thinks McKendree was then a Bishop. Many are said to have
been converted at the meeting, among them was Samuel Hamilton,
of Hopewell township, who became a minister, and continued to
labor for the cause of Christ until disabled by age, and he died
triumphantly in the faith he had preached.
The triumphs of these brave pioneers
have not been sung, nor the tales of the hardships they endured
been preserved, by faithful chronicler, but memory relumes with
a hallowed fire as traditional accounts are told o'er and o'er
at the fireside of their happy descendants; and the incense of
gratitude goes up from many a heart for the beauty and quiet
of homes now the heritage of the dwellers in "old Muskingum,"
ever enhanced by the fruitful fields, the orchards of luscious
fruits, and vine-clad hills, happy children, schools and churches,
and we hear their song:
cheerful, among the gay mead,
daisies and cowslips appear;
flocks. as they carelessly feed,
in the spring of the year-
herbage that springs from the sod,
myrtle that shades the gay bowers,
plants, cooling fruits and sweet flowers,
raise to the praise of our God"
The surface that constituted the theatre
of their actions, is undulating, until you approach the eastern
part, where it rises into headlands, near the river, sometimes
rather abruptly. There are no large streams, yet the township
is considered well watered. "Devore's run" rises in
Cass township, and flows in a southeastern direction, through
the western part of the township. There
are, besides, a number of smaller streams and never-failing springs.
The soil is principally sandy loam, except
in the most undulating portions, where clay subsoil predominates.
The cereals, as well as vegetables, do well in this township.
Forest trees of the white and black oak,
hickory, ash, walnut, beech, elm and chestnut varieties, are
found in many parts of the township.
Coal of good quality abounds in the eastern
part of the township. Some iron ore has been found, but not demonstrated
to be in paying quality or quantity.
Limestone and sandstone of good quality,
for building purposes, is abundant.
The first road surveyed was the State
Road, from Zanesville to Coshocton, about 1830. It passed through
the eastern portion of the township; and from Zanesville to Newark
- about the same time. The latter passes through the southwestern
portion of the township.
THE TOWNSHIP ORGANIZED.
The territory embraced in this township
was formerly joined with that of Falls, and was organized March
8th, 1808, and then included West Zanesville, under a new, organization,
June 7th. 1816. Muskingum township, as now bounded, was organized
the 3d of September, 1817, and was a part of what had been West
Zanesville and Falls township. West Zanesville being divided
between Falls and Muskingum townships.
The first election of township officers
is said to have been held at the house of Captain James Taylor,
on the last Saturday of September, 1817. The first Justice of
the Peace, elected at the same time, was Henry Butler. The names
the township officers do not appear on record, nor does tradition
THE FIRST CHURCH.
The first church (Methodist Episcopal)
was organized by Rev. Joseph Thrapp and family, at his house,
in the southwest corner of the township,in 1810. The society,
at its inception, was composed of Rev. Joseph Thrapp and family,
John Thrapp and family, Mr. Hickison and family, and Mr. Hall
and family. Their first preacher was Rev. James Quinn. The society
has continued through every adversity and flourished. They now
worship at Sherrard Chapel, which is included in the circuit
embracing Irville, Nashport, Hooper's Chapel, and Rich Valley.
of these places is supplied by. Rev. -- Leemaster, who preaches
to each congregation every two weeks.
SABBATH SCHOOL IN EARLY TIMES.
Archibald McCann was very devoted to
the welfare of the young people of his neighborhood, and on Sabbath
gave his whole time to teaching; opening school in the morning,
and continuing all day - in studying the Bible. Mr. McCann was
drowned in the canal at Zanesville, on the night of March 29th.
1839. The drawbridge had been left open, and, the night being
dark, he did not discover it, and, walking off, fell into the
THE FIRST MILL.
The first mill was built by David Devore,
on "Devore's run," in 1812. This was a crude affair;
after the wheat was ground, it was carried in sacks, upon men's
shoulders, to the upper story of the mill, and there bolted by
The first sawmill was built by Rev. Joseph
Thrapp, on his place, in the southwest corner of the township,
in 1812. Elias Green had a sawmill, in 1825, on the same site
where David Devore's mill stood in 1812.
THE FIRST TANNERIES.
One was built bv Dutton Lane, on the
Dresden road, in the eastern part of the township, in 1812, and
another in 1817, by Firman Spencer, near the village of Spencer.
THE BAPTIST CHURCH.
The Baptist Church, also called "the
Baxter Church," was organized, and the house built, in 1813.
The house is located on the farm now owned by John Welsh, which
is the southwest quarter of section twenty-two, township two,
The first members were: Samuel Baxter
and wife, John Dorsey and wife, Samuel Gest and wife, Mrs. Eastenhauer,
Mrs. Lane. and Mrs. Henry Butler.
The first pastor was Rev. Amos Mix. The
term "Predestinarian Baptist" was sometimes applied
to this congregation.
The cemetery grounds comprise three acres,
and were used soon after the organization of the church. Three
or four by the name of Lane, and five or six of the neighborhood,
who died previous to this time, were buried on the farm now owned
by Joshua Butler (northwest quarter of section twenty-two. township
two, range eight), and their graves remain there to this day.
The Presbyterian Church, known also as
the "Pierson Church," (situated about the center of
the township, north and south, and about two and a half miles
from the west line) was organized in 1814, and was first ministered
to by Rev. James Culbertson, of Zanesville.
The site for this church and cemetery,
containing about one acre, was donated by David Pierson and George
Welsh, jointly. The first members were David Pierson and family.
Joseph McDonald and family, and some named Welsh, but no record
has been found and we have to content ourselves with this tradition.
A Sabbath School was organized here in 1849; the school has continued
to this day and now has about forty scholars in attendance. The
present Superintendent is Rev. -- Tenny, assisted by B. McDonald.
THE FIRST SCHOOL.
The first school was taught by one Shutliff,
in "the Pierson School House," about the year of 1815.
John Elliott, Sanford Raimy, Archibaid McCann, and a Mr. Phelps,
were among the teachers whose names are remembered, but dates
and localities are wanting. Like many of their profession, they
did not deem it necessary to leave any record of their doings,
so that it is possible tradition may fail to do them justice
by not weaving a chaplet for their brows.
The school house of "ye olden time"
was not intended to be more comfortable than the dwelling, and
it is altogether likely the scholars seldom came to any other
conclusion. The furnishing had little to inspire the uncultured
mind. What was obtained in this temple, was by the hardest, in
its most literal sense.
the Solon walked upon,
the scholar sat upon,
the scholar wrote upon;
Puncheon here, Puncheon there,
Puncheon, puncheon everywhere.
Punchin' Silas Scruggins,
Punchin' Sally Gonder,
yelling mildly, "You, Muggins,
never made a scholar."
Some distinguished men have begun
their career in the humble schools of this township. Hon. C.
S. Hamilton, Representative in Congress in 1867-68, from the
district embracing Union county, went from this township. His
career was suddenly terminated by an insane son striking him
on the head with a board, when he was on a visit home; the son
after killing his father attempted to kill other members of the
Dr, John Hamilton, a well known physician of
Columbus, was once a pupil in the school house here described.
Rev. Israel and Joel Thrapp. well known ministers
of the M. E. Church, were raised in this township and received
their early training amid the puncheons above alluded to. Hon.
Elias Ellis was a pupil in the Pierson School House; his father
came to this township in 1800, and at the time of his death,
in August, 1833, lived in the town of Irville, Licking township.
Elias Ellis, senior, came from Belmont county, Ohio, with his
family and household goods on pack horses, Elias, junior. was
born in Belmont county, Ohio. July 11th, 1805, and was less than
a year old when the family arrived here. He has been elected
to the Legislature four times; first in 1869, member of the Lower
House, and reelected in 1871. In 1873 he was elected to the Upper
House, and was one of the leading members of the Senate; the
district comprised the counties of Muskingum and Perry; he was
reelected in 1875.
John Lane worked at the forge, prior
to 1815, "Beal" Owens opened his shop in 1815, and
Otho Miller started his fire soon after. But where, deponent
THE FIRST DISTILLERY.
The first distillery was built by Col.
George Jackson, in 1818, near the Muskingum river; we are not
told whether this was illicit or not, but its location is not
known. In 1824 another of those obscure institutions was said
to exist, and Michael Hahn was credited with its management.
David Pierson and James Welsh were said to be in the business
in 1818, or 1820.
THE FIRST SALT WORKS.
The first salt works were probably erected
by Col, George Jackson, somewhere in the eastern part of the
township, close to the Muskingum river, about 1820. Salt brought
from three to four dollars per bushel, in those days.
The first hotel, tavern, or place of
entertainment, for these terms were used interchangeably, was
by David Devore, about 1810-11. This was also his home - constructed
of hewed logs, small, but comfortable. Dutton Lane opened a tavern
on the road leading from Zanesville to Coshocton, in 1820; his
accommodations were also limited to one small room.
The first brick house was built by Firman
Spencer in 1815, near the present village of Shannon, which was
laid out on land owned by Mr. Spencer, in 1830.
The first store in the village of Shannon
(the only one in the township) was kept by Robert Welsh, in 1844.
The medium exchange was silver coin and scrip. When change was
scarce, the larger pieces of coin were cut to suit the demand.
Coffee sold at 50 to 62-1/2 cents per
pound; tea at $2.00; calico at 37-1/2 to 50 cents per yard; while
wheat sold as low as twenty cents per bushel, and was a drug
on the market at that, and the price was generally paid in trade.
ST. MARY.S CATHOLIC CHURCH.
This church had its inception in 1834,
at the house of William Mattingly, the occasion being solemnized
by the ceremony of "the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,"
which was celebrated pretty regularly, month1y, thereafter, by
Fathers of Zanesville, up to the year 1855. In 1856, the present
beautiful brick edifice, 70x35, was built, on the northwest corner
of John Mattingly's farm, being lot fourteen, Mr. Mattingly having
donated one acre of ground for the church and cemetery. Francis
Mattingly generously furnished the church. The congregation was
then ministered to by Rev. F. Breeder, from Newark, Ohio, until
i869, and since that time by Rev. J. M. Jacuett, of Coshocton.
William Mattingly died April 7th, 1857,
aged 74 years, and was the first person buried in the cemetery
attached to this church.
Agricultural implements, in an early
day, were of the most primitive kind. The plows had wooden mould
boards, with shear and coulter, made by "the village blacksmith,"
and the plowman had to carry a paddle to clean the plow, as it
did not scour. And although this was a great improvement on the
Egyptian plow - which was not a plow, but a sort of prong of
iron, adjusted to an imitation of the stock of the present plow
- but much rougher and heavier, and propelled by a woman and
an ox, yoked together, with a man (?) at the handle, yet, when
the patent plow, with cast iron mould board, was introduced,
in 1825, and the inevitable paddle was thrown away, man and beast
made light of that which had been drudgery, and Mother Earth
seemed delighted to roll over. And when the tree top and wooden
toothed harrow were superseded by the iron tooth harrow, "the
soil pulverized at the very touch," as it were. And when
iron prongs were substituted for wooden hay forks, "the
song of the hay-maker" was heard in the land. Then, too,
the brawny blacksmith, with sturdy stroke, made his anvil ring
merry music as he pounded the hoe and mattock into shape, and
the bewildered bystanders shouted as this son of Vucan made the
The household implements were not such
a relief to the drudgery of the inmates, however, spinning wheel
and loom, with their whirring and clicking, were the nearest
approach to musical instruments tha1t the fair dames possessed.
Tailoring, or the making of male apparel,
was of necessity, done at home.
Tanning - not only of the hides of irrepressible
urchins - with birch bark, with the stick in it, but the hides
suitable for leather, was an indispensable practice, that almost
assumed the dignity of an art.
Shoemaking was practiced, with due regard
to the comfort, at least, of both sexes.
Milling, or converting maize and other
grain suitable for bread into flour, was an occupation which
any member of the family large enough to wield the pounder, was
liable to perform. The pestle, or pounder, when designed for
a large grist, was poised by the sweep, permitting a heavy weight
to be used in the performance, and then the mill was located
out of doors. The bolting, or sifting. was generally done by
the maids, sometimes by the boys.
IMPROVED BREEDS OF STOCK.
James Still introduced the first Short
Horned, or Durham, cattle, in 1839. He took great pains with
his stock, and has been well repaid for his outlay and trouble.
He was followed, very shortly after, in the same pursuit, by
James McCammon, whose Durham's have attracted special attention.
The improved horses were brought from
Maryland and Virginia, at an early day. They were valued for
their fitness for all work.
In 1830, Isaac Dillon, then a resident
of Falls township, introduced what is described as "a very
fine and profitable breed of sheep." The next step in this
direction was by a gentleman from Pennsylvania, who introduced
Merinos; and the next sheep introduced were the Spanish Merinos,
by an unknown gentleman. Among the early purchasers and successful
growers of sheep, were Joshua Gorsuch, John M. Lane. Colonel
E. Ellis, several of the Welsh family, Bland's, and John McDonald.
The first imported hogs were introduced
in 1829, by Joshua Gorsuch. This breed was known as the Bedford.
The next variety was the China, then the Poland, the Suflolk,
the Chester White, and lastly the Berkshire. Varied degrees of
success have attended the growers, but result in the aggregate
has been very satisfactory, and as many others have engaged in
this business, it is safe to consider it profitable in this township.
Revolutionary Soldiers. - The regiment
and company unknown ; traditional authority. to-wit: Thomas Doeel,
David Devore, William Blunt, William Bell and John Culling.
The following were "known to have
been out in the war of 1812:" Moses Welsh, Enos Devore,
Wm. Bland (Captain), Thomas Bland, Jacob Lane, James Blunt, John
Cullins, John Thrapp and Noah Matthews.
Light Infantry. - A regiment was organized,
under the State law, in 1833. The officers were as follows: William
B. Cassady of Zanesville, Colonel; Elias Ellis, of this township,
Lieutenant Colonel; Henry Harry Harris, Major; Thomas Maxfield
of Norwich. -- Culbertson of Zanesville, David Harris of Wayne
township, and W. D. German of Hopewell township, are known to
have been Captains.
Artillery. - An artillery company was
formed in 1830. Elias Ellis was chosen Captain, and John M. Lane
Cavalry. - About 1830, a company of cavalry
was formed, of which William Ellis was Captain. The other officers
and members are not remembered by the gentlemen who furnished
this statement: and it will be well enough to state here, that
they - Francis Mattingly, Elias Ellis, James E. Thrapp and Charles
Gorsuch - four of the oldest, best informed, and best preserved
citizens of this township, were at great pains to furnish correct
information for the history of this
township, and have certitied the data herein as the most complete
and correct that can now be furnished. And while the absence
of dates and specific location of some events is to be regretted,
it is yet a matter of congratulation that
they have been able to do so well from memory, having nothing
else to guide them. And thanks are due to Joshua Gorsuch and
wife, and John M. Lane. for valuable information.
During the early part of the war of the
rebellion, fifty of the members of this cavalry company volunteered,
and twenty were drafted. One of the former, Joseph T: Gorsuch,
was a commissioned officer.
The volunteers in the late rebellion,
were as follows:
John Knapp, Robert Hunter, Dwight Ross, Levi Hunter, James Alexander,
Chas. W. Butler, John A. Ryan, James McClary, John Butler, Chas.
W. Flemming, James Flemming, Lemuel Gardner, Cornelius Murphy,
William Mupulman, Henry L. Park, Cornelius Brown, Robert Smith,
William Spencer, William McGee, John Fletcher, William Bailey,
William James, Parish Gardner, Jacob Campbell, John McClarey,
James Henderson, Cornelius Austin, George Perry, David McGee,
Marshall Spencer, Samuel Harden, George B. Wright, Wm. H. James,
Jesse B. Conn, Wm. H. Wadden, Wm. Bonner, W. H. Pansler, Curtis
Campbell, Melvin Clark, George Fletcher, Aaron Riley, James Matthews,
Robert Welsh, Henry Fletcher, James Sweney, James Quigley George
Quigley; and of the drafted men, only two are remembered - James
E. Thrapp and S. W. Reamy.
The Military Rol1 of Honor for this township
is as follows:
Curtis W. Campbell - Company G, Ninety-seventh O. V. I.
Spencer Fletcher - Company D, Sixteenth O. V. I.
Levi Frost - Company B, Fifteenth O. V. I.
Joshua G. Fletcher - Company G, Ninety-seventh O. V. I.
John Granger - Company F, One Hundred and Twenty-second O. V.
R. W. P. Hunter -Company G, Ninety-seventh O. V. I.
William James - Company I, One Hundred and Twenty-second O. V.
William H. Madden - Company G, Ninety-seventh O. V. I.
Henry Moore - Company K, One Hundred and Twenty-second O. V.
James McFarland - Company D, Sixteenth O. V. I.
John St. Clair - Company G, Ninety-seventh O. V. I.
Charles Tatham -Company D, Sixteenth O. V. I.
George B. Wright - Company F, Ninety-seventh O. V. I.
Under the State law of Ohio, in 1863,
militia were enrolled, and performed military duty. Archibald
McDonald and William Tatham, of this township, were Captains
in the Second Muskingum county regiment. Charles Gorsuch was
First Sergeant in one of them.
The last record of historic value for
this township that is included is the data, gleaned and certified
to be true, is
The Cincinnati & Muskingum Valley
railway, commonly called the C. & M. V. R. R., traversed
part of the eastern and northeastern border of the township.
Ellis Station, the only one in the township, was located in 1870.
The Postoffice was opened at this station about the same time.