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Source: The Zanesville Daily Courier, Zanesville, Muskingum Co., Ohio
Saturday, March 16, 1878, page 1 (columns 1,2, and 3)
Contributed by Ky Longley

The Early History of Zanesville.
By E. H. C. for the Zanesville Courier.


    Away back in the olden times, when Zanesville was composed of a few log houses, and the wild Indian traveled up and down the Muskingum, and the country around was almost an untrodden wilderness, a man named Alexander, a son of Scotland, made his appearance in Zanesville, accompanied by two young men, brother-in- laws, William Langley and Richard Brookover. This occurrence took place in the fall of 1805. William Langley was a cooper by trade, and Richard Brookover a carpenter. The first winter, Messrs Langley and Brookover lived with their families in a cabin which stood at that early day on Fountain alley in the rear of what is now the Zane house stables. Here in this cabin in the spring of 1806, Increase Brookover was born. Afterward Mr. Langley moved into the cabin at the foot of Main street, and worked at his trade. About the latter part of November, 1806, he purchased a lot on the northeast corner of Second street and Fountain alley, and built a hewed-log house on the corner of the lot, one and one-half stories high, and worked at his trade there. He was the leading cooper here for many years.

    He, principally, in those days, manufactured meat hogsheads, and work of that description, there being no call for flour barrels. He also manufactured cedar tubs, churns, buckets, keelers, and spiggins. The spiggins, in construction, were similar to a bucket, only smaller, with a long projecting stave for a handle. In the manufacture of the cedar ware, brass hoops were often used, and the ladies who then inhabited the cabins of Zanesville and vicinity, took great pride in make the brass hoops of the buckets, tubs, &c., shine. These, indeed, were the chief ornaments of the cabins. This log house, built by Mr Langley in the fall of 1806, is still standing, with a half story of frame work on top of it. The remainder of the house has been weatherboarded. In 1814 Mr. Langley sold this property to Seth Adams, and moved to a small farm three miles east of Zanesville, but only remained there a few years. He sold this farm and removed back to Zanesville, and purchased the William McCurdy property, on the northeast corner of Fifth street and Fountain alley.

    William McCurdy was a blacksmith and a manufacturer of edged tools, such as augurs, drawing-knives, hoes, axes, chisels, &c. &c., all of a good quality. Mr. McCurdy came to Zanesville from Pittsburgh, and was one of the most skillful mechanics of which Zanesville ever could boast. He sold the property corner of Fifth street and Fountain alley, to William Langley in 1819. Mr. Langley carried on the coopering business until the day of his death. He lived in the old frame building south of the Second Presbyterian Church. He had six sons and four daughters, all of whom were living at the time of his death. In the spring of 1806, Mr. Brookover moved into a cabin, which stood in those days on Third street, on the ground where Jones & Abbot's office now stands. He lived here until the fall of the year, and then moved into a log house belonging to Thomas Moorehead, which stood at that day where the Regulator building now stands. Mrs. Langley and Mrs. Brookover were sisters, and there was still another sister unmarried at that time, Miss Rachel Cochran, who lived with Mr. Brookover at the time he lived in this cabin on Main street. Miss Rachel Cochran had some money and purchased a lot on the northwest corner of Third street and Fountain alley, paying $50 for it.

    She made the purchase in the summer of 1806. The property is now owned by Mrs. Dr. Johnson. Her brother-in-law, Mr. Brookover, built a one and one-half story hewd-log house upon the lot. It stood on Third street, adjoining the Alter property. Mr. Thomas Morehead was at that time a young man, in the prime of live, in the western wilderness, where a companion, a help-mate, some one to love, someone to caress, was almost necessary to a man's happiness, if not his salvation. In those days there were no club rooms, no Masonic lodges, no billiard rooms, no reception rooms at saloons where a man could sit down surrounded by luxuries and pass a pleasant hour or so among his friends. There were no theatrical troupes traveling around the world; no minstrels. There was nothing in the world those days to make the evenings glide pleasantly. A pleasant home with a happy wife in it is a glorious place in any country or any age, but especially was it a glorious place in those early days in the western wilderness.

    Thomas Morehead, almost three quarters of a century ago, was much of the opinion that a good loving wife would be a great comfort to him. With such thoughts rambling through his mind, he met Miss Rachel Cochran.

    It didn't take him long to feel that from the foundation of the world, this polite little lady away out in this western wilderness, had been intended for him. All lovers feel the same way. There is spices of romance connected with every case of true love. There is nothing commonplace. It wouldn't be true love if there was not romance about it. In a case of true love the heart is filled with romance. Even the most contemptible fellow is a hero in the estimation of the girl who loves him. This must have been a case of true love at first sight, for it is related that Mr. Thomas Morehead, and Miss Rachel Cochran became acquainted and got married. Squire Spangler performed the ceremony in the fall of 1806 in the house which stood there where the Regulator building now stands. It was the property of Thomas Morehead, and Mr. Bookover was tenant. After the marriage ceremony was performed, the happy bride took her husband to her own house on the corner of Third street and Fountain alley. Here in this log house in 1807, there eldest son Washington Morehead was born.

    Mr. Thomas Morehead afterward built as an addition to this log house a two story frame, and in 1813 sold the property to Moses Dillon (Grandfather Dillon). Mr. Brookover continued to work at his trade in Zanesville. He worked on the StateHouse in 1809. Afterwards he purchased a farm three miles east of Zanesville, and lived to a good old age, and died there. He was kind, obliging, and honest fair dealing man, and much respected by his neighbors. Mr. Alexander the Scotchman stopped in Zanesville a short time and then pushed on further into the western wilderness. He was a fine performer on the Scottish bagpipes, and the first performer on that instrument who had made his appearance in this western wilderness. He would play at the hotels in the evenings where the citizens in those days were accustomed to congregate to hear the news, talk with travelers and read the eastern newspapers. The landlords treated the old Scotchman well. They enjoyed his company and so did the guests, for musical instruments in those days were rare, and good performers still more rare. The old Scotchman enjoyed a social glass right well, and the landlords took great pleasure in the administering to the old man's wants. Then he would in imagination roam again over the land of Bruce, and sing about the banks and braes of Bonne Scotland. And amid the sweet strains of the bagpipes, and still sweeter songs of the old Scotchman the fleeting hours glided swiftly away.

    WILLIAM M'CULLOUGH Came to Zanesville in the fall of 1797. He and Henry Crooks had charge of the middle ferry for five years. William McCullough was one of the first white men who ever trod the present site of old Zanesville. He aided Ebenezer Zane to mark out the road from Wheeling to Maysville, Kentucky, in 1797, and located at Zanesville in the fall of the same year, to take charge of the ferry. He was a great hunter and famous scout. He had been previously employed by the Ohio Company to kill game for the settlers. This middle ferry crossed the river between Zanesville and Natchez. The travelers going west took the ferry boat a little below the upper bridge, and were landed in what is now known as the Seventh ward. M.Cullough lived in a cabin which stood in those days near the foot of Main street, and on the south side of the street, while Crook's cabin stood on the other side of the river in Natchez. These two ferrymen would often keep travelers over night in their cabins. The travelers would lie on the floors of the cabins without beds. McIntire hotel was not yet in existence. The travelers looking for homes in the west, and knowing that they would be compelled "to rough it," always carried a knapsack or saddle bags with provision. The travelers in those days always traveled on horseback or on foot. At night oftentimes they were compelled to lie out under the trees or bushes by the roadside. I will repeat here that the first mail carrier here was Daniel Convers. he brought the mails from Marietta to McCullough's cabin in 1798. This mail line formed a connection here with a line running to Wheeling, and one running to Lancaster. They were weekly mails, and the contractor for carrying the same, received $30 a year from the Government.

    William McCullough, oldest son was the first white male child born on the banks of the Muskingum at Zanesville. The boy was named Noah Zane McCullough and was born April 7th 1798. His mother was a half bred Indian woman. According to report she was a well formed good-looking brunette. She was the daughter of old Isaac Zane. Her father was born about the year 1753 on the south branch of the Potomac, in Virginia. At the age of nine years he was taken prisoner by the Wyandotts, and carried to one of their villages on the Mad river. He remained with his captors until the age of manhood and became so attached to the Indians, who treated him kindly, that he refused to return to his home and friends. He married a daughter of a Wyandott chief, and took no part in the war of the Revolution. After the treaty of Greenville, in 1795 Congress gave him a grant of 1800 acres of land for his service in helping to liberate captives taken by the Indians.

    This tract of land was located on Mad river. He lived upon this tract of land and laid out the town of Zanefield in Logan county, four miles from Bellefountaine. At Zanefield a block house was erected for the protection of the inhabitants, during the Indian wars and the war of 1812. Isaac Zane had several children by his Indian wife. He died at Zanefield in 1816. Capt. McCullogh's lease of the ferry having expired in 1902, he removed to Zanesfield and located on his father-in-law's tract of land. When the war of 1812 broke out, he raised a company of volunteers, and was killed at the head of his company at the battle of Brownstown. Capt. McCullogh was patriotic, brave and fearless. His eldest son, Noah Zane McCullogh, is now living in Bellfountaine, in his eightieth year. He like the old pioneers, who were, during life, much exposed to hardships, is much afflicted with rheumatism, but otherwise in good health. The writer received a few lines from him a few days ago, through a friend. He gave his age, the year he was born in Zanesville, and the year his father left. He has promised at some future time to give the writer a sketch of his early recollection of Zanesville. He often came through here to visit relatives and friends here and at Wheeling.

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