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Source: The Zanesville Daily Courier, Zanesville, Muskingum Co., Ohio
Saturday, December 29, 1877. page 1, cols 2-3
Contributed by Ky Longley

The Early History of Zanesville
by E.H.C.

For the Courier,


    Among the most prominent men in Zanesville, at the commencement of the present century, was Gen. Samuel Herrick. He arrived in Zanesville from Pennsylvania in the month of Jun, 1805, then a young lawyer, poor in purse, but rich in natural abilities, in energy, enterprise, ambition, and business tact. He was a man of studious habits, and soon took a position among the leading lawyer of the new State. Gen. Herrick was a thoroughly hones man. If be owed an honest debt he paid it to the last farthing, and if any man owed him a some of money, he wanted neither more nor less, but the exact amount.

    When Samuel Herrick arrived in Zanesville there were not more than twenty-five buildings in the town, and all cabins except two or three log houses with shingle roofs and stone chimneys, and not more than one hundred and twenty-five inhabitants. At that time the citizens being in need of a school teacher, and Samuel Herrick not yet having received much business in the department of the law - there being already two lawyers in Zanesville, Willis Silliman and Lewis Cass - accepted the position. The citizens went immediately to work and erected a log school hose on the lot now occupied by the Market street school building. They enclosed the building, but did not put any floor in it. There was only an earth floor. One of the logs was cut out for a window.

    Over this opening was pasted greased white paper which kept out the wintry winds, and yet admitted the light.

    Logs were split in two and into these split logs were fastened four legs. These were the benches upon which the pupils sat in those early days. Along the side of the walls boards were fastened which served for writing desks. In the center of the building a stump of a tree stood which was used for a dunce block, where mischievous boys were placed as punishment. This building was the first public school building erected in Zanesville. John McIntire presented the town with the lot for school purposes. The school taught by Samuel Herrick, in this building in 1805, was attended by Richard Stilwell, Eliza Price, Harriet Convers, Amelia McIntire, Hattie Taylor, Mary Vickers, James Cordry, Isaac Spangler, Margaret and William Thompson, David Spangler, Sarah and Jefferson Van Horne, and others.

    Samuel Herrick was a strict disciplinarian. He did not believe that is was best to spare the rod and spoil the child. He kept the rod standing in a corner of the room near his desk, and he never failed to use it when the occasion required. Isaac Spangler was the most mischievous boy who attended this school. He frequently crawled out of the schoolroom under the bottom logs, to the great amusement of the remainder of the pupils, knowing well at the time, if he was caught at the trick, he would be soundly whipped. He frequently occupied the dunce block. The writer received his information in regard to this school and the construction of the school hose from Mr. Chas B. Goddard, and Mrs. John L. Cochran, a few years before their death. They were both pupils of the first school taught by Samuel Herrick in Zanesville. Mr. Herrick would attend the sessions of court in this district, and teach school between the sessions of the court. In a few years Mr. Herrick's law practice increased to such an extent that he gave up the school, and devoted his whole time and energy to the practice of his profession. The first court he attended was in Jun, 1805, at St. Clairsville, Calvin Pease, Judge. The next was in August of the same year, at Zanesville, in an unfinished log house belonging to James Herron, on the southwest corner of Sixth and Main streets.

    The writer has been informed by old citizens, that heard General Herrick state that the first cabin he occupied in Zanesville as a residence, was in such a shabby condition that, at the time of a shower of rain it became necessary to place all the clothes and perishable household goods upon the bed, and hold an umbrella over them to keep them from being drenched with rain, so badly did the roof leak. At that time houses for rent were very scarce and difficult to get at any price. Mr. Herrick erected a large frame dwelling on the southwest corner of Third street and Fountain alley, in 1808 or 1809. He resided here for many years, and then erected a brick residence upon his farm, in Wayne township, about three miles from the town, and nearly a half mile from the river road, and moved there, where he resided for many years. He continued his law practice in Zanesville, coming up in the morning and returning to his farm in the evening. On this farm he raised large flocks of sheep, and had the wool manufactured into cloth. In 1830 General Herrick resigned the public office he held at the time, and his law practice, became converted, was baptized by Rev. George Sedgwick, and became a member of the Baptist church.

    After his daughters were married he sold his farm in Wayne township and resided for a number of years upon a farm he owned in Falls township on the Muskingum river adjoining the farm formerly owned by Joseph Monroe, on the north. Growing old and somewhat feeble, he sold his farm and removed to Zanesville, lived at the corner of Orchard and Underwood streets, and died there on the first day of March, 1852, in the 74th year of his age. Gen. Herrick was one of the leading lawyers at the Zanesville bar, and one of the leading lawyers in southeastern Ohio for many years, contending successfully against such men as Gen. Lewis Cass, Willis Silliman, Fisher A. Blocksom, Charles Hammond, Obedict Jennings, Philemon Beecher, Elijah B Merwin, of Lancaster, and Matthew Backus, of Marietta.

    General Herrick, was a fine practitioner, and a splendid advocate. He understood how to work upon the feelings of a jury. Samuel Herrick was one of the leading Democrats of Ohio, in his time, and quite a politician. He was a Democrat at a time when it was an honor to be a Democrat. He was a Democrat in the days of Madison and Monroe, and Jackson, and like all western Democrats he almost worshipped Old Hickory. In 1810 he was elected by the General Assembly of Ohio, and commissioned by Governor Samuel Huntington, to the office of Collector of taxes, upon non-resident lands in the Fourth Collection district, including the counties of Muskingum, Licking, Delaware, Coshocton, Tuscarawas, and Guernsey. In 1810 the Court of Common Please of Guernsey county, desiring to manifest their confidence in the ability and integrity of General Herrick, appointed him Prosecuting Attorney of that County, although residing in Zanesville.

    On the 19th day of December, 1810, he was appointed by President Madison, and confirmed by the United States Senate, as the U.S. Attorney in and for the District of Ohio. Gen. Herrick, at this period of his life, had a host of warm, personal friends, among whom were Governor Meigs, Gen. Issac Van Horne, Col. George Jackson, Hon. John G. Jackson, of Va.; hon. Thomas Worthington, Dr. Alexander Campbell, Hon. Jeremiah Morrow, Mr. Geo. Reeves, and Abel Lewis. On the 28th day of December, 1810, he received from Gov. Meigs a commission, appointing him Aid-de-Camp to the Commander-in-Chief of the military forces of the State. So efficiently and satisfactorily did Gen. Herrick perform the duties of the several offices conferred upon him, that in 1812 he was appointed by President Madison and confirmed by the United States Senate, together with Col. James Kilbourne and William Ludlow, to act in conjunction with three commissioners to be appointed by the State of Virginia, to survey and mark out the north-western boundary line of the Virginia Military tract of land in Ohio. The duties of this office were performed to the entire satisfaction of the President. Charles Roberts, of Zanesville, acted at that time as surveyor for the said commissioners.

    In 1812, the office of Prosecuting Attorney for Muskingum county becoming vacant by the resignation of General Lewis Cass, who joined the Northwestern army, the vacancy was promptly filled by the appointment of General Herrick. In the spring of 1814, the office Prosecuting Attorney of Licking county becoming vacant was promptly filled by the appointment of Samuel Herrick, although he then lived in Zanesville. In May 1814, at a gloomy period of the war with England, having previously volunteered his services as a private citizen on several military expeditions in company with Gen. Robert McConnell, Col. John Reynolds, and other patriots of that day he was elected Brigadier General to command the Third Division of the Militia of Ohio, then including the counties of Muskingum, Coshocton, Tuscarawas, and Guernsey.

    On the second Tuesday of October, 1817, Gen. Herrick was elected a member of Congress from the Fourth Congressional District of this State, and in 1821 was re-elected. John C. Wright, who was afterwards elected to Congress for a term of two years, a Judge of the Supreme Court, and afterwards editor of the Cincinnati Gazette, was his opponent at both elections. Gen. Herrick occupied a prominent position on the floor of the House. He was a hardworking, an efficient and faithful servant. In 1827 he was chose Chairman of a large and respectable meeting held at the Court House, Syle Fulton and John Burleigh acting as Secretaries, for the purpose of taking into consideration the political situation of the day.

    At this meeting Samuel Sullivan, Dr. James Stansberry, Col. James Raguet and Ezekiel T. Cox were appointed a committee to draw up and report and address and resolutions expressive of the sentiments of the meeting. In November 1828, General Herrick was selected for Presidential elector, and had the pleasure of casting his vote for General Andrew Jackson for President of the United States. In 1829 Samuel Herrick was appointed for the second time by president Jackson and confirmed by the United States Senate, as the District Attorney of the State of Ohio.

    In 1830 General Herrick resigned this office and relinquished the practice of law, and during the remainder of his life devoted his time to looking after his farms and his city property. General Herrick was a pleasant, genial, kind-hearted man. His latter days were passed in peace and quiet.

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