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Source: The Zanesville Daily Courier, Zanesville, Muskingum Co., Ohio
Saturday, March 9, 1878, page 1, cols 2-4
Contributed by Ky Longley

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

For the Courier,

    Samuel Goff and family arrived in Zanesville in the spring of 1805. He and his wife were born in England, and they emigrated with two children, which had been born to them, to Philadelphia. Mr. Goff was a brick mason, and worked in Philadelyhia for some years at his trade. While living in Philadelphia, three daughters were born to them, two dying in infancy in that city. When he removed to Zanesville there were three children in the family, viz: Thomas, William and Betsey. After arriving in Zanesville, Mr. Goff worked at his trade, building chimneys and such other work as he could find to do. The first house he erected in Zanesville, was a two-story, double-hewed log house, with a wide passage through the center.

    It stood on Third street on the ground now occupied by the foundry of Jones and Abbott. This building was somewhat noted in those early days. At Mother Goff's, in this building, Rev. John Goshen, a millwright by trade, held the first Methodist love-feast ever held in Zanesville. In the fall of 1805, the principal Methodists in Zanesville were Mother Goff, Samuel Parker and wife, Mrs. Dr. Hillier and two or three other persons, whose names the writer at present is unable to recall. From so small a beginning did the great Methodist congregations of the city of to-day spring. In the northern room of the same building in 1809, George and Richard Reeves kept their silver smith shop. At the same time Rev. Wm. Jones, the first Presbyterian minister of Zanesville, occupied the southern wing with his family and this was the first house Rev. Jones lived in after arriving in Zanesville.

    In the latter years of the war of 1812, it was used for barracks for soldiers and continued to be so used for several years. In these barracks, a soldier got into quarrel with William Newton, and struck him on the head with an old fashioned skillet, the leg of the skillet penetrating his skull, and causing death instantly. Newton was the drummer at the these barracks. The occurrence took place in the Spring of 1817. The soldier who killed Newton, was arrested and lodged in jail, but succeeded in breaking jail on the following fourth of July and escaping. The writer remembers well, when a boy, seeing Captain Cass starting with a company of regulars armed and equipped, from these barracks through the streets, to the Lakes on the North. The Captain was crippled in one of his ankles and limped.

    The company marched up Main street to Sixth, then north to Market, down Market to the river and crossed at the upper ferry. Mr. Goff purchased a few acres of land on the river below Wainright's brewery, the same ground now owned by Michael Dulty. In 1808 he built here a hewed log house and cultivated a garden of flowers, and fruit trees, and had several hives of bees. He owned a large pet bear. One day when Mr. Goff was away from home the bear got loose, marched into the house, terribly frightened the inmates, then went into the garden, upset the bee hives, eat and destroyed the honey and tore up things generally. When Mr. Goff came home he couldn't control him, and was compelled to kill him. He then invited the neighbors to come in and feast on bear meat.

    In 1813 he sold this property to Seth Adams, and took a flock of sheep in part pay. He then purchased the lot with a small cabin on the northeast corner of Main street and Cypress alley. He afterward erected a brick building on the front part of this lot, and then sold the property to Michael Peters. In the cabin on this lot Mrs. Goff taught school. The writer and Hamilton Robertson when very small boys attended this school. We learned the alphabet, and how to spell under the insructions of this excellent lady. The teacher had a paddle, on one side of the alphabet, and on the other spelling lessons. From this paddle we got our first knowledge of the rudiments of the English language. Primmers in those days cost money, and were easily worn out. Mrs. Goff was a lady who had received a fine education in England. Her father and mother died in England when she was quite young, and she was raised by her uncles, and was sent to boarding school.

    The family name was Thumwood. Her maiden name was Catharine Thumwood. I always understood that the parents of Mrs. Goff were what were considered wealthy people in England. At the boarding school where she was attending, she married Mr. Samuel Goff. Her relatives did not approve of the match, thinking she was degrading herself by marrying a mechanic. There was an advertisement in the newspapers several years ago, calling for heirs for the Thumwood estate. The heirs of Mrs. Goff, at the time, agitated she questioned of sending an attorney to England to look after their interests, but no action was ever taken, so far as the writer is aware, by the heirs of Mrs. Goff. After disposing of the property on Main street and Cypress alley to Michael Peters, Mr. Goff purchased a lot, with a cottage house upon it, erected by Joseph Hocking, on Sixth street. It his house Betsey Goff, the eldest daughter, was married to Dr. Dillon Brooks, the eldest son of Mr. Clement Brooks, of this place.

    The Doctor took up his residence in Mt. Vernon, and died their some years ago, and his wife some years afterward died at Newark, Ohio. They left a family of children all highly respected. Mr. Thomas Goff of Frazeysburg, was the eldest son of Samuel Goff. He owned a large farm near that town, and died there some years ago. His wife was struck by and engine attached to a train of cars, while crossing the railroad track at Frazeysburg a few years ago, and instantly killed. Thomas Goff was a stone mason, and learned his trade with Jacob Houck in Zanesville, in 1812 and 1813, and worked at the business for several years. William Goff, the second son, was a bricklayer, and worked at his trade here in Zanesville for a number of years.

    In the summer of 1831 he had the contract of doing the stone and brick work of the Radical church, on South street. While engaged in work here he got into a quarrel with William Luck, one of the Trustees. William Goff was at this time engaged in making a bed of mortar, and struck at William Luck with a shovel, but missed him, and Luck struck out with a hoe, hit William Goff on the head and fractured his skull. The fracture effected his mind, and at times he would often wander around the country. Every farmer within a radius of five to ten miles new "Billy" Goff. Mr. Goff before he met with this misfortune was considered a good mechanic. Samuel Goff, the youngest son, learned the pottery business, and is now living at Irvington, on the Ohio river. Sallie Goff married Mr. John Huntington, a carriage-maker, well-known in Zanesville. Mary, the youngest daughter, married Mr. John McKee, an industrious tailor. He died in Zanesville some years ago.

    Samuel Goff was very fond of cultivating fruit trees and flowers. He improved the orchards of this section of the county in the latter years of his life by pruning and grafting the fruit trees. He issued shinplasters in 1816 and called them "round rig." Here is the Round Rig.

    They were in denominations from 6-1/2 to fifty cents every one of which were stamped with the emblem of the order of the Round Rig Society. The emblem of the order was a round ring with a spade in it. It was a secret society, and meetings were held for the discussion of political subjects. The members of the society were Republicans or members of the Jefferson school politics. At their meetings they had refreshments of all kinds. Samuel Goff was President of the Society, and signed his name as President of the R.R.B.S. in 1815, 1816, and 1817, the country was full of shinplasters issued by banks and individuals just after the war of 1812.

    There were the Owl Creek shinplasters, and the Round Rig shinplasters issued by Samuel Goff; shinplasters issued by Craig and Houk, with the sign of the market house on them, and shinplasters issued by the Muskingum Bank. The Muskingum bank shinplasters were in denominations from 6-1/2 to 75 cents. The writer has in his possession at the present time, a shinplaster issued by the Muskingum Bank, calling for 75 cents, signed by E. Buckington, President, and D. J. Marpole, Cashier. This shinplaster was issued in 1817.

    The writer has now in his possession, two or three shinplaster, issued by Craig and Houk, in 1816. Mother Goff was strictly attached to the Methodist faith, and usually got much excited at the meetings of that denomination. She was a good christian lady. Her husband despised the Methodist doctrine and would make all manner of sport of the professors of that faith. This unfortunate condition of affairs caused a separation between Samuel Goff and his wife. He divided his property, giving Mrs. Goff the cottage on Sixth street, and five hundred dollars cash for her share. He then disposed of the remainder of his town property, and purchased a farm a few miles south of Zanesville, where he died several years ago. His wife lived a number of years after the separation, and died in Zanesville.

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