Back to Newspaper Article Index

Source: The Zanesville Daily Courier, Zanesville, Muskingum Co., Ohio
Saturday, June 8, 1878, page 1, cols 2-4
Contributed by Ky Longley

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

For the Courier,

    Mr. Church received the following communication from the venerable Jacob Adams, now living in McConnelsville, and at one time a citizen of Zanesville for several years. He gives a sketch of early times in Zanesville.

    Mr. Elijah Church: - Seeing you some time ago, I promised to give you some items of my first settling in Zanesville:

    I was born in Worcester County, MI, November 8, 1788, emigrated to Kentucky in 1801, served my apprenticeship as a tailor in the town of Harrison, in Kentucky.

    I first came to Zanesville in 1808, merely passing through the village, not recollecting now much about the place. The hotel at which I stopped was kept by Robert Taylor opposite the Court House. The Court House at that time was either log or frame, I do not now recollect which. The jail was built of logs, and was burned down by a Virginian slave. In the year 1814, I went East, and remained two years, being the most of my time in Winchester, Va.

    On my return, I walked from Winchester to Zanesville (I was not rich at that time, I had fifty cents in silver, and that I had found in the road two miles from Zanesville) I here became acquainted with James Taylor, afterwards proprieter of Taylorsville. He told me the set of Government had been moved from Chillicothe, to Zanesville, and I being a tailor by trade, he thought it would be a good place for me to locate, and if I would remain he would do all he could for me (and he never failed to do so). At that time there was a log house that stood on the corner of the alley on Main street, opposite E. E. Fillmore's store.

    The ground at that time known as Mud Hollow, was owned by Samuel Parker. In this building Mr. Taylor opened his store and rented the upper story to me for my tailor shop. This was in 1810.

    There was a man by the name of Bates who lived one mile east on Mill Run, and discovered a small strata of coal, he brought me a load, and I put up a grate in my shop and burned coal, I being the first person who burned coal in a grate or stove in Zanesville.

    I must now give you a list of the professional and business men of our village. The Rev. Mr. Jones, was our first Presbyterian minister, and Mr. James Culbertson our next Presbyterian preacher.

    Attorneys - Silliman, Herrick, Culbertson, Harper, Granger, Mervin and Goddard.

    Merchants - Jeffry, Price, also Postmaster, Samuel Thompson, also justice of the peace, Convers, Monroe, Isaac Hazlett, Nathan Finley and McLaughlen.

    Hotel Keepers - Robert Taylor, who kept opposite the Court House; Mr. Harper, corner of Second and Main Street; Jimmy Richey, corner of Eighth and Main street; Mr. Sago, corner of Sixth and Main street.

    Carpenters - Hampson, Culbertson, Carnse, Smeltzer, Blocksom and Fracker.

    Shoemaker - Joseph Church, David Anson, Timothy Gaylord and Soloman Deffenbaugh.

    Tailors - Jacob Adams and James Lynn

    Tanners - Morehead, Robertson and Culbertson

    Potter - Judge Sullivan

    Tinner & Coppersmith - George Dalty

    Silversmith - George Reaves.

    Butchers - Michael Sockman, whose meat store was a boarded shanty on the Public Square, near where the Court House now stands, and John Davis.

    Baker - Hartman.

    Barber - "Black George," who lived to be a hundred years old.

    Hatters - Herring and Galliger

    Soldiers - Arthur, Reed and Holl.

    Blacksmiths - Christian Spangler and Jacob Funk.

    Frederick Houk made buckskin pants and gloves.

    Manufacturers - Moses Dillon had a furnace up Licking creek about two miles. Whipple and Putnam had a Flouring mill at the end of the Putnam bridge, also a Woolen factory in the same place. Old John Matthews had a mill on Moxahala. I think David Chambers established the first printing office in Zanesville.

    Mr. Levens kept a hotel in Springfield near where the Washingtonian wigwam stood at that time. This was where the Federalists assembled. They were Tories at the time, and opposed to the war. James Reaves kept hotel where the Zane House now stands.

    The Glass Works was established shortly [after?] I came to Zanesville, by Culbertson and Taylor.

    Cigars and tobacco were manufactured by John Cochran.

    I will now give you some idea of the finance and product of our country at that time. Old John Mathews came into my shop one time in 1811 and says he "Young man I see your are a tailor by trade" I said yes "Well I want a suit of cloth made, and will pay you in flour" I asked him what the flour was worth. "Three dollars per barrel." I made his clothes. Some weeks after old Judge Stillwell, (the father of Judge Richard Stillwell) came into my shop and said, "I see young man, you work at tailoring, and I want you to make me a suit of clothes, and will pay you in pork". What is your pork worth? "One dollar and fifty cents per hundred" I made his clothes, and he brought the pork down from the mouth of the Tomics[sp?] in a canoe and paid me.

    Now for the contrast with prices of produce: In 1814 I paid for flour $8.09, and for pork $5.00. These sudden changes were cause by the war, and our paper currency became worthless. In 1810, and previous, the Indians were in the habit of coming over from Wolf and Meigs creeks, and camping over in West Zanesville. They came over the river to do their trading, bringing venison, hams, and different kinds of skins, furs, &c. They would buy their powder, beads, and different kinds of trinkets, but never bought any lead, and it was supposed that they had found lead on one of these creeks, of which old settlers here think there is no doubt.

    I must here give you some items of what we did in the war of 1812. Capt. Carnes recruited a company and went out with Gen. Cass, and surrendered at Detroit. Capt. Pearce, with a company of cavalry, was in the battle of Massiniway, and was there killed. Gov. Meigs ordered out Gen. McConnel's entire regiment, and it was marched to Delaware, where it was ordered back.

    I volunteered, I think, about the time of the battle of Tippicano, in the month of March, and returned about the 15th of June.

    In 1811 or 1812, I do not recollect which we had two or three severe shocks of an earthquake, which shook the buildings in which we lived. This was I think in the fall of the year. In 1812 there was a company recruited in our village. The Captain, I do not remember, but I think he lived in Putnam. This company was composed of the aristocracy of our town and was named the "Silk Stocking Company." General Van Horn reported to Governor Meigs, that there was a full volunteer company now ready for service. Governor Meigs wrote to send them to the front forthwith. By the way General Van Horn's letter went vial Chilicothe, and was there examined by Adjutant McLain, who took a copy of it and sent the original to Chas.. Hammond who published a Federal paper in St. Clairville. However, when the Governor's order came there was a great panic among the "Silk Stockings." Some claimed that they were lame, some rheumatic, some blind &c. It was said at the time that General Van Horn wrote to Governor Meigs, that if the company was ordered out, that the Federalists would carry the country. So ended the expedition of the "Silk Stockings."

    I must here, in this connection, tell you a fish story. A lot of our citizens got to work and built a wing dam from Whipple's mill to the other side of the river, George Reaves leading the party. After getting it completed the river fell, and they caught as many fish as a common flat could carry. I bought a barrel with the heads taken off for $4.00, enough to last me a year. This immense quantity of fish gave rise to some difficulty from the fact that they did not send Mr. McIntire any. So he sent his black man down to warn them off. They finally submitted, and McIntire became possessor of the fishery. In 1813, upon hearing of Perry's victory upon Lake Erie, we concluded to have a jollification by firing a six pounder that we had. So we gathered up our crowd, and planted our gun on the site where General Goddard's residence now stands. Neal McFadden was our gunner, and all being ready, Old Jimmy Richey, our tavern keeper, feeling pretty good, hollowed out: "Load her up Neal, and Jimmy Richey will drink ye a toast." In the meanwhile some one rammed a hand spike in the gun, she being sited for the Washingtonian wigwam.

    All being ready, Jimmy says "Neal are you ready!" Taking off his hat: "May the United States reign over Great Britain forever and forever. Touch her off Neal" Away went the spike, striking in the street of Putnam, and nearly killing a man crossing the street. This raised a rumpus and over to Zanesville a lot of them came to see us off. But not finding any law that time we laughed at them, so they went back, and that one shot ended the celebration.

    The first Steamboat that ascended the Muskingum, was in the year of 1816. Her name was William Rufus Putnam. She came up the river and gave us all a ride down to the falls and back, and then returned to Marietta, where she was built and blew up.

    This is as near as I can remember. The dates may vary some, but not much.

Jacob Adams.

    Mr. Jacob Adams had his tailor shop in a one-story brick, east of what is now the Zane House, and Joseph Church occupied the basement for a boot and shoe establishment. At this period, (1811) main street was so steep at that point, that persons in going from Fifth street to Mud Hollow could step from the door of the shoe shop on a level with the street. There was a platform running in front of the hotel and extending beyond to Mr. Adams' place of business. Mr. Adams bought a lot on North Sixth street, from John McIntire, for $100, and built a one and a half story frame house in 1811 - the house now occupied by Mrs. Full. Mr. Adams was married to Miss Lydia Shugert September 5, 1811, by Rev. Wm. Jones, Presbyterian preacher. In 1813 he built a two story frame dwelling in Mud hollow, near Joseph Church's shop. Mrs. Adams' sister, Eliza Shugert, lived with them. She afterwards married Dr. Barker, of McConnelsville. Mrs. Barker is now a widow, living in McConnelsville, and one of the most respected ladies of the place.

    Mr. Adams made General Lewis Cass's first military suit, during the war of 1812, when he was a Colonel of the Third Ohio Volunteers, a regiment of one year men who left Zanesville for the front in June, before the declaration of the war of 1812. Mr. Adams, at that time, was the most fashionable tailor in the place. In 1817-18 he had a store, and sold dry goods, groceries, etc. In the fall of 1818 he disposed of his dry goods and grocery establishment and moved to McConnelsville - just laid out - with several other families, consisting of Mr. Timothy Gaylord, Mr. William or James Robertson, both shoemakers by trade and both prominent citizens of Zanesville. Mr. Robertson's son, Hiram H Robertson, was a great politician. He was editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer, or that Ohio Statesman at one time. Mr. Gaylord's son, Jas Gaylord, was a prominent politician, and went to Congress from the Morgan County district. He was a Zanesville boy, born on the public square, his father at that time being Deputy Sheriff, under John Reynolds.

    Mr. Adams is now keeping a hotel in McConnelsville, is in his ninetieth year, and well and hearty for a man of that age.

Return to the top of this page

This county is part of the USGenWeb Project, a non-profit genealogical resource web system, and is maintained by Denny Shirer < drdxBuckeyeEmporium.com >