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Source: The Zanesville Daily Courier, Zanesville, Muskingum Co., Ohio
Saturday, June 22, 1878, page 1, columns 1-3
Contributed by Ky Longley

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

For the Courier,

    Dr. Robert Mitchell was one of the early pioneers in Zanesville. He emigrated from Pennsylvania, a young married man, his bride by his side, on a one-horse sleigh, and arrived in the town of Zanesville on the first day of January, 1807. He was married to an excellent young lady a short time before he entered upon the dreary journey to the western wilderness in search of a new home, new friends, fame and fortune. He had youth, health, energy, and ambition in abundance, but his capital, like most of the early settlers, was limited. However, the world was before him, and he felt hopeful; had confidence in his power to win fame and fortune.

    On arriving in Zanesville he hired an upstairs room from Daniel Convers, who, at that time, lived at the lower end of Main street. He then purchased a lot on the southeast corner of Fifth street and Locust alley, and built upon it a hewed-log house, two stories in height, on the southwest line of his lot on Fifth street. This house is still standing, weatherboarded, and is still used as a dwelling. It was erected in the spring of 1807, and is now one of the old landmarks of the city. The Doctor put up a post and rails in front of his dwelling, with two cross sticks, which worked upon a post and pivot, so that a person passing along in front would have to turn it to get in. There was a wheel at each end of the pavement. This was erected to keep the cows on the sidewalk. There were many such fixtures in the town at that day. This was before the streets were graded and the sidewalks paved.

    Dr. Mitchell was the third physician who settled in Zanesville. Dr. Hillier being the second. Dr. Hillier, before his arrival in Zanesville, had been for many years a surgeon in the British navy. Dr. Increase Mathews was a resident at this time in Putnam. The Zanesville physicians in those early days had quite a large scope of country in which to practice. There was considerable sickness, principally fever and ague, but even at that day this section of the country was healthy in comparison with many other parts of the State. Dr. Mitchell owned at one time the lot on North Third street, now owned by John Alter. He traded it to the father of the present proprietor for a dozen rush bottom chairs valued at $70.00. This trade was made in the winter of 1808, and Dr. Mitchell considered that he had made a good bargain.

    Dr. Hamm settled in Zanesville in 1808. Drs. Hamm and Mitchell were the leading physicians of Zanesville for many years, Dr. Hillier having moved near Mt. Vernon. In 1808 or 1809, Isaac Spangler was a student of Dr. Mitchell and graduated at a medical college of Baltimore, under Professor Jamison. During the sickly season in 1822 and 1823, Drs. Mitchell and Dr. Spangler were in partnership. Dr. Mitchell was quite a politician, a Republican or Jeffersonian Democrat, and a strong partisan. He loved office and was fond of official honors. He was a member at one time of the Town Council, was County Collector from 1811 to 1812; Commissioner's Clerk from 1812 to 1813. Representative in the Lower House of the Ohio Legislature in 1815 and 1816; Associate Judge in 1818 and again in 1833, and was elected a Representative to Congress in 1833 and served one term. He went with Colonel McCune's regiment of volunteers, as regimental surgeon at the time Fort Meigs was besieged by the British and Indians in 1812. The regiment of volunteers numbered 350.

    On the arrival of the volunteers at Mt. Vernon, they were met by Gen. Harrison, who thanked them for their patriotism, and told them it was useless for them to advance farther, as the Government had no arms for them, and they couldn't fight the British and Indians with their fists. There were not fifty guns in the whole regiment. At Mt. Vernon, while Dr. Mitchell was feeding his horse with corn, an old hog came along, and wanted to partake of the corn also. The Doctor unsheathed his sword and broke it, much to his mortification. The regiment returned home. Ft. Meigs was soon after relieved.

    In 1820 '22, Dr. Mitchell was elected Brigadier General of the 3rd Division of the Ohio Militia, and served his country in that capacity for several years.

    I believe he was the commanding officer at the time of Colonel Prock's campaign in 1833 and 1834. Dr. Mitchell was an honest man, an upright, good citizen, and was successful in his profession. In religion he was a Presbyterian. He filled many offices of profit and trust in his day, was a strong partisan; never was troubled with doubts in regard to politics, and was a man of very strong prejudices. After a long and useful life, he died, Nov 13, 1848, in the 70th year of his age. His wife survived him, and died March 4, 1864 in the 76th year of her age.

    NOYCE STONE Came to Zanesville in 1805 or 1806. He was a carpenter, and occasionally worked at that business. He was elected for several terms in succession, Constable, and served the people faithfully. In 1816 he built the frame building on the west side of Sixth street between Market street and Spruce alley, known as the Walter Smith Row. He erected the building for "Johnny" Davis, the butcher. This property is now owned by John Stevens. The old house, after breasting the storm for sixty two years, is now being torn down and carted away. A slaughter house of Mr. Davis' stood on the lower end of this lot on Sewer alley. In this old slaughter house he prepared meat for the market, for many long years. Mr. Stone was Deputy Sheriff and jailer for Charles Roberts, who was elected Sheriff in the fall of 1816, and served one term. While Mr. Stone was Deputy Sheriff, he lived in the one story frame adjoining the small brick jail on Fourth street, near the Court House. At this time Jacob Lewis was a prisoner in the Muskingum County jail for over a year. In the fall of 1816 he murdered Samuel Jones. At the fall term of court in 1817 he was tried, convicted and sentenced to be hanged Wednesday, the last day of December, 1817. Judge Pease was on the Bench at the time, and delivered the sentence.

    On the morning of the day of the execution, an order came from Governor Worthington suspending the sentence for six weeks, and when the time for the execution arrived the sentence was suspended again. For safe keeping he was sent to the brick Penitentiary at Columbus, and finally by special act of the Legislature found his way into the Penitentiary for life. The murder occurred near the mouth of Simon's Creek. Governor Worthington was, perhaps, opposed to capital punishment, at least, wasn't willing to affix his signature to the death warrant of Jacob Lewis.

    The writer had a conversation a few days ago, with Mr. Thomas Davidson, who has yet a distinct recollection about the excitement around the jail at the time Mr. Lewis was to be hung. The gallows was erected in the jail yard, and the mob threatened to take the prisoner out of jail by force and hang him. A great crowd had collected from Muskingum and adjoining counties to witness the execution, and didn't feel happy when they discovered there would be no execution. They finally captured a poor, forlorn dog, and hung him upon the gallows. There never had been, up to this time, any man executed in Muskingum county.

    The writer of this article has a distinct recollection of the crowd and the excitement on the day appointed for the execution. All things were in readiness. The gallows was erected, a hangman was ready with his horse and cart to take the prisoner, siting on his coffin, with his back to the gallows. The writer, years ago, gave a full account of the murder trial, names of jurors, the charge of Judge Colvin Please, the conviction and sentence. The wife of Mr. Stone died in the dwelling at the jail in 1818, leaving three daughters and one son, Nelson, who was well known to the boys of 1825. Nelse found his way to St. Louis, married and died there, several years ago. Mr. Noyes Stone lived to a good old age, and died in Zanesville in 1848.

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