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Source: The Zanesville Daily Courier, Zanesville, Muskingum Co., Ohio
Saturday, July 6, 1878, page 1, columns 2-3
Contributed by Ky Longley

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

For the Courier,


    The Old pioneers are fast passing away. Soon they will have all crossed the river, and live only on the pages of history. There never were more robust, lively, patriotic citizens in any country than the early pioneers of Ohio. The war of the Revolution was just over. The American hearts were full of patriotism still. They had won the light and felt proud of it. But in the mighty contest, their fortunes were ruined. They were covered all over with glory and rags. Just at this time, when the very best people, the very cream of the American people, the most intelligent people on the globe, were looking for some place - some new country - where they could rebuilt their fortune, Ohio was thrown open to settlement.

    And to this rich and fertile country, the influential men of the Eastern and Southern Easter States flocked - men who had been thoroughly educated at the best institutions of learning in the country; men who had fought upon a score of battlefields during the great war - not the rank and file alone, but the experienced military leaders. Ohio was fortunate. Her pioneers settlers were a better class of men, better educated, more influential, more experienced in military affairs, more experienced in business life, than any men who ever settled any colony or State, since the world began.

    The subject of this sketch has just crossed the river, to join the band waiting just beyond human vision. Noah Zane McColloch was born April 7, 1798, in a cabin on the south side of the lower end of Main street, on the bank of the Muskingum river. His father, William McColloch, and Henry Crooks, came to Zanesville in 1797, to take charge of the ferry running from the Zanesville side below the upper bridge, to Natchez side, at the mouth of the Licking. Mr Crooks lived in a cabin on the west side of the river, and McColloch's cabin was on the east side of the river. The ferry was on the line of the Zane trail. In 1796, Congress granted Ebenezer Zane, of Wheeling, three sections of land, to recompense him for cutting a wagon road from Wheeling to Limestone, Ky. This road was called Zane's trail. He was to receive a section of land at the point where the trail crossed the Muskingum, one where it crossed the Hocking, and one where it crossed the Scioto.

    This section, where the trail crossed the Muskingum, seeming to him to be of the least value, he gave it to Jonathan Zane and John McIntire to remunerate them for their service in aiding to cut the road. Jonathan Zane and John McIntire gave the ferry to Messrs. Crooks and McColloch, for five years, on condition that they move their families to that place. At first the ferry boat consisted of canoes, lashed together, and afterward the boat in which McIntire moved his household goods from Wheeling, was used for the ferry boat. William McColloch was a member of the family of Indian fighters who lived in the latter part of the last century, near Wheeling. He assisted Ebenezer Zane in running the Zane trail from Wheeling to Limestone, now Maysville, Kentucky. He was at home in the western wilderness.

    He knew the country of the Muskingum Valley most thoroughly. He was at one time a scout and hunter for the Ohio Company. He had traversed the Muskingum and tributaries many times, hunting game for those members of the Ohio Company who lived at Marietta and Beverly.

    In the unbroken wilderness he was entirely at home. Years before he aided Crooks to keep the ferry, he had been a regular Indian hunter, and scout. Like all border men he was a hater of the red men of the forest. Many an encounter he had with them. Many a time had he lain in wait for them. Many a time had they lain in ambush for him. When these old border men and Indians met, no quarter was asked and none given. The Indian was speaking, and the border men brave and bold, and could have only the most bitter hatred for a sneak.

    He was called Captain McColloch, as in the early days during the Indian wars he had led several parties on expeditions against the Indians. He was a strong, athletic man, active, full of energy, and as brave a man as ever walked upon the banks of the Muskingum. To the cabin of this William McColloch, Daniel Converse brought the United States mail in 1798. William McColloch married a daughter of Isaac Zane, who, when a boy of nine years, was taken prisoner by the Wyandott Indians and carried from the banks of the Potomac to the neighborhood of Mad river. He soon forgot his home on the Potomac, and took kindly to Indian life. He loved to hunt and fish and sport. He grew to manhood with the Indians and married a daughter of a Wyandott chief. By this Indian woman Isaac Zane had several children. William McColloch's wife was his daughter by this Indian wife.

    The old settlers always spoke of Mrs. McColloch as a bright, intelligent, fine looking woman, of the brunette style of beauty. After the treaty of Greenfield, in 1795, Congress gave Isaac Zane a tract of land containing 1,800 acres, located on Mad river, Logan county, Ohio, for services in liberating captives taken by Indians. On this tract of land Mr. Zane lived and laid out the town of Zanesfield, and built a block house there for the protection of settlers during the Indian war and the war of 1812. Isaac Zane died in Zanesfield in 1816, in the sixty-third year of his age. The lease of the ferry at Zanesville having expired in 1802, William McColloch moved with his family to his father-in-law's tract of land on Mad river. When the war of 1812 broke out he couldn't remain at home in peace and quiet.

    He recruited a company of soldiers and was killed at the siege of Ft. Meigs. He like nearly of quite all the old pioneers was somewhat superstitious. Some monitor whispered to him that he would be killed in the siege or campaign. He thoroughly believed his verdict had been announced, his doom had been sealed yet he never faltered, but fought bravely to the last.

    His son Noah Zane McColloch was born in the first cabin built in Zanesville. In 1815 this cabin was torn down to make room for the canal around the falls.

    When Bellefountain, the county seat of Logan county, was laid out in 1820, Noah Zane McColloch took up his residence there and voted at the first election held in that village. He filled during his long life a number of important offices. He was County Clerk from 1822 to 1832; Auditor from 1832 to 1846; Justice of the Peace for two terms; Associate Justice of the Court of Commons Pleas for seven years.

    He united with the M.E. Church in 1836, and lived a consistent Christian life all these long years. Judge McColloch in his younger days, was accustomed to stop occasionally at Zanesville, on his way to visit relatives and friends at Wheeling. In 1840, during the great Hard Cider campaign, he visited Zanesville at the time of the big meeting under the old Elm, where Gen. Harrison was the guest of Capt. Taylor while in Zanesville. The Captain called in a few old pioneers, among whom was Noah Zane McColloch, in to a back-room, where a cool pitcher of water and some of the best liquor in the West, was provided. They drank in remembrance of the olden times and departed comrades. Mr. Daniel Convers was present, and raising his cup on high he said "Here is to the health of the first white male child born on the banks of the Muskingum, who was not exactly white." This toast created a general laugh, as all present knew McColloch was referred to.

    For many years past Mr. McColloch did not visited Zanesville. A short time ago he sent a few lines to the writer of this article, and promised to give, at some future time, an extended account of his early life in the wilderness. He, however, like so many others, put it off until Death knocked at the door and ordered him to depart immediately, with the old Ferryman, as his old comrades were waiting for him just beyond the river. And, in consequence, much history, interesting and instructive, is lost. Noah Zane McColloch was a good man, a respected citizen, a patriot, and a christian. He was married twice, and reared a large family.

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