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Source: Zanesville Signal, Zanesville, Ohio
May 15, 1938
Contributed by Debbie Noland Nitsche

Turning Back, the Pages --- News From The Old Scrap Book


A prominent local citizen, long interested in the early history of Zanesville and Putnam, who has just recently borrowed and read tow books written by Rev. Addison KINGSBURY, pastor of the Putnam Presbyterian church from 1840 to 1877 and possibly even longer, has submitted the following story of early Putnam residents, many of them prominent and wealthy, who were members of that church, as revealed in the reading of the two books. The writer has had recently loaned him two interesting books on the Putnam Presbyterian church and old original member of this church, entitled “ RETROSPECTION” and “MEMORIAL DAY,” a sermon by the author published in 1860 and the former book in 1877.

Rev. KINGSBURY tells of the history of Putnam; how in the spring of 1801 Dr. Increase MATTHEWS (a nephew of Gen. Rufus PUTNAM) and John McINTIRE went to the Marietta Land Office and bid against each other for what is now Putnam and Brighton. MATTHEWS outbid MCINTIRE. Levi WHIPPLE, a nephew of Gen. PUTNAM and cousin of MATTHEWS and son of old Levi WHIPPLE of Marietta, was associated with MATTHEWS. When MATTHEWS had bought PUTNAM a proprietor-ship was formed of PUTNAM, WHIPPLE and MATTHEWS, about 1805, they partitioned their holdings, the portion along the river to Pierce street going to Levi WHIPPLE. The WHIPPLES left the river bank from Putnam Hill wharf or warehouse purposes. He states that for many years most of the steamboats landed gargoes in Putnam as the main channel was on the Putnam side. The largest wholesale and retail grocery of eastern Ohio was located on the east side of where the Sixth street bridge now stands (Buckingham and Sturges Co.). Levi WHIPPLE also gave the land on which the original Putnam Methodist church was built on Sycamore (now Moxahala avenue) street. Also the land for the old cemetery on Moxahala avenue.


PUTNAM was first called Springfield and was in Springfield township. In 1814 its name was changed to Putnam. Called Springfield after the old spring on the Dug Road (then called Lovers’ Lane). He states that after the canal was extended down to the present lower locks the Putnam channel gradually became shoaled. The original dam was located just above the Pennsylvania railroad bridge and the lock was opposite South Fifth street. PUTNAM retained many lots in Putnam which he deed or willed his children. MATTHEWS retained land in the north portion, nearly all of Putnam Hill and Brighton. The first worship in Putnam was held at the home of Col. TUPPER, later called the Fr. H. NYE home (still standing). The membership then consisted of Col. Benj. TUPPER and wife Martha (daughter of Gen. Rufus PUTNAM), Dr. Increase MATTHEWS and wife Betsy (Putnam’s niece), and Levi WHIPPLE. Next year there were added Capt. Daniel W. WARNER and Mrs. MUNRO and grandmother of Mrs. Dr. BROWN, and Robert CULBERSTON of near Adamsville; Ebenezer BUCKINGHAM and wife Catherine (Putnam) BUCKINGHAM and Gen. Isaac VAN HORN. They met at homes in Putnam and Buckingham’s barn. A very small affair called a church was built on Putnam Hill In 1809 the First United Presbyterian church of Putnam and Zanesville was formed. In 1809 Rev. John WRIGHT came to Zanesville and preached to them on Sunday and taught school during the week.


In December, 1809, Rev. William JONES became their pastor. In August 1812, Rev. James CULBERTSON of Chambersburg, Pa., was called to this ministry. The services were held alternately in the old stone house on Jefferson street and the first wooden courthouse in Zanesville. After 1809 services were held in 1809 state house (later called courthouse), until 1817, when the new church was dedicated at the northeast corner of Fourth and South Streets.

In 1833 the Putnam church was split off the First Presbyterian of Zanesville, and in 1835 the new Putnam Presbyterian church was dedicated.


Mrs. Eunice (HALE) BUCKINGHAM, widow of Ebenezer BUCKINGHAM, gave $5,000 and later $5,000 more in her will. The members of this Putnam church (1835) were:

    Levi WHIPPLE
    Eliza WHIPPLE
    Eliza Tucker (or TUPPER?)
    Lucy R. WHIPPLE
    Sarah STURGES
    Geo. N. GUTHRIE (father of the late Will GUTHRIE and grandfather of Mrs. Florence FRAZIER)
    Eliza SILVEY
    Margaret SILVEY
    Horance NYE
    Lucinda NYE
    A. A. GUTHRIE (Judge)
    Edwin PUTNAM
    Patience LEAVENS
    Catherine LEAVENS
    Mary LEAVENS
    Mariea A. STURGES
    Pelig MASON
    Olive MASON
    Eliza STANNUS
    Mary RUSSELL
    Betsey MATTHEWS
    Sarah MATTHEWS
    Susan MATTHEWS
    A. G. ALLEN
    Nancy STICKNEY
    Sarah E. SAFFORD
    Ann D. BROWN
    Margaret WEAVER

In 1835 Rev. William H. BEECHER, brother of the great divine, Rev. Henry Ward BEECHER of New York, was called to the pastorate. Rev. BEECHER continued his ver able pastorate until Jan. 18, 1839. He married Sarah, daughter of Ebenezer and Eunice BUCKINGHAM.


On Jan. 1, 1840, Rev. Addison KINGSBURY was called to the pastorate of this church and was still officiating in 1877. Pastorates of later dates are not the purpose of this article. Rev, KINGSBURY’S fa?dle pen gives very interesting sketches of the early history of Putnam, its noted inhabitants and their descendant’ fame residing in Putnam or elsewhere. Among those mentioned are: Judge Edwin PUTNAM, Dr. Robert SAFFORD (the beloved physician of Putnam) who married Judge PUTNAM’S daughter, Major Horance NYE (who didn’t know the meaning of the word “can’t”) and officer in the War of 1812 and who married Fanny SAFFORD, and whose son was Dr. I. S. NYE and descendants and who married second Lucinda BELKNAP and whose descendants, Miss Ida POTTS and Edward POTTS live in Putnam.


Also he mentions Dr. Robert SAFFORD’s widow (the sister of Congressman Vinton), who raised her niece, Madeleine VINTON, who married Converse GODDARD of Putnam and later Admiral DAHLGREN, U. S. navy inventor of the Dahigren gun which put the Merrimac out of commission. Also he mentions Judge CONVERSE who became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio. Like wise Alvah BUCKINGHAM and Solomon SURGES who in 1850 moved to Chicago and built the A and B gran elevators---the wonder of their day---and both of who contributed so liberally to the Putnam church and the Putnam Female Seminary. A descendant of Alvah BUCKINGHAM was Miss BUCKINGHAM who gave the great BUCKINGHAM ouuntain to Chicago. The Chicago partnership of A. BUCKINGHAM and S. STURGES on their retirement from business was said (1877) to be worth from $15,000,000 to $20,000,000. The two had married sisters as had also Ebenezer BUCKINGHAM, all coming from New England states. Mr. STURGES equipped the Sturges Rifles, a company from Putnam in the early days, and paid all their expenses while in the field during the Civil war. To the first government Civil war loan he subscribed for $1,000 toward building the Putnam Female Seminary and contributed very liberally toward the upkeep of the same.


One of Mr. STURGE’S daughters married our esteemed and wealthy citizen, Charles W. POTWIN, Sr., merchant and banker, one of whose daughters married Judge Gilbert MUNSON of Zanesville and California. Chas. POTWIN, Jr., also was a son. John S. POTWIN and Sophia Marsh POTWIN were married at Burlington, Vt. He was born in 1790. He also mentions Ruth METCALF, daughter of John METCALF, who married a GUTHRIE. Also Matthew GILLESPIE and wife Margaret whose son later was mayor of Zanesville. Austin A. GUTHRIE was a prominent member. member. He and his brother conducted a grocery at the corner of Adams street and Putnam avenue and were very successful business men. This was later converted into a residence which was demolished a couple of years ago to make a place for a filling station. He was superintendent of the Putnam Sunday school for 40 years. This Sunday school was first started by Harry SAFFORD (silversmith), who built the three-apartment brick (still standing) facing Washington street and Muskingum avenue, and on this same lot had his jewerly shop. He married Patience, a daughter of Gen. Isaac VAN HORN, and had a number of prominent descendants, among whom was Dr. James M. SAFFORD of Nashville, Tenn., and of the faculty of Vanderbilt university.

The Putnam Sabbath school was formed in 1818 and met in the old Stone Academy on Jefferson street. In 1820 it was joined to the First Presbyterian Sunday school on South street. In 1828 the Putnam Presbyterians and Methodists combined in Putnam and separated in 1835.

Among the membership in 1877 was James BUCKINGHAM and wife, Jane, among Zanesville’s most honored citizens, and whose home built by his father is still standing, corner Moxahala avenue and Adams street. He had several prominent descendants, among them Mrs. T. F. SPANGLER, also Mrs. James BAILEY; also sisters Mrs. HA??ENBURG and Mrs. “Sunset” COX (wife of Diplomat COX) of Washington). Rev. KINGSBURY speaks of the incident of the encounter on the Third street bridge in 1839 in which Mayor Z. M. CHANDLER took a force of Putnam police to said bridge and ordered the Zanesville mob of proslavery adherents to disperse, which they did. Other historians state a Putnam military company participated. Z. M. CHANDLER was a colonel in the Civil war. Rev. KINGSBURY speaks of the “Putnam Greys.” a military company which existed in Putnam for years and was commanded by Capt. Jesse P. HATCH. He also speaks of Levi WHIPPLE’S office as being between the residence of A. C. ROSS and the HAZLETT home on Muskingum avenue.


Gen. Isaac VAN HORNE, who came here in 1805 and built a home on Pine street, was the Land Office Receiver appointed by the president. While not a member of the Putnam church he was a member of the First Presbyterian church of Zanesville. His family married extensively into the prominent families of Zanesville and Putnam and he had extensive land holdings on both sides of the river. His daughter Eliza married a noted Zanesville doctor, HAMM of Zanesville, and of this union one daughter married the late Dr. W. A. GRAHAM, out noted druggist and banker, and another daughter, Dorothea, married Peter BLACK, Sr., our merchant, banker and capitalist, and father of Pethter BLACK, Jr., Mrs. William E. GUTHRIE of Putnam and her sisters, Lydia, Dora, Florence and Elizabeth (PHELPS). A son of Gen. VAN HORNE was Bernard VAN HORNE, one of our noted business men and whose son, Jefferson, was a Zanesville business man, and a daughter who married Robert D. SCHULTZ of Zanesville. Among the members were the HAVERS, MUNCHES, COONS, GILLES and numbers of others. In 1877 there were 175 or more members.

This article was transcribed by Debbie (Noland) Nitsche on November 5, 2003. For the use of historical and genealogy purposes only. Surnames have been capitalized for easy identification.

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