PIKE COUNTY HISTORY
In the early 1700's the Cherokees and Shawnees were driven into the area by hostile Indian tribes. In 1793 Anthony Wayne an army of 3000 men began fighting the Indians, resulting in the Battle of Fallen Timbers and the Treaty of Greeneville, which opened the area for settlement.
By 1800 there were 30 log cabins along the Scioto River. Pike County was organized in 1815 from parts of Adams, Scioto and Ross Counties and was named after Revolutionary War hero Zebilon Montgomery Pike. In 1817 Piketon was named the county seat. It remained so until 1861 when the county seat was moved to Waverly.
The first settlement in Pike County was along the ancient Scioto Trail of the Indians, run alongside the Scioto River from Portsmouth to Columbus. Piketon is the site of various historic buildings. Piketon was the first county seat for Pike County. The first courthouse is on Main Street and now houses apartments, although the original structure has changed very little. Inscriptions beneath the windows of the courthouse in Piketon, still declare the various county offices once housed in Piketon from 1815 to the early Civil War days when the county seat was moved to Waverly.
The home of Former Governor Robert Lucas can still be seen near Zahn's Corner on Pike Hill. The early Jacksonian Democrat served as governor during the canal era and the Toledo war.
Lucas was a leader in the early history of the model Democratic Party and was later the first territory governor of Iowa.
In 1861 the court house was moved from Piketon to Waverly. Waverly grew as a major canal port in the lower Scioto Valley. Many canal-era buildings still stand along U.S. 23 (Ohio & Erie Canal) remnants of the old canal bed can be seen north of the city along Ohio Route 335 to Omega and south of the city along Ohio Route 104 (the towpath road) as the road continues to Lake White built during the depression, Jasper and on into Scioto County.
James Emmitt was supposedly the first millionaire in the lower Scioto Valley. Among his many legacies, The Emmitt House, located on the corner of Emmitt Avenue and Market Street in Waverly. The former hotel dates back to 1861 and is now a restaurant today (2003).
Their are several other towns in Pike County now - Beaver, Buchanan, Byington, Cynthiana, Elm Grove, Idaho, Jasper, Latham, Morgantown, Omega, Stockdale and Wakefield.
Copyright © 2003
Pike Co. Genealogy Society a Chapter of O.G.S.
P. O. Box 224, Waverly, Ohio 45690