Samuel McCluer, Troy Township


Samuel McCluer was born 1765 in parts unknown and died in February, 1833 Richland County, Ohio. His story in Richland County properly begins prior to the formation of the county and with his brother James McCluer. In March 1808, James McCluer made his way up from Fredericktown, Knox County, Ohio to a place in the "New Purchase." The "New Purchase" for purposes of this paper entails the boundaries of the original Richland County, Ohio. Where Bellville now stands, James McCluer cleared some land and rushed off to Canton to put in his land claim. The land clearing and those things that a pioneer must do took some time and winter was approaching, so James McCluer went back to forgo the upcoming winter in Circleville, Pickaway County, Ohio where his family, the family of Samuel McCluer and close friends had made a temporary residence.

In the following year of 1809 and after completion of the cabin, the rest of the McCluer family came back to the "New Purchase" to take up new residence. Among the family were the Oldfields, particularly Jonathan Oldfield who would later marry one of James McCluer's daughter. Thomas McCluer and Jonathan Oldfield spent most of their time clearing a road to the Knox County border. It was one of the first roads of Richland County and certainly one of the first to areas south of the present location. On page 238 of A.A. Graham's History of Richland County:

"The next road was the one leading from Mount Vernon north through the McCluer Settlement. A settlement existed at the mouth of the Huron River, and this road connected Mount Vernon and other frontier towns with that settlement, and was opened through Richland County in 1811. McCluer was so well pleased with the county and his prospects that he induced some of his relatives, among whom was Jonathan Oldfield and Samuel McCluer, his nephew, to accompany him and his family in the spring of 1809, and make a permanent settlement. Thomas McClure also came, and worked as a hired hand helping to clear up the land."

Samuel McCluer moved to Lexington in Troy Township 1815 after the conclusion of the War of 1812. Before his move to Troy Township, Samuel, his son Thomas, his brother James and nephew James had all served in the same company during the War of 1812. It was in Troy Township that Samuel brought his large family from the safety of Knox County where he had lived during the War and became known in the Lexington community as a man of faith and was very active in community affairs. William Gass, was father-in-law of two of Samuel McCluer's daughter. The Gass cabin was located at the corner of the Lexington-Springmill and Cook Roads and erected sometime during 1811-1812. An 1869 account written by James Rea Gass, son of William, explains further the early entry into Troy Township.

In October 1811, Father, Uncle Francis Mitchel and Joseph Mitchel prepared the camping out a few nights and determined to explore a part of the new purchase. They were gone some three or four days and were so well pleased with the wild country that Father selected the west half of section 12, township 20, and range 19, and Francis Mitchel the southwest quarter of section 11. The land office then at Canton, Stark County, Ohio, to which place Father hurried and entered his half section and also the quarter section for Francis Mitchel. These were the first entries of land made in this township. ...We steered east into what is now Washington Township until we reached the State road from Mt. Vernon to Mansfield, which was opened so that wagons could barely pass, then south to where Bellville now is. Mr. James McClure then owned that quarter section and lived there. He was uncle to our Samuel and James McClure. We had dinner there and arrive home late at night and gave a good report of our purchase.

Three years later, a meeting of the inhabitants of the new settlement of Troy Township reported the following:

At a meeting of the inhabitants of the Township of Troy the first after the incorporation thereof held on the following officers were elected. That is, Amariah Watson, Town Clerk, Calvin Culver - Constable, John Young, Jacob Mitchel and Solomon Culver - Trustees, Wesley Spratt.

Samuel McCluer's entry into Troy Township's activities appears in April 1815. He was on the roll to be compensated as Overseer of the Poor. The first mention of town name Lexington was in an April 5, 1815 Troy Township entry record.

Samuel McCluer's residence can be shown in the following entry:

160 acres, NE1/4 of section 15, A, Range 19, Township 20,Richland County, Ohio at 2.00 per acre for a total price of 329.91. Date of Land Patent was registered on 7/10/1817. Signed by Thomas McCluer, son of Samuel McCluer. Samuel McCluer was shown as assignee.

Township 20, Range 19, NW Quarter of Section 24 is the legal land description for Troy Township in Richland County, Ohio. Section 15 is just to the northwest of the present day city of Lexington.

Samuel McCluer's family in Troy Township in the year 1815 consisted of his wife Sarah, children: Thomas, Sarah, Rachel, Ann, Samuel Jr., James A., William, Mary "Polly" and Elizabeth. His wife Sarah died November 29, 1817 and is buried in the Lexington cemetery. He remarried on November 03, 1822 to Nancy Rutan, widow of John Rutan. Two children were brought to this marriage, Emily Jane and Hugh. Samuel must have adopted Emily Jane and Hugh Rutan as they kept the surname McCluer in legal proceedings such as marriage.

Elections in Richland County chose Samuel as one of three commissioners who met on 7 June 1813. According to other historical reference, Samuel taught school in his cabin during the years of 1816 and 1817. Many of the early elections for Lexington were held in his house as well. His estate record in 1833 showed a large inventory of common household items which were sold to compensate the courts for their expense and for local taxes.

Evidently Samuel McCluer was interred in the Strausbaugh Baptist Cemetery shortly after his death. At some point in time, a stone was made for both him and his wife in the Lexington cemetery. Samuel McCluer was a Christian who believed in being involved in his community and he reflected those values upon his many children.


by James W. McCluer, December 1999


1. History of Richland County, Ohio... published in 1880 by A. A. Graham & Company, Mansfield, OH.
2. Minutes of the meeting for Lexington, Troy Township for the years 1814-1825
3. Land Entry Records, #1721, 7/10/1817 , Alexandria VA, Land Management office.
1820 Federal Census Richland County, Ohio.
Family Records of John Allen McCluer, "Grandfather Samuel died 1833, aged 68 years."; held by James W. McCluer
6. Estate Record of Samuel McCluer, May 1834, 1834-5-1-g, The State of Ohio, Richland County.
7. Marriage Records, Samuel McCluer to Mrs. Nancy Rutan, Volume 1, page 133.
8. James R. Gass Family History, 1869, James R. Gass, Vice President, Troy Township representation of the Richland County Historical Society.

James W. McCluer


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