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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Utica Once A Thriving Hamlet

Contributor:
Dallas Bogan on 23 July 2004
Source:
Dallas Bogan, Warren County, Ohio and Beyond (Bowie Maryland: Heritage Press, 1979) page 118
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

It seems the small hamlets in Warren County go unrecognized as to their history and location. Utica is one of these remote areas.
Utica lies on the corner of Old Route 122 and Utica Road in the extreme southeastern portion of Cleacreek Township. It is easily passed by; it being identified as just another bend in the road.
While researching Utica, I found it had its own definite character and history. It was easily recognized in the latter half of the 1800's, it being another of the County's bustling communities. An early writer of the town said: "Few compare with Utica in point of socialbeness, friendly greetings, hospitality and neighborly friendship."
As near as the writer can estimate, the time period of the following description is between 1850 and 1890. Utica had one store, one blacksmith shop, one pork house, one sawmill, one cabinet shop, one harness shop, one school, one saloon and one good writing school.
Jehu Mulford owned the store, sold out and bought land below Lebanon. Benjamin A. Stokes who kept it for some years purchased the store. Mulford then moved to Ridgeville, became a banker (not at Ridgeville), and accumulated a great sum of money. The store was later run by Samuel Carey who was described as a "kind and accommodating man."
Lewis Kling, along with his son, owned and operated the local blacksmith shop, the name of the establishment being, of course, "Kling & Son." Excellent and timely service was their mark with the community and surrounding areas. The pork-house was co-owned by Benjamin A. Stokes, Jake Davis and William Wright.
Alexander Lewis owned and operated the cabinet shop. He was said to have been the best cabinetmaker in the State at the time. He was also employed at one time in Cincinnati.
Michael Matthews conducted the shoe shop business.
There is no name attached to whom the harness shop trade was carried on by.
Andy Patton was the schoolteacher. He later studied medicine under the tutelage of Dr. Moses Keever.
Abe Brandenburg was the saloon owner. He was said to have died in the poorhouse.
John Murly owned and ran the local sawmill. His reputation was staked on doing every kind of work on short notice and at reasonable terms.
The schoolhouse was made of logs with a fireplace on one end with a row of glass, probably the size of the window, which would be ten or twelve inches by fifteen feet. It was called the Buttermilk Schoolhouse.
At a later time, another schoolhouse was built which was said to have had an upper story that was used as a Grange Hall. The owls and night birds than by the members of the Grange probably used the hall more. B.A. Hathaway kept the school. The United Brethren Church built a meetinghouse. H. Toby organized it. The membership soared at first, but soon dwindled. At a later time the church became very successful with its attendance once again viable.
The 1875 Warren County Atlas has a diagram of Utica (page 78), which shows the location of the residents, church, store and the school. Town lot owners were: S. Kirby, D. Graham, L. Grove, W. Davis, H. Brandenburg, R. Ivins, L. Kling, J.W. Phillips, L. Rogers, W. Pence, E. Marsh, J. Merritt, and G.A. Poisett.
Benjamin A. Stokes was mentioned as an early businessman in Utica. He was also the founder of "Dunlevy," January 17, 1850, at which location the writer cannot find. Dunlevy is in my files as a post office, which was later changed to Dodds, August 29, 1881. Benjamin A. Stokes was its first postmaster, June 17, 1850.
The writer hopes he has shed some light on one of the small villages that has since become just a crossroad on a map.


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This page created 23 July 2004 and last updated 28 September, 2008
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