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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Hollingsworth And Hamilton Early Warren Countians

Dallas Bogan on 28 July 2004
Dallas Bogan, Warren County, Ohio and Beyond (Bowie Maryland: Heritage Press, 1979) page
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

She was described as a "bright and shining example of a meek and lovely Christian." Her religious belief was that of the Friends doctrine, having adhered to that faith since childhood.
Rhoda Whitacre Hollingsworth was one of the lady pioneers that made her mark in Warren County.
Rhoda was born March 12, 1802, the daughter of Robert and Patience Mckay Whitacre, who were both natives of Virginia.
Robert was born in 1758 and Patience in 1763. Patience was Robert's third marriage. To this union was born seven children, namely, Andrew, John, Priscilla, Jane, Aquilla, Rhoda and Moses.
In the early part of the Nineteenth Century they traded their farm in Frederick County, Virginia, for a military claim of four thousand acres located on the Little Miami River and Todd's Fork. The land purchase was known as Military Survey No. 1494. They migrated to their new home in the wilderness in 1805. Rhoda at this time was but three years old. They established their home on a beautifully elevated spot, which now overlooks Morrow. They merely existed in an unbroken wilderness and suffered the many trials and hardships that went along with securing a new home in a wild and untamed land. Roads were practically nonexistent in this time period, which made the thirty-mile trip through the woods to the markets in Cincinnati a struggle beyond belief. Sometimes they would load their produce onto the flatboats and float them down on a rise in the Little Miami River to Cincinnati, and sometimes to New Orleans. Robert at one time drove his own hogs, along with his neighbors, to Baltimore, Maryland, starting in August and arriving in the small city in time for the fall market.
Patience would ride on horseback to her old home in Virginia (a journey of several hundred miles), and visit her friends and relatives. Here she would receive encouragement, which would strengthen her to renew her work in the wilderness. Patience, with her three daughters, Rhoda, Jane and Priscilla, contributed to the comfort and the welfare of the family. In this day and time, clothing was a main factor for the family. They picked, carded, spun and wove the wool for winter clothing and the flax for summer. Under these circumstances, Rhoda was raised.
At the age of eighteen she was united in marriage to Joseph Hollingsworth (born in 1786), a native of Frederick County, Virginia. He migrated to Ohio in 1816, first to Centerville, Montgomery County, and from there to Waynesville. Here he worked for a time in a flouring mill. From there he went to Stubb's Mill, which was a short distance west of Morrow.
Joseph and Rhoda were married in 1820 and settled on a farm near Beech Grove Schoolhouse, about two miles from her father's home. They had several children, the last survivors being Moses and Ruthanna. With hard work and a straightforward course of life, they succeeded in establishing themselves a comfortable home and an excellent farm.
Joseph was a miller by trade and was instrumental in forming a company with his brothers- in-law. Together they built what was known as the Whitacre Mills on the Little Miami River near the mouth of Todd's Fork in the years 1832 and 1833. (The skeleton of the old mill is still standing at this printing.) About the year 1851, they sold their farm and moved to near Harveysburg, where Joseph died in 1853.
Soon after, Rhoda and her son Moses moved to Springboro. Ruthanna had been residing with them since the death of her husband, Nathan Hunt. Rhoda, at the time of her death, lacked but a few days of being eighty-two years old. She died February 25, 1884. She was the last of her family, all her brothers and sisters died years before.
A writer once wrote of her: "There are, perhaps, but few people who have lived to her advanced age that have lived during the entire time a life more consistent, or one worthy to be more praised and held up as an example to future generations. Her loving friends were only limited by the circle of her acquaintance, for none knew her but to love her."

Captain William H. Hamilton

One of the many early Warren County residents to make his imprint on the County was Captain William H. Hamilton. He was born in Greene County, Pennsylvania, October 31, 1795. He was the son of Robert Hamilton, born in Bainbridge, County Down, Ireland in 1760.
Robert came to America when a young lad of fourteen. He sometime later became a soldier in the Revolution. He served throughout the war much of the time under the command of General Anthony Wayne. He was with him at the invasion of Stony Point, and was one of the men to lift him up when a glancing bullet had toppled him. His brother, a British officer, afterward captured him. Refusing to go home to Ireland if set free, he preferred to fight for his newly adopted country.
Robert's first wife was Susannah Kean. He worked as a blacksmith in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and about 1791 moved to Greene County, Pennsylvania. Here he married Ann Hays, a native of Berkeley County, Virginia. In 1797, he moved to Morgantown, Virginia, and in 1803 to Trumbull County, Ohio.
This part of the country was wild and crude. William spent his early years experiencing the hardships of pioneer life. Dwelling in log cabins and living in the simplest manner developed into him an iron constitution with which he retained throughout his life. After living in Trumble County twelve years, he moved with his father to Warren County in 1815, where he resided until his death.
Possibly his first paying job, as a tradesman was that of a blacksmith. He soon changed his profession to carpenter and builder, which he followed for about forty-five years. His building expertise consisted of bridge and mill structures.
He was for a period of four years superintendent of carpenter work on the Little Miami Railroad from Columbus to Cincinnati. He afterward was employed on the Marietta Railroad from Loveland to Marietta. On the latter road he superintended the construction of thirteen important bridges.
He was an officer of militia from 1815 to 1822, his assignments being Ensign, Captain, Adjutant and Lieutenant Colonel; he was known familiarly as "Captain."
He was several years appointed County Commissioner of Warren County. In this capacity, being the only mechanic on the planning board, he superintended the construction of many bridges and buildings, among them being the first infirmary. It was commenced in 1867 and was the largest of the County buildings; the total cost was $51,459.
His residences in the County included the thriving villages of Millgrove, and Oregonia. (He was appointed local postmaster of the former December 13, 1833, and the latter February 5, 1846.) He lived on a farm near the mouth of Caesar's Creek, on a farm near Genntown, and in 1871, moved to Lebanon where he resided until his death.
Captain Hamilton was married to Elizabeth Schrack September 23, 1819. She was born in Frederick Co., Virginia, December 18, 1800. To them were born 10 children.
He died on Thursday, June 30, 1887, aged 91 years and 8 months. His health had been failing for some months. He left five sons and three daughters. His wife of sixty-five years died in 1884, aged eighty-four years. Two children, a daughter, Mary, and a son, John, had preceded them into eternity.
His character was one of high standing. He was one of the best-known and highly respected men in the County at this time. His education was one of wanting, but his sound judgment and high moral standings overrode any obstacles. His son William and daughter Maggie who lived with him until his death comforted his declining years.

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