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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Early Warren Countians Improved Standard of Living

Dallas Bogan on 26 August 2004
original article by Dallas Bogan
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

In this article we shall examine the lives of some Warren Countians who have placed their names amongst the early residents of the county and made it a better place in which to live.

Isaac Jones

Isaac Jones was a self-taught man who never had the privilege of a proper education. He was born in Winchester, Va., about 1796 and, at the age of five years, was apprenticed to a neighbor by the name of Dunn. It was with Dunn whom he immigrated to Ohio and settled near Fort Ancient about 1805.Dunn's business was in the cooper's trade. (As we all know a cooper is a barrel maker or one who repairs barrels.)
At the age of 21 Isaac earned his freedom and became his own man. Regardless of his education he was determined to achieve a life of proficiency.
His first work was performed on the Fort Ancient Bridge, the first bridge built in Warren County over the Little Miami River. For his wages he received 31 cents a day.
After this work was completed, he then returned to work for Mr. Dunn in the cooper shop, and when not at work there, he worked on the farm at Stubb's Mill. He worked at the latter place for 16 years and never received over 50 cents per day.
Money was scarce in that day-and-time and brought a sizable interest. By being especially conservative, Isaac began saving his earnings and afterward loaning it at high interest rates.
He operated a little shop and, along with his extra work habits, accumulated the grand sum of $2500. He concluded that the interest from this capital would sufficiently supply his needs and wants.
Jones then quit work and lived with Thomas J. Snider, who then operated a store in Bridgeport, originally named Fredericksburg. (This settlement lies on the north bank of the Little Miami River opposite the mouth of Todd's Fork. It is now a part of Morrow.)
He paid for his board by doing odd jobs around the house. He remained with the Snider family for about 30 years, and then lived with the family of E.W. Newlove until his death.
All his financial dealings were regarded as strictly honest. He was always careful in making loans and punctual in collecting the interest.
About five years previous to his death, he began calling in his money, which amounted to about $18,000. He promptly changed this amount into greenbacks to avoid paying taxes. He kept his money in his room in a safe until urged by a friend to deposit it into a bank.
His mother, a widow, along with other members of the family, visited Isaac one day. He gave each a present and told them they would have to look out for themselves, as he had to do.
Previous to his death, he made out a will, which provided for his assets to be placed in the hands of three trustees. The interest of $7,000 was to be given to the Orphan's Home on the Shakertown Road.
The interest balance was to be given to Salem Township. A house belonging to him was to be rented and the proceeds to be given to the village of Morrow. The purpose of these transactions was to lessen taxes.
Isaac Jones died July 13, 1880. He had no religious views. He claimed that a lack of education prevented him from knowing anything about religion. His fondness for money seems to have had some sort of purpose. He never squandered his savings and, at his death, gave back in essence what he had earned.

Sarah Ross Corwin

"She is remembered as a woman of remarkable common sense, whom the brilliance of public life never dazzled; a woman of great strength of character and independence, and one whom her relatives all loved to honor, and will revere long after the green sods have knitted over her grave."
This is an anonymous tribute to Sarah Ross Corwin, wife of Thomas Corwin, political champion of Warren County in earlier days.
Mrs. Corwin was the daughter of Dr. John Ross and was born July 19, 1795, in Westchester, Pa. The family emigrated to Lebanon in the year 1819. Her mother's family was related to John Randolph of Virginia fame.
She married Thomas Corwin November 13, 1822, in the house where she died. At this time Thomas was a practicing attorney in Lebanon.
Her brother, Thomas Ross, was elected to the First District Congress of Ohio in 1818, representing Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Preble counties.
Mrs. Corwin spent all her married life in Lebanon, except three years under the term of Millard Fillmore, in which she lived with her husband in Washington when he served as Secretary of the Treasury.
She was, previous to her marriage, a member of the Society of Friends. Afterward, she joined the Baptist Church.
Her preferences were not directed toward the gay life nor the limelight of her husband's standings. Her attentions were always conducted toward her household and family.
Mrs. Corwin periodically had premonitions of her own death. She would afterward regain her composure and hope and pray that she would not be a burden to her children in later life.
Her husband's distinction displayed minimal involvement during her quiet life in Lebanon. She was indeed proud that she was married to such a celebrity, but not at the expense of her children and their rearing.
When Governor Corwin returned home from his many assignments, he was always afforded a shelter of rest.
The Thomas Corwin home place, located on Main Street in Lebanon, was a home away from home for the most distinguished men of the land, thanks to its congenial hostess. It was a place where the Clergy could gather without notice, and where the children were allowed to exercise their favorite pranks.
Sarah Ross Corwin died June 10, 1878, of apoplexy. She had been in unusually good character up to a short time before her death. On the preceding Sunday evening she turned in for bed about 9:30, awakening the next morning complaining of indigestion. Members of the family were awakened, but none took it very seriously. She passed away peacefully as though dropping off to sleep.

Dr. W.H. Stokes

William Hatcher Stokes was born in Warren County on July 23, 1820. He was the youngest and eleventh child of William and Hannah Hatcher Stokes.
He entered Miami University at Oxford, Ohio, at the age of 18. He later returned to Lebanon where he received private schooling from a Professor Bousal.
In February 1841, Governors Morrow and Corwin recommended him to an appointment at West Point. He entered the establishment the following June.
He willfully resigned his position of cadet as of April 18, 1844. After returning home he received a letter from Maj. Dilatush commending him on his "manly deportment while a member of the institution and assuring him of the respect and esteem in which he was held by the faculty."
In November of the same year he began the study of medicine under Dr. M.H. Keever of Ridgeville.
He attended lectures at Dartmouth College and also at the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati. From this last institution he graduated in the spring of 1848. He began practicing medicine the same year with Dr. Keever.
He retired from the medical field in the spring of 1861 and pursued a career in agriculture, an interest that had always been in the back of his mind.
He married Susana Throckmorton on January 31, 1849, and fathered thirteen children.
Dr. Stokes was a devoted Democrat in politics and was elected to two terms in the Ohio Senate.
His religious beliefs were handed down through his parents, that of the Hicksite Friends, a tradition he followed to his death.
Dr. W.H. Stokes died at his home in Lytle on May 17, 1896. He had been in failing health for more than a year. Prior to a few hours before his death he was considered to be holding his own.
A large gathering of family and friends attended the funeral. In compliance with the Quaker rites a few brief remarks were made eulogizing Dr. Stokes. His old intimate friend, David Furnace, delivered an inspiring prayer. The interment was at Miami Cemetery in Corwin.

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