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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Potpourri Of Lebanon History

Dallas Bogan on 28 August 2004
original article by Dallas Bogan
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

Lebanon Race Track

Lebanon is known as the racing capital of the Miami Valley. Whether for entertainment or suppositions of monetary gains, the track continues to be a year round attraction for all who enters its gates.
On May 19, 1948, the Lebanon Trotting Association opened a 19 day meet at the Warren County fairgrounds, the first such gathering of its kind. More than $50,000 had been spent to spruce up the grandstand, track and grounds, and, as was claimed, the finest lighting equipment in the United States was installed.
The meet, which was finalized June 9, had purses and stakes which totaled close to $75,000. Approximately 400 horses were entered. Trotters from all over Ohio and many other states attended the grand affair.

Indians Killed in Lebanon

In July 1792, Oliver M. Spencer, just a lad, along with two men and a Mrs. Coleman, were returning in a canoe from Cincinnati to Columbia (now a part of Cincinnati). As they were landing on the bank, they were ambushed by two Indians and fired upon. One man was killed and the other wounded.
Jumping from the canoe into the river saved Mrs. Coleman. Young Spencer was captured and taken to the Maumee River area, where he survived for about eight months, and was later ransomed.
As our story goes, it was learned in Columbia that the young lad had been captured. The settlers gathered and a pursuance of the Indians was on. They had no trace of the suspects.
Henry Botzelle was in a party of searchers that followed a trail to the forks of Turtlecreek. He spotted traces of smoke in the woods close to the creek. Carefully he made his way toward the smoke and saw an Indian leaning against a tree, eating meat from a large bone.
Botzelle aimed his gun at the Indian and shot him dead. As he fell, he gave out a chilling yell, which was answered by his companion who was nearby. Botzelle instantly reloaded his gun and waited for the second Indian to emerge, and he killed him.
He quickly buried the two Indians in the sand near the creek, and carried home with him trophies of his achievement. These included a fine silver mounted rifle of English construction, and a bullet pouch made of panther skin, with the panther's paw for the lapel. In the pouch were the scalps of four white men. (The preceding was provided by Herschel W. Price of Butlerville and inserted into the 1903 Atlas.)

Some Early Wayne Township Land Prices

In 1803 Nathaniel Massie deeded to Ezekiel Cleaver 135 acres for $405.75, or $3.00 per acre; John Overton to Abijah O'Neall, 621 acres in Griffin's Survey for $1,255, or $2.02 per acre. In 1805, Benjamin Anderson to Abijah O'Neall, 1,000 acres on Caesar's Creek, for $2,000, or $2.00 per acre. In 1807, Thomas Posey to Jonathan Wright, 298 1/2 acres in Survey 1056, for $297, close to $1.00 per acre. In 1807, Abijah O'Neall to Robert Millhouse, 210 acres on Caesar's Creek, for $72.10, approximately 34 cents per acre.
Lots 8 in Miami Square, and 5 and 7 in Washington Square, Waynesville, to Jonathan Newman, for $32. Lots Nos. 5, 6 and 7 in Miami Square, to Samuel Test, $87.

Land Levels in Warren County

The lowest land level in the county is the bed of the Little Miami River at Loveland, which is about 125 feet above low water at Cincinnati. Lytle is the highest point from Dayton to Cincinnati, it being 607 feet in elevation.
Next is Spring Hill in Washington Township, with an elevation of 600 feet; next is Utica with an elevation of 534 feet. From the highest to the lowest land in the county is a difference of about 482 feet.

Lebanon's First Train

The residents of Lebanon viewed a remarkable spectacle on February 17, 1881, when the first train entered the town.
At 2:45 p.m. two locomotives, the first ever seen in Lebanon, steamed across Broadway amidst a roar of cannons, bell ringing, and steam whistles blowing at full blast.
The city was wild with excitement. Lebanon had never seen such a great outpouring of its citizens. Because of this momentous event all schools were ordered closed by the mayor.
Just prior to the locomotives crossing the intersection, a golden spike was driven into the track. The honor of speechmaking was given to the editor of The Western Star, W. C. McLintock.
On March 10, 1881, Lebanon saw its first passenger train steam through her small station. The Lebanon House held a banquet in honor of the occasion, and the president of the railroad gave a speech. The name of this railway was the Cincinnati Northern Railway Company. It was originally a narrow gauge railway of 3 feet, but was later changed to a standard gauge of 4 ft. 8 in.

Large Corn Stock

The following was inserted into The Western Star, dated August 23, 1917. It read that William Hay and Samuel Day, residing between Waynesville and Lytle, so far as was known, had the honor of raising the tallest corn stock for 1917. These gentlemen raised a stock of 16 ft. 2 in. in height. The first ear of corn was about ten feet from the ground.

"Heart Yearnings"

The Warren County Record occasionally inserted a column into its newspaper entitled, "Heart Yearnings." It was written by a person synonymous with such noted writers of the present as Ann Landers, etc. I shall now quote from this column; it is dated July 26, 1902.
Q. Does it argue against a woman that she has no men friends?
A. That depends upon conditions. Most women have but little regard for the feelings of men. They regard it as an evidence of brightness to hurt their feelings. If women have no friends among the men on that account it argues seriously against them. I can call to mind women advancing in years who have no men friends left, and their state is not enviable. Cultivate friends among men. Treat them politely. All men are not brutes.
Q. I am a poor man, on a small salary, which is about sufficient to clothe me in a fit way and pay my board. The girl I go with complains that the young men do not spend money on the girls, and that she would never marry one of them. What would you advise me to do?
A. It is said that a young man lives on love. If that be so you had better drop your board, and devote that money to the girl. If she must have a man who spends money, and you have not sufficient, bid her good-bye.

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This page created 28 August 2004 and last updated 28 September, 2008
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