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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Local Water Ways Reveal History In Warren County

Dallas Bogan on 30 August 2004
original article by Dallas Bogan
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Warren County has been blessed with many free flowing streams and rivers. The waterways are directly responsible for the early settlement of the county. With the need for revenue from mill and factory goods, the waterways diligently supplied these avenues.
The principal streams are Todd's Fork, Caesar's Creek, Turtle Creek, Clear Creek and Twin Creek, the latter three that ran into the Great Miami and the former into the Little Miami. These, with other smaller streams, water every portion of the county.
Todd's Fork, a creek rising in Clinton County and running about 25 miles in a southwestwardly direction, empties into the Little Miami River at the site of Morrow. This beautiful river drains about 261 square miles.
Turtle Creek starts in eastern Turtlecreek Township in Warren County and runs into the western side of the Little Miami River west of South Lebanon.
Caesar's Creek rises in Greene County and empties into the east side of the Little Miami River in Warren County about four miles below Waynesville. The drainage for this river is 230 miles.
Clear Creek is a small stream running from southeastern Clear Creek Township into the east side of the Great Miami River just below Franklin.
Twin Creek starts its course in Preble County, winds through Montgomery County, passes through Carlisle School district and empties into the Great Miami below Franklin.
The Little Miami River runs through the county from the northeast to the southwest, and the Great Miami River passes through the northwest corner of Warren County. These rivers were a very viable part of the navigation, which supplied the avenue for trade amongst the farmers, and the industrial sector of the cities.
The Little Miami stretches for a little more than 100 miles, progressing about 70 miles south and about 40 miles west while doing so. Its source is about five miles northeast of present South Charleston in Clark County. It elevation is about 1140 feet above sea level. In its 100 miles plus it drops 705 feet, or an average of about seven feet per mile. The lower 80 miles supports a drop of five feet per mile, therefore, the upper twenty miles must drop an average of fifteen feet per mile to provide for the overall average fall of seven feet per mile.

Oregonia's Indian Village Site

Caesar's Creek, a tributary of the Little Miami River, was noted for its large number of Indian mounds existing near its banks. Prior to 1891, no archaeological work had ever been carried on in this valley. Therefore, works along these banks were considered rich.
Just south of the confluence of Caesar's Creek and the Little Miami River, north of Oregonia, stood a large Indian village site of some sixty or seventy acres. It lay on the south hill overlooking the junction of these streams.
At the edge of the village upon the hill was a gravel knoll, from which was exhumed ten skeletons, two whole pots, etc. Due to the gravel and sand deposits, the bones were remarkably preserved.
A mound eight feet high and one hundred and ten feet in length was located just back of the gravel pit. In this mound were found seventy-nine skeletons, twenty of which were enclosed in stone cists (a primitive tomb made of stone slabs or hollowed out of rock), much like that which were found at Fort Ancient.
Two vaults were hollow, while the others were filled with loose dirt that had settled in through the cracks.
The mound also exposed in many places layers of three or four graves, one on top of each other. The skeletons lying along the base line were not buried in stones.
Five graves in a row were found resting on the extreme edge of the mound. All were heading the same way, and some contained two or three skeletons each.
Some stone tools that were found in the mound were a double pointed flint dagger made of chert (a dull-colored, flintlike quartz often found in limestone). It measured fourteen and one- eight inches in length, and lay by the right femur of one of the largest skeletons buried in the tumulus (an artificial hillock, such as was raised over graves in ancient times).
This skeleton lay upon the base line, and seemed to be the most acclaimed person of the seventy-nine. One of his neighbors was buried beside a pair of antelope horns. This presents a rather remarkable episode in the annals of primitive Ohio, because animals of this species were not known to have roamed the State, whereas we know that elk and bison were present. These horns were either carried from the West by means of other tribes, or the burial was made at a time greater than was suspected. Burial procedures of these seventy-nine primitives were varied. Some lay elongated, while others were found with their knees drawn up, and still others lay upon their sides.
Burials by some tribes often placed the head and trunk of the person in the mound, or would inter the legs, pelvis and lower section of the spinal column.
Early French and Spanish travelers in this country mentioned in their writings that tribes kept the bones of their dead in small buildings until a large number had accumulated. An account of this burial procedure could have possibly happened along the juncture of The Little Miami and Caesar's Creek.

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This page created 30 August 2004 and last updated 28 September, 2008
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