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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Loveland's Early History

Dallas Bogan on 28 September 2004
The following is taken from Dallas Bogan's book, "The Pioneer Writings of Josiah Morrow."
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

An Early Surveyor Marks a White Oak Tree on its Site in 1787.

The Building of the Little Miami Railroad Leads to the Laying Out of the First Town Lots.

September 31, 1918

A young lady writes me that she is anxious to learn as much as possible concerning the early history of Loveland and asks me to assist her in obtaining such information for use in her school work. Altho Loveland is situated in the three counties of Clermont, Hamilton and Warren and the smallest part in Warren, I have a desire to assist her and have decided to publish the main facts I have collected.
The request was for facts of the early history and as the town is not an old one but was started after the construction of the Little Miami railroad, we are necessarily directed to the early history of the site of the town.

Mouth of Obannon.

The place was long known as the Mouth of the Obannon. The Obannon creek, it is well known, got its name from Col. John O'Bannon, a prominent Kentuckian and the earliest surveyor of the Virginia Military Lands between the Little Miami and the Scioto. This surveyor wrote his surname O'Bannon; the name of the stream is generally written Obannon and the early settlers universally pronounced it Obanion.
John O'Bannon and Arthur Fox, two surveyors from Kentucky explored the Virginia Military Lands as early as 1787 and probably named the stream at that time.
A white oak tree on the site of Loveland was marked "O'B Cr" as early as 1787 as is shown by the record of land entries. This was probably the earliest evidence that white men had been at the place.
The oldest map of Ohio I have seen is one drawn by Rufus Putnam and dated January, 1804. On this map Obannon creek is marked with fair accuracy but neither Todd's fork nor Caesar's creek is marked with fair accuracy. Only the names of larger streams are given in the western part of the state and the name Obannon does not appear on the map.
When the old territorial County of Clermont was formed on December 9, 1800, its northern boundary was declared to be a due east line from the mouth of the Obannon, and this line, run by the compass and not the true meridian, forms a part of the boundary of the counties of Clermont, Warren, Clinton and Brown.

Early Settlements.

One of the early settlements of Clermont County was made in this vicinity by Col. Thomas Paxton, who had come from Pennsylvania to Kentucky, served in the Indian war and about 1794 made his home here. He is said to have planted the first corn crop grown in this part of the Miami country. In October, 1797, Rev. James Smith made a journey up the Little Miami on horseback, and he relates that he stopped at Col. Paxton's both on going up and down the river.
Col. John Ramsey, a son-in-law of Col. Paxton, afterward settled within a mile of the mouth of the Obannon.
The first house on the site of the town was built about 1813, by Patrick McGarvey, a deserter from the British army, and the first brick house was afterward built by Larwin DeFolger.
Samuel Butterworth, son of Benjamin Butterworth, the Quaker pioneer settler at Butterworth's Station, in 1823 was the owner of the farm on which the town was laid out.
In 1847, Samuel Butterworth sold the farm of 189 acres to Colonel William Ramsey for $7,300, about $39 per acre.

The Town's Beginnings.

Early in the 1840's the L.M.R.R. was slowly constructed up the river. Farmers were not very liberable in their subscriptions of stock and it is related that the owners of fine teams on the farms at the mouth of the Obannon opposed the railroad because they feared it should destroy the business of teaming.
In 1847, Col. William Ramsey laid out the town of Loveland, and in 1849 made the first sale of town lots. He soon completed sixteen houses.
The completion of the Marietta and Cincinnati R.R. gave the town two lines of railway to Cincinnati and Loveland soon began to attract the attention of wealthy and prominent men in the Queen city as a desirable place for a country home.
The lands suited for building between the river and the foot of the hills being limited and cut up by the tracks and stations of the railroad; fine homes and villas soon began to be constructed on the surrounding hills and on the west side of the river. Judge James Hall, one of the famous early authors of the Ohio Valley and a successful banker in Cincinnati, selected a charming spot in the vicinity for his summer residence.
Gen. .Thomas T. Heath and Miles Johnston, of the Cincinnati bar, and the well known writers, J.H. Barrett and L.A. Hine made their homes here. The eminent Cincinnati lawyer and advocate, Judge William Johnston, spent his last years here.

The Town in 1874.

In 1874 a booklet was issued at Cincinnati, compiled by Richard Nelson, entitled "Suburban Homes for Business Men." Its purpose was to direct the attention to the desirable sites for country homes on the line of the Marietta Railroad. Nineteen places on or near the line of that road are described, beginning with Spring Grove and ending with Loveland. Most space is given to Madisonville and Loveland.
More than twenty-five residents in or near Loveland are described, some of them somewhat in detail. Nearly all of these have now no doubt become the property of families other than their builders.
Among the attractions are noted the scenery and drives. "Loveland is noted for its scenery. Fine landscapes present themselves from the numerous heights and dense woods, fruit orchards and from settlements abound. The drives crossing running parallel with the river are beautiful, while the numerous country roads and pikes intersecting the high land afford charming prospects.
"The convenience of the two livery stables facilitates pleasure riding. A horse and buggy can be hired for $3.50 a day and the entire suburbs prospected in less time than that.
"Four accommodations trains now run daily between Loveland and Cincinnati at hours to suit most classes. Business and professional men, clerks and mechanics can thus live at a distance of twenty-four miles and attend to their various vocations. The fare between Loveland and the city is only $6 a month.
"Bricklayers receive $4.00 per day; stone masons $3.00 to $3.50. Masonry per perch including stone, $3.00 to $3.50.
"Good frame houses of five rooms can be built for $1,200 to $1,500.
"Mr. Crooks, the builder of Riverside Hotel, completed that house of twenty-four rooms in 42 days."
There were in 1874 three churches in Loveland--the Presbyterian, organized in 1854, had 95 members. The Methodist Episcopal, organized in 1866, had 70 members. The Catholic had 40 members.
Horace Clinton was principal of the public schools, and Miss Helen Williams, assistant; number of pupils enrolled, 112.

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