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History & Genealogy


Mack, Horace
History of Columbiana County, Ohio
 with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
Philadelphia: D. W. Ensign & Co.,

pg. 229

(Transcribed by Sharon Wick)


Residence of Samuel Gaston, St. Clair Tp., Columbiana Co., O.

     ST. CLAIR, range No. 1, township No. 6, occupies an elevated but fertile region, and wellnigh describes a square in shape, being five miles wide by five miles and three quarters in length, and covers an area of about twenty-nine square miles.  Its boundaries are Middleton township on the north, Liverpool township on the south, the Pennsylvania line on the east, and Madison township on the west.  The township is rich in natural beauty, and contains a vast scope of wildly rugged and romantic scenery.  The expansive views obtained from some of its high elevations are charming, while here and there thickly-wooded dells, which shelter mountain brooks, and are in turn guarded by towering hills, present to the eye pictures that engage and impress the attention of the lover of nature.  Beaver Creek flows through the township in an exceedingly sinuous course along the eastern border, and, emerging at the southeast corner, passes across the northeast corner of Liverpool, and so into Pennsylvania.
     The middle fork of Beaver flows in a zigzag and eccentric manner across the northern portion, and, two form thence to the Ohio what is called Beaver Cree.
     The Sandy and Beaver Canal passed through St. Clair, along the course of the Beaver.  The old canal-locks still mark the path of the enterprise, which was a profitless and short-lived one.


     JOHN QUINN, familiarly known as Hunter John Quinn, settled in St. Clair in 1792 or 1793, and is believed to have been the first white man to locate in the township.  He built a log cabin upon a spot about a mile and a half east of where Thomas Huston now lives.  In 1794, John Hoy settled in that part of St. Clair afterwards set off to Liverpool, and in 1796, Seth Thomas located upon the northeast quarter of section 26, now owned and occupied by John MontgomeryEnos Thomas, his son, was commissioned a justice of the peace in 1798, and in 1803 was a member of the board of commissioners who organized Columbiana County.  After that he served for twenty-three years as a justice of the peace in St. Clair for the county, was a member of the first grand jury organized in the county, was a member of the first board of county commissioners, and was a widely-known and popular citizen.

     JAMES and JOHN McLAUGHLIN, two brothers and JOHN COBURN crossed the Alleghenies in wagons to Fort Pitt on the Ohio, where they transferred their families and household possessions to a flat-boat and floated down to Georgetown, Pa., James McLaughlin and Coburn passing without much delay into Ohio, and settling in what is now St. Clair, the former on the northeast quarter of section 21, where B. D. Fisher now lives, and the latter on section 22, where Seth Rauch's farm now is.  It is said that the McLaughlins and Coburn, being in search of a new settlement, intended to locate farther down the river, but, their flatboat becoming wrecked at Georgetown, they determined to end their journey there and seek a place in the vicinity.  In 1797, John Totten settled in what is now Liverpool, where also in the same year Isaac Matson located, upon section 32.

     Closely following them, JAMES CARUTHERS settled upon section 28 where James McCoy now has a farm, and John

George, with his two sons, - William and Thomas, - upon the "Buck Flats."  Here they cleared and improved a considerable tract of land, but failed to enter it at the land-office at once, thinking there would be ample time to do that after they had got matters into good shape.  Their delay proved fatal to their interests, however, since a designing person, nothing their failure and thinking to profit by the neglect, entered the land and dispossessed the Georges of the fruits of their arduous toil.
     It was a bitter pill, and they protested vehemently against the outage, but there was no redness.  Pretty well discouraged, but resolved to push ahead once more, they took up the northwest quarter of section 29, now occupied by L. Ross, and, having learned wisdom, duly entered it.

     In 1879, JOHN GADDIS settled in that part, afterwards Liverpool township, and in the same year Thomas Moore located upon section 23, Robert Davis (known as Honey Davis) upon section 22, and, in 1798, Samuel Huston upon section 21.

     In 1798, JAMES McLAUGHLIN, JR., settled upon section 15, WILLIAM WHITE upon section 12 in 1800, MOSES BAIRD upon section 11, - BRYERLY upon section 3, CORNELIUS SHEEHAN upon section 9, - where one CARMODY located at the same time, - LEWIS CAMMON upon section 8, WILLIAM SHEEHAN upon Pie Ridge, in section 9, and PERRY BURKE upon section 12.

     HUGH CLARK taught the first singing school, and was the first lister and tax-collector in St. Clair.
     Many of the early settlers, like the Georges, failed to attend promptly to the necessary feature of entering their lands, and the consequences was to more than one an unfortunate omission.  There were sharp-eyed speculators in those days, and they busied themselves in keeping a watch for the careless settlers who improved their lands before entering them.  While the toiling pioneers, therefore, were creating farms, and while they looked with satisfaction upon the fruits of their industry and began to think of visiting the Steubenville land-office, lo~  some sharper stepped in before them, and, under cover of the law, appropriated the unhappy pioneer's farm and enjoyed the profit of the other's exhaustive labor.
     It was a distressing hardship, but legal redness there was none.  The experience was a costly one, although it taught lessons of wisdom.
     Fortunately, the game played by the ruthless speculators put new comers on their guard after a while, and, after the first few lessons, the business of entering lands before improving them was not neglected.
     Much ill-feeling was naturally engendered on the part of the bona fide settlers towards the vandals who sought to rob them of their well-deserved and well-earned rights, but no serious trouble arose therefrom, since the law protected the invaders.
     Some of the early settlements in St. Clair township were made in that portion afterwards apportioned to Liverpool, and, although vaguely alluded to in the foregoing, are more properly treated of at length in the history of Liverpool.
     The trials of the pioneers of St. Clair were such as the pioneers of the West everywhere were called upon to endure, and were such as only heroic determination and undaunted energy could overcome.
     Many of the facts above related touching the early settlers in St. Clair were gleaned from notes gathered by MR. URIAH THOMAS.  Other sources of information upon teh same subject-matter furnish information which is herewith given in continuation of the same theme.

     MR. JAMES HUSTON, now living near Calcutta, aged ninety-one, and still in the possession of a vivid memory which enables him to recall events of eighty years ago, says that in the year 1800, he moved with his father, Samuel, from Virginia to St. Clair township, where they settled upon the place now occupied by Thomas Huston.  The settlers in that neighborhood at that time were Samuel and John Coburn on the Georgetown road, near where Calcutta now is; John Quinn, a mile and a half east of Huston;  James and John McLaughlin; Samuel Hull, who lived upon the place now occupied by Thomas Mackall; and James Caruthers, who adjoined Hull; the majority of those named being from Pennsylvania.
     Shortly after 1800, James Montgomery, from Pennsylvania, located south of the present Calcutta school-house, and near there Charles Hay, from Pennsylvania, took up a farm, but removed after a brief period to Stark County.  John Kelly, James Gonzales, and Thomas George settled near Montgomery, on the State road.  There was also close at hand - Burke, whose son James born the reputation of being the strongest man in the county, as well as the champion wrestler, and who was, moreover, noted as a fighter.  Henry Fisher settled where B. D. Fisher now lives, and, near there, Hugh McGinnis, John Pierce located cast of James Montgomery, William White north of Montgomery, and John Jackman near what is now Fredericktown.  William Foulkes came over from Pennsylvania and purchased 200 acres on the site of Calcutta.  He built the first brick house seen in that vicinity, and upon the location there of several settlers the place was called Foulkestown.  Foulkes' brick house was the first of its kind erected in the township, and stood upon the site of Mr. Ludden's present residence.

     ALEXANDER McCOY located upon section 16, - Shively about two miles from Calcutta, Philip Rauch and Peter Foulks near there, and Wm. Earle near the centre of the township.

     AARON BROOKS erected a grist mill on the Little Beaver not long after the year 1800, and that, it is probable, was the first grist-mill in the township.
     Indians were numerous in St. Clair in those days, but they were peaceable and occasioned the settlers at no time any very serious troubles, or even annoyances.  As a rule, they were lazy and harmless when sober, and moved about among the settlers freely and familiarly, begging subsistence, however, with a pertinacity and perseverance quite in keeping with their aversion to labor.  In the trapping season they usually gathered furs enough to keep them in whisky, which they obtained at Georgetown - their general trading point- in exchange for furs.  When drunk they were sometimes insolvent and quarrelsome, but never dangerous.

     JAMES HUSTON relates that one day a party of Indians were sunning themselves on the banks of the Little Beaver, in Madison township, near the house of Wm. Carpenter, when Carpenter's son, in a spirit of mischief, turned a bucket of water over one of the Indians, White Eyes by name.  White Eyes became thereupon violently enraged, and in attempting to slay the offending youth was himself Slain.*
     Mr. Huston says of himself that when a boy, returning one morning from a neighbor's, he was met by two mounted Indians, who stopped him and insisted upon his accompanying them, saying that they would take him far away and "make a man of him," to which proposal he firmly objected, and with difficulty prevailed upon the savages to forego their intention.  John Smith kept a tavern - and doubtless the first one in the township - on the State road, west of where Calcutta stands, near where B. D. Fisher now lives.  Paul Fisher kept there after Smith's time, and William Thompson was likewise an early landlord, his tavern being in Calcutta.
     Among the early millers, mention may be made of one Dillon, who had a saw- and grist-mill on the north fork of the Little Beaver, and William Crawford, who had a similar mill on the west fork of that stream.

     The first house-carpenter was Andy McKee, who lived east of Calcutta, and the first "Squire," Enos Thomas, who was a man of much fame, both far and near.
     Miss Rebecca Quigley, aged eighty, and living in Calcutta, settled there, with her father, in 1813, when, she says, the village contained but six log cabins.  Her father SAMUEL QUIGLEY, opened the first store in Calcutta, and kept his goods in a log cabin.  After that, one James Hambel, a carpenter, put up a one-story frame shop in the village.
     Miss Quigley's brother Samuel came over from St. Clairsville, Ohio, in 1822, and settled in Calcutta as a practicing physician.  Moses Curry  and Gustavus Allen practiced there some time before Mr. Quigley, but neither remained long.  Before the time of the last two named, Thomas George and John Quinn used to pull teeth and prescribe simple medical remedies, but they were not physicians; they were humble farmers, willing to lend a helping hand when suffering humanity called for it.
     Dr. Quigley continued in the uninterrupted practice of medicine in St. Clair township for a space of fifty years, or from 1822 to 1872, in which latter year he died.
     Among those who went from St. Clair into the war of 1812 were Capt. William Foulks, James Gaddis, William Green (who died in the service), Joseph Green, Samuel Coburn, John Huston, and Samuel Huston.  Of these the only one living is Joseph Green, who keeps a tavern in Calcutta.

     ENOS THOMAS, justice of the peace of St. Clair, performed, May 17, 1803, the first marriage service in the county, the parties thereto being Jesse Smith and Susanna Shaw.  He married also Samuel Dougherty to Isabella Sheehan, Aug. 18, 1803; Andrew Poe to Ann Hoy, Sept. 8, 1803; and Adam Hays to Sisson Stevens, Oct. 6, 1803.


     St. Clair is one of the original townships of Columbiana County, was organized in 1803, and had its boundaries fixed by the county commissioners Mar. 5, 1805.  From the territory thus set apart St. Clair was deprived in 1834 of sections 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, and 36, which with fractional township 5, were in that year apportioned to the new township of Liverpool.
     Unfortunately for the purposes of history, the early township records are lost, and from the date of organization, in 1803, to 1855, there is not a recorded line of township transactions touching the election of officers or other matters connected with local government.
Were they extant, they would at least serve to tell us who were the persons called to places of public trust in the pioneer days, and to know that would be a matter of interst.  The best that can be done in the premises is to give a list of those who have acted as trustees, clerk, and treasurer since 1845, as follows:

1845. - Trustees, Anthony Furgeson, John Eakin, Michael Sowder; Trasurer, George McKean; Clerk, James George.
1846. - Trustees, John Eakin, Charles Quinn, J. W. Gaston; Treasurer, George McKean; Clerk, James George
1847. - Trustees, John Eakin, Charles Quinn, J. W. Gaston; Treasurer, George McKean; Clerk, James George
1848. - Trustees, John Montgomery, Wm. Maginnis, "L. F. Fletcher; Treasurer, George McKean; Clerk, Emanuel George.
1849. - Trustees, John Montgomery, Wm. Maginnis, L. F. Fletcher; Treasurer, John Grimm; Clerk, Paul Hambel.
1850. - Trustees, John Montgomery, William Maginnis, C. V. Sowder; Treasurer, John Grimm; Clerk, Paul Hambel.
1851. - Trustees, George McKean, Samuel March, James George; Treasurer, John Grimm; Clerk, James Orr.
1852. - Trustees, James George, Samuel March, John Jackman; Treasurer, John Thompson; Clerk, James Orr.
1853. - Trustees, John Jackman, Samuel March, John Eakin; Treasurer, John Thompson, Clerk, F. B. Bradish.
1854. - Trustees, Stewart Connell, Samuel March, Michael Lepley; Treasurer, John Thompson; Clerk, J. M. Quigley
1855. - Trustees, James McCoy, John Jackman, Wm. M. Davidson; Treasurer, John Thompson; Clerk, T. M. Ashford.
1856. - Trustees, James McCoy, John Wollam, Wm. M. Davidson; Treasurer, John Thompson; Clerk, T. M. Ashford.
1857. - Trustees, Wm. M. Davidson, James A. Miller, James W. Martin; Treasurer, John Thompson; Clerk, Thos. M. Ashford.
1858. - Trustees, James A. Miller, James W. Martin, Wm. Wallace; Treasurer, John Thompson; Clerk, Thos. M. Ashford.
1859. - Trustees, William Wallace, James McCoy, George Dawson; Treasurer, John Thompson; Clerk, Wm. Creighton.
1860. - Trustees, George Dawson, John Montgomery, William Moore; Treasurer, B. D. Fisher; Clerk, John M. Kenney.
1861. - Trustees, John Montgomery, Thomas, Moore, William Moore; Treasurer, B. D. Fisher; Clerk, Luther Calvin.
1862. - Trustees, Wm. Moore, Seth Rauch, Samuel March; Treasurer, B. D. Fisher; Clerk, Wm. Azdell.
1863. - Trustees, John Foulk, Seth Rauch, Samuel March; Treasurer, B. D. Fisher; Clerk, Wm. Azdell.
1864. - Trustees, Hugh Thompson, Seth Rauch, Samuel March; Treasurer, B. D. Fisher; Clerk, Samuel Mackall
1865. - Trustees, Hugh Thompson, Seth Rauch, Samuel March; Treasurer, B. D. Fisher; Clerk, John M. Kenney
1866. - Trustees, Hugh Thompson, Samuel March, Seth Rauch; Treasurer, B. D. Fisher, Clerk, Wm. Azdell.
1867. - Trustees, John Montgomery, W. S. Smith, Seth Rauch; Treasurer, B. D. Fisher; Clerk, Wm. Azdell.
1868. - Trustees, John Montgomery, Jr., W. S. Smith, James D. West; Treasurer, B. D. Fisher; Clerk, Wm. Azdell.
1869. - Trustees, David Figley, W. S. Smith, James D. West; Treasurer, B. D. Fisher; Clerk, Wm. Asdell.
1870. - Trustees, Seth Rauch, James D. West, David Figley; Treasurer, A. R. Hickman; Clerk, R. F. Bradley
1871. - Trustees, Seth Rauch, Samuel Mackall, L. B. MacMillen; Treasurer, George Grader, Jr.; Clerk, John Montgomery, Jr.
1872. - Trustees, Seth Rauch, A. R. Hickman, James Welch; Treasurer, George Grader, Jr., Clerk, John Montgomery, Jr.
1873. - Trustees, Seth Rauch, A. R. Hickman, James Welch; Treasurer, George Grader, Jr.; Clerk, John Montgomery, Jr.
1874. - Trustees, Seth Rauch, James Welch, A. R. Hickman; Treasurer, George Grader, Jr.; Clerk, John Montgomery, Jr.
1875-76. - Trustees, Seth Rauch, A. R. Hickman, James Welch; Treasurer, George Grader, Jr.; Clerk, John Montgomery, Jr.
1877. - Trustees, W. S. Smith, Samuel Mackall, John Baxter; Treasurer, George Grader, Jr.,; Clerk, J. N. Mahaffie.
1878. - Trustees, W. S. Smith, Samuel Mackall; Treasurer, B. D. Fisher; Clerk, J. N. Mahaffie.
1879. - Trustees, John Baxter, Robert Irwin, J. D. West; Treasurer, B. D. Fisher; Clerk, J. N. Mahaffie.


     St. Clair township contains no incorporated village.  There are four so-called villages or hamlets, known as Calcutta, Cannon's Mills, Sprucevale, and Fredericktown, of which Calcutta, the place of earliest settlement is the seat of township government, and contains a town hall, two stores, hotel, and school.  At Cannon's Mills are C. Metsch's steam grist-mill and a store; at Fredericktown, laid out by George Frederick, Dec. 1833, there are a store, gristmill, tannery, saw-mill, cooper-shops, and other minor industries.  Sprucevale is an agricultural settlement.
     In the early days Calcutta was known as Nineveh, - a name said to have been applied to it by John McLaughlin because of its supposed wickedness, - but the name it now bears was subsequently given to it as less suggestive, and in remembrance of Calcutta in India, but why the latter applleation was given is not precisely clear.  Calcutta was also known at one time as Foulkstown, in honor of William Foulks, an early settler, who built the first brick house there, and who was a prominent citizen.  The place was originally laid out as West Union, in November, 1810, by Michael Shirtz and William Foulks.






     The first burying ground in St. Clair township was doubtless a spot on John McLaughlin's farm, now owned by A. B. Hickman, about a mile north of Calcutta.  Graves were dug under a little clump of trees, but no headstones marked the resting-places of those who slept there, although marks of the graves are said to be seen there yet.  Who were buried there cannot now be told, but it is certain that Samuel Huston, one of St. Clair's pioneers, and father of James Huston, now living in St. Clair, was one of the number.
     The next burying ground laid out was the one now adjoining the Long's Run Presbyterian church of Calcutta.  The first persons buried there were three boys, named John Coburn, Wm. Coburn, and Perry Burke, in the year 1812, or before, - perhaps 1810.
     The cemeteries in the township are now three in number - one at the United Presbyterian Church, one at the Long's Run church, and one where the Disciples church used to be.











* For a more extended account of this affair see note, chap. v. of the general history.


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