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Source:
Pioneer Period and Pioneer People of Fairfield Co., Ohio.
by C. M. L. Wiseman
Publ. F. J. Heer Printing Co., Columbus, O.  1901

Transcribed by Sharon Wick

THE PIONEER PERIOD OF LANCASTER, OHIO
Pg. 40

     IN the year 1796 the Congress of the United States, at the distance of Gov. Arthur St. Clair, decided to give the President power to contract with Ebenezer Zane, of Wheeling, Va., to open a road from Wheeling, Va., to Maysville, Ky.  For which services Zane was to receive as compensation one section of land at the crossing of the Muskingum river, one at the "Standing Rock," near the crossing of the Hockhocking River, and one of the east bank of the Scioto River.  This contract was entered into and the work completed in the year 1797.  Col. Zane entrusted the work to his brother, Jonathan, and hsi son-in-law, John McIntire.  The road has always been called Zane's trace, and so appeared upon the early maps of Ohio.  It was a mere bridal path, or would so be considered now, barely possible for wagons to pass, with the marshy places made passable by corduroy bridges (poles laid side by side and covered with earth.
     Capt. Joseph Hunter came in 1798 from the State of Kentucky.  He built a cabin on the table land above high water, west of the Hockhocking River.  It has always been claimed for him that he was the first settler of this county of Fairfield.  There is a claim, however, that a man named Shoemaker settled in what is now Clear Creek township in the fall of 1797.  Gen. Jonathan Lynch came to this vicinity
~ pg. 41
from Uniontown, Fayette County, Penn., in the years 1799 and built a cabin near where the brick house on the Baldwin farm now stands.  Here he operated a small, old-fashioned tannery, the first in the county.  On the 23rd day of December, 1797, his son, Levi Lynch, was born in this cabin.  This was in all probability the second birth of a child in Fairfield County, the son of the famous Ruhama Green being the first.  Early in 1800 the Ashbaugh family came up the Hocking Valley and remained over night on the Carpenter farm, now known as the Koontz farm.  That night a son was born to that family.  The next birth in the county, of which we have any account, was that of the late Capt. Stewart, in the year 1800.  Then followed the birth of our late distinguished fellow citizen, Hocking H. Hunter, in the year 1801.
     In the year 1799 James Converse, a New England man, came to this valley from Marietta, with a stock of goods.  The goods were brought by water down the Ohio to the mouth of the Hockhocking and from there poled up the latter stream to the vicinity of Hunter's cabin.  Here he built a small log house for store-room and dwelling.  He made a display of his wares on the bushes in front of his store.  He was the first merchant of the county and when Lancaster was laid out, he purchased a lot, erected a building, and became the first merchant of the town.  He sold goods here with varying success for ten years.  In 1811 he loaded flatboats with produce and floated down the river, either from the mouth of Rush Creek or down the Scioto from Chillicothe.  The late Judge Biddle, of Indiana, his nephew, thought that he embarked at Chillicothe.  He reached the town of New Madrid in safety about the time of the great earth
~ pg. 42 -
quake of that year.  And as he was never heard of afterwards, it was believed that he and his boats were swallowed up by that great upheaval.
     Samuel Coats, an Englishman, came to Hockhocking Valley in April, 1799.  He built a cabin on Zane's trace on the east bank of the Hockhocking River, about 300 yards south of hte present turnpike bridge.  Here he lived and performed the duties of postmaster until New Lancaster was laid out.  During this period Gen. George Sanderson, then a boy, carried the mail on horseback from Chillicothe to Zanesville, Ohio.
     At the sale of lots made by Zane, Nov. 10, 1800, Coates purchased one on Front street and built the first cabin in the town.  His house stood where the Wizard flour mill now stands.  Some years since it was torn down and the logs used to built a stable by John Fricker, on the rear of his German Street lot.
     Rev. James Quinn, then a very man, came to the Valley in 1799, in the month of December, and spent several days with a small band of Methodists who had come out from Maryland.  "Tis said that he formed a class at the home of Edward Teal - whose son-in-law he afterwards became.  The names of the members were Edward Teal and wife, Jesse Spurgen and wife, Ishmael Dew and wife, Nimrod Bright, and wife and Elijah Spurgeon and wife.
     To this small band of devoted people he preached in a cabin on Pleasant Run near where Amos Webb now lives.  This was the first sermon preached in the Hockhocking valley in what is now Fairfield County.
     After Zane had completed his trace and his work was accepted by the United States, he selected a section of land at the crossing of the Hockhocking,
~ pg. 43 -
nearly or quite one half of which was west and south of the river and a swamp, and much of it is still unclaimed, and subject to overflow.
     November 10, 1800, one hundred years ago, John and Noah Zane, representing their father, Ebenezer, made a public sale of lots in the then newly laid out town of New Lancaster.  So called, tradition says, at the request of Emanuel Carpenter, Sr., who lived near by, in honor of his old home, Lancaster, Pa.  The lots sold at prices ranging from five to fifty dollars each, according to location.  A few of the purchasers became well known men of early Lancaster or vicinity - Emanuel Carpenter, Sr., Peter Reber, J. Conway, William Trimble, N. Wilson, Hampson, Thomas Sturgeon, Rudolph Pitcher, Joseph Hunter, James Converse, Samuel Coates, J. Hanson, General John Williamson, John Van Meter, W. Babb, General Jonathan Lynch, and Thomas Worthington and Nathaniel Willis of Chillicothe.  The purchasers of these lots found their property in a dense forest, in the midst of a wilderness.  The growth of timber was luxuriant, consisting of the several varieties of oak, walnut, ash, elm, sugar maple, locust, buckeye, mulberry and hickory.  The pawpaw, wild plum, black, haw, grape vine and spice wood made a thick undergrowth.
     Many of the purchasers were mechanics, who had come to stay, and with undaunted courage they commenced their task, and with such energy and industry did they pursue their work during the fall of 1800 and winter of 1801, that early in the spring the principal streets were open, save the stumps, and a number of dwellings had been erected.

EARLY MERCHANTS.

~ pg. .44 -
     In the year 1805 the Ohio Legislature changed the name of the new town to Lancaster.
     We have already given a brief reference to the first merchant of Lancaster, James Converse.  William and Christian King, the second mercantile firm of Lancaster, came here early in 1802 and established a business that proved successful and continued until old age claimed the proprietors in 1832, when Kauffman and Foster purchased their stock.  For some cause this new firm soon failed in business.
     William and Joseph Tomlinson were early merchants.  Andrew Crocket, son-in-law of Rudolph Pitcher was also an early merchant, but both firms were short-lived.  Rudolph Pitcher was one of Lancaster's early merchants as well as a tavern keeper.  This was as early as 1800.  this was on the Effinger lot.  In 1802 he sold to Peter Reber.
     The second wife of Rudolph Pitcher was the grandmother of Judge Busby.  From 1802 to 1808 Pitcher owned the Shaeffer corner and kept both store and tavern there.  He died in 1812.  Jacob Green was a merchant and tavern keeper in Lancaster as early as 1805.  His location was the present one-story Sturgeon corner.  He died in 1850.  Jesse Beecher, brother of Philemon, was an early merchant, but was not successful.
     John Graham, who came to Lancaster from Maryland, was a merchant here as early as 1804.  He died in 1806.  He married a lady named Reed, a sister of Mrs. Judge Scofield and of Mrs. E. B. Merwin.
     John Woodbridge
was a merchant in Lancaster as early as 1806.  He moved early to Chillicothe where he became a distinguished citizen.
~ pg. 44 -
     Archibald Carnahan was a merchant of Lancaster as early as 1811.
     Robert Smith was one of the early merchants of Lancaster, and later his brother James became a merchant and was a partner of his brother-in-law, Tunis Cox.
     Elnathan Scofield
was one of the early merchants of Lancaster.  John Matthews was his partner for several years, and John Creed his early clerk.
     John Creed was a merchant of Lancaster and was a successful business man.  For 26 years he was president of the Lancaster, O., Bank.
     Samuel F. Maccracken was a merchant of Lancaster as early as 1810.  His business career lasted about forty years.  He was one of the best and most widely known of the early merchants.  He was for ten or fifteen years one of the Fund Commissioners of the State of Ohio and in his time one of the most distinguished citizens of Lancaster.
     Fred A. Foster came to Lancaster when a young man in 1810 and for many years was a leading merchant and an influential citizen.
     John Latta and Benjamin Connell were partners and for many years leading merchants of the town.  They were here as early as 1815.  Latta left a modest fortune to an only son, William Latta.  Connell, after many changes in business and reverses, died insolvent.  Both were men of high character and influential and useful citizens.
     Timothy Sturgeon was an early silversmith.  He was succeeded by his son, Thomas, who recently died, aged 91 years.
     John Connell, brother of Benjamin, was an early merchant.  He was an elegant gentleman and a man
~ pg. 46 -
     of ability.  He reared five daughters who were leaders in society.  They married Lancaster men, young gentlemen with whom they had long been accustomed to meet in society, James Sherman, Gabriel Carpenter, James C. McCracken, John C. Fall and
Dr. King.

AN OLD-TIME WEDDING.

     George Kauffman came to Lancaster in 1824 and opened a drug store, a business he followed successfully for forty-five years.  In 1833 he married Miss Henrietta, a niece of General Beecher and a sister of Mrs. Dr. White, who she was visiting at the time.  The wedding took place at Zanesville, O.  Colonel P. Van Trump and Miss Louisa Beecher, Gabriel Carpenter and Miss Connell were of the wedding party.  Christian Rudolph conveyed the party to Zanesville in his four-horse coach.  At Zanesville the groom and his bride took a coach for the east and visited the eastern cities and the old Beecher home at Litchfield, Conn.  They traveled up the Hudson river and during Kauffman's temporary absence on the boat a stranger conversed with the bride, supposing her to be the daughter of Dr. Kauffman, he being prematurely gray, and she but sixteen years of age.  The day after the wedding Rudolph returned with the other members of the party to Lancaster.  His coach was upset on the way without harm to the occupants.  This was an unusual occurrence for so good and careful a driver as Rudolph.  Kauffman's sons are prominent businessmen of Columbus, Ohio.
     There were a few merchants from 1815 to 1825, who for short periods did a small business in Lancaster and we simply name them:  Cushing, a partner of Creed, Samuel Rodgers, at first partner of the
~ pg. 47 -
Kings, afterwards a distinguished citizen of Circleville, N. S. Cushing, John Black, L. B. Wing, Henry Darst, O. W. Rigby, Emanuel and Samuel Carpenter, Henry Arnold, Christian Rokohl, Henry Van Pelt Co., Campbell, Ruisdell Co., Browning & Noble, Miller & Retzel, and Owings & Thompson.  McCracken, Foster, Arnold, Creed, Kings and Latta & Connell only held out to the 40th year of Lancaster.

EARLY MECHANICS.

     One hundred years ago the use of machinery for the manufacture of everything necessary for house-keeping and comfortable living was unknown.  Furniture, clothing and every conceivable thing was made by hand.  Consequently mechanics formed a large part of the population of a town.  There were chair makers, wheelrights, gunsmiths, tailors, shoemakers, blacksmiths, carpenters, cabinet makers, weavers, harness makers, plow makers, wagon makers, tanners, tinners, coppersmiths, and hatters.  The proprietor of any one of these branches of business employed several men and all had apprentices.  We are enabled to name a few of the leading men who in the first one-third of Lancaster's first century were prominent, influential men and useful and skillful mechanics.
     Of the early mechanics, George Sanderson, Edward Shaeffer, and Jacob D. Deitrick were printers and publishers.  Their papers were the "Independent," which Sanderson abandoned to go to the war of 1812.  Shaeffer & Dietrich published the "Ohio Eagle" in German and English.
     General David Reese was a brewer, where the Getz shoe factory now stands.  He was the first man
~ pg. 48 -
of Fairfield County elected to the Ohio Legislature, Oct. 12, 1802.
     General Jonathan Lynch, Henry Sutzen and Daniel Arnott were the early tanners, in the old fashioned style.  General Lynch was a man of ability and some distinction.  Some of his descendants reside in Lancaster.  The General died in 1818.
     General John Williamson and James Hampson came to Lancaster in November, 1800.  They were carpenters and were the contractors who built the first court house, in1806.
     General Williamson served in the war of 1812 and was killed by lightning in 1820 on the road two miles north of Lancaster.  He filled the offices of county commissioner and sheriff of the county.
     Henry Miers, St., and William Duffield, brothers-in-law, came from Virginia in 1804.  They were carpenters.  Miers built the Schofield house, the first fine brick residence in Lancaster.  Also the Swan hotel, now the MithoffDuffield lost his life on a trading voyage to New Orleans.
     Colonel William Sumner was a native of Connecticut.  He came to Lancaster in 1804.  He was a carpenter and a very prominent citizen.  He served under General Williamson in the War of 1812.
     Henry Wetwine, John Shurr and John U. Geesy were bakers by trade.
     James Hanly came here in 1800 and established the blacksmithing business.  William Harper, who came in 1801, was a blacksmith.
     William Ream, 1801, Samuel Stoops, 1800, Thomas Fricker, 1805, William B. Peck, 1802, from Boston, Walter Turner, 1804, Jacob Wolford, 1802, were all hatters by trade.
~ 49 -
     Jacob Shaeffer, 1809, John H. and Henry w. Cooper were saddles and harness makers, 1806.
     Jacob Bly, 1804, as a potter by trade.
     Sosthenes McCabe and his father, William McCabe built the first brick house for Judge Scofield, now the office of Judge Brasee.  They also made the brick for the first court house.  They came here in 1801.  Sosthenes McCabe and his brother Daniel were lieutenants in the war of 1812.
     Jacob Gaster was a shoemaker by trade.  He came here in 1801.
     William H. Tong was an early resident of Lancaster.  He was a wheelwright by trade.  Later in life he laid out the village of Carroll, O.
      The early tavern keepers were nearly as follows:  Dr. Amasa Delano, 1801, William Austin, 1803, Geo. W. Selby, son-in-law of Dr. Silas Allen of Royalton, O.  Robert McClelland, General Anthony Wayne's famous Indian scout, opened a tavern in 1801.  He was the grandfather of Judge Hart, late of Cincinnati, J. B. Hart, San Francisco, and Mrs. Charles Borland, Lancaster.  He died near New Lexington, Perry county, Ohio, in1848.  John New Lexington, Perry County, Ohio, in 1848.  Thomas Sturgeon, in 1801, Rudolph Pitcher,  George Coffinberry, Daniel Firestone, 1802, Dr. Ezra Torrance from the Vermont, Jacob Green, Joseph Bros., John Cramp Trump, father of the Late Colonel P. Van Trump, 1810, John U. Geisy, were hotel keepers of the very early period.
     Later in the first third of Lancaster's history, a better class of hotels, were kept by F. A. Shaeffer, John Sweyer, Gottlieb Steinman, Jaco Beck, C. Neibling, Peter Reber, E. G. Pomeroy and Colonel John
~ pg. 50 -
Noble.  The last named was a famous hotel man of the old style, both in Lancaster, Cincinnati and Columbus.  He was the father of Henry C. and John W. Nobel, late Secretary of the Interior under Harrison.  Both his sons were born in Lancaster, O.
     Hugh Davis was a tailor by trade at a very early day in Lancaster.
     The foregoing is a list of the mechanics who first settled in Lancaster.  We will endeavor to give the names of a longer list of mechanics who came later, say from 1815 to 1830, men of character and ability, whose useful lives had much to do in shaping the destiny of Lancaster.
     George Ring came to Lancaster from Vermont about the year 1817 and built the first substantial factory, a large brick woolen mill at the foot of Broad street, propelled by the water of the Hockhocking.  It is still in operation, operated by steam.  But the building with long since numbered with the dead.
     Colonel John Noble came to Lancaster, a tailor, in 1815.  He rose to distinction and became one of the leading citizens of the town.  He was the Fairfield County committeeman, associated with Judge Scofield, to meet Governor DeWitt Clinton at Hebron in 1825, and escort him to Lancaster.
     Samuel Effinger came here from Virginia in 1813.  He was a tin and coppersmith and conducted for years a large business.  He died in 1833, soon after completing his new residence, northwest corner Public Square.  His skilled mechanics were John A. Shraff, Richard and Milton Hampton, David Kyner, Philip Lnatz, William Searls, Thomas Durham, Elias Prentice, Jacob Evans, John McClelland and John Work.
~ pg. 50 -
     Joshua Clark
was a builder and contractor, who came here about the year 1817 from Oswego, New York.  He became a distinguished, highly esteemed and influential citizen.
     Henry Orman, a contractor and builder, came here in 1824.  He lived an honorable and useful life and died recently at the advanced age of 95 years.
     Jacob Beck was a blacksmith in the year 1820.  In the year 1830 he was county treasurer.  He died a year or two since, aged about 95 years.
     Joseph Work came to Lancaster early in the twenties and engaged in the shoe making business.  He was an exemplary man, a good business man and a good citizen.  He was during his life an honored member of the Presbyterian Church.
     Christopher Weaver was a carpenter in Lancaster prior to 1812.  He married a daughter of Frederick Arnold.  They were among the original members of the Methodist Church.  He was at one time county commissioner.  He died July 5, 1829.
     George Beck, Sr., came to Lancaster from Germany.  He was a ropemaker by trade.
     F. E. Shaffer came here in 1811.  He was at first a tailor, and in time became a leading hotel keeper.
     Tole McManamy was a brick mason.  He was killed in 1830 by the falling of a pump he was lifting.
     Jacob Embich was a shoemaker.  He came here from Hagerstown, Maryland, in 1815.
     Jesse Woltz came from the same town in 1815.  He was a cabinet-maker.  He died in Chillicothe.
     John Stull came here in 1801.  He was a carpenter.  He died in 1846.
~ pg. 52 -
     Samuel Herr came here in 1815 from Hagerstown, Maryland.  He was a cabinet-maker and undertaker.  He died in 1858.
     Walter McDonald came to Lancaster from Washington, D. C., in 1816.  He was a chairmaker.
     James Weakley came to Lancaster in 1817.  He was a carpenter.  He built the Presbyterian church.
     George Hood, Sr., came here in 1816.  He was a painter by trade.  His wife was a relative of one of the governors of Maryland.
     Amos Hunter came to Lancaster in 1810, and for 54 years worked at the blacksmith trade.
     James Geis came from Germany in 1817.  He was a carpenter and millwright.
     John B. Reed was born in Greenfield, Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1809.  He was a chairmaker and painter, and no mean artist for his opportunities.
     John and Samuel Matlack were partners in the harness and saddlery business as early as 1819.  The sister of these gentlemen was the wife of H. H. Hunter.
     Joseph Grubb
came here prior to 1820, for in that year he married a daughter of Jacob Claypool.  He was a chairmaker.
     Henry Drum was a cooper in Lancaster as early as 1822.  He was postmaster under General Jackson for a short time, and died while postmaster.
     Henry Dubble was an early resident of Lancaster.  His trade was that of a coverlet weaver.  In 1830 with General Sanderson and Reverend Samuel Carpenter, he was a director of our first public schools.  He was a brother-in-law of Colonel John Noble and of John Sweyer, the famous landlord.
~ pg. 53 -
     Isaac Church came here in 1816.  He was a carpenter and possessed a good knowledge of architecture.  One of his daughters married Jacob Ulrick.
     George Canode
came to Lancaster early, long before 1812.  He was a shoemaker.  He married a daughter of Frederick Arnold, and the two were of the first members of the Methodist Church.
     Joel Smith came to Lancaster from Virginia in 1826, and built and operated the first foundry in Lancaster.
     Sometime prior to 1830 S. F. Maccracken and William E. Thorne operated a tannery at the foot of Broad street.  They were succeeded in the business by James M. Pratt.
     General George Sanderson
and his partner Oswalde established the Lancaster Gazette, the organ of the Whig party, in 1826.  General Reese and Colonel P. Van Trump were connected with it some years later.  George Sanderson, a son of the General, who worked on the paper in his youth, lived in Lancaster.

 

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