Pioneer Period and Pioneer People of
Fairfield Co., Ohio.
by C. M. L. Wiseman
Publ. F. J.
Heer Printing Co., Columbus, O. 1901
THE PIONEER PERIOD OF
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
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
~ 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,
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
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
~ 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
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
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.
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,
Elnathan Scofield was one of the early merchants of
Lancaster. John Matthews was his partner
for several years, and John Creed his early
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
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
~ 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
AN OLD-TIME WEDDING.
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
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
~ 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
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
Mithoff. Duffield 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
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
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
~ 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
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
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
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.
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
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