Centennial History of Licking County,
by Isaac Smucker
Publ. Newark, Ohio: Clark & Underwood, Book and Job Printers
[Pg. 68 - continued]
WILLIAM DRAGOO was captured in the Monongahela
country, in 1786, by the Indians, and taken to the Mad River,
following a trail up the Licking and Raccoon Valleys, through
Raccoontown, an Indian town on the Raccoon creek, situated near the
present village of Johnstown. He lived with the Indians about
twenty-five years and afterwards was long a Citizen of Licking
County, dying some thirty years ago. He was married twice and
raised two sets of children, the first being half Indians, their
mother being a squaw. Billy Dragoo, as he was
familiarly called, never wholly abandoned his half-Indian,
half-civilized habits and modes of life, but continued to spend most
of his time hunting, fishing, and trapping. He also continued,
until near the close of his life, to wear silver ornaments in his
nose and ears, with other Indian trappings and jewelry. Mr.
Dragoo was an inoffensive man, esteemed by his acquaintances,
and left some descendants, who still remain in our County.
PATRICK GASS had a temporary residence in Licking County.
He had been a member of the celebrated Expedition of Captains
Lewis and Clark, from St. Louis to the mouth of the
Columbia river, in the years 1804-05-06, and acquired an extensive
reputation as the historian of said expedition. He died in
Brooke County, West Virginia, April 2, 1870, in the ninety-ninth
year of his age, having been for many years, the last survivor of
the famous expedition.
JOHN SPARKS was also a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition,
and lived for many years in Licking County. He died in 1846,
at the advanced age of eighty-eight years.
AMOS H. CAFFEE came to Newark in 1811, and was afterwards and
until his death in 1862, a leading and public spirited citizen, and
valuable man. He held the offices of Clerk of the Court,
County Recorder, Post Master, Mayor of Newark and various other
positions of honor. Mr. Caffee was patriotic to the
core, and rendered some service to his country during the war of
1812, and none felt a deeper interest in the perpetuation of our
republican institutions, and in the success of the Federal army
during the Great Rebellion.
HON. WILLIAM STANBERY came to Newark in 1809, being then a
young lawyer from New York city. He was a man of great talents
and recognized as the leading lawyer of Licking County for forty
years. Mr. Stanbery's professional services were in
great demand, and he attained great distinction at the Bar. He
also served in the State Senate in 1824-26, and in Congress from
1827 to 1833. Mr. Stanbery died at "Oakland," his
country seat near Newark, January 23d, 1873, at the advanced age of
eighty-five years. He was a native of Essex County, New
Jersey, where he was born August 10th, 1788.
JUDGE FIDLER settled in Licking County in 1811. He was
a West Virginian, and spent a number of years before his removal to
this County as an itenerant preacher. From 1801 to 1807 he
ministered to the Frederick, Pittsburgh, Erie, Clarksburg, Botetourt
and Staunton circuits. He was elected an Associate Judge in
1813 and served as such until 1823. Judge Fidler left
this County in 1835, and located in Miami County, where he died in
1849, at the age of seventy-one years. He was a man of
considerable ability, and of fair character. His associates on
the Bench of Judges were William Wilson, Henry Smith, William
Hains, Anthony Pitzer and Zachariah Davis.
HON. STEPHEN C. SMITH was a native
of New Jersey, but settled in Muskingum County, before the war of
1812, served as Associate Judge some time, and as Adjutant in
Colonel Cass' regiment. He also represented said County in
the State Legislature in 1813-14 and 1815, and Licking County in
1826-27. He was a man of ability.
COLONEL JOHN HOLLISTER was a prominent settler near the mouth
of the Rocky Fork, in 1806, and was a man of wealth and influence,
and made himself useful among the Pioneer settlers of our County.
ZACHARIAH ALBAUGH was a Revolutionary soldier, and was a long
time resident of Newton Township, where he died November 9th, 1867,
at the ripe age of more than a hundred years!
THOMAS McKEAN THOMPSON was an
early settler and a gentleman of extensive information and wealth,
and exercised considerable influence in moulding the character of
the people of McKean Township. He served the County as one of
its Commissioners from 1822 to 1825. In his intercourse with
mankind he was affable, polite, and made himself interesting in
conversation. He came from Pennsylvania where he served a number of years in the capacity of private
Secretary to Governor
McKean. He gave the name of the Township.
COLONEL CORNELIUS DEVINNEY was a
man of mark in McKean Township. He was a Virginia gentleman of
the "Old School" - affable and pleasant in his manners, genial,
companionable, intelligent, of good conversational powers and a man
withal of sterling integrity. My recollections of him are of
the kind I cherish for men of frankness and candor.
ELIAS HOWELL was also a leading man.
He was a well-informed gentleman who acquired great popularity among
the people and influence and power over them by his affability,
politeness and sociality. He was collector of taxes from 1824
to 1827; Sheriff from 1826 to 1830; State Senator from 1830 to 1832;
and a member of Congress from 1835 to 1837. He lived many
years in McKean Township and died there.
THEOPHILUS REES, a Welsh gentleman
settled on the Welsh Hills in 1802, and was regarded as the
Patriarch of his countrymen within our County. He was a man of
some education, of integrity, of intelligence, good morals of
excellent Christian character, and of great usefulness. He was
of the original members of the Welsh Hills Baptist Church, organized
September 4th, 1808. His death took place in February, 1813,
at the age of sixty-six years.
JOHN J. BRICE settled in Newark in 1803, and for the entire
period of more than one generation sustained himself in an extensive
practice of his profession. He was from Western Virginia, and
had been a student of the distinguished D. Benjamin Rush.
Dr. Brice acquired large wealth and died in advanced life.
He was the cotemporary of Colonel Robert Davidson, David Moore,
John Cunningham, Benjamin Briggs, Colonel W. W. Gault, Amos H.
Caffee, Jonathan Taylor, Joshua Mathiot, William Stanbery, Judge
Searle, Stephen McDougal, Judge Fidler, Bradley Buckingham, Stephen
C. Smith, Judge Davis and other prominent early-time citizens of
WILLIAM O'BANNON was a man of great
industry, energy and enterprise and became a successful
agriculturalist and stock-raiser. His intelligence, frugality
and thorough devotion to business were rewarded with eminent success
in the acquisition of property, for he had attained to the general
reputation of the largest land owner in our County, at the time of
his death, which occurred when he had reached about the
seventy-third year of his age. Judge O'Bannon was one
of the early-time Justice's of the Peace of Madison town-
served as an Associate Judge of our Common Pleas Court from 1825 to
1839, a period of fourteen years. He discharged his official
duties with fidelity, and through life sustained a good reputation.
He was distinguished for the qualities that characterized the better
class of our early pioneer settlers, and was faithful in the
discharge of his duties as husband, father, citizen, neighbor, and
friend. Judge O'Bannon settled upon the banks of the
Shawnee Run in 1803, and remained there more than fifty years, and
until the period of his death.
GREEN and RICHARD PITZER, son-in-law of the former, left their
mountain home in Allegheny County, Maryland, in 1799, and came to
the Northwest Territory. They spent one year near the mouth of
the Muskingum, and in the Spring of 1800 settled on Shawnee run, two
miles below the junction of the North and South Forks of the
Licking. Here they remained two years and both settled in Hog
Run Valley. The first named was a Revolutionary soldier, and
both were first class Pioneers. It was at the cabin of Mr.
Green, where, in 1804, Rev. Asa Shinn organized the
Pioneer Church formed within the present limits of Licking County.
Mr. Green became a Baptist Minister and died in 1835 at the
ripe age of seventy-six years.
REV. JOSEPH THRAP came from the
"Monongahela country," in 1805, and settled near the Eastern borders
of our County. He was a Methodist minister and a man of
integrity, influence, character and fair abilities, and made himself
extensively useful. He died in Muskingum County, May 12, 1866,
aged ninety years.
MAJOR ANTHONY PITZER was a native of
Virginia, removed to Allegheny County, Maryland, and from thence to
the Hog Run settlement in 1803. He patriotically and gallantly
served his country in the war of 1812, and secured the confidence of
the public to the extent of repeated elections to the Legislature,
which body also elected him an Associate Judge in 1816. He
died May 14th, 1852, at the age of eighty-six years.
ALEXANDER HOLDEN, ESQ., was a man
of decision and marked character, an early settler, who held many
offices of trust and responsibility, and was a leading man in
Licking Township for many years. He was elected to the
Legislature in 1808.
REV. THOMAS DICKSON BAIRD,
pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Newark from 1815 to 1820,
was a man of marked characteristics and of great intellectual power.
He was a native of Scotland, and possessed one of those massive,
logical minds, the
Dr. Chalmer's sort of intellects so rarely
produced. Probably Rev. Asa Shinn and Bishop Hamline
are the only men of all who ever ministered steadily to Licking
County congregations that attained to greater distinction, or who
gave evidence of possessing equal intellectual force and vigor.
JUDGE HENRY SMITH was one of Licking
County's early and useful citizens. He came in 1804, and was
one of the Judges of our Common Pleas Courts from 1809 to 1823.
He died in advanced life. His widow who was an admirable
Pioneer woman, survived him until October 22, 1867, having attained
the great age of ninety-seven years. Mrs. Priest, a
near neighbor of Mrs. Smith, and like her, an early Pioneer,
also died near the same time, at the great age of over one hundred
And it would be inexcusable in me if I failed to make
honorable mention in this connection of Mrs. Catharine Stadden,
to whom we are largely indebted for the preservation of many of the
facts given in this Centennial History of our County. She was
a first-class Pioneer woman, very liberally endowed with intellect
and memory, and placed us under many obligations by her readiness to
communicate whatever of knowledge she possessed, relating to the
early history of the Licking Valley. Mrs. Stadden
settled here in the year 1800, and died July 3d, 1870, in the
ninety-first year of her age. She was the wife and widow of
Isaac Stadden, the first elected Magistrate within the present
limits of Licking County.
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