By J. W. Vanmeter
This township is in the southeast
part of the county. Salt creek passes through it,
near the center, in a southwest direction.
Richmond is the only town in the township, situated on
the west bank of Salt creek, and on the road leading
from Chillicothe to Jackson. The town contains
about three hundred inhabitants, with five stores, two
groceries, two hotels, two shoemaker shops - all doing a
good business; one fine Methodist Episcopal Church, one
large school house, with a school of from one to
two hundred pupils, one gunsmith shop, two physicians,
one surveyor, and one harness-maker.
At the east end of the town is a fine flouring and saw
mill and a woolen factory. The advantages of water
power here are perhaps as good as any in the county.
At the crossing of the creek there is a fine bridge.
East of the creek the land is hilly, where a chance
deer may be seen; west of the creek the land is good.
The township was settled originally by Quakers from
North Carolina. The town was laid out in 1811 by
the Moffitts. The Coxes and
Hinsons settled at this place in 1798. Soon
after the settlement, other settlers came - the
Meekers, Strattons, Minears, and many more
Connecticut Yankees; also, the Rittenours, on
whose land is a stone barn where the Rev. Mr.
Cartwright preached in 1805. Anthony
Rittenour emigrated to Ohio, from Maryland, at an
early day, and has long since passed away, and his son
Jacob is the only one of the name left, who is
now about eighty-six years of age. Mr.
Rittenour served his country in the war of 1812; he
is the oldest man living in the township.
Benjamin Short, aged eighty-four years, also served
in the war of 1812 - these two being the only old
soldiers of that war now living in the township.
None of the Moffitts, or their descendants, now
live in the township, they having long since moved to
Chillicothe, Illinois. Henry Hinson, an
early settler, died some years since, aged eighty; his
son, John Hinson, is the oldest man now living
who was born in the township; he is aged sixty-five
years. Eli Stratton, one of the first
settlers, died in 1867, aged eighty-nine years, having
lived in the same house fifty-three years; he moved to
town about a year previous to his death. He was
the father of S. D. Stratton, late recorder of
Ross county. Out of all the persons living here
forty years ago but five remain in the town and five in
the township, all the others having died or moved away.
In this township are many old relics of the past, such
as Indian graves, where charcoal, parched corn, fish
bones, deer and dog bones, and whole human skeletons are
found in the same mound, with plenty of broken
earthenware, arrows, and pipes; and near the town at
least a peck of large leaden balls have been picked up,
and pieces of gun-barrels are also found, showing- as
some suppose - the severe fighting old De Soto
had, when on his way to Canada, with the aborigines.
The old Indian trail, from Kanawha to Chillicothe,
passes here, going by way of the salt works at Poplar
Row, now called Jackson. Mr. Rittenour says
he has seen at least one hundred squaws, with their
pappooses fastened to boards, resting or camping half a
mile from town.
This township was at one time famous for hunting, game
of all kinds being in abundance, and occasionally, to
this day, a deer runs through the town; and the season
is counted poor if we do not kill at least a dozen
rattlesnakes in the township.
Mr. John Griffis, an old settler, who carries on
the tannery which was erected in 1825, is now
seventy-one or seventy-two years of age. He has
been a resident of this place fifty years. Besides
other things, we claim to have the tallest man in the
county, Mr. J. A. Stancliff, whose hight
is six feet seven and a half inches. In the first
settlement of this township, we had the social evil in
the shape of still-houses. We had three in town,
and nine within a mile of the place. My informant
says he has seen nine fights in half an hour, where he
blows fell fast and furious; when all was over the
parties would scramble up with mashed noses and black
eyes, repair to the first doggery, and drink friends
until the next meeting. With all this we have had
but one person sent from this township to the
penitentiary, and none hung as yet.
In this township, between the years of 1821 and 1847,
there were twelve deaths by drowning, to-wit:
Captain Levi Hicks, two names unknown, Lorenzo
Moffitt, a Mr. Dawson, John Hagans, a Mr.
Martin, Peter Burr, two children of J. Tomlinson,
Anson Graves, and Daniel Bailey.
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