OHIO GENEALOGY EXPRESS

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WELCOME TO
ROSS COUNTY, OHIO
History & Genealogy


PIONEER RECORD
and
REMINISCENSES

of the
Early Settlers and Settlement
of Ross County, Ohio

By Isaac J. Finley and Rufus Putnam
Cincinnati:
Printed for the Authors by Robert Clarke & Co.
1871

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP
Pg. 93

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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