WITH an honorable record of more
than a century's existence behind her, Chillicothe well sustains
her long established reputation for solidity and wealth.
The men who established the little hamlet in the wilderness in
1796, founded that reputation, and their descendants and
successors have well maintained it.
Chillicothe attained an eminent
position in the political history of the State, long years
before her commercial and industrial character had received more
than passing notice. And this was not due to any lack of
interest in industry, or of local pride; but rather, to the
overpowering influence of the strong political characters who
were at the helm of the ship of state. Their minds and
energies were absorbed in shaping the destiny of the Northwest
Territory, and founding a state on the broad principles of human
equality. To the Chillicothe party, headed by Nathaniel
Massie, is due the existence of the State of Ohio, with
boundaries as at present established. The defeat of the
St. Clair party, and the consequent erection of the State on the
basis desired by the Chillicotheans, is fully told in another
chapter. Prominent among General Massie's
assistants were Thomas Worthington, Michael Baldwin, Dr.
Edward Tiffin, Judge Thomas Scott, and James Grubb.
These names are immortal in Ohio's history.
They were also instrumental in the framing of the
constitution of the State, adopted in 1802, and in the admission
of state without the stigma of human slavery. These were
absorbing themes, which not only engaged the attention of the
great leaders, but their followers as well; and the success thus
achieved placed Ross county. This position placed four
Chillicotheans in the gubernatorial chair, and four United
States senators were residents of Chillicothe, as were, also,
nine representatives in Congress; three secretaries of state of
Ohio; six judges of the Ohio supreme court; ten members of
constitutional conventions, with minor officials in the state
and nation, in great numbers.
church, under the pastorate of Rev. Paul A. Miller, has one
service each Sunday. This, the younger of the two
churches, is located at corner of High street and Allen avenue.
There are five burial places within
re4ach of the city, three of which are denominational or church
grounds. These are St. Margaret's,
on the north side of Allen avenue, just beyond the city limits;
St. Mary's cemetery and St.
Peter's, practically the same, are located on the north
side of Allen avenue, west of Vine street. These take the
name of the churches, and are consecrated to the use of the
institutions with which they are connected. All are
carefully cared for by competent persons, and have been in
existence4 since the organization of the churches whose dead
The public cemeteries of the city are
Grand View and Green Lawn, the
former located at the southeastern end of Walnut street, and,
from its elevated position, commanding the finest landscape view
of the valleys of the Scioto and Paint creek, while the
beautiful city of Chillicothe is spread out like the grand
panorama to the northward.
Previous to the establishment of Grand View cemetery,
about 1841, most of the churches had burial places connected
with them, and there was once a public burying ground near the
present site of the Baltimore & Ohio depot. But the
development of the town in every direction deprived this place
of the quiet and seclusion which one always associates with a
burial place for the dead; hence the purchase of this site,
which has been enlarged and beautified as the years passed,
until it is now an ideal spot. It contains the mortal
remains of several of Ohio's most distinguished citizens, whose
final resting places are rendered conspicuous by the erection of
worthy monuments. The private citizen and the soldier are
equally honored by the reverence and sacrifice of surviving
friends, to the end that this sacred spot is rendered beautiful,
in keeping with the sadly reverential purpose which made its
existence a necessity. The site of Grand View cemetery has
been briefly described in another chapter, hence a repetition is
unnecessary. A board of directors for the management of
the business affairs of the cemetery is elected from the lot
holders, and these select the general superintendent, sexton and
Green Lawn Cemetery is designated as the Scioto
township burial ground, and is located southeast of Chillicothe,
and in plain sight from Grand View. It is a well-kept
ground, under the management of a competent and efficient board
of directors. This ground was laid out since the
establishment of Grand View, though interments had been made on
the site, as a private burial place, previous to its being
thrown open to the public.
The business interests of
Chillicothe are varied and extensive. The mercantile
houses with any city of equal size in the State. The
of business is very large4 when the close proximity of rival
towns is considered; but this is due to the fact that many of
the small dealers in country towns purchase their supplies in
whole or in part from Chillicothe merchants, and the further
fact that country buyers prefer to select their purchases from
an extensive stock in the city, rather than to patronize home
dealers, with a limited showing of goods.
The mercantile houses of Chillicothe are generally
backed with unlimited resources in comparison to their demands,
and the element of losses from bad accounts is reduced to the
minimum, by reason of the stable character of the buyers.
Perhaps no city in the State, of equal size, has a smaller
percentage of losses from bad debts. This is due, in part,
to the fact that buyers are permanent residents, usually owning
their own homes, though the element of honesty and business
integrity among them is the dominant feature.
The early history of merchandising in Chillicothe is
interesting, in that it covers the the period of early
settlement and development in every line of human endeavor, far
beyond the memory of the oldest inhabitant of today. Few
can fully realize the fact, except through the continual
"promptings" of history and the press, that for many years
following the first settlement, all goods displayed for sale
were brought across the Allegheny mountains on pack horses.
These semi-annual trips of merchants to the eastern markets were
fraught with great labor and peril. No one knew the moment
when lurking savages, secreted along the bridle path, might
attack the caravan, and murder the adventurous men who had thus
defied them. Bands of lawless white men were often the
cause of serious trouble, as robbers and murderers. The
telegraph and telephone were then unknown, and many instances
are on record where loved ones at home never knew of the fate
which befell husband or father, except that he never returned.
As time passed, the flat boat and keel boat of ancient days
supplemented a part of the labors of the horse, adding little
advantage to the laborious process, except to deprive him of
some of its perils. With the opening of the canal,
merchants felt that they were already near the suburbs of New
York, yet if they were obliged to procure their goods through
that slow process in this day, they would think the distance
greater than the "mountain" route. Some of the men who
endured the perils and labors of the early merchants are
mentioned in this article, but it is not possible to procure the
names of all.
One of the earliest merchants was Thomas James,
who brought the first keel-boat-load of bar iron to Chillicothe,
and afterward opened an iron furnace of Rocky Fork, as told
elsewhere. John McLandburg and John Carlisle
were among the first general merchants. In 1802 John
Carlisle advertised that he kept superfine and coarse
cloths, cassimeres, blankets, camels-hair shawls, India
lute-string, books and stationery, queens-ware, cutlery, coffee,
tea, sugar, liquors
and mill saws, a sufficiently varied assortment. John
McCoy, at the same time, briefly announced that he had "just
received an extensive assortment of new goods, which he intends
to sell low," while John Sherer stated that he had "a
full quantity of the best Monongahela whiskey and a few barrels
of flour" The better class of residents demanded something
more than linsey-woolsey and home-spun, so John McLandburg
advertised "American calico, cut velvets, merino wools, cashmere
scarves, silk velvet bonnets, ostrich plumes and silk plush."
In 1801 there were two butchers in town and five doctors, three
of whom were Drs. Scott, Crane and Buell.
Adam Haller, baker, came to
town in 1801. It was his wife who presented the town with
the land on which the present city hall is located.
George Remick had a general store from 1802 to 1807, and
what was probably the first "corner" in the commercial history
of Chillicothe was engineered by his wife, who, hearing of an
approaching boatload of powder, when there was none in town, met
the boat, bought the load and "cornered the market." In
1802 Alexander Hawthorn made rails, at the rate of twelve
pence a pound for eight penny nails. In 1802 Thomas "Sherrer
sold winds, liquors, candles, cider, dried peaches and apples,
and Samuel McPherrin made
wool and fur hats. By 1803 Dr. Edmiston advertised
drugs for sale and John Smith repaired watches.
By 1810 the list had grown to respectable dimensions,
and the following are the ones who then followed commercial
pursuits: General stores: W. R. Southward, John
McDougal, Samuel Taggart, Barr & Keys, Ephraim Doolittle, James
Ferguson, John McCoy, John Waddel, James McClintock, Thomas
James, Marcus Highland, Samuel, Joseph and George Brown, David
Kinkead, Isaac Evans, Nathaniel Gregg, William and James
Irwin, John Carlisle, John McLandburg, Amaziah Davisson (who
married a daughter of Senator Joseph Kerr). Others
are William Robinson and Peter Spurk,
silversmiths; J. L. Tabb, James Robinson, cabinet-makers;
J. Beard, Scott, John Hunter, tailors; Peter Day,
blacksmith, who received $6.50 for "making handcuffs and putting
them on John Cummins and William Friend;" John Martin,
G. Cogan, S. McClure, Adam Haller, bakers; Joseph Miller,
Isaac Cook, nailmakers; John Sands,
Samuel McPherrin, hatters; James Foster,
bookbinder; Samuel Ewing, saddler; J. Miller,
Sam McCormick, Diabler, Shoemakers; Amasa Delano,
drugs; Nathaniel Reeves, Turner, tanners. In
1820 there were two breweries in town, owned by J. W. Collett
and B. Donahoo. Oliver & Buchanan "kept store"
in 1803 and is 1802 J. Gibbons advertised as a "taylor."
It is impossible to give a full list of the various
mercantile enterprises which have flourished in Chillicothe; and
the following list contains only a part of the more prominent
Dry Goods: Reeves & Burbridge, Thomas Gregg,
Barr & Campbell,
Isaac Evans, T. & S. Swearingen, J. & S. Culbertson,
Capt. William Carson, James McClintick, jr., J. H. Bennett,
William H. Douglas, William Ross, J. & H. McLandburg, William
Miller, Robert Stewart, Joseph Stewart, James P. Campbell, Wm.
Y. Strong, H. S. Burnam, James Rowe & Co.; Wilcox, Jennings &
Reed, wholesale, succeeded by William H. Daly and
Douglas and Shull; Smart & McFarland, Adams & Kercheval, James
Doublas, Hutsenpiller & Co., Thomas Woodrow, jr., C. J. Miller,
Wm. Carson, jr., A. & H. N. Carlisle, Wayland & Vanmeter, Clough
& Hopewell, Irvin Barton, Lemle & Wolf, McNeil & Mytinger.
Wholesale Grocers: Orr & Atwood, Fullerton & Renick,
D. Weson, P. H. Dieter, William Poland, D. Smart & Co., M.
Retail: Peter Huffman, J. C. March, A. & S. Ives,
Drugs: Amassa Delano, Ira Delano, Amasa D. Sproat,
R. H. Lansing, J. M. VanMeter, J. A. Nipgen, Walter H. Howson,
Alston & Davis.
Books and Stationery: Cummins & Foster, Joseph
Jones, Hiram Yeo, Clement Pine, Miesse & Chapman, Gould & Silvus.
Tinware, Stoves, &c.: William Jack, William Welch &
Co., Henry Howson.
Miscellaneous: D. Adams & C., of the "Clinton
Mills", afterward Marfield & Luckett; William McKell,
queensware; Swift & McGinnis, hats; Gardner & Schutte,
N. Purdum, hardware; E. P. Pratt, John J. Bangs, C. F.
Dufeu, F. H. Hopkins, jewelers; William H. Skerrett,
boots and shoes; Denning and Campbell, hardware;
Miller, Patterson & Co., wholesale shoes; Henry
Sulzbacher, D. Klein, Epstine & Hecht, clothiers; Ewing
and Pearson, John Peregrine, harness; S. C. Swift & Co.,
wholesale notions; Armstrong & Story, tanners; William
H. Reed & Co., lumber.
The present business of the city is
transacted by five banks, nine dry goods houses, ten drug
stores, four wholesale groceries and fifty-three retail
establishments. Some of these also handle meats, flour and
feed and fuel. There is one wholesale hardware store, and
six engaged in the retail trade. For the accommodation of
the traveling public, there are eleven hotels, six
boarding-houses and eight restaurants. There are fifty-one
The boot and shoe industry is an important factor in
the business of the city, there being two manufacturing plants,
two firms engaged in the wholesale trade, and nine retail
stores. Connected with these, or operating independently
in manufacturing and repairing, are seventeen shoe-makers.
Three firms are engaged in the manufacture of brooms. In
lumber and building material, including four planing-mills,
seven business plants cater to the wants of the public.
Six plumbers present their bills at regular intervals. Of
there are four, and one dealer in pictures and frames.
There is one pawnbroker, one piano and organ house; one pottery;
one spoke manufactory; one transfer; one wholesale liquor
dealer; two telephone companies; two dealers in sporting goods;
three veterinary surgeons; four dealers in stoves and ranges;
three tinshops; eight teamsters; three sewing machine agencies
(located); two sign painters; two dealers in second-hand goods;
four real estate offices; five book and job printing
establishments, exclusive of newspaper publisher; one organ
manufacturer; seven house painters; one osteopathic doctor; five
dealers in notions; two machine shops; one dealer in mantels and
grates; four firms engaged in marble and granite and monumental
work; six regular meat markets; four men's furnishing
establishments and seventeen merchant tailors. Four
laundries supply the needs in their department, while six
jewelers attend to the work of adornment. Cast-off
articles are gathered in by two junk dealers, and two justices
of the peace adjust the differences. One lounge
manufactory is seconded in its efforts to enhance the public
comfort, by eight coal dealers, and two gas companies.
There are two grain companies, ten gardeners, and eight
furniture dealers, including two manufactories. There are
thirteen blacksmiths, and two exclusive shoeing shops. The
manufacture of wagons is carried on extensively by one firm, and
to a limited extent by another. There are three dealers in
agricultural implements, besides others who combine that with
other lines of business. There are two book and stationery
establishments. Nineteen barber shops, representing about
fifty workmen, attend strictly to their business of scraping
acquaintances. The city has but one architect who is a
permanent resident. Bicycles are sold by three firms as
exclusive dealers,, while many others handle supplies and attend
to repairing. There are two breweries in the city, both of
which have existed for many years. There is a building and
loan association, and a business college; also an extensive
brick manufacturing plant in the suburbs.
Four firms give attention to the manufacture and sale of
carriages. Four firms of undertakers are found in the
city; there is one wholesale confectionery establishment and
eleven retail dealers. Of contractors, in the various
lines of mechanical work, there are nineteen. There is one
cooper and one desk manufacturer.
The social spirit of Chillicothe is
revealed in the following list of secret and benevolent
societies: Masonic: Scioto Lodge No. 6, F. & A. M.;
Chillicothe Chapter No., R. A. M.; Chillicothe Commandery No. 8,
Knights Templar; Ionic Lodge No. 6, F. & A. M. (colored); St.
Elizabeth Chapter O. E. S. (colored); Lansing Chapter No. 11, R.
A. M. (colored); Persian Commandery No. 11, K. T. (colored).
Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Chillicothe Lodge No. 24;
Tecumseh Lodge No. 80, Valley Encampment No. 21 and
Daughter of Rebecca organization, auxiliary to these. The
colored people also have a Lodge of Odd Fellows. Lodge No.
52, B. P. O. E. is of comparatively recent organization.
The Grand Army of the Republic have two organizations, viz.:
A. L. Brown Post No. 162, and W. L. Wright Post No. 588.
Auxiliary to these are Woman's Relief Corps No. 83, and W. L.
Wright Relief Corps No. 204. The Sons of Veterans have an
organization known as A. L. Brown Camp No. 7. There are
Lodges of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Ancient Order of
United Workmen, Brotherhood of St. Andrew, Knights of St.
George, Improved Order of Red Men and Degree of Pocahontas,
Woman's Auxiliary Red Men, Knights of the Ancient Essenic Order,
Knights and Ladies of Honor, Knights of Pythias (Soreno
Lodge No. 28), Loyal Legion of Labor, Mechanics and Laborers
Beneficial Association, Modern Woodmen of America (Camp No.
4111), Independent Order of Foresters, Protected Home Circle No.
148, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Brotherhood of
Railroad Trainmen, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, Order of
Railway Conductors, Royal Arcanum. Of the purely social
religious or political organizations may be mentioned the
Buckeye Club, Columbus Club, Century Club, East End Pastime
Club, The Girls' Friendly connected with St. Paul's church; St.
Catherine's Guild, and Woman's Auxiliary connected with St.
Paul's, St. Ignatius Benevolent Society in connection with St.
Peter's School, and the Sunset Club. It would be
interesting to trace the history of these various organizations,
particularly the more important ones, but lack of space forbids
Three musical societies exist for public entertainment
and the local advancement of their art. These are
designated as the Euterpean Club, the Eintracht Singing Society
and St. Peter's Singing Society, the latter in connection with
the church and school which it represents. The two first
named are prominent features in society, and sources of much
pleasure and entertainment.
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