of Tuscarawas County, Ohio
Source: Combination atlas map of Tuscarawas
Strasburg, Ohio: Gordon Print., 1875, 359 pgs. L H Everts
In progress - Items
will be completed upon requests.
AMERICAN youth are daily schooled in lessons of National
history: campaign, battle-field, and administration are
familiar as a daily task; but local history of early times -
the country's resources and rank - is an unknown story,
requiring only to be told to be remembered. We have
essayed to draw from all availing sources the fragments of
Tuscarawas County history, and unite them here for local
interest and use. The settlement of each county has
its own true legends in waning memories of a lessening band
Opinions conflict regarding the utility of this work,
and some think the "dead past" should "bury its dead;" but
most believe that the names and memories of early pioneers
and settlers should be treasured up, that strangers here,
seeing nothing to remind them of what a century has wrought,
may learn of border-wars, cruel massacres, pioneer
privations, and crude beginnings, as a striking contrast to
public works, charitable institutions, home comforts, and
inexhaustible resources, and hence our pleasing task.
The first white residents of Tuscarawas County were the
Moravian missionaries and their families. A prominent
trio of these were Post, Heckewelder and Zeisberger, whose
earliest visits date to 1761 and '62. Three Indian
villages were built upon the river Tuscarawas: Shoenbrun, a
mile and a quarter south of New Philadelphia; Gnadenhutten,
seven miles farther down, in Clay township, and near the
site of the present town of the same name; and Salem, a mile
and a half southwest of Port Washington, in Salem Township.
Faithful to their teachings, the converts were
peaceable and neutral between the Americans at Fort Pitt and
the British at Detroit, until the fall of 1781, when the
British and their Indian allies, by threats and violence,
forced them to abandon their homes and crops and go to
In the spring of 1782 about one hundred and fifty
Moravian Indians were permitted to return to their valley
homes, where they divided into three parties, and, in
fancied security, began to gather up a store of their last
fall's crop of corn.
Hostile war-parties had attacked and carried away captive
two white families, and the frontiersmen determined to
retaliate. Ninety volunteer militia, led by Colonel
Williamson,,,,, marched towards the Moravian towns, and
arrived near the village of Gnadenhutten on the night of
March 5, 1782. In the morning they saw Indians busily
gathering corn, and an armed party crossed over to them.
They found the Indians also armed, and, accosting them
kindly, obtained at once their confidence and arms.
From the three parties about ninety=three persons were
decoyed into a surrender, and then brutally murdered with
knife gun, and tomahawk, and their bodies consumed in the
flames of their burning houses. This dastardly outrage
was amended by Congress, Sept. 5, 1788, passing an ordinance
for Moravian encouragement. Three land-tracts, four
thousand acres each, were set aside for "propagating the
gospel among the heathen." Indians were again gathered
into a new village called Goshen, and two missionaries,
Edwards and Zeisberger, here passed their lives, and, dying,
were buried in the Goshen graveyard, where plain tombstones
mark the spot.
Time passed: the whites came, and the Indian became the
victim of intemperance, despite the penalties pertaining to
sales of liquors to him; and, Aug. 4, 1823, preliminaries
were taken towards the retrocession of the land to
Government. Nov. 8, the Goshen Indians signed a treaty
with Lewis Cass, then Governor of Michigan, in which they
exchanged their right to the Territories, and an annuity of
four hundred dollars. Most of them settled on the
Thames, in Canada. By act of Congress, May 26, 1824,
their village lands were surveyed into farm lots and sold,
James Patrick, of New Philadelphia, being the United States
In a few years a navigable canal was cut close to the
village sites. Goshen, the last home in Tuscarawas of
the Christian Indian, is a cultivated field, in the
possession of a German farmer. A high hill near is
being despoiled of its carboniferous treasures, and the
sounds of savage life are succeeded by the grating of the
coal-car as it discharges its freight into prepared
Yet there is one spot here which calls the mind back to
former memories. Let us view it. We descend the
hill's southern declivity, following the Zanesville Road;
cross a channel, once brimmed with crystal waves; ascend the
opposite bank, and, turning a few steps to the right, enter
a small inclosed grave-yard, overgrown with low trees.
Here we find a small marble slab, hearing the following.
"David Zeisberger, who was born 11th April, 1721, in
Moravia, and departed this life 7th Nov. 1808, aged 87 years
7 months and 6 days. This faithful servant of the Lord
labored among the Morovian Indians as a missionary during
the last sixty years of his life."
Some kindly hand had placed the stone long years after
the decease of him who sleeps there. Oct. 7, 1843, a
meeting was held by those residing near, to erect a monument
commemorative of the tragic event of 1782.
OHIO'S FIRST BORN.
To Tuscarawas County belongs to the honor of being the
birthplace of the first white child in the limits of the
States. In the month of May, 1780, Sarah
Ohneburg arrived on the Muskingum, and shortly after was
married to John Heckewelder. A child was born
to them on April 16, 1781, at Gnadenhutten, and named
Mary; she lived long to enjoy the distinction, at
Bethlehem, in Pennsylvania.
the town of Bolivar, Lawrence Township, exist the remains of
the first military post erected by the American Government
in the State of Ohio. It occupies about an acre of
ground on land west of the river, and was built by a force
of a thousand men from Fort Pitt, under General McIntosh,
during the fall of 1778, and left with a garrison of one
hundred and fifty men, under Colonel Gibson.
In honor of the President of Congress, the fort
received the name of Laurens, and was intended to overawe
and keep the Indians in check. They gathered rapidly
and secretly, in Jan., 1779, and besieged the garrison until
March, when, nearly starving for food, they raised the
siege. The fort was finally abandoned, August, 1779,
and Henry Jolley was one of the last men to leave it.
From his notes the following is taken:
"When the main army left for Fort Pitt, Captain
Clark remained, with a small force of United States
troops, to march in the sick, the feeble, and the
fatigue-party. He tried to take advantage of very cold
weather, and had marched three or four miles when he was
fired upon by a small body of Indians, at twenty or thirty
paces distance. The volley slightly wounded two men.
Knowing his men to be unfit to fight the Indians in their
own fashion, he ordered them to reserve their fire, and to
charge bayonet, which, being promptly executed, put the
Indians to flight; and, after pursuing a short distance, he
called off his men and retreated to the fort, bringing in
"During the cold weather, the Indians about the fort
kept concealed, and a party of seventeen men went out for
some firewood, cut by the army, and lying forty or fifty
rods from the fort. Near the bank of the river was an
ancient mound, behind which lay a quantity of wood. A
party had been out for several preceding mornings and
brought in wood, supposing the Indians would not be watching
the fort in such very cold weather. But on that fatal
morning on one side of the mound, a part of the Indians came
round on the other, and inclosed the wood-party, so that not
An escort of provisions, headed by McIntosh,
reached the fort in safety, and brought needed relief to the
The primal settlement of Tuscarawas by the European race
began in 1802. From then till 1806 the settlers came
in force; and blazing log-fires, falling forests, and
pioneer cabins building betokened the energy of this people,
independent by the force of arms.
Among the first arrivals were William Butt and
family, who purchased twelve hundred acres of land, and
built his first cabin on the farm now owned by Rosemond.
Hemminger and his two sons were paid to clear a way
for the wagons, and came along with Butt in 1805.
It was in the year 1800 that the ground on which New
Philadelphia stands and appropriated by John Adams,
President, to satisfy military bounty claims, and was
shortly bought by Godfrey Haga. In 1804,
Haga, though his agent, Heckewelder, sold nearly
four thousand acres town site included, to John Knisely,
who proceeded to lay out a town. In the spring of 1805
he moved hither his family, in company with John Hull,
who erected the first house ever built in New Philadelphia.
In summer, 1806, came Philip Minnich, John Williams,
Peter Cribbs, George Leininger, and Joseph Stoutt.
Jesse Slingluff and Christian Deardorff, two
of the original owners of Dover, first visited the County in
1802. These two and a third, named Charles Boehn,
bought part of the four thousand-acre tract, owned by
Morrison of Kentucky, and including, besides the site of
Dover, the farms of Downey, G. Deardorff, and the
land now owned by J. S. Sterling. On their way
at the mouth of Huff's Run, a few miles north of
Dover. When Deardorff and Slingluff
first stood upon their purchase, but one settler George
Harbaugh, was on the west side of the river. Till
lately, his old house and some gnarled old apple-trees, a
quarter of a mile south of E. A. McClean's stone
quarry, stood as monuments of this hardy outpost.
The partnership was brief. Deardorff
returned in 1805, bringing with him a millwright and a
carpenter, built a cabin, and began the construction of a
grist and saw-mill. These were where the salt-works
are, half a mile from town. This was the first
water-mill within many miles, and the only one for several
years. The hand mill and hominy block had previously
supplied the settlers' wants. Deardorff lived
in his cabin at the mill for years, his own cook and
provider. From 1806, settlement went rapidly forward,
and Dover grew. In Deardorff's first house in
Dover he kept the first store; It is the house on the
corner, north of the Iron Valley Hotel. The second was
built by William Shane, now occupied by Thomas
Hustin, Sr. Daniel Williams, and Peter Williams,
a lad of sixteen - were resolved to make the journey on
foot, as all the party had not horses available. The
first day they walked thirty miles, the next day
twenty-five, and stayed overnight in a log cabin, where a
supper of johnny cake and fat bacon, and a bed before the
fire-place, on the hard puncheon floor, were found.
Starting next morning early, without breakfast, they got
food from settlers, and arrived at Stoubenville, a smart
village, as night fell, all lame and footsore, except the
boy, who gained in freshness and strength during every mile
he traveled. Five miles on this side of the
above-named place the party came to where the road forked,
and, not being able to learn from wood-choppers the proper
road, they disagreed and divided. Three took the path
by Cadiz, and two pursued what proved the more direct road.
The two were Fiscus and young Williams.
Between Annapolis and New Philadelphia there were
but three houses, with openings around them, and the trails
made travel very perplexing as to a proper route. The
two reached their goal thirty-six hours ahead of the others.
The united party stopped to rest with John Knisely,
the founder of the town, and by him were escorted to where
it was to be. Reaching the forks of the road, where
the roads to Cadiz and New Cumberland separate, he said,
"Now you are in the tow; this is the Lower Market Square,
and this," pointing westward, "is High Street."
Looking around, our new-comers could see no town, - nothing
but bushes and small trees; the houses were yet to be built.
From High Street they followed, Indian file, a foot path
around the bushes and saplings to the next square.
Here the enthusiastic proprietor pointed out the Court-House
Square, and where the court-house would be built. This
square was like the former, except some bushes cut and
corners stakes driven. Across this square ran
Broadway; this was partly cleared. On this street
Peter Cribbs and George Leighninger had stuck
their stakes; the former had erected his cabin and
potter-kiln near the southeast corner of the public square,
and the latter had built the house, the old frame of which,
with frequent repairs, still stands on the corner opposite
the old Gray House.
Christian Stout had built and lived in a frame
house near where the Lion Hotel stood in 1866. Of
these four houses and families the town of New Philadelphia
then consisted; all else was fenceless and houseless as the
wild forest had always known it.
In the summer of 1808 the Rev. Christian Espich
arrived and built a house on Broadway, lower end, left-hand
side, near the river. It has long since been removed.
All the members of these five families, of both sexes, have
years ago passed away and been laid in their homes of rest.
In the vicinity of town there were a few clearings at this
THE ROLL OF PIONEERS.
In the vanguard of the march
of civilization came the "forlorn hope" of pioneers; "theirs
not to answer why, theirs but to do and die," honored
pioneers. No fainting hearts were theirs, and stern
composure was required and shown to cut their way through
heavy timber, ferry over bridgeless streams, lay low and
clear a patch of forest, and then, with neighbor's help,
erect a cabin home. This was not all: the trusty rifle
furnished venison and game; the garden yielded corn and
potatoes; but there were no mills for grinding, no schools
for education, and no churches for religious purposes.
The sharp report of the hunter's rifle reverberation, and no
churches for religious purposes. The sharp report of
the hunter's rifle reverberating among the hills was heard
instead of the church-going bell inviting to the house of
Pioneer life was a hard life. Self-denial and
inconvenience took the place of ease and comfort. The
exciting chase the rugged face of nature and the freedom
from the hampering formalities of older social life were
fascinating in their place, but still the life was
undesirable. The present generation owe the past a
debt of gratitude for having borne the car of progress into
these once Wesern wilds. The pioneers grubbed up the
underbrush, deadened the timber, broke up the ground,
cleared off the stones, and made a fitting soil from their
successors to sow the timely seed and reap a goodly harvest.
But few can estimate the changes of a single lifetime.
In 1866, Mr. Greenwald spoke of one, then eighty-six
years old, who, born upon Ohio soil, had seen a wilderness
transfored into the happy homes of four million people.
History can rarely make so wonderful a record.
The County has been cleared of timberland cultivated, roads
made, iron bridges cast, a canal dug, and railroads
projected and completed; ills, furnaces, and foundries,
machine-shops, warehouses, and stores, are built and
operated; the treasures of the earth - coal, limestone, and
the black band - are found and utilized, and the busy hum of
human industry resounds on every side.
Where stood the log cabin stands the modern mansion;
the rude school-house is superseded by fine buildings,
rivaling the Eastern colleges of other years; and no more
the circuit preacher makes his toilsome round to families,
but has abiding home in towns and villages, where spacious
churches, with heaven-pointing spires, inviting ring of
bells, and organs rolling forth grand notes of praise, tell
man of higher wants, and urge him on to nobler manhood.
In view of this, shall not the names of hardy men, the
pioneers of Tuscarawas County, be rescued from oblivion and
cherished on this printed page, a roll of tribute to their
As heads of families in prime of life we call the names
of John Knisely, Sr., Abraham Knisely, George Stiffler,
David Stiffler, John Judy, Henry Albright, Abraham Shane,
George Harbaugh, Nathan Pettycord, Christian Baughman,
Samuel Thomas, Felix Landis, Joseph Landis, and
Philip Minnich; all these were near New Philadelphia,
chiefly east and north of it. Down and across the
river were Michael Uhrich, Sr., Hon. John Heckewelder,
John Romig, Henry Kellar, Martin Kellar, Isaac Deardorff,
William Butt, John Baltzley, Sr., Conrad Roth, John Shull,
David Peters, John Knisely, Jr., Michael Frederick, George
Domer, John Harbaugh, Aaron Reeves, Samuel Shull, John
Zigler, Thoams Peckel, and Gabriel Cryder.
THE YOUNG MEN OF TUSCARAWAS IN 1808
were Peter Andrews, John Williams, Philip Foreman, Samuel
Jacob, and David Kniselay, David Carebeer, George
Sluthour, Alexander McConnell, and Jacob Carebeer.
These youths of sixteen played their part upon life's busy
stage and passed away; but one survives, - old David
Knisely, prominent as a citizen, a veteran in years.
FIRST OFFICIAL RECORDS.
The oath of office having been administered by Abraham
Morser, Esq., to John Junkins, Michael Uhrich,
and Philip Minnich, the Tuscarawas County
Commissioners, they held their first meeting on April 16,
1808. Godfrey Hags, Jr., was duly chosen as
their clerk, and the County laid off and divided into four
different townships, by the names of Oxford, Salem, Goshen,
and Lawrence. Election were ordered to take place on
April 30, in the house of James Douglas, for Oxford,
and Gideon Jennings, for Lawrence, and notices posted
by the clerk accordingly.
On June 6, a petition of sixteen landholders of Salem
Township for a road from the forks of the Cadiz and
Lawrenceville Roads to the eastern boundary line of the
County, was presented to the Board, who thereupon appointed
John Knisely, Sr., John Bolsely, of Goshen and
James Watson, of Salem Townships, viewers of said road,
and Joseph Francis surveyor, to meet at the forks
mentioned on June 20.
It was agreed that "for killing any wolf or panther
within ten miles of settlements in this County during the
ensuing year half a dollar should be paid if under six
months, and one dollar if over six months, old." Later
allowances show that this was no idle ordinance at that
A road from Samuel Smith's mill, on Sugar Creek,
between Dover and New Philadelphia, was ordered to be
surveyed by Francis, and viewed by J. Knisely,
Sr., George Stiffler, of Goshen, and Lewis Knaus,
of Salem Townships, on June 27, on presentation of the
June 7, David Peters, of Gnadenhutten, was
appointed County Treasurer for one year. Next day,
Thomas Hamilton was made County Collector, in lieu of
township collectors, to gather in the first Tuscarawas
County tax, which amounted to one hundred and sixty dollars
and thirteen cents as assessed. Taverns in New
Philadelphia were licensed for seven dollars per year, at
Lawrenceville for six dollars, and elsewhere in the County
limits at four dollars. Ferries were licensed at one
dollar and fifty cents each, and legalized to charged
sixpence for carrying a man, and two shillings a loaded
team, across the river. Henry Davis was
appointed Sheriff and John Romig, Coroner, to serve
when approved bonds were given.
OF COUNTY SEAT.
Commissioners appointed by the State had been, in 1808,
assigned the selection of an appropriate site for the seat
of justice of the newly-located County of Tuscarawas.
Knisely called attention to his claims and the
advantages offered by his lands. He was successful
over other parties, and the Commissioners decided upon New
Philadelphia as the site. The record shows that
Elijah Wadsworth and Eli Baldwin were allowed
thirty-two dollars for rendering this service. The law
had located a town where were a few log cabins scattered
round, some prostrate trees, and all the rest a waste of
SURVEY OF THE TOWN.
Location being settled, the
town was then surveyed by John Wells, of Somerset
County, Pennsylvania. On the 23d of April, 1808,
John Knisely donated to the County one hundred lots,
chosen at random; one hundred and sixty acres of land, and
one block each, to the German, English and Moravian
Societies, for cemetery purposes; and one lot each to the
Germans and English, upon which to build school-houses.
Both the County and Mr. Knisely were the better
financially for this grant. August 22, 1808, Philip
Tracy, appointed public crier, sold ten of these donated
lots at public auction for a total of one hundred and
1807-8 a house built by George Leininger served for
the double use of hotel and court-house, the courts being
held there until the erection of a court-house, a year or
two later. This house was located on what is now the
corner of Broadway and Front Streets.
In the year 1809 the first court-house was erected.
It was a log building, located very nearly on the site of
the present structure, and served for the triple purpose of
court-house, church, and jail; the latter feature being a
dungeon-like excavation, into which the prisoner descended.
At the time when Hull surrendered, several
persons were murdered on the Mohican, near mansfield.
Soon after, three Indians, reputed hostile, arrived at
Goshen. A. McConnell, captain of rangers, was
requested to take them, and speedily accomplished his
The people were almost frenzied at the Indian murders;
and when it was reported that strange Indians had been
arrested and confined in the New Philadelphia jail, a
Captain Mullen organized a band of forty men, armed with
rifles, at or near Wooster, and started to dispatch them.
Henry Laffer, Esq., sheriff, hailed John C. Wright,
a lawyer, riding in from Steubenville on business and told
him why Mullen's men were coming. "Why don't
you beat an alarm?" said Wright. "The citizens
would side with the company." "Will no one stand by
you to prevent murder?" "Wright, Laffer, and
McConnell met the military company at the tavern door.
The former remonstrated with the men upon the cowardice of
the intended act, and several men left the ranks. The
angry captain moved his men towards the jail. The
three defenders preceding them, ordered the Indians to lie
down against the front wall, while they stood with sword,
pistol, and the third unarmed, in front.
They held their ground with firmness and success; the
citizens were spectators, and the Indians were kept confined
till taken by General A. Shane to Zanesville, thence
to Seneca, and there discharged. When on their way
they narrowly escaped death by poison at the hands of
Shane's men at Newark, so deeply were the prejudices of
the whites seated against the Indian.
THE "HORSE" AND STABLE.
While Leininger's log tavern was the place for
holding court, a log stable was used for a jail, the stalls
serving as cells for prisoners. Two young lawyers
having engaged in an altercation, received a severe
reprimand from the presiding judge.
A stalwart frontiersman, clad in a red flannel shirt,
and standing among the auditors in the room, which enjoyed a
double bar, was delighted with the judicial lecture and
elevated in feeling by practice at the other bar. He
expressed his appreciation by interrupting the judge, who
was cross-eyed, by calling out, "Give it to 'em, old gimlet
eyes!" "Who is that?" asked the judge. "It's
this 'ere old hoss!" responded the owner of the
flannel shirt, advancing, proud of notice, and standing
erect. The judge promptly called out, in dry, nasal
tone, "Sheriff, take that hold hoss, put him in the stable,
and see that he is not stolen before morning."
The present brick court-house was erected in the year
1819, and remodeled in 1868. It presents a quaint
appearance with its upward-sloping roof from each of its
four sides, and surmounted by a church-like steeple.
It is unfitted for the present County business, and will
doubtless soon give way to one accordant with the times and
needs of the people. A long row of single-story
offices extends northward from the court-house, and are
convenient to the access of those on business.
The most attractive edifice to meet the stranger's eye in
New Philadelphia is the engine-house, erected in 1871, at a
cost of twenty-two thousand dollars. The building is
two-storied, the lower story containing a fine steamer, the
upper being used as a town-hall.
MURDER AND AN EXECUTION.
September 10, 1825, the mail-carrier from Freeport to
Coshocton - a boy named Cartmell - was shot upon his
road and killed. A quiet man, named Johnson,
was the first to reach the scene and first to spread the
tale. He narrowly escaped trial for the crime by
identifying a young man named Funston as the guilty
party. Funston was tried in November, confessed
his crime to Judge Patrick, and was executed December
30, on an elevation west of New Philadelphia, in what is now
called Allentown. The religious exercise were by
Rev. P. Williams, the execution by Sheriff W. M.
We have not far to trace the stream of Tuscarawas County's
time to reach the sources of present standing, and hope the
current may deepen, like its namesake river, till it blends
its destiny proudly, as an ally of Ohio, - a noble member of
the sisterhood of sovereign States.
Christian Deardorff constructed the first grist-
and saw-mill on Sugar Creek, half a mile from Dover, in
About the year 1807, Gabriel Cryder erected the
first distillery, at a point three miles west of New
At Gnadenhütten, in
1808, Conrad Westhoffer, receiving license, began the
business of ferrying man and beast across the bridgeless
The first school-house erected in Tuscarawas County was
composed of light logs, and Daniel Black is credited
with being the first of many school-masters which this
County's people have employed. The house was built and
school taught in 1806. Two years later a small frame
was built, not far from the site of the present jail.
In the absence of settled pastors, the visits of
traveling missionaries were warmly welcomed, and houses
thrown upon with old-time hospitality. The Rev.
John Stauch, from Fayette County, Pennsylvania, was the
pioneer minister of the Lutheran Church, who cross the Ohio
River, and, threading the wild Indian paths, fording and
swimming the bridgeless streams, and wading through mud and
mire to his horse's knees, visited and preached in their
cabins, baptized their children, and confirmed their youth.
Rev. Jacob Rhine was the second preacher for the
scattered settlers; and in January, 1815, the Rev.
Abraham Snyder came to New Philadelphia, and became the
first settled Lutheran pastor. He organized a church,
erected a house, and it was used for school by week and
church on Sunday.
The first church in New Philadelphia was built by
Lutherans in 1833. In 1831, the churches of Tuscarawas
County were the old log Moravian of Sharon and Gnadenbutten,
a frame Presbyterian in Sanderville, log Union Churches on
Broad Run and Crooked Run, and log United Lutheran and
Evangelical Reformed Church in Shanesville.
The first marriage recorded was that of Conrad
Reghart and Elizabeth Good, on the 17th of July, 1808.
The rites were celebrated by Abraham Mosser, Justice
of the Peace of Lawrence Township. Two others occurred
during the same year, - William Carr to Catharine Good,
November 21, 1808, and Isaac Pattees to
Catharine Raiser, on November 13, 1808.
The first child born at New Philadelphia was Joseph
Stout, in about 1808, and the first death a child from
the family of Nathan Pettycord.
The "Chronicle" was the oldest paper, and Judge
Patrick was its editor. The first goods sold in
New Philadelphia were brought on by Gabriel Cryder,
in 1808. The first store in Dover was kept by
Christian Deardorff and Charles Slingiuff.
In 1825, Henderson kept the first tavern.
The first religious meeting held in Dover was a
prayer-meeting, attended by Gabriel Cryder, William
Coulter, big Billy Butt, and others. The first
regular Methodist preacher was Rev. James Watts; the
circuit which he traveled was computed to be four hundred
and seventy-five miles around. One of the first
classes was at Guines Creek, a name without a present place.
It was on Sugar Creek, and known as the Downey farm.
Baker built the first dam across the Tuscarawas,
and constructed a grist mill on the eastern sicde, by means
of which he made much profit. John Beyer was
the first regular produce dealer in Dover, and his first
essay was two flat-boats loaded with wheat, bought at
thirty-five to fifty cents per bushel, floating them down
the rivers to New Orleans, and taking all summer for the
trip. The first canal-boat built and sailed from Dover
was the "Growler," the work of George Wallick.
Jacob Blickensderfer, Sr., was the first toll
collector on the canal, and held the office twelve or
In 1842, the Dover Manufacturing Company was organized,
and built what is now called the "Calico Ditch." It
was a joint-stock company. Welty & Hayden built
their mill, and the mill and ditch were finished in 1844.
The three first Justices of the Peace for the County,
in 1808, were Boaz Walton, Salem Township; James
Douglass, Oxford Township; and Abrahama
Knisely, of Goshen Township. The first
Associate Judges were John Heckwellder,
Augusta Carr, and Christian Deardorff. Common
Please Judge was William Wilson.
The First Grand Jury - As the first to sit in
council to arbitrate, in reason, the differences of their
fellows, we give the names of Samuel Mosser, Godfrey
Hoff, Gideon Jennings, John Herbaugh, Abraham Knisely,
George Stiffler, Isaac Deardorff, James Smiley, Lewis Knaus,
John Kuaua, Abraham Romig, Joseph Everett, Philip Ziegler,
and Conrad Roth.
The First Petit Jury - The first
petit jury recorded in a criminal case in Tuscarawas County
was composed of persons whose names were Aaron Corey,
Tobias Shunk, John Baltzley, Philip Itskin, John Uhrich,
John Bexver, Boaz Walton, Charles Hill, James Welsh, Jacob
Wintach, John Junkins, John Romig, James Carr, and
FIRST CASE IN
28th of August, 1809, the first criminal indictment recorded
was tried before the Associate Judges. David
Walgamot, of Oxford Township, was charged with having
sold three quarts of whisky to John Jacobs, an
Indian, for four deer-skins, contrary to law. The
above-named jury found Walgamot guilty, and the Court
decided that the skins to be returned to Jacobs, and
five dolalsr and costs to the State be paid by Wolgamot.
The will of Martin Keller, Sr., was
number one on record of the first Court of Common Pleas,
held at New Philadelphia, April 24, 1809. The next
succeeding bears date of April, 1811, and is a simple
Christian statement of the wishes regarding his estate of
EARLY ENTRIES OF
of Tuscarawas chiefly embrace two classes, Congressional and
United States military. Congress lands, so called
because not otherwise disposed of, and sold to buyers by the
immediate officers of Government, aggreeably to acts of
Congress. The regular survey of these lands is into
townships six miles square. Military lands were so
named because appropriated by act of Congress of 1796 to
satisfy soldiers' claims. These lands were surveyed by
Government into townships five miles square; then these were
subdivided into quarters, two and a half miles square, and
containing four thousand acres each. Some of these
quarter-township tracts were afterwards divided into
one-hundred-acre lots, to accommodate one-hundred-acre
warrants. The Moravian grants have been alluded to;
the four-thousand acre tracts were partly unsurveyed -
simply divided by proprietors as purchasers desired.
The lands are mixed in origin and very irregular.
The first recorded entry of Tuscaraws territory was
made in Zanesville on the 25th of July, 1803; it was made by
Martin Shuster, a soldier of the Revolution. It
consisted of one hundred acres, just west of the site of old
Fort Laurens, and is now owned by George F. Fisher.
The first recorded entry since the organization of the
County was of a deed given by John Knisely to
David Ghasky, for lots 550 and 551 in New Philadelphia,
for a consideration of thirty dollars. In the year
1800 there were eleven entries of four-thousand-acre tracts,
the disposal of which will be spoken of in the histories of
townships, together with the proprietors of towns and
THE OLDEST NEWSPAPER IN THE
PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF
THE ROMANCE OF
AN EARLY TRIP TO MARKET.
A NARROW ESCAPE.
HUNTING LOST HORSES.
THE BIG MAN OF TUSCARAWAS.
Elijah Meese, one of a family of twelve children, and
son of George Meese, was born in 1808. Father
and son, in October, 1831, aged then forty-eight and
twenty-three years respectively, weighted two hundred and
twelve pounds each. They came to Tuscarawas County the
last of October, cutting the brush for some distance to
clear the way for the first four=horse wagon that ever found
a way to the farthest bounds of Old Town Valley, the two men
being the first settlers of that region. In 1874,
Elijah Meese and James Butt were the only men
still residing upon their lands of 1831, in a ride of
twenty-two miels between Comerstown and New Philadelphia, of
all the settlers there in that year. In November,
1873, Elijah Meese weighed four hundred and
seven pounds. He is a curiosity in size, a patriot,
and a temperance man since Polk's election.
1812 and 1862.
Daniel Christy was a soldier in the two wars of
independence and unity. In the latter conflict he was
invaluable as a nurse in hospital. He loved the
stories of the camp and field, and had one strong desire, -
a soldier's burial. Twenty-two boys in blue honored
his desire; the dirge-like music thrilled the hearts
of listeners; the volleys echoed over his remains; the
tribute of respect was paid, and Father Christy left
to slumber till the final roll-call.
MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
A PIONEER STORE.
A SCHOOL HOUSE OF 1824.
NATIONALITY AND CHARACTER OF SETTLERS.
No history of Tuscarawas
County would be satisfactory to its citizens without its
chapter explanatory of its Moravians, its Omish, its Tunkers,
its Mennonites, and its Zoarites. In other counties
different nationalities ahve strong representation, but upon
the river valley live the children of the German, inheriting
the genuine worth, the pride of character, the plain
simplicity of their ancestors.
Religious persecution for belief in different theories
has done evil to bring about much good. The Puritan,
the Quaker, the Catholic in colonial days are duplicated in
the sects of Tuscarawas. The Moravians left their
Bohemian and Moravian homes for the freedom of Zinzendorf's
estate in Saxony, and thence "sought afar freedom" a
nature's shrine" to worship God." Sense of duty sent
the missionaries among the Delawares; kinship and tales of
cheap and fertile lands drew after them their brethren.
The Omish and the Tunkers are opposed to war. The
latter permit no razor's stroke upon the beard; the women
wear no ornament. Ministers elect are chosen by ballot
and allowed no regular salary; each member gives as he
wills, and not illiberally. They have a church four
miles east of New Philadelphia, at Mount Tabor.
Feet-washing is a custom. The Mennonites, a people
famed for hospitality, are a worthy class, whose fine farms
in Sugar Creek Township betoken their agricultural skill.
Two hundred Germans left their homes in Wurtemberg in 1817
to find a free home in America. Joseph M. Bimeler,
a teacher, acting as their agent, bought for them on credit,
in the year 1818, from Godfrey Haga, General Thoams Bonde,
and Abraham Mosser, five thousand five hundred acres
in Lawrence township, to which these poor people removed in
December and January following. Bark huts and log
shanties were erected and winter hardships endured.
They still tell with gratitude of a kindness shown by some
stranger in sending them provision. Alone they failed;
combining, they succeeded. All property is held in
common. Their temporal affairs are conducted by an
agent and three trustees, who serve three years, one elected
annually by votes of both sexes. In 1832 the cholera
and kindred ills swept off some fifty persons, materially
reducing their numbers. Their property is valued at
half a million; it consists of nine thousand acres of land,
mills, furnaces, and factory. Their village is small;
substantial and comfortable houses, innocent of paint,
compose it. Women, as well as men, go to the fields to
labor. A laundry, bakery, and nursery; one of each
answers for all. Economy of the closest sort is
practiced; for as Kreutzner, landlord of their inn
and adviser in temporal and spiritual matters, once
remarked, in broken English, when starting on a bee-line for
a decaying apple cast by an improvident stranger into the
street, "Saving make rich." Bimeler has passed
away, and his successor; but the present officers are true
and honest men, - steadfast in the course which gave them
riches, virtues, and supremacy.
SOCIAL AND VITAL.
SCHOOL STATISTICS OF
COUNTY OFFICES AND PRESENT
OFFICERS OF 1875.
THE METHODIST CHURCH.
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
ASSOCIATIONS AND SOCIETIES.
WAR FOR THE UNION.
OF TUSCARAWAS COUNTY.
HISTORY OF THE VILLAGES AND TOWNSHIPS OF TUSCARAWAS
- NEW PHILADELPHIA
PERSONAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS >