VINTON COUNTY, OHIO
VINTON COUNTY was formed March
23, 1850, from Gallia, Athens, Hocking, Ross, and Jackson
counties, comprising eleven townships, with a combined
population of 9,353. It is watered by branches of the
Scioto and Hocking rivers. Its surface is mostly
hilly, with some broad, fine, fertile, level land on the
streams. The land is well adapted to grazing, and it
is a good county for sheep, horses, cattle and hogs.
While the hills are generally sloping in many places they
are cultivated to their summits, and have been successfully
devoted to grape culture and other fruit. Its great
wealth is in its coal, fire-clay and iron. There are
four furnaces in the county: Eagle, Hope, Vinton, and
Hamden, but not now in operation.
Area, 402 square miles. In 1887 the acres
cultivated were 41,645; in pasture, 69,217; woodland,
48,376; lying waste, 6,794; produced in wheat, 80,134
bushels; rye, 352; buckwheat, 412; oats, 45,907; corn,
202,241; broom-corn, 50,050 lbs. brush; meadow hay, 11,155
tons; clover hay, 38; potatoes, 15,658 bushels; tobacco, 850
lbs.; butter, 194,689; sorghum, 4,525 gallons; maple sugar,
2,248 lbs.; honey, 2,104; eggs, 189,694 dozen; grapes, 550
lbs.; sweet potatoes, 386 bushels; apples, 11,232; peaches,
1,451; pears, 78; wool, 163,853 lbs.; milch cows owned,
2,541. Ohio Mining Statistics, 1888; Coal, 108,695
tons, employing 225 miners and 57 outside employees; iron
ore, 11,761 tons. School census, 1888, 5,931;
teachers, 158. Miles of railroad track, 68.
TOWNSHIPS AND CENSUS
TOWNSHIPS AND CENSUS
Vinton in 1860, 13,631; 1880, 17,223; of whom 14,839 were
born in Ohio; 594, Pennsylvania; 500, Virginia; 115,
Kentucky; 81, New York; 32, Indiana; 327, Ireland; 160,
German Empire; 94, England and Wales; 13, British America;
12, Scotland; and 11, France. Census, 1890, 16,045.
This county is named in honor of SAMUEL FINLEY
VINTON, one of Ohio's eminent statesmen of a past
generation. Mr. Vinton is a direct descendant
of John Vinton of Lynn, Mass, whose name occurs in
the county records of 1648. The tradition is that the
founder of the family in this country was of French origin,
by the name of De Vintonne, and he was exiled from
France on account of his being a Huguenot. Mr.
Vinton was born in the State of Massachusetts, September
25, 1792, graduated at Williams College in 1814, and soon
after 1816 established himself in the law at Gallipolis.
In 1822 he was, unexpectedly to himself, nominated and then
elected to Congress, an office to which he continued to be
elected by constantly increasing majorities for fourteen
years, when he voluntarily withdrew for six years, to be
again sent to Congress for six years longer, when he
declined any further Congressional service, thus serving in
all twenty years.
Mr. Vinton originated and carried through the
House many measures of very great importance to the country.
During the period of the war with Mexico, he was Chairman of
the Committee of Ways and Means, and at this particular
juncture his financial talent was of very great service to
the nation. During his entire course of public life he
had ably opposed various schemes for the sale of public
lands that he felt, if carried out, would be squandering the
nation's patrimony. he originated and carried through
the House, against much opposition, the law which created
the Department of the Interior. Hon. Thomas Ewing
wrote of him: "Though for ten or fifteen years he had more
influence in the House of Representatives, much more than
any man in it, yet the nation never has fully accorded to
him his merits. HE was a wise, persevering, sagacious
statesman; almost unerring in his perceptions of the right,
bold in pursuing and skilful in sustaining it. He
always held a large control over the minds of men with whom
In 1851 Mr. Vinton was the unsuccessful Whig
candidate for Governor of Ohio. In 1853 he was for a
short time President of the Cleveland and Toledo Railroad,
and then, after 1854, continuously resided in Washington
City until his death, May 11, 1862. There he
occasionally argued cases before the Supreme Court, and with
remarkable success, from his habits of patient investigation
and clear analysis. He exhausted every subject he
discussed and presented his thoughts without rhetorical
flourish, but with wonderful lucidity. His use of the
English language was masterful, and he delighted in wielding
words of Saxon strength.
In accordance with his dying request he was buried in
the cemetery at Gallipolis, beside the remains of his wife,
Romaine Madeleine Bureau, the daughter of one of the
most respected French immigrants. His only surviving
child is Madeleine Vinton Dahlgren, noticed on page
681 of this work. "Mr. Vinton was of slight
frame, but of great dignity of presence. His mild and
clear blue eyes was very penetrating, and his thin,
compressed lips evinced determination of character.
His manner was composed and calm, but very suave and gentle,
scarcely indicating the great firmness that distinguished
OHIO SOUTHERN BOUNDARY LINE.
The question as
to what constitutes Ohio's Southern boundary line is one
that has never been satisfactorily settled, and the argument
made by the Hon. SAMUEL F. VINTON on this question is
one of great importance to the people of Ohio, as well as to
those of West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois.
In 1820, when
the case of Handleys Lessee vs. Anthony, et
al. was tried in the U. S. Supreme Court, Chief-Justice
Marshall decided that "When a great river is the
boundary line between tow nations or States if the original
property is in neither, and there be no convention
respecting it, each holds to the middle of the stream.
But when, as in this case, one State is the original
proprietor, and grants the territory on one side only, it
retains the river within its own domains, and the newly
created State extends to the river only. The river,
however, is its boundary."
As between high and low water mark as the boundary line
Justice Marshall in this case set it at the
low water mark.
In 1783 the Legislature of Virginia empowered its
delegates in Congress "to convey, transfer, assign, and make
over unto the United States in Congress assembled, for the
benefit of said States (proposed new States northwest of the
Ohio), all right, title and claim, as well of soil as of
jurisdiction, which this Commonwealth hath to the territory
or tract of country within the limits of the Virginia
Charter, situate, lying and being to the northwest of the
In 1845 Richard M. Garner and others, who were
captured by Virginia officers at the bank of the Ohio river,
near Marietta, in the act of assisting runaway slaves to
escape, were tried in the Virginia courts. The case
was decided against them in the lower courts, and on an
appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court was argued at the
December term, 1845, by Hon. S. F. Vinton, for the
defendants, being assigned to that duty by the Governor of
Vinton's argument was based on the ground that
Virginia never had a valid claim to the lands northwest of
the Ohio river. He held that Chief Justice Marshall's
decision was based on an erroneous historical assumption.
Vinton says: "All the parties to that case (Handley's
Lessee vs. Anthony), both the court and the bar
assumed, without any historical investigation in the court
below, that Virginia was the original proprietor of the
country beyond the Ohio river, and that the question of
boundary was to be decided by the laws of Virginia was the
original proprietor of the country beyond the Ohio river,
and that the question of boundary was to be decided by the
laws of Virginia, and by her deed of cession to the United
States." He further states that the "Virginia
Charter," upon which Virginia's claims were based, was
granted in 1609 to "The Treasurer and Company of Adventurers
and Planters of the City of London." In 17924 this
grant was dissolved by the Court of the King's Bench;
henceforth, until the Revolution, Virginia was a crown
colony with no claim to the territory northwest of the Ohio,
and that after the Declaration of Independence the
territory came under the jurisdiction of the United States
by right of conquest.
In May, 1890, the Supreme Court of the United States
reaffirmed the decision of Justice Marshall in
a controversy between Kentucky and Indiana as to
jurisdiction over Green River island, in the Ohio river,
some six miles above Evansville. The court held that
Kentucky's boundary extended to the low water mark on the
north bank at the time Kentucky became a State, and
Commissioners were appointed to ascertain and run the
boundary line as designated, and to report to the court.
Shortly after this decision had been rendered,
ex-Governor Cox wrote a letter to Governor
Campbell, drawing his attention to the interests
involved, and suggesting that he request Attorney-General
Watson to intervene in the suit (it not being actually
closed until the Commissioners' report had been accepted),
and that Illinois and West Virginia be made parties.
Measures were at once taken by Governor Campbell
and Attorney-General Watson to interplead in Ohio's
behalf before the United States Supreme Court.
Ex-Governor Cox denied the validity of
Virginia's claim, and in his letter stated some of the
complications likely to ensue if the decision of the Supreme
Court was permitted to stand without question.
"The reasons for making the median line of a stream the
boundary between private properties are infinitely stronger
when it comes to nations and States. Cincinnati has
six or eight miles of river front, on which she has built
levees and public landings, and our merchants and
manufacturers have made docks, coal chutes, etc. If
the ancient meandered line of he low water mark be
rigidly renewed, the whole commercial front of this
great city may possibly be held to be cut off from Ohio by
some narrow strip sufficient to fence us in.
"If Kentucky prudently does not urge such a claim, we
may still hold our territory, rather by sufferance than by
title of a better kind. Railways have been built up
and down the river on the Ohio shore. It can hardly be
possible, in the nature of constructions of such a sort,
that they have not trenched upon the water line. Shall
a quo warranto in Kentucky forfeit their Ohio
charters and rights of way? Kentucky companies plant
bridge piers so close to Ohio that the value of adjacent
property is destroyed. Must the Kentucky jury on the
opposite shore have sole jurisdiction to assess damages?
"Suppose the war of secession had resulted in the
independence of the South, and the Ohio had been the
boundary, as the South claimed. The idea of a boundary
on the north shore would have made peace forever impossible.
The river is too important a highway of commerce to permit
any separation of jurisdiction except in the middle of the
stream. It has always been admitted that such also is
the general rule of law. But an exceptional
interpretation is claimed exactly where the reasons for the
rule are most overwhelming. There could have been no
GOOD reason for Virginia and Kentucky
controlling the whole river, and it cannot be supposed that
the cession of Virginia saved such jurisdiction for
BAD reasons. I believe the
publicists of the world would be shocked to see the claim of
Virginia recognized as a rule of law."
Nearly half a
century elapsed after its first settlement before Vinton
County was formed. The first settlers centered most
strongly around McArthur and Vinton townships. A
Mr. Musselman was one of the earliest. Of him but
little is known, except that he was the discoverer of the
burr stone. He worked a few years quarrying these
stones, as did most of the early settlers.
It was in 1805 that Musselman came. He
settled in Elk, a pioneer township of the county. He
was a miller; being something of a geologist he discovered
the fine burr stone, and in the spring of 1806 began his
The first permanent settler in Elk was Levi Kelsey,
who came about 1802, and was probably the very first settler
in the county. Isaac and Joseph Phillips
came in 1806 and 1807. Levi Johnson came in
1811, put up the first distillery, and, being justice of the
peace, performed the first marriage ceremony. Then
came, a little later, Jacob and Paul Shry, Geo.
Fry, James and William Mysick, Edward Satts, Thaddeus
Fuller, David Richmond, Rev. Joshua Green, Lemuel and
Allen Lane, Joseph Gill, and Isaac West.
We copy here the personal recollections of early
times in Vinton county by one of her pioneer women, Mrs.
Charlotte E. Bothwell, given in 1874 at McArthur, when
she was 86 years of age. She, with her husband, his
brother, and their two children, emigrated here in the
summer of 1814 from Silveysport, Md. She was then
twenty-six years of age, and her husband twenty-nine.
They came down the Monongahela and Ohio rivers by
pirogue, which he brought, hired a pilot, landed at
Gallipolis, and came thence by wagon, having been just
thirty-two days on the way.
It was on a Tuesday morning when they left Gallipolis
with Mr. Pierson, her sister's husband, who had come
with his wagon to help them on their way. The next
morning they took breakfast at what now Jackson. It
was then nothing but "a salt works, a number of rough,
scattering cabins, and long rows of kettles of boiling
The roads all the way were but mere paths, and the
three men compelled to cut out roads with axes, and drive
along hillsides, when it was all the men could do to keep
the wagons from upsetting. After leaving Jackson, it
was nine miles to Mr. Paine's, the first house.
The remainder of her narrative we give in her own words.
About the middle of the day it began raining very hard,
and rained al day; everything was soaking with water.
My youngest child lay in my arms wet and cold, and looked
more like it was dead than alive. Several times we
stopped the wagon to examine to see if it was dead.
But we had to go on. There was no house to stop at
till we got to Mr. Paine's. It was more than an
hour after dark when we got there, wet, cold, and still
raining. We found Mrs. Paine one of the best
and kindest of women. An own mother could not have
been more kind. After breakfast next morning, we
started and got to my brother-in-law's the evening of the
5th of August, when four days afterward our child died.
My husband had been here the spring previous, entered
160 acres of land, being now (1874) the farm once owned by
David Ray, and reared the walls of a cabin upon it.
When we got here, it had neither door, floor, window,
chimney, nor roof. My husband hired two men to make
clapboards to cover it, and puncheons for a floor, we
remaining with my brother-in-law until this was done.
We then moved into our new house, to finish it at our
leisure. Isaac Pierson then "scutched" down the
logs, my husband chinked it, and I daubed the cracks with
There was no plank to be had, the nearest saw-mill
being Dixon's, on Salt creek, twenty miles away. So I
hung up a table-cloth to close the hole left for the window,
and a bed quilt for a door. The back wall of a
fire-place occupied nearly one whole side of the house; but
the chimney was not built on it, and sometimes the smoke in
the house would almost drive me out. We lived in this
way five months. I was not used to backwoods life, and
the howling of the wolves, with nothing but a suspended
bed-quilt for a door, coupled with other discomforts of
border life, made me wish many a time I was back at my good
On the 14th of January, 1815, the chimney was built.
My husband had some plank and sash, and made the door and
window. The hinges and latches were of wood. Our
cabin was the only one in the whole country around that had
a glass window. On the same day, while the men were
working at the house, I finished a suit of wedding clothes
for David Johnson, father of George and
Benjamin Johnson, who still live here. I had the
suit all done but a black satin vest when he came here.
I didn't know it was a wedding suit, and tried to put him
off; but he would not be put off. The next day my
third child, Catherine who was the widow of Joseph
Foster, and lives near Sharonville, was born.
My husband was a cabinetmaker and painter, but
bedsteads and chairs and painting were not in use here in
that day, and his business was confined to making
spinning-wheels and reels. He did not get his shop
till the first day of May, and as he had not worked for a
year our little accumulated earnings were all spent.
However, we were now comfortably fixed. I had some
pipe-clay and white-washed the inside of the cabin, and some
of our neighbors regarded us as very rich and very
aristocratic - thought for this country we put on too much
I had learned the tailoring business and found plenty
of work at it. There was not much money in the
settlement, and I was more often paid in work than in cash;
but we wanted our farm cleared up and therefore needed work.
It cost us about $10 per acre to clear the land, beside the
fencing. Lands all belonged to the government and
could be entered in quarter sections or 160 acres, at $2 per
acre, to be paid in four annual payments of $80 each.
When we first came here there were perhaps fifty
families in and around this settlement, most of them
quarrying and making millstones. There was no person
making a business of farming. All had their little
patches of garden, but making millstones was the principal
business. Afterward Aaron Lentz and Richard
McDougal had large quarries. A man named
Musselman first discovered the stone in 1805 and in 1806
employed Isaac Pierson to work for him. This
was on section seven. There were no white people here
at that time and the two camped out. Musselman
quit, but the next year Pierson, finding the business
to be very profitable, moved out, built the first cabin and
made the first permanent settlement.
He employed hands to help him, and soon the settlement
began to grow. The business was very profitable, and
all engaged in it would have become independently rich but
for one thing- whiskey! Most of them drank; and
nearly every pair of millstones that was sold must bring
back a barrel of whisky, whether it brought flour or not.
If the flour was out they could grind corn on their
handmills, but they made it a point never to get out of
Trading was done principally at
Chillicothe. There was no store closer than
Chillicothe or Athens. everything we bought that was
not produced in the country was very dear. The
commonest calico, such as not sells at 6 to 10 cents, was 50
cents a yard; coffee, 40 cents; ten, $1.25; we made our own
sugar. We made it a point, however, to spend as little
as possible. Our salt we got at Jackson; gave $2 for
fifty pounds of such mean, wet, dirty salt as could not find
a market now at any price.
All kinds of stock ran loose in the woods. Each
person had his stock marked. My husband's mark was to
point one ear and cut a V-shaped piece out of the other.
I marked my geese by splitting then left web of the left
foot. These marks were generally respected.
There was good wild pasturage for the cattle, and hogs grew
fat upon the mast. When one was wanted for use it was
shot with the rifle.
A wilder country than this in the early days it
would be hard to imagine, with its great systems of rocks
and intermingled forests. Indians, wolves, wild game
and snakes were more numerous than interesting. I
remember distinctly one time, my son Thompson was a
baby, I put him to sleep one afternoon in his cradle and
went our to help my husband in the field. He had an
Irishman working in the shop. In a little while after
he went into the house to get some tobacco. He came
soon running out to us, hallooing in the field, "Oh, mon!
come quick; the devil he is in the house!" We hastened to
the door, and found a large rattlesnake which had been lying
by the cradle. Our presence disturbed it, and it ran
under the bed, and my husband got a club and dragged it out
and killed it.
MCARTHUR, county-seat of Vinton, about sixty miles
southeast of Columbus, about 105 miles east of Cincinnati,
is on the Ohio River Division of the C. H. V. & T.,
and three miles north of the C. W. & B. R. R. It is in
the midst of a rich iron and coal region. The
surrounding country is largely devoted to raising fine wool
sheep, cattle and swine.
County Officers, 1888: Auditor, John McNamara; Clerk,
David H. Moore; Commissioners, William J. Cox, Lyman
Wells, Henry C. Robbins; Coroner, Jacob D. Christ;
Infirmary Directors, Nathan B. Westcook, John Bray,
E. McCormack; Probate Judge, John N. McLaughlin;
Prosecuting Attorney, William S. Hudson; Recorder,
Cyrus C. Moore; Sheriff, Enos T. Winters;
Surveyor, Simon R. Walker; Treasurer, Eli
Reynolds. City Officers, 1888: H. W. Horton,
John S. Morrison, Clerk; V. R. Sprague,
Treasurer; John Lowry, Marshal. Newspapers:
Democrat-Enquirer, Democratic, Alexander
Pearce, editor; Plaindealer, Democratic, J. W.
Bowen, editor; Vinton Record, Republican, A.
Barleon, editor; Churches: 1 Christian, 1 Methodist
Episcopal, 1 Presbyterian
and 1 Episcopal. Banks: Vinton Co. National, Daniel
Will, President, J. W. Delay, cashier.
Population, 1880, 900. School census, 1888, 343;
Joseph Rea, school superintendent. Census, 1890,
McArthur was named from Gov. Duncan McArthur,
a sketch of whom will be found under the head of Ross
County. It is sometimes called the "Mineral City," and
is on a pleasant elevation of table land, between two
branches of Elk fork of Raccoon creek. It was
environed by low hills, with coal banks from every direction
facing the town. Previous to the year 1815, this spot
was mostly a forest, where two brothers, William and
Jerry Pierson, built cabins, and possibly some others.
Burrstone quarries were then being worked in the north part
of the county by the first settlers, and two of the roads
coming together here made it of some importance as a
McArthur was laid out in 1815 under the name of
McArthurstown, after Gov. McArthur. The name
was changed. Feb. 7, 1851, by act of the legislature, and
the place incorporated. By the census of 1850 it had
Robert Sage, Esq., gave us some interesting
items, which we noted as he talked to us on our visit to
McArthur, Tuesday, 5 p.m. March 30, 1886. He said:
"McArthur was laid out in 1815 by Moses Dawson, Levi
Johnson, Isaac Parson, George Will, J. Beach, and Samuel
Lutz the surveyor, who is now living at
Circleville. His age is 98, is in good health, and
within a year has surveyed land. (He died in 1889,
aged over 101 years.) The acknowledgement of the
laying out was taken before Joseph Wallace, on
Saturday, the day before the battle of Waterloo, which was
fought Sunday, June 18, 1815. My father, Joel Sage,
built the first house that was built after the laying out,
and in the ensuing fall began to keep therein what is
believed to have been the first tavern opened in the limits
of the county. I have been a justice of the peace
twenty-one years, and was the first boy who had a home here.
"Phillips & Winzer, about the year 1817, opened
a store on the lot now owned by Dr. A. Wolf. At
that period James Stancliff, the first justice of the
peace, started the first school. The population of the
county is, I think, more largely than usual of the old
American stock, and we claim for them extraordinary health
and vigor. Living is very cheap. Retail prices
for sirloin steak 10 cents a pound; best pork steak at 8 to
10 cents; chickens, 15 to 25 cents each; turkeys, 6 cents
per pound; eggs, 8 to 10 cents per dozen, and coal delivered
at 5 cents per bushel.
"History of Hocking Valley" we learn that the 18th Ohio,
which was formed from this and the adjoining counties, had a
somewhat unusual experience while stationed,,,,,,,, May 1,
1862, just outside of Athens, Georgia. Being attacked
by a superior force, they were ordered to retire towards
Huntsville. Their route took them through Athens,
whereupon the citizens, seeing them fall back, insulted
them, the men throwing up their hats and the women waving
their handkerchiefs and all jeering and hooting at them,
while some shots were fired from the houses. The men
were so abused that the officers could with difficulty
restrain them. Gen. Turchin came to their
support with the 19th Illinois and some artillery, when they
faced about and drove the enemy out to town and vicinity.
This was the occasion when Turchin's brigade "went
Some of the Illinois companies were composed of Chicago
roughs; with such men for leaders, the soldiers, feeling
outraged by their treatment from the citizens, who had been
well treated by them, retaliated. This was in accord
with Col. Turchin's European ideas of war customs, so
in the result there was scarcely a store or warehouse that
they did not pillage.
Col. Turchin laid in the Court-house yard while
the devastation was going on. An aid-de-camp
approached, when the colonel remarked.
"Vell, liudtenant, I think it is dime dis dam billaging
"On no, colonel," replied he, "the boys are not half
"Ish dat so? Den I schleep for half an hour
longer," said the colonel, as he rolled his fat, dumpty body
over on the grass again.
The boys of the 19th Illinois used the word "jerk" in
the sense of steal or pillage. This gave the 18th Ohio
and 19th Illinois the appellation of "Turchin's
Thieves." For this act Turchin was
court-martialled and dismissed from the service by orders of
Buell; but Lincoln, recognizing his soldierly
qualities, restored him with the rank of brigadier-general.
This retaliation secured better treatment from the citizens.
A gentleman of
many years and experience, who has long known Vinton county,
Mr. S. W. Ely, agricultural editor of the Cincinnati
Gazette, who made it a visit in the summer o 1886,
has put in print these valuable facts:
"Since our last issue we have enjoyed the opportunity
of visiting the county of Vinton, Ohio, which is situate on
the C. B. & W. Railway, within 150 miles east of this city,
and contrasting conditions and appearances at present with
those existing thirty years ago. At that time the
county had recently been formed from Ross, Athens, Hocking
and Jackson, and a scattering country village, almost
unapproachable from the outer world, located as its
"court-house," with a patronymic derived from one of Ohio's
"McArthur was situate on the long and difficult hilly
and muddy road which extended sixty miles from Chillicothe
to Athens, nearly equidistant between those pioneer
boroughs. A few of its early settlers were known to
the Scioto valley stock feeders as reliable breeders of
'sassafras' bovines and mountain sheep, and occasionally a
caravan of 'Salt Creekers,' with their few hundred feet of
'plank,' their feathers, eggs, 'parilla, and maple molasses
came into the 'Ancient Metropolis' for marketing purposes.
"it was understood before that time, however, that
Vinton county territory abounded in both sylvan and mineral
riches. The first geological survey of the State under
Prof. Mather, assisted by the veterans, Briggs,
Whittlesey, etc., had been finished and particular
mention made of the millstone, coals, iron ores, and other
mineral riches of the new county and its neighboring shires.
But not until the Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad was
completed to the Ohio river did the newly opened territory
begin earnestly to improve.
"Trade in the 'black diamonds' with the communities towards
the west opened and rapidly increased. The finest
timber and best tanbark- the prey most greedily coveted on
our new railway lines - were soon wheeled off and utilized.
An English colony introduced its 'best methods' at Zaleski,
and 'astonished the natives' by erecting a gas-house and
indulging in expensive gradation of streets before their
hamlet was fairly started, following up with a large blast
furnace, in which they vainly strove to make good pigs with
a raw sulphurous coal - a task they had to abandon, so that
their stack soon crumbled down to the foundation, and a
slowly-growing village, kept alive by a portion of the
railway machine shops, ensued their bright expectations.
"Within a few years the Columbus and Hocking Valley Railroad
has been thrust southwardly, across Vinton county, from
Logan, through McArthur to Pomeroy, reinforcing the old
Portsmouth branch of the C. B. & W. in connecting this
interesting region with steamboat navigation. And this
brings us to the point of our paragraph. In no respect
has this county more positively improved since our earliest
acquaintance with it than in that of its agriculture.
On every hand, within sight of the railroad, the lands have
been largely cleared, and the fields are clothed with rich
coats of cultivated grasses, including blue grass, orchard
grass, red-top, timothy, etc., while great attention is paid
to the clover crop.
"A gentleman who kindly drove us over a considerable
scope of country remarked: 'Our farmers formerly paid more
attention to the cereals, but after three or four crops of
corn on the same ground they found that their warranty deeds
were not strong enough to hold their lands, so they
have resorted to grass, hay, pasturage, and cattle and sheep
breeding and fattening, so that the old gullies washed in
our hillsides are filled up, smoothed over, and 'all dressed
in living green.' Meantime agricultural methods have
greatly improved in most other respects. The fields we
cultivate are well plowed, harrowed, and the clods broken,
before the seed is sown or planted. Our crops are
larger and more sure than before; the values of lands have
increased correspondingly, and our farmers pay their taxes,
and become rich and independent.'
"We observe that great attention is paid to orchard and
fruit raising. Our friend, on sixty-six acres, has
1,100 apple trees, a moiety of which are the Hughes Virginia
Crab, from each of which he will make this year a barrel of
cider, worth ten dollars in market. This, he thinks,
will pay better than grain or grapes. His place
adjoins the town of McArthur, and is remarkably fertile,
underlaid also by good, workable coal. It is in a
lovely region. It is probable, we think, that no part
of our great State can boast of a greater degree of
agricultural improvement, effected in the same period, than
Vinton county. The construction of railroads through
her territory has led in this desirable direction. In
picturesque beauty she can now challenge the most favored
regions, while in all other respects we have reason to
believe her people have advanced. Good agriculture is
at once the basis and proof of civic improvement. The
population of this part of the State is very rapidly
increasing, and the inducements for the exercise of industry
and energy are excellent."
ZALESKI is on the C. W. & B. R. R., forty-two
miles east of Chillicothe and about six northeast from
McArthur. It is named from Peter Zaleski, a
banker in Paris, a native of Poland, and financial agent for
Polish exiles of wealth in France. He was a leading
member of the Zaleski mining Company, which bought large
quantities of mineral land hereabout and laid out the town
on their land in 1856. For many years it was simply a
mining town, the company building houses for rent to their
employees. The ores proving unremunerative, the houses
have fallen into the ownership of individuals, and it has
lost its identity as a mining town. The greatest
industry here is the repairing shops of the railroad, which
employs many workmen. It has 1 Episcopal Methodist, 1
Catholic and 1 Mission Baptist Church.
City Officers, 1888: Sylvester Shry,
Mayor; Peter Hoffman, Clerk; Jacob Dorst,
Treasurer; John McCoy Marshal and Street
Population, 1880, 1,175. School census, 1888,
374; J. W. Delay, school superintendent.
HAMDEN P. O., Hamden Junction, is seven miles southwest
of McArthur, on the C. W. & B. R. R. It has 1
Presbyterian and 1 Disciples church. City Officers,
1888: S. F. Cramer, Mayor; H. D. Wortman,
Clerk; R. R. Brown, Treasurer; J. B. Watts,
Marshal; William Ogier, Commissioner.
Newspaper: Hamden Enterprise, Independent; K. J.
Cameron, editor and publisher. Population, 1880,
520. School census, 1888, 250; D. B. Dye,
WILKESVILLE, is fifteen miles southeast of
McArthur. It has 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1
Presbyterian, 1 Union Brethren, and 1 Catholic church.
Population, 1880, 309; school census, 1888, 104. The
hills there are rich and iron and coal.