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Fayette County, Ohio
History & Genealogy


By Rufus Putnam of Chillicothe, O.
Applegate, Pounsford & Co. Print, 43 Main Street,
pg. 49

     JOHN DEWITTE, Esquire, was born December 9th, 1785, in Clark County, Kentucky, and emigrated to Ross County, Old Town, 1796.  He purchased 1,000 acres of Turkey run, now Wayne Township, Fayette County, in 1805.  He married Polly Barker April 11th, 1808, by whom he had ten children - Euline, Jane, Anderson, Dartington, Decater, Greenup, Rachel, John, Jessee, Candes; all married, and have families.  John DeWitte served as a soldier during the war of 1812; he served as a justice several terms, and during his life served in several other important township offices.  His house was the headquarters of Governor McArthur, Massie, Douglas, Creighton, Kendrick, Allen, Thurman, Randolph, Clay, Crittenden, and other prominent men of the South and West.  Peter DeWitte, father of John, emigrated from Germany to America, at an early day; he was in the Revolutionary War, and was an early pioneer to Kentucky; a friend of Boone and Kenton.  He died soon after the war of  '12, aged 90, his wife died at the age of 92.  John, the subject of this record, built the first cabin in now Wayne Township, then a wilderness inhabited by Indians and wild beasts of pray; no roads, nothing but Indians' trails and bridle paths; no mills and no conveniencies, he had to encounter every hardship incident to pioneer life; dangers seen and unseen to early pioneers.
     On Esquire DeWitte's farm are the earth works.  The mound is about 100 feet high, and in circumference about one mile; on the top it is level, and contains near ten acres; on the west side is the deep basin or pool, in circumference about eighty rods.  There are three deep inclined passages running from the surface below to the top of the fort or mound.  For past ages it was the camp of Big John and his war tribe.  On the east side is the oldest cemetery in the county, donated to the public by Mr. DeWitte, Esq.  In this ancient depository of the dead, are the remains of John DeWitte, Esq., and wife; over their graves their children have erected costly and beautiful monuments, showing the respect and love they have for their lamented parents.
     Jessee is the owner of the old ancient homestead, the old brick house, having been built in 1822.  It still stands as a monument to tell the place where lived and died John DeWitte, Esq., who was known for his honesty, benevolence, and hospitality.  In religion, he was a regular Baptist; his latchstring was always out during associations, and the weary pioneer preacher found shelter and comfort. 


     Camp meeting ground, on the south side of Chillicothe pike, most beautifully situated on a high, dry piece of ground, a truly romantic forest grove interspersed with native ornamental trees, inexhaustible supply of sulphur water of the best quality.  The ground had been in past ages the cemetery of some ancient race, large in physical structure, as skeletons have been exhumed measuring seven and seven and one-half feet in length.
     Anderson DeWitte was born August  23d, 1813, on the homestead, east of Washington four miles, on Turkey creek, Wayne Township.  He lived with his father until of age; he married Miss Elizabeth Hare, daughter of Hon. Geo. Hare, now of McDonnough County, Illinois, who emigrated from Ross County, Ohio, in 1850.  Mr. Hare was an early pioneer to Ross County, and, during his residence there, he was popular and favorable known - a man of note and prominence.  Soon after his settling in his new locality he was elected to the General Assembly of his newly adopted State; he is still living, and enjoys good health and the society of his numerous friends and relatives.
     Mr. DeWitte, soon after his marriage, purchased land of his father, and moved on it; he still purchased, until he is the owner of 1,000 acres.  Mr. DeWitte has been during his life a large and extensive dealer in fine stock - such as horses, cattle, mules, and hogs; and he has been engaged in shipping for the past several years, horses, cattle, mules, and hogs to the Eastern markets, and has had imported fine stock from Europe.  His stalls of yearling bulls are unsurpassed for pure blood and model beauty, and for many years he has been the successful man for important premiums at State and County Fairs.
     Mr. DeWitte is the father of twelve children, all living and possessing sound minds and good health; their names are as follows:  Mary C., Semantha, Thomas Hamer, called after the lamented Gen. Thomas L. Hamer of Brown County, Ohio, Joann, Harvey, Elizabeth, Hannah Bell, John, Martin, Jane Almeda, George, Crittenden, named after the late Hon. John J. Crittenden, of Kentucky.  Mr. DeWitte, in religion is a Methodist, and in politics, a Democrat.  He has often been urged to run for office, but always refused, having no aspiration in that way.  He is a man of great energy of character, enterprise, and frugality.  He is intelligent, and generally entertains his friends in a social talk when they call on him; his health is unimpaired, and he bids fair to live yet many years.


     RICHARD HUKILL emigrated to Ohio in 1805, then Ross County, and purchased six hundred acres of land in the woods of Peter Harper, paying $900; he lost his purchase, Harpers title having proved a fraud.  He then purchased three hundred acres of John L. Choier, in Wayne Township, now Fayette county.
      The following are the names of Richard Hukill's children who emigrated with him: Nathan, David, Zebulan, Herold, Stephen, Noah, Zachariah, Naoma, Polly, Nancy.  Richard Hukill was one of the first Trustee of Wayne Township.  In religion, a Baptist.  He died in 1854.  Noah Hukill was the first inn-keeper; he still occupies the old farm.  The names of his children are: W. R. Hukill, Esq., who has served as justice several terms, also as treasurer and school director, Maggie Hukill married W. R. Dixon.
     The following pioneer names by W. R. Hukill: Philip Harper, Adam Rions, William Baker, James Baker, William Barker, John L. Choier, Samuel Choier, John Merret, Henry Thurman, one of the first justices of the peace, J. Smith, J. Carter, Daniel Hopper, Wm. Harper, Peter Deull, Gilbert Yeoman, Stephen Hill, Humphrey Warren, Peleg Rogers, William Ware, Henry Byran, John Archer, Samuel Blain, S. Keller, Samuel Orr, Felta Post, Christopher Popejoy, George Poor, Isaac Aylshire, John McCoy, who were all farmers, and did much to open and improve the wilderness; but a majority of them have passed away from the state of action.
     Among the most prominent and useful men of the township at the present time are Nathan Coffman, Milton Heagler, Ira Yeoman, Jacob Eyeman, Hamilton Rogers, John Hukill, Anderson DeWitte, Jesse White, William S. Rogers, T. N. McElwain, William McElwain, John Smith, John R. Dixon, Stephen Geringer, W. B. Rodgers, John Simmin, Philip McWilliams, Thomas McCoy, John H. Parrott, John Sellars.
The first store in the township was opened by Bush & Co.,  at McElwain's tan-yard, now Good Hope.  James and Waller Yeoman built the first flour mill of Joseph Bonham's, on Paint creek, in the village of Rock Mills.  The first stillhouse in the township was erected by Christopher Popejoy, on the large farm of Rev. Boyd.  The first hotel in the township was kept by Noah Hukill, on the farm where he now lives.  Among the first school teachers were Andrew Hays and Thomas Finny.  And one of the first school-houses in the township was built on the farm of the heirs of Malloo, once the old Hukill farm.
     The first ministers were Daniel Hays, James Burbridge, Mr. Alkire, Samuel Wilson, Dr. George Zimmerman, a half Shawnee Indian and a successful doctor.  Rev. T. H. Dewees keeps store at present in Rock Village - see Good Hope Business Directory, by Wm. David, on another page.
     Among the many good things of Wayne Township are two tile factories for the making of drain tiles, which are carried on by Hegler & Co. and J. Willer.  The first churches were built by the Baptists.  The Baptists have two churches, and the Methodists one, and the Dunkards one.  There is a good school-house in every district, and the merry shouts of the scholars can be heard in every nook and corner of old Wayne.  This is what the hand of time and improvement has done.   The forests have become cleared out and the land improved.  Once what used to be the home of the Indian, the wild turkey, panther, bear, and deer has given place to civilization and intelligence.
     Ira Yeoman is our most successful wheat farmer; he has held the important office of Township Treasurer fourteen years, to the entire approval of the community.  In this township is one of the best houses in the county - it is the residence of Milton Hegler, Esq., which stands as a monument of architecture and wealth, on his model farm of 1,500 acres, located in the east end of Fayette and west end of Rose counties, on the pike leading from Chillicothe to Washington Court-House.  Streams running through the township are Main Paint creek, Indian creek, Turkey run, Hukill run, Papaw run, and Davis lick.  Wayne Township was named after the brave, made Anthony Wayne.  The face of the township is level, and a little rich rolling soil.  The inhabitants are honest, industrious, frugal, and hospitable.  She has the honor of having the oldest man and woman within her limits in the county - see another page in the townships.


     ISAAC SMITH emigrated from Virginia to now Wayne Township at an early date, and settled near the waters of Main Paint.  His sons, Zach, John, Alexander, James and Isaac, are all farmers.  James lives on the old farm.  John Smith  served several terms to entire satisfaction.  Alexander  was assessor several years, and made a very popular one.

     MARTIN GROVES emigrated from Hamshire County, Virginia, at an early, to now Fayette.  He settled on Main Paint; he served in the war of 1812; he was by occupation a farmer, and made a good neighbor.  He had five sons, Josiah, Noah, Martin, Christopher, and David.  Josiah is dead; Noah lives in Ross County as a farmer; Martin is a farmer and large stock dealer, and is now erecting a large pork-house; his house is situated two miles east of Washington, on the Chillicothe pike; Christopher is a farmer in Illinois; David was drowned in Paint creek, in his sixth year; he was, for his age, a very promising child.


     Captain ROBERT McELWAINE emigrated from Kentucky to Fayette in 1810, and settled on Indian creek, a noted place for Indians and game.  His family consisted of his wife and three children - Jane, John C., and William.  Jane is dead; William followed the occupation of a merchant and farmer.  After arriving in Fayette, Mrs. McElwain had seven children - Ozee, wife of Ira Yeoman; Robert T. was a tanner; he died in 1848, and left a wife and three children in Missouri; Nancy Stukey wife of Simon Stukey; they had nine children - five boys; Robert N., Jacob, Samuel, William M., and John are all farmers and stock dealers; Magie, Mary, Ozee, and Axy are all single; Samuel McElwain died on the route to California; Thomas N. McElwain is a farmer and stock dealer, and occupies the old homestead; his family, John H., Ozee and Jane are dead; Annie; Samuel N., is a farmer; William R. and Lewis A.; Eliza is a wife of Anderson Rowe; William R. and Lewis A.; Eliza is the wife of Anderson Rowe - she is dead, but left one child, William T. Rowe; Minerva is also dead; Jane had one son - Robert; John and nine children: William R., Robert, John T., Maria J., Emily, Usebie, Minerva, Samuel, and Alfred J.  The following are William's children: Mary J., Nancy, John N., Thomas B., Eliza, Henrieta, Eva, Robert T., and Willie.  John N. is a clerk in the Treasurer's Office at Washington city; Thomas B. is an attorney at Washington C. H.  Robert's children are as follows: Susan J., John W., and Esther T.  John W., farmer; served in the late war; Susan, teacher.  Capt. Robert McElwain served as captain of a rifle company during the war of 1812; while in the service he was elected a justice, and served nine years.  He also, during his life, held several important civil offices.  He was a man of influence; a useful citizen; kind and benevolent to the poor; his latch string at all times hung out.  He died in the 48th year, respected and lamented by relatives and friends.  William McElwain was  in the revolutionary war.

     BENJAMIN ROGERS was emigrated from Virginia to Fayette in 1807, and settled on Indian creek, in the forest.  His neighbors were Indians and beasts of prey.  He was in the war of 1812.  His children are scattered; Jackson, Hamilton, and William live in Wayne Township, and are farmers.  Mrs. Benjamin Rogers died in 1871, in her 91st year.

     WILLIAM CAMPBELL emigrated to Fayette in 1814; was in the war of 1812; a farmer.

     PETER EYMAN was an early emigrant; a farmer.  His sons, Samuel and Jacob, both farmers.

     HASSARD HOPKINS was an early settler; was a farmer.

     RICHARD STUKY was an early settler.  He was the father of David, Abraham, Jacob, Jack, James, William and John.

     DAVID WILLIAM, and JACOB FREES were early settlers on Indian Creek.  John Simerson was an early settler.  James Kerr was an early settler.  William, Jerry, and Andrew, are his sons; occupations, farmers.

     THOMAS DIXON was a private in the revolutionary war, under Gen. George Washington;  he received a pension during his life.  He emigrated from Virginia to Kentucky, where he died in 1848.  His son, Thomas Dixon, Jr., was in the war of 1812; he went from Bedford County, Virginia.  He emigrated from Virginia to Wayne Township, Fayette County, in 1833, where still lives, in his 78th year.  His son, Abner, lives in Madison Township, following the occupation of a farmer and stock dealer.  John Kelly Dixon, Wm. Richard Dixon, Giles Dixon, and Henry Dixon are all farmers and stock dealers, and live in Wayne Township, except Richard who lives in Union.  Susan Dixon married Wm. DeWitte, and lives in Wayne Township; Jane Dixon married Benjamin Davis, farmer; these were the daughters of Thomas Dixon, Jr.  The Dixon family present a noble war record, having in every national war in our country volunteered the rallied under the flag of the Union.  They descend from the ancient stock of Dixons, who were noted for their valor and honesty.  Henry Dixon was in the war of the late rebellion three years.

     JACOB DAVIS, father of Mrs. Abner Dixon, emigrated to Fayette County with his father, Benjamin Davis, from North Carolina, in the year 1802.  Benjamin Davis was drum major in the revolution, and in the war of 1812.  Ellen Davis, mother of Mrs. Abner Dixon, was born in Virginia in 1807, and now lives on the old homestead on Main Paint creek.  Benjamin Davis died in 1837.  John, Benjamin, William, Sarah, Ellen, and Jacob A. are the children of Jacob and Ellen DavisSusan is dead.

     WILLIAM WILKINS was born in Surana County, Virginia, and emigrated to the Little Wabash, Fayette County, in 1816.  The woods were full of game of every kind.  He was the father of six sons and four daughters - living in Indiana.  Mr. Wilkins was in the war of 1812, in Virginia.

     CHRISTOPHER COFFMAN emigrated from Kentucky at an early day with his family, and settled in Wayne.  His two sons live yet; Nathan on the old farm, very wealthy; Samuel lives on Sugar creek; occupation, farmer and stock merchant.

     STEPHEN YEOMAN, father of all the Yeomans, emigrated from York State at a very early date, and settled on Main Paint, near Rockville; he built the first brick hose on Main Paint.  His sons, James, Walter, and Samuel Yeoman, who was the father of Colonel S. N. Yeoman, now a large dry-goods merchant in Washington.  The colonel served as a brave and popular commander in the late rebellion.  Ira Yeoman, son of James Yeoman, occupies the old homestead.  Enos, Ely, Len, Milton, Allen, and Jackson are sons of Walter Yeoman, and are all successful and useful farmers but the colonel whose occupations is a merchant as above stated.  Mrs. Samuel Yeoman is still living in Washington, occupying the residence of her late lamented husband, Samuel Yeoman, Esq.


     JACOB A. DAVIS, it will be remembered, was drowned in the Ohio river, at Scott's Landing, during the time of the Morgan raid.  He was a member of Captain Greener's Company (E), First Regiment, Fayette County Militia.

     WILLIAM IRWIN and his wife, Betty, emigrated to Wayne Township at an early day.  They never had children:   both are dead.  Nathan Coffman now owns his farm.

     BENJAMIN DAVIS built the first horse-mill in the county.  He purchased a book in 1781, for which he paid forty-five dollars; in the book is inscribed the following:

"Don't steal this book for fear of shame,
For above there is the owner's name.

The portrait and name is in the book: "T. Dilworth, author; printed and sold in the year MDCCLXXIX."

     DAVID GARRINGER emigrated at an early day.  His son, David, married Serimo Yeoman, by whom he had nine children, as follows:  Sarah, Angeline, Manda, Semantha, Osa D., Albert, Stephen, Thomas B., and James J.; all living.  They never employed a doctor, using roots and herbs.  When he died he left $10,000 to each child.  He was a successful, safe farmer and stock raiser; he was a Baptist, and a good neighbor, and attended to his own business.


     GEORGE HEATH was a very early settler in Wayne Township.  During the war of 1812 his brother was killed by an Indian, and, in retaliation, he killed an Indian, and stuck him in the cedar hole; he shot an Indian on the high banks of Main Paint; he was in the war of 1812.  By occupation, a farmer.  He was the father of two sons and eight daughters; the sons dead; girls all dead but Anna Wilson, Elizabeth McCartney, and Matilda Hixon; her husband, Reuben Hixon, who lives in Good Hope, owns a saw and grist-mill; also a farmer and stock dealer, and a man of enterprise.


Joseph Duens, John D. Raper, and Mr. Bodwell, dry goods merchants
Marian Peel, drugs;
A. W. Ross, grocer;
George Tulwider
, shoe store;
Sant Sears
and James Davis, blacksmiths;
Nancy Ann Sanderson, milliner;
James Harper and Jonathan Rife, broom-makers;
Reuben and Geo. Hixon, millers;
Joseph Parker, justice;
Abram Baker physician;
Marian Peel, livery stable;
Isaac Bainter, Isaac Depoy, W. B. Depoy, James Murry, Joseph Parker, and Robert Scott, carpenters;
Daniel Goen and Mr. Clinedenst, wagon and buggy makers;
C. W. Bostwick, J. W. Parker, Rev. Barber, and Rev. Baker, preachers;
Turner and Dewese,
school trustees;
one Baptist and one Methodist Church.

     EDWARD SHOBE was an early settler; a tanner; his family moved West.

     ISAAC DRAISE was an early settler; a farmer; married the sister of Peter Buffinbarger; he was killed by the cars.


     FELTA POST was an early settler in Wayne Township; a farmer; was in the war of 1812.  He raised a family of nine children; six boys living. Jacob lives on the old farm; Andrew lives in Union; John N. lives near Martinsburgh, as a farmer; Wesley, farmer; Abram, farmer, lives in Jasper Township.

     HENRY SAWYERS, was an early settler of Wayne; cleared an owned the farm Benjamin Davis, Jr., now owns.  He moved to Madison Township, Madison County, Ohio. in 1850; had no children.

     CHARLES and YOUNG STAFFORD, were emigrants from North Carolina in 1800, when  the Indians and wolves were the inhabitants.  They were noted hunters; were both in the war of 1812; both raised large families.  A. Jackson and Chas. Stafford, Jr., live in Fayette County; Zerubabel in California, now in Nevada, a single man.  He has four girls in Fayette County, who are married; one in Indiana.  Charles Stafford had five sons - Robinson, Solomon, Waymon, Stephen, and Charles, who were farmers, millers, &c.  Five girls, all married; three dead.  The following are the names of his daughters:  Rachel, Rebecca, Nancy, Jane and Hannah.  Jane and Rebecca are living near Stanton.

     REV. JOHN BOYD settled in Wayne Township on his large tract of land of 1,000 acres, in 1843, and moved to Marietta in 1848.  He was a man of talent; he belonged to the Covenanter order; he was a son of Dr. John Boyd, and grandson of General Boyd, of the revolution. 

     DANIEL DAVIS emigrated from Virginia to Fayette in 1818, and settled in Wayne Township.  His sons, who came with him, were G. W. Thomas, Joseph, Robert, and Polly.  G. W. Davis, farmer and millwright, carpenter and blacksmith; he occupies the old homestead.  Thomas is dead; Joseph  was in the war of the rebellion, and belonged to the cavalry, and died of sickness; Robert's occupation, a shoemaker, in Rockville; never was married; Polly  married Daniel Figgins, a farmer.  G. W. Davis had five sons - Armanus, James M., Henry C., Scott H., and Milton.  They were in the late rebellion, and returned home sound.  James was a lieutenant in the 114th O. V. I.

     CAPT. JOHN LOWERY  was in the war of 1812; he was an early settler; says he is now 101 years old, and lives on his farm; he still walks about, but is rather feeble.  He was is still living.

     JOHN HOPPER was an early settler; he is dead.  His sons are Jacob, John, Hinton, and Henry; the girls are Betty, Nancy, Polly, Margaret, Jane, and Sarah Jacob, Sarah and Polly are dead; John is a farmer, and lives in Indiana; Hinton owns the old homestead, and is a farmer and large landholder; Henry lives in Missouri; Margaret married Abraham McCoy, farmer, trader in stock, &c.; balance of the girls live outside of the county; Polly is dead; Sarah died in Fayette County; Nancy, wife of John Hopper, went to Indiana on a visit and died; she was an excellent woman.

     The following are the children of Benjamin Davis, omitted by Mrs. Ellen Davis in her record, but given in by Benjamin Davis, Jr.:

     John, Hiram, Joel, Zerubable, Ester, Sarah, and Polly.  John was a tanner and farmer; Hiram is a farmer, and the father of thirteen children; had five boys in the late war; Joel, farmer; Zerubable is dead; girls all married; Sarah  and Polly are dead.

     WILLIAM SNYDER was an early settler; he was a farmer and wholesale stock shipper.  John Snyder, brother to William, is dead; was a farmer.  William Snyder, Jr., lived on the old farm until 1868, and then sold out and moved to Topeka, Kansas.



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