A Part of Genealogy Express


Welcome to
Pickaway County, Ohio
History & Genealogy


History of Pickaway County
Source:  History of Franklin & Pickaway Counties, Ohio
Illustrations and Biographical Sketches
Published by Williams Bros. 1880


pg. 265



     Only a little more than eighty years ago, the territory now constituting Pickaway county, today teeming with busy industry, intelligence and happiness, was a complete wilderness, unvisited by the cheering rays of civilization.  Over these fertile and cultivated fields - dotted with substantial dwellings, surrounded by many evidences of even luxury and refinement - roamed savage wild beasts, and a race of men more savage still than they.  Here sported the timid deer, and the dismal howl of the wolf was heard.  In the forest, the Indian pursued his game and sauntered along the rippling streams, obtaining thus his daily food.  Here the romantic lover "wooed his dusky maid" in primitive simplicity.  Everything now is changed.  The wilderness that met the first gaze of the pioneers has been made to bud and blossom as the rose.  Where, less than a century ago, were the scattered huts and wigwams of the Indians, are now the comfortable homes of an enlightened and happy people, blessed with abundant social, religious, and educational privileges.  This amazing change was rendered possible by the enterprise, toil, and privation of those noble pioneers who are rapidly passing away, and in their commemoration the following account of their labors is written.
     No place in the county- if, indeed, in the entire State - is invested with such extraordinary interest as the township of Pickaway.  Here were situated the principal Indian villages, for the destruction of which Lord Dunmore's campaign was organized.  On its soil the army made its encampment, and by a treaty or truce, brought to a close what threatened to be a long and bloody war.  The writer will merely mention here the places of historical interest in the township, the events which make them so, being fully narrated in another portion of the book. 
At the time of Lord DUNMORE's incursion into the country, in 1774, there were several Indian villages on the plains and vicinity, the most important of which were Cornstalktown and Squawtown, situated on Scippo creek.  The former named after the Shawnee chief, Cornstalk, was located just north of where the iron bridge crosses the creek on the Chillicothe pike, and the latter, named for the sister of Cornstalk - Grenadier Squaw - was located just south of the bridge.  Camp Charlotte, the place of Lord DUNMORE's encampment, was situated on Scippo creek, in the southwest quarter of section twelve, on the old WINSHIP farm.  General LEWIS camped on the southeast quarter of section thirty on Congo creek.
On the farm of James T. BOGGS, a short distance east of his residence, is the so-called "Logan elm," under which, according to a certain tradition, the famous speech of the celebrated Mingo chief was made.  This tradition relates that Col. WILLIAMSON, an officer under Lord DUNSMORE, recited to Captain John BOGGS the circumstances of the conclusion of the treaty with the Indians, and described the place of meeting as being near Congo creek, about a mile below Camp Lewis, in a small piece of prairie of about thirty acres, in the middle of which was a mound.  LOGAN was present, and delivered the speech under an elm that stood a short distance southwest of said mound.  Captain BOGGS had no difficulty in subsequently finding the tree, from the description given him by WILLIAMSON, and it has ever since been carefully preserved by members of the family, because of the historical associations that are believed by them to surround it.  The tree is of regal majesty, being seventy-nine feet in height, and measuring, from the ends of the branches on one side to the other, one hundred and twenty feet.  The trunk is twenty feet in circumference.


     The surface of the township is generally rolling, with the exception of that portion comprising the Pickaway "plains" where it is almost perfectly level.  These "plains," so justly celebrated for their beauty, exuberant fertility, and ease of cultivation, when first discovered by the pioneers, were entirely devoid of tree or shrub, and were covered with a rank vegetation, consisting mostly of a wild grass, which old inhabitants say grew to such a height that it could be easily tied over a horse's back.  The reproductiveness of the virgin soil of the "plains" was very great - one hundred bushels of corn, and fifty bushels of wheat to the acre being raised with scarcely any labor.
     On their arrival here, the pioneers, naturally located on the plains, because of the little labor required to raise a crop; but from their entire lack of timber and living water they were not considered desirable for permanent residence, and when the land was offered for sale, in1801, the surrounding territory was generally preferred by the purchasers.  The principal stream within the limits of the township is Scippo creek, which, rising in Fairfield county, enters the township in section twelve, flows a tortuous course through the north part, and reaches the Scioto about two miles north of the south line of the township.  Congo creek flows through the south part, and unites with Scippo a mile above its mouth.  Kinnickinnick, in the east part, and a small, unnamed tributary of the Scioto, in the west part of the township, are the only other water courses worthy of mention.  On the Scippo creek there were, at one time, five grist-mills in operation, as mentioned more particularly elsewhere.
     In territorial extent, Pickaway exceeds any other  township in the county, and in fertility of soil is second to none.  IT embraces all of the original surveyed township number ten, in range twenty-one (Worthington's survey), containing thirty-six square miles, and, also, the fractional township number three, in range twenty-two, lying between the west line of range twenty-one and the Scippo river, containing about eleven square miles, comprising, in all, a territory of forty-seven square miles.


     Game of all kinds, especially deer and wild turkeys, was abundant long after the first white settler came into the township.  The killing of two or three deer in a single day, by a hunter, was an ordinary occurrence, and to shoot one from the cabin door, not an uncommon one.  Wolves were so numerous as to be a great drawback to the introduction of sheep by the settlers, and rendered necessary their careful protection at night; pens being usually built for that purpose.  Pickaway was not a favorite haunt for bears, but a few of them would come in every fall from the Raccoon hills.  An old bear, with a cub, was shot through the body, but only wounded, by Jacob Try, at Jefferson.  The animal got away, but was tracked by Try's dog over into Wayne township, where she was shot by a settler of that township.  the cub, which was half grown, was subsequently taken alive in a thicket a short distance east of Jefferson, by George Try and two or three other young men, with the assistance of the dog.  During the struggle between the dog and his antagonist, the young men tied the feet of the bear, using their suspenders for the purpose.  They then procured a pole, strung the animal upon it, and carried him, alive, to the village, where they kept him for some time.


     The Indians lingered about the region for some years after the advent of the white settler.  They had camping grounds in the township, but no villages after the white men came.  In their intercourse with their palefaced brethren, they were uniformly friendly, and no trouble or annoyance was occasioned by their presence4.  They would occasionally bring in from the Raccoon hills large quantities of bear meat and venison which they would sell or "swap" to the whites.
     A white man killed an Indian on Paint creek, in Ross, the report of which, on reaching the township, created some excitement among the settlers, who apprehended trouble from the red men in consequence.  The people collected together in expectation of an attack, but no trouble ensuing, the excitement soon passed away.


     The initial settlement of Pickaway county was made in this township, in the year 1796 or 1797.  The first cabins were erected on Zane's "trace," which led through the plains from the crossing of the Hockhocking (now Lancaster) to Chillicothe.  It cannot, with absolute certainty, be stated who was the first actual settler, but from the best information now obtainable, we are inclined to the belief that Caleb EVANS enjoys that distinction.  He was a native of Pennsylvania, whence he removed to Kentucky, and resided there until the year stated, when he came to Ohio.  He settled on Scippo creek, in section five, where his grandson, Samuel H. EVANS, now resides.  He was possessed of considerable means, for a pioneer, on coming to this country, and lost, a short time afterwards, by a fire which destroyed his house, four hundred dollars in silver coin.  He was a man of strong traits of character, and a good and worthy citizen.  He was married twice.  By his first wife he had two children - Jonas and Joseph.  Jonas went to Indiana, and died there.  Joseph remained in Pennsylvania.  The second wife of Caleb EVANS was Elizabeth WIGGINS, who became the mother of nine children, viz.:  William, David, John, Archibald, Caleb, Samuel, Ruth, Mary and Elizabeth.  William and John settled in Licking county, Ohio.  David went south, and nothing was learned of him afterwards, and Archibald died when young.  Caleb died in Mexico, while serving as a soldier in the United States army.  Samuel, the best known of the sons, in this county, was twice married: first to Susannah HITLER, by whom he had two children.  The mother and both of the children died, within a few days of each other, of scarlet fever, which cases are said to have been the first in the county.  Mr. EVANS married for his second wife, Elizabeth HITLER, sister of his first wife.  Four children were the result of this union, of whom Samuel, living on the old homestead, is the only survivor.  Samuel EVANS, sr., died many years ago, but his wife, Elizabeth, only quite recently- July 28, 1879.
     In the spring of 1798, GEORGE FRYBACK and family left Bedford county, Pennsylvania, for Ohio, but, arriving at Waynesburg, the family stopped there while the father, on horseback, came on to Pickaway county, and, selecting a location on Scippo creek, in section seven, planted a few acres of corn.  He camped there through the summer, and in the fall returned for his family.  During his absence, his corn was stolen.  He changed his location to the mouth of Congo creek, the following spring, and remained there until the land came into market in 1801,  when he entered the south half of section six.  Mr. FRYBACK died here in 1834.  His son, John, married Lettitia EMERSON, and resided on the homestead until his death, Nov. 6, 1875, aged eighty-seven years and eight months.  His wife died one year previous.  Of their twelve children, eleven grew up, and eight are now living.  The other children of George FRYBACK were Sally (ANDERSON), Mary (LOOFBURROW), Catharine (EMERSON), Ann (JACKSON), Susannah (ROBINSON) Elizabeth (BARR), Lydia and George, all now deceased.
SAMUEL and DAVID DENNY were among the earliest settlers of the township, although the particulars of their settlement we are unable to give.  David had a blacksmith shop on Congo creek, in section thirty-two.  About 1800, or soon after, he removed to the Walnut plains, in Harrison township, and was the first settler in that locality.  Samuel DENNY died in this township in 1822.
JOHN ROGER and JACOB GREENOUGH were among the first squatters on the "plains."  They afterwards settled in Washington township, in the history of which mention is further made of them.  James WILSON came to Chillicothe in May, 1798, and soon after removed to the banks of the Congo, just above its junction with Scippo creek.  He died June 8, 1799.  He was a brother to the father of Rev. Robert G. Wilson, D. D., formerly president of the Ohio University.
     GEORGE HITLER, sr., and family, of Somerset county, Pennsylvania, came into the township in the spring of 1799.  His family then consisted of his wife Susannah and four children - John, Catharine, Jacob, and George.  He resided five or six years in Pickaway township, first locating on the lower plains, and then settled permanently in section thirty-three, Washington Township.  He died Apr. 2, 1818, at the age of nearly fifty-five years.  The children born in this county were Peter, Abraham, Elizabeth, Sarah, Susannah, Mary and Joseph.  Four are now living, viz.: George, in Circleville township; Mrs. LANE, Mrs. John ARNHART, and Joseph HITLER, in Indiana.
     SAMUEL MOREHEAD came in from Kentucky about the same time as the HITLERs.  He located first on the lower plains, but afterwards moved in the vicinity of Jefferson, where he resided for many years, finally removing to Indiana.
     JOHN GAY, the father of Mrs. George HITLER, left Pennsylvania for Pickaway county, with his family, in the fall of 1798.  He came by boat, and was frozen in, on the Ohio, during the winter, and did not arrive until late in the spring of 1799.  He made his location on Punkin run, and resided there until his death.  He lived to the great age of one hundred and two years and ten months.
     CAPTAIN JOHN BOGGS, a native of Pennsylvania, removed with his family to Wheeling, Virginia, in 1771, and settled at the mouth of BOGGs' run, opposite BOGGS' island, near old four Wheeling.  He owned a little farm on this island, from which he was often driven to the fort by the Indians.  In 1796, he and his son, John, came to Pickaway to make a selection of land for settlement.  They came down the Ohio in a keel-boat, to the mouth of the Scioto, then pushed up that river, with others, on a barge, to what was called "the station," below Chillicothe.  Here they landed, and came on foot along the river, until they arrived at the place afterwards entered by Major BRINK, now owned by Nelson KELLENBERGER, in Ross county.  Here was a high, beautiful location, and the captain at once decided to fix his abode there.  On making further explorations, however, he discovered four logs laid apparently for a foundation of a home, and considering it unfair to dispossess the absent squatter of his "improvement," he went on to section seven, in this township, where he made a location, and which he subsequently entered and made his permanent residence.  He brought out his family in 1798, and erected his cabin a short distance east of the site of the present residence of James T. BOGGS, and the old structure, erected in 1798, is yet standing.  Captain BOGGS subsequently moved to Scippo creek, on the hill above the present bridge, where he built a one-story brick house, one of the first brick houses erected in the township.  He died at the residence of his son, Major John Boggs, in 1829.
     MAJOR BOGGS settled on the farm now occupied by his son, James T., and erected the brick house thereon in 1816.  It is said, that in 1803, Major BOGGS took the first flat boat down the Scioto, loaded with flour, to New Orleans, although cargoes of pork and whiskey had been shipped down before.  He made several trips to New Orleans, carrying his specie home on a "pack horse."  He served in the war of 1812, with the rank of major.  He died at the residence of his son, Moses, February 6, 1862, aged nearly eighty-seven.  His first wife died December, 1851, and he subsequently married the widow of Captain James TAYLOR, of Zanesville, a sister of his first wife.  Four of the children are now living, to wit: William, near Bellefontaine; John and James T., in Pickaway township; and Mrs. JONES, in Indiana, Moses died in 1863.  His wife, who was Margaret Scott COOK, daughter of Judge COOK, still survives.
     SAMUEL SEALL, Sr., came from Pennsylvania in 1799, and located in Pickaway township, in section number nine, where he lived six or seven years, and then moved to Walnut township, and settled on eighty acres in section thirty-three.  He died there in 1812.  His son, Samuel, married Mary GOUGAR, in 1829, and followed blacksmithing, in the village of Jefferson, for a number of years.  Afterwards, he bought and settled on a farm of two hundred and twenty acres, in Pickaway township, adjoining the farm on which his father first located.  In the spring of 1845 he sold out, and settled in Washington township, on the place now occupied by his son, George, and resided there until his death, in the fall of 1870.  Two of his three children are living - John, now county treasurer in Circleville, and George, in Washington township, Pickaway county, Ohio.
     THOMAS and JOHN BARR came to Pickaway, from Pennsylvania, at a very early date.  Thomas located just east of where James T. BOGGS now lies, and John on the place now occupied by Daniel HITLER.  They were both men of more than ordinary intelligence and influence.  Thomas was once associate judge of Pickaway county, and his brother a representative from this county to the legislature.  Judge BARR died, Sept. 21, 1830, aged fifty-eight years, and his wife, Sidney, Feb. 23, 1869, aged eighty-five years and eight months.
     JOHN SHARP, originally from Pennsylvania, came to Ohio, from Wheeling, Virginia, about 1799, settling in Chillicothe.  For a few years he carried on a store there, and then located on a farm near the north line of Ross county, as now constituted.  Shortly afterwards, he came to this township, and put up a cabin on the farm now owned by Abraham JONES.  Being unable to enter the section on which he had located, he left his cabin, and moved to Congo creek, entering the half section now owned and occupied by his son, John D. SHARP - number thirty-two.  The log house which he erected here is still standing.  He died in 1827, and his wife in 1840.  John D., the only survivor of the family, resides a short distance south of the old dwelling, and is now aged nearly seventy-seven.
JOHN RUSH emigrated from Kentucky as early as 1797, setting for a few years on "high bank," below Chillicothe.  He then came to this township and located on Scippo creek, in section twelve, of the fractional portion of the township, where he contained to reside until the time of his death.
     HENRY NEVILL came into the township about 1800, and purchased a large tract of land on the Pickaway plains.  Subsequently, he laid out the village of Jefferson, which prospered considerably until Circleville was started, when it declined.  Mr. Nevill was wealthy, but by the erection of a large grist-mill upon the Scioto, on which, together with the dam, which caused him a great deal of trouble, by repeatedly breaking away, he expended an immense sum of money, and finally became financially embarrassed.  He was engaged for some years in trade in Jefferson, and subsequently in Circleville.  He eventually moved to Illinois.
     JONATHAN ELLIS was an early settler where William RUSH now lives.  He was a cabinet maker and carpenter, and built a frame of the BOGGS mill.  He was also an early justice of the peace of Pickaway township.
     MATTHEW FERGUSON was an early settler of this township.  He lived to the advanced age of ninety-nine years, dying Nov. 2, 1848.  His wife, Ann, died Dec. 24, 1851, aged eighty-seven years.
     JACOB STINGLEY came in from Ross county, in1805, and entered the west half of section number eight, settled upon it, and resided there until his death.  The land now constitutes a part of the farm of Abel Jones.
HUGH FORESMAN settled on the plains in 1806.  He was born in Ireland, Dec. 11, 1748, and came with his parents, when three years of age, to Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, where he resided until his removal to Ohio.  He married Judeth SLOCUM, Feb. 25, 1782, and had ten children - Jane, Ruth, John , William, Robert, Hugh, Mary, Judeth, Agnes, Jonathan, and Alexander.  Jane became the wife of James Torbert, who came to Pickaway in 1808.  Torbert was a man of local prominence, and was wealthy.  Agnes (Mrs. McCREA), now residing in Circleville, is the only survivor of the family.  She was born June 3, 1799, and married, Sept. 16, 1819, Matthew MCCREA, who died Sept. 4, 1847.  They had a family of eight children, three of whom are now living, namely, Adam, proprietor of the Pickaway house in Circleville; William in Illinois; and George, in St. Louis.  Hugh FORESMAN, Sr., died in this township, Dec. 17, 1811, and his wife Mar. 12, 1813.
     THOMAS EMERSON moved in from Virginia in 1807, and located on Scippo Creek, where his grandson, George EMERSON, now lives - section eighteen.
     About the same time GABRIEL STEELEY moved in from Pennsylvania, and settled in the southeast part of section twenty, where the WILSONs now live.  He was the father of seven children.  John resided where Abram PENN now lives, and Meek on the homestead.  John married Margaret EMERSON.  Two sons - Lemuel and Benjamin - now reside in the township.  Edmund, Silas, and Jane, widow of Jesse B. Lutz, reside in Indiana.  Nancy, wife of James RICE, lives in Pickaway; and Margaret, wife of James HAYES, in Kingston.
     JACOB WAGNER came to Ohio from Frederick county, Maryland, with his family, in the fall of 1807.  He remained in Ross county one year, when he moved into this township and located where Otis Lutz now lives, in section thirty-one.  He finally sold to David Crouse, and moved to Upper Sandusky, where he resided until his death.  His son, Jacob WAGNER, now aged eighty-three years, has resided in this township ever since he came, in 1808.  He married Sarah Young, who died May 4, 1874.  He has resided on the place he now occupies nearly forty years.
     JAMES HEDGES came from Berkeley county, Virginia, and located at Jefferson, in 1807.  He married Miss Margaret NEVILL, and resided in Jefferson until the fall of 1810, when he moved to Circleville.  His father, Philip, and a cousin, Joseph, arrived a short time afterwards.  They both married into the NEVILL family, and Joseph became a partner of Henry NEVILL, in the store at Jefferson, which was finally moved to Circleville.
     In October, 1808, WILLIAM CALDWELL and family moved to Ohio from Huntington county, Pennsylvania, and located in Ross county, west of Kingston.  After living through the winter in a cabin which he erected there, he came, in the following March, to Pickaway, and settled in section fifteen, where he resided until his death, in 1815, His wife survived him several years.  Their son, John Caldwell, who came into the township with his parents in 1809, is still a resident of it.
     GEORGE KELLENBERGER and wife, Jemima (RICE), came from near Fredericksburg, Maryland, soon after the close of the war of 1812.  He located a few miles below Chillicothe, but subsequently came to Pickaway, and moved into the old house of Major BOGGS.  He finally purchased and settled in section thirteen, where his son George now lives.  He died Dec. 31, 1861, in his seventy-first year.  His wife died Dec. 25, 1865.  Five sons were born to them, all now dead but two - Nelson, in Ross County, and George, on the old homestead.
     JOHN ENTREKIN, then about twenty years of age, came to Ohio from Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, in the spring of 1798.  He came with a party of eight men, who made the journey on horseback, over the mountains.  The party made a location at the bend of the river, three miles above Chillicothe, and grubbed out about one hundred acres, which they planted to corn.  In the fall they all returned to Pennsylvania, and those of them who had families moved out.  John Entrekin brought out his parents, with his brother, William and a sister, Martha, and made settlement where he had previously made an improvement.
     Mr. Entrekin married Nancy CROUSE, in December, 1801, and settled on the Kinnickinnick, on the farm now owned by Z. DOWNS.  He continued a resident of Ross county until the spring of 1828, when he came into Pickaway, and settled where William W. ENTREKIN, his son, now lives, buying out a son of John McCUTCHEON, who came here in 1808. Colonel ENTREKIN died May 10, 1842.  His wife survived him, and died Jan. 16, 1845.


     The first habitation erected in the township, save the huts and wigwams of the Indians, was probably the log cabin of Caleb EVANS.  It was located in section five, near the present site of the dwelling of Samuel H. EVANS.  The house was destroyed by fire.  The first white child born in the township, and probably the first in Pickaway county was Mary EVANS, daughter of Caleb and Elizabeth EVANS.  The date of her birth was June 8, 1798.  She became the wife of her cousin, Archibald WIGGINS,  and removed to Kentucky.  The first death was that of James WILSON, who died June 8, 1799.  In the fall of the same year Hugh LYNN died, and his was the second death in the township.  His widow, who was a sister of Mrs. George HITLER, sr. subsequently married Samuel MOREHEAD.  The first blacksmith shop was kept by David DENNY, established about 1800.  Its location was on Congo creek, east of the log house of John SHARP.



     The first Methodist class organized in the township was at Salem.  A log meeting-house was built a short distance northeast of the site of the present house, in 1802 or 1803.  Some of the members of the class were: John Parsons and wife, Michael Saylor and family, Henry Houston and family, Allen Parker and family, and David Houston and family.  Rev. James Quinn, a circuit preacher, preached in the old house.  The present church was erected in the fall of 1816.  The stone for the foundation was hauled by John Clarence.  It was built of logs, and subsequently weather-boarded.  Meetings have ever since been held in this house.  The old structure, with its simple furniture, affords a striking contrast to the imposing city churches of today.  The circuit was originally called Pickaway circuit.  The present pastor is Rev. William C. Halliday.  A Methodist class formerly held meetings in the school-house near the Evangelical church, and subsequently, for a number of years, in the church itself.
     Palestine church, in the northeast part of the township, was built about the year 1840, by a German Reformed and Lutheran society.  The Methodist afterwards bought an interest in the building and held meetings there a number of years, the former society having disbanded.  Services have not been held there for some years.
     A Presbyterian church was organized on the plains by the Rev. James Robinson, then of the Mount Pleasant church, in 1808.  The church consisted of but few members, and never had any meeting-house or fixed location, and remained in existence only a few years.  The meetings were usually held at the house of John Boggs or John Ball.  In 1816 Mr. Robinson commenced preaching one-third of his time in the Rawl school house, near the present site of Emmett's Chapel.  The Methodists also organized a society, on the plains, at an early date, and held their meetings alternately with the former church, in the school-house, until about the year 1835, when the two societies united in the erection of a brick church, on the hill, just south of Congo-creek bridge.  It was used by them, alternately, for about ten years, when some difficulty arose between the two denominations, and the Methodists withdrew and provided another place of worship.  Elias Reed, a leading member, bought the farm of John Rawl, and turned the dwelling into a meeting-house.  The old building, built in 18116, is still standing, through greatly dilapidated.  It was used by the society until 1852, when the present Emmett's chapel (so named, in honor of the pioneer Methodist preacher, father Emmett) was built.  The Presbyterians continued to use the brick church for a few years after the withdrawal of the Methodists, when, by reason of removals and deaths, their number became so reduced that preaching could not be supported, and the house was sold and taken down.


     The class was formed by Rev. John Dreisbach, in the year 1835.  The first members were the officiating clergyman and his wife, Thomas F. Kraft, and wife, Adam Boyer and wife, and John Kraft and wife.  Abraham Dreisbach, who subsequently became a minister of the church, Isaac E., Catharine and Sophia Dreisbach, and Mrs. Eliza Steeley, were so early members, uniting soon after the organization was effected.  The first meetings were held at the dwellings of the members, and afterwards in the log school-house, which stood where the frame school-house was built, the society occupied it until the erection of their present church, in the summer of 1850.  The building cost nine hundred and three dollars and sixty-one cents.  It was dedicated December 22, 1850, by Bishop Joseph Long and presiding elder J. G. Zinser.  Rev. Mr. Dreisbach preached for the class for a few years, and until the regular circuit preachers were appointed.  John Heisler was leader of the class until 1840, when Isaac E. Dreisbach was appointed, and has continued its efficient head until the present.  The membership is now thirty-six.  The preachers were C. M. Reinehold and A. Evans  A Sabbath-school was organized soon after the church came into being, and has continued through every summer since.  Isaac E. Dreisbach is its present superintendent.


     The first place within the township chosen for the interment of the dead, was the BOGGS burying-ground, situated on a little eminence a short distance north of the residence of James T. BOGGS.  The first person buried there, whose grave is marked, was David BOGGS, who died May 10, 1800, in the tenth year of his age.  The next was Jacob SAYLER, who died Sept. 21, 1800, aged fifty-two years.  William MORGAN was buried there in September, 1807, aged three years; Henry BEAUCHAMP, son of Risdon and Mary BEAUCHAMP, in the same year, and his sister Rachel, aged five years, the following year.
     The first burials in the old, and now dilapidated, Jefferson burying-ground, were those of Nancy EVANS, in August, 1813; Willard EVANS, in September of the same year; James BROTHERLIN, in December, 1813; and Elizabeth BROTHERLIN, in April 1814.
     In the Salem burying ground, Susannah CROW was the first person interred.  She died July 8, 1809.  Thomas CROW was buried here in January, 1814.
     some of the earliest interments of the deceased pioneers of Pickaway, were made in the Mount Pleasant cemetery, in Ross county, a mile southwest of Kingston.  The first grave was that of "Jane, wife of George HARRISON, who died Sept. 6, 1800, in the twenty-seventh year of her age."  The next was that of Jane DENNY, who died in October, of the same year, in the sixtieth year of her age; Matthew FERGUSON, Jr., was buried in May, 1810; John FERGUSON, April, 1813; Rebecca DUNCAN, in December, 1813; Hugh FORESMAN was buried in December, 1811, and his wife, Judeth, in March, 1814.


     Little that is definite can be learned in regard to the first schools in the township.  The earliest schools were kept in unoccupied cabins, and derived their support from private subscriptions.  One of the first schools was kept in a cabin which stood on the hill near Mr. Evans' where the old graveyard now is.  And one, also, in a log house, in the south part of the township, a short distance southeast of where J. D. Sharp now lives.  The first school in this house was taught by Jesse Bartlett, who came here from New England.  He kept school here two or three years, and then settled in Ross county.
     The first school-house, as near as we can learn, was the Rawl school-house, which stood just east of Reed's chapel - the old meeting-house.  The first school in it was kept by Hugh Hannagan.  The house was afterwards moved to near the place where James T. Boggs' dwelling house now stands.
     The original log meeting-house built at Salem, in 1802 or 1803, was used, also, as a school-house.  David Jones kept school there, and others, whose names cannot now be remembered.  John Caldwell, who is still living in the vicinity, was a scholar in this school.


     The first physician resident within the township, was Dr. William B. Gould, who resided at Jefferson.  He settled there in 1802 or 1803, and practiced, with only moderate success, for about fifteen years.
     Dr. Daniel Turney came to Jefferson in 8106.  He studied medicine with Dr. Scott, of Chillicothe, and graduated in Philadelphia.  He remained in Jefferson five or six years, when he removed to Circleville.  Dr. Turney was a man of strong traits of character, superior professional attainments, and, in his day, was the leading practitioner of the county.  He was born in 1786, and died in Columbus, in 1827.


     The pioneers of Pickaway obtained their grist, at first, at what was called the floating mill, on the river, below Chillicothe.  Mr. Jacob Hitler informs the writer that the mill consisted of two flat-boats, between which a wheel was placed in rig.  The whole was covered over with a kind of roof.  The mill lay at anchor whenever the force of the current was sufficient to run the wheel.
     Subsequently, Crouse's mill was erected on Kinnickinnick, in Ross county, and the settlers then went there to mill.  The grain was ground in the order of its reception, and the mill was so crowded with business, that several days would often be required in going to mill and back.  There is now no mill in the township, but we will briefly mention a few that have had an existence.
     The first grist-mill was built on Scippo creek, by David Dreisbach, about the year 1815.  On the same stream Benedict Morris had a mill at an early day.
     Christopher Bartley erected a frame grist-mill on Scippo creek, about forty rods east of the road running past David Shelby's, which he run until his death.  Benjamin Shelby afterwards bought the mill of Bartley's heirs, moved it down to the road, and rebuilt it.  He afterwards added a saw-mill.  The property was destroyed by fire in the fall of 1871.
     In 1819, Major John Boggs erected, near the mouth of Scippo creek, a frame grist-mill, of three run of stone, having previously erected a saw-mill at the same place.  Major Boggs operated the mill until 1827.  On Christmas day, of that year, son Lemuel Boggs to sell a half interest in the mill to George Kellenerger, when he retired from the active control o_ the concern.
     There were a number of saw-mills on Scippo creek, in an early day, besides those already mentioned, but the particulars of their history the writer is unable to give.


were erected by Lemuel Boggs, the present owner, in the fall of 1876.  He built them more for his own private convenience than to engage in the grain business in a general way; yet, from the first, the elevators have done a large business.  Most of the farmers in the vicinity dispose of their grain there, receiving a price for it equal to that paid in Circleville, and save the toll required in going to the latter place.  The first year Mr. Boggs shipped one hundred and ninety thousand bushels of corn, and now handles one hundred and fifty to two hundred thousand bushels of the same annually, and about seventy-five thousand bushels of wheat.
     At Jefferson, Henry Nevill erected, in the first settlement in the township, a wind-mill, the only one, it is supposed, ever erected in the State.  It was used for "cracking corn," for a time, but it was not very highly prized by its owner or his neighbors, and in after years was allowed to go down.  It was a high structure, with long, broad wings, or fans, and was a terror to the farmers' horses, which could hardly be driven within a hundred yards of it.


     No history of the township would be complete without a least a brief reference to the thriving village which it once contained.  Jefferson was laid out by Henry Nevill, a wealthy Irishman, in 1803.  Its location was near the north line of the township, in section six.  Nevill opened the first store, which he carried on alone for a few years, when he took Joseph Hedges as a partner.  Another store was shortly afterwards established, by George Brown, who came in from Chillicothe.  Other stores were subsequently started, and at one time Jefferson could justly boast of the extent of her mercantile trade.  The goods were brought from Philadelphia and Baltimore, in wagons drawn by six horse teams.  The founder of the village built the first tavern, which was first kept by one Brobst.  The sign displayed the portrait of the distinguished author of the "charter of our liberties," in whose honor the town was named.  Henry Tom succeeded Brobst as landlord.  The mention of his name, by old settlers, is always coupled with anecdote of his prodigous strength.  He was a man of stalwart frame, and with his hands would break a new bed-cord almost as easily as if it were made of straw.  Joseph Adamson was the last proprietor of the house.  He afterwards moved to Circleville, where he kept the Valley house.  There were two other hotels built in Jefferson, one of which was the Caldwell house, kept by its owner, William Caldwell, and others.  Besides the business places mentioned, there were the usual mechanic shops and other establishments necessary to a first class town with a population of some three or four hundred.  There were several physicians, the best and most favorably known of whom was Dr. Daniel Turney, of whom mention is made elsewhere.
     The only brick building erected in the place was the dwelling of Major Putoff, an officer in the war of 1812.  The house was finally purchased by John B. Moore, who took it down and rebuilt it in Circleville, on Union street, opposite Colonel Anderson's.  It is now owned and occupied by G. F. Wittich.
The first courts held in the county were held at Jefferson, and a strong effort was made by the proprietor and inhabitants of the place to secure the location of the county seat.  When this failed, the town began to go down, stores and many dwellings were moved away, and in 1840, the place had decreased to eighty-five inhabitants.  No vestige of a town now remains, and only a single house (the old office of Dr. Turney, now the dwelling of Mrs. Kinmore) is left to mark its former site.


* The history of this township is written largely from information furnished by Jacob HITLER (since deceased), George HITLER, John D. SHARP, John CALDWELL, John BOGGS, and William W. ENTREKIN.




CLICK HERE to Return to
CLICK HERE to Return to
This Webpage has been created by Sharon Wick exclusively for Ohio Genealogy Express  2008
Submitters retain all copyrights