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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. 323)

       * CHURCHES
       * SOCIETIES


     At the time of the organization of Pickaway county, Jan. 12, 1810, Scioto township formed a part of Franklin county, extending west and south to Darby creek, and bounded on the east by the Scioto river.  At a later date Jackson township was formed, Scioto contributing a portion of its territory.  In 1830 another considerable portion was appropriated to it from Muhlenberg.
     This township is now about seven miles long and from four to seven miles broad, and contains about forty-two square miles.  In 1830 it had four hundred and sixty-two inhabitants, and in 1870 it had one thousand five hundred and forty-five.  Having no prairie land, and being covered with a heavy growth of timber, and its territory mostly owned in large tracts by non-residents for many years, its settlement has been tardy.  A few settlers came in at an early date and located along the Scioto river, where some of the land has been under cultivation many years.  In later years these large tracts of land have been divided and cut into farms of moderate size.  Its early settlers were mostly from Virginia and western Pennsylvania.
     On Oct. 14, 1878, the west boundary of Scioto was extended to Darby creek so as to include all the territory north of Muhlenberg to the Franklin county line and east of Darby creek.  This makes Scioto one of the largest, if not the largest, township in the county.
     The officers of 1879 are: M. V. BEAVERS, L. GOOCHENOUR, Cyrus PURSELL, trustees; William C. LERCH, clerk; Eli HARSH, treasurer; James W. DURRETT, Thomas BEAVERS, James M. JOHNSON, justices of the peace; John H. ROBINSON and STEPHEN BOYD, constables; Jacob PURSELL, assessor.
     In 1856 a building was purchased by the township for use as a town house for the purpose of holding elections, and for any other uses needed.  This was used several years.  In 1871 the township and corporation bought a lot and erected a substantial brick building at Commercial Point, for township and corporation purposes.  The first story was built by them, and the second was built by the Masonic fraternity, for use as a lodge hall.  In 1874 the lower hall was rented, at certain stated times, to the Good Templars' society, for use in holding their meetings.


     There are still to be found in Scioto many evidences of the work of the ancient and lost race called the Mound Builders.  On the bluffs above the river are still to be traced earthworks, built in such a form and position as would indicate that they were used as places of defence.  Some have been obliterated by the work of the settlers of the country, who have plowed them down and dug them away in building roads.  Beside these earth-built by this strange people for what purpose the people of today know not.  The record of their works is lost, yet no one can look on these monuments without feelings of awe, and regret that more cannot be known concerning their construction and purpose.


     In 1807 or 1808 a ferry was established near the Bloomfield bridge, for the convenience of persons who were obliged to cross to the mil at that point.  Crampton built a mill on the east bank of the Scioto about 1808.  Nathan Rawlins was one of the first justices of the peace.  He lived on the Franklinton pike, in the northeast part of the township, and kept his docket on a hewed log in his house, below the joist on which the upper floor was laid.  Perkins, McGinnis, and Jack Stinson were among the early school teachers.  William Herbert taught school about 1814, in a log school-house on the Edward Williams' tract.  Dr. Hoge preached in the neighborhood about 1814.  He was a Presbyterian minister.  The first blacksmith was Jacob Fishel, who was working in about 1811, on the Franklinton pike, near Edward Williams' land.  The first brick-kiln was burned by Robert Seeds, for the purpose of building a house, about 1815 or 1816.  In 1829  William Harlor came, and has burned many kilns since that time.  Dr. Revnaugh was the first settled physician in Scioto.  He came to Genoa about 1842.  Dr. Jaynes came about the same time, and taught school for a few years, when he commenced the practice of medicine.  The first store was started by Wiley H. Beckett, in 1844, in Genoa.  The first saw-mill was built on a run on the Edward Williams' farm, quite early, probably about 1808.  A still house was built by William Hartman, about 1830, near Bloomfield bridge.  One was built at an earlier date on Edward Williams' land, but at what date and by whom cannot now be ascertained.  Dr. Burrell, of Bloomfield, was an early physician, and was employed by all in that vicinity.  Previous to his settlement Drs. Turney and Parsons came from Columbus, when called.  The early grist mills were Gundy's on the Scioto, and Thompson's and Kepler's on Darby creek.


     The settlers of this township, from the earliest date until within the past twenty years, came to a heavily wooded country, and while to the first settlers belongs the credit of being the bearers of the heaviest burdens in cleaning and preparing homes in the wilderness, in the face of discouragement and sickness, those who followed them had an almost equal share in the privations of a frontier life.  Those who came later could profit by the experience of their predecessors, and had the consolation of knowing that they were not entirely along in the boundless forest, surrounded by howling wolves, screaming panthers, and the less dangerous denizens of the forest.  Though their nearest neighbors were perhaps a mile or two distant, there was a feeling almost of kinship existing between them.  The class distinctions that now exist between the rich and poor, in many parts of the county, were then unknown.  The poor, in many parts of the county, were then unknown.  The poor settler in the meanest cabin, was on an equality with his neighbor who owned hundreds of acres, and the kindest feelings existed everywhere.  Among the very earliest settlers of Scioto townships, were Captain Eleazer Williamson, John and Thomas Thompson, William Ballard, the Fitzgeralds, Wests, Williams, Widener, and others.  Captain Eleazer Williamson was a soldier during the Revolutionary War.  Before that time he accompanied General Braddock in his campaign against the French and Indians, and was a participant in the battle in which Braddock was defeated and killed.  He commanded a company under Colonel Crawford in his campaign against the Indians in 1782.  When the attack was made he was ordered to retreat with the rest of the command, but instead of doing so, with his company held the ground until evening, when he withdrew.  He was the credit of being the only officer who brought his company out of the battle.  He came to near Chillicothe about 1800, and moved to Scioto about 1808, and bought a farm a short distance below the present village of Commercial Point, then an unbroken wilderness.  His purchase was a part of the Taggart & McLaughlin survey.  He married Miss McConnell before coming to Ohio.  By her he raised ten children: David, Joseph, Eleazer, John, William, Mary, Lydia, Martha, Ruhamah, and Margaret.  David went to Illinois; John to Indiana; Eleazer died in Preble county; John, died at Dayton; William went to Iowa; Mary married Robert Steele, of Ross county; Lydia, married John May; Martha married Thomas Fitzgerald, and went to Iowa; Ruhama married Robert Gibson, and died on the old homestead, in 1876; Margaret married Thomas Cummings, and lies in Missouri.  She is the only one of the children now living.  Captain Williamson died in 1838, aged eighty-five.  His wife died about 1825.

     THOMAS THOMPSON came to Chillicothe some time before the year 1800.  Some time before he came his father was killed in Pennsylvania by an Indian.  When in Chillicothe, the same Indian, while drunken, boasted of the deed, and taunted young Thompson with a description of the scalping of his father.  Thompson became so enraged that he seized a handspike and dashed the Indian's brains out at a blow.  He was arrested and placed under guard to prevent his falling into the hands of the remaining Indians, but watched his opportunity, and escaped from the guard, who fired several shots at him, being careful not to hit him.  He was secreted by friends for several weeks, until it was safe to leave the country, when he returned to Pennsylvania, where he married Martha Myers.  In 1800 he returned to Ohio and settled in Scioto township, on the McMahon survey, now owned by B. F. Walker, near the farm now owned by E. W. Gibson.   One child was born to them before coming to Ohio, and afterwards the family increased to eleven children.  four of them are now living in this vicinity.  Thomas  has a farm of one hundred and ninety-two acres, near the Bloomfield bridge; William lives on the Blake farm, half a mile north of Thomas; James lives three miles north of Commercial Point; Margaret (now Mrs. James Welsh), lives about three miles north of Commercial Point.  Mr. Thompson died April 6, 1852, aged eighty-five years.  His wife died September 5, 1854, aged sixty-nine years.

     JOHN THOMPSON came at the same time as his brother, Thomas, in 1800.  He was also a soldier of the Revolutionary war.  His father was murdered by an Indian, and he became so much embittered against the red men that he lost no opportunity to shoot one.  He never boasted of his deeds, but it is tradition that many fell before his unerring rifle.  One cold morning, in the late fall, he was watching for deer at a lick, half  a mile west of Commercial Point.  His neighbor, William Ballard, was also hunting at the same place, and suffering from the cold, built a fire.  While stooping over the blaze Thompson saw him, and drew a bead on him, with his finger resting on the trigger of his gun, when Ballard raised his tall form, and was recognized by Thompson, just in time to save his life, he having been mistaken for an Indian.  He was once chased by an Indian, and escaped by jumping across a narrow ravine.  He was twice married: first, to Mrs. Mires, and afterward to Mrs. Carson.  He helped raise their children, but had none of his own.  He was a justice of the peace in 1812.  He became a prominent member of the Presbyterian church here.

     WILLIAM BALLARD came to Ohio in 1800, and settled on Darby creek.  In 1801 he came to Scioto, and bought one hundred acres of land, now owned by B. F. Walker which he improved.  He raised a family of seven children, none of whom are now living.  Some died here, and some moved to the west, where they died.  He raised William Swank, who was bound to him, and now lives at Commercial Point, aged sixty-seven years.  A daughter married John Stinson, who became a school teacher, and taught on Ballard's place, in 1812.

     WILLIAM SEEDS emigrated from Pennsylvania, in 1819, and settled on land west of and adjoining that belonging to Robert Seeds, in the north part of the township.  The fall before he came he sent three of his children to Ohio, John, Robert, and Elizabeth, the oldest not more than sixteen years of age.   They accomplished the long journey in safety, their only means of conveyance being a single horse, which each rode alternately.  The children of William Seeds were: James, Harvey, Samuel, Mary Ann, and Cyrus.  But two of them, Woods and Cyrus, now live in this State.  One lives in Iowa; the rest are all deceased.  William Seeds died in 1839, aged seventy-seven.  At the time of his death he owned five hundred and ninety acres of land.

     WILLIAM MIRES came about the same time as the Thompsons, in 1800, and settled on the Ballard place.  He lived there but a short time, and died Sept. 22, 1819.  He was buried in the cemetery on Thompson's hill.  Nine of the family live in this vicinity, and nearly all are dead.

     ROBERT SEEDS came from Pennsylvania, in 1830or 1804.  His father traded property in that State for eleven hundred acres in Ohio, a part lying in Franklin and a part in Pickaway county.  His father came soon after, and died at his son's house.  Robert Seeds had eight children, of whom five are now living in this township, viz.: Mrs. Isabel Beaver, Mrs. Martha Snyder, Moses Seeds, John Seeds, and Hannah Redmon.  He built the first brick house in the township, about 1816 or 1818, burning the brick himself.  This house was torn down a few years since.  Moses Seeds lives a short distance form the site of the old house.

     EDWARD FITZGERALD was born in 1761, and came to Ohio in 1804, and bought seven or eight hundred acres of land in Scioto, about a mile north of Commercial Point, a part of which is now owned by George Dennis and his brother.  Mr. Fitzgerald was a Pennsylvanian.  He had three sons: Thomas, John and Abraham.  At his death, in 1814, his sons inherited his property, which they afterwards sold, and moved to Iowa.  None of the family now live here.  George Dennis, and his brother, Elisha, bought two hundred and fifteen acres of this property, which they now occupy.  George married Susan Miller, and Elisha married Elizabeth Haynes.

GEORGE WEST came from Virginia about 1804, and bought about nine handed acres of the Butler survey, in the southeast part of the township, and on the Scioto river.  He had eleven children, of whom nine came to maturity.  They were: Daniel, Peter, Frederick, John, George, Elizabeth, Mary, Sarah, Barbara, Margaret, and Catharine.  George died young; Frederick went into the army and served in the war of 1812, came home broken down in health, and died.  On the death of Mr. West the property was divided between the children, each receiving one hundred acres.  Seven made improvements, and two sold to the others.  Daniel died in 1861, in Harrison township, and Margaret, in Jackson.  The rest, with the exception of Peter, went west, where they died.  George West  died in 182_.

     PETER WEST came from Virginia in 1804, at the same time as his father's family.  He remained on the east side of the river about five years, and in 1809 settled on one hundred acres belonging to his father, in Scioto township.  He married  Elizabeth Bentley, and had seven children, of whom five are now living- Mary married John Seaburn; Sarah married Mason Cleveland; John married Elizabeth Howe, and lives a widower, in Iowa; Elizabeth married Luke Wilkins, and lives in the township; Margaret married J. W. Stiverson, and lives on the Peter West  homestead.  Mr. West died Apr. 6, 1840, aged fifty-eight.  His wife, Elizabeth, died June 1, 1850, aged seventy two.

     EDWARD and ISAAC WILLIAMS came about 1806, and settled on the west bank of Scioto River, on a part of the Richard C. Anderson survey.  Edward built a log cabin on land now owned by Philomel Gray, and which is still standing.  He was twice married, and had seven children, all of whom lived to maturity.  By his first wife he had three children, one of whom married John Young.  The children by his second wife were Mary, Elizabeth, William, and Josephine.  The latter married Dr. Jones,  of Columbus, where she now lives.  Mr. Williams died in 1831.   

     ISAAC WILLIAMS had nine children, of whom four are now living.  one son, Vincent , lives in Madison County.  The others are not in the vicinity. Two live i Illinois.

     JACOB WIDENER came from Virginia in 1802, and first settled below Chillicothe.  In 1807 he moved to this township, and bought five hundred acres of land of the Williams brothers, which he improved and cleared.  A part of the house now occupied by his daughter, Mrs. Rebecca Engle about a mile north of the Bloomfield pike, was built by him.  Son after his purchase he sold two hundred and fifty acres to Mr. Rollins.  Two children were born to him - Elizabeth and Rebecca.  Elizabeth died in Illinois in 1878.  Rebecca married Jacob Engle, who died in 1835.  She still occupies the old homestead.  Jacob Widener died in 1835.

The CHOATES were early settlers along the river - about 1808.  One was justice of the peace during his residence here.  None of the family now remain.

     MR. GORELEY came to Scioto about 1808, and settled on Edward Williams' place.  A ford near where he lived is called Goreley's ford.  Land was leased by him, but he did more toward keeping the early settlers shod than he did toward farming.  He was the first shoemaker in the township.  None of his name now reside here, although he raised quite a family.

JAMES JOHNSON came to Ohio, from Virginia, in 1808, and settled on Darby creek, in the west part of the township.  For many years he rented land, but before he died he bought a part of the farm now owned by Nelson Rush.  Two of his daughters are still living on portions of the farm he left.
FRANCIS RUSH came from Hampshire county, Virginia, in 1808.  He married Nancy Greenwade, of Virginia, by whom he had six children, all of whom are still living, and five of them in this township.  they are Jacobs, John, Francis, Nelson, and William all of whom own farms in Scioto, and Mrs. Sarah Sharp, who lives in Cowles county, Illinois.  Mr. Rush was a soldier in the war of 1812, and was obliged to leave his family in the woods, surrounded by howling wolves, while he fought the Indians and the British soldiers.  When he came to this country they had but one child, which was brought on horseback, over the two hundred acres, northeast of the home farm.

LEMUEL SAYRES came from the State of Pennsylvania to Ross county, where he married.  He settled permanently one and one-half miles north of Geneva, in 1808, and raised a family of eight children, all girls.  At  his death, the large farm owned by him was divided among his children, but one of whom now lives in Scioto - Adaline, who remains single.  The others live in other parts of the country.  None of his estate is now owned by his children.

JOHN, HUGH & ANDREW SHAW settled in the north part of the township about 1809.  John and Hugh purchased land and improved it.  Andrew was a wheelwright, and made it his business to keep thrifty housewives provided with spinning-wheels, reels, and such other articles as came in his line.  Some of their descendants live in the township as this time.

JAMES MILLER came from Butler county, Pennsylvania in 1808 or 1809.  At first he rented the place now owned by George Dennis.  In 1811 he bought the place now owned by William Gibson, where he lived twenty years.  Afterwards, he lived in Bloomfield and Marysville several years, when he went to Iowa.  He died in Missouri, on April 22, 1878,  aged ninety-one and one-half years.  He was a soldier in the war of 1812.  Nine children were born to him, six of whom came to maturity.  Two of his children live in this township: James Miller and Mrs. George Dennis.

JOHN SAMPLE was  a resident of Pennsylvania, and came to Ohio in 1809, settling three miles below Genoa, where he built a still house, which he run a number of years.  He bought a farm of two or three hundred acres, and raised a large family, all of whom are now dead or moved away.  Mr. Sample was a justice of the peace in about 1816.

DANIEL HARPER came in about 1810, and leased land, but was near a freeholder.  None of his descendants remain.

     JOSEPH REED came from Ireland to Pennsylvania, where he married.  In 1810 he moved to Ohio and bought one hundred acres of the Donaldson and one hundred acres of the McMahon survey.  There was a small improvement when he came, and he cleared the land.  His family comprised nine children - Elizabeth, William, James, Eleazur M., Margaret, Joseph, John, Martha Ann, and GeorgeEleazur is living in Darby township.  Joseph died on the old homestead, Apr. 12, 1879, aged sixty-one years.  Joseph Reed, sr., died in 1856, aged eight-two years, and his wife died in 1834, aged nearly forty-six years.

JOHN NEVINS, came to Pickaway county about 1810, and settled on the place now owned by James Walker, where he died in 1819 or 1820.  He raised a family of three sons and two daughters.  One daughter married Richard Carson, who was a step-son of Major John ThompsonMr. Carson was a very strong and active man, but injured his health by showing his activity, and died from the effects of a strain.   Another daughter married Nathan Denny; and another, Joseph Hollenback.  The sons went to Iowa and other parts of the West.

CHARLES WILLIAMS emigrated from Delaware in 1805, and came to Pickaway Plains, where he remained one winter, after which he moved to the north fork of Paint creek, at Frankfort.  There he lived until 1811, when he moved to Scioto township, and settled half a mile north of Genoa, where he remained a few years.  In 184 he moved to Harrisburg, remaining one year, when he returned to near Genoa.  After this time he rented a number of different farms, the last one being the Peter Dechert place, where he died in 1839, aged ninety-two years.  He raised nine children, but one of whom is now living - John Williams, or "Little John," as he is called.  In 1833 he bought one hundred and twenty-four acres of land, which he gave to his sons John and JamesJames sold out and moved to Indiana.  John sold his farm and owns no property now.  The elder Williams always bore the reputation of a Tory, and for many years would buy no land, saying the king would yet own the country.

JOSHUA WILLIAMS came to Ohio in 1811.  His business was that of weaving cloth.  He married and raised a large family.  A son - Noah - lives about two miles north of Genoa, on a farm.

ANDREW JORDAN, from Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, came to Ohio in 1811, and located on the Delano farm, where he lived until his death.  He was an industrious man, and husked corn on the day of his death.  He raised a family of five daughters, all of whom are now living.  One of them - Mrs. Fisher - lives in the south part of this township-.

JOHN STINSON, or "Jack," as he was called, settled in Scioto in 1812, in which year he taught school on the Ballard farm.  He published a small book called "Jack's complete Constable," describing the duties of constables.  He was a son-in-law of William Ballard  He was many times in trouble with the settlers, and was several times bound over to keep the peace.

JOHN R. DAVIS settled in Deer Creek township in 1816, coming from Worcester county, Maryland.  He lived in Deer Creek township five years, and then in Jackson five years.  In 1834 he bought one hundred acres of land of the Mayfield survey, in Scioto.  He was married while in  Clarksburg, Ross county, and raised nine children, six of whom are still living - two in this township.  Mr. Davis is now in his eightieth year and very feeble, and his wife is in her eighty-fourth year.

     JAMES REDMON came from near Winchester, Virginia, to Station Prairie, in Ross county, in 1802.  His father came from Ireland, and served throughout the Revolutionary war.  James Redmon remained in Ross county some twelve years, and, in 1816, removed to Jackson township, Pickaway county.  In 1818 he moved to Harrison, where he remained until 1833, when he moved to Darby.  In 1834 he settled in Scioto, and located on a part of the Reuben Long survey.  He died in 1844, aged seventy-six years.  He raised a family of fourteen children.  Elizabeth married John Joakum, Susan remained single, and John married Hannah Sage.  James Redmond's wife live to be one hundred years and four months old.  John Redmon was a great hunter, and has killed many deer, but did to neglect his work to hunt.  He killed the last deer seen in this vicinity.

     MARTIN BOOTS came to Scioto at an early day, and cleared land.  He afterwards moved further west.

     ENOCH HENRY lived on the Delano tract quite early, and made a clearing, but soon left.

     ANDREW GALBREATH came from Pittsburgh, about 1811, and bought land on the old Federal road.  He owned two or three hundred acres near Robtown, which he improved, and where he raised a family of children.  At his death, the family returned to Pennsylvania.

     ALEXANDER LAFERTY located on a part of the Williams' tract, near the Scioto river, soon after Edward Williams came.  He made a clearing, and, afterwards, moved away.

     A man named Grove also settled on the Williams' tract, where he died.

     ROBERT ROSS settled on a vacant piece of land, west of Genoa, as early as 1822, and cleaned about twenty acres.  The land was purchased by James Johnson, and Ross moved to Indiana.

     PETER DECHERT came from Virginia to Ohio about 1820.  His wife had the misfortune to break her leg while on the journey, or about the time they arrived, and remained at the house of William Miller, in the northwest part of the township, until a comfortable home could be built.  They settled half a mile west of Genoa.  The only remaining member of the family, in Scioto, is Mrs. Esther Coontz, who still lives at the old homestead.

     ANTHONY COONTZ came from Virginia to Ohio, where, in 1827, he married Rebecca Dechert, daughter of Peter Dechert, settled on the land given his wife by her father, and made a home and improved the farm.  They had nine children: Margaret, Jesse, William, Peter, Solomon, Elizabeth, Rachel, and Anthony P.  Margaret married James A. Beckett, and lives at Commercial Point.  She is the only surviving member of the family in Scioto."

     JACOB YOAKUM, from Hardy county, Virginia, came to Ohio, in 1818, and remained in Piketon, Pike county, three years.  In 1822, he removed to Scioto, and bought one hundred and fifty-one acres of the Judge Seymour tract, on Darby creek, a part of which lies in Muhlenberg.  He served a short time as a soldier, in the war of 1812, going from Virginia.  The family came to Ohio with a five-horse team, over terrible roads.  At his death, January 8, 1878, he was ninety-seven; his widow survives him.  Five of their children now live here: Abel R., on the old Wilson place; Robert, Henry, and Mary, on the old homestead, and Mrs. Anna Parkinson who married Robert Parkinson, and lives on the adjoining farm.

     ISAAC ROBINSON was a native of Pennsylvania, but was raised in Pike county, Ohio, where he married and had three children, Margaret, Jane, and Elizabeth.  In 1822, he moved to Scioto, where Sarah, James, John, Ann, David, Samuel, William, Joseph, Matilda, Caroline, Martha, and Almira Hott, and Mrs. Ann Hoover.

MICHAEL ROBISON, the father of Isaac Robison, came with his family to Pike county, in 1819.  In 1822 he moved to Pickaway county, and bought two hundred and fifty acres of land, which he gave to his children, of whom he had six.  He died in 1851, aged eighty years.  The Robisons settled in the south part of the township, and their settlement is known as Robtown.

     JAMES WELSH settled near Chillicothe, when he first came to Ohio, in 1813.  In 1825, he removed, with his family, to Scioto, and located in Genoa, where he died in 1826.  His family remained here three or four years, when they moved about two miles northwest of Genoa, where his son, James, lived until Aug. 4, 1879, when he died.  He married Margaret Thompson, a daughter of Thomas Thompson, who came to Pickaway county i n1800, or 1802.  They have three children: Jesse Thompson, John, and Ann E., who married J. C. Clemens, and died July 25, 1879, aged thirty-eight. Mr. Clemens was a soldier in the First regiment of Ohio volunteer cavalry and served his state and country from September, 1861, till February 1863, when he was discharged for disability.  Afterwards, he served during the hundreds of days' service, in the One Hundred and Thirty-third Ohio infantry.  He has two daughters.  Mr. Clemens rents land, and carries on the business of farming.

     JOSEPH GOCHENOUR came to Ohio in 1826 or 1827.  He exchanged property in Virginia for one thousand acres of wild land i the General Porterfield survey, west of Genoa.  He made no improvements the first year after his purchase, but went to the Miami river country and remained there one year, after which he returned and began his improvement.  Ten children were born to him in Virginia, before he emigrated, and one born after his settlement.  The family came to Ohio in wagons, and on their arrival on the west side of the Scioto river, had to cut a road through the forest to  his purchase, some four miles.  In 1830 or 1831, he started a tannery which he afterwards sold to Robert Gibson.

ISAAC SMITH came from Maryland, in 1815, and at first settled near Chillicothe, where he lived several years, moving to Scioto in 1826 or 1827.  He bought land on Darby creek, which he cleared, and where he made a home.  Twelve children were raised by him.

     GEORGE GOCHENOUR came with his parents about 1826 or 1827.  On the death of his father he inherited a part of his estate - one hundred and two acres - which he improved, and on which he lived, and where he died, June 6, 1872.  He married Maria Smith, who survives him.  There children were: Joseph (who died when an infant), Isaac, Barbara (Mrs. Michael Burke), Elzy, Sarah A., Littleton and Henry.  The latter lives in Missouri; the others in this township.  Littleton married Margaret Beavers, and owns a farm of one hundred and fifty-four acres, two miles southwest of Commercial Point.

     GRIFFITH JUSTICE settled on the east side of Scioto river, about 1815.  In 1827 he removed to Scioto township, and in 1832 or 1833 he bought a farm; a part of survey number six-thousand, eight hundred and thirty, now owned by Alexander Colwell.   Here he lived until 1856, when eh died of cholera.  He raised a family of ten children, two of whom are now living; one in Columbus, and one in Decatur, Illinois.

     RUFUS DENNIS came to Ohio in 127, from Maryland, and worked a year for Judge Florence, in Muhlenberg.  In 1828 he came to Scioto, where he has since lived.  Much hard work has been done by him in helping others to clear land and improve farms, but he was never a land owner.  He is now nearly seventy-two years old.

     WILLIAM HARLER came from Virginia in 1829, and settled on the McMeekin survey.  This property he afterwards sold, and now owns fifty acres, a mile and a half south of Genoa.  The trade eh follows is brick-laying, and he has helped build most of the brick-work in this township.  Nine children were raised by him, six of whom are now living.

     JOHN FRIETWELL came with William Harler, in 1829, and settled near the location of the cemetery.  He was a soldier in the war of 1812.  He was a brick-layer by trade, and worked with William Harler for many years.

     JOHN W. LANE came from Albermarle county, Virginia, to Ohio, in 1831, and bought a farm a mile and a half north of Genoa, which he cleared, and where he still lives, aged nearly eighty-five years.  Mrs. Lane is seventy-three.  They raised seven children, four of whom are now living: David is a farmer, and lives in this township; Mrs. Lucy Ann Corry, lives in Franklin county; Sarah V. Shaw lives in Christian county, Illinois; James lives south of his father, and owns a farm of four hundred acres.  In his early manhood he married, and commenced farming, but, his health braking down, he was obliged to give it up, and began dealing in stock, at which he has made a good property.  In the community where he  lives he is a prominent man,  and bears an enviable reputation.

     ROBERT GIBSON emigrated from Pennsylvania to Ohio, in 1816.  In 1818 he was married, in Preble county, to Ruhamah Williamson, and, after marriage, they settled in Dayton.  In 1825 he opened a tannery, which he conducted until 1829,when he moved to Scioto.  Two years later he bought the Williamson homestead, and in 1839, bought the tannery started by Joseph Gochenour.  This he conducted until 1852, when he closed it.  Previous to his emigration to Ohio he served six months in the war of 1812.  Following are the names of his children:  Eleazer W., James A., Martha A., Mary J., Rebecca, and Sarah.  Martha married George W. Scholey and lives in Kansas City, Missouri.  Rebecca married Garrett E. Conover, and lives in Kansas.  Sarah married Luther Lerch, and lives on the homestead.  Mary J. lives with them.  James A. married Hester A. Crabb, and owns a farm of one hundred and seventy-five acres, a mile and a quarter southwest of Commercial Point.  E. W. married Louisa Walker and lives a mile and a half southeast of Commercial Point, where he owns and manages a farm of about one hundred and seventy-four acres.

     ROBERT WILSON was born in Ireland, and came to this country with his parents when an infant, and spent his early life in Virginia.  He was married in Zanesville.  In 1828 he settled on the barrens, in Darby township, and in 1832 came to Scioto and bought land on the west side of the pike, southwest of Commercial Point.  He raised a family of eleven children.

     JOHN MUNDELL was born in Scotland in 1794, and emigrated to the United States in 1820.  He settled in Virginia, where he married, and had two children.  In 1833 he came to Scioto, and bought about seven hundred acres of land, being a part of the Taggart and McLaughlin survey, and a part of the John Kerr survey, a short distance from Commercial Point.  They raised five children, three of whom are now living: one in Kingston, Ross county; one in Garnet, Kansas; and a third, Emma, on the old homestead.

     JAMES H. BURNLEY came from Albermarle county, Virginia, to Ohio, in 1832, arriving on Deer creek before Christmas day.  He bought three hundred and eleven acres of land on a part of which the village of Commercial Point now stands.  A cabin was already built on the land, and into this he moved in February, 1833.  He laid off half of the village, on the east, and called it Rome.  Wiley Beckett had already laid out the west half, and called it Genoa.  A narrow grove was left on the south, which extended into the village, but was not included in the plat.  This is now owned by John C. Burnley and M. V. Beavers.  James H. Burnley was a justice of the peace a number of years.  His wife was Ann Burnley.  They raised a family of nine children, among whom his property was divided.  Two children are now living here, John C., who lives on the homestead, and Mrs. M. C. Roland.

     MOSES RAWLINS came from Maryland as early as 1808, and took a fifteen years' lease of a part of Edward Williamls' place, opposite the farm now owned by Philomel Gray.  He raised twelve children, five of whom are still living.  A son, Ezekiel, married twice.  He settled in Scioto, and had twenty-six children, seven by his first wife and nineteen by his second, who survives him.

     JOSHUA WILLIAMS came to Pickaway plains form Delaware, in 1805, where he remained seven years.  In 1812 he moved to Scioto, and settled on a part of the Daniel Morgan survey, a mile from the line of Franklin county, and north of Commercial Point.  He had eight children, all of whom settled near him.  A son, Henry, was killed at the battle of Murfreesborough.  Noah lives on part of the homestead.  Mr. Williams died in 1869.  His wife died in1865.

     JOHN MARTIN settled on the east side of the Scioto river, about 1801.  In 1816 he came to Scioto, with his brother James.  Their father gave each one hundred and fifty acres of land, about two miles east of Commercial Point.  John Martin raised ten children, and died in 1860, aged sixty-seven.  His wife died in 1870, aged seventy-five.  His son, William, owns a farm of eighty-three acres, a mile south of Commercial Point.

     THOMAS STRAIN settled in Scioto about 1833, or 1834, purchasing the farm now owned by William Scholey, to whom he sold in 1835, and moved to the west.  A son lives in Harrisburg, Franklin county.

MASON CLEVELAND, settled in Scioto in 1832.  He is a native of Connecticut; a millwright and miller by trade, and has helped build many saw-mills, two grist-mills, and two distilleries in Pickaway county.  By this first wife he had two children.  For his second wife he married Sarah, daughter of Peter West, by whom he had no children.  He is now eighty years old, and a hale and hearty man.  He has a farm a short distance southeast of Commercial Point.

JOHN WALKER emigrated from Albemarle county, Virginia, with a family, consisting of a wife and ten children, in 1834.  He settled a mile and one-half southeast of Commercial Point, where he bought one hundred and eight acres of land.  He added to this until his death, in November, 1861, when he owned four hundred acres .  His widow survives him, and now lives with her son, B. F. Walker, near Salina, Kansas, in the eighty-first year of her age.  Mr. Walker lived to be seventy-seven.  Two daughters, Mrs. E. W. Gibson and Mrs. Edward Thomas, and one son, James Walker, now live in Scioto.  The old homestead belongs to B. F. Walker, of Salina, Kansas. 

JAMES WALKER came with his father in 1834, being then  sixteen years of age.  He owns a farm of two hundred acres, a mile and a half southeast of Commercial Point, which he purchased in 1864.  He makes a specialty of fine sheep, and owns a flock of one hundred and forty Merinos.  He married Sarah A. Fretwell in 1843, and has now four children.  He served as justice of the peace many years.  Was postmaster from 1858 until 1864.

J. W. DURRETT came from Albermarle county, Virginia, in 1835, and settled in Scioto, where he bought one hundred acres of land the year after his arrival.  In 1837 he married Jane Martin, by whom he had five children.  She died April 17, 1851, and August 18, 1851, he married Louisa Innis, by whom he also had five children.  He owns a farm of one hundred and ninety acres, a mile and a half east of Commercial Point, where he lives.  He is a prominent man in the township, and has the respect and confidence of the community.  He has been three times elected justice of the peace.  His children are: Sarah A., John M., William W., Thomas H., and Emily, by his first wife; and Isabel, Viola, Minnie, James M., and Anna W., by his second wife.

JACOB W. STIVERSON was born in Jackson township, Pickaway county, Dec. 31, 1816.  His mother was a daughter of Abraham Howe, who settled in Jackson in 1809.  She married Jacob Stiverson, and with him settled on land now owned by Jonathan W. Huston, in Jackson.  Jacob W. Stiverson married, in 1842, Margaret West, daughter of Peter West, who settled in Scioto in 1804.  they own the Peter West homestead, and have had a family of seven children, four of whom are now living.  Their names are: Martha V., Arthur E., Cornelia M., George W., Alice E., Charles W., and H. Caroline V.  Cornelia is married, and lives in Bloomfield.  Mr. Stiverson has a fine farm of one hundred and sixty three acres, situated on the bank of the Scioto river, in the southeast corner of Scioto township.

LUKE WILKINS was born in Maryland, and came to Ross county when an infant, in 1814, with his parents. In 1840 he came to Scioto, and remained for a time, when he returned to Ross county, and worked at carpentering.  In 1841 he again came to Scioto, and worked at his trade.  In 1843 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Peter West.  He bought one hundred and twenty-one acres of land, the share of his wife in her father's estate being used in payment.  They have eighty children - Mary R., Almira J., Caroline M., Ann Eliza, Harvey T., William W., Sarah M., and Hannah M.  Three are married and live near home, and one is in Kansas.

WILEY H. BECKETT came from eastern Virginia, in 1829, and settled west of the present village of Commercial Point, where he purchased two hundred and thirty-eight acres of land.  His wife was Magdalena Akerley, to whom he was married in 1815.  They had eleven children, ten of whom are now living:  Cynthia A.; John H., who died when seventeen years of age; James A., who married Margaret Coontz in 1846; Sarah J.; Alexander F.; Sidney A.; Isabel M.; Caroline V.; Thomas Jr.; and Susan M.  Two of these live in Indiana one in Missouri, and the others live in and near Scioto.  Mr. Beckett and his son, J. A., started the first store in Scioto, at Genoa, in 1844.  In 1852 James A. took the store, and has since continued it, a part of the time alone, and a part of the time in a partnership business.  It is now conducted under the firm name of J. A. Beckett, and W. H. MagleyMr. J. A. Beckett has four children: Ellen G., who married W. H. Magley; Cornelia A., who married T. H. Durrett; John O., unmarried; and Clara R., who married John Peters.

DANIEL PURSELL came from New Jersey with his family, and located on the Williams farm, near Scioto river, where he arrived in July, 1838.  He had twelve children, six of whom are living.  George lives in Illinois; Eli, in Missouri; Sarah (Mrs. William Martin), in Scioto Township; Cyrus married Elizabeth Hobbs, of Ross county, and lives here; Jacob also lives here; and J. T. lives in Garnet, Kansas.  Jacob, Cyrus, and J. T. were in the army during the Rebellion, and served nearly three years.  Cyrus has six children, and is engaged in blacksmithing.  He first opened a shop at Commercial Point, in 1853.  His shop was burned in May, of the same year, but with the assistance of his neighbors, it was rebuilt.  An attempt was afterwards made to burn his house, by some person who held a spite against him.

JOSHUA HILL came from Maryland, with his family, and located in Harrison township.  In 1824, he moved to Scioto, where two of his sons William and Hiram, now live.  William owns a farm.

     JAMES MEEKER came from Franklin county to Scioto, in 1845.  He now owns one hundred acres of land two miles southwest of Commercial Point.  He helped build flatboats, for use in carrying produce down the Ohio river, at an early day.  When a young man, and living in Franklin county, he worked in the construction of the Ohio canal.

came from New Jersey, in 1841, and bought a farm on part of the McMeekin survey, a mile south of Commercial Point.  His family consisted of Aaron, Elijah, Sarah A., and Martha.  He died March 7, 1879, aged seventy-four; his widow survives him aged seventy-three.  Three of his children are married, and live on and near the homestead.  Aaron married Susan O'Hara; Sarah married James Huston, who died in 1873; Martha married Conrad Bohnert.

GEORGE HOTT moved to Scioto township, from Walnut, in 1817 and located in Robtown, where he lived about twenty years, when he went to Darbyville for two years.  In 1867 he moved to Fayette county, where he now lives.  He raised seven children, four of whom live in Scioto: Jackson, William, Mrs. Mary A. Clark, and George.  George married Matilda Robison, in 1857, and has two children, both at home.  Flora C., is the wife of James Welsh.  Mr. Hott owns a farm one one hundred and seventy acres and carries on a general farming business, just north of Robtown, at which place he resides.

JACOB GRABIL came to Ross county in 1804, from Virginia.  He moved into Pickaway county, leased and rented farms in different localities until, in 1841, he purchased a farm in Scioto.  He died in 1852, aged seventy one years.  His wife died in 1853, aged sixty-eight years.  Three children are now living - a daughter, in Indiana, a son, William in Williamsport, and Josiah, on the home farm four miles southwest of Commercial Point.  Jacob Grabil served six months during the war of 1812.

ABSALOM VANVICKLE came from Virginia with his parents about 1806.  They settled in Jackson township.  He served as a soldier during the war of 1812.  In 1819 he married Elizabeth Dulgar, by whom he had two children.  He bought one hundred and twenty-five acres of land three miles west of Commercial Point, in 1832.  This he cleared by his own labor.  He died in 1863, at the age of seventy-five.  His wife died in 1873, aged eighty-two.  His daughter, Mrs. William Dechert, now owns the property.

WILLIAM BOYD came from Pennsylvania in 1844, and settled in Scioto, where he purchased a small farm.  He was a soldier in the war of 1812, and was on Commodore Perry's fleet during the battle of Lake Erie.  His age at his death was eighty-three.

JAMES M. JOHNSON, originally from Maryland, came to Ohio with his parents when seven years of age.  They settled in Marion county.  In the fall of 1839 he removed to Franklin county, and the next spring moved to Jackson township, Pickaway county, subsequently locating in Muhlenberg.  In the fall of 1842 he settled in Darby township, which was afterwards incorporated within the boundaries of Scioto.  Here he has since resided.


     The first post-office in Scioto township was opened at Beckett's store, which was the name of the office, in 1845.  Wiley Beckett was first postmaster.  He was followed by J. A. Beckett, H. P. Bunch, James Walker, John D. Mundell, and the present incumbent, Eli Harsh, who was appointed in 1865.  The first mail carrier was James A. Beckett.  He rode horseback to the crossing of the Scioto river, above Bloomfield bridge, crossed in a canoe, and walked to the Bloomfield office, where he left the mail from this office, and returned to the river again, crossing in the canoe, and home again with the mail for Scioto.  Before this office was established, people went to the most convenient place for their mail, as many do to this day, some going to Bloomfield, some to Darbyville, some to Harrisburg, and some to Shadeville, Franklin county.


     In 1841, Wiley H. Beckett laid out a parcel of land in the northeastern part of his possessions, for the purpose of forming a town, which he named Genoa.  Two years later, Squire James H. Burnley laid off a similar parcel of his land on the southwest corner of his farm, and called it Rome.  He left a gore containing not half an acre, on the corner of his land, which was not included as part of the town, though the land on the east and west side of it was so included.  This gore has been called various names, one of them being "The Devil's Half Acre."  It is owned by J. C. Burnley and M. H. Beavers Burnley has a blacksmith and wagon shop, Beavers a grocery, dwelling, and other buildings.


     Genoa was incorporated by special act of the legislature, Mar. 21, 1851.  The first election was held Mar. 8, 1852, there being eleven electors in the village who voted.  The following officers were elected: H. P. Bunch, mayor; A. F. Beckett, recorder; J. M. Anderson, E. Smith, J. L. Martin, L. Dennis, and James Risk, councilmen.  The first meeting of the council was held at the school-house, at which meeting Hiram Anderson was appointed marshal, and George Van Houten, treasurer.  The next meeting was held a few days later, and six ordinances were passed for the governance of the town.  At the third meeting of the council, Mar. 15th, a petition was presented, signed by eleven persons, "praying for a law to appoint some vigilant boy, whose duty it shall be to chase the game out of the corporation limits."  The petition was thrown under the table, notwithstanding it was signed by as many persons as participated in the election.  Some time during the year 1872, the name of the village was changed from Genoa to Commercial Point, to conform to the name of the post-office, which had been changed from Beckett's store, which had been its name for many years.  The officers of the village for 1879, are: Thomas Beavers, mayor; Cyrus Pursell, treasurer; W. H. Magley, clerk; Eli Harsh, Mathias Hott, William A. Smith, Dr. S. M. Seeds and Dr. S. C. Helmick council; John Satterfield, marshal.  In 1871, the corporation and township built a town house, of brick, the upper story being built by the members of the Masonic fraternity, as a lodge room.  The hall is used for general township and corporation purposes, and is rented by the Good Templars' organization for the purpose of holding their meetings.



     Circuit preaching was had in 1829, by Revs. Mssrs. Austin and Phillips.  Rev. John McKinley, a local preacher, also held meetings.  The church was organized between 1829 and 1834, at which time a log church was built near the present resident of James Durrett, and called Point Pleasant church.  It was in Franklin circuit before this time, and has since been divided and subdivided several times.  It is now in the Harrisburg circuit.  The original circuit extended to Thompson's mills, near Circleville on the south, and above Columbus on the north.  About 1854 a small brick church was erected in the village of Commercial Point.  A portion of the walls and roof were blown down in 1873, and a new and larger building erected in its place.  It now has some seventy-five members, and a Sabbath school of one hundred and ten members, under the superintendence of E. HarshRev. Mr. Callahan is the preacher.


     A church of the United Brethren was organized about 1843, in Robtown.  Meetings of a practical character were held by Rev. George Hathaway, in the old log school-house east of Robtown, in 1843.  Previous to this time, meetings had been held in private houses.  Jesse Bright and Mr. Jones were early preachers here.  About 1822 a log school-house was built near the present residence of Luke Wilkins.  This was afterwards moved to Robtown, and was occupied as a church until 1875, when the society built a neat and substantial framed church.  Rev. Daniel Bonebrake is the pastor.  The membership is about thirty-five.  A Sunday-school of thirty scholars is conducted under the superintendence of Frank Rowe.


     The regular Baptist society was organized about 1827, at Darbyville.  In 1874 the organization was removed to Scioto township, about two miles west of Commercial Point, where a church building was erected, at a cost of six hundred dollars.  The church has a membership of twenty-three.  Regular services are held monthly by Rev. Jason Peters.


     The Presbyterian church was organized about 1827, at the house of James Miller, a mile north of Commercial Point.  Preaching had been held in private houses, occasionally, previous to that time.  The first settled minister was Rev. Calvin Ransom.  Rev. William Jones preached in the neighborhood, and at Bloomfield before the church was organized.  A log church was built on the lot now used as a cemetery, about 1835.  This was used until 1857, when the building now occupied was erected, at a cost of seventeen hundred dollars.  The church now has a membership of forty-two.  Rev. E. Thompson is the pastor.  A Sunday-school is held regularly under the superintendence of John C. Hillery.


     The first burial ground was on Thompson's hill, and the first person buried there was, probably, Mrs. Welsh, mother of James Welsh, who died quite early, but the date of whose death is not known.  The first marked grave is that of William Mires, who died Sept. 22, 1819.  Burial grounds were afterwards started on many farms for members of the family, but were subsequently used by others.  Hardly a large survey but has its burial ground.  The first cemetery lot deeded for that purpose was opened in 1835, by John and Janet Mundell.  This lot contained two acres, and was deeded for the use of the Presbyterian church, of which they were members.  The log church was erected on this ground, which is situated three-fourths of a mile south of Commercial Point.  The first log church was located near the junction of the Genoa and Columbus pikes, two miles east of Commercial Point.  The first burial in this ground was that of Thomas Fullerton, in 1835.  The oldest person buried here is Mrs. Margaret Shannon, who was aged one hundred and three years.  She was born in Scotland, and felt proud of the fact that the last person she danced with, before leaving Scotland, was Robert Burns.



     In 1874 a petition from the Masons of Scioto was presented to the grand lodge asking for a dispensation under which they could organize a lodge. Previous to this move, the Masons in this vicinity had belonged to lodges at Lockbourne, Mt. Sterling, and other more distant points.  A dispensation was granted May 25, 1874.  October 21st, of the same year; a charter was granted, under the name of Battin Lodge, No. 487, Free and Accepted Masons.  The charter members were: R. G. McLean, James K. P. Mitchell, Daniel B. Dechert, S. M. Seeds, John C. Burnley, Thomas Harlor, Charles F. Mitchell, Oren S. Martin, W. A. Harrington, J. G. Mundell, T. J. Beckett, A. C. Rush, William Rush, and W. B. Beavers.  The officers appointed were: R. G. McLean, W. M.; James K. P. Mitchell, S. W.; Daniel B. Dechert, J. W.  In 1871, before application was made for a charter, the friends of the order raised funds to build a second story to the town hall, then in process  of construction, and at the organization had a good hall of their own for the use of the lodge.  At the present time the lodge numbers thirty-two members.  The officers for 1879 are: T. J. Beckett, W. M.; William Rush, S. W.; J. T. Welsh, J. W.; J. W. Neely, treasurer; S. M. Seeds, secretary; J. C. Hillery, S. D.;  Thomas Burkhead, J. D.; J. Q. Hewitt, tyler.


     A lodge of the Independent Order of Good Templars, No. 554, was organized by charter in 1874.  A charter of Degree Temple was granted Mar. 4, 1878.  The town hall is rented for the use of the society, which now numbers forty-five members in good standing.  The present officers are: Thomas Beavers, W. C. T.; Christine Mundell, W. V. T.; H. B. O'Hara, L. D.; Stephen Boyd, P. W. C.; G. S. Preston, R. S.; Priscilla Boyd, I. S.; George Henry, O. S.; George Carfrey, F. S.; Dr. S. Helmick, treasurer; H. B. O'Hara, chaplain.  The lodge is in good condition, financially, and has money in the treasury.


     The first celebration of Independence Day occurred July 4, 1842. Preparations were made on a large scale, for a comparatively new country, and due notice was given throughout the township.  It was decided to have a barbecue, and the pit was dug in a ravine situated in the north part of the present village of Commercial Point.  Turkeys and chickens were prepared for the roast, and a party was sent out to shoot a deer.  quite late the deer was brought in and placed over the glowing coals.  The town was pretty much covered with heavy timber at that time, and no difficulty was experienced in finding a comfortable shade for the exercises.  The opening prayer was made by John Thompson.  The Declaration of Independence was read by Squire Burnley, and an address delivered by Col. Cradlebaugh, then a young man.  Joseph McGhee superintended the roast.  The day was one long to be remembered by the early settlers, and was full of hilarity, a part of which may have been caused by the free use of unadulterated liquids.
     A similar celebration was held a few years later, but is not remembered with as much distinctness as the earlier one.


     Wiley H. Beckett opened the first store in Scioto, at Genoa, in 1844.  He continued the business until 1852, when his son, James A., took charge of it, and has, since that time, been connected with it, a portion of the time alone, and again with a partner.  It is now operated under the firm name of J. A. Beckett & Co. the firm being J. A. Beckett, J. O. Beckett, and William H. Magley.
     George Van Houten built a store on a part of the Burnley tract, some time after Mr. Beckett started.  This he conducted for a time, and then sold out to James Walker, and he to Eli Harsh,  in 1863.  Mr. Harsh was at that time a resident of Harrisburg, and the year after his purchase he moved his family to Genoa, where he has since lived and conducted the business, thereby securing a comfortable competence.  In 1865 he was commissioned postmaster, and has continued as such to the present time.  The post-office occupies one corner of his store, and is administered to the perfect satisfaction of its patrons.  In 1871 he built a fine brick dwelling on the lot adjoining his store, and has one of the finest residences in the town, a representation of which appears in this volume.
     The present business houses of Scioto are: J. A. Beckett & Co., general merchandise; Eli Harsh, general merchandise; M. V. Beavers, grocery; Cyrus Pursell and J. C. Burnley, blacksmiths; James Shade and Thomas Healey, shoemakers; William Marsh, harness maker.
 The physicians are Drs. S. M. Seeds and S. C. Helmick.  Their predecessors were Drs. Revnaugh, Jaynes, MArtin, French, Sholl, and Kingery.  Dr. Gardner was there for a short time.




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