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Tuscarawas County, Ohio
History & Genealogy

History of Tuscarawas County, Ohio
Source: Combination atlas map of Tuscarawas County, Ohio
Strasburg, Ohio: Gordon Print., 1875, 359 pgs. L H Everts
In progress - Items will be completed upon requests.


     AMERICAN youth are daily schooled in lessons of National history: campaign, battle-field, and administration are familiar as a daily task; but local history of early times - the country's resources and rank - is an unknown story, requiring only to be told to be remembered.  We have essayed to draw from all availing sources the fragments of Tuscarawas County history, and unite them here for local interest and use.  The settlement of each county has its own true legends in waning memories of a lessening band of pioneers.
     Opinions conflict regarding the utility of this work, and some think the "dead past" should "bury its dead;" but most believe that the names and memories of early pioneers and settlers should be treasured up, that strangers here, seeing nothing to remind them of what a century has wrought, may learn of border-wars, cruel massacres, pioneer privations, and crude beginnings, as a striking contrast to public works, charitable institutions, home comforts, and inexhaustible resources, and hence our pleasing task.


     The first white residents of Tuscarawas County were the Moravian missionaries and their families.  A prominent trio of these were Post, Heckewelder and Zeisberger, whose earliest visits date to 1761 and '62.  Three Indian villages were built upon the river Tuscarawas: Shoenbrun, a mile and a quarter south of New Philadelphia; Gnadenhutten, seven miles farther down, in Clay township, and near the site of the present town of the same name; and Salem, a mile and a half southwest of Port Washington, in Salem Township.
     Faithful to their teachings, the converts were peaceable and neutral between the Americans at Fort Pitt and the British at Detroit, until the fall of 1781, when the British and their Indian allies, by threats and violence, forced them to abandon their homes and crops and go to Sandusky.
     In the spring of 1782 about one hundred and fifty Moravian Indians were permitted to return to their valley homes, where they divided into three parties, and, in fancied security, began to gather up a store of their last fall's crop of corn.


     Hostile war-parties had attacked and carried away captive two white families, and the frontiersmen determined to retaliate. Ninety volunteer militia, led by Colonel Williamson,,,,, marched towards the Moravian towns, and arrived near the village of Gnadenhutten on the night of March 5, 1782.  In the morning they saw Indians busily gathering corn, and an armed party crossed over to them.  They found the Indians also armed, and, accosting them kindly, obtained at once their confidence and arms.  From the three parties about ninety=three persons were decoyed into a surrender, and then brutally murdered with knife gun, and tomahawk, and their bodies consumed in the flames of their burning houses.  This dastardly outrage was amended by Congress, Sept. 5, 1788, passing an ordinance for Moravian encouragement.  Three land-tracts, four thousand acres each, were set aside for "propagating the gospel among the heathen."  Indians were again gathered into a new village called Goshen, and two missionaries, Edwards and Zeisberger, here passed their lives, and, dying, were buried in the Goshen graveyard, where plain tombstones mark the spot.
     Time passed: the whites came, and the Indian became the victim of intemperance, despite the penalties pertaining to sales of liquors to him; and, Aug. 4, 1823, preliminaries were taken towards the retrocession of the land to Government.  Nov. 8, the Goshen Indians signed a treaty with Lewis Cass, then Governor of Michigan, in which they exchanged their right to the Territories, and an annuity of four hundred dollars.  Most of them settled on the Thames, in Canada.  By act of Congress, May 26, 1824, their village lands were surveyed into farm lots and sold, James Patrick, of New Philadelphia, being the United States agent.


     In a few years a navigable canal was cut close to the village sites.  Goshen, the last home in Tuscarawas of the Christian Indian, is a cultivated field, in the possession of a German farmer.  A high hill near is being despoiled of its carboniferous treasures, and the sounds of savage life are succeeded by the grating of the coal-car as it discharges its freight into prepared receptacles.
     Yet there is one spot here which calls the mind back to former memories.  Let us view it.  We descend the hill's southern declivity, following the Zanesville Road; cross a channel, once brimmed with crystal waves; ascend the opposite bank, and, turning a few steps to the right, enter a small inclosed grave-yard, overgrown with low trees.  Here we find a small marble slab, hearing the following.


     "David Zeisberger, who was born 11th April, 1721, in Moravia, and departed this life 7th Nov. 1808, aged 87 years 7 months and 6 days.  This faithful servant of the Lord labored among the Morovian Indians as a missionary during the last sixty years of his life."
     Some kindly hand had placed the stone long years after the decease of him who sleeps there.  Oct. 7, 1843, a meeting was held by those residing near, to erect a monument commemorative of the tragic event of 1782.


     To Tuscarawas County belongs to the honor of  being the birthplace of the first white child in the limits of the States.  In the month of May, 1780, Sarah Ohneburg arrived on the Muskingum, and shortly after was married to John Heckewelder.  A child was born to them on April 16, 1781, at Gnadenhutten, and named Mary; she lived long to enjoy the distinction, at Bethlehem, in Pennsylvania.


     Near the town of Bolivar, Lawrence Township, exist the remains of the first military post erected by the American Government in the State of Ohio.  It occupies about an acre of ground on land west of the river, and was built by a force of a thousand men from Fort Pitt, under General McIntosh, during the fall of 1778, and left with a garrison of one hundred and fifty men, under Colonel Gibson.
     In honor of the President of Congress, the fort received the name of Laurens, and was intended to overawe and keep the Indians in check.  They gathered rapidly and secretly, in Jan., 1779, and besieged the garrison until March, when, nearly starving for food, they raised the siege.  The fort was finally abandoned, August, 1779, and Henry Jolley was one of the last men to leave it.  From his notes the following is taken:
     "When the main army left for Fort Pitt, Captain Clark remained, with a small force of United States troops, to march in the sick, the feeble, and the fatigue-party.  He tried to take advantage of very cold weather, and had marched three or four miles when he was fired upon by a small body of Indians, at twenty or thirty paces distance.  The volley slightly wounded two men.  Knowing his men to be unfit to fight the Indians in their own fashion, he ordered them to reserve their fire, and to charge bayonet, which, being promptly executed, put the Indians to flight; and, after pursuing a short distance, he called off his men and retreated to the fort, bringing in the wounded.
     "During the cold weather, the Indians about the fort kept concealed, and a party of seventeen men went out for some firewood, cut by the army, and lying forty or fifty rods from the fort.  Near the bank of the river was an ancient mound, behind which lay a quantity of wood.  A party had been out for several preceding mornings and brought in wood, supposing the Indians would not be watching the fort in such very cold weather.  But on that fatal morning on one side of the mound, a part of the Indians came round on the other, and inclosed the wood-party, so that not one escaped."
     An escort of provisions, headed by McIntosh, reached the fort in safety, and brought needed relief to the garrison.


     The primal settlement of Tuscarawas by the European race began in 1802.  From then till 1806 the settlers came in force; and blazing log-fires, falling forests, and pioneer cabins building betokened the energy of this people, independent by the force of arms.
     Among the first arrivals were William Butt and family, who purchased twelve hundred acres of land, and built his first cabin on the farm now owned by Rosemond.  Hemminger and his two sons were paid to clear a way for the wagons, and came along with Butt in 1805.
     It was in the year 1800 that the ground on which New Philadelphia stands and appropriated by John Adams, President, to satisfy military bounty claims, and was shortly bought by Godfrey Haga.  In 1804, Haga, though his agent, Heckewelder, sold nearly four thousand acres town site included, to John Knisely, who proceeded to lay out a town.  In the spring of 1805 he moved hither his family, in company with John Hull, who erected the first house ever built in New Philadelphia.  In summer, 1806, came Philip Minnich, John Williams, Peter Cribbs, George Leininger, and Joseph Stoutt.
     Jesse Slingluff
and Christian Deardorff, two of the original owners of Dover, first visited the County in 1802.  These two and a third, named Charles Boehn, bought part of the four thousand-acre tract, owned by Morrison of Kentucky, and including, besides the site of Dover, the farms of Downey, G. Deardorff, and the land now owned by J. S. Sterling.  On their way at the mouth of Huff's Run, a few miles north of Dover.  When Deardorff and Slingluff first stood upon their purchase, but one settler George Harbaugh, was on the west side of the river.  Till lately, his old house and some gnarled old apple-trees, a quarter of a mile south of E. A. McClean's stone quarry, stood as monuments of this hardy outpost.
     The partnership was brief.  Deardorff returned in 1805, bringing with him a millwright and a carpenter, built a cabin, and began the construction of a grist and saw-mill.  These were where the salt-works are, half a mile from town.  This was the first water-mill within many miles, and the only one for several years.  The hand mill and hominy block had previously supplied the settlers' wants.  Deardorff lived in his cabin at the mill for years, his own cook and provider.  From 1806, settlement went rapidly forward, and Dover grew.  In Deardorff's first house in Dover he kept the first store;  It is the house on the corner, north of the Iron Valley Hotel.  The second was built by William Shane, now occupied by Thomas Hustin, Sr. Daniel Williams, and Peter Williams, a lad of sixteen - were resolved to make the journey on foot, as all the party had not horses available.  The first day they walked thirty miles, the next day twenty-five, and stayed overnight in a log cabin, where a supper of johnny cake and fat bacon, and a bed before the fire-place, on the hard puncheon floor, were found.  Starting next morning early, without breakfast, they got food from settlers, and arrived at Stoubenville, a smart village, as night fell, all lame and footsore, except the boy, who gained in freshness and strength during every mile he traveled.  Five miles on this side of the above-named place the party came to where the road forked, and, not being able to learn from wood-choppers the proper road, they disagreed and divided.  Three took the path by Cadiz, and two pursued what proved the more direct road.  The two were Fiscus and young Williams.
Between Annapolis and New Philadelphia there were but three houses, with openings around them, and the trails made travel very perplexing as to a proper route.  The two reached their goal thirty-six hours ahead of the others.  The united party stopped to rest with John Knisely, the founder of the town, and by him were escorted to where it was to be.  Reaching the forks of the road, where the roads to Cadiz and New Cumberland separate, he said, "Now you are in the tow; this is the Lower Market Square, and this," pointing westward, "is High Street."  Looking around, our new-comers could see no town, - nothing but bushes and small trees; the houses were yet to be built.  From High Street they followed, Indian file, a foot path around the bushes and saplings to the next square.  Here the enthusiastic proprietor pointed out the Court-House Square, and where the court-house would be built.  This square was like the former, except some bushes cut and corners stakes driven.  Across this square ran Broadway; this was partly cleared.  On this street Peter Cribbs and George Leighninger had stuck their stakes; the former had erected his cabin and potter-kiln near the southeast corner of the public square, and the latter had built the house, the old frame of which, with frequent repairs, still stands on the corner opposite the old Gray House.
     Christian Stout had built and lived in a frame house near where the Lion Hotel stood in 1866.  Of these four houses and families the town of New Philadelphia then consisted; all else was fenceless and houseless as the wild forest had always known it.
     In the summer of 1808 the Rev. Christian Espich arrived and built a house on Broadway, lower end, left-hand side, near the river.  It has long since been removed.  All the members of these five families, of both sexes, have years ago passed away and been laid in their homes of rest.  In the vicinity of town there were a few clearings at this early period.


     In the vanguard of the march of civilization came the "forlorn hope" of pioneers; "theirs not to answer why, theirs but to do and die," honored pioneers.  No fainting hearts were theirs, and stern composure was required and shown to cut their way through heavy timber, ferry over bridgeless streams, lay low and clear a patch of forest, and then, with neighbor's help, erect a cabin home.  This was not all: the trusty rifle furnished venison and game; the garden yielded corn and potatoes; but there were no mills for grinding, no schools for education, and no churches for religious purposes.  The sharp report of the hunter's rifle reverberation, and no churches for religious purposes.  The sharp report of the hunter's rifle reverberating among the hills was heard instead of the church-going bell inviting to the house of God.
     Pioneer life was a hard life.  Self-denial and inconvenience took the place of ease and comfort.  The exciting chase the rugged face of nature and the freedom from the hampering formalities of older social life were fascinating in their place, but still the life was undesirable.  The present generation owe the past a debt of gratitude for having borne the car of progress into these once Wesern wilds.  The pioneers grubbed up the underbrush, deadened the timber, broke up the ground, cleared off the stones, and made a fitting soil from their successors to sow the timely seed and reap a goodly harvest.  But few can estimate the changes of a single lifetime.  In 1866, Mr. Greenwald spoke of one, then eighty-six years old, who, born upon Ohio soil, had seen a wilderness transfored into the happy homes of four million people.
     History can rarely make so wonderful a record.  The County has been cleared of timberland cultivated, roads made, iron bridges cast, a canal dug, and railroads projected and completed; ills, furnaces, and foundries, machine-shops, warehouses, and stores, are built and operated; the treasures of the earth - coal, limestone, and the black band - are found and utilized, and the busy hum of human industry resounds on every side.
     Where stood the log cabin stands the modern mansion; the rude school-house is superseded by fine buildings, rivaling the Eastern colleges of other years; and no more the circuit preacher makes his toilsome round to families, but has abiding home in towns and villages, where spacious churches, with heaven-pointing spires, inviting ring of bells, and organs rolling forth grand notes of praise, tell man of higher wants, and urge him on to nobler manhood.  In view of this, shall not the names of hardy men, the pioneers of Tuscarawas County, be rescued from oblivion and cherished on this printed page, a roll of tribute to their memory?
     As heads of families in prime of life we call the names of John Knisely, Sr., Abraham Knisely, George Stiffler, David Stiffler, John Judy, Henry Albright, Abraham Shane, George Harbaugh, Nathan Pettycord, Christian Baughman, Samuel Thomas, Felix Landis, Joseph Landis, and Philip Minnich; all these were near New Philadelphia, chiefly east and north of it.  Down and across the river were Michael Uhrich, Sr., Hon. John Heckewelder, John Romig, Henry Kellar, Martin Kellar, Isaac Deardorff, William Butt, John Baltzley, Sr., Conrad Roth, John Shull, David Peters, John Knisely, Jr., Michael Frederick, George Domer, John Harbaugh, Aaron Reeves, Samuel Shull, John Zigler, Thoams Peckel, and Gabriel Cryder.


were Peter Andrews, John Williams, Philip Foreman, Samuel Jacob, and David Kniselay, David Carebeer, George Sluthour, Alexander McConnell, and Jacob Carebeer.  These youths of sixteen played their part upon life's busy stage and passed away; but one survives, - old David Knisely, prominent as a citizen, a veteran in years.


     The oath of office having been administered by Abraham Morser, Esq., to John Junkins, Michael Uhrich, and Philip Minnich, the Tuscarawas County Commissioners, they held their first meeting on April 16, 1808.  Godfrey Hags, Jr., was duly chosen as their clerk, and the County laid off and divided into four different townships, by the names of Oxford, Salem, Goshen, and Lawrence.  Election were ordered to take place on April 30, in the house of James Douglas, for Oxford, and Gideon Jennings, for Lawrence, and notices posted by the clerk accordingly.
     On June 6, a petition of sixteen landholders of Salem Township for a road from the forks of the Cadiz and Lawrenceville Roads to the eastern boundary line of the County, was presented to the Board, who thereupon appointed John Knisely, Sr., John Bolsely, of Goshen and James Watson, of Salem Townships, viewers of said road, and Joseph Francis surveyor, to meet at the forks mentioned on June 20.
     It was agreed that "for killing any wolf or panther within ten miles of settlements in this County during the ensuing year half a dollar should be paid if under six months, and one dollar if over six months, old."  Later allowances show that this was no idle ordinance at that time.
     A road from Samuel Smith's mill, on Sugar Creek, between Dover and New Philadelphia, was ordered to be surveyed by Francis, and viewed by J. Knisely, Sr., George Stiffler, of Goshen, and Lewis Knaus, of Salem Townships, on June 27, on presentation of the required petition.
     June 7, David Peters, of Gnadenhutten, was appointed County Treasurer for one year.  Next day, Thomas Hamilton was made County Collector, in lieu of township collectors, to gather in the first Tuscarawas County tax, which amounted to one hundred and sixty dollars and thirteen cents as assessed.  Taverns in New Philadelphia were licensed for seven dollars per year, at Lawrenceville for six dollars, and elsewhere in the County limits at four dollars.  Ferries were licensed at one dollar and fifty cents each, and legalized to charged sixpence for carrying a man, and two shillings a loaded team, across the river.  Henry Davis was appointed Sheriff and John Romig, Coroner, to serve when approved bonds were given.


     Commissioners appointed by the State had been, in 1808, assigned the selection of an appropriate site for the seat of justice of the newly-located County of Tuscarawas.  Knisely called attention to his claims and the advantages offered by his lands.  He was successful over other parties, and the Commissioners decided upon New Philadelphia as the site.  The record shows that Elijah Wadsworth and Eli Baldwin were allowed thirty-two dollars for rendering this service.  The law had located a town where were a few log cabins scattered round, some prostrate trees, and all the rest a waste of wilds.


     Location being settled, the town was then surveyed by John Wells, of Somerset County, Pennsylvania.  On the 23d of April, 1808, John Knisely donated to the County one hundred lots, chosen at random; one hundred and sixty acres of land, and one block each, to the German, English and Moravian Societies, for cemetery purposes; and one lot each to the Germans and English, upon which to build school-houses.  Both the County and Mr. Knisely were the better financially for this grant.  August 22, 1808, Philip Tracy, appointed public crier, sold ten of these donated lots at public auction for a total of one hundred and twenty-four dollars.


     During 1807-8 a house built by George Leininger served for the double use of hotel and court-house, the courts being held there until the erection of a court-house, a year or two later.  This house was located on what is now the corner of Broadway and Front Streets.
     In the year 1809 the first court-house was erected.  It was a log building, located very nearly on the site of the present structure, and served for the triple purpose of court-house, church, and jail; the latter feature being a dungeon-like excavation, into which the prisoner descended.
     At the time when Hull surrendered, several persons were murdered on the Mohican, near mansfield.  Soon after, three Indians, reputed hostile, arrived at Goshen.  A. McConnell, captain of rangers, was requested to take them, and speedily accomplished his purpose.
     The people were almost frenzied at the Indian murders; and when it was reported that strange Indians had been arrested and confined in the New Philadelphia jail, a Captain Mullen organized a band of forty men, armed with rifles, at or near Wooster, and started to dispatch them.  Henry Laffer, Esq., sheriff, hailed John C. Wright, a lawyer, riding in from Steubenville on business and told him why Mullen's men were coming.  "Why don't you beat an alarm?" said Wright.  "The citizens would side with the company."  "Will no one stand by you to prevent murder?"  "Wright, Laffer, and McConnell met the military company at the tavern door.  The former remonstrated with the men upon the cowardice of the intended act, and several men left the ranks.  The angry captain moved his men towards the jail.  The three defenders preceding them, ordered the Indians to lie down against the front wall, while they stood with sword, pistol, and the third unarmed, in front.
     They held their ground with firmness and success; the citizens were spectators, and the Indians were kept confined till taken by General A. Shane to Zanesville, thence to Seneca, and there discharged.  When on their way they narrowly escaped death by poison at the hands of Shane's men at Newark, so deeply were the prejudices of the whites seated against the Indian.


     While Leininger's log tavern was the place for holding court, a log stable was used for a jail, the stalls serving as cells for prisoners.  Two young lawyers having engaged in an altercation, received a severe reprimand from the presiding judge.
     A stalwart frontiersman, clad in a red flannel shirt, and standing among the auditors in the room, which enjoyed a double bar, was delighted with the judicial lecture and elevated in feeling by practice at the other bar.  He expressed his appreciation by interrupting the judge, who was cross-eyed, by calling out, "Give it to 'em, old gimlet eyes!"  "Who is that?" asked the judge.  "It's this 'ere old hoss!"  responded the owner of the flannel shirt, advancing, proud of notice, and standing erect.  The judge promptly called out, in dry, nasal tone, "Sheriff, take that hold hoss, put him in the stable, and see that he is not stolen before morning."
     The present brick court-house was erected in the year 1819, and remodeled in 1868.  It presents a quaint appearance with its upward-sloping roof from each of its four sides, and surmounted by a church-like steeple.  It is unfitted for the present County business, and will doubtless soon give way to one accordant with the times and needs of the people.  A long row of single-story offices extends northward from the court-house, and are convenient to the access of those on business.


     The most attractive edifice to meet the stranger's eye in New Philadelphia is the engine-house, erected in 1871, at a cost of twenty-two thousand dollars.  The building is two-storied, the lower story containing a fine steamer, the upper being used as a town-hall.


     September 10, 1825, the mail-carrier from Freeport to Coshocton - a boy named Cartmell - was shot upon his road and killed.  A quiet man, named Johnson, was the first to reach the scene and first to spread the tale.  He narrowly escaped trial for the crime by identifying a young man named Funston as the guilty party.  Funston was tried in November, confessed his crime to Judge Patrick, and was executed December 30, on an elevation west of New Philadelphia, in what is now called Allentown.  The religious exercise were by Rev. P. Williams, the execution by Sheriff W. M. Blake.


     We have not far to trace the stream of Tuscarawas County's time to reach the sources of present standing, and hope the current may deepen, like its namesake river, till it blends its destiny proudly, as an ally of Ohio, - a noble member of the sisterhood of sovereign States.
     Christian Deardorff constructed the first grist- and saw-mill on Sugar Creek, half a mile from Dover, in 1805.
     About the year 1807, Gabriel Cryder erected the first distillery, at a point three miles west of New Philadelphia.
     At Gnadenhtten, in 1808, Conrad Westhoffer, receiving license, began the business of ferrying man and beast across the bridgeless Tuscarawas.
     The first school-house erected in Tuscarawas County was composed of light logs, and Daniel Black is credited with being the first of many school-masters which this County's people have employed.  The house was built and school taught in 1806.  Two years later a small frame was built, not far from the site of the present jail.
     In the absence of settled pastors, the visits of traveling missionaries were warmly welcomed, and houses thrown upon with old-time hospitality.  The Rev. John Stauch, from Fayette County, Pennsylvania, was the pioneer minister of the Lutheran Church, who cross the Ohio River, and, threading the wild Indian paths, fording and swimming the bridgeless streams, and wading through mud and mire to his horse's knees, visited and preached in their cabins, baptized their children, and confirmed their youth.  Rev. Jacob Rhine was the second preacher for the scattered settlers; and in January, 1815, the Rev. Abraham Snyder came to New Philadelphia, and became the first settled Lutheran pastor.  He organized a church, erected a house, and it was used for school by week and church on Sunday.
     The first church in New Philadelphia was built by Lutherans in 1833.  In 1831, the churches of Tuscarawas County were the old log Moravian of Sharon and Gnadenbutten, a frame Presbyterian in Sanderville, log Union Churches on Broad Run and Crooked Run, and log United Lutheran and Evangelical Reformed Church in Shanesville.
     The first marriage recorded was that of Conrad Reghart and Elizabeth Good, on the 17th of July, 1808.  The rites were celebrated by Abraham Mosser, Justice of the Peace of Lawrence Township.  Two others occurred during the same year, - William Carr to Catharine Good, November 21, 1808, and Isaac Pattees to Catharine Raiser, on November 13, 1808.
     The first child born at New Philadelphia was Joseph Stout, in about 1808, and the first death a child from the family of Nathan Pettycord.
The "Chronicle" was the oldest paper, and Judge Patrick was its editor.  The first goods sold in New Philadelphia were brought on by Gabriel Cryder, in 1808.  The first store in Dover was kept by Christian Deardorff and Charles Slingiuff.  In 1825, Henderson kept the first tavern.
     The first religious meeting held in Dover was a prayer-meeting, attended by Gabriel Cryder, William Coulter, big Billy Butt, and others.  The first regular Methodist preacher was Rev. James Watts; the circuit which he traveled was computed to be four hundred and seventy-five miles around.  One of the first classes was at Guines Creek, a name without a present place.  It was on Sugar Creek, and known as the Downey farm.
built the first dam across the Tuscarawas, and constructed a grist mill on the eastern sicde, by means of which he made much profit.  John Beyer was the first regular produce dealer in Dover, and his first essay was two flat-boats loaded with wheat, bought at thirty-five to fifty cents per bushel, floating them down the rivers to New Orleans, and taking all summer for the trip.  The first canal-boat built and sailed from Dover was the "Growler," the work of George Wallick.  Jacob Blickensderfer, Sr., was the first toll collector on the canal, and held the office twelve or fourteen years.
     In 1842, the Dover Manufacturing Company was organized, and built what is now called the "Calico Ditch."  It was a joint-stock company.  Welty & Hayden built their mill, and the mill and ditch were finished in 1844.
     The three first Justices of the Peace for the County, in 1808, were Boaz Walton, Salem Township; James Douglass, Oxford Township; and Abrahama Knisely, of Goshen Township.  The first Associate Judges were John Heckwellder, Augusta Carr, and Christian Deardorff. Common Please Judge was William Wilson.
     The First Grand Jury - As the first to sit in council to arbitrate, in reason, the differences of their fellows, we give the names of Samuel Mosser, Godfrey Hoff, Gideon Jennings, John Herbaugh, Abraham Knisely, George Stiffler, Isaac Deardorff, James Smiley, Lewis Knaus, John Kuaua, Abraham Romig, Joseph Everett, Philip Ziegler, and Conrad Roth.
The First Petit Jury - The first petit jury recorded in a criminal case in Tuscarawas County was composed of persons whose names were Aaron Corey, Tobias Shunk, John Baltzley, Philip Itskin, John Uhrich, John Bexver, Boaz Walton, Charles Hill, James Welsh, Jacob Wintach, John Junkins, John Romig, James Carr, and William Muliain.


     On the 28th of August, 1809, the first criminal indictment recorded was tried before the Associate Judges.  David Walgamot, of Oxford Township, was charged with having sold three quarts of whisky to John Jacobs, an Indian, for four deer-skins, contrary to law.  The above-named jury found Walgamot guilty, and the Court decided that the skins to be returned to Jacobs, and five dolalsr and costs to the State be paid by Wolgamot.
The will of Martin Keller, Sr., was number one on record of the first Court of Common Pleas, held at New Philadelphia, April 24, 1809.  The next succeeding bears date of April, 1811, and is a simple Christian statement of the wishes regarding his estate of Samuel Mosser.


     The lands of Tuscarawas chiefly embrace two classes, Congressional and United States military.  Congress lands, so called because not otherwise disposed of, and sold to buyers by the immediate officers of Government, aggreeably to acts of Congress.  The regular survey of these lands is into townships six miles square.  Military lands were so named because appropriated by act of Congress of 1796 to satisfy soldiers' claims.  These lands were surveyed by Government into townships five miles square; then these were subdivided into quarters, two and a half miles square, and containing four thousand acres each.  Some of these quarter-township tracts were afterwards divided into one-hundred-acre lots, to accommodate one-hundred-acre warrants.  The Moravian grants have been alluded to; the four-thousand acre tracts were partly unsurveyed - simply divided by proprietors as purchasers desired.  The lands are mixed in origin and very irregular.
     The first recorded entry of Tuscaraws territory was made in Zanesville on the 25th of July, 1803; it was made by Martin Shuster, a soldier of the Revolution.  It consisted of one hundred acres, just west of the site of old Fort Laurens, and is now owned by George F. Fisher.  The first recorded entry since the organization of the County was of a deed given by John Knisely to David Ghasky, for lots 550 and 551 in New Philadelphia, for a consideration of thirty dollars.  In the year 1800 there were eleven entries of four-thousand-acre tracts, the disposal of which will be spoken of in the histories of townships, together with the proprietors of towns and villages.









     Elijah Meese, one of a family of twelve children, and son of George Meese, was born in 1808.  Father and son, in October, 1831, aged then forty-eight and twenty-three years respectively, weighted two hundred and twelve pounds each.  They came to Tuscarawas County the last of October, cutting the brush for some distance to clear the way for the first four=horse wagon that ever found a way to the farthest bounds of Old Town Valley, the two men being the first settlers of that region.  In 1874, Elijah Meese and James Butt were the only men still residing upon their lands of 1831, in a ride of twenty-two miles between Comerstown and New Philadelphia, of all the settlers there in that year.  In November, 1873, Elijah Meese  weighed four hundred and seven pounds.  He is a curiosity in size, a patriot, and a temperance man since Polk's election.

1812 and 1862.

     Daniel Christy was a soldier in the two wars of independence and unity.  In the latter conflict he was invaluable as a nurse in hospital.  He loved the stories of the camp and field, and had one strong desire, - a soldier's burial.  Twenty-two boys in blue honored his desire;  the dirge-like music thrilled the hearts of listeners; the volleys echoed over his remains; the tribute of respect was paid, and Father Christy left to slumber till the final roll-call.






     No history of Tuscarawas County would be satisfactory to its citizens without its chapter explanatory of its Moravians, its Omish, its Tunkers, its Mennonites, and its Zoarites.  In other counties different nationalities ahve strong representation, but upon the river valley live the children of the German, inheriting the genuine worth, the pride of character, the plain simplicity of their ancestors.
     Religious persecution for belief in different theories has done evil to bring about much good.  The Puritan, the Quaker, the Catholic in colonial days are duplicated in the sects of Tuscarawas.  The Moravians left their Bohemian and Moravian homes for the freedom of Zinzendorf's estate in Saxony, and thence "sought afar freedom" a nature's shrine" to worship God."  Sense of duty sent the missionaries among the Delawares; kinship and tales of cheap and fertile lands drew after them their brethren.  The Omish and the Tunkers are opposed to war.  The latter permit no razor's stroke upon the beard; the women wear no ornament.  Ministers elect are chosen by ballot and allowed no regular salary; each member gives as he wills, and not illiberally.  They have a church four miles east of New Philadelphia, at Mount Tabor.  Feet-washing is a custom.  The Mennonites, a people famed for hospitality, are a worthy class, whose fine farms in Sugar Creek Township betoken their agricultural skill.  Two hundred Germans left their homes in Wurtemberg in 1817 to find a free home in America.  Joseph M. Bimeler, a teacher, acting as their agent, bought for them on credit, in the year 1818, from Godfrey Haga, General Thoams Bonde, and Abraham Mosser, five thousand five hundred acres in Lawrence township, to which these poor people removed in December and January following.  Bark huts and log shanties were erected and winter hardships endured.  They still tell with gratitude of a kindness shown by some stranger in sending them provision.  Alone they failed; combining, they succeeded.  All property is held in common.  Their temporal affairs are conducted by an agent and three trustees, who serve three years, one elected annually by votes of both sexes.  In 1832 the cholera and kindred ills swept off some fifty persons, materially reducing their numbers.  Their property is valued at half a million; it consists of nine thousand acres of land, mills, furnaces, and factory.  Their village is small; substantial and comfortable houses, innocent of paint, compose it.  Women, as well as men, go to the fields to labor.  A laundry, bakery, and nursery; one of each answers for all.  Economy of the closest sort is practiced; for as Kreutzner, landlord of their inn and adviser in temporal and spiritual matters, once remarked, in broken English, when starting on a bee-line for a decaying apple cast by an improvident stranger into the street, "Saving make rich."  Bimeler has passed away, and his successor; but the present officers are true and honest men, - steadfast in the course which gave them riches, virtues, and supremacy.






























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