A Part of Genealogy Express

Welcome to
Washington County, Ohio
History & Genealogy


History of Belpre, Washington Co., Ohio
By C. E. Dickinson, D. D.
Formerly Pastor of Congregational Church
Author of the History of First Congregational Church
Marietta, Ohio
Published for the Author by
Globe Printing & Binding Company
Parkersburg, West Virginia



Oliver Rice LoringDr. Franklin P. Ames - Hon. A. W. Glazier - George Augustus Howe -
George Howe Bower - Mrs. Susan D. (Williams) Dickinson - Mrs. Nancy Armstrong -
John Kenneth Christopher - Rev. Cyrus Byington - Herbert S. Curtis - Old Organ -
Present Duties

Page 222


     THIS account of Mr. Loring is taken from Williams' History of Washington County, page 524 Daniel Loring, the father of the Loring family of this county emigrated from Massachusetts to Ohio, during the early period of settlement.  He had married, at Sudbury, Massachusetts, in "Way Side Inn," a Miss Howe, one of the family which for generations had presided at that historic place, now celebrated in American poetry.  She died before the settlement of Marietta, leaving three children who accompanied their father to the west, viz:  Israel, Charlotte, (wife of A. W. Putnam) and Ezekiel.  He married for his second wife, Mrs. Rice of Belpre township, and by her had four children, the youngest of whom was Oliver Rice, whose portrait appears above.  Daniel Loring  was the head of the church at Sudbury, and later coming to Belpre was commonly known as "Priest Loring."  He was one of the founders of Universalism in Belpre and was also prominent among the early Masons.  He held the office of Justice of the Peace for nearly two decades.  This was at a period when the best and most intelligent men were elected to the magistracy.  The death of Daniel Loring occurred the sickly season of 1822-3.
     Oliver Rice Loring was born June 17, 1790.  During his youth he received the best instruction the neighborhood afforded, which at the present day would not be considered more than that of a secondary school.  He was sent to Athens a short time to "complete his course" in grammar, Arithmetic, Geography and other common branches.  He married for his first wife Fanny Warren and settled on the homestead.  She died in 1827, and the following year he married Orinda Howe who was born in 1799 and died in 1889.  Mr. Loring held the Office of Associate Judge of the Court of Common Pleas and was highly complimented by older members of the bar as an officer.  He held the office

[Pg. 223]
of Ensign of Militia about the time of the War of 1812, and at various times local township offices.  He was for many years a Whig leader in that end of the County and was one of the council which frequently met in Joseph Holdens Store in Marietta, and was sardonically designated by John Brophy and his Democratic friends as "Joe Holden's Sinate."
     Judge Loring was a man of strong sense, and always had a certain influence in the community.  He was reserved in his manners, and never sought notoriety.  He died November 21, 1873.


     Dr. FRANKLIN P. AMES, son of Cyrus and Sarah P. Ames, was born in Belpre, November 6th, 1852.  He was descended from Cyrus and Mary Ames who settled in Belpre about 1800.  Dr. Ames was a pupil in Belpre Academy before the establishment of the High School, and graduated from Marietta College in 1877.  He devoted several years to teaching in Belpre Village High School and in other places, and secured a medical Diploma from Cleveland Homeopathic College.  He practiced medicine in Belpre in connection with his farm, though the latter has claimed most of his attention in later years.  He was an intelligent and enterprising citizen and held a number of important township and county offices.  He was active in the Little Hocking Grange and a Charter member of the Knights of Pythias Lodge of Belpre Village.  He was a member and generous supporter of the Universalist Church, also one of the organizers and most faithful supporters of the Belpre Historical Society.  When he learned that a History of Belpre was being prepared he was very much interested in its publication and knowing of the present great advance in the cost of both material and labor he donated $100.00 to aid in it s publication.  Without this timely aid the book would probably not have been published at the present time, perhaps never.  The people of b
Belpre owe a lasting tribute of gratitude to this public spirited citizen who died July 3rd, 1918 before he had seen this book except in manuscript.


     HON. A. W. GLAZIER was born and reared on a farm near Amesville, Athens County, Ohio.  He was educated in the common schools and select schools of that time and

[Pg. 224]
was for some time a teacher.  While a young man he engaged for three years in general merchandising at Urbana, Ohio.  About this time he married Miss Mary Wyatt Hide of Millfield, Athens County, and settled on a farm a half mile south of the village of Amesville.  Soon after this he united with the Presbyterian Church and was elected an Elder, which office he held until his removal to Belpre in 1876.  IN Belpre he became an efficient member of the Congregational Church of which he was deacon, respected and beloved, during the remainder of his life.  At one time he engaged for a few years in manufacturing but continued to manage his farm and considered himself a farmer.  He held various official positions at various times, Justice of the Peace, land appraiser, member of the Board of Ohio University at Athens, and represented as a faithful and intelligent legislator.  He was a man of strict integrity and sterling character and always interested and active in every movement which promoted a high standard of character.  He was active in promoting temperance and every thing that improved the community.  Oct. 31st, 1901, Mr. and Mrs. Glazier celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage at which time a host of friends expressed to them their congratulations and good wishes.  For ten years he was incapacitated for active duties from an attack of paralysis.  His mind was still active and he was a wise counselor in both civil and church matters.  He was tenderly cared for by his wife and children until his death in 1908.  Mr. Glazier survived him for several years.  She died in 1914.


     GEORGE AUGUSTUS HOWE, a well-known and influential citizen of Washington County was born in Belpre, Oct. 1, 1838, on the old Howe homestead where he has spent his life.  His grandfather, Captain Perley Howe, was a native of Killingsley , Conn. and was one of the early settlers in Belpre.  He was married Persis, daughter of General Rufus Putnam, in 1798.  He was commissioned Captain of the First Brigade, Third Division, of washington County, Militia, in 1803.  At the time of Aaron Burr's Conspiracy his Company good guard, and Captain Howe was a juror in

[Pg. 225]
the case.  He was a teacher for many years, first in the old Stockade at Marietta, and later at Belpre, and often called "Master Howe."  He was one of the founders of the Belpre Congregational Church and the first Deacon, an office he held until his death in 1855, at the age of eighty-eight.  His son, Rufus William Howe, was born and spent his life on the Howe farm.  In his youth he attended Marietta Academy and boarded in the family of his grand-father Gen. Rufus Putnam.  He married Lucy Eastman in 1833.  She died Sept. 22, 1834.  He married for his second wife, Polly Proctor of Watertown, who was the mother of four children: viz. Joseph Perley, George, Augustus, Rufus William and Persis Putnam.  He was a faithful member of the Congregational Church and being gifted as a musician he served as chorister forty-four years.  He died July 24th, 1865.
     George Augustus Howe, the second son of Rufus William, is the only member of the family now living.  Besides the home schools he was educated in Amesville Academy.  Plans were perfected for him to enter the law office of Judge Greene at Marietta, but the untimely death of the latter and the failing health of his father made it necessary for him to abandon this cherished hope, and he entered into partnership with his father on the farm.
     When President Abraham Lincoln called for Volunteers at the beginning of the Civil War, 1861, Mr. Howe first entered the service, as a member of the Ohio National Guards, Company A, 46th Regiment, and served on guard duty for three months, after which he was honorably discharged.  When President Lincoln issued another call for 200,000 men he again left his crops and aged farther, and became a member of Co. H, 148 Regiment, Ohio Volunteers, serving faithfully as Corporal, until honorably discharged, Sept. 14, 1864.  Only four of one hundred and ten men in his company still survive.  Mr. Howe was married to Charlotte Ann Wyatt, of Amesville, Oct. 25, 1865.  To them were born five children, Charlotte Wyatt, Mary Emily, Persis Putnam, also Blanche and Jessie who died in infancy; the others still survive.  Mrs. Howe died Nov. 5, 1878 and several years later Mr. Howe married Mary Stella Vance Chapman of College Hill, Hamilton County, Ohio, who was very active in the work of the Congregational church and president of its Missionary Society

[Pg. 226]
until her death in 1904.  Mr. Howe has been a life long and active member and supporter of the Congregational Church and served as one of the Trustees until failing health prevented him from performing this service.
     For several years he has been a "shut in" during most of the Winter month but he has a wide reputation for never failing cheerfulness and genuine old time hospitality, and is always interested and willing to aid in whatever makes for the betterment of his fellow men.  Mr. Howe died Aug. 10, 1919, while this book was in press.


     GEORGE HOWE BOWER, was born Sept. 19, 1892 in Belpre, Ohio, at the home of the grandfather, George A. Howe; and this first home, was ever the dearest spot on earth to him, loving the old farm with a true affection.  He found keen enjoyment in everything connected with it and being a lover of nature, he "found tongues in trees; books in the running brooks; Sermons in stones; and good in everything."
     It was in this home that the parents early had the little golden haired boy baptized and consecrated his life to the Master.  While quite young he became a follower of Christ, and united with the Presbyterian Church at Sistersville, W. Va.  Later when he came to make his home at Parkersburg, W. Va., he united with the Presbyterian Church of that city.
     He received most of his education in the Sistersville schools, graduating from the High School with high honors, at the age of eighteen years.
     His aspiration and plans were to continue his education at Harvard University; but the great Reaper scarcely permitted the blossom of youth to burst into the flower of manhood, and he went to be with the Great Teacher.
     His was a wonderfully active mind, and he was, unusually well informed on the vital topics of the day, the best in literature art, and science.
     He was very fond, also, of the biographies of our greatest writers, thinkers, and inventors, reading only the worth-while books and magazines, those which contain food for thought.

[Pg. 227]
     After graduation he was employed by the Standard Oil Company.  He had a natural aptitude and capacity for business affairs and had his life been spared, he would without doubt, have climbed to the greatest heights of success.
     He took his initiatory degree in Masonry at the earliest possible opportunity - the day after he attained the age of twenty-one - when he became a member of Mt. Olivet Lodge, No. 3, A. F. and A. M. of Parkersburg, W. Va.
     This seemed fitting, since his great, great, great grand father, General Rufus Putnam, was the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge in the State of Ohio, at Marietta, Ohio, and his father, MR. E. O. Bower was Grand Commander of the Knights Templar of W. Va.
     His maternal grandmother was a descendant of Col. John Wyatt of Revolutionary fame.
     His maternal grandfather George A. Howe, is one of the leading citizens of Washington County and a descendant of two of the oldest families in the Ohio Valley numbering among his ancestors, General Rufus Putnam, Father of Ohio, and Perley Howe, who was one of the jurors who tried Aaron Burr for treason.
     It was no wonder then, since he had more than proved himself worthy of such noble ancestry, that his heart burned with patriotism at the call of President Wilson for Volunteers in our recent world's conflict, and was only kept from enlisting, by ill health.
     Endowed with a cheerful, generous, forgiving disposition, he made hosts of friends, and people in every walk of life, received the little helpful favors and sunny smiles which smoothed out many rough places in life, without his being conscious that he had done anything unusual.
     "It's doing the little "extras."
          The things we're not asked to do;
     The favors that help one's brother,
          To trust in God and you.
     It's doing, I say, the "extras,"
          The things not looked for, you know,
     That will bring us our King's kind notice,
          A "well done, as on we go."

[Pg. 228]

     Coming in the very morning of life, and cutting short a career that had every promise of marked usefulness and success, his sudden failure in health and his death were a crushing sorrow to his hosts of friends to whom his memory will be filled with the fragrance which arises from the recollection of many loving deeds.
"We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs; he most lives
Who thinks most, feels the noblest,
Acts the best."     


     Mrs. Susan D. (Williams) Dickinson was born at Charlemont, Franklin County, Massachusetts, Dec. 27, 1836.  She spent her childhood in a country home and was educated in Shellburne Falls Academy and Mount Holyoke Female Seminary.  She taught several years in Massachusetts and in Illinois and was married to Rev. C. E. Dickinson, the compiler of this book, Oct. 1st, 1863.  For more than half a century she has been a helpmate indeed in his work in the following churchesFirst Congregational, Oak Park, Ill., First Congregational, Elgin Ills. First Congregational, Marietta, Ohio, First Congregational, Windham, Ohio, Columbia Congregational, Cincinnati, Ohio and First Congregational, Belpre, Ohio.  In all these places she has been a leader in Ladies Missionary and other societies.  In Marietta she was president of a Chautauq2ua Circle, and graduated from that institution in 1889.  She was a citizen of Belpre for eight years from 1906 to 1914.  She was a leader in the Ladies Missionary Society of the Congregational Church and also an eminently successful Adult Bible Class teacher in the Sunday School.
     She also furnished several valuable essays for the Woman's Reading Club.  She and her husband have resided in Marietta, since 1914.  At the ripe age of eighty-three years she is still a comfort and inspiration to her family and friends.


     MRS. NANCY ARMSTRONG is of Scotch-Irish descent and was born in the Western part of Pennsylvania in 1841.  She removed with her parents to Marietta, Ohio in 1854, and

[Pg. 229]
was educated in Marietta High School.  She taught for some time in the schools of that city, and in 1866 accepted the position of Principal in Belpre Academy, where she continued until the organization of Belpre High School.  In 1873 she was joined in marriage with William Armstrong who had been employed in the United States Commissary department during the Civil War, and later accepted a position in the First National Bank of Parkersburg, West Va., with which institution he continued forty-five years; Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong have lived all this time in Belpre, strongly attached to the village and people and specially to the Congregational Church of which they are active and esteemed members.  For most of these years Mrs. Armstrong has been a teacher in the Sunday School and is specially gifted as an Adult Class teacher.  She was one of the organizers and still an active member of the Belpre Womans Reading Club," of which she was a president for several years.  She is also an active member of the Belpre Historical Society.  She has made a life long study of science and literature and the results of her extensive  reading are a great assistance in the work of these organizations.  She is an active member of the Missionary Society and other organizations in her own church, and is also interested and willing to aid other churches and benevolent enterprises which benefit humanity.  We hope her useful life may continue many yeas an example and inspiration to the younger portion of the Community.


     CORPORAL JOHN KENNETH CHRISTOPHER, son of Charles S. and Flora Spencer Christopher, was born July 15th 1894, and was killed in battle, Nov. 1, 1918 at Argonne Forest in the last great drive of the European War.  He enlisted June 13, 1817 at Wheeling, West Virginia, and was transferred to Philadelphia Marine Barracks for training.  Five weeks later he was on the way to France where he was enrolled in the 5th Regiment of Marines.  Feb. 15, 1918 he went into the trenches with his regiment which won an enviable reputation in the battles of Chateau Thierry, June 6th, and also June 21-26, at Soissons July 18-19.  St. Mihiel Sector, September 12-16, Argonne Woods, November 1.  He was wounded in September and was in hospital for a time, but returned to the regiment in season to be

[Pg. 230]
in the fight at Argonne where he gave his life as a sacrifice on the altar of freedom.  Corporal Christopher was born and spent his youth in the beautiful Ohio Valley, and was educated in the Belpre Schools.  As a lad he was generous, self sacrificing and courageous, and gained many warm friends who anticipated for him a successful career.  He became a member of the Congregational Church of Belpre, about three years before enlistment.  In the Sunday School he belonged to a class known as Boy Scouts under the care of Miss Persis P. Howe.  Of this class more than twenty were in some branch of service during the war.  Letters received from Corporal Christopher indicated that his Christian character was maintained and strengthened by his war experience.  He was one of the first men in Belpre to enlist and the first to give his life.  Millions of young men were sacrificed during this terrible war and there is mourning in millions of homes, and yet the sorrow is as great in each individual home as though they were the only sufferers, and Belpre should as tenderly cherish the memory of her martyrs as though no other community had been afflicted.
     February 16th a very interesting and impressive memorial service was held in the Congregational church, and roses and poppies will probably continue to bloom over an unknown grave "Somewhere in France."
     Corporal John Kenneth Christopher and Frank Browning were Belpre's two martyrs in this war.


     In 1820 a Company of missionary colonists and teachers, on their way by boat to their mission work among the Choctaw Indians stopped for a time at Marietta where the people became very much interested in them and made generous contributions for their work.  This company was led by Rev. Cyrus Byington who commenced active life as a lawyer but soon consecrated himself to the work of a Christian minister and prepared for service as a Foreign Missionary.  When this company started down the river in their flat boats and passed Belpre Mr. George Dana, Sr., knowing their business wrote in his journal as follows:
     "The Missionary Boat has arrived from Marietta on her way to the Choctaw Nation.  The plan of enlightening

[Pg. 231]
the Savages is certainly philanthropic, to say nothing of the importance of giving them the gospel.  They are an injured people; have been driven from their rightful possessions by the whites; have became as it were a remnant that will soon be extinguished unless arrested in their downward career; the plan of Missions and schools has been devised for that purpose.  Human generosity and justice conspire to dictate its formation.  As they become informed they will become amalgamated with the whites, - be brought under the mild sway of our laws, and become a happy and useful people and be an accession to the nation.  And who that has experienced the influence of the gospel would not rejoice in assisting to send it to this dark and benighted people?  May prosperity attend in Mission."  Mr. Dana did not know what influence these missionaries were to exert upon this family during the coming years.
     Mr. Byington continued this missionary service for nearly half a century, occasionally visiting Marietta and Belpre, where he spoke in the churches and people continued their interest in the work.  In 1827 he was married to Miss Sophia Nye of Marietta who for forty years shared with him their arduous and self denying work.
     In 1852 their daughter, Lucy Byington, born on the Missionary field, was married to Dea George Dana, Jr., and spent the remainder of her life a faithful wife and mother in the Dana home.  When her father and mother retired from the Mission after the Civil War in 1866, they came to Belpre and made their home for a time with this daughter.  In 1867 Mr. Byington published reminiscences of his work in the New York Observer from which we make the following quotation:
     "We left Marieta with our hearts greatly refreshed and encouraged in our undertaking.  We had heard of the Blennerhassett Island, named for the wealthy gentleman who settled on it, and built his fine palace and out houses there, and who has visited to his ruin by Aaron Burr.  We have read Mr. Wirts description of the Island, the house and the family, a description rarely surpassed by our gifted writers.  When we passed along we saw his seat in ruins, burned down, the chimneys still landing.  Little could I know or think while gazing on these ruins on our way to the Choctaws, that forty-six yeas after I should retire,

[Pg. 232]
wearied and worn, to find a home, a quiet room for prayer and study, on the banks of the Ohio and adjacent to this same Island, and my own daughter, her husband and their children there to welcome me, feed me, nourish and strengthen me, in the hope that I might do a little more for our blessed Savior.  It is even so.  It was in that room I revised the translation and reconstructed and wrote out the Choctaw grammar."
     This grammar was published for its literary merit by the "Pensylvania Historical and Philosophical Society."  He also prepared a very complete Choctaw Dictionary which was published by the "Smithsonian Institute."
     The fact that the Indians in this country have adopted the English as their written language has prevented the continued use of these books, but they will perpetuate an extinct dialect and are a valuable monument of self-denying missionary labor.  In Andover Theological Seminary Mr. Byington was associated with Luther Bingham, Pliny Fisk, Levi Parsons, and others who became eminent in Foreign and Home Missionary Work.  He was eminent for his scholarship and devoted piety.  A friend wrote of him: "Brother Byington's raiment seemed perfumed with spiritual myrrh, and, like Harlan Page, wherever he went his theme was Jesus and his great Salvation."
     Aided by his devoted wife, he reduced the Choctaw language to writing and published in it several books including portions of the Scriptures.
     He received into the Churches nine hundred Christian Choctaws, and to all of these he was a Spiritual father.  After retiring to Belpre he purchased and removed to a home in which he died Dec. 31, 1868.
     Mrs. Sophia Nye Byington spent her last years with her daughter in the Dana home where she died Feb. 4, 1880.  Both were buried in Rockland Cemetery.  This Providential connection of Belpre and Foreign Missions is interesting and should be remembered by future generations.


     HERBERT SPENCER CURTIS was born in Newbury, Ohio, June 6, 1867, and was the son of Austin L. and Betha Putnam Curtis.  He was a descendant of two of the pioneer

[Pg. 233]
families of Belpre Township who had a leading part in the formation of a State in the wilderness.  He selected dentistry as his chosen profession in life and opened an office in Parkersburg, West Virginia where he had a successful practice for about eighteen years.  He gave his service freely and generously to many deserving children particularly those in the Children's Home of Parkersburg.  He resided several years in Belpre Village where he was a public spirited citizen and gave an earnest support to every enterprise which benefitted the community.
     He was married in 1904 to Bernice A. Smith of Belpre to whom two sons were born, John Austin, and Henry Starr.
     Dr. Curtis
was a charter member of the Belpre Masonic Lodge No. 609, and also a member of Parkersburg Lodge No. 198, B. P. O. Elks.  On July 8th, 1919, Dr. Curtis and his son John Austin were instantly killed on a grade crossing at Little Hocking.  They were on their way in an automobile to the Curtis farm in Newbury which they frequently visited.  As there were no witnesses to the accident it cannot be described.  It was a great shock to the whole community and a loud call for better safeguards at our railway grade crossings.
     John Austin, eldest son of Herbert S. and Bernice A. Curtis, was born in Parkersburg, May 20, 1906.  He was a quiet, lovable boy, a favorite with his companions, a diligent scholar and an omniverous reader.  AT the time of his death he was a pupil in the Parkersburg Junior High School and gave promise of a bright future career.


     December 25th, 1844, "The Ladies Sewing and Education Society" of the First Congregational Church of Marietta decided that they would devote their energies to the work of raising money to purchase a pipe organ for the church.  This gave an impulse to their work for the next three years.  In addition to their regular semi-monthly meetings they indulged in suppers, fairs, and concerts.  They purchased the organ of Mr. L. P. Bailey of Zanesville, Ohio in 1845, though the last payment was not made until the following year.  The amount paid at that time with the

[Pg. 234]
help of about one hundred dollars donated by the gentlemen is given as follows:

For the organ and all the expense attending it, freight traveling expenses, organist from Zanesville, etc. $825
Expenses on the church, whitewashing, painting etc. 35
For presents, organ blower, etc. 40

     This organ gave great satisfaction to the church and congregation and was used for forty-three years or until 1889 when another was purchased.  It was thought by the members of the Marietta Church that the organ was still capable of furnishing music which would be helpful in Christian worship and they donated it to the Congregational Church of  Belpre where it has rendered very acceptable service for nearly thirty years and is still in use.
     If not the oldest it certainly is one of the oldest church organs in Southern Ohio and deserves a place in this history.


     The early history of Belpre embraced a period when individuals and families removed here to establish homes and develop the resources of he land, that they might occupy it as farms; as a result an agricultural community was developed and the tide of emigration  continued until the land was cleared of forest trees, fruit orchards planted, and the fields prepared for cultivation.  The time necessarily came when immigration decreased and a little later emigration commenced.  This changing condition is experienced in all farming communities.  With a normal increase in population, there will soon be more boys and girls than can be employed on the farms, and the growing villages and cities will continually need such young men and women as the farms produce.  The introduction of improved farm machinery nearly compensates for the increased labor of intense farming.  As a result of these facts census reports show that the population in rural communities either remains about stationary or decreases.  We know that Belpre was very fortunate in the character of the first settlers who were educated in New England and strengthened in character by the stirring events of our

[Pg. 235]
Revolutionary struggle.  These pioneers were characterized by intelligence, industry, and morality.  While they diligently developed their farms and homes, they were just as faithful and conscientious in establishing schools and churches, by which they so educated their children that when they reached mature years they were prepared to continue the characteristics of their home town whether they remained here or removed to establish homes in other places.  Emigration from Belpre commenced only a few decades after the first settlement and has not only continued until the present but must continue.  In some cases dependents of pioneers have continued to occupy the original farms for several generations, some even to the present time.  In such cases those who remain represent only a single line of the descendants; in most cases many more have removed to other places.  While there may have been an occasional exception, as is likely to be true while the world is so full of temptations, most of these emigrants have been an honor to their families and to their home town.  These men and women have disseminated the sterling principles of the pioneers and of their Belpre homes in hundreds of Communities in various portions of our country.  Almost every branch of business as well as of the various professions are represented by men and women from Belpre.  It is true of a community as of an individual that none can live for itself alone, and so Belpre not only has perpetuated the industry, intelligence and morality of its founders, this work must continue to be carried on by those now active in the affairs of human life.
     It is true we now have an organized village, with a population which is in some measure different from those we usually designate as farmers.  Causes are quite likely to arise in the future which will increase the population and employment of the inhabitants of the village, but this, as also the rural districts, must continue to contribute to other communities some of their most valuable products, namely, men and women, and the character of these must depend very largely upon the homes of their childhood and the schools and churches in which they are educated.  We some times hear persons complain of the heavy burdens imposed upon them to support schools and churches, if any such shall read these pages we would ask them to consider

[Pg. 236]
how much the Belpre of today is indebted not only to the characters of the pioneers but also to the institutions they established and sustained.  Schools and churches caused even greater sacrifices and self denials then than now.
     We, who now enjoy our great privileges, needed the labors and self-denials of our ancestors, and our descendants will just as truly need our self-denials and sacrifices.  Freely we have received , we should freely and willingly give.  As the pioneers of a century ago were laying up treasures for us so we are laying up treasures for these who shall follow us.
     It is also true that the relation of Belpre to Parkersburg should be an inspiration to improve our community.  Ohio and West Virginia are not only adjoining States, they are vitally connected with each other.  During the early days of the Civil War it was claimed by the advocates of the doctrine of "State Rights" that troops from one State had no right to invade the territory of another state, but Governor Dennison of Ohio thought differently, and announced that "He would permit no theory to prevent the defense of our State, but we would defend her where it cost least and accomplished most, above all we will defend her beyond rather than on her borders."  In May, 1862 loyal citizens of Parkersburg appealed to Governor Dennison to send troops to occupy the town against the approaching Confederates, which appeal was successful and effective.  The campaign which won for the Union twenty-four of the Western Counties of Virginia and resulted in the organization of the separate State of West Virginia was accomplished mainly by the militia of Ohio under the lead of General George B. McClellan who was commissioned by Governor Dennison.  During subsequent years Ohio has contributed much to West Virginia.  A Governor and two United States Senators were originally Ohio men.  West Virginia has also made very valuable contributions to Ohio.
     The Parkersburg and Belpre are in different States they are really separated only by an imaginary line.  Their business, social, educational, and religious relations are mutual, and in many respects identical.  Many business and professional men in Parkersburg either were Belpre boys or are descendants of Belpre families.

[Pg. 237]
     Most of the marketable products of Belpre farms and gardens either pass into or through Parkersburg.  A large portion of the trade and banking business of Belpre is done in Parkersburg, and hundreds of people cross the Bridge every day going to and from their business.  When trolley cars run across the bridge, as it is supposed they will soon do, entertainments can be attended by the people of Belpre almost as conveniently as by those of Parkersburg.
     It is evident that these two communities have a mutual dependence on each other, which creates a mutual responsibility for each others welfare and so it is the duty of the people in each place to make the most possible of their possibilities.
     When we consider the improvements which have been made in business, social, family, and individual life, the multiplication of books periodicals, and libraries, the better adaptations of our schools and churches to the needs of
     The world is making progress.  This progress will continue and each one of us should feel some responsibility for it.  If all the people improve the community as a whole will advance.  We there fore counsel every man, woman and child who is permitted to enjoy a good Belpre to aim to be and do something which will help transmit to the next generation a better Belpre.





This Webpage has been created by Sharon Wick exclusively for Genealogy Express  2008
Submitters retain all copyrights

CLICK HERE to Return to
CLICK HERE to Return to