BOUNDARY AND HISTORY
Inasmuch as Xenia City was the county seat, and the nucleus
around which most of the subsequent settlements clustered,
and, by natural sequence, the reservoir from which the
greater portion of the earlier county history has been
drawn, it was, therefore, unavoidably blended with the
absorbed in the same, leaving facts for an individual
history almost as anæmic
as King Psamis's mummy in Cæsar's
reply to Clodius over the Greek girl Zoe. Xenia should
not, therefore, be jealous, or feel slighted, if she loses
the luster of individual history in the more exalted flame
of the initial point of county history.
We may say, with Milton, "That other shape, if shape it
might be called, that shape had none distinguishable" in
corner, line, or angle. Beginning at the northwest
corner, it runs east one-half mile, thence north one-half
mile, thence east about one and one-half mile, thence south
one mile, thence east to the river, thence in a southeast
line one-half mile, turning abruptly southwest; again,
southeast about three miles, then following a line a little
west of south about a mile, then on an irregular line nearly
east, a straight line south one-fourth mile, thence east
bearing south, thence in a general south line bearing west
to about a mile south of the Cleveland and Columbus
Railroad, thence southwest one mile, southeast one-fourth
mile, southwest one-fourth mile, southeast one-half mile,
southwest three fourth of a mile, southeast one-half mile,
thence, with Cæsar's
Creek, about three miles, to L. Peterson's farm,
thence with Cæsar's
Creek, about three miles, to L. Peterson's farm,
thence north three fourths of a mile, thence west, a little
north, three miles, thence northwest one mile, thence north,
about four miles, to the river, thence with the river about
two miles, thence north one mile, west one-half mile, north
one mile, west one-half ile, north one and one-half mile to
place of beginning. These distance may ..............MORE
TO COME LATER.......
John and James
Stephenson are, by some authorities, said to have
settled in this township, a few miles form Xenia, in 1797.
They came from Virginia, and bringing with them the
aristocratic principles of the "Old Dominion," became
influential men. The land on which they settled was
formerly owned by John Paul, and sold to Jos. C.
Vance at the less than one dollar per acre.
According to Mr. Hugh Andrew, who came
from Kentucky to this township in 1804, Matthew Quinn
came from Kentucky in 1803, and settled about six miles
north of Xenia, and was his nearest neighbor when he and his
brother-in-law, Robert Armstrong, a Methodist
preacher, first settled here, near the present site of the
powder ills, in 1804, as above stated.
Ezekiel and David Hopkins came from Virginia,
and located here in 1803. A man by the name of Spencer
came this year, and squatted in Xenia Township, remained a
short time, and removed to another township. James
Clinsey settled in this county, and owned land partly in
this township and partly in Sugar Creek; but this is
doubtful. John Gregg made him a home in the
woods, on the present site of the road from Oldtown to
Clifton. Thomas Simson one-half mile from him
on the right of the present road to Clifton. David
Laughead on Clark's Run, eight miles east of Xenia.
Also, a man by the name of John Ellis, came this year
him. Also, we find John Galloway, James, and
George, on the Little Miami, near the present site of
the powder mills. A short distance this side,
Solomon McCullough cleared out a little patch and put up
a cabin. David Mitchell bought land on Clark's
Run, about eight miles east of Xenia, and lived on it till
he died. The Congregation of Rev. Robert Armstrong
entered into a league to come in a body and form a colony in
the country, and in pursuance of which they sent
commissioners to select a location. Reporting
favorably, they all came, except Thomas Scott and a
man named Milligan, whose wives would not sign the
deed for the conveyance of their land in Kentucky.
Mr. Hughs Andrew, now living in Xenia,
emigrated to this township from Fayette County, Kentucky, in
1804. The country then was in a perfect state of
nature. They route over which he traveled, with a
four-horse team, in company with William Gowdy, who
moved his brother-in-law, Robert Armstrong, was wild
and rough; no road nor trails. Camping out every
night, they made their beds in the forest, with no house but
the canopy of heaven; and while the moon glinted through
waving branches of the forest, they enjoyed that sweet
repose, that perfect health, a clear conscience alone can
give. Mr. Armstrong selected and cleared out a
location near the present site of the powder mills, on the
little Miami. At this time game of all kinds was
abundant, such as deer, turkey, with wolves, wild cats, and
an occasional conger. The Indians made their
headquarters at Roundhead's town, on Stony Creek, and about
the first of May they camped along the Little Miami, and
fished and hunted along the stream. One of their
favorite methods of capturing deer was to place a large bush
in the front part of their bark canoe; immediately back of
this fix a torch light, then pushing their light craft
noiselessly over the water, from behind this screen they
could at night approach within easy shooting distance of the
deer that came down to drink. The strange appearance
of the light floating on the water would attract, and being
very inquisitive animals, they would raise their heads to
gaze upon it, and thus afford the hunter a fair mark, which
he seldom missed. It may be a matter of wonder to some
how a canoe could float on the Little Miami, but in 1804 the
channel was much narrower, deeper, and contained more water,
than now. The church used by Reverend Armstrong
and his congregation was built of round, peeled hickory
logs, without floor or windows.
The first winter buckskin was worn a great deal, which
did very well in dry weather; but when it became wet it was
entirely too affectionate, and when the breaches were hung
up to dry they became so stiff that they required a goodly
amount of beating before you could persuade them to go on,
and then much coaxing to allow you to navigate without
responding in many a pinch between the folds. Mr.
Andrews says he was very anxious to have a buckskin
suit, and persuaded his brother-in-law to get him two skins,
and he hired a tailor to make them up. He wa very
proud of them until they got wet, and then he wished he had
never seen them. One of the first houses in Xenia was
next door east of the present site of the First National
Bank. The first court in Xenia was held in it.
Mr. Andrew remembers it the more distinctly because
an enterprising merchant had a bag of peaches at the root of
an oak tree, and it was here, he says, he got his "first
good fill of peaches in Greene County."
In 1805 Major Morrow settled about eight miles
east of Xenia, in the neighborhood of the Kyles.
William and Robert Kendall settled about
two miles east of Xenia. A shoemaker named
Alexander Ruff was the first man buried in ____
Cemetery. Another man, by the name of Stephen
Winters, built a cabin on Oldtown Run, and in company
with his brother James, lived there for some time.
In the following year James Andrew came from
Nashville, and settled about one-half mile from the powder
ills, on this side of Yellow Springs.
Here there occurs a hiatus in Father Andrew's
memory, and we pass over to 1812, when John Jacobi
came from Pennsylvania, and bought the Oldtown mill.
About this time, also, came the Kendalls. The
little settlement now received accessions from South
Carolina, in the Fergusons, who settled on the
Clifton road. The settlements after this, as the
Indian troubles abated, increased too rapidly, both by
accession and internal growth, to be followed specifically.
LOCATION OF XENIA - A PREDICTION.
"Between the years 1825 and
1828," says Captain Ben Nesbitt, "I was walking along
the road leading to the present village of Alpha, on the
Dayton pike, when I saw a man approaching, mounted upon a
flea-bitten, gray horse, whom I soon recognized as one
Lewis Davis. Mr. Davis was on one of his annual
visits from Cincinnati, to see his son Clabourn who
bore the amphibious surname of Shingledecker and
Davis. Being well acquainted with the captain,
then quite a boy, the old gentleman entered into a familiar
conversation upon topics of general interest, among which
was the improvement, growth, and future prospects of the
surrounding country, and its great development since he
first visited it. Growing enthusiastic, the old
gentleman climbed down off his old horse, and sitting down
by the roadside, and in the course of his conversation upon
the early settlers and their individual peculiarities,
Jonathan Paul was mentioned, who, he said, in an early
period entered land and built a cabin.
Upon one of his previous trips to see his boy, 'Claib,'
he chanced to meet Paul, who told him that on his
tract of land he purposed laying out the county seat,
backing up his assertion by illustration the feasibility,
advantages of location, etc. Davis, who was a
large land owner and veteran pioneer, and seemingly
possessed of an intuitive knowledge as to the direction of
greatest development in a country, disagreed with Paul's
opinions, and informed him that there never would be a
county seat there. Taking his map from his pocket, and
spreading of his dissenting. Premising by the remark
that county seats naturally located themselves upon
thoroughfares between points on the Ohio on the south, and
Lake Erie on the northern. Then placing the butt end
of his riding-whip on Cincinnati, he dropped the small end
on Sandusky, which, upon examination, cut the county at the
forks of Shawanoes Creek. Placing his finer upon the
spot now occupied by Xenia, he said, 'There will be the
county seat." He then pushed on to see his boy 'Claib.'
After remaining a week or so, he returned to Cincinnati; but
upon approaching the cabin of his friend Paul, he
found it vacant and locked. A few days subsequent he
learned that Paul had, immediately after the
conversation above mentioned, gone to Cincinnati and entered
all the land in the vicinity, and upon which is located now
the city of Xenia. Thus it would seem, from the
conjunction of facts and prediction, that Xenia was located
in the above manner.
In the selection of a county seat, the preference
seemed at first in the direction of Caesarsville; but upon
due deliberation the
present site of Xenia was determined upon, and on the 4th
day of August, 1803, Joseph C. Vance was, by the
court, then sitting at the house of Peter Borders,
appointed to survey the seat of justice. Giving bond
in the sum of fifteen hundred dollars for the faithful
performance of his duties, with Joseph Wilson and
David Huston as sureties, he proceeded to lay out and
survey, in the autumn of the same year, the present city of
Xenia. The surrounding country then was a wilderness,
in which the native denizens of the forest held high
carnival. John Paul had previously bought this
tract, and donated for public buildings, it is said, that
portion bounded by Main, Market, Detroit, and Greene
was elected street commissioner for two years.
With one brief exception, Mr. Cline has been a
permanent citizen of this county for over fifty years, and a
citizen of Xenia over forty-five years.
the grand lodge, May 10, 1871, restored the charter.
The present number of members is eighty.
Boundary Lines. -
Ruling Elders. -
Upon examination it has been found that the earliest record
of union schools is dated Sept. 28, 1838.
At this time Xenia was organized into what might be
termed a corporation district, and William Ellsberry,
chairman, David Monroe, treasurer, and Alfred
Trader, were constituted a board of Education, David
Monroe giving bonds, in the sum of two hundred dollars,
for the faithful performance of his duty.
Wilburforce University was projected in the summer of 1856,
by the Cincinnati Conference of the Methodist Episcopal
Church. Its board of trustees was originated at Xenia,
Ohio, in the office of Lawyer M. D. Gatch, then a
senator of the General Assembly of the State of Ohio.
They were twenty-four in number, of whom four were colored
men, namely, Rev. Lewis Woodson; Mr. Ishmael Keith,
of the Baptist Church; Mr. Alfred Anderson, a member
of the congregation of the African Methodist Episcopal
Church at Hamilton, Ohio, and the writer. Among the
twenty whites was Governor Chase, of the State of
Ohio, subsequently secretary of United States Treasury, and
late chief justice of the United States.
"The institution was formally dedicated to the holy
work of Christian education by Rev. Edward Thompson,
D. D., LL. D., then president of the Ohio Wesleyan
University, and late bishop of the Methodist Episcopal
Church. This dedication occurred in October, 1856.
Its first principal was Rev. M. P. Gaddis, jr., of
the Methodist Episcopal Church, who managed it until June,
1857. He was succeeded by Mr. I. R. Parker, an
able and experience educator of youth, assisted by his wife,
as matron, and other competent teachers. His services
continued till June, 1859, when he was succeeded by Rev.
Richard T. Rust, D. D. Under the skillful
management of the doctor, the institution flourished until
1862, when the civil war drew its chief patrons into the
ranks of the rebel army. These were southern planters,
who had sent their natural children to be educated at
Wilberforce. There were at that time about one hundred
students in attendance, among whom were about one dozen from
several of the best families of the North. Among these
were Rev. W. H. Hunter, our present book manager,
who, by the way, has thus far proven himself one of the
ablest who ever had charge of our book concern; also,
Rev. R. H. Cain, congressman at large of the State of
South Carolina, who, we hope, will prove himself not only an
honorable, but a very efficient representative of his
adopted state in the deliberations of the national congress.
"President Rust was rapidly developing the
institution from a primary school into a college, but
inasmuch as its chief patrons at that time were
slaveholders, and they had entered the rebel service, its
incomes were not sufficient to cover its expenditures, and
having no endowment, the trustees were constrained, in June,
1862, to suspend operations. Thus, under the first
regime, Wilberforce came suddenly to an end. On the
10th of March, 1863, the property was sold to the agent of
the African Methodist Episcopal Church
for its indebtedness, namely, the sum of ten thousand
"The land upon which the buildings were constructed
embraced fifty-two acres, heavily timbered; five excellent
springs, impregnated with oxide of iron, flowed in the
ravine which traverses great number of trees being cut down
for fuel and other purposes.
"The original college buildings .......................
POPULATION OF XENIA.
OVER EIGHTY YEARS OLD.
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