OHIO GENEALOGY EXPRESS

A Part of Genealogy Express
 

Welcome to
Greene County, Ohio

Jasper Township
Pg. 881

Source:
History of Greene County, Ohio
Its People, Industries and Institutions
Hon. M. A. Broadstone, Editor-in-Chief
- Volume I -
ILLUSTRATED
Published by B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana
1918
(Transcribed by Sharon Wick)

CHAPTER VIII.
OLD SETTLERS AND PIONEER LIFE
Pg. 169

     Immigration into the Northwest Territory received its initial impetus after the settlement of Marietta in 1788, but the troubles with the Indians deterred all save the most venturesome and daring from coming northward.  It was only after Wayne's defeat of Little Turtle at Fallen Timbers in 1794 and the treaty of Greenville in the year following that the stream of immigration into Ohio became steady and ever increasing.  Before the settlement of Marietta the only white men who dared to cross the Ohio from Kentucky and try conclusions with the original owners of the soil were such hunters and explorers as Simon Kenton and Daniel Boone and their kind.
     The hunter and trapper was different from the later settlers of Ohio.  He led a rough, solitary and hazardous existence.  He was a picturesque man in his coon-skin cap and blue linsey blouse, with a yellow fringe of deer skin.  His breeches and leggings were of buckskin and he was shod with the footwear of the Indian, the moccasin.  He was a rover, for he never intended locating on the soil permanently.  His long rifle and precious ammunition furnished him with food and furs, the latter his source of income.  He sought the wilderness because he loved it and when the vanguard of civilization approached too near him, he plunged more deeply into the woods because conventions were vexatious to him.  In the main, these hunters contributed little to the future of Ohio, but sometimes a few would cease their roving and settle down to the development of the state.  Several became valued members of early surveying parties and finally well-known and valuable citizens of the commonwealth.
     On the heels of the hunter came the first settlers, and, although the life of the latter was less fraught with danger, the early settler had always to keep on the alert to protect his life and property.  In the early settlements the first house built was a blockhouse, around which the cabins were grouped, as was the case where Owen Davis built his mill on Beaver creek as shall later be seen.  The howling of the wolves and the scream of the panther could ever be heard at nightfall, and the buffalo had scarcely yet become a memory.  Women and children and even men were not safe beyond the edge of the clearing in the forest around their cabins, but the long rifle was hung over the door of every pioneer home, within easy

Page 170 -
reach of the settler.  At night this effective guardian of the early settler stood by his bed and while he was at work in his "deadening" or was wending his way at the head of the family toward the pioneer church, the rifle was his constant companion.
     The most potent weapon of the early settler of Green county was not the rifle, because the danger from the redskin had passed when this section was first settled.  The depredations of the Indian had become a memory, furnishing material for thrilling tales around the fireside during the long winter evenings.  This county was overgrown with dense timber which made the growing of the crops a task.  Armed only with his ax and firebrand the early settler issued into the forest which surrounded his lowly cabin and cleared a place whereon he could produce sufficient sustenance for his family.  And with his trusty ax he built his church, his school house and his mill, and before the sound of his steady strokes the bear, the savage, the wolf and the panther fled, never to return.

THE COUNTY'S FIRST SETTLERS.

     The first settlers of Greene county were from Kentucky, Scotchmen ...

 

 

Page 171 -
 

 

Page 172 -

 

 

COMING OF THE FIRST WHITE MEN.

 

 

Page 172 -

 

 

 

     Soon after John Wilson and his sons and Jacob Mills arrived here, they purchased land, the aggregate amount being one thousand acres, which lay at what later became the junction of Montgomery, Greene and Warren counties.  Amos and George Wilson purchased a quarter section each, adjoining their father in Greene county, while their brother's holding was found later to lie in Montgomery county.  Jacob Mills, who was allowed the surplus in his survey, became the owner of two hundred acres in Warren county.  Immediately the little band of pioneers erected a small cabin, Apr. 7, 1796, on the land of John Wilson for the temporary accommodation of all, while they cleared a small tract in each of their holdings on which they planted a few vegetables and a little grain.  This cabin, it is believed, was the first one erected by a white man within what is now Green county.

DIFFICULT JOURNEY INTO THE WILDERNESS.

 

 

 

Page 173 -

 

 

 

OWEN DAVIS, THE FIRST MILLER.

 

 

 

Page 174 -

 

 

 

 

 

AS PUGNACIOUS AS HE WAS ACCOMMODATING.

 

 

 

Page 175 -

 

 

 

 

 

A LATER OWNER OF THE MILL.

 

 

 

Page 176 -

 

 

 

 

 

JAMES GALLOWAY, SR.

 

 

 

Page 177 -

 

 

 

Page 178 -

 

 

 

OTHER PIONEERS.

 

 

 

 

 

Page 179 -

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REMINISCENCES OF FREDERICK BONNER, JR.

 

 

 

 

Page 180 -

 

 

 

 

SAMUEL PETERSON, A REAL PIONEER.

 

 

 

Page 181 -

 

 

 

Page 182 -
in 1872, he removed to Xenia, where he spent the rest of his life in well-earned retirement.

PIONEER PRICES.

 

 

 

 

Page 183 -

 

 

 

THE CABIN OF THE PIONEER.

 

 

 

Page 184 -

 

 

 

 

 

THE PIONEER'S FOOD.

 

 

 

 

Page 185 -
the batter was packed in cabbage leaves, the product then being called ash cake.
     It was several years after the first settlement of the county before wheat was introduced; then some families had wheat bread once a week, usually in the form of biscuits, but most of the wheat was sold.

MEAT OBTAINED FOR THE SHOOTING.

 

 

 

 

Page 186 -

 

 

 

CLOTHING OF THE PIONEER.

 

 

 

Page 187 -

 

 

 

 

AMUSEMENTS OF THE PIONEERS.

 

 

 

Page 188 -

 

 

 

 

 

WROUGHT BETTER THAN THEY KNEW

     Thus the early settlers of Green county lived their lives which were ever full of dreary toil, but withal replete with their pursuit of the wholesome pleasures which added sufficient color to their simple lives.  They were not worried by the fluctuations of the market, nor were the good wives perplexed by the radical changes in the style of their garments.  Their lives when compared to the hustle and bustle of today seem drab, but they were working with a definite and wonderful objective in view, the making of the wilderness a habitable place in which their children could live in peace and plenty.  However, it can be truthfully said that few of those sturdy old pioneers worked with this as a conscious objective.  They wrought well - perhaps better than they knew.  The heritage of prosperity and plenty which they left the present generation should be preserved and defended by the present citizens of the county and handed down to posterity as unsullied as it was bequeathed to them.

- END OF CHAPTER VIII -

NOTES:

 
CLICK HERE to RETURN to
GREENE COUNTY, OHIO
INDEX PAGE
CLICK HERE to RETURN to
OHIO GENEALOGY EXPRESS
INDEX PAGE
FREE GENEALOGY RESEARCH is My MISSION
GENEALOGY EXPRESS
This Webpage has been created by Sharon Wick exclusively for Genealogy Express  2008
Submitters retain all copyrights