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Pioneer History - Capture and Captivity of Simon Kenton - Capture and Escape of Dr. John Knight - Pioneers of Hardin County and Prior  to 1828 - Alfred Hale - The M'Arthur Family - Daniel Campbell, Samuel Tidd - James E. Hueston - Samuel and Andrew Richey and James Hill.

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     There is, perhaps, no name in the annals of Indian warfare connect ed with the struggle for possession of the Northwest Territory, around which may be woven such a halo of historical truth, as that of Simon Kenton.  His prowess as an Indian fighter and scout has been so indelibly marked upon the pages of the history of Ohio that the record of his life

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and exploits is known in nearly every home throughout the State.  One of the leading events in his adventurous career was his capture and captivity in 1778-79, and as this circumstance is closely interwoven with the early history of the territory now embraced in Hardin County, we give the story as related by his biographer, Col. John McDonald, believing it deserving of a place in this work.
     He says: “ Kenton lay about Boone’s and Logan’s Stations till ease became irksome to him.  About the 1st of September, 1778, we find him preparing for another Indian expedition.  Alexander Montgomery and George Clark joined him, and they set off from Boone’s Station, for the avowed purpose of obtaining horses from the Indians.  They crossed the Ohio, and proceeded cautiously to Chillicothe (now Oldtown, Ross County).  They arrived at the town without meeting any adventure.  In the night they fell in with a drove of horses that were feeding in the rich prairies.  They were prepared with salt and halters, but had much difficulty in catching the horses; however, at length they succeeded, and as soon as the horses were haltered, they dashed off with seven—a pretty good haul.  They traveled with all the speed they could to the Ohio, which they struck near the mouth of Eagle Creek, now in Brown County.  When they came to the river the wind blew almost a hurricane.  The waves ran so high that the horses were frightened, and could not be induced to take the water.  It was late in the evening They then rode back into the hills some distance from the river, hobbled and turned the horses loose to graze, while they turned back some distance, and watched the trail they had come, to discover whether or no they were pursued.  Here they remained till the following day, when the wind subsided.  As soon as the wind fell, they caught their horses and went again to the river; but the animals had been so frightened with the waves the day before, that all their efforts could not induce them to take thewater.  This was a sore disappointment to our adventurers.  They were satisfied that the enemy was in pursuit, and therefore determined to lose no more time in useless efforts to cross the Ohio; they concluded to select three of the best horses and make their way to the falls of the Ohio, where Gen. Clark had left some men stationed.  Each made choice of a horse, and the balance were turned loose to shift for themselves.  After the spare animals had been permitted to ramble off, avarice whispered to our scouts, Why not take all the horses? which had by this time scattered and straggled out of sight.
     “Our party now separated to hunt up the horses they had turned loose.  Kenton went toward the river, and had not gone far before he heard a whoop in the direction of where they had been trying to force the horses into the water.  He got off his horse and tied him, and then crept with the stealthy tread of a cat, to make observations in the direction he heard the whoop.  Just as he reached the high bank of the river, he met the Indians on horseback.  Being unperceived by them, but so nigh that it was impossible for him to retreat without being discovered, he concluded the boldest
course to be the safest, and very deliberately took aim at the foremost Indian.  His gun flashed in the pan, and he retreated, with the Indians in close pursuit.  In his retreat, he passed through a piece of forest where a storm had torn up a great part of the timber.  The fallen trees afforded him some advantage over the Indians in the race, as they were on horse back and he on foot.  The Indian force divided; some rode on one side of the fallen timber, and some on the other.  Just as he emerged from the fallen timber, at the foot of the hill, one of the Indians met him, and

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boldly riding up, jumped off his horse and rushed at him, with uplifted tomahawk.  Kenton, concluding that a gun-barrel was as good a weapon of defense as a tomahawk, drew back his gun to strike the Indian, but at that instant another savage, who, unperceived by Kenton, had slipped up
behind him, clasped him in his arms.  Being now overpowered by numbers, further resistance was useless, and he surrendered.  While the Indians were binding Kenton with tugs, Montgomery came in view, and fired at the savages. but missed his mark. Montgomery fled on foot, pursued by some of the Indians, who shot at and missed him; he fired a second time, and he fell.  The Indians soon returned to Kenton, shaking at him Montgomery’s bloody scalp, George Clark. Kenton’s other companion, made his escape, crossed the Ohio, and arrived safe at Logan‘s Station.




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     This well-remembered pioneer was a cotemporary of the McArthurs, and settled in the county at the same time.  He was born in Kentucky in 1790, and coming to Ross County, Ohio, he there enlisted in Capt. James Manary’s company of rangers, and served in the war of 1812.  He subsequently married Rebecca Kerns, who was a native of Ross County and a daughter of William Kerns, who was a native of Ireland and a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church.  He came, in company with Peter C. McArthur, to the territory now embraced in McDonald Township in 1818, and after erecting a cabin and planting a small patch of corn, they went back to Ross County for the purpose of bringing their families, but on account of the unsettled state of the country, did not return until 1822.  Daniel Campbell brought with him at this time his wife and three children, and settled east of the Scioto River, about two miles northeast of the village of Roundhead, in what is now McDonald Township.  During the first year in their new home, two of their little ones died, and this so discouraged them that they went back to Ross County at the end of that period.  In the spring of 1829, Mr. Campbell and family again came to Hardin County and settled in the same locality. Their surviving child, Mary J., here grew to maturity, and on the 6th of May, 1832, was married to Alexander Given, who still survives her.  She was the mother of five children, viz.:  Eliza J ., Mary H., Alexander R, Daniel and Rebecca; the two latter are deceased.
     Upon the organization of Roundhead Township, in 1832, which was prior to the organization of Hardin County, Daniel Campbell was elected Justice of the Peace for the new township, and when the county was organized swore in the Associate Judge at Fort McArthur, in March, 1833.  He was the only Justice of the county until the erection of Taylor Creek and Blanchard Townships, in which two Justices were elected, in May, 1832.  On the 1st of April, 1833, he was elected Recorder of Hardin County, and re-elected in October, 1833 and 1836, serving in that office seven consecutive years.  In September, 1849, he became one of the Associate Judges and was on the bench when the new constitution was adopted, which abolished that office.  Daniel Campbell died Aug, 9, 1864, aged seventy-four years; his wife died Apr. 12, 1861, aged sixty-seven years, six months and twenty-five days.  Politically, he was a Whig and afterward a Republican.  He stood about five feet eleven inches high, had a fair complexion, and was a man of good education for pioneer days.  He accumulated 250 acres of land, was regarded as a fine business man, honest, upright and straightforward - a man generally respected by those who knew him best.


     In February, 1822, the territory now embraced in Roundhead Township received its first settler, which settlement was cotemporary with the second one made by the McArthurs and Daniel Campbell, cross the Scioto, in what is now McDonald Township.  Samuel Tidd, a native of Pennsylvania, emigrated to Logan County, Ohio, and in February, 1822, removed to Hardin County and settled in the northern part of Section 21, Rouudhead Township.  He was a blacksmith by trade, and during the pioneer days was considered a fine workman.  He followed his trade in connection with farming, and did a great amount of work for the Indians prior to their removal to the West.  His wife’s name was Barbara, and to them were born the following children ere coming to this county: Elizabeth, Mary,

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Sallie, Hugh, Nancy and Martin (twins), and Charles S.  About one year subsequent to their settlement, another child was born, viz., Jane, whose birth occurred Mar. 23, 1823.
     The eldest of the family, Elizabeth, first married a Mr. Richey, upon whose death she married Francis Purdy, and subsequently removed to the West; Mary became the wife of Halsey Howell, of Logan County, Ohio, and died there; Sallie married Andrew Richie, and with her aged husband still resides in Roundhead Township.  For more than sixty-one years, “Aunt Sallie” has watched the gradual development of Hardin County, and well remembers the time when the whole county contained but three or four families.  Her form is still erect and she thinks little of walking from her home to Roundhead and return, a distance of several miles.  Hugh Tidd first married Mary Given (a daughter of William and Jane Given), upon whose death he took for his second wife Sarah J. Caseman, and both died in this county; Nancy became the wife of Andrew Hattery, both of whom spent their lives here; Martin was married to Sarah Conner, removed to Illinois and there died; Charles S. was born in 1821, came with his parents the following year to Hardin County, where, after reaching manhood, he married Margaret Ann McKinnon, settled on the old homestead and, with his wife, still survives to tell the story of more than threescore of years’ residence in that vicinity.  He and “Aunt SallyRichey are the only survivors of Samuel and Barbara Tidds’ children, who, with their parents, settled in the forest of Roundhead Township in February, 1822.  Jane Tidd, who was doubtless the first white female child born in Hardin County, became the wife of Louis Rutledge, and died in this county.  The parents passed their lives here, the father, Samuel, dying Mar. 8, 1851, aged seventy-two years, his wife Barbara having died July 13, 1846, aged sixty-one years.  Mr. Tidd was a very industrious man, upright and straightforward in all his dealings, and many of his descendants are among the most worthy citizens of the county.


     It is a well-known fact that the first settler of Hardin County north of Kenton was the dimly remembered pioneer whose name heads this sketch.  James E. Hueston was a native of Pennsylvania, and of Yankee origin.  He was married in the Keystone State to Margaret Parks, whose parents were natives of Ireland.  In 1820, Mr. Hueston removed with his family from Pennsylvania to Ohio, and in May, 1724, settled on the Blanchard River, in the northeastern part of Hardin County.  He located in the northwest quarter of Section 12, Jackson Township, and there, amid the dense forest, he erected a rude cabin, and began the battle of life in the Western wilds.  It is unnecessary for us to tell of the trials and hardships that fell to his lot during the first years of his residence in this county.  It is the same old story of trials, fatigues and suffering manfully borne by most, if not all, of that noble vanguard of civilization that settled in the forests of Ohio.  In 1831, Mrs. Hueston died and was interred on the east bank of the Blanchard; and in the fall of 1834, her husband’s remains were laid by her side.  In March, 1833, Mr. Hueston was appointed by the Governor as one of the Associate Judges of Hardin County, and Jan. 4, 1834, the Ohio General Assembly elected him to the same position for the full term of seven years, but fate had decreed that 118 should live only a brief period to enjoy the honor thus conferred.  To James E. and Margaret Hueston were born the following children: Thomas E., William, Amanda, Maria, Jane, Margaret, Ann E. and Martha.

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     The best known member of this family was Thomas E., who was born in Beaver County, Penn, May 5, 1813, and in May, 1824, accompanied his parents to Hardin County, where he grew to manhood.  He attended school but a few months during his boyhood days, yet by self application in after years, he became well informed in all the common branches of a business education.  In 1836, he was married to Ann Howey, a native of Richland County, Ohio, who came with her parents to Jackson Township in 1834.  Of this union were born ten children, viz.: John, Margaret J., Mary, Isabella, Benjamin F., James M., Hattie, Alice F., Effie and Cornelia A., of whom the following survive: Mrs. Margaret J. Tresseler, who resides on the old homestead; Mary, wife of Dr. R. Woods, Quincy, Ill., James M., attorney at law, Toledo, Ohio; Alice F., now Mrs. J. N. Mahan of Ada, and Cornelia A., wife of Dr. Hagerman, of Dunkirk.  Thomas E. Hueston at his father’s death became owner of one-half of the homestead, and subsequently purchased the remaining half from his brother William.  In 1840, he was elected Justice of the Peace and Land Appraiser, of his township; served as a member of the Board of County Commissioners from 1852 to 1854, and in 1871, was again elected to the same position, during which term his death occurred.  Throughout his official career, be reflected credit upon himself by the faithful and satisfactory discharge of his duties, while his private, as well as his public life, was characterized by the strictest honor and integrity.  He was killed by the collision of two trains at Dunkirk, on the 14th of March, 1872, and being an honored member of long standing in the Masonic fraternity, that order, as well as the county officials, passed appropriate resolutions at his death, testifying to his worth as a kind father, a loving husband and an honored citizen.
     Of the remaining children of James E. Hueston, we have gathered a few brief items.  William married Lucinda Johnson and settled on that portion of the old farm lying on the west bank of the Blanchard, which he subsequently sold to his brother, and removed to Forest, where he engaged in the hotel buiness and there died.  His children were James E., who died unmarried; Hannah, became the wife of Clarence Lynn, of Hancock County; Louemma is the wife of Free Owens, of Jackson Township; Martha, married Frederick Burlin, of Forest; and Alice is married and resides near Cleveland, Ohio.  Amanda, the third child of James E. Hueston, married William Johnson and died in this county.  Maria, died in girlhood; Jane became the wife of Bember Letson, and now resides in Iowa; while Margaret, Ann E. and Martha passed away in childhood.  For many years during the first settlement of Hardin County, the cabin of James E. Hueston was one of those pioneer “inns” used as a general rendezvous by travelers and land prospectors; and after his death his son, Thomas E., continued the business, keeping a house of entertainment for man and beast.


     About 1825, the widow Richey came with her family from Logan County, Ohio, and settled on the northwest quarter of Section 20, Round head Township.  They had previously emigrated from Pennsylvania in 1816, and located in Logan County, where the father died.  The eldest son, Samuel, married Mary Ann Rutledge, by whom he had the following children—Thomas, Nancy, Andrew and Mary Ann (deceased).  His first wife dying, he married Mrs. Emily Davis, to whom were born Jane, Samuel (deceased), Emily and VilettaMrs. Richey is still living and resides on Section 7, Roundhead Township.

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     Andrew Richey was born in Pennsylvania in 1809, and accompanied his parents to Logan County in 1816; thence, about 1825, came with his mother to Roundhead Township.  He subsequently married Sallie Tidd, and resided on the old homestead until about 1853, when he purchased the farm in Section 9, where he now lives.  He is the father of six children, of whom four survive - Mary Jane, Sarah, Charles and Lydia.  The deceased are Elizabeth and Walter.  These brothers are two of the four oldest living settlers in Hardin County; Andrew’s wife, “Aunt SallyRichey, and her brother, Charles S. Tidd, having been here three years prior to their coming.  In fact, few of the county’s present citizens are aware that in their midst are living four pioneers, two of whom have been here eight, and the other two, eleven years before the county was organized.
     Another of the earliest pioneers of this county was James Hill, who was born in Maryland, close to the city of Baltimore.  He removed to Lancaster County, Penn, and subsequently to Logan County, Ohio, whence he came to Roundhead Township, Hardin County, in 1825, and settled in the southeast quarter of Section 20.  Here he lived one or two years, when he returned to Logan County, and did not come back to Hardin until 1833, this time locating on the northwest quarter of Section 20, Roundhead Township, where he died Sept. 25, 1862, aged ninety-nine years.  As Mr. Hill did not remain permanently after his first settlement, we have thought it proper to give a fuller sketch in the history of Roundhead Town ship, to which we refer our readers.


     Few of the pioneers of Hardin County were better known or more universally respected by its citizens than Charles W. Stevenson.  He was born in Kentucky, Nov. 20 1796, and came with his parents to Greene County, Ohio, about 1800, where he grew to manhood.  In January, 1819, he was married to Cynthia Scott, also a native of Kentucky, born Aug. 19, 1795, who came to Greene County, Ohio, with her parents, at the same time that the Stevenson family settled in that locality.  In the spring of 1827, Charles W., with his brother Samuel, settled on a piece of land near the head waters of Silver Creek, in what is now Taylor Creek Township, and were the first pioneers of that portion of Hardin county.  In the fall of 1827, Mr. Stevenson went back to Greene County and brought his wife and three children to the log cabin which the brothers had erected during the summer.  After living on the land until about 1833, and making considerable improvements, a difficulty arose between them and the owner, Gen. James Taylor, who resided at Newport, Ky., by which they lost the land as well as the results of five years' hard labor in clearing the soil for cultivation.  Several years afterward, Taylor paid them $100 each.  About this time, the brothers erected a saw mill and corn cracker on Six-Mile Creek, which proved a great benefit to the early settlers for miles in every direction.
     To Charles W. and Cynthia Stevenson were born the following children:  Margaret J., who married Lewis A. Miller and now resides in Nebraska; Clarissa married Samuel Stewart, and died in Logan County, Ohio, where her husband is still living; William removed to Vandalia, Ill., and there died.  These three were born in Greene County ere the coming of their parents to Hardin.  The next was David P., who was born in 1828, now resides in Kenton and is the oldest living native of Hardin County; Robert died in Kenton in 1855; Euphemia A., became the wife of John

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Morrison, and died in Kenton; Charles W., resides in Nebraska; Usher P., died in Kenton; and two daughters who died in infancy.  On the 1st of April, 1833, Mr. Stevenson was elected Auditor of the newly organized county of Hardin, and soon after the location of the county seat at Kenton, he removed to its site.  He built a log cabin on the north side of Columbus street, the first lot of the Indianapolis, Bloomington & Western Railroad.  He was appointed Director of Kenton in 1833, which position he held until his death.  He filled the office of County Auditor eleven consecutive years, from 1833 to 1843 inclusive.  After the expiration of his last term as Auditor, Mr. Stevenson engaged in farming and teaming, finally erecting a saw mill on Taylor Creek, in Buck Township, about one mile south of Kenton, which he operated until his death, May 17, 1854.  His widow, who was a member of the United Presbyterian Church, survived him more than twenty-three yeas, and died in September, 1877.  In politics a Whig, he had, withal, the confidence of every class, irrespective of party lines, and, through a member of no religious denomination, he was so thoroughly moral in his life as to win the affectionate regard of all good citizens.
     Samuel Stevenson was a native of Greene County, Ohio, born Sept. 4, 1804, and, as mentioned in his brother's sketch, came to Hardin County in March, 1827, and located near the head-waters of Silver Creek, in what is now Taylor Creek Township.  The land upon which they settled  was in Survey 10,014.  After the cabin was erected, Samuel, who was then unmarried, remained in charge while Charles W. returned to Greene County for his family.  The brothers, after making considerable improvement, lost the land, without receiving any remuneration for their labor.  In a few years Samuel married and became the father of the following children:  Polly, John, Samuel and Robert who are dead, and Sarah, Wilkins and William, who still survives.  Four of the sons, John, Samuel, Robert and Wilkins, served in the Union army during the rebellion.  Of these, John died soon after the war, from the effects of disease contracted in the army; Samuel was wounded and died while under a surgical operation; and Robert was taken prisoner and confined in a rebel prison, but soon after his release, he died from the ravages made upon his constitution through starvation and exposure.  Samuel Stevenson, Sr., was a noted hunter, and it is said that he could kill a greater number of deer in the same time than any man in Hardin County.  About 1840, he removed into what is now Lynn Township, settling on land now owned by Julius Schoonover.  Here he died May 3, 1873, and, though he was only a plain, old-fashioned pioneer, yet he did much good throughout his life by kind words and acts and by adhering to those principles of honesty that seem to have been a part of every pioneer's nature.
     The record of the lives of these pioneers from first to last is a simple narrative, but develops the fact that they were "ruggedly honest," yet to say that they had some weaknesses is only to admit that they were human.  With clean hands and pure hearts, they passed through a life of toil and danger, without once  faltering in what they considered the path of duty; and now that the end is reached, it is seen more plainly than before how brave and strong and true they were.





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