OHIO GENEALOGY EXPRESS

 

Perry County,
Ohio

History of Perry County
by Clement L. Martzolff - Published by Ward & Weiland, New Lexington, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio - Press of Fred J. Heer - 1902

PAGES [1-24]  [25-49]  [49-77]  [77-107]  [107-129]  [129-170]  [170-195]

MacGahan.

     This is the Poem read by Col. W. A. Taylor, a Perry county boy, on the occasion of the funeral of MacGahan.

I.

Not stately verse, nor trumpets blowing fame,
Not praise from lips of matchless eloquence;
Not monumental piles nor epitaphs;
Funeral pomp, nor all combined, can make
Man other than he fashions for himself
Out of warp and woof of Circumstance.
A man lies here whose hand ennobled Time,
And wrote a deathless page of history:
Up from these hills our hero made his way -
A western star that shown across the East,
Moved forward by the hand of Destiny.
here, knee-deep in the purple clover bloom,
He drank life's spring time bubbling at the fount -
A school-girl's tenderness about his eyes -
Less'ning a loving mother's daily toil,
Content, yet all his soul unsatisfied.
Out of such gentle stuff are heroes made -
And he who wept a fallen butter-fly,
Rode like a storm-cloud down the long plateaus,
Defying Girghis, Turk and Turkoman -
Across the Oxus, knocking at the gates
Of far, mysterious Khivi, in a realm
That filled his boyish dreams of Wonderland;
Kings, kahns and caliphs passed him in review -
The proud voluptuary and the cringing slave -
Seraglios, palaces and minarets
Revealed their secrets, till the world amazed
Rose and reached forth a succoring hand to man;
Bulgaria in the wine press of the Turk,
Gave blood and tears and groaned upon the rack,
Until his mighty thunders 'gainst the wrong
Rocked Europe to is base, unlossed the slave
and set the sun of Freedom o'er the hills.
Where serfs had groped through ages of eclipse.
 And then, where Stamboul, standing by the sea
Looks through the spicy gateways of the East -
Youth on his brow and summer on his lips,
Crowned more than conqueror and more than king -
Dreaming of these green hills, a mother's love,
Of wife and babe and kindered's loving touch,
With all the world before him, his great soul
Ascended to the infinite, and mankind
Are better for this hero having lived.

II.

Here where the green hills turn to gray
  Under the warm Autumnal sun,
  We lay him, with his honors won,
Where first his eyes looked on the day,
  His work well done.

There where proud Stamboul by the sea
  Looks through the Orient's purple gate.
  He met the Apostle's common gate,
But ere he died, Bulgaria free
  Arose in the state.

His was God's sword in Gideon's field,
  That reaped like sheaves the souls of men.
  Justice, not blood, imbued his pen,
And his strong truth became the shield
  And buckler then.

And his ennnobling part to dare -
  The Apostle's glory in teh thrails -
  Whose triumph when the body falls,
Like a broad sum of radiance rare
Lights up the walls.

With him who holds the truth in awe -
  Nor recks what bitter storms are poured -
  "The pen in mightier than the sword,"
And his strong armor without flaw
  Keeps perfect guard.

O, green hills sloping east and west,
  To purple eve and crimson day.
  He comes along the martyr's way,
His work with Freedom's paens blessed -
  He comes to-day.

Here o'er the dust him whose name
  Grew from these green hills, far away,
  Into the Orient's warmer day.
Brightning the gilded scroll of fame,
  Fair truth can say.

His hand bore not a hireling blade -
  His soul was trained to noble deeds,
  From out the rain he plucked the weeds,
And in the battle undismayed.
  Struck down false creeds.

Fair youth, among the quiet lanes,
  Came there a vision of the years
  Before you, telling of the tears,
The struggles, triumphs and the pains,
  The hopes and fears.

And watching as you went afield,
  Barefoot, to drive the lowing herd,
  Saw you the dim, far Orient stirred
Its dark crimes and its secrets yield
  At they stern word?

Did Hesperus at eve proclaim
  That you at Islam's mystic gate 
  Should change the drifting tide of fate
And blow upon the trump of Fame
  With breath elate?

That he who drove his father's kine
  Beneath the northern moon should be
  The Liberator, and set free
The bondsman with touch divine
  Of Liberty?

Not where Stamboul's minarets
  Look down upon Marmora's sea,
  But in the glad soil of the free,
We lay him down without regrets,
  While Time shall be.

There sleep, O brother of the pen,
  Till the archangel's trump shall say
  Night ends in the eternal day.
And Truth shall judge who have been men,
  Who went astray.


Jeremiah M. Rusk.

"The hills are dearest, where our childhood's feet
Have climbed the earliest.
And the streams most sweet
Ever are those at which our young lips drank,
Stooped to its waters o'er the mossy bank."

     The above sentiment was evidently in the mind of Secretary of Agriculture, Jeremiah M. Rusk, when he stood before the door of the Post Office at Porterville and said, "Do you know that this whole country continually spreads out before me day and night, like a vast panoroma?  This is the place of my childhood's dreams.  Here my parents, brothers and sisters lie buried.  This country I love."
     The Rusk farm of five hundred acres lay mostly in Perry county.  But the house in which Jeremiah Rusk was born stands a few rods across the line in Morgan.  We do not hesitate under the circumstances in calling "Uncle Jerry" as he was familiarly known, a Perry county boy.
     Daniel Rusk was one of the pioneers of Perry county.  In 1813 he came to Clayton township and settled on Buckeye creek.  His wife was Jane Falkner.  Mrs. Rusk's mother was the first person to be buried in Unity Presbyterian cemetery, in Clayton township.  The Rusk family lived on buckeye till 1826 when they moved to Bearfield township and purchased the large farm on which Porterville now stands.  This village was originally known as Ruskville.
     It was on this farm that the subject of our sketch was born, on the 175h of July, 1830.  The Mother of Jeremiah McLain rusk was a woman of exalted character and noble ideals.  Even in a pioneer home she did not forget to cultivate the culture side of life.  The home training had therefore much to do with the success of the future governor of Wisconsin.
     Young Rusk attended a subscription school at first for the public school was then unknown.  After the establishment of the latter, he became a pupil in it and received the nucleus of such an education as could then be obtained.
     He was sixteen years old when his father died.  Being the youngest of ten children, and the older members of the family having married, the care of the farm largely devolved upon him.  Here he early evinced that trait that has been characteristic of him throughout his life - to push work instead of work pushing him.  While on the farm he became an epert horseman.  There are men yet living in Bearfield township, who remember how adept he was, and how skillfully he could manage a horse.  Many were the races that Jerry ran with the neighbor boys along the Porterville ridge.


(note: these photos will be clearer in the actual history book)

     From the farm he went to Zanesville, to become a driver on the stage-coach, between that point and Newark.  The coach was of the Concord pattern and four horses were required to draw it.  The driver sat on the "near" wheel horse and manipulated the team with a "single" line.
     When the present Cincinnati and Muskingum Valley Railroad was built, we find Jerry Rusk occupying the position of "boss."  He assisted on the tunnel east of New Lexington.
     In partnership with William Pettet, he purchased what is known as a "grubber" or "caver."  This machine was the first step in the evolution of the threshing machine.  A picture of one is here shown.
     In 1849 Mr. Rusk was married to Mary Martin, the daughter of a well-to-do citizen near McLuney.  It would be a great pleasure to give in detail the subsequent history of this honored citizen.  Going to Wisconsin, he became quite wealthy.  He served the people in Congress, was elected Governor, and then invited to a place in President Harrison's Cabinet.  The life of Jeremiah Rusk should be an incentive to every boy.  The push, the energy and the honesty of the man made him successful in all of his undertakings.


William Alexander Taylor.

     It was especially fitting that on the day of the burial of Janarius A. MacGahan, at New Lexington, the poem for the occasion should have been written by another Perry county boy.  The man who was thus honored, and who did honor to the occasion was William A. Taylor, the widely known journalist and author, now a resident of Columbus.
     He was born in Harrison township, April 25, 1837.  He attended the public schools, but most largely educated himself, through the kindness of an old friend, Dr. Milliken, of Roseville, who placed his large and splendid general library at his disposal.
     Among his teachers was Philander H. Binckley, of Somerset, who directed his early readings and encouraged his literary tastes.  While working on the farm, he began contributing to the county papers, especially the Somerset Review, edited by the late John H. Shearer, and the Democratic Union, edited by the late James Sheward after a distinguished jurist of New York.
     When 19 years of age, he began teaching, at the same time reading law with Muzzy & Butler of New Lexington, and was admitted to the practice at the December term of the Supreme Court in 1858, being examined by Morrison R. Waite, afterward Chief Justice and Noah H. Swayne, afterward Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and Samuel Galloway, a distinguished lawyer and Congressman, who rated him too in the examination.
     In 1858 he became associated with John R. Meloy and Perry J. Ankeney in the publican of the Perry County Democrat, the predecessor of the present Herald, of New Lexington.  He ceased the practice of law in 1863, and devoted his entire attention to journalistic and literary pursuits.  He went on the Cincinnati Enquirer, first as correspondent and later as a member of its editorial staff, and continued in active journalism until 1900, during twenty-three years of which period he was connected with the Enquirer.
     In 1869 he took the position of editorial writer on the Pittsburg Post, afterward going to the New York Sun, the New York World, Pittsburg Telegraph, Columbus Democrat, Columbus Courier, Cincinnati News Journal, and in 1884 again went on the staff of the Enquirer, where he remained until 1900.  During all these years he contributed largely to the magazines and literary publications.
     He is the author of a large number of books many of which are standard works of reference, among them being: "Eighteen Presidents and Contemporaneous Rulers.;" "Ohio Hundred Year Book; "Primary Tariff Lessons;"  "Ohio statesmen;" "The peril of the Republic'" "Ohio Statesmen and Annals of Progress;" "Roses and Rue" (poems); "Intermere" (a narrative of speculative philosophy); "Ohio in Congress from 1803 to 1903," and "Twilight? or Dawn?" (poems.  He is also the principal author of "The Bok of Ohio," an exhaustive illustrated history of Ohio of 1000 folio pages and 2000 illustrations, issued by C. S. Van Tassel of Bowling Green and Toledo.
     He is a member of the Benjamin Franklin Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and of the State Society of the S. A. R., having held the prominent offices in both; of the Ohio Historical and Archaeological Society; of the Old Northwest Genealogical Society and many other social and literary associations.  He served as a private soldier in the Army of the Potomac in the Civil War.  He was clerk of the senate of the 69th General Assembly; was the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State in 1892, and for Lieutenant Governor in 1893.
     His parents were Thomas Taylor, of London county, and Mary Owens Taylor, of Fanquier County, Virginia, the latter being the niece of Gen. Simon Kenton.  His paternal grandfather, also Thomas Taylor, and his maternal grandfather, Joshua Owens, were soldiers of the Revolution and both were present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, at Yorktown.  His father served as a soldier in the war of 1812.
     His parents, and many others of their families migrated to Ohio in 1816.  The elder and the younger Thomas Taylor took up lands in Harrison township, Perry county, where they resided the rest of their lives.  Others of the immigrants settled in Belmont and Muskingum counties.
     William A. Taylor was married to Jane Allen Tarrier, the eldest daughter of Capt. George W. Tarrier, of Zanesville, Ohio, Nov. 10, 1870.  To them was born a son, Aubrey Clarence Taylor in Allegheny City, Pa., Jan. 28,1875, and who died in Zanesville Nov. 26, 1898, while filling an editorial position on the evening Press of that city.


James M. Comley.

 
     Perry county has been especially successful in producing literary men.  It is now our pleasure to present to our readers, the biography of another Perry countian, who has made for himself a name in the world of journalism.
     The grandfather of James Comley laid out the town of New Lexington.  He was of Quaker descent.  One of his ancestors, Henry Comley came to Pennsylvania with William Penn in 1682.
     The subject of our sketch was born in New Lexington, Mar. 6, 1832.  While yet a mere boy he determined to go out into the world and "hoe his own roe."  Walking to Columbus, he entered the office of the 'Ohio State Journal" and learned the printer's  trade.  He received his education mostly from the public schools of that city.  He began the study of law, and was admitted to practice in 1859.  The War breaking out in '61, he entered the service of his country as a private.  He rose successfully in the ranks.  First as Lieutenant of his company, then Lieutenant Colonel of the Forty-third Ohio Volunteers and then Major of the Twenty-third Ohio.  While Major he marched his detachment from Raleigh C. H., West Virginia, to the mouth of Stone River, twenty-eight miles, through a snow storm, driving a regiment of the enemy's infantry and a force of cavalry with considerable loss across the river, capturing their tents, camps and forage.  The detachment received the thanks of General Rosecrans, for its bravery and efficiency.  He was in the Battle of South Mountain where Lieutenant Colonel Hayes had his arm broken.  Three other Lieutenants were badly wounded and it devolved upon Major Comley to command the regiment the remainder of the day.  He led three splendid bayonet charges, repulsing the Confederates successfully each time.  His regiment lost two hundred men.  The colors were riddled and the blue field almost completely carried away by shot and shell.
     In the great battle of Antietem, the colors of the regiment were shot down, and after a moment's delay, they were planted by Major Comley on a new line at right angles with the former line.  Without awaiting further orders, fire was opened, before which the enemy was compelled to retire.  He served in the splendid campaign, that ended with the battle of Cedar Creek, where that other Perry county boy made his famous ride and snatched victory from defeat.  Subsequent to this Major Comley became Colonel of his regiment and remained with it till the close of the war.
     In October, 1865, he became Editor of the Ohio State Journal.  This position he held for twelve years.  As an editoral writer, General Comley wielded a vigorous pen and he was largely instrumental in shaping the policy in the Republican party, not only in Ohio but in the nation at large.
     Upon the accession of Rutherford B. Hayes to the Presidency, he appointed his old comrade-at-arms as Minister to the Hawaiian Islands.  He remained there till 1882, when he returned to Ohio and purchased the "Toledo Commercial."  He at once assumed the editorial control.  It was while thus engaged that he died in 1887.
     General Comley was a man of noble character.  Fearless as he was in stating his opinions, yet his enemies - political, for he had no other - admired him.  Even his political enemies were his staunchest personal friends.  President Hayes said of him: "Knowing General Comley intimately for more than twenty-five years, and especially having lived by his side, day and night, during almost the whole of the war, it would be strange indeed, if I did not deem it a privilege and a labor of love, to unite with his comrades in strewing flowers on the grave of one whose talents and achievements were so ample and so admirable, and whose life and character were so rounded to a completeness rarely found among the best and the most gifted of men.
"Whose wit in the combat, as gentle as bright,
Ne'er carried a heart stain away on its blade."


The Summer Day.

     Extract from a letter written by General Comley, from Hawaii:
     Did you ever walk along the meadow stream in June, with the shiners flashing back the summer sun - just warm enough - not hot, but about as warm, (say) as the New Jerusalem - walk along and catch here a whiff of violets, there a breath of milky fragrance from the ruminating cattle, ,then a swell of delirious rapture, from the throat of some mocking-bird, answered by a clear alert "Bob White" from the wheat fields near by - did you ever walk along so, watching the summer clouds drift lazily into every ravishing beauty of form or color possible to conceive, and bless the day to yourself with a sort of blissful awe as if God was walking in the fields?


Gen. Philip H. Sheridan.

     Standing on the platform in the Cyclorama of the battle of Missionary Ridge, at the Pan-American Exposition, one could not fail to notice the figure of a man of small stature on foot, at the head of his men, charging up the hill to take the breastworks on the summit.
     At the foot of the hill an aide held two horses.  One of them was Gen. Phil Sheridan's.  He had dismounted after taking the first line of rifle pits and was pressing on toward the second.  Orders came from Grant to take only the first line but it was too late.  The impetuous Sheridan was pushing up the hill in the face of storm of bullets.  To order the men back was out of the question.  They rushed on with a cheer, carried the second lie of rifle pits and met the enemy in a desperate hand-to-hand struggle.  The Confederates were driven from their guns and sent flying down the opposite slope, pursued by a shower of stones from the Union men who had not time to reload.  Before all of Sheridan's men had reached the crest, the demoralized troops of Bragg were seen with a large train of wagons, flying along the valley, half a mile away.
     This is where the star of Phil. Sheridan began its ascendency.  A few months later, Grant on becoming Commander-in-chief, selected the great cavalry leader to assist him in Virginia.  Sheridan's work in the Shenandoah valley is a part of the history of the Civil war.
     Grant had his hands full in front of Richmond.  General Early went up the Shenandoah into Maryland, threatened Washington, Baltimore, and even Philadelphia.  Sheridan waited some weeks, maneuvering.  The country was impatient.  Grant visited him for the purpose of suggesting a plan of operations; but he found Sheridan ready for battle and only waiting for an opportune time to strike.  Grant returned without giving any suggestions.  Finally Early divided his command and the shrewd Irishman from Perry county "struck."  He attacked him, flanked him right and left, broke the Confederate lines in every direction, and sent the defeated troops "whirling through Winchester" with a loss of 4,500 men.
     A partial victory was not characteristic of Sheridan.  He pursued Early thirty miles, and just when the Confederate General began to feel himself safe, he was attacked again by the energetic Sheridan and was completely routed with 1,100 men and sixteen guns captured.
     Again he pursued him, driving him out of the valley and into the gaps of the Blue Ridge.  "Keep on" said Grant, "and your work will cause the fall of Richmond."  These victories electrified the North, while the South was equally cast down.  Early's troops were disheartened.  The Richmond mob, disgusted at Early's repeated defeats, sarcastically labeled the new cannon destined for his use:
 

TO GENERAL SHERIDAN,
CARE OF GEN. EARLY

     Sheridan had devastated the Shenandoah so completely that it would not furnish support to his army.  It was said that a crow would have to carry his provisions with him if he went into that section.  Sheridan retired to Cedar Creek.  From her he was called to Washington for consultation.  While he was absent, the enemy attacked his forces in camp, drove them back in disorder and captured eighteen guns and 1,000 prisoners.  Sheridan had stopped over night to Winchester.  At nine o'clock that morning, while riding toward the camp, he heard the sound of heavy firing, and he knew at once that a battle was in progress.  Soon he began to meet the fugitives from his own army.  Taking in the situation at a glance, he rode forward at a gallop swinging his hat and shouting, "Face the other way, boys, face the other way!"  We are going back to lick them out of their boots!
     The scattered soldiers face about and taking up the General's cry "Face about," met the enemy and forced them to a stand.  The presence of Sheridan had as much effect on the Confederates to terrorize them as it had to rally the Union forces.  They precipitately fled, leaving twenty-four guns, 1,600 prisoners and 1,800 killed and wounded.
     Sheridan remained at Winchester till the spring of '65 when he went to join Grant at Richmond.  On his way he again met his old enemy and they fought their final battle.  Early's force laid down their arms and surrendered.  His army and reputation had both been destroyed.  Lee relieved him and he retired in disgrace.
     The daring ride of Sheridan stands pre-eminently as one of the greatest achievements of American generalship.  Celebrated in song and story as it is, it is with some degree of pride that Perry countians remember that the hero was once a boy in Somerset.
     It is thought appropriate to insert here the well-known poem, by T. Buchanan Read, who wrote it in Cincinnati, Nov. 1, 1864.  The same evening it was recited by James E. Murdoch, the elocutionist, at Pike's Opera House.  It was received with great enthusiasm.  The audience was completely carried away.  So intensely were their feelings wrought upon that one man exclaimed after the last stanza.  "Thank God! I was afraid Sheridan would not get there."

Up from the South at break of day,
Bringing to Winchester fresh dismay,
The affrighted air with a shudder bore,
Like a herald in haste to the chieftain's door,
The terrible grumble and rumble and roar,
Telling the battle was on once more,
And Sheridan twenty miles away.

And wider still those billows of war
Thundered along the horizon's bar;
And louder yet in Winchester rolled
The roar of that red sea uncontrolled,
Making the blood of the listener cold.
And he thought of the stake in that fiery fray,
An Sheridan twenty miles away.

But there is a road from Winchester town,
A good, broad highway leading down;
And there, through the flush of the morning bright,
A steed as black as the steeds of night,
Was seen to pass, as with eagle flight,
As if he knew the terrible need;
He stretched away with his utmost speed;
Hills rose and fell; but his heart was gay,
With Sheridan fifteen miles away.

Still sprung from those hoofs, thundering South,
The dust like smoke from a cannon's mouth,
On the trail of a comet, sweeping faster and faster,
Forboding to traitors the doom of disaster,
The heart of the steed and the breath of the master
Were beating like prisoners assaulting their walls,
Impatient to he where the battlefield calls;
Every nerve of the charger was trained to full play,
With Sheridan only ten miles away.

Under his spurring feet the road
Like an arrowy Alpine river flowed,
And the landscape sped away behind
Like an ocean flying before the wind;
And the steed, like a bark fed with furnace ire,
Swept on, with his wild eyes full of fire.
But lo!  he is nearing his heart's desire;
He is snuffing the smoke of the roaring fray,
With Sheridan only five miles away.

The first that the General saw were the groups
Of stragglers ,and then the retreating troops;
What was done?  What to do?   a glance told him both.
Then, striking his spurs, with a terrible oath,
He dashed down the line, 'mid a storm of huzzas,
And the waves of retreat checked its course there, because,
The sight of the master compelled it to pause.
With foam and dust the black charger was gray;
By the flash of his eye, and the red nostrils' play,
He seemed to the whole great army to say,

"I have brought you Sheridan all the way
From Winchester down to save the day."
     Hurrah! hurrah! for Sheridan!
     Hurrah! hurrah! for horse and man!
And when their statues are place on high,
Under the dome of the Union sky -
The American soldiers' temple of fame -
There, with the glorious General's name,
Be it said, in letters both bold and bright,
"Here's the steed that saved the day,
By carrying Sheridan into the fight
From Winchester twenty miles away!"

     It is of interest to note that the "broad highway leading down," is the National Road, passing through the Refugee lands in the southern part of Licking county.
     A few years ago, an old Virginian, ninety years of age, who had had sons in the Confederate army, was visiting friends in Perry county.  Upon hearing that it was the native county of Sheridan, he went to Somerset to view his boyhood home.  In speaking about it he said, "I live in the Shenandoah valley.  When I go home I can tell the people I was where Sheridan was raised.  His name is still a terror to us."
     About twenty years ago, when the writer was a mere boy, he discovered that Gen. Phil. Sheridan was from Perry county by reading the following on the "boiler plate" side of the New Lexington "Herald."

"WHY SHERIDAN WALKS."

     "A reporter was standing on the portico of the war department building a few afternoons ago, when the carriage assigned to the general of the army drove up.  General Phil. Sheridan was standing on the portico with several friends.  It was a bright afternoon, and General Sheridan shook his head, when the driver approached, and said: 'Never mind; go back to the stable.  I will walk home this afternoon.'  One of his friends, who had been intimate with him in Chicago, remarked: 'That is a strange fancy of the General's.  He never wants a carriage for himself.  He never uses one if he can help it.  If the day is fine he likes to walk down town: and if it isn't he'd rather go home in a street car.  This may seem strange to you, as you may be aware of the fact that he used to be noted for fondness for horseflesh.  Officers who served under him during the late war use to say that he appeared superb when mourned, but I can tell you the secret.  When Phil. Sheridan's war horse died a few years ago, his love for horse flesh went out of him.  A gentleman who knew him well in boyhood vouches for the truth of the story that the first time Phil. Sheridan was ever on a horse, was when Bill Seymour, a boy in Perry county, Ohio, put him on a fiery animal, unsaddled, and told him to hold on with his knees.  Young Sheridan did so until the horse had galloped about two miles across the country,  when the beast came to a halt.  Phil. was still on his back holding on with his knees.  The feat became the talk of the county, as gossip was scarce in those days.  After that he was known as an expert horseman."
     General Phil. Sheridan was not born in Perry county, but in Albany, New York, Mar. 16, 1831, in his natal day.  When only a few years old his parents came to Somerset, where Phil. passed his boyhood days.  He clerked in the dry-goods store of Finck and Ditto and from there, by the assistance of General Ritchey, he went as a cadet to West Point, where he graduated in 1853, thirty-fourth, in a class of fifty-two.  He served in the army of his country for forty years.  At the time of his death, at Nonquitt, Massachusetts, in 1888, he was Lientenant-general of the Army.  This position was never held but by three other persons - Washington, Grant and Sherman.  He is buried in the National Cemetery, Arlington, where so many of our soldiers sleep their last sleep.  On a beautiful hill side in this city of the dead, the Perry county boy and the greatest of American Generals awaits the call of the Angel of the Resurrection.


Dr. Isaac Crook.

     Among the prominent ministers of the Methodist Church, Dr. Isaac Crook, now of Ironton, Ohio, has for many years maintained a high standing, not only as a pulpit orator, but as a teacher, lecturer, and writer.  Dr. Crook was born near Crossenville, in Jackson township.  His early life was spent in the usual manner of country boys.  He taught school in the county and subsequently graduated from the Ohio Wesleyan University at Delaware.  In  1860 he married Miss Emma Wilson of that city.  He served as pastor in many leading churches in Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan and Kentucky.  In the capacity of teacher he has been President of the University of the Pacific, College Park, California, Chancellor of the Nebraska Wesleyan University, and in 1896 was elected President of the Ohio University, at Athens.  Since 1898 he has served as Pastor of Ironton.
     As an author he has produced some very valuable and readable literature.  His biographical sketches are especially interesting.  His delineation of character shows him to be a deep thinker.  Three of his sketches are particularly excellent - the ones on Bishop Edward Thompson, Judge Joshua McLean and William Henry Harrison.  Besides these he has written many valuable articles on pedagogy and has been a contributor to magazines of both a religious and a secular nature.
     As a platform speaker, Dr. Crook holds no mediocre position.  He is a clear, logical and earnest speaker.  He always has something to bring to his audiences and his lectures are well received.


Rev. Father Zahm.

     The log school house, the puncheon floor, "the rude desk of the jack-knife's carved initial" have sent forth many a successful graduate into the post-graduate course of actual life.  Pigeon Roost School on the Logan road may justly be proud of two of her alumni - MacGahan and Father Zahm.  Both have been enlisted in the same cause - that of Liberty.  The one for political, the other for intellectual.  One fought to free people's bodies, the other to free their minds.  One with pen and sword, the other with pen and microscope.  One studied the hearts of the people, the other the great heart of nature.  Both fought against enemies of the Christian religion - the one, the Turk, the other, the agnostic.  Both were victorious.
     Rev. Dr. Father Zahm, priest, scientist and author, is of German origin on the paternal side, while his mother belonged to the famous English family of General Gradock of pre-Revolutionary fame.
     He was born in the southern part of Jackson township, in a log house which stood on land now owned by Mr. James Gordon.  He worked on the farm in summer and in the winter attended school at Pigeon Roost, where MacGahan was also a pupil at the same time.  It is said that he was a very industrious student, a trait that has clung to him throughout life.  In 1866 at the age of sixteen he went to Notre Dame University, where he graduated five years later with high honors.
     "After his ordination to the priesthood, which took place at the completion of his theological studies, Father Zahm, who had thus early shown a special fondness and capacity for scientific work, was placed in charge of the university's scientific department.
     "to him, perhaps, more than to any other single individual is the scientific school of Notre Dame indebted for the high renown which deservedly attaches to it; for in behalf of it and the university museum, of which he was for several years the curator, Dr. Zahm traveled far adn wide in quest of materials wherewith to equip more fully these departments; and on these journeys he made many valuable scientific researches.
     "The doctor's reputation as a scientist is by no means confined to this country.  He is a member of more than one European scientific society; and his published works, 'Sound and Music,' 'Bible, Science and Faith,' and 'Evolution and Dogma,' are as well known on the other side of the Atlantic as on this, where they are to be found in almost every public library in the land.  He is an accomplished linguist, speaking and writing several European languages with facility; and because of his scientific researches, his extensive travels and his recent residence in Rome, he is well and very favorably known to the leading ecclesiastics in this and other countries."
     "The doctor's attitude in regard to science is that faith and reason are harmonious.  In other words, that the teachings of science are not incompatible with revealed religion."
     "The doctor has never forgotten Perry county and the little log school house at Pigeon Roost, where the first foundations of his present profound and comprehensive learning were laid.  Journeying to the Pacific slope some years ago, he had as traveling companions the late Judge Huffman and wife, and in  the course of conversation he learned that the Judge hailed from Perry county.  Whereupon the doctor jubilantly exclaimed that that was his native county, and proceeded to ask the latest news from New Lexington and Somerset and all the adjacent places; and when his curiosity had been in a measure satisfied, he spoke affectionately of the days when he studied under Master Gordon in the little log building that stood on the Logan road."


The Oldest Woman in Perry County.

     There is no doubt that Catherine Cavinee, who died Aug. 8, 1901, at the age of one hundred and five years was the oldest person that ever lived in Perry county.  She was born in Pennsylvania and came to Perry county when she was nearing middle life.  The county was then practically one unbroken forest, except, where the pioneer settler had here and there begun his clearing.  No bands of steel crossed the settler's path were the only roads.  There were no bridges across the streams.   There were only a few small hamlets.  The population of the country was only a few hundreds.  There were no blast-furnaces to light up the darkness of the night.  The hills had not begun to pour out their tons of "black diamonds."  The screech of the locomotive, the whirr of wheels and the hum of industry had not yet been heard.  Instead there were the sounds of the woodman's axe, as he drove it into the heart of the oak; the gurgle of the brook as it trickled over ledge and rock through the virgin forest, the voice of bird and beast as if they were discussing the new order of things.
     What a transition to have seen the changes of three centuries.  It is not given to many to so see.  But to have lived from the Washington to McKinley; to have seen the growth of a Republic; to have seen forests change to fields, and these fields to teem with a great population, and then to "wrap the drapery of the couch about us and lie down to pleasant dreams," is a boon to be desired.


Perry County's First Historian.

     To Ephraim S. Colborn belongs the honor of being the first to gather material for a history of Perry county.  Mr. Colborn was eminently qualified for that work.  Born in 1828, many of the first settlers were yet living and he could get the early happenings of our county direct from the actors themselves.   Engaged almost continuously in newspaper work from 1851, he had ample opportunity for collecting necessary data.  His History appeared in 1883 and was quite extensively sold.  Unfortunately the author received but very small recompense for his work of a life time.  In his early life Mr. Colborn was a teacher.  He studied law, was admitted to the bar, but never practiced.
     In 1851 he began the publication in Somerset of the Perry County Democrat.  He served on the Board of Education in both Somerset and New Lexington.  In 181 President Lincoln appointed him Postmaster of New Lexington.  In 1866 he resigned that office because he was not in accord with the policy of the administration of President Johnson.  In 1873 upon the death of William A. Brown.  Superintendent of the New Lexington Schools, Mr. Colborn went back into the ranks of teaches, for the unexpired term.
     In 1882 Mr. Colborn became local and general editor of the New Lexington Tribune and for fourteen years he was not absent from his office a single day.  Now that he is not in the active newspaper work, he yet devotes the most of his time to various lines of literary productions.  His articles have appeared in Boston Ideas, Harper's Bazar and other well-known publications.  An article of his that attracted some attention was the "Newspaper World."  His writings also include some poetical productions.  Among these are "A legend of the Scioto,"  " The Universal Birthright," "The Vision of Sylvanus," and "A World Oratoria."
     Mr. Colborn has also a reputation as a public speaker.  He delivered the eulogy on the death of Lincoln in New Lexington.  In 1876 he gave the Centennial Oration at Somerset and in 1884 he pronounced the eulogy over the grave of Mr. MacGahan.
     Mr. Colborn
interestingly tells of his experience in taking the Teacher's Examination in this county in the fall of 1849.
     There were three Examiners, T. J. McGinnis, Col. William Spencer and John McMahon, a merchant, who was an excellent mathematician.
     In taking the examination in those days, the applicant would go to one of the members of the Board, who would do all of the examining.  If the examination was successful, he would be handed a Certificate, which he would take to the other two examiners for their signatures.
     At this particular time, the applicant went to the law office of Col. Spencer in Somerset.  But the Colonel was not in.  He then went to the law office of Mr. McGinnis.  That gentleman being at home the examination proceeded as follows:
     A piece of foolscap paper was handed to the applicant.  Then a quill pen that had seen considerable service in the law office was a standing joke among the lawyers.  The applicant was asked to show his ability as a penman.  As soon as the examiner saw that the applicant could rally write, he was satisfied on that line.  Then they went to the Grammer department.  Several questions were asked but in such a vague way as to show that the examiner had forgotten some of his grammer.  The applicant offered a correction and the examiner admitting it, concluded that his man was "up" on that branch.  Then came the mathematics.  This was a particularly searching test.  The first and only problem to be solved was, "What is the cost of 18 cents per yard?"  In a few moments the answer was produced.  The examiner evidently thought that he had discovered a mathematical prodigy.  He certainly laid a sufficient amount of stress on this one subject, so that he considered it unnecessary to ask any questions on Geography, but dismissed it with the question that is in itself an answer - "Of course you have studied Geography."  This completed the examination.
     "I assure you, you pass," was the verdict.  Thereupon seizing a sheet of paper and the before mentioned quill, he wrote out a certificate for two years.  The reply to the question, "what's the fee?" was, "We don't charge anything at all unless we're about out of tobacco."  Looking into the drawer of his table, he continued, "We're about out.  You can give me half a dollar."  At that time the examiner who did the examining got the fee. 


The Beauty of Our Hills.

There is beauty in these hills of ours for him with eyes to see;
There is beauty smiling at us from the meadows broad and free;
There is beauty in the woodlands; there is beauty 'long the brooks;
There's beauty in the violet light as it gleams through leafy nooks
And a beauty out of heaven over all the landscape rills
When the sun shines down upon these Perry county hills.

There is beauty in the moonlight as it falls athwart the fields;
And we see it in the harvest when it its fulness yields;
It is gleaming in the sunrise when the clouds are blushing red;
It is glowing in the sunset with its streamers bright o'er head;
And a beauty past expression my entire being thrills
When the meadow lark sings sweetly in these Perry county hills.

There is beauty in the springtime when the grass is fresh and green,
And it comes to us in summer when the bees and flowers are seen;
And we feel it in the autumn in the hazy mellow glow;
And always when the winter dons his overcoat of snow;
And a beauty that's bewitching my heart with rapture thrills,
As I listen to the Bob-white in these Perry county hills.

There's a beauty that's majestic in the pineclad mountain side;
And a music that's sublime in the ocean's roaring tide;
We hear it, where the rivers flow through woodlands old and hoary;
And see it, in the distant lands of classic song and story;
But to me the most enchanting is the son that o'er me trills,
When I list to Mother Nature in these Perry county hills

                                                          C. L. M.

      New Lexington, O., March 19, 1902.

 
 
HIS PAGE WILL BE FROM 129 THRU 170.
 
CLICK HERE to RETURN to
PERRY COUNTY, OHIO
CLICK HERE to RETURN to
OHIO GENEALOGY EXPRESS
This Webpage has been created by Sharon Wick exclusively for Ohio Genealogy Express  2008
Submitters retain all copyrights