Bounded on the north by
Madison township, on the east by Fairfield county, on the south by
Washington and Circleville townships, on the west by the Scioto
river, and on the northwest by Walnut creek, lies Walnut, one of the
most fertile and productive townships in Pickaway county. It
contains a large proportion of excellent corn land, and produces,
also, abundant crops of wheat, oats, and grass.
The surface is generally undulating, though the eastern
part of the township is considerably more rolling than the western
and central portions. The highest point is Ringgold, where an
elevation of over five hundred feet above Circleville is attained.
There are several mounds and ancient remains in the township, the
most interesting of which are found near Ringgold. In a
timbered piece of land on the farm of Mr. Snyder, are three
mounds, of conical shape, in a nearly straight line east and west,
and only a few rods from each other, each from twelve to fifteen
feet in height. A few rods to the east of these mounds is a
slight depression in the surface of the ground, in the form of an
exact circle, of about two hundred feet in circumference
and four or five feet in width. Old residents report that the
ditch, when first seen by them, forty or fifty years ago, was
several feet deep, and that it was surrounded by an embankment, but
no traces of this are now discernable. On the farm of Mrs.
Spade, in the same vicinity, is a similar specimen of antiquity,
though the ditch is less distinct. The mounds above described
are hollowed out, and are full of stone, and in the early settlement
of the township were inhabited by countless numbers of snakes, of
almost every variety of species, and the place was called "snakes'
den," and it is still so designated. The reptiles would crawl
out in the spring of the year and infest every portion of the
township during the summer, returning to their nests in the fall,
and such a pest did they become, that it was necessary, finally, to
attack them in their nests and destroy them.
WATER COURSES AND TIMBER
The principal stream of
Little Walnut Creek, which flows a general east and west course
through the township, uniting with 'walnut creek in section
eighteen. Its main branch is Turkey run, which, rising in
Fairfield county, enters the township on section thirteen, flows in
a westerly direction until it reaches section sixteen, when its
course lies northwest, entering the parent stream in the north part
of that section.
The original varieties of timber consisted principally
of walnut, maple, oak, butternut, hickory, and a large proportion of
wild cherry of splendid growth, many of the trees measuring five or
six feet through. There are also a great deal of buckeye, but
it was not valued as timber,,, and the tree proved very unwholesome
to the cattle, which ae freely of the branches and nuts, and
sickened, and sometimes died in consequence.
that several years prior to the arrival of the first settler, a
company of six men, from Virginia, had visited the township, making
the journey in a canoe. They started out to explore the
country with the view of selecting a place for settlement, and
halted only when they reached section sixteen in what is now Walnut
township, Pickaway county. Here they made an encampment,
cleared off a small piece of ground, trapped and hunted a few
months, and then returned to Virginia. When the pioneer,
Williamson, came he erected his cabin on the spot where the
party had camped.
The pioneer settler in Walnut was WILLIAM WILLIAMSON,
who came into its forest from Hampshire county, Virginia, in the
spring of 1797 or 1798. He leased some school land in section
sixteen, and, assisted by his brothers, Cornelius and Jane, who came
out with him, erected a cabin and put in six or seven acres of corn,
on land now constituting a part of the farm of Joshua Hedges.
In the fall they returned to Virginia, and the following winter
William brought out his family, consisting of his wife and one
small child. The parents performed the entire journey on foot,
carrying the child in their arms, while the few goods they had were
transported on a packhorse. Williamson's cabin stood on
the site of the old log-and-frame dwelling of Jabez Hedges,
about thirty rods northeast of the present brick residence of
Joshua Hedges. There he lived until 1812, when he bought
the northwest quarter of section fifteen, to which he bought the
northwest quarter of section fifteen, to which he removed, and which
he made his permanent residence. Williamson was born in
Hampshire County, Virginia, June 23, 1868, and was, consequently,
about twenty-eight years of age when he came into the township.
He died June 17, 1844, and is buried in the old burying-ground, a
short distance north of where he first lived. His wife,
Sarah, died Oct. 13, 1831, aged fifty-two years. The names
of the children of this pioneer family, mentioned in the order of
their births, are as follows: John, Eliza, Maria, Hiram,
Mary, Mahala, and Jackson - all born in this township,
with the exception of John. Eliza became the wife of
John Kimble; Maria, of Jabez Hedges; Mary,
of Williamson, her cousin; and Mahala, of
Theophilus Nicholson. Cornelius Williamson and family
moved out a short time after his return to Virginia, and located
near the site of the old graveyard previously mentioned. A
child died soon after, and the family, thinking the new country
sickly, went back to Virginia. In about 1830, however, they
came out again, and made a permanent settlement. John
Williamson, sr., father of William and Cornelius, with
his family, joined the settlement in 1815.
WILLIAM and JOSEPH BUCK
and their families,
originally from Pennsylvania, removed to this State from Kentucky,
and arrived in the township about a year after Williamson.
William took a lease, for seven years, of about thirty acres
in section sixteen. At the expiration of his lease he removed
from the township, going south, somewhere on the Mississippi river.
Joseph Buck entered one hundred and sixty acres in section
eighteen, where he resided until his death, about 1808. His
life was cut short by accident. He was testing a mowing
scythe, which he had just "hung," when Henry Reader, his
neighbor, passing by the field in which he was at work, was asked to
stop and try it. He did so. The first Stroke he made the
scythe choked, and, in forcing it through the grass, the point
struck Buck, who was standing near, in the back of the leg,
just above the knee. An artery was severed and he bled to
death in the field before surgical aid could be obtained.
JAMES MARTIN settled, as early as 1798, in
section thirty-three, on land now occupied by John Reber.
Mr. Martin came from Pennsylvania. He had two sons
and several daughters, one of whom became the wife of Andrew
Cradlebaugh, a former resident of Circleville, and whose son
Colonel John Cradlebaugh, was a prominent member of the bar of
ABRAHAM CRIST settled, about the year 1800,
where STEVENSON PETERS now lives. He had a saw-mill
there in an early day, with a run of stone for grinding. The
machinery was run by a tread-wheel, propelled by a yoke of oxen.
He had also a small distillery, which he operated until his death -
in 1833 or 1834. He was taking a load of whiskey to
Circleville, and while watering his team at Hargus Creek, the horses
became frightened in some way and ran over him, causing his death.
WILLIAM WARD and family came from Pendleton
county, Virginia, in the spring of 1802. The family consisted
of his wife and seven children; a married daughter remaining behind.
They came to Wheeling by wagon, and thence on a flat boat to
Portsmouth. From Portsmouth they journeyed, through the almost
trackless forest, with team and wagon. Ward settled on
three hundred acres in section seventeen, and moved into a cabin
until then occupied by William Buck, a squatter, who vacated
on the arrival of Ward. The daughter, Elizabeth,
with her family, came out about a year afterward, and remained about
two years on section eight, when they returned to Virginia.
The other children were Charles, William, Robert, Mary, James,
George, and Richard. Charles, William, George, and
Robert settled in Fairfield county. Mary died
unmarried. James married Elizabeth Brobst, and
settled on a part of the old homestead. He died in 1863.
Four of his sons live in this township --- William, Peter,
Josiah, and Daniel. Richard Ward married
Mary Route, and settled on the old homestead. Two sons -
William Harvey and Sidner J.. - are at present
residing in Walnut.
In 1803 John Morris moved in and settled on a
quarter section in number thirty-three, the farm being now owned by
Johnson Bowman. The only settler then in this portion
of the township was James Martin, who adjoined him on the
north. Morris occupied his original location until his
death. A son - Ezekiel - resides in Washington, aged
seventy-eight years, and James in Walnut. John
died June 5, 1877, and his widow occupies the farm.
THOMAS LONGWORTH settled a short distance north
of the present residence of JOHN HASS, near where the old
graveyard now is, in about 1803. He had a large family, but
none of them are now left.
JOSHUA HEDGES, with his wife, and eleven
children, came into the country in 1804. They came with team
and wagon from Berkeley county, Virginia, their native place, to
Brownsville, Pennsylvania, a town on the Monogahela river.
There they loaded everything on to a flat-boat, and traveled thus to
Marietta, and thence by wagon, over the rough and almost impassable
roads, to Zanesville. Their household goods, which were packed
in eight or nine large trunks, were left at Marietta, to be shipped
up the Muskingum. The shipping agent neglected to send them
for several weeks, leaving them exposed to the weather, and the
goods were utterly destroyed. The family went to Lancaster in
Fairfield county, where they made a temporary location, arriving the
seventeenth day of May, of the above year. Mr. Hedges
died there the same summer, and in the fall the family came to
Walnut. They put up a cabin on section nine, which, with other
lands, the father had entered, and moved into it on Christmas day.
Mrs. Hedges married Henry Dreisbach, of Pickaway
township, and moved with him to Bloomfield, where they kept a
tavern. The children of Joshua Hedges were Joshua,
Jr., John, Obed, Jabed, Cynthia, Phebe, Rhoda, Julia, Cyrus, Morgan
and William. All are now dead but Jabez. He was
born Dec. 28, 1789, near Martinsburg, Virginia. He married
Maria Williamson, and first settled on Walnut creek, but in 1829
moved to his present location in section sixteen. His wife
died May 13, 1868, and he now lives with his son, Joshua.
Mr. Hedges was a volunteer for a few months, in the war of 1812,
but lay sick most of the time at Fort McArthur.
WILLIAM TALLMAN, a Pennsylvanian, settled where
Absalom A. Peters now lives, section twenty-four, about the
year 1805. He possessed considerable means when he arrived,
and subsequently owned a large amount of land. He died in
Royalton, Fairfield county, but his body was brought to Walnut, and
buried on the farm. He was the father of Judge George
Tallman, former a resident of New Holland, this county.
RICHARD HOOKER, son-in-law of Tallman,
came from Brownsville, Pennsylvania, in 1805, and settled a short
distance north of Ringgold, where he resided until some time after
the war of 1812, when he returned to Pennsylvania. He was a
man of superior ability, and served several terms in the Sate
JACOB HOOVER, from Pendleton county, Virginia,
came to Ohio in 1805. He entered the southeast quarter of
section five, and settled where his son, Christian Hoover,
now lives. The old log cabin, into which the family moved so
long ago, is still standing, but not in its original location.
He died there in 1825, aged forty-seven. Mrs. Hoover
lived until the age of eighty-four, having died only a few years
since. Their children were: Sarah (now Mrs Aucker);
Elias (deceased); Elizabeth; Martha (deceased);
Christian; Ann M.; Mary, wife of Lewis Rhodes; Peter
(dead); and Nancy, wife of Philip Glick.
ALEXANDER FRASIER, a Scotchman, located on the same
section, soon after Hoover; finally went to Madison township,
where he died.
In 1806, JOSHUA MILLER and family came from
Berkeley county, Virginia, into Walnut, and made their location
where Jacob Hines now lives. A son, Joseph,
married Phebe Hedges, and settled on the place now occupied
by Elkanah Humble. Peter Miller married a daughter of
Lewis Scotorn, and occupied a part of the old homestead.
Jacob Hines and Elizabeth Humble married daughters of
BENJAMIN BOWMAN and family came from Greene county,
Pennsylvania, in 1802, and settled on the Pickaway plains, where he
remained several years, and then came to Walnut and entered a
quarter section, where his son John now lives. He died
Sep. 29, 1816, and was buried on the farm. He had eight
children, two of whom - John and Mrs. Joseph Bowman - are
among the oldest residents of the township. John
married Ruth, daughter of William Brown, and has
raised a family of eight children, as follows: Harriet
(Mrs. Grandstaff) resides in Indiana; Emily is the
wife of Harvey A. Blue; Benjamin, residing in
Illinois, and William, deceased, were both, formerly,
auditors of Pickaway county; Eliza (Mrs. Newman), Mary Jane,
(wife of William M. Peters), and Richard M. J., reside
WILLIAM BROWN and family, his son
Samuel and family, and several sons-in-law and their families,
came from Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, in the fall of 1806.
Mr. Brown, sr., entered considerable land in Walnut
township, and divided it among his sons. After residing in the
township many years he removed to Hancock county, and died there, at
the age of more than ninety years. All of his children, after
living in the township for longer or shorter periods, moved to
Hancock county, with the exception of William who permanently
settled in Walnut, and Mrs. B. Brown who went to the coal
regions. Two children of William Brown, jr., now live
in Walnut, viz.: William on the homestead, and Mrs. John
Bowman. Obed died April 2, 1866, but his widow (Delilah
Snyder) is still living.
LEWIS SCOTHORN settled on Turkey run, in section
fourteen, in 1806. He came from Rockingham county, Virginia,
bringing his family and goods on pack-horses. He was a very
successful hunter, and many a deer fell a victim to his unerring
rifle. He dressed their skins and made them into moccasins,
which he found a ready market for among the settlers. He died
in Fairfield, in 1816. His widow subsequently went to Hancock
county, where she died at an advanced age. His son, Lewis,
a resident of the township, was born Jan. 31, 1812, and married
Susannah Westenhaver, who died in May, 1850.
Another son, Joseph, married Hannah Crum,
and, subsequently, purchased and settled where ASHTON WHITEHEAD
lives. He finally removed near Ashville, and made a permanent
location on land now owned by EZRA HEDGES.
JACOB BEERY was the earliest settler in the
northeast part of the township. He arrived from Northampton
county, Pennsylvania, in 1807, and settled where his son, David
Beery, now lives, where he continued to reside until his death,
in 1845. His widow died in March, 1866, having reached the
advanced, age of nearly eighty-eight years. Their three
children - Sarah, Lydia and David - came in with them,
and they all subsequently married into the family of JACOB
SCLEICH. The wife of David (Harriet Scleich) died
Jan. 18, 1863. They had ten children, nine of whom are living.
J. C. PETERS came from Berkeley county,
Virginia, near Winchester, in 1808. He settled in Walnut, and
resided here until 1825, when he moved to Madison township, on
section thirty-three. William L. Peters still lives on
the southeast quarter of the same section. Mr. Peters
was married twice, and had, by his first wife, fourteen children,
and by his second, two. William Peters married
Susannah Hoffine, and to them have been born six children:
John N., Harriet A., George S., Francis J., Edward A. and
James P. Mr. Peters had one child (now dead) by a previous
GEORGE BRINKER, then eighteen years of age, came
to Ohio in 1810. After working out by the month for some time,
he married Mary Shope, and settled on the southeast quarter
of section number three, which, with other lands, his step-father
had taken up and failed to pay for. He was twice married, and
was the father of twelve children. His mother married, for her
second husband, Jacob Shaffer, and they were early settlers
in Madison township. They moved from thence to Upper Sandusky,
where he died, and she came to Walnut, and died at the house of her
son, George, whom she survived. Two sons of George
Brinker - Barnabas and George, jr. - reside in
JOHN PENINGER and family, Jesse Morral and
Mary Harrold, came from Pendleton county, Virginia, in 1`810,
and about the same time William Morral and his family.
Peninger settled on Dry run, near Emanuel church. Jesse
Morral and Miss Harrold were united in marriage soon
after their arrival, and their marriage is the second recorded in
the records of Pickaway county. He first located in section
twenty-one, but after wards moved to the southeast quarter of
section sixteen. He subsequently lived in Harrison and Madison
townships, but finally came back to Walnut, and died on the
Hoover place, in 1824. His wife died in 1831. They
raised two children, Robert J. and Fidelia, several
having died in infancy. Robert married Martha Hott,
and settled where he now resides, on section seventeen.
Fidelia became the wife of William Smith, and lies in
HENRY HOTT, father of Mrs. Morral, with
his family, and several brothers, came from Hampshire county,
Virginia, in 1812. He located on the northwester quarter of
section eighteen, on land now owned by Ezra Hedges, and
resided there until his death. Two of his brothers settled in
GEORGE GROCE, a native of Maryland, and his
wife, Catharine, emigrated to Ohio, directly after the close
of the war of 1812. He first located at Circleville, and built
the third house in the town. A few years after, he settled in
Walnut, where his son, Allen Groce, now lives. He died
in October, 1857, aged nearly seventy-six; his wife's death occurred
many years previous. John, Allen and Amos, his
sons, now reside in Walnut, and a daughter, Mrs. Samuel Crites,
lies in Fairfield county.
emigrated from Cumberland,
Maryland, to this township, with his family, about the year 1812.
He never owned any land, and frequently changed his location.
Thomas, his son, married Nancy Williamson daughter of
John Williamson, and first located a short distance northeast
BENJAMIN TRONE, in 1813, when thirteen years
old, came from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, to Walnut, and the
same year first father and family came from New Jersey, and settled
on the southwest quarter of section eleven. A number of years
after he sold his farm to his son, Asa, and after a residence
of some twelve years in Royalton, removed to Circleville.
Benjamin settled on eighty acres of his father's farm. He
died in 1860. He was twice married, and was the father of
seven children, of whom Harvey and Asa now reside in
the township. His widow, aged seventy-three, lives with her
PAUL CROMLEY settled where his son, Jonas,
now lives, in section ten, in 1813. He came, with his family,
from Lehigh county, Pennsylvania. His surviving children are:
Jonas, the eldest of the family, now aged seventy-six;
William, sr., and Mary, widow of Peter Hoover.
Stephen, died in 1871, aged sixty-five; Elizabeth died
unmarried; Catharine married Peter Westenhaver.
The youngest son was Thomas. Paul Cromley
purchased his land on which he first located of James and John
Cromley, who were also early settlers here.
HUGH CREIGHTON, a native of Ireland, moved to
this State from Pennsylvania, in 1804. He resided two or three
years at Zanesville, and then settled in Bloomfield, this county.
In 1816, he same to Walnut, and bought of Jeremiah Smith one
hundred acres in the southeast part of section nine, now owned by
Mrs. Peter Hoover. He subsequently located on Walnut
creek, in the northwest part of the township, and, with his son,
Samuel, built the mills now owned by Mr. Spndler.
He finally moved to Fairfield county, near Lithopolis, where he
died, in 1858, in his eighty-fifth year. His wife was
eighty-seven at her death, surviving her husband eight years.
They had four sons, and a daughter, now widow of Cyrus Hedges,
and residing in Walnut. Two of the sons survive - Samuel,
in Lithopolis, and Joseph, a Methodist minister, at present
presiding elder of the Chillicothe district. William,
the oldest, was among the early pioneers of Iowa. Henry
was murdered by his wife, in January, 1817. She was convicted
of manslaughter, and sentenced to the State penitentiary for three
TUNIS PETERS came from Hampshire county,
Virginia, in the fall of 1817, and spent the following winter in a
cabin which stood on the farm now owned by GEORGE KEIGER.
In the spring of 1818 he bought and settled on eighty acres in
section thirty-five, now owned by Amos Groce. In his
later years he removed to Logan, Hocking county, where he
died in 1826. His son, Absalom A. Peters, aged
seventy-six years, resides in Walnut, within half a mile of the site
of the cabin in which he spent his first winter in Ohio, sixty-two
MICHAEL BLUE emigrated to Ohio
from Hampshire county, Virginia, in 1812. He resided a number
of years in Fairfield county, and then came to Walnut. He died
at the residence of his son John, at the age of nearly
eighty-two. Their children were: Tunis, deceased;
Francina, now widow of John Williams, living in Illinois;
Jonathan, in Harrison township, Pickaway county, unmarried;
Harvey A., who married Emily Bowman, and is a resident of
this township; Louisa and Michael, who died young;
Abigail (deceased), who was the wife of Henry Whitemer,
of East Ringgold; Catharine, deceased; Absalom, living
in Illinois; Deborah, who became the wife of John Smith;
John, resident of Fairfield county; and William, dead.
SAMUEL PETERS and family came from Baltimore,
Maryland, during the war of 1812, and settled in Fairfield county,
where he died in 1829, and his wife Mary in 1861, in
her eighty-eighth year. They had thirteen children, viz.:
Henry, Robinson J., Nathan, Wesley, Rachel, Stevenson, Leah, Mary,
Andrew, Gideon, Elizabeth, Louis S., and Ebenezer.
Rachel is now the widow of William Brumfield; Leahis the
wife of Broad Cole; Mary is the widow of Daniel
Walters; Elizabeth is the wife of Newton Williamson.
All the children are living except Gideon, who died Feb. 26,
1844, and nine of them are each over seventy years of age.
JACOB WESTHAVER came to Ohio near Martinsburg,
Virginia, in 1806. He spent the first winter with his
father-in-law, JOASH MILLER, in this township, when he went
to Chillicothe, and remained for a short time. He then located
in Jefferson, Pickaway township, this county, and subsequently
settled in Circleville, where he erected one of the first buildings
in the town. He finally came to Walnut and settled in section
three, and died there in 1847, his wife surviving him. They
were the parents of eight children, three of whom -- Mrs.
Ashbroon, Mrs. Culp, and Emanuel - reside in Walnut.
ZACHARIAH PRITCHETT, his wife, and two children,
came to Ohio from Sussex county, Delaware, in 1824, performing the
journey with a horse and cart. They remained near Kingston,
Ross county, until fall, when they went to Harrison township and
located on Walnut creek. Subsequently they came to this
township and purchased eighty acres in section twenty-one, where
John Reber now resides. They removed to their present
location in the fall of 1836, where the father died in March, 1877.
ISAAC WEAVER settled in Walnut, on the farm now
owned by EMANUEL SNYDER, in the winter of 1827. His
parents came from Rockingham county, Virginia, when he was ten years
of age, and settled in Richland county, Ohio. He resided there
until he was twenty-five years of age, when he married Sarah
Fetters, and removed to this township. He lived in Walnut
until the fall of 12869, when he sold to Mr. Snyder and moved
to Circleville, where he now resides, at the age of seventy-eight.
He is the father of nine children - David, Louisa, Philip,
William, John, Elizabeth, Mary Jane, Susannah, and Samuel.
David is engaged in merchandising at Nebraska, in this township;
Louisa (afterwards Mrs. Matthew Kelley), is
deceased; Philip is a farmer, and resides in this township;
William is one of the firm of Lynch & Weaver,
grocers, in Circleville; John lives in Arkansas;
Elizabeth resides in Walnut, and is the wife of Norman
Peters; Mary Jane is the wife of Thomas John son, and
Samuel, live in Illinois.
DAVID KERSHNER came from Lehigh county,
Pennsylvania, in 1821. He kept bachelor's hall for seven
years, in Bloom township, Fairfield county. He bought thirty
acres of and there, which he cleared up. He married Rebecca
Alsbach and three years after sold out and bought the place on
which he now lives.
DANIEL SNYDER settled where his son William
now lives, in 1834, emigrating from Pennsylvania. He died
soon after his settlement. His widow, aged nearly
eighty-seven, resides with her son, Emanuel Snyder.
JOHN MAY came from Maryland, in the spring of 1836.
His mother, Catharine May, and five children, came out nine
years before. Mr. May bought the farm now occupied by
Jacoab Martin, and lived there until the fall of 1860, when
he moved to Ringgold, where he has since resided. He is now
aged eighty-four. Charles May, who came to Ohio with
the mother, in 1827, made a settlement in Walnut. He has been
twice married; now lives in Illinois.
school-house in Walnut, according to Mr. Hedges'
recollection, stood a short distance north of the old graveyard, in
section sixteen, where Joseph Leesman, Asa England, Joshua
Baker and Philip Gatewood kept at an early date. A
little log school-house was built just east of where Monroe
Scothorn now lives, shortly afterwards, in which Hugh
Hannagan, Hugh Creighton and others were early teachers.
These buildings were constructed of logs, of course, with stick
chimney, puncheon floor and door and clapboard roof. One whole
end was required for the fireplace. The light was admitted by
means of a "window" in each side of the house, made by cutting out
the half of two logs nearly the entire length of the house, and
sticks placed in the opening, over which oiled or greased paper was
pasted. Along each window was a rough board, which rested on
wooden pins, stuck into the logs, and constituted a desk at which
the scholars sat when engaged in writing. The seats were
merely split slabs, supported by wooden pins. In this manner
the school-houses were built for a number of years after the first
settlement of the country. A school-house was erected on the
section line between numbers twenty-two and twenty-three, in 1810,
in which the first teacher was a man by the name of Adison.
John Bowman and wife (formerly Ruth Brown), still
living in the neighborhood, attended this school. A school was
kept by John Wilson, as early as 1823, in a little cabin on
the farm now owned by William Reed. Lewis Scothorn
and Barnabas Brinker were scholars of this school. A
hewed-log school-house was soon after erected on the hill, a short
distance southwest of this cabin, and Edward Kennedy taught
the first school therein.
Members of the Methodist
Episcopal faith established public worship in the township at an
early date, the earliest meetings being held at the dwellings,
successively, of Noah Jones, Moses Oman and George Brinker,
and, in the eastern part of the township, at Jacob Longabaugh's
and widow Cole's. The Hedges' chapel class was
organized at the house of George Brinker, in 1841, and
consisted of the following members: Thomas Young and wife,
Shadrach Cole and five children, James Hoyman, George
Brainker and wife and daughters, Hannah and Catharine,
Cyrus Hedges, his wife, Jane and daughters, Ann D.
(now Mrs. Smith), and Cynthia, Eli Hines and wife,
Sarah Payton and daughters, and Gideon Cummings.
The Revs. James Gilworth and Thomas Hurd were then on
the circuit, and Shadrach Cole was local preacher. The
first class leader was Thomas Young whose efficiency and
devotion to his work is fondly mentioned by his few remaining
associates. The chapel was built in 1843, its erection being
largely attributable to the energy and liberality of Cyrus Hedges,
who donated the ground, in addition to his subscription of fifty
dollars. The house was dedicated by Rev. Joseph Trimble.
The Sabbath school of this church was formed in the spring of 1844,
with John Spindler as superintendent.
The Union Methodist Episcopal church was formed some
time between the years 1825 and '30, the following named persons
being the constituent members, to-wit: William Tallman
and wife, and Martin Barnhart and wife. The meetings
continued to be held at Mrs. Cole's, as previously mentioned,
until the erection of a church in the year 1835, for which
William Tallman gave the land. Mr. Lewis S. Peters,
who has officiated for many years as local preacher, united with the
class when the meetings were held at widow Cole's. The
first church building was a small brick structure, which, as the
class increased in membership, became inadequate to the needs of the
society, and, about fifteen years after its erection, it was torn
down, and one the same site the present brick house was built.
The church, in its most prosperous days, numbered nearly one hundred
members, but it now consists of only seven or eight.
THE EVANGELICAL ASSOCIATION.
Mount Zion's church,
formerly called the Cinser church, was organized at the house of
Solomon Cinser, in 1830. Cinser and wife, John
Bridagum and wife, Jacob Rife and wife, Valentine Reber and wife,
were the original members. Meetings were held at the house of
Mr. Cinser until 1840, when the frame church, on the south
line of the township, was erected. This, is said, by an old
member, to be the first church edifice erected by the denomination
west of the Allegheny mountains.
Emanuel church was formed about the year 1832,
with the following named members: John Tobias and wife;
Peter Tobias and wife; John Hittle and wife; and Peter
Moyer and wife. Meetings were held at the dwellings of the
members until the church in the southeast corner of section
twenty-eight, was built. This was in 184_. The present
pastors are Revs. C. M. Reinehold and A. Evans.
THE UNITED BRETHREN.
A class was organized at
the house of of James Ward, in 1833. The meetings were
held there form some time, and then in a log school-house, on eh
bank of the creek, near the present covered bridge. A log
school-house was afterwards built where the brick now stands, in
district number four, when the class met there for worship.
This was in 1845. A revival, under the preaching of Rev.
Isaac Kretzenger, the circuit preacher, soon followed, resulting
in the addition of quite a number to the church; and the need of a
suitable house of worship was felt. A mound, supposed to be of
artificial construction, in the south part of section seventeen, was
selected as the site. Some five or six feet of the top of the
mound was leveled down, and a frame building erected thereon.
The church, at the suggestion of Robert J. Morrall, one of
the members who selected the location, was christened "Mount Hermon
church," In 1875, the old building was removed (and is now
occupied by Jacob Smith as a dwelling) to give place to the
present frame structure. The church now has a membership of
about sixty, Daniel Bonebrake being the pastor.
A class formerly existed in the Pontius neighborhood,
but it disbanded in 1845, and the members, then only five or six in
number, united with the Mount Hermon class. The Sabbath-school
of this church was organized as a union school, in the hewed-log
school-house, now used as a dwelling house by Daniel Litton,
in 1843 or '44, with Henry Pontius superintendent.
The Bethlehem church was organized at the house of
John Hager, in 1835, with the following members: John
Hager, wife, and son Peter, Silas Warn and wife,
Samuel Weakley and wife, Thomas Duryea and wife, and
Nathan Beaver. Meetings were held at the residence of
John Hager until the erection of the church, in 1840.
A class was formed at the dwelling of John May,
on the farm now occupied by Jacob Martin in 1838 or 1839, by
Rev. William McCabe. They held their services there for
some time, until the class became large, when it was divided, and
one part met for worship at the house of John Morris and the
other in the Albright church on the town line, which some of
the members assisted in erecting. The two classes subsequently
reunited and continued their meetings in the Albright church
on the town line, which some of the members assisted in erecting.
The two classes subsequently reunited and continued their meetings
in the Albright church until 1874, when the Bethany church
building in Washington was erected.
The East Ringgold class was organized in 1860 by
Rev. Thoams Forsyth, and was composed of the following members:
John May and wife, Elizabeth Spade, Adaline and
Catharine Peters, and John Bridagum. The frame
church, erected by members of the German Reformed church, at the
Ritter burying-ground, was purchased and moved to its present
location in East Ringgold. Since the Rev. Mr. McCabe,
the following ministers have preached on this circuit: Jacob
Alsbaugh, Joshua Montgomery, Pleasant Brock, Joseph Yarnell, William
Fisher, Wilson Cones, William Cones, William Kern, Joseph Burkwalter,
E. Vanderman, William Miller, Thomas Forsyth, Joseph Huffine, ____
Eastep, Lemuel Montgomery, Joseph Brundage, William Burnsworth,
Samuel Whitmore, George Humphman, Joseph Brown, Baker Gillespie,
Nathaniel Smith, and Peter Waggoner, who is still on the
circuit. There are thirty-two names on the class-book, but the
actual membership is much less, having been reduced by removals and
deaths. John May is leader.
of the German Reformed and Evangelical Lutheran
denominations, was built in 1839. The land, consisting of over
five acres, was donated by Henry Warner, one of the members
in consequence of which the church was named for him. The deed
of conveyance was to George Pontious, Henry Spade, Henry Warner,
and Martin Falk, trustees of the church, and their
successors. The preacher, at the time of the erection of the
church, was Rev. Henry King, and the deacons were John
Glentzer, Henry Heffner, Philip Leist, and Solomon
Stout. Soon after the erection of the buildings, certain
forms of worship were sought to be introduced by some of the German
Reformed members, which, being considered as innovations upon their
principles and practices by the other portion, met with opposition,
resulting, finally, in a split. The former withdrew, and
erected a frame building at the Ritter burying ground, half a mile
northeast of Ringgold. This branch of the society subsequently
disbanded, and the building was sold to the United Brethren, who
removed into Ringgold. The Warner church contains a membership
of about one hundred and forty, the Lutherans composing much the
In 1842 a German Reformed Clergyman, by the name of
Stirckland, came into the township from Pennsylvania, and
preached at some of the dwellings of the inhabitants and at the
school-ouse, which stood a short distance north of the site of
Hedges' chapel. He organized a society, and afterward
returned East. He was followed by a minister by the name of
Phillips, during whose labors the North Union church was built, in
1844. The church was erected by the inhabitants generally,
without respect to any particular denomination, and ministers of
different faiths officiated in its pulpit. In the spring of
1851, a United Brethren class was formed, and used the church for a
number of years, when the organization was broken up. The
building has not been used for religious meetings for ten or twelve
Hugh Creighton was
the pioneer in Sabbath school work in Walnut. As early as 1822
or 1823 he kept a day-school in the log school-house which stood
just east of the present site of Monroe Scothorn's
residence, and on the Sabbath he would collect the children together
for religious instruction, although no regular organization was
formed. After the removal of the school-house, as previously
mentioned, a school was organized by Mr. Creighton but it
continued in existence only a short time.
The first place selected by
the pioneers of Walnut for the burial of their dead, was the
"sixteenth burying ground," situated on the bank of the creek, in
the north part of section sixteen. The first burial - and
probably the first death - in the township, was that of a child of
Cornelius Williamson. The grave us unmarried, and the
exact date of the event is not known, although it was prior to 1800.
The oldest inscription is that on the tombstone of Mary,
daughter of William and Mary Ward, who died Sep. 20, 1802, at
the age of twenty-one years.
A post-office was
established at Nebraska, in 1853, with Andrew Hedges as
postmaster, the name of the office being "Hedges' Store." When
Hedges sold his store to Thomas Gregg, in the spring
of 1856, William Nicholson became postmaster, and continued
to act until the summer of 1857, when Caleb Brobst assumed
the duties of the office. D. F. Weaver, the present
incumbent, was appointed in the summer of 1859, and the name changed
to Nebraska. Mr. Weaver has held the position of
postmaster over twenty consecutive years.
The office at East Ringgold was established in 1855.
The first postmaster was W. C. Finkel, afterwards probate
judge, who kept the office in the house which is now the dwelling of
Louis Heckman. On his removal to Circleville, in
1862, he resigned his commission, and was succeeded by W. S. Heim,
who officiated for about a year, when Dr. E. C> Witt was
appointed, and served until 1871. S. H. Tobias was the
next incumbent, holding the position a few years, and was followed,
for a shorter term, by J. J. Kershner. William M. Peters,
the present postmaster was commissioned in the summer of 1878.
O. E. Niles was the first mail-carrier through
Walnut, or rather the Lindsey boys, who carried it for Niles.
They carried the mail on horseback, the route extending from
Circleville to Lithopolis, through East Ringgold, Nebraska, and
Teegardins, in Madison.
THE FIRST STORE.
in Walnut was
started in 1834 by Edward Kennedy, in a small hewed-log
building, near where the barn of Elkanah Humble now stands.
A store was established at Nebraska by Andrew Hedges,
in 1853; he sold out to Thomas Gregg, in the spring of 1856,
and Gregg to Caleb Brobst, in July, 1857.
In June, 1859, W. J. & D. F. Weaver
purchased the interest of his brother, and has continued in trade
until the present time. In February, 1879, he took his son,
A. E. Weaver, as a partner, and the firm name is, now, D. F.
Weaver & Son. The new store building was erected in
spring of 1874.
The store at Ringgold we mentioned in connection with
MILLS AND OTHER
The first mill in the
township was a saw mill built by Richard Ward in 1811 or
1812, on the Little Walnut, in section seventeen. In 1815
Ward sold it to Jabez Hedges, who run it four or five
years, when he sold the property to George Hoover, who let it
run down, and, finally, abandoned it. The next saw-ill was put
up by James Bell on Turkey run, in section fourteen, as early
as 1816 or 1817. William Williamson had a saw-mill on
Little Walnut, in section sixteen, as early as 1825, which he
operated until his death. Subsequent to the above, many other
saw-mills had been built, which are not now in existence.
The first grist mill was built by John Hager,
sr. He and his wife came from Hagerstown, Maryland, in 1893,
making the journey on foot, and carrying all their worldly goods in
a pocket-handkerchief. Hager subsequently entered
section fourteen, and, notwithstanding the little he had to begin
with, finally accumulated considerable property. A few years
after his arrival he built a small log grist-mill on Little Walnut,
a short distance east of the frame grist-mill of Samuel Campbell
the remains of which can yet be seen. The mill now owned by
Mr. Campbell, Hager built about 1814, although, in 185_,
it was rebuilt by his son, John, to whom the father gave the
property. Thomas Duryea bought it in 1844, and, since
then, it has passed through many hands, Samuel Campbell, as
before mentioned, now owning it.
James Bell had a grist-mill on Turkey run, in
the southeast quarter of section fourteen as early as 1818. He
run it a number of years, and his sons, after his death, Isaac
Stout subsequently operated it for a great many years.
The building is still standing. David Glick had
formerly a mill in operation on Little Walnut, near the east line of
The mills of John M. Spindler were established
by Hugh Creighton & Son. The dam was put in and the
saw-ill erected, as previously stated, in 1838. In 1846 a
grist-mill of two run of stone was added. Some two years after
the erection of the grist-mill Creighton & Son sold the
property to Joseph Deitz, who operated the mills two years,
and, failing to pay for the property, it was purchased by the
present owner. Mr. Spindler has used the grist-mill
chiefly as a hominy mill, in the manufacture of which article he has
built up a considerable trade.
There are, at the present time, four saw-mills in the
township, all of them steam mills, with the exception of that of
J. M. Spindler, on the big Walnut. The latter was erected
by Hugh Creighton & Son, in 1838.
The saw-mill at East Ringgold was originally built by
Aaron Stuckey. In 1871, Absalom A. Peters bought
it, tore it down, and rebuilt it. About a year ago he sold it
to his son-in-law, A. L. Peters, who now owns it.
The mills of Lewis Scothorn and Emanuel
Westenhaver were both built in 1877.
The leading industry for many yeas in Walnut was the
manufacture of whiskey. Almost every farmer had a small copper
still, and the "Liquid poison" was almost as abundant as water.
There have been more manufactories of this kind built in the
township than in all the rest of the county. The writer is
informed by R. J. Morral that from a certain point of view
upon his farm, the sites of thirty-four former distilleries can be
seen. Of course, the effect of the business upon the moral and
material interests of the community was extremely detrimental, and
it was not until the Ohio canal was built, when an outlet was had
for the surplus production of the corn and rye of the farmers, that
it began to be abandoned.
The machine and general repair shop was started by
Henry Smith, near the location of the present residence of E.
P. Griner, in 1842. He removed to his present location, in
section twenty-nine, in 1877, and continues the business which he
has carried on for so many years.
The carriage and repair shop of Enos Longabaugh,
near Bethlehem church, was established in 1873. The business
is conducted by Samuel M. Miller.
The first doctor
resident within the township was Dr. Josiah Buckey who came
in soon after the close of the war of 1812. He was then
unmarried, but subsequently he married Esther, daughter of
James Williams, and fixed his residence at Nebraska. He
remained a few years and then removed from the township.
In 1820, Dr. William Turner, from Maryland,
settled on Big Walnut, and practiced his profession in this and
adjoining townships until his death, which occurred a few years
after his settlement.
Dr. P. Pence located at East Ringgold, in 1845,
and practiced medicine until 1850. Dr. E. C. Witt was also a
practitioner there, but at what time, we are unable to state.
Dr. John T. Jones, recently decreased, was a
practitioner of medicine in this township for a period of nearly
thirty years. He began the study of medicine with Dr. A. W>
Thompson, now of Circleville, in 1840, and subsequently
graduated at Ohio medical college, Cincinnati. He first began
to practice of Londonderry, Ross county; afterward practiced in
Kentucky, and then coming (in 1850) to this county, settled at East
Ringgold. He afterward removed to Nebraska, in this township,
where he resided up to the day of his death, July 3, 1879.
Dr. William T. Kennedy, a native of thsi county,
settled at East Ringgold in January, 1875. He was educated for
his profession at Starling medical college, Ohio, where he graduated
in the spring of 1873. Dr. Kennedy first began to
practice in Circleville, and continued there for about sixteen
months, when he removed to Ringgold, where he has since resided, and
been engaged in the practice of his profession.
Dr. G. E. Bragdon, of St. Lawrence county, New
York, located in Walnut in March, 1878. He acquired his
medical education at the University medical college, New York city,
graduating in February, 1878, and had practiced in Canton, New York,
for some time previous.
NEBRASKA GRANGE, NO. 64,
OF THE PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY.
This society was organized
June 16, 1873, with a membership of twenty-three. The first
officers elected were as follows: John Courtright,
master; A. C. Nothstine, overseer; Joshua Hedges,
steward; John G. Haas, assistant steward; James Ward,
lecturer; Lewis S. Peters, chaplain; Ezra Hedges,
treasurer; John M. Spindler, secretary; James H. Moody,
gate-keeper; Mrs. M. S. Courtright, stewardess; Mrs. E. A.
Nothstine, ceres; Mrs. H. D. Haas, pomona; Mrs. Sarah
In the spring of 1874 the society built them a hall in
the second story of the store of D. F. Weaver & Son, at
Nebraska. The hall is a commodious one, and neatly furnished,
the whole costing one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars.
The membership is now seventy, the present officers being as
follows: John Courtright, master; Joshua Hedges,
overseer; W. A. Griner, steward; Jonathan Hay,
assistant steward; John G. Haas, lecturer; L. S. Peters,
chaplain; A. C. Nothstine, treasurer; R. M. J. Bowman,
secretary; Leander Ward, gate-keeper; Mrs. Harriet
Haas, ceres; Mrs. Rebecca Hay, pomona;
Mrs. M. L. Courtright, flora; Miss Bell Beckwith,
For the following
facts we are indebted to S. P. Tobias and Philip Heim.
The only village in the township of Walnut is East
Ringgold, situated in the southeast part, on the Royalton pike.
The first settler there was a Mrs. Fink, who was
living on the place now occupied by Levi Graumlich, in 1837,
but how long before that is not known. Sebastian Miller,
a German by birth, came from Pennsylvania, in 1841, and located
where J. P. Leist now lives; he was a mechanic, and engaged
in the business of wagon-making. His house was a one-story and
a half frame, which served the double purpose of dwelling and shop,
keeping the shop in the upper room.
Aaron Stuckey settled there in 1841, and in
addition to other improvements, erected a steam saw-mill.
In 1842, Mrs. Sanders settled on the place now
occupied by Rosanna Spade, and the same year Adam Spade
located where Lewis Heckman now lives. About the same
time, William Boyer, sr., took up his residence on the
farm now occupied by L. F. Beck.
Lewis Heckman, who is still a resident of the
place, moved in, from Springfield, Ohio, in 1846, and located where
Abraham Phillips now resides.
The first store at East Ringgold was opened in the fall
of 1849, by Daniel Bock, in the building now occupied by
Jacob Leist. Bock purchased the estate of Sebastian
Miller. A. C. Stout afterwards kept a store in the same
In 1851, William C. Finkel, a wagon-maker by
trade, started a store in the building now occupied by Mr.
Heckman. Subsequently, Philip Heim became a partner
when Mr. Heim bought Finkel's interest. Two
years afterward he sold to his father and brother, P. & D. Heim,
who carried on the business one year, when they were succeeded by
Samuel Gessley, who continued about the same length of
John Hook began, in the spring of 1864,
in a small building, now constituting a part of the dwelling of
J. J. Kershner. In 1866 he moved into the building he now
occupies, which had formerly been used as a wagon and undertaker's
shop by John Bridagum.
John Woodell and Solomon Tobias, established
a store in the building which is now the office of Dr. Kennedy,
in 1871. About a year afterward Woodell bought out his
partner, and erected the building now occupied by Isaac Tobias,
in which he continued until his death, about a year afterward.
The building was purchased by Mr. Tobias, who opened with a
new stock in the fall 1874, and has continued with success until the
The first school at Ringgold was kept by John Cooley,
in 1838, in a log cabin, which stood on the Ritter farm.*
The town west of Silver Street, was platted, in
1860, by Mr. Burget, and the remainder by John Nevy
subsequently. The place was originally called Grand
View, and the name ought to have been retained, the location being
one of the most picturesque in the county.
It is not now possible to give the particulars of the
first election in the township, as the early records are not in
Walnut was originally six miles square, but in the year
- that portion of the township lying northwest of Walnut creek was
set off to Harrison, and that part of Harrison lying southeast of
the creek was detached, and annexed to Walnut, making that stream
the boundary line between the two townships. This was done as
a matter of convenience to the people in that portion of either
township lying beyond the creek, which, having no bridges, it was
difficult to cross. The township now embraces four entire
tiers of sections on the east side of the original surveyed township
number nine, in range twenty-one (Matthew's surveys), and all of the
other two tiers of sections, in the same township, except the two
northwesterly sections, and a small part of sections five and eight
adjoining. It also embraces all of the fractional township
number two, in range twenty-two, lying south of Walnut creek, and
next the river. This part of the township was, in an early
day, inhabited by a very poor class of people, who came in and
occupied the cabins of the large land owners, and were a
source of considerable expense to the township before the county
provided a place for its paupers.
The present township officers are as follows:
R. M. J. Bowman, clerk; Joshua Hedges, John Courtright
and Harvey Trone, trustees; William Cromley,
treasurer; Henry Whitemer, and Monroe Scothorn,
justices of the peace.
MRS. JOHN COURTRIGHT
RESIDENCE OF JOHN COURTRIGHT, WALNUT TP., PICKAWAY CO., O.