PORTER, CLAY AND HARRISON TOWNSHIPS
.... Pg. 312
THE FIRST SETTLED
This township has the honor of being
the first settled in Scioto County, claiming Sam'l Marshall, Jno.
Lindsay, Isaac Bonser, Uriah Barber, as its first settlers.
Lindsay and Bonser married daughters of Mr. Sam'l.
Marshall. Mr. Marshall first settled on Congress land, but
after making considerable improvement left it and leased a school
section, and made excellent improvements and secured the land.
Porter Township has an Ohio River front of fully ten miles, and has
also the fertile valley of the Little Scioto within its borders for
a distance of five miles, and at the point it then turns north, is
but a trifle over two miles from the Ohio River. At its
junction with the latter it has a wide and fertile bottom, extending
some two miles back, on account of quite a large bend in the Little
Scioto, about one mile from its mouth. From its long river
front and the peculiar richness of the soil, its prolific yield and
ease of cultivation, that part of Scioto County embraced within the
limits of what is now Porter Township rapidly settled. For
many years it kept the lead in population, and at this day, with the
exception of Portsmouth, which now covers Wayne Township, it has the
largest population of any township in the county, with Bloom ranking
as a good second, and Brush Creek not far behind.
In the year 1840, Porter had a population of 1,013; in
1850, 1,674; in 1860, 1,873; in 1870, 1,965; in 1880, 2,274.
These gains or increase in population have not been great since
1850, but it has been a steady one, and better the last decade than
the two decades previous, showing a more enterprising spirit.
The wealth of the township is pretty evenly distributed among its
inhabitants, and while not as great in proportion to some has
a better average to the citizen.
AREA AND VALUATION.
There are the names of many of the old
pioneers of Porter Township entered among the list of old settlers
given in the history of Scioto County, and among those who ere born
here, or came in childhood's days and are let living are:
Madison Price, Elias Marshall and Levi Smith, of
Sciotoville; Jonathan Hurd, James Littlejohn and
Theodore Bliss, of Wheelersburg; and Isaac Fullerton, and
John Baccus. Among the oldest couples living are:
Mr. and Mrs. Gibbens, Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Hurd, all of whom
are over eighty years of age, with the prospect of several years
more of a quiet and peaceful life.
ITEMS OF INTEREST.
Porter Township was named after the son of
Major Porter Wheeler. The first election was held in 1803,
at the house of Samuel Marshall, Sr., and after the
organization at the house of Jesse Marshall.
William Price kept the first tavern, just below the
mouth of the Little Scioto.
William Morrison was the first wagonmaker in
The Baccus School-house, the first in the
central portion of the township, away from the river, was erected in
1816. Walter Beloat was its first teacher.
The first church was erected in 1817, and was under the
charge of the Rev. Rufus Cheney - Free Will Baptist.
The first public school built was on the property of
Daniel Young. Jesse Y. Whitcomb and John Young
At their first Fourth of July celebration, at Major
Samuel Bonser's, a cannon was used made out of a Gum-tree,
strongly strapped with iron bands. It was made by Samuel B.
Jesse Marshall opened the first store in Porter
Township in 1812, at the point now known as Wait's Station. It
was before the township was organized, and was known for some years
as the Vinton Price place.
William Brown started the second in the front
room of his house in 1835. These were the only two stores in
the township at that time.
The Portsmouth Branch of the Cincinnati, Washington &
Baltimore Railroad enters the western side and passes through the
northern part o f the township for some seven miles, and the Scioto
Valley Railroad, from Sciotoville, southeast about eight miles, to
the southern boundary of the township. Wheelersburg is on the
latter road, and Wait's Station is on the branch. Sciotoville
is the dividing point of the two roads, one going northeast and the
other southeast from that village.
The county commissioners made another
slight change in the boundary line of the township in 1836, and the
last. It reads:
"Whereas, William Montgomery having made
application to be attached to the township of Porter, upon
examination of the said application, and upon due consideration of
the same, it is Ordered, That the said Wm. Montgomery
be attached to the township of Porter, beginning in the line between
sections 23 and 26 in township No. 2, range 20, fractions where
Hale's Creek crosses said line, and thence up the creek, with the
meanderings thereof, until it strikes said line again, so far to
include within the limits of Porter Township the said William
Montgomery. " Dec. 7, 1836.
Sciotoville is not the oldest town in
the township, but at this time it has the largest population.
IT lies at the mouth of the Little Scioto, on its west bank, and on
the bank of the Ohio River, and is the converging point of the
Scioto Valley and the Portsmouth Branch of the C. W. & B. railroads.
It has become quite noted as a manufacturing point, its principal
production being fire brick and tile. Its location is high and
dry, and it has both valleys to give it a generous support. It
is handsomely laid out, nearly due north and south, some six miles
from Portsmouth, and may be said to be a thriving and growing town.
It first came into existence and was laid out in 1841, being
surveyed Jan. 25, and 26 by J. Riggs, for Messrs, Jas.
Taylor, Jr., and Chas. Moore. The record of
that survey was recorded Feb. 18, 1841.
The town site of Sciotoville has a history. The
original purchaser of the plat was Colonel Edwards, who
located the property, a fractional section, paid one-fourth the
purchase money down as required, received his patent, and then
turned around and sold it out in small lots, cash down, and left for
Kentucky. Those who could not pay the Government their share
of the three-fourths left lost their land. The Government
subsequently made up to those who were alive in 1820.
The village was named after the Little Scioto River,
which flows into the Ohio on its eastern border.
The first residences put up after the platting of the
village were by Madison Price, Uriah Bonser and Jacob
Bonser. Wm. Brown's residence was already there and
his store, which opened, as before mentioned, in 1835.
Elias and Luther Marshall opened the first store
after it was laid out, under the name of Marshal Bros.
IT was a grocery store and was located on lot No. 31. A few
months later Elias bought his brother out and added
dry-goods, in fact keeping a general store, which he continued for
Bonser & Correll started the first wagon
shop; Wm. Courtney, the first blacksmith shop, and
David F. Upp, the first shoe shop.
Dr. White came in the year 1846, and was the
first resident physician. The first hotel was erected in 1843,
with Madison Price landlord and proprietor.
In the early part of the year 1847 Messrs. Taylor,
Decker & Co. put up and ran the first iron foundry, but had the
misfortune to have it burned down the same year by act of an
incendiary. The flouring mill and edgetool manufactory was run
by Elias Marshall and erected in 1851. This constituted
upon to that time its business interests.
The postoffice was established in 1844, and
James Bynn was appointed Postmaster. He was succeeded by
Elias Marshall until 1852, since which time it has changed
hands several times. James H. Holliday is the present
Postmaster. Registered letters are sent but it is not yet a
An effort was made in 1877 to make Sciotoville, an
incorporated village, but there was enough opposition started to
defeat the plan. The town is growing and has now a population
of nearly 800, and its manufacturing interests are developing
fairly. There have been several additions to the village, the
last in 1868, being three additions besides the original plat.
They also conformed to that plat by being lad out at right angles,
the streets running north and south, and east and west, or nearly
ITS BUSINESS INTERESTS, 1883.
Oregon Eakins, dealer in dry-goods,
groceries and notions.
Walter Beloat, dealer in Dry-goods, groceries
Dr. Halderman & Co., dealers in drugs and
Sciotoville Saw-mill and Lumber Co.
G. W. Salladay, dealer in groceries, etc.
L. Marshall, proprietor of Marshall
L. Marshall, drugs and medicines.
J. D. Mathiott, proprietor of Mathiott
A. Brase, tin, stoves, hardware and
Alfred Yost, cigar manufactory and dealer in
August Cook, wine and beer saloon.
Adam Ault, blacksmith, wagon-maker and
George Batterson, harness-maker
Wm. Nickels blacksmith and horseshoer.
Wm. Duveneck wagon manufacturer.
Gus. Zuicker, blacksmith and horseshoer
Geo. M. Marshall physician and surgeon.
S. S. Halderman, physician and surgeon.
Marten Taylor, physician and surgeon.
Mrs. D. Westwood, milliner and dressmaker.
Henry Meeks, brick-layer
Richard Goodrich & Son, plasterers and cistern
Levi Smith, carpenter.
L. Marshall, Justice of the Peace and Mayor of
Mrs. Alma Hitchcock, milliner and dressmaker.
John Taylor, barber.
Sciotoville Saw-mill and Lumber Co.'s
Henry C. Sheward, shingle manufacturer.
Scioto Lumber Company was established
in 1875 by M. J. & J. W. White. They deal in all
kinds of sawed lumber, shingles and lath, and the output of their
mill is 2,000,000 feet annually and can turn out 15,000 feet daily.
Located on the river, their boats land at their dock and load up,
and the railroad switch runs into their yard. The logs are
purchased up the river and floated down, West Virginia and
Kentucky furnishing a large part of them. Oak, walnut, and all
kinds of hard timber are purchased.
Fire-Brick Manufactory - This enterprise was
started in 1861 by Reese Thoms. He commenced in a small
way in an old building which had been used as a saw-mill. He
managed it so successfully that after holding the trade for four
years other persons were induced to embark in it. In 165
Messrs. Watkins, Porter & Co. started another yard. The
demand for brick being very great, Farney, Murray & Co.
opened the third yard, and named it the Salamander. These
yards continued until 1870, enlarging the area of their trade, and
building up each a splendid business. The above year the three
firms consolidated under the firm name of the Scioto Fire-Brick
Company, which it still retains. From the small beginning of
Mr. Thomas has arising one of the largest establishments of
the kind in the State. The out-put is 32,000 brick daily, and
gives employment to several hundred men and teams. It is now
an incorporated company with a capital of $100,000. Its
officers are: President, Russell Tewksberry; Secretary,
Samuel Reed; Superintendent, C. P. Loyd; Bookkeeper,
Chas. Erlich. Chas. Turner, Manager, and John J. House,
Wheelersburg is a thriving village located
near the center of the township, north and south, and is the oldest
settled in the township. It was first settled about 1820; was
named Concord and laid off by the Rev. Daniel Young and his
brother, John Young, being surveyed by Samuel Cole,
June 15, 1824. Its present name of Wheelersburg was given it
in honor of Major Wheeler, an early settler, a noted Indian
fighter, and a soldier in the war of 1812. Besides the
turnpike road which passes through it, called the Portsmouth pike,
the Scioto Valley Railroad depot is within about one-quarter of a
mile of the village. It is pleasantly and even handsomely
located not far form the bank of the Ohio, and is the official
headquarters of the township, it being the only voting precinct.
It has a population of about 500; is a thrifty, enterprising place,
with some neat residences, good business houses, and a growing
The town of Concord remained as such about two years
after it was platted, or up to 1826, when its name was changed to
Wheelersburg. In 1822 Daniel and John Young erected the
first cotton factory. The machinery was first put up in
Greenupsburg and brought from there to Portsmouth, being run by
David Gharky and his partner from the year 1818. In 1822
Mr. Gharky, having become sole proprietor, sold the machinery
to the Young Brothers and went out of business in that line.
The Messrs. Young erected their buildings in what was then
Concord, and on the corner of what is now Broadway and Center
streets, where the Gerding House now stands. It
was sold in 1835 to Edward Cranston, who moved it to its
present site and changed it into a woolen-mill. The first and
only Postmaster of Concord was John Young. He removed
from the State, and Samuel Gould was appointed in October,
1826. Its name was then changed to Wheelersburg, and Mr.
Gould was the first Postmaster after the change of name.
He held it a number of years and was succeeded by Seymour Pixley.
Since then there have been other changes until the Postmaster at
this time is H. T. Hall The first school-house built in
the village was in1822, and John Young was the first teacher
who taught within its limits.
THE BUSINESS OF 1883.
The business interests of Wheelersburg in
1883 show a prosperity that is encouraging. It has three
churches and three schools, three general stores, one hotel (the
Gerding House), one grocery store, three blacksmith and wagon
shops, one blacksmith shop, one saddlery and harness store, one
tailoring establishment, one boot and shoe shop, one
undertaker, one woolen-mill, one tile factory, two flouring mills,
one cabinet shop, one saw-mill, one express office (Adams), two
carpenters, two physicians.
The woolen-mill above referred to was purchased by
Edward Cranston from Daniel Young in 1835, who continued
to run the mill by horse-power. Jeremiah Cranston, son
of Edward, became a partner in 1848. The mills are now
owned by the son, the father being deceased. They are now
manufacturing jeans, flannels, blankets and yarns. It is the
oldest woolen-mill in Southeastern Ohio.
The Tile Manufacturing Company of Wheelersburg was
started Apr. 28, 1871, the incorporators being L. Salladay,
Jeremiah P. Osborn and J. P. Merrill. They secured
a practical workman and business man in the person of Wm. Denis
for Superintendent. Jan. 1, 1883, Mr. Denis made a
proposition to the owners to purchase the remainder of the works, he
having before purchased an interest in all the adjoining States,
ships as far south as Louisiana, and the largest manufacturing
interest in the town. His son, Wm. H. Denis, is now a
partner, and the business is conducted by Wm. Denis & Son.
The assessed valuation of the chattel
property of Wheelersburg in 1882 was placed at the handsome sum of
Western Sun Lodge, No. 91, A. F. &
A. M.., is a flourishing order, which holds its meetings weekly,
at the northeast corner of Broadway and Center streets. The
membership numbers fifty in good standing. The officers the
present year are: S. M. Osborn, S. W.; H. Eakman,
J. W.; Geo. Marshall, S. D.; L. Salladay, J. D.; T.
Prather, Treasurer; Jas. Baker, Secretary, and Joseph
Orient Lodge, No. 337, I. O. O. F. - This order
is one of long standing and has a hall of its own, located on the
corner of Broadway and Center streets. The lodge is out of
debt, and their hall, which is handsomely finished and furnished, is
paid for as well as the building. Their meetings are held
every Saturday night, and they have a membership of thirty-eight in
good standing. The present officers of the lodge are:
Henry Beeler, N. G.; Walter Beloat, V. G.; Jerry
Scranton, Secretary; Sidney Patton, Treasurer.
is on the Portsmouth Branch of the C.,
W. & B. Railroad, about ten miles northeast of Portsmouth. It
was named after Benjamin Wait, a native of Vermont, who
settled in the county in 1814. The station was located by the
railroad company in 1851, and Benj. F. Wait, son of Benj.
Wait, appointed station agent, which he held some nine months,
when the station was removed nearly one mile east to a place named
Slocum, and was there kept by Joshua McStry. A
postoffice was established and the first Postmaster was Dennis
Emory. Emory resigned and Thos. M. Carroll was
appointed. Then John Ashley succeeded him after two
years, and the office was vacated during his term. The station
and the postoffice, which was re-established, is still called
Wait's Station and Postoffice. Joshua McKinstry was
appointed station agent in 1871, and was also appointed Postmaster,
and in connection keeps a grocery store. While the location is
still at Slocum the name of station and postoffice is called
"Wait's," as above. Mr. McKinstry was born in Athens
County in 1816; came to Scioto County in 1851, and to the station in
1862. The town of Wait's has ten families within its limits,
and one church, size 24 x 34 feet, owned by the denomination of
Free-Will Baptists. This covers the hamlets and the business
interests of Porter Township except farming and stock-raising.
There are many fine farms and orchards in the township, and, as a
class, the farmers are all well-to-do, and unencumbered with either
debt or despondency.
Porter Township has eight school districts,
or sub-districts, but in reality it might be called thirteen, as it
takes that number of teachers.
The Sciotoville District, No. 1, is a
neat and substantial brick structure of four rooms, the grounds
covering about half a block on Market street, in the town of
Sciotoville. The Principal of this school is Prof. P. F.
White; Mrs. Emma Duvendeck has charge of room No. 2,
Miss Luella Meeker of No. 3, and Miss Frankie Beloat of
room No. 4.
Sub-district No. 2 is on the turnpike, about two
and a half miles southeast of Wheelersburg. It is a new frame
building, and the school the coming winter has been placed in the
hands of Miss Ida Oronton, a successful teacher.
Sub-district No. 3 is a frame structure located
on the October River, at a point called Hayport. The teacher
is Sam'l. Barrett.
Sub-district No. 4 is on the Sciotoville and
Webster Turnpike, some two and a half miles from the former place.
Frame building, with J. H. Mooney as instructor.
Sub-district No. 5 - This school is situated on
Dogwood Ridge, on the Wait's Station road leading from Wheelersburg,
and one and a half miles from the latter place. L. H.
Moseman has been secured as teacher.
Special School District, No. 6, is located at
Wheelersburg. It is a handsome brick structure of four rooms,
pleasant grounds, with three rooms occupied. Prof. Aaron
Grady is Principal; Geo. Osborn has charge of room No. 2,
and Miss Searls of room 3.
Sub-district No. 7 is located two and a half
miles southeast of Wheelersburg, on Lick Run. The building is
of frame, and Miss Jennie Camp has been secured as a teacher.
Sub-district No. 8 is one and one-fourth miles
west of Sciotoville, on the turnpike leading to Portsmouth.
The Porter Free-Will Baptist Church
was organized Sept. 6, 1817, in a school-house on Ward's Run, near
the residence of Benj. Wait, by Elder Rufus Cheney and
others. Eli Kelsey was Clerk. Transient services
were held occasionally, and Revs. David Dudley and Markus
Kilborn held services as they passed through. Rev. R.
Cheney was the first preacher of this denomination in Scioto
County, in the year 1816. The present minister is the Rev.
J. H. Carr.
The Little Scioto Quarterly Meeting was
organized May 18, 1833, at the hose of Solomon Monroe, in
Harrison Township. The ministers officiating were the Revs.
Harry Branch, Jas. M. Shurtleff and Sam'l Low. The
church was represented at the meeting from Porter, Madison and
Harrison townships, the delegation from Porter being Benj. Wait,
Benj. Dean; Harrison, Aaron Pool and Ephraim Low,
and for Madison, James Low. Porter members numbered
thirty-seven Madison twelve, and Harrison seven. At that time
the Free-Will Baptists had no church buildings of their own in the
The Free-Will Baptist Church, of Wheelersburg,
was organized May 17, 1851, by the Rev. Isaac Fullerton.
The present pastor is the Rev. H. J. Carr; Trustees, Jas.
Littlejohn, T. J. Gibson, and one vacancy.
The Free-Will Baptist Church, of Sciotoville,
was organized Feb. 20, 1857, the Rev. Isaac Fullerton being
its first pastor, and Lafayette Clifford, Silas Candill, and
Thos. Marshall the Trustee is now in charge, with Frederic
Ranshahouse, Jesse Purdy and Aaron Stockham, Trustees.
The Methodist Episcopal Church, of Wheelersburg,
was organized in 1822, by the Rev. Daniel Young. The
original members were: John Young, Hannah Gould, Josiah
Merrill and wife, and John Hurd and wife. The next
minister was Rev. De Lay, who preached at the house of
Mrs. Hannah Gould. Their first church was built in 1838,
which has been recently torn down, and a new church building is now
in the course of erection, to be completed by Christmas, at a cost
of $4,000. The church is in a flourishing condition under the
earnest and able pastorate of the Rev. Geo. Cherington.
The present Trustees are A. Grady, Wm. Duis and Jas. L.
The Baptist Church, of Wheelersburg,
was organized in 1879 by I. N. Clark. The first
minister in charge was the Rev. J. H. Roberts. The
church ahs grown and prospered, and is now under the pastoral charge
of the Rev. A. K. Murphy. The Trustees are Harris
Dodge, Levi Smith and Jno. C. Malone.
The Sciotoville Christian Church was
The Methodist Episcopal Church, of
The Zion Church, German Methodist Episcopal, was..
The Church of the United Brethren was...
Catholic Church - This church was
organized in 1846 by the
The township officers for 1833 were:
Trustees, Pattengale, Bonser and Powers: Clerk,
Wm. Enslow; Assessor, Mr. Cole; Treasurer, Mr. Hall;
Constables, Patton, Thompson and Williams.
For 1883, half century later, they are:
Trustees, Wm. Reif, Jas. Pucker, and Geo. A. Osborn;
Clerk, Jas. H. Halliday; Treasurer, C. W. Ehrlich;
Assessor, Jno. W. Merrill; Justices of the Peace, Thos. M.
Correll, Luther Marshall and Smith Littlejohn;
Constables, Wm. Fullerton, and one vacancy; Notary
Public, Luther Marshall. Politically speaking the
township of Porter is Republican.
C. M. ALBERT
S. D. ARGO
JOHN S. BACCUS
JOHN HATCH BARRETT
JOHN F. BASHAM
BENJAMIN J. BRATT
JOSEPH S. BROWN
BENJAMIN E. CRANSTON
HORATIO N. DAVIDSON
MINERVA C. (CORRELL) FARNEY
JACOB F. FRITZ
REV. ISAAC FULLERTON
FREDERICK GABLER, JR.
FRANK M. GLIDDEN
JOHN J. HOUSE
MRS. FRANCES (LASSER) HUDSON
REZIN R. KENNEDY
SMITH S. LITTLEJOHN
CHARLES P. LLOYD
JAMES M. MONTGOMERY
JAMES J. MOORE
JOSHUA WHEELER *
HANS C. WILLIAMSON
THE RICHEST TOWNSHIP.
FRANK A. BIHLMAN
AMOS SPENCER COLE
JOHN F. DROEGE
HENRY CLINTON FEURT
JOHN D. FEURT
GEO. FISHER *
JOHN W. HOGAN
SAMUEL J. HUSTON, SR.
WILLIAM F. LAWSON
MICHAEL J. NOEL
P. W. NOEL
JOHN M. SALLADAY
CHARLES E. WOLFE
OVER ONE-FOURTH CENTURY LATER.
THE DIXON MILL.
THE SCHOOLS OF 1883.
ROBERT H. COBURN
JOHN L. DANIELS
NATHAN B. GILLILAND
CAPTAIN HENRY LANTZ
JOHN T. MILLER
DANIEL W. TITUS
JOHN M. VIOLET