OHIO GENEALOGY EXPRESS

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Welcome to
Van Wert County, Ohio

History & Genealogy

Source:
A History of Northwest Ohio
A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress and Development
from the First European Exploration of the Maumee and
Sandusky Valleys and the Adjacent Shores of
Lake Erie, down to the Present Time
By Nevin O. Winter, Litt. D.
Assisted by a Board of Advisory and Contributing Editors
ILLUSTRATED
Vol. I & II
The Lewis Publishing Company
Chicago and New York
1917

Chapter VII
Ridge Township
Settlement of the Township - Incidents of Life Among the Pioneers - Two Large Trees -
An Irishman Scares Away a Wolf - A Wild Cat Hunt - Early Elections -
An Indian Tragedy - Indian Method of Writing - Experiences With Indians -
Indian Remains - "Johnny Appleseed" -
Some Recollections of the Gilliland Familyl and Early Day Anecdotes -
The Gilliland and McCoy Families - Smith Hill -
The Ridge and Gilliland Methodist Episcopal Churches -
The First Sunday-School.
Pg. 135
 

     Ridge Township was settled in 1835 - by Smith Hill and John Mark in May; by James Gordan Gilliland in July; and by Thomas, Adam, Robert and Hugh Gilliland and Peter Mills in October.  William Priddy and his sons - Foster, Archelaus, Thomas D., John and William - settled here in the spring of 1836; also William and John Hill.

 

 

 

 

INCIDENTS OF LIFE AMONG THE PIONEERS.

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TWO LARGE TREES.

 

 

 

 

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five logs, each 12 feet long to the first limb and a good log above that; and a  log two feet thick out of the first limb. After trying in every way he could to haul it to the sawmill, as a last resort he split it into quarters with powder.

AN IRISHMAN SCARES AWAY A WOLF.

 

 

A WILD CAT HUNT.

 

 

 

EARLY ELECTIONS.

 

 

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AN INDIAN TRAGEDY.

 

 

 

INDIAN METHOD OF WRITING.

 

 

 

EXPERIENCES WITH INDIANS.

 

 

 

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INDIAN REMAINS.

 

 

 

 

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"JOHNNY APPLESEED"

 

 

 

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its head and killed it.  It was very large and very fat.  The writer recollects eating some of it.

THE GILLILAND FAMILY.

     The early history of the Gilliland family has been quite fully entered into on preceding pages.  John Gilliland, the father of James G. Gilliland and his brothers, was 63 years of age at his death in 1826.  His wife, Jane (Briggs) Gilliland, died Nov. 13, 1858, aged 83 years.  Of their 10 children, nine lived to maturity.  The children's names were as follows:  James Gordon, born May 3, 1800; John, born Jan. 28, 1803; Thomas, born Oct. 22, 1806; Adam, born Oct. 19, 1808; Nancy, born Sept. 14, 1810, who married Peter Wills and raised a large family; Robert, born Feb. 2, 1813; Sarah, born Apr. 3, 1815, who married George Guy and died within 30 days of her marriage; Hugh, born Oct. 14, 1817; William, born Sept. 1, 1820, who died at two years of age; and Jane, born Feb. 14, 1824, who married Theophilus King and left one child at her death, - Mary Ellen Swineheart.
    
The sons all remained in Van Wert County until their deaths, leaving large families.  At their family reunion in August, 1905, 206 of the family sat down to the table at once.  It is the boast of the family that there has never been accused of a crime or been arrested for a misdemeanor.

THE M'COY FAMILY

 

 

 

SMITH HILL

Came to Van Wert County, May 4, 1835, and settled in Ridge township.  At that time there was not a white family in the county except in Willshire township.  He and Aunt Julia Ann, as his wife was called by all that knew her, built a camp of poles and covered it with linn bark.  It was open in front and a fire was kept before it for the purpose of cooking and as a protection from wild animals.  Here they were living when the Gillilands came to the county.  Hill was a great hunter, and made a good living from the pelts that he secured.  He always kept two or three good coon dogs and a deer-hound.  He was also a great bee hunter.  If he found a bee on a flower in the woods, he would seldom fail to follow it to the tree and secure the honey by climbing and cutting the honey out.
     Smith Hill, Elihu Ireland (a brother-in-law) and James G. Gilliland always camped out in the fall of the year to hunt.  Hill spent most of his time hunting bees of a clear day and Ireland and Gilliland  would hunt for deer.  During these camping trips Hill always held prayers night and morning, as regularly as at home.  He was a good singer and of a still morning or evening his voice could be heard for a great distance, although he was not a loud singer.
     But Hill's greatest enjoyment was at quarterly or protracted meetings and he would go a great distance to spend a week at such meetings.
     Smith Hill and his wife had no children of their own, which was a source of regret.  Yet

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they were seldom without a large family of young people of their relatives or others.  Their latch string was always out.  "Uncle Smith" was always ready with good advice and counsel.  The writer recollects that a young man once said in Hill's hearing that he had sworn that he would whip a certain man if he ever met him, for some wrong the man had done him, when he was a boy.  "Uncle Smith" said, "A bad oath is better broken than kept.  Then you will have two."  "Uncle Smith" and "Aunt Julia Ann" have both passed over the river and are reaping the rewards of their well-spent lives here below.

THE RIDGE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.




THE GILLILAND METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH

Was organized at an early day with the following members:  Hugh Gilliland and wife, Sarah Gilliland (wife of Adam Gilliland), Elizabeth Cavett (wife of William Cavett), Christian Harnley and wife and A. T. Priddy and wife,,.  The Gilliland Methodist Episcopal Church for a number of years met in the school-house on the Thomas Gilliland farm.  In 1857 they built a frame church on the farm of Hugh Gilliland.  Among the early ministers were:  Rev. N. B. C. Love, 1854 and 1855; Rev. Nathan Gavet, 1856; Rev. G. O. McPherson, 1858; Rev. William Baker 1859; Rev. Franklin Merritt, 1860; Rev. James F. Mounts and Rev. B. A. Webster, 1862; Rev. B. A. Webster and Rev. H. L. Nickerson, 1863; Rev. Lemuel Herbert and Rev. Caleb Hill 1864; Rev. Lemuel Herbert and Rev. Nathaniel Hupp, 1865; Rev. Francis Hogan and Rev. Nathaniel Hupp, 1866; Rev. Nathaniel Hupp and Rev. J. Harper, 1867; Rev. James F. Mounts and Rev. W. Beiler, 1868; Rev. James F. Mounts, 1869; Rev. Isaac N. Kalb and Rev. Nathaniel Hupp, 1870; Rev. Nathaniel Hupp and Rev. L. W. Patrick 1871; Rev. Josiah Crooks, 1873, Rev. Caleb Hill, 1876; Rev. James F. Mounts, 1877.
     The present brick church was built in 1880; in 1902 it was rebuilt and a vestibule added.  The present membership is 60.  The church is free from debt and perfect harmony exists among its members.  It is supplied by the Van Wert circuit, of which it is a part.

THE FIRST SUNDAY-SCHOOL

     In Ridge township was organized at the home of Daniel Beard by Rev. B. W. Chidlow in 1840.

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     After Mr. Chidlow had been up through this part of the country and was telling about traveling for long distances through the woods without seeing a house, some of the company asked how he could find his way.  He said, "By blazes on the trees."  A lady in the audience said, "Now, Mr. Chidlow, would you tell us such things.  Who was there to keep up the fires.

- END OF CHAPTER VII

 

NOTES:

 

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