History of Belpre, Washington Co., Ohio
By C. E. Dickinson, D. D.
Formerly Pastor of Congregational Church
Author of the History of First Congregational Church
Published for the Author by
Globe Printing & Binding Company
Parkersburg, West Virginia
CHAPTER XXI -
Oliver Rice Loring -
Dr. Franklin P. Ames -
Hon. A. W. Glazier -
George Augustus Howe -
George Howe Bower -
Mrs. Susan D. (Williams)
Dickinson - Mrs. Nancy Armstrong -
John Kenneth Christopher -
Rev. Cyrus Byington -
Curtis - Old Organ -
THIS account of Mr.
Loring is taken from Williams' History of Washington
County, page 524 Daniel Loring, the father of the
Loring family of this county emigrated from Massachusetts to
Ohio, during the early period of settlement. He had
married, at Sudbury, Massachusetts, in "Way Side Inn," a Miss
Howe, one of the family which for generations had presided
at that historic place, now celebrated in American poetry.
She died before the settlement of Marietta, leaving three
children who accompanied their father to the west, viz:
Israel, Charlotte, (wife of A. W. Putnam) and
Ezekiel. He married for his second wife, Mrs. Rice
of Belpre township, and by her had four children, the youngest
of whom was Oliver Rice, whose portrait appears above.
Daniel Loring was the head of the church at
Sudbury, and later coming to Belpre was commonly known as "Priest
Loring." He was one of the founders of Universalism in
Belpre and was also prominent among the early Masons. He
held the office of Justice of the Peace for nearly two decades.
This was at a period when the best and most intelligent men were
elected to the magistracy. The death of Daniel Loring
occurred the sickly season of 1822-3.
Oliver Rice Loring was born June
17, 1790. During his youth he received the best
instruction the neighborhood afforded, which at the present day
would not be considered more than that of a secondary school.
He was sent to Athens a short time to "complete his course" in
grammar, Arithmetic, Geography and other common branches.
He married for his first wife Fanny Warren and settled on
the homestead. She died in 1827, and the following year he
married Orinda Howe who was born in 1799 and died in
1889. Mr. Loring held the Office of Associate Judge
of the Court of Common Pleas and was highly complimented by
older members of the bar as an officer. He held the office
of Ensign of Militia about the time of the War of 1812, and at
various times local township offices. He was for many
years a Whig leader in that end of the County and was one of the
council which frequently met in Joseph Holdens Store in
Marietta, and was sardonically designated by John Brophy
and his Democratic friends as "Joe Holden's Sinate."
Judge Loring was a man of strong sense, and
always had a certain influence in the community. He was
reserved in his manners, and never sought notoriety. He
died November 21, 1873.
FRANKLIN P. AMES.
Dr. FRANKLIN P.
AMES, son of Cyrus and Sarah P. Ames, was born in
Belpre, November 6th, 1852. He was descended from Cyrus
and Mary Ames who settled in Belpre about 1800. Dr.
Ames was a pupil in Belpre Academy before the establishment
of the High School, and graduated from Marietta College in 1877.
He devoted several years to teaching in Belpre Village High
School and in other places, and secured a medical Diploma from
Cleveland Homeopathic College. He practiced medicine in
Belpre in connection with his farm, though the latter has
claimed most of his attention in later years. He was an
intelligent and enterprising citizen and held a number of
important township and county offices. He was active in
the Little Hocking Grange and a Charter member of the Knights of
Pythias Lodge of Belpre Village. He was a member and
generous supporter of the Universalist Church, also one of the
organizers and most faithful supporters of the Belpre Historical
Society. When he learned that a History of Belpre was
being prepared he was very much interested in its publication
and knowing of the present great advance in the cost of both
material and labor he donated $100.00 to aid in it s
publication. Without this timely aid the book would
probably not have been published at the present time, perhaps
never. The people of b
Belpre owe a lasting tribute of gratitude to this public spirited
citizen who died July 3rd, 1918 before he had seen this book
except in manuscript.
A. W. GLAZIER
HON. A. W. GLAZIER
was born and reared on a farm near Amesville, Athens County,
Ohio. He was educated in the common schools and select
schools of that time and
was for some time a teacher.
While a young man he engaged for three years in general
merchandising at Urbana, Ohio. About this time he married
Miss Mary Wyatt Hide of Millfield, Athens County, and
settled on a farm a half mile south of the village of Amesville.
Soon after this he united with the Presbyterian Church and was
elected an Elder, which office he held until his removal to
Belpre in 1876. IN Belpre he became an efficient member of
the Congregational Church of which he was deacon, respected and
beloved, during the remainder of his life. At one time he
engaged for a few years in manufacturing but continued to manage
his farm and considered himself a farmer. He held various
official positions at various times, Justice of the Peace, land
appraiser, member of the Board of Ohio University at Athens, and
represented as a faithful and intelligent legislator. He
was a man of strict integrity and sterling character and always
interested and active in every movement which promoted a high
standard of character. He was active in promoting
temperance and every thing that improved the community.
Oct. 31st, 1901, Mr. and Mrs. Glazier celebrated the
fiftieth anniversary of their marriage at which time a host of
friends expressed to them their congratulations and good wishes.
For ten years he was incapacitated for active duties from an
attack of paralysis. His mind was still active and he was
a wise counselor in both civil and church matters. He was
tenderly cared for by his wife and children until his death in
1908. Mr. Glazier survived him for several years.
She died in 1914.
HOWE, a well-known and influential citizen of Washington
County was born in Belpre, Oct. 1, 1838, on the old
Howe homestead where he has spent his life. His
grandfather, Captain Perley Howe, was a native of
Killingsley , Conn. and was one of the early settlers in Belpre.
He was married Persis, daughter of General Rufus
Putnam, in 1798. He was commissioned Captain of the
First Brigade, Third Division, of washington County, Militia, in
1803. At the time of Aaron Burr's Conspiracy his
Company good guard, and Captain Howe was a juror in
case. He was a teacher for many years, first in the old
Stockade at Marietta, and later at Belpre, and often called "Master
Howe." He was one of the founders of the Belpre
Congregational Church and the first Deacon, an office he held
until his death in 1855, at the age of eighty-eight. His
son, Rufus William Howe, was born and spent
his life on the Howe farm. In his youth he attended
Marietta Academy and boarded in the family of his grand-father
Gen. Rufus Putnam. He married Lucy Eastman
in 1833. She died Sept. 22, 1834. He married for his
second wife, Polly Proctor of Watertown, who was the
mother of four children: viz. Joseph Perley, George,
Augustus, Rufus William and Persis Putnam. He
was a faithful member of the Congregational Church and being
gifted as a musician he served as chorister forty-four years.
He died July 24th, 1865.
George Augustus Howe, the second son of Rufus
William, is the only member of the family now living.
Besides the home schools he was educated in Amesville Academy.
Plans were perfected for him to enter the law office of Judge
Greene at Marietta, but the untimely death of the latter and
the failing health of his father made it necessary for him to
abandon this cherished hope, and he entered into partnership
with his father on the farm.
When President Abraham Lincoln called for
Volunteers at the beginning of the Civil War, 1861, Mr. Howe
first entered the service, as a member of the Ohio National
Guards, Company A, 46th Regiment, and served on guard duty for
three months, after which he was honorably discharged.
When President Lincoln issued another call for 200,000
men he again left his crops and aged farther, and became a
member of Co. H, 148 Regiment, Ohio Volunteers, serving
faithfully as Corporal, until honorably discharged, Sept. 14,
1864. Only four of one hundred and ten men in his company
still survive. Mr. Howe was married to Charlotte
Ann Wyatt, of Amesville, Oct. 25, 1865. To them were
born five children, Charlotte Wyatt, Mary Emily, Persis
Putnam, also Blanche and Jessie who died in
infancy; the others still survive. Mrs. Howe died
Nov. 5, 1878 and several years later Mr. Howe married
Mary Stella Vance Chapman of College Hill, Hamilton County,
Ohio, who was very active in the work of the Congregational
church and president of its Missionary Society
until her death
in 1904. Mr. Howe has been a life long and active
member and supporter of the Congregational Church and served as
one of the Trustees until failing health prevented him from
performing this service.
For several years he has been a "shut in" during most
of the Winter month but he has a wide reputation for never
failing cheerfulness and genuine old time hospitality, and is
always interested and willing to aid in whatever makes for the
betterment of his fellow men. Mr. Howe died Aug.
10, 1919, while this book was in press.
GEORGE HOWE BOWER,
was born Sept. 19, 1892 in Belpre, Ohio, at the home of the
grandfather, George A. Howe; and this first home, was
ever the dearest spot on earth to him, loving the old farm with
a true affection. He found keen enjoyment in everything
connected with it and being a lover of nature, he "found tongues
in trees; books in the running brooks; Sermons in stones; and
good in everything."
It was in this home that the parents early had the
little golden haired boy baptized and consecrated his life to
the Master. While quite young he became a follower of
Christ, and united with the Presbyterian Church at Sistersville,
W. Va. Later when he came to make his home at Parkersburg,
W. Va., he united with the Presbyterian Church of that city.
He received most of his education in the Sistersville
schools, graduating from the High School with high honors, at
the age of eighteen years.
His aspiration and plans were to continue his education
at Harvard University; but the great Reaper scarcely permitted
the blossom of youth to burst into the flower of manhood, and he
went to be with the Great Teacher.
His was a wonderfully active mind, and he was,
unusually well informed on the vital topics of the day, the best
in literature art, and science.
He was very fond, also, of the biographies of our
greatest writers, thinkers, and inventors, reading only the
worth-while books and magazines, those which contain food for
After graduation he was employed by the Standard Oil
Company. He had a natural aptitude and capacity for
business affairs and had his life been spared, he would without
doubt, have climbed to the greatest heights of success.
He took his initiatory degree in Masonry at the
earliest possible opportunity - the day after he attained the
age of twenty-one - when he became a member of Mt. Olivet Lodge,
No. 3, A. F. and A. M. of Parkersburg, W. Va.
This seemed fitting, since his great, great, great
grand father, General Rufus Putnam, was the first Grand
Master of the Grand Lodge in the State of Ohio, at Marietta,
Ohio, and his father, MR. E. O. Bower was Grand Commander
of the Knights Templar of W. Va.
His maternal grandmother was a descendant of Col.
John Wyatt of Revolutionary fame.
His maternal grandfather George A. Howe, is one
of the leading citizens of Washington County and a descendant of
two of the oldest families in the Ohio Valley numbering among
his ancestors, General Rufus Putnam, Father of Ohio, and
Perley Howe, who was one of the jurors who tried Aaron
Burr for treason.
It was no wonder then, since he had more than proved
himself worthy of such noble ancestry, that his heart burned
with patriotism at the call of President Wilson for
Volunteers in our recent world's conflict, and was only kept
from enlisting, by ill health.
Endowed with a cheerful, generous, forgiving
disposition, he made hosts of friends, and people in every walk
of life, received the little helpful favors and sunny smiles
which smoothed out many rough places in life, without his being
conscious that he had done anything unusual.
"It's doing the little "extras."
The things we're not
asked to do;
The favors that help one's brother,
To trust in God and you.
It's doing, I say, the "extras,"
The things not looked
for, you know,
That will bring us our King's kind notice,
A "well done, as on we
Coming in the very
morning of life, and cutting short a career that had every
promise of marked usefulness and success, his sudden failure in
health and his death were a crushing sorrow to his hosts of
friends to whom his memory will be filled with the fragrance
which arises from the recollection of many loving deeds.
"We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs; he most lives
Who thinks most, feels the noblest,
Acts the best."
MRS. SUSAN D.
D. (Williams) Dickinson was born at Charlemont, Franklin
County, Massachusetts, Dec. 27, 1836. She spent her
childhood in a country home and was educated in Shellburne Falls
Academy and Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. She taught
several years in Massachusetts and in Illinois and was married
to Rev. C. E. Dickinson, the compiler of this book, Oct.
1st, 1863. For more than half a century she has been a
helpmate indeed in his work in the following churches:
First Congregational, Oak Park, Ill., First Congregational,
Elgin Ills. First Congregational, Marietta, Ohio, First
Congregational, Windham, Ohio, Columbia Congregational,
Cincinnati, Ohio and First Congregational, Belpre, Ohio.
In all these places she has been a leader in Ladies Missionary
and other societies. In Marietta she was president of a
Chautauq2ua Circle, and graduated from that institution in 1889.
She was a citizen of Belpre for eight years from 1906 to 1914.
She was a leader in the Ladies Missionary Society of the
Congregational Church and also an eminently successful Adult
Bible Class teacher in the Sunday School.
She also furnished several valuable essays for the
Woman's Reading Club. She and her husband have resided in
Marietta, since 1914. At the ripe age of eighty-three
years she is still a comfort and inspiration to her family and
ARMSTRONG is of Scotch-Irish descent and was born in the
Western part of Pennsylvania in 1841. She removed with her
parents to Marietta, Ohio in 1854, and
was educated in Marietta
High School. She taught for some time in the schools of
that city, and in 1866 accepted the position of Principal in
Belpre Academy, where she continued until the organization of
Belpre High School. In 1873 she was joined in marriage
with William Armstrong who had been employed in the
United States Commissary department during the Civil War, and
later accepted a position in the First National Bank of
Parkersburg, West Va., with which institution he continued
forty-five years; Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong have lived all
this time in Belpre, strongly attached to the village and people
and specially to the Congregational Church of which they are
active and esteemed members. For most of these years
Mrs. Armstrong has been a teacher in the Sunday School and
is specially gifted as an Adult Class teacher. She was one
of the organizers and still an active member of the Belpre
Womans Reading Club," of which she was a president for several
years. She is also an active member of the Belpre
Historical Society. She has made a life long study of
science and literature and the results of her extensive
reading are a great assistance in the work of these
organizations. She is an active member of the Missionary
Society and other organizations in her own church, and is also
interested and willing to aid other churches and benevolent
enterprises which benefit humanity. We hope her useful
life may continue many yeas an example and inspiration to the
younger portion of the Community.
KENNETH CHRISTOPHER, son of Charles S. and Flora Spencer
Christopher, was born July 15th 1894, and was killed in
battle, Nov. 1, 1918 at Argonne Forest in the last great drive
of the European War. He enlisted June 13, 1817 at
Wheeling, West Virginia, and was transferred to Philadelphia
Marine Barracks for training. Five weeks later he was on
the way to France where he was enrolled in the 5th Regiment of
Marines. Feb. 15, 1918 he went into the trenches with his
regiment which won an enviable reputation in the battles of
Chateau Thierry, June 6th, and also June 21-26, at Soissons July
18-19. St. Mihiel Sector, September 12-16, Argonne Woods,
November 1. He was wounded in September and was in
hospital for a time, but returned to the regiment in season to
in the fight at Argonne where he gave his life as a sacrifice
on the altar of freedom. Corporal Christopher
was born and spent his youth in the beautiful Ohio Valley, and
was educated in the Belpre Schools. As a lad he was
generous, self sacrificing and courageous, and gained many warm
friends who anticipated for him a successful career. He
became a member of the Congregational Church of Belpre, about
three years before enlistment. In the Sunday School he
belonged to a class known as Boy Scouts under the care of
Miss Persis P. Howe. Of this class more than twenty
were in some branch of service during the war. Letters
received from Corporal Christopher indicated that his
Christian character was maintained and strengthened by his war
experience. He was one of the first men in Belpre to
enlist and the first to give his life. Millions of young
men were sacrificed during this terrible war and there is
mourning in millions of homes, and yet the sorrow is as great in
each individual home as though they were the only sufferers, and
Belpre should as tenderly cherish the memory of her martyrs as
though no other community had been afflicted.
February 16th a very interesting and impressive
memorial service was held in the Congregational church, and
roses and poppies will probably continue to bloom over an
unknown grave "Somewhere in France."
Corporal John Kenneth Christopher and Frank
Browning were Belpre's two martyrs in this war.
In 1820 a Company of
missionary colonists and teachers, on their way by boat to their
mission work among the Choctaw Indians stopped for a time at
Marietta where the people became very much interested in them
and made generous contributions for their work. This
company was led by Rev. Cyrus Byington who commenced
active life as a lawyer but soon consecrated himself to the work
of a Christian minister and prepared for service as a Foreign
Missionary. When this company started down the river in
their flat boats and passed Belpre Mr. George Dana, Sr.,
knowing their business wrote in his journal as follows:
"The Missionary Boat has arrived from Marietta on her
way to the Choctaw Nation. The plan of enlightening
Savages is certainly philanthropic, to say nothing of the
importance of giving them the gospel. They are an injured
people; have been driven from their rightful possessions by the
whites; have became as it were a remnant that will soon be
extinguished unless arrested in their downward career; the plan
of Missions and schools has been devised for that purpose.
Human generosity and justice conspire to dictate its formation.
As they become informed they will become amalgamated with the
whites, - be brought under the mild sway of our laws, and become
a happy and useful people and be an accession to the nation.
And who that has experienced the influence of the gospel would
not rejoice in assisting to send it to this dark and benighted
people? May prosperity attend in Mission." Mr.
Dana did not know what influence these missionaries were to
exert upon this family during the coming years.
Mr. Byington continued this missionary service
for nearly half a century, occasionally visiting Marietta and
Belpre, where he spoke in the churches and people continued
their interest in the work. In 1827 he was married to
Miss Sophia Nye of Marietta who for forty years shared with
him their arduous and self denying work.
In 1852 their daughter, Lucy Byington, born on
the Missionary field, was married to Dea George Dana, Jr.,
and spent the remainder of her life a faithful wife and mother
in the Dana home. When her father and mother
retired from the Mission after the Civil War in 1866, they came
to Belpre and made their home for a time with this daughter.
In 1867 Mr. Byington published reminiscences of his work
in the New York Observer from which we make the following
"We left Marieta with our hearts greatly
refreshed and encouraged in our undertaking. We had heard
of the Blennerhassett Island, named for the wealthy gentleman
who settled on it, and built his fine palace and out houses
there, and who has visited to his ruin by Aaron Burr.
We have read Mr. Wirts description of the Island, the
house and the family, a description rarely surpassed by our
gifted writers. When we passed along we saw his seat in
ruins, burned down, the chimneys still landing. Little
could I know or think while gazing on these ruins on our way to
the Choctaws, that forty-six yeas after I should retire,
and worn, to find a home, a quiet room for prayer and study, on
the banks of the Ohio and adjacent to this same Island, and my
own daughter, her husband and their children there to welcome
me, feed me, nourish and strengthen me, in the hope that I might
do a little more for our blessed Savior. It is even so.
It was in that room I revised the translation and reconstructed
and wrote out the Choctaw grammar."
This grammar was published for its literary merit by
the "Pensylvania Historical and Philosophical Society."
He also prepared a very complete Choctaw Dictionary which was
published by the "Smithsonian Institute."
The fact that the Indians in this country have adopted
the English as their written language has prevented the
continued use of these books, but they will perpetuate an
extinct dialect and are a valuable monument of self-denying
missionary labor. In Andover Theological Seminary Mr.
Byington was associated with Luther Bingham, Pliny
Fisk, Levi Parsons, and others who became eminent in Foreign
and Home Missionary Work. He was eminent for his
scholarship and devoted piety. A friend wrote of him:
"Brother Byington's raiment seemed perfumed with
spiritual myrrh, and, like Harlan Page, wherever he went
his theme was Jesus and his great Salvation."
Aided by his devoted wife, he reduced the Choctaw
language to writing and published in it several books including
portions of the Scriptures.
He received into the Churches nine hundred Christian
Choctaws, and to all of these he was a Spiritual father.
After retiring to Belpre he purchased and removed to a home in
which he died Dec. 31, 1868.
Mrs. Sophia Nye Byington spent her last years
with her daughter in the Dana home where she died Feb. 4,
1880. Both were buried in Rockland Cemetery. This
Providential connection of Belpre and Foreign Missions is
interesting and should be remembered by future generations.
CURTIS was born in Newbury, Ohio, June 6, 1867, and was the
son of Austin L. and Betha Putnam Curtis. He
was a descendant of two of the pioneer
families of Belpre
Township who had a leading part in the formation of a State in
the wilderness. He selected dentistry as his chosen
profession in life and opened an office in Parkersburg, West
Virginia where he had a successful practice for about eighteen
years. He gave his service freely and generously to many
deserving children particularly those in the Children's Home of
Parkersburg. He resided several years in Belpre Village
where he was a public spirited citizen and gave an earnest
support to every enterprise which benefitted the community.
He was married in 1904 to Bernice A. Smith of
Belpre to whom two sons were born, John Austin, and
Dr. Curtis was a charter member of the Belpre
Masonic Lodge No. 609, and also a member of Parkersburg Lodge
No. 198, B. P. O. Elks. On July 8th, 1919, Dr. Curtis
and his son John Austin were instantly killed on a
grade crossing at Little Hocking. They were on their way
in an automobile to the Curtis farm in Newbury which they
frequently visited. As there were no witnesses to the
accident it cannot be described. It was a great shock to
the whole community and a loud call for better safeguards at our
railway grade crossings.
John Austin, eldest son of Herbert S. and
Bernice A. Curtis, was born in Parkersburg, May 20, 1906.
He was a quiet, lovable boy, a favorite with his companions, a
diligent scholar and an omniverous reader. AT the
time of his death he was a pupil in the Parkersburg Junior High
School and gave promise of a bright future career.
December 25th, 1844,
"The Ladies Sewing and Education Society" of the First
Congregational Church of Marietta decided that they would devote
their energies to the work of raising money to purchase a pipe
organ for the church. This gave an impulse to their work
for the next three years. In addition to their regular
semi-monthly meetings they indulged in suppers, fairs, and
concerts. They purchased the organ of Mr. L. P. Bailey
of Zanesville, Ohio in 1845, though the last payment was not
made until the following year. The amount paid at that
time with the
help of about one hundred dollars donated by the
gentlemen is given as follows:
|For the organ and all the expense attending it,
freight traveling expenses, organist from
|Expenses on the church, whitewashing, painting
|For presents, organ blower, etc.
This organ gave great
satisfaction to the church and congregation and was used for
forty-three years or until 1889 when another was purchased.
It was thought by the members of the Marietta Church that the
organ was still capable of furnishing music which would be
helpful in Christian worship and they donated it to the
Congregational Church of Belpre where it has rendered very
acceptable service for nearly thirty years and is still in use.
If not the oldest it certainly is one of the oldest
church organs in Southern Ohio and deserves a place in this
The early history of
Belpre embraced a period when individuals and families removed
here to establish homes and develop the resources of he land,
that they might occupy it as farms; as a result an agricultural
community was developed and the tide of emigration
continued until the land was cleared of forest trees, fruit
orchards planted, and the fields prepared for cultivation.
The time necessarily came when immigration decreased and a
little later emigration commenced. This changing condition
is experienced in all farming communities. With a normal
increase in population, there will soon be more boys and girls
than can be employed on the farms, and the growing villages and
cities will continually need such young men and women as the
farms produce. The introduction of improved farm machinery
nearly compensates for the increased labor of intense farming.
As a result of these facts census reports show that the
population in rural communities either remains about stationary
or decreases. We know that Belpre was very fortunate in
the character of the first settlers who were educated in New
England and strengthened in character by the stirring events of
Revolutionary struggle. These pioneers were
characterized by intelligence, industry, and morality.
While they diligently developed their farms and homes, they were
just as faithful and conscientious in establishing schools and
churches, by which they so educated their children that when
they reached mature years they were prepared to continue the
characteristics of their home town whether they remained here or
removed to establish homes in other places. Emigration
from Belpre commenced only a few decades after the first
settlement and has not only continued until the present but must
continue. In some cases dependents of pioneers have
continued to occupy the original farms for several generations,
some even to the present time. In such cases those who
remain represent only a single line of the descendants; in most
cases many more have removed to other places. While there
may have been an occasional exception, as is likely to be true
while the world is so full of temptations, most of these
emigrants have been an honor to their families and to their home
town. These men and women have disseminated the sterling
principles of the pioneers and of their Belpre homes in hundreds
of Communities in various portions of our country. Almost
every branch of business as well as of the various professions
are represented by men and women from Belpre. It is true
of a community as of an individual that none can live for itself
alone, and so Belpre not only has perpetuated the industry,
intelligence and morality of its founders, this work must
continue to be carried on by those now active in the affairs of
It is true we now have an organized village, with a
population which is in some measure different from those we
usually designate as farmers. Causes are quite likely to
arise in the future which will increase the population and
employment of the inhabitants of the village, but this, as also
the rural districts, must continue to contribute to other
communities some of their most valuable products, namely, men
and women, and the character of these must depend very largely
upon the homes of their childhood and the schools and churches
in which they are educated. We some times hear persons
complain of the heavy burdens imposed upon them to support
schools and churches, if any such shall read these pages we
would ask them to consider
how much the Belpre of today is
indebted not only to the characters of the pioneers but also to
the institutions they established and sustained. Schools
and churches caused even greater sacrifices and self denials
then than now.
We, who now enjoy our great privileges, needed the
labors and self-denials of our ancestors, and our descendants
will just as truly need our self-denials and sacrifices.
Freely we have received , we should freely and willingly give.
As the pioneers of a century ago were laying up treasures for us
so we are laying up treasures for these who shall follow us.
It is also true that the relation of Belpre to
Parkersburg should be an inspiration to improve our community.
Ohio and West Virginia are not only adjoining States, they are
vitally connected with each other. During the early days
of the Civil War it was claimed by the advocates of the doctrine
of "State Rights" that troops from one State had no right to
invade the territory of another state, but Governor Dennison
of Ohio thought differently, and announced that "He would permit
no theory to prevent the defense of our State, but we would
defend her where it cost least and accomplished most, above all
we will defend her beyond rather than on her borders." In
May, 1862 loyal citizens of Parkersburg appealed to Governor
Dennison to send troops to occupy the town against the
approaching Confederates, which appeal was successful and
effective. The campaign which won for the Union
twenty-four of the Western Counties of Virginia and resulted in
the organization of the separate State of West Virginia was
accomplished mainly by the militia of Ohio under the lead of
General George B. McClellan who was commissioned by
Governor Dennison. During subsequent years Ohio has
contributed much to West Virginia. A Governor and two
United States Senators were originally Ohio men. West
Virginia has also made very valuable contributions to Ohio.
The Parkersburg and Belpre are in different States they
are really separated only by an imaginary line. Their
business, social, educational, and religious relations are
mutual, and in many respects identical. Many business and
professional men in Parkersburg either were Belpre boys or are
descendants of Belpre families.
Most of the marketable products of Belpre farms and
gardens either pass into or through Parkersburg. A large
portion of the trade and banking business of Belpre is done in
Parkersburg, and hundreds of people cross the Bridge every day
going to and from their business. When trolley cars run
across the bridge, as it is supposed they will soon do,
entertainments can be attended by the people of Belpre almost as
conveniently as by those of Parkersburg.
It is evident that these two communities have a mutual
dependence on each other, which creates a mutual responsibility
for each others welfare and so it is the duty of the people in
each place to make the most possible of their possibilities.
When we consider the improvements which have been made
in business, social, family, and individual life, the
multiplication of books periodicals, and libraries, the better
adaptations of our schools and churches to the needs of
The world is making progress. This progress will
continue and each one of us should feel some responsibility for
it. If all the people improve the community as a whole
will advance. We there fore counsel every man, woman and
child who is permitted to enjoy a good Belpre to aim to be and
do something which will help transmit to the next generation a
END OF CHAPTER XXI.