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Washington County, Ohio
History & Genealogy

Newspaper Excerpts
Source:  Boston Courier - Massachusetts
Dated: Nov. 21, 1805

     We understand that a duel was fought on Tuesday on the inst. in the settlement of Belpre, Ohio, by Mr. Stephen R. Wilson and Mr. Alexander Henderson, both of Wood county, Virginia.  The distance agreed upon was fifteen steps, and to wheel and fire when the word was given to fire, they both advanced, the one in a deliberate walk, the other in full speed, till within an arms length of each other, when they both fired and fell side by side.  Mr. Wilson received a ball in his knee which shattered it to pieces, Mr. Henderson a ball in his thigh, near the upper joint, which was feared would deprive him of existence; but we understand they are both in a fair way of recovering.  Ohio Gaz.
(also appeared in:
Suffolk Gazette, New York on Dec. 16, 1805;
Witness on Dec. 4, 1805
Democrat on Nov. 20, 1805
Republican Farmer on Nov. 20, 1805
Norwich Courier in Connecticut on Nov. 20, 1805 )

Source:  Alexandria Gazette
Dated: Apr. 10, 1858

     The seventy first anniversary of the settlement of Ohio was celebrated at Marietta on the 8th inst.  The Hon. Thomas Ewing delivered the address.  The only survivor of the party of forty-seven who arrived there in 1787, was present, as were also several who were born in the first block of houses built in Marietta and Belpre, the three oldest living white natives of Ohio, and a number of their descendents and revolutionary soldiers.

Source: Cincinnati Daily Gazette - Ohio
Dated: April 6, 1869
     The Marietta Register says:
     The oldest living natives of Ohio may be set down as follows:
     Alpha Devol of Waterford, Washington County, was born in Marietta, August 12, 1789.
     Judge Oliver Rice Loring, of Belpre, Washington County, born in Belpre, June 17, 1790.
     Jeremiah Wilson, of Waterford, Washington county, born in "Fort Frye," Waterford, April 21, 1791.
     Dr. David Oliver, of Butler County, born in "Farmers' Castle," Belpre, May 18, 1791.
     Wm. Pitt Putnam of Belpre, Washington county, born in "Farmer' Castle," Belpre, April 2, 1792.
     Col. Enoch S. McIntosh, of Beverly, Washington county, born in Marietta, May 23, 1793.
Source:  Cincinnati Daily Gazette
Dated: Apr. 6, 1869

(Among other items are the following:)
The Marietta Register says:
     The oldest living natives of Ohio may be set down as follows:
     Alpha Devol of Waterford, Washington county, born in Marietta, August 12, 1789
     William Moody, of Cincinnati, born in Cincinnati -____, 1790?
     Judge Oliver Rice Loring, of Belpre, Washington county, born in Belpre, June 17, 1790
     Jeremiah Wilson, of Waterford, Washington County, born in "Fort Frye," Waterford, April 21, 1791.
     Dr. David Oliver, of Butler county, born in "Farmers' Castle," Belpre, May 18, 1791
     Wm. Pitt Putnam, of Belpre, Washington county, born in "Farmers Castle," Belpre, April 2, 1792.
     Col. Enoch S. McIntosh, of Beverly, Washington county, born in Marietta, May 23, 1793.
     The oldest living white native of the present State of Ohio, is Mrs. Evan W. Thomas, of Philadelphia, a widowed lady, and a daughter of Gen. Josiah Harmar, U. S. A.  She was born in Fort Harmar, in 1867.

Source: Cincinnati Daily Gazette
Dated: Aug. 4, 1869
     A few days ago, near Marietta, the horses attached to a wagon, in which were nine persons, ran off, overthrew the wagon, killing Roger Foley and wounding Mrs. Hart and Mrs. Lenox so badly that their recovery is doubtful.
Source:  Wheeling Register - W. Virginia
Dated: Aug. 3, 1885

Peter Riffle, of Belpre, Ohio, Outrages His Fourteen-Year-Old Daughter - Similar Offenses - An Outraged Public.
Special to the Sunday Register.
     PARKERSBURG, August 1. - Peter Riffle, a citizen of Belpre township, just across the river from here, and who resides about three miles west of Belpre, is now in Marietta jail with a serious charge against him.  His daughter, a bright little miss of 14 years, in company with her brother, a young man of 20 years, appeared before a justice of the peace of Belpre township and made affidavit that their father had, by force, outraged her person.  A warrant was issued and Riffle arrested and committed to jail without a hearing.  From all accounts, the unnatural parent is much safer there than he would be at home, as an outraged public world in all probability take the law in their own hands, at least that is the report of the state of feeling, which exists there at present.  The fact that this is not his first offense of the kind, makes public sentiment much stronger than it would otherwise be.  About three years ago, Riffle was arrested on a similar charge, preferred by an older daughter, but for some reason she left the country and did not appear against him when the case came up for hearing.  Riffle is the father of several children, three of whom are grown.  His wife, who is said to be an estimable woman, is nearly heart broker over the occurrence.  The accused is a man of some means, and the postmaster at Warfield, a county cross roads postoffice, and was for some time a member of the board of education of Belpre township.  The general opinion in that vicinity is that the law will, in this case, be vindicated, and the severest penalty for such a heinous crime be meted out to the wretch.  Riffle is about 50 years of age.

Source: Muskegon Chronicle - Michigan
Dated: June 28, 1892

The Life and Character of Mr. George Dana, of Belpre, Ohio.
     Mr. George Dana, father of Edward B. Dana, of the CHRONICLE, died at Belpre, Ohio, last Thursday.  The following sketch of Mr. Dana's life is copied from the Marietta, Ohio Leader, of last Saturday:
     "George Dana, one of the best known and most highly respected citizens of this county, died at his home on the Dana Farm, in Belpre Thursday morning, June 23rd, at 6:30 o'clock.  He was 70 years and 6 months old, and his death was not unexpected.  For over five years his health had been failing, and for the last six months he had been confined to his bed.  His disease was a pecular nervous affliction, which while refusing to yield to medical treatment, made but very slow progress.  Month by month during these later years he had continued to lose strength, and as his weakness advanced with the slow stages of his malady, he was called to endure sufferings which even the members of his own family could but faintly realize, but which were borne with remarkable patience and even cheerfulness.  His rare christian faith, which had been a distinguished trait of his life, did not fail him in the hours of sorest need, but sustained and comforted him to the end.
     "The funeral took place from the residence in Belpre, at 10 o'clock, Friday morning.  A number of old friends and acquaintances went down from Marietta, and many were also present from Parkersburg in addition to the very large attendance from Belpre.
     "George Dana was born Dec. 4th, 1821, on the Dana Farm which was settled in 1789 by his grandfather, Capt. William Dana, an officer in the Revolutionary War, who came out from Massachusetts with the Ohio company.  In addition to the ordinary life of a farmer's son of that time, he spent several winters studying at Marietta college and at the University of Ohio at Athens.  On leaving school he became associated in business with his father, George Dana, Sr., and continued thus until the latter's death in 1865.  The firm went under the style of George Dana & Son, and in addition to general farming they engaged  extensively in the nursery business, also in buying wool and shipping it to eastern markets, in the early days before railroads had penetrated this far into the West.  In connection with the extensive orchard and fruit interest, for which the Dana Farm early became famous George Dana in his early life took several flatboat cargoes of apples and other produce down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans.  The same fruit interests early led to the manufacture of cider vinegar, a business which was conducted by Mr. Dana for over forty years, and which has grown steadily all this time to its present wall known magnitude.
     "As one of the pioneer nurserymen and horticulturists of the section he was instrumental in promoting the interests of this important industry throughout this portion of the Ohio Valley.  From 1862 to 1867 he was president of the Washington County Agricultural Society.  He was also for many years an active member of the Ohio Horticultural Society.
     "A man of large information, broad views, strong mind and correct judgment, his advice and co-operation were much sought after in connection with private or public enterprises.  He was a director in the Baltimore & Ohio Short Line railroad from the organization of the company in 1872 until it was merged with the Cincinnati, Washington & Baltimore railroad in 1884.  For over the name which has so long been familiar in the business and social circles of this section will be preserved to the public, while the business interests which Mr. Dana conducted or assisted in establishing are committed to the care of his sons."
     In addition to a sketch of Mr. Dana's life the Sate Journal of Parkersburg, W. Va., contained the following:
     "The death of Mr. Dana removes one of the prominent and universally esteemed citizens of this part of the Ohio Valley.  He was in his 71st year, and spent his entire life in Belpre, a life of honor, industry and usefulness.  He had been in ill health for along time, and on several occasions he was not expected to live.  Death came to him in the ripeness of his years.  Everybody who knew him knew only well of him, and the news of his death is received with general sorrow."

Source:  Wheeling Register, W. Va.
Dated: Oct. 13, 1896

Will Be Pushed Over into Ohio - Will Speak at Belpre.
Special to the Register.
     Parkersburg, W. Va., October 12 - Charles Armistead, the noted colored orator from Charleston, who ahs been doing noble work among his own race here for the past week, will address a big silver meeting at Belpre, Ohio, tomorrow night.  A feature of the meeting will be the colored free silver club of this city, who will go over and will be led by their drum corps.

Source: Oregonian - Oregon
Dated: Nov. 4, 1907
Ohio White Man Narrowly Escapes Lynching for Assault on Girl.
MARRIETTA, Ohio - Nov. 3 - John Sweeney, a married man, 35 years old, narrowly escaped lynching from a mob seeking revenge for his assault on Anna Koon, a 14 year old girl, this afternoon.  Sweeney, who is the father of five children, was caught with the child in one of the buildings on the Fair Grounds, which is situated in the residence district, where a crowd quickly collected, and binding him with a rope, started for the Muskingum River, bent on throwing him in.
     The police arrived in time to rescue him and fought the crowd back to the police station, where order was restored by level-headed citizens.  The girl is in a precarious condition.
Source:  Sun - Maryland
Dated Jun. 21, 1915

Ohio Town's Executive Is Also A Bank Cashier.
Parkersburg, W. Va. - June 20 - A W. Shinn, who holds the office of Mayor of Belpre, Ohio, just across the river from this city, and who has for the last two years or more been cashier of the First National Bank of that place, has been missing since Saturday.  His relatives and close friends are fearful that he may have met with foul play and an investigation has been started in an effort to locate him.
     So far nothing has developed as being wrong in his bank affairs.  Shinn came to Parkersburg Saturday morning ostensibly on a business errand and it was thought he would return in the course of an hour or so, but nothing has been heard of him.  A few yeas ago he was principal of the high school of Belpre.



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