History of Fairfield County, Ohio

We seldom forget the dreams of our youth they are too dear to be forgotten. One of the youthful dreams of the author was the writing of this history. He longed for the time when he might tell the story of his native county the county he loves so well. That dream has been realized, and here is offered, for the consideration of the public, the work, imperfect as it is, not of youthful years, but of the calm, sober period of life. It is offered with the hope that it will give the reader as much real pleasure in the reading as it has brought the author in the writing.

To write the history of a people, and to interpret the full meaning of events, is not an easy task. An earnest attempt has been made to record the facts, and to render due appreciation unto the humblest actor in the drama of this life-story. It is said we live in the century of achievements, and this is certainly true. But the Twentieth Century will produce nothing so great as its men and women. This volume is the history of men and women who have built a Commonwealth out of Nature's own material and they builded wiser than they knew.

No historian can write history unaided and alone, he must depend upon those who have made the records, or upon those who were a part of the events narrated He must consult the living and the dead must weigh in the balance, impartially, the statements from whatever source, accepting or rejecting as the evidence warrants. Hence the author of this History has consulted many records, and has been the recipient of much help from many sources. In all cases his requests have been honored and for this he feels especially grateful.

It is impossible for the editor to enumerate here all to whom he feels a deep sense of gratitude for assistance rendered and kindly interest taken in this work. He is under especial obligation to Mrs. Ellen Brasee Towt, whose deep interest in her native county and intimate knowledge of events have made her a most valuable aid in the compilation of this history. She has rendered important service in the preparation of the chapter on the Bench and Bar, for her knowledge of many facts there narrated came to her first hand from her distinguished father, Judge John Scofield Brasee. To Judge John G. Reeves Judge B. K Holland, Hon. James Pickering, and the late H. C. Drinkle, the editor is greatly indebted for direct assistance, as well as for encouragement and advice.

 

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I
The Old Northwest 19

CHAPTER II
The Famous Hocking Valley 31

CHAPTER III
Indian Occupation 48

CHAPTER IV
Dawn of Civilization in the County 82

CHAPTER V
Lancaster The County Seat 102

CHAPTER VI
Townships and Towns 126

CHAPTER VII
Economic Forces 203

CHAPTER VIII
Transportation 238

CHAPTER IX
Manufactures and Commerce 261

CHAPTER X
Banks and Banking 277

CHAPTER XI
Bench and Bar 285

CHAPTER XII
The Medical Profession 303

CHAPTER XIII
Religious Development 318

CHAPTER XIV
Education 332

CHAPTER XV
Public Institutions and Public Buildings 366

CHAPTER XVI
Fraternal and Benevolent Societies 385

CHAPTER XVII
Military History of the County 397

CHAPTER XVIII
The Press 413

CHAPTER XIX
Great Lives and Noted Events 418

CHAPTER XX
Conclusion 439
Representative Citizens 443

 

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History should be written in such a crisp, flowing narrative style as to gracefully translate historic facts into the romance of a nation, and the historian who would gain an audience must thus write and with ease, facility and skill. It shall be the aim of the author of these pages to so present the facts as he finds them as to be both interesting and useful. Fairfield County, Ohio, formed a part of the Old Northwest. By the celebrated Ordinance of 1787 the territory "northwest of the river Ohio" was to be divided into not less than three nor more than five sections or states. By the same law it was provided that "whenever any of the said states shall have sixty thousand free inhabitants therein, such state shall be admitted, by its delegates, into the Congress of the United States, on equal footing with the original states, in all respects whatever; and shall be at liberty to form a permanent constitution and state government." (Article V, Ordinance of 1787.)