History of Union County, Ohio
All life and achievement is evolution; present wisdom comes from past experience, and present commercial prosperity has come only from past exertion and suffering. The deeds and motives of the men that have gone before have been instrumental in shaping the destinies of later communities and states. The development of a new country was at once a task and a privilege. It required great courage, sacrifice and privation. Compare the present conditions of the people of Union County, Ohio, with what they were one hundred years ago. From a trackless wilderness and virgin land, it has come to be a center of prosperity and civilization, with millions of wealth, systems of railways, grand educational institutions, splendid industries and immense agricultural and mineral productions. Can any thinking person be insensible to the fascination of the study which discloses the aspirations and efforts of the early pioneers who so strongly laid the foundation upon which has been reared the magnificent prosperity of later days? To perpetuate the story of these people and to trace and record the social, political and industrial progress of the community from its first inception is the function of the local historian. A sincere purpose to preserve facts and personal memoirs that are deserving of perpetuation, and which unite the present to the past, is the motive for the present publication. A specially valuable and interesting department is that one devoted to the sketches of representative citizens of these counties whose records deserve preservation because of their worth, effort and accomplishment. The publishers desire to extend their thanks to the gentlemen who have so faithfully labored to this end. Thanks are also due to the citizens of Union county for the uniform kindness with which they have regarded this undertaking, and for their many services rendered in the gaining of necessary information.
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The first white men to set foot upon the Northwest Territory were French traders and missionaries under the leadership of La Salle. This was about the year 1670 and subsequent discoveries and explorations in this region by the French gave that nation practically undisputed possession of all the territory organized in 1787 as the Northwest Territory. It is true that the English colonies of Virginia, Connecticut and Massachusetts claimed that their charters extended their grants westward to the Mississippi river. However, France claimed this territory and successfully maintained possession of it until the close of the French and Indian War in 1763. At that time the treaty of Paris transferred all of the French claims east of the Mississippi river to England, as well as all claims of France to territory on the mainland of North America. For the next twenty years the Northwest Territory was under the undisputed control of England, but became a part of the United States by the treaty which terminated the Revolutionary War in 1783. Thus the flags of three nations have floated over the territory now comprehended within the present state of Ohio — the tri-color of France, the union jack of England and the stars and stripes of the United States.