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County Coordinator:
Denise Wells
State Coordinator:
Dale Grimm


BALLVILLE embraces all of township four, range fifteen, in the original survey, except so much of sections two, three and four as are included in the two mile square reservation now constituting the town of Fremont. The boundaries are: Sandusky and Fremont on the north, Jackson on the west, Seneca county on the south, and Green Creek township on the east.

The surface is generally level, but has a steep, general slope in a northerly direction, thus giving the streams a rapid current. The Sandusky River, the main drain of the central part of the county, enters from Seneca county, about two miles from the corner of Jackson, and flows almost due north until within about a mile of the Sandusky township line, where it takes an easterly direction for a distance of two miles, and then again bows to the north, leaving the township. Nearly the entire length of its course through this territory the water rushes over a bed of solid limestone, having a well marked dip toward the north, making the stream shallow but rapid, affording excellent mill sites; and, on that account, as well as the natural drainage furnished by its deep channel, this river has been an important agent in developing the township.

The main tributaries to the Sandusky River are: Wolf Creek, a stream entering from Seneca county, near the line of Jackson township, and having a course of about two miles in this county; Sugar Creek, a small stream, flowing in a north-westerly direction, and draining the western part of the old Seneca reservation Bark Creek flows from south to north through the entire length of the township, and is the most important natural drain of the eastern portion of the area. Green Creek crosses the southeast corner.

The soil of the eastern part of this area is black muck, and when properly drained is very productive. The work of tiling began more than a decade since, and at l)resent nearly the entire surface is capable of a high state of cultivation. The soil along the river on the west side is of a sandy character, and consequently dry. This condition led the Indians to locate their clearings and cornfields here, and at a later period invited the first white settlement.

Except these few Indian fields, the white emigrants found the whole township heavily timbered with oak, sugar, ash, and other trees common to this climate.


The first road through the township was opened along the river from Lower Sandusky (Fort Stephenson) to the upper military posts. Along this road, on the present site of Oakwood cemetery, occurred an encounter between a squadron under command of Colonel Ball and a band of Indians, which is immortalized in the name of the township. Two days before Croghan's victory at Fort Stephenson, Colonel Ball's squadron was despatched to guard the mail and military communications between Fort Seneca and Fort Stephenson. At the place above indicated an unexpected fire was opened upon the squadron by the Indians, who were concealed on the west side of the road. Quick action was required, and the Colonel ordered a charge without stopping to form his men. Ball himself led the advance and struck the first blow. The savage braves stood their ground, and fought to desperation. Two strong warriors opposed Ball's advance. He cut down the one on the right; as he passed the other made a blow with a tomahawk at his back, but a sudden spring of the horse caused it to fall short, and left it buried in the pad of the saddle. Corporal Ryan's prompt rifle prevented a repetition of the blow. Lieutenant Hedges (afterwards General Hedges of Mansfield), made a narrow escape in this skirmish. Mounted on a small horse he pursued a large Indian and just as he was about to strike, his stirrup broke, throwing him from his horse against his victim, knocking him down. Both sprang to their feet and engaged in a hand to hand combat. Hedges finally got the better of the Indian and struck him a blow on the head, and as he was falling buried the full length of the sword in the Indian's body. On another part of the ground Captain Hopkins was in full pursuit of a powerful savage, when the latter suddenly turned and made a blow at the Captain with a tomahawk, but his horse suddenly sprang to one side, thus saving his life. The Indian then struck at Cornet Hayes, who followed in the pursuit, but his horse saved him in like manner. This determined savage met his third combatant, Sergeant Anderson, by whose hand he lost his life. It is said the Indians numbered twelve, but one of whom escaped.1 Colonel Ball reformed his men ready for a charge, expecting to meet a formidable force of Indians at any point, but the squadron reached the fort without further molestation. A large elm tree on the site of the skirmish for many years marked the spot, and eleven hacks through the bark recorded the number of Indians killed. The place has ever since been known as "Ball's battle ground," and the town was not inappropriately named in honor of the heroic Colonel.


Indian history and tradition clusters along the east bank of the Sandusky River for a considerable distance below the Seneca county line. The various treaties with these original owners of the soil have already been fully detailed, but it is proper that a few of the scenes and incidents with which the early settlers of our soil were familiar should be reproduced for the entertainment and instruction of the present and future generations.

The Senecas of Sandusky were a mixed tribe, composed of the remnants of the tribes of Northern and Western New York — the Wyandots, Tuscarawas, and others. At the time they became known to our early permanent settlers they were, in some instances, indolent and dissolute in their habits. They were rather depraved than otherwise by  intercourse and trade with the whites. They had cleared some of the dry land along the river and raised corn, which was mostly traded for whiskey at the backwoods distilleries, the art of distilling being unknown to them. In their intercourse with the settlers they were always friendly, but drunken quarrels and fatal jealousies not infrequently disturbed the peace of their own state. Witchcraft was an unpardonable sin, and punishable by death. Here, as in the more bigoted ages of the world among so-called civilized people, many cold-blooded murders were committed, in the name of punishment for this felony. Both the witch and the bewitched were held guilty. Important trials were held at the council house, which stood near the bank of the river, on the farm lately owned by Mrs. Harriet Seager, now owned by Mr. Myers. This was also the place of their tribal meetings and religious ceremonies.

There was among them a tall, noble-looking man, whose full head of pure white hair gave him the name of "Whitehead George." He was, in his younger years, a man of good habits and industrious, but his squaw, whose hair was also whitened by age, became excessively intemperate. Old Whitehead for a few years contemplated the ruin of his happiness with sadness, but finally lost spirit and joined his consort in a life of dissipation. To see one of their most worthy and venerable men habitually in the depths of drunkenness grieved the great men of the tribe, who knew enough of the tradition of Adam's fall to adjudge Whitehead's squaw the cause of his ruin. A council was called and the squaw declared to be possessed of a witch. A sentence of death was executed with a tomahawk in presence of her husband, who was deeply grieved. The short remaining period of his life was spent in licentiousness and drunkenness.

Virtue was at a very low stage among the Senecas. They maintained in name only the marriage relation, and their free practices led to many quarrels and difficulties of a serious character.

The burying-ground was nearly opposite the mouth of Wolf Creek. Great numbers were probably buried here. An old citizen of the township relates that after the removal of the tribe to their Western Reservation, he, in company with George Moore, was riding over the spot, and the feet of their horses, at places, sank into cavities caused by the decay of bodies.

Among the Indians was one named Seneca John, who bore a good reputation in the white settlements. He was the youngest brother of Comstock, a principal chief of the tribe. John maintained his credit at the trading posts, and often went security for the more improvident members of his tribe. He was a gentle, peace-loving man, but was the victim of brotherly jealousy. The cold-blooded, unprovoked murder of this worthy red-skin is told by Henry C. Brish, the sub-agent of the Government at this station. The cabin of the chief. Hard Hickory, where the deed was executed, stood north of Green Spring, in Green Creek township.

About the year 1825, Coonstick, Steel, and Cracked Hoof left the reservation for the double purpose of a hunting and trapping excursion, and to seek a location for a new home for their tribe in the far West. At the time of their starting Comstock, the brother of the two first, was the principal chief of the tribe. On their return, in 1828, richly laden with furs, and having many horses, they found Seneca John, their fourth brother, chief, in place of Comstock, who had died during their absence. Comstock was the favorite brother of the two, and they at once charged Seneca John with causing his death by witchcraft. John denied the charge in a stream of eloquence rarely equalled. Said he: "I loved my brother Comstock more than I love the green earth I stand upon. I would give up myself limb by limb, piecemeal by piecemeal — I would shed my blood drop by drop to restore him to life." But all his protestations of innocence and affection for his brother Comstock were of no avail. His two other brothers pronounced him guilty, and declared their determination to be his executioners.

John replied that he was willing to die, and only wished "to see the sun rise once more." This request was granted, and John told them that he would sleep that night on Hard Hickory's porch, which fronted the east, where they would find him at sunrise. He chose that place because he did not wish to be killed in the presence of his wife and children, and because he desired that the chief, Hard Hickory, should witness that he died like a brave man.

Coonstick and Steel returned for the night to an old cabin near by. In the morning, in company with Shane, another Indian, they proceeded to the house of Hard Hickory, who informed Mr. Brish of what there happened.

He said a little after sunrise he heard their footsteps upon the porch, and opened the door just enough to peep out. He saw John asleep upon his blanket, and Coonstick, Steel, and Shane, standing around him. At length one of them awoke him. He arose to his feet and took off a large handkerchief which was around his head, letting his unusually long hair fall upon his shoulders. This being done he looked around upon the landscape, and at the rising sun, to take a farewell look of the familiar scene which he was never again to behold, and then told them he was ready to die. Shane and Coonstick each took him by the arm, and Steel walked behind. In this way they led him about ten steps from the porch, when Steel raised his malicious tomahawk and struck him a heavy blow on the back of the head. John fell to the ground, bleeding freely. Supposing the blow fatal they dragged him under a peach tree near by. In a short time, however, he recovered, the heavy matting of hair having arrested the tomahawk. Knowing that it was Steel who had struck him, John, as he lay on the ground, turned his face toward Coonstick and said: "Now, my brother, take your revenge." Coonstick was already repentent, and the composed face and forgiving remark of John so greatly affected him that he interposed to save his brother; but so enraged was the envious Steel that he drew his knife and cut John's throat from ear to ear. Seneca John was buried with the usual Indian ceremonies on the following day, not more than twenty feet from where he fell. His grave was surrounded by a small picket enclosure. "Three years after," says Mr. Brish, "when I was preparing to move them (the Senecas) to the far West, I saw Coonstick and Steel remove the picket fence and level the ground, so that no vestige of the grave remained.'' There could be no better evidence that both the brothers were ashamed of their crime.

Coonstick was arrested on charge of murder and brought before the supreme court at Lower Sandusky. Judge Higgins decided that the act came completely within the jurisdiction of the tribe, and that Coonstick, as chief, was justified in the execution of a judicial sentence, and was the proper person to carry it into effect. The case was dismissed and the accused discharged.

Sardis Birchard, in Knapp's History, says:

I remember well the death of Seneca John. He was a tall, noble looking man, and is said to have looked much like Henry Clay. He was always pleasant and cheerful. He was called the most eloquent speaker on the reserve. He could always restore harmony in their council when there was any ill feeling. In the evening before the morning of his death he was at my store. The whole tribe seemed to be in town. Steel and Coonstick were jealous of John, on account of his influence and power. John was a great favorite among the squaws. John bade me "good-bye," and stood by me on the porch as the other Indians rode away. He looked at them with so much sadness in his face that it attracted my attention, and I wondered at John's letting them go away without him. John inquired the amount of indebtedness at my store. We then went behind the counter to the desk. The amount was figured up and stated to John, who said something about paying it, and then went away without relating any of the trouble.

An old settler of Seneca county, in giving his recollections of these Indians, says:

The Indian tribes here at the time of the first settlement of the whites were the Senecas, Cayugas, Oneidas, and Mohawks. The Senecas — the most numerous — and Cayugas occupied the lower part; the Mohawks and Oneidas the upper part of the reservation, which was nine miles north and south and six miles east and west, on the east side of the Sandusky River. The land was held in joint stock, and each had the privilege of making improvements as he wished. They numbered seven hundred, and were not bad in general character, but friendly and kind when not maddened by whiskey and well treated. They had a strong passion for whiskey. I have known them to offer two or three dollars' worth of goods for a quart of whiskey, and when intoxicated would give anything they possessed for it.

They depended largely upon hunting for subsistence, in which they began, when children, by shooting fish and small game with the bow. Most of the Indians and squaws cultivated each a small piece of land varying from a half to two acres, which they formerly did with a hoe, but seeing us use the plow and the amount of labor saved thereby, concluded to change their custom. Seeing two Indians plowing on the other side of the river one day, I crossed over, and discovered them going the wrong way over the land, throwing the furrow in, and next time running inside of it, and then another which they thought very well, until I turned them the other way, and gave them a little instruction which they thankfully received. They raised a soft corn which they pounded into meal, and used to thicken soup.

They had much idle time which they liked, the children spending it in shooting, the old people in smoking from pipes made in the heads of tomahawks with an adjustable stem. They smoked the sumac leaves dried and pounded, which gave a pleasant odor.

The young Indians had a love for sports. Their chief game was ball — a game in which ten or twelve on aside engaged. The ground was marked off in a space of about sixty rods, the centre of which was the starting point. Each player had a staff about five feet long, with a bow made of raw hide on one end, with which to handle the ball, as no one was allowed to touch it with his hands. At the commencement the ball was taken to the center between two of the staffs, each pulling toward his outpost. The strife was to get the ball beyond the outpost which counted one for the successful side. Once out, the ball was taken back to the centre, and the contest repeated. The squaws and older Indians were the witnesses of these sports, and added zest by their cheers.

A favorite winter sport was running upon skates. They would spread a blanket upon the ice, and jump over it with skates on, trying to excel in the distance made beyond.

The Mohawks and Oneidas had some very well-educated people, and most of their tribe could read and write. They had religious services every Sunday in the form of the Church of England, conducted by a minister of their own tribe. They were excellent singers, and were always pleased to see the whites at their meetings. The Senecas and Cayugas were more inclined to adhere to the worship of their forefathers. They held in reverence many gatherings. The green corn dance was prominent among them, but that most worthy of note was the dog dance. This was the great dance which took place about midwinter, and lasted three days, at the end of which they burned dogs.

The annual feasts and dances of the Senecas took place at their council house, which stood on the river bank in this township during the early settlement of our county, but was afterwards abandoned and a new council house built near Green Spring. Only particular friends were received on these occasions of hilarity, but the Indians being on good terms with their neighbors, respectable white people found little difficulty in gaining admission. These occasions year after year were much the same, and a description of one will suffice for all. The religious ceremony consisted mainly in the sacrifice of two dogs to the Great Spirit. The following description of the sacrifice and feast will be especially interesting in view of the fact that these people, of whom no trace is left, were, less than fifty years ago, an important element both in the trade and amusement of the white settlements. The following was first published in the Sidney Aurora:

We rose early and proceeded directly to the council house, and though we supposed we were early the Indians were already in advance of us. The first object which arrested our attention was a pair of the canine species, one of each gender, suspended on a cross, one on either side thereof. These animals had been recently strangled; not a bone was broken nor could a distorted hair be seen. They were of a beautiful cream color, except a few dark spots on one naturally, which same spots were put on the other artificially by the devotees. The Indians are very partial in their selection of dogs, entirely white for this occasion, and for which they will give almost any price.

Now for the decorations to which I have already alluded, and a description of one will suffice for both. A scarlet ribbon was tastefully tied just above the nose, and near the eyes another; next, around the neck was a white ribbon to which was attached some bulbous substance concealed by another white ribbon. This was placed directly under the right ear, and I suppose was intended as an amulet or charm. These ribbons were bound around the forelegs at the knees, and near the feet. These were red and white alternately. Round the body was a profuse decoration, and the hind legs were decorated as the fore ones. Thus were the victims prepared and thus ornamented for the burnt offering.

While minutely making this examination, I was almost unconscious of the collection of a large number of Indians who were assembled for the purpose of offering their sacrifices.

Adjacent to the cross was a large fire built on a few logs, and though the snow was several inches deep, they had prepared a sufficient quantity of combustible material, removed the snow from the logs and placed thereon their fire. I have often regretted that I did not see them light this pile. My own opinion is they did not use the fire from their council house, because they would have considered that as common, and as this was intended to be a holy service, they no doubt struck fire from a flint, this being deemed sacred.2

It was a clear, beautiful morning, and just as the first rays of the sun were seen in the tops of the towering forest and its reflection from the snowy surface, the Indians simultaneously formed a semi-circle enclosing the cross, each flank resting on the aforesaid pile of logs. Good Hunter, who officiated, now appeared and approached the cross; arrayed in his pontifical robes, he looked quite respectable. The Indians being all assembled — I say, Indians, for there was not a squaw present during all this ceremony — at a private signal given by the High Priest, two young chiefs sprang upon the cross, each taking off one of the victims, brought it down and presented it on his arms to the High Priest, who, receiving it in like manner, advanced to the fire and with a very grave and solemn air laid it thereon — this he did with the other, but to which, whether male or female he gave the preference, I did not learn. This done he retired to the cross.

In a devout manner he now commenced an oration. The tone of his voice was audible and somewhat chanting. At every pause in his discourse he took from a white cloth which he held in his left hand a portion of dried odoriferous herbs, which he threw on the fire. This was intended as incense. In the meantime his auditory, their eyes on the ground, with grave aspect, in solemn silence, stood motionless, listening attentively to every word he uttered.

Thus he proceeded until the victims were entirely consumed and the incense exhausted, when he concluded the service; the oblation now made, and the wrath of the Great Spirit appeased, as they believed, they again assembled in the council house for the purpose of performing a part in the festival different from any I had yet witnessed. Each Indian as he entered, seated himself on the floor, thus forming a large circle, when one old chief rose with that native dignity, which some of the Indians possess in a great degree, recounted his exploits as a warrior; told in how many fights he had been the victor; the number of scalps he had taken from his enemies; and what, at the head of his braves, he intended to do at the "Rocky Mountains," accompanying his remarks with energy, warmth and strong gesticulation, and at the conclusion received the unanimous applause of the assembled tribe.

This meed of praise was awarded by the chief by "three times three" articulations, which were properly neither nasal, oral, guttural but rather abominable. Thus many others in the circle, old and young, rose in order and delivered a speech. Among these was Good Hunter, but he

Had laid his robes away,
His mitre and his vest.

His remarks were not filled with such bombast as some of the others, but brief, modest, and appropriate; in fine, they were such as become a priest of one of the ten lost tribes of Israel.3

After all had spoken who wished to speak, the floor was cleared, and the dance commenced, in which Indian and squaw united with their wonted hilarity and zeal. Just as this dance was ended, an Indian boy ran to me, with fear strongly depicted in his countenance, caught me by the. arm, and drew me to the door, pointing with his other hand toward something he wished me to observe. I looked in that direction and saw the appearance of an Indian, running at full speed toward the council-house. In an instant he was in the house, and literally in the fire, which he took in his hands, and threw fire-coals and hot ashes in various directions through the house, and apparently all over himself. At his entrance, the young Indians, much alarmed, had fled to the other end of the house, where they remained crowded, in great dread of this personification of the Evil Spirit. After diverting himself with the fire a few moments, at the expense of the young ones present, he, to their no small joy, disappeared. This was an Indian disguised with a hideous false face, having horns on his head, and his hands and feet protected from the effects of the fire, and, though not a professed " fire king," he certainly performed his part to admiration.

During the continuance of the festival the hospitality of the Senecas was unbounded. At the council-house and at the residence of Tall Chief were a number of bucks and fat hogs hanging up and neatly dressed. There was bread also of both corn and wheat in abundance. Large kettles of soup already prepared, in which maple sugar profusely added made a prominent ingredient, thus forming a very agreeable saccharine coalescence. All were invited, and all were made welcome; indeed, a refusal to partake of their bounty was deemed disrespectful, if not unfriendly. I left them in the afternoon enjoying themselves to the fullest extent, and, so far as I could perceive, their pleasure was without alloy. They were eating and drinking, (but on this occasion no ardent spirits were permitted,) dancing, and rejoicing, not caring, and probably not thinking, of tomorrow.

The departure of the Senecas marks an epoch in the history of the south part of the county. They had become an element in the trade and life of the community. A large tract of land was thrown on the market, and the white man's industrious axe echoed in the forest which had previously known only the red-skin's rifle and hilarious shout. But the settlers on the other side of the river had, by association, become somewhat attached to their forest neighbors. While for many reasons they hailed with pleasure the prospect of a more advanced civilization, on the other side, there were yet demonstrations of profound sorrow when the day of parting came.


The land came into market in 1820, the first general sale being at Delaware. But the Indians here, as elsewhere, were disturbed by white intruders on the soil which for centuries had been the rightful possession of their race. They had learned by the experience of their neighbors on all sides, that the white man's axe and plow were the destroyers of their home and employment. It is not strange, therefore, that an attempt was made by them to encourage squatter settlers to leave. It would not have been strange under the circumstances had acts of actual violence been resorted to.

The first settlement was, however, in that part of the township adjacent to the two mile square reservation. Squatters in this part of the territory were quite numerous and changed residences with such frequency that only the names of a few of them can be given. There were, however, two classes of squatters, — a reckless and indifferent class, who sought only temporary places to live and hunt, and those who came with a view to making this their permanent place of residence, and as soon as the lands came into the market, made permanent improvements.

Samuel and Margaret Cochran, natives of Massachusetts, after their marriage, removed to Vermont and from Vermont to Buffalo, New York, where Mr. Cochran built a half-deck vessel and transported his family, in 1816, to the mouth of the Huron, where the family remained about three years, during which time, in 1818, Mrs. Cochran died. In 1819 General Cass, then Indian agent, employed Mr. Cochran to assist the mail-carriers at the mouth of Wolf Creek when the water was high. This necessitated the removal of the family to the heart of the forest. The Indians, who at that time held title to the soil, tried to persuade him to leave, but resorted to no acts of violence. He cleared a small tract and built a cabin.

This was the first white man's cabin in the upper part of the township. By the time the land came into market, after the Indian title became extinguished, he had cleared twenty acres, part of which had been planted in corn. But like many other squatter settlers, he lost his improvements in consequence of being overbid at the Government sales. A Mr. Henninger purchased the property, but did not move to the county for several years after. Mr. Cochran afterwards purchased land on the river about seven miles below Lower Sandusky, where he lived from 1822 until his death, in 1825. He left surviving him nine children, viz: Elizabeth (Johnson), Minerva (Smith), Cynthia (Sherman), David, Samuel, Henry, Fannie (Courtright), Harriet (Seager), and Nancy (Frary). Phineas Frary (husband of Nancy Cochran) was one of the early settlers at the mouth of Wolf Creek. Their daughter, Margaret, was probably the first white child born in the township. Harriet first married Thomas Miller, October 23, 1826. After her father died and until the time of her marriage she lived with her sister, Mrs. Frary, and assisted in clearing the farm.

Mr. Miller settled on Portage River, where Woodville has since been laid out. Here he died in 1828. His widow remained and kept tavern, which is noticed more fully in the chapter on that township. She purchased land after the Seneca Reserve came into market, where the council-house of the Senecas had stood. In 1835 she married Charles Seager and removed to her farm. Mrs. Seager is one of the oldest persons in the county and the only survivor of the original settlers of Ballville. By her first husband she had two children, both of whom died young. Charles L. Seager, her second husband, was a native of New York. He came to Ohio and settled in this township in 1835. He cleared a large tract of land, and was an extensive farmer until his death, in 1843. Charles D. Seager, the only son, was born in 1843. He married, in 1858, Caroline Hoover.

Among the settlers of 1818 in the north part of the township were David Moore, Asa B. Gavit, John Wolcutt, Mr. Rexford, Mr. Chaffee, and perhaps a few others. In 1819, the first family, Samuel Cochran's, located above the bend of the river. This year added to the inhabitants of township number four several families, among them being John Fitch, John Custard, and the Prior family. In 1820 permanent settlement began. The squatters, most of them, made purchases at the sales at Delaware, and the country rapidly filled up with emigrants from New York, Pennsylvania, and Southern Ohio. Many had made purchases before visiting the county, and their first realization of the swamps and forest to be contended with was upon their arrival in covered wagons with household goods, farming utensils and families. In another chapter is given a general idea of the log-cabin life of the period. The surroundings and homes in one locality were much similar to those of another. This fact is a clear illustration of the important influence of natural surroundings and conditions upon the habits and character of a people.

The Prior family came from Virginia to Ohio in 1816. There were at that time but few white families in this county. The family consisted of three sons and two daughters. The second son had his eyes picked out in a most shocking manner. Before coming to Ohio he was engaged in a fight with a ruffian who got the better of him, and endeavored to force him "to give up." Prior's father arrived on the scene of action and charged the son not to yield. The ruffian's threat that he would pick his eyes out called from the father another charge not to give up, with the assurance that if he lost his eyesight he would take care of him all his life. The boy lost both his eyes, thus paying the penalty of his father's foolish vanity. When the first sale of land occurred the blind boy appeared as a bidder, and his condition commanded so much sympathy that no one appeared to bid against him. He thus became the possessor of a good farm. This family suffered another shocking accident while living in Ballville. Foxes were plenty at that time and frequently made raids on chickens, and even sometimes on young pigs. Their frequent visits at the Prior homestead caused the gun to be always standing ready for the shy thieves. It happened that Henry Prior, one evening about dark, was doing some work in the pig pen, and his red hair, just visible in the dusk of evening was mistaken for a fox by his uncle, Wilkinson Prior, who, with steady aim, fired a fatal shot. It is not surprising that a suspicion should go forth that the mistake was feigned, but there are in the circumstances no ground for such a suspicion.

David Moore moved from Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, to Ross county, Ohio, in 1814, and from Ross to Sandusky county in 1818. He was a son of Samuel Moore, who emigrated from Dalkeith, Scotland, about the year 1760, and settled in New Jersey. He built a double log cabin on the bank of the river, opposite the residence of Mrs. Eliza Moore, in the village of Ballville. A little below that he built a grist-mill, and ground the grain of the pioneers until his death, December 24, 1829, which was caused by an accident in falling at night from the attic in the mill to a lower story. He was sixty-three years old. A small freestone monument marks his resting place near the centre of the old cemetery. The old settlers in those days did not all use patent flour. The following is a copy of one of many orders for meal, which are still in the possession of Mrs. Eliza Moore, in Ballville:

PORTAGE RIVER, July 20, 1825.
David Moore :

Dear Sir: Please send by the heater two bushels of corn meal, and charge to me.


David Moore's wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Davis, remained on a farm in Ross county, where she died July 1, 1826. The children of David Moore were Eliza (Justice), Sarah (Fields), George, James, and John Moore, all of whom came to Sandusky county. George Moore returned to Ross county in 1830, and settled on Paint Creek, eight miles south of Chillicothe, where he died October 1, 1850, leaving a widow, Mrs. Rachel Moore, still living, and four children — David, Eliza, Morris, and William — all of whom are dead but Eliza, who is a widow — having married Philip Rhodes. George's son, David, left four daughters — Georgia, Ella, Kate, and Willie. James Moore died December 20, 1873, from an accident that happened to him in his mill, aged sixty-seven. John Moore died May 31, 1876, aged seventy-eight. Eliza Justice died October 17, 1876, aged seventy-six. Sarah Fields, the only living child of David Moore, is aged seventy-seven.

J. D. Moore, son of John and Eliza Moore, was born in Ballville in 1844. His parents were among the first settlers of the county. John Moore died in 1876. He was a miller by trade, and also carried on farming. His widow, Mrs. Elizabeth (Rutter) Moore, still survives him. They had eleven children, seven of whom are living. J. D. Moore married Ellen Dean, and has three children living — Guy, Philip, and Daisy. Freddie, the eldest, died, aged ten years. Mr. Moore was in business as a merchant in Fremont from 1866 to 1873. Since the latter date he has been engaged in milling in Ballville.

Asa B. Gavit, a native of New York, settled on the west bank of the river about 1818. He married, in this county, a Miss Strawn, whose family settled further up the river, near the mouth of Wolf Creek. Gavit was one of the shrewdest and most progressive men in the settlement. He had the reputation of being an excellent trader. He died, his wife and one son surviving him. She married for her second husband Charles Blinn, and for her third Stephen Emerson. Mr. Gavit's connection with the famous lawsuit regarding the ownership of the bed of the river, is given in this chapter.

William and David Chard came as squatters in 1819, and when the land came into market they made permanent settlement on section twenty-one. Their reputation was by no means enviable.

Morris Nichols came to the township in 1820. He constructed a tannery on the river road just outside the limits of the mile square reservation.

John Wolcott was known in early times as a hunter, which was a profitable employment, in fact it was the only employment; which brought in ready cash; labor and farm products were paid for in trade. He was a native of Pennsylvania, and lived with his mother after coming here.

We have already spoken of the first settlement at the mouth of Wolf Creek, between here and the village of Ballville. By 1824 nearly every farm , on the west side of the river had been improved.

Elizabeth Tindall kept the only public house along this road. She came to the township with her family, consisting of five sons, — Samuel, Daniel, William, John, and Edward, and two daughters — Eliza (Lovejoy) and Amy (Bond). J. L. Tindall, the oldest son of Edward Tindall, still resides in the township. He was born May 4, 1838, and in 1860 married Martha J. Fields, of Sandusky township.

Between the Tindall estate and the Gavit farm were a number of improvements made about 1822, among the settlers being Mr. Woodruff and John Custard.

David Chambers purchased a tract of land in section eight, with a view to engaging in milling. His location, although naturally good, was unfortunate as the result of a long course of litigation detailed in this chapter will show. Mr. Chambers was highly respected in the community, and it was a matter of regret on the part of many that circumstances compelled him to sell his property and seek a home elsewhere. His son, Benjamin Chambers, moved west. His daughter married John Custard.

Mr. John Rhidout, father of William Rhidout, was one of the first settlers in the northwest part of the township. He was a shoemaker, and came west for the purpose of engaging at his trade at the Indian missionary posts on the Maumee. After settling here in 1824 he engaged in farming.

The settlement in the upper part of the township, on the east side of the river, began in 1832, after the Senecas had been removed to their western home, and the reservation which they had occupied thrown upon the market. There were, however, earlier settlements further down.

On the east side of the river, on section twenty, had been an Indian sugar-camp of considerable size, which was purchased at the Government sales by John Sherrard. Thomas Sherrard, a brother of John, removed from Jefferson county, Ohio, to Lower Sandusky in the summer of 1823, with the intention of building a mill on Green Creek, where he owned a tract of land, but after his arrival concluded to settle on a farm near the site of Oakwood cemetery, in Ballville township, where he built a cabin and made a clearing. His family was highly esteemed in the neighborhood, and the untimely termination of his life was the occasion of great sadness. John Sherrard, who owned the sugar-camp, was afraid the Indians would destroy the trees, and requested his brother to rent it to some one who would live on the property. Mr. Sherrard effected a contract with William Chard, by which he was to give a stipulated amount of sugar for the use of the camp. But during the first season a disagreement arose, and Mr. Sherrard began to suspect the honesty of his tenant. He was prevented by high water from crossing the river until March 26, when he came to Colonel Chambers' house on his way to the camp. After telling the object of his errand, he inquired the best place to ford the river. Colonel Chambers says, in a memorandum of the affair, that Mr. Sherrard looked melancholy, and seemed to be apprehensive of something about to happen. He crossed the river, but it was the last time. The Chambers family became uneasy regarding his safety in the evening, and Mrs. Sherrard's appearance on the following morning, with the announcement that he had not returned, increased their apprehensions, which noontime confirmed when James Chard appeared on the other side of the river with the horse, and made the announcement that Sherrard had left their house in the afternoon for home, and the horse had returned alone. The river was searched for nearly a month, but to no effect, and a high freshet at length destroyed all hopes of recovering the body. Mrs. Sherrard was greatly affected, and left the cabin home, being kindly received in the family of Colonel Chambers. It is worthy of remark in this connection that on the day following the misfortune all the cattle and horses forsook the home and came to the Chambers residence. On April 11 the saddle was found below Moore's mill-dam. His hat was found on the previous day, and bore evidence of having been in the water but a short time. On April 21 Joseph Prior saw a white, fleshy form in the water about half a mile below the Chambers ford, and supposed if the body of a skinned animal, but that same evening the body was carried down to Moore's mill-dam, and discovered between the breast of the dam and the spill of water. It was impossible to recover the body that night, there being no water craft at hand; but on the following day the body was removed from the lower mill-dam. When Mr. Sherrard left home he had on an overcoat, light under-coat, vest, and two shirts; the body was found naked. The bridge of his nose was broken, one of his eyes bruised out, and his right jawbone broken, as if done by the stroke of a club. The fore teeth were broken and the mouth bruised, and the throat callous. All these wounds bore evidence of having been inflicted before the extinguishment of life. The place and time of the discovery of the body, and its condition, are circumstances almost conclusive of a most brutal murder. The whole affair naturally caused intense excitement throughout the neighborhood, and suspicion condemned the family supposed to be guilty, but sufficient proof could not be found to warrant an arrest.

The first settler of the farm now owned by L. B. Fry was Benjamin Decker. Thuman Holmes and Dennis Duran lived east of the Seager farms already spoken of, on which the council house of the Senecas stood. The Willis family, representatives of which are yet living, settled at an early period. Samuel Treat was the first settler on section twenty-nine. John Myers made an early improvement on the same section. Mr. Ensminger, David Halter, Peter Doell, and Henry Fry made improvements along down the river, on the east side, from 1830 to 1835. Joseph Edwards made an improvement on the farm in the interior of the township, which was afterwards purchased by Jonas Smith, and is yet in part owned by him.

One of the earliest settlers in the centre of the township was Samuel Smith, third son of Adam Smith, who was an early settler in Green creek township. He was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, in 1817, and came to the county with his parents. After his marriage, in 1844, to Elizabeth Frary, he settled on section ten, and made the first improvements. Mr. and Mrs. Smith had four children, two of whom are living — Dora and Clara. Hattie, wife of Samuel Zontman, died, leaving a family of four children. Charles is also dead.

The Strawn family were highly respected people, who settled near the mouth of Wolf Creek.

The Bixler family settled in the northwest corner of the township. They were people who took a prominent part in affairs.

John Nyce and family, consisting of three sons — Philip, Isaac, and Michael — and three daughters — Theny, Sarah, and Nancy — came from Pennsylvania at an early day, and settled on the east side of the river.

We have now sketched in a general way the settlement of the township previous to the later period, when all the lands were taken up and most of them cleared. It yet remains to speak more particularly of those families who have taken a leading part in public affairs, and contributed to the growth of society, since the period of first settlement.

Among the earliest settlers of the central part of this township, and one of the oldest pioneers now living, is Jonas Smith. He was born in New York in 1807. In 1829 he married Mary Gilmore, who is two years his senior. In 1833 they came to this township, and made a settlement near the centre. Their family consisted of two boys and four girls — James N., resident of Michigan; Martha J. (Frary), Michigan; S. S., Michigan; Ann (Maurer), Fremont; Hannah (Brunthaver), Ballville; and Emma (Hampshire), Ballville, Mr. Smith has been crowded with official trusts, having served his county as commissioner six years, and sheriff four years. He has also served as magistrate in Ballville for nineteen years. Providence has dealt with this family most generously. Mr. and Mrs. Smith celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their wedding, February 19, 1879. During this period of more than fifty-two years of married life, death has never visited their family.

From 1833 to 1840 the improvement of the township was pushed vigorously. All the land at the end of that period had been entered, and clearings commenced at least on every lot. Along the river and through the centre and eastern line of sections, well improved farms were already richly rewarding the husbandman's industry. From the list of worthy families who carried on this work of improvement and consequent production of wealth, the plan of our work will permit brief sketches of but a few families.

John Hutchins, a native of Vermont, settled in this township in 1834. He had a large family (ten children) by his first wife, whose maiden name was Russel, and six by his second wife, whose maiden name was Hannah Collins. Mr. Hutchins died in 1845, aged seventy-seven years. Matthew Hutchins, the fourth child of John and Hannah Hutchins, was born in Oswego, New York, in 1822. In 1843 he married Elizabeth Young, and contributed his labors to the improvement of the eastern part of the township. The family consists of four children — William L., Adrian A., Marion M., and Lewis D., living, and Emery M., and Milo J. A., dead.

The Frys are representative Germans of this township. They came from Prussia and settled here in 1834 and 1835. George Fry was born in Prussia in 1809. He came to this county in 1835. In 1842 he married Mary Guss, by whom he had nine children, seven of whom are living. He has been a resident of Jackson township since 1846. Henry N. Fry, oldest son of George Fry, was born in this township in 1844. In 1874 he married Ella M. Burgoon, and has two children — Roscoe A., and Virginia.

John Fry was born in Prussia in 1810. He is a carpenter and millwright by trade, and was employed in the construction of the frame mill, the predecessor of the stone mill, and other buildings along the river. He also improved a farm a short distance above the village. He came, also, in the year 1835. In 1850 he married Julia A. Miller, of Seneca county.

Henry Fry was born at the paternal residence in the Province of Westphalia, in 1813. He came to America in 1834, one year before his brother, John, and his cousin George. In 1841 he married Abbie Rhidout, daughter of John G. Rhidout, who came from Ross county and settled in this township in 1825. Mr. Fry's family consists of two children living — Cynthia J., the wife of Dr. Robert H. Rice, and Amelia S., the wife of E. B. Moore. The oldest child, John I. Fry, is dead. Mr. Fry followed his trade, carpenter and mill-wright, several years after coming to this township.

Isaac Maurer was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, in 1808. He married in Wayne county, Ohio, in 1831, Mary Ernsberger, who was born in Maryland in 1812, and died in this township in 1879. They settled in Ballville township in 1834, and raised a a [sic] family of six children living, viz: Martin, Emanuel, William J., Eli B., Martha J., and Owen.

William, the third son, was born in this township in 1840. He married in 1865, Eliza J. Worst, and has a family of three children: Tillie L., Delphin B., and Orpheus C. Mr. Maurer was wounded at the battle of Franklin. He was in the One Hundredth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Owen L., the youngest son of Isaac Maurer, was born in this township in 1853. He married in 1873, Martha J. Brunthaver, and has two children, Gertrude and Maggie.

One of the first among the settlers of 1835 was John Halter. He was born in New York in 1803. He married in 1825, Elizabeth Bastic, by whom one child was born — Catharine, wife, first, of James Jackson, who was killed in the army; second of Isaac N. Halter, of Fremont. Mr. and Mrs. Halter are now enjoying the fruits of their early industry.

David Halter was born in New York in1816. He married Margaret Plants, and had a family of four children, viz: John, resident of Seneca county; David, deceased; Leander, Ballville township, and Jacob, who continues his residence in this county. Jacob was born in 1849, married in 1872, Mary J. Cochran, and has four children: Nellie M., David F., Edith and Earlie (twins). Both David Halter and his wife died in August, 1881.

Joseph Hershey, one of the Ballville settlers of 1836, was born at Hagerstown, Maryland, in 1796. In 1808 his father removed to Canada, where he remained until the opening of the War of 1812. He then removed to Erie county, New York. In 1836 Joseph came to this township, where he died in 1851, leaving a family of four children living — Eliza (Myers), Frances (Wire), Peter, and Martha (Willard). Mrs. Hershey, whose maiden name was Magdalene Frick, died in 1871. Peter, the only son, born in Erie county. New York, in 1819, in 1855 married Elizabeth Bruner, by whom he has a family of seven children — David, Anna, Willard P.[,] Elmer E., Grant U., Daisy M., and Bessie S.

Peter Doell was born in Germany in 1819. In 1838 he emigrated to America and came to Ballville township. Some six years later he settled upon a farm on the east side of the river. In 1841 he married Margaret Resch, also a native of Germany. Twelve children blessed this union, four of whom are living, viz: Mary (Rearick), Sandusky township; George, Riley township; Catharine (Kraft) and Joseph, Ballville township.

Roswell Osborn, a native of New York, was born in 1800. He married for his first wife, Phebe Card, who died in New York in 1830, leaving eight children. He married for his second wife Mida Lansing, by whom he had three children. The family came to Ohio about 1835 and settled in Huron county. He was a Baptist minister, and about five years were occupied in preaching. About 1840 Mr. Osborn settled in Ballville township and remained about nine years. He then moved to Wisconsin, where he died in 1860. Enos, the sixth child, was born in New York in 1820. He came to Ballville with the family in 1840 and has continued his residence here since that time. In 1847 he married Margaret Strohl, who died in 1863, aged thirty-four years, leaving six children, viz: James, editor Fremont Messenger; George, resides in Logan county, Ohio; William, Roswell P., Anna, and Idella (Hufford), Ballville township. Mr. Osborn married for his second wife Leah Brunthaver, by whom he has had one child — Frank. Mr. Osborn was a soldier in the Mexican war.

George Reynolds was born in New York in 1817. He immigrated to Ohio m 1841, and settled in Ballville township, where, in 1844, he married Maria Prior, a daughter of John Prior. A family of five children blessed this union, four of whom are living, viz.: Chauncy, Cynthia (Parker), Delia (Mitchner), and Rant. Orrin died in 1880, aged twenty-four. He was a practicing lawyer.

The settlement and mysterious death of Thomas G. Sherrard has already been chronicled. The Sherrard family of this county is descended from John Sherrard, a native of county Derry, Ireland, who emigrated to America in 1772, and joined the patriot army, in 1775, at Bunker Hill. He settled in Jefferson county, Ohio, where he died in 1809, leaving five sons. Robert Andrew Sherrard, the fourth son, was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, in 1789, and died near Steubenville in 1874; he was a highly-esteemed man, and a prominent member of the Presbyterian church; he was twice married — first, to Mary Kithcart, by whom he had five children, and second, to Jane Hindman, who bore seven children. David A. C. Sherrard, the third child by the first marriage, was born in Jefferson county in 1820; in 1843 he married Catharine Weldy, who died in 1847, leaving three children, viz.: Laura, Kizzie W., and Lizzie C.; in 1848 he married Narcissa Grant, by whom he had seven children, viz.: Hattie (deceased), Robert, John F., Emma, Mary J., Rose P., and Ida M.

William Smith was born in New Jersey in 1789. He married, in 1814, Sarah Trimmer, also a native of New Jersey. In 1836 the family removed to Perry county, Ohio, and thence to this county, in 1847, when they settled in Ballville township. Mrs. Smith died in July, 1858, and Mr. Smith in October, 1865. Four of their children are living — Sarah Ann (Cole), William P., George G., and John C. Henry, the oldest of the family, died in Newark, Ohio, in October, 1858. Jacob, the third child, died young, in New Jersey. Anna Maria, the youngest, died in Perry county in 1845, aged about twelve years. William P., the oldest son living, was born February 28, 1824; in 1858 he married Sarah M. Siberal, and had one child, Mina, deceased; Mr. Smith was treasurer of his township twelve years. On account of injuries received in 1844, he is unable to perform manual labor. He has brought up two children in his home — Carrie D. Smith, now the wife of Leonard Sliger, of Bradner, Wood county, and Mary E. Harrison, at home.

Daniel Sherer was born in Seneca county, Ohio, in 1828, and in 1846 married Mary A. Rubenault0. He settled in this township in 1848. The family consisted of four children, two of whom — Henry and Elizabeth A. — are dead; Albert O. and Daniel O. are residents of the township. Mr. Sherer died in 1858. Albert O. Sherer was born in 1852, and in 1875 he married Jane Siberal. They have two children living — Blanche E. and an infant daughter.

Daniel O. Sherer was born in 1855. He married, in 1875, Martha J. Jackman. Annie E., Minnie D., and Benjamin F. are their children.

Victor Rich was born in Switzerland in 1832. He came to America in 1 851, and stopped in New York during the winter, having been employed to chop wood, but was initiated into Yankee ways by being cheated out of his wages. The next spring he came to Fremont, and was for many years a well-known stone-mason. He built the vault in the "Oakwood Cemetery," which is a very fine piece of workmanship. In 1861 he settled in this township, where he owns a farm. In 1859 he married Mrs. Catherine Swilly, and has five children — Joseph, Charles, George, Victor, and Clara. John Swilly is her son by a previous husband.

Cornelius Hufford settled in Ballville township in 1836. He was born in Kentucky in 1806. In 1833 he married Mary J. Zook, daughter of Abram Zook, and a native of Bedford county, Pennsylvania. Their family consisted of ten children, five of whom are living — Sarah, Simon, Elizabeth, Catharine, and Martha. In 1869 Mr. Hufford removed to his present residence in Washington township.

Simon Hufford was born in 1837. He married, in 1861, Sarah Short, and has a family of five children living: Lillie J., Jennie, Frank, Armina, and Hattie. Burton died when less than one year old.

Jacob Kline, with his wife and family, came to America in 1832, and settled in New York. Mrs. Kline died at Buffalo in 1845. Mr. Kline died in this township in 1859. Jacob Kline, jr., was born in Germany in 1814. He married Lena Zimmerman in 1845, and in 1852 came West and settled in Ballville township. The family consists of eleven children, viz.: Jacob, George, Philip, Martin, Charles A., Lena, Mary M., William H., Edward F., John A., and Adam H. The last seven were born in this township. Martin and Charles have been teachers in the public schools. Charles is preparing for the practice of the law.

James Traill, with his family, removed from Bedford county, Pennsylvania, to Coshocton county, Ohio, and from there to Seneca county, in 1851. Thomas, his son, was born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, March 20, 1818. In 1844 he married Mary E. West, of York township. In 1852 he moved from Seneca county to Ballville township, his present home. Four children are living — Darling, Olive E., Lovie, and Perry J. Clara E., the oldest daughter, died at the age of twenty-two.

Andrew Wolfe was born in York county, Pennsylvania, in 1797. He married Saloma Garber, a native of Switzerland, and came to Ohio, settling first in Knox county, then in Richland. In 1855 he removed to Sandusky county, and settled in this township, where he died in 1874. Daniel M., the fifth child, was born in Knox county in 1831. He married, in 1855, Eunice J. Black, and settled where he now lives. The family consists of five children — Charles M., Sarah I., Elbridge G., Inez M., and Daniel M. Mr. Wolfe is a carpenter and followed the trade twenty-five years.

Henry Turner was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, in 1809. He married Susan Spangler in 1829. She died in 1849, leaving six children, viz.: William, Emanuel, Samantha, Daniel, Perry L, and Mary J. Of these only two are living — Samantha (Neff), Saginaw, Michigan, and Daniel. In 1852 Mr. Turner married for his second wife Elizabeth Delong, and had by this marriage two children — Henry Otis, a resident of Lima, Ohio, and Marcella, dead. The family came to Seneca county in 1830; moved to Ballville township in 1853.

John G. Speller, jr., proprietor of the stone mill, was born in Prussia in 1843. In 1857 he came to America and engaged in farming in this township. The following year his parents, Lambert C. and Mary Speller, came to this country with their family of five children, and remain residents of this township. In 1867 John G. Speller began clerking for Herman & Wilson, and continued in mercantile business seven years, the last year in partnership with Mr. Herman. In 1875 he purchased the Ballville stone mill, half of which he sold to Simeon Royce. Business has since been conducted under the firm name of Royce & Speller. Mr. Speller, in 1872, married Oriette J. Moore. James and Allie are their children.

George Flumerfelt, the oldest son of D. V. Flumerfelt, settled in this township in 1865. His father, however, was one of the first settlers of the neighboring township of Pleasant, in Seneca county, having come there from New Jersey in 1826, at the age of eighteen. He married Melinda Littler, and has a family of seven children living. George was born in 1842. He married Ellen Chancy in 1865. Five children are living — Eva P., Edward P., Laura, William A., and Clarence. Mr. Flumerfelt is a Greenbacker in politics. He owns the old Hiett farm, one of the first that was cleared in this township.

Abel M. Franks, only son of Uriah M. Franks, was born in Wayne county, Ohio, in 1834. He married in 1862 Eliza McQuigg, a native of Ireland. They have five children — Uriah F., John W., Sarah E., James E., and Samuel C. John, second son, graduated at the age of fifteen and is preparing for the Bar. Mr. Franks came to the county in 1865, and settled first in Sandusky township, where he remained two years, then settled in Ballville.

J. B. Lott, son of Peter and Mary Lott, was born in Seneca county in 1832. He came to this county in 1858, and settled on his present farm. He married in 1858 Sarah A. Bretts, a native of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. Three of their five children are living — Charles, Wilson, and Jennie — Clara Ann and an infant daughter are dead.

Thomas Wickert, a native of Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, was born in 1809, He married in 1832 Lucy Vennor. With their six children they came to this township in 1860. The children are: James E., George Harrison, Thomas J., Mary E., Emma, and Lucy N. Wickert. James E., the second child, was born in Pennsylvania in 1834. In 1859 he married Martha Abbott, who died in 1865, leaving three children — Frank, James, and Chester. In 1866 he removed to this county, and in 1869 he married Christina Lutz, by whom six children have been born — Bert, Fred, Guy, Hattie, Daisy, and Richard.

M. B. Fry emigrated from Virginia to Seneca county in 1833, and died in Pleasant township in 1853, leaving a family of seven children, five of whom are living. Littler B., the oldest son, was born in 1826. He came to Ohio with his father, and in 1865 married Belle Ramsey, a native of Pittsburgh. Mr. Fry has been living in this township since 1871.


John Hofford lived on the lot in Ballville now occupied by the cooper shop of J. D. & George Moore. About 1841, while John Moore was building his mill-race, on which twenty Irishmen were employed, Almira Hofford was married to John Johnson, an attorney, who lived on the farm now owned by Dr. Wilson, west of Fremont. The Irishmen determined upon making it an eventful occasion by giving the newly wedded couple a serenade after the wild fashion of the day. They collected all the guns, dinner-horns and cow-bells in the neighborhood, and taking these, together with rosined boxes, horse-fiddles and a pail of powder stolen from the supply used for blasting, they proceeded to the house. At this time the excitement caused by the ''patriot war" was at its highest, and a general raid was feared. When the confusion of guns, horse-fiddles, horns, etc., which was intended only to disturb the honeymoon of the lately united couple, began, the whole community was aroused. One Irishman, who knew nothing of the proceedings, expressed the thoughts of many people, when, leaping from his bed, he exclaimed: "I thought the British were a cumin, and I lepped out of bed to put." The man who carried the powder pail met a serious accident. Becoming excited, he rushed with Irish ardor into the crowd of musketmen. A spark dropped into the bucket, and the explosion sent him speechless to the rear. He finally, however, recovered. This is only one of the many amusing tricks carried out by this party of witty Irishmen whose residence in Ballville is well remembered.


Here arose a controversy, which engendered bitter personal feeling between neighbors and led to a decision by the supreme court of Ohio Slate on an important legal question. David Moore, David Chambers and Asa B. Gavit owned the lands adjoining the river in the order named, beginning at the village of Ballville and extending up for considerable distance. The controversy at first seems to have been grounded in the natural desire of both Moore and Chambers to have the exclusive use of the water-power. Chambers built a dam and erected a mill, but Moore cut off his water-power by building a dam below, thus throwing the back water on Chambers' wheel. Chambers sued Moore for trespass, but as the conclusion of the whole matter shows, was himself a trespasser, for the back-water from his dam covered the hitherto exposed limestone ledges in the bottom of the river opposite Gavit's land, to the depth of four feet.

Gavit brought suit for trespass and the case came to trial in the court of common pleas of the county. He proved at the trial that he owned certain lands bounded by the river and situated on its western bank. He also proved that by the erection of Chambers' dam the water was flowed back in the bed of the river opposite his land, so as to stand four feet deep on a stone quarry between his lands and the middle of the stream. In the original surveys the river was intersected by lines, but the area occupied by the stream when at high water mark was deducted from the whole area, so that the purchaser paid the United States for lands only to high water mark. It was, therefore, claimed by Chambers that the bed and banks of the river was public property.

The court of common pleas charged the jury that the plaintiff could set no right, in consequence of owning the lands on the shore, to the bed of the river adjacent to such lands. The jury on this charge gave a verdict in favor of the defendant (Chambers).

The case was taken to the supreme court on a writ of error, where it was argued, on part of the defendant, that as the Sandusky River was declared a navigable stream no individual could acquire exclusive property in its bed. The long course of litigation was watched eagerly, not only by those having a personal interest in the parties to the suit, but by owners of river lands throughout the State, for upon its decision depended many rights and privileges liable at any time to. cause difficulty. The decision of the supreme court will be of interest in this connection.

The question presented for decision in this case is, "Has the proprietor of land bounded by a navigable stream a separate and individual interest or property in any portion of the bed of the river?

The cession of the United States of lands within the territory of which Ohio is now a part, was made subject to no condition with respect to navigable streams. But in the first frame of government, commonly called the Ordinance, which is fundamental in its character, it is stipulated that "navigable waters leading into the Mississippi and St. Lawrence shall be forever free" to all people of the United States. The legislation of Congress for disposition of lands has strictly conformed to this stipulation. The lands within the beds of navigable rivers have not been sold as lands to be paid for, and whether the lands have or have not been made boundaries of surveys, the land usually covered by water has been deducted from that upon which purchase money was charged. This, it is argued, is a fact conclusive to establish the position that the individual purchaser acquires no rights to the bed of the river adjoining his lands. But we do not think it properly attended with such consequence.

It is, we conceive, virtually essential to the public peace and to individual security that there should be distinct and acknowledged legal owners for both the land and water of the country. This seems to have been the principle upon which the law doctrine was originally settled, that when a stream was not subject to the ebb and flow of the tide it should be deemed the property of the owners of the soil bounding on its banks. The reason upon which this rule is founded applies as strongly in this country as in any other, and no maxim of jurisprudence is of more universal application than that where the reason is the same the law should be the same.

If, in the case before us, the owners of the lands bounded on the banks of the Sandusky River do not own the fee simple in that stream, subject only to the use of the public, who does own it, and what is its condition? The "Ordinance" reserves nothing but the use. No act of Congress makes any reservation in relation to the beds of rivers. We find no provisions but those of the act of 1796 which are confined to reserving the use of navigable streams, and declaring the existence of the common law doctrine in respect to streams not navigable.

A river consists of water bed and banks. At what point does the right of the owner of adjoining lands terminate, on the top or at the bottom of the bank? At high or low water mark? Does his boundary recede and advance with the water, or is it stationary at some point? And where is that point? Who gains by alluvion? Who loses by direptions [?] of the streams? No satisfactory rules can be laid down in answer to these questions, if the common law doctrine be departed from. Arid if it be assumed that the United States retain the fee simple in the beds of our rivers, who is to preserve them from individual trespassers, or determine matters of wrong between the trespassers themselves. It can not be reasonably doubted that if all the beds of our rivers supposed to be navigable, and treated as such by the United States in selling lands, are to be regarded as unappropriated territory, a door is open for incalculable mischiefs. Intruders upon the common waste would fall into endless broils among themselves and involve the owners of lands adjoining in controversies innumerable. Stones, soil, gravel, the right to fish, would all be subjects of individual scramble necessarily leading to violence and outrage. The United States would be little interested in preserving either the peace or the property, and indeed would be powerless to do it without an interference with the policy of the State.

We do not believe that it was the intention of the United States to reserve an interest in the bed, banks or water of the rivers in the State, other than the use for navigation to the public, which is distinctly in the nature of an easement, and all grants of land upon such waters we hold to have been made subject to the common law, which in this case is the plain rule of common sense, and it is this: He who owns the lands upon both banks owns the entire river, subject only to the easement of navigation, and he who owns the land on one bank only owns to the middle of the river subject to the same easement. This is he rule recognized not only in England but in our sister States.

Before this decision was reached by the supreme court Mr. Gavit died, but his. administrator gained a verdict. Messrs. Chambers and Moore settled their difficulties by Moore buying Chambers out, thus giving him full and exclusive right and privilege to the water power along the Bellville rapids.


It is difficult to tell who was the first white child born in this township, but our best information is that it was Margaret Frary, who was born some time in the year 1821.

A squatter named Coburg was the first citizen, so far as is known, "to end the earth chapter of life." He died about 1819. During his sickness Harriet Cochran (Mrs. Seager), was the only person in the neighborhood to wait on and care for him.

The first cemetery in the township was the one at Salem church, in the south part. This lot was set apart at the death of Mrs. Frary, who was the first person buried there. Her husband, Phineas Frary, was the second. The inhabitants of the north part of the township were accustomed to bury their dead at Fremont, then Lower Sandusky.

The early families of the north part of the township sent their children to school in Fremont; those in the south part first attended school in Seneca county, where a man named Dicely taught. The first school-house in the south part of the township was built on the Seager farm, on the east side of the river, about 1833. Moses Coleby is remembered as the first master.


The following petition appears on the commissioners' records, which sets forth the reason for setting apart a new town from Sandusky, and the signatures also show who were the leading men at that date in favor of a division of the townships.

To the honorable Commissioners of Sandusky County:

Sandusky Township, State of Ohio.
This petition of the undersigned, residents of Sandusky county, Sandusky township, prays, that they with the other residents of said township labor under many serious difficulties and disadvantages in consequence of the distance they have to go to the place of holding general elections. In fact, the great bounds of said township and the distance public officers reside from each other tends greatly to retard public business, particularly as it relates to the business of the township. Under these circumstances your petitioners therefore pray, that you would direct a new township to be laid out embracing township four, range fifteen, your petitioners will ever pray.

1st of March, 1822.
N. B. And your petitioners also pray that the township be called Ball's township.

David W. Chambers.
Asa B. Gavit.
David Chard.
Giles Thompson.
Moses Nichols.
John Woolcot.
Jeremiah Everett.
John Prior.
Isaac Prior.
Henry Prior.
John Custard.
Benjamin Clark.
T. A. Rexford.
William Chard.

The petition was granted and the first election ordered to be held at the house of David Chambers on the 1st Monday of April, 1822. The early records of the township are lost, so that we are unable to give the first officers elected or the civil list.


The water power furnished by the second rapids of the Sandusky River has been the natural means of building up a little settlement in the north part of the township, which deserves to be called a village. It takes the name of the township. About 1821 three mills were built in this locality —two grist-mills, one by David Chambers, the other by David Moore; and, further up, a saw-mill, by Mr. Tindall. The remains of the saw-mill are yet standing. Messrs. Moore and Chambers became involved in an expensive litigation, which is spoken of at length in this chapter. Moore settled the difficulty, and at the same time obtained exclusive control of the available water power by buying Chambers' farm and mill.

In 1831 Charles Choate came to Ballville and leased the shed and water power at Moore's mill, where he began the carding and fulling business. (Mr. Choate's father was one of the first settlers of Ohio, and was taken prisoner at Big Bottom during the Indian war of 1791-95.) James Moore, a son of David Moore, began the erection of a new mill in 1835, which was completed and placed in operation in 1837. Mr. Choate removed his carding machinery to this mill, where he continued the business three years longer, making a period of nine years since the beginning of wool carding. The last year he worked forty thousand pounds of wool. Mr. Choate sold his factory to Asa Otis and P. C. Dean.

The stone mill, which is yet in operation, was built in 1858 by James Moore. Mr. Moore had also built a cotton factory in 1845, but was in a short time burned out.

In 1839 James Valletti purchased an interest in the mills and real estate. The village of Ballville was surveyed and laid out in lots by Messrs. Moore and Valletti the following year.

P. C. Dean and John Moore built what is now known as the Croghan mill in 1867. Mr. Dean sold his interest to his partner, who conducted the business until his death, when it became the property of his sons. The building and machinery were destroyed by fire in 1878, but rebuilt the same year. It is now owned by J. D., George N., and C. B. Moore.

During most of the time since the survey of the village a small mercantile business has been carried on at Ballville. C. B. Moore has been in the grocery business since 1876.


The name United Brethren has been adopted successively by four distinct and separate religious organizations. Early in the fifteenth century a church was formed in Bohemia, Germany, similar to that of the Waldenses, which took the name United Brethren. In the sixteenth century a part of the German Reformed church united with the Waldenses, and formed what was called the Church of the United Brethren. In the eighteenth century was organized the Church of the Moravians or The Renewed United Brethren. These churches, though similar in name, faith, and practice, had no ecclesiastical connection.

The Church of the United Brethren in Christ was organized in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, in 1775. Its principal founder was Rev. William Otterbein, a minister of the German Reformed church. He had been sent as a missionary to America from Dillenberg, Germany, and after preaching in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Maryland several years with great success as a revivalist, he organized an independent church which at first was called the Evangelical Reformed church, then the United Brethren church, and finally, to avoid a mixing of titles with the Moravians or United Brethren, it was called the Church of the United Brethren in Christ.

The colaborers of Otterbein in this work were Rev. Martin Boehm, Rev. Christian Newcomer, and Rev. John Neiding, each of the Mennonite church, and Rev. George A. Guething and John G. Pfrimmer, of the German Reformed church.

The first great meeting (grosze versammlung), and the one which suggested the name United Brethren, was held at Mr. Isaac Long's in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, and was attended largely by members of the Lutheran, German Reformed, Mennonite, Tunker and Amish persuasions.

The labors of these ministers and others who joined them, were for half a century confined almost exclusively to the Germans in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.

Since the year 1825, the German language in many places has entirely given place to the English, and the church has also spread in English communities, where it was formerly unknown.

Among the earliest religious workers in Sandusky county, Ohio, were the local and travelling preachers of the church of the United Brethren in Christ.

Previous to the year 1833 a strong tide of emigration set in towards the northwest, and among the emigrants to the Sandusky Valley were quite a number of United Brethren families, including some local preachers. These held religious meetings in their respective neighborhoods and prepared the way for the missionaries or travelling preachers which were sent into this region by the Muskingum conference, as early as the year 1829. They had a string of appointments extending from Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, to Lower Sandusky, Ohio. In common with other pioneers these preachers endured many trials and privations and performed much toilsome and difficult work for very meagre salaries. They often met with abundant success in revival meetings and in the organization of religious societies, but, owing in part to the constant shifting of population, they did not succeed in establishing permanent societies, and building churches as well as those who came later and labored in towns and villages.

Their preaching places were mostly at private houses or barns, or in log school-houses, often in widely separated neighborhoods, reached only by winding roads or paths cut through the woods. These routes were often almost impassable on account of high water and an almost interminable black, sticky mud. They travelled usually on foot or on horseback, and preached every day in the week and two or three times on Sunday. Their meetings were as well attended on week-days as on Sunday. Farmers in those days cheerfully left their work to attend religious services. In times of big meetings they came from several adjoining neighborhoods, even in bad weather and over bad roads, on foot, on horseback, and not unfrequently in large wagons or sleds, drawn by ox-teams. Thirteen persons constituted a Methodist load, but a United Brethren load was as many as you could pile on. At these meeting the early pioneers manifested a large-hearted hospitality, unaffected sociability, and much religious enthusiasm.

In the year 1822 Rev. Jacob Bowlus came from Frederick county, Maryland, and settled near Lower Sandusky (now Fremont, Ohio). He was the first Evangelical preacher in the Black Swamp. He preached faithfully to the new settlers as he had opportunity, and opened his doors to the Methodists and to ministers of other denominations. A few preaching places were thus established, a few classes formed, and in 1829 the general conference of the United Brethren church recognized a circuit called the Sandusky circuit. At the next session of the Muskingum conference Jacob Bowlus was elected presiding elder of the Sandusky district, and John Zahn was appointed to travel Sandusky circuit. In the year 1830 Mr. Bowlus was re-elected presiding elder, and Israel Harrington and J. Harrison assigned to Sandusky circuit. These four, Zahn, BowIus, Harrington,- and Harrison are said to have been the first pioneer itinerant preachers of this church in Northwestern Ohio. During the next four years Sandusky circuit was supplied with traveling preachers by the Muskingum conference.

In the year 1833 the general conference of the United Brethren church made arrangements for the organization of the Sandusky conference.

The new conference held its first session on the 12th day of May, 1834, at the house of Philip Bretz, on Honey Creek, in Seneca county, Ohio. Bishop Samuel Hiestand presided. Preachers present — John Russel, Jacob Bowlus, George Hiskey, Jeremiah Brown, C. Zook, John Crum, W. T. Tracy, Jacob Bair, O. Strong, H. Erret, John Smith, L. Easterly, Philip Cramer, B. Moore, Daniel Strayer, Israel Harrington, Jacob Crum, H. Kimberlin, J. Fry, J.-Alsop, Jacob Garber, Stephen Lillibridge, and John Davis [familiarly known in Northwestern Ohio as "Pap" Davis, the hatter]. Mr. Davis labored with great faithfulness as a travelling preacher for many years, much of the time as a presiding elder. On a salary of from seventy-five dollars to one hundred and fifty dollars, he travelled on horseback from Crawford county, Ohio, to Allen county, Indiana, four times a year, year after year. The roads were extremely bad, but he seldom missed an appointment, never complained, and always wore a smile as he entered the cabins of the West.

Stephen Lillibridge, during the eight short years of his itineracy, travelled the Black Swamp at a salary of less than one hundred dollars a year, and preached nineteen hundred and thirty sermons, as shown by his diary. He died at the early age of twenty-eight.

Among other successful evangelists who travelled the Black Swamp may be mentioned Rev. Joseph Bever, Rev. Samuel Long, Rev. Michael Long, and Rev. J. C. Bright.

The second session of the Sandusky conference was held at the house of A. Beck, in Crawford county, Ohio, April 15, 1835. The following were received: Jacob Newman, Joseph Bever, Jeremiah Brown, George Newman, H. G. Spayth5, J. C. Rice, and Joseph Logan.

In the first assignment to the fields of labor, Benjamin Moore and Joseph Bever were sent to travel the Sandusky circuit, which then extended across Sandusky county, and into the present counties of Ottawa, Huron, and Seneca. Rev. M. Long also travelled the circuit during the latter half of the year.

The other circuits of the conference were Maumee, Scioto, Richland, and Owl Creek, in Knox county, travelled respectively by S. Lillibridge, J. Alsop, J. Davis, and B. Kaufman.

The third session of Sandusky conference was held at the house of J. Crum, in Wood county, Ohio, April 26, 1836. Preachers received — John Dorcas, T. Hastings, Francis Clymer, Michael Long, Alfred Spracklin, and William Williams.

Jacob Bowlus was chosen presiding elder, and the assignments to fields of labor were: Sandusky circuit, J. Davis; Swan Creek, S. Lillibridge; Richland, J. Dorcas and B. Kaufman; Mt. Vernon, Jacob Newman; Maumee, John Long; Findlay Mission, Michael Long.

The first delegates to the general conference of the United Brethren church from the Black Swamp were John Dorcas and George Hiskey, in 1837.

The salaries paid during the year 1835-36 were: J. Brown, presiding elder, $16; B. Moore, $76; B. Kaufman, $49; Joseph Bever, $40; M. Long, $41; S. Lillibridge, $80; Jonas Fraunfelder, $2.50; and Samuel Hiestand, bishop, $20.50.

The circuits comprised from a dozen to twenty or more preaching places, and the preacher was obliged to travel about two hundred miles in making one round, which he usually completed in from two to four weeks. The following is an outline from memory of the appointments of Sandusky circuit in 1835, as given by Rev. Joseph Bever:

Commencing at Peter Bever's, north of Melmore, Seneca county, I went successively to Philip Bretz's, east of Melmore; Solomon Seary's, southeast of Melmore; Fred Rhodes', north of Republic; Mr. Payne's, in Huron county; the Snow school-house, near Amsden's corners, now Bellevue; Jacob Bowlus', west of Fremont; Port Clinton, Ottawa county; McNamor's or Zink's, south of Fremont; Mr. Gaines', southwest of Fremont; James Mathews', near Bascom; Mr. Bodine's, near Fostoria; school-house near Gilboa; Dr. Hastings', on Tawas Creek; Philip Cramer's, on same; Mr. Bixler's, east of Findlay; Father Brayton's, Springville (father of the Brayton captured by the Indians); Mr. Wyant's, Tyamochtee, and at other places occasionally. It took me three weeks, travelling every day, to make the round in good weather, and I received for my salary twenty-five dollars!

The following is a list of the preachers who travelled the old Sandusky and the Green Creek circuits from the year 1834 to 1881: Benjamin Moore, Joseph Bever, M. Long, John Davis, John Dorcas, S. Lillibridge, J. C. Bright, S. Hadley, John Lawrence6, P. J. Thornton, D. Glancy, B. J. Needles, William Bevington, Wesley Harrington, R. Wicks, Jacob Newman, John French, William Jones, James Long, H. Curtis, S. T. Lane, B. G. Ogden, A. M. Stemen, Silas Foster, William Miller, Peter Fleck, R. K. Wyant, J. Mathews, D. F. Gender, S. H. Raudabaugh, D. D. Hart, B. M. Long, E. B. Maurer, A. Powell, D. S. Caldwell, and T. D. Ingle.

Sandusky county is now (1881) divided among five circuits: Green Creek, Bay Shore, Clyde, Sandusky, and Eden, comprising eighteen societies in this county. Green Creek was detached from the old Sandusky in 1834, and lies mostly in Ballville township. It has five societies, three churches, and one parsonage. The United
Brethren church and parsonage, at Green Spring, were built in 1871-72-73, under the direction of Rev. S. H. Raudabaugh. The Mt. Lebanon United Brethren church, two miles southeast of Fremont, was built in 1864. The first trustees were: Rev. M. Long, Rev. M. Bulger, Rev. N. Young, Anson Eldridge, and John Batzole. The society was formed by the union of the classes at the Batzole and Dawley school-houses. The superintendents of Mt. Lebanon Sabbath-school from 1864 to 1881 were: Rev. N. Young, Sidney Young, Charles Young, Rev. N. S. Long, Rev. B. M. Long, Jacob Burgner, J. W. Worst, and Hugh C. Smith.

The church at Hoover's Corners, or Hard Scrabble, which is used jointly by the United Brethren church and the Evangelical Association, was built by the latter about the year 1854.

A class of the United Brethren in Christ was formed of citizens living in the neighborhood of the mouth of Wolf Creek. It was organized as the "Clinger Class," April 20, 1860, Samuel Jacoby at that time being circuit preacher. The first members were: John and Catharine Sibberrel, Samuel and Anna Dinger, Rachel Turner, Jacob and John Ridgley, Lucinda, ! John, and Lucinda B. Hite, Mary Clinger, Jane Hudson, and Mary Mills. A meeting-house was built that year and the class became known as Wolf Creek congregation. It has a membership of about seventy, and has preaching service each alternate Sabbath. A summer Sunday-school has been maintained from the first, but in 1880-81 it was kept up with profit and interest throughout the year, winter as well as summer.


The citizens along the river about four miles south of Ballville felt the need of a more convenient place for holding religious services, and in 1868 contributed and built what is known as Union Chapel, for the use of all denominations. Rev. E. Bushnell, of Fremont, supplied the pulpit for a short time.

Rev. Mr. Willard, of Tiffin, organized a class according to the discipline of the German Reformed church in 1870, and held services in this house. Messrs. Kesselman and Smith have served since. Preaching is not regularly maintained.

Biographical Sketch.

The subject of this sketch is the son of Daniel and Margaret (Brill) Long, who were born in the State of Pennsylvania. Their son, Michael Long, was born May 3, 1814, in Guernsey county, Ohio. He was educated in attending the common schools of the neighborhood, and worked on a farm until he entered the ministry of the United Brethren church, in Sandusky, in the year 1835. He afterwards, on the 20th of April, 1837, married Sarah Gear, of the same county. Mr. Long had emigrated from Guernsey to Sandusky in the year 1834. Rev. Michael Long is still living with this wife, Sarah, of whom he has had five children yet living, namely: Desire Angeline, who is married to Martin Mowrer, of Ballville township; Newton S., who married Carry C. Stahl, daughter of Jacob Stahl. (This son is laboring in the ministry at Osceola, Wyandot county, Ohio); Barzillai M., not married, a minister, now stationed at Canton, Ohio; Sarah Calista, now wife of Professor John Worst, superintendent of the schools at Elmore, Ohio; M. DeWitt, who married Pauline C. McCahan, and is now principal of Roanoke Academy, Roanoke county, Indiana, and who is also an ordained minister of the United Brethren church.

Mr. Long has continually, since the commencement of his labors as a preacher, been in the service of the church, sometimes as an itinerant preacher, sometimes on a station, and for a number of years as presiding elder.

Mr. Long's services in the United Brethren church are set forth in an address delivered at a ministerial association, held in Attica, Seneca county, Ohio, in 1879. We here give the address in full, which relates many hairbreadth escapes, and also most palpably illustrates his zeal in the work he was engaged in. He is endowed with remarkable physical powers, weighs near two hundred pounds, and his voice is remarkable for its strength and power to reach the outermost limits of the largest gathering at any camp meeting. The following anecdote is told by a friend who happened to live about three miles from where a camp-meeting was in progress several years ago. A stranger enquired of the man where the camp-meeting was, and what road to take to get there. The farmer told him to listen, and on being silent a moment, the voice of Michael Long in full exercise came through the woods. The stranger was told to follow the sound, and he would find the camp-meeting about three miles distant in that direction. If there ever was a harder worker for the church than Michael Long, he has not been found in this vicinity. And he is still at the same work, and, no doubt, will be while life and strength are given him to work. He lives on a farm about three miles southeast of Fremont, and is still a hearty, vigorous and courageous man. Read the address, and you may gather a faint idea from it of Mr. Long's labors in preaching the gospel. The address is as follows:

I recollect a little over forty years ago I joined the Sandusky annual conference, and I have not forgotten the way preachers were then taken into conference. There was not half the trouble getting into conference then that there is now. Those days are gone by, and I do not wish to speak of or recall them now. I well recollect when I started on my first circuit, which was four hundred miles around, numbering twenty-eight appointments. It took me four weeks to get around the circuit; there was not to my recollection one in the entire conference; we preached, as a general thing, in private houses. The outline of mv work was something after the following: Northeast three miles below Port Clinton, on the lake; southeast, near Bucyrus; .southwest, on the Auglaize, twelve miles below Findlay. The points alluded to were the outposts of my field of labor. My salary the first year was forty dollars, although it was not quite a full year. My second year I was appointed to Findlay mission; I had given to me two appointments to start with; I increased my appointments to about one dozen; it was a year of great success. During that year I received into church fellowship about one hundred and sixty members; a revival spirit continued the whole year. I held one camp-meeting that year at which there were between forty and fifty conversions. There were wonderful demonstrations of God's power manifested during the meeting; many fell to the earth and lay for hours as dead, and when raised from that state they generally shouted "glory." This manner of demonstration was very general during that meeting. Surely God was there to kill and make alive. There was one circumstance transpired during that camp meeting very much like the one we read of in Mark, the ninth chapter. The conversion of Brother Galbreath was almost like that of St. Paul. Through the persuasion of his daughter he went with her to my meeting and then and there he became so powerfully convicted that on his way home he fell from his horse to the ground, where he lay for some time. When he came to, his daughter was on her knees by his side praying for him, and holding both their horses. Surely his conversion all the way through was marvellous. I remember of forming what we then called Huron mission; it was an entire new field. The conference got up a subscription for me to the amount of thirty dollars, although I never got it all. With that encouragement I started, having no assurance of any other support, but still I had a good time; the grace of God sustained me, and I had plenty to eat, such as it was.

I remember near this place (Attica, Seneca county, Ohio), or within a few miles of there, of crossing what we then called the Swamp bridge. The people on the west side of the bridge said they would go over the bridge to hear Long preach. There were about seventy on the bridge at once. It was built with great logs — they were all afloat and would not lie still, and some of the people got a very little wet, but on they went. They reached the place of worship, and we had a good time, as some of them, no doubt, remember well. I am not a little happy to look on some of those faces at this convention. Little did I think that I would live to see a ministerial association held on my missionary ground. I will now speak of some other circumstances.

I well remember when I travelled in the Maumee country, I would pass trains of Indians near half a mile long. I recollect preaching on this side of the Maumee River and then would ford the river and preach on the west side, and when I crossed the river I would take corn in my saddle-bags to feed my horse. One place I preached at they were real old Yankees. I asked them what they thought I was? They said they could see that I was a Yankee. I just let them have it so. We did not quarrel over our pedigree, nor over what we had to eat; it all tasted good so long as it lasted. We were thankful those days if we had a little corn-bread and a little venison. There was a difference between those days and the present. Oh, Lord, bring back some of the old kindred feelings that used to characterize this church. In those days there were but few bridges across the rivers in this country. When on my first mission in Hancock county I had to cross the Auglaize River some nine times; my mission was so assigned that I could not do otherwise. I often would swim my horse across the river. I recollect of one time attempting to cross on the ice, to go to my quarterly meeting — Rev. Z. Crom was my presiding elder, and my mission was his district. In those days we had local presiding elders; they would have one, two, three, or four circuits to preside over. I was the first man that spoke out in the conference in answer to the bishop when the question was asked, “Will you have local or traveling presiding elders?" I said travelling, and it raised a commotion for a little while, but it subsided. My elder and I, in crossing the Auglaize River, near the mouth of Riley Creek — it was in the spring of the year, and the ice was then very rotten. The elder's horse being the smallest I told him to cross first. He got across all right. I took off my saddle and saddle-bags, took my horse by the bridle and started, and when I got near the middle of the river the ice broke and my horse went under all but his head. I kept ahead of the horse; the bridle pulled off, and when I caught hold of the halter he made a number of springs. He finally succeeded in getting nearer the shore, and the ice bore him up. I then led him to the shore, put my saddle on him, and, having but about two miles to go to the appointment, I went those two miles in pretty quick time. My horse came out all right.

I recollect another circumstance in going from Elmore to the lake. The first four miles (all the way forest) brought me to Tousaint Creek. It being high I swam my horse across. I then had eight or ten miles yet through the woods to the lake. When I came to the prairie I came into a French settlement. It was so fenced up that there was no way getting through without going through the field or through Turtle Marsh. I called at a house. A French woman came out and muttered her French and motioned across the marsh. I started across, but had not gone more than one rod when my horse fell over some timbers of some kind. I slid off from my horse into the marsh, held on to the bridle, and got out on the same side. I think it was a little different from the Slough of Despond that Bunyan speaks of. I know the Lord did not want me to go through Turtle Marsh. The citizens told me that some French ponies had gone through, but an English horse could not. By that time a boy came there. I told him I wanted to go through the field. He opened the fence and let me through. I asked him if they had any meeting in their place. He said they had. I wanted to know who preached for them. He said the priest. I risked no more questions — I conjectured the rest. It was enough; the Lord delivered me out of Turtle Marsh.

Well, you see something of the trials of one of the old itinerants of Sandusky conference. I recollect when my circuit led through Wood county, at one time I came to the Portage River, near New Rochester; the river was very high. It extended all over the bottom about forty rods. The water had taken away part of the bridge. The middle bent and the one that extended to the shore on the east side was all that was left. Heavy timbers being laid on the bridge held those two bents and stringers together. I first got on the bridge and tried its strength. I then led my horse on the first part; then he had to jump down about two feet on the middle part of the bridge. I then led him to the end of that part, then made him jump into the water. It was about midsides to my horse. He then was so far from me that I jumped into the water and waded a few rods. I saw a stump extended above the water. I got onto the stump and then onto my horse, and after riding twenty or thirty rods my horse had to swim the rest of the way. Whenever I started for the west branch of Portage I had about one-half a mile from the river to the main woods. Before I got to the woods I heard a wonderful noise. I could not tell what it was till all at once a terrible storm broke upon me.

The timbers or trees fell all around me. I turned my horse and ran him back to the river, jumping him over the timber that fell. By that time the storm had passed over. I then again went on my way. When I came to the west branch of Portage I kept up the river, did not cross it. When I came within one-half mile of Brother Crum's the water again extended over the road so that my horse had to swim. When over or through the water I then got down into my stirrups and commenced singing, and sang all the way till I reached the house, and felt fine to preach for them at night — just as happy as I well could be. God said: "My grace is sufficient. As thy day is so shall thy grace be."

Let me state one more recollection. Well do I remember crossing what was known as the Lance bridge, a little west of Carey. My appointment was at Father Shoup's. The bridge across the prairie was one mile long, and there had been heavy rains, and on the south end of the bridge the freshet had taken away about two rods of the bridge. The rails had been laid tight one against another on the sod. At this place loose rails had been laid for people to walk over, about fifteen or twenty inches apart. It looked rather dangerous; there was no water there, yet I knew not what a wonderful place it was. I took off my saddle and knelt down and implored God to help me as on other occasions. I took my horse by the bridle, intending to lead him by the side of the loose rails, and as I started and stepped quick, intending the horse to walk by the side of the rails, he at once sprang upon the rails and followed me over; I returned my grateful thanks to the Lord. I then walked back and got my saddle, and got upon my horse, and went to my appointment. They asked me what way I came. I told them. They were alarmed when I told them how I crossed the prairie, knowing that some of the bridge was gone, that scattering loose rails were laid for people to walk over. A pole could be run down twenty feet anywhere near that place. So I was convinced the Lord safely led me through. Now, my dear brethren, I have just noted down a little of the travels of an early itinerant. Those days were days of grace, and not days of money or high salaries. Those days were days of grace and glory; many loud hallelujahs went up to God. Those days were days of love to God and love toward each other; no sparring, no trying to excel. The glory of God and the salvation of the world was the grand theme.


1 A published account of this affair says the Indians numbered twenty, seventeen of whom were killed. The statement in the text is on authority of general tradition.
2 Some tribes are in the habit of kindling their fire for sacrifices by the friction of two dry sticks.
3 The writer probably held to the theory no longer generally entertained that the Indians are descendants from "the ten lost tribes."
4 By Jacob Burgner
5 Author oF Histoy of United Brethren Church.
6 Author of History of United Brethren Church.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 578-603