Athens County, Ohio Genealogy and History
This township was originally a part of Alexander. The eastern half of Lodi was included in Carthage when that township was organized in 1819, and was not detached till 1826. Lodi was separately organized in April of that year, and, according to the records, only fourteen votes were cast at the first township election held in the spring of 1827. The population of the township in 1830 was 276; in 1840 it was 754; in 1850 it was 1,336; in 1860 it was 1,598. Joseph Thompson was one of the earliest settlers in Lodi. He lived on the farm now owned by Cyrus Blazer, and built the first flouring mill about 1815. Some of his descendants still reside here. Before he built his mill (which has long since disappeared), the inhabitants of this region used to get their milling done at Coolville, more than fifteen miles off. The second mill was built in 1825 by Ezra Miller; it was very small and has also disappeared. At present there is an excellent steam flouring mill in the township of ample capacity. The first religious society formed in Lodi was by the Methodists in 1820 under the supervision of the Rev. Goddard Curtis. They worshiped for many years in a small school house on Shade river. At present the Methodists have a flourishing society that worships in “Morse chapel,” an excellent frame church building, and another large class meet in what is called “Cremer’s” or Wesley Chapel. The Cumberland Presbyterians organized a society here about 1843 and built a good frame church, but it was destroyed by fire soon afterward. About 1840 the Christians (or Campbellites) formed a society and built a church which, soon after its completion, was demolished by a large forest tree falling on it. They have recently erected a good frame building in the township. There is a very creditable school at Pleasant Valley (Shade post office), in the township, called the ” Pleasant Valley seminary.” The building, a two-story frame forty by thirty feet, with a cupola and bell, was erected in 1867 by the voluntary contributions of the citizens. It cost $2,000 -Mr. Joseph Cremer’s donation of $500 was the largest individual subscription. The school opened in December, 1867, under the superintendence of Mr. Daniel D. Clark, a graduate of the Ohio university, who is still the teacher. The trustees are Dr. E. M. Bean, Cyrus Blazer, Asbury Cremer, John Buck, William Angell, John Burson, and W. S. Williams. The school promises to be one of permanent usefulness.
My father, Henry Bobo, was born and reared in Prince William county, Virginia, and my mother, whose maiden name was Sarah Black, in Loudoun county, in the same state. They came to Athens county in 1998, and settled on Margaret’s creek, two miles from Athens. I was born here October 24, 1802. In 1810 my father removed to what is now Lodi township. I was eight years old, and can remember a little about the removal. Lodi was all wilderness then. I think there was but one man living in the (present) township when we moved in, and that was Joseph Thompson. He lived on the farm now owned by Cyrus Blazer. After I was thirteen years old I used to go to mill at Coolville, about fifteen miles distant, and there was but one house on the road, called the “brick house,” about eight miles west of Coolville. I once went to mill more than seventy miles, thus: from Athens to the mouth of Hockhocking (by water), forty miles; then up the Ohio to Marietta, thirty miles; then up the Muskingum to the horse mill, two miles, making altogether about seventy-two miles. Sometimes three or four men would form a party, go down the Hockhocking, and up the Ohio to Belpre, in a canoe. There they would get their grain and go on to the horse mill above Marietta, where they had to give one-fourth for grinding, then home again with the canoe. When they reached Athens (which was called “the point” when I was a little boy), each man would shoulder his sack and pack it home. My father and a few others had hand mills, with which they could grind corn in the fall of the year, when the corn is soft. In this way we got our bread.
So far as meat was concerned we had plenty by killing it in the woods. Deer, bears, and turkeys were very plenty, and I have seen a good many elk when I was a boy, and some buffaloes. My father was considerable of a hunter, and killed a great many deer and bears. I remember an adventure he had with a bear when I was about fifteen years old. In the forepart of winter the fat bears would go into a hollow tree or cave, and stay there till spring. They were always fat when they came out in the spring. Frequently, they went into pretty rough caves or holes in the rocks. Father would go in, with a pine torch in one hand and his gun in the other, and crawl as close as he could, and then shoot. The time I am speaking of, he and George Shidler found a hole in the rocks they had never been in before, so father lighted his torch and started in to explore as usual. He had gone about twenty-five feet, looking all the time to see if there was any thing, when suddenly the bear struck the torch with his paw, and put out the light. Father got out of that as quickly as possible, and told Shidler what had happened, and that the bear was lying in a very difficult place to shoot, for it was around the corner of a rock which he could not pass, and the hole was very small. But father determined to go in again, and told George to stand at the mouth of the hole, and, if the bear came out, to shoot it. He lighted his torch again, and got as near the bear as he could, and fired, but only wounded him. The bear started for the mouth of the hole, right toward father, who just had time to lie down flat on his belly, when the bear rushed over him, tearing his clothes pretty badly, and leaving marks of claws on his back that he carried to his grave. Shidler was ready at the mouth of the hole, and, when the bear came out, gave him an ounce of lead that settled him. They dressed the bear and it weighed three hundred and ninety pounds. My father killed as many as seven deer in one day, and that often. He also killed elk and a few buffaloes after we came here, but the buffaloes left very soon.
I think the last one seen in this region, was in Bedford township, Meigs county, in 1815, where it was wounded. When I was a young man I have stood in one spot, behind a large tree, in Lodi township, and killed three deer as fast as I could load and shoot. My brother, Thomas Bobo, killed twelve deer the year he was twelve years old.
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