Waterloo was originally a part of Athens township, and was not separately organized till April, 1826. Joseph Hewitt and William Lowry were principally instrumental in securing the township organization. The name of Waterloo was suggested by General John Brown, of Athens. The first election for township officers was held April 3, 1826, at the house of Joseph Hewitt. Joseph Bullard, Abram Fee, and Silas Bingham were judges of the election, and Andrew Glass and Pardon C. Hewitt clerks. The following persons voted, viz : William Lowry, James Lowry, Joseph Hewitt, P. C. Hewitt, Ezekiel Robinett, Lemuel Robinett, Nathan Robinett, Wm. Young, Wm. Young, Jun., Silas Bingham, Andrew Glass, Joseph C. Martin, Horace Martin, Abram Fee, Joseph Bullard, John Bullard, Samuel Lowry, Jun., Abram Gabriel, Elias Gabriel, and Elias Young. The election results were as follows: William Lowry and Joseph Hewitt were elected justices of the peace; Alexander Young, Elias Gabriel, and Silas Bingham trustees; Andrew Glass clerk; Horace Martin treasurer; William Young and Ezekiel Robinett overseers of the poor; Joseph Lowry and Samuel Lowry fence-viewers; William Young, Nathan Robinett, and John Bullard supervisors; William Lowry and Joseph Hewitt constables. At this time William Lowry and Joseph Hewitt were the only two “Whigs ” in the township, yet they were both elected magistrates, showing that party feeling did not enter greatly into the election.
The population of Waterloo has steadily increased since its organization; in 1830 it was 216; in 1840 it was 741; in 1850 it was 1,016; in 1860 it was 1,483. The surface of the township is rough, but the soil is well adapted for agriculture, and the annual yield of cereals and of hay, and increase of live stock, afford sufficient evidence of the enterprise and thrift of the farmers of Waterloo. The township is also very rich in coal, which is already taken out in large quantities, and which will eventually be a great source of wealth. Marshfield, a thriving business station on the Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad, seven miles from Athens, is the center of population. The village has about two hundred and fifty inhabitants, and does quite a business in the shipping of country produce. The Methodists have a good church here. There is the usual proportion of stores, a drug store, an excellent tannery, etc. About 1836 several families settled in Waterloo from Morgan and Muskingum counties and parts contiguous. Among these were the families of James Mayhugh, Samuel Allison, Lewis Davis, Hugh Boden, William and Joseph Johnson, Robert Cotton, Daniel McCoy, and others-all good citizens. Some of these have left the county, but descendants of most of them are still living here.
Moses Hewitt was the first white settler within the present limits of Waterloo. He settled in this township with his family about 1806, and there was not at that time another family within many miles of him. The second family was Abram Fee’s, who settled on the place now owned by Mr. Warren Foster, son of Mr. Hull Foster, of Athens. The third family was that of Ezekiel Robinett, Sen., and the fourth that of Colonel William Lowry. Col. Lowry was born November r5, 1779, in Berkeley county, Virginia, and was taken when an infant with his father’s family to Green county, Virginia. He says: “That country was then a dense wilderness, infested with Indians. The settlers had to fight every summer for four years after my father moved there. At one time, my father’s was the frontier house but one, and the inmates of that one were all killed by the Indians except one boy twelve years old, who made his escape. When I was eighteen years old (1797) my father removed to the northwestern territory and settled in what is now Athens county, and near the town of Athens. We came down the Ohio river to the mouth of Hockhocking, in flat-boats, and up the Hockhocking in canoes. At that time we had to bring our breadstuff from the Ohio river, the nearest mill being a floating one at Vienna, eight miles above the mouth of Kanawha river, on the Virginia shore. The second year after we came here, we pounded our corn on a hominy-block, took the finer part for bread and made the coarse into hominy. For meat we depended on the woods and our rifles, and always had plenty of bear, deer, and turkey meat. The first mill that I remember was built by Capt. John Hewitt, on Margaret’s creek, within a mile of the mouth. It went into operation in the year 1801. I came to Waterloo, from Athens, in February, 1820. This region was all a wilderness then, there being only three families besides mine in the township. Joseph Brookson started the first grist and saw mill in Waterloo, where Newton Hewitt’s saw mill now stands. There were a great many bears and deer here at that time, and wolves and panthers were also pretty numerous and very annoying.” Col. Lowry is still living in Waterloo, in his seventy-ninth year.
Prominent among the citizens of Waterloo, are Mr. Jesse Jones, a native of Virginia, who settled on Little Raccoon at an early day; Mr. Hugh Boden, a native of Ireland, who settled here in 1839, and now lives in Marshfield; Mr. James Mayhugh, a native of Maryland, who settled here as a farmer in 1836, and now engaged in business in Marshfield; all of whom have reared respectable families, and are highly esteemed.
Robert H. Cotton settled here in 1836. He was a native of Virginia and a model farmer. He settled on the farm where the village of Marshfield now stands, and sold that land to the railroad company.
Samuel Allison, a native of Maryland, settled here in 1836, as a farmer. He reared a large family, some of whom have been well known in the county. Mr. W. H. Allison, a son of his, now lives in Chillicothe, but owns considerable property in Athens county.
Back to: Athens County, Ohio