Guernsey County

History of Guernsey County Ohio

A Lost Town: Smithtown Ohio

“Smithtown Ohio” was the first town laid out in Guernsey County, but its founder Joseph Smith’s fate remains a mystery. Smith named the town Frankford, but the records show the plat of a town named Frankby and Frankley, recorded on September 13, 1805. Smith reserved lot No. 5 for courthouse purposes, lot No. 13 for a jail, and north spring, on lot No. 29, for the free use of the public square. However, the first cabin erected there was for a tavern, and the whiskey was so cheap that the advantages of the free spring water were not duly appreciated. In 1846, the platting was vacated and its history ended.

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History of Guernsey County Ohio

Organization of Guernsey County Ohio

The Organization of Guernsey County, Ohio dates back to 1809 when it was formed from portions of Belmont and Muskingum counties. The land district of which Guernsey County is a part was surveyed into townships of five miles square and a quarter township of two and a half miles square between 1798 and 1804. Settlements were soon made in different parts of the county. This article provides a detailed history of the county’s organization, including the formation of its civil townships, the appointment of its first county officers, the construction of its courthouse and jail, and the development of its roads and highways.

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History of Guernsey County Ohio

Anecdote of Col. John McDonald

This article recounts a tragic incident that took place during the late 18th century on the Ohio River between Wheeling and Mingo Bottom. The story centers around a company of seven men who crossed the river to steal horses from the Indian towns, which was considered a legal and honorable business at the time as Americans were at open war with the Indians. The seven men were all trained in Indian warfare and had lived in the woods since their youth. However, the mission turned disastrous when the company was ambushed by a party of Indians. Four of them survived the attack, and the bodies of the deceased were found mangled in a barbarous manner. The story sheds light on the hostile relations between the early American settlers and the native Indians.

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History of Guernsey County Ohio

Indian History of Guernsey County Ohio

This article provides an insight into the Indian history of Guernsey County, Ohio, and their removal from the state in the early 19th century. The tribes that inhabited the area were the Delawares, Shawnees, Senecas, and Mingos, and they had towns at the forks of the Muskingum. The article details the removals of the Indians by David Robb and H.A. Workman, and the author provides interesting accounts of his connection with the Indians as an agent. The article also mentions the last Indian tribe to be removed from Ohio, the Wyandottes, and the recorded incidents of the connection with the tribe by the Methodist Episcopal Church missionary Rev. James B. Finley. Finally, the article recounts the visit of a roving band of peaceful but dissatisfied red men to Cambridge in 1834 and the eyewitness account of the same.

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History of Guernsey County Ohio

Indian Occupancy Territory “Acquired” by White Men

In the late 17th century, French explorer La Salle became the first white man to explore present-day Ohio, claiming the vast Mississippi Valley for France. By the mid-18th century, French ownership of the region was challenged by the British, who eventually took control. The Colonial Ohio Land Company, including relatives of George Washington, secured a land grant and planned settlements, but faced French opposition. The English ultimately claimed the territory after several conflicts. George Rogers Clark played a crucial role in securing the Northwest Territory for the United States after the Revolutionary War, preventing it from remaining under British control.

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History of Guernsey County Ohio

Topography and Geology of Guernsey County Ohio

“Topography and Geology of Guernsey County Ohio” provides a detailed account of the county’s landscape, natural resources, and historical background. The text highlights the unique features of the area, such as its hilly topography, diverse settlers, and valuable resources like coal, timber, and minerals. It also delves into fascinating anecdotes about local figures and the history of its streams. This comprehensive overview offers readers an insightful look at the natural beauty and rich heritage that define Guernsey County, Ohio.

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History of Guernsey County Ohio

Origin of Some Geographical Names of Guernsey County Ohio

Col. C. P. B. Sarchet reflects on the significance of names in local history, noting that Millwood Township was settled by Quakers and originally called Millwood. Salesville, too, has a mysterious history, with stories of the “Leatherwood God” Dylks and the origins of its name. Meanwhile, Hon. Newell Kennon shared historical reminiscences at the Pennyroyal Reunion, including a tale about a jug of whiskey placed by a contractor in the old stone church for the Reformed Associate Presbyterian church. The names of nearby creeks offer clues to their histories, from the beavers and buffalo that once roamed the area to the salt licks and oil that shaped the landscape.

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History of Guernsey County Ohio

History of Guernsey County Ohio

The “History of Guernsey County, Ohio,” is a tribute to the pioneers who shaped this land from untamed wilderness to thriving region. This volume chronicles the social, political, and industrial progress while paying homage to the individuals whose resilience and ingenuity contributed to the transformation. Let their stories inspire you and serve as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the men and women who forged this remarkable community.

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