Remarkable Ohio

Results for: land-dispute
4642 Wahlsburg East Road
Georgetown

, OH

Through the terms of his will, absentee British landowner Samuel Gist (c. 1723-1815) freed his 350 slaves in Virginia. Gist intended that these freed people would remain on the land and receive instruction in Christianity and that schools would be established for their children. The settlement of Gist’s estate funded the relocation of the freed slaves to Ohio. Gist’s executors acquired over 2,200 acres of land in Ohio. These lands included two large tracts in Scott and Eagle Townships in Brown County in 1819 and another 207 acres in Fairfield Township (now Penn Township) in Highland County in 1831 and 1835. As of 2010, no descendants of the freed Gist slaves lived in the original Scott Township settlement.

417 Main Street
Huron

, OH

In the early 1800s, Jabez Wright, an early Huron County judge, purchased a large tract of lakeside land on the north side of what is now Cleveland Road. There Wright built an eight-room farmhouse that later served as a “station” on the fabled Underground Railroad, playing a vital role in aiding fugitive African-American slaves to freedom. Beneath Wright’s farmhouse was a sixteen foot-wide and ninety foot-long tunnel. Escaped slaves entered the passage through a trap door in the home’s basement and exited into a corn crib located a mere one hundred feet from Lake Erie. There the slaves awaited the arrival of rowboats transporting them to vessels heading north to Canada. (Continued on side two)

9955 Yankee Street
Centerville

, OH

Edmund Munger was born in 1763 in Norfolk, Connecticut, and later moved to Vermont. In 1799, his wife Eunice Kellogg and five children traveled by wagon and flat-bottomed boat to claim land in Washington Township. A blacksmith by trade and a farmer, Munger was deeply interested in community affairs. In 1804, he was elected a Montgomery County Commissioner and four years later to Ohio’s Seventh General Assembly. From 1809 to 1826, he served as Clerk of Washington Township. His militia men elected him a Brigadier General in 1809 to take command of the Second Brigade, First Division of the Ohio Militia. During the War of 1812, Governor Return J. Meigs instructed Munger to defend the frontier within his command. His quick action protected settlers and kept vital supply routes open. General Munger died at his farm here in 1850 and is buried next to his wife in the Old Centerville Cemetery.

601 Second Street
Marietta

, OH

Following the establishment of the public land system in 1785, the Continental Congress appointed a committee, chaired by James Monroe, to establish government in the new territory north and west of the Ohio River. Drafted prior to the Constitution of the United States, the Ordinance of 1787 provided the mechanism by which prospective states would enter the Union on an equal basis with existing states. It also prohibited slavery in the new territory and pledged good faith in dealing with Native American tribes. According to this plan, the Northwest Territory became the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota in due course.

7530 Johnstown Road
Mount Vernon

, OH

The surrounding 132 acres of land served as the Knox County Poor Farm (aka Knox County Infirmary and County Home) from 1842 to 1955. The farm was nearly self-sustaining. Able residents grew their own food, raised livestock, and did various chores as partial compensation for their care. In 1874, a fire in the original wood farmhouse resulted in one death. Public outrage and concerns for residents’ safety compelled the county commissioners to build a new “fireproof” poorhouse. The four-story brick building was constructed from 1875-1877. It is believed to be the last building designed by architect William Tinsley, utilizing a version of the Kirkbride Plan. This plan, conceived by Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride, improved the layout of institutions and infirmaries for the well-being of their charges. (Continued on other side)

Park Street
Arlington

, OH

First a farming community, later a railroad crossroads in southern Hancock County, Arlington was one of the county’s earliest settlements. Gen. William Hull opened a trail into the area during the War of 1812 as he crossed Buck Run at Eagle Creek. He led his army to the Blanchard River to establish Ft. Findlay. Robert Hurd owned extensive tracts of land in the area, and his sons were the first recorded settlers, building a log cabin near this site in 1834. The rich farmland and abundant water soon attracted other settlers to the vicinity of “Hurdtown.” The name was changed to “Arlington” when the village was formally surveyed in November, 1844.

West Portsmouth

, OH

In the early 20th century Ohio’s deer, wild turkey, beaver, bobcat, and other wildlife populations were facing extinction due to the widespread loss of forests combined with uncontrolled hunting. Ohio’s first wildlife area, The Theodore Roosevelt Game Preserve, was established in 1922 under the leadership of Ohio Governor Harry L. Davis. Its aim was to reestablish wildlife by creating a game and reforestation preserve on 15,000 acres of land, purchased using funds collected from hunting license fees. An additional 5,000 acres were purchased by the state agricultural extension division. Roosevelt Preserve quickly lived up to the dreams of its famous conservationist namesake, President Theodore Roosevelt, with programming that reestablished Ohio’s extirpated wildlife. A century later, the partnership between hunters and wildlife management continues to thrive in Scioto County.

Moriah Road in Madison Township
Oak Hill

, OH

In August 1818, a group of six interrelated Welsh families, led by John Jones (Tirbach) landed in Gallipolis. They journeyed from Cardiganshire, South Wales destined for the Welsh settlement at Paddy’s Run, near Cincinnati. Following their decision to remain here instead, they built cabins in the Symmes Creek Valley on the old Welsh road between Centerville and Oak Hill. The group became the nucleus for later Welsh settlement, as the area became known as “Little Cardiganshire.” Evans Cemetery is on land set aside by John Jones, later owned by grandson Timothy Evans. Approximately 50 souls lie here, several in unmarked graves.