Remarkable Ohio

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101 W. Main Street
Shawnee

, OH

In 1869 a secret organization, The Knights of Labor, was founded in Philadelphia. The K.O.L. promoted an ideal society based on bettering life for others with the slogans, “labor was the first capital” and “an injury to one is the concern of all.” Shawnee’s Local Assembly #169 Knights of Labor was organized in 1876, and quickly became a powerful voice for labor in Ohio. National labor leader, William T. Lewis, later Labor Commissioner of Ohio, taught free grammer classes at night for the miners. Lewis initiated “The Ohio Plan,” the first free empployment bureaus in the United States. William H. Bailey, later head of National District Assembly #135 of Miners and T.L. Lewis, President of the United Mine Workers in 1910, also started their careers here. Meetings involving these leaders led to the formation of the United Mine Workers in 1890. (Continued on other side)

7935 South Ridge
Unionville

, OH

First known as the Webster House, later as the New England House, and finally as the Old Tavern, this inn has served travelers on the old Cleveland-Buffalo Road (now State Route 84) since before Ohio became a state. As traffic on the old Indian trail increased and it became a post and stage road, the two original log cabins, built in 1798 and later, were converted to this two-and-a-half story inn between 1815 and 1820. While the tavern was the scene of Civil War-era parties and dances in the second-floor ballroom, local tradition suggests it offered much more clandestine hospitality to escaping slaves as a station on the Underground Railroad. The Unionville Tavern was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1973.

132 East Jefferson Street
Jefferson

, OH

This building served as the law office to Joshua Reed Giddings, a Whig congressman who advocated for the abolition of slavery and an end to the domestic slave trade. Born in 1795, much of Giddings’ young life was occupied by working on his father’s farm. After serving in the War of 1812, he began to study law, gaining admittance to the bar in 1821. A successful lawyer, Giddings was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1826. In 1837, he was elected as a Whig to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he quickly established himself as a staunch opponent of slavery. In 1854, he joined the Republican Party, contributing greatly to the platform during the party’s conventions of 1856 and 1860. As reward for his dedication, President Abraham Lincoln appointed him as consul- general to Canada, where he served until his death in 1864.

N of the intersection of OH 73 and Retreat Lane
Oxford

, OH

Zachariah Price DeWitt was born of a Dutch family in New Jersey in 1768. With brothers Jacob and Peter, he migrated to Kentucky where, in 1790, he married Elizabeth Teets, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1774. By 1805 all three brothers had settled in Ohio near Four Mile (Talawanda) Creek. Here Zachariah and Elizabeth raised corn, hogs, and eventually, nine children. Zachariah became a prominent community leader, operating a sawmill, building houses in Oxford, serving as Masonic Lodge secretary, and commanding a rifle company during the War of 1812. Tradition has it that Elizabeth wore a black sunbonnet to cover a scar from having been scalped as a child in Kentucky. Elizabeth died in 1843, followed by Zachariah in 1851. Both are buried in Darrtown Cemetery.

5700 Rush Creek Road
Somerset

, OH

Erected in 1828, the Randolph Mitchell House is a five-bay, Federal-style “I” house. Its facade features a doorway with an Adam-style fan and sidelights. The interior boasts a grand stairway in the foyer and fine woodwork throughout. Randolph Mitchell (1796-1847) was born in Rockingham County, Virginia. In 1819, Mitchell and his mother Sarah (1765-1844), settled in New Reading and he married Lydia Witmer (1798-1872). They had four children. A merchant, Mitchell kept an ample smokehouse and owned a tannery and real estate. He served as a justice of the peace for Reading Township. After Mitchell’s death, his son-in-law, Dr. W.W. Arnold (1818-1872) maintained his practice in the home, where he and Caroline Mitchell Arnold (1825-1888) lived. Their son William Arnold (1858-1948) acquired the house, which remained in the family until 1951. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

142 E. Main Street
McConnelsville

, OH

This brick, Federal-style house was built in 1836. Helen Moore, the grand daughter of General Robert McConnel, officer during the War of 1812 and founder of McConnelsville, married Dr. Hiram L. True and made their home here. Dr. True practiced medicine in the area and was widely known for his interest in science, serving as president of the local Scientific Society. Their daughter Evelyn True Button was born in the house in 1875. A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, Evelyn traveled to the Philippines in 1898 on a missionary trip to train teachers. A teacher, principal, community leader, and ardent worker for women’s rights, she died in the place of her birth in 1975. She bequeathed the house to the Morgan County Historical Society to serve as a depository of furnishings and artifacts of Morgan County heritage.

410 E. Spring Street
Oxford

, OH

William Holmes McGuffey (1800-1873) was a Miami University faculty member in 1836 when he compiled the first edition of the McGuffey Eclectic Reader in this house. His Reader taught lessons in reading, spelling, and civic education by using memorable stories of honesty, hard work, thrift, personal respect, and moral and ethical standards alongside illustrative selections from literary works. The six-edition series increased in difficulty and was developed with the help of his brother Alexander Hamilton McGuffey. After the Civil War the Readers were the basic schoolbooks in thirty-seven states and by 1920 sold an estimated 122 million copies, reshaping American public school curriculum and becoming one of the nation’s most influential publications. (Continued on other side)

Gibraltar Island
Put-in-Bay

, OH

Completed in 1865, this home was the vacation retreat of Jay Cooke and his family. Known as the “financier” for the Union states during the Civil War, Cooke organized a program to sell millions of dollars worth of bonds to support the war effort. The house is of a high Victorian Italianate mode with a Gothic style tower topped with crenellations. Distinctive hood moldings outline windows and over-scaled and ornamental brackets support crowning cornices. The house, commonly known as Cooke Castle, hosted many notables of the time, including William T. Sherman, William Howard Taft, Rutherford B. Hayes, Salmon Chase, and John Brown, Jr. Born in Sandusky in 1821, Cooke, an avid fisherman, acquired the island for $3,001 in 1864. University trustee Julius Stone gave the island to The Ohio State University in 1925. The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks in 1966.