One of Ohio’s most influential politicians in the early 20th century, Washington Court House native Harry Daugherty (1860-1941) was widely known as a “President-maker” and served instrumental roles in President Warren G. Harding’s administration, culminating a long career in state and national politics. As Attorney General from 1921 to 1924, Daugherty established the first federal women’s penitentiary, recommended former president William Howard Taft to the Supreme Court, and ended a controversial 1922 railroad strike. Implicated in scandals complicated by the suicide of his assistant and fellow Fayette County native Jess Smith, Daugherty was eventually cleared in congressional investigations and two bribery trials, and subsequently published an insider’s account of the Harding Administration. Both Daugherty and Smith are buried in Washington Cemetery.
During the American Revolution, Fort Laurens became the only Continental military fort in what would later be Ohio. Continental army troops and militia, led by General Lachlan McIntosh, built the fort between November-December 1778. Named for the president of the Continental Congress, Henry Laurens, the army intended to use the fort to launch an offensive against British-held Fort Detroit, observe enemy movements, and stage attacks on British-allied Indian villages. To fulfill terms in the “Treaty with the Delaware” (1778), McIntosh chose a site about two miles south of the “Great Crossing” on the Tuscarawas River in friendly Lenape (Delaware) territory. (Continued on other side)