Ohio - Exciting and Diverse

The information presented in this section (Ohio – Exciting and Diverse) is a combination of my personal knowledge of being a history teacher and from review of many Wikipedia articles to update and enhance my own knowledge.  Images are from Wikipedia.  

All states have histories and features unique to each state.  Ohio has geographic features, historical events, ethnic settlements, diverse cultures, famous people, political practices, religious groups, inventions, farming practices, etc. that are both fascinating and important in the growth of Ohio and Ohio’s role in our nation, past, present and future.

In order to understand Ohio today, it helps to review its geological past. Millions of years ago, this part of the world was tropical with vegetation that died and was compressed into coal, gas and oil. Ohio still has oil wells and coal mines. Starting east of Ohio is a vast , thick sheet of coal that in Pennsylvania and West Virginia lies close the surface. This sheet slants and gets progressively deeper as it lies under Ohio. Eventually it is so deep under the surface as to make mining not feasible. Thus, coal mining is in the eastern part of Ohio. During the ice age, two thirds of Ohio was under a mile thick glacier.  As the climate warmed and the ice age ended, the southern edge of the glacier left much debris which formed Ohio’s hills. It also leveled the land, filling in canyons and much of the area with sand, silt, glacial till, gravel and clay. Ohio to the north of the glacial moraine become a flat and very wet prairie. Ohio was inhabited then by mastodons, mammoths, giant beavers, sloths, wolves, bears, and great herds of elk, deer and bison which roamed the area.  

Because it was wet and swamp in areas such as ‘The Great Black Swamp’, a glacially fed wetland that covered most of what is now north-west Ohio,and north-east Indiana. Ohio was not inhabited except for a few Native American villages along the major rivers. Ohio was a hunting ground for Native Americans until European settlement. Until the late 1700’s Ohio was still pretty empty. It would still be that way if it wasn’t for the introduction of clay tile from southern Ohio making it possible to drain the wetlands. Even today, as you drive in Ohio, glance at the edge of the road. The deeper the ditch, the wetter the area. Today, Ohio faces a major farming disaster as the clay tile must be replaced. It was laid close the surface and horses and horse-drawn equipment didn’t affect the tile. Modern tractors are heavy and compact the soil crushing the tile. London, Ohio (my home) is one of the major producers of plastic tile that is laid deeper. The estimated cost of the replacement is over a trillion dollars! In the spring. the loss of clay tile is evidenced by how fields are flooded. When I was growing up in Ohio, spring flooding of fields was less common.

In 1832, settlement began in the Great Black Swamp on a sandy ridge which were once ridges formed along the edge of glacial lakes Maumee and Whittlesey which then drained to make the swamp. This sandy ridge became Bowling Green Ohio.  The area was invested with wolves and mosquitos.  The settlers built cabins and to get above the mosquitos, slept on the cabin roofs.  Drainage of the area began after 1850. Today it is some of the best farmland in Ohio where major canning companies produce canned tomatoes, catsup and green beans.  Unfortunately, agricultural runoff has polluted Lake Erie, creating toxic algal blooms. Today a series of deep ditches drains the area into the Maumee and Portage River watersheds.  The swamp ran from Fort Wayne, Indiana east to near Port Clinton on Lake Erie, and south to Darke County and a corner of Auglaize County.  Travel along the lake east of Toledo was nearly impossible. Travel anywhere in the swamp by horse-drawn vehicles was impossible most of the year. 

At one time, all land west of the original 13 colonies was wilderness, the land occupied mostly by Native Americans and trappers. This vast wilderness was in the possession of countries such as France, England and Spain.  Eventually, as mentioned in earlier chapters about the United States, wars, treaties, and purchases created what is now the United States.  At one time, the area we now know as the state of Ohio was part of the French Territory which extended from Lake Superior to the Rocky Mountains.  France gave control of the Ohio region to the British in 1763.  But during the Revolutionary War, the area became part of British Quebec as the western theater of the war.  After the Revolutionary War, the United States assumed control by the Treaty of Paris in 1783, and in 1787 formed the Northwest Territory which included what all land west of Pennsylvania, north of the Ohio, west to the Mississippi and north to the Great Lakes.  It included all or most what is now the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and northeast Minnesota.  In 1800 the Northwest Territory was reduced to the Indiana Territory, which included Ohio, eastern Michigan and southeast Indiana.  on March 1, 1803, the southwestern portion of the Indiana Territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Ohio.

Ohio Waterways

Not only is Ohio wetland because of swamps and marshes, it is also a network of lakes and rivers.  To the north is Lake Erie one of North America’s five Great Lakes (Huron, Superior, Michigan, Erie and Ontario) which hold 21% of the world’s fresh water.  Ohio’s southern boundary is  of the United States major river, the Ohio River.

The combination of Lake Erie and the rivers, especially the Ohio River made settlement possible.  Travel from the East could arrive by boat on the Erie, or via connecting rivers to the Ohio River. and of course overland. 

Ohio’s major rivers are:  The Ohio, Cuyahoga, Maumee, Muskingum, Scioto, Olentangy, Great Miami, Little Miami, Hocking, Sandusky, and Chagrin rivers.  The Cuyahoga, Maumee, Sandusky and Chagrin are tributaries of Lake Erie, The Olentangy flows into the Scioto, which along with the Great and Little Miami Rivers and the Hocking River flow into the Ohio River.  

Satellite View of Great Lakes

Northwest Territory

The Northwest Territory was governed by martial law under a governor and three judges.  the Northwest Ordinance allowed for a county to be formed when a region could muster 5,000 eligible voters (white men).  The Northwest Territory eventually had thirteen counties.  At its creation, Ohio had parts or all of the Northwest Territory Counties of Jefferson, Washington, Adams, Hamilton, and Wayne.  The 5,000 rule no longer applied and Ohio immediately reorganized in 1803 as Trumbull, Columbia, Jefferson, Belmont, Washington, Fairfield, Ross, Scioto, Adams, Clermont, Butler, Warren, Hamilton, Franklin, Green, and Montgomery. In addition the  Indian Reservation north of the Greenville Treaty Line, Western Reserve including the Firelands and the central region known as the Virginia Military Lands were part of the state of Ohio. The Indian Reservation included the northern portions of Montgomery, Greene and Franklin counties.

Before Northwest Territory
Ohio Territory 1802
Ohio 1803
Ohio Today

As a state grows, more counties are added.  Why? 

One of the main reasons to create a new state is distance to the center of authority – the county seat.  That is where the courts are located.  The courthouse provides many services, it  may house the sheriff, veteran’s services, recorder’s office for Title/deed registration, treasurer’s office for property and other taxes, health department, zoning department, emergency management.  It may supervise the street department, the fire department, museums, libraries and hospitals in the county.  

Consider the distance.  When Ohio created its 88 counties, transportation was on horseback.  Ohio’s very large counties made it almost impossible to reach the courthouse in bad weather.  It was possible to travel over 100 miles to the nearest government office in the 1800’s.  If you lived in the Great Black Swamp your travel to the courthouse was not in hours, it was in days!

Creating counties creates jobs such as commissioners, judges, lawyers, sheriff and deputies, and clerks, Any county-level government job either hired or elected needs to be filled. 

Has the population grown to the point that public services (police, sanitation, etc.) can’t handle the load? 

What if there are geographic reasons?  Perhaps a river splitting the county that can’t be easily navigated or maybe a mountain or ridge.  

Is it easy to create a county?  Not really.  The state legislature and the governor are involved.  There may political considerations.  Will forming a new county cause political problems?  What if the splitting causes the new county to be 95% of one party, causing a major imbalance? What about property tax rates?  Will they transfer to the new county?  What if a bond levy has been passed.  Budgetary costs can be prohibitive.

How Did Ohio Settlers Obtain Land?

The land we now know as Ohio was once claimed by both France and England.  A land speculation company was formed to sell land in the area.  This company, known as the Ohio Company. The formal name was the Ohio Company of Virginia and was given a land grant of 500,000 acres by King George of England to both sell land and trade with American Indians in 1748. This was an attempt by Britain to block French expansion. The investors were some of the prominent men in U.S. history including George Washington.  The grant was rent and tax free for ten years, but grant required the owners to built a fort and provide a garrison for protection.  The company made a treaty with Native American Tribes in 1752 for friendship and permission to sell land. However, since France also claimed the land, war broke out called the French and Indian War between 1754 and 1763 

Other grants were given to rival groups such as the Indiana CompanyThe Ohio and Indiana companies merged into the Grand Ohio CompanyThe American Revolution halted progress and company closed in 1776.

Land certificates were given by Congress to American Revolution veterans who formed the Ohio Company of Associates in 1786. The grant from the U.S. government was for 1,500,000 acreas around Marietta, Ohio and settlers from New England purchased the land.  

Charles II had gave a land grant to the Connecticut colony known as the Connecticut Western Reserve in what is now the northeastern region of Ohio. Even though Connecticut surrended its claims following the American Revolution a group of speculators called the Connecticut Land Company sold land to new settlers. The western end of the Reserve was established in 1792 as the Firelands or Sufferer’s Lands to offer financial restitution for towns burned by the British in the Revolutionary War. 

The Virginia Miltiary District or Virginia Military Lands was 4.2 million acres in Ohio reserved by Virginia to use as payment in lieu of cash for its veterans of the Revolutionary War.

A company within the Ohio Company lands was the Scioto Company formed in 1787 after the Northwest Territory was organized. It swindled prospective settlers by selling worthless deeds.  It was organized in Paris, France and the worthless deeds were sold to French people who were refugees from the French Revolution.  The Scioto Company did not own the land it was selling. They were supposed to be agents of the Ohio Company. After the collapse of the Scioto Company in 1790, the U.S. Attorney General decided that the Ohio Company was the legal owner who then sold the and at $1.25 per acre to those who had settled.

This group of French settlers called the French 500 travelled on the Ohio River landing in Marietta in 1791 and most went on to Gallipolis which is now Gallia County.  The words Gallia and Gallipolis are derivatives of the word Gaul, signifying France. When they arrived in Gallipolis, the Scioto Company has promised that cabins were built, but when they arrived, the land was bare.  A group of men from Marietta came and helped them build cabins in the area which is now the city park and a defensive palisade and bastions. Gallipolis then became an important stop on the Underground Railroad in the Civil War era. A cemetery in Gallipolis called the Pine Tree Colored Cemetery is a burial ground for escaped slaves. Gallipolis also houses the John Gee Black Historical Center, a cultural and educational center to preserve the traditions, culture, crafts, music and art of African Americans in Southeastern Ohio and their contributions to the United States.

 

Ohio regions by grants and awards

Appalachia

The southern part of Ohio is hilly and lies in the Appalachian Plateau. This region of Ohio and the surrounding mountainous regions from the Catskills of New York, most of Pennsylvania, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Great Smoky Mountains of West Virginia and northern Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi are called Appalachia.

Appalachia is a cultural region with many myths and legends. Stories of clans, moonshine, and feuds abound. People there were often labeled as redneck, ignorant, hillbillies, violent, and racist, Unfortunately, the entertainment industry included cartoons from Disney and Hanna-Barbera which perpetuated these myths. Television was involved in such shows as The Beverly Hillbillies, Dukes of Hazard, Hee-Haw, Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty. Comedians often make jokes such as “
if Hillbillies get divorced are they still cousins?” Why? To make money. The U.S. government and businesses also collaborated in a conspiracy, hoping to force people off their lands to gain control and income. Even national parks were part of the conspiracy to drive people out of the mountains.

These are false stereotypes. The area has abundant natural resources.  Some of the nations best universities are in Appalachia. It has been the home of Country and Western, Bluegrass and Folk Music which have enhanced our nation. Many famous American have been born there. 

In genealogy, Appalachian isolation has created a problem. When groups are isolated, marriages between cousins create what we call pedigree collapse. This may cause genetic problems. See my article on Family Relationships. There are a number of YouTube videos about Appalachian marriages. 

To promote the region, dispel myths and development the economy, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) was formed in 1965. The ARC includes counties from 13 states including Ohio and operates in 32 counties in Ohio. 

Transportation

The ability to get from one place to another is vital for exploration, for commerce, for family relationships.  This section discusses the ways people have moved in Ohio, both in the past and today.  Since one of the easiest ways to travel is by boat, early 1800’s travel to Ohio was mostly:

  • By boat on Lake Erie
  • From Lake Erie then down the Chagrin, Cuyahoga or Maumee rivers and their tributaries.
  • Travel on the Ohio River to Marietta and then up the Muskingum River
  • Travel on the Ohio River to Portsmouth and then up the Scioto River and its tributary, the Olentangy River
  • Travel on the Ohio River to just east of Cincinnati and up the Little Miami River or just west of Cincinnati up the Great Miami River and its tributaries, the Stillwater and Mad rivers.

Overland travel was possible, across Pennsylvania, following the shoreline of Lake Erie, or crossing the Ohio River from Virginia or Kentucky and crossing the Ohio, All of the overland routes involved following trails such as the: 

  • Zane Trace constructed in 1796/7 from Wheeling, Virginia to Maysville, Kentucky (southwest across Northwest Territory of Ohio) 230 miles.
  • Shawnee Indian Road ran along the Scioto River and then almost due north to Lake Erie
  • Bullskin Road or Bullskin Trace ran from near the Ohio River in Clermont County to Detroit, Michigan
  • Old Xenia Road, ran through Greene and Madison Counties
  • Delaware Indian Road had many branches across Ohio
  • or through many Indian hunting trails

Canals 

Railroads

Air

Highways Interstate and Turnpikes

 

Native Americans in Ohio

Like other states, the history of Native Americans in Ohio is sad.  Once numerous, they are nearly extinct in Ohio.  Why?  Typical reasons:  greed, prejudice, disease, religious intolerance, life-style conflicts, warfare, land encroachment, loss of hunting ground, and disappearance of wildlife.  The U.S. government declared war against Native Americans. Was this justified?  Sometimes. Some Indians brutally tortured victims and did not discriminate, killing even young children and infants. 

Even in Ohio, we drove them into reservations.  Through the Greenville Treaty, we drove them into an isolated region in northwest Ohio.  Because Native Americans did not have deeds or practice private land ownership, it was often easy to drive them out and take possession.  Instead of seeking assimilation, neither settlers nor Native Americans really wanted to compromise. 

Indian villages usually existed along major rivers.  Most of Ohio was a hunting ground and too wet for other settlements.

What Native American Tribes lived in Ohio?  The largest group were related and had a common language – Algonquian.  This group included in Ohio the Mohican, Delaware (also known as Lenni Lenape or Lenape) Shawnee, Mingo, Miami and Wyandot.   Another group was the Iroquois Confederation which included in Ohio the Seneca, the Cayuga and Iroquois. The Kaskaskia were part of the Illiniwek nation, but the only Illiniwek tribe in Ohio. The most powerful tribe in Ohio was the Miami. The Erie are extinct (massacred by the Iroquois) and less than 400 kaskaskia remain and live in Oklahoma along with remnants of the other tribes.

By the Indian Removal Act of 1830 under President Andrew Jackson, most Native Americans had already left Ohio. Some had gone west and became Plains Indians, other fled north into Canada. European concepts of land ownership and farming methods including fencing, made it impossible for the Native Americans and other peoples to live together peacefully. It meant starve, move-out or be driven out. 

In 1781, a band of Delaware Indians asked to stay overnight in Gnadenhutten, Ohio or Moravian settlement. The Indians living there were Lenape and Mohican.  They had become Christian and were part of the Moravian community and were pacifists.  Because of the war with the Delaware Indians, a group of U.S.  militiamen from Pennsylvania attacked and massacred 96 men, women and children in the Gnadenhutten Massacre. This is sometimes compared to the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam by the U.S. Army of perhaps as many as 504 civilian men, women, children and infants.

Gnadenhutten Massacre Site

Blennerhassett Island and the Aaron Burr Conspiracy

Blennerhassett island is located in the Ohio River, between Marietta, Ohio and Parkersburg, West Virginia.  Today it is an Historical State Park, It was occupied by Native Americans and was called Backus Island.  In 1798 Harman Blennerhassett purchased the island and renamed it.  In his house, Harman supposedly plotted treason against the United States as part of the Aaron Burr Conspiracy. The house burned to ground in 1811. Blennerhassett was an Anglo-Irish lawyer. The conspiracy was an alleged military plot with Britain to separate the Louisiana Territory from the United States.  He was arrested and ruined financially ruined.  He moved to Canada and then England where he died.  He was also known because of his illegal marriage to his niece, his sister’s daughter.  

Burr is known, of course, for his 1804 duel with Alexander Hamilton in which he shot and killed Hamilton.  The duel was the result of a bitter political rivalry.  Burr was the Vice-President, and Hamilton the former Secretary of the Treasury.  The political rivalry was between the Democratic-Republicans (Burr) and the Federalists (Hamilton). Burr challenged Hamilton to the dual, citing malicious and false accusations. Hamilton had already been involved in more than a dozen affairs of honor.  Claims were made that Hamilton purposely missed Burr, but this is unproven. All that were present, had their backs turned and didn’t see the shots.  Burr shot Hamilton in the stomach and he died the next day.  Hamilton’s shot hit a tree branch above Burr.  

Wars

People who have lived in Ohio have fought and died in every United States war.  This article on Ohio will only discuss war that has taken place on Ohio Soil.

Indian Wars 

Settlers were fighting with Native Americans (Indians) for many years before the creation of the State of Ohio.  The Northwest Indian War of 1785-1795 was conflict between the U.S and Northwest Confederacy of Native American nation is designated as the first of the American Indian Wars.  Even though the Revolutionary War and the Treaty of Paris established the borders, Britain still encroached and allied with Native Americans.  The Native Americans led by the Huron Tribe declared that land north and west of the Ohio River were Indian territory. The U.S. initially suffered defeats (Harmar & St. Clair) that destroyed the U.S. Army and left the U.S. vulnerable. There was real possibility of a new Revolutionary War with Britain.  

President Washington then appointed General Anthony Wayne to organize and train a new armed force called the Legion of the United States in 1792.  A campaign was led against Native Americans and their British allies in a series of battles along the Great Miami and Maumee river valleys leading to a decisive U.S. victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers the final battle of The Northwest Indian War at what is now Maumee, Ohio.  The defeated Indian Tribes were forced to cede most of what is present-day Ohio and were restricted to an area north of the Greenville Treaty Line in 1795.  The U.S. signed a treaty with Britain called the Jay Treaty which closed Britain’s outposts along the Great Lakes in U.S. territory.  This Jay Treat angered France and triggered the formation of pro-treaty Federalists, and anti-treaty Democratic-Republican Party.

During the French and Indian War of 1754-1760, France and Great Britain fought for control of the region south of the Great Lakes – the Ohio and Illinois countries.  Native Americans fought of both sides depending on which side most met their needs.  The Indian tribes on the British side were the Iroquois Confederacy, Wyandot, Catawba, Cherokee Nation and Mingo.  The Indian Tribes on the French side were the Wabanaki Confederacy of Abenaki, Mi’Knaw, Algonquin, Lenape, Ojibwa, Ottawa, Shawnee, and the Fort Detroit Wyandot. The British and Indian allies losses were 1, 512 killed in action, 1, 500 died of wounds, 10,400 dies of disease. French and Indian allies losses are unknown.

Toward the end of the Revolutionary War, George Rogers Clark led an attack against a Shawnee village in the Miami River Valley, completely destroying the village.  Later in 1780 at the Battle of Piqua U.S. losses were 44 killed and 40 wounded, Indian losses were verified 5 killed and 3 wounded, but Indian losses were probably much higher.  

In 1763, Wyandots captured Fort Sandusky in Pontiac’s War and killed 15 of the garrison and several British Traders.

Tecumseh’s War 1811-1812 also known as Tecumseh’s Rebellion between the U.S. and the Tecumseh Confederacy is considered to have ended with William Henry Harrison’s victory at the Battle of Tippecanoe, but it continued as part of the War of 1812 and in 1813, Tecumseh and his second-in-command Roundhead were killed in the Battle of the Thames in Canada.  The Tecumseh Confederacy then disintegrated. 

Gnadenhutton Massacre in 1782. A group of 96 Christian pacifist Native Americans were slaughtered by U.S. militiamen from Pennsylvania at a Moravian settlement, killed were 28 men, 29 women, and 39 children. No one was ever tried for the atrocity, but Native Americans vowed revenge and Colonel William Crawford was captured at Upper Sandusky and tortured and burned at the stake by British Agent Simon Girty and Captain Pike, a Delaware Indian chief.

In 1791, 14 settlers were killed by an Indian war party in Stockport, Ohio, known as the Big Bottom Massacre.

In 1791, 200 to 250 civilians were ambushed and killed my Little Turtle’s Miami Indians at Battle of Fort Recovery.

During the Indian Wars period in Ohio roughly 1,500 men, women and children were slaughtered by Native Americans.  But many Native Americans died at the hands of pioneers and military.  Estimates are unknown. Records of deaths and injuries were kept for whites, but not for Native Americans.

 

 

War of 1812

War of 1812
War of 1912 Lake Erie
War of 1812 - Perrys Victory

Morgan's Raid - Civil War

Morgans Raid Map - Civil War
Morgan's Men
Battle of Fallen Timbers

People who have lived in Ohio have fought and died in every United States war.  This article on Ohio will only discuss war that has taken place on Ohio Soil.

Indian Wars 

Settlers were fighting with Native Americans (Indians) for many years before the creation of the State of Ohio.  The Northwest Indian War of 1785-1795 was conflict between the U.S and Northwest Confederacy of Native American nation is designated as the first of the American Indian Wars.  Even though the Revolutionary War and the Treaty of Paris established the borders, Britain still encroached and allied with Native Americans.  The Native Americans led by the Huron Tribe declared that land north and west of the Ohio River were Indian territory. The U.S. initially suffered defeats (Harmar & St. Clair) that destroyed the U.S. Army and left the U.S. vulnerable. There was real possibility of a new Revolutionary War with Britain.  

President Washington then appointed General Anthony Wayne to organize and train a new armed force called the Legion of the United States in 1792.  A campaign was led against Native Americans and their British allies in a series of battles along the Great Miami and Maumee river valleys leading to a decisive U.S. victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers the final battle of The Northwest Indian War at what is now Maumee, Ohio.  The defeated Indian Tribes were forced to cede most of what is present-day Ohio and were restricted to an area north of the Greenville Treaty Line in 1795.  The U.S. signed a treaty with Britain called the Jay Treaty which closed Britain’s outposts along the Great Lakes in U.S. territory.  This Jay Treat angered France and triggered the formation of pro-treaty Federalists, and anti-treaty Democratic-Republican Party.

During the French and Indian War of 1754-1760, France and Great Britain fought for control of the region south of the Great Lakes – the Ohio and Illinois countries.  Native Americans fought of both sides depending on which side most met their needs.  The Indian tribes on the British side were the Iroquois Confederacy, Wyandot, Catawba, Cherokee Nation and Mingo.  The Indian Tribes on the French side were the Wabanaki Confederacy of Abenaki, Mi’Knaw, Algonquin, Lenape, Ojibwa, Ottawa, Shawnee, and the Fort Detroit Wyandot. The British and Indian allies losses were 1, 512 killed in action, 1, 500 died of wounds, 10,400 dies of disease. French and Indian allies losses are unknown.

Toward the end of the Revolutionary War, George Rogers Clark led an attack against a Shawnee village in the Miami River Valley, completely destroying the village.  Later in 1780 at the Battle of Piqua U.S. losses were 44 killed and 40 wounded, Indian losses were verified 5 killed and 3 wounded, but Indian losses were probably much higher.  

Tecumseh’s War 1811-1812.  Tecumseh was a Shawnee chief who promoted resistance to expansion of the U.S. into Native American Lands. He formed a Native American confederacy and is an iconic folk hero in American,  Indigenous, and Canadian popular history. He was killed in the Battle of the Themes in Upper Canada in Oct 1813 during the War of 1812.  

 

American Revolutionary War

Revolutionary War of 1775-1783.  There were no significant battles fought is what in now Ohio, but many veterans of the Revolutionary War settled in Ohio because of the Western Reserve, Firelands, and Virginia Military Lands regions. There was only one fort in Ohio during the Revolutionary War, Fort Laurens in Bolivar, Ohio. It was besieged in 1779 by the British and Wyandot, Mingo, Munsee, and Lenape. Twenty one soldiers died there. Only one soldier was never identified, and at the Fort Laurens Museum is the Fort Laurens’ Tomb of the Unknown Patriot. Bolivar is South of Canton on Interstate 77. 

War of 1812

During The war of 1812-1814, Ohio was on the front lines, fighting against Great Britain, Canada, and their Native American allies.  Fighting was intensive in the northeastern section of Ohio and along Lake Erie.  The American Revolution was still very active in the memories of people from the United States, Great Britain, and France.  Tensions and incidents such as impressment (kidnapping) of American seaman into the British Royal Navy has been traditionally viewed as the cause of the War of 1812. At the same time Britain accused the U.S. of doing the same (which is true). The total number impressed is fewer than 10,000, but it stoked outrage amount Americans and demanded Congress take action. The practice of impressment was considered all a legitimate form of recruitment by the British Royal Navy, the world’s premier naval power. Since the Royal Navy had a reputation of long voyages, harsh discipline and poor pay, anyone with any sense avoided recruitment efforts, and impressment became a necessary tool.  Americans viewed personal freedom as a human right and impressment as an attack on international rights.  To serve a foreign power against their will was an attack of personal liberty and a violation of due process.  In 1796, Congress passed legislation allowing involuntary searches of foreign ships in American waters, and allowing official protests of suspected impressment at foreign consulates.  Of course, Americans never protested when our Navy press-ganged foreign seamen!  The U.S. Navy would get foreign sailors drunk in our taverns and then “Shanghai” them. War became inevitable.  (This section is summarized from an article from the National Archives Prologue Magazine “The War of 1812: Stoking the Fires”, Summer 2012.) The full article can be read by selecting the impressment link above. 

America knew that if war broke out between the U.S. and Britain, that the attack would probably come down through the Michigan Territory from Canada. The U.S. Army was based in Indiana, and three regiments of Ohio volunteers were formed, and gathered around Dayton, one just south and the other two north along the Mad River.  The Ohio militia suffered casualties in two early 1812 battles –  the Battle of Brownstown and the Battle of Maguaga in Michigan.  

In 1811 The U.S. built Fort Meigs next to the Maumee River in Perrysburg, Ohio.  It was besieged twice by the British and by Tecumseh, both attempts failed. 

In September of 1813, the most famous battle occurred, the Battle of Lake Erie.  This battle led by Oliver Hazard Perry against the British in Lake Erie resulted in the powerful British Navy, both in strength and number of guns, being forced to surrender to Perry who was more skilled, closing on the British ships since Perry’s guns were more powerful up close.

In my own family, an incident occurred during the War of 1812.  My family has arrived from Wales in 1806 and settled in Radnor, Ohio, a small village in what is now Delaware County.  During the war all Radnor residents were worried.  A Wyandot Indian village had been 20 miles away, just north of what is now Plain City, Ohio and Native Americans were still in the area.  Their allegiance was unknown.  From Radnor to Franklinton (now a suburb of Columbus) is 41 miles.  Franklinton was the closest fort in 1812.  The story as told in the Delaware County History is that a during the war a Lt. Drake rode through Radnor yelling “The Indians are coming.”  The Radnor citizens panicked and quickly harnessed their wagons and headed toward the Olentangy Trail south to Franklinton.  David Penry, my sixth Great-Grandfather was driving his wagon with his 7 year old son, David Jr., my 5th Great-Grandfather riding, in the back.  The trail was rough wilderness and upon hitting a bump, little David fell out and was then picked up by another wagon of the Avery family.  Drake could possibly have been Capt. William Drake who lived about 9 miles away in Waldo, Delaware Co., Ohio, who was an Indian Agent under William Henry Harrison. In 1805, Drake had purchased 640 acres north of Waldo. I have always wondered if the Avery family had not spotted him, would he have died?  Do I owe my own existence to the Avery’s?  

American Civil War

The American Civil War 1860-1865.  Only one significant Civil War Battle occurred in Ohio, The Battle of Buffington Island.  on 19 July 1863, a Union force routed a Confederate column of cavalry and artillery commanded by Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan.  Morgan’s Raid of 2,460 cavalrymen travelled from Tennessee and ended up in Northern Ohio.  Its purpose was to draw U.S. troops away from Vicksburg and Gettysburg campaigns.  Morgan surrounded what was left of his troops near the Pennsylvania border.  He and his senior officers were held in the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus.  They tunneled out, boarded a train to Cincinnati and escape into Kentucky. Morgan had been ordered by Confederate General Braxton Bragg not to cross the Ohio River, but because of Union success in Tennessee, he decided to cross anyway.

In Columbus, Ohio, Camp Chase was a military staging and training camp opened in 1861.  It also include a large Prison Camp for Confederate prisoners.  It has a cemetery holding the bodies of 2,260 Confederates who died in captivity at both Camp Chase, and Camp Thomas in Columbus and Camp Dennison located near Cincinnati. Camp Dennison contained a military hospital of 200 beds located in wooden barracks.  Camp Chase and Camp Dennison closed in 1865 and Camp Thomas closed in 1866. Camp Chase held around 8,000 Confederate soldiers who had insufficient food, not deliberate, but because they Union Army desperately needed food too.  Because it was crowded, there was a lot disease including smallpox.  Columbus had a military hospital called Tripler Military Hospital for Union soldiers in Franklinton.  In 1867 its 450 patients where transferred to the National Asylum for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Dayton, the largest veterans home in the nation.  Today Tripler Military Hospital is located in Schofield Barracks in Oahu, Hawaii as a level II trauma Center. It serves 530,000 people in the Pacific. Brig.Gen Charles Stuart Tripler was a legendary Civil War medic. 

Oddities and Trivia from the “Buckeye” state

Stuffed Mangoes or Mangos.  Before refrigeration, food was stored by smoking or drying or pickling.  The pickling process was called mango.  The resulting product was often called a mango such as a mango of cucumbers or a mango of peppers.  Eventually just about anything that was pickled was called a mango.  Green peppers were originally pickled and were called mangos. The term stuck and even today, many people in the mid-west call green peppers mangos.  A favorite dish is stuffed mangoes. Green peppers are cooked filled with a mixture of ground beef and pickled cabbage.

Mushmelons – Many people in Ohio call muskmelons mushmelons.  No one knows why.

City Beef and City Chicken.  During World War II, many foods were rationed.  The U.S. Army had contracts with the packing houses and most beef went to the troops. However, my mother and many wives were able to get ground meat.  They told us it was city beef, but we found later that we grew up during the war on horsemeat.  I don’t remember the flavor.  I remember that city chicken was pork wrapped around a skewer and grilled.  Evidently, we were able to get local grown pork.  Sugar was nearly impossible to find, and we substituted honey. I remember that Ohio grown vegetables were plentiful.  Our dessert was a pudding made of tomatoes, stale bread and honey.  Mom baked it and poured milk or cream on the dish.  I still eat my tomatoes with sugar instead of salt.

The tomato was developed in Reynoldsburg Ohio in 1870 by seedsman Alexander W. Livingston.  Before that tomatoes were a small ribbed, almost hollow, bitter fruit. They were nicknamed love apples and were often thought to be poisonous.  Livingston’s Paragon Tomato was larger and sweeter.  He developed more than 30 varieties of tomatoes. 

The All-American Soap Box Derby began in 1933 in Dayton Ohio by journalist Myron E. (Scottie) Scott. 

Ohio’s Symbols
  • State Motto:  With God, all things are possible 
  • State Flower:  Red Carnation
  • State Wild Flower:  White Trillium
  • State Bird: Cardinal
  • State Mammal:  White-tailed Deer
  • State Reptile: Black Racer Snake
  • State Amphibian:  Spotted Salamander
  • State Frog:  Bullfrog
  • State Tree: The Ohio Buckeye
  • State Gemstone: Ohio Flint
  • State Fruit: Tomato
  • State Native Fruit:  Pawpaw
  • State Beverage: Tomato Juice
  • State Song: Beautiful Ohio 
  • State Insect:  Ladybug
  • State Fossil:  Isotelus
  • State Rock Song:  Hang On Sloopy 
  • State Prehistoric Monument:  The Newark Earthworks
  • State Artifact:  The Adena Pipe
  • State Historic Structure:  The Barn
Ohio and the Tomato
Soap Box Derby

Ohio Agriculture

Ohio has nearly 77,000 farms 97 percent family owned.  Ohio is a leading producer of soybeans, corn, hogs, eggs and ethanol.  Ohio State University, a land-grant university is one of the nation’s leaders in agricultural education with the OSU Agricultural Technical Institute.  It has a major presence at the Ohio State Fair and hosts the nation’s largest farm show, the 3 day Farm Science Review at the OSU Molly Caren Agricultural Center in Madison County.  

The Farm Science review covers 2,100 acres with a 4000 foot runaway adjacent to the show.  It features hundreds of demonstration plots, several million dollars of farm machinery, information about farm, home, and health safety. Daily field demonstrations and programs on conservation practices at the Gwynne Conservation Area. Antique Farm Equipment is own display with over 1600 pieces of farm machinery, garden equipment and kitchen utensils.  New Farm equipment is on display from John Deere, Case, New Holland and Agco (Massey Ferguson, Fendt, Challenger, Valtra, Gleaner Combines, Sunflower Tillage and White Planters). Attendance is over 131,000 and over 500 exhibitors.

Farm Science Review Crowds
Farm Science Review Displays
Farm Science Review Techniques
Farm Science Review Structures

Ohio Commerce

Marathon Petroleum Corporation operates the nation’s largest refining system at 2.9 million barrels per day.

Proctor and Gamble Company is a global leader in beauty, grooming, health car, fabric and home care and baby, feminine and family care products.

General Electric Company operates world-wide in Aerospace, Renewable Energy, and Power.  Its manufactures aircraft engines, wind, gas, steam, nuclear and other power generation equipment.

The Sherwin-Williams Company is one of the world’s top paint manufactures, paints, finishes, coatings, applicators and varnishes. The brand names are ATX, Cabot, Dutch Boy, Fluropon, Krylon, Sherwin-Williams, and Valspar.

Cleveland-Cliffs is the largest producer of flat-rolled steel and iron ore pellets in North America

The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is the world’s leading manufacturer of tires under brand names Goodyear, Dunlop, Kelly, Fulda, Debica and Salva plus others.  Goodyear also makes and markets rubber-related chemicals.

The Andersons, Inc. is a significant player in the North American agricultural supply chain, especially ethanol, corn oil, and fertilizer.

Owens Corning is famous for its Pink Panther mascot and glass fiber insulation, roofing, fiber-based glass reinforcement.

J.M. Smucker Company manufactures and distributes branded food and beverages including coffee, cat food, pet snacks, dog food, frozen handheld products, peanut butter, fruit spreads, and baking mixes.  Top brands include Folgers coffee, Jif, Milk-Bone, Smucker’s, and Dunkin.

Worthington Enterprises is one of he largest steel processors in the U.S. processing flat-rolled steel and related products.

The Timken Company designs and produces tapered, spherical and cylindrical roller bearings, and other bearings for vehicles, lubrication systems, and chain belts.  These products are used in automotive, automation, agriculture, aerospace, construction, mining with a variety of brand names.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is one of the world’s leading producers of horticultural and turf materials such as grass seed, plant food, fertilizer, weed control and pest control products.

Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of water management solutions in stormwater and onsite septic wastewater industries. It manufactures high-density HDPE pipes for storm and sanitary sewers, agricultural drainage, highway edge drains and other applications. It is one of the largest recycling companies in North America taking in over 1/2 billion pounds of plastic waste which is used in the manufacture of septic tanks.

Other companies that started or are in Ohio.

Quaker Oats began in 1877 in Ravenna, Ohio.  It is now based in Chicago.

Airstream Trailersmanufactured and headquarters in Jackson Center, Ohio

Wilson Footballs – are made in Ada, Ohio.  The company headquarters are in Chicago.

KitchenAidStarted in Springfield, Ohio, has moved to Benton Harbor, MI.

Bob Evans Restaurants – has 436 locations in 18 states. In 1962 the Sausage Shop began in Rio Grande.  This was the start of the Bob Evans Restaurants.

Kroger Cincinnati.  A major grocer, its subsidiaries are Baker’s, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Food Co., Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Gerbes, Jay C Food Store, King Soopers, Mariano’s, Metro Market, Pay-Less, QFC, Ralphs, Ruler, and Smith’s Food and Drug. It has also merged with Albertsons and is now part of an anti-trust lawsuit over the merger in Washington State. Kroger is the 2nd largest supermarket operator in the U.S. Walmart is 1st.

Victoria’s SecretReynoldsburg, Ohio.  Noted for Women’s underwear, lingerie, swim, apparel, sport, beauty and accessories.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice CreamHeadquarters in Columbus Ohio has 80 ice cream shops in 15 states and Washington D.C. The company started in 2002 and is noted for its artisan flavors.

Breweries – Ohio has more than 430 breweries both regular and craft.  The largest craft brewery in Ohio is Great Lakes Brewing Co. with many brands on tap, in bottles and cans including monthly special releases.

Coal and Oil

Great Depression

Job Loss – Overseas and Internal

Research and Inventions

Medicine

Education – Colleges, Consolidation, Private

Religion – LDS, Shakers, Amish/Mennonites (link to existing page)

Museums

Fairs

Parks

Music

Sports

 

Famous People

  • U.S. Presidents (8) – William Henry Harrison 9th – 1841 died in office after 32 days, Ulysses S. Grant 18th – 1869-1877, Rutherford B. Hayes –  19th – 1877-1881, James A. Garfield, 20th – 1881 (assassinated),  Benjamin Harrison 23rd 1889-1893, William McKinley 25th – 1897-1901, William Howard Taft 27th – 1909-1913, Grant, Warren G Harding 29th 1921-1923 died of a heart attack in office.  Hayes, and Garfield  both Army Generals
  • Native American Leaders, Tecumseh
  • Military, Ulysses S Grant, Curtis LeMay, William S. Rosecrans, Eddie Rickenbacker William Tecumseh Sherman, Paul Tibbets
  • Astronauts – Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Judith Resnick
  • Commerce, Harvey Samuel Firestone, John D Rockefeller, Dr. Benjamin Franklin Goodrich, Michael J Owens
  • Inventors (Thomas Edison, Orville and Wilbur – the Wright Brothers, Charles Kettering Invented Automobile Starter and first electric cash register, Granville Woods patented 35 inventions including telegraph to and from trains – He was called the Black Edison, Charles M. Hall developed method to produce aluminum from ore ALCO bought his patent
  • Sports, Roger Penske, George Steinbrenner, LeBron James, Scott Hamilton, Randy “Macho Man” Savage
  • Entertainment – 
      • Movies Actors –  Bob Hope Roy Rogers, Clark Gable, Paul Newman, Martin Sheen, Doris Day, Carmen Electra, Halle Berry, Martin Sheen
      • Movie Directors & Producers – Steven Spielberg
      • Movies & TV: Roy Rogers, Sarah Jessica Parker, Luke Perry, Katie Holmes, Ann Heche
      • TV – Jim Backus, Drew Carey, Steve Harvey, Rocky Carroll, Jamie Farr, Steve Harvey, Catherine Bach
      • Musicians:  Doris Day, John Legend, Roy Rogers, Nine Inch Nails, The Isley Brothers, Johnny Paycheck, Frankie Yankovic, Grandpa Jones, Shelly West, Dwight Yoakam,  ME!!
      • Comedians: Phyllis Diller, Patricia Heaton, Beth Stelling, Jonathan Winters, Paul Lynde, 

List of people from Ohio – Wikipedia

Madison County

I live in Madison County Ohio. Madison County was formed in 1810. from Franklin County. There were no communities. In what is now the county seat of London, about 5 families lived in the area. The largest community in the region was Franklinton (now a suburban area of Columbus). When Ohio became a state, Columbus had no paved roads. Every home had an out house, and possibly a place to stable a horse. Each home might have had a milk cow, and maybe a pig or two and certainly a few chickens. Homes were heated by either fireplaces or coal stoves. Coal was plentiful and so was soot! Families fled the area if they could scrape up a little money and buy land around Columbus. In 1806, settlers began arriving from Wales and Germany into areas surrounding Columbus. 

Until about 1800, the area of Madison was inhabited by Mingo and Wyandot Indians with an Indian village just north of present-day Plain City. White settlers started settling in the area around 1795. 

The couldn’t go too far north because of a treaty with Native Americans which reserved area north or a line in what is now in Union County called the Greenville Treaty Line. The tribes involved in the treaty were the Wyandot, Lenape, Ottawa, Kaskaskia, Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Miami, Kickapoo and Shawnee.

In 1818, the town of Westminster was incorporated.  Its name was changed to Pleasant Valley in 1823.  In 1851 it was changed to Plain City, because there was another town in Ohio named Pleasant Valley.  There is a part of Coshocton, Ohio which once a hamlet called Pleasant Valley.  I cannot find a community today in Ohio called Pleasant Valley, but there are several Pleasant Valley neighborhoods in Ohio.

In 1820, Union County was created at the north edge of Madison County.  It was decided that a road running through Westminster in Darby Township, (now Plain City) would be the southern border of Union County and Madison lost about a mile of territory.  This split Plain City which now is in both Madison and Union Counties.

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