A Few Firsts in Ohio
First Births in Ohio
John Ludwig Roth, son of Rev. John and
Maria Agnes Roth, was born at Gnadenhutten mission, in the
present Tuscarawas County, on the fourth day of July, A. D.
This was the
first white child born in the valley, and it is claimed to be
the first in Ohio, but the white wife of a French officer gave
birth to a child at Fort Junaudat, on the Sandusky, as early as
1754, and while Ohio was French territory.
On the 18th
of April, 1781, was born at Salem, in the present Tuscarawas
County, Maria, daughter of John and Sarah Joanna Heckewelder.
Her birth has been stated as occurring on April 6, 1781, but the
13th is correct.
Conner and wife had one or more children born at Schoenbrunn
prior to 1781.
several ministers, Mortimer, Smick, Jungman, Edwards, Senseman,
and others, none had children in the valley, except as above
First Christian Burials
Prior to 1775 seventeen interments of
Christians had taken place at Schoenbrunn grave-yard, on the
farm now owned by Rev. Elisha P. Jacobs, three miles east of New
Philadelphia. Between 1774 and 1781 a larger number were there
interred, aggregating about forty in all. It was the first
burying grounds of Christians in the two valleys, and has long
since been obliterated by the plow.
Gnadenhutten grave-yard an equal, if not greater, number of
Christians were interred prior to 1782, when the town was burned
and inhabitants slaughtered. In October, 1799, John Heckewelder
and David Peter, who had came to the burnt town in 1797,
gathered up the bones of the slain and buried them in a cellar,
on the spot where the monument stands.
In 1801, Rev.
William Edwards was buried at Goshen cemetery, as also
Zeisberger in 1808, and a number of Christian Indians.
three are undoubtedly the most ancient cemeteries in the county,
and the first two are the most ancient Christian burying grounds
in the State of Ohio.
First Preachers in the County
Of the first
Preachers in the county mention may be made of:
David Zeisberger, 1772.
Rev. Heckewelder, Smick, Edwards,
Roth, Jungman, Huebner and Mortimer. Rev. George Godfrey Miller,
of Beersheba church, 1808.
Rev. Christian Espech, Lutheran, New
Rev. Abraham Snyder, Lutheran, 1810.
Deacon Elias Crane, 1816.
Rev. John Graham, 1817.
Rev. Wieland Zarman, 1818.
Rev. Michael J. Baumberzoar, 1818.
Rev. Thomas B. Clark, and Rev. Jacob Ransberger, in 1819.
Source: Ohio Annals, Historic Events,
Tuscarawas and Muskingum Valleys, The State of Ohio, Edited by
C. H. Mitchener, 1876