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. 1773.

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.

Richard Conner and wife had one or more children born at Schoenbrunn prior to 1781.

Of the several ministers, Mortimer, Smick, Jungman, Edwards, Senseman, and others, none had children in the valley, except as above named.

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.

At 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.

The above 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 Philadelphia, 1811.
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.

Online Resources | Ohio AHGP

Source: Ohio Annals, Historic Events, Tuscarawas and Muskingum Valleys, The State of Ohio, Edited by C. H. Mitchener, 1876




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