Early Settlement of Morgan and Muskingum Counties

Zanesville was laid out in 1799, by Jonathan Zane and John McIntyre, and the same year houses were erected thereon. Among other early settlers were William McCullough, Henry Crooks, James Duncan, Increase Matthews, Levi Whipple, Edwin Putnam, and some of the Zane family.

As early as 1790, attempts were made to settle in Morgan County, but the ferocity of the Indians compelled the settlers who were not killed to flee for their lives. About the year 1800, peace having been made with the Indians by the Greenville treaty of 1795, settlers came and dotted the county here and there with their cabins; and in due time villages were laid out by original settlers, among whom are to be found the names of Anderson, McConnell, Deaver, Fisher, Hoskins, Sharon, Wharton, Wood, &c.

In 1818, the county of Morgan was formed, and the county seat established at McConnellsville, the original owner of which was Robert McConnell, one of the influential men of that day in the county.

The editor is indebted to W. G. Moorehead, Esq., for the names of the following early settlers in Muskingum County:

John McIntyre, the founder of Zanesville
Lewis Cass
Elijah Merwin,
Wylys Silliman
Samuel W. Culbertson
Samuel Herrick, the five last being lawyers of wide celebrity.

Among the prominent citizens were:

Judges Stillwell
Judges Finley
Judges Putnam
Judges Jeffries

General Van Horn
General Green

Captains Taylor
Captains Cass

Major Cass
Major Pierce
Captain Pierce,
Captain George
Captain Richard
Captain James Reeve

Moses John and
Isaac Dillon

Joseph Church
James Culbertson
Captain Ross
George Jackson
Daniel Converse
Robert Fulton
Robert Hazlett
Isaac Hazlett
Hugh Hazlett
Alexander McLaughlin
Alexander Adams
Nathan Finley
Colonel John Halle
James Hampson
William Blockson
Gilbert Blose
Henry Wheeler
James Granger
Doctor Belknap
Doctor Fowler
Doctor Safford
Doctor Matthews
Doctor Rhodes
Doctor Conant
Doctor Hanna
Doctor Mitchell

J. D. Cushing one of the first four children born in Ohio
Captain Elijah Ross, William Dennison father and son
Captain Benoni Pierce killed at River Raisin in the war of 1812
John Dugan,
Nathan, Joseph,
John, James, and
Absalom Roberts

James Crosby,
Joseph Shepherd,
Thomas Moorehead,
Joseph Robertson,
William Pelham,
Jeffrey Price,

Charles Elliott author of a work on Romanism;
Peter Strickland, David Young, and several families of the Adamses.

Joseph Fisher, Esq., ex-surveyor, furnishes the following list of early settlers of Muskingum County:

William S. Dennison, whose donation to Granville College gave it its present name, Dennison University, came, when a boy, with his father, from Massachusetts to Muskingum County, about 1810. He is a well known farmer and stock-raiser; has never aspired to any office, but has, by constant attention to business, acquired a competency.

Daniel Stillwell, known as Judge Stillwell, in an early day one of the associate judges of the common pleas court of Muskingum County, emigrated from Eastern Pennsylvania, purchased a quarter township of land, four thousand acres, in Madison township and was a successful farmer. He was the father of Richard Stillwell, for some years, judges of the court of common pleas. The old gentleman, in crossing the Muskingum River, some years ago when too high to be safely forded, had his buggy upset by the current, and he and his granddaughter were drowned. His youngest son, John Stilwell, is now a resident of Tennessee, some fifteen or twenty miles north-west of Nashville.

George W. Adams, the owner of Adams' mills and of the Ewing mills, is a Virginian by birth came to Muskingum County from Farquier County, Virginia, with his father, George Adams, early in the present century. His brother Edward and he built a mill near the present Adams mills, about the year 1828 or 1829, and afterward the Ewing mills, near Dresden. They acquired a large landed estate in Muskingum and Coshocton counties. He represented Muskingum County one term in the legislature, as member of the House of Representatives, A. D. 1840.

Jesse John emigrated from eastern Pennsylvania to Blue Rock Township, Muskingum County. He was a respectable, influential man in that part of the county. The father of Davis John, who represented this county in the legislature two terms 1843-44, and 1845-46.

Henry Wheeler, aged upward of eighty years, came from western Virginia to Ohio, when a young man; settled in Muskingum County; resides near Adamsville; has been a member of the Baptist church at that place forty-five or fifty years, and was one of the county commissioners at one time.

Charles R. Copland came from Richmond, Virginia, when a young man. His father was the owner of a quarter township of land, four thousand acres, being partly in Madison and partly in Muskingum Townships. He married Evelina Adams, daughter of George Adams, who was also a large land owner in Madison Township. Mr. Copland and his wife are still living in Madison. They are upward of eighty years old.

George Slack and Jacob Slack, brothers, and living in the same neighborhood in Washington Township, Muskingum County, came from Virginia, Loudon County, early in the present century, with their father, John Slack, long since dead. They are between eighty and ninety years old.

David Richardson and Martin Richardson, brothers, settled in Monroe Township, Muskingum County, at an early day. They came from one of the New England States, and were prominent farmers in that part of the county. They died some years ago.

John Van Voorhis, an early settler of Muskingum County, and a successful farmer in Licking Township, came from Pennsylvania, and died a year or so ago, upward of ninety years of age. His son, Daniel Van Voorhis, who was a representative in the legislature one session, and was also a member of the constitutional convention of 1873-'74, still resides in Licking township, near Nashport.

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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