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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Morgan's Raid into Jasper and the Death of Joseph McDougal

As John Morgan and his band are now captured, the people can settle down and content themselves with a least of hope that one horse-thieving scoundrel and disturber of the peace of the county, will get his just deserts. If our people don’t shoot him for the raid, the rebel authorities will be sure to, if they ever lay hands on him. He has wasted and destroyed, on a fool’s errand, the best body of cavalry they had in their service, and all to no purpose in the world. Such a senseless expedition never started since the world began. He has failed to perform a single achievement that is worth thinking of a second time.”
Newspaper account of Morgan’s Raid – Cambridge Times, July 30, 1863

Seldom has any movement aroused such intense excitement and bitter feelings as did Morgan's raid into Indiana and Ohio during the Civil War. As evidenced by the account above, to the North, Morgan was a bloodthirsty ruffian. But, to the South, he was a brave and daring hero.

General John Hunt Morgan's raid into Indiana and Ohio really had little or no influence on the outcome of the Civil War. Although it was made to injure the Union cause, it stoked feelings of loyalty in residents who were staunchly bound to the Union

It is recorded that Morgan's theory of waging war was to go deep into the heart of the enemy's country. He had sought long and earnestly for permission to put this theory into practice. A raid into Ohio had long been his fondest dream, and, about the middle of June, 1863, upon his arrival in Alexandria, Kentucky, the golden opportunity seemed to lie before him. The situation in Tennessee was daily growing more pressing for the Confederate armies there. It was soon evident that some solution for their problem must be found.

Into Southern Ohio

From July 13-26, 1863, Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan led a daring group of more than 2,000 men across Southern Ohio. His mission: to distract and divert as many Union troops as possible from the action in Middle Tennessee and East Tennessee. Union troops under the command of Major General Ambrose Burnside gave chase.

During his daring raid, Morgan and his men captured and paroled about 6,000 Union soldiers and militia, destroyed 34 bridges, disrupted the railroads at more than 60 places, and diverted tens of thousands of troops from other duties.

More than 200 northern lives were lost in the two week period of the raid into Ohio with at least 350 casualties. 4,375 people in twenty-nine counties filed claims for damages and were awarded $428,168. The Union forces were also charged with damages totaling $141,855, the militia being held accountable for $6,202. Upwards of 2,5000 horses were commandeered and collected by Morgan. There were 49,357 militia men called to duty costing the state $450,000. The cost to the state was more than $100,000.

The biggest impact on Ohio at the time was the realization that they were truly unprepared for the war to be in their own "backyard.” They had felt secure by the distance from the south and had not put much effort into preparations for defense. The fact that Morgan was able to almost traverse the whole state, from Harrison in the west to West Point in the east (only about 10 miles from Virginia (West Virginia) and Pennsylvania, with little or no resistance is testimony to this fact.

In West Point, Ohio, there stands a stone monument to the events of July 1863. It was erected in 1909 by Will L. Thompson of East Liverpool. It states:

"This stone marks the spot where the Confederate raider General John H. Morgan surrendered his command to Major General George W. Rue, July 26, 1863, and this is the farthest point north ever reached by any body of Confederate troops during the Civil War."

The Account of the Local Raid

Here is a written account of the raid near and in Jasper, Ohio. It begins on Thursday, July 16, 1863, and is taken in its entirety from Morgan’s Raid Across Ohio: The Civil War Guidebook of the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail published by the Ohio Historical Society on November 20, 2014 by Lora Schmidt Cahill and David L Mowery. It is offered here in memory of local resident, Joseph McDougal, who, in giving his life that fateful day, entered into the annals of history.

“The raiders began to move out of Locust Grove shortly after dawn. A small party moved southeast to Rarden in Scioto County as a feint on the city of Portsmouth. The main force moved northeast.

“Three men who were too ill to ride were left behind. The Platter family cared for them until they were able to travel. When they reached their homes in the South, they wrote to their hosts, thanking them for the hospitality they had provide.

“Edward L. Hughes was a well-respected and prosperous local farmer. He was especially proud of his fine horses. When Duke's men appropriated two of them, he appealed to General Morgan for their return. When that failed, he volunteered to serve as Morgan's guide to Jackson, hoping to recover the horse.

“On reaching Jackson, Hughes, a large Irishman, became drunk and boisterous. Morgan dismissed him. Not only did Hughes fail to recover his horses, but when Hobson (Brigadier General Edward H. Hobson) arrived, Hughes was arrested and sent to jail for treason. Out on bail, he fled to Montreal, Canada. After Lincoln's Amnesty Proclamation in 1863, Hughes returned to Locust Grove and took the loyalty oath. He soon discovered that he was no longer welcome in Adams County; he left the area and moved west.

“In 1863, most of Morgan's men used a road that no longer exists; known as the Chillicothe Road, it ran northeast from Hackelshin Road to the Poplar Grove Road. Morgan used the Chillicothe Road instead of the Piketon Road in order to deceive Federal authorities into thinking he intended to attack Chillicothe. This feint worked well.

“A small company of scouts rode up Union Ridge and around to Smith Hill.

“The Kendall farm was locted between Poplar Grove and Arkoe. The raiders took fresh bread from Mrs. Kendall's oven. Near Arkoe, the raiders took Lewis Beekman't horse and 20 pounds of honey from his hives.

“On Chenoweth Fork Road, a large two-story house was the William Henry home. It served as a station on the Underground Railroad.

“Mr. Henry took his livestock to the woods. Not intimidated by Morgan's men, his sixty-six-year-old wife, Jane, drove the raiders out of her house and flower beds with a broom stick. After they showed the respect due her, she fed them and let them water their horses in the creek behind the house. She then requested and received a receipt for her services. When the captain was writing the receipt, another raider slipped into the barn and took a saddle, four bridles, two halters, and a horse blanket. When Mr. Henry returned home, he was not impressed with his wife's account of her dealings with the raiders.

(The original junction of Chenoweth Fork and Tennyson roads was lost when SR 32 was improved.)

"Morgan's men became frustrated by the number of trees felled across the roads. Governor Tod had called forth the axe brigades of southern Ohio, and they were responding. Downed trees were not a major problem for the riders, but they delayed the wagons and artillery pieces.

“Near Tennyson, Benjamin Chestnut, his brother, and his son Isaac had just felled a tree across the road, at a spot where the road dropped off on the left side.

“Confederate scouts, hearing the tree fall, hurried ahead, captured the local “woodsmen,” and ordered the trio to cut up the tree. One of the rebels gathered up the men's horses while another confiscated Benjamin's money pouch. The three dismounted axemen climbed to the top of the hill and watched as Morgan's main column rode by them.

“At Sunfish Creek, the Stewart Alexander mill and residence were located downstream on the right.

“Two of the miller's older sons were ordered to help clear downed trees from the road.

“Three of the younger children had gone berry picking and returned home to learn that Morgan's raiders were approaching. The younger children were sent to hide in nearby woods, while their parents remained to face the intruders. One of the boys made it no farther than the chicken house. A raider opened the door but did not discover him. The raiders broke into the mill and took all the wheat flour and cornmeal. They opened the grain bins and fed their horses.

“When the children returned home from the woods, the raiders were gone, and so were their berries. Alexander lost a barrel full of honey from the cellar, his gun, and one of his horses to Morgan's men.

“The raiders crossed and burned the nearby 125-foot covered bridge over Sunfish Creek. Some accounts credit the raiders with burning the mill. However, an account written by Alexander's granddaughter, Lina Silcott Shoemaker, refutes the claim. She wrote that as soon as the raiders left, Alexander collected corn and wheat from the neighbors and started milling. He knew his customers would need flour and meal to replace that lost to the raiders.

“Morgan sent a company right on Long Fork Creek Road. The men passed over Yankee Hill and followed Long Fork toward the Scioto River.

“Near the crest of Stoney Ridge on Jasper Road, valiant men made their stand.

“News of Morgan's approach reached Jasper several hours before the raiders arrived. Andrew Kilgore was chairman of the Pike County Military Committee. He was assisted by Jasper storekeeper, Samuel Cutler. The committee was responsible for recruiting in the area and for the defense of the county in an emergency.

“Some of the Pike County Volunteer Militia had been called to Camp Chase to help protect Columbus; other members were sent to aid in the defense of Chillicothe and Portsmouth. The militia was fully armed and counld be called up at an hour's notice by the governor. It would later become the National Guard.
“The home guard could be called out only to defend their local area in case of attack. On July 16, it fell to Kilgore's men to protect Jasper. Kilgore chose a spot on Stoney Ridge, about four miles west of Jasper, for the construction of a barricade. From here, the forty citizen-soldiers would have a clear field of fire down the road.

“The town's doctors, lawyers, clerks, and clergymen had joined farmers and laborers behind the barricade. The nervous men waited for Morgan's charge. They were prepared to defend their town even though outnumbered four to one.

“Morgan's scouts arrived about 1:00 p.m. They notified him of the barricade. Morgan realized that he would probably lose men in a direct charge. He ordered several companies of the Second Brigade to dismount and fire a volley at the barricade.

“The surprised defenders were not expecting the dismounted attack. After firing several rounds, they surrendered. (It took Morgan six hours to get past this defended obstacle.) The captured men were marched at gunpoint back to Jasper.

“During the march back to town, the prisoners suffered verbal abuse from Morgan's men. Most of the prisoners said nothing. Forty-sever-year-old Joseph McDougal, a staunch Unionist schoolteacher, made some disparaging remarks to his captors.

“Because Morgan could not take the prisoners with him, he assigned Captian James W. Mitchell the task of paroling the home guard. Before paroling the men, Mitchell asked for directions to the Scioto River ford. No one volunteered the information.

“We do not know what happened next. Written accounts of the incident vary. We do know that McDougal was pulled from the group of prisoners and bound. (Another source: “Money was taken from the prisoner and Joseph only had ten cents. He stated that was ten cents more than he wanted them to have.”) He was asked to step out of line and was taken to another area and questioned. Captain Mitchell ordered him placed in a small boat (canoe) on either the Ohio & Erie Canal or the Scioto River. He then ordered two of his men to shoot McDougal, who was struck below the right eye and in the chest. (Another source: “The canoe drifted along down the river, with the bloody corpse of McDougal as a warning to those who planned to resist the raiders.”)

“We do not know what provoked the raiders to take this action. Very few civilians were killed during the raid, and then only if they fired on the raiders first.

“Joseph McDougal is buried behind the old Jasper Methodist Church at the top of a hill. His broken tombstone inscription reads: 'Joseph McDougal was shot by John Morgan's men July 16, 1863. Aged 47 yrs 7 ms 9 ds.'

“McDougal was survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and five children ranging in age from one to seventeen years. Before leaving town the raiders stole one of the widow's horses.

"A number of other Jasper residents had horses and valuable taken by the raiders.

“In 1863, Jasper was a bustling canal town of about 160 people. The town's stores served both canal traffic and local farmers.

“Angered by the citizens' resistance at the barricade, the raiders were violent in their looting and destruction. They burned all manner of buildings, barns, stables, and mills.

“They torched the Charles Miller sawmill and lumberyard, located between the canl and the river. They also burned Miller's canal boat. An attempt to burn his private bridge over the canal failed.

“After spending several hours in Jasper, the raiders crossed and burned the county bridge across the canal.

“Morgan's men turned left and rode approximately one-half mile upstream to the Scioto River ford.”

Morgan was eventually thwarted in his attempts to recross the Ohio River, and he was forced to surrender what remained of his command in northeastern Ohio near the Pennsylvania border.

Morgan and other senior officers were kept in the Ohio state penitentiary, but they tunneled their way out and casually took a train to Cincinnati, where they crossed the Ohio to safety. Morgan was killed less than a year later in Greeneville, Tennessee by a Union cavalryman after refusing to halt while attempting to escape.

 Harriet Parrott, Daughter of Joseph McDougal       Morgan's Grave


Lora Schmidt Cahill and David L. Mowery. Morgan's Raid Across Ohio: The Civil War Guidebook of the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail. 2014.'s%20raid%20and%20jasper%20ohio&f=false

“Morgan's Raid into Ohio.”

Phyllis Kirkendall. “Jasper, Ohio: Pictures and Information.” Pike County Messenger.

“Morgan's Raid In Indiana.”


Monday, February 19, 2018

The First in Ohio in Scioto? The Disputed Title of First White Child


Who was the first white child born in the State of Ohio? The first white born in Scioto County? For good reason, there exists much speculation but no indisputable evidence to solidify this claim. This area has been a cradle of European exploration and settlement since the 17th century. And, considering the considerable interaction between these explorers and Native people, who is to say that “white” ethnic heritage is particularly noteworthy or wholly significant?

Nonetheless, historians do busy themselves with claims of “firsts” and primary importance. Genealogy and curiosity are of great interest to so many, even when proof is scant. And, personal accounts speak to the heart of those who love great stories with authentic voice. In the case of the Ohio-born “first,” the tales are engrossing. Read on, perhaps you will find some interest and pursue your own account.

It is commonly believed the first collective body of white people within the limits of the State of Ohio were the French traders as early as 1680. These traders established posts or stores at almost every Indian town. English traders came into Ohio in 1699-1700. They built a small fort or block house among the Hurons on the north side of Sandusky bay, and in 1748 they were driven off by a party of French soldiers from Detroit. Prior to 1763, the English in Ohio were few in comparison with the French. How many settlers lived here before westward expansion? Historical reference says groups were small – ten, twenty, or fifty traders.

These traders would marry (cohabit with) squaws and have children by them. Only in rare cases did white women accompany their husbands on trading excursions that generally lasted for months. Indians preferred to trade and barter with those connected to their people by marriage.

Though it seems most possible the early traders fathered children in Ohio, there is said to be no information that would help ascertain the date of birth of the first white child to any of the French or English occupants of Ohio prior to the peace in 1763 (the end of the French and Indian War).

There are two cases known in which traders did live with white wives in Indian villages.
  1. (First Name Undocumented) Henry (brother of Judge Henry of Lancaster, Pa. And the family of famous gunsmiths)
Henry was living among the Shawnese (Shawnee) as early as 1768. He was domiciled on the Scioto at a Shawnee village called “Cherlokraty” (Chillicothe?) He married a white woman, who had been taken captive as a child. It is not known if they had children born to them in Ohio, but that is likely since Henry continued living on the Scioto for many years while amassing a “fortune” (for the time).
  1. Richard Conner
Conner was a trader from Maryland who lived on the Scioto at Pickaway. He lived among the Western Indians as a trader for years and is believed to have married a young white woman, also a captive among the Shawnee at Pickaway. In 1771, a male child was born unto them. It is impossible to state at what place, though in all probability the birth occurred at Pickaway on the Scioto.

In 1774, agreeable to the treaty of Fort Pitt, all whites residing among the Shawnee were delivered up at the post. Among these were Mr. Conner and wife, but the Shawnee held back their son. The same year Mr. and Mrs. Conner went to reside with the Moravians at Shoenbrun, Ohio. Mr. Conner, having obtained permission from the American Commandant at Pittsburgh, went to the Scioto in search of his son. He left Mrs. Conner ac Shoenbrun. In the spring, he returned without his child, having made a fruitless search at the Shawnee towns.

During the year 1770, Mr. Conner made a second search for his boy and finally found him. Conner succeeded in purchasing his ransom. Mrs. Conner afterward had children at Shoenbrun, though the dates of their birth remain unknown.

Others have claimed to know the identity of the first white child born in Ohio, but this remains conjecture.

The Scioto Connection

Harlow Lindley, curator of history of the Ohio Archaeological and Historical society, said of five prominent claims for the distinction of the first white child born in Ohio, the history concerning Henry Mallow appears to top them all. Mallow, according to the records submitted to the society, was born November 18, 1785, near where Portsmouth is now located.

And here is the standing of other claims, according to Lindley's records:

James Conner, in September 1771, at what was known as Connersville; John Lewis Roth, July 4, 1773, at Columbian; Ephrian Cable, March 15, 1787, in Jefferson County; and Polly Heckwelder, 1790, in Salem.

The records submitted relative to the birth of the Mallow baby make up a thrilling and apparently untold chapter of the days when the French and Indians were battling the British.

"Henry Mallow's mother," Lindley related, "was captured during an Indian raid on a fort in the upper Ohio valley region. She and her two children, a boy and a baby girl, were taken captive."

"The woman's husband was away when the raid was made." Several other occupants of the fort were taken captive with Mrs.Mallow and the two children. All were started down the Ohio river astride logs."

Because the baby girl cried, according to information furnished to Lindley by Clara G. Mark of Westerville, Ohio, a descendant of the Mallows', she was abandoned along a trail and left to die.

"The Indians took their captives, " Lindley continuted, "To a camp on the west side of the Scioto River, but north of the Ohio river and opposite of where Portsmouth is now situated. Because Mrs. Mallow was a fine seamstress, she gained favor with the Indians.”

Then, according to the story handed down in the Mallow family, a baby boy was born to the woman on November 18, 1758. He was Henry Mallow. A statement taken from the record submitted by Miss Mark says "the Indians took the baby and bathed him in cold waters of the Ohio to wash out all the white blood and make a good Indian out of him."

Meanwhile, Mrs. Mallow's other son, identified as Adam, had been taken to another Indian camp near where Chillicothe now stands.

Sometime after the birth of Henry Mallow, Mrs. Mallow and the baby were taken to New Orleans by the Indians and sold to a Frenchman who provided transportation for the woman and the child back to the settlement, in what was known then as Virginia, where she was captured.

Mrs. Mallow rejoined her husband, but they never returned to Ohio, according to the family history. However, Adams Mallow, who has been released by the Indians, made his home near Chillicothe.

Here is another account of Henry Mallow from the Laben & Rachel (Harman) Eye Family:

"Henry Mallow served in Colonel Benjamin Harrison's Regiment in the Revolutionary War. His pension application S45892, was filed October 3, 1832 and granted January 11, 1833, retroactive to September 4, 1832. Henry gave his date of birth as Nov. 18, 1759 in his pension application. His tombstone, in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Upper Tract, West Virginia shows Nov. 18, 1858. He was illiterate, and was likely mistaken about the date. Henry died September 18, 1834.

“Parents: Michael Mallow and Mary Miller; Mary was taken on April 27, 1758 by a band of Shawnee Indians, Killbuck, a half breed Delaware Chief was their leader. They burned the fort and killed the soldiers there and captured many civilians. They captured Mary Miller Mallow, her son Adam about
6 or 7 years old, and her baby daughter. Adam lived with the Indians about 6 years until about 1864.

“Mary's baby daughter which she carried in her arms, began crying. A savage seized the baby, placed it on a rock, and forced Mary to move on. Mary never saw her daughter again.

“Mary was sold to the French fur traders. Mary's son Henry was born Nov. 18, 1758, on a French fur trader's Barge on the Mississippi River. A family tradition holds that Mary and her son Henry, were held in French captivity in Louisiana before making their way home. Michael must have born the Indians a bitter hatred for burning his home, enslaving his wife, and murdering his baby daughter. Michael accepted Henry as his son and left him a large farm in his will.”

And Yet Another Scioto Claim

The saline mines, although not strong, they did serve a good purpose by bringing comparatively cheap salt to the early settlers, and they drew the attention to outsiders of the advantages of settlement in the area. Of course, fertile land did so, too.

Samuel Marshall came down the Ohio River in company with Gen. Anthony Wayne in the fall of 1795. The group left Pittsburgh and passed down the river as far as Manchester, where they remained until Wayne made his famous treaty with the Indians.

Marshall had viewed the mouth of the Scioto and the lands on the border of that river. When it was distinctly understood that there would be no more Indian wars, he immediately returned up the river in the same boat. He then landed about three miles above the mouth of the Scioto, opposite the mouth of the Tygart Creek. His wife was Frances Mary Hazelrigg.

Samuel Marshall is known as the “first permanent settler of Scioto County” because “he was the first settler in the county who came here with the intention of making this his permanent home.” Marshall is also known as the person in the county “who built the first cabin, who raised the first crop of corn, and who fathered the first child.” Francis (Fanny) was born on February 16, 1796. She has the distinction of being “the first child born in the Scioto County. On reaching womanhood, Francis married George Skunkwilder (Shonkwiler?)

A.T. Goodman. First White Child In Ohio. A Historical Society. Number Four. 1871.

Heitzman Family Tree. October 8, 2009.

Williamson and Jolly Family Tree. July 2, 2008. 
C_Braton. Plumb/Surlet Family Tree. April 24, 2009.
1790 United States Federal Census 1. Citation provides evidence for Name, Residence.
Henry Mallow Believed First Ohio White Baby.” The Lima News. March 6, 1935.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Apparitions in Lucasville: The Old McDaniel Hermit Place


Do you like a good ghost story? Especially one with local appeal supposedly based on some semblance of fact? Let me introduce the tale of the “Old McDaniel Hermit Place.” There exists at least some confusion about the location of this home. Residents know Ghost Hollow as a road on the west side of the Scioto River, and at least one account says the hermit house was at 228 Ghost Hollow Road, where a circular roadway ran around an old farm. The fact that Crowe Hollow in close by may also be relative to the story.

This place was supposedly where a hermit killed himself and where thereafter his headless body would chase people. Ghost-hunter journals place this residence close to the grounds of the prison. Maybe someone else has heard more about this story and even has further written information. Please feel free to add your comments.

This haunting in the Lucasville area dates to at least 1896 when Mr. Frank Crowe, his son James, and Miss Clara McCorkle, an estimable young belle of Scioto County fame, were to spend an evening as the guests of his brother, Mr. Henry Crowe.

After a pleasant evening with euchre and minor games, the group retired to the drawing room, where Miss Clara on the piano, and James on the violin, accompanied by Miss Flora Crowe (Henry's wife) played duets and grand marches. They then returned to the dining room where they ate a delicious supper.

All in all, a wonderful evening, right? Not so soon. The guests started home, exhausted and thinking of a sweet repose in their cozy beds, but while climbing a hill half a mile from home, they encountered a strange and weird apparition of immense size, resembling a man. The monstrous form leapt from the shadows into the path of the traveling family. They hurried from the place of terror, and were said to be “almost scared unconscious and suffering from nervous excitement.”

According to local reports, this was not the first time people had encountered weird cries and frightful sights there. This place, known as the "Old McDaniel Hermit Place,” had been abandoned after the tenants who lived there reportedly had been awakened from their slumbers by groans and death-like agonies, and they had seen headless men roam about the yard “during the hour of midnight.”

Accounts say Mr. Frank Crowe planned to organize a company of "brave men" to find out more about the apparitions. It's not known if the group ever got together and made an attempt to track the ghosts down. But, an article reporting the incident mentioned the guests had eaten "such a portion as will cause one to have hideous dreams.”

The shack where the McDaniel hermit lived is long gone, but that spot is now in the woods surrounding the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility. And, as an interesting and possibly related side note, ever since the longest prison riot in United States history, the Easter Riot of 1993, mysterious events have occurred. More than twenty prisoners and guards died in the riot. Five prisoners were sent to death row due to the deaths

It has been reported that guards have since heard doors slamming and have seen strange shadows passing by them in the blocks where the riot occurred. One guard saw a prisoner walking the block after lockdown. The guard went in pursuit of the prisoner, only to find he had disappeared. Perhaps the hermit continues to haunt his old stomping grounds.he

Jannette Rae Quackenbush. Ohio Ghost Hunter Guide V: A Haunted Hocking Ghost Hunter Guide

Friday, February 16, 2018

Valley Yearbook Treasures and More Whittlers' Gazette


We locals love our Lucasville, Ohio history. I continue to discover many more amazing links to our past online. Local history, up-close and personal, is simply the best. I encourage you to post your own gems online. Once again, allow me to share some information with you.

Here is a post in the 1950 Valley High School Yearbook titled “The Indian.”

The Valley Schools in the year of 1950 reached a peak enrollment of 1154. This includes both the high school and our two elementary schools while the greatest increase was shown in the lower grades. The present program of improvement in the Valley Local Schools should in due time pay dividends contributing to better citizenship, and should make it possible for our children to secure a better foundation in scholarship and to participate in extra-curricular activities which will prepare them for the world of tomorrow.”

--Mr. L.T. Comer, Valley Superintendent

I believe Mr. Comer's prediction came true. How fortunate we were to attend a great school with administration, teachers, and support staff who helped mold our character. I know my experience at Valley was incredible. Upholding the heritage of 108 years of Lucasville graduates is important to me. Looking back, I now better understand the impact of education in the area. I am very grateful to have been in the Valley system.

Here are a few poems from the 1959 Yearbook:

The time has come for lunch at last,
I thought the time would never pass.
Into the lunchroom to “Betty Lou,”
Boney Maroney,” and “Peggy Sue.”

The lunchroom is crowded 'cause what we got?
Hamburger on bun, and beans from the pot.
We hurry and eat while the records play.
This is the middle of a hectic day.

Untitled, Author Unknown

We'll catch our bus and homeward go,
Oh, but these buses are awfully slow.
Another day has come and gone,
But still our teachers linger on.

Study your books and be great scholars,
So that when you grow up, you'll make the dollars,
Help your fellowman when he's in trouble,
Then you'll be sure your joys will double.

Untitled by Judy Lintz

Today we leave behind
The things we love so well,
The skating parties and class plays,
And test papers, as well.

Yesterday found us eager
That we might “try our wings,”
We just wanted to get away,
From our school and different things.

Today we are just sad,
To think that we must go.
We regret each fleeting moment,
To leave what we love so.

And no matter what we find
Down our road of Tomorrow,
We'll always remember school days
We left behind with sorrow.

By Judy Kay Boggs

Speaking of '59 … do you remember a school band that rocked?

The “Juniors” were a group that sprang up from the Valley Junior Class to play the music for their class dances. They played for many other activities and made the whole school very proud of them. There is a photo in the online version of the 1959 Annual.

Group members: Steven Vanhoose, Dick Wolfe, Eddie Miller, Wayne Phfleger, Mike Dobbins.

Click here to discover the link to many Valley Yearbooks:

And let me close this blog entry with a couple more columns from the Whittlers' Gazette, the Official Publication of the Whittlers' Club, National Headquarters at Brant's Village Store in Lucasville, Ohio. These are from the October 1935 edition:

The Health Col-Yum by Dr. W.T. Marrs of Peoria, Illinois (tongue in cheek)


Mrs. Roy Trusty of Wakefield, Ohio, writes as follows: “Dear Doctor: (I don't know whether I should address you as 'dear doctor' or not.) Ever since you began writing your so-called col-yum and instigated that crazy play called 'Initiating a Whittler,' which seems to be spreading all over the country, my old man is becoming lazier than ever. What I want to know is whether laziness is a disease or not. If it is, he is a really sick man. He never was much account, but here of late he is more useless than ever. He thinks it's a great honor to be classed as a member of the Whittlers' Club of America.


Your “old man,” as you choose to call him, has no disease pathology. He has perhaps only reached the reflective stage of life when he can view the great struggles and ambitions in their true perspective. He is a true Whittler who has come into his own. You should be proud of him. Did you not read the ritualistic quotation: “The Whittler must have no worries”? For a moment reflect upon the Whittlers among the great and the near-great – Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge, Mark Twain, Ed Howe, Chauncey M. DePew, O.O. McInyre and the greatest of all, the lamented Will Rogers.

Keep Calm”

When I hear the fiery speeches
Of the orator who preaches
That our government is old and out of date,
I begin sometimes to wonder
If we're really going under,
And if we should all forsake the Ship of State

Then I stop and think a little
And sit down a while and whittle
And conclude that even if it's out of style,
They can keep their quick solutions
And enjoy their revolutions;
I'll stand by the Constitution for a while.

All the schemes so wild and hazy
Planned by demagogues half crazy
May be good for foreign folks across the sea,
But this land of peace and freedom
Doesn't want and doesn't need 'em;
What we have is good enough for you and me.

They persistently assure us
That their medicine will cure us,
If we take a double dose three times a day,
But they may as well be quiet;
We'll keep on with our plain diet
And pull through in the prescribed old fashioned way.

You may think I am benighted,
But I fail to get excited
When the cranks begin to damn the U.S.A.
This old country will be booming
And Prosperity will be blooming
When the Reds and Bolsheviks have passed away.


View many more editions of the wonderful Whittlers' Gazette by clicking here:

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Lucasville, Ohio and Brant's Store: Home of the Whittlers' Gazette

 *Note -- no drug store there now. This was published in 1969.

Joseph Brant Senior was a farmer most of his life. He owned a small farm of hill land and several lots in Lucasville . At one time in the 1840s he bought the old tavern in Lucasville. At the time of acquisition, the tavern was the chief distributing point in the area for whiskey and other intoxicating drinks in Lucasville's so-called “wild and wooly days” for which, it is said. the town had gained quite a notoriety throughout the lower Scioto Valley..

The sale of drinks was stopped when Mr. Brant took charge and immediately, it is said the morals of Lucasville began to improve. He conducted it for ten years.

Joseph H. Brant, Jr., youngest son of Joseph and Susan Brandt, was born December 13, 1858, and was educated in Lucasville. At the age of nineteen years he entered the store of B. G. Warwick, with whom he remained until his death. Joseph became a pharmacist there in what is described as a “general store that sold everything from coal oil to hairpins to railroad ties.” The store later was purchased by Brant, and Brant's Store became a local institution for generations as later Joe and Frank Brant became pharmacists there. The store was also the home of the infamous Whittlers' Club of America.

Brant's Grocery Store
By Edith Anderson Crawford

The men-folks had an unnamed club,
Some forty years ago, or more
This general hangout or loafing place,
Was down at Brant's grocery store.

Around the pot-bellied old heating stove,
Again they fought the Civil War.
Seated on nail-kegs and upturned boxes,
Down at Brant's Grocery Store.

Uncle Jake Schulz was taken prisoner once
Starved too, till he was near death's door
Escaped just in the nick of time
Down at Brant's Grocery Store.

Davie Schoonover fought on Lookout Mountain
The rebels he killed was a score or more.
He fought and killed them single-handed
Down at Brant's Grocery Store.

Cal Anderson marched from Atlanta to the sea,
General Sherman's men's feet were bare and sore,
But they didn't give up till they got there,
Down at Brant's Grocery Store.

Ben Yeager and Jim Saunders played fife and drum
All got het up (highly excited) fighting the Civil War,
Till Joe Brant came back, said “I'm sorry,
But it's time to lock up the store.


Clyde Brant became editor and publisher of what he called “the Official Publication of the Whittlers' Club of America titled the Whittlers' Gazette. It was published in Lucasville. The Gazette featured banter, often light and satirical, of local interest. I thought you might enjoy reading some stories from the paper. These articles were taken from the June 1935 issue, which can be found in its entirety here:

Help Wanted

Since I began publishing the Whittlers' Gazette, seems like nearly everybody who comes in the store, women included, have taken some objection to something I have said and want to start an argument. I want to hire some good man and woman to do my arguing for me, so I can get something else done.

Generous commissions will be paid to the right persons, up to $25 for each argument won for me. Previous experience unnecessary. Applicants should be robust and strong, capable of handling two or three opponents at a time and equipped with a sharp tongue and a wicked eye which could wither the boldest by word or glance. No weapons allowed except perhaps a rolling pin for the lady to be used only in self defense. No commission will be paid unless the one who has had the audacity to question the reliability of the Whittlers' Gazette is able to walk and talk, and sign a statement that he or she admits the Gaezette was right. Easy job, pleasant work, wonderful opportunity. Apply in person.

Pat Henry

There are two distinct types of whittlers. Pat Henry would be classified as one the passive type. The name “Pat” would indicate that he was Irish, but I am inclined to believe he was Scotch. At least he was in no way responsible for the destruction of our National Forests, like some careless whittlers are. He was a rank conservationist. It is unbelievable, but it is a fact, gentlemen. Pat Henry could and did whittle every minute of the day, all day long, on one single match, an achievement which we are sure has never been equaled.

Earl Stevens and His Pigs

Earl has a brood sow which gave birth to 17 pigs. Did anyone ever know of a larger litter? Looks like nature and this mother are doing their best to replace all the pigs the A.A.A. (Agricultural Adjustment Administration) had slaughtered.

Valley Rural School District Again Upset

A petition by fallen timber and nearby citizens representing 75 percent of the voters was filed with the country school board asking to be set over into Pike County. Smith Canter who lives on top of the hill is a member of the Valley Rural Board, and was not included in the original petition, but it seems that the action of the county board has included him which if it goes through will automatically throw Smithy off the board.

It is our understanding that this will give the county board the opportunity to appoint all new members of our local board. An article in the Portsmouth Times a few days ago left the impression that our county superintendent was not in sympathy with the program, but failed to shed any light on why Smithy Canter was included. Time will Tell, and when all the facts are known, the Gazette may have more to say.

My Dog, Gyp

I never wanted a police. Dog. I was suspicious of them and afraid of them, but nothin' would do by my young daughter but a police dog for Christmas. I tried every way to convince her that a nice bird dog or a hound would be more preferable because I wanted a huntin' dog myself. Christmas passed and no dog because I was determined we should have no police do. But you know women. On January 11th, her mother saw the offspring of a state show winner advertised and a telegram about the most smelly, the most awkward and scared German Shepherd puppy you ever saw. The first time my little nephew saw her, both of them a little frightened, he ventured the remark that he could tell she was a Brant alright, by the size of her feet. We named her Gyp for short and she now weighs 110 pounds.

I couldn't blame my wife much for wantin' a police dog. You see our store had been robbed many times and it is only ten feet from our home and we were molested frequently by prowlers, and once one came right in the house, and she was getting afraid to stay alone of evenings. Well, we ain't never been bothered but once in eight years since Gyp came. Nobody ever comes in the yard unless he is drunk or crazy like Esto Davis, Birch Massie, Ace Spanable and a few others who don't know enough to be afraid of dogs. She has every clerk in the store bluffed out except Jim Doll, Buck Russel, and Gladys Gibbons. There is only one man she refuses absolutely to make up with and that is the ice man. I have often wondered why dogs generally like the mail man and object so strongly to the ice man.

Other Millers Runners

Chief among the old-fashioned virtues to which Millers Runners may justly lay claim is that of thinking and talking straight. Ben Brown is about 100 percent perfect at this. I don't think Ben is any better thinker or more honest than Fred Ruth or Ed Walls or Ashby Hawk or Ves Luckett or a lot of other Millers Runners, but maybe he talks more. Some say he talks too much, but I don't think so. Ben would tell you the truth, the whole truth, no matter what the personal consequences might be. That is the reason he is not afraid of any man or the devil himself, though they do say he is puttin' in a good deal of time right now studyin' the Koran.

Fallen Timber, Owl Creek

The native wit and talkativeness and reputation for veracity has spread up the divide to Smithy Canter's and filtered down in the valleys of Fallen Timber, Owl Creek, Hog Holler, Back Run, and Blue Run, or visa versa. Fallen Timber prides itself in having fewer people on relief than any other section of like population. Now there is the Conkel family, of whom it is said some could talk when they were born. The older they grow, the worse they get. Their favorite subject is politics, but most of them missed their calling because they are too broad-minded and too outspoken. You always know where they stand and what for, which ain't a good policy in politics nowadays. If you want the truth, you can nearly always get from a Conkel, straight from the shoulder, in plain, concise Anglo-Saxon language. I ain't sayin' they are always right or that they can even agree among themselves all the time, but they do think, and say what they think, which is becoming more and more of a novelty in this day and age. And the rarer anthing is, the more it is worth, even a virtue.

Then there is the McCain family which has long been noted for its eloquence and integrity. We never had a customer we thought more of than Uncle Dan McCain, a veteran of the Civil War. On down the creek lives Elza Canter, Ex-Sheriff, who in his wider contact with the world has become more diplomatic, but none the less reliable and loquacious.

Over on Owl Creek the folks are a little different, perhaps. For example, John Porter and Ed Griffith are more modest and reserved by just as honest and firm in their convictions. And over on the runs are Harvey Eblin and Vinton Arthurs and Jerry Walker whose personalities and judgments are as solid and uncompromising as the hills in which they live.

And so I could go on, indefinitely telling you about the spunk, the grit, and the reckless honesty of many others who live among our hills, and maybe I will sometime.

A Note on Sam Spriggs

Sam Spriggs insists that Barkers Horse and Cattle Powders are the finest spring tonic he has ever tried.

Planting Corn

My son-in-law was raised in a big city and is as fond as he is ignorant of nature in the raw. He liked to watch plants grow. One day when my daughter was driving him out in the country he stopped the car , and got a shovel and bucket from the rear seat, climbed over a fence and walked out in the cornfield and filled the bucket with dirt. She asked him what he was going to do and he explained that he was going to plant some corn in tin cans just to watch it grow, and he had to have corn ground for it to grow in or it wouldn't do any good.

Valley Township School

Commencement was held for the largest class ever graduated in Lucasville. 30 students having completed the course. Miss Lena Turner as the honor student was presented with a four year scholarship from Wilmington College, and a gold medal. Miss Turner made the Valedictory Address. Miss Marion Moon delivered the Salutatory and was presented with a scholarship at Ohio University. Miss Irma Litton won first place in English at Athens where the scholarship test for Southern Ohio schools was held. Music was furnished by the Lucasville-Minford orchestra.

Esto's Martins

Esto Davis has moved his magnificent 14-room martin box out of my sight, seein' I didn't approve of the color he painted it. I been watchin' it pretty close, and I ain't see a martin near it yet. He will find out that matins can be just as happy in their old-fashioned homes as they can in the finest modern apartment buildings. A lot of us humans will never be really free and happy either until we rise above the sordid and enslavin' influence of material things.

Charlie Schoonover

It has come to our attention that Charlie Schoonover, town constable and trader is making his headquarters on our whittling bench for a double purpose. It is a splendid place to trade knives and he is making the most of the opportunity. In addition, he is accosting the unsuspecting stranger and asking him to join the Whittlers Club of America for 50 cents. As he has the law on his side and carries a big gun there ain't much we can do about it but warn everybody.

Vorse Lundy

Vorse Lundy, who lives on the West Side, son of Frank Lundy, one of the last of the old time blacksmiths still in active business, and himself a no mean whittler, is undoubtedly an outstanding member of the breed know as creative whittlers. As the sculptor molds clay to create the image of his model, so Vorse Lundy, with the aid of his keen Barlow, carves wood into almost every conceivable shape and form. He is a master whittler, whose talent borders on genius. Wanser Rickey, scout for the St. Louis Cardinals, has a cane fashioned by Vorse, for which he has refused $25.00 and his father, Frank Rickey, has quite a collection of articles which Vorse made. We hope to have a window display some of these days of the products which this boy has whittled. Watch for it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Nell Bumgarner and "Old Lucasville" -- Shared Expressions

 Nell and Guy

The ability to communicate what is important to us. Doesn't everyone feel that desire? We have important ideas to share, yet we often struggle to write or say exactly what we feel. Sometimes our problems with expression frustrate us so much that we give up without writing or saying a single word. But, what if we accept our personal limitations and try. I knew a lady who took on that task, and it made all the difference.

I Cannot

There are stories I wish to share with you
To convey the essence, and feel, and charm
Of long-ago memories that live within me.

To write is my desire, yet I am hindered;
I have neither command of words nor expression,
Nor power to say what I would.

I lack the ability to select and condense;
I prefer to write as the snatches drift by.
I cannot tell you what's in my heart – but I'll try.

--Nell Bumgarner

Nell Yeager Bumgarner (1895-1994) was a local treasure. A writer, a poet, a nature lover, and a rather eccentric human being, Nell was a true Lucasvillian. She was a meticulous, learned woman who could spin tales of area lore so vivid and detailed that you felt as if you were living her past while reading her works or listening to her verbal renderings. And, did she ever preserve local color and detail. Her gracious heart and sharp mind graced our community for nearly 100 years.

Nell loved to write her memories and memoirs on her “vintage, World War I era L.C. Smith typewriter.” Her daughter, Laura Rachel (aka celebrated actress Laurie Franks) compiled many of Nell's stories, poems, and sayings. To commemorate her mother's life, Laura Rachel presented the finished product to her mother on the occasion of Nell's ninety-ninth birthday – a book Laura Rachel appropriately titled Lucasville Lore. The book contains page after page of what Nell referred to as “memories grabbed out of a handful of mist.”

Nell Bumgarner was born in Lucasville, Ohio, on September 9, 1895. She was the sixth child of Civil War veteran, Benjamin Yeager, Fife Major and Principle Musician of Company H. First Ohio Volunteer Heavy Artillery, Union Army. Yeager entered service at age fifteen and married Nellie's mother, Rachel Jane Brant, when he was twenty-six and she was nineteen.

Nellie – her childhood name – wrote for the Lucasville Rural Gazette during her high school years, then was stenographer for Bannon And Bannon, attorneys in Portsmouth, Ohio. Later, she clerked, took dictation, and kept books at the Joseph H. Brant Store in Lucasville until her marriage to Guy Bumgarner in 1928. Guy was a teacher, a mentor of Roy Rogers, King of the Cowboys. In 1953, Guy was a surprise guest on the popular TV show “This Is Your Life” honoring Roy.

Guy died in January 1976, and after that great loss, Nell began to compose many memoirs, writing recollections in earnest at the age of ninety. (Let that be a lesson, in itself, of the importance of industry at any age.) She spoke of her greatest hope: “Before I go, I have something to say.” That “something” was bountiful beyond measure.

I had the good fortune to visit Nell one day as she held court in her Lucasville home. Hours passed like minutes as she weaved her stories, each a gem in the strand of her life. She spoke with the authentic voice of a sage, and I tried to absorb every word, even the dollops of digressions and occasional repetitions. Sitting there, somehow I knew I was receiving a precious gift from the heart and mind of a very special soul. I began to understood why Nell wanted to share her life with me and with others. She cared … about people, about history, and about community. Nell revered her life on earth. As I went home after my visit, I knew Nell Bumgarner's legacy would live on long after her demise.

Nell revealed her purpose in the Foreword to Lucasville Lore. Read these words to that prayer she composed in her nineties …

Lord, Father, help me to write. In the long hours before sleep or that follow sudden awakening, sometimes toward morning, my old mind is so crowded with stories, perhaps some worth preserving, from age three on into my nineties.

I yearn to write of Old Lucasville and its dusty streets, the condensation of many dusty, early roads that led into and out of it; of remembered stories of people I've known and loved through the years; of precious scenes that can never be relived except by means of the inadequate pen. A title comes to mind, then a scrambled bit, frustrating me at the idea of recording them. Will you, Father, please bless and help me in any worthwhile efforts my lazy mind and hand put forth? Please help me overcome the inhibitions and faults I struggle with, and guide me. Keep me mindful of Mildred's three gates: Is it true? Is it needful? Is it kind?

Father, you have given me a life so full of beautiful and interesting things to write about and have blessed me with opportunities to absorb from unusual and capable others some of the tools that could make it possible. I am so very grateful for everything and everyone you have given me. Truly, my cup runneth over. Thank you always.”

The prayer is emblematic of Nell – seemingly fragile yet incredibly substantial, a person of grateful compassion and strong faith. Her mention of “Mildred's gates” is likely a reference to a poem by Beth Day.

Three Gates of Gold

If you are tempted to reveal
A tale to you someone has told
About another, make it pass,
Before you speak, three gates of gold;
These narrow gates. First, “Is it true?”
Then, “Is it needful?” In your mind
Give truthful answer. And the next
Is last and narrowest, “Is it kind?”
And if to reach your lips at last
It passes through these gateways three,
Then you may tell the tale, nor fear
What the result of speech may be.

by Beth Day 1855

Nell Bumgarner's mindful observations serve us well. They are timely reminders to her beloved Lucasville community of its eternal obligation to others. True, needful, and kind – these words imprint the legacy of a wonderful pundit, a rare keeper of local history. Thank God Nell's “cup” did run over, for her “handful of memories” are inestimable gifts. It is my hope the “Lucasville lore” comes to the mind of area residents. That would make Nell very happy to know people still care about her hometown. Allow me to close with Nell's observation of “Old Lucasville ...

My memories of Lucasville form a dear and enthralling picture. Oh for an artist's brush and an artist's touch by which to memorialize each person, each scene – the myriad of experiences. Lucasville was the loveliest place, I think, in all this world, to be born. Now at the advanced age of ninety-two, as I review my life from birth to here and now, thankful tears fill my eyes and prayer my lips.

By 'Old Lucasville,” I mean to include the surrouding area. Because it too, as comprehension grows, becomes part of life. The history of Lucasville from my birth year (1895) until now (1988) is my history too – and I am happy for it. Such a period it was that none can ever be like it.”

Monday, February 12, 2018

To Honor the Lucasville Area and the Valley of Opportunity


School-Day Ties, 1909 
by Nell Yeager Bumgarner

You are graduated, go far away
Leaving the old accustomed life; 
Enter your name in the book of the day
And begin to unravel the knot of strife

Now thoughts eddy past; no echoes rebound;
Strange faces, the old familiar ones dim.
Daily duties, the time now surround
And enclose the horizon with limited rim.

But it is changed; dear scenes revive,
Sweet memories refreshed grow
For you have met one still alive -- 
A school-fellow of long ago.
2019 commemorates the Bicentennial of Lucasville, Ohio, and it also marks the 50th reunion of our Valley High School Class of 1969. My family moved to the area from Portsmouth during the summer of 1962, and we remained in Lucasville until 1971. Growing up there was a wonderful experience. I became friends with so many loving classmates and other locals who cared about our schools, our town, and our area.

I soon developed a sense of pride in my community while so many positive influences helped mold my character. Above all, the people of Lucasville cared so much for each other. I treasure and honor my community. I owe a deep debt to those who helped cradle and guide me.

Just in the last couple years, I have been fortunate to become better informed about the long, illustrious history of the Lucasville area. From the days of the Hopewell Mound Builders to the present, the region has truly been a valley of opportunity. In fact, the entire Scioto River Valley holds a very significant place in Native American culture as well as in the history of the settlement of the Early American frontier and the operation of the antebellum Underground Railroad. For well over 2,000 years, the hills and waters have given birth to human settlement, to transportation, and to the inhabitants' insatiable quest for freedom. We have a proud and storied past. We must be stewards of this legacy.

As we remember John Lucas, the founder of the town of Lucasville, we also need to consider our own special links to the Lucasville area – the places, the people, and the hearts and minds that shaped our beloved home. 2019 is a time of remembrance, and maybe more importantly, a time of sharing. History calls upon us to come together, learn about our heritage, and employ this knowledge to forge an even brighter future. We ensure this great legacy as more and more native sons and daughters commit to the challenge. Change is inevitable and progressive movement requires hands-on initiative.

Right now, the Lucasville Area Historical Society is very busy planning the Bicentennial Celebration. We are a small group that offers a tremendous reward – supplementing the knowledge of local history. In order to make the commemoration a success, we need the cooperation of all who care. That includes help and dedication from local officials, businesses, schools, and other citizenry … people that have been blessed, like me, to live in the Lucasville community. It is imperative that we achieve a greater commitment. We will have a celebration. How big depends upon the help of the faithful.

Will you join this effort? We need your help. History calls … not as as cold artifacts of the past, but as living memories of places and people so important to so many. This memory is purple and gold; it's red white and blue; and it's peopled by red, white, and black human beings. They are the faces in your mind and in your backyard. Helping preserve the history of Lucasville, Ohio is enrichment for the soul.

I am bound to them,
though I cannot look into their eyes
or hear their voices.
I honor their history.
I cherish their lives.
I will tell their story.
I will remember them.

--Author Unknown

This is the Facebook address of the Lucasville Area Historical Society Group:

This is the homepage of the Lucasville Area Historical Society: