The Township of Ames, Athens County, Ohio
Personal and Biographical - E through Z
Thomas Ewing, son George Ewing, was born in Ohio - county, West Virginia, December 28th, 1789. The following autobiographical sketch, kindly furnished for these pages by this now great and venerable man, will be read with especial interest:
My father settled in what is now Ames township, Athens county, early in April, 1798. He removed from the mouth of Olive Green creek, on the Muskingum river, and the nearest neighbor with whom he had association, was, in that direction, distant about eighteen miles. There were a few families settled, about the same time, on or near the present site of the town of Athens, but no road or even pathway led to them; the distance was about twelve miles. There was also an old pioneer hunter encamped at the mouth of Federal creek, distant about ten miles. This, as far as I know, comprised the population statistics of what is now Athens county. I do not know the date of the settlement in what was called No. 5—Cooley’s settlement—it was early. At the time of my father’s removal, I was with my aunt, Mrs. Morgan, near West Liberty, Virginia, going to school. I was a few months in my ninth year. Early in the year 1798, I think in May, my uncle brought me home. We descended the Ohio river in a flat boat to - the mouth of Little Hocking, and crossed a bottom and a pine hill along a dim foot path, some ten or fifteen miles, and took quarters for the night at Dailey’s camp. I was tired and slept well on the bear-skin bed which the rough old dame spread for me, and in the morning my uncle engaged a son of our host, a boy of eighteen, who had seen my father’s cabin, to pilot us.
I was now at home, and fairly an inceptive citizen of the future Athens county. The young savage, our pilot, was much struck with some of the rude implements of civilization which he saw my brother using, especially the auger, and expressed the opinion that with an axe and an auger a man could make everything he wanted except a gun and bullet molds. My brother was engaged in making some bedsteads. - He had already finished a table, in the manufacture of which he had used also an adze to smooth the plank, which he split in good width from straight-grained trees. Transportation was exceedingly difficult, and our furniture, of the rudest kind, composed of articles of the first necessity. Our kitchen utensils were “the big kettle,” “the little kettle,” the bake oven, frying pan, and pot; the latter had a small hole in the bottom which was mended with a button, keyed with a nail through the eye on the outside of the pot. We had no table furniture that would break—little of any kind. Our meat—bear meat, or raccoon, with venison or turkey, cooked together and seasoned to the taste (a most savory dish)—was cut up in morsels and placed in the centre of the table, and the younger members of the family, armed with sharpened sticks, helped themselves about as well as with four-tined forks; great care was taken in selecting wholesome sticks, as sassafras, spice-bush, hazel, or hickory. Sometimes the children were allowed, by way of picnic, to cut with the butcher-knife, from the fresh bear meat and venison their slices and stick them, alternately, on a sharpened spit and roast before a fine hickory fire; this made a most royal dish. Bears, deer, and raccoons remained in abundance, until replaced by herds of swine. The great west would have settled slowly without corn and hogs. A bushel of seed wheat will produce, at the end of ten months, fifteen or twenty bushels; a bushel of corn, at the end of five months, four hundred bushels, and it is used to much advantage for the last two months. Our horned cattle do not double in a year; hogs, in the same time, increase twenty fold. It was deemed almost sacrilege to kill a sheep, and I remember well the first beef I tasted. I thought it coarse and stringy compared with venison. We had wild fruits of several varieties, very abundant, and some of them exceedingly fine. There was a sharp ridge quite near my father’s house, on which I had selected four or five service or juneberry bushes, that I could easily climb, and kept an eye on them till they should get fully ripe. At the proper time, I went with one of my sisters to gather them, but a bear had been in advance of me. The limbs of all the bushes were brought down to the trunk like a folded umbrella, and the berries all gone; there were plenty still in the woods for children and bears, but few so choice or easy of access as these. We had a great variety of wild plums, some exceedingly fine—better, to my taste, than the best tame varieties. I have not seen any of the choice varieties within the last thirty years.
We, of course, had no mills. The nearest was on Wolf creek, about fourteen miles distant; from this we brought our first summer’s supply of breadstuffs. After we gathered our first crop of corn my father instituted a hand mill which, as a kind of common property, supplied the neighborhood, after we had neighbors, for several years, until Christopher Herrold set up a horse mill on the ridge, and Henry Barrows a water mill near the mouth of Federal creek.
For the first year I was, a lonely boy. My brother George, eleven years older than I, was too much a man to be my companion, and my sisters could not be with me, generally, in the woods and among the rocks and caves; but a small spaniel dog, almost as intelligent as a boy, was always with me. I was the reader of the family, but we had few books. I remember but one beside “Watts’ Psalms and Hymns” that a child could read — "The Vicar of Wakefield,” which was almost committed to memory — the poetry which it contained, entirely.
Our first neighbor was Capt. Benjamin Brown, who had been an officer in the Revolutionary war. He was a man of strong intellect, without much culture. He told me many anecdotes of the war which interested me, and, among other things that I remember, gave me an account of Doctor Jenner’s then recent discovery of the kine pox as a preventive of the small pox, better than I have ever yet read in any written treatise, and I remember it better than any account which I have since read. He lent me a book—one number of a periodical called the “Athenian Oracle”—something like our modern “Notes and Queries,” from which, however, I learned but little. I found, too, a companion in his son, John, four years my senior, still enjoying sound health in his ripe old age.
In 1801, some one of my father’s family being ill, Dr. Baker, who lived at Waterford, eighteen miles distant, was called in. He took notice of me as a reading boy, and told me he had a book he would lend me if I would come for it. I got leave of my father and went, the little spaniel being my traveling companion. The book was a translation of Virgil, the Bucolics and Georgics torn out, but the AEneid perfect. I have not happened to meet with the translation since, and do not know whose it was. The opening lines, as I remember them, were—
“Arms and the man I sing who first from Troy,
Came to the Italian and Lavinian shores,
Exiled by fate, much tossed by land and sea,
By power divine and cruel Juno’s rage;
Much, too, in war, he suffered, till he reared
A city, and to Latium brought his gods —
Hence sprung his Latin progeny, the kings Of Alba,
and the walls of towering Rome.”
When I returned home with my book, and for some weeks after, my father had hands employed in clearing a new field. On Sundays, and at leisure hours I read to them, and never had a more attentive audience. At that point in the narrative, where AEneas discloses to Dido his purpose of leaving her, and tells her of the vision of Mercury bearing the mandate of Jove, one of the men sprang to his feet, declared he did not believe a word of that—he had got tired of her, and it was all a made up story as an excuse to be off—and it was a d—d shame after what she had done for him. So the reputation of AEneas suffered by that day’s reading.
Our next neighbors were Ephraim Cutler, Silvanus Ames, William Brown, a married son of the Captain; and, four or five miles distant, Nathan Woodbury, George Wolf, and Christopher Herrold—and about the same time, or a little later, Silas Dean, a rich old bachelor, Martin Boyles, and John and Samuel McCune. Mr. Cutler and my father purchased “Morse’s Geography,” the first edition, about 1800, for his oldest son, Charles, and myself—it in effect became my book, as Charles never used it, and I studied it most intently. By this, with such explanations as my father gave me, I acquired quite a competent knowledge of geography, and something of general history.
About this time the neighbors in our and the surrounding settlements, met and agreed to purchase books and to make a common library. They were all poor, and subscriptions small, but they raised in all about one hundred dollars. All my accumulated wealth, ten coonskins, went into the fund, and Squire Sam. Brown, of Sunday creek, who was going to Boston, was charged with the purchase. After an absence of many weeks, he brought the books to Capt. Ben. Brown’s in a sack on a pack horse. I was present at the untying of the - sack and pouring out of the treasure. There were about sixty volumes, I think, and well selected; the library of the Vatican was nothing to it, and there never was a library better read. This, with occasional additions, furnished me with reading while I remained at home. We were quite fortunate in our schools. Moses Everett, a graduate of Yale, but an intemperate young man, who had been banished by his friends, was our first teacher; after him, Charles Cutler, a brother of Ephraim, and also a graduate of Yale. They were learned young men and faithful to their vocation. They boarded alternate weeks with their scholars, and made the winter evenings pleasant and instructive. After Barrows’ mill was built at the mouth of Federal creek, I being the mill boy, used to take my two-horse loads of grain in the evening, have my grist ground, and take it home in the morning. There was an eccentric person living near the mill whose name was Jones (we called him Doctor); he was always dressed in deer-skin, his principal vocation being hunting, and I always found him in the evening, in cool weather, lying with his feet to the fire. He was a scholar, banished no doubt for intemperance; he had books, and finding my fancy for them, had me read to him, while he lay drying his feet. He was fond of poetry, and did something to correct my pronunciation and prosody. Thus, the excessive use of alcohol was the indirect means of furnishing me with school teachers.
My father entertained the impression that I would one day be a scholar, though quite unable to lend me any pecuniary aid. I grew up with the same impression until, in my nineteenth year, I almost abandoned hope. On reflection, however, I determined to make one effort to earn the means to procure an education. Having got the summer’s work well disposed of, I asked of my father leave to go for a few months and try my fortune. He consented, and I set out on foot next morning, made my way through the woods to the Ohio river, got on a keel boat as a hand at small wages, and in about a week landed at Kanawha salines. I engaged and went to work at once, and in three months satisfied myself that I could earn money slowly but surely, and on my return home in December, 1809, I went to Athens and spent three months there as a student, by way of testing my capacity. I left the academy in the spring with a sufficiently high opinion of myself, and returned to Kanawha to earn money to complete my education. This year I was successful, paid off some debts which troubled my father, and returned home and spent the winter with the new books which had accumulated in the library, which, with my father’s aid, I read to much advantage. I went to Kanawha the third year, and after a severe summer’s labor I returned home with about six hundred dollars in money, but sick and exhausted. Instead, however, of sending for a physician, I got Don Quixote, a recent purchase, from the library, and laughed myself well in about ten days. I then went to Athens, entered as a regular student and continued my studies there till the spring of 1815, when I left, a pretty good though an irregular scholar. During my academic term I went to Gallipolis and taught school a quarter and studied French.
I found my funds likely to fall short, and went a fourth time to Kanawha, where, in six weeks, I earned one hundred and fifty dollars, which I thought would suffice, and returned to my studies; after two years’ rest the severe labor in the salines this time went hard with me.
After finishing my studies at Athens, I read Blackstone’s Commentaries at home, and in July, 1815, went to Lancaster to study law. A. B. Walker, then a boy of about fifteen years, accompanied me to Lancaster to bring back my horse, and I remained and studied law with Gen. Beecher. I was admitted to the bar in August 1816, after fourteen months’ very diligent study—the first six months about sixteen hours a day.
I made my first speech at Circleville, the November following. Gen. Beecher first gave me slander case to study and prepare. I spent much time with it, but time wasted, as the cause was continued the first day of the court. He then gave me a case of contract, chiefly in depositions, which I studied diligently, but that also was continued; a few minutes afterward a case was called, and Gen. Beecher told me that was ready—the jury was sworn, witnesses called, and the cause went on.
In the examination of one of the witnesses, I thought I discovered an important fact not noticed by either counsel, and I asked leave to cross-examine further. I elicited the fact which was decisive of the case. This gave me confidence. I argued the cause closely and well, and was abundantly congratulated by the members of the bar who were present.
My next attempt was in Lancaster. Mr. Sherman, father of the general, asked me to argue a cause of his, which gave room for some discussion. I had short notice, but was quite successful, and, the cause being appealed, Mr. Sherman sent his client to employ me with him. - I had as yet got no fees, and my funds were very low. This November I attended the Athens court. I had nothing to do there, but met an old neighbor, Elisha Alderman, who wanted me to go to Marietta, to defend his brother, a boy, who was to be tried for larceny. It was out of my intended beat, but I wanted business and fees, and agreed to go for $25, of which I received $10 in hand. I have had several fees since of $10,000 and upwards, but never one of which I felt the value, or in truth as valuable to me as this. I went, tried my boy, and he was convicted, but the court granted a new trial. On my way to Marietta at the next term I thought of a ground of excluding the evidence, which had escaped me on the first trial. It was not obvious, but sound. I took it, excluded the evidence and acquitted my client. This caused a sensation. I was employed at once in twelve penitentiary cases, under indictment at that term, for making and passing counterfeit money, horse stealing and perjury. As a professional man my fortune was thus briefly made.
Mr. Ewing’s professional career thus begun, was destined to be one of uninterrupted success. In 1816 he was appointed by the commissioners prosecutor for Athens county, and continued for many years to attend the courts of Athens regularly. His eminent abilities soon gave him a commanding position among the lawyers of Ohio, and in 1830 he was elected to the United States senate, where he remained till 1837. He was a member of President Harrison’s cabinet, as secretary of the treasury, in 1841. On the accession of President Taylor, in 1849, he was invited into the cabinet, and became secretary of the interior. In 1850 he was appointed United States senator from Ohio, holding the position till 1851, when he retired from public life and resumed the practice of law. As a lawyer, orator, publicist and statesman, Thomas Ewing ranks among -the greatest the United States has produced, and Athens county may well be proud to have nourished, during his childhood and youth, so noble a citizen.
Isaac Linscott, a native of Maine, and of English extraction, came to Ames township in the year 1800, and settled with his large family on the farm now owned by George Linscott, Jun., where he lived till 1824. His descendants, mostly farmers, are very numerous, being scattered through Ames, Bern and Dover townships, and inherit the energy, thrift and strict honesty of their ancestor. The children of Isaac Linscott were Noah, Lydia, Joseph, Isaac, Miriam, Eleanor, Olive, Israel, Amos, John, Mary and Jonathan. Linscott’s run, a branch of Ewing’s run, received its name from this family.
John McDougal, born in Schenectady county, New York, August 26, 1776, came to Athens county in July, 1817, and settled in Ames township, on the creek mercantile business in Cooperstown, New York. For several years he was highly successful, but, through the dishonesty of a partner, he became deeply involved, and was compelled to close business at a great sacrifice.
Disheartened by his losses, and soured by the meanness and dishonesty of his late associates, he determined to seek his fortune in a newer country, and came to Athens county in 1804. Here he purchased and settled on a farm near the present town of Amesville, where he remained all his life. The country was almost a wilderness, and the farm uncultivated, nor had the owner any practical knowledge of the work before him. Mrs. L. W. Ryors, to whom we are indebted for the substance of this sketch, says: “I have heard my mother say that, had it not been for the aid of the man who accompanied them in their long journey as a driver of a wagon, they would have suffered. His name was William Hassey, and he continued to live with the family, a faithful friend and helper, for nearly fifty years. In this wild pioneer life this man was invalu-able in every respect, assisting my mother in her new and trying duties, and instructing my father in the art of felling trees and removing brush—not greatly to the credit of his pupil, as the family tradition testifies that he never learned to perform, with skill, that first and necessary part of pioneer life.”
Soon after his arrival in the township, Mr. Walker was elected a justice of the peace, which position he held, continuously, for about twenty-four years. He also acted as county commissioner for sixteen years, and was elected by the legislature, an associate judge of the court of-common pleas, which office he held for fourteen years. He was one of the founders and principal supporters of the Western library association, of which Mrs. Ryors recalls some reminiscences. She says: “As long as I can remember this library was kept at my father’s house, and it was most highly prized by the whole family. Books, now a necessity, were then, in that isolated place, a rare luxury. The books were selected with good judgment, and comprised a little of everything—poetry, history, romance, law, medicine, and some scientific and religious works. Poems and novels were the first attraction, I am sorry to say, for the female portion of the family, but they were soon exhausted, and we were glad to turn to more substantial reading. It was no uncommon thing to find a child reading eagerly from the heavy volumes of Rollin or Hume. I was not more than ten or eleven years old, when, in the absence of any ‘juvenile books,’ I read, with delight, Milton’s ‘Paradise - Lost’ and the translation of Homer’s ‘Iliad.”’
An active supporter of schools and of every movement calculated to promote the welfare of the community, Judge Walker exercised during his whole life a large and healthful influence. He died in 1856. His wife, who is still remembered by some of her contemporaries as a most amiable Christian lady, died in 1850, aged seventy-one years. Judge Walker had one son—George Walker, Jun., who was, for many years, a successful businessman in Amesville. He is deceased. Of his seven daughters, the eldest was married to Col. Charles Cutler; the second to Edgar Jewett, of Athens; two of the others married physicians; one a banker, and one a merchant. Another daughter, Mrs. Ryors, relict of the Rev. Alfred Ryors, minister of the Presbyterian church, is well known in Athens. Her accomplished husband, for many years connected with the Ohio university, and subsequently president of the Indiana state university, was one of the choicest among the many rare and scholarly men, who, during its history, have been associated with the university at Athens. He died at Danville, Kentucky, May 8, 1858.
Capt. Sabinus Rice, son of Jason and Sarah Hibbard Rice, was born in Poultney, Vermont, December 18, 1795, and came with his father’s family to Ohio in the year 1800. The journey from New England was made in the usual way at that time—by wagon to Pittsburgh, and thence down the Ohio river by flat boat. His parents lived for about three years at the White Oak settlement, on the Muskingum river, a few miles north of Marietta, whence, in 1803, they removed to Ames township, where they bought and settled on an eighty acre farm. By hard work and good management they acquired a comfortable competency, and the later years of the old people were passed in ease. The Rice family will long be remembered in the community where they lived, for their hospitality, refinement and intelligence.
Jason Rice died in 1843, in his eighty-eighth year. His wife died in 1824, aged sixty-two years. Their children were Reuben, Ambrose, Jonas, Sabinus, Sally, Jason and Melona, of whom the two last only are living. Jason is a farmer in Ames township and highly respected, and the sister, now Mrs. William Corner, lives in Malta, Ohio. Jonas Rice died on the Mississippi river, near Natchez, in 1829, of yellow fever. A grandson of his, Thomas H. Sheldon, is now cashier of the National Bank at Athens. Ambrose, who possessed great mathematical talent, removed to the northern part of Ohio, where he became very wealthy, and died many years since. Sabinus Rice, a man of excellent judgment and most amiable character, was one of the leading citizens of Ames. He died July 23, 1852. His only son, Sabinus Jason Rice, died in Ames township, in April, 1857, leaving a wife and two children. Of the daughters of Capt. Rice, Mrs. Esther Richardson lives in Spring Hill, Ohio; Mrs. Rebecca R. Hibbard in Wauseon, Fulton county, Ohio, and Mrs. Eunice M. Mower in Springfield, Ohio.
Doctor Ezra Walker, the first resident physician of Ames township, was born December 9, 1776, at Killingly, Connecticut, in which state he studied his profession, and practiced for some years. Removing from Connecticut he settled in Poultney, Vermont, about the year 1800, and from thence migrated with his family to Marietta, in the autumn of 1810. He remained on the Muskingum till the spring of 1811 when he came with his family, consisting of wife and seven children, into Ames township, and immediately resumed the practice of medicine. He pursued a general practice for more than twenty years, and, in a few families who would never excuse him, he continued to practice for almost forty years, or till near the close of his life.
When he began to practice medicine in the county, and for many years later, what with bad roads or no roads at all, absence of bridges, sparse and scattered settlements, etc., his long rides, frequently of fifteen or twenty miles, were always attended with difficulties and sometimes with dangers. In one instance he had to cross the country from where the present town of Plymouth, Washington county, is situated, to another settlement at Barrows’ mill, in Rome township, which took him till far in the evening, when he found himself followed by wolves. As their numbers increased the animals were emboldened to contract their circle around him, till he was obliged to climb into a tree for safety; and there he spent the night, keeping a sharp lookout for his horse beneath, and trying to frighten away the wolves, by beating with a club against the body of the tree in which he was perched. When day dawned his hungry enemies gradually drew off, and the doctor proceeded on his journey. When he reached the first cabin, not very far distant, and situated just below the present site of Big Run station, he found the wolves had taken this man’s premises in their retreat, and killed a calf near his house for their breakfast.
Doctor Walker taught school in Ames, for one or two quarters in 1811- 12, always holding himself ready, however, to attend the sick. By means of his profession, and by farming some, he gained for himself and family a comfortable subsistence, living to see his children all creditably settled in life. He died January 9, 1852.
His eldest daughter was married to John Brown (now General Brown), in 1811, and his second daughter to the late James J. Fuller, of Athens, in 1815. Mrs. Brown died in 1853, and Mrs. Fuller in 1864. His sons, William R. Walker, Archibald B. Walker, Ezra Walker, and Ralph M. Walker, were natives of East Poultney, Vermont, but were reared from boyhood in Athens county. William R., though a man of fine native talent and much refinement of character, was oppressed by self-distrust and timidity. He lived for -a short time, during the early portion of his adult life, in Lancaster, Ohio, where he was highly respected for his integrity, business talent, and literary culture. Among those whose friendship he acquired at that time and always retained, was Mr. Hocking H. Hunter, who recently stated to the writer that, he “had never in all his life, seen any person who recited and acted the part of Hamlet so perfectly, in his opinion, as Wm. R. Walker.”
Capt. Lovell says:
“In 1812, when war began, I loaded my ship with corn in Philadelphia for a Spanish port, depending on the good sailing of my ship for safety. I went through safely, sold my cargo at a good advance, and lay in the harbor five months, waiting for an opportunity to get out, the bay of Biscay being alive with armed vessels. When I thought it was safe to come out I did so, but myself and crew were captured. My ship was ballasted with sand. The English were very anxious to know what had become of the proceeds of my cargo. I told them I had remitted it to London, but they thought that was a Yankee lie, and they probed the sand through and through to find the money, but to no effect. I was then taken before the admiral (I forget his name), and he finally cleared me and gave me a permit to St. Ubes in Portugal, there to load with salt, and I made a good voyage home.”
Finding times dull (in 1814), and commerce languishing, he resolved to quit the sea. We give Capt. Lovell’s language again:
“My brother Russell and myself were partners in business, and, as times were so very dull, we decided to emigrate to the west. So we sold our property, rigged what was called a Yankee wagon, and a small wagon and team of five horses, and started for Ohio. We traveled by land to Redstone, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, where we separated. My brother took the teams down by land, while I, with a flat-bottomed boat, a queer kind of craft without mast, jib, or sail, took the families and most of the effects by water to Marietta. From there we came on to Athens county, and settled on Sharp’s fork of Federal creek, in what was then Ames township. We reached here November 18, 1814, after a journey of ten weeks. Far awhile both families lived in one cabin, not a large one either, belonging to Job Phillips, and we had hard sailing to get along. I was willing to work, but did not know .any more about farming than a land-lubber does about working a ship—however, we got along. Wolves were very troublesome; they killed our sheep constantly, and once they killed a yearling steer of mine. Elijah Latimer, who lived near us, was a famous hunter. I sold him thirty acres of land adjoining my farm, and took pay in hunting. He would furnish venison for my family, and also fight off the wolves whenever they invaded my sheep flock. Sugar making was quite an occupation when I came here. When I commenced I tapped trees without regard to kind—smooth-bark hickories, buckeyes, and sugar trees. The first pig I ever owned in Ohio got badly scratched by a bear. The men folks were all away from home, and the bear came into the dooryard after some fresh pork, but piggy ran under the house and escaped with a severe cuff or two. My dogs would often tree a bear twenty or thirty rods from the cabin, when I would call Latimer and he would shoot him. They frequently weighed two hundred and fifty and three hundred pounds. Wild turkeys were very plenty. I have often set a square pen made of rails, then scattered a little corn about and into it, and caught eight or ten fine ones at a time. The pen being covered at the top the turkeys could not fly out, and they never thought of ducking their heads to get out by the same passage they came in. We had great difficulty in getting grain ground. We were far from any mill, and I have often ridden on horseback to Lancaster to get a bushel of corn ground. Before coming west had heard that there was shipbuilding on the Ohio river, and my real object in coming to Ohio was to take out ships. There had been a few built at Marietta before I came out, but I think there was only one built after I came here, and I took that to New Orleans, where I fitted her for sea, then sailed across the gulf to Havana, and from there to Baltimore. There I bought a horse and rode home, and made a good trip.”
Touching this vessel and voyage we are able to add a little to Capt. Lovell’s reminiscence. We find the following item in the Cincinnati Gazette of April 15, 1816:
“Came to anchor before this place (Cincinnati), on last Saturday evening, the schooner Maria; Captain Lovell, of and from Marietta, Ohio, bound to Boston, Mass., full cargo of pork, flour and lard. The Maria is 50 tons burthen, has 57 feet straight rabbit, 18 feet beam, and draws six feet of water. She was built, rigged, and loaded at Marietta, and is owned by Messrs. Moses McFarland and Edmund B. Dana—the latter gentleman on board. The Maria sailed hence yesterday at 11 o’clock. The present state of the water is favorable to her descent of the river. May prosperous gales waft, her to her port of destination.”
And in Niles’ Weekly Register, published at Baltimore, we find the following item in the issue of July 13, 1816:
“ Singular arrival. A fine schooner arrived at Baltimore last week, in 46 days from Marietta, Ohio, with a cargo of pork. It is well observed that ‘the mountains have melted away before the enterprise and indefatigability of our countrymen.'"
The farmers of Athens county have a somewhat better mode now of getting their produce to market than by salt water. Captain Lovell is living on the farm where he first settled in 1814. At that time it was in Ames township, Athens county, then in Homer township, and finally in Marion township, Morgan county. Thus, living in one spot for fifty-four years, Captain Lovell has been a citizen of three different townships and two counties. He is in his eighty-fifth year and is unusually bright for one of his age.
The Lovell brothers married sisters and lived on adjoining farms for many years. Russell was a painter and was killed by the kick of a horse in the town of Athens—year unknown.
Joshua Wyatt, known during his residence in Athens county as “Deacon Wyatt,” was a native of Beverly, Massachusetts, whence he came out as far west as Uniontown, Pennsylvania, in 1790, and from thence to Marietta, in 1799. He settled with his family in Ames township in 1801, having the year before opened a few acres of land, and got a house under way, which was finished after the family moved in. His family and goods came up the Hockhocking, in a boat, to Warren’s station, in Canaan township, whence they were taken in teams across to his place in Ames. His effects made seventeen wagon loads, and were mostly hauled by Peter Mansfield, through the woods, without as yet any road. From the date of his settlement in - the township till his death, in 1822, he was a leading citizen. He was a man of distinguished piety, and his life, both in public and in private, was singularly devout. Upon the organization of the first Presbyterian church in Athens he was chosen one of the elders, and, with Deacon Ackley and Judge Alvan Bingham, continued to act as such for several years. Soon after settling in Ames, as early as 1805, he appointed and himself conducted religious reading and prayer meetings at the school house. These meetings were kept up as long as he lived. His eldest daughter, Betsy Wyatt, married William Parker, May 13, 1802. This was the first wedding in Ames township, and supposed to be the second marriage in the county.
 While pursuing his studies, Mr. Ewing was also occasionally employed by the commissioners of Athens county as a surveyor, to run country roads, and such entries as the following appear in the records of that period:
“March 7th, 1814. A petition signed by George Ewing and others, praying for a road, beginning at the Thirty-One mile tree in Ames township, on the state road; thence passing through the west part of Amos Linscott’s improvement, to the mouth of Ewing’s run; thence to intersect the Lancaster road near Abel Glazier’s. Read in open meeting. Order issued.”
“March 8th. The commissioners appoint Thomas Ewing surveyor, and Jehiel Gregory, Jr., John White, and Stephen Pilcher viewers of said road, to meet at the house of Jno. Brown, Esq., in Ames township, on Monday, March 21, at 10 o’clock, A.M."
“June 8th, 1814. County of Athens to Thomas Ewing, Dr. To surveying, protracting, etc., the above road, 1 1/2 days, at $1 50 per day. (Paid.) - $2 25.”
“June 6th, 1815. The Board appointed George Walker, John Brown 2d, and Ezra Green viewers, and Thomas Ewing surveyor of the road petitioned for by Elisha Alderman and others, in Ames township.”
“July 17th, 1815. County of Athens to Thomas Ewing, Dr. To surveying and protracting the above road, including chain carriers, axemen, &c. - $4 10”
Mr. Ewing says he was, on leaving college, “a pretty good, though an irregular scholar.” The extent of his education is somewhat shown by the following extract from the records of the Ohio university:
“May 3d, 1815. The committee appointed by the board of trustees to examine Thomas Ewing and John Hunter, candidates for a degree of bachelor of arts and sciences, beg leave to report:
That they have examined the applicants aforesaid in the different branches of literature, viz: in grammar, rhetoric, the languages, natural and moral philosophy, logic, astronomy, geography, and the various branches of mathematics, and that they have witnessed with much gratification the proficiency made by the before - named students. They therefore report the following resolutions:
1. Resolved, That the said Thomas Ewing and John Hunter merit the approbation of the board of trustees, and that they are each entitled to a degree of bachelor of arts and sciences.
2. That the president be authorized and required to inform the said Thomas Ewing and John Hunter that they are each so entitled to such degree in this seminary, and your committee recommend that the same be conferred.
3. That the secretary of the board deliver to the said Thomas Ewing and John Hunter each a copy of these resolutions.
Jessup N. Couch, Charles R. Sherman, Stephen Lindley, J. Lawrence Lewis, Committee.
Natalie Cottrill, “An Annotated Biographical History of Athens County, Ohio”ProGenealogists (Online: ProGenealogists, Inc., 2004) [some original text by Charles M. Walker, published in Cincinnati, Ohio by Robert Clarke & Co., 1869, History of Athens County, Ohio and Incidentally of the Ohio Land Company and the First Settlement of the State at Marietta with personal and biographical sketches of the early Settlers, narratives of pioneer adventures, etc.], http://www.progenealogists.com/athens/amestownship2.htm.