HISTORY OF PERRY COUNTY
Thorn township is, as originally surveyed, just six miles square. It is the north-western township of the county, and is bounded on the north by Licking, and on the west by Fairfield county. It derived its name from the numerous thorn bushes, bearing red berries, which grew in early times adjacent to the little lakes near the northern line of the township. There are other theories of the origin of the name of the township, but the one herein given is generally believed to be the correct one. Thorn was organized as a political township, about 1804, by the authority of the Commissioners of Fairfield county, of which it was then a part. Nearly all of the township belongs to the drift formation, and the soil, as a whole, is highly productive. The water system may be denominated a little complex, when compared with any of the other townships of the county. Jonathan's Creek, the northern branch of the Moxahala, drains most of the eastern part of the township, and the northern branch of Rush Creek, the western part. . Honey Creek empties into the Reservoir. Walnut Creek heads in the western part of the township, and flows into the Scioto river. So it will be observed, a small portion of the township belongs to the Scioto Valley. The natural outlet of the lakes, the nucleus of the Reservoir, was into the Licking river; hence, that part of the township which is drained into the Reservoir, is in the Muskingum Valley. When the Reservoir was constructed, as a feeder to the Ohio Canal, an outlet was made into the Scioto, therefore some persons claim that all the land drained into the Reservoir by Honey Creek and other streams, is in the Scioto Valley. This is a fine point, and of no practical importance. There is not the least doubt, however, about Walnut naturally flowing into the Scioto, and, consequently, all the lands drained by it are, indisputably, in the Scioto Valley. With the exception of the part that belongs to the Scioto system, the land of Thorn is nearly equally divided between the Muskingum and Hocking vallies. The surface, in the western and northern parts of the township, is usually denominated level, though it is nearly all rolling enough to drain. The eastern and south-eastern portion is hilly, and yet of such a character as to be excellent farming land, and interspersed with vallies that are very rich. The level land in the northern part of the township is also extremely fertile. In the richness of its soil and yield of farm products, Thorn excels any other township in the county, and is, in fact, surpassed by but very few in the State. Oak and chestnut were the prevailing timber in the hilly parts, and in the valley parts ash, maple, beech and walnut. There was a large
amount of hickory in various parts of the township. Wild plums, wild cranberries and the red thorn berries, already mentioned, were in early times very plentiful in the northern part, in the neighborhood of the little lakes. The land where they grew is now nearly all covered by the waters of the Reservoir. The little natural lakes, referred to, consisted of pure, clear water, and were well stocked with fish, principally sun, cat and salmon. There was a number of lakes or ponds in other parts of the township, that contained water the year round, except in July and August, when they dried up, and were supposed to breed fever and ague. They have all, or nearly all, been drained long since, and their beds furnish a rich, black soil, highly productive. The early settlers of Thorn came principally from Pennsylvania and Virginia, and a large number of them were either Revolutionary soldiers, or their descendants. As a matter of course, they were generally poor, and lived just long enough to clear away a heavy, dense forest, and convert a wilderness into a field of profitable agriculture. Any of these old settlers, who died out of debt, leaving forty acres of land to each child, was considered well off. Very few of these old pioneers lived to see the railroad era, and the comforts and enjoyments of later times. The permanent settlements began in several places, about the same time, without any one seeming to know that the others were there. The sound of an ax, the tinkling of a cowbell, or the barking of a dog, was often the first thing to reveal to the lonely settler that he had neighbors not far away. These settlements commenced in 1801 or 1802. accounts as to the exact time conflicting. Of the first settlers were George Stinchcomb, Sr., Daniel Snider, George Valentine, ____ Hooper, John Humberger; and soon came the Neals, Zartmans, Friends, Fishers and others in quick succession. Here is a list of all who can be recalled up to about the years 1815- 16: George Stinchcomb, Jr., Daniel Snider, George Valentine, Jacob Overmyer, Joel Strawn, John Nesbit, Robert Henderson, Daniel Kemper, John Smith, Benjamin Moore, Jesse Stevenson, Jacob Miller, William Karr, Henry Bowman, Geoffrey Weimer, Henry Boyer, Alexander Morrison, Solomon Brown, James, Henthorn, Thomas R. Johnston, Jacob Anspach, Peter Humberger, Michael Fisher, Hugh McMullen, Peter Zartman, George Long, Jacob Cover, Christian King, Christian Foster, John Humberger, George Parkinson, David Thompson, Adam Fisher, Adam Bogenwright, David Helser, John Fisher, Philip Crist, David Sellers, William Stall, John Ortman, Samuel Henderson, Jacob Crist, Christian Hoover, Joseph Cooper, Samuel Ortman, Joseph Bowman, Thomas Curry, Jonathan Roberts, John Fisher, Andrew Foster, Israel Penrod, Peter Cool, Jacob Long, Jacob Wiseman, Andrew Cooperrider, Henry Baker, James Henderson, Joseph Good, Benjamin Good, John Crist, William Fullerton, Eli Watson, Abram Sain, Peter Rarick, John Henthorn, James Neal, Joseph Henderson, Joseph Watkins, Jacob Hooper, Ezekiel Hooper, Henry Foster, Luke Johnston, John Brown, John McMullen, John Kendall, William Taylor, Edward Cowley. According to Dr. Scott's History of Fairfield County, published in
1876, the following named persons were all citizens and tax-payers in Thorn township in 1806, and no doubt they were, for he took the names from the official records. There is no telling how much territory Thorn embraced at that time, but many of the names are unmistakable Thorn township names, as the township is constituted at present. Here is the list of tax-payers in Thorn for 1806: Edward Anderson, John Bartholmew, Joseph Barnes, David Brooks, David Baker, James Black, Paul Bean, John Bearshore, John Binkley, John Harris, Uriah Hall, Henry Humberger, David Heller, John Humberger, Peter Humberger, James Henderson, Jacob Hooper, Daniel Huber, Henry Neff, James Neel, Robert Orr, George Ogg, John Parr, William Ream, John Ramsey, Mathias Redingur, Mathias Ripple, Henry Bowman, John Berry, Mordecai Chalfant, Joseph Cooper, Jacob Cooper, William Claypool, John Dixon, M. Dean, Leonard Emrick, John Fisher, Jr., John Fisher, Joseph Ferguson, Joseph Fickle, John Good, Widow Graham, Charles Howard, William Harris, Edward Harris, George Huffman, Christian Hoover, John Johnston, William Johnston, John James, John King, Peter Livingston, Clelland Meek, Mr. McMullen, Frederick Myers, Frederick McInturft. Andrew Myres, George Mager, Adam Myers, John Myers, John McMullen, James Mervin, Thomas McOwen, Jacob Ream, Ludwig Reddinger, John Reason, S. Stockberger, Joel Strawn, Jacob Stotts, William Starret, Peter Starkee, William Skiner, Andrew Smith, Peter Sane, William Taylor, Michael Thorn, John Thompson, George Valentine, George Weadman, Jacob Wiseman, John Weadman. A large majority of the settlers who came to Thorn previous to 1820, were Pennsylvania Germans; and the German was, at first, the prevailing language in churches, schools and society. There were English speaking settlers, of course, but German was more spoken than English, for a long while, but its use has died out. The common schools are all English, and the youth, for a quarter of a century or more, have been taught this language almost exclusively. The internal improvements of Thorn township, until 1871, consisted of the common road only, but Millersport, in Fairfield county, is only a short distance from the northwest corner of the township, and is situated on the canal, and it became the place where most of the wheat was sold. Brooke & Lewis, Thorn township merchants (one from Thornville and the other from New Salem), built a warehouse on the canal a little east of Millersport, and, for several years, purchased nearly all the surplus wheat of the township,which, in the '30s, and up into the '40s, was very large, and the principal export, as the surplus corn was nearly all sold to drovers, and fed on the ground; for, until cattle were shipped East by the cars, there were large numbers from Southern Ohio, Kentucky, and Northern Indiana, driven through this township on the way to the Eastern market. The first mill was built on Jonathan's Creek, near where the old Zanesville road crossed the stream. It was a small log building, with one corner set on a stump. It was, for a number of years, a noted place on the road between Zanesville and Lancaster. It is related that a traveler,being directed at Zanesville to go by Cooper's mill, he kept inquiring for the place all along the road, and which everybody seemed
to know. When he reached the noted mill he was very much disappointed, and even disgusted, and expressed himself in very uncomplimentary language. He closed his remarks by saying he would go on West; he had no call to stop there. Yet Coopers mill was a famous place, in its day. Samuel Hite also erected a little spring run watermill, a sort of corn-cracker, where a fair article of corn meal was made. He finally turned it into a churn-mill. There was also a horse or cattle power mill on the Hooper place, that ground corn, and probably other grain. Thomas Norris also erected a mill, of similar character, on the Townsend Reed farm, where good corn meal was made. The early settlers were all fond of corn bread. One year, when the wheat was killed by frost in May, and the corn also gave out, the people lived on chickens and early potatoes for several weeks; then roasting ears came, and as soon as corn was hard enough to grate meal was grated, and then corn cakes, milk, butter, and chickens made a meal good enough for kings, and a very welcome one to the hard pressed pioneers. There were many good sugar camps in Thorn, and the sugar- making season was a memorable one. The sugar was, in fact, one of the principal forest trees. The pioneer girls and boys had jolly times, gathering and boiling sugar water, and "stirring off." The little sugar camp in the woods was quite a feature in early times, in Thorn township. Samuel Dixon brought the first colored person into the township. He (Dixon) came from Virginia. "Peg" was a fine looking black woman, of about twenty years of age. Next was the old man Perry and his family, and Old Jerry. They were accustomed to attend prayer meetings at New Salem church, where they often prayed in public, fervently and devoutly, and in strains of intense earnestness, eliciting many amens, and other tokens of approval, from the members of the Church. In 1832, the Asiatic cholera raged fearfully in the central-southern part of the township, and a large number of deaths occurred. George Clum and William Friend, who lived in the cholera region, were about the only grown male persons who did not take it; and yet, as long as the dreadful scourge raged there, these two men visited the sick, the dying, and prepared the dead for burial, neither of them sleeping in a bed for several weeks, so constant and untiring were they engaged in their self-sacrificing ministrations. Dr. William Trevitt then resided in Thornville, distant five or six miles from the infected district. He was a skillful physician, and saved every case he reached before the patient got into a certain condition. He kept three horses constantly bridled and saddled, and rode both day and night. Two of his horses dropped dead under, the spur. He saved one of his patients after his horse fell dead, though he ran a considerable distance with his saddle-bags on his arm. If he had arrived five minutes later, it is believed, his patient; would have died. After Henderson (for that was the patient's name) got well. he went to Trevitt's office and inquired for his bill. Trevitt turned to his book, and told him the ordinary charge of only two or three dollars. Henderson asked him what his horse was worth. Trevitt told him that he had paid eighty dollars for him, only a few days before. Thereupon Henderson took out his pocket-book and counted out eighty-five dollars, and offered the money to Trevitt, who declined
to take any thing but his regular fee, which he took and put in his pocket. Henderson then took out change so as to leave just eighty dollars remaining, the price of the horse, which he left upon the counter, with an emphatic remark, that that money belonged to Trevitt, and not to him. The cholera raged fearfully for several weeks, and then disappeared as suddenly as it came. It was very bad in Newark, Licking county, at the same time. As rich and populous as Thorn is, it was, for a long time, destitute of internal improvements, was off the main thoroughfares of travel and commerce, and occupied a somewhat isolated position. Still, the farmers managed to market their surplus products without any very serious difficulty. There was the National pike only a few miles north, and the Zanesville and Maysville pike, only a little further south. There was the Ohio Canal, with a warehouse at Millersport, just over the township line, in Fairfield county; and, with the one convenient market, and the two other not distant outlets, the people managed to get along comfortably and make money. There was an every other day mail and hack line between Lancaster and Newark, passing by way of Thornville; so, after these two places obtained railroads, the inhabitants of Thorn could get away without much difficulty, when they wished to make a railroad journey to distant parts of the country. Previous to the railroad era, they were even better situated, comparatively, for they could reach a through line of stages at Jacksontown, only a few miles north, or at Somerset or Rushville, not much farther south. There was, at one time, a turnpike projected to run from Lancaster to Newark, by the way of Thornville, and engineers surveyed the line. The undertaking received no great encouragement, however, and was soon abandoned. It is said that Samuel Hite, the old pioneer, was the only man, through whose land the line was run, who was friendly to the enterprise. There was, however, an ambition for a produce mart within the limits of the township, and an effort was made to secure the same. The Licking Summit Reservoir had been constructed as a feeder to the Ohio Canal, by means of high artificial embankments. This construction turned the three or four little natural lakes into one large body of water, and also submerged much of the adjacent flat country. The "Licking Summit Reservoir Improvement" was the name of an enterprise that was expected to bring Thorn township into direct connection with the canal, and furnish a good home market for all surplus farm products. In pursuance of this idea, a boatway was cut through the Reservoir from the feeder, some three miles northeast of Millersport, on the Ohio and Erie Canal, to a point at the southeastern extremity of the Reservoir, about one mile from Thornville. A two-horse tread-wheel boat was to tow canal boats to and fro along this boatway, a distance of several miles. Thornport was laid out, a large hotel and warehouse were speedily constructed, and quite a little town sprung up as if by magic. Things went on swimmingly for a season, and the strange craft plied regularly between Thornport and the Feeder, on the Ohio and Erie Canal, carrying out the surplus grain products of the township and returning with salt, groceries, hardware, dry goods, and other commodities. But just
as the only "seaport" of Perry promised to be a substantial success, if not a "beauty and a joy forever," the wicked floods of adversity poured in and quenched all the rising hopes of promise. One day as a canal- boat was being towed in slowly through the delightful, placid waters, and all earth and sky apparently as lovely and serene as the blue waters of the lake itself, a storm suddenly loomed up in the northwestern sky, and almost in a twinkling rain descended in torrents, forked lightnings flashed, and the thunder rolled and jarred until even the big catfish at the bottom of the lake were stunned. Worse than all for the hardy seafarers, the winds blew a fearful hurricane, the waves of the agitated lake tossed and rolled around as fearful as the waters of the Atlantic in mid ocean. There could be but one result. The frail fleet was not prepared to weather such a gale, and the whole concern was wrecked, the boatmen thankful that they had escaped a watery grave. It is probable that the boatmen who encountered this "storm at sea" carried exaggerated reports of it to the men of the Ohio and Erie Canal, and it is certain that no captain or men would venture out into the Reservoir again; and thus ingloriously ended the inland navigation of Thorn township, and the costly boat channel, scooped out with so much toil and difficulty, became a desert waste of waters. Thornport went quickly down as a consequence. The "banquet halls" of the big hotel became deserted, and rats, weasels and minks played prisoners' base in the commodious warehouse where had been safely stored thousands of bushels of golden grain. If Oscar Wilde, who complains that this American country has no ruins, could be led through the old hotel and warehouse at Thornport, his ethereal, esthetic nature would be gladdened, and if his eyes could behold the wreck of the boats, he would long to return to Europe no more. Thorn was not destined, however, to remain forever without internal improvements. The railroad era came to her directly. A road bed was made through the township in 1853, but no road was actually secured and cars run, until 1871, when the Newark, Somerset, & Straitsville was opened, and Thornport-one mile from Thornville--- made a station. Thornport was not to sleep in ruins forever, and a new town has sprung up there. The old hotel, warehouse, and other old buildings remain to represent the place as it was before the disastrous wreck of boats; but many new houses are near at hand to represent the new railroad town of to-day. The old and the new are there, side by side, and the contrast is an impressive one. The Ohio Central runs close along the western border of Thorn, and is nearer to many of the inhabitants than the N. S. & S., which runs through the eastern part of the township. When the richness and fertility of the soil is considered, it is a little wonderful that so large a number of inhabitants left at an early day for the northwestern section of the State. The fact is, the population greatly increased along from 1828 to 1838, and this, with a highly favorable report of the region named, by those who knew it well, influenced many to move where land was more plentiful, and the country less thickly inhabited. Rev. Jacob Hooper, of Thorn, who, from 1820 to 1825 had been a missionary among the Wyandot Indians, brought back such glowing accounts' of the richness of the Sandusky region,
that every year furnished its movers from Thorn to the new country. Sandusky, Seneca, Hancock, Wyandot and Allen received the greater part of the emigrants from Thorn. In Allen county, so many of the Crists, Smiths, Stambaughs, Riebolts, Wisemans and others settled in one part that they concluded to have a Thorn township named after the old home in Perry. Near Fostoria are the Wisemans, Williamsons, Hoopers, Foxes, Williamses, Norrises, Reeds, Stinchcombs and many others, once all residents of Perry county. Honey Creek, Seneca County, was also noted for its Thorn township people. The Cooleys, Valentines, Steels, Stinchcombs, Reeds, Crists, Davises, Teals, Camps, Gafields and many others are from old Thorn. Some time in the Thirties there was a failure of crops in the Sandusky country, and Thorn having furnished such a large percentage of the early settlers, responded with alacrity, and the contributions in corn and flour were quite large. Although the people of Thorn were then hard run, they were not slow in bringing in their offerings for the suffering people of the Sandusky region, ranging from one hundred pounds of flour down to a quart of corn meal. The contributions had to be hauled to Sandusky by wagons, Findlay being one of the principal distributing points. Many a tear trickled down the cheeks of the poorer class of people, as they brought in their little offerings of meal, sincerely regretting that, by reason of their own pressing necessities, they could be no larger. Jacob Strawn, the Cattle King of Illinois lived in early times a little distance northeast of Thornville. He was successful, but sold his farm there and started West, saying he would be the richest man in his State or nothing. He made his word more than good, for he became the largest land owner in Illinois, and the largest cattle owner in the United States at the time of his death. Strawn was waylaid and killed near his own home twenty or more years since. It is not a little singular that another Perry county man, John W. Iliff (Harrison township), who died at Denver, Colorado, only a few years since, was, at his death, the greatest cattle owner in the known world. John Fisher, a Pennsylvanian, was an odd genius in his way, and at one time aspired to become the largest land owner in the township, and did, at one time, actually own five sections of land running across the township, and had it all paid for. He was carrying on negotiations for the sixth section when the failure of a firm for whom he was a heavy indorser, broke him up, and he was sold out by the sheriff. The old man gathered a little from the wreck, and went to Indiana, but he was too much broken down to rise again as a heavy land owner. The acres that he once owned in Thorn township would be a large fortune in this day. The politics of the township has always been Democratic, from the days of Jackson to the present. The Democrats have usually numbered about three to one of other parties. The breaking up of the Whig, the organization of the Republican party, and the civil war, made some personal charges, but the relative strength of the Democratic party remained about the same. It is also worthy of note, that the party rallied to the support of Horace Greeley, when he was a candidate for President, as strongly as it did for Jackson, Polk, Buchanan, Tilden
and Hancock. For more than fifty years it has been the same unyielding, overwhelming Democratic township, though there are probably not to exceed half a dozen men remaining there who voted for Jackson in 1828. The Indians came into the township quite frequently in early times, to hunt bear. The borders of the little lakes, ponds and swamps, were favorite haunts for that animal. There was a large swamp in the Hooper region, where bears would congregate. When the Indians would visit the neighborhood, to hunt bear, or for other purposes, they would take possession more freely than was agreeable, but they never disturbed anything but something to eat. There was an Indian trail through the township, on the way to or from Washington, D. C., or back and forth between the Indian towns on the Muskingum and Scioto. The old Indian Spring, so called, was a little north of the house of George Stinchcomb, Sr., and was walled up with split puncheon. The Indians were fond of something good to eat, and did not confine their diet to bear and dear meat. They could readily scent a bake-oven full of pies, and when they were baked enough, they would take them out and eat them after the style of some men of paler faces. They liked to trade a sick dog for a well one; and if the sick dog got well, they wanted him also. Some of the Indians were very kind and considerate; and when the fact is taken into consideration, that they mingled freely with the early settlers and their families in Thorn, with no resultant tragedy, it goes far to establish the fact, that they were not naturally bloodthirsty wretches, but when waging war, carried it on as barbarians, which they were. The Reservoir has latterly become quite a place of public resort for fishing, boating and gunning parties. Certain kinds of fish are plentiful in the Reservoir, and quite a number of persons make a regular business of fishing. Visitors to the Reservoir are chiefly from Newark, Lancaster, New Lexington and intermediate points. Boats are kept to hire out to visitors, with men to row them, when it is desired. Rowing is pleasant enough when the waters are calm and smooth; but when the waves are rolling, the sport becomes unpleasant and even dangerous, and fatal accidents sometimes occur. Only a year or two since, a party of several persons ventured out on a windy day, the boat capsized, and three of them were drowned. The well known author, Emerson Bennett, laid the plot of one of his famous Indian stories about the original lakes here and neighborhood. How much actual truth, if any, is contained in his romantic story of this region, it would be difficult to determine. Bears were very numerous about the original lakes and swamps. Indians and whites alike made it a business to hunt and kill them. In very early times, bears from other parts of the country were chased into the swamps and low lands, where the Reservoir now is. They could not always be followed up successfully, and sometimes their capture had to be given up. There were bear chases or hunts in this part of the township, as late as 1826 or 1827; but, about that time, this wild animal of the forest was exterminated. The population of Thorn including villages, was, in 1880, one thousand nine hundred.
TOWNS.-Thornville, first called Lebanon, was laid out by Joseph McMullen and John ____. The record of the establishment of this town is imperfect, there being no date given, but it was probably about 1811. The post office could not be called Lebanon on account of the prior claim of Lebanon, Warren county; and when this became known, the name of the town was changed to Thornville. The village grew slowly, but soon had a tavern, church, school-house, blacksmith and other shops, and a dozen or more dwelling houses. It had, according to the census of 1880, a population of two hundred and sixty-nine. The town now has a post office, one newspaper, three churches (Lutheran, German Reform and Methodist), a union school house, two physicians, one hotel, two dry goods stores, two hardware stores, two drug stores, two livery stables, and the usual number of small shops for a village of its size. Within the last few years, and since the building of the railroad, four or five fine costly residences have been erected. Some of these are among the costliest in the county. Thornville is delightfully situated on a commanding eminence, overlooking a portion of the Reservoir and much of the surrounding .country. It is on the common road from Somerset to Newark, and from Lancaster to Newark. It is about one mile distant from the line of the Newark, Somerset and Straitsville Railway. In addition to the new structures, the old part of the town has been repaired and painted up, within the last few years, and the place now presents a modern and neat appearance. Thornville is surrounded by a very rich country, and the business men of the town have a large and profitable trade, which appears to be on the increase. The population is also increasing. Thornville is distinguished as being the burial place of Hon. Samuel White of Newark, who died suddenly in 1844. He was the Whig candidate for Congress, and had acquired a State and national reputation. He was making a warm canvass, and probably over-exerted himself in a long, political speech, causing his death. He had been married to a Miss Stoneman, daughter of Rev. Jesse Stoneman of Thorn township. Mrs. White died, and her remains were interred by her kindred who were buried in the M. E. Cemetery at Thornville. When her distinguished husband died, his remains were brought from Newark and laid by her side. The long funeral procession that wound around the margin of the Reservoir, and up the Thornville hill, was the grandest pageant of the kind that, up to that time at least, had ever been witnessed in the county. White's political friends fairly worshiped him, and his political foes hated and dreaded him. But all political asperities were laid aside, when the grim messenger came and took the gifted young orator and statesman beyond the reach of partisan warfare and political honors. It is worthy of note, that the remains of the great Whig orator came to rest in a town and township so overwhelmingly opposed to him in politics. But the grave banished all resentments, and the ashes of the distinguished statesman sleep quietly beneath the plain, white marble stone, which stands at the highest point in the cemetery, adjacent to the M. E. Church. In addition to name, date of birth and death, the stone is inscribed with the following simple but impressive sentence: "We all must tread the road to death." Thornport was laid out by W. W. Talbott, in 1839. A large hotel,
warehouse and other buildings, were erected; but when the "Licking Summit Reservoir improvement " went down, they all went to decay, and the place became a mere fishing point. Upon the completion of the Newark, Somerset and Straitsville Railroad, in 1871, the town brightened up again, and quite a number of new houses has been built. The population by the census of 1880, was one hundred and twenty- five. It is a station on the Newark, Somerset and Straitsville Railroad, and is also situated along side of the Reservoir. Thorn township is laid off into convenient school districts, has good, comfortable, commodious school-houses, and school from six to eight months of the year, and taught, as a general thing, by good, competent teachers. Public education receives very general attention. Agriculture has now reached a high state of cultivation, and the well-kept farms, houses, barns, etc., and the thrifty appearance of live -stock, all indicate an industrious, prosperous, and enterprising people. The population of Thorn, including villages, in June, 1880, was 1,900. Rev. Joseph Walmire, late of this township, had an eventful experience in his very young days. His father and mother, with himself and two little brothers, were on board a sailing vessel from the old country, destined for the United States of America. The trip was long and tedious; the father and mother of the little boys took sick, died, were buried at sea, and the orphan children were sold to the highest bidder, to pay passage and other expenses. The children were all bought and taken charge of by separate persons, went to different parts of the country, but all secured good homes, and only one of them was called by the name of their own parents. They knew nothing of each other while children, but after they grew to be men, they sought and found each other out, and henceforward were brothers, and strangers to each other no more. Joseph Walmire became a local preacher of the M. E. Church, another brother was a somewhat distinguished and talented minister of the Lutheran Church, while the third was a thrifty, industrious citizen, highly esteemed by all who knew him. Rev. Walmire died only a few years since. Another of the brothers was living not very long ago. Whether the third is living or dead, is not known. CHURCHES.-Zion, or Ribel's Church, is the second oldest in the county. In 1806, Matthias and Elizabeth Reinbold sold two and a-half acres of land to Zion Church. The witnesses to the contract are Philip Miller, Henry Humbarger, and John King. The articles of organization are dated June, 1806, in the hand-writing of John King, in German, and the document is now in possession of George Daniel, who kindly exhibited it for inspection, and to whom the public is, therefore, indebted for the facts established. It appears that Rev. John King, of the Reform; and Rev. William Foster, of the Lutheran Church, calling to their aid the brethren in their respective connections, united in the purchase of church and cemetery grounds, and in erecting a church edifice thereon, now known as "Ribel's Church." The names signed to this document are in the order following: William Foster, Preacher; Peter Humbarger. Elder; Henry Humbarger, Peter Hedrick, Deacons; Matthias Reinbold, John
King-the writer, and also the representative of the Reform people- Philip Miller, William Stahl, Jacob Reem, William Rehm, Michael Sterner, Andrew Foster, Leonard Emrick, Paul Bean, Jacob Weissman and Adolph Weissman. Rev. Henry King, of Baltimore, Ohio, is a son of the Rev. John King, above named, and is still living. This record shows Rev. John King to be the first preacher of his sect who settled in the county. He came as early as 1803-'4. He was, so far as there is record proof, the first preacher that ever settled in Perry county, and the Rev. William Foster was the next, and both united in the work of the Christian to build one house for two sects, and their labor stands to this day, blessed and approved. Both congregations are strong, active, influential, and sustain regular religious services. The Regular Baptist Church in Thorn is on Section 17. Henry Bowman, one of the very first settlers, gave one acre of ground. The first person buried there was a child of one Israel Penrod. The senior Baptist members were Adam Bogenwright, James Smith, Samuel P. Hite, Stephen Smith, Rev. William Karr, Jacob Balsly, Rev. George DeBolt and others. The first building was erected of hewn logs, near 1824, and the first preachers were Rev. Kauffman and Rev. Eli Ashbrook. The church at present is a frame of commodious proportions, and enjoys regular preaching. The German Baptist Church of Thorn township. Perry county, commonly called Dunkers, or Tunkers, which, in German, means "to dip;" hence the appellation of Tunkers, and later that of Dunkers. Like all other churches in early times, the meetings were held in private houses, in barns, and in the open groves, when weather permitted. The names of Schofield, Gall, Plank, Hendricks, Snyder, Dennison, Helser, Bosserman, Funderburg, Cover, and Froude are among those of the earliest known in Perry county. The membership is large and very respectable in character. The preachers have no stipulated salary, but assistance is extended voluntarily, or when needed. No member of the church is permitted to become a public charge. Help to the needy is a duty enjoined. Faith and repentance prior to baptism are essential to membership. The minister is called by vote of the majority of the congregation. The preference of the voter is expressed privately, and the tally is kept by the elders. The church or council meetings are held on Saturday prior to the Sunday meeting and preaching. These are sometimes held quarterly, sometimes twice a month. The Jonathan's Creek branch of the German Baptist Church comprises Perry, Fairfield, Licking and Muskingum counties. The organization of this branch of Christians dates back in Germany to 1708. They have, here in Perry, no church record, or roll of members, and this may be true elsewhere. The minister, when first elected, is on probation, and in his first degree of advancement. If faithful, he may be advanced to the second degree in the same way, and by the same vote which first chose him, and in the same way they are advanced to the third degree, or full ministry, ordained by the laying on of hands of at least two ordained elders. When placed under oath they affirm; they are non-combatant in war, which they oppose; they seat
themselves around a table at sacrament of bread and wine after the supper, the sexes at separate tables. The sick are also anointed with oil in the name of the Lord. They believe in a change of heart prior to baptism, and without which baptism is of no effect for salvation. The denomination has a good, commodious house of worship, situated in the eastern part of Thorn township, on the common road leading from Somerset to Thornville. Many Dunkers, or German Baptists, were among the earliest pioneers of Thorn, and religious worship was held at private houses at a very early day, no doubt previous to 1810. Daniel Snider was a preacher and leader, and services were often held at his house. Snider also preached in Fairfield, Muskingum and other counties, and was widely known, and everywhere venerated by the brethren of the denomination to which he belonged. He died at the age of 93, universally esteemed. There are quite a number of Dunkers in some other parts of the county, but there is no other public house of worship. The Lutheran and Reform churches in Thornville were both organized at a very early date-from 1810 to 1812. A little later the two congregations united in the building of an edifice to be used jointly. Rev. William Foster, the founder of the Lutheran Church in Perry county, was, no doubt, the principal officiating minister in the organization of the Lutheran congregation, and Rev. Andrew Henkel came along about that time or soon thereafter. The writer has seen a printed certificate of baptism, signed by Rev. William Foster, of date A. D. 1806, the rite having been administered in Thorn township. Foster died about 1815 or 1816, and Rev. Andrew Henkel appears to have succeeded as pastor of nearly all of the Lutheran churches in Perry county. Rev. John King was, no doubt, the minister in charge when the Reform congregation was organized. He came to what is now Perry county in 1803 or 1804, and, according to the best information, was the first minister of any denomination to settle in the county. The Lutheran and Reform congregations continued in the joint ownership and use of church property until about twenty years since, when each society separately erected a large, commodious and costly house of worship. Both the Lutheran and Reform churches are strong and active, and sustain stated preaching and Sabbath schools. The Methodist Episcopal Church in Thornville was organized and a church built at an early day. The edifice, which was of brick, was, after a short time, reported unsafe, when it was torn down and a large frame building erected in its stead, which continues to be used at the present time. The Rev. Jesse Stoneman was, in his lifetime, a member of this church, and his ashes repose in the cemetery adjacent. The charge is attached to the Rushville Circuit, and secures its ministers by appointment of the Ohio Conference. Regular preaching and other church services, including Sabbath school, are sustained. Friend's or Crist's Church (Methodist Episcopal), situated in the southwestern part of Thorn township, though not strictly speaking a pioneer church, is one that has been long established, and sustains regular preaching and other religious services common to the
denomination with which it is connected. The society has a neat, comfortable house of worship, and, in proportion to its numerical strength and general ability, is zealous and liberal in church work and in contribution to the various funds of the church. The regular ministers are appointed and sent by the Ohio Conference. The Methodist Episcopal Church at New Salem is on the Perry county side of the line. A church was organized and a log house of worship built at an early day-about 1818 to 1820. This was in use until 1838 or 1840, when a neat, commodious frame edifice was erected near the site of the old one, which has been occupied until the present time. The society is tolerably strong in numbers, active, and preaching and other church services, including Sabbath school, are regularly sustained. Its ministers are appointed by the Ohio Conference.