PERRY COUNTY occupies that portion of Ohio bounded on the
north by Licking and Muskingum counties, on the east by
Muskingum and Morgan counties, on the south by Athens and
Hocking counties, and on the west by Fairfield County. It
is therefore in the eastern and southern part of the State. The land-
scape is a varied one. There are no mountains, and no plains, but in
the southern portion there are many lofty hills and narrow valleys.
North of New Lexington the country is rolling, and presents in many
places charming vistas. This section of the county is better adapted to
agriculture than the more rugged; hence, well cultivated farms and
attractive buildings delight the eye. The highest point above sea level
in the county is where the old court-house in Somerset now stands,
hands constructed, these works of earth and stone. To the reader is
left the task of determining the solution of the origin of the Mound
Builders. They lived in Perry County. They antedated the Indian.
The first white man in Perry County was Christopher Gist. In
1751 he spent a few days on the shores of Buckeye Lake, near Thorn-
port. In 1773, Lewis Wetzel and Simon Girty were visitors in the
county, but it was not until 1800 that any permanent white settlements
were attempted. In 1801 George Arnold had entered land in Reading-
Township, which he afterwards sold to Christian Binckley, great-grand-
father of Assistant Secretary of State, Thomas D. Binckley.
By 1802, others began to take up land, among whom was Peter
Overmyer. Robert Colborn settled east of Somerset, while George
which is 1,160 feet. The low-
est point is 689 feet, at Mon-
day Creek Station.
Perry County, like its ad-
jacent territory, was the
home of the Indian.   Far
back, beyond the memory of
men, and even traditions, a
race of people lived here be-
fore the red man.  These
were the Mound Builders.
They left no records, save
apparently imperishable me-
morials  in  the  form of
mounds   and   earthworks.
More than one hundred of
these may be found in the
county, the most wonderful
being the "Stone Fort," at
Glenford. Archaeologists
from all over the world have
visited this famous spot. It
is constructed entirely of
stone, and occupies an area
of 27 acres. Originally, the
walls were 10 feet high. The
entire length of the rampart
is 6,611 feet. In the exact
center within is a stone
mound 100 feet in diameter
and 12 feet high. Near by is
the Wilson Mound, and east
of Glenford is the Roberts
Mound, 27 feet high and 120
feet in diameter.  South of
Glenford is a circle 650 feet
in circumference, 31 feet wide
and 4 feet high. Within is a
well-defined bird with out-
spread wings.  The bird is
48 feet long. one wing 111
and the other 122 feet wide.
In Thorn Township are three
circles, twenty-two mounds,
one enclosure and one vil-
lage site.
     Hopewell Township has
ten mounds ; Madison, thirty-
one ; Reading, fifteen; Clay-

PERRY COUNTY COURT-HOUSE, NEW LEXINGTON

Bowman located on West
Rush Creek.   By degrees,
settlements began to appear.
The forests were cut away
and the log house rose in the
clearing.   In those days
there were no highways, no
railroads, no traction lines,
no flour mills, no stores, no
telephones, no "New Lex-
ington Herald" to tell of the
fat calf and the fine wheat
your neighbor raised. These
were the good old times
about which grandfather still
loves to talk, and sigh as he
mumbles, "Times ain't what
they was when I was a boy!"
December 26, 1817, is
the date given which marks
the official organization of
Perry County. It is the fifty-
second in order, and was
created from parts of terri-
tory of Washington, Mus-
kingum and Fairfield.  The
residence of Thomas Mains
Somerset, was used as the
first court-house.
    Towns began to de-
velop ; the cross-roads store,
the water-mill, the black-
smith shop and the church
edifice made  buildings
enough for a village. Han-
over was platted in 1804, but
it never had an official exist-
ence.   New Reading, in
Reading Township, first
called Overmyer Settlement,
is the oldest town in the
county, and at one time a
        warm competitor for the
county seat.
    Somerset was settled in
1804, and was called Mid-
dletown.
   Thornville became a
town in 1811. It is now a
ton, four; Jackson, two and one village site; Pike has three earth-
mounds ; Saltlick, one; Monday Creek, three mounds and one village
site; Monroe, one earth-mound and one stone, and Harrison five earth-
mounds. Many of these mounds have been explored. Human bones,
trinkets, implements, earthen- and silverware have been found, but no
tablets containing written characters or hieroglyphics---nothing to show
who the Mound Builders were, or in what age they lived. If they left
other than the monuments noted, these have perished. It is certain,
however, that human ingenuity of high order planned, and skilled human
population of 1,200, handsome homes, beautiful streets, fine school build-
ings, bank, hotel, and two railroads. It enjoys the reputation of being
the prettiest village in the county.
     Rehoboth was laid out, in 1815, by Eli Gardner, who provided an
ample public square, and, when the time came, what is now "The De-
serted Village" was a formidable rival for the county seat. Losing the
contest for the shire town, its ambitious citizens turned to the culture
of tobacco, and, it is said, raised a brand the chewing and smoking of
which helped mightily to assuage the grief for the lost court-house. In
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