A SMALL HISTORY
OF A SMALL TOWN
Muskingum County, Ohio
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As an amateur genealogist researching only my own family's history, I love finding old pictures, letters and news articles referencing my home town (EAST FULTONHAM, OHIO, IN MUSKINGUM COUNTY) or surrounding areas. Below is one of those articles. I came across it in some of the stuff I found after my grandmother passed away in 1995. It was in with old pictures and letters that she had in her buffet table that she left me, knowing how much it meant to me from my childhood. I know that someday that news article will either get lost or just fall apart from age and use. So I've copied it verbatim here in case others researching their family trees may find it of interest and useful in their search. It's full of names, places, and dates. For those that might be interested, I am researching the following names in the area of Muskingum, Perry, and Coshocton counties: BRENDEMAN, DICKERSON, DOLLINGS, FORD, GOODIN, JONES, MASON, MOORE, SHAW, STEIN, STICKEL, TRACY, and VANDEGRIFF.
As you will see this article is loaded with names, events, and places. I hope it will help someone in their genealogical trek, maybe find that missing link, or fill in another blank. If not it is at least an interesting article on the history of our old stomping grounds in Muskingum County, the Fultonham areas. Thanks for allowing me to share this with you and other fellow genealogists. And I say to all who are on that never-ending search for their roots, "Good luck in all your genealogical endeavors. But remember,
it's not just in finding
those elusive names that we should gain pleasure, but more so in the history
surrounding those names, for there is where our true roots lie."
Charles C. Moore
SUNDAY TIMES SIGNAL, ZANESVILLE, OHIO, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1957
Fultonham Played Major Role In Growth Of Newton Twp. Cluster of Log Cabins in 1820
BY: NORRIS F. SCHNEIDER
Fultonham consisted of a cluster of log cabins in 1820. Johnny cake was the chief food of the settlers. Squire Fulton taught the three R's to their children, who sat on benches made of white oak slabs. These primitive conditions have vanished in 137 years. Fultonham residents live in comfortable homes and eat food from modern stores. Next fall, their children will attend the new Maysville high school. The town now has a prosperous suburb called East Fultonham. As the first installment of a history of the two towns, we present today the recollections of Joseph Burton, who wrote his account for the Courier on Sept. 13, 1890. Burton arrived in Newton township in 1815 at the age of five. He wrote as follows at the age of eighty:
1890 - September 1890
by Joseph Burton
"My dear friends. I come to greet and congratulate you on your beautiful town called Fultonham or Uniontown, situated on the Maysville Pike nine miles from Zanesville. It lies on elevated ground and at a distance has a beautiful appearance. And this is not all; I think it one of the best towns in the country. The most refined of society are to be found there, you have splendid schools and churches, and your merchants and mechanics are all business men. Now, my friends, I will tell you about your town 70 years ago."
"It was laid out by John Porter in 1812. I will start at Major Crooks. Crooks and Porter emigrated to this country about 1800. Major Crooks built a large tavern, where Joseph Breechbill formerly lived. His brother, Jacob Crooks, built a mill and store on the other side of the creek. After the war of 1812, there was a great immigration to Ohio, to settle up the State, so keeping tavern and store was a very lucrative business. Major Crooks was a business man. He kept a stage office and had a great many horses. He had a large family. Their names were, George, Henry, Andrew, John, Betsy, and Sarah; that is all I can remember. John and Sarah are still living; George has passed away at the age of ninety-six. The Crooks family was one of the best in the country. They kept the best tavern, and intemperance was not allowed around his house. I am writing this from memory of events that happened when I was between five and nine years of age."
"I will now cross the creek to Jacob Crook's store and mill. He was a very smart man. He had four boys, John, James, Thomas, and Jacob, who were very smart boys and well educated. Jacob Crooks was elected Sheriff of Muskingum county, in early times. That was when the whipping post was in use. I never heard of but two men being whipped. One was for counterfeiting money and the other was for stealing bran from Lenhart's mill. Jacob Crooks put the stripes on the man who did the stealing. It was very cruel punishment for such a small crime but the laws must be obeyed right or wrong."
"I will now leave the mill and go right fifty rods where I find the tan yard of Mr. Hendricks, the father of Thomas Hendricks, our late Vice President. He was born, I think, in 1818. We next come to Porter's tavern and stoneware business. He wanted men that understood cleaning cane and all kinds of work. My father moved here in November of 1815, and stayed all night at Porter's tavern; he told them he was from the State of Maine. Porter pressed him to stop with him; he said he wanted a man that understood all kinds of hard work. My father was forty years old at this time; he had been engaged previous to this hauling ship timber and consented to stay with Porter. Porter happened to have an empty house. I was then a little chap five years old. Moving up two or three hundred yards, we see a great many log cabins, they were put up in the roughest kind of style. I can recall about all the names of those who occupied them. There were Violent Sears, Gabriel Custer, John Madden and a few others. John McFarland, Thomas Roison and Squire Patton had very good house. My brother lived below Porter's tavern. That winter, January 8, 1815, General Jackson gave the British a good dressing down at New Orleans."
"That winter was very hard on poor people. We had seven in the family and were very poor, and our table expenses light. The principal articles of food were corn bread and Johnny cake. I will tell you how the Johnny cake was made. We got a board about three feet long. The meal was put in a bowl and mixed with warm water, until it became stiff dough. Then comes the Johnny board. The dough was shaped and put on the board; it was then put before the fire with two flat irons; the Johnny was placed between these, and when done outside was turned over and baked on the other, and when done, it was a handsome looking customer, was called a Johnny cake. This is what the poorest class of people lived on, and it might be said, that living this way, was unnecessary, but the objection was here: We had nothing to sell and if we had there would have been no one to buy. We made out to pull through that winter, and in the following March my father rented a tavern of John Bush, about two miles from Uniontown. My oldest brother was about sixteen years old so my father had more help. That summer we had a very good crop, and that year my father got him a yoke of oxen; after the expiration of that year the sky began to clear. Jacob Crooks had three farms, one at Newtonville, one north of Major Crook's, known as the Hatcher farm; the other farm was on Buckeye, the Henry Axline farm. It was then known as the Croy farm, - three as good farms as you would see anywhere. My brother rented the Croy farm. The terms of the rental were one third of everything raised to the owner of the farm."
"My father in the meantime had brought a team and was ready for business. John Porter and Jacob Crooks employed my father six years. Nearly all the time Porter had bridges to erect, mill dams to build, saw logs to haul, roads, to work, and clearing to do, but with the work my father had had in timber he was equal to the occasion. This was the kind of labor he loved, hard labor. He got no money; it was trade all the time, store orders and articles from the mill where he worked. Wages were low and store goods were very high. At that time John Porter and Jacob Crooks had the best chance to make money of any two men in the country. They had two stores, a grist and saw mill and a tavern. My mind takes my memory up town among the log cabins again. The heaviest part of the house was over your head, they were better for electioneering places than to live in. There was one small frame house on the south side of Main street, which was never finished. John Porter, Squire Fulton, Thomas Dolson and Isaac Burton, and my father laid the foundations of your beautiful village. If you would start to the mill with a sack on your shoulder, the boys would say, 'You're starving, we will call your town Hard Scrabble.' This was only a little fun for the boys."
"About the schools,
Squire Fulton was our teacher for many years. He was well qualified to teach
the three branches, reading, writing and arithmetic. Our school houses were
the poorest kind. The seats were white oak slabs, rough as you please. The benches
were made so high that a little boy's feet could not touch the floor. The boys
that sat on my right and left are all gone to the spirit world. I will call
a few of their names, Jacob and Peter Fauley, Jacob Spring and Siles Porter.
These boys all made first rate men. The writing desks were made of rough boards,
laid on pins driven into the wall, and a little straight back chair for the
teacher. This is not half what I could say about the schools, and many other
things connected with it, but I find my article growing too long, so I will
draw it to a close. I have a few more names of the people who lived in the upper
part of town. I will mention George Taylor, Joseph Taylor, William Hampden,
who was a Baptist minister, John McFarland, who was an old hunter, wore buckskin
pants, and he killed a black bear, about twelve miles east of here. I feel sad
this morning, that I can call the names of only four who are living, Colonel
John Crooks, Sarah Breechbill, William Roberts, and Eliza Rankin. Oh, may we
live to claim a mansion above where pain and death are felt and heard no more."
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