|History of Columbiana County, Ohio – Harold B. Barth
Historical Publishing Company 1926
HISTORY OF COLUMBIANA COUNTY
FOUNDED IN 1798 – THOMAS FAWCETT – LOCATION – ORIGINAL PURCHASE – EARLY SETTLERS – THE FAWCETT FAMILY – NEW TOWN CALLED ST. CLAIR – TOWN LAID OUT BY THOMAS FAWCETT – “FASCETTSTOWN” – STATE ROAD – “OLD GUAGE” – TRADING CENTER – EARLY ADVERSITIES – THE TOWN REVIVES – NAMED “LIVERPOOL” – LATER EAST LIVERPOOL – RAILROAD PROSPECTS – EARLY PROMOTERS OF THE TOWN – FIRST SCHOOL TEACHER –FIRST PREACHING – FIRST PHYSICIAN – FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION – FIRST BANK – FIRST CHURCH – FIRST POTTERY – PUBLIC UTILITIES AND INSTITUTIONS
On historic ground that fronted a serpentine bend of “The Beautiful Reiver,” notable for its majestic, commanding appearance, the plot forming a natural amphitheatre with its potentialities of soil, mineral and forest equaling any other section in the recently organized new world Republic and comprising part of an expanse of territory that had been claimed by Spain, England and France by right of alleged discovery and subsequent various degrees of exploration; and before and after by the American Indian by reason of original domain, East Liverpool was founded in 1798, during the administration of the second president of the United States, though sites in close proximity to it had been previously occupied by struggling and intrepid settlers, by Thomas Fawcett, a Quaker-Irishman, who, emigrating from Ireland as a young man, had lived for a quarter of a century as a frontier farmer in and about Chartier’s Valley, Pa., near the Allegheny-Washington line ere he decided that “westward the course of empire wends its way.”
Destined to become an outstanding manufacturing city and “The Pottery Center of the World” its limits then presented an undeveloped tract of land, situated 48 degrees and 58 minutes north latitude and 80 degrees and 45 minutes west of Greenwich, which was four miles below the Pennsylvania state line and 44 miles southwest of Fort Pitt, which later became Pittsburg, and about 44 miles northeast from Wheeling of at-the-time State of Virginia. It was a part of the newly formed Northwest Territory and was included in Washington and Jefferson counties, the whole having originally belonged to Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and Virginia.
The town site had originally been purchased from the government by Col. Isaac Craig, of Pittsburg, a distinguished Revolutionary officer. In two payments he had given $2,181.50 for it. The deed given him was written on parchment and is signed by President John Adams and Secretary of State, Timothy Pickering. It is dated May 18, 1796.
Col. Craig held possession of the land for one month and thirteen days over 4 years when legal possession as evidenced by the deed made on July 1, 1800, at Philadelphia, Pa., was given to Thomas Fawcett, of Jefferson County, Ohio, of which the tract of ground was then a part and on which he had been living. The document was executed before Judge W. N. Breckenridge of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and recorded on Aug. 12, 1800 by Recorder Genas Kimberly. The witnesses were John Swetman and George Cochran of Allegheny County, Pa.
The deal, thus consummated, shows that Col. Craig made a profit of $1,469.50 on the transaction. The purchased land was described as “Sections Nos. 23 and 24 in Range No. 1 and Township No. 5 and situated northwest of the Ohio and above the mouth of the Kentucky River and made up of 1,095 75-100 acres in the above.”
Present day computations show this to be a strip of land extending westward from Union Street to what is now Jethro and reaching northward beyond the business and far into the residential section of the city.
Having sold his farm in Chartiers Valley, Pa., and doubtless having saved some money during his long agricultural activities there Mr. Fawcett was able to pay Col. Craig cash for his entire purchase, the price given being $3,651 or about $3.35 per acre. As compared to 1926 prices, the original land comprising East Liverpool equals the value of an ordinary home or a fairly good make of automobile, while an acre of it, which, in the business section 128 years later was worth $400,000, was then procured for what is now flippantly given for a pair of feminine silk stockings.
In 1808, what became Section 34, or Liverpool Township, was granted to Charles Blackmore. It was part of what is now the north side of East Liverpool on the Calcutta Road. The grant was signed by President Thomas Jefferson and his Secretary of State, James Madison. Thus in view of the fact that Col. Craig doubtless received claim to East Liverpool during George Washington’s administration, the impress of the first four presidents of the Republic is easily discernible in its original titles and initial transfers.
At the outset it was a Quaker Settlement by reason of the founder’s and family’s faith. They were quickly augmented by the arrival of Dutch, German, Welsh, Scotch and English settlers. These, coalescing, gradually as the later pottery industry began to grow, evolved into a preponderance of Englishmen as British workers of the trade elected to cast their fortunes in the new American plants.
About the time that the Neville and Craig families settled in Pittsburg a small colony from Ireland, Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey located in Chartiers Valley, Pa., on either side of the Washington and Allegheny County lines. They engaged in farming and trading.
Among this company of pioneers were three sets of brothers, Thomas and John Fawcett, who had been born in Ireland, Robert and Richard Boyce and Peter and Adam Hickman. All had married and purchased farms. But the lure of the West seized one member of each of these sets of brothers. Accordingly, Thomas Fawcett, Robert Boyce and Adam Hickman sold their properties and elected to settle in the just-formed Northwest Territory down the Ohio River over which Gen. Arthur St. Clair, a Revolutionary officer, was the Governor. John Fawcett, Richard Boyce and Peter Hickman remained in Pennsylvania, became outstanding citizens of the Keystone Commonwealth, reared large families and lived in each instance to a ripe old age.
During the early fall of 1798 the intrepid settlers reached their destination after an adventurous journey over stream and trail. Robert Boyce, his wife and children, who became the forbears of the well known Boyce families in and about East Liverpool, proceeded to the uplands of the Spring Grove Camp Ground, east of Yellow Creek, where for years they resided though ever in close communication with their former neighbors – the Fawcetts.
The latter stopped in the west end of what is now East Liverpool. The bluff, just across the roadway from the Standard Oil filling station, where the appealing bend of the Ohio is discernible and the opposite shore of the present Newell, W. Va., in all its early pristine beauty stood out, impressed the new comers as the ideal spot for a home. There, where James Gaston, Sr., once lived and where now are two or three residences, a log house was quickly built.
At this time Thomas Fawcett was 51 years of age – a man in his prime and in the full vigor of his mental and physical powers. He was born on June 11, 1747 in Ireland as was his wife, Isabella Snodgrass, whose natal day was March 1, 1754.
Mrs. Fawcett was accordingly 45 years old when she became the initial matron of East Liverpool. She was thus six years younger than her husband. They were married in Ireland on February 26, 1772, when he was 25 and she was 18 years of age. Their alliance had been blest by the arrival of eight children, four boys and as many girls. All were with them when they landed in East Liverpool. Joseph, the eldest, was 25 years old at the time; Thomas 24, Abigail 20, Mary 18, Elizabeth 16, John 14, Isabella 6 and Benjamin, the baby, four. The pioneer father thus had two full-grown sons to aid him, Joseph and Thomas Jr., and in John, a lad to run the chores. In Abigail, Mary and Elizabeth, buxom lasses, all, the mother had fine aid in house activities.
Following the building of the log house and a clearing of adjacent land for gardening purposes, Mr. Fawcett and his sons erected the first flour mill in what subsequently became Columbiana County. It was located on Carpenter’s Run on the site of what is now the West End Pottery, and was operated by his son-in-law, Joseph Smith. Shortly thereafter Joseph Fawcett, his oldest son, built a saw mill near Jethro, it being the first in what later became Liverpool Township. A carding machine was made and placed on the present Cartwright Pottery site by Thomas Fawcett and John Barcroft at about the same time. The second grist mill and carding machine were built by Aaron Brooks, the former being operated by horse power.
Within a year of his arrival Fawcett laid out his land into a town site. The lots abutted against the adjoining terra except on the river at the South Side. The streets paralleled with section lines, north, east, south and west.
The new town was called St. Clair by Mr. Fawcett because of the township in which it was then located, which had been given the name of the territorial governor. Later, as new residents began to arrive and those just without its limits found it necessary to refer to it, the name of “Fawcettstown” by common consent was given it in honor of its founder.
Among the earliest settlers in and about the new town were John Rouch, a shoemaker from Germany; Thomas Ashton, a Quaker, who had the distinction of keeping the first store, though a small one, within or near its borders; Angus McBane, a farmer-tanner, who had a home on the hill above Jethro; Joseph Hamilton, a farmer who lived not far from the Fawcett home. Perhaps the first colored man residing in the immediate locality was Edward Devoe, who in 1800, resided on the Spring Grove Camp Ground site.
Other additional arrivals to the new town included Abraham Wellington, who had a residence where the Knowles, Taylor and Knowles Pottery now stands; William Lorwell, of Baltimore, Md., who was the first lawyer to hang out his shingle within its confines; William Moore, a carpenter, who became the first undertaker of the community; Griffith Williams, a Welshman, who lived where the late George Gaston resided and became the town’s first tanner.
Before Wellsville was formed into a town there lived on the Ohio side of the river between Yellow Creek and Little Beaver the following person: at the mouth of Yellow Creek John Nessly; next above was Henry Eaton; between his land and Little Yellow Creek, William Wells, Sr.; next was the Ramsey homestead and then followed those of John Rouch, Thomas Askton, whose land reached Coonrod’s Run, that passing through Jethro. It touched the Thomas Fawcett tract, now the west end of East Liverpool.
Shortly after the laying out of his plat of ground by Thomas Fawcett, his son-in-law, Joseph Smith, who had in 1796 married his oldest daughter and third child, Abigail, purchased, after a year’s residence in Crawford County, Pa., where his father, John Smith, a native of Holland lived, a portion of land fronting the Ohio east of Union Street. This later passed into many hands. East of the Smith tract, on and about the site of the present day Harker Pottery, resided John Babb, who also owned the island in the river fronting his home and which took its name from him. John Beaver owned the land between the Babb property and the state line. From this point to Little Beaver Creek the terra was in the possession of a Mr. Dawson.
Across the Ohio on the now West Virginia side was the farm of Christy Brenneman, which lay opposite Yellow Creek; the bottom land over the stream from Wellsville was in the possession of John Hamilton, Sr., with his son, Linn Hamilton residing on the lower end. Harvey Heath lived just east of John Hamilton, but later sold to a Mr. McClintock; next was the homestead of fred Greathouse, who likewise sold to James Todd and he in turn to a Mr. Murray. Adjoining the latter was the John Gardner farm on which later Chester, W. Va., was largely built. Touching it was the Cochran tract which later became the property of Samuel E. Marks and his heirs.
Into such a setting or inter-state community came to East Liverpool’s founder, his family and those allied to it by marriage.
Social contacts with their neighbors from Yellow Creek on the west to Little Beaver on the east and with those in the same distance across the river and about them in St. Clair or Fawcettstown became a matter of course as the necessity for doing business at the saw mill of Joseph Fawcett, the founder’s oldest son and a store maintained for a time by his second son, Thomas and the flour mill that for the most part was being operated by his son-in-law, Joseph Smith. As a result romance, ubiquitous even among pioneers in the drab expanse of seeming desolate wilderness, entered the household so that in turn all the children, except Isabella, the youngest daughter and named for her mother, found wives and husbands as helpmeets in their efforts to make their way in developing the newly started settlement.
Joseph married Esther White; Thomas was joined to Sarah Hamilton, whose folks lived below the town and her brother, James Hamilton, a brother of Linn Hamilton, whose farm was across the river in Virginia, became the husband of Mary Fawcett, fourth child and the second daughter of the founders; Abigail had previously married Joseph Smith in Chartiers Valley, Pa.; John, the third son and sixth child, married Julia R. Larwell, the daughter of John Larwell, the town’s first postmaster; Benjamin, the youngest, was united to Hannah Zane, the daughter of Jonathan Zane, Sr., of Wheeling, W. Va., and a member of the well known family prominent in the early activities of that vicinity; Elizabeth the fifth child and third daughter, was wooed and won by John Nessly.
Joseph, the oldest son, apparently lived out his life in East Liverpool; Thomas, the second son, after procuring or being given a portion of the purchased land from Col. Craig, emigrated in a few years to Indiana. His stay in Fawcettstown was notable by having maintained a small store, the first within its limits, the opening of a tavern on Second Street, which was built from hewn logs and the establishment of a ferry across the river. The tavern was afterwards kept by James Kincaid, John Gamble, John Smith and William Thompson, each of whom operated the ferry.
John Fawcett, third son of Thomas Fawcett, founder, soon after his marriage went to Washington, Pa., where he clerked in a store owned by Daniel Moore. With his employer he later went to Wheeling, W. Va., and the two formed a partnership in a merchandise department there. In 1816, he, Moore and James Pemberton, another Wheeling merchant, returned to Fawcettstown and purchased from his father the old flour mill and 200 acres of land about it. They, accordingly, became the town’s second proprietors. They set about advertising in The Ohio Patriot of Lisbon, and selling lots in the town after relaying it. They sold about twenty from $20 to 30 each. They donated a lot apiece to John Smith and Phillip Cooper on the condition that they immediately built homes thereon. They also made a road on the opposite side of Carpenter’s Run to the hillside where a proposed glass plant was to be erected. This latter plan failed, however. Discouraged at the failure of their enterprise in the town which they had renamed Liverpool they took a government contract to supply forts on the Missouri River with supplies and moved away. They doubtless operated from Wheeling, W. Va., where after a residence of thirty years in all, Thomas Fawcett and his wife joined her father’s family – the Larwells, in Wooster, Ohio, where they had removed after a tenure in Fawcettstown – Liverpool. There they both ultimately passed away.
Benjamin, the fourth son of Thomas Fawcett and youngest child, had been left the old homestead of his father just beyond the old “rhubarb patch” in the West End. He rented this and removed to an estate left his wife on Wheeling Island by her father, Jonathan Zane, Sr. In crossing the river at his new home he was afterward drowned. His son-in-law, Robert Irwin, later sold his father’s home and surrounding land to the late James W. Gaston.
From two of Thomas Fawcett’s children have descended numerous persons who throughout the subsequent history in and about East Liverpool have been more or less outstanding figures.
From Elizabeth, who married John Nessly, have sprung those of that name. Their children were allied to the Boyces, the Wallaces, the Fredericks, the McCoys, the Rileys, the Myers and the Fords, all cognomens to conjure with in East Liverpool historical lore.
From Abigail, the oldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fawcett, whose husband Joseph, shared their fortunes and misfortunes have descended through his son, William G. Smith, the father of the late D. J. Smith and grandfather of Wilson F. Smith of East Liverpool and the late J. T. Smith many of the city’s present active citizens.
From a daughter, Esther, were descended Henry S. Goodwin and the late James and George Goodwin, long East Liverpool pottery manufacturers.
Another daughter, Hester Ann, married Isaac Watts Knowles, one of the city’s pioneer pottery manufacturers and they became the forebears of the late Homer S. Knowles, the late Mrs. Col. John N. Taylor and Homer J. Knowles, present head of the Knowles, Taylor and Knowles Pottery. Through another daughter, Mary Smith Warrick, was descended Mrs. Susan Harker, Mrs. Maria L. Anderson and Mrs. Esther Thomas.
Despite the urge that prompted him to penetrate the western wilderness and therein found a community Thomas Fawcett is described in the traditions attending him as “a good old Quaker gentleman, lacking in ambition, easy going, of kingly mien, though peace loving and possessed of a hospitable disposition.” His grandson, William G. Smith, in his pamphlet, “Early Recollections of Fawcettstown,” published in 1888, says of him: “He had no the natural or acquired abilities for a successful town builder. He lacked the ambition and go-aheaditive vim that characterize successful proprietors, and for the want of which, at the organization of the county, he lost to his place the county seat by one vote.”
Because of this adverse vote wealthy residents of Philadelphia, the then capital of the Nation, who had by proxy purchased lots in Fawcettstown, withdrew their interest and finally let them go into delinquency. Had Fawcettstown been chosen they had planned to push its growth with rapidity. Thus the village had its initial setback.
But Thomas Fawcett and his good wife, impelled by the natural beauty of their chosen home with the winding river in front of them and the circling hills of towering forest behind, lived on at the old homestead watching their children, grandchildren and neighbor’s activities as they carried on in developing the new town, or, despairing, went elsewhere for better prospects. Thus old age came upon them. He passed peacefully away on September 19, 1820, during the final year of President Monroe’s first administration and in the midst of the Chief Executive’s campaign for re-election against John Quincy Adams. He was aged 73 years, two months and 23 days at his demise. But fifteen years younger than George Washington he survived him twenty one years. His wife lived almost five years after his passing. She succumbed on Dec. 4, 1825, in the final year of President Monroe’s second administration. Both are buried in Riverview Cemetery, East Liverpool, where a stone monument was placed by their surviving descendants to mark their final resting place. With those of other pioneers their remains were transferred from the Fifth Street burial plat which almost from the town’s foundation had been utilized for this purpose when it was by necessity of the city’s growth taken for building and park purposes.
Until his decease Mr. Fawcett reserved the unsold town lots and 40 acres of his original purchase of land immediately back and north of the town. By will he transferred the lots to his four daughters.
The State Road from Steubenville to Pittsburg passed through Fawcettstown and by it mail was carried on horseback to the early inhabitants. Just east of its then boundaries it cut off a space of about two acres between it and the river. On this space Joseph Smith, son-in-law of Thomas Fawcett, erected a two-story hewd-log house with an added kitchen of the same material. It was the first shingle roofed homestead in the community. They had been made of white oak, split and shaved and put on with wrought nails. It was constructed by a carpenter by the name of William Hudson, who was called “Old Guage” by reason of the alleged fact that he consumed a gallon of whiskey per day and drank a pint at regular intervals during his wakeful moments. On this occasion it is said, when the rafters had been properly adjusted and the top lath nailed next to the comb, that he walked the lath edge from gable to gable while carrying a large bottle of whiskey in his hand and occasionally swinging it about his head. Finally, he broke the container and spilt the liquor over the edifice’s frame which process he construed as “baptizing the house.”
The great thoroughfare from Eastern Pennsylvania to Ohio at this early day passed through Georgetown, Pa., which made Smith’s Ferry, Pa., a celebrated river crossing. Georgetown was a trading point before New Lisbon had an existence and controlled the trade of Beaver County, Pa., was a junction between two of the emigration roadways to the new Northwest Territory, one being through Pittsburg and Beavertown, the other through Brownsville and Washington, Pa. John Beaver and John Christmas, both Englishmen, had prosperous stores in Georgetown, Pa. The former with Thomas Moore, father-in-law of the late Mathew Laughlin of East Liverpool, at an early day erected a large flour and saw mill near the bridge on Little Beaver Creek just off the state line. The latter added a tavern, store and blacksmith at the same spot. The place thrived from the trade of passing emigrants and nearby settlers who were likewise attracted thereto. Thus a bad effect on business in Fawcettstown and later Liverpool, four miles west, was quite discernible for a long period. Then, early in the eighteenth century, William Faulks laid out “Faulkstown,” four miles north of the town. It was subsequently named Calcutta. It had originally been settled by “Hunter” John Quinn, the first settler in the county. Trading done there still furthered circumscribed the commercial activities of Fawcettstown.
New Lisbon having wrested the County Seat from Fawcettstown, another blow was truck it by Wellsville, four miles below it, in 1821, when it was known as East Liverpool. Cleveland business men proposed for commercial purposes to build a free clay pike roadway to the Ohio River by way of New Lisbon, Columbiana County. Three routes from New Lisbon were surveyed for this purpose, one to the Pennsylvania State Line near Smith’s Ferry, the second to East Liverpool and the third to Well’s Landing or what was later Wellsville.
Subscriptions were taken to aid in the building of the road. Fifteen freeholders signed a bond guaranteeing the necessary sum needed for the East Liverpool route. It was placed in the hands of John Bough, a farmer residing on the west fork of the Little Beaver Creek, for signatures of residents between his home and New Lisbon before East Liverpool men would have the same opportunity on the following day when a choice was to be made. That night a neighbor who had signed the paper and become worried about it, called him out of bed and asked to see the legal document. Given it he instantly cast it into the fireplace. News of its destruction dismayed the waiting East Liverpool contingent and they permitted Wellsville to land the coveted roadway. In 1824, two years after its completion, great returns were thus brought the new town below Eastern Ohio and continued as such until the Sandy and Beaver and Mahoning Cross-cut Canals later interfered with its trade.
The town took a big slump as a result. By 1823 its population consisted of but “six families and two bachelors.” The streets became a sward with a single horse path in the middle of Second Street. By 1826 the town was forlorn indeed. Even the weekly mail route had been abandoned and mail had to be procured from Calcutta, beaver Bridge or Wellsville, four miles away to the northeast or west.
By this time the town had its third owner for Mssrs. John Fawcett, Daniel Moore and James Pemberton were glad to trade their holding in it to Claiborne Sims, Sr., for his farm near Wheeling, W. Va.
Then a spurt ensued and the population grew to about 100 with eighteen families being freeholders and the balance renters. These divided over the operation of a ferry. From Washington Street west the people wanted Market Street to be the center of business while the ferry operation was touching a point east of Washington Street.
By 1829 the postoffice had been reestablished with John Collins as postmaster. Through the courtesy of the postmasters of Wellsville and Little Beaver Creek, the latter being Matthew Laughlin, they obtained permission from Washington to have mail carried on horseback between these points and passing through Liverpool.
Preceding this, in 1809 or 1810, what approximated the first general store of importance was established in the then Fawcettstown by the firm of Sutton and McNickle, Pittsburg merchants, who had a large force of men boring for salt at Yellow Creek. They placed this establishment in charge of Richard Boyce, the son of Robert Boyce, of the Spring Grove Camp Ground neighborhood. He became the father of the late Hon. David Boyce, East Liverpool banker and legislator.
After the town was named “Liverpool” a Mr. Welch maintained a leading store in it and later Sanford C. Hill continued the business for a period before becoming a surveyor, justice of the peace, an astronomer of note and the publisher of “Hill’s Almanac.” He was the father of the late Col. H. R. Hill, who, for years following the Civil War, was the only lawyer in the city and the grandfather of Captain W. M. Hill, who, in 1898, during the Spanish-American War, and, in 1917, at the outset of American participation in the world conflict, raised and led from the city two volunteer companies.
A steam saw mill was erected on the present site of the Cartwright Pottersy south of Second Street by William Scott and John Hill in 1830. Though it was later destroyed by fire it gave impetus to the gradual growth of the city. At this time Columbiana County was the second in Ohio in the production of wheat. It continued large to 1840 when it showed an increase in wool raising. All of these had a pertinent effect on the commercial life of the town founded by Thomas Fawcett as a wharf and warehouse was built at the foot of Union Street for shipping purposes and business that formerly went to Smith’s Ferry, Pa., and Wellsville was transferred to it.
In 1836 William G. Smith, the grandson of Thomas Fawcett, following a period in Pittsburg and eight years of trading in southern ports by river after building a number of houses here, inducing others to do so, acting as postmaster, during which, in 1830, he succeeded in having the department add the prefix “East” to its third name “Liverpool” because mail was being transferred to “Liverpool” in Medina County and by procuring from Roger Hill and plotting into lots an acre of ground east of Union Street, became practically the place’s “fourth proprietor.”
In the decade ending with 1839 the rejuvenated river point procured a steam saw mill; wharfs and boats began to be built therein, among them the “Liverpool,” which, commanded by Captain Richard Huston, a former tanner, was lost in the Arkansas River, the “Oliver Branch” and “De Kalb”. All these were built by Alex Coffin on land that later was washed away by succeeding river high waters.
Liverpool Township, formed from St. Clair, was made such on June 3, 1834, largely through the work of Mr. Smith and Sanford C. Hill. The county commissioners at the time were Michael Arter, John Smith and Thomas Cannon. On Jan. 4, 1834, six months previously, East Liverpool had been made a village.
In an effort, in 1837, to connect Ashtabula and East Liverpool with a railroad by way of Warren a stock company was formed in which W. G. Smith and S. E. Hill were prominent as well as several Pittsburg capitalists. They purchased land north of Fifth Street, west of Market Street and a large section of Claiborne Sim’s farm. A sugar tree grove was cut into cord wood and removed from the river front enabling lots to be formed from Union to College and from Front or Water to Robinson Streets inclusive.
But the panic of that year ended the railway project and for a decade the village felt its effects. However, the sale of these lots at that time brought to the town a number of families from Pittsburg, who subsequently had much to do with its progress and growth. Among these were Anthony Kearns who purchased and operated the steam saw mill, recently procured, and improved the tract of land now known as Thompson Place, that later became the property of Josiah Thompson; the Hon. George Smith who built three brick houses and became a partner in merchandising of Josiah Thompson; Daniel and John Shook, who put up two buildings; Thomas Pratt, a machinist, who later built gas works in St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo., and James Bennett, who pioneered the pottery industry for the community.
William Thompson, who had come to Fawcettstown in 1818 from western Pennsylvania and, after a brief stay, had located in Calcutta, where he had a tavern and was in the merchandise business with his sons there, purchased the store and dwelling of George Smith and his son, Josiah, the home of Anthony Kearns in Thompson Place.
In 1848 William G. Smith returned to Pittsburg after selling a portion of his holdings in the town along Fourth and Broadway to Enoch Bradshaw, a potter, who, studying for the ministry in his younger years in England, emigrated to America in 1843 when 25 years of age. He worked for several years in the recently built potteries, went away for a brief interval and returned. Then he purchased from William G. Smith that section at Fourth and Broadway upon which the Carnegie Library now stands. On it he constructed a palatial home which, during the Civil War, was a connecting link in the famous “Underground Railway” for the safety of escaping slaves. He became the town’s second publisher, when, in 1859, he launched the East Liverpool Democrat, after “The Mercury,” started in 1861 by George W. Lucky and J. W. Harris, had suspended.
Following a service in the Union Army during the war between the States he built on the present Standard Oil service station plot at Fifth and Broadway, the city’s first public hall which was used as a court room when he acted as justice of the peace, for public meetings, theatrical performances and social affairs. During this interim he frequently acted as pettifogger in the legal cases then heard in the community. Farming part of his acquired land, mining pottery clay from other sections of it and the selling of real estate he was withal extremely active in the growth of early East Liverpool. When William G. Smith returned to his native place in 1852 he repurchased 15 acres of his former property from Mr. Bradshaw. To this he added four acres each procured Thomas Blythe and John F. Smith and six from Lawrence Mitchell. All were laid out into lots. Thus that planned by the “fourth owner” in 1837 was consummated in 1853 which departure broadened the town into lines of its present form. With this general outlay of its original and later added to territory, the beginning of pottery manufacture in 1840, the completion of the Sandy and Beaver Canal in 1845, the building through it of the Cleveland and Pittsburg Railway in 1856 and the discovery of the first oil and natural gas in 1860 the city’s place in the sun was permanently established and its subsequent development assured.
A contributor also to the northern and eastern sections of the city was Joseph McKinnon, who, landing in Philadelphia with his father, John B. McKinnon, who returned to English by reason of his fealty to King George III, located in Columbiana County in 1795 after a service in the Revolutionary War and against the Indians under Gen. “Mad Anthony” Wayne. He settled in part of Section 34. His son, George McKinnon, was the first white child born in the county. He built the first frame house in East Liverpool at what is now Third and Market streets on the present City Hall site.
George McKinnon became a farmer, carpenter and boat builder. He purchased two tracts of 20 and 125 acres each along the Ohio River. On one of these East End is now largely situated. His wife was Ada Babb, a daughter of John Babb, who owned the island of that name and who, on or near it, maintained the first blacksmith shop in the vicinity.
Another child of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph McKinnon became Mrs. Matthew Riley. Widowed at 35, she reared ten children at her farm home at the head of Jethro Hollow Run on the lover Lisbon Road. When 75 she emigrated by wagon to Illinois, lived there 20 years and then moved back at 95 to her old home in Madison Township where she lived in healthy vigor and mental alertness eight years more until she was 104. Near her home under spreading oak trees her remains, duly marked, rest. Her youngest daughter, Cynthia, became the wife of Enoch Bradshaw, the mother of Eugene Bradshaw, former East Liverpool safety director and Mrs. Louis Barth and the grandmother of Harold B. Barth, the secretary of the East Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.
The first preaching in Fawcettstown was by the Rev. Robert Dobbins, a Methodist, of Yellow Creek, in 1799.
The first school teacher within the town’s confines was Terra Jones, a Welshman. He was also a surveyor. He functioned in a log building near the home of Bezaleel Sims, north of the village. He taught a select school for several years after beginning in 1820 and was followed by James Smith, Will Smith (the Yankee), William Taggart and later by Sanford C. Hill. In 1848 the log school room was displaced by a red brick school house on the same site. A. H. Martin became the teacher with William C. Orr following in 1852.
The town’s first physician was Dr. B. B. Ogden, who began his almost fifty years of residence in it in 1830. He was the father of the late Dr. C. B. Ogden, who followed in his father’s footsteps. The first dentist in East Liverpool was Dr. Luther Calvin, who had an office in the old Moutts house over the printing establishment on Second Street during the early sixties. The second was Dr. John Stiffy, who located in the city in the late seventies. His office was on the lower floor of the present brick and frame structure opposite the city hall on Mulberry Street.
The first public even of note in the town’s early history occurred on July 4, 1811 just before the War of 1812, when a monster barbecue was held on the present site of the Cartwright Pottery. More than 4,000 persons attended this affair. William C. Larwell, the town’s first and only lawyer, until Col. H. R. Hill became active, read the Declaration of Independence, which had been written but 35 years before, to the big crowd in attendance. Another feature of the occasion was the marching up and down Second Street of a Company of Militiamen, which was commanded by Capt. John Wilcox. In the drill that followed Capt. Wilcox accidentally shot off one side of his whiskers, the incident contributing hugely to the merriment of the on-looking pioneers.
After its initial settlement the town successively grew and retrograded as success and failure attended the efforts of those casting their fortunes in it. In 1823 it was reduced to about 32 souls that included “two bachelors.” By 1826 these had increased to 100. In 1841, following the boom of the early interim of the pervious decade the population was 500. In 1850 it was 987; 1,308 in 1860 as the Civil War began; 2,105 in 1870, five years after its end; 5,568 in 1880; 8,750 in 1890; 16,485 in 1900; 23,087 in 1910 and 21,411 in 1920. In 1925 its inhabitants number 24, 000 with about 3,000 more just without its corporate limits in addition to Chester and Newell, W. Va., just across the Ohio Fiver from it which have been built largely as the result of its steady development; with Wellsville four miles down the river and Midland, Pa., five miles east on the same stream and Lisbon, the county seat, in close visiting proximity, the whole making East Liverpool of today the center of fully 60,000 Northeastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania residents.
The town’s first banking institution was opened in the “Dobbin’s House” on Second Street by Huff & Co., in 1870. It was one of a number of similar banking houses that then were being operated in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio. They were conducted by George F. Huff, of Greensburg, Pa., and William M. Lloyd, of Altoona, Pa. After removing into the old First National Bank Building at the foot of Broadway, then the most imposing structure in Columbiana County, the branch with others elsewhere suspended in the famous Jay Cooke financial debacle of 1873. The incident marked the only bank failure in the history of the city.
The first church within its limits was erected on the present site of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church on Fourth Street in 1834. The ground for the purpose was presented by John Fawcett, Daniel Moore and James Pemberton, the town’s second owners.
The first pottery ware was made in the town in 1840; gas was first piped for fuel in it in 1866; the initial white ware was manufactured first in 1874; the present city hall was erected in 1877; the water works was constructed in 1879; the first telephone was utilized in 1881; Horn Switch was first used in 1877; the Carnegie Library was opened in 1904, the City Hospital in 1905, the present Y.M.C.A. Building was initially utilized in 1913, the present High School edifice was occupied in 1914, the First National Bank on Fifth Street in 1923 and the Potter’s National Bank on the same street in 1924.
By Jan. 1, 1926, East Liverpool had within its confines approximately 40 miles of paved streets, forty miles of water pipes and a water capacity from its mechanical filtration plant of 7,000,000 gallons daily.
By then too it had had for more than a decade a modern motor fire equipment and with its police department, consisting of Chief Hugh McDermott, Captain Mason Conley and Officers Henry Aufterheide, James Haley, George Toland, Norman McFarland, William Lister, Chester Smith perhaps the smallest force maintaining order in any city of its size in the entire county.
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