Morgan Co, OH
David Smith

The following was provided by Connie Smith

David Smith

Blue Rock Quaker Burial Ground, Zanesville, Ohio
Weekly Courier June 19, 1885
For the Zanesville Courier-

Visiting the graveyard, formerly the burying ground at the 1st Quaker meeting house in Blue Rock Twp., now called Debrow, I noticed marble slabs at the graves of David Smith and____ his wife. David Smith died the first month 1864, aged 80 years, 2 months and 18 days. Mary_____ died August 16, 1854 aged 58 years., 8 months and 9 days. David Smith was one of the first settlers in the vicinity of Rural Dale. His farm was in Morgan county near the county line. He was one of the first families from Chester County , Pennsylvania who came to Ohio at an early day. By association and business he was closely connected with, indeed one of that band of pioneers who did so much for the improvement of the settlement in the southern part of our county. I will give a short sketch of him. He came from Chester Counter in the year 1818. He remained on the river farm for a short time, then settled on land which he improved and which was his home until he died.

He was a very robust healthy man, industries and one of the best farmers in his vicinity. He was a lover of good horses and had the best team in his neighborhood. His team of four bay horses, when hauling his crop or wheat to Duncan Falls was admired by all who saw them. When living on the river farm he caught __________ ________( this part can not be made out
as there is a bad spot in the paper after 100 years, it continues with) rocking the children was made of them, which was used for rocking his children, then his grandchildren, and now is in use for the fourth generation. When the walnut boards were taken from the river Mr. Smith hardly dreamed that his children and then his grandchildren would use them. Small things are often of great value when properly used.

When David Smith settled his farm postal servers were not what they are at the present, as will be seen from the number of post offices in Muskingum County in 1820. I was shown an old letter written by John Logan of Chester Co. Pennsylvania to David Smith on Oct. 16, 1819
directed as follows:
West Chester, Pa., Oct 16 Price .25

David Smith
Near Zanesville P.O.
Muskingum Co., Ohio

Zanesville was the post office for this part of the country at that time, and for years after. The postage was .25 on a single letter. The postmasters then used the pen for marking their letters, instead of stamps, which are used for marking and canceling at the present time. In 1820 there were only 6 post offices in Muskingum County as follows:
Zanesville Post office--Wm Pelham P.M.
Putman Post Office----Harry Safford P.M.
Irville Post Office------Jared Brush P.M.
Salt Creek Post Office---John Chandler P.M.
Union Town Post Office---Lyle Fulton P.M.
Dresden Post Office-------Thaddeus Lemert P.M.
From Marrietta to Zanesville the mail route was as follows: Waterford 18 miles; Sealy's 2 miles; Stephen's 14 miles; Salt Works ( now Chandlersville) 7 miles; Zanesville 14.

From this it will be seen that the route in 1820 was the old Marietta road. Although Chandlersville and Stephens were nearer this settlement the mail for this part was generally sent to Zanesville post office as the settlers trading led them to Zanesville.

In 1820 Absolem Roberts and James Hammit were the Justices of the Peace in Blue Rock and David Smith Justice in Bloom Township.

I give many interesting things in this number of pioneer sketches, which will show how our country has improved since 1820.
The Ministers of ____________ Muskingum County were as follows:
Rev. James Culbertson- Presb.
Rev. S Baldridge Presbyterian
Rev. Pres. B. Smith, Presbyterian
Rev. David Young Methodist
Rev. Thom A. Morris Methodist
Rev. S. Brocumber Methodist
Rev. Intrepid Morse Episcopal
Rev. William Spenser, Baptist

Wild animals in the area where David Smith's farm is now located were numerous when he came. Panthers, bears, wolves, deer and wild turkeys were found and much annoyance at times to the farmers by their attacks on the farm animals. Venomous snakes were common and care had to be taken to prevent harm from them. David Smith killed a rattlesnake near his dwelling which measured near seven feet long. It was first seen by his son Richard, who called his father's attention to it. Mr. Smith placed a forked stick across the neck of the snake, thus securing it and preventing it from harming him, when he struck it a blow with a stick to cause it to rattle. The blow was too heavy and killed it. He cut off its head and buried it to prevent danger from its fangs, then skinned it. In 1829 Joseph Frame from Chester County visited and he took the skin of this snake to present it to the West Chester Museum. The skin was stuffed a head and tail added and for years it was seen at that place.

Large black snakes were plentiful on the creek bottom and many of them of large size. A neighbor of Mr. Smith was very much afraid of snakes and as innocent fun was in order at the expense of the more timid ones. One day there was a log rolling near Mr. Smith's and he had to pass the dwelling of his timid neighbor who was also going to assist that afternoon. Mr. Smith went a short distance when he killed a black snake and then two more. He placed them across the path his friend would travel and then hid himself to wait. In a short time his friend came by in a cheerful manner when he nearly stepped on snake #1. He gave a loud "OH" and jumped nearly landing on snake #2, his alarm increased when he soon came on snake #3. He gave a scream and ran for his life. The snake killer leisurely strolled after him to where the other men
were collected for work. When the story was told much innocent amusement was had at the expense of the timid man.

The farm improved by David Smith has been occupied by Mr. H.W. Grubb who married Mr. Smith's daughter Sidney. This interesting family is well known. Mr. Grubb is the nephew of the late William Tally. He came from the state of Delaware where he was born. His ancestors were among the first settlers of that state. Mrs. Grubb is the only child of David Smith still living in this county.

Mr. Smith's fine team of horses once pulled 100 bushels of wheat on a heavy wagon to Duncan Falls. The heaviest load ever taken by four horses over that road.

Soon after David Smith came to this part of Ohio John Logan whose wife was the sister of Mrs. Smith began to take an interest in this part of the country. Chester County, Pennsylvania furnished many fine families for this area.

The following letter was written by John to his friend David on Oct. 16, 1819. He say's "Everything is very low here, wheat $1.10, new corn .50, fat cattle $6. per hundred. Good farm hands hire for 3 to 6 dollars a month. The principle trade is now sheriff's sales."

This is given to let the readers know why these people came west.

In another letter written to Nathan Smith dated Feb. 20, 1920 says " I will leave here for your settlement April 1st with the hope to be there in time to make a garden and plant corn. I understand that Jesse John Esq. is in your settlement. If you see him you may let him know all his old friends are well."

In a former article I gave a short notice on John Logan. I have since obtained this information as he and Mr. Smith were brothers in law. These extracts from Mr. Logans letters show cause for coming west. This county at that time was called the backwoods and travel was slow. John Logan was born Sept. 3rd., 1789 and died in 1869. Mary Smith wife of David and Ann the wife of John Logan were sisters, daughters of Isaac James of Chester County, Pennsylvania.

This article was on the front page and was obviously part of a series. I tried to copy it as correctly as possible from the newspaper that was found in family papers of Shepherd Smith , Grandson of Nathan Smith. It was kept all these years since 1885, in Logan County, Ohio. It was probably sent to Nathan Baker Smith at that time. (Connie Smith, 2/3/2002)

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