HISTORY OF LOWELL AND
By Norris F. Schneider
In 1938 Lowell celebrated the 150th anniversary of the first settlement in the Northwest Territory under the provisions of the Ordinance of 1787 at Marietta. The year 1938 was also the 100th anniversary of the surveying of Buell's Lowell on March 22, 1838, by Perez Barnum Buell, the founder of the village. In the following pages the important events in the history of the community for 150 years are briefly summarized.
The first known inhabitants of Adams Township were the Moundbuilders. Washington County contained 102 mounds, six enclosures, and seven village sites. In Adams Township there were found 52 mounds, more than half the total number in the county. This township also contained five enclosures and five village sites. Fred Shuman has collected 1,400 pieces from the mounds of this vicinity and written a detailed description of his collection. Willard Davis assembled a fine collection of 3,000 Moundbuilders' relics. The best items from the Davis collection are exhibited at Campus Martius Museum in Marietta.
France claimed the Ohio Valley by virtue of the discovery of La Salle on the Mississippi. England claimed the valley on the basis of the "sea to sea" charters granted to her colonies, and because of the claims of the Iroquois, who were British subjects. France and England went to war over possession of the Ohio Valley, and France was driven out of North America in 1763. England held possession of the valley only until George Rogers Clark captured the British forts in the Illinois Country and enabled the American representatives at the treaty of 1783 to insist upon the Mississippi River as the western boundary of the United States.
There were no Indians residing permanently in Washington County when the white settlers came. In 1788, when Marietta was settled, Indian tribes lived near Lake Erie and in the western part of the present state of Ohio. They frequently came to the Muskingum Valley to hunt and to trade their furs at Fort Harmar.
The name Muskingum comes from the Delaware Indian word Moos-kin-gung, meaning Elk Eye River, from the large herds of elk found along the river. Moos was the Delaware word for Elk. The pioneers probably named Bear Creek from the bears found there. Cats Creek, Wolf Creek, and Duck Creek were named from other wild animals found in this region by the first settlers. Deer were plentiful along the Muskingum for several years after settlement. Wolves destroyed the sheep in Ohio, and a bounty of $4 was offered for each wolf scalp. Panthers and wild cats were destructive. The gray squirrels dug up the corn as soon as it was planted. Wild pigeons appeared in flocks that clouded the sky. The wild turkey was plentiful in Ohio for 50 years after settlement. Small game was abundant. The Marietta settlers caught a black catfish weighing 96 pounds and a pike six feet long that weighed over a hundred pounds. The land was covered with a dense forest of large trees. Oliver Dodge lived for a year in a hollow sycamore tree opposite the mouth of Big Run.
The first settlement in Adams Township was made under the direction of the Ohio Company of Associates. This organization was formed by officers of the Revolutionary army for the purpose of settling in the fertile valleys north of the Ohio River. They sent Rev. Manasseh Cutler of Ipswich, Massachusetts, to persuade the Continental Congress in New York to accept their depreciated military certificates as payment for land in the West. Before carrying out this commission, Cutler cooperated with Congress in the writing of the famous Ordinance of 1787 for the government of lands northwest of the Ohio River. He then succeeded in securing a million and a half acres of land along the Muskingum and Ohio rivers in exchange for the military certificates. As soon as this tract was purchased, the Ohio Company appointed Rufus Putnam superintendent of their migration. On April 7, 1788, 48 pioneer settlers under the leadership of Putnam arrived at Marietta.
The Marietta settlers saw the site of Lowell for the first time when an exploring party went up the river on June 27, 1788. Col. John May recorded their opinion as follows: "Some of our gentlemen went up the Muskingum ten miles, and came back highly pleased. They say the lands are abundantly better than where we are clearing."
In 1791 the Indians started warfare against the white settlers throughout the Ohio valley with the slaughter of 12 people at Big Bottom, near the present village of Stockport. As a result of Indian massacres, the coming of new settlers to the Ohio Company Purchase stopped almost completely. To increase the number of defenders and to establish outposts against Indian attack, the Ohio Company adopted the plan of donating land to new settlers. For this purpose Congress turned over to the Directors of the Ohio Company a Donation Tract 21 miles long by eight miles wide containing 100,000 acres in the northern part of the purchase. Each settler received 100 acres on condition that he build a house within five years, set out 70 fruit trees and clear 20 acres within three years, and provide for defense against the Indians.
When a group of people wanted to settle together in the Donation Tract, the Ohio Company assigned them an allotment of land surveyed into lots of various sizes. Each settler received lots totaling 100 acres. Lowell stands in the Cats Creek and Bear Creek allotments of the Donation Tract. The first allotments to be settled in Adams Township were the Rainbow Allotment and the Allotment Northwest of Wolf Creek Mills across the river from Lowell. Donation lots were drawn in 1789, but the first settlement was made by four families and four single men who moved into a fortified settlement centrally located with respect to their lots near the south end of the Muskingum River bridge early in April, 1795.
These pioneer settlers of Adams Township lived in four cabins on the land of Nathan Kinney, a native of Nova Scotia, whose family included his wife, Margy, and their children, William and Sally. Kinney came to Marietta in 1789 and resided during the Indian War at Fort Frye. He drew lot number 23 in the Cats Creek allotment. Joseph Simons, who drew lot number 10 in the same allotment, lived in the Kinney cabin. Another cabin was occupied by Nicholas Coburn, his wife Rosamund, and his brother Asa. Nicholas Coburn arrived in 1788 and lived at Fort Frye until he moved to the Kinney lot. He drew lot number 27 in the Cats Creek allotment and his brother drew number 25. William and Drusilla Davis shared their cabin with William's brother Daniel. The brothers owned lot numbers 8 and 12 in the Bear Creek allotment. Robert Allison and his wife Betsy occupied the fourth cabin with their children - Charles, Nancy, William, Mary, Josiah, and Stephen - and a single man by the name of Oliver Dodge, one of the 48 pioneer settlers of Marietta. Robert Allison came from Pennsylvania in the fall of 1788 and lived in Campus Martius during the Indian War. He drew lot number 14 in the Cats Creek allotment.
Allison's daughter Nancy was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, October 22, 1784. She married Stephen Frost, December 18, 1800, and died at Lowell, Ohio, February 10, 1892, at the age of 107 years, three months, and 19 days. She is buried in Lowell Cemetery.
The four cabins of this pioneer colony stood in a row at the top of the river bank. Beginning with the upper cabin and naming the owners downstream, they were Coburn, Kinney, Davis, and Allison. Rows of pickets connected the cabins and extended from the two end cabins to the river. The pickets consisted of heavy logs placed vertically in a trench with the earth packed tightly at the base. By this means the pioneers were protected in their access to the river for drinking water and for transportation. General "Mad" Anthony Wayne defeated the Indians at Fallen Timbers west of the present city of Toledo on August 20, 1794. After Wayne completed the treaty of Greenville on August 5, 1795, the settlers left Kinney's garrison to reside on their own lands. Kinney operated a ferry at his residence in 1795.
The fortification stood at the foot of Cats Creek Island. Cats Creek emptied into the Muskingum below the present dam, and the mouth of the creek was diverted to its present location when the dam and locks were built. To mark the site of the Kinney Garrison, a monument was erected on the south bank of the Muskingum River on April 7, 1894, by the Chief Arataxl Club, Order of Ancient Mound Builders. This monument was dislodged by the flood of 1913 and later replaced in a block of concrete. On April 7, 1938, the citizens of Lowell erected another monument on Main Street.
Washington County was established on July 26, 1788. Adams Township was incorporated by the Court of Quarter Sessions at Marietta in March, 1797. Originally it included Salem, Muskingum, and parts of other townships. The name undoubtedly honors President John Adams, who was inaugurated in 1797. The first religious services in the township were conducted by Rev. Daniel Story of Marietta soon after the settlers arrived. Enoch Wing taught the first school in his cabin near the mouth of Cats Creek about 1797. The first schoolhouse was built about 1800. Subscription schools were conducted until the public school law went into effect. An old school bill from Enoch Rector, teacher, to Nathaniel C. Mason reads: "Tuition of one student at $1.50 per quarter." The first goods were sold in Adams Township by S. N. Merriam in 1816. Elijah Short opened the first store in 1822 near the mouth of Cats Creek.
The early residents produced most of their requirements on their farms. Spinning, weaving, candlemaking, hunting, fishing, and butchering were carried on by each family. Salt was boiled at wells on Salt Creek in Muskingum County, carried to Duncan Falls by pack horse, and floated to Adams by canoe. Roads were poor and travel was slow. Surplus wheat, corn, cider, and other products were loaded on keelboats and floated to New Orleans by the farmer himself or by traders. Some of the best keelboatmen on the river came from Cats Creek. After 1822, cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, and sometimes turkeys were driven overland to Baltimore.
The first mail route within the present limits of Ohio went from Marietta to Zanesville through Adams Township in 1798. The mail left Marietta every Thursday at 1 P. M. and arrived in Zanesville the following Monday at 8 A. M. Soon after settlement Joseph Wells constructed near the mouth of Cats Creek a horse mill, which was changed to water power by Enoch Wing. In the American Friend, a Marietta paper for June 10, 1813, there was an advertisement of Cats Creek Mills in Adams Township which employed a man experienced in cloth dressing. Wheelock, Fuller, and Sadler were the proprietors.
About 1816 there came to Adams Township two brothers who were very influential in the development of the community. They were Salmon A. Buell, born in Ithaca, New York, August 11, 1794, and Perez Barnum Buell, born in Ithaca on June 23, 1796. These brothers were descendants in the seventh generation of William Buell, who came from England to Massachusetts in 1630. Their father was Hon. Salmon Buell, lawyer, judge, and senator.
The brothers came west in search of opportunity and in response to the spirit of migration prevailing at the time. When Perez Barnum was coming through Parkersburg on horseback, he saw a girl riding past him. Both stopped and looked back. She was Eliza Rector. They were married in 1818. Salmon married Eliza Buell, daughter of Timothy Buell of Marietta, on April 13, 1817. They were the parents of Major General Don Carlos Buell.
Soon after their marriages the brothers built a large, square brick house on the river bank opposite the south end of Market Street. The Buell house was the one later known as the Dutton house. Both families lived in this house until the death of Salmon in the cholera epidemic of 1823. About 1835, Perez Barnum built on the hill north of Lowell a log house, which was later weatherboarded by Rev. Samuel Lewis when he added a wing on the lower side for religious meetings.
Although the township continued to be a farming community until the improvement of the river, there was steady growth from 1820 to 1840. In 1824 the captain of the steamboat Rufus Putnam found that a flood in the Muskingum made possible the first steamboat trip up the river to Zanesville. Passengers went aboard at Marietta on Friday, January 9, and arrived at Zanesville Saturday night. The return trip was made in eight hours because of rapid current. Regular steamboat traffic did not begin until the dams were completed in 1841.
Enoch Rector, brother of Eliza Rector Buell, opened a store near the mouth of Cats Creek in 1829. On January 13, 1830, a post office named Carroll was established in Adams Township with P. B. Buell as postmaster. The name of the office was changed to Lowell, February 7, 1837. Roads were improved so that William Hardy announced in the Marietta paper in 1832: "From Marietta to Zanesville by stage in 13 hours. Fare moderate and speed unsurpassed." Tradition says that the stagecoach changed horses at a barn behind E. Short's store. The Muskingum Valley Turnpike Company was incorporated in 1833. Among the nine directors elected at the Marietta courthouse in 1839 were P. B. Buell and E. Short of Adams. Religious progress was rapid in this period. The Disciples of Christ organized a society in 1831 and built the first church in the township below the present site of Lowell. In 1832 the Baptists organized a congregation and built a church near Upper Lowell.
During the late 1820's and the 1830's, on account of discontent among the peasantry of Bavaria, many Germans came to Fearing Township. The names of some of the earliest were Ahrendt, Zimmer, Seyler, Scherber, Best, Spies, Bisantz, Peters, Mattern, Wilking. From Duck Creek in Fearing and Salem Townships the German immigrants settled westward to Ahrendt's Ridge, Bear Creek, and Cats Creek. The hill districts, which had been considered undesirable before this time, were made to yield abundantly by German thrift and industry.
In Williams' History of Washington County, published in 1881, the German occupation of the hill lands is described as follows: "On Cats Creek, above the river bottom, there was no improvement before 1833, when Alvey Hoyt purchased a lot and built a house. The population of the hill districts is, at the present time, more than eighty per cent German, and it is to the people of this nationality that the township owes a large proportion of its wealth." The first mayor of Lowell was Rev. Theodore Schreiner, a German immigrant. This German Brothers of Lowell were incorporated February 7, 1853.
During the 1830's the people of the Muskingum valley enthusiastically advocated the improvement of the river in the belief that industrial prosperity would result from the use of water power. A bill appropriating $400,000 for improvement of the Muskingum passed the State Legislature March 4, 1836. The final cost of the 12 locks and 11 dams from Marietta to Dresden was $1,627,018.20. Work was started in the spring of 1837 and the system was completed in 1841.
Lyon, Buck, and Wolf secured the contract for the lock at Lowell. Workmen called them the menagerie company because the members had the names of animals. As owner of the land on which the dam was to be built, Enoch Rector had the right to take the contract at the lowest bid if he desired it. Rector took the contract for the dam and sold it for five hundred dollars to Alexander Hill, who made $20,000 profit.
Since land near the dam was desirable for factories and therefore likely to increase in price, there was some rivalry among owners for the location of the dam and canal. P. B. Buell wrote to his brother-in-law Enoch Rector that the surveyors had started to "make a survey on the other side of the river for a canal, locks, etc., supposing the work can be done cheaper . . . the folks on the other side of the river are in extacies and have already got a plan for a city." That plan failed, and the state engineers started excavations for the abutment of the dam 1,000 feet above the present site. Finally, because of the political influence of P. B. Buell, or to avoid rapids in the river, the dam was built in the present location on solid rock.
The canal was made one mile long to extend below the rapids in the river and to afford more room for factories operated by water power secured by sluiceway and guard locks from the canal. Since factories made use of water power for only a quarter of a century, the mile long canal is unnecessary today. It was excavated with pick and shovel, and the earth was wheeled to the embankment in wheelbarrows. Lock number three at Lowell is 13.87 miles above the mouth of the Muskingum. The lock chamber is 160 feet long and 36 feet wide. Lowell dam has a lift of 14.5 feet, making it the highest navigation dam on the Muskingum. It is also the longest dam, with a length of 840.5 feet. The state of Ohio operated the locks until April 7, 1887, when the U. S. Government took over the control of the improvements.
Soon after the approximate location of the dam was known, land near the upper end of the canal was purchased for real estate speculation by a company consisting of John Mills, Enoch Rector, Douglas Putnam, Noah Wilson, and Elijah Short. On November 8, 1837, they laid out the town of Lowell. First, Second, and Third streets paralleled the river. Wilson, Wall, Curtis, and Rector were the cross streets above Cats Creek where Upper Lowell now stands. The four cross streets below Cats Creek were Mills, Ohio, Adams, and Washington.
On March 22, 1838, Perez Barnum Buell laid out the rival town of Buell's Lowell. It was bounded by Third Street on the north, Market Street on the west, Water Street along the river, and a diagonal line from Third Street to the locks on the east. The name Lowell had been given to the post office on February 7, 1837, before either of the villages was surveyed. This name was selected because it was hoped that from the available water power would develop a great manufacturing city like Lowell, Massachusetts. Lowell enjoyed very little growth and later came to be known as Upper Lowell. Buell's Lowell developed into the present village. An ordinance to drop the name of Buell was passed by council on July 11, 1889.
The building of the locks, canal, and dam caused Lowell to develop from a farming community into a village. Money was spent in the vicinity for labor and materials, settlers were attracted by the possibility of employment, and factories were constructed to take advantage of the water power. Steamboat traffic connected the township with markets up and down the Ohio River. The first boat to traverse the river after the locks were completed was the Tuscarawas, which arrived in Marietta from Zanesville, September 18, 1841. The Steamboat S. R. Van Metre burned in the river near the flour mill in 1889. A steamboat named the Lowell ran on the Muskingum River in the 1850's.
Soon after the improvement of the river, several mills were built to take advantage of the water power. Near the dam on the island there was a saw mill in which chairs were made. Below the saw mill Alberus Judd built a grist mill. C. T. Weatherby and others in 1867 incorporated The Lowell Woolen Factory with $40,000 capital stock and constructed a woolen mill below the Judd grist mill. Twenty-five people were employed to manufacture blankets and yard goods. Farmers brought their wool to be made into cloth. These three mills on the north side of the river were operated by water which came from the canal in a race deep enough for steamboats to come to the rear of the mills for freight. The steamboat Princess sank in the race, floods covered the steamer with earth, and corn now grows above the boat. Coverlets were woven and sold by Johann Adam Schneider at his farm on Big Run after his arrival from Germany in 1845.
On the south side of the river near the dam Judd built a three-story mill in 1859, before he built the one next to the woolen mill. Judd's first mill was later called the Oak or King mill. It collapsed about 1890. Near the south end of the river bridge stood an early horse power mill which was later changed to water power. Steve Burt built the Turkenton house for a hotel in 1848. About this time a three-story frame building was constructed at the upper end of Third Street as a medicine factory. Later it was used as a warehouse for tobacco hauled from Morgan County to Lowell and shipped by steamboat. Lowell Mill was built in 1842 by Truckson, Lyon, and Buck.
Lowell was incorporated by a special act of the State Legislature which is found in Volume 48, Ohio Laws. It is known as the Act of March 19, 1850, being "an act to incorporate certain towns therein named." The Act of March 21, 1851, in Volume 49, Ohio Laws, contains a provision to the effect that wherever the word "Lowell" appears in the Act of March 19, 1850, the same shall be taken to mean "Buell's Lowell." The first officers were as follows: Theodore Schreiner, mayor; S. N. Merriam, recorder; John Scott, Solomon Sharpe, John B. Regnier, Joseph Cox, George Fleck, trustees. The opening of the Lowell House by T. Schreiner was announced in the Marietta Intelligencer for September 21, 1854. P. B. Buell made four additions to his village in 1843, 1844, 1854, and 1867.
Mary Reed was born at Lowell on December 4, 1854. She has become the most famous person born in Adams Township because of her work among the lepers of India. She was born in a one-story house that stood at the corner of Walnut and Fourth streets where the Bay-Rice house now stands. Her birthplace was moved to the rear of the lot, where it now stands as a garage with the addition of an upper story. Her father was a harness maker. In 1859 the family moved to Crooked Tree. Mary Reed went to India as a Methodist missionary in 1884. There she contracted leprosy. She believed that her affliction was a divine command to work among the lepers. While working in a leper colony she was miraculously cured of the disease. She died at the leper colony at Chandag Heights, India, on April 4, 1943.
Two churches were organized in Buell's Lowell just before the Civil War. St. John's Evangelical Church congregation of German immigrants started to hold meetings about 1857 in a Methodist building on the north side of Third Street between Walnut and Market. This Methodist church closed and was reorganized in 1896. The Congregational Church organized and built a house of worship at the corner of Third and Walnut streets in 1860.
The industrial and agricultural prosperity of the community was suddenly stopped by the outbreak of the Civil War. Like all citizens at the time, the residents of Adams Township suffered from shortage of goods and from high prices. The raid of John Morgan's cavalry into the North in 1863 brought the fear of war close to Lowell. At Marietta 12,000 militia were assembled to head Morgan off. Three companies were sent up the Muskingum to remove all boats to the north side of the stream. At Lowell two flat boats were sunk and horses were concealed in hollows to prevent their capture. These preparations caused Morgan to circle eastward and cross the Muskingum at Rokeby Lock in Morgan County before he was captured at East Liverpool. Adams Township sent a total of 227 volunteers to the army during the war. Of this number 31 died. The last Civil War soldier in Adams Township was Marion Longley, who died July 19, 1938, at the age of 91.
An interesting relic of Civil War days came to light when Birch Wood, Jr., was digging in the basement of his Main Street home in 1940. He dug up a jar of gold and silver coins dated from 1800 to 1860. The coins had a face value of $162.25, but their numismatic value was much greater. Did some one hide the coins from Morgan's Raiders? No one knows.
Lowell furnished two distinguished officers to the army of the North - Major General Don Carlos Buell and his cousin Captain Frank Buell. Don Carlos Buell, son of Salmon D. and Elizabeth Buell, was born March 23, 1818, in the brick house that his father and uncle built on the river bank opposite the south end of Market Street. When his father died on August 3, 1823, Don Carlos went to live with his uncle, George P. Buell, in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, from which place he went to West Point. He served with distinction during the Mexican War and was promoted to the command of one of the principal Union armies in the Civil War. After his retirement from the army he married the widow of General George Mason and engaged in the coal and iron business in Kentucky until his death on November 19, 1898. He was buried in St. Louis, Missouri. Major General Buell was one of Lowell's most distinguished natives.
Frank Buell, son of P. B. and Eliza Rector Buell, was born April 24, 1837, probably in the Buell house on the hill north of Lowell. At the age of 20 he was admitted to the bar, and two years later he was elected to the office of prosecuting attorney of Washington County. After serving as Captain of Company B, 18th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, he organized a company of artillery called Buell's Pierpoint Battery after Governor Pierpoint of the new state of West Virginia. He was killed at the battle of Freeman's Ford, Virginia, August 22, 1862. His grave in the Buell cemetery at Lowell is marked by an monument presented by the members of his battery.
The exploitation of natural resources was one of the principal developments of Lowell in the period from the close of the Civil War to the beginning of the twentieth century. The first oil well in Washington County was drilled near Macksburg in 1860, one year after the first successful well in the country in Oil Creek, Pennsylvania. The oil from the Macksburg well was hauled to Lowell in barrels by wagon, stored in the tobacco warehouse, and shipped by boat to Pittsburgh. The first large pools in Adams Township were found in the Reed field on Cats Creek and the Minch field northwest of Lowell. Production wells were later located in the Bear Creek area.
The first tannery in Lowell was built by P. B. Buell at the upper end of Walnut Street. In 1866 Wilking, Wendell & Co. built the first steam tannery at the corner of Third and Market. Franz Wilking in 1877 operated a steam tannery on the north side of Fourth Street two lots below Franklin. Each steam tannery had a capacity of 2,500 heavy hides a year. The Fourth Street tannery was changed to a plow handle factory called the Lowell Manufacturing Company. It was destroyed by fire about 1898. Adam Blankenbuhler built another tannery near the canal above Franklin Street. A stave factory operated for a time on the island.
On July 1, 1888, the Zanesville and Ohio River Railroad was completed across the river from Lowell and gave the village rail connection through Marietta and Zanesville. This road merged with the Ohio and Little Kanawha and was purchased by the Baltimore and Ohio in 1902. A ferry was operated across the Muskingum River until the completion of the covered bridge in 1881. A cyclone damaged the bridge a year after it was built. This bridge was washed down the river by the flood of 1884. It was torn apart, returned to Lowell, and rebuilt.
In Williams' History of Washington County, 1881, it was said that the principal stores in Lowell were owned by P. Mattern, D. W. Sprague & Co., Davis and Trapp, P. Rummer, S. N. Merriam, and James F. Putnam. Franz Wilking operated the Lowell Hotel in this period. In 1869 Franz Schneider constructed the three-story furniture store which was purchased in 1896 by C. G. Schneider and sold by him to H. Spies and Son in 1913. This remained the only three-story brick structure in Lowell until the old Cox-Wolfram building on the east side of Walnut at the canal was moved back to make room for the construction of the F. H. Wolfram building in 1896. In 1873 John Hopp started a blacksmith shop near the locks, which is still operated today by his son. Jacob Hollinger came from Germany in 1865 and started a blacksmith shop on Walnut Street, later expanding his business to include the manufacture of wagons, buggies, and harness. A. Applebay, gunsmith, was succeeded in business by his son Wiley. The Lowell Building Association was incorporated February 24, 1871.
The business directory of Lowell in 1898 included: A. Applebay, gunsmith, Main and Canal; Jacob Becker, Valley House, Main; E. P. Becker, station agent; A. D. Bell, justice of peace, Walnut; Kate Davis, millinery, Canal; E. W. Dean, Cigar Mfr., Main; Robert Dearth, livery stable, Main; John B. Eck, wines and liquors, Bridge and Lock; Fred Foust, saloon, Second; Wm. Gheen, Lowell House, Main; M. W. Guice, wagon maker, Walnut; Charles M. Harris, physician, Bridge; J. Hollinger, blacksmith, Walnut; J. Hopp, blacksmith, Main; W. T. Jackson, livery stable, Fourth; J. T. Lansley, general merchandise, Main; Longley and Bell, agricultural implements, Walnut; J. H. Mattern, wool buyer; Phillip Mattern, general merchandise, Main; George Phillips, physician, Canal; W. W. Ray, barber shop, Canal; Rechsteiner Bros., saw mill; Riecker Bros., general merchandise, Bridge; H. Rietz & Co., merchandise, Canal; Robinson & Co., Meat Market, Canal; C. G. Schneider, furniture, Main; Stamm & Jones, liquors and cigars, Canal; A. D. Stanley, druggist, jeweler, and postmaster, Canal; Mrs. Kate Stanley, photographer, Canal and Walnut; Jerry Swain, furniture and undertaking, Main; J. W. Taylor, jeweler, Canal and Walnut; John Trapp, harness maker, Main; Mrs. Miles Vaughn, dressmaking, Canal; J. G. Wagner, shoemaker; John Wagner, blacksmith, Main; Wendell Tannery, Canal; Wilking and Co., Rolling Mills, River; F. H. Wolfram, dry goods, Main.
By 1913 the following people engaged in business in addition to the above: W. P. Rice, drygoods; Savage Cigar Factory; Ada Sprague, millinery; Riemann Saloon; Dr. G. L. Lyne; Dr. J. L. Mason; Dr. A. O. Glass, dentist; Louis Wilking, photographer; O. H. Henniger, bakery.
Early in the 20th century occurred the development of the automobile, the decline of the steamboat, and the concentration of factories in large cities. Because of these changes and the flood of 1913, the population of Lowell decreased from 569 in 1910 to 516 in 1920. By 1930 the number of residents in the village had increased to 545. In 1940 the population was 528.
The First National Bank of Lowell was organized in May, 1900, with William Wendell, president; J. B. Eck, vice president; Frank A. Boyle, secretary; John Saner, cashier. At first the bank operated on Front Street in a room so small that the safe was kept on the sidewalk. On September 18, 1900, the contract for the present bank building on the canal bank was let to Rechsteiner Brothers. The post office section was added later. In 1933 the bank merged with the Peoples Banking and Trust Company of Marietta, and became the Lowell branch of that institution.
Two attempts were made to start a newspaper about 1900, but both failed. Frank Gorrell started the Lowell Record in 1903. The paper was successfully published for ten years. In 1906 Spencer Kile purchased the Record and published it until the flood of 1913 destroyed the equipment and the files. Jim Hovey published the Lowell Citizen in 1914 and 1915.
As the business and population of Lowell increased, additions were made to the area of the village to supply lots for building. It has been mentioned that P. B. Buell made four additions to the village he laid out. Eight additions since the Buell subdivisions have increased the total to twelve. They are: Henry Rietz addition, bounded by Walnut and Fourth streets, December 15, 1891; Pfaff's addition of 3 3/4 acres on both sides of Fourth Street, October 27, 1898; Sprague addition, both sides of Fifth Street between Market and Walnut, February 20, 1899; C. Pfaff's addition of 13 66/100 acres between lower Main and lower Fifth, October 9, 1900; F. Wilking and Company addition, seven lots on the north side of Third east of Walnut, March, 1900; Saner's addition, on both sides of Sixth Street east of Franklin, January, 1902; McClains's addition extending from Main to Fifth below Pfaff's addition, April, 1909; Riverview addition by Charles Kaiser on both sides of Fifth above Franklin, April 30, 1910.
An ordinance was passed by Lowell council on June 4, 1896, granting permission to the Ohio Telephone and Telegraph Company to operate and maintain its line upon the streets of the village. Natural gas was supplied to Lowell in 1900. On July 23, 1900, council granted to Archer and Barry the right to maintain and operate pipes for distribution of natural gas in the village for 30 years. The rate for the first heating or cooking stove was $2.22 per month in winter. The second, third, and fourth stoves cost $1.67, $1.11, and 83(, respectively. Gas lights for dwellings or business rooms cost 27( per month. Similar privileges to lay pipe lines were granted to Andrew J. Brown on February 5, 1901. The Buckeye Pipe Line Company received permission on March 13, 1901, to operate a pipe line for transportation of oil through the village. Street car service on a line through Lowell from Marietta to Beverly was established in 1910. The competition of the automobile caused the service to be discontinued on November 1, 1929.
Several social activities which were important in the community in the early 19th century are no longer in existence. An annual Harvest Home Picnic was held for several years in the picnic grove west of Lowell. Until the 1913 flood a band stand stood near the canal across Second Street from the Wilson residence. Concerts were given in summer by the Lowell Band under the direction of P. E. Kidd. On the second floor of the Rietz building on Front Street, the Lowell Opera House was located. Here band concerts, local theatricals, lyceum courses, picture shows, and Farmer's Institutes were held. The Opera House burned during the flood of 1913.
The flood of 1913 cause great loss and damage at Lowell. The store building of Henniger and Rietz on Front Street burned. The covered bridge across the Muskingum was destroyed, and the canal bridge was washed from its position. Many houses were carried away from Upper Lowell and from the island. The Lowell Planing Mill was carried away from its position below the flour mill. The buildings in the flatiron block were washed away or destroyed. In buildings that remained standing, there was great destruction of household goods and merchandise by the water. On July 18, 1938, the Muskingum Conservancy System of 14 dams for water control and flood elimination was dedicated at Bolivar.
Before 1915 a two-story frame building on the west side of Walnut Street between the Powell and Mallet buildings housed the council room, fire engine, and jail. After the 1913 flood the St. John's Evangelical Church bought a new site on Fourth Street and sold the old location to the village of Lowell for a Town Hall. This two-story brick building was constructed in 1915. It contains a fire department, jail, council room, and assembly hall.
About 1870 the village council of Lowell brought the old Marietta fire truck to town for a trial before buying it. This was the test: Would the engine throw water over the old German Church? The suction hose was placed in a cistern, and the town's strongest men pushed the handle bars up and down. As the stream splashed across the roof, the assembled population cheered. The engine was bought and used until 1940. In that year the Lowell Progressive Association spent $1,285 raised by subscription for the present fire truck.
Waterworks and sewer systems were installed in 1939. The waterworks was financed by a federal W. P. A. grant of $22,909 and a loan of $28,000. The total cost of the sewer system was $75,914, provided by a W. P. A. grant of $58,419, and a special bond issue of $16,495 which carried on February 28, 1938, by a vote of 340 to 28. The community celebrated the victory with bonfires and a parade led by the band. The Marietta Truck Growers Association built a large brick building on Third Street in 1946.
According to the census there are in Adams Township 181 farms, containing a total of 16,440 acres. The area of the township is 20,057 acres, or approximately 31 square miles. Lowell is 617 feet above sea level.
The first volume of the records of the town clerk of Lowell is lost, and later volumes do not record the election of officers. From the signatures of mayors to the cases in the Criminal Docket the following list of mayors with incomplete dates has been compiled: T. Schreiner, 1851-53; John S. Wilson, 1853-1857; Cyrus Spooner, 1857-59; Dennis Gibbs, 1859-?; Dan Sprague was mayor in 1867; A. W. Sprague, 1868-72; George Fleck, 1872-?; Z. M. Morris, 1876-?; A. W. Sprague, 1880-86; J. W. Brabham, 1886-88; C. B. Severance, 1888-89; A. W. Sprague, 1889-91; Phillip Mattern, 1891-95; J. W. Brabham, 1895-99; A. D. Bell, 1899-1903; A. C. Beach, 1903-05; W. P. Rice, 1905-06; J. D. Hollinger, 1906-08; W. F. Schwartz, 1909-13; J. F. Hollinger, 1914-15; J. B. Chandler, 1916-19; J. F. Hollinger, 1920-21; J. L. Mason, 1922-25; E. S. Brown, 1926-27; J. L. Mason, 1928-31; D. A. Leake, 1932-36; F. E. Jackson, 1936-38; D. B. Stanley, 1938-39; W. V. Bowen, 1939-41; Chester Schmidt, 1941-42; T. E. Hess, 1942-46; C. W. Bower, 1946-.
P. B. Buell was appointed postmaster of Carroll, January 13, 1830. When the name of the post office was changed to Lowell on February 7, 1837, Buell was reappointed. The succeeding postmasters and the dates of their appointments were: George Flick, 1839; Elijah Short, 1842; Joseph Z. Barnett, 1845; Sarah Davis, April 16, 1846; Joseph C. Schofield, November 20, 1846; John A. Hutchinson, 1848; John B. Regnier, 1851; George Flick, 1853; James S. Williamson, 1855; Henry Wolfe, 1859; Phillip Mattern, 1863; John Spooner, 1865; Phillip Mattern, 1868; Augustus W. Sprague, 1885; Arthur D. Stanley, 1889; Edward W. Dean, 1893; Arthur D. Stanley, 1897; Kate B. Stanley, 1906; J. Dean Stanley (acting), January 2, 1920; Don B. Stanley, May 10, 1920; Benjamin E. Bowden, 1933; Helen Owen, 1942.
St. John's Evangelical Church was organized by German immigrants who settled on Cats Creek. Services were first held in the Methodist building that stood on Third Street. The first group was confirmed in 1860. The church building on Walnut Street, where the town hall now stands, was started at the beginning of the Civil War. Work was suspended during the Civil War, and the building was completed in 1865. The steeple was added in 1894 and the art glass windows in 1902. Pastors of the church: F. Juergens, 1858-67; Alfred Kretchmar, 1867-69; F. Eshenfeld, 1870-72; C. G. Frederich, 1873-80; E. A. Fuenfstueck, 1880-82; W. C. Kampmeier, 1882-97; Theo. Judd, 1897-1900; Otto W. Breuhaus, 1900-45. During the pastorate of Rev. Breuhaus the present church on Fourth Street was built in 1915-16 at a cost of $11,000. The pipe organ was purchased in 1924. The steeple from the old church was used on the town hall.
The Church of Christ was organized in 1831. A house of worship was built on the river bank below Lowell on what was then the Walter Hall farm. In 1855 the building was moved to the north side of Third Street below Market Street where it stands as a residence today between the Leake and Shuman properties. The present church building on the north side of Fourth Street was constructed in 1872. The Lord's Day School was started in 1886 through the efforts of Mrs. Effie Geddes. This church is the oldest institution in Lowell. Ministers of the church: John Reed, Ruben Davis, John Sargeant, Nathan J. Mitchell, George Lucy, S. Devore, D. M. Hughes, O. W. Kile, E. R. Karstaedt, J. F. Ryan, N. S. Martin, A. H. Wilson, H. E. Stinson, D. G. Holman, C. L. Kendle, Kenneth Reed, Donaldson.
The Methodist Church in Lowell was organized in 1896 by Rev. N. E. Hulbert after one or more previous organizations had been attempted. Meetings were held in the old Congregational building at the corner of Third and Walnut streets until the Baptist building was moved in 1916 to the present location at the corner of Fourth and Market. Pastors: Miller, 1896-97; E. O. Morris, 1897-99; C. W. Danford, 1899-1900; D. W. Merrill, 1900-02; M. W. Blevington, 1902-04; Rouse and Kelly, 1904-06; H. L. Peoples, 1908-10; Kennedy, 1910-12; T. H. Taylor, 1912-13; Hollingshead, 1913-14; T. C. Stall, 1914-16; Hunter, 1916-18; Stewart, 1918; A. A. Pelt, 1918-20; Ward, 1920-23; C. M. Redding, 1923-24; S. T. Walter, 1924-27; S. M. Firestone, 1927-32; Ayers, 1932-33; Frank Lepage, 1933-37; H. A. Guiler, 1937-.
Our Lady of Mercy Catholic church was built in 1919 in Adams Township on the hill south of the Muskingum River. The pastors have been Father Clement Crock, Father Arthur Zuber, and Father Joseph Pickard.
A Baptist Church was formed at Adams, May 12, 1832, as a reorganization of the Rainbow Church started in 1797. In 1832 the 57 members built a house of worship near Upper Lowell. When the center of population shifted with the incorporation of Buell's Lowell, a new church was built in 1868 above the school house on Fourth Street. After membership declined and services were discontinued, this building was sold about 1914 to the Methodists, who moved it to the present site at the corner of Fourth and Walnut.
The Congregationalists organized a church at Lowell under the leadership of Charles Weatherby. Incorporation papers were applied for on November 28, 1857. In 1860 this denomination erected a brick house of worship at the corner of Walnut and Third streets. After the Congregationalists disbanded the building was used by the Methodists and later remodeled for the Henniger-Mallet Store.
The cemetery west of Lowell was provided by the Ohio Company of Associates. The name Greenlawn for this cemetery was selected about 45 years ago by a committee consisting of Adam Beach, John Hollinger, and C. G. Schneider. German citizens for many years used the burying ground between Lowell and Greenlawn. Burials were made there in succession as people died rather than on family lots.
The oldest lodge in Lowell is Lowell Lodge, No. 436, F. and A. M. This fraternity was chartered October 21, 1867. Meetings were held in the brick store building above the alley near the canal bridge on Front Street until September, 1870, when the lodge moved to the Franz Schneider building facing the canal bridge. About 1905 the lodge moved again to the third story of the frame hotel above the Schneider building and remained there until it purchased the second floor of the Wolfram building in 1927. Lowell Lodge, No. 438, I. O. O. F., was chartered August 23, 1869. This lodge met in the Schneider Building until 1896 when it moved to the third floor of the Wolfram building. This lodge disbanded in 1944 and sold the third floor to the Masons. Buell Lodge, No. 395, Knights of Pythias, was instituted December 26, 1899. The Pythians own their own home on the island at the end of the canal bridge. The first women's lodge in Lowell was the Sunbeam Rebekah Lodge, No. 51, I. O. O. F., which was organized August 23, 1888. The Rebekahs are planning to surrender their charter. Lowell Temple No. 230, Pythian Sisters, was instituted on October 15, 1903. Lowell Chapter No. 272, Order of Easter Star, was instituted June 26, 1907.
Two Grange organizations existed in Adams Township during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The present Grange was organized in October, 1928. The first master was Lloyd Stacy. At present there are 125 members. The local Grange won first prize for six consecutive years for its exhibit at the Washington County Fair. In the years 1937 and 1938 it won the second prize of $100 for its exhibit at the Ohio State Fair. Meetings were held in the third story of the Wolfram building before the Grange Hall was built in 1940 on ground donated by Lloyd Stacy below Lowell.
The existing school records begin soon after the incorporation of Lowell in 1851. In March, 1854, the school board passed a motion to build a two-story brick school house at the corner of Fourth and Market streets. Provision was made by the board on April 18, 1859, for a German School for a term of three months. In 1906 the brick building could no longer accommodate the school enrollment. To provide more room the board authorized the building of a one-room frame school house at a cost not to exceed $500 to be completed by August 28, 1906. Two lots on the corner of Fifth and Market streets were purchased in 1907 for $600. On account of further increase in number of students and the condemnation of the old building by the state inspector, the board provided on June 20, 1907, that the frame building be increased 16 feet in length and a second story added. Provision was made at the same time for safety and sanitation in the old building. The present building was constructed near the site of the frame schoolhouse in 1915 at a cost of $34,000. The gymnasium was added in 1925 at a cost of $20,000. The old brick structure was torn down in 1924.
The first high school principal mentioned in the records was I. L. Ellis, who was employed in 1884. Charles I. Parkings taught in the high school from 1884 to 1886; J. S. Jordan, 1886-90; D. A. Leake, 1890-94. In 1894 D. A. Leake was elected as first superintendent of Lowell schools; he served in that position until 1902. In 1900 the teacher of the grammar department was F. C. Landsittle, a graduate of Lowell schools who later became professor of education at Ohio State University. The superintendents and their terms of office after 1902 were: White, 1902-03; D. A. Leake 1903-05; W. E. Ellison, 1905-06; Quincy Leckrone, 1906-07; H. O. Young, 1907-10; D. A. Leake, 1910-15; C. E. Eddleblute, 1915-18; D. A. Leake, 1918-23; F. A. Sheridan, 1923-26; Paul Wellman, 1926-27; J. F. Ryan, 1927-39; F. F. Young, 1939-.
Six of the 74 Washington County men who lost their lives in World War I were from Lowell. Pvt. L. E. Bauerbach and William H. Bogard were killed in action. Pvt. Howard Schau, Pvt. Bernice J. Dalton, Pvt. Joseph Barnhart, and Pvt. Rollie McFarland died of disease abroad.
WORLD WAR II HONOR ROLL: 1941-1945
LOWELL AND ADAMS TOWNSHIP
Henry L. Ball
O. Dean Ball
Darrell F. Barnes
Onnie C. Barnes
Marcel Lee Batten
Jo Forshey Black
Clarence L. Coffman
John Henry DeLong
Lentz C. Devol
Roy J. Dixon
Mary E. Forshey
Elmer C. Gant
Bernard H. Gerken
John W. Hansen
Lawrence W. Hansen
Tracy N. Hupp
Robert Harold Martin
Neil R. Roff
John Schau, Jr.
Clarence Schmidt, Jr.
Hal E. Smith
Glen Van Fossen
Harry Van Fossen
Kathryn Van Fossen
Howard Way, Jr.
Norman G. Young
* Killed in action, Germany
HISTORY OF LOWELL AND ADAMS TOWNSHIP, Norris F. Schneider; Midwest Book Company, Lowell OH, © 1946. Used with permission. The original printed version of this pamphlet is illustrated by photographs and by etchings by Leslie Cope.
Contributed by: Franz Schneider
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