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THE OLD VILLAGE OF NEW LISBON, OHIO
Biographical Notes of Its Citizens Prominent in the Affairs of
The Village, State and Nation.
BY C. S. SPEAKER, C. C. CONNELL AND GEORGE T. FARRELL,
Of the Centennial Celebration Committee
The Committee is indebted to Mr. Charles D. Dickin-
son valuable and material aid furnished to
the preparation of this sketch. They
desire to express their apprecia-
tion thereof and to extend
the same to its readers.
J. J. Bennett, Printer
History of Lisbon.
The first white man who beheld the territory embraced within the limits of the present village of Lisbon a little more than a century ago, certainly found it pleasing to the view. A well wooded plain of considerable size at the base of a level topped, forest covered hill on the north, and lying in the bend of a beautiful stream, the middle fork of the Little Beaver Creek, which separated it from the steep pine clad hills on the west and south, with numerous springs of pure cold water and a rich soil that would produce abundant crops, while fish were plentiful in the stream and game was not scarce in the forest, all served to make it an ideal place for the home of the pioneer.
It would be interesting to know just when the first settlement was made and the name of the hardy adventurer who began the work of civilization at this place, but no record is available from which to learn these facts and any one who might have given the information has long ago passed away. Enough is known, however, to fix the date of the earliest permanent settlement of this locality as being about the beginning of the last century, for Lewis Kinney, who owned the land upon which the village was laid out, built a cabin near the creek where the Arter tannery was afterward erected, and proceeded to found the town, which he named New Lisbon, on February 16, 1803. He donated lots for county buildings and erected a log court-house and jail in the Fall of that year, for which he received from the county the munificent sum of one hundred and fifty dollars. He sold the land upon which he had first settled to John Arter in 1805. His name was well known in county affairs in the early part of the nineteenth century, for he was Major of the First Battalion of Columbiana County Militia, which was first mustered in 1806, and he served in the State Senate from 1808 to 1813. He afterwards moved to Missouri.
The log court-house erected by Mr. Kinney continued in use until 1816, when the brick court- house which was torn down some years ago was built. The present structure was erected in 1871, and was occupied several years before the old brick building was razed.
William Slater first lived east of New Lisbon, where he operated a small powder mill, but in 1808 he purchased a part of the Kinney tract and proceeded to lay out an addition of out-lots to New Lisbon on the west of the original plat. The village grew steadily, but not with a modern time “boom,” and in 1809 it contained more than sixty houses, a number of them being built of stone or brick, and the population consisted almost wholly of people from the States of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, an industrious, energetic, thrifty and law abiding class of citizens.
Among those who came early to locate in New Lisbon were General Rezin Beal, the Harbaughs, Arters, Shawkes, Potters, Blocksons, Hostetters, Watsons, Smalls, Thompsons, Endleys, Springers, Greens, Crowls, Helmans, Vallandighams, Richardsons, Briggses and others whose names are very familiar, as many of their descendants are now, or have been within a comparatively recent period, residents of the town.
These pioneers deserve more than a passing notice, but lack of space forbids an extended account of them.
Reasin Beall came to New Lisbon about 1803 and was a prominent citizen of the new village, being appointed by the Common Pleas Court to the offices of Recorder, or Clerk and Treasurer, on July 26, 1803, and holding the office of Clerk of Courts in 1810. He was also Brigadier General of the Second Brigade of Ohio Militia. Afterward, about the year 1815, he removed to Wooster and was elected a Representative to the 13th Congress of the United States.
William and Daniel Harbaugh came in 1804 and soon became prominent in the affairs of the county. Daniel Harbaugh soon after his arrival established a tannery. John Arter came in 1805 and opened a tannery. Jacob Shawke, who was the first “village blacksmith,” Dr. Horace Potter and Fisher A. Blocksom came here the same year. Dr. Potter was the first physician to begin practice in New Lisbon, became a surgeon in the militia regiment, and afterwards Clerk of Courts. Mr. Blocksom was the first lawyer to make a permanent residence here, having come on horseback through the forest. He served for several years as Prosecuting Attorney of the county, was Representative to the General Assembly from 1826 t0 1828 inclusive and again from 1831 to 1833, and was also a State Senator from 1847 to 1851. He continued in active practice of his profession until about 1852, and remained a resident of the town until his death, December 14, 1876, at the age of a little more than ninety-five years.
Jacob Hostetter came from Switzerland in 1805 and engaged in the business of clock and watch making. David Hostetter settled here in 1806 and opened a tavern. His son and his grandson each held the office of sheriff of the county in after years. John Small came in 1806 and followed the occupation of gunsmith many years. John Watson came in the same year and also conducted a tavern. This house, it is said, had the first brick chimney in New Lisbon. Jacob Watson’s son, Jacob Watson, was the first sheriff of the county. Dr. Joseph Springer became a resident of the town in 1807, and Holland Green, Michael Stock, who was probably the first one to begin the business of wagon making in the village, and George Crowl were among those who located here in the same year. Reverend Clement Vallandingham came to New Lisbon immediately after his marriage in May, 1807, and on June 24th of that year was ordained and installed as pastor of the Presbyterian church in the village and continued in that capacity during the remainder of his life, which ended October 21, 1839. His son, Rev. James L., celebrated the ninety-first anniversary of his birthday at his home in Newark, Del., on March 13 of this year. Another son, Clement L., was widely known as a lawyer, orator and politician, removed to Dayton, Ohio, in August 1847, and died June 17, 1871.
In 1808 Martin Helman located in the village and during the same year William D. Lepper came and established the first newspaper in the county, The Ohio Patriot. Gideon Hughes also settled here in the same year and erected a furnace a short distance northwest of the town. This was the first iron furnace in the State of Ohio and was the pioneer of that great industry in which millions of capital is invested and thousands of men are employed in this and adjoining counties. The ruins of the old furnace yet remain near the McKinley mines, and an effort should be made to preserve this relic of early enterprise, a monument on the historic spot to be seen by future generations. William Clapsaddle in 1810 was the first tinner on the village, and doubtless never even imagined that a mammoth tin mill would ever be operated here. The early settlers of New Lisbon were as patriotic and ready to respond to the call of their country, as were their grandsons at the call for troops to serve during the Civil War. As early as March 28, 1809, a call was issued by the Governor of Ohio for “Brig. Gen. Beall to arm and equip according to law, one hundred and forty-four of the militia of his brigade, and hold in readiness to march, at a moment’s warning, to meet some great national emergency.” However, the emergency passed away and order was issued by Major General Wadsworth, dated at Canfield, June 8, 1809, in which the troops were discharged, with the thanks of the President of the United States to those volunteers whose patriotism induced them to volunteer their services in defense of the liberties of their country.” Again, on the 18th of June, 1812, war was declared with England, and Captain Thomas Rowland (who came to New Lisbon with William Harbaugh from Brownsville, Pa., in 1804) raised a volunteer company soon after the news of the declaration of war was received, and marched to join Gen. Hull at Detroit, encamping the first night at the barn on the old Stock farm, then owned by Gen. Beall, a mile west of Lisbon. “When this company arrived a the river Raisin, thirty miles from Detroit, intelligence reached them of Hull’s surrender, and soon a demand was made by the British for the surrender of Captain Rowland and his company. To this they refused to Accede, retreated, and returned home.” Captain Rowland had been the first quartermaster of the militia organized in 1806, and served as county treasurer. Some time after the return of Captain Rowland and his company from this march to join Gen. Hull, he was appointed Captain in the Seventeenth Regiment, United States army, and in 1813, raised a second company in New Lisbon. The muster roll of both companies raised by Captain Rowland have been lost, and who composed the companies or how long the last one remained in the service, cannot be ascertained.
The muster roll of Capt. Daniel Harbaugh’ company of light dragoons, dated September, 1812, however, has been preserved, and while probably some of the members of that company were not residents of New Lisbon, yet the names of many known citizens of the place appear upon the roll, which is here given in full, as follows:
Captain, Daniel Harbaugh; First Lieutenant, David Scott; Second Lieutenant, George Clarke; Cornet, Michael Wirtz; First Sergeant, James Watson; Second Sergeant, Jonathan Whitacre; Third Sergeant Mordecai Moore; Forth Sergeant, Henry Hephner; Farrier, John Kuntz; Trumpeter, Daniel Lindesmith; Privates, Abner Allison, Samuel Blackburn, Andrew Forbes, Henry Aten, John Fife, David Fife, John Goble, Morris E. Morris, Philip Meis, William Moore, Thomas Moore, John McKinsey, Elemuel Swearingen, Benoni Swearingen, George Wilson, Andrew Wilibury, Matthew Adams, Fischer A. Blocksom, Holland Green, John McMillen, Edmond Keys, Nicholas Sampsell, Thomas C. King, James Brady, Michael Croper, Martin Breidenstein, William Davis, John Hollinger, John McKaig, Joseph Woods, Samuel Swearingen, John Rogers, Alexander rogers, Samuel Hunt, John Fulks, John Marchant, Martin Armstrong, John Poe (captain’s boy), Benjamin Paul, Frederick Zepernick (com), Philip Houtz, Andrew Cruthers.
Lieut. Scott was probably the David Scott who came to New Lisbon about the year 1809, and built a house in the corner of the public square on the lot now occupied by the building recently erected and known as the Park Block. The first dry goods merchants in the village were Joseph Stibbs, David Graham and Thomas Cox, who carried on business at or near the corner of Washington and Jefferson streets. That locality seems to have been the business center of town for a number of years, but in the course of events the business moved to Walnut and Market streets. The exact date when Stibbs, and Graham and Cox began the dry goods business in New Lisbon cannot be ascertained, but it must have been at a very early period in the history of the town, for it is said that the Indians traded there, and that they came in such numbers that the streets in that portion of the village were often almost blockaded. Others among the very early merchants were Martin and William Helman, and a little later George Endley, Holland Green, Benjamin Hanna, John Briggs, and Joseph Richardson were all engaged in mercantile pursuits here.
That New Lisbon was a very busy place at an early date is shown by the number engaged in manufacturing in a small way and as merchants, and being on the State road running west, and on the Salem and Steubenville, and the East Liverpool and Canfield roads running to the north and south, it became an important center in the old wagoning days.
While traffic and the mechanical arts were progressing quite rapidly in the new town, the education of the youth was not being neglected, and in this connection a few excerpts from an article prepared by Hon. H. H. Gregg for the State School Commissioner in 1876, will not be a miss. Mr. Gregg says: “According to the testimony of the venerable Fischer A. Blocksom, who came to New Lisbon in 1805, the lot or square of ground on North Market Street, on the hill, occupied from the commencement of the town for school purposes, was originally a beautiful grove of white oak saplings or bushes, in the midst of which was constructed a rude log cabin school-house, of round logs and clapboard roof, and, according to the testimony of one who attended school in the rude building, light was admitted through oiled or greased paper used in place of window glass. The school furniture of that day * * * was generally constructed of slabs, flat side up, adjusted by fixing pins in the wall, and desks to suit, and the teacher sat on a stool of primitive style, * * * with rod near at hand to insure peace and obedience to his mandates.”
“Mr. Blocksom says that when he first came to New Lisbon this school-house was presided over by a teacher named Wilson, and he thinks David Wilson was his full name, and that he continued to teach until the year 1808, when he died of a fever which prevailed and proved fatal in many cases at the time. He was succeeded by Reuben P. McNamee, who was afterwards county commissioner, and also by the Rev. Thomas Rigdon, a Baptist preacher, who was elected a Representative in the State Legislature from 1813 to 1816. This primitive log cabin school-house was succeeded by a hewed log house, which was at the time considered a great improvement in architectural style, and the school board about this time was composed of Gen. Reasin Beall, Maj. Thomas Rowland, Daniel Harbaugh and Fisher A. Blocksom. In the last named house John Whitacre taught school; also De Lorma Brooks, who was a representative in the State Legislature in 1826-27. And of the early teachers I will name Thomas Morrell, long a citizen of New Lisbon, and also David McKinley, grandfather to the President. In later years Robert Whitacre and Jacob G. Williard taught school in this house, the former for six years auditor of this county, and the last named treasurer and county surveyor.” “The last teacher, however, who occupied the old building was the late David Anderson, who, for about thirty-seven years, well and faithfully served the people of new Lisbon as a teacher of youth. In fact, it was not until September, 1849, that the board of school directors declared the old hewed log house ‘no longer tenantable,’ and Mr. Anderson and his school were compelled to abandon the premises and occupy a building on West Walnut Street which had been rented for them.”
The length of time occupied and the valuable services rendered by Mr. Anderson as the head of the New Lisbon schools was remarkable. The name of David Anderson recalls to the hundreds of his pupils scattered in all parts of the country an erect, sinewy figure, strong and clear cut features, surmounted by wavy, white hair, the gray eyes keen and fearless, flashing deviance when aroused and meeting the gaze of those he confronted frankly and searchingly. In character and daring, as well as in erectness of carriage, alertness of movement and facial expression he resembled Wendell Phillips; and he would confront opposition and attack as unquailingly as did the great Champion of Liberty. He was of the sinew and mold of Andrew Jackson and of Henry Clay and his essential manliness and boldness of front made a deep and lasting impression upon the lives and character of his students. They recognized the ring of true metal in the quick, alert man, who had their interests at heart and impressed upon them frankness and openness.
The privations and struggles of his early life developed his strength of character, as of body, and made him emblematic of the history. Born in Maryland in 1802 of sturdy, God fearing stock, the hardness of his early surroundings and difficulties grappled with, developed his strength. He left York, Pennsylvania, at the age of nineteen and traveled on foot over the Allegheny Mountains to Ohio, making, in inclement weather and over trying roads, an average distance of thirty-five miles per day. His youthful mind was greatly impressed with the grandeur of the scene while crossing the mountains; giant oaks which seemed to have sentineled the forest for ages interspersed with pines towering hundreds of feet communed with him amid the silence and solemnity of nature. He writes in his journal descriptive of the trip, “my mind has been exercised with many solemn reflections on the greatness of that Almighty Being who created all things and by a word spoke all things into being. How great must be His power ‘who weigheth the mountains in scales and the hills in balances.’” The way worn traveler found it disheartening while wearily climbing the immense heights expecting to discern levels beyond “but beheld the road winding its way from mountain to mountain.” The deep moral and religious bent of his nature is indicated by the fact that on this journey he sometimes traveled as far as seven miles to attend church. His students will note a familiar trait in accuracy and care of detail in the fact that the name of every important stream traversed is given, with the number of paces of the bridges spanning them, as well as a description of the country, each county seat and the chief points of the towns through which the traveler journeyed being noted. He apologizes for not ascertaining the name of a hamlet traversed “as it was of no special importance.” He was surprised on leaving Pittsburgh and turning for a farewell view the distance of about a mile to find the city entirely obscured from view “on account of the character of stone coal used.” The beauty of the Ohio river and valley impressed him greatly as it had General Washington before him, and upon turning to the westward, he bids a poetic and touching farewell to the great river which has cheered and elevated his thoughts during his journey. Another notable trait is indicated in the nonforgetable impression made upon him by kindness rendered during the journey. He refers over and over again to the kindness and hospitality shown him, the lengthened faces and moistened eyes at parting, to the considerateness of some of his new found friends who accompanied him many miles upon is journey, and he interweaves in his journal assurances that their kindness will never be forgotten by the way the worn traveler; as assuredly they never were.
At the age of nineteen he began teaching school in Ohio and continued in that profession in New Lisbon until the year 1872, when failing health compelled him to retire. The rugged strength, openness and manliness of his character could but have made impressions upon his pupils and molded their lives and characters. With all of them there is a strong and living tie binding them to this remarkable gentleman and a place in their affections kept warm and green in memory of David Anderson.
Among other eminent teachers and superintendents of the schools of the place were William Travis, Reuben McMillan, Henry C. McCook, T. M. T. McCoy, I. P. Hole and R. W. Tayler. Of the pupils who obtained their education in the common schools of the town, many have risen to distinction in the various walks of life and their names are known, and well known, not only in our own but also in foreign lands.
Returning again from the educational lines to those of trade, we find that the first drug store established in New Lisbon was about 1814, and the proprietor was a German named John Weistling. It is said that the contents of his store might have been contained in a common dry goods box. Evidently “roots and yarbs” were the panacea for most of the bodily ills of that day, and what are now scoffed at as “old women’s remedies” served to keep the pioneers in good health.
The first grocery store was conducted by George Graham at an early date. The Columbiana Bank of New Lisbon was the first bank organized in the county. The first meeting for the election of directors was held March 7, 1814, and Thomas Gillingham, Thomas Moore, James Craig, William Harbaugh, Holland Green, Alexander Snodgrass, George Endley, Horace Potter, martin Helman, Joseph Richardson, John Street, Elderkin Potter, and Gideon Hughes were elected directors. Martin Helman was appointed President; Elderkin Potter, Cashier, and Fisher A. Blocksom, Attorney.
New Lisbon post-office was established about 1809 and William Harbaugh, who was the first postmaster, kept the office in his saddler’s shop—a small log house which stood on East Washington Street near the site of the shops now owned by John Scott. Soon after, his partner, Capt. Thomas Rowland, was appointed, and kept the office at the same place. When Capt. Rowland went into the army in 1812, Fisher A Blocksom was appointed deputy and removed the office to a small building on Market Street, where it was kept for a few years. George Endley became post-master in 1815, and kept the office at his store on Walnut Street. David Begges succeeded him and removed the office to his tore on Walnut Street.
The first newspaper, as has already been noted, was the Ohio Patriot—or, to be more accurate, Der Patriot am Ohio—a small German sheet published in the latter part of 1808 by William D. Leeper, a native of Hanover, Germany. The publication of the German newspaper was soon discontinued, but early in 1809 Mr. Leeper began the publication of The Ohio Patriot, in English, and continued its issue until 1833. It was quite small in its early youth, being only a four- column sheet in the beginning, but it had been enlarged to five columns when it was sold to Joseph Cabell, who made a further enlargement. From 1835 to 1839 the office was owned and the paper issued by Hetzel and Gregg, who sold it to William D. Morgan. Mr. Morgan continued as editor and publisher until 1852. In that year William H. Gill became the owner of the paper, and soon enlarged it. Matthew Johnson became the owner in 1857, and, early in 1858, he was succeeded by Thomas S. Woods, who conducted it for nearly ten years, until his death in 1867, when his brother, Robert G. Woods, took the paper and continued its publication until his death in 1873. From that date it was controlled by George H. Vallandingham and others for a year or two, when it became the property of Wilson S. Potts, who has continued it publication until the present time.
The next newspaper published in New Lisbon was the New Lisbon Gazette, first issued by Robert Fee in 1826, but its existence was brief, continuing only about six months, when its publication ceased.
The Columbiana County American and New Lisbon Free Press was the somewhat long name of the next venture in journalism in the town, having been established by William Campbell in June, 1827. Daniel Harbaugh became the owner of this paper in 1828, and John Watt was employed as editor. Mr. Watt changed the name to The Western Palladium and continued as editor until 1835, at which date Nathaniel Mitchell purchased the paper and published it until G. W. Harper and S. Corbett became proprietors in 1839. In 1842 they disposed of the paper to Joseph Wilkinson, who issued it until 1854, when it was absorbed by the Buckeye State.
In 1848, The Ocean Wave, a small temperance paper, was published for about six months by H. C. Trunick, and in March, 1832, John Frost began the publication of the Aurora, an anti-slavery and temperance paper which was discontinued in 1856. It was a very positive sheet and the editor did not hesitate to publish his convictions.
A young lawyer of the village, R. D. Hartshorn, began the publication of the Buckeye State in 1852. Two years later he purchased the Western Palladium and merged it into the Buckeye State, and in 1856 he sold the whole outfit to Robert C. Wilson, who continued the publication until his death in 1863. His son, James Wilson, then conducted the paper until he also died in . G. I. Young next became editor and proprietor and issued the paper until his death, in 1871, while he was a member of the State Legislature. The Buckeye State was then conducted for a few more years by his widow, who disposed of it to Ed. F. Moore and P. C. Young. In 1875 Mr. Young disposed of his interest in the paper to his partner, Mr. Moore, who continued its publication until 1901, when it was purchased by The Buckeye Publishing Company, to whom it is now issued.
In 1865 J. D. Briggs commenced the issuing of The Merchants’ Journal, a paper devoted to business interests, but the publication soon suspended. James K. Frew launched The New Lisbon Journal in April, 1867, and conducted it for many years successfully, when he retired from its management and was succeeded by his son, D. Howard Frew, who afterwards sold the paper t o Hinchliffe and Moffatt. After a brief time Hinchliffe disposed of his interest in to Moffatt, and he in turn sold again to D. H. Frew. The Journal was finally consolidated with The Buckeye State under its present management and went out of existence as an independent paper.
In 1892 The Republican Leader was established by John J. Kirk and others and later was sold to Geo. Redway, who conducted it until 1898, when it was discontinued.
Other small sheets in the interest of churches, temperance, and education have been published in the town for brief periods.
A short time after the war of 1812 a market house covering a considerable plat of ground was built in the public square, opposite the front of the present court-house. The original market house consisted only of a roof supported by two rows of brick pillars, and market was held there twice a week, in the morning. About 1830, a more substantial and artistic structure was erected on the same spot in place of the old building, and William Hillman was appointed clerk and weigh-master, and for many years served in that capacity for the very remunerative salary of eight dollars a year. In 1812 or 1813 a man named Hollingsworth setup a carding machine, immediately north of the Canton bridge, and near the same place Caleb Whitacre erected grist and saw mills, the site of which was afterwards occupied by Matthew Elder for a fulling mill and carding machine. These were destroyed by fire many years ago.
In the early days Edmund Hays erected a grist mill, which was destroyed by fire in 1845, while owned by Daniel Harbaugh. It was rebuilt by him some years afterward and in 1870 was purchased by John S. Hunter and is now in operation, being owned by Hunter & McCord. Adjoining the corporation on the northeast William Harbaugh also erected a grist mill, perhaps about 1815 or 1820. This mill was afterwards converted into a distillery.
That is not all work, worry and warfare with the pioneers of New Lisbon is shown by the fact that as early as 1813 it is recorded that the village had a band of musicians. The members were William Hillman and John Clapsaddle, violinists; John Crafts, flutist; while William D. Leeper played the piccolo and Dr. John Gloss the triangle. This instrumentation will appear very odd to musicians of the present day, as will the collection of instruments in the next band organized in the village in October, 1832. The members with their various instruments are given as follows:
Leader, Joseph Way, clarinet; David Schultz, C. F. Helman, A. J. Begges, William Collier, John Beaumont, and Hiram Medill, clarinets; Ed. F. Leeper and Frank Richardson, bugles; Robert Hanna, Jacob Ewing, Adam Endley and Ed Collier, flutes; James McElroy and J. Casper, bassoons; William A. Hoover and Matthias Nace, violins; Thomas small and Thomas Beaumont, French horns; William Till, trombone; Samuel J. Hoover, ophicleide, and Pat Murphy, bass drum. This combination of sound producers almost equaled the “band” which accompanied the first elephant exhibited in New Lisbon in 1820. That musical aggregation consisted of a violin and tambourine. It is related that “large numbers flocked into the village to see the show,” evidently attracted by the beast and not by the music.
The earliest settlers were principally of the Presbyterian and German Lutheran faith, the former being the first religious society to effect an organization here, which appears to have been done in 1806. As has been stated, Rev. Clement Vallandingham became pastor in 1807, and services were first held in the old log court-house, and in fair weather a preacher’s tent was used in the grove near the creek. In the month of September, 1807, appears the first record of a baptism, that of James, son of Davidson and Agnes Filson. The first church edifice of the congregation was erected in 1814, nearly west of the present jail. It was a large, plain, uncomfortable, one-story building, in which the seats were high and aisles were paved with brick. In 1836 the congregation was incorporated and about 1841, a new church was completed on the lot where the present church building stands and was occupied until…..when it was damaged by fire so that it became necessary to raze it. The present commodious church was erected in….
The German Lutheran and Reformed Societies while having an organization here at an early date, did not erect a house of worship until about 1833, having attended divine worship in the old court house before that date. Their earlier records were long ago destroyed, so not much information can be gleaned concerning them, but in or about 1833 they erected the brick church on Washington street. Many of the members residing in the country, they became attached to the churches north of town, and regular services were not held in the town church.
About 1813, the Society of Friends or Quakers, began to hold meetings in a dwelling, but about 1816, a small meeting house was built on Jefferson street, which is still standing. Here services were kept up as long as any were held by the Friends in the village, but their existence as a religious organization in the place terminated long ago.
Some time after 1812, the Calvanistic Baptist church was organized, and about 1815 they built a frame meeting house on the corner of High and Jefferson streets. This house was used by the Baptists and their successors—the Disciples—until 1841. The Baptist Society ceased to exist in 1827, and the members merged with the Disciples, and the present house of worship was built in 1841.
The Methodist Episcopal church was not fully organized in New Lisbon until about 1822, but for a number of years prior to that date Methodism was established in the village, and in 1818 the place was recognized as a regular appointment on the Beaver circuit, and services were held about once a month. The first place of meeting was a small frame house a little west of Arter’s tannery. About 1826, a plain brick edifice on the hill half a square east of Market street was provided, and was used until 1838, when the church was erected on the southwest corner of the square. This building was used until….., when the present attractive structure was occupied.
In 1839, the congregation of the West Beaver United Presbyterian church had five members residing in New Lisbon, who were occasionally supplied with preaching in the old log school-house. On April 28, 1839, the congregation was formally constituted in the village and purchased the old brick Methodist house of worship on High street, and on January 1, 1860, the new church building on Walnut street was completed and services have been held there since that date.
The Protestant Methodist church began to hold meetings in the village in 1831, in a small brick house on Chestnut street, but about 1837, they erected a new building on the northwest corner of the public square, which became known as the “White church,” but in 1848 the society became extinct. The Wesleyan Methodists also held meetings in the village about 1842, but never formed a permanent congregation.
The services of the Protestant Episcopal church were held in New Lisbon as early as 1847, and at later periods, but no organization was effected until 1863. The meetings were first held in the German church and then in the court-house until 1876, when a neat chapel was erected on Walnut street. The Roman Catholic church numbered a few members in the place for several years, but no building was erected by that denomination until 1887, when the present structure on West Chestnut street was built.
Several celebrated ministers of the gospel preached in New Lisbon at various times, among others being the eminent but eccentric Lorenzo Dow, who, in 1817, preached to vast audiences in a beautiful grove of sugar trees near the foot of Market street.
The march of improvement went on and progress was made in all lines in the village, most of the citizens believing no doubt that it would become one of the important island cities of the nation, and when on January 11, 1826, the Sand and Beaver Canal Company was incorporated, visions of commercial greatness in the near future loomed up before the people. The act incorporating the company was amended March 9, 1830, but work was not formally begun until November 24, 1834. Elderkin Potter, a prominent lawyer of the village, with his own hands performed the ceremony of “breaking ground” for the enterprise near the old Hughes furnace in the presence of a large concourse of people who had assembled to witness the imposing ceremony, after which he made an eloquent speech to the multitude present, in which he set forth, in glowing term, the great future of New Lisbon and Columbiana county, which would grow out of the canal project. The canal extended from the mouth of Little Beaver, on the Ohio river, to Bolivar, on the Ohio canal, following Little Beaver and the middle fork of the same to New Lisbon, thence crossing to a point near the head wasters of the west fork, following that several miles, and then crossing the water shed to the upper waters of a branch of the Sandy, thence with the course of that stream to where it flows into the Tuscarawas river, and there connecting with the Ohio canal, thereby securing canal connection with Portsmouth and intermediate points to the south, and Cleveland and intermediate points to the north. In following the streams and crossing ridges the canal had many curves which increased its length. The distance between its terminal points is about forty-five miles on a straight line, while the canal is over sixty miles long. After the first breaking of the ground in 1834, the work of construction was prosecuted with vigor until the financial panic of 1837 caused a suspension f he work and it was not completed until 186, the first boat from the east, under command of Captain Dunn, reaching New Lisbon on October 26th of that year. The arrival was hailed with great rejoicing, a jubilee meeting was held at Hanna’s warehouse, at which New Lisbon’s most eloquent attorney made an appropriate speech on behalf of the citizens, to which Dr. Leonard Hanna gave an earnest response on behalf of the directors of the canal corporation. The day’s celebration closed with an exhibition of fire-works, and a supper and ball at the Watson House. One of the many packets which traversed the canal between New Lisbon and the river was the “David Begges,” commanded by Captain George Ramsey. The east end of the canal, from New Lisbon to the Ohio river, was kept up and used for some years, but the middle division, from New Lisbon to Minerva, was used only a very short time. The Sandy and Beaver Canal was one of those public improvements which, during its construction and for some years thereafter, distributed capital, gave employment to many workmen at good prices, furnished a market for the products of the fruitful farms along its course, stimulated the spirit of enterprise, increased the value of the real estate along its entire length and for quite a distance on either side. And in many ways was a factor in the development and progress of the country, but its early failure was a disastrous blow to New Lisbon. Several of its most enterprising citizens removed to other fields of labor and expended their wealth and energy in other cities, and the construction of the Ohio and Pennsylvania railroad, afterwards called the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago, about 1852, along the northern border, and the Cleveland and Pittsburgh railroad about the same time along the southern boarder of the country, left the village between them without any direct communication with other places of importance except by means of the common public roads, so that, except for the several terms of court, the county fair, and such other matters as occasionally attracted the people from the surrounding country and neighboring towns, a seeming state of lethargy prevailed in the village for a number of years. But during this period of retarded progress and commercial inactivity the town kept pace with the rest of the world in many other ways, and when the faint rumblings of an approaching storm were heard in the years 1859 and 1860, the citizens were alert and watched the signs and portents with feverish anxiety, and when the clouds gathered and broke in the great civil war in 1861, the people of New Lisbon were as patriotic and ready to defend their beloved country as were their forefathers in the dark and trying days of 1812.
The condition of National affairs immediately following the spirited political campaign of 1860—the fact that a president of the United States was obliged for his own personal safety to enter the capitol of his country secretly and by night, furnished the theme for many anxious discussions among the citizens, but when on that bright April morning in 1861, the first gun was fired on the American flag by American citizens on American soil caused its reverberations to echo throughout a continent, a dazed feeling took possession of the entire population. Workshops were closed, labor was suspended, neighbor hurried to meet neighbor, anxious eyes peered into others which reflected the same expression, and with hated breath and beating hearts was the interrogation propounded “Have they
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