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From the Winter 2013 "Meigs Historian"

Following is a couple of articles from a recent quarterly newsletter. Newsletters are mailed quarterly to members of the Meigs County Historical Society.

The Democrat - October 25, 1928

A Marked Indian Grave - Indian Lore Not Given In Any History Of Meigs CountyOlive township has a grave, taken from a historical view, we doubt but what there is very few in the state of Ohio.

The grave is that of an Indian, who when traveling through this section with a tribe, became stricken and died and was buried in what is now the northwest part of Olive township. The grave is on top of a hill on land owned by Scott Dewey and is one mile east of Tuppers Plains. The grave is plainly discernable, it being marked by a flat upright rock both at the foot and head.Orange Township Contends

Orange township also comes forward and contends for its place in Indian lore, and the story goes there were two Indians that surprised a family at Muses Bottom, W.Va., killed and scalped a mother and her daughter. They then made their escape by crossing the Ohio river, which was swollen to flood stage at that time. The father was at a neighboring house at the time and upon returning home he found the bodies. He, with a neighbor, took up the trail of the murderers. They crossed the Ohio in the evening, camped that night on what is now Forked Run.

That night on Forked Run was one long to be remembered, as there were no settlements in that vast territory at that time. The fire wood was wet and they had difficulty in keeping a fire going, and they were harassed all night long by wolves and panthers.

After a sleepless night of anxiety they again took up the trail which led over Forked Run through by Fayel, south of Tuppers Plains, and at what is now known as Hoffman’s long barn, near Alfred, the Indians were overtaken and surprised, and one was shot and the other made his escape.

As it so happened, the husband and father of the slain wife and daughter shot the Indian which at that time was carrying the scalps of both. After the burial of the Indian the two returned to Muses Bottom, W.Va., where the scalps of the two victims were buried with their bodies.

George Pearman now owns the land this Indian is supposed to be buried on.


Fire Leveled Two Blocks in 1927, an article from the June 28, 1970 Athens Messenger by Beulah Jones

It was a hot summer morning in 1927 when Pomeroy was hit with one of its most disastrous fires which leveled two business blocks in the area of Mechanic and Second Streets.

According to accounts given at the time, the fire started in the Priode Livery stable, presumably from a short circuit in an automobile stored there. The fire spread rapidly through the frame buildings on one street then jumped to a cross street to other buildings and by the time it had spent itself, Pomeroy had lost several business houses.

The Pomeroy Volunteer Fire Department fought the fire with a motor driven tanker with assistance from Middleport and Gallipolis firemen. They also received offers of assistance from other towns, including Athens.

The fire soon spread eastward to the corner of Second and Mechanic, then went around to the next cross street and eventually over to the Dr. Gribble building.

The fire began about 2:30 a.m. on a Saturday and in a few short hours the area was a smoking shambles.

Among the buildings destroyed were the Ben Ewing Mortuary, the G. W. Burson three story brick Hardware building, the J. R. Stark tailor shop, Priode Livery and Storage Stable, Sam Lathey Second Hand Shop, the Root Brothers Tin Shop, a shoe repair shop operated by Phillip Meier, the Huber Brothers soft drink establishment, the John Bentz Blacksmith shop, O. H. Myers Store, barn and residence.

Others gutted were the Gribble building, the Pomeroy Democrat newspaper office, C. S. Curtis stock building, Prosecuting Attorney D. H. Peoples’ office, Sargeant’s Restaurant, Phillip Sommer’s Shoe Shop and Charles Dow’s architect office.

The loss was estimated at $200,000, and it was reported at the time that very little insurance was carried due to high rates. The following Sunday crowds of people came to the scene of the fire and restaurant establishments were hard pressed to meet the demand for food.

A photograph showing the extent of the fire is owned by Basillio Girolami, Pomeroy, who remembers the fire well. The National Guard Armory, now the property of the Pomeroy masonic Lodge, stands out high on the hill on Mulberry Avenue.

From the ruble a new business district was built, most of which is part of the Ewing real estate holdings. The buildings which came out of the fire are not the same kind nor do they serve the same purposes.

There was no need for a livery stable or a blacksmith shop. Today there are no shoe repair shops, but the Ewing Funeral Home was rebuilt and two newspaper offices are in the area, The Athens Messenger’s Meigs County Bureau, and the Daily Sentinel, the Tewksbary Barber Shop, Kroger Supermarket, Economy Loan Co., a beauty shop, the state liquor store, and the Ohio Power Co. Offices in the Ewing building.

The fire destroyed the work of a lifetime for some businessmen, but just as floods move in and out of Pomeroy, so the fire ravaged area came back - better than ever.

The "big fire," as it is remembered by some citizens in Pomeroy, had its sad as well as amusing incidents. Even the staid item of bread had a part in the fire. According to Lena and Katie Guth, whose family operated the Guth Bakery located across from the fire, at the time of the fire I the early hours of the morning the ovens were going full blast to turn out the quota of bread for the day.

As the fire progressed the power went off and there were the huge mounds of bread dough waiting to be baked. The situation became worse and finally the dough had to be taken to the Covert Bakery in Middleport, but even so some of the dough spoiled and had to be dumped in the river. The shutters on the bakery building were singed , but did not ignite. As the fire consumed more buildings, proprietors grabbed valuables and cash boxes and brought them to the bakery for safe keeping. Among those bringing their valuables were the Hoover brothers who operated a saloon in the area now occupied by the Messenger. With the bakery so close to the fire, word was sent to George McQuigg who came downtown and opened the National Bank before morning to provide safety for the articles and money. A young boy saw an opportunity to help fight the fire and went up on a roof across the street with a garden hose which wasn’t much water on a blaze like that.

The Guth sisters usually started wrapping bread about 3:30 a.m., earning the sum of $5 per week. There was a shortage of bread that day and bread was sent in by area bakeries.

The late Ben Ewing was worried about rebuilding his mortuary. But he did rebuild, and the building program was carried on by his son, the late Henry Ewing.

Some of the businesses did not rebuild. When the fire began in the livery stable, located on the corner now housing the Kroger store, it roared through the blocks leaving a trail of destruction.


FILL IN THE BLANKS BY TAKING ONE OF THE "FIRST" NAMES AND MATCHING IT WITH THE CORRECT "SECOND" NAME.

Over the years, many Meigs Countians and Meigs County places have achieved fame. Here are the names of some people and places

JAMES HARTINGER
VALENTINE B. HORTON
AMY KINGSLAND
MIKE BARTRUM
OHIO RIVER
JAMES CAMPBELL
COUNTY FAIR
AMY WHALEY
BUNGALOW PARK
SAMUEL WYLISS POMEROY

 

1. A well-known former NFL player who graduated from Meigs High School and is currently a Meigs County Commissioner.

2. A famous opera singer, who served fifteen years as the first (and one of only two women) to serve as president of the Meigs County Historical Society.

3. An early industrialist in Meigs County, who served as a U.S. Representative from Ohio during the Civil War and was for 45 years a trustee on the board of the Ohio State University.

4. The oldest living licensed woman dentist in the United States, at age 98, in 1935.

5. A famous black poet, writer and educator from Meigs County who was the first president of West Virginia State University at Institute, West Virginia.

6. Began in 1853, the oldest entertainment event in Meigs County. Each year it brings together agricultural exhibits, amusement rides and food.

7. A famous Meigs County Air Force General who was the head of NORAD.

8. An important town in Meigs County named for this person.

9. The site of many water events and where commerce is carried between cities.

10. Fans of shows and other forms of entertainment visited this park in the late 1800/1900's.