Here are some articles from a recent quarterly newsletter, "Meigs Historian". Newsletters are mailed quarterly to members of the Meigs County Historical Society as a benefit of membership.
The following is from the Summer 2015 issue of the Meigs Historian. Some early history of the Meigs County Pioneer and Historical Society.
Meigs County Pioneer Society Meetings. A look back at just a few.......Pomeroy, O., Sept 7, 1876.
At a meeting of some of the old residents of Meigs County, at the Courthouse, for the purpose of taking measures for the formation of a Pioneer Association.
On motion of H. B. Smith, Stillman C. Larkins was chosen Chairman, and Aaron Stivers, Secretary.
On motion of S. Bradbury, an association was then proposed to be formed and those present desiring to be members of it were requested to give their names.
Samuel S. Paine, John Irvin, James Ralston, Oren Branch, Silas Jones, Stillman C. Larkins, Samuel Bradbury, Thomas Whiteside, Lauren Robinson, Joseph V. Smith, Aaron Stivers, Aaron Thompson, H. B. Smith, G W. Cooper, Darius Reed, John Ruble, Benjamin Smith, Mrs. S. C. Miles.
It was, on motion, ordered that a committee of 5 be appointed to prepare the order of business for the meeting, whereupon Aaron Stivers, Samuel Bradbury, Oren Branch, Joseph V. Smith and Silas Jones were appointed.
Date reporting the first meeting of the Meigs County Pioneer Society is October 26, 1876, Pomeroy, O.
Constitution: Art. I. This Society shall be known as the Meigs County Pioneer Society. Art. 2. The object of this Society shall be the promotion of social intercourse, the collection and preservation of the history of the early settlement of Meigs County, and such other matters of interest as may be declared by the Society as worthy of record and preservation. Art. 3. Any person who has been 20 years a resident of Meigs County, and be over 50 years of age, or who is the wife of a member, may become a member of this Society by signing this Constitution; and all male members paying into the Treasury the sum of 50 cents, and 50 cents annually thereafter during membership. Residents of adjoining Counties may become members by a vote of the Society. Art. 4. The offices of the Society shall consist of a President, a Vice-President, a Treasurer, a Corresponding Secretary, a Recording Secretary, and an Executive Committee of five, who shall hold their respective offices for the term of one year, and until their successors are elected and installed. Art. 5. The annual meetings of the Society shall be held on the second Thursday of August each year. The President or Executive Committee may call special meetings at their discretion. Art. 6. The officers of the Society shall be elected annually, by ballot, on the day of the annual meeting, and a majority of the members present and voting shall be necessary to a choice. Art. 7. All money must be paid to the Recording Secretary, who shall pay the same to the Treasurer, taking his receipt, therefor, and make faithful record of all the receipts and expenditures of the Society. Art. 8. The Treasurer shall deposit the funds of the Society in some solvent bank, in the name of the Society, and pay the same out on the order of the Recording Secretary as directed by the Executive Committee, unless otherwise ordered by the Society. Art. 9. A majority of the members present at an annual meeting shall determine the place of the annual meeting next thereafter to be held. Art. 10. The Executive Committee with the two secretaries shall give the necessary notice and make arrangements for the annual meetings of the Society. Art. 11. This Constitution may be altered or amended at any annual meeting by a vote of two-thirds of all the members present. The Signers: H. Holt, Nehemia Bicknell, Benjamin Smith, Samuel Halliday, Samuel S. Paine, Samuel Bradbury, Silas Jones, John Ervin, Aaron Thomspon, Aaron Stivers, t. A. Plants, Stephen Bosworth, John Ruble, Geo. W. Cooper, W. B. Pennington, J. C. Hysell, Mary J. Lasher, Sarah C. Miles, Phoma Pennington, Sarah Murphy, Mary Simms, Sophronia Stivers, W. Stivers, Electa McQuigg, Sarah F. Nobles, Persia O. Cooper, Stillman C. Larkin, W. A. Barringer, Livingstone Smith, H. B. Smith. The Society then proceeded to choose officers and the following were elected: Stillman C. Larkin, President; John C. Hysell, Vice President; H. B. Smith, Treasurer; Aaron Stivers,, Recording Secretary; G. W. Cooper, Corresponding Secretary; Samuel Bradbury, Silas Jones, Washington Stivers, Aaron Thompson and John Ervin, Executive Committee.
The Meigs County Pioneer Society Holds Its Annual Reunion on August 11, 1892.
At ten minutes past ten o’clock on Thursday morning the Meigs County Pioneer Society was called to order by President George McQuigg, to hold the sixteenth annual meeting. The attendance at the opening was small, but the number rapidly increased till in the afternoon the court room was full.
The Society joined in singing "Coronation." Miss Jennie Davies presiding at the organ. Rev. Porter then led in prayer after which the President read a brief opening address, in which he urged the importance of preserving the history of the early days of this county. He spoke to some length on the changes that have taken place in his remembrance. He also spoke of the committee appointed in 1886 to collect for publication such historical facts as they could get. All the members of this committee are now deceased except Mr. S. C. Larkin, of Rutland. He has in his possession a great deal of historical data, and the President strongly urged an early publication of as much of this as can be done in pamphlet form. He also suggested that the by-laws be changed to admit persons at an earlier age.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read by Secretary Dumble, and on the motion of J. V. Smith, approved.
On the call for the names of members who died in the past year, Judge Paine read the list which included all those over fifty years of age who had died in this county the year ending march 31, 1892, as reported by the assessors. Between Fifty and Sixty - Lucy Clark, Middleport, 50; John H. Geer, Middleport, 52; Perry J. Hysell, Bradbury, 54; Nancy A. Dorsey, Middleport, 51; Anna W. Farber, Middleport, 54; Mack Riley, Middleport, 52; Elizabeth Williams, Middleport, 59; David Romine, Rutland, 59; Dollie Furgeson, Middleport, 50; Eliza F. Clark, Pratt’s Fork, 57; J. H. Cummings, Kingsbury, 51; John Dean, Harrisonville, 59; David Eaton, Great Bend, 57; Margaret L. Easterday, Great Bend, 58; Adam Easterday, Great Bend, 54; Rowena Gillilan, Racine, 58; Rachel B. Mineard, Great Bend, 58; Henry Parsons, Saxon, 50; Mary Wallen, Saxon, 52; Mary V. Higley , Rutland, 58; Ruth Jordan, Valley Ford, 59; Franklin Nichols, Vales Mills, 50; James T. Cooper, Syracuse, 57; Hannah Lewis, Syracuse, 59; Esther Fricker, Minersville, 52; Fred Mitch, Minersville, 57; Ann Sarah Roush, Apple Grove, 52; Virginia Margaret Rood, Plants, 59; Thomas Corwin Barstow, Reedsville, 50; Lydia Jane Kincaid, Olive Township, 54; Levi Dubois, Meigs County, 55; Anna W. Ensenbaur, Pomeroy, 59; Amanda K. McElfresh, Chester, 59; Mary Rockwell, Chester, 52;Henry Doyle, Chester, 52. Between Sixty and Seventy - Rhoda McCall, Middleport, 66; Elizabeth Laughead, Middleport, 61; Susan Martin, Middleport, –; Elizabeth Johnson, Middleport, 60; William B. Probst, Middleport, 63; Louisa White, Harrisonville, 60; Moses Sanborn, Kinsbury, 64; Elizabeth Blum, Great Bend, 66; Thomas McDole, Hazael, 61; C. F. Orr, Bashan, 68; George Faehnle, Pomeroy, 63; Samuel Cavendar, Rutland, 69; Phillip Aumiller, Valley Ford, 62; J. S. Jordan, Dyesville, 66; John Borham, Syracuse, 63; Isabel Clark, Syracuse, 69; David L. Davis, Pomeroy, 68; D. T. Edwards, Pomeroy, 62; Mary Edwards, Pomeroy, 65; William Borham, Minersville, 61; Anna Genser, Minersville, 60; Elizabeth Jones, Minersville, 61; Adam Roush, Pomeroy, 63; William Williams, Minersville, 67; Nancy Grimm, Tuppers Plains, 69; Caroline Lee, Letart Falls, 60; G. W. McDade, Letart Falls, 67; Nancy Spires, Salem, 60; August Schaefer, Pomeroy, 61; J. H. Vanmeter, Pomeroy, 61; Andrew Bunch, Meigs County, 67; Aaron F. Hart, Meigs County, 62; Alban Davies, Pomeroy, 60; Jacob Gloeckner, Pomeroy, 62; Henry Hale, Pomeroy, 65; Nicholas Klein, Pomeroy, 63. Between Seventy and Eighty - Holiday Hysell, Salisbury Township, 73; Benjamin Smith, Bradbury, 78; Smantha Russell, Salisbury Township, 72; Abner Morris, Snowville, 74; John Lasley, Great Bend, 78; Eliza Tillis, Old Town, 79; Eliza A. Newberry, Hazael, 75; Barton A. Wells, Hazael, 79; Michael Crough, Pomeroy, 70; Elizabeth Hammerstein, Pomeroy, 70; Franz Osterman, Pomeroy, 77; Amanda Cavender, Rutland, 70; Sarah Gorsuch, Rutland, 79; John B. Wilson, Rutland, 73; John J. Evans, Syracuse, 73; Nancy Quillen, Syracuse, 74; John Douglas, Downington, 76; John Hopkins, Pomeroy, 71; Anthony Maldoner, Pomeroy, 73; Henry Wilkinson, Pomeroy, 75; Richard Williams, Pomeroy, 76; Phillip Houdaschelt, Minersville, 76; Benjamin Hysell, Middleport, 75; Louisa Jones, Middleport, 73; J. H. Johnson, 72; Joanna Harper, Orange township, 73; Jas. Koblentz, Orange township, 79; Lewis Shumway, Orange township, 70; David Burger, Antiquity, 78; Elizabeth Hannum, Long Bottom, 76; Ermina Packard, Olive township, 78; James McKim, Racine, 77; Jonah Woodruff, Racine, 74; Benjamin Dains, Meigs county, 79; John M. Strider, Enterprise, 74; George Wells, Meigs county, 79; Katherine Dilcher, Pomeroy, 71; Elizaabeth Schaefer, Pomeroy, 74; Martin Hecox, Chester, 71; Nancy Hayes, Chester 74; Mary Stout, Chester, 79; Sarah Ashworth, Chester, 77. Between Eighty and Ninety - - John Ervin, Hemlock Grove, 83; Sarah Chenvront, 79; H. S. Lawrence, Hazael, 85; Margaret Camp, Rutland, 83; Harriet Downing, Downington, 87; David McElhinny, Middleport, 81; Margaret McElhinny, Middleport, 85; Joel Well, Middleport, 81; Charles Cole, Orange township, 83; Mary E. Schreiber, Pomeroy, 80; Noah Starr Hoyt, Reedsville, 80; Robert Perine, Reedsville, 85; Warren Platt, Orange township, 82; John C. Hysell, Meigs county, 80; Robert Hysell, Meigs county, 84; George W. B. Kerns, Meigs County, 81; P. C. Robinson, Meigs County, 89; Charles Wright, Chester, 81. Between Ninety and one Hundred - Josiah Smith, Sumner, 90; Matilda Hetzer, Reedsville, 93; Susan Saul, Meigs County, 90; Samuel S. Paine, Pomeroy, 90. Over One Hundred - Anna Sayre, Great Bend, 100; Sallie Carter, Rutland, 111. The following names of those who have died since March 31st were reported: Aunt Anna Roush, Letart; R. H. Brewster, Pomeroy; D. R. Jacobs, Pomeroy; Mrs. George Womeldorff, Middleport; John Salser.
A resolution was passed admitting persons to membership who are descendants of pioneers and over twenty-five years of age. The following names were added to the list: E. D. Robinson, Mrs. William Branch, Henry Kautz, Mrs. A. M. Kautz, Mrs. E. F. Robinson, James Fugate, Mrs. Margaret Wallace, Mrs. Sarah Fugate, Mrs. Jane Whittle, Magdalene Roecher, Margaret Watts, William McBride, Mrs. Emeline McBride, Mrs. Viola Jones.
Mr. S. C. Larkin who is the only surviving member of the Historical committee was present and spoke to some length urging the Society to be economical to raise means for publishing the historical matter now in the possession of the society. He recounted some of the work of the Historical committee which consisted of Virgil Smith, S. C. Larkin, John Longstreth, Marcus Bosworth and John Ervin. He said they had collected a great deal of interesting information which was on file with the Recording Secretary awaiting publication. He ended by introducing a resolution instructing the Treasurer not to pay out any more money except for the purpose of publishing these and that persons be solicited for contributions or loans to be used that way.
The Society then adjourned till one o’clock for dinner and the way they disposed of the dainties which filled the large baskets spoke well for pioneer cookery. In the course of the feast the following petition was received.
"To the Pioneers: Ladies, today while you are all enjoying freedom to-day and meeting your loved ones once more and clasping each others hands please remember the poor unfortunate men that are now confined in jail We will be thankful for anything you will send us to eat. Signed, PRISONERS IN JAIL."
The effect of this touching appeal was to bring a basket full of pioneer cake to the county boarding house.
At one o’clock the Society reassembled and the resolution introduced by Mr. Larkin was referred to the following committee for consideration to report at the next meeting, L. H. Lee, C. A. Hartley, E. D. Robinson and S. C. Larkin.
It was decided to hold the next meeting at Middleport, the second Thursday in August, Mr. Coe having tendered the free use of his opera house for the occasion. Mrs. J. W. Dumble, Mr. and Mrs. S.P. Coe, Mr. and Mrs. S. F. Berry, and Mrs. F. P. Bryan were appointed a committee on arrangements. Mrs. Dumble announced that she had asked for a place on the committee in order that she might provide some special features and no doubt that she will have some surprises provided for the old people next year. At the suggestion of the President the custom was somewhat changed and an executive committee was selected at attend to all the business of the Society and leave all the time of the meetings for social enjoyment. The following persons compose this committee: L. H. Lee, Judge Paine, Judge Lasley, Rev. Wm. Armstrong and Wm. Nease.
The following officers were elected: George McQuigg, President; L.H. Lee, Vice-President; Judge Paine, Corresponding Secretary; J. W. Dumble, Recording Secretary; F. Reed, Treasurer.
This ended the business of the day, and the rest of the time was spent in talking and social amusement. Rev. Wm. Armstrong was called upon and told some of his experience in the good old days. He was born in 1825 in Alexander township, Athens county. His father was the first white male child born in Alexander township. He told some of his experience laboring before the time of modern machinery.
James Ralston also told some incidents of his early life. J. V. Smith said he had made very little preparation for the meeting, because he had anticipated a small attendance. He said he had provided no music, but he thought what they had was sufficient. He could remember when the only music that could be heard was that made by the wolf, whip-poor-will and horse-fiddle; when people used to go to meeting barefooted and with rifles on their shoulders.
Some one asked who were the prime movers in starting the Society, and Mr. Ralston said, as he remembered it, they were H..B. Smith, Aaron Stivers and Wm. Holliday. The call for the first meeting issued in 1876, was afterward read, and it was signed by Messrs, Smith and Stivers.
William Nease told his experience going to school in Sutton township, going to mill at Chester, whipping the Chester boys who tried to run them off the ice in 1835. He told what sport they used to have going to log rollings, husking-bees, house-raisings, etc.
Rev, Porter talked a few minutes and the meeting then closed by singing the doxology and Rev. Turnbull pronounced the benediction.
The Annual Gathering of Old People in Coe’s Hall at Middleport, August 10, 1893
The seventeenth annual session of the Meigs County Pioneer Society convened at Coe’s Hall last Thursday.
It was 10:30 a.m. , when the meeting was called to order by Vice-President Lee, with only about seventy-five people, young and old, in attendance.
After a song from the choir, Rev. D.L. Chapin led in prayer, making a plea for the officers, members, the assembly, it objects, our country, an improvement in its condition, wisdom for the senators, and for the hundreds of thousands out of employment.
A few minutes later, the choir furnished another piece of vocal music of a high order of merit.
Vice-President Lee then delivered his annual address in which he referred to the beautiful harvests, to the absence of pestilence, to the many members who have departed in the past year, to Geo. McQuigg especially, and his kind disposition and to the present condition of the country, and to the financial clouds surrounding it.
The minutes of the sixteenth session were then read by Secretary J. W. Dumble.
Rev. W. A. Armstrong then called the attention of the resolutions adopted last year, fixing the age, being of the opinion that it is laying aside the legitimate pioneers. It would be ruled by the young members, they’d get the offices and control the proceedings, Agricultural societies have degenerated into horse races and this society would degenerate in to a society of young people.
The minutes of the previous meeting were then adopted.
Bro. Armstrong wanted to change the minutes so as to admit only those of forty and over, but the Secretary informed him that it wasn’t the minutes, but the bylaws that must be changed. Bro. Armstrong then fixed his motion to suit the suggestion and it was adopted.
An opportunity was then given for new members to be enrolled and the following names were added: Dr. A. Wilson, Mrs. Laura L. Wilson, Mrs. F.M. Armitage, Mrs. W. A. Hanlin, Mrs. D. S. Hartinger, Mrs. J. M. Cooper, Mrs. Cynthia Johnson, J. B. Hysell, Mrs. Lucetta Hysell.
The election of officers then occupied the attention of the Society, and the following were chosen: President, L.H. Lee of Pomeroy; Vice-President, J.J. White of Middleport; Corresponding Secretary, Lewis Paine of Pomeroy; Recording Secretary, J. W. Dumble of Middleport; Treasuer, Darius Reed of Pomeroy.
Judge Paine then read the list of deaths of all over twenty-five years of age who died in the year ending March 31, 1893. Total number of deaths of that class, 132, of which 101 were over the age of 50.
A letter was then read from James H. Ralston, expressing the regrets of his father, the venerable James Ralston, of Pomeroy, for his unability to attend on account of illness.
An adjournment was then taken for dinner, of one hour, which was spent in feasting and social conversation.
At about one p.m., Pres. Lee called to order, and Mrs. Will J. Hudson sang a solo entitled "Darby and Joan."
Rev. T. B. White was then introduced and delivered an excellent talk in which he stated that he felt like Napoleon amid the pyramids, where forty centuries looked down on him, that the object of the society are to preserve the records of the early history of the county, that it should be to preserve the deeds and the names of persons who performed the deeds that make up the history of the county, that it should perpetuate the free and untrammeled friendships of the olden times, when the wants of the people were few and everybody was satisfied, not because they didn’t know any better, but it was the sifted seed of three kingdoms, not like the Romans who sprung up from inferior races, but from the flower of civilization of the times; men who were strong in muscle, brain and heart, in a time when people knew what it was to enjoy the primitive homes of the pioneer days, that the people of today feel hungry for the good times when nobody knew any thing about digestion and stomachs.
Our modern civilization has so much plate and shoddy that it is unenjoyable. When people grow old they are generally complimented only on what their money will buy. It is becoming a serious question who is going to cook the food, as girls shun the work for pay. The hired girl question has become the absorbing topic. (The editor had noted that: His address was excellent, abounding in anecdote and honor.)
Dr. A. Wilson spoke next. Would like to go back to the old times for a short time, to the old log cabin with the puncheon floor, the old mush-pot, the break-down, and the chimney corner. Is surprised at having a piano and note singing at a pioneer meeting. Wants the old-fashioned kind and beat time. The pioneers have had their day, and have given way to another age and race, and have left to other generations a heritage worthy of their sires. I want an appreciation of what the pioneers of this country have done. In other days boys and girls were gathered in their homes at dark. Now they roam alone over the town. "What is the harvest to be?" Take care of the children that they may rise up and call you blessed.
The committee on Obituaries was then called for, but were unable to report. Continued for last year and the year to come. Committee on publication of early history was also continued to do its duty. The committee on entertainment was on motion of Rev. W. A. Armstrong given a vote of thanks, and continued for another year. J. V. Smith referred to the members who have passed away, and urged the importance of recruiting the Society from eligible members. On motion of J. W. Dumble, the following resolution was unanimously adopted: Resolved, That the Pioneer Society of Meigs County hereby tender Capt. S. P. Coe a vote of thanks for the free use of this splendid Opera House in which to hold this meeting.
Dr. A. W. Wilson was elected Assistant Secretary, by acclamation. On motion of Rev. Armitage it was ordered that the next meeting be held at Court House in Pomeroy, next year. The Secretary and President were appointed to prepare a change in by-laws so as to meet the first Thursday in September. On motion, the old committee on entertainments had added to it some Pomeroy citizens to aid them to be named at next meeting.
A resolution of thanks was given the choir, Mrs. W. J. Hudson, T. H. Davis, for ice, and others who aided to make the meeting a success.
A call was then made for all over eighty to come forward, and the following responded: Robt. Combs, 83, Euretta Knight, 82, Mary S. Tubbs, 85, Barbara Russell, 92, Sarah Miles, 83, S. S. Smith, 80, Samuel Bradbury, 84, S. C. Larkin, 85.
The treasurer reported a balance of $1.31 on hand after paying an expense of $5.65, incurred for dinner.
After singing a hymn and the doxology, Dr. Wilson delivered the benediction and the meeting was declared adjourned.
Annual Meeting of the Meigs County Pioneer Society, September 13, 1895
At 10:30 Friday morning, Dr. A. Wilson, of Middleport, called the Meigs County Pioneer Society to order and in a few remarks started an old fashioned social time, while he sent Mr. L. H. Lee out to hunt up his hymn book to get the music started. When he returned Rev. Armstrong read a Scripture Lesson from the 35th chapter of Isaiah.
The whole audience joined in singing "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." Rev. Armstrong led in a prayer for the Divine blessing on the old people assembled, and thanking the Great Keeper for the protection of the past year. After this they sang the old familiar son, "Rock of Ages."
President Wilson then delivered his annual address, in which he spoke the trials of pioneer life, and the changes he has witnessed. His reference to the building of character was thoughtful and wise.
As a committee to draft resolutions on the death of deceased members, they appointed J. W. Dumble, Mrs. D. R. Jacobs and J. C. Probst. L. H. Lee was mentioned as a member of this committee, but in view of faithful service, Mr. Lee was excused from active service in the society.
The minutes of last years meeting were read and approved. The Society then took a brief recess during which time an even dozen enrolled their names as members of the society. The list is a follows: New Members - William Jenkinson, Pomeroy, 70, Mrs. Joseph Church, 84, Mrs. Abram Thompson, Pomeroy, 60, Mrs. Mary Baber, 68, Mrs. Joanna Wolf, Letart, 77, Mrs. Sarah H. Sisson, Middleport, 80, J. B. Bradford, 58, Mrs. J. B. Bradford, 50, Mrs. Melissa Berry, 50, Mrs. Martha E. Ashworth, Chester, 68, Mrs. Fanny Hecox, 66, Mrs. Nancy McKee, Rutland, 70.
While this was in progress Rev. Armstrong took occasion to remind the ladies that at a previous meeting a resolution had passed requiring them to make a speech, and notified them that the resolution would be adhered to. After this the meeting adjourned to a sumptuous dinner, served in the Court Room. This was duly enjoyed till one o’clock, when they reassembled for the final session.
Afternoon. Immediately after dinner the list of persons over 50 years of age, who have died in the county since last year was read. The list was prepared by Miss Annie Paine, of the Probate Judge’s offices and is as follows:
NinetyYears - Mary W. Evans, Minersville. Eighty and Under Ninety - Isaac Byers, Downington; Eleanor Staneart, Downington; Sarah Williams, Pomeroy; Peter Curtis, Middleport; Mary Brewer, Bedford; Conrad Rasp, Syracuse; William Barringer, Portland; James M. Williamson, Portalnd; Jaems Day, orange; John Kimes, Orange; Frank Gallagher, Great Bend; Marinda Kelley, Middleport; John Franz, Pomeroy; Leanhart Werner, Rutland; Barbara Hysell, Rutland; J. H. Stewart, Olive; Mary Croner, Pomeroy; John Silvey, Pomeroy; Lucy Roberts, Pomeroy; Amelia Jenkinson, Pomeroy; James Ashworth, Chester; Harold Wells, Chester Eve Myers, Chester; Joseph Salser, Chester; George Nelson, Salem; Ann Gorby, Salem. Seventy and Under Eighty - F. W. Dixon, Salem: Cyrus Grant, Pomeroy; Conrad Hamm, Pomeroy; John Schaaf, Pomeroy; Maria Casey, Harrisonville; George W. Moore, Harrisonville; Abram S. Coe, Harrisonville; John M. Pickett, Downington; Jane Boring, Downington, Robert Foster, Downington; William Clark, Middleport; Henry Wines, Middleport; John B. Pierce, Middleport; Sophia Hamilton, Middleport; Mary J. Siders, Middleport; Amanda Halsey, Chester; Moses Will, Chester; John Perry Wolf, Racine; Sally Nease, Pomeroy; Henry H. Wilson, Pomeroy; Catherine Watkins, Minersville; Daniel B. Holliday, Columbia; Robert Patterson, Columbia; Celesta Laley, Rutland; Edward Preston, Rutland; William Hubbell, Rutland; Andy J. McKee, Rutland; Anna Long , Pomeroy; Margaret McCracken, Letart; John Silvey, Middleport; W. A. Barringer, Middleport; J. C. H. Quivey, Great Bend; Thomas J. Lee, Great Bend; Florinda Guthrie, Orange; Jane Webster, Orange; Samuel Russell, Middleport; William Harris, Middleport; Lafayette Guthrie, Middleport; John Short, Middleport; Charlotte F. Story, Bedford; John Story, Bedford; Hugh Y Cook, Bedford; Christina Nease, Syracuse; Susan E. Hamm, Syracuse; George Duerr, Syracuse; John Phillips, Syracuse; Hannah Crew, Syracuse; Adaline Duerr, Syracuse. Sixty and Under Seventy - Peter Bottenus, Middleport; ;Moses F. Merrick, Bedford; Margaret Roush, Syracuse; Augusta Bartels, Syracuse; C. F. Boyd, Syracuse; Nancy J. Bailey, Middleport; Alvan Dodson, Middleport; William Wagner, Orange; Samuel Rogers, Letart; W. H. Lasley, Pomeroy; J. E. Anderson, Rutland,; Lewis Wright, Rutland; Jane H. Skinner, Rutland; L. D. Stevens, Rutland; Gustus Conner, Columbia; Elizabeth Spencer, Olive; Sarah McElroy, Minersville; George Jones, Minersville; Harrison Congrove, Racine; Sardine Hecox, Chester; S. W. Williams, Chester; Almira Newell, Chester; Christian Young, Pomeroy; Rebecca Stiles, Harrisonville; John Massar, Pomeroy;p Issachar Jones, Middleport. Fifty and Under Sixty - William L. Halliday, Salem; Melsena Smith, Pomeroy; Jacob Fisher, Pomeroy; Alice Purinton, Pomeroy; Jucy M. Scott, Pomeroy; Mary Meadows, Pomeroy; Mary E. Towns, Pomeroy; Samantha M. Pickens, Racine; Joseph Campbell, Racine; A. R. Johnson, Chester; Louisa Patteron, Columbia; Ballard Kerr, Rutland; Albert Smith, Letart; Chapman J. Baker, Middlerpot; Georeg F. Swift, Middleport; Catherine A. Gibley, Great Bend; Jane K. Hall, Great Bend; Hester Ann Piles, Orange; Martha Gilmore, Middleprot; Thomas Anderson, Middleport; Kavid Keyes, Portland; Alice A. Adams, Portland; Irena Jones, Portland; Hannah Spencer, Bedford; Rufus Stanley, Bedford; Mary C. Tubbs, Bedford.
There were in all 128 names, four more than were reported last year. Mrs. Anna Mott then read a very interesting letter from Mrs. Mina Kohler, Lebanon, Pennsylvania; Rev. William Armstrong then read an original poem by Mr. Robert Comb, of Scipio. A bill for $2.75, for incidental expenses, was reported, and this made it necessary to take up a collection, which raised $4.86.
The Officers - The election of officers being in order, they were unanimously chosen as follows: President, Dr. A. Wilson, of Middleport; Vice-President, Rev. William Armstrong, of Racine; Secretary, Mrs. J. W. Dumble, of Middleport; Treasurer, J. C. Probst, of Pomeroy.
It was decided to hold the next meeting in the Court House, in Pomeroy, the second Thursday in September 1896, and J. C. Probst was appointed to make all arrangments and choose as many to help him as necessary.
This ended the business to be transacted, and the balance of the meeting was devoted to hearing addresses and talks by members of the society. Rev. T. B. White, of Middleport, having just come in made a characteristic address. He interested the audience somewhat by telling the origin of the custom of shaking hands, and of taking off the hat when entering a room, or in the presence of distinguished personages. Handshaking comes from the custom among the ancients, when they fought by means of the spear. If a man wished to treat with an enemy, they would meet in open field and grasp each other by the right hand, the hand they used their weapon in, and stood thus till the conference ended. This prevented any treachery on the part of either as his offensive hand being held fast.
Removing hats when coming into a house, arises from the old custom when the helmet was in use. If a warrior went to an enemy’s castle he removed his helmet to signify his feeling of safety. He spoke to considerable length and very entertainingly about the memories of the past, and the noble work of the Pioneer Society.
Mrs. Sarah Jane Smith told how she used to cook at an open fire-place and enjoyed life far more than she does now, and thought if there was more work, and not quite so much pride, the rising generation would be better off.
Mrs. William Armstrong spoke to some length, referring to the old days when tomatoes were known as Jerusalem Apples, or Love Apples, and were considered ornaments, only. Rev. Armstrong then spoke, expressed pride that he had been permitted, to some extent, to help in the advancement of the present degree of civilization. Aunt Chloe Archer, of the Precinct, said she could remember the time when Pomeroy was a cornfield, and the only houses where this town now stands were the Pomeroy building and the Horton house. Then she baked on the old "Johnny Cake Board;" kindled her fires with the flint and tow, and often walked two miles to borrow fire. She was born and spent her early childhood on Buffington Island and has lived 44 years near the place generally known as Devil Hole.
Dr. Wilson made the last address of the day, and it was one of the best he ever delivered. It was full of humor and pathos that held the attention of the audience. He feelingly spoke of the fact that melons do not taste as sweet now as they used to, and the pink has not the same fragrance it used to have. "But," he said, "The melon is just as sweek, the pink just as fragrant. The cause is elsewhere." He can remember when not only the women but the men also used to wear big sleeves and collars that hid the whole back of the head; so he thought history is only repeating itself. He thinks the young folks who call them "old fogies," "cranks" and "skeesicks," will be just as "fogyish," "cranky" and "skeesicky" as they are. He told how they used to cook meals with ony one skillet on an open fireplace, and the responses he got showed that "there are others." At the close of his speech a motion to adjourn prevailed.
Editors Note: The early meeting reports tell us that the members collected early history stories to be published by the Society. These collected stories were published in 1908 as Meigs County History by Stillman C. Larkin. We did not know where the original stories were until a member from another state happened to be looking for information on Stillman Larkin. He found the Larkin papers in the Western Reserve Library and advised us of this. The Meigs County Genealogical Society purchased microfilm of Mr. Larkin’s papers for the Meigs County Museum Library. The member who had found the papers sent his copies to the historical society, and there were all the stories used in the Larkin history, and several that were not used. It is rather ironic that someone had to pay for materials that were actually property of the Meigs County Pioneer and Historical Society. Also, the microfilm contains many other records of Mr. Larkin’s, who was a Justice of the Peace in Rutland township. In 1987, Karen Werry, Christine Fruth, Joyce Davis, Elizabeth Davis, Margaret Parker, Vada Hazelton and Sherri Hart researched, copied and compiled, from Meigs County Newspapers, the Annual Meeting Reports from the past 110 years of The Meigs County Pioneer and Historical Society. The yearly meetings were generally reported until about 1920. Since some of the mid-1920's newspapers are not available, these were missing, but, also, the decades following were sketchy. In recent years, some additional meeting announcements have been found, as some partial newspapers from the 1920's became available on microfilm. The original publication is available and can be ordered for $15.00 or purchased at the Meigs County Museum for $11.00. The early meeting reports contain many stories about the early settlers, members names, and really much of the early history of the county.