From the Notes of Elma Cass, First Grade Teacher at Jacksontown andHebronElementary School.
This land where we are now standing didn’t always look like this. At one time many thousands of years ago it was covered with water entirely. In every limestone and sandstone quarry you can see evidence of this, for those kinds of rock are only deposited in the bottom of a lake or sea. It must have been salt water that covered the land because there are now large beds of salt lying several hundred feet below the surface. Only short distances from here on Blue Jay road are salt water wells where Newark streetworkers get salt to use on icy streets in winter. Another evidence of a sea covering our area is seen in the fossils on the stones and gravel dug out of pits and quarries.
At a later time, known as the Carboniferous period, coal was formed. Still later came an immense glacier or ice sheet. This changed the lay of the land and general appearance of things. Most of our township lays in this placated area. As it moved over the northern part of Ohioin a south easterly direction the climate became warm enough to melt it. There it stopped and gradually moved back as it melted. This line is called terminal moraine and is marked with a line of hills. These are large mounds of rocks and soil that were dropped when the glacier melted.
Scientists believe there were several glaciers during what was called the Ice Age. But this great ice sheet previously referred to was the largest and reached the farthest south. It leveled the hills and filled the up the valleys thus making the soil deeper and more productive and suitable for farming. It was during this period that some rivers changed and flowed the opposite way. New rivers were created and our own Licking Riverwas one of these. It is interesting to know that the Licking Riverand LickingTownshipgot there names from salt licks present in the area. The Great Lakesin northern Ohioare a result of the gouging out by the glacier and the BigSwampknown to us as BuckeyeLake, often called big Pond or Reservoir was made this way. When the settlers began to arrive in LickingTownshipthey found a number of mounds. They were made by the Moundbuilders which historians and archeologists agree were of the same race as the American Indians. They lived during a much earlier period, which greatly predated the arrival of the first settlers. Some of the mounds were look-out mounds, some may have been built for religious purposes of to represent certain tribes, but most of them were doubtless built for burial purposes.
The mound on the “Plank Road” between Newark and Jacksontown, on the farm of Mr. Taylor (across from the Cormican house) was of good size and when opened contained many things such as ashes, charcoal, flint, a broken pipe of soft limestone, a string of over a hundred native copper beads, seventeen human skeletons, six stone hand axes, a hatchet, flint scraper, many bone implements made from deer and elk antlers, a whistle made from the tooth of a young black bear, shell spoons, pieces of a vase, a vessel of coarse pottery and various animal bones such as elk, deer, rabbit, wolf, woodchuck, and river mussels. This was also used as a “lookout tower” they think. You can see BuckeyeLakefrom the top.
The stone mound, about a half-mile south of Jacksontown, was very large, measuring 183 feet in diameter at the base, and when found by the early settlers, was between 30 and 40 feet high. Fifteen thousand wagon loads of stone was hauled out of it by forty-mule teams and used to build the north bank of BuckeyeLake. Some of the stone was used in cellar walls in homes of the neighborhood and the villages along the National Road. When the mound was torn down, it exposed twelve to fifteen small earthen burial mounds arranged in a circle. At least one skeleton was found in the stone mound.
The mound at FairmontChurchwas a lookout mound and it was opened at one time but, I am told, it didn’t contain much. A number of smaller mounds like this have disappeared because of plowing fields over the years. In 1860 a keystone, a small triangular shaped sandstone engraved on both sides with Hebrew letters, was found in a mound near Newark. A Decalogue tablet was also unearthed in this mound. The tablet contained an abbreviated form of the Ten Commandments copied almost entirely from Exodus 20 in the Bible. For years, it was regarded as a hoax, but two Hebrew scholars along with some scientists confirmed it to be true. This tablet is seven inches long, black limestone, and was found in a circular light brown sandstone box with a whitish cement at the edges. The “Holy Stones” (five in number) were found near the intersection of Rt. 13 and Interstate 70 and at another location in MadisonTownshipare still a subject of controversy, but scholars now think that perhaps people from the Mediterranean seaarea reached this country in the days of the mound builders. This was long before Columbuscame and these people left their messages carved on stones found in the Adena Burial Mounds as well as on rocks throughout North America.
Although Flint Ridge is not in this township, we all know where it is or have been there. This was neutral ground for the Indians who came from all over the United Statesfor flint to make their arrow heads and tools. The flint found here is said to be the finest in the world.
When the settlers began arriving in 1801 in LickingTownship, they found the Indians living here - three tribes of them in this area - the Shawnee, the Wyandotte, and the Delaware. The Indians had a camp in the farm marked on the map as belonging to J.R.Moore. There was also an Indian encampment in a large sugar grove near Hog Run where the Indians often made sugar. It could have been where Dawes Arboretum is now. Also BigSwampor two lakes called by the Indians, BigLakeand Little Lake, were frequented by the Indians for fishing.
Also there was as Indian trail through the township and Reservoir coming from the Wakatomica, near Dresden, crossing the Licking Riverat the mouth at Bowling Green, running over to near Pickerington in FairfieldCounty. The Indians probably camped along this trail from time to time. This trail probably was a buffalo trail also, for near the pond was a salt spring where deer, buffalo, and other animals came.
A more permanent Indian town was located a mile or more above Johnstownon Raccoon Creek. The Indians called it RaccoonTown. They lived there until 1807 when Charles and George Green purchased the land and then occupied and cultivated it.
The trail I spoke of is no doubt the one followed by Christopher Gist. Gist was a famous woodsman and scout and had been hired by the newly organized Ohio Land Company over East to “spy out the lands” . He is probably the first white man to pass through what is now LickingTownship, the date being 1750 and a generation before the Revolutionary War.
Then following the war, the government sent surveyors to this area - Elnathan Schofield - he was to lay out a military tract for the people who fought in the Revolutionary War. The government had no money to pay the soldiers, so they were given land. This land was to be called The Military Tract. An imaginary line called the 40th parallel was drawn and it was close to Route 40. This line is about the north end of the Davishouse - second house south of the school. North of this line was the Military Tract. Then south of this imaginary line was given the name RefugeeLand. This land was for the people whose homes were destroyed during the Revolutionary War.
Many of the settlers arrived before Schofield had completed the survey. One hundred years later, in 1900, this map of governmental, showing Buckeye Lake was found in the basement of the State House in Columbus, signed by Elnathan Scholfield, Surveyor and dated 1801.
By 1803, when Ohiowas admitted to the Union, much of the land around BigSwamphad been cleared. The forests in this township were made up of oak, walnut, hickory, sugar maple, and beech.
On February 25, 1802, Benjamin Green acquired lands on Hog Run, later sold to Seven Robison and contracted with a large proprietor who had 2800 acres lying on both sides of Hog Run, west of the Plank Road. He located at the spring on his land, afterwards owned by J.R. and J.J. Moore, north of the residence of John Brumback. Other early settlers in the township were Phillys Sutton, John Gillispie, Benjamin Green, John Stadden, Major Anthony Pitzer, John Swisher, and Stephen Robinson. (Sutton, Pitzer, and Swisher were noted on a map in 1801, but Mr. Swisher came a little later.) Mr. Swisher, having used all his money, bargained for a hundred acres for $175 on which he built a pole cabin near Mrs. Green’s house. He paid for it by bringing bushels of salt to market in Zanesvilleby horseback. There were no roads, so he followed trails through the woods. Later, he built a two room log cabin for he and his wife who was Mr. Green’s daughter.
More settlers came to LickingTownshipand began clearing land and building homes with timber found on the land or making bricks from clay if it was available. After building their cabins, they began to think about schools and churches. The first school was located in the Green settlement about 1806 and taught by a Mr. Taylor.
We know that these first school buildings were built of logs or bricks with one room and fireplace for heat. Later the schools had a wood stove in the center of the room. The blackboard was simply a board or the plastering painted black. The children in pioneer days wrote their lessons on small slates. The slate pencil was cut from slate XXXX or a special red sand. If they couldn’t get slate, a thorn was used to scratch on birch bark or a charred stick would write on anything.
Later if paper was available, bullets could be melted down and the lead could be used to mark with. The pens were made from goose feathers and they used pokeberry juice for ink. The books were horn books - similar to this reproduction I have, except they were protected by a thin layer of horn. The children sat on long, hard benches with straight backs, or at first they used split logs with no backs at all. Since children had to work at home, there was little time left for education and often the school term was only three months long and held during the winter. In fact, the pioneers felt all they needed was how to read the Bible, maybe the Almanac, to write, and to do ordinary sums.
They didn’t learn reading until they had learned to spell. Discipline was strict. Most teachers believed in the hickory stick - beating out the devilment and beating in the lessons. The schools were paid for by parents subscribing a certain fee for each pupil. When a teacher found enough subscribers, he would open a school. Since people lived a distance apart at that time, often the children had to walk long distances to school.
Teachers didn’t receive much pay. Most of the subscriptions were paid in coon skins and other pelts, seldom in money or as part pay, the teacher “boarded round” in the community. This meant they lived with one family a while and then another.
The first school here in Jacksontown was a log school. It was located on the corner of the street that goes off of Route 40 - opposite the little store up here. It was a log building later covered over with weather boarding. Later it was torn down and a new house was built in its place. This is where McKinney’s live now. (On Rt13 across from JacksontownSchool’s south driveway entrance.)
In 1832 a Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in Jacksontown, and two years later a church building of logs was erected on or near where the present church stands. A cemetery was back of it and later the bodies were moved to the hill a half-mile north of Jacksontown on the east side of 13. The cemetery property was then sold to the school where they built a two-room building. This was used for a few years, then two more rooms were added. Later it was used as a grange hall in 1913. Now it is pretty dilapidated. I am talking about the old building behind the MethodistChurch. The eight grades occupied the downstairs and the high school was upstairs.
Another church, the United Brethren, built across from this schoolhouse where there is now a vacant lot. Services were held there for several years and later used as a dwelling, and a few years ago it was torn down.
The Catholics bought some property here but never built.
Going back to pioneer days a man by the name of Asa Shinn held services in the home of Mr. Benjamin Green in the valleyof Hog Run. The double cabin was of good size.
Mr. Green was tolerant of all religions and gave Mr. Shinn support and encouragement. In 1818 the “pioneer religious society” (that is what they called themselves) erected a log church near where Mr. Shinn organized it. It was later moved north on the farm of Mr. Benjamin Green from where it originally stood and was succeeded by a frame building which stands on the farm of Mr. Anthony Pitzer. The church is now Know as “White Chapel “church. This was in 1845.
The Fairmount Presbyterian Church was organized in 1834 making it almost 150 years old. (These notes evidently were written in about 1984.)
The FriendshipChurch, commonly known as the “Hog Run Old School Baptist Church” is one of the early pioneer churches. It was organized in 1811. They erected a log building with a gallery running around three sides of it. Then in 1860 they built a good frame building at Van Burenton where the Plank Roadcrosses Hog Run. Within the last few years it has been torn down.
The pioneers of this part of the country needed a way to get to market to sell their produce. The trails were barley wide enough for pack horses and the people who used them got together to widen them for wagon travel. The road beds were not improved. There were many swamps and marshy places.
Loyd’s Corners was s little settlement of houses with a blacksmith shop and a buggy and wagon shop owned by Rufus Swinehart. It derived its name from Mr. Loyd who had the blacksmith shop. His home was in the house that Rea Strate lives (corner of Rt.13 and Dorsey Mill Road. One time it burned and the neighbors all gathered in and made brick from the clay on the hill and helped build it up again. Before it was known as Loyd’s Corners it was know as Mechanicsburg.
Route 13 did not go clear to Newarkthen but ended before reaching there. It was known as Newark Street.
Another little village on the Old Plank Roadwas Van Burentown, or as some history books call it Van Burenton. It also has been known even today by the name of “Fleatown”. The name came about in this way. In the early days the pioneers hadn’t built any fences yet so they let their cows and hogs go where they may. A bunch of hogs wandered from their lot in Granville to Van Burentown staying all winter feeding off of beech nuts and acorns getting water from the stream nearby. The next spring the owner discovered his stock. It had increased in number and was in good condition. Immediately the little stream was named “Hog Run” and settlers often thereafter called Mr. Ward, the owner of the hogs, Hog Ward. A man who was traveling through this part of the country stayed all night in one of the homes there. The next day he said the name should be changed to Fleatown because of the many fleas that kept him awake and it has been known as Fleatown ever since.
A word about the “Woodland” farm owned by Mr. Brombeck then bought by Mr. Dawes in 1916. He modernized the fine old farm house, built a pioneer log cabin out of the beams of the old barn, repaired the blacksmith shop, reconstructed the old rail fence, cleaned up the spring house and began to invite people to plant trees. He developed a fine heard of Holsteindairy cows, his orchards prospered, and for a while he maid his own maple syrup by tapping the maple trees. Sap was gathered with horse drawn sled and it was boiled down just as it is done at the Arboretum each spring.
This is a true story that happened during the Civil War. A man was setting in a chair in one of the inns in the area when he was shot. He had quite a sum of money on his person at the time. The amount was around $200, which he had borrowed at a bank. That was a pretty good amount in those times. He was going to buy some land and send for his family, but never got the chance. No one knew who shot him or where the money disappeared to.
Years ago three physicians located here. One was Dr. Atwell who was also a surgeon. There was also a dentist here.
There were several places of business in the early days. Since I couldn’t find my old map of Jacksontown, I can’t tell just where the were but among them was the “The Orr Shop”, “O Steadman Shoe Shop”, and a third shoe shop. O. Steadman was known as a “maker of boots and shoes”. Samuel Gilliland was a maker of harnesses and saddles. James Neal was a dealer in Family Groceries and also Post Master. For years there were two groceries they also sold dry goods, shoes, tools, hardware, etc. One of these stores was in the lot between Freeman’s and the filling station. It was torn down lately.*
Later a house for the storage of ice was built; also a Meat Shop was opened carrying a supply of fresh meats. The Meat Shop was originally the Band House where the members of the band met for rehearsal.
Park Dennis was a maker of farm wagons. There was a cooper shop, two blacksmith shops, a leather tannery and a machine shop where farm machinery was made. There were also several saloons.
The building covered with green shingles on the southwest corner of Route 40 and Route 13 was used as a store and a saloon in Civil War days. Whiskey was pumped up from barrels on the cellar. The hole ids still in the floor where they had the liquor but now is covered over. The hooks upon which the signs of each particular business was painted on the outside of the house for many years but I see they have been taken down.
Rural mail service was established in 1896. The route started from Thornville but the merchants were against it. They were afraid it would hurt their business by keeping the rural folks at home.
The Pony Express was established for the purpose of carrying valuable letters, drafts, mall packages and important news. Its speed was more than ten miles an hour while the stage coach carried the heavier mail and its speed was only five miles an hour. The pony Express stations where exchanged horses were Brownsville, Linville, Etniers, Luray, and Etna.
The big brick house west of our high school on Route 40 owned by Charles Davis was built before the National Roadwas put through. They thought the road would go south of where it is now so they built the front of the house facing south and part of the house we see as we go along 40 is the back of the house . If you take binoculars over the road to Harbor Hills opposite it, you would be surprised how differently the front of the house looks.
This is a short history of our own Jacksontown and vicinity.
Bibliography: Brewster’s History of LickingCounty
Hill’s History of LickingCounty
Cummin’s History of Ohio
Rosenbloom and Weisenberger’s History of Ohio
Kathleen Brown’s History of Ohio
Interviews with Mrs. Osborn. Mrs. Long, Fannie Davis, and Dwight Wince
Morris Shaff’s book of Etna and Kirkersville
 This schoolhouse seems to refer to the present JacksontownElementary School. Murry Fulk purchased the property and tore the church building down. At his death the lot was purchased and now has a home built on it.
 Rea Strate’s house at Loyd’s Corners was torn down to construct the improved intersection of Dorsey Mill Road and Rt. 13. The house on the north east corner of this intersection is still owned by William Swinehart, a descendant of the owner of the Swinehart’s Carriage shop. A rendering of this structure is shown in the Historical Sites section of the web page. The shop was located on the south west side of the intersection, but all of this structure plus several later built houses has been demolished for other land usages.
 The old building with the green shingles has been torn down to make way for a dog grooming business.
The building that was on the lot between Freeman’s and the filling station was the original Larason’s Store which originally sat closer to the national road and was moved south in order to build the filling station. It was the residence of Fred and Ethel Baker for years before being torn down. Several interesting pictures are available of the original building and are shown in the Historical Sites Section.
The author of this narrative Elma Cass regretted the loss of her old map of Jacksontown and if it is possible to retrieve a copy of this map the locations of many of the businesses will be added to this section.
Old National Trail, Historical Route 40
By Elma Cass
A burning question of 150 years ago in this part of the country was----how can farmers get their surplus crops to market?
It was over 100 miles overland to any port on the Ohio River, and to the eastern cities many more than that. So in 1805, two years after Ohio became a state, some leaders in Congress, namely Calhoun, Clay, Worthington and Jefferson, fearful that the Westerners might set up their own government if not given an outlet, saw that the only solution was a great road running from east to west. Along period of debate in Congress followed as to whether the National Government had the authority to spend money for such a purpose. Finally a board was chosen to study a route for such a road. They decided the starting place should be Cumberland, Maryland on the Potomac River. It should then follow Braddocks Road, an old Indian trail across Pennsylvania, west to Pittsburgh, passing through Uniontown and Wheelingacross the Ohio River; and there instead of following another Indian trail to Chillicothe, (our first capitol), the route was to follow Zane’s Trace to Zanesville, then due west to Columbus.
Construction finally began in 1811 and by 1818 had reached Wheeling, but the old political question was raised once more and work was halted until July 4, 1825 when a celebration at St. Clairsville marked the beginning of the construction in Ohio.
This was the first national road government project built by the United States War Department. Brigadier General Gratiot was in charge and the little village of Gratiot, east of Jacksontown, was named for the General.
It was a busy scene, the building of the National Road! First came the surveyors followed close by the ax men who cut a swath 80 feet wide through the timber. Others cut the trees into logs and grubbed the huge stumps, so they could be pried up and teams of horses moved them away. Next came ploughs and scrapers for grading the new road.
The road bed,66 feet wide, was all covered with 7 to 11 inches of broken stone and all bridges and culverts were made of cut stone also. One of these can be seen near Zanesville near Route 40, the old road having been straightened and made into a four lane highway now.
Some of this stone for the road bed through Hebron came from the quarry on the Jesse Geiger farm, one and one half miles west of Hebron. Stone markers every mile along this historic route marked the distance to Cumberland, Zanesville, and Columbus.
Hundreds of men found employment here and, because of their labor, by 1833 the great road had reached Columbusand by 1840 it had crossed the entire state.
Morris Schaff in his book “A Schetch of Etna and Kirkersville” (1905) says, “Often when boys could get our mother into a reminiscent mood, she would tell us how the camp fires of the workman lighted up the night all along the line: about the bustle, the teams coming and going, and on Sundays the drunken carousals and rioting: and finally, the awful death of so many of them by the scourge of cholera which swept the entire country.”
When the road was finished, a mighty tide of people came over it to find new homesteads in the wet. In this stream of new settlers, with their white canvassed covered wagons, could be seen the heads of the families or one of the grown up boys driving the teams, the women and children walking sometimes ahead and sometimes behind the wagons, often driving a few cows or small herds of sheep: pens of chickens swung from the hind axle. Whole families would sing light heartedly as they walked along and when camped by the road side or in the woods at night.
Fast coaches drawn by as many as eight horses carried mail and passengers over the road. At one time there were 32 brightly painted coaches running every day. Charles Dickens, the English novelist, while visiting America, rode in one of these and later wrote about the rough roads and uncomfortable coaches. These vehicles for shot distances could travel at the astonishing speed of 10 miles per hour. Following is a time table for 1835-6
MAIL PILOT LINE leaves Columbusfor Wheelingdaily at reaching Zanesvilleat and Wheeling next morning.
GOOD INTENT LINE leaves Columbusfor Wheelingat through to Wheeling(127 miles) in 20 hours, in time for stages to Baltimoreand Philadelphia.
If one had been standing on the broad porch of an old Kirkersville tavern 100 years ago and hear the rumble of the stage coming through the covered bridge at the east end of town and the horn blowing, he could never have forgotten the experience. The driver usually a middle aged, imposing, silent red-faced man, wore a cap, yellow buck skin gloves, and had a buffalo robe around his knees in the winter.
A fresh team of big roans waited in the old white-washed tavern barn to replace the tired bays which the stable boys hurried to unhitch. The team in place, lines was tossed to the driver who gathers them up and calls out,” let Them Go” and off they dash.
Crowds of idlers, stable boys and some townspeople of Kernersville stand around, all interested in the great event.
Had one been on that porch late one afternoon in August, 1848, he might have seen a tall sad-faced passenger, a member of the House of Representatives, going home from the 30th Congress, get out of the coach and go into the tavern to eat supper---it was Abraham Lincoln.
Two other taverns near here were Clark’s Hotel at Jacksontown, which burned a few years ago and one at Luray, the brick of which were used to build Smoke’s house and also Marian Martin’s.
A daily “Pony Express Line” also passed over the National Roadincreased the excitement and interest in the villages along the road and varied the monotony of village life. The express ponies were ridden by boys and put through a fast gallop or “half run”, the relays being five miles apart. The small saddle bags containing express matter were fastened to the saddle. At the end of each run, saddle and bags were instantly transferred from the exhausted foaming pony to a fresh one, the rider mounted upon him and rode away at full speed, with a delay of not more than one minuet. The stations in Licking County were Brownsville, Linnville, Etniers (a little village west of Jacksontown now extinct), Luray and Etna.
Brownsville and Linnville were laid out soon after the construction of the road by Adam Brown who named it after himself and Adam Linn, who was then about to establish himself there as its first merchant. Amsterdam was brought into existence after the location and during the construction of the National Road by Abraham Boring and George Barnes.
Another scene along the road never to be forgotten was the great droves of cattle, hogs, sheep, horses and mules that were driven over the road on their way to Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Philadelphia markets. The following chart shows how far each could travel in a day:
14 miles per day
20 miles per day
20 miles per day
10 - 15 miles per day
7 miles per day
A man walked along in front of hogs scattering shelled corn, now and then. Mules ran loose, following an old mare usually ridden by a boy.
To help in the repair of the road, toll gates were set up, at first at intervals of 20 miles but later this distance was shortened up to about 10 miles. One such toll gate was just west of Luray.
Tolls were collected from all types of passengers according to the amount of damage each might be expected to do. Here is the toll rates:
Hogs by the score
5 and 10 cents
Sheep by the score
5 and 10 cents
Horses led or driven
Mules led or driven
Horse and rider
Every sleigh-one horse
More than 4 wheels
No toll was charged for the following:
People going to and from church: Muster (to Army drill); regular business on a farm; to a Woodland, Mill, Funeral, place of Election, market, in their own country, School children, Preachers, U.S. Mail stage, Wagon carrying U.S. troops or Ammunition, Cavalry, U.S. or state Militia.
Several new words or nicknames which we hear yet today came into being about this time; One of them was “stogies”. It came about in this way: the most common vehicle on the road was the canvass-covered Conestoga wagon which carried supplies into the interior country and farm produce out to the east. The wagons were so named because they were first made in Conestoga, Pennsylvania.
Soon the drivers of these wagons were nick-named “stogies” They would get a smoke for themselves by rolling a cigar from the load of tobacco which they were hauling. They made their cigars very long, to last from one tavern to another, since the taverns was the only place they could get a “light”. Soon a manufacturer made long cigars and called them “stogies”. Another word”pike’ which referred to the National Roadcame into use. At each toll gate was located a turn-pike to control the passage of traffic. Some times it was a heavy wooden post with arms of wooden pikes or sometimes simply a bar to be raised and lowered. When the toll was paid the attendant turned the pike or raised and lowered the bar to allow the passenger to go through. In time the word “pike’ came to be used synonymously for national Road.
The pike continued to be of great importance in the settling of western Ohio, Indiana and lands farther west. The freight over it was lessened for a time with the advent of the Central Ohio Railroad and the Ohio Canal.
However, by the year 1916, the old road bed was so full of ruts and holes that it was necessary to improve it. At that time it was widened and made into a hard surface road to accommodate the automobile, then in its infancy.
In the decade 1920- 1930, motor trucks and buses operating on the paved National Roaddeveloped into formidable rivals of the railroad. This necessitated even more improvement and again it was widened and made into a 3 lane highway. But the increase in travel made this dangerous and inadequate and in 1954, the government started surveying for a 4 lane highway project through our own immediate vicinity, which resulted in the relocation of Route 40. This was opened for travel in the fall of 1959.
It extends from one mile east of Brownsvilleand is to be a part of Interstate U.S. 70 which later will go from coast to coast.
Elma Sellers Cass
National Road, P.O. 222, Jacksontown, OH 43030