Soldiers Return To County

EDITOR’S NOTE–This is another article on Findlay-area history adapted from a series written from 1959 to 1974 by the late R.L. Heminger, publisher and editor of The Courier.

 

 

By R.L. HEMINGER

 

 

Gen. William Hull and his four regiments who passed through Findlay and Hancock County in the middle of June, 1812, were not the last troops to make a journey through this area that summer, according to historical works.

A month or so later, Gen. Edmund W. Tupper, of Gallia County (Gallipolis) brought 1,000 men along Hull’s Trace from Urbana to the Maumee rapids. The troops had been enlisted in southern Ohio counties for the War of 1812 against the British. They saw action, the enemy attacking them, but they managed to emerge without much loss. They marched back to Fort MacArthur in Hardin County later on and dispersed from there.

It is assumed that Gen. Tupper’s forces stopped at Fort Findlay en route north and on their way back. A garrison force had been left here by Gen. Hull to protect his rear.

Later one, Gen. William Henry Harrison came through here from Upper Sandusky with troops. He was stationed there for a time and received word of the Commodore Perry victory on Lake Erie, while at Upper. After being notified of this American triumph on the lake, he moved north and west to the Detroit area.

Some of the soldiers with Gen. Hull were so impressed with the nature of the country when they passed through here in 1812 that they decided to return after their military duty was over, to make this their permanent residence.

One of these was Edward Bright, who took a fancy to some land in what is now Marion Township east of the fort. He found the land there less swampy and he marked the trees in the neighborhood for future selection of a farm when he returned after the war.

Ten years later in the 1820s he did return from his home in Fairfield County (Lancaster) and entered 160 acres of land in Section 11, which is now two or three miles east of Findlay along U.S. 224.

“He was industrious, spending very little for luxuries, eating very simple food and wearing scanty clothing,” said the Hancock County history by Dr. Jacob A. Kimmell.

“At about the time of the breaking out of the Civil War he bred and sold many fine cattle, getting a high price, and people thought him possessed of much gold. But after his death no money was found on his person or about the house and it was believed at that time and to this day that he buried his treasure in the ground and never revealed its hiding place.

“He was a very quiet man, discreet in his conversation but not discourteous in his manners. In his elderly days he was known as “Uncle Neddie” or “Old Neddie.” He never married.

“His scantily appointed cabin stood on the site of Dr. J.D. Tritch’s beautiful log cabin several miles out on the Tiffin Road.”

 

 

Downtown’s Wide Streets

 

The original plat of Findlay, as filed by Wilson Vance in the early days at the Hancock County Courthouse specifies the width of the first streets in the settlement as follow:

Main Street, 100 feet wide.

Broadway, between Front and Main Cross, 1151/2 feet wide.

Crawford, Front, Sandusky, East and West streets, 66 feet wide.

Cory and Beech avenues (then called alleys), 161/2 feet wide.

The plat specified that all streets and alleys were to cross at right angles.

Lot No. 1 was located at the southwest corner of South Main and West Front streets. Squire Carlin conducted a store here for many years.

There were 156 lots in the original plat, each 50 by 200 feet in dimensions. There were 80 lots on the east side of South Main Street and 76 on the other side.

The town was originally laid out in 1821 by Wilson Vance. It was replatted Sept. 26, 1829, and Joseph Vance, a brother of Wilson, and Elnathan Cory appeared before the common pleas court and acknowledged the platting. Joseph Vance later became governor of Ohio.

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