First teacher held classes in log building

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following 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.




Joseph White, one of the very early settlers in Liberty Township and Findlay, was the first school teacher in the new community. He located in the village in 1826, after having spent a few years earlier in Liberty Township. The town’s first school was located where the armory now stands. He taught the settlement’s few children in the winter of 1826-27 in a log building erected on the site, which is now appropriately marked with a plaque, erected in 1937 during the oil and gas celebration by the Findlay Education Association. White left the village the next year.

Joseph DeWitt arrived in 1827 with his wife and nine children and opened a blacksmith shop, the first in the town. John C. Wickham and his son, Minor T., came from Ross County in 1827, the father becoming the second school teacher, following White in the winter if 1827-28. He was the second sheriff of Hancock County as well as the second postmaster.

Reuben Hale was a pioneer in 1827. He was the losing candidate for sheriff in the county’s first election, being defeated by Don Alonzo Hamlin. He later went to Union County.

Edwin S. Jones started the first tanyard in the village on East Front Street. He was the county’s second treasurer. He subsequently moved to Illinois.

James B. Moore and James Peltier arrived in 1828. Both were single men. The former was a brick mason. The latter became a fur buyer for Squire Carlin.

John G. Flenner was a pioneer tailor in Findlay, located here in 1829 after a career in the U.S. Navy. He died in 1861 at the age of 86. Jospha Powell was an 1829 arrival too, building a cabin near East Street. Thomas F. Johnston arrived in the same year and was elected as the county’s third auditor. John Bashore was the town’s third pioneer tavern keeper, coming also in 1829. He opened his establishment with the remark that it was intended as a “place for the entertainment of man and beast.” He later moved to Lima.

Henry and Peter Shaw, natives of Pennsylvania, came in 1829. Henry, a carpenter, erected the town’s first jail, a log structure. He later built a mill on West Front Street.

Abraham Daughenbaugh and his wife arrived in 1833 from Canton. He operated a tavern and followed the carpentering and building trade. He died in 1866.

Garrett D. and James Teatsorth came from eastern Ohio in the fall of 1833. Their father, a Revolutionary War hero, came with them and died on Christmas 1834. James ran a mill on West Front Street for some years and later went to California, then came back. Garrett started a blacksmith shop. He later ran a hotel here.

Joseph D. Ford came to the village from Virginia in 1832. He married a sister of Johnathan Parker, one of the town’s early leaders. He died in 1875.

Peter Byal, a native of Pennsylvania, came in 1833, following his brother John and father William here. In 1836 he was elected to the office of county coroner, but served only one year, the histories saying “he did not like the business.” He and his wife reared a family of 10 children.

Major John Patterson, a native of Maryland, brought his wife and nine children here and operated a hotel. He was elected justice of the peace and lived in Washington Township for a time. He died in 1853.

N. H. Ward was the second tailor to settle in the town. He came here in 1834 and opened a tailoring shop in the log cabin near the home of Wilson Vance, the town “organizer.” He later moved to Biglick Township.

Among the other early settlers here were Henry Lamb, who came in 1830 and served one term as coroner; Aaron Baker, an 1830 arrival; Eli Phillips, who came in 1833; George W. Powell and Solomon Powell, arrivals in 1834 and Hugh Newell, who came in 1836.

Daniel H. Beardsley, one of the early lawyers, came with his parents in 1834. He served for 27 years as justice of the peace, was an active leader in the pioneer association and wrote a history of the county.


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