T. 1 N. R. 14 E.
IN some previous chapter mention was made of the township of Seneca, when first organized, embracing all that
part of Seneca county lying west of the Sandusky river. Every township that was organized in this territory afterwards
reduced it in size until finally it was confined to its proper geographical limits (See chapter x.)
The first election held in this township was on Monday, the 1st day of June, 1820, while Seneca county was still
a part of Sandusky county. At the next annual election the following officers were chosen; viz: West Barney, John
Lay and David Risdon, trustees; John Eaton, clerk, (it is said that he named Eden township after himself); Benjamin
Barney, treasurer, (he still lives in Pike county, Illinois,); Joseph Keller and Daniel Rice, overseers of the
poor; James Montgomery, Erastus Bowe and Joel Chaffin, supervisors; P. Wilson, lister; Asa Pike, appraiser; Thomas
Nicholson and Abner Pike, fence viewers; John Boughton and Joel Lee, constables.
At the state election in the fall of the, same year the whole number of votes polled in Seneca township; corpprising
about three fourths of the whole county, was twenty six. (See chapter x.)
In 1830 the population had increased to 369; in 1840, to 1,393 (then Seneca proper); in 1870 it numbered 1,580.
It did not reach that number in 1880, when it is only 1,537. The early settlers in the township, as now constituted,
were Henry St. John, William McCormick, Alexander Bowland, John Galgreath, Peter Weikert, Joseph Canahan, William
Kerr, Caleb Brundage, Daniel Hoffman, John Yambert, David Foght, William Harmon, Jacob Staib. Benjamin Harmon,
John Blair, George Heck, Jacob Wolfe, John Waggoner, James Aiken, James Brinkerhoff, John Crocker, Gustavus Reiniger,
Jacob Kroh, Amos Nichols, John Withelm and others.
There was also an Indian grant in this township to Catharine Walker, a Wyandot woman, and to John Walker, her son,
who was wounded in the service of the United States. It was a section of 640 acres lying mostly within the present
limits of Seneca township and directly west of the Van Meter section. This grant was secured to these Walkers at
the treaty of 1817, at the foot of the rapids of the Miami of the Lake. The writer knew the old lady and William
Walker, another of her sons, when they kept store at Upper Sandusky. Judge Lugenbeel bought a large part of the
section when the Walkers sold it.
On the 15th of April, 1845, Henry F. Kaestner, William Brinkerhoff and John Campbell caused to be surveyed, on
section nineteen, a town, to which was given the name of Berwick (Mr. Campbell came from Berwick, in Pennsylvania,
and named this new town after that old one. The Berwick in Pennsylvania is alsd the birthplace of the wife of the
writer.) Berwick is a station on the Cincinnati, Sandusky & Cleveland railroad, eight miles from Tiffin, and
is the only village in the township.
Seneca is one of the wealthy townships in the county. The soil is rich and under a good state of cultivation. Its
citizens are intelligent and enterprising. Their homes exhibit taste and comfort.
Mention should also be made of some other old settlets here, German pioneers that located in Seneca township about
the time the writer came to Tiffin: John Dockweiler, Conrad Schmitt, Ignatz Neumeyer, John Houck, George Weisenberger,
Michael Wagner, John Feck, Jacob Kappler, Michael Stippich, Conrad Heirholzer and John Wank.
FRANCIS JOSEPH HIRT.
The reader must excuse the space occupied in the mention of this subject. I would rather speak of men, yes,
and of good men, than to describe brutes. The event I am about to describe here took place nearly forty years ago,
and has almost been forgotten. A "logging" meant the hauling together and piling up of logs to make a
clearing, preparatory to the burning of them. When the logs were cut to the proper length to be handled, and everything
was ready for the work, the neighbors were invited for a certain day to come to the "logging." Some brought
their ox teams, others their axes, and worked hard all day. The neighboring women came to help the housewife getting
dinner and supper for the men, and after supper it was very usual to have a dance and a general good time. It was
very customary in those days to have plenty of whisky at these loggings, raisings, sheep washings, harvests, etc.,
and sometimes a man would take too much.
A Mr. John Feck lived on a piece of forty acres in the Southwest quarter of section five, in this township; Francis
J. Hirt also lived in the neighborhood. Both were at the logging of somebody else in the neighborhood, whose name
has escaped me. This was early in the spring of 1841. The man that had the logging, Hirt, Feck, and perhaps the
whole crowd were Germans. After supper a dance was started. Hirt took part in the dance. Feck stood at one side
of the room looking on. Hirt had a pocket knife in his hand, and becoming very boisterous, somebody tried to quiet
him, and during the muddle Hirt stabbed Feck in the belly, cutting a terrible gash, letting out his bowels, and
from which he died in a short time. Hirt was arrested and placed in the log jail in Tiffin.
He was a man near six feet high, well proportioned, and very muscular. His carriage was very straight. His pale
face contrasted very violently with his very black, bushy hair, large black eyebrows, and his dark, flashy, large
eye. He had a very low forehead, clenched lips, and heavy lower jaw; thick, short neck, and very long, bony arms.
His nosewas short and fleshy, and his teeth were regular and beautiful; in fact, his teeth were the only thing
beautiful about him. His whole makeup presented the desperado.
On the 25th day of May, 1841, the grand jury presented an indictment in the court against Hirt, for murder in the
first degree, and the prosecuting attorney, Mr. Joel W. Wilson, was busily engaged preparing the case for trial.
Cowdery and Wilson were law partners at that time, and the witnesses being nearly, all Germans, the writcr, then
reading law in the office, was of some service to the prosecuting attorney in ascertaining what the witnesses could
Immediately after the occurrence, Dr. George W. Sampson', of McCutchenville, was Sent for, who arrived while Mr.
Peck was still living. He returned the intestines and sewed up the wound, but Feck had already become delirious.
Hirt's knife was found with blood on it, behind a big German chest that stood in the room where the dance took
place and the murder was committed. It seems that Hirt threw the knife there after he had cut the fatal wound.
The court commenced on the 24th day of May, 1841, a few days after the fire of the court house. The court was held
in the M. P. church, on Monroe Street, now fixed up for a dwelling house by Mr. F. Marquart, of Tiffin. When the
case of the state of Ohio against Francis J. Hirt was called, it was continued for trial to the next term of the
court. It will be remembered that at the fire of the court house, the old log jail at the southeast corner of the
court house lot, was saved. Hirt was in this jail.
The following named persons were subpoenaed as witnesses for the state and put under their own personal recognizances
for their appearances at the next term, each in the sum of $100, viz: John Neumeyer, John Wank, William Kabala,
Joseph Keppler, Henry Naeth, John Weng, Joseph Meng, Joseph Smith, Francis Lenhart, Anthony Sanders, Joseph Hummell,
Clements Marks, John Baptist llchert and Alexander Swartz (Schwartz).
Hirt broke jail and escaped to Canada, where he lived for many years. His wife instituted proceedings in court,
by which she became the owner of all the property of her husband, and it was supposed for a while that she would
follow him to Canada. She was a very pious lady, and settled in New Reigel, in this county, near her church, where
she Iiveu until about two years ago. She had no child, but her mother lived with her. Hirt himself made his way
to Iowa City, Iowa, from whence he kept up a regular correspondence with his wife, and finally prevailed upon her
to sell her property in New Reigel and meet him in Iowa City. She complied, and taking her old mother with her,
met Hirt at Iowa City. The sight of her husband so hàrrified her that she could not consent to have him
live with her, and finally absolutely refused. She had already purchased a house and lot in the suburbs of Iowa
City, where she lived with her mother.
One afternoon, when the two ladies were alone in the house, Hirt came, drew a revolver, and shot his wife and then
her mother. It is also said that he set the house on fire and hung himself.
Both ladies were killed, however, and the particulars in the closing scene of the horrible life of this mcmster
are not known here. If they can be ascertained before these pages go to the printer, the proper connections will
My old friend John Houck, the merchant, says the murder of John Feck took place after the raising of a log barn,
and not after a logging. I write from my own best recollections and those of others that knew of the occurrence
at the time.
GUSTAVUS G. REINIGER
Is one of the German pioneers of Seneca county. The history of Seneca township would not be complete without
a short sketch of him. He was born in Vayingen, in Wurtemberg, Germany, on the 9th day of April, 1801; attended
school at Attersteig, in the black woods (Schwartzwald), and was afterwards placed under the tutorship of Prof.
Heller, in Kelb, where he studied the languages. He next spent two years as a student of the Agricultural Academy
at Hohheim. After he left the academy he became bookkeeper (actuary) in the office of the "Comptroleur of
Forests" at Beutelsbach, in Wurtemberg. Here he made the acquaintance of Fraulein Rosalia Durr, and was married
to her in 1822. He remained in this office until the spring of 1832, when he moved with his family to America,
and settled in the woods of Seneca township, in August of that year, and where he still resides. His oldest son
is dead, and two others are in Iowa, one of whom is a distinguished lawyer there.
It is customary in Germany for all officers in the forest departments to wear uniforms of dark green cloth.
The early settlers of Tiffin will remember Mr. Reiniger with his green coat buttoned up to his chin with yellow
buttons, and his friendly face smoothly shaven, except the familiar goatee, which he wears to this day.
It is no easy task to comprehend and bring up before the mind the full scene in the éhange, when a man,
with his family, leaves the association of friends and the scenes of his earlier days, and exchanges a life of
refinement in the classic hills and valleys of Germany for that of an American frontiersman in the forest. And
is it not strange to see so many of that class of men and women quietly embrace and enjoy the free and independent
life of an American farmer? Such, however, is the nature of our free institutions, that any honest livelihood here
is preferable to the gilded wrongs of European oppressions, and a life under them. The true man is the American
There are three daughters and two sons still living. Mrs. Reiniger died on the 5th of May, 1869.
THE STAIB FAMILY
Were also among the pioneer settlers of Seneca township. My old friend Mr. Jacob Staib prepared a sketch for
me in German, from which I abstract the following:
I was born in Grosz-Heppach, in Wurtemberg, Germany. In the year 1833 I came to America, and landed in Tiffin on
the 28th of August in that year I worked for Mr. Fellnegel awhile, but my first work here was for Mr. Reiniger.
I entered the laud where we lived so long, and in 1834 I commenced chopping and clearing on the old Staib farm,
and bullt a house, into which I moved on the 1st day of April, 1835, and where I bad no other company than my dog.
I bought a yoke of oxen, a cow and some chickens. In May John Ellwanger came and worked with me until my father
and the family came on. Father was born on the 6th of August. 1779, in Wurtemberg, when it was yet a Duchy. He
died March 28th, 1867. My mother, who is still living with me, and whose maiden name was Elizabeth C. Kloepfer,
was born also in Wurtemberg, October Sth, 1783. The family arrived here July 9th, 1835. Now we all worked together,
but had many troubles to contend with. Provisions became scarce, and we were compelled to grate unripe corn to
make bread. I was lucky enough to buy a barrel of flour from a team that came from the south for $7.00. The man
sold the balance of the load in Tiffin for twice that sum.
The German grape plants father brought with him began to bear in two years from the time they were planted, and
produced delightful fruit, but in 1843 the mildew affected them, and finally destroyed them. We raised pines from
seed we brought with us, which became the firstever green trees in the county. We also bad the first grafted fruit
in the county, cherries, plums, apricots, peaches, etc. We partook of the work and hardships incident to frontier
life. The climate was very unfavorable; great storms, heavy frosts. and thawing weather, interchanging rapidly,
was very destructive to wheat, and 'we harvested more cheat than wheat. (What has become of the cheat anyway? Why
are not farmers pestered with it now? WRITER.)
In the spring of 1834 we had frosts from the 12th until the 20th of May. The fruit trees froze, vegetables, the
wheat, and even the leaves on the trees inthe woods, so that on the 1st of June the woods looked like winter time.
The springs were very wet; the summers exceedingly hot and dry. In the summer of 1834 we were pestered greatly
with squirrels; the woods were literally filled with them. We could raise nothing within a few rods of the fences.
They often destroyed whole fields of wheat and corn. The woods 'were full of ravenous animals also, that made it
almost impossible to raise poultry or hogs for awhile.
In 1840 a cow belonging to Martin Spitler died, and the wolves devoured her in two nights. In 1858 I found a nest
of young wolves on my farm, about forty rods from the river, in a hollow tree, where we burned them up. The old
one made the nights hideous with her howling.
We also had our share of malarious fevers, and at times were not able to waitupon each other. Sometimes we could
not take care of our crops, but there is nothing like good neighbors. There were no rich people here then, and
therefore we had no thieves; there was nothing to steal. The greater number of the old pioneers have passed away,
and there are but a few of us left who can look back upon those early days, which were, after all, among our most
happy times, in spite of all hard work and privations.
In December, 1833, we built school house. Our district embraced nearly all the township. We all met on the same
day, chopped down the trees, hauled the logs together, raised the house and put the clap boards on before we quit
work. Even the floor was laid, the benches put up, the house chinked and daubed. A few days after school was kept
In 1838 Market street, in Tiffin, was cut out from the river to Julius Fellnagel's on Sandusky street. Mr. Fellnagel
had a lease from Mr. Hedges for a piece of land near by, all covered with trees. My brother Louis and I took the
job of clearing it. When we cut down a big maple we found at a point three inches from the center a notch that
had been cut with a sharp instrument, about three inches wide. The notch was four inches deep and oblique. We counted
more than three hundred rings between this wound and the bark. Some forest ranger more than three centuries before
injured the tree. It stood between Mr. Eid's residence and the river.
There was a wedding in Seneca township one night. The clay bake oven, near the house bf the bride, stood on block.
That night it was full of bread, pies, roasted turkey, cakes, and other good things. Boys are boys, they say, but
it was a very ugly trick when they carried away the whole bake oven, with its entire contents, and when the ceremony
at the house was over, and the supper to be served up, the bake oven was gone.
I don't like to mention any names, but if any one will ask my old friend G. W. Aulger, on the McCutchenville road,
he may know something about it. Who ever heard of stealing a bake oven?
Who is still living, was also an early settler in the county. He came to Republic in September, 1824, and worked
for Mr. T. Roberts clearing land, and soon earned money enough to buy eighty acres, near Melmore, from Thomas West.
He also worked for Frank Baker, Judge Cornelland Major Stephens. He and John Burns took the job of building the
first M. E. church in Melmore, in 1833. He voted at the first election held in Scipio township. Adam Hance was
elected justice of the peace. Mr. Musgrave has lived for many years on his splendid farm, in section twenty seven.
He was deputy sheriff under David Bishop in 1833. Mr. Musgrave says:
In the spring, when I was 23 years old, I made 6,000 rails. They only paid 25 cents per hundred for rails down
in Coshocton, but here I got 50 cents. I was born in Allegheny county, Virginia, March 4, 1804. In 1810 my father
moved to Coshocton county, Ohio. When I came here there was no house between New Haven and Republic. I was married
to Harriet. daughter of Micajah Heaton, 17th of May, 1833. When the Toledo war broke out, I was captain of a militia
company. Dr. Gibson was our surgeon. Ezra Baker bad a company also, and there was a company from Findlay, too.
We all went to Toledo, but never got under fire. We had a full battalion. Henry C. Brish was our general. Governor
Lucas was there. We all came back safe and sound.
Daniel Reis, Philip and Jacob Scheer, Andrew Burgderfer, Jonathan Kirgis and Peter Miller were also early German
settlers, and there were also the Arbogasts, Vannests, John Manges, John Kerr, E. Roley, the Koenigsaamens, Caleb
Brundage, George Robb, A. Yambright, Henry Hepp, John Adeisperger, Joseph Lye, Joseph Lonsoway and others; also
the Davidsons and Blairs, the Spilters and others.
Came here from Germany in 1833, and bought the northwest quarter of section five, when it was all woods. Here
he built his home and raised a large family. He was a very strong man and very decided in his opinion, which often
brought him into conflict with others. He was a good neighbor, however, very hospitable, and for many years a sort
of a leader in the vicinity He was born in Martinshoehe, now in the Palatinate, Bavaria, Germany, then belonging
to France, on the 26th Nivos, year of the French Republic (January 16, 1801).
Mrs. Dockweiler's maiden name was Mary Schirk. She was born January 6, 1805, at Niederset, Alsacea. They were married
near Easter, in 1828, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Dockweiler died March 7, 1990. His widow is still living.
Christian Scherer, Philip Bauer, Theobald Wagner, Francis Bartz, Frederick Becker, Franz Masson and John Brandt
were also early German settlers in this township.
Close by Seneca township, where the state road crosses Thorn creek, little south of McCutchenville, William
Arnold and his young wife located in the spring of 1823. They were married in the fall previous, in 1822, in Fredericksburg,
William Arnold was born in Fredericksburg, in 1802. Mrs. Arnold, whose maiden name was Noel, and who was a sister
of Michael Noel, was also born in Fredericksburg, Maryland.
Michael Noel lived a short distance south of McCutchenville, also, and was a man of good repute as a farmer and
citizen. He raised a family of interesting sons and beautiful daughters, two of whom were married to citizens of
this county, one being the wife of my good old friend, the distinguished hardware merchant, Martin Kingseed, of
Here at Thorn creek, Mr. Arnold entered a piece of land and put up a cabin. The state road was surveyed close to
his house, and this being the only road running north and south, west of the Sandusky river, it was the only thoroughfare
for emigrants and others traveling north and south. Forty years ago, new as the country then was, there was more
travel on that road than there is now. The Wyandots were then still living on the plains and became great friends
of Mr. Arnold and his wife, who had opened at their house a small beer and ginger bread stand; they also sold carbonated
mead, of all of which the Indians were fond. Sometimes the Indians would get too much fire water at McCutchenville,
and going home, stop in at Mr. Arnold's, acting ugly. One time an Indian named Spotted Tail wanted more beer, and
the stock being exhausted, became very boisterous and drew a tomahawk to strike Mrs. Arnold, who was alone in the
house. For want of any other protection, she set her big, dog on the Indian, who drove the savage away. At another
time, "Stokey," another Wyandot, became very insulting at the house and Mr. Arnold struck him with the
end of his whip handle over the head.
The Indian became very angry, jumped onto his pony and going away, told Mr. Arnold that he would fix him. He was
gone but a short time when he returned with six other Indians. Meantime Mr. Arnold prepared himself for an attack,
and when the Indians rode up to the door, where they were met at the small end of Arnold's old musket and other
persuasives, they desisted from all further attempts to do injury. Big Crow, Round the Lake and Black Snake were
also customers at Arnold's beer shop, but were always of good behavior.
Mr. and Mrs. Arnold were very devout Catholics, and being far removed from a church of their faith, experienced
the want very much.
After their first child was born and the mother was able to travel. Mr. Arnold left his lone cabin in the woods,
hitched up his team and took wife and babe to Lancaster, Ohio, to have it christened: It took a whole week to make
the trip. Soon, however, other Catholics settled in the neighborhood, and Mr. Arnold was one of the prime movers
in the establishment of the first Catholic church at McCutchenville.
Mr. Arnold was as ingenious as he was industrious. He was always at work at something, and while he opened up a
farm with great iudustry, he was ever busy making tools and implements for household and husbandry.
They raised a large family of children, and Mrs. George Strausbaugh, who furnished the writer much valuable information
of early life on Thorn creek, and Mr. Anthony H. Arnold, of Tiffin, are two of them.
The parents have both, passed away and so have also Mr. and Mrs Noel. The latter survived them all and died only
recently in the enjoyment of comfort and peace.
The subject of this sketch is now the oldest settler in the township. The writer has not been able to trace
any one who settled here before Mr. Heck and is still living. Mr. Aiken was a very respectable pioneer and he died
but a few years ago. He came about the same time that Mr. Heck arrived.
The grandfather of Mr. Heck came from Germany. George Heck was born October 5 1797, near the mouth of Hocking river,
in Athens county, Ohio. He grew up on his father's farm there. He married Sarah Grelle, who was a widow with four
children. Samuel Grelle, Esq., late county commissioner, is one of them. With her he had ten children, of whom
five are still living, the others having died in childhood. The oldest one living is his daughter, Catharine, wife
of Harry Fiser; next, Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Bowlin, and Maria; wife of John Strebin, all living in the state
of Indiana; Daniel G. Heck, the popular superintendent of the Seneca County Infirmary, and John, the youngest son,
who is living near his father on the old homestead. The children all have families and are all doing well.
Soon after the land sales, Mr. Heck's father bought, at the Delaware land office, the southwest front quarter of
seètion twenty five, in this township, and made a deed for it to his son George. Three years after he was
married he moved onto the land here. Mrs. Heck died on the 18th of December, 1840. About one year thereafter, he
married Sarah, the sister of John Kerr, Esq., now residing in Tiffin. She dropped dead on the floor in 1875 after
living on the old homestead with Mr. Heck thirty five years At breakfast, on the morning of the day she died, she
told Mr. Heck her dream of the previous night. She said she dreamed that their canoe got loose (their house stands
near the river), and drifted to the other side of the river; that she walked after it on the top of the water,
and' as she reached the other shore, she stepped onto a log, and looking back saw her steps on the log.
Mr. Heck says:
I am my father's youngest son, I had one brother and four sisters, and am the only one remaining of my father's
family. My parents talked German to each other, but always English to us children, and therefore I never learned
We hired a team and moved up here in the spring of 1823, by the way of Upper Sandusky along the Negrotown road,
as it was then called. It was not the present Negrotown road, but a trail by that name that wound through the woods
in all directions. Anderson's and Crocker's were all the houses between Mexico and Tiffin, and they were cabins
in the woods.
When we arrived here and found our land, we hunted for, and found a suitable place to locate near the bank of the
river in the woods. We unloaded and the team returned. I paid the man $20 to bring us here, and that left me but
$5, all told, and here I was with a wife, five children, five dollars, no house, no team, no neighbor and no friend
near. I cut four forks, put them into the ground in a square, laid poles across them, made some clapboards and
covered the shed, and here we camped until my brother in law, Peter Baum, who had married my wife's sister, helped
me cut some logs, which, for want of a team, we carried together and built a cabin. For want of other material
to make a floor, I took the bark of large elm trees and spread it on the ground, which answered very well. There
was a spring on the bank of the river, near this cabin, and here we lived two years, when I built a better log
house and moved into it. There was not a stick cut on this land nor in the woods for miles around. There were neither
roads nor bridges. When I was a boy grown up, my father moved with his family to Perry county, where I was married.
From there I came here. We had a couple of cows, and after struggling along during that summer, fall and winter
as best we could, my father brought to me a yoke of oxen the following spring. This was a sort of God send and
I began to take courage. Some time afterwards I went back to Perry county and brought home a young brood mare I
had left there. My father brought me flour twice, which kept us from starving, and some of the other settlers also.
When they found out that we had flour, they came for several miles around to borrow some, to be paid back some
time in kind. We had good flour, but some who returned flour brought a very inferior article. Foncannons never
brought theirs back until two years afterwards, and others never made return at all. Then the clothes I brought
with me were worn out, and how to get others I did not know. I killed two large bucks and took the skins to the
Mohawk squaws, on the Van Meter section, who tanned them for me. I paid them for it with a few pounds of flour.
I cut a pair of pants out of these skins and my wife helped me sew them. For three years I wore these every day,
and they were the most serviceable pants lever had. I got Jacob Price to tan a skin also, out of which we made
a pair of pants for Samuel Grelle, but whenever they got wet and dry again, they became as stiff as boards. Price
did not understand tanning deer skins as well as the Mohawk squaws.
When James Aiken came here, he was a single man. William Anderson came here also about the time we did, and Aiken
married Anderson's daughter. They lived on the Negrotown road. Aiken was a Virginian, but lived at Delaware a short
time before he came here; He was here when I came. Anderson's land joined mine on the east.
The first wheat I raised I took to Moore's mill, near Lower Sandusky to get it ground. We all took sick and had
a great deal of trouble with the diseases incident to life in the forest.
Soon after my arrival here I became acquainted with Hard Hickory, of the Senecas. He was a very intelligent Indian
and spoke English very plainly. He prided himself on his French blood.
They camped near our house, and brought their camp equipage with them in their canoes. One night Hard Hickory and
another Indian killed two deers near my house. The Indians fixed a candle over their heads in the canoes, and while
the deers were feeding on the tender grass in the river, they would look at the light, while the Indians, sitting
in the dark beneath, could row almost up to them and kill them. They put two forks into the ground and a pole across
them about four feet up. The meat was cut into pieces, laid on this pole and dried by a fire made beneath. The
meat was salted a little before it was dried, and when thus well cured, it was put into a square pack, the skin
of the deer wrapped around it and tied with strings of raw hide. A crooked stick was fastened on the back of a
pony and a pack of this dried venison, called "jerk," fastened to each end, to be taken home. This drying
and packing and cutting up of the meat was all done by a squaw.
One time when Hickory camped here, and before I had a team, I borrowed one of his ponies to go to Tiffin for a
half bushel of salt. He was always kind to me. There was also a Taway Indian through here occasionally they called
Pumpkin. He was the biggest Indian I ever saw, and the most savage looking. Everybody, even the other Indians were
afraid of him. He was fully six feet high, had a glaring look, showed his teeth very much and he must have weighed
fully two hundred pounds.
Somewhere down about Cold creek a white man by the name of Snow, had his cabin. One time, in the absence of Snow,
Pumpkin came into the house and killed Mrs. Snow. He then cut her open and took out of her womb a full grown babe,
stuck it on a stick and roasted it over the fire in the house. The white neighbors gave the alarm and the Senecas
caught Pumpkin and brought him to Snow, telling him that he should kill him or do anything else he pleased with
him. Mr. Snow, fearing the consequences, let Pumpkin rim. Soon after that, Pumpkin stole a corn hoe from my neighbor,
Aiken. Aiken told Pumpkin to leave the country and never show his face again. It was not long after that, when
Pumpkin got into a fight with a Wyandot and killed him, They made him sit on a log, when some six of them plunged
their tomahawks into his brain.
Joseph Foncannon, two of his brothers and his father, settled near the mouth of Honey creek, in Eden. Joseph was
married. His wife was a Poorman. Peter Lott, David Foght and Frederick Wagner also came in soon. Peter Baum settled
near Mexico. He moved to Missouri afterwards, where be and his wife both died. Baum was never satisfied anywhere.
We raised hemp and flax and spun and wove tow linen. Many a cold day I chopped in the wpods all day in tow linen
pants, my bare feet in shoes full of water and ice. Sometimes the ice packed around my feet so tight that when
I came into the house I had to hold them to the fire a while before I could get them off; but I never had my feet
frozen. I often had to go to Tiffin on cold days in winter with tow linen pants on. We lived very fine after we
could raise sheep and have the whole family dressed in linseywoolsey.
One time my father paid us a visit, and when he started back my wife gave him a loaf of bread to take along onthe
road. He met a man on the road near Upper Sandusky, who was nearly starved. He had not eaten a mouthful of bread
for three weeks, and had lived on boiled nettles and milk. He had a little hut near the road.
Was born June 26th, 1796, in Dreyson, in the Palatinate of Bavaria. On the 26th of January, 1816, he was married
to Margaret Rauth, of Boerstadt, in the Palatinate also. She was born July 28th, 1796. They settled in this town
of Boerstadt, where he followed the trade of a cabinet maker, until he moved with his family, then embracing six
children, to America. He landed in New York in the fore part of October, 1832, after a short voyage of thirty two
days, and soon after located in Hamburg, Berks county Pennsylvania, working at his trade
My old friend Martin Kingseed was noticed under the head of Fostoria, in chapter XXXVII. He was the oldest son
of the family, and was born November 19th, 1817. The other five were Catharine, Peter, Christian, Magdalena and
Margaret. From Berks county Mr. Koenigsamen, in April, 1833, moved to Pine Grove, in Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania,
where he located on a farm and undertook fatming. The mountains and the stony fields were not congenial to him,
and in 1834 he sold out and came to Ohio by wagons.
After a journey of six weeks he reached Tiffin, on the 18th of June, 1834. Here he stayed a few weeks, and bought
ninety four acres of land six miles south of Tiffin, on the Sandusky river, in section fourteen.
Here he opened up a farm, the land being all in the woods. He had but few neighbors. William Hitt joined on the
east of him, Richard Connor on the north, Benjamin Peck on the west, and the Sandusky river on the south. Across
the river lived Alex Bowland and William McCormack.
Starting here in the woods he experienced all the hardships of foreigners who had no practical knowledge of clearing
land, for this was a peculiarly American science. Farmers in Europe are not compelled to remove the forest in order
to make a farm. The first year is generally the hardest, because while you are not able to raise, anything, you
are compelled to buy all you need, and live out of pocket; So with Mr. Koenigsamen, but the next year he had cleared
ten acres and began to raise provisions. Mr. Koenigsamen speaks very feelingly of the kindness of his old neighbors
in assisting him with everything needful until he got a better start in the world. The readiness and willingness
with which neighbors would come to a raising or logging has frequently been mentioned. So here. Help was never
refused. Now the opening grew larger, and grain was being raised in abundance. Everything prospered, and the family
were happy until, on the 19th of May, 1842, Mrs. Koenigsamen died, a few days after giving birth to her tenth child.
The babe died six weeks thereafter.
Five years later, in 1847, Mr. Koenigsamen was again mathed, to Catharine Bauer, of this township, with whom he
had three children, Joseph, Emelia and Catharine.
On the 26th day of October, 1862, his second wife also died. The elder daughters then took charge of the household,
and the youngest, Emelia, is now the matron of the homestead.
For several years past his oldest son, Martin, has been in the habit of arranging surprise parties at the old homestead
upon the anniversary of the old gentleman's birthday, when all the children would meet there, with their wives,
husbands and children, and have a good time all around. They had another big time there again this year, when they
celebrated his eighty fourth birthday, showing him all honor and filial affection possible, and gladdening the
evening of his life with renewed assurances of their love and devotion
Mr. Koenigsamen is still in the enjoyment of good health, and rathcr robust for his age. He enjoys his old pipe
and a good joke as much as ever, and promises fair to so continue for many years yet to come. His son Anthony lives
with him, and has charge of the farm.