T. 1, N. R. 17 E.
WHEN, on the 1st day of June, 1829, Ezra Gilbert presented a petition to the county commissioners from the citizens
of this township, praying for its organization into a legal township, to be known by its present name, they and
he had very small hope that by this time it would be the rich and beautiful township it is. The prayer was granted,
and the first election took place on the 13th of June in that year
The following ticket was then elected, viz:
Township Clerk - Philip E. Bronson.
Trustees - Thomas West, Ezra Gilbert, Moses Smith.
Treasurer - James Halsted.
Overseers of the Poor - Henry Speaker, Elisha Fair.
Fence Viewers - Cornelius Gilmore, Ezra Gilbert.
Constable - Warren Blakesley.
In addition to these officers there were also among the early settlers: Governeur Edwards, John Woollet, David
Kemp, Jacob Cook, Andrew Moore, William McPherson, Johnson Ford, Philip Muck, James McKibben. Mr. Ford and Mr.
McPherson are living at this writing.
In 1840 Venice had a population of 1,222; in 1870 it had increased to 1,781, and in 1880 to 2,231.
Its soil is excellent, and it is now in the enjoyment of great agricultural wealth. Of late years such farmers
as George Ringle, Thomas Bennett, David Ringle, Samuel Shade, James D. Stevens; John McKibben, Henry Meyer, Z.
Bretz, the Sourwines, the Labolts, the Steigmeyers and others added greatly towards its development.
Venice has two towns - Attica and Caroline. The former has, to a great extent, absorbed the latter, especially
since the Baltimore & Ohio railroad has a station near Attica Both towns are situate on the old Columbus and
Sandusky turnpike, which at one time promised to become macadamized, and be a general north and south thoroughfare.
Colonel Kilbourn, who has been often mentioned as one of the pioneer surveyors here, on the 28th day of February,
1828, surveyed and platted Caroline, on sections ten and eleven, and named it after a daughter of Cornelius Gilmore,
the first settler in the town and one of the proprietors; Hector Kilbourn and Byron Kilbourn being the others.
Andrew Moore settled in this town in 1830, on the first day of April, and resided there to the time of his death,
which occurred on the 6th of August, 1846. (His widow died. at this writing.) He was county commissioner one time,
and a most excellent citizen. James McKibben located here on the 17th of June, 1830. There were but fifteen families
in Venice at that time.
On the 1st day of May, 1833, William Miller and Samuel Miller, two brothers, from Pennsylvania, laid out Attica.
David Risdon was the surveyor. The name was derived from the postoffice by that name, which had been located there
before the survey of the town. Ezra Gilbert named the postoffice after the town in New York, where he formerly
resided. Mr. Gilbert kept the first public house here, and Nathan Merriman kept the first store. In 1836 Attica
contained twenty dwellings already, and a population of one hundred. In 1840 it had eighteen more. It is now a
very lively country town, and has a fine trade. A lawyer, Mr. Lester Sutton, is located here, and some six physicians.
The Attica journal is a very readable weekly newspaper, and very ably edited by my old friend Dr. J. C. Myers.
The rich farming community surrounding Attica will always make the town a good trading post. The town has a splendid
school house, a healthy situation and a good moral community of intelligent people.
At the centennial 4th of July celebration in Attica (1876) my venerable old friend Mr. Johnson Ford, had read to
the assembled multitude an abstract history of this township, which my friend Dr. Myers was so kind as to place
at my disposal, and from which I quote. It was ably prepared by his son.
ATTICA, December 29, 1879.
DEAR SIR: I send you the history of Venice township and Attica, as prepared for the celebration of the 4th of July,
1876. If you find any matter to help you in your history, I shall feel amply rewarded. My best wishes for your
J. C. MYERS.
N. B. - It should be mentioned here that the address as delivered was prepared by Mr. H. J. Ford, but I will insist
that uncle Johnson Ford furnished much of the material.
A CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF VENICE TOWNSHIP AND THE VILLAGE OF ATTICA.
Arranged and written by H. J. Ford, and delivered at the celebration in Attica July 4, 1876.
For the names, dates, and all facts pertaining to the earliest record of the then new township of Venice, I am
indebted to the two veteran pioneers, Father McPherson and Father Ford, whose heads, whitened by the frosts of
more than four score years, are permitted to sit today on this platform. (Still living at this writing, May 28th,
All honor to them and the other pioneers, to whose perseverance, privations and self denial we today are blessed
with a home in as beautiful, productive and wealthy a township as any in the grand old state of Ohio. Looking over
our rich rolling farms, it is hard to realize that only fifty years ago these same fields were an extended and
unbroken forest. In the memories of the few whose silvered heads appear among us today, those scenes are distinct
and real still, while we, the younger generation, must resort to fancy to catch a view.
I wish it were possible to portray the dark forest, the roving Indians, the howling wild beasts, the pioneer hardships
met and endured by our fathers, and make the impression go with us through life, so that we might be taught thereby
to respect with a proper degree of veneration the gray hairs of the few who remain.
A fact in the history of this township should not be overlooked in reference to the Columbus and Sandusky turnpike.
Each alternate section of land was granted by the legislature of the state to a company as an inducement to undertake
its construction. Colonel James Kilbourn, of Worthington; Ohio, in 1827, was employed by the company to survey
and locate this road. In the same year Cornelius Gilmore built for himself a cabin on the south bank of Honey creek,
where the residence of O. J. McPherson now stands, and he was thus the first settler in Venice township. Being
a blacksmith by trade, his services were required by customers far and near. Ezra Gilbert settled here in 1829.
In August, 1828, Samuel Halsted built a cabin house on the present site of Rininger and Silcox's store. In September
of the same year Johnson Ford moved into his cabin, erected where the residence of Dr. Barber now stands. In October,
the same year, Thomas West built east of the pike, near Honey creek. In November William McPherson built his house
in the center of the township, and in December Elisha Fair settled on the site of L. O. Green's present residence.
In the month of November, 1828, at the instance of Ezra Gilbert, a petition was presented to the commissioners
of the county, asking for a road commencing At the township line road, two and one half miles west of Attica, and
running diagonally to the south of east, to intersect the road leading to New Haven, near the Huron county line,
three and one half miles east of Attica. The petition was granted, and David Risdon, the county surveyor; located
the road, and immediately Samuel Halsted, Ezra Gilbert and Johnson Ford took their axes, and in six days they underbrushed
the whole line, taking their dinners with them, and returning home at night to enjoy their frugal suppers of corn
bread and crust coffee. Thus these pioneers, looking ahead to the future, gave us these important crossroads; which
proved the nucleus of our fair village.
Ezra Gilbert, early in the spring of 1829, erected a cabin on the corner where Ford and Strannler's hardware store
now stands, and opened a public tavern. Shortly thereafter, Nathan Merriman, from Bucyrus, opened out a small stock
of dry goods and groceries in a log building on S. A. Ringle's corner.
On the 19th of March, 1829, Esther, the wife of Johnson Ford, died, leaving her husband alone to his sorrow. A
neighbor. went to Republic to assist in the preparation of a cherry coffin. At the funeral the remains were placed
on a rude sled drawn by oxen. Samuel Halsted drove the team and Ezra Gilbert walked by the side of the lone husband
eight miles, to the cemetery in Scipio township. It had been arranged that a funeral discourse should be preached
at the house of Ethan Smith, near the place of burial, and the settlers gathered there, but no minister came, and
without so much as a Christian prayer, the body was put to rest. The pioneer returned to his lone cabin, and although
nearly a half century has passed away, he is with us here today.
The second death was a child of Samuel Halsted. Mr. Ford donated an acre in the center of his farm for a burial
place, and cleared the same. The remains of a child of Philip Muck was the first interment there and the third
During 1829 the following persons settled here: Nathan Merriman, Governeur Edwards, Philip Muck, John Armatage,
Jacob Cook, Henry Speaker, Jr., James Willoughby, David Roop, David Kemp, John Woolet, Samuel Woolet, Samuel Croton
and Jollier Billings. Men were also employed on the turnpike.
On the 1st day of June, 1829, this township was a part of Bloom, and the three qualified voters residing here went
to the polls of Bloom township to cast their votes for. John Quincy Adams, opposing candidate to Andrew Jackson
in the autumn of 1828.
On the same day Ezra Gilbert presented a petition to the county commissioners for the organization of this township
as originally surveyed. The name was suggested by Johnson Ford, being the name of the township in Cayuga county,
N. Y., from whence he came.
It is a fact worthy of note that up to 1840 no township officer made any charge for his services. The postoffice
at Caroline was taken away by Gilmore, and the government refused to make other appointments for Caroline. Then
the Attica postoffice was established.
From this time forward the settlement of the township and village was rapid. In 1830 or 1831 Jacob Newkirk, from
the state of New York, erected the first frame house in the township, on the present site of F. H. Steigmeyer's
store. Many of us remember the old Huddleson house. It was removed only six years since, when it was the property
of David Ayres.
The first sawmill in Venice township was erected by Henry Speaker, Sr. about the year 1831, on his farm, between
Attica and Caroline. The motive power was a yoke of oxen and an extra steer in a tread wheel. It was afterwards
converted by the owner into a grist mill, with one run of small stone and a carding machine.
In 1836 Ebenezer and George Metcalf, with some local aid, erected a steam sawmill near the present site of the
Heabler grist mill, in Attica. In the month of March, 1840, this mill was destroyed by fire, entailing a heavy
loss on both the owners and the community.
John and Frederick Steigmeyer were the owners of the next steam sawmill erected on this site. In course of time
a grist mill was connected therewith by them, and after a few changes in owners we now have our excellent flouring
mill owned by J. Heabler & Bros. Early in our history a steam saw mill and also a grist mill were built at
Caroline by Peter Kinnaman, both of which were afterwards swept away by fire.
[NOTE. - In 1857, one morning in the winter, a boy named Ephraim Groves. while standing in front of the boiler
warming his feet, was scalded to death by the bursting of the boiler of this mill. He lived a few days after the
accident, but never spoke from the time he was hurt.]
After the completion of the school house an invitation was sent to the Rev. Mr. Robinson, a Presbyterian minister
living at Melmore, who came and preached to the people, it being the first sermon delivered in the township. After
this his services were secured for one year, he preaching every third week on a week day.
In the spring of 1833 a union Sabbath school was organized by Rev. Mr. Patty; an agent of the American Sabbath
School Union, and Mr. Martain was chosen superintendent for one year, but he moving away before the expiration'
of that time, Johnson Ford succeeded him, and his services were retained in that capacity for twenty five consecutive
years, when he resigned on account of defective hearing.
A Presbyterian church was organized in October, 1833, with thirteen members, by Revs. E. Conger and E. Judson,
of Huron Presbytery, and John Holmes and J. Ford were ordained elders thereof.
The Episcopal Methodists organized a small class in 183.5, and in 1838 the English Lutherans formed a church, and
in 1840 or 1841, with the help of the community at large, erected the church now owned by the United Brethren.
This house they were unable to finish, and the writer well remembers the rude slab benches without backs, which,
for a number of years, furnished the sittings.
This society, failing to pay for their building, were compelled to sell it, and fearing it might be devoted to
other uses and the community be deprived of a place for public worship, Johnson Ford shouldered the burden of its
purchase, and obtained a clear title thereto: In a short time thereafter it was reseated and improved, and for
a number of years the three above mentioned denominations worshiped therein, and in harmony conducted Sabbath school
and church services. This is the history of the first religious denominations and church building in our township.
About the year 1840 a one story brick school house was built on the spot where the one in present use now stands.
The interior was arranged with desks running along the side walls and seated with slab benches. In the year 1841
the Attica Baptist church was organized with nine members, and on the 2d day of April, 1842, Rev. S. M. Mack became
its first regular pastor. In the year 1852 this denomination built its present house of worship. In the winter
of 1849 and 1850, as nearly as can be conveniently ascertained, the village of Attica was duly incorporated, and
on the 6th day of April, 1850 the first election of city officers was held, resulting as follows:
Mayor - John L. LaMeraux.
Clerk - Samuel Miller.
Councilmen - Samuel Crobaugh, David K. Burg, Benjamin Kelley, John Heckman, John Ringle.
Board of Education - Samuel Miller, M. R. Moltz, John Lay, Ebenezer Metcalf, Orlando Miller, James H. Brisco.
At the first council meeting on the 15th of the same month, S. E. Martin was appointed marshal, and William Rininger
Thus was our village launched forth to rank among the small cities of our land.
In the winter of 1853 the buildings then occupying the southeast corner of Main and Tiffin streets were consumed
by fire. William Rininger then bought the vacant lot and erected thereon his present storeroom.
Two or three years later a conflagration occurred on the northwest corner of said streets, and the large frame
hotel building erected then by William Miller, early in Attica's history, and then owned by H. M. Chandler, was
swept away. Chandler then caused to be erected the brick block we see here today. Attica has been visited by several
smaller fires, of which we have not time to speak.
In the year 1856 or 1857 the school house still in use in our town was built, the contract having been let to Levi
Rice, for which he received $1,328.42.
The Universalist society erected their house of worship in the year 1860.
Attica has not been without her sensations, prominent among which are the great fraudulent failures of Higley,
Chandler, Schuyler and others in 1856 or 1857, and the discovery of the den of counterfeiters, and the subsequent
conviction of one of our citizens for the crime.
Perhaps it would not be out of place, as we draw our history to a close, to give the names of those, and the years
in which they served, who have had the honor to serve the village as chief.
John L. LaMeraux served as mayor in 1850; William Miller in 1851; Wm. Rininger in the years 1852, 1853, 1854, 18.58,
1860, and 1865; P. Kinnaman in 1855 and 18.59; R. H. Blodget in 1856, 1857, part of 1861 and all of 1862; J. R.
Buckingham was elected in 1861, but resigning, R. H. Blodget was appointed to fill his place. The record of 1863
and 1864 does not show who served as mayor during those years. William M. Miller was elected in 1866, April 2d,
and resigned May 14th, when H. M. Chandler was appointed to fill the unexpired term. Chandler was elected in 1867,
and again in 1868, and during the latter year the burden of the purchase of the town hall was imposed upon. the
people. H. J. Ford served in 1869; J. C. Meyers was elected in 1870 for two years, and re-elected in 1872 for the
same time. J. W. Simpson was elected in 1874, but failing health incapacitated him for the service, and his death
occurred in the following winter. Our present honorable mayor. James L. Couch, was appointed to act during the
The peoples' voice at the ballot box a short time since proclaimed James L. Couch mayor for 1876 and 1877.
In conclusion, we have only to add the number of public buildings in township and village, and the population,
as nearly as it can be ascertained in this centennial year of our nation and semi centennial of our township. In
the township we have eight churches and thirteen school houses, and a population, including Attica, estimated at
Attica, within her corporate limits, contains three churches, one school house, three dry good stores, two
hotels, two hardware stores, two tinshops. two drug stores, two provision stores, two furniture stores, one cabinet
shop, two undertakers, one clothing store, one marble shop, two harness shops, two blacksmith and carriage shops,
two carriage painters, one gunsmith, one flouring mill, sash and blind factory, one foundry and machine shop, one
shoe factory, two boot and shoe shops, three millinery stores, one photograph gallery, two cooper shops, one grist
mill, one ashery, one carding machine, one confectionery and ice cream room, two billiard and drinking saloons,
three village groceries, three tailor shops, one livery stable, one jewelry store, one printing office, one express
office, two meat markets, one attorney, four practicing physicians, one dentist, one barber shop, one Odd Fellows
lodge, one Masonic lodge, one Grange lodge, one weekly newspaper.
Our village has increased materially in population, and the number of dwellings since the completion of the Baltimore
& Ohio railroad and the establishment of a station bearing the name of Attica, which occurred on the 1st of
This centennial year finds us in the midst of prosperity and healthy growth, with a bright business future before
us, and our corporate limits extended, giving ample room for those who desire to purchase building lots, and locate
among us. We will not attempt to scan the future with prophetic eye and declare what our township and village will
be fifty or one hundred years hence, but we may safely say the historian of the second centennial of our nation's
life will record as great changes as any we can chronicle totoday.
We must not overlook the part our aged mothers took in this war fare of pioneer life. Side by side they stood with
husbands, enduring dangers and privations like heroes, as they really were. Many of them left homes of comfort
and even luxury, at the east, to follow the fortunes of the one to whom they had given their heart and hand.
All unused to the solitude of the western forests, and its attendant dangers, they faltered not, but putting their
trust in their father's God, and leaning on the strong arm of their husbands, they came, and we today have reason
to bless their coming.
Let us respect and love them while they live, and when they are gone, may our recollections of them be as sweet
incense to their memory.
With uncovered head, and bated breath, let us always speak the sacred name of " Mother."
And now, friends and fellow citizens, while we are called upon today to review the past and to celebrate the words
and deeds of those who, one hundred years ago, declared us a nation of freemen, and whose blood bought the precious
boon, let us remember also those who saved our country when rebels sought its life. Some we have laid to rest,
and their graves are honored year by year.
Let us cherish the gift of freedom while we live, and transmit it unimpaired to coming generations.
May our love for God. and our own kindred alone, take deeper root in our hearts, than our love of country and our
On the 4th of March, 1851, an act was passed by the general assembly of Ohio authorizing the establishment of a
grammar school in Attica, and which provided for the levying of a tax for that purpose, not to exceed twenty cents
on the Sioo valuation in the district.
Philip Bollinger, who this day, June 1st, 1880, is ninety two years old, and perhaps the oldest inhabitant of this
township, was born in Homburg, in the Palatinate of Bavaria, and came to this country in 1843. He is healthy and
vigorous, and can walk fifteen or twenty miles a day. He is lively and cheerful, and has an excellent memory He
enjoys the comforts of the home of his son, Louis Bollinger, a respected citizen of Venice township.
Was born in Rensselaer county, New York, June 9th, 1796. His father died when he was but eight years old; his
father was poor and had a large family, and consequently the most of the children had to be bound out. Young Johnson
was one of them, but fortunately he found a good home, where he remained until he was twenty one years old, getting
all his education while he was yet bound. After he became of age he worked with his brother on a farm they had
bought, in the same county, for eight years, when he sold his interest in the farm and married, and immediately
removed to Venice township, Seneca county. Ohio, he being the first settler in the township. He entered a quarter
section of land, upon a part of which the village of Attica now stands, and built one of the first log cabins,
in the year 1828, fifty two years ago this June, 1880.
He helped to clear off the land and lay out the village of Attica, giving it its name, having come from Attica,
New York. For several years he was engaged in clearing up his farm, and assisting in building the Sandusky and
Columbus turnpike, which was being built at that time, to develop the resources of the unbroken forest. He cleared
the first land, ploughed the first furrow, and raised the first wheat in Venice township. He is in reality the
pioneer of this township. His wife died during the first year of his pioneer life from over exertion and exposure,
to which her constitution had not been accustomed, and she failed from the trials incident to early life in the
He returned to the state of New York and married again, and returned to his new home, where he has lived to see
the forest melt away like the morning dew, and the ground to be cleared from all traces of the old monarchs that,
formerly stood thickly, over the face of the country, the pride of all Americans.
Twelve years ago he sold his farm and retired from active work, and now his means are invested in a large hardware
store in Attica, in the firm of Ford and Strandler, a son and son in law, from which he de. rives his support at
He has always been an active, hard working, industrious man. He has always been religiously inclined, having united
with the Presbyterians in his youth. For twenty five years he conducted a Sabbath school in Attica, the first and
for many years the only one in the township. He raised three children by his second wife - two daughters and a
son. One daughter is now living in Great Bend, Kansas.
The wife of James W. Brown is the other daughter.
Young Ford and Brown are partners in the hardware store. Mr. Johnson Ford is wonderfully preserved, having been
born June 9th, 1796, which at present, July 22d, 1880, makes him eighty four years, one month and thirteen days,
and from present prospects, he is good for another decade. For the last ten years he has received a second sight,
being able at present to read fine print without his glasses, a thing he was unable to do for thirty years.
The following sketches were kindly furnished by Prof. S. McKetrick, of College Hill, Tiffin, Ohio:
History and literature are practically useful only so far, and to such a degree, as they inspire those who read
their pages to aspire to the noble example they portray, whether it be in mental discipline or physical execution.
History should be nothing but truthful facts, and therein differ from. fiction. History is the truth of the past.
Fiction is fancy, and belongs neither to time or place. The one is healthful and invigorating, the other weak and
The page we present here shall be history. We present this page not to relieve memory of its burden, but to recall
deeds and their actors, as we all love to do; to live again a few moments with friends of the past; to be enlivened
again by their association, though they come but from memory, and from it I draw the most hallowed associations
of my life, which were acted. in Venice township.
The men who first impressed upon my mind the realities of living, lived and toiled upon its soil. The one who ranks
first there was James D. Stevenson. I know little of his early life. He was born in the state of Vermont; served
as a soldier in the latter part of the last war with Great Britain. A part of his life was spent as a sailor upon
our northern lakes. About the year 1838 he left a wife and five children and came to Ohio. He traveled over the
greater part of the state in search of a spot where he might make a home in the new country.
He found, and entered into a contract with, Mr. Zachariah Betts for the farm he owned until 1863. The contract
between the parties was that he should chop and clear one hundred acres of land, and for this service he was to
receive the full and free title for the one hundred acres which he owned. All in the world he possessed was a strong
body and a willing heart. He earned his living by threshing out grain with a flail by the light of a lantern. His
board bill was not extravagant, for he told me of many days of hard toil with nothing to eat but batter, baked
upon an iron griddle, and maple syrup.
After such hard life for several years, he received the title for his land, and had a few acres cleared and a log
house upon it. He then returned and removed his family (who knew nothing of his whereabouts all these years of
toil) to their new home in the west.
A few years of such severe toil and the deepest privation and he has changed his forest to a beautiful farm, producing
abundance. But in those few years death has visited their circle and taken his wife, and soon after, Ere consumes
his house and its contents, save himself and children, but soon upon the ashes of that house is built a better
one, and his second wife makes cheerful its hearth. Another farm is added to the first, and prosperity smiles on
About the year 1850 he commenced to shake with the palsy. That strong frame was wrecked. It grew weaker and
still less able to battle with the realities it had known so well in life, and fell to its last resting place in
Ionia county, Michigan, in the spring of 1865.
In politics my subject was an Abolitionist, a Republican and a true Union man during the dark days of the rebellion.
In religion he was a member of the Baptist church.
The hard circumstances through which he had past made him a close dealer, though in money, weights and measures,
strictly honest. He was naturally noble, kind hearted and true.
Was born in Germantown, Huntington county, New Jersey, July 15, 1798, and is therefore eighty two years old.
He was raised on a farm, and when twenty five years of age, he was married and then moved to Harrison county, Ohio,
where he located near the county line of Tuscarawas in 1823. Here he lived three years, and being dissatisfied
with this hilly country, he left it in the spring of 1834, and packing his household into a covered wagon, he arrived
in Venice township with his wife and two children early in June, the same year. Here he immediately entered a quarter
section of land in the east part of the township, where he pitched his tent. On the 19th of June he moved into
his cabin, and on the following night a heavy thunder storm drove the rain through the clapboards and the open
spaces between the logs, drenching the family in their beds, spoiling their goods and making them wish to be back
on the sand lots of New Jersey. On the next morning the, woods were a lake. Intercourse with neighbors was completely
cut off, and 'there were none nearer than three miles. During this summer one of the children died of billious
fever, then very common among the new settlers. They raised twelve children, six boys and six girls, who, together
with grand and great grand children, number about seventy at present. Among this number are some of the most valued
of the citizens of the township and their interests in business affairs are so much interwoven with the progress
of the township, that to separate them now from Venice township, would be a great and serious loss to the community.
Mr. Moore and his wife are still in the 'enjoyment of good health, and promise fair to remain with us many years
yet to come.
This venerable pioneer came from the highlands of Scotland, where he was born at Vernesshire, on the 6th day
of February, 1793. He is a descendant of the family of William Wallace, who were so justly celebrated for their
love of country and liberty, and for their bravery. His family being educated people and of the nobility, young.
William had the advantage of refinement in education, morals and religion.
Mr. McPherson became dissatisfied with both country and government, despising England's rule, and being of an adventurous
turn of mind, at the age of twenty three years, he followed his inclinations to visit America; In the year 1816,
in company with a young friend of about his age, they set sail and arrived at Halifax on the 11th of September
of that year. Finding no suitable employment here, they went to Baltimore, where they arrived in October and engaged
in the mercantile business; which they conducted several years with success, but Mr. McPherson becoming tired of
the confinement of a store, sold out and started for the west with a view of speculating in land. The Indians had
sold their reservations and the new purchase had come into market. Mr. McPherson arrived in Tiffin in October,
1828, and by the advice of Abel Rawson and Joseph Howard, the land agents, he followed up Honey creek and selected
a tract on the south bank and where the Columbus and Sandusky turnpike was then being built, and purchased it.
It contained Boo acres and embraced the present village of Caroline.
Fearing the effects of miasma along the creek, he built his cabin one mile farther south. The cabin, however, was
a very large house built of hewed logs, intended for a tavern and was the third house in the township. There was
one shanty in Attica and one in Caroline, built by John Gilmore, for the purpose of boarding the hands that worked
on the pike. After the turnpike was finished, the company put a tollgate in front of McPherson's hotel and arranged
with him to keep it' which he did until the time when it was destroyed by a mob that cleaned out the gates all
along the road. The traffic on railroads had now supplanted travel on the public roads and hotel keeping in the
country becoming slow business, Mr: McPherson removed to Caroline, and again engaged in the mercantile business.
Here he practiced that strict honesty and correctness in dealing that have characterized his whole life. He bought
for cash and sold for ready pay only. He was so careful in giving proper measure that it was said of him, "he
would bite a grain of coffee in two to balance the scale." He never changed the price of his goods, and sold
them as they were marked, often holding them until they were out of fashion.
His old tavern is still standing and was used as a residence in 1879, but Mr. Ph. Schimp, its present owner, has
built a fine residence near to it, and the old house is destined to go into decay. It is now used as a shop and
tool house. It should be preserved as the first house built in Venice township, being erected in 1828.
After he kept store in Caroline eight years, he sold his stock of goods and moved about five miles further south,
to near the edge of Crawford county, where he owned large tracts of land and which he wished to bring into market.
He lived here eight years and until he had sold all his land, when he again returned to Caroline and took his old
The Seneca County Academy was then in a prosperous condition, and the children of Mr. McPherson being of such an
age that required attention to their education, he moved to Republic and placed them under the tutorship of Professor
Aaron Schuyler, whose name has become celebrated among educators since.
He resided in Republic until about 1860, when he again returned to Caroline, where he had built for himself a new
house. Here he still resides (July 29, 1880) and will stay until called to go higher. He is quite feeble now, but
for a man of 88 years, his mind is still vigorous and clear. He divided his handsome fortune among his children,
reserving enough to retire into a warm corner while the shades of evening chill the atmosphere around.
My friend, McKitrick, was so kind as to furnish the author with the following additional statementpertaining to
Venice township in relation to the war of the rebellion and matters pertaining to the general charity of the people:
VENICE TOWNSHIP IN THE WAR.
It was half past four o'clock, Friday morning, April 12, 1861, when the first roar of cannon broke the quiet
in which our nation had rested many years. We had enjoyed peace and prosperity and were unused to war, and its
first sound aroused the nation like an electric shock. Strong men homestheir quiet homeS to join the ranks of war,
and every worthy citizen bore a common share in the sacrifices, toils and cares required to preserve the integrity
of the Union.
Venice township bore her part manfully, and many of her sons were killed upon the battlefield, died of wounds received
in the defence of their country or in rebel prison pens.
And the women of Venice were as patriotic as the men. They started aid societies for the relief of the sick and
wounded soldiers, and for that purpose met at the Baptist church in Attica, on the evening of the 22d of October,
1861, when the organization was completed, a constitution adopted, Mrs. Sarah Blodgett elected president, Mrs.
Elizabeth Brown secretary and Mrs. Mary Bennett treasurer.
Nearly every family in the community is mentioned in the secretary's report as having contributed something to
the society. Great quantities of clothing, provisions, hospital stores, etc., were sent forward from time to time
to aid and relieve. The last meeting of the society took place May 29, 1867, when all the money yet remaining on
hand, was donated to the order of Good. Templars.
The following is an incomplete list of the volunteers from this township for the Union army.
7TH REGMENT O. V. I.
Stephen Rice, Joshua Creglough (who were both killed at Strassburg, Virginia), Jacob Hines, Lon Jones, Ira Grimes,Harbaugh.
COMPANY H, 14TH REGIMENT. O. V. I.
Sergeant John Brown, Frank Bartholomew (wounded September 19, 1863), Lyman Carpenter, Ambrose C. Croxton, John
Goodman, R. J. Jamison, George Metcalf, William H. Miller (who were also wounded on the same day), Henry D. Cain,
T. B. Carson, PhilDeitrich,ers, W. Deitrich„ John Holmes, William Kemp, Maurice Kemp, Henry McDonald, James D.
Stevenson, Jonathan S. Philo, George Ringle, Samuel Spencer, Joseph Wheaton and George H. Rice (who was wounded
September 1, 1864).
COMPANTY B, 49TH REGIMENT. O. V. I.
M. B. Todd, V. J. Miller, John Bennington, W. H. Miller, John Todd, Mark Shade, GeJehuBennington, Jehu. Weaver,
H. B. Courtright, D. M. Miller, James Courtright.
55TH REGIMENT O. V. I.
Otto Hull, Frank Smeltz and Stephen Howland.
66TH REGIMENT O. V. I.
Samuel Croxton, August Tanner (wounded at Kennesaw Mountain, June 19, 1863), Lafayette Parmenter and Henry Ames
(wounded at Peach Tree creek and died in consequence in July, 1863).
COMPANY I, 123D REGIMENT O. V. I.
William Bartholomew (wounded at Farmville, Virginia, April 6, 1865), A. W. Hoffman, Joseph Hoffman, Sylvester
Ostmer, Joseph Spencer, John Spencer, M. B. Todd, M. W. Mitchner (died from wounds, September 3, 1864), William
B. Henry (died from wounds received June 15, 1864, at Winchester, Virginia), J. L. Henry, W. Sheely, Samuel Carpenter,
Wright McKibben, John Hillis, David Hillis, James Hillis, Wilson W. English, L. Gibson, Isaac Funk (killed July
18, 1S64), Henry Ebersole (killed June 15, 1863, at Winchester Virginia), John Fink, Isaac Seavault, John W. Rogers,
John B. Shaffer, David Thompson (wounded June 15, 1863), S. S. Carson, Hugh M. Cory, John H. Carpenter and J. F.
Schuyler, lieutenant. This company was discharged at Columbus. Ohio, June 15, 1865.
Moses, John, Jeremiah, Peter and David Cassner were also members of said company.
Quite a number of men served under Captain W. M. Miller in the O. N. G.
Anson and Harvey Bartholomew, F. M. Seed, E. Crow, Joseph Harbaugh, Mr. Shade and W. B. Olds were stationed on
Johnson's Island (Sandusky Bay) guarding rebel prisoners.
Samuel Brown, J. Foster, John Huddleson, William Millon (killed in battle), Fred. Thompson and John Thompson served
in regiments whose numbers are not known. Many men from Venice also enlisted in other states.
FIRST OHIO HEAVY ARTILLERY.
Clarkson Betts, James Courtright, H. Courtright, S. Grove, Isaac Seppard, Silas McDougal, Alex. McKitrick, W.
Shoup and James Pangborn.
In November, 1874; the people of Venice sent to the sufferers by grasshoppers in Kansas, in cash, clothing and
provisions, $387.72, all raised in Attica and vicinity. Mrs. Moltz was secretary of the association.
A similar society in the town of Attica and vicinity sent to the sufferers by fire in Chicago, in 1871, $975.99.