Howe's History of Stark County, Ohio Pages 466-469

STARK was established Feb. 13th, 1808, and organized in January, 1809. It was named from Gen. John Stark, an officer of the revolution, who was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, in 1728, and died in 1822. The surface is generally rolling; the central and northeast portions are slightly undulating. The soil is a sandy loam; in some parts of the north and east a clay soil predominates. It is a rich agricultural county, and produces more wheat, except Wayne, than any other in Ohio. It embraces within itself the requisite facilities for making it the seat of various manufactures-mineral coal, iron ore, flocks of the choicest sheep, and great water power. Limestone abounds, and inexhaustible beds of lime marl exist. The cultivation of the mulberry and manufacture of silk have been successfully commenced. It was settled mainly by Pennsylvania Germans, and from Germany and France. The principal agricultural products are wheat, corn, oats, potatoes, barley, grass, and flax and clover seed. The following is a list of its townships in 1840, with their population.

Bethlehem, 1019
Marlborough, 1670
Plain, 1838
Canton, 3298
Nimishillen, 1927
Sandy, 1265
Jackson, 1546
Osnaburgh, 2333
Sugar Creek, 1862
Lake, 2162
Paris, 2474
Tuscarawas, 1942
Lawrence, 2045
Perry, 2210
Washington, 1389
Lexington, 1640
Pike, 1409

The population of Stark in 1820: 12,406
in 1830: 26,552
in 1840: 34,617 (69 inhabitants per square mile)

The first Moravian missionary in Ohio, Mr. Frederick Post, settled in 1761 in what is now Bethlehem township, on the north side of the Muskingum, at the junction of its two forks, the Sandy and Tuscarawas. The locality called Tuscararatown is on the south side of the river, just above Fort Laurens, and immediately contiguous to Bolivar. Just there was the Indian ford, on the line of the great Indian trail running west. The site of Post's dwelling, or missionary station, is indicated by a pile of stones, which had probably formed the back wall of the chimney. The site of the garden differs from the woods around it in the total want of heavy timber. The ruins of a trader's house, on the opposite side of the river, have been mistaken for those of the missionary station. The dwelling built by Post must have been the first house erected in Ohio by whites, excepting such as may have been built by traders or French Jesuits. The Indian and Moravian village of Schoenbrun was not commenced until 1772, eleven years later.

*Loskiel's history of the missions says, in allusion to this mission " On the Ohio river, where, since the last war, some Indians lived who had been baptized by the brethren, nothing could be done up to this time. However, brother Frederick Post lived, though of his own choice, about 100 English miles west of Pittsburgh, at Tuscararatown, with a view to commence a mission among those Indians. The brethren wished him the blessings of the Almighty to his undertaking; and when he asked for an assistant to help him in his outward concerns, and who might, during the same time, learn the language of the Delaware Indians, they (the brethren) made it known to the congregation of Bethlehem, whereupon the brother John Heckewelder concluded of his own choice to assist him." " We know of Post that he was an active and zealous missionary, but had married an Indian squaw, contrary to the wishes and advice of the directory, who had the oversight of the Moravian missions, and by that act had forfeited so much of his standing that he would not be acknowledged as one of our missionaries in any other manner than under the direction and guidance of another missionary. Whenever he went farther, and acted on his own accord, he was not opposed, had the good will of the society of which he continued a member and its directory, and even their assistance, so far as to make known his wants to the congregation, and threw no obstacles in the way if any person felt inclined of his own choice to assist him; but he was not then acknowledged as their missionary, nor entitled to any farther or pecuniary assistance. " This will explain the above passage in Loskiel. " In Heckewelder's memoirs, written by himself, and printed in Germany, there is a short allusion to the same subject. He says, in substance, that he had in his early youth frequent opportunities of seeing Indians, and that gradually he became desirous of becoming useful to them; that already in his 19th year, his desire was in some measure gratified, as he was called upon by government to accompany the brother Frederick Post to the western Indians on the Ohio. He then mentions some of the fatigues and dangers of the journey, and that he returned in the latter half of the year 1762. In Heckewelder's narrative of the Indian missions of the United Brethren, he gives a more detailed account of this mission. He says, in effect, that Frederick Post, who had the preceding year [1761] visited the Indians on the Muskingum, thought he would be able to introduce Christianity among them; that the writer of the narrative, by and with the consent of the directors of the society, went with him principally to teach the Indian children to read and write. They set out early in March, and came to where Post had the preceding year built a house on the bank of the river Muskingum, at the distance of about a mile from the Indian village, which lay to the south across the river. When they commenced clearing, the Indians ordered them to stop and appear before their council the next day, where Post appeared, and was charged with deceit, inasmuch as he had informed the Indians his intentions were to teach them the word of God, and now he took possession of their lands, and Post answered that he wanted no more land than sufficient to live from it, as he intended to be no burden to them, and whereupon they concluded that he should have 50 steps in every direction, which was stepped off by the chief next day. He farther says, that an Indian treaty being to be held at Lancaster in the latter part of summer, Post was requested by the governor of Pennsylvania to bring some of the western Delawares to it, which he did, leaving Heckewelder, who returned the same fall, in October, from fear of a war, and Post probably never returned to this station."*

Canton, the county seat, is 120 miles NE. of Columbus. It is finely situated in the forks of the Nimishillen, a tributary of the Muskingum. It was laid out in 1806 by Bezaleel Wells, of Steubenville, and the first house erected the same year. Mr. Wells was the original proprietor of the town, and died in 1846. The view shows a part of the public square, with the court house on the left and the market in the centre. It is a very compact town, with many brick dwellings.

A large business is done here in the purchase of flour and wheat, and within the vicinity are many flouring mills. Canton contains 1 German Reformed, 1 Lutheran, 1 Presbyterian, 2 Catholic and 1 Methodist church; 10 dry goods, 2 book, 2 hardware and 7 grocery stores; 2 newspaper offices, 1 gun barrel and 2 woollen factories, 2 iron founderies, and about 2000 inhabitants. The Canton female institute with near 100 pupils. Massillon is on the Ohio canal and Tuscarawas river, 8 miles from Canton and 65 from Cleveland. It was laid out in March, 1826, by James Duncan, and named from John Baptiste Massillon, a celebrated French divine, who died in 1742, at the age of 79 The Ohio canal was located only a short time before the town was laid out, at which period, on its site was a grist mill, a distillery, and a few dwellings only.

The view was taken near the American hotel, shown on the right, and within a few rods of the canal, the bridge over which is seen in front. The town is compactly built, and is remarkable for its substantial appearance. It is very thriving, and is one of the greatest wheat markets in Ohio. At times, Main street is almost completely blocked by immense wagons of wheat, and the place has generally the bustling air of business. It lies in the centre of a very rich wheat religion. The old town of Kendall, laid out about the year 1810 by Thomas Roach, joins on the east. Massillon contains 1 German Evangelical, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Episcopal, 1 Lutheran, 1 Disciples, 1 Episcopal Methodist and 1 Catholic church; 2 hardware, 2 wholesale grocery and 11 dry goods stores; 6 forwarding houses, 3 founderies, 3 machine shops, 1 newspaper office, 1 bank, 1 woollen factory, and had in 1840, 1420 inhabitants, and now has about 2000. "Just below the town commences a series of extensive plains, spreading over a space of 10 or 12 miles in length from east to west, and 5 or 6 in breadth. These were covered with a thin growth of oak timber, and were denominated barrens, but, on cultivation, they produce fine crops of wheat. The Tuscarawas has cut across these plains on their western end, and runs in a valley sunk about 30 feet below their general surface."

Waynesburgh, on the Sandy and Beaver canal, 12 miles se. of Canton, is a flourishing place, with about 500 inhabitants. Canal Fulton, on the Ohio canal, 13 miles from Canton, contains not far from 60 dwellings, and is a smart business place, where much wheat is purchased. Bethlehem, Rochester and Navarre, are three villages nearly connected as one, about 10 miles sw. of Canton, on the Ohio canal and Tuscarawas river. The three places may contain not far from 1000 inhabitants, and have 10 forwarding houses, it being an important point for the shipment of wheat. Brookfield, Paris, Osnaburg, Harrisburgh, Freedom, Limaville, Minerva, Mapleton, Magnolia, Sparta, Berlin, Greentown, Uniontown, Milton and Louisville, are small villages.

This last named village is almost entirely settled by French. It has been estimated that there are several thousand French in the county from the river Rhine. They form an excellent population, and readily assimilate to American customs. The French children enter the English schools, while the Germans show more attachment to those in their native language.

* In Zeisberger's memoirs there is no allusion to this mission, though he and Post were frequently associates at an earlier date, and in 1745 were imprisoned together in New York as spies. The above article is abridged from papers in the Barr mas., comprising a letter from Mr. Thomas Goodman, in which was copied one from Judge Blickensderfer, of Dover, who had carefully investigated the subject.

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