Tuesday, August 30, 2005

William Henry Venable

William Henry Venable, the son of William and Hannah (Baird) Venable, was born three miles southwest of Waynesville, Ohio (Warren Co.) on April 29, 1836. Friend William Venable was a Quaker and an abolitionist, a surveyor, a teacher and a farmer. The couple with their four children moved to "Venable Station", a short distance from Ridgeville, Ohio when William Henry was six years old. Living near Springboro, he had access to the Springboro lending library. Brilliant and erudite, he quickly out grew local schools and libraries and desired a higher education. To earn money for his education he began teaching in November of 1854 in a one-room schoolhouse at Sugar Grove near Waynesville. He was paid 60¢ a day. He received private instruction from Dr. Alfred Holbrook who was the principal of the National Normal School located in Lebanon, Ohio. W. H. Venable also attended the Normal School as a student and later was a teacher in the same institution (intermittently from 1855-1861). He was versatile and eclectic in his interests. As a teenager he began writing for local newspapers and became an authority on the literary history of the Miami Valley. He married Mary Ann Vater, the daughter of Thomas and Elinor Palmer Vater of London, on December 30th, 1861 in Indianapolis, Indiana. They had eight children:
  • Russell Vernon Venable
  • Victor Venable
  • Mary Venable
  • William Mayo Venable
  • Bryant Venable
  • Emerson Venable
  • Una Venable.

William H. Venable received an honorary degree of Master of Arts from De Pauw University in 1864 and an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Ohio University in 1886. He was the principal of the Jennings Academy at Vernon, Indiana for about a year. He also was one of the editors of the Indiana School Journal. For a quarter of a century he taught at the Chickering Institute in Cincinnati. He became the principal and proprietor of this school in 1881. He was a popular guest speaker at Miami Valley College and other local colleges. Beginning in 1886 he spent three years writing and lecturing in cities and towns in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and West Virginia. He was famous for his humorous lecture, “Thomas Tadmore”, about the pathos of boy life. During the last decade of the 19th century he actively promoted a liberal reform of education as the chairman of the Department of English at both Hughes and Walnut Hills High Schools in Cincinnati. He authored 22 textbooks of poetry, fiction, philosophy, essays, as well as annotations of English literature. He wrote A School History of the United States, which became a standard textbook in Ohio and two volumes of poetry: “June on the Miami” and “Melodies of the Heart”. The poem he is most known for is “The Teacher’s Dream”.

From 1875 on the Venable family lived at "Diana Place" a suburban homestead east of Cincinnati proper in the hills overlooking the Ohio River. William Henry Venable died in 1920 and is buried in Cincinnati. See, Historical Collections of Ohio in Two Volumes: An Encyclopedia of the State, Volume II, by Henry Howe (Norwalk, Ohio: The Laning Printing Co, Public Printers, 1896) pp. 772-775.

Other books written by W. H. Venable are: “Amateur Actor, A Collection” (ed.) in 1874, “Dramatic Scenes from the Best Authors” in 1874, “The School Stage” in 1873, “Footprints of the Pioneers in the Ohio Valley” in 1888, “Down South Before the War” in 1889, “Beginnings of Literary Culture in the Ohio Valley” in 1891, “John Hancock, Educator” in 1892, "Tales from Ohio History", in 1896, “Selections from Burns, Byron and Wordsworth” in 1898, “The Last Flight” in 1894, “Life and Poems of General W. H. Lytle” in 1894, "Let Him First be a Man” in 1894, “A Dream of Empire, or the House of Blennerhasset” in 1901, “Tom Tad, a Novel” in 1902, “The Literature of Ohio Centennial Sketch” in 1903 and “Saga of the Oak, and Other Poems” in 1903.

William Venable, the father of William Henry Venable, was the son of William and Rachel Crossham Venable, according to the National Cyclopedia of American Biography, p. 364, and he was a surveyor, then a teacher and then a farmer. He was a descendant of Abraham Venable, an Englishman of Norman lineage, who emigrated from Cheshire, England to Virginia, in 1680 (Biographies of Notable Americans, 1904). William was born February 18, 1798 in New Jersey and settled first in Chester Township, Clinton Co., Ohio and then moved to Ridgeville, Ohio, Warren Co when his son William Henry was six years old (1842). He died February 1, 1871 in Warren Co., Ohio. He was married to Hannah Baird, the daughter of Bedent and Sarah Britton Baird, in October of 1826. William and Hannah Venable had five children:
  • John Quincy Venable
  • Sarah Newell Venable (1833)
  • William Henry Venable (April 29th, 1836)
  • Cynthia Jane Venable (1839)
  • (1843).

William Henry Venable refers to his father in the short story, “Going down to Cincinnati: A Boy’s Journey Half a Century Ago”:

The shriek of the locomotive was unheard in the woods when my father surveyed uncleared acres near the Little Miami, and aided by neighbors with handspike and ax, raised a rustic house and home, a mansion of logs chiefly ash and sassafras, or ‘sassafax’, as the word was pronounced by the farmers. Further on in the story when they have arrived in Cincinnati he says, “My father, always deeply interested in public institutions and in architecture, guided me to the principal hotels, the courthouse, and the churches, not omitting the Synagogue. He took particular pleasure in pointing out St. Xavier’s College and St. Peter’s Cathedral, and, though not a Catholic went with me to see Bishop Purcell. Nor did he deprive me of pleasures less serious. At nightfall he conducted me, in the glare of street-lamps, to auction-rooms, to gratify my curiosity with sights and sounds the like of which the farm never saw or heard. But the opportunity, which, in common with thousands of country boys, I could least think of foregoing, was that of visiting Monsieur J. Dorfeuille’s Western Museum, of which I had heard many a wonderful tale.” On the second evening of their stay in Cincinnati, “my father, dear comrade, took me to the theater, the Old National on Sycamore Street. We sat in the front row of the balcony. There was a double bill, the opening drama being John Howard Payne’s tragedy, ‘Brutus; or the Fall of Tarquin’ (The Hesperian Tree: A Souvenir of the Ohio Valley edited by John James Piatt [North Bend, Ohio: John Scott and Co., 1900), pp. 127-139).

William H. Venable is also famous for a poem entitled, “William Baird of Ridgeville”. William V. Baird was his uncle, the youngest brother of his mother Hannah Baird Venable. William Venable Baird was a carpenter by trade but was also self-taught and was a remarkably erudite man. He was a great reader and loved great literature and poetry. He also was a noted botanist and pharmacist. In 1862 he volunteered to fight in the Civil War joining the 79th O.V. I. He attained the rank of Sergeant Major during the Civil War. He served as a nurse during the war and was noted as a marvelous nurse in civilian life after the war, too (The Centennial Atlas of Warren County, Ohio, 1903 [Lebanon, Ohio: the Centennial Atlas Association, Publishers, 1903), p. 112.

A cousin of William Henry Venable, William Wallace Baird, the son of his uncle Bedent Baird, Jr., was employed at
Miami Valley College and was in charge of the mechanical department from 1872-1874 (1882 History of Warren County, Ohio [Chicago: W. H. Beers & Co., 1882], pp. 890-891).

Also refer to: The Ancestors and Descendants of William Henry Venable, by Henrietta Brady Brown (Cincinnati, 1954). 8vo, vi + 198 pages of text and an eight-page index. Digital Edition © January 2003, http://www.digital-editions.com/VENABLE.htm.


Also see, "William Venable Left a Legacy of Writings, Teachings" by Dallas Bogan, http://www.rootsweb.com/~ohwarren/Bogan/bogan255.htm

Temperance in Waynesville

Temperance demonstration in Waynesville
Temperance demonstration in Corwin, Ohio
(in front of the Panhandle Hotel)
Photographs in collection in
The Mary L. Cook Public Library

Waynesville was a potential source of Temperance work with all its churches working in accord to defeat the evils of alcohol. The cause was especially strong among the large Hicksite and Orthodox Quaker and Methodist populations of the Waynesville area.

Below is an article published in the Richmond Telegraph (Richmond, Indiana), January 30th, 1874:

THE WOMEN'S WAR ON THE DRINKING SALOONS ~ Corwin, Ohio ~ In common with thousands of others I have read with a lively interest accounts of hte Women's temperance movement in southern Ohio. The good work has extended to this (Warren) county, and during the past week a band of good temperance men and women in this place and Waynesville (just across the river) respresenting all the differnt religious demominations, with many outside of such organiztions, have entered into a league for the suppression of the unholy traffic in this vicinity. Being detained here a few hours waiting for a conveyance to Harveysburg, I have had an opportunity of seeing the manner in which the work is carried on. Wayensvile has a number of saloons, but the "chief sininer" is one Thomas Franey, at his place. Franey is a stout, red-faced Irishman, about 50 years old. He has been keeping a grocery, livery-stable and saloon here for years, has grown rich and portly and looks as though some of these fine mornings he might furnish a subject for a coroner's Inquest. He is genial and polite, and appears to be well qualified to make a good living in some more honorable calling.

About half-past 8 A. M., the church bells of Waynesville were heard, which was understood to be a signal for a gathering of the league. When convened, the first hour is spent in devotional exercises, reports of the success up to date, and a discussion as to the best plans for the day's work, in which men and women all participated. at the close of the hour for such services, the women repair to vehicles in waiting, driven by th gentlemen present, and then the visiting begins.

About half-past 10 the coming procession was announced, and wishing to have a good view of the proceedings, I stepped across to Franey's in avance of the ladies , and before they arrived I had an opportunity of inspecting the premises. He has been built an addition to the his store-room just back of the saloon part, about twenty feet square. This room is nicely plasterd and warmed by a coal grate, in which was buring a bright, cheerful fire. Chairs were placed all around with a view to seat every lady. In a moment the procession filed in; Franney stood at or near the door, meeting the ladies with a smile and a shake of the hand. They formed and passsed back to the room which has been described. After all had passed in Franney saw that they were comfortably seated, then stepped back, leaning against a whisky cask, motioned to the boys to keep still; and awaited the denouement.

A few moments of silence, then two verses of a hymn were sung and all kneeled in prayer, while one addressed, in feeling language, the throne of grace. Then another prayer and another hymn and then the meeting adjourned. In the meantime, however, Jane Jones, who was one of the party, had called Franey to the door, where she implored him in the most earnest manner to close out his saloon and sign the pledge, but he only have a polite ear to her entreaties and declined to comply with her request. As the ladies passed out he bid them good-bye in the same kindly manner as he had recieved them, asked if all had a way of riding back to town, and finding that some had not, had a buss brought out and sent them off in good style. Over in town I learned that they were not treated so well. At one saloon they are not admitted at all, but are compelled to occupty the side walk. At another the (Hammell House) the proprietor who, I am sorry to say is a renegade Methodist preacher, curses and swears and declares that he doesn't sell whisky at all, that he simpy keeps it where his guests can get if whenever they want it, charging them fifty cents per day each for extras. Unless he sells better whisky than most saloons are said to keep now-a-days, one would find it a difficult job to get the worth of his money.

The question is askded what class of citizens take part in this movement? For Waynesville and vicinity I am prepared to answer: The best men and women to be found. A large number I know personally, and inquiry elicited the fact that others were of the highest respectablity. Many are well known Friends (Orthodox and Hicksite) while, as I said before, every other denomination is fully represented, all evincing a determination to hold out, as one lady replied to my inquiry on this point, "until the day of judgment, or until every saloon is closed." Amen! I say; and then let every one of these women vote . . .

The article continues talking about the difficulty of enforcing the prohibition laws of Ohio.

Thanks to Tom Ham of Earlham College for the article from the Richmond Telegraph.

Coates Kinney

1826 ~1904

Coates Kinney, who lived much of his life in the Little Miami Valley (in the Cincinnati, Springboro, Ridgeville, Waynesville, Mt. Holly, Spring Valley and Xenia area), was a famous and very popular poet and personage during the second half of the 19th century. This is how C. B. Galbreath described the poet; “A few months ago a stranger in Cincinnati might have met on one of the streets of that city a man in civilian dress with the martial bearing and elastic step of an officer temporarily off duty. The only evidence of advanced age was hair and beard of immaculate white. Such was Coates Kinney to the world, ~~ a militant spirit with much of the exclusiveness and taciturnity that belong to the professional warrior. Such he was by nature and education. By birth a Puritan and by happy chance a disciple of Horace Mann, he was in walk and conversation something of an aristocrat. But like his famous preceptor, he was not to be judged by the austerity of his manners or the rigidity of his classic standards. At heart he was tenderly affectionate. The inner man, as revealed by his writing, was thoroughly democratic and humanitarian" (See, “Song Writers of Ohio: Two Songs Inspired in Ohio” by C. B. Galbreath, Ohio Archaeological & Historical Publications, Vol. XIV [Columbus, Ohio: Published for The Society by Fred. J. Heer, 1905], pp. 428-433).

Coates Kinney was born near Keeuka Lake, N.Y. at Kinney's Corners near Penn-Yah, Yates Count, N.Y. on November 24, 1826. He was the son of Giles and Myra (Cornell) Kinney and the grandson of Stephen and Rebecca Coates Kinney. In 1840 when he was thirteen years old, his family moved to Ohio and settled close to Springboro, Warren Co., between Ridgeville and Springboro. He went to school in Ridgeville. He did not want to learn the cooper's trade and became enraptured with learning. As a youth he was employed by Josiah Wright in Springboro to work in his woolen-factory. He later worked in the sawmill at Mt. Holly. He attended the Springboro Academy, which was a boarding school. At some point his father, Giles (also known as Gibbs) moved into Waynesville [He bought the Cummins lot.] (See, “Pioneer Reminiscences As Gathered from Savery Adams” bound in a scrapbook of Ella Adams Engle).

As a young man Coates taught school at Mt. Holly, Mullen's Roost and Ridgeville. One of his young students was William Henry Venable, another literary light of Ohio, who became a good friend. He also taught school in Logan County, Ohio. While continuing his teaching career, he read Law with the firm of Corwin (Thomas Corwin) and McBurney at Lebanon, Ohio. He also studied Law in the office of Judge Lawrence at Bellefontaine and for a time edited the West Liberty Banner. After many years of teaching, writing and study he was eventually admitted to the bar (1856) and practiced Law in Cincinnati. He also studied languages at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio and knew Horace Mann. However, he did not graduate from Antioch College after only one year of study.

During the Civil War he was commissioned a Major and became Paymaster of the U.S. Army on the recommendation of Salmon P. Chase. He left this service in 1865 with a brevet rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 1870 he announced that he had formed a law partnership with the Hon. M. D. Gatch of Xenia (Miami-Gazette, January 19th, 1870). He was a professor of language at Judson College in Illinois. He was an Ohio Senator from 1882-1883. He wrote for Cincinnati Times and the Ohio State Journal. He was also a newspaper editor and owner. He owned and edited the Xenia Torchlight (later renamed The Xenia Gazette) and the Globe Republic in Springfield. He was also the associate editor of the Genius of the West, a literary magazine founded by Howard Durham.

In 1849, Coates Kinney became famous overnight. His extremely popular poem, “Rain On the Roof”, was published that year. During his struggling years and while he was practicing Law in Cincinnati, his family lived in Waynesville. He had married his first wife, Hannah Ann Kelly of Waynesville, in 1851. Sadly, she died in 1860. Her death notice is in the Miami-Visitor, May 2nd, 1860 and reads: “Died.~In this place on Friday, April 27th, Hannah Ann Kinney, wife of Coates Kinney, Esq.” Their three children, Fanny, Abbot (Death Notice in Miami-Visitor, November 24th, 1858, two years, eight months and two days) and Hannah (Death Notice in Miami-Visitor, January 17th, 1861, eight months and twenty days), had died in childhood. An unnamed child of Coates Kinney was buried in the Friends Graveyard on 5th mo. 10, 1853, 8th Row, #19. In 1862, he remarried. He lived with his new wife Mary Catherine Allen in Xenia, Ohio. They had three daughters: Myra, Lestra and Clara.

Colonel Kinney was invited to compose and deliver an ode in honor of the Ohio Centennial Celebration at Columbus on September 4, 1888.

Coates Kinney died at the Presbyterian Hospital in Cincinnati on January 25, 1904. He is buried in Miami Cemetery in Corwin, directly east of Waynesville, Ohio. With him are his first wife Hannah and their three children. His very unpretentious gravestone is marked with the flag of a G. A. R. (Grand Army of the Republic) since he is a veteran of the Civil War. He is also the author of “Ke-u-ka and Other Stories” (1855), “Lyrics of the Ideal and the Real” (1888) and “Mists of Fire and Some Eclogues” (1899).

Monday, August 29, 2005

Another Murder in Waynesville? ~ Captain William Rion Hoel

The people of Waynesville were shocked when local notable, 54 year old Captain William Rion Hoel, was shot through the heart and killed on May 23rd, 1879 just a mile outside of Waynesville in Wayne Township at his home, Kildere Farm, located on Clarksville Road. A respected Ohio river captain and Civil War hero William Hoel, who was also widely known for his jealous temper and violent ways, believed that his wife Elizabeth Hunt Hoel and Dr. J. B. Hough, a physician with his office in Waynesville and a lecturer at Miami Valley College, were having an affair. On that inauspicious morning Captain Hoel had led everyone to believe he was traveling early to Cincinnati via the 4:00 A.M. train to get on the Ohio River but instead he clandestinely stayed in Waynesville and backtracked to his home to spy on his wife, Elizabeth. Dr. J. B. Hough was in the house delivering medicine and examining Elizabeth who had been feeling ill for many months. Believing that he had caught his wife and Dr. Hough in the act, he rushed into the parlor and threatened to kill Dr. Hough. There was a scuffle and Captain Hoel was shot with his own revolver during the struggle between the two men. The coroner’s inquest was conducted by Squire William Mannington of Waynesville, a retired shoemaker and Justice of the Peace, at Kildere Farm. He played the double role of Justice of the Peace and coroner since there was no coroner within 10 miles. The Hoel servants hinted at a love affair between Dr. Hough and Elizabeth during the proceedings. However, Dr. Hough was exonerated and he continued his career. No scandal ever seems to have sullied the good reputation of Elizabeth Hunt Hoel. A sympathetic community understood her nightmare of domestic violence even though they also tried to protect the reputation of a Civil War hero. Nevertheless, the details of William Hoel’s death are still a mystery and questions remain due to conflicts in the testimony taken at the inquest.

Captain Hoel was one of the movers and shakers behind the building of the new St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, which was started in 1869. There is a memorial window in the St. Mary’s sanctuary dedicated to him. Captain Hoel was also noted for his model farm, Kildere. On December 1, 1869, the Miami-Gazette published a lengthy article about the farm praising the arrangement and convenience of the out-buildings and the large barn. He had a house with a furnace where he cooked his stock’s feed. His sheep shelter was highly praised. The article continues: “but it is difficult to enumerate the many objects of admiration in the way of convenience and utility which the Captain has so studiously endeavored to multiply over his place. Fence posts are firm, gates open without dragging on the ground, fences are in good order, and for every department of farm work there is either a complete convenience or else the improvement on the old slow and uncomfortable way of doing is going forward, and all with an enthusiasm and energy which is particularly noticeable in a gentleman who until the last few years has had his occupation confined to navigation on the water rather than irrigation on land; but his proficiency in the latter is such that we venture to say many old farmers might take valuable lessons in agricultural economy from the gallant commander of the famous Carondelet, ctc. From a pleasant observatory on the top of the Kildere barn, we had a splendid view of the magnificent country all around Waynesville ~~ miles and miles of the most fertile land, romantic and diversified scenery anywhere to be found in the whole western country.” Captain Hoel began to grow fruit on his farm around 1870. It was reported in the Miami-Gazette on May 11th, 1879 that “Captain W. R. Hoel has thirty acres of his fine farm set out in orchard, comprising 2000 peach, 500 apple, 400 pear, 200 quince and a number of plum and cherry trees; and all are in a thrifty condition.”

Captain and Elizabeth Hoel were educated people and enjoyed the arts. It was reported in the Miami-Gazette on June 22nd, 1870 that “Capt. and Mrs. W. R. Hoel drove to Cincinnati last Thursday to share in the concord of sweet sounds produced by the Saengerfest.” We also know that Captain Hoel was a passenger on the ship, The Quaker City, along with Mark Twain and other distinguished guests. The ship set sail on June 8th, 1867 on a pleasure excursion to Europe and Palestine, which included attendance at the Great Paris Exposition. This cruse was the source of Mark Twain’s first book, Innocents Abroad. The list of passengers can be found at

The Miami-Gazette reported on May 8th, 1867: “THE EXPOSITION.~~ Among those favored ones who will have a view of the wonders of the Great Paris Exposition, Waynesville will have one representative in the person of Captain W. R. Hoel, who, we learn, will make one of the excursion party which numbers Gen. Sherman, Henry Ward Beecher and others. The neat little sum of three thousand dollars is all it takes to make the round trip, including the European Kingdoms, Palestine, the Holy land, Etc., Etc. We wish the genial Captain all the pleasure possible to be extracted from such a magnificent trip, and a safe return to “the gem of the ocean.” It is interesting that Captain Hoel did not take his wife on this long excursion.

His wife, Elizabeth Hunt Hoel, was a Quaker. Clarkson Butterworth, clerk of Miami Monthly Meeting, writes the following about Elizabeth Hunt Hoel a member of Miami Monthly Meeting, in 1897 in his Catalogue of Members: Miami Monthly Meeting: “Hoel, Elizabeth, b 1840.7.9, P.O. Waynesville, Ohio.~ is the widow of Capt. William Rion Hoel. Was the daughter of Dr. Samuel and Elizabeth (Thomas) Hunt and cousin to Elizabeth (Thomas) Frame and to M. Elizaberth (Gause) Packer both herein catalogued (see E. S. Frame) and sister to Thomas Hunt and Samuel Hunt, herein cataloged and cousin also to William T. Whitacre herein catalogued.” In 1860 Dr. Hunt was located in Morrow, Ohio (Warren Co.) with his children (1860 Federal Census : Roll #M653_1047 , page 165).

Elizabeth Hunt Hoel continued to live at Kildere Farm with her two children Sarah (9) and Rion (7). Rion was a deaf mute. According to Dennis Dalton (January 1982 from his 1970 notebook) Rion was deaf and mute ~ although once married he lived out his retirement years at the Friends Boarding Home where his sister, Mrs. William Mills, furnished the downstairs hall, when the Home opened in 1905.

Elizabeth Hunt Hoel (1840-1904) is buried in Miami Cemetery, Section G. Her daughter Sarah Mills made a large donation of furniture for the public areas of the newly built 1905 Friends Boarding Home in her memory. A large plaque in her honor still hangs in the FBH (now the Waynesville Heritage & Cultural Center). Captain W. H. Hoel is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery (Section 35, Lot 184) in Cincinnati.

At the beginning of the Civil War, Captain William R. Hoel was the pilot of the flagship “Cincinnati”, under Admiral Foote. On February 6th, 1862, while serving on the “Cincinnati”, Hoel was wounded during the Battle of Fort Henry. Two months later he volunteered to run the Rebel blockade at Island #10 at New Madrid, which he did successfully with the ironclad “Carondelet”. He was promoted to the rank of Acting Volunteer Lieutenant effective April 29th, 1862 in the regular army. He saw further action at Memphis, Vicksburg and Grand Gulf. He served with distinction in the campaign to take Vicksburg. He came to the aid of a disabled ship at Grand Gulf, which was being bombarded unbearably. He wedged his ship, the Pittsburgh, between the Rebel batteries at Grand Gulf and the USS Benton. The Benton was able to recover and Grant was able to cross the Mississippi to flank Vicksburg. He received another promotion to Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Commander on November 10th, 1864. Detached from the Pittsburgh, he then took command of Vindicator on March 1st, 1865, on which her served until July 7th, 1865. He was honorably discharged on 30 December 1865. The World War II destroyer, the USS Hoel I (DD-533), 1943-44, was named in honor of Captain William H. Hoel, as well as USS Hoel (DD-768), cancelled in 1946, and the USS Hoel (DDG-13), 1962-1994.

Stain Glass window in St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Waynesville:

"In Memory of a noble Man, William Rion Hoel,
one of the founders of this Church,
Died, May 23,1879."

See, the biography of "Mrs. Elizabeth Hoel" in the 1882 History of Warren County, http://www.rootsweb.com/~ohwarren/
. There is actually more about Captain Hoel in this biography but no mention of the tragedy.

J. Drew Sweet (1839-1893) ~ Publisher of the Miami-Gazette

Drew Sweet was the esteemed editor of the Miami-Gazette weekly newspaper of Waynesville for many years. Mr. Sweet was also one of the founders of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Waynesville and a very active member. Drew was married to Mary A. Kearney Sweet, age 32, and had a little daughter, Annie K., age 4 (See, 1880 Census Place: Waynesville, Warren, Ohio; Roll: T9_1075; Family History Film: 1255075; Page: 487B; Enumeration District: 79; Image: 0387). Both Drew and his mother Thomasina were born in England. They both lived on Fourth Street according to the Wiggins & McKillop’s Waynesville Directory, For 1878. Drew Sweet died at the age of 64 in 1893 of malignant diphtheria.

Obituaries and a series of remembrances of J. Drew Sweet were printed in the Miami-Gazette on June 14th, 1893:

Died at his home on Fourth Street, Waynesville, Ohio, June 11, 1893, of malignant diphtheria, J. Drew Sweet, in the 4th year of his age. Drew Sweet was born at Tyrandneath, a little seaport town in Cornwall, on the south east of England, February 24th, 1839. He was the son of James and Thomasine Sweet. His father was a civil engineer and at the time of his death in 1846 was engaged in superintending the working of some copper mines on the island of Jamaica. Left a widow with the care of two children, Mrs. Sweet determined to come to America, and in the autumn of 1851 she with her son and daughter arrived in Waynesville. Drew very soon found employment with Mr. J. W. Roberts in the office of the Miami Visitor. Rapidly becoming an expert compositor and displaying a happy talent as a writer, he was employed as assistant editor of the Herald, of Astoria, Long island. In 1865 he effected a business arrangement with Jonah Sands and established the Waynesville News of which he remained editor and proprietor until his death. Mr. Sweet was married July 2, 1874 to Mary A. Kearney, who together with one daughter (Annie K.) and his venerable mother survive him. On Tuesday morning, June 6th, Mr. Sweet arose with quite a sore throat but regarded it only as a temporary trouble and insisted on going to his office, but at the earnest solicitation of his wife determined to spend the morning at home. His throat rapidly grew worse and a physician was called. The next morning his malady was proclaimed to be diphtheria and the health officer placed their house under quarantine. Eminent medical skill was called in consultation with his brother-in-law, Dr. Kearney of Knoxville, Tenn., but all medical skill was unavailing and death came at 11 o’clock on Sunday evening, June 11th. Respecting the wishes of the board of health, the funeral, which was held on Monday, was strictly private. The Reverend John F. Cadwallader read the burial service of the Episcopal Church after which the sad cortege slowly wound its way to Miami Cemetery where he was lain at rest in the family burial plat.

One of the remembrances was written by fellow newspaper publisher, Coates Kinney of the Xenia Telegraph:

The death of Drew Sweet, editor of the Waynesville News, announced here on Monday as having taken place the night before, was a shock to his many friends in this city who had not been apprised of his serious illness. And the intelligence that his sudden demise was due to malignant diphtheria and that, as a precaution against contagion, there was to be a hastening of this funeral (held Monday afternoon) made the shock the more grievous to them. With the unexpected news of his death came the implied warning that it was dangerous to be present at his burial. But those who were thus prevented from following his remains to the grave were none the less mourners. All who knew him are mourners for him; for all who knew him were his sincere friends. If he had an enemy in the world, it would be hard for his friends to believe that it was from his fault. He was a good and true man ~ the head of a man with the heart of a woman. He was a gentleman. He was a true Christian and a devoted churchman. He was an Episcopalian, individual and liberal in his thinking, but loyal to his religion every day in the week . . . If he had had the ambition to seek opportunity, his name might have been conspicuous in literature. Even as it was, with his limited opportunity, he was known to a large circle of intelligent appreciators as an unusually artistic writer and vigorous thinker. He was a most able and efficient journalist in his narrow field, and displayed talents there that would have brought him reputation and success in a field much more spacious, had his modesty not kept him from pushing himself to the front. He died prematurely; but in his half a century he lived a life worth living. It was a clean life, a hopeful life, a cheerful and cheering life, a life, though not large, yet largely influential for good. His monument is in the hearts of those who knew him and loved him. Coates Kinney.

Dr. Levi C. Lukens, one of the physicians in Waynesville, also mourned his friend:

Drew Sweet, the scholar, the perfect gentleman, the journalist, has passed to the mysterious beyond! To be suddenly deprived of a man who has devoted his life and talents to the promotion of every reform looking to the welfare of the community, means a loss that is irreparable. As we approach the silent, weird, open sepulcher that was to receive the mortal remains of our distinguished journalist and citizen, I turned to my friend and exclaimed, “Can it be possible that Drew Sweet is dead?” It seems but a moment since I had observed him near the window in his office. It was impossible to realize that he had passed away from among us forever. A broad-minded, public-spirited generous-hearted man; he was quick to discern the needs of the community and persistent in the advocacy of all measures promotive of public improvement. The loss to the community will be mourned by a legion of friends. L. C. Lukens.

Triple Murder in Waynesville ~ Willie Anderson

On a late summers eve in Waynesville, at half past 11:00 P.M. on Tuesday, August 26th, 1879, a deeply troubled young man of 18, who felt overwhelmed by responsibility and domestic troubles, who was obsessed with violence and death, became entangled in a horrendous carnival of blood, whether willingly or unwillingly, it is hard to tell. Two adult women and a young girl of eleven lost their lives that night most horribly. Willie E. Anderson (William Evert Anderson), a mere 18 years and barely 5 months old, with an accomplice, participated in some way or had guilty knowledge of the murdered his own mother, his aunt and his cousin in their rented home on South Main Street. The ghastly scene in the house would not be discovered until Tuesday, September 2nd by Constable Manington, who pried open one of the windows, and by recently retired Probate Judge John W. Keys , who forced open the front door, after hearing reports of an overpowering stench coming from the house. Worried townspeople had become concerned about the whereabouts of Willie, last seen on Sunday morning, August 31st, and the three women who had not been seen since Wednesday, August 27th. According to friends it was unlike Mollie Hatte, age 37, Willie’s mother, to leave without telling anyone. As they would discover to their horror, she hadn't left.

The Death Notices of the three victims were printed in the Cincinnati Commercial newspaper, September 6th, 1879, on page 5:
DEATHS ~ HATTE ~ At Waynesville, O., August - , 1879, Mary Hatte. WEEKS ~ At Waynesville, O., August-, 1879, St. Clem Weeks, wife of Stephen H. Weeks. WEEKS ~ At Waynesville, O., August -, 1879, Myrtle Edith Shaw, daughter of St. Clem and Stephen H. Weeks.

The father of Willie Anderson was Daniel R. Anderson, a well known personage in Waynesville, Ohio. Willie was his only son. For some of the memories of Daniel R. Anderson see:
Waynesville's First Fire Engine in the 1850s ~ "The Buckeye"
More Reminiscences of D. R. Anderson ~ Businesses in Waynesville
More Memories of Businesses in Waynesville by Daniel R. Anderson
Boyhood Memories of Daniel R. Anderson
A "Young American Guard" in Waynesville in the 1850s

For more information about this triple murder in Waynesville read:

Murder in Waynesville: The Anderson Tragedy. Tuesday, August 26~Saturday, September 6th, 1879. “The Wrecked Life” of Willie Anderson, et al. by Karen S. Campbell, Genealogy Librarian, The Mary L. Cook Public Library. Copies available through the library, campbeka@oplin.org.

Suicide in Waynesville ~ Richard P. Williamson

It was reported in the Miami-Gazette newspaper on April 30th, 1873:

MELANCHOLY AND HORRIBLE SUICIDE ~ A thrill of horror went thro’ this community last Sunday morning when the news, spreading like an electric current, was circulated that Mr. Richard P. Williamson, eldest son of Dr. Francis Williamson, of this place, had put an end to his existence by the most excruciating torture of burning himself to death. When the facts were known, it was found to be but too true that the spirit of the young man had indeed left forever its earthly tenement, and that there was scarcely sufficient of the tenement itself left to enable his nearest friends to recognize him. For some time, Mr. Williamson had been living in the village, at the house of his parents, having rented his farm. On Saturday morning, Richard went out to the farm, where he employed his time in looking around the fields, and fixing the fence. During the afternoon, he was seen in an old log cabin on the place, fixing up a sort of pen, with rails, in the large ten-foot fireplace. Mr. Settles, the man who resides on the farm, remarked to Richard that he thought he was preparing to burn himself up. Richard’s reply was, “Pshaw, Mose, do you think me a fool.” Still Richard kept on with his mysterious work, and although his brother and Mr. Settles viewed him with anxiety they feared to excite him by asking questions or appearing to watch him. When suppertime arrived, Richard was urged to come in to supper by Mr. Settles, but he said he was going over to Mr. Smith’s to stay all night, and that he would get his supper there. And so they parted, Richard starting in one direction, Moses and Charlie in the other. While in the midst of eating, it flashed simultaneously in a forcible manner upon the minds of the two latter, that Richard was burning himself up in the old log cabin. They rushed to the door, and there, sure enough they saw a blazing light issuing from the door of the cabin. With the utmost possible speed, they ran to the cabin, were, oh horror of horrors! Their worst fears were but too terribly realized. They saw a sight that almost paralyzed them with terror. There in the rail-pen built in the large fire-place by his own hands, was Richard Williamson surrounded with fire, and so fearfully burnt and charred, that no one would have known him. ~~ He had, it appears, made the fire, and, entirely nude, plunged into the flames as if about to plunge into a pleasant bath. He was taken from the fire with difficulty, by means of a chain in the hands of Mr. Settles and on Sunday morning, the remains were placed in a coffin and brought to his parents’ home. It is hoped, though the torture was of the severest character, that life soon became extinct by inhalation of the fire, and his agonies, though intense, were mercifully brief. But why he should have deliberately chosen such a horrible means of ending an existence which he had often before remarked had no charms for him, can only be accounted for by the idea that he must have entertained a conviction that he was required to make a sacrifice of himself, and by frequent meditation on the deed and the means, he had wrought himself up into an ecstasy of fanaticism on the subject, so fatally carried out.

Richard Williamson was endowed with high moral sentiments, coupled with strong will power. The lower sentiments were unusual which rendered him unpretending. From an early period of his life, he manifested some considerable eccentricity, which by some was considered a species of mental alienation. His sense of justice and philanthropy made him a servant of his race. Some took advantage of these faculties. It was this, combined with veneration that made him self-sacrificing, and finally caused him to immolate himself on the shrine of extreme torture through fire. These faculties, however, were evidently inflamed, hence that mental depression, added by adversity in other matters, which caused him to commit the horrid act. His ideality and mathematic powers, when invoked, were strong and rational. He is now remove from all the causes and influences, whatever they might be, that combined to render him partially deranged. Free from human suffering, he now rests with a merciful Savior. Mr. Williamson was 28 years of age. He was esteemed by all as an upright man, and among those who knew him most intimately and well, his qualities of mind and heart made him an object of great affection. From that Heaven where his purified spirit now rests, may solace come to the lacerated and bleeding hearts he has left behind. The funeral took place on Tuesday morning in the midst of a large number of relations and friends, whose sympathies, with those of the entire community, are bestowed upon the afflicted family in their poignant grief and distress. Dr. James Wilkins Haines conducted the religious exercises in an acceptable manner, as the deceased was an esteemed member of the Hicksite Friends’ church. The remains were buried in Miami Cemetery. The pallbearers were Messrs. S. E. Elliott, Drew Sweet, William Retallick, Jr., Levi Kelley, David Evans, Samuel B. Cook. So ends the most sickening tragedy ever, perhaps, known in the history of this Township~ a human holocaust ~and the like of which we hope it may never devolve upon us again to record.

Richard P. Williamson (June 25th, 1846 – April 26th, 1873) is buried next to his parents in Miami Cemetery in Corwin (Section G). He had joined The Society of Friends, a member of Miami Monthly Meeting, but was disowned for a marriage contrary to Quaker discipline. His parents were both physicians, Drs. Francis and Miriam Pierce Williamson.

Judge John W. Keys

John Walker Keys
August 28, 1814 ~ December 23, 1882
Cainet Maker & Undertaker
1839 ~ Mayor of Waynesville
1842 ~ Justice of the Peace
Served One Year as Township Clerk
Served One Year as Corporation Recorder
Served Several Years as Village Councilman
Served Twenty Years as Notary Public
1872 ~ 1879 Served as Probate Judge of Warren County, Ohio

The information below has been taken from the NEW HISTORICAL ATLAS OF WARREN COUNTY, OHIO: 1875 by L. H. Everts. Compiled, Drawn and Published from Personal Examinations and Surveys ( Printed by Hunter Printing, Philadelphia, Penn.).

This gentleman is the present Probate Judge of Warren County. He was born in Milford, Bucks County, Pa., on the 28th of August, 1814. His father was of Irish and Scotch extraction, and was born and raised in Philadelphia, and his mother was of German origin, and was a native of Salem County, N. J. In 1819 his father, a tanner and currier by trade, emigrated to Ohio, and located in Waynesville, arriving there in October. This was his residence until the time of his death, which occurred in 1830. This event left the family, comprising his wife and seven children, ~ five sons and two daughters ~ with no pecuniary resources whatever. The oldest child ~ the subject of this sketch ~ was then only fifteen years of age. But Mrs. Keys was a woman of rare executive ability, and proved herself amply equal to the situation and emergency in which most women would have failed. She rallied her children around her, and inspired them with the same self-reliance, courage, and hope that dwelt in her own breast, secured for them such positions of honorable employment as they were able to fill, thus early initiating them into the stern realities of life, and developing in their character the elements of a substantial manhood and womanhood. That this noble mother has lived to see all her children useful and respected members of society is a matter of special congratulation. She still resides in Waynesville, at the green old age of eighty-six, at which place are also located three of her sons, John W., Joseph G., and Isaac E. Keys, and her two surviving daughters, Mrs. Israel Brown and Sarah A. Keys. It is a fact quite noticeable that the descendants of this family are connected by intermarriage with a large number of the families of this community. That after the death of Mr. Keys there was no death in the family for a period of some thirty-four years, is also a circumstance of rare occurrence.

The second son, William Keys, served in the War of the Rebellion, and died at Chattanooga, Tenn., in January, 1864, leaving a wife and seven children. The third son, Thomas J. Keys , is a resident of California, and has been a member of both branches of the Legislature, besides filling other positions of importance and honor.**

The first sixteen years of the life of the subject of this sketch (John W. Keys) were passed upon a farm. He then came to Lebanon, where he served a three years' apprenticeship to a cabinet-maker, and subsequently worked for the same length of time as a journeyman.

In December, 1836, he opened a cabinet and undertaker's shop in Waynesville, which business he has carried on ever since; and in his services therein he has attended about two thousand burials.

In February 3rd, 1842, Judge Keys was married to Miss Sarah B. French (April 17, 1812 ~ March 22, 1884), a native of New Jersey. This union has been honored with a family of six children, three sons and three daughters, of whom two daughters and one son survive.

Judge Key's facilities for acquiring an education were very limited, the circumstances of the family after the death of his father preventing him from attending school, with the exception of a brief space of fourteen days, but by a faithful improvement of occasional periods of leisure, he acquired quite an extensive fund of general information, which fitted him for various positions of honor and influence which he has since filled.

In 1839 he was honored with the office of Mayor of Waynesville. In 1842 he was elected Justice of the Peace of Wayne Township, which position he held, with the exception of one term, for thirty consecutive years; and within the same period he also acted as Notary Public for about fifteen years. One thing especially characterized his administration as Justice of the Peace, and exemplified to a great degree his natural kindness of heart and his magnanimity of nature. In numerous instances where complaints were laid before him, arising from petty differences between neighbors, he exerted his influence to have them quietly and amicably settled without a resort to litigation, and thus many a wrangling lawsuit was prevented by his timely counsel. Unlike many others in a similar position, he evinced less desire to pocket his fee than to secure and preserve the peace of the community. This manly, noble course, continued through a justiceship of upwards of a quarter of a century, won for him a host of friends.

In the fall of 1872 he was elected Probate Judge of Warren County, which position he now occupies, and therein he has rendered himself very acceptable to the people, by the efficiency, promptness, and fidelity with which he has discharged the duties of his office.

He is a man of more than ordinary natural ability and possessed of a very discriminating judgment, a remarkable memory, and of perceptive faculties of unusual acuteness and activity; hence his conclusions, though quickly reached, are safe and sound. The Judge is a genial gentleman, bold and fearless in the expression of them upon proper occasions, he never intrudes them upon others.

He carries a heart big with benevolence and liberality, and is very warm in his attachments to the neighborhood in which he has so long resided. He began life without position or fortune, but, by industry, frugality, and a strict integrity, has accumulated a comfortable competence, and now enjoys the fruits of his toil, together with the esteem of his fellow citizens.

** On May 23, 1855 it was reported in the Miami-Visitor newspaper, the the editorial column, that "We return our thanks to T. J. Keys, Esq., of the California Legislature for a copy of the 'Report on the Geology of the Coast Mountains.' It is a document containing much valuable information."
Announcement of Judge Keys Retirement

The Miami-Gazette newspaper of Waynesville reported on February 19th, 1879 that "upon the completion of his term of office as Probate Judge of Warren County, and his relinquishment of its emoluments and honors, one day of last week, Judge Keys was presented with a handsome ebony and gold cane by his associates in and about the court house. The presentation address was made by Judge J. E. Smith, and Judge Keys happily responded as follows: 'My friends, I am taken completely by surprise. An officer should seek no higher merit than the approval of his own conscience, but I presume, we have within us that feeling that is pleased to know that our acts are approved by others. When I took upon myself the obligation of the office I did so with no mental reservation and feel that I have discharged the duties to the best of my ability. Some things I have done, no doubt in the light of experience would have been done differently. I shall ever feel grateful to the people of the county for having conferred the office upon me. My life has been well spent in hard labor, and through a disposition to accommodate and assist others I have not secured a very large amount of property, and my little estate was somewhat encumbered, but the proceeds of the office have enabled me to relieve my property, and leave something for my assistance and support in my declining years. I shall always feel an interest in the office, and when I look back to the time spent there I shall regard it as pleasant as any part of my life. With the officers with whom I have associated I have found them gentlemen, industrious and liberal, and the members of the bar always willing to impart the information needed when applied to. I have avoided intruding myself on their patience as much as possible, preferring to exercise my own judgment with the other means convenient. During the time I have been in the office I cannot now recall an unkind expression to me by any officer, member of the bar, or other patrons of the office. Gentlemen, I accept your beautiful present, more do I value the motive and feelings expressed than the intrinsic value of the article, valuable as it is. Gentlemen, accept my thanks.' The cane is an elegant affair, and was purchased at the store of E. M. Hale & Co. It is strong enough to be a useful support in the Judge's declining years."

A business card for J. W. Keys printed in the Miami-Gazette newspaper on August 16, 1865:

For more information about the Keys family see:

Saturday, August 27, 2005

General Timeline of Waynesville, Ohio History (Late 18th through 19th Century)

  • Ca. 1,000 BC to 800 AD Woodland Period. The Adena and Hopewell inhabited this area during that time.
  • Ca. 900 to 1500 AD Fort Ancient people lived in Ohio.
  • November 26, 1787 Judge John Cleves Symmes published a pamphlet giving the terms of sale for the land he had purchased between the Miami Rivers.
  • 1791 Samuel Heighway immigrated to America from his home in Shropshire, England.
  • 1792 Samuel Heighway surveyed the area around Waynesville. He built the pre-settlement log cabin on Newman's Run. The cabin has now been moved to Caesar's Creek Pioneer Village.
  • 1793 General Mad Anthony Wayne's troops camped on Camp Creek. Legend is that Wayne's paymaster hid the soldier's payroll during an attack by the Indians. The money has never been found!
  • 1795 Samuel Heighway formed a partnership with Dr. Evan Banes, a physician living in Columbia, and John Smith who was to become the first United States Senator from Ohio.
  • February 3, 1796 Articles of Agreement made between John Cleves Symmes of North Bend in Hamilton Co. and John Smith, Samuel Heighway and Evan Banes of the same county. They purchased 43 sections from John Cleves Symmes and laid out the town of Waynesville in February, 1796. Waynesville was designed with 11 squares, each consisting of 8 inlots, and with 19 outlots. Each Square contained four square acres.
  • February 22, 1796 Heighway had his 3000 acres of land bounded east on the Miami two miles below the town of Waynesville lately laid off.
  • November 27, 1796 Heighway left Pittsburgh on a flatboat to transport his goods to Columbia and eventually to Waynesville.
  • February 27, 1797 Heighway and his party, after a harrowing winter on the Ohio River, arrive in Columbia.
  • March 8, 1797 The settlement party, comprised of Heighway, Dr. Banes, and Francis Bailey reached Waynesville. They were accompanied by John and Samuel Tamset and their wives, and Culbert Watson who drove one of the wagons.
  • March, 1797 The first house in Waynesville, a log cabin, was built for Samuel Heighway.
  • 1799 The first Friends (Quakers), the families of Abijah O’Neall and James Mills, arrived in Waynesville from the Bush Creek Monthly Meeting Meeting in South Carolina.
  • July 27, 1799 Middle Run Predestinarian Baptist Church was organized.
  • 1801 Ezekiel Cleaver, a Quaker, came to Waynesville and erected a log cabin on the corner of Miami and Third Streets. He then returned to his family who had left Virginia and were living in Brownsville, Pa. and brought his family to Waynesville. See, Ezekiel Cleaver ~ One of the Earliest Quaker Pioneers.
  • 1800 James Corey built a log building used as a house for public entertainment on Main Street in Wabash Square. This later became known as the Hammel House Stand. Prior to 1806 James Jennings purchased it and erected a frame building. The brick building was built in 1822. See, The Hammell House & Other Early Taverns/Inns in Waynesville.
  • 1803 Samuel Heighway becomes Waynesville's Postmaster.
  • 1803 The Friends' log Meetinghouse was built near were the Red Brick Meetinghouse is located today. David Brown built it. See, Miami Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends in Waynesville, Ohio.
  • March 24, 1803 Warren County was established by act of the General Assembly. It was named in honor of a martyr in the cause of American Independence General Joseph Warren, who was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill, Boston.
  • May 10, 1803 Wayne Township was created as one of the four original townships in Warren County, Ohio.
  • September 5, 1803 Miami Monthly Meeting of Friends (Quaker) is established.
  • 1803 Samuel Heighway built the first Mill in Waynesville on Newman's Run. It was used up till 1844 as a distillery.
  • 1804 Samuel Heighway opens a store and inn.
  • 1806 John Haines builds his Mill on the race. See, The Waynesville Mill ~ The "Upper Mill" .
  • 1807 The Waynesville Methodist Church was organized at the home of the Widow Elizabeth Smith. The Smith home was located about one mile from the mouth of Caesar's Creek on the intersection of Elbon Road and Corwin Road.
  • 1808 "Diamond Hill" home was built on Clarksville Road across from Miami Cemetery by early Quaker settler, Abijah O’Neall. It was destroyed by fire in 1978.
  • 1811 White Brick Quaker Meetinghouse and Friends' School built.
  • 1812 John Satterthwaite builds his home, The Half-Way House, on the Accommodation Stagecoach Line.
  • 1813 Samuel Heighway moves from Waynesville to Cincinnati.
  • 1813 Thomas Swift, a potter, builds his brick house and shop.
  • 1817 Samuel Heighway dies.
  • 1817 First bridge over the Little Miami at Waynesville is built by John Satterthwaite.
  • 1818 Moses McKay builds his brick home on New Burlington Road.
  • 1820 The Stetson house is built on Main Street. Louisa Stetson Larrick, the sister of John Stetson, the inventor of the famous Stetson hat, lived there.
  • 1820s-1830s The Accommodation Line carried stagecoach traffic from Springfield through Waynesville on to Cincinnati. It was owned by John Satterthwaite, of Waynesville, and William Werden of Springfield.
  • 1821 Crosswick was platted. James Jennings was the proprietor. Crosswick is a small crossroads north of Waynesville.
  • 1824 The Methodists move their meeting site to the home of Burwell Goode (1784-1851) and Elizabeth Goode, the daughter and son-in-law of James and Elizabeth Smith. The house was built in 1823 and is located 1½ miles east of Waynesville on Route 73.
  • 1825 Henry Clay visits Waynesville and stays in the Holloway Inn. See, David Holloway ~ Early Quaker Pioneer, Merchant and Tavern Owner.
  • 1826 Joshua Ward builds Miami House. This building becomes part of the Underground Railroad. It had a hidden room in the attic that could be entered by pressing on a board in the wall.
  • 1828 The Hicksite Separation among the Quakers. The Orthodox Friends occupy the old log meetinghouse until they construct the Red Brick in 1836.
  • 1828 The Gravel Hill School was built.
  • January 1829 William Harvey founds Harveysburg, Ohio.
  • 1833 Narcissa Goode, the daughter of Gaines Goode, was buried on their farm. Gaines deeded this area to the Methodist Church to be used as a burial ground. This, with additional ground, later became the Miami Cemetery.
  • 1833 Mount Holly was platted by Jacob Pearson.
  • 1836 The red brick Orthodox Meeting House was built.
  • 1837 A Cholera epidemic hits Waynesville. John Satterthrwaite dies. Martin VanBuren stays at the Hammell House.
  • 1838 The Gravel Hill School was built.
  • 1839 John W. Keys is elected as Waynesville's earliest know Mayor.
  • 1840 Native American children are brought to Waynesville from the Indian Territory by Quaker, Thomas Wells, an Orthodox Quaker missionary at the Shawnee Indian School and Farm in Kansas Territory. They were educated here while living in homes of Quakers. They then returned to Indian Territory.
  • 1840 The brick Methodist Church is built on the corner of North and Fourth (first Methodist church building on this site).
  • April 20, 1842 Charles Dickens stayed at the Holloway Inn.
  • 1843 A tuberculosis epidemic took the lives of many of Noah Haines relatives including 3 sons, 5 daughters and 6 grandchildren.
  • 1843 The Waynesville Academy for higher learning is built. Classes were held here until 1857 when the first Union school was built. See, The Waynesville Academy.
  • 1845 The Little Miami Railroad is built through Corwin, Ohio. Corwin is settled by John Johnson & Joel W. Johnson.
  • 1848 The Waynesville Masonic Temple is chartered as Lodge #163. Meetings were held on the 3rd floor of the Hammel House.
  • February 2, 1850 J.W. Elliott established The Miami Visitor, after the Civil War later named the Miami Gazette. The second owner of The Miami Visitor was John Wesley Roberts.
  • 1851-1852 The Waynesville~Wilmington Toll Road is constructed.
  • 1855 Lytle (Raysville) is platted.
  • 1855 Seth Silver Haines built his home on 4th Street. Its tower was used as a lookout in the Underground Railroad.
  • 1856 Emmor Baily and Mary Satterthwaite Baily built their Federal style brick farm house. The house was designed by Emmor's brother, Ezra. Mary was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Satterthwaite. See, Emmor Baily, Jr.
  • 1857 The local schools were consolidated and the first Union School building was built.
  • 1861 Local son, John Evans was appointed Governor of the Colorado Territory by Abraham Lincoln.
  • 1861 Dr. James Wilkins Haines built a three-story brick home on Stoneybrook Farm as a sanitarium where alcoholics could go to be cured. Seth Silver Haines had grown groves of Catalpa trees and the buds were used in Dr. Haines patent medicine. "Dr. Hanes' Golden Specific."
  • April 2, 1866 The Miami Cemetery Association was formed. They purchased 44.6 acres of land north of the Methodist Cemetery and in 1877 the Methodist Cemetery became part of the Miami Cemetery.
  • June 10, 1867 The Miami Cemetery grounds are dedicated "as a burial place forever". Moses Hudson is the first to be buried in Miami Cemetery after the organization on June 24, 1867.
  • 1869 A covered bridge was built over the Little Miami on Corwin Avenue.
  • 1869 St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Waynesville began with two communicants in 1869 when the Rev. W. T. Helms of Nashville, Tennessee, came to the area to hold services for J. Drew Sweet and Mrs. Thomas J. Brown, two local members of the Church of England. Services were held for several months in the town hall (McKay Hall), after which a public-spirited Quaker, Achilles Pugh, fitted up a room on Main Street, which was shared by the new Episcopal group and a tiny Roman Catholic congregation. See, St. Mary's Episcopal Church.
  • September 25, 1869 Dr. Mary Leah Cook, beloved physician and founder of the library named after her, was born in a log cabin in Spring Valley to parents Seth Cook and Hannah Redfern Cook. See, Dr. Mary Leah Cook 1869-1964.
  • November 28, 1869 The Black School in Corwin begins.
  • 1870 The white brick Friends Meetinghouse is remodeled.
  • January 1870 The Masons purchase part of lot number 3 for the location of their first Masonic Temple.
  • January 1870 Miami Valley Institute, later known as Miami Valley College opens in Springboro. Many Quaker Waynesvillians are involved in the establishment and support of this school. Many send their children there for their education.
  • 1872 William Raper is convinced by the Crusader's Temperance Union to dump his stock of barrels of whiskey onto the dirt streets in front of his barroom. His barroom now houses Baker's Antiques.
  • 1872 Seth Hocket Ellis helps to organize the State Grange and the Waynesville Farmers Grange No. 13 begins.
  • 1872 Waynesville High School's first graduation class consists of two members: Horace Allen and J. Edwin Janney.
  • Ca. 1875 The Village of Waynesville constructs the "Lock-Up" on Chapman Street. It will serve the village as a jail and firehouse. The exact date of construction is unknown. See, The Old Lock Up.
  • 1875 The Waynesville National Bank is founded. Seth Silver Haines is president from 1875 until his death in 1896.
  • 1875 St. Mary's Episcopal Church conducts its first Sunday School.
  • March 28, 1877 The Waynesville National Bank opens a branch in Lebanon.
  • 1877 William and Sarah Rogers deed a part of Lot #5 on Wabash Square to be the site of the Catholic Church, St. Augustine's.
  • 1878 In Septemeber of 1878, the "Harris Guards", Co. F., Infantry Division #13, Ohio National Guard is establsihed in Waynesville. See, "The Harris Guards" ~ Ohio National Guard in Waynesville and THE "HARRIS GUARD", Co. F, 13th INFANTRY DIVISION, OHIO NATIONAL GUARD, WAYNESVILLE, OHIO, MUSTER LISTS.
  • January 1, 1880 The Wayne Novelty Works began operation.
  • May 24, 1880 John and Clara Funkey begin construction of their Italianate Victorian brick home on North Main Street. Judge John W. Keys places a sealed half-gallon canning jar containing Waynesville and Warren County papers and mementos in the cornerstone. See, Funkey & Missildine ~ Merchants in Waynesville
  • April 21, 1881 St. Mary's Episcopal Church is finally consecreated by the Bishop almost eleven years after the laying of the cornerstone.
  • 1882 Beers History of Warren Co. is published. John W. Keys wrote the Wayne Township portion.
  • 1882 Father Augustine and his Catholic parishioners build their church on High Street.
  • 1891 The second Union School building on the corner of Miami and Fourth is constucted. It replaced the old Union School that had been located on the same spot.
  • January 16, 1892 Dr. James W. Haines, whose cure for drunkenness is advertised in every American, English, and Irish newspaper and is shipped to all civilized countries, develops a cure for the grip.
  • March 5, 1895 Mount Evans is named for John Evans.
  • July 2, 1897 John Evans dies in Denver, Colorado.
  • December 1899 "The Current Topic Club" is formed. It is soon renamed the "New Century Club" in 1905.
  • 1900 The Creamery was built on Wilkerson Lane by the French Brothers. Virgil Wilkerson bought it in 1940 for his residence.
  • 1900 Martin and Ann Elizabeth Goode Gons purchase the McKay home.
  • April 7, 1900~The Great Fire of April 7th, 1900. There is a destructive fire on Main Street. E.L. Printz grocery store, the Miami Gazette offices, and the Waynesville Government offices are destroyed. The other two buildings on the block that survive are the residences of A. Maffit and Henry King.
  • November 3, 1900 The new Waynesville National Bank building is dedicated.
  • 1901 The Charles Cornell House is built. After Cornell's death in 1918, the home was sold to Samuel Meredith. It was purchased by Dr. Witham in the 1920s. It is now The Angel in the Garden Tea Room.