Notable Individuals of Coshocton County – Contributed by Margaret Lowe

1. Netawatwees- Chief of the Delaware Nation, In 1775, moved Delaware capital to the junction of Walhonding and Tuscarawas Rivers, forming the village of Goschachunk. Head of the Turtle Tribe, advocate for peace, friend of the colonies, attached to cause of Christian missions and Moravians. Died at Fort Pitt in 1776.

2. Mordecia Chalfant– second settler in Washington Township, gave township its name, one of the first county commissioners, 1811-13, gave land for Chalfant Church which is the oldest religious society in the county with first church building.

3. Pren Metham- Jefferson Township, owner of three hundred acres, Civil War veteran with General Sherman on his march to the sea. Was at The Ford Theater when President Lincoln was shot, within feet of John Wilkes Booth.

4. Edgar Selby- born May 30, 1857, at Spring Mountain. Father was principal of the Spring Mountain Academy. Connected with the
Fountain Dry Goods Company. In 1895, he erected the Selby building, the largest structure used for mercantile purposes in Coshocton. Associated with the Tuscora Advertising in 1898 as its treasurer. Also, director in the Coshocton National Bank in 1898, director of the Vail Company, treasurer of the Realty Company, member of the Board of Trade.

5. Robert Totten Hunt- born in Coshocton, September 14, 1867, Began as a newspaper reporter, was private secretary to J. P. Forbes, helped organize The Wooden Novelty Company which merged into the Premium Novelty Company, organized the Hunt Crawford Company in 1903.

6. Jesse Pritchard Forbes- representative in state legislature and senate, studied law, admitted to practice in 1880; however, never an active member of the profession. Large and profitable real estate investments with mines in Colorado, North Carolina, Missouri and other states. President and director of Broom and Herbig of Coshocton. Owned the first typewriter, first bicycle and first automobile in Coshocton.

7. Clara Johnson- owner of 655 acres in Lafayette Township. Her mother was a personal friend of Horace Greely. Clara was married to Cyrus Lewis in 1860, after his death resumed her maiden name. Raised cattle, sheep, horses and hogs with excellent ability that resulted in a “handsome fortune”.

8. Charles Wright Ball- came to Coshocton in 1903 and opened the Park House, leading hotel in the city. Began his business life as a blacksmith and was a railroad conductor before coming to Coshocton where his hotel became known as the Park Hotel.

9. Jerry Allison Compton- Born in Jackson Township, dealer in pianos, organs and musical merchandise at 220 Main Street. In 1902, assisted in organizing the large Boston Piano Company and served as president.

10. James Preston- born in West Carlisle, April 26, 1871. Chief clerk of the Meek Company, President of the Board of Public Safety
of Coshocton and largely instrumental in establishing the fire stations and installing modern equipment. Had one of the finest collections of Indian artifacts of the area, advocated for the preservation of Indian mounds, forts and all objects of historical interest in Coshocton.

Brief History of Coshocton County – Contributed by Margaret Lowe

In 1775, Netawatwees was Chief of the Turtle tribe of the Delaware nation. He and a grand council of the Delaware decided to move to the forks of the Tuscarawas and Walhonding Rivers founding the town of Goschachunk, capital of the Delaware nation. The village extended from the river to Third Street. The village was burned by General Brodhead in 1780. The city of Coshocton was built upon the site of this Indian village.

The town of Coshocton was laid out in April, 1802, by John Mathews and Ebenezer Buckingham, Jr. The town was christened Tuscarawa. Three squares, of four acres each, were donated to the public; one for school purposes and two for public use. One of these is now occupied by the court house. Charles Williams is regarded as the first settler. However, Mary Harris is considered the first white person in the county. As early as 1750, Mary Harris lived along the Walhonding River at Whitewoman’s Town. She had been captured at an early age from one of the colonies.

January 22, 1811. An act for the organization of the county of Coshockton.

Sect. 1. Be it enacted by the general assembly of the state of Ohio, That the county of Coshockton be, and the same is hereby organized into a separate county. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the first day of April next. Thus, the county of Coshocton was legally organized. It was not until 1833 that the city of Coshocton received its articles of incorporation.

Also, in 1811, a Methodist Church, the first of any kind in the entire area was constructed on Mordecai Chalfant’s section in Washington Township.

On August 21, 1830, the first visiting canal boat, the Monticello, arrived from Cleveland. The canal was not completed but this was the beginning of new growth for the county. The first canal boat launched in the county was called the Renfrew, in honor of merchant James Renfrew. It was built by Thomas Lewis.

Agriculture, manufacturing and industry flourished. Coshocton became famous for specialty advertising thanks to Jasper Meek, who first placed advertisement on a school bag. The Beach Company, Tuscarora, Meek, Standard, Novelty, American Art Works and others manufactured products sent all over the world. Pope-Gosser China Company made award winning china. Coshocton Glove Company made gloves worn by thousands. West Lafayette became the “enamel capital of the world.”

Tragedy has also struck Coshocton County by way of fires, the great flood of 1913 and accidents such as the September 11, 1950, troop train wreck at West Lafayette. Thirty-three were killed and fifty injured when the Spirit of St. Louis plunged into the troop train.

One of Coshocton’s greatest assets is its people. Many have become world renown as doctors, scientists, inventors, entertainers, artists, athletes, a national labor leader, a U.S. Supreme Court Judge, educators, legislators and military leaders. Cooperation, support and immense generosity describe the people of Coshocton County.

No matter how you spell it, no matter how you pronounce it, no other place in the world has the name Coshocton.



Coshocton County was founded in 1811, and until 1824, sessions of court and other county business were conducted in rented rooms, as no courthouse was built until 1819.

The first courthouse was a log house and the second one, built in 1824, was a two-story building that cost $1,984.  The present day courthouse was built (1873-1875) at a cost of $65,597.

This magnificent, red brick Second-Empire structure is located on a central four-acre square park.  It is crowned with a slate, mansard roof, and elaborate dormer windows with curly pediments that are repeated to the fifth-story clock tower windows. The clock tower, crowned with an ornate iron cresting, holds the original four-sided clock of 1875.  This once hand-wind clock, now electrified, continues perfect time today.   The court square has been home to the “whipping post” as well as the “tar and feather” punishments. The ornate iron fence was removed from the square in 1907. Historic, Civil War, iron cannons and balls were placed in the square in 1912 to be later removed for the nations “war effort” need of metal.  A large, spectacular water fountain was removed from the square in 1949.

The Coshocton County Courthouse was dedicated to the citizens in July 1875, remodeled in 1954, and recently (August 2015) opened for public viewing the renovations to the Common Pleas courtroom.   A dropped ceiling was removed to showcase three, historic, hand-painted murals.  The large courtroom balcony was restored that now overlooks the breathtaking, lighted, ornate ceiling.   A second public “open house” was held in August 2016 to showcase the newly renovated Jury Assembly Room and Museum.  This area now displays hundreds of pictures and historical artifacts of the courthouse.  In November 2016, Mrs. Beth Clary commissioned a local blacksmith to fabricate a large, metal weathervane to adorn the roof of the courthouse.  The weathervane proudly displays the date of 1811 commemorating the year of Coshocton County’s establishment.

The Coshocton County Courthouse continues serving today as the emotional hub of the county, holding original records dating back to 1811 and housing the Common Pleas Court, Clerk of Courts and the Coshocton Veteran’s Service office.

Portrait Magazine is proudly published by your team at Good Fortune Advertising LLC, the company that publishes The Coshocton County Beacon. Portrait of Coshocton strives to provide you with an informative overview of Coshocton County, Ohio. It is designed to give you a glimpse into the many community service agencies, churches, government services and elected officials, plus the social service and educational opportunities that are available in our community when you need help or guidance.

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Coshocton was selected by “Ohio Magazine” as a Top 10 Hometown because it embodies qualities that make Ohio hometowns so special: Friendly residents, beautiful parks, charming shops and a rich history that is celebrated to this day.