Notable Individuals of Coshocton County – Contributed by Margaret Lowe
1. Captain Pipe, Konieschquanoheel, also known as Hopocan- of the Wolf Clan, followed uncle, Custaloga, as Delaware Chief. Village on the Walhonding River, mother, brother and children killed by American Colonial forces. With White Eyes and Killbuck in 1778 when they signed the first ever treaty with the Continental Army. Statue representing him at Barberton, Ohio.
2. Mathias Denman – at one time the largest land owner in Ohio, owned land granted in 1800, signed by President John Adams. He and three partners founded the city of Cincinnati.
3. Elizabeth Spangler – June 12, 1879, declared that if $5000.00 could be raised, she would give the lot at the corner of Fourth and Walnut Street for the purpose of erecting a church. The amount was quickly raised. The church still stands at the corner.
4. William A. Dougherty, M.D. – Fresno doctor who graduated from Chicago Veterinary College. 1890, Kentucky School of Medicine in 1904. Served as government meat inspector in Cleveland and also Chicago.
5. Preston C. Shipps – born 1859, engaged in gardening one mile south of Coshocton, gained wide reputation for his produce. Stockholder and director of The People’s Banking and Trust Company, Vice-President of the Coshocton Provision Company and director in the Glass Undertaking Company.
6. William S. Merrell – teacher in Millcreek Township, Principal at Walnut Street School in Coshocton, admitted to the bar in 1904, partnership with Judge Samuel Nicholas, President of the Wrangler’s Club, a literary organization, Secretary of the Coshocton Chautauqua Company, worked to preserve the historical mound of Coshocton and mark historical spots with monuments.
7. Prosper Royer – b.1875 in Franklin Township, first employment was a messenger boy for the Western Union Telegraph Company. Engaged in real-estate and insurance. In 1900, became manager of the Postal Telegraph Cable Company of Coshocton.
8. Major Thomas J. Platt – President of the West Lafayette Bank, Born in Linton Township, 1840. Served in Civil War, 1861, Commissioned Major, presented a beautiful sword, scabbard and sash from the men who loved him.
9. C.O. Mercer – Perry Township, 1867, auctioneer. At one time sold more goods than any other auctioneer in Ohio. Worked mainly in Ohio and Pennsylvania, he did work in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. Owned over one hundred acers in Perry Twp.
10. James F. Forney, 1859 – John A Forney,1862 – Linton Township, largest importers of French Percheron horses in this part of the state. Their grandmother had the honor of naming Linton Township. They made three trips to France. On the last, they brought back sixty thousand dollars worth of Percheron stallions and mares. John was the secretary of the American Breeders and Importers Percheron Registry Company of the United States and Canada.
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 COURTHOUSE – By Irene Crouso Miller
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.
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.