(The following was written by Bill Howison, and is reprinted from “Reflections”, a collection of local stories available at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum. Any opinions made in the article are from the author.)

While the treaty of 1764 prohibited the Indians from crossing south of the Ohio River, and provided that there would be no white settlement north and west of the Ohio, this did not stop the white tide which rolled into Kentucky and then across the Ohio.

Cornstalk and his sister, Nonhalema, tried to hold the Shawnee Nation to the provisions of the treaty with Lord Dunmore, signed on the Pickaway Plains at Camp Charlotte, in 1774.  Using their tribal positions and personal persuasion, they held the Shawnee and lesser tribes in check.

Then, in 1777, Chief Cornstalk, seeing the white tide turn to a flood, and the English supplying his tribesmen with arms and ammunition, proceeded to Fort Randolph with Chief Red Hawk to warn Captain Matthew Arbuckle of the impending uprising. They were arrested and murdered by a company of men under Captain Hall.

Following the death of Cornstalk, the Shawnee went over to the British; Nonhalema lost her position and ended her days as an outcast of her tribe.

Following the splint in the Shawnee Nation in 1779, the Shawnee, remaining in Ohio, followed a course of total war with the whites.

On October 20, 1790, General Harmer was defeated by Chief Little Turtle of the Miami and Blue Jacket, War Chief of the Shawnee.  These same to chiefs, along with the Buckengahelas of the Delaware and Black Eagle of the Wyandot, and assisted by the renegades, (Simon Girty, Alexander McKee and Matthew Elliott) met and destroyed the army of Arthur St. Clair on November 4, 1791.  The battle took place where Ft. Recovery now stands.

Congress had accepted the Northwest Ordinance on July 13, 1787, establishing a government for the Northwest Territory. But it was not until Mad Anthony Wayne defeated the combined tribes at the Battle of Fallen Timbers on August 20, 1794, and the Treaty of Greenville was signed on August 3, 1795, by which the Indians seated 25,000 square miles of territory north of the Ohio river, that it was safe for settlement in the Scioto Valley.

Migration into the Scioto Valley follow the River North from the Ohio, then along the creeks: Paint in Ross and Fayette Counties, and Darby in Franklin County.

In 1797, two brothers, Thomas and Elijah Chenoweth, settled in the southern part of what is now Franklin County. That same year, Franklinton was established, and on the East Bank of the Confluence of the Big and Little Darby, known as Treacle’s Creek, Mr. Spencer and his son-in-law, Osborne, settled.

Other soon followed: Messrs. Thomas Roberts, John Biggert, James Gardner, Samuel Dyer, Samuel Kerr, and John Turner.

In 1805, Samuel Dyer built his mill at the forks of the Darby, and it became the center of community life for the early pioneer. He could get his grain ground and catch up on the latest news from the other settlements, to the north.

By 1805, the Quakers had established a meeting house on the headwaters of the Darby, in Logan County, and settlements had pushed into Union and Delaware Counties, still following the Scioto and its creeks.

Settlers came from as far north as Clairborne Township, in present Union County, to use Mr. Dyer’s mill. A common sight along the Darby was a settler with knotted sacks of grain across the back of his horse, and a rifle across his saddle.

The more industrious, such as Andrew Noteman, brought his grain down the Darby by dugout canoe.


(The continuation of this story in the next blog entry.)