Incidents in Early History of Clermont CountyThe following account
"Incidents In The Early History Of Clermont County
by [Bethel lawyer ] Benjamin Morris, appeared in the Clermont Courier May
17, 1860, vol. xxiv no.
17and provides not only interesting reading but many valuable clues for
In the fall of the year 1802, Rev. John +Sarah Blackman Collins came out
from New Jersey to
Williamsburg, and purchased of Gen. Lytle an entire survey of land,
to make seven or eight good farms. [Now s side of East Fork State
and Higbee house sites flooded by Lake Harsha 1974.] The East Fork was
the northern boundary of
this land, from the mouth of Clover to within a quarter of a mile above
mouth of Ulrey's Run. There were four partners in this purchase, namely:
Collins, Cornelius McCollum, Isaac Higbee and Josiah Albertson. Albertson
settled on his share of the land-stayed at his "Blue Anchor" inn in NJ..
A part of it was leased, and it finally fell into the hands of his
children. [Part Albertson transfered for a school].
Early in the Spring of the year 1803, Collins, Higbee and McCollum moved
divided the land. McCollum settled at the mouth of Clover; Higbee settled
East Fork, below and adjoining McCo1lum; Collins settled on that part of
land nearest Ulrey's Run; his farm was called the "horseshoe bottom."
Albertson's land was between Collins and Higbee.
The settlement commenced in 1803 by Collins, Higbee and McCollum, was the
beginning of what was long known as the Jersey settlement. It was
called Collin's settlement. The first log school-house erected there in
the present grave-yard, and near what is now called the [OLD] Bethel
Before 1807 the following heads of families lived within the school
this school-house, without including any family west of Ulrey's Run,
Cornelius McCollum, Isaac Higbee, John Collins, Edw'd Doughty, Alexander
John Drummond, James McIntosh, Robert Burnet, Thomas Cade, George Higbee,
Michael Strickland, Widow Reeves, Jeremiah Foster, David White, John
Edward Kinnan, Benj. Clark, Robert Leeds, Edward Barton, Robert Doughty,
McCollum, Jesse Justice, and Thomas Page. These were all from the State
Jersey, and in addition to these, there lived in said bounds, east of
Run, William Simonds, James Blackwood, Jos. Conn, Elias Gerard,Jr Widow
Henderson, a [widow Chandler]
Mr. Mitchell, and a Mr.Samuel Sheppard. Blackwood was from Ireland; Widow
from Greenbrier Co. Virginia; and I do not remember where the others were
from, if I ever knew.
The people west of Ulrey's Run were not considered as belonging to
settlement in 1807, though a number were in the school boundary at that
The heads of families were: Jacob Ulrey, Daniel Tegarden, William
Kriss, Christian Husong, Daniel Husong, and Widow Winans, the mother of
Winans, the well-known, popular Methodist preacher. It is my impression
none of the families named, west of Ulrey's Run, were from New Jersey.
circuit preaching did not commence at the town of Bethel until 1810,
preaching commenced at Collins' school-house as early as 1804-5, and many
attended such circuit preaching that did not live within the school
The George Swing family, the Joseph Dole family, two or three families
north of the East Fork,
George Meal, Joseph Jackson and others, attended such circuit preaching.
The following are the names and localities of some of the settlers who
the old State Road between Bethel and Ulrey's Run: Michael Strickland
built cabins near the east bank of Sugar-tree, about three quarters of a
below the turnpike bridge . He was a blacksmith of great ingenuity, and a
tolerable mechanic at any kind of work. He was a hard working man,
substantial improvements on his land. He erected a good house and barn in
of the Macedony Mills, some little distance from his first cabin. He
to work, to keep things in order on his farm, until near the close of his
and died a very old man.
Thomas Page settled on the west side of Sugar-tree, and south of the
about three-fourths of a mile from what is now the turnpike bridge. In
dug a long mill-race on the west side of Sugar-tree, and erected a
within sight of the old State Road. Mr. Page inherited considerable
bought five hundred acres of land, and in addition to the saw-mill, made
improvements on his land. After living on it eight or ten years, he
merchandizing and a tan-yard at the mouth of Big Indian Creek; he was not
prosperous, and sold his five hundred acres to a Mr. Simpson [Pres-Gen
grandfather], who lived many
years at Mr. Page's homestead on S Sugartree Rd, and his son Samuel
Simpson, now lives there, and
owns a large part of the land. Alexander Blair bought land
[Campbell's]about a mile from
Clover. He began the world poor, and raised a large family. In point of
was a man considerably above mediocrity. He was many years one of the
Judges of the Court of Common Pleas in Clermont County. After living on
about twelve or fourteen years, he removed to Batavia, where he died a
man. He was Post Master at Batavia many years; this fact I have state a
out of its proper place. James McIntosh [Petzel's N Sugarttee Rd]started
from New Jersey with a family of
six or eight children, and with scarce sufficient means to bring him out.
raised a large family, all girls, and by the dint of strait-forward
made a living and owned, at the time of his death, a comfortable brick
fifty acres of land. He ever believed that the West was the place for
and that he acted wisely in leaving New Jersey. His wife survived him a
years; the both died on their own ground, at an unusual old age. Their
grand-children are now numerous.