Clark County, Ohio

History and Genealogy

Gen. W. H. Gibson

From The History of Clark County, Ohio
Chicago: W.H. Beers & Co., 1881 - Page 392

Gen. W. H. Gibson, Adjutant General of Ohio, addressed the audience substantially as follows:

What means this vast assemblage? Why do men of all classes forsake their employments and gather here on this day? Men from all branches of trade and industry are of one spirit today, and are here to commemorate the fact that 100 years ago to-day, this territory, then the resort only of wild Indians and beasts of the forest, was taken possession of by the representatives of the Christian religion, and who were the pioneers of Christian civilization. Under Gen. George Rogers Clark, the hunters of Kentucky met the savages of the Shawnee tribe. I see them now as they advanced upon the foe. Onward dash the brave Kentuckians. The battle rages, and finally victory is plucked from the bosom of apparent defeat. Under the "Stars and Stripes" — the flag of the free — the battle was gained over the Indians who represented the flag of Great Britain. This was a battle of the great Revolution. The leader of our forces here was George Rogers Clark, a young man of twenty-six years of age, and he had gained fame already in other fields. On this day, 100 years ago, the hardy, patriotic pioneers rushed on the Indian village and destroyed its cabins, then destroyed the acres of growing corn, and then returned to their homes in Kentucky.

Where are these men to-day? In unserried ranks, they are marching among the armies of heaven. Their bodies sleep in the soil here, but they are looking down upon us to-day from the battlements above. They look down to-day upon an age of new and advanced ideas and achievements. One hundred years have wrought new and wondrous things. A hundred years ago, Ohio was a wilderness. To-day, it has 3,200,000 people — more than all the country possessed in 1780. To-day, we have in the United States fifty millions of people — wiser and more enterprising and happier than any other fifty millions of people in the world. To-day, the broad fields and the busy factories of our country send their products across the seas to all portions of the civilized globe. And now may the flag that has floated over America for a hundred years still float as the emblem of the principles of civil and religious freedom! The fact that there are Americans everywhere, in all the lands to-day, and the fact that her products are in every clime, are due to the fact that there were George Rogers Clarks one hundred years ago! To-day, the American pioneers are building their fires in every cañon in Colorado, and in California and Oregon, and they are even going beyond the Pacific to China and Japan!

From thirteen colonies, we have grown to a union of thirty-eight States, and a number of Territories are now standing in bridal garments waiting for Congress to perform the nuptials. The orator alluded in eloquent terms to the treasures of iron, coal and precious metals in American hillsides, the products from which burden fleets of ships on the great seas. At the close of the Revolutionary war, it was discovered at Philadelphia and at Paris, during negotiations for peace, that old George Rogers Clark had conquered the territory now covered by the State of Ohio, for the American Union.

Let us now ask ourselves: Are we worthy sons of George Rogers Clark? Shall we preserve the privileges won for us by him, and perpetuate them? What shall we make of this grand country a century hence? Who doubts that every star will continue to revolve in its orbit, or that other stars will be added? Shall we not have, instead of 50,000,000 people, four times that number added? When 1980 shall come, and men gather on this spot to celebrate the second centennial of George Rogers Clark's victory, what a magnificent country shall be spread before them! Allusion was made to the methods by which civilization always advances. First, the cannon cleared the way. Then come the Bible and the public school. We owe much of our modern civilization to the cannon of George Rogers Clark, and its work here one hundred years ago. What would the country be without Ohio? And what would Ohio be without Clark County? Ohio gives to the country its Presidents, its Supreme Judges, its great Generals and its great statesmen. Let us cherish the memory of our heroes; let us imitate their deeds of patriotism. And now, thanking you for your kind attention, I want to ask you all to be here a hundred years hence, and I hope to be here to address you; and I want, in closing, to ask you to give three cheers for the State of Ohio.

Three cheers were given with hearty good will.

Col. T. M. Anderson, U.S.A. (of the Columbus Barracks), was introduced, and responded briefly. Soldiers were better at a fight or a feast than making speeches. He had been alluded to in the newspapers as a grandson of Gen. Clark. The General had no sons or daughters, and therefore could have had no grandsons. The speaker was only a distant relative of the distinguished General.

Hon. Stephen Johnson was next introduced, and addressed the audience. He came not to speak, but to see and hear. He first paid a tribute to the eloquence of Gen. Gibson. Mr. Johnson's mother was a native of Kentucky, and was a friend of Daniel Boone. She was also acquainted with Tecumseh — and saw him frequently at Fort Wayne, Ind. She disputed the story that the Kentuckians had skinned Tecumseh on the Thames battle-field and made razor-strops of his hide. It cannot be questioned that he was a man of a high order of ability. The speaker's father was a Government store-keeper at Fort Wayne, and it was his duty to sell blankets and supplies to the Indians, and to secure their friendship for the whites. Tecumseh declined to eat with Mr. Johnson, saying: "I am the enemy of the white man, and I cannot eat bread with him." The conduct of England during our struggle with her was hypocritical and treacherous, and she used her influence to our disadvantaage during our civil war. Mr. Johnson knew Black Hoof well. He was an intellectual man — a man of extraordinary mental power.

Maj. White, in behalf of the Memorial Association, thanked all persons who had in any way contributed to promote the purposes and success of this centennial celebration, after which the Rev. W. B. De Poy, of Springfield, offered a fervent, patriotic prayer and pronounced an appropriate benediction.

At one side of the stand erected was displayed a life-sized portrait in crayon, by the artist S. Jerome Uhl, of Springfield, of Gen. George Rogers Clark, hero of the 8th of August, 1780. On the other side was an equally fine portrait of the Shawnee Chief, Black Hoof, whose skull was on exhibition among the collection of relics on the grounds, furnished by Dr. Musson, of St. Paris. The exercises at the stand reached a conclusion about 2 o'clock, when an adjournment was had for dinner. This was one of the features of the day deserving commendation. Under the plan pursued by Chief Commissary Holloway, the tables bore an abundance in great variety and really excellent. A special table was set for the Governor and staff. The center-piece was a juicy pig, roasted whole and contributed by Mrs. A. Holcomb. Gov. Foster himself had accepted an invitation from Mr. and Mrs. T. F. McGrew, and dined at their residence in the city, disappointing the committee of ladies greatly. A large number of lady volunteers rendered valuable service in supplying the wants of all comers, and are deserving of the thanks of the Memorial Association and committee.

Col. F. S. Case, of Bellefontaine, an Aide on the Governor's staff, arrived during the forenoon and joined the other members of the staff. There were also present the following-named members of the Dayton City Council: George Butterworth, Wash Silzel, W. C. Crum, John Feicht, Harman Soehner, H.S. Gordon, J. R. Rea, John Myers, John Breen, J. W. Kanub, and City Clerk George Lane.

Dinner over, the vast concourse amused themselves in various ways until about 3:30 P.M., when the troops and Indians formed for the sham battle. It took an hour to get the crowd in place, the people persisting in going to the wrong places. It was even necessary to change the plans somewhat and contract the "field of battle." The Indians, over one hundred strong, all in war paint, feathers and full Indian rig, under command of Dr. Kline, of Miami County, and Maj. Hardman, of Enon, this county, first appeared over the brow of the hill to the west, making quite a picturesque and natural appearance against the sky. They advanced sounding the "war whoop," until about half way to the place where Clark's, Lynn's and Logan's troops were concealed, they encountered the skirmish line formed by Capt. Lewis' "squirrel hunters." The firing then began rapidly, the skirmishers fallling back to within the white troops' lines, when an advance was made from that quarter and the "big Injuns" in turn forced to fly. A stand was made at their village (represented by a row of improvised huts of fence-rails stuffed with straw), and here the musketry was deafening until, the Indians driven further back, they fired the huts and fled precipitately. The Indian business was "simply immense," and Lo was cheered to his heart's content. There was complaint of scarcity of ammunition among both Indians and soldiers, from what cause is not known. Capt. Ad Knecht and John Hegerman, Theo. Knecht, G. Haines and Frank Scheible, of Dayton, were present with two cannon, but, from some oversight or misunderstanding, the powder supplied was not of the kind required, and no more could be obtained in time — consequently the artillery could take no part in the contest. This closed the celebration, and the grand rush for home began, in the eagerness to get out of the heat and dust and confusion which reigned.

It is remarkable that the day passed without accident (beyond the smashing of three or four buggy wheels) or disorder of any kind. But one or two drunken men were seen on the grounds, and they filled up before going there. One of these tried to get into a fight, and drew a knife on somebody, but he was hustled out of the crowd instantly. This is matter for congratulation, certainly, and is due entirely to the forethought of the managers in forbidding the sale of liquor or beer anywhere on the grounds. The Memorial Guart, Capt. Russell, are entitled to great praise for the work done by them as special police, in standing guard and preserving order. They bore themselves like the tried veterans they are. At night, as there was a great delay at the railroad station, owing to the tremendous rush in embarking people for the city, the Guard marched into town, to give the ladies the room on the trains they would have occupied. The crowd at the celebration is thought to be the largest that ever gathered in the county, not counting that at the State Fair ten years ago. Several good judges placed it at 20,000, while others will take their affidavits it was one-third larger. Adjt. Gen. Gibosn, who is good authority on such subjects, placed it at 25,000. Certainly the turnout from all points was beyond all expectation. Mr. Knight, ticket agent at Union Depot, reports the sale of 4,600 tickets to Pontoon Bridge, and 1,600 fares were taken up on the trains, which ran as fast as possible backward and forward. It is estimated that 8,000 to 10,000 people left this city by trains, and the quiet on the street from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. was equal to Sunday. Nearly everything was closed up in the way of business, and men, women and children braved heat, dust and crowds to take in the celebration. The last of the crowds did not get away before 9 o'clock P.M., covered with dust and tired, but in the main satisfied and disposed to be jolly over what they saw. Taken as a whole, the success achieved made the effort worth while. IT is proper to give full credit to Capt. Steele, Chairman of the Committee, O. N. Bartholomew, in charge of the grounds, W. H. Grant and A. Holcomb, of the Committee, for the great amount of work done by them.


Capt. Alden P. Steele, Chairman Committee of Arrangements. Maj. W. J. White, Captain of the Memorial Association, Chairman of hte Day. Capt. F. O. cummings, Secretary. Capt. D. C. Balentine adn Owen R. Perkins, Assistant Secretaries. John W. Parsons, Treasurer. Lieut. J. C. Holloway, commissary. O. N. Bartholomer, Quartermaster. S. G. Brown, Ordnance. Charles E. Folger, Press Agent. W. H. Grant, Leander Baker and A. Holcomb, on Police and Grounds. Capt. Charles Anthony, Seventh Infantry O.N.G., Organized Militia. William Whiteley, Relics and Antiquarian Materials. John H. Johnson, Flags and Decorations. Col. Howard D. John, Andrew Watt, T. Kizer, Topography. Capt. John Russell, Commanding Memorial Guard, Officer of the Day. Springfield — Quincy A. Petts, Judge E. C. Dial, George H. Frey, John H. Thomas and P. P. Mast, Auxiliary Committee of City Council. Enon — Serg. Maj. Peter Hardman, Representative Indians; Nelson Hardman, Pioneers; Capt. J. M. Haines. Bethel — R. M. Lowry. South Charleston — Joseph Shickedantz, Webster Barrett. Selma — Dr. Farr, Capt. Miller. Vienna — F. V. Hartman. Catawva — Joseph Pierson, Dr. W. E. Bloyer. Pitchin — Capt. Perry Stewart, James M. Littler. Tremont — John H. Blose. Lawrenceville — M. V. Ballentine. Medway — David M. Burns, Finley shartle. New Carlisle — Dr. H. H. Young, Horace Taylor. Donnelsville — Capt. J. L. McKinney, C. S. Forgy. Clifton — W. B. Todd. Plattsburg — Jerry YEazell. Harmony — Milt. Goodfellow. North Hampton — P. M. Hawke. Noblesville — George F. Johnson.


Monday morning, August 9, 1880. — Assembly of all organizations at their respective quarters at 8 o'clock A.M. Formation under direction of Chief Marshall, on High street, with right resting on Limestone, at 8:45. Reception of Gov. Foster and party and invited guests by the Council Committee and Veteran Memorial Association. Parade — East on High street to Linden avenue, countermarch west to Spring, north to Main, west to Market, where the column will divide, and the portion which is mounted and in carriages will continue the march to the battle grounds; those on foot will move to the depot and take the cars for Pontoon Bridge. Upon arrival at the grounds, the following programme will be observed at the stand: Music. Invocation, Rev. T. J. Harris. Music. Address of welcome, Gen. J. Warren Keifer. Response. Music. Reading communications, Capt. D. C. Ballentine. Dinner. Music. An historical sketch, Thomas F. McGrew. Music. Oration, Gen. W. H. Gibson. Music. Miscellaneous speaking. Benediction, Rev. — Du Poy. Col. Robert L. Kilpatrick, with efficient staff, Chief Marshal of the Day. Signal Code — Red and white pennant and national flag at half mast, where Clark's men were buried and site of the old stockade; solid red guidons, outlines of old stockade fort; diagonal red and black guidons, Indian line of defense, right wing; orange-colored guidons, tringular, Lynn's command, Gen. Clark's right wing (between these opposing lines the conflict was the hottest); blue guidons, triangular, center of Clark's command; white guidons, triangular, Logan's command; large blue and orange square, old for where Clark crossed the river; large scarlet flag with white crossed cannon, supposed positon of Clark's gun; broad swallow-tailed pennant, red, on top of hill, Indian signal station; large red flag with white ball on top of cliffs, opening to canyon in rocks where Indians supposed to have escaped; national colors, Mingo Park, speakers' stand. Sham Battle — The exercises of the day will conclude with a mimic battle, to terminate in the destruction of the Indian quarters. Persons represented: Gen. George Rogers Clark — Col. Harvey Vinal; Col. Lynn — Col. Peter Sintz; Col. Logan — Capt. Perry Stewart; Col. Floyd — Capt. Lewis; Maj. Slaughter — Capt. Ad. Knecht.


Ohio Genealogy



Battle of Piqua



City Charter

County Politics and Roster of Officers

Early Clark County

George Rogers Clark

Clark-Shawnee Centennial

Education in Clark County

Ghost Towns

Indians in Clark County

Pioneers and Pioneer Days

Simon Kenton

Military History


The National Road


The Old Northwest




Springfield in 1852

Springfield in 1859

Springfield in 1863

Springfield in 1868

Springfield History

SHS 1951 Yearbook

State and County Government

Then & Now

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