Clark County, Ohio

History and Genealogy

Indian Occupancy

From The History of Clark County, Ohio
Chicago: W.H. Beers & Co., 1881 - Page 221

To follow the intricate maze of aboriginal intermixtures of tribes and nations, or to locate many of the tribal subdivisions of those old nomads, would require more time and space than the plan of this work will admit. The following extract from a paper entitled "Indian Migration in Ohio," lately published by the Western Reserve and Northern Ohio Historical Society, and prepared by C. C. Baldwin, Esq., of Cleveland, seems to express about all there is to say on the subject, so far as this history is concerned.

"We find, then, about 1640, the Eries ranged in Ohio from near the east end of Lake Erie, to near the west, and held the country back (to) and part of the Ohio River. That everywhere west were Algonquins, probably the Miamis and Ottawas pressing upon them. That below them on the Ohio were the Shawnees, and southeast of them their kindred the Adnastes, were the Algonquins again. * * * *

"The early history of the Shawnees is scantily traced, their position did not bring them within the early acquaintance of the whites, or the knowledge of history. When they applied to LaSalle for French protection, he replied they were too remote. * * * * * Within the period of history, they pushed into Ohio from Kentucky, and the Cumberland River is called, in the early French maps, the rivers of the ancient Shawnees. That was not the first time they had been upon the Ohio. After the destruction of the Eries, they seem to have been next south upon that river, and I cannot but believe that while the Eries were at peace with the Shawnees lived next south, probably in Southern Ohio and Kentucky. * * * * * In the historical map of Ohio, appearing in 1872 in Walling & Gray's atlas, and prepared by Col. Charles Whittlesey, the Indian occupation of Ohio appears as follows: The Iroquois and tribes adopted by them, in Northeastern Ohio, including the valley of the Cuyahoga, the Tuscarawas and Wheeling Creek. The Wyandots and Ottawas occupied the valleys of the streams flowing into Lake Erie, west of the Cuyahoga, but no farther up the Maumee than Fulton and Henry Counties. The Delawares the valley of the Muskingum; the Shawnees the Scioto and its tributaries, and as far east as to include Raccoon Creek, and west including parts of Brown and Highland Counties.

"The Miamis were in the western part of the State, including the valleys of the Great and Little Miami, and the upper part of the Maumee.

"These were, in a general way, the limits of the tribes in Ohio from 1754 to 1780. * * *

"There were also Mohawks, Tuscarawas, Mingos and (other) descendants, not named in a tribal way of the ancient Eries and Neutrals. These named tribes were all intrusive within the period of history.

The Ottawas and Wyandots, although of different generic stock, lived much together, perhaps partly through sympathy in a similar downfall. They had been allies against the Iroquois, and in succession overcame.

"The Shawnees and Cherokees seem to have been the foremost in the great Indian migrations which met the Mound-Builders. It is thought singular that there are no traditions of that move.

"But when we think how faithless are the traditions among the whites of one hundred years ago, almost sure to be very wrong, even of one's great-grandfather, and that the Mound-Builders apparently left Ohio several hundred years ago, at least, the want of memory of that event does seem singular (?).

"Indians were always moving and warring. But the same careful linguistic study in America, that has told so much in the old world, will tell us something of the new."

Those who have attempted to glean the facts of the dim unrecorded past, for historical use, will appreciate Mr. Baldwin's remarks in regard to the unreliability of even the latest traditions.

Many writers are inclined to the opinion that the Wyandots were among the earliest tribes on this soil, but, from the latest investigations, the conclusion seems to be that they were only a sub-tribe of the Eries and Iroquois.

Indian Occupation

From 20th Century History of Springfield and Clark County, Ohio by Hon. William A. Rockel
Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co., 1908

Murat Halstead has given a beautiful description of the natural condition of Ohio, which is particularly applicable to the part in which Clark County is located, when he says "The French were truthful, as well as tasteful, when they named the Ohio, 'The Beautiful River.'" In the grand old days of the wilderness, the "game" crossed the famous stream, finding fords in the absence of floods. The buffaloes that roamed through the shady paradise, between the great river and the lake, knew well the wide water that divided and united the valley; and their mighty feet made roads for the herds to seek, wading or swimming to the salty waters they loved, and the blue grass that was agreeable in its nutritious assimilation. The dainty families of the Virginian deer were pleased to sport in the bright streams. The southern squirrels gathered in armies and invaded the north, and, in frisky array, their noses and tails telling that they held steadily on their appointed course. Their tails were very helpful sails — for squirrel squadrons. There were "bear wallows" on the clay hills, where the vigorous animal made bath tubs for his personal use. The bear was the predecessor of the hog. In the deep woods there were showered an ample supply of acorns and beech nuts, hickory nuts and walnuts, and haws, red and blue; vines loaded with the grapes named for their fond lovers the fox and the crow. There were wild crab apples that only the frost could mellow, and pawpaws, the temperate zone banana of the color of golden butter; and the surveyors of the new lands of promise, reported (and the story grew as it spread) that the legs of their riding horses were crimsoned with the blood of raspberries that stood on the slopes among the sugar trees. Some of the berries were red and some were yellow, and all had a delightful flavor. The May apples blossomed white over the brown fallen leaves, that each year added to the fruitfulness of the land. There were two tall and delicate trees, held in high favor and having an almost oriental reputation, as it seemed they should have been the pride and luxury of the tropics. The mulberry and persimmon are witness testifying in Ohio that there is no monopoly of sweetness in the forests of the torrid zone. One ought not to forget that the Ohio woods, before they were despoiled, held groves of the slippery elm tree, which, however, was more than matched by the fragrance of the sassafras and the blazing tints of the red buds, seeming luminous growth of the American beauty roses, that lit up the hill sides with a springtime glory surpassing the exquisite fires the frost kindles in October. Beside the red bud, whose name is most inadequate (for it is worthy the gardens of Persia the poets paint) stood the dogwood, a gnarled and sturdy undergrowth, blossoming in the sunshine of spring as if the trees were of wands bursting into enchanting bloom, when the fires of summer poured white light to illumine saplings bending under fairy snow drifts, gathered on the boughs burdened with beauty."


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

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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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