New Mt. Pleasant, Vinton, OH

In southeastern Ohio near the intersection of OH-93 and N. Fairview Road (CR-195), there are a number of houses and other structures, but little to show the history of a town known as New Mt. Pleasant and often referred to simply as Mt. Pleasant.

The earliest reference I've seen to residence in New Mt. Pleasant refers to a Zophar Freeman Guerin, M.D. beginning the practice of medicine there in March of 1843. [1] According to History of Hocking Valley Ohio, a church was built at New Mt. Pleasant in 1830 and a post office for Swan Township was established there in 1843, but it was not until June 17, 1844 that the first child, a William Buckley Davis was born in Mt. Pleasant. If these dates are correct, it seems the church was built before there was a town or even a road. According to the History of Hocking Valley Ohio section on Washington Township, "In 1832 a road was cut through the woods by early settlers, from Uriah Little's place near the center of the township, to the McArthur Road, and at this junction the town of New Mt. Pleasant has since sprung up. A tannery was built here soon after the completion of this road and a store was started a month or so later." In 1850 an overland mail route was established from Logan to McArthur, passing through New Mt. Pleasant, and mail began to be carried regularly over this line. By 1883, Mt. Pleasant had three stores, a blacksmith shop, a cooper shop, a wagon shop, and a school house. It also had, as described above, a Methodist Episcopal church and a post office. In one of the stores, general merchandise was sold by M. P. Turner. [2]

The History of Hocking Valley Ohio mentions a number of other people who lived in or near Mt. Pleasant: Jacob Reddick was a blacksmith and farmer who in 1829 took up residence (in Washington Township, Hocking County) near what would become Mt. Pleasant. His son Wesley F. Reddick fought in the Civil War, moved around for a bit, and then purchased a farm of 158 acres near Mt. Pleasant in 1872.  Samuel Riggs married Sarah Ann Johnston in 1856 and settled on a farm near Mt. Pleasant; he was a member of the Mt. Pleasant (Methodist) Church. P. J. Green, M.D. practiced medicine in Mt. Pleasant from about 1851-1859. Thomas Swepston, M.D. moved into Mt. Pleasant in 1856 and began practicing medicine there as well. Robert Payne, who brought the first machine for making pins to the United States (from England), moved to Ohio in 1833 and settled in the woods near what would become Mt. Pleasant. His son Henry Payne began engaging in tobacco trade with T. B. Davis at Mt. Pleasant around 1845-1850 (being at McArthur part of this time) and subsequently became County Treasurer for the newly formed Vinton County. [2]

The T. B. Davis mentioned above may be the ancestor of the Fred Davis who operated the Davis General Store in Mt. Pleasant until 1962. Mr. Davis and his wife continued to live in the building that housed the store, and the merchandise that remained after the store closing was not disposed of until an auction in 1992. You can see a clipping from a news article and photos of Davis Store Auction in the archives of a website maintained by auctioneer Ottie Opperman.

The general store's frame building, which is now gone, was dedicated as a Masonic Lodge in 1871, and the second floor continued to be used until 1904 by Swan Lodge No. 358. That lodge was chartered in 1866, and in June of 1870 Oakley Case was given proxy to lay the cornerstone for Hall of Swan Lodge in New Mt. Pleasant. [3] The new lodge housed a marvelous chair made by John Luker for JHM Houston, who was Master of Swan Lodge from 1867-1873. This was recovered, along with several other artifacts, from the abandoned and dilapidated lodge in 1966. The website for the Scotitsh Rite Masonic Museum & Library has a description and photos of this Masonic Worshipful Master's Chair and a related posting, Masonic Master's Chair from Ohio, in their blog. Further details about this chair and its conservation are provided in an article A Masonic Master's Chair Revealed by Susan Buck which appeared in the 1994 issue of American Furniture, published by the Chipstone foundation and reproduced on their website.

The road that is now OH-93 had its origins in act passed on February 8, 1847 by the Ohio General Assembly "To lay out and establish a free turnpike road, from Logan to New Mt. Pleasant, in Hocking County, and to McArthurston, in Athens County." Named as commissioners responsible for this project were John Holland, James Gibson and Jacob Byerly (all of Hocking county) and David Evins (of Athens county). These commissioners were organized by the act into a corporation known as the Logan, New Mt. Pleasant, and McArthurston Road Company. At that time, New Mt. Pleasant was located within Washington Township in Hocking County. In 1850, Vinton County was created from parts of Athens, Hocking, Jackson, Ross, Meigs, and Gallia counties.

The map above from 1876 shows that N. Fairview Road was once known as Township Road. Today N. Fairview Road runs along the border between Vinton County and Hocking County. With the creation of Vinton County in 1850, New Mt. Pleasant became part of Hocking County to the north and part of Vinton County to the south.

Along N. Fairview Road, just west of OH-93 is a cemetery where Elizabeth Stultz Steele and Samuel Steele are buried. This cemetery is next to the Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church. I am not sure who is responsible to for the church or the cemetery at present, but according to the Grave Addiction website, Mt. Pleasant Cemetery is still active and well maintained. It's sometimes referred to as the Fairview Church Cemetery and described as being in Washington Township, Hocking County, Ohio. The confusion is understandable, since the cemetery is located along the border between the two counties and is in an area that was once part of Hocking County. However, this cemetery is presently located in Swan Township, Vinton County, Ohio. The USGENWEB Archives provides a list for the Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church Cemetery.



[1] Historical Publishing Co., Columbus, Ohio. (1901). Franklin County at the beginning of the twentieth century. Franklin County, Ohio: Sheppard & Co., Book and job printers.

[2] History of Hocking valley, Ohio: Together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. (1883). Chicago: Interstate Pub. Co.  Available through Google Books, https://books.google.com/books?id=YdkyAQAAMAAJ.

[3] Cunningham, W. M. and Reeves, John G. (1914) History of Freemasonry in Ohio. Cincinatti, Ohio: Bromwell. The text to this book can be found online. The best source for a current link can probably be obtained from the envisionthepast.com page on Ohio Social History Books and Articles.

Ohio. (1819). Acts of a local nature passed at the session of the General Assembly of the State of Ohio. Columbus: s.n., p. 173.  Available through Google Books, https://books.google.com/books?id=rKA4AAAAIAAJ.
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