Archiver > BRETHREN > 1998-02 > 0886801466

From: "Arthur H. Laube" <>
Subject: Ohio Bowsers and Brethren Friends 1800, Part II of III
Date: Fri, 06 Feb 1998 16:44:26 -0500


Who were George and Lewis Nye? In his 1806 will, Henry Bowser of
Salisbury Hundred, Washington County, Maryland referred to George Nigh,

as "...his most beloved friend," and he named George Nigh executor of
his will. A George Nye was a neighbor of Henry's and may have had a
son named George who went to Ohio, probably with the Bowman/Bowser party

in 1798.
Members of the Nigh/Nye family were already in Ohio when the
Bowman/Bowser party arrived in 1798. Ebenezer and Ichabod Nye purchased
land from Putman, Rufus and Co. (The Ohio Land Company) near Marietta
in 1788. In 1797, Lewis Nye made similar purchases.(20) In 1804-05
Lewis Nye moved up the Muskingum River to Jonathan Creek, an important
tributary of the Muskingum. He built a hewed-log house (where
Newtonville now is). He was probably the first of the Brethren to buy
land on Jonathan Creek.(7)
George Nye was the second Brethren, after Lewis Nye, who settled along
Jonathan Creek.(19) George bought his Hopewell Township land from the
Chillicothe Land Office in 1805.(8) He and Lewis Nye were soon
surrounded by Brethren living along Jonathan Creek in Hopewell and
Newton Townships.(9)
George Nye, like his father, was land smart. That is, he was probably
a surveyor and could read maps. He may have joined the surveying crews
who were laying out the ranges and townships between the Scioto River
and the Seventh Range before Ohio became a state in 1803; at the same
time he searched for good farming property.
Washington County, Ohio had a great attraction for George Nye. Several
other Nye families lived there. It was in Washington County that
George Nye found Lydia Gardner. They were married in 1808. He took her

to his property on Jonathan Creek where they lived until he sold out to
John and Jacob Bowser in 1814 and 1817.(10)
While he lived on Jonathan Creek, George Nye seems to have attracted
other Brethren to buy land and settle around him; Adam Plank, Elijah
Schofield, Abraham Eversole and Adam Cover, were among the first to
These early arrivals and other Brethren who may have accompanied the
Bowman/Bowser group in 1798 when that party rafted down the Ohio River
and then became the first settlers along Jonathan Creek are discussed
David Horn and his brother Daniel from Washington County, Pennsylvania
arrived in 1805 in Newton Township, on Jonathan Creek in Muskingum
County.(21) The Horns were living in a Brethren neighborhood and were
closely tied to two of the Jonathan Creek Brethren families who lived on

farms adjacent to George Nye in Perry County. Daniel Horn loaned John
Bowser $103. And his daughter, Mary Horn, married Adam Plank.(22) The

Horns were also intermarried with other known Brethren families in
Newton Township.
Elijah Scofield, from Allegheny and Washington County, Maryland, is
documented as arriving on Jonathan Creek before 1810.(11) A well known
Brethren minister, he preached on a far-reaching circuit, which extended

into Licking County and Muskingum County. In 1817, Elijah Schofield
organized 25 families as the Jonathan Creek Brethren church at Mt.
Perry, Perry County.(12) This was one of the first Brethren churches in
the new State of Ohio. Elijah served the Brethren of Jonathan Creek for

almost two decades. He died in 1836, about the same time as when the
Mount Perry church building was sold to the Methodists.
Elijah fits a pattern reported by other researchers: The leaders of
many Brethren churches organized groups (like the one we are
suggesting). An elder or a minister went with the first contingent,
helped members buy land, get settled and then someone went back to lead

another group of the congregation to their new homes on the frontier.
Often the first group were the younger men. Elijah seems to have been in

several places at once. He was no doubt the spiritual leader of the
group which left the Bowman/Bowser party at Marietta and eventually
settled along Jonathan Creek in Perry County and Muskingum County. Just

as David Bowman was the Brethren elder who looked after the party that
continued on to the Big Miami River Valley.
Adam Plank another Brethren from Allegheny County, Maryland, and his
family arrived on the banks of Jonathan Creek in 1804. Adam is listed
as head of household in the 1800 census enumeration of Allegheny County,

so he may have either come by himself with the George Nye, or he may
have brought his family with the second party to travel from Cumberland
Gap area to Jonathan Creek.(13)
Abraham Eversole lived two farms away from Henry Bowser, in 1800
Maryland. ( Henry described George Nigh as "...his most beloved
friend.") In 1811 Peter Eversole, bought a half-section contiguous with

the Nye property and joined that group of Brethren who were later known
as the Jonathan Creek Brethren Congregation.(15)
Adam Koover was a witness to Henry Bowser's Maryland will and was
surely a friend of George Nigh, Henry's executor. Adam Cover and his
son Adam were George Nye's close neighbors on Jonathan Creek and were
well known as members of the Brethren congregation.(14) Hannah Plank,
daughter of Adam, married Samuel Cover. In 1878, the Brethren built
Greenwood, a mile or so north of Jonathan Creek. Hannah is remembered as

the largest contributor toward its completion.(16)
There were other marriages between the neighbors of the Jonathan Creek
Brethren congregation. For instance Benjamin Schofield married John and

Mary Bowser's first child, Alvina. As described in the notes below: In

1842, there was a marriage connecting the Brethren of the Big Miami
Valley with the Brethren of Jonathan Creek.(17)end of part II part III

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