Archiver > BRETHREN > 1998-04 > 0893944312

From: "Merle C. Rummel" <>
Subject: Highland County Settlement IV - 1820 OHIO
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 06:51:52

This was a joint project by Glenna Blackburn, Pastor -Strait Creek Church
of the Brethren, and myself -Presented at the Southern Ohio Heritage
Festival, Camp Woodland Altars, 1997.

There are two churches still existing of the Brethren Settlement in
Highland Co Ohio of the early 1800s: Strait Creek and Marble Furnace. The
Mother Church was Dunker Ridge, just west of Sinking Spring OH (a stopping
point on the Zane Trace). Other churches surrounded the area, as the
Brethren settlement grew: Strait Creek -- just south of Sinking Spring;
May Hill --west of Dunker Ridge, maybe 6 miles; Marble Furnace - just
northwest of Peebles, in Adams County - 8 miles south of May Hill; Fall
Creek - about 10 miles due north of Dunker Ridge, north of US 50; White
Oak or Hollowtown, in western Highland County.

The discovery of a medium grade iron ore, caused the building of colonial
style Iron Furnaces at several locations in eastern Highland Co. This
included Marble Furnace in Adams Co and Hope Furnace, just east in Ross Co.
The resulting Pig Iron, was transported by ox wagons to the Paint Creek at
Bainbridge OH, and floated down Paint Creek and the Scioto River to the
Ohio River at Portsmouth. This industry existed until the discovery of the
Mesabi Range of high grade iron ore in Michigan, and ceased abruptly about

The Dunker Ridge Brethren settlement began when John Countryman, a
minister, came in from Kentucky, right after 1800. It grew rapidly when
the Furnaces were built, as the Brethren realized that the Iron Furnaces
needed endless supplies of charcoal, and the Forest needed to be cleared on
their homesteads -- giving them an income for doing the cutting and
clearing. The settlement grew to huge size, for a frontier community.

These family names are taken from the 1820 and 1830 US Census. They are
recognized as names common to Brethren families -only some of them are
known from existing records to be members of the local Brethren Churches.
Paint twp, Highland Co OH

Forman: Peter
Grabill: Jacob
Harshbarger: Jacob
Hartmann: Isaac
Hewitt: Absolom
Houghman/Hoffman/Huffman: Aron
Peter (Sr/Jr)
Housman: George
Kerns: Henry
Landess: John
Mason: David
Miller: John
Montgomry: Thomas
Ockerman: David
Ramsey: James
Roads/Rhoads: Abraham
Snider/Snyder: Adam
Weaver: Frederick
West: James
Whitecker: Francis

other names -not identified: Johnson, Morris, Hixson, Davis, Kinzer, Bailey
This church was close to the Kanawha Trace (from North Carolina, across
Ohio) which may have more to do with its establishment than the iron
furnaces. It was located near New Petersburg OH, just south of Greenfield.
It had 3 other meeting areas: (two of them ON the Trace)
(I was trying to follow the Trace, got off it and didn't know it. I
stopped at the Quaker Church near New Petersburg --I asked if they knew
anything about the Brethren. "Oh Yes, There used to be Brethren here.
Their church stood where our Parsonage is!")

Twin Valley Congregation: east in Ross County, on Lower Twin Road, at the
Bush Meeting House (shared with the United Brethren).

Lexington Congregation: west on the south edge of Lexington/now Highland OH
This was the congregation of Thomas and Sarah Majors -Fall Creek and

Fairview Congregation: north of Greenfield OH, on the Paint Creek, in
southern Fayette Co. (Glenna knows things she hasn't told me yet -This one
I only heard of today, when I called her -to check on what I've written!)

It was interesting -- some of the historians in this area -DON'T know about
the Brethren -- one called us: "German Quakers!"

Rev. Merle C. Rummel
Stonelick Church of the Brethren

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