|Village of Jamestown
Village of Jamestown
This, the only village within the boundaries of Silvercreek Township, is located in the northwestern portion. The town is irregular in shape, caused by several additions after the original survey. It is built principally on Washington, Xenia and Limestone Streets; the first two running east and west, the other north and south. The south part is crossed by the Dayton and Southeastern Railroad. Considering its size, Jamestown has few peers as a business center. Besides controlling the almost entire retail trade of its own township, it draws largely from the surrounding townships of Jefferson, New Jasper and Ross. The town contains three hotels, one a magnificent affair, is just nearing completion; five dry-goods stores, three groceries, two drug stores, two book stores, one furniture store, two blacksmith shops, one meat market, two harness shops, and one wagon making shop. According to the recent census, the population is two thousand one hundred and fifty five, an increase of four hundred and fifty-four since 1870.
The Parker House property was the first house raised - it was used, at that time, as a tavern by Thomas Watson. The next house was built by Dr. Matthew Winans, who used it as a store. He was the first physician of the town, and the father of the late Judge Winans, of Xenia. The tavern was next kept by Zinnia Adams, who continued as its landlord for a number of years. He came in 1824, and was the father of the “Adams Boys”, who are well and favorably known in this community. In 1810, five years prior to the time of the surveying of the town, a tan-yard was started by John Miller and William Street, but who these men were, and from whence they came, we have no means of knowing.
Immigration to the village was but gradual, and years elapsed before any apparent increase in its size became noticeable. In 1826, William Baker, of Kentucky, paid a visit to Dr. Winans, his uncle. He was favorably impressed with the general appearance of the country, and in 1831 bade audient to his native soil, and took up his abode at this place. He built a small frame on the site now occupied by Johnson's grocery and provision store, where he engaged in manufacturing harness. At that time the village consisted of about ten families, who were engaged in conducting two taverns, two general stores, one tannery, two liquor shops, and two cake shops or bakeries. Growers of grain found a market for the same at Xenia; and provision for the stores were obtainable at Dayton.
Mrs. Eliza McDowney, relict of the late - McDowney, landed at Jamestown on February 5, 1831, and has resided here to this day. This lady remembers accurately the location of all the buildings then in the village. From a diagram, drawn by her, we compile the following:
The town, proper, was composed of two roads or streets, one extending east and west from Washington to Xenia, called the Chillicothe road; the other running north and south from Maysville to Urbana, and called the Limestone Road . At the crossing of these roads, on the southeast corner, and where a store is now kept by C. Dingess, was located the old Baker Tavern, with a stable a short distance to the rear. Going south on the left-hand side of the street, lived a man named Pendlum - the site is now owned by J. Adams. Still further south, on the same side of the road, was a tan-yard, owned by one John Dawson, sr., who owned a tract of land in the vicinity; his residence was located about half-way between the Pendlum residence and the tannery. Returning to the crossing of the roads, on the opposite side, we com to a small log cabin, owned by William Baker - located on the land just about opposite to the present Adams residence. The next house, near the present location of Mrs. McDowney's residence, was owned by “Grandma” Griffy”. The site where is now located Jenkins' building, corner Mail and Limestone streets, was occupied by one Adair, who conducted a wheel-wright shop; his residence stood where now stands the St. Cloud Hotel. The next building, on the south side of west Main Street , was the so-called Parker Hotel property, which still stands, and is fulfilling the purpose for which it was erected - a country tavern. Proceeding a short distance further westward, we arrive at a small building on the corner of a cornfield, owned by Dearduff. At or near the spot where is now the residence of Dr. C. H. Spahr, lived Martin Mendenhall, the original owner of all the above located lands.
We have now arrived at the western limits of Jamestown, and will return on the opposite side of the street. About half-way between the limits and the public square, lived Dr. Winans; the site of his residence is now the property of Mrs. Peter Harness. On the northwest corner was a small store, kept by - On the west side of north Limestone street, one square from the corner, was the abode of Samuel Zortman, Sr. At some distance still further north, was located the National Hodges dwelling. North of him, on the Browder land, a carding machine did good service; west of this lived Thomas Browder, the original proprietor of the north side of the town. We again return to the place of beginning, corner Main and Limestone streets. After proceeding a short distance, we arrive at a tan-yard, on a lot now owned by Samuel T. Baker. South of this, and at some distance east of the road, was located the house of Benjamin Fessenrider. Where now is located the Adams building, was an unpretending little structure containing three rooms, about seventeen by twenty-two feet each. The north room was used as a dwelling by one Bentley, who kept a store in the middle room. The remaining room was occupied by - Hollingsworth as a store. Upon arriving at the corner now occupied by the Wickersham Hotel, we find a vacant lot, wherein a well has been dug, which is used by the general public, and the weary traveler who, perchance, may pass through Jamestown . We stop to imbibe of its cool and refreshing waters, and taking an eastward course, we proceed a short distance, when we reach the house of Joseph Davis, a double frame, and the only habitation on this side of the road. Returning on the opposite side, we reach the Adams Hotel, located on the site of the present residence of L. L. Syphers, and thus we have seen Jamestown as it was in 1830.
The town was surrounded almost entirely by the lands of Thomas Browder and Martin Mendenhall. About one-half mile east on the Washington Road , was an extensive sugar camp, where the lads and lassies were wont to gather, and where youths often poured into the listening ears of maidens their avowals of love and affection. The town gradually increased in size; log cabins gave place to frame structures, and they, in turn, were supplanted by beautiful brick edifices. Slowly but surely was Jamestown erected on solid foundations, and, for its size, is today the peer of other towns and villages in point of social and financial enterprise.
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