|Village of Mt. Victory
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Retro Gulf Gas Station
Train No. 1 and Depot
Village of Mt. Victory
In 1849 Cyrus Dille died and his eldest son, Ezra, had a town laid out on his father's estate two years later. The land was to be sold at an administrator's sale and Samuel McCullough, who had just laid out the Village of Ridgeway, made an attempt to buy the land at the public sale and turn it into a pasture, thus preventing the formation of a competing village. Ezra Dille, however, succeeded in purchasing the property and on his return home was asked by Thomas McCall who had bought the land. When informed that Ezra had been able to procure it, Mr. McCall exclaimed "Victory, Victory--We shall name the town MOUNT VICTORY !" Thomas McCall was 'Uncle Tommy' to those who knew him and he is credited with naming the Village of Mt. Victory. He was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania , December 10, 1810, the son of William and Elizabeth McCall. In January, 1842, they settled in Hale Township. He lived in what is now listed as 20555 West Mansfield Road, CR 199. It was one of the first frame houses built in the mid 1800's. William Bealer, a local cabinetmaker, helped to build this house. He told his grandsons, Clay and Cliff Bealer that when digging the basement, they unearthed skeletons of human remains believed to be the remains of the Mound Builders, the very first known settlers in Hale Township, Hardin County, Ohio. This house had a trap door in the kitchen with a rug over it and a table setting on the rug. This was used as a safe house for fugitive slaves. At the time of settlement, there was not a settler or improvement on the road from Mt. Victory to Kenton.
Thomas McCall helped to blaze the trail from Mt. Victory to Kenton. They cleared 150 acres of heavy forest in the area. A broad ax used in the clearing of this land is now owned by Ross Baird, great-great-grandson of Uncle Tommy McCall. He owned 311 acres of good land with the improvement of fences and buildings. Thomas was the father of 15 children with 8 surviving.
The Underground Railroad, A Family History: The Williams family is traceable to the early 1700's. Their zealous effort in the anti-slavery movement began and followed through subsequent generations. Levi Coffin, Jr. is credited with being the founder of the Underground Railroad.
During the early days of the Underground Railroad, there were in excess of 3000 slaves transported through the Coffin network of safe houses in Cincinnati . The runaways were dispatched north to members of the Williams Family and to the anti-slavery movement. Many of these people followed the Shawnee Trail toward Pickrelltown and Bellefontaine. In Pickrelltown, they were met by Asa Williams, Manhon Pickrell, and Joshua Marmon. Other Quakers and sympathizers to the cause provided safe houses. Due to the secret nature of the mission, names are difficult to obtain. The home of Asa Williams was a safe house where fugitives stayed until their strength and health improved. His home had a secret wall in the basement which appeared to be a root cellar, but was actually a nice size room that could comfortably hold six people. Obadiah Williams, son of Henry and Nancy Williams, signed on work at the Pickrelltown Mill while quite young. One of his many duties when he was a teenager was to transport grain and supplies to the Cincinnati Market. His first visit to Cincinnati, he watched human beings being sold on a common auction block. To his horror, he saw families torn apart and taken to different plantations. His compassion for their plight made an impression that endured a lifetime. When he returned home he related his story to his best friend and future bride, Sarah P. Williams, daughter of Asa and Elizabeth Branson Williams. He vowed that he would do anything in his power to end such brutality.
Soon after his trip to Cincinnati, a fugitive named Meshach, 'Mose', Moxley came to Pickrelltown. Obadiah and Mose became very close friends. Mose was an expert gunsmith and was considered a very valuable slave. Therefore, Mose was fearful for the safety of his wife and children. After much prayer and careful planning, it was agreed that Obadiah would go to Cincinnati with supplies and attempt to find the wife and children, purchase them, bring them back to Pickrelltown to a grateful Mose. Later, the Moxley Family moved to Bellefontaine and established a gun shop. There he maintained a good business and his guns are now highly prized collectables. Other slaves that were assisted through the Pickrelltown Station were the Mendenhalls. George C. Mendenhall, a plantation owner from North Carolina, sent 28 of his slaves to Asa Williams and Joshua Marmon under the protection of his field foreman, John White. The Deed of Emancipation of George C. Mendenhall was received and recorded July 2, 1885, by Jas Luster, Clerk of Logan County, Ohio. The deed was signed by witnesses: Asa Williams; Exaim Johnson; John White. By order of the deed, 28 people were freed and from that day forward, they should be called Mendenhall.
A temporary cabin was built about a quarter of a mile off of the Mud Pike now known as State Route 31. A new frame house was put in construction in front of the cabin. This house was equipped with a guest room where many 'guests' were respected for their courage and will for freedom. The new house is still occupied by a great great granddaughter, Joan Elliott Wagner, at 1948 Elliott Lane., State Route 31. The original cabin was torn down in the early 1930's.
For a much more indepth look at Mt. Victory 's history, we encourage you to visit Mt. Victory's Official Web-Site.
If you have photos of or historical stories about the Village of Mt. Victory and/or Hardin County, either old or current you would care to share with us. Please contact: antiqueshopsin...
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