It was the springtime of 1798 when John and Mary Greene and family and two young Dana brothers traveled up-steam from the established settlement of Belpre, Ohio to a beautiful place on the Ohio River about sixteen miles north of Marietta. At that location was a wide, forested plain of about two to three square miles. This was perfect for what was to become Newport.
Luther Dana was just twenty-four when he first began to clear his land in section twenty-eight. He built a log home, and a year later in May of 1799, he married Grace Stone of Belpre.
William Dana, then aged twenty-two, settled on land at present day Milltown in section thirty-five on the creek which was named for him, Dana’s Run. He soon was proprietor of a flour mill and several other manufacturing operations. In the spring of 1801, he married Polly Parkman Foster.
John and Mary Greene came to Newport with their large family: Daniel, aged 24, [We know now that Daniel was at sea and did not travel with them.] Eliza, aged 21; Mary, 20; John Jr., 19; Richard, 17; Ruth, 16; Sarah, 13; Caleb, 11 and Philip, just nine years of age. John Greene was the first Justice of the Peace and was soon known as Squire Greene. He and Mary became “Uncle Johnnie” and “Aunt Polly” in the new settlement. John Greene built a cabin about a half mile from the river for his family in section thirty-four.
These three families were not alone. At the time there were about a half dozen other settlers in the area, but these families soon moved further west and the Greene’s and the Dana’s became the first permanent settlers in Newport Township.