History of Ohio
Community Is Told
Newport Prosperous Village
News, Sunday March 12, 1961
of Newport, O.,
is on a flat, fertile plain along the Ohio River
almost opposite St. Marys, county seat of Pleasants County.
stands was conveyed to Ebenezer Battelle, Sr., about 1801 by Neal Cortner and
John Cotton who had resided briefly on the acres before selling out and moving
buildings where Newport
now stands, other than the two or three squatters cabins built as early as
1798, are said to be the log cabin of John Cotton built near the river, and the
cabin of John Luckey on the present site of the village.
Battelle, Sr., built the first substantial house. At that time the hamlet was called Upper Newport to distinguish it from Lower
Newport which was only six miles above Marietta.
Battelle’s house had several rooms instead of the one large room in the
quickly constructed cabins of the early settlers.
brick residence built from bricks baked on the premises was erected about 1809
by Captain Daniel Greene. Others
settlers floating down the Ohio
often stopped at Newport
and stayed, not going on to their intended goal of Marietta.
Battelle had his land surveyed for a town on Jan. 30 and 31 of 1839, the
nucleus of a village was already established.
50 years later, at the beginning of the 1880s, Newport numbered 50 dwellings and 300 inhabitants.
steam operated flouring-mill, there were two blacksmith shops, one wagon shop,
a cigar factory, a harness and show shop, seven general stores and three
hotels. The Thribble Shovel Plow and
Cultivator was also manufactured at Newport
about this time.
recorded that all seven general stores were unusually prosperous and that the
Cree House and the City Hotel were the leading hostelries in 1880.
was belligerently against any form of alcohol, in fact none is sold in the
village even today and only two such establishments are located anywhere in the
this firm and united stand on temperance came about as the result of an earlier
and more lenient attitude towards the subject.
early pioneers distilled their own liquor.
They used it for medicine and hospitality, for frost-bite and
snake-bite, and in lieu of the many comforts left behind when they trekked
first years of the Newport
settlement it is recorded that “whiskey-mills were even more numerous than
One of the
earliest of record was operated by John and Richard Green [e] and Ebenezer
Battelle in 1805. This venture had three
busy stills and a considerable output of apple jack and peach brandy.
Dana started a stillhouse in 1815 which he ran until 1833; Thomas Ferguson had
a busy still for a number of years, and an old log distillery which burned in
1826 was also located in Newport Twp. and did a thriving business from 1820 to
account books preserved from that early time, it appears that whiskey was
accepted in the area as legal tender and was always bought and sold in no less
than gallon lots.
Due to an
embarrassing and unfortunate occurrence which the passage of time now makes
humorous, there was a strong reversal of feeling on this subject. The operations of the distilleries
disappeared almost overnight.
place of whiskey mills, Temperance Societies sprang up, and Newport village and the entire township
became the driest place in all the Northwest Territory.