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Newport Biographies


Newport Biographies

From History of Washington County, H. Z. Williams



Prior to the year 1800 George, the eldest son of William Templeton, of “Burnt Cabins,” Pennsylvania, immigrated to Ohio and settled at the mouth of Eight-mile run, in the northwest part of Newport Township. From thence he removed to the mouth of Newell’s Run, or on to the island opposite, and in 1825 moved to Lawrence Township where he died in 1850. He is described as a tall, sedate man, who was never known to laugh, and yet no man was more sociable. He was a prominent man in Lawrence Township in which all his children are settled.


Probable the next family that settled I Newport Township was that of Joseph and Grace Holdren, who came from Pennsylvania in 1800, and located on the present site of Newport. Their house, which was of logs, was erected on the lot in the present village upon which Frank Greenwood’s residence now stands. Mr. Holdren’s daughter, Grace, married Thomas Ferguson of Newport Township.


David McKibben came from Pennsylvania to Ohio in 1800, and settled in Newport Township, near the mouth of Eight-mile Run. He lived on this place until his death. He married for his first wife Elizabeth, daughter of Judge Sharp of Lawrence Township, and after her death he married to Hulda Johnson. He was the father of eleven children, none of whom reside in Newport Township.


The father of James Nichols settled near Newport in 1800.


The next settlement was made in the northwestern corner of the township on the Little Muskingum; when, in 1801, William Hill, Sr., emigrated from Pennsylvania to this county and township, and entered land in section thirty-six, on the east bank of the Muskingum. He built the first house in the neighborhood which is now known by his name. He was the son of John Hill, a native of Ireland. He married first Rhoda Stephenson, and after her death married Sarah Twiggs, who died in 1833. By his first wife he had eight children, viz.; John, who married Martha Ritchey and lived in Newport; Mary who married John Greene [Jr.]; Elizabeth married Jasher Taylor, of Marietta; James, died at aged eighteen; Margaret married Reuben McVey, who lived nearby; Sarah, died aged twenty-two; William Hill , Jr., married Sarah Amlen. He was born near Pittsburgh in 1800, while his parents were detained on their journey to Ohio. He was a prominent man in Newport Township, where he resided until his death, which occurred in 1853. He had twelve children. John T., a justice of the peace at Hills post office, married Cynthia Carver. Jonathan A. married Lucinda Reckard. William married Mary Ann Caywood, and resides near the old homestead. Sarah married William Caywood, living just beyond the line in Lawrence Township. Charles became a Presbyterian minister; and Maria married B. F. Twiggs, living on the homestead farm, where Mrs. Hill Sr. still resides.

THOMAS FERGUSON was born in Loudoun County Virginia, and in 1801 emigrated from Washington County, Pennsylvania. He settled in Newport Township, about a mile and a half above the village, on the Ohio River just below what is known as Ferguson’s landing. By his wife, Grace Holdren, he had thirteen children, ten of whom became men and women, and seven of whom are still living, four being in this township, and three in Independence Township. Lucy married Jeremiah and Mary married Ira Bosworth. Bazil and James live near Ferguson’s landing.

COLONET EBENEZER BATTELLE, and his son, CAPTAIN EBENEZER BATTELLE came to the upper settlement in 1802, locating on the land which Captain Battelle afterwards laid out the village of Newport. The ground was soon cleared for the erection of the family residence, which is still standing – the oldest if not the first house in the village. It was built two stories high, of hewed logs, and at that early day was considered quite a palatial residence. Colonel Battelle died here in 1815, and his son continued to hold the old house, which was afterwards the property of his son, also named Ebenezer. It is now owned by Captain Jack Harrison. The Battelles were very important factors in the early growth of the settlement.

Colonel Battelle, only son of Ebenezer Battelle, of Dedham. Massachusetts, graduated at Harvard college, at Cambridge, Massachusetts, engaged in business in Boston, and was there married to Miss Ann Durant.

April 6, 1788, he set out on the journey to Marietta, arriving there after six weeks toilsome journeying. In 1789, he removed to Belpre, and afterwards, as above narrated, came to Newport, where he ended his days. His son, Captain Battelle, married Mary, the daughter of John Greene. They reared a family of six children. The eldest, Cornelius, became a Methodist Minister. He married Elizabeth Greene, and now resides at Zanesville. Phoebe married Mr. Browning. Thomas had attained distinction in California. Gordon became a Methodist minister, and died in the army as a chaplain of a West Virginia regiment. He was very active in the work of securing a State constitution for West Virginia. Ebenezer, the fourth son, married Julia Barker, the daughter of Judge Joseph Barker, of Lower Newport. At present he resides at Newark, Ohio. He was the founder of Newport Village. Andrew married Elizabeth Barker and resides at Bellaire.


SAMUEL BELL, born in Ireland about 1780, immigrated to Brownsville, Pennsylvania, and from there to Marietta in 1800. He settled in Newport Township in the southwestern part, and at the time of his death in 1848 he was the owner of eleven hundred acres of Land. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. His wife, Mary Lyons, was born in 1790 and died in 1840.They had twelve children, of whom five survive, viz: Samuel, Joseph, Nathan, Hiram, and William.

NATHAN BELL was born in 1811. His first wife, Adaline Reckard, lived about eight years after her marriage. Three children were born of the first union. By his second wife, Maria Broome, born in 1827, he had seven children.

WILLIAM PLUMMER settled in this county in 1804, having emigrated from Pennsylvania, where in 1799, his son, John M., was born. The latter, in his early manhood, constructed a flat-boat of his own, and for five years followed the river, making trips to New Orleans, and various other points. He married Jane H. Fulton, who was born in 1804 and died in 1871. Five of their six children are living, viz: William F., in Iowa; John A., in Marietta; Happy F., at home; Eliza, and Charles S., at home. Mr. Plummer had a beautiful farm of two hundred acres, which was a dense forest when he came to it; but by hard work and honest toil it had been converted into one of the finest homes in Washington County.

Among the earliest settlers in the township were the children of THOMAS and MARY ANN REYNOLDS, who emigrated from Maryland and settled opposite Newport Township, in West Virginia. All of their children, but one settled in Newport. John and Samuel settled near Ferguson’s landing in 1805. The former died in 1877, leaving a widow and three children who reside in the neighborhood. John had eight children, three of whom live in the neighborhood. He enjoys the proud distinction of bring the sole survivor of the soldiers of the War of 1812 who went from this township. Margaret married Jacob Seevers, of Newport. The other children were James E., Nancy, George, Rebecca, Daniel and Thomas. The latter settled at Lower Newport.

DANIEL S. REYNOLDS, son of Thomas Reynolds, was born in 1819, in section twenty-four of this township. By his wife Elizabeth Gill, he has had nine children, four of whom survive. He is a cooper by trade and has a farm of seventy-eight acres. He served four years - from 1861 to 1864 – in the Thirty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.