Early Hamilton by Anna Owens
Old ol *s- The plane was City Ihe almost ot Oli! In Tho n v t - they will at- i r lor over will the can bo successive t l - :- EARLY HAMILTON - ; . Hy Ann* Oweai VASSINO OK OLD LANDMARK RKCALI.S TWO 1'KOMIN'KNT T I O N K K K S Another evocation of Ihe past Is symbolized in the disappearance from N o r t h Third street of one of 'he town's old landmarks--(he J. O. Skinner homestead, lately t h e St. Stephen's Alhlelic clubhouse. Around this venerhble abode--from t h e earliest recollection of n generation generation of Vtrlorian Third U'nrdcrs a picture of spacious domesticity aiuid Its rosebushes and ascension lilies in the front yard, nnd Its f r u i l trees and generous k i t c h e n sarden at the rear,-- galheis another romance romance of lhat n!d reserve of charmed memory the making o( H a m i l t o n . Here resources t:o f u r - back io the Mississippi River again ami It.s p r i m i t i v e barge fleets anil archaic | steamboats. On May 3, 184'.!. John i C. Skinner, son nf Daniel Skinner Peimsylvanla in IH15, and settled first on Mill Creek, l a t e r Lebanon- had married Ju by San-l ""'SB' ( lÂ»Â»Rll r of Captain Israel whose Mississippi sleam- in ISWb. when h i s l m l t h o r . i n _ l r t w . M ',.' j ,, Hough, had traveled when American two up In established. where u at the of man ol J. O. Bklnuer was a bulwark of older Hamilton, In the service ol tho Presbyterian church and the Children's Home. Another daughter, daughter, Surah, was Mrs. Samuel Cory, grandmother of Mrs. Uitte Huston Cochran and Mrs. Chaa. E. Mason. Dr. Dan Skinner and Miss Nelle Kennedy are nlso great-grinidohil- dren of Captain Israel Gregg, lie died on the 20lh of June, 1(U7, seventy-three, leaving a cherished memory of uprightness and benevolence. benevolence. , Captain Gregg's son-in-law, J. Skinner, wa.s one oi the old manufacturers of paper of the Miami valley and a veteran of the historic Third Wnrd! Horn November November E), IHlii, near Lebanon, he was the son of n weaver of the olden lime, and as a young lad had ^assist Â»(1 in winding bobbins 'and otherwise helping at. his father's mill. Three years he passed at | who, h u d come out lo Ohio from i over College, in I n d i Â· ' ' s p e n t vacations in tho p r i n t i n g business, s e t t i n g type en the t e r i a n Standard, of which Joseph G. M o n f o r l , of later, was forema:!. Whllo at Hanover be made a specialty of mathematics and engineering, engineering, and upon leaving he became became an assistant engineer on the Whitewater Caunl, where he was employed two years. Then he built several turnpikes and helped in locating locating the Cincinnati nnd Enton Hailronrt. an enterprise not completed--which completed--which engaged his attention attention three years. During this lime he was nlso city engineer of Hamilton. Hamilton. In the year'184a he was engineer o( Hie Hamilton nnd Rossville Hydraulic \ \ c i k s , the following year. Pioneer Paper Maker From 1848 to 1858 Mr. Skinner was in the mercantile business, in 1661 he went into paper manufacturing. manufacturing. In wiuch he continued to the end ot his life. He made grades of wrapping paper, nnd in old Buckeye street added the of Hamilkn to tne industry whkih has made the Miami Valley fa.- mous, the business being then in infancy In the'West. Now the Miami Valley ranks second in the United Stales in paper output, and in papjjr-makins: machinery is Â·out- standing, even to the Orient. Mr. Skinner was many years an elder in the-Presbyterian church, and held all the degrees In t)-r order of Odd Fellows. Unassatlably a veteran cf the Third Ward pioneer type throughout h i s staunch life, time but enhanced the dignity of his old homestead, supported supported by the poise of his family monument in Greenwood amid its shade of forest trees and upon the branching avenues of Its lovely site, --the vanishing traces ot the old domicile add to the pensiveness which inhabits the hearts ot the "Old Guard," as the Victorians whofe^memories enshrine the Centennial Centennial of 1876 sti'.l delight In calling calling their legion of the faithful to the old traditions. The history of the busy mills of the dear, " green hydraulic zone encompasses all Hamilton--Owens. Lane, and Dyer. Skinner a n d McGuire. A Laurie, William Beckett, Shuler and Bcnninghofen, Bender Bros.--all of them, are the makers of Hamilton undisputed' shades of a glorious past, perpetuated in a beckoning first trip on a steamboat steamboat from New Orleans was made in the spring of 1810, w i t h Captain Israel Gvei.Â£, on ooard the steamboat steamboat 'General C l a r k ' . We were/ nineteen days in making the trip, and perfectly satisfied w i t h the re- s u l t . " A plonper of the Mississippi and Ohio, Captain Israel Gregg wa? for a long t i m e a resident ol Hamilton. Hamilton. Horn February 20. 1175. In Virginia, his parents, adventurous settlers, removed to Pennsylvania, where upon arriving at early manhood manhood Israel married Elizabeth Hough 1 , one of the younger children of a Qup.k^r family, and sister of Josipn Koi'.gn, for twenty years the leading mer'j'iant of Hamilton. In Pennsylvania Mr. Gregg had been a silversmith. Afterward he became interested in steamboating and in 1814 was in command of the steamboat "Enterprise," making that summer Brownsville, two voyages Pennsylvania. from t o Louisville, and carrying a cargo of ordnance for the war of 1812 down to New r Orleans from the stores at Pittsburgh, landing at that port December 14. For ^ome time after, Captain Gregg transported troops and arms. The "Enterprise" made one voyage voyage to the Gulf of Mexico, as a cartel, cartel, and one*voyage lo I h e rapids of the Red River with troops, and nine voyages to Natchez. On the sixth of May, 1815, she set out for Pittsburgh, and arrived at Shippingport Shippingport on the 30th. twenty-four days out. being the first steamboat that ever arrived at the port from New Orleans. Proceeding then to Pittsburgh Pittsburgh the boat was warmly greeted, a.s the first passage ever made by steam to Pittsburgh from the sea. Caplain Gregg afterwards commanded commanded the "Dispatch", built at Brownsville, which was wrecked at New Orleans in 1819. and he con- est nUKl as B commander in Ihe river has' suggested that service for several years after. Elected Sheriff He then came to Hamilton, where he dwell to the end of his days. Elected sheriff of Butler county in 1835. ho served four years, after which he held other offices of trust. His daughter, Jane, as Mrs. 1 future.