What’s in a name?
The answer is plenty of history, tales of strength and victory and notable characters, if the stories behind some local municipalities are any example.
Here are just a few area places with an important part of history linked to their names.
When members of the Ohio Company reached the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio rivers in April, 1788, the fledgling community that existed here was known as Adelphi, related to a Greek word meaning “brothers.”
“A number of the initial settlers here knew each other and some had served together in the Revolutionary War, so they felt a kinship in being part of the fight for independence,” said Bill Reynolds a historian with Marietta’s Campus Martius Museum.
But on July 2 that same year the town’s name was changed to “Marietta” in honor of Marie Antoinette, queen of France, who was apparently held in high regard by Revolutionary War veterans like Rufus Putnam and fellow members of the Ohio Company.
“They felt if it hadn’t been for assistance from the French, whose ships blocked the harbor (at Yorktown), preventing British ships from entering, as well as monetary support from France, we might not have won the war,” Reynolds said.
“So these Revolutionary War vets wanted to pay tribute to France by naming their town after Marie Antoinette—she was incredibly important to them,” he added.
A letter was also sent off to the queen, offering her a “public square” of Marietta property.
In his 1917 introduction to the first volume of “The Records of the Original Proceedings of the Ohio Company,” Marietta College professor Archer Butler Hulbert noted the city square intended for Marie Antoinette was Mound Cemetery.
The queen did not take up the offer but her Mound Cemetery square became the final resting place for many of those Ohio Company veterans.
“I find that a pretty interesting piece of history,” Reynolds said. “And sometimes I wonder, what if Marie Antoinette had actually accepted the offer and moved here? She would probably have lived longer.”
In October 1793, during the French Revolution, the queen was beheaded, as was her husband, King Louis XVI, who also met his end on the guillotine in January of that year.
Driving south along Ohio 7 it’s easy to miss the sign indicating you’re passing through Constitution — the only community in the U.S. bearing that name, according to an historical plaque erected nearby along Veto Road (County Road 3).
Constitution was once home to Ephraim Cutler, an early community leader and legislator who is most remembered for keeping slavery out of Ohio.
“He was the son of Manasseh Cutler, who wrote the Ordinance of 1787 that established the Northwest Territory and prohibited slavery,” said local historian Henry Burke.
“Parts of that ordinance were adopted into the U.S. Constitution,” he added.
In 1801 Ephraim Cutler was Washington County’s representative in the territorial legislature, according to his daughter, Julia Perkins Cutler, in her “Life and Times of Ephraim Cutler, Prepared from His Journals and Correspondence.”
She wrote that in 1802 her father served during Ohio’s first constitutional convention where he was the only member to vote against statehood on behalf of his constituents who believed the territory was not ready to become a state.
Julia noted that Ephraim’s most significant achievement was securing the adoption of a clause in the state constitution that prevented slavery in Ohio.
Ephraim challenged a motion to allow slavery with gradual emancipation, arguing the Ordinance of 1787 prohibited slavery in the Northwest Territory. Later he submitted a statement outlawing slavery in the state. His proposal was approved by a narrow 5-4 vote and became part of the state constitution’s bill of rights.
“The legislation was adopted by one vote,” Burke noted. “Many years later the state decided to build a lake near Constitution and it was named ‘Veto Lake’ because Cutler vetoed slavery in Ohio.”
Linda Showalter, special collections associate for the Marietta College Library, is a native of Constitution.
“The area was always referred to as Warren until January 1842,” she said. “That’s when the post office was established and named Constitution in honor of Ephraim Cutler’s contribution to the Ohio Constitution.”
Ephraim is listed as Constitution’s first postmaster and served in the office, originally located in his home, until he died on July 8, 1853.
The Constitution postal facility closed in September, 1978.
“The community may be gone now, but we still hold a Constitution reunion every July,” Showalter said. “Former residents come from as far away as California to attend.”
Burke said Ephraim Cutler owned approximately 2,000 acres of land near Constitution, where he had several stone quarries.
Showalter said those quarries later became the Constitution Stone Company and Hall Grindstone Company.
Around 1850 three men, Stinson Burris, Adam Cline, and Henry Sheets, founded the town of Matamoras, now known as New Matamoras, along the Ohio River in eastern Washington County.
“They agreed to name the town Matamoras to commemorate a U.S. victory during the Mexican War (1846-1848),” said Janice Pringle, treasurer for the Washington County Historical Society.
“Zachary Taylor had driven the Mexican troops back into the Mexican town of Matamoros in the spring of 1846,” she said.
“It’s interesting that on the local town’s first plat the name was spelled ‘Mattamoras,’” Pringle added. “And in county records books it’s still known as the Village of Matamoras.”
Ernie Thode, manager of local history and genealogy at the Washington County Library, said Matamoras was laid out in 1847.
“Other names, voted down, included Buena Vista, Corpus Christi and Saltillo,” he said. “When the town post office was established in 1851, the
‘New’ prefix was added to avoid confusion with Metamora in Fulton County, Ohio.”
A member of the Ohio Company pioneers who landed at Marietta in April, 1788, Amos Porter moved a bit north of that location and settled in an area he named “Salem,” after Salem, Mass., near his native Danvers, Mass.
“Originally this area was known as Salem Township,” said Joe Stille, a resident who is completing a book on the township’s history.
“Later, around 1850, a group of township residents formed Lower Salem and set up a toll road between the town and Marietta,” Stille said.
“They built a ‘corduroy road’ by splitting logs in two and laying them in the mud (rounded side up). Then they put toll booths at each end of the road.”
Stille said the toll road venture apparently didn’t last long but the town of Lower Salem never existed until the corduroy road was built to Marietta.
“And the reason the town was named Lower Salem was because another Salem had already been established in Columbiana County and there was also a Salem in Coshocton County,” Stille explained.
He said Salem was apparently a popular name in the 1800s as one of his ancestors, Ebenezer Stille, Jr., who was born in Washington County, moved to another Salem in Henry County, Iowa, around 1855.
For lifelong Cutler resident Kevin Place, there’s a lot in a name —even if there’s some debate about how that name came to be, or how long it may be around.
“The name of this little town is important to me,” said Place, 59. “We lost our school out here...and I’m afraid we may eventually lose our post office. If we do, I figure we would get a Bartlett address but I’d want to keep the Cutler name alive.”
There are no immediate plans to close the post office or rename the area, although U.S. Postal Service officials have named the Cutler site as one being considered for closure.
Local historians say most local towns and villages were named —and many renamed — as post offices first opened.
“Many communities were renamed after they opened their own post offices and came to find other post offices had already been opened under the same name,” said Louise Zimmer, local historian and author.
Place said his grandfather owned a store in Cutler and was a postmaster there for 44 years.
“I believe this area was originally called Harshaville, named after someone who lived out here,” Place said. “At some point, it became Cutler but
I’m not exactly sure how or why.”
Place said he had always assumed Cutler was named after Ephriam Cutler, an early pioneer, political leader and judge.
Zimmer said the town was actually named after William P. Cutler, the first president of the Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad.
Cutler, born in Marietta in 1812, was the son of Ephriam Cutler, attended Ohio University in Athens and served as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives before running the railroad. He died in 1889.
“Dr. John Harsha was the first postmaster and in 1855, when the post office opened there it was named Harshaville,” Zimmer said. “In 1857, the area was rechristened Cutler, in honor of plans that brought the railroad through the area.”
Place said the names of small communities like Cutler give residents there a sense of identity —even without knowing the history behind the name.
“We’re just a tight-knit little community of about 100 to 125 people,” Place said. “My grandparents and my parents lived here until they died and I’ll be glad to do the same. It’s a great neighborhood.”
Founded in 1832, Bartlett was originally settled as Plymouth and Pleasanton, according to local historians.
Some records show East Plymouth as another settlement in the area.
“It’s amazing how often people researching the county or working on genealogy come across a name like Pleasanton and ask, ‘Where in the world is that?’” said Ken Finkel, president of the Washington County Historical Society.
County records show the three areas — first named after eastern U.S. towns — were combined and renamed in 1834 after the community’s first postmaster, Amos Bartlett.
Self-described as “the second-oldest person living in Bartlett,” Patty Shawd, 80, said she’s lived most of her life in the community, which is located at the intersection of Ohio 555 and Ohio 550 in western Washington County.
“It’s unbelievable to me that such a little place could have been divided up the way it was before the post office,” Shawd said. “Even today, we’re just a community of 100 people, counting cats and dogs.”
Shawd said her family has deep roots in Bartlett.
“My father ran the bank out here and eventually became a state representative,” she said.
Shawd said Bartlett is a community full of pride and spirit.
“Everyone knows everyone, and everyone’s business, which sometimes isn’t good,” Shawd joked. “But really, the people living out here are genuinely nice and care about each other and the community.”
While multiple members of the Vincent family were prominent in the area's history, the namesake of the town is Henry Earle Vincent, who purchased the land in western Washington County where the settlement grew. He paid 50 cents an acre to the Ohio Company, along with the promise that he would plant 100 apple trees on the property, according to research compiled by McGregor.
Vincent laid out the village in 1853 and donated a parcel of land for use by the railroad. Because of this, the Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad Company referred to the town as "Vincent," according to a history of Washington County post offices compiled by postal historian Jerry Devol. Henry Vincent was the first telegrapher at Vincent Station, and his son, Rollin C. Vincent, was the first postmaster.
McGregor's great-great grandfather, John Vincent, was Henry Vincent's brother. He is renowned in the area and beyond by gun collectors as the maker of the Vincent rifle. His son, John Caleb Vincent, carried on the trade, and McGregor remembers one of her older brothers relating an encounter he had with their great-uncle.
"You could come in and look at his shop. But you couldn't talk too much and you couldn't ask too many questions," she said.
McGregor's great-grandmother, Mary Vincent, married Levi Jones, who left between $8,000 and $10,000 to each of his children when he died. That might not sound like much today, McGregor said, but it was enough to allow each child to build a house in Vincent.
As a result, McGregor was surrounded by family as she grew up.
"When I was a child, I could run up and down the street and visit Great-Aunt this and Great-Aunt that," she said. "I thought it was my playground."
Vincent was once a very busy town before rail service was discontinued in 1916.
"Back in the early 1900s, late 1800s, it was really booming with the railroad ... and also drilling for gas and oil," McGregor said.
Things are much quieter today, and there are more businesses in nearby Barlow than Vincent itself.
McGregor and her husband, Miles, who is also from Vincent, have lived in Vincent since his retirement from the Air Force in 1972. Their house is just a few blocks from Henry Vincent's former home.
"I just like it because it's our hometown, quiet, I know almost everybody in town," McGregor said.
For years, it was believed this village south of Macksburg was named for the Elbe River in Germany, from which its initial settlers hailed. That's the origin Devol recorded in his work on post offices of the area.
But a handwritten note added by Devol to a copy of his writings at the Washington County Local History and Genealogy Library in Marietta tells a different story.
"It has since been determined that Frederick Kueck gave the place the name after the island of Elba where Napoleon was exiled because Kueck thought he was pretty well exiled or marooned in the wilderness this was in 1871," he wrote.
Local historian Louise Zimmer had only heard the river explanation for Elba's name.
"I could understand that," she laughed, referring to Kueck's description of the area as a wilderness. "I like the Napoleon story better."
But Elba would not always be as small and remote as Kueck, owner of the store that housed the first post office, felt.
Surrounded by three hills, the town was once on U.S. 21, and was the site of a railroad station, coal mines and a trio of general stores, each with its own claim to fame ranging from fragrant teas and fine candy to ladies apparel and fresh produce.
But the loss of the railroad and the creation of Interstate 77, which led to the route through the town becoming Ohio 821, resulted in fewer people traveling through Elba.
Although a handful of people remain, the small community has been all but wiped out in subsequent years by flooding on Duck Creek. A number of residents accepted government money to buy out and demolish their homes.
Dunham Township resident Rosemary Vincent, 75, left Elba at the age of 21. She has fond memories of it, but they also make returning too painful.
"The house I lived in is gone; they tore it down," she said. "I can't stand to go up back through there."
Nestled in Lawrence Township, Cow Run is home to an estimated current population of 25, said Gerald McGregor, Lawrence Township trustee.
But it wasn't always like this.
Williams' "History of Washington County, Ohio," listed a population of 2,336 in June 1880. In the 1860s, the small town began to capitalize on the presence of oil.
But before the fencing, drilling and population increase, cows freely roamed the land.
According to Williams' "History," milkmaids rarely had trouble finding their cattle. A particular stream, lined with saline springs, seemed to be a hot spot, warranting the name Cow Run. The stream became the namesake of the settlement, McGregor said, referencing "The Wilderness that Became Lawrence," a book compiled by Lawrence School eighth-graders in 1976.
Cattle weren't the only things attracted to the stream, however. Oilmen also found the eastern and western dips on Cow Run useful in locating wells.
The stream is no longer popular.
"I'm not sure if there is a Cow Run stream, but there is a creek that runs along the road," said Sharon Hurst, 63, of Lawrence Township.
Currently, "there is only one farmer living on Cow Run Road," said McGregor, a distant cousin of Janice McGregor's husband. "Right now, oil isn't being drilled."
The small town is no longer considered a production site, but rather home for those who remain.
"Most of the (residents) were born and raised in that area, and they just never left. It's a calm place where there is very little crime and no city traffic," McGregor said. "The people enjoy living there."
The community of Reno was first known as Jericho, until it was renamed in 1887 when the first post office opened there.
Local historian Scott Britton said many of the early settlers in the area had served under Major Gen. Jesse L. Reno, who was killed during the Civil War at the Battle of South Mountain.
“One of those soldiers, James Hyler, who was a sergeant in the 25th Ohio Infantry had opened a store in what was Jericho and applied for a new post office for the community,” Britton said. “He found out the name was already being used, so he decided to honor Reno, who by all accounts was highly regarded by his men.”
Reno, Nev., founded in 1868, is also named after the general, Britton said.
Reno resident John Lankford, 65, said he’s lived most of his life in the community, but never known the history behind the name of the area.
“I’ve written it a thousand times and often wondered where the name came from,” he said.
Britton said there was little history he could track down on Jericho.
“Obviously there’s a religious connection, but beyond that, I couldn’t find a lot of information,” he said.
Jericho is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories.
Early pioneers, including John Dodge, settled in the Beverly and Waterford areas between 1837 and 1841 as they were working on Muskingum River improvements.
According to local historians, Dodge named Beverly after his hometown in Massachusetts.
Lifelong Waterford resident and Oliver Tucker Museum Trustee Francis Sampson, 86, said his community was once known as Plainfield.
“I’d guess it was because of the flat land we have around the river bottom,” he said. “How it came to be Waterford, I’m not sure, but I know before the locks and dams there was a water fording that connected Beverly and what is now Waterford.”
Local historian Dan Hinton, 56, of Palmer Township, said there was a fording, but the naming of Waterford was most likely similar to the naming of Beverly.
“There’s a Waterford, Mass.,” he said. “A lot of these early settlers named their new homes after their old ones.”
The yellow house in Yellow House
The historic yellow house at Yellow House is yellow again.
About three miles north of New Matamoras on Ohio 260, there’s little—not even a sign—to indicate the community of Yellow House once existed. But the 155-year-old house for which the community was named is still standing at the intersection with County Road 9.
“It was painted yellow in 1865 and the people we bought it from had put on white shingles. But the latest owners have painted it yellow again,” said June Mobberly, 85, of Devola.
Mobberly and her late husband, Chauncey, took up house in the home in 1947 and lived there until Chauncey’s death in 2009.
“We had it fixed up really nice, with a white picket fence in front. And it was always a local landmark,” Mobberly said.
New Matamoras clerk Patty Martin agreed.
“When people ask directions for that area, we tell them to turn right or left at the yellow house,” she said.
The yellow house, a smaller white residence next door and a large barn are the only structures left now, but in its heyday the community of
Yellow House included a general store, post office and cooper’s shop where barrels were made.
“A man named West lived in the house and ran the store,” Mobberly said.
According to an article in the June 17, 1875 Marietta Register, “The Yellow House is owned by Mr. George West, a jolly, fat, good-natured ‘king of the manor,’ and is situated on an elevation, overlooking all creation, and part of Monroe County ... Besides a fine mansion, Mr. West keeps a tip-top country store, grocery, tobacco packing house, cooper shop, blacksmith shop etc., and weighs 260. He ought to be active. We never felt our littleness—222 lbs.—so much as when in his presence.”
A 1975 story by Diana McMahan in The Parkersburg News said West was born in England and came to Matamoras in 1856. He and his family lived on a 210-acre farm and moved into the yellow house, opening a dry goods and general merchandise store in 1865.
“West’s home and business became the center of the community,” McMahan wrote. “A post office was established at Yellow House in 1881, according to (local historian) Jerry DeVol’s ‘Grandview Township and Its Post Offices.’ George West was the first postmaster and, appropriate enough, it was called West Post Office.”
In addition to the yellow house and other structures, Mobberly said an Indian mound is located on the property.
“But it’s hard to see because the trees have taken it over,” she said, adding that some locals had researched the structure and believed it to be a lookout mound.
Although there are no road signs marking the former location of the Yellow House community, the area is still listed on local maps.
Another tiny community with an odd name is Relief, located on Sparling Road (County 32) along the Muskingum River in the far northwest corner of Washington County.
Ken Finkel, president of the Washington County Historical Society, grew up in that area of Waterford Township.
“It was a stop on the Marietta-Zanesville Railroad that later became part of the B&O Railroad system,” Finkel said. “It was in an industrial area near the (Muskingum River) power plant.”
He said his father worked nearby at the Interlake Corp., now Globe Metallurgical, Inc.
“I was born and raised in that area,” Finkel said. “And according to information I found from Jerry DeVol, when a community post office opened there in 1889, people living in that area were relieved they didn’t have to row across the Muskingum to get their mail any longer. So the community was named Relief.”
There’s no longer a post office and the Relief community no longer exists as it did in 1889, but the Delong/Relief Cemetery is still there along Sparling Road. Twenty-one area residents were buried there between 1798 and 1857.
“The cemetery is located on Globe Metallurgical property and they have fenced it in and maintain it for us now,” said Waterford Township Trustee Matt Cavanaugh.
Finkel said the small community of Rainbow, off Muskingum River Road in Muskingum Township, was established in bottom lands along the river around 1795, and one of its most prominent residents was abolitionist Thomas Ridgeway.
Local historian Henry Burke said Rainbow was named for Rainbow Creek which begins in the Watertown area and makes a large, rainbow-like bend through the area, and several abolitionists lived there during the 1800s.
“Thomas Ridgeway was born in Nova Scotia and had worked in New Orleans before coming to this area,” he said. “In the 1820s he and his brother, John, bought a section of land in the Rainbow area. Ridgeway lived on property adjacent to the Rainbow Cemetery.”
Burke said Ridgeway was an important part of the local Underground Railroad and helped many slaves escape the south on their way to Canada.
“Ridgeway also had two or three sons who fought in the Civil War,” he said. “They’re all buried in Rainbow Cemetery. And there were other abolitionists from that area, too, including James Stowe and Joseph Stacy, who were anti-slavery.”
One of Burke’s ancestors, Harvey Martini, a freed slave from what’s now Roane County, W.Va., also lived in Rainbow, and was probably one of the first black men to live there.
“Several black families settled there after the war but I believe Martini was the first,” he said. “He established a successful blacksmith shop at Rainbow and ran a free ferry across the Muskingum. Burke said the ferry would transport workers across the river to truck farm fields near Devola. A ferry continued running there into the 1920s.”
The village now known as Macksburg, near the I-77 and Ohio 821 interchange in Aurelius Township, for example, has borne more than one name over the years.
“The first recorded name I’ve found was Rignor Mills in 1819, then in October 1856 the name was Portland,” said Dorothy Pack, a lifelong resident and former Macksburg mayor.
She said the community was later called Macksville, then Minksburg. By 1922 the village was finally known as Macksburg.
One source says the community grew up around a general store owned by a man named William Whiting McIntosh, and was once called “Mack’s Store,” which eventually evolved into Macksburg.
Whatever the name, the village has an interesting past.
“This was a big oil boom town with a lot of history,” Pack said. “At one time the community had three hardware stores, two churches, at least one livery stable and a train depot station with a huge machine shop. Macksburg once had its own local phone company, too.”
She said there were also reportedly 13 saloons and two houses of ill repute in the area during the boom days that began with Ohio’s first commercial oil well. It was drilled near Macksburg around 1860.
Crude oil was first discovered in 1814 at a salt works operated by Silas Thorla and Robert McKee, about 10 miles north of Macksburg, according to the Petroleum History Institute’s website, petroleumhistory.org.
While drilling for salt brine they also brought up oil and gas, which was skimmed off the top of the brine and initially sold as a medicinal rub for aches and pains.
By the mid-1800s their discovery led to the development of the Macksburg oil fields and the community’s prosperous boom years.
Dunbar and Qualey
The Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad played a large part in the growth and eventual decline of at least two Fairfield Township communities—Dunbar and Qualey.
Located along County Road 6 (Burnett Road) in the southern part of the township, Dunbar takes its name from the family of William Dunbar, one of the earliest settlers who came into the area from Virginia in 1814.
“Dunbar’s first dry goods and grocery store and railroad stop was operated by Shelton Dunbar, who partnered with David Dunbar,” said Julia Engle at the Washington County History and Genealogy Library.
She said David Dunbar became the community’s postmaster in 1890.
Qualey is located two or three miles south of Dunbar on County Road 6, named for a local landowner, Michael Qualey.
“Qualey was the location of a lot of freight business from what was originally the Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad,” Engle said. “The Qualey Post Office was located across the road from the railroad at Hawk’s Hotel in 1891 and James A. Hawk was the first postmaster.”
Mike Brant, a Cutler-area resident and local railroad history buff, noted the railway’s importance to the growth of both Dunbar and Qualey.
“As the railroad developed, these communities developed, and when the railroad went out in the early 1900s, the communities also faded,” he said, adding that both Dunbar and Qualey were once thriving communities with dozens of homes, stores and even hotels and eateries.
Brant said Dunbar was originally called Little Hocking Station because all of the creeks in that area flowed into the Little Hocking River.
“In the mid-1800s the railroad through Dunbar and Qualey would have carried a lot of grindstones and other stones cut in area quarries,” he said, but noted there were also passenger trains that carried folks from the township into Marietta and back.
Standing like huge 87-foot-high sentinels along Walsh Road, less than a mile from where the community of Dunbar was once located, is a series of large stone piers, monumental reminders of the railroad trestle that once carried trainloads of freight and passengers across the valley floor.
“The superstructure of the bridge was originally wood, but in 1898 it was replaced by steel,” Brant said. “Irish and German immigrants built the arched stone abutments and piers.”
He noted that as the train approached the trestle an operator often had to keep a close eye on the fields and trees far below the structure to make sure no fires were caused by hot cinders emanating from the locomotive’s smokestack.
Another community that grew up around the railroad is Layman, located in the northeastern area of Fairfield Township on Ohio 550.
“It’s the oldest settlement in the township and was originally called Fishtown, after Daniel Fish,” Engle said. “But the Fishtown name later lost its significance and became known as Layman, named for Amos Layman, an 1848 graduate of Marietta College and delegate to the National Democratic Convention in 1856.”
She said the Layman post office was established in 1858.
According to an 1891 edition of The Marietta Times, “The first and only grist mill in the township stood near the home of the late George W. Morris at Fishtown (Layman P. O.), and the mill was the common property of all the settlers around. To this mill the early settlers brought their grain and each one in turn ground his own meal.”
The article noted that ground “mush,” served with bear meat or venison, would have been a favorite dish of the first settlers in the Layman community.
Part of the old rail structure along Bender Road
Moore’s Junction was named for Col. Thomas W. Moore who served in the Civil War.
Already a fixture in Washington County before the war, Moore purchased between 600 and 1,000 acres of land at Moore’s Junction in Warren Township in 1863, where he built a grand home.
Robert Lemasters, 81, of Warren Township was born in Moore’s Junction in a farmhouse not far from where Pioneer Pipe is located today.
Lemasters is a descendant of the Wittikind family—five brothers from Germany— who settled along what is now Ohio 7 after the Civil War.
“They dominated all Route 7,” Lemasters said.
The Wittikind family were farmers who did all kinds of farming including “putting in hay and having livestock and cattle,” he added.
Lemasters said he can remember riding into the town of Marietta with his grandfather as a youngster. His grandfather owned a Model T.
When the Underground Railroad was active smuggling southern slaves northward, those escaping by train crossed through Moore’s Junction, according to Lemasters.
The railroad built a big trestle at Moore’s Junction because trains did not have enough power to go up the hill there, where Lang’s Tractor is located on Bender Road today, said Lemasters.
“They had to get high up enough to switch trains so they could go in the right direction towards Cleveland, Cincinnati (and other locations,)” he added.
Like many a community, the village of Caywood was put on the Washington County map—where it remains today—when Duck Creek Railroad established a rail line in 1871.
Situated near Duck Creek in the southern part of Fearing Township, Caywood was named after William Caywood who settled on a farm there with his wife Phoebe (Moore) Caywood.
They were the parents of six children.
According to records at the Washington County Public Library’s Local History and Genealogy branch, the Caywoods were members of the Presbyterian Church of Salem, which ministered to members in Salem and Fearing.
Caywood owned a large tract of land near what would become Duck Creek Railroad’s Caywood Station, said Rudy Biehl, 84, of Whipple.
“There was so much land that the railroad company had a railroad ‘siding’ with a different set of tracks,” Biehl said. “They used that (siding) a lot for getting pipe casing for the wells they drilled in here after the turn of the century, when there was the first big boom in oil and gas.”
The tracks were also used for sending in farming supplies like fertilizer.
“All that country was all small farms,” Biehl said. “Farmers would do teaming, or bring horses and wagons for hire.”
According to Biehl, Caywood Station was the first station on Duck Creek Railroad’s line from Marietta. Other stations farther on down the line were located in Stanleyville, Whipple, Warner and Macksburg, he added.
“Dad said they ran two trains a day, one in the morning and one at night,” said Biehl.
“(Locals) called it the butter and egg train,” he added, because farmers would walk from their homes with fresh eggs and butter, hop on the train, sell their goods at Marietta homes and then come back to Caywood.
Allen Miller of Caywood, 50, grew up just half a mile from the railroad.
“I can remember as a child that train going through there,” he said.
“The railroad (tracks) went right over top of Caywood. It crossed Caywood Road more than once,” Miller added.
Even today, part of an old railroad trestle still stands not far from where Miller lives.
Caywood also built a post office near the railroad station.
Called Caywood Post Office, the post office opened on Oct. 6, 1871 on the same day that another Fearing township post office was begun in Whipple.
In 1922, the Caywood Post Office was closed for lack of business.