|Beautiful Belmont, Part 07 -- Our Neighbors.|
by John Salisbury Cochran.
See previous entry: Beautiful Belmont, Part 06 -- The Old Spring and Spring House.
Very little clearing had been done in the vicinity of Martins Ferry and Bridgeport in 1840, though the work of making farms was going forward rapidly. It is difficult to define exactly the limits of the area known as "Scotch Ridge" and "Pinch Ridge." Scotch Ridge might be said to encompass all that portion between Deep Run on the north and Glens Run on the south, and extending from the Ohio River to Mt. Pleasant. It derived its name from the large settlement of Scottish people in that section. Pinch Ridge extended from the river to Colerain, and from Glens Run on the north as far as Wheeling Creek. It obtained its name from a witty expression of that day, indicative of hard times on that ridge.
The people of these two areas were largely of the same class and stock. The ridge names were used merely to designate geographic location, and in a spirit of friendly rivalry. These early settlers were mainly Scottish, Scotch-Irish, and English, or their descendants. They were representative of the best "bloodlines" of those countries, some of them tracing their ancestry back to lords, earls, dukes, and even kings. On Scotch Ridge and vicinity were the Raineys, Goodhues, Coopers, Godfreys, Moores, Grays, Alexanders, Majors, Mitchells, Drenhens, Steeles, Barnes, Pickens, Sidwells, Loyds, Bundys, Hoges, Kinseys, Jones, Binns, Gills, Banes, Husseys, Updegraffs, Radcliffs, Hoggs, Flanners, Conleys, Roberts, Luptons, Jenkins, Talbots and others. On Pinch Ridge there were the Finneys, Van Pelts, Gows, McGlens, Pattersons, Cochrans, Neelans, Weeks, Criers, Pratts, Chandlers, Woods, Browns, Ashtons, McBrides, Blackfords, Smiths, Wileys, McComas, Copes, Dungans, Lashes, Foxes, Steers, Brackens, Pyles, Baileys, Starbucks, Maules, Mercers, Whites, Sharons, Halls, and others.
Many of the descendants of these families became men of distinction. Josiah Fox, who lived near Maultown, now Colerain, was the designer of the first navy of the United States, and built the warship Constitution, forever since the pride of the nation. The Sharon family produced the California senator-millionaire of that name. The Theaker, Bundy, Updegraff, and Gill families each produced congressmen -- all men of ability. William J. Rainey, the "Coke King" and multimillionaire, was from the family of that name on Scotch Ridge. Our brother, Judge Robert H. Cochran, of Pinch Ridge, originated and constructed the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad as well as the Wheeling Bridge and Terminal Railroad, and was president of both. The handsome railroad bridge that spanned the Ohio River at Martins Ferry stood as a monument to his dauntless persistence and genius. Charles F. Roberts became an eminent lawyer and author in Chicago.
It would be too tedious to name all the judges, lawyers, editors, doctors, and clergy produced from this section, all of whom were prepared for greatness through that austere and exacting school called the farm. The sturdy Scottish residents of that section sent many a son to the Far West, to stamp their characteristics in the laws and society of our newer states.
The Scots, and consequently the Presbyterian element, mainly occupied that portion toward the Ohio River, while the area around Colerain and Mt. Pleasant was chiefly occupied by Friends, otherwise known as Quakers. I have a profound respect and admiration for these last named people. They have conferred a vein of intelligence and integrity to the citizenship of Mt. Pleasant and Colerain, and indeed, to the whole area. I have never found a people of more sterling honesty, or sturdy determination to do what is fair and honorable. As an illustration of this, Mr. Jacob Maule, a Friend and merchant in Coleain, refused to take from his customers more than a certain percent of profits, just sufficient to support himself and family. At the end of the year, it is said, he went over his books, and if there was a surplus above this percent he returned it proportionally to his customers, or gave them credit on their accounts. When you blend such characteristics as these with those of the Scots and English, as they were blended in this vicinity, few better men and women could be produced.
See next entry: Beautiful Belmont, Part 08 -- The Log Schoolhouse.
For the table of contents and first entry in this series, see: Beautiful Belmont, Part 01 -- Table of Contents and Brief Introduction.
This entry is adapted from Bonnie Belmont: A Historical Romance of the Days of Slavery and the Civil War, by John Salisbury Cochran, which was published originally in 1907. The book has been reedited extensively for inclusion in the Pierian Press Fulltext eBooks database, and is included on the Stratton House Inn Web site by special permission. This special edition of Beautiful Belmont is licensed for use ONLY on this Web site. It may not be copied or downloaded, but may be used for educational purposes and personal pleasure under fair-use provisions via this Web site. Please note that this Stratton House Inn iteration of the book does NOT include the subject headings assigned each chapter for use in the Fulltext eBooks database.
CO-AUTHOR: Wall, C. Edward. (Editor)
DATABASE: Fulltext eBooks: Copyright (c) 2000 The Pierian Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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