|Little Home Histories, Part 90 -- Homes of Thomas Webster, Sr., 1782-1858.|
by Webster, Thomas.
See previous entry: Little Home Histories, Part 89 -- John Webster, Jr., 1791-.
Thomas Webster Sr.
John, Hannah and their ten children came to what is now Millwood Township, Guernsey Co., Ohio from Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania in October of the year 1806. Thomas entered the S.E. Quarter Section No. 26 Tp. 9R. 7 of the Seven Ranges of Congress Land sold at Steubenville, 0hio. (As we know it today, 1942) it is the tract of land on which Jeptha S. Webster's house stands, now occupied by Norval E. Day; it is located seven eights of a mile west of the present Methodist Church in Quaker City, where the road is closest to the railroad.
He made some improvements on his own land and helped his father with his home and mill. At the end of two years he went back to Pennsylvania and worked at the carpenter business for about two years to get some money to complete the title to his land here. He came back to Ohio and found the land he had cleared and planted in orchard was grown up in brush. The rabbits had de-barked the young trees so badly that he gave up the orchard site and cleared more ground in the bottom south of the present home site and planted another orchard. Some of these trees grew very large and bore as much as forty bushel of apples per tree. (W.V. Webster, a grandson, saw some of these trees standing when he was a boy some ten years old.)
The first house of Thomas Webster Sr. was a two story hewn log structure about twenty by twenty feet built by him probably in 1813, and located three hundred feet west of the present house on the Jeptha Webster farm. It was down in the hollow by a good spring of water. Another hewn log house was built over the spring. It was about eight by ten feet and the logs were approximately twenty inches wide. These large logs were obtained from trees cleared on his ground.
The second house of Thomas Webster Sr. was an oak frame dwelling built about 1825. The sills were hewn out and sized to six by eight inches. The Studding were split and trimmed to two by four inches. The plastering lath were split from oak about one-half by one and one-half inches by four feet long. The house must have been one and one-half story high. A part of this second house was dismantled and the remainder was moved and used for a chicken house.
The third and present house was located on the site of the second house. It was built in 1839 and 1840 and was a substantial structure framed together in modern style. The weatherboarding was of black walnut one and one-half inches thick and six inches wide, split out of logs and dressed by drawer knife and planes. All of this work was done by hand.
The house, facing the south, was about thirty by forty-five feet, two stories high, with an added room and porch extending to the west. There was a large cellar under all of the main building walled with large dressed sandstone quarried on the place. A door on the first floor near the middle of the south side of the two story part had six stone steps leading to it. On the north side, a door opposite the one of the south side had one stone step.
Two bedrooms were in the east end of the house, each about fifteen feet square. A hall about seven feet wide extended along the north side between one of the bedrooms and the west room, with a similar hall above. The stairway to connect these halls was along the north wall. The parlor was the large room downstairs south of the hall; it had a fireplace in the west hall.
The room to the west which could be entered from the hall was two steps lower than the rest of the house, and had a large fireplace on the east side backing against the parlor fireplace. The porch south of this room was ten feet wide. From it large stone steps led to the cellar. There were four bedrooms on the second floor. The windows each had two sash and each contained six panes of glass about ten by twelve inches.
One of the interesting pieces of furniture was a combination table and bench which was in the west room. This table top was hinged near one side and when not needed as a dining roam table could be tilted back. A board seat ran the length between the table legs and was used to sit on while the table top made the back of the bench. This was home made and there was a similar table in the John Bundy home east of Barnesville.
Thomas Webster Sr. and his boys built a large stock barn which is still standing on the Jeptha Webster place. In the top of that barn -- when Willis V. Webster was a boy -- there was about two ton of flax that was never used. He got some of it (about a handful), cleaned it up, and used it for smoothbore gun wads. It worked alright. About seventy-five feet north of the barn a double corn crib was built. The cribs were on each side with a driveway between. There was a wooden scoop for shoveling corn, which had been made by the Websters.
The Websters had tools of all kinds: Jack planes, joiners, smoothing planes, pannel planes, and several kinds of beading planes; a heavy broad ax, square, beveling square, ax, hand saws, whip saws, keyhole saws, crosscut saws, brace and bits, augers of all sizes up to two inches, about three sizes of frows, as well as tools for splitting stone and dressing them.
Thomas Webster Sr. in the year 1844 -- in company with his two oldest sons Joseph G. and Jeptha S. Webster -- started a general store in a two story hewn log house near the west end of their new home. The store house must have been the first dwelling house, which was taken down and rebuilt for the store. They continued in the mercantile business here about four years, until they moved the store to town. They continued in partnership until 1852 when they dissolved, with Joseph assuming the entire business.
Farther east (about one-fourth mile) on the north side of the clay pike was a hewn two story log house. It may have been built for a dwelling, but was used for a subscription school for several winters. (A subscription school is one in which the parents paid for their children's education, there being no public system of education at the time.) The Webster and Linn children went to school there. Some of the Websters taught there. They had greased paper instead of glass for windows and had wooden pins fitted in holes bored in the wall on which boards lay for desks -- and slabs with holes, in which legs fit, for seats. The little children sat on slab benches and kept their books by them on the bench. The older scholars used the desks along the wall. Goose quill pens, kept in order by the teacher, were used for writing.
About one-eighth of a mile farther east at the north side of the clay pike, just over the line on Michael King's entry, was another two story hewn log house built with a cellar under it and used as a dwelling. Several different families had lived in it. The school house and this one were about twenty feet square. Willis V. Webster (a grandson of Thomas Webster Sr.) helped to take these houses down and Thomas Webster Jr. had a hog pen made from the timbers. It is standing today (1942) at Walter A. Webster's home.
Source: Written by: Thomas Webster, Columbus, Ohio. This information was secured from Willis V. Webster by his son, Thomas Webster, Great Grandson of Thomas Webster Sr.
See next entry: Little Home Histories, Part 91 -- Dr. Ephraim Williams.
For the table of contents and first entry in this series, please see: Little Home Histories, Part 01 -- Table of Contents and Introduction.
This entry is adapted from Little Home Histories in Our Early Homes, Belmont County, Ohio, which was published in 1942. Its publication was coordinated by Robert D. and Beulah Patten McDonald. This entry has been reedited for inclusion in the Pierian Press Fulltext eBooks database, and is included on the Stratton House Inn Website by special permission. This entry is licensed for use ONLY on this Website. It may be used for educational purposes and personal pleasure under fair-use provisions via this Website. Please note that the Stratton House Inn iteration of this entry does NOT include the subject headings assigned each chapter for use in the Fulltext eBooks database.
CO-AUTHOR: Webster, Willis V.
DATABASE: Fulltext eBooks: Copyright (c) 2002 The Pierian Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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