St. Clairsville, the county-seat of Belmont, is situated on high hills with magnificent views, in a rich agricultural region. It is on the National Road, 11 miles west of Wheeling and 116 east of Columbus. In 1846, it contained six places for public worship: 2 Friends (Quaker), 1 Presbyterian, 1 Episcopal, 1 Methodist, and 1 Union; one female seminary, twelve stores, two or three newspaper offices, and H. Anderson's map-engraving and publishing establishment. In 1840 it had 829 inhabitants.
Cuming's tour, published in 1810, states that this town "was laid out in the woods by David Newell in 1801. On the south side of Newell's plat is an additional plat laid out by William Matthews, which was incorporated with Newell's plat on 23 January 1807, by the name of St. Clairsville."
By the act of incorporation the following officers were appointed until the first stated election was held by the inhabitants: John Patterson, President; Sterling Johnston, Recorder; Samuel Sullivan, Marshal; Groves Wm. Brown, John Brown, and Josiah Dillon, Trustees; William Congliton, Collector; James Colwell, Treasurer; and Robert Griffith, Town Marshal.
The "view" given in that publication was taken from an elevation west of the town, near the National Road and Neiswanger's old tavern. A building seen in the distance, on the left, shaded by poplars, was the Friends meetinghouse; in the centre was shown the spire of the courthouse, and on the right the tower of the Presbyterian church.
St. Clairsville in 1888
In 1888, St. Clairsville, the county-seat, was on the St. Clairsville railroad, a short line connecting on the north with the C.L.&W.R.R., and on the south with the B.&O.R.R.
County officers in 1888 were: Probate Judge, Isaac H. Gaston; Clerk of Court, William B. Cash; Sheriff, Oliver E. Foulke; Prosecuting Attorney, Jesse W. Hollingsworth; Auditor, Rodney R. Barrett; Treasurer, George Robinson; Recorder, John M. Beckett; Surveyor, Chalkley Dawson; Coroner, Andrew M. F. Boyd; Commissioners, William J. Berry., John C. Israel, Morris Cope.
In 1888, newspapers included: Belmont Chronicle, Republican, W. A. Hunt, editor; St. Clairsville Gazette, Democratic, Isaac M. Riley, editor.
In 1888, St Clairsville had 1 bank: the First National Bank, David Brown, president, J. R. Mitchell, cashier; and the following churches: 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 Presbyterian, and 1 United Presbyterian.
Population in 1888: 1,128.
School census in 1886: 407; L.H. Watters, superintendent.
Between 1840 and 1888, the village grew very slowly. Near the end of this period, a magnificent courthouse was erected at an expense of about $200,000. In the spring of 1887 St. Clairsville was hit by the most severe tornado then experienced in eastern Ohio, which did great damage.
Although always small in population, the town was highly regarded because of the prominence of persons who have lived there, and was, at the time, considered an intellectual center.
This entry is adapted from Henry Howe's HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS OF OHIO (2 vols., 1907). The book has been reedited, updated, and restructured for inclusion in the Pierian Press Fulltext eBooks database, and is included on the Stratton House Inn Web site by special permission. This entry is licensed for use ONLY on this Web site. This entry 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 the Stratton House Inn iteration of this entry does NOT include the subject headings assigned the entry for use in the Fulltext eBooks database.
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ENTRY NUMBER: EBK31135101