Ohio History Journal

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LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: By the committee who have

had the arrangements for these centennial exercises in

charge, I have been requested to speak on this occasion of

the German pioneers who settled in this county during the

first half of the present century. The Governor of Ohio,

who has just introduced me as a native of this city, must

stand corrected in this particular. I am not a native of

this city, nor of this State, but a native of Germany. I

was brought here by my parents, into this county and city,

at so early an age that, living among the New England

settlers of Marietta from youth to manhood, they made

me over into quite as much of a Yankee as though I had

been born on the soil of Massachusetts.

According to my understanding of the matter, the first

German settlers of Washington County came from the

Rhine Palatinate. They came to the United States in the

summer of 1833, from the vicinity of Durkheim, a little

city of some 6,000 inhabitants, located in the gap of the

Valley of the Isenach, a small stream flowing through the

Hardt Mountains, and distant, due west, from Heidelberg

about twenty miles. This is indeed an interesting region.

Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay, years ago, while stand-

ing on the Geisberg eminence-a spur of the Black Forest

just south of Heidelberg-and from which vantage he

surveyed this beautiful and interesting landscape, pro-

nounced it "the garden of Europe."

The pioneers to whom this address will be chiefly de-

voted were two brothers, sons of John Peters and his wife

Barbara (nee Wagner), who had reared a family of seven

sons, and whose ancestors, from time immemorial, had

lived and died in this section of Germany. The names of

the pioneers were Jacob and Charles Frederick. I ought,