Ohio History Journal

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Remarks of J

Remarks of J. V. Jones.            175




LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:- It would hardly be proper for

me to say " fellow-citizens," for the reason of having been absent

from your county for nearly fifty-eight years. During that time

many changes have been wrought in the city of Gallipolis and

Gallia county. Eighty-one years ago a young married couple

might have been seen slowly wending their way on horseback

down the slopes of the Blue Ridge and foot-hills of the Allegheny

Mountains of Virginia toward the beautiful Ohio River as it swept

majestically past the town of Gallipolis, or the "City of the

French." These young people brought all their worldly goods

with them on horseback and settled north of this city, some-

where near what is now known as "Kerr Station," on the river

division of the Columbus, Hocking Valley and Toledo Railroad.

The names of these young adventurers were James Jones and

Priscilla Jones, nee Blagg. After remaining in old Gallia county

for about twenty-three years they, with a family of nine children,

of whom your speaker was one, removed northward to the great

valley lying between the Sandusky and Maumee Rivers, and

bounded on the north by the beautiful Lake Erie. This great

forest valley was the hunting grounds of Indian tribes, known

as the "Senecas" and "Wyandotts." Our evening serenades in

the grand old forests were not the handsomely-uniformed bands

of music you have here on this Centennial occasion, but were

the whooping of the hunting bands of Indians, the hooting of

the night owl and the howling of the wolves. There we lived in

the rude log cabin, and lived one corn bread and the wild game of

the grand old forests. It was there that we received a common

school education in round log school houses, daubed with mud

and with greased paper for window lights and rude benches made

from split logs. But your speaker, one of the descendants of

that family, has lived to see the wilderness and the solitary

places be made glad and the desert places to rejoice and blossom

as the rose.

The Indians have gone to their happy hunting grounds, the

bear and the wild-cat have fled from advancing civilization, the