Ohio History Journal

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[The question is often asked, When did the Catholic Church first

make a permanent settlement in Ohio? We have diligently sought the

desired information. From Hon. W. B. Archer, member of the Senate

of the 81st General Assembly, we recently received the following com-

munication, which seems to settle the question of the first Ohio Catholic

Church. - EDITOR.]

In compliance with your request I give a brief statement of

what is known as the "East Fork Settlement" in what is now

Noble County, Ohio, the location of the first Ohio Catholic


I do not think that I could introduce this subject better,

than to quote a passage from a letter written many years ago,

by one of the immediate descendants of one of the first pioneer


"About the year 1803 or 1804 a colony of five families,

named Archer, Enochs, Crow, Forshire and Morris, in Marshall

County, Virginia (now West Virginia), crossed the Ohio river

and made their way westward through dense forests, till they

reached the East Fork of Duck Creek, in what is now Noble

County. This settlement was known as the 'Archer settlement',

now the present site of East Union". * * * James Archer

(the older of the Archers) married a Miss Lincicome in Vir-

ginia-he was a Roman Catholic, the remaining families of

the colony were Protestants."

James Archer came to Virginia from Ireland, some time

prior to the year 1800.    He brought with him     his three

daughters (his wife having died prior to this). A short time

after he settled in Virginia (on the waters of Wheeling Creek)

his two oldest daughters were killed by Indians and the third

(Jane by name) was thought to be, and was scalped. She,

however, recovered and lived to bring up a family.

Archer married again and there were born to him of this

marriage, six sons and four daughters. They were quite grown