Ohio History Journal






As the American people rush along in their hurried life,

often observing only the big things of the world, they sometimes

forget the pleasure and value which may be derived from the

smaller ones. Let us consider the importance and significance

of the lesser. May we go into a very little valley which has

been prominent in our country's history ?

When one scans the broad Ohio, which affords so many

commercial advantages, he thinks of the business world and fails

to look backward to some of its rivers' picturesque tributaries-

not the broad, courageous Miami river, nor the rushing Mad

river, but a still smaller stream of water known as Mac-o-chee


This little stream takes its source from two small springs

in Monroe Township, Logan County, Ohio, and flows for some

seven miles, finally emptying into Mad river in a meadow just

south of West Liberty. Time has changed the channel of this

creek, so that today there are two Mac-o-chees having their

mouths in the same river and only a few miles apart.

Why is it this little body of water has so much charm?

Why in early times did the red-man place his village on its

bank? Was it because of the soil's great fertility for raising

corn? Was it for the game which its forests afforded or was

it the beauty and solitude of this secluded place that attracted

the Indians? Yes, it was for all these reasons, and probably

for many more, which the white man of today fails to perceive.

In those days stood the grand, old forest, the smoothly

rounded hills and the broad stretch of land, through all of which

flowed the bright sparkling water. The white man as well as

the Indian recognizes advantages of this locality and at the close

of the Revoltuionary War, we find him encroaching upon the

red-man's territory.

The first inhabitants of this valley were Indians from the


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tribes of Wyandotes, Delawares, Mingos and Shawnees-the

Mac-o-chee Indians belonging to the last. As civilization moved

westward, these Indians were loath to leave their homes in

"Smiling Valley", which is the meaning of the Indian word Mac-

o-chee and so they fought many battles in defense of their lands.

Previous to the coming of the white man, the Shawnees had

established several villages along the creek and these were known

as the Mac-o-chee towns. They were by name: Mac-o-chee

near West Liberty on the Judge Benjamin Piatt farm; Pigeon

town, three miles northwest on the George T. Dun farm and

Wappotomica below Zanesfield. Authorities differ as to the

spelling of these names and also as to their exact location. They

probably had no permanent site, but according to Indian custom,

they moved up and down the valley in pursuit of game. Yet,

we do know that such towns did exist.

After the destruction of the principal Indian towns on the

Muskingum river in 1781, the tribe of the Delawares retreated

from that river and took up their abode among the Shawnees

and the Wyandotes -the village chief Buckongehelas locating

in one of the Mac-o-chee towns. In 1782, these three tribes were

in close alliance.

It was at this time Col. Wm. Crawford started upon his

ill-fated expedition to subdue the Indians living in this part of

Ohio. Throughout his entire campaign, the fighting was terrific,

with incidents of the worst possible cruelty enacted by both

races. After a two days' fight at Upper Sandusky, Crawford

with his men was compelled to retreat. When the Indians

realized this, they began such a furious attack that the troops

were compelled to disband, scattering in small groups. In one

of these groups was a party of six men guided by John Slover,

who when a boy, had been captured and adopted by the Shawnees.

In Wayne County, the band was ambuscaded by a number of

Shawnees. Two of the six men were shot, one escaped, while

Slover and two others were taken prisoners. These three men

were brought to one of the Mac-o-chee villages, Wappotomica,

just below what is now Zanesfield. At first, the captured were

treated with great kindness, but upon their arrival at the village,

they were made to suffer great torture.

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Mac-O-Chee Valley.                457

The three captives were made to run the gauntlet. One

of the trio was persecuted until relieved by death, another sent

to a distant town, while Slover was retained. The same evening

of their arrival in the village, the Indians assembled in the

council house to examine Slover. They tried to learn from him

the real conditions of the country and the proximity of their

foe. Slover explained all and told them they need not fear any

approaching danger. On the following day, however, Captain

Matthew Elliot with James Girty, who also had been adopted

by the Shawnees, came into the camp and suspicious of Slover

changed from their attitude of kindness to one of extreme

cruelty.  A lengthy council of war was called at Wappotomica,

which resulted in Slover being sentenced to death. A party of

forty warriors accompanied by George Girty, an adopted

Delaware and brother of Simon and James Girty, placed a rope

around Slover's neck; they tied his arms behind him and after

having stripped him, they painted his body black, which was a

sign of death. They, then, set out with him to Mac-o-chee

where he was to be burned. This journey was most arduous

for the white man. As he passed through one of the villages

he was beaten with clubs, and pipe ends of tomahawks, and for

a time was kept tied before one of the huts.

At Mac-o-chee, a part of the council house was unroofed.

Here, Slover was tied to a stake. Fuel was placed around it

and a fire was kindled. As this began to blaze, there came a

heavy rain, which extinguished the flames and saved Slover's

life. To the superstitious Indians, this was a bad omen, and

after much consideration, they released their prisoner from the

stake, having decided to burn him on the following day. That

night, however, Slover made his escape and reached home in


The Indians continued to fight for their lands, even after

the coming of the white man. In 1785 a treaty of peace was

made with several of the tribes, but the Shawnees refused to enter

into any compact with the white man. In 1786 Col. Benjamin

Logan was commissioned by Gen. George Rogers Clark to attack

the Mac-o-chee towns on Mad river. With Col. Logan on this

expedition, there were several well known Indian fighters; among

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these were Col. Daniel Boone, General Simon Kenton and Gen.

Wm. Lytle. It is the last, who has given an account of the

campaign. The party proceeded towards the Mac-o-chee towns

on Mad river - one on the west bank and the other about a

half mile northeast. The latter town was situated on a high

commanding point of land and here resided the great chief of

the tribe. The commander, Col. Benjamin Logan, cautioned his

officers not to kill anyone, whom they supposed to be prisoners.

As the advance was made, the savages retreated in all directions,

while the whites pursued. After having fought desperately for

sometime, one of the Indian warriors surrendered. In review-

ing the skirmish, one of the prisoners, who had been taken was

no other than Moluntha, the great chief of the Mac-o-chee tribe

belonging to the Shawnee nations. With Moluntha, were cap-

tured twelve other Indians, the most of whom were children.

When Moluntha was taken into the town, a crowd of curious

men pressed around to see the great Indian chief. The whites

were suspicious of Moluntha and both races showed signs of

fighting, but the more conservative of each side held all in

check. The impetuous Colonel McGary, however, rushed up to

Moluntha; and thinking that the Indian had fought against him

at Blue Licks, he seized an ax from the hand of the grenadier

squaw and with this McGary dealt the blow which ended the

life of the great chief. The murderer then sought refuge in

the woods and was never seen afterwards. Colonel Logan or-

dered another detachment of soldiers to proceed to a town

which lay several miles north of here. They burned the town,

which included a large block house, that had been built by the

English. On this expedition, Colonel Lytle tells that a certain

Indian youth was taken captive with some prisoners. All were

sent to Kentucky, where Colonel Logan made the boy a mem-

ber of his own family. Later the Indian was permitted to return

to the land of his childhood, and was afterwards known by the

name, Logan. He proved himself to be an unwavering friend

of the white man.

The Indians of Mac-o-chee valley had been warned of the

approach of General Logan, by one of his own men, who was

a deserter. Yet, his arrival occurred much sooner than had

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Mac-O-Chee Valley.                459

been expected. In one of these towns lived Jonathan Alder.

When a youth, he had been captured by the Indians, and brought

to this settlement which was located on the present Alfred John-

son farm in Salem Township, Champaign County, Ohio. It was

Mr. Alder who gave the evidence that the Indians had been

warned of the coming danger of the white man. At the time

the attack was made, most of the Indians were hunting so the

conquest was an easy one. Upon the destruction of the village

of Mac-o-chee, Alder with the women and children fled. The

following spring, the Shawnees returned to their burned city;

but, after a short stay, they left this locality forever, establish-

ing their new settlements at Blanchard Fork.

There is a pretty legend, which has been connected with

the Indian history of this famous valley. The authenticity of

it is denied by some authorities, by others it is confirmed. At

any rate, the story shows that love was a dominant factor in

the red race, as well as it is in the white. On the General A.

S. Piatt farm is a certain rock, which since the story, has been

known as "Squaw Rock." While the white people were burn-

ing the village, an Indian squaw with her young baby was

lurking behind the large rock. Why she was there we do not

know, but one of the invaders, mistaking her for a warrior, shot

and killed the mother. As the white man approached the body

of his victim, he saw his mistake. By the side of the dead Indian,

lay her bright faced son. When the slayer saw the child, he

was filled with remorse. He buried the mother at the foot of

the rock and took the baby boy to his own home. Years passed

and these the Indian spent in playing with the pretty little daugh-

ter of the household. When both reached maturity the old-

timed friendship grew into love. Unfortunately, for the Indian,

a white lover sought the hand of the young woman. The girl

had much difficulty in deciding between the two woers. Since

public sentiment condemned a marriage with the red-man, pride

caused her to choose the boy of her own race. The night fol-

lowing the wedding, the young bride and groom were found

murdered and the Indian foster-brother had disappeared never

to return.

Tom Corwin has well described this valley. "If there is

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a line," said he, "Where Mac-o-chee ends and Heaven begins,

it is imperceptible- the easiest place to live and die in, I ever

saw." It has witnessed many thrilling deeds among the first

settlers. Here in 1778, the great Indian fighter Simon Kenton

was forced to run the gauntlet. He was then a youth full of

great daring. The Indians had been stealing horses from the

white people in southern Ohio for sometime. So Kenton, to-

gether with several other companions, decided to retaliate, and

they set out for Chillicothe. They had roamed around the

southern part of the state for some time and had taken a great

many horses from the Indians, when Kenton was separated

from his party. Later he was pursued and captured by the

Indians. For a suitable punishment, there were many delays

and much debating among the Indians, but their final decision

was a death sentence for the captive. The place of execution

was to be at Wappotomica, one of the Mac-o-chee towns. On

the way to this town, it was necessary to pass through the vil-

lages, Mac-o-chee and Pickaway. At both these places, Kenton

was forced to run the gauntlet. At Mac-o-chee-now known

as the Nash farm, Kenton attempted to escape and broke through

the line, but he was soon captured by an Indian on horse-back

and was again returned to the village. He was then taken to

Wappotomica, where his torture was intensified to the enjoyment

of the Indians who crowded around him.

One of these in the crowd was no other than the wild

Simon Girty, who was known throughout the land for his

cruelties. Kenton and Girty had been together at Fort Pitt

and in the campaign against Lord Dunmore. When the latter

recognized Kenton, his cruel heart was moved and at the risk

of his own life, he saved that of Kenton.

For several years following this, Kenton roamed about

through the country. He did not care to return to his home in

Fauquier County, Virginia.  He thought himself a fugitive

from justice, because since in his youth, he and one of his

friends, William Veach, had loved the same girl. Veach mar-

ried the young woman. Some time after the wedding, Kenton

and Veach fought a duel. Kenton succeeded in throwing his

opponent to the ground and after kicking him on the breast and

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Mac-O-Chee Valley.                 461


stomach for some time Veach ceased to resist. Apparently life

was extinct. With a dreadful feeling of guilt and shame, Ken-

ton fled from his home country. Veach, however, recovered

from the wounds. This free life in Ohio was not to be enjoyed

by Kenton for any great length of time. After Kenton and

Girty had roamed about for some time, they met a defeated war

party of Indians. These were determined to reap revenge and

had decided to kill any white persons, who might come within

their grasp. They seized Kenton to pay the penalty and ordered

Girty to bring him to the grand council, which was to be held

at Wappotomica. When they arrived there, the council house

was crowded as they entered, Girty was greeted cordially, while

Kenton was received with contempt. Kenton understood well

the meaning of such a greeting. After the war chief had ad-

dressed the council Girty arose, and urged the Indians to spare

Kenton's life, if for no other reason, than his (Girty's) sake;

but the council decided by an overwhelming majority, for death.

Girty was still persistent and through his intervention, the coun-

cil resolved to convey their prisoner to Upper Sandusky for

execution. It was this delay in time that saved Kenton's life,

for on the way, the Indians stopped at a village where the great

Indian chief, Logan, interceded in behalf of the white man,

which act ultimately resulted in Kenton's freedom. Many years

later, Kenton returned to the vicinity of Mac-o-chee to the site

of old Wappotomica and there spent his closing days.

After the Indians in this valley were virtually subdued the

white men began to look beyond the protection of their little

settlements. In the War of 1812, this valley was crossed, at

Captain Black's farm, by General Hull and his army during their

ill-fated expedition from Urbana to Detroit. The army, en-

camped also, for a short time just south of West Liberty.

The water of Mac-o-chee creek offered excellent power for

the water wheel of the old fashioned mills, many of which were

built along the banks of the stream in the early part of the

nineteenth century. Some of these were the James Stanoge

mill, which was erected in 1813 for weaving woollen materials

and the Piatt mills which were especially important as one was

a flour mill, while the other was a saw mill. The mill that

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probably was the oldest as it was found by the first settlers

was known as the Judge Smith mill and while it was primarily

a saw mill, it did some carding. Another mill, known as the

Dickinson mill, was at first a distillery, but, later, having been

purchased by William Enoch, it was converted into a flour mill.

About five miles east of West Liberty was another flour mill,

belonging to Isaac James.

Today as one enters West Liberty from the south, he may

still hear the roar of a water wheel, for here near the junction

of Mac-o-chee Creek and Mad River, but fed by the latter, stands

a busy flour mill. It was built by John Enoch in 1812, and has

been in operation almost constantly since that time. Thus, the

original building has been used these many long years. At the

present time, the mill is owned by David Hartzler, and is the

only mill in Mac-o-chee valley, that is in operation.

In 1784 when Virginia ceded her lands in the northwest

Territory to the Confederation, she reserved the tract of land

lying between the Scioto and the little Miami rivers. This was

to be distributed to her soldiers, who had fought during the

Revolutionary War. North of the Virginia Military Lands lay

the Congress Lands. At that time, the exact dividing line, was

not known, as the relation of the sources of the two rivers had

never been ascertained. In 1804 Israel Ludlow was employed

to survey the land from the source of the Little Miami to the

supposed source of the Scioto. Ludlow failed, however, to be

accurate in his calculations and his measurements were found

to run some miles east of the source of the Scioto. This line

passes through the Mac-o-chee Valley about one-half mile east

of General A. S. Piatt's home. Some years later, another sur-

veyor was secured to run the line correctly between the sources

of the two rivers, and this has been known as the Rovert's line.

Later, however, the Ludlow line was decided to be the legal

limit of the Virginia Military Land.

Such a historical valley could bring forth only the best of

mankind and here among her pioneers were those who stood

forth for integrity and strong characters. A great many of these

came from Kentucky, among whom were Captain Alexander

Black and Moses Mcllvain. Two families, the Piatts and the

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Mac-O-Chee Valley.                 463


Enochs that have always been prominent in the life of the com-

munity, came from Cincinnati. The latter of these, whose first

representative was John Enoch owned several sections of land

in the valley. During the War of 1812, John Enoch entered

into an agreement with John Piatt of Cincinnati to furnish and

to deliver in Detroit a certain number of cattle to be used for

food for the soldiers in the army. Owing to great floods in the

spring of the year, Mr. Enoch was unable to keep the contract

and in settlement for the same, he deeded to Mr. Piatt a por-

tion of his land in this famous valley. A part of the Enoch land

is still owned by members of the Enoch family.

The Piatt family came to the banks of this little creek from

the busy whirl of Cincinnati in order that they might find a quiet

home - one which would be better suited to literary pursuits.

The Piatts were of pure Huguenot blood, and had emigrated

from France to America in order that they might escape religious

persecutions. The first of this family who came into prominence

was John Piatt. He had five sons. Of these Jacob is the ances-

tor from whom Colonel Donn Piatt and General A. S. Piatt


Jacob Piatt established his home on the Ohio river, op-

posite the mouth of the Miami, later known as Federal Hall.

The selection of this spot for his home shows the taste of an

old soldier. Here, long before Cincinnati had an existence, this

Piatt lived the strenuous life of a frontier settler. He served

his county for thirteen years as judge of the common pleas

court. The simple epitaph inscribed on his tombstone in the

old cemetery near his home best describes the real man "A

soldier of the Revolution and a soldier of the Cross." This

also gives the keynote to the characters of the later Piatts, who

settled in Mac-o-chee Valley.

Benjamin M. Piatt, the eldest son of Jacob Piatt, early in

life devoted himself to the mastery of law and in this profes-

sion he became widely known. After his marriage he moved

to Cincinnati, where for a time he was the law partner of

Nicholas Longworth. As Judge Piatt grew older, he desired

a quiet life, so he moved to the farm inherited from his brother

John H. Piatt in Mac-o-chee Valley. Here with his family he

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spent the remainder of his life on the homestead, which he

named, "Mac-o-cheek." While Judge Piatt was very prominent

in the business and the political world his wife was no less in-

fluential. Her strength of character was shown when she began

her rural life. At that time, there were no churches of her

denomination in the community, and as she desired a place to

worship at Mac-o-cheek, she urged that a church should be

built. The building of this was postponed from time to time,

Judge Piatt being then engaged in urgent business. One time

while her husband was away from home, she took advantage of

his absence and personally superintended the building of her little

Catholic Church. With her own hands she decorated the in-

terior. This building was used for many years as a house of

worship and still stands ivy-covered in the family cemetery a

short distance south of the Piatt homestead.

The home of Judge and Mrs. Piatt was known for its great

culture. Many guests of fame were entertained at Mac-o-cheek

among whom were Henry Clay, Tom Corwin, Salmon P. Chase,

Edwin M. Stanton and Richard M. Johnson. Of the visits of

the last to Mr. Piatt's home, an interesting anecdote has been

told. As Mr. Johnson was a very large man Mrs. Piatt had a

chair built especially for him. This the Piatt children called the

"Dick Johnson" chair, and it is still used by the great grand-

children of Mr. Piatt.

Other historic pieces of furniture in the Piatt family are

a bedstead, upon which President Madison slept while serving

as chief executive of the United States, and a camp table used

by John C. Fremont in the West Virginia Campaign during the

Civil War. The home of Mr. Piatt contained, also, the first

piano ever carried across the Alleghany Mountains.   This

brought entertainment to the family and amazement to all the

settlers in the community. In this home, there was a large and

carefully selected library, which stood for intellectual training.

To Judge and Mrs. Piatt were born a family of ten children.

Two sons, Donn and Abram Saunders spent practically their

entire lives in the valley, as they each established homes near

that of their parents. While youths, these two boys were al-

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Mac-O-Chee Valley.                 465

most inseparable, and were always the best of friends through-

out life.

The younger brother, Abram Saunders Piatt, was born in

1821. After receiving a thorough education at the Athenium,

subsequently called St. Xavier, in Cincinnati, resided at Mac-o-

chee, having built a beautiful stone home of French architecture

a short distance north of his boyhood home. When "The War

of the Rebellion" came upon the country, he entered earnestly

into the strife and was a true soldier, not only in character, but

even in stature. His career was short but it was brilliant. He

was among the first to answer to Lincoln's call for volunteers.

On April 30, 1861, Mr. Piatt was commissioned Colonel of the

Thirteenth Ohio Infantry, then organized in Camp Jackson, near

Columbus. After three months' service, he solicited and received

authority from Mr. Lincoln to enlist a brigade. This he did at

his own expense, and organized the first Zouave regiment,

probably so-called because they wore a fancy red-legged uniform,

which they were soon forced to discard. This regiment was

designated the Thirty-Fourth. The great cost of this undertak-

ing brought financial embarrassment upon General Piatt, from

which he never fully recovered. With permission from the

state authorities Mr. Piatt continued recruiting and a second

regiment was organized and designated the Fifty-Fourth. Un-

fortunately, however, just as this regiment was being rapidly

filled up, General Piatt was ordered to report with the Thirty-

Fourth to General Rosecrans, who was then commanding in West


On the way to join General Rosecrans' forces, Mr. Piatt

met, attacked and put to rout an organized band of confederates,

under the command of Colonel J. W. Davis, near Chapmansville,

West Virginia. In March, 1862, General Piatt took sick with

typhoid fever and was forced to return to his home at Mac-o-

chee. During his absence he was commissioned Brigadier-Gen-

eral, having regained his health and was ordered to report to

General Fremont, the Mac-o-chee soldier, with his brigade was

ordered to Winchester. While commanding and fortifying this

post his work was inspected and approved by General Sigel. In

Vol. XXVI - 30.

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recognition of this service the citizens of West Liberty,

sent General Piatt a saddle horse. Later Mr. Piatt played a gal-

lant part in the battle of Manassas Junction, and a short time

after he took a prominent part in the battle of Fredericksburg.

When the War closed, Mr. Piatt returned home and lived the

retired life of a farmer, enlivened by books and literary pursuits.

His contributions to magazines, notably the "North American

Review" reveal him as a clear thinker, whose style was vigorous

and incisive. In his literary work, he was an essayist and a poet;

in politics a Democrat. He always regarded the Greenback

party, as the true Jeffersonian Democracy. On this party ticket,

he once led as a candidate for Governor of Ohio. From the

time Cleveland was president and his great message to Con-

gress in 1887, placing the Democratic party firmly upon a

platform of tariff reduction, General Piatt always supported

this party.

The older brother, Donn Piatt was born in Cincinnati in

1819 and with his parents came to Mac-o-chee, when only a

lad of twelve years. As a youth, the child showed the traits

of unusual ability. When he was about thirteen years old, an

Atheist came to West Liberty, and challenged the ministers of

the village to a joint debate. The clergy refused such an offer,

but the Atheist received a notice that if he still cared for a

debate, he would be accommodated by an orator, named Piatt.

Every one supposed this to be Judge Piatt's son, Donn. The

debate was begun, but as the child finished his opening sentence,

which was very eloquent, the box upon which he was standing

gave way, thus causing the young speaker suddenly to disappear

from view. A tremendous applause followed, after which the

boy confused and stammering appealed to the judges for their

decision, which was promptly given in favor of the lad. Such

courage as this, was shown all through his life, with the result,

that at the close of it, he was known as a statesman, poet, novelist,

soldier, diplomat, and journalist. Like his brother, Donn Piatt

received his education partly at Urbana, and partly at St. Xavier

College, Cincinnati.

He studied law under his father and for a time, he was a

pupil of Tom Corwin. In spite of the fact that Mr. Piatt had

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Mac-O-Chee Valley.                 467


a great dislike for the profession, he had an excellent practice

which yielded him a good income. He was associated with the

law farm of his brother, Wykoff and his brother-in-law N. C.

Read in Cincinnati.

Donn Piatt was truly a literary man for at the age of

twenty, he wrote much which was published in the leading news-

papers of the land. As his interests grew in politics, he used

his literary talents for the cause of the Democratic party, of

which he was an ardent supporter. In 1840 he edited his first

newspaper known as the "Democratic Club", in which he at-

tacked the Whigs most boldly. As a journalist, his record is

hard to follow. Several years after the close of the Civil War,

Mr. Piatt in partnership with Alfred Townsend, became the

editor of a Sunday newspaper "The Washington Capital." Mr.

Townsend was connected with paper only a short time. This

paper became very popular, for while maintaining a high literary

standard, it also gave its readers the happenings of Congress, and

commented sometimes favorably, sometimes, unfavorably upon

the measures before the national legislature. Thus Mr. Piatt

often aroused the anger of his opponents and was called upon

to explain his criticisms. Mr. Piatt probably did the most con-

servative writing of his life, while editor of "Bedford's Maga-

zine", but his opinions were always original and his expressions


In 1847 Colonel Piatt married Louise Kirby of Cincinnati.

The following three years were spent at Mac-o-chee, where

Colonel and Mrs. Piatt engaged in literary work.     They

both were constant contributors to the "Cincinnati Commercial",

the "Louisville Journal", and the "Home Journal" of New York.

This correspondence was continued by Mrs. Piatt for many

years, while she was in France. These letters were later pub-

lished in book form under the title "Belle Smith Abroad." For

this, she became widely known.

In 1851, Colonel Piatt was appointed Judge of the Com-

mon Pleas Court of Hamilton County.        Again, he took

up his residence in Cincinnati, but owing to Mrs. Piatt's ill health,

the Colonel and Mrs. Piatt in company with the latter's sister,

Miss Ella Kirby went to France. Here during the administra-

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tions of Pierce and Buchanan, Colonel Piatt was made Secretary

of the Legation at Paris, under Honorable John Y. Mason.

Later when the minister died, Mr. Piatt served for nearly a year

as charge d'affaires.

Upon his return home, Colonel Piatt actively engaged in

the presidential campaign, giving his support to Lincoln. When

the Civil War came upon the United States Mr. Piatt along with

his brother, enlisted the older brother, and served as staff officer

for General Schenck. While Colonel Piatt was temporarily serv-

ing as chief of the staff at Boston, he issued an order to General

William G. Buney to recruit a brigade of negro soldiers - to

enlist none but slaves. Such an order was contrary to the policy

of the administration and for the time being greatly embarrassed

Lincoln and his cabinet. Secretary Stanton, however, interceded

with President Lincoln in behalf of Piatt. Colonel Piatt was per-

mitted to hold his rank in the army, but was denied further

promotion. His consolation was that he had made Maryland

a free state.

After his retirement from service Colonel and Mrs. Piatt

returned to Mac-o-chee Valley, where they built the beautiful

cottage which was to be their home. Scarcely had this work

been completed until Mrs. Piatt passed away. Colonel Piatt

continued living on the farm and devoting much of his time

to writing.  In 1865, as a Republican in Logan County,

he was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives. The fol-

lowing year, he married Miss Ella Kirby, who possessed the

qualities of a truly cultured gentlewoman. These she still retains

although she is now in frail health. The home life of Colonel and

Mrs. Piatt was beautiful. In 1884, they too, built a magnificent

stone home of Flemish architecture near the site of their former

home. For many years this house has been known not alone

for its beauty, but for its great hospitality, such as had been

offered in the home of Colonel Piatt's parents, Judge and Mrs.

Benjamin Piatt, many years before. Among the many renowned

friends of Colonel Piatt were Thackeray and Dickens. The

former of whom Colonel Piatt entertained at a notable dinner

held in Cincinnati.  Another friend was James Whitcomb

Riley, who was a guest at Mac-o-chee Castle during the summer

Mac-O-Chee Valley

Mac-O-Chee Valley.                 469

of 1884. There is a popular tradition that Mr. Riley wrote

"When the Frost is on the Pumpkin", while at Mac-o-chee enjoy-

ing the hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Piatt. This is a mistake,

which Mr. Edmund H. Eitel, a nephew and biographer of Mr.

Riley, has corrected many times. The poet did no writing, while

in the Mac-o-chee valley, although undoubtedly at a later time

he used material which he secured while being a guest at the

famous home. After Colonel Piatt's death, Mrs. Piatt no longer

cared to live in the mansion, so she built for herself a quaint

bungalow in West Liberty, where now she lives a retired life.

In the beauty of the natural setting, in the history of its

varied Indian life and intense pioneer struggles, in its unique con-

tribution to the literature of our state, Mac-o-chee Valley will

never cease to rank with the most favored of Ohio's historic